Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Shortening Days

Winter Solstice

Today marks the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year here in the northern hemisphere and the official start of the winter season.

To celebrate, Mother Nature is planning to slam much of the United States with some beastly weather just in time for Christmas.

"So, maybe a White Christmas for us after all?" you know, I'm not that sentimental about it anymore anyway...


Even though I had a relatively
short list of things to get done before Christmas, the days to get them done have dwindled to a precious few, and the weather forecast is complicating things as well.

I am hopeful of taking advantage
of today's mild weather to get the last of my errands completed, so that I can hunker down and avoid the madding crowd for these last few days...

"You really are a curmudgeon, you know that?"'s not like I'm trying to hide it, after all...

Feast Day

Statue at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York
Today is the feast day of St. Peter Canisius, a Dutch Jesuit priest who played a significant role in the spread of Catholicism in Germany, especially during the Counter-Reformation.

He accomplished this in part by founding a number of Jesuit schools, and in part with the publication of several German-language Catechisms which became widely popular.

Canisius was beatified by Pope Piux IX
in 1864, and in 1925 he was canonized and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Pius XI.

In addition to being the namesake of several educational institutions around the world, Canisius is the patron of the Catholic press, and of Germany.

Squad Goals

From the indispensable comic strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, which you should read every day, as I do (even though Wiley is a squishy liberal).

Until Next Time...

Although the weather in November and December has been relatively mild overall here in the Bluffs, there is no more appropriate song to mark the Winter Solstice than the 1934 classic "Winter Wonderland." A major hit for artists as varied as Artie Shaw, Perry Como, and Eurythmics, it is considered a Christmas song even though that word does not appear in the lyrics, nor are there any references whatsoever to the spiritual aspects of the season.

2016 Edition of Country Current ensemble
There are many ensembles which perform under the aegis of the United States Navy Band. One of the most popular of them is Country Current, a country-bluegrass group that has achieved considerable acclaim among fans of those genres.

They have released one recording, This is...Navy Country! in 2010, and they regularly play at country and bluegrass music festivals all around the country in addition to their frequent performances for the President, the Joint Chiefs, etc.

Today's send-off is the group's swinging rendition of "Winter Wonderland," filmed live at the United States Navy Band Christmas concert at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington on December 21, 2014. Enjoy...

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