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A random Christmas-season-sucks song



There are no advent opening videos this year. I use my PC less these days, as RISC OS is for nerdy enjoyment (programming and such) while my phone and portable DVD player (rubbish resolution, but it works) have me covered for most things. However, for updating my site, I need WinSCP. That's because my site uses not only a long amount of gibberish as the password, but there's also a crypto key...
Since not so many people watched my previous videos (seriously - most views are single digit!), I decided it simply wasn't worth turning on the PC to great a blog page to upload for embedding a video...when I could be watching Veronica Mars instead, in bed, with a big mug of hot chocolate. Come on, it's a no-brainer.

But not to disappoint - in the run up to Christmas, every blog post will feature a "Christmas sucks and here's why" video. I'll start with a lovely song from the Dropkick Murphys, which you can enjoy just above (if you haven't already).

This year, I have three advent calendars:

I wasn't taken with the Playmobil calendars available in the supermarkets, so I went on Amazon and ordered one from Germany. The Ferrero Prestige is my daily dose of chocolate, only a tad more upmarket than Celebrations (by upmarket I mean "they were selling it half price at the end of November" ☺). And finally, the "Touch Organic" selection of teas.

Day one:

A chocolate with nuts, a stable girl, and a green tea with jasmine.

Day two:

The infamous rock, a pony, and a green tea with mint.

Day three:

A Mon Cherie, a pile of stuff, and a plain green tea.

Mon Cherie is my very favourite chocolate, but my gut doesn't tolerate alcohol. At all. So sadly I have to feed those ones to my mother. Wah. :-(


Putting all the Playmo bits together, it made a swing gate, which for some inexplicable reason I didn't take a photo of. I'll need to do that for next time.


HP Instant Ink

What also arrived last week was my instant ink parcel. It took a few days for the order to be processed, and when it was, a parcel was shipped out from Germany to be here in three working days.
Clearly, I'm an important customer, as I've been named twice.

Inside, another box. It's like a Matroska doll. No, wait, that's a video format. I mean a Matryoshka doll - though both words mean the same thing (it depends upon how you transliterate матрешка).

Inside this box, another box... no, only joking. Inside this box was a little prepaid bag for returning the used cartridges (I can't imagine they survive the post terribly well - are they demanded to be sent back for recycling, or to keep them out of the hands of clone resellers?), an instruction booklet that said in a dozen languages "billing will start about 30 days from when you first insert the cartridges", along with useful advice such as "don't eat the ink". And, finally, the cartridges themselves. I'll take a bunch of photos when it comes time to insert them into the printer.

Speaking of Instant Ink, once I had subscribed, the orange 'i' indicator lit up, and a new icon appeared on the display. An icon that does not appear to be mentioned in the user guide. However, given that it is an envelope with speed lines on the left and an ink drip on the right, it's probably not hard to guess what this means... I mention it here, with a photo here on the right, because a quick Google search doesn't give mention to this.

I have also dusted off my Brother. It still works for black printing (and blue and yellow, but that's not so useful without red!), so if I have some simple documents (such as the twenty page API doc that I printed earlier), I can send this to the Brother and not have to concern myself with the HP page counts. The HP can be for colour copies and sort-of-photo printing (in as much as an HP can manage to print photos, given that HP seems to like larger dots).


Christmas Market

Out earlier today, I saw a sign for a Marché de Noël, so we went there. To be greeted with an overpowering stench of garlic. That was from the escargots, a stall selling snail gunk where I'm sure it is packed out with garlic to convince you that snails aren't so bad. Foie gras, or exploded goose livers. Weird sausage-like things that might have been troll droppings. And, of course, a hundred types of red wine all so powerfully unpalatable that the few flies around had dropped dead on contact. But, then, I remember I'm going to have to prepare myself for some seriously weird stuff to turn up in the supermarket (though I think it'll be a while before anything can be more WTF-worthy than crocodile).
There were also a few local (to the area) artists. One had an amusing selection of emoji ghosts (only a month and a quarter late!) as well as a fluffy thing that looked like a half-hearted attempt at Totoro. Across from that was a painter.
And I saw this only once to know I needed to have it on my wall:
It isn't technically complicated, you know, for people who can draw (unlike me!). Pen lines, watercolour fill, some white acrylic for the highlights. But there's just something so pleasing about the composition.

On the way back to the car, I was talking to my mother about how my school art teacher (yes, this featured in SIBA) was of the opinion that one had to be an artist in order to be capable of appreciating art. She said my liking of bendy clocks meant nothing until I was capable of drawing my own. Which is a ridiculous pile of pseudo-elitist twaddle, it's like saying you can't tell when music is out of tune unless you're capable of playing the piano.
And, for what it is worth, I think a grounding in psychology would help better to understand Dalí than any amount of technical knowledge of painting technique. Let's face it, knowing how to hold a brush is absolutely not going to explain why a piece entitled The Persistence Of Memory contains four melty clocks draped over random dead things in a sort of desert scene, the decaying clock at the bottom (being eaten by ants), the weird not quite dead not quite there creature that looks vaguely reminiscent of a uterus, and of course, that shiny flat thing behind the (dead) tree. There's plenty of symbolism, and a grounding in art is just not necessary in order to see it.

Just like... I can't paint. But I like bird girl.



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