Friday, December 24, 2004

Post-Christmas Activities

Christmas passed with the usual round of family dinners and lunches. Christmas dinner was nice this year, with a nice mix of children running around, younger folk like me, and the seniors contributing to a nice warm-fuzzy-feeling Christmas dinner. My little niece of 5 years surprised everyone - when asked where her chewing gum went, we said it was stuck on her "palette". Much consternation and musing occurred over where she'd picked up such advanced vocabulary at such a young age (even I would have answered "the roof of my mouth" rather than use that very precise and specific word). At today's lunch, she further demonstrated her precociousness, this time at geometry, identifying squares, circles, triangles and rectangles, but also cones and trapezoids! What are they feeding them nowadays? (besides the dim sum we were feeding her right there and then)

Boxing Day has been more fruitful. K and I went geocaching after the family lunch, and logged Red Ant Hill, an easy find. Dropped off the KeyChain Magnet travel bug, and K picked up the Cambodian Hitchhiker travel bug. Unfortunately, Cambodian Hitchhiker's ambition (the bug has "Cambodia Please!" written on it, making its eventual destination fairly obvious) is unlikely to be fufilled anytime soon, and probably not by us. We'll move it to another cache where it can log up some miles travelled. The travel bug's log is itself an interesting reflection on connectivity: on 11th October 2003, it started from California, reached Hawaii on July 6 2004, thence to Australia on September 3rd, reaching here on November 21st. I suspect that the route it took is directly related to the popularity/frequency of international flights and routes: I also suspect that any travel bug bound for SE Asia is likely to end up here, given that we're a regional travel hub.

Other Good Things that happened today:
- Finally managed to fix my bedside table/shelf. This was a custom made piece of furniture that the wife and I paid a fair amount of money for sometime ago. We had it made to fit the space beside the bed, with room for our dry-box, books (since I was already leaving piles of books next to the bed, the wife wisely decided to institutionalise this procedure) and all the other stuff I tend to leave around me as I doze off. We also had it made with a little fold down table, intending to park my powerbook there so I could work in the bedroom. While the shelf itself was perfectly fine, what we failed to realise when we took delivery of it was the fact that the fold-down table was held up by some very weak chains, which promptly went on to verify what everybody has ever told you about chains being as strong as the weakest link. I've never used it as intended till today, when we finally bought some lengths of stronger chain, and I fixed them on. My Powerbook will now spend its happy retirement days as a bedside workstation.
- In the same hardware store, I found this, which is something I've been eyeing on the internet for a long time - a torchlight that needs no batteries! I put off buying it on the off-chance that somebody would bring it in (oh alright, I was too lazy to get around to buying it as well) and sure enough, they have. Too bad they only had the large "security guard"-sized version, rather than the smaller "is that a torchlight in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?" compact-sized one, but still, it was a steal at the price they were selling it at.

We're back at home taking a little nap, but may work up the energy to go out again to find some more caches - all in all, a pretty productive Boxing Day.


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