Monday, December 26, 2011

DFF's Answers!

OK, so when last I left you, my buddy the DeepFat Friar had posted his Christmas Quiz. Only one brave soul chimed in with answers.

So now here are the answers, and I'm telling you right now, these are all the DFF's answers, so get ready.

1. The shepherds were watching their flocks in the hills. The sheep would not have been grazing in the hills in December in that part of the world.

2. The Saturnalia. (BTW, *I* knew this from "The Big Bang Theory.")

3. The holding of a census. There is nothing in any known Roman historical records about it.

4. The Little Drummer Boy, because of the chorus lines, "TAAAAAAAAAAAAAH rum ba bum bum, rum ba bum bum BUMMMM." (Hum the Dragnet them music to those lyrics.)

5. Caribou can't fly.

6. Rudolph. The song "Santa Claus is Coming", refers to "Rudy toot-toot." (This may be the fuel that powers his nose, as well.)

7. Eight maids a milking seven swans (they don't give milk); six geese a laying five gold rings (as everyone knows, they lay golden eggs, not gold rings).

8. Contrary to popular opinion, it has nothing to do with the virgin birth. It is the doctrine that Mary was born without original sin.

9. The virginity of Mary. The text from Isaiah misquoted in the gospel refers to "a virgin shall be with child." The Hebrew word in Isaiah actually means "young woman". Hebrew had a different word to signify a virgin.

10. Unknown. Their names are not given.

Oooooh. How did you do?

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Guest Christmas Blogger!

Ho, ho, ho, and Merry Christmas to all.

Our friend the DeepFatFriar has asked to be a guest blogger tonight. A sort of Santa for you all.


He has composed a Christmas Quiz!

Not sure how we're going to do this, I was just thinking we'd put up the questions tonight, and if you want to chime in with some answers via comments, be our guest. Then tomorrow I'll post the answers. And be warned - there's some tricky stuff in here!

So take it away, DeepFatFriar!

1. There is evidence in the gospels that Jesus was actually born in the summer. What is this evidence?

2. What major Roman feast is the date of Christmas close to?

3. What is the most significant "historical" event in the christmas gospel stories for which external evidence should certainly exist, but for which there is none in the historical record?

4. What is the favorite Christmas song of Jack Webb (of the old Dragnet tv show)?

5. What is the difference between caribou and reindeer?

6. Which of Santa's reindeer was famous for farting?

7. Name two physical impossibilities in the Twelve Days of Christmas song (there may be more).

8. What, exactly, is referred to by the phrase "Immaculate Conception"?

9. What christian doctrine is based the gospel mistranslating a Hebrew word in the Old Testament, and what was the word?

10. According to the gospels, what were the names of the so-called wise men?

So there you go. The night's winding down, so get wound back up and take the quiz!


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Picture Sunday

Hello, blogees.

Well, after last week's blog, I felt like I owed it to my tens of readers to get my buns out and get some pictures of the big nativity scene in the town. And today I did just that.

Today was cold but sunny, and I got a few snaps.

Here's one of the whole shebang.

Hey, have some hay there, Mr Donkey.

(The picture doesn't do it much justice, but up close, that is one real-looking donkey. And he has one of those eyes that follow you while you walk around.)

Sadly, my sister isn't on his back, but here's the camel, flanked by a rather large sheep. Hell, they're all large.

Here's the manger, and I'm telling you that wise man to the left is one tall fellow. Way over six feet.

And here, yes, here is our little buddy, right in the middle of it all.

And pardon me for being so bold, but that is a d-o-g dog.

And one intense little pooch, too. No one's escaping from this nativity scene anytime soon.

Oh. maybe that's it. He's a watchdog. No thefts, no vandalism at the manger this year!

Good boy.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

A (Divine) Boy and His Dog

Hello, my friends. This is a Christmas blog, my first of the season. Maybe the last, maybe not. We shall not know.

It all started way too early, of course, the weekend before Thanksgiving. Because Christmas decorations are always put up too early nowadays. Poor Thanksgiving, the forgotten holiday. No one cares about it. They're too busy thinking of Christmas.

But it's been quite the talk of the town in our little burg here.

For years, we've had the same nativity scene in our town square. And yes, I know, but this is not what this blog is about. I'm from Mayberry, USA, remember - the fact that we put a nativity scene in the town square is a non-event. Even the non-religious among us don't care enough to cause a fuss, because we all like Christmas, and so no one's calling the ACLU anytime soon.

So let's not even go there, OK?

So, this is what the thing is. For all those years of having the same nativity scene in the town square, well, as you might imagine, it's gotten some wear and tear. Joseph's and Mary's noses have broken off, the sheep's a little wobbly because one of his hooves is too worn, and Joseph and Mary don't need to rock the cradle, because it only has three legs.

And so, this year, someone decided to spend some bucks.

Apparently, an anonymous benefactor has gifted the town with a brand new nativity scene to put in the town square.

And let me tell you, it's something else.

First of all, besides being new and shiny, it's life-sized. Humans, animals, everything. Life-sized.

My sister thinks this is the greatest thing ever. She's made me promise that before the holiday ends I'll go with her to the town square and take a picture of her with the giant camel. Maybe with her sitting on it.

And yes, it's a very nice nativity scene, built to scale, and no broken noses or wobbly hooves.


Well, wait. First of all, an aside. (You all know how I love a good aside.)

My dear old dad came into the office the other day, he rode the bus into town to get a haircut, and he was telling me that the new scene was all the talk at the barber shop.

One of the barbers announced, and I can't denounce it, because Lord knows I don't know my Biblical scripture, and Dad couldn't either - but this barber said the wise men were placed wrong at that scene, way too close in, because apparently they didn't reach, and meet, well, Himself, until he was about two years old.

And I was so happy to make my dad laugh when I said to him, "Well, if that's true, they need to place the wise men round about my house (about 1/2 mile away)."

Har de har.

But that's not where we're going here in the blog about the big fancy nativity scene.

Everyone in our office has driven by this scene, there in the town square, a few times a day, since before Thanksgiving. And it didn't take long for us to start discussing it.


So you have the life-sized figures, the life-sized Joseph and Mary and Baby Gee, and the camel and sheep and lamb and ox and ass.

And there, sitting, drawing a bead on the Baby Gee, is ... a dog.

Well, it has to be a dog. I looked really closely. I wondered if it was a wolf, or a jackal. It's not. It's a dog.

He's in the basic "sitting dog" position, with his head pitched forward. He's about 6 feet away from Baby Gee, looking right at him, as if to say, "Hello!"

None of us has ever heard of a dog at the nativity. I've researched it. I mean, it might make sense, if there were sheep there, there might have been a sheepdog there.

But this dog isn't made like a sheepdog. It's just a smooth-coated black dog.

We have, there in the office, discussed this to no end. Way more than why a town can put up a nativity scene and no one cares.

So, was there a dog at the nativity?

I'd sure like to think so. I mean, dog is man's best friend, right? And every boy (or should I say, Boy) needs a dog in his (or His) life.

You know, years ago, I read a little blurb that said "Dog is God spelled backwards." And I believe it.

So welcome to the nativity, Mr Arf-Arf. I like you there. (And so does Milo.)