“Marge, prepare the celebration ham.” – Homer Simpson

I should probably blog a time or two in December.  In the coming two weeks, I’ll have a lot to say, but I felt like an “everything/nothing” post was in line. So let’s get a Simpsons quote in the title and get this thing going.  (Today’s quote is timely, with the holidays going on and my family’s most sacred tradition of “Ham Day” coming on December 21.)

  1. If you’re reading this post in an app or email, then you’re missing my favorite thing about this blog.  Every winter, for a few weeks, a gentle snow falls over the top of my posts thanks to WordPress knowing that’s really cool.  Every year, I forget about it, then every year it shows up and makes me happy.  Check it out in a browser!  🙂  (Obviously if you’re reading this off-season, it’s not there…your loss.  Come back at Christmas!)
  2. Alan Thicke, Greg Lake, Andrew Sachs, Sharon Jones, and Tom Bennett have all died since the last time I blogged.  Of those, Tom Bennett was the one name I knew personally. He was one of my high school Social Studies teachers. He had a strong love of pastel sweaters (year round) and tall tales.  And he was nice, funny, and warm.  I was sad to hear it.  A friend of mine had him as a cheerleading coach several years before he was my teacher and she was present (although I don’t think *directly* involved) in a story he often told involving teaching cheerleaders how to lift up one of their party in a “pyramid” type pose.  Long story short, said lifted-girl had a case of the giggles and a bladder control situation that resulted in Mr. Bennett saying, “I’ve been pissed off before but that’s the first time I’ve ever been pissed on!”  He was still telling the story 10 years later when I was in his class, and probably still in the 20 years since I’ve been out of it.
  3. It got a little icy in St. Louis.  And for some reason that brought us to a complete halt. MODOT massively failed us.  My brother’s usual 30-45 minute drive home from work took him 6 hours last night.  My own fared better at only one hour.  All from approx. 1 millimeter of ice. It was a mess, St. Louis (and elsewhere) is owed an apology, and what we got instead was “we pre-treated but it wasn’t enough.”  I didn’t see a single grain of salt on the road, myself.  More like they retreated.  I don’t know who coordinates the ice trucks, but I sure hope they had to take MO 364 home last night.
  4. A few weeks back, one of my neighbors got robbed. All they took was his guns and medicine (and they got around his two massive dogs, so I’m thinking they actually KNEW him).  But nevertheless, it motivated me to finally put in an alarm system at the house.  It only feels a little like being a prisoner to yourself…but at least somebody’s watching the place when I’m not, and I’m sleeping a little easier.
  5. Got a new hat.  It’s a derby.  I like it a lot.  Not enough people wear derbys.  If more people did, maybe I’d like them less.  Wanted something for winter that wasn’t a cowboy hat or a fedora, and fell in love with the idea of a derby.  A brown derby.  Like the nightclub.  (Although I think they tore the club down a while back.)
  6. I realized about a week or two ago that this is the first Christmas since I’ve been in the workforce that I’ve not been worried about money.  I’ve got enough to just be frivolous.  That’s a good feeling.  Now…that said, all that’s got to happen is one hospital stay and I’m destitute…but for now, it’s nice not to worry at Christmas. There was a year about 6 or so years ago that January hit, I looked at my account, and wasn’t sure where I was going to get FOOD from.  I didn’t really tell anybody about that at the time.  It was embarrassing and scary in the way you just don’t talk about.  But what a difference a little time and working for a company that rewards hard work makes.
  7. Every year, I buy myself a Christmas present.  In the past it’s been the Lord of the Rings movies, or a cool guitar pedal, or stuff like that.  Last year, it was an early present when I bought my Rickenbacker 360.  This year, I preordered the deluxe vinyl copy of Gord Downie’s Secret Path.  Should be on its way and get here just in time for Christmas.  (I’ve listened on Spotify already though–it’s good.)  Excited about it.  Why not ring in Jesus’ birth by listening to a concept album about a kid freezing to death?
  8. Going to be posting my Top Ten of 2016 list soon.  Spoiler alert.  There’s more than 10.
  9. I was going to wait to show it off…but as I’ve been saying, I’ll be putting out a “career retrospective” thing shortly called “Sorry, I Didn’t Mean to Shout.”  This is the cover.  It’s small for now, but it’ll be big when you can download it.  More on that shortly. (Basically, I’m in the “listening to it and judging myself” stage.)shout-cover
  10. I don’t remember if I mentioned it here and since I’m not a fan of my own work, I’m not going to read the last few posts to find out…  But I’ve bought a lot of Star Trek recently.  The original series put out a boxed set with all 3 seasons, the animated series, and all 6 original cast movies in it for the 50th anniversary.  Picked that up and enjoyed watching it.  Also picked up a set of the complete Next Generation series (and the TNG movies are on my Christmas list–if I don’t get them then, I will in the next week!).  I’ve watched all the original stuff, and I’m up to season 5 in TNG as I’m typing this.  Really been enjoying the ride.  I think I’m actually going to put off getting Deep Space Nine and Voyager though, even though I do hope to add them to the collection.  But first, I’m going to investigate the “Enterprise” series, which I’ve never seen and a fellow trekkie highly recommended to me.
  11. If you’re looking for some really beautiful Christmas reading, my friend Jim put out a great online comic book that’s a lovely little Christmas story.  Nothing to download or buy–just GO TO THIS LINK and read it.tumblr_ogdxu73gbr1vkyqlbo1_540
  12. I still feel exactly the same about Donald Trump as I have since always.  Y’know…  Donald Trump is a lot like Citizen Kane.  Except his “Rosebud” was a one-hundred-dollar-bill he took from a starving single mother.  And he kept it.
  13. At work one day, I was thinking out loud about Christmas with my mom’s side of the family.  (As most/all of you know, Mom died in 1994…but every Christmas we get together with my uncle and his family.)  Although I just found out we’re not giving gifts this year, in recent years we’d been doing the “name drawing” thing with a $25 limit.  (I’m a little disappointed we’re dropping it, but that’s not why I’m writing.)  I was talking about how sometimes people have trouble knowing what to buy in a name-draw scenario if it’s someone you’re not as close to.  I said almost to myself, “For me, I keep a lot of journals and stuff and a perfectly good gift would be to just hand me a couple of notebooks.”  So yesterday, Mike came in to work and handed me a pack of six notebooks.  Really sweet gesture from a heck of a good guy!  Now…how to fill them?  🙂

And that’s it…  Music stuff to follow shortly. Stay tuned!


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