Hey, this is my place. Grab a seat and relax for a bit. If you are expecting deep philosophical blather you are going to be dissappointed. You have been warned as some of the opinions discussed on this blog are the opinions of the owner and may or may not align with your own.
Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Having spent the majority of my teen years within the 80's, I was inherently affected by the music of the time. I was what they used to call..and I guess still do a headbanger. I fit the image for the most part; t-shirts, ripped up jeans, and yes the mullet. Almost all of the horseman had said mullet(except for Rich who had this stupid tail that I never understood), and listened to the music. We all had our signature bands that we payed homage to. I was a fan of Motley Crue, Jason was a rock solid Kiss fan, Jerry was a Ratt fan, and Rich was partial to Van Halen. Although we each kind of identified with a specific band there were a couple bands that we all liked and one of those was Quiet Riot. The Rock Anthem "Cum on feel the noize," in '83 was a song that I still listen to today as it is part of metal collection programed into the IPOD. Good music. Farewell Dubrow and rest in peace.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
Happy Thanksgiving everyone...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
Anyway, here we all sit in the kitchen/dining area all doing a number of things. Dad is talking to Kent and Karen about politics as you will not find a more staunch family of Democrats than the Williams clan. I like to sit and listen to the banter back and forth about the upcoming showdown in 2008. For a change the topic has changed to Horse Shoes and how long they have been in use (my wife's sister in law owns 4 horses, two of which reside on the back forty, and the other two are boarded at a posh boarding facility near by.) Now the topic is the history of the use of iron through the middle ages. I can't keep up.
My thoughts are on the coming feast and mentally preparing myself to handle the plethora of food that will be thrown my way. The tryptophan (no idea if I spelled it right or not) coma that I will inevitably experience after the carnage has passed. The humanity will be that which has not been witnessed since last year at this time.
That is all for now, Happy Thanksgiving everyone. Be safe, eat well, and watch football for that is the American way.
And now...a history of Thanksgiving
The History of Thanksgiving
and its Celebrations
Throughout history mankind has celebrated the bountiful harvest with thanksgiving ceremonies.
Before the establishment of formal religions many ancient farmers believed that their crops contained spirits which caused the crops to grow and die. Many believed that these spirits would be released when the crops were harvested and they had to be destroyed or they would take revenge on the farmers who harvested them. Some of the harvest festivals celebrated the defeat of these spirits.
Harvest festivals and thanksgiving celebrations were held by the ancient Greeks, the Romans, the Hebrews, the Chinese, and the Egyptians.
The ancient Greeks worshipped many gods and goddesses. Their goddess of corn (actually all grains) was Demeter who was honored at the festival of Thesmosphoria held each autumn.
On the first day of the festival married women (possibility connecting childbearing and the raising of crops) would build leafy shelters and furnish them with couches made with plants. On the second day they fasted. On the third day a feast was held and offerings to the goddess Demeter were made - gifts of seed corn, cakes, fruit, and pigs. It was hoped that Demeter's gratitude would grant them a good harvest.
The Romans also celebrated a harvest festival called Cerelia, which honored Ceres their goddess of corn (from which the word cereal comes). The festival was held each year on October 4th and offerings of the first fruits of the harvest and pigs were offered to Ceres. Their celebration included music, parades, games and sports and a thanksgiving feast.
The ancient Chinese celebrated their harvest festival, Chung Ch'ui, with the full moon that fell on the 15th day of the 8th month. This day was considered the birthday of the moon and special "moon cakes", round and yellow like the moon, would be baked. Each cake was stamped with the picture of a rabbit - as it was a rabbit, not a man, which the Chinese saw on the face of the moon.
The families ate a thanksgiving meal and feasted on roasted pig, harvested fruits and the "moon cakes". It was believed that during the 3 day festival flowers would fall from the moon and those who saw them would be rewarded with good fortune.
According to legend Chung Ch'ui also gave thanks for another special occasion. China had been conquered by enemy armies who took control of the Chinese homes and food. The Chinese found themselves homeless and with no food. Many staved. In order to free themselves they decided to attack the invaders.
The women baked special moon cakes which were distributed to every family. In each cake was a secret message which contained the time for the attack. When the time came the invaders were surprised and easily defeated. Every year moon cakes are eaten in memory of this victory.
Jewish families also celebrate a harvest festival called Sukkoth. Taking place each autumn, Sukkoth has been celebrated for over 3000 years.
Sukkoth is know by 2 names - Hag ha Succot - the Feast of the Tabernacles and Hag ha Asif - the Feast of Ingathering. Sukkoth begins on the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Tishri, 5 days after Yom Kippur the most solemn day of the Jewish year.
Sukkoth is named for the huts (succots) that Moses and the Israelites lived in as they wandered the desert for 40 years before they reached the Promised Land. These huts were made of branches and were easy to assemble, take apart, and carry as the Israelites wandered through the desert.
When celebrating Sukkoth, which lasts for 8 days, the Jewish people build small huts of branches which recall the tabernacles of their ancestors. These huts are constructed as temporary shelters, as the branches are not driven into the ground and the roof is covered with foliage which is spaced to let the light in. Inside the huts are hung fruits and vegetables, including apples, grapes, corn, and pomegranates. On the first 2 nights of Sukkoth the families eat their meals in the huts under the evening sky.
The ancient Egyptians celebrated their harvest festival in honor of Min, their god of vegetation and fertility. The festival was held in the springtime, the Egyptian's harvest season.
The festival of Min featured a parade in which the Pharaoh took part. After the parade a great feast was held. Music, dancing, and sports were also part of the celebration.
When the Egyptian farmers harvested their corn, they wept and pretended to be grief-stricken. This was to deceive the spirit which they believed lived in the corn. They feared the spirit would become angry when the farmers cut down the corn where it lived.
The United States
In 1621, after a hard and devastating first year in the New World the Pilgrim's fall harvest was very successful and plentiful. There was corn, fruits, vegetables, along with fish which was packed in salt, and meat that was smoke cured over fires. They found they had enough food to put away for the winter.
The Pilgrims had beaten the odds. They built homes in the wilderness, they raised enough crops to keep them alive during the long coming winter, and they were at peace with their Indian neighbors. Their Governor, William Bradford, proclaimed a day of thanksgiving that was to be shared by all the colonists and the neighboring Native American Indians.
The custom of an annually celebrated thanksgiving, held after the harvest, continued through the years. During the American Revolution (late 1770's) a day of national thanksgiving was suggested by the Continental Congress.
In 1817 New York State adopted Thanksgiving Day as an annual custom. By the middle of the 19th century many other states also celebrated a Thanksgiving Day. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln appointed a national day of thanksgiving. Since then each president has issued a Thanksgiving Day proclamation, usually designating the fourth Thursday of each November as the holiday.
Thanksgiving in Canada is celebrated on the second Monday in October. Observance of the day began in 1879
Tuesday, November 06, 2007
I recently received word that next year is my high school class reunion. From what people are telling me it has been 20 years since we all walked the walk, accepted our diploma, and embarked on life after high school. In taking a few moments to reflect, a lot has happened in the last 20 years since that day and more importantly I am somewhat alarmed at how fast the years have passed. I really don't feel as old as I am. It doesn't seem that long ago that I had hair down to the middle of my back, my normal dress code was torn up jeans and a t-shirt,and the songs on the radio had nothing to do with g-thangs, gin and juice, and bustin a cap. A simpler time indeed.
I am lucky enough that the people I cared about most in high school I still talk to today as they are my best friends. They are the people that have been there for me through thick and thin, good times and bad. Long periods of time can transpire between our gatherings, however the minute we hook back up it is like we haven't skipped a beat. We start quoting Monty Python, and laughing at our own ingenuity in actually remembering the lines word for word. Originally I had no interest in going as I expect that the old cliques will reform, the same prejudices will surface based on what "status" you held back then even though it has been 20 years. I don't have the faith in the people of my graduating class to move past that and actually act as human beings. Talking to one of my buddies this week, he brought up a good point. Going to the reunion may be fun purely from a people watching perspective, to sit back and watch these social dynamics develop during the festivities could indeed be interesting. During our 10 year reunion, there was all kind of drama. I would liken it to a soap opera. There were accusations of adultery, wine thrown in peoples faces, and threats of violence. Good times man...good times, I think I left early. The only good thing to come out of the 10 year that I am aware of was the fact that a friend of mine met the gal that he would eventually marry. They recently welcomed a little boy to their family (congrats Dave and Kim!!!!).
Anyway, I will most likely go....if my friends decide to show up. Damn...20 years...where did the time go.
For all you trivia buffs, here is the year 1988 at a glance...
Major Events of 1988
Soviets pull out of Afghanistan
Ten day siege of Golden Temple
Longest undersea tunnel opens
Iranian passenger jet shot down by the US
Gorbachev announces unilateral troop cuts
NBA: Los Angeles Lakers vs. Detroit Pistons Series: 4-3
NCAA Football: Notre Dame Record: 12-0-0
Heisman Trophy: Barry Sanders, Oklahoma state, RB points: 1,878
Stanley Cup: Edmonton Oilers vs. Boston Bruins Series: 4-0
Super Bowl XXII: Washington Red Skins vs. Denver Broncos Score: 42-10
US Open Golf: Curtis Strange Score: 278* Course: The Country Club Location: Brookline, MA (*Playoff with Nick Faldo)
World Series: Los Angeles Dodgers vs. Oakland A's Series: 4-1
1."So Emotional" ... Whitney Houston
2."Got My Mind Set on You" ... George Harrison
3."The Way You Make Me Feel" ... Michael Jackson
4."Need You Tonight" ... INXS
5."Could've Been" ... Tiffany
6."Season Change" ... Expose
7."Father Figure" ... George Michael
8."Never Gonna Give You Up" ... Rick Astley
9."Man In the Mirror" ... Michael Jackson
10."Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car" ... Billy Ocean
3. Bull Durham
6. Coming to America
7. Crocodile Dundee II
8. Die Hard
9. A Fish Called Wanda
10. Good Morning, Vietnam
Most Popular Books
1. "The Tommyknockers" by Stephen King
2. "Patriot Games" by Tom Clancy
3. "Kaleidoscope" by Danielle Steele
4. "Misery" by Stephen King
5. "Leaving Home" by Garrison Keillor
1. "Time Flies" by Bill Cosby
2. "Spy Catcher" by Peter Wright
3. "Family: The Ties That Bind" and "Gag" by Erma Bombeck
4. "Veil: Secret Wars of the CIA " by Bob Woodward
5. "A Day in the Life of America" by Rick Smolan
Most Popular Television Shows
1. The Cosby Show (NBC)
2. A Different World (NBC)
3. Cheers (NBC)
4. The Golden Girls (NBC)
5. Growing Pains (ABC)
6. Who's the Boss? (ABC)
7. Night Court (NBC)
8. 60 Minutes (CBS)
9. Murder, She Wrote (CBS)
10. Alf (NBC)
The prize was awarded jointly to: DEISENHOFER, JOHANN, Federal Republic of Germany, Howard Hughes Medical Institute and Department of Biochemistry, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, TX, U.S.A., b. 1943; HUBER, ROBERT, Federal Republic of Germany, Max-Planck-Institut fÙr Biochemie, Martinsried, b. 1937; and MICHEL, HARTMUT, Federal Republic of Germany, Max-Planck-Institut fÙr Biophysik, Frankfurt/Main, b. 1948: "for the determination of the three-dimensional structure of a photosynthetic reaction centre"
MAHFOUZ, NAGUIB, Egypt, b. 1911: "who, through works rich in nuance - now clear-sightedly realistic, now evocatively ambiguous - has formed an Arabian narrative art that applies to all mankind"
THE UNITED NATIONS PEACE-KEEPING FORCES New York, NY, U.S.A.
Physiology or Medicine
The prize was awarded jointly to: BLACK, Sir JAMES W., Great Britain, King's College Hospital Medical School, University of London, London, Great Britain, b. 1924; ELION, GERTRUDE B., U.S.A., Wellcome Research Laboratories, Research Triangle Park, NC, b. 1918, d. 1999; and HITCHINGS, GEORGE H., U.S.A., Wellcome Research Laboratories, Research Triangle Park, NC, b. 1905, d. 1998: "for their discoveries of important principles for drug treatment"
The prize was awarded jointly to: LEDERMAN, LEON M., U.S.A., Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory, Batavia, IL, b. 1922; SCHWARTZ, MELVIN, U.S.A., Digital Pathways, Inc., Mountain View, CA, b. 1932; and STEINBERGER, JACK, U.S.A., CERN, Geneva, Switzerland, b. 1921 (in Bad Kissingen, FRG): "for the neutrino beam method and the demonstration of the doublet structure of the leptons through the discovery of the muon neutrino."
Best Picture: "Rain Man"
Best Director: Barry Levinson ... "Rain Man"
Best Actor: Dustin Hoffman ... "Rain Man"
Best Actress: Jodie Foster ... "The Accused"
Record of the Year: "Don't Worry, Be Happy" ... Bobby McFerrin
Best Song: "Don't Worry, Be Happy" ... Bobby McFerrin
Best Album: "Faith" ... George Michael
Male Vocalist: Bobby McFerrin ... "Don't Worry, Be Happy"
Female Vocalist: Tracy Chapman ... "Fast Car"
Best Play: "M. Butterfly" ... David Henry Hwang
Best Musical: "The Phantom of the Opera"
Best Actor in a play: Ron Silver ... "Speed the Plow"
Best Actress in a play: Joan Allen ... "Burn This"
Best Actor in a musical: Michael Crawford ... "Phantom of the Opera"
Best Actress in a musical: Joanna Gleason ... "Into the Woods"