Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Musings about Christmas...

I've been experimenting today with various pictures on which to print a suitable Christmas greeting, and as you see, it's an ongoing thing.

I got reading the latest stuff on the Windows Insiders page, where there's a new survey for us to fill in, picking our brains on what we think of the latest Windows as well as the Windows Insiders stuff itself. I'm reading that over, and then looking at some of the comments by several disgruntled Insiders, and I concluded that our real problem here is that we're spending entirely too much time and effort on introspection and asking for 'report cards' and not nearly enough time on actually fixing the damned problems that seem to be multiplying in Windows. The very latest build comes complete with warnings about various "problems" unsolved as yet in it. 

That being the case, my very first question is "What the hell are you thinking, releasing it to the unprepared user, if the damned thing is only half-baked?" Fix it and test it on yourselves before you foist on your long-suffering community of testers. You've got to realize that if you've already identified problems in it for which you do not have work-arounds or proper fixes, then we're certainly not going to be able to tell you anything but the obvious, which is that it isn't working right, and isn't finished yet, and needs more work, and you shouldn't have released it until it was ready, and what's the matter with you? This isn't "Rocket Science", it's just plain old common sense. The uncommonest thing in the known universe, apparently.

Was I supposed to be addressing the topic of Christmas? Yes. Why am I babbling on about Windows then? Because I'm digressing again. I do this a lot. You've noticed, haven't you? So.....It's Christmas once again. My 83rd. Any year now, I'll get used to it. Maybe. It's always a 'mixed blessing'. A moveable feast. An emotional upheaval. A rush of memories, pleasant and painful. The ghosts of Christmases Past. The Good, The Bad, The Ugly, and The Unforgettable. The good times, the shouting matches, the tear-stained ones, the one or two that broke my heart, and the too-few others that seemed almost perfect. The ones whose memories I'd like to edit, rewrite, re-record, or roll up and throw away. 

In a perfectly designed life, I could live happily if I were blissfully unaware that things like birthdays and Christmases existed to confound and confuse and consternate me. I've never had a burning desire to be reminded that I'm a year closer to dying, or that every year about Winter Solstice, that special day commemorating the greed of shopkeepers everywhere dictates that you're going to be a 'tightwad' or a 'cheapskate' or a 'grinch' or a 'scrooge' if you don't indulge in the annual orgy of spending and gift-giving until it disrupts the budget and ruptures domestic bliss with its needless extravagance. Spare me. Let me hibernate from mid-December until the 2nd of January.  Save me from all that pain and suffering, please.

"What kind of an 'Ode To Christmas' is that?" you ask. Not what you expected. You were anticipating another of those saccharine sonatas sentimentally celebrating Santa's coming to town. And I burst your day-dreamy bubble with an icy splash of reality, huh? Shame on me! But I get this way about this time of year, and that's what's wrong with the whole thing; this love/hate relationship with what superficially seems a lovely concept and a delightful practice. And it confounds me, because I hate feeling ambivalent.


  1. May you and yours enjoy a truly meaningful and pleasant Christmas, Tommy,
    and may the coming New Year be better than the last was. I pray we all
    may find real peace and understanding.