Holiday traditions are one of my favorite things about this time of year. From my favorite TV Shows and films to football in the snow, it’s a great time of year for traditions and fun!


What’s in a Name?



Once upon a time, people started calling each other names.

Seriously, they did. At first, they were clever plays on a person’s original name to be more representative of their character. Take Izabel in the Old Testament. You probably know her a Jezebel, but that is a play on her name, calling her a name if you will, that reflected the character the writers of the Books of Kings wanted to project upon her.

But from long ago it seems like names have both deep meaning, expressing the hopes and dreams of the family, and an opportunity to make fun of them.

And where are we now? Now we get parents who seem to not understand that the names they give their children actually do matter. They set the kid up – no, that’s not it – they set themselves up to be mocked.

Twitter gets people fired. Or criticized for not being contrite enough. Or not being woke enough before it was time to be woke.

Rent-a-Crowds are a thing. Seriously, you can rent a crowd to show up for basically anything.  But why…?

The Ghosts of Antiochus



This morning we have lost another House of Worship in our area. Cami was commenting to me the other day about the odd line in a Christmas song (It’s The Most Wonderful Time of the Year) about “scary ghost stories.” She was saying that Christmas time isn’t a time for being scared. And yet, it is. Ben and I had a talk the other night about Hanukkah and the reality that even though Antiochus died more than 2000 years ago, his ideas are still alive and well. That is why we light the Menorahs – to remind us that light always overcomes dark. That good is stronger than evil. That despite the scary ghosts of Antiochus, we are still here.

Seventy-seven years ago, the USS Arizona settled into the mud of Pearl Harbor. In the ensuing years, the crew members who survived that infamous morning have gathered at Pearl Harbor to remember their shipmates and all of those who made the ultimate sacrifice. Until today. For the first time in many years, there will be no Arizona survivors at the memorial today.

Human beings are fascinating creatures. As Mazzy, channeling Walt Garrison, would have said, they are “strange critters.”

Even when we know – beyond a doubt – that something is not good for us, we keep doing it. Whether its smoking or Facebook, we keep right on going no matter what. We keep right on giving social media companies the only thing of value that we have – our data. And they keep denying that they are doing anything with it. And we believe them.

Then, when we see something that is in need of fixing, we convince ourselves that it would somehow or another be “bad” to fix it. NASA can give you a HiDef 12 Megapixel picture of the surface Mars so clear you can count the rocks on the ground, but Bank Security cameras can’t give you anything more than a blurred LoFi VGA quality picture of the guy who robbed them of your money. Your bank can track every fraction of a penny you have spent this year, but not a county in this country can count ballots.

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