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8 Year Old Gel: Wow! What are you doing, Daddy?

Self: (Grunt!) Oh, I’m moving all the furniture out of the study so we can put in some new flooring.

8 Y.O.: Oh! Is that going to be your Man Cave?

Self: Uh……

Mrs. R: Oh, nooooo.  Daddy doesn’t get a Man Cave.

Self: Whu………

8 Y.O.: You mean, we can all go in there and use it?

Self: Buh……

Mrs. R: Yes, it’s everybody’s comfy room.

Self: Nuh…..

8 Y.O.: Cool!

12 Year Old: I heard about a dad who had a Man Cave and it was so private that nobody could get in who didn’t know the combination to the lock.  It had all sorts of super-cool games and stuff in it.

Self: Guh….

8 Y.O.: Wow! Daddy, you ought to get something like that!

Self: Yea……

Mrs. R: Not. Gonna. Happen.

Self: Sob.

Of course, tomorrow is December 7.

By a felicitous accident of timing, Netflix is delivering Tora! Tora! Tora! to the Port-swiller residence today.  I believe I am going to hang on to it and watch it with the gels next Friday or Saturday.  Educational, and all that.

I still happen to think that Tora! Tora! Tora! is one of the best WWII movies ever made and it’s certainly the best one featuring such a huge aerial component.   Funny how a bunch of hot-doggers in plywood mock-ups of Japanese naval aircraft could run cinematic rings around modern Hollywood and all its CGI gadgets.   (Also funny how a straight-up historickal recounting knocks the modern Hollywood “human interest” treatment on the head.)

When I was a kid, I once got to go to an airshow featuring what was then called the Confederate Air Force (now neutered and calling itself the Commemorative Air Force) down in Texas.  The set piece of the show was an admittedly small recreation of the attack on Pearl Harbor, complete with the stunt featured in the movie of a B-17 landing on one wheel while Zeros swarmed and explosions went off all over the place.   I must have been about 17 at the time and thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen.  [Ed. – what about girls? Girls weren’t cool, they were mysterious.]  I think if I were to see that show again, I’d reach more or less the same opinion.

On this, the Feast of St. Nicholas, it would seem as if the Turks are trying to slip coal into Christianity’s stocking:

A Turkish archaeologist has called on his government to demand that Italy return the bones of St Nicholas to their original resting place.

The 3rd Century saint – on whom Santa Claus was modelled – was buried in the modern-day town of Demre in Turkey.

But in the Middle Ages his bones were taken by Italian sailors and re-interred in the port of Bari.

The Turkish government said it was considering making a request to Rome for the return of the saint’s remains.

While Christmas is by and large not celebrated in Muslim Turkey, the Christmas figure of Santa Claus certainly is, in the Mediterranean town of his birth.

He was born in what was then the Greek city of Myra in the third century, and went on to become the local bishop, with a reputation for performing miracles and secretly giving gold to the needy – on one occasion being forced to climb down a chimney to leave his donation.

After his death he was canonised as Saint Nicholas, and venerated in much of the Christian world. But when Myra was occupied by Arab forces in the 11th Century, Italian sailors came and took the saint’s bones to the port of Bari, where they remain interred to this day.

Prof Nevzat Cevik, head of archaeological research in Demre, says Saint Nicholas had made it clear during his life that he wanted to be buried in his home town.

Even without the bones, the town of Demre has not been shy about cashing in on its most famous native son – today visitors to the Byzantine church there are greeted by a large, plastic Santa statue, complete with beard and red snow-suit.

As Mark Krikorian, from whom I lifted this link, says over at NRO, “Sure — when Hagia Sophia is a church again, they can have his bones.”

Yesterday at RFEC, we sang a hymn to the tune of Hubert Parry’s “Jerusalem“.  Apparently, not many people in the congregation knew the tune.  I did, but only because I watch so much Monty Python and learned it from the parodies they did of the original (e.g., “And Did Those Teeth In Ancient Times….”).

I suppose this just goes to show that any young lady or gentleman starting out in the world ought to have a good grounding in the Flying Circus.  You never know when it’s going to come in handy.



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December 2010