Christmas Day 2022

Christmas Eve with the grandsons at their home was great.  They were in epic high spirits and we talked of various things.  With the eldest it was nuclear fusion and robotics.  With the youngest it was, of course, dinosaurs but also his latest pet, a bearded dragon with an inexhaustible appetite for “super worms.”  With the others there was talk of soccer and what they would be doing on the Christmas holiday next week.  Much food was eaten and the younger kids were occupied with happy mayhem.  Something with plastic swords and shields.


But this morning, Camera Girl is at peak output with potatoes being mashed, lasagna, roast beast and ham cooking and side dishes being prepared.  I can tell her patience is exhausted so I have to tread carefully around the outskirts of her kitchen or a carving knife might end up under my ribs.  She does have Sicilian blood on her mother’s side.  But I can tell all is going well.  She’s in the zone.  All of the desserts are already prepared and the meat courses are right on schedule.  It will be a feast to remember.  And the leftovers will be glorious.  That ham will end up in at least a lentil soup and probably some breakfasts.

But after eating way too much food and way too much dessert I’ll spend the time with the grandkids.  Now that Princess Sack of Potatoes is a full four years old, she’ll be right in the thick of it with her older cousins.  I might even try to put on a showing of one of the “Christmas Carol” movies but Camera Girl frowns on television watching on the holidays.  She prefers more sociable pursuits like cards.  We’ll see.

The weather has cooperated.  Although bitterly cold, the roads are in mostly good shape.  Only a few curves of the hills have some large ice hazards but last night I noted that these had been treated with salt so my guests should be safe coming and going today.

Monday we can get back to the political nightmare our country has descended into but today will be “Peace on earth, good will toward men.”  So, all of you have a great day and night and in Tiny Tim’s immortal words, “God bless us every one.”


I ruined my own surprise by hanging around the kitchen.  Camera Girl had secretly bought me a boneless loin of lamb.  She hates lamb and vociferously refused making it when I mentioned it last week.  But after performing my duty of cutting an X on the raw chestnuts, I glanced over at the stove and there it was.  My discovery angered her but what could I do?  She should have hidden it.  I did thank her heartily but she is pretty mad for me spoiling the surprise.  Well, I’ll make it up to her later.  Christmas just got a whole lot merrier.  But, boy will I be groggy tonight.

24DEC2022 – OCF Update – Christmas Eve

I’ll be heading out for a Christmas Eve dinner a little before 3 pm.  I intend to eat too much and spend as much time doing whatever the grandchildren want to do as circumstance allows.  Their parents are hosting the party so they’ll have to do all the work and I’ll get to hang out with the kids.

I haven’t written a political post lately other than the odd comment on the headlines.  It’s just too grim to do on the holiday.  The only rational option is to ignore the horror for a few days to allow some joy in our lives before we have to face the wreckage that is waiting for us up ahead.

And that’s reasonable.  Human beings require joy in their lives every once in a while just to survive.  And Christmas is the prime example of how we attempt to make a recurring ritual of joy in our lives.  So Biden and Pelosi and Schumer and the rest of the vampires will still be there when the holiday ends and we will still be up to our ears in dysfunction and depravity.  But we will have had a few days to feel a little happiness in our lives and remind ourselves that there is good in the world.

So I hope everyone has a good day.  And even if it’s just a day off, enjoy it and forget about the problems of the world for as long as you’re allowed.  I’ll post as time allows and as the spirit moves me.

Merry Christmas.

25DEC2020 – OCF Update – Merry Christmas All You Wonderful People Out There!

As is now emblematic of 2020, this morning was as weird as any other day of the year.  Freight train winds rattled the house and frightened the dogs.  Torrential rains melted the foot of snow that was on the ground and roofs yesterday.  The little steam that feeds the pond is a raging torrent this morning and is swelling it up beyond it’s normal shores.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the spring peepers woke up and started singing.  Somehow the power hasn’t flickered and the internet connection is still intact.  But yes, it’s more of the good old 2020 pandemonium rolling along.

But Camera Girl is un-phased.  Potatoes are boiled and mashed.  The roast and the ham are in the oven.  The cakes and pies are baked.  The kids’ presents are wrapped (I helped with that!). The rolls are baked, the side dishes are cooked and the house is clean.  The various Christmas cookies are loaded into cookie jars and the table is set.

And right on cue the winds are dying down and the rain is down to a gentle tapping on the roofs.  The kids will be here in a few hours and we’ll have some fun.

Wherever you are I hope you get at least a little enjoyment from Christmas 2020.  These aren’t exactly the best of times but they are our times and we have to make of them what we can.


Merry Christmas to all of you folks out there and we’ll take what comes and try to make it better.

Christmas Cooking, Sony A7 III, Sony 90mm f\2.8 macro lens


Getting into the Christmas Spirit in 2020

With all the horror that 2020 has provided I thought it would be extremely difficult to enjoy my annual ritual of watching my favorite holiday movies.  Just to start it off correctly I watched both the 1951 and 1984 movie versions of “A Christmas Carol.”  Surprisingly, I enjoyed them even more than I did last year under much less trying circumstances.  The scenes with Scrooge after his repentance are exactly what I needed to start enjoying the holidays the way I like to.  Surrounded by the squalor of the election fraud and the forced isolation of the COVID overreaction I needed to see scenes of joy and heartfelt emotion to wake my spirit up to the feelings of the season.

Wherever we are, even those of us locked down in this sad sham of an epidemic, we have many friends and loved ones that we can reach by phone or e-mail or by sending a little gift with a card.  Doing that will relieve some of the isolation and it will do a great deal of good for both the recipient and you.

And even if you are completely alone, maybe you can make a special meal for yourself and read a good book or watch a pleasant movie and reminisce about better times and look forward to better times to come.  Life ebbs and flows.  There are bound to be highs and lows.  This is a low point.  It will improve.  But letting Christmas pass without acknowledging it would make it even worse.  And I’m definitely not saying people should spend a lot of money or go through elaborate preparations for a party that no one will be attending.  Far from it.  One of few advantages that the present situation provides us is extra time for reflection.

We all rush through life without considering if we’re missing the bigger point.  Children grow quickly and people age without us realizing it.  We drift in and out of the lives of friends and then we’re left standing at a funeral wondering what happened to the time.  There’s definitely room for re-ordering priorities and reaching out to those we’ve lost track of.

When the world is going to hell in a handbasket is probably the best time to get your own life into better shape.  And the natural time to do that is at the end of the year.  Christmas and New Year are the perfect time to reflect and not just on the negatives.  Even those of us going through extremely hard times can take some solace from memories of the better times.  Those good things were real and we did enjoy them.  Remembering that joy can get you through some tough days.  Reliving it with someone who was also there makes it even better.

I come from a large family that truly relishes dark humor.  We reminisce about the most awful circumstances that we lived through together.  But this year I’ll look to remind them of some of the happier things that came with growing up in a large family.  If nothing else we can celebrate that we’ve beaten the odds and are all still alive and relatively healthy.  And we’ve got kids and grandkids too.  None of us is starving and there isn’t even a really strong feud going on in the sibling group which is pretty remarkable for us.  We won’t be getting together for Christmas which will break a decades long tradition.  But we can have a video conference and we can exchange presents and greetings.  That will help.

So, this is long enough.  My advice to everyone out there is don’t let the bastards get you down.  Make an effort to revive your Christmas spirit and I’ll bet it will be well worth your effort.

24DEC2019 – Christmas Eve – OCF Update

Merry Christmas !

Posting will be less frequent today and tomorrow for obvious reasons.  Camera Girl and I will be visiting with the relatives and I will be eating entirely too much rich food.  To all the readers (even you atheists and woke weirdos) I hope you have the brightest and best holiday with those you hold dear.

“when the snow lay round about, deep and crisp and even.”

24DEC2018 -OCF Update – Christmas Wish

Merry Christmas, to all of you who visit here!

I’ll have a photo and quote for the day on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.  But I will be hobnobbing with my fellow wizards and ingesting mass quantities of Christmas comestibles both days and so I cannot promise much posting.  But I just want to wish all of you a happy and well-needed celebration with all your loved ones.


Antepenultimate Christmas Day 2017

The day before the day before Christmas this year is turning out to be climatically challenging but not without its charms.  To start off there is an ongoing freezing rain falling.  What this means is that a deadly coating of ice is accumulating on the roads and driveways of New England generating the dreaded “black ice” that all Yankees fear and also use as an excuse for “working from home.”  Luckily, I have the day off.  As a matter of fact, I’m into the second day of a vacation that lasts until January Second.  So, even though I will have to address the ice problem sooner than I’d like, my current outlook and world view is serene.  The waves of laziness and the glow of indolence are soothing my soul and generating a “Peace on Earth, Good Will to Men” vibe that surprises even me.  Now, don’t get me wrong, “Men” is a poetical rendering for “Men of Good Will” which excludes democrats, deviants and malefactors in general.  But it still encompasses a great many people that annoy me most of the time.  So today is the beginning of that great period of the year when I have almost no homicidal rage and I truly feel that most people aren’t irredeemably evil.  Falalalala … lalalala.

And going along with this general benevolence I feel I must mingle, commune and otherwise hob-nob with my fellow wizards here at OCF.  I feel that anyone who can read my rambling nonsense and still come back for more is in some way a kindred spirit and must be encouraged to return and possibly shout back across the ether.  So, here’s a loud and heartfelt Merry Christmas to all of the folks out there and a Happy New Year too.  Feel free to leave a return greeting in the comments.

All indications are for a better year ahead and better days to come.  Even the imbeciles in Congress were able to get out of their own way and pass a reasonably helpful tax bill.  Anyway, I should have time over the course of this week (between family get togethers and other festivities) to publish at least a few posts.  With all the events and activity going on in Washington it should be easy for me to gin up some outrage and elevate my blood pressure sufficiently to produce something apoplectic and apocalyptic enough to match my usual output.  I’ve been perplexed with how the Mueller investigation is interacting with the Trump Administration.  I can’t figure if the President is naïve or cornered or biding his time.  But without a doubt 2018 will be another year of high political drama.  And #metoo will continue to provide incredible comedy value for your money.  So, stay tuned but don’t forget to leave time for pumpkin pie, roast beast and hanging out with family.  Ho, Ho, Ho.