About half of the world’s food fish is now produced by farming a.k.a aquaculture.
Aquaculture William Lawrence Sr Omnibit 12-20-19
The Littlest Angels
By Mary Hickey
“Ethan? In the Christmas pageant? He’s already two! He can’t be the Baby Jesus, can he?”
The church’s early grades activities coordinator assured Lauren that wasn’t what she had in mind. Nor the part of a shepherd. She doubted, for good reason, that Ethan could keep a straight face around the children crawling on all fours dressed as sheep.
“And anyway, giving Ethan and his friends shepherd’s crooks might lead to a scene better suited for Bruce Lee’s Revenge,” added Lauren.
“We’d like Ethan and a little girl his age to be the littlest angels,” the director explained. “He’ll walk down the center aisle with little Mandy Carrington. When they reach the manger, they’ll kneel and present silver and gold gift-wrapped boxes to the Baby Jesus. They’ll have one line to say, but if they forget it, nobody will ever know.”
“I’m sure he can manage that,” Lauren told her. “Frank and I look forward to his performance.”
When the big night arrived, Lauren helped Ethan into the long white terry-cloth robe Frank’s mother had made for him. At the school, Frank helped him put on his cardboard and tinfoil halo and wings. Then he stood back and examined Ethan with a critical eye.
“It looks like he’s wearing a nightgown,” he said. “I hope he doesn’t fall asleep!”
While the actors prepared for the pageant, several volunteer parents laid out refreshments for after the program. Several shepherds, angels and even sheep began craning their necks longingly toward the table. The three kings and their camel seemed briefly to be considering a detour, but apparently thought better of it.
The house lights dimmed, and the assembled parents scrambled to their seats. The young actors walked (or in the case of the sheep, crawled) to their appointed places on and around the stage. Then the pageant began.
After the arrival of a cooperative, sound-asleep Baby Jesus who looked at least five months old, the two littlest angels began their walk down the darkened aisle. Lauren beamed at Frank as they heard the complimentary whispers of other parents in the audience.
“Oh, aren’t they sweet!”
“You could almost believe they’re angels, couldn’t you?”
“Looks are deceiving!” snorted Frank.
Just then, something caught the eye of the other littlest angel. She poked Ethan’s shoulder, and then mutely pointed off to the left. Ethan followed Mandy’s finger with his eyes, then turned to regard her quizzically.
They both stopped walking, and made a quick decision. With a whoop of delight, both angels dashed toward the refreshment table as fast as they could run. Mandy tripped on her robe and almost fell, and Ethan lost his halo, but within seconds both of them were stuffing their mouths with candy and Christmas cookies.
The audience tittered, and then began to howl with laughter. The director gamely guided the remaining actors through to the end of the pageant. Mandy and Ethan continued eating, oblivious to the sporadic shrieks of uncontrolled mirth from both on stage and off.
When the pageant ended, Lauren and Frank searched out Mandy’s parents in the crowd heading for the refreshments.
“Actually, it was pretty funny,” Mandy’s mother was saying. “We can teach them about the real meaning of Christmas when they’re older.”
“Are you taking Mandy caroling at the church tomorrow night?” asked Lauren.
“Oh, no. We have too much last-minute shopping to do, and I also have to cook part of our Christmas dinner ahead.”
“We can’t make it, either,” said Frank. “Our tree is up but not trimmed yet. And I want to put up a few more outside lights.”
“It’s too bad we didn’t make it to the special Advent service last Saturday, either, but we had to take Mandy to see Santa Claus” said Mandy’s father. “After we fought our way home through the traffic snarl at the mall, it had been over for at least two hours.”
“I guess we’ll all be lucky if we have time for just the morning service on Christmas day,” Frank responded. “Say, we’d better hotfoot it over to that refreshment table right now, if we want to get our share of the goodies!”
“Next year, no doubt they’ll remember not to put the eats too close to the infant Jesus’s cradle,” noted Lauren as they filled their paper plates. “Maybe they’ll put them off in another room or something.”
“You know, we ought to do that at our house, too,” said Frank thoughtfully. “Our outdoor manger scene is swamped by megawatts of reindeer, sleigh bells and light strings. The wise men would be lucky if they could see the guiding star through all that.”
“It’s the same at our place,” Mandy’s father agreed. “You’d never smell the hay in the manger if we had one. It would be overpowered by fruitcake and mistletoe.”
“And our ‘Silent Night’ is shattered by rock-and-roll Christmas music blaring out of the boom box,” his wife added. “You’d be nuts to try to pray or study the Bible over all that racket.”
The four parents looked at one another in silence for a few moments.
“They’ve been feeding their faces long enough, don’t you think?” Frank finally asked.
“They certainly have!” agreed Mandy’s father. “Let’s get them out of here. Will you be going to the caroling tomorrow?”
“You can count on us,” the other three responded. “How about you?”
This is among the stories that can be found in Nice Stories About Nice People available at the Main Street Rag Online Bookstore.
The Littlest Angels
Wolf Plot Hikes Energy Costs For Working People
By Leo Knepper
Back in January, we shared a Guest Post with our readers on the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI). The author, Lowman Henry, noted:
“[T]he Wolf Administration has entered into an agreement with nine other mostly northeastern states to cap each of the states’ carbon emissions from transportation (your car). The states have one year to come up with a plan. Such plans will most certainly include additional taxes on gasoline and diesel fuel…the money will be “redistributed” to “low carbon transportation systems” – in other words urban mass transit…Thus the lofty sounding Transportation and Climate Initiative allows Governor Wolf to advance two of his top agenda items: establish a new revenue stream to keep urban mass transit afloat and penalize users of carbon-based fuels. Keep in mind, those users include you every time you start your car or use a product that was delivered to the store by motor vehicle, which is to say everything.” (Emphasis added)
The TCI plan was released on Dec. 17, and it is everything we feared it would be. The Citizens Alliance of Pennsylvania, CAP, has joined with allies from across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic in voicing our opposition to this plan. We noted in a joint letter:
“Legislators should not allow one citizen of a state — the governor — to impose such serious financial burdens on all other citizens. Such a decision rightfully belongs to the people’s representatives and should be reached through the legislative process, not by the decree of a single executive. “The TCI is a poorly conceived, fundamentally regressive, and economically damaging proposal.”
Pennsylvania already has one of the highest gas taxes in the country. According to TCI’s own estimates carbon emissions will decrease by 19 percent from 2022-2032. They don’t think that’s good enough. Instead, the TCI is advocating a new gas tax ranging from five to seventeen cents per gallon in order to reduce emissions by only an additional one to six percent. The mere fact that Governor Wolf would consider increasing the tax yet again is appalling. The question now is whether or not the legislature will take substantive action to reclaim its power of the purse to combat the measure.
Wolf Plot Hikes Energy Costs For Working People
Lap of our cooks William Lawrence Sr Cryptowit 12-20-19
Aol Nylha Klwylzzpvu, sprl tvza vaoly wlypvkz vm zlclyl bultwsvftlua, dhz wyvkbjlk if nvclyutlua tpzthuhnltlua yhaoly aohu if huf puolylua puzahipspaf vm aol wypchal ljvuvtf.
Answer to yesterday’s puzzle: Our lives are not in the lap of the gods, but in the lap of our cooks.