Sunday, December 21, 2008

From Luke and Dickens - Merry Christmas to All!

. . . from the Book of Luke In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to his own town to register. So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were there, the time came for the baby to be born, and she gave birth to her firstborn, a son. She wrapped him in cloths and placed him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn. And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger." Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests." . . . from Charles Dickens The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment. "Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask," said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit's robe, "but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?" "It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it," was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. "Look here." From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment. "Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost. They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread. Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude. "Spirit, are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more. "They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end." "Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge. "Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?" The bell struck twelve.

25 comments:

Andy Whiteman said...

Merry Christmas to all!

Anonymous said...

If you have presents under the tree make sure you lock your house each and every time you leave and if you have an alarm system don't forget to turn it on. I have seen alot of suspicious cars in my neighborhood driving around just checking things out. So plese be careful and Merry Christman to all.

Greg Walters said...

Received this from a regular contributor to the blog. Very interesting.

Anyone else have any comment on it?

Ever heard this before?
(snopes approved)

I locked my car --- as I walked away I heard my car door unlock I went back and locked my car again three times. I looked around and there were two guys sitting in a car in the fire lane next to the store. When I looked straight at them they did not unlock my car again.

How to lock your car safely.

While traveling my son stopped at a roadside park. He came out to his car less than 4-5 minutes later and found someone had gotten into his car, and stolen his cell phone, laptop computer, GPS navigator briefcase.....you name it ... called the police and since there were no signs of his car being broken into - the police told him that there is a device that robbers are using now to clone your security code when you lock your doors on your car using your key-chain locking device.. They sit a distance away and watch for their next victim. They know you are going inside of the store, restaurant, or bathroom and have a few minutes to steal and run. The police officer said ...to be sure to manually lock your car door-by hitting the lock button inside the car, that way if there is someone sitting in a parking lot watching for
their next victim it will not be you. When you hit the lock button on your car upon exiting...it does not send the security code, but if you walk away and use the door lock on your key chain- it sends the code through the airwaves
where it can be stolen, something totally new to us...and real ... be aware of this and please pass this note on..look how many times we all lock our doors with our keys...just to be sure we remembered to lock them....and bingo someone have our code...and whatever was in the car...can be gone.

Keep safe everyone

Andy Whiteman said...

Thanks for the warning. It is probably something like cell phones being cloned.

2 Police officers got me up at 5AM one night because my garage door was open. At the time I thought that may be because I didn't watch it close and the safety mechanism opened it. I have had spider wenbs or leaves cause it to re-open because they were in the safety beam. I started watching it close completely each time. I watched it close completely one afternoon then when I went out several hours later it was open. Makes me wonder if someone has a device to open garage doors or maybe a random radio signal is opening it? My opener is a newer model that resets to an unique code for each opener I add to the system.

So everyone, please watch your garage door close completely each time.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

I became suspicious when I received an email about car security cloning so I checked Truth or Fiction. This is fiction but it seems to me that the technology is possible similiar to cell phones being cloned. Check:

http://www.truthorfiction.com/rumors/c/carlock.htm

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Tom Rigot, Sr said...

Regarding the car key fob story, I checked with a couple of my clients that are police officers and they tell me that there are no devises that they are aware of that are capable of stealing your key fob security code when it is pressed. The story sounds plausible but is apparently like many other things circulating on the internet, just not true! These officers also told me of another story going around that says if you lock your car accidently you can call home, have someone press the spare key fob next to your their cell phone while you hold yours next to the locked car and it will open. This is also an internet falsehood as it won't work! That's Greg for the Biblical and fictional Christmas stories.Merry Christmas everyone!

Tom Rigot, Sr

Andy Whiteman said...

Strange things can happen with electronics, especially wireless electronics. I have a wireless doorbell that sometimes will sound for no reason. Today it went off several times. I was looking outside to make sure no one was around. While I was checking, a pick-up drove by and set off the door bell. There was obviously some electronics in the truck the same frequency as my door bell.

I previously mentioned my garage door opening by itself. I asked Chief Lynch about that and he knows of no device that can do that. Obviously some stray signal is also activating my garage door.

We have a pretty good Police Force when they notice a garage door open at night. Red Dogg had to alert me to the Police presence because I am deaf in one ear and sleep on my good ear to have quiet.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

May God Bless us everyone! Merry Christmas!

Anonymous said...

I read the story about the three tax abatements in Downtown Raytown.

Two of the businesses are retail operations and will create sales taxes for the city.

But I cannot see how a real estate office creates any tax revenue for the city. There is not sales tax on the property. The sales force is generally not in the building.

It looks like the city is underwriting a Knabe scheme to make money at the taxpayers expense.

Andy Whiteman said...

While Real Estate offices don't generate sales taxes, they generate employment (Realtors and staff), pays property taxes, as well as finding buyers for homes and businesses so that these property taxes are paid preventing a vacant, blighted area.

But I wonder, is it possible to prevent a blighted area when our city allows blighted streets? If I had seen the streets in this condition when I bought my home, I wouldn't have bought in Raytown! Hopefully I will be able to sell my house after I move.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

Andy,

Check again.

If what I saw and heard on the televised meeting of the city council is correct, Gary Knabe will not pay any property taxes on his new building for the next 15 years.

Staff? Knabe doesn't have any staff. Maybe a couple of realtors. But they don't spend their time in downtown raytown.

I still don't see how their is an upside to this deal for the city or taxpayers.

The only winner is Gary Knabe.

Guess he deserves some credit for being clever enough to fool the stooges on the city council. But it does not do much for the rest of us.

Anonymous said...

You are right about Knabe. He will do anything to take advantage of the taxpayers of our city. Again, the "good ole boy system" is alive and well at city hall. Wonder how many of these aldermen got contributions from Mr. Knabe. I know for a fact that he was a big supporter of Mayor Bowers. Mayor Bower should live in Chicago, since he is practicing their style of politics.

Andy Whiteman said...

I am glad we aren't in Chicago, but KCMO politics is a close 2nd.

Maybe anyone who contributed to an elected official's campaign should not be allowed any benefits such as a TIF.

There sure have been a lot of ripoffs here with Schnucks, developers collecting $$$ but not performing, and Walmart getting a 23 year tax break!

Now, how do I get my tax break????

Andy Whiteman

doc summers said...

Merry Christmas to all from your Firefighters and Paramedicss Local 1730...
Capt Doc Summers
Raytown Fire Rescue

and yes i will be on duty tommorrow...

Andy Whiteman said...

Doc, I thank you and others in the emergency services jobs who work 24/7 including holidays and weekends.

Merry Christmas to all.

Andy Whiteman

Andy Whiteman said...

TWAS THE NIGHT BEFORE CHRISTMAS,
HE LIVED ALL ALONE,
IN A ONE BEDROOM HOUSE MADE OF
PLASTER AND STONE.

I HAD COME DOWN THE CHIMNEY
WITH PRESENTS TO GIVE,
AND TO SEE JUST WHO
IN THIS HOME DID LIVE.

I LOOKED ALL ABOUT,
A STRANGE SIGHT I DID SEE,
NO TINSEL, NO PRESENTS,
NOT EVEN A TREE.

NO STOCKING BY MANTLE,
JUST BOOTS FILLED WITH SAND,
ON THE WALL HUNG PICTURES
OF FAR DISTANT LANDS.

WITH MEDALS AND BADGES,
AWARDS OF ALL KINDS,
A SOBER THOUGHT
CAME THROUGH MY MIND.

FOR THIS HOUSE WAS DIFFERENT,
IT WAS DARK AND DREARY,
I FOUND THE HOME OF A SOLDIER,
ONCE I COULD SEE CLEARLY.

THE SOLDIER LAY SLEEPING,
SILENT, ALONE,
CURLED UP ON THE FLOOR
IN THIS ONE BEDROOM HOME.

THE FACE WAS SO GENTLE,
THE ROOM IN SUCH DISORDER,
NOT HOW I PICTURED
A UNITED STATES SOLDIER.

WAS THIS THE HERO
OF WHOM I'D JUST READ?
CURLED UP ON A PONCHO,
THE FLOOR FOR A BED?

I REALIZED THE FAMILIES
THAT I SAW THIS NIGHT,
OWED THEIR LIVES TO THESE SOLDIERS
WHO WERE WILLING TO FIGHT.

SOON ROUND THE WORLD,
THE CHILDREN WOULD PLAY,
AND GROWNUPS WOULD CELEBRATE
A BRIGHT CHRISTMAS DAY.

THEY ALL ENJOYED FREEDOM
EACH MONTH OF THE YEAR,
BECAUSE OF THE SOLDIERS,
LIKE THE ONE LYING HERE.

I COULDN'T HELP WONDER
HOW MANY LAY ALONE,
ON A COLD CHRISTMAS EVE
IN A LAND FAR FROM HOME.

THE VERY THOUGHT
BROUGHT A TEAR TO MY EYE,
I DROPPED TO MY KNEES
AND STARTED TO CRY.

THE SOLDIER AWAKENED
AND I HEARD A ROUGH VOICE,
'SANTA DON'T CRY,
THIS LIFE IS MY CHOICE;

I FIGHT FOR FREEDOM,
I DON'T ASK FOR MORE,
MY LIFE IS MY GOD,
MY COUNTRY, MY CORPS.'

THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER
AND DRIFTED TO SLEEP,
I COULDN'T CONTROL IT,
I CONTINUED TO WEEP.

I KEPT WATCH FOR HOURS,
SO SILENT AND STILL
AND WE BOTH SHIVERED
FROM THE COLD NIGHT'S CHILL.

I DIDN'T WANT TO LEAVE
ON THAT COLD, DARK, NIGHT,
THIS GUARDIAN OF HONOR
SO WILLING TO FIGHT.

THEN THE SOLDIER ROLLED OVER,
WITH A VOICE SOFT AND PURE,
WHISPERED, 'CARRY ON SANTA,
IT'S CHRISTMAS DAY, ALL IS SECURE.'

ONE LOOK AT MY WATCH,
AND I KNEW HE WAS RIGHT.
'MERRY CHRISTMAS MY FRIEND,
AND TO ALL A GOOD NIGHT.'

This poem was written by a Marine.

The following is his request. I think it is reasonable.....

PLEASE. Would you do me the kind favor of sending this to as many people
as you can? Christmas will be coming soon and some credit is due to our
U.S. service men and women for our being able to celebrate these
festivities.

Let's try in this small way to pay a tiny bit of what we owe. Make
people stop and think of our heroes, living and dead, who sacrificed
themselves for us. Please, do your small part to plant this small seed.

Anonymous said...

Yes, Yes, YES!!!

Thank heaven that Doc and his friends are there keeping the streets safe for our wives and children.

Oh what would we do with out them?

Anonymous said...

No doubt we would be lost without their unselfish desire to serve their fellow man in these difficult times.

Andy Whiteman said...

Has anyone checked their Raytown Water Company bill today? Mine was estimated due to cold weather and snow. I don't blame them for doing estimating, but I sure wonder how they estimate? They estimated what I would use in the summer which is twice my winter usage.

My concern is that since sewer bills are based on winter usage, if the city thinks I use 2100 gallons of water in December, my sewer bill is going up! You all might want to watch that. This may be a windfall for the city.

Andy Whiteman

doc summers said...

good god i was just wishing you all a merry christmas...here we go with the sacred cow stuff again...grow up
and i see you cant sign your name..

doc summers

Anonymous said...

Check out what Public Water District #2 is charging you. It is outrageous. Then when you go in to pay your bill they are all gone for the holidays. Their needs to be some investigation into who is running this place and how we can change some board members. I see a lot of waste and why is Mr. Ertz allowed to work for two different governmental bodies? Works for the city and district #2, sounds like double dipping to me. This place probably needs a state audit too.

Andy Whiteman said...

Anon 4:15 PM, The BOA is paid next to nothing considering the amount of time required. You may think it is only 2 meetings a month, but here are committees, research required, and listening to citizen complaints to name a few. One blogger wrote that the pay is only about $450 per month. I have no clue on what Water District #1 pays its directors.

How can you say it is double dipping? These are too different governmental bodies with seperate payrolls. Raytown is lucky to have Mr. Ertz service. Not only that, he has a full time job. Following your logic this is triple dipping and no person should be allowed to work more than one job since many of our city employees work 2 jobs since the city doesn't pay a living wage except to upper management.

When I was on the fire board in Colorado, none of us was paid, not even the firefighters and EMTs. Actually we received 25 cents per responce which might reach between $0.25 up to $20 per year!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

District #1 ??? What is that? There is Raytown Water Company which is a family owned company, and then there is Jackson County Public Water Supply District #2, which has a board of directors. What is this District #1 that you talk about???

Andy Whiteman said...

Sorry, I meant District 1. I have difficulty remembering names. Maybe they should use an easy to remember name such as "Raytown Water District"

Andy Whiteman