Voices from Russia

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

12 November 2014. A View From the East… Spying on Santa (Luo Jie/China Daily)

00 Luo Jie. Spying on Santa. 2013

Spying on Santa

Luo Jie

2013

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Yeah… it’s almost American Christmas season… that is, from American Thanksgiving to Catholic Christmas on 25 December. Unlike trad Christians in the Catholic, Orthodox, and Reformation Churches, Anglo Americans have a holiday season that PRECEDES the holiday (I shit you not). There ain’t no “Twelve Days of Christmas”… there’s four weeks of utter commercialised madness starting with Black Friday (the Black Mass of this “holiday”)… then, Catholic Christmas… and all Anglo Americans collapse in a stupor, glad that the “holiday season” is over for another year. There’s not even a New Year’s celebration of any note! It’s not like the Russian holiday of New Year’s-Christmas-Epiphany… nineteen days of partying hearty and fun (including jumping in an ice hole on Epiphany… no lie, I’ve done it… don’t knock it until you’ve tried it). It has none of the hearty exuberance of “c’était un Noël au Québec” (grand-père has to come and give the family bénédiction for the coming year first)… NOBODY decorates for the season “comme le font les québécois” (must be that Caribou that they drink… half moonshine and half homemade wine). It isn’t the Sicilian midnight feast after Christmas Mass… nor is it the homely joy of an English Christmas Cake… it’s a deadening exercise… so much so that I wonder why they even engage in it.

Keep your wits about you and stay out of the malls from Black Thursday until Catholic Christmas. Then… CELEBRATE… feast, feast, feast, like real men and women and kids should. Pass me the roast beast, please… I WILL take seconds, if you will.

BMD

12 November 2014. 96 Years Since the “Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month”… Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth and France Unveils Memorial to the War Dead in Flanders

00 australian war memorial. remembrance day. 12.11.14

A man places a memorial poppy on the wall at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra ACT AUSTRALIA

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00 cenotaph. toronto. old city hall. 12.11.14

An honour guard at the Cenotaph near the Old City Hall in Toronto ON CANADA

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00 Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red. Rmembrance Day at the Tower of London. 12.11.14

“Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red” at the Tower of London London ENGLAND UK

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00 Notre Dame de Lorette. FRANCE. WWI memorial. 12.11.14

French troops at the dedication of the L’Anneau de la Mémoire/Memorial international Notre-Dame-de-Lorette (Ring of Remembrance) memorial wall with over 500,000 names of those of all nations who fell in Northern France, at the Nécropole nationale de Notre-Dame-de-Lorette in Ablain St-Nazaire FRANCE (the world’s largest French military cemetery). This event was also in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the outbreak of World War I (“The Great War”). 

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America’s Oldest-Living Veteran: 108-Year-Old Whiskey-Drinking, Cigar-Smoking Richard Overton

00 Richard Overton. US WWII vet. 12.11.14

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On Tuesday, Richard Overton, America’s oldest living veteran, participated in the Veterans Day parade in Austin TX, posing for selfies from the passenger seat of a slow-moving car along the parade route. Chances are, the 108-year-old World War II veteran began the day like any other… on the porch, smoking a cigar, sipping a cup of coffee stiffened with whiskey. Overton told CNN last fall, “I drink whiskey in my coffee. Sometimes, I drink it straight. I smoke my cigars, blow the smoke out … I don’t swallow it”.

Overton, who was born on 11 May 1906, in Bastrop County, Texas, served three years in the US Army, with stops in Hawaii, Guam, Palau, and Iwo Jima. According to the Austin American Statesman, the centenarian still lives in the house he bought when he returned from World War II, still drives an old Ford truck and a Chevy Monte Carlo, and still helps “transport widows to church”. Last year, he received formal recognition as the oldest-living veteran last year. At the time, Overton said, “It makes me feel pretty good. It makes me think I’ve done something right. If I’d done something wrong, I wouldn’t be here”.

Last Veterans Day, Overton travelled to Washington DC, where US President Barack Obama honoured him at an event at Arlington National Cemetery. Obama said, “When the war ended, Richard headed home to Texas to a nation bitterly divided by race. His service on the battlefield wasn’t always matched by the respect that he deserved at home, but this veteran held his head high. He carried on and lived his life with honour and dignity”. In May 2013, a local television reporter asked Overton how long he expected to live. Overton replied, “Whatever God gives me. If he gives me ten more years, I hope I’ll be able to take it. If he gives me five, I hope I’ll be able to take it”.

11 November 2014

Dylan Stableford

Yahoo News

http://news.yahoo.com/americas-oldest-living-veteran-richard-overton-whiskey-211033103.html

12 November 2014. A Photo Essay. Is It Siberia? NAW… It’s Just the Midwest USA… the “Siberian Express” Brought Record Lows

00 midwest cold 01. St Paul MN. 12.11.14

St Paul MN… are they heading for a hot Juicy Lucy (it’s a hamburger, you dirty-minded pervert)?

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00 midwest cold 02. Bismarck ND. 12.11.14

Bismarck ND… “40 Below Keeps the Riff -Raff Out”… actual bumper sticker that I saw in Bismarck many moons ago… betcha they’re still on sale!

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00 midwest cold 03. Minneapolis MN. 12.11.14

Minneapolis MN… no, it ain’t Nome AK… betcha it was warmer in Nome!

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00 midwest cold 04. Coloma WI. 12.11.14

Coloma WI… “It’s not winter yet! It ain’t comin’ until 21 December?” “Waddaya want… go complain to God… now, get back to work!”

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00 midwest cold 05. Duluth MN. 12.11.14

Duluth MN… I always thought that you called somebody’s brother-in-law, who always had jumper cables…

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Brrr… bring out the woolies, snuggies, and long johns! Temps in the Midwestern USA were about 19 degrees (40 degrees F) below normal… now, that’s COLD. All aboard for the “Siberian Express“… via Calgary, Nome, Unalaska, and Cape Anadyr! Don’t forget the jug and don’t forget your mittens…

BMD

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