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A large and grateful tip o' the hat to [ profile] zeppomarx for the suggestion of using EditPad Lite.  EditPad Lite (a freebie, btw) accurately displayed all of the XML encoding that was somehow inserted into this message and also was able to cleanly identify -- and replace -- all of the garbage characters.  Two more search & replaces to swap out the XML coding for a "<" and ">" and this entry was cleaned up and ready to go.

Now, I only wish it was worth the wait.

Morning After Snowman

Morning After Snowman

December 2005 Raleigh, NC


[This entry was started back before Christmas and sat, untouched, for close to two weeks.  Instead of tossing it and writing something brief -- who me? -- I'll let this part go along as originally planned]

First, a word about the image above.  The kids next door, Brittany and Brad, have a strong desire to dominate the neighborhood with their Christmas displays.  Regular readers will recall that Brittany wasn't too pleased that I had our lights on before anyone else on the block.  (And, having learned their weakness for custom, i.e. 'No lights before Thanksgiving', I'll be sure to exploit it for the foreseeable future)

What I haven't mentioned his her regular inflatable lawn decorations for a variety of holidays throughout the year.  Now, I understand her enjoyment of All Things Holidays but just because someone makes an inflatable lawn decoration and just because someone else chooses to sell those inflatable lawn decorations that doesn't make them worth owning or displaying.

Factor in the additional fact that the kids next door are seemingly the only ones in their social circle who own their own house and are, therefore, the regular hosts of monthly parties where considerable drinking goes on and the image takes on some additional significance.  Granted, we have yet to wake up to one of their friends passed out on their lawn, but the common sight of their inflatable snowman looking passed out on their lawn most mornings these days was too good to pass up.

As for Christmas, and what it has to do with this fellow to the right, just click on through to the other side... )

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UNC Cathedral

UNC Cathedral

December 2005 Chapel Hill, NC


Yeah, so the lo-o-o-ong post is still in critical condition awaiting surgery that's going to take the better part of an hour to remove all of the little ¤ -style squares that are in between each friggin' letter of each friggin' word of the entire friggin' first 3/4 of the entire friggin' entry.

Not that I find this annoying in the least.  Not at all.  More of a Challenge, that's all.

Nevertheless, here are some completely out of context comments and reflections from the holidays that won't make much of any sense until I get that blasted overly friggin' long entry cleaned up.  (And, yes, I've tried saving it as plain ASCII text and, yes, when I've tried to import friggin' plain ASCII text into any one of FOUR LJ entry methods on two computer platforms the text  has either disappeared with the exception of a lone "<" or h?a?s? ?a? ?f?r?i?g?g?i?n?' ?q?u?e?s?t?i?o?n? ?m?a?r?k? ¤o¤r a¤ ¤f¤r¤i¤g¤g¤i¤n¤' ¤s¤q¤a¤r¤e¤ AND ?i?s? ?i?n? ?i?t?a?l?i?c?s? ?j?u?s?t? ?t?o? ?m?a?k?e? ?i?t? ?e?v?e?n? ?m?o?r?e? ?i?l?l?e?g?i?b?l?e? 

It would be nice if the friggin' entry would clear itself out, but...
Now then, where was I?  Oh, yes.  Making next to no sense at all.

To continue:

My favorite quote from my daughter: "At least you're a happy drunk.  It could have been worse -- You could have been all maudalin, crying and saying, "Aw, man, I really love you guys."

Guess which Little Britian character I'm going to be searching for next Christmas?  Is it Anne?  Vicky? Andy? (Trust me, Rob, mine is better) Ray?

Speaking of which: I managed to completely embarass myself on Chirstmas by not getting an answering machine.  I mean, honestly, how can one expect to go through with a well-written and rehearsed script when there's a live audience at the other end of the phone.  Honestly.

Like the image above?  So do I.  That is, presuming you said, "yes."  If not, then we'll simply have to agree to disagree.  I'm stuck with having to do extensive playing with post-camera digital editing on smaller images for a while.  Luckily this one turned out pretty well.

Oh, and another image goes out to the first person who can accurately cite the proper (in my life) reference to the subject line -- without googling the phrase.



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