Sunday, December 27, 2015

How Is It Possible...

...that Christmas 2015 has already come and gone?  But sadly, it has.

The above, by the way, was broadcast for almost 48 hours straight by one of the Hallmark channels...a yule log with "Happy the dog" and "Happy the cat" sniffing around the area off and on.  Very pretty, actually...they played Christmas carols the whole time, too...Karen and I sat downstairs in the theater room for an hour with that on the big screen while we decompressed from the Christmas rush.

As holiday seasons go, this one was pretty good...work was crazy busy as always, but not chaotic...and by Christmas week we were winding down...just in time for me to take a long four day weekend.

We did in fact watch Scrooge on Christmas eve, then enjoyed a relaxed Christmas day with Karen's kids, and Amy's boyfriend...opened gifts, enjoyed a good meal prepared by Karen...

...and marveled at how long it takes Christmas to get here and how quickly it races by each and every year.

Amy bought me a couple of cool gifts...a vintage style football and helmet...and they inspired me to set up a display among my 1930's radios downstairs of my favorite NFL player of all time:
That's Bronko Nagurski, the legendary Minnesota All American and NFL Hall of Famer.  They used to say you could always see the path Bronko ran after every play by following the trail of blood.  A big, bruising, two way player, he led the old Chicago Bears to three NFL championships, coming out of retirement in 1943 for the last one.

He was also the world heavyweight champion in wrestling, back when wrestling was real...a man's man during the era that was considered a compliment, not a politically incorrect offense to all the feminazis and pajama boys of today.

Here's a shot of the display as it sits among some of my art deco radios:

Karen dragged me out to the mall the day after Christmas, and I have to admit they do a good job of decorating and making it festive:
'Tis the season for shopping and they try really hard to make it as pretty as possible while you're divesting yourself of all your hard earned cash.

One of my favorite Christmas cards this year was actually an invitation to the work Christmas party:
Very mid century modern look and feel which made perfect sense since the boss' home is a spectacular mcm gem from the mid 60's...love that vibe.

So it's back into the fray tomorrow, but only for three days...then I have another four day weekend coming up to finish out the year.

Later, mcm fans...

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Merry Christmas Eve...

...and God Bless Us, Every One!

Got the above from my son Benjamin, a former Navy Petty Officer...a humorous but stark reminder we live in a world that is ruled by the aggressive use of force.  As much as we all wish there could be Peace On Earth, and Good Will Toward Men, that remains a goal to be achieved rather than a present reality.  In this Christmas season we turn our eyes toward God in heaven and thank Him once again for the gift of His Son as we look forward to the time when Thy Kingdom Come, Thy Will Be Done On Earth As It Is In Heaven.

Until then, we remain ready to cross as many frozen rivers as necessary to protect our God given rights of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.

Merry Christmas, y'all....

We were shopping in a department store the other day and they had bunches of these little silver Christmas trees all over the store:
That's the one item I might have bought there, but it was a store decoration, not for sale.

Karen has been busy cooking today, and tonight we'll stick with tradition and watch Scrooge...best movie adaptation of Dickens' A Christmas Carol ever.


Hope whatever your traditions are on Christmas Eve, you take time to give thanks to God in heaven for the gift of His Son.

A Christmas Eve Haiku

Full moon, Christmas Eve,
Heralding the wondrous gift:
Christ our new born King.

Merry Christmas, mcm fans...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

'Twas The Week Before Christmas...


...and every mouse,
had fled frozen fields
for the warmth of my house.

My wife found their droppings
and said “I'm not pleased,
to think that these varmints
are taking their ease


inside my warm dwelling;
this outrage won't stand!
What will you do?”
Then I raised my hand...

These mice, they are finished!
Kaput and kersplatz!
No way they'll survive,
for we have three cats!”

And then we beheld
our fat felines, all three:


Kitty,



and Zoey,




and the useless Smokey.

Disciples of Garfield,
were these pointless creatures,
with sleeping and eating
their most prominent features.

No help would be coming
from those worthless saps,
so I scrounged all around
til I found an old trap.


And later that night,
before mice came a-creeping,
I set the cruel deadfall
then got busy sleeping.

So early next 'morn,
at dawn's early light,
I sprang from my bed
to find what I might.

But what did my wondering
eyes finally see,
but a clean, empty trap
and a note left for me:


"Thanks for the cheese,
but what would be better,
instead of old muenster,
could we have fresh cheddar?"

"And what's with this platter?"
my mousy pals asked.
"We might have been killed
if we hadn't been fast!"

'Twas then that I thought
of the great Robert Burns
and his famous lament
to a mouse that he turned

Out of warm hearth and home
as he plowed in his field.
Did I want to partake
in his life time of guilt?

The best laid plans,
it is easy to see,
Gang aft agley
and I think you'll agree

There was nothing to do
but give them their cheddar.
After all, it was Christmas,
and what could be better

Than showing the love
God has for His swarm,
by letting them stay
inside where it's warm?

So out went the trap
in the cold, winter, night;
we're quite overrun
but I guess it's alright.

So to quoth from St. Nick
on his annual flight,
Merry Christmas to all,
and to all a Good Night!

Later, mcm fans...


Sunday, December 13, 2015

Less than...

...two weeks til Christmas...officially time to panic...happens every year...because of the craziness at work from before Thanksgiving right through Christmas, the season zips by and good luck getting everything done in time.

Oh well, time to stop whining and get after it.  On the plus side, there's no snow to slog through this year...it was in the 60's today so I took Mr. T out for a nice drive.
Well, didn't take it quite that far...just around the neighborhood and Lamar Park...an enjoyable jaunt.

Went to our work Christmas party last night...
Karen was resplendent in her Christmas finery, but I don't know who the old guy is she was with in this picture.  I might be jealous except whoever that is has to be at least twenty years older than me, so no threat there.

I do notice Santa Claus photo bombed the pic...sneaky little elf.

Today has been a recovery day...turned on Christmas carols this morning and pretty much let them play all day...give me an excuse to use some of my old, art deco radios...
1933 Colonial Globe Radio
Later, mcm fans...

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Still Standing...

Invictus


Out of the night that covers me,
      Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
      For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
      I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
      My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
      Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
      Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
      How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
      I am the captain of my soul. 

...in spite of Cyber Monday/Cyber Week...mixed feeling about Mr. Henley's poem...rousing prose in some ways, incredibly delusional in others.  The last couplet, especially, brands him as a fool.

Nevertheless, it has become over time the standard to which people repair when facing a challenge that promises to stretch and batter them.  And while the above may be hyperbole when applied to the challenges of Cyber Monday/Cyber Week - let's face it, none of us were living in a foxhole, surrounded by enemies trying to kill us - still it rings true on some level for the chaos we've endured here at work...and all because we worship at the altar of consumerism.  May God in heaven have mercy on our souls.
An alternate viewpoint on the Captain of our souls...

Spent time this past weekend finishing up Christmas decorating, republishing my books on Amazon...added an afterword to the text...and then browsed a favorite antique shop with an art deco / mid century modern emphasis.

Found this gem in pristine condition from the 1940's...an art deco Mico Smoking Stand:
A Smoking Stand
...with two ashtrays, a Mico lighter, and a cigarette box...
...the Mico lighter works...
...and it has a lighted base...very elegant...
Later, mcm fans...


Sunday, November 29, 2015

From Thanksgiving...

Ho, ho, ho...and a bottle of Christmas cheer...
...to Christmas, all in one weekend...also got the big ornaments on the tree in our front yard:
pretty humble at the moment, but they perk up when the snow flies...
...a bit more festive with the white stuff...
So we've plowed through Black Friday and the weekend...tomorrow is Cyber Monday, also known as D-day around work due to the massive amounts of ecom orders that pour in...it's going to be a little bit of (I hope) controlled chaos tomorrow and for a few days following...if we've prepared as well as we think we have, by Friday we should be seeing daylight again.

I finally got my Qwerkywriter...a Kickstarter project I backed over a year ago...it's everything I hoped it would be, and I am really looking forward to using it with the new tablet I ordered...as I continue writing, I will use my QW almost exclusively...love the old school look, feel, and sound of this keyboard:
totally cool, retro, keyboard...connects via bluetooth...

And speaking of writing, I've got a couple of proofs of my novel, TAT, coming to me...
tentative cover...will check the proof when it gets here and see what I think...
I put it on Createspace so readers can have hardcopy if they'd prefer that over the e-reader version.  I corresponded just this morning with a newspaper columnist who much prefers paperbacks to e-readers...he's old school and does the dog ear thing to mark where he's at, loves the smell and feel of a book in his hands, etc.

That's about it for now...hope to still be standing this time tomorrow on the other side of Cyber Monday.

Later, mcm fans...

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy...

Mr. Turkey, the inedible kind
...Thanksgiving, 2015...as with every year A) the holiday has rushed upon us like a runaway freight train, and B) we have much for which to be thankful.

re: A...it's mostly a work related thing, as we are in a frenzy trying to prepare for the storm about to descend upon us known as Black Friday / Cyber Monday.  Not sure why I chose an industry that effectively manages to suck all the joy and happiness right out of the holiday season, but I did...it's seven days a week from now until the Big Day, and I'm so happy I could spit.

but re: B...in spite of that little bit of unpleasantness, we do indeed have many blessings...from the freedoms we enjoy living in this once great country, to the God given abundance we experience, to the relationships we are blessed with in our every day lives.  I'm employed, healthy, and living indoors and eating...praise God in heaven for His mercy and grace.

In spite of feeling slow and a step behind, I did make an attempt at decorating early this morning while Karen was working on meal prep:
the welcome banner for the swarm of two people we were expecting...

a seasonally appropriate message
almost ready to eat...
Once the bird was in the oven, I did take Mr. T out for a spin...it was in the 50's today, actually quite agreeable tooling around the neighborhood.  For as daunting as learning to drive a T seemed originally, I'm happily surprised how easy it has become with practice...like almost anything, I suppose.

a repeat pic, I admit...today was grey and overcast, no leaves left on the trees, but I had as much fun driving Mr. T today as I did back when this pic was taken.

And now a shameless, self-serving ad for my new book, TAT:
come on, you know you want to give it a read...

Available from all fine booksellers everywhere, as long as it's Kindle...you can see it here:
TAT by A.D. Liada

Later, mcm fans...

Monday, November 23, 2015

First Snow...

...way too early...
...and I'm so happy I could spit.  I did take Mr. T out for a spin, just so I could say I've driven a Model T in the snow:
...chilly, but fun...
Finally have my book, TAT, up on Amazon for Kindle e-readers.

To see it, go here:
TAT by A.D. Liada

I enjoyed writing it...hope you enjoy reading it...all feedback is welcome, of course.

later, mcm fans...

Friday, November 13, 2015

Happy Trails...

sitting around the fire pit for the last time...
...to us...sadly we've arrived at the last day of vacation and we're traveling back to chilly Michigan in a few hours.

But it was a great week here in sunny Palm Springs, and we made the most of our last full day (yesterday).

Since I'm planning a cross country writing trip on Amtrak sometime in the hopefully not too distant future, we checked out the humble station just outside of Palm Springs:
it's just a small structure with no lobby, unattended, but it does have the mid century modern look and feel.
...and it does have a spectacular view of the mountains...
...plus a cool sign...
...and apparently is still in use...this train rumbled by while we were checking it out.
...I have no idea what I was doing at this moment...looks like I was just about to break into a song and dance routine...
On our way back we stopped at the visitor center:
this started life as a gas station back in 1965...very cool structure and lots of useful information about things to do and see in and around Palm Springs...
We also stopped by a vintage car dealership that's preparing for an upcoming auction...
...1957 Bel Air...
...best vehicle on the lot was a 1959 Cadillac...
...beautiful...and only $195,000...maybe for my birthday?
We also trekked over to Palm Desert and visited their version of Rodeo Drive...
...the view of some high priced retail real estate...
...stopping at Tommy Bahamas for lunch.
...beautiful view of the mountains from the restaurant...
The rest of the day was chillin' at the Desert Riviera Hotel...
...really going to miss the palm trees and beautiful landscaping...
...relaxing in the pool...

...and by the fire pit...

...and hanging by the pool at night...
Rick and Martha snapped a couple of pics of us before we left for the airport...
...in front of our room...
...and the pool...
Then it was time to leave...one last shot of sunny Palm Springs...
this is in the airport, right outside the gates where you board, believe it or not...
Looking forward to our next visit...

Later, mcm fans...