Winter Without Christmas

I believe that today is the Nativity, or the last day of Christmas or whatever.  It is also the day I am heading back to school, back to the daily grind…  Actually, I shouldn’t complain.  My quarter is relatively light, and I’m used to the schedule and the campus.  All and all it will be great, even if I do have to get up and think each day of the week.  (Well, think about school, not that I don’t think otherwise…  You get the idea.)

Well, as anyone who reads this blog regularly has probably figured out I like to talk about the weather.  And I must say it is looking great outside, snowy, and sunny.  Not too snowy, but it looks like winter.  Now that the first set of Winter holidays are wrapping up it is becoming quite clear that it is really only the beginning of winter.  Yes, we’ve got a ways to go, at least up here.

Now, the funny thing is, a lot of people complain about winter.  And rightfully so; I hate digging my car out and the like.  But I also love the snow, and I think more appreciation needs to be paid to it.  I mean, if you live in an are in which a huge snow storm is pretty much the worst disaster you would expect to occur somewhat regularly, consider yourself lucky, I say!  Because after all is said and done, it melts.

So I am looking forward to some nice days this winter.  The sun is there; the days have been getting longer since the Solstice, and they will continue to get longer until the summer.  Admittedly it’s harder to like winter without Christmas (at least I could see that), but it’s another season, and I say that as long as there’s sun out to keep the spirits high be happy.  Gray days suck, but they don’t last forever.

Well, on a different note I would just like to point out that this place actually gets a ton of comment spam.  You wouldn’t notice it thanks to the Askimet plugin I installed, which intelligently detects spam and marks it for me to look at and delete en masse.  Now, it’s not perfect, so I do check it over, but I will appologize now if I missed a legit comment.  If it was something basic, like “Thanks, great post” then it may get marked as spam and I might very well just delete it.  But I will do my best to look for intelligent thoughts.

A Pacifist in the War on Christmas

Christmas is not far away, and I’m excited.  The family being together, good food, gifts, and the prospect of going home for two weeks are all nice things I’m looking forward to.  Hopefully we’ll get some snow, and our Christmas lights will look nice.

And then of course someone, usually somewhere on a cable news network brings up the age old dilemma of the War on Christmas.  You hear about things like people being outraged about the manger scene in a government building, or about how stores tell their employees to say ‘Happy Holidays’.  And of course there are the extrememe views that this country is a ‘Christion nation’ or about how the government should stay out of this sort of thing completely.  (Well, you hear more about the former view it seems to me.)

To me, this whole issue is another thing that satisfies people’s collective need to be pissed off at something.  I’m not extremely religious, but I do celebrate Christmas, and I do say ‘Merry Christmas’ to friends and family.  It does not bother me to hear ‘Happy Holidays’, and in fact I may even have said it a few times to people just in passing.  I’m not sure I like the idea of government (tax) money going to something like a manger scene in a public building, which is obviously linked to Christianity, at least more so than a Christmas tree necessarily is, but unless it’s absolutely huge I generally don’t care.

It doesn’t really matter what religion you are, or if you even fallow one.  There are so many things in this world that take your mind off of your family and other loved ones.  Now, sometimes in small doses that is a good thing.  But every so often we get opportunities, like Christmas time, to cast that aside and be happy.  Decorations and gifts are nice too, and I’m not saying we should give it all up.  I just think we let controversy take too much control over ourselves sometimes.  After all, having someone say ‘Happy Holidays’ to you won’t kill Christmas, unless you make it.

Happy New Year

Well, here we are in 2008.  And so far, things are off to a good start, so it would seem.  I didn’t do much today (well technically yesterday, as it’s past midnight on Jan. 2nd now), though I did go see Across The Universe, which was an interesting movie.

Well, most of my break is over with, and soon I’ll be picking up where I left off with my classes again.  Not bad, I guess, though I wish I had three weeks instead of two.  But what are you going to do?

On another note, it’s been kind of warm here.  Not very warm, but a bit above freezing.  Over the weekend I was in Endicott for a Christmas party, and it was almost like spring out side.  Here are a few pics:


These were taken from my hotel window in the evening this past Saturday.  Pretty crazy.  It was a little cool out that day, but other wise like spring.   Hopefully this is not a permanent trend; I like the snow.  Luckily we got some here at home earlier, so that’s nice.  Who knows, winter is really just beginning.  Maybe there’ll be a nice, bigger snowfall coming up.

Well in any case, have a good year.  Before you know it it’ll be December again…  (Not that I have a big problem with that, of course.)