123 thoughts on “Merry Christmas”

  1. ha sjwny, you saw this one coming..

    Wonder if we’ll be meeting in St. Louis, Louis soon to celebrate the great Judy Garland Songbook…

    Happy Holidays all!

  2. What other song could there possibly be? “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” is one of my favorites, and no one sang it better than Miss Garland.
    Thanks for the touch of class.
    So have yourself a Merry little Christmas now.

  3. Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
    Let your heart be light
    From now on,
    our troubles will be out of sight

    Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
    Make the Yule-tide gay,
    From now on,
    our troubles will be miles away.

    Here we are as in olden days,
    Happy golden days of yore.
    Faithful friends who are dear to us
    Gather near to us once more.

    Through the years
    We all will be together,
    If the Fates allow
    Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
    And have yourself A merry little Christmas now.

    trail friends who are dear to us
    gather near to us once more….

  4. corey, i was just about to mention you in the list of trail friends such as solar, rez, 911, et al we haven’t heard from in too long a while. hope all is well and the blizzards have safely passed you by.

  5. I have friends that I’ve never met, and they are amazing! They reside on the ‘trail’. :smile:
    Merry Christmas to you all!

  6. Merry Christmas all.
    a little Christmas blues
    Santa Claus is Back in Town, Elvis

  7. I’m walking Backwards for Christmas
    One of the fourteen singles released by Peter Sellers, Harry Secombe and Spike Milligan a.k.a. ‘The Goons’. From June 1956.


  8. “Together in our (TM) house, in the firelight, we are the world made small.” Jennifer Donnelly. Merry Christmas, Everyone!

  9. Have a Holly Jolly Christmas…


  10. JAck

    I love, love Fairytale of New York. Have to sing along “And the boys of the NYPD Choir were singing Galway Bay”

  11. Little MJ and the Jackson 5
    I saw mommy kissing Santa Claus


  12. Watching Meet Me In St. Louis.
    For something new Richard Marx has a new Christmas album “Spirit of Christmas” His sons are almost grown now, but he used home movies in the video.


  13. Twas the night before Christmas
    When me and the spouse
    Were settled in for the evening
    in our drafty old house.
    With me a bum kidney
    And her with a cold
    Now when in the hell did we get so damn old.

  14. People have money to spend and they are spending it this Holiday season. As a retail worker I see it first hand. Politics, schmolitics – live life and enjoy it.

  15. Just in case it is getting too sappy and sentimental

    Weird Al and The Night Santa Went Crazy


  16. Wishing a very merry Christmas to all my Trail Mix friends! May it be a sweet day for one and all!

    (Loving the musical interludes these days….)

  17. Just wanted to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and/or a Happy Holiday!

  18. Santa Claus delivered the wind last night and I immediately thought of Sean and I believe Santa was heard saying “Hah!” instead of ho-ho-ho. I immediately thought of Patsi. Merry Christmas, trailmixers! May your ghosts of Christmas past, present and future be kind to you all this day!

  19. A friend of Mr. Cracker’s came by the other day and said – everything is about to change for the better – he had a bunch of whoha to support his theory…which I won’t go into but we are choosing to believe.

    Part of his theory is based on the idea that women politicians will do a better job. (He did say that he didn’t consider Margaret Thatcher a real woman)

    Merry Christmas everyone.

  20. KGC…I, too, have felt the change of direction in this country. On a Sunday in October, hubby and I were looking at the arroyo on a warm afternoon. And when we looked east toward the Organ Mts., we saw a couple making love on a blanket in the arroyo. Excluding college campuses, I have NOT seen this free love since the 1970’s. It is a sign the country is moving a bit left, again.

    Ah, Make love, not war.

    Anyway, the next day, hubby said he saw a dog go by the spot where the couple lay and sniffed around the area. I love the wild life of the arroyo!

  21. Merry Christmas!

    Enjoy the day… and don’t eat or drink too much… I know I won’t… 😉

  22. Best wishes for good health and happiness to all today and always. May we continue the Trail Mix creed of disagreeing agreeably.

  23. httpv://youtu.be/v7UGNicp40E


    I have made a little Liszt and I’m checking it twice. Enjoy the music and enjoy the day. 😉

  24. BW,

    Your arroyos are a bit more ‘picturesque’ than ours. 😉

    Ah, to be young again.

  25. It’s Christmas and that means it’s once more time for the annual Sturgeone Christmas Letter. This year’s main theme was procrastination. I’m figuring that with any luck at all I can get a good start on it, say, before New Year’s Eve.

  26. Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year to all!

    Lets all get together and hold hands on New Years Eve so we can go over “The Cliff” together.

    A reminder to please watch your drinking and driving, this message sponsored by Senator Mike Crapo, who advises everyone to please spring for the cab ride back across the Potomac from Virginia after the late night party!!!

  27. Bacon cooking over an open fire

    Bacon Yule Log – A Virtual Fireplace for Your Holiday

  28. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to one and all! This is the time of year when I contemplate how even in darkness, a light pierces the gloom, like an ember in a fading fire, glowing with potential to burn bright with just a little bit of tending. In the Northern Hemisphere, we are rewarded with lighter days with the sun illuminating our side of the planet for an additional 2 minutes each day — automatically, without our even having to do anything, a gift from the universe. May each of you reading this be rewarded with ever-growing light to shine through your lives, to brighten your path.

    A reporter from the Washington Post came to one of our family Christmas gatherings this year and wrote this story.

  29. diva, thanks for sharing. good tho’t from your friend’s article:

    In other words, though he stays true to the rituals of his Muslim faith, Ahmed can find the universal, humanitarian message in Christian Christmas and embrace it.

    “The rituals aren’t as important as what they’re trying to symbolize and being able to explore those things at a church, or at a mosque, it’s all about trying to be a better person,” he said.

  30. In honor of Christmas I have been holding my fire on various news worthy or not so news worthy figures as of late. A number of whom continue to exist simply to suck up valuable oxygen.
    My self restraint is however wearing thin, and I am temped to forgo ‘good will toward men’ and replace it with a quick kink in their oxygen tubes. 😕

  31. That Judy Garland version slays me each time. It’s the little girl in the scene. Amazing work really. Also, in the film, the lyric is “Until then we’ll have to muddle through somehow,” but when other artists started to record it, powers that be thought it was too negative for a Christmas song and changed it to “hang a shining star upon the highest bough.” Personally, I like the former.

    I have been you-tubing sacred Christmas music for a few days, Kings College Choir, Cambridge Singers. Oh my. Makes my heart soar.

    I trust everyone had a safe and lovely holiday. Our younger daughter flew back across the country for a few days and it has been wonderful. We’re all going out for dinner tonight. Haven’t had to do too much work either, as this year Christmas was celebrated at a friend’s house.

    I love the holidays. I feel very lazy but that’s the point isn’t it? I’m sitting on the couch in my new Duluth Trading long-sleeve T (there’s a commercial for them), having coffee and a mince tart.

    All best wishes!

  32. So I heard revisionist historian Douglas Brinkley talking about why he thinks fatboy Chris Christie can be elected president.

    To buttress his position he cited the examples of Kennedy’s addisons disease and roosevelt’s polio and said they were elected…except Kennedy hid his disease and FDR went to great pains not to be photographed with crutches etc. So just how is Christies not going to be photographed as fat?

  33. ty, is your new dt tee the one that says “there’s no tool like an old tool”?

    had to buy it for a friend who teaches shop. he (and his students) loved it.

  34. Margaret O’Brian was great as the girl in Meet Me In St. Louis…She attended a screening of the film in Portland a few years ago…She spoke very lovingly about Judy Garland…

  35. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w4DBpxz8r_Q

    I made it back from Columbus ahead of the storm Euclid. It’s snowing hard and deep here in NW Ohio. I made it out to pay a bill and stock up on groceries this morning, and that was only driving five miles total, and that was enough.

    My kids just loaded me down with way too many presents, from candy to coffee maker and mugs and cups, and all sorts of presents including a deluxe recliner chair to be delivered not-soon-enough.
    We had both cars there at my daughter’s Columbus home, and my wife opted to stay another few days. It’s almost a couple hundred miles and I am glad to be home; it’s nasty outside.

  36. Beautiful picture, Craig.

    I don’t know what camera you’re using, but the pixels must be high — I enlarged it as my desktop (full page) and it looks great. Told hubby I want him to build a bridge just like it on our back lot that goes into the tree’s.


    (… I can almost feel myself walking across it… not knowing where it ends. As long a there are tree’s and greenery, I am happy) Florida must be beautiful this time of the year.

  37. Hi Chloe, proud to be on your desktop. The walking bridge pic just done with my little Casio 5meg pocket cam, does a fine job. (Cloudy afternoon using the flash, often gets the best results for nature pics.)

    Yep, that bird is what we call a Cattle Egret, for the reason you describe. This one on top of a big SUV at a local parking lot, guess he thought it was a cow.

  38. Your photo takes me back to 1970 when I spent a Christmas in Vietnam. Somewhere I have a photograph of me standing in front of a banana tree.

    Speaking of Vietnam…did anyone see Oliver Stone’s “Untold History of the United States” tonight (or maybe Monday, if it was shown then?) No censors here, my god! Finally we have someone who is putting out the truth about the American War against Vietnam. Stone crucifies Nixon and Johnson and McNamara unmercifully for being “pathological liars” as well as egomaniacal men who made many wrong turns in administering that land and air war in Southeast Asia. I swear, this series is just the damndest thing I have ever seen on television. Finally, the truth gets out. Must-see TV.

  39. It’s not that I think anyone is deliberately doing anything but as the current events of Vietnam become dusty history – there is more emphasis on the good both at the time and since. I think we are making the same mistakes in our recent wars because we don’t face up to the fact we go to war for all the wrong reasons.

  40. FREIGHT TRAIN…elizabeth cotten



    Pictured: many times he was crowned King of the Hobos, the inimitable STEAM TRAIN MAURY.

    I met Maury in a bar one time in Indiana; he was travelling via van in those days; he was really old by then and not able to hop freight trains anymore…I offered to buy him a beer but he was not drinking by then, but he did accept a Diet Coke “to go”, in a can, and he stuck the can into his “grip” “for later”. He was regaling the denizens of the bar with hobo stories and accepting some cheeseburgers and chips the boys bought for him. Maury was a cool old dude, very charismatic. And when you are the King of the Hobos, so crowned at the hobo festival in Iowa, you eat for free, your money’s no good. At least for that afternoon in Cricket’s Tavern in Auburn, Indiana.

  41. httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ubVGiyAhkY


  42. Last one…for you New York rockers, it’s the late Joey Ramone


  43. YES!… finally… a real snowstorm.
    Haven’t had one since Halloween 2011.

    Dex… I have always loved your stories… you’re posting some good ones lately.

    Craig… you go ahead and enjoy all that sunshine… I’m gonna make me a snowman… :smile:

  44. Yes, Dex. I have always enjoyed your stories too. No wonder you like Mark Twain… you’re sorta a modern day Mark Twain yourself. What an interesting life you’ve had, and more importantly how good you are at sharing it.

    “Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” — Mark Twain

  45. KGC,
    Great 10:37PM post last night.
    A lost opportunity for President Obama’s first term was not indicting the war criminals from the GW Bush administration. This will forever be a blot on our moral history. Sad that other countries realized that these people were guilty of crimes, but this administration chose to participate in the cover-up. Even a South African style “Truth Commission” would have been welcome.
    Perhaps a reason the darkness continues is because once you start following the guilt trail it leads to participants who serve/served in the current administration. Hopefully the truth will come out, names will be named, but I think this will occur long after we’re gone.

  46. Looks like Team Obama has been caught rather flat-footed on managing these 2nd term Cabinet appointments so far. I suppose all of their effort has been focused on the Orange Man’s gang in the cliff negotiations.

  47. so should we start a 3 part pool betting if we go over the cliff, if we don’t, or if we’re left hanging by our wallets with only some goodies saved?

    my bet is we don’t because they’ll kick the can down the road with promises of tax reform.

  48. wonder why the prez, if this escarpment thing is so dire, hasn’t invoked con art II, sec 3’s “on extrodinary occasions convene both houses or either of them” and kept them there until something is passed?

  49. on the subject of befouling one’s own nest and as an aftertho’t re craig and chloe’s cattle bird conversation, do those egret take care not to poop on their own cow?
    [i’ve never seen a bird streaked cow and never hope to see one as the poem goes]

    currently aren’t congress critters cacca-ing their own cash cows?

  50. Greetings from the desert. Well, here in batshit heaven, our AG wants to have at least one armed teacher or principal in every school. Our local county sheriff wants teachers to volunteer to carry and he’ll arm them all. Instead of headlines about the fight at the OK Corral from more than a hundred years ago, we’ll soon have headlines like: Gun Fight at Horace Mann Middle School or Gun Fight at Vista Grande High School. And, the participants will be a teacher and a principal over assignments or curriculum. A great future!

  51. eprof2

    You have to wonder what will happen the first time some smart mouthed teenage boy with hormones for brains talks back to one of those teachers seeking to prove he’s carrying testosterone and bullets.

    I didn’t realize what danger I was in in schools without metal detectors and open campuses.

  52. Hell, even Wyatt Earp made you check yer shootin’ irons at the edge of town.

    And if you wanted to arm up and gather down at the corral it was O.K.

  53. The only way it could work is to have a couple of people deputized and trained and all that crap.

    They wouldn’t carry anything.

    Their firearms would be in a safe only accessible by two electronic locks separated by ten feet needing to be activated simultaneously SAC-style.

    All attempts at activation would result in immediate summons of additional help from law enforcement.

    That’s basically how we protect nukes from being ‘hijacked’.

  54. What happened to the good olde days when they would take a winter holiday in Bermuda?

  55. my favorite parts of roughing it, besides getting a view of a stage coach trip across much of the US, was the story about that one guy’s goat, and then the moral at the end.

    “If the reader thinks he is done, now, and that this book has no moral to it, he is in error. The moral of it is this: If you are of any account, stay at home and make your way by faithful diligence; but if you are “no account,” go away from home, and then you will *have* to work, whether you want to or not. Thus you become a blessing to your friends by ceasing to be a nuisance to them – if the people you go among suffer by the operation.”

  56. Tony,
    You took that gorgeous picture with your phone??

    I think these great pics you guys are taking are more about the eye of the photographer than about the camera. I’m so glad you shared that with us. I’m going to save it on my hard drive, if you don’t mind.

    I hope you have a wonderful New Year, and are spending it with your loved ones.

    Love you.

  57. … oh, and Tony.
    That bridge will be built (may be a smaller version of it, but otherwise I want it to be identical). I want it to end the same way Craig’s picture did, going into forever (or the unknown, whichever way you look at it).

    It may not be until next year, because we have so many projects we’re working on around this place. But it’ll get done, because I’m not taking it off my desktop until it does.

  58. I struggled alone for years in my distaste for butternut or hazelnut coffee. I thought I was alone, crying in the wilderness. When served it by a host or whatnot I grimaced inwardly and with an outward smile dutifully downed it as though it were my destiny, even while knowing that the aroma would linger in my nasalities for hours.

    And then I came upon a fish camp and met a flock of jonathan livingston seagulls….. I there glimpsed a path less traveledy by….Kindred Caffeiners. Free at last.

    “Here comes the sun,” I thought to myself with an inner ironically quizzical face.

  59. i read it in one of michener’s books about a guy during the alaskan gold rush who coming to a stop in dawson or yellowknife bound for nome….procured a bicycle and rode it all the way there….i’ll see if that guy googles up….supposedly from a true account

    Chapter IX: The Golden Beaches of Nome

    Gold is discovered in Nome, and Tom Venn and his stepmother Missy pick up their stakes and move there. Tom is appointed manager of a branch of Ross and Raglan, a store that sells food and outdoor supplies. Missy’s boyfriend Matt Murphy joins Tom and Missy in Nome, arriving there via bicycle. Although these characters are fictitious, the bike trip is based on the real bike trek of Max Hirshberg in 1900, and the troubles of gold mine thieving with judicial collusion is based upon the politician Alexander McKenzie and Judge Arthur H. Noyes.

  60. He (they) lived in a gated community on the north side of Tampa. A pox on gated communities, especially in beautiful places such as Florida.

  61. “Max Hirschberg followed a “two inch trail” with his bicycle much of the way to Nome. It was a rough trip. The journey took him about two-and-a-half months, during which time he suffered from snowblindness, exhaustion and exposure. Crossing the Shaktoolik River he nearly drowned. He was in the water for almost two hours, and during that time he lost his watch and his poke with $1,500 in gold dust. He saved his bicycle, however. Just east of Nome on the ice of Norton Sound his bicycle chain broke. A strong wind was blowing and he made a sail with his coat that he rigged on the bike. Hirschberg then sailed across the ice the rest of the way into Nome.”

    Max tells the story himself:


  62. In case you missed The Kennedy Honors the other night: Heart saluting Led Zeppelin with “Stairway To Heaven”


  63. I live in a gatored community.

    that heart/lincoln/zeppelin thing is pretty magnificent, in more ways than 6 or 7.

    Les Incroyables

  64. Whenever I hear Norman Schwarzkopf my first thought is Lindbergh. Guess it’s a priority of interests.
    Senior aside, Norman Schwarzkopf Jr. will forever be tied with GHW Bush, Kuwait, Desert Storm, Saddam Hussein. Schwarzkopf Jr. did his job: The burning oil fields remained in friendly hands.
    An aside, remember Peter Arnett, Bernard Shaw and John Holliman of CNN? 24 hour Cable News got a leg up on the competition. Nightvision/Bombs over Baghdad was fascinating viewing – at home, in front of your television. I imagine it was a different reaction from those watching it through a window at Al Rasheed.

  65. It is reported that when the Greeks fought with the Amazons, whom the Scythians call Oior-pata or “man-slayers,” as it may be rendered…it is reported, I say, that the Greeks after gaining the battle of the Thermodon, put to sea, taking with them on board three of their vessels all the Amazons whom they had made prisoners; and that these women upon the voyage rose up against the crews, and massacred them to a man. As however they were quite strange to ships, and did not know how to use either rudder, sails, or oars, they were carried, after the death of the men, where the winds and the waves listed. At last they reached the shores of the Palus Maeotis and came to a place called Cremni or “the Cliffs,” which is in the country of the free Scythians. Here they went ashore, and proceeded by land towards the inhabited regions; the first herd of horses which they fell in with they seized, and mounting upon their backs, fell to plundering the Scythian territory.

    The Scyths could not tell what to make of the attack upon them–the dress, the language, the nation itself, were alike unknown–whence the enemy had come even, was a marvel. Imagining, however, that they were all men of about the same age [i.e. beardless] they went out against them, and fought a battle. Some of the bodies of the slain fell into their hands, whereby they discovered the truth. Hereupon they deliberated, and made a resolve to kill no more of them, but to send a detachment of their youngest men, as near as they could guess equal to the women in number, with orders to encamp in their neighborhood, and do as they saw them do–when the Amazons advanced against them, they were to retire, and avoid a fight–when they halted the young men were to approach and pitch their camp near the camp of the enemy. All this they did on account of their strong desire to obtain children from so notable a race.
    Herodotus, Book IV, Chap 118-121 or so.

    a nice story follows about the amazons and the scythians.

  66. Sturgie, I read the Dawson-to- Nome bicycling adventure story…what a trip that was!

    Thanks Chloe and Renee for the good words. Stories? I got a million of ’em!

    New Year’s Resolutions. When I was a kid I would pledge grandiose change and promise the world great accomplishment from me in my tiny orbit. I would lead the Little League in home runs, by God! I would finish the current basketball season with great improvement and by season’s end I would be dunking the basketball into the goal.
    I would attain a miraculous set of “smarts” and ascend to the #1 ranking of the class.
    As time went on, my resolutions changed. Now I would promise to lose weight, stop smoking tobacco cigarettes, stop eating so much fat in my diet, quit candy for good.
    Later I got divorced and resolved to not get married in that coming year. I lasted a few years before jumping back into the marriage fires.
    One year, when the economy was booming, I resolved to work ALL the overtime offered, and I did, and it damn-near killed me, and I discovered money can make you miserable if you don’t even have one day a week to enjoy it. I worked months on end that year, Sundays, holidays…didn’t matter. I was never so unhappy, nor so “rich”.
    Now I’m retired ten years this month. I resolve nothing. Que sera, sera.

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