Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A Cold. Bleh.

Head pounding,
Eyes throbbing,
Lint on my upper lip.

I shoulda shaved this morning
So the Kleenex wouldn't stick.

Fever too?

There's nothing here to take
And I don't feel like going to the store,

I hate
A cold
At any time,

I wish we had a warning
When a cold is coming on,

Droopy eyes.

I'm sure I gave it to everyone
I saw through the holiday.

Sorry about that.....


Monday, December 26, 2011

I-45 Grand Prix

Traffic in Texas can be a challenge in the best of times but, Monday after a Christmas Sunday is downright daunting. Mrs. Claus has traded in her red stocking cap for driving gloves, leather jacket and a scarf which I deem fitting since she continues to man the drivers seat. Again, I am riding shotgun and the trusty GMC has been converted from sleigh to a Grand Prix racer.

The traffic is not as heavy as I have seen it but, there apparently is a race going from Houston to Dallas because the speed of the traffic is obviously unchecked except where periodically slowed to a crawl to allow for gawking at motorists whose cars are stalled along the roadway. Or, where "balled up" by big rigs engaged in a slow-motion passing maneuver. I find that my faith is severely tested at times when other drivers do the unexpected. Fortunately my driver is able to handle the escapades while I focus on book or this brief post and try my best not to say, "Watch out!"

It will surely be worse as we get closer to Dallas....

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Friday, December 23, 2011

Trans Texas Christmas Trek

From the frozen early morning of the Texas Panhandle, headed to the relatively balmy southern reaches of the Big Thicket, we set out in our trusty GMC sleigh this morning. Mrs Claus took the wheel while I manned the shotgun seat. Although it was unnecessary to go to the lengths of many whom we pass that are so laden that bags of goodies are strapped to the roof, we did face the daunting prospect of stuffing every nook and cranny of our trusty rig with the many boxes and bags that accompany us. Santa himself (the original) would have been proud.

Somewhere buried beneath the mounds of packages is a cooler packed with what will become the roast beast. In our case it is a beef tenderloin, the thought of which makes my mouth water. I am certain my daughter will have many treats to go with the main course; she is an excellent cook.

The highway is filled with holiday travelers on their own similar trek. It is interesting to see the young families with children strapped into the back seat. You can almost feel their excitement, the same that I felt as a youngster when we made the long trips to Oklahoma to spend Christmas with my grandmother so many years ago.

I remember watching out the window into the starry darkness of Christmas Eve, watching for the red blinking light of Rudolph's nose as he drew Santa's sleigh across the sky. It was many years before I discovered that Santa's pack was carefully stored in the trunk, only inches from where I sat. After all, it took an idealistic and imaginative child to grow into the idealistic and imaginative me of today.

We have many miles yet to go as I compose this mobile post to the sounds of Country Christmas on Sirius XM radio. Rascal Flatts is singing Jingle Bell Rock and my fingers are trying their best to dance in time on this tiny Blackberry keyboard. It's a great way to pass the time as we draw ever closer to those precious grandkids that make this time of year so special.

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Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Unreason of the Season

Cooking and wrapping, cooking and wrapping -- oh, the frenzy of cooking and wrapping.  Hmmmm.....no, I'm not much on the cooking and wrapping but, there's plenty of it going on.  I did help a little.  I cut out the Christmas cookies and frosted them.  Surely that counts!

I am amazed each year as we approach Christmas just how much must be done at the last minute in order to be ready.  This year is a bit like when we were younger; we are getting ready to go elsewhere for Christmas -- to my daughter's.

It is interesting how we seem to have gone through phases through the years regarding Christmas travel.  Early married years were a matter of alternating between the parents and the in-laws.  As the children came along and grew, we tried to have Christmas at home rather than to travel.  I think it was as much a function of not wanting to haul everything along with us as much as anything.  Now the kids are away from home and one has a family and children and are entering the phase we were once in.  The other is still in college but fiercely independent.  Getting him to come home at all is sometimes a challenge.

We still try to find a time and a way to have Christmas with our parents.  Family is important.  Too many families are spread all over the country and it is difficult during the holidays.  I wonder how some manage it -- especially when there are blended families involved.

The loss of family continuity is a part of the much larger issue of the secularization of our country.  The same values which are embodied in the very reason we celebrate Christmas have been replaced by a commercialized version of greed that is rampant throughout the year but especially obvious during this season.  Fractured families and greed are both symptomatic of the loss of focus on the very One the season celebrates -- Jesus.  It is time for clarity in our thoughts and actions.  Remember the reason for the season.......

Just my thoughts,

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Grabbing Headlines

I had a lengthy debate with myself about whether I should post this or not.  I'll explain why as I go along.

Last night I attended the awards banquet for the Missouri Cattlemen Association.  It was the culmination of activities for their annual Convention and Tradeshow.  About the time that everyone had eaten their tasty meal of beef (of course it's what's for dinner -- what else would be served at a Cattlemen convention), a protester from a radical animal activist group disrupted the banquet by entering into a side door and holding a sign stating that "Meat is Murder."  It was a young lady dressed in a cow suit.

There had been protesters throughout the day outside the convention center.  The hotel where the meeting was held had an area designated for protesters.  For the most part, the demonstrators were peaceful and remained in that area.  They were much more persistent than normal.  Usually when I have attended events where there were protesters, it was more of a staged media event.  The protesters and media typically showed up at about the same time, photos were taken, occasionally interviews were given, and then they all left pretty much together.  What most people don't realize is that such protests are generally just headline grabbing opportunities to get free publicity for a cause.

That is the reason I debated with myself about posting this.  I don't want to give them what they want -- free publicity.  So, I will be careful not to name the organization. 

A gentleman who I know quickly got up and escorted the young lady out of the room and out of the building.  It was handled very well and very quietly.  I suspect there were people in the room that didn't even see it occur. 

Unknown to me at the time, there was a second young lady that stepped in through a door on the opposite side of the room and videoed the disruption.  Within 30 seconds that video had been sent out to news media and posted on the Internet.  They grabbed a headline about disrupting the meeting when in reality, it was almost unnoticed.

It is interesting to me that they used deception to get into the building and the meeting by telling hotel staff that they were part of the entertainment and that they used deception with the media by writing their own story through video for what was in reality a non-event, just to get a headline.  They are both misguided and dishonest.

Just my thoughts......


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Texas Music in Kansas

I'm sitting in a motel room in Kansas listening to and watching a show on Smoky Hills Public Broadcasting that is a musical tribute to Buddy Holly.  Currently, Boz Scaggs is playing.  I find it interesting that the show is broadcast from London.  Scaggs is from Texas.  Holly is from Texas.  I am from Texas. 

I learned awhile back that Texas Country is very popular in Manhattan, Kansas, among the Kansas State University students.  One of the favorite performers is Robert Earl Keen who was one of my classmates at Texas A&M.

Yep, Texas music cuts a pretty wide swath.....

Just my thoughts.