Saturday, January 30, 2016

Clint's classy dame

The first clue was that Clint was notoriously poor when picking out the ladies. Grandpa Joe knew that of his friend; when Clint asked him to come along to meet his latest girlfriend Joe responded, "Nah. I ain't interested in none of your cattle".

"Ah, come on, Joe. This one's a real classy dame," Clint insisted. So Grandpa went along with him. I suppose his curiosity had been piqued.

The second clue was when Clint entered the wharf section of the town they were working in, parking in front of a seedy bar along the loading docks. "Why are we here?" Joe asked.

"She works here."

"Aw Hell", remarked my grandfather in one of his best Aw Hell tones. An incredulous Aw Hell I would imagine.

The third clue came when they were seated at the bar, with Clint's classy dame as their server. After a bit of chitchat the woman nonchalantly reached under the bar and pulled out a pair of pliers. She latched onto one of her molars and began working the tooth back and forth, back and forth, until she triumphantly yanked it from her jaw. Tossing the tooth into a nearby wastebasket she said, "That one won't give no more trouble."

"You sure do got a winner there, Clint", Joe said, as he made for the door.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pops on his 80th Birthday

It wasn't a bad day at all. We were on the road, Phil and I, and that by itself was good. It was as it should be on a milestone day.

Sadly, part of the reason for the trip was to pay our respects to Richard Hale, also know as Cranston Fowler. He survived the Battle of the Bulge. There was a nice plaque on display at the funeral home commemorating his part in that battle. Mr. Hale was awarded a Bronze Star for his part in that piece of history. He also was the man who gave my Dad a chance, hiring him as the representative for Michigan for his company. The position which I by extension hold today. I find it oddly comforting, even substantial, that Dick Hale would be buried on this day.

We picked up a camera repair for a customer in Redford, and a Model C with 6 extra cables for the Southfield DPW. We spent about 30 minutes at Electric Eel this morning, Mr. Hale's company, talking to several of the guys about old times. Talking too about what graces we have been given through our mutual association with good men. Many of us shared stories, on Wednesday at the funeral home and on this early Thursday morning at the factory common to us all.

On the way home Phil and I had breakfast at the Iron Skillet in North Baltimore, Ohio. We had had three ribeyes there years ago to celebrate when Electric Eel added to our territory Indiana and northwest Ohio. Combinations of us all, including a couple of grandsons, had eaten meals there over the years as well. Then we continued on the road and made our deliveries.

It wasn't a bad day after all. After two and half years, even not always liking it, never actually liking it really, I'm becoming accustomed to the new normal. Not that normal will ever really be the same again. But it really wasn't a bad day.

Happy 80th Birthday Pops.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Stealing Rick's tam

I was this close. This. Close. I almost stole his hat.

Rick Houston passed away suddenly yesterday. He was a great guy, a grand member of the curling fraternity. He played in the Windsor Granite Curling Club. He seemed to always look for me, with a healthy 'Hi Marty!', when he spotted me in the viewing area of the curling rink. Despite such graciousness, I almost stole his hat.

It was a white and grey, kind of tartan tam. He had a couple curling pins on it. This past weekend we each played in a bonspiel, a curling tournament, in Ontario. In Ontario, there's home entertainment between curling matches during long bonspiels. A host family is kind enough to allow curlers into their homes while a tournament is being held, for lunch. And maybe a dram or two, truth be told.

His hat; I spied it as I readied myself to board the shuttle back to the curling club afore me boys' afternoon match. It was hanging at the end of the coat rack. I knew it was his hat; it was quite obvious, to me, anyway. It was hanging there, begging to be stole. And I thought, I'm gonna take it. I'm gonna steal Rick's tam.

And I did na. It was Rick's tam after all, and no good fellow curler pilfers a fellow curler's curling hat. It's about a part of his anatomy, indeed it is. You gotta respect that.

And now Rick's gone, suddenly. The Good Lord, He says to me that last Saturday, you do not take it. He was saying to me, in my head, to me alone, ya canna take it. Tis his. Ya leave it be. He needs it, ya know, so the fella curlers know him when next they greet him.

Monday, January 25, 2016

Robert De Niro and curling

Last night's curling match was so great that I feel I have to talk about it in a blog. Yes, it was that good. In fact, one moment stands out so powerfully that it was, for me, the focal point of the game. I'll always remember it anyway.

I'm the skip of my Monday night curling team. And last night's game was great on all counts. Both teams threw really well, both made impressive shots, and both displayed why curling is such a great game. And every now and then, intensity crept into it.

I had gotten mad last week myself. We won then, but man I tried to give that game away (as I blogged Tuesday). I apologized to the boys afterward for my fit of pique. It was at me, not them, and I wanted the guys to understand that. My lead, Matt, said, "No worries. Curlers need to get mad sometimes". And I get that. Anger channeled properly leads to accomplishment.

So last night, in the fifth, I was throwing the last rock of the end for a score of two (a deuce, we curlers call it, and what you strive for when you have the last rock of an end). I felt I threw it pretty good. The sweepers did too, Matt and Bob, and swept accordingly.

Until the last few feet: so I thought. They got off the stone, and I frantically yelled, "Don't stop!"

The Matt turned toward me and glared. He gave me The Look. The Stare. The Full On De Niro. The look that look said, "You talkin' to me?" Because you better not be, because we swept just right.`For emphasis, my stone just ticked an opposition rock and slid in for our second point. The deuce. My sweepers made it. De Niro was simply for emphasis.

You're right Matt. We curlers gotta get a little mad sometimes. Your De Niro moment was spot on.

Is God God, or am I God?

There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'

- C. S. Lewis

I have long believed that there is only one God. There can only be One; Plato eons ago rightly pointed out that perfection implies singularity, as multiplicity must infer defect. To wit, complexity must allow for great error because there are so many parts of it. There's more to go wrong. Conversely, One Whole Something must be essentially simple so that nothing can be wrong with it.

Ignore for the moment any pleas within your mind which may ask, so which God is God? I am merely establishing that there can only be one. Christ, Yahweh, Allah; Animism and Mother Earth: we can deal with all that another time. What I am concerned with here is how this truth affects us in our day to day actions.

When we discuss morality it often seems to devolve into an us against them rant. "Who made you God?", we may often be asked. The reply, "Who made you?", generally is left unasked, yet is just as fair. Be that as it may, the overall implication is that that other person doesn't have to listen to you because you aren't the final arbiter of right and wrong and, further, that maybe there isn't actually a God for us to bother about anyway.

That is dangerous on two fronts. The first is that you never, ever want to even broach the idea that you are God. The second is that it begs that question of who is. To the former, what kind of God would you be if you did in fact call the shots? Could you stay good with all the power that implies at your control? To the latter, if there is a God who can make those calls, hadn't we best find out who He is and what He wants? For surely our poor opinions and actions would pale next to His.

Still, God allows us some share of that power. He will, as Lewis says above, tell you 'thy will be done', and cast you off. He will allow you your choice on the ultimate matter: to be with Him or not. You can be the god of your own destiny.

But ask yourself whether you would like where the trail must lead.

Friday, January 22, 2016

January 22, 2016

On this, the anniversary of one of the most heinous Supreme Court decisions in our history (it's right up there with if not more awful than Dred Scott) we must take a moment and consider what our nation has become since then. Do we really support life when we give of our money and time to soup kitchens and homeless shelters yet will not protect people at their most defenseless?

We do not. What the liberals who have approached me over the abortion question always seem to fall back on is that I need to put all 'life' issues on the same plain. I need to find a balance, of which, they assert, abortion is only one issue.

It may well be only one issue, yet if it is it is the issue. It is based on the dignity of human life, which is what drives any respect for humanity in general. Why should the poor be helped? Because of their dignity as human beings. Why should people not be murdered or stolen from or raped or kidnapped? Because of their dignity as human beings. Where does this dignity begin?

It begins in the womb. Simple Reason tell us as much: human beings have human children.

If you won't support life at its beginning, when it can do nothing for itself, how can I trust that you really will support human dignity later? How can I even trust what you call human dignity? If I can't trust you on that, then, quite frankly, your opinion on education and the environment and our role is world affairs must be held suspect as well. If the dignity of the human person isn't first in your thoughts, then I have difficulty believing in your sincerity on lesser causes.

End abortion now. Work for and vote for the repeal of Roe v. Wade. Then we might discuss, with some promise, what to do about ancillary questions.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Being a curmudgeon is cute.

You may ask, especially after yesterday's missive, why someone so lovable as myself might actually wish to become a curmudgeon.

Go ahead. Ask. I'm waiting, so long as a curmudgeon may deign to ask.

Deign. What a delightfully curmudgeonly word. I deign to ask that. I deign thou to deny me my right to ask that.

You do not. Ask, that it is. Nor deny me my right to respond. Yet I shall answer. I shall deign (ha, ha, ha) to answer your unasked address.

It is because I am increasingly aged. That, by itself, allows me to ask questions ordinarily dismissed as impertinent. I am increasingly older. Therefore, I am increasingly curmudgeonly. All will love me and despair!

You see, curmudgeons are loved because they are curmudgeons. They are too old to be held accountable, let alone responsible. They ask all the questions no one else will ask because they will be seen as impertinent. The old curmudgeons will be seen as cute. You. Lose.

That's why I want to be a curmudgeon. I'm ahead of the curve.

I've decided I want to be a curmudgeon

I like to complain about the cold even though it's supposed to be this cold this time of year and the fact is obvious to everyone. This has the added advantage of giving me the chance to complain about something else: turning on the furnace. It costs so much to heat the house that we ought to conserve and just dress warmer instead of ratcheting up the thermostat. It is in those examples why I find curmudgeonly behavior so much fun. You can complain about anything and everything.

Today's music is nothing but noise merely because it isn't the music I like. Country isn't like it was back in the day, neither is rock, and why don't they play the big bands anymore? Today's styles are an affront to the eye: you should dress like we did in the good old days. They never existed, of course, and that's all part of what's wrong with the world too.

The bed is too hard or too soft...the sun is too bright or it's too cloudy is too slow until it's too busy...I could go on and on. And while it might irritate folks to listen to me they will remember me. You know him; he's the guy that complains about everything.

So you see, there's a reason for this, a method to my madness. It is by becoming a curmudgeon that I become immortal. So don't think I'm just a crank.

Or on second thought, go ahead and do that. Then I shall have your poor and inconsiderate attitude to crab about too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Marty's a dumb expletive sometimes

We won our curling match last night, but no thanks to me. I sure tried to mess it up.

We dominated - absolutely dominated - the first 6 ends. We controlled the game even until skip rocks (my stones, the last two of each end) in the 7th end. And then I brain cramped and let the opposition back into the game. And I was furious with myself.

They had two scoring stones, behind a guard (non-scoring stones which protected them). No matter, we were up 5. So what did I do? I decided to try to tap one of our rocks into scoring position. I thought, we can tap ours up. It's there. And a little voice said, 'Run the guard'. Get it out of the way.

We can tap ours up, I thought as I went to throw my stone. The little voice said, run the guard.

I got down in the hack, where we throw stones from, and thought, we can tap ours up. The little voice insisted, run the guard.

I didn't run the guard. I tapped an opposition stone in so they could score three.

That's when I exploded at myself. All the way down the ice it was, Expletive it, Marty, you dumb expletive. Run the expletive guard, you stupid expletive. That's curling One-Zero-Expletive-One: run the expletive guard. That was chicken expletive, Marty, chicken expletive. I haven't been that mad at myself in a long time. Maybe never.

But the boys played a solid 8th end, my vice-skip calmed me down as he should, and I made the last shot of the game for a 7-6 win. Yet I am still, ah, quite annoyed with myself for nearly blowing an otherwise great game.

Dumb expletive, expletive, expletive.

Monday, January 18, 2016

MLK Day 2016

Today is Martin Luther King Day! Of course, today really would have mattered little to him, as it isn't his birthday or anniversary or anything important to him or his life. But thanks to the Monday Holiday Law, most holidays are celebrated on the Monday after a truly important day, if it falls on a Sunday, or on the nearest Monday if it happens to fall at a different time of the week. Why do we do it? So that workers, particularly, it seems, government workers, may enjoy an extended weekend several times a year. Perhaps too so that it may make the work week easier to plan if we simply get the day off at the start of the week rather than as an interruption to the flow of things on a Tuesday or Wednesday.

But have we ever considered that such a practice is immeasurably insulting to the people and the events and the causes which we celebrate? We are speaking about people who dedicated their lives so that we could be here today to grill or watch ballgames or what have you. These people worked for causes which speak to the soul. Or we are talking about events so important to our history as a nation that without such remembrance we commit a great affront to our collective history. And what do we do?

Shove them around the calendar for our convenience.

Wow. That Dr. Martin Luther King was such a great guy, let's make his birthday a holiday. Only let's make it on the nearest Monday if January 15th inconveniently falls on a Friday this year, so that we can enjoy a prolonged vacation. Whatever we do, we better remember our heroes in the way which suits us best: by us taking time off to do as we please. That's what matters: our convenience.

That's simply wrong.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Pops and the color television

Color television (it sounds exotic to type out the entire word rather than just say TV) was relatively rare in the late 1960s. At a time when $100 a week was a decent income while color sets cost better than $300, they were something of a luxury. Still, parents then as now liked to treat themselves and their families to the newest technologies, and fads tended to spread quickly. In the Bill Cosgriff household circa 1969, as the color fad rolled on unstoppably, this meant that Pops had decided to buy a color TV for the family room.

I don't remember all the details of that old console. But it was big to a 9 year old, huge indeed, and took two hulking delivery men to carry it into the house and put it in place. Dad plugged it in and put on a channel, which happened to be showing an episode of Gilligan's Island. And the picture was black and white.

Pops began playing with the dials, the contrast button and what have you, and still no color. His frustration mounting and with nothing making a difference, as a last resort he went to the instruction manual, a thing real men don't do unless a last resort. No color, despite trying everything the manual said to try. He was ready to call the appliance store, the manufacturer, and perhaps even the President himself to rant about this travesty to a working man and his family. I don't blame him; I would have been upset. Anyone would have.

Then someone, I don't know who, produced the then current issue of TV Guide. It showed Pops clearly that yes, Gilligan's Island was on that channel at that time. It also showed that the particular episode was in black and white. The first season of Gilligan's Island it turned out had been filmed in black and white. The TV was fine.

As Dad slowly calmed down, laughing about it within a few minutes (I never thought to try another channel, he would soon joke about himself) we settled into a family night watching our new color television. And our new TV brought us many wonderful nights of entertainment for several years. Even, or perhaps especially, as we would knowingly tune into a black and white program.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Friday Night Curling

First there was Friday Night Lights, which dealt with a dangerous game which leads all to often (by its nature) to permanent disability. Then there was Friday Night Tykes, which dealt with, oh, coaches encouraging brutality among eight year olds. And then, there was Friday Night Curling. It is by far the best use of Friday nights.

To begin with, Friday Night Curling does not encourage injury and abuse. It does instead encourage sportsmanship and fair play. I like that.

I'm playing every other Friday night in the Friday night curling league at the Roseland Curling Club in Windsor, Ontario. The Burr and Thistle. It is a league where we do not despise our opponents nor encourage and expect their destruction. It is a league where we congratulate an opponent who makes a good shot. It is a league where we defend our house, not because we, by some bizarre stretch of hyperbole, own it, but because the scoring area is called the house. It is a league where we all meet after games to raise a glass and appreciate fair play. It is a league where friends, not opponents, gather to appreciate all what's best in a game. Even if that means we lost.

Few other sports, even my beloved baseball, can boast of that.

I really think more folk ought to take up curling. It might actually teach us about sportsmanship being more important than winning. For when the One Great Scorer comes To write against your name, He marks-not that you won or lost-But how you played the game.

Grantland Rice sure had that right.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Road Warriors

I made a 600 mile loop on the road today, but that's nothing. My top run is just over 902 miles. Yes, in one day. And my goal is to trip a thousand. But even I'm sure that total has been surpassed by my dad or my grandfather. Likely by both.

We're drivers, we Detroit Cosgriffs anyway. I come by my affliction honestly. Pops and Grandpa Joe loved to be on the road.

Joe liked to go on the road to wherever it led him. He would simply take off, go out west, say, riding the rails in his younger days, or to Mexico by car. Maybe Alaska even, or up the 401 through Ontario with my brother Phil until they ended up in Quebec where neither understood the language and ate boot tongues with cheese sauce. Je ne sais quoi. Joe had many interesting things happen to him that way. Some will certainly be blog fodder as I recall them.

Pops, he traveled mostly for business. But man did he travel. The folks at Electric Eel, the company dad sold for and I do now, called him the Road Warrior. Damn Mad Max. Pops had him beat by many untold miles, traversing these United States and even Canada for the business, for Electric Eel. He loved the road, and the road, him.

I'm retreading many of those miles now. And I'm gaining a deeper understanding every day of my forebears' love of the open road. There's a freedom to it, an openness you rarely find elsewhere. I flatter myself that I'm anywhere near the men they were. Yet every now and then I hear their voices through mine.

After making a delivery this afternoon, after offering tips and answering questions about the unit I had delivered, one young man was astounded that I was returning to Detroit this very afternoon. "You're going back to Detroit today?", he asked incredulously.

"Hell, yeah,' I told him. "You think we still travel by stagecoach?"

Monday, January 11, 2016

Never a bad time in a curling club

There's never a bad time in a curling club. Just sayin'.

My team played in the Men's International Bonspiel at the Detroit Curling Club this past weekend, and it was a blast. Sure, we didn't play up to our potential (especially me) but it was fun. Got to see old friends, many of whom I've seen on the ice for thirty years (a great thing about the sport by itself) and we managed a spot in the final event. That meant we were lead onto the ice by a bagpiper. Being piped onto the ice is swell cool. It may be the best feeling in curling.

There's never a bad time in a curling club.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

DIY Shows aren't realistic

They make it look so easy, all those home improvement shows with all their do it yourself tips. Put a board here, a splash of paint there, and your house is now the freakin' Taj Mahal.

BZZZZZ! Wrong answer! They're experts, people! They've worked years to be able to work as quickly and smoothly as they do on their shows.

You're not an expert. If you only handle a saw twice a year you're gonna make bad cuts. Period.

Plus, they get outtakes, which we never see aired. Do you get an outtake? NO! You get your wife telling you how easy it was on TV to add a deck and a dormer it's so simple why can't you do it just like they did and what kind of idiot did I get stuck with Mom was right I should have married Roger. That's what you get.

It just ain't that simple, folks. Especially since your house is probably fine just like it is.

Am I right?

Friday, January 8, 2016

Why must we have a winners and losers?

A tie is like kissing your sister.

-Attribute this quote to your preferred source.

Why can't we have ties? Why can't a game end with each team having the same score? Why must there be a winner and a loser?

Aren't there games where a tie is the ideal outcome? My curling team played a game last night against (obviously) another curling team. Both squads read the ice well, swept well, called good line, and made impressive shots. And to be fair, I suppose, we each made similar mistakes. And we tied.

It was a great tie. I don't see where either team outplayed the other so as to merit a win or deserve a loss. Why not let ties stand?

Even in championship matches, even at the highest levels, why not let them stand? Why must we have one single champion? If each team played equally, why can't they each, in effect, win?

I ask, are sports about winning or losing or about sportsmanship? If about the former, I wonder how sportsmanlike they actually are. If about the latter, then we should let ties stand.

Last night's curling match did not feel like kissing my sister (although I would only do that on her cheek, and only when there were no easy way to avoid it). It felt like both teams won. So, let both teams win. It seems appropriately sportsmanlike to me.

Thursday, January 7, 2016

I'm no fan of Seuss

I am not a fan of Dr. Seuss. His unusual approach to teaching kids to read, using imaginary creatures and made up words, is widely credited as a good way to reach kids through fantasy. Yet his books really aren't very good for any purpose.

For starters, the best way to learn to read is phonetically. Teaching kids to read by rhyme, and indeed with the use of nonsense words, actually limits vocabulary and the development of reading proficiency.

Then, too, his imagination was not the imagination of a Tolkien or C. S. Lewis. They developed worlds where the interaction of the characters told compelling stories. Seuss just made up things which matched his writing scheme. "What would you do if you met a Jibboo?" or whatever that creature was, cannot really inspire anyone, even a kid. It's nonsense.

But perhaps the way in which his writing was most awful was in the lessons it presumed to teach. Take 'The Cat in the Hat' for example. Basically, this cat half destroys a house while the children's mother is out, miraculously cleans it up, then the tale ends encouraging kids to be dishonest with their parents. That's not a lesson we ought to be teaching our young, especially in this age of moral relativity.

Or The Butter Battle Book, written during the Cold War, which essentially equated the United States and the Soviet Union by demonstrating our relationship as an absurdity: they simply butter their bread on the other side, you see? That's nothing short of simplistic, mindless hogwash.

That Dr. Seuss has had such a profound effect on our reading habits is not a good thing. It is high time to remove his books from our shelves, and give kids better reads. At that, they may actually learn.

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

A losing battle for Dad's last car

I just dropped $186 bucks on brake work for my van. A line had broken loose and she needed wheel cylinders. I shouldn't have spent the money.

The old girl needs a lot of work. An exhaust system, a blower motor for the heat and defroster; there's a seal leak in the transmission and the tailgate doesn't work. The ball joints are bad and it really needs at least front tires. She's also got 159,000 miles on her and, Hell, a paint job would be nice too. But the van simply isn't worth the money it would take to repair properly. I have to remind myself of that constantly.

The problem is that it's the last vehicle Dad bought. It became mine almost through inertia after he passed; I began driving it and nobody questioned it. So it's mine now for all practical purposes.

I'm not trying to be maudlin. I'm not sitting here with tears in my eyes as I hammer out this post nor am I hammered myself. The writing's on the wall and I see it plainly. I need to get another van.

Yet I'm fighting that truth tooth and nail. This rotten old 97 Caravan feels like my last tangible connection with Pops. I just want to make it last as long as I can.

Sunday, January 3, 2016


Steve Martin had it all. Most of all, he had a hit comedy record. It was King Tut, and it was 1978.

1978. It was a good year. It had all that a young man would want. Especially this young man.

I have a shirt which boldly claims across its face, 'St. Hedwig 78". I bought it myself, with my own five dollars, a treasure back then. I can't wear it anymore. But both my sons have. I have pictures to prove it.

I asked a girl out and she said yes. I cannot begin to explain how on top of Cloud Nine I was. I hadn't had the courage to ask a girl out before that; the first time I did, she said yes. I'm far out of her orbit now. I found a better girl, and she's had three wonderful children with me. We're still married; that's her rum luck. But the euphoria I felt that was dark, it was late, it was in Stromboli's back parking lot. And it was marvelous.

What I feel right now is intense. It is a feeling which transcends all other feelings I now know. And it all traces back to 1978.

1978. It was a very good year.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

The 10 Greatest Novelty Songs

10. Pretty Fly for a White Guy - The Offspring (1999)
-- Alternative Rock fans may not agree that it's novelty, but the band was obviously going for the funny. Plus, the song rocks!

9. White and Nerdy - Weird Al Yankovic (2006)
-- So our first two picks parody white guys; well, white guys and Christians are the last two groups for whom it's still PC to satirize. Besides, it shows that we conservatives appreciate humor even when aimed at us.

8. The Battle of Kookamunga - Homer and Jethro (1959)
-- The clown princes of country music score big with this takeoff of the Johnny Horton standard The Battle of New Orleans. Classic.

7. The Lumberjack Song - Monty Python's Flying Circus (1970)
-- I'm a lumberjack and I'm okay. Perfect absurdity.

6. I'm Against It - The Marx Brothers (1932)
-- Groucho at his best. It's a great right wing song too: whatever it is, I'm against it!

5. They're Coming to take Me Away, a-ha - Napoleon XIV (1966)
-- What guy can't relate to his girl jilting him? Who wouldn't go crazy?

4. Poisoning Pigeons in the Park - Tom Lehrer (1959)
-- Hilarious. Who doesn't want to get rid of the pesky birds?

3. Hello Muddah, Hello Faddah - Allan Sherman (1963)
-- Camp was never like that, was it, kids?

2. King Tut - Steve Martin (1978)
-- A solid parody as the world went gaga over the touring treasures of the young pharaoh. It's Steve Martin at his sublime comic best.

1. Christmas at Ground Zero - Weird Al Yankovic (1986)
--An absurd juxtaposition of the holiday season and nuclear holocaust, this tune is demented and delightful at the same time. Weird Al is the undisputed king of sung comedy.

Friday, January 1, 2016

New Year's Day 2016

I honestly enjoy the Christmas season. But New Year's Day has a certain charm of its own, and not the least of which is that it signals the end of the Christmas season.

It's a no commitment holiday for starters. All the pomp and, admit it, aggravation and pressure of Christmas are over and you're happy for it. On New Year's, you can just enjoy the day. In my case that involves eating a big meal with the immediate family, watching as many Twilight Zone episodes on Syfy as I am able, and paying scant attention to the too many college football games which have already become so many as to be meaningless. Hey, if everyone with a .500 record or better can go to a bowl game while the few playing for a supposed national championship are elected to play for it, I have to wonder if the whole process is flawed. Either way, there are too many bowl games for the majority of them to actually matter.

But I digress. New Year's also celebrates that we are about back to normalcy, and normalcy has a charm of its own. Think what you want to think, but routine has its advantages: no surprises, no overindulgence and, you'll forgive the overemphasis, less aggravation and pressure. By and large, with New Year's you are less concerned over everything being 'just right'. I think that's better than anything special which the holidays seem to demand of us; you can enjoy company simply to enjoy it.

I really don't mean to be a stick in the mud. I did enjoy the Christmas season. But I am more looking forward to 2016, and yes, hoping to cap it off well during Christmas 2016. But for today, Happy New Year to all. And let's hope we don't miss the Bill Shatner gremlin episode on Twilight Zone.