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Showing posts from December, 2020

What do you mean it's Christmas Eve? Or I should probably start wrapping presents

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I'm confused. Yeah, I know. That's not surprising. I appear, however, to be having trouble keeping track of the days of the week. Damn pandemic. I woke up this morning thinking it was Wednesday, December 23rd. Then my wife - clearly the more reliable timekeeper at my house - wished me a happy Christmas Eve as she ushered the dogs out back for their morning piddle. I raised my eyebrows. "Christmas Eve?" I asked. I was alarmed.  "Yes," she replied. And then more slowly, "The ... day ... before ... Christmas." "How did that happen?" I wondered out loud from the comfort of my favorite chair. "I thought it was the day before the day before Christmas." Christmas Eve-eve.  I checked the date on my laptop and sure enough, my wife was right. It's December 24th. Good thing she's around. If it were up to me, we'd be celebrating Christmas a day late - at least.  Before my wife helped me get back on the correct day of the week, I

It's Porte Crayon in case you were wondering

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No one has asked but I'm going to answer the question anyway.  The image I'm using as a header here was created by Porte Crayon, otherwise known as David Hunter Strother. Here it is in full: The above is an image of a woodcut illustration that Strother included in his 1850s travelogue "Virginia Illustrated".   It depicts the Natural Chimneys, a limestone landmark in Augusta County, Virginia also known as the Cyclopean Towers. Notwithstanding the caption, I decided to crop it and use it as my header here and on my other social media accounts because Porte also looks like he's reading from a script, which dovetails nicely with what I do as a newscaster for NPR. He was also from Martinsburg, in what is now West Virginia, where I've lived since 2004.  Pretty sure it's safe to say that most Americans today have never heard of Porte Crayon, but he was a rock star before the Civil War, the Bill Bryson of his era. He was so popular that when the war broke out the

Christmas lights around the neighborhood

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My wife was mortified.  She tried to get Ornery Dog Jasper to pee before taking him inside the pet store today. She tried more than once, but he showed no interest - until he got inside the store. After fielding welcome comments about how cute he is, he lifted his leg and unleashed a torrent.  Yeah - he's cute all right.  So cute he's ORNERY.  Needless to say he didn't have to pee when we took him for a walk around the neighborhood this evening, so we passed the time taking pictures of the Christmas lights our neighbors have strung up. 

Snow fell this week and now my back hurts

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Giles Snyder · Snow fell this week and now my back hurts Things are changing.  Members of the Electoral College met Monday and formally affirmed Joe Biden's election victory. The first Americans received Pfizer's coronavirus vaccine this week and the weather finally acknowledged that "Winter is Coming," to steal House Stark's "words" from back when "Game of Thrones" mattered.  I woke up Monday to the sort of day that makes me secretly relieved that my wife insists that she be the one who takes the dogs out for their morning ablutions. It was raining -and it was cold - when she lured Big Dog Rodney out back to piddle. Rodney can't lift his leg in other people's yards anymore. Not even in mine, for that matter. His hips are shot, a common affliction for aging German Shepherds like him. It's hard for him to get around. Long morning walks are out of the question.   While I happily sipped coffee from a mug my brother gave me the last ti

The stoop is ready for Christmas

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Giles Snyder · The stoop is ready for Christmas The sun was out Tuesday morning. The skies were blue and a cold breeze whipped through the neighborhood, threatening to dislodge the few orangish brown leaves that somehow have yet to lose their grip on the Bradford Pear tree that shades the front stoop. They'll be gone soon, those hold-out leaves - their resolve to remain linked to life and limb at the mercy of the wintry wind.  That's not to say that there's no longer anything to draw your eye to our house. Flip a switch and the holiday lights I've draped over the box bushes out front begin shimmering in the evening. And if you look through the bay window when strolling by at night, you'll see our colorfully lit Christmas tree standing tall in the living room.  My wife and I agree that we got a pretty good tree this year, maybe the best we've had in years. It has that perfect Christmas tree triangle shape. It's nice and full and is in no danger of tipping ov