Merry Christmas

2006 Christmas Card, originally uploaded by orangejack.

In the morning we’re heading out to travel about 24 hours…to Kenya. We land in Kenya late Christmas day. So you know that song asking about Africa, “Do they know it’s Christmastime at all?” We’ll find out.

We won’t get back to the States until, well, in time for the BCS Championship game.

My blogging and uploading of photos will probably be slim to none until we get back. I may post while I’m there, but there’s no guarantee.

So until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy New Years, and Happy Fill-in-the-blank-to-make-you-happy!

Can you tell the photo below is a Christmas photo? (click image to enlarge)

poinsettia two tone

poinsettia two tone, originally uploaded by orangejack.

The last of the florally-Christmasy photos.

Have a great and merry Christmas!

BTW, do you know why poinsettias are associated with Christmas? And did you know my home state of South Carolina was the first place in the US to have poinsettias thanks to US Ambassador to Mexico, Joel Roberts Poinsett?

And they look pretty even when green (and wet) like this one in our front yard.

Update your PC for the Holidays

Many of us have time during the holidays that we like to play with our computers. Or we’re looking for excuses to get away from family. Either way, I’m going to leave some ideas and tips for playing around with your computer during the holidays by getting rid of junk, getting new free cool things, and just general straightening up. Ready?

Get New Free Cool Things

Get Rid of Junk

  • Run CCleaner
  • Run Spybot
  • Run Ad-Aware
  • Check for unneeded programs under Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs (be careful not to delete things you aren’t sure about)


  • Run Windows Update – get all the latest patches and updates from Microsoft
  • RocketDock – creates a ‘mac dock’ on your PC to launch your favorite programs
  • Re-organize your MyDocuments folder
  • Re-organize your MyMusic folder
  • Run Windows Disk Defragmenter (under “All Programs > Accessories > System Tools
  • Backup your harddrive
  • Turn on your Microsoft Firewall (under Control Panel > Firewall)

Optimize Yourself Online

Frugal Gadgets

Everybody loves gadgets. But do you want a list of 25 Gadgets That Actually Save Money? Here’s my favorites:

1. Filtered Water Bottle
9. Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs
13. Dance Dance Revolution
14. Self-Cleaning Electric Shaver
15. Espresso / Cappuccino Machine
23. TiVo
24. A Hybrid Car
25. A Residential Windmill

Of course, I’m not really sure how a car or windmill counts as a gadget, but, whatever.