Sunday, December 25, 2011

Fairy Tales and Dragons

I hadn't thought about this quote in a long time, but it's one of my favorites. I came across the quote again the other day on a Tumblr blog:

Not a dragon, but the closest thing I have in my Flickr account :)

“Fairy Tales are more than true; not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.” - G. K. Chesterton

via mbthecool

Merry Christmas!

We're having a nice quiet Christmas at home today. 
I hope your holiday is special and blessed.


 Missing a white Christmas this year? Google has a little present for you. 
Go to, type in let it snow and wait a little...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Am I a hundred years too late for this toy?

Christmas toy-seller (LOC)
I was looking at some photos in the Library of Congress' Flickr photostream and noticed the Eiffel Tower in this window full of toys. Was this a model for a child to build, do you suppose? Some quick Googling didn't come up with anything, but I may take some time to search deeper later. Whatever it was, I think I would have wanted one!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Hobbit Countdown: 360-ish days and counting...

I've been waiting patiently for the first installment of The Hobbit to come out. Of course, the realization of the movie mostly seemed like vague reports and imagination to me, and I could handle that. And for some reason, I thought it was coming out this summer. No problem. I could wait perfectly well for that.

Then hubby sent me this trailer this morning, which both took away any patience I had and informed me that I have to wait until NEXT DECEMBER 14th to see it!

On the bright side, this gives me plenty of time to re-read the book, which I haven't read since high school.

And this just showed up in my RSS feed: Waiting for Bilbo: Comic: The Hobbit Trailer (just so you know, I wasn't one of those people. Really. I'm serious. Why don't you believe me?)

Christmas Countdown: If you don't have it, fake it...

Hacking Christmas

No fireplace? 
Fake tree? 
No Christmas CD's? 
No problem!

A pine-scented candle, over on the left
(I'm always on the hunt for the most realistic Christmas tree scent since we can't have a real tree), 

Pandora Radio on the computer, 
a Fireplace video streaming through Netflix on the TV
(we do have a fireplace, but it's gas, so it doesn't have the nice pop & crackle of wood like the video), 

A nice holiday mood while I worked in my home office the other day.

Update 12/22/11: A Facebook friend posted a link to this fireplace video on YouTube, so you don't even have to have Netflix - although the YouTube video is shorter, so you have to press play more often ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Packages, Packages, Everywhere!

The postal service says today is the biggest delivery day of the year, while tomorrow is the biggest mailing day of the year. I found this picture from World War II in The Smithsonian Institution's photostream on Flickr. Click through to see some humorous notes users have applied to parts of the photo (just mouse over the photo once you've clicked through). Unfortunately, more keep being added, so I think some of the funnier ones are getting buried - kind of like some of the boxes in the photo. :)

U.S. Troops Surrounded by Holiday Mail During WWII
Click through!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Happy Birthday, Jane Austen!

I visited Jane Austen's house in Chawton in 1996. The pictures I took there have turned out to be some of the most-viewed in my Flickr stream despite being faded-looking scans. In honor of Jane's birthday, I thought I'd share a slideshow of those photos. Enjoy!


Here's a video of the house (including some improvements done a couple years ago). It all makes me want to go back again.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Winter Wonderland [Photos]

Saturday morning everything was covered with frost, so I ventured out to take a few photos.

Berries on the burning bush. View on black.

 Frosty Fence
I love how wooden fences seem to grow whiskers in the frost. View on black.

HDR-ish frost
I played around with this one in Picnik and added their fake HDR effect, which turned out really interesting, I thought. View on black

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Christmas Countdown: O Dragon Tree, O Dragon Tree...

My coworker Steve makes Study Dragons for students each year about this time.
It appears a few of the dragons took over the Christmas tree.

I really like this one :)

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Yum!

I baked! 

This doesn't happen often (though it's not as rare as me cooking dinner), but I found a recipe for Cinnamon Sugar Pull-Apart Bread earlier this week and thought it looked like something I could tackle. Then today was one of those perfect snowy, lazy days when I didn't have to go anywhere and the house wasn't a complete disaster, so I was in the mood to bake. The result was yummy, even if I did eat enough of it to get a tummy ache.

And thankfully, it didn't turn out like Miss Fogarty's Christmas Cake (sung here by Mick Moloney, whom I once had the pleasure of meeting in person). 

Friday, December 02, 2011

Christmas Countdown: LEGO Christmas Tree

St. Pancras railway station in London features a Lego Christmas tree this year. According to the St. Pancras website, the tree is made from 600,000 Lego bricks.

These pictures are by Andrew Smith (McTumshie on Flickr)

What work must have gone into this tree! 

St Pancras LEGO Christmas Tree (2)
By McTumshie

St Pancras LEGO Christmas Tree (5)
By McTumshie

via In Pictures: The St Pancras LEGO Christmas Tree | Londonist

Thursday, December 01, 2011

Christmas Countdown: Jim Gaffigan on holiday traditions

You know, it turns out we do some weird stuff for Christmas - trees inside, lights outside - but I still enjoy it all!

I love Jim Gaffigan's take on some of our traditions - the Christmas stuff is at the beginning, but he doesn't spare any of the holidays if you keep watching...

If you can't see the video above, you can find it here.