Thursday, December 15, 2016

Freedom, Faith...and Cookies

Dang It!

"Cookies, cookies, and MORE cookies!"

I was planning to be good this year and avoid making a bunch of really fattening cookies, which has been
a Christmas tradition of mine going back many, many years.

Then Food Network magazine, which is a sort of Necronomicon
for people who struggle with their weight, came out with its Christmas issue and, as usual, there were more than 100 cookie recipes in it.

At least one or two of those will prove irresistible to me, so I expect
I shall be baking on Christmas Eve once again...

"Right, like they really had to twist your arm."

Shut your pipe...

Happy 225th, Freedom

On December 15, 1791 the state of Virginia ratified the Bill of Rights, making those amendments the law of the land.

We owe James Madison an enormous debt of gratitude for
all that he did to bring about the remarkable United States of America, but the Bill of Rights might be his greatest contribution
to individual liberty.

Another Accolade

"See you in the end zone, guys!"
The most electrifying play in my beloved Kansas City Chiefs' 21-13 victory over the hated Oakland Raiders on Thursday Night Football last week was rookie WR Tyreek Hill's 78-yard punt return for a touchdown late in the first half.

That play earned Tyreek the AFC Special Teams Player of the Week award, the team announced yesterday. The award will go nicely with his AFC Offensive Player of the Week award from Week 12.

Hill currently leads the NFL in total punt return yardage and in average yards per return. He has also caught 56 passes for 547 yards and six touchdowns. To this point
in the season he's a leading candidate for NFL Rookie of the Year.

Happy Birthday

Stan's 1969 Topps card

On December 15, 1944 Stanley Raymond Bahnsen was born in my home town of Council Bluffs, Iowa.

The 1968 American League Rookie
of the Year for the New York Yankees, Stan Bahnsen went on to pitch in 574 major league games, 327 of them starts. He threw 73 complete games including 16 shutouts in his career, posting a 3.60 ERA along the way to 146 career wins.

For a baseball fan like me, there's always something special about a player who is from your home town...

"He never pitched for the Royals, did he?"

No, but when he was with the White Sox he did start a bench-clearing brawl with the Royals once by beaning John Mayberry...

Кто теперь смеется, идиот?*

From the pen of Chip Bok, whose editorial cartoons you should read often, as I do.

*[Cut and paste into Google Translate. It's worth it...]

Until Next Time...

When I first began learning Christmas hymns in school, the ones I liked the best were the ones that were the easiest to sing.

"O Come, All Ye Faithful" has been around since the mid-18th century, although some musicologists argue that the song dates back even further. It is one of the simpler of the popular Christmas hymns and carols, which made it a favorite of mine. And because
I learned the song in Catholic school, I actually knew the Latin version, "Adeste Fideles," first. Any time I hear the song sung in Latin now it reminds me of those days being taught the basics of choral singing by a stern but loving nun...

Friar Alessandro is a Franciscan friar blessed with a magnificent tenor singing voice. He is the first member of a religious order to land a recording contract with a major record label, the Universal Music Group.

In 2013 Friar Alessandro released his second album, Voice of Joy,
a collection of traditional Christmas hymns and carols. It is a marvelous recording, as his powerful tenor adds depth and emotion to the familiar sacred and secular music.

Today's send-off is the album's stirring rendition of "Adeste Fideles," from his VEVO channel. Hearing the Latin sung so beautifully is a real treat for this Catholic school boy. Enjoy...

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