Modest XMAS List

Dear Santa,

I know I am a little late with my list this year, so I hope these wishes do not give you too much trouble in the busy lead-up to the day.

  • Firefly – Season 2 through 4, preferably on BluRay
  • A Reddish Green T-Shirt
  • Paul Erdős’ annotated proof for P≠NP
  • Srinivasa Ramanujan’s annotated proof for P=NP
  • A Pet Dodo
  • A functional time-machine (featuring controls to go both back and forward in time)

I look forward so much to the 25th.



The Most Busiest Time of The Year

Relaxing is good.
The last four days I have done so excessively little.

But now I get to pay for it.

Tomorrow is Christmas and there are a bunch of last minute things to finish up before the day itself. I didn’t help myself by going back to Body Attack class for the first time in two years (OW), but I now realise how much I’ve missed it, so time to get back into that too. It means my legs don’t really want to do anything intense like… running… or walking… or standing.

I’ve started my last-minute cookery as well; I have decided to do a Gelato experiment using Port. I will report back how that worked out… [note to self: port boiling over = fireworks].

I also realised at the last minute that I was supposed to make my potato salads. I almost forgot, so I had to dash by the shops last-minute as well. But I think I am all set now for a sweltering afternoon in the kitchen For The Good Of All Mankind.

I think I can smell the evaporated port on the skin of my face.
Not sure how I feel about this.

Day 207 – Crumpling

Today I got a new bag.
A very multi-functional bag.

It’s a Crumpler!

If it’s not a Crumpler, it’s simply not worth having.

I had a great time looking around the store, and being wowed by the knowledgeable staff. Some of the bags Crumpler produces contain so many secret hide-aways and neat tricks that you might own one for a decade and never realise its full potential.

One of the bags demonstrated had a cleverly reversible diagonal shoulder strap, which also allows the bag to be swung around onto your stomach where the side pocket suddenly is a top pocket, and immediate access to camera equipment is possible.

So many tempting goodies, but I needed something more specific.

I want a bag that’ll fit camera gear. I want a bag that’ll fit up to a 15″ laptop. I want a bag that’ll hold some clothes for travel when needed. I want it all!

Weighted Toy Equipment to Try Pockets
Weighted Toy Equipment to Try Pockets

I know all about laptop sizes, but I forgot to think ahead on camera sizes. Luckily the store manager was very knowledgeable herself. But she also had a handy box of fake camera shapes ready. Quickly screwing a large “lens” onto a D6-ish “body” quickly proved which bags were roomy enough for the job.

My Choice
My Choice

I ended up with a back-pack with two main compartments in the body and a padded laptop pocket to the back. The bottom compartment was sized to exactly fit a Crumpler insert designed to deal with DSLR equipment. So now I can have the camera pre-packed in an insert that I can either throw into the bag or leave out.

If I leave it out, the two portions of the backpack can either be used separately or joined. But I think separate makes more sense… one compartment for gym gear and another for swimming gear. One compartment for camera gear and one compartment for some snacks or clothes.

Ceci n'est pas un Crumpler
Ceci n’est pas un Crumpler

And everything about their store and their brand is slightly playful. Including the not-a-Crumpler that the Crumpler was put inside.

Oh, also: lifetime warranty on all parts. I mentioned I had a messenger bag that was still in good condition after many years, except for maybe the velcro. The store manager suggested I should bring it in for velcro-replacement under the original warranty.

Note that these bags do cost a bit. But they are for all intents and purposes indestructible. If you pick the right bag for your needs you should never need another. Unless your needs change 😉


All The Cats
All The Cats

A double-walled tea mug with All The Cats on it. I hope Obie and Amber do not take this as license to use it.

A Mix of Scrabble and Boggle (I think?)
A Mix of Scrabble and Boggle (I think?)

I’ve never played this before, but a cursory glance tells me this looks like a mix of Scrabble and Boggle. This will go into the Wednesdays rotation, although I know Ken will win already.

Personalised Chocolates
Personalised Chocolates

I’m glad to see that Lindt has realised my importance to this season and release special chocolates in my honour.

Books, two authors I know, one I do not
Books, two authors I know, one I do not

The latest Pratchett, the latest Reilly… the latest… I dunno this one. Much reading on my horizon. But I have some time off in January, so these’ll come in handy.

Ice Cubes that don't melt
Ice Cubes that don’t melt

Ice cubes, officially for Whiskey I think, but I’m sure I’ll find other non-sanctioned uses for them.

Sexy Sexy Underwear
Sexy Sexy Underwear

I wonder if my family is trying to make me homesick, but if so, it’s not working. I’m sure the ladies will love these(?!)

Chocolate Wine
Chocolate Wine

Chocolate wine sounds both delicious and a little scary. I’m afraid it might not be to my taste, but I want it to be so badly. I’ll have to set up the perfect tasting environment to avoid jinxing it.

Evil Maze
Evil Maze

Evil mazes all around… it’s a 3D roll-the-ball-around style puzzle, but with moving parts inside and narrow ledges. It’s Mission Impossible, where the lead character has no personality… so, exactly like Mission Impossible in every way.

Pictionary with Legos
Pictionary with Legos

This is another fun one for Wednesdays. Pictionary with Legos. You get a challenge, and then you have to build it with the Lego in the box, and everyone else guesses. A skill I need to master.

Chilli Sauces
Chilli Sauces

A dare in a bottle I think. 15/10 heat rating on the chilli sauce with a warning to never taste it directly. We all know how this is going to end, right?

Cool Sweater
Cool Sweater

And no Christmas could ever be complete without a sweater. A very cool sweater, which will have to wait a few more months for the right season to arrive here. Somehow my mum manages to buy me cool clothing that fits perfectly over a distance of 20,000km. She’s got magic powers, I’m sure.

Day 160 – Almost There

Countdown to XMAS – 25.5 hours left… 33.5 if I count sleeping.

The lead-up hasn’t been too bad this year. Shopping misery kept to a minimum. No leave in the lead-up to XMAS, which has worked out well too.

Last-minute gingerbread baking might not have been the best plan I ever had, but the result was worth it. Even if it made the regular ice-cream run a bit more of a stretch in turn.

I’m one batch of ice cream short of complete, so that’ll easily be done tomorrow.

And then I can rest.

Also, no gym for a few days on account of “closed”. Last class before XMAS was a punishing Kinesis class in which I managed to get carpet-burn on my knee, and not even the fun kind. But worth it… it feels good to be able to do nothing but sit for a little while I think.

Bring on the festivities!