Monday, November 28, 2011

Looks like Christmas has begun

Yesterday I was sitting in an airport bar, Papadeux at Houston International, guzzling a beer and eating Louisiana fish chowder. The music was playing, and what should come on but All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth. Yes I said, it must be the start of the Christmas season.

Editor's note: Click on the link. It's great. With apologies to Spike Jones, who recorded the classic rendition of the Christmas classic.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Fathers, sons and Thanksgiving

Fathers and sons both look forward to the reunions the turkey and its stuffing brings. Typical sons, away from home, look forward to a weekend where they will be able to relax, get a few good free meals, drink unashamedly from the liquor cabinet, get their laundry done, and catch up with old high school buddies. Fathers look forward to the weekend too. A productive weekend. Now they will have some help around the house. The storm windows need to be put up, the lawnmower drained, the tires changed on the Oldsmobile. 

The son loves a homemade breakfast of pancakes and bacon. However, how much sweeter it would be at 10 AM instead of 830 with a morning full of chores awaiting him. And a Sunday with scratchy clothes and church loom forward at the conclusion of the weekend. Soon the holiday is over and everybody can get on with their lives. Except there is that even bigger family time coming up after the official start of winter. 

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The decline of pickpockets

I just read that the American pickpocket is become a rarity. Apparently the skills are deteriorating and most pickpockets today are older. The apprenticeship into pickpocketing is evaporating. It is now safer to carry a wallet in a large American city than at any point in the 20th century. I used to carry money in my shoe when I went to New York so I would have money to get home in case I was pickpocketed. Times Square was the world headquarters of the art. New Years eve was the international festival of pickpocketing.

However, the art still lives own in Europe. I once met a pickpocket there. It is comforting to know that certain crafts live on somewhere in the world if not here.

Newt Gingrich

The Republicans are being very fickle this year. So far they have nominated Michele Bachman, Herman Cain, Richard Perry, and now they are on the brink of putting Newt Gingrich in the White House. Newt Gingrich, an oldy but goody. I remember when he was, for a spell, the most powerful man in Washington. He was the man who forced our then president to have a tet a tet with Monica Lewinsky to relieve stress.

The best thing about Newt Gingrich is his slogans. The most famous is the "Contract with America". There are many more: American Solutions for Winning the Future, Renewing American Civilisation, Rediscovering God in America, Strong America Now, America only works when Americans are working. He loves the word America. I wonder if he means to include Canada in his slogans.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Siberian ice baptism

This is a small video of an immersion baptism in an icy lake. Personally I'd have waited til spring.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

All Soul's Day

This day, recently passed, occurs on November 2. Unlike November 1, All Saints Day, it is not a holy day of obligation in the Catholic church. It is, however, for me, one of the great holidays because it honors those of us who have died and are in Purgatory. It is a day to pray for  the departed average Joe's. Most people, I suspect, end up here after death. The concept of Purgatory is that this is the place for people who have done a little bad but not a lot of bad. The minor evils one commits, known as venial sins, accumulate and one goes to Purgatory for a spell. How long has never been spelled out for me. It is something like waiting at the doctor's office, not a pleasant place to be, but at least you don't have hot spears thrust through your pancreas like in the other domicile.

That dirty joke you told, that will get you into Purgatory. That time you aggravated your wife for the fun of it. That will also get you into Purgatory. That little kiss you got from that teenage waitress. Well you get the idea. Purgatory must be a crowded place. Like a doctor's office in a practice that accepts Medicaid.