January 29th, 2008

krazy koati

You can keep it near

I finally exchanged Christmas gifts with my brother and his wife. The original plan was that I'd see them around Christmas, but that best day was the morning after I brought home the kitten, and after all the activity and I was thoroughly unconscious when my parents were getting going up there, and things spun out from there. This weekend was about the last time I could have given them their gifts: one was a calendar, and I'm not sure but I think if you give a calendar after January's over the entire year becomes null and void. Probably I should check on that.

It proved to be a merry visit all around, starting out at a Cracker Barrel where we finally realized my father's retirement plan is to slice out cross-sections of his garage and call them Crackers Barrel, taking the company completely by surprise. After that we retired to their home where they showed off the new doors and windows which were installed on the coldest day of the winter so far (since the easiest way to replace all the doors and windows is take all the olds one off, then put all new ones on, this was keenly felt), and the new high-definition TV set they got even though they watch pretty low-definition shows like Power Rangers: Creepy Lizardy-Dog Rubber Suit Guy Season for which more pixels really don't improve the experience.

Oh, their Christmas present to me was a collection of April Fool's Day RFCs, a gift my brother was sure would delight me (it did) and that his wife didn't understand at all. I tried to pick out some jokes that didn't require explanation (eg, the ``Evil'' bit proposal), but it's like annotating xkcd.

There's one fewer World War I veteran: Germany's last known veteran, Erich Kaestner, passed away January 1st. It's possible there are more, but it turns out Germany doesn't keep records of its war veterans, going against some cheap ethnic jokes. It seems credible this might be the year the last known veterans of the war all die.

Trivia: Michigan produces about three-quarters of the United States's cherry crop. Source: The Genie in the Bottle, Joe Schwarcz.

Currently Reading: A Mathematician Plays The Stock Market, John Allan Paulos.