New Years Eve 2014

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Here it is, the end of the year.

It’s strange, It hasn’t felt like too much like the holiday season and sure doesn’t feel like the end already.

I guess that’s just a tribute to the weirdness of the world in general. Ya gotta admit that this year has been a roller-coaster and not a particularly fun one.  For me spending part of Feb and all of March in Florida was nice despite the reason I was there.

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Aside from some of the “odd” driving there, I actually like Florida better than California. That wasn’t always true but now I think Florida is a hands down winner. (Yeah… make of that euphemism what you will.)

I like Kentucky, Tennessee, and most of the Southeast quite a lot. I enjoyed speaking English, and for a change, not having to engage the “Citispeak” filters to understand what was being said to me. I appreciated the accent-less newscasters of the South.

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One of the funniest contrasts for me personally is that FL was settled by the Spanish, has a large Cuban population, and yet not ONE of the newscasters down there broke into Spanish pronunciation when they said “De La Cruz, or Ortiz, or Espinosa.” Even if it was their own name. I found myself wondering what that was about. From a California perspective the utter lack of PC was, well refreshing and for the first time in YEARS I was actually relaxed and at ease.

Interesting when you realize just how much energy constantly second guessing yourself to make sure you don’t offend accidentally takes out of your day. I felt better in Florida emotionally, physically, and spiritually than I have in decades.

I think that is something that bears further investigation in the New Year.


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We’ve had lots of crazy stuff this year.

The Middle East drawdown has been reversed (“There will be no boots on the ground. Well I meant to say except the advisors, but they won’t be in combat roles. Well, they will be in combat roles when necessary.”)

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Obamacare has proven to be a major pain in the ass, and promises to continue to be a hemorrhoid for the foreseeable future. Oh by the way, hemorrhoids are not covered that will be 12,000 dollars please.

  • NewImageClimate Change a fact
  • Climate change not so much a fact
  • Benghazi
  • Obama Vacationing
  • The NSA
  • The IRS
  • Obama Playing Golf
  • Lois Learner emails lost, then found.
  • The CIA
  • Malasia Flight
  • Passenger plane shot down over Ukraine
  • Putin annexing territory
  • NewImageObama Vacationing
  • Putin Ignoring Obama
  • Holders’ resignation
  • Obama Playing Golf
  • ISIS ISIL or whatever the hell they’re calling themselves at this moment
  • Palestine attacks Israel
  • Obama Vacationing
  • The lie swallowed by the UN that Israelis are mean and killing innocent Palestinians
  • A torture report that we largely didn’t give a shit about. Wire the towel heads up and kick up the voltage!
  • NewImageObama Vacationing
  • Kids flooding the border from Mexico
  • Scandals
  • Ebola
  • More lies
  • A serious butt whooping for the Democrats
  • The betrayal of the American people by the Republicans
  • GamerGate
  • NewImageObama Playing Golf
  • Campus Rape
  • The Fictitious war on women in the western world. Ignoring the factual war on women in the Middle East and Africa.
  • The Hidden war on men
  • Amnesty
  • Obama playing golf
  • Ferguson
  • NewImageHands up, pants down
  • Al Sharpton inciting riots then backing away from the chaos HE CAUSED
  • riots
  • Can’t Breathe
  • FBI Confirmed North Korea hacked Sony
  • FBI confirmation called into question by REAL computer security analysts
  • NewImagePolice shootings
  • Obama on Vacation, Playing Golf
  • Open season declared ON the police
  • De Blasio tossing the cops under the bus
  • De Blasio ignored by the cops…

All the while the drone of the talking heads on CNN, MSNBC, and other main stream media telling us that everything is getting better in stark counterpoint to what they said before the last commercial break.

And that’s just what I remember…

Really?

This is what we have to show for the year, nothing resolved, our country more divided than I can ever recall, and nothing that begins to look like leadership from our leaders.

Honestly, I’m pretty disgusted. I’ll be glad to put 2014 six feet under.


I look forward to a new year, hopefully a much better year.

I have few resolutions.

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Get back into shape

Keep the “News” to a minimum, and with it dial down the noise in my world. The down side is that my blog posts may become far less frequent.

Decide if its time to jettison Twitter from my life. When something is more of a downer than uplifting, maybe its time. That’s the place I got to with FaceBook. Since getting Facebook out of my life, I haven’t missed it one bit.

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Simplify my existence

Find a decent job

Write my second and third books

In the Immediate future however…

This evening, I’m going to get myself a stiff drink, watch the boob tube, and comfort the dogs when idiots start honking horns, shooting guns, and setting off illegal fireworks.


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What about you?

What do you have planned for 2015?

As always, Be safe.

Don’t drive if you’ve had one too many.

I look forward to blathering at you in the new year.

Was at a Target yesterday

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You know how it is, You’re checking out the after Christmas sales and trying to find decorations or stuff that you need at huge discounts.

I happen to walk by the Christmas card aisle, and there are a ton of cards on sale. 

I’m thinking “Humm, I wonder if I pick up some of these, would I have a better shot at getting holiday cards out BEFORE Christmas next year.”

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I start shopping and I find backgrounds that I like, but the text of the greetings isn’t something I really like. Then It dawns on me I can’t just get something that says “Merry Christmas”.

In this world, ya have to have Happy Holiday cards, Merry Christmas Cards, Happy Solstice cards, Joyous Kwanza, and finally Congratulatory Ramadan cards.

FSM Holiday

What the hell do you say in a Ramadan card? Congratulations on your relatives that blew themselves up?

Don’t even think about the rabid Atheists… I don’t think there’s a card that says, “Thank you for screwing up my formerly happy holiday because you’re so oversensitive.”

It’s gotten to the point these days that you need a computer just to keep track of which of your friends are which religion.

That’s when I remembered why I make my own Holiday cards.

Greetings

I long for the days when people were smart enough, and gracious enough to simply accept the kindness of being remembered during the holiday season.

My Jewish friends have no problem if someone screws up and send them a Christmas card, after all it’s the thought that counts.

Isn’t it enough to know someone was thinking about you, and remembered you during this time of year?

You know you’ve been in a relationship too long when…

Ceiling Fan

You almost fight on Christmas Eve about the direction a ceiling fan is going.

Yep, you read that right.

Here’s the deal, I had to flip a breaker so that I could replace a broken light switch.

As an aside, this light switch was a $50 motion sensing complicated deal made in China. As usual all I could think about was the line from Mr Scott in one of the Star Trek movies. “The more you overthink the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the works.”

Anyhow, once again I discover that the electrician the builder contracted while this house was being built, had been hit by 220V once too often. The single breaker, turns off all the overhead lighting fixtures, and the sockets that feed the network closet. It’s a miracle that the breaker doesn’t trip when I flip on a light. 

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However, this configuration also means that the overhead fan in the dining area got turned off.  Because it’s a “smart machine”, it had forgotten which direction it was set for by the time I flipped the breaker back on.

Which led to this exchange between myself and the Other Half.

OH: “Turn the fan off so that you can set the direction.”

ME: “Why?”

OH: “So you can set the fan to rotate clockwise for winter.”

ME: “It’s already turning clockwise.”

OH: “No it isn’t. The fan always resets after a power outage.”

ME: “I know, but I’m looking at it right now, the fan is turning clockwise.”

OH: “No it isn’t.” (Turning the fan off and hitting the reverse button)

ME: “What direction is clockwise sweetie?”

Me Thinking this would be resolved when the other half re-evaluated that clockwise is something spinning from left to right. Instead, the other half points to fan and starts calling off 12, 3, 6, 9. Indicating a clockwise motion from left to right.

ME: “Sweetie, what direction are the fan blades turning?” Indicating the slowing fan blades of the now powered off fan

OH: “Clockwise”

ME: “So we didn’t need to reverse the fan.”

OH: “Yes we did.”

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ME: “Ok are you looking at the fan from the top or bottom?”

OH: “From the bottom.”

ME: “So we didn’t need to reverse the fan.”

OH: “Yes we did.”

I take off my watch, I hold it face down in front of the fan whose blades are now moving very slowly. 

ME: “Clockwise is the direction that the clock hands move right?”

OH: Gives me dirty look

ME: “Are the fan blades moving the same direction as the second hand of my very expensive swiss watch?”

OH: “Why are you being an ass?”

ME: “I’m honestly not trying to be an ass. I’m trying to make sure that we’re working from a common set of reference points so that when you tell me to make the fans in the house go Clockwise, I get it right. Alternatively, if I’m telling you how to tighten a screw if I say clockwise to tighten, you are successful. I’m actually trying to adapt my internal programming to accommodate your needs.” 

OH: Stomps out of house, “I’m going to the grocery store! Reverse the damn fan!”

Trying to put this to bed I go down to the basement, get the ladder so I can get to the switches on the fans in the bedrooms and I reverse all the fans in the house.

Based on the data obtained in our conversation prior to the other half stomping out, I’ve set all the units spinning in a direction I call Counterclockwise.

One hour later… 

OH: “I told you to reverse the fans!”

ME: “I did.”

OH: “No you didn’t, they’re spinning clockwise!”

ME: Facepalm

What do you mean it’s Christmas Eve? I still have Christmas cards left.

Bill The Cat (c) Berkeley Breathed

ACK! I’m still working on Christmas cards!

I know some of you are sitting comfortably, hot coco in hand thinking “I’m done.”

Others of you are preparing for the marathon insanity of Christmas Eve Shopping. More power to you!

Still others are revving up for an annual Christmas Eve dinner and you folks… Well God bless you. As we used to say in the south, “aren’t you just speeeccciiiaaal?”

My cork just popped about the cards. They’ll get out, when they get out and I’m not worrying about it anymore.

I make ‘em from the ground up. Actually, the cards have been ready to go for about 10 days. The problem is that I have to sign ‘em and stuff ‘em into envelopes and this year life has gotten in the way, I also think they shortened the year just to mess with me.

Bill The Cat (c) Berkeley Breathed Hopefully I get points for creation, and don’t lose too many points for the execution.

Next year I’m starting this process in July! I don’t want to hear about it when you get your Holiday cards in September!

In any case…

For those of you whose cards are going to be late. You’re all in my thoughts.

BTW I’d appreciate it if you all would quiet down, my head is a pretty small place and I can hear you just FINE!

My special plan for this evening, is to hunker down in my fluffy robe & slippers, make myself some popcorn and watch The Bishops Wife and Donovan’s Reef. Its a personal tradition for me. 

I wish you all a great holiday, Cards or not. Please remember throughout the holiday, be safe, and enjoy the time with your loved ones.

Maybe I should start next years holiday cards Jan 2. That might mean I actually get them out by Dec 1.

Had a great day yesterday.

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Yesterday was my annual Christmas Shopping trip.

An old friend and I used to do a Christmas trip many years ago, but now that he’s married, he has a lot of family responsibilities. Our annual shopping trips have become less frequent.

That’s not an accusation, his wife’s family is very into the holidays and each other’s lives. My friend’s duty is clear between his family, and his wife’s family which is now THEIR combined family, there are a ton of obligations.

Honestly I don’t know how the hell they maintain their schedule. Must be really good drugs!

I try to get together with him as soon after the first of the new year as our schedules allow.

SC Tree

However, nature abhors a vacuum. Apparently, so does South Coast Plaza! 

Another old friend needed a shopping buddy. So one day a year, we have lunch, drinks, Ok perhaps a couple of drinks, then we go shopping for our loved ones. Both of us fervently hoping to find the “perfect” gift and often we purchase a gift for ourselves along the way.

This year, I think I did good. My friend also found something perfect! 

Capital Grill

Unlike years past, we returned to his house, then another couple came over.

After more drinks, cheese, an excellent Italian dinner mixed with tons of laughter, off color jokes, and more laughter, suddenly the clock struck midnight.

We adjourned each to their homes and I found myself having one last pleasure of the evening. 

Empty freeways.

I queued up my favorite playlist, the first song was “Keep the Streets Empty” by Fever Ray. 

The perfect end to a perfect day.