I would like to wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I pray that 2013 will be a better year for everyone. If anyone is going out tonight please be safe and have a designated driver that will make it safe and fun for everyone.
For me I am staying home with the most wonderful man tonight. Yes Drew and I will be home by ourselves tonight. I have two bottles of wine from his mom and dad, a bottle of champagne and we have a bunch of snack food for us tonight. We also went and rented some movies to sit and watch tonight. That will be are night so we are not out in the cold and we don't have to worry about drunk drivers. I do have to work this morning but then I am off the next three days.
Hello everyone! Welcome back to the last Four for Fridays of the year! It's been a great year for a great many things. Hopefully it has treated everyone great as well. Here are some questions for you....
1) What are your goals for the new year?
2) Do you have goals that are imposed on you by someone else?
A friend of mine in Port Charlotte had this picture made for me and Biggie D for Christmas. Yep, that would be me (a bit trimmer than I think I am), our pup Sable and a book bag from Cracker House Books (Biggie's bookstore). I thought it was the neatest thing to do for us!
This morning NPR had a story about social media memes and viral videos in 2012. One of the themes of the story is how memes and viral videos have such a short shelf life, Gangnam Style excluded (anyone remember Kony 2012?)
For some reason I thought back to the early days of the world wide web (not to be confused with the early days of the internet...the internet dates back much farther) and what was one of the first viral videos: The Dancing Baby. The Dancing Baby was first released in 1996. There was no Youtube (really) back then and those of us that had internet access at home were rocking dial up (and not even 56k modems as they didn't come out until '98). I honestly can't remember the format I first used to see it but it was probably either Quicktime or RealPlayer. I am not sure when I first downloaded it, but it had to be fairly soon after it was released. I base this on the fact that the Dancing Baby was used on the television show Ally McBeal and when I saw that episode, I thought wow, that's an old reference. Looking at the Dancing Baby Wikipedia page, I see that episode aired on January 5th, 1998 so I had to have downloaded it quite a while before that.
And of course I started wondering how many people remember the dancing baby. I am sure there are people my age that weren't on the internet that might only know it from television. Then there are younger people who would never have seen it at all and laugh at how crude it is. Obviously, this viral video spread much more slowly and had a much longer shelf life than modern videos just given how few people were able to see it.
Just in case you have no idea what I am talking about, here is the original Dancing Baby (now on youtube).
So what do you remember about the Dancing Baby (if anything)?
Christmas Eve we went to my sons house to open gifts with my two older kids, my sons girlfriend and the grandchildren. It was great and I had so much fun watching my granddaughter rip open her presents. The best part when when my sons girlfriend opened a blanket for my grandson then my granddaughter thought it was hers. Then she opened her blanket and she put her head on the blanket. Her is my granddaughter with the blanket I made for her.
She was so happy to get her own blanket. She is getting so big now and I just can't wait for her to be able to say Grandma and Grandpa.
After the presents were done being open Drew brought out a ring and let the kids know we are engaged. Yes Drew and I are engaged as of Christmas Eve. I knew about it because I was able to pick out my engagement ring. We are not pushing it to get married right away because I would like to wait for our Grandchildren to be old enough to understand this and be able to walk down the aisle to be flower girl and ring bearer.
When we left my sons house we went to my younger sisters house because my younger daughter was staying there the night. My mom was there and you should have seen the look on my moms face she was so happy. My younger sister was so jealous about it all. Then from there we went to Drew's parents house to spend Christmas Eve with his family. His mom was the first one to know about us being engaged and she was so happy for us. Then the rest of the family was told and it was so nice to know that they are happy for us. Then Christmas Day morning we went back to my sisters house to open presents with my younger sister and my mom then we went to my older sisters house for Christmas Day with the rest of my family. That is when her family was told about Drew and I being engaged and they are happy for us.
This is a picture of my engagement ring. I have the best man I love more than anything else in the world and he is the sweetest man I have ever met. This Christmas was the happiest one for me because I was able to go and be with both families that I love very much and I was with the one and only man I love so much.
Unfortunately, in Tucson it was cloudy most of the day, especially later in the afternoon when the Moon and Jupiter would have been positioned for a daytime attempt. Early in the evening, the clouds were very thick and you could barely see where the Moon was in the sky behind the clouds with no sign of Jupiter.
After watching the Doctor Who Christmas special, I went outside just to check and see if there was any chance of seeing anything. Much to my pleasant surprise, there were Jupiter and the Moon surrounded by a 22 degree Moon halo! Needless to say that necessitated grabbing a camera and a couple of my wider angle lenses (since the radius of the halo is 22 degrees, that means I need a a lens with at least a 44 degree field of view to see the whole thing...fortunately, I have a couple that will do the trick). So here are the pics.
Very nice treat on Christmas night. Just goes to show you never know when the sky will give you a little break.
So after you finish your Christmas dinner, take a step outside and you can get a nice view of the waxing gibbous Moon very close to Jupiter if you live in the continental United States (if you are really lucky and live in South America, you can see the Moon pass directly in front of Jupiter and block it out for a while! Would love to see this one!) Here is a chart of what it will look like from Tucson at about 6:30pm local time.
There are lots of neat things you can observe. First, the Moon will rise a couple of hours before the Sun sets (in Tucson the Moon rises at 3:34pm and the Moon sets at 5:25pm). Since Jupiter is so close to the Moon, this gives you a chance to spot Jupiter during the day. It will help if you have a pair of binoculars. Jupiter will be in the same field of view as the Moon in most binoculars. Once you spot Jupiter with binoculars and know where it is, can you spot it before the Sun sets? Most people can find Jupiter during the day with binoculars but it is challenging to see it without optical aid. See how early you can spot Jupiter.
Once the Sun sets, all four Galilean Moons will be visible. This is a good time to break a telescope someone got as a Christmas gift and train it on the Moon and Jupiter (you probably won't be able to see both at the same time through a telescope unless you have a very wide field telescope).
Another good observation to make is note how fast the Moon moves relative to Jupiter. They are closest together about 6:30pm EST and the Moon moves about one half degree per hour. One half degree happens to be about the diameter of the Moon. With a nice bright reference point like Jupiter nearby, you should be able to observe this motion over a couple of hours with just your eyes, no telescope required. Better yet, take a picture of them early in the evening and then go out later and take another picture (just be sure to use the same zoom setting and mounting the camera on a tripod is essential!) I have done this with point and shoot cameras that have as little as a 3x zoom lens way back in 2004 and modern inexpensive cameras are much better than what I was using back then!
Although this is a nice conjunction, if you miss it, the Moon will come around for an even closer conjunction with Jupiter in January, but that is a future blog!
I just want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and please if you have any travel plans be careful. I am writing this early because tomorrow morning Drew, the kids and I are going to be traveling up north to our families.
I just can't wait to see all the family on Christmas Eve and on Christmas Day. I think some of my sadness is because I really miss the family. I know some of it is because my dad is not with us for Christmas anymore but I know he is looking down and watching all of us.
Tomorrow we get to see my older daughter, my son and his girlfriend and the grandkids after we open gifts with the kids we go to Drew's family have dinner and spend the night at their house. Then Christmas Day morning we go and exchange gifts with my mom and younger sister then we go to my older sister's house. After that we come home. Drew has to go to work on Wednesday. Yes the next two days is a lot of traveling for us. But the best part of it is to see the family and I am with the one and only man that means everything to me yes that is Drew that I love with all my heart.
I hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas. I will have pictures on when we get home.
Students in an advanced Biology class were taking their mid-term exam. The last question was, 'Name seven advantages of Mother's Milk.’ The question was worth 70 points or none at all.
One student, in particular, was hard put to think of seven advantages. However, he wrote:
1) It is perfect formula for the child. 2) It provides immunity against several diseases. 3) It is always the right temperature. 4) It is inexpensive. 5) It bonds the child to mother, and vice versa. 6) It is always available as needed.
And then the student was stuck. Finally, in desperation, just before the bell rang indicating the end of the test, he wrote:
7 ) It comes in two attractive containers and it's high enough off the ground where the cat can't get it.
2012 was a great year for music. The big surprises were the veterans of rock and roll making huge comebacks... let's start with the honorable mentions.
Joe Walsh: Analog Man from Analog Man
Bruce Springsteen: Land of Hope and Dreams from Wrecking Ball
ZZ Top: Flyin' High from La Futura
Beach Boys: That's Why God Made the Radio from That's Why God Made the Radio
Iron Maiden: Blood Brothers from En Vivo!
10) KISS Long Way Down from Monster: I had long ago dismissed KISS as nothing but a bunch of rehashing, money hungry and commercialized comic book clowns. As a young teenager, I had idolized these guys, then watched them go on a downward spiral to a mockery of rock and roll. Adding insult to injury, by donning costumes on newcomers Tommy Thayer and Eric Singer revisiting the roles of original members of Ace Frehley and Peter Criss. I vowed to never see KISS in concert after the facts. Enter my future stepson-an obsessed 26 year old KISS fanatic... He turned me into this album. Surprised! It is their piece of work since 1977's Love Gun. Recorded on analog equipment with a modern twist, KISS retakes their glory days with chock full of party anthems. The way that KISS should sound.
9) Soundgarden Been Away too Long from King Animal Taking where they left off 16 years ago, Soundgarden sounds like haven't skipped a beat. King Animal is a big, bright album, executed with precision and professionalism. Filled with strong and catchy kooks, Kim Thayil's deceptively sinewy guitar work fills the atmosphere with his signature sound from the Gothic like riffs to psychedelia. Chris Cornell's modulated wail fits well, anchored by the rhythm section of Bill Shepard and Matt Cameron, which is a testament to their innate chemistry....
8) Aerosmith Street Jesus from Music from Another Dimension The Toxic Twins and crew seemed to patch up their differences long enough to put out their first album of original materiel in eleven years. Their strongest since 1993's Get a Grip. Enter the song, "Street Jesus"- a raucous, gritty, balls to the wall rocker that recalls their classic days of Toys in the Attic and Rocks. One huge catch to the album though. A third of it was weighed down by the American Idol influenced ballads (including a duet with Carrie Underwood) that screamed sell out.
7) Chris Robinson Brotherhood Rosalee from Big Moon Ritual Even though the Black Crowes are on hiatus right now, it doesn't mean singer Chris Robinson has exactly been idle. Sounding more like the Grateful Dead than the Black Crowes, the music just flows with the tide-never diving into murky waters, instead into a pretty sunset. This isn't just a self conscious retro revival here, it's more or less a band that seems to be doing what comes naturally.
6) Counting Crows Jumping Jesus from Underwater Sunshine The Counting Crows are a difficult band to explain... They are extremely talented. The groups instrumental interplay are a reminder of a modern day The Band. Singer Adam Duritz lyrical style rivals Bob Dylan, creating a visual landscape that is almost unparalleled by anyone. Question is why an album of cover tunes? The answer is quite simple. Because they can. The tune "Jumping Jesus" my oh my, stands out. It makes me feel like a pile of sunshine.
5) Heart Fanatic from Fanatic Heart has made a wise decision to return their hard rocking roots. Rightly so, the atmosphere of this album feels much like their fifth release, Bebe La Strange. The opening hearty power chords of the title track, along with Ann Wilson's huge voice can deliver more than enough energy to rattle the farthest corners of an arena. Even on the softer sounds on this record can bring an emotional hook that goes beyond sheer volume.
4) Neil Young and Crazy Horse Ramada Inn from Psychedelic Pill Music is a box of chocolates when it come to Neil Young, never know what you're going to get. In the case with Psychedelic Pill, it is the golden cream filling. Working with his long time band, Crazy Horse, Psychedelic Pill was born from extensive jam sessions in the studio. The sprawling 16 minute track, Ramada Inn, takes a listener on a musical journey though the past with laid back powerhouse chords and extended solos. Feels like I'm on the vintage Route 66. And that is one the shorter tunes. It may sound overindulgent, but with the profound lyrics and the emotional guitar interplay, the album seems to have a spiritual effect.
3) Led Zeppelin Kashmir from Celebration Day I know, it's an old song performed from their reunion concert at the O2 Arena in London in the December of 2007. Recorded, filmed and then tweaked and released last month by the legendary band. For those who missed the countless bootlegged YouTube videos, it's all here in one neat package. After 27 years since Led Zeppelin performed their last concert, it is apparent that these rock gods haven't lost their mystery and magic. Jason Bonham, the son of the late "Bonzo", does his dad proud on the skins. Robert Plant's banshee wail has aged gracefully like fine wine. Jimmy Page still can play the riffs and solos like the days of old. John Paul Jones still hasn't lost his touch on the keys and bass. Four years after the show, the band still are dodging questions on a reunion tour. This could easily be the last testimony of this legacy. A fitting one as well...
2) Van Halen Outta Space from A Different Kind of Truth After so many years of fumbling dysfunction that reduced the once-proud Van Halen name to a laughingstock, A Different Kind of Truth proved the skeptics (including me) wrong. Against all reasonable expectations, this a real Van Halen album! Diamond Dave is back in fold along with Eddie Van Halen's son replacing Micheal Anthony on bass. The album is relentless. It takes you by the jugular and drives down high octane rhythms and adrenaline guitar solos and never lets up. No ballads, no keyboards and no bullshit. It's simply Vantastic! Please read my full review here.
1) Rush Clockwork Angels from Clockwork Angels Rush is a band that never seems to stop growing, they evolve. taking form over the years, yet never losing their signature sound. This Canadian power trio makes a long awaited return to the prog rock concept albums that they perfected with 2112 in 1976. Loosely based on a novel written by Kevin J. Anderson, this set sprawls, embracing everything from metal and prog to electric
jazz to flamenco touches -- and more. Varied musical shades jostle up
against one another, keeping the listener not only engaged, but
delightfully surprised. It's no wonder why the Rush fan base keeps growing after 36 years...
This is the first sign you will see when you go to Candy Cane Lane in West Allis Wi.. It was Drew, his son, his son's girlfriend and myself that had gone to see the lights. This was on a Friday night that we had gone and it was a last minute decision to go. It has been about three weeks ago that we had gone. Yes I know why did I wait so long to write about it. I have been really busy with work, Christmas shopping and baking cookies.
I just want to say if you want to go and see some really awesome Christmas lights this is the place to go. They are also doing a donation for the M.A.C.C. Fund this is Midwest Athletes Against Childhood Cancer. It is your choice to give a donation or not we gave a donation. I seen a lot of people just drive past the people standing out there by the stand not donating.
So on to the Christmas lights that we had taken on this night. We had an awesome time taking the pictures to share. I hope you all enjoy some of the pictures I put on here.
I do have a lot more pictures from Candy Cane Lane. It is just way to many to put on here to post. I just might have to do a Candy Cane Lane Part two for more Christmas lights. Other than that I will have them all on my Facebook account.
I hope everyone is enjoying the pictures and you are all welcome to leave any comment!
Hello, my festive friends!How are you?It’s less than a
week away from Christmas.Do you feel
the holiday pressure building?Or does
it just go through you?Only a few more
days for decorating, shopping, baking, wrapping, etc., etc.What do you want from Santa this year?Have you been a good boy or girl?Santa, like me, knows all and sees all. Don’t
try to con the old man.
Of course, our breathtaking Green Bay Packers mauled the
Chicago Bears last Sunday, clinching the NFC North title. They did that in
enemy territory. This Sunday, December 23, our illustrious Pack meets the
Tennessee Titans at noon at home,
Lambeau Field. Hi/goodbye, Titans.
I’d like to express my deepest sympathies to the families of
the victims of the Sandy Hook slayings.The shooting was horrific.Twenty young innocents were murdered that
day.I pray that the family members of
the victims can somehow find solace and peace after this.I pray that our society eradicates this
disease or mental defect.Our young are
exposed to ever-escalating levels of violence in songs and on television,
movies, and video games.It has to have
a cumulative effect.Life loses its
value to some of the sicker minds.We
have to reverse this.We must.
Have we driven off of the “fiscal cliff” yet?Why not?Are we there yet? How long does it take?“Fiscal cliff” could be someone’s name: Mr. Fiscal Clifford Preen.
Is Mr. Mayor Dickert going to drive CAR25 into
extinction?Will public access become a
thing of the past, pushed out by glossy TV ads for Mr. Mayor and his
hallucination of Racine?Oh my.
This is my last column before Christmas, so I want to wish
all of you, Irregular and regular alike, a very Merry Christmas!Happy Holidays to those of you observing Kwanza,
Hanukah, Festivus, and other celebrations.For those who haven’t already been driven nuts by Christmas music, here
is a “3 Hour Medley of Christmas Songs:”
Thank you, one and all, for visiting my blog today.I am happy to share with you.We are family, and family is important on
Christmas.Be of good cheer, my
dears.Santa is on his way.
The weathermen and women are talking about the possibility
of a little snow.Be careful out
there.The first real snow, it seems like
most of the drivers forget how to drive in the winter.Have a beautiful Christmas.Adeste Fideles!
From rhe Shepherd Express
, Art Kumbalek comes with his column "Art For Art's Sake," more or less every Tuesday. Art's been doing this for more than 30 years, so he must have something to say.
Dear Madame Zoltar
Every Wednesday, Madame Zoltar responds to your queries and comments in her blog, Dear Madame Zoltar. Are the stars in your favor? What to do with that 401K? Find out by sending your questions and thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Herb is the healing of a nation, alcohol is the destruction.” Bob Marley
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