Down the Hall on Your Left

This site is a blog about what has been coasting through my consciousness lately. The things I post will be reflections that I see of the world around me. You may not agree with me or like what I say. In either case – you’ll get over it and I can live with it if it makes you unhappy. Please feel free to leave comments if you wish . All postings are: copyright 2014 – 2018

Archive for the tag “Christmas”

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “Stop The Freakin’ Presses!!”

monk mummy 2

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “Stop The Freakin’ Presses!!”

“THE AMAZINGLY INTACT REMAINS of a meditating monk have been discovered in the Songinokhairkhan province of Mongolia, according to a report in Mongolia’s Morning News.”

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when I want news from Songinokhairkhan province, I turn to the Mongolia’s Morning News.

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Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “But Wait! There’s More!”

As Seen on TV 2

Throwback Thursday From Feb. 2015 – “But Wait! There’s More!”

IS IT ALMOST CHRISTMAS AGAIN?”

It must be because our mailbox is crammed with catalogs every day. Catalogs from places we’ve never heard of are arriving at a dizzying pace and almost all of them go straight into the recycle bin.

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A Head On Crèche

 

ISN’T CREATIVITY A WONDERFUL THING? At this time of year the Muses are just busting through the doors and inspiring people in all sorts of ways.

I wish they would stop that.

Every year people with Inspiration, but no talent, go down to their local Crafts (No relation) Store armed with a credit card and an idea. What they “create” is then foisted on the rest of us.

I will now present a collection of the Christmas Season’s crop of horrible bad taste masquerading as Art. In absolutely no particular order.

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I Am Not Scrooge

WE ARE INTO OCTOBER NOW and in my mind that signals a major shift in my world. Leaves are falling along with temperatures and everyone seems to be already gearing up for “The Holidays.” I’m sorry that I can’t whip into my Happy Dance along with you.

“The Holidays” are structured around two groups – children under fifteen and people with more disposable income than me. I left the first group a long time ago and I’ve never had a secure foothold in the second.

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The Odds Are…Odder Than Most

ticket1Well, plans for Christmas are now in place. We will be flying down to Texas and spending  a week or so visiting with Family. I can’t think of a better way to spend the Holidays. OK – maybe hitting the jackpot on the lottery while there would be better, but the odds are not in our favor.

My wife, the lovely and optimistic, Dawn will go for a “Quick Pick” lottery ticket on occasion. She doesn’t do it all the time. She has standards – the jackpot has to be at least $100 Million Dollars or it’s not worth the investment of a dollar bill. I can’t argue with that. It really is a game of “Go big or go home,” so she goes big and then goes home anyway.

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Making Out My Christmas List

catalog1WHILE THIS IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON, a time of Joy and Happiness, there is one thing that always mars that sense of glee. Seeing our USPS Letter Carrier (aka The Mailman) lumbering up the street. This time of the year he is toting a bag filled with tons of Christmas Catalogs.

Yesterday we found six different catalogs and a couple of bills stuffed into our mailbox like a blivet. Look it up. Some of the catalogs were from companies we had never heard of before.

Only one item missed being put immediately into the recycling bin and that was because it was one of those catalogs that offered items that have no good reason for even existing.

Answer me this…

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The Annual “Down The Hall” Family Update

IT’S TIME AGAIN FOR OUR ANNUAL “DOWN THE HALL” FAMILY UPDATE!

This has been a busy year for the whole “Down The Hall” Family. As you can see by this first picture we are all heavily armed now – just in case (wink, wink!)Bad Christmas Family-Photos-Santa-Guns

This year the older kids finally got jobs that didn’t involve wearing paper hats. Little Junior is now working for the State of Indiana. He is an “Automotive Identification Engineer,” making license plates at a state facility near Plainfield. We are so proud.Indiana Prison

His baby sister, Trixie, has gone far afield for an internship in Nevada. She’s always been interested in sports and she tells us about all the NBA players she has met.

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“Luke, I Am Your Ad Man”


death starSometimes it is the confluence of two separate, and seemingly unrelated,things or events that produce the most interesting results.

The two things that I am talking about today are the upcoming release of another Star Wars movie and me reading last Sunday’s Terre Haute (That’s French for, “May the Force be with you at Walmart”) newspaper.

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Thank God For The Snack Bar

Sams Club crowdSOME DAYS YOU HAVE TO PUT ON YOUR BIG BOY SHORTS, grit your teeth and go into the eye of the storm. I did that yesterday. I made a conscious choice and, of my own volition, went into Sam’s Club.

Sam’s Club, the wholesale, really big box version of Wal-Mart, turns into a battlefield this time of year. By this time of year I mean that, while it is still early November for you and me, for Sam’s it is almost Christmas Eve. They are in full-tilt Christmas Shopping mode.

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Mis-Matched Socks That Are Not Mine

Mismatched socksTHIS PAST SATURDAY WAS ONE OF THOSE MARATHON DAYS. I use the term Marathon in the sense of a long ordeal, because there is no way on earth you are ever going to get me to run 26 + miles for anything. In fact, you are not going to get me to run 26+ feet for anything. Let’s consider that issue settled, shall we?

Moving on –

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Attention Shoppers!

Black Friday Gif

 Boo!

There, now Halloween is officially over – the Pre-Season, if you will. It is time for the professionals to take the field. We are into the Big Time, Serious Holiday Season.

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God Is Still God

glovesNO MATTER WHERE WE HAVE BEEN – No matter where we are now – it is where we are going that matters more. We can’t change the past. Things will never be the way they once were, like it or not. Our Present is squeezed by so many outside forces that are beyond our control, but it is Tomorrow that we can plan for.

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Take My Sermon, Please

PulpitJUST ABOUT EVERY SATURDAY my wife, the lovely and officially Reverend, Dawn, sits down and writes her sermon for Sunday’s services. She starts planning each sermon days or even weeks ahead of time, but does the actual typing on Saturday. It is a lot of work. She doesn’t get up there and wing it on Sunday morning. It takes her a lot of preparation time and it shows in her sermons. Just ask anybody who hears her.

This past Saturday she was busy working on her sermon when I announced that I was heading out to St. Arbucks to work on this blog.

“I’m going to attempt to be somewhat creative,” I said.

“Me too,” she answered. “I’ll tell you what – how about it if I do your blog and you do my sermon?”

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We Are Good To Go

toyota of terre hauteBACK IN DECEMBER, just before Christmas, we bade farewell to the old Hyundai after twelve years and brought home a new (to us) Toyota. Yesterday I took the Barcelona Red car in to the dealer for its first checkup after 5000 miles. It kinda felt like taking the baby in for some booster shots, or the cat to be spayed.

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But Wait! There’s More!

infomercialI WAS SITTING AT THE KITCHEN TABLE the other morning, minding my own business and eating some grapes, when I turned on the TV and came in halfway through an Infomercial.

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I Like Trash

garbage truck

 “I LIKE TRASH. I LIKE TRASH””

I think that is a Sesame Street song or maybe Michael Bublé. I’m not sure.

I’m not willing to go so far as to say that I ‘like’ trash. It’s trash. It’s part of life – the part we throw away. It’s the stuff I roll down to the curb on Wednesday nights. But that is in Terre Haute. Here in Texas the trash has its own “je ne sais quoi” or whatever the Tex-Mex version of that might be.

With about seven thousand family members in town for Christmas the trash can fills up quickly. Most of what goes is of the usual, mundane, variety: week-old leftovers, gnawed upon rib bones, mystery side dishes that nobody ate (wisely), and scores of yucky paper plates and Solo cups. No pies, cakes, cobblers or cheesecakes ever make it into the trash. You would have a better chance of finding the Ark of the Covenant in our trash than an uneaten dessert.

That is why the trash this morning proved … disturbingly strange. Let me explain.

I’ve never been hunting. I grew up two blocks from a steel mill. The closest I ever got to actually hunting was taking a pellet gun down behind the mill to shoot at rats the size of a SmartCar.

But somebody has been hunting or out driving through the countryside at night. It wasn’t me. I would remember, I hope. It wasn’t my 94 year-old mother-in-law. I hope, but you never know. But somebody on the guest list has been hunting. How do I know for sure?

Because, this morning, sitting in the trash can in the kitchen was an ear from a deer – an ear. Just one ear, nothing more. God knows where the rest of the animal might be. He, or she, wasn’t in the bathroom waste basket – or in the ash tray in the mini-van. No hoofs were visible.

I’m not terribly squeamish.  I mean, I’ve seen enough of my own blood over the years to be intestinally secure. But we all know some people who, if they had discovered an ear in their trash, would have hit the floor like an overcooked baked potato, but I’m jiggy with it.

I know that in bullfighting the successful matador is often awarded El Toro’s ears as a reward. I don’t think they do that in hunting, so I doubt that the ear was a prize. If it was the recipient was not impressed and dumped it in the kitchen trash.

I just hope that the ear was not part of a scavenger hunt contest ‘cause I ain’t playing!

When the family gathers again at feeding time this evening I’m going to keep my eyes open to see if anybody seems to be looking for something that they may have dropped, or for anybody bringing in a venison soufflé.

We Have Ways Of Making You Jolly

Berlin_Checkpoint_Charlie_089

PART OF VISITING family for the Holidays is going to drop in on those relatives you don’t get to see very often. We devoted part of yesterday to that.

I must admit that Rose and Ray are the only people I know who actually live in a “Gated Community.”  Well, that is, if you exclude from “Gated Community” those places where the gates are topped with razor wire and all the residents have colorful nicknames. Rose and Ray don’t have colorful nicknames and I didn’t see any razor wire. But there was one disturbing element, not counting the fact that all of the homes inside the gates cost more than some U. S. Navy warships. Let me explain.

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I’d Like To Know The Rest Of The Story

deer eating popcorn

 

GETTING OLDER IS NOT for sissies. It takes guts and imagination. But it also demands that, as Dirty Harry Callahan hissed in one of his films, “A man’s got to know his limitations.”

I know that I can no longer play golf like I used to, and that is a blessing, because I was a terrible golfer. People always claim that it is such a sociable game. Well, the way I played it I was always off by myself somewhere. So – No more golf, no great loss.

A lot of the things that I can no longer do, I really don’t care about: golf, tennis, tap dancing (scratch that. That’s a lie. I never tap danced in my life).

I have had to use my imagination to add things into my life that give it spark and entertainment value while eliminating the need for special equipment – This blog being one of those things. Another being high-impact people watching.

Being a writer, in one way or another, I have always been a people watcher, but now I do it with the enthusiasm of Michael Phelps looking for a fresh bong.

This trip to Texas has presented me, the people watcher, with a target rich environment – The Airport!

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Squirrels

squirrelNOW THAT CHRISTMAS IS OFFICIALLY over, and I really don’t give a rat’s behind about New Years Eve, I’d like to talk about something that’s been on my mind quite a bit lately – Squirrels.

After a lot of thought, and an exhaustive fact-finding mission to St. Arbucks, I have determined that squirrels are the dumbest animals on Earth.

Sure, I know that there aren’t many squirrels actually inside the Chapel at St. Arbucks, but it’s more fun than a fact-finding mission to Wal-Mart. Anyway, I think we can all agree – squirrels are dumb.

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A Christmas Story

FloridaWITH THIS BEING CHRISTMAS EVE and all, my thoughts turn to Family. Today, in particular, makes me think of my late Uncle Paul and Aunt Nellie.

It wasn’t that many years ago, on a Christmas Eve, when they seared themselves into both my memory and my gag reflex. Let me explain.

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