Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Auld Lang Syne - Its Origins and A Tribute to Robert Burns

New York~New Years Eve '08

Auld Lang Syne (by Robert Burns)

Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot,
And auld lang syne!

Chorus-For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.

And surely ye'1l be your pint stowp!
And surely I'll be mine!
And we'll tak a cup o' kindness yet,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae run about the braes,
And pou'd the gowans fine;
But we've wander'd mony a weary fit
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

We twa hae paidl'd in the burn,
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roar'd
Sin' auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

And there's a hand, my trusty fere!
And gie's a hand o' thine!
And we'll tak' a right gude-willie waught,
For auld lang syne.
For auld, &c.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

100 Greatest Christmas Songs

Wishing everyone a very merry Christmas.

Christmas carols

how 2008 worked

100 Christmas Songs for Kids

Lunchtime Quiz: Name Santa’s Reindeer

Leonard Cohen~ Hallelujah

Now I've heard there was a secret chord
That David played, and it pleased the lord
But you don't really care for music, do you?
It goes like this
The fourth, the fifth
The minor fall, the major lift
The baffled king composing hallelujah


Your faith was strong but you needed proof
You saw her bathing on the roof
Her beauty and the moonlight overthrew her
She tied you
To a kitchen chair
She broke your throne, and she cut your hair
And from your lips she drew the hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
You say I took the name in vain
I don't even know the name
But if I did, well really, what's it to you?
There's a blaze of light
In every word
It doesn't matter which you heard
The holy or the broken hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

I did my best, it wasn't much
I couldn't feel, so I tried to touch
I've told the truth, I didn't come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I'll stand before the lord of song
With nothing on my tongue but hallelujah

Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah
Hallelujah, hallelujah

Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Time est.1999

"This site was built by Brad & Janine.This is our ninth year bringing you a little bit of the Christmas Spirit that we love so much.We hope you enjoy the site and keep your eye's opened for updates.We like to add new content every year.If you have any suggestions or to report a dead link just click on the mailbox and drop us an e-mail..Thanks again for stopping by and a Very Merry Christmas to You and Yours!"

Friday, December 19, 2008

How the Grinch stole Christmas

“The Pig”

It was an evening in November,
As I very well remember,
I was strolling down the street in drunken pride,
But my knees were all a-flutter,
And I landed in the gutter
And a pig came up and lay down by my side.

Yes, I lay there in the gutter
Thinking thoughts I could not utter,
When a colleen passing by did softly say
"You can tell a man who boozes
By the company he chooses" –
And the pig got up and slowly walked away.

– Anonymous-Poems by Greg Ross on December 22nd, 2007

New York City in Photo-Realistic 3D Now in Google Earth

Winter tunes and poetry

One of my my favorite places to visit:


Buddies Buddies - More amazing videos are a click away

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Grown Up Christmas List by Amy Grant

Do you remember me?
I sat upon your knee;
I wrote to you
With childhood fantasies.
Well, I’m all grown-up now,
And still need help somehow.(can you still help somehow)
I’m not a child,
But my heart still can dream.
So here’s my lifelong wish,
My grown-up christmas list.
Not for myself,
But for a world in need.

No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,(and wars would never start)
And time would heal all hearts.
And everyone would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end.
This is my grown-up christmas list.

As children we believed
The grandest sight to see
Was something lovely
Wrapped beneath our tree.(wrapped beneath the tree)
Well heaven surely knows
That packages and bows
Can never heal
A hurting human soul.

No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And everyone would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end.
This is my grown-up christmas list.

What is this illusion called the innocence of youth?
Maybe only in our blind belief can we ever find the truth.

(there’d be)No more lives torn apart,
That wars would never start,
And time would heal all hearts.
And everyone would have a friend,
And right would always win,
And love would never end, oh.
This is my grown-up christmas list.
This is my grown-up christmas list.

101 Fascinating Brain Blogs

Published on Wednesday 10th of December, 2008
By Alisa Miller
"Whether you are a specialist in the field of neuropsychology or just love reading about how the human brain works, there are plenty of interesting blogs on the Internet to help you find out more. In order to make it easier to for you to discover great blogs, the following list is categorized for easy browsing. With blogs by psychiatrists, scientists, psychologist, and even those dealing with mental disorders, you will find many thoughtful and thought-provoking blogs to keep your brain stimulated."

Native American Indian Photographs

American Indian veterans honored annually at Arlington National Cemetery

Mary Phillips, Omaha/Laguna, played “Taps” in recognition of those American Indian veterans past and present that have served our country.

Baby hippo and the turtle

"Look beyond the differences and find a way to walk the path together"

Santa Claus gets parking ticket from Scrooge cop

Santa/Chip Cafiero can't muster up a belly laugh for the $115 parking ticket he got.
Ho, ho, huh?
Santa's naughty list just got a bit longer after an overzealous parking agent slapped him with a summons.
Kriss Kringle - aka Chip Cafiero - vows to fight the city for handing him a $115 double-parking ticket while he was delivering toys to kids in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, on Black Friday.
"I saw this [traffic agent] jump out of her car and I said to one of my elves, 'She's going to give me a ticket,'" said Cafiero, who annually dons a long, white beard and red suit to bring Christmas cheer and gifts.
"The kids started crying: 'That's Santa's car! That's Santa's car!' But this grinch just went ahead and fined me anyways.
"Talk about a complete lack of Christmas spirit.
"I stood up and yelled, 'Ho! Ho! Ho!' real loud to get her attention, but she just looked at me and scanned my car," Cafiero said.
Cafiero, 60, a retired schoolteacher who organizes community events, was riding a horse-drawn carriage along Third Ave., handing out toys and candy canes to children aspart of Borough President Marty Markowitz's campaign to encourage people to shop in the area.
His carriage was flanked by a Chevy Suburban, which carried the toys and protected the horse from traffic.
The convoy was stopped near 97th St. just after 1:30 p.m. when the agent spotted the double-parked Chevy and quickly issued Santa a summons.
St. Nick said the traffic agent will discover a losing ticket under her tree on Christmas morning.
"I told her she was on my naughty list - but I had a kid on my lap or else Santa would have really let her have it," he said.
"I realize I was double-parked, but for goodness' sake I was handing out gifts to children.
"We weren't blocking traffic. Can't these agents show a little common courtesy?"
No court date has been set. Cafiero wouldn't say whether he'll make his appearance as Kriss Kringle.
State Sen. Martin Golden (R-Bay Ridge), who attended the event with Markowitz and Santa, called the ticket "ridiculous" and said it was an unnecessary burden during Santa's busiest time of the year.
"It looks like Santa Claus will have to make a special trip from the North Pole to traffic court during his busy season," he said.
An NYPD spokesman refused to comment.
With Christina Boyle and Wil Cruz

Dolphins save Palawan fisherman

December 17, 2008 03:08:00
Redempto Anda
Philippine Daily Inquirer

PUERTO PRINCESA CITY, Philippines — He needed a miracle to survive the cold and choppy waters, and he got it in the form of dolphins and whales.

Tuna fisherman Ronnie Dabal was fishing in Puerto Princesa Bay early on Dec. 8 when a squall turned his small motorized boat upside down. It was about 8 a.m.

He clambered atop a small Styrofoam board and battled the punishing waves for hours, growing desperate as the day wore on. How could he imagine then that he would survive in the most astonishing manner?

Dabal, 35, spoke with the Philippine Daily Inquirer on Dec. 9 in the company of his wife and representatives of nongovernmental organizations who authenticated his story.

“I began to pray when I felt my strength draining away. I couldn’t continue paddling with my hands because I was getting so tired, and I was about to pass out,” he said.

The fisherman recalled floating at sea throughout that Monday, paddling against the tide in a vain effort to get to shore, and feeling his arms and legs growing soggy.

Soon, a swarm of tiny crustaceans locally called “bugto” began nibbling on his softened flesh.

“There were so many of them and I couldn’t cope because I was very weak,” he said, showing the bite marks on his limbs.

“I started to bleed. I became afraid that sharks would smell my blood and appear at any time.”

To the rescue

Dabal’s hopes of reaching dry land slowly vanished as darkness fell and blanketed him.

And then, from out of nowhere, a pod of around 30 dolphins appeared: “Dumating ‘yung mga dolphins. Ang dami nila!” [Dolphins came. There were so many of them!]

A pair of whales about 10 meters long also appeared and flanked him: “Tapos, may lumapit na dalawang balyena. Dun sila sa tigkabilang tabi ko lumalangoy.” [Then, two whales approached. They swam with me, one on each side.]

Dabal, a father of two, swore it was not his mind playing tricks on him as he lay weak and still atop his tiny life raft, which the dolphins alternately nudged with their fins to shore.

As this was happening, the rest of the pod stayed close, around a meter away, apparently trying to make sure no harm would come to him, Dabal said.

He said the whales kept to his side, swimming along with the dolphins.

“Based on his description of the animals, the dolphins were probably spinners and the whales were most likely pilot whales,” Dr. Terry Aquino, a local cetacean specialist, told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Saved by his wards

Dabal said he passed out while the dolphins were performing their slow chore of nudging him toward land.

At dawn on Dec. 9, he came to on the beach of Luzviminda village, where the local folk came to his assistance.

Dabal’s unique experience is made more special by the fact that he is a deputized part-time dolphin warden.

He was trained by the Palawan NGO Network and ABS-CBN Bantay Kalikasan Foundation, which are helping the city government in promoting dolphin- and whale shark-watching as a tourist attraction in Puerto Princesa City.

The foundation’s Dr. Gerry Ortega described Dabal as “a warden and a spotter whom we tap to locate the presence of dolphins whenever there are guests on dolphin-watching tours.”

“He is also involved mainly in collecting garbage in the areas frequented by dolphins, to prevent the animals from eating these and being poisoned by the plastics floating around,” Ortega said.

Puerto Princesa City Mayor Edward Hagedorn was so elated by Dabal’s experience that he promised to strengthen his administration’s support for the fishing folk who are helping promote dolphin and whale tourism through volunteer work as wardens and spotters.

“Ronnie’s experience is the greatest proof that what we are doing to protect our marine environment is worth all the effort that we are putting into it. I’d like to think this is the animals’ way of also thanking us for helping protect their habitat,” the mayor said.

Social creatures

Aquino said Dabal’s experience occurred in the very area where dolphin-watching tours were being held, and that it was possible that the fisherman’s “saviors” were the same dolphins seen there.

“There are at least three similar incidents that happened here in Palawan. But overall, these phenomena have not been studied, and the accounts are mostly narratives of the survivors,” she said, adding:

“Dolphins are very social creatures and they are known to be intelligent beings. Some scientists even believe they are capable of emotion.”

Aquino said Dabal could have been rescued by spinner dolphins, the type that like to show off their speed and grace in swimming.

* * *

In The Know: Dolphins to the rescue

On Oct. 30, 2004, a pod of dolphins saved a group of lifeguards from being mauled by a shark in New Zealand.

According to reports by the New Zealand Herald and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp., Rob Howes and three women lifeguards (who included his 15-year-old daughter) were on a training swim off Ocean Beach when seven bottlenose dolphins swam toward them and circled them.

When an opening in the circle occurred, Howes and one of the women drifted away from the group.

One large dolphin detached itself from the circle and dove a few meters away from them. Howes turned, waiting to see where the dolphin would surface.

That’s when he saw the three-meter-long great white shark.

Per Howes’ account, the shark started moving toward the two other women and the dolphins “went into hyperdrive.”

They herded the swimmers together, circling four to eight centimeters from them, and slapping the water with their tails for about 40 minutes.

The shark left when a rescue boat neared.


A pod of bottlenose dolphins also saved the life of a surfer in California, according to

On Aug. 28, 2007, Todd Endris was sitting on his surfboard at Marina State Park off Monterey when a great white, estimated at four to five meters long, hit him but failed to bite.

On its second try, the shark clamped down on Endris’ torso, peeling the skin off his back. It then tried to swallow his right leg, biting the limb to the bone.

Endris used his left leg to kick at the shark until it let go.

That’s when a pod of bottlenose dolphins showed up and circled him, protecting him from further attacks from the shark.

Endris got back on his board and caught a wave that brought him back to shore. He was able to surf again after nearly four months.

Marine mammals

Dolphins are marine mammals related to whales and can be found worldwide. They feed on fish, squid, crab, shrimp and lobster.

They are social creatures and tend to form long-lasting groups, which they depend on for hunting, defense and raising their young. Eliza Victoria, Inquirer Research; wit editing by

Copyright 2008 and content partners. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Porky Pig- Blue Christmas

Man offers to aid homeless cancer victim

Marjorie Quewezance breaks down in tears Sunday while talking to Jeff Cliff
Photograph by : Gord Waldner, The StarPhoenix
A Saskatoon man is pledging $1,000 to help pay the rent of a homeless woman with terminal breast cancer, and he is hoping others will follow suit.
In an intensely emotional meeting Sunday afternoon at the YWCA, Jeff Cliff told Marjorie Quewezance he wanted to help.
"I'm here to tell you today that I want to put something together for you. I am here to try and make things right for you," Cliff said.
Quewezance began to cry, and thanked Cliff for caring about her.
"I am so grateful for this kindness. I want to live with dignity in a place of my own," she said.
Quewezance, whose recurrent breast cancer has likely spread, is dying. She wants to spend the time she has left in a safe, clean, private place to call home. She's searched the listings for basement suites and apartments, but rents have skyrocketed in Saskatoon during the past year.
Quewezance said nothing decent is available for the amount provided by her social assistance payments.
She's currently staying in an emergency dorm room at the YWCA, but will need to find somewhere to live by early January.
When Cliff read a StarPhoenix article last week detailing Quewezance's predicament, he got in touch with Quewezance and met her for the first time Sunday in the foyer of the YWCA.
They're from two different worlds. Cliff is a financial advisor who moved to Saskatchewan more than a dozen years ago. Quewezance grew up poor on a First Nation in eastern Saskatchewan and struggled to complete her high school diploma at age 25.
But her story reminded Cliff of his own family. Cliff told Quewezance about his two-year-old daughter, Ciara, who was diagnosed with leukemia when she was six months old. Ciara had a successful bone marrrow transplant and is doing well.
Cliff said he was grateful for all the support his family received during their trying time. He told Quewezance he wants her to be comfortable and to know there are people who care.
"We had the resources to deal with (Ciara's illness) and we want to help you with that," he said.
Quewezance began to sob and Cliff put his hand on her back.
"We want to give you some hope and dignity," he said.
For the next week, Cliff and his staff at Jeff Cliff Financial Services are inviting anyone with a donation or other ideas on how to help to call them at 657-5732.
Cliff is chipping in $1,000 to start things off, and he hopes Saskatoon residents and businesses will join in.
"If you can't decide what to get someone for Christmas, how about giving some money to help her? We have so much," Cliff said.