Not The Target Market

Yearly Archive: 2016

What Does Santa Really Want?

Around this time, a good number of years ago, I took the children to see Santa Claus. He was a very good Santa Claus. The white hair and beard were his own. He was just fat enough to be convincing, rather than ridiculous, and his chatter and ho-ho-hos sounded genuine. Then he blew it. (more…)

Our Bountiful Blessings


Franz von Defregger – Grace Before Meal (1875)

When I was growing up, we sat down to dinner every night as a family, even on those nights my father was late coming home from the office. And before the first fork was lifted, we said grace.

This sounds all peaceful and idyllic. In fact, as we knew four or five different blessings, there was always a skirmish beforehand as each one of us kids tried to be top dog and lead with our favorite. Or perhaps it wasn’t exactly our favorite, but the one that really irritated the sibling we wanted to annoy the most. (more…)

Popping the Bubble

city-in-bubbleFor a long time I have maintained that real diversity has nothing to do with outward appearance and everything to do with what is on the inside. In other words, a multi-racial/multi-cultural group, all shouting the same thing, has very little in common with actual diversity. It is diversity of mind and thought that we should be striving after – irrespective of what it looks like on the surface. (more…)

What is Truth?

Jesus is Condemned to Death 1917 Eric Gill 1882-1940 Transferred from the Library 1979

Jesus is condemned to Death. Woodcut by Eric Gill.

So Pilate said to him, “Then you are a king?”

Jesus answered, “You say I am a king. For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.”

Pilate said to him, “What is truth?  (John 18:37-38)

“Post-truth” – the word of the year for 2016 according to the Oxford Dictionaries – is defined as an adjective “relating to or denoting circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than appeals to emotion and personal belief.” (more…)

Completely Unexpected

fall_leavesBy all reliable reports, we were supposed to have a pathetic foliage season. The dry summer had ruined the colors, or so we were told. The leaves would turn, the experts predicted, but the foliage would be pale and dusty looking, and everyone would be disappointed.

Well. That Didn’t Happen. We had the most spectacular landscapes I’ve seen in a long, long time. Every leaf looked as if it had auditioned for its part; the trees were on fire and simply lit up the air with scarlet, cadmium yellow and persimmon hues.   (more…)

What a Novel Idea

trump-clintonToday’s First Reading at Mass (from the Letter of St. Paul to Titus) struck me as beautifully appropriate for today.  It began:

You must say what is consistent with sound doctrine,
namely, that older men should be temperate, dignified,
self-controlled, sound in faith, love, and endurance.
Similarly, older women should be reverent in their behavior,
not slanderers, not addicted to drink, teaching what is good, ….

Any comments I could make would be superfluous.

The Curve in the Road

curve-in-the-roadMy grandfather used to say that it was no use worrying, even if it looked like disaster was a sure thing. This advice came from someone who was experienced in disaster.

His mother died before he was two; his father, before he was ten. Young Will ended up in the care of his one-legged Uncle Jim. Family lore has it that Uncle Jim lost his leg gun-running in the Civil War. Family lore also has it that Jim didn’t lose his bold sense of adventure when he lost his leg, and that, in fact, it was young Will who looked after his uncle, not the other way around. (more…)

Here We Go Again

cows-curious-cattle-agricultureThe great energy-saving time switch, brought to you by your government, is scheduled to happen tonight. In the autumn, the change isn’t so hard on the humans – we all gain an extra hour of sleep; but it is murder on the clocks and the cows.

In the fall, clocks can’t go backward. They need to be wound through a complete cycle – annoying whether you are dealing with analog or digital. (Of course, if you are really cool, you have only digital clocks programmed to set themselves whenever the time changes, or whenever there is a power outage. I am not that cool.)


We Aren’t Living in a Video Game

zombie-ammoToday while I waited for The Hunter to finish his business at a sporting goods store, I browsed among the guns, fishing tackle, compound and cross bows and outdoor gear. I don’t need a thing, but it’s always fun to look.

Why I never stumbled across the “zombie hunting” crossbows and guns, before, I don’t know. I am over-the-top appalled. (more…)

A Modern Halloween


Images that would illustrate my point turned my stomach. I prefer these pumpkins.

Here is what bothers me about Halloween these days: it has turned into a celebration of blood and gore. Haunted hayrides display tortured bodies hanging in the orchards and fields. Fright houses exhibit scenes of pain while spewing “blood” at the gawkers. (more…)