Thank you cheesentoast!
The other day a co-worker and I were talking before a meeting and the topic of slide rules came up. I mentioned that I didn't have a slide rule which seemed a shame. This morning I found one on my desk with the following note:
All of us geeks need at least one. I definitely don't need 5! Now you have one.
Rock on! Now to learn how to use it!
I’ve seen a few posts about what people wanted as gifts this holiday season. This has made me think about what I would enjoy and treasure most as a gift. For me the most special gift is your time. By that I mean spending time with me doing stuff together. Watching a movie and talking about it afterwords. Going to a new or favorite restaurant and exploring what tasty things there are to eat. Heck, just meeting for a beer at a local pub and talking for a bit.
I'm guessing she just picked things off of my wishlist. Still it's a bit unsettling. The Man in Black is awesome though. It's a German musician singing covers of JC songs and some JC singing in German.
A package from ragnorokt, my brother, arrived today. Inside was the normal baked goods (Mmm... Cookies!) and fruit cake. You may claim to not like fruit cake but if it has anything green or artificially colored in it then you haven't eaten fruit cake. I'm still not sure about something you have to keep drunk with rum before eating but it's always been very tasty.
This year's surprise was not one, not two, but three bottles of the good stuff. He sent a Wildflower Mead, Cherry Melomel (1) and a Cyser (2). Such good things come in bottles. Sadly I'm sick and my taste buds aren'nt at their prime so I'm going to wait to sample them until I can fully enjoy them. I'm so tempted though...
- Melomel is made from honey and any fruit. Depending on the fruit-base used, certain melomels may also be known by more specific names (see cyser, pyment, morat for examples).
- Cyser is a blend of honey and apple juice fermented together.
It was a good haul for my 40th birthday. I'm blessed with many friends and loving family. I was pleasantly surprised from all the greetings and really enjoyed being serenaded. Thank you everyone for making my birthday this year one of the best ever.
Some highlights of my loot are:
- A new bear I shall name Rosie (as in Rosie Greer), because he came with the flowers
- Subversive Cross Stitch
- British Warships in the Age of Sail 1793-1817: Design, Construction, Careers and Fates - A huge book that I'm sure you can figure out what it's about
- A bathrobe that fits and is very comfy
- When in Germany, Do as the Germans Do
Today is the 23rd of August. That means in two months I'll be turning 40. It also means that I'm officially on a purchasing black-out and won't buy anything that I don't need until the end of October. My mother and I setup this plan years ago because I would buy things for myself on a whim that she had already purchased as a birthday present. So the wish lists have been updated and I've sent them out to her.
It would be easier if I could get my mother to just send me a check. It's cheaper to mail a check than ship a bunch of wrapped packages. Also a lot of things I want aren't available in the mall or Costco. My mom enjoys shopping, wrapping and shipping presents. So I've come to accept her way, it doesn't cause me any stress and it gives her joy. A win for both of us.
Before I go any farther I want to say that this isn't a post about trolling for gifts. This is about explaining me and opening up to the world after years of keeping things bottled inside. Anyone is welcome to give me a gift but only if that's what you want.
What I really want for my birthday aren't things but experiences. Don't get me wrong. I love opening packages and receiving gifts. It's just that enjoying some time with people last longer and gives me a great memory. With a few notable exceptions I can't tell you what items I've been given over the years. I can tell you all about the night Ternon leaned next to me and said, "I've just thrown my lighter in the fire."1
When thinking of what I want for my birthday the idea that keeps popping to the front is sitting around a fire with some friends, drinking, talking and watching the stars. I used to be part of a group that went out each full moon to do just that. I sure miss those times.
Another thing I enjoy is sitting in a pub with a jar and talking with people. Such as datavore's farewell dinners at The Jones. After that night I have been trying to work "Shaking hands with President Lincoln"2 into conversation without success.
For distant friends nothing surpasses the pleasure of a letter. Holding something that they held and wrote for me is a special joy. I still look forward to the mail delivery even though I haven't received a letter in a long time. Knowing how a letter makes me feel has made me get off my duff and send a few myself. Even just a postcard is a boost knowing that someone was thinking of you.3
Just in case someone wants to give me a gift and, like my mother, they would be happier buying and wrapping something I have setup a few wish lists on Amazon.com. They are:
1. He did and he did.
2. Thanks a lot walbourn!
3. I received the first confirmation that a postcard I sent through postcrossing had arrived.
Another of the gifts from hollyqueen is a dictionary of German slang. I could have used the phrase Beißen wir schnell noch einen ab! on Saturday.
I have learned a few things after watching season one of Lost. They are:
- If you show up near the end of the season and start having a speaking role... You gonna die.
- The average person needs to get a little basic survival training. I know more about surviving from just my time in the Boy Scouts than a lot of those idiots.
- Never allow a crazy French woman anywhere near your camp.
- Being a high school teacher doesn't mean you know a damn thing about handling old dynamite. (See rule #1)
- A 20' boat cruising around in the dark in uncharted waters can only mean trouble.
- This is the most important rule. Until you are rescued everybody needs to keep it in their pants. No macho bullshit will be allowed. With all those damn trees they could have built a damn luxury liner and been on the way home if they would just work together. If I was on the island I would have put a cap in kate, locke, sawyer and most definatly shannon long ago.