Thursday, December 31, 2009

Blue Moon New Year

If the skies are clear, revelers looking up at midnight will get an eyeful of the second full moon of the month—commonly called a blue moon. The last time a blue moon appeared on New Year's Eve was in 1990, and it won't happen again until 2028.

A blue moon isn't actually blue—as commonly defined, the name reflects the relative rarity of two full moons in a month and is linked to the saying "once in a blue moon."

Enjoy the New Year's Eve with a blue moon. Be safe if you are outside.

Happy New Year 2010.

Credits: National Geographic

Installing Love

Customer Service (CS) Rep. : "Yes, Ma'am, how may I help you today?"

Customer: "Well, after much consideration, I've decided to install LOVE. Can you guide me through the process?"

CS Rep. : "Yes, I can help you. Are you ready to proceed?"

Customer: "Well, I'm not very technical, but I think I'm ready to install now. What do I do first?"

CS Rep. : "The first step is to open your HEART. Have you located your HEART ma'am?"

Customer: "Yes I have, but there are several other programs running right now. Is it okay to install while they are running?"

CS Rep. : "What programs are running ma'am?"

Customer: "Let's see, I have PAST-HURT.EXE, LOW ESTEEM.EXE, GRUDGE.EXE, and RESENTMENT.COM running right now."

CS Rep. : "No problem. LOVE will gradually erase PAST-HURT.EXE from your current operating system. It may remain in your permanent memory, but it will no longer disrupt other programs. LOVE will eventually overwrite LOW-ESTEEM.EXE with a module of its own called HIGH-ESTEEM.EXE. However, you have to completely turn off GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM. Those programs prevent LOVE from being properly installed. Can you turn those off ma'am?"

Customer: "I don't know how to turn them off. Can you tell me how?"

CS Rep. : "My pleasure. Go to your Start menu and invoke FORGIVENESS.EXE. Do this as many times as necessary until GRUDGE.EXE and RESENTMENT.COM have been completely erased."

Customer: "Okay, done. LOVE has started installing itself automatically. Is that normal?"

Cs Rep. : "Yes. You should receive a message that says it will reinstall for the life of your HEART. Do you see that message?"

Customer: "Yes I do. Is it completely installed?"

Cs Rep. : "Yes, but remember that you have only the base program. You need to begin connecting to other HEARTS in order to get the upgrades."

Customer: "Oops. I have an error message already. What should I do?"

Cs Rep. : "What does the message say?"

Customer: "It says "ERROR 412 - PROGRAM NOT RUN ON INTERNAL COMPONENTS. What does that mean?"

Cs Rep. : "Don't worry ma'am, that's a common problem. It means that the LOVE program is set up to run on external HEARTS but has not yet been run on your HEART. It is one of those complicated programming things, but in nontechnical terms it means you have to "LOVE" your own machine before it can "LOVE" others."

Customer: "So what should I do?"

Cs Rep. : "Can you pull down the directory called"SELFACCEPTANCE"?"

Customer: "Yes, I have it."

Cs Rep. : " Excellent. You're getting good at this."

Customer: "Thank you."

Cs Rep. : "You're welcome. Click on the following files and then copy them to the "MYHEART" directory: FORGIVE-SELF.DOC, REALIZE-WORTH.TXT, and ACKNOWLEDGE-LIMITATIONS.DOC. The system will overwrite any conflicting files and begin patching any faulty programming. Also, you need to delete VERBOSE-SELF-CRITIC.EXE from all directories, and then empty your recycle bin afterwards to make sure it is completely and permanently gone erased."

Customer: "Got it. Hey! My HEART is filling up with new files. SMILE.MPG is playing on my monitor right now and it shows that PEACE.EXE, and CONTENTMENT.COM are copying themselves all over my HEART. Is this normal?"

Cs Rep. : "Sometimes. For others it takes a while, but eventually everything gets downloaded at the proper time. So, LOVE is installed and running. You should be able to handle it from here. One more thing before I go."

Customer: "Yes?"

Cs Rep. : "LOVE is freeware. Be sure to give it and its various modules to everybody you meet. They will share it with other people and then return some similarly sacred modules back to you."

Customer: "I will. Thanks for your help. By the way, what's your name?"

Cs Rep. : " You may call me the Divine Cardiologist, also known as The Great Physician, but most call me God. Many people feel all they need is an annual checkup to stay heart-healthy, but the Manufacturer suggests a schedule of daily maintenance for maximum efficiency. Put another way, keep in touch . . ."

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Prayer request

Mariya Tom's grandmother passed away in India, couple of days ago.  She was 79.  She was with us here in Atlanta few months ago.  Mariya's dad will be travelling to India today to attend the funeral which is planned this Sunday, Jan 3rd at St. Ignatius Jacobite Church, Ayroor.

Let's remember Mariya's family in our prayers and offer condolences.


Aloha - how are you all spending your holidays?  Fun with friends and families, and lots of food I suppose.

Mahalo - for those of you who sent me Christmas wishes.

Enjoy every bit of your winter break and rock your way into 2010.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Santa - thru the eyes of another engineer

If you read the post 'Santa thru the eyes of an engineer', here is a response by another engineer.

Read along:

If people are going to attempt to apply science to the question of Santa, the least they can do is to get it right. The so-called "Engineer" that wrote the paper suggesting that Santa Claus is dead had it all wrong.

A) In paragraph 5, the Engineer states that "600,000 tons traveling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance." Assuming that this true, it may well be that the reindeer are protected by some sort of heat shield, which is the basis of the "red nose" legend. More to the point, the "air resistance" theory is a vast oversimplification, and a sloppy one at that. In comparing a parachute to a javelin, one can see that there is no simple, direct, predictable relationship between the weight of an object and its air resistance. The air resistance theory completely ignores many possible configurations of Santa's team that could greatly reduce air resistance.

Paragraph 5 is invalidated all the more when one considers paragraph 1, which states that most of the 300,000 unclassified species on the earth are insects and microorganisms. This suggests that it is overwhelmingly probable that any unknown species (such as flying reindeer) is extremely small (possibly even microscopic), with correspondingly low air resistance.
Also, note that various small species (e.g. bumblebee) have been known to accomplish feats of aviation that have proven quite difficult for science to explain. Furthermore, many small species (e.g. ants) possess strength that is immense proportional to their size. Also note that every known species has a body structure capable of withstanding whatever stresses are created at the top speed at which the creature is capable of traveling.

Therefore, contrary to the Engineer's conclusion, the possible existence of unknown, very small, very strong, flying creatures is indicated, and all of the Engineer's statistics on the mass, speed, capacity, and durability of standard Reindeer are therefore irrelevant.

B) If we accept the notion that Santa moves from East to West (an assumption that the Engineer makes in Paragraph 3) then we must also assume that he is moving in a vaguely North-South traversing path as he works his way West. This implies that, if he chose to, he could make several stops at the Pole to re-load the sleigh, and therefore it is not necessary for him to carry the entire payload all at once as described by the Engineer.
The reader may raise the objection that most depictions of Santa's procedures include a single annual departure from the Pole. However, one must also consider that these same depictions contain many other omissions and simplifications, such as the implication that Santa spends several minutes on each delivery. Even using unrealistically favorable figures, this is mathematically impossible. This and other examples force us to consider these depictions to be strictly allegorical. This makes sense, since a documentary would not be much fun for the target audience.

C) Consider that most chimneys are too small to accommodate an average-sized man, let alone a 250 (plus) pound man. This implies that Santa has a way of entering and exiting dwellings through access paths much smaller than those that would otherwise be required. If the same technique that Santa uses to transport himself and the gifts past locked doors also decreases mass (or makes it irrelevant), then the payload problem is completely solved. (Note that any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.)

D) If we accept the notion that Santa's intelligence gathering is good enough for him to determine who is bad/good, sleeping/awake etc., then it stands to reason that Santa also knows enough about health problems, travel plans, hurricanes, floods, drive-by shootings, fires, volcanoes, earthquakes, bus crashes, burglaries, etc. etc. etc. to be able to defer or advance some of his deliveries for days or even weeks, thus considerably extending the 31 hour time limit (as mentioned by the Engineer in paragraph 3) for perhaps 3 to 5 percent of children.

E) In paragraph 3, the Engineer admits to the assumption that Christian homes are randomly distributed over the entire surface of the planet. In reality, a majority of the earth's surface is covered by the oceans, and a great portion of what is left is covered by mountains, deserts, forests, jungles, glaciers, smaller bodies of water, and other natural and man-made features that render the space uninhabitable by humans -- or at least extremely sparsely populated by Christians, who largely tend to live in communities with homes placed in neat rows on level ground, or in densely populated vertical blocks in urban areas.
Also, many families tend to gather for the Holidays, thus decreasing the number of Christian dwellings that are actually occupied on December 24-25. Therefore, the aforementioned assumption leads to an *staggering* overestimate of the number of times Santa must travel distances exceeding 60 feet. Also note that this more realistic model includes trans-oceanic voyages during which Santa could take a "bathroom break."

F) In paragraph 3, the Engineer says that Santa has a very short time in which to "park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stockings, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. "In the previous paragraph, I dispensed with the notion that Santa must actually park and exit the sleigh, enter and exit the dwelling, and then enter and drive the sleigh for each delivery. As far as the snacks go, it is clear that between the households where the parents eat the snacks prior to Santa's arrival and the households that don't leave snacks at all, Santa has to deal with a snack in only a small proportion of cases. This means that at every stop Santa must, at a minimum, fill stockings and distribute gifts. The other tasks are performed in much smaller proportions.

G) In paragraph 2, the Engineer presents the assumption that roughly 10 children out of 35 are "good." Given my personal observations, I conclude that this would lead us to overestimate of the number of Christian households containing at least one "good" child by an order of magnitude at the absolute minimum. This, more than anything else, decreases the number of stops that Santa must make.

In conclusion - all of the Engineer's calculations are based on figures that are massively skewed, always choosing the worst-case value. The distances to be traveled, the number of stops to be made, the amount of work to be performed, and the amount of cargo to be carried are all FAR smaller than the Engineer estimates.

Santa has NOT been burned to a cinder, he has NOT been squished by the acceleration of his sleigh, and (though I'm quite certain he won't be visiting that Engineer's house,) Santa Claus IS coming to town!

Sunday, December 27, 2009


For the next one week, I am going to be out of town and hence may not be able to update this site daily.  I will be checking my messages on and off and if time permits, I shall post something here.

Wish you a happy new year 2010.

See you on Sunday, Jan 10, 2010.

Bunny vs Snowman

Santa - thru the eyes of an engineer

Talk to an engineer about Santa Claus and the engineer would do the following analysis:

1. No known species of reindeer can fly, but there are 300,000 species of living organisms yet to be classified, and while most of these are insects and germs, this does not completely rule out flying reindeer which only Santa has seen.

2. There are 2 billion children in the world (persons under 18). But since Santa doesn't (appear) to handle Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, or Buddhist children, that reduces the workload by 85% of the total, leaving 378 million according to the Population Reference Bureau. At an average (census) rate of 3.5 children per household, that's 91.8 million homes. One presumes there is at least one good child per house.

3. Santa has 31 hours of Christmas to work with, thanks to the different time zones and the rotation of the earth, assuming he travels east to west (which seems logical). This works out to 822.6 visits per second. This is to say that for each Christian household with good children, Santa has 1/1000th of a second to park, hop out of the sleigh, jump down the chimney, fill the stocking, distribute the remaining presents under the tree, eat whatever snacks have been left, get back up the chimney, get back into the sleigh and move on to the next house. Asusming that each of these 91.8 million stops are evenly distributed around the earth, which, of course, we know to be false, but for the purposes of our calculations we will accept, we are now talking about 0.78 miles per household, for a total trip of 75.5 million miles, not counting stops to do what most of us do at least once every 31 hours, plus feeding, etc. That means that Santa's sleigh is moving at 650 miles per second, 3000 times the speed of sound. For purposes of comparison, the fastest man-made vehicle on earth, the Ulysses space probe, moves at a poky 27.4 miles per second - a conventional reindeer can run, at tops 15 miles per hour.

4. The payload on the sleigh adds another interesting element. Assuming each child gets nothing more than a medium sized lego set (2 pounds), the sleigh is carrying 321,300 tons, not counting Santa, who is invariably described as overweight. On land, conventional reindeer can pull no more than 300 pounds. Even granting the "flying reindeer" can pull TEN TIMES the normal amount, we cannot do the job with eight, or even nine. We need 214,200 reindeer. This increased the payload - not even counting the weight of the sleigh to 353,430 tons. Again, for comparison - this is four times the weight of the Queen Elizabeth - 5,353,000 tons travelling at 650 miles per second creates enormous air resistance. This will heat the reindeer up in the same fashion as spacecrafts re-entering the earth's atmosphere. The lead pair will absorb 14.3 quintillion joules of energy per second each. In short, they will burst into flames almost instantaneously, exposing the reindeer behind them, and creating a deafening sonic boom in their wake. The entire reindeer team will be vaporized with 4.26 thousandths of a second. Santa, meanwhile, will be subject to centrifugal forces 17,500.06 times greater than gravity. A 250 pound Santa (which seems ludicrously slim) would be pinned to the back of the sleigh by a 4,315,015 pound force.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Gift wrapping

This time around, most of us have been through wrapping and opening gifts.  It is also the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men -- Gaspar, Balthazar, & Melchior went to see the baby Jesus &, according to the Book of Matthew, "presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense, & myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact: there is no mention of wrapping paper.

If there had been wrapping paper, Matthew would have written in his gospel: "And lo, the gifts were inside 600 square cubits of paper. And the paper was festooned with pictures of Frosty the Snowman. And Joseph was going to throweth it away, but Mary saideth unto him, she saideth, 'Holdeth it! That is nice paper! Saveth it for next year!' And Joseph did rolleth his eyeballs. And the baby Jesus was more interested in the paper than the frankincense."

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which means that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped. This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:

1. They were wise.

2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. Men do not understand the point of putting paper on a gift just so somebody else can tear it off. This is not just my opinion, but a scientific fact based on a statistical survey of two guys - Rob and Gene.

Rob, who said the only time he ever wraps a gift is,

"If it's such a poor gift that I don't want to be there when the person opens it."

Gene wrap gifts, but as a matter of principle never takes more than 15 seconds per gift.

"No one ever had to wonder which presents daddy wrapped at Christmas," Gene said. "They were the ones that looked like enormous spitballs."

I can wrap gifts, but because of some defect within me, I can never completely wrap them according to the high standards held by my wife.

On the other hand, if you give my wife a 12-inch square of wrapping paper, she can wrap a Boeing 787 plane. My wife, like many women, actually likes wrapping things. If she gives you a gift that requires batteries, she wraps the batteries separately, which to me is very close to being a symptom of mental illness. If it were possible, my wife would wrap each individual volt.

My point is that gift-wrapping is one of those skills like having babies that come more naturally to women than to men. That is why today I am presenting:

Gift Wrapping Tips for Men:

Collect Generic Gift Wrap Materials - Instead of buying Santa gift paper, try going with a plain red, a metallic silver, and a beautiful white. These papers can look wonderful during the holidays by using red, green, or metallic ribbons.

Cellophane Bags - Clear or printed cellophane bags (like the ones florists use for corsages) can be a lifesaver for small non-fragile gifts, candies, or baked goods. Simply insert the item into the bag (wrapped in tissue if desired) and seal the top with ribbon, raffia, cording, or a twist tie.

Colored Tissue Paper - Tissue can make any gift seem more festive. Collect several colors to use when lining gift boxes, to cushion delicate items, inside cello bags, or even to use as gift paper.

Hole Punch - Use an inexpensive hole punch to puncture gift tags (to insert a ribbon) or to punch two holes in the top of a folded gift bag (to insert a ribbon or raffia).

Stickers - Seasonal stickers are a fun way to decorate plain gift bags, tags, or to close cello bagged gifts.

Tags - Beautiful tags are a lovely touch. However, they can sometimes come off and get lost. Try the stick-on types when mailing gifts or for large gatherings when the tag could be inadvertently detached.

Ribbons - Passion for beautiful ribbon has increased in recent years. Keep in mind, however, that gorgeous ribbons are often very expensive. Use them for special gifts rather than presents that might be ripped open in the blink of an eye.

Curling Ribbon - This inexpensive narrow ribbon can be curled with the blade of a knife or scissors.

Bags - Gift bags -- plain, colored, with or without handles -- are terrific for giving items that don't have a box or for gifts that include multiple items. Use ribbon, raffia, or glitter wire to close the top of the bag.

If none of the above works - here is the ultimate tip:

Whenever possible, buy gifts that are already wrapped.

In conclusion, remember that the important thing is not what you give, or how you wrap it. The important thing, during this very special time of year, is that you save the receipt.

Credits: various websites

Friday, December 25, 2009

Christmas wish

My Christmas wish for you, my friend
Is not a simple one
For I wish you hope and joy and peace
Days filled with warmth and sun

I wish you love and friendship too
Throughout the coming year
Lots of laughter and happiness
To fill your world with cheer

May you count your blessings, one by one
And when totaled by the lot
May you find all you've been given
To be more than what you sought

May your journeys be short, your burdens light
May your spirit never grow old
May all your clouds have silver linings
And your rainbows pots of gold

I wish this all and so much more
May all your dreams come true
May you have a Merry Christmas friend
And a happy New Year, too ..

Credits: Ruth Kephart

Christmas greetings

I wanted to send some sort of Christmas greeting to my friends and colleagues but it is so difficult in today's world to know exactly what to say without offending someone. So I met with my lawyer yesterday, and on her advice I wish to say the following:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low stress, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the summer solstice holiday, practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices of your choice with respect for the religious/secular persuasions and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.

I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2010, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great and without regard to the race, creed, colour, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishee.

By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms:

This greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. This wish is warranted to perform as expected within the usual application of good tidings for a period of one year or until the issuance of a subsequent holiday greeting, whichever comes first, and warranty is limited to replacement of this wish or issuance of a new wish at the sole discretion of the wisher.

3 wise women

What would have happened if it had been Three Wise Women instead of the Three Wise Men?
They would have

Asked directions
Arrived on time
Helped deliver the baby
Cleaned the stable
Made a casserole, and
Brought practical gifts.
But then - what would they have said when they left…?

"Did you see the sandals Mary was wearing with that gown?"

"That baby didn't look anything like Joseph."

"Can you believe they'd let all those disgusting animals in the house?"

"I heard Joseph wasn't even working right now."

"And that donkey. Huh, it's seen better days!"

"Want to bet how long it will take to get your casserole dish back?"

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Ways to confuse Santa

Here are some ways to confuse Santa.  Please don't try this at home, but share it with your friends during Christmas.

Instead of milk and cookies, leave him a salad, and a note explaining that you think he could stand to lose a few pounds.

While he's in the house, go find his sleigh and write him a speeding ticket.

Leave him a note, explaining that you've gone away for the holidays. Ask if he would mind watering your plants.

While he's in the house, replace all his reindeer with exact replicas. Then wait and see what happens when he tries to get them to fly.

Keep an angry bull in your living room. If you think a bull goes crazy when he sees a little red cape, wait until he sees that big, red Santa suit!

Leave a note by the telephone, telling Santa that Mrs. Claus called and wanted to remind him to pick up some milk and a loaf of bread on his way home.

Set a bear trap at the bottom of the chimney. Wait for Santa to get caught in it, and then explain that you're sorry, but from a distance, he looked like a bear.

While he's in the house, find the sleigh and sit in it. As soon as he comes back and sees you, tell him that he shouldn't have missed that last payment, and take off.

Take everything out of your house as if it's just been robbed. When Santa arrives, show up dressed like a policeman and say, "Well, well. They always return to the scene of the crime."

Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections.

Shopping for love

I am flat broke from overspending at Christmas time.  But I need to go shopping again soon because I am completely out of self-respect.  I've said things I wish I could take back and I am not feeling too good about myself.

I also want to exchange a carton of self righteousness for an equal amount of humility.  I hear that it is less expensive and wears well, and while I'm at it I'm going to check on tolerance and see if there is any available in my size.

I must remember to try to match my patience with the little I have left.  My neighbor is loaded with it and it looks awfully good on her.  I was told the same department has a repair shop for mending integrity.  Mine has become frayed around the edges from too much compromising.  If I don't get it refurbished soon, there won't be any left.

I almost forgot the most important thing of all -- compassion.  If I see some-no matter what the color, size or shape -- I'm going to stock up heavily regardless of the price.  I have run out of it so many times and I always feel ashamed when it happens.

I don't know why it has taken me so long to get around to shopping for these items.  They don't cost nearly as much as some of the frivolous things I bought at Christmas time.  And I'll get a lot more satisfaction from them.

Yes, I'm going shopping today and I can leave my checkbook and credit cards at home!  The things I'm looking for have no price-tags.

What a delightful feeling!!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Wondering how to greet others during the second half of December?  Here is what over 70 languages use:

Afrikander – Een Plesierige Kerfees
Arabic – I’d miilad said oua sana saida
Argentine – Felices Pasquas Y felices ano Nuevo
Armenian – Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev Pari Gaghand
Azeri – Tezze Iliniz Yahsi Olsun
Basque – Zorionstsu Eguberri. Zoriontsu Urte Berri On
Bohemian – Vesele Vanoce
Brazilian – Boas Festas e Feliz Ano Novo
Breton – Nedeleg laouen na bloavezh mat
Bulgarian – Tchestita Koleda; Tchestito Rojdestvo Hristovo
Chinese (Mandarin) – Kung His Hsin Nien bing Chu Shen Tan
Chinese (Cantonese) – Gun Tso Sun Tan’Gung Haw Sun
Cornish – Nadelik looan na looan blethen noweth
Cree – Mitho Makosi Kesikansi
Croatian – Sretan Bozic
Czech – Prejeme Vam Vesele Vanoce a stastny Novy Rok
Danish – Gladelig Jul
Dutch – Vrolijk Kerstfeest en een Gelukkig Nieuwjaar!
English – Merry Christmas
Esperanto – Gajan Kristnaskon
Estonian – Roomsaid Joulu Puhi
Farsi – Cristmas-e-shoma mobarak bashad
Finnish – Hyvaa joulua
French – Joyeux Noel
Frisian – Noflike Krystdagen en in protte Lok en Seine yn it Nije Jier!
German – Froehliche Weihnachten
Greek – Kala Christouyenna!
Hawaiian – Mele Kalikimaka
Hebrew – Mo’adim Lesimkha. Chena tova
Hindi – Shub Naya Baras
Hungarian – Kellemes Karacsonyi unnepeket
Icelandic – Gledileg Jol
Indonesian – Selamat Hari Natal
Iraqi – Idah Saidan Wa Sanah Jadidah
Irish – Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Italian – Buone Feste Natalizie
Japanese – Shinnen omedeto. Kurisumasu Omedeto
Korean – Sung Tan Chuk Ha
Latvian – Priecigus Ziemas Svetkus un Laimigu Jauno Gadu
Lettish – Priecigus Ziemassvetkus
Lithuanian – Linksmu Kaledu
Manx – Nollick ghennal as blein vie noa
Maori – Meri Kirihimete
Malayalam – Christumass aasham-sakall.  Nava varsha aasham-sakall
Marathi – Shub Naya Varsh
Navajo – Merry Keshmish
Norwegian – God Jul Og Godt Nytt Aar
Pennsylvania German – En frehlicher Grischtdaag un en hallich Nei Yaahr!
Polish – Wesolych Swiat Bozego Narodzenia
Portuguese – Boas Festas
Rapa-Nui – Mata-Ki-Te-Rangi. Te-Pito-O-Te-Henua
Rumanian – Sarbatori vesele
Russian – Pozdrevlyayu s prazdnikom Rozhdestva is Novim Godom
Serbian – Hristos se rodi
Slovakian – Sretan Bozic or Vesele vianoce
Samoan – La Maunia Le Kilisimasi Ma Le Tausaga Fou
Scottish – Nollaig Chridheil agus Bliadhna Mhath Ur
Serb-Croatian – Sretam Bozic. Vesela Nova Godina
Singhalese – Subha nath thalak Vewa. Subha Aluth Awrudhak Vewa
Slovak – Vesele Vianoce. A stastlivy Novy Rok
Slovene – Vesele Bozicne. Screcno Novo Leto
Spanish – Feliz Navidad
Swedish – God Jul and (Och) Ett Gott Nytt Ar
Tagalog – Maligayamg Pasko. Masaganang Bagong Taon
Tamil – Nathar Puthu Varuda Valthukkal
Thai – Sawadee Pee Mai
Turkish – Noeliniz Ve Yeni Yiliniz Kutlu Olsun
Ukrainian – Srozhdestvom Kristovym
Urdu – Naya Saal Mubarak Ho
Vietnamese – Chung Mung Giang Sinh
Welsh – Nadolig Llawen
Yugoslavian – Cestitamo Bozic


Bobby was getting cold sitting out in his back yard in the snow. Bobby didn't wear boots; he didn't like them and anyway he didn't own any. The thin sneakers he wore had a few holes in them and they did a poor job of keeping out the cold.

Bobby had been in his backyard for about an hour already. And, try as he might, he could not come up with an idea for his mother's Christmas gift. He shook his head as he thought, "This is useless, even if I do come up with an idea, I don't have any money to spend."

Ever since his father had passed away three years ago, the family of five had struggled. It wasn't because his mother didn't care, or try, there just never seemed to be enough. She worked nights at the hospital, but the small wage that she was earning could only be stretched so far.

What the family lacked in money and material things, they more than made up for in love and family unity. Bobby had two older and one younger sister, who ran the household in their mother's absence.

All three of his sisters had already made beautiful gifts for their mother. Somehow it just wasn't fair. Here it was Christmas Eve already, and he had nothing.

Wiping a tear from his eye, Bobby kicked the snow and started to walk down to the street where the shops and stores were. It wasn't easy being six without a father, especially when he needed a man to talk to.

Bobby walked from shop to shop, looking into each decorated window. Everything seemed so beautiful and so out of reach. It was starting to get dark and Bobby reluctantly turned to walk home when suddenly his eyes caught the glimmer of the setting sun's rays reflecting off of something along the curb. He reached down and discovered a shiny dime.

Never before has anyone felt so wealthy as Bobby felt at that moment. As he held his new found treasure, a warmth spread throughout his entire body and he walked into the first store he saw. His excitement quickly turned cold when salesperson after salesperson told him that he could not buy anything with only a dime.

He saw a flower shop and went inside to wait in line. When the shop owner asked if he could help him, Bobby presented the dime and asked if he could buy one flower for his mother's Christmas gift. The shop owner looked at Bobby and his ten cent offering. Then he put his hand on Bobby's shoulder and said to him, "You just wait here and I'll see what I can do for you."

As Bobby waited, he looked at the beautiful flowers and even though he was a boy, he could see why mothers and girls liked flowers.

The sound of the door closing as the last customer left, jolted Bobby back to reality. All alone in the shop, Bobby began to feel alone and afraid.

Suddenly the shop owner came out and moved to the counter. There, before Bobby's eyes, lay twelve long stem, red roses, with leaves of green and tiny white flowers all tied together with a big silver bow. Bobby's heart sank as the owner picked them up and placed them gently into a long white box.

"That will be ten cents young man." the shop owner said reaching out his hand for the dime. Slowly, Bobby moved his hand to give the man his dime. Could this be true? No one else would give him a thing for his dime! Sensing the boy's reluctance, the shop owner added, "I just happened to have some roses on sale for ten cents a dozen. Would you like them?"

This time Bobby did not hesitate, and when the man placed the long box into his hands, he knew it was true. Walking out the door that the owner was holding for Bobby, he heard the shop keeper say, "Merry Christmas, son."

As he returned inside, the shop keepers wife walked out. "Who were you talking to back there and where are the roses you were fixing?"

Staring out the window, and blinking the tears from his own eyes, he replied, "A strange thing happened to me this morning. While I was setting up things to open the shop, I thought I heard a voice telling me to set aside a dozen of my best roses for a special gift. I wasn't sure at the time whether I had lost my mind or what, but I set them aside anyway. Then just a few minutes ago, a little boy came into the shop and wanted to buy a flower for his mother with one small dime.

"When I looked at him, I saw myself, many years ago. I too, was a poor boy with nothing to buy my mother a Christmas gift. A bearded man, whom I never knew, stopped me on the street and told me that he wanted to give me ten dollars.

"When I saw that little boy tonight, I knew who that voice was, and I put together a dozen of my very best roses."

The shop owner and his wife hugged each other tightly, and as they stepped out into the bitter cold air, they somehow didn't feel cold at all.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Rusty Chevy

Here is a song that's sung to the tune “Jingle Bells”

Dashing through the snow in my rusty Chevrolet.
Down the road I go, sliding all the way.
I need new piston rings. I need some new snow tires.
My car is held together by a piece of chicken wire!

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

Bouncing through the snow in a big, blue cloud of smoke.
People laugh as I drive by; I wonder what’s the joke!
I have to get to Wal-Mart to pick up my layaway,
Cause Santa will be comin’ soon in his big, old, rusty sleigh!

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

I Went to the Iga
To Get Some Christmas Cheer
I Just Passed Up My Left Front Tire
And Its Getting Hard to Steer
Skidding Down the Highway
Right Past the Negaunee Cops
I Had to Drag My Swampers
To Get the Car to Stop

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

Bouncing Through the Snowdrifts
In a Big Blue Cloud of Smoke
People Laugh As I Drive By
I Wonder What’s the Joke
I Got to Get to Shopko
To Pick Up the Layaway
Cause Santa Claus Is Coming Soon
In His Big Old Rusty Sleigh

Oh, rust and smoke, the heater’s broke, the door just blew away.
I light a match to see the dash and then I start to pray-ay.
The frame is bent, the muffler went, the radio’s okay.
Oh, what fun it is to drive this rusty Chevrolet!

Barbie doll house

Few years back a good father bought his only daughter a special Barbie Doll House. Sadly for him it arrived in 189 plastic pieces. The instructions said that it could be put together in about “30 minutes or less”. It took him most of the night and he was blurry-eyed and out-of-sorts on Christmas morning.

After it was all put together, he wrote the company a check, cut it into 189 pieces and mailed it off for THEM to put together in 30 minutes or less.

The mathematics of forgiveness - Part 2

The mathematics of forgiveness - Part 2.

Chris drops water on Ponnu's ipod.
Ponnu crashes her dad, Alex's BMW
Mariya is upset because Alex is not helping her with house chores.
Commotion at home and neighbors, James and Dr. Merlyn walk in.
Neighbors explain the mathematics of forgiveness.

3 Nails + 1 Cross = 4Given.

The recording did not come out 100% well.  The beginning part was cut off and plus few other glitches including lighting and stage arrangements.

In short, all of you did your part quite well and conveyed the message.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The mathematics of forgiveness - Part 1

The Mathematics of Forgiveness by our class.

All of you did your best within the constraints we had.

Special thanks to our guests Jake Jacob, Jiby Yohannan, Mariya Tom & Chris Cherian.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Christmas trivia

Below is some Christmas trivia:

The word Christmas is Old English, a contraction of Christ's Mass.

The first president to decorate the white house Christmas tree in the United States was Franklin Pierce.

Germany made the first artificial Christmas trees. They were made of goose feathers and dyed green.

Electric lights for trees were first used in 1895.

The first Christmas cards were vintage and invented in 1843, the Victorian Era. (You can read more about the history of Christmas Cards here.)

"It's a Wonderful Life" appears on TV more often than any other holiday movie.

"Rudolph" was actually created by Montgomery Ward in the late 1930's for a holiday promotion. The rest is history.

"The Nutcracker" is the most famous Christmas ballet.

"Jingle Bells" was first written for Thanksgiving and then became one of the most popular Christmas songs.

If you received all of the gifts in the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas," you would receive 364 gifts.

The poinsettia plant was brought into the United States from Mexico by Joel Poinsett in the early 1800's.

Holly berries are poisonous.

Contrary to common belief, poinsettia plants are non-toxic.

Mistletoe was chosen as Oklahoma's state flower in 1893 and later changed to the state floral emblem.

In 1843, "A Christmas Carol" was written by Charles Dickens in just six weeks.

The first state to recognize the Christmas holiday officially was Alabama.

Christmas became a national holiday in America on June, 26, 1870.

An angel told Mary she was going to have a baby.

Clearing up a common misconception, in Greek, X means Christ. That is where the word "X-Mas" comes from. Not because someone took the "Christ" out of Christmas.

Traditionally, Christmas trees are taken down after Epiphany.

More diamonds are sold around Christmas than any other time of the year.

Christmas movies

We have a Christmas tradition at home, which we've been following for few years now - on Christmas day, we go out to the theater and watch a movie.  

During the holiday season, if you decide to watch a Christmas movie, the list below arranged alphabetically may come handy.  

The 12 Dogs of Christmas (2005) -- In a town where dogs are banned, a girl decides to use the dogs to teach people about the true meaning of Christmas during the Depression.

The Angel of Pennsylvania Avenue (1996) -- Three children travel to Washington in the hope of convincing President Hoover to release their wrongly convicted father from jail in time for Christmas.

All I Want For Christmas (1991) -- Two kids plot to reunite their estranged parents at Christmas.

Bad Santa (2003) -- A conman poses as Santa to rob stores on Christmas Eve.

The Bishop's Wife (1947) -- An angel helps an Episcopalian bishop rearrange his priorities.

Blizzard (2003) -- A young girl, whose best friend moves away near Christmas, is told a tale by her aunt of a young ice skater and an enchanted reindeer.

Christmas at Maxwell's (2006) -- The Austin family face a bleak Christmas when Suzie extremely ill and the family go away to spend their last Christmas together before she dies.

A Christmas Carol (1938), MGM's 1938 film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic story, remade countless times.

Christmas Carol: The Movie, (2001), an animated film starring the voices of Kate Winslet, Nicolas Cage and Michael Gambon.

A Christmas Carol (2009), Walt Disney Pictures/ImageMovers Digital performance capture film starring Jim Carrey.

Christmas Child (2003) -- A life-sized nativity leads a man to learn about his past.

Christmas Eve (1947) -- Heiress attempts to bring her adopted sons back home by Christmas Eve to rescue her fortune from a scheming nephew.

Christmas in Connecticut (1945) -- Fibbing columnist must entertain war hero for the holidays. Remade in 1992.

A Christmas Story (1983) -- All Ralphie wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun.

Christmas with the Kranks (2004) -- When a suburban couple decide to forgo Christmas festivities, preferring to take a cruise to the Caribbean instead, their neighbours refuse to allow such Scrooge-like behaviour.

Deck the Halls (2006) -- Neighbours fight over who has the best Christmas lights.

Eight Crazy Nights (2002) -- A half-Jewish, half-Christian man, who gave up on Christmas and Hanukkah after his parents both die around the holidays, is shown the error of his ways when he is forced into community service by refereeing a Junior Basketball team.

Elf (2003) -- A human, raised at the North Pole, searches for his family in New York.

Ernest Saves Christmas (1988) -- Everyman-type Ernest helps Santa.

The Family Stone (2005) -- Uptight woman wants acceptance from eccentric clan at Christmastime.

Four Christmases (2008) -- A couple struggle to visit all four of their divorced parents on Christmas Day.

Fred Claus (2007) -- Fred Claus, Santa's bitter older brother, is forced to move to the North Pole.

The Grinch (2000) -- Furry green creature wants to ruin the holidays.

Holiday Inn (1942) -- Musicians prepare for a white Christmas at a cozy lodge.

The Holly and the Ivy (1952) -- An English clergyman reunites with his grown children for Christmas.

I'll Be Home for Christmas (1998) -- A college student finds it hard to get home for the holidays.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus (2002) -- When a young boy catches his mom kissing Santa, he decides to be as naughty as he can until he drives Santa back to the North Pole.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946) -- Classic tale, climaxing at Christmas, of a man who gets to see what his hometown would be like had he never lived.

J'ai Rencontré Le Père Noël (AKA Here Comes Santa Claus) (1984) -- Young boy and girl escape bullies and parents by taking a plane to the North Pole and visiting Santa.

Jingle All the Way (1996) -- Dad, while searching for season's hot toy, finds season's true meaning.

Joyeux Noël (AKA Merry Christmas) (2005) -- World War I trenches go silent during the "Christmas truce" of 1914.

The Lemon Drop Kid (1951) -- When the Lemon Drop Kid accidentally steers Moose Moran's girl away from a winning bet, he is forced to come up with $10,000 to repay the angry gangster. Fortunately it's Christmas, a time when people can be persuaded to part with money for the right cause.

Mickey's Christmas Carol (1983) -- Disney's animated film adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic story.

Miracle on 34th Street (1947) -- Macy's Santa, with help from the U.S. Postal Service, restores a little girl's faith. Remade for television in 1955, 1959, 1973.

Miracle on 34th Street (1994) --

Mixed Nuts (1994) -- Christmas at a crisis hotline center.

The Muppet Christmas Carol (1992) -- Jim Henson's creations tackle Charles Dickens' festive favorite.

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989) -- As usual, the Griswold family plans turn to disaster, this time at Christmas.

Nativity! (2009) -- An improvised comedy based around a school nativity play.

The Nativity Story (2006) -- The Biblical account of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Noel (2004) -- A series of events link five disparate strangers in New York on Christmas Eve.

Nothing Like the Holidays (2008) -- A Puerto Rican family, living in the area of Humboldt Park in west Chicago, face what may be their last Christmas together.

One Magic Christmas (1985) -- At Christmas time an angel shows a young mother the true meaning of the holiday season.

The Perfect Holiday (2007) -- A young girl turns to a department store Santa in the hopes that he will help find a new husband for her divorced mother.

Prancer (1989) -- Girl nurses a wounded reindeer.

The Polar Express (2004) -- A magical train takes a boy and other children who stop believing in Santa Claus up north to meet the man himself.

Remember the Night (1940) -- DA falls for Christmastime shoplifter.

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Movie (1998) -- Rudolph's own biopic showing his journey from zero to hero.

Samantha: An American Girl Holiday (2004) -- A wealthy girl visits an orphanage during the holiday season, and tries to house them.

Santa Claus (1959) -- Santa battles evil demon in outer space.

Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (1964) -- Martians kidnap Santa Claus because there is nobody on Mars to give their children presents.

Santa Claus: The Movie (1985) -- Biopic for the fat man in the red suit.

The Santa Clause (1994) -- When Santa falls off his roof, a harried ad exec is required to assume the mantle.

The Santa Clause 2 (2002) -- Sequel to The Santa Clause; Santa must find a Mrs. Claus.

The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause (2006) -- Third film in The Santa Clause series, Santa battles Jack Frost to keep his title.

Santa's Slay (2005) -- In this horror/comedy movie it is revealed that Santa Claus is actually a demon who lost a bet with an Angel, but when the bet is off, he returns to his evil ways.

Santa with Muscles (1996) -- An evil millionaire gets amnesia and then belives that he is Santa Claus.

Scrooge (1951) -- Charles Dickens' ghostly meditation on the holiday. This version of the story, with Alastair Sim as Ebenezer Scrooge, is regarded as one of the best.

Scrooge (1970) -- A musical adaptation of Dickens' tale, starring Albert Finney as in the title role.

Scrooged (1988) -- Modern interpretation of Dickens' story, with holiday spirits visiting a cynical TV exec. Starring Bill Murray.

Stalking Santa (2006) -- Dr. Lloyd Darrow, a self-proclaimed "Santologist," sets out to prove the existence of Santa Claus.

Surviving Christmas (2004) -- A young millionaire pays a family to spend Christmas with him.

Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) -- Inhabitants of Halloween Land do a number on Christmas.

This Christmas (2007) -- The Whitfield family comes together for their first Christmas in several years.

Trapped in Paradise (1994) -- Kindly town's hospitality melts Christmas burglars' hearts.

Twas the Night Before Christmas (1914) -- A boy gets a ride in Santa's sleigh.

Unaccompanied Minors (AKA Grounded) (2006) -- Bored kids make up their own holidays whilst stuck in an airport after Christmas.

What Would Jesus Buy? (2007) -- Documentary about the commercialization of Christmas.

White Christmas (1954) -- As in Holiday Inn, musicians bring Irving Berlin's lyrics to Vermont lodge.

We're No Angels (1955) -- A trio of escaped convicts helps a man and his wife avoid financial ruin and help their daughter find romance on Christmas Eve.

Credits: Wiki

Wedding of cana

The wedding of cana presented at our Christmas program on Dec 19th.

Wonderful job organizing so many components into this play.  The costumes and stage settings were elaborate.

It is always a difficult task managing this many students and doing the practice.  This was a good program that was presented yesterday, with so many students participating in it.

Nativity play

Here is the nativity play presented by our little kids during our Christmas program.

These kids did a fabulous job presenting this play on-stage.  The costumes were cute and they told us the story of birth of Jesus.

These little kids deserve a special mention for the role they played.

Group dance 3 & 4 graders

Group dance presented by our 3rd and 4th graders.  Anyone could tell that these kids practiced a lot to perform this dance.

Pay attention to their costumes while you watch this video - nice ornaments, and Christmas colors!

Good background music that goes along with the dance steps.

Great job, 3rd and 4th graders.

Santa is a woman

Have you heard the theory that Santa is a woman?  Read this.

SANTA CLAUS IS A WOMAN. I hate to be the one to defy sacred myth, but I believe he’s a she. Think about it. Christmas is a big, organized, warm, fuzzy, nurturing social deal, and I have a tough time believing a guy could possibly pull it all off!

For starters, the vast majority of men don’t even think about selecting gifts until Christmas Eve. It’s as if they are all frozen in some kind of Ebenezerian Time Warp until 3 p.m. on Dec. 24th, when they – with amazing calm – call other errant men and plan for a last-minute shopping spree. Once at the mall, they always seem surprised to find only Ronco products, socket wrench sets, and mood rings left on the shelves. (You might think this would send them into a fit of panic and guilt, but my husband tells me it’s an enormous relief because it lessens the 11th hour decision-making burden.) On this count alone, I’m convinced Santa is a woman.

Surely, if he were a man, everyone in the universe would wake up Christmas morning to find a rotating musical Chia Pet under the tree, still in the box. Another problem for a he-Santa would be getting there. First of all, there would be no reindeer because they would all be dead, gutted and strapped on to the rear bumper of the sleigh amid wide-eyed, desperate claims that buck season had been extended. Blitzen’s rack would already be on the way to the taxidermist. Even if the male Santa DID have reindeer, he’d still have transportation problems because he would inevitably get lost up there in the snow and clouds and then refuse to stop and ask for directions. Add to this the fact that there would be unavoidable delays in the chimney, where the Bob Vila-like Santa would stop to inspect and repoint bricks in the flue. He would also need to check for carbon monoxide fumes in every gas fireplace, and get under every Christmas tree that is crooked to straighten it to a perfectly upright 90-degree angle.

Other reasons why Santa can’t possibly be a man:
- Men can’t pack a bag.
- Men would rather be dead than caught wearing red velvet.
- Men would feel their masculinity is threatened…having to be seen with all those elves.
- Men don’t answer their mail.
- Men would refuse to allow their physique to be described even in jest as anything remotely resembling a “bowlful of jelly.”
- Men aren’t interested in stockings unless somebody’s wearing them.
- Having to do the Ho Ho Ho thing would seriously inhibit their ability to pick up women.
- Finally, being responsible for Christmas would require a commitment.

I can buy the fact that other mythical holiday characters are men………
- Father Time shows up once a year unshaven and looking ominous. Definite guy.
- Cupid flies around carrying weapons.
- Uncle Sam is a politician who likes to point fingers. Any one of these
individuals could pass the testosterone screening test.

But not St. Nick. Not a chance. As long as we have each other, good will, peace on earth, faith and Nat King Cole’s version of “The Christmas Song,” it probably makes little difference what gender Santa is. I just wish she’d quit dressing like a guy!


Q: What are snowmen's favorite breakfast food?  
A: Frosted Flakes.

Q: What do snowmen eat for lunch?
A: Icebergers.

Q: What do snowmen eat for dinner?
A: Ham Br-r-r-r-r-gers !

Q: What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire?  
A: Frostbite.

Q: How do snowmen travel?
A: Icecycles!

Q: What happened when the snowgirl broke up with the snowboy?
A: She gave him the cold shoulder!

Q: What did the snowgirl say to her favorite snowboy?
A: I love you SNOW much !

Q: What do snowmen wear on their heads?
A: Ice caps!

Q: What's an ig?
A: An eskimo's home without a loo!

Q: Where do snowmen go to dance?  
A: Snowballs!

Q: What sort of ball doesn't bounce?
A: A snowball!

Q: How do snowmen clean their teeth?
A: Ice Picks!

Q: What do you call a snowman using too much toothpaste?
A: Frothy the Snowman!

Q: How does a snowman lose weight?
A: He waits for the weather to get warmer!

Xmas Puns

Here is a Christmas pun.

Q: What do Spanish sheep say when they wish each other a Merry Christmas?

Now, read the 10 questions below and try to answer them.


1. On December 24, Adam’s wife was known as _____ _____.

2. In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was visited by the ghost of _____ _____.

3. An opinion survey in Alaska is called a _____ _____.

4. What Christmas message is conveyed by these letters?: ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ _____, _____

5. When the salt and the pepper say “Hi!” to each other, they are passing on _____ _____.

6. A holy man bereft of change could be called _____ _____.

7. A quiet medieval armor-wearer is a _____ _____.

8. A cat walking on the desert is bound to get _____ _____.

9. People who tell jokes on December 25 might be called _____ _____.

10. Actor O’Connor and actress Channing are known on December 25 as _____ _____.


1. On December 24, Adam’s wife was known as CHRISTMAS EVE.

2. In Charles Dickens’s A Christmas Carol, Scrooge was visited by the ghost of CHRISTMAS PRESENT.

3. An opinion survey in Alaska is called a NORTH POLL.

4. What Christmas message is conveyed by these letters? ABCDEFGHIJKMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ = NO L

5. When the salt and the pepper say “Hi!” to each other, they are passing on SEASON’S GREETINGS.

6. A holy man bereft of change could be called SAINT NICKELESS.

7. A quiet medieval armor-wearer is a SILENT KNIGHT.

8. A cat walking on the desert is bound to get SANDY CLAWS.

9. People who tell jokes on December 25 might be called a CHIRSTMAS CARD.

10 Actor O’Connor and actress Channing are known on December 25 as CHRISTMAS CAROLS.


Finally - we are done with our Christmas program.  All of you did quite well in the play.  I tired to come and share my happiness with you.  Some of you were away and I could not meet you.  I will call you sometime soon and we will do an analysis of how we could have improved it.

We showcased the theme of forgiveness, and here is a simple request from my side:  Let's try to forgive at least one person of one incident in the coming week.  That is 'let go' of that one incident that had hurt you in the past, and have mercy to that person.  If you practice, you can certainly do that, and like how Merlyn pointed out, it is better for the soul.  Give it a sincere try, and tell me how you feel.

BTW - We recorded the class play and the dance.  It came out quite Ok.

I just completed my *surgery* at work, few minutes ago.  It was successful, and the system I built is live now.  For the next few days, I will have to check the vital signs to make sure everything is alright with the new 'baby system'.

Some of you asked me whether there is Sunday school tomorrow.  The answer: I have not heard about any official holidays, but I won't be coming in.  Yeah  - the next time I will be at Sunday school will be on Jan 10th, 2010.  I am going to miss you until then, for sure.

Wish you the Merriest Christmas Ever, and the Most Wonderful New Year 2010.

Saturday, December 19, 2009


Here are some FAQs I can think about, related to today's program.

Freqently asked questions:

Q:  What should I wear for the Christmas carol at the begining?
A:  Dress code for Sunday School Christmas Carol is Santa hat; black pants, red shirt for boys and black skirt/pant, red tops for girls.

Q: When does the program start?
A: The 10th graders should plan on being onsite around 1:00 PM, after eating their lunch.  The actual program starts at 4:00 PM per secretary's mail.

Q: When is our 10th grade play?
A: As of this writing, I do not know when our play is.  Let's expect it to be in the second half, towards the end.  The Secretary will post the program details on the notice board.  As soon as I know of it, I shall inform you.

Q: When do we change into our play costume?
A: Since we don't have any complex costumes, we should plan on changing into them right after the christmas carol. Get help from your parents to change into your respective costumes.

Q: If I am in other plays, how do I manage costume change?
A: To the best of my knowledge, your other program will not be back to back.  Inform me, if you run into such situations and I will help you.

Q: I want to watch the programs.  How can I do this, if I wear the costumes?
A: It is perfectly ok to get ready in your costume and go sit in the audience, along with your parents or friends, to watch the rest of the programs. I can come get you.

Q: How am I doing in terms of acting, based on our rehersal yesterday?
A: If you have not heard from me, then you are doing ok.  I have contacted those of you who need to improve.

Q: When does the program end?
A: It's hard to say the end time, but let's assume around 9:00 PM.

Q: What if I become hungry in between?
A: Arrangements are being made for some snacks in the fellowship hall, to provide refreshments.  Eat a good lunch before you leave home.

Q: When is the food served?
A: Food is planned to be served at the end of the program.

Q: Who will take care of the CD track?
A: As your teacher, I will take responsibility for that task.

Q: What if I mess up my acting?
A: I know you will do your best.  In case something goes wrong, do not worry.  You still gave your best try.  Pray to God before you get onstage.

Q: If somebody gets hurt, what should I do?
A: Bring it to the attention of any Sunday scool teachers, and they will take care of it.  I expect you to be watching the programs.

Q: If someone asks me to do some voluneteering activity, what should I do?
A: The 10th graders are busy with the Christmas play this time.  You can do volunteering activities later on.

Q: What are some of the things I should not be doing?
A:  Do not carry your cell phones on stage, do not panic, do not loiter around in the campus when the program is going on, and do not go anywhere far.

Q: Are we recording our play, and posting it on youtube?
A:  I will do my best to record our play and make it available online, once I have everybody's consent.

PS: I will have to leave home around 10:00 PM.  If our program is not done until 10:00 PM (which is highly unlikely), then I have a backup plan to work from our class room.


Yesterday we are done with our recording.  It did not come out 100% right - but let's live with it.  I am going to edit few dialogs to make it bit short - just a couple of them.  

Today, I will be there at Church between 12:00 noon and 1:00 PM.  If you are there, at that time, we can discuss some more about the play.

Overall, all of you now have a good grip on your role.  Practice more and you will be alright.

Bring your costumes.  Try them on before you bring it to the program.  Make a list of all that you need and bring them in.

Let's wish good luck to all the teachers and the participants for their programs to do well.  Everyone is working hard to make their's better.

Eat your lunch and come, so that you don't get hungry soon.  See you in few hours.


Santa’s primary language is North Polish. Santa and Mrs. Claus live in an icicle built for two and that he loves tending his three gardens and exulting, “Hoe, hoe, hoe!”

St. Nicholas is the main Claus. His wife is a relative Claus. His children are dependent Clauses. Santa’s elves are subordinate Clauses

On Christmas Eve, Santa eats a jolly roll, leaps into his sleigh, and urges his toys to hop in the sack. Santa’s sleigh always comes out first because it starts in the Pole position. It also gets terrific mileage because it has long-distance runners on each side.

Kris Kringle especially loves all his reindeer because every buck is deer to him. When traveling in the sleigh in inclement weather, Santa gets icicles in his beard and calls them chin chillas. He sometimes removes all the bells from his sleigh and travels silently through the night. One day he hopes to win a No Bell prize.

Santa is so Santa-mental that he sometimes spends all his money on the toys that he brings to children everywhere. At those times, he’s called St. Nickeless. But when flying to Cape Canaveral he’s a palindrome (A SANTA AT NASA)

Santa loves sliding down chimneys because it soots him. But he actually has a fear of getting stuck. That fear is called Santa Claustrophobia. Since Santa has to go up and down a wide variety of chimneys on Christmas, we recommend getting a yearly flue shot.

Credits: James Fennimore Cooper

Friday, December 18, 2009

Mail from Sunday school secretary

Hello All,

Dress code for Sunday School Christmas Carol is Santa hat; black pants, red shirt for boys and black skirt/pant, red tops for girls.

The program will start at 4pm with Sunday School Christmas Carol, please make sure that all the Sunday school students are present in the Church before 4pm.

The Program schedule will be put in the Church, Fellowship hall and Sunday School notice boards and also will be available with the Sunday School teachers.

Please make sure that the students for their respective programs are ready in the back room of the stage atleast before 3 programs.


Task list

At work my team wants me to focus on our Christmas play.  Hence I  took the rest of the day off, and can be there at 5:00.  Here is what we need to accomplish today:

Do the voice recording and burn a CD.

Practice our play with the recorded voice.

Review the costumes.  Refrain from using red costumes since the backdrop is red.

Collect all those props necessary for our play.

The weather is not very good today.  So, be careful while driving to church, and wear some warm clothes as well.

See you in the evening.

Christmas shopping

It was few days before Christmas, and the judge was in a merry mood as he asked the prisoner, “What are you charged with?”

“Doing my Christmas shopping early,” replied the defendant.

“That’s no offense,” said the judge. “How early were you doing this shopping?”

“Oh, about an hour or two before the store opened,” countered the prisoner.

Nativity preparation

While preparing for a nativity for a Sunday school Christmas program, a Sunday School teacher told her students about an angel appearing to Joseph in a dream, warning him about danger to the baby Jesus and telling him how to escape from it. After the story time, the students were given an opportunity to draw a picture about the story.

Most of the pictures were predictable, but Johnny’s had an odd element in it.

“Johnny, I see Joseph and Mary with the baby Jesus but they are flying in an airplane. Where did you come up with that idea?”

“Well, teacher, you told us all about the flight to Egypt.”

The teacher caught her breath. “Oh, my. But who is the THIRD adult with Mary, Joseph and the baby Jesus?”

“I got that from another Bible story. It’s Pontius the Pilot.”

Christmas Riddles

Q. What happens to Santa if there’s a fire in the fireplace?
A. Santa becomes known as Krisp Kringle.

Q. What day of the year can we all honestly say our children are gifted!?
A. December 25th

Q. What three phrases best sum up the Christmas season?
A. “Peace on Earth”, “Goodwill to Men” and “Batteries not included.”

Q. What do you have in December that you don’t have in any other month?
A. The letter “D”.

Q. What do reindeer have that no other animals on earth have?
A. Baby reindeer.

Q. What do you call a chicken at the North Pole?
A. Lost.

Q. Where does Frosty the Snowman keep his money?
A. In a snow bank.

Q. What is Santa’s favorite breakfast cereal?
A. Frosted Flakes.

Q. Which of Santa’s reindeer got a part time job to help in a poor economy?
A. Comet cleans sinks!

Q. Where did the mistletoe go to become rich and famous?
A. Holly-wood.

Q. What do you call a cow at the North Pole?
A. An Eski-moo.

Q. Why did Frosty go to live in the middle of the ocean?
A. Because snow man is an island.

Mom's letter to Santa

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a good mom all year. I’ve fed, cleaned and cuddled my children on demand, visited the doctor’s office more than my doctor and sold sixty-two cases of candy bars to raise money to plant a shade tree on the school playground. I was hoping you could spread my list out over several Christmases, since I had to write this letter with my son’s red crayon, on the back of a receipt in the laundry room between cycles, and who knows when I’ll find anymore free time in the next 18 years.

Here are my Christmas wishes:

I’d like a pair of legs that don’t ache (in any color, except purple, which I already have) and arms that don’t hurt or flap in the breeze, but are strong enough to pull my screaming child out of the candy aisle in the grocery store.

I’d also like a waist, since I lost mine somewhere in the seventh month of my last pregnancy.

If you’re hauling big ticket items this year I’d like fingerprint resistant windows and a radio that only plays adult music, a television that doesn’t broadcast any programs containing talking animals, and a refrigerator with a secret compartment behind the crisper where I can hide to talk on the phone.

On the practical side, I could use a talking doll that says, “Yes, Mommy” to boost my parental confidence, along with two kids who don’t fight and three pairs of jeans that will zip all the way up without the use of power tools.

I could also use a recording of Tibetan monks chanting “Don’t eat in the living room” and “Take your hands off your brother,” because my voice seems to be just out of my children’s hearing range and can only be heard by the dog.

If it’s too late to find any of these products, I’d settle for enough time to brush my teeth and comb my hair in the same morning, or the luxury of eating food warmer than room temperature without it being served in a Styrofoam container.

If you don’t mind, I could also use a few Christmas miracles to brighten the holiday season. Would it be too much trouble to declare ketchup a vegetable? It will clear my conscience immensely. It would be helpful if you could coerce my children to help around the house without demanding payment as if they were the bosses of an organized crime family.

Well, Santa, the buzzer on the dryer is calling and my son saw my feet under the laundry room door. I think he wants his crayon back. Have a safe trip and remember to leave your wet boots by the door and come in and dry off so you don’t catch cold.

Help yourself to cookies on the table but don’t eat too many or leave crumbs on the carpet.

Yours Always,

P.S. One more thing…you can cancel all my requests if you can keep my children young enough to believe in Santa.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Prepare well

Yesterday I contacted some of you about the costumes and other things.  If you have any trouble, do let me know ahead of time and I can work on it.  Others - do you have ride on Friday?  After your test, whenever you want to take a break, read your lines and practice them saying it at a slow pace.  As discussed, we are planning to do our recording on Friday, and that should be the last part.  I almost forgot that I have to go home and bring Chris to our voice recording as well.  So, let's plan on being there between 5:00 and 6:00 PM.  

Really looking forward to talking to you.  

At work, my team did a trial run for the Dec 19th activity (similar to our practice session at Sunday school) and we have a good feeling about it. Our team decided not to add any bonus stuff between now and Saturday - all of them want to relax today and tomorrow.  I told them about our Christmas play and they read our script. They liked it and gave me some tips.  

Once again, good luck on your exams.  

Secret of Success

"Takes pain," said the window.
"Keep cool," said the ice.
"Drive hard," said the hammer.
"Be up to date," said the calender.
"Never be led," said the pencil.
"Be sharp," said the knife.
"Make light around you," said the fire.
"Stick to it," said the glue.
"Be bright," said the lamp.

Do angels dream?

Do angels dream? I believe they do
There's one who surely dreams of you,
Who hopes your future is secure,
Was with you through challenges you had to endure.

Do angels dream? Sure they do.
The dream of an angel has seen you through.
Continue to grow and strive for the best.
This angel will help you pass the test.

Do angels dream? Of course they do.
Look up and say "Hi" to one who sees you.
When you're happy or sad or just feeling blue,
You're a special angel's dream come true.

Credits: Grandma Rodgers

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Getting ahead

Hope you are doing well on your tests.

Here is the update we have:

We meet at Sunday school on Friday as discussed. Plan on being there between 5:00 and 6:00 PM. Since I am driving from downtown which is not my usual route, I don't know the traffic but will be there at my earliest. James Joy is going to call you and check your conveience.

I am confident you can do a good job, based on what I have observed so far. Remember those tips I gave you during practice and follow them at home - you will do better. Call me if you still have any questions.

Guess what - at work, things started falling into place since today morning. All I did was pray to the Holy Spirit for things to go well. Not only am I on target, but also ahead of the schedule as of this morning :-).  Whatever I do between now and Saturday is going to be a bonus.  Therefore, I feel relaxed, and have lots of time at hand. All my problems seem to be disappearing (magically).

If you prayed on my behalf, thank you!!

God answers prayers

A young man had been to Wednesday night Bible Study. The Pastor had shared about listening to God and obeying the Lord's voice. The young man couldn't help but wonder:

"Does God still speak to people?"

After service he went out with some friends for coffee and pie and they discussed the message. Several different ones talked about how God had led them in different ways. It was about ten o'clock when the young man started driving home. Sitting in his car, he just began to pray, "God.. If you will listen. I will do my best to obey."

As he drove down the main street of his town, he had the strangest thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk.He shook his head an said out loud, "God is that you?" He didn't get a reply an started on toward home. But again the thought to stop and buy a gallon of milk. The young man though about Samuel and how he didn't recognize the voice of God, and how little Samuel ran to Eli. "Okay, God, in case that is you, I will buy the milk." It didn't seem like too hard a test of obedience. He could always use the milk. He stopped and purchased the gallon of milk and started of toward home. As he passed Seventh Street, he again felt the urge, "Turn down that street." This is crazy he thought and drove on past the intersection. Again, he felt that he should turn down Seventh Street At the next intersection, he turned back and headed down Seventh. Half jokingly, he said out loud, "Okay, God, I will". He drove several blocks, when suddenly, he felt like he should stop. He pulled over to the curb and looked around. He was in a semicommercial area of town. It wasn't the best but it wasn't the worst of neighborhoods either.

The businesses were closed and most of the houses looked dark like the people of the houses were already in bed. Again, he sensed something, "Go and give the milk to the people in the house across the street." The young man looked at the house. It was dark and it looked like the people were already asleep. He started to open the door and then sat back in the car seat. "Lord, this is insane. Those people are asleep and if I wake them up, they are going to be mad and I will look stupid." Again, he felt like he should go and give the milk.

Finally, he opened the door, "Okay God, if this is you, I will go to the door and I will give them the milk. If you want me to look like a crazy person, okay. I want to be obedient. I guess that will count for something but if they don't answer right away, I am out of here." He walked across the street and rant the bell. He could hear so noise inside. A man's voice yelled out, "Who is it? What do you want?"

Then the door opened before the young man could get away. The man was standing there in his jeans and T-shirt. He looked like he just got out of bed. He had a strange look on his face and he didn't seem too happy to have some stranger standing on his doorstep.

"What is it?" The young man thrust out the gallon of milk, "Here, I brought this to you." The man took the milk and rushed down a hallway speaking loudly in Spanish. Then from down the hall came a woman carrying the milk toward the kitchen. The man was following her holding a baby. The baby was crying.

The man had tears streaming down his face. The man began speaking and half crying, "We were just praying. We had some big bills this month and we ran out of money. We didn't have any milk for our baby. I was just praying and asking God to show me. How to get some milk." His wife in the kitchen yelled out, "I ask him to send an Angel with some. Are you an Angel?"

The young man reached into his wallet and pulled out all the money he had on him and put it in the man's hand. He turned and walked back toward his car and the tears were streaming down his face. He knew that God still answers prayers.

Moral: God picks some of us and direct us at certain times to accomplish His tasks.  All we have to do is to listen to His instructions, have faith in Him and follow the path to accomplish His wish.  In the end, only 'His will' will be done.  We are just pawns in His magnanimous game of chess.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

This week

Most of you have tests this week.  Focus on that - it is more important.

Do not worry about the Christmas program.  Let me worry about it - that's my job and I will take care of it.  We are done with our script, and you have a good idea of what needs to be done.  Sound recording is being taken care of.  We'll do it inside our classroom.

Based on what I noticed last Sunday, all of you are doing good.  We just need to have couple of practice sessions, which we can hold on Friday when we meet. Bring copy of your script when you come in.

One important question I have for you - Is anyone having any sort of fear on stage?  Do let me know that ahead of time.  In that case, we need to talk.

Costumes - we talked about it in detail last Saturday and Sunday.  Anybody any questions?  Can you bring your costumes on Friday when we meet? I would like to see it beforehand so that we have no surprises.

I am having another fun filled week at work.  Nothing is going well or as planned, since yesterday.  Something or the other keeps popping up at random.  All I can do just sit here and laugh (like a mad person), because certain things are way beyond my control.  When things go really hectic, I step outside the building and take a brisk walk, enjoy the weather and come prepared to hear the next problem.  Hope I will not lose my sanity by this weekend :-)

Saving the train

There was once a bridge which spanned a large river. During most of the day the bridge sat with its length running up and down the river paralleled with the banks, allowing ships to pass thru freely on both sides of the bridge. But at certain times each day, a train would come along and the bridge would be turned sideways across the river, allowing a train to cross it.

A switchman sat in a small shack on one side of the river where he operated the controls to turn the bridge and lock it into place as the train crossed. One evening as the switchman was waiting for the last train of the day to come, he looked off into the distance thru the dimming twilight and caught sight of the trainlights. He stepped to the control and waited until the train was within a prescribed distance when he was to turn the bridge. He turned the bridge into position, but, to his horror, he found the locking control did not work. If the bridge was not securely in position it would wobble back and forth at the ends when the train came onto it, causing the train to jump the track and go crashing into the river. This would be a passenger train with many people aboard.

He left the bridge turned across the river, and hurried across the bridge to the other side of the river where there was a lever switch he could hold to operate the lock manually. He would have to hold the lever back firmly as the train crossed. He could hear the rumble of the train now, and he took hold of the lever and leaned backward to apply his weight to it, locking the bridge. He kept applying the pressure to keep the mechanism locked. Many lives depended on this man's strength.

Then, coming across the bridge from the direction of his control shack, he heard a sound that made his blood run cold. "Daddy, where are you?" His four-year-old son was crossing the bridge to look for him. His first impulse was to cry out to the child, "Run! Run!" But the train was too close; the tiny legs would never make it across the bridge in time. The man almost left his lever to run and snatch up his son and carry him to safety.

But he realized that he could not get back to the lever. Either the people on the train or his little son must die. He took a moment to make his decision. The train sped safely and swiftly on its way, and no one aboard was even aware of the tiny broken body thrown mercilessly into the river by the onrushing train. Nor were they aware of the pitiful figure of the sobbing man, still clinging tightly to the locking lever long after the train had passed.

They did not see him walking home more slowly than he had ever walked: to tell his wife how their son had brutally died.

Moral: In the process of saving something, we may have to sacrifice something valuable to us.

Voice of Jake and Jiby

With the intention of making it easy for Jake and Jiby on Friday, I communicated to them that they need NOT come on Friday to record their voice.

Instead, they can be present during the play and read out their lines thru the microphone backstage.

Jiby responded to it, agreeing to this idea and I hope to hear from Jake soon.

Rest of us, let's plan on meeting on Friday at 5:00 PM in the class.