Friday, December 25, 2020

Happy Christmas...

 ...and we're kickin' it old school...celebrating with some ASCII art from days gone by.

If you've never heard of ASCII then either  a) you're not an IT person (God bless you, every one) or  b) you were probably born after 1980.

If it's the former, count your blessings and your trivia lesson for the day is ASCII = American Standard Code for Information Interchange.

If it's the latter, then not only did you miss out on character based computing...

...sadly, you also missed the best of America and have only been present for its steady downward slide into our current sorry estate: the socialist agenda

However, depending on what happens over the next couple of months, it's at least possible you'll be present for the rebirth and regeneration of this country's greatness.  Stay tuned.

Joan Stark, by the way...she's the one who created the Santa ASCII art.

We enjoyed Christmas Eve by the fire place...

...and Christmas afternoon with family:

my clan...

...and Karen's

Happened in shifts, but we celebrated with those we love gathered around us.

We enjoyed good company and good food...

...and delighted in a white Christmas this year.

Hope the Jolly Old Elf himself...

hey, could happen...

...made his way to your house without any unfortunate incidents...

...and you remembered to treat him right.

Next stop...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, December 18, 2020

Just 7 More Days...


...and all through the land...people clamored to know, "O, when will it end?!"

"The answer's contained in the statement, my dear,

"Just 7 more days 'til Christmas is here!"

So hurry and watch those shows on TV!
The halls all need decking, and so does the tree!

But somewhere amidst all the sparkle and shine,
The tumult and chaos that's stealing your time,

Take a moment or two for calm meditation;
Remember the Reason for this celebration.

The lights and the glitter are all well and good,
The ornaments, presents, songs and the food...

But when you consider the Grand Scheme of things,
They're really just heralds for our Newborn King.

So sing and be merry with those that you love,
But never forget God's gift from above.

With shepherds and Angels we echo it still,
"Glory to God, peace on earth and good will."

As you may have surmised, this past week we did in fact continue watching our traditional Christmas movies and shows...

...along with some of the Hallmark variety...and while those can lend new meaning to the word "obvious", they do typically deliver a consistent couple of hours of light entertainment.

With challenging problems like finding someone to play Santa in the town Santa parade or convincing 10 year old Muffy that Santa really is real - no, really!   He's real! - you're not going to achieve the 4th level of Arahant...

...but if you're not too picky you will see a couple of attractive people - who live in attractive surroundings with attractive friends, have attractive jobs and occupy attractive homes - become attracted to each other, then un-attracted to each other, then finally attracted to each other again - no, I mean for good this time - at which point they'll cue the swelling music as our attractive heroes share an attractive kiss, annnnnnnd - cut!

I dare, I ding dang diggety dong double dog dare ya...

Hey, I actually enjoy some of the Hallmark movies, especially in these depressing's nice to unplug for a couple of hours and escape.

So go ahead...take a flyer and watch a few...

In the happy news department, Mandy from The Retro Revival sent me some pics of our Philco V-handle’s reattached  V-handle, to wit:

It's the most complicated door mechanism of its era, and Mandy reported it was a real treat getting it installed again.

Thankfully they did so successfully and the re-assembly process of our baby continues.

As I'm sure you know, the big yank about these refrigerators is they open from both the left and the right side depending upon which end of the V handle you press.

And while the exact same refrigerator was marketed under a different model number with a regular handle, it's the iconic V handle that makes it the holy grail for us mid century modern enthusiasts.

Très cool, oui?

Before you race out the back door to fight the crowds at the mall...
Christmas at the mall, covid style

...and complete your Christmas shopping, we should take a leisurely stroll through the parting shots department...

enjoying the fire in some flurries

Franky in his holiday attire

basic sales 101

when hope and reality collide

why not do both?

better to have Kitty under the tree than in it I guess

For those of you who still care about the state of our constitutional republic, I have to admit things are looking grim.

Short of a miracle, it's starting to appear that a corrupt imbecile and his communist running mate - neither of whom could draw a crowd in the subway at rush hour - will have cheated their way into the highest offices in the land.

The people - and I mean all of us on both sides of the political spectrum - will henceforth have no say in who our "elected" (wink wink nudge nudge) leaders are.

Barring implementation of martial law and the Insurrection Act, we're headed for one party rule and the end of the republic as founded 244 years ago.

It was a good run, I guess.

For those who don't really care and are just glad "they won": you lost.  We all did.  That truth will become sadly, maybe even violently evident in the days ahead.  (helpful hint: start learning Mandarin.)

For those who have faith in the God of the universe, take heart: He's still in control and will still care for His people.  He always has, no matter the fiery trials He's allowed through the centuries.

There could be some of those in our not too distant future.

But for now - it’s Christmas time...

...and we should do our best to lay aside our cares and concerns and celebrate a truly Joyeux Noel!

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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Friday, December 11, 2020

'Tis The Season...

...and I'm thrilled to bring you...the annual mauling of that perennial Christmas favorite...

'Twas two weeks 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!"

Then we beheld our fat felines, all three:



...and the useless Smokey.

Disciples of Garfield, were these pointless creatures,
with sleeping and eating their dominant 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, 'ere 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?

Then out went the trap in the cold winter night!
We're quite overrun but I guess it's alright.

And as quoth St. Nick on his annual flight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a Good Night!"

original artwork by Diane Dempsey, RetroChristmasCardCompany

Nice to have that out of the way.

In the many years of my tiresome sojourn topside of planet earth, I've found there are several ways to deal with mistakes...

...the best, of course, being "don't make them".

But when the inevitable has occurred, the 2nd best is probably "figure out upon whom I may reasonably blame this and not get any on me".

Bringing up the rear in last place is "'fess up and take it like a man," and today, sadly, that is what I must do:

I recently sent out a Christmas letter - you may have received one - and near the very end I included this oft quoted verse...

...but unfortunately I tagged it as Luke 2:15, not verse 14.

The worst part is I'd just looked it up to be sure, so in my mind I was thinking verse 14 but my 9 fingers typed it as 15.

So I guess in a way it's not really my fault; it's my fingers' fault.

And just thinking out loud here...

...if we hold with Armbruster's Axiom which states:

"Always blame problems on the one who didn't attend the meeting."

...then I suppose it's the fault of the finger I left at the bottom of that well we were drilling on that Louisiana oil rig back during the 1970's.

Boy I feel better already.

I'm glad we had this little chat.

In other seasonal news, it's starting to look like our restored Philco V-handle refrigerator may not be ready in time for a Christmas delivery...

...due to unforeseen circumstances...specifically, they're trying to find a working mid 1950's Philco mullion heater.

As everyone knows, that's a low voltage wire used to keep the freezer compartment from icing up.  (You did know that, right?  I certainly did, right after Mandy told me.)

Well, drat...but I'd rather it be "right" than "quick".

Something to brighten a snowy January, perhaps?

At the urging of one of Karen's brothers, we watched the 2016 remake of The Magnificent Seven...

...starring Denzel Washington, Chris Pratt and a host of others.

The story in this one is basically the same as the original 1960 version...

...that starred Yul Brynner, Steve McQueen and the others you see there.

A town is beleaguered by a bad guy and his evil minions, and eventually the 7 gunslingers arrive and vanquish them.

Along the way there's an abundance of clever banter, gallows humor, a whole lot of shooting and the requisite dead bodies that accompany such activity in all westerns.

It should be noted that both of those are actually remakes of the 1954 Japanese original, a 3 and a half hour epic called Seven Samarai...

So which one of these three is the top dog?

I've never seen the Japanese original, but everything I read says it's the best of the bunch and both American remakes are not really in the same class.

At 3.5 hours, I'll take their word for it.

Of the 2 American films...I think they're about the same when you factor in the eras in which they were made.

Populated with well known stars, they're both well acted with a good mix of drama, suspense and comic relief.

And both are satisfying since that rarest of all commodities - Justice - is actually served (remember, these are movies, not real life), and the bad guys get what they deserve in the end, albeit at the cost of many townspeople and 4 of the Magnificent 7.

(If you want to know which 4, you've got to watch the films.)

Neither of these will change your life, but they're both good for a couple of hours of engaging entertainment.

Their best feature at the moment is they're not politics, so worth a look.

A quick check of the pocket watch I don’t own...

...tells me it's time for a stroll through the parting shots department...

Santa may be a Scotsman...

...but it turns out Sir Kitschalot is, too...henceforth known as Sir MacKitschalot

spotted this guy up in the trees recently...

...which my grandson Marcellus identified as pileated woodpecker

and keeping with the ornithology theme, looks like the turkeys have come home to roost

blame it all on my roots...but this just struck me as funny

caught in the act...who knew the Grinch was a democrat?

Two weeks, folks...that's all you've got until the big day...

...let the holiday panic begin, but in the meantime...

later, mcm fans...

* Crass Commercialism Corner *

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

Get your paperback books here:

Get your ebooks here: