Tags: xmas

in motion

merry

So much to say, so little time to post.  I think I'll be catching up a bit this week.  For starters, please to enjoy two science-fictional Christmas stories that I am particularly fond of, having published them, but also because I am thoroughly and sincerely a sucker for this holiday, and both of these fill me with xmas happiness:


Nothing like the heat death of the universe and drugged-up genetically engineered reindeer for warming the heart and making spirits bright!
 
in motion

the robot council had us banished

The holiday cheer, it never ends!  And nothing says xmas like hard labor on an asteroid.  "Chiron Beta Prime" by Jonathan Coulton:


Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime
Where we're working in a mine
For our robot overlords
Did I say "overlords"?  I meant "protectors"
Merry Christmas from Chiron Beta Prime

in motion

merry

J strikes a pose

Here's Jeremiah in front of the tree, so excited about Christmas that he's about to explode.

The cutest thing was him in the afternoon, wrapping presents* in front of our Christmas tree, while singing on an incessant repeat loop the Chanukah prayer for lighting candles. So far so good on pulling off the multiculti household...


*He loves packaging things up and giving them as gifts, but his "presents" are basically wrapping paper taped around any objects he can find. He gave me many presents this year, such as: a book he outgrew two years ago, several individually-wrapped colored pencils which he then requested I return to his room, and a tiny rubber band. My very favorite present was a crumpled tootsie-roll wrapper which, when unfolded, was discovered to have the words "I LOV U MOM" scrawled on the back.
in motion

NORAD tracks Santa

In the category of stories that would be a lot cuter if they were directed by Frank Capra instead of, oh I don't know, the North American Aerospace Defense Command... NORAD has been tracking Santa Claus since 1955, and this is the third year that Norad Tracks Santa online. From Wikipedia:

In 1955, a Colorado Springs-based Sears store ran an advertisement encouraging children to call Santa Claus on a special telephone hotline. Due to a printing error, the phone number that was printed was the hotline for the Director of Operations at the Continental Air Defense.... Colonel Harry Shoup took the first Santa call on Christmas Eve of 1955 from a six-year old boy who began reciting his Christmas list. Shoup didn't find the call funny, but after asking the mother of the second caller what was happening, then realizing the mistake that occurred, he instructed his staff to give Santa's position to any child who called in.

Three years later, the governments of the United States and Canada combined their national domestic air defenses into the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), but the tradition continued. Now major media outlets as well as children call in to inquire on Santa's location. NORAD relies on volunteers to help make Santa tracking possible. Many employees at Cheyenne Mountain and Peterson Air Force Base spend part of their Christmas Eve with their families and friends at NORAD's Santa Tracking Operations Center in order to answer phones and provide Santa updates to thousands of callers.


Here's a page showing that NORAD managed to record some painfully corny moments with various "celebrities", including poor David Boreanaz, looking like someone cornered him with a microphone at a party and told him he'd make little children cry unless he did their cheesy spot.

There's something repugnantly anti-Santa about the idea of Santa getting an honor guard of jetfighters, and I'm always freaked out by mixes of military policy and quasi-religious sentimentality. But I suppose there are worse things they could be doing with their time, and I'm glad they're having some fun out there at Cheyenne Mountain (or whatever secret undisclosed location where the Santa-tracking occurs).