Yesterday morning I finally finished designing a Christmas card. It's a bit different from others I've done in that I used an image I found on the web as a base, rather than one I took myself. Not especially happy about that part of it. I need to get out and take some photos. Anyway, I headed into work to use the color laser printer. Ya know, someday some bright engineer will design a printer that can print something from the bypass feeder without sucking an additional three sheets of cardstock most of the way through the works, too. Since it hasn't happened yet, I spent two hours feeding the blank cards through the system one at a time. Still, I got them printed, wrote most of them, printed addresses on the envelopes, and put stamps on 'em. Then I went to the post office, which turned out to have closed fifteen minutes earlier. So I put them in the mailbox out front, so they'll be whisked on their way first thing tomorrow. Well most of them. I also ran out of stamps, so I have to get some more to mail the rest.
I spent the rest of the day, and most of today fiddling with DVD authoring software. I have Nerovision Express, which came with my burner. It's easy to use in terms of adding and arranging clips and chapters, but is totally braindead when it comes to setting up the menus. I hunted around for something better that wouldn't cost me anything, but the one package I tried was harder to use, and no less braindead. I was able to find an upgrade from Nero that addressed one of the dead lobes, and that plus another workaround was able to allow me to do something close to what I wanted, so I went that way. It took a few tries to get it all right, but it worked.
The main problem with all this is that it takes two to three hours for the software to do all the encoding on each iteration of the project, so there was a lot of waiting around to do. I filled the time last night watching Christmas specials. First up was A Christmas Story, which was the first time I've popped in the DVD that came with the leg lamp my sisters got me last Christmas. (No, I do not have it set up in the front window.) Then I watched A Wish for Wings That Work with Opus and Bill. One of the best Christmas specials ever, and it's never shown. So much good stuff, including Robin Williams as a lovesick kiwi with wing envy. There are so many good lines:
I have no need for a sidekick, sir, but still he'd like to be my best buddy. But then stink bugs would like to dance the watusi in my shorts, too. I mean, you gotta draw the line somewhere.
I finished up with Mr. Magoo's Christmas Carol, still one of my favorites. Which is odd, because I never was a fan of the Magoo shorts. Even when I was little I never thought the one-note joke of his nearsightedness was especially funny. Fortunately, there's not much of it here. This was the first version of A Christmas Carol I ever saw, and I love it to pieces, even if it does take certain liberties. (The first time I saw the Alastair Sim version, the presence of Scrooge's nephew bothered me immensely, because he didn't appear in the Magoo version.) There are some truly memorable songs in it, too, especially Jack Cassidy doing "Whitest, Brightest Christmas." I need to go get myself a copy on DVD. I also need to watch the George C. Scott version. I haven't seen it in years. I did see Captain Picard's version for the first time a few nights ago. I didn't like it as much as some of the others.
Today I flipped on the tube just in time to catch the start of Fellowship of the Ring, and I took it as a cue to watch the extended version instead. Then I watched the Two Towers, and now I've just started the Return of the King. Another kind of Christmastime tradition. Still in love with Eowyn.
The wreath is up. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.