Monday, December 24, 2007

Christmas Traditions

Most people put up Christmas trees in their living room for Christmas, we haven't done that for years. In fact we gave our Christmas tree to BB daughter so she could put it up in her living room. What we have is rather special and unique, Mrs. BB's Christmas village. Now we are not talking about a couple of houses under the tree, we are talking about a full blown town, with ski hill, farms, train station, airport, sea port, lumber yard, hospital, a couple of churches, an Indian village and many other things. The main street is teaming with people and vehicles and there is even a historic old part of town. It is awe inspiring and takes up about 3/4 of the living room, about 10' by 10' at least. Mrs. BB has been adding to it over the years with my modest contributions and let me tell you she works very hard at putting it up. Everything has its place and every place has its thing. When we have visitors they sit there looking at all the parts and are fascinated by all the details. At night we turn off the lights in the living room and turn on the lights of the village and it is simply beautiful. Here are a couple of pictures to give you an idea of what I am talking about. So with that, in the words of that immortal poem, "Happy Christmas to all and to all a good night!"

Monday, December 10, 2007

After the time

We had a really big snow storm on Monday, 30 cm of it, but it was not all bad since the 30 cm of soft, dry snow and temperatures hovering around the -5 to -10 degress celsius means... the cross country ski trails are OPEN!!! Last year we didn't get to ski until the middle of January. Hell people were still playing golf on New Years day. This year however is different and we are able to ski early in December, not just tentatively ski whilst watching out for gravel, rocks and branches but really fly across the crisp, white deep blanket of snow. As an added bonus, there was hardly anyone on the trails, either they thought that it was too early for the park to open its trails or they were all xmas shopping. So off I went on Saturday and Sunday and ended up doing 20+ km . Yes, snow storms do sometimes have a good side.

Monday, December 03, 2007


I was listening to the news about the start of the Bali conference on climate change today. It is supposed to be the start of a new round of negotiations for a Kyoto II type of plan. Unfortunately, cynic that I am, it will probably go nowhere just like Kyoto did, since the major polluters will simply not sign on.
What I did find strange was that 10000 representatives from 180 nations will be flying to Bali for a conference on climate change... Hmmmm... does anyone see the incongruity of it? Using Google I found a site called that has a calculator for the carbon footprint engendered by flying from one place to another. I then took three capitals from each continent and figured out the number of tonnes of CO2 for one person flying from each one, return from Bali. Taking an average I then multiplied by the number of delegates. The average number of tonnes is 2.93333 per person. There are about 10000 people, therefore the conference will produce 2.93333 x 10000 = 29333.3 tonnes of CO2. (This figure is probably a very conservative estimate) To make it more concrete, that is equivalent to 5867 cars with a fuel efficiency of 9l/100 km driving 24000 km per year (for you Americans that is 26 miles/gallon driving 15000 miles per year). All this for climate change, hummm a teensy bit ironic n'est-ce pas?