2020 Screeches to a Close

A year ago, I posted that I fervently hoped 2020 would be a better year than 2019, which had been personally difficult. That, um, didn’t happen. At least not to the world and the nation. I’m not going to make that mistake again. In fact, I’m not even going to reflect on the obvious about 2020, as we head out to wherever the future takes us. I think I’d rather close with dancing robots and Christmas tree-eating goats.

The latest video from Boston Dynamics. I leave it to the viewer to decide whether it’s enchanting or terrifying. I find it a little of both.

And here, from the Boston Globe, the latest in Christmas tree recycling

BTW, I’m saving my real New Year celebration for January 20, when an actual president is sworn into the White House and a dangerous and incompetent fascist is shown the door, ending at least part of the nightmare. That’s when the new year starts for me.

Real December Finally Here

We’re getting our first real snowstorm of the year, as I write this. We’re deep into the night right now, and it looks like maybe 4-6 inches have fallen so far. Maybe it’s time for this year’s pictures of our Christmas trees. Here’s the one in front of the house. You can’t really see it from this angle, but I cut off so many branches close to the house (squirrel on-ramps, they were) that from a profile it almost looks like a bas-relief of a pine tree. Still, it works!

Tree out front, blue lights

That strange purple aura isn’t visible to the naked eye. At first I thought it was an artifact of my camera, but now I’m thinking—maybe, just maybe—it’s dark matter. Or maybe dark energy, hard to be sure.

And here’s our indoor tree, a little different this year. We didn’t go out and get a tree. Or rather, we did but we just went to the back yard and brought in a branch I’d pruned off the big oak tree. With fire in the, er, fireplace.

Indoor Christmas tree and "fireplace"

Happy ChristmaHanuKwanStice, everyone!

Trick or Treat!

October snow bows trees on bikepath

So this is how October chooses to leave us, eh? I was expecting a dusting of snow—not four inches! All these trees on the bike path still have most of their leaves, so they really sagged under the weight of the snow. I had to bend low to pass through the bower. (Captain Jack and McDuff didn’t.)

Happy Masked, Socially Distanced Halloween!

Make America Smart Again!

That’s my Independence Day wish for 2020. Let’s restore sanity and civility to our great but struggling nation. Let’s wear masks and beat the virus before it beats us. Let’s root out racism. Let’s treat our friends like friends, and the Earth like it’s our home. Let’s stop cozying up to dictators and destroying families at our borders. Let’s end the national nightmare and Stop Being Stupid.

I wish I could distribute a million hats emblazoned with “Make America Smart Again.” And on the back it would say, “Make America Compassionate Again.”

In no particular order, here are just a few smart, compassionate Americans I wish were still with us:

Martin Luther King, Jr.
Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., activist
Sally Ride
Sally Ride, astronaut
Richard Feynman
Richard Feynman, scientist and thinker

Easter Greetings!

posted in: holiday greetings 2

Azaleas next doorHere’s hoping for a joyous Easter for all of you who celebrate Easter, and a beautiful day for everyone! I couldn’t find any flowers blooming around our house, but my neighbor Maddie is showing off these lovely azaleas.

We dragged ourselves out of bed at 10 this morning for virch, the virtual church service at our Reservoir Church—which was lovely, including a dozen or so band members coming together from their homes, via Zoom. Since then the day has been filled with zooming of friends and family, and I am about to start preparing our Easter dinner. Hamburgers for two, on the grill!

Celebrations are a bit surreal in this time of quarantine-at-home, as my friends celebrating Passover just experienced. But a celebration is a celebration—so let’s celebrate! I hope this finds all of you well.

Merry Christmas, Everyone!

posted in: holiday greetings 0

Jeff-Allysen_Xmas2019

Hoping you all had a wonderful Christmas, or Hanukkah, or just a good day! We spent the day at our daughter’s place, having a fine meal with fine friends, and getting sleepy.

Inside tree and fire_Xmas2019_sm

And here’s our little piece of quiet Christmas cheer.

Merry Christmas 2018!

This is where I use my special timestream skills to go back and wish you all a Merry Christmas! We had a wonderful day with family, and I hope you did, too. (Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday as such, I hope the day was good to you.)

Here’s what our outdoor tree looks like this year. You can’t really see the laser display on the side of the house, which was initially intended to substitute for the time-consuming installation of lights in the tree. Didn’t quite work, though it looked pretty cool on its own, and I ended up adding to the project, rather than simplifying it. Story of my life. But I still like the magical, almost ethereal quality of the blue lights, with a bit of green.

On the other hand, our tree inside, which started all fresh and pliable and thirsty, has turned into Charlie Brown’s tree. Piles of needles everywhere. I used tree preserver, too. Where’d I go wrong?

The Modern Yuppie 12 Days of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
A vacation to Switzerland to ski!

On the second day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Two Toyota Priuses…
And a vacation to Switzerland to ski!

tum de-tum de-tum…

 

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…
Twelve Ivy League acceptance letters…
Eleven carbon offsets…
Ten Canada Goose jackets…
Nine yachts with paneling…
Eight NPR memberships…
Seven Revels tickets…
Six Goorin Brothers hats…
FIVE ROTH IRAs!…
Four laundry services…
Three Whole Foods gift bags…
Two Toyota Priuses…
And a vacation to Switzerland to ski!

(Courtesy of my daughter Lexi and her husband Connor, who devised it one morning while trying to get out of bed.)

© Lexi Carver and Connor Wood

Happy Thanksgiving!

posted in: holiday greetings 0

Thanksgiving greetings to all my family and friends! For my friends outside the U.S., I invite you to join with us in taking a moment to give thanks—and then enjoy the day with your own family and friends! No need for a formal holiday.

This may be the first year I’ve celebrated Thanksgiving with so much of my family split off in different locations. I’m in Miami for a short holiday visit with my brother and his wife; my newly married daughter is traveling with her husband, visiting his family; my wife Allysen and her mom and our other daughter (plus an honorary daughter) are roasting a turkey at home in Boston. Our California contingent, Allysen’s bro and family, are celebrating the end of the wildfires close to their house (they had to evacuate for several days).

Some things remain the same, though. I just walked the dogs. Different dogs, Chuck and Youngmee’s, but still. This is Tntn.

Have a great day, everyone!

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