MMXII is the year 2012 spelled out in Roman numerals. Roman numerals are usually placed on cornerstones of new buildings to express the meaning and solemnity of the upcoming edifice.
Two Thousand and Twelve comes to us with a host of questions and insecurities, but it also affords us the ideas of optimism, faith and expectation. These are international, national, plus personal wishes for improvement in the upcoming year.
We left Hicksville Station at 4:30 p.m. on a Thursday afternoon on our way to see Seminar, a Broadway play on 45th Street at the Golden Theater. Our seats were in the rear-mezzanine, but they offered a great view of the stage.
Sitting next to me was a tall fellow and his date. When we spoke he had this smooth, rich, husky bass voice. It was quite impressive. He laughed at all the right places so I assumed he was well-read and up-to-date.
A few weeks ago, in an attempt to fight off a cold, I ordered a bowl of chicken soup at a local lunch counter. One of the counter boys who is in his late teens asked me if I heard that the United States was just declared a war-zone by the U.S. Senate. I said, “What are you talking about?”
He filled me in. But what he told me didn’t fully compute. What he said, in a nutshell, was that the U.S. Senate passed a bill that would empower the U.S. Military to arrest American citizens and detain them anywhere in the world without being charged or without a trial. I didn’t want to be dismissive. I questioned myself, “Why didn’t I hear about this in the mainstream media?”
If ever you wanted to compare the benefits of Capitalism and Communism, all you have to do is look at the Korean Peninsula. The recent death of Kim Jong Il at age 69 brought this question to mind in a stark manner. North Korea (above the 38th parallel) is suffering from food shortages and a harsh economic climate while South Korea (below the 38th) is a thriving democracy selling cars and electronic devices to the world.
While North Korea is producing nuclear bombs and rockets, South Korea is producing Samsung wide television sets and automobiles such as Hyundai, Kia and many other peaceful products.
Don’t let the unseasonably warm weather fool you. Winter is coming soon, and things are going to get frosty before you know it! Cold weather can cause serious problems for household water pipes and sprinkler systems. Each winter, your pipes can freeze and possibly burst, potentially costing you thousands of dollars in repairs. While these issues affect many homeowners each year, there are a variety of quick, easy steps that you can take to protect your home from water-related damage and unnecessary expenses during the winter months.
In order to avoid damaging pipes, sprinkler systems should be winterized before the temperature dips below freezing. Make sure to drain and turn off your sprinkler system before the start of the winter season. Also be sure to drain outside faucets and turn off all other outside water sources to prevent freezing and breaks. Additionally, check your water meter pit cover to ensure that it is intact and firmly bolted down. Shutting off and draining all water service lines to unheated structures until spring will prevent breaks to these lines.
The recent media revival of the shipboard death of Natalie Wood awakened a sore place, 30 years dormant in my heart. I definitely had a crush on this tiny little actress.
The first time I ever saw her perform, she was playing a little girl in Macy’s Department Store in the delightful 1947 fantasy Miracle on 34th Street. The wonderful cast included Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O’Hara and John Payne. After that performance, she was destined to become a movie star in later life.
I come bearing a little holiday good cheer.
At a time of year when many Long Islanders find themselves being a little more interactive with the religious faith they celebrate – either by birth or by choice – we bring some good news from the faith community.
While the modern media’s approach to the religious debates of the day may miss this point, the Christian imperative has always been to be welcoming to immigrants.
Now a new translation of the Bible makes that imperative clearer: The Bible has a lot to say about the importance of being welcoming to immigrants.
Question: Do you have to suffer with a disease or malady to become a registered counselor in that particular ailment?
The question arose from a television advertisement that purported to solve the illness called anorexia. The saleslady testified that she was a victim of anorexia and could help others. She appeared healthy and of average build to prove that she was no longer suffering from this debilitating sickness. My mind started ticking.
I have also viewed such ads for Alcoholics Anonymous and Gamblers Anonymous. In many cases, the therapist or counselor, at one time, had been a patient. To me it is not a problem viewing these recovered alcoholics and gamblers as people who know the downside of their private lives.
The oystercatcher is a 17.5-inch bird whose signature feature is a large, thick red bill. Its head is black as is the breast, which looks like a bib next to the white belly. The back is dark brown and the legs are a pale pink. Using its prominent bill with a rapid motion, the bird probes wet sand for shells and adeptly removes the meat. Until last winter I’d only seen oystercatchers a few times and at a distance.
Last March on a Florida beach, to my surprise, at the edge of a large group of gulls, terns and skimmers is an oystercatcher. Looking desultory, the bird lifts off over the Gulf flashing a bold white wing design. Based on past experience, I incorrectly assume that is the last I’ll see of it. A few mornings later an oystercatcher is feeding at the water’s edge. It has a shell in its bill from which it seems to be extracting the insides. This sturdy avian stands in the water with head submerged as incoming waves wash over it. Soaked, the head looks even blacker and some of the feathers standing up give it a touch of wildness. In comparison, smaller sanderlings feeding nearby, chase retreating waves and run from incoming ones. Lean willets, also smaller, go into the water but aren’t as heavy duty, braving the waves as this guy. This is interesting comparative birding.
We moderns who were recently captured by the Internet Revolution should easily empathize with the 1927 entrance of The Jazz Singer with Al Jolson, which led to Hollywood discarding silent films. Within a decade, the production of black and white, no-speech films ceased. The Artist is a story of the “silents.”
Many former film stars could not make the “talkies” that were being produced. The new silent film The Artist deals with this phenomenon. George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a superstar in silent movies. He is a singing, dancing actor with Gene Kelly and Douglas Fairbanks in mind. As he refuses role after role, his star descends and he is well on the way to oblivion.
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