On the Christmas Holiday, Snowfall, Doctor Who, and the Like

Early last week, I was invited to spend Christmas with my sister, brother-in-law, and two-year-old niece in Raleigh. I was sorely tempted, weighed the possibilities in my mind, and decided that, yes, I would go to Raleigh for the holiday.

And then, I noticed the weather forecast. 50% chance of no snowfall at all Christmas Eve/Day/Day-after. 50% historic-level snowfall Christmas Eve/Day/Day-After.

I studied weather forecasts for Raleigh, Richmond, Washington, and Baltimore. I consulted local newspapers and television stations. I spent far more time on Weatherbug.com than was warranted. The National Weather Service website was my friend.

I knew the options. I could go to Raleigh, and possibly be stranded there by a massive snowfall. I could go to Raleigh, have a light snowfall, and find myself trapped on the I-95 corridor on the way home on Boxing Day. I could go to Raleigh, have a pleasant trip back, and run into blizzard-like conditions somewhere around DC. Or, I could go to Raleigh, and find no snow anywhere on my return.

The odds, I decided, were in my favor. And even if they weren’t, and I became stranded somewhere, I would make do. And my office would have to make do if I couldn’t make it in on Monday.

Well, I’m not making it in on Monday. I haven’t even left Raleigh, though the snow has tapered off and I’ve dug out my sister’s sidewalk and the cars. And while the forecast snow for the Baltimore-Washington area has been downgraded, it hasn’t been downgraded for Richmond, and in Virginia the governor has already declared a state of emergency and has asked people to stay off the roads.

So, my plan? I shall stay in Raleigh one more night, then leave for Baltimore Monday morning, and I get there when I get there. “There and back again,” truly. Though without goblins, elves, cave trolls, and Smaug.

I’d hoped to watch the Doctor Who Christmas special last night, but ten minutes before it began the satellite signal cut out. Alas! I’ll just watch it when I get home tomorrow. Though I do want to comment, briefly, on something I’ve seen people complaining about online — that “A Christmas Carol” violates the Blinovitch Limitation Effect (which prevents a person from two different times from being in the same place at the same time) and the Reapers from “Father’s Day” (which is a defense mechanism against rewriting time). First, I would point out that the tagline for this Christmas special was that “(Christmas)Time can be rewritten.” Rewriting time has been a theme of Moffat’s Doctor Who writing for fifteen years now. Second, Doctor Who has always been inconsistent with itself; it’s only the fannish impulse to make things fit into a self-consistent continuity that makes “A Christmas Carol” violate the BLE or keeps the Reapers at bay. (Mind you, I’ve not seen the episode. I’m not even sure what about the episode is a supposed continuity violation.) Third, I’d point out that, at least during the RTD era, it was taken that continuity was whatever the audience could remember. Yes, the fannish audience remembers a whole hell of a lot more, but for the mass audience that Doctor Who is for the words “Blinovitch Limitation Effect” are going to mean absolutely nothing, just as the rule of thirteen from “The Deadly Assassin” wasn’t going to mean anything to the Sarah Jane Adventures audience when the Doctor told Clyde he could regenerate 507 times.

Or, you can just say that when the universe was rebooted with the light of the Pandorica and Amy’s memories, some things were lost. Like the BLE. Or the Reapers. It’s not impossible, y’know.

Otherwise, the holiday has been quite pleasant. I listened to Christmas music and Doctor Who audio books on the drive down. I ate breakfast at Aunt Sarah’s Pancake House in Richmond Friday morning. I spent some time with some old and dear friends. I got to see my niece, though she doesn’t acknowledge my presence at all, like some sort of The Sixth Sense but in reverse.

Oh, and I went to Total Wine & More and bought alcohol. Because we don’t have TW&M in Baltimore, due to Maryland’s absurd and antiquated liquor laws.

Happy Boxing Day, peeps. Go out an pugilize someone!

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