Thursday, December 29, 2016

Happy Birthday... 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 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. 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 *

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Monday, December 26, 2016

My 60th Christmas... 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 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 mean there's no jolly toy maker arriving on the rooftop... 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 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... 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 work on owning my time and spending 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 *

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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:


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 *

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Wednesday, December 7, 2016

A Date...

...which will live in infamy...

So spoke FDR on December 8th re: the attack by the Japanese on our naval base in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941—a date which will live in infamy—the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan."

As a kid growing up in the 60's - being raised by the WWII generation - I did not understand the animus, and at times, even white hot hatred - I witnessed directed toward the Japanese.

I do now.  History matters.  As War Daddy opined in the movie "Fury" - Ideals are peaceful.  History is violent.

And none were more violent and less merciful than the Japanese.  Their war crimes were every bit as horrific as those perpetrated by the Nazis in Europe; they just received less press.

Part of that has to do with us annihilating a couple of their cities - and a few hundred thousand of their citizens - with the atomic bomb.

No doubt that led to perhaps the biggest moral conflict of the Greatest Generation:  Yes, the Japanese were inhuman, merciless bastards in war...but did they deserve that?

It also led to the biggest understatement of the 20th century, uttered by the vanquished emperor Hirohito:

"The war situation has developed not necessarily to Japan's advantage."

Do tell.

Today we mourn all that was lost on that dreadful day and the path that was set for the future.

As Einstein famously uttered, I do not know what what weapons will be used to fight WWIII, but I know WWIV will be fought with sticks and stones.

May God have mercy on our souls.

later, mcm fans.

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Thank you!