Monthly Archives: December 2004

Far(ley) before the Vikings

The last couple of weeks on the train I have been immersed in the world of ancient sefarers. My latest read has been aaa|The Farfarers|1883642566|aaa by Canadian author Farley Mowat. Mowat explores the possibility that there could have been European travelers in the Northern Hemisphere long before the Vikings traveled to “Vinland” around 1000 AD.

Mowat is know in the History world for his book, “aaa|Westviking|0308600592|aaa”, published in the 1960’s. While researching this book, in which he expresses the belief that the Norse were the first European explorers in Canada, Mowat had a feeling that he wasn’t getting the whole story. He spent the next 30 years traveling Eastern Canada, Greenland, Iceland and the northern British Isles looking for the missing links.

What he found opens the window to the possibility of earlier expiditions to the “New World.” Mowat has given the reader a thorough look at the facts and fills in the whole with original narrative. His storytelling style is entertaining while thoroughly convincing.

“The Farfarers” is full of historical facts and theories, but was by no means too heady for those only slightly interested in history. My one complaint is that although Mowat includes a map in the front flap of the book, the locations marked do not always represent the locations talked about in the book.

Cookies and Sunsets

Today at work we had a little departmental food day to celebrate the holidays. Many people brought in food for others to enjoy. Our contribution was a plate of cranberry cookies made by Becky and me:

ppp| |ppp

There was also quite a nice sunset at the end of the work day. As seen from the conference/food room:

ppp||ppp

The Voice Of Satan, er, Santa

I don’t know if anyone else has noticed this, but when you hear a radio advertisement featuring the voice of Santa Claus, there will typically be one of two dramatic interpretations: Jolly Old Santa or Demonic Santa. Jolly Old Santa is your basic, cheerful sounding “Ho, ho, ho!” The type of guy who you would certainly want to be bringing you presents in the middle of the night. His voice is warm and friendly sounding. The other type, Demonic Santa, sounds like Jolly Old Santa taken a bit too far. He has the low, rumbling voice, but it also sounds like it’s been lowered a few octaves, run through a reverb effect, and has a faintly maniacal edge to it. The kind of Santa who you’d rather not have consuming your milk and cookies as he brings fire and brimstone to put in your stockings in the night.

Anyone with me on this?

Trashy People

This morning at breakfast, I poured the last of our milk into our cereal bowls. As I was cleaning out the milk bottle and preparing to put it into our recycling bin, I remarked to Becky, “Can you believe that some people just throw these things in the trash?” She replied, “Yeah, like everyone else in our building!” It’s true! We’re the only people in the building who put out a recycling bin every other week. Everyone else just puts out tons of trash. I just can’t believe that people still throw perfectly good recyclable items into the trash. Perhaps they don’t realize that there are a lot|http://www.beverlyma.gov/Public_Documents/BeverlyMA_Recycling/rules of things you can put in there? Don’t come crying to me when you start paying for your tons of trash after the city passes its hauling charges on to you|http://www2.townonline.com/beverly/localRegional/view.bg?articleid=147495.

Boston Weblogger Meetup

Tonight was the Boston Weblogger Meetup|http://blog.meetup.com/3/events/?eventId=3713535&action=pastdetail. This is only the second meetup I’ve attended, but I had quite a good time. I met a bunch of completely new-to-me people, chatted about blogs, technology, society, had a good burger|http://www.grendelsden.com/, and got a whole new list of blogs to put on my blogroll… Continue reading

Why I love the Mall at Christmas

Since Peter is gone for the evening, I decided I’d hit the mall. Here are some reasons I love the Mall at Christmas:

  1. Dads and other men shopping all by themselves. It is so great to see them try to figure out the women’s sizing code… and trying to guess what color their wives/daughters/girlfriends will like.

  2. Dads shopping with their pre-teen daughters. Maybe it is just because I remember doing that myself with Dad… it is just cute.

  3. Santa. and the cute little boys in reindeer sweaters that run up to him.

  4. The Northshoremen|http://www.harmonize.com/northshoremen/index.htm performing in the food court. I could have stayed there all night listening to them. The singing was great, but I loved the audience. There were the expected 60’s and 70’s crowd and families of the singers, but there was also a group of high school football players with their eyes glued to the group. Mom’s and their kids who stopped and watched for a song or two, and some babes and toddlers in strollers who (amazingly) quieted down when they rolled near the singers. It was really lovely.

  5. Kids shopping for their siblings and parents. Who never know exactly what to get. I saw one brother and sister in a few shops who were particularly cute.

{in the spirit of the season I will not post the companion post, “why I hate the mall at Christmas”. You can probably write that one yourself.}

Takes a licking and keeps on ticking

When I got to work this morning I realized that I needed change for the resgister. So I bundled up and walked two buildings away to the bank. Often there is a line at this branch of what once was a green bank and now is a red one. Today, as I walked in, there was none.

“Horay,” thought I as I zipped to the front of the line. There were two customers being helped at the counter and I was ready for a quick exit. I grabbed a lollypop from the basket. I opened it. I enjoyed it’s faux-orange flavor. I did not bite it.

I continued licking my lollypop for another 10-12 minutes, standing there…the only person in line. The customers ahead of me had finished and left and both the tellers were doing anything but call me up to their windows.

It is sad when you stand in line at the bank long enough to finish an entire lollypop!

Surviving the Balance Beam

Peter and I have been watching the latest incarnation of Survivor: Vanuatu. It has been hard to watch. Not because the contestants have had to eat nasty things, or go for weeks without a shower, but because it was, simply, BORING. None of the players really offered any real entertainment and their personalities were blah. There was alot of fighting and personality clashes, but nothing that offered any great drama.

I’m writing here about the show, because the Final Episode last night finally gave us viewers some good tv. Chris Daugherty, from Ohio, was crowned the “Sole Survivor” and won a million dollars. Lucky him. Really lucky, in fact.

The first episode|http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor9/show/ep01/index.shtml of the show showed us a struggling Chris as he continually fell off the balance beam in the very first challenge. His inablity to cross the beam caused the Mens’ tribe to loose the challenge and forced them to attend the first Tribal council. I was all but convinced that Chris would be sent home due to his poor performance. The men had another strategy, however, and sent home another tribe-mate that they felt would be a physical threat later on.

Chris goes on to survive another day…actually another 39days. Last night|http://www.cbs.com/primetime/survivor9/show/ep14/index.shtml despite an all women’s alliance, having backstabbed fellow tribes mates and a bit of lying, Chris won the whole shebang. It was nice to see that someone so bumbling at the beginning could come out on top at the end. Nice Job, Chris!

Baby G’s Birthday

“What does God want with a starship?” That is the eternal question which I have pondered with Bob. Bob was friends with Jeremy before I met them, and we all roomed together our senior year at Gordon|http://www.gordon.edu/. The three of us took Dr. Green’s|http://www.gordon.edu/academics/biblical/faculty.htm Christian Doctrine class together Bob was also in our wedding, as well as in Jeremy’s wedding.

ppp| |ppp

Happy Birthday! Live Long and Prosper, Bob.

Incidentally, Bob, Jeremy, and I are getting together this weekend, along with our spouses, in Mystic, CT|http://www.mystic.ct.us/. Should be fun! Of course I’ll have photos up once we get back. 🙂