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Posts from — December 2021

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, 2021   No Comments

Why Not?

As there isn’t a lot I can do under “house arrest”, I installed Ubuntu on my 8GB Raspberry Pi 4. It’s a completely useable desktop with Firefox, Thunderbird, GIMP, LibreOffice, etc. I used a 128GB micro SD I had in spare parts and it is faster than my Toshiba laptop, but not as fast as my AMD tower. It’s better than working from my iPAD which lacks a decent SFTP app.

In local news, now that the number of Covid cases has skyrocketed in Florida, unGovernor DeMentis has gone missing. Has anyone checked Cancun? That seems to be a refuge for GQP pols when the going gets rough. The last post on his social media account was posted weeks after the fact.

December 29, 2021   6 Comments

Oh, Joy

I got a call today from a friend who stopped by yesterday for a couple of hours that she had tested positive for Covid. She’s vaxxed, so she thought it might be strep or a cold.

I’m in isolation until next Monday when I will get a test to confirm my status. Being in isolation will be better than putting up with tenants. 😈

I’m vaccinated and boosted, so I’m not overly concerned. My worry is that I may be contagious and give it to someone who is immune compromised. I’m not at all concerned about infecting those who have had almost a year to to get vaccinated and didn’t do it. There’s a price for willful ignorance.

December 28, 2021   9 Comments

Happy Sales and Returns Day

Wren

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.”

[Read more →]

December 26, 2021   No Comments

Gold, Frankincense, and Purr…

Cat Creche

December 25, 2021   No Comments

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 24, 2021   No Comments

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, 2021   No Comments

Happy, Merry, Joyous Whatever!

Evergreen

Ho Ho Ho!

Happy NODWISH
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, 2021   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].

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, 2021   No Comments

Happy Festivus

Yes, today is the celebration of the very untraditional Festivusthe holiday for the rest of us…

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, 2021   No Comments

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, a comet and a meteorite headed directly for you?

This year stay safe and follow the safety protocols. Upgrade your masks and wear them at gatherings if you don’t know the vaccination status of everyone there.

December 22, 2021   4 Comments

Happy HogWatch & Solstice

snowflakeAt 9:59 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 6:39AM and set at 4:50PM for a total of 10 hours and 11 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 comet Leonard with binoculars. It will appear as a fuzzy green star with a short tail. Also in the sky is the Ursid meteor shower, the final shower of the year.

December 21, 2021   No Comments

Q Thinking

The Register is on the case: Dutch nuclear authority bans anti-5G pendants that could hurt their owners via – you guessed it – radiation:

The Dutch Authority for Nuclear Safety and Regulation Protection has banned a list of so-called anti-5G necklaces, wristbands and eye masks because they could harm their gullible users.

The agency commissioned a study by the Netherlands’ National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) found that many of these so-called radiation protection devices actually emit harmful levels of ionizing radiation from “radioactive materials or waste.” While the emission levels are low, if you’re the kind of person who’d wear these non-stop then they could cause harm.

I would say, just let them die, but they are around others and radiation doesn’t check for a signed informed consent form. This is like the Covid vaccine refuseniks – they don’t just affect themselves, they affect and infect the people around them.

December 19, 2021   2 Comments

Apple Is Really Annoying

Every time Apple updates iOS or iPadOS it turns on Bluetooth. Bluetooth is a broadcasting transceiver which is both a security risk and a battery vampire. The cell companies can already track you so there is no need to announce your presence to every other smartphone user around you. If you spent a decade answering the phones at work with “This an unclassified line.”, you are conscious of security risks.

In other news my camellia bush is blooming about six weeks early.

December 18, 2021   6 Comments