Ringing In December!

It’s December and the Christmas Season is in full swing at “On The Road With Dave”.

Today features the first of the Christmas Banners in rotation at the top of the blog and I wrapped the blog in some colorful paper.

However, we are not technically “ringing” in the holiday season–we are going to “pipe” it in. To kick off the season, your “Saturday Diversion” spotlights Paul McCartney’s “Pipes of Peace”.  The official video depicts McCartney’s version of the 1914 World War I Christmas Truce.  During that historic truce, British soldiers and German Soldiers met in “no-man’s land” to exchange photos of home and family, a little food and drink, and a friendly game of soccer for a few hours.  Incidents like that occurred all along the front lines of battle on that Christmas Eve and Day.

1914-truceEnemies acknowledged the real faces of the people behind the artillery and gun fire.  It was a small window of opportunity for brotherhood and humanity to break through the conflict, if not, just for a few short hours.

As we enter this holiday season, let the “pipes of peace” play loud and let them continue to play long after Christmas Day.


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Antarctica Day 2016

antarctica-dayDecember 1st, 2016 marked the 57th anniversary of The Antarctica Treaty System and is designated Antarctica Day. On that date in history 12 nations signed an agreement setting aside 10% of the Earth “forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes in the interest of mankind”. It was the first nuclear-arms agreement and the first institution to govern all human activities in an international region with no sovereign jurisdiction.

antarcticplaneandflagsThe original signers of the Treaty were the 12 countries active in Antarctica during the International Geophysical Year (IGY) of 1957–58. The twelve countries that had significant interests in Antarctica at the time were: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, France, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom and the United States. The total number of Parties to the Treaty is now 53.

For this reason, I start December’s blog entries recognizing Antarctica Day. I originally started writing this entry on December 1st, but reluctantly had to wait until today to actually publish the entry.

For those that know me well, or have paid attention to partially what I have written here at this blog and on other Social Media,  I have always wanted to visit, work, or serve in some small part on the continent of Antarctica.  On Thursday, coinciding with  the anniversary of the Treaty signing; one of my boyhood heroes, Astronaut Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, was visiting Antarctica and had to be medically airvac’ed with the cooperation of the National Science Foundation  off the continent to a hospital in New Zealand. It was an interesting news day for me.

This entry is in dedication to the brave, the impassioned, the intelligent, the hard-working, the hard-living, the patriotic, the scientists, the firemen, the cooks, the welders, the pilots, the laborers, the crazy and nearly insane people who choose to live six months of each year living and working on the bottom of the Earth in the interest of preserving the unique terrain, wildlife, and resources of the frozen continent. I salute each man and woman working there;  who pledge to uphold the articles and principles of the Antarctica Treaty.

Antarctica shall be used for peaceful purposes only

Freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica and cooperation toward that end … shall continue

Scientific observations and results from Antarctica shall be exchanged and made freely available

No acts or activities taking place while the present Treaty is in force shall constitute a basis for asserting , supporting or denying a claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica or create any rights of sovereignty in Antarctica. No new claim, or enlargement of an existing claim to territorial sovereignty in Antarctica shall be asserted while the present Treaty is in force.

To promote the objectives and ensure the observance of the provisions of the Treaty,

All areas of Antarctica, including all stations, installations and equipment within those areas … shall be open at all times to inspection


The Governments of Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Chile, the French Republic, Japan, New Zealand, Norway, the Union of South Africa, The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, and the United States of America,

Recognizing that it is in the interest of all mankind that Antarctica shall continue forever to be used exclusively for peaceful purposes and shall not become the scene or object of international discord;

Acknowledging the substantial contributions to scientific knowledge resulting from international cooperation in scientific investigation in Antarctica;

Convinced that the establishment of a firm foundation for the continuation and development of such cooperation on the basis of freedom of scientific investigation in Antarctica as applied during the International Geophysical Year accords with the interests of science and the progress of all mankind;

Convinced also that a treaty ensuring the use of Antarctica for peaceful purposes only and the continuance of international harmony in Antarctica will further the purposes and principles embodied in the Charter of the United Nations;


From Polar Educators International, Enjoy their video, “Antarctica Day”.  Someday, I may post a video of my own.

Posted in Diversions, Environment, Global Warming, Travel, Video | 2 Comments

Goodbye November

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byenovemberThe end of November is here and it has been an eventful month. It started with a Presidential election that half the country and myself is still reeling from the results and half the country is bolstered by the new President-Elect’s attitude and proposed direction he wants to steer our country towards.  We’ll all have to wait and see(and worry) how it all turns out.

The family and I welcomed my sister-in-law from Chicago earlier in the month. She stayed with us about a week and got the grand tour of Mobile, Alabama and ate some Southern-fried everything.  She and my wife also toured every little thrift store, consignment shop, and “what-not” building in Mobile County.  She came prepared with an empty suitcase that was full on its return trip back to Illinois.  It had been several years since we had seen her and she was immediately missed as she boarded her return flight.

Justice was also served for our family with the settlement of an accident case that had been pending since summer. My wife had been rear-ended in our now-deceased Dodge Spirit and we had fought with the other driver’s insurance company for payment of medical bills and some loss of income.  The settlement, after attorney fees, did indeed settle some bills; but it’s not likely we will be the faces of the legal firm in some outrageous television commercial with us sporting lavish attire in front of a palatial new residence.

I had the honor of performing a marriage ceremony for a young couple last week at a local park in Mobile.  A beautiful setting on a pier overlooking the 5 Rivers Delta area near Mobile Bay.  I really like being an Officiant and customizing the traditional wedding ceremony everyone knows; to something uniquely befitting the couples who hire me to perform their wedding ceremony.

Here at “On The Road With Dave”, there have been some issues and improvements this month.  My hosting company moved the blog to a new server and it messed with some of the blog’s functions and links.  The blog was down for a few days and once recovered, it has some issues with how I work with it that need to be resolved.  For the reader, it should appear normal as usual.  But it takes a few extra steps and “workarounds” to publish new entries and make cosmetic changes.

Speaking of cosmetic changes and referring back to my officiant duties–“Down The Aisle with Dave” is now listed on the main marquee menu of the blog under the banner image.  It has a drop-down menu that links to the testimonials of my satisfied couples and the newly updated Gallery, featuring photos and ideas from the ceremonies I have participated in.

There is also a new drop-down menu for “Comedy This Exit” and “Skyler’s Gravel Road”.  I need to update these two side-blogs in December. They have been dormant for a while as have my comedy ventures.

All in all, I am quite thankful for all my days in November and look forward to the Christmas Season.  Tomorrow brings the first day of the last month of the year. I’m sure December will be filled with all the activity of preparing for Christmas; along with the day-to-day ordeals of any time of the year. I hope you stay thankful for the day-to-day ordeals and triumphs as well as finding the perfect gift and setting up the perfect Christmas tree.

And with that wish, I say “Goodbye November…Bring On December”




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“Thanksgiving and Sunday Thoughts”

123autumnleaves_branch-849x340And so the Thanksgiving weekend comes to an end today and Christmas is on the way.  Let us all remember as we head into the holiday season that Thanksgiving and Christmas are not just one-day holidays, and that the attitudes that these holidays should inspire, are ones of gratefulness, gratitude, and kindness that should be present the whole year and every year afterwards.

“I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.”

–Henry David Thoreau

“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”

–W.J. Cameron

“He who thanks but with the lips
Thanks but in part;
The full, the true Thanksgiving
Comes from the heart.”
–J.A. Shedd

“Thanksgiving was never meant to be shut up in a single day.”

–Robert Caspar Lintner

“Our modern celebration of Thanksgiving can be traced back to the early 17th century. Upon arriving in Plymouth, at the culmination of months of testing travel that resulted in death and disease, the Pilgrims continued to face great challenges. An indigenous people, the Wampanoag, helped them adjust to their new home, teaching them critical survival techniques and important crop cultivation methods. After securing a bountiful harvest, the settlers and Wampanoag joined in fellowship for a shared dinner to celebrate powerful traditions that are still observed at Thanksgiving today: lifting one another up, enjoying time with those around us, and appreciating all that we have.”

–President Barack Obama


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The 18 Minute Thanksgiving Massacree

Everyone has their own traditions during the holiday season.  On Thanksgiving Day, many Americans wake up early and begin the day watching The Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; while the turkey cooks and friends and relatives arrive at the house.  Many finish up the day napping on the couch or in an easy chair while football games are shown on television. Others break out the Christmas DVDs and begin the decoration process in preparation for Christmas.   A recent tradition spurred on by the Internet and Social Media is to watch the classic episode of “Turkeys Away” from the 1970s television series, WKRP in Cincinnati.

Back in the “olden days” there was a secret tradition closely held by radio disc jockeys across the nation.  In those days, ancient songs were played on antique items called “records”  These were vinyl discs that songs were recorded by etching the sound waves into the plastic.  A phonograph player or “turntable” decoded these sound waves into music that played through machines and broadcasted on the airwaves by radio stations.

It was a complicated process because most songs were only about 4-minutes long and another record had to be cued up on a separate machine that the disc jockey would have to start as the previous song was ending.  These radio announcers had very little time between songs to do little else.  Except on Thanksgiving Day.

arlo_guthrie_-_alices_restaurantNaturally on that day, a hardworking DJ might want to eat a little traditional turkey and reflect on his gratitude for his abundance. How was a DJ suppose to carry out that in 4 minutes?  Enter songwriter/singer/ anti-war activist Arlo Guthrie and his album, Alice’s Restaurant.

Arlo saved many a DJ’s Thanksgiving and through the years; before digital music on computers and automatic playlists, he provided DJs a chance to run to the bathroom, have a cigarette, or eat some lunch at a leisurely pace of 18 minutes and 34 seconds. The album, recorded in 1967,  also had the added bonus of promoting an absurd anti-war “movement” called the “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”.

As a former communications major and student disc jockey , I never let a Thanksgiving Day pass by without listening to Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”.

I hope you and your family had a great and Happy Thanksgiving Day filled with all of your own happy traditions, and I hope you got “anything you want”, even if it wasn’t from,  Alice’s Restaurant”

Here’s to you and yours and a “movement so absurd, it just might work”


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“Sunday Thoughts”

thanksgiving-in-korea-840x420It is literally true, as the thankless say, that they have nothing to be thankful for. He who sits by the fire, thankless for the fire, is just as if he had no fire. Nothing is possessed save in appreciation, of which thankfulness is the indispensable ingredient. But a thankful heart hath a continual feast.”

–W.J. Cameron

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