Tuesday, December 29, 2015

If the Creek Don't Rise

Seriously, keep us in your prayers. We've had very little notice and very little time to prepare. This happened once before in 1993, and I hope I don't have to see it happen now. By Thursday, we'll know one way or another if the levee will hold.

Power to the pen.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Tis the Season

I'm going to have to give serious thought to whether or not Sunday is the right time to update this blog. When I'm not sick, I'm overloaded with work. Courtney and I are enjoying the last of a much needed three day break. Let me see if I can highlight what I've been thinking about for the past few weeks.

1. San Bernadino

Not surprised, and still horrifying. They said they would, and they did. The usual players came out to say their peace. It seems anti-gun activists are so focused on inanimate objects because they refuse to admit there is a fundamental problem with the character of our society and the latter is a much more difficult problem to tackle. My advice? Stay vigilant and get your concealed weapons permit if you haven't already, then get trained by professionals.

2. Christmas Parties

At work, we celebrated a traditional French festival called La Revellion, or The Revealing. It has been observed in Ste. Genevieve on Christmas Eve since the 1740s. We pulled out all the stops to make the place look (and smell) fabulous! Despite the rain, we had close to one hundred people come, and my boss tells me that is one of their best years to date.

Me and the Mrs.
Some singers and their musicians who delighted us with Christmas songs in French, English, and German.
An example of period desserts.
A hanging chandelier, which would have been common in French homes.
The candles represent the light of the world (Jesus).
The greenery represents everlasting life (through Jesus).
The apples represent the fall of man, while the wafers represent his redemption (though Jesus).
Everything is in pairs of three (Trinity).
Enough symbolism?
No manger for Christmas decor this old. This is a cresh. The figures are called santons, meticulously hand-carved and
hand-painted ornaments. The wise men are on the other side of the room, and won't be over here till Dec 25.
Notice that they are dressed like Frenchmen and not Jews. Also, the French didn't use Christmas trees at this time.
The main spread...which was later eaten.

After dark.

3. Typewriters

We had a bit of a financial scare, and I've had to stop buying any and all typewriters. Those of you who follow my posts on the FB collector's group know I came home with a Remington Rem-ette, but only because it was a measly $24. I've decided to sell it to another collector, who has the resources to get the feed rollers recovered. I'll put it on the TDB before it leaves the house. My SM7 has been dropped off at Vern's for repairs. Very soon I hope to report back on something special concerning my Corona 3. It's been in the works for over a month.

4. Writing

The in-laws will be coming to spend most of next week with us, so we cleaned out the office/guest bedroom. I found my beloved Air Jordan shoebox which contained the original manuscript for my contemporary novel Things to All Men (which will be rewritten at some point). I also found some of the first typecasts I ever made, including the poetic "A Typewriter Can." I'm tweaking a short story for submission to Popshot magazine, one of my favorite publications. Hopefully it'll be accepted. The fantasy novel continues at a snail's pace, but I am making consistent progress. It currently weighs in at 518 typed pages. My Lettera 32 is doing most of the work. Hopefully it will be finished before February of next year. This is the longest amount of time I've ever spent on one story.

5. Books

I've decided to make up for lost time and read the entire Harry Potter series. I just finished Hotel by Arthur Hailey, thought it was great. We had to buy another shelf to accommodate the rest of our library. Thankfully, we had an unused Walmart gift card, so we didn't have to dip into the paycheck. Courtney and I have probably read 50 books between us this year. We've been toying with the idea of buying into The Book Rack at some time in the future. The idea of running our own shop sounds like fun, maybe set up a few chairs, small tables, and public typewriters.

That's all for now. Merry Christmas!