Xmas Bah Humbug

Lonnie's Xmas Tree Portrait

Every year since I separated from my children my distain for the year end holidays has grown. I have fond memories of Christmas with my children in Portland, Oregon when they were growing up and still believed in Santa Clause.  Now that they are teen and adult ages the pretense of playing Santa is long gone. Now the only joy that look forward to during the year end holidays is that a critical computer or network system does not fail during the break so I can just chill.

That all changed in 2010 however.  No I did not have the Ebenezer Scrooge experience and get visited by three ghosts.  Nor did I have a Miracle on 34th Street and meet a real Santa Clause. What happened was the Nor’ Easter Blizzard of 2010 that dumped 32 inches of snow on New York and New Jersey. This snow storm may have inconvenienced the locals, but for me it was as relaxing as a hot bath after a hard days work.  During the storm I was fortunate to have a good Internet connection and I was staying in a bed and breakfast in a historic mansion in Plainfield, New Jersey.  All of this made the perfect storm for relaxing for me.

As you can see from the image in this post I was in the presence of a Christmas tree for several hours.  I had reached my tolerance for Christmas music and the hosts at the B&B said I could change the music.  I wondered over to the 5 disc CD changer and put on some Wynton Marsalis, John Lee Hooker and other jazz world beat music.  After that I set myself down in a chair and started to draw items in the room on my iPAD. I was really glad that I could remember how a Sony 5 disc CD player worked.  I use to have one of these, but over the last 5 years I have listened to music exclusively using my satellite radio, computer, iPAD or iPod. It is hard to believe that I use to own vinyl records.

ornate Pillars2 wall decoration

The drawings that I started doing on the iPAD were generated using an application called Scribbler-HD. I use to do a lot of sketching on the fly with a pen and paper.  As a graphic artist it is expected that you do this (or at least that is what I was taught in the last century). I decided to try something new and use my iPAD as a sketching device.  I got inspiration from objects in the sitting room in the B&B. Here I was stuck in a B&B which I perviously said that I would never go to, using an iPAD which I previously said I would never find useful, really relaxing during a snow storm.

During this snow storm I also configured another iPAD application to work.  I had purchased Wyes Pocket Cloud but never found time to get it working.  Well during this storm I downloaded the applet onto the Mac and PC side of my laptop.  I left my laptop running in my room on the third floor of the B&B and from my iPAD I logged in.  I also took the time to get VPN working on my iPAD using some decrypt tools.  Now I can access my work network from the iPAD and do server management.

So this holiday break the Xmas sprit was late in getting around to me, but it finally got me going.  I am not sure if this will happen again, but I will never forget this holiday break, the Blizzard of 2010.