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Feast Of Saint Nicholas

Russian Icon of Saint Nicholas

Yes, it is the day that kindly old Saint Nicholas fills the footware of good little girls and boys with treats [or his assistants beat the evil out of bad children, depending on the local customs – they didn’t just leave the sticks – in some places they use them.] Don’t forget the carrot if he rides a horse in your area.

He is the patron saint of Russian merchants and pawnbrokers (three gold balls are one of the symbols associated with him).

December 6, 2019   2 Comments

Seasons Greetings

Evergreen

Happy NODWISH Greetings

As a service to my readers I have compiled a list of useful terms for our modern global village.

It is time to wish family and friends: [select one]

Happy NODWISH
Merry Solstice
Happy Holiday
Happy Hanukkah
Happy Kwanzaa
Happy Hogwatch
Merry Christmas
С Рождеством Христовым
성탄 축하
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Nadolig Llawen
Fröhliche Weihnachten
Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
Feliz Navidad
God Jul
Rauhallista Joulua
Happy Christmas
Happy Holidays

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December 5, 2019   No Comments

Mer Jul i Gävle

Julbock

Today is the First Sunday of Advent which means you should have made your Christmas Pudding and Why Now? is pleased to present the Fifty-third version of the Gävlebocken, The biggest Christmas Goat in the world [now on Twitter @Gavlebocken].

From Steve Bates of Yellow Doggerel Something in the comments from 2006:

Why build a giant goat of straw,
Which most of us would scarcely note?
Some, though, defy the very law,
To vandalize the Gävle Goat.

In some years, they used wayward cars;
In others, flaming arrows smote.
This year’s survives, although with scars…
A fact that gets some people’s goat.

A webcam and some watchful eyes,
A flame-retardant second coat,
Should save it… unless Dubya spies
The thing, and claims it’s his pet goat!

– SB the YSS

December 1, 2019   No Comments

It’s Over …

Officially until June 1, 2020, … for record keeping. The storms will show up when they feel like it. NOAA has its end of season summary. The bold numbers are the top sustained windspeed of the storms in miles per hour.

STS Andrea 20-21 May 40
H Barry 11-15 Jul 75 (category 1)
TD Three 22-23 Jul 35
TS Chantal 21-23 Aug 40
MH Dorian 24 Aug- 7 Sep 185 (category 5)
TS Erin 26-29 Aug 40
TS Fernand 3- 4 Sep 50
TS Gabrielle 3-10 Sep 60
MH Humberto 13-19 Sep 125 (category 3)
TS Imelda 17-19 Sep 40
H Jerry 17-25 Sep 105 (category 2)
TS Karen 22-27 Sep 45
MH Lorenzo 22 Sep- 2 Oct 160 (category 5)
TS Melissa 11-14 Oct 65
TD Fifteen 14-16 Oct 35
TS Nestor 18-19 Oct 60
TS Olga 25 Oct 40
H Pablo 25-28 Oct 80 (category 1)
STS Rebekah 30 Oct- 1 Nov 45
TS Sebastien 19-23 Nov 65

STS – Subtropical Storm
TD – Tropical Depression
TS – Tropical Storm
H – Hurricane
MH – Major Hurricane

November 30, 2019   No Comments

Happy NODWISH™

Evergreen Yes, it’s the time of year when the Sun dies and must be re-born through an elaborate ceremony that involves some form or type of sacrifice, such as finding gifts for people you can’t stand and smiling brightly as you receive yet another gift based on an urban legend that you actually like truly stomach-wrenching color combinations.

Of course there was a time when the Solstice sacrifices were more visceral and the evergreen was covered in things that pleased only ravens and such, but we have put all that behind us by opting for the possibility of electrocuting one another and causing chaos on the power grid.

What a brilliant idea: moving a large supply of pre-kindling soaked with highly flammable resins into your house, loading it down with petrochemical-based ornaments, lacing it with heat-producing electrical devices, and surrounding the base with cardboard boxes and tissue paper. You just can’t have a traditional celebration without a proto-bonfire in your living room.

I do think that followers of Mithras might want to curtail their typical birthday service in light of Mad-Cow Disease, but global warming will certainly make the services in the oak wood in traditional druidic robes more comfortable.

When you put up your stocking on the mantel and put out the turnips for Gouger, Rooter, Tusker, and Snouter as well as the pork pie and sherry for the Hogfather, you can rest assured the Sun will come up, because it just slipped around back to return the lager it rented.

Enjoy! You have nothing to fear, except that sniveling little creep with the camera/phone at the office party or the eggnog that was put out rather early causing you to suspect that the bits on top aren’t nutmeg. [The pictures probably won’t appear on the ‘Net and the brandy will surely take care of the salmonella.]

A Calendar of Coming Events

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November 29, 2019   No Comments

Happy Thanksgiving

TurkeyIf your celebration involved the death of a turkey, thank you. If you have no intention of participating in the Charcoal Grey Thursday Sales, you are a true patriot.

The entire WKRP in Cincinnati – “Turkeys Away” episode and/or the original recording of Alice’s Restaurant.

November 28, 2019   4 Comments

Quick Hits

The BBC reported – Cybertruck: Tesla truck gets 150,000 orders despite launch gaffe. The “gaffe” wasn’t. That is how most “bullet-proof glass” reacts to impact. The material is actually layered glass & plastic, with the outer glass providing UV protection and scratch resistance for the plastic and the plastic absorbing the energy of the impact to prevent penetration and holding the glass fragments in place. OTOH, Elon’s cross between a Chevy Vega and a DeLorean is a hatchback without the hatch. The rear bed isn’t long enough for plywood or drywall. That windshield is going to turn the thing into a solar oven in the summer.

Rachel Maddow has Impeachment embroidery: “You can’t promote principled anti-corruption action without pissing off corrupt people.” George Kent, US State Department, January 13, 2019.

Rachel is also reporting that US Intel have briefed the Senate on the Ukraine interference theory: it is Russian agitprop.

A while ago Lindsey Graham compared the Mueller investigation to “a political rectal exam”. You know that’s a nice compact definition of investigating an asshole who is a politician. Thanks, Lindsey 😈

November 26, 2019   10 Comments

Post-Tropical Cyclone Sebastien – Day 6

Post-Tropical Cyclone SebastienPosition: 41.0N 28.9W [ 9:00PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northeast [055°] near 40 mph [65 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 220 miles [350 km].
Minimum central pressure: 993 mb ↓.

Currently about 230 miles [ 370 km] West-Northwest of the Azores.

Sebastien has lost its tropical characteristics. This is the final NHC advisory.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 24, 2019   No Comments

Tropical Storm Sebastien – Day 5

Tropical Storm SebastienPosition: 34.4N 43.1W [ 9:00PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northeast [045°] near 31 mph [50 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 65 mph [100 kph].
Wind Gusts: 75 mph [120 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 90 miles [150 km].
Minimum central pressure: 994 mb ↓.

Currently about 930 miles [1495 km] West of the Azores.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 23, 2019   No Comments

Tropical Storm Sebastien – Day 4

Tropical Storm SebastienPosition: 27.0N 52.2W [ 9:00PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northeast [055°] near 15 mph [24 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 65 mph [100 kph].
Wind Gusts: 75 mph [120 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 195 miles [315 km].
Minimum central pressure: 998 mb ↓.

Currently about 920 miles [1485 km] Northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 22, 2019   No Comments

JFK

It was afternoon and I was on my way to a chemistry class. I had stopped for a drink of water when the news came over the speakers in the classrooms.

For those who weren’t alive at the time: remember what you felt on September 11, 2001 for a taste of November 22, 1963. It was a massive change for the worldview of my generation and it marked the beginning of a period of disruption and decline in the civility of American society. Arthur had died and Camelot fell.

At his inauguration John Kennedy made the point: “If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.”

The colors of my world will never be as bright as they were on November 21, 1963. Now we have Trump…

November 22, 2019   No Comments

Netanyahu Charged

From the BBC – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu charged with corruption:

Israel’s attorney general has charged Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in connection with three separate cases.

Mr Netanyahu is alleged to have accepted gifts from wealthy businessmen and dispensed favours to try to get more positive press coverage.

The prime minister described the charges as an “attempted coup”, blaming them on a “tainted” process.

He has also insisted he will not resign and is not legally obliged to do so.

In a televised speech, Mr Netanyahu said authorities “weren’t after the truth, they were after me”, and called on the country to “investigate the investigators”.

Bibi better hope Trump doesn’t mark him as a plagiarist for using the GOP corruption excuses.

It would appear that no one can form a government after the last election, which will result in Israel having its third election in a year. The Likud must decide if they want Bibi as the leader for that election.

November 21, 2019   5 Comments

Tropical Storm Sebastien – Day 3

Tropical Storm SebastienPosition: 24.7N 57.8W [ 9:00PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: Northeast [055°] near 18 mph [30 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 160 miles [260 km].
Minimum central pressure: 999 mb ↑.

Currently about 565 miles [ 905 km] Northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 21, 2019   No Comments

Tropical Storm Sebastien – Day 2

Tropical Storm SebastienPosition: 22.2N 61.5W [ 9:00PM CST 0300 UTC].
Movement: North [010°] near 7 mph [11 kph].
Maximum sustained winds: 60 mph [ 95 kph].
Wind Gusts: 70 mph [110 kph].
Tropical Storm Wind Radius: 160 miles [260 km].
Minimum central pressure: 999 mb ↓.

Currently about 295 miles [ 475 km] North-Northeast of the Northern Leeward Islands.

Here’s the link for NOAA’s latest satellite images.

[For the latest information click on the storm symbol, or go to the CATEGORIES drop-down box below the CALENDAR and select “Hurricanes” for all of the posts related to storms on this site.]

November 20, 2019   No Comments