Monday, December 31, 2012

Ring in the new year

Here were my predictions for 2012, given a year ago today, with the actuals in brackets:
Dow $13000 (actual $13104)
S and P $1400 (actual $1425)
NASDAQ $3000 (actual $3020)
Unemployment 7.5% (Nov. 2012 7.7%)
President Obama will be embarrassed by the OWS demonstrations at the convention, but he will be  re-elected. (he was re-elected and OWS was but a memory)
Congress The House will remain in Republican hands, the Senate in Democratic hands. (turned out to be true)
China There will be a Chinese spring with widespread protests and rioting. (didn't happen, at least not on a large scale)
Middle East will stabilize but no major changes except the Muslim Brotherhood will take power in Egypt. (happened)
Europe will offer travel bargains for Americans. (air fares remained high)

So overall, not to brag, but my predictions were pretty good. Not bad at all. Now let us take a look at January 1, 2014. 

Dow $14000
S and P ($1500)
NASDAQ ($3300 and a comeback for Microsoft)
Unemployment (7.1%)
Fiscal Cliff Will be solved before the Inauguration. Taxes and milk prices will go up for everybody.
Middle East Gunfire but no war.
Philadelphia Eagles New head coach, new quarterback, no playoffs. 
Life in General Higher interest rates, higher prices, life will be the same muddle but there will be some decent movies released this year. The hip people will leave Brooklyn, get married and move back to the Suburbs. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

A well documented life

Going through old pictures is fascinating. I found a picture of my grandfather, Aunt Rock, Aunt Emma Dell in an old box. I scanned them and now they are preserved for posterity. One black and white faded picture each of these treasured relations. Compare that to the documentation that takes place of a young person in today's society.

A two year old child can expect to be videotaped for at least one hour of his/her existence for every week of childhood. Hours of movies. Baby's first tooth, Baby's first lunch, Baby's first splinter, Baby's first communion, Baby's first period, Baby's first boyfriend, Baby's first fight with Mother, Baby graduates from pre- school, etc.  By the time Baby is forty years old she will have 2080 hours of film. Every snicker doodle of her life will have been recorded and viewed by bored relatives on You Tube.

She can drop her cable subscription at fifty and do nothing but watch the progress of  her own life and have enough programming until she reaches her eightieth birthday. Socrates said, "An unexamined life is not worth living". I guess life today must be really worth living.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Santa rides on a fire engine

When I first moved into my neighborhood I was startled to hear fire trucks and police sirens in my neighborhood. #(*&*(^*&)% I said, there must be a fire! Hurrying to put on my shoes I looked out the window. There was a red fire truck with Santa Claus waving from the engine. This being a new facet of the holidays I had never seen, I was still relived to be able to go back to my Masterpiece Theatre and put my pajamas back on.

Recently at a department Christmas lunch the conversation (these things can get dull) turned to the topic of when children discover the truth about Santa. The thought occurred to me of how to explain to a Santa believer the presence of Santa on a fire truck. The best story I could think of is that he does this to spy on the little children to make sure they are being nice and not naughty. This has the double advantage of keeping the Santa story alive (you can always blame him when the kids don't get what they wanted under the tree) and to keep the kids from getting too bratty in the month of  December.

I am getting jaded in my old age. Last night I heard all the commotion outside and ignored the whole thing. We have now all been trained to ignore the sound of fire alarms during the days preceding Christmas. Hope there never is a real fire during this time of year.

Editor's note: Here is cute video you might enjoy. It contains frank language. Happy Kringles!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The record that ruined Christmas

Before this record came out we sincerely believed in Santa, God, country, Perry Como and Pat Boone. Then this record came out and we all became cynical. Christmas greetings became ironic. Ironic as in 30 Rock, SNL, The New Girl, etc. We went from sincere people who really cared about the holiday to cynics who could only say Merry Christmas with irony.  This record ruined Christmas for a generation. 

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Slate's Christmas Favorites

Slate published a list of the great Christmas records today. Not bad.

Of course I would make a few changes. I'd substitute the Chrismas Waltz by Peggy Lee Frank Sinatra's version. I'd also include some of my personal classics like "Got a code inda node for Christmas" by Gayla Peevey,  and "Grandma Got Run over by a Reindeer" by Elmo and Patsy. Of course,  no Christmas would be complete without "Italian Jingle Bells" by Lou Monte. I also like Christmas Time in Harlem by Louis Armstrong.  I guess this year I'm doing the lazy way of making a Christmas cd. 

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Dear Aunty Florence

Delco woman sentenced for food-stamp fraud

November 30, 2012|By Aubrey Whelan, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Darby woman who pled guilty to allowing patrons at her food market to exchange food stamps for cash was sentenced today in federal court in Philadelphia to 21 months in prison and ordered to pay $225,000 in restitution.
Federal officials said Florence Kingsley, 59, the former owner of Aunty Florence's West African Food Market, would give food-stamp recipients cash in exchange for the stamps and then falsify register transactions.
In one instance, officials said, Kingsley purchased $200.23 in Food Stamp benefits and gave the Food Stamp recipient $120 in cash, keeping the remaining monetary value for herself.

Not Dear Aunty Florence? 

the Fiscal Cliff

Charles Krautheimer has a new column on the fiscal cliff. Maybe he's right that it's all politics. Things usually are. Obama has some nice cards right now. The Bush tax cuts are going to expire on January 1 automatically. Obama won the election and the Dems have a few more Congressional seats stating in 2013. He has the big MO. So what's the hurry?

Nobody knows how things will turn out. Still it will make for some nice holiday dinner conversation.