Monday, January 01, 2007

On the eighth day of Christmas

Happy New Year!

The midnight fireworks telecast has just finished on Network Ten, so I figured I should get this post up ASAP.

The organisers were hailing the display as the most amount of fireworks they've ever done, and that it is the best in the world - and of that I have no doubt. We are probably just spoiled and take the beautiful Sydney harbour, city skyline at night, the Sydney Harbour Bridge (celebrating its 75th year) and the fireworks (and musical accompaniment) for granted, but it did look and sound rather the same to me. Mind you, the television broadcast fails to capture the intensity of the colours of each explosion compared to when you see them for real, but my days of trudging into the city, battling for viewing space, waiting for hours as the youth of Sydney get wasted, and getting home again with crowds of (tired, grumpy, sunburnt, tipsy) people who forgot to wear appropriate clothing, are over.

Anyway, since we've entered a new month and a new year, I'll just fill you in on what I've been doing so the blog menu shows up properly. Very few visitors get to see my Christmas tree on display, it seems, so I'm doing a virtual presentation of all the ornaments. I like to hunt for unusual Christmas tree ornaments - only two per year, one expensive and one el-cheapo-but-cute. Then I scrawl dates upon them and try to imprint some favourite memories of people, places and things connected with those ornaments. It's not that hard because it's only two per year, and they usually reflect aspects of my life at the time.

Well, it seemed like a great idea on Christmas Eve. I'm a bit surprised none of the pics have garnered any comments, though.

No matter! I shall continue. I have meant to catalogue them formally for years, and have attempted to make handwritten lists several times, but I usually file them - somewhere. Today's Christmas tree ornaments:


Above left: For 1992, the Hallmark Galileo shuttlecraft from "Star Trek" can be added to a light string, and it also contains a computer chip with a voice message from Leonard Nimoy, especially recorded for this ornament: "Shuttlecraft to Enterprise, shuttlecraft to Enterprise. Spock here. Happy holidays. Live long and prosper." Unlike Hallmark's figural character ornaments for "Star Trek", the ships were not sold in commercial quantities in Australia, due to the different wiring needs. I did a little tweaking to get my imported shuttlecraft, bought from The Phantom Zone in Parramatta, working - but, sadly, the voice chip stopped working in 2005. Although it still lights up, the whole light string gave up in 2006. Most new light strings have different sockets these days, so the shuttle shall remain dark. Santa Claus riding a dolphin to deliver his sack of gifts came from a specialist Christmas shop in Boston, USA, the same day I went to the famous real location of TV's "Cheers" bar, way back in the January.

Above right: For 1991, the wire-bespectacled crescent moon man was a boxed ornament from Grace Bros. in Roselands. The wooden gingerbread man is such a happy little ornament. He can swing his legs back and forth. He was probably also purchased from Grace Bros. in Roselands. Because I was in the USA for Christmas 1991, my tree didn't get put up that year.

Q: "How many 'Star Trek' fans does it take to screw in a light bulb?"

A: Five. One to screw in the bulb, and four to bitch about it.

Ah, I forgot the one who will pre-empt the screwing of the light bulb by posting a rumour to the Internet and forgetting the spoiler warning.

And the ones who then blame Brannon Braga for the burnt-out bulb, even though he'd played no part in its manufacture.

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