Saturday, December 30, 2006
I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to you, 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 his 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 winter solstice holiday, practised 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 2007, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make our country great (not to imply that it is necessarily greater than any other country) and without regard to the race, creed, color, 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/him 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.
Disclaimer: No trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.
Monday, December 25, 2006
In Venice, I saw the most wonderful nativity scenes on display. They were part of a contest. Different groups entered the scenes that they had created. Many, such as the one you see above were very elaborate. The nativity in this particular display has been set down in the middle of a very European looking village with castles and Swiss style chalets in the background.Throughout Italy, I saw various nativities and other festive scenes like the one above displayed in peoples yards or in parks. The one seen above and those below were in Camposampiero which is a little village not far from Venice (perhaps a half hour ride by train). While visiting Venice, I stayed in the small village of Fratte not far from Camposampiero and would usually make the trek over to Camposampiero at least once a day to frequent the restaurants or cafes there. Being just a little larger than Fratte, they had a bit more variety and choice. The food was excellent and the locals extremely friendly.