Christmas Archives - Chris Ullrich dot net
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Getting Rid of Stuff and More Updates for 2022


Hi. It’s me again. I hope you all had a merry holidays and a festive new year. We didn’t do much to celebrate or put up decorations or whatever you’re supposed to do.

In fact, we hardly decorated at all. We did put up a tree, which was nice. But we didn’t do much to the outside of the house.

I’m not that disappointed about it. Nobody else was either. It was just something we didn’t do this time.

The kid was happy anyway. Santa still dropped by and he got a lot of stuff he desperately needed (sarcasm, in case you can’t tell) and his mom got a couple things too. So did his grandparents. I got one or two things as well.

But really, I didn’t need much of anything. Sure, I made an Amazon wishlist or whatever, but that was just because H insisted. I didn’t really want anything for Christmas.

I’ve got more “stuff” than I really need.

One of my “problems” is this: If I’m interested in something, a hobby or something work-related, I’ll go deep into it and get the required tools or whatever, to perform the task or function I need to perform. Basically, I want the right tool for the job.

This tends to mean I end up with a lot of stuff. Sure, I use most of it (some of it every day) but it also means other stuff just sits there unused, or is only used sporadically.

Or, let’s face it, not at all after the first day, week, month, etc. That happens too. I burn out on hobbies sometimes, but the stuff is still there. And I’ve been doing this for years. So yeah, I end up with a lot of stuff.

I should really get rid of some of it.

I’m sure to some of you this “problem’ doesn’t sound too bad. And I know I’m very fortunate to have this problem at all and to afford to enjoy hobbies and acquire tools as I need/want them. I get that.

But that’s not really the point of this exercise. The point is I have too much stuff and will need to take appropriate steps one of these days before there’s no room left for the rest of us.

I’m joking, mostly. It won’t get that bad. I’m not a hoarder. You’re a hoarder. Anyway . . .

There’s other business.

The Flickcast podcast is going great. We’ve got over 400 episodes so far! How about that? If you don’t know, I co-host and produce a podcast called The Flickcast.

It’s all about stuff nerds love. It’s fun and you should definitely check it out.

We’re also working on new guests and some changes for the podcast, which I’m excited about. 2022 should be a great year for the show. Fingers crossed.

• I’m still on Twitch Sunday nights playing D&D with the Whiskey & Waffles gang. It’s also fun and you should check it out too. Although, I won’t be on this weekend due to, well, keep reading.

• I’ve also updated my business website and have been offering prints of my photography for sale. A couple people have even purchased prints. I greatly appreciate that.

• And now, to bury the lead (my High School journalism teacher would not be happy with me). Our kid went back to school in-person a little over a week ago and, of course, that means I got something. Not sure if it’s COVID or a cold or what it is, but it’s definately something.

Good luck finding a COVID testing center appointment anywhere in the next few weeks, though. I sometimes forget Austin is in Texas where the GOP and our “governor” are real pieces of shit and seemingly do whatever they can to make this pandemic worse for people. I just want a test. Why are many of the testing centers closed now?

COVID isn’t over, FFS. Maybe we should let testing centers stay open and allow for virtual school options? Probably a good idea.

I did order home test kits. Let’s see if they arrive . . . ever. Maybe I should just wait for the Biden Admin to send out test kits? I’m sure that’s going to happen real soon now. I won’t hold my breath.

How many years has this pandemic been going on and we still don’t have home tests or adequate supplies of masks, etc.? Greatest country in the world? Maybe. But right now, I gotta say, I’m not impressed.

Fortunately, my symptoms of whatever this is are relatively mild. So if it is COVID, it seems my triple dose of Pfizer vaccine is doing its job. Hopefully this trend continues. I think it will.

Everyone in my house is vaccinated to the fullest extent, too. So whatever I have hopefully won’t be a problem for them. Meantime, I’m mostly staying in my office and sleeping in the guest room until I feel better.

And, if I do need to venture outdoors I’m masking with my dwindling supply of N95s and keeping my distance, just like I have been for the last 20 months plus. I do try to minimize my exposure to others as much as I can. But really, I did that before the pandemic too so . . . yeah.

If you’re worried about me, first off, I appreciate it. Thanks very much. I’m sure I’ll be fine. I have the benefit of modern science on my side. Which is nice.

If only everyone (or enough of you) thought so too. This all might have been over sooner. Alas . . .

Okay. Rant over. Thanks for reading. See you on the other side.

Christmas Aftermath

In a nutshell, I’m tired. Christmas has come and gone and it was a long, long day. And we don’t have any kids and didn’t have to fly anywhere.

I can’t imagine how my parents did it or, for that matter, how other parents do it today. it must be exhausting, especially if you have to travel a long way and keep some young ones entertained.

As for us, we had a very nice time with H’s parents, her brother and my Mom. Just the six of us in the comfortable environs of Ventura eating lots of food and opening a metric crapload of gifts.

We may have even had one or two drinks too. Good times all around.

Out of the many, many gifts, we all got some really nice stuff. I will probably even keep the vast majority of my gifts. . . Probably. Nah, they were all great. I’m keeping ’em.

That’s a pic of our tree. Pretty nice, huh? I think so.


Hope you all had a very good day. Now, to the nap chamber!

Happy Holidays


Yes, it’s that time of year again. The holidays are upon us. Because I’m a certain type of person, I’m going to go ahead and wish you all a Merry Christmas.

I occasionally use the more PC “Happy Holidays,” (like in the title of this post) but I just don’t feel like it this time. So there we are. That said, if you choose to use it, feel free. I won’t hold it against you.

I hope you have a great couple of days, spend quality time with those you love and get everything you asked for from Santa. If you’re still on the fence about what to get me, or even trying to decide if you’re going to get me anything at all, I’ve already taken the liberty of spelling it all out for you.

I like to make things as simple as possible . . . for all of us.

All I Want for Christmas Is . . . Nothing

With both Christmas and my birthday fast approaching, I thought it would be prudent to share some thoughts I have about the holidays that will hopefully answer the question I frequently get asked around this time of year: “What do you want for Christmas and/or your birthday?”

The short answer is I don’t really want anything. That’s right, I don’t want you (or anyone else) to get me anything.

Confused? Allow me to elaborate.

I don’t need anything — The truth is I already have pretty much everything I need. If I do really want or need something I don’t already have, I’m extremely fortunate enough to be in the position to just go ahead and buy it for myself.

If there is something I haven’t already bought that I really want, it’s probably very expensive and definitely not something I would ever expect anyone to buy for me. Or, as it is in a lot of cases, I just don’t need it that bad and am willing to go without.

I already have too much stuff — In fact, I’m really trying to downsize the amount of stuff I already have, so adding new stuff is not really a priority. Plus, I am currently looking for a new place to live, which may or may not have more space than I currently have, so I really can’t be adding a lot of new until that’s sorted out.

Although, even if I did end up with a lot more space, I would likely still be trying to downsize. The simple fact is I realized a few years ago I can live with less. It was a terrific realization and I’ve tried to stick with it. So far, I’ve been pretty successful.

I could go on with more reasons, but those are the big ones. I have a good life and I’m thankful for it. I’m also extremely satisfied with the current quantity and quality of “things” in my life.

Although, if someone did want to buy me one of these, or one of these, or one of these (perhaps all three?), I might find a way to make an exception.

Until then, I’m just gonna sit over here on my more than adequate pile of stuff.

Christmas Birthday 101

The holidays are upon us in earnest and Christmas is coming this Sunday. I’m also having a birthday this week too. In fact, it’s tomorrow (Thursday).

Before you feel too bad for me and express sympathies that my birthday must get forgotten due to its proximity to Christmas, I will make you feel better by telling you that in all the time I’ve been alive, I’ve never felt bad about having a birthday three days before Christmas.

There’s one reason for that (well, two). Harold and Dorothy. My parents.

My parents came into my life sorta late in theirs. They tried for several years to have a kid the old fashioned way, but in the end, for whatever reason, they were unsucessful. So, like countless others who wanted a child, but just couldn’t make it happen, they turned to adoption.

That’s where I came into the picture. My parents adopted me, sealed the deal in late November, I was born on December 22 and they brought me home to live with them on Christmas day.

Since that time, my parents, being the intelligent and thoughtful people they are, went to great effort to distinguish my birthday from Christmas. It was always considered a seperate day and talk of Christmas was put aside until it was over.

Sure, the house usually already had Christmas lights and decorations up (my father was like that), but that was not allowed to detract from my birthday. If my party was at the house, we celebrated in a room away from the tree and as much of the rest of the Christmas-centric decor as we could manage.

They were also really great at making sure I had separate birthday and Christmas gifts each year. My mom still does that to this day.

I have no doubt that when I see her this weekend she will make me open my birthday presents first and then make me wait for the Christmas presents until a respectable amount of time has passed. Somewhat of a traditionalist is Dorothy. If my dad were still alive, I’m sure he’d insist on the same thing.

The purpose of this missive is to say that I’ve been very fortunate to have these two people in my life. Whatever happened, they always put me first and made sure I never needed or wanted for anything.

I could not have asked for better people to show me the whys and wherefores of life. I just hope, if I ever have children of my own, I can do half as good a job as they did.

It’s a tough act to follow.