A little progress

In the center of the room are books, CDs and vinyl records in boxes awaiting more shelving. On the right is another pair of containers on the wall awaiting paint and shelves. The back wall will have more shelves added to fit paperbacks and CDs; I think the DVDs will go out to the living room bookshelf; that’s where the larger TV is. It’s a 32″ Roku TV; I wonder if I should get a larger one. I guess I’ll wait and see.

Festina lente

One side of shelves filling up

I didn’t have enough shelves built. There are three book series there: Sharon Lee and Steve Miller’s Liaden Universe® (24 books); J.A. Jance’s J.P. Beaumont books (25 books); she’s got two more series of 19 and 16 books respectively, and they need to fit on there too; and J.D. Robb’s In Death series (55 books and counting).

I’ll add more and take another picture. The carpenter’s supposed to be here tomorrow to discuss next steps.

Moving Day!

Finally! After moving into this condo in downtown Honolulu in May of 2022 and camping since then, tomorrow I move out to my new-to-me townhouse two hills west of where I lived for 45 years. Everything is out of storage units and in the garage or in the rooms at the new residence. I’ll have counter space for slicing and dicing, a well-lit kitchen in which to cook, books to shelve, a living room and dining room, a lanai with chairs and my own washer and dryer. I’ll have one room for a library, one for an office and one to sleep in.

There’s a ton of work ahead, but at least I’ll have my own space to do it in.


Day Four of Kevin McCarthy’s humiliation

He deserves every bit of it, but it’s still a heck of a thing to watch. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Bakersfield, CA) has wanted to be Speaker his entire career, and I think he thought he’d be voted in the minute the Republicans took control of the House. He didn’t expect the farthest-right loonies in his party would block his election. For the past three days he’s been on the wrong end of thirteen votes to name a new Speaker of the House and the Republican party looks like a bunch of fools. Meanwhile, the Democrats are solidly behind their new leader Hakeem Jeffries (who was elected to replace Nancy Pelosi when she stepped down as leader of the Democrats), giving him all 212 of their votes each time.

McCarthy has had to make so many concessions to the likes of Matt Gaetz and Lauren Boebert and Bob Good that the office of Speaker is going to be worth as much as a bucket of warm s*it, as John Nance Garner once said of the Vice Presidency of the US.

Christmas 2022

Mele Kalikimaka!

Several items this Christmas morning:

The Mormon Tabernacle Choir performs “Joy to the World” from “The Wonder of Christmas” album performed at Temple Square in Salt Lake City in 2006.

I have posted two of these nearly every year for the past ten:

“Yes Virginia”, the story of Francis P. Church’s New York Sun newspaper editorial responding to Virginia O’Hanlon’s question about Santa Claus’s existence.

Jo Walton’s wonderfully imaginative story of Joseph, faced with a newly-pregnant girlfriend and a sudden requirement to travel to Bethlehem.

The third story is John Scalzi’s interview with Marta Pittman, Santa Claus’s lawyer.

Christmas Eve Poetry

Originally posted December 2017

Without further ado, we’ll listen as Michele Obama reads “Twas the Night Before Christmas,” Clement Clark Moore’s wonderful 1823 poem. Moore didn’t acknowledge his authorship until he published a book of poems in 1844. There’s apparently an ongoing dispute among some literati and academics as to whether he was the actual author. He was quite a character. He got extremely rich subdividing his inherited real estate on Manhattan Island, and he donated the land on which the Episcopal General Theological Seminary now sits as it has since 1827.

The former First Lady read this in 2013. She’s nearly as good an interpretive reader as her husband.

Let’s hear a musical version of the poem performed by Fred Waring and His Pennsylvanians. Waring was an interesting character. He was a bandleader, radio and TV personality, and a promoter. He backed the inventor of the Waring blendor to the tune of $25,000, apparently getting the naming rights to the gadget. “…the Waring-owned Miracle Mixer was introduced to the public at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago retailing for $29.75. In 1938, Fred Waring renamed his Miracle Mixer Corporation as the Waring Corporation, and the mixer’s name was changed to the Waring Blendor (the “o” in blendor giving it a slight distinction from “blender”).”

The Chairman of the Board meets another Royal

Originally posted December 2015

That could only be Frank Sinatra accompanied by Nat King Cole singing “The Christmas Song,” written by Mel Tormé and Bob Wells on what Tormé claimed was the hottest day of the year back in July of 1945.

Here’s Mark Evanier relating his tale of Mr. Tormé at the Farmers’ Market in LA a long time ago. It’s a very funny story, particularly since the kids hadn’t a clue who the roly-poly guy who offered to sing a verse was.

Here’s the song itself.

Silent Night (there need be no words)

Originally posted December 2018

Tom Caufield performs an instrumental version of “Silent Night” on guitar. From Wikipedia:

The song was first performed on Christmas Eve 1818 at St Nicholas parish church in Oberndorf, a village in the Austrian Empire on the Salzach river in present-day Austria. A young priest, Father Joseph Mohr, had come to Oberndorf the year before. He had written the lyrics of the song “Stille Nacht” in 1816 at Mariapfarr, the hometown of his father in the Salzburg Lungau region, where Joseph had worked as a co-adjutor.

The melody was composed by Franz Xaver Gruber, schoolmaster and organist in the nearby village of Arnsdorf. Before Christmas Eve, Mohr brought the words to Gruber and asked him to compose a melody and guitar accompaniment for the Christmas Eve mass, after river flooding had damaged the church organ. It is unknown what inspired Mohr to write the lyrics, or what prompted him to create a new carol.

Bing Crosby’s version has sold some 30 million copies, making it the third best-selling single record of all time behind Crosby’s “White Christmas” and Elton John’s tribute to Princess Diana “Candle in the Wind/Something About the Way You Look Tonight.”

A Toonful White Christmas

Last posted in December 2015

I haven’t posted this in a while (not since 2009, to be exact), and I’d forgotten how cute the cartoon is. The animation was done by cartoonist Joshua Held back in 2002. The song was performed by The Drifters on their Christmas album, released in 1954.

Here’s an interesting note about this version:

“We wanted to do something different with ‘White Christmas’,” Bill Pinkney said in his autobiography, “Drifters 1”. “We did it in a ballad-with-a-beat version that became a big hit. Atlantic [Records] wondered what composer Irving Berlin would think. He surprised everyone when he gave our version his blessings. He really liked it and he contacted Atlantic with a letter of congratulations.”

From one city song to another

Yesterday it was “city sidewalks” from “Silver Bells,” so let’s have another song about a city.

Originally posted December 2019

Mary Chapin Carpenter sings “Christmas Time in the City,” from her “Come Darkness, Come Light” album. It was released in 2008, so I’ve been promoting it for 14 years and will probably do so for at least that long again, if I live that long. It’s a beautiful album, half original compositions by Carpenter, some with guitarist and co-producer John Jennings. The other six cuts are traditional but seldom heard on commercial radio or Muzak.