Holiday Seasons

This weekend I am at home alone, for Saturday.  Coco went down to Guangzhou to pick up Sophia and bring her up for Christmas.  We have the tree, decorated and with lights, presents under it and even candy canes.  I haven’t found a nativity scene yet, that can Our Shanghai Christmas treewait until next year.  I still have to baby-proof most of the rooms.  We were able to convert the crib into a baby bed, we got a play pen, and fortunately we still have some of her toys around. 

While Christmas holds a special place in my heart, and most of my best childhood memories, I have written about it losing its shine over the years.  I hope I can make the holiday as special for my daughter as it was for me.  Growing up in Detroit a white Christmas was guaranteed.  Here, well… snow is about as rare as a miracle.  In Alabama we only had snow 3 times I can remember, once I did get some pictures of it and I even have them here in Shanghai.  I have some video, but it is not the same.  It is cold out, no sun for 6 days now, but no chance of snow.  I have found gingerbread, but not my mom’s special home made German Christmas cookies and cakes. 

Last week the wife and I went to WuYi, a place about 3 to 4 hours south of Shanghai, mountainous and lots of bamboo.  There is a hotel there famous for its ‘hot spring’, well actually its a few swimming pools that are heated.  I did get some good pictures with the Nikon and the new Canon PowerShot A720IS, well Coco got many more pictures with the Canon then I did.  Posting those this next week.  The trip was quite something, we saw really old villages, mountain monasteries, great scenery, and even a rat in our room trying to steal the noodles from the food bar.  The rat failed in that mission.  I was entered into the photo contest, but the main judge’s USB card reader does not read SD HC MMC cards so we will never know how I faired against the group.  We did get a consolation prize of free movie tickets for next week, hopefully the movie has English subtitles.

I finally found some free software on the internet for ripping DVDs and then converting the file into AVI format that will load onto my Creative Zen Vision.  After a year I finally found a free solution that works and works well.  Now my flights to the US will be much more tolerable, and I can take most of my DVD collection with me.  I hope to get some articles out before the end of the year, and my much neglected and now 3 months overdue newsletter out.  The work load has eased just a tad, but as with most things there are other aspects of life that are stepping in to fill that space.

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