New Shoes in the Rain

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Christmas hustle and bustle

The shopping is done, the wrapping is completed, items to loved ones a distance away have been shipped, the Christmas cards have been written and all there is to do is wait.

Which gives me an opportunity to ask some valid if rhetorical questions about the holiday season.....

Do people wait to see whom they receive Christmas cards from to decide to whom to send cards themselves?  My wife and I review our received cards each year and occasionally remove people from the list if we've not heard from them in some time (possibly due to an inaccurate address or a general lack of  contact outside of the Christmas season).  When my wife and I met I knew that there were a good many people with whom she and the kids exchanged cards because of her first husband's past relationships (friends, classmates, coworkers).  And we've maintained contact with many of those folks, even though I've not met many of them.

The unfortunate part of this scenario is that some of the contacts are now dying.  We have received word from no fewer than three such people this season that their spouses are no longer among us due to illness in some cases or traffic accidents in others.  Sad, but unfortunately a part of life.

Does driving ability diminish around the holidays?  You couldn't prove otherwise to me, as people attempt things with their cars at this time of the year (weather notwithstanding) that they'd never do in the middle of summer....well, they might, at that, but not as routinely.  Take a look at the parking lot of any major shopping area or mall, or even your local Target store, and you'll see cars squeezed in between other incorrectly parked cars in such a way that you have to wonder if the driver escaped his/her own vehicle through the window!  And there appears to be a seasonal disregard for things like crosswalks and stop signs, too.  Gangway!

Are people in the holiday spirit or are they in a hurry?  Sometimes it's hard to tell.  I know that retail clerks of all ilk appear to ALREADY be fed up, and it's just now December 15 as I write this.  Patience, people!

And, finally, are you ready?  I am, we are, and I hope you are, too.  Bring it!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Another gadget

I bought an iPad last weekend.

There, I said it....I've done my bit to stimulate the economy and get my jollies, all at once. The worst part was that I bought it Friday night during the annual Christmas shopping trip my wife and I make to Cincinnati, and it never occurred to me that I would need a computer in order to activate the damned thing. I did, so it sat tempting me until I got it home Sunday afternoon. It is SO slick, I simply cannot tell you. In fact, I'm writing this post on it.

Thought briefly that this little guy could replace my laptop when I travel, but alas, no such luck. While I am fortunate enough to be able to use my Mac for work (good thing, since my company issued computer is circa 2003 and looks/feels it), I was unable to get past my employer's restriction on company e-mail on a personally-owned portable device.

That's the's as though this thing is an overgrown cellphone, given that limitaton. Far more than that, obviously, but it's kind of cool to have something that defies description.

Having a bit of trouble finding a case I like, and there's the matter of typing on a glass surface virtual keyboard, but here I am, getting a real bang out of this.

Grown men shouldn't have this much fun playing with inanimate objects.