Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas 2020

Any longtime readers of this blog, say in 2050, may remember that Christmas was a time for being studious in my book, to buckle down. 

A lot of people feel that way, about the season in general. There's so much to catch up on, and work is a treadmill.  Let off the hook from work for a couple weeks, and some people dive in, desperately hoping to bone up one whatever it is that might be their ticket to something new. 

The tread was quite evident when I worked for OST, a pilot school, not in the sense of being "just a test", but more in the sense of "first incarnation". As soon as you put graders in the back end, for certification, and don't use automation to judge correct results (because coding is about more than results), you've got a big number of puzzles to solve.  

One of those puzzles is how to give faculty a break when the masses are getting theirs.  Everyone wants to learn Python over Christmas vacation. I don't blame them. My queues would start spiking.

This year I'm not "slaying the queue" as we used to put it.  I'm running a plush retirement home for my mother.  Actually it's not all that plush, and one of Dawn's embarrassments was how cluttered it was. She was hoping we might move, or develop more handyman skills (not just me, but the both of us).

My reality was different:  we'd been super lucky, with catalyzing assistance from Laurie, in scoring this place and my ideal household was like the Thomforde's in Rome, a transplanted farm family, the dad working for the FAO.  

They had lots of kids and we'd go there for Quaker meeting -- a cul de sac off the Via Cassia, not far from the school, an ideal location.  They actually had two homes over time, moving further down the street at one point.  A large undeveloped valley, farmland, stretched to the school (Overseas School of Rome).  

I thought I'd like to have a house like theirs, not like one of those museum piece homes where everything has its place and so on.  That thing people do with their "living room": all antiques and hardly ever do people actually sit there (only on "rare" occasions), with a "rec room" separate... that's all a sign of social class I guess, but to me it's a big waste of floorspace.

For Christmas, we practiced Video Chat with Julie, my sister, using Facebook. Then we connected with my younger daughter.  I texted my Christmas greetings to Alexia earlier this morning.  Bill Lightfoot sent us the ritual fruit cake.  

We shifted our emphasis to Lauries Hanukkah party a long time ago, in terms of celebrating Shangha (community) and exchanging gifts. Christmas became more a time for study and introspection.  I did some more followup on the recent spy story scandals, updating a blog post and therefore redating it forward.