Archive for December, 2006

That About Sums It Up!

December 31st, 2006
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At Home in Hespeler Wishes You A…

December 25th, 2006
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From Brian and Ron


Christmas Carol Links

December 24th, 2006
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It has come to my attention that geocities is severely restricting my downloadability with the two Christmas Carols I have posted. So here is a link to my soundclick page, were you can access them. Sorry for any inconvenience. The stories that go with the carols are:

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

Coventry Carol


I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day

December 24th, 2006
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The words to I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day were written by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882) in 1864. Eight years later John Baptiste Calkin wrote accompanying music, turning Longfellow’s poem into a carol. It has long been one of my favourite Christmas poems, and often makes it onto my fridge this time of year. This year, I am trying to figure out how to magnet a recording onto the fridge.

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth
Peace on earth

I thought how as the day had come
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along the unbroken song
Of peace on earth
Peace on earth
Peace on earth, good will to men

And in despair I bowed my head
“There is no peace on earth,” I said
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth
Peace on earth

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep
“God is not dead, nor doth he sleep
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth
Peace on earth”

Till ringing, singing on its way
The world revolved from night to day
A voice, a chime, a chant sublime
Of peace on earth
Peace on earth
Peace on earth, good will to men

I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day


Picture of the Day – All I Want For Christmas

December 24th, 2006
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Picture of the Day – Festivas Pole

December 23rd, 2006
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A Coventry Carol on Classical Guitar

December 23rd, 2006
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Coventry Carol is not a true Christmas Carol. It speaks of Jesus as a baby, but not his birth. It comes from a play called The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors, a street theatre production performed in Coventry England in the 15th and 16th century. The carol itself dates from 1534.

The Pageant of the Shearmen and Tailors depicts King Herods Massacre of the Innocents and the Coventry Carols lyrics are a mother’s lament for her doomed child.

This performance is of an arrangement by Mark Johnstone, from his book The Holiday Gig Book. It is played by me.

Lully, lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.
Lullay, Thou little tiny Child,
By, by, lully, lullay.

O sisters too, how may we do,
For to preserve this day
This poor youngling for whom we sing
By, by, lully, lullay.

Herod the king, in his raging,
Charged he hath this day
His men of might, in his own sight,
All children young to slay.

That woe is me, poor Child for Thee!
And ever morn and day,
For thy parting neither say nor sing,
By, by, lully, lullay.


God Bless Peace Moonbeam

December 23rd, 2006
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If the 24 premier was the best thing I have seen this Christmas, then this is the funniest thing I have seen all Christmas. There really is no other:

It was fascinating watching Scooter dramatically plumb the depths of this character as he maniacally coddled the children then berated them, all the time screaming at the elves to build more toys, while continuously popping diet pills and chocolate-covered espresso beans. The fun all came to an end when a terrified two-year-old peed all over Santa’s lap, causing jolly old St. Nick to cut loose with a stream of profanities and jumping up so fast he flung the little rug rat over the velvet ropes and into the Hickory Farm’s sausage display! In the ensuing fracas, Scooter took out the kid’s charging 250-pound mom, two mall security guards, and cousin Ronnie with a six-foot fiberglass candy cane, before finally being dropped by an elf’s two-fisted uppercut to the nuts. Wow!

read it all


Merry Christmas to my Friends on The Left

December 23rd, 2006
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I know occasionally a few people of more leftish persuasions visit here. As a small gift, from me to you this Christmas, I offer In The Workhouse Christmas Eve (for my more ribald friends, try this):

In The Workhouse Christmas Day, by George R. Sims

It is Christmas Day in the Workhouse,
And the cold bare walls are bright
With garlands of green and holly,
And the place is a pleasant sight:
For with clear-washed hands and faces
In a long and hungry line
The paupers sit at the tables,
For this is the hour they dine.

And the guardians and their ladies,
Although the wind is east,
Have come in their furs and wrappers,
To watch their charges feast:
To smile and be condescending,
Put puddings on pauper plates,
To be hosts at the workhouse banquet
They’ve paid for – with the rates.

Oh, the paupers are meek and lowly
With their ‘Thank’ee kindly, mum’s’;
So long as they fill their stomachs
What matters it whence it comes?
But one of the old men mutters,
And pushes his plate aside:
‘Great God!’ he cries; ‘but it chokes me!
For this is the day she died.’

The guardians gazed in horror
The master’s face went white;
‘Did a pauper refuse his pudding?’
‘Could their ears believe aright?’
Then the ladies clutched their husbands,
Thinking the man might die
Struck by a bolt, or something,
By the outraged One on high.

But the pauper sat for a moment,
Then rose ‘mid a silence grim,
For the others has ceased to chatter,
And trembled every limb.
He looked at the guardian’s ladies,
Then. eyeing their lords, he said,
‘I eat not the food of villains
Whose hands are foul and red:

‘Whose victims cry for vengeance
From their dank, unhallowed graves.’
‘He’s drunk!’ said the workhouse master.
‘Or else he’s mad, and raves.’
‘Not drunk or mad,’ cried the pauper,
‘But only a hunted beast,
Who, torn by the hounds and mangled,
Declines the vulture’s feast.

I care not a curse for the guardians,
And I won’t be dragged away.
Just let me have the fit out,
It’s only Christmas Day
That the black past comes to goad me,
And prey my burning brain;
I’ll tell you the rest in a whisper, –
I swear I won’t shout again.

‘Keep your hands off me, curse you!
Hear me right out to the end.
You come here to see how the paupers
The season of Christmas spend.
You come here to watch us feeding,
As they watch the captured beast.
Hear why a penniless pauper
Spits on your paltry feast.

‘Do you think I will take your bounty,
And let you smile and think
You’re doing a noble action
With the parish’s meat and drink?
Where is my wife, you traitors –
The poor old wife you slew?
Yes, by the God above us
My Nance was killed by you!

‘Last winter my wife lay dying,
Starved in a filthy den;
I had never been to the parish, –
I came to the parish then.
I swallowed my pride in coming,
For, ere the ruin came,
I held up my head as a trader,
And I bore a spotless name.

‘I came to the parish, craving
Bread for a starving wife,
Bread for a woman who’d loved me
Through fifty years of my life;
And what do you think they told me,
Mocking my awful grief?
That “the House” was open to us,
But they wouldn’t give “out relief”.

I slunk to the filthy alley –
‘Twas a cold, raw Christmas eve –
And the bakers’ shops were open
Tempting a man to thieve;
But I clenched my fists together
Holding my head awry,
So I came home empty-handed,
And mournfully told her why.

Then I told her “the House” was open;
She had heard of the ways of that,
For her bloodless cheeks went crimson,
And up in her rags she sat,
Crying, “Bide the Christmas here, John,
We’ve never had one apart;
I think I can bear the hunger, –
The other would break my heart.”

‘All through that ever I watched her,
Holding her hand in mine,
Praying the Lord, and weeping
Till my lips were salt as brine.
I asked her once if she hungered
And as she answered “No,”
The moon shone in at the wondow
Set in a wreath of snow

‘Then the room was bathed in glory,
And I saw in my darling’s eyes
The far-away look of wonder
That comes when the spirit flies;
And her lips were parched and parted,
And her reason came and went,
For she raved of her home in Devon,
Where her happiest days were spent.

‘And the accents, long forgotten,
Came back to the tongue once more,
For she talked like the country lassie
I woo’d by the Devon shore.
Then she rose to her feet and trembled,
And fell on the rags and moaned,
And, “Give me a crust – I’m famished –
For the love of God!” she groaned.

I rushed from the room like a madman,
And flew to the workhouse gate,
Crying “Food for a dying woman!”
And came the answer, “Too late.”
They drove me away with curses;
Then I fought with a dog in the street,
And tore from the mongrel’s clutches
A crust he was trying to eat.

‘Back, through the filthy by-lanes!
Back, through the trampled slush!
Up to the crazy garret,
Wrapped in an awful hush.
My heart sank down at the threshold,
And I paused with a sudden thrill,
For there in the silv’ry moonlight
My Nancy lay, cold and still.

‘Up to the blackened ceiling
The sunken eyes were cast –
I knew on those lips all bloodless
My name had been the last;
She’d called for her absent husband –
O God! had I but known! –
Had called in vain and in anguish
Had died in that den – alone.

‘Yes, there in a land of plenty
Lay a loving woman dead,
Cruelly starved and murdered
For a loaf of parish bread.
At yonder gate, last Christmas
I craved for a human life.
You, who would feast us paupers,
What of my murdered wife!

‘There, get ye gone to your dinners;
Don’t mind me in the least;
Think of your happy paupers
Eating your Christmas feast;
And when you recount their blessings
In your smug parochial way,
Say what you did for me, too,
Only last Christmas Day.


Happy Festivus

December 22nd, 2006
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December 23rd is, traditionally, Festivus, the holiday for the rest of us. Festivus has three components:

1) the festivus pole, undecorated (tinsel is distracting)
2) the airing of grievances: you tell your family and friends how they have disappointed you in the past year.
3) feats of strength: a Festivus party isn’t over until a guest or family member has pinned the host in a wrestling match.


Merry Christmas from 24

December 22nd, 2006
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Best thing I have seen this Christmas:


Picture of the Day – Carolers

December 22nd, 2006
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Santa In The News

December 22nd, 2006
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April Brandon, a reporter with the Victoria Advocate, has a jaw dropping interview with Santa Claus. An admission that he was once a Bishop? What will Jack Layton say? What will Justice Marion Cohen say? That he used to give dolls to girls and boys? What will George Bush say? What will Ezra Levant say? And he is 1781 years old? And what kind of gall does it take to ask Santa what your getting this year, never mind if your on the nice list? And “what do you do when you come to a house without a chimney on Christmas Eve?”

My God! The scandal!

Meanwhile, Francis P. Church opines that Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus:

We take pleasure in answering thus prominently the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

“I am 8 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.

Papa says, ‘If you see it in The Sun, it’s so.

“Please tell me the truth, is there a Santa Claus?

Virginia O’Hanlon

115 West Ninety-Fifth Street”

Virginia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours, man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus.

He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The external light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies. You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if you did not see Santa Claus coming down, what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus, but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived could tear apart. Only faith, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus? Thank God he lives and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10,000 years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

In the past weeks, meanwhile, it was revealed Ottawa spied on Tommy Douglas, reports on Washington’s spying on John Lennon were released, now comes news that Norad may illegally be spying on Santa Claus:

The North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), the bi-national U.S. and Canadian military organization responsible for the air defense of the United States and Canada, will be closely tracking Santa’s movements this Christmas Eve.

Tracking Mr. Claus begins with the NORAD radar system called the North Warning System, said Master Sgt. John Tomassi, the director of NORAD. He said the system consists of satellites located 22,300 miles above the Earth that detect Rudolph’s nose, which gives off an infrared signal.

This has been going on for fifty years? where has the MSM been on this issue? Apparently, Santa is a republican, how else to explain so little noise over this harassment.

And what’s this about Rudolph and infrared? Does Rona Ambrose know about this? Does Stephan Dion? And when is Jack Layton and Elizabeth May going to save us from Rudolph’s nose?

You know the terrorists have won, h0wever, when Santa needs a fighter escort on Christmas eve:

Norad also uses jets, either F-15s or F-16s, to help escort Saint Nick across North America. Those jets are equipped with Santa Cams that capture images of Santa and his reindeer.

No presents in those Talibanese stockings this year! You and the little ones can keep an eye on Santa yourself here.

Then there is the aggrivation of having to pass his transport Canada safety checks every single year:

OTTAWA, Dec. 21 /CNW Telbec/ – Santa Claus passed his medical test with
flying colours, announced Transport Canada today. Although his physician
suggested he eat fewer cookies this holiday season, his blood pressure is fine
and his eyesight is very good. Regular medical tests are part of the
requirements that pilots need to meet to obtain and keep their licence.
Another requirement for pilots, including Santa Claus, is to show their
flying ability and knowledge through a number of manoeuvres. This is done
through a flight simulator test and/or a check ride. Santa Claus also passed
this requirement.
A Transport Canada inspector travelled to the North Pole to conduct
Santa’s check ride. Santa made sure the sleigh was washed and the reindeer
were clean. The inspector checked the equipment by walking around the sleigh,
checking the harnesses, the landing gear and even Rudolph’s nose. He also verified Santa’s logbook and made sure all of Santa’s paperwork was in order.

Santa has to keep a logbook and pass a physical every year? At 1781 years old? Good God, what with being harassed by Washington, Ottawa, the terrorists, nosey reporters and sceptical little girls, it’s a wonder he doesn’t call in sick-of-Christmas


Blue Blogging Soapbox Blogging Tories Site of the Week

December 22nd, 2006
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The Blue Blogging Soap box Blogging Tories Site of the Week is my fellow LFR’er The Prairie Wrangler. Olaf covers conservative politics fairly, and with a sense of fun.

Since At Home in Hespeler was down last week due to a blogger issue, I feel compelled to pointy out last weeks Site of the Week The Blonde Conservative. Proving you don’t have to be dumb to be blonde, Carolyn Gardner, a Carlton student from Winnipeg provides an interesting place to read (even if she mis-spells her name).


Picture of the Day – Special Delivery

December 21st, 2006
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