Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Jon Snow, Christmas Cards and Boots

So yes, I'm a big fan of George R. R. Martin's A Song of Fire and Ice series. (To the less well-read out there, which includes me most of the time, think Game of Thrones. Which is actually the first volume in the series. We can thank HBO for everyone calling it Game of Thrones and not by it's proper name. But we can also thank HBO for the rather fine mini-series of the same title. At this point, the Snake Eater would no doubt make some remark about pedantic something-holes. And he'd be correct. But I digress. ICSFTH)

I'm also rather a fan of on-line quizzes. A buddy of mine on Facebook tipped me off to this one. I like the outcome. As the website says though (warning - insider alert) "Avoid Joffrey and you can call it a win". (Joffrey is a spoiled brat. Who becomes king. Who has Ned Stark executed. Ned is Jon Snow's father. Not married to Jon Snow's mother. If you have time, rent the mini-series, Season One should do nicely. Beware though, this stuff is addictive!)

If you were wondering, this is Ned Stark -

And yes I know, he does look like Boromir. But it's not Boromir. Well yes, it's the same actor. And yes they both carry big swords and dress medieval style. But they are two different guys. Trust me. And Game of Thrones is kind of like Lord of the Rings without the ring. And the elves. And the poetry. And everyone dies. Or nearly everyone. So it seems.

So what does Jon Snow have to do with Christmas cards? Absolutely nothing, but I'm glad you asked.

Actually I had planned a sort of whimpering, whiny rant vis-à-vis Christmas cards. But then the Game of Thrones quiz caught my eye (something shiny as it were) so I wanted to include that. So (lucky you YMMV) get both. Plus a bonus topic. (What bonus topic you say, uh, go back and read the title. That'll give you a clue!)

So Christmas cards. A decree has gone out from Caesar Augustus The Missus Herself that Christmas cards must be filled out and mailed to the various recipients on the Master List. (An item so shrouded in legend and mystery that many believe it doesn't actually exist! But it does dear Reader, oh yes it does.)

Guess who gets to do that little task?

Yes, that would be me, Your Humble Scribe and raconteur extraordinaire. (Hhmm, that wasn't exactly humble, was it?)

So yes, I must sit down, inscribe a meaningful thought or two on each card, then address, stamp and send out to the world a Christmas card.

Don't get me wrong, I'm not anti-Christmas card. It's just that I've become kind of jaded by the whole process. For a number of years we would scramble to keep the Master List updated...

TMH: No, they must be dropped from the list. We didn't get a card from them last year.

YHS: Maybe the Post Office lost it?

TMH: Nonsense! They are off the list. I have spoken!

Well, it doesn't really go like that. But it's close. It's an American game The Missus Herself has learned well. To get a card, one must send a card. But who starts? Someone has to be first. Right? It's all too complex for me. But I'm just the guy who fills out the cards, addresses them and mails them. (Missing Oxford comma? Grammarians everywhere cry out, "Shame!" Meh... Or to be seasonal, "Bah humbug!")

At any rate. 
The Missus Herself has no idea the work involved in writing something meaningful (and different) on each card. I mean, we care about these folks, we don't want to just sign our names to the card and make do with the factory sentiment printed thereon. Do we? It can be a creative nightmare. As in, "Wait a minute, I think I put this on their card last year. Damn. I don't want to be repeating myself!" Yes, the quest for originality is strong within me. (So why don't we see that on the blog you ask? Be quiet!)

So yes, Christmas cards. I love them, but I feel burdened by them. What if my Muse takes that night off? Oh my. We're doomed. (At this point 
The Missus Herself would say, "Just shut up and get those ready so I can put them in the mailbox tomorrow! You always make such a big deal out of everything!" And this next picture is most emphatically not a plan for mowing the lawn from last year.)

(It's from three years ago and it's only this detailed because of the new pond we put in that year, labelled MORTAIN on the map above.)

So, Jon Snow, Christmas cards...

There was something else...

Oh yes! Boots! In particular snow boots (very important this time of year).

Aaron (over at The Shekel) recommends a particular brand of snow boot. I can vouch for the manufacturer and the boots look excellent. I must get me a pair! (You should have asked for those for Christmas! Why are you just now... Sigh - yes Dear.)

Anyway go check that out. Aaron's blog is excellent and I'm not saying that just because he referred to the Chant du Départ as "
an American blog with a French name and lots of military goodness and smart commentary." No, that's not it at all. (Though it doesn't hurt!)

So there you have it. Jon Snow, Christmas Cards and Boots. Three topics, somewhat disparate, but not totally. And that my friends is how you blog like a pro! (Um, as I don't get paid to do this, I wouldn't really know. But it sounds cool... Doesn't it? Bueller. Bueller...)


  1. I will be addressing the Christmas Card issue (and also Christmas Cards) tomorrow.

    Suffice it to say for now, "I feel your pain."

    1. I'm expecting a post from you regarding same. It seems to be a tailor-made Cranky topic.

      And I'm sure I did them all tonight - as I type this - am quite sure The Missus Herself will "remember" someone I missed.


  2. I, too, have enjoyed Fire & Ice (the books, not the series), up until now.
    Book IV kinda ruined it for me.
    Haven't really gotten into the card mode yet.
    But OTOH I think some cards are owed.

    1. Book V was a really good read. I almost gave up in the middle of IV.

      Card mode, mission accomplished. I think...

  3. I don't remember if I asked, but have you been to Normandy? Studied that in Command and Staff, but you just never really fully appreciated the scale until you stand on Pont du Hoc and look east and west and realize the horizon obscures beaches each way.

    1. Oddly enough, seven and a half years in Europe and I never got to Normandy. I am really afraid that the emotions would be too strong.

      A couple of buddies and I visited the crossroads near Malmedy (Baugnez) where the SS murdered American POWs at the start of the Bulge, on the anniversary of that crime (17 December, today as a matter of fact marks the 69th anniversary!) There had been a memorial service some time before we arrived. There were lots of flowers.

      But it was cold and lonely. Thinking of those men, being cut down without mercy, so far from home, so near to Christmas - I almost lost it. I'm getting teary-eyed right now just remembering.

      Normandy would overpower me, I just know it. But someday, we're going back to Europe. Normandy will be on the tour. No matter what.

  4. All is lost... on me. I don't "do" HBO (well, I DO... temporarily... for 24/7 and the hockey that's in it) and I haven't done Christmas cards since the maid quit (but that was her gig, not mine). And boots? Well, we have what we need and we don't needs no more, to misquote my favorite sailor.

    But, Hey! I DID read all of it. There's that.

    1. Yes my friend, you've got that going for you. You did struggle through the whole thing. And even commented!

      Honestly, while writing all that, I almost wrote by now Buck is wondering what the Hell I'm babbling about, but didn't. Like the Brits say, a wink's as good as a nod, know what I mean?

  5. So... as soon as I was back online I took the quiz.
    It says, "You are Jon Snow."
    The subtext is, "You know nothing, Jon Snow."
    That would also be yours truly.

    As for snow boots, I'll pass.
    I'd only need them about once every five years, and then only for one day.

    1. Ah, great minds and all that. (Apparently we both know nothing. Rather Sergeant Schultz-like of us, innit?)

      I dunno, we get enough snow in Little Rhody to merit a good pair of snow boots. Plus the frequent trips to the ancestral lands in Vermont and New Hampshire have seen copious amounts of the cold white stuff. (Shudder!)

  6. Christmas cards ... the once and future bane of my holiday traditions. :)

    You have some nice ones there, but I like the European Theater map better. Heh.

    1. Hhhmmm...

      Nope, I'm pretty sure The Missus Herself would not let me use that map as a Christmas card. I mean slap a wreath on it and a "Joyeux Noël" and it would be the perfect gift for any historian.

      Oh well, maybe next year...

  7. In other words, you're 'reaching' to find anything to get out of the Christmas card drill... LOL

    1. Hhmm, methinks you're on to my not-so-cunning plan...

  8. Ha! Love these posts that have more turns in them than a trip through the neighborhood by Billy from Family Circle! They're always entertaining and get us there eventually.

    1. Sometimes it just happens that way. My brain "works" in odd and mysterious ways. (Mysterious to me at any rate!)

      And I LOVE those Family Circle cartoons of Billy's meanderings!

  9. King of the North; don't do Christmas cards. I has people! for that! I read them as each came out many years ago up until the book with the dragons from some other continent. Figured I'd go lie in the road after reading that one. Never picked up the rest.
    The very best winter foot wear is sandals. On the beach. In Del Mar.

    1. King of the North? I like that. So let it be written...

      Good idea on the foot wear. (Why didn't I think of that?)

  10. Thanks for the link and kind words regarding the blog, much obliged.

    1. No, thank you. Great stuff at your place. (I want to say it was Murphy who led me your way, though it might have been another. As I age I forget things. What were we talking about...?)


Just be polite... that's all I ask. (For Buck)
Can't be nice, go somewhere else...

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