Friday, December 30, 2005

Christmas

It is now December 30th and Margie and I are looking forward to New Years Eve at Caesar's.

The year has been interesting and in my view began with our marriage in March, but then I've gotten to be an old softy.

We spent Christmas week at my brother's home, he and his bride (of many, many years) made us feel at home as they always do. Even though we normally only see them once a year our visits are like the resumption of a conversation that was paused for only a few minutes.

Our Christmas celebration there is in two parts, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Christmas Eve is wonderfully chaotic. My brother and his wife, Nanette, graciously open their home to their neice and nephew (who happen to be my kids) and their children and grandchild (my grandchildren and great grandchild). That tribe plus their own daughter and her significant other had a blast from noon on through early evening.

Christmas Day was unique for both Margie and I. This is the first year in the 15 or so years we've been together that we've actually exchanged and opened our gifts on Christmas morning. That was way cool. Previously we had a Christmas before leaving for Texas, but not this year. After exchanging gifts we attended a service at Nanette's church, yet another first. We seem to be doing a lot of that this year. Later in the day we visited with my daughter, Tina, and her husband Oz - continuing a long standing tradition.

Speaking of tradition, on Friday of that week we had our traditional Mexican food dinner at a terrific and fashionably grungy local Tex-Mex eatery. Somehow that has become a "must do" event, something I wouldn't miss if I had to be wheeled in.

While we weren't able to see any of Margie's side of the family over the Christmas holiday, we were able to talk to most of them at some point and they were in our hearts and prayers.

I'll post some pictures on New Years Day, I got really ambitous this year and took 70 or so. Okay, I really didn't get ambitous - Margie told me to. She has created a scrapbook of Christmasses past and made sure I knew it was my responsibility to have plenty of pictures for the 2005 addition. Another first, I listened to her (ha ha).

Signing off for now and wishing any reader a happy and prosperous New Year.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

all righty then...here i am

so i come in to see waz up?
i would have expected to see christmas pictures up by now.
i am disappointed in you mikie.
that's all i have to say right now...
nano

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Wolf Blitzer hammered by Don King

A snippet from an interview of the boxing promoter Don King by CNN's Wolf Blitzer


THE SITUATION ROOM December 14, 2005 4:00 PM EST
WOLF BLITZER, HOST: Don king is known worldwide as a big-time boxing promoter. But has also taken some new fights on recently...You love George Bush?
DON KING: I love George Walker Bush because I think he's a revolutionary. He's a president that comes in with conclusiveness. What they're doing in tomorrow in Iraq is a demonstration of that for the vote for democracy. The fundamental process of democracy is freedom of speech, law and order, being able to have freedom, working with people and working and governing yourselves. George Bush is that. He included in...
BLITZER: Do you have any regrets supporting him? Take a look at that picture when you and I were there at the diner last year. Do you have any regrets supporting him as enthusiastically as you did?
KING: No, I don't. In fact, I want to support him more now because it seems like everybody is punching him. You know what I mean? But he's fighting back, and he's throwing great combinations. And I think he's the guy that is really a revolutionary president.I think he's a president that cares about the people he represents, but doesn't compromise himself to the extent that he acquiesce and accommodate. He goes out there and says like it is, and tries to make things better. Inclusiveness, education, is fighting for that.These are the things that many guys that don't fight for -- George Walker Bush is a tremendous advocate to America, a great president for the great American people, and he's decisive. He's doesn't equivocate.

Sunday, December 11, 2005

War on Christmas

If you're a FoxNews watcher you'll have seen the hew and cry regarding the war on Christmas, a fact highlighted by: John Gibson, Neil Cavuto and Bill O’Reilly. I happen to agree, there is a conscious effort by local governments, businesses and schools to transform a unique American adaptation of Christmas into some generic winter holiday. Presumably this is to avoid offending anyone who sees a religious (Christian) component to the season. FoxNews has chronicled some truly ridiculous attempts such as the rewording of Silent Night, changing it to an ambiguous secular tune, and the barring of red and green in a Plano, Texas public school because the colors were too “Christmassy”.

This is political correctness run amuck and we need to push back. I’ve seen other news shows where the contention was that the war on Christmas is a contrivance by FoxNews to sell books and build audience / market share. The truth is, the war exists. You can see it in the stores (try to find a nativity scene or the words, “Merry Christmas”), in advertisements (try to find anything other than “happy holidays”) and in the banishment of Salvation Army bell ringers from Target Store entrances.

If you don’t believe it and you’re anywhere from 35 years or older, pay attention and check the differences between what you remember as a child or young adult and what you see today.

What I find extremely interesting, on a different level, is that the current war on Christmas has a parallel to a previous one. You may need to be older than 35 to remember this one. The battle the last time was against the commercialization of Christmas – taking Christ out of the holiday. That means in the last 50 years or so we’ve seen Christmas evolve from primarily a religious celebration into a highly commercialized event, albeit still with a religious connotation, and now we’re seeing the next step where anything that ties the holiday to Christianity is being blurred, erased or trivialized.

If we let this happen, we’re a collection of fools because we’ll lose the heart of what is not only a religious celebration, the birth of Christ, but one of the most important family holidays on the calendar.

Christmas, at least for me, is a time when the importance of family is paramount. Both my wife and I look forward to our annual trek to Dallas to be with my brother and his wife, my kids and their children. We spend a considerable amount of time in preparation for the trip, like a couple of kids we start weeks prior, shopping (that danged commercialization) for gifts to take as well as to ship to other family scattered all over the country, and Margie (bless her heart) spends weeks baking cookies to share with all.

This year the holiday is even more special since it is our first as husband and wife and the first in decades for us both as active / practicing Catholics.

War on Christmas? Not in this home.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Friendly neighborhood Spiderman




Yes it's a month since Halloween....but I still couldn't resist showing off our little Spider Man....



Check out the muscles on this guy....





As Peter Parker or his alter ego, Spiderman, he always has a smile on his face!

He is always ready to save the day!!





He won one of the costume contests at his Halloween carnival......Thanks to Papa and his face painting!! He wants Batman on his Birthday cake, can't wait to see it! (good luck papa)

Just look at those muscles !!

Keeping the neighborhood safe for everyone.....