Plenty of snow on the ground hereabouts, and that' a good thing.
Those old Currier & Ives prints that show happy New Englanders in a
horse-drawn sleigh cheerfully zipping across the snow on their way to
Grandma' house can give you the impression that we stay pretty much
buried in snow for most of the year. Gives you the idea that every
Christmas is snowy, just like on all those made-for-TV holiday movies,
guaranteed. Reality, as it turns out, is a bit different from that.
Year in, year out, we hope for a white Christmas, and some years it
works out, some years not. I'm not sure why it' so important, but it
probably goes back to when we were kids, and Christmas may have meant
a Flexible Flyer (sled), and all we could think about was getting that
thing outside to the edge of the hayfield, where the land drops off
rapidly down toward the stream, the same field where you hunted deer
in November and geese in October and partridge here and there through
the Fall, where you launch your body down that slope in what'
apparently an intense effort to plant your front teeth in the bark of
that big white pine tree that the guy from Augusta says must have
sprouted right around 1840. With your nose pushed in and your ability
to eat corn on the cob severely impeded, you'd hike back up that
Massive Slope of Death, turn around at the top, and take in the
scenery. The view from the top of that hill, where you could see out
across the valley to the other side where there were more hayfields
and where you had watched a whopper of a black bear stroll last
August, with everything all white with new snow, was one of those
views that would make a young person think to themselves that 'I'm
going to college in Florida so help me.' Then you'd eyeball the slope
again, launch yourself down once more, dental work be darned. That'
why a white Christmas is so important.
Here comes Christmas, and, as usual, I'm way behind on the stuff I
should have finished up by now. Stuff like shopping for presents so'
we can ship them to family and friends in far away places. I've got
Christmas lights up on part of the house, so it' lit up over here,
not lit up over there, which gives the impression that the homestead
is now some sort of farmhouse duplex inhabited by persons of diverging
beliefs. The political implications, particularly in a small town,
are enormous. I've got work to do. Couple that with the fact that
our days are running a bit short right now (shortest day of the year
coming up in only 5 days), and it' clear that sometime this week I'll
be clinging to life on a snow-covered roof, extension cord in my
teeth, numb hands trying to untangle strings of lights, toes pushed to
the front of my Bean boots so that I don't lose my purchase and slide
bumpkin over teakettle down to the yard, which looks to be about 450
ft below, and all of this in the pitch black of 4:30 in the afternoon.
So, what do you want for Christmas this year? (if you've been with us
for a while you know what' coming ' the ALSIDWFC). I'm sure you've
had time to think it over and have made out your list carefully,
giving plenty of thought to each item, doing your research to make
sure that whatever it is will be compatible with your iPod and your
memory cards and your headset and your car stereo and your GPS unit
and your entertainment system and your cell phone and your PDA and
also, importantly, avoiding conflicting signals from your neighbors'
similar systems next door, upstairs, downstairs, sideways across the
hall, etc. Here at Brettuns Village Worldwide Headquarters and Math
Tutoring Spa things have been very busy, thanks to you customers, so I
haven't made my list yet. I can tell you, without doubt, that there
are some things that won't be on it.
Brettuns Village presents:
The Annual List of Stuff I Don't Want for Christmas
1. Tops on this year' list will be an easy one, for me anyway. Blue
Ray. If I understand this correctly a Blue Ray system allows you to
feel free to pay something like $75 to buy a disc that has a high
resolution version of an old movie on it, so you can count the hairs
that stick out of the Scarecrow' nostrils in 'Wizard of Oz.' Great.
They say the quality of these Blue Ray things is incredible. I say
it' still incredible to me that I can see anything at all on our old
TV. Blue Ray? I don't need it.
2. High Definition - Let me just ask you this: What good does it do
me to get a high def TV if I have to look at it through the same old
eyeballs? It all looks the same to me ' by the time I leave BV and
drive home, scratch Jenny for a while (she' That Dog in case you're
new to this and think maybe I've got a daughter who can't scratch
herself), eat something, discuss homework with the Galliwags (our two
daughters, both in high school), visit with my wife of 21 years, and
finally sit down, my eyes are so tired I wouldn't know high definition
from high priced, but I get the idea that they go hand in hand. Who
needs it? Not me.
3. A new car: Not many people get a new car for Christmas. A few.
You know who they are in your town; can't miss the big red ribbon on
the roof. Ford' getting close, but until some company can produce a
vehicle that stands a chance of making it to 100K miles in this
country I'm sticking with the old pick up truck. If you were planning
to surprise me with a new vehicle this year I'm sorry to burst your
bubble. While I'm at it, I still want that radio antenna moved so
that I can scrape ice off the windshield without getting
4. This one' for dog owners only: Buried Wire Electric fences. Are
you telling me that you weren't able to train your dog so now you've
got to give the little pooch a few volts to keep him/her in the yard?
That smell of burning hair should be a reminder that you didn't do
your job with your dog when it was 10 to 20 weeks old. Now I have to
admit that you may need one of these systems if your dog just simply
can't be trained, but that' your own fault because you didn't choose
a lab. Jenny made me put that one on the list this year.
5. Crocs: You've got to be kidding me. These are the best things I
can say about Crocs: They look like they'd make your feet sweat a
lot, which can help you lose (water) weight. So, they're slimming.
Great. Available in colors that will match your golf pants, and only
your golf pants. Breezy, so everyone can enjoy the smell of your
feet. Thanks for sharing. You can keep 'em, I don't want 'em. Plus,
what do you do with them during the 9 months of the year that there'
snow on the ground?
6. Modern suitcases: Been in an airport lately? That' some fun to
be standing at the baggage claim area, watching bag after bag glide
by. They're all black nylon, with wheels and a cool handle that
extends so you can roll your suitcase along behind you because
something terrible would surely happen if you ever carried your bag in
your hand. No, you roll that darned thing, packed full of stuff you
can't fit in anyway because this is the trip where you're going to
change your eating habits once and for all and it'll be nothing but
high-fiber foods and salad in that buffet line so help you, and you
packed ten pairs of running shorts because, this is it, man, this is
it. Still though, you roll that suitcase along behind you because
there' no sense starting an exercise program at the airport, for the
love of Mike. I travel with a vintage leather suitcase that was made
in the 1940s and there' not a wheel anywhere on that thing, inside or
out. It' got a non-ergonomic handle and a cool leather strap inside
that can hold your pants straight while they're in there, but not a
single zipper nor a telescoping anything at all so what I do is lug
it. Also, it' brown. BROWN. Not black. On that baggage carousel
I've got the only brown suitcase there is, so it' easy to spot and I
didn't have to tie a piece of ribbon to the handle or put purple duct
tape on one end of it. That' my suitcase, right there, looking as
travel-weary and worn as it did in 1960. That thing is leather, baby,
from a cow. Perfect.
7. A Jet Ski
8. A Snuggie (all rights reserved, I'm sure): Here in Maine if it'
cold enough to zip yourself into a body bag then you've got to stay
limber and nimble, in case of an unexpected chimney fire. When you
hear that roar that sounds like a freight train is driving RIGHT DOWN
YOUR CHIMNEY AND INTO YOUR PARLOR you know the old creosote has
ignited and then you've got to make a break for the dooryard, and if
you're zipped into one of these Snuggie things they'll find your body
right there two days later when the State Fire Marshall cuts through
the melted-and-re-hardened polyester to figure out what' inside. If
someone gives you one of these, once the giver has left the house on
Christmas day, get out your big shears and cut some leg holes in that
9. A 5,156 Mega Pixel Digital Camera: All I can figure is that here
in the good old USA we live by some simple rules, one of which is,
more or less, 'If Some is Good, More is Better.' They just keep going
up, these cameras. Next it'll be Tera-Pixels and Googa-pixels or
whatever it is that comes after Tera-this or that. My digital camera
manages, if I have it on high resolution, to acquire images that clock
in at 640 by 480 pixels. This comes out to roughly 0.3 Megapixels.
OK, so it also takes a 3.5-inch floppy disc in the back but that' not
what we're talking about here. The pictures look fine to me. In
fact, I usually use it on a lower resolution setting so that I can fit
more images on the disc. A recent visitor to HQ here asked me what I
would do if I ever needed to print out a photo that' 4 feet by 6 feet
so that I could use it as a backdrop when I'm giving a speech on
'Effective HTML Booby Trapping' to the Emotionally and Mentally
Impaired Web Site Owners (EMIWSO) conference scheduled for Denver next
Spring, and I told him that I'd just ask the audience to move a little
closer to the stage so they can see the darned thing. Ho Ho Ho.
10. An LED flashlight: In case you've missed the news,
light-emitting diodes are replacing old-style filament bulbs pretty
quickly. These little LEDs can pour out a lot of bright light while
using very little energy, so flashlight batteries end up lasting a
heck of a long time. I don't want one of these, or, I should say, I
don't want any more of them, because for one reason or another over
the last 5 years or so I've found it life-threateningly important to
purchase one LED flashlight after another. My top drawer at home, if
opened by someone from Maine' DHS office, will result in me being
treated for whatever it is that makes people hoard things. Remember
that lady down the street, in that house all by herself, with the yard
that went a little wild, and then nobody saw her for a few days so the
constable stopped by just to check on things and they found her passed
away in her bed, attended by a little over 400 cats? That' me, only
I'm a guy and it' not cats, it' flashlights. I don't wear a
housecoat all the time either. So, don't get me an LED flashlight,
unless it' one I don't have yet.
I think that'll do for this year' list. If you're out shopping
please keep in mind that last year' list still applies, which means I
still don't need a GPS to help me remember how to get to the office or
the duck blind. I know right where I'm going, and if I forget what I
was after I've got That Dog to remind me, though she' turning 10
years old at the end of this month. That' supposed to be 70 in human
years, but I'd like to see your Grandpa run that fast after a squirrel
or swim that fast after a downed duck.
A little business stuff here:
Need an antique trunk or two for Christmas? We can still get them to
you on time, and, for you subscribers to this drivel, buy two trunks
and we'll knock $100 off the total price.
Leather news ' Last week we received two large shipments of heavy
weight black side leathers. These are both nice leathers,
waterproofed and oiled, struck-through. These are on the Sides and
Hides page over on the site. We've also added more spots and
decorations, new rivets, and more belt buckles to the hardware
division. Poke around, you'll see it here and there.
Things are hectic, no doubt about it, so my Christmas wish for you is
that you're able to find some time to sit back and relax, put those
worries aside for a while, and enjoy everything this season means to
you and yours. Peace on Earth, at least on your piece of the Earth,
that' what I'm trying to say. From all of us here at Brettuns
Village, have a very Merry Christmas. And don't get me any of that
Sincerely and Respectfully Submitted;
If your idea of a good time is finding the idiot who wrote this drivel
and then strapping him to one of Santa's sled runners, maybe it's time
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