And so it begins

The turkey carcass is barely cold, and we already have our Christmas tree. We took advantage of the fact that we have an SUV for the week (long story, not worth repeating) to save ourselves the trouble of trying to cram it in the trunk of my Civic this year.

One bittersweet note is that our favorite tree farm is closing its doors (gates?) after this season. Granted, we've gotten a fir, imported from Michigan or some such, every year for the past 5 or so instead of a locally-grown Scotch pine (we got tired of the itchy, swollen hands that result from trimming the latter, with its stubby, inflexible needles). We should be able to go just about anywhere to get a fir, imported from Michigan or some such. Anywhere else we go, however, is going to lack the atmosphere that Warren's has. They will be missed.


We got snow

That's not why I didn't post yesterday. Yesterday was spent running around making preparations for today.

This wasn't just a light dusting of snow, either. We got about 6 inches. Not a bad way to start the holiday season.


First pass at the new layout

It's still a little rough, but it's most of the way there. Serious thanks to Tonico Strasser for his flexible layout; the good stuff is his, while any CSS bogosity is all mine.


We're all nit-pickers about something

My wife used to hate watching a movie with me where computers figure prominently in the story line. (That's probably incorrect. I'm sure she still hates it, but doesn't bother complaining to me anymore.) I've been a computer professional for about 15 years, and an enthusiast for almost 25, so I have a hard time suspending my disbelief long enough to swallow some of the computer-related nonsense we're shown—and a harder time keeping quiet about it. (I'll refrain from posting any specific examples; if you know computers, I'm sure you can think of your own examples. If you don't, a simple rule of thumb is this: If you find yourself asking, "Can computers really do that?", the answer is usually "no".)

Not that she's entirely guiltless herself. She used to work in television, so that's her area of relative expertise, and the topic for which she can't let inaccurate representations slide. I remember when we saw Up Close and Personal, and Michelle Pfeiffer's character broadcasts live from deep within a prison during a riot. My wife kept shaking her head. "How are they transmitting live footage? They left the live truck outside the prison walls. Did they drag cables all the way with them? If so, where are the cables?"

I bring this up because, well, I can. Someone once said that everyone is an expert on something. (According to Google, apparently everyone has said this.) And whatever you're expert at, you can nit-pick at.

Case in point. Mark Simonson, a professional font designer (and, therefore, an expert on typography), has catalogued on his website "the use (and misuse) of period typography in movies". In other words, what he notices is whether a movie set in the 1950's shows a typeface that wasn't designed until the 1980's.

An expert after my own heart.

It's beginning to smell a lot like...

I'm not going to finish that. It's bad enough that I'm alluding to (Holiday+1).

We've had a zip-top bag full of cinnamon sticks in the cabinet for several years now, waiting for a reason to use them. Now we have a reason, but we figured they're probably too old, so we bought a fresh new bag at Penzey's. It seemed a shame to throw out the old ones—just because they're old doesn't mean they're worthless—so I dropped five or six of them into a pan of water simmering on the stove. Instant ambiance!


Some of my 43 Things

I've started making my list. Have you?

Eating your own poorly-styled dogfood

I know what you're thinking:

If you're spending so much time lately learning CSS, why don't you apply some of that newfound knowledge to your own blog? Huh?

Part of the answer is in the question. Time outside of work has been scarce lately, and since this blog is apparently just me talking to myself, it's not exactly at the top of my list of priorities.

Still, one of the joys of newfound knowledge is learning how to wreckchange the world with it, so a redesign will take place. Someday. Maybe.

In the meantime, I leave you with some links to how I'd rather be spending my free time.

The first day of the rest of my life

See, I'm already blogging on a daily basis. :-)

We're getting geared up for having Thanksgiving dinner at our house this year. Whether we're getting sufficiently geared up remains to be seen. Fortunately, our only guests are Angela's brother and sister-in-law, so it's not like we'll set off an international incident if dishes fail to be ready to eat at the same time.


You never write anymore.

And there's a perfectly good reason. Well, at least a reason, if not perfectly good. Okay, there's really no reason. Sort of.

I keep not writing, because I'm thinking that there's nothing I'm thinking that's worth writing about. Or else I think of something worth writing about, but only when I'm not at the computer. Recently, however, I've run across two things that I hope will help break me out of this endless cycle of whatever it's an endless cycle of:

  1. A blog entry at thinair entitled "Don't think. Write.".
  2. 43 Things (warning: potentially non-PC, but we're all big kids here, right?). Their basic premise is that "...by writing down your goals you greatly increase the chances of actually completing them. Part of it is just knowing what your goals are. Another is being able to hold yourself accountable."

So I've decided that one of my 43 things is to post to my blog regularly. So volume will go up, hopefully. Not making guarantees that any of it will be a reasonable expediture of electrons.