Friday, December 28, 2007


Before I moved in January I never applied for an absentee ballot as I wasn't sure where I was going to be living at the time. Yesterday before leaving Boston I decided to stop by town hall to take care of this. In all the years I've been voting I have never registered with a party, this however posed a problem for the absentee ballot. It turns out that they do not print absentee ballots for people that are not enrolled with a party. This forced me to make a choice of party. I was leaning towards an obscure party but turns out I had to pick either Democrat or Republican. Since I had to pick a party I had a slightly inappropriate thought to register for a party just to screw with the primaries - I did manage to refrain from that. Of course during this process I did have friends reminding me that it doesn't matter what I do since the absentee ballots don't get counted anyways.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Not much news to report on. Just wanted to wish you all Seasons Greetings, Happy Holiday,s Merry Christmas, Feliz Navidad, Joyeux Noel or whatever it is you may say.

Friday, December 14, 2007

St Lucia's Day

Yesterday in Milan I learned about a new holiday (well new to me that is) St Lucia's Day or St Lucy's Day. This is not celebrated throughout Italy only in certain areas. Instead of being visited by St Nicholas on the evening of the 24th, on the evening of December 12th children put out sweets for St Lucia who will come and visit during the evening delivering presents to all the good little girls and boys. The similarities between St Nick and St Lucy as outlined at wikipedia are quite striking, I haven't done enough research yet to determine the origins of these two holidays.

St Lucia's Day isn't marked by a day off from work or school it's a normal day like any other except before leaving for the day you get to open presents. I've heard that tearing kids away from the toys to go to school can be a difficult matter. To me the best part of Christmas was always spending the day playing with all my new toys afterwards.

And speaking of St Nick, there is a slight difference to the legend in the UK and possibly other parts of Europe but I can't speak for that. According to legend St Nick does not reside in the North Pole but instead he lives in Lapland. Personally I like the idea of him living in a real location that you can visit. Compare a visit to Lapland on Google Maps to that of the North Pole Do a search on Google for Lapland and you'll see the long list of holiday options and tours that exist.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Going Postal Again

Wow 2 days in a row I'm posting about mail - I need to get a life. I've never paid much attention to when I receive my magazines but this time I did notice. I receive Food & Wine and I just received a "new" issue today. The Thanksgiving issue. Back home I would have received this probably about the end of October in plenty of time to start preparing the Thanksgiving menu not 3 weeks afterwards. But I guess since Thanksgiving is not celebrated in England it's not too big of a deal.

Monday, December 10, 2007

On Your Mark, Get Set

Let the race begin. I mailed off my first batch of Christmas cards today. It'll be interesting to see if I get to Boston before they do.

In other random news

  • 4 more days before vacation.
  • By the end of this year I will have taken 68 flights.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Me and Mother Nature

It seems that no matter where I go forces of nature seems to follow. I was in Palm Springs in October when the wild fires were spreading. This week I was in Seattle when there was massive flooding and mudslides. It makes me wonder what is in store for me next week when I head home for Christmas.

Monday, December 3, 2007

The Seattle Times

While I have frequently flown to Seattle this was my first experience arriving on an international flight. I wouldn't have thought it would be that different but that is where I was wrong. Nothing really special about immigration and passport control . I flew through there then spent 20 minutes waiting for my luggage. After picking up my suitcase I cleared customs and thought I was in the clear - not the case. They yelled at me as I tried to walk out that I couldn't take my suitcase with me, it had to be sent down for another screening process or something. They wouldn't quite tell me what was being done but I take it this is the normal process in Seattle. After sending my bag down the chute, I grabbed the train to the main terminal and had to stand around and wait again for my bag to arrive. This time it was only about 5 minutes, but after travelling for 10 hours and waiting once for my suitcase to have to wait again was a bit aggravating.