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by Christopher Mudiappahpillai

Well, hello there everyone. Yes, I am still breathing, but just barely. (I’ve been saying that quite a bit of late, no?) Anyway, I don’t think I’ll be able to say anything over the next few days as we (the family and I) will be visiting relatives in the US of A for Christmas.

In the last fifteen years that I’ve lived in this beautiful city, this will be the first time that I’ll be away from home for Christmas. That’s not ideal, but I’ll live, I’m sure.

As promised, here’s a list of some interesting gifts that I happened to chance upon over the last month or so. A little late for Christmas, I realise. Use them for birthdays or something.


Make LOVE not spam. (Free! Well, not so free if you get sued.)

Unfortunately, this interesting piece of software is no longer downloadable. Unless you know where to look. Think of it as a chance for you to give a little something back to those pesky spammers that continually fill our lives with offers of great ways to make money and/or enlarge certain appendages.

Binary People (~17.00 – $20.00 CDN)

The ultimate in nerdwear. Happen to have a Comp-Sci major on your list? Or maybe just an ordinary geek? Well, get them one of these hunky-dory t-shirts bearing the inscription . It’ll let them feel superior whenever they need to explain what it means should they may happen to don it around lesser minds. And they’re all lesser minds.

Neighborhoodies (~$30.00+ CDN)

Because everyone deserves to have their own name brand. Or so say the people behind this create your own clothing site. A bit pricey, I admit, but a very unique gift.

FlashStick (~$8.00 CDN)

For those people in your life that use their cell phones way too much.

Get them one of these nifty customisable stickers to place on their phones. Why is it so great, you ask? Well, the stickers light up. By converting the radiation that emanates from the phone into energy. And that folks, is very disturbing.

Method Household Cleaning Products (~$5.00+ CDN)

The uber cleaning product. I can’t believe that – as far as I know – these are still not available up here in Canada. They’re biodegradable, smell great and have the most beautiful containers as they’re designed by Karim Rashid. (Karim Rashid being Canadian, in case you didn’t know.) Just makes me want to go to the kitchen and wash some dishes or something. Well, maybe just my hands.

Eargrips ($20.00 CDN)

The only ‘ear muffs’ you’ll every catch me wearing. Have saved my ears many a time.

Airzooka (~$20.00 CDN)

Shoots a ball of air up to fourty feet. That’s just cool. Period.

LOTR Extended Edition DVDs (~$40.00 – $100.00 CDN)

I’ve seen the Return of the King Extended Edition and I have to say that the extra fifty minutes of footage makes a huge difference. And who wouldn’t want to own this masterpiece. Actually, I can think of a few, but I’ll leave it at that. Psst… Wal-Mart has them for $99.99 CDN.

Astroboy Deluxe DVD Collection Box Set (~$200.00 CDN)

I recently watched quite a few of these and boy, does it bring back the memories. Also, I must say that they were quite ahead of their time as far as story and themes go. I was able to pick out things like global warming, gender equality, racial equality, cloning… And these are from the 80’s, mind you.

Granted, these are very expensive. Perhaps something for yourself if you’ve been extra good this year.

Music

What better time to give Christmas music than at Christmas. Consider the following:


Trans-Siberian Orchestra – The Christmas Attic

You’ve probably heard “Christmas Canon” by now. This is the album behind it. Absolutely beautiful. Although, the idea of ‘rock opera’ might take a bit getting used to.

k-os – Joyful Rebellion

Toronto’s k-os has recently released his second major album. A nice blend of various sounds; perhaps even better than his debut, Exit. And although I haven’t confirmed this, I think MusicWorld is bundling both albums for around $18.00.

Barenaked Ladies – Barenaked for the Holidays

The best Christmas CD I’ve heard in a long time. A great mix of favourites, new tunes and a few quirky numbers – exactly what you’d expect from the Ladies.

Williams-Sonoma Hot Chocolate (~30.00 CDN)

Guaranteed to be the best hot chocolate you’ll ever have. Why, you ask? Because they’re made from real chocolate shavings and not cocoa powder. We were gifted with a can of this a couple of days ago, and it’s got me drinking milk again. That’s quite the accomplishment. Add some of their handmade marshmallows for an extra kick.

Video Lan Client (~Free)

This year, give the gift of good, free software. For anyone who watches a lot of movies, etc., on their computers, VLC is a must have. Comes in several operating system flavours as well.

And that pretty much wraps it up. I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas. God bless.


White Christmas

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

Just like the ones I used to know

Where the treetops glisten,

and children listen

To hear sleigh bells in the snow

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

I’m dreaming of a white Christmas

With every Christmas card I write

May your days be merry and bright

And may all your Christmases be white

Thankfully, it seems that we really might have a white Christmas this year. And that’s a good thing.