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Archive for December, 2001

|| December 25, 2001 || 1:42 am || Comments (0) ||

It seems that Santa Claus felt a need to leave a letter for my eldest son this year. In keeping with family harmony and unity, he also left one for the other two children as well. Santa is a pretty savvy cat. I’m glad he thought of the younger siblings’ feelings.

Anyhow, I’ve posted the letters here. Maybe there are others in need of the message that Santa so gently and sagely put to my son.


Master Sam:

Why, hello there, young man…

I would like to start by telling you that I do not ordinarily write personal letters to the young people that I visit on Christmas Night (my elves and Mrs. Claus generally assist me a great deal in this task), but I have been made to understand that yours is a spcial case. If you are wondering how I knew about this matter…..well, son, things always have a way of making it to the North Pole, because it is a special place.

It seems that lately you have had some strong opinions as to whether or not I exist and you have been sharing them a bit forcefully with others. I have one thing to say regarding that:

Strong feelings are very, very good, but they are not so wonderful if they tread upon the feelings of others.

I have followed your progress from the time that you were a wee infant and I know that you are a very intelligent person. That is part of the reason that I chose to write you this letter; I know that of the many children I visit, you are one of those that can understand what I am about to tell you.

It is perfectly okay for you to not believe in me, Sam. There are many that don’t. It is also perfectly okay for you to believe that I exist somewhere out here in the frozen North. There are many that do. What I would like you, personally, to know is that whether or not to believe is a decision that only you can make. You. You alone know what you feel and know in your heart to be right. Don’t disbelieve because someone simply told you I don’t exist and you cannot reach out and touch me if you so desire at any given moment. Can you touch love, my dear boy? You cannot, but still it exists, and you feel it every day for your mother, father, stepfather, little brother, younger sister, for your grandparents and your friends. Inability to see something with your human eyes is no basis for a lack of belief, I assure you that. Even people that would tell you that I do not exist would have to admit to that…..

Likewise, don’t believe simply because someone told you to, or because someone told you that there would be no presents left by me if you didn’t believe. Fear is no basis for belief in anything. I urge you to study the situation, weigh the facts, weigh how you feel about the subject and draw your conclusions from within your heart and your mind. As a matter of fact, I think that it would be wise to apply this theory to all the situations where you are unsure in your life, not simply the matter of whether a mere man in a red suit exists somewhere.

You are a kind, giving boy, so I would ask you this one favor if you do in fact choose not to believe that I am up here, preparing year-round for this one wonderful, fulfilling night:

Leave others to believe in the magic of me; do not attempt to take that belief away from them.

You will be a richer person for it.

I understand that you tried to catch your mother in what you believe was an untruth a few nights ago. I should clarify one or two things where that situation was concerned. Your mother was shopping for stocking stuffers for your stepfather. Do you remember that? Do you remember what you said?

“AHA!” You exclaimed, “PROOF that Santa doesn’t exist! HE’S supposed to fill the stockings!”

“No,” your mom replied, “Santa only fills childrens’ stockings…adults are kind of left to their own devices or to take care of others.”

What your mother said is partially right, but it is also partially wrong. You see, your mom and stepdad (and your dad, too, when it comes right down to it) don’t get their stockings filled because they don’t really need it….sure, they are on a budget, and sure, sometimes things happen that might throw them into a bit of a panic money-wise (but I bet you never, ever know when those times come, do you? Good. That means they are doing their job as parents well…), but mostly they are okay and they have more than they really need, and just about all that their hearts desire. I use my time and resources to care for the children that I am so fond of around the world and to leave the things that adults who don’t have much really need. I think you can understand this. If you can’t, then ask your parents. They can explain to a greater extent and I am short on time.

Regardless of anything else, I believe in you, Master Sam, and I wish you a Merry Christmas this year and all your years to come.


Miss Scout:

Your depth of faith and strength of character astound even me.

Thank you for believing. Merry Christmas!!


Master Mathias:


(You are one funny kid. You make me laugh and laugh!)


|| December 20, 2001 || 9:18 am || Comments (0) ||


|| December 19, 2001 || 11:38 pm || Comments (0) ||

Kindly notice that a link has been removed from the sidebar over there to yer left. (NOOOO, your MILITARY left)

The gross display of “me-pimpage” was too much for even me, normally a wild fan of self-aggrandizing behavior.

There’s over the top and then there’s Over The Top, ya know?

|| December 19, 2001 || 11:21 pm || Comments (0) ||

Sweet Mother of God, I’m skeered.

|| December 19, 2001 || 11:19 pm || Comments (0) ||

I have this pal who is the coolest. He is so cool, that I save each and every e-mail from him. In a special folder. Of its own.

I swear.

So, after the ‘X-mas’ post, I get an e-mail from him. Seth nearly tagged it in his comment on the post, but my cool pal laid down the complete etymology of the phrase in its entirity and for that he gets mad props and hella cut-and-paste. I wish I had done my research a little more thoroughly, but the meat of my argument still hangs, as vox populi has no effing clue about this either. They use the phrase “X-mas” indiscriminately out of laziness. Now on to the show:

“I was looking for something to do and now I’m pestering you…

“Hold on to your britches, sister: XMAS is actually correct.

“I could pull out the research, but I’ll just spare you the
etymological details and hit the highlights.

“First of all, Christ isn’t really named Christ. If you go back
to the beginning of this whole thing where we called him
Christ, you’ll see that he was actually called X. Which is the Greek
letter “Chi”, which is the first letter of the word Christos,
which means “annointed one” or “messiah.” So, X is interchangable
with Christ, when you get right down to it. After all, they weren’t
the Christ family…it wasn’t Mary and Joseph Christ and their
kid Jesus.

“If it were, say, 200 a.d., you’d call it XMASS, and even then
the Romans would probably kill you. Some historians suspect
that this is really where this whole XMAS thing came from…
since all of Christianity was underground for the first several
hundred years, and it was all coded and hush-hush. It was called
XMAS so the Romans wouldn’t know what you were talking about,
but fellow Xians would.

“Now, calling it “ex-mess” like people do, that’s just WRONG.
It should be X-MASS, because it’s a mass. And it should
probably still be called Christmas when you’re saying it
out loud.

“But as for spelling it XMAS, that’s technically correct.
At least historically speaking.

“So, to summarize: X is the same thing as Christ. But the fact
that the average mo who says XMAS doesn’t realize this means
they have no right to say it. Smack them as you normally

“In fact, if you aren’t Greek, a scholar of religion or history, or at
the very least you don’t know why it’s called XMAS, you should
keep your mouth shut. About everything. All year ’round.”

See??? Tha coolest.

|| December 19, 2001 || 3:26 am || Comments (0) ||

Oh…and you have already ordered your copies of “Wake Up Call”, haven’t you? You better hurry then….Xm….er…CHRISTMAS is around the corner!

|| December 19, 2001 || 3:22 am || Comments (0) ||

A couple of quick items, since I’m in the neighborhood:

Re: Lucky guitars – I was starting to get serious about doing music again and I felt I needed to upgrade to more “pro”-level equipment. I went to a local used musical equipment place called “New To You” in Ferndale. It was stacked to the rafters with all sorts of interesting goodies and I was itching to spend money…


The owner was an ABSOLUTE PRICK!!! I heard later that he only treats the customers who have bought stuff with any human decency. (Kinda makes that FIRST sale a bit tricky, no?) Well, after trying in vain to attract some attention, I exited and went to a place called “Gordy’s Music”. (I’ve got a couple of interesting stories about Gordy, but they’ll have to keep.)

I scope out the place and there amongst the usual boring vintage Les Pauls and Stratocasters was a Kramer ProAxe Deluxe. I already had two imported Kramers, but this one was domestically crafted and has a BEEYOOTIFUL “candy-apple blue” (transparent blue-green finish over silver metal flake) finish. 24-fret ebony fretboard, black chrome REAL Floyd Rose Pro (not a copy) bridge, the works. It was the best playing guitar I’d ever tried before or since. (If I ever get a signature guitar endorsement, this is what’s getting copied!)

It was only $550 and I axed if they’d take a trade-in and they said, “It depends.” I went home and got the lousy Kramer Striker I’d bought as a back-up (floating bridge guitars go unplayably out-of-tune when a string breaks, gotta switch) for $200 about 7 years before. They looked it over and gave me….$200 in trade, so I just needed to cut a check for another $350.

It plays like a dream, but I was getting concerned about taking it out to gigs, lest it get damaged or disappeared on me. One day, I went out for a walk on my lunch and stopped into another local guitar shop that had an even more vintage fetish. New Parker Fly? Be gone!!! We’ve got a 1966 Fender Mustang.


As I was leaving the store, I noticed a pile of guitar case and gig bags. Written in marker on a piece of masking tape on the top bag was…


That certainly got my attention and I pounced on it like Winona Ryder with a backstage pass. It turned out to be a Kramer Pro Axe Standard that was very similar to the Excalibur on my collection, except with 2 pickups instead of 3 and a reversed-headstock (very metal!) It plays about 95% as good at the now-called “DIRK 1”, but it only cost $200(!!!), so I guess that’s double-luck! If you come to a Red September show, 10 times out of 9, I’ll be playing that first. Very versatile. Me happy!

I’ll have more lucky stories some other time. If I get enough requests, I’ll tell of the time I hooked up with a girl who looked like a well-endowed Rae Dawn Chong. ;-)

Re: Xmas – The lovely (and generally unresponsive to my IMs and not working on the movie!) Jett Superior laid into me (not as cool as it sounds, CHILL!) about the use of “Xmas” instead of “Christmas”. If/when I use it, it’s ONLY as a short-hand to speed my pokey typing. So, when writing to Jett, take the time to spell it out, mmmkay? Thanks.