Have a Cup of Cheer! … December 21, 2013

Happy Solstice

A Happy Solstice to all my non-believing friends. Those that choose to sit  with arms folded and ignore the season because the Christians tried to claim it, I hope you accidently have a good time as well.

As far as you believers out there that insist on making this a Christian time I hope you have a good time  just as real as your religion. Just remember, it’s a pagan holiday, so don’t put up a tree; it might rile the man in the sky.

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2 Responses to Have a Cup of Cheer! … December 21, 2013

  1. fred2levins says:

    The winter solstice can be a time to exchange messages with connections and friends.

    I have something to share that I like. Within the past ten days, a retired American Airlines pilot, a friend from my youth who attended public schools, Mike A., Malabar High School Class of 1968, sent me a link to a video of less than five minutes duration. The link was judged to be safe by Norton. I watched it and found it to be very interesting and very beautiful. High artistry, really. Visual beauty, affecting music, captivating lyrics. The works. I have viewed it at least ten times.

    Within a dozen hours of first viewing it, I shared it with my Facebook friends, of which there are a little over two dozen, and a couple others not on Facebook. I found it to be validating that I received rapid, complimentary feedback from three viewers:
    Cindy T.: “Amazing! (smiley-face emoticon)”
    Sandy N.: “Absolutely breathtaking, Fred. I actually became teary-eyed! I’ll share.”
    Patricia L.: “That was unbelievable. Thank you so much.”

    Here’s the link:


    Below the initial dotted line and for the remainder of this message are prefatory comments that explain the setting for the video and the motivation for sharing. They are from the initial e-mail to me forwarded by Mike A. It is unclear as to how many persons contributed to those comments.


    From: Mike A.
    To: Fred (and others)
    Sent: Friday, Dec. 13, 2013
    Subject: What it’s like up front

    —- Forwarded Message —-

    From: Kevin D.
    To: Mike A.
    Sent: Thursday, Dec. 12, 2013
    Subject: Fwd: Flying into Gander

    This is a very interesting video showing the view out the windscreen of a plane landing at the Queenstown, New Zealand Airport. What makes it so interesting is that the airport, which is located in a mountain valley, is completely shrouded in clouds from the altitude the airplane is cruising.

    There is real “pucker flying here.” Thanks to modern electronics there is no problem as long as you believe your instruments!

    This is what it’s all about…
    Any pilot can appreciate this video.
    Thought you might like this…
    Descent into Queenstown, New Zealand.
    Gotta have faith in your instruments and your proficiency to fly the approach.
    But the feeling of elation from doing well, what we’re trained to do, is its own reward.
    Or as my submariner friend used to tell me, “Don’t know about your base pay, but you do earn your flight pay.”
    …as if descending into an undercast over mountainous terrain doesn’t bother you too much.


  2. fred2levins says:

    Topical? A Christmastime special: In this six-minute youtube video (details below the dotted line), service academy cadets perform music with a religious theme in a surprise brief concert at the Smithsonian during business hours.


    “Flash Mob: The U.S. Air Force Band at the Smithsonian”

    Published on Dec 5, 2013

    Starting with a single cellist on the floor of the National Air and Space Museum’s “Milestones of Flight” gallery, and swelling to 120 musicians, The U.S. Air Force Band exhilarated museum visitors with its first-ever flash mob. The four-minute performance featured an original arrangement of “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring/Joy to the World,” led by the band’s commander and conductor, Col. Larry H. Lang. Unsuspecting museum visitors including tourists and school groups were astonished as instrumentalists streamed into the gallery from behind airplanes and space capsules, and vocalists burst into song from the Museum’s second floor balcony.

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