One Down, One to Go

Ah, Thanksgiving is finally here. Unlike the masses that shop in the store I work at, I’m thankful the holiday is here, rather than it’s still in the offing, so we can get past it and on to the last holiday of the year, and be done with 2020, as well as the ‘silly season’.

I suppose in a way it’s a symptom of getting older.  The more years I put on, the less I’m up for all the pomp and circumstances of the holidays, and more interested in getting them over and done with and behind me.  Christmas I suppose is pretty much the only holiday that I’m ok with tolerating, because it has elements that to me are enjoyable still and I can revel in, to some extent.  The music, some of the pagentry, the decorations (as long as they don’t get too ostentatious) and the memories things invoke, are more tolerable to me than the trappings of Thanksgiving.  To me, Thanksgiving reminds me of the year my mother died, and how that situation invariably ruined the holiday for me.

Too, the whole bastardization of the holiday is sort of off-putting, given how it was created in the first place.  Commercialization does have a way of making things less palatable, or perhaps dumbed down for the people that wish to have it simple, rather than understanding how it all began.  Thanksgiving was a holiday to allow people in the 19th century to be appreciative of what they had, to hearken back to a time when things were perhaps more dire and remember that there had been much progress in the 200 years since the pre-beginning of the US.  

Abraham Lincoln was the President that cemented the last Thursday of November as the ‘official’ Thanksgiving, in a time when there was a Civil War (hardly civil in many respects) raging in the southern part of the divided country.   There had been other days of ‘Thanksgiving’ or of memorializing the concept of being thankful for what the country had, or the citizenry of same possessed, or ‘had’ at that time.  With the unrest and armies mowing down each other en masse, it was necessary to refocus, or redirect the citizens into something peaceful, something to take away the horrors of the war that was tearing the country asunder.

Today, it’s all about retail.  Buying the right turkey at a reduced price, having to purchase the trappings to go along with it (gotta have that dressing, cranberry and pumpkin pie, right?) or if you’re less traditional, getting a ham or rib roast, and all the other sundries that go along with those menu choices.  Even this year, with people not traveling as much due to the pandemic, having to stay home unexpectedly, dragging out cookware that hasn’t been used in years, since they traditionally haven’t been home for the holiday.  I saw a lot of that this year, along with people asking about how to cook things that they like, but have no idea how to actually prepare it themselves. (I had a gentleman who stated he loved prime rib roast, he has it often, but when I got him the size he wanted for him and his wife, just before I turned away, he stopped me and asked how to cook it.  Fortunately, this wasn’t the first time this has happened, so I gave him a basic recipe that I’d seen on Foodwishes.com along with a handout that we have in the department for people that need a little assistance with cooking roasts and so on.)  Apparently not everyone either has an Internet connection or knows how to navigate it to find more than silly cat videos.

My wife and I, we’re celebrating subdued.  I have the day off from work (thank you!) so I don’t have to deal with the brouhaha there on the holiday.  Granted I’ll be working tomorrow for the aftermath, where we’ll be marking down the turkeys that we still have (the fresh ones, the frozen, or partially thawed ones go back in the freezer) and making the department look presentable after having been run from one end to the other for the past two days.  We’re getting a few holiday dinners from a place near us that does catering, the woman has been trying to make her business work with the pandemic, and people not needing catering for events that they cannot host due to restrictions on people gathering together.  You really have to feel for people who had planned for beginning businesses like that, and support them however possible.  So instead of cooking something ourselves, we’re picking up the dinners at 1 this afternoon, storing them in the fridge and having our holiday dinner this evening.  I’m roasting a butternut squash to go with the traditional meal we’re getting, just an addition that my wife and I both like.  Dessert is included, so we don’t have to worry about creating a huge mess in our galley kitchen.  No muss, no fuss and we can have a relaxed evening after.  

So, one holiday down, one to go.  If you made it this far, sorry (not sorry) for the rant.  I hope you and yours have a great holiday.  Enjoy the time you can spend together, if you can use Zoom, Skype or FaceTime (or Google Duo) to connect with your far flung off family, take time to do so.  Which reminds me, I need to FaceTime with my Mom. 

Happy Thanksgiving, 2020.

What’s your favorite?

I was on Facebook the other day, poking around when I happened to stumble upon a post from a co-worker asking her friends to reveal their favorite songs. This co-worker is presently laid up and off work due to multiple herniated discs and may not be returning to work until next year depending on whether or not they can be rectified by surgery or other methods.

A couple of her friends posted in response but one seemed not to be able to understand why she wished to know the information, or was hesitant to share. I took the opportunity to insert my .02, saying that it was a way to pass the time, when one is off work and sitting at home either healing or biding their time to get back to work, anything can be a diversion. So offer your favorite song, with a link, what’s the harm?

To bolster my point, I offered up my favorite from the 1970’s, at least one of them. Having lived this long, I just don’t have one favorite that is far and away above all others. I recently found a version of it from 2018 that was pretty amazing. One of the front men of the group collaborated with a youth orchestra and choir and managed to transform the music into something very different from its original tone and version.

So, for your perusal and enjoyment, I give you the upscale version of Styx’s ‘Fooling Yourself’ by Tommy Shaw and the Contemporary Youth Orchestra.

So, that’s mine. What’s yours?

Persistent Buggers

Apparently, someone (or several someone’s) wishes to gain access to this blog.

This morning I was looking through the stats and just happened to check out the ‘Activity’ tab and discovered beginning Oct 22, someone using the username ‘mark-s’ has been attempting to sign into my WordPress account. Not to be outdone, either the same person (or another bugger) has been using the usernames ‘ml’ and ‘admin’ to do the same thing. Thus far, they’ve been unsuccessful.  I have to admit that I find it somewhat humorous that they’re attempting to hack a blog that admittedly isn’t updated all that often.  Perhaps they want to try their hand at something innocuous, and then work their way up to stealing nuclear codes.  Or some such hijinks.

Either way, they’re not going to get very far here.  My passwords generally are pretty complex, and I change them fairly regularly.  I don’t utilize passwords that can be hacked or guessed via a dictionary attack, so they’re sort of out of luck on that tangent.  I am aware of what IP address they’re using (unless it’s spoofed), but certainly, now that I’ve become aware of their tinkering, I can keep a better eye on things.  

If the cracker/hacker/fanboys are reading this, I have to say, best of luck, but you’re not going to gain access.  Go somewhere else to have your jollies.