Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year

 It is that time again. Thanksgiving is over. Time to start thinking of Christmas.

My Thanksgiving was quiet. Most of my children live in a different state. The son I live with and I had turkey and all the "fixins". He is trying to eat a Keto diet because of his diabetes and it helps a lot. But he cheated for Thanksgiving.

We had turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, stuffing, sweet potatoes, homemade cranberries, cream-style corn, dinner rolls, and of course pumpkin pie with whipped cream. As expected I ate more than I should. It was great.

Now I have leftovers for days. I like leftovers so that is no problem. My son has a delivery service for his Keto meals so I only have to fend for myself. I will eat leftovers until I cannot take any more.

But I wanted to talk about Christmas. My gifts have been mailed so that is done. All I have to do now is wait for Christmas.

The best part of the season is the Christmas movies. I have been watching so many already. There are the classics like Miracle on 34th Street and White Christmas. There are cartoons like How The Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph The Red-nosed Reindeer. Newer classics like Mrs Miracle and Elf. I watch Bad Santa and Fred Claus. 

Whoopi Goldberg in Call Me Claus is a must. Christmas with The Kranks is a favorite. The Santa Clause 1, 2, and 3 are necessities. Home Alone 1 and 2 I watch but I do not care for the rest of the Home Alone movies.

There are so many others. I usually finish watching them in time for Valentine's Day.

Then there is the music. I just finished listening to Louie Prima my favorite big band sound. 

I have favorites. Blue Christmas by both Elvis and Porky Pig. Oh Holy Night by the Vienna Boys Choir. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town by Bruce Springsteen or Michael Jackson. Feliz Navidad by Jose Feliciano. Mrs. Fogarty's Christmas Cake by The Irish Rovers. 

Yellin At The Christmas Tree by Billy Idol. I am Santa Claus by Bob Rivers (sounding like Ozzy Osbourne). Happy Xmas (War Is Over) by John Lennon. Santa Claus Is Watching You by Ray Stevens. Both versions of Santa Baby by Eartha Kitt.

Oh I could go on and on and on. There is a lot of great Christmas music.

We will have a ham for Christmas. With "fixins" of course and pie. 

I wish a Merry Christmas to each and everyone. Be safe with your celebration. May Santa bring you all that you desire. And remember to give a bit of joy to someone who needs it.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Accident Update

 As you know my son and grandson were in that horrible accident at the beginning of the year. Both are doing well. They are up and still doing therapy for their injuries.

Last week my son and his doctor discovered that a bone in one leg was not as strong as it should be. That means it will not heal properly.

So surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, November 25. They will put a larger and more sturdy plate to replace the one that is there now.

His son is spending Thanksgiving with his mother. His daughter is spending Thanksgiving with my youngest son and his family. So my son would be in the hospital for most of Thanksgiving day before going home that afternoon.

This morning he got a call that his surgery was rescheduled. Now he will go in the day after Thanksgiving. He will still go home Saturday.

Now he will be able to spend Thanksgiving with his brother and his daughter.

Have a happy Thanksgiving. Remember to give thanks for all the good things in your life.

Friday, November 13, 2020

Election: Finale

 Our elections are over. Joe Biden has been projected to be the next President of the United States.

A lot of people took to the streets dancing and singing. Some were happy that Donald Trump will no longer be president. Some were happy that Biden will. I believe most were celebrating a combination of both.

At the same time supporters of Trump are not happy. Claims have been made of voter fraud and miscounts of votes.

It took longer than usual for election experts to make the projections of who would win. There were a variety of reasons for that. It was a hard election to call.

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic more people voted by mail than ever before. Depending on the rules set by election commissions in each state those mail-in ballots were counted at different times.  

Some states allowed preparing the ballots for counting before election day. That means verifying the signature on the outside envelope by making sure the person is registered to vote, the signature matches the registered voter's signature, and that the voter has only voted once. Then the ballot is removed from the envelope and put in a pile to be counted on election day.

Some states do not allow any work to be done with mail-in ballots until election day. Of those some states allow counting to begin when in-person voting begins and others wait until in-person voting is finished.

All those votes need to be added to the total vote count.

Some states have early voting. They allow people to vote in person several days before the election. Their votes cannot be tallied until election day.

Of course on election day people can vote in person. The lines of voters can be quite long especially if they are observing the distancing required because of COVID-19. 

Once the polls close counting begins. As the count occurs some totals are reported. Experts begin to look for trends. Once they have enough information they project a winner. That is not an official winner. It is only an educated guess.

In any election there can be a close number of votes for the candidates or maybe some problem with the voting. The voting rules take this into account.

Either candidate or both can challenge the voting. There is a fee to be paid then the problem can be investigated. Discrepancies are looked at. There may or may not be adjustments made to the count depending on findings.

Finally the vote counts are certified. The counts are deemed legal and final.

In our presidential elections there is another step. Electoral college.

Each state has a number of electors based on its population. There are a total of 538 electors. All states except Nebraska and Maine use a winner take all method of assigning votes to electors. The winner of the most votes for each state determines who the electors vote for.

The electoral collage meets in December to cast their votes for president. A candidate needs at least 270 electoral votes to become president.

Why have an electoral college? The founders of our country recognized that the large cities would have more votes than rural areas. New York City and Los Angeles could conceivably be in charge of the country and those of us elsewhere would have little say in the running of our government.

This election was record setting in many ways. The main thing I see is that each candidate received more than 70 million votes. That is amazing to me.

So on January 20, 2021, the President of the United States will be Joe Biden.

Sunday, November 8, 2020

Veterans Day

 November 11 is Veterans Day. It is a National holiday to honor those who have served in our military. 

It is called Veterans Day because we are showing respect for our veterans. It is not Veterans' Day or Veteran's Day.

Veterans Day should not be confused with Memorial Day. Memorial Day originated to honor fallen service members. They are the ones who did not come back alive.

It was originally called Armistice Day to commemorate the truce called months before the actual end of World War I. The truce began on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. 

In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson declared a celebration for November 11 for parades and speeches to begin at 11:00 AM. 

In 1926 Congress passed a resolution stating that "the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations". Twenty-seven sates had already designated November 11 as a holiday. With the signature of the President it became a national holiday. The United States flag was to be flown on all federal buildings. Schools and churches and other gathering places were encouraged to participate.

In 1938 Armistice Day became a recurring holiday to honor the veterans. In 1954 at the urging of service members Congress amended the 1938 Act to include veterans from all wars not just World War I. That same year President Eisenhower changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day.

The Uniform Holiday Bill was signed in 1968. Trying to extend holiday time off several holidays were to be celebrated on Mondays. The first observation of Veterans Day on the fourth Monday of October in 1971. It was so confusing that President Ford changed it back to November 11, 1975.

Traditionally there are parades, speeches, and other celebrations on November 11. Government offices are closed. The President will lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.

This year most places will not have the conventional parades and gatherings. COVID-19 has restricted a lot of public activities. Maybe next year.

My father was a proud veteran of World War II. Several other family members have served our country. On Veterans Day I will remember them all.

Tuesday, November 3, 2020


 Did you vote yet? If you did thank you. If not there is no time like the present.