Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections on New Year's Eve

“New Year’s Eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights.”

~ Hamilton Wright Mabie, American writer 1845-1916

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve

Silent Night
Danish painter Viggo Johansen
(Wikipedia is wrong, the name of this
painting is not Merry Christmas.)

Friday, December 23, 2011

Email from me to a friend

Since I am hitting the road on Monday I thought I'd get my tires checked at Valvoline, and then I decided it was time for an oil change and did that, too. But the young man who waited on me had a nice face and a great smile, so I said to him, “You’re a very nice looking young man.” I made him blush. If I was 20 I would have asked him out. He flashed his smile and said "Merry Christmas" as I pulled out. Four hours later I am still thinking about him. What a rush.

Christmas gift book 1900

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Season's Greetings from Scotland

My Scottish penpal Michael "Bogman" Murphy sent me one of his photographs for Christmas. Now I am sure it doesn't say "Merry Christmas," as we are both atheists, but in his own Scottish Gaelic idiom he wishes me a nice holiday season. Michael is a landscape photographer and doesn't use any tricks to develop his photos. He climbs mountains just to get the perfect shot. Quite a billygoat is he. If you like Scottish castles and ruins, Michael is also a passionate historian. His photos are too good for travel journals.

You can find more of Michael's photography, all of it for sale at incredible prices, at this link:

Happy Holidays to you, dear friend.

Email from a friend

"As I was mindlessly going through the TV channels the other day -- as I am wont to do -- I happened upon one of those community cable productions of someone with a shaky camera and next to no audio quality who recorded a church service. The preacher, amen, was preachin', amen, that when he and two of the elders were out the day before, they could feel it startin' to rain, amen, and the roof of the car was up, amen, and he said he rebuked, he said he REBUKED, amen, he REBUKED the rain to stop in the name of Jesus, amen, hallelujah, cuz he had the roof of the car up and he had the brothers with him, amen, and he REBUKED!!! the rain to stop, amen, in the name of Jesus, amen, and they didn't feel another drop of rain the whole rest of the day. Amen! Hallelujah."

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Friday, December 16, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And now for a little culture

Swan Lake
Bolshoi Ballet Company

Château de Pierrefonds, France

Fascinating history:

This looks a little like me at that age.

Flocked with Snow

Sierra Nevada

Gladys Deacon, Duchess of Marlborough 1881-1977

Portrait by Giovanni Boldini

European-raised American heiress Gladys Deacon was one of the great beauties of her time. She was celebrated in Paris and won many proposals. She wed the 9th Duke of Marlborough and settled into British life. As a child, Gladys' father shot and killed her mother's lover in a hotel in Cannes that caused an international scandal. Her father later died in a psychiatric prison. Later, Gladys' problems led her to seek care at a psychiatric hospital, where she spent the last years of her life.

Contemporary wildlife photographer Kenton Rowe

Buffalo in Yellowstone National Park

Holiday mail

1921 Xmas U.S. Post Office truck, Washington, D.C.

Santa Marathon, Kyoto, Japan