What are you people doing here? It’s Christmas Eve!

You’ve got to have something better to do.


We’re having the traditional white Christmas here in Morris: a foot of snow on the ground, temperatures around 10 to 15° below zero C, a nice stiff 10-15 mph breeze, and no one with any sanity stepping outside.

Which rules me out right there. I made the drive to St Cloud and back yesterday, in even worse weather, to pick up #1 Son; I get to make the longer drive (but in somewhat milder weather) to Minneapolis to pick up #2 Son today. You might expect nothing but gibbering madness and exhaustion from me for a while.

So go do something with family or friends right now and get off the damn computer!


  1. Darby M'Graw says

    I spent my morning writing an exclusive review of the 1908 Intelligent Design book The evolution of the atmosphere as a proof of design and purpose in the creation, and of the existence of a personal God… by John Phin.

    I’ve got to get out and buy some Fig Newtons for tomorrow’s Newtonmas festivities.

  2. Doug Rozell says

    Happy ‘Podmas PZ. Thanks for all of your work!

    Doug Rozell
    Beachville, Ontario, Canada

  3. Deepsix says

    Great suggestion, PZ. But I’m at work today. I do get to go home a whole hour early! Whoopi!

  4. usagi says

    Some of us have to work today, you know… (obviously not so hard since I’m reading Scieneceblogs, but still).

    Happy Festivus, everyone (I picked that one for the wrestling, so if you feel aggrieved, the mat’s waiting).

  5. usagi says

    PS A sincere thank you to all the professionals (health, police, fire) who don’t get a break to spend with their families tonight & tomorrow.

  6. MikeM says

    Happy holidays, everyone.

    It’ll be about 50 in Norcal today. We almost got some frost. Didn’t quite make it. But with the fog, I actually had to surrender and wear gloves today.

    Going on vacation now. Over and out.

  7. raven says

    We’re having the traditional white Christmas here in Morris: a foot of snow on the ground, temperatures around 10 to 15° below zero C, a nice stiff 10-15 mph breeze, and no one with any sanity stepping outside.

    Sounds perfectly horrible. For those on the West Coast or far South, just what does it take to drive in that sort of weather? I’d want at least 4 wheel drive with studded snow tires, low center of gravity, and a sleeping bag and emergency rations in case one ends up stuck somewhere in subfreezing weather.

  8. says

    So go do something with family or friends right now and get off the damn computer!


    In celebration of a commercial holiday I don’t celebrate? In recognition of the birth of Christ?

    I’ll keep blogging, thanks.

    : /

  9. Reginald Selkirk says

    Sounds perfectly horrible. For those on the West Coast or far South, just what does it take to drive in that sort of weather? I’d want at least 4 wheel drive with studded snow tires, low center of gravity, and a sleeping bag and emergency rations in case one ends up stuck somewhere in subfreezing weather.

    A proper reply to this would take a while. Snow tires: a very good idea. Studded snow tires: even better for icy conditions, legality may vary with locality. 4 wheel drive: may be dangerous. Primitive lockable 4 wheel drive setups are meant for off-roading and can cause accidents on a level roadway. Really. “All wheel drive” is a better option. No time to go into the distinctions. Emergency supplies in the back: a good idea. space blanket, shovel, flares, chocolate, etc. Heck, chocolate is a great idea for any occasion. Cell phone can be helpful as well. Experience with winter driving helps. Try it in an empty parking lot before you try it on a crowded highway. Low center of gravity: a good thing for emergency maneuvers, but requires a compromise with high ground clearance. Avoidance is the best way to deal with bad roads; if you don’t have to go somewhere when the roads are bad, don’t.

    Happy holidays.

  10. Reginald Selkirk says

    Oh, and for really really challenging conditions, like crossing the Rockies during a blizzard while driving an 18-wheeler: tire chains.

  11. Richard Harris says

    Jumpin Jeezus, I need my fix of Pharyngula before facing the family. Happy holidays to everyone.

  12. bPer says

    Hey, look at that! You’re only blocks away from an observatory with a 16″ scope in it, and you’re off playing chauffeur? Get your priorities straight, man! :)

    Oh, right, the sky‘s not cooperating at the moment. Ok, you’re excused.

    Happy holidays to you and your family, Dr. Myers!

    BTW, that Clear Sky Clock page was about the closest I could find to Morris. You might want to pass on the word that if the observatory wants its own page, it only needs to ask Attilla Danko, the author of the Clear Sky Clock, and he’ll set up one for them. He’s an acquaintance of mine, and a really fascinating guy to talk to about all things astronomical.

  13. says

    I can’t tell if you used that picture of the observatory to make a dig at astronomers (what other kind of nut would be out in that weather) or if you are saying they are extremely hardy and devoted scientists.

  14. Reginald Selkirk says

    For those living in the South or on the West Coast and driving to visit relatives in colder climates: make sure the fluid in your radiator is up to grade. A mix of 50/50 water and antifreeze(ethylene glycol) is best. And the windshield washer fluid you buy in warmer climates might not be suitable. In colder climates, they sell stuff with anti-freeze in it, look for a rating of -20 or -25 (F). Otherwise your fluid could freeze up in a cold snap, and your visibility will suffer.

  15. mikeb says

    I would love to be doing something with my family right now but they are busy prostrating themselves before the sky fairy.

  16. backpacker says

    Yeah some of us have to work not all of us are as in with the liberal elite cabal as you are PZ. As far as driving in the snow I don’t even think about it any more. I drive an ’86 Jetta with a 5 speed and it is great in snow. I could use new tires (maybe mom and dad need some last minute gift ideas). But I guess that is enough of the bosses’ time I have used on the blogs. Happy feast of conspicuous consumption all.

  17. Reginald Selkirk says

    I can’t tell if you used that picture of the observatory to make a dig at astronomers (what other kind of nut would be out in that weather)

    I don’t think me meant to imply anything about astronomers, becuase he didn’t use the phrase batshit insane. Besides, he knows that most astronomers these days don’t actually go to the mountaintops and ascend the domes, they just hack the controls using the Interwebs and pirate some images from the NASA site.

  18. Jewel says

    I presently am hosting my annual cold. Sitting at the computer is about the only thing I can actually do right now. Thankfully, we do not have snow. It’s about 50 degrees out, not that I’m going anywhere.

  19. backpacker says

    Oh and thick socks for the winter driving, that way if you end up in the ditch the walk is not as bad. The BWCA is a good place to practice that winter walking thing this time of year.

  20. Colin says

    most astronomers these days don’t actually go to the mountaintops

    Ha! People keep saying that most astronomers don’t go to the observatories, but I keep ending up there anyways, somehow.

    It does look like a nice dome though, although I wish people would learn to stop putting observatories on top of buildings. The cold really is the astronomer’s friend.

  21. Pablo says

    Hey, I have my chicken stock going and my noodles are rolled out and drying for my homemade chicken noodle soup for tonight.

    I deserve a break, right?

    Besides, the wifey caught a squidmas cold and is not really great company right now.

  22. says


    As I said at Cosmic Variance, adapted:

    We here may often disagree about high-end metaphysics (not as much about real science, and I’ve had some good reparté about that here), but I don’t think for a minute that those who aren’t aligned with me about that are less worthy as human beings (not that it is to be boasted of, but rather should be taken for granted …) BTW, it is scandalous that an atheist could not likely be elected President of this nation. Any quality candidate in that category, I hope a Democrat, would get my vote if better than the others. I do think there’s plenty of good discussion to have about what we can actually observe (un, does that mean “other worlds” and dimensions, etc? heh.)

    As for metaphysical issues, let’s remember that those of us doing “philosophy” about that share the reasoning approach, at least, aside from where we think that takes us. Also, one of my New Year’s resolutions will be to cut down on snark, and I hope many others will do likewise (perhaps even the BO?)

    I originally made up the following e-card for the folks at Backreaction, but you-all can enjoy it too.
    Happy Holidays, whatever they are:

    Holiday e-card for everyone, even infidels and heretics!

  23. says

    “So go do something with family or friends right now and get off the damn computer!”

    In twenty minutes, I go have dinner with my girlfriend’s insane extended family, and then we all go to church. I’m just trying to fill my brain with some positive memories to get me through the day…

  24. fusilier says

    I’m warming up after spending the last half-a-day fixing the bunny hutch. I spent about $300 on new pressure-treated stock, triple-coated deck-screws, aluminized mylar insulation (yes, it looks just like bubble-wrap), corrugated polyethylene siding and roofing, and the dang thing leaks.

    We cannot have water on the livestock (angora rabbits are not pets, they are livestock.)


    5pm service at My Beloved and Darling Wife’s church (she’s directing the K-3 choir), Midnight Mass at my parish.

    James 2:24

  25. says

    Festivus? “Squidmas”? Ewww!

    I believe the proper holiday for this time of year is Agnostica, which begins on Dec 14.

    From the site:
    Agnostica is the only truly secular winter celebration. It is a celebration for the scientist in all of us, celebrating not some contrived story written thousands of years ago and translated seventeen times over until the Hebrew word for “rope” gets turned into “camel,” and then inexplicably the whole deal is replaced by consumer-frenzy dictated to us by a fat child-labor mogul in a fur-lined red suit, but rather of ourselves, the perfect self-defining nature of the universe, and of being proud of the human intellect.

  26. Rjaye says

    Bless your hearts with slimy tendrils, ye who have snow to contend with…

    We have sunshine in the Pacific Northwest!!!

    Happy everything!!

  27. mayhempix says

    Down here in Buenos Aires the dinner and action doesn’t happen until approaching midnight when a barrage of firecrackers and fireworks will ignite sending scores of kids to the hospital with lost fingers and blinded eyes. The hospitals actually have doctors and ambulances on standby even though every year they try to educate the parents and their offspring about the crippling results… New Year is far worse.

    Why can’t they just pay homage to The Tentacled One and hand out suckers instead?

    I suppose the good news is that the city dwellers here abandoned Catholicism along with military fascism leaving a mostly secular literate society. The bad news is that the Fundie Evangelical con artists are trying to move in…

    Merry Squidmas to you and your family!

  28. Katrina says

    Just finished wrapping the last presents while Daddy read and tucked in the little ones. Now I’m relaxing with a nice Italian red wine.

    Once I’m sure they’re asleep, we’ll get started loading up the stockings.

    Tomorrow, after the gifts are opened, I’ll be preparing a feast for the family plus a few of the Single Sailors here on the base.

    We had very cold weather here last week, but now the temps are back up in the 40’s and 50’s and it’s raining. We thought for a while we might have a white Christmas here in Naples, but no luck there.

    Best wishes to each of you, whatever you choose to celebrate (or not!)

  29. MH says

    PZ: Good morning.
    FOLLOWERS: A blessing! A blessing! A blessing!…
    PZ: No. No, please! Please! Please listen. I’ve got one or two things to say.
    FOLLOWERS: Tell us. Tell us both of them.
    PZ: Look. You’ve got it all wrong. You don’t need to follow me. You don’t need to follow anybody! You’ve got to think for yourselves. You’re all individuals!
    FOLLOWERS: Yes, we’re all individuals!
    PZ: You’re all different!
    FOLLOWERS: Yes, we are all different!
    DENNIS: I’m not.
    ARTHUR: Shhhh.
    FOLLOWERS: Shh. Shhhh. Shhh.
    PZ: You’ve all got to work it out for yourselves!
    FOLLOWERS: Yes! We’ve got to work it out for ourselves!
    PZ: Exactly!
    FOLLOWERS: Tell us more!
    PZ: No! That’s the point! Don’t let anyone tell you what to do!

    Hope you all have a cool yule!

  30. Robert Thille says

    Ha, got you all beat. The family and I flew from freezing (really, it was 25F the morning we left!) NoCal to Kauai, and I’m sitting in the condo on Pharyngula instead of snorkling or something…

  31. says

    It’s Christmas Eve, a day I love to have off to please myself and get into the mood for a loving family holiday. I’m very glad I’m no longer in the “frantic drive to see both sets of parents” age group nor the “negotiated hand-off of child to ex-spouse” category. Or not much, anyway–ther’s always the Other GRandparentES. But I still have errands. I visited a friend in hospital, brightening her day, then bought cat food and went to my son’s apartment and his friend’s apartment to feed cats. Then I walked and took transit to collect the family vehicle from some repairs to its peripherals and now I’m going to walk to the Greek bakery for some Squidmas treats.

    On the way through Chinatown I took some pictures of flattened, dehydrated squids just for you, The proprietor of the shop explained with gestures and a few words that they are for slathering with barbeque sauce and barbequeing (flip over when half done). If the picture turns out, I’ll post it.

    My next contract is on hold until everyone can be assembled to sign papers in the new year, so I guess I have a few more days off.

  32. theophylact says

    I’m cooking lamb shanks for tomorrow’s dinner. Attendees: two Quakers, a non-practicing Episcopalian and her Muslim husband, and three Jews (one observant, one non-observant but insistent, and atheist me). But there’s plenty of time to spare when you’re making a braised dish.

  33. theophylact says

    I’m cooking lamb shanks for tomorrow’s dinner. Attendees: two Quakers, a non-practicing Episcopalian and her Muslim husband, and three Jews (one observant, one non-observant but insistent, and atheist me). But there’s plenty of time to spare when you’re making a braised dish.

  34. uknesvuinng says

    Our family celebrated days ago. It’s a good way to avoid the last minute rushing of everyone else by having our last minute rush beforehand.

    I’ve always wondered what the deal with Christmas Eve is, though. Do we need to really celebrate a day because it’s the day before a holiday? I can see it for New Year’s, because the event being celebrated is the changeover between the two days, but Christmas Eve? What’s up with that?

  35. says

    man, it’s hard to relate to the snow. I’ve been in snow twice in my life, and don’t plan on going back. here in so cal it’s a sunny 60F with the gentlest of breezes and nary a cloud to be seen. most people i saw were in shorts.

    i do have to do a lot of driving. of course, i said i was in so cal, so that kinda goes without saying. merry squidmas to all and to all some yummy calimari

  36. says


    When I was a young boy growing up in Levittown, my family did not have a lot of money. Usually we waited until Christmas eve to buy our tree, assuming that since they would be worthless in a few hours, it would be possible to negotiate a good price.
    Old George had the christmas tree lot on Hempstead Turnpike, across from Times Square Stores. He always had the best looking trees in town, although they were a bit expensive. My brother and I went there at about 6 o’clock this one Christmas eve with about twenty dollars between us, bound and determined to procure the best tree ever. There wasn’t much left, but we found a fine douglas fir, just the right size and shaped as nearly perfect as one could expect.
    Old George was sitting in his usual spot in the office, right next to an old wood-burning stove. I prepared for combat.
    “How much for this scraggly old twig”, I asked?
    “We’ll take it away for no charge!”
    George looked up at us two insolent pups and replied
    “That’s one nice looking tree boys, it’ll cost you thirty-five dollars”.
    “Thirty-five dollars?” I pleaded,
    “Why I can buy a better tree down the block for half that price.”
    I should have seen what was coming. “Then go right down the block and buy that tree, because you’re not getting this one for a penny less than thirty-five dollars.”
    “But George”, I went on, “You’re only gonna burn this tree tomorrow morning, because you ain’t gonna sell all these trees tonight.”
    Old George leaned back in his chair and glared at us for a moment. “Well boys, you can just come back here tomorrow morning and watch me burn that tree, cause you ain’t gonna get it for one cent less than thirty-five dollars!”
    By fate’s decree, I now found myself back in the old neighborhood on Christmas eve. I was on my way to my mother’s house and thought it might be nice to bring a fresh tree. She lived alone and didn’t decorate a tree anymore but I knew the old ornaments were still in her closet.
    I stopped at the christmas tree lot across from K-Mart, which used to be Times Square Stores. I found a beautiful tree, not too big and nicely shaped. “How much for this tree?’ I inquired. The kid who was working in the lot told me to ask the boss, in the office.
    I walked in, and to my surprise, there was old George. And even older still than I had remembered him. “George” I said “I can’t believe that you’re still here, after all these years. Do you remember me? I used to live right around here when I was a kid.” He did not remember. But I remembered. And we sat for the better part of the next hour discussing old times. He told me about his wife, who had passed on some 5 years ago and about how he was laid off when he was just 52 when Grumman cut back the work force and how the only income he had now was his pension and the yearly proceeds from the christmas trees.
    But this would be the last year for him. The land he had leased for over 30 years was being sold to a developer and he could not find another spot. He had no idea what would happen to him. We sat silently for a few minutes, contemplating our collective angst and pondering over the mysteries of living.
    Finally, I spoke again to him. “Well George, I’m sure everything will work out for you. How much for the tree?” He looked up at me with a look of defeat and resignation. “Well, that’s normally a thirty-five dollar tree, but I’m only gonna burn it tomorrow morning, so twenty dollars will be just fine.”
    I guess that sometimes it’s necessary to go a long way out of our way, to come back a few steps correctly.

  37. Stuart Weinstein says


    Just so you know, its in the upper 70’s and it a very nice breezy day here in Ewa Beach, Hawaii. We only have green XMAS’s down here.

    However, don’t fret. Soon, Global Warming will catch up with Minniehaha.

    Season’s Greetings.

    Excuse me while I get myself a beer.

  38. says

    On my walk to the hospital to visit my friend, I also directed a tourist (French accent) to the Royal Ontario Museum, so that made me feel good.

    Christmas will be celebrated with a good dinner (at home or out) and possibly a movie (ditto). My son is away visiting girlfriend’s family; his daughter the scientist is back from the American Geophysical conference and visiting her extended family in Britsh Columbia.

  39. Reginald Selkirk says

    Alrighty then, I’ve finished a software change involving three source files to improve the efficiency of coordinated motor movements. Since there’s no way to get at the hardware and test this till after the holidays, I may as well go home for some holiday cheer.

  40. Tom McCann says

    I divorced 10 years ago. The kids and I (a girl and 2 boys – late teens and early 20s now) always do our ‘Christmas’ on Christmas Eve. It’s all over now – duties dischared and we lots of fun had. I’ve got to say – it’s such a relief to have it all over with. I can lie back and take it easy now with my beautiful second wife. Life is good sometimes.

    Happy Christmas everyone!

  41. says

    I’m working, and if things aren’t too lively tonight, I’ll be reading ‘The End of Faith’ to the blinking LEDs of the server room, enjoying the warmth blown out from abused CPUS.

  42. Carlie says

    I’m getting my last fix, because I’m bound and determined not to touch the computer at all tomorrow. I think I’m already getting the shakes.

  43. noncarborundum says

    ‘ej chuqDaq mejgnabta’pa’ jach ‘e’ vIQoypu’:
    HochvaD QISmaS Quch, ‘ej HochvaD ram QaQqu’!

    — traditional Klingon holiday poem

    (“And before he disappeared altogether in the distance, I heard that he shouted: To everyone a happy QISmaS, and to everyone an excellent night!”)

  44. says

    Just checking in with Pharyngulites while tapping a 1994 bottle of Querciabella Chianti Classico with the PharmPhamily. Amazing retention of flavor and structure after 13 years – could’ve held onto it for another 5 yrs.

    Okay, logging out now…Best wishes to the Myers family and to all Pharyngula readers.

  45. Crudely Wrott says

    Winter driving is somewhat more dangerous than motoring along on clear, dry roads. Of course, the whole notion of strapping into a two-ton ground-bound box on wheels and moving at ninety feet plus per second while passing another box going the opposite direction a mere three feet away is already fraught with inherent danger.

    Slow and steady gets it. Don’t do anything rapidly. Allow extra room between vehicles. Pay attention to the road surface. Be on the lookout for drivers who are having a tough go. And if you still have time, relax. You’ll react in a more controlled fashion should you lose traction or have to avoid a truck careening out of control. Nothin’ to it. Just relax.

    To the multi-talented, if not multi-tentacled PZ, and to all of those that I have come to know just a little in the sixteen months or so that I have been coming here and partaking of the luminous discussions, I wish you all a most fulfilling holiday. That is, Merry Christmas!

    If you don’t celebrate the Christ in Christmas and are led to celebrate another great and worthy thing, then joy to you, and a deep down sense of satisfaction and brotherhood. We can’t get enough of that.

    E Pluribus Unum

  46. Dawn says

    And a happy squidmas to you, PZ. I’m just waiting for Cmas eve dinner to be ready. I’m going to church with my folks tonight (I don’t want to hurt my mom’s feelings that much, and I don’t mind the music, just the yakking sermon). Enjoy your white holiday, ours here in MI is rather green with a little white on top…which is OK till we get back home to NJ.

  47. cyan says


    Thanks for sharing that story.

    It is poignant, and relevant to all of us in highlighting both the intellectual maturity of being forgiving & kind for our own sakes (even if the recipient of those forgivenesses and kindnesses do not realize what it took to do so) and in pointing out that sometimes people whom you never thought would do so, actually eventually do learn a little something, which then gives us a little more hope for humanity as a whole.

    Happy celebration of returning to the light.

  48. says

    LOL Just got back from taking the kids to the Museum of Natural History. Yesterday we went to the Explora Science Center. May I get on the computer now please?

  49. Moses says

    We’re celbrating this:

    The Persian Mithra (Roman Mithras) held special prominence as god of day (light) and the only son of the God of Heaven. But some time before the 5th century B.C. the Persian prophet Zoroaster (Zarathustra) taught a dualism based on the conflict between the God of Heaven and the God of Evil. Humans could choose between good (light) or evil (darkness) and on judgment day be sent to Heaven or Hell based on their choices. Mithras was identified as the redeemer prophesied by Zoroaster: the sun-god who would appear as a human being at the end of time.

    Mithras was a divine being borne of a human virgin on December 25th (the Winter Solstice by the Roman Julian calendar), his birth watched and worshipped by shepherds. As an adult, Mithras healed the sick, made the lame walk, gave sight to the blind and raised the dead.

    Before returning to heaven at the Spring Equinox Mithras had a last supper with 12 disciples (representing the 12 signs of the Zodiac). Mithraism included Zoroastrian beliefs in the struggle between good & evil, symbolized as light & darkness. This militaristic black-and-white morality (including a final judgment affecting an afterlife of heaven or hell) probably accounted for the popularity of Mithraism among Roman soldiers. Mithraism was like an ancient fraternity: a mystery cult open only to men which had seven degrees of initiation — including the ritual of baptism and a sacred meal of bread & wine representing the body & blood of Mithras.

    Because I don’t celbrate the cheap knock-off that is Christianity… ;)

  50. J-man says

    No, not really. All presents dealt out. Just rocking out now and listening to some progressive metal. Merry Christmas from Finland (the alleged home of Santa Claus)

  51. Lyle G says

    I think that SE Texas last had a white Xmas in 1940. Could be wrong about that. I remember a thin snow fall on New years some years back.
    A few years ago I was doing security work , and asked for Solstice off. My employers were so happy that SOMEONE didn’t want the 25th off.

  52. Michael Geissler says

    Hey, I’m trying out my Christmas present – broadband. The kids are having their morning nap and the roast lunch is a-cooking, so it’s a brief moment to echo Bride of Shrek up there at 44 and wish everyone a merry whatever from Australia. It’s overcast & 26 degrees C here in Brisbane at the moment, not too hot, so almost perfect big eating weather. Enjoy!

  53. NJ Salcedo says

    I want a joyful time and I have to wait until midnight to eat today (Peruvian Christmas). It is hot here in Lima (27 C) and the sound of fireworks ir starting to startle the baby at home.

    Cheers from Lima, Peru!

  54. David Harmon says

    Another ethnic Jew here… I just get to bitch about how all the stores are closed tomorrow. But I’ve been making progress on my home network configuration!

  55. speedwell says

    Daddy died Tuesday morning. But he would not have wanted us to sit around weeping; none of us are that type anyway. I saw my brother and his wife and kids off on a road trip to California Friday to visit Grandma, who reports that Brother told her “we all had a good time while Aunt Speedwell was in town.” Cool.

    Tonight? I’m taking a break. I started a Now and Zen Unturkey (Google it, folks) and it is cooling in its broth. I actually had turkey recently (you can’t stop and fuss when everyone is concentrating on how to bury Dad) and my Unturkey tastes terrif. For dinner, I put Basmati rice in the rice cooker and made a Thai red curry out of a random selection of what my CSA handed out this week. I’ve wrapped half my presents.

    I’m on schedule, Papa PZ. No nagging. :)

  56. QrazyQat says

    I’m just having my morning coffee. After a shower, we’re going to put on t-shirts and shorts, hop on the motorcycle, go eat at an outdoor restaurant in Soi#9 where a lady named Kate makes great sandwiches, then go swimming in an outdoor pool. Suk san wan Christmas!

  57. Steve says

    Already had dinner with the family (my sister-in-law makes some awesome baklava) and are now just waiting for the little ones to go to sleep so “Santa” can visit…

  58. Carl Buell says

    No wife or woman, no kids, no gifts, no tree, no music. Just another day living with a bat-shit crazy demented old woman I could never stand when she actually knew who I was. Thank God-I-don’t-believe-in that I can paint. I’ll happily spend the day in the late Eocene on the shores of the Tethys Sea.

  59. STH says

    Well, I’m taking a break in between “Christmas Carol” and “Polar Express” at my sister’s and finishing up the last of the Xmas prep. I don’t often comment here, but I do read every day, so I had to check in. This can be a tough night for those of us who live alone, so I’m happy to be here among friends.

    Happy whatever-you-celebrate, everybody!

  60. mikebok says

    Today, at my annual “It-will-break-grandmas-heart-if-you-don’t-go” church excursion, I was pleased to note the church was only half full at a prime-time Christmas eve service. Maybe people are tired of hearing the drivel that the cleric was spewing at them.

  61. Pyre says

    Colin @ 25:

    It does look like a nice dome though, although I wish people would learn to stop putting observatories on top of buildings. The cold really is the astronomer’s friend.

    Why would you say that? I think heat-quivers in the air make pretty pictures!

    So what if they make this star look like it’s over there ?

  62. Alex Besogonov says

    >We’re having the traditional white Christmas here in Morris:
    >a foot of snow on the ground, temperatures around 10 to 15°
    >below zero C, a nice stiff 10-15 mph breeze, and no one with
    >any sanity stepping outside.

    -15C outside? Just the right weather for skiing! Even outdoor physical activity lessons here are not canceled if the temperature is not below -18C.

    Now, -35C forecasted for tomorrow will be a little bit too cold for my liking.

    PS: I’m in Novosibirsk, Russia.

  63. Teenage Lobotomy says

    low 60’s napa ca, the staff let us out today to go play
    (napa state mental hopital)I wish the CRAMPS would come
    back and play a set of demented psychobilly an unhinged

  64. dwarf zebu says

    I had to work yesterday, cashiering at a large craft store chain selling people the last minute stuff they can’t live without. Shoulda stayed home since I was still recovering from a nasty bout of food poisoning from Saturday.

    Today, I would normally go to my husband’s ex’s to have xmas with his kid, but since I can’t really eat, there’s no point in going out to dinner with them anyway.

    Besides, there’s nothing on TV.

    I really enjoyed Cuttlefish’s xmas poem!

    Whatever you’re having, have a happy one!

  65. Louise Van Court says

    I enjoy reading the comments from around the globe on this blog. I’m waiting for my son to return from visiting a friend before we all head off into a snowstorm to drive 50 miles and join my two daughters for Christmas dinner. All the children who received new sleds and snow equipment, are no doubt loving this snowy Christmas day.
    Good wishes to all!

  66. cyan says

    Carl #72,

    You are doing what is right despite the suffering it causes you: you have considered what you would want done for you or anyone else if it were you in your mother’s place.

    That she did not consider what her actions would result in to you as you grew is not determining your actions now, because of your mature perspective and intelligence: you are thinking and acting upon the principle of “how should others treat me, knowing the constraints of my own knowledge.”

    If every person were to consider these things and then act as you are doing, the world would be as perfect as humans could make it.

    Do unto others, as you would have others do unto you: that is what you are doing with your mother.

    I don’t believe in a god, so I cannot say “god bless you” for doing this, but I do believe that humans are capable of goodness, and so I think that you are so good and therefore thank you for your goodness to the person who was and is your mother.

    “As bat-shit crazy” as she may be, the more empathetic and good you are to care for her. Were we all as lucky as she to have someone to take care of us when we are old!

    Lots of love to you, Carl!