Monday, November 30, 2009

Great News for Fall River Chow Mein fans!!!

Hoo Mee is back!!!!!

Herald News reports it will be next week before the boxes are on store shelves, but if you want to show up at their door, the company will gladly sell you 1, 2, 3 or 5 pound bags.

The real and true meaning of Christmas

Stolen, lock stock and barrel from Quriltai on the Shore, one of my favorite bloggers. Look through the rest of his blog for equally insightful posts on a variety of topics. I'm seeking his permission after the fact to reproduce his excellent piece in its entirety.

The War by Christmas
It was an unnecessary war declared quite some time ago without a clear exit strategy, where the tide is running against conservative dreams, yet it is still cheered on by Fox News and their friends despite all evidence. Iraq? No, the War by Christmas.

That's not a typo, and it is something that needs clarification up front...we don't have a case of a recently declared "war on Christmas" in America that seeks to victimize delicate Christians, but rather a new phase in a centuries-long war declared and conducted by Christmas. The war was begun by Christmas, and I see no reason to ease up now that the aggressors are seeing the tide reverse. From now on, I will refer to this conflict by the historically accurate name "War by Christmas" and encourage you to do the same.

You likely know the full story. The most primitive of humans knew that life was warmer, better, more comfortable with more time with that bright thing in the sky. The two greatest miracles of their world were childbirth and the sun, so no small wonder that almost every culture assigned an Earth-mother and a Sun-god. However, on a yearly basis the sun seemed to be moving away, and weakening. Their god was dying. And every year, somehow, at the point of death, the Sun-god returned and grew again in strength.

We call it an astronomical event, the winter solstice. They turned it into a seminal religious feast. This near-dodge with the end of the world was a solemn annual moment, and inspired a wide range of rituals that would occur in late December. The Incans tied a celestial rope to the sun lest it stray too far away. The Kalash of Hindu Kush still offer dances and praise. Egyptians honored Aset. European pagans and their early Roman neighbors celebrated Saturnalia in late December. Most Romans marked the feast of Natalis Sol Invictus -- the Birth of Mithras, the Unconquered Sun -- on December 25th. Mithras became known to the Roman in the second century BC as a sun-god of Persian background who was born of a virgin mother, and would later die and resurrect in order to offer salvation to all. (Mithraism was as fundamental to the final shape of Christianity as Judaism. It is as accurate to say that Paul and Luke set out to spread Christianity to Mithraists as it is to say they were targeting Gentiles.)

Then the Christians came. Insofar as we can trust the Christian Bible with the label of "history", we are told that Jesus' birth occurred as "shepherds were outside, keeping watch over their flocks by night" (Luke 2:8). Shepherds only lived outside with their flocks while the sheep might be birthing -- something that only happened in springtime.

However, by the early 3rd century, the Christian church moved the feast of Jesus' birth lock, stock, and barrel to December 25th. A few days from the winter solstice and the exact day of the birth of Mithras. When exactly this occurred, we don't know, as the Catholic Church has a long history of keeping inadequate and questionable records on things like historical developments, treasury, and personnel shufflings. So when Emperor Constantine decided to use the Roman army to force Christianity on all, the die was cast. Christmas had declared war on all comers. Several centuries later, it is losing the war it began.

So don't give me this "War on Christmas" BS. About 1,700 years ago, Christmas declared a war in which it is experiencing a reverse. So Fox "News", the AFA, and the rest of you morons, stop complaining.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Song of the Day: They're not here, they're not coming

Say what you will about Don Henley, the guy is a great songwriter. Think of all those tremendous Eagles tunes. One of the lesser players in the band said a not so small part of the reason the band broke up was songwriting. All of them wrote songs, but gradually Henley and Frye ended up with more songs on the albums, because their songs were better. There was some resentment and some attitude about it on both sides. Then it got to a point where even Frye couldn't keep up with Henley and the whole thing fell apart.

Henley can probably be a MAJOR pain in the ass to deal with. If you don't agree with his politics, you don't need to be told this, I'm sure. So let's bypass love and heartache, even the environmental and liberal politics and take a look at a pretty damn good song he wrote about...aliens.

From the Inside Job album, which is full of good songs from front to back, here's "They're not here, they're not coming." Great lyrics.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Random commentary

Lakeville Hospital: It's creepy, it's sad, it's almost gone. I'm always interested/sad to see buildings after they've been left a while. There's the part of imagining them as haunted places like in movies. (I like horror movies) But there's also inherent loneliness and visible neglect that stirs feelings that something went wrong and and is on the very edge of reaching a point where it can never, ever be put right.

I generally don't like to hear of things being torn down.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Song of the Day: It makes no difference

Brilliant. Danko sings it like his heart is bleeding all over the stage and Robbie and Garth show that just because you can do something with an instrument doesn't mean you should.

What's wrong with a lot of the music these days? The recording artist acts like the song is serving them. The Band understood they were supposed to serve the song.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Monday, November 9, 2009

Computers + Trains + Music

Cool stuff, courtesy of Universal Hub. UH linked to a company who took MBTA data from a day, matched each line to an instrument and then tied volume of the note assigned from the instrument to rider volume. Pretty cool result. Check it out. Warning: they say Internet Explorer will crash, but they link to a youtube version.

Song of the Day: Empire State of Mind

Tremendous song. If the NY Board of Tourism hasn't bought the rights to use this in an ad campaign, they're crazy.

Jay Z and Alicia Keys.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

As a matter of fact

No, I'm not going to comment on that.

iTouch, so far

Since Sunday, I have downloaded the following apps to my iTouch. All of them have been free.

iHandy Coin Flip
Firemint R.Racing GTI
Paper Toss
Whoopie (cushion, not pie or bedroom activity)
Optime Chess Free
Doodle Buddy
Zippo Lighter
Word Warp
Grand Lite (piano)
Dog Whistle
Super KO Boxing 2
Touch Hockey
Stick-Fu Lite

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Song of the Day: Electioneering

Radiohead, from the ultra kick ass Ok Computer album. Lyrics here.


I've begun worshipping the Sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the Sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.

George Carlin

Monday, November 2, 2009

Song of the Day: Touch Me

I got an iTouch over the weekend. I'm really liking it and my eyes haven't quite started to bleed yet.