Friday, December 23, 2011

Pre-Christmas Chatter -- with pictures!

Part 1: The Nova Scotia Boston

Comic thanks to Boyfriend's gift: a drawing tablet! Merry merry!

Every year since 1917, the city of Halifax in Nova Scotia sends Boston a giant Christmas tree as thanks for being first responders in the Halifax Explosion. In that last year of WWI, a Belgian relief vessel and a French munitions carrier collided in Halifax Harbor. The carrier had a bunch of TNT, benzol, and other things that go boom. The explosion caused a tsunami wave that flooded the city. Fires quickly spread. Then a blizzard hit...for a week. It was a clusterf*ck. Local troops sent help immediately, as did the stalwart people of Massachusetts, who presumably used steamers and whales to get there as fast as they did.

To thank Massachusetts for the medical supplies, food, clothing, building equipment, workers, and for the New England Patriots, Red Sox, Celtics, and Bruins, Nova Scotia began the tree tradition. We get this 46-foot bad boy for free:

Brightening up Faneuil Hall.
You're welcome, Halifax!

Part 2: How the Grinch Stole the Show

Couldn't ask for a better Grinch!
Boston actor Jerry Kissel totally upstaged the Boston Pops with his fabulous narration of How the Grinch Stole Christmas. Kissel came out in full Grinch mode, grumping silently at the orchestra throughout the performance and glaring at violinists who dared interrupt his grouchy contemplations, as the choir sang about him being "the meanest oooonnnnneeee..." Spoiler alert: the Grinch gives everything back.

Part 3: Two Final Fantasy Titles to Go

Final Fantasy III on the iPhone was the highlight of my commute for more than a month. It would have taken me less time, but I inadvertently downloaded the Japanese version, so I would labor for many minutes over two lines of text ("Warriors of Light! You are the chosen ones!" or perhaps "Light and Dark must be balanced, or all will become nothing.") BAH! Who cares? I am in this game to kick monster butt!!!

Ow! #$%^&* Cloud of Darkness!!!

...Unless the monster kicks my butt first. But don't worry, the screenshot above is from a mandatory unwinnable battle against the last boss, designed to increase tension. I so leveled up and defeated the Cloud of Darkness. Very fit Cloud, that one. It must work out while consuming dimensions.

I just bought Final Fantasy I for PSP. Yes, the one that started it all. Starting 2012 with the ultimate childhood flashback! Woooo!

Part 4: Current Location

Traveler, in the distance you will see Billy Penn, standing solemnly atop Philadelphia City Hall in the fabled Center City, crime rate not too bad compared to North Philly. Brother and I are here with Mama for Christmas. We've already eaten too much, but you probably already knew that.


Summer Book Recommendations