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Here's to a kindlier dozen months

Anacreontic* For The New Year"
     Thomas Hood (1799-1845)

Come, fill up the Bowl, for if ever the glass
Found a proper excuse or fit season,
For toasts to be honour’d, or pledges to pass,
Sure, this hour brings an exquisite reason:
For hark! the last chime of the dial has ceased,
And Old Time, who his leisure to cozen,
Had finish’d the Months, like the flasks at a feast,
Is preparing to tap a fresh dozen!
          Hip! Hip! and Hurrah!

Then fill, all ye Happy and Free, unto whom
The past Year has been pleasant and sunny;
Its months each as sweet as if made of the bloom
Of the thyme whence the bee gathers honey—
Days usher’d by dew-drops, instead of the tears,
May be wrung from some wretcheder cousin—
Then fill, and with gratitude join in the cheers
That triumphantly hail a fresh dozen!
          Hip! Hip! and Hurrah!

And ye, who have met with Adversity’s blast,
And been bow’d to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass’d,
Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury,—
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen!
       Hip! Hip! and Hurrah!

*Pedantic note: An anacreontic is a poem devoted to the favorite subjects of the Greek poet Anacreon: sex and booze. The "Star-Spangled Banner" is set to the the tune of "The Anacreontic Song."

The year is going, let him go

Ring out, wild bells

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out thy mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Happy new year, everyone.

Obama Wins! Glory hallelujah!

My favorite hymn is a poem by James Russell Lowell protesting the Mexican War, abridged and set to music as "Once to Every Man and Nation." I always think of it when good triumphs. I believe that truth eventually triumphs and that people of courage can make it so.

Once to every man and nation, comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of truth with falsehood, for the good or evil side;
Some great cause, some great decision, offering each the bloom or blight,
And the choice goes by forever, ’twixt that darkness and that light.

Read more...Collapse )

How do I boil my shower water?

My life is so exciting. Yesterday afternoon, there were a series of thunderstorms. First, there was high wind and the power went out. The computer has a 15-minute UPS, but it shut down. I got to have an adrenalin rush when the computer wouldn't turn on. Once I started breathing again, I found it had flipped the surge protector.

The storm moved away, and I got in the shower prior to going out. I had just gotten my hair wet when the lights went out and the water pressure dropped drastically. I finished my shower in the dark with a drizzle of water and got dressed in the half light from the windows before the power came back on. After trivia (third place), I came home, took pills and brushed my teeth, using tap water. I turned off the computer about 11:30 and headed for bed.

This morning, I turned on the computer and found the news alert that had been sent at 11:45 stating that the power had gone out at a sewage treatment plant and there was a boil water advisory. I e-mailed some area friends about it and called my neighbor, who's on chemo and therefore didn't need to take any chances.

I've just about drunk all my bottled water. I guess I should boil some water and put it in the refrigerator. Otherwise, my choice of liquids in the morning will be coffee, beer, Fernet and milk.  The county says it could be another 24 hours before it lifts the boil water advisory. 

Okay, I'm a spoiled first-worlder who takes water treatment for granted.

RIP John Stewart, songwriter extraordinaire

 John Stewart died from a stroke yesterday. He was 68, an age that seems younger and younger to me all the time. One report said he had recently been diagnosed with early Alzheimer's, so it's one of those deaths that may be a blessing. He's best known for "Daydream Believer" and his years with The Kingston Trio, but songs such as "Gold," "Lost Her in the Sun" and "Chilly Winds" have been widely covered.
Oddly enough, I've been completely earwormed with one of his songs, "The Spinning of the World," for about two weeks.


Originally uploaded by vqk
The sky is falling! Check your tires! Stay off the roads! Chicken Little had nothing on television news when snow is predicted in the South. We had a day of wet, fluffy, packable snow, so I expect that there are hundreds of  tiny snowmen in metro Atlanta tonight. It's dropping to 20, so tomorrow should be a slippery mess. 

My favorite news bulletin from the snow:

Breaking News:  Barry Manilow concert at Philips postponed 

The snow this week was the dog's first snow. When I first opened the door for him to go out into it, he took one look and ran to the other end of the house.

More snow pictures


Touch hands!

I am again posting my favorite holiday poem. Hold onto the ones you love. May 2008 bring you all better, brighter days.

Touch Hands
Ah friends, dear friends, as years go on
And heads get gray, how fast the guests do go!
Touch hands, touch hands, with those that stay.
Strong hands to weak, old hands to young,
Around the Christmas board, touch hands. 

The false forget, the foe forgive,
For every guest will go and every fire burn low
And cabin empty stand.
Forget, forgive, for who may say that Christmas day
May ever come to host or guest again.
Touch hands!

      -- William Henry "Adirondack" Murray

Dog to be Named Later

I have a dog.

I read about this dog in PetFinder and I kept thinking about his story. Finally I went out to see him yesterday, and today he's sleeping on the floor next to me.

He was in animal control, but he had stayed to his limit because no one wanted the dog with the big scar across his head, caused by someone pouring lighter fluid on him and lighting it. The pound workers had fallen in love with him, so they asked a nearby dog rescue person to take him and try to find him a home.

I went out to meet him yesterday, and here we are.

He's housebroken and crate trained and comes when you call. You could apparently pet him 24 hours a day. He's about two years old and appears to be a Jack Russell, corgi and possible sheltie mix.

The question now is a name. The pound stuck Elvis on him and the woman who was taking care of him dubbed him Leather for the scar on his head. These will not do. What do you think?

What shall I name the dog?

Mr. Peabody
Other (Suggestion in Comments)


William Shakespeare

He jests at scars that never felt a Ginger.

Which work of Shakespeare was the original quote from?

Get your own quotes:

I suspect there may be a person or two on my FList who would want to know about this. We were friends for many years, but my ex kept up with him and I did not, except to follow his career and get occasional news from the ex. He's one of the people I could have gotten back in touch with after the highly emotional post-divorce period died down, but I never did. I wish I had. The death of his first wife, killed by a driver high on drugs and driving on an expired license, was traumatic, and I can still close my eyes and see the agony on his face as he wandered zombie-like through the funeral and its aftermath. Museum Replicas grew out of that, as he worked to find a way to make a living and take care of his two girls. He was always interesting and always opinionated, and I wish the best for his wife and family.

(From the obit his wife sent to the newspapers)

Julius Henry "Hank" Reinhardt, 73, a widely known authority on
medieval arms and armor, and an icon of Southern science fiction
fandom for over 50 years, died Tuesday morning at an Athens, GA,
hospital following complications of heart surgery.MoreCollapse )

Latest Month

January 2011


"One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our founding fathers used in the great struggle for independence."
~ Charles A. Beard

"In this world of sin and sorrow there is always something to be thankful for; as for me, I rejoice that I am not a Republican."
~ Henry Louis Mencken

"Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it, misdiagnosing it and then misapplying the wrong remedies."
~ Groucho Marx

"It is only those who have neither fired a shot nor heard the shrieks and groans of the wounded who cry aloud for blood, more vengeance, more desolation. War is hell."
~ William Tecumseh Sherman

"A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought."
~ Dorothy L. Sayers

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