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Sunday, December 25, 2005

Tar Heel Tavern #44

Welcome to Tar Heel Tavern #44!

It's dark and raining as I finish this post - it's a good thing the days are starting to get longer. Hang in there, everybody! All is quiet on-line, we hear the collective snores of people everywhere who have eaten too much. Or the little tykes have already burst into the room shouting that it's time to go rip into those presents, some of which were maybe wrapped just a couple of hours ago. More for the landfill.

Still, the Tarheel Tavern is open, even if business is slow. Here are today's entries.

Moomin Light submits The Stages of Advent/The Twelve Days of Christmas:
Every year, I approach Advent thinking that I’ll do things differently – I won’t get stressed, I won’t be rushed, I won’t blow up at anyone, and I’ll get everything done ahead of time. And I know it won’t happen that way.
The Dirty Greek submitted Ministry of Information: More Lying, More Spying:
...The volume of information harvested from telecommunication data and voice networks, without court-approved warrants, is much larger than the White House has acknowledged, the officials said. It was collected by tapping directly into some of the American telecommunication system's main arteries, they said. ... Happy Holidays! Articles of impeachment would be a great Christmas present.
Bora has submitted, from Science and Politics, reports on the results of a blogging class - and recommends some of the blogs created - in Schools in Blogs, Blogs in schools:
Dig through their blogs - especially the comments to posts in late December - to see for yourself. It is amazing how emotionally involved they got in this class. They all became fast friends. One is wondering why? ... Does one's persona emerge on one's blog in ways that carefully managed image in real life cannot?
From Circadiana, he submitted Clocks, Migration and the Effects of Global Warming, describing the many fascinating ways animals respond to the seasons (really, it's cool) and then:
Now, this is all starting to fall apart due to global warming. Proximal cues, like temperature and food-availability, are beginning to conflict with photoperiodic information. Species in which photoperiod is dominant continue to migrate at the same time and in the same direction. Other species are shifting their timing to later in fall and earlier in spring.
Captivated by Mandie directs us to her lovely picture of ice-skaters, available for purchase in numerous sizes.

From Gordon (Screwy Hoolie) at Scrutiny Hooligans, What Did You Think Would Happen?
What, John Kerry, you didn't think that Bush would actually use the sweeping powers and intimations of power you freely handed over to him? What, Dick Gephardt, you thought that Bush would take you along for the poll number ride? ... John Edwards, you thought it'd play well to folks back home to keep your North Carolina military boys shooting at somebody?
You can see a photo of Erin's new baby (awwww) on a Christmas card at Poetic Acceptance

In Diebold Makes Like A Tree and Leaves, "Nothing Could Be Finer" says good riddance:
"One of the nation's largest voting machine companies will not sell new equipment in the state, increasing calls for changes in a law meant to make election results more reliable. The law requires companies to disclose details about their machines' software, which Diebold Election Systems said it could not do."

... the sole function of a voting machine should be to produce a paper ballot, one that is free of hanging chads and overvotes and such other problems. One that a voter can look at and visually confirm that it reflects his/her actual vote. And it is that paper ballot that is counted, not some machine tally. Believe me, I make my living working with computers, and I know just how easy it can be to change the results to the way you want them to be if you can be certain no one is ever going to get a chance to "look over your shoulder."
Iddybud sends us My Uncle Billy Was a Real-Life War Hero:
Billy's plane was shot down over Germany in 1943, the pilot was killed, and young Billy parachuted to safety. ... He landed in a farmer's field and was taken to a local home for questioning. As a child, I remember him telling me that the farmer was kind to him - treated him like a human being. He was sent to Stalag - Luft 3 in 1943 and was held prisoner there for most of WWII. ...
What a wonderful picture she shared, too.

From Laurie at "Slowly She Turned," a report on Joseph Mitchell, author of My Ears are Bent. She quotes him:
"I believe the most interesting human beings, so far as talk is concerned, are anthropologists, farmers, prostitutes, psychiatrists, and an occasional bartender. The best talk is artless, the talk of people trying to reassure or comfort themselves, women in the sun, grouped around baby carriages, talking about their weeks in the hospital or the way meat has gone up, or men in saloons, talking to combat the loneliness everyone feels." ...His final essay about his relationship with Joe Gould, a bohemian street poet, apparently affected his own life so much that he never published anything again. Yet the New Yorker respected him so much that he quietly maintained an office there until his death in 1996.
Marcus at "Fixin' Healthcare' submits What If:
I was wondering how things would be if Medicaid had preceeded Medicare. What if children had been placed first instead of senior citizens? What if there was a health care system that included medical care but was not dominated by medical care? What if health care was based upon primary prevention services, identification and management of health risk, and early detection of health problems?
Alex Wilson submits Training for a Marathon:
So starting yesterday I'm giving myself six months to run my first marathon. Marathon-running friends have encouraged me to go for a half-marathon somewhere in the middle there for a nice motivator, and to get out of the way the "what-the-hell-do-I-do-nows" that I'm sure to experience on my first race day.
The last two entries to the Tarheel Tavern were rather somber.

At SpiritBlog - Our Community Spirit, Christmas 2005 - Scrambled Eggs and the Light, a story about visiting a dying patient with dementia:
She has so little that would tell us who she is. A few old dresses in the closet. A six-month-old Mother’s Day card on the bulletin board. Flowers on her dresser that the staff has given her. Does she have family? Does she have a past? What kind of person was she? Was she good to her children? Was she loving? Was she hateful?
And finally, Anonymoses sent Memories of my first Holiday, the season his grandmother died:
A commotion commenced with its epicenter being the front door, wherein my dear grandfather was carried into the house and up the stairs to his bedroom. He looked a broken man. He, a strong, solid man who worked his farm and raised nearly a dozen children, and who never showed weakness, was now virtually drained of Life, and seemed dependent upon the human props, crutches, that animated him toward that feather-filled bed where he was to spend his Christmas without the person who had animated him for longer, perhaps, than he was willing to let go.

And tomorrow did come, after what might have been a very long night for dear Elias. And little by little, he resurrected himself, and lived more than twenty years, until the ripe old age of 98. ... During this season, I hope people will think about what it is to resurrect...
For my part, if you're still with me, I'd like to you to read my daughter Melina's hysterical evaluation of transportation modes in New York City: our life before the strike.

And, because we are now beginning the Hannukah season, I urge you to break out the deep-fat fryer or electric frying pan and make Suvganiyot, utterly delicious doughnuts which are easier than any you've ever seen.

Happy holidays, all!

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At 11:09 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Formidable! What a wonderful Tavern! And your excerpts were all very seductive. Learned a lot!

Hope you get some rest and have a delightful time with your friends and family.


At 11:20 AM, Blogger marcus said...

Lots of food for thought at this special time of the year. Thank you for your time and effort.

Best regards to you and your family.


At 5:22 PM, Blogger Bora Zivkovic said...

Wonderful! Thank you!

At 8:55 PM, Blogger Billy Jones said...

Great Tavern, thanks for hosting!


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