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:: Wednesday, December 29, 2004 ::

Death and Chaos

I haven't blogged about the tsunami for a very simple reason: There's nothing to see. It's death and destruction on such a wide scale that there's nothing I can really add.

I've donated what I can, and hope to god the death toll stops rising....but other than that, there's nothing to say.
:: Morat 9:58 AM :: ::

:: Monday, December 27, 2004 ::

A very German Christmas

I'm back, and no broken legs. Just a sore and swollen knee -- and thankfully not from joint-damaging falls, but from simple overuse. I really need to exercise more prior to skiing. I didn't realize how badly I'd stressed that knee until the last night, when I realized I couldn't bend it more than halfway. It's almost all the way back now.

I had a great time skiing, and the lessons I took really improved my form. I'm not up to a true parallel yet (those lovely little left/right hops you see) but I don't snowplow anymore. My turns are good and my control is a lot better, and my skis stay parallel during turns. I'm still working on edging when turning. I'm still have to pick up my back ski when turning right, as I just can't seem to angle the bloody thing right.

However, going from snowplow and wedge turns to "just a week or so of practice" away from competent -- if not black run competent -- parallel skier in three days isn't bad. I'll take it.

As for my Christmas, I had a wonderful one. I absolutely loved the gift I got from my wife. (She liked her Nintendo DS as well). I'm honestly not sure what it's called, but it's a German creation. It's a three-story pillar with a fan on top. You place candles at the bottom, and the heat turns the fan on top, causing the figures in the pillar to rotate. It's a very simple device, and my grandmother has several of them. (She's German. Got out of East Germany sometime after WWII and immigrated over here after marrying my grandfather when he was stationed in Germany). This one is hand-carved and painted oak, three stories tall, and absolutely gorgeous. (Oh, and imported from Germany as well.).

I've wanted one for years because just seeing one reminds me of my grandmother (whom I don't get to see enough) and of my childhood. My brother and I were always fascinated by those little devices, and now I have a very nice one of my own. Which means, I suppose, that next Christmas I'll have to clean the house and have guests over to show it off.

What can I say? It's nostalgia, and it's part of my roots, and I'm absolutely glad I have it.
:: Morat 8:51 AM :: ::

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