Sunset over the Sunoco

Sunset over the Sunoco, Portsmouth, NH.

Late fall/ early winter skies are a consolation prize for losing the light early. I took this with my iPhone while pulling out of the parking lot where I go to the gym. Edited it, somewhat dramatically and without restraint or good taste, in Camera+.

Some links I have recently bookmarked as worthy of revisiting and sharing…

Trailer for one of my favorite sentimental Christmas movies: Joyeux Noel

James Altucher: Ten Things Entrepreneurs Don’t Learn in College

WSJ: The Corporate Welfare State: A cause to unite the tea party and the Occupy Wall Street crowd

Peter Wehner: Barack Obama, Political Hack, and Daniel Henninger: Obama’s Godfather Speech

Yuval Levin: What is Constitutional Conservatism?

McSweeney’s Internet Tendency: Please Help the Ecopod Habitat Biotel by Marriott in Our Efforts to Conserve.

YouTube: Everything’s amazing and nobody’s happy.

WSJ: Tim Tebow: God’s Quarterback

Mr. Magundi On the ‘God of the Gaps’

American Digest: On Sunday Morning One Month After Death

Music: Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros: Home

Naughty by nature

Cat at Christmas.

She has been more naughty than nice. Let us make a list.

1. She removes ornaments from the tree, rather carefully, but then bats them around on the floor until they disappear under something.

2. It is impossible to wrap gifts with her in the room: she jumps up onto the unfurled wrapping paper; gets in every open box; grabs every ribbon end in her sharp little teeth.

3. She drinks from unattended glasses and cups. When she is finished, she places one paw carefully within the glass and tips it over to spill the rest of the contents.

4. She runs zigzag in front of walking people, who are sometimes carrying laundry baskets.

5. She chews the leaves off plants and the wrapping paper off gifts.

6. She tries to run out of open doors. When she gets outside where she doesn’t belong, she meows piteously, wailingly, lonesomely, yet persists in being nearly impossible to catch.

7. She wakes us up at 5 a.m. if she wants to play or eat by walking on us and meowing,

8. After she eats her cat food, she drinks water from the fish bowl not the cat water dish.

9. She bites.

But because she is a cat, we have extremely low expectations for good behavior and Santa will still deliver the goods for her.

(This is an iPhone photo I edited in phone with Camera+ and TiltShiftGen apps.)

Christmas Present

North Church and the Christmas tree in Market Square, yesterday in Portsmouth, NH.

In mid-afternoon, we fortified ourselves for shopping with a big shared plate of curried mussels and some beer at the Portsmouth Brewery. May I recommend the Scotch Ale?

A big, malty, amber ale brewed in the tradition of the Scottish highlands with a touch of smoked malt. Full-bodied & smooth.

And (or do I mean But?) don’t forget it’s 9% alcohol!

For some people, like my husband, a good kitchen store is a toy store. Leroux Kitchen proved both gift-productive and fun. Ah, the joy of discovering that a specific tool exists to make a small job easier and more pleasurable. Also pleasurable: that the staff knew a lot about the wares and could answer any question.

I wonder if these really work: Onion Goggles.

Choosing gifts can be stressful, but it is also an opportunity to hold persons we care for in our minds for a moment, envisioning their habits and likes, and imagine what would be useful or delightful to them. As the Stoic philosopher Epictetus wrote: “Do not suppress a generous impulse.”

Our shopping trip turned into a pub crawl – okay, we went to one more bar, befriended the bartender, met an acquaintance and stayed, merrily, for perhaps a bit too long – but the experience was far superior to a trip to a crowded mall. And why be miserable at Christmastime?

“I am the Ghost of Christmas Present,” said the Spirit. “Look upon me!” – A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens

Wikipedia: A Christmas Carol is a novella by English author Charles Dickens first published by Chapman & Hall on 17 December 1843.

Rockin’ NYC

Eye spy New York.

Looking down from the Top of the Rock.

Looking north towards Central Park.

St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Fifth Avenue.

Temple of fashion, with holiday decorations, Fifth Avenue.

Ye olde family reunion Thanksgiving in a ‘burb of Philadelphia, then I dropped my husband at his hotel in midtown Manhattan (he was flying out of JFK in November, to places like Rio de Janeiro).

Sunday morning we went to the top of the Rockefeller Center. I would recommend it to anyone! Wonderful for real live big picture views of a great American city. Also, not crowded at all on a Sunday morning, even during the beginning of the busy holiday season.