Week-long Welcomings from Moosylvania: Dec. 20th through Dec. 26th

Welcome to The Moose Pond! The Welcomings posts give the Moose, old and new, a place to visit and share words about the weather, life, the world at large and the small parts of Moosylvania that we each inhabit.

Welcomings will be posted at the start of each week (every Sunday morning). To find the posts, just bookmark this link and Voila! (which is Moose for “I found everyone!!”).

The format is simple: each day, the first moose to arrive on-line will post a comment welcoming the new day and complaining (or bragging!) about their weather. Or mentioning an interesting or thought provoking news item. Or simply checking in.

So … what’s going on in your part of Moosylvania?

NOTE: The comments page will now split off after 20 or so left margin comments with the most recent comments on the current page. To see the older comments, scroll to the bottom of the page and use the link.



  1. Good morning, meese! Friday …

    3:23 am Central – the Moose update is starting and in about 30 minutes we should be on WordPress 4.4. Back after the upgrade!

    UPDATE: The upgrade is done. Happy blogging

  2. Official 4.4 good morning, meese!! Friday …

    It is 30 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 39. Mostly sunny skies are in the forecast.

    In less than an hour, 6:11am Eastern time, if your skies are clear you will be treated to a rare December 25th full moon. The last time the moon was full on Christmas Day was in 1977 which I found difficult to believe because I would have thought that with 13 full moons to “hand out” each year that it would have happened more frequently. Here is some moon goodness from NASA:

    December’s full moon, the last of the year, is called the Full Cold Moon because it occurs during the beginning of winter.

    This rare event won’t happen again until 2034. That’s a long time to wait, so make sure to look up to the skies on Christmas Day.

    As you gaze up at the Christmas moon, take note that NASA has a spacecraft currently orbiting Earth’s moon. NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) mission has been investigating the lunar surface since 2009.

    “As we look at the moon on such an occasion, it’s worth remembering that the moon is more than just a celestial neighbor,” said John Keller, NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. “The geologic history of the moon and Earth are intimately tied together such that the Earth would be a dramatically different planet without the moon.”

    I am sure that there is news this morning but it is not likely very new so I will take a pass on it.

    See all y’alls later!!

  3. Good morning Meese and a Merry Christmas to those of you who celebrate.

    Am up and getting ready to leave for Philly around 10 AM. Have to check into orange at 9 AM for my Christmas tribute to Nat King Cole – for me, even as a pagan – this day resonates with memories of “The Christmas Song”

    Hugs to all!

    • There is a lot to like about this holiday: music, food, friends, family (by birth or by choice).

      Hugs back! Safe travels and have fun at your Philly destination!!

      • Thanks – we’re packed and ready to go in 45 minutes or so – just have to let the dogs out one more time :)

        Will see if I can access Moose from my cell phone – since we have a 3 and a half hour drive.

        • I hope you can! I usually have no problems “phoning it in”. Sometimes I have to turn the phone horizontally to get a good Comment box but other than that it is pretty seamless for uncomplicated posting.

          I checked out the new oEmbed features of the WordPress 4.4 upgrade and they actually go the other way – our posts will more seamlessly post elsewhere. Not exactly what I thought it was. I would like for a link from a news site to expand into a headline, feature photo and snippet just like it does on Twitter and Facebook. Because I am lazy!!!

  4. Christmas Eve service was so wonderful last night. Beautiful music — lots of Handel — bell ringing during Angels We Have Heard On High, candles….just gorgeous.

    Eating breakfast, watching the news. Must do long walk today & be done by 6:45 because Dr. Who. There’s an episode I haven’t seen, then the Christmas special. It’ll be warm for my 8 mile walk tomorrow morning — 68 overnight. Then a cold front on Sunday & lows in the 30s next work week. Texas winter, y’all.

    Hozier & others busking on Grafton Street — Fairytale of New York

    and my head was playing Bells of Dublin to me when I woke up

  5. Good morning, Moosekind, and Merry Christmas! I also love this time of year, even though I’m Pagan. Today when we got out of bed it looked like Brigadoon outside our window, so no beautiful full moon for us. Glad to see the photo of it here.

    Must hasten to get ready for the big Christmas brunch. My beloved nephew, two-time winner of the Presidential Award for outstanding performance, is treating us today. We had a great time last night doing Facebook Video Messenger with our relatives in Australia! It’s amazing how much easier FB Video is than Skype—no passwords or other foolishness, just initiate a call on Messenger by pressing the video button. Loved seeing nephews, nieces, great-nieces, and brother- and sister-in-law. Thank Goddess for tech-savvy nephews.

    Hope everyone will have a wonderful day!

    • Our sky was overcast and I got nothing from my visit to my deck at 5:11am Central except wet slippers (I forgot that we had gotten a dusting of snow yesterday evening).

      It sounds like you have a wonderful day planned!!

  6. Good morning and Merry Christmas (I’m not a Christian either but I celebrate the spirit of the season anyway!) all of Moosekind! And thanks Jan for working hard to keep this wonderful blog easy to use! I didn’t get up early, but I was out late last night and saw the full moon through a hazy evening – it was beautiful. Might be clearer tonight.

    Dee you have a present waiting for you in WOW on Suluca – hope you like it! Hope your drive to Philly is uneventful!

    I will be heading to my friend Amy’s at 1:30 for dinner – all I have to do is load up a bag with my whipped potatoes, green beans, sweet potato souffle, cranberry relish and Buche de Noel from our local Fresh Market and drive out to her house in the country. It’s so beautiful out there – it’s in what she and I privately refer to as East Jesus Alachua County lol, 10 acres that she has careful tended over the 12 years she’s lived there. She’s down to 2 horses and one dog from a high of 3 horses and 3 dogs, but it’s still a wonderful country place, very peaceful and a great place to have a nice dinner and be merry!

    Have a wonderful day everyone!

  7. Good morning, 33 degrees and lightly snowing in Bellingham. We slept in this morning….thanks Santa! Today will be fun, starting soon with breakfast at son #1’s home, then a day of reading and baking, then dinner at son #2’s home. We’ll celebrate our family Christmas here tomorrow with everyone, and thanks to the miracle of technology our daughter in Oregon will be part of the fun. We all gathered round the iPad to sing happy birthday to Sophia last night.

    Best wishes to all!

  8. Merry Christmas to all from a “recovering Christian” sorta pagan :) Just dropped in to leave my best wishes before heading over to my older son’s house for dinner prep then dinner (I’m bringing the ham). Doing my regular early morning litter box duty I looked up and saw that full moon. It was so beautiful I finished what I was doing and went back out to look some more – until the 39 degrees got to me. heh.

    The only thing I miss about being a Christian is being part of the choir – it’s what kept me going to church as long as I did – after a while I couldn’t block the words. But I really miss the music – rehearsals more than the actual “performance” truth to tell.

    Safe travels, whether local or highway, and – well, I already posted “Bless Us All” earlier but the wish is constant. {{{HUGS}}}

    • Bfitz, I loved the music of the Episcopal Church more than 50 years ago when I was a Christian—sort of. (In the Little Rock of the 1950s there wasn’t much for a girl to do other than go to church every time they opened the door.) I sang in the Matin Choir and later the adult choir for the 11 o’clock service. I still love the music to this day, as I also love Gregorian plain chant by monks. I often write to the accompaniment of plain chant.

  9. Good morning, meese! Saturday …

    It is 30 degrees in Madison, on its way up to 37. Showers are in the forecast.

    There … done with holidays for another year. Now I can just settle into end of year projects without any distractions.

    This story out of Las Vegas is fascinating. Apparently Sheldon Adelson, casino owner and buyer of Republican presidential candidates (you can never have enough!) bought the largest newspaper in Nevada so that he could dig up dirt on some judges who are on a case involving his business practices. Plus, a newspaper is handy when you want to tilt an early primary one way or the other or “help” choose the right candidate for the open U.S. Senate race. The editor quit or was fired, no one knows, and the editor of a sister newspaper in Connecticut, using a fake name, wrote a hit piece about one of the judges in Nevada. So this is a social experiment, I guess: billionaires can buy politicians (thank you Justice Anthony “independent expenditures, including those made by corporations, do not give rise to corruption or the appearance of corruption” Kennedy!) but can billionaires buy the fourth estate and successfully use it to blatantly promote their political views and protect their business interests? I suspect that the answer is “yes” because there is no one to stop them. That is chilling. We are left with a few news sites doing investigative journalism but no way to channel that into the mainstream. When the owners of media (:::cough::: Rupert Murdoch :::cough:::) create their own “reality” and the truth is actively suppressed, there can’t be fair elections or honest government. You wonder if the death of print media is actually from a self-inflicted wound. They stopped doing journalism years ago and people stopped trusting them and now they are simply another PR tool for unscrupulous rich people. :(

    See all y’all later!

      • Sad for them, really. People stopped trusting them and then stopped reading them and now we really don’t care much if they disappear and the babies are thrown out with the toxic bathwater.

  10. Up for ungodly hour workout. 8 miles is going to hurt. Did 4 yesterday, before the Doctor Who Christmas special. Back later if the walk doesn’t totally wipe me out.

  11. Good Morning Meese

    43 here in Saugerties with rain. Tomorrow will be another weird day with term at 61.

    Slept late – tired from the trip to Philly – was an interesting gathering – the “younger” generation was in from Wisconsin – where they teach at Marquette, with their 6 year old.
    the rest of us were all 65 plus.

    We were a mixed group – black, white and Asian and Latino
    All Democrats – everyone will be voting for Hillary.

    Had a lengthy discussion with the family members from the burbs where they rub elbows with Republicans on a daily basis. The Rs they know are moderates – horrified by Trump. It will be interesting to see what the voting will look like in Bucks County – where Democrats win in Presidential years and Republicans win in the off year elections. They feel PA will go for Hillary.

    I went back to my “270 to win ” electoral vote map and clicked “grey” PA into the blue column

    Want to hear what folks in other “grey” states on the map like FL, VA, WI think the election results will be.

    • This is interesting: “The Rs they know are moderates – horrified by Trump.”

      I have been following a lot of people with a lot of opinions about what that means. Some are saying that the moderates will break away and vote for Hillary or stay home (or even start a third party). Others, like me, don’t think there is enough disgust yet to do that; maybe there will never be. The Republicans attached their talking points to people’s reptilian brains and you don’t undo the work of the last 40 years with one truly awful person. Heck, George W. Bush should have been enough to never want to vote for a Republican again but it led to a two election cycle (2006, 2008) “show” of disgust … then people turned the whole damn Congress over to them!

      Charlie Pierce posted an analysis of the David Frum faux-woe-is-me post and has some good points:

      I do not back down an inch from my long-held belief that, had his pet war in Iraq not turned into the biggest American foreign policy clusterfck in the history of clusters of fck, then David Frum—not to mention the think-tank bombardiers for whom he fronted—would not be out there now selling by the pint his tears over what has become of his Republican party, and the conservative “movement” that has been its only animating force over the past four decades. […]

      As far as I am concerned, David Frum has not cleaned anywhere near enough bedpans at Walter Reed to be allowed back in polite political society. So you will have to forgive me if I fail to join the general chorus celebrating the brilliance of the lengthy weeper he’s penned for The Atlantic about the “civil war” in the Republican party, and how that conflict has produced the phenomenon of Donald Trump. As regards Middle East policy, and domestic security measures, Trump hasn’t said anything on the stump that Frum and Perle didn’t say first in their book, except without the schlongs. […]

      … the fundamental flaw in Frum’s analysis of the effects of the prion disease on the Republican party is that history somehow begins in 2008, with the election of Barack Obama, or in 2010, when the people in their infinite wisdom elected the second-worst Congress of all time. By placing the beginning of the “civil war” in that period of time, Frum not only dodges his own responsibility for promoting the bad policies of a bad president, he also enables himself to see the rise of He, Trump as a recent phenomenon, rather that the logical end point of all the prior manifestations of the prion disease that first took hold when the party ate the monkeybrains to elect Ronald Reagan in 1980. […]

      The Republican party currently is in a brawl between establishment crackpots and outsider lunatics because that’s the way the Republican party has been built for four decades. Your party is crazy, David. And there’s no coming back.

      I am not sure how we turn that into electoral success yet. We may have to wait until the people infected with the prion disease die off and the youth, who can’t stand Republican positions on issues, make up the bulk of our voting population.

    • The problem with a lot of those grey states, by the way, is that many will be voting under new voter id rules and fewer early voting opportunities. We can’t look at 2012 to give us an idea of what will happen with turnout.

        • This definition is perfect for the current GOP malady:

          Prion disease represents a group of conditions that affect the nervous system in humans and animals. In people, these conditions impair brain function, causing changes in memory, personality, and behavior [and] a decline in intellectual function.

          It is the disease that people got from mad cow disease. Charlie Pierce uses it to describe what happened to Republicans who at one time were reasonable people (see Eisenhower, Dwight D. and Chase, Margaret) or at least disinclined towards nihilism.

  12. Happy Boxing Day, Meese! I gave out my Christmas boxes to the garbage guys, postman, and newspaper carrier before Christmas, thinking they’d be more appreciated at that time.

    It’s 55 F. here in NoVa, under yet another gray sky. The streets still look wet. Last night the clouds parted long enough that we could see the beautiful full moon of Christmas, beaming mistily in the heavens. I actually don’t mind this weather: it makes a change.

    Had a wonderful time on Christmas Day, which was just as wet and gloomy, but being with the family in a restaurant was wonderful. Both babies, aged 18 months and 5 months, behaved quite well, as did the best-friends-forever, aged 6 and 5. Mr. B loves his cousin Miss Pink Cheeks!

    Will spend the morning writing thank-you notes. I’d hoped to receive a box of chocolates for Christmas—the universe must have heard, because I received four! I’m going to look like the Venus of Willendorf before much more time passes.

    Not sure about grey Virginia, Meese—will resolve to spend more time on the Blue Virginia Web site so I can report to you on the state of the likely voters. Over on GOS they’re still worshipping Bernie. ‘Nuff said. Have a great day, all!

  13. Morning all! It’s sunny and HOT here in north Florida – ugh. I actually had to put the AC on yesterday, it was 85 degrees on Christmas Day. Not liking it one little bit.

    That Las Vegas story is creepy and very disturbing, although not unexpected. It’s yet another way the right wing is returning us to the 19th century, before progressivism and muckraking. It’s like a throwback to Yellow Journalism.

    I don’t know how Florida is going to go, it will all depend on the young Latino vote I think – north Florida will go Republican no matter who the nominee is, but from Orlando south should be a different story, if the Dems can galvanize the GOTV efforts among the young.

    Opera this afternoon – apparently the Met is doing a “young audience” truncated version of the Barber of Seville, in English, aimed at the youth audience they try to pull in always on Christmas weekend. Should be a fun listen, as the kids always laugh out loud more than adults do, and Barber is a wonderfully melodic piece no matter who’s singing it. Have a great day everyone!

  14. Good morning, 34 and cloudy in Bellingham. Yesterday was very fun, a relaxing breakfast with our son and a moment of shared thanksgiving for his survival and continued recovery, baking an old favorite recipe with with a new gluten free flour (Cup For Cup) and it worked (!), then a very relaxed and tasty dinner with the grand girls at their house. We’ll have our family gift exchange today, dinner here tonight, and then Christmas will be over, yay!

    My morning isn’t going so well though. I woke up to early, tried to go back to sleep but couldn’t, so I decided to read in bed with a cup of coffee.But then I dozed off and now all the bedding is in the laundry, but thankfully the spill missed my computer. So much for a relaxing morning. Oh well, clean bedding is always nice.

  15. I got confused on my route & ended up only doing 6.58 miles. Tired. eating an almond butter sandwich.

    Saw this apt description of Trump from sweet Irish boy Hozier:

    Hozier ‏@Hozier Dec 11

    “I’m doing good for the Muslims.” Dystopia advocate @realDonaldTrump now in @CNN interview about banning all Muslims from entering America.

    624 retweets 1,815 likes

    also liked how many people “liked” the comment

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