December 19th, 2004


A Very Full Weekend

The end-of-year time is full of interpersonal contact and the schedule just fills up. Yesterday, I started with ocyn's birthday gathering. Dim sum wasn't the best choice for a vegetarian, but I found adding some chili to the Chinese snow pea greens helps a lot. I didn't care for the taro root cakes so much, and somehow, the big lump of yellow cake at the end of the meal reminded me of some sort of Spongebobian religious ceremony. That was all followed by some quality board gaming time down at Cresent City Beignets.

Next up was gift buying. In this case, my friends Patrick and Tiffany had registered at Bloodbath and Beyond, so I did the ritual of retrieving their registry, searching the store for an unpurchased item, buying it, and getting it wrapped. I didn't mind; I hope they find the glassware set useful, and I'll probably get a chance to try them out once I return from my Christmas trip.

After spending some stupor time at home, I headed back downtown for the P&T reception. The couple got married in November in a brief ceremony, then headed out to the British Isles for a three week honeymoon. Their trip included visits to Ireland, England, and Scotland. They had a Powerbook running a iPhoto slideshow, including some creepy shots of the wax museum in London. Highlights of the trip included dinner at Jamie Oliver's Fifteen restaurant (best meal ever!), visiting Speaker's Corner, running around Dublin, and seeing their Austin friends who'd moved to Edinburgh. Not-so-highlights included the worsening exchange rate of the dollar versus the euro and pound.

The reception was fun; it was at the Hyatt with food catered by their fajitas folks. I had my fill of salad, penne, chips, salsa, and guacamole. I got to catch up with some friends of theirs, and there was the inevitable Treo 600/650 geekout session.

Tonight, after dinner I'm off to the Sinus Show Christmas Celebration. I wrote about my experience with this last year, and I'm hoping they'll top their performance. The Sinus guys are selling CDs of their improvised Christmas Carols, so I'll probably leave the show swag enhanced.

Finally, Monday is work time, packing time, and more-catching-up time, then on Tuesday I'm off to CHA for eight days of holiday visitation.

Alamo Buffy Rumor

The Original Alamo Drafthouse has done two weekends worth of sold-out Buffy the Vampire Slayer special events, and while I couldn't make it, I've had friends who went on both weekends and had a blast. The program featured a sing-along Rocky Horror version of "Once More With Feeling" and a completely quiet screening of "Hush". Well, according to my sources, the Alamo is going to do this again in 2005, and they've got James Marsters (the vampire Spike) set to come host the show. I expect a "Pedro Is Coming" level of excitement.

Holiday Light Reading

I heard in a conversation last week that California experienced holiday brownouts when icicle lights were first introduced, since they consumed a lot more power than the less-dense Christmas lights that people had been using. I don't know if that's true, but I do know that if I'm going to decorate for the holidays, I'll want to pick up a few strings of the new LED lights, designed to be much more power-efficient than traditional strings. They also don't emit heat, making them a lot safer to use on surfaces that could catch fire.

As a side note, the only light string that I currently have is a set of Dilbert lights that I got as a gift a few years ago. I can't think of any situation where strings of glowing Dilberts and Dogberts would be appropriate.

Incompetent Polling

I don't mind answering an occasional telephone poll. During political season, I actually enjoy doing them as it gives me a glimpse into what the campaigns are trying to understand about the voters. What I do mind very much is getting called by a group doing marketing research when there is so much background noise from the other pollsters that I can't hear their questions clearly and when their computers aren't working, causing the call to take up more time because the pollster can't enter the new data.