Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas Part I

This weekend we celebrated half of Henry's first Christmas. To make things a bit easier for everyone we went out to my in-laws for dinner and exchange gifts. We got many nice things and it sure was nice not being rushed from one side of our state to another. Henry did pretty well. He was a bit tired of unwrapping once he realized he could crush and shake all the wrapping paper he wanted to. He had a good time playing with several new toys. We also got a bunch of cute outfits for him. My favorite gift so far is actually a gift Meg got. Her mother found her a really cool birdhouse that looks like a little cottage. I'll have to put up a picture of it when we set it up in the backyard.

Unfortunately, in addtion to Meg and Henry having colds nothing seemed to be going right for us this weekend. Our new to us (used) snowblower isn't working and so I had to shovel for about five hours total this weekend. When we were about ready to leave for Christmas Part I Meg's car wouldn't start. I then had to push it out of the garage, buy jumper cables at Home Depot and jump it with my car. It started on Sunday, but on Monday morning it was totally dead and so we bought a new battery. In addition the antenna on my rough broke off somehow. :(

On Saturday night I finished a small book I had been reading, Engelbert Kaempfer (1651–1716) by Detlef Haberland. Kaempfer was a German physician who in the late 17th century traveled from Sweden through Russia to Persia and then onwards to Ceylon, Java, Siam and Japan by boat. All throughout his travels he kept detailed notes and made many drawings. His goal was to write books on the cultures he encountered upon his return home. After his death several of his manuscripts were published and one, his book on Japan, is still an essential source on Japanese culture in the 17th century. Unfortunately the biography I obtained is the only one on him that is available in English. It is not very detailed. This might be because suitable sources for a more detailed biography no longer exist, but I am not sure of this as the book hints at the existance of diary entries and personal letters. I'm hoping to learn more about Kaempfer by reading the two works of his that have been translated into English.

Found: 3 pennies (at Costco), 1 dime (at Costco), 1 quarter (at Costco), 3 half dollars (at Sovereign Bank)


James (UK) said...

ah, sorry to hear that news. Mind you, in a few years what with all this global warming, you may well not need a snow blower anyway...