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Blue Spider's Coffee House

Truth, Love, Beauty and all things Virtuous

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All My Ships Are Out At Sea

I’ve learned over time that one of the worst things you can do as a manager is compare supervising your co-workers to raising kids. They go ape over the comparison, even though, truth be told, there are a lot of similarities.

 

When I made this observation during a recent meeting, Brenda in Accounting was one of those who took offence to the comparison. Not quite understanding where she was coming from, I tried to calm her down by telling her not to worry she’s in good hands because my kids turned out just fine. That seemed to only make the situation worse. After some mediation and a thousand pardons, we did in fact get past the incident and I now know that deep-down inside Brenda’s a good kid.

A Baker’s Dozen

In the year 1655 on December’s last day, a Dutch baker was working late selling New Year’s cookies. As he was about to shut up shop an uncommonly ugly old woman thrust her way in, demanding a dozen of the special cookies bearing an effigy of Saint Nick.

As the baker handed her the bag of cookies, she said crossly: “One more cookie: I said a dozen.” “You have a dozen,” said the baker. “One more cookie said the ugly old woman, “One more than 12 makes a dozen.”

The baker grabbed her by the shoulder and pushed her to the door. “You may go to the Devil for another cookie!” he shouted. “You won’t get it here.”

In the days and months that followed, mysterious bad luck came to the little bakery in Beverwyck. Bread rose to the ceiling or fell flat like a pancake. Cookies and money seem to be snatched up by invisible hands. Even the handsome brick oven collapsed. The stubborn Dutchman began to wonder whether supernatural powers were not at work.

“Holy Saint Nicholas, what shall I do?” As he spoke these words, Saint Nicholas appeared and told the baker that his troubles could be resolved if had the spirit that the holidays demand.  No sooner had the figure of the saint vanished than the uncommonly ugly old woman appeared demanding a dozen cookies. Posthaste, the baker counted 13 cookies, presenting the bag to her with a bow and a “Happy New Year!”

“The spell is broken”, the witch told the baker, “Now swear to me on the likeness of Saint Nicholas that hereafter in Beverwyck and all the patroonship of Van Rensselaer that 13 will make a baker’s dozen. The baker took the oath and from that day on even down to this day when you say a baker’s dozen you mean 13.

Music Picks

  1. Cousin Dupree–Steely Dan
  2. Pines of Rome (Pini Di Romo)—Respighi
  3. If Drinkin’ Don’t Kill Me (Her Memory Will)—George Jones
  4. In the Blood—John Mayer
  5. Forearm Shiver—Sam Spence

A Chest Full of Spanish Gold: Service, Empathy, Cookies, and Twisted Sister

cookies-milk-845239-print

It’s no big secret that the only thing of real value in our lives is the relationships we make as we go through life. They are the only thing that endures in this life and beyond, if you’re inclined to believe that this life does not leave off in one dark abyss of nothing. Some of us understand it early in life and some of us understand it later on in life. Hopefully nobody misses that ship because living only for yourself can only leave you sad, lonely, and bitter; leaving you an empty shell of a person and that would be just a shame.

Recently, I had to give a talk in Church on service and it was a little humbling to do so because I am so bad at it. I am not one of those people who bakes cookies for people when they are ill or when they are going through some tough times. And I should be. Of course, I know that there is nothing magical about baking cookies for someone. Cookies never physically or mentally cured anybody as far as I know. Nobody ever ate a batch of Uncle Jimmy’s snickerdoodles and suddenly overcame Lupus or suddenly found employment. And I know for dang sure no plate of cookies ever cured crazy. It’s a well-known fact that crazy people go bananas for cookies. But I do know a plate of cookies symbolizes well-placed empathy for another human being, it symbolizes time, effort, and thought towards someone else’s needs other than ours. And the world needs a lot more of what it hasn’t got and that is empathy. So bring on the cookies!

Family

My Dad celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday. Happy Birthday to the man, the myth and the legend! He might as well be turning 60, he has kept himself in such good shape he has hardly aged. He along with my dear mother have quietly led a charmed life and have earned every bit of it.

Politics

Whether we end up choosing to be a Democrat or a Republican, we have to face the fact that we are stuck choosing between two sides of the same coin. Sooner or later we are going to find ourselves saying ridiculous things like: “I believe him or her, even though I know they lie.”

Sports

Go Warriors! The series between Golden State and the Oklahoma Thunder was great. The series between Cleveland and Toronto was not very good. After watching that series, you have to kind of agree with Charles Barkley when he said the NBA stinks. There are really only a few teams worth watching and even at that you don’t really have to watch a game until the third quarter. In most cases, the first half of an NBA game is meaningless.

On LeBron James. I can’t put my finger on it. I mean I know they guy is a great basketball player both offensively and defensively, but his game has to be the most boring game of any of the “great players” I have witnessed. I’d almost rather watch Adrian Dantley score 30 points a night for the ’81 Utah Jazz than watch LeBron score 30 against the Raptors.

Music

 Give the following songs a try and thank me later:

1. La Gaviota by Mariachi Los Arrieros del Valle
2. Ginza Samba by Vince Guaraldi & Bola Sete
3. Everybody’s Gotta Live by Arthur Lee

Regrets

Watching the Twisted Sister documentary on Netflix. Dee Snider seems like a good guy and all but if there ever was a guy that should not wear make up it was him. Dee Snider looked like a proboscis monkey tried to put make up on another proboscis monkey. But I do have to admit that the song “We’re Not Going to Take It” and the video were pretty fun when they came out.

Eating too much chocolate chip cookie dough the other night. It kept me up for a while. I should have chosen the blueberries instead, they were right next to the chocolate chip cookie dough.

Blaming my wife for cooking a half batch of chocolate chip cookie dough and putting the other half in the fridge right next to the blueberries. That didn’t go over well.

Observations

Very few of us really do believe that this life is all there is and our relationship with our parents and friends end when they pass. There are believers, believing non-believers, and then there are atheists and very few of us fall into that camp. You don’t have to be religious to want to believe something bigger than just yourself. As George Santayana once noted humans are “incorrigible animist”.

 

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