On Closing 2012 with Shorts

With 2012 about to close, I could recap the year – but won’t – however, I’ll let The Onion provide satire’s version of recapping the year.

Other 2012 Recaps from The Onion

Here’s some of the entertainment we watched this holiday:

  • Lincoln helps show that politicians have always been selfish
  • Argo is interesting and about something I didn’t even know happened
  • Black Knight Rises (finally rented) is convoluted
  • The Kennedy Center Honors (TV), a must-see every year, was (as always) great
  • Missed seeing Les Miserables, Life of Pi, Guilt Trip, and Anna Karenina (Did you see any of these?)

Congratulations for being the 20,000th comment to Debra, an Aussie who spends time in a beautiful area of Tuscany that is very near to relatives from both sides of my family. If you visit, tell her I sent you.

Cheers to my top 5 commenters (in reverse order): Elyse (#5), El Guapo, Rich, John Erickson, and Starla (#1).

Here’s a list of those who left this world in 2012

Being Freshly Pressed on Christmas Eve has worn me out, thus kept me away from making my rounds. Given the holidays and weekends, I’ve remained on the FP’s front page for a week, which is longer than normal. Then again, I bring the swamped feeling upon myself by having a mantra to reply, reciprocate, and visit any and all – thus I’m ready to move on.

Soon, 2012 will be in the shadow of 2013. I draw the curtain to 2012 with this fitting video by Lindsey Stirling. For those going out to celebrate – enjoy yourself and be safe. To those staying in, enjoy the calm. To all, and in the words of Garrison Keillor, Be well, do good work, and keep in touch.

Happy New Year! …. and cheers to a healthy and positive 2013!

On a Time to Play

In lieu of a Saturday Morning Classic Cartoon post, here is a wonderful interactive site for you to enjoy – and probably learn something. Special thanks to Alex for finding this gem earlier this year.

A couple of notes for you before you get to play. The image below is what you probably will see first after clicking the link. Notice the following on the image:

  • The Scroll bar, which located at the bottom of the interactive field (at within as shown), is for zooming in and out
  • Click any image to learn more
  • It may take time to load, and the Start button will display the loading status
  • Once loaded, click Start

Universe2scale

.

The universe is a wonderful place, so enjoy and savor. To start your exploration, click here.

On a Blog Reflection: 2012

In lieu of Friday’s typical Opinions in the Shorts, here’s a look back at 2012. Besides, I still feel a bit overwhelmed from the hectic nature of the past few days.

From the blogging perspective, 2012 was a successful year.

  • Except when on vacation, I maintained my 5-6 posts per week
  • December was already on pace to be the best month ever, but with Freshly Pressed, this month may stand a while
  • Visits for the year improved over 40% from 2011
  • Reached the 100,000 mark for visits
  • 20,000th comment will be soon – and who will get the fireworks display
  • Freshly Pressed on December 24
  • Being added to Le Clown’s blogroll
  • My 1000th post party was very special
  • I continue to enjoy posting and interacting with my visitors

By reviewing my 2012 posts, I selected one post from each month to feature the variety of topics that I embrace. From politics to religion to science to travel to ballroom dance and more, here is my look back at 2012. This collection also gives new readers a chance to learn about me and this blog – which could either encourage them to return or drive them away!

For your comments, which did you read? To my long-time visitors, do you have any memorable posts that I didn’t include?

January: My story of living with a night of blame for 40+ years

February: A tribute to Pi – yep, 3.141592653, including a link of Pi to a million digits

March: On a spectacular place – the universe

April: Looking at the difficult topic of free will

May: Political gridlock remains valid today … and probably tomorrow

June: Faith and science are compatible

July: A mistaken view about global warming

August: I enjoy college football, so look at some of my favorite college football traditions

September: Time for a cruise – Start in Amsterdam, and then follow the link at the bottom of the post to the next port

October: Learn about and enjoy tango

November: I enjoy classic cartoons, so it’s all about Taz

December: How many people can play one instrument at the same time

To send you into the weekend, enjoy Disco Santa, which makes me laugh … and yep, sure sounds like the Village People. Have a safe weekend, and hopefully I can get a play-toy post together for your Saturday.

On 12 Flurries of Christmas

Welcome back! To my Christmas-celebrating friends, I hope you had a DSC01561wonderful holiday. To those not celebrating, hope the day delivered joy and peace to you.

Because I encountered some unexpected flurries, these pics from an outdoor holiday lights display we visit several weeks ago will accompany the story.

Flurry #1: We decided on a cross-state drive to visit my sister for the weekend. The visit went well, but Saturday was John Erickson’s birthday, thus I was disappointed to miss the festivities.

Flurry #2: Upon returning home, I replied to the comments on John’s tribute post, and then raced through the other tributes. I enjoyed them, but a day late just wasn’t the same as being there.

Flurry #3: Besides catching up on the John tributes, Sunday was also the start of my holiday post. I published it at the planned time, which meant comments were on the way.

Flurry #4: I started Christmas Eve with replying to comments. Throughout the day, in between errands, cleaning, and cooking dinner, I tried to make holiday wishes to the blogs I frequent.

Flurry #5: I receive an honor from highly acclaimed H.E.Ellis because this Naughty Santa video from my Gifts 2012 post inspired this post by her.

DSC01556

Flurry #6: We just finished dinner, and I returned to blogs to answer comments on the gifts post. Through my emails, I see a Like for someone I don’t know … followed by a subscribe notice … following by a comment from Society Red in Seattle, and one I ordered not long ago to shred his citizenship papers: NOW what are you going to do? Freshly Pressed!

Flurry #7: Society Red’s comment created an oh-crap moment, so I scanned the Inbox – and there it was – the notification – and it was already live! … She (the editor) picked DSC01559her favorite video (Hubble to Oh Holy Night), and included this closing statement: Sorry to have to make you remove your “never been Freshly Pressed” badge. Consider it our gift to you.

Flurry #8: I was totally surprised that post #1,082 made it, so I hastily notified a few. After all, time was short and I knew had to abdicate the throne of the country I formed. I summoned a chopper for making my escape into the dark skies to avoid the potential hysteria.

Flurry #9: From the chopper, I contacted John Erickson, who spread the news. Yet, on this Christmas Eve night, the night known for celebrating joy and peace, I looked at the sparkling lights from the people below with pride and sadness … and as the last light faded away, the a tear hits the floor.

Flurry #10: Now in a new location I realized I had get to church for the handbell choir’s final rehearsal. After participating in two services, I returned home to more messages.

Flurry #11: Christmas Day – Dealing with 800+ visitors on this day, plus comments, and maintaining a personal philosophy of interacting with visitors DSC01560was a challenge. My in-laws visited in the afternoon and we had enjoyed dinner. In the evening, I finally slayed the last comment … and then I saw this tribute from rarasaur.

Flurry #12: Besides managing comments, the day after Christmas delivered a winter storm dividing Cincinnati in two – snow and wind for blizzard conditions on the west side to rain-sheet-ice-snow mix for those of us on the east side. Fortunately, I was on the good side of the storm.

I safely landed on the other side of NonFP Nation., and warmly greeted by my friends here … and those in my former homeland cheered as well. Suddenly and unexpectedly receiving the never-envisioned was interesting – but it sure made Christmas 2012 was a bit different. I weathered the storm of 2,100+ visits over 3 days – but I also look forward to returning back to my normal routine. Thanks everyone!

PS: To add the pleasure, the FP post about Santa (the one beside mine in the FP image below)  I listed in last Friday’s Interesting Reads section of Opinions in the Shorts. Yep, I noted it before WordPress.

FreshlyPressed