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Posts from — December 2020

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?

December 31, 2020   Comments Off on Have You Been Nice?

DeMentis Strikes Again

Trump pushed the real work off to governors, and Florida’s governor dumped the vaccine distribution onto the counties – Florida’s first-come, first-serve Covid-19 vaccination plan for the elderly leads to scramble:

(CNN)Florida’s county-by-county plan to vaccinate its elderly population has created a mass scramble for a limited number of doses, leading to hours-long lines at vaccination sites and overwhelmed county hotlines and websites.

In southwest Florida, the Lee County Department of Health encouraged anyone 65 and older and high-risk frontline health care workers to come to one of seven vaccination sites. Each site had just 300 vaccine doses, and “no appointment is necessary,” the county said.

The first-come, first-serve plan led to huge lines forming overnight Tuesday as people camped out on lawn chairs and waited for hours.

After seeing this I checked on my county. In my county they are requiring appointments for the vaccination, but the appointments for the four-hours they have scheduled for January 6th have already been taken, so I’ll have to check back later to see when and if the county will schedule another vaccination time and place. The procedure is drive thru, which enforces social distancing, but it might be a problem if someone has an adverse reaction. It also ignores the number of senior citizens who lack cars and/or drivers’ licenses.

December 30, 2020   2 Comments

Another Iguana Alert

National Weather Service warns of falling iguanas


The graphic is from January but it is applicable today for South Florida as we are having a cold snap. January, 2020 to December, 2020 – no drop bears, just drop lizards.

December 26, 2020   2 Comments

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, 2020   2 Comments

Gold, Frankincense, and Purr…

Cat Creche

December 25, 2020   Comments Off on Gold, Frankincense, and Purr…

Spirit of Catmas Past

Merry Catmas!

Cat Blogging

HO! … Ho? … Whatever.

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

December 25, 2020   Comments Off on Spirit of Catmas Past

Happy Christmas

Holly, Robin & Mistletoe

The broadcast of A Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols is available on the web from the BBC World Service.

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, 2020   Comments Off on Happy Christmas

Happy, Merry, Joyous Whatever!


Ho Ho Ho!

С Рождеством Христовым
메리 크리스마스!
Vrolijk Kerstfeest
Nadolig Llawen
Fröhliche Weihnachten
Joyeux Noël
Buon Natale
Feliz Navidad
God Jul
Rauhallista Joulua
عيد ميلاد سعيد
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, 2020   Comments Off on Happy, Merry, Joyous Whatever!

…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, 2020   Comments Off on …And Checking It Twice

Happy Festivus

Yes, today is the celebration of the very untraditional Festivus.

If you celebrate I hope all of your grievances were aired and the airing did not involve the Festivus pole being used in an inappropriate fashion.

December 23, 2020   Comments Off on Happy Festivus

Holiday Travel

ICHC cat Magi

This is a prime example of why you should make a list and check it twice when traveling during holidays. Following stars is all well and good, but can you tell the difference between a star and a meteorite headed directly for you?

This year stay safe and stay home, so you will have a next year. The vaccines are being delivered, so give them a chance to work.

December 22, 2020   1 Comment

Happy HogWatch & Solstice

snowflakeAt 4:02 AM CST the winter solstice occurs marking the longest night of the year. If everyone has been good, the days start getting longer tomorrow. Locally, the sun will rise at 6:40AM and set at 4:51PM for a total of 10 hours and 10 minutes of daylight, but tomorrow will be a whole 1 second longer.

This also marks HogsWatch, so don’t forget to put out the turnips.

If the sky is clear, you may be able look up to the southwest [in my area] and see Saturn and Jupiter in a ‘great conjunction’, their closest apparent approach to each other since 1226. You have to start checking just after sunset, as the planets set about 2 and a half hours later. With the naked eye they will look like a large star, but unlike stars they don’t ‘twinkle’. With magnification you may be able to separate the two, and see Saturn’s rings.

December 21, 2020   Comments Off on Happy HogWatch & Solstice

I Ain’t Dead

Ah, Winter and the “Holidays” – the most annoying part of the year.

Trump refuses to admit he’s a loser. In just under 32 days he will lose his access to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue and military aircraft (the Bureau of Prisons and Justice Departments for the Federal and state governments use charter flights). His latest claim to protect Putin is to cast aspersions on China, rather than the SVR.

Locally we are hoping to get one of the vaccines before ‘Governor DeMentis’ manages to kill us all.

I am being forced to use my big Win 10 tower as the nice little Win 7 desktop began ‘pining for the fjords’ a few days ago. The hard drive wasn’t involved in the death so I didn’t lose anything, but it’s still annoying. I’ll get another little box for the office, but it’s annoying and will delay the Raspberry Pi 400 purchase I was planning on.


December 19, 2020   14 Comments

December 17, 1903

“Boldly going

Wright Flyer

where no man has gone before.”

The Wright Brothers make the first powered flight at Kitty Hawk, North Carolina.

December 17, 2020   Comments Off on December 17, 1903