December 30: brickberry

A term for the old, outdated phone you have to use when your current phone breaks.

“It takes me ten minutes to type a text message on this brickberry now that my iPhone broke, but at least i get to play snake.”

Urban Word of the Day

I have a brickberry – It’s my main phone.

Drink More Coffee!!

This is good news for you coffee fiends –
The steaming cup that wakes you up can also keep you healthy. Research shows that coffee protects against a variety of ailments—from cavities to colon cancer. And some studies suggest that the more you drink, the better.

The beverage lowers your risk of type 2 diabetes and can protect your liver from damage, too. Caffeine gets the credit for some of coffee’s magic powers, including protection against Parkinson’s disease and gallstones. But coffee’s main benefit comes from its wealth of antioxidants. In fact, the coffee bean, which is technically a berry, has one of the highest antioxidant contents of all berries, says Tomas de Paulis, Ph.D., formerly of the Vanderbilt University Institute for Coffee Studies. That’s why, drop for drop, coffee has more of these nutrients than even red wine. If you have osteoporosis, be sure to follow your doctor’s advice for calcium supplementation, because in some studies, coffee drinking has raised the risk of bone fractures.

All is calm, all is bright

From Every Learner’s Knowledge News

December 25, 2008 


Silent Night


What happens when you pair the poetry of a priest with them usic of a school teacher? Christmas magic! On December 24, 1818, in Oberndorf, Austria, Father Josef Mohr gave the schoolmaster, Franz Gruber, a poem he had written two years earlier. Mohr asked his friend to set the poem to music.

Considering Gruber was the church organist, you might think his music would be for voice and organ accompaniment. Yet Gruber wrote it for voice and guitar. Some say the church organ was broken. Others say Mohr, a guitarist, simply wanted more music to play. That part of the story isn’t clear.

What’s certain is that the piece was performed that very Christmas Eve at midnight mass at St. Nicholas Church, where Mohr was the assistant priest. The silence of the night was broken when Mohr, Gruber, and a choir sang “Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!” for the first time. Mohr also played his guitar.

“Silent Night” Makes Noise

The song might have just rested in heavenly peace at that point, but Gruber credits an organ builder, Carl Mauracher, with starting the carol’s spread. According to Gruber, Mauracher took the music with him on his business travels. 

Eventually, two singing families, the Strassers and the Rainers, added the song to their repertoires, took it on tour, and made it known throughout Europe. Before long, people were singing “Silent Night” in English as well as German, and in hundreds of other languages, too. 

“Silent Night” Makes Peace

But the story of “Silent Night” isn’t just the story of the song. In 1914, when World War I was only months old, it was once again Christmas Eve, and armies were celebrating as best they could. Troops on both sides began to sing Christmas carols. Eventually, someone sang “Silent Night.”

With “Silent Night,” enemies were temporarily bonded in song, as both sides knew the words and melody. The Germans sang in German, the British sang in English, but they sang this carol together. Soon, soldiers climbed from their trenches and met in No Man’s Land in an impromptu truce.

They buried the dead from both sides, exchanged tokens of Christmas cheer, and even played a game of soccer. The Christmas truce didn’t last, but for a few shining hours in the trenches of the battlefield, it really was a silent night.

–Rebecca Bigelow

Learn the English Lyrics to “Silent Night”

Read (or even sing) it now:



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One more Christmas gone by the wayside

This wins as the quietest Christmas ever. We got up, just the two of us, had breakfast, lazed around, finally opened up the gifts (SCORE!!) and semi cleaned up.

Andrew came over in the afternoon and we had Christmas dinner, which turned out okay. Honeybaked ham, hard to go wrong with that and now there will be some leftovers for Bob now and hopefully Tim when he gets here Sunday night.

It was all so low key I couldn’t get over it.
Also, we did a gift exchange for the bulk of my family for whom I usually buy presents. We drew names and bought one big (I thought it was big, anyway) gift certificate to the recipient’s choice of stores, online or off.
This was certainly easy … but it was really, really boring. I missed shopping and diddling around trying to figure out what anyone might like. I didn’t know what to do with myself during the pre-Christmas rush. No rushing! Who knew I’d miss it – I bitch about it every year like it’s a bad thing, but apparently, it’s not.
So next year … count me out on the gift cert exchange. I’m buying presents for those persons I love and they damned well better buy me one, too. 🙂

Heart warming sentiment

Merry Christmas, Bitches

Merry Christmas, Bitches

All right, all right, maybe that’s a bit much.  But everytime I see these guys they make me laugh.  It’s from a 1994 Sun Magazine, somewhere toward the back.  I just ran into it again.

Merry Christmas!  I hope you are all safe and warm and enjoying the season as much as you can.

Peace and love!

Carlos Nelson Molina, one creative guy

Okay, Carlos Nelson Molina is my new favorite guy. He’s the Mr. Rogers of Paper Creativity. I’m off to Michaels to buy some pretty paper for a lantern for the Christmas dinner tomorrow.


PS This website didn’t work for me in Firefox, but was worth opening IE for. No, Really!


I made his lanterns and had them on the table for dinner today.  They are kind of funky and cute.