Feelin' Genki

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Merry Christmas Everybody!

Yes, Merry Christmas. Happy Kwanzaa! Have a great Hanukkah too. And a Joyeux Noel, a fun Festivus, and a Super Christmukkah to you and yours. In short, Happy Freakin' Holidays to you all -- even you (or us) god-forsaken atheists. And to all the pagans (and astronomers) out there, hope you enjoyed your Winter Solstice. If there's anyone I missed (probably more than half the world), then I just hope you have an absolutely perfect non-denominational weekend. Except to you Pastafarians, you freaks.
(Just kidding -- as the Dread Pirate Robert I am already in full pirate regalia (the only outfit Pastafarians can testify in) more than I care to admit. Save me some of that Holy Spaghetti!)

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Christmas Eve -- The Santa Tracker

Like all good children, tonight I shall use technology to spy on someone -- namely Santa Claus.

NORAD is utilizing all satellite, radar, and operational fighter planes tonight to track Santa and report his progress to the world. NORAD (about one third of whom are Candadians) has tracked Santa's flying sleigh since he left the North Pole and will be reporting all night.

Get to bed before he shows up! And a Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Twelve Days of Christmas -- When are They?

So here we are on December 22. The days are now getting longer and winter has officially begun. So, apparently, have the twelve days of Christmas.

What exactly are the twelve days? I've always believed that they started on December 21st (the solstice), progressed through the 25th (five golden rings always seemed like the big money gift, so should be on Christmas day, natch) and ending on the twelfth day, January 1st.

I'm not sure why I came to believe this, but I think it had something to do with winter break at school. After doing a quick search (thanks again, Wikipedia) I fear I may be mistaken. James Frazier, in The Golden Bough, says it starts on the 14th and ends with the epiphany on the 25th. News to me. I like my way better.

Here's the Wikipedia entry on the Twelve Days of Christmas.

The Twelve Days of Christmas are (depending on differing authorities and sources) either the days from December 14 to December 25, (December 25 being the Epiphany), or the days from Christmas through the eve December 24 of Epiphany. Arguing in favor of the latter is that it coincides more closely with the liturgical Christmas season. However, the 19th century folklorist Sir James George Frazer, favors the December 14 - December 25 interpretation: The last of the mystic twelve days is Epiphany or Twelfth Night ... (The Golden Bough, 1922)

Update: The correct answer, according to another Wikipedia entry, is that the Twelve Days of Christmas are the days separating December 25th, Christmas, from Epiphany, January 6th, which was originally based on, or "viewed as a fulfillment of," the Jewish Feast of lights.

(It's really a cool story here...)

Even more shocking, to me at least, is the revelation that those five gold rings aren't the big ticket item in the list.

Cost of Christmas according to: "The Christmas Index" (12/2005)

* One Partridge in a Pear Tree $104.99 ($15.00 Partridge,$89.99 Pear Tree)
* Two Turtle Doves $40.00 ($20.00 each)
* Three French Hens $45.00 ($15.00 each)
* Four Calling Birds $399.96 ($99.99 each)
* Five Gold Rings $325.00 ($65.00 each)
* Six Geese-a-Laying $300.00 ($50.00 each)
* Seven Swans-a-Swimming $4,200.00 ($600.00 each)
* Eight Maids-a-Milking $41.20 ($5.15 each)
* Nine Ladies Dancing $4,576.14 ($508.46 each)
* 10 Lords-a-Leaping $4,039.08 ($403.91 each)
* 11 Pipers Piping $2,053.20 ($186.66 each)
* 12 Drummers Drumming $2,224.30($185.36 each)

Total Christmas Price Index $18,348.87
True cost of Christmas in song $72,608.02

$600 bucks each for swans? And personally, four and five hundred dollars for leaping lords and dancing ladies seems a bit much. Even lap dances don't cost that much -- or so I hear. Maybe they're paying them for three and four full days of work. And how come the milkmaids only get five bucks? If I was a milkmaid and those trampy pole-dancers were making a hundred times my salary I'd be pretty ticked off.

All I really want is a beer... in a tree. (SCTV forever!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

The Longest Night of the Year

Hooray for the Winter Solstice!

From this day forth, let the days grow longer... seeing the sky turn dark at 4pm while looking out the window at work is a little depressing.

Tomorrow is my last chance to go shopping before we're into the holiday season proper. It's also my last day at work until 2006 and it's "Tara's Homemade Egg Nog Day." (The stories I've heard...)

As I get ready for bed on the longest night of the year, I can reflect on a bouncy little Milo dressed in his Santa bib staring at the lights on the Christmas tree. Oh how happy that jumper makes him...

Saturday, December 17, 2005

Christmas Shopping

So I went shopping the other day and did what I always do. I overshopped, buying presents for people I already have gifts for and buying them things that I'd really like.

It stems from my dislike for shopping, I suppose. I find it a chore (especially shopping for clothes and things for myself) and frankly, I'm not very good at it. That's why I go to bookstores and just try to buy everything at once. I get in a frenzy and just can't help it. And knowing that about myself, I just don't like putting myself in that position.

Anyway, I figure I can post this one here without giving away anything -- this present is for someone who doesn't read this blog. I read Gregory Maguire's book Wicked and absolutely loved it, so here I am buying the sequel for someone else. I hope they let me borrow it.

Milo's napping right now, so I'm going to take this opportunity to have a shower. I'll save my exciting news for the next post. Until then, I have to put this up here. My darling wife played with her photo tool and came up with this design for a possible Christmas card. I'm in a good mood today -- maybe I've been hypnotized by the concentric circles... 3D without the glasses!

Happy Holidays everybody!

Monday, December 12, 2005

Thirty Days to a Better Breastfeeding Blog

OK, so out of the three members of my immediate family, I'm the one who really has the least to do with breastfeeding. Nonetheless, it's a big part of my life these days. And I have to say that I'm pretty well-educated on the subject.

I started this blog to write about my thoughts and impressions of being a parent, music lover, curious guy, canucks fan, etc. and to share baby photos with my friends and family. And strangers as well -- everybody loves cute baby photos, don't they? I know John, they make you ill. Tough.

Anyway, I've been reading Jennifer Laycock's blog about breastfeeding and milk banks which I found because of her articles for Search Engine Guide, an industry news site I use at work (we're all about keeping on top of things, you know) and she's got a fascinating story going.

Her goal was to take a blog (hey, I have a blog...) and using only free tools (ooh, I like free) try to make money ($) in thirty days. Talk about putting your money where your mouth is. So far, Day 18 if I'm not mistaken, she's made about $150. Hence this post. $150 bucks is not enough for the amount of work she's done.

I figure (or at least hope) that, like that One Grain of Rice story, her blog will start to reap the benefits of viral marketing and make some real money by Christmas. It's for a good cause, it's an important experiment in niche marketing, and her t-shirts are hilarious.

I like the "nip/suck" one and the "That's my baby's lunch you're staring at" shirts -- do you suppose my wife would like one for Christmas? I'd look silly wearing one.

Go Jennifer!

P.S. I should point out that aside from being a money-making experiment, Jennifer's blog is a subject dear to her. As the proud Mama of an almost-a-year-old baby she knows what she's talking about. Plus she just got mentioned in the New York Times!

Update: The link to The Lactivist's Cafe Press store with all those wonderful pro-breastfeeding t-shrirts is here. How foolish of me not to include it earlier.

Time for a Prick?

Heh heh... it's flu shot time again and I'm thinking I just might do it.

I've never had a flu shot before -- my iron constitution and all that -- but our office is offering to innoculate everyone tomorrow and I might as well go for it. If you have horror stories about flu shots, I'd love to hear them before it's too late.

Of course, getting a flu shot just as I'm getting over the flu doesn't seem to be very good timing, but if it saves me another week of sweating all night and feeling miserable all day, then It'll be worth it.

Personally, the thing that made me decide to do it is that in the past two months I've had two colds/flus and I really don't want another. More importantly, I'm freaked out about giving them to Milo -- he's fine so far but it would just kill me to see him sick and miserable. I already feel bad enough seeing Erin sniffle and sneeze and the echinacea and zinc don't seem to be doing enough.

Uh-oh, my box of tissues at my desk is almost empty...

Friday, December 09, 2005

A Little Luck and a Great Home Crowd

Christmas is coming (along with Hannukah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, etc.) and I'm the worst shopper. I hate shopping and panic over whether or not I've chosen well or chosen... poorly. (Sorry, couldn't resist that little Indiana Jones reference.)

This year I found out that my father has never actually been to a Canucks game! The one time he tried he got so sick that he just stayed in the hotel room. Anyway, as a young man named Bob, his team was the Boston Bruins. Bobby Orr, number four, best player ever.

So this year I decided that with the Bruins coming to town I'd get some tickets and take him for Christmas.

There's nothing worse than taking someone out to a sporting event to celebrate a special occasion and watching your team lose.

Fortunately, the Vancouver Canucks have been on a hot streak lately and things look better than they have in a long time. As it turns out, Trevor Linden opened the scoring and we took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission. The second period was the nailbiter -- the Bruins tied it up and the crowd started to worry. In the third, all was well and good with the world as the home team scored three more for a 5-2 win. Yahoo!

It was a great game, we both had a blast, and my Dad got to come home to his grandson, conveniently still awake. Merry Christmas!

Tonight, of course, is the game with Ottawa. The two best lines in hockey, and a possible preview of the Stanley Cup final. Yeah yeah, I know that Detroit and Calgary might have something to say about that, but I can dream. 2006 is the year of twelves, y'know...

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Great Toot Forward

Milo hit a major developmental milestone last night and I was there to witness it.

Since I've started my new job I've been worried about missing out on quality time with our abnormally cute baby. (Five months old now and still growing!) As it turns out, we're getting into a good little schedule. I get home about 5pm and usually change a diaper, carry him around the house, play in his jolly jumper or bouncy chair, then lie under his activity center before naked time and a bath. I get my Milo fix and Erin gets her arms free for an hour or two.

Anyway, it was during bathtime that the momentous event occurred. The bath is a high point of my day - if he's cranky he perks up and just loves splashing around. I have him all to myself for the bath and we have some great chats. I still think it's hilarious when he hits the warm water, gets that look in his eyes, and just starts peeing all over the place. This time there was more; not too long after the waterworks, he put on another, equally odd expression and a bunch of tiny bubbles came out of his butt.

I can hear the collective "Awwww" from around the net: Milo's first fart. Maybe it's the Family Guy and South Park watching, maybe it's the bean-eating vegetarian mother... all I know is that Milo and his Daddy shared something pretty special just a few hours ago. A real Father/Son moment. And I didn't even have to pull his finger.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Poor Choice of Names

Instead of a post about my life today, I have decided, for the sake of brevity, to post a list of the funninest thing I found at work yesterday, under a heading I like to call...

Tales of Unfortunate URLs!

This travel site urging visitors to Choose Spain can also be read as "Chooses Pain" - doesn't sound like a fun vacation to me. www.choosespain.com

For a gambling site, the Odds Exchange sounds like a great name, but put those words together and what do you get? www.oddsexchage.com

Trying to find out which agency represents your favourite celebrity? the "Who Represents?" web site will tell you... plus sell you gifts for your favourite streetwalker? www.whorepresents.com

Next is the Experts Exchange, a place where computer programmers can
exchange advice and views, or possibly release that woman/man trapped in a man/woman's body. www.expertsexchange.com

Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island. This is the site that got me started on this whole thing. http://www.penisland.net/

If you're looking for a therapist, try this site. http://www.therapistfinder.com/ At least I hope that's what you're trying to find...

And there's also Mole Station Native Nursery, from Australia. http://www.molestationnursery.com/ (No link since they got wise and changed their name to Mole River Nurseries... but think of all the traffic they're missing!)

The British utility company Power Gen released a statement distancing them from their similarly-named counterparts in Italy, http://www.powergenitalia.com I can't imagine why... it sounds like just the thing for a power company.

And just to follow up my last post, the Vancouver Canucks defeated the Colorado Avalanche last night by a score of 5-2. Woo-Hoo! Now THAT looked like the Canucks we all know and love. They worked for that win and it showed. Can't wait for Boston!