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Posts from — December 2015

Have You Been Nice?

Grandfather Frost

That’s Grandfather Frost [Дед Мороз] and he is the Russian ‘gift giver’. He is assisted by the Snow Maiden [Снегурочка], but ever the jolly, fun-loving people, the ‘gifts’ are a bit different. Threats of coal or sticks would be weird to a people who are trying to stay warm, they would consider them welcome.

Generally there are sweets, maybe salo [salted fatback], and other high energy food.

For the ‘naughty’ list there is the staff. You don’t get beaten, merely touched, which turns you into a popsicle. [I told you they were fun-loving.]

Tonight’s the night – you’ve been nice, right?

Note: There is no picture of the Snow Maiden because this is a ‘family blog’ and when the Soviet Union became Russia et al. the budget for her costume was greatly reduced as yards of fur and silk disappeared.

December 31, 2015   2 Comments

Unsavory People

Ethan Couch got three extra days in Mexico, but Mom got shipped back to Texas. Alone in a Mexican jail, that might be a reality check for Ethan.

Bill Cosby has been arraigned on a sex charge in Pennsylvania court because the legal system has finally been shamed into doing its job.

The British government has been forced to do its job: Government ‘recognises’ anger at Donald Trump comments. Actually it recognizes that a half million Britons signed a petition to ban Trump from entering Britain because he’s an obnoxious, xenophobic twit. Any petition with more than 100,000 signatures has to be debated in Parliament.

December 30, 2015   Comments Off on Unsavory People

In Weather News

Everything relates to this: El Niño weather ‘could be as bad as 1998’, says NASA. which is causing the continuing flooding in northern Britain, and the weather systems that are causing the flooding in the Mid-South around the all of the rivers feeding into the Mississippi/Missouri system.

Locally my electrical and Internet service have been unreliable because of the intense storms passing on their way to drown the states in the Mississippi.Missouri watershed. This kept me off the Internet for most of Monday and hasn’t been all that great today.

December 30, 2015   Comments Off on In Weather News

Belated Christmas Present

US ‘affluenza’ teenager Ethan Couch arrested in Mexico:

A Texas teenager who avoided jail over a fatal drink-driving crash by claiming he suffered from “affluenza” has been detained by police in Mexico.

Ethan Couch, 18, and his mother Tonya were taken into custody in the west coast resort town of Puerto Vallarta.

He was on ten years of probation, which was a ‘gift’ for the crime he committed, and he posted a video that seemed to show him violating the terms of his parole. On top of that he failed to appear at a hearing and fled the country.

Depending on how annoyed the judge is over Couch’s conduct, he could be looking at prison time, probably 10 years. His mother will probably be charged with aiding and abetting a fleeing felon.

It couldn’t happen to nicer people… 😈

December 29, 2015   4 Comments

A Not So Peaceful Earth

Over 100 homes were lost to a bushfire along the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia.

Over a 1,000 acres burned in a wildfire started by a downed power line in Ventura County, California.

UK military forces were dispatched to help with flooding in northern England.

A series of tornadoes and flooding from Texas to Illinois has claimed over two dozen lives since Christmas Eve.

The backside of the front that caused the tornadoes and record-breaking heat to is now pulling in blizzard conditions to West Texas and the Plains.

Of course there are still people who claim that climate change isn’t real …

December 27, 2015   6 Comments

Roast Goat


The Goat succumbed to arsonists Sunday morning [local time], but at least he made it until Christmas this year.

December 27, 2015   Comments Off on Roast Goat

Happy Sales and Returns Day


Time again for my annual rant about a Christmas carol …

While December 26th is celebrated by a lot of people in the US in shopping malls returning gifts or taking advantage of inventory clearance sales, there are other celebrations.

It is the first day of the Kwanzaa celebration, which is explained at the link.

It is Boxing Day, a celebration of noblisse oblige when the upper classes bestow gifts on the lower and the contents of the poor boxes are distributed. Under the feudal system this was part of the “contract,” the mutual system of obligations that tied the system together.

As the feast of St. Stephen it honors the first Christian martyr, but Ireland’s Saint Stephen’s Day celebration is a bit different and is the reason for the wren on this post.

However, this post is really my complaint about “Good King Whatshisface.”

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December 26, 2015   Comments Off on Happy Sales and Returns Day

So Far, So Good


According to the Gävlebocken webcam the Goat made it to Christmas unmolested.

Locally it has been in the 70s with fog. Despite the fog there are a lot of boats out and about because it isn’t raining, as it has been for all too much of this year.

December 25, 2015   4 Comments

Gold, Frankincense, and Purr…

Cat Creche

December 25, 2015   Comments Off on Gold, Frankincense, and Purr…

Spirit of Catmas Past

Merry Catmas!

Friday Cat Blogging

HO! … Ho? … Whatever.

[Editor: Sox, Dot, and Ringo being as merry as they were ever likely to be.]

Friday Ark

December 25, 2015   2 Comments

Happy, Merry, Joyous Whatever!


Ho Ho Ho!

С Рождеством Христовым
Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Nadolig Llawen
Fröhliche Weihnachten
Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
Feliz Navidad
God Jul
Rauhallista Joulua
Koli Sana Wa Anta Tayib
Happy Christmas

At 6AM CST Christmas arrived in Asia, and the excitement is building among the “rug rats” that will burst forth at any moment to waken their poor parents who have probably had about two hours of sleep after dealing with “some assembly required” and/or “batteries not included”.

To avoid any bad feelings: it is an official requirement contained in the “Manual for Childless Adults” that some form or type of device that makes loud and obnoxious noises must be included in all Christmas parcels for children [of all ages].

December 24, 2015   5 Comments

…And Checking It Twice

Santa listSo it’s time to get everything in line so that there will be smooth sailing tomorrow.

Obviously you need the text of A Visit from St. Nicholas [AKA Twas the night before Christmas] or one of the variations.

But now that you’ve finished putting up enough lights to match the total electrical consumption of a third world nation, you can sit back and watch the North American Air Defense Command’s annual attempt to take out that red-suited commie’s attack on the capitalist system by giving stuff away. [Don’t worry kids, they are using the anti-missile defense system, so there’s no danger to anyone but taxpayers.]

Google has a tracker, if you don’t believe the government is up to the job.

December 24, 2015   Comments Off on …And Checking It Twice

Happy Christmas

Holly, Robin & Mistletoe

The broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is available on the web at 9AM CST this morning.

The British have some wonderful Christmas customs that have survived the incursion of Christianity, especially the Puritan party poopers. Stealing customs from the Celts, Germans, and Scandinavians, they have created a wonderful holiday that I fondly remember from time spent there.

The bird is a European robin that is featured on British Christmas cards, as it is a Winter bird in England, unlike the fair-weather laggard of the same name in America. It is bracketed by holly and mistletoe. All go back to the druids and solstice celebrations.

If you read the Harry Potter books you will get a taste, but not the full effect of a British Christmas. A full-on Christmas dinner is wretched excess to the nth degree – Thanksgiving on steroids.

The BBC has the background on Father Christmas.

December 24, 2015   Comments Off on Happy Christmas

Real News

candy canes

The media concentrate on these elections, terrorism, and wars so people won’t notice the real crisis: the candy cane shortage.

Last year Herseys bought Allan Candy, the largest US manufacturer of canes, and shipped the production to Mexico, as they had already done with all of their chocolate production. The factory for the candy canes hasn’t come up to speed, so Chinese ‘candy canes’ in almost any flavor other than peppermint are all that are available. 🙁

December 23, 2015   6 Comments