New Year's Eve

Hope you have a wonderful New Year's Eve! Una and I are off to a nice dinner and . . . a trip to "The Pot", our local casino. It's a special night (our pre-wedding anniversary - 8 years!) and well, why not? Maybe this baby will bring some gambling luck for the first time in both my and Una's lives. 

I expect to regret this good deed within 20 minutes of arriving to the Pot.

If you'll be watching the ball drop from Times Square (or joining in the Jersey Shore spectacle that is Snooki being dropped in her own ball), here's a little history for you on the tradition (courtesy of

The actual notion of a ball "dropping" to signal the passage of time dates back long before New Year's Eve was ever celebrated in Times Square. The first "time-ball" was installed atop England's Royal Observatory at Greenwich in 1833. This ball would drop at one o'clock every afternoon, allowing the captains of nearby ships to precisely set their chronometers (a vital navigational instrument).

Around 150 public time-balls are believed to have been installed around the world after the success at Greenwich, though few survive and still work. The tradition is carried on today in places like the United States Naval Observatory in Washington, DC, where a time-ball descends from a flagpole at noon each day - and of course, once a year in Times Square, where it marks the stroke of midnight not for a few ships' captains, but for over one billion people watching worldwide.

Revelers began celebrating New Year's Eve in Times Square as early as 1904, but it was in 1907 that the New Year's Eve Ball made its maiden descent from the flagpole atop One Times Square. The first New Year's Eve Ball, made of iron and wood and adorned with one hundred 25-watt light bulbs, was 5 feet in diameter and weighed 700 pounds.

1978 New Year's Eve Ball

2011 New Year's Eve Ball

The Ball is a geodesic sphere, 12 feet in diameter and weighing 11, 875 pounds, built to withstand the stresses of high winds, precipitation and temperature fluctuation to brightly shine over 400 feet above Times Square throughout the year.  For 2011, Waterford Crystal has designed 288 new “Let There Be Love” crystal triangles featuring a romantic pattern that blends a modern cascade of hearts with diamond cutting. 

Bonne annee!

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