Sunday, December 31, 2006

New Year (same old, same old)

Is it just me or has the time inbetween Christmas and New Year has flown by especially quickly?

Well, the new year is a few hours away for me and I would like to wish all the other bloggers who have commented here and in my other blogs a very happy and peaceful New Year! Thanks for reading (and listening) and sticking with it, I can't promise my writing will get any better but I thank you


I'm a bit indifferent to the New Year this time around, some years I get either depressed or I feel optimistic but this year: nah, nothing! I don't know why this is, I just do.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Post Christmas

It's been a busy week, seeing family and friends and watching TV and eating and drinking (mostly). Also done some online shopping. Bought a digital camera to replace our compact that went wrong, this was our present to ourselves - we had a small budget for gifts between us before Christmas, knowing that we'd want to hit the sales post Christmas. Despite the small budget I did quite well getting a good reaction from my wife on the things I got for her. I got some nice things too, one I'm looking forward to is a coffee mug I have to paint. Santa was good to the children this year, although the noise of electronic beeps and whistles has almost driven me insane! We've a shed load of Christmas crackers still to pull, I don't understand how we could have got so many. The Christmas tree went down yesterday, which I think is a little early, and our living room now looks spacious and bare! In a way though, I'm glad it's all sort of nearly over. I'm not glad though about having to go back to work later next week, nevermind though at least I have a few more days. We also have to try and organise buying a car - a process I hate having to go through but a necessary one.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Are you a Grinch?

From Tara and L.B.

Nope, You're Not a Grinch

Although you may feel Grinch-like at times, it's just because you're worn out from the holidays.
You get into the holiday spirit more than most people - and you truly enjoy celebrating with your family and friends.

What holiday food are you?

You Are a Fruitcake

People pretend you're sweet and precious, but they know how weird you really are!

Oh, I see...

Friday, December 22, 2006

Holidays are here!

Yes at last, the holidays have begun. Now it's time to try and get everything that you dreamed of doing while you were at work done. I was fantasising about playing lots of videogames, little things like eating, drinking, sleeping and the family do tend to get in the way though! (only kiddin') But I have spent several hours this evening installing The Sims, House Party and Hot Date. It took a lot longer than it should have because we had installed the Triple Deluxe version and Makin Magic. And I found out this evening that there is a special order you have to follow for installations and if you get it wrong your better off starting again from scratch (including wiping any remnant files off your hard drive). But still, all is working now so my wife can play Sims to her hearts content - and I may even have a play myself. I've been trying out Rollercoaster Tycoon on an older machine we have upstairs and I'm enjoying learning how to built theme parks. What a great job that would be! You can see my handy work below.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

What kind of gift giver are you?

You Are a Funny Gift Giver

Your gifts are wacky, offbeat, and even borderline naughty.
You prefer to give a gift that makes someone crack up...
Forget utility. You prefer to give something that's totally hilarious.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Christmas meme

1. Egg nog or hot chocolate. Hot chocolate just because I've never tried egg nog.
2. Does Santa wrap presents or just sit them under the tree? Wraps, but only with special Santa wrapping paper that nobody else uses.
3. Coloured lights on tree/house or white? Coloured, on tree.
4. Do you hang mistletoe? Not this year but we have done in the past. Come to think of it I haven't seen mistletoe anywhere this year.
5. When do you put your decorations up? Second weekend in December.
6. What is your favourite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? A roast turkey dinner with cranberry sauce, sausage, bacon, chestnut stuffing, roast potatoes and sprouts (yes, sprouts).
7. Favourite holiday memory as a child? Playing Space Invaders on my Atari, after wanting an Atari for months and months.
8. When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? What truth is that?
9. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No! (oh, alright then, yes).
10. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Lights and baubals. A mix of old and new decorations with a tinsel star at the top.
11. Snow. Love it or dread it? We get snow so rarely, I love it.
12. Can you ice skate? Nope, never tried.
13. Do you remember your favourite gift? Yes, my Atari game console.
14. What's the most important thing about the holidays for you? Time off from work with my family, playing family games and visiting my parents.
15. What's your favourite holiday dessert? I don't really have one.
16. What is your favourite holiday tradition? Videotaping the kids coming downstairs to unwrap their presents.
17. What tops your tree? Uh, I answered this in 10.
18. Which do you prefer, giving or receiving? Both are fun, although I take more pleasure in giving these days - it was different when I was younger of course!
19. What is your favourite Christmas song? I believe in Father Christmas by Greg Lake, I just like his voice.
20. Candy canes? Never tried one. They look nice though, probably better than they taste.
21. Favourite Christmas movie? In my childhood it was Wizard of Oz because I only saw it once a year. Now I have kids they watch it several times a year (sometimes several times a month). I like It's A Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street is good too.
22. What do you leave for Santa? A glass of milk and a mince pie and we leave a carrot for Rudolph.

Finish the week out!

The weekend was going well, right up until the point a stomach bug caught up with me. So Saturday afternoon and evening I was asleep most of the time. So not a great weekend for me, I saw half of the carol concert and what I saw and sang along to I enjoyed. The second half went by in a bit of a blur though. I'm taking some holiday over Christmas though - yay! So I'll finish work on Friday and won't be back until 4th January, which is totally great!! Something to look forward to, just got to finish the week out....

Friday, December 15, 2006

Wii Games

If you fancy a little light entertainment over the weekend, try these Flash games for the Wii. You don't need a Wii to play, just use your mouse as the controller. I thought Off Sides was good but very confusing!

Classic Rock of the Month

A month has elapsed since I posted the Jethro Tull video, so it's now time for another trip down to the dusty archives to blow the cobwebs off another treasure of my audio heritage. This month my classic rock band is Caravan. I've got three Caravan albums on good old vinyl: Caravan (1968), If I Could Do It All Over Again I'd Do It All Over You (1970) and For Girls Who Grow Plump In The Night (1973). I'm sure my dad has Blind Dog At St. Dunstans (1976) on vinyl somewhere too. I dig the crazy screen effect!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Christmas Carol Sing A Long

On Saturday my family and I will dress in our best clothes and head into London, to sing with other families in a great big happy Christmas carol singalong! My boy is going to be looking smart and well turned out, my wife will be her beautiful, sexy self and my daughter will be looking fabulously pretty and princessy. I shall be smart and generally try my hardest to stay at least something like in tune (and pretend that I know the words and phrasing without making too much of a fool of myself). We did this last year and it was a great family trip out, we push the boat out a bit and get a box in the gallery which has a nice space behind the seats where the children can play and dance and we can eat and drink in private. The concert is at a brilliant venue in London known as the Royal Albert Hall and was built in honour of Queen Victoria's husband Prince Albert. Bob Dylan played a famous concert there in 1966, I have a recording of that performance and it's something special - for that reason alone I'm going to enjoy the concert on Saturday, just knowing that my idol once graced that stage. Here are a couple of photos of the venue.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

What classic movie are you?

I came across this on another blog but I've forgotten whose, so apologies for my bad memory skills. I only did 9 questions because, well, I couldn't be bothered to answr more than that! Does that make me a bad person??

Stuff and stuff and stuff

Finally, I got the chance to move over to the new Beta Blogger yesterday, woohoo! It took a few minutes while all three of my blogs moved over but it's all done now at last. Not sure what I do with labels for posts yet though, does anyone know what they do? Group posts into themes?

My daughter's Christmas nativity is performed tomorrow and unfortunately I can't go :-( as duty calls and I have to be somewhere else for work. My wife can go and is going to videotape it though, so at least that's something I guess. The dates this year just haven't fallen well for me as my son's carols sing song unfortunately also falls on a date when I'll be elsewhere. It's not great that dad's have to go to work during these times, we miss out on a lot. Ah well, the videotape is better than nothing I suppose.

I've seen a couple of good friends over the weekend, so that was great. I saw a few bands play at a gig on Saturday night and that was excellent. Also I had a few hours to myself on Sunday, which was great. On Saturday I managed to do a bit of Christmas shopping too. I'm feeling a bit more organised this year than I usually do. Christmas is less than 2 weeks away now, that's a scary thought! I haven't been even slightly tempted to buy a Nintendo Wii, not that I'd be able to buy one in any case - I think the stock situation is pretty bad here in the UK. It's great if all you want is a box, there are plenty of those...

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Make a snowflake

Try Make-a-Flake and design your own snowflake, take a larger look at mine here.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Lonely Snowman

Tara's holiday for today is called Make A Snowman Day. Well, there has been rain here but no snow, so my snowman is a virtual one. I feel sorry for the snowman who gives us so much pleasure during the day and is so alone at night. Here's my picture in support of the lonely snowman.

Thoughts on Christmas

I can't believe it's been almost a week since I last posted something here. I've been pretty busy at work and my wife has been on the PC doing a lot of stuff for her job. The podcasting has been occupying a lot of my time too, it's fun but is time consuming.
I was starting to get a bit depressed about Christmas a week ago or so but then I realised something that had just gone over my head before. Here it is: Christmas is the climax of the year, it's the time to have fun, see friends and family, look back at the year's achievements and relax. I usually spend a lot of time worrying about presents (who to buy for, when to organise my shopping, what to get for whom, who got me a gift last year etc.) and the emphasis on shopping takes the fun out of Christmas I feel. It's much better to treat it as a big party. I love the film It's A Wonderful Life, realising how much you are loved by those around you is what Christmas should be about.
I'm starting to think about Christmas and New Year. I'd like to do something different next year, maybe take a course in something or do an evening class activity. I haven't figured out what yet but I'd like to get out one evening a week to experience something new.