Tag Archives: Christmas

The irony of Toy Story

Regular readers (hello, Mum and Louise) have complained that they want me to post more stuff about my daughter. I am about to grant their wish. Kind of.

So, one of the joys of having a little child is that you can watch Disney movies for hours and hours on end. And I mean hours. Bambi was a recent favourite, though we have to fast forward the bit where Bambi’s Mum ‘goes’ and the whole second half of the movie when Bambi and his chums become old. Apparently, babies are best.

My daughter is also obsessed with her toys coming to life, which made Toy Story an obvious purchase. Bought last week, both Toy Story and Toy Story 2 have now been watched within an inch of their digital lives. The second film – in case you’ve forgotten – is a morality tale (what else? After all, it is Disney) about grown ups collecting toys, when they should really be played with by kids.

So, we’ve loved the films and the characters, such as those cool, green aliens that go ‘Oooooh’. My wife remembered we had one of the little aliens upstairs. Even better, the alien key ring was still in its packaging. Which meant I was able to pass it off to my daughter as a ‘new toy’, rather than a piece of tat I’d forgotten that was stuck at the bottom of the wardrobe.

First, it seems weird that I’d kept the toy in the packaging. Was I keeping it fresh to auction at some later date? No, I’d simply bought it in the US and lobbed it in the wardrobe. As I said, I’d forgotten about it – honestly.

So, I gave the toy to my daughter. And then the obvious thought entered my head: was my packaged alien key ring actually worth something? After she tore open the packaging, I checked eBay and found stacks of ‘pristine’ collectables for sale. Err, great. But isn’t that slightly crap?

And even worse, I bought both DVDs – because they were cheaper in this form – in a ‘Collectors’ Special Edition’ box. Which is even more ironic, seeing as the makers of the film have endorsed the ‘collectability’.

Toy Story 3 is out next year, which is great. So, expect more collectables and limited edition Buzz Lightyears. And as my daugther said to her Mummy just three minutes ago: “When’s Christmas?”

Hey, now that’s irony. And the key ring is worthless, by the way.

Carbon cost of electronic Christmas cards

There’s been a lot of guff about the carbon cost of Google searching during the last couple of days, with the debate prompted by research from a Harvard academic, which suggests two Google searches produces the equivalent C02 as boiling a kettle. If you’ve found this post through a Google search, I hope you’re enjoying your ‘equivalent’ of half a cup of tea.

The research doesn’t really tell us anything we don’t already know – in short, searching for stuff, using energy-hungry computers and data centres, eats a lot of power. So, I started thinking about stuff we’re doing that eats power – especially the stuff that is meant to be green.

Take Christmas cards, for example. No one posts Christmas cards anymore (except my wife and her Mum). People send emails, Facebook pokes and electronic cards – it’s meant to convey the same message and can be sent with a cheery: ‘I am saving the environment by not posting a paper card’.

Except you’re not, because all this electronic stuff eats carbon, too. And it’s rubbish anyway – cards are much nicer and much more personal. And I bet posting a card causes less of a drag on resources that all those tweets, emails and pokes. Long live the Christmas card!

Ten New Year resolutions

Hope you had a nice Christmas. Here are my ten New Year resolutions. I can’t keep number 10 – I just have to hope it is realised. Have a good one:

  1. Tidy the house regularly. Rather than just when visitors are coming.
  2. Stop using the internet so much. I spend a lot of time looking at rubbish.
  3. And actually phone people.
  4. Eat less yeast.
  5. Try and enjoy fruit.
  6. Keep my beard trim. Perhaps.
  7. Encourage my daughter to wear a coat. And prepare to admit defeat.
  8. Get fit, or something.
  9. Complete Mario Galaxy.
  10. Mid-May, celebrate the Villa winning the League.