I hope you had a better day than these two did:
I had a great Christmas. I got all kinds of neat stuff! I’ve been playing with my new iPod for hours, finding album art for all of my music, migrating my list of podcasts from Juice into iTunes, and just cleaning everything up. (Goodbye and good riddance to Windows Media Player 11. iTunes is a joy to use by comparison. I keep finding out about neat features, like the fact that you can preset the equalizer settings for each song if you want)
I also got a neat 300-in-1 Electronics Kit. You’re asking yourself: Is J.D. Harper a ten-year-old? No. I’ve always wanted to learn basic electronics, and this particular kit was recommended by Make Magazine for that purpose. I used to have a 30-in-1 kit from the 1970’s. While this kit taught ultra-basic electronics, it was not very good at all, especially considering that it was deteriorated and some of the parts didn’t work. (Thank you, Goodwill.)
So, I’ve been learning how to figure out the strength of a resistor by reading the colored bands on their side and what a transistor does. All kinds of fun.
Other Christmas Fun: I enjoy buying presents for people that aren’t on their lists. This is dangerous, because you can end up buying someone something they don’t like, but it’s also more rewarding, because it means that you put more thought into the gift. This year went well; I think I found something everyone wanted or could use. I got my dad a program that schedules bids for things on eBay, so he can bid on something five seconds before the auction ends without having to remember to get to the computer at that time. I got Jason a USB-powered rocket launcher (which should be great fun at the BJU library). I got Jesse, my youngest brother, a castle expansion set for the board game Heroscape. (We played with it today; the castle looks really, really cool, and it was a lot of strategic fun as well.).
My mom’s present was a little more difficult to find. She has a big interest in missionary stories, and one of her favorites is the story of Jim Elliot and four other missionaries who were killed by the Huaorani Indians (then called the Auca Indians) in Ecuador. The wives of several of these missionaries returned to Huaorani Indians, and were able to convert them to Christianity. The story attracted the attention of Life Magazine, which published a photo essay about the Huaorani in 1956.
So, at one point, my Mom mentioned that she would like to see the original Life magazine article. I noted this and started looking for it. Eventually, with the help of the great online community at Metafilter, I was able to located an eBay auction with the magazine issue in it. Incidentally, this lot had something like forty other life magazines in it from the same year; if you want a 1956 issue of Life Magazine, I probably have a copy.
She seemed to enjoy it.
So how about you guys? Get or give anything interesting this year?