was working. I took out the plug, and the center lead had detached, time to resolder it.
Later I raked and depooped the yard, and took the girls to the bookstore, toy store and pet store.
I managed to get back to Rochester on the 20th, with a side trip to downtown Buffalo to drop off my sister's birthday present (her street wasn't plowed, so I parked on Elmwood and hoofed it). I was lucky to miss the storms. I also missed lunch at McDonalds by a minute, right after I ordered my McMuffins they scrolled to their lunch menus. I was able to visit Warzone Matrix in Cleveland, I should have taken pictures to threaten Mrs. Ha with (it was untidy).
The day before Christmas Eve I went to the close gaming store to buy a game for a present, and twelve year old complained that she wanted new games. I told her she had never, ever opened up Thurn & Taxis that she got last year for Christmas, why does she need a new game? So, that night we opened it up. It's far better than a game of creating postal routes in and around 16th century Bavaria would seem, and the mechanics are very similar to Ticket to Ride.
Speaking of Ticket to Ride, I bought TTR: Europe for twelve year old for Christmas, someone told me it's a better two player game than TTR: We broke it out on Christmas Day at my parents, she won. Seven year old got Zooloretto, which we still have to play.
Even the pets got presents, the dog got a kong, the cats a laser pointer, and the goldfish a proper tank, 2.5 gallons with a filter and light, and pink neon decor. Pictures to follow.
In other Christmas loot news, the girls got a Wii from Santa. Thanks to gift cards and the generosity of my parents, they now have two Wiimotes, two dance pads, DDR 2, Mario Party 8 and Animal Crossing City Folk. Seven year old also got some new DS cartridges, two LPS ones and a Tinkerbell one.
DDR Hottest Party 2 is difficult for an old man like me, but I'll keep playing it until I can make the animated teenage girl wearing practically nothing shake it like a Polaroid.
Mario Party 8 is lots of little games, and it's fun because you can have 4 people on our normal aspect TV play at one time, if you have four Wiimotes.
Animal Crossing City Folk is too close to real life for me, you start in a town run by a crimelord raccoon that owns the town, makes you buy a small overpriced house, holds the mortgage and makes you work in a sweat shop or collecting shells and flowers to pay him back. Plus they all sound like the teacher in Charlie Brown breathing helium.
Christmas night I tapped the keg, my honey lager is good, if different than previous batches, it's got a citrusy note to it, and is more copper colored this time, than the pale yellow I'm used to. Maybe I used light DME instead of extra light, or maybe it was the change in hops. Regardless, it's tasty, with a hop finish that lingers. I need to start my Northwest Pilsen this week to ensure a plentiful supply of homebrew.
In other beer news, my last night in Cleveland I tried some of the fabled Great Lakes Christmas Ale. It was a good spicy holiday ale, and it didn't cause trouble, but I only had one. Plus, it was expensed.
In other brewing news, twelve year old broke our Freedom Press when making a microwave cake before Christmas. The backup Chemex makes a good cup, but is labor intensive, we need a new Freedom Press before school and work start up again.
Before we get to wrapping up the year in books and movies, I'll touch on new stuff. We got spoiled by the Twilight Zone marathons the SF channel runs on New Years, and were disappointed they didn't do it for Thanksgiving, they should do it for every holiday. The local branch of the library has Twilight Zone DVDs, which helped scratch the itch.
The second to last last movie was saw was David and Lisa, about how two emotionally disturbed teenagers in a group home reach out to each other. Keir Dullea expressed even more emotion than he ded in 2001. It reminded me of the time we spent in group homes, and captured the boredom pretty well. Then again, it was from 1962, the remake would be snappier.
The last movie was Control, a dramatization of the life of Ian Curtis of Joy Division. It made me want to get some Joy Division, I never paid them much attention in the 80's.
In book news, I just finished An Army at Dawn, Rick Atkinson's tale of the US Army in North Africa in 1942-1943. The US Army had a lot to learn in 1942, and tuition was bloody. It's a long, good book that may have been worth including in my top five if I had more time to ponder it. His second volume is on my list, right after I finish Tooze.
I had the time to look over 2008's diaries, and list my top five books and movies of the year (like many other posters). For movies, my top five list is:
- Five: Capturing the Friedmans, how can you not love a documentary about child molesters that portrays them in a somewhat sympathetic manner?
- Four: Being John Malkovich, a classic we should have watched years ago.
- Three: A Simple Plan, Billy Bob always makes a movie better.
- Two: Black Snake Moan, intense and uncomfortable, not a date movie, but it had about as happy an ending as you could expect.
- One: Brick, it was a refreshing update on the noir concept, how can you not love a movie where a major characters expounds on Tolkien?
On to the books, my top five new to me books for 2008 are:
- Five: The Guns of August, a classic in understanding the first war to end all wars.
- Four: 1421, the science may not be rigorous, but it sure inspires the imagination.
- Three: Hell in a Very Small Place, reading it helps you understand why the US lost in Vietnam, a decade before they appeared in Vietnam.
- Two: Death Traps, tanks and engineering in World War II, fighting Nazis, what else does it need?
- One: Night Watch, some Pratchett is light weight enjoyable fun, this isn't.
We're going to the Porsche's for NYE, my brother-in-law's on Saturday for Mrs. Ha's family party, and I'm hoping to get some gaming in. Add some loafing around, and my week is full. For now, I have to get some coffee going and contemplate shoveling, we got at least six inches of powder last night, and more is coming down.
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