A good conscience is a continual Christmas.
A lovely thing about Christmas is that it's compulsory, like a
thunderstorm, and we all go through it together.
America is a place where Jewish merchants sell Zen love beads to
agnostics for Christmas.
-John Burton Brimer
As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas
Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year
to remind us that we're here for something else besides ourselves.
Christmas is a strange season. We sing songs in front of dead trees and
eat candy out of our socks. (From the comic strip "Maxine")
Christmas is a time when you get homesick, even when you're home.
Christmas is not a date. It is a state of mind.
-Mary Ellen Chase
Christmas to a child is the first terrible proof that to travel
hopefully is better than to arrive.
Christmas: It's the only religious holiday that's also a federal
holiday. That way, Christians can go to their services, and everyone
else can sit at home and reflect on the true meaning of the separation
of church and state.
From a commercial point of view, if Christmas did not exist it would be
necessary to invent it.
I prefer the retro chic of spending Christmas just like Joseph and Mary
did- Traveling arduously back to the place of your birth to be counted,
with no guarantee of a bed when you get there.
Merry Christmas, Nearly Everybody!
Next to a circus there ain't nothing that packs up and tears out any
quicker than the Christmas spirit.
-Frank McKinney (Kin) Hubbard
Thanksgiving comes after Christmas for people over thirty.
The problem isn't the grinches who steal Christmas, it's the grinches
who celebrate it.
(from The New Yorker)
Remember: The combination of sun, beer and fireworks makes July 4th the
Final Four weekend of Darwin Awards. Make wise choices.
Every love is the love before
In a duller dress.
If love is blind, why is Victoria's Secret so successful?
If love is the answer, could you rephrase the question?
Life is one fool thing after another where as love is two fool things
after each other.
Love doesn't make the world go 'round. Love is what makes the ride
-Franklin P. Jones
Love is a decision, not an emotion.
Love is a joint experience between two persons- but the fact that it is
a joint experience does not mean that it is a similar experience to the
two people involved.
Love is a matter of chemistry. Sex is a matter of physics.
Love is a perky elf dancing a merry little jig, and then suddenly he
turns on you with a miniature machine gun.
Love is a series
Of darlings and dearies
Of honeys and sweeties
And sugared entreaties
Of moonings and spoonings
And cooings and billings
All tempered, of course,
By occasional killings.
Love is a snowmobile racing across the tundra. Suddenly it flips over,
pinning you underneath. At night, the ice weasels come.
Love is a verb.
-Clare Boothe Luce
Love is all fun and games until someone loses an eye or gets pregnant.
Love is blind, but desire just doesn't give a good goddamn.
Love is grand; divorce is three hundred grand.
Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain
Love is like any other luxury. You have no right to it unless you can
Love is like epidemic diseases. The more one fears it, the more likely
one is to contract it.
Love is like the measles; we all have to go through it.
-Jerome K. Jerome
Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin- it's the triumphant
twang of a bedspring.
Love is one long sweet dream, and marriage is the alarm clock.
Love is only the dirty trick played on us to achieve continuation of the
-W. Somerset Maugham
Love is that rare attraction to someone that can survive getting to know
Love is the condition in which the happiness of another person is
essential to your own.
-Robert A. Heinlein
Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence.
Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the
habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old.
Love, and you shall be loved. All love is mathematically just, as much
as the two sides of an algebraic equation.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Marriage, friends, is a lifelong feast, love is no light lunch.
Oh, life is a glorious cycle of song,
A medley of extemporanea;
And love is a thing that can never go wrong;
And I am Marie of Romania.
Oh, love isn't there to make us happy. I believe it exists to show us
how much we can endure.
Puppy love is no laughing matter when you're a puppy.
The best proof of love is trust.
-Dr. Joyce Brothers
The enemy of a love is never outside, it's not a man or woman, it's what
we lack in ourselves.
The first duty of love is to listen.
The first sigh of love is the last of wisdom.
The great secret of happiness in love is to be glad that the other
fellow married her.
The magic of first love is our ignorance that it can ever end.
True love is the best thing in the world, except for cough drops.
When you have been just told that the girl you love is definitely
betrothed to another, you begin to understand how Anarchists must feel
when the bomb goes off too soon.
2014 will bring granddaughter Joelle's first birthday and my 60th. We both plan to make the most of it. You should, too.
2013 was, I believe, the first year in which I didn't miss a single daily KGB Report post. Whether that's an accomplishment worth celebrating s a determination best left to the reader.
In any event, sincere wishes for a healthy and prosperous new year, and thanks for reading!
May this arbitrary, transient aspect of your solipsistic discernment of
the space-time continuum delineate the initiation of a procession of
random events which trend in a manner you perceive as favorable.
-Kevin G. Barkes
An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist
stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
Be at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let every
new year find you a better man.
Celebrate what you want to see more of.
Drop the last year into the silent limbo of the past. Let it go, for it
was imperfect, and thank God that it can go.
Every New Year is the direct descendant, isn't it, of a long line of
For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's
words await another voice.
Good resolutions are simply checks that men draw on a bank where they
have no account.
He who breaks a resolution is a weakling; He who makes one is a fool.
I have never heard anything about the resolutions of the apostles, but a
good deal about their acts.
I made no resolutions for the New Year. The habit of making plans, of
criticizing, sanctioning and molding my life, is too much of a daily
event for me.
I think in terms of the day's resolutions, not the year's.
Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year's resolutions,
and I've stuck with it ever since.
May all your troubles last as long as your New Year's resolutions.
New Year's Day... now is the accepted time to make your regular annual
good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
New Year's Eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march
of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things
that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man
has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of
darkness on other nights.
-Hamilton Wright Mabie
New Year's Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does
not encourage them to take up more of my time.
New Years Eve: when the beautiful promise of tomorrow is transformed
into the ugly reality of today, and the disgusting miasma of now becomes
the rosy nostalgic netherworlds of yesterday.
Resolutions, like the good, die young.
-Fulton J. Sheen
The proper behavior all through the holiday season is to be drunk. This
drunkenness culminates on New Year's Eve, when you get so drunk you kiss
the person you're married to.
Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunderstorm
to announce the beginning of a new year. It is only we mortals who ring
bells and fire off pistols.
Write it on your heart that every day is the best day in the year.
-Ralph Waldo Emerson
Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all
the wisdom that experience can instill in us.
Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and
swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community.
Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds
and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than
Your success and happiness lies in you. Resolve to keep happy, and your
joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
Youth is when you're allowed to stay up late on New Year's Eve. Middle
age is when you're forced to.
Riley has visions of sugarplums dancing in his head.
Sassy knows the fat guy with the beard
will give her cookies.
And maybe Santa will, too!
Merry Christmas from Kevin, Cindy,
and all the furry minions.
(Photo: The Grey Lodge Pub)
Festivus, a well-celebrated parody, has become a secular holiday celebrated on December 23 which serves as an alternative to participating in the pressures and commercialism of the Christmas holiday season. Originally a family tradition of scriptwriter Dan O'Keefe working on the American sitcom Seinfeld, the holiday entered popular culture after it was made the focus of a 1997 episode of the program. The holiday's celebration, as it was shown on Seinfeld, includes a Festivus dinner, an unadorned aluminum "Festivus pole," practices such as the "Airing of Grievances" and "Feats of Strength," and the labeling of easily explainable events as "Festivus miracles."
(YouTube video: "Seinfeld")
"The tradition of Festivus begins... with the airing of grievances!"
It's surprising what pops up on Google...
It's U.S. Patent #7,249,057 B2, issued July 24, 2007: "Product Information Supplying Method, Product Information Acquiring Method, Product Information Registering Method And Recording Medium," and the description is equally enlightening:
"There is provided a product information supply method for supplying a user who desires to purchase a product with proper information about a related product that could be bought in combination with the product, so that the user is assisted in purchasing products. Registration of combination information to be supplied to the user is made with a database managed by a service provider server by a person who has bought the above product by means of a registration page so that a lot of combination information is accumulated in the database. The registered information includes not only information specifying a combinable product but also information about the effects of the combination and the ways of using products in combination. The database is searched in response to inquiry information from the user who makes reference to a page of products. Thus, corresponding combination information is extracted from the database and is sent to the user."
I'm no expert in intellectual property law, but- this is something patentable? A database of related products, with the added twist of returning information on "effects of the combination and the ways of using products in combination." You mean like peanut butter and jelly? Gin and tonic? Water and Alka-Seltzer tablets?
Even more puzzling is the reference to one of my old DEC Professional DCL Dialogue columns. It deals with referrals and recommendations for computer hardware and software, but its relevance to this patent eludes me. You can read the column here.
Other stuff that passed across the desktop this week:
(Published May 30, 2007 Chicago Tribune)
Memorial Day is a lovely day in America, a day of reunion in small towns, where people drive up to the cemetery on Monday morning and file in, old-timers carrying lawn chairs, and even if you've missed a few years, people will come over and shake your hand and thank you for coming. You don't have to dress up or support the war in Iraq. You just come, and afterward there are hot dogs and potato salad at the Legion Club.
It's the last patriotic holiday that still means something, and it persists year after year despite the wooden rituals and leaden speeches. In Central Park on Monday, an admiral with a chestful of ribbons gripped the lectern and read his lines, and the line of his that got quoted was, "Their sacrifice has enabled us to enjoy the things that we, I think in many cases, take for granted," which does not ring, does it? No.
"Their sacrifice has enabled us to enjoy the things that many of us take for granted" would have been better, but still it's nothing people will take home with them and ponder. How about, "Their noble sacrifice has enabled us to see the ignobility of the leadership that sent them to their deaths"? How about, "We have sacrificed enough of our young men and women and it is time to bring them home to enjoy the things that the rest of us take for granted"?
The Current Occupant drove over the bridge to Arlington and spoke at the Tomb of the Unknowns, a site of powerful reverence, and his speechwriter, in a hurry to finish and enjoy his weekend, gave him, "From their deaths must come a world where the cruel dreams of tyrants and terrorists are frustrated and foiled -- where our nation is more secure from attack, and where the gift of liberty is secured for millions who have never known it," a line cobbled together from scrap lumber. Shades of "the last full measure of devotion" and "we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain" but made from different cloth. The reputation of the Gettysburg Address remains secure.
Dishonesty makes for poor rhetoric and that's what has gutted this beautiful holiday. The ideas it celebrates- that our young men and women did their duty and died in defense of their country- are simply not true. Vietnam was lost and it didn't matter to the security of the United States. Saigon fell and life in the States went on without a blink. And since the end of selective service, these honored dead are somebody else's sons and daughters, not ours- one good reason why there is so little protest of this war: If the Army were conscripting our children to go to Baghdad, the Occupant's approval rating would be in the low teens.
Memorial Day survives on the faint memories of World War II, the Good War. Those old Legion and VFW guys are the ones who keep it going. Some come in fatigues, some ride in golf carts past the rows of tombstones and the urns with fresh gardenias planted in them, and the Boy Scouts line up, and the auxiliary ladies in blue hand out little American flags. There is a distant HEE-YUP and the crowd shushes and the honor guard marches in, left, right, left, right, left, right, and Old Glory is raised on the flagpole, and we all recite the Pledge of Allegiance. The names of the dead are read and wreaths of poppies are placed and maybe somebody recites "In Flanders Fields":
In Flanders Fields the poppies blow,
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky,
The larks, still bravely singing, fly,
Scarce heard amid the guns below.
Everyone is a little stiff and self-consciously reverent. And then comes the speech. That's the problem. It is time for the truth to be told and we cannot bring ourselves to tell it. Good men and women were sacrificed to the vanity of politicians and generals. It is a miserable business to tell lies over the graves of good soldiers, but we do, and then we all sing "America the Beautiful," including the verse about heroes proved in liberating strife, and the honor guard fires its rifle salute and somebody presses Play on a boombox and we hear taps and the guard turns about-face and marches off and we walk away, thoughtfully, and there is much to think about.
(Garrison Keillor is an author and host of "A Prairie Home Companion.")
KGB Report welcomes you to 2013: May this arbitrary, transient point in your solipsistic sense of the space-time continuum delineate the initiation of a series of random events which trend in a manner which you perceive to be favorable.
Kids, dogs, and snow. Granddaugter Lea and her best bud Bella enjoy the precipitation up north near Tionesta.