Tonight is New Year’s Eve! (for those who just crawled out from under a rock where there was no Wi-Fi.)
The traditional celebration of the passing of the previous year, and the birth of the new. Along with fond remembrance of times past. This usually involves food and sometimes libations.
Please be careful out there, and if you drink, don’t drive (or text or phone!) And watch out for those who have.
And take a moment to remember those who are no longer with you. And love those who remain.
Because you never know…
(insert euphemism for sexual insertion HERE)…and without having ever been kissed!
The House and Senate quietly passed it AGAIN, then The President signed it, AGAIN!
Not only is Gitmo not closed, but indefinite detention of American Citizens for ‘National Security’ purposes continues to be authorized!
The 2014 NDAA also includes a new provision that appears to bolster the national security surveillance state. Section 1071(a) authorizes the Defense Department to “establish a center to be known as the ‘Conflict Records Research Center’.” Using the dangerously broad terms now typical of national security policy parlance, the Conflict Records Research Center enables the DoD to compile a “digital research database including translations and to facilitate research and analysis of records captured from countries, organizations, and individuals, now or once hostile to the United States.” Who gets to be a surveillance target — the specific remit of “now or once hostile” — is troublingly ill-defined and unrestricted.
h/t Sipsey Street Irregulars, Salon
(courtesy of The Feral Irishman) I wish I had THIS Elf On The Shelf!
And lest we forget those who gave us the gift of their full measure of their devotion…
I’ve nick-named myself ‘Last Minute Louie’. (Not as good as Guffaw, I know…)
That’s because things I dread, don’t like, cannot afford, etc, I put off until…
I was going to join Procrastinators Anonymous, but I never got around to it!
Usually, this behavior manifests in going to the doctor, doing taxes, stuff like that.
I LIKE Christmas, and I even enjoyed the last-minute fighting in crowds to get a gift for someone. Until I went on disability and had even less funds! I am scheduled to get paid the fourth Wednesday of every month, and the week prior is usually pretty spartan. And tomorrow is both Wednesday AND Christmas.
But, I got paid TODAY! (OO-RAH!)
So, the holiday spirit took hold and I bought a couple things for important people. And some muffins for breakfast!
So what if next month the bad week lasts a week-and-a-half (or two) instead of one?
Actually, they were assembled by yours truly, in a couple hours standing at the iron skillet, Worcestershire, Blue Bonnet margarine and garlic powder at-the-ready. Then slow baked until dry and toasty.
(For the uninitiated, this is a snack I’ve made traditionally for years. Originally, I made standard Chex Mix, with the requisite addition of peanuts, pretzels and the like. With a tablespoon of this, a dash of that. I determined two things – people singled out the Pepperidge Farm Goldfish Crackers for consumption so the other ingredients were wasted, and screw this tablespoon-dash thing!)
I cover roughly 9/10 of the bottom of the skillet with Worcestershire, add 1/2 a stick of margarine, and sprinkle garlic powder generously. Then marinate a pan full of crackers until they soak it all up. Transfer all to a turkey roasting pan and bake @ 300* or so, turning every 10 minutes of so to check for burning, until they are all dry and crispy. (I use Blue Bonnet because it’s cheap and takes the high heat.)
I used to make these in massive quantities for Christmas when I was employed and bring them into work. It became such a tradition that folks would start asking me in September if I was bringing in goldfish that year!
Consumer Warning – they are QUITE addictive and go great with beer! People consuming these snacks needn’t be concerned they will be molested by vampires, or members of the opposite sex. (Unless they, too, have partaken of the garlicky treats!)
FTC – neither Blue Bonnet, French’s Worcestershire, Pepperidge Farm Crackers or anyone else gave me anything! I bought and assembled it all myself. Go make your own – and Merry Christmas!
(JUST TO BE CLEAR – not the act of giving thanks, but the whole holiday meme, thank you very much!…)
It all started when I was a tyke. My Mother had the audacity to give birth to me in late November! So my birthday often falls on-or-around Thanksgiving.
When I was younger, this meant friends and relatives got together
two three times in November, my birthday, turkey day and my Father’s birthday – which is eight days before mine.
THEN, someone decided to meld the birthday’s and holidays, to make it easier on everyone. Of course, this usually meant turkey and all the trimmings for my birthday.
I loathe turkey! I wasn’t particularly fond on being the only child in a mass of dysfunctional adults, either! I DO like pumpkin pie, but I also like birthday cake, too. And some of the relatives.
So, you see the problem.
Fortunately, when I got older (much older, after I stopped working on holidays and some of the dysfunctional folks were absent) I could start my own
Thanksgiving birthday traditions.
This year, in spite of a number of polite invitations – including a vegan Thanksgiving – I had salad with Italian dressing, pepperoni pizza, and cheesecake. MMMMMMMM! In some past years I’ve made lasagna!
I hope you enjoyed whatever tripped-your-trigger last Thursday. I gave thanks for friends, family, this Constitutional Republic and no turkey.
Now comes the rapid downhill slide until Christmas…
(Insert your own Bah! Humbug! here, if you desire…)
My Dad was a very complex individual. He certainly had courage, but he had his unresolved fears, as well. He had amazing will power, but not in all areas of his weaknesses. Guess that’s why they’re weaknesses.
My Dad did a stint ‘working on the railroad’ back in the forties and fifties. He was still living in Connecticut, and his father (the former Marine sharpshooter) was a Lieutenant in the NY,NH & H Railroad Police (The New York, New Haven & Hartford Railroad). This was long before AMTRAK.
I’m certain, at least in part, my father obtained the RR police job through nepotism. That doesn’t mean he wasn’t qualified, but getting a railroad job was exceedingly difficult.
One late night, he was on a platform awaiting another train’s arrival. The platform was basically empty. Suddenly, two drunken sailors appeared and approached my dad. And proceeded to beat the living crap out of him.
As he told the story (being a macho former college football lineman) he tried to defend himself as best he could. Have you ever been in a physical confrontation? Against multiple assailants? It can’t be easy, given just one can be problematic. And these two guys were fit Navy guys.
Ultimately, he found himself down on his hands-and-knees, covering his face and eyes with his hands, and his ribs with his arms, while being kicked by two men. At least one had brought him into that position by kicking him in the crotch.
And there he was, awaiting death. And appealing to God to give him the strength to survive.
Suddenly, there was a break in the pain and nausea, and he lunged sideways, tackling one of his assailants. After banging his head on the platform (I assume multiple times), he faced the second sailor. He threw him off the platform and down onto an empty track.
Then he somehow made his way to a railroad room where he could lock himself away. There was no such thing as instant communication and backup in those days.
After returning to work, he found out two sailors had reported having been assaulted on the platform. One with a concussion, the other a broken back! No one connected my father to the injuries. Or at least tried to make the connection.
A couple years later, I was born.
Fast-forward about 20 years after that, my Dad was officiating a Pop Warner football game. And one of those events that seems to be more common these days occurred. Some kiddie-footballer’s dad took offense to a call and began physically attacking the officials! And a melee ensued. Fans and officials fighting all over the field! A buddy of my father’s, another official, was being choked by one of the irate fan fathers.
And, here comes my Dad, 20+ years after the sailor fight. He was able to pull the attacker off his friend, and then was blindsided by a second idiot, having his eyeglasses broken for the effort. He was obviously much older and overweight. The end result was three crowd members were arrested, fortunately, no officials. And no serious injuries.
My dad’s friend presented him with a trophy, a football in a kicking tee with a plaque reading COURAGE.
He certainly had that. And he left us way too young.
He died six years before Molly was born. He would have revelled in her.
I no longer have my Dad, nor my daughter. I still have the trophy, somewhere.
There will be many posts on the blogs today regarding Memorial Day. Hopefully, most of them remind us that originally it was called Decoration Day, and that families took flags and flowers to remember those family members who had passed too early in war. Or had just passed. Sometimes they’d even bring picnic foods to celebrate the person’s life.
Obviously, this has evolved into just a picnic holiday, forgetting the original meaning. After all, it is the official beginning of Summer, and we get off work, school, etc. And those who have gone before are still there, forgotten. And hey, Target has a sale!
I remember one Memorial Day in 1977. My Dad drafted me to come with him to visit the grave of my Mother, who passed when I was in the second grade. We didn’t come here often, and being 24, I’d just-as-soon have been anywhere else. And, my Dad mumbled something about his joining her soon. I thought he was just being maudlin.
Three months later he joined her. He knew something, and kept it a secret.
Please take a moment today, while you’re swimming, fishing, boating, picnicking, drinking beer, or partying to remember those who have gone before. It’s the least you can do.
And, as always, hug those still with you and tell them you love them. Do it NOW. You never know.
(a holiday designed to give federal employees another three-day weekend…)
I found a list of 99 Interesting Fact About The Presidents.
Below are a few snippets – you might visit the link above to read the whole 99!
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is the only U.S. president who was also a licensed bartender. He was co-owner of Berry and Lincoln, a saloon in Springfield, Illinois.b
Lyndon Baines Johnson “LBJ”(1908-1973) affectionately called the many women he slept with his “harem.” He even had a buzzer system installed that rang inside the Oval Office so that Secret Service could warn him when his wife was coming.c
The three best known Western names in China are Jesus Christ, Elvis Presley, and Richard Nixon.k
Robert Lincoln is the only man in U.S. history known to have witnessed the assassinations of three different presidents, his father, James Garfield, and William McKinley. After he saw anarchist Leon Czolgosz shoot McKinley, he vowed he would never again appear in public with an incumbent president.i
Gerald Ford worked as a model during college. He also worked as a forest ranger at Yellowstone National Park directing traffic and feeding the bears.a
h/t Random Facts, Mental Floss