The Masthead: Every good ship and newspaper has one

Welcome to the 1/2/97 edition of the Online Murphy Times where we chronicle the continuing adventures of that intrepid Murphy Family as they cope with modern suburban life.

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As always, please E-Mail us here at Remember, all such E-Mail will become the sole property of the Murphy Family and will not be returned, even if you say "please". It will, however, be replied to -- so don't say I didn't warn you.

In this edition (1/2/97) we find the Murphy Fearless Leader reveling in his Christmas Holiday, the Other Murphy Fearless Leader saving the day, and the Fruit of the Murphy Loins still enjoying the whole Christmas season. Starting with this, our third issue, our links section has grown so large that it requires its own page.

After much thought, our editorial board has decided to take outside submissions for this newsletter. You can email us with your article or other submission. We are also considering maintaining an email directory of family and friends, so if you would like to be included, please email us with your address - even if we already have it, so we know its okay to include it.

The Staff here at the Times wishes you a


and a


one impressive pile of stoneHere is a picture from one of my favorite places in Saint Louis: Shaw's Garden a/k/a The Missouri Botanical Garden. This may inspire you to actually visit the garden in the winter. I must admit that while the zoo is a better place to visit on a nice day in the winter (the animals are friskier, the place is less crowded), Shaw's Garden, or any garden, is not as nice in the winter, despite the picture.

And now, in no particular order (except I'm first) we provide our regular columns:


Kevin's View

Kevin is enjoying his two week holiday at Christmas. McDonnell Douglas, as a private employer, is still able to call it the Christmas shutdown, and not the winter shutdown, or the Holiday shutdown, or some other bland name in keeping with Church of Meteorology which is the one established religion of public schools. He is now the favorite of the Fruit of the Murphy Loins who want him to read to them at bed time and to sit next to him at meals (when asked why, Erin said "because you have a big belly." She may just be trying to curry favor with the Big Guy in Red, but she isn't making any points with her father.) Still, with Denise working many of the days, it is not all wine and roses as Kevin struggles with being Mr. Mom and wanting a holiday and wanting to get a few (very few) things done. He has been able to do a few (hardly any) things - mounting Kyle's new coat rack, playing Warcraft II via modem with his brother Sean (whose Christmas Newsletter mentions the Online Murphy Times), and nothing else. Yet, there is something nice about spending time with family, especially when they are in the same house but a different room.

joy Joy JOY!!!

Denise's View

Denise saved the day. How, you ask? Let me tell you the tale of titanic struggles against unfeeling, inanimate objects, and labors akin to Hercules. Joe and Gloria bought a new TV and VCR. First, Kevin helped move the old set downstairs. Then Joe discovered the frenzy of after Christmas shopping and the bewildering variety of modern electrical appliances. Then Kevin helped load the new TV in the car. While new VCRs are considerably lighter than the old, the new TVs, being larger, are heavier. (Much heavier.) Then the new TV was toted up to Gloria's eyrie so she could maintain her unceasing vigil. Joe had to buy more equipment than Kevin was familiar with since he had picture in a picture, which required a signal splitter and other such instruments of the devil. Yes, good reader, you are asking when does Denise come into this story? Not yet, but soon. To resume, after the TV and VCR were connected and checked out, Kevin departed to his peaceful homestead thinking all was well. As you may have guessed, all was not well. The next day Kevin received a call from a distressed Joe. "Can you come over and help me return the TV?" he was asked. "The TV tuner isn't working right and I've been back to Best Buy (a Kevin recommendation) a couple of times and they told me to bring it back in to be fixed or exchanged." "How awful!" Kevin thought, "now I'll have to lug that !@#$# TV to Best Buy and then back up to Gloria's eyrie again!" Kevin is nothing if not sympathetic. Dame Fortune smiled upon the Murphy's at this point, since the Murphy Family was planning to go to Best Buy to return a CD and then to Crestwood Plaza for more Christmas returns. So when Kevin went to pick up the TV, his better half was along to save the day. When they arrived, Joe explained that the TV would not pick up channel 30. Kevin wanted to say "You're not missing much, why don't you keep the TV where it is?" but instead asked to try one last time to fix it before the donkey work began. Kevin indeed verified that channel 30 was not there, nor any of the UHF stations. Despondently, he was eyeing the beast for handholds when Denise said, "You know channel 30 is now channel 81 with our new VCR. Maybe it is the same with your new TV." Yes! Brilliant! A quick check verified that indeed 30 was now 81, 24 was now 75, and so on. Gloria quickly wrote down the rosetta stone of UHF channels and the day (along with Kevin's back and good humor) was saved! Hurray!
[Joe and Gloria are Kevin's parents -Ed]

A delightful mound of presents

Kid's Korner

Christmas was here! The Big Guy in Red made his appearance, well, not really an appearance. I mean, he came and left and left. Toys. Clothes. Stuff. He brought the baby twins. He brought the fire truck. He brought the binoculers, and the fanny pack. So much toys, clothes, and stuff that it couldn't all be played with, worn, and investigated all in one day. For the next few days, any departure from the house was regretted and Papa was frequently asked "when are we going back home?" At last, though, cooler heads prevailed (Denise's) and field trips were allowed. Ice skating at Queeny park. Bowling with the Paynes. Taking the Christmas tree to be recycled (the Murphy Family is nothing if not environmentally friendly and politically correct in every way.) Erin's enjoyment of skating was complete when she skated with her friend Rachel from school. Kyle's enjoyment of skating lasted up to the point where he got onto the ice whereupon all that slipping and sliding caused him to get back off while muttering "I'm too little." Erin's enjoyment of bowling waxed and waned with the number of pins she knocked down. Kyle's enjoyment of bowling steadily dwindled until he would no longer bowl and any prompting would lead to the remark "I'm too little." We will quickly note here that Dave won the hour and a half marathon (computerized bowling alley bells and whistles showed that the kid's bowling ball speeds where in excess of 3 miles an hour as they whistled down the lane,) beating Kevin by 13 pins. We will not provide the actual scores as the Online Murphy Times has an express, written policy about embarassing anyone mentioned (especially when that person is the head of the Times Editorial Board.) Yes, Christmas came and went, leaving behind all its many joys.

Return me to the OMT index, please.

lift and separates

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Contents copyright Kevin Murphy 1997. All rights reserved.