Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems

Kevin Earl Dayhoff Art One-half Banana Stems - www.kevindayhoff.com Runner, writer, artist, fire and police chaplain Mindless ramblings of a runner, journalist & artist: Travel, art, artists, authors, books, newspapers, media, writers and writing, journalists and journalism, reporters and reporting, technology, music, culture, opera... National and International politics www.kevindayhoff.net For community see www.kevindayhoff.org For art, technology, writing, and travel see www.kevindayhoff.com

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

20081231 Admin various link lists 34 through 43


20081231 Admin various link lists 34 through 43

43 Howard County Bloggers
20060808 The Howard County Gang of Four bloggers
20060821 The Howard County Gang of Four
Hedgehog Report, David Wissing's The
HoCo Hayduke
HoCoMD Blog by David Keelan
Howard County Blog

42 Business economy and economics
Better Business Bureau of Greater Maryland
Market Watch from Dow Jones
Nightly Business Report

41 Religion
A Humble Heart
Carroll County MD Chapter of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans
Created For His Glory
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Reformed Chick Blabbing
Smart Christian
St. John Roman Catholic Church
The Jewish Woman
The Text this week
Veggie Tales
Westminster Theological Seminary
World Magazine Blog
Wow God.org by Westminster's Tim Thomas

40 Food Recipes and Restaurants
David Johansson’s O’Lordans Restaurant in Westminster MD
Food Museum
Restaurant Gal blog

39 History and Research
20061128 Carroll County Demographic Profile Data
A Moment in Time with Dan Roberts
American Military History 1775-1917
American Presidency Smithsinian
BBC - On This Day
Carroll County Government Press Releases
CNN Transcripts
Federal Audit Clearinghouse Home Page
George Washington University National Security Archive
Global Edge
Historical Museum of Southern Florida
Historical Society of Carroll County
History Cooperative
Infoplease
Internet Archive
Lesson Plans Page.com
Library of Congress
Life Magazine January through April 14 1947
Maryland Department of Assessments and Taxation Real Property Data Search
Maryland Historic Trust
Maryland Historic Trust Historic Sites Survey
Maryland Historic Trust Historic Sites survey
Maryland History
Maryland Law
Maryland State Archives
National Confectioners Association
Navy Historical Center
Presidency The American Presidency Project
President Lyndon Baines Johnson Library
Presidents at White House dot gov
Scripophily.com
Search Institute
Snopes.com
Social Science Research Network
Sourcewatch.com
Stateline's collection of State of the state speeches from throughout the United States
Taneytown History Museum
Today in History blog by the Examiner
Truman Key West Little White House
U. S. Census Bureau
U. S. Census Bureau Carroll County Quick Facts
United States Marine Corps History Division
University of Virginia Library Electronic Text Center
Urban Legends and Foklore About.com
Vietnam War 1965-1968
Vietnam War: The Hmong in America
Weird Republic
What day of the week were you born
Wikipedia
Willow Bend Books, 65 East Main St., Westminster, MD 21157
World's Columbian Exposition of 1893
“Carroll County, Maryland Election Results for Federal, State, and Local Offices: 1837-2000” by Charles William Albert

38 Newspapers Magazines and Internet based news
Anchorage Daily News (AK)
Bahrain Gulf Daily News – the voice of Bahrain
Baltimore Sun
Barron's
C-SPAN: Watch LIVE
Carroll County Times
Charltte North Carolina - The Charlotte Observer
Chicago Sun-Times
Drudge Report
Examiner
Gazette Maryland
Globalist, The
Granma International English Edition - Cuba
Herald Sun (Australia)
Howard County Times
Inter Press Service News Agency
Inter Press Service News Agency
LA Times' Commentary by Patterico's Pontifications
Los Angeles Times
Memphis Commercial Appeal
Memphis Commercial Appeal columnist Wendi C. Thomas
Miami Herald
Mount Airy Gazette
New Partisan
New York Times
NewsMax
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
Project 21
Raleigh North Carolina - The News and Observer
Regret the Error
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Richmond Times-Dispatch (VA)
Salisbury Daily Times
Scripps Howard News Service
Shelby County Reporter (AL)
Southern MD News (Charles, St. Marys and Calvert Cos. MD)
Stateline.org
The Independent (UK)
The Times of India
Tribune Company
Virginia Gazette - Williamsburg Area
Washington Post
Washington Times
Weekly Standard
Weekly Standard
Westminster Advocate
Westminster Eagle
World Net Daily
Yahoo News

37 TV Radio and Cable
C-Span
CBS Couric and Co.blog
CBS News
CBS News Blog - Public Eye
CBS Sunday Morning
Charlie Rose
Fox News
Fox News Channel
KAKM Ch.7 Public Television for Alaska
MPT Maryland Public Television
MSNBC Meet the Press transcripts and resources
NBC
NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams
NBC TV Ch.4 Washington, D.C.
PBS
The Tonight Show with Jay Leno
WBAL Radio
WBAL TV Ch.11 Baltimore
WBFF Fox 45 Baltimore
WCBM Talk Radio 680 Baltimore
WFMD AM 930 Frederick
WFMU WFMU's Beware of the Blog, A radio Station that bites back
WJZ TV Ch.13 Baltimore
WMAR TV ABC Ch. 2 Baltimore
WTOP Washington, D.C.
WTTR the "Voice of Carroll County"
WYPR FM 88.1 Baltimore
WYPR FM 88.1 The Mark Steiner Show

36 Agriculture
4-H Therapeutic Riding Program of Carroll Co.
4H More about the TRP of Carroll Co.
American Farm Publications
Carroll County MD Agriculture Center and Shipley Arena
Delaware Soybean Board
Lancaster Farming
Maryland's Best Agriculture
USDA
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service

35 Humor and Off-beat news
The Onion

34 Charities and Non-Profits
Interfaith Housing Alliance

Kevin Dayhoff www.kevindayhoff.net http://kevindayhoff.blogspot.com/
Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

20081231 Admin various link lists 12 through 33


20081231 Admin various link lists 12 through 33

33 NGOs Advocacy Organizations and Thinktanks
C-Span Q and A
Institute for Politics, Democracy and the Internet, The George Washington University
The Heritage Foundation

32 Art Theater and Movies
American Collage Network for Educators
Carroll County Arts Council
Gizmos Art, Lyndi McNulty's
Maloney Violin Studio in Westminster
Movie Mistakes.com
On Location with Rick Lee (photography)
Rabbit Prince
Reel Fanatic
Silver Spring Daily Photo

31 Writing and Journalism
"You Don't Say" by John McIntyre: "This Web log looks at issues of language and writing, particularly grammar and usage..."
Associated Content
MD DE DC Press Association
Newspaper Association of America Foundation - and information on Newspapers in Education
Rhyming Dictionary
Society of Environmental Journalists
Writer's Almanac from American Public Media

30 Columnists Authors and Journalists
Editor and Publisher
Examiner articles by Kelsey Volkmann
Krauthammer, Charles on Town Hall
Mychal Massie
Webb, James - a colllection of works

29 Environmentalism
Audubon Sociey of Central Maryland
Everglades National park
Sierra Club Catoctin Group
Smart Growth Online
Society of Environmental Journalists

28 Carroll Co MD municipalities
Government Accounting Standards Board
Hampstead, MD
Maryland Municipal League
Mount Airy Maryland town government
Taneytown Chamber of Commerce
Taneytown History Museum
Westminster City Government

27 Carroll Co Scrapbook
Black Oak Associates
Bowling Brook Preparatory School
Carroll Community College
Carroll County (MD) Chamber of Commerce
Carroll County Arts Council
Carroll County Board of Elections
Carroll County Democratic Central Committee
Carroll County Demographic Profile 2006 update
Carroll County Farm Museum
Carroll County Government
Carroll County Government Press Releases
Carroll County Government Press Releases
Carroll County League of Women Voters
Carroll County Progrssives
Carroll County Public Library
Carroll County Public Schools
Carroll County Regional Airport
Carroll County Tourism Web-site
Carroll Hospital Center
Carroll Lutheran Village
Carroll Technology Council
College Square Shopping Center Westminster Maryland
Community Foundation of Carroll County
Community Foundation of Carroll County, Maryland
East Middle School 121 Longwell Ave. Westminster
Freedom Area Citizen's Council FACC
Giulianova Groceria 11 E. Main St Westminster
Gizmos Art, Lyndi McNulty's
Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church
Illiano Family's J&P Pizza Restaurants
Interfaith Housing Alliance - Building Independence, One Home at a Time
Main Street Advisors
Maryland Association of Counties
McDaniel College and Westminster Good Partners for Over 137 Years
McDaniel College in Westminster
McDaniel College October 2002 information post
Mount Airy Gazette
Mount Airy Messenger
Office Depot
Rager, Lehman and Houck, PC, CPA
Republican Central Committee of Carroll Co.
Shepherd's Staff
St. John Roman Catholic Church
Sykesville Freedom District Fire Dept.
Tevis Oil and Modern Comfort Heating and Air Conditioning
U. S. Census Bueau Carroll County Quick Facts
Union Mills Homestead
United Used Cars
West Carroll Republican Club
West Middle School 60 Monroe Ave. Westminster
Westminster Fallfest
Westminster Fire Department
Westminster Municipal Band
Westminster Restaurant Directory
Willow Bend Books, 65 East Main St., Westminster, MD 21157
Woman's Club of Westminster, Inc.
Women in Black Speak Out
Women in Black Westminster
WTTR the "Voice of Carroll County"

26 Maryland Municipalities
Frederick Co. Town of Walkersville
Institute for Governmental Service
Maryland Association of Counties
Maryland Municipal League

25 Maryland Scrapbook
Maryland Association of Counties
Maryland Manual online
Maryland Public Service Commission
Maryland State Board of Elections
MD Gov. Martin O'Malley Press Releases
Stateline's collection of State of the state speeches from throughout the United States

24 Alaska Scrapbook
Anchorage municipal web site

23 Delaware Scrapbook
Delaware Grapevine

22 India Scrapbook
Bangalore Daily Photo
The Times of India

21 Florida Scrapbook
Everglades National Park
Florida Dept. of Community Affairs
Historical Museum of Southern Florida
Miami Herald
Monroe Co. and the Florida Keys
My Florida - the official portal for the State of Florida
Truman Key West Little White House

19 Governance
Government Accounting Standards Board

18 Frederick County Scrapbook
1895 Frederick County Atlas
Frederick County Government
Historical Society of Frederick County
WFMD AM 930 Frederick

17 Harford County Scrapbook
Craig - David Craig for Harford Co. Executive
Harford Co. Government
Harford County Board of Elections
Harford Republican
Harford Vista

16 North Carolina Scrapbook
Durham, Chapel Hill & the Research Triangle Region Herald Sun
Elon University

15 Pennsylvania Scrapbook
Gettysburg College

14 Virginia Scapbook
Richmond Times-Dispatch
Virginia Gazette - covering Williamsburg area
William and Mary Flat Hat student newspaper
William and Mary News
William and Mary, College of
Williamsburg Colonial Williamsburg VA

13 Technology Scrapbook
Blogdigger
Carroll Technology Council
Digital Universe Foundation
Federal Computer Week
FUCC - Web 2.0 Examples and User Sites
Hello photo hosting
InfoPathways LLC
Nexpoint
Reverberations
Slashdot:News for nerds, stuff that matters
Snap.com
Technorati

12 Baltimore Scrapbook
Baltimore City Government
Maryland Zoo





Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Monday, December 29, 2008

Mr. Moose at the Bomo restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge


Mr. Moose at the Bomo restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge

December 28, 2008

Mr. Moose at Sunday dinner at the Bomo restaurant at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge at Disneyworld in Florida.

20081228 Sunday Mr Moose at dinner

Dayhoff Adventures of Mr. Moose, Dayhoff Travel, Disney, Disneyworld 20081228, Dayhoff Daily Photoblog, Dayhoff photos,


Kevin Dayhoff www.kevindayhoff.net


Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Saturday, December 27, 2008

News you cannot use for a slow news day


News you cannot use for a slow news day

December 27, 2008

For all my friends out there dozing off at their keyboard and staring at the clock during a slow news day. You know who you are.

Gisele Bundchen shows why she is the world’s most successful super model

Willie Geist over at “Zeitgeist – all the news you cannot use,” has the story.


http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26852192/vp/27926724#26136705

Zeitgeist – all the news you cannot use

www.msnbc.video.com

20081227 News you cannot use for a slow news day

Originally from August 11, 2008

Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Friday, December 26, 2008

City in feud with 25-foot snowman

City in feud with 25-foot snowman

Anchorage Alaska - Revenge of Snowzilla: 25-foot snowman appears 'magically' in Powers' front yard By ELIZABETH BLUEMINK ebluemink@adn.com (12/24/08)

Snowzilla the giant snowman rose from the dead Tuesday morning after some holiday pranksters thumbed their noses at city orders and rebuilt him overnight.

When news of the controversial and world-famous Anchorage snowman's demise exploded on the Internet this week, hundreds of Alaska and Lower 48 readers had two words for the city of Anchorage and anyone else who criticized the crowd-pleasing giant: "Bah humbug."

And before dawn Tuesday, in downtown Anchorage, someone erected a small, misshapen snowman at the entrance to Anchorage City Hall: A crude mini Snowzilla brandishing a protest sign that read "Snowmen of the world unite!"

Others created a
snowzilla.org Web site and began soliciting a legal defense fund for Snowzilla's creators.

The Powers family first built Snowzilla in their front yard in 2005. Their snowman became an instant celebrity, drawing local gawkers and international TV crews to their Columbine Street home.

But complaints trickled in from neighbors who didn't appreciate the increased traffic and noise at all hours.

Several weeks ago, city code enforcers -- acting when this year's giant snowman was half-complete -- declared Snowzilla a nuisance and a safety hazard. They banned homeowner Billy Powers from building an "extraordinarily large snowman." The city posted its stop-work order at the base of the snowman and on Powers' front door.

Stung by criticism of its decision to outlaw Snowzilla, the city went on the offensive against Powers on Tuesday afternoon in a press release.

Read the entire saga here:
Revenge of Snowzilla

Find Elizabeth Bluemink online at adn.com/contact/ebluemink or call 257-4317.

20081224 Anchorage Daily News: Revenge of Snowzilla

Related Stories
Letters to the editor: Snowzilla raises a ruckus
City code officer slays Snowzilla
Related Links
Video: Snowzilla rises
PDF: Stop work order
PDF: Enforcement letter
Press release: City's response
Reader-Submitted: Snowzilla photos
Photos: Snowzilla
Video: Homeowner Billy Powers
Alaska Newsreader: Snowzilla fans call for lawsuit against city; more current and past Snowzilla coverage
Submit your Snowzilla photos
More on Snowzilla

See photos, watch video and learn more about Snowzilla: http://www.adn.com/snowzilla
http://www.adn.com/news/alaska/anchorage/story/632231.html

Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Video tribute to journalists: ‘God rest ye weary journalists’

Video tribute to journalists: ‘God rest ye weary journalists’

Kurt Greenbaum – “STL Social Media Guy”: Video tribute: ‘God rest ye weary journalists’ December 15, 2008 by Kurt

Hat Tip: Lauren King

Writers in the “Post-Dispatch’s newsroom conspired to put together this video/commentary on the industry.” Its quite good…

“Pass it on to your journalism friends: A humorous look at the state of journalism today just in time for the holidays. All in good fun. And by someone who believes firmly in the ability of the Web to save our industry.”


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTENC6wK3p4&eurl=http://www.igreenbaum.com/2008/12/video-tribute-god-rest-ye-weary-journalists/



20081215 Video tribute: ‘God rest ye weary journalists’
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTENC6wK3p4


Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Recent columns by Katherine Heerbrandt


Recent columns by Katherine Heerbrandt

December 24, 2008

Buck up, America Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/24/08 556 words
Whew. There aren't enough Christmas cookies and milk in the house to make that one go down easier. Thanks, Mr. Grinch, I mean Gingrich.

Merry mail redux Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/22/08 587 words
You know the ones I'm talking about. Printed on red paper with a border of snowflakes, those single-spaced, 10-point-type missives highlighting the exotic trips, the brainiac athletic offspring, the job promotions and the charity work rivaling Mother Teresa.

Hall bails on Hargett Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/19/08 551 words

Hall, a certain contender for Frederick mayor in 2010, sent a letter to Mayor Jeff Holtzinger and the aldermen Thursday, reiterating what she said in 2007 when she voted to condemn 148 acres west of the city for use as a regional park.

Hand me that shoe Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/17/08 536 words

Seems to me, though, you don't have to be a financial genius to figure out that unchecked, unabated, out-and-out greed on the part of a few is screwing it up for the rest of us.

Matter of trust Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/15/08 506 words
The immigration advocacy group has legitimate beefs with the sheriff's office over its public information requests regarding the sheriff's controversial partnership with the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. Sheriff Jenkins admitted his office didn't "cross all the "T's" and dot all the requisite "I's" in responding to CASA.

Breaking up is hard to do Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/12/08 553 words The mayor and Board of Aldermen received a Dear John letter last week, hand delivered in an envelope marked "Confidential." The breakup note didn't even try to soften the blow with an apology or well wishes, and ended with a terse directive that candidates must file at City Hall, not Winchester Hall.

Inspiring minds Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/10/08 556 words Last week 930 WFMD radio's Bob Miller and Blaine Young worked tirelessly to raise more than $123,000 for the 33rd annual Christmas Cash for Kids program. The money will buy toys for almost 3,000 needy kids in Frederick County.

All you need is love Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/08/08 560 words
How brave of Corrigan, a former naval officer, to say so out loud. He's right, of course. It's just that simple and just that complicated.

Passion vs. logic Katherine Heerbrandt By: 12/05/08 550 wordsThat's not a new concept, but it's an essential truth, especially when it comes to the issues of illegal immigration and "counting kids."

20081224 Recent columns by Katherine Heerbrandt

Frederick News Post Editorial New Credit Card Rules

Frederick News Post Editorial New Credit Card Rules

Originally published in the Frederick News–Post December 23, 2008

Federal officials have moved to protect credit card holders from several common practices employed by companies that issue cards. This has been a long time coming and, unfortunately, won't take effect until July 2010. Some also argue that the new rules don't go far enough in protecting cardholders from unfair and costly practices.

Still, the new rules are a big improvement. Perhaps the most important reform involves interest rates. When the new rules become active, card-issuing companies will no longer be allowed to apply interest rate hikes to existing balances. (There will be some exceptions, such as payments that are more than 30 days late.)

Read the entire editorial here: New credit card rules

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/opinion/display_editorial.htm?StoryID=84310

20081223 Frederick News Post Editorial New Credit Card Rules

Sarah and Rudolph


Sarah and Rudolph

Word is that Rudolph did not make the Christmas trip this year. And now we know why…

20081223 Sarah Palin and Rudolph

Sarah and Rudolph


Sarah and Rudolph

Word is that Rudolph did not make the Christmas trip this year. And now we know why…

20081223 Sarah Palin and Rudolph



Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

This week in The Tentacle for December 24 2008

This week in The Tentacle for December 24 2008

Wednesday, December 24, 2008
Keeping Christmas
Kevin E. Dayhoff
Tomorrow we celebrate Christmas. The pageantry, art, decorations, traditions, and music of the season – especially the music – have all the ingredients for great family memories.


A Different Place…
Tom McLaughlin
Santubong, Borneo – I watched television and read about the Indonesian troops preparing for possible terrorist attacks. Soldiers repelled down hotels, getting ready for a possible Mumbai incident.


Tuesday, December 23, 2008
My Traditional "Nutcracker" Tribute
Roy Meachum
This was written the first Christmas after I started my Frederick column; that was in 1984. It was revived over the years because of requests from mothers and ex-mice; some could now be mothers in their own right.


Monday, December 22, 2008
Just a little Q&A
Richard B. Weldon Jr.
How is it that Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin was seen by many as unqualified to be vice president and Caroline Kennedy is considered by many of the same people to be the perfect potential senator?


Shopping and related thoughts…
Steven R. Berryman
What are you doing reading this column when you could be out Christmas shopping?


Friday, December 19, 2008
Caroline Kennedy, Senator?
Roy Meachum
Her ballet slippers are probably lost; discarded with other no-longer-useful items when the family moved out of the White House and back to Georgetown. When the sightseers and gawkers proved too much, her mother settled the small brood in New York; the brother was too young to recall the details. While alive, his memory must have remained tattooed with impressions, including faces.


Setting the Record Straight
Joe Charlebois
I rarely respond directly to other columnist's points of view or more precisely an individual column, but our local WFMD star and Frederick News Post columnist, Katherine Heerbrandt, couldn't be more wrong on so many items in her December 17 column.


Thursday, December 18, 2008
Happy Holidays!
Chris Cavey
Bet you didn’t expect a letter from the “Republican Family” this year. Well, surprise, we’re alive and well. Just sending an annual holiday note to catch you up on some of our family’s happenings and highlights of the past year.


Life’s Little Lesson…
Joan McIntyre
Today is a special day for at least two people in Frederick. Commissioner Charles Jenkins is celebrating his birthday today. So in honor of his very special day, we'll keep this light and positive. Happy Birthday, Charles.


Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Time flies like an arrow
Kevin E. Dayhoff
As I’ve grown older, the joy of the Christmas season has slowly but surely become overshadowed with pressure and chaos. Certainly not to be overlooked is the emphasis on the materialism and over-consumption that has insidiously eroded the joys of the season.


Mountain Climbing and Orchid Hunting
Tom McLaughlin
Santubong, Sarawak – The condo is like most in Ocean City. Thirty floors contained two sections. I am on the 13th. There are no others like them in this area nor can others be built because of the rainforest which is now a national park.


Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Whistling in the Dark
Roy Meachum
Among all presidents, George W. Bush appears the champion; he whistles in the dark best. The old expression may not be used much these days; it means making noises to scare possible boogey men away.


More Regulations, Less Result
Farrell Keough
When we were last together, we discussed the iconic imagery subtext replete within the film It’s a Wonderful Life. The pleonasm of this previous discussion was self-serving and self-evident, yet constructive in its perspicacious appraisal.


Monday, December 15, 2008
When American Cars Were King
Steven R. Berryman
American cars manufactured by the big three automakers are case studies of what not to do in a competitive environment. When engineering creativity and innovation fall by the wayside, what you get is a “car by consensus” aimed at the widest possible audience that – in the end – satisfies nobody.

20081224 This week in The Tentacle

Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

As Santa hits the road, fire department is a driving force




Kevin Dayhoff kdayhoff AT carr.org Posted on http://www.explorecarroll.com/ 12/24/08

Tonight's the night when all good little boys and girls go to bed and lay awake listening for Santa Claus.

Last week I had the opportunity to witness Santa Claus making an exploratory visit to town, aboard on a Westminster Volunteer Fire Department fire engine.

Many volunteer fire departments have the tradition of traveling through Carroll County communities with Santa Claus freezing his buns off on top of a piece of fire fighting apparatus.

It is an event to behold.

I'm not sure which is the better Kodak moment: seeing little children throughout town totally transfixed on the apparition of Santa Claus coming down the street on a fire engine or watching big burly firefighters get all sappy, mushy and sentimental about making children smile for Christmas.

I believe in Santa Claus, especially having met him personally. But I've never been able to solve the mystery of why it is that when Santa is around, I can never find Tom Hyde, Scott Clendaniel, Chris Cull or Gil Roper. I suppose they must be his regular "drivers."

At any rate, traveling through town for several hours, Hyde was all smiles as Roper, Cull, and Clendaniel traded their favorite "Santa Claus detail" stories over hot soup prepared by Santa helpers Brenda Roper and Anita Kronk.

One of the tales included the time the fire engine happened upon a traffic accident and Santa Claus came running up to aid the driver of one of the cars involved in the mishap. Recalled Hyde:

"I thought the woman was going to faint as she looked up and there was Santa Claus to help her ... She said she knew she was shaken up (by the accident) but couldn't understand why Santa Claus was there. ..."

Santa said his favorite place in town to visit was up by McDaniel College when the co-eds are in town. I can only be sure it's because Santa really appreciates young folks engaged in scholarly endeavors.

The cold and occasional emergency response aren't the only challenges of riding around town shouting Merry Christmas. It seems that the job also involves getting to know where all the low wires and tree limbs are.

In any given year, the Westminster volunteers distribute around 2,000 candy canes, which presents the real Christmas mystery -- how moms and dads manage to get their children to bed after seeing Santa Claus and topping off the evening with a few candy canes.

Unfortunately, this year's bad weather kept the fire department from spreading holiday good cheer for as many evenings as they would have liked.

It seems reindeer can go anywhere in icy-rainy weather, but taking fire engines that cost several hundred thousand dollars out in bad weather for anything but an emergency response is bad form.

Moving on from one wonderful holiday tradition to another; Christmas Eve is when many families decorate their Christmas tree.

The other day I found an explanation as to why a Christmas tree is better than a man:

A Christmas tree requires very little maintenance, just a little water and they're happy.

A Christmas tree smells better and it takes up less room. It adds charm to a home and never whines.

And a Christmas tree doesn't get mad if you bust its ... (ahem) ornaments.
Merry Christmas from all of us at The Westminster Eagle.

Kevin Dayhoff writes from Westminster. E-mail him at kdayhoff AT carr.org.

http://www.explorecarroll.com/opinion/1904/santa-hits-road-fire-department-driving-force/

20081224 WE As Santa hits the road fire department is a driving force weked

Kevin Dayhoff E-mail him at:
kdayhoff AT carr DOT org His columns appear in The Tentacle, http://www.thetentacle.com/; The Westminster Eagle /Eldersburg Eagle The Sunday Carroll Eagle - Opinion: http://explorecarroll.com/opinion-talk/ http://www.kevindayhoff.net/ http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/ http://www.westminstermarylandonline.net/ http://kbetrue.livejournal.com/ http://www.youtube.com/user/kevindayhoff http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1040426835 http://picasaweb.google.com/kevindayhoff

Recent Explore Carroll Columns by Kevin Dayhoff


Recent Explore Carroll Columns by Kevin Dayhoff

December 24, 2008
As Santa hits the road, fire department is a driving force
Published December 24, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Tonight's the night when all good little boys and girls go to bed and lay awake listening for Santa Claus. Last week I had the opportunity...

Carroll shares a history of joining as a community in faith and song
Published December 21, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
Some of the many reasons we have such a high quality of life in Carroll County can be traced to the religious traditions found in...

Antler envy: Why Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is probably a cross dresser
Published December 17, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
In an era when nothing is sacred, we are fortunate in Carroll County to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah -- and not the "winter festivities between...

This time of year, we can't get enough Christmas music, or eggnog
Published December 14, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
EAGLE ARCHIVE The Christmas season means different things to different folks. I have many great childhood Christmas memories of growing up in Westminster. I'm biased of...

Shop Carroll for that hippopotamus this Christmas
Published December 10, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Westminster certainly loves to pull out all the stops for the holiday season. This year is certainly no exception. The weekend after Thanksgiving featured the...

Everyone's a winner at the Westminster Holiday Parade
Published December 10, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
... but here are entries the judges liked best Westminster's annual Holiday Parade was a great time for all. Judges said determining particular "winners" in...

Everyone's a winner at the Westminster Holiday Parade ...
Published December 5, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Westminster’s annual Holiday Parade was a great time for all. Judges said determining particular “winners” in various parade categories was difficult because everyone — the...

In the end, Rutherford Hayes had the croquet balls to be president
Published December 4, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle
For this Sunday's column, let's keep it light. May we discuss croquet? At my age, croquet is about as close to a contact sport as...

Luebberman marks 20 years with Westminster Fire Dept.
Published December 3, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Kevin Dayhoff kdayhoff@carr.org Cake and stories were served Nov. 22 as about 30 members of the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department gathered at the John Street firehouse...

Letters
Published December 3, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Dayhoff right to lament loss of Pour House on Main St. I just wanted to say "BRAVO" to Kevin Dayhoff regarding his recent column in...

One turkey leg, early Thanksgivings and a pair of President Harrisons
Published November 30, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
We certainly hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are now enthroned upon the couch, watching football and relaxing with a pair of birds: a...

Waist is a terrible thing to mind
Published November 24, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it because it will be the first holiday in which my extended family gets...

Turkey, stuffing, illegal radios and rowdy college kids
Published November 23, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
This Thursday is Thanksgiving, and we at The Eagle hope you have a great turkey-day with lots of food, friends and family. Perhaps because of our...

Welcome to the Coffee Shop Bank and Trust Company
Published November 19, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
I was sad to see last week that the Pour House Café on East Main Street in Westminster was closing. The unreal irony of the...

At Westminster polls in 1920, the 'Women Disappointed Them'
Published November 16, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
EAGLE ARCHIVE The fact that women gained the right to vote was a milestone that got mixed reviews in Carroll County after the 19th Amendment...

Life work of Sargent Shriver began in Westminster
Published November 12, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Twenty years ago this week the community was abuzz in anticipation of one of Carroll County's most celebrated native sons, Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. returning...

Patriotic, misty-eyed and corny about our Election Day
Published November 9, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
EAGLE ARCHIVE Last Tuesday, after two years, 45 debates and $2.4 billion spent, American voters finally had their day. Is it just me, or does...

Junction and Lenny Moore explain what teens are thinking
Published November 5, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
On Thursday, Nov. 6, Junction Inc. will host a substance abuse and awareness program sponsored by the Board of County commissioners at 6 p.m....

After this long campaign season, we have many reasons to celebrate
Published October 31, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
This coming Tuesday is General Election Day, and I hope everyone takes the time to vote. Along with our freedom of speech, the right to vote...

Silvery Moon celebrates auxiliary's golden anniversary
Published October 29, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Fifty years ago on Sept. 2, 1958, the Carroll Hospital Center Auxiliary was officially formed. Its first president was Gladys Wimert. Other community leaders...

20081224 Recent Explore Carroll Columns by Kevin Dayhoff

Recent Explore Carroll Columns by Kevin Dayhoff


Recent Explore Carroll Columns by Kevin Dayhoff

December 24, 2008
As Santa hits the road, fire department is a driving force
Published December 24, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Tonight's the night when all good little boys and girls go to bed and lay awake listening for Santa Claus. Last week I had the opportunity...

Carroll shares a history of joining as a community in faith and song
Published December 21, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
Some of the many reasons we have such a high quality of life in Carroll County can be traced to the religious traditions found in...

Antler envy: Why Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer is probably a cross dresser
Published December 17, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
In an era when nothing is sacred, we are fortunate in Carroll County to celebrate Christmas and Hanukkah -- and not the "winter festivities between...

This time of year, we can't get enough Christmas music, or eggnog
Published December 14, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
EAGLE ARCHIVE The Christmas season means different things to different folks. I have many great childhood Christmas memories of growing up in Westminster. I'm biased of...

Shop Carroll for that hippopotamus this Christmas
Published December 10, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Westminster certainly loves to pull out all the stops for the holiday season. This year is certainly no exception. The weekend after Thanksgiving featured the...

Everyone's a winner at the Westminster Holiday Parade
Published December 10, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
... but here are entries the judges liked best Westminster's annual Holiday Parade was a great time for all. Judges said determining particular "winners" in...

Everyone's a winner at the Westminster Holiday Parade ...
Published December 5, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Westminster’s annual Holiday Parade was a great time for all. Judges said determining particular “winners� in various parade categories was difficult because everyone — the...

In the end, Rutherford Hayes had the croquet balls to be president
Published December 4, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle, Westminster Eagle
For this Sunday's column, let's keep it light. May we discuss croquet? At my age, croquet is about as close to a contact sport as...

Luebberman marks 20 years with Westminster Fire Dept.
Published December 3, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Kevin Dayhoff kdayhoff@carr.org Cake and stories were served Nov. 22 as about 30 members of the Westminster Volunteer Fire Department gathered at the John Street firehouse...

Letters
Published December 3, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Dayhoff right to lament loss of Pour House on Main St. I just wanted to say "BRAVO" to Kevin Dayhoff regarding his recent column in...

One turkey leg, early Thanksgivings and a pair of President Harrisons
Published November 30, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
We certainly hope you had a great Thanksgiving and are now enthroned upon the couch, watching football and relaxing with a pair of birds: a...

Waist is a terrible thing to mind
Published November 24, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
I hope you have a great Thanksgiving. I'm looking forward to it because it will be the first holiday in which my extended family gets...

Turkey, stuffing, illegal radios and rowdy college kids
Published November 23, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
This Thursday is Thanksgiving, and we at The Eagle hope you have a great turkey-day with lots of food, friends and family. Perhaps because of our...

Welcome to the Coffee Shop Bank and Trust Company
Published November 19, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
I was sad to see last week that the Pour House Café on East Main Street in Westminster was closing. The unreal irony of the...

At Westminster polls in 1920, the 'Women Disappointed Them'
Published November 16, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
EAGLE ARCHIVE The fact that women gained the right to vote was a milestone that got mixed reviews in Carroll County after the 19th Amendment...

Life work of Sargent Shriver began in Westminster
Published November 12, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Twenty years ago this week the community was abuzz in anticipation of one of Carroll County's most celebrated native sons, Robert Sargent Shriver Jr. returning...

Patriotic, misty-eyed and corny about our Election Day
Published November 9, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
EAGLE ARCHIVE Last Tuesday, after two years, 45 debates and $2.4 billion spent, American voters finally had their day. Is it just me, or does...

Junction and Lenny Moore explain what teens are thinking
Published November 5, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
On Thursday, Nov. 6, Junction Inc. will host a substance abuse and awareness program sponsored by the Board of County commissioners at 6 p.m....

After this long campaign season, we have many reasons to celebrate
Published October 31, 2008 by Sunday Carroll Eagle
This coming Tuesday is General Election Day, and I hope everyone takes the time to vote. Along with our freedom of speech, the right to vote...

Silvery Moon celebrates auxiliary's golden anniversary
Published October 29, 2008 by Westminster Eagle
Fifty years ago on Sept. 2, 1958, the Carroll Hospital Center Auxiliary was officially formed. Its first president was Gladys Wimert. Other community leaders...

20081224 Recent Explore Carroll Columns by Kevin Dayhoff


Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Monoblogue: What we are up against

Monoblogue: What we are up against

Michael Swartz over at Monoblogue has a must-read post for conservatives who understand the power of technology. Yeah, I know it’s the holidays and I am also aware that Mr. Swartz’s content is always a must-read. But this different and his analysis is right on the money… Read it. Kevin Dayhoff

What we’re up against

by Michael @ 10:27 am. Filed under
Bloggers and blogging, National politics, Politics

I’ve made mention of this before, but I’m one of those on Barack Obama’s campaign mailing list. On Friday I got an e-mail from David Plouffe, who helped run the campaign. Indeed, it’s looking like the re-election campaign is already underway:


Read his entire article here: What we’re up against http://monoblogue.us/?p=2992

20081223 Monoblogue What we are up against

This time of year, we can't get enough Christmas music, or eggnog



The Christmas season means different things to different folks.

I have many great childhood Christmas memories of growing up in Westminster.

I'm biased of course, but I can't imagine a better place in the world for the pageantry, art, decorations and music of Christmas in Carroll County.

Everyone has his or her favorite Christmas music. A few at the top of my list include: "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Johnny Marks.

Of course, my list also includes "The Chipmunk Song" sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1958 and "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," written by John Rox and recorded in 1953 by Gayla Peevey -- who was just 10 years old at the time.

Other classics that come to mind are a little more offbeat and mischievous, such as "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by Tommie Connor. Tommie was only 13 years old when it was recorded in 1952. The song was initially banned by the Catholic Church in several cities including Boston.

An account by entertainment journalist Robert Fontenot notes that the "cute novelty (song) about a kid who can't understand why mommy is cheating on daddy with Santa" was not cleared by the "Council of Churches" until a special conference took place.

Alas, before we throw snowballs at someone else, let's remember that Carroll County was also the scene of Christmas mischief as far back as the 1800s.

According to research for the Historical Society of Carroll County by Jay Graybeal, one of the earlier references in local newspapers about caroling can be found in the now-defunct Democratic Advocate on Jan. 3, 1873. The article indicates that not everyone on the community was well behaved on Christmas:

"Christmas masqueraders were out in full force on Wednesday (Dec. 24) and Thursday (Dec. 25) nights. If they would behave with more propriety when entering the residences of our citizens, they would be treated better, but as it is they seem to take the occasion for showing how rudely they can misbehave."

Ahhhhh, that holiday glow.

Read the entire column here
: This time of year, we can't get enough Christmas music, or eggnog

http://explorecarroll.com/community/1814/this-time-year-we-cant-get-enough-christmas-music-or-eggnog/

20081214 This time of year, we can't get enough Christmas music, or eggnog

By
Kevin Dayhoff Posted on Explore Carroll 12/14/08 EAGLE ARCHIVE

This time of year, we can't get enough Christmas music, or eggnog



The Christmas season means different things to different folks.

I have many great childhood Christmas memories of growing up in Westminster.

I'm biased of course, but I can't imagine a better place in the world for the pageantry, art, decorations and music of Christmas in Carroll County.

Everyone has his or her favorite Christmas music. A few at the top of my list include: "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town" by Fred Coots and Haven Gillespie and "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" by Johnny Marks.

Of course, my list also includes "The Chipmunk Song" sung by Alvin and the Chipmunks in 1958 and "I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas," written by John Rox and recorded in 1953 by Gayla Peevey -- who was just 10 years old at the time.

Other classics that come to mind are a little more offbeat and mischievous, such as "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus" by Tommie Connor. Tommie was only 13 years old when it was recorded in 1952. The song was initially banned by the Catholic Church in several cities including Boston.

An account by entertainment journalist Robert Fontenot notes that the "cute novelty (song) about a kid who can't understand why mommy is cheating on daddy with Santa" was not cleared by the "Council of Churches" until a special conference took place.

Alas, before we throw snowballs at someone else, let's remember that Carroll County was also the scene of Christmas mischief as far back as the 1800s.

According to research for the Historical Society of Carroll County by Jay Graybeal, one of the earlier references in local newspapers about caroling can be found in the now-defunct Democratic Advocate on Jan. 3, 1873. The article indicates that not everyone on the community was well behaved on Christmas:

"Christmas masqueraders were out in full force on Wednesday (Dec. 24) and Thursday (Dec. 25) nights. If they would behave with more propriety when entering the residences of our citizens, they would be treated better, but as it is they seem to take the occasion for showing how rudely they can misbehave."

Ahhhhh, that holiday glow.

Read the entire column here
: This time of year, we can't get enough Christmas music, or eggnog

http://explorecarroll.com/community/1814/this-time-year-we-cant-get-enough-christmas-music-or-eggnog/

By
Kevin Dayhoff Posted on Explore Carroll 12/14/08 EAGLE ARCHIVE

Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Frederick News-Post: Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

Frederick News-Post: Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

Originally published in the Frederick News-Post on December 23, 2008

By
Stephanie Mlot News-Post Staff

Christmas came early this year for Frederick's Salvation Army.

The clink of the elusive South African gold Krugerrand coin was heard on Friday at the Wal-Mart on Md. 85.

The coin, valued at $900, has been a Frederick tradition for at least five years, said Maj. Raymond Pruitt, Salvation Army Corps officer.

"That's as far back as any of the staff remembers," he said.

Pruitt said the coin usually arrives the week of Christmas, though sometimes it gets dropped a little early.

Though no one knows who offers the coin each year, Pruitt said he thinks it's the same person.

"They don't want to be identified," he said. "We're perfectly happy to honor that wish."

Read the rest here: Frederick News-Post: Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

20081223 FNP Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=84328


Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Frederick News-Post: Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

Frederick News-Post: Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

Originally published in the Frederick News-Post on December 23, 2008

By
Stephanie Mlot News-Post Staff

Christmas came early this year for Frederick's Salvation Army.

The clink of the elusive South African gold Krugerrand coin was heard on Friday at the Wal-Mart on Md. 85.

The coin, valued at $900, has been a Frederick tradition for at least five years, said Maj. Raymond Pruitt, Salvation Army Corps officer.

"That's as far back as any of the staff remembers," he said.

Pruitt said the coin usually arrives the week of Christmas, though sometimes it gets dropped a little early.

Though no one knows who offers the coin each year, Pruitt said he thinks it's the same person.

"They don't want to be identified," he said. "We're perfectly happy to honor that wish."

Read the rest here: Frederick News-Post: Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

20081223 FNP Gold coin dropped almost a week before Christmas

http://www.fredericknewspost.com/sections/news/display.htm?StoryID=84328

Recent articles by Tom LoBianco

Recent articles by Tom LoBianco

December 24, 2008

Tom LoBianco
Contact Tom via e-mail
Recent Stories

Renewable sources to reduce oil demand
Rise in demand seen as near nil, say analysts
Thursday, Dec. 18, 2008
Federal energy analysts said Wednesday that U.S. demand for oil barely will grow over the coming decades because of efforts to reduce use and invest in renewable power sources, but fossil fuels will continue to make up 80 percent of the nation's energy supplies.

Emissions crackdown: Who wins, who pays?
Monday, Dec. 15, 2008
Leaders in the Democratic Congress haven't even passed new emissions standards - which likely would raise upward of $100 billion - but various interests supporting the measure already are split about who should get the money.

Obama to set health goals, tap Daschle
Energy, environmental team likely to assuage leftists
Thursday, Dec. 11, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama is expected to announce his health care priorities at a news conference Thursday and has tapped an energy and environment team likely to assuage fears from liberals that they had been left in the cold, multiple sources said Wednesday.

Obama to name Chu as energy secretary
Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008
President-elect Barack Obama is expected to name Nobel-prize winning physicist Steven Chu his energy secretary, sources familiar with the Obama transition team said Wednesday.

Boxer: Stimulus will pass quickly
Senate eyes alternative energy
Tuesday, Dec. 9, 2008
A top Senate Democrat on Monday sent a letter to President-elect Barack Obama assuring him that Congress will move quickly to approve an economic stimulus plan between $500 billion and $1 trillion, and base much of it on establishing energy independence through renewable and alternative energy sources.

GM touts electric-drive models amid bailout requests
Thursday, Dec. 4, 2008
General Motors showed off its green wares at the Electric Drive Transportation Association conference Wednesday, while members of Congress sat about a half-mile away on Capitol Hill deciding whether the carmaker would survive another year.

Sen. Martinez will not seek re-election
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008
Sen. Mel Martinez, Florida Republican, said Tuesday he would not seek re-election in 2010, ensuring a high-stakes fight in the in the battleground state of Florida.

Alternative-energy advocates hail adviser
Tuesday, Dec. 2, 2008
Renewable and alternative energy advocates looking to score politically by moving their issue into the realm of national security debates notched a victory Monday when President-elect Barack Obama picked retired Marine Gen. James L. Jones to become his national security adviser.

'Tofurkymobile' out for new holiday traditions
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2008
The Tofurkymobile plows on, long after the day of real turkey gobbling has passed and the seasonal jokes about tofu raised "in the wild" have been shelved for another year.

Cheap gas stalls green efforts
Tax idea loses public support
Friday, Nov. 28, 2008
Advocates of energy conservation and renewable fuels may be the only ones in America looking back nostalgically on the days of $4-a-gallon gasoline.

20081224 Recent articles by Tom LoBianco
http://www.washingtontimes.com/staff/tom-lobianco/

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Blaming History by Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect

Blaming History by Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect

Hat Tip: Truthout

Blaming History Friday 19 December 2008

Michael Tomasky explains how Milan Kundera's The Joke changed his view of politics.

So the assignment is "a book that changed my view of politics." Harder than it sounds. I will confess that when I was a younger man, I was far more likely to think of records, as we used to call them, as life-changing, and if pressed, I could probably to this day defend the proposition that The Basement Tapes taught me as much about America as did, say, either John Steinbeck or V.O. Key.

I could name something predictable by Schlesinger or Hofstadter, or one of those seminal works on the 1960s or Watergate that I and most other American liberal males of my generation display on our shelves and in select cases have actually read to completion. But the idea of "life changing" led me to reach into the memory hole for those rare occasions when reading a book so fired my mind that, while I was immersed in it, I could think of nothing else. You know the feeling: You can't wait for work or class to finish so you can plow back into the book; as you near the end, you actually slow down because you don't want it to stop and can't imagine not being able to read it anymore.

It turns out that it's a novel, Milan Kundera's The Joke, that met for me the above criteria: The book is quite political and contains within its pages lessons about how people adapt to the larger political contexts in which they live. These are lessons that were and are more universal than one might assume - given that Kundera was assaying totalitarian society - about what can happen when the stirrings of the soul are thwarted by the imperatives of the state.

Read the entire essay here: Blaming History by Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect

20081219 Blaming History by Michael Tomasky for The American Propsect
Kevin Dayhoff Art http://kevindayhoffart.blogspot.com/

Blaming History by Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect

Blaming History by Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect

Hat Tip: Truthout

Blaming History Friday 19 December 2008

Michael Tomasky explains how Milan Kundera's The Joke changed his view of politics.

So the assignment is "a book that changed my view of politics." Harder than it sounds. I will confess that when I was a younger man, I was far more likely to think of records, as we used to call them, as life-changing, and if pressed, I could probably to this day defend the proposition that The Basement Tapes taught me as much about America as did, say, either John Steinbeck or V.O. Key.

I could name something predictable by Schlesinger or Hofstadter, or one of those seminal works on the 1960s or Watergate that I and most other American liberal males of my generation display on our shelves and in select cases have actually read to completion. But the idea of "life changing" led me to reach into the memory hole for those rare occasions when reading a book so fired my mind that, while I was immersed in it, I could think of nothing else. You know the feeling: You can't wait for work or class to finish so you can plow back into the book; as you near the end, you actually slow down because you don't want it to stop and can't imagine not being able to read it anymore.

It turns out that it's a novel, Milan Kundera's The Joke, that met for me the above criteria: The book is quite political and contains within its pages lessons about how people adapt to the larger political contexts in which they live. These are lessons that were and are more universal than one might assume - given that Kundera was assaying totalitarian society - about what can happen when the stirrings of the soul are thwarted by the imperatives of the state.

Read the entire essay here: Blaming History by Michael Tomasky, The American Prospect

20081219 Blaming History by Michael Tomasky for The American Propsect