Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Message

OLD CITY BAR



In an old city bar
That is never too far
From the places that gather
The dreams that have been

In the safety of night
With its old neon light
It beckons to strangers
And they always come in

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The music was low
And the night
Christmas Eve

And here was the danger
That even with strangers
Inside of this night
It's easier to believe
Then the door opened wide
And a child came inside
That no one in the bar
Had seen there before

And he asked did we know
That outside in the snow
That someone was lost
Standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed
Through the smoke and the haze
Through the window and ice
To a corner streetlight

Where standing alone
By a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said
Could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
The bartender turned
And said, not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I've noticed
If one could be home
They'd be already there

Then the bartender came out from behind the bar
And in all of his life he was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw
When he took all the cash from the register draw

Then he followed the child to the girl cross the street
And we watched from the bar as they started to speak
Then he called for a cab and he said J.F.K.
Put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away
And we saw in his hand
That the cash was all gone
From the light that she had
wished upon

If you want to arrange it
This world you can change it
If we could somehow make this
Christmas thing last

By helping a neighbor
Or even a stranger

And to know who needs help
You need only just ask

Then he looked for the child
But the child wasn't there
Just the wind and the snow
Waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside
Somehow different I think
For the rest of the night
No one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say
That some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums
In the world where they hid

But they weren't there
So they couldn't see
By an old neon star
On that, night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling
The neon was calling
And in case you should wonder
In case you should care

Why we're on our own
Never went home
On that night of all nights
We were already there





http://www.trans-siberian.com/

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All About (Christmas) Eve (repost)

I had only known Karen for three weeks when I extended the invitation. "I know these family things can be a little weird," I told her, "but my folks are great, and we always have a lot of fun on Christmas Eve."

"Sounds fine to me," Karen said.

I had only known my mother for 31 years when I told her I'd be brining Karen with me. "She's a very nice girl and she's really looking forward to meeting all of you."  "Sounds fine to me," my mother said.

And that was that. Two telephone calls. Two sounds-fine-to-me's. What more could I want?


I should point out, I suppose, that in Italian households, Christmas Eve is the social event of the season- an Italian women's raison d'ĂȘtre. She cleans. She cooks. She bakes. She orchestrates every minute of the entire evening. Christmas Eve is what Italian women live for.

I should also point out, I suppose, that when it comes to the kind of women that make Italian men go nuts, Karen is it. She doesn't clean. She doesn't cook. She doesn't bake. And she has the largest breasts I have ever seen on a human being.


I brought her anyway.
So begins the beloved Christmas story I repost year after year in my annual Holiday Chestnuts collection for your enjoyment, ...more...

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Merry Christmas 2010

What's this?  An actual, authored post (as opposed to a re-post)?

Yes, yes it is.

I have neglected this humble blog through much of this year, and while it is regrettable, the rate of posting is not very likely to increase much in the new year.  I'll do what I can, but that's about all I can promise.

Christmas is upon us, and I hope yours is filled with peace and happiness.  I realize, all too well, that for many happiness is hard to come by, especially this year.   The office I work in is becomming depressed, with the pending closing of this facility come the summer.  At our holiday pot-luck yesterday the mood was tempered with the good fortune that we'll all be working come January, and throughout at least half of the year (under the current plan), which more than a lot of other people we know can say.

In other news, this year has been a roller coaster for many I know:  an engagement, a divorce, a new baby (er, for the record, those things happened to more than one person!), new careers beginning, existing (a/k/a old) ones ending with little warning, or in the case of a single mom I know - no warning. Nothing horribly tragic, but few exceedingly bright spots to remark about this year.
I've spent less time with this blog as I pursue social media in my real persona with the goal of marketing myself in the job market.  My goal is to select a intellectually stimulating position, with a lateral (or better) salary, possibly with a more healthy commute (anything less than 2hr drive).   With my company still not informing me of their intent to relocate me to the new offices in Maryland, I still have time to be choosy.   Should I take whatever relocation offer they make me, that will be my PLAN B.  My PLAN A will be a new position that meets my stated goals (perhaps I'll settled for 2 out 3 of those goals).  Something will break in my direction, sooner or later... getting to that point is the challenge.

Those seeking to link to my real persona will be disappointed to learn that in real life I AM BORING.  I don't discuss politics (not much, really), I keep the jokes clean,  I avoid things that are controversial.  I figure that at my age I need a social media presence, but by the same token I don't want to turn off any potential hiring manager.  I spend most of time alerting those linked to me of the latest scam affecting Facebook, or help those who have been scammed by some foolish app to clear up their profiles.  Like I said: boring!

I will repost a few of my favorite Holiday Chestnuts for your enjoyment.  I bid to you all a Merry Christmas, and a joyous and prosperous New Year!

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A Christmas Carol and its oddities

Repost from 2007:

Has anyone else noticed what a weird story "A Christmas Carol" is?

We start with Scrooge, who is built up as a man who is only concerned with himself and his money. He runs a successful business, but doing what exactly, we're never told. All we know is that his business only benefits Scrooge, and people give him lots of money for some reason, while no one ever boycotts him or gives their business to a competitor. Apparently Scrooge does something where he can just command people to give him money, and they do.  Read more...

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Tuesday, December 21, 2010

THE PADDY AND THE YANK

A favorite Irish tune celebrating Christmas:

Holidays and Christmas go hand in hand
Like lovers and loved ones, right throughout the land
Drink and be merry, it’s tradition that’s why it’s here
And the Yanks and the Irish drinking whisky and beer.

We are happy and proud of nations
Especially when we’ve all had our fill
The gargle is mighty when you keep it down
Otherwise its messy for all those around

So drink and merry, think of those you love
But don’t get so jar-eyed you forget the man above
Come on ye boys in green,  come on red white and blue
Don’t forget the fireman, and the PDs too

We’ve all got this in common - we know how to celebrate!
Sufferin in silence  - hear the bells on Christmas day

So drink and merry, think of those you love
But don’t get so jar-eyed you forget the man above

It’s the one night of the year when the husband is let loose
The wife gives dispensation for himself to cook his goose!
Greasing back his hair,  wearing his Sunday best,
Reminding him as he shuts the door tomorrow he’ll have no rest!

We are happy and proud of nations
Especially when we’ve all had our fill
The gargle is mighty when you keep it down
Otherwise its messy for all those around

So drink and merry, think of those you love
But don’t get so jar-eyed you forget the man above
Come on ye boys in green,  come on red white and blue
And don’t forget the fireman, and the PDs too

For after all it’s Christmas -- it comes but once a year!
Give thanks and praise to everyone – celebrate with might cheer!

Drink and merry, think of those you love
But don’t get so jar-eyed you forget the man above

Drink and merry, think of those you love
But don’t get so jar-eyed you forget the man above

I transcribed this version from Ronan Tynan's I'll be Home for Christmas.  Amazingly, I cannot find a stream of this song online.

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Monday, December 20, 2010

Holiday Chestnuts 2010

Repeating previous years posts is a little cheap, since I haven't posted much at all this year.   But there's bound to be a few holiday posts that will make you smile.  


It's OK to say
Merry Christmas!


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Monday, December 13, 2010

Judge rules key-part of Obamacare unconstituitional

It's only a minor win on the way to the entire repeal, but a win is a win!

Today Federal District Judge Henry Hudson ruled against the Obama Administration on three essential points involving Obamacare:
1. Individuals who do not actively participate in commerce -- that is, who do not voluntarily purchase health insurance --  cannot be said to be participating in commerce under the United States Constitution's Commerce Clause, and there is no Supreme Court precedent providing otherwise;
2. The Necessary and Proper Clause of the Constitution cannot be used as a backdoor means to enforce a statute that is not otherwise constitutional under Congress's enumerated powers;
and 3. There is a difference between a tax and a penalty, there is much Supreme Court precedent in this regard, and the penalty provision in Obamacare is not a tax but a penalty and, therefore, is unconstitutional for it is applied to individuals who choose not to purchase health care.

Judge Hudson's ruling against the Obama Administration and for the Commonwealth of Virginia gives hope that the rule of law and the Constitution itself still having meaning.  Landmark Legal Foundation has filed several amicus briefs in this case, at the request of the Commonwealth, and will continue to provide support in the likely event the Commonwealth is required to defend this decision in the Fourth Circuit and U.S. Supreme Court.  Landmark would also like to congratulate Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli and the excellent lawyers in his office for their superb legal skills.

Landmark President Mark R. Levin declared:  "It is a great day for the rule of law and the citizenry.  Judge Hudson's ruling is ironclad, and General Cuccinelli deserves an enormous amount of credit for taking on this mater.  We look forward to continuing to work with him." 
Mark Levin

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