Monday, November 28, 2011

 

ONE IF BY LAND, TWO IF BY SEA

End of another month; a good time to clear-up accumulated tidbits from under the corners of the desk blotter:

SOMEONE MAY GET IT RIGHT (EVENTUALLY): Investigators poring through the ruins of the lost Mayan civilization of Mexico claim they've uncovered a "second" reference to the Apocalypse predicted for the winter's Solstice next year, December 21, 2012. Experts had previously claimed the existence of just one reference, on a stone tablet uncovered from the ruins of Tortuguero on the Gulf coast. But over the weekend, Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology confirmed the existence of another reference amongst stone carvings at the Mayan ruins of Comalcalco in southern Mexico. - It was just over a month ago that California based evangelical broadcaster Harold Camping scored "0 for 3" when once again the world refused to end as he'd three times before predicted. After his initial "miscalculation" in the 1990's, the Reverend Camping claimed (as God is my witness) that May 21, 2011 would be Judgement Day. - Then, when it did not, he said the actual day of reckoning would be October 21: That day too passed without incident. Someone is bound to score...

ENJOY THAT MIDDLE SEAT IN COACH: First-Class and Business-Class passengers make-up just about 8% of all airline traffic; but they account for almost one-third of revenues for an industry which is once again profitable after languishing for more than a decade. Ten years  which claimed many of the carriers through bankruptcy. Though the airlines still manage to squeeze the very last penny from the vast majority who fly the cheap-seats; after the pilot, the "full-fare" business executive is nowadays the most important person on the plane. Airlines in the United-States have earmarked $2-Billion this year to upgrade amenities for their highest-paying regulars. The airlines are focusing on three specific areas: Giving long-haul passengers a full night's sleep - Stimulating their taste buds at mealtime - Providing "escapes" from the chaos of airport terminals. For the rest of us who's free meals, leg room and blankets were long ago stripped-away; it was always a special place on the other side of "the curtain". Now, it's getting even cushier.

THERE IS AN UPSIDE TO THE ILLEGALS: The Roman-Catholic Church of the United-States is being pulled back from dwindling attendance, closed houses of worship, and a shortage of  worshippers, practitioners and pastors. The continued growth of America's Hispanic population is in the process of changing the U.S. Catholic Church more than any other institution in the country along our southern border.  More than one-third of practicing Catholics in the United-States now claim  Hispanic Heritage, that's more than tripple the 10% reported in a survey conducted in 1987. The majority have a Mexican ancestry and a large number are recent arrivals. The feast of "Santa Maria de Guadalupe," the Blessed Virgin who tradition claims appeared to Aztec peasant Juan Diego in 1531, now ranks with Christmas and Easter as the most popular events at most churches.

MAPLE SYRUP BARBECUE SAUCE: The Bouchard family of Frenchville, Maine along the Northern New Brunswick border has made a name for itself amongst Acadian / 'Cajun' descendants as purveyors of buckwheat flour. The flour is the essential element for the local delicacy known as "Ployes"- a flatbread-like pancake. Another St. John River valley transplant born in nearby Fort Kent, Maine, Pete Morin, is now marketing "Maple Leaf Red Dipping Sauces". Hand-written recipes from a long ago abandoned family restaurant are at the base of the "secret sauce". A new more powerful "Rocket Sauce" is now being developed. Morin told a local journalist recently that the "rocket" will put your (chicken) wings into orbit without shooting flames out your arse! Must be the maple syrup at work.

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