Miscellany as vacation looms.

Winter break, alias Christmas vacation, is three days away. All I want this Christmas is for my students to put some substantial effort into doing those assignments over the break before the weekend before they come back. That’s it. Not world peace or universal happiness–that would be asking an awful lot of billions of people. I’m just asking for a little bit of reading and paperwork from 162 people. Please, Santa.

I might take a day to go up to South Cackalacky. No other travel. Little-to-no Christmas shopping in accordance with my anti-gift policy. Only a little bit of paperwork. Fulfilling a few more resolutions. Catch up with some old friends. It’ll be nice and relaxing.

I finally caught up with 2006 and bought a PS3. I still say today’s game systems have too many buttons for my taste. One shouldn’t have to have the reflexes and skills of a real-life fighter pilot or a real-life football player or a real-life diminutive plumber in order to enjoy a video game. Right now the only game I have is FIFA Soccer 10. Everywhere outside the U.S. it’s simply called “FIFA 10”–I guess the designers were worried that we Yankees might somehow think it was a bowling game. Anyhow, I have no idea what all this machine can do, but it’ll serve at least two useful purposes. First, I can set it up right in front of the exercise machine and use it to break up the monotony. Second, once I figure out how to hook up the internet connection I’ll whip my little brother from 900 miles away.

Screenshot of FIFA 10 for the PS3.

FIFA Soccer 10 for the PS3 (angle 1 of 2).

Soccervideogame2

FIFA Soccer 10 for the PS3 (angle 2 of 2).

Actually, it might take a little bit more than merely hooking up the internet connection since I can barely beat MLS teams with AC Milan.

The Bears’ season ended today. Forget a non-winning season and not making the playoffs–they went 0-2 against the Packers. That makes the season a failure. There’s not much to say that I haven’t droned on and on about already. I think they have decent enough skill players on offense, but they need the best QB coach on Earth and a pretty good shrink for Cutler. They need a big, as in tall, receiver who can outjump defensive backs on long bombs. They need a better offensive line–Olin Kreutz is old, and when Orlando Pace is touted as a big-name o-line signing, you’re clearly in trouble. They need to fire Ron Turner first and probably Lovie Smith second. Bring in Cowher or Shanahan. And burn the orange jerseys.

Three days ’til vacation. Despite recent ill omens–a coworker’s dream that I died, a bag of oranges (watch the Godfather series if you don’t get that), lots of rain and goofy weather, the Bears getting swept by the Packers–I can make it three more days.