Nostalgic Rumblings
The Ramblings of an Old Man

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December 2009
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Katie names her kitten Cinders

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 11:57 am

The official name of the little guy has now been declared. While Kate didn’t enunciate her reasons, I have the following theories:

  1. He’s grey and white. He sorta looks like a partially-burned charcoal chunk.
  2. He has a charcoal-like smudge. Underneath his chin, he has a smudge of grey in the white of his bib.
  3. His first action. This is, I think, the main reason for the name. When Katie was opening gifts Christmas morning, she heard a soft mew. She thought it was coming from a bag, so she opened it up only to find therein some cat toys. She then heard another soft mew, and decided it was in a box with a removable lid…when she opened that, a little grey-and-white head popped out. She jumped and leaned backwards, and the kitten immediately hopped out of the box and ran directly to the opened fireplace (yes, I always leave the glass doors and damper open Christmas eve…why increase the difficulty for the big guy?) and jumped in - my wife needed to use wet paper towel to get the soot and cinders off of the little guy so he wouldn’t make himself sick cleaning. It is the concerted opinion of the household that the only conceivable reason he would do this so immediately is that since this was the way he came in, he thought he might be able to go home the same way, not realizing this was his home.

Yes, this actually happened (we have the video)…so Cinders it is.

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Feline Invasion, Day 2

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 5:02 pm
The as-yet-still-unnamed alien invader, delivered via chimney to the household yesterday morning, has as expected made himself and his requirements known, and clearly shows his approval of the situation by running the loudest purring machine I’ve ever heard. He stays with Katie most of the time, unless he decides he needs to grab a nap in her bed without her (usually, which is the case as I type this, he manages to get her to join him to keep him extra warm). Last evening, while Katie was playing a game on her computer, though, he lept into my wife’s lap and nuzzled her hand until she complied with his demand to have attention paid.

Yeah, he’s taken over and is rapidly training the entire family to service his every need.

Even I am slowly warming to the idea that St. Nick, while ignoring my demand of, “No cat!” actually knew what he was doing. This house has been for too long empty of the pitter-patter-crash of little animal feet. And since he has been well-behaved enough, at least to this point, not to knock down the Christmas tree, I think we’ll keep the little varmint.

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We have an unexpected new family member…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 3:45 pm
So against my expressed wishes, the big guy in the red suit decided to bring my daughter a small furry little creature with big eyes, ear tuffs, and too many toes.

You’d think after last year, when I told him not to bring her a Nintendo DS and he did, that I’d know better, but still…

Of course, she thinks this is the, and I quote, “best Christmas EVER!!!!!”

While certainly not a replacement for our late little buddy J.B., this little guy is sorta cute in his own furry little way, and already he and Katie have become thick as thieves…she scritches, he purrs, and all seems to be right with the world for both of them.

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We take pleasure in answering at once and thus prominently…

Filed under: General — Charlie Summers @ 11:22 pm

…the communication below, expressing at the same time our great gratification that its faithful author is numbered among the friends of The Sun:

Dear Editor, I am 8 years old.
Some of my little friends say there is no Santa Claus.
Papa says “If you see it in The Sun it’s so.”
Please tell me the truth. Is there a Santa Claus?
Virginia O’Hanlon
115 West Ninety-fifth St.

VIRGINIA, Your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the skepticism of a skeptical age. They do not believe except they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Virginia, whether they be men’s or children’s, are little. In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the intelligence of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus! It would be as dreary as if there were no Virginias. There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in sense and sight. The eternal light with which childhood fills the world would be extinguished.

Not believe in Santa Claus! You might as well not believe in fairies! You might get your papa to hire men to watch in all the chimneys on Christmas Eve to catch Santa Claus, but even if they did not see Santa Claus coming down what would that prove? Nobody sees Santa Claus but that is no sign that there is no Santa Claus. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Did you ever see fairies dancing on the lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Nobody can conceive or imagine all the wonders there are unseen and unseeable in the world.

You tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world which not the strongest man, not even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance, can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God! he lives, and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay ten times ten thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.

— Editorial page of the New York Sun, September 21, 1897

From our entire family to yours - Annie, Katie (who knows perfectly well there is a Santa Claus), and yours truly; no matter what you are celebrating at this truly amazing time of the year, Happy Holidays!

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Editorial - Twitter Tapping

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 11:38 am

From The New York Times: Editorial - Twitter Tapping

From the article: “The government is increasingly monitoring Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites for tax delinquents, copyright infringers and political protesters. A public interest group has filed a lawsuit to learn more about this monitoring, in the hope of starting a national discussion and modifying privacy laws as necessary for the online era.”

That “friend” request might be from someone who wants to monitor you for a different reason altogether…

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Gene Barry, Who Portrayed Suave Lawmen on TV, Dies at 90

Filed under: Television, News — Charlie Summers @ 12:06 am

From The New York Times: Gene Barry, Who Portrayed Suave Lawmen on TV, Dies at 90

From the article: “Gene Barry, who portrayed debonair lawmen on television but whose career of more than 60 years ranged from song and dance on Broadway to science fiction, died Wednesday in Woodland Hills, Calif. He was 90 and lived in Beverly Hills until about a year ago.”

He portrayed many roles, but for me he will always be Amos Burke.

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Public Barred from Fed Program on Gov’t Openness

Filed under: News — Charlie Summers @ 12:07 am

From the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press: Public barred from federal program on government openness

From the article: “The public and the news media are barred from attending a workshop designed to teach federal employees about a new government office that resolves open records disputes, The Associated Press reports.”

Dear Feds; Thank you for demonstrating once again the meaning of irony. Love, me.

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