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December 21, 2012


I don't really have anything I especially want for Christmas. (And I've thought about it some, because I was asked by my family a month ago.) Sorry.

At least, nothing purchasable. If my company took off even faster than it currently is, that would be great. But there's really no way for a friend or relative to buy that for me. Similarly with several other things I would be interested in (e.g. more time in the day); desirable, sure, but not purchasable.

It's not that I some kind of ascetic. It's just that I'm having trouble thinking of something that I don't have, but want.

I don't want anything material, but what I do want - and feel safe saying here - is a callback from a job interview I went on two weeks ago, for a very good marketing job at a very prestigious (i.e., world-renowned) medical organization. I have the luxury of job-hunting while employed, but I really, really want this job.

I'm thinking maybe 25 was too high a bar...

Fine - but last time I commented (ostensibly about sports) it turned into a 400-comment thread about guns.

I'm hoping for an inexpensive variable-speed bench grinder to use as a buffing wheel for finishing and restoring estate pipes. Right now I do everything by hand and I just don't get the shiny, shiny results one can achieve with, I suppose, a [very] quickly rotating brush. (The real problem is that our tiny house has no garage or workshop, so it has to be small and portable. Further, I'm guessing that I'll have to acquire this myself.)

[Okay, I'm in. Now I guess we can talk about guns or whatever for the rest of the thread.]

(BTW I didn't ask anyone for anything for Christmas, but if my wife happens to get me the 14-disc Hitchcock Blu-ray set I won't complain.)

wife and i built a new house this year so we've agreed to do "just one small gift" this xmas. i hope it's something delicious. bottle of scotch, maybe.


There, I'm done.

I want, in the manner of Henderson the Rain, "I want, I want, I want", but what I want is indefinable and never at the bottom of the stocking.

I might order a few books for myself on Amazon.

I'm not in the giving vein either, having blown my wad (as did his mother, as we went halfsies) on a catalytic converter for my son's money-sink of a 199? Toyota (great car -- high mileage, old) last month.

When he comes down for turkey breast stuffed with sausage, fennel, and currants on Christmas Eve, I think I'll march him down to the parking lot, point to the car, and wish him Merry Christmas.

I want him to be accepted into a doctoral program at one of the universities (Berkeley, first choice) of his desires.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all!

Keep the safety on.

I want a microscope. I'm 61 and have never had a decent microscope, which recently has struck me as odd. A whole world around me that is easily visible but which I've never bothered to probe since using very poor microscopes as a child.

I want, in capitulation to the Amazon monopoly, a Kindle Paperwhite.

And a pony.

(Okay, maybe not a pony.)

Rain KING, Henderson the Rain King, not Snow Queen, not Hail Caesar.

I openly sighed for - and have already received - one of those hanging basket chairs, which currently overlooks our Christmas tree, but will in the spring move outside to overlook our pool. You may never pry me from it.

Oh, and world peace (or at least gun control), and better health for all, starting with my wife and myself, and happy lives for children and grandchildren, and all that stuff. Does that count as swag?

it will for the purposes of this thread!

I've asked for sweaters and jeans, because looking at my wardrobe, I clearly need them. I secretly want an iPad mini, which I'm deffo not getting, and a concert DVD by Doe Maar, which I will buy myself for the lowest amount of money I can find it on sale for in the Netherlands (where this particular group is a big hairy deal and has been for three decades).

A 6-8 quart enameled iron Dutch oven (or what Le Creuzet calls a "French oven"). I'm giving up on "non-stick" surfaces, they hardly never last more than a few years before they start either sticking or flaking off. Something that goes on the stove or in the oven, big enough for stew, pot roast, brisket, coq au vin, etc., for 6-10 people. Fortunately there's a Le Creuzet outlet not too far away.

Hmmm...the only thing I can think of is maybe something slightly absurd like quad-copter. It would be a gift for me but would it mostly be a toy for my brother to play with when he visits.

you will enjoy it, Dr Science. I've had mine for 30+ years, and use it regularly.

and I want my Fulbright to be approved.

Yes, health to all, the more subsidized the better.

My wife bought me a bass guitar the Christmas before last, and I now can't think of anything else I want, stuff-wise. I've been messing around very informally and with minimal discipline on the guitar for about 20 years, but I think I should have been playing bass the whole time. I still like playing guitar, but I continue to thank her about twice a week for buying me my bass. So much fun.

So, what I really want, just after Christmas, is for my wife and fourth child to get though the birthing process healthy and happy.

Next Christmas, I'll probably just want some sleep.

I want the following, not necessarily this order:

1. A consistent and reasonably straight tee shot.
2. BobbyP's true handicap.
3. World peace.
4. Phil and HSH to get their Christmas wishes. Seriously, Phil, I hope that works out and that your marginal tax rate goes up in a good way. HSH, we just had our first grandchild. It went fine but everyone held their breath anyway. Here's hoping mightily that your wife's situation goes well.

I want a bigger TV. Nothing huge; we're not avid TV fans, and our 20 year old 20" Sony still works great, but with newer high def format a lot of shows and most movies are letterboxed. This reduces our TV's effective screen size to about 17"; it's like watching everything on a laptop from across the room, and our eyes aren't getting any younger. The price of flatscreens has dropped enough to take the plunge this year.

Plus happy healthy babies, and of course world peace.

I would love a bottle of really good single malt Scotch, especially one of the ones that's aged longer than the standard age for the distillery. 15 year old Laphroiag would be superb. Oh, and the James Bond BluRay box set. Anything beyond that is either outside of a normal price range for a Christmas gift (e.g. Nikon 14-24/2.8) or completely outside the realm of reason (Orbitrap Elite with a good nanoflow UHPLC system).

Anything beyond that is either outside of a normal price range for a Christmas gift (e.g. Nikon 14-24/2.8)

Boy, would I love that lens. Incredible.

I rented one for a trip. Fantastic images, but a big mistake in terms of provoking my lusts.

MAGENTA: I ask for nothing.

FRANKENFURTER: And you will receive it in abundance!

Here's wishing all ObWi front-pagers and commenters the very best and merriest during the darkest week of the year, and a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year.

This carol, based on a poem by Longfellow, always chokes me up, perhaps because the promises never seem to get any closer to fruition:

I heard the bells on Chrismas Day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet, the words repeat:
Peace on Earth! Goodwill to men!

1)A good short game (mine is an embarrassment).
2)McKinney's true handicap (I actually do not have one, officially).

Peace and happiness for all. It's not too much to ask if we just all put our minds to it.

Go forth and do so.

(Orbitrap Elite with a good nanoflow UHPLC system)

That sounds really cool, even though I have no idea what it is.


It's a top of the line mass spectrometer with accessories. I'd love to have one at work, but given that they cost as much as a fancy house in a nice neighborhood, it seems a bit much to expect for Christmas.

I'm with Doctor Science about the dutch oven. I'm all about cast iron these days. Otherwise, between family and friends, healthcare and a secure job, I have no wants or wishes for Christmas.

LJ, we should be getting real close to your threshold. So what are you dreaming of?

Welllll, I really want a new horn. Another student from my horn teacher's studio makes horns, and I'm really thinking of ordering one. The thing is, I will probably have to sell my old horn, an original series Conn 8d, and I haven't been able to get in touch with him.

I was pleasantly surprised by the wisdom in the comic strip "Frazz"


"Why should I have to not have something to want it?"

(Trust me - it's funnier in the strip.)

This year I was boring and asked for clothing, since I hate spending time at malls. It was delivered, making me a happy man!

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