Happy Saturday morning as the Brits and Canadians flock to the stores on Boxing Day; I’m just here enjoying my coffee. Yesterday morning our ‘Real-Feel’ temperature was 3-degrees; and that shut me down for the day.

That “shut-down” on Christmas was actually a good thing. We’d had our family gathering and now it was a period of proper music, some choirs on the ‘Telly’ (staying with the British theme); and seeing Marcia bustle nearby wondering about dinner after she realized that the ‘protein’ centerpiece was absent. The resultant dinner was great anyway.

Mid-week we’d gathered as family as we’d always done and it was wonderful. My personal edict that I’d rather live life instead of cowering to live for life, stayed true. Just so you know; we all had a brilliant (another Brit expression) time. I believe that the tin-horn potentates we call Governors are in the game to affect obedience. As the late astrophysicist, Carl Sagan, once said; “We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology.”

Christmas – the season didn’t just rush in this time, it didn’t just blow in and then was gone. It was well paced and that whole time the weather helped and made it seem like late autumn. This year I was able to enjoy it to the utmost.

Last weekend I walked by a small garden plot and took this photo of some gorgeous ornamental cabbages in glorious color.

The next day I cut through the adjacent small community of St. Bernard where folk were busily preparing for an evening of ‘neighborhood’ and ‘community’ including the magic of Santa, luminary; as well as flags, a manger scene, and much hot chocolate. There is so much to say about small town America.

     

Marcia and I didn’t miss out either as we went on our evening neighborhood walking tour. We’d already eaten so skipped the food-trucks. But, we saw plenty of decorations. Marcia, after a hot-toddy brimming with Woodford Bourbon, even got to sit on a naughty Santa’s knee.

”Life and consciousness are the two great mysteries. Actually, their substrates are the inanimate. And how do you get from neurons shooting around in the brain to the thought that pops up in your head and mine? There’s something deeply mysterious about that. And if you’re not struck by the mystery, I think you haven’t thought about it.” — Charles Krauthammer

Last Evening — Last evening was as perfect a way to close out Christmas Day. Marcia had gone off to bed. Somehow I tuned in on a one-hour long radio interview with a Daniel Krauthammer son of the brilliant thinker and columnist, the late Dr. Charles Krauthammer.

The discussion centered on a memoir Daniel’s dad had been working on and which during his last weeks asked his son to finish and publish. He was specific on his desires and his son struggled to be true to his dad and still bring out points he felt important and pertinent. This was especially so when it came to religion. And so I sat mesmerized and my Sudoku game sat idle.

Charles Krauthammer was an observant orthodox (including strict observance of Shabbat) Jew. Yet, he celebrated much of Christmas, both the secular and the religious. And here, on Christmas night I heard discuss the age old struggle many of us find ourselves facing time and again; the story in its simplicity surviving in a world which continues to shove it deeper and deeper into a corner.

Nearing death, Charles Krauthammer the orthodox Jew told his son that he did not have an answer as to what was next. What he did know is that us, living on a rock floating somewhere in infinity somehow brimming with not just life, but life cognizant of that knowledge is not just happenstance. Krauthammer seemed ready for the next step.

To me the celebration of Christmas, sitting by myself in my dimly lit living room, at that moment became surrounded by a warm glow. Yes, I had a great Christmas.

A Great Christmas Gift – from brother Arty to his brothers. He sent all of us 10# gym weights. The plan being that we all Zoom twice a week for a (30) minutes workout session.

His daughter, my niece Taryn, is Director for a company which staffs corporate wellness centers nationwide. So, at least this is the plan, she’ll be asked to generate a ‘geriatric’ strength program for the four of us.

Actually, I am ‘pumped’!

Fini – recently noted; ‘Dammit I’m mad’ spelled backwards is still ‘Dammit I’m mad’.

A crazy week of sports in the ‘Nati. This from our favorite local pundit, Willie Cunningham: “I must be living in a Star Trek time warp. Buffalo Bills win the AFC East. Cleveland Browns are 10 and 4 heading into the playoffs. Xavier hits a 3-pointer at the buzzer to win as the UC Bearcats whip Tulsa. Now.. Bengals are beating up the Steelers on MNF.. Am I dreaming???”

This week in 1808 Ludwig von Beethoven conducted and performed in concert at the Theater an der Wien in Vienna, with a premiere of his Fifth Symphony, Fourth Piano Concerto (performed by Beethoven himself) and Choral Fantasy (with Beethoven himself playing the piano). This must have been as much of an event as watching the Beetles during the ‘60s or the Rolling Stones for the past century.

I am still watching the Vendee Globe sailing race, now about halfway through the 24,000-nm event. I believe their motto is; “We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails”. That statement can apply to all sorts of scenarios,

A wit who put out a meme regarding the proposed fiscal bill; “Instead of sending Pakistan $10-million for Gender Programs…why not send them a million liberals with Gender Studies degrees?”

More wit; “this is that magical time of year when Walmart opens up their 3rd checkout lane of the 87 they never use.”

Yesterday on this day in 1977 Charlie Chaplin died. He’s quoted saying; “I remain just one thing, and one thing only, and that is a clown. It places me on a far higher plane than any politician.”

Make it great week, keep the peace, be happy, stay safe, and be healthy!

NEXT WEEK – POSSIBLY A POST LATE SUNDAY. In TX on Saturday and traveling Sunday morning

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Dirk

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