Monday, January 02, 2006

. . . a few of my favorite things.

Having just ended 2005, and especially in light of the recent Christmas season, which was spent in the semi-futile yet wholly necessary attempt to teach the boys that Advent is not at time to focus on getting stuff, I have had in mind for the past few days a list of the things I appreciated so much in the past year.

So here, in no particular order, is the list:

Oh man, I love to read. And this was a good year for it. Harry Potter 6, Durant's Caesar and Christ (finally finished, yay). I'm surprised I left the house. Come to think of it, I didn't really.

The Teaching Company
Even better than books are lecture series on CD. Everything I know about the history of music, St. Augustine (the guy, not the city), Dante's Inferno, argumentation (yawn), and now the history of China, I learned from these guys. Does it make me a better person? No. Does it make mowing the lawn and blowing leaves easier? You betcha.

iTunes & iPod
Of course, if you're gonna nerd out while doing man's work, you're gonna need some equipment. The iPod is nice and easy to use (my wife can use it, and she's not a technophile in any way), and iTunes is ridiculously simple and intuitive.

Yard Vacuum
A.k.a., the Sucker. My parents have one of these for use at the office, and I borrow it a few times a year to suck up and mulch the leaves. Way easier than raking, albeit disturbingly similar to mowing the lawn. Front & side yard = 1 lecture. Back yard = 1 more.

Cold, in glass bottles, if you can get it. Cans next, then a good fountain, then plastic bottles, then a bad fountain. Then good sweet tea. Then Pepsi. Then water. I don't drink a lot of water.

The Incredibles
Or, as Sam calls it, "Kebuls." Very seldom will I have the time or the inclination sit down to watch whatever the kids are watching. But Sam has taken a liking to this movie, and I'll find myself standing there whenever it's on. It just doesn't get old.

World of Warcraft
Six months. I can't believe I've been playing this game for 6 months. I'll talk with friends about it, and they won't even touch the box, they're so afraid of getting sucked in. The best, easiest, most intuitive user interface I've seen in any software, much less in any game; and it looks gorgeous, with a varied and beautiful environment (I spent about 10 minutes the other day walking around in one city looking at the ceilings).

It's hideously addictive, and for good reason. Blizzard, the developer, has put in attractive and attainable short-, medium-, long- and superlong-term goals. There's even an in-game economy that's so rich that I found myself thinking of it while reading a Thomas Sowell essay. I'm quitting for good this month, I promise. And I have a free 10-day trial if anyone wants it.

Good TV
I don't watch TV that much. I'll read or play or write. But every year there are one or two shows I'll make time for. Firefly (on DVD), Arrested Development, and Battlestar Galactica (the new one) all made this year's list. And it's still fun to watch Buffy or Angel on DVD whenever I get roped into folding laundry.

Couldn't live without it. I love it, my wife loves it, the kids actually eat when we go there. And no matter which of the 3 "local" Moe's we go to, some of our friends are already there.

So that's it. My favorite things of 2005. Here's to 2006 . . .


At 9:13 PM, Blogger 4BoyDad said...

Forgot to mention Firefox, the web browser. Really nice. Camino, Safari, and Firefox on the Mac are almost as good. It makes IE look like a steaming pile of hoo.

Okay, I'm done.

At 4:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

IE is a steaming pile of poo... i mean "hoo," whatever that is.


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