Huffman Coding

… with a bunch of Family Stuff too

2006 Holiday Letter

December 2006

Friends and relations,

We visited my sister in northwest Ohio for Thanksgiving and there was construction on I-71 along the way. Our four-year-old noticed the small turquoise enclosures every half mile or so in the construction zone. Claire started counting them and would exclaim…

There’s another Sorta-Potty!

Thus began another holiday season. Chris has indicated disinterest in annoying our friends and family again this year with our highly-impersonal annual holiday letter, but I can’st resist the opportunity to ramble in front of a captive audience so, with her blessing, I am sending out a tree-pulp-free rendition of our annual holiday letter via e-mail.

I have to be careful how I distribute this, as last year I mailed the holiday letter to an employment recruiter instead of my resume. Just in case, I should mention that the views expressed in this e-mail do not reflect the views of my employer.

Despite the best of our intentions, the girls are getting older. Claire is now riding two-wheeler and is in preschool. More importantly this is the last year that Chris will have to bake 14 dozen cookies for their Christmas fundraiser. At least this is fewer than the 28 dozen Chris had to make when the older two were in preschool at the same time.

Claire is now in gymnastics following in the footsteps of her older sisters and Katie is now taking piano along with Marissa. And in her musical debut, Katie was a House Fly (complete with robe and slippers) in her 3rd grade musical. Marissa chose to avoid the limelight in the back row of the chorus.

Marissa and Katie continue to take Chinese lessons. They learn a handful of words each week, forgetting half of them before the next lesson. For a few weeks this fall, they could count to seven.

After a too-short mourning period after Bam Bam’s death, we have rotated in a new house cat. His name is Cooper. Rather than urinate on the baseboards like the cat before Bam Bam, this one urinates on the basement futon and throws up every other day on the off-white carpet. Chris appears to have built up a tolerance for bodily-function-challenged felines.

The big event of our year was a driving vacation to the Carolinas. We hit Charleston and few other cities down there. As long as the hotel had a pool, the natives weren’st restless. We visited the Biltmore Estate and, in case you were curious, the audio headsets can serve as a handy leash for a four-year-old if you clip her battery compartment to your own belt. At least until she gets bored, takes off her headphones and wanders off on the top floor.

We cut the vacation short a day because the one of last hamlets we were to stay at looked nothing like the brochure. Instead the city was overrun with hundreds of loud, tattooed bikers.

The girls called Santa on the telephone last week and left messages on his voice mail. Marissa forgot to leave her name when she called. Katie figured out what to do, but Claire might be getting a lump of coal this year because ended her toy request list with “Goodbye Poopyhead!”

I, on the other hand, will end with something more appropriate:

Happy Holidays, Poopyheads!

Ken (and Chris, Marissa, Katie and Claire, none of whom claim culpability for this note)