Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year...

y'all...here's one that's not quite so generic:
At least it references the year.

I could do the typical "high/low points of the year", but I'm not going to.  The low points aren't worth repeating and the high points are history anyway...and now it's time to look forward and move on.

In 2017 I hope, as always, to be a committed Christian, a more loving husband, and the best employee I can be.

I will also continue pursuing writing as a career.  My less than stellar success in 2016 is a disappointment but not a deterrent.  I'll keep writing and focus on doing a better job of advertising my work.

On a more mundane note...this last day of 2016 was largely spent de-decorating...vanquishing Christmas, as it were, and returning the house to "normal" if there is such a thing.

One of the items I put away for another year is a favorite Santa Claus ornament:
That's Santa leading his 3 piece band, The Peppermint Twists.  Here's a little bit of their act:
Ok, so that's their entire act.  Still, it's pretty good and I do enjoy pressing the little button and hearing Santa beating his bongos and his elves blowing their saxes.

Karen reported a random sighting of a cardinal outside our closet window this morning:
Red doesn't look like he's in any danger of starving to death...

Ok, that's all I've got for this last day of 2016 / first day of 2017.

It's pushing 1 am on this first day of the new year, and time for me to fall into bed.

Looking for better / different in 2017.


* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Thank you!

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Happy Birthday...

...to me...and yes, that's an actual picture of me on the cake, thus no name...and certainly no age...necessary...

Odd that it came from the confectioner's with a piece missing...

Took the day off from work, which meant I only had to work a couple of hours from home today fixing various and sundry issues from the night before...insert excited "woo hoo" here...

Mid afternoon we decided to stop by the Broadway Bar...featured recently on 8 West mostly bc of its crazy, over the top Christmas decor...they made it sound so cool we just had to stop in.

Verdict?  It's ok, but I have to admit we wondered what all the fuss is about.

It's a little hole in the wall bar that might seat 30 or 40 if you shoe horned them in...and they do have way too much stuff hung up everywhere...some of it vintage cool...

...and some of it just early American tacky.

They do have great burgers which is what they're known for...we got a couple of loaded olive burgers and they were definitely great eating.

But we overheard someone asking when they should make reservations for next Christmas season, and the waitress said "August".

Sorry...I might reserve months ahead for the Nutcracker or dinner at the Cygnus, but the Broadway Bar?

To each their own.  Seems like a nice neighborhood bar where you can have a beer, a burger and few laughs with some friends, but it didn't change our lives.

Saw a cardinal sitting in one of our bushes during a snow storm today...
...picture doesn't do it justice...it was very bright red against the white snow...beautiful.

This is probably the part of my blog entry where I should wax wisely philosophical...
...due to my ponderous years and the momentous event of my birthday, but no can do.

For one, getting older is not momentous; it's common; vulgar, even.  Also, the passage of time does not necessarily equate to the accumulation of wisdom.  And finally, even if you do possess great wisdom, very few people are paying attention anymore.
For most folks, if it ain't happening in the palm of their hand, it don't matter...and as I've aged I've tried to adhere to one ironclad rule:  don't waste time on people who don't listen.

It's amazing how much previously wasted breath and time that has saved me.

So...best birthday ever?

Maybe not, but it's been a good one...spent it with the woman I love, got a hug from my daughter Amy and let's face it...I'm blessed.  God in heaven is my Father, Jesus is my Savior, God's Spirit is my teacher.  My family loves me, I'm employed and I get to live indoors and eat.

Now that I think of it, can I change my vote?

Best.  Birthday.  Ever.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

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Thank you!

Monday, December 26, 2016

My 60th Christmas...

...is in the books...and for whatever confluence of reasons this was perhaps my most reflective.
Spent some time thinking about all the Christmas days that have gone before...and it's odd, but for as much fanfare as the day gets, it's surprising how few of them I really remember...for the most part they all kind of blend together.

Does that happen to you?  If you've only had ten or fifteen of them, I suppose you can probably keep them in order...but 60...well, that seems like a pretty big number to me.

There's the one in Texas when we actually had snow...
...first time I'd ever seen the white stuff...so cold on my bare hands it almost felt like a burn...and the one, still in Texas, when I discovered Santa Claus...
...was just a pleasant fiction told to naive and trusting children...you mean there's no jolly toy maker arriving on the rooftop...
...in his sleigh pulled by reindeer?  Not a happy day...

And there's the one in Pennsylvania when I was ten and fascinated with the amazing Jim Thorpe...
...I had to have a real "pigskin" like he used...one without white stripes at either end.
Mom and Dad came through and I kept that ball for another fifteen years until it was so smooth I had to treat the leather with brown shoe polish to get a grip on it.

A couple of years later in Massachusetts I received a coveted Rock'em Sock'em Robots game...
...and that was a big deal because the "the magic window" was rapidly closing - that special golden age of childhood...the years from 7 to 12 when - if you're fortunate - you're under the care of parents that love and provide for you and you get to experience a few happy, carefree years.

For the next ten years Christmas arrived with a vague sense of longing for that which seemed lost forever...we moved to Maine, I finished high school, went off to college, started a career...welcome to adulthood.

Then in my mid twenties, married and a father of two, I had an encounter with my Savior...and suddenly Christmas took on a new meaning.  It was no longer just lights and glitter and decorations and gifts...
...it now meant the birth of our Savior and the gift of eternal life in the person of the Bethlehem baby.

But the crush of every day life and the tyranny of the urgent have a tendency to push the important things aside.  Couple that with a job that caters to the retail industry - where for two months of the year everyone worships at the altar of commercialism and insanity prevails - and too many Christmases have raced by in a blur, stacked up and forgotten like so much dried cord wood.

I'm finally ready to change that.  Yes, it's late in the game, but time hasn't expired...yet.

Don't know how many more revolutions around the sun I get, but I know it's one less than I had last year.

So I'm going to own my time and spend however much I have left doing things that matter with good people I like.

And that's going to include making the most of important celebrations like Christmas.

I suppose that's pretty close to a New Year's resolution, isn't it?
Later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

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Thank you!

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve...

...from Dudley the Angel...courtesy of The Bishop's Wife.  If you haven't seen this movie, you need to put it on your list of things to do.

Today we did some last minute Christmas shopping and that wasn't as bad as it might sound.

Actually fairly low key and the folks we saw were in good spirits...smiles and friendly faces all around.

Now Karen's busy making good stuff to eat, and tonight we'll exchange gifts with her kids, watch "Scrooge" (best version of Dickens' "A Christmas Carol" ever) and welcome Christmas morning with a midnight kiss.
Tomorrow afternoon a couple of my guys are coming over along with a couple of grandkids...no big plan there other than spend some time together and enjoy some finger food.  If the Lions are playing we'll probably watch some of that as well.

Might take Mr. T out for a spin if the roads are ok...see if anyone wants a ride in my 1923 classic.

Mostly we'll take time to reflect on the meaning of the day...the miracle of God incarnate in the form of a baby born in Bethlehem and all that says about God's love for His people.

Without the miracle of Christmas there could be no Easter, and without the cross there can be no salvation.

So we'll try to put aside the glitter and sparkle, the decorations and distractions of this busiest of seasons...
...and take some time for quiet reflection when we give thanks to God for His unspeakable gift.
                 - 2 Corinthians 9:15

Merry Christmas Eve, y'all...


* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

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Get your ebooks here:





Thank you!

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

MidCentury Modern...

...at its finest...so I'm devoting an entry to the RetroChristmasCardCompany

You need to check them out.  This is a family owned company that's been doing business on the web since 2006.  Owned and operated by Brent and Diane Dempsey...
...they design, create and sell the absolute best midcentury modern Christmas cards ever.

Brent is the business manager and Diane the "Designastrator"...combination Designer / Illustrator.

If you're like me, you either grew up or fell in love with this era when ranch homes, stacked stone and fireplaces, suits, fedoras and skinny ties, dresses, cocktail parties and martinis, aluminum Christmas trees, iconic boomerang coffee tables and Noguchi sofas ruled the day.

Diane captures the essence of this fabulous era when good taste was king and style was the coin of the realm with her marvelous illustrations.  My only regret is it took me so long to stumble upon their website and product offerings.

The good news is you can also buy Diane's design / artwork here:  http://thestudiographicdesign.com/

Since I'm staring down the loaded barrel of 60(!) I engaged in a little bit of retail therapy and purchased this coffee mug from their Zazzle store:

While I'm quaffing my favorite java I can console myself with this pleasant fiction...I'm not old, I'm midcentury modern...

You need to check them out.  Your next batch of Christmas cards, party invitations or mid century modern art products should come from Brent and Diane's Dempsey's websites.

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



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Thank you!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Ok, I'm Going To Say It...

I'm already sick of winter...and it hasn't even officially started yet...that doesn't happen for two more days...it needs to be April now.

But since that ain't gonna happen for another four months, might as well hunker down like the rest of God's creatures have.

And we do have a Christmas Hare visiting us now...
...we see him most nights right there, beside one of the cars in front of our garage...fast little bugger, too...if I step outside he's gone like a shot...can not figure out how he ever lost a race to that tortoise.
cheater...
Here's a pic of one of our useless felines...
I always knew they were robotic android type critters and not actual animals...

Hard to believe it's Christmas week, but here we are with less than 7 days to go.  Since this is allegedly a blog devoted to midcentury modern - and admittedly, almost anything else that interests me - here are some Christmas cards I ordered from the RetroChristmasCard company :

my favorite...

my 2nd favorite...

...and so on...






These are totally cool, and as I mentioned I've ordered a bunch of these cards and will be using them for next year's Christmas greetings...will probably change the format of our annual Christmas letter to be one-page-both-sides and tuck it inside one of these beautiful mcm cards.

Give them a look...you're gonna love 'em.

Hey, something to look forward to...you're going to blink and the year will have flown by...again...

Happy Christmas, Y'all...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



Get your ebooks here:





Thank you!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Back By Popular Demand!

The anticipation has been intense, the clamoring noisy...finally the crescendo is such it can no longer be ignored...therefore, by decree of the huddled masses, the great unwashed and the hoi polloi (no offense, but that would be you), I present once again last year's now famous..."Ode To A Christmas Mouse..."

'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...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

In the "so convenient you can't stand it" department, you can purchase my books here and on Amazon.com!

Get your paperback books here:



Get your ebooks here:





Thank you!