Ocean's 400

Many of the USS Arizona's sailors never made it home.

Those of us with dads who served in World War II, especially in the Pacific theatre, regard this as a solemn day.

[UPDATE from As A Mom (look over there in the left sidebar): 70 years ago today, at 7:55 am, HI time, Pearl Harbor was attacked.  As moms and as patriots, we will observe a moment of silence at that time.  7:55 am HI time is 12:55 ET] 

Nevertheless, you can't help but be happy for a bunch of sailors who do get to go home and in time for Christmas. The crew of the EnglishBritish Navy aircraft carrier HMS Ocean recently found out that they would be home this Friday after having been deployed to Libya.  The British Navy has a long and distinguished history of being, well, a little out there:

The description that accompanied the YouTube video:

After lots of time away last year (214 days) -- planned for 7 week deployment exercise with other nations
Diverted to Libya and further operations
Back 9 Dec after 7½ months away - 225 days with 176 at sea
400 people onboard (at peak during the amphibious exercises just under 900 onboard but approx 650 during Op Ellamy)
Steamed just over 40,000 miles
Burned approx 6,000 tonnes of fuel
Operated 16 different type of aircraft off the deck
Realities of deploying:
15 babies born while the ship has been away (fathers did get home to see mum and baby)
5 people were sent home so they didn't miss their own weddings.
1 sailor whose son's third birthday is on homecoming. Family meeting ship
Ships company have missed:
Summer holidays. 
Children's exam results
Children finishing school and starting university
The Padre missed his daughter's graduation.
Carry on and a happy Christmas!

Christmas tree lighting in Dryden and other good stuff

From a great publication called "Mom's Guide to Christmas 2011" put out by the Dryden MOPS (Mothers of PreSchoolers) Steering Team and one mom in particular—she knows who she is smiley :

Dryden Village Tree Lighting

Annual Christmas Tree Lighting at 5:00pm. Enjoy the ear pleasing sounds of Dryden School’s Band and Beyond Measure’s singing group on the Village Green. Santa arrives at 5:30pm to light the tree! Refreshments following at the Methodist Church. At the Dryden Café, enjoy $1 hot chocolate, free cookies, and wonderful local music.

Admission: Free

Where: Village Green, Dryden

When: Saturday, 12/03 at 5:00 p.m.


Breakfast with Santa at the Dryden Hotel

Kids east free at this special breakfast with Santa. Bring in a toy for Cops, Kids, & Toys and receive a $5 gift certificate.

Admission: Free for kids

Where: Dryden Hotel, West Main Street, Dryden

When: Saturday, 12/10 at 8:00 a.m. - Noon


Southworth Library Family Story Time: Holiday Tales

Enjoy exploring holiday tales with the whole family at this special story time.

Admission: Free

Where: Southworth Library, Dryden

When: Saturday, 12/17 at 12:30 p.m.


Those are just the Dryden-centric items.  There's much, much more in the "Mom's Guide"—and not just for moms or little ones. Enjoy!




Christmas is a season...


...not just a single day, and there's way too much joyful stuff out there for a single day anyway. Watch this and I guarantee you will smile, if not plain laugh out loud. Thanks to Sarah Palin, via Hillbuzz:


A Christmas Carol

To offset a Scrooge-like earlier post, here is the story of Steve McCann, a frequent American Thinker contributor. Like Dickens' famous "carol," this is a cautionary tale of transformation and redemption.

Preparations are underway in the United States and the nations of Europe to celebrate Christmas first and foremost as a tribute to materialism.  These increasingly agnostic and secular societies have chosen to ignore the existence of God and have instead placed more and more trust in man.  The consequence of this misguided reliance and the reality of God's outstretched helping hand is embodied in the story of a young boy from the streets of a nameless city in an unknown country....

Read the whole thing.  Merry Christmas!

'A Digital Nativity Story'



Thanks to Kathy Shaidle at Five Feet of Fury (a must-read blog if you have friends or family in Canada, but that's a story for another day...)

The North Point iBand

We blog away on our iMacs and iPad, knowing that others are more clever with the same tools...

More Christmas Lights


Cathy Wakeman reminds us in her 11/16 Ithaca Journal column:

For a one-of-a-kind way to honor a loved one this holiday season, consider lighting a light on the Dryden Youth Opportunity Fund's Tree of Honor. A Christmas tree in Times Square at the four corners in Dryden will brighten from the bottom up as bulbs honoring or remembering our cherished neighbors and friends are added. All proceeds from the lights will support opportunities for Dryden youth. Applications for purchasing lights are available at Dryden Wine and Liquor, Dryden Community Café, George B. Bailey Agency, First National Bank of Dryden and the Dryden Village Office.

Christmas Tree Lighting


Well, that's not exactly what the Village website proclaims:

The Annual Holiday Tree Lighting will take place at the Dryden Village Green on Saturday, December 4, 2010

5:00 p.m. a "Holiday Ensemble" at the Village Green

5:30 Santa arrives at the Village Green to light the tree.
Refreshments will be served immediately following at the Methodist Church.

Hmmm... which holiday is that exactly? wink

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