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Christmas Thought

And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night.
And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.
11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord.
12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger.
13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying,
14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.
15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us.
16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.
17 And when they had seen it, they made known abroad the saying which was told them concerning this child.
18 And all they that heard it wondered at those things which were told them by the shepherds.
19 But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.
20 And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. — The Gospel of Saint Luke, Chapter 2, Versus 8 through 20

Christ was not born in a palace.  His birth was not announced in the temple.  He came not just for the wealthy, the powerful, or the royal, but for the lowest of the low as much as He came for the highest of the high.  Shepherds keeping a night watch in the wild country, not the priests in Jerusalem, were the first to be told of His birth, and they, not the Three Kings, were the first to come and revere Him.

It shouldn’t take a host of angels for us to see the beauty of the world and the promise that it holds for us.  The wonder of the Lord’s love is evident all around us, and we could see it if we were to only open our eyes.  In every kind word, every unseen act of charity, every person doing what needs doing without expectation of thanks shows it to us.  I don’t require a chorus to hear the symphony of creation.  All it takes is a few quiet moments for me to remember how beautiful this life can be.

I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.  No matter your faith, I wish you all the blessings of life.

Repost – Combat Preparation

Combat Preparation

The old warrior slowly ran the stone down the length of his sword.  This weapon had been made for his grandfather, and he was planning on passing it along to his own grandson.  He could be buried with some of his lesser weapons, but this piece of family hardware would pass down the line along with the strong bodies and tough minds that had set him and his brothers apart during the wars.  Once the edge was sharp enough to shave with, he ran an oiled rag down its length to protect it from the elements.

Next came the shield.  He polished the leather, wood, and iron of it lovingly.  He noted every chip and dent, remembering the blows that had made their mark over the years.  He would need this old friend’s protection again today.

Next came his war kilt, chain mail shirt, and helm.  He strapped his sword across his back, and attached his long dagger to his ankle where it would make a good back up weapon.

Bowing his head before starting his march to battle, he prayed to the gods, both old and new, to protect him as he faced the ravening hordes he was sure to encounter today.  He thought of all the old comrades who had gone before him, and the young men who had come home half mad from the sights he was heading towards today.

Once both his body and spirit were armed and armored, he stepped out onto the black plain that lead to his goal.  He squared his shoulders, but knew that today might be his last.  Too many gray hairs graced his head, too many battles over the years ran through his memory for him to expect to see the sun set on this day.

As he walked forward to battle, the sights and sounds of this day burned into his soul.  The high pitched ringing of a bell, the soft music that filled the air, the old warrior knew they would be the sounds that would take him to Valhalla.  The red and black clad herald of  the madness within greeted him as he walked through doors that magically opened for him.  The noise of the horde immediately pressed on him like a wave.  Undaunted, he waded into the lair of the enemy, intent on his purpose.

The last thing he heard before the noise drowned out all sanity was the merry calling of the door keeper:

“Merry Christmas!  Welcome to Walmart!”

Christmas Carol

Silent range,
Cold range
Everyone behind
The yellow line

Guns lay still with chambers open
RSO checks that nothing is loaded

The range is cold
You may go down-range

The range is cold
You may go down-range


Silent range,
Cold range
Targets adjusted
Back behind the line

RSO checks that no-one is down range
He yells at a dimwit who is acting strange

Ready on the ri-ight?
Ready o-n the left?


Christmas Carol

You better not flinch
You better not jerk
On muzzle control
You better do some work

Gunnie Claus is coming to town

He sees you when you short stroke
He knows your gun’s not clean
He knows your bayonet won’t poke
So clean out that cosmoline!

You better stock up
On ammo tonight
Polish your brass
‘Til it shines real bright

Gunnie Claus is coming to town!

Today’s Earworm

If I cannot bring you comfort, then at least I bring you hope.

Christmas Thought

1In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
 2The same was in the beginning with God.
 3All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
 4In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
 5And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
The Gospel of John, Chapter 1, Verses 1 through 5

Today we commemorate the birth of a small child in a conquered land.  He was born in a strange place, far from home and family.  His parents were neither rich, nor privileged.  He grew up in a small village during tumultuous times, and rose to found a great movement in human history.  If you believe in his divinity, he was sent in order to be the sacrificial lamb for the entire human race by a God so forgiving that he gave of his own flesh and blood for that sacrifice, and his teachings are our guiding lights to find our way to his kingdom.  If you are only looking for wisdom or guidance, the writings of what he taught show a path of forgiveness, love, and understanding of the lowest of the low among us.

This is the Christmas I celebrate.  I thoroughly dislike the tinsel, the shopping, the schmaltzy music, and the saccharine kindness from people who normally would gladly step over my corpse in the street. But a few moments of quiet reading and reflection remind me that underneath all of the dreck that has been heaped on the occasion there is a bedrock of faith and learning that we should remember.

My Christmas is one that reminds me that I am responsible for my brother, and that even a small child born in squalor can rise up to be an example of light to the world.

I wish each and every one of you a Merry Christmas.

The Night Before Christmas

Twas the night before Christmas, and me and my spouse
Were assembling gifts and cleaning the house
The house smelled of pine and cinnamon spice
A fire was in the fireplace, and it felt really quite nice
The kids had crashed about an hour before
And I had just returned from a run to the store
With her in her robe and me in my sweats
She was dusting something and I was feeding the pets
When out on the lawn there came a big bang
And a moment later the telephone rang
“Hello?” I answered, actually I hissed
“DB?  This is Tony.  You’re gonna be pissed”
“Come on outside, I need your help”
“I’m on my way. Keep it quiet, you inconsiderate whelp”
When out on the lawn I saw Tony’s truck
And I knew that my night was out of good luck.
Under the Ford was a sled all covered in snow
Eight reindeer milled ’round, watching the show
Santa just stood there, he looked quite glum
Tony just stood there, stuck quite dumb
“What happened?” I said, hoping for the best
“This moron,” said Santa, puffing out his chest
“Was doing doughnuts on the ice, and smashed up my sleigh!
And now I’m waiting for a tow truck to take it away!”
“Are you done with your rounds?” I asked, expecting the worst
“Not even close.  This continent was my first.”
“Santa” I said, “What can we do?”
“Well, with some help, I think we’ll pull through!”
We moved all the bags from the sleigh to the truck.
I explained it all to Irish Woman, and she wished us all luck.
Santa bolted something under the hood
And wouldn’t you know it, that Ford flew really good!
We drove ’round the world, with Santa in charge
Delivering presents to houses both little and large
And just as the sun started to rise
I got home with sleep in my eyes
As I opened the door, guess what I found!
An M-1 Garand and a spam can of rounds!
Santa left a note that just said “Thanks!”
All Tony got was half a box of blanks.
So Christmas was saved
I hope you got all that you craved.
To all of my readers, both pro-Christmas and con
Merry Christmas to you, now get off my lawn!

Dinner Tonight

Ancient Family Tradition for Christmas Eve – Swedish Meatballs


5 pounds of ground meat (beef, pork, turkey.  Tastes good if you use a little from column A and a little from column B). The meat should have a bit of fat to it, as you will need to make a sauce with drippings.  I use 80/20 hamburger mixed with ground turkey.
3 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup dried onions
1/4 to 1/2 cup rolled oats
Black Pepper
1 tsp allspice

Olive Oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium sized white or yellow onion, minced
1/2 pound sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup flour
3 cans beef broth
Finely ground white or black pepper

In a large mixing bowl, thoroughly combine meat, eggs, milk, dried onions, and oats.  Add salt and pepper to taste, along with the allspice.

In your largest saute pan, heat enough olive oil to barely cover the bottom, then add the garlic and onions.  Saute until the onions are clear and soft.  Shape the meat into 1 to 1 1/2 inch meatballs and brown in batches.  When meatballs are browned, put them into a shallow dish and place in a warm oven.  When you are cooking the last batch of meatballs, add the mushrooms and cook until the mushrooms are done.  Scoop out all of the mushrooms, meatballs, and onions you can into the shallow dish and keep in the oven.

In the saute pan, which should have a good amount of fat and liquid in it by now, add the flour and whisk until the flour is completely absorbed.  Continue cooking over low heat until the flour mixture has become a light brown.  Add the broth and season with the pepper to taste.  Continue cooking over low heat and stir until the sauce is smooth and thick.

Add in meatballs, mushrooms, and other tasty bits and stir together gently.

Serve over rice, pasta, or mashed potatoes.  Goes well with lefse or fresh whole wheat bread and your favorite winter vegetable.

Geek Christmas Carols

Yeah, I’m finally in the mood.  Not the Christmas mood, just a mood.

Jingle bells, UNIX smells
Windows laid an egg
The mainframe it just vapor locked
But the VAX is A-OK!

I’m dreaming of a white laptop
Just like Jobs used to sell
With a one button mouse
It costs as much as a house
But it goes with black turtlenecks so well!

The users called me
The network is down
They can’t surf their pr0n
The network is down
The tech is on his way
The network is down
Email jokes can’t be sent!
The network is down
Network is down
Network is down

Silent NOC
Happy NOC
No alerts
No drama
Reading a novel
And eating take-out
Hoping my shift
is quiet no doubt
Keep my board clea–ar
Ke-ep my board so clear

Just see those servers crashing
And hard drives thrashing
Oh joy!
This is a great profession
for someone with a pain obsession
Oh boy!

Today’s Earworm

Frosty the Snow Ghoul

Frosty the snow ghoul
Was a slushy, slimy guy
With a mouthful of teeth and a carrot nose
And murder in his eye
Oh Frosty the snow ghoul
Was undead as he could be
And the legends say
He could laugh and slay
Little kids like you and me
Down through the village
With a war axe in his claw
Swinging here and there
All around the square
Feeding children into his maw
Choppety chop chop
Choppety chop chop
Look at Frosty swing
Choppety chop chop
Choppety chop chop
That evil undead thing
There must have been some magic
In that Mosin Nagant I found
For when I tried to cycle the bolt
I was able to load a round
Oh Frosty the snow ghoul
Melted in the fireball
So we collected his axe
And we nailed his hat
Up on the city wall.
Frosty the snow ghoul
Is a curse upon the land
So say your prayers
And always walk in pairs
For his return may be at hand!
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