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Christmas Without the Mouse

Posted on November 6th, 2018

Dave!Washington State is 100% vote-by-mail, so I already voted last week.

When it comes to local races here, two of the biggest are too close to call. We won't know the outcome until the remaining mail-in votes are tallied on Friday. Frustrating, but it's a small price to pay for a system which allows you to vote in the privacy of your own home without standing in line. And now that we have automated voter registration for all of our eligible citizens, Washington State has one of the highest voter participation rates in the nation...

Lil' Dave Davetoon with a Voted Sticker on His Jacket

Now that Halloween has passed, the country is already preparing for Christmas.

Back when I had work in Orlando two and three times a year, I'd fly in for my conference then fly home the next day. I'd rarely go to Disney World (even though work would pay for it) because after a while it gets to be more of a chore than "fun." I just can't handle the lines and crowds of people.

Back in 2007 I was working in Orlando in December. Some work friends and I decided to go to Epcot for dinner in "Italy" after work was done. After that we took the bus to Disney Studios to goof off for a while. While I was there, my mom called to tell me something. "What's all that noise?" she asked.

"Oh, that's The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights," I replied.

"What's that?"

"It's a show at Disney World where they have a bunch of Christmas lights flashing to music. I'll send you a picture..."

The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

"That's pretty! I want to go to Disney World!"

"I've taken you to Disney World lots of times!"

"But not at Christmas! I want to go at Christmas!"

"Okay. Next year I'll bring you along then."

And one year later I kept my promise, and here she is...

Mom at The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights

It immediately became her favorite thing. She loved it so much that I ended up taking her a couple more times. The last time was in 2012, I think, since that was the last year I had work in Orlando. They closed down The Osborne Family Spectacle of Dancing Lights in 2015.

This morning I was flipping through my newsfeed while waiting for work to start and saw this terrific video from Disney World showing how they transform The Magic Kingdom Park for the holidays with Christmas decorations...

Pretty cool!

A part of me is glad that I don't have work in Orlando any more. Especially over the holidays. It would be really tough to go there knowing what it meant to my mom. Perhaps it will be easier over time. But right now? I just can't fathom it.

It's that way for a lot of things though.

I miss my mom.

   

A Very Hallmark Christmas

Posted on November 1st, 2018

Dave!Hooray! It's November 1st!

This is the day where I switch my television from defaulting to Home & Garden TV to defaulting to The Hallmark Channel. Now, for those of you not in the know, The Hallmark Channel is home to more crappy original Christmas romance movies than any other network. Period. Which is why their annual "Countdown to Christmas" marathon is one of the best things ever. This year they produced thirty-seven new holiday movies. THIRTY-SEVEN! That's up from 33 in 2017, 28 in 2016, and 21 in 2015.

The films are always the same story.

  • Pretty Man/Woman (usually Pretty Woman) is in a bad relationship.
  • Pretty Man/Woman (usually Pretty Woman) meets a pretty Woman/Man (usually Pretty Man) while working through the holidays or returning home for Christmas or something like that. They hate each other instantly.
  • After begrudgingly spending a few days with each other, the pretty people fall in love and the Pretty Man/Woman breaks off their bad relationship.
  • Christmas is here! Everybody lives happily ever after!

Well, maybe they're not always exactly like that... but they are all a lot like that. And you have well over a hundred to watch each season.

And I am totally addicted to them. Mostly because I can have them running while I'm working. They're so brainless that you don't have to pay much attention to them to know what's going on. And it's not like you can miss anything, because the story is all the same. I mean, just look at this shit...

Hallmark Christmas Movies

Can you tell them apart? I've seen all of them and I can't!

If you don't get The Hallmark Channel... or you live outside the USA, you might still be in luck. Netflix has seen what a raging money-maker Hallmark has on their hands, and has invested a huge chunk of money in producing their own slate of Christmas movies.

Last year they had a phenomenon with A Christmas Prince, but my favorite of theirs is The Spirit of Christmas...

As is typical, the guys they find to act in these movies are so brutally hot that they have me questioning my sexuality. Daniel the Ghost makes my ovaries explode...

Thomas Beaudoin as Daniel the Ghost from Netflix The Spirit of Christmas

And now, if you'll excuse me, The Hallmark Channel Countdown to Christmas is in full swing and I have to make sure my DVR is set to record everything.

   

Merry Christmas

Posted on December 25th, 2017

Dave!To everybody who celebrates the holiday... wishing you a very Merry Christmas!

Which, apparently I can do now that President Trump has taken back this beautiful phrase from the relentless eight-year war on Christmas that happened under President Obama's watch...

Dave!

Oh... wait a second... like so many things that come out of Dear Leader's Twitter feed, he's completely full of shit...

No surprise that our lying asshole of a president has bought into the false narrative that there's ever been a "War on Christmas"... despite the fact that you can walk into a United States Post Office and buy stamps with Jesus on them for Christmas (as you've been able to do for decades). Here's the selections for this year...

Christmas Stamps 2017

Meanwhile, seven years ago...

Dave!

Uh huh.

   

Down East Memoirs

Posted on December 7th, 2016

Dave!How's Maine? Maine is cold.

I didn't have a car until noon, so I skipped breakfast at the hotel and decided to have pizza at Otto in downtown Portland. They make a Butternut Squash and Cranberry pie that is one of my favorite things. And it totally delivered...

Pizza at Otto

While eating I got to watch a woman let her baby stab the wood table repeatedly with a fork. When she noticed me watching, she took the fork away.

Then gave the baby a knife to stab the table with.

I don't know that it was an improvement, but okay.

On my way back to my car I saw two pumpkins on the sidewalk, assumably waiting to be tossed in the trash...

Snowy Pumpkins

I guess the magic of pumpkin spice has passed. They look to be in great shape, so somebody should totally save them and make pie.

The hour trip north was boring, which is the best you can hope for when driving in Maine during winter. After checking into my hotel, I look out to see that the Androscoggin River has once again closed down for the season.

Here was my view from last year, around this time...

Androscoggin River View

And here we are now...

Androscoggin River View

Exciting, I know.

Since there's not much to do while I wait for my job to start, I've been getting some work done and catching up on Facebook. It was while looking through the latter that I ran across a video of Christmas tree shearing. It's fascinating to watch. Relaxing even. Very zen...

Depending on size, these guys can shape 2,000-2,500 trees per day! They don't say how many ninjas they could slash their way through. Oh well.

As exhausted as I am, I suppose I should take a nap before starting work at midnight.

Or search YouTube for more Christmas tree shearing videos.

One of those two things.

   

You

Posted on December 24th, 2015

Dave!It's all I want.

   

   

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Santa!

Posted on December 9th, 2015

Dave!It's so easy to come down on how monetized and commercialized Christmas has become. The holiday is a major money-maker for retailers and they never seem to let you forget it. But, every once in a while, you come across something that makes you loathe the season just a little bit less.

This is some real Christmas magic right here...

That's one Santa who has earned his sleigh-bells.

   

Merry

Posted on December 25th, 2014

Dave!To all those who celebrate...

Have a Monkey Christmas!

   

Time for two of my annual Christmas traditions!

First... breaking my Little Drummer Boy Challenge fast with Grace Jones...

And then... checking to make sure Alex Honnold is still alive (he is).

   

Merry!

Posted on December 25th, 2013

Dave!If you celebrate the holiday, I hope you have a Merry Christmas!

If not, have a great December 25th!

Monkey Christmas!

   
And no matter what holiday you call your own this season, thanks for dropping by!

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Miracle

Posted on December 25th, 2012

Dave!This morning I got a ride to the airport not knowing if my flight would be canceled or not. Freezing fog back home limited visibility to a quarter-mile, which is well under what's required to land. Add that to the fact that last night's flight was cancelled, and you can see how sitting at SeaTac was a somber affair for me. At least the airport was relatively calm thanks to it being Christmas and all.

But, by the time my flight was to leave, the fog had lifted, so we took off under a "weather advisory" which means the plane would return to Seattle if it couldn't land. Lucky for me the visibility was over ten miles, which was plenty, and we were on the ground before I knew it.

It's a Christmas Miracle, I suppose.

Monkey Christmas!

   
Despite the high price of a last-minute ticket, I ended up being very glad I flew instead of drove. The mountain passes have been all kinds of messed up since I left, and the route I would have driven over Stevens Pass ended up having some fatalities due to heavy snowfall (and is currently closed).

And here is where I settle down for a long winter's nap.

At least I hope so.

If I can just get a decent amount of rest... a mere six hours of sleep, perhaps... that would truly be my Christmas Miracle.

Hope your holiday was a happy one!

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Santa!

Posted on December 24th, 2012

Dave!Every year NORAD (North American Aerospace Defense Command) tries to diffuse their scary image as the harbinger of a nuclear attack by tracking Santa as he travels the world delivering toys to all the good boys and girls. Well, those who still believe anyway.

This year, a little drama was unleashed when NORAD dumped Google Maps as their map provider and went with Microsoft's Bing Maps.

I'm guessing that Microsoft paid for the endorsement... one way or another. Just like they do when they buy air time in popular shows like Hawaii Five-0 and Elementary for product placement. Hell, in the case of Hawaii Five-0, they go further than just placement... they pay for actual fucking demos of their products to be injected into the show (I can't imagine how humiliating that must be for the writers and actors).

Anyway, Google, not one to miss out on an opportunity, game up with their own Santa Tracker. But they made it all cute with animations, games, and colorful graphics. I admit it was a pleasant change from the same old cheesy video renders you get from NORAD...

Google Santa Tracker

Google Santa Tracker

Google Santa Tracker

   
I wish Giant Santa luck on his big ride tonight. Hopefully he has some bottles of 5-Hour Energy to get him through.

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