Donald Simmons (theengineer) wrote,
Donald Simmons

Xmas Update

As New Year's is almost upon us, it's time to talk about Christmas!

The visit out to Nfld. went well. The family is doing fine, and the nieces and nephew are now old enough that they get toys that Dave and I can enjoy as well. Plus full turkey dinners.

Everything old is new again. My brother Danny's girls got Battling Tops and Kerplunk! for Xmas, toys I had when I was a kid. The boxes even had "Classic Game!" printed on them.

I'm pleased to see that Danny and Sandra are getting their girls some good books (Series of Unfortunate Events, Airborne, and the first two books of the Christopher Paolini fantasy trilogy, Eragon and Eldest, which have some significant heft to them). Now them need to get some more for themselves. I'm always amazed at the lack of bookcases in their house. I've got three times as many books, and they have about 15 times the space for bookcases. Their house would go for about a million in Toronto. My sister's place (just outside St. John's) would go for a million five.

You know, there's only one sushi place in St. John's (which isn't bad), and a single Starbucks (associated with a local Chapter's)?

I found a book I've been looking for for years at Afterwords, the best used bookstore in the world. John Dickson Carr's The Three Coffins, generally considered to be one of the best locked room mysteries ever written. I got a copy from the library a few years back, but someone had underlined all the clues in it!

Dave and I stayed as usual in a downtown B&B, so we can sleep in undisturbed and have a little space (and time) to ourselves. Since the owners are so familiar with us now, and we were the only people there, the kitchen was left open so we could make our own breakfast in the morning at our leisure (so everyone gets to sleep in). Our rooms were left open for us when we arrived, and they had my credit card on file, so I never laid eyes on anyone working in the place the whole time.

Every single Xmas, flying out is an adventure. This year the flight was only delayed two hours due to the weather (it was six two years backs), and it was the usual exciting takeoff from Torbay Airport, the windiest in the country.

Back in Toronto, I've pretty much done exactly nothing the past three days (beside watch 24, season three on DVD) and loved it. I did pick up for myself a new DVD player capable of playing anything, so I can now watch a pile of bootleg Asian DVDs that never worked in my old player. I also, thanks to various Boxing Day sales, have a huge pile of anime I don't know when I'll find time to watch.
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