Happy Holy Holly Days to All!

Happy Holidays. Boulder, Colorado, 2016
Happy Holidays. Boulder, Colorado, 2016


Overheard at a shopping mall today somewhere in this fine country:

Shopper 1: “Wait just a damn minute! Did you just say ‘Happy Holidays’?”

Shopper 2: “Well…uh…yes. Why?”

Shopper 1: “Are you one o’ them damn libtards that’s wagin’ war on Christmas? Prolly a Muslim-lover, too, eh?”

Shopper 2: “Well, then, Merry Christmas to you, then! I was just trying to be all-inclusive. Not everyone in our country is a Christian, you know.”

Shopper 1: “Well, it’s a Christian country and, dammit, everyone should say ‘Merry Christmas’!”

Shopper 2: “I take it you are a Christian then?”

Shopper 1: “Yer goddamn right I’m a Christian! And I’m packin’, too, so ya better stop with that ‘Happy Holidays’ crap right now!”

And so it goes…(sigh)…

Diversity (and the food that goes with it!) is so much more interesting, don’t you think?

December 8Bodhi Day

December 12Milad un Nabi

December 15Dhanu Sankranti

December 21Winter Solstice

December 23Festivus for the rest of us!

December 24Hanukkah (through January 1)

December 25Christmas

December 26Kwanzaa (through January 1)

December 26St. Stephen’s Day

December 26Boxing Day

December 28Holy Innocents

December 31Watch Night

January 6 – Epiphany, or Día de los Reyes

El Tió, A Catalan Christmas Tradition

El Tió de Nadal. Boulder, Colorado, 2015
El Tió de Nadal. Boulder, Colorado, 2015



It sort of loses something in translation, but:

“Caga tió,
caga torró,
avellanes i mató,
si no cagues bé
et daré un cop de bastó.
caga tió!”
Shit, log,
shit nougats,
hazelnuts and cheese,
if you don’t shit well,
I’ll hit you with a stick,
shit, log!

There are even much longer versions of the verse.

You repeat this little ditty as you tap the log mock-threateningly with a stick…then a gift for you magically appears from under the log! Kids love it, of course. and it’s one of the Catalan traditions this 25th of December.

(For another interesting tradition, check out the “caganer”–or, “shitter”–you’ll find in nearly every Catalan Nativity scene. There is symbolism and deeper meaning involved here, as well as the obvious humor–check the link. Kids love to spot the caganer (pronounced kah-gaw-NAY) hidden somewhere in each Nativity display they come across.)

Hope you have a Merry Christmas, Happy Festivus, or whatever it is you might celebrate.

[NOTE: Those with some knowledge of Spanish/Castellano may be tempted to translate “Tió” as “uncle”, but that is incorrect. Tió is a Catalan word meaning “large branch” or “trunk” or “log”. Note the accent symbol is over the letter “o”. Tío is the very different word you are thinking of in Spanish/Castellano which means “uncle”.]

Happy Mother’s Day!

Nothing like fresh-baked, home-made chocolate chip cookies, fresh from Mom’s oven!

For this special occasion, I dragged out CCCarl’s old 20-pound 8×10 view camera with the massive wooden tripod–the one he used when he was hanging out with Ansel in Yosemite back in the 60s–then had Mom hold stock-still for the 30-second exposure. Cropped it a bit on each side during the developing/printing process in the darkroom. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge!

Yep, the cookies were great!

Mom's Cookies. Tucson, Arizona, 2014
Mom’s Cookies. Tucson, Arizona, 2014

And now for something completely different

Santa Portrait. Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona, 2014
Santa Portrait. Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona, 2014


How about Santa Claus passing out candy canes all day–on the summit of Camelback Mountain, way above and in the middle of the megablobolis of Phoenix, Arizona. (I used to live in the blob–before it was Los Angeles.)

What a wonderful way to pass on good cheer for the holiday season. And in a full-on whiteout due to the low clouds, no less. I doff my cap to the man.

Their crew also hauled three Christmas trees to the top and decorated them with ornaments. Ho, ho, ho!

They plan on holding the Santa vigil atop the camel’s hump each weekend day through Christmas. I’ll post the specifics on Santa’s Facebook page later this evening. [See Camelback Santa on Facebook!]

Ho Ho Ho Says Santa. Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona, 2014
Ho Ho Ho Says Santa. Camelback Mountain, Phoenix, Arizona, 2014

Happy National Turkey Day!

Ben's Birds On Display. RMNP, Colorado, 2014
Ben’s Birds On Display. RMNP, Colorado, 2014

Apparently, the idea that Ben Franklin wanted the turkey to be our national bird is not precisely true. He did, though, question the idea of the eagle and, in that context, he examined the relatively superior characteristics of the turkey. You can read Franklin’s very words in this Smithsonian article–words I’m sure he wrote with a mischievous twinkle in his eye.

Now, some more humor…of a sort.

Expression o’ the day: “Tying on a groaner.”

Explanation: Eating so much all you are capable of doing is laying down on the carpeted floor and groaning.

Be thankful you have the food and the carpet to be able to do this. The whole idea of being able to “tie on a groaner” would be totally foreign to many millions in this world of ours.


Parting iPhone shot (but channeling the wet plate process of William Henry Jackson). The view from the mountain biking trails on Marshall Mesa this Thanksgiving morning:

Flatirons Pano from Marshall Mesa. Boulder, Colorado, 2014
Flatirons Pano from Marshall Mesa. Boulder, Colorado, 2014