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2008 Holiday Gift Recap Friday, January 16, 2009

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 11:30 AM

2008 Holiday Gift Recap

It's a touch late but it wouldn't be in my character to not document some (not all) of the great gifts I got this year. In a total of four Christmases we were able to exchange gifts with my family, Jen's family, ourselves, and Paul and Caolan.

Ricard Pastis de Marseille
After enjoying large amounts of pastis in France was part of what made the trip to the South so palatable. It also took the edge off a dicy first drive using a standard since 2002, and first time driving with a standard in mountainous terrain ever. It might look like cloudy Drano but boy does it taste good.

Socks & Boxer Shorts
I got a number of pairs of socks from Jen and even some from my boss! This year marks the first year I actually asked for socks. I'm not sure if it's lameness or old age but any way you look at it, it's depressing to actually want socks.

Imperia Pasta Maker
Having a pasta maker is something many people think is a good idea but then it ends up taking up space. Even though it is really easy to make pasta it tends to be something that is a little too overly romanticized. I do, however, refuse to rig up some sort of insane contraption using an ironing board like Alton Brown recommends. I'm keeping it simple, and not ruining our brand new ironing board in the process.

ShowerTek Fog Proof Mirror
If anyone actually picks up on the fact that I asked for and received one of these two years ago I think I will be more worried than impressed. In 2006 I discovered the joys of shaving in the shower. In 2009 I have begun brushing my teeth in the shower. By 2015 I expect to be able to make myself lunch and pay my bills while reading Grays Sports Almanac in the shower. We still have time to develop the technology.

The Unauthorized Star Wars Compendium
Don't tell anyone I ot this. It's completely unauthorized. If George Lucas found out that I had a printed copy of the interview with Steve Sansweet on page 185 I would be in a heap of trouble!

Gateway by Frederik Pohl
This book was recommended to me because it was about a black hole and a moral quandry. Those are two of my favorite astrological bodies.

Is Paris Burning?
I started reading this book in France this summer but I had to leave it behind. I got a copy of it for my father for Christmas and, unknowingly, Jen had also gotten me a copy. It's got some great pictures of Nazis fighting on the streets right outside the hotel we stayed in in Paris. There's also a scene were a guy doesn't shoot Charles DeGaulle. I'm going to see if I can work that into the science fiction novel I'm working on as well. Every book should have a scene were a guy doesn't shoot Chalres Degaulle.

The Physics of Superheroes
I found out about this book after seeing a video on YouTube by its author explaining the physics behind The Death of Gwen Stacy. After watching that lecture I was sold. It seemed like an extension of similar projects by Michio Kaku. As long as the physics stays theoretical, I'm all for it.

Cosmos DVD Set
I did not expect to get this at all. It is far too expensive. But now that I have it I can't wait to watch it. I've only scene bits and pieces like the part where Carl Sagan breaks down the Drake Equation. Man, that's some good watching. The only problem is finding the time to watch it when Jen is as far away as possible. I usually wait until Jen is out of town to watch my documentaries on quantum physics. Man, if she found out about the capers I got up to when she was out of town I'd be sleeping on the couch for a week!

Winter Jacket
Jen got me an unrequested winter jacket. It's pretty nice. It has some sweet interior pockets. However, she's already lobbying to get me another jacket. I'm fighting it. I'm a firm believer that a man only needs on jacket.

Many Amazon Gift Certificates
It was fantastic to apply these (along with some Christmas cash) to get my new camera. It's pretty amazing. Now the close up pictures I take of food come out even better! Now I just need to ask to become a better photographer for next Christmas and the package will be complete.

Cashmere Scarf
Jen got this at work. Then she gave it to me. It has the name of her company on it. It warms me.

Rock Band 2
This has been an after-dinner staple for the past three weeks. I probably would have written this sooner had I not been playing nightly gigs with our band, Intrepid Bunyips.

I'm pretty excited about getting this. I hate to admit it but I've never read anything by Neal Stephenson before. The size of the book is a little intimidating. I don't think I've read a book this large (that wasn't a collection of shorter stories) since I was in high school. Somehow I will find the time to read it, even if it means quitting my job.

The Librarian - The Quest For The Spear (DVD)
I'm super stoked about this! I didn't even know it existed. I was in love with the commercials for the upcoming one about the curse of the Judas Chalice and marveled at them every time they were aired. My clever wife and friends were smart enough to discover that there were two previous films in the same series, The Quest for the Spear being the first. If I had been smart enough to Google it I would have likely discovered the same information. I'm so excited to watch this. What better way than to start an adventure series than with a quest for something incredible? Something like a spear!

How to Write Science Fiction and Fantasy
I read this when I was thirteen and I have long since thought about the MICE quotient. I can't wait to read it again and apply my learning to Castles: The Princes That Fought.

It's an energy drink for me to review for the Extinct Beverage Museum. I asked for it last Christmas when it was steeped in controversy because of its name. It never really panned out to be the gateway beverage that the alarmists thought it would.

A Million Teas!
Jen's mom got me a million teas including Canadian Ice Wine Tea and Maple Green Tea.

Aero Garden
Jen's mom also got us a an AeroGarden which means (theoretically) that we can now grow herbs and plants in our sunlight-free apartment. So far we've sprouted two tiny basil leaves about the size of the tip on a ballpoint pen. I can't wait to start making the world's tiniest basil and tomato salad.

All the Candy and Chocolate In The World
Think of a candy. I got it. It's pretty much the best situation ever. Jen and I made an agreement not to buy as much candy as we did last year because we were eating it until April. That promise did not hold. It's fine with me, I love having a Toblerone bar for lunch!

That about does it! I'd love to go on but I've got some work to do. It involves some writing. It also involves a fresh installation of The Sims 2 on my new computer. The ratio of the two is probably not adjusted for optimal productivity but it is optimized for optimal fun!
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