Recommended diversions


It’s over now, but the 24 hours between Christmas Eve afternoon, say around 6 p.m., and the evening of Dec. 25 have fallen into a ritual that is wholly and completely satisfying.

It starts with church, moves into our family’s traditional home-made lasagna feast and then into Christmas Eve present opening with the kids. Later there’s a card game, a board game, perhaps a Christmas movie. Then the little ones go off to sleep and Santa comes. After the morning rampage, we head to Cataloochee to ski. Then it’s to the home of some very good friends for another early meal. Finally, we’re home, fed, happy, tired, relaxed. We’ve talked often of exotic traveling at Christmas, of heading West or South. Perhaps, perhaps not.

David McCullough

I’ve sang his praises before, after reading 1776, and so I’ll do it one more time. David McCullough is a master storyteller. I’ve just started, The Great Bridge: The Epic Story of the Building of the Brooklyn Bridge. I know, it seems impossible that the story of a construction project could be remotely interesting. But it is. McCullough is at the top of his game, and I feel comfortable recommending anything he has written. Get thee to a bookstore.


Not the fruit, the computer. The never-ending debate between PC users and Apple users will one day be settled, and Apple will win. I recently got a new laptop and the features on this one push me even further into the Mac corner. Ease of use, great software packaged with the machine, and overall coolness. The battle’s over.

Cold weather

Maybe it’s not global warming, but it’s too damn warm for winter. My new load of firewood sits stacked and ready, the propane tank is full, the winter clothing unpacked from the boxes in the attic. Alas, I’m still wearing short-sleeved shirts. I’m over balmy Decembers. Let the new year bring in the cold.

— Scott McLeod

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