This was an attempt to capture The Singing Christmas Tree with a small digital camera without flash so as not to draw attention to myself. We saw and heard this extremely good production on Saturday afternoon. If you have a chance it will be repeated on Sunday afternoon at Emmanuel Baptist Church on Shiloh. If you are going south on Shiloh from say Rimrock, you pass Grand and then Broadwater, where the really big Faith Chapel is, just keep on going past two roundabouts and then a little further, it is on the right.
This was a marvelous musical show with a lot of attention to detail. It was an inspired telling of our Christmas story with enough of the joy-filled mystery of the Incarnation to satisfy a theology professor and enough pure entertainment schlock to satisfy the ordinary Hollywood pagan. Wow. Check these folks out when you get the chance.
You may also note on the inferior row of related videos, there is a nicely put video argument utilizing the "precautionary principle" which also comes down on the side of the hoaxers. These guys are playing for keeps. I wonder if we could make the game more interesting by having penalties for being wrong.
This was a fun book to read. Especially if, like me, you were alive and paying attention to the peculiar presidential political melee during the summer and fall of 2008. There were a lot of dogs that didn’t bark and thus the whole thing was more than a little puzzling. This book appears to be an effort at explaining some of those conundrums. It does not speak to the main puzzle however, which was the almost total absence of any journalistic efforts to tell us commoners who Barack Obama was, other than he was somewhat black and spoke like a white man most of the time.
The main-stream media masters that I have heard, and their lesser kin out in the boondocks, obviously did not read this book. They say she didn’t write the book; that one of her editors did. And yet, the book sounds very much like Governor Palin talks, whether you like that or not, and as far as I know, almost every writer except for a few politicians always give credit to their editors, which she gracefully did.
Governor Palin is a journalist in the sense of writing in journals for much of her life. She draws on these for a summary of her earlier life: Normal kid growing up in normal places in middle America, and yet they were exciting places—at least in her memories and in her journals, and would probably be that way for the rest of us too if we had been smart enough to write in them and keep them for later use—weren’t all of our childhoods exciting places and times? Then she got interested in local politics after an ordinary education and an unremarkable early family life. Eventually she became the mayor of Wasilla Alaska. Then, a little later she ran for governor against the good old boys of Alaska, and she won.
Probably the high points of the book are her descriptions of her feelings when she discovers she will be the mother of an extra-chromosome baby boy (Down Syndrome) and then soon after, another bolt of lightning strikes when John McCain picks her for a short and tumultuous life as a vice-presidential candidate.
I thought at the time it was a brilliant choice because Joe Biden had already been chosen to be the Democratic choice for vice-president. What a splendid contrast: old Senator Jack S Phogbound from one of the corrupt one party states of the East versus the bright young reformer Sarah Palin from small town western America. While writing the last sentence it suddenly occurred to me that just as we have heard some institutions are “too big to fail,” maybe there are some states that are too small to avoid corruption, in that their cities and the lordly people that congregate in them tend to over balance the more ordinary rural folk, where much of the common sense of the country resides.
But even better, of course, was the fact that the vice-presidential candidate for the Republicans had more real experience at governing than the presidential candidate for the Democrats. This was delicious irony or so it seemed to me. Of course, with our main-stream media (MSM) in bed with Obama it was difficult to make that clear, though Palin did make an effort at the convention when she likened being mayor of Wasilla as something similar to a “community organizer, though with actual responsibility.” That might have been the best line of the campaign. No wonder our MSM types really had to scramble to put down this upstart nitwit from fly-over country. Well, you know what I mean.
The peculiarities and deficiencies of the campaign, which made some of us wonder who was actually playing the part of The Manchurian Candidate, are explored, at least from Palin’s point of view. We are all waiting for some explanation from the McCain point of view. Well, maybe not.
8 December 2009
I meant to get up early today but I forgot to set the alarm last night. So it wasn’t until about 8:30 am that I got over to Borders’ book store to check out the crowds coming to see Sarah Palin, perhaps give her some encouragement, and get their copy of her book signed.
The crowd seemed fairly normal and moved along steadily and cheerfully I thought, with a few signs, but mostly just bundled up against the bitter cold temperatures, a manifestation of global warming we are told. If nothing else these temperatures may well have kept at least some of the riff-raff huddled in the nearby coffee-shops. At 8:30 am the crowd, about 3-4 abreast stretched back from the front of the Borders store to the entrance to the IHOP restaurant. It may have gone back even further than that before they started moving around 8 am when the store opened.
I don't know if the RV above was part of the Palin entourage or not. I thought they traveled with sled dogs. It looks like a lot of Billings people are going to make room on their mantles this Christmas for a copy of Governor Palin’s book, alongside the Bible and their guns of course. Or maybe they will put a small bookshelf alongside the gun rack in the back of the pickup.
The Babcock Building 1907 is in the process of being extensively rehabilitated from its former glory to its glory to come. I'm not sure what will happen to the fights that used to be a weekly feature at the theatre.
Oddly enough, now that I look closely at the picture, it looks like someone is still living on the 2nd floor at least from what can be seen through the windows. Or maybe the plants have just taken over.
On the way to The Soup Place I noticed a couple of decorative
nutcrackers on the light poles so it must be sometime after Halloween
and before Christmas.
Seeing these decorations sometime last Saturday was what reminded me to get some tickets for the annual Nutcracker Ballet at the Alberta Bair Theatre.
Both Carol and I found the performances last year—I think it was the Eugene OR company for one and I know the other was a muscular almost brutal performance by some trained Russians—a little wanting in a lot of ways but we thought we would give it another go this year.
We were very pleasantly surprised this year at the Sunday matinee by Ballet Idaho, a young regional company that puts on a great performance and adds a lot of kids, both dancers and singers from the Billings area. This combination led to a sell-out performance both Saturday and Sunday.
About the only problems were the snow fall sometimes turning into a mini-blizzard, and some disagreement amongst the trombones in the lower register, unusual I know, as the rest of the orchestra was as lush as it normally is. We are certainly lucky here in Billings as we have some really fat woodwind sounds.
Is this some of your stimulus money at work? I don't know. The sign says it is going to be a cancer center, perhaps to serve some of those people who are now not insured but will be at some future time. Located in a former corn field between Will James Jr High and Peter Yegen Golf Course, just across from a new Walgreen's Drug Store on the corner of Grand and the continuation of Zimmerman Trail, heading south.
We are certainly blessed with many medical facilities in this fair city.