Happy New Year to both of my readers. I found 2006 to be an uneventful, yet good year. I expect 2007 to be an even better year. Though I don’t expect it to be any more eventful.
I’m not really one for New Year’s Resolutions. Something is good enough to do on the first of January, but not on the fourteenth day of August? Still, I recognize the significance of this, the first day of a new year to most people. Like the ancient winter solstice celebrations, the new calendar year is a time of renewal, a time to start afresh. A point in time to say everything that will come will be different than what came before. There is a physical manifestation of this symbolic gesture: the disposal of last year’s calendar, replacing it with a new one. A tabula rasa of tasks, appointments, and goals.
All that said, it will come as no surprise that I have no resolutions for 2007. At least, not officially. I have plenty of desires and goals that I continuously evaluate and refine. New Year’s Eve does provide me with a moment to spend thinking about these. For the moment, though, I have a couple of beers and some cocktail shrimp to focus on. The rest can wait a bit.
Mrs. Sirhc and I spent Christmas day with my dad’s family. Present were my parents, my grandmother, two uncles, one aunt, and three cousins. Missing were another aunt, three more cousins, and a cousin-in-law. It was a good day with lots of fun and lots of food. I haven’t seen my extended family in five years, so it was good to catch up.
This family gathering was different from those of the past. Gone were the games of poker and nickel-nickel, replaced countless games of bowling. That’s right, one of my cousins brought a Wii to Christmas. For the first time ever, my parents want a video game system (I told them the Wii was cool, but they didn’t believe me). I think Mrs. Sirhc may even allow me to buy one for us.
I had fun today. I really should try to get up here more often to visit my family.
We’re staying at my Grandmother’s house in Snohomish, Washington for Chistmas. It’s been perhaps five years since I’ve visited my family in the Pacific Northwest. This is Mrs. Sirhc’s first trip to meet my family, and she’s been looking forward to it for a few months.
One might expect that Snohomish would have, well, snow over the holidays. One would be wrong. I remember spending Christmas here when I was just a wee lad and we would play in the snow. Those days are long since gone. It no longer snows very much in Seattle or the surrounding areas. It does, however, rain. And rain. And rain. And rain some more.
Living as I do in San Diego, rain is one of those rare events that is worth noting. Here, saying that it’s raining is akin to saying the sky is blue. Well, that is, the sky would be blue if it weren’t raining. My word that the sky is in fact blue will have to suffice.
So, while we may be dreaming of a white Christmas, we’re experiencing a wet Christmas.
As is the tradition when visiting my grandmother, we played bingo. This time at the local senior center. It’s not a game I can imagine myself playing on my own. I find it incredibly boring and have little in common with those who do attend regularly. Although, after my fourth or fifth cup of coffee, I found scanning my cards for numbers much more entertaining.
This was Mrs. Sirhc’s first experience playing bingo and I made the mistake of starting her out with more cards than she could handle. Even so, she almost won a couple of games. Almost. Story of my short and not so illustrious bingo career.
Oh well. So I’m out fifty bucks. It’s a heck of a lot less than I would have lost to the bones at the Luxor.
While I was out with my dad and grandmother, we decided to grab some lunch. We came across a Skippers and popped inside (where it was warm and dry) to have something to eat. Perusing the menu, I saw the usual assortment of fish and chips, fried clam strips, and clam chowder. My eyes happened to drop to a sign advertising brand new fish tacos. Just like being south of the border the sign promised. Great, I thought, I love fish tacos and wasn’t in the mood for anything else on the menu.
As my order of two fish tacos was set down on the table in front of me, I immediately wondered which border the sign was really referring to. Unwrapping the paper revealed a limp flour tortilla containing a breaded fish fillet that would look more at home with yellow slicker-clad fisherman, iceberg lettuce, Pace picante sauce, and… here’s the kicker… thousand island dressing.
As a fish sandwich, it was mediocre and about all I could expect for a couple of bucks. As a fish taco, well, it was about as far removed from a fish taco as I could have imagined. At least, before I had encountered this fish… something.
Thank you Skippers. I can now understand the disgust expressed by my friends, those deprived souls who have not had the pleasure of real Baja cuisine, when I tell them of the beauty… nay, the culinary perfection… that is the fish taco. A warm corn tortilla surrounding chunks of beer-battered pollock, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and white sauce. My mouth waters.
What the Pacific Northwest, and perhaps the rest of the country, needs is for Rubio’s to appear and introduce decent Baja style fast food. Thank goodness I live in San Diego.
So I’m standing in line outside San Diego International Airport, waiting with about 200 other people to check my bag. The line, of course, has stretched outside the door and is winding its way down the sidewalk. As I am wont to do, I am reading everything I see. For instance, written on the very door through which my line passes: “The following items are illegal to carry into an airport… knives… guns… yadda… yadda… throwing stars… kubatons… any and all martial arts weapons…”
Wait a minute.
I happen to have said weapon in my pocket at this very moment. It is effective as both a key chain and self defense weapon. Not only that, I’ve forgotten to leave it home and it’s conveniently made of aluminum (hello metal detector!).
Fortunately, the very line that has given me the chance to learn of my mistake has provided me a solution. I can toss the only weapon I have left into my bag and check it through to Seattle. Now I feel naked. I’ve already left my knives at home, but now my last-ditch weapon is gone, too.
Barely recovered from our stay in Arizona, Mrs. Sirhc and I will be flying up to Washington state tomorrow to spend Christmas with my family, most of whom she hasn’t had the pleasure of meeting. Probably about time, too, as we’ve been married for a couple of years now.
Does this mean I’ll be away from the computer? No! Silly reader. I work for Qualcomm. I’m taking an EVDO card with me. Internet withdrawals are terrible. I wouldn’t wish them on anyone. I intend to write more while on vacation than while at home. After all, family vacations leave me with plenty of spare time to fill.
Most people awake on Sunday morning to thoughts of brunch, church, or football.
I awake with Perl in my head. Sigils, modules, and regular expressions snaking their way through my dreams. I have to climb out of bed and make my way to the computer before it’s gone. I have to prototype this code before it stops making sense. I have to commit these arcane symbols to disk before they fade away like so many other hazy, indistinct dreams.
I have to seek help.
I’m about to get in the car and drive to Prescott, Arizona for the weekend. I couldn’t make it out for Thanksgiving this year, and Mrs. Sirhc has been there since the holiday weekend. Her best friend has finally given birth to a bouncing baby boy, so it’s time for me to drive out to pick up Mrs. Sirhc. I’ve missed her, but I think I’ve grown used to being a bachelor again.
As it turns out, I’m a workaholic when I’m left alone. I would never have expected that when I worked for Global Health Trax, but now that I work for Qualcomm I love spending every waking hour writing code for work. That can’t be healthy. Well, maybe it can. After all, I do love writing code (it does help if that code happens to be Perl).