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Today in My History

2000:  Rocky 2
2001:  Love Letters
2002:  An Ethel Queen and a Judy Queen
2003:  Mind and Body
2004:  A Holly, Jolly Christmas

'Tis the Season Again
2006Are You There, Grunya?
2007: The Printed Page

2008:  On the First Day of Christmas...
2009:  The Very Best Christmas Ever
2010:  The Saga Continues
'In Lieu of an Entry

Our 2012 Christmas Letter

Bitter Hack
: 12/5
"A Christmas Carol"

Books Read in 2012
 Updated: 12/13
"A Christmas Carol"

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14 December 2012

I met my friend Kathy for lunch at Olive Garden today.  We had to meet early because she had a meeting to get to, and it was a good thing, because the place was jam packed with revelers all having their office holiday lunches.  The place opens at 11, I got there at 11:05 and the waiting area was already jammed and I had to wait.  Fortunately, Kathy wanted to eat at 11:15 so our timing was perfect.

I decided that it's time I find a new Christmas shirt.  The Santa sweatshirt that I've been wearing for the past 20 years is still fine, since I wear it so little, but as we sat across from the table, Kathy looked at me and said "That shirt has certainly served you well over the years, hasn't it!"

My plan had been to drive across the street to the big mall and spend some time at the fat lady's store to see if maybe I could find a new Christmas shirt there, but when we were wrapping up lunch, Kathy said "You have to get to work, right?"

Work!  I'd completely forgotten that our lunch day is also my day to work at Logos, so I am still wearing my 20 year old Santa shirt, which is still serving me well.

I decided before I even got to the book store that if the copy of "A Christmas Carol" that I saw on the display table was still there, I would choose that as my book for this week.  I mean...how silly is that!  I've seen the show three times this month.  But I just kind of decided I wanted to go back to basics and read it the way Charles Dickens actually wrote it.

Plays and movies can do a good job of bringing the story to life, but how much you miss by not reading the author's actual words.  What a beautiful portrait of Scrooge he paints!

But he was a tight-fisted hand at the grind- stone, Scrooge! a squeezing, wrenching, grasping, scraping, clutching, covetous, old sinner!  Hard and sharp as flint, from which no steel had ever struck out generous fire; secret, and self-contained, and solitary as an oyster.  The cold within him froze his old features, nipped his pointed nose, shriveled his cheek, stiffened his gait; made his eyes red, his thin lips blue and spoke out shrewdly in his grating voice.  A frosty rime was on his head, and on his eyebrows, and his wiry chin.  He carried his own low temperature always about with him; he iced his office in the dogdays; and didn't thaw it one degree at Christmas.

No doubt at all about the kind of person his anti-hero is going to be!

Or can a movie really paint the picture as colorfully as Dickens can, when describing the Cratchit family dinner:

The pudding was out of the copper. A smell like a washing-day. That was the cloth. A smell like an eating-house and a pastrycook's next door to each other, with a laundress's next door to that. That was the pudding. In half a minute Mrs Cratchit entered -- flushed, but smiling proudly -- with the pudding, like a speckled cannon-ball, so hard and firm, blazing in half of half-a-quartern of ignited brandy, and bedight with Christmas holly stuck into the top.

Oh, a wonderful pudding! Bob Cratchit said, and calmly too, that he regarded it as the greatest success achieved by Mrs Cratchit since their marriage. Mrs Cratchit said that now the weight was off her mind, she would confess she had had her doubts about the quantity of flour. Everybody had something to say about it, but nobody said or thought it was at all a small pudding for a large family. It would have been flat heresy to do so. Any Cratchit would have blushed to hint at such a thing.

I got Scrooge through his three ghosts and to his redemption and when he gleefully tells Bob Cratchit that he is raising his salary, giving him enough coal to keep warm, and will help his family, I sat there with tears running down my cheeks as if I were reading it all for the first time.  Such is the power of a well-written story!

But in the evening, it was TV all the way.  The season finale of Scandal was a rollercoaster ride from start to finish.  Still reeling from all of the twists and turns...and now we have to wait for the new season to begin!

I am so pleased with this new glucose meter/computer interface.

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There are more white blocks and fewer red blocks and whenever my sugar goes up, I know why and take steps to bring it back down again.  If I can only keep the enthusiasm for this going, this may finally be the key that keeps me on the straight and narrow.


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I drove through Old Sacramento on my way back from Sacramento
and stopped to take a picture of their Christmas tree.


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