Thursday, December 24, 2015

Xmas 2015

The One, the Only, the Original

Burke Family Xmas Letter
Xmas Eve Edition, 2015

For the second year, awarded the Tackiest Holiday Newsletter (Wingnut Magazine Dec., 2015)
Always non-PC, irreverent, and inappropriate. Like the 2016 Presidential Campaign.
I understand there is no privacy policy and that I am adult enough to read this. Furthermore, I will hold harmless the Burkes for contents herein. Illegal in Alabama, Kansas, and additional to be named closed-minded communities.

Andy, Moira, Liam, Aria, Jessica, Catherine, and That Guy

Proud Grandparent Braggadocio

Aria’s a chatterbox. She can’t get her Shakespeare enunciation just right yet, but is acquiring speech and signing her needs. Be careful what you say around her. Not even the NSA pays attention that closely. And she knows what a cellphone is.

The obligatory baby photos

Downward facing dog kills two-headed stork. Fluffy white cloud. Snake in rain. Just a few of the many complex Tai Chi moves Catherine continues to master at her weekly classes. Next year it’s silk PJ’s and those funny little slippers.
Catherine’s NO-NAME reading group is chick chic, no sci-fi, no blowing up stuff. Big words and lots of emotion top their reading list again this year.   

Heeding the call to civil service, James and Catherine both had the opportunity to serve on the local jury. Unfortunately, we didn’t get to convict or hang anyone.
Alton Brown: The pizza oven that is the envy of NASA. That was just one of the many cool wonders we enjoyed at “An evening of cooking with Alton Brown” at the Hult Center.
Colonoscopy: Medicare, gray hair, interest in the obituaries, insurance discounts for taking old peoples Drivers Education. And colonoscopy. Ah, the golden age. The balance is grown children, grandchildren, retirement, a bucket list waiting to fulfill. What, oh what, will 2016 bring us?
Anniversary #43: and counting. The “traditional” gift for those of you so inclined next year is Groceries. Filet Mignon and Lobster would be nice.
OHSU reunion: It seems just last year James was learning about colonoscopies, then he was getting them, then he found his classmates from medical school are all teaching how to do them. Being the second oldest survivor at the 30th reunion also meant being the first to retire.
Air BnB: Rest. Relax. Sit on the deck by the river. We’ve found renting part of the empty nest to be fun and marginally profitable. Family discount still applies if you’re headed to Oregon.
Tuna canning: The fleet was in. The pressure cooker was primed. The larder is full of home canned tuna fish. The ER is ready for ptomaine.
Count of Monte Cristo: We didn’t know that Shakespeare wrote the Count of Monte Cristo but we saw the performance at the Shakespeare Theatre in Ashland this year. Nobody in tights or any Thees or Thous. Or popcorn.

New SFO Home: Moira and Andy moved into their new home in Bernal Heights, San Francisco. Fabulous place just screaming for renovation. Mom and Dad got to help paint and put in the always popular garbage disposal on a recent trip to the city by the bay.
Thanksgiving: Food, food, and you guessed it, more food at Moira and Andy’s new home this Thanksgiving. We also got to tour and enjoy one of their kick-start investments—Kat Tea. A selection of exotic teas and a timed adventure with a room full of kittens with which to play—adoption optional. The stars of the show were well trained to expect worthy humans to staff their every need.

Write Guys: Time travel, a pioneer named Skunk, a zombie takeover of L.A., a singing rodeo cowboy, an underground soviet missile silo doubling as a human experimental lab, and a battle with timber thieves and drug manufacturers. These are some of the authors topics challenging James, Doug, Charley, Bob, and John—the Write Guys. 
James’ 3rd Novel: Imagine you could go back in time. Or forward in time. But only one hour. And if you cheat, someone dies. James’ Third novel, The Pocket Watch will be published soon and available on Amazon.

Copies of the 1st two novels, Kelly’s Reef and The Abortionist are free to download to your Kindle at This gift is good from Xmas Day through New Years Eve. Don’t have a Kindle- send an email to and I’ll send you free printed copies. Enjoy.                                                         

Reader/ critiques needed: requests to for pre-print manuscripts. Your input, corrections, etc. would be greatly appreciated. Might even earn you a free, signed copy.

And finally, another disgusting ANNUAL RECIPE

72 hour Pate’

Into a left-leaning liberal bowl, using a right handed congressional spatula, mix the following:

1 cup of ammo, any caliber, large capacity clip optional.

1 pinch of media sponsored [fill-in]phobia,

1 unexpected pregnancy.

Grain from Carson’s pyramid storage.

Hot air from any candidate.

A promise, any promise of a change in something, anything.
Spice with rhetoric, bile, and recrimination.
You should wait to bake. Abortions and Guns should both need a 72 hours waiting period. Unfortunately politicians don’t have the same waiting period before opening their mouth.
Serve luke-warm. Do not keep the left-overs to ship to Biafra—they don’t want or need them.

More than the silliness of our annual poke at the season, James and Catherine do wish you and yours a joyous life and prosperous year.