The Useful Duck!

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Monday, December 5, 2022

Cold Weather

Today was a beautiful day. But, last week it was cold. I am quite happy we have a green house with a good heater. It is a great place to warm up ones boots and feet. There is usually enough condensation on the glass that I can hide and watch Benny Hill on YouTube and nobody notices.

I have a great job!

Sunday, December 4, 2022

Christmas Approaches

I had intended to get a Christmas Tree today. 

I generally try to get one for free, just because it is the thrill of the chase. Also, because I am often broke.

I have always liked a messy tree. It should be full of battered Shiny Brite ornaments from countless Christmases that have gone on before.

I thought my daughter was coming home today and perhaps we would decorate the tree. However, there seemed to be some sort of mix up of plans and people. It happens. Best laid plans of Mice and Men. Or so says Robert Burns....

On Turning Her Up in Her Nest with the Plough, November 1785.

Wee, sleekit, cow'rin, tim'rous beastie,
O' what a panic's in thy breastie!
Thou need na start awa sae hasty,
                        Wi' bickering brattle!
I wad be laith to rin an' chase thee,
                        Wi' murdering pattle.

   I'm truly sorry man's dominion
Has broken Nature's social union,
An' justifies that ill opinion,
                        Which maks thee startle
At me, thy poor, earth-born companion
                        An' fellow mortal!

   I doubt na' whyles, but thou may thieve;
What then? poor beastie, thou maun live!
daimen icker in a thrave
                        'S a sma' request:
I'll get a blessin wi' the lave,
                        And never miss't!

   Thy wee bit housie, too, in ruin!
It's silly wa's the win's are strewin!
An' naething, now, to big a new ane,
                        O' foggage green!
An' bleak December's win's ensuin,
                        Baith snell and keen!

   Thou saw the fields laid bare an' waste,
An' weary winter comin fast,
An' cozie here, beneath the blast,
                        Thou thought to dwell,
Till crash! the cruel coulter past
                        Out thro' thy cell.

   That wee bit heap o' leaves an' stibble,
Has cost thee monie a weary nibble!
Now thou's turned out, for a' thy trouble,
                        But house or hald,
To thole the winter's sleety dribble,
                        An' cranreuch cauld.

   But Mousie, thou art no thy lane,
In proving foresight may be vain:
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men,
                        Gang aft a-gley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
                        For promis'd joy.

   Still thou are blest, compared wi' me!
The present only toucheth thee:
But Och! I backward cast my e'e,
                        On prospects drear!
An' forward, tho' I canna see,
                        I guess an' fear!

I encountered an old friend from college. If you consider random internet clicking on friends of friends an encounter. I was surprised to strike up a conversation. Especially since I tend to fail to censor or proofread text messaging. It is interesting to talk to people who had the same upbringing and see how it has shaped their life. There are things programed into you that are always there. You think you are just a bit weird until you run into someone who gets it. Kind of funny...

I used to love Christmas. Now, I find it stressing. There are two reasons for this. 

Christmas and Fall are events that represent the end of the year for me. Fall is the wakeup call. The second good rain and Summer is gone and the fall rush is on. But, Christmas is the end. I have two weeks to sleep and then I got to get my arse in gear and fix the equipment I put off because I was planting or I was cold or I was too lazy to work on after getting home from my other job.

Christmas used to be about family and food and working on a Christmas program for Church and what am I going to get my daughter, and can I talk my wife into letting me put up all the old Shiny Brite ornaments I acquired over the years, and playing scratchy Christmas albums on the HiFi.

This is the year my brother goes to his wife's homeland for Christmas so it wold be the year we would get Dad. So that means falling asleep watching old Star Trek episodes and going to see Uncle Harold and Aunt Elsie on Christmas day. Perhaps looking up Uncle Ted, and having pie.

And my wife and I and daughter putting together brown paper bags full of candy, unshelled peanuts, and an Orange for the Christmas program at the Rest Home where we had church services. 

It doesn't happen like that anymore.

In other news. Wife and I went out for dinner Friday. Walked around the downtown and looked through the windows of expensive wine bars and antique shops. It was cold. Today it is snowing and I am waiting for my call to go to work and spread ice melt.

Downtown McMinnville on a Friday night. No more movies in the theatre as something broke, furnace maybe. We are on our way to get ice cream.

Daughter just texted me to see if I wanted to get Sushi Monday which I should do. I have an hour lunch but can probably stretch it at bit.

Hope all my gentle readers are ignoring politics and the stress of the 21st Century and are looking forward to Christmas.

I leave you with a random video that comes to mind whenever I say twentieth century...

And my favorite bad Christmas Song...

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