December 28: "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind"

Saturday, December 29, 2012 - Posted by 366 White Elephants at 9:53 AM
Given to Christopher from Tessa.

As the season has progressed, a few Christmas letters have trickled in to my mailbox.  They're always fun to receive, oftentimes featuring the standard content of weddings, trips, offspring updates, and the latest scholarly papers published.  Yes, yes, yes, yes--I'm sure these were all highlights for the year, but do they really capture what's interesting about your friends and family?  Do they give you a sense of how their year went?  I am firmly in the camp that says no.  I'm not complaining, but I think we all probably all want to know a little more.  I recommend telling them what kind of information you are looking for now, so that you may receive a tailored letter next year.  What you want is probably different than what I want, but here are some examples of things that are important to me:

  • approximate weight of legumes consumed in the year
  • number of unsolicited and solicited neck rubs received
  • who they think the best game show host is on television, plus an accompanying half-page bio of that host
  • a detailed family history since the end of Prohibition
  • having each family member answer the question "if you were stranded on a deserted island, what three items would you take?", but change it to an archipelago to mix it up a little
  • bar graph showing the cost of their city's trash removal service over the past three years
  • first food each family goes for when they're hungry 

-Profession: Embedded Software Engineer

-Favorite part about renting a car:  Declining the insurance

-In casual conversation, you sometimes refer to yourself as a 'rocket scientist'.  What would it take for you to impress Shania Twain?:  Tune the satellite thruster control system to make music.

-You are the product of two German professors.  Based on this information alone, if you went back in time when you were an infant, what would you have imagined yourself to be?:  Professional skydiver for Oktoberfest

-You graduated from Oberlin College, which has a proud history of being one of the first colleges in the country to admit minorities and women.  What population of a dubious distinction do you think Oberlin will be next in line to admit?:  Rubik's Cube champions