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Children are poor men's riches.







Fri Dec 25 03:38:57 2009
'Tis the season for Christmas jokes. I found this online, and decided to convert it back to verse. You can find the oft-quoted technical prose version here, and the broadly known version here.

"'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding Yuletide celebration,
and throughout our place of residence,
kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential,
including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus musculus.

Hosiery was meticulously suspended
from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus,
pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist
among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective reposery accommodations,
were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations
of variegated fruit confections
moving rhythmically through their cerebrums.

My conjugal partner and I,
attired in our nocturnal head dress,
were about to take slumberous advantage
of the hibernal darkness

when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds
there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance
that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose
for the purpose of ascertaining the source's precise origins.

Hastening to the casement,
I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration,
noting thereupon that the lunar brilliance without,
reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation,

(which might be said to rival that of the solar meridian)
thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to envision

a miniature airborne runnered conveyance
drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer,
piloted by a minuscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble
that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller.

With his ungulate motive power travelling at what may possibly have been
more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alar predators,
he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia,
and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective nomenclature;

"Now Dasher, now Dancer..." et al. -
guiding them to the uppermost exterior level of our commorancy,
through which structure I could readily distinguish
the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile state,
and was performing a 180-degree rotation,
our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via a downward leap -
entry through the passage of smoke expulsion.

He was clad entirely in animal pelts
soiled by the ebony residue
from oxidations of carboniferous fuels
which had accumulated on the surface of the flue.

His resemblance to a street vendor
I attributed largely to the plentiful
assorted playthings which he bore dorsally
in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity,
while his submaxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability.

The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance
were engorged with blood which suffused the layers most subcutaneous,

the former approximating the coloration of Albion's floral emblem,
the latter instead that of the Prunus avium.

His amusing sub- and supralabials resembled
nothing so much as common loop knots,
and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared
like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water drops.

Clenched firmly between his incisors
was a smoking device whose grey smoky output,
was suggestive of a decorative seasonal holly circlet,
whilst forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput.

His visage was wider than it was high,
and when he waxed audibly mirthful,
his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner
of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical vessel.

In short, he was unavoidably
an obese, jocund, multigenarian[ gnome,
and despite every effort to refrain from so being,
the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome,

by rapidly lowering and then elevating one eyelid
and rotating his head slightly in one direction,
he indicated that trepidation on my part
was an unnecessary reaction.

Without utterance and with dispatch,
he commenced filling the aforementioned appended hosiery
with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise
extracted from the cloth receptacle he'd transported dorsally.

Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about-face,
placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory appendage,
inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking,
and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage.

He then propelled himself
in a short vector onto his conveyance,
directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter
to the antlered quadrupeds of convenience,

and proceeded to soar aloft
in a movement hitherto typically seen
chiefly among the seed-bearing
portions of a common weed.

But I overheard this declaration,
his parting exclamation,
audible immediately prior to his vehiculation
beyond the limits of ocular demonstration:

"Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency,
and that self same assemblage upon,
my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial
and gratifyingly pleasurable period betwixt sunset and dawn."

Merry Christmas, everybody.
Fri Feb 6 18:14:40 2009

Seven years since I last made an entry. That's impressive.

Thinking back that far, W had only been in office a short while. Things were actually pretty good then (though we were still definitely smarting from the dot-com bust, to be fair). Funny how I had to wait until he'd left before I could post again. Did he just suck the hope right out of me? Maybe. Frankly, I probably just got busy.

Nowadays, that Obama fellow is in office, and I've got my hopes up again. The Obama T-Shirts are out in force (finally, a president worthy of piling up t-shirts and stickers), and spirits are relatively high, which is amazing considering the state of the economy.

Welcome to 2009, folks. Glad to be here.

Fri Feb 22 13:43:46 2002
After finding out Michelle Kwan (the skater) fell in the long program, it makes me wonder what I was watching the Olympics for. I've been rooting for Canada, as I always do, but I think I would have given up a Canadian hockey gold if it meant Michelle could have won her gold.

Of course, I doubt Eric Lindros would be too pleased to hear that. But I have to root for my fellow Bruins.

The problem I have with skating is the ordinal scoring system (scores based on scoring rankings instead of the scores themselves). Here's why:

Short program:
  • Skater A skates flawlessly, and gets straight 6.0's.
  • Skater B skates terribly, and falls 10 times.
  • Skater C skates even worse, and falls 15 times.
  • The remaining skaters fall 20 times or more.
Long program:
  • Skater A skates near perfectly, and gets 16 6.0's, 1 5.8, and 1 5.9.
  • Skater B skates near perfectly, and gets 17 6.0's and 1 5.8.
  • Skater C skates near perfectly, and gets 17 6.0's and 1 5.9.
  • The remaining skaters still fall 20 times or more.
Final medals:
  • Skater C gets the gold, despite falling 15 times in the short.
  • Skater B gets the silver, despite falling 10 times in the short.
  • Skater A gets the bronze, despite skating near-perfectly both times.
Clearly this is problematic.

Finally, I think there's a quick tendency to dismiss the anger from the Russians as sour grapes. And while that may be at least partially true, I think the bulk of the reaction is due to the political turmoil that Russia as a nation is experiencing with these Olympics. While here in America the Olympics serve primarily as a fun distraction before the onset of spring, in Russia a fierce battle wages on between the old and new guard, each with decidedly different agendas.

The pride of our nations lie in the balance. They're more concerned with the future of theirs. I guess it's a little understandable if they freak.

Tue Feb 19 03:13:25 2002
Alice told me about Googlewhacking today, and I must admit, it's pretty addicting. Silly, but addicting.

So far I've found three Googlewhacks: nutrify gestalt, selectionism bom, and celebratory fenestra. (Actually, I found a few more, but for some reason the Googlewhack site isn't accepting them. Oh well.)

In other news, I recently put this site together (design only) in a few hours, primarily as a favor. I kinda like it.

Wed Jan 9 03:39:26 2002

Perhaps it's time I proof-read my posts before I make them.

In other news, Dave Thomas, you will be missed. While most commercials make me cringe, I must say that Wendy's ads have never, to my recollection, had that effect. There was always a certain level of class to a Dave Thomas commercial, and how rare a thing is that?

Thu Dec 20 22:00:15 2001
I think, barring any sudden revelations, that my holiday shopping is completed.

Of course, this could mark the very first time in 27 Christmas-shopping years that my Christmas Eve may not be marked with a last minute desperation visit to the local 24-hour drug store, where I would inevitverbial singing plastic bass fish, shuffling and reshuffling gifts and recipients in my head until finding a less-than-satisfactory-yet acceptable combination.

I'm sure I overspent.

I'm sure I always overspend. Doesn't everyone?

The part that seems to cause problems is the perennial balancing act of matching up givers, gifts and receivers.

  1. Person A and Person B are significant others.
  2. Person C and Person D are significant others.
  3. Person A and Person C are best friends.
  4. Person B and Person D don't really know each other, and only socialize when forced to by Person A and Person C.
So who gets what?
  1. Person A and Person B must get each other creative and personal gifts (Gifts A-B).
  2. Person C and Person D must get each other creative and personal gifts (Gifts C-D).
  3. Person A must get Person C a quality gift (Gift A-C).
  4. Person A must get Person D a small gift (Gift A-D), but nothing too substantial, lest Person B or Person C get jealous.
  5. Person C must get Person B a small gift and put both his/her own name and that of Person D on the tag (Gift CD-B).
  6. Mall A makes a mint.