The Widdershins

Posts Tagged ‘holidays


Well I have to say Widdershins this is the most optimistic I have felt since November 2016.  I freely admit that the road ahead will not be easy but with a strong majority in the House, despite not having the Senate, things are looking up and since all revenue bills must originate in the House this is gonna be enjoyable.  Add in the new chairs of committees such as Judiciary and Intelligence, and it is gonna be a fun year to watch.

With that let’s look at some New Years songs.

(1) Bringing In A Brand New Year~Charles (not Charlie) Brown

(2) Funky New Year~Eagles

(3) Happy New Year~Abba

(4) Maybe Baby (New Year’s Day)~Sugarland

(5) It’s Just Another New Year’s Eve)~Barry Manilow (somewhat a downer)

(6) My Dear Acquaintance (A Happy New Year)~Peggy Lee

Okay Widdershins.  If you have any favorite New Year songs share them in the comments below.

Open thread of course.


wacko criminal lineup

Good afternoon Widdershins!

Are you in the Christmas uh holiday spirit yet?  Have you been fighting the (madding or not) shopping center or mall crowds?  Well cheer up bunky, you won’t find that stuff here today.  Nope, you’re just going to find some odd or funny news stories and a few youtube clips.

black-line divider-no-background-th
So if you thought your job was bad
consider this one

In the movie Patton, George C. Scott as the general makes a speech about “shoveling sh!t in Loozeana”.  If you live in India and were born into a certain sect or class then it’s your life’s calling.

Dharamani Kale emerged from the manhole, sewage clinging to his body. Next to him, Sona Bai gathered filth in a small round basket and carried it on her head to the end of the street. The unpleasant process had started at dawn and would continue for at least 12 hours.

This is how sewers are cleaned in most Indian cities, including Mumbai, the nation’s booming financial capital: Workers use metal scrapers, brooms or their bare hands to clear drainage and sanitation lines twice a year, before and after the annual monsoon rains.

Add in this little tidbit too:

More than 95% of sewer workers are members of India’s lowest social class, the Dalits, once known as “untouchables,” according to the government’s figures. Labor activist Milind Ranade said the jobs still exist because of widespread apathy toward Dalits, who remain severely marginalized despite efforts to end caste-based discrimination.

And as bad as that may seem, being part of the Dalits caste, even that group has a hierarchy:

Rajni was only 10 when her mother told her that she would spend her life picking up human excrement from dry latrines. They belong to the Valmiki caste, regarded as the lowest among the Dalits – formerly India’s untouchables.

“She said that we are born to do this. First, we clean the waste of others and then we get to eat,” Rajni recalls her mother saying.

Now 21, Rajni remembers how sick she felt for most of her childhood; the stink emanating from the excrement; and the flies that followed her when she carried the waste in a basket fetched from the households in her village in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

“The worst days were when it rained. The waste would drip onto your neck and shoulders,” she told Al Jazeera. “You wanted to keep throwing up.”

Rajni was married as a teenager and continued to be a manual scavenger in her husband’s village until 2012 when Sulabh International, a non- profit organisation, replaced the dry latrines in her village with flush toilets.

Supposedly India passed legislation: “The Prohibition of Employment as Manual Scavengers and the Rehabilitation Act 2013 prescribes a prison term for one year or a fine of $826 (50,000 rupees) for engaging manual scavengers”, but guess what?  It still goes on.    So the next time you want to kvetch, gripe or bitch about that job…think again.  There’s more info at the two links if you wish to read it.

Forget about running with scissors

Just don’t run into those damned knives.  It’s just the peskiest of damned things.  There you are, just standing around your house extending a knife and your husband just runs into the thing!

The 32-year-old woman who is accused of fatally stabbing her husband in the Hollygrove neighborhood told investigators that he “ran into” her knife during an argument the previous evening, New Orleans police said. Katrina Lampton-Tollette, booked Tuesday night with second-degree murder and obstruction of justice, is expected to appear for a bond hearing Wednesday (Dec. 9) in Orleans Parish Criminal Court.
[and what’s more he didn’t want any medical attention]

A preliminary police report states that Lampton-Tollette and her husband, 42, were in a fight Monday night when she “armed herself with a knife.” Her husband “ran into” the knife, she told police, but he “refused medical attention.”

Now this happened on a Monday night and Ms Lampton-Tollette said she “discovered her husband was ‘unresponsive’ ” on Tuesday morning.  Gee, ya think?

It was homemade fried chicken but was it
finger lickin’ good?

I’m just gonna paste it in because sometimes there’s nothing left to say.

Houston police found a man later identified as Darwin Perez Gonzalez, 34, lying dead around 11:30 p.m. outside near the entrance to the Monte Carlo Apartment Homes on Lakewood Estates Drive.

Several witnesses saw the fight, which started between Gonzales and roommate Reinaldo Cardoso Rivera, 38, over the last piece of homemade fried chicken, a drumstick. They went outside to fight over the chicken, and that’s when Rivera allegedly stabbed Gonzalez with a steak knife.

 Four or five Cuban men live in the apartment, police said.

“There was a single drumstick in the pan,” according to HPD Homicide Detective Fil Waters. “You can’t script this stuff. It’s someone getting killed over a piece of chicken. Pretty tragic.”

Yep, pretty tragic.

Are the Norwegians telling us something we already knew?

Ah the good Norwegians.  They sure know how to explain or describe crazy.  And hell, they haven’t even met the politicians from the gret stet!

If you’re Norwegian or happen to spend a lot of time around Norwegians, then this fact that absolutely blew our minds might not be news to you, but apparently the word “Texas” is slang for “crazy” or “wild,” as in, “the end of the [whatever sport they play in Norway] game was totally Texas!”
Usually, when the word “texas”—as an adjective, most often without capitalization—appears in Norwegian, the context involves the phrase, “det var helt texas,” which translates to, roughly, “it was totally/absolutely/completely bonkers.” You wouldn’t call a person “totally texas”; it usually describes a chaotic atmosphere. –

I’m sorry Texas Monthly, I’ve seen and heard Texas politicians and I’m going to call them “totally texas”, like it or not.


Some assorted youtube clips

This guy definitely should have read the owners manual first.  Supposedly he just drove it out of the dealership.

This cat is definitely showing his stuff against the big ole tiger.

These next two bad lip reading clips are especially for Laker and Prolix.

and part two:

Okay Widdershins, this is completely open so discuss as you wish.  Remember there is a Democratic debate tonight and perhaps it will get interesting with the unauthorized data usage thing.








Madam MB is just a bit under the weather today and is enjoying some well-deserved rest.  She will return next week. Prozac stuffing

This week marks the beginning of our annual stress marathon.  For the next month or so we will engage in a mad dash of places, people, and circumstances.  For most of us that means a rendezvous at the corner of unwanted pressure and unhealthy anxiety.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

Recently I’ve spent a good deal of time reviewing my personal stress level.  Throughout my career, I gave little or no thought to stress – it was just there.  My work weeks were uniformly sixty to eighty hours.  When my parents became ill, I traded eighty hour weeks for 168 hour weeks of 24/7 care giving with a whole new set of pressures.

The long and short of this – at some point I had a heart attack and was either too busy to care or too busy to notice.  I have no idea when my heart sent me the message, but it was sometime during the last seven years.  During that time I was an ambulatory time bomb.  That bomb went off and during the last ten months I’ve spent more time in the hospital than I ever care to again.

Thanksgiving 1863I mention this not to elicit sympathy, but to make a point.  Even someone in otherwise excellent health, built and educated to handle stress can succumb to its deleterious effects over time.  Stress is a killer – there are plenty of studies and meta-analyses to prove it.  It is particularly harmful to women and can lead to a myriad of heart weakening conditions.

The stress of cooking, planning, escorting, ushering, chauffeuring, hosting, mediating, cleaning, designing, and a hundred other activities associated with Thanksgiving and Christmas does nothing for one’s overall health.  It doesn’t have to be that way.

There are ways to combat stress.  Things like making sure you get enough sunshine, taking a walk, or listening to music.  There are things that are less obvious, like occasionally sniffing citrus, using honey as a sweetener of choice, or finding your hoko spot and squeezing it for thirty seconds or so.  Your hoko spot is the fleshy spot on your hand just below your thumb.

There are some lifestyle changes that are more difficult – like abandoning old customs.  Instead of fretting and slaving to create a Martha Stewart Thanksgiving production, let a restaurant fret over the giblets this year.Stressed is desserts

Forget about the pretense of perfection.  This has always been a personally difficult concept for me.  I would hold on to a project much too long under the guise of making it perfect.  What I was really doing was elongating the stress to avoid risking failure.  So this Thanksgiving embrace less than perfect gravy or less than perfect place settings.  For those who notice the lumpy gravy, give them a whisk and a disdainful eye roll.  The world will survive.

Probably the biggest lifestyle change is the power of positive thinking.  Positivity goes beyond just happiness since “happiness is an emotion; optimism is a belief about the future.”  Optimistic positivity helps in disease resistance, heart health, better coping skills with dramatic change, and can even slow the aging process.

One of the greatest Thanksgiving stressors is either the drunk uncle or the all-too-sober devoted Fox viewer.  Here’s my best advice and it comes from John Lennon when he said, “I don’t want to be a loudmouth, lunatic, poet, musician, but I cannot be what I am not.”

For the longest time I thought I had some sort of cosmic responsibility to bring the truth and light to those who were totally Foxified.  That self-delusional belief was nothing more than misplaced egotism because no matter how hard you try, you can’t make people “what they’re not.”

Freedom of expectionSo for those guests who are loudmouths or lunatics, accept them for what they are because it is unlikely they will ever be poets or musicians to your ears.  When you let go, the stress reduction is remarkable.

My simple advice for this Activist Monday is to “deactivate” this week.  Reduce your stress.  Walk instead of driving if you can.  If you have to drive, drive in the right lane only.  Leave fifteen minutes early or be complaisant with being fifteen minutes late.  Forget perfection.  Embrace offers of help.  If there are no offers, ask for help and be specific about what you need.  Remember – guilt is a thief living in your head that robs you of life experiences.

Stress is a killer – disinvite it this year.

Have a great Monday and take this conversation in any direction you might want to explore.

Happy New Year 2015

Happy New Year’s to all of the Widdershins and friends   Here’s hoping your New Year’s Eve will be happy, fun and safe.

Enjoy the fireworks gif below.

animated fireworks-o

And once again, don’t have too much of that buck25 vodka!  😉

Whoa!black-line divider-no-background-thOh good, everyone is occupied today.  So this is a good time for me to go ahead and announce that this will be my last post for The Widdershins.  Real life issues have come up and I have to say they must take precedence right now.  Writing posts was extremely hard for me to do.  It took..well, takes a lot of time for me; several hours actually to compose, proof and correct a post.  It was something that I wanted to try and I’m grateful that  our madamab gave me the opportunity to try my hand at it.  Also, I hope she’ll still let me come by to make a comment and not ban me totally for having to step away from writing posts.  Anyway, it has been fun, a learning experience and I’ve “met” a great group of folks here.

Best wishes for the New Year!  Fred

Bonfires light the way on the levee for Papa Noel in St. James Parish

Bonfires light the way on the levee for Papa Noel in St. James Parish LA.

It is a Christmas Eve tradition in St. James Parish to build these huge bonfires on the river levee and they are supposed to light the way for Papa Noel on his Christmas Eve journey.

It is now Christmas Eve and will be Christmas Day when you read this.  For Christians it is the date that celebrates the birth of the Christ Child.  Much wonderful and beautiful music has been written and performed in celebration of this and I’m going to just add a few pieces here for your listening pleasure.

They may be wacky but they sure sing good.

This is a nice version of Lo, How a Rose, with Frederica von Stade.

From King’s College (one of Beata’s faves).

Another from King’s College

One final, light one from King’s College

One last thing folks:  Don’t look for me around very much today.  The snow that Beata and others up north will be getting, will be generating this for me:

Christmas Day Wx for Fredster

Christmas Day Wx for Fredster

It’s actually going to start in the afternoon but I think the “juicy” stuff comes in later as this shows.  We’ll have the gamut of rain/wind/hail and tornadoes.  Fredster may be cowering in the closet holding on to the laptop and any other possessions he holds dear!  😯   Damn!  I knew I should have gotten a bicycle helmet!

Hope everyone has a great Christmas Day!

Well today is the day we celebrate the birth of our nation and then go out in the heat and pig out on ribs, barbequed chicken, potato salad, barbeque beans, corn on the cob and of course apple pie and ice cream.  I’m sure you will be washing it all down with glasses of iced cold tea either southern sweet tea (which sets my teeth on edge!) or “normal” tea, or perhaps some good lemonade.  After darkness falls, lots of us will probably gather somewhere to watch some fireworks displays, although with so much excessive heat and dryness, personal fireworks displays may be quashed.

So with all of this in mind, let’s listen to some patriotic music, shall we?

This one doesn’t necessarily come to mind for the 4th but George M. Cohan certainly wrote some patriotic songs.

This one is usually heard with a march-type tempo.  I tried to find one with the Boston Pops but couldn’t so I’m using this version with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir.  One thing you can say, their diction is clear!

Next, I’ve got one from “The March King” himself, John Philip Sousa, The Washington Post March.

Next up I’ve got one from the great singer Kate Smith, with what was considered one of her signature songs, God Bless America.

Finally, what would a musical 4th of July be without “The Stars and Stripes Forever”.  This one is performed by the Marine Corps Band, also known as “The President’s Own”.

Happy Fourth of July Widdershins! Hope you have a grand old time!!

All right, Widdershins.  It’s time, not only to congratulate ourselves for surviving yet another week in this toxic environment, but to party down with our holiday of choice.  And there’s a lot of them – some already in progress, others forthcoming.

Here’s a list of winter festivities in order of 2011 occurrence:

Chanukah:  12/16-23

College bowl games: 12/17-1/9

Yule: 12/22

Festivus: 12/23

Christmas: 12/25

Boxing Day: 12/26

Kwanzaa:  12/26-1/1

New Year’s Eve: 12/31

If I missed any, feel free to correct me.  If not, feel free to add your favorite holiday music to the comment thread.  I have submitted a tune for each occasion and look forward to the same from y’all.  Let the festivities begin!

(1) Light the Candles – PS 22 Chorus, unclear if it’s recorded

(2) Hail to Georgia – Georgia Redcoat Band – Traditional

(3) Ring Out, Solstice Bells – Jethro Tull – Songs From the Wood

(4) The Festivus Song – LHHS Choir, original song

(5) Oh Come, Oh Come, Emmanuel – Enya –And Winter Came, 2011

(6) Boxing Day Song – Helen Morris

(7) Seven Principles of Kwanzaa – PS 22

(8) Auld Lang Syne – Royal Scots Dragoons – Traditional poem by Robert Burns

Celebrate every damned thing that you can think of,  y’all.  You’ve earned it ten times over.

This is an open thread.


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Blog Archive

November 2019
« Oct    

Kellyanne Conway’s new job

Take the kids to work? NO!

That moment when *your* pussy gets grabbed

You go gurl! h/t Adam Joseph

“The” Book

Nice picture of our gal

Time till the Grifter in Chief is Gone

Hopefully soonerJanuary 21st, 2021
14 months to go.

Mueller Time!

Wise Words from Paul Ryan


Only the *best* politicans bought by the NRA

Marching for their lives

Perfect Picture

Rudy: oh shit the pee tape IS real!

Need Reminders?

Never too early to shop for Christmas

“Look this way”

Manafort’s Jail Photo

Indeed who?

Trump spam

IOW Dumb = Happy?

Simply Put


Awrite! Here’s your damned wall

Dems are coming for ya