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December 2014
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Staying Dry *sigh*

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‘T’was the week before Xmas and all through the castle,
Not a faucet was dripping or flowing *sigh*–hassle.
“No leaks inside, let’s call the city.”
“No leaks on our side; it’s all yours, more’s the pity.”

‘T’was the week before Xmas and all through the house.
Not a creature was drinking–not even a mouse!
But oh! Is that water, stored in the pantry?
Prayers of thanks, shouts of joy are raised from the chantry. . .

I’ll just let you imagine the rest.

Heck, yeh, I read too much. . .

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I even read book blurbs for kids books (cos my Wonder Woman’s a children’s librarian), and even those are often written by extremely confused people, as witness,

“Join the adventure as Andy meets an alien, learns what they want on planet earth, and devises a bold plan to stop them.”

AN alien with multiple personalities?

Needed: More Chlorine in the Shallow End of the Gene Pool *grumble-grumble-gripe-complain*

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WILLFUL incompetence IS malicious, as is incompetence resulting from willful stupidity, a common trait in those who want to control others’ lives. (No matter how “intelligent” someone is, choosing to do stupid, harmful things just because one wants to–for whatever reason–is just plain evil.)

“Smart” people who choose to behave like morons also seem to be “the universe’s” way of saying there are holes in Darwin’s (and his worshipers’) theoretical musings. . . and the universe (via plain old cause and effect) is perfectly happy to fill those holes with self-made morons’ disasters.

A Slightly Different Kind of Advent/Xmas Thought

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This is more of a challenge to the reader, several, actually.

First challenge: relate the following to Xmas/Advent:

While I have known some atheists who score well on IQ tests, Pascal’s Wager aside, atheism is profoundly arrogant, and arrogance is always stupid. (Challenge #2: Wha!?! Discuss amongst yourselves. The voices in my head have been chewing on this one for decades.)

In a similar fashion, I have known some self-proclaimed agnostics who also score well on IQ tests, but whose mental scotoma (consisting of unconscious, unexamined preconceived biases) prevents them seeing the intellectual dishonesty, laziness, and inherent contradictions of their position. (On that last, ask an agnostic how he can know he doesn’t know if God exists. After he wanders off into the woods of epistemology, then you can start to really have fun playing with his brain. Challenge 3: Discuss amongst yourselves, etc. :-))

And yes, I still assert that this is an Advent/Xmas-related post (that’s the easiest challenge *heh*). Here’s a wee hint: every year around Advent, I start really thinking about Easter. Every year around Easter, I ponder Advent/Xmas. Why would I do that?

*sigh* Yeh, Yeh, I Know the Answer Is, “It’s Windows”

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Merry Xmas. Suddenly! Shares on Windoze machine(s) are. . . unshared. Linux machines? Unaffected. Yeh, some lame M$ update, I’m sure.

Getcher act together! Yeh, I’m lookin’ at you, Me$$y$oft.

Come, Emmanuel!

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You may have to click through for this (because YouTube can be a prickly lil creep from time to time), but it’s well worth it.


And just for fun, and better than the Mannheim Steamrolloer and Trans Siberian Orchestra versions, IMO:

Another Pop Xmas Tune

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While I often find Kristen Chenoweth’s voice to be nasal and brassy, she avoids those problems and gives my fav (this year) rendition of “The Christmas Waltz” as linked below:

Just about perfect. I can listen to that over and over. Good stuff, Maynard. (For the best instrumental rendition, IMO, check out the George Shearing Quintet’s version. Stunning.)

More Pop Xmas

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I’ve said nice things about Kristen Chenoweth’s rendition of “The Christmas Waltz” elsewhere (and I promise to do so here as well, Real Soon Now), but she also pretty much nails “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”–apart from the tones she sings through her nose, but since the rest is really, really good, I can forgive that I suppose.

A Real Gospel Song for Xmas

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This is a Gospel song that’s not one according to the contemporary, degenerate pop style definition or even the slightly older, very loose “account of personal relationship” description but based on the fact that it tells the Gospel story.

Who Is He in Yonder Stall?
Benjamin Hanby (sometime in the 1860s)

Who is He in yonder stall,
At whose feet the shepherds fall?

’Tis the Lord! oh wondrous story!
’Tis the Lord! the King of glory!
At His feet we humbly fall,
Crown Him! crown Him, Lord of all!

Who is He in deep distress,
Fasting in the wilderness?

Who is He the people bless
For His words of gentleness?

Who is He to whom they bring
All the sick and sorrowing?

Who is He that stands and weeps
At the grave where Lazarus sleeps?

Who is He the gathering throng
Greet with loud triumphant song?

Lo! at midnight, who is He
Prays in dark Gethsemane?

Who is He on yonder tree
Dies in grief and agony?

Who is He who from the grave
Comes to succor, help, and save?

Who is He who from His throne
Rules through all the worlds alone?

Note that when I used this with choirs (including congregational “choirs”), I would routinely note and direct the singing of the chorus only after specific verses, depending on the season. Other variations on arrangement would generally be added, again depending on the season and my own preference (directorial prerogatives rule! *heh*).

Here’s a very good (very straight) performance from the Moody Bible Institute Choir, from sometime in the 1990s.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Weihnacht

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A fav, and so a re-post:

The song sung in the video below can be found here: Weihnachslieder: Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau. The video includes an additional work, “Über die Geburt Jesu,” by Andreas Gryphius (11 October 1616 – 16 July 1664). The song sung by Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau in the video (accompanied by Jörg Demus) is, “Es senkt sich hehr und leise die heil’ge Nacht herab” by Karl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke (1824-1910).

Über die Geburt Jesu
Andreas Gryphius

Nacht, mehr denn lichte Nacht! Nacht, lichter als der Tag,
Nacht, heller als die Sonn’, in der das Licht geboren,
Das Gott, der Licht; in Licht wohnhaftig, ihm erkoren:
O Nacht, die alle Nächt’ und Tage trotzen mag!
O freudenreiche Nacht, in welcher Ach und Klag
Und Finsternis, und was sich auf die Welt verschworen,
Und Furcht und Höllenangst und Schrecken war verloren!
Der Himmel bricht, doch fällt nunmehr kein Donnerschlag.
Der Zeit und Nächte schuf, ist diese Nacht ankommen
Und hat das Recht der Zeit und Fleisch an sich genommen
Und unser Fleisch und Zeit der Ewigkeit vermacht.
Der Jammer trübe Nacht, die schwarze Nacht der Sünden,
Des Grabes Dunkelheit muß durch die Nacht verschwinden.
Nacht, lichter als der Tag! Nacht, mehr denn lichte Nacht!

Weihnachtslied
Karl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke

Es senkt sich hehr und leise die heil’ge Nacht herab,
die Nacht, die uns vor Zeiten der Welten Heiland gab;
und Orgelton und Glockenklang ertönen weit und breit
und bringen uns die Kunde: “Christ wurde uns geboren heut!”

Und Scharen sel’ger Kinder umstehn den Weihnachtsbaum,
der jetzt im Glanz der Kerzen verklärt manch schlichten Raum;
und in der Glocken Töne mischt Kindersang sich ein:
“Gott in der Höh’ sei Ehre und Frieden soll auf Erden sein!”