Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category


BEGINNING 10/31/2013


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Since this blog has been around for going on five years now, a lot of the posts from Christmases past have broken links therein, as folks out there on the internet move stuff around, or forget to renew their domains, etc. YouTube video links, in particular, are vulnerable – you tube is like some insane carnival of the indigent, people coming and going, opening and closing accounts, various entities contesting copyright and having material removed, etc….

Anyway, I’m working to get as many of those bad links repaired and redirected to other sources of the same material, or at least redirect you to something of comparable interest. It’s a labor of love, to be sure, with nearly 340 posts.

Here’s a start: Every single link to online christmas karaoke videos in this post was broken. I’ve gone through and redirected every one that I could; those that I couldn’t find substitutions for are gone.

I’ve fixed some other stuff as well, this evening: Bing Crosby and Marjorie Reynolds are back singing “White Christmas,” while Cheech is telling Chong the Story of Santa and His Old Lady in yet another Christmas season.

On Donner, on Blitzen, on Chewy, on Tavo….

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For more local and regional holiday events, see Zvents

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Big Daddy Warbucks, the quintessential Capitalist

Do you really love only money and capitalism and power?
You know they’ll never love you back….

– Grace, to Big Daddy Warbucks, in Annie.

There are a host of historical precedents for making the case that Christmas has been commercialized for a very long time.  It’s not practical to detail all those precedents here and now, but you may research the matter on your own if you doubt my claim. However, I expect that no one will quibble with the claim that Christmas is, presently, almost completely commercialized. In watching the evening news during the Christmas season, year after year, I’ve noticed how the words “holiday season” and “shopping” and “economy” are always in close juxtaposition. In a post I made last year, I even went so far as to propose that a circumspect case was being made by the media that it was our “civic” or “patriotic” duty to rescue our flagging economy through shopping, shopping, and more shopping. But this may not have even been on the wholly conscious level; it may simply be that Christmas and money and commerce are so tightly linked that it is “natural” to group them together, genetically, systemically….


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No packets, no microwaves, no cocoa treated with alkali, no carageenan or anti-caking agents, here. This is the real stuff, made just as it was in the old days.


  • 1½ cups heavy cream
  • 1½ cups milk
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 6 oz. bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 3 drops peppermint oil
  • Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish
  • Chocolate shavings, for garnish


In a saucepan, combine the cream, milk, sugar, and salt and heat over medium-low heat. When the cream mixture just begins to steam, add the chopped chocolate, and stir, until melted. Stir in the peppermint oil. Divide the hot chocolate among mugs and top with whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Increase the recipe proportionately for more servings.

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While Christmas movies are a dime a dozen, there are precious few movies that focus on that other venerable holiday here in the U.S.: Thanksgiving. There is one, however, which is very funny – and maybe a bit too “close to home”  if your family tends towards “dysfunctional.”
“Home For the Holidays” (1995)

  • Starring: Holly Hunter, Robert Downey, Jr., Anne Bancroft, Charles Durning, Geraldine Chaplin, Steve Guttenberg
  • Director: Jodie Foster
  • Summary: Fights and reconciliations mark a single mom’s (Holly Hunter) Thanksgiving with her dysfunctional Baltimore clan.  [ full synopsis]
  • Airs Locally (Whatcom/Skagit):
    • KVOS 12 Thu, Nov 26, 8:00 pm
    • LIFE 51 Sun, Nov 29 5:00pm


Unemployed art conservator, single mom and city girl (Holly Hunter), picked up by her parents (Charles Durning, Anne Bancroft) at the airport, heads home for Thanksgiving with the whole family. Dad probably shouldn't be driving anymore.

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