New Years Eve Traditions

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In comparison to Halloween, New Years is my next least favorite holiday. New Years Eve television is more painful to watch than the Superbowl halftime show. Every year the debauchery and hedonism is cranked up another notch as the desensitizing of our culture continues down the slippery slope of depravity.

We make a bunch of snacks as the last hurrah for the diet that starts the next day. Or maybe we move the new diet to January 2nd, you know, leftovers. We stay up late to watch people grind each other on television while we listen to the horrific noises that pass for music that’s shoved in our ear canals for the hour leading up to the ball drop. Ball drops, people kiss, sing the same song every year, then go to bed.

New Years is just another day, there is nothing magical about January 1st. Don’t make promises to yourself that you can’t keep. If you want to change, change now or six months from now. Just make up your mind that you want to do it.

Best way to store all your digital photos.

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Seems like everywhere you go during the year you take a thousand pictures of whatever place you visit. It used to be that only a few people had a camera and now everyone has a camera on their phone. How do you manage all those photos? Do you delete bad ones? Do you get them printed? Do you wait until your hard drive fills up and crashes so that you lose all of your memories? I say lose your memories because you were too busy fiddling with your phone rather than actually enjoying the event you attended.

Here’s my process and I keep it pretty simple. For the DSLR  I download pictures to my Windows and remove the undesirables. I sometimes will delete pictures off the camera if I know it’s already terrible. I pick a few that I really like and adjust the image to make it pop using Adobe Lightroom. Once a year I send our “school pictures” to Mpix.com and get them framed. I also use my favorite photos for my screen savers on my computers. For my iPhone pictures and video I download them to the Macbook and do the same process there.

Once everything has been sorted and adjusted everything gets backed up onto an external drive on my home network. I went with Synology because it has an app that runs on my machine that will automatically backup my files to the NAS. If you are an Amazon prime user, and who isn’t these days, there is a free app that will store unlimited photos. So if you segregate your pics and video like I do, you can have that extra layer of security.

Taking your pet on vacation.

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You take your dog everywhere. The grocery store, restaurants, movie theaters, and airplanes. I’m not talking about service dogs, I’m speaking of peoples pets.  Taking your dog on everywhere is the cool and hip thing to do. So why not take it on vacation? After all, the dog is part of your family, so why not let it enjoy all of your adventures. However, if you don’t take your dog on vacation, please find someone who can look after them.

We have a cat and if we are gone for more than two days then we hire a house/pet sitter. We pay them to come and stay at our house. They sleep here, they eat here, they take care of our pets. Cats are pretty easy to take care of and don’t need much attention. Cats really don’t need humans.

However, if you have a dog, it’s a different story. Dogs need constant attention because they are highly social creatures. If you don’t hire a house sitter then take your puppers to the kennel where they can get social interaction. Leaving your dog in your house over night and someone letting it out all day is unfair to your dog and your neighbors. The dog will bark all day because it’s lonely. If there are two dogs they will try to out-bark each other. If you are going to be cruel, take it up a notch and just throw on a shock collar and leave them outside in the cold. At least it won’t bother anyone else since you won’t be bothered with caring for your animals.

Running on Christmas Cheer Fumes

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Every year we get super excited for Christmas and by the time December 25th rolls around we are ready for it to be over. This year I started way too early, we visited Disney Theme Parks the week before Thanksgiving and all the decorations were up and the holiday music was blasting. We had our Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving. I jumped the gun this year on the Holiday Cheer and ended up running on fumes.

Next year we will wait until Black Friday to start decorating. That way we don’t get burned out like a Yankee candle left on the mantle all night. We are already removing Christmas items from the house and putting them back in storage. We usually wait until January 2nd. I think it makes Christmas much more gloomy.

Beginners guide to vaping?

Most people set a new years resolution to stop smoking. I think this year I will start smoking. I can start with the lowest level cigarette skin patch so I can build up a tolerance.  Next, I’ll start chewing the cigarette flavored gum. Hopefully, then I can then graduate to vaping so that I can billow clouds of smoke to attract attention to myself. I guess my final step in the journey is to smoke regular cigarettes once vaping becomes too costly. It’s either that or putting my mouth on the smoke holes on the restaurant outdoor ashtrays.

I have nothing against vaping or people who vape until they start building their own cumulonimbus around a no smoking sign at a child’s sporting event. I wonder when they will invent a vape helmet so that that you can contentiously enjoy your emissions?

Happy Boxing Day

8e656350c58a2c04676943cae2c698b1I never understood what boxing day was until I made some friends from the Great White North. I thought it was a day where we remembered the greats like Cassius Clay or Mike Tyson punching people in the face. It’s either that or a day when we box up all of our gifts that we didn’t like and take them back to the stores in which they came.

Probably the most ungrateful I’ve ever been for a gift is when I was a child. I received a bean bag chair from my grandmother for Christmas. I loudly exclaimed in tears, “You don’t get furniture for Christmas”.  My childish mind thought that only toys were permitted. I remember her running up to the closest gas station that was open and buying me a green “suckerman”. At least I had a toy, my temper tantrum worked!

Christmas Day Checklist

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  • Wake up way too early because the kids didn’t sleep at all
  • Open presents, either from Santa or hard-working parents who paid for them
  • Eat breakfast – We make a sausage egg and cheese casserole.
  • Jump in the car, take off (drive about 2 hours with no traffic)
  • Arrive at first stop
  • Open presents
  • Eat lunch
  • Jump in the car, take off (30-minute drive)
  • Arrive at second stop
  • Open presents
  • Eat dinner
  • Collapse in exhaustion
  • Wonder how the kids are still going strong.

This is the short list, it used to be much longer and cover a much longer distance. Between the food, fun, family, and yes sometimes fighting, don’t forget about Jesus during this time. It’s the whole point of it all.