The days are getting shorter, the kiddos are getting taller, and I finally found a few minutes to stop all of my other important business to get around to writing my Christmas Letter for the year.
Speaking of the days getting shorter, one of my new ideas is to get the whole country to stay on daylight savings time all year round. Being a package car driver at United Parcel Service I start driving at 8:30 in the morning. In the winter time during standard time the sun starts to rise around 7:30 and sets at 4:30. During the busy Christmas season this means I deliver packages for several hours in the dark. If we stayed on daylight savings time, I would be able to start working right when it gets light and be out in the dark an hour less each night. So I’m starting a word of mouth campaign to get this changed. If that doesn’t work out I’m going to try and get transferred to a UPS center in Australia where they get the benefit of having their longest days of the year coincide with their busy holiday shopping season. I’m not sure what my wife and kids would think of that, but now that I think of it Isabel has a severe Vegemite allergy and Samantha has an unexplained fear of marsupials. And Katherine’s Australian accent is just horrible.
If I was going to describe my two children in just one word, it would be “growing.” But I don’t see the point in being so terse, so I will elaborate. Isabel is turning three years old two days before Christmas. Fortunately she isn’t quite old enough to realize the negative consequences of having her birthday so close to Christmas. Read my 2016 Christmas Letter for more information on that topic. Also, any potential parents should take this into consideration when getting busy in February. Some of Isabel’s favorite activities are quite typical for a girl her age and include suddenly laying down in the middle of the aisle at Walmart for no apparent reason, insisting on playing on all the playground equipment within sight, and asking why the car is stopped at every red light.
Samantha is 17 months behind her sister and is just chugging right along. Her favorite activities include going around on the Sit and Spin until I get dizzy just watching her. Then she goes the other direction to unwind. Then, usually, she falls over sideways and starts laughing. Her second favorite activity is waiting until we aren’t watching her for more than five seconds, walking into the kitchen, quietly opening up the dishwasher, and sitting on the front edge of the dishwasher door. I’ve never designed a dishwasher, but I’m pretty sure they aren’t designed for those types of weight distributions. Check my 2013 Christmas letter to see if it includes any kitchen appliance repair. She also has taken a liking to anything her older sister is doing at the moment.
This summer the whole family competed in the annual kinetics race in Longmont. We were called “The Busy Bees” and I was the queen bee. Just about everyone at the race was both mildly intrigued and slightly disturbed by my outfit that included a tiara, yellow wig, black lipstick, a tight yellow tank top, black bra, a black and yellow tutu, black fishnet stockings, and black boots with yellow laces. My wife and kids’ outfits were more gender appropriate and received much more positive feedback.
Once the race started my craft went about ten feet into the water at which point something happened that could best be described as “sudden massive critical widespread structural failures.” So despite our great costumes our team came in, rounded to the nearest integer, last place. Some people may view this as a failure, but I had a great time. And the crowd loves seeing someone crash and burn more than the same teams that have great crafts that finish in first place year after year. Anyone who has spent their childhood playing countless hours of the board game “Risk” knows what I’m talking about. If everyone plays conservatively and just builds up their armies the game isn’t going to be any fun and the game is going to last for eleven hours instead of the usual five. I’m the one who commits all of his forces to invading Russia on my third turn. I know it isn’t the best strategy for winning the game. Sure, that short bald guy from “The Princess Bride” will be best known for saying, “Ha ha! You fool! You fell victim to one of the classic blunders – The most famous of which is ‘never get involved in a land war in Asia’”, but in the case of Kinetics having the most radical and untested device makes for the most entertaining race.
So I had a few extra minutes to contemplate the meaning of life the other day when I was taking a break at work. The weather was pleasant and I had a picturesque view of the Rocky Mountains while I sat in the driver’s seat and ate my lunch. I came to the conclusion that everything we do, in some way or other, serves two goals of humanity. The first is to use supercomputers to completely understand how we are built to reverse engineer every species on the planet and use this information to make new things like women who can fly like birds and men who can lick their parts like a dog. The second is to take all the molecules on the planet and rearrange them into a completely self contained spaceship to depart the vicinity before the sun runs out of fuel, collapses on itself, and explodes into half the size of the solar system. Please refer to my 2074 Christmas Letter to see if the first goal has been realized. Once we find a cure for cancer we will be halfway there. I suspect the second goal might be considered more “long term” given the estimate that we have a few billion years before that whole “sun” thing becomes a pressing issue. I hope this document will be around long enough so that scholars in the future can look through all the historical documents and say, “boy, that Omar guy really knew how things were going to play out.”
So that about finishes things up around here. I’ve made it through another year, which was one of my goals. My goal of creating a tuba/baritone/trumpet comedy street performing troupe has been put on hold and my “Latin for Dummies” book has collected another year’s worth of dust. And maybe next year I’ll get around to purchasing the newly released Lego “Firefly/Serenity” set before uptight conservative groups get it pulled from the shelves just because one of the characters is a licensed companion (future speak for “prostitute”). But don’t forget to refer to my 2013 Christmas Letter for documentation of my near future accomplishments. I’ll end things here with one of many great lines from the movie “Serenity.”
Inara Serra: Mal, what are you doing here?
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: You invited me.
Inara Serra: I never thought for a second you’d be stupid enough to come!
Capt. Malcolm Reynolds: Well that makes you a tease.