I’ve always counted on my younger sister to keep track of the family members. She keeps a list of everyone’s address, their birthdays, anniversaries and handles all the general family duties. She has even started researching out family tree and has been compiling names and contact information for lots of great aunts and great uncles and cousins removed and all that.

One side of our family includes the Scottish clan MacKenzie, and sis has been collecting information about the design of the tartan and other interesting tidbits of our geneology. She even came across a very old prayer evidently from hundreds of years ago that gives you pause to reflect on how life was back in the day:

The MacKenzie Clan Prayer

Bless a’ the MacKenzies an’ a’ the Mackenzie childer; their sons
an’ son’s childer and their dochiter’s for a thousan’ years to come.

Be Ye gracious an’ send doon mountains o’ snuff,
an rivers of whiskey.

An’ oh lord send doon swords an’ pistels an’ daggers
as monie as the sands on the seashore
to kill the MacDonalds, the Clan Ranalds, and the Campbells.

An oh Lord, bless the wee coo, an’ make it a big coo.

An oh Lord bless the sucklin’ and make it a grand board.

An oh Lord, bless the wee bairns, yon Angus,
Alex an’ Bessie an’ Maggie an’ Florrie.

An oh Lord, build up a great wall between us an’ the Irish,
an’ put broken bottles on the top, so they cannae come over.

An’ oh lord, if ye hae anything gude to gie, dunna gie it to the Irish,
but gie it to your chosen people, the Scots,
especially to the Clan MacKenzie an’ a’ their friends.

Glorious ye are for ever more.

Home Decor Includes Clocks

The wife says we should be getting our “economic stimulus” check from Uncle Sam just about any day and has been day dreaming about what we should spend it on. Last night we surfed a few web sites and did a little shopping to make up a wish list and budget our anticipated money.

One site that I particularly liked was 1-800-4clocks which is all about clocks, especially grandfather clocks. I never realized there were so many different kinds of grandfather clocks and so many different things to consider before purchasing one.

First of all, there is the clock maker to consider. The long established and top brand names include Howard Miller, Hermle, Seth Thomas and Bulova. Of course there are others, but those are the ones that I recognized right off and the ones that I focused on shopping.

Then you have to choose the clock cabinet style and type of wood finish or metal color. Then there is the clock face to consider and you also choose the chimes. On the 1-800-4clocks website they have a little button that lets you listen to samples of the different chimes. That is a nice feature, because I wouldn’t otherwise know the difference between the different ones, although once you hear them you think, “Oh! Of Course!” because you do recognize them after hearing them.

The website even has a blog that is a collection of short articles relevant to grandfather clocks. I read the post titled, “Grandfather Clocks Help Define Decor” and knew right away that we should go ahead and make buying our new grandfather clock a priority, and it appears the wife agrees!

Good-bye, George Carlin

This is pretty freaky. Last Friday we were just talking about George Carlin. His name came up at the convenience store while standing in line, and then we talked about him on the ride home. A few years ago we went to a performance he did here at the Ryman Auditorium. We scored the most excellent seats, second row, just slightly off center stage, thanks to my friend at the radio station. We “won” them.

Anways, just as I was heading to bed I heard the talking head on the local news mention that George Carlin has passed away. Another shocker for the weeked – we figured George was so nasty and incorrigible that he’s be around for another 20 years. But it turns out that his heart gave out and he died in L.A., the Land of Angels.

So, good-bye, George – thanks for the years of laughter at your observations and your jokes. I grew up listening to your sarcasm and jokes pointed at our boomer generation. We’ll miss you.

Cobalt Commercial

Funny commercial on the History Channel tonight was for the new Chevy Cobalt. The scene starts with a car parked at the gas pump. The pump hose disengages itself, reaches down and deflates the rear tire of the car. Then the words, “Gas Pumps Hate Us” show on the screen. The car’s owner comes out of the convenience store with chips and drink and goe sto get into his car when he notices the flat tire. Then the words “Chevy Cobalt . . 36 MPG” come on the screen.

Makes you stop and think, could I downsize to a Cobalt for the sake of the better MPGs?

Ice Road Truckers

Tried to get all the honey-do chores done today in time to catch the “Ice Road Truckers” on the History Channel tonight. At 7:00 is a re-broadcast of last week’s season premiere, and then at 8:00 is the new show of the series.

I’m totally hooked on this show. I am fascinated that these men take their lives in their hands to drive trucks over the frozen rivers and frozen ocean in the Arctic. They are modern cowboys with true grit.