Archive for December, 2008

Merry Christmas

December 24, 2008

Picture by Simon Dewey

And His Name Shall of Called Wonderful

by Sally DeFord

Unto us on this holy night
Unto us beneath a new star’s light
Unto us where the lambs have fed
Gently laid in a manger bed
Unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given

And his name shall be called Wonderful
For the world will be healed by his power
He will be our unfailing Counselor
In each uncertain hour
The Mighty God of heaven above
So meekly comes to earth
The Everlasting Father
This child of lowly birth
Tell his name, sing his praise in all the world
Till all the world believes
Till every voice is lifted up
To praise the Prince of Peace

Unto us ‘mid the angel song
Unto us, the gift awaited long
Unto us wrapped in swaddling bands
Hushed to sleep at the Virgin’s hands
Unto us a child is born
Unto us a son is given


How Cold is It?

December 22, 2008

Jacob:  What kind of deer needs an umbrella?

. . . . . . . . An reindeer!

Last Minute Christmas Present Idea

December 18, 2008

Having a rough time thinking of something to get for the guy that has everything?  How about the Space Shuttle?

When the Space Shuttle fleet is permanently grounded in 2010, NASA will clean the Orbiters up and deliver one to you for only $42 million, shipping and handling included.

Be the first on your block . . . .

Chilly and Cold

December 17, 2008


Winter has arrived in southern California.  Snow in the mountains has closed I-5 and I-15.  At 2:30, the temperatures are in the 30’s and l0w 40’s–that’s pretty cold for a place that you can usually get by wearing sandals all year.

Not only is the snow in the passes outside of LA, but it is also in the local mountains.  If it clears tomorrow, it will be a great day for Chamber of Commerce photos–palm trees in the foreground, snow-covered mountains in the background, and no smog in between.

National Maple Syrup Day

December 17, 2008
Maple Trees outside of Montpelier, Vermont

Maple Trees outside of Montpelier, Vermont

Someone decided that today is National Maple Syrup Day. That’s just fine with me. I’ve grown the enjoy it. In days gone by, when someone would give us a gift of maple syrup, it was under appreciated. Our kids liked the “real stuff,” that being Log Cabin syrup.

We have vacationed in New England twice in 3 years. We brought home maple syrup both times and have enjoyed every drop. This July, we visited an old-time sugar house outside of Montpelier, Vermont. It was interesting seeing the traditional methods used to make syrup.

Sugaring Equipment

Sugaring Equipment

The maple trees are tapped and the sap that is removed almost has the consistency of water. It is boiled down to create the syrup. It takes 40 gallons of sap to produce a gallon of syrup.

40 to 1

40 to 1

More Sugaring Equipment

More Sugaring Equipment

Maple syrup comes in several grades. The lightest is produced at the beginning of the season and then it gets darker and stronger. We like Grade A Medium Amber the best. Nature determines when the grades change. The final grade is Grade B which is very dark and really too strong for table use.  Once the maple trees begin to bud, the sap is no longer good for syrup.

So go cook a short stack or maybe “stay up late, swapping manly stories, and in the morning, . . .  make waffles!”

Ludwig van Beethoven

December 16, 2008

Today is Ludwig van Beethoven’s birthday.

Turn up the volume and enjoy.


December 15, 2008

I’ve never had a drink of alcohol in my life.  For both religious and health reasons.  I’ve enjoyed the secondary benefits–no hangovers, much smaller tabs went we go out for dinner, etc.  But there was one benefit that never crossed my mind until today.

My daughter went to her office Christmas party dinner this weekend.  She left when her co-workers’ words started getting slurred.  Today at work, one of her co-workers came up to her and told her that he remembered speaking with her, but couldn’t remember the conversation.  He wasn’t sure what he had said or what he had done.

I wonder how many careers have been derailed because of behavior under-the-influence at office Christmas parties.  It least that is something that I don’t and won’t have to worry about.

Global Warming

December 15, 2008

Another Reason Not to Get a Tattoo

December 12, 2008

. . . It might get you arrested.

Darnell L. Frazier was stopped by the police.  When they asked him for his name, he said it was Darnell Lewis.  However, the police noticed “Frazier” tattooed on his neck.  Frazier, aka Lewis, had a bunch of outstanding warrants and was taken into custody.

Besides having a long history of felony convictions, Frazier is also stupid.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer

December 11, 2008

A New Hanover County, North Carolina school temporarily dropped Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer from its kindergarten program because of a complaint from a mother that the song has religious overtones.  The overtones–the song has the word “Christmas” in it.  The complaining mother is Jewish.   Dennis Prager and Michael Medved, both practicing Jews, have discussed this news story at length.  One of them (and I can’t remember who) said that he would bet a large amount of money that the woman is not an observant Jew and that people of are confident believers never feel threatened by the religious practices of others.

The local school board decided that “Rudolph” is a secular song and it is back in the program.  They also decided that religious songs will be allowed in the future as long as other religions are represented.  One report said that many parents shouted out with glee when they heard the song was back in the program.

And a little irony:  I just learned that Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer was written by a Jew. Johnny Marks also wrote quite a few other Christmas songs, including I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day (words by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow).

The central issue is an important one.  Why should anyone be offended with the public religious observance of another?  It is as if they are saying “Since I don’t observe this holiday, neither can you.”