Solstice is here! Let the party begin!

Summer_Solstice_Sunrise_over_Stonehenge_2005
Summer Solstice Sunrise over Stonehenge 2005

Party like a pagan!

Put on your party hats and get ready to party. The civilizations on all continents have reveled in the importance of the landmark day in the solar calendar. The days will now get longer and the nights shorter. Whatever you call it, enjoy. Unfortunately some recent [2000 years] religious sects have claimed ownership of it but due to this party going on for way longer than when they decided to pirate it, the party still goes on. (Sorry Christians! But you can still participate. You party animals!)

New Grange and Stonehenge in Ireland and Wales [c.3000 BC],Chichen Itza ln Mexico (c.600–900 AD),The Temple of Karnak in Egypt [c.2000-1600 BC]

So start the bonfire, light the Yule log, gather your friends and those in need, share what you can and have a good time! Why stop a multi-millennea party tradition. Party like a pagan! Call it what you want, it is really the winter solstice. Remember the days are getting longer and spring is on its way!

In earlier times

Since ancient times, people have celebrated the return of summer light with various cultural and religious traditions. Predating Christianity by centuries, these celebrations included rituals of light and fire, both of which were widely believed to help beat back winter’s ominous gloom, and served as a reminder that brighter days were ahead.

  • Throughout much of Northern Europe, ancient Germanic people honored the winter solstice with Yule festivals. This tradition is still alive today as well as its centerpiece, the Yule log, whose embers it was believed helped frighten away evil spirits.
  • In India, Makar Sankranti celebrates the sun’s ascendency, marked by gift giving and special prayers.
  • In Ireland, the Newgrange tomb, a massive prehistoric monument, was built and aligned to capture the light at the moment of the winter solstice sunrise.
  • The Roman feast of Saturnalia, honoring Saturn, the god of agriculture in Roman times, was a week long December feast that included the observance of the winter solstice. Romans celebrated the lengthening of days by also paying homage to Mithra, the Persian god of light. Many believe the early beginnings of Christmas have direct roots in this particular winter solstice celebration.
  • In China, Dong Zhi, the annual winter solstice festival, has been celebrated for centuries. The ancient Chinese believed that the yin qualities of darkness and cold were at their most powerful point during the winter solstice, but it was also the turning point that gave way to the light and warmth of yang. Today, many believe longer days signify an increase in positive energy, which is why Dong Zhi is one of the most important festivals celebrated by the Chinese, second only to the Chinese New Year.

Reference: Christian Science Monitor

reference: Ancient Sacred Sites Aligned to the Winter Solstice

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Delivery drivers are just plain stupid!

Hey buddy! Deliver this!

Why do these companies put up with this?

This is the movies

Ace Ventura - Delivery guy clip
Ace ventura delivers

Now after watching that really funny clip we can move on to the heart of this post.

Folks, I know this is the holidays and all. And there are a lot of packages being sent around the world. But … why do these drivers think that they are somehow over worked, because they are union, arrogant or just plain stupid? Maybe a combination of all of these? But now with 2 vids emerging on the web of asshat drivers it is becoming readily apparent, to me at least, that this may just be a small sampling of what the customers have been ranting about for years.

Let me say this about that! I am not taking on all the good, and some great, drivers for any, and all, of the delivery companies! Unfortunately the recent furor over a couple of asshats is really tough on them as well. BzeroB

This is real life, as we know it!

FedEx driver fence toss video
FedEx driver fence toss
UPS Driver finger and toss video
UPS Driver toss

After viewing this trio of vid clips it is actually a validation that real life mimics the movies. Or is it the other way around? I can’t remember. I can’t decide from these either.Now we come to the interesting part, the official responses!

The FedEx Responses

“The situation has now been resolved to the customer’s satisfaction, and we are handling the employee according to our disciplinary policies…While we continue to be surprised about the behavior shown, we know this is an aberration and is not reflective of the outstanding FedEx customer service that makes us proud around the world.”

“I want you to know that I was upset, embarrassed, and very sorry for our customer’s poor experience,” said Matthew Thornton, a FedEx senior vice president. “We have met with the customer face to face and they already have a replacement monitor at no cost to them. They have accepted our apology and say they are fully satisfied with what we’ve done in response to this unacceptable delivery.”

the UPS response

“The info being passed at this time, UPS has already apologized for the incident even though they claim that they haven’t actually seen the footage yet.”

Are you serious! These guys are living under a rock! Wait Those are the GEICO guys. You are kidding UPS, right?!

It is my humble opinion that these two mullets should be on the unemployment line today! Why is it even a consideration for the parent company to keep them on? If this is on camera this time you are wanting me to believe that this is an “aberration”? I think NOT! How about this, SOP for these two guys! And the UPS guy was arrogant enough to not only know that the camera was there and still get the bird flip and toss on record. It also means he ain’t a new guy like one source claimed. Asshat! There are just too many people out there that would love to have their job! And be a lot better at it. How about the simple fact that the Corporate higher-ups had to apologize to the public at large for these two screw ups! I know I would be embarrassed.

I am sure that in the coming days there will be more published about these two vids/incidents , and many more unfortunately. I ask myself just how many more are going undocumented and those that are but don’t have video, chalked up by these companies as just disgruntled customers. Wake up FedEx and UPS!

Just one cranky old guys humble opinion! Have a great holiday, Dammit!
 

 

Awesome BBQ setup!

Take one car body, your BBQ unit and your patio set and roll them into one!

While I was browsing through my Road Royalty accountI came across this photo triplet of a BBQ setup. I guess if you have a derelict car body and are not exactly sure how to make use of it …well … here is one creative solution. We have seen, I have at least’ seen BBQ’s made of front or rear clips of some vehicle, this one uses the whole car! Just frickin awesome is all I can say. A whole bunch of time and effort for this setup and I commend the effort and the result. Take a look and decide for yourself.

I don’t know about you but I am headed out to see what kind of body I can come up with! Just Fooling! But this is one killer idea.

Newer Meaner Leaner Holiday Celebration! I like it!

Festivus for the rest of us
Happy Festivus

A Festivus for the rest of us!

I need to premise this segment with the fact that I was not a Seinfeld watcher or cult follower. The events that have been in the news that are related to Black Friday, thanks to WalMart and its’ great holiday spirit of giving, makes one step back and want to take a second look at what we really are all about at this time of the year. And taking a poke with, in this case an unadorned aluminum pole, at the long standing traditions and what this season have evolved, or more correctly, devolved into. I find myself very willing to participate in this new version of the seasonal celebration. These are strange days here at home in the USA and things do change and evolve. And in these hard economic times I am not at all surprised. I dare to say it was inevitable but here it is. And I actually like it! Well, this one at least.

While I can’t say I will embrace all of the documented events I will take on the elements that I find fit my personal beliefs and meld them with my own to create my own personal flavor, so to speak, of the season.

Bring on Festivus!

It is somehow strange and cool at the same time that a holiday tradition can be proposed on a television show and become a pop culture icon. Festivus has its’ roots in the family of a writer for the Seinfeld Show and after being put into a script and subsequently presented to the viewing public was an instant hit. After stripping away the fanatical Seinfeld fans you get to a celebration of anti-commercialism and frustration with the time of the season as it has been presented to us all of our lives. And with those of us that are vocal proponents of some non-Christian sects, it may have its’ day and that is now. Well, actually Dec 23rd.

I must say that personally I really do take to the holiday and some of it’s traditions. It melds well with my own personal beliefs. But I can pass on some of the others. The Festivus pole is as iconic as it gets, a simple aluminum pole with no adornments. Simple and to the point. The traditional “Airing of Grievances”, which, according to the guidelines, should take place after dinner, where everyone vocalizes their disappointments of the prior year is actually cool but not exactly new. Most holiday get togethers usually have some facet of this only in a more personal one on one environment and after the consumption of alcoholic beverages. But now it is done up front and to all in attendance.

Festivus is a holiday celebrated on Dec 23 by those frustrated with the commercialism and pressure of other December holidays. Although the original Festivus took place in February 1966, as a celebration of the elder O’Keefe’s first date with his future wife, Deborah, it is now celebrated on December 23, as depicted on the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode, “The Strike”. According to O’Keefe, the name Festivus “just popped into my head”.

Reference – Wikipedia

The Bob-mas Celebration

I will still stick by MY traditional Druid based Winter Solstice celebration. But with that said, I must say that while I will keep to the traditional display of the evergreen tree, tastefully adorned and on a much smaller scale, it is along side the Festivus “tree”. As for the “Airing of Grievances” I have adopted my own version that takes a more liberal approach to this tradition and just do it all year long! Been doing it for years, Sorta like a tradition, right?! Very similar to bitching and blogging. Why keep it all till the end of the year? I ain’t got that much memory! Wouldn’t want to leave anything or anyone out. Get it out while it’s fresh in your mind! Yep, you could call it being cranky too! And gift giving is still in my script at least. I am Santa Claus! And the spirit of the season is still there and intact after all these years. Despite all of the cultural differences and the wide scope of applicable names for these events, the core celebration is still there.

As a trailer to this segment I want to wish everyone a great holiday season and enjoy the days with family and friends. You are free to celebrate it any way you damn well please! Pick one, or get crazy and celebrate them all, whatever works for you. Ain’t this a cool country!?

WalMart Black Friday Fallout

Just say NO!

Round 1 – The Pepper spray response

While you may, or may not if you live under a rock, remember all the chaos and mayhem that was reported in the news and all over the web part of the Black Friday selling frenzy whipped up by my ole’ pals at WalMart. Well, the pepper spray incident in the greater LA area has produced an interesting response. “I was protecting my children”. Well, that’s what she says.

An attorney for a woman who pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers at a Los Angeles Walmart on Black Friday says she did it to protect her teenage children.

AP article here

Now let me get this straight you take your teenage kids out to an all night camp out in order to get an Xbox. Along with how many others? And you didn’t see this coming? OK.

Now the second piece of this is from a second article that says they are going to sue WalMart. Commendable but ARE YOU KIDDING! Consider not getting your Xboxes a lesson learned! This could get real expensive darling.

Elizabeth Macias, the woman who pepper-sprayed fellow shoppers at a Porter Ranch Walmart, is considering legal action against the big box store, her attorney said Friday. Woodland Hills-based attorney Michael Champ believes Walmart failed to provide adequate security to protect his client and her two teenage children. Macias’s son and daughter were “traumatized” when shoppers attacked them on Thanksgiving evening as they tried to purchase Xbox game consoles, he said.

Second article here

Traumatized?! Be careful you may be getting yourself into a bit of child endangerment if you aren’t careful. Just me talking off the top of my head here.

“(Elizabeth) didn’t use the pepper spray to have a competitive shopping advantage,” said Champ. “She responded as any mother would.”

Ummmm…. refresh my mind here as to exactly how many of us have to even consider taking pepper spray with us on a shopping trip and have to, as the article says, respond as any mother would.!? This is totally off the hook. But I do have to say that I commend them for the effort and taking up the challenge of trying to slap WalMart for supposed misbehavior. Good luck with that!

My suggestion is if they offer you 3 Xboxes to settle, take them and GO HOME! Just a suggestion. I am sure we will all watch and see where this all ends up. Now what about the man that got shot on the east coast. Dunno.

Watch the media for the continuing story, if there is one!

The den cleanup and such

Toolbelt

Today I was able to rehang all of my car art now that I have my railing project done. Well, kinda. I still have to set the top, floor trim and finish the end brace but for the most part it is done so I can repopulate the face of the railing with my art. The main concern was for my Kenny Youngblood but the others are all fair game. I will also rearrange all my Woodward Dream Cruise posters. Same stuff new look! I have some posters being matted so I will have more to put up, somewhere. I will even try to tackle an eyesore in the corner which is a long term issue, not really a problem just an eyesore. Not sure quite yet as to how to tackle it but I have a couple of ideas to try out.

At least I got that project done after all these years of talking about it. Only a few more of these left. Good thing too. My hands don’t work quite like they used to. Thanks to power tools I can still get it done. So off I go to plan for another phase of the den update. May take a break and soak. Right now playin on the web. Till next time So Long!

Den stair railing project done – Finally!

Toolbelt

My den is in the bungalow bedroom upstairs and I have had planned to get rid of a set of shelves that were on the face of it for a long time. Not that I didn’t need the shelves but that they were way outdated. While I have planned to do this for a couple of years I finally got around to it over the last couple of days.

The tear down was not really the issue but more a logistics issue of how to support the individual tongue and groove panels on the face while I remove the supporting shelves. I got the top face off no problem. I ended up running a thin shim section pinned to the top of each panel and then two smaller supports over the stairwell to stabilize it. I must say that whoever built these shelves in the early 60’s did on hell of a job! It was doweled and glued. Then face nailed to the t and g board. After some prying and pulling I was able to get it all removed. And a quick pry bar job of getting the 3 subs off the floor I ad it out of the way. I put in my new 2 by 4 frame and pinned it to the floor with some long lag screws. Then came the refacing of the framework the out face open to the stairwell was a simple job. Then I had to reface the outer section. I had managed over the years to salvage some of the original t and g panels from other updates in the house. I was actually able to recover enough to reface the outer face. A bit of judicious trimming I got a great result.

Now I have to refit the top surface. I can actually reuse most of it with some new edges and corners it should be fine. It will match the original trim. Gotta take a break. My hands are sore as hell and my knees need a break for a bit. A nice warm bath should do the trick for now. So now that I have that out of the way I may actually get some new flooring. I have sheet linoleum now and I may just replace it with some new stuff. Another project definitely for another day.