Sat. Dec. 25, 2021 – Christmas Day

By on December 25th, 2021 in personal, WuFlu

Cool and damp but clear is the forecast for the next few days. Not particularly Christmas-y, but not bad.

Merry Christmas to all here. If you don’t celebrate Christmas, I still wish you the joy and peace of the season, and I hope that everyone can spend time with loved ones. Even if you can’t get together physically, make the call.

If you are one who dreads this time of year, you aren’t alone. There are others who can help. Seek them out.

To my Jewish friends, I was chagrined to learn that Hanukkah was earlier this year than I thought, and is already over. No one said anything, so I missed it. My apologies and belated well wishes.

My wife and I were raised in the Catholic traditions, but now we celebrate the non-religious aspects of the major holy days. Sounds odd, but humans have a need for tradition and story, for continuity with the past, and understanding of our place in history, and we find that in our practices. We also make sure the kids understand the religious aspects, and the origins (as much as we understand them.) So we take the time to practice the virtues of the holiday, and build our own traditions and observances.

Today we’ll open a few more presents, spend some time watching a movie (not sure which one, I’ll be voting against Die Hard), and have a great dinner. I hoped to get together with friends but they had family obligations, and our families all decided months ago to forego travel this year. Turns out THAT was the right choice… So it will just be our little family at the table, but it will be our much bigger family and circle of friends in our hearts and thoughts throughout the day.

As always, light a candle or raise a glass to “Absent friends.”

Merry Christmas.

nick

46 Comments and discussion on "Sat. Dec. 25, 2021 – Christmas Day"

  1. ayjblog says:

    Merry Xmas!

  2. MrAtoz says:

    Nowhere is perfect  but every other place we know has one or more aspects we wouldn't want to live with. We used to worry about overpopulation, so we told everyone we met they wouldn't like it here. It seems to have worked.

    Not surprising, everywhere nice to live is always ruined by human politics.

    Merry Christmas! May COVID pass your house.

  3. MrAtoz says:

    The Navy should auction off 1,000 AKs with 1,000 rounds. US Citizens only:

    US Navy Seizes 1,400 AK-47s, Over 226K Rounds Of Ammunition From Iranian Ship

    Opening bid $1,000. Give the money to the sailors thrown out for refusing the shot-clot.

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  4. Greg Norton says:

    Tyler Durden cowardice protecting real reporting once again. The reporters on the NFL beat are generally leftists, but truth is truth.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/covid-19/nfls-chief-medical-officer-warns-theres-almost-no-indication-asymptomatic-spread

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  5. Denis says:

    A very Happy Christmas to you all. To Barbara, Nick and Rick, many thanks for keeping the doors open. A glass is raised to friends, absent, present, known and unknown.

  6. JimB says:

    "A very Happy Christmas to you all. To Barbara, Nick and Rick, many thanks for keeping the doors open. A glass is raised to friends, absent, present, known and unknown."

    Great sentiment. And to their families and friends. May all have someone to love every day. May no one be lonely.

  7. Nick Flandrey says:

    Presents are opened.   I picked a few duds this year.  And oldest was sure she was getting an ipad, which tainted all the rest of her gifts.  And she didn't get one.  Many  times she was told she wouldn't….

    Played a couple of the new games.  "Set" is mind bending, and the 10 yo has a lot of practice with it, so she dominated.   The one we're playing now is a word game with secret agents…  "codenames"

    Neighbors refilled the cookie plate with chocolate bar cookies, so that was breakfast.  Now brunch will be Eggs Benedict with blender hollendaise sauce.

    n

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  8. lynn says:

    Merry Christmas to All !

    My mother was moved to a Rehab facility on Thursday night out in Sugar Land as she has recovered enough to undergo physical therapy now.  She is still very weak but mostly very lucid (it takes her several days to shake the anesthesia).  She did not want to move but such is the way of hospitalization nowadays.  She was able to walk five steps away from the bed and back yesterday which is incredible progress.

    Dad and my youngest brother and his wife and son are coming over for Christmas dinner in a while.  The wife is cooking up a storm and watching "Miracle on 34th Street", the B&W version.  I am trying to stay out of her way.

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  9. lynn says:

    Presents are opened.   I picked a few duds this year.  And oldest was sure she was getting an ipad, which tainted all the rest of her gifts.  And she didn't get one.  Many  times she was told she wouldn't….

    Ah, maybe next birthday.  Or maybe a way cheaper tablet.  I suspect a friend of hers has an iPad and is waving it around.

    The daughter's laptop screen hinges are broken and she wants to get a desktop this time.  We are still figuring this out.  I am not going to build one for her though, just buy a Dell or something along those lines.  She just uses it as a terminal so she does not need much performance.

  10. lpdbw says:

    I made cinnamon rolls last night, ready to pop in the oven this morning.

    Tasty.  A Stella Parks recipe.

    I'm way behind on my Christmas movies this year.  Saw both the Patrick Stewart and George C. Scott Chirstmas Carols, and White Christmas, and this year, two New-to-me "feel-good" movies on Netflix:  A Boy Called Christmas, and Christmas Lodge.

    Those last 2 are cheesy, but they are feel-good.  A Boy Named Christmas is guaranteed to trigger the following people:  Anyone who thinks of England as a land of English instead of a land of immigrants, anyone who thinks it's silly to have racial and ethnic quotas on a village of elves.  Anyone who expects a child elf named "Little Kip" to be white.  And, lastly, anyone who can't tolerate a Christmas "origin" story that completely avoids Christianity.

    Maggie Smith was wonderful it it, though, and surprisingly, I liked it in spite of falling into most of those categories above.  Don't know that I'll watch them again, ever.

    My usual Christmas viewing also includes Christmas in Connecticut (Barbara Stanwyck), The Shop Around the Corner (my favorite Jimmy Stewart Christmas movie of the 3 he made), and my favorite quirky Christmas movie, We're No Angels, featuring Humphrey Bogart, Peter Ustinov, Aldo Ray, Basil Rathbone, Leo G. Carroll, and Joan Bennett.

    We're doing our first empty-nest Christmas, so dinner and gift-opening will be late to let the young ones go to their girlfriends' families first.   Gives us all day to cook tri-tip and fixin's.

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  11. lynn says:

    xkcd: December 25th Launch

        https://xkcd.com/2559/

    Oh no !

    Explained at:

       https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2559:_December_25th_Launch

  12. Nick Flandrey says:

    I got an SDR radio, some fire starters, and a  book off my list…  lots of snack food, which I don't really eat, but since my dad passed, I'm the oldest male and his typical gifts sort of fall on me.   Seems the family really needs to buy Fiddle Faddle, and MooseCrunch and give it to someone. 

    Eldest was not overwhelmed by her noisy gift.  We need some range time with it I think.  So joining one is on my list for 2022.  Finding the time is on the list too.

    n

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  13. lynn says:

    I'm way behind on my Christmas movies this year.  Saw both the Patrick Stewart and George C. Scott Chirstmas Carols, and White Christmas, and this year, two New-to-me "feel-good" movies on Netflix:  A Boy Called Christmas, and Christmas Lodge.

    BTW, the wife is watching "Miracle on 34th Street" on her Roku using the free service FreebieTV.  The nice thing about the Roku's is all of the free services with the terrible commercials.

        https://freebie.tv/

  14. Greg Norton says:

    I'm way behind on my Christmas movies this year.  Saw both the Patrick Stewart and George C. Scott Chirstmas Carols, and White Christmas, and this year, two New-to-me "feel-good" movies on Netflix:  A Boy Called Christmas, and Christmas Lodge.

    The Patrick Stewart/David Tennant "Hamlet" is interesting, but I had to resort to a Region 2/PAL DVD purchased from Amazon.co.uk in order to see it.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    The daughter's laptop screen hinges are broken and she wants to get a desktop this time.  We are still figuring this out.  I am not going to build one for her though, just buy a Dell or something along those lines.  She just uses it as a terminal so she does not need much performance.

    Didn't you just buy the laptop recently?

    Low end Dell PCs still use their proprietary power supply pinout scheme for the motherboard. Not a huge deal if you don't plan to swap the board out down the road, but power supplies are always where I start when I have a malfunctioning PC.

  16. Nick Flandrey says:

    If you never will expand or upgrade, costco dells are ok.  If you will expand or upgrade in the future, order from Dell on the Small Business side, not home.   Sturdier machines, less crapware.

    n

  17. Greg Norton says:

    I made cinnamon rolls last night, ready to pop in the oven this morning.

    We made deep dish pizza yesterday, using our gas grill as a very stable heat source when equipped with a pizza stone.

    It was a science experiement which was mostly successful, but a lot of liquid ended up in the bottom of the pan of one pizza. My theory is that we didn't poke enough holes in the top crust layer for steam to escape.

  18. Greg Norton says:

    Presents are opened.   I picked a few duds this year.  And oldest was sure she was getting an ipad, which tainted all the rest of her gifts.  And she didn't get one.  Many  times she was told she wouldn't….

    I assume the issue was the concept of her having the tablet and media access without proper supervision more than cost.

    Apple's forced obsolescence of i-devices irks me so I have the base model Kindle Fire 7 inch and a monster SD card for media consumption away from home. VLC from FDroid even allows video formats other than those blessed by Amazon for the hardware.

  19. Alan says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to all of the gang here and their families near and far.

    Special thanks to Nick, Rick and Barbara for keeping the lights on.

    Quiet holiday here, just one tradition, wife has to watch the original (1966) version of "How The Grinch Stole Christmas." Narration, and the Grinch, by Boris Karloff. Didn't even need to drag the DVD player out of the closet, found it streaming on Peacock.

    Enjoy the holiday feasting!

  20. Alan says:

    >> I assume the issue was the concept of her having the tablet and media access without proper supervision more than cost.

    Last iPad I recently got for the wife was a 6th gen (9.7" screen) refurb from Apple. Looked brand new. Was only $199 iirc.

  21. Alan says:

    A little coal in the auto manufacturers' stockings…

    Here Are The Ways Shutting Off 3G Is Going To Suck For Your Car And You

  22. JimB says:

    Lynn, I realize price is not at the top of your list, but I have found refurbs from MS certified refurbishers to be excellent. There used to be (I haven't looked in a few years) small form factor business machines readily available. They come with OEM Windows with no crapware. Just plug 'em in. Actually easier than ordering from Dell. The ones I have and have seen others get are in amazing condition. Def lower end, and not very upgradable, but great for casual use.

    This assumes your daughter's gaming doesn't need a powerful machine.

  23. Greg Norton says:

    A little coal in the auto manufacturers' stockings…

    Here Are The Ways Shutting Off 3G Is Going To Suck For Your Car And You

    People want their Baby Yoda on the go.

    Elon is late delivering the broadcast TV and radio spectrum auction.

  24. JimB says:

    "A little coal in the auto manufacturers' stockings…"

    Makes my older cars seem even more attractive to me, although I have been wanting to buy a 2016 model. Another thing to check before buying. Getting to be a minefield.

  25. drwilliams says:

    @Lynn

    The daughter's laptop screen hinges are broken and she wants to get a desktop this time.  We are still figuring this out.  I am not going to build one for her though, just buy a Dell or something along those lines.  She just uses it as a terminal so she does not need much performance.

    Check your local Craigslist.

    Dell Optiplex SFF 9020's refurbished by Dell run about $225 w/ i5, or $300 w/ i7.

  26. paul says:

    "A little coal in the auto manufacturers' stockings…"

    Seems my 2019 Nissan Frontier is exempt.  No matter.  The GPS is just GPS with a much nicer screen than my Garmin III Plus.  Wow!  Color! And it talks!

    Sirius has some kind of "local traffic" thing.  I haven't played with it and don't have much interest anyway.  They keep sending reminders that I can get the radio stuff for $6/month plus taxes.  Not interested.  Maybe at $30/year with taxes.

    I'm cool with a CD player that has a USB port I can use to connect a phone or plug in a USB stick.  AM/FM radio still works.   I'm not sure if the USB port will charge the phone.  I need to dig out an old phone for testing purposes.

    Yes, the stereo does Bluetooth for calls and I think playing music from your phone.

    I just want to drive.  All this stuff is distracting. An old style am/fm radio with the pull the button to set the presets would be quite fine.

  27. Nick Flandrey says:

    @greg, yes the issue was WHAT she might do with it.   She's got two lappys, one school and one personal, but both chromebooks.   I gave her a graphics pad and she doesn't know what to do with it. 

    I'd swear she asked me for one.  I'll put it on the 'family' machine.  Older wacom but NIB.

    I tried out the "tilt way back' feature on my office chair and napped for an hour, just now.   Better than hanging my head and having my neck hurt but I still prefer the bed.  And now my chair is messed up for sitting.

    n

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  28. Jenny says:

    Christmas Eve – We watched about half of Its a Wonderful Life – left the theater early so we could attend church. Glad we made that choice. 

    Christmas service last night and this morning were lovely with some truly beautiful and rather unexpected music. Plus some dear friends who had to move for work were unexpectedly back and at the service. 

    Drum set was enthusiastically and joyfully received with a gratifying level of disbelief that she really got one. 

    These are the good old times. I am intent on treasuring every moment. 
     

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  29. Alan says:

    >> Makes my older cars seem even more attractive to me, although I have been wanting to buy a 2016 model. Another thing to check before buying. Getting to be a minefield.

    Sooner or later it'll be like the electric scooters, just pick the nearest *car*, swipe your credit card, and park it at your destination, ready for the next user.

  30. JimB says:

    "Sooner or later it'll be like the electric scooters, just pick the nearest *car*, swipe your credit card, and park it at your destination, ready for the next user."

    That concept could work for me, but not my wife. Her car is cluttered with so much stuff that it is a major project to take another car. She wants to transfer things she wouldn't use except occasionally. A car is my last refuge from clutter.

    The concept would be great if there would be an occasional Ferrari. 🙂

  31. MrAtoz says:

    A little coal in the auto manufacturers' stockings…

    During my Subie's major service a couple of months ago, the service tech assured me the software was updated to accommodate the new cell service coming in 2022. A lot of the "Starlink" services depend on the cell connection. Think Cadillac's OnStar service. Emergency call, diagnostics, remote unlock and location, etc.

  32. Alan says:

    CES via Zoom? Kinda defeats the purpose…

    The Hill: Microsoft latest firm to pull out of CES | TheHill.

    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/587305-microsoft-latest-firm-to-pull-out-of-ces

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  33. Greg Norton says:

    @greg, yes the issue was WHAT she might do with it.   She's got two lappys, one school and one personal, but both chromebooks.   I gave her a graphics pad and she doesn't know what to do with it. 

    I'd swear she asked me for one.  I'll put it on the 'family' machine.  Older wacom but NIB.

    If the Wacom is anything above the budget model, it should be pressure sensitive. A decent paint program will know what to do with that capability.

    Without an Apple account, the iPad is arguably more restricted than the Chromebook, especially the school system's locked down laptop.

    Still, a lot of material is available on YouTube, TikTok, etc. that doesn't require parental consent.

    I regret letting Anime into my house.

  34. Nightraker says:

    I believe the Subaru Starlink services live in a literal black box from "Continental Telematics".  I found it when replacing the head unit with a much more capable Android box.  It is/was attached to the bottom of the factory head unit.  There were 3 odd ball wired connections and an antenna wire.  

    Nothing about Starlink appealed to me, nor its $ubscription.  Like the absence of Eyesight "features" that my manual shift model doesn't have.  I do like Bluetooth phone connectivity, so I don't feel like a total Luddite.

  35. Nick Flandrey says:

    My phone and the ford entertainment system sometimes just get wacky.  I don't want the GPS turn by turn to come thru and interupt the music, so I leave that on the phone, but calls and texts show up on the head unit, startling the heck out of me if the music is at a low level.

    And sometimes the phone forgets to use the speaker for the turn by turn, when in the truck.

    Sometimes other things happen too. 

    Not fully baked, not granular enough control.

    n

  36. SteveF says:

    I regret letting Anime into my house.

    Some is very good but Sturgeon's rule applies to anime, as it does to everything.

  37. lpdbw says:

    Ok, it looks like there's some experience with replacement head units.  I have no experience and very little knowledge.  I've never needed to replace the infotainment system on any vehicle, so this is new to me.

    I need a suggestion for my granddaughter's '99 Subaru Forrester.

    What brands?  Features?  Son tells me he can install a 1 or 2 din unit.  FWIW, he's an ASE Master Mechanic.

    I see the price range is from about $50 to $600.  It's a 20 year old car and a 17 year old driver…

  38. JimB says:

    "I see the price range is from about $50 to $600.  It's a 20 year old car and a 17 year old driver…"

    20 + 17 = 37, sorry it doesn't make economic sense.

    OTOH, a new radio probably costs less than a tank or three of gas. Either addition will probably substantially increase the value of the car.

    OTOOH, a 17 year old can quickly reduce the value of any car.

    Sorry this is no help, but it is free. A more practical thought might be to volunteer your son, then step back and watch. All three of you might learn some valuable lessons. My father let me use his tools, and even taught me a lot. Good investment: I helped him in his later years. The family that fixes things together…

  39. ITGuy1998 says:

    Speaking of car stereos…

    My son didn't ask for ANYTHING for Christmas. He's always been this way – he just doesn't want a lot of stuff, which in the grand scheme of things is good.

    I bought this for him for Christmas: https://www.crutchfield.com/p_158XAV5500/Sony-XAV-AX5500.html

    His Tacoma factory radio is ok, but no GPS, and it acts weirdly when he pairs and uses Spotify. I got the radio and Crutchfield's installation kit, which provides a trim bezel and custom harness to hook everything up (and keep steering wheel controls). He's going to install it tomorrow, with me supervising.

    This will let him use Apple carplay to connect and is much better than built-in GPS.

  40. drwilliams says:

    @lpbdw

    Ok, it looks like there's some experience with replacement head units.  I have no experience and very little knowledge.  I've never needed to replace the infotainment system on any vehicle, so this is new to me.

    I need a suggestion for my granddaughter's '99 Subaru Forrester.

    What brands?  Features?  Son tells me he can install a 1 or 2 din unit.  FWIW, he's an ASE Master Mechanic.

    I see the price range is from about $50 to $600.  It's a 20 year old car and a 17 year old driver…

    What's the goal for the driver? Radio? CD? Bluetooth connectivity?

    From my limited experience:

    Your son should be able to determine if that model year and head unit used any cute theft protection.

    If the existing unit is OEM and not functioning and is the cause of the problem, the easiest thing is to find a used identical unit, which means it not only is the same model, but has the same connector in the back. That should make it easy to swap, assuming no theft protection hoops.

    The last one that I replaced with different was an Alpine that quit playing CD's in a 10-year-old SUV. Fortunately no speakers had been added, but the Alpine installation had changed the factory connector. I bought a cheap unit and a replacement connector that matched. Most of the time was spent wiring the new connector.

  41. Nick Flandrey says:

    There are a couple of good youtubes about the cheapest android head unit on amazon…

    Most replacement units have harnesses available to adapt to any modern vehicle.

    n

  42. Nick Flandrey says:

    Just finished watching National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation.    Lotta sweaters for a movie made in 1989….  John Hughes, Chevy Chase, all the rest.  Kids were not impressed.

    I wasn't too impressed.  Couple of nice gags.  Lots of cringe.   The old guy from Pritzi's Honor. 

    Funny as a period piece.   But S L O W. 

    n

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  43. Nightraker says:

    I replaced my head unit mainly for the bigger screen, the Android Auto app and the built-in Nav function.  Another major consideration was the included custom wiring and bezel that was part of the deal for my 2018 Forester.

    This fellow's Youtube videos made it seem involved but straightforward enough:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ehf8vLk4eE4&t=56s

    Cost was ~$500 and a few hours of my time.  I enjoy it tremendously along with SiriusXM, police scanner, CB and 2 meter HAM box.  OTOH, I mainly use only the "Torque" engine instruments app, rear cam and the satellite radio.

    Anything that gets her phone out of her hand while driving is probably a good thing and an Android box MAY help or just be a new way to distract.  Might mounting the phone on the dash and a Bluetooth speaker be simpler, cheaper and more effective?  YMMV.

  44. Denis says:

    I have had good results with an Android-based header unit from https://www.joyingauto.com/

    I got mine from Dealextreme, but I also see them on big river and elsewhere. Be sure to order the unit with the appropriate connector bundle for your vehicle. Mine dropped in nicely, and all the steering wheel controls worked straight away. YouTube is your friend for finding exact instructions on opening the dashboard to remove the old unit.

    I bought one to replace the OEM radio/GPS/CD in my Toyota Corolla when the radio element failed, and when that vehicle died many years later on the autobahn, I saved the Joying unit from the scrapyard and will move it to the replacement Toyota Verso as soon as I get a round tuit… Recommended.

  45. JimB says:

    Thanks all for the tips on car head units. I am just beginning to look into this. I agree it is important to determine needs. For instance, I rarely use my Android phone as a *telephone* so some of the integration terminology leaves me baffled. I don't want any telephone functions at all, but I would like a big screen that can mirror my phone's. Apparently this is just becoming a thing. I guess that is Android Auto. I have seen a few auto OEM systems, and don't like them because it is another system and subscription, and I can't take them when I leave the car. A friend has convinced me a third party GPS is better than any OEM unit, but my phone suits me better, and I can take it with me.

    I have tried satellite radio, and don't like it. I probably can get by with any radio that can get live news for emergencies.

    I DO want to be able to use the car's audio system to play music from my phone using Bluetooth, and that is easy.

    The other issue I have is I usually buy older cars with top of the line systems, and I like to keep them stock. It seems a pity to replace a perfectly good system with something that looks like it came from an arcade, just to get an additional function or two. Besides, most have very small screens, and it would be difficult to install a bigger one.

    It looks grim for someone wanting to buy a 2015 or 16 car.

  46. lynn says:

    Didn't you just buy the laptop recently?

    Low end Dell PCs still use their proprietary power supply pinout scheme for the motherboard. Not a huge deal if you don't plan to swap the board out down the road, but power supplies are always where I start when I have a malfunctioning PC.

    Nope, I was ready to buy her a new laptop and she decided she wanted a desktop.  I have yet to pull the trigger as she has to decide between a 20 inch to 27 inch monitor.

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