37 thoughts on “Time to start decking those halls”

  1. Now that the turkey is mostly gone, not a crumb of punkin pie to be found and the golden red leaves of autumn either blown away or morphed to mulchy brown,  it’s time to drag out the boxes of shiny bright objects and festoon the house with reds, greens and tinsel.  time to go exploring to find the perfect tree for more festooning.


    love that word “festoon.” gleeful, fun word. evokes visions of silly clowns making silly noises – I can hear the sounds of gopers being roasted on an open fire of inquisition.

    merriam webster notes:  The verb “festoon,” which first appeared in the late 1700s, comes from the noun “festoon,” which appeared over 100 years earlier. “Festoon” traces back (by way of French and Italian) to Latin festa, the plural of festum, meaning “festival.” “Festa” is also an ancestor of the English noun “feast.”

  2. Terrific thread topic. This Pogo just spent a reasonable portion of the weekend festooning the house, decking the halls as it was.

    sturg, catchy tune that.

  3. Once the first of December has been crossed, it is okay to start “festooning”.  Anything prior to this date is an affront to all of the winter solstice celebrations of your choice.

    Hannukah:  12/22 – 12/30

    Lohri Festival Punjab – 12/21

    Christmas – 12/25

    Kwaanza – 12/26 – 1/1

    Winter Solstice (Yule) – 12/20 – 12/23

    Festivus – 12/23



  4. on walt kelly the lyricist from straightdope:

    Kelly loved songs with nonsense lyrics: he wrote plenty of his own for his characters to sing, and he often had them mangle the words to existing songs, including several Christmas carols. His best-known carol by far was “Deck Us All With Boston Charlie”; Cecil once tracked down all six known verses to that one. But there was also the one that begins “Good King Sourkraut looked out / On his feets uneven,” and there were multiple takes on “The Twelve Days of Christmas,” evolving (if one can call it that) over the years but never getting beyond day three, as far as we’ve been able to determine.


    The first appearance of the fractured “Twelve Days” was on December 23, 1952, sung by a rabbit character typically referred to simply as the Rabbit:


    On the first day of crispness,
    My true love sent to me,
    One turkle dove,
    Two pounds of ham,
    An’ a parsnip in a pear tree!

    On the second day of crispness
    My tru—

    At this point he’s cut off by an irritated Churchy LaFemme, the turtle, who tells him it’s Christmas, not crispness, and a partridge, not a parsnip, in the tree. The Rabbit responds indignantly: “What you got against parsnips? They is body builders. What is partridges ever do for you?”


    A year later, on December 23, 1953, the Rabbit interrupts Churchy’s rendition of “Deck Us All” with another attempt, this time starting with the second verse:


    On the secon’ day of crispness,
    My true love sent to me,
    Two turtle doves
    an’ a parsnip in a pan-tree.


    Again Churchy snaps that it’s supposed to be a partridge, and again the Rabbit objects: “Why do you hate the poor parsnips so?”


    Here the trail goes slightly cold. The complete Pogo strips are now available in book form only through early 1954; after that we have to rely on the books of collected comics that were published during the strip’s run, which don’t include every single strip that made it into the papers or always make clear the dates on which the strips originally ran.


  5. continuing from straightdope article:

    But other gags about the song did appear over the years, including a re-enactment of the carol for a Christmas pageant that only gets as far as an owl in a birch tree (no genuine partridge or pear tree being handy). One year (probably 1956) Albert the Alligator analyzes the original carol’s lyrics, concluding that no “true love” would subject her sweetheart to such a barrage of gifts: “You call that love? Sendin’ over all those poultry? Clackin’ and quackin’ and goofin’ around . . . She must of hated him.”


    And in the strips of December 15-16, 1967, we find the most elaborate extant version of the song. Now it’s Churchy doing the singing, and he introduces it as a new carol called “MacTruloff”:


    Conifers stay of Crispness,
    MacTruloff sentimie
    A parsnip Anna Pantry.

    Honor Sick an’ Davey Criss-Cross,
    MacTruloff said to me,
    Tutor Killduffs
    Anna Pottage inner
    Pair threes.

    Under Thursday of Crystal Ball
    MacTruloff Sanity
    Free Friends’ Wens,
    Anger cartridge
    Widow pastry.


    After taking a few days off, Churchy resumes on December 20 with a reworked version of the third verse:


    Under Thursday of Crispness,
    MacTruloff sanity,
    Three wench friends,
    Tu-dors above,
    An’ the parson
    Up a psaltree.


    My favorite was always the “three wench friends,” of course – it’s a natural. My recollection is that there was also a version with the line “MacTruloff centipede,” but so far I’ve been unable to locate it.


    Later Kelly had more fun with the song. Starting on December 27, 1972, he presented the original carol “Twelve Days of Christmas” as a parade running across the strip for several days in a row. The gifts are all given to the irascible Miz Beaver, who on December 31 shouts “EE-nough!” and is next seen holding the partridge in the pear tree, surrounded by geese, hens, cows, etc, at Miggle’s Gift Exchange and Return Counter.


    You may ask: why all the nonsense? Back in 1951, Walt Kelly provided his own justification. When one character objects that the rest of the crew are mangling the words to a carol, the response comes back: “Who listens to the words?”

  6. as I recall, some wit here on the trail (Jamie perhaps?) a few years ago posted a mixer version of the “twelve days”


  7. speaking of decking, being decked or maybe wanting to deck someone –  this from wapo today:

    The lone tweet appeared Sunday night on a profile bearing the name of former FBI attorney Lisa Page.

    “I’m done being quiet,” the tweet read.

    In the roughly two years since Page made national headlines after politically charged text messages between her and then-senior FBI agent Peter Strzok were released, the lawyer has refrained from publicly addressing the events that catapulted her into the center of a political firestorm and made her a repeated target of President Trump’s ire.

    Now, in a wide-ranging interview, the 39-year-old has slammed Trump for his “sickening” attacks against her and revealed how she has struggled to keep her life together.

    “I had stayed quiet for years hoping it would fade away, but instead it got worse,” Page told the Daily Beast in her first public interview, which was published Sunday. “It had been so hard not to defend myself, to let people who hate me control the narrative. I decided to take my power back.”

    Page’s interview comes just ahead of the planned Dec. 9 release of a report from the Justice Department inspector general who has been examining how the FBI conducted its investigation into Trump associates and Russian interference in the 2016 election. Page and Strzok, who had been having an affair, were both involved in the probes of Hillary Clinton’s emails and Russia when they exchanged text messages expressing a mutual dislike of Trump and concern that he might become president, The Washington Post’s Devlin Barrett reported in 2017.

    Aside from participating in a closed-door interview with House members in July 2018 where she denied that bias impacted the Trump and Clinton investigations, Page did not make any other public statements about the text messages. Her silence didn’t discourage Trump from repeatedly disparaging the attorney, mentioning her by name in dozens of tweets and retweets.

    “It’s like being punched in the gut,” Page told the Daily Beast, referencing Trump’s broadsides. “My heart drops to my stomach when I realize he has tweeted about me again. The president of the United States is calling me names to the entire world. He’s demeaning me and my career. It’s sickening.”

    She continued: “But it’s also very intimidating because he’s still the president of the United States. And when the president accuses you of treason by name, despite the fact that I know there’s no fathomable way that I have committed any crime at all, let alone treason, he’s still somebody in a position to actually do something about that. To try to further destroy my life. It never goes away or stops, even when he’s not publicly attacking me.”


  8. Not too much decking the halls here this year.  My kittens will destroy anything they can get their paws on that’s shiny and such.


    It’s a good thing they’re cute…

  9. Have spent most of this morning dealing with about 20″ of snow.  I LOVE the hum of snow blowers!..  so there!  Course… with a 250 ft. driveway, we do get it plowed.  But we still need to clear off to the woodshed, the electric meter, our doorways, around the bird feeders, the small upper floor porch, etc, etc.


    So maybe not much in the way of decorations this year…  but it does look like Xmas today.

  10. Snowblowers are acceptable.  Shoveling snow is heavy lifting.
    Leaves/leaf blowers, on the other hand,  are a ridiculous nuisance.
    Also a ridiculous nuisance, the entire Trumpsky family.

  11. anybody got posts in them going forward? having trouble getting back up to speed, binging on Disney’s new streaming service, catching up on Star Wars I missed.

  12. We celebrate Ginger Day — our neighbor and her birthday is the 25th.   She is an artist and likes to send out lots of cards.   This year our tree will be decorated with cards she has sent us and bubble lights.

  13. by George, a tweet today:


    1. For impeachment and removal you don’t need a smoking gun, just evidence that proves the point, directly, circumstantially or otherwise.

    2. And you don’t need a quid pro quo—just abuse of power.

    3. That said, there’s plenty of smoking-gun evidence here of quid pro quo. https://twitter.com/theplumlinegs/status/1201502359223820288 

    Greg Sargent


    1) Sondland *actually did* directly tell a top Ukrainian official that military aid was conditioned, and did this after taking direction from Trump for months.

    2) Many officials testified meeting was conditioned.

    *Those are* smoking guns. The *call itself* is a smoking gun. https://twitter.com/FiveThirtyEight/status/1201493786188271617 


  14. Kelly’s attribution and illustration of chronic lyricosis through the Pogo characters is absolutely brilliant.  He would have had a tone of fun with Led Zeppelin lyrics if they were singing LZ songs on the swamp.


    I thought I was done festooning, but Mrs. P has disabused me of that misconception.  Something about lighted garlands.  Truth be told I like the effect, but packing the stuff away after the holidays is a pain in the ass.


  15. that daily beast interview (cited above earlier in a wapo story) with lisa page is very well worth the read.  it’s a little long, but intense.  here’re the concluding paragraphs:


    Page accepts that her life will never be the same, that there’s no “normal life” to return to. She’s still married to her husband and they have two small children. Ultimately, she was just another public servant like Fiona Hill or Marie Yovanovitch. She was dragged into the spotlight, her text messages weaponized, and her life destroyed so that the Trump administration could have a brief distraction.

    The era of Trump populism always had an ugly edge, particularly toward women. Trump revels in bringing misery to his opponents and will always seek out and exploit any weakness. Page “wasn’t nice to him,” and so in his eyes she can be endlessly targeted and assaulted.


    It’s tempting to describe this as just part of Trump’s deep, baked-in misogyny and sociopathy, but in Page’s case it’s worse; it’s a sign of how deeply he’s corrupted the government to serve his will and his whims. His apologists have become part of Trump’s own squad of witch-hunters, hunting fantasies like “Ukrainian interference” while attacking the people who tried to protect us from Russian attacks.

    It’s not just that Lisa Page may never be safe as long as Trump is president.

    It’s that we won’t be safe, either.


  16. Trump is the Founders Worst Nightmare

    Once in the Oval Office, a demagogue can easily stay there.

    NY Times Opinion piece outlining the horror that is Donald Trump.

    For those who don’t follow my rants on Twitter, I had this to say on the subject.

    Donald Trump is criminally ignorant on just about every subject under the sun as well as being a vicious bully. The GOP members who support him, share the guilt for the destruction of a once great party.
  17. by George, more from the hill:

    George Conway quote-tweeted his wife Kellyanne Conway on Monday, responding to a post of her’s on former Vice President Joe Biden.

    Kellyanne Conway, who serves as President Trump’s White House counselor, tweeted out a video of Biden talking about his “hairy legs” and how kids used to “rub my leg down and watch the hair come back up again.”

    “Sleepy Joe is Creepy Joe,” she posted. “We need Ukraine’s help to defeat THIS guy?”

    Her husband George Conway then replied by stating, “Your boss apparently thought so.”

    George Conway frequently criticizes Trump on Twitter and has become a bit of an online celebrity for his barbs targeting the president.

    But it’s uncommon for George Conway to tweet about Trump in direct response to his wife, one of the president’s most fervent supporters.


  18. Biden has a couple of odd things out.  The hairy legs was one and a photo of him biting his wife’s fingers when she gestured widely while speaking on his behalf.  I keep coming back to Obama’s comment “Joe says things” while smiling about it.  I do truly believe he is basically honest and has a good heart, but some of these actions do come across as more than a little odd when campaigning for the Presidency.


  19. “U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter plans to plead guilty on Tuesday to the misuse of campaign funds and has indicated he will leave Congress.”

    It will be interesting to see who fills his seat in the 50th district.


  20. Someone said months ago to watch Black-ish. Finally did.  NO stupid-ass laugh track!  GREAT!  Love that! Can NOT stand laugh tracks.

  21. From Quizling from Queens at WaPo

    🎅 🎄 ♫♫♪♪            ” Five Bleeding Whateverrrrrrs….” ” 4 Grand Juries…” ” 3 RICO Suits …. ” ” 2 Russian Tramps… ”            ” And a Dotard in the Jail-skiiiiiii….”   

    Seemed apt considering the topic.

  22. …glad you liked “black-ish”, tiptoe.  The episode where Junior runs for class-president is great, if you catch it.

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