Tag Archives: christmas

Rockin’ Around The Christmas What What?

Background source: eclair (Flickr)

Background source: eclair (Flickr)

There I was, in my office, headphones safely ensconced over my grimy ears, listening to music that made blood trickle down my external auditory meatus, minding my own business. Those are the conditions under which I work the best.

Suddenly… what’s that? Brenda Lee?

There goes my toe a tappin’. And I just lost the ability to properly nest my code. What was I working on again?

Yep. Christmas music in April. What’s wrong with this picture? My wife knew something was up when she heard me in the kitchen. “And we’ll do some caroling.” She just shook her head.

Little did she know it wasn’t my fault. I’m here to tell you about the feature that time Apple forgot.

It’s an idea so simple and elegant that Apple probably worried it would make them a bit too cool. Apple knows there’s a law of diminishing returns on coolness.

The missing feature I’m talking about, of course, is a “Festive” system that tells Shuffle to omit music flagged as “seasonal” during certain months of the year. If enabled, for example, seasonal music would only play Nov. 15 through Dec. 27th or so. (The actual dates could be adjustable.)

While I hold my breath and wait for Apple to get right on this humble request, who wants to lend me a hand? These halls aren’t going to deck themselves! It’s beginning to sound a lot like Christmas around here. And, baby, it’s cold outside!

The Great Vain Snobbery: Area Effects

snobberyOur scientists have identified three distinct phases of Christmas: Before, During and After.

We all know about The Before. This is the land of advent calendars, interminable waiting, day-based countdowns and dropping hints. Not much else of interest here.

The During, of course, is sublime. This is what it’s all about. Ripping open presents and experiencing that fleeting moment of glee. This phase usually lasts less than 20 minutes.

So, what’s left? Just The After. This is where boredom sets in. Shiny objects have a luster half-life akin to that of beryllium-8 aka 81.9 seconds. This is also the domain of “only 364 days until next Christmas” and “you’re already late on buying Valentine’s Day candy.”

There is, however, one saving grace of The After. I’m talking about, of course, snubbery, snobbery and bragissimo. Let’s compare our gifts!
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So this is Christmas

tree3Ah. Christmas morning. Most of the drama and family fights are now officially in the books so it’s a nice, quiet foggy morning (no snow) to pause and reflect about what it all really means.

Scratch that. I’ve got a blog to run!

I thought I’d engage Ghost Protocol and revisit some blogs of Christmas past. What’s my Abyss trend on this particular day of the year?

Last year, on Christmas 2012, I went freestyle and blathered about what it means to be offended. Obviously I was thinking the big thoughts. For me, that pretty much covers any thought that isn’t, “Hey, look. A tweet!” Long story short, the post was about my boss. Surprise.

Digging deep, I pulled up the post from Christmas 2011. This one was about road rage, cigarettes thrown out of car windows by thoughtless drivers, my wife flipping the bird at some teens, and a flashback about some miscreants throwing a burger at my car. Good times!

For Christmas 2010 things went slightly against the grain. For that was the year I published the headline, “Tom B. Taker dies in helicopter accident.” It ran with a photograph of my new remote control helicopter crashed on the roof of the house. Boy, was my wife mad. It turned out to be one of my most visited posts ever. What, I wonder, should I infer from that?

Finally, all the way back on Christmas 2009, I posted the heartwarming Christmas tale that I called, “How does a rat get in your toilet?”

I couldn’t find any Christmas day posts published on my blog before 2009. Apparently, before then, I was a bit more normal.

My point is that by studying my post history on previous Christmas days, I hope it is clear like a shining beacon of light for all to see the humility, reverence and grace with which I have approached this most important day.

I hope yours is a good one!

BlogFestivus: Tortuga

This story is the fifth and final installment themed “Tiny Tim” in a five-part series of 200-word stories for BlogFestivus, A Christmas Carol. Check out the links (at the bottom of this post) to all the participating “ghost” writers for this year’s challenge. We’re spanking the candy cane now. -BD

happy-fill-in-the-blank blogfestivusTortuga
by Tom B. Taker

At the end of the room loomed a high-backed chair facing a large round window. The smell of mistletoe hung in the air. An end table was nearby upon which sat a glass of eggnog and a bouquet of red and white tulips.

Ominous symphonic music began to fill the air as the chair imperceptibly swiveled. It took a long time, but the occupant, finally, was revealed. He lounged, his wee feet extending just beyond the seat, his arms extended and resting on the arms of the chair. Atop a tiny head a festive pork pie hat had been donned.

chamber“Everything is proceeding as I have foreseen,” he cackled.

“You!” shouted Scrooge.

“Yes, me. My production facility is state of the art. Candy canes are running at full capacity. Fruitcakes are ramping up and will soon be the perfect method for delivering your product. You’re out, Scrooge. Out!”

“Wait,” Scrooge stammered. “Dammit, Tim, wait!”

“Give me one good reason why.”

“I’m your father.”

“Noooooooooo!”

Scrooge, sensing a momentary advantage, tiptoed carefully. “My company has developed the black armor. I can still be of value to you.”

Tim smiled.

“Then, together, we shall rule the galaxy as father and son!”

Click on the links below for more takes on A Christmas Carol from our other BlogFestivus bloggers:

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy

BlogFestivus: Future Shock

This story is the fourth installment “Ghost of Christmas Future” in a five-part series of 200-word stories for BlogFestivus, A Christmas Carol. Check out the links (at the bottom of this post) to all the participating “ghost” writers for this year’s challenge. I suspect you’re in for some dark, yet jolly, days. -BD

happy-fill-in-the-blank blogfestivusFuture Shock
by Tom B. Taker

They found old man Scrooge by his bed, rocking a chair, wearing his long cotton nightgown. It was the dark of night. He looked up and smiled.

“Welcome,” he said. “I’ve been expecting you.”

The Ghost was aghast. “You, you,” he stuttered. “You can see me?”

He laughed. “Quite so!”

Young Scrooge turned to the Ghost. “Perhaps I can illuminate.”

He gestured around the room. “Actually, I owe it all to you. If you hadn’t warned me about this little jaunt we’d probably be pissing ourselves.”

“Your previous visit made an impression on me, opened a Schrödinger’s box as it were. So I set my people to work on defenses, the means to detect you and more.”

“The purpose of these visits,” the Ghost replied, “was never to bring you harm. In fact, quite the contrary. You…”

pink-slime-beef-ghostbusters“We’ll just see about that,” old Scrooge interrupted.

He took a device from the table and held it in his lap, fiddling with the button. “Not to say that your interference has been all bad. Profits have never been higher.”

“Goodbye,” he said as the button went click.

The Ghost exploded violently into paranormal goo.

“He slimed me,” the Scrooges said in unison.

Click on the links below for more takes on A Christmas Carol from our other BlogFestivus bloggers:

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy

BlogFestivus: Command Presents

This story is the third installment for “Ghost of Christmas Present” in a five-part series of 200-word stories for BlogFestivus, A Christmas Carol. Check out the links (at the bottom of this post) to all the participating “ghost” writers for this year’s challenge. I suspect you’re in for some dark, yet jolly, days. -BD

happy-fill-in-the-blank blogfestivusCommand Presents
by Tom B. Taker

Scrooge doubled-over and braced himself as the nausea that proceeded Christmas-based time travel gut-wrenched his innards. Here we go again, he thought in dismay.

He undissolved and rubbed his eyes with gnarled knuckles as eyesight slowly returned. He blinked and his watery eyes dried and the world became clear.

Immediately he recognized the R&D department of his very own company. At last, a chance to see what those slackers did behind his back. Always the opportunist Scrooge was already planning to take advtange of these teleportations.

No bonuses this year because "revenue is down."

No bonuses this year because “revenue is down.”

The ghost was about to speak but Scrooge silenced him with a gesture of his hand. He didn’t want to miss anything.

At a computer that mealy bastard Cratchit was putting the finishing touches on a colorful graph. It would be the basis for denying all Christmas bonuses. With alarm, Scrooge saw the graph was trending up. No worries, he realized. For the memorandum he’d simply display it upside down.

Moving along, he came to a table where his nephew Fred worked feverishly at some bizarre electronics. For the first time, the ghost seemed troubled. “What is your man doing?” the ghost asked.

“Oh, you’ll see,” Scrooge replied. “You’ll see.”

Click on the links below for more takes on A Christmas Carol from our other BlogFestivus bloggers:

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy

BlogFestivus: Past Christmas I Gave You My Heart – Wham!

This story is the second in a five-part series of 200-word stories for BlogFestivus, A Christmas Carol. Check out the links (at the bottom of this post) to all the participating “ghost” writers for this year’s challenge. I suspect you’re in for some dark, yet jolly, days ahead. -BD

happy-fill-in-the-blank blogfestivusPast Christmas I Gave You My Heart – Wham!
by Tom B. Taker

The ghost said gravely, “Come. We go now. To the what-once-was.” Scrooge resisted, in vain, as he watched himself dissolving and becoming translucent. His eyes blurred until he was blinded and, when he opened them again, he beheld that everything had changed.

He saw a small room completely made of stone. A doorway revealed a dirty street beyond. Before him a man and woman dressed in simple robe-like garments sat at a crude wooden table.

Scrooge backed away, stumbling and demanded, “Who the hell are you?”

“You are ghost to them,” his guide replied. “You are here, yet you cast no shadow. You make no sound. They cannot know you.”

It was early morning. The young couple appeared to be exchanging gifts, modest bowls of undigested bits of beef. The soft words they spoke were foreign yet somehow Scrooge understood.

“I love you, my wife,” the man said, “but I do not understand. When will you come to my bed?”

“I’m sorry, my love,” the woman replied. “You know of my vow to remain pure.”

“Is it me?”

“No, it’s me.”

“It’s that Gabriel fellow, isn’t it? I’ve seen you together. What plans are you two hatching?”

Click on the links below for more takes on A Christmas Carol from our other BlogFestivus bloggers:

Linda penning at linda vernon humor
Steve from Stevil
Maria-Christina blogging at MCWhispers
Dylan of Treatment of Visions
Sarah from Parent Your Business
Dawn blogging at Lingering Visions
K8edid from k8edid
Dave bringing it at 1pointperspective
Eileen from Not The Sword But The Pen
Lindsey at RewindRevise
Kandy of Kandy Talk
Sandra writing at In Love With Words
Natalie from So I Went Undercover
Jen at Blog It or Lose It
Amelie from In the Barberry
Cee Cee blogging at Cee Cee’s Blog
Ashley from LittleWonder2
BD writing Blogdramedy

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