Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Year!

To all who stop by this blog:


CLICK HERE FOR AN E-CARD COUNTING DOWN THE ARRIVAL OF THE NEW YEAR

So, do YOU have any New Year's resolutions?

My resolutions for 2013: (1) spending less time on the web, (2) spending more time reading novels, and (3) spending more time practicing the piano according to workable schedule.   The past few weeks, I've returned to one of my favorite pastimes, a pastime that I gave up after 9/11: working the crossword puzzle in my daily newspaper;  I'm going to continue to enjoy that pastime in the new year.

For once, I don't need to make a resolution to lose weight.  Over 40 pounds lost in 2012.  Yeehaw!

Do YOU have any specific wishes for 2013?

I wish for continued health for myself and for every living creature in the AOW household.

Do YOU have anything specific that you're looking forward to in the new year?

Mr. AOW and I are looking forward to a January visit from Tammy Swofford, journalist, author, and fellow blogger; she will be staying with us for a few days, and we'll be cramming as much fun as possible into those few days.  In the summer, Mr. AOW and I hope to take our first road trip since his brain hemorrhage in 2009.

(hat tip to Conservatives on Fire for the above video)

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Cameo And The Christmas Tree

(This re-post will be stuck here through the Christmas season. Please scroll down for more recent material)

With many thanks to Stogie, who made the graphic for this post in 2011! Click directly on the picture to enlarge it:



I wrote the story below the fold in 2005. Within the past several months, Cameo has mellowed (somewhat, anyway, in large part due to her recent illness). But the memories of those bygone days Cameo's terrorizing the Christmas tree still bring a smile to our faces. I hope that the anecdote will bring a smile to your face too.

Retro Break From Politics

(If you must have politics, please keep scrolling)

The parody Went with the Wind, one of the best comedy skits ever:

Friday, December 28, 2012

The Sword Wielder At The School

Creeping Sharia asks:
Why wasn’t this story big news this week following Sandy Hook? Why no outrcries to ban swords (a popular Islamic icon along with AK-47′s)? Why such a muted reaction from the Islamic school and the sharia-pushers?

Could it be because the perpetrator isn’t an ideal target for CAIR nor big brother media? Could the perp herself be Muslim?

According to the News 6 video she was driving a vehicle registered to the Dept. of Defense at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. Odd to say the least.
Video of one news report about the incident, which occurred on December 19, 2012:

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Mr. AOW And Amber Settle In For Their Long Winter's Nap

I couldn't resist lifting this post from Mr. AOW's web site (Click directly on the images to enlarge them):
After all the Christmas goodies on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, Amber, the kitten that Mrs. AOW and I got a few months ago, and I have settled in for our long winter's nap:


Amber has celebrated her first Christmas. What a hoot!

On Christmas Eve, she freaked out when she saw those big flakes of snow flying around.

On Christmas morning, Amber got so excited about her Christmas present - a catnip toy - that she flipped up in the air and came down in her water dish! Mrs. AOW couldn't grab the camera in time, of course. Amber was off and running to get away from all that spilled water.

Amber in her kitty hut:

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Welcome All Wonders


Many years ago, I had the privilege of working under the baton of Richard Wayne Dirksen at the Washington National Cathedral. Below is one of his choral pieces, a glorious celebration of the birth of Christ the Lord. Ever since I obtained a recording of "Welcome All Wonders," I never let a Christmas go by without listening to this glorious musical celebration of the birth of Christ the Lord:


Welcome all wonders in one sight! Eternity shut in a span.
Summer in winter, day in night, heaven in earth, and God in man,
That He, the old Eternal Word, should be a Child and weep.
Each of us his lamb will bring, each his pair of silver doves,
Till burnt at last in fire of thy fair eyes, ourselves become our own best sacrifice.
Welcome all wonders in one sight!



(Thanks, Stogie, for the Christmas graphic of Amber, Mysti, and Cameo)

Monday, December 24, 2012

Christmas Eve

For today, no politics! Instead, two beloved carols to feed the soul during this Holy Season:

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Christmas Lights

(If you must have politics, please scroll down)

The Winter Walk of Lights at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Northern Virginia:




More images from the Winter Walk of Lights HERE.

This web site has many photos taken at Meadowlark Botanical Gardens during other seasons of the year.  This particular photo shows the gazebo in the spring.

So much beauty in the world!  I hope that you will take a few moments to explore the above links.  It seems to me that we spend too much time dwelling on politics — and the ugliness and the divisiveness thereof.

Nincompoopery

(Weekend roundup post.   For the definition of nincompoop, see THIS in the Urban Dictionary. Commenters are encouraged to post links that tell of more nincompoopery)

Links to read (more possibly added as the weekend progresses):

Despite Tax Increase, California State Revenues in Freefall

"We have a country where the young don’t know Shakespeare and haven’t read the Bible, and their lives are almost wholly unconnected with the past."

JD Hayworth Infomercial: Free money! You never have to pay it back!

Obama approved F-16 fighter jets as gift to Egypt

[Baltimore] Speed camera nabs car stopped at light

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

When Autists Become Monsters

(This post is my final one regarding the terrible events of last week)

It is not politically correct to criticize the disabled.

But sometimes disability is mental illness.  Rarely, thank God!

According to some information to date, dangerous and deadly mental illness resulted in the horror inside the walls of Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, on December 14, 2012.

From Salon in March of 2009:

Monday, December 17, 2012

Dangerous Travel Destinations


According to Travel and Leisure, the following are the top ten most dangerous travel destinations (hat tip to Debbie of Right Truth):

1. Pakistan

2. The Sudan

3. Georgia

4. Lebanon

5. North Korea

6. Syria

7. Yemen

8. Uzbekistan

9. Iran

10. Algeria

The above are dominated by Islamic law or socialism.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Musical Interlude

Enjoy!


Information about "Carol of the Bells," composed in 1904 by Ukrainians Mykola Leontovych (music) and Peter J. Wilhousky (lyrics).

Friday, December 14, 2012

Beyond Horrible, Beyond Tragic

Dead in Connecticut school shooting include 20 children

The bereaved and the survivors are scarred for life.  They will never recover.

The saddest music I know below the fold:

Amazing!

(If you must have politics, please scroll to a few posts below this one)

Salvador Dali and Walt Disney collaborated (hat tip to Thersites):


More information below the fold.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

An Annual Odious Task (And My Consolation Prize: The Life of Pi)

(If you must have politics, please keep scrolling)

I have never enjoyed shopping — especially Christmas shopping.

The crowds.

Our unfamiliarity with the layout of the mall and the department stores.

Too many decisions to make.

The U.S. National Debt Visualized (With Addendum)

With a hat tip to Will of MFS - The Other News:


Where do we go from here?

Please make time to watch the following short addendum (hat tip to Infidel Bloggers Alliance):


Did you hear what Harry Belafonte said toward the end of the above video clip?  He has actually advocated imprisonment of opposition to the Obama agenda and that Obama "work like a Third World Dictator"!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Good News!

Back on October 5, I posted about M, one of my finest students  — exceptional in several ways.  She is of Ethiopian descent, and both of her parents immigrated to the United States, where her five children were born.  M is the oldest of the five and turned 11 years old on December 4.

At the age of 41, M's mother perished on November 5 of inflammatory breast cancer, one of the most aggressive types of the disease, while she was visiting friends and family in the country of her birth. She chose to go there alone so as to spare her husband and her children from witnessing those last terrible days.  In fact, her visit to Ethiopia was very short  — only a matter of a week or so.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Blog Break


The semester break and Christmas vacation officially begin on December 11 at 3:00 P.M.  I have an unusually-heavy teaching schedule the next few days and am taking a short blog break until my workload eases off. In addition, I need some time to consider the direction in which to take this blog after the debacle of an election on November 6.

Monday, December 3, 2012

IED Detonated At Arizona Social Security Office

(Two posts today. Please scroll down)

[Pictured at the left: Abdullatif Aldosary, arrested for detonating the IED on November 30, 2012]

The major mainstream media outlets continue to ignore whatever doesn't contribute to the agenda actively promoted by our so-called leaders. Thus far, only local media in Arizona have reported the name of the man arrested.

From Pajamas Media, dated December 2:

About The Fiscal Cliff

Possibly of interest (hat tip to American Power):


Of course, WE THE PEOPLE are powerless in all this negotiation relating to the fiscal cliff. WE THE PEOPLE had our say on November 6 and will have to live with the consequences.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Musical Interlude

Advent 2012 begins today.   The Advent season is the time of preparation for celebration of the Nativity.

A processional hymn for Franciscan nuns, "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" is one of the oldest and one of the most solemn pieces in the Advent repertoire:


Another interpretation:


More information about "O Come, O Come, Emmanuel" HERE.