Thursday, December 31, 2009

Season's Greetings

San Jose, December 19, 2009: Didn’t get this out on Friday because I wanted to end this year with a holiday seasonal message, but had no recent seasonal photos. Tonight, while dropping Mireya off at the Valley Fair shopping mall which is on the border of San Jose and the city of Santa Clara, I noticed that many of the houses in our old neighborhood, Rose Garden, were nicely decorated with lights and trees, so out came the camera, and after walking around for an hour and a half, here are the best of what I took.

Some Rose Garden homes are stately. While others are out to make a statement. I think this one is saying, “we’re out of nylons!”

My cousin, Tyler, tells me that this lamp is actually a replica of a prop used in the 1983 movie, A Christmas Story.

Did you notice the small Christmas tree on the bottom right? There is a fund-raising tradition in Rose Garden where you give a donation to charity in return for a small tree with lights installed on your front lawn (with rebar) for the month of December.

Here’s an example of an outdoor and inside trees. People in the Bay Area like to display furniture or decorations in picture windows in the fronts of their houses.

Many decorated their landscaping trees and bushes.

A few had religious themes.

Seems like they’re short one wise man (on the right); or maybe he wisely ran inside to warm up!

The effect of a simple lit tree on everyone’s front lawn is quite pleasing. Many blocks had rows of trees down each side.

Then, there are those who aren’t shy about sharing their Christmas spirit, or this case, Santa Claus’s Canadian Postal Code.

You think I’m kidding, but I kid you not. If you send a letter to Santa Claus, North Pole, Canada, H0H 0H0, or Père Noël, Pôle Nord, Canada, H0H 0H0, Canada Post will deliver it to staff in their Montreal office who will send back a cheery letter full of Santa-isms and reminders to be good and obey one’s parents. I’m pretty sure this only works within Canada.

When I was a kid, the tradition was to burn your letter to Santa in the fireplace with the belief that the smoke would transmit your message to the north pole. I never got a written reply, but we were never disappointed at Christmas either.

On a personal note, we delivered our major phone program this month with the first customer shipment completed on Friday. The program name was Roundtable after the Knights of the Roundtable, from the story of King Arthur of ancient England. You can rent or download the movie, Camelot, if you don’t know the story. We saw Camelot live starring Michael York in San Jose a few years ago. Even though it was first produced on Broadway in 1960, Camelot hasn’t lost its charm. “If ever I should leave you…” Don’t get me started. ;-)

Anyway, I told a friend that when I went on vacation, I always chose restaurants with square tables, to symbolize my break from working on Roundtable. And here’s proof from last summer. Even the plates are square! Naturally, we ordered the waffle squares with fruit and vegetables to make it, you know, a square meal!

The weather was so crazy last July, when Mireya took this, that at 10:00 AM, it was 90 degrees F (32C), which is fine for places that are used to the heat and have air conditioning. Vancouver is not one of those places. Normally, that time of year, 65F or 18C would be the temperature in the late morning. We were sweltering in that restaurant at the Granville Island Hotel.
If you’re curious about the new phones that we delivered, go to and search for the Cisco Unified IP Phones 9900 Series and the Cisco Unified IP Phones 8900 Series.

This is my last weekly photo essay for 2009: Taking holidays next week and I need to take a bunch of photos to stock up my depleted reserves for the winter photo essays, This is also the last issue I’ll be building and sending from my old IBM Thinkpad as I now have a Mac and I’ll have to learn how to put this together with Entourage, which is the email client we use on Macs.

Have a Merry Christmas or, if not Christmas, a pleasant celebration of your family tradition. For all of my Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Vietnamese friends, a pleasant end to the western calendar year. From my family to yours, all our best to you for a prosperous 2010.

Copyright © 2009 David G. Kelly