Christmas Day Off 12/25/18


By Richard E. Bleil, Ph.D.

Today is Christmas, so no blog.

Oh, uh, Merry Christmas, by the way.

My host family has a visiting dog today. He decided, at some point over the night, to drop off a little Christmas present near my room here in the basement. Been a crappy Christmas so far.

Last year, all Santa left me were reindeer droppings on my roof.

Why do we say that someone is “insane” when what we really mean is that they’re “out of sane”?

When I was in college, I went out to buy a quarter pound of jalapeno flavored jelly beans. I put them in a cup on my desk, and figured that anybody who took some without asking pretty much got what they deserved.

I wasn’t popular in college.

This morning, I received an email with the subject, “If you died tomorrow…” And a Merry Christmas to you, too. Jerk.

There is a trend away from physical gifts and towards “experiences”. Here in the Black Hills, there is an old-fashioned train that one of my friends took her daughter on for Christmas. I have another that gave her daughter a concert ticket, and still a third that gave her daughter a horseback experience. I like this idea. Personally, I am not a fan of sports, which, being a man, is kind of rare and puts me at something of a disadvantage while interacting with other men, but I think I know why sports are so popular among my gender. It’s how fathers and sons often bond (at least traditionally, but I am fully aware that, thankfully, the gender line is finally becoming blurred which is a good thing). It hearkens back to experiences. My father never took me to games, or encouraged me in sports (I was a rather small child, which I’m guessing is at least in part the reason). I’m not trying to cast blame; I didn’t come from money, and there were far more important things on which to spend it, but these kinds of experiences are what kids remember the most, and tend to hold most dear.

I named my bicycle “Ghost,” because many people have heard of it, but almost nobody has actually seen it.

We had text messaging when I was a teenager. We called it the US Mail.

My friend has apparently found a place that sells living mini-Christmas trees. In the spring, you can plant them outside, or keep them as an indoor plant. I think this is beautiful. I normally don’t have a Christmas tree, but if I did, this is an idea that very much appeals to me. For some reason, trees have always been important to me personally. Instead of bringing a tree in, I used to want to find a tree outdoors somewhere, and decorate it with popcorn, berries, nuts, and string that the animals could use as nesting material and leave it as a gift to the creatures that happen upon it. I also thought that, when I’m gone, I would like to be cremated and have my ashes used as fertilizer for a new tree.

When I was a homeowner, it always annoyed me that Christmas and New Year’s are exactly one week apart. Both messed up the garbage pickup schedule, and I never knew when to put the garbage out for two consecutive weeks. So, I just never did, until around June.

On the night of December 25 and 26, 1776, George Washington crossed the Delaware River in Trenton, NJ, in a surprise attack against the Hessian forces.

Just saying.

Today, we have troops scattered around the world. Whether or not you agree with their missions, or the actions that have resulted in them being where they are, the reality is that these brave men and women are doing exactly what we need them to be doing, and are sacrificing as they serve our country. They are separated from their families and loved ones, and following the orders of their superiors. If you disagree with these actions, it is the politicians who put them there. The men and women carrying out the actions deserve nothing but the utmost respect, love, prayers, and gratefulness from those of us still at home.

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