Thursday, December 25, 2014

Alex's 2014 Christmas Eve



Song:  O Holy Night

Artist:  Josh Groban


Alex taking it easy on Christmas Eve.

Alex took a leisurely look at his Spring Semester courses to familiarize 
himself with them, and for one of his courses...
he decided to complete one of the assignments ahead of time. 



Alex completed a skit on internet safety for his AP Computer Science B course.

It involved a father and son discussing an issue where the father had received
an email which posed as an official notice for a remittance of funds
from someone from his company.

In the end...
the son had saved the day with his knowledge of the workings of the internet.


As we had a minor dusting of snow on the Eve of Christmas...
we decided to walk around the block and take some photos of the 
neighborhood Christmas lights.

As it was below freezing (not a problem)...
and the wind was blowing a good 20+ MPH at times (problem)...
after our short walk (around the block)...we decided to take the car
on much of the same route we take on our night walks.

Our feet were sliding...
as everything was iced over.









This was my favorite activity near Christmas when I was young.
I used to love walking around the neighborhood looking at all of the 
Christmas lights.

Alex also enjoyed our night of lights walk.







Alex taking pictures for his mother.


















Before turning up this street in the car...
although I was only going 10 MPH or so...
and I had applied the brakes ever so gingerly...
the car still slid on the ice 20 - 30 feet before I could make the turn.

I had allowed plenty of room for this before I had braked...
as it is a downhill section...
so I didn't have to turn around or back up.

Although the pavement looked wet...
it was all ice.

Alex and I have been enjoying these lights on our nightly walks for over a month now.

I felt bad...
as I should have put up some kind of display also.

It is selfish of me to partake of the beauty of the neighborhood...
without also contributing to it.

Next year...
Alex and I will put up a special display in front of the house.

Since Alex loves math...
and I was born on the tail end of the 50s
(which makes me a child of the 60s and 70s)...
we are thinking of hand painting some displays in fluorescent paint
(most likely some of Alex's favorite mathematical symbols and formulas...
with maybe some tigers and dragons thrown in :)...
and I will then have them fluoresce under blacklight to the music of Pink Floyd  :)

We will probably put up lights onto a front yard tree in the symbol of Pi.


Whoa...
put away the pitchforks  :)

Now...
don't get offended.


You must remember two things:

1)  We are not religious.

2)  Christmas is a national and world wide tradition...
a time for family and friends to gather and exchange gifts...
and it is not necessarily based on religion.


Yes, I know that the term 'Christmas' came from the church.

However...
the celebration of Dec 25th is originally based on the celebration of the Winter Solstice...
and was a tradition long before the birth of Christ (as depicted in many religions).

The tradition of gift giving and general celebration came from this period
(in the Northern Hemisphere, of course).

I don't mind that it is called 'Christmas'...
or if others believe in another reason for the celebration...
it is a time for all...
Yes?


So...
if next year...
 we make a Pink Floyd / Mathematically themed
 blacklight glowing celebration of the Winter Solstice...
don't be surprised...
or offended  :)




Note:

I love being around good people...
for whatever reasons...
as judged by their actions, inactions, and reactions.

It is not what a person professes to believe that is important...
it is how he lives his life and how he treats others...
that truly says what the person is, and believes.

Anyone living his life as guided by love, morality...
and the pureness of his heart as they guide his actions...
is my brother or sister.

I've met many good people who were one of the many religions of the world...
or who were not religious at all.

I've also met some who were evil...
in all of the same categories.


A telling point of people...
in general...is...
a person who knows how to make himself truly happy...
doesn't need to take from others to be happy.

He loves the simple pleasures in life.

He doesn't seek power...
he doesn't need to dominate...
he just needs the freedom to pursue his happiness
(and so, he is assertive...and not aggressive).

Because he loves his freedom so much...
he doesn't wish to infringe on the freedoms of others.

He loves love...
and in the giving of love and joy to others.

These type of people make the best friends and mates.


Do not allow yourself to be pigeonholed into a category of...
race, sex, religion or creed...
or whatever nonsensical group that may be manipulated
by agenda driven powermongers.

Be a good man or woman...
a good human being...
first and foremost.


The celebration of the Winter Solstice
is in the spirit of the conquering of difficulties
(long hard winter  - half way there :)...
and of coming together in good will.

It is in the spirit of helping to spread this joy to others...
to showing the youth especially...
that being on the correct moral path pays big dividends in life...
in the biggest of ways...
true and deep satisfaction in life.

It is in the spirit of being on the correct moral path...
and so, of living life well.


So...
whether it is called Christmas or Winter Solstice...
we are of the same heart and mind.






4 comments:

  1. Beautiful lights in your neighborhood!

    I am guessing that you are not one to care what your neighbors may think, but my concern for a Pink Floyd, backlight decoration would be that others may think that I was mocking their own decorations.

    Icy roads are extremely treacherous. Very fortunate that no one else was on the road at the time.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The music would only be through a small portable which could only be heard if one were near the decorations. I never try to force my desires on others...but I do prevent others from forcing their desires onto me.

    I know what you are saying about some people getting possibly offended. My point is that they have no right to be offended. It is a holiday for all. The only possible offense someone could take it as, would be as a desecration of their religion or tradition. This would only apply to a person of that religion, as all others are not bound by its rules. To have it otherwise would mean that it is a false either / or conundrum (The majority religion or the PC police says you must decorate as such, or not at all). No, as it is the celebration of the Winter Solstice, and so, a holiday which may be celebrated as is guided by the heart, I do not worry about what someone may profess to believe in. A truly religious person is understanding of all people, and he can see into the hearts of his fellow man. If any religious person gets offended...he is not truly religious. Again, I am not bound to live by another person's religious rules...only they are. Besides, Winter Solstice is the original celebration..it had nothing to do with any religion. Our Pink Floyd display will be far more tasteful, and will have far more meaning, than the flashing and dancing light displays. People finding offense at this...could only think so because they think it is THEIR holiday. Winter Solstice is FOR ALL...to celebrate as they please.

    I could only be possibly mocking others if I directly or indirectly refer to the other person's belief or tradition. By us doing our own original display in a tasteful manner, cannot be mocking, as it in no way refers to their way of celebrating. If I were to substitute Jesus with an image of a devil on a cross, that would be mocking. I have always lived my life as a free man...with a free mind. I cannot live in a societal straight jacket out of fear of offending someone. I don't worry about such people who walk around in a PC emotional house of cards, ready to topple at any gust of anything they deem as offensive. They do not own me...or my thoughts.

    Some may think I am a black sheep...someone who is different from the norm. I say...I am not a sheep at all. I am not one to be herded by the accepted norm. I think and walk a path which is independent of tradition just for tradition's sake. It either has meaning for me, or I simply don't do it. But if it has meaning for me, I will do it, regardless of how many others do not do it, or wish me not to do it...so long as I do not attempt to take away rights from the others. However, this also applies to them. It will be on my property, not even the sound of the music will disturb others beyond the sidewalk directly in front of the property... so, no one will have the right to object or to be offended. Offense is not a matter of perspective. There has to have been a fundamental right of the person which had been breached by another. Otherwise, anyone, at anytime, may claim offense and run you in circles...just to do it. A person may be manipulated or castigated...because someone else thinks he owns your mind. No one has the right to tell me how I must celebrate...especially when it is not anyone's, or any group's, holiday.

    The only type of people I am intolerant of, are ones of evil, and ones who are intolerant of others :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Shiroi,

      You have obviously given a lot of thought to this, as you do everything :) and I am not questioning your logic. My only comment is that I have found that people don't always agree with my logic, no matter how well thought out I think it is. That may be because they are not as knowledgeable about the topic, they haven't thought it through as thoroughly, they have different past experiences that shape how they think, or for other reasons.

      As such, you may 1) choose to go ahead and accept that some may be unintentionally offended, 2) try to educate them as to your logic, or 3) not go ahead if you decide it is not worth the risk of offending neighbors. I think the preference of one option over another is a personal choice.

      Personally I would love to see what you and Alex create, but wanted to offer the view that some may not appreciate is as you intend.

      Thanks for the discussion!

      Delete
  3. I know you were worried that some of my neighbors may not react well to my display next year. I know you are a logical and reasonable man. I would love to educate any of my neighbors who may express their displeasure. For those who would still take offense, although I don't see how they could, so long as they do not try to take any negative action and simply choose to ignore me, I am happy. Anything so fragile in life...is not worth having in the first place.

    Although I sometimes make provocative statements in life to probe people to see how they react...to see who they really are inside, this is not one of those times. I just want Alex to be able to express himself with our Winter Solstice project next year. It should prove to be fun.

    However, when I say the word provocative...I do not mean rude. I will sometimes question people's beliefs not to necessarily change their minds, but to see if they have any internal consistency. It is not the person's belief that I am probing, but their thought process and their temperament. If a person becomes irrational, and as a result of their anger, they argue dishonorably...they are immature. I also see if a person can admit when he is wrong when showed logically to be in err. If not, I don't wish to have him in my life. He is either irrational and cannot think straight, or he is just stubborn...either way...life is just too short to be around such people.

    I think I will add the phrase, 'Happy Winter Solstice' to our display. That should prevent any ruffled feathers. :)

    I greatly enjoyed our discussion as well. I fully knew your intent. It was born of kindness and genuine concern. It was the action of a good person. It was good talking with you on this subject.

    ReplyDelete

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