Friday, December 24, 2004

My Low-Tech, Postage-Free Holiday Card to You All

Friday, December 24, 2004
8:23:00 PM MST
My Low-Tech, Postage-Free Holiday Card to You All

I don't feel like picking out an e-card this time, I lost the cards I bought at Barnes & Noble, and I don't know Java. So please accept this as my Christmas card to you all. It's not fancy. There's no animation or beautiful art or photos. But it's sincere, and it frees me to get on with all the other stuff I need to get on with. Merry Christmas, everyone!

The wreath on our door is about 40 years old.  The bells are newer than that.If you celebrate Solstice, I'm just a bit late;
If you had a good Hanukkah, I think that's great!
Ramadan's over, Rohatsu too,
But still I wish Happy Holidays to you!

Christmas Eve's here, and the Internet's quiet.
If a present's forgotten, it's too late to buy it.
Web and journal addictions don't need to be fed
As we turn our attention to families instead.

It's just John and me here, with a tree yet to trim,
And I still have to wrap all the presents for him.
My brother's in Cleveland, my dad with the steps;
They've got lots of snow; we have no such effects.

Two hours from now, I'll be in the sacristy,
Preparing to help with our High Mass majesty.
Our "Midnight Mass" starts with 10 PM music.
I've a small cross to bear, and I'd never refuse it.

So whether a boisterous family surrounds you,
Or your Christmas is quiet, I'm glad these words found you.
I send you my blessings. May Heaven above
Bless you this Christmas with peace, joy and love.

KFB, 12/24/04

Celebrations of the Season: info from

Written by mavarin.
This entry has 4 comments:

Thank you for this - it's very, very nice.
Comment from sakishler - 12/28/04 9:39 AM

Comment from deabvt - 12/27/04 9:17 AM

Hope your Christmas was merry and bright...and that you had a nice dinner too.
Comment from ryanagi - 12/26/04 2:18 PM

Merry Christmas to you and yours as well :) Jeff
Comment from jeff466 - 12/25/04 1:27 AM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Holiday Trivia #49-60

Tuesday, December 21, 2004
12:20:00 AM MST
Holiday Trivia #49-52

Here are tonight's questions.

Question Forty-Nine: “Christmas Afternoon”, a Robert Benchley parody of Charles Dickens, closes with
a) “Bah! Humbug!”
b) Scrooge shooting Tiny Tim
c) “God bless us, every one!”
d) “God help us, every one.”

Question Fifty: What Christmas gift did General Sherman give to President Lincoln in 1864?
a) matched dueling pistols
b) Savannah
c) Atlanta
d) a performance by the Union Army’s boys chorus

Question Fifty-One: What seasonal breakfast cereal first appeared on supermarket shelves in the mid 1980s?
a) E.T.’s Christmas Flakes
b) Cap’n Crunch’s Christmas Crunch
c) Candy Cane Crunch
d) Crispy Christmas Critters

Question Fifty-Two: Which of these is not a genuine record?
a) Yulesville
b) We Wish You A Deadly Christmas
c) Santa and the Satellite
d) Monsters’ Holiday

Answers to questions 16-40, plus player standings, will follow shortly. Then I'm going back to bed. I only got 3 hours of sleep Sunday night/Monday morning!


Written by mavarin.
This entry has 3 comments:

49. D
50. B
51. B
52. B

Comment from ryanagi - 12/23/04 12:33 AM

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

10:25:00 PM MST
Holiday Trivia # 53-56

These should be a bit easier.

Question Fifty-Three: How is Santa dressed in A Visit From St. Nicholas?
a) in red velvet
b) in fur
c) as the Tooth Fairy
d) in long white robes

Question Fifty-Four: In what body of water can you find Christmas Island?
a) Pacific Ocean
b) Arctic Ocean
c) Indian Ocean
d) a and c

Question Fifty-Five:Which of the following was not a real Christmas TV special?
a) The True Meaning of Christmas Specials
b) Miss Piggy’s Christmas Cookery
c) Inspector Gadget Saves Christmas
d) Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas

Question Fifty-Six: In the song I’ll Be Home For Christmas, how is the singer planning to get there?
a) by plane
b) by train
c) by car
d) by dreaming


Written by mavarin.
This entry has 3 comments:

    53. B
    54. D
    55. B
    56. D
    Comment from ryanagi - 12/23/04 10:30 AM

    These are a bit easier. But I'm still mostly guessing.

    53. b. I always hoped that it was fake fur.

    54. d? I just know it's near Australia.

    55. d is the only one I know for sure was real. I'll guess b because I've heard of most Muppet things and I haven't heard of that. I don't think.

    56. d

    Comment from sakishler - 12/22/04 8:59 PM

    53- D



    Comment from jeff466 - 12/21/04 11:13 PM

    Thursday, December 23, 2004
    12:31:00 AM MST
    Holiday Trivia #57-60

    Here are tonight's questions. Because I failed to mention solstice last night in favor of Christmas questions, it's all solstice, all the time tonight. I am not an expert in this area, so please forgive any superficiality in the questions and answers.

    Question Fifty-Seven: The ancient Roman holiday Saturnalia took place
    a) originally December 17 & December 19th; eventually December 17th through 23rd
    b) on the shortest day of the year (winter solstice)
    c) on December 25th
    d) December 26th through January 1st

    Question Fifty-Eight: What is the relationship between Stonehenge and the winter solstice?
    a) It was built during a solstice celebration 2,850 years ago
    b) The positions of the stones mark both solstices as well as other celestial and seasonal phenomena
    c) Pagans, Wiccans and others associate the site with Druidic and other ancient spirituality
    d) b and c

    Question Fifty-Nine: Which of the following observances, ancient and modern, is not associated with the winter solstice?
    a) Saturnalia
    b) Yule
    c) Ramadan
    d) Alban Arthan

    Question Sixty: Saturnalia was associated with all of the following except
    a) debauchery (feasting and orgies and such)
    b) trees
    c) druids
    d) presents


    Written by mavarin.
    This entry has 4 comments:

    57. A
    58. D
    59. C
    60. D

    I am falling behind on my reading!
    Comment from ryanagi - 12/26/04 12:53 PM




    60-D Jeff
    Comment from jeff466 - 12/25/04 1:25 AM

    Wow. I have a lot to learn about Solstice. So, let the learning begin (after all the wild guessing).

    57. b? Only because that's what the whole quiz round is all about.

    58. d.

    59. c? I don't even think I've ever heard of d.

    60. Hey, cool, debauchery. I guess I'll go with d.

    Off to do a little better on your Christmas Eve Eve questions!
    Comment from sakishler - 12/24/04 12:27 AM

    Question Fifty-Eight: What is the relationship between Stonehenge and the winter solstice?

    I believe they're just friends.

    Comment from plittle - 12/23/04 11:36 AM

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Holiday Haiku 1 & 2

Wednesday, December 8, 2004
1:45:00 AM MST
Christmas Haiku, Part One: At the Mall

I think I wrote these last year [2003].

Christmas shopping goes
From brain-wracking to frenzy--
Is it over yet?

Out in the mall lot
There arose such a clatter:
Presents crashed to ground!

Buying Toys for Tots
Is our yearly tradition.
Got toys--no drop box!

The photo: rain in the Sears lot, Park Place, summer 2004. Photo by KFB.

Written by mavarin.
This entry has 2 comments:

Great `kus!!!
Comment from deabvt - 12/9/04 9:19 AM

Hi :)

I wish I had some talent for Haiku...alas...
I love the photo. Great entry.

Always, Carly :)
Comment from ondinemonet - 12/9/04 5:17 AM

Saturday, December 11, 2004
2:10:00 AM MST

Christmas Haiku #2 Retro Christmas

the current color wheel turns without a tree
The color wheel turns.
Changing hues sweep through the room--
With no tree in sight.

Annual question:
Real tree? White tree? Silver tree?
Can't we compromise?

Pine cones in spray paint:
Turquoise and pink--that's not right!
Retro Christmas time.

KFB 2003-2004

Written by mavarin.
This entry has 3 comments:

Love it!
Comment from cneinhorn - 12/12/04 8:20 PM

R E A L !!!!!
Comment from deabvt - 12/12/04 3:22 AM

LOL Someone in my local Freecycle group was looking for a color wheel the other day. Do you have the aluminum tree? ;-) Merry Christmas, Charlie Brown!
Comment from ryanagi - 12/11/04 1:15 PM

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

Winter in Tucson, Part One

Tuesday, December 7, 2004
10:23:00 AM MST
Hearing: David Johanson interview on NPR
Winter in Tucson, Part One

the view at 22nd and Wilmot, 12/7/04

Aside from the car with the "Luv U" plate, this was what I saw when I left for work this morning, the view that caused me to go back to the house for the Mavica camera. The snow-topped Catalina Mountains were much more spectacular as seen overlooking patches of desert in vacant lots near 22nd and Swan. However, I'm not quite foolish enough to take pictures while driving at 40 miles per hour along busy, wet streets. So let's just start with what we have, as Count Rugen might say.

In Tucson, snow is most often seen from afar, atop the Catalinas, Rincons and sometimes the Tucson Mountains, which aren't as tall. Snow on the ground within the city itself only happens about once every couple of years. The rest of the time, including last night, Summerhaven's snow is Tucson's badly-needed rain. We are still in a drought here, and it is a desert, after all.

the jacketIt's been raining pretty much every day (or night, or both) since the end of last week. The rain has brought with it high temperatures in the 40s and 50s, what I like to think of as real "Syracuse weather." It's not windy, though, or bitingly cold. Still, with nighttime temperatures around freezing, it's about as close as Tucson gets to winter.

I bought a new jacket on Sunday, for more money than John would want me to spend under our present circumstances. I chose a red and black one, in honor of the red and black wardrobe of leather and plastic and Spandex clothes I wore for a while when I was much younger and thinner. I still love those colors.

My new jacket has a zip-out lining that I haven't used yet, in case it gets really cold some night, or I go up the mountain or leave town. Without the lining, though, my purchase has already come in handy. It replaces a ratty, black and off-white fleecy thing that my mom bought me from a Lane Bryant or Haband catalog years ago. The zipper came off that last week, but I may keep it to wear at my computer on winter days in my unheated office at home.

I have better pictures of Tucson winters past, but I'll show you those another time.


Update: I took a few more pictures at lunch. There was visibly less snow (it's 59 degrees in the city right now), but here's a picture anyway. The building (across the street from Golden Corral) was low income housing for a while, but I think it's become a hotel again.

Written by mavarin.
This entry has 3 comments:

Hi Karen

Oh to see snow :) California is seeing a lot of rain right now, but I will be dreaming of snow. :)

Always, Carly :)
Comment from ondinemonet - 12/9/04 5:15 AM

Red and black, eh? I wore turquoise, black and purple back in the day. :-)
Comment from ryanagi

I love the scenery of the mountains! I live in an region that is flat flat flat. I have to drive about 5 hours west to see anything that resembles your view. We also have many a winter's day where our high is below freezing with a negative wind chill factor-when that happens, the desert sounds nice :) Looking forward to the other winter pictures you have. Jeff
Comment from jeff466 - 12/8/04 12:05 AM