Archive - 2010

December 25th

Willow leaves




A Christmas ornament given as a gift by sister Tracie fits in well with the others on the mantle. 



Aunt Olla arrives for Christmas


December 24th

Christmas card


Merry Christmas to all from Lance and Eric!


We had a nice evening tonight. I went to pick up Aunt Olla at 4:30. She hadn't been out for a while, so she went on and on about how beautiful the snow was. I lack her enthusiasm for the white stuff.

Brother Joe cooked all day. He made beef tri-tip, Thai spring rolls, (which Lance knows how to roll nicely), mashed potatoes and a Thai dessert made from coconut pudding and basil seeds. The basil seeds, when soaked, get to be tapioca-like in texture.  

Joe has a Thai girlfriend who joined us from Thailand for the entire evening on Skype. Aunt Olla had a great conversation with her on the headphones. We showed her all of the gifts as we opened them. 

We opened gifts. We're usually pretty low-key with gifts, but this year people must have felt generous.

Aunt Olla said the evening was the highlight of her life and she wouldn't have missed it for the world. As Joe and I were basically carrying her to the car, she went on about how she's completely helpless to walk and climb stairs, but it is kind of fun. I didn't ask what was fun about it, but she enjoyed the entire process very much. 

Aunt Olla told many stories of the Christmases of her childhood. Mama would make a few gifts for the kids. They were too poor to afford anything boughten. 

It was indeed a white Christmas. Bah humbug to that. Next winter, it is four months in Tucson. This month has been just plain miserable. I love this place until November 1, then it goes sour. 

I was going to leave for Tucson in the morning. However, some high school friends called and suggested that it might be a good idea for me to host a party at my house on Monday evening. 

How could I turn that down? 

I have plenty to do for the next three days before I leave. 


December 23rd


Here is a great assessment of the Pawlenty years. When he was in the Minnesota House of Representatives, Pawlenty was a consensus-building moderate. His governorship, however, was polluted by his desire to pander to the right-wing factions of the national Republican party by adhering to their no-taxes-ever doctrines. 

Phil Krinkie's observations were revealing and well worth reading. Krinkie is against almost all government spending. He, at least, is an honest small-government conservative who believes that lower taxes must be accompanied by fewer services. 

December 21st

Get ready!

According to an announcement in the Fertile Journal, the Second Coming is going to occur May 21, 2011. 

According to a source of mine, one local wag said, "At least we get to celebrate Settende Mai!"

December 20th


When Bach limited himself to a single string instrument, as he did in his wonderful suites for cello, he allowed mere mortals a look into his mind. When Bach used all ten fingers and both feet, as he did with the organ, he wrote music too complex to be comprehended. But when limited to the cello? Listen until the end for the irrefutable conclusion to the master's still eloquent musical argument.

December 19th

Poplar Meadows

Mom, Dad, Joe and I performed at Poplar Meadows senior living and assisted living in McIntosh, MN today. Joe recorded one of the songs. He didn't mike the piano, so my fumblings there went unrecorded.