December 24th, 2007

Smile

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Shortpacked!: The Brassyjacking continues!

Katrina Sharp's guest strip week continues!

Meanwhile, Maggie and I are spending Christmas in San Diego with her parents. When we venture forth from the house, we see the scorched trees and now-vacant lots of the places around here that burned in the recent fire. The trees in the front lawn are blackened, and a nearby hill that Maggie and I have scaled before is now barren and scarred. And yet this house was spared! Lucky, I s'pose. God sure is random with his wrath.

A neighborhood nearby, Westwood, annually lines luminarias along the sidewalks, and despite losing 128 of the houses there, the tradition continued. We drove up and down the streets, and ever so often we'd see a spot where a house used to be. The locations of the downed houses had no pattern or reason; sometimes there'd just be one vacant lot in the center of perfectly intact houses. And just as often, there'd be a string of them completely gone. Nothing like seeing one driveway after another leading to cleared-away mounds of dirt. Despite all that, luminarias persisted, though partially supported by the donations of others. One festively lit culdesac (plural form: culsdesac!) had kids with trays full of cookies feeding passing cars.

Yesterday we went to see the Dead Sea Scrolls exhibit here in town. The earliest-known copy of the Ten Commandments was there! Also, I learned that Goliath isn't as giant as advertised. Earlier manuscripts have him at "only" six and a half feet tall, a detail that was accidentally changed to nine feet by later scribes. Whoops! It's fun to know that David took down a guy only three inches taller than Abraham Lincoln. But then, peeps back then were midgets by today's standards, so Goliath might as well have been nine feet tall.

One of my Christmas presents from Maggie's mother was a comic book sold in the souvenir shop. It's hilarious! It tells the story of a young boy who's stuck at the museum, bored by all these old scraps of paper, when he meets an old, devilishly-grinning creep of a man who takes him on a journey through history. These scraps of paper are COOL, dammit! I may scan things from the book later.