Wednesday, December 7, 2011

709. The advent of snow and other seasonal commentary

Ok, it's December and I've been away for a while. I have had a few of my seven faithful readers ask if I have given up on the blog, a logical conclusion given I have made few visits here recently, or for that matter in a long while. The end of the blog shows the number of entries for each month and year and as we approach the fifth birthday of the blog, now less than a month away, the numbers - as they always do - speak for themselves. There has been a steady decline month-by-month, year-by-year. My hope is to reverse that trend and given that 2012 is an election year, and my highest numbers of viewers and page visits came in 2008, I am hopeful to get the blog back on track. Today's entry will be simply a few catching=up items and little more.

First, you all know I am a big admirer of the heavens when they open up with the white stuff. I cannot remember any year where we had to wait until December 7th for some of it to fall here along the Left Bank of the Ohio River near Milepost 606, but that is the case for 2011. As I am typing, off to my right is a mirror through which I can see the weather outside to the north (along with the garage door and window, and the factory mill on the other side of the floodwall). And there it is - snow, glorious snow. I'm not sure if it was in the forecast or if this is just a few flakes passing through the area. In any event, now that I've seen the snow, I am a little recharged for the season.

Speaking of seasons, I snuck one in the title of the entry - Advent. In the liturgical calendar, we are in the season of Advent, the few weeks in preparation for the birth of Jesus and the concelebrated Mass honoring His birth - Christ's Mass, or Christmas, as it has come to be called. In Advent we wait, recall, preprare, and then celebrate. It is akin to Lent in preparation for Easter. I've written about Advent before and you can use the search bar at the top of the page to look at that entry. Christmas, then, and its "Twelve Days," arrives the night of the 24th and extends to Epiphany in the New Year. So, if any of you are out singing "On the First Day of Christmas, My True Love Sent to Me," you are ahead of schedule.

The immediate future has enough on its plate as it is. Today, of course, is the National Day of Remembrance for Pearl Harbor, a day which lives in the infamy promised to it by President Franklin Roosevelt in his speech after the attack, which took place seventy years ago today at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, back when Hawaii was still a territory, or possession, of the United States. On this day I think of my grandfather, Dan Hockensmith, who wasn't there but was a Seabee in the United States Navy during the Second World War, and loved to sing the Song of the Seabees, where one of the lyrics is "And we always will remember, the Seventh of December!" So, as I always do on this day, I am thinking of him and his war buddies, many of whom I knew when I was a little kid, almost all of whom have probably passed on to their eternal glory.

Next week marks the 23rd birthday of a favorite person of mine, Preston Bates, who is often mentioned in these entries as well as those of my Facebook page. Now, understand Preston and I are miles and miles, chasms, even canyons apart in our political beliefs. He is a libertarian of sorts and at times has called himself an anarcho-capitalist (although he has backed off that for the moment). I, on the other hand, believe in a strong system of governments at all levels, from the local municipality - something we gave up in a vote back in November 2000 (I voted NO) - to the County to the State and to the Federal, along with a willingness to work with other governments worldwide in an effort at peace and stability. Suffice it to say, Preston doesn't. But in our discussions, we find room for agreement here and there. Some of it is simply the experience of politics and government. There were many things I didn't do when I was his age that I wish I had of. One was to participate in a meaningful way in a presidential campaign at the earliest of stages. The only presidential campaign I was ever a part of to any degree at an early stage was that of United States Senator Paul Simon (D-IL) in 1988. That didn't get far, but it was fun and quite an experience. I've expressed to Preston that should he ever be offered the opportunity to have such an experience to do everything he can to make it happen, even if it is a candidate and party I could never support. And, I've promised to help him however I can. Irrespective of the candidate, the party, and the outcome, being involved in a presidential campaign is a near-unique experience and I hope he gets to live it. After all, in the 235 year history of the Republic, only 43 men have been chosen as a leader of the free world and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces of the United States of America.

A different discussion Preston and I had a few weeks ago at the Granville Inn on S. Third Street in the U of L neighborhood focussed on music and math, two things we both enjoy (in different ways) and can easily agree on. In that conversation, we discussed the relationship between the two, or even the idea that they are ultimately the same. A few days later I went to see a theatrical performance at the indoor venue of the Iroquois Amphitheater. The play called Broadsword, a production of a local theater company, Theatre [502], whose artistic director and one of the founders is Gil Reyes - see their website at www.theatre502.org. The play's run, locally, is over and I meant to post about it before it was over. The play is set in urban New Jersey and is centered on a reluctant reunion of a heavy metal band after the death of one its members. Pretty cool play but the thing that stood out - gave me cold chills, in fact - was one of the lines in the play wherein was discussed the relationship between math and music, mimicking the earlier discussion between me and Preston. It wasn't a theme, just a line in the play, but it underscored the proposition of that relationship that Preston and I had posited a few days earlier. As for Mr. Reyes, I've been following his work, or works in which he has been invovled, since about 2002 if memory serves me. It was through Gil I first met Stuart Perelmuter, another friend mentioned here and there in the blog. In one of Gil's productions, another friend of mine, Josh Peters (who celebrated a 32nd birthday a few days ago) played a key part. The Theatre [502] troupe produced three plays this year, two of which I had the good fortune to see.

That's all for now. I'll be back soon.

I would ask, since it has been so long since I've posted, that if you've read this far - to the end - please post a comment below - even anonymously - to let me know I still have some readership out there in the ether.

6 comments:

Thomas McAdam said...

I quit reading your blog a long time ago.

Anonymous said...

Me too, I did not read this blog tonight, to the end.

Anonymous said...

I did read the blog to the end, and thought it was an interesting post that included some interesting remarks surrounding a description of my "twin", Mr. Bates.

Anonymous said...

I'm posting anonymously as we have been friends for some time. So, come on, Jeffrey. Preston Bates? What is it with you two? Didn't you save him last year when the Democratic Party was going to throw his ass off the committee? Now you're helping him with some presidential campaign? You're letting something other than good sense control your decisions, and your friends know what it is. Does he do anything for you? At least find someone who is supportive of you and your way of thinking and living. You let too many of these "friends" take advantage of you. They know you are good for dinner, a night at the theater, seats at Slugger Field, or a ride around the state, and then what? The only one who seemed to genuinely appreciate you was Keith. You can do better than Preston Bates - and if he really has a "twin" (just like him) who commented above, be wary of him, too. Just saying.

Anonymous said...

Jeff,
I always read your blog to the end and look forward to when another one comes out. Hope to see you Tuesday at all the festivities. You're friend from "out west". -Greg A.

Curtis Morrison said...

What Thomas said.

The Archives at Milepost 606

Personal

Louisville, Kentucky, United States
Single, male, bald, overweight, early 50s, seeking . . . Oh wait, that's goes on the other website. How about this - never married, liberal Democrat, opinionated but generally pleasant, member of the Episcopal Church. Graduate of Prestonia Elementary, Durrett High, and Spalding University; the first two now-closed Jefferson County Public Schools, the latter a very small liberal arts college in downtown Louisville affiliated with the Roman Catholic Sisters of Charity of Nazareth. My vocation and avocation is politics. My favorite pastime is driving the backroads of Kentucky and southern Indiana, visiting small towns, political hangouts, courthouses, churches, and cemeteries. You are welcome to ride with me sometime.