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The Down-sizing of Christmas New Policy

Organizational Changes at the North Pole

'Twas the Week After Christmas

The Advent of Christmas Trees

Top 10 Reasons Santa's Probably a Female

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'Twas the Night Before Christmas - Read, Listen, View, & Enjoy!

Traditional Version   Technology Version .

.Y2K Version ...Politically Correct Version

The Twelve Tech Days of Christmas

(traditional version)  Listen to the Narration Here     

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'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that ST. NICHOLAS soon would be there;

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads;
And mamma in her 'kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap,
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.

Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below,
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tiny reindeer,
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name;
"Now, DASHER! now, DANCER! now, PRANCER and VIXEN!
On, COMET! on CUPID! on, DONDER and BLITZEN!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! dash away! dash away all!"

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky,
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my hand, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot;
A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.
His eyes -- how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow;
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath;
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook, when he laughed like a bowlful of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself;
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread;
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings; then turned with a jerk,
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose;
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"HAPPY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GOOD-NIGHT."

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'Twas the Night Before Christmas

(Computer Version)      Listen to the Narration Here    
 
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'Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a peripheral was stirring, not even a mouse.
The modem was plugged to the phone line with care
In hopes that a download soon would be there.

Our pirates were nestled all snug in their beds
While visions of unprotects danced in their heads.
And Mama in her kerchief, and I in my cap
Had just settled down for a long winter's nap.

When up on the hard drive there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the monitor I flew like a flash,
Sat down at the keyboard, gave the spacebar a mash.

The sight on the screen, all a'flicker with snow,
Gave the luster of power surge to the menu below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But an autoexec.bat that seemed rather queer.

With a little print driver so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment I had seen a new trick.
More rapid than eagles the cursors they came;
My MIDI whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

"Now Format, now Rename, now Copy, and Enter!
On Num Lock, on Caps Lock, on Scroll Lock, and Printer!
"To the top of the page, to the top of the doc,
Now tab it and bold it and merge it and block!"

As utilities that build up the CPU speed
Clash with just the programs I need,
So up to the screen top the cursors they flew,
With a RAM full of memory and an expansion board too.

And then, in a twinkling I heard on the speaker,
The grinding of the hard drive growing much weaker.
As I tried to reboot and turn it around,
The attributes changed from blue into brown.

I hit the control, the alt, and delete.
The screen message it gave me, I cannot repeat.
It asked me to Ignore, Retry, or Abort.
It told me the parallel had become the comm port.

Its lights how they twinkled; its pixels how merry,
Its prompts were all scrambled, like a bowl full of cherries.
It sounded just like it wanted to blow;
The screen was suddenly white as the snow.

It scrolled its directory before my eyes
With programs I didn't even recognize.
It wouldn't see D:, it wouldn't see E:;
I couldn't get out of B: into C:.

Norton's tried to read it, finally finding the FAT;
But alas! The disk was faulty, and couldn't reformat.
Away flew the DBase; away flew the DOS-es;
Away flew the WordStar; right out with the Windows.

The spreadsheets were spreading; the footers were headings;
What once had been memory was close to forgetting.
When the grinding was over and the smoke had all cleared,
I looked at the hard drive; it was just as I feared.

The 600 meg wonder had crashed in the night;
I'll never be able to block out that sight!
So tell everyone you know to avoid my plight;
Back up your files! Merry Christmas! Good Night!

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'Twas the Night Before Christmas (Y2K version)

Twas the night before 2K,
And all through the nation
We'd soon see the bug that
Caused such a sensation.

The chips were replaced
In computers with care,
In hopes that ol' Bugsy
Wouldn't stop there.

While some folks could think
They were snug in their beds
Others had visions
Of dread in their heads.

And Ma with her PC,
And I with my Mac
Had just logged on the Net
And kicked back with a snack.

When over the server,
There arose such a clatter
I called Mister Gates
To see what was the matter.

But he was away,
So I flew like a flash
Off to my bank
To withdraw all my cash.

Then word of the shortage,
Caused such a demand
That the money was gone,
And the streets were all jammed.

When what with my wandering eyes
Should I see on my screen
But Millennium Bugsy,
This must be a dream!.

The hack of all hackers,
Was looking so smug,
I knew that it must be
The Y2K bug!

His image downloaded,
In no time at all,
He whistled and shouted,
"Let all systems fall!"

"Go Intel! Go Gateway!
Now HP! Big Blue!
Everything Compaq,
And Pentium too!

All processors big,
All processors small,
Crash away! Crash away!
Crash away all!"

All the controls
That make the planes fly
All microwaves,
And all traffic lights.

All through the system,
To me, and to you.
The predictions they made
Would soon all come true.

And then came a twinkling,
As midnight drew near,
All over the globe
In each hemisphere.

As I drew in my breath
And was turning around,
Out through the modem,
He came with a bound.

He was covered with fur.
With six legs outspread,
Two beady eyes,
And a chip on his head.

With a sackful of virus,
flung on his back.
He looked like a hacker,
Just waiting to hack.

His eyes - how they twinkled!
His dimples - how merry!
As midnight approached, though
Things soon became scary.

His droll little mouth was
Drawn up in a sneer,
While he sat like a kid
Waiting out the new year.

Two little antenna
Stuck out of his head,
(Improved his reception
from what I've heard said.)

He had a broad face,
And a round little belly,
But with six dirty socks,
His feet were quite smelly.

He was chubby and plump,
Perpetually grinning,
And I laughed when I saw him
Though my hard drive stopped spinning.

A wink of his eye,
And a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know
A new feeling of dread.

He spoke not a word,
But went straight to his work,
He changed all the clocks,
Then turned with a jerk.

With a twitch of his nose,
And a quick little wink,
All things electronic
Soon went on the blink.

He zoomed from my system,
To the next folks on line,
He caused such a disruption,
Could this be a sign?,

Then I heard him exclaim,
With a loud, hearty cheer,
"This has been fun,
And I'll see you next year!"

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'Twas the Night Before Christmas (Politically Correct Version)

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?
His workers no longer would answer to "Elves",
"Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.
Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.
So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.
And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."
And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose

And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.
So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,
Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.
Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.
Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's warlike or non-pacific.
No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.
For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.
Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.
He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.
Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;
Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.
So here is that gift, it's price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

(c) Harvey Ehrlich, 1992

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The Twelve Days of Christmas (Furby Tech version)

 On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me
A cartridge for my Jaz drive.

On the second day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Two IPOs, And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.

On the third day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs,
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.
 

On the fourth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs,
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.

On the fifth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Five Token-Rings!
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads,
Two IPOs, And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.

On the sixth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Six Gates a-lying, Five Token-Rings!
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.
 

On the seventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Seven Dells a-dealing, Six Gates a-lying,
Five Token-Rings!
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.

On the eighth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eight mergers merging, Seven Dells a-dealing, Six Gates a-lying,
Five Token-Rings!
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs,
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.
 

On the ninth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Nine hackers hacking, Eight mergers merging,
Seven Dells a-dealing, Six Gates a-lying,
Five Token-Rings!
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs,
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.

 On the tenth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Ten Lords of Linux, Nine hackers hacking,
Eight mergers merging, Seven Dells a-dealing,
Six Gates a-lying, Five Token-Rings!
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.
 

On the eleventh day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Eleven Pfeiffers pfeiffing, Ten Lords of Linux,
Nine hackers hacking, Eight mergers merging,
Seven Dells a-dealing, Six Gates a-lying,
Five Token Rings!
Four Java calls, Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.

On the twelfth day of Christmas my true love gave to me
Twelve more NT bugs!?!
Eleven Pfeiffers pfeiffing, Ten Lords of Linux,
Nine hackers hacking, Eight mergers merging,
Seven Dells a-dealing, Six Gates a-lying,
Five Token-Rings!
Four Java calls,
Three ThinkPads, Two IPOs
And a cartridge for my Jaz drive.

And all I really wanted was a Furby!!!

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'Twas the Week After Christmas

'Twas the week after Christmas, and all through the house
Nothing would fit me, not even a blouse.

The cookies I'd nibbled, the eggnog I'd taste
At the holiday parties had gone to my waist.

When I got on the scales there arose such a number!
When I walked to the store (less a walk than a lumber).

I'd remember the marvelous meals I'd prepared;
The gravies and sauces and beef nicely rared,

The wine and the rum balls, the bread and the cheese
And the way I'd never said, "No thank you, please."

As I dressed myself in my husband's old shirt
And prepared once again to do battle with dirt---

I said to myself, as I only can
"You can't spend a winter disguised as a man!"

So-away with the last of the sour cream dip,
Get rid of the fruit cake, every cracker and chip

Every last bit of food that I like must be banished
"Till all the additional ounces have vanished.

I won't have a cookie-not even a lick.
I'll want only to chew on a long celery stick.

I won't have hot biscuits, or corn bread, or pie,
I'll munch on a carrot and quietly cry.

I'm hungry, I'm lonesome, and life is a bore---
But isn't that what January is for?

Unable to giggle, no longer a riot.
Happy New Year to all and to all a good diet!

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The Down-sizing of Christmas - New Policy

Effective immediately, the following economizing measures are being implemented in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" subsidiary:

* 1) The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;

* 2) Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated;

* 3) The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French;

* 4) The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;

* 5) The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order;

* 6) The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one;

* 7) The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement;

* 8) As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;

* 9) Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;

* 10) Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;

* 11) Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line;

Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing"), a decision is pending.

Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.

 

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The Advent of Christmas Trees

This time of year, Christmas trees and their accouterments begin their annual pageant in homes nearly everywhere in the world. From where did this almost universal tradition spring? And why the evergreen trees?

The Egyptians, Romans, Druids, Chinese, and Hebrews all used the evergreen in one form or another to symbolize, during winter celebrations, eternal life; and, in the Middle Ages, Germans and Scandinavians placed evergreen trees inside their homes to display the promise of upcoming spring.

Finally, around the year 1500, while walking through snow-covered woods on Christmas eve, it is said that Martin Luther was so enthralled by the beauty of a group of small evergreens, whose snowy branches sparkled in the moonlight, that when he arrived home he set up a little fir tree indoors and decorated it with candles so he could share this experience with his children. Thus the modern Christmas tree was born.

So, when you see a Christmas tree (usually Scotch pine, Douglas fir, noble fir, white pine, balsam fir, or white spruce), pine cones, an Advent Wreath, a Yule Log, chestnuts roasting on an open fire, some holly or some mistletoe, you will now know a bit of the long and storied tradition of the holiday (holy day) tree as symbol of life everlasting.

 

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Organizational Changes at the North Pole

The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring decisions at the North Pole. Streamlining was necessary due to the North Pole's loss of dominance of the season's gift distribution business. Home shopping channels and mail order catalogues have diminished Santa's market share. He could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.

The reindeer downsizing was made possible through the purchase of a late model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is anticipated. Reduction in reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has received unfavorable press.

I am pleased to inform you that Rudolph's role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole. Management denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak that Rudolph's nose is red, not from the cold, but from substance abuse. Calling Rudolph "a lush who was into the sauce and never did pull his share of the load" was an unfortunate comment, made by one of Santa's helpers and taken out of context at a time of year when he is known to be under executive stress.

As a further restructuring, today's global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps.

 

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Top 10 Reasons Santa's Probably a Woman

 

10. Santa's not afraid to ask for directions.

9. Santa remembers it's Christmas.

8. Reads letters from the children in the office instead of the bathroom.

7. Actually answers the letters in both long-hand and email.

6. Never explains what exactly you did to deserve that coal in your stocking.

5. Despite the closet full of red coats with big black belts, Santa still insists they have nothing to wear on Christmas Eve.

4. Only a woman would accessorize a pantsuit to have matching shoes and belt!

3. No man would ever name his animals Dancer and Prancer.

2. Santa never, ever observed tinkling off of rooftops.

1. With the way they build chimneys these days you'd have to be Twiggy just to get in!

 

 
 

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