December 8, 2017 Christmas Music Video Friday

As you may have guessed last Friday, I rather like ABBA. Since they didn’t do much in the way of Christmas music, I’ve had to settle for Bjorn Again.

Today we start with: Björn Again – Little Drummer Boy (ABBA)

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Well, that’s it for ABBA Christmas tunes – let’s get seriously hip now with JIMMY SMITH GOD REST YE MERRY GENTLEMEN

What would Christmas be without Brother Ray? I don’t want to know. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town By Ray Charles

As they used to say on Monty Python, “And, now, for something completely different”:

Little Drummer Boy (African Tribal Version) – Alex Boye’ ft. Genesis Choir

With one very heartwarming final tune: O Come All Ye Faithful – Epic Flash Mob Carol #LIGHTtheWORLD

Enjoy your family. Enjoy your job. Enjoy the gift that Jesus brought to us all.
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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Saint Paul, You’ve Covered Yourself In Glory Today. Or, Is That Ice And Rutted Roads.

Here in the city of my birth, I was up early to apply about 50 pounds of salt and sand to the sidewalks around my house. Following, that is, the shoveling of same. You see, last night we got a rainstorm that started out at around 46 degrees and went down into the teens. Along the way, it left lumpy ice and a covering of snow on every surface in the region.

As I left for work, cleats on my sneakers, I noticed a city crew snow-blowing the hockey rink across the street. Between my shoveling and salting, and the hockey rink, it consituted more surface maintenance than the rest of the city got today. Consequently, as of 2100 (9pm) Tuesday night, the major streets in the capitol city of the state look like Farm Road 17 in the far reaches of North Dakota. Every intersection is dangerous, the main roads – Snelling Avenue, and University Avenue, are both monstrosities.

Someone in the city leadership – a term I apply very loosely – decided not to plow, salt, or sand in the wake of a major ice storm.

Other cities around us took care of their roads. But not Saint Paul.

I’m sure we forgot to order fuel for the plows and salt for the trucks. Perhaps it wasn’t enough snow to trigger the system. Perhaps we didn’t have the budget money because we diverted the funds to cleaning up the bodies from the violent summer we just had. I don’t know the reason.

But I do know the solution: nag the hell out of the city council. This is unacceptable. This is dangerous. The budget excuse isn’t valid – when there’s ice on the roads, you sand and salt to remove it. You don’t wait for a sunny day to melt it – not when it’s 16 degrees. Every time they botch this kind of thing, I’ll be whining. I’ll be calling my councilmember. I’ll be calling the new Mayor – he’s a decent guy, and I hope he listens.

Come on, Saint Paul, this isn’t the sticks. You can do better.

And they wonder why people are abandoning the city and moving to the suburbs. Eagan plows.

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Santa Claus Has A New Perspective

Over the past 17 years (or so…) I’ve had the privilege to be Santa. 2017 is shaping up to be the best year ever in terms of satisfaction in my craft. I’ve done more public work as Santa than ever before, including this crown jewel: (The www.sleepnumber.com/santawatch page has audio, the video below does not)

Here’s the link to the video that’s been released, more to come every day so check back often on the webpage itself at: https://www.sleepnumber.com/santawatch

I’m also sharing some of these amazing images that my friend Soledad at Amore Fotography and Events took at a recent visit.

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Why is this year better? I think it’s because I’ve changed wardrobe and wear more play clothes than before. I love the red suit for formal events, but sometimes the more casual attire lowers barriers for the children and makes things a bit easier. Second reason is that I’m almost fully gray now, and for the first time ever I’ve been able to skip the makeup. What a relief that has been. Just me, and my bleached face.

Perhaps the main reason is that I am Santa. I’ve always felt in my heart that it was who I wanted to be when I put on the Red Suit. But this year, there is no effort involved to say the prayers over my friends, to smile for the camera, to encourage – and correct – the little ones. This year it all seems to be flowing without effort.

Like every year, it’s the last for some clients, the first for others. Children grow up, corporations change staff, and traditions begin. I love that aspect of my life in the Red Suit. I hope to be doing this in another 20 years. Or more.

I hope your day is a good one. I’ll be back Friday with some music.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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Christmas Video Blog For December 1, 2017

In what has become a bit of a tradition, I’m posting videos every Friday during December through Christmas. Not that you can’t find your own videos, but I’m guessing you won’t run across most of the ones I post.

They vary by artist, style, and era, but they all have one thing in common: I like them.

So, here we go again.

First up, Björn Again (ABBA Tribute) : Santa Clause Is Coming To Town

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Now that we’re cooking, it’s time for a classic: It’s Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas By Johnny Mathis

Now, into the stranger, but still excellent, side of Christmas: Metallica – Carol of the Bells

And, finally, because you just can’t get enough cello in this world (There’s always room for Cello…):
Carol of the Bells (for 12 cellos) – The Piano Guys

So, inspired as you now are, go and do something nice for someone today. It is the reason for the season.
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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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I Wear #WhiteGloves. Time For Al Franken To Buy A Pair. (Double Entendre Fully Intended)

The subject is Al Franken – heinie grabber. Al’s defense is that he’s in a lot of photos every year and doesn’t remember grabbing any butts. Really. I couldn’t make it up if I tried. It also seems that he remembers sticking his tongue into actresses mouths differently than they do. Again, another amazing surprise.

I won’t bore you with details of conversations I’ve had, but the liberal folks seem to write it off as “just juvenile behavior” and “not so much like real sexual assault – you know, like other people” and similar excuses for him. Fine. You fly your flag that way, and I’ll fly mine my way. Just remember, this is a double edged-sword that you’ve been using on the the right for years, and now it’s coming back in your direction. Buck up, little cowboys, when you excuse it because it’s one of your team, you have to excuse the other guy’s players as well. Also, might I simply ask you this: what would your response be if Al Franken stuck his tongue in your mouth and grabbed your parts? Is he still just a high-spirited prankster? Is he still just a silly guy who never grew up? Or a guy who abuses women? Good. Now we know where you really stand. Let’s give others the benefit of the doubt on that one as well.

Please follow me on Twitter, and “Like” the Facebook author page. Don’t forget to subscribe (the box is on the right side of the page) to be eligible for free e-books and other benefits! Oh yeah – grab a copy of Assault on Saint Agnes if you’re of a mind.

In case you were wondering about the white gloves, they are an item I am never without in my other life: Santa. If you see a picture of me after the first few years of my being Santa, you will note the white gloves. You will also, with very rare exceptions, note the gloves visible in some part of the picture. Now, the exception would be if I’m at the back of a mob of people and the gloves are behind a row of flesh. But I’d wager that 98% of the photos I’m in, and it’s tens of thousands every year, you will see those white gloves.

Strangely, I have 0% doubt about ever grabbing any adult by the bum, breasts, or other non-negotiable parts. That’s ZERO. And, I’m almost willing to bet Mr. Franken a year’s pay that I’m in a lot more pictures than he is every year. I’ll even do a lie-detector test if he’ll do the same. The one caveat is babies and runaway toddlers: when they are placed in the cradle of my arms, it’s a good bet that I’m holding them along their entire length. That happens when you’re as big as I am and your hands are huge. Same with escapee children diving for the floor – you grab any handle you can to avoid cracked skulls and broken arms.

Here’s the concept Al is missing: it’s wrong to grab people the way he’s grabbed people. It’s vulgar. It’s intrusive. It’s reprehensible. It’s criminal sexual contact in some states (sadly, not in Minnesota, where you can grab a butt without consequences of a sexual nature. It’s still assault, but not sexual assault.) The “He’s an entertainer” defense doesn’t cut it, because I’m one as well – not on the same scale, but still in the public eye asking for smiles.

Lots of people sit on my knees every year. Kids, men, women, grandfathers, grandmothers, the offensive line of the Vikings, and the occasional dog or cat. With the exception of the two years I had knee surgery, I’ve allowed people to sit on my knee because it makes a great photo. I’m a big guy with strong legs and can take it. I’ve never made anyone do it, always their choice. But the invitation is out there for anyone under 300 pounds. I do not allow them, however, to sit on my lap. Because no matter how innocent it seems, the potential for disaster is looming in the background. It’s called “standards.”

There is, if you are worth a damn, a moral code to dealing with the public. From my first day in the public eye as Santa, I have avoided situations that might compromise my integrity. I hate boozy adult parties. I’ve been propositioned more than a few times by both sexes (yes, I’m cisgender and proud of it.) and never let them get to phase two of the offer. Not worth it in any way. I love my wife. I respect my clients. I don’t need any strange diseases, angry spouses, shattered images, or, most importantly, guilt for not following my own rules. They happen to be the ones God put out there as well.

Al, and I think since you work for me I can call you that, you need to get a pair of white gloves. Wear them whenever you are in public so we can track your hands. And grow another kind of pair. The kind of pair that allow you to stand up for what is right and proper.

If you’d like to send Al a pair of white gloves to remind him of his responsibilities, you can mail them to: 60 Plato Blvd Suite #220, St Paul, MN 55107. Please be polite and stick to white gloves, and white gloves only.

Finally, a note of thanks to all who contributed to the last post’s funding campaign to help pay for my friend Arthur “Tweet” Williams funeral expenses. You were all very kind. The short story will be out to you in email form later this week.

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Assault on Saint Agnes is available here. Just click this link!

When you finish reading any book (especially mine) please review it at www.amazon.com, www.barnesandnoble.com, and www.goodreads.com. Your review increases the chances of someone looking for a new book greatly. Authors appreciate your review, even if it is just “I thought this was a good read and will give it to my dog to chew. I especially liked the ending, because it made me feel better when he killed all of the main characters. (no spoilers, please)” Those few words (more than 20, fewer than 1,000 is ideal), and a 1-5 rating, make or break how the search engines find us. Thanks in advance.

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