We had a great Christmas day...and a very good Christmas dinner at a local pub. Now...its off to exchange a couple items that don't quite fit or work. The worse part of the holidays.
Here are all the pictures from our day!
Christmas can either be this...
Nag Hubby to bring up boxes of Christmas decorations and artificial tree. Continue daily as needed.
•Set up artificial tree and unwrap all decorations. Postpone decorating when Daughter says she wants to help.
•After two weeks of looking at the bare tree, gather ornaments from where the cat has batted them across the floor and hang on tree. Extract son’s half-eaten sandwiches and cookies from stockings and hang on the mantle.
•Nag Hubby to put up Christmas lights outside. When he bitches, remind him that they’re nets so all he has to do is lay the freaking things over the bushes and plug them in.
•After two weeks of envying my neighbor’s beautiful outdoor lights, threaten to withhold sex if Hubby doesn’t put the damned lights up outside.
•Make Hubby cocoa to warm him back up after he puts the outdoor lights up on the one and only night we’ve had sub-zero temperatures.
Or, it could be this...
Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house
Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,
In hopes that St Nicholas soon would be there.
The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While visions of sugar-plums danced in their heads.
And mamma in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,
Had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.
When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
Tore open the shutters and threw up the sash.
The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow
Gave the lustre of mid-day to objects below.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a miniature sleigh, and eight tinny reindeer.
With a little old driver, so lively and quick,
I knew in a moment it must be St Nick.
More rapid than eagles his coursers they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!
"Now Dasher! now, Dancer! now, Prancer and Vixen!
On, Comet! On, Cupid! on, on Donner and Blitzen!
To the top of the porch! to the top of the wall!
Now dash away! Dash away! Dash away all!"
As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,
When they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky.
So up to the house-top the coursers they flew,
With the sleigh full of Toys, and St Nicholas too.
And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof
The prancing and pawing of each little hoof.
As I drew in my head, and was turning around,
Down the chimney St Nicholas came with a bound.
He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,
And his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.
A bundle of Toys he had flung on his back,
And he looked like a peddler, just opening his pack.
His eyes-how they twinkled! his dimples how merry!
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!
His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,
And the beard of his chin was as white as the snow.
The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,
And the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.
He had a broad face and a little round belly,
That shook when he laughed, like a bowlful of jelly!
He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,
And I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself!
A wink of his eye and a twist of his head,
Soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.
He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,
And filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.
And laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose!
He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!"
I know which one I have experienced!! Merry Christmas!!
Because, it certainly doesn't surprise me...
A year after the Indian Ocean tsunami, up to a third of the $590m so far spent under the United Nations’ $1.1bn disaster flash appeal appears to have gone on administration, staff and related costs.
Give to the charity of your choice...not the UN.
In yesterday's news...
GUANGZHOU, Dec. 22 (Xinhuanet) -- Local officials said Thursday the potable water supply is enough in the southern cities of Guangzhou, Foshan and Yingde, despite a water crisis caused by smeltery waste.
The toxic slick, resultant from excessive cadmium discharges from a smelting works in Shaoguan city on Dec. 15, has polluted the Beijiang River in Guangdong province.
The downstream cities of Guangzhou and Foshan have launched emergency plans to ensure safe drinking water supplies to their residents as a toxic slick approaches.
Besides Beijiang, Guangzhou, provincial capital of Guangdong with a population of over 10 million, also use water from the rivers of Dongjiang and Liuxi, said an official with the city's work team to deal with the water crisis, who declined to give his name.
"Only one waterworks sources from Beijiang in Guangzhou. Even if it is closed, the daily water supply will be little affected," said the official.
However, he noted, Guangzhou has ordered all its waterworks to increase storage and prepared backup bottled water and water carriers.
The Harbin disaster taught many a bureaucrat a lesson...'tell your people when things go wrong.'
But, as this disaster has come so close to the heels of the Harbin incident, you have to ask yourself, 'is this the first time a toxic spill has flowed down the rivers in Guangzhou?' Probably not...its just the first time we have heard about it. I guess they call that progress.
Meanwhile, here is what they plan on doing about it...
"By releasing water from three reservoirs to dilute the pollution, the cadmium level will meet safe levels by the time the water reaches Guangzhou," said a spokesman surnamed Xiao at the government information office for Guangdong. "There's no stoppage of water supply anywhere," he said.
We'll see how this plays out...
UPDATE: Looks as though they may have contained this...although, cadmium is a heavy metal and it doesn't dissipate easily.
Beijing, Dec. 23-- The cadmium slick on Guangdong's Beijiang River has been stopped by a dam at Yingde, ensuring water safety to downstream residents, according to Yingde municipal government.
Wang Zhensheng, a local government official, told China Daily that water had been stopped by the Baishiyao Dam, before assuring residents that "water in the lower stream is safe."
Wang said that the upstream Mengzhou Dam will discharge 390 million cubic metres of clean water to dilute the cadmium slick, and that Feilaixia Dam further downstream has also been shut to prevent the pollution spreading.
The local authorities will not reopen Baishiyao and Feilaixia Dams until the water returns to safe levels of toxicity, but the time has not been fixed.
Phyllis Gretzky was the glue that held her family together.
Gretzky, who had battled lung cancer since being diagnosed in the autumn of 2004, died Monday night. She was 64.
From Austin Bay...this article about the bird flu fight using Tamiflu...
If avian flu starts to spread easily among humans, the preventive drug Tamiflu has been hailed as a possible way to stem the epidemic.
But will it work? A report in the New England Journal of Medicine today points to no. It details the cases of two Vietnamese patients who both died from a form of avian flu that was apparently resistant to Tamiflu, casting some doubt over the potential effectiveness of the drug.
One of the patients, a 13-year-old girl, died even though treatment was begun at the ideal time -- just hours after her symptoms had started.
"The current supply of oseltamivir [Tamiflu] is inadequate to meet the demand that would arise in the event of an avian influenza pandemic. Moreover, personal stockpiling of oseltamivir [Tamiflu] depletes the supply available for patients who could benefit from the drug during the usual human influenza season: A person who is assertive enough to ask for a prescription does not necessarily need the drug more than unassertive people do," wrote Drs. Allan Brett and Abigail Zuger.
OK...I have my supply. I an assertive person who asked my doctor for a prescription of Tamiflu. Am I going to start taking it right now? No... I have it as a precautionary measure. If one of us does come down with something, I will see my doctor in the clinic here in Chiner...and she will prescribe me to use it or not. Chances are, when the sh*t hits the fan here, there won't be any Tamiflu to be had due to the panic that people generally tend to show in any sort of crisis situation (see Harbin disaster).
Now...if I was living in Portland, Oregon with little or no contact with Asia, I don't think I would be freaking out and buying a load of Tamiflu for the family. But, I don't live in Portland...I live here in GZ. I am not only assertive...I am cautious. I hope I never have to crack open one of the packages.
The Germans capitulate to terrorist punks by releasing a hizballah member that murdered a US military member...
BERLIN (Reuters) - Germany has quietly released a Hizbollah member jailed for life for the murder of a U.S. Navy diver, apparently disregarding Washington's wish to extradite him, diplomats and German officials said on Tuesday.
"He served his term," Eva Schmierer, a spokeswoman for Germany's justice ministry, told a news conference.
then the government tries to play as though the have no idea what anyone is talking about...
The foreign ministry said on Monday that the government and the German embassy in Iraq had been involved in Osthoff's release, but declined to give details.
After they deposit him in Lebanon...
The Lebanese killer of a U.S. Navy diver was in custody in Beirut yesterday, according to U.S. officials who decried his release from a German prison last week and pledged to bring him to the United States for trial.
Let this be a lesson to anyone who thinks there is such a thing as a 'conservative' government in Europe. Ms. Merkel folded...gave in...and didn't make any friends in the process...except with the enemy. I'll let her have the final word...
Chancellor Angela Merkel, who only took office a month ago, had said the German government would not be "blackmailed" by terrorists