2016 Christmas Lights


2016 Christmas Lights

2016 Christmas Lights

EB, as promised here is a picture of our Christmas lights this year. Please note the Christmas pyramid on the left. Do you recognize it? It is still working just fine, even after all of these years. Note that its fan blades on top look blurry. That’s because they were twirling so fast that in this long exposure, they were motion blurred. The strings of lights around the windows and hearth are all new LED lights. Each blub has a little lens on its tip that projects their light and forms those circular patterns on the walls and ceiling. They are not really as garish as they appear here. EB, I hope that you like this picture.

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas


Skating Santa

Skating Santa

Last Thursday, we had our nice little Thanksgiving Day dinner party, hosted by Anne and me, with Dave and Joanie as our only guests. At dinner tonight, we will be finishing off the last of that meal’s leftovers. Thank you very much David, who is now winding his way back to Purdue. Having put Thanksgiving into the rearview mirror, it is now time to dive head first into the Christmas season. We skipped the Black Friday’s shopping/horror experience, but dove right into Small Saturday instead. We walked over to downtown Maplewood, where we bought a few things, ate a few things and saw a few things that we might purchase later. Plus we got some exercise to boot. It was a pleasant experience all around, devoid of any of that claustrophobic crush that you get at the malls. One of the things that we bought was a garland, which will be our stand-in for a tree this year, but instead of the usual pine rope, we went with cedar this time. It looks so much nicer. This morning, we put up our Christmas decorations, both inside and out. There are still a few finishing touches yet to be applied, but we are so far ahead of the game this year and I wonder why? Well I know why and I plan on taking full advantage of the extra available time this year and to savor and celebrate this holiday season for a change, instead of just lurching half-dead on my feet from one obligation to the next. Merry Christmas!

I Should Really Call this Post Something


McDonnell Planetarium Christmas Decoration on a Sunny Day

McDonnell Planetarium Christmas Decoration on a Sunny Day

Today was a very rainy day. In fact, it is still raining. I started my Christmas shopping this morning. Yeah, it is getting down to that now or never time. I’m not as young as I was and prefer not to brave the Christmas Eve scrimmage anymore. I went shopping right after the stores had opened, but it was still crowded, with lots of traffic and almost no parking. I thought shoppers only camped out for Black Friday? Pedestrians were crossing Brentwood, walking to the Galleria in the rain. I guess because the lots were already full there. I wasn’t foolhardy enough to brave the Galleria myself, just some of its auxiliary malls, like Galleria Pointe and Brentwood Promenade, one was very hoity-toity, the other slightly less so.

Next, Anne and I did the Christmas dinner grocery shopping together. This is always a test for me. Normally, I do all the grocery shopping myself and like it that way. When I shop by myself, I just use a hand basket and dash in-and-out of the store as quickly as I can. When we do these big meal shops, it’s a much, much bigger production. First off, we get a cart, which makes sense, because we are going to be buying a lot of food, too much to carry. It is the big cart though, not the smaller, more nimble cart that I like better. I guess what I chafe under the most is the shopping list. Anne mainly draws up the menu, although I do consult. She then translates the menu into a shopping list.

When we arrive at the store, she knows what we need, but I know where most things are. What happens next is she gives me a few items on the list. I go off to get some of them and tell her where the rest are. After acquiring said items, I then start searching for Anne. Fortunately, she was wearing a bright red coat today. It made her easier to find. Actually, everything went quite smoothly today, with one exception. When I asked one of the grocers where the fresh cranberries were, he told me that they had sold out of them, two hours ago.

At the store, the Perma Bear texted me, “The hull is breached”. Actually, what he transmitted was “The hull is reached”. I just point this out, because he is always doing the same to me. I guess he has finally figured out that he won our gas bet. Next year, Don, next year. Dave answered my text and said that he was passing Champaign. Doing all this texting, while I was looking over my glasses, an older (63) more rotund man came up to me and proceeded to bend my ear about all things eyesight related. After this little interlude I was ready to finish our grocery shopping.

We returned home with our haul, stuffed the refrigerator and pantry, then I turned around and headed back out into the rain again. I only had a mile to drive and I never came closer than a mile to the epicenter that is Galleria, but the traffic and the intensity of the shopping experience had already been dialed up a few notches, like to eleven. I did find the elusive cranberry. Normally, we buy two bags at Thanksgiving for just this eventuality. This year we forgot.

Dave just arrived in town.

When I originally posted this post it was mistakenly untitled, hence the title.

Dear Santa


Scott Curry Glass Vase Illuminated from Within by LED Lights

Scott Curry Glass Vase Illuminated from Within by LED Lights

Dear Santa,

I have been a very good boy this year and I only want to ask you for just one thing. My wife thinks that I’m being unreasonable and that this is too much to ask for at Christmas, but I really, really want this and it is only just one present. So Santa, you are my only hope, if you could get me this for Christmas, I promise not to ask for so much next year and I would be eternally grateful if you brought it on Christmas Day. Please, please, please!

Here is a link to the present that I want. It is a Samsung 85” 3D Smart LED TV. Normally $44,999.99, but is currently marked down to $39,997.99 and it comes with special delivery, so you don’t have to haul it down our chimney yourself. I know what you are thinking, “Who in their right mind would want to spend forty grand on a TV set?” I’ve anticipated this question and I offer up the following testimonials. They like many similar ones can be found in the comments section of the linked to web page:

  • My wife and I bought this after selling our daughter Amanda into white slavery. We actually got a refurbished. It’s missing the remote, but oh well– for $10K off, I can afford a universal, right? The picture is amazing. I’ve never seen the world with such clarity. 
  • I was going to fund my daughter’s wedding in Hawaii, but I figured this Samsung TV would last much longer.
  • I am coming back from the future to write this review, and to let everyone know you can buy this TV for $699 in 2015. It still looks great though.

If these comments don’t convince you then I don’t know what will. I know that times haven’t been so good. We’ve had to deal with the Great Recession, but I know that you have your problems too. What with global warming, your North Pole retreat is likely to soon become a waterfront property or worse. To add insult to injury, a few years back the Russians claimed sovereignty over the North Pole. You can’t really expect much more from them, but this year the Canadians did the same. If you can’t trust the Canadians who can you trust? Santa it may be that your days are numbered, if the polar ice cap melts then you will have to relocate to Antarctica. From there the best you’ll manage to North America and Europe is two-day delivery, like the day after Christmas. Then Amazon really will eat your lunch. So, why not go out with a bang? I can think of no better way to finish up your long and successful career than with a new forty-thousand dollar TV for me.

Yours truly,
le Marquis

PS – The photo with this post shows a Scott Curry glass vase that my Dad gave us. Mr. Curry was a student of Dale Chihuly. In this picture, I’ve attempted to get all artsy and photographed the vase with some LED Christmas lights in it. Lots of nice colors, but it is kind of hard to see the vase. I’m sure though that this picture would look a lot better on my new TV.

Christmas Morning


Yosemite Chapel

Yosemite Chapel

All the shopping is done. I know this because, my credit card lays at my feet, panting, like a hound that accompanied me on a 5K run. But I promise no ranting, at least, until the new year’s bills are all read. I sit here, in front of this computer, as quiet as a mouse, because Anne and the boys are still nestled in bed. The furnace kicks-off and whirls like a jet, but other than that there are no other sounds, save the creaks of this old house. It is an hour of peace that is mine to enjoy. Ahead lies Christmas Day, a day full of hustle and bustle, family and friends, a day full of presents, cooking and cleaning and lots of good eating. At the end of the day, once all the packages are unwrapped and all the good food eaten, peace should return to this home, in the form of new fallen snow. Merry Christmas to all and to all a good day!