Thursday, December 9, 2010

A little bit of Christmas history

Back when the White House still called it "Christmas"!

"Mr. T", star of the TV show the "A-Team" poses as Santa Claus
December 12, 1983 to help First Lady Nancy Reagan
unveil the White House Christmas decorations.

(UPI PHOTO/Larry Rubenstein/FILES)

99 & 99/100% pure... floats!

BTW, 85 meters translates to 288.15 feet tall!

"I read the news today, oh boy..."

I did not forget John Lennon.

30 years ago this morning was when I found out he was murdered...something no one could ever imagine.

Christmas without the tree?

From Reuters:

ON: Black Holes in Space

From APOD:

Too Close to a Black Hole

What would you see if you went right up to a black hole?

Above is a computer generated image highlighting how strange things would look.

black hole has such strong gravity that light is noticeably bent towards it - causing some very unusual visual distortions.

Every star in the normal frame has at least two bright
images - one on each side of the black hole.

Near the
black hole, you can see the whole sky - light from every direction is bent around and comes back to you.

original background map was taken from the 2MASS infrared sky survey, with stars from the Henry Draper catalog superposed.

Black holes are thought to be the densest state of matter, and there is indirect evidence for their presence in stellar binary systems and the centers of globular clusters, galaxies, and quasars.

Then, there's MY version:
The Light-bender

An Early Gift for All!

From a woman who goes by the moniker 'Hesperos Rising' comes this beauty.


Why bake, when Maurice Lenell does it for you?

They're back!

Maurice Lenell cookies!

And they taste better than ever!

Thank you sooo much, Bach brothers!

Purchased yesterday at my local Dominick's (owned by Safeway)

Jeff and Russell Bach with a customer

Brothers bring back city classic -- Maurice Lenell

From the crumbling of the famed Maurice Lenell Cooky Co. comes a new Chicago store to peddle the sweets.

A pair of Chicago brothers have opened a spot to sell the cookies, the first retail store dedicated to the brand since the company's 2008 shuttering of operations in Norridge.

Since Russell and Jeff Bach opened The Cookie Store and More, 3829 N. Harlem, on Nov. 28, they have heard stories of childhood trips to the old cookie factory.

The store carries the full line of nine flavors of Maurice Lenell cookies, along with sweets from other manufacturers.

While a couple of varieties are available at area Dominick's and Jewel stores, many people are unaware that the cookies are still being sold, said Russell Bach, 43, a Maurice Lenell distributor.

"I see the demand and how much it affects the people in the Chicago area as far as the history behind it; the customer loyalty," he said. "People in Chicago don't even realize that Maurice Lenell is still available."

The Bachs' store is five blocks south from the original factory and outlet store. The cookies are made by Ohio-based Consolidated baking Co., using the same recipes.

"We're trying to bring back the good old days," said Jeff Bach, 45, a restaurateur. "It's almost like customers are going to the Fountain of Youth or something."

The pair can count on Don Slovin, 84, to buy the cookies.

As a Prudential Insurance Co. salesman -- the company's top agent in two years of his four-decade career -- Slovin gave holiday gifts of boxes of cookies to 400-500 customers each year.
He has continued the practice, even after retiring in 1980s.

He also gives the cookies as gifts to nurses who care for his disabled wife; a local gas station employee, and others. And boxes are set out during the appreciation luncheon he and his wife chair for their Galena homeowners association.

"Everybody knows me as the cookie man," Slovin said.

"I used to say the greatest sales tool I have is giving Maurice Lenell cookies away to my customers."

My Christmas Memo to Obama: Even John Milton Knew!

John Milton, Poet

(9 December 1608 – 8 November 1674)

"No man who know aught can be so stupid to deny
that all men naturally were born free."