diary

Ready for New Year

Absence of any plans for New Year’s Eve suddenly gelled into a small celebration at our house, with two couples of our best friends. They are leaving their young children at home with either nannies or visiting parents, which probably means that Kimmy will be slightly bored in the company of adults, but we’ll try[…]

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December and 2008 movie round-up

There is a slight outside chance that I will reduce my PVR queue tonight, but more likely my movie-watching program for the year is closed. Because I am unsure of whether to continue with this series in the next year at all, I’ve decided to depart from my standard M.O. and have the monthly overview posted now.

December’s list of watched movies that I’ve never seen before contained several of last year’s releases in American Gangster, Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Michael Clayton and The Kingdom, slightly older Eragon and School of Rock, and one entry from the previous century, The Avengers.

Brief impressions, as always, are below the fold. As an additional bonus, I am also listing all of my 47 first-seen movies for the year 2008, with my ratings and briefest of notes.
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Photo-book creation: MyPublisher vs Picaboo vs Blurb

[Update Apr 16, 2010] If you are here because you’re looking for comparisons of various photo-books software – and why else would you be on this page, anyway? – I also invite you to also read my most recent follow-up at this link
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Having finished with Travelog, I spent some free time in the last couple of days test-driving two services for photo-book-making that I first mentioned in this article: MyPublisher and Picaboo. For those interested, the first-time user comparison is below the cut.

[Update Jan 2nd]: I also now played for a couple of hours with another similar service that only recently came to my attention, Blurb. The article has been updated to include that in the comparison.
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diary

Christmas week 2008

We did not expect this holiday week to be markedly busy, given our general lack of any plans. Still, we ended up with a number of diversions over its second half. On Christmas Eve, Natasha and I went to central London for a dinner with Kimmy’s figure skating coach and his wife. Sergey is Russian,[…]

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On Travelog

As I have mentioned elsewhere, for the last few weeks I have been chipping away at our old travel diaries, transcribing the observations about sights, museums, restaurants and hotels into Travelog entries. To my own surprise, I’m actually finished with that now. While I have what I think is a pretty nifty idea of what[…]

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It’s Christmas

Christmas to me is just another day off, its significance nowhere near that of the New Year’s Eve. But I do enjoy the musical component of the holidays, with all those Winter Wonderland, Let It Snow and Jingle Bells songs constantly on air. Hell, I sing along to Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer every time I[…]

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Mmm… Food!!

Natasha and Becky decided that they need to try making entirely new dishes at least once each week. Because of Becky’s affinity for spicy Oriental stuff, what waited for me as I came home from work today was this delicious plate of Chilies stuffed with fish paste. Here is the recipe: Ingredients: 225g/ 8 oz[…]

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On medical myths

Do you believe that sugar makes your kids hyperactive? Or that night eating makes you fat? Or that hangovers can be cured? You are way off the mark there. Via Counterknowledge.com, a recap of a BMJ article (also publicized in NYT) on the common medical myths. Counterknowledge also mentions the myths discussed in a similar[…]

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A recognition of sorts

Kimmy and I cuddled on the couch watching Stardust the other night, when my 8-year-old suddenly said: “Daddy, you’re the warmest person in the world!” After a momentary pause, she added: “And the second funniest.” “Second funniest? Who’s the first?” asked I with an appropriate doze of indignation. She gave me the look which I[…]

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Twelve sentences, one month at a time

Almost exactly a year ago, I picked up a meme that asked the author to re-post the first sentences of the first blog entries of each month. I wanted to see how it would turn out this year as well, whether some sort of narrative can be discerned in such limited sample or whether I’ve[…]

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YouTube’d memories: Midnight Dancer

Back to obscure European pop of the 70’s and the 80’s for this series. I’ve been hearing this particular song fairly regularly over the last couple of years, as it features on the Euro collection disk that we like to play in the car on long drives. I have not seen the video of the[…]

diary

Becky the busy socialite

I haven’t seen my teenager much this week, as her school and social activities during the last week of the term more or less took over. On Monday, she sang with her Chamber Choir at a nearby church. I am not too sure what the event was. Between school, rehearsals and the actual performance, she[…]

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Dealing with travel videos and photos

We always go on holidays equipped with a camera – who doesn’t these days? – and quite often bring a camcorder as well. Coming back home with several hours of raw video footage and a few hundred photographs always seems like a good idea when you tape or shoot, but then the question of what to do with all those riches becomes key.

Realizing that this topic may not be of interest to all, I’m hiding the body of this post below the cut.
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Holiday Tree

In the end, we bought a 7-foot artificial tree this year. You may have heard loud squeals all over the place – that was Kimmy when she discovered the assembled tree ready to be decorated. This is what it looks like now. Click to enlarge.