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On-line Opinion Magazine…OK, it's a blog — Why Now?

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Orthodox Christmas

Russian Christmas Card

С Рождеством Христовым to my Orthodox friends who are still waiting to see how the calendar reform works out.

January 7, 2024   Comments Off on Orthodox Christmas

Feast of the Epiphany

Epiphany

Today marks the Feast of the Epiphany and Día de los Reyes in Spanish-speaking countries.

This is the customary day for gift exchanges in many Christian cultures because it is the day that the Magi finally arrived in Bethlehem with their totally inappropriate gifts after putzing around for a week and a half because they didn’t want to ask for directions.

[Give me a break! They bring soft metal, smelly tree sap, and bitter medicine associated with embalming to people who could use a hot meal, baby clothes, and diapers.]

January 6, 2024   Comments Off on Feast of the Epiphany

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year

С Новым годом
Prosit Neujahr
Feliz Año Nuevo
Bonne Année
Felice Anno Nuovo
Gelukkig Nieuwjaar
Gott Nytt År
새해 복 많이 받으세요
Blwyddyn Newydd Dda
Onnellista Uutta Vuotta

May you be safe from the idiots who think gravity is just a theory and fire off guns, failing to understand that what goes up will come down.

Given the prevalence of accurate timekeeping devices, it is amazing that the explosions that are supposed to signal the new year extend for hours beginning six hours before and extending well after the actual event. Anyone who thinks alcohol and gunpowder is a recipe for a long life should be avoided by insurance agents.

January 1, 2024   7 Comments

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, 2023   Comments Off on Have You Been Nice?

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, 2023   Comments Off on Happy Sales and Returns Day

Gold, Frankincense, and Purr…

Cat Creche

December 25, 2023   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, 2023   Comments Off on Spirit of Catmas Past

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 arrives 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, 2023   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].

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, 2023   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 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, 2023   Comments Off on Happy Christmas

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, 2023   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, a comet and a meteorite headed directly for you?

December 22, 2023   5 Comments

Happy HogWatch & Solstice

snowflakeAt 9:27 PM 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.

December 21, 2023   Comments Off on Happy HogWatch & Solstice

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, 2023   Comments Off on December 17, 1903