December 22, 2007

133: That Little Matter Of Christmas

Christmas is viewed as a season unto itself, and that is no more true it seems than for us this winter. Kerry and I will be engaged – moreso – in all manner of familial comings and goings from now, straight into January. So, to wind up Jeopopolis for 2007 – its smash, best-selling, awesomenatious third fantastic year – I present our Christmas tree in all its glory. This winter we opted for a locally-grown red pine that had to be hewn at the lot just to fit on top of our poor, laden Civic – and also under our ceiling. I think this may just be the largest tree I've had in all my Christmases. But it commands the hell out of the room, and smells delicious. A better look at this shot can be had here, o'er on Flickr.

And, in the spirit of the season, the Mac-heads at work sat for a quick, pot-light photo shoot so I could create the design department's third annual e-card to the company. "Buffles" is short for buffleheads – quick, small diving ducks that make their home near many a northern Canadian lake (and also known as butterballs in hunting circles).

December 09, 2007

132: Spouse Mouse

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This year I had my first crack at co-judging duties at an annual Christmas cookie exchange Kerry participates in. Impartiality is difficult for the judges – comprising exclusively of cookie-baker-sigoths – and this year even moreso as I designed the top-secret, newly-released Cookie of the Year award that now accompanies the winner for a full year of bragging rights.

Kerry created spice mice (this recipe comes close, if not entirely bang-on). Figuring the creations' immense photo appeal (click here for a closer look), I whole-heartedly endorsed this decision. And, much like with last year's mint sandwich stars, they came out of the oven beautifully. Alas, the award went to a competitor (who the heck judged this thing, anyway?). But all contestants come out winners, and this year is no exception as we returned home with a tupperware full of a dozen different cookie concoctions. Speaking of which, I think I'll go crack open that thing.

Bonus! Click here for a surprise spice mice visitor.

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Clockwise from top left: the judges' stash prepares for its close-up; the 2008 Cookie of the Year (with trophy); the combatants; the judges in their impenetrable, underground Judge-O-Lair.

December 03, 2007

This Country's Got Problems

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Scary problems.

Except for where I am. That yellow patch dead-center in the weather warnings map before you essentially represents me, sitting at my desk, considering the absolute hose job missus nature delivered today ... across the nation, to all the non-Manitobans who do nothing in gratitude but whine and plonk their cars in the ditch.

I'm a snow junkie. I'm no fan of temperature extremes, but I want my snow. Metres and metres of it. I love walking in it, I love shoveling it. If it falls in one fell swoop I get the day off. It's clean, it nicely obscures the dog poop – it's nature's white space. And it arrives best with a bang, like last year the day before Halloween, or as any Winnipegger worth his kubasa remembers, in November 1986 – me, swan-diving off the porch railing – and April 1997, when I walked alone down an abandoned, standstill Broadway like Charlton Heston in The Omega Man.

Environment Canada – supplier of the map above – has predicted a nasty winter for much of the country. So long as it includes a big-ass dosage of snow, I may be able to withstand the nastiness. I've got a shovel and new mitts from MEC. Bring the snow to someone who appreciates it.