Friday, November 19, 2004

Time has started moving again - 17 days!

Good news. I shall not have to switch to the Islamic calendar.

Faced with the complexity of a system that advises...

"... although it is possible to calculate the position of the moon in the sky with high precision, it is often difficult to predict if a crescent will be visible from a particular location. Visibility depends on a large number of factors including weather condition, the altitude of the moon at sunset, the closeness of the moon to the sun at sunset, the interval between sunset and moonset, atmospheric pollution, the quality of the eyesight of the observer, use of optical aids etc. Since ancient times, many civilisations and astronomers have tried to predict the likelihood of visualising the new moon using different 'minimum visibility criteria'. However, all these criteria are subject to varying degrees of uncertainty."

... something has snapped back into place, thankfully, and time appears to be moving again.

Countdown to America - 17 days!

Just seventeen days to go. I had considered cheating and bringing my outbound flight forward a few days. Now I have decided against such a course, having secured my tickets and not wanting to invite any intervention from the Fates.

I would like to take some culturally significant, lightweight, presents to the US, from both England and Ireland, but I can't think what would be a good choice.

Here are a couple of tasteful options:


I think it will take more thought.

Buying things for me

I am not an easy person to get presents for. Previously, people would give me books, CDs, and DVDs, etc, or take me along to a store and have me select something. Since giving up books, CDs, and DVDs, and actually going further and selling most of my accumulated media, this problem may be even harder to address.

I think it may be best to receive nothing at all this Christmas, but still celebrate as normal. I know it may sound churlish, but in many ways the best Christmas I had was when I stayed with Muslim friends in London one year. We gave one another presents, but the rest of the day was thankfully free of Christmas songs, silly hats, family arguments, the Queen's Speech, and turkey and stuffing.

It is not yet clear where I will be on Christmas Day this year.

Here is my current thinking on this:

The US? (85%)
Ireland? (5%)
UK? (9%)
Rest of the World (1%)

I include the Rest of the World option in case I am on a diverted flight or kidnapped. My life to date has been sadly devoid of such intense drama, although I did once burn some toast.

Questions no-one asks except in magazines

Who would play you in the film of your life?

If I had a choice, I would be played by a flying squirrel.


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