On Thanksgiving 2019

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Thanksgiving is a major holiday in the US, so many families will gather for a bountiful meal.

Thanksgiving is a day that begins the holiday season.

Thanksgiving is a day to celebrate the harvest.

Thanksgiving is a day of happiness and gratitude.

Thanksgiving is a special day to give thanks – to consider our blessings. Although that is something that people (including me) should do more often. Then again, others struggle on this day for a variety of reasons: especially loneliness and health. Let us be thankful for our blessings and keep the troubled in our hearts.

With this being my last Thanksgiving in my little corner of the world, I am thankful for the many good people I’ve encountered on these pages. I feel very blessed – and an extra special thank you to my regulars today and in the past.

A Thanksgiving blessing to all!

On Thanksgiving 2018

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The most important decision each person makes in live is the choices they make of the people around them.

No matter the age – as children, teens, young adults, adults, and elders – the importance of the choices is the same.

No matter the place – work, school, neighbors, organizations, and more – the importance of the choices is the same.

No matter our choice of hobbies – dance, photography, travel, bicycling, knitting, blogging, or more – the importance of the choices is the same.

For Thanksgiving 2018, I am thankful for all the good people who have been around me all my years – my hometown, college, neighbors, work, church, conferences, dance, vacations, family, and many more – and that includes the good people in blogging.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Returning this weekend for Act 2 of Pronouns 2: The Musical featuring songs with Mine in the title. Curtain goes up at 1:00 AM (Eastern US).

On Christmas 2017

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For much of the world, December is the season. A season of joy and light. A season of warmth and kindness. A season of spirit and belief. A season of renewal and hope. As those thoughts are with Christians and Jews around the celebrations of Christmas and Hanukkah, I contend this is the season not just for these two religions, but this is the season for all of humanity.

Santa Claus is the leading spirit of the season. He’s is the one of binds joy, light, warmth, kindness, spirit and believe not just to Christians, but for all of humanity. Santa is a positive spirit for all humans across the globe to embrace. Santa is the one that reaches into everyone’s childlike heart to touch an anticipated goodness. It is in this spirit that Santa crosses the barriers of culture, gender, skin color, religion, language, sexual orientation, nationality, and politics.

Santa carries the spirit unlimited goodness to all humans for them to embrace. No – embracing Santa does not carry an automatic endorsement of Christianity. I know those proclaiming “Put the Christ back in Christmas” shutter at my thoughts and banish me to the fires of Hell, but Santa is powerful spirit and symbol that allows humanity to pass goodness among itself – to pass goodness across cultures.

Yes, I am a Christian – and I understand why some believe the over-commercialization of Christmas is too secular – thus less religious. Yes, it is important for me to remember the religious aspect of Christmas. However, Christmas has also evolved into a secular holiday – and the Spirit of Santa leads the way by transcending all people in all cultures regardless of religious or non-religious beliefs.

Merry Christmas to those who accept Santa as the spirit of Goodness. Happy Holiday to those preferring that greeting. To those embracing the Winter Solstice and Yule, may the quiet, fire, and calm of the night lead you to a positive returning sun that will bring peace, joy, and love in the days ahead. To my Jewish friends, my the blessings of your light bring you happiness. To my Christian friends, a blessed Christmas wish to you.

My season gift to you is for you to enjoy at least one of the music selections below. Which did you enjoy?

Enya’s And Winter Came celebrates the winter solstice

The Piano Guys playing a song of the season

Manheim Steamroller’s Silent Night with glories skies is a personal favorite

On Holiday-Week Shorts

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This post is a cheap imitation of Opinion in the Shorts … make that very cheap … but it’s a way to dispense some information.

With this being Christmas week, I realize upcoming posts will be around a different schedule – so here’s my hopeful plan for the rest of 2015

  • The next post will be my Christmas post (on either Wednesday or Thursday)
  • Several Explore posts between Christmas and the New Year (a light and easy agenda)

Many thanks to everyone attending my holiday party. It seems my new (non-Onion) gift supplier was a success … thus the challenge for next year. Nonetheless, thanks for all the smiles you gave me.

We enjoy watching the Kennedy Center Honors during the holidays. This year’s show is December 29th on CBS, so check your local listings. This year’s honoree are singer-songwriter Carole King, filmmaker George Lucas, actress and singer Rita Moreno, conductor Seiji Ozawa, and actress and Broadway star Cicely Tyson.

We finally saw the latest James Bond movie – Spectre. Typical Bond, thus enjoyable. During the holiday we hope to see The Big Short, Concussion, and maybe the latest Star Wars.

I enjoy making limoncello – a wonderful Italian drink that is sweet, lemony, and strong. It’s easy to make, and this past-post tells how. This year I’m in the process of making a variation – gingercello – sweet, gingery, strong, and a touch of heat – an interesting combination. I hope to bottle it soon, thus give away some to friends.

This remains a holiday classic in my warped world.

The Democratic candidates had a presidential debate this past Saturday. Yep – I didn’t watch – but I’ve put together a collection of fact checks: Annenberg, PolitiFacts, Associated Press, Washington Post.

As soon as I heard Hillary Clinton’s (D-NY) comment about the recruitment videos, I shook my head – and it seems that the fact checkers are backing up my apprehension.

Because The Mummies were above with Carol of the Belts, I’ll send you into the week with one of their songs. Have a good week.

On the 2014 Gift Basket Party

Welcome to my 2014 Holiday/Christmas Party for my friends, their guests, and whoever stops by!

In the spirit of the holiday season, this gathering is for everyone: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Atheists, Agnostics, and others. I say everyone because I’m a firm believer that the majority of the world is good – and that is in spite of all the crap we get from the news each and every day … so peace and goodwill to the global community of goodness!

My wish is for guests to get a gift and mingle with others – which also means gifts can be traded! Then again, it may be the perfect gift for someone you know.

Plus, there’s more …. Santa will arrive around 3:00 PM Sunday (Eastern US) to allow everyone to state their wishes. He’ll be in the Comments, so reply to him there.

The Comments area will also serve as the Entertainment Stage, so stay tuned.

This is going to be a bit crazy for both readers and hosts, so I request your patience!

Overview

  • Behind each number is a surprise gift.
  • Only one gift per person.
  • Once the number (gift) is taken, it’s no longer available (next note is important)
  • While I hope to strike-through taken numbers, I must sleep and run errands – so I request readers check the comments before taking a number. (See the Update note above the numbers for my strike-through progress.)

Directions

  1. Pick (click) an available number for your surprise gift.
  2. In your comment, type your number (hopefully on its own line so all can see it).
  3. Tell everyone about your gift.
  4. If necessary, bargain a trade with someone else.

Positive cheers to all in the spirit goodness for the season! Have fun!!!!

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UPDATED through David Funk

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DogElf

On Liberty and Freedom

July 4, 1776 – A new nation forms as it seeks liberty from a powerful country that is also free. A new Constitution delivers a new government to set sail into an unknown future. 237 years later, the great American experiment of freedoms continues.

Whether words from the Founding Fathers, future American leaders, or others from around the world at various points of history, calls for liberty and freedom ring strong.

Rightful liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not add ‘within the limits of the law’ because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates the rights of the individual. (Thomas Jefferson)

Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. (James Madison)

Our defense is in the preservation of the spirit, which prizes liberty as a heritage of all men, in all lands, everywhere. Destroy this spirit and you have planted the seeds of despotism around your own doors. (Abraham Lincoln)

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty. (John F. Kennedy)

Concentrated power has always been the enemy of liberty. (Ronald Reagan)

The basics of a democratic state is liberty. (Aristotle)

It is a strange desire, to seek power, and to lose liberty; or to seek power over others, and to lose power over a man’s self. (Francis Bacon)

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought. (Pope John Paul II)

Being democratic is not enough, a majority cannot turn what is wrong into right. In order to be considered truly free, countries must also have a deep love of liberty and an abiding respect for the rule of law. (Margaret Thatcher)

All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom, justice, honor, duty, mercy, hope. (Winston Churchill)

To deprive a man of his natural liberty and to deny to him the ordinary amenities of life is worse than starving the body; it is starvation of the soul, the dweller in the body. (Mahatma Gandhi)

For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others. (Nelson Mandela)

Happy Independence Day … and may liberty and freedom continue to spread. Enjoy Liberty Fanfare (by John Williams) with narration … the music that actually sparked this post.

On a Thought for Shopping

I made it through the first week of the project. As an outsider, it is never easy walking into an organization I don’t know to take on a project that is in progress, with a deadline, and about a topic that I know nothing about. Being a gluten for punishment, I’ll return next week. Meanwhile, sometime this weekend I need to reply to the comments here.

Since missing the regular edition of Opinions in the Shorts still bothers me, maybe a Saturday surprise for entertainment purposes is in order. Let’s face it – the malls and other major shopping areas will be crazy this weekend, which exactly why you won’t find me there. But for those considering a shopping trip, keep your eye open for someone who may be expressing holiday cheer through dance. Thanks to H.E. for discovering this video.