Holiday Hodgepodge

Friday, December 20, 2013

Happy Holidays!

I take a week or so off -- completely -- from blogging each year around this time. Due to my daughter coming down with a stomach bug yesterday, I'll be starting that break a day early this year. She'll be missing daycare today, and that throws just enough of a monkeywrench into my plans that I'll have to burn writing time to catch up.

I wish everyone a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I also would like to take this opportunity to thank my readers for stopping by: You have made blogging much more rewarding than I expected it to be over the years.

This is my last post until after Christmas, and perhaps the last of the year. After one last check for comments and blog-related email on Saturday, I'll unplug from blogging until the third of January at the latest.

Holiday Reading

"The issues are deeply philosophical, but it doesn't hurt to symbolize them: the battle lines are symbolized by the Bible and The Communist Manifesto vs. Atlas Shrugged." -- Harry Binswanger, in "Top Ten Reasons Why Rush Limbaugh Is Right: The Pope's Statement IS Marxist" at Forbes

"Business complicates friendship because it creates conflict of interest and confusing emotions." -- Michael Hurd, in "Money & Friends Don't Mix" at The Delaware Wave

"A compromise can never be made over a deal breaker." -- Michael Hurd, in "Compromise in Marriage" at The Delaware Coast Press

My Two Cents

I can't think of a better way to make the point that Binswanger makes -- that "Marxism ... is merely a secularized form of religion" -- than by his nice, item-by-item contrast of the two with capitalism (and then connecting that with the pursuit of happiness).

Last-Minute Gift Idea

With two young kids and a Christmas tree in the house, I could use something like this:

Reaching around to the back of the Christmas tree is a hassle. I've knocked ornaments off several times, much to my wife's chagrin, and even forgotten to turn the thing off at night. The solution is automation, and the easiest way to get started is with the Belkin WeMo switch. It's a Wi-Fi capable switch that plugs into a wall socket and lets you turn anything plugged into it from almost anywhere. After some easy initial setup, grab the free WeMo app for your iPhone or Android phone and you're all set. Give it a tap, and the tree is on. Tap again and it's off. You can keep using it when the holidays are over, of course, for things like televisions, lights, and so on. Plus, you can create schedules with the free apps that will turn devices on and off for you.
Our small, artificial tree is on top of a baby grand piano, with its wiring tucked away, out of reach, behind several hard-to-move objects. Turning the lights on and off is a big hassle, and a traditional timer would still be a pain to override. That's the beauty of having the remote capability offered by wireless.



Snedcat said...

Merry Christmas! Hope you enjoy the presents!

Gus Van Horn said...

Thanks, and same to you!