Monday, December 24, 2007

Today In History - Stille Nacht! Heilige Nacht!

In 1818, on Christmas Eve, the words to Silent Night, Holy Night were put to music for guitar. The words had been written in 1816 by Josef Mohr. Then in 1818 Mohr, who was then an assistant pastor at St. Nicholas Church, asked fellow church member, and organist and choirmaster, Franz Xaver Gruber to put it to music for guitar. The next day, Christmas 1818, the song was sung in St. Nicholas Church in Oberndorf, Austria for the very first time. It was sung by Mohr and Gruber to the music of a guitar, and they were accompanied by the church choir. Can you imagine that, a Christmas Song sung to the music of guitar back in 1818! All this supposedly because the two men had been struggling with a broken church organ on Christmas Eve in preparation for Christmas Mass; or so the story goes - and I like the story. Actually, the fact of its authorship, and of its musical score have been fairly well documented, and so have the date(s) of its creation (words/music thus dates), and so to was the date it was first sung in church. The part about the broken organ is possibly a stretch, but I guess we can make allowances for it being the Christmas season.

See:

http://www.visit-salzburg.net/surroundings/silentnightchapel.htm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franz_Joseph_Gruber

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silent_Night_%28song%29

Enjoy the song when you hear it or sing it; and Merry Christmas to all.

All the best,
Glenn B

Wow, that was really very quick...

...almost as quick as old Saint Nick.
My shopping is over at long last
I cannot believe it went so fast
Especially being it's Christmas Eve
I thought the stores I'd never leave.
Yet in and out I went like a flash
and I bought my wife two gifts with cash,
And I found the perfect gift for my dear
Something soft, and warm to hold near.
Now don't get me wrong I don't mean me,
But then again I could be present three.

All the best,
Glenn B

Shopping, Flooring, More Shopping...

...those are the plans for my day, and I woke up late this morning. I am just getting into the swing of things right now so this will need be brief. I am off to Home Depot to pick up a nail gun (has to go faster than drilling pilot holes in oak floorboards then hammering in each nail one at a time with multiple hammer blows, then setting each nail with a nail set.

Then off to buy my wife a nice Christmas present.Yes as usual, I have again waited until the last minute, well at least the last day to get my Christmas shopping finished. No panic though, I know where to go, and what to buy, to make her smile. No it will not be diamonds, nor a cute muscular male slave (both on her wish list - really that is what she wrote down).

Oh well - no more time to write until maybe tonight. Have a joyous Christmas Eve.

All the best,
Glenn B

Belated Wishes Are In Order To You All...

...for a Happy Festivus, or at least to you of the rest of us! Had I the time I thought I would have had, I would have wished you this whilst still the 23rd of December. Alas events took a turn or three in a different direction than that for which I had planned, and I am arrived here - already on the eve of Christmas - and only at this moment have I found the opportunity to wish you Happy Festivus. I can only wish that it had been otherwise, but as fate would have its often found joy in rambunctious dishevelment of ones plans, my plans for a wonderful Festivus were tossed aside as if a leaf in a tempest.

My day had been planned so that I would finish laying the new oak floor in my son's room, but unexpectedly, as oft will be the case, my attentions were diverted. My daughter, who recently bought her first car, a brand new one at that, called to say the car had broken down. My wife and I helped her survive the panic stricken moments of her first breakdown (not her first nervous breakdown mind you, but her car's first mechanical breakdown) and we successfully got triple A to give her a tow. Then we picked her up and tried to cheer her up, which was especially difficult once she had realized that the car had broken down because of a rather silly mistake on her part, which I will not explain further here as she has been embarrassed enough by it for one day. After that it was back to work for me on the flooring job, but I soon broke all of my properly sized drill bits and had to quit for the day.

Once having finished with that task for the day, I decided it would be the nice thing to do to drive my daughter to the home of her beau's parents in CT where she had planned to spend Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Well it may have been the nice thing to do, but it took up almost all of the remaining time within the day. We left home at about 1900 hours (7PM), and I drove through a terrible windy rain storm. All in all, 193 miles and about 4 hours later, I was back in the neighborhood. By then I was much in need of a libation, so I stopped at a local establishment to imbibe just two. My arrival there was at about 2310 (11:10 PM), and I arrived home at about 0005 (1205 AM) of the 24th. Yes I was too late, by just minutes, to wish you all a Happy Festivus in a timely manner; for that I offer my apologies. Of course, not all of you will be offended, nor will many of you even know of what I write when I refer to Festivus; but for those of you who are offended or are at east aware, you know it is for the rest of us. HAPPY BELATED FESTIVUS!

All the best,
Glenn B