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Top 6 Holiday Songs

Christmas Songs

Ding-a-ling-aling Dingaling … Ding-a-ling-aling Dingaling …. I’ve been listening to iTunes’s holiday radio station for the last month. Here is my list of favorite songs based on how high my happiness level jumps when one of the following songs comes on.

6. I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Clause – Jimmy Boyd

5. Blue Christmas – Elvis Presley

4. Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer – Dean Martin

3. Last Christmas – WHAM!

2. It’s Gonna be a Cold Cold Christmas – Dana

1. All I Want for Christmas (Is You) – Mariah Carey

And though I have yet to hear it on iTunes radio, I need to mention The Twelve Days of Christmas because it’s on constant replay through my mind.

What have you been listening to?



Top 7 Holiday Movies

Christmas Movies

Tis the season for drinking hot cider, eating chocolate marshmallow Santas and sucking on candy canes while watching Christmas classics. When I take a break from decorating the tree or stringing up blinking lights, I watch:

7. The Family Man

6. Love Actually

5. Frosty the Snowman

4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

3. Yogi’s First Christmas

2. Home Alone

1. It’s a Wonderful Life

Which flicks put you in the holiday spirit?


What does snow smell like?


I tried to describe what snow smells like and came up with nothing useful. That’s not the same as saying I wouldn’t recognize the smell if I came across it.

Snow is wet and clean and sharply cold.

For me, the smell of snow is usually mingled with the smell of gasoline (of the school bus idling as we all tramp through the snow and up the three steps to our seats) or smoke (sitting in front of the wood stove after being outside in the snow for a few hours).

What does snow smell like to you?


Top 8 Winter Smells


There are some scents that not only bring back memories but can wholly transport me back to a specific moment.

8. snow

7. smoke from the wood stove (or a fireplace)

6. plastic tape

5. Old Spice

4. Nivea hand lotion

3. pumpkin and pie crust

2. cinnamon

1. pine

Which smells cause you to travel back to a specific holiday memory?


In a nutshell

Happy October — or not so happy depending on your perspective. I want to know what happened to September.

I’ve got about 15 draft posts to finish editing and publish to this site. So I’ll be publishing in reverse as I complete them.

Where does all my time go?

  • visited the Encompassing the Globe exhibit at the Sackler Gallery. I am enamored with armillary spheres and astrolabes.
  • went to a lecture on Portugal’s Golden Age
  • learned about Malta’s prehistoric temples
  • spent time at the Portuguese American Leadership Council annual meeting and attended a reception at the ambassador’s residence
  • visited my ancient globes, maps, armillary spheres and compasses everyday for three days before the exhibit closed (yes, I can get obsessive)
  • christened the back bar of James Hoban’s on Dupont Circle with a glass of scotch
  • listened to four White House press secretaries reminisce about their jobs
  • learned about Timbuktu
  • watched Knocked Up
  • traveled to Philadelphia for the first time
  • went through the King Tut exhibit at the Franklin Institute
  • walked through the Amarna exhibit at the U Penn Museum
  • watched The Kingdom
  • stalked some of my favorite authors at the National Book Festival
  • went on a diet

So how was your September in a nutshell?


The New Tork Times ends its paid subscription service

The New York Times

I’d like to share a cup of coffee with the brainiac who came up with the subscription concept.

“Let’s put all of our editorials and news columnists behind a wall and force webusers to pay to view content.”

Helloooo… do you USE the internet? I’m not going to pay for something I can read for free with a clever search string. Or I’ll just click on over to the Washington Post and read their columnists instead.

I know traditional newspaper companies are struggling to find a business model that works, but so far I haven’t seen any newspaper sites break out with anything worth paying for.

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Browser based applications

MicroSoft Office

I don’t understand how Microsoft continues to retain its position as software leader when there are so many competing free online resources available.

I am a big fan of Google Docs and its competitor Zoho. Lifehacker provides a good comparison of the features provided y both.

And there’s also Open Office, an open-source program which I believe is restricted to your desktop and not available via the internet (last time I used it was in 2005).

Yahoo! just acquired Zimbra — which is more of a training or webinar type service to compete with Zoho Chat and Meeting

Now that I’ve switched from PC to Mac, I’ve been using Google Docs and Zoho (I really do need to commit to one) exclusively.

What do you use?