Yes, I'm riffing on a Mannheim Steamroller track. What of it?
The New Zealand photos I promised a while back have been posted on my Facebook page. For those who know how to get to those, tuck in. For those who don't ... oops. You'd have to be a friend anyway, so don't feel too bad.
Christmas was pretty low-key around here -- we already had that Saturday off of work, and we had to be back in the office on Sunday to put out the Monday paper (despite that day being a public holiday). I decided to spend Christmas Eve at the Intercontinental Hotel's dinner that evening, as I had done for the past couple years. Most everyone I asked had other plans, but the nice people pictured below agreed to accompany me.
The food, as usual, was outstanding. Seafood of all shapes and sizes, turkey, ham, steak, yams, other non-yam vegetables, salads and desserts ... man, the desserts. What you see here -- cheesecake, egg nog cheesecake, coconut cake, carrot cake, strawberry mille feuille, rasperry tart, mango mousse, apple crumble and pumpkin pie -- is only a sampling of what was on offer.
I also managed to finally knock out a story that was weighing on my brain during the whole New Zealand trip. Tom Byer, Japan's youth soccer development guru and a fellow American expat, is considering taking on the mess that is Indonesia for his next challenge. Even at 900-plus words, the article itself is a small fraction of the great stuff I got from Tom and Bob Hippy (yes, that is his real name). When Tom said during our talk that I should help him write his book, I'm pretty sure he was only half-kidding.