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Tracking Santa

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24 December 2017

Christmas Eve in a house with four boys resembled something between the wild West and martial law. There would be dinner (which, in light of Christmas Day preparations, was not elaborate), baths in rotation, new pajamas and reassembly in the kitchen where Dad would tune in NORAD on the big radio on the wall so we could follow the North American Aerospace Defense Command as it tracked Santa.

Santa. On his way with toys and goodies on his sleigh.

There would be hot chocolate and cookies to help us through the vigil. And we might engage in a bit of brotherly combat in a more disarmed mode given the circumstances. But mostly we were well behaved (as we remember it) and attentive.

But the effort would wear us out and we'd be packed off to bed long before Santa and his reindeer were anywhere nearby.

The radio. Ah, yes.

It was a partner in imagining Santa in a sleigh with reindeer. We had to draw the picture in our mind, just as if we were reading a book. But it was all the clearer for that. And even more real.

We dropped by the NORAD Santa Tracker this morning to see what it looks like this year.

NORAD. Now tracking Santa in 3D.

NORAD has always been quick to adopt new tech to tracking Santa. There has been a telephone hotline, newspaper stories, that radio program, phonograph records, TV, the Internet (since 1997), Google Earth, smartphone apps, Santa Cams, Bing maps and no doubt new tech under development for next year.

We were amused to see we can track Santa in 3D this year and visit some of the places on the globe he's been or on his way to visit.

It's worth remembering that it's always night time for half the globe and day time for the other half. The crooked International Dateline, itself imaginary, runs through the Pacific Ocean. Looking west (as we do around here) is looking at tomorrow.

Which means Santa is already on his way.

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