Category Archives: just a nuisance

Reginald on Christmas Presents

As the Christmas draws near and the shops are filled with the bargain hunters looking for that perfect gift, I cannot help thinking of …

Reginald on Christmas Presents
Hector Hugh Munro (Saki), 1870-1916

I wish it to be distinctly understood (said Reginald) that I don’t want a “George, Prince of Wales” Prayer-book as a Christmas present. The fact cannot be too widely known.

There ought (he continued) to be technical education classes on the science of present-giving. No one seems to have the faintest notion of what anyone else wants, and the prevalent ideas on the subject are not creditable to a civilised community.

There is, for instance, the female relative in the country who “knows a tie is always useful,” and sends you some spotted horror that you could only wear in secret or in Tottenham Court Road. It might have been useful had she kept it to tie up currant bushes with, when it would have served the double purpose of supporting the branches and frightening away the birds–for it is an admitted fact that the ordinary tomtit of commerce has a sounder aesthetic taste than the average female relative in the country.

Then there are aunts. They are always a difficult class to deal with in the matter of presents. The trouble is that one never catches them really young enough. By the time one has educated them to an appreciation of the fact that one does not wear red woollen mittens in the West End, they die, or quarrel with the family, or do something equally inconsiderate. That is why the supply of trained aunts is always so precarious.

There is my Aunt Agatha, par exemple, who sent me a pair of gloves last Christmas, and even got so far as to choose a kind that was being worn and had the correct number of buttons. But–they were nines! I sent them to a boy whom I hated intimately: he didn’t wear them, of course, but he could have–that was where the bitterness of death came in. It was nearly as consoling as sending white flowers to his funeral. Of course I wrote and told my aunt that they were the one thing that had been wanting to make existence blossom like a rose; I am afraid she thought me frivolous–she comes from the North, where they live in the fear of Heaven and the Earl of Durham. (Reginald affects an exhaustive knowledge of things political, which furnishes an excellent excuse for not discussing them.) Aunts with a dash of foreign extraction in them are the most satisfactory in the way of understanding these things; but if you can’t choose your aunt, it is wisest in the long-run to choose the present and send her the bill.

Even friends of one’s own set, who might be expected to know better, have curious delusions on the subject. I am not collecting copies of the cheaper editions of Omar Khayyam. I gave the last four that I received to the lift-boy, and I like to think of him reading them, with FitzGerald’s notes, to his aged mother. Lift-boys always have aged mothers; shows such nice feeling on their part, I think.

Personally, I can’t see where the difficulty in choosing suitable presents lies. No boy who had brought himself up properly could fail to appreciate one of those decorative bottles of liqueurs that are so reverently staged in Morel’s window–and it wouldn’t in the least matter if one did get duplicates. And there would always be the supreme moment of dreadful uncertainty whether it was creme de menthe or Chartreuse–like the expectant thrill on seeing your partner’s hand turned up at bridge. People may say what they like about the decay of Christianity; the religious system that produced green Chartreuse can never really die.

And then, of course, there are liqueur glasses, and crystallised fruits, and tapestry curtains, and heaps of other necessaries of life that make really sensible presents- -not to speak of luxuries, such as having one’s bills paid, or getting something quite sweet in the way of jewellery. Unlike the alleged Good Woman of the Bible, I’m not above rubies. When found, by the way, she must have been rather a problem at Christmas-time; nothing short of a blank cheque would have fitted the situation. Perhaps it’s as well that she’s died out.

The great charm about me (concluded Reginald) is that I am so easily pleased.

But I draw the line at a “Prince of Wales” Prayer-book.


I have now been a resident (officially) of the South for 2 years and I have not contracted the words YOU and ALL nor do I intend to. I have will not assimilate.

the best pencil in the world

For many I was hooked on the Dixon Ticonderoga #2, it was the best pencil in the world. After all it said so right on the box. Recently I have been plagued with lose ferrules, missing erasures and gritty graphite so I started investigating new pencils. I have found that for the price, the Dixon Ticonderoga #2 is probably the best pencil world. However if you have a lot of money to spend on disposable writing instruments the Farber-Castell 9000 Pencil which retails for just over a $1.00 is probably one of the finest pencils that I have had the pleasure to use. California Republic has a line of pencils called Palomino that retail for just under a $1.00 that are very close to the Farber-Castell 9000 and the Palomino touts sustainability.

4:50 pm – the drive home

The drive home was all but exciting. At least until I stopped at
the gas station to top off my tank. Because the day was not yet over and I
wanted to maintain my preparedness I figures that it would be best to stop and
top off my gas tank, after all I did drive over 60 miles since I last filled up
my tank. It took 2.299 gallons of regular octane gasoline at $2.899. Do the


 An ominous sign to say the least?

cost of doing business with democrats

I’m not a hard line, right wing
conservative but I am nowhere near the left either. That is why the recent
political discussions about pulling of
Iraq have got me to thinking. I have come up with a solution and the
cost is something that is affordable, at least by governmental standards.

The cost $41,402,778.76

Approximate US Population

let’s trade
  This paperclip started everything for Kyle.
From paperclip, to fish pen, to doorknob, to a coleman stove, to a
generator, to a …
  Kyle will trade the current object
for something bigger or better and will travel North America to make the
trade. Kyle will "make a continuous chain of ‘up trades’ until I get a
house. Or an Island. Or a house on an island." go visit the site
and make him an offer for a trade. We at life in error
have offered a Dell Computer and even offered to paint it red.

spammed by the governor

Yesterday I was
spammed but the Governor of Michigan in an attempt to get me to her
re-election web site (which I will not link to). Include in the spam
e-mail was and account name and password that they had conveniently setup
for me. The message was not encrypted or secured in any way. I guess I
should post the the account information here on my blog, it would be as

I can’t say that I am impressed with Governor Granholm she hasn’t done
much for the State of Michigan and I’m sure there are many people who
would say that she has caused several of the problems that Michigan
currently suffers. There is one thing that Governor Granholm did do for
the state that I can actually say that I agree with and that is she pushed
through Act
makes the sending of unsolicited e-mail a misdemeanor punishable by
imprisonment for not more than 1 year or a fine of not more than
$10,000.00, or both. 

Letter sent to the Governor and Attorney General