No I'm not quitting,(although there has been a trend for it this year.) Even though there are only a handful of fans out there, (and I think they are mostly relatives), I am going to keep slog/bogging for now. I mean it's a wrap for '08.
Yup 2008 is over folks, another year closer to the tricentennial, the International Stamp Show, the Ice Age, or Armageddon. You pick which one you are looking forward to the most.
A year that started off with hopes of peace and success.
Came to an end in a bloody mess.
Tragedy, and scandals rammed down our throats,
until we lay gasping; bleeding like sacrificial goats.
As a country tired of war and worn down,
we rallied for two who sought the crown.
During the battle for our hearts and minds,
our economy slid into serious decline.
Both sides cried "It is not my fault!"
While corporate raiders emptied the vault.
Lustily gilding their silver linings,
ignoring us po' peasants whining.
They moved on, leaving in their wake,
company's seeking guv handouts to take.
Its all good, Obama gonna fix it all.
Like some Cinderella at the ball,
a wave of the wand and all will be better.
Never mind we are becoming the worlds largest debtor.
I'm tired of all the media crap, all hail '09!
Cause 08 is a wrap.
Peace ya'll


The perfect cure.

Being it is the holiday season, I have been coming across assorted remembrances of the famous furry trio known as The Chipmunks. In their day, they probably sold more albums than that other made-for TV band, The Monkees. Now they seem to pop up on numerous blogs. Shoot, even Gryphen wax's nostalgic over the annoying mini-mammals. Perhaps Elwood summed it up best, so check out his spin on the chalkboard scraping super group.
As for me? Well, many, many years ago in an effort to earn desperately needed cash I worked at a Santa's Village tourist trap back east.
For three years every Sat& Sun between Sept and Jan I worked for 9-10 hours a day.
The owner had only two Christmas albums in stock. A fifties rock collection and the Chipmunks. These were played in a continuous loop over the entire compound, imagine how challenging that was in the the days of vinyl.
It was not a bad gig, I met a lot of people, learned some skills, and got to play with many exotic animals. It was also where I got to meet my first Kodiak bear. His name was Billy and he was far from home.
The bad side is that 30 years later I would still flinch whenever I heard those warbling soprano's start up.
Now, what cured me of Eutamiasphobia?
I got to spend a large part of this summer with one of my granddaughters. When ever the Kodiak summer turned wet and wild we settled in with her small but well used favorite movie collection.
To my chagrin I discovered the chipmunk movie in the back of the pile.
It had been placed in the back by her mother, in hopes that it would not surface to often. Better to watch Monsters Inc. repetitively than one more run through those furry little sadistic singers.
Once Flower saw that DVD, the Chipmunk chant began. Gritting my teeth I placed it in the player. After all, how can you say no to a child as bright as any summer day? A child whose smile and scream of Pappy!, as I came through the door, would push all the dark and weary parts of my day away and replace them with light and joy.
Gritting my teeth, I placed the DVD in and sat back, secretly hoping that some defect would prevent it from playing. No such luck.
But luck has a funny way of turning out doesn't it?
Watching the movie was relatively painless. Watching Flower, watch the movie was priceless. Listening to her sing, quietly, along overcame years of self induced bias.
How do I know I am cured?
Last weekend I was part of the Santa drive-by out here in Flatville. As we cranked out the kiddy tunes over the P.A. there came up the inevitable "Christmas Time", by the trio.
Watching the joy of those kids as Santa stepped off the firetruck, and Alvin and the gang warbled, I did not flinch. In fact I smiled.
Thank you Flower. Thank you Alvin, Theodore, & Simon. You have taught this old Flatratter that the circle is truly round.
Peace ya'll


365 vs 24/7

Merry Christmas ya'll.
Tonight, as we wrap up the final preparations for Christmas day, I am reminded of my mothers annual refrain.
Christmas is 365 days a year.
Every year I listened to that response, whenever I queried her for hints as to what I could give her. Now, I understand what she meant.
Folks, Christmas really should be 365 days a year. Not the gift giving, but the very spirit that fills the majority of us all tonight.
Think about it. When you were standing in line today, or waiting for that cherished parking spot, did you step back and relinquish your right, to a person you felt needed it more? Did you help that elderly person with their bags? Smile and talk to child you did not even know? Are you filled with a sense of benevolence that you cannot explain, but must act on? If nothing along those lines entered into your life in the past week, then stop reading right now and do some serious soul searching.
In today's society we are inundated with promises and quips of 24/7. That is not a realistic goal for the Christmas spirit, but 365 days is.
What if every one of us, once a day acted in a Christmas like manner? What if you avoided using the empty row of handicapped parking, even though it was only going to take a minute. What if you talked to that friend, just because, no holiday guilt involved? What if you simply understood, that the actions of that person,(that you don't know), might have reasons behind it that you are not aware of. In realizing that you act in forgiveness, rather than anger?
History has shown over and over again, amazing acts of peace and understanding on this night and tomorrow. Let that be our proof. Love and understanding not only work, it is in our very nature to seek. We find as much comfort in comforting as being comforted.
God so loved us he gave us his only son.
Tomorrow we shall celebrate the birth of a man. A man who is recognized by every major religion, discussed by theologians of every creed. A man who changed the world by teaching forgiveness and love.
Thank you Mom, you taught me many things. Most of all you taught me this,
Christmas is 365 days a year.
Do the right thing ya'll, just not for yourself.


A great weekend

I had the privilege of coaching the St. Mary's Saints boys basketball team this season. The season culminates at the ACSAA tournament.
This year the tournament was intense. Every team fought hard for their place and I am grateful for the level of competition that was there.
The boys team played six games in two days, placing third out of 10 teams overall and securing a trophy. We lost our first game by one point and battled all the way back up to lose by five in the semi.
The girls team also finished 3rd overall, losing both their games in overtime!
My thanks to a team that never gave up. The Saints made their opponents pay for every inch of the court. They put the D in defense and gave 110%.
The hosts of the tourney were awesome, the players and coaches amazing. I am blessed to have have participated.
My gratitude goes out to all who made it possible. My personal gratitude goes to a team of young men that did not give up. They played until they could no longer play, overcoming injury and exhaustion.
My offensive/assistant coach, Culen, could not come over to Kenai, but his spirit and training was there. This young man was the conscience that got me to step up 3 years ago and coach this wonderful group of players. It was my last season with my son as assistant coach and I will miss that.
Thanks to Kenai Christian Church for giving us a place to stay.
Coach Dan; it was your first tourney and I pray it will not be the last. Reagan, Dorise, and Sam, thank you for all the hard work and support.
Shout out to Josh Lewis, the parents, and supporters, who in various ways made this trip possible.
As for me; well I am going to sit back and start getting ready for next season.