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Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas Hiatus

About the lack of posting: I’m traveling over the holiday season.

I thought I’d have some time to write during this trip. I was wrong, between snow storms and ice storms and endless airline delays and a flight divert due to a medical emergency and a dozen reroutes and a sprint through Denver and all the Christmas stuff and the fact that I’m now entrenched at a farm in rural Michigan with internet connectivity straight out of 1985 and no cell phone service whatsoever, well, there’s not going to be much in the way of posting on Stonekettle Station.

That’s okay, I needed a break anyway.

I’ll be in Florida on Friday for a week in the banjo playing swamps of the Panhandle. I may find some time then.

Happy Holidays, folks, Stonekettle Station will be back online shortly.


  1. "Sprint through Denver" Says it all. No worries, enjoy your holiday. Merry Christmas, Jim.

  2. Thanks for letting us know why Stonekettle has been so quiet, Jim. I was getting worried.
    Happy Holidays.

  3. Rest your fingers, relax and enjoy!
    I always wonder when you're gone for a while, and worry you've been overcome by all the yuck out there these days(as I tend to do), Then you come back with an ass-blasting post and I know all is well with the world again.

    Happy vacation, Mr W!

  4. Happy Jimmy Buffett's Birthday!!!

    Enjoy yourself.

    1. Also Barbara Mandrell, Annie Lennox, and (one of these things is not like the others) Karl Rove.

  5. Enjoy your visit in Michigan and the enforced lack of connectivity and we will see you in the New Year. May your trip home be less fraught with challenges to smooth travel. Merry Christmas to all!

  6. When you get to Lower Alabama, if you have time, please check your FB friend requests. Mine's in there. Been following your story but I'm not allowed to talk back!

  7. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, Jim! ...from Canada.
    (and happy birthday Jimmy!)

  8. Happy Holidays to you and your family, Jim.

  9. Don't worry about us, we'll be still here when you get back. Hope you're having a Merry Christmas with your family today and that the rest of your trip to the Lower 48 is not as hectic as the first part was. Happy New Year to you and yours.

  10. Florida Panhandle? Banjo playin' swamps? You must be going near Boggy Creek country ... good times there.

    1. Hell, I grew up down there. At least he can find some good mullet (both the fish and the hair style). :p

  11. Banjo ??? You never said you played. I bought myself one for Christmas (my late wife always said that I'd have to do it in another lifetime ) .
    Enjoy your vacation fro the frozen climes.

  12. Think of it as a much needed sabbatical of sorts.
    M from MD

  13. So, Jim Write left balmy Alaska for the wicked winter weather of Michigan. :-) Does anybody else see the irony in this? It sounds like you’ve at least got power, if not much internet connection, which puts you one up on my sister.

    Meanwhile, have a Merry Christmas, Jim, and enjoy life while you can.


  14. Hope you had a very Merry Christmas, and that the rest of your trip will be much more relaxing!

  15. You deserve the break. Have a happy holiday season!

  16. Happy Holidays...make sure you get some more boiled peanuts down in Florida...I remember a previous column of yours.

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  18. Mean while, for the first time ever, the garden(?) and I have called a truce in the battle for supremacy as to who dislikes who the most, we're both wishing for a cool change! We've had about 3weeks of no rain and 8weeks of scorching heat (upper 30's degrees Celsius).

    The eternally exaggerated tourist ads are touting that the state's weather “is beautiful one day and perfect the next”! Mind you not whisper of Bush fire rating that is beyond 'severe' or 'extreme' to “brimstone warning " i.e. the pits of Hell have opened up!". There's stories of fishermen going out into the bay and by the time they get back their unprotected fresh catches are blacked fish crisps! Even the bull ants are wearing thick soled shoes, sun hats and UV 50+ sun screen! I swear I saw a possum (without his fur) in his tree last night sipping a mint julep.... sweating.

    Even the last resort for the poor and elderly trying escape the heat or the thuggery of their power bills, the shopping mall's air conditioning is overwhelmed. In stead of the clicking of arthritic joints, walking frames and the whirr of mobility buggies there is a deafening cacophony. All the teenage arguments for birth control seemingly hyped up on caffeine drinks and ADHD medication teens there proving their lack of worth.
    Screaming noise averse infants in their impossibly large mobile play pens; petulant wails from over tired toddlers all while their crash dummy parents elbowing each other to get to the Goodwill to all Post Xmas bargains (sic). All to the orchestrated urging of over modulated Pubic address systems under enthusiastic barker's claims of “never again” or “below wholesale price”... yer right!

    Where one can see find the coffee machine you reluctantly bought for one the sets of grown up children 2 weeks ago “on special” is now 1/3 of what you paid!

    Am I the only person that sees no sense in buying presents for the sake of some, marketing misappropriated culturally important day (?) to assuage ones' guilt for being selfish and or bad parent or child by buying some gift lacking in need or real functional purpose. The reality is that marketing is inculcating the concept of equating indulgence, excess with goodness/ fun/togetherness. More laughingly teaching the children the concept of charity and good will to all (which all hmm?) Such is the power of the marketing in generating a time dependent mass hysteria period designed to squeeze the most from those who can afford it least.
    Why do we permit what was and still is, for some a survival technique, (sharing what we have at a time of least),to be become a cultural straight jacket?

    Even from the perspective of business it makes more sense both in production, (materials jobs labor costs) and cash flow (overdrafts) to spread business across the year rather than have it, subject to hit or miss risky hiatus(es). Xmas being the most expensive and riskiest. I can tell you without a fear of contradiction even production/cash flow is the goal of most businesses and is certainly the most cost effective (efficient). The unspoken reality is that we of the west force the world to Pay high premiums for our excesses in every thing. Worst of all, encourage binging on every thing from consumerism of junk, fire arms to profligate consumption of food and alcohol.

    NB I have no issue with those who want to celebrate 'Christ's birthday' (albeit Saternia renamed as opposed to the real day) religion generally but oppose strenuously it's imposition on others not so inclined. Nor do I have problems with the idea, if not the reality, of the ('christmas'?), family get together day'.

    I'm fortunate that our family can and does congregate at least 10-12 per year anyway. It also reduces the inter in-law issues as to whose turn it is. i.e. 3 set of in laws, who spread mercifully across two countries and two states.

  19. Chief, I spent 26 years in Michigan and I know whereof you speak. There are areas so remote that the Oklahoma Bomber and his pals could actually practice making bombs and do dry runs on tree stumps and such. May you have a good year in 2014. You are much appreciated

  20. Dangnabbit! To use a euphemism for I"d probably say if I were you.

    Oh well, that's fair enough then & can't wait till I get to read more. Love ya work Jim Wright. Happy New Year.

  21. got a chuckle out of the situation in michigan - apparently where you were had POWER - so many of us michigan people did not. for 7 whole days. yikes. enjoy your holiday.

  22. Three quick solutions ;-)
    All of you Migrate to Australia ( yesterday in one Adelaide the temp was 46 degrees..... Celsius most State capitals were 40ish. So hot in fact the fish in the bay were wearing ice packs to keep cool! Catch a fish and keep your beer cold in one. What more could a sportsperson want?
    No? well plan b.

    Move your Christmas to March April ( nearer to Christ's real birthday) or May. From my time travelling in the states for business you have an even chance , with planning, to actually get where you need to be somewhere near the time.

    Plan C .... my standard operating procedure sit, have a drink and ignore it ....it goes away.


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