Archive for December, 2014

‘Twas the night before Christmas Eve,
and Northport was aglow.
With excitement and good cheer,
for all those who know,
that at Main Street Café
Christmas Caroling they’d hear,
a local tradition that comes once a year.

The stockings were hung on the mirror with care,
filled by the good folks of Northport, that are eager to share.

Daphne with her glowing earrings, and Darin in her Santa Hat,
had planned all the music, just so that,
we’d sing Christmas songs and the favorite of them all,
was the Twelve Days of Christmas, we all had a ball.

Mary Liz was the highlight, she sang “Silent Night”
Click the links below and hear her tonight.

So Thank you Miss Darin and Miss Daphne, too
for all of the fun and all that you do.

Merry Christmas to all, Happy New Year!
Let’s all sing again, same time, next year!
© Rosebud

Now the happy carolers:


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I have included here on the TNBE blog only a dozen representative pix of some of the happy carolers.

If you’re not here, look for next year’s DVD which will have way more smiling faces and should be playing @ MainStreetCafe.

Thanks to Darin and Daphne
for another happy, fun start to the holidays.


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Winner: Rosebud

Rosebud, Santa’s little helper, won tonight’s holiday themed game going away. It was if she was riding in the sleigh with Donner and Blitzen, and the rest of the players were trudging behind in snowshoes. Trying their best to keep up, Carol D, Rita and Jay were closest.

Ironically, although she is a big fan of the holiday season, Rosebud has never seen “A Christmas Story.” So, of course, Darin made sure that one of the winner’s prizes was a copy of the movie.

Tonight is the big night @ MainStreetCafe with Christmas Carols around 8PM. You don’t want to miss this highlight of the holiday season. There is nowhere else where “The 12 Days of Christmas” is sung with such gusto.

Good Question!: What was the name of the angel that helped George in “It’s a Wonderful Life” ?

Choices: a. Fred   b. Charlie   c. Henry   d. Clarence


Answer: Clarence

“It’s A Wonderful Life” (1946), is one of the most popular and heartwarming films ever made by director Frank Capra. Frank Capra regarded this film as his own personal favorite – it was also James Stewart’s favorite of all his feature films.


Jimmy Stewart and Donna Reed, as George and Mary Bailey, are showered with the generosity of their Bedford Falls neighbors in “It’s a Wonderful Life.” (Liberty Films / Handout)

It was actually a box-office flop at the time of its release, and only became a Christmas movie classic in the 1970s due to repeated television showings at Christmas-time when its copyright protection slipped and TV stations could air it for free.

It is a dark, bittersweet post-war tale of a savings-and-loan manager who struggles against a greedy banker and his own self-doubting nature in a small town. Earnest do-gooder George Bailey (James Stewart) recognizes his life as wonderful and truly rich, even in its humdrum and bleak nature, only after suffering many hardships, mishaps and fateful trials (including an attempt at suicide).

He is given encouragement by a whimsical, endearing, trainee-angel named Clarence. After waiting 200 years, Clarence Oddbody is still only an Angel Second Class and is anxious to earn his wings.He is promised by the Senior Angel that if he does a good job with George Bailey he will get his wings. Of course, Clarence does a good job, gets his wings and everyone realizes “It’s a Wonderful Life.”

“6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’. Read how Alfalfa, Bert & Ernie, an FBI warning, and an Academy Award for the faux snow all come into play with this movie.

If you are still interested, here is how Clarence did it:

Clarence finds George standing on a bridge and jumps in the water himself, prompting George to jump in and rescue him.

Clarence introduces himself as they are drying out in the tollhouse keeper’s shack. When George expresses a wish that he had never been born, Clarence grants his wish to demonstrate what the world would be like if George had never existed. Among other unexpected effects of his ill-considered wish, his brother Harry would have drowned as a child, as George was not there to save him.

“Strange, isn’t it? Each man’s life touches so many other lives, and when he isn’t around he leaves an awful hole, doesn’t he?”

As George comes to realize the positive effects he has had on others’ lives, he regrets his hasty wish, and Clarence restores him to his previous life. As George now appreciates his life, despite its difficulties, Clarence wins his wings.

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Winner: Droppin’

There was no 3peat for Carol D., not with Droppin’ around. He finished just ahead of Art/AA, with Rita and the Driver trailing. The rest of us stumbled right out of the gate when the first question asked what sumo wrestlers do that is considered good luck. Turns out it’s good luck when they make your baby cry.

When we learned that Montauk has the oldest cattle ranch in the country (1747), some of us Long Islanders felt proud, a few others wanted to put on their cowboy boots and go dancing.

Remember Christmas Carols @ MainStreetCafe – next week, Dec. 23 around 8PM. As many of you know, the highlight of the holiday season is not the NYC Ballet’s “Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center, it’s “The 12 Days of Christmas”, sung with gusto right here at MainStreetCafe, in Northport, NY.

Good Question!: The wild pomegranate is said to contain as many seeds as there are commandments in the Old Testament. How many is that?

Choices: a. 10      b. 12      c. 66      d. 613


Answer: 613

Many of us who were fans of Cecil B. DeMille’s biblical epics were sure the answer was 10. Too bad we didn’t have anyone with us tonight who had studied for his Bar Mitzvah – they would have thought this question was a slam dunk.

Although there have been many attempts to codify and enumerate the commandments contained in the Torah, the traditional view is based on Maimonides‘ enumeration. The 613 commandments include “positive commandments”, to perform an act (mitzvot aseh), and “negative commandments”, to abstain from certain acts (mitzvot lo taaseh). The negative commandments number 365, which coincides with the number of days in the solar year, and the positive commandments number 248, a number ascribed to the number of bones and main organs in the human body. A good list of all 613 commandments is found here at Judaism 101.

For the Cecil B. De Mille, 1923 silent version of the 10 Commandments this is a hoot:

The good news is that many of the mitzvot cannot be observed now, following the destruction of the Second Temple, although they still retain religious significance. According to one standard reckoning, there are 77 positive and 194 negative commandments that can be observed today, of which there are 26 commands that apply only within the land of Israel. I reckon that means you only have to follow 245 commandments, not 613. I find that just the 10 commandments of Moses is more than enough to keep me busy.


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Winners: Bonobo and Carol D

Bonobo had been close before, and we were all hoping and praying that someday he would win. Tonight our prayers were answered. The big guy finished strong and tied with Carol D (the defending champ) at the head of the pack.

Tonight was also notable because we celebrated Mistress Daphne’s birthday. All the players are hoping that like a fine wine, she will mellow with age.


For all you gamblers who were wondering, the sum of all the numbers on a roulette wheel is 666. For all you lovers who were wondering, Cupid’s “heartthrob” mother was Venus. Speaking of love, turns out that Henry the Eighth had six wives – now that’s a lot of loving.

Christmas Carols @ MainStreetCafe – Tuesday, Dec. 23 this year. As many of you know, the highlight of the holiday season is not the NYC Ballet’s “Nutcracker” at Lincoln Center, it’s “The 12 Days of Christmas”, sung with gusto right here at MainStreetCafe, in Northport, NY.

Good Question!: Which language has the most words?

Choices:  a. Chinese    b. English    c. Russian    d. Portugese


Answer: English

There was an interesting discussion of which language has the most words in the Economist a few years ago – “Counting words. The biggest vocabulary?” It’s a rather involved question, and the author makes a strong case that there is no definitive answer – it depends on how you define what is a distinctive word.

“English is certainly rich in vocabulary, but the claim that English has the largest vocabulary is nearly always made by enthusiastic lovers of English who don’t really know how the many varieties of language beyond English work. It’s not that another language has more words. The comparison simply can’t be made in any agreed apples-to-apples way.”

English may well be the language with the most words, if you set the definition of a word in a certain way. Then again, judging by the size of dictionaries, Swedish might have the most words.

When I think of words, I think of Groucho Marx and his game show “You Bet Your Life.” Say the secret word and the duck will come down with $100 (this was in the 1950’s).

This show was famous for asking contestants “Who’s Buried in Grant’s Tomb” in order to give them an easy question to win some money. As we know, that is not as easy a question as it seems – no one is buried there, it’s an above ground mausoleum.

In a related question we were asked: “Which country contains the most languages?”

The country with the most official languages is Zimbabwe with 16. These are: Chewa, Chibarwe, English, Kalanga, Koisan, Nambya, Ndau, Ndebele, Shangani, Shona, sign language, Sotho, Tonga, Tswana, Venda and Xhosa. The legal status is codified by Zimbabwe’s new Constitution, approved by Parliament on 9 May 2013.

However, Papua New Guinea has the highest number of spoken languages in the world. There are 820 indigenous languages spoken in this country. The official language is Tok Pisin, or New Guinea Pidgin, and is the most widely spoken language after English, a legacy of the colonial period. The Tok Pisin is a mixture of English and local languages. Many indigenous people speak it. Another official language is Hiri Motu, a language spoken mostly by people in the coastal region.

Why so many languages? Because of the hundreds of indigenous ethnic groups in Papua New Guinea. The largest group is the Papuans, whose ancestors arrived in the region tens of thousands of years ago. Many remote Papuan tribes continue to have marginal contact with the outside world to this day. 

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