Entry for December 20, 2006 — Happy Holidays!

I'd like to wish all of you Happy Holidays (a very Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Cool Yule, etc…) and a healthy and prosperous New Year!

While Janice and I have been getting over a nasty cold, we've been dealing with the annual preholiday rush of work, shopping, and travel preparations. I attended a depressing meeting regarding what we need to set aside for 401(k)s, but on a lighter note, I won a gift basket in a raffle during a fun party at work (see photo with co-worker Bob R.). There are far too many delectable snacks at the office! My holiday cards are once again going out late, but I've received a few nice ones and gifts from family and friends…

The traffic hearing I attended in Somerville, Massachusetts, last Thursday (14 December 2006) had a favorable result–I was judged to not be at fault in a fender-bender this past spring and won't be receiving points on my driver's license or additional state surcharge. Now, if only I can get through the coming winter without the annual damage and repairs to my aging car.

With most genre entertainment television now on hiatus, Janice and I have also been watching our DVDs of various animated holiday specials. Do you have any favorites? Ours include the "Claymation Christmas," "A Wish for Wings That Work," and the funky original British version of "Robbie the Reindeer." Of course, classics such as "A Charlie Brown Christmas," "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer," and "The Grinch Who Stole Christmas" are compulsory viewing.

On the Dimension Corps Online message board, there has been more debate regarding the merits of the SciFi Channel's latest season of "Battlestar Galactica" and other shows. I'm in the minority who think it could be much better in terms of tone and plot. Fortunately, there are enough other programs to watch.

This past weekend and last night, I successfully teleconferenced with Byron V.O. in St. Louis, Missouri, and Dexter V.H. in Brooklyn, New York, marking a new era in our role-playing. As noted at my "Vanished Lands" Yahoo/eGroups Web club, for the past 25 years, most of my "Dungeons & Dragons" games have been face to face, including the current Boston-area heroic fantasy sessions. However, role-play by snailmail has given way to play by e-mail, and now videoconferencing! In addition, the "City of Heroes" online party may soon grow, thanks to David I.S.'s promotion of the superpowered game.

Dave may be visiting us in the weekend before New Year's, and before that, Janice and I will be driving down to see my family in Virginia for Christmas. My niece Ava said, "Hi, Uncle," for the first time the other night! We'll be stopping to see Janice's grandmother in Pennsylvania on the way down and plan to see high school buddy Damon F.P. and family's new home in New York on the way back to New England.

Once again, may you and your families have a safe and happy holiday season, -Gene