Sunday, December 21, 2008

My Favorite Christmas Hymn

As Christmas draws near, I would like to share with you, the 3 readers of this blog, what my favorite Christmas hymn is and why it is.

Title: Once in Royal David's City
Full number of verses: 6
Usually sung: At the beginning of the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols on Christmas eve, as a processional.

It begins, with a single soprano (most effective if it is a well-trained boy soprano from a boys choir) intoning the first verse a cappella:

Once in royal David's city
Stood a lowly cattle shed,
Where a mother laid her baby
In a manger for His bed:
Mary was that mother mild,
Jesus Christ her little child.

The choir joins in for the second and third verses, also usually sung a cappella:

He came down to earth from heaven,
Who is God and Lord of all,
And His shelter was a stable,
And His cradle was a stall;
With the poor, and mean, and lowly,
Lived on earth our Savior Holy.

And through all His wondrous childhood
He would honor and obey,
Love and watch the lowly Maiden,
In whose gentle arms He lay:
Christian children all must be
Mild, obedient, good as He

At this point, the congregation and organ will usually join in for the 4th and 5th verses:

For He is our childhood's pattern;
Day by day, like us He grew;
He was little, weak and helpless,
Tears and smiles like us He knew;
And He feeleth for our sadness,
And He shareth in our gladness.

And our eyes at last shall see Him,
Through His own redeeming love;
For that Child so dear and gentle
Is our Lord in heaven above,
And He leads His children on
To the place where He is gone.

And then sometimes a trumpet will join in on a descant, or, if not, the soprano section will take on that role, for the sixth and final verse.

Not in that poor lowly stable,
With the oxen standing by,
We shall see Him; but in heaven,
Set at God's right hand on high;
Where like stars His children crowned
All in white shall wait around.

It takes a very good choir director, with a well-trained choir, to get the full effect of this hymn, but if it is there, then by the end the entire church is ringing with the joyful strains of it. It brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it. And I can't think of a more joyous way to celebrate the birth of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ.

Sorry, folks, I didn't mean to preach. I don't usually get so sentimental (as you've probably realized) but at this time of year, I think we all need to rejoice and celebrate the season. Be grateful for family, friends, and good cheer, and have a very merry Christmas!

Oh, and you can see a very good performance of it here:

Monday, December 15, 2008

I LOVE this!

I could watch this over and over...and over...and over!

Nice reflexes there, Duhbya!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Words Cannot Begin to Describe... pissed off I am at the Republican Senators.

These are the senators who blame the union workers for the woes of the big three. I defy any of these Senators to stand--yes, STAND--on an assembly line 8 hours a day, 5, 6, or even 7 days a week, doing the same thing over and over and over and over, all day, every day, and then claim they are overpaid for the work they do.

These are the senators who blame the retired auto workers who are suffering from innumerable health problems caused by those same working conditions, and who face rapidly dwindling health benefits for ever-increasing costs.

These are the senators who didn't so much as ask a question before giving 700 BILLION FUCKING DOLLARS to the banking industry to bail them out, over half of which has already been spent, with little or no apparent result.

And these are the senators who have the unmitigated gall to blame the union workers for the woes of the American auto industry. The same union workers who are fighting tooth and nail to hang on to the few hard-won rights they still have left, while their rich CEO's fly private jets to Washington to ask for enough money to give themselves large Christmas bonuses while laying off thousands of those same workers.

Huh. Maybe words CAN describe it.

I don't claim to be an expert. I have no idea what will happen if one or more of the Big 3 goes down the tubes. But I do know that here in Toledo, Jeep (a Chrysler affiliate) is one of the largest employers in the area, and it supports dozens of subsidiary business. If Jeep goes, it will be a blow to this city from which it will never recover. And that blow will no doubt be accompanied by dozens of similar blows in other cities across the nation. It will cause a drop in our economy that will make The Great Depression look like a mild market downswing.

So now it falls to the President to do the right thing, and use some of the money from that $700 billion to prop up the auto industries before they collapse.

So here is your last chance, Mr. President. Your last chance to do something right. You are going to go down in history as one of the, if not THE, worst presidents ever. This is your last chance to prop up your legacy, to redeem yourself, if only a little bit. You have one final chance to be remembered for something good, after eight years of failed foreign and domestic policies.

Don't blow it.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Target MEN!

OK, so yesterday, I went to Target to find some clothes for myself.

I walked in.

I grabbed a shopping cart. I walked towards the back of the store.

I needed some clothes for myself. I walked past about a block's worth of womens' clothing.

I finally found the mens' department. It occupied about one quarter of one half of an aisle of a big block store.

I found 2 pairs of pants for myself and 2 sets of underwear I needed.

I wanted to find at least a short-sleeved dress shirt for myself. It wasn't there.

I realize that women shop for clothes a lot more than men. But it seems to me that it would be wise for Target to offer a lot more choices for men, if you have any wish for them to shop at your store!