The Christmas Dream

We saw the last Hobbit movie on Tuesday this week. It had a huge amount of fighting in it, but it was also some times funny. Perhaps the best character was Dain. He was not comic relief, but he was very funny.

There were a lot of moments in the movie that felt like they were taken out of a gameplay report of Dwarf Fortress (all the leaders being so much more powerful than the underlings that they were only able to be killed by each other, the leaders all riding on weird war beasts, the general shape of the fortress).

There was also this one weird moment where some of the dwarves apparently leveled up and took the Improved Mount feat so that they could procure war rams out of thin air.

The best part of the movie was perhaps the part where Galadriel singlehandedly defeated all of the ringwraiths and Sauron with a Spirit Bomb attack. I never thought that she was the most powerful person on the middle earth, but it seems that Peter Jackson does. Tolkien did like her a lot, but if she was that capable, then why did she not just fight Sauron again personally during the LOTR time frame? She could have taken a couple of the big name elves and just snuck into Mordor and assassinated him.

Another thing that happened was that the Ra stories (by Sam Huges) ended. They were a fun read. It was sad that the good guys didn't really win, but it is sort of expected since Sam set up a situation where they couldn't really win. They did get away, but I was hoping that they would somehow find a way to make everyone happy.

I really expected the people stored in the core of Neptune to be treated as prisoners of war by the Virtuals, and to have had enough simulated time among them to win some subset of the Virtuals over to the idea of leaving earth alone which would enable the Actuals to live on an earth that orbited the Matrioshka Brain, but apparently that would have been too much of a deus ex machina for Sam.

Wednesday we went to Peter and the Starcatcher. It was entertaining, certainly not the worst play we saw this year. Probably Black 'stache was the best character.

Thursday was the Brown family Christmas get-together. It was at Amy's house. We ate food and played Telestrations. The grandparents played with the grandkids while the parents played the game. It was very fun.

After all that excitement, we made wrapping Christmas gifts our Friday night date. We are all ready for Christmas!

Saturday we spent all day cleaning the house, or at least so it felt. We tried making a white-mold cheese (like Brie or Camembert) for the first time. The curds were kept persistently at the wrong temperature (either too hot or cold). Hopefully the white mold still colonizes it.  We'll see in a month or so how it worked out.

We also opened a nine-month-old white sharp cheddar. It was amazing. This is our first time having a cheddar turn out with a proper Cheddar flavor. Umm! The four-pound wheel is not going to last long. We'll have to make more soon. Some of the Christmas gifts that I asked for would help us to make more cheeses, so hopefully I got them.

In cute kid news, Sara was holding the scissors as we wrapped presents, so we asked her to cut the ribbon and put in between the scissors and pulled. The ribbon cut, and Sara looked up with astonished delight on her face and said, "I can use scissors! I'm a mommy - almost!"

Timmy is practically crawling - he can make it several feet on a smooth flat surface if he has help to prevent going in circles - and loves sweet potatoes and really any solids we stick in his mouth.

Rea wrote a book for her cousin Max this week, called "The Christmas Dream." She drew the pictures and dictated the words to her parental scribes.

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