Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind ?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And days o' lang syne ?
For auld lang syne, my jo,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye’ll be your pint-stowp !
And surely I’ll be mine !
And we’ll tak a cup o’ kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pu’d the gowans fine ;
But we’ve wander’d mony a weary foot,
Sin auld lang syne.

We twa hae paidl’d i' the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine ;
But seas between us braid hae roar’d
Sin auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand, my trusty fiere !
And gie's a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll tak a right gude-willy waught,
For auld lang syne.

Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and never brought to mind ?
Should old acquaintance be forgot,
and old times since ?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

And surely you’ll buy your pint cup !
And surely I’ll buy mine !
And we'll take a cup o’ kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

We two have run about the slopes,
and picked the daisies fine ;
But we’ve wandered many a weary foot,
since auld lang syne.

We two have paddled in the stream,
from morning sun till dine† ;
But seas between us broad have roared
since auld lang syne.

And there’s a hand my trusty friend !
And give us a hand o’ thine !
And we’ll take a right good-will draught,
for auld lang syne.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Not a Christmas Song, Hell in Texas

I wrote a new verse to an old folk song tonight! I wrote the last verse! Ed Miller does a great version of this old cowboy standard. I dedicate this to George W. Bush.

Hell in Texas

Oh, the Devil in hell they say he was chained,
And there for a thousand years he remained;
He neither complained nor did he groan,
But decided he'd start up a hell of his own,
Where he could torment the souls of men
Without being shut in a prison pen;
So he asked the Lord if He had any sand
Left over from making this great land.

The Lord He said, "Yes, I have plenty on hand,
But it's away down south on the Rio Grande,
And, to tell you the truth, the stuff is so poor
I doubt if 'twill do for hell any more."
The Devil went down and looked over the truck,
And he said if it came as a gift he was stuck,
For when he'd examined it carefully and well
He decided the place was too dry for a hell.

But the Lord just to get the stuff off His hands
He promised the Devil He'd water the land,
For he had some old water that was of no use,
A regular bog hole that stunk like the deuce.
So the grant it was made and the deed it was given;
The Lord He returned to His place up in heaven.
The Devil soon saw he had everything needed
To make up a hell and so he proceeded.

He scattered tarantulas over the roads,
Put thorns on the cactus and horns on the toads,
He sprinkled the sands with millions of ants
So the man that sits down must wear soles on his pants.
He lengthened the horns of the Texas steer,
And added an inch to the jack rabbit's ear;
He put water puppies in all of the lakes,
And under the rocks he put rattlesnakes.

He hung thorns and brambles on all of the trees,
He mixed up the dust with jiggers and fleas;
The rattlesnake bites you, the scorpion stings,
The mosquito delights you by buzzing his wings.
The heat in the summer's a hundred and ten,
Too hot for the Devil and too hot for men;
And all who remained in that climate soon bore
Cuts, bites, stings, and scratches, and blisters galore.

He quickened the buck of the bronco steed,
And poisoned the feet of the centipede;
The wild boar roams in the black chaparral
It's a hell of a place that we've got for a hell.
He planted red pepper beside of the brooks;
The Mexicans use them in all that they cook.
Just dine with a Greaser and then you will shout,
"I've hell on the inside as well as the out! "

He loosed hurricane winds to ravage the coasts
So strong that they twisted up oil rigs and scattered the boats.
He bred tribes of wild Mormons with hundreds of wives,
With tempers like grizzlies and bees in their hives!
Then to warn all to beware he raised up his hands,
And created a scourge that ruined the land.
He put George W. Bush in a place of high power
That caused all without shame to take cover and cower!

All but the last verses are from from American Ballads and Folk Songs, Lomax
The last verse was written by Beth Maxwell Boyle 2008

Monday, December 29, 2008

O Tannenbaum Video

Here is one English Version:
Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How are thy leaves so verdant!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!

Not only in the summertime,
But even in winter is thy prime.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
How are thy leaves so verdant!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

For every year the Christmas tree,
Brings to us all both joy and glee.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Much pleasure doth thou bring me!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

Each bough doth hold its tiny light,
That makes each toy to sparkle bright.
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree,
Thy candles shine out brightly!

I would like to dedicate this video to my friend in Germany, Bernd Becker.

This is my newest video on YouTube! It s a musical slide show of Christmas trees and Xmas ephemera set to O Tannenbaum as sung by the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and performed by Music Box Company.The best known version was written in 1824 by a Leipzig organist and teacher named Ernst Anschütz. The melody is an old folk tune. The first known "Tannenbaum" song lyrics date back to 1550. A similar 1615 song by Melchior Franck (1573–1639) begins:

Ach Tannenbaum, ach Tannenbaum, du bist ein edler Zweig! Du grünest uns den Winter, die liebe Sommerzeit.

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Wie treu sind deine Blatter!
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Wie treu sind deine Blatter!
Du grunst nicht nur zur Sommerzeit,
Nein, auch im Winter, wenn es schneit.
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Wie treu sind deine Blatter!

O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
Wie oft hat nicht zur Weihnachtszeit
Ein Baum von dir mich hoch erfreut!
O Tannenbaum, O Tannenbaum
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!
O Tannembaum, O Tannenbaum
Du kannst mir sehr gefallen!

Oh, Christmas tree, Oh christmas tree,
Thou tree both fair and lovely
Oh Christmas tree, Oh Christmas tree
Thou tree both fair and lovely
The sight of thee at Christmastide
Spreads hope and gladness far and wide
Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree
Thou tree both fair and lovely

Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree
Thou hast a wondrous message
Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree
Thou has a wondrous message
Thou dost proclaim the Savior's birth,
Good will to men, and peace on earth
Oh, Christmas tree, Oh, Christmas tree,
thou hast a wondrous message.

As you see there are many versions! Here is yet another!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou tree most fair and lovely!
Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou tree most fair and lovely!
The sight of thee at Christmastide
Spreads hope and gladness far and wide
Oh Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
Thou tree most fair and lovely!

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou hast a wondrous message:
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou hast a wondrous message:
Thou dost proclaim the Saviour's birth
Good will to men and peace on earth
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Thou hast a wondrous message

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
You stand in verdant beauty
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
You stand in verdant beauty
Your boughs are green in summer's glow
And do not fade in winter's snow
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
You stand in verdant beauty

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How laden are your branches
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
Your presence here enhances
Your silver star does glisten bright
Reflecting all the candlelight
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree!
How laden are your branches

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You fill all hearts with gaiety
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You fill all hearts with gaiety
On Christmas Day you stand so tall
Affording joy to one and all
O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree
You fill all hearts with gaiety

Sunday, December 28, 2008

GEORGE MORLAND (1763-1804)

GEORGE MORLAND (1763-1804) , English painter of animals and rustic scenes, was born in London on the 26th of June 1763 . His grandfather, George H . Morland, was a subject painter, three of whose popular pictures were engraved by Watson and Dawe in 1769 . The son, H . R . Morland, father of George, was also an artist and engraver, and picture restorer, at one time a rich man, but later in reduced circumstances . His pictures of laundry-maids especially were very popular in their time, and were reproduced in mezzotint . They represented ladies of some importance who desired to be painted, according to the fashion of the day, engaged in domestic work . Morland's mother was a Frenchwoman, who possessed a small independent property of her own; she is believed to have been the Maria Morland who exhibited twice at the Royal Academy in 1785 and 1786, although some writers have stated that Maria Morland was not the mother, but one of the sisters of George Morland . At a very early age Morland produced sketches of remarkable promise, exhibiting some at the Royal Academy in 1773, when he was but ten years old, and continuing to exhibit at the Free Society in 1775 and 1776, and at the Society of Artists in 1777, and then sending again to the Royal Academy in 1778, 1779 and 1780 . His very earliest work, however, was produced even before that tender age, as his father kept a drawing which the boy had executed when he was but four years old, representing a coach and horses and two footmen . He was a student at the Royal Academy in early youth, but only for a very short time .

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Pigs Milk!

George Morland 1763-1804

Last night my husband went into the fridge after cheesecake and asked me why humans don't milk pigs and make things like pig's milk cheese?. I laughed so hard I nearly fell out of my swivel chair. The thought of someone milking all 14 teats was hysterical. After looking it up on line I was able to tell him exactly why mankind does not take milk from pigs for human food. In case the rest of you are laying awake at night trying to ponder this here are the reasons....

"The biggest challenge facing the porcine dairy industry is collecting the product. Pigs on average have fourteen teats as opposed to cows that have four teats. Pigs also differ from cows in their milk ejection time, a cows milk ejection is stimulated by the hormone oxytocin and can last ten minutes, where as a pig's milk ejection time only last fifteen seconds as the suckling pigs stimulate the release of oxytoc in. The technology of a 14 cupped mechanized milking machine that can milk a pig in 15 seconds is not available to pork producers."

Friday, December 26, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Rise Up Shepherd

There’s a star in the East on Christmas morn,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
It will lead to the place where the Christ was born,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.


Follow, follow, rise up, shepherd, and follow.
Follow the Star of Bethlehem,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.

If you take good heed to the angel’s words,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.
You’ll forget your flocks, you’ll forget your herds,
Rise up, shepherd, and follow.


Words & Music: African-American spiritual

Also known as (There's a Star in the East)

While Shepherds Watched their Flocks by Night!

While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around,
And glory shone around.

“Fear not!” said he, for mighty dread
Had seized their troubled mind.
“Glad tidings of great joy I bring
To you and all mankind
To you and all mankind.

“To you, in David’s town, this day
Is born of David’s line
A Savior, who is Christ the Lord,
And this shall be the sign,
And this shall be the sign.

“The heavenly Babe you there shall find
To human view displayed,
All meanly wrapped in swathing bands,
And in a manger laid,
And in a manger laid.”

Thus spake the seraph and forthwith
Appeared a shining throng
Of angels praising God on high,
Who thus addressed their song,
Who thus addressed their song:

“All glory be to God on high,
And to the Earth be peace;
Good will henceforth from Heaven to men
Begin and never cease,
Begin and never cease!”

Words: Nahum Tate, 1700; first appeared in Tate and Brady’s Psalter, 1702.

“There were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night.” Luke 2:8-9

Shepherds Arise!

1. Shepherds, arise, be not afraid
With hasty steps repair
To Bethlehem city see the maid,
With her blest Infant there.

2. Laid in a manger view the Child,
Humility divine:
Sweet innocence (how meek! how mild!),
Grace in His features shine!

3. For us the Saviour came on earth,
For us His life He gave,
To save us from eternal death
And raise us from the grave.

4. To Jesus Christ, our glorious King,
Be endless praises given!
Let all the earth His mercies sing,
Who made our peace with Heaven.

The Richard Huish Folk Quire/Choir performing Shepherds Arise (Sing Sing) at the Christmas Carol Service, St Magdalene Church, Taunton.

While Shepherds Watched Their Flocks...

Friday, December 19, 2008

Poet pick for the Inauguration is Elizabeth Alexander

This is Obama's pick for the poet at the Inauguration is Elizabeth Alexander, professor of African-American studies at Yale University. She was chosen by President-elect Barack Obama to compose and read a poem for his inauguration on Jan. 20.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Apology or Arm Twisting?

A spokesman for Iraq's prime minister says the journalist who threw his shoes at President George W. Bush has asked for a pardon.

Spokesman Yassin Majid says that in a letter sent Thursday to Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki the journalist described his behavior as "an ugly act" and asked to be pardoned.

Majid says that Muntadhar al-Zeidi in the letter recalls the kindness the prime minister once showed him during an interview in 2005 and asked for al-Maliki to show him kindness once again.

Al-Zeidi, a correspondent for an Iraqi-owned television station based in Cairo, Egypt, could face two years imprisonment for insulting a foreign leader.

Some of al-Zeidi's relatives say if he did express regret it was under pressure. We do know his arm was broken and that he was beaten up badly, so what is the truth?

Update 12/21/08

Iraqi shoe-thrower: I would do it again
Sat, 20 Dec 2008 09:45:11 GMT

Muntadhar al-Zaidi throwing his shoes at George Bush

The Iraqi journalist who shocked the world by throwing his shoes at the US president reportedly says he would do it again if given the opportunity.

"In a letter to Iraqi prime minister, Muntadhar al-Zaidi has only apologized to Nuri al-Maliki himself," Fardanews reported, citing comments by an Iraqi source familiar with the case.

"He said that he felt no remorse for throwing his shoes at the 'Great Satan', George Bush, and added that he would repeat his actions if he sees him again, because Bush's forces have killed many of Iraq's children," added the source.

Al-Zaidi has told the judge investigating the incident that Bush was the target of his action not Nuri al-Maliki, whom he likes and respects, said the source, who according to Fardanews was close to the investigations.

Al-Baghdadiya satellite channel correspondent Muntadhar al-Zaidi hurled his shoes at US President George Bush during a press conference in Baghdad on Sunday, shouting in Arabic 'this is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog'!

News of al-Zaidi's lack of remorse came after several Western media outlets reported that the journalist had written to Maliki apologizing for the incident, and describing it as an 'ugly action'.

Al-Zaidi's brother Uday, however, has rejected the reports, calling them 'incorrect'.

"This apology is not a real one. If they (the government) want an apology, they must first release him so he can do it freely and not under pressure," said Uday.

Fardanews also published comments by an anonymous Iraqi official involved in investigations, who confirmed that al-Zaidi had apologized to Maliki, but said that the reporter did not regret his action.

The official also said that in a written statement to the judge, al-Zaidi had said that he expected to be killed by the Bush's body guards after hurling the first shoe.

"It seemed that his bodyguards were not on full alert at the time, that was how I managed to throw the second shoe," the official quoted al-Zaidi as saying.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Muntader al-Zaidi was to marry!

The AP reports that the Iraqi government will decide if al-Zeidi should be punished for throwing shoes at Bush. It also reports that Bush "harbors no hard feelings about the incident."

Maythem al-Zaidi said his brother had not planned to throw his shoes prior to Sunday. "He was provoked when Mr. Bush said [during the news conference] this is his farewell gift to the Iraqi people," he said. A colleague of Muntader al-Zaidi's at al-Baghdadiya satellite channel, however, said the correspondent had been "planning for this from a long time. He told me that his dream is to hit Bush with shoes," said the man, who would not give his name.

Muntader al-Zaidi appears to have a long-standing dislike of the United States presence in Iraq. He used to finish his reports by saying he was in "the occupied Baghdad." His brother said that he hates the occupation so strongly that he canceled his wedding, saying: "I will marry when the occupation is over."
-The New York Times Baghdad Bureau Blog

Huffington Press Stole my Headline!

The Shoe Heard Round the World! I sent this cartoon to Europe yesterday, even! You snitched it, Arianna!

Have a look at this! Huffington made off with my Shoe! It's OK guys you can flatter me by taking my stuff! I did say it first on Monday! Also here yesterday as you can see below.

Arabs Across Middle East Hail Shoe-Hurling Journalist As Hero

I agree, they are priceless! "The shoe heard round the world"!

posted Dec 15, 2008 at 13:57:39

Update 12/17/08
As it turns out MSNBC ripped off my headline "Shoe heard round the world" as well yesterday. Watch this:

Monday, December 15, 2008

The Shoe heard Round the World!

The whole world is cheering!

I am really shocked Bush would even go over there. I think it WAY too risky but all is well that ends well, I guess. I got such a "kick" out of this video yesterday I think it made my week. I have always wanted to give him the old pie in the face. That this man is so clueless he would go someplace where he is so hated sort of sums up his whole presidency now doesn't it?

Hats off to Muntadar al-Zaidi after he hurls shoes...

By now just about everyone has seen the video of Muntadar al-Zaidi throwing his shoes at Lame-"duck" President Bush. I just found out that Muntadar al-Zaidi was kidnapped by Shiite Militiamen Last Year. No big surprise he he would call Bush a dog and hurl his shoes at him. This truly is the shot heard 'round the world. I hope this brave man is not hurt for reacting in anger in this way. This truly is one of the most remarkable incidents I have ever seen. al-Zaidi has one heck of a throwing arm! This BBC video with a full report says it all.

Monday, December 8, 2008

£145,000 is what the Farquharson brought!

£145,000 is what the Farquharson brought! That is double the estimated auction price!Beneath the Snow Encumbered Branches was bought by a private buyer from Scotland. I am pleased it is staying in Scotland.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Straw Against the Chill

In a town of david, not so near to spring,

At the heart of love, there came a lovely thing.

It was the time of mary, the time of caesar's reign.

Nothing in our lives would ever be the same.

It was so long ago, but we remember still:

Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.

A planet dancing slow, a tree upon a hill.

Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.

Stumbling in the darkness, it was her time for birth,

Bearing in her womb, the king of all the earth.

Searching for some shelter, by a cruel decree,

They found a kind of glory the mighty never see.

It was so long ago, but we remember still:

Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.

A planet dancing slow, a tree upon a hill.

Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.

There within a stable, the baby drew a breath

There began a life that put an end to death,

And all the frozen stillness, mighty voices heard:

"god is here among you! human is the word!"

It was so long ago, but we remember still:

Star upon the snow, straw against the chill.

A planet dancing slow, a tree upon a hill.

Star upon the snow, straw against the chill

Written by Bob Franke

Friday, December 5, 2008

A great Painting by Thomas Sidney Cooper

It actually looks allot like this here tonight!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Now all we need is a women....

This is really cool, all the presidents, please watch this one it is very nice!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Salting the Roads

We were hammered last night by Lake Effect snows again. It's wet, heavy snow and murder to shovel. Here in Western NY we could not get by with out the salt on the roads even though its murder on cars and trucks. Between 1878 and 1895, over 35 mining companies were formed in New York’s Wyoming and Livingston Counties here in Western, NY to mine salt. In 1884, the first shaft salt mine was constructed in Livingston County at a cost of $600,000. Previously, all other facilities in the area were wells that extracted brine, which was then evaporated to obtain the salt. The shaft salt mine increased production capacity and efficiency.

The extraction of salt in Western New York covers a vast geographic region. Mine shafts that were formerly operating in the hamlets of Retsof, Greigsville, and Cuylerville were eventually all connected underground, comprising an area even larger than the island of Manhattan. In 1994, due to a flooding of this network, the Retsof mine was closed after an earth quake.

In 1997 the American Rock Salt Company was established with the vision of creating a new mine and tapping into the underground salt reserves that had been left undisturbed. After securing the required permits and purchasing 10,000 acres of mineral rights and 200 acres of surface property, American Rock Salt broke ground in 1998 for a new mine, ten miles away from all previous mining sites. Construction of the mine at Hampton Corners took more than three years. American Rock Salt built the mine using traditional techniques that have proven over time to be the best approach for safety and success.

The American Rock Salt mine is the first successful salt mine to be built in the United States in over forty years.When the Retsof Mine was abandoned in 1995, 275 miners were without work. In 1997, several New York State businessmen started a new company named American Rock Salt (5520 Rt. 63, Mt. Morris, NY 14510). This was the first new salt mine in the country in 40 years. The Hampton Corners Mine, 10 mi./16 km. from the old Retsof mine, is considered one of the largest and most efficient salt-producing facilities in the United States. The company estimates that it will be able to produce 3 million tons of salt per year for the next 80 years and approximately 50 percent of the state's annual salt requirement.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Wee Yowe

There was a wee yowe,
Hippin frae knowe to knowe;
It lookit up to the mune,
And saw mae ferlies na fyfteen:
It took a fit in ilka hand,
And hippit awa to Airland;
Frae Airland to Aberdeen:
And whan the yowe cam hame again,
The guidman was outby herdin' the kye;
The swine were in the spence, makin' the whey;
The guidwife was but an' ben, tinklin' the keys,
And lookin' owre lasses makin' at the cheese;
The cat in the ass-hole, makin' at the brose--
Down fell a cinder and burnt the cat's nose,
And it cried: "Yeowe, yeowe, yeowe," &c.

There was a wee bird,
It took a fit in every han',
And whuppit awa to Ayr's lan',
Frae Ayr's lan' to Aberdeen,
And saw ferlies fifteen.
It saw an auld man in the byre bin'en the kye, and an
auld wife in the close chackin' the mice to the hens
throwing banes in her face.
The auld mare makin' the porridge, and the wee foal
lickin' the stick.
There's an auld cat makin' cheese, and a wee kitten
janglin' keys.
The dog in the ash-hole makin' brose, Doon comes a
cinder and burns his nose.
The cock in the chimney-top kaimin' down his yellow
Come down, sir, What are ye doin' up there?

I took ma fit in ma han',
An' I happit ower to Irelan'.
Fat saw ye there?
I saw the girss grouin',
An' the sea flouin',
An' the bonnie boaties rouin'.

(1) Chambers PRS (1847), 183 "from recitation in
Ayrshire" [whence NAE (1932), 27]; (1870), 27, with
changes in the verb hip to the synonymous hap (lines
2,6). Montgomerie SC (1948), 53 (no.54). With the last
lines cf. "Poussie at the Fireside".
(2) "A Thrawn Sang", a fragment from Crawfordjohn (1820-
30), in Rymour Club Misc. II (1912-19), 100.
(3) SNQ VI.2 (July 1892), 25, from Kenmore; SC (1948),
162 (no. 300).
What seems a fragmentary version in MacLennan SNR
(1909), 13: "The bairn in the cradle, playin' wi' the keys,/
Tammy i' the kailpot up tae the knees,/ Pussy at the
fireside, sappin' a' the brose,/ Doon fell a cinder an' burnt
pussy's nose!"

Sunday, November 30, 2008

New Information on Farquharson to be Auctioned

Painting that inspired iconic Christmas card is found hanging in pensioner's home.

Nick Carnow is a director at auctioneers Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh, where the 20in by 31in painting will be sold on Wednesday. He said: 'Farquharson had a long career but paintings by him of this quality are rare.'

It is thought that Farquharson, who died in 1935 aged 88, exhibited the painting at the Royal Academy in 1901. Its subsequent history is unknown until the current owner bought it from art dealer Richard Green of Bond Street 40 years ago.

The card company WN Sharpe bought the rights to the picture more than 30 years ago. It has since been bought out by Hallmark Cards, which now has the rights.

Jo Marchbank, of Hallmark Cards, said: 'This painting is one of our most popular Christmas cards.

'It is probably something to do with the unique atmosphere Farquharson creates, the dramatic yet subtle depiction of a winter landscape.'

Thanks be to God for comfort food!

Some have meat and cannot eat,
Some cannot eat that want it;
But we have meat and we can eat,
So let the Lord be thankit.

-Robert Burns

There are two kinds of people in the World

"There are two kinds of people, those that allow reality and experience to define and constantly modify their ideas and those who insist that their ideas define reality. The first kind make things work. The second type (be they right wing creationists, or progressive purists) stand on the sidelines wringing their hands and criticizing the doers for their "heresy," because doing anything in the real world always equals compromise, learning and change."
- Frank Schaeffer

My favorite Painting in the World is for Sale!

This just in from the BBC

"A painting which has been reproduced for one of the most popular Christmas card designs is to be sold at auction.

Scottish artist Joseph Farquharson painted Sheep Beneath Snow Encumbered Branches more than 100 years ago.

Jo Marchbank, of Hallmark Cards, said the picture, of sheep in a snowy field under a setting sun, was one of the company's most popular Christmas cards.

It will be auctioned by Lyon and Turnbull in Edinburgh on Wednesday and has been valued at £70,000.

Ms Marchbank said Farquharson created a "unique atmosphere" in his paintings.

"The dramatic yet subtle depiction of a winter landscape with a beautiful light bathing the scene from a setting sun," she said.

Farquharson, who was laird of a 20,000-acre Aberdeenshire estate, died in 1935 - aged 88.

It is thought he exhibited the painting at the Royal Academy in 1901.

The current owner bought it 40 years ago for £1,450.

It has been a popular Christmas card for about 30 years."

I wish I could buy this painting. It is called 'The shortening winter's day is near a close' and was painted in 1903! You would think the BBC would do a little better covering this sale and go into some detail about it! It's worth a great deal more than a summer house to me but I have no money to buy art! I have a webpage devoted to Joseph Farquharson that gets a zillion hits a month. Check it out! The unusual titles of many of Farquharson's paintings stand out and are sometimes long. Research shows that many of them were taken from poems by Burns, Milton, Shakespeare and Gray. Farquharson was very patriotic and well versed in Scottish literature. He was elected ARA 1890, RA 1915 and in addition to exhibiting over 200 works at the RA he showed 73 at the RSA and 181 at the Fine Art Society. Among many other exhibits at the RCA, GI, and the Tate AG. The renowned artist-critic, Sickert made Farquharson the subject of an essay comparing him with Courbet and preferring Farquharson. He extolled Farquharson's tension and realism and criticized the pretension of his polar opposites, the Bloomsbury Group, whose writ he said "fortunately does not run in the North of Scotland". The remarkable realism of Farquharson’s work can be attributed to his desire to work in "plein air". This had to be carried out in a unique way which was adapted to the harsh Scottish climate. Farquharson had constructed a painting hut on wheels, complete with a stove and large glass window for observing the landscape. Likewise to achieve as realistic a result as possible when painting the sheep which frequently appear in his snowscapes, he used a flock of "imitation" sheep which could be placed as required in the landscape of his choice. Farquharson painted so many scenes of cattle and sheep in snow he was even nicknamed ‘Frozen Mutton Farquharson’. I also made the wikipedia page about Farquharson although its been messed with allot since I put it up.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

The first Sunday in Advent.

Tomorrow is the first Sunday in Advent. I try not to put up any decorations or pay much attention to Christmas until now. It's fun to build up to Christmas slowly. Advent is the beginning of the Church Year for most churches in the Western tradition. It begins on the fourth Sunday before Christmas Day, which is the Sunday nearest November 30, and ends on Christmas Eve (Dec 24). If Christmas Eve is a Sunday, it is counted as the fourth Sunday of Advent, with Christmas Eve proper beginning at sundown. Most churches and some households light a candle for each sunday and have them in a circle called an advent wreath. I don't recall this practice in the Presbyterian Church being common before the 70s but I like it.

I have been updating my Christmas Carols webpages. I used to have midis on them. I made the change to videos this year to go along with the words and some history and illustrations. Some of the Carols I have there are unusual ones. Most of them are my favorites but I plan to add more with time. I made one video just to embed because I could not find a version on YouTube. I think the way the pages are now is allot better.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It truly is BLACK friday now!

This nation is sick. This "black Friday" shopping thing is so materialistic and nasty! Look at this horrible tragedy now caused by this cattle like behavior! A worker died after being trampled by a throng of unruly shoppers when a suburban Wal-Mart in Nassau County, N.Y. opened for the holiday sales rush Friday, authorities said. At least three other people were injured. A police statement said shortly after 5 a.m., a throng of shoppers "physically broke down the doors, knocking (the worker) to the ground." Police also said a 28-year-old pregnant woman was taken to a hospital for observation and three other shoppers suffered minor injuries and were also taken to hospitals. And to think all for Christmas gifts???? What would Jesus say about this? I want to cry!

Update on this story:

Police were reviewing video from surveillance cameras in an attempt to identify who trampled to death a Wal-Mart worker after a crowd of post-Thanksgiving shoppers burst through the doors at a suburban store and knocked him down.

Criminal charges were possible, but identifying individual shoppers in Friday's video may prove difficult, said Detective Lt. Michael Fleming, a Nassau County police spokesman.

Other workers were trampled as they tried to rescue the man, and customers stepped over him and became irate when officials said the store was closing because of the death, police and witnesses said.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving 2008

Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandmother's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood -
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding",
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood -
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood -
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Turkey Trauma

Pardoning a Bird Hatched to Die Young.

This kind of turkey is conceived through artificial insemination and bred to produce excessive amounts of white breast meat. These birds die young if you leave them live out their lives they are freaks of nature created by man for the table. They simply get so heavy they break down. If you want to see a nice healthy turkey get a Bronze or Bourbon Red turkey that is smaller and healthier and now a rare breed. Let's get rid of these sad over-sized white birds who have such a sorry existence? After all we have a white turkey in the White House and he is dumber than a white domestic turkey and he has bad taste!

Bourbon Red Turkey

These old breeds of Turkey are in danger of disapearing from the countryside forever. Let's get Obama to pardon a nice Bronze Turkey next year?! They are wonderful eating too. I had a neighbor raise me one.

The science world's unsung hero?

The science world's unsung hero?
By Giancarlo Rinaldi
South of Scotland reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Ask the man in the street to name his top three physicists of all time and he might - like me - be struggling.

It is easy enough to come up with Albert Einstein and Sir Isaac Newton but many of us might then have to start playing for time.

My Italian ancestry would make me inclined to throw the name of Galileo Galilei into the ring.

However, much closer to home comes a less-heralded contender for a place in the top trio of physics.

The name James Clerk Maxwell provokes more blank stares than it should.

However, in scientific circles his achievements stand comfortably beside any other greats of the field.

Greatest physicists

Four years ago - you could be forgiven if you missed it - his theory of electromagnetism was voted the joint-top equation of all time.

Prior to that he landed third spot in a poll of the greatest physicists of all time.

James Clerk Maxwell's work led to the development of the telephone and television

Now he has been recognised by the unveiling of the first statue to be put up in Edinburgh's George Street for almost a century.

A passer-by might well ask what the former Edinburgh Academy and University of Edinburgh student did to deserve such an honour.

They would not have to look far to receive an answer.

The mobile phone, satellite communications, television and radio were all made possible by his work.

By anybody's reckoning that is an impressive list.

As Albert Einstein put it: "One scientific epoch ended and another began with James Clerk Maxwell."

Born in Edinburgh in 1831, Clerk Maxwell's family moved to Glenlair near Corsock in Galloway when he was a child.

He returned to Edinburgh for much of his education before heading to the University of Cambridge.
James Clerk Maxwell's work paved the way for many modern inventions

He was later elected to the Royal Society and occupied a role as professor of natural philosophy at Marischal College, Aberdeen, and then King's College, London.

However, by 1865 he retired to the family estate in Dumfries and Galloway where he spent most of his days until his death, aged 48, in 1879.

He is buried at Parton graveyard close to his long-time home.

According to past president of the Royal Society of Edinburgh, Sir Michael Atiyah, his lifetime achievements deserve to be honoured with the new statue.

"It is quite remarkable that there is not more recognition of James Clerk Maxwell in either the public consciousness of great scientists or, indeed, until now in the shape of a permanent monument in his home city," he said.

One of those issues has been addressed with the unveiling of a statue produced by Paisley-born sculptor Alexander Stoddart.

Increasing public awareness of Clerk Maxwell's importance, however, may take a little longer to achieve.

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Auld Yowe

The auld yowe lay as I gaed by,
Speldert on the saun,
She didnae rise an rin awa,
She widnae even staun.

Tentless o man an win an rain,
Fou laich on the river bank,
Frae oot her auld black grizzlt heid
Her een stared dim an blank.

Her droukit fleece ris up an doun
Wi shalla souchin braith,
An I thocht the puir forfochen beast
Wis gey near untae daith.

Syne my hert gied a lift whan I luikit back
An saw her on her feet,
- Awa ye go, ye daft auld yowe,
An hae a bite tae eat!

- But gin anither oor had passed,
My grief I scarce cuid hide,
Whan I fand the auld beast stiff an cauld,
Cowpt ower on her side.

Alane she de'ed by the watter's edge,
Founert wi June's fell rains,
An niver a blink o simmer sun
Tae warm her tired banes.

The auld yowe nou bereft o life
Lay sprauchlt on the grun,
Her edders fou o mither's milk,
Tho her mither's wark wis dune -

- For oot on the holm, twa hafflin lambs
Thegither crappt the grass,
Wi ne'er a thocht in their wee horned heids
On whit had come tae pass.

by Dr James A Begg

speldert/stretched out
founert/chilled to the bone

Saturday, November 22, 2008

A. Brian Wall

A. Brian Wall (1861-1935)
Shepherd and Sheep in Winter Landscape, n.d.

Alfred Bryan Wall, the son of painter Alfred S. Wall and the nephew of William Coventry Wall, spent most his life in Pittsburgh. When he resided for a short time in Philadelphia at the turn of the twentieth century, he became friends with Eakins, who painted his portrait. He is best known for his autumnal animalscapes of sheep, a subject he regularly portrayed from the 1880s on. Imbued with the spirit of the French Barbizon painters, the flocks that graze peacefully in his pastoral Shepherd and Sheep in Winter Landscape suggest a pre-modern sensibility. His father had served for a short time on the original board of the Carnegie Museum, and at his death, A. Bryan Wall succeeded him.

Friday, November 21, 2008

November Snow

The first to fall is the first to go.
Earth wears its mantle damp and chill —
Patina of November snow.

Leaves raged with fire just days ago —
Now grays, ash browns, pale yellows tell
The first to fall are the first to go.

Remains of harvest in desolate row
Brace for the final winter kill
Beneath their shroud of November snow.

The rakes now dry, the plow and hoe
Await Spring’s promise to fulfill —
The first to fall are the first to go.

Lit by the sky’s anemic glow
The pines are standing stiff and still,
Defiant of November snow.

In barns of silence wait those who know
What lies beneath the fields they till —
The first to fall are the first to go,
Together with November snow.

by Joseph Pacheco
©2007, Joseph Pacheco

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Lord of the Starfields

Lord of the starfields
Ancient of Days
Universe Maker
Here's a song in your praise

Wings of the storm cloud
Beginning and end
You make my heart leap
Like a banner in the wind

O love that fires the sun
Keep me burning.
Lord of the starfields
Sower of life,
Heaven and earth are
Full of your light

Voice of the nova
Smile of the dew
All of our yearning
Only comes home to you

O love that fires the sun
keep me burning

by Bruce Cockburn

Another Great Blog I found

I am finding such good stuff these days. Here is another Christian who is not a right wing wacko! He loves art and culture as do I and I really like the way this Blog is laid out. I have hope we will again see some restraint in this country and see politics and religion maintain a healthy distance once more.

Fearing the punishing belt!

It's snowing like mad again. They say we may get some serious Lake Effect snow today and tonight. Lake-effect snow is produced in the winter when cold winds move across long expanses of warmer lake water, providing energy and picking up water vapor which freezes and is deposited on the lee shores. The effect is enhanced when the moving air mass is uplifted by the orographic effect of higher elevations on the downwind shores. This uplifting can produce narrow, but very intense bands of precipitation, which deposit at a rate of many inches of snow each hour and often bringing copious snowfall totals. The areas affected by lake-effect snow are called snowbelts. This effect occurs in many locations throughout the world, but is best known in the populated areas of the Great Lakes of North America. We live close to Lake Eire so we feel this effect frequently and often get more than Buffalo. Buffalo makes the news because its a major urban center. They don't pay much attention to us in Chautauqua County because the population is low in comparison. For more on this see the Channel 4 Buffalo weather Blog.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Mo Sno!

At about 4:00 this afternoon we had 19 inches in the front yard and its still snowing like crazy!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

It is snowing like crazy!

Wow we are so snowed in, it is amazing. Our road is very very snow clogged and dangerous tonight. I guess the snowplow guys were not ready for this on a weekend.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Run Bambi Run!

Today was the first day of deer season here in NY. There should be lots of noise around me all week. We don't hunt because we have all the lamb we need in the back yard. Lamb is better and I can pick when I need it in the freezer. Its always there when I get low on red meat.

The Rams Horn

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