Redefining the Holidays

When my husband and I got married, we decided that gift giving on holidays was too stressful and ultimately a waste of money.  We decided it was important to spend time with family and that the best present to give is a meal from the heart.  We have been doing without presents now for 8-yrs and I don’t miss them.  The holidays have gone by pleasantly without stress about what to buy or even having to go to the mall.  We have nice family meals and gather around the Wii for the holidays.  It’s brought the holidays back to the family and away from Santa and presents.  It was one of the best decisions we ever made.

Of course, I don’t know if such a stategy would work if we had children since presents for them is all about status.  I certainly would not want to raise children with those kind of values, but it’s hard to control when status is important to their friends and the parents of their friends.  I don’t remember any of the presents I recieved as a child except for a Snoopy Snowcone maker, an Easy Bake oven, a couple of bikes.  These were not status gifts, though.  These we more like rites of childhood and toys that I really enjoyed mostly because they were toys that engaged my parents too.  I guess in this sense, they were good presents and when I become a parent, I should use those memories as a guiding principle when selecting gifts.

Anyhow, happy holidays to everyone out there.  I know for some families it’s going to be tough this year because the money isn’t there for lots of gifts.  I would encourage you to return to family and to concentrate on having wonderful family meals and choosing a few gifts that engage the entire family like bikes, board and video games, and books.  It can also be nice to take the family out the movies during the break times.  Oh, and take lots of pictures :).  Those are definitely the gifts that keep on giving :).  Happy holidays everyone!

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Amazon’s CloudFront

This makes me very happy.  Amazon has launch it’s content delivery service.  I wonder what good things and weird things will come out of this.  I wonder if it will be a new source of spam and other no good things :).  I can’t wait!  I hope we see more artists breaking free and using the service to serve their media content.

Here’s a brief article on the service from CNET.

Go HP

HP announced preliminary result for the 4th quarter.  Here’s a link.  In a quarter full of sorrow, this is a very bright spot.  Go HP and you gotta love Hurd.  May he continue to fly under the media radar to let HP continue to shine ;).

The Yahoo Drama Continues

And so the drama continues … first there was the “love triangle” between Yahoo, MS, and Google that was so sensationalized that I missed that Yahoo was undergoing a “transformation”.  Now a CEO change after changing the CEO less than 2-yrs ago.  I love the little blurb about how Yahoo has a board problem more than a CEO problem.  So … let’s take a look at these folks:

http://yhoo.client.shareholder.com/PRESS/directors.cfm

They look like an innovative bunch who know about the Internet, social networking, and advertising <*note the sarcasm*>… sigh … well, I hope their management ranks are younger and more diverse.  Anyhow, here’s a link to an article about the latest at Yahoo:

CNET link

Update: Cracked Toe Nail

I see hits on this daily, so I thought I’d give an update because it seems to matter to some folks out there.  So here’s what happened with my cracked toe nail:

I cleaned the wound thoroughly when I got home and wrapped the affected toe in cotton gauze with breathable cotton tape for a couple of days so it wouldn’t get caught in socks or the bed linen.  To my surprise, my toe tip didn’t turn black, but rather it healed up such that it looked like a normal toe nail with a fracture line in it.  It was strong enough for me to trim after a couple of days, so I did to smooth out the edge of the nail.

Finally, yesterday, the toe nail grew out long enough for some of the cracked part to fall off.  It didn’t fall off neatly, but I did my best to smooth the edge of nail so it wouldn’t get caught in socks or bed linen.  The toe nail is growing back nicely and I hope in the next few weeks the fractured part will completely grow out and my toe will look as good as new.

So here’s what I learned with regards to taking care of cracked toe-nails (and please remember that I’m not a doctor or a toe expert, so If your toe is really messed up, go see a doctor.):

1.  Clean and disinfect the wound as soon as possible

2.  If possible, leave the nail alone and let it grow out on its own

3. Covering the toe with cotton gauze and breathable cotton tape is comfortable and protective.  Also to keep your toe from becoming damp with sweat, go bare foot or wear an open toed shoe.

4.  After the tenderness goes away, it’s best to wear open toed shoes so your toe can “breathe” and bacteria and nastiness won’t build up around the wounded toe.  A damp toe is a sad toe ;p.

5.  Don’t stress over the appearance of your toe.  Everyone knows you stubbed it and you won’t be judged based on a stubbed toe.

Movie Review: Quantum of Solace

Some people are complaining out there about how Bond is a lover and not a fighter and how much they miss the campiness of the previous Bond movies.  I couldn’t disagree more with those people.  I like this new Jason Bourne like Bond.  While being a fighter, I believe this Bond is more of a lover in deeper sense than the superficial Bonds of the past.  From the past two movies it is clear that Vesper was more than just a convenient roll in the sack and it is the need to avenge her and M that motivates this Bond to be a cold and efficient killer.

Onto the movie itself … this movie combines all the things I like in an action thriller:

  • Car chases
  • Fire
  • Boat chases
  • Free running
  • Angry CIA operatives
  • A handsome leading man
  • A beautiful leading lady
  • Impossible, but plausible stunts
  • A sniveling jerk of villain who Bond curb-stomps in the end (I love what Bond does to this jerk to avenge Strawberry Fields).
  • Revenge fulfilled

The movie is fast paced and Bond operates in a murderous fashion against his enemies without mercy or remorse.  He is true to his convictions and true to his allies.  The inclusion of “Strawberry Fields” feels like the last minute addition of a convenient female for Bond to @#$%.  Her character is totally unnecessary seeing as how Bond really connects with the other “Bond Girl,” Camille, with whom he adventures with and shares a similar desire for revenge within the confines for duty.  I also like the further development and definition of the relationship between Bond and M.  Bond is M’s loyal servant and his love for her is like love that one feels toward a Mother, a Queen Mother, and a could have been lover if M were 20 -30-yrs younger.  It reminds me of the kind relationship between anime/manga partners like Alucard and Integra of “Hellsing” and Sebastion and Ciel of “Kuro Shitsuji” — faithful Demon servants who serve dogs of the British Monarchy ;).

I didn’t like the camera work in some of the scenes.  At times it was too frenetic for my brain to actually process what was going on and I had to look away a couple of times to regain my frame of reference so I wouldn’t fall out of my chair.

All in all, I felt this was an excellent action adventure movie.  If you enjoy the Bourne movies, then you will enjoy this Bond movie and the previous one.  If you are looking for camp, meaningless sex, and poor attempts at “quipping,” then this is not the Bond movie for you.  4.5/5 for great action and great main characters.

A little more: Another star of this movie for me are user interfaces.  The interactive display table M and co. use to visualize data at the fictional Mi6 office is the stuff of future-possible fantasy.  It’s retro-modern slick look harkened back the motifs of the 60’s.  The fantasy Sony-Ericsson phones also looks very cool.   All together there are some nice product placements that are very in line with the movie.

Warhammer Online Server Move

Aeronna and Kahnroy, along, with our alternate characters have been moved from the Drifting Castle server to Iron Fist.  It looks like WOW still has a tight hold, so people dropped after the first month’s free membership.  I suppose it’s good in the sense that we all know who’s dedicated to the Warhammer Online. Anyhow, come join us in our adventures, especially if you are a blog buddy from my ex-employer.  I’d love to play with you and keep in touch through guild chat :).

Summary of Adventures:

  • Aeronna and Kahnroy are lvl 27 and hanging out in Avelorn/Sephery in tier 3
  • Giyosephina is also lvl 27, but hanging out in Tabecland
  • Stclair, Stoutaxe, and Papparune are lvl 15 – 17 and hanging out in Troll Country