It's been a good Christmas. Last night, The Excellent Wife (TEW) and I went to see her side of the family at the Excellent Parents-In-Law; they're both still alive and able to complain about their condition, which, given their ages, is pretty good. It was a late night for me, and I think I got out with only upsetting one person, which is good, for me. We do the whole Polish Wigilia thing, with rituals I can't pronounce, let alone spell, and the singing of Kolędy (Polish carols; my in-laws love to hear their Anglo son-in-law hammer his way through tunes they're familiar with) and the no-meat feast. We do presents, and then TEW and I come home for a quiet Christmas Day, which is really more my speed.
This morning, we got up and did our presents. My mom bought TEW this excellent Doonesbury compendium:
It's bigger than the old Sears catalog that, come to think of it, many of you probably don't remember.
Mom got me this Mad Magazine anthology. My tween and teen years were difficult, and Mad Magazine was one of my regular companions.
Not to be outdone, TEW got me two excellent books. The first is The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage, a somewhat-true graphic novel retelling of a partnership that built one of the first computing machines.
The other is The Wake, a novel written from the point of view of those whom William the Conqueror... well... conquered, I guess. It's written in a language that's kind of a best guess at how the folks then might have spoken (and written, if any of 'em had been literate). A quick look reminds me of Hoban's Riddley Walker, which I first read umpteen years ago.
Also under the tree, among the socks and shirts and stuff, was the Oxo crank peppermill. I make popcorn for snack, and to avoid the blood-pressure spike that would ensue from from weighting it down wit the amount of salt I'd like, I use fresh-ground pepper instead. I use enough, though, that using a regular peppermill might lead to carpal tunnel syndrome, or some such. I've used the crank today, and it's great.
The only vaguely bike-related gift is this Bell & Howell waterproof camera that I'm going to take on rides. I saw Tom H had one, and I cast the eye of lust upon it.
After the opening of the gifts, we took a walk (in the drizzle) around Johnson Park, then to breakfast at the diner. The fellow in the other booth, eating alone, looked like he'd lost his only friend, so we secretly popped for his breakfast just before making our escape. Then home, for naps, stupid internet, and meatloaf for dinner.
Hope your Christmas went as well. How did you do? Any news or stories?