A Serendipitous Christmas

I was reading a substack newsletter and todays selection was in the comments section.

It was Christmas music from Ukraine. The Orthodox Church traditionally celebrates Christmas on January 7. However, the Ukraine Orthodox Church has given their churches the ability to chose either the traditional date or December 25. Because of the interference of the Russian Orthodox church many Ukrainians are choosing to celebrate with their western neighbors.

Politics aside, this is some great music.

For more about the songs in this play list, including English translations

Enjoy, Jack

My favorite carol to sing is Silent Night, we did it so often in high school chorus that if I don’t catch myself, I automatically start doing the bass line. Here are The Temptations doing the definitive Silent Night. At least for this year

Here is my Christmas youtube list, I just keep adding to it.


33 thoughts on “A Serendipitous Christmas”

  1. about those little voices you heard during the night …

    Talk is Sheep: Behind the Christmas Eve Myth That Animals Speak at Midnight (msn.com)

    For all its very logical and sensible legends and traditions, Christmas has quite a few strange ones too (like, say, gravity-defying reindeer). Some rare bits of Christmas mythology are even stranger still—like the one that claims that at the stroke of midnight on Christmas Eve, animals gain the power of speech.
    The legend—most common in parts of Europe—has been applied to farm animals and household pets alike. It operates on the belief that Jesus’s birth occurred at exactly midnight on Christmas Day, leading to various supernatural occurrences. Many speculate that the myth has pagan roots or may have morphed from the belief that the ox and donkey in the Nativity stable bowed down when Jesus was born. In any case, the story has since taken on a life of its own, with different versions ranging from sweet to scary.
    According to The Christmas Troll and Other Yuletide Stories by Clement A. Miles, variations of the legend can be surprisingly sinister for holiday lore. One tells the story of vengeful pets plotting against their masters, like this tale from Brittany:
    “Once upon a time there was a woman who starved her cat and dog. At midnight on Christmas Eve she heard the dog say to the cat, ‘It is quite time we lost our mistress; she is a regular miser. To-night burglars are coming to steal her money; and if she cries out they will break her head.’
    ‘Twill be a good deed,’ the cat replied. The woman in terror got up to go to a neighbor’s house; as she went out the burglars opened the door, and when she shouted for help they broke her head.”
    Another tale, this time hailing from the German Alps, features animals foretelling their caretakers’ death. On Christmas Eve, a young farm servant hides in the stables hoping to witness the animals’ speech, where he overhears an alarming conversation between two horses:
    “We shall have hard work to do this day week,” said one horse.
    “Yes, the farmer’s servant is heavy,” replies another horse.
    “And the way to the churchyard is long and steep,” says the first.
    The servant dies a few days later, leaving those horses to do some heavy lifting.
    A more modern version of the tale first aired on ABC in 1970, and while it’s animated and for children, it’s still surprisingly grim. In the made-for-TV cartoon titled The Night The Animals Talked, animals gain the power of speech and sing a song exalting their newfound ability—to insult each other: “You can bicker with anyone you hate / It’s great to communicate.”
    By the time the animals realize that they’ve been given the ability in order to spread the message of Jesus’s birth, it’s too late. While running through the streets of Bethlehem, they lose their speech one by one. The ox, last to lose the ability, is left to lament that so many humans seem to waste the gift of speech.


  2. Talking animals?   Freddy the Pig is the central figure in a series of 26 children’s books written between 1927 and 1958 by American author Walter R. Brooks and illustrated by Kurt Wiese, consisting of 25 novels and one poetry collection. The books focus on the adventures of a group of animals living on a farm in rural upstate New York.

  3. Mr Brooks, who lived in Roxbury Ny also just happened to have created Mr Ed, the talking horse. Of course. 
    The Roxbury library has his complete collection of books. I visit there every time I’m in the aries.

  4. The state of the world sometimes gets to me.  On Christmas this can be a bit pervasive until I weep a bit to this beautiful carol.


  5. Dave Barry’s annual gift.  WaPo.

    The best thing we can say about 2022 is: It could have been worse.

    For example, we could have had nuclear Armageddon. This briefly appeared to be a possibility, at least according to the president, who broke the news in October at (Why not?) a Democratic Party fundraiser at the home of a wealthy donor in New York City. That must have been an exciting event! One moment everybody’s standing around chewing hors d’oeuvres, and the next moment WHOA WHAT DID HE JUST SAY?

    The next day, after the news media ran a bunch of scary headlines, the White House Office of Explaining What the President Actually Meant explained that the president wasn’t suggesting that we were facing Armageddon per se, but was merely, as is his wont, emitting words, one of which happened to be “Armageddon,” and everybody should just calm down.
    So we dodged a bullet there.
    And there were other positive developments in 2022:
    — Millions of Americans on social media realized — it took them a while, but they finally got there — that nobody wants to know how they did on “Wordle.”
    — For the 13th consecutive year, the New York Yankees failed to even get into the World Series.

    — Best of all, the looming apocalyptic threat of catastrophic global climate change was finally eliminated thanks to the breakthrough discovery that the solution — it has been staring us in the face all this time — was to throw food at art.

    So 2022 had some positives. Which is not to say that it was good. In fact it was the opposite of good, specifically, bad. The economy continued to stagger around like the last stoner out of Burning Man. We lost  Angela Lansbury, Sidney Poitier, Loretta Lynn, Gilbert Gottfried, Christine McVie, Meat Loaf. Democracy died at least three times.

    Maybe Armageddon wouldn’t have been so bad.

    Anyway, it’s over. But before we move on to 2023, it’s time to don surgical gloves, reach deep down inside the big bag of stupid that was 2022, and see what we pull out, starting with …

    [Monthly reviews follow]

  6. Merry Christmas,
    I went to my sister’s last night, had a good rowdy, time. no furniture was broken and nobody called the cops, so all in all it was a fun night.
    Today it is just me and the critters.
    Once in a while I fix and extra nice meal, put one of my favorite pictures of Mrs Jack on the table and we have dinner together. That is my plan for today. Just me, Mrs. Jack and the critters. The menu:  A piece of salmon, roasted root veggies, and an apple cabbage salad. Maybe a piece of the gingerbread I baked for brunch, with some spray fluff.

  7. We got a ham for Christmas from “Omaha Steaks” and the return address on the mailings is “John Galt Rd” and i was like “goddamnit, a Republican white supremacist ham!  There’s no escape from these people!”

  8. Then, while investigating what the hell happened with Matt Taibbi, i found these writings about his former associate Katie Halper’s professional troubles as a result of her criticism of Israeli domestic policy (according to her), and found it all interesting with no personal judgment of mine implied:

  9. Honestly, Omaha Steaks, i wasn’t looking to have political-philosophical quibbles with your company, i just wanted a ham, but you just HAD to throw a coded message into your literature.  Just sell meat.

  10. …and THEN i read that Abbot bussed more immigrants to the VP residence on Christmas Eve?!  
    Let’s disregard the fact that winter solstice celebrations in actuality have nothing to do with Christ and were an attempt by the Middle Ages European Catholic church to adopt Pagan traditions in attempt to convert those people and increase revenue and pretend we’re celebrating Christian moral imperatives like compassion and charity, which i could support wholeheartedly, why in His name would one play with human lives to score political points on one of your holiest days?  It’s utterly appalling.
    Luckily, some Christian charity in the D.C. area that actually adheres to the principles of the faith is making efforts to support the immigrants in question, so thank you to them

  11. Without knowing the exact text of the Constitution off-hand, i do know that it provides sole authority on immigration policy to the executive branch, which was cited as the justification for “Title 42” by SCOTUS during the Trump Administration, but now a lower court is going to undermine that rationale two years later?  It’s seat-of-your-pants adjudicate-for-desired-outcome nonsense and completely undermines the legitimacy of the entire document, and for what?  A lack of creativity and compassion.  Grrr.
    Ok, i think i’m done.  Deep breaths

  12. ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’ – Matthew 25:40

    I guess that would also include when you slap them upside the head too.  Aiee, pendejos.
    One good thing, it gets them out of Texas.

  13. Yes, listened to my anti-immigrant relative spew about the border/Biden & then fawn over the local, TV minister who spoke of extending kindness to strangers in our midst.
    Merry Christmas

  14. i think what you’re paying for is the wind in the pickups, the mystery of which have since been figured out by electric-guitar engineers

    i’ll make you one for half that, i’ll even throw in a case

  15. If i needed a new guitar I’d still spend about 250 to 450 and probably get everything i needed, but when you take one of these things out of its case if you look you do notice a few bulging eyeballs here and there.

  16. And as far as the 60k fender, i notice it’s still for sale, and marked down from 80k.    

    In ’73 i paid $280 for the white tele no case. It’s been a nice companion.

  17. Ah, dude, if that’s an American-made 60s era strat, that worn finish doesn’t reduce its value at all, i won’t say it adds to it but definitely doesn’t reduce it, plz don’t belt-sand it 😉 

    There’s a whole niche-hobby of replicating Eddie Van Halen’s self-customized strats

  18. My baby is a 60 year old classical, most guitarists say it’s one of the best sounding guitars they ever heard, got it for $100 at a pawn shop 25 years ago

    …totally don’t deserve it

    Ah, it’s not worth that much, don’t feel guilty anymore and it still sounds as sweet

  19. I’d never have belt sanded a strat…the only reason I did the tele is because it’s flat.
    I didn’t at all care if I obliterated its value because it would never be anything but mine and would always play well, which was my only requirement.

    I have no interest in playing a strat, just dont like the way they’re set up, so it’s free to hang out in the closet and grow in value. But now they ALL just hang out in the closet while I’m out there breathing sawdust.

  20. i used to feel the exact same way
    then price of everything tripled
    Alright, Merry Christmas y’all ✌️ 

  21. In a previous life I used to work with people importing very expensive guitars and such.  Most were under $100K, above $40K.  Several were above $100k and below $200K, and a handful were above that.  New things. Personal use too. As new co-workers came on board I enjoyed telling them about who they would be talking to.  I would like to see guitar and instrument collections of the buyers.

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