The year in review?

Black and white (mostly gray) study

Today was not a day for taking an original picture, so I dug into my archives (2012 edition) and resurrected this picture. Some of you may remember this picture. I used it once before, though in color. I just like it.


I really don’t like the fact that so many television shows do a “year in review” show between Christmas and New Year’s day. Morning Joe has pretty much been doing it for the past week. There were some new segments yesterday (and how much better is that show without Joe & Mika interrupting their guests with, often, pointless outbursts?). They should take more time off.

I have thought about doing a post about my year reviewed. The woman who writes one of the blogs I follow, Fairytale Epidemic, did a list of her favorite posts from her blog, along with pithy commentary on each. That wouldn’t work for me, because I wrote too few posts this year, and I wasn’t satisfied with many of them. By the way, I started reading Fairytale Epidemic because I was drawn to the blog’s name, and stayed because I enjoy her prose, much of her poetry, and all of photos she posts from the hiking trails she explores. Her writing is nothing like mine. If you want to check it out, just go to

Rather than review my year, let me mention a few things that I haven’t gotten around to relating. When Cindy’s mom, Flo, was here on Christmas Eve she mentioned that she liked an “old-fashioned” plate that we were using to serve something or other. When Cindy and I looked, we saw that it was a plastic plate with the IU logo on it. Oh my.

I want to see the movie Inside Llewyn Davis. However, when I saw the first trailer for the movie on television it was tagged with “Opening in Selected Cities…” I have come to learn that phrase is code for “Never to be seen in a theater in Lafayette or West Lafayette, Indiana.” The same was true for the movie The Company You Keep. Happily, I was able to see that movie on cable television recently. While it isn’t as good as the novel, it is a very good movie. I recommend it to anyone who matured in the 1960’s and 70’s. I doubly recommend the book. It hit all of the right notes and tones with me.

Music. How I love it. A couple of weeks ago I converted my copy of the vinyl album Spanky’s Greatest Hits by Spanky and Our Gang to MP3. I hadn’t listened to the album for a long time and was very gently surprised when I listened to the song Give A Damn. Sadly, some songs don’t lose relevance. It made me want to send the song to all of the people who want to drug test everyone who receives Food Stamps. But they wouldn’t understand.

On a happier musical note, I spent this morning listening to Louise Taylor, whose songs reminds me of some of the poetry I read in Fairytale Epidemic (or maybe it is the other way around). They aren’t all that similar in content, but in the style and tone seems the same to me. Also I listened Jefferson Airplane’s VolunteersGood Shepherd is another song I would like to send out.

I resolve to try to post more worthy things in the coming year.

Am I wrong in thinking?

What are they talking about?

It’s obvious that I snapped this picture from far off, then later I manipulated it to zoom further in, brightened it, and removed some of the noise. When I see the police conversing this way, and I see it often, I always wonder what they are talking about. Are they deciding where to set up the speed trap? Where are they going to meet for breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner? Where can they go out with their teen-aged girlfriends so that there wives don’t hear about it? I always wonder.

Every year Cindy and I have a holiday party between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We invite family, friends, people we work with, and some acquaintances. So that the number of people attending doesn’t get out of hand, we stop inviting people who don’t attend for three years in a row (the old three strike rule) and try to invite a few new people who have come into our lives. I think the largest gathering we’ve had was around 85 people. We didn’t count, but there were probably around 70 people this year.

One of the surprises we had this year was that some guests took it on themselves to invite people we hadn’t planned on seeing, and those surprise “guests” showed up. Am I wrong in thinking that one should not invite people to a party that one is not hosting? I wouldn’t be upset if the “inviters” had cleared it with Cindy or me first, but that didn’t happen.

While the party is in progress I always have Christmas music playing in the living room. I burn CDs of the holiday music. The songs are a mixture of sacred and secular, old and new, as well as vocal and instrumental. I’ve also included a song or two that celebrates Hanukkah and Kwanzaa. In past years I’ve noticed that someone had lowered the volume on the stereo. That’s OK. This year, however, someone had the audacity to turn the stereo off altogether. Am I wrong in thinking that the person who did that went beyond the bounds of making themselves feel at home?

Meanwhile in the family room, people were eating, talking, and playing cards. Evidently someone was bored with the party though, and decided to find the TV remote and turn on a football game. Am I wrong in thinking that guests to a party shouldn’t inflict their boredom and proclivities towards sports viewing on other guests? If you would rather watch the game, stay home…or at least turn on the IU basketball game that I chose to give up watching that evening.

In the last paragraph I told you that people were playing cards. At our party people play Euchre, other card  games, BINGO, and board games. If they win the appropriate number of times they are welcome to choose a wrapped prize from under our tree. The prizes are inexpensive; we never pay more than $5 for a prize, and usually pay less. When the party was over I saw that there were a few prizes left under the tree. When I took a closer look I saw that a couple of them had been opened but replaced under the tree. Someone evidently wanted to make sure that they picked a prize that they liked and wanted, rather than taking the luck of the draw. Am I wrong in thinking that there is something fundamentally wrong with being so invested in getting rather than giving?

No, I’m probably just being a crotchety old geezer. Am I wrong in thinking that “old geezer” is redundant?

IU Christmas Loot 2013

IU Christmas loot 2013
IU Christmas loot 2013

I related in Post “Day 329” that I received a lot of IU related gifts for Christmas last year. In a post a day or two  later I added a picture of the items I received. I receive that type of gift every year. Here is a picture of what I received this year.

You will note that there is a new, plusher, IU throw this year. How I will ever fold it up and get it back into the bag for storage is a mystery to me.

There are two IU T-shirts this year. The one on the upper left is a black T-shirt with the IU logo. I love the simplicity, and the color. It matches an IU baseball cap I was given a couple of years ago. On the upper right is a less simplistic design, red with Indiana University in black lettering and white borders, as well as pictures of Spider-Man, The Hulk, and Wolverine. The shirt design captures two of my passions, IU and comic books. The shirts flank an IU gnome. He is a cute little feller.

Below the shirts, from left to right, you will see first a pad printed in red and white with the IU logo, upon which you make a to-do list. On top of the pad is an IU pen that has a message window that changes messages each time you click the pen. To the right of the pen are two new IU Christmas Tree ornaments. I may soon have enough ornaments to set up an IU only tree, though before I do that I should search for an IU cheerleader tree-topper. On the far right is an IU key finder key chain. The directions say to put your key on the chain, and if you can’t find your keys you clap loudly and it will hear an official’s whistle and “Great Recovery!” leading you to the keys. Hmmm.

Finally, on the bottom are two magnets with IU logos. Cindy said I could put them on my car, but I’m afraid that if I do that, the car won’t be safe in any local parking lots. The magnets may go on the refrigerator.

Well, that’s the 2013 edition of the IU loot I received for Christmas. I must have been a good boy.