Monday, December 31, 2007


Hope for the New Year

Something really good took place this New Year's in Iraq.

Young people went out and partied! (Some still dressed like Santa.)
While the city is still far from peaceful and many of the festive gatherings had a tentative feel, many said it was a happier occasion than they could have dared to hope just a few months ago.

"The security has changed and it took us by surprise. We're very happy. Especially us young people," said al-Azzawi, a 22-year-old student taking a break from dancing to a traditional Iraqi band in the ballroom of the Palestine Hotel.

"I haven't seen a happy place like this in so long. I wanted to see if I could maybe meet a few girls!" he said. "I only hope the Iraqi people can enjoy more happy times like this."

Salah al-Lami, 27, the singer who performed at the Palestine ballroom and then for another New Year's Eve crowd at the Sheraton Hotel across the street, said it was the first time he had sung before a live audience in four years.

"This will be the year that we take our freedom!" he told Reuters after singing through a boisterous set in front of a packed dancefloor.
Let's hope they have many more festive evenings throughout the year, and years to come.

(H/T: Reuters)

Just Do It!

The past year, I have been blessed to be able to lose a little more than 50 pounds (maybe closer to 60). When I got ill about four years ago and then when I took medicine that was supposed to help me, I gained A LOT of weight on top of already needing to lose weight. It has been an uphill battle, but I have been able to turn my back on the fattest of fat stores to shop at the other two, trendier shops. Next stop? Any freakin' store I want. However, it is a long road and it really sucks to do it alone.

Ssssteve at First with Flair wants to lose weight this year and he has challenged Wyatt to do the same. Wyatt extended that challenge to me and then to anyone else who might need to lose some weight.

I see it as a win-win. I am competitive AND I hate to have guys see me fail at something. I end up working a lot harder when I'm accountable to a guy. Yeah, I'm trying to figure it out, myself.

So, if you feel up to the challenge, do your own thing, lose weight in a healthy manner. Feel free to add to the moral support. I'll be cheering for Steve and Wyatt, no matter the outcome.

Health is more important than a cheesesteak. (That hurt.)

I'll be posting my progress Saturday mornings. I will just post the progress or lack of progress. I'm a girl--I'm not putting my weight.

When you see the numbers get pretty high, don't become alarmed. I've got a lot to lose.

Hopefully, this time next year, I can say I met my ultimate goal. For now, June 30 is the "final" weigh-in.

Here's to good health, guys!

Predictive Pimping

This is the time of year that people like to predict what will happen in the year to come. Since looking at such things make me anxious and I really don't want to know what disasters await the world, I thought I'd make some predictions of my own.

Seeing that I don't own a crystal ball and I'm out of loose tea, I tried coffee grounds, but they didn't work as well. I just kept seeing a pack mule hanging out with some guy named Juan.

However, since I'm from Jersey, I found Zoltar at the local boardwalk. He lacks some personality, but I got enough from him to give you all my (read: his) predictions for 2008:

Movies: Given the success of Tim Burton's interpretation of Sweeney Todd, he will up the ante by turning Airplane! into a musical with its biggest cast numbers being a remake of "Jive Talking" and an original song, "Don't Call Me Shirley." Richard Simmons is slated to choreograph.

Music: Britney will realize that there is such a thing as bad press and will put out (heh) a "best of" CD that will send her on a world tour for two years. This will bring much relief to her children and to the drivers on Hollywood's roads.

Television: In an effort to bring back family-friendly programming during a continuing writers' strike, Hollywood will run old episodes of the Dick VanDyke Show, I Love Lucy, and The Beverly Hillbillies.

Politics: When Americans collectively realize that none of the candidates for President are any good, Congress will be fired and the Founding Fathers will come back to take over. The energy created by them spinning in their graves will reanimate life (Mary Shelley and Luigi Galvani would be proud.)

World: Israel will pwn the Middle East and will give us an equal share in all the oil. Now, that is a war for oil!

Weather: It will rain, snow, hail, and sleet. There will be thunder, lightning and a lot of wind. The temperature will sometimes be hot, cold, warm, or absolutely freezing. Can I have my prize, now?

Sports: To combat steroid use in sports, all American sports agree to allow the athletes to pump themselves full of all the performance enhancing drugs they want. The fans' on-the-edge wonderment of who will have roid rage on the field of play or who will combust from all the chemicals by literally popping a vein, will sell tickets out the wazoo. Bookies will be happy, as a whole new form of betting will open up. Bonds? He'll retire and then be named MLB commissioner.

Now, onto the fates of some of our bloggy friends:

Wyatt and Deathlok will join Vinnie and Deathlok's brother on the next Davos excursion. However, their return will be delayed because Wyatt will go missing. He will be found, later: connected to a frozen pool of drool, in a trance, staring at the Swiss Alps. (Yeah, "those" Swiss Alps.)

Mrs. Grim will finally win the hyper barking battle with GrimDog. A strange side-effect will occur, though. Curiously, every time she says, "no," "sit," and rollover, GrimJack will obey, too.

Dee will continue her radio show. After an exclusive interview with Hillary Clinton, in which Dee gets Hillary to totally melt down, Dee is offered a syndication deal with the contractual obligation to make extreme liberals cry. This will scare hippies into bathing.

JimmyB: For his tenacity as a fundraiser, CUG will be offered a job with the NRA as a lobbyist. This will make him very happy!

As the result of a freak Hogmanay incident that leaves his beer gene glitched, DBA Dude will now only recommend Miller and Schlitz beers. However, Noddy will come to his rescue by knocking DBA over the head with a bottle of Scotch. Thankfully, it will bring DBA back to his senses (heh, a pun), and they will both enjoy a swig.

Dragon Lady will stun us all! Instead of decorating for Halloween, she will shun the holiday to reenact the landing of the Pilgrims at Plymouth. Why? Well, she determines that it is less work.

Captain America will be asked to be the Philadelphia Fire Department's next interpretor of "Ben Franklin." At first he's excited. However, when he realizes he has to demonstrate how to fight fires Colonial-style, in costume, he loses his enthusiasm.

Ssssteve will once again show his flair for making us laugh by writing posts again. In fact, he'll sing his version of "Take this Job and Shove it" and become a pants model in local malls so that he can devote more time to blogging. Unfortunately, Ssssteve is fired because of a pantsless-in-the mall "incident" and Ssssteve goes back to work with his brother.

Fiar will continue his trend of beginning new blogs. He will create a fashion blog, a blog about his secret love of all things Star Wars (including the dolls), and a blog about how to combat trolls.

After finally finishing his 5 lb candy cane in time for Easter, JT will be stunned to find out that he will be given a laundry-sized, wicker basket filled with candy. The centerpiece will be a 10 lb chocolate covered, peanut butter egg. After all that sugar, JT will invent a speed metal version of bluegrass that make will make him millions. He will be a rich but jittery man.

Four bloggers: USA Admiral, Old NFO, John D., and Jimbo; and frequent commenter: Skul, will use their military experience and will band together to go hunt down Bin Laden, stuff him into a sack, throw him into a plane, and teach him how to skydive without a parachute. They will split the well-deserved reward money as true gentlemen should.

SoHos will be appointed the new border guard at the Texas/Mexico border. She will eliminate the need for any other guards, as her evil eye will be enough to keep illegals out of Texas. Period.

Jeffro will make a complete recovery from his surgery and will begin training for the Iron Man. When Jeffro arrives to compete, he realizes that it is not an air guitar competition featuring Black Sabbath's biggest hit and he is quite bummed.

Von will go see the Foo Fighters in concert, and I will be jealous.

And my predictions for me? I will make more time for me and for my walk with God. I will also work on making my job less of an impact on my life. God will continue to bless me with good and improved health and much weight loss. I doubt there will be a man in the picture, as I am beginning to believe that such an occurrence might disrupt the rotation of the earth and we can't have that, now can we? Well, it would just piss off Al Gore even more and he really doesn't need to get another Nobel Prize for being an overrated idiot.

I hope you all have a wonderful year! Thank you for making mine a little brighter. :)

Sunday, December 30, 2007

This will make you laugh. Really.

Research has led to the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element, Governmentium (Gv), has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert; however, it can be detected because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minute amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction which would normally take less than a second to take anytime from four days to four years to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of two to six years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which some of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places.

In fact, Governmentium's mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as the critical morass.

When catalyzed with money, Governmentium becomes Administratium, an element that radiates just as much energy as Governmentium, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.

(H/T: Jumbo Joke)

Sweet Voice

I continue to be impressed by some of the music I come across, lately. I listen to more than what I let on. This young lady is said to be the non-self-destructive version of Amy Winehouse.


(H/T: PerezHilton)

Rhime of the Ancient Camilla

I've always wanted to take one of the Trans-Atlantic cruises from NYC to England and then go on up to Scotland.

The worrier I am, you'd think I'd have thoughts of the Titanic and a feeling that I should pack my water wings, right? Nah. Hey, after all, this is the modern age. We have the most amazing radar equipment and since the tragedy of the Titanic, ships have a pretty good track record (pretty good). Omens and bad luck be derned, eh?

Well, maybe.

Camilla, Prince Charles's mistress turned wife, failed to break the champagne bottle at Cunard's launch of the cruise liner, the Queen Victoria. This is an omen of bad luck. They should have just hung an albatross around her neck and put her on board after that.

As bad luck would have it, 78 passengers became will with the norovirus.

While I highly doubt that poor Camilla is to blame (easy target that she is), perhaps passengers should realize that when you travel in a contained area, others might not have good habits of cleanliness, and therefore, you have to be really clean.

As luck would have it, racing great, Jackie Stewart (anyone remember him from his post-racing days on Wide World of Sports?) was on the ship and called it the "cruise from hell."

I wonder if he called the race to the bathroom?


Sunday Song

"I Will Be There"
Phil Keaggy

Saturday, December 29, 2007

A little science fiction to tickle the brain

When I was younger I used to watch Dr. Who on PBS. It could be campy, dark, scary, yet really fun--all at the same time.

During the past year, I happened to see a newer version of it on Sci-Fi. However, it would be on and then the next week it wouldn't. I guess it had a short run based on the series length.

As chance would have it, I was watching BBC America last week and saw that it is on Saturdays at 6:00 p.m. (est). And to make things even better, a new series of Dr. Who is set to begin in a few weeks (1/26).

I really like the portrayal of Dr. Who by David Tennant. He's fun, yet quite serious when he has to be. I dare say the show is even better than the ones I had watched in the past. The show has even retained what I consider to be one of the greatest theme songs, ever.

After Dr. Who is finished for the evening, there is another show, Torchwood. I plan on watching it. It seems good.

I'd stayed away from BBC America for a little while, as the shows were getting a little stale. I'm encouraged by the programming it is now offering. I might even watch Life on Mars New Year's Day.

Science fiction can be a lot of fun, especially when the realities of the world get to be a bit much at times. It is a nice escape.


I was reading an article about New Yorkers shredding bad memories of 2007. Some people shredded past relationships, some of bosses, some even shredded objects: cell phones, papers, obsessions, and one man shredded a garbage can. In a tongue in cheeck way, the bad memories were to be attached to everything shredded. (H/T: Breitbart)

But do you really get rid of those memories?

It is all well and good to say, "I've let go" of whatever it is that seems to hold onto the emotions or psyche.

I forgive by nature and I am always the one to say, "Let's just move forward." After all, people are human and given to regrettable behavior. I know I've done things in the past that leave me less than proud of myself. (Maybe it is me just giving in to the idea that people suck 90 percent of the time. Forgiveness seems the most productive thing to do.)

So, if I could shred anything, it wouldn't be past relationships with people or objects of my ire. What would be the point? I think I'd shred things about myself.

I would definitely get over my fear of flying. There is so much to see and I want to see it.

I'd get rid of the angst I have about my health. I've treated what God gave me badly and I have one side of my family riddled with cancer and the other side dropping to Parkinsons. It seems to consume my thoughts and I don't like it. Of course, going to the doctors every six months, lots of blood tests, and being put through other tests/procedures doesn't help.

I'd shred my fear of being hurt. That's all I'm going to say on that subject.

I'd like to unshred and reconstitute the side of me that seems to have disappeared. I don't mean that in a "woe-is-me" kind of way. Somewhere along the way, I have stopped really living. I've been trying to figure it out. Sometimes, I feel like there's a glass wall and I keep hitting it head on, going nowhere, but with lots of effort.
Do you ever feel like you're out of step with everyone around you? They seem to proceed, but you seem to be in the same spot? Yeah, I have been feeling that way a lot, lately.

I hate the end of the year. It's too negative, when it should be hopeful and a clean slate.

Friday, December 28, 2007

From the "WTF?" files.

I'm just shaking my head. Kind of laughing, kind of not.

(H/T: The Daily Swarm)


1. Millions of tax refunds delayed by Congress' late action...
Wow. Those Democrats sure know how to run the legislative branch, don't they? Had they stayed in session a full minute, rather than 11 seconds, perhaps they could have done something. /snark

2. Priests brawl at Bethlehem birthplace of Jesus...
St. Peter would be proud!

3. Hello Kitty turns attention to young men

Well, what guy could turn down a little kitty? Huh?

4. Malaysian referee pulls out red card then a gun
I gather he doesn't get many protests.

5. Protest sex dolls seized in Philippines
Geez, even anarchy is being outsourced.

6. Snorting a Brain Chemical Could Replace Sleep...
Heh. Didn't I do that in the '80s? Oh, wait. Wrong stuff. Ummm....

Could use that stuff, then I would get everything done that I want to--without coffee or tea.

7. Huckabee fires shotgun blasts over reporters' heads...
Sir, you are no Dick Cheney. Dork.

8. Oprah's fans fume: 'Stop pushing Obama down our throats'...
Well, see, ya'll. She just wanted you to know what it was like. (Did I say that out loud?)

9. Coffee Exposed
AHHHHH!!!!! Don't make me look at the beans, NO!!!!

10. The monster that ate entertainment
Apparently Rosie ran out of stuff in her fridge.


All I can say about this one is, "OH, MY!" I don't know about you, but I can see the writing on the wall for our fair Chelsea. Have a great weekend, everyone! I'll post winners Monday by 5:00 p.m. EST.


3. USA Admiral: GOD; I am as ugly as my Mother.

2. Jimbo: Chelsea struggles to maintain her game face after mom cut the cheeze on stage during a campaign appearance.


1. Rodney Dill: "YesI'dlikeanotherRedBullnowpleasepleasepleasaplease...."


Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sweeney Todd

I went to see Sweeney Todd, today. Ummmmmm...WOW! Wow can have so many meanings here: good, bad, disturbing. I'd pick good and disturbing.

The actors' singing and acting were really good. You have to allow yourself the "suspension of disbelief" (Coleridge) and give yourself over to the musical elements.

Even though the movie is based on the musical, I think Burton could have taken a chance here and made it a non-musical version. Call me crazy, but I think it would have been possible, making an already dark movie quite darker had Burton done so.

When I was leaving the movie a lot of the movie-goers (most of whom were either much older or much younger than moi) were talking about "getting used to the singing." I realize we don't know much of Depp's and Bonham-Carter's singing, which was really good and fit the movie's score. That's why I think when re-doing a musical, what would be the harm of getting rid of the musical part? Especially if you are a maverick like Tim Burton?

Speaking of Burton, he did a good job with the film. I was squeamish, enjoyed the dark humor (handled masterfully by Bonham-Carter and Depp), and the settings used were great.

Sacha Baron Cohen (Borat/Ali G) had a small, but really good part. He plays a rival who knows too much about Mr. Todd. When you first see him on the screen, I think he pays homage to Spinal Tap or rockers with ill fitting pants. HA!

The ending seemed rushed, but overall I liked it.

I would like to see it again. I got to the movie just before it began and I ended up in the second row (small theater), which made for some uncomfortable and tough viewing. (Maybe that is just an excuse to see it again.)

Some fun stuff

With the really bad news (probably sending an already sketchy part of the world in more turmoil) of the day. I thought I'd unearth a funny clip and a song I've always really liked.

First, is a hilarious clip that I have totally stolen from Dragon Lady. Be sure to head over to her site and leave comments, too!

**some salty language**

Next, I was watching the Kennedy Center Honors show last night. One honoree was Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys. One of my all-time favorite songs is "God Only Knows." I think it is really pretty.

"God Only Knows"
The Beach Boys

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Year ago today

A year ago today, my grandmother died. She was 89. She was quite a presence in my life. I don't think she ever realized how loved and how influential she was. My dad misses her terribly. This has been a hard year for me, but even tougher for him. When I was placing some tulips on her grave, today, I was struck by how fast this year has come to pass. I miss her very much. Her birthday was in October, and ever since that passed, I just meet each "important" day with a heavy heart. Yesterday, standing in her kitchen, using her pots and pans, sitting in her seat at the table, I was thinking about all the things we did together. We made homemade candy and marshmallows. We made candied and caramel apples. She taught me how to type, play Old Maid, and she always had a deck of cards handy for solitaire. My grandmother knitted me sweaters and made sure I heard my great-grandmother's mezzo-soprano over recordings made that were sent to my grandmother (grandmother would often sing along).

I know she loved me. She told me several months before she died. She knew I loved her. That's what is most important.

In honor of my grandmom I have two clips. If you click HERE, you'll here a phrase my grandmom used to say to me as I left her house (I was gang awa.) This clip is supposed to be humorous.

The next clip is of "Loch Lomond." Not only is it a popular song (you'll recognize it), but my grandmother also said several times that we have ties to that area. My grandmother took great pride in our Scottish heritage. I'd say that's a good thing. We go back as far as the 600's (or something like that). This song reminds me of her. I remember her humming or singing lines from it every now and then, usually while she was cooking.

What is paranoid for $500?

Let's say you look like a rock star? How would you use that to your advantage? Pick up chicks in bars, join a "tribute" band, or just sign fake autographs, right?

Well, what would you do if you looked like Ozzy Osbourne? Hmm....point a gun at people? Granted, the look-a-like was at a convenience store, and I guess the opportunity presented itself. I wonder if his burrito wasn't heating up quick enough?

Whatever happened to biting the heads off of birds and pissing on the Alamo?

Somehow I think this guy's song should be "Crazy Train." (I've never seen this footage. Cool!)

Well, I guess it is better than looking like Rosie O'Donnell.

(H/T: KPTV via CNN)

What's the sudden fascination?

Lately, a lot of my hits have come from similar searches to this:

While, I concur that he strikes a lovely figure while missing his shirt, why the sudden fascination with HUGH JACKMAN SHIRTLESS and/or HUGH JACKMAN BEACH TOWEL? (Seriously, if you go to my sitemeter and click on referrals, you'll see it.)

I kind of like this one, better. He's hot without being super cut. Well, in my humble opinion.

I wonder what Colin is thinking?

What's your beef?

I thought today would be a good day to resurrect, "What's your beef?" You've had to deal with co-workers wearing jingle bells for earrings, relatives (you realize there is a reason you see them once a year), and crowds of people. You're also finishing up a year. So, what are your gripes?

Have at it, folks!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Pics

While I did not take pictures of dinner and dessert (trust me, they kicked patootie), here are some pics from my day. (Click on them to enlarge if you need/want to.)

First, to get into the house, you have to get past my dad and his body guard. (Ok, I took this when I left, but you know.) My dad took my picture with St. Nick. St. Nick tried to put the moves on me, but I wasn't having it. He's only in town one day a year and that's just not enough. Men.

My dad loves getting cards from people. This reminded me of when I was young. I lived with my mom and grandmom. We attached our cards to string with really tiny clothes pins. I always thought we were really popular. However, when I got a little older, I realized we put up pretty cards from years past, too.

Finally, this is my dad flipping through a book I got him. He loves photography and this book has a ton of beautiful images. If you look closely at the television behind him, you'll notice that the channels will only get changed via a turn of the dial.

I had a really good day with my dad. I hope you all had a great day with your families! :)

Merry Christmas

Luke 2:10-14
10. . .I bring you good news of great joy which will be for all the people;

11for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.

12"This will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger."

13And suddenly there appeared with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying,

14"Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace among men with whom He is pleased."

* * * * * * * * * * *

Fortunately, for us, the story of Christ does not end with his birth. For it is through the gift of life he was given that he was able to give us life through his death.

It is a gift given to us, and it is our choice as to whether or not we take it and accept it. Thus, the reason for John 3:16-17: 16 "For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life. 17 "For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.

I hope that you all have a beautiful Christmas. Celebrate life and what it means to really love other people. Without each other and without love, we are nothing.

Jesus didn't die to save a tree, afterall. :)


"Mary Did You Know"
Mark Lowry/Gaither Vocal Band

Monday, December 24, 2007

"Umm, what were you thinking?" Awards

Category #1: "That's gonna hurt" Award
Eagles fans do some crazy things sometimes: Spread ashes on the field, associate with Gov. Ed Rendell in the stands, throw snowballs at former Cowboys coach, Jimmy Johnson (hey, they bounced off of his teflon-like hair), and yeah, not liking a really cheesy Santa. HOWEVER, I don't think any of them would give much thought to jumping 17 feet to iminent peril.
"He thought he was going to land in a snow bank," said one witness to the incident.

NewsCenter 5's Todd Kazakiewich reported that the 20-year old man was on a pedestrian walkway heading towards the stores at Patriot Place about 3:15 p.m.

"All of a sudden he jumped. He was screaming on the way down, then he was silent," said another witness.

The man bounced off the pavement below.

"He was unconscious and unresponsive," said Scott Rogers of Foxborough Fire and Rescue.
(H/T: Boston Channel)
He is in serious condition, and I hope he'll recover, but DUDE!!?!?!!? An investigation of whether alcohol was involved is underway. Ya think? (His poor family.)

Category #2: "Girls do stupid things for guys" Award
Here, we have the baby sitter from hell! Below is my fake transcript of their alleged phone call...again, it is fake:

Ruth: "Hey, Chyan? Like, do you want, to come hang out while I babysit?"

Chyan: " the brat asleep?"

Ruth: "Uh-huh."

Chyan: "Like, umm, instead of hanging out, let's go to a bar."

Ruth: "What about the kid? I'm not old enough to get in to the bar, anway."

Chyan: "We can leave the kid in the car, and I'll show my ID, first. They won't card you."

Ruth: "Well, like, o.k. Hey, do you think we could leave the car running with the windows up really tight, so the kid stays warm?"

Chyan: "No, just bring extra blankets. I don't want to waste the gas."
Oy vey!

Category #3: "Word choice is important" Award
Finally, what is in appearance a nice gesture, just sounds all pRonish.

Kyrgyzstan has named a mountain, Mount Santa Claus. Now, if anyone was asking me where I was going, had I a desire to climb a mountain, I'd have to say, "Why, I am going to Mount Santa Claus." That's just not right!

1. He's married.
2. He's really old; he's hundreds of years older than me.

Kyrgyzstan is pretty much Muslim and has named mountains after Communist and Russian leaders in the past. When asked why Santa Claus, a tourism offical states, "We want to develop tourism, and Santa Claus is an ideal brand to help us do this."

They plan an "international Santa Claus" congress in the summer and they also want to hold annual Santa games.

Gotta love it!
(H/T: CNN)

Christmas Eve

In the Old Testament of the Bible, it was prophesied that there would be a virgin birth. His name, Immanuel, means "God with us" (Isaiah 7:14).

He came to Earth as both man and God.

He knows our weaknesses, temptations, triumphs, and defeats. He knew heartache, loss, pain, and joy.

As a young woman and her husband followed the laws of their land and the laws of God, they prepared to humbly welcome into the world, the One, that would usher in grace and true forgiveness, as seen in His teachings and actions.

I hope that, tonight, the eve of the celebration of Christ's birth, you have the opportunity to think about what is most important about Christmas: Christ's love, the reason for His birth--His resurrection, and our opportunity to reflect that love in our relationships with others.

Have a great evening. I'll probably be back much later, after I've visited with family.

"O, Holy Night"
John Berry

No smooch for you!

One of our holiday traditions is facing serious problems.

English mistletoe is losing a battle against disappearing apple orchards and the loss of a 150 year old auction.
In the UK mistletoe grows as a parasite on the soft bark of certain trees, mainly apple. Most sold for the Christmas trade is harvested from low-growing orchard trees in the Herefordshire, Worcestershire and Shropshire area. The problem is not the plant itself, it is not threatened, but the disappearing apple orchards. Mistletoe can be propagated but the success rate is low, meaning the industry relies heavily on supplies from the wild.
Because the wild mistletoe is dwindling, so are our chances of getting kissed on Christmas by our drunken friends and relations.

Well, I get kissed by my cousin's same-sex significant other/husband. I must be using faulty mistletoe.

I digress. . .The mistletoe problem not only stems from how hard it is to grow, but also because of the extinction of a tradition:
Nearly all English mistletoe is sold wholesale in one place: Tenbury Wells in Worcestershire - the "mistletoe capital" of the UK.

It has run a unique mistletoe auction before Christmas for the last 150 years, based at the town's cattle market. It is steeped in tradition, with Druids attending to bless the plants.
Well, see. If you have an item sold in one place for a 150 years, you've scoffed at expansion. Just think of all the years you've lost to growth! Don't even get me started on the hippie Druids.

Maybe the English deserve to lose their mistletoe!

I propose that apple orchards in the U.S. work on propogating a new breed of mistletoe. It has to be greener, with more berries, and has to guarantee more kissing--of the kind you like.

(H/T: BBC)

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Some Christmas fun

I'm kind of lacking in Christmas spirit this year. Not talking about it (family & personal) kind of stuff. However, I saw this and it gave me a little giggle. I'll get to the serious side of the holiday tomorrow and Tuesday. I do have a medical test Wednesday...if any of you feel led to pray. I'd appreciate it. Now to the humor:


Well, I'm glad I didn't go see I am Legend. This just makes me all grrr!
Will Smith has stunned the world by declaring that even Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler was essentially a "good" person.

The Men In Black star, 39, is determined to see the best in people, and is convinced the former German leader did not fully understand the extent of the pain and suffering his actions would cause during his time in power in the 1930s and '40s.

He says, "Even Hitler didn't wake up going, 'Let me do the most evil thing I can do today'.

"I think he woke up in the morning and using a twisted, backwards logic, he set out to do what he thought was 'good'. Stuff like that just needs reprogramming."

Hitler's totalitarian leadership as Fuhrer during 1934 until his eventual suicide in 1945 resulted in the persecution of an estimated six million Jews in the Holocaust, and his invasion of Poland in 1939 led to the start of the Second World War.
(H/T: KYW3)

1. Hitler masterminded the genocide of Jews, homosexuals, and anyone else that didn't fit his own personal Utopia.

2. The doctors in the concentration camps were running willy-nilly doing their own thing?

3. Hollywood does really weird things to people's minds. I'm convinced it is the smog. I lived out there for 6 months, and I can honestly say I did really stupid stuff out there that I would never have done here.

What a freakin' tool!

Poor Adie, just misunderstood. He meant well. NOT!



My cat, Buster, loves to cuddle and purr. Hey, it makes me feel loved. He finds me comfy, I guess. During the colder months, he likes to curl up on me at night. While I usually kick him off within a few minutes, there are times when he is just way too cute.

Your eyes will get heavy. . .

your eyes will become heavy and you will fall into a deep sleep. . .

deep sleep.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Good thing my pulpit didn't have time to get dusty.

Before I begin my rant, please understand that when I speak about my faith, it is what I believe and how I expect myself to live. People, by nature and by God's plan, are free to exercise their free will in their lives. I exercise my free will by trying my best to live in the manner expected...sometimes my best isn't all that great, though. :)

Today, I was visiting a business that I visit quite often, and I left really offended. First, you do not mock the resurrection of my Lord, but I'll get to that one, later.

While I was at this business, the person with whom I do business was talking about the holidays and her family. This person, not of my faith, married someone of my faith. Now, what they want to do is up to them. However, that is not a license for this person to find fault with my faith because he/she is not of it.

When this person was engaged/dating his/her future spouse, the difference in religion didn't matter. However, since the arrival of a baby, it seems to matter to the families involved. While the spouse is ok with raising the child the other spouse's religion, the extended family has issues. Understandable, but again, the couple made those choices and they have to deal with the family issues.

The person with whom I was conducting business with then went on to mock the idea that Jesus was resurrected. That's what really made me angry. In fact, if it had been a situation where I could have just walked out, I would have.

It has been bothering me most of the day, really.

I'm ok with people not having the same faith as me. We all have the choice to believe what we believe. However, don't knowingly create a situation that can turn into problems down the road and expect an easy time of it AND then, sit there and mock something you don't put yourself in that situation.

What I started thinking about, though, was this person's spouse. Obviously, choosing to be of my faith by distinction only, and not in action. Is that person's road easier? Harder? What heaviness of heart with regard to his/her faith is noticed or ignored?

I lived a life of compromise and turning my back on my faith for many years. One night, while in one of my usual haunts, I started thinking about my faith and the compromises I had made. Maybe hoping for acceptance and to not be lonely. (After many years of trying to prove how bad I could be--made fun of a lot as a young kid for my strong beliefs in God.)

I sat there, drinking, smoking, and taking in my environment in a way that I had not, ever. Something seemed to invade my heart and thoughts--no, it wasn't the beer. I started to realize that if I wanted to be happy and to not feel compromised, but to feel free to express my faith, I had to change. It wasn't a matter of rejecting God anymore, it was for me to accept Him.

That was almost 16 years ago. Do I struggle? Yes. Do I walk a fine line at times? Yup. However, I am a strong believer (from experience and observation) that following God's word works.

Again, I'm not perfect by any stretch of the imagination and it has been some time since I've been to church. (Hoping to go tomorrow, though.) I've also been quite hurt by other Christians. Not because of anything God did, but because of their own actions. Again, it all has to go back to God and following His will for our lives.

That takes me back to the spouse of the person with whom I did my business. I wonder how that person feels when Christianity is mocked? When that person's child is not allowed to partake in the traditions that person experienced?

I can't imagine being in a relationship that wouldn't allow me to express my faith, practice it, and to not have someone to pray with or worship God with...That's what changed my heart 16 years ago.

I hope their relationship works out, but the spouse doesn't seem to mind, so it probably will.

It just worked me up a bit, though.

The passage I've added is simply saying that if you go into relationships with unbelievers, no good can come from it. I'm sure there are legalistic ways to interpret this passage; however, my belief is simple: You compromise your faith within your family and it creates chaos for the harmony of the marriage and for any offsrping that result. But that is, of course, without someone compromising one's faith.

I realize this is a touchy subject. Again, these are my beliefs. If you don't feel the same as me, fine. That is your choice and you are welcome to it. Really.

II Corinthians 6:14-18
14 Do not be yoked together with unbelievers. For what do righteousness and wickedness have in common? Or what fellowship can light have with darkness?
15 What harmony is there between Christ and Belial? What does a believer have in common with an unbeliever?
16 What agreement is there between the temple of God and idols? For we are the temple of the living God. As God has said: "I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be my people."
17"Therefore come out from them
and be separate, says the Lord.
Touch no unclean thing,
and I will receive you."
18"I will be a Father to you,
and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty."

Thank you for reading this rather long post. I hope it made some sense.

Mamma mia that's a Swedish meatball!

Book your plane tickets! June 3, 2009, you are going to Sweden!

ABBA is going to have a museum built in its honor in Stockholm, Sweden.

The band is donating personal items from their time in the band. Also included in the museum will be a dance floor and recording studio.

Hey, I could go act out my childhood of standing in front of a mirror, hair brush in hand, trying to sing all the parts (only dogs from around the neighborhood could hear my attempts) while performing their "choreography."

Hey, people laugh, but they still sell 3 million records a year.

Now, that is what I call a retirement plan.

(H/T: CNN)

Friday, December 21, 2007

*(^&$%# HILARIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!

USA Admiral has this posted at his site. Visit him after you watch this:

Fortune cookie time!

I had two fortune cookies, today. One said "When winter comes Heaven will rain success on you." SWEEEEET!!!!! The second cookie had nothing in it. Is that a bad thing? Hmmm...

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Caption Contest

As always, have fun! I will post winners Monday evening. If you click HERE, you'll get the background on the photo. :)


7. DBA Dude: I told the wife to pack for a business trip to Bali and that's why my secretary was going as well.

6. Jimbo: The Secretary General provides a real-time demonstration of the power of methane.

5. Deathlok: See No English, Hear No English, Speak no English!

4. Wyatt Earp: Yvo de Boer breaks down after the Secretary General tells him his shirt is "a fashion abortion."

3. Rodney Dill: You.. not.. supposed.. to.. transrate.. 'cutting cheese'

2. Dennis: Oh man...I think I just added more to Global Warming.

This week's winner is. . .

1. Mark: Kim Luc Lo to I Hung Lo: "I think that son of a bitch just sharted."


Hmmmm....kind of thinking.

The other day, I saw these two quotations while I was at work.

"A ship is safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
William Shedd

"What great thing would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?" ~Robert H. Schuller

They've been in plain view for years, but because I am so busy getting my work done, I never saw them. They made me think.

So often, in the past, I've leaned toward safety. The past few days (after seeing those quotations) have made me think about how the older I get, the less willing I am to take risks. I can say I tried the past year to take some risks, but I find myself right back where I was this time last year, only more frustrated and much more itchier for change. But I stick with my comfort zone.

I guess that is human nature.

It is plausible that at the end of a long year filled with a world of hurt and a birthday that reminded me that the next decade of my life is in view, that I am just more contemplative than usual. I dunno.

While I find the Shedd's quote to be so true and an eye-opener about our lives being fastened to our comfort zones, I don't think I could answer Shuller's question.

It seems impossible to do so. So, I've just been thinking a lot. If I come up with an answer. I'll let you know. However, after constantly feeling like a dog bopped on the nose with a newpaper, I'm not sure that I can.


While I was looking up those quotations for this post, I saw these. I thought they were just as interesting and thought provoking.

"If you're never scared or embarrassed or hurt, it means you never take any chances."--Julia Sorel

"Our lives improve only when we take chances - and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves. "--Walter Anderson

"Progress always involves risks. You can't steal second base and keep your foot on first."--Frederick B. Wilcox

"You'll always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." --Wayne Gretzky

"Take risks: if you win, you will be happy; if you lose, you will be wise."--Author Unknown

"The healthy being craves an occasional wildness, a jolt from normality, a sharpening of the edge of appetite, his own little festival of the Saturnalia, a brief excursion from his way of life." --Robert MacIver

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A time to share. . .

I don't really have any original thoughts, tonight. Ok. I do, but I'm too pooped to put them together. However, these are some items that stood out to me during my walk around the bloggy-neighborhood.

Old NFO has an amazing first hand account of waterboarding and the training that goes along with it. Honestly, all I can say is WOW. It left me speechless.

Wyatt dissects TIME's decision to name Vladimir Putin its 2007 Person of the Year. Putin creeps me out on sooooo many levels.

TJ's Anti-Contrarian has some Christmas cheer for us. Tee hee.

SoHos is talking about sex and its health benefits. Is that why I feel so crappy? Anyway, I have no memory of sex. I hear it is nice.

On the 6th day of Christmas, Wyatt gave a meme...

I'm IT!

Wyatt tagged me with a Christmas Meme. Bah humbug!

1. Wrapping or gift bags? It depends on the present and my current stress level. If the present is an odd shape or kind of small, then I go for the bag, if wrapping a present might cause a meltdown because I can't crease the paper perfectly, then I go for the bag. However, if the sun is shining and I'm chipper: I wrap. I'm quite skilled at curling the ribbon.

2. Real or artificial tree? I prefer a real tree. I really like the scent. I haven't had a tree in three years, though.

3. When do you put up the tree? Since I don't have one...the earliest I've ever put up the tree has been Black Friday. The latest? In the wee hours of Christmas morning.

4. When do you take the tree down? After it dies a long and painful death. Early January.

5. Do you like egg nog? Gag; no! Why put the booze in a thick creamy substance? Ick!

6. Favorite gift received as a child? Lite Brite? SpiralGraph? Actually it was a transistor radio. My cousin came over on Christmas, messed with it, and broke the dial. Did my aunt and uncle buy me a new one? NO! They just told my cousin that was a dumb thing to do. Bastard. I hate him to this day, but for other reasons. So, I guess it would be the chalkboard easel.

7. Do you have a Nativity scene? Yep. It is packed away in boxes somewhere.

8. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? My dad forgot to give me a gift one year. That made me feel really special. I don't really judge my gifts. I appreciate thoughtfulness, even if something that isn't my taste appears.

9. Mail or e-mail Christmas cards? Neither. I suck. I did send a card to one of my aunts this year. The relatives that get cards from get the cards handed to them, by me, with a gift or cookies (well, when I used to make a bazillion of them). I'm sure I'll email my bloggy pals, though.

10. Favorite Christmas Movie? A Christmas Story (showing it to one of my classes).

11. When do you start shopping for Christmas? Usually I start after my birthday (Dec. 1). I think it is a reaction to all the years I was told I would be receiving a birthday/Christmas present. I haven't even started shopping yet, this year. However, I did manage to buy three Christmas cards.

12. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? It is a tie between a Colin Farrell or Aragorn salad with no dressing. Mmmm. Ok. I'll be serious. My grandmom's Scottish shortbread cookies. They are my great-grandmother's recipe. They melt in your mouth and are highly addictive.

13. Clear lights or colored on the tree? Colored lights that blink slowly. (They have to multi-colored, too....not all red or blue or green or whatever.)

14. Favorite Christmas song? "O Holy Night"

Hmmm...Now to spread my Christmas cheer! I tag Old NFO, Mrs. Grim, and DBA Dude (eh, I'll go global on this one). By the way, Old NFO has a very compelling post about waterboarding on his post. It is a must read. Really.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Hobbit Tales

After a lot of argument and the closing of doors on a possible Peter Jackson inspired retelling of The Hobbit, cooler heads prevailed and Jackson has agreed to produce the movie with New Line Cinema.

Like the filming of the Lord of the Rings movies, "two "Hobbit" films are scheduled to be shot simultaneously."

Hmm...I wonder if Vigo Mortensen can be brought back for some Middle Earth hunk of manliness? Dang.

Hey, it's Christmas. I can dream (drool)!



I thought Philly had it in for Santa!

A helicopter taking Santa to a children's party in Rio was shot at by drug traffickers as he flew over a Rio slum.

Wait, I'm confused. Maybe this is Philly.

Santa wasn't hurt and he ended up taking a car to the slum to deliver his presents.

Lessons learned:
Don't take a helicopter to a gunfight.
Don't downsize and tell the elves to hit the bricks.
If it ain't broke, don't fix it: always use the reindeer driven sleigh!

I bet Santa wishes those were snowballs, now!

(H/T: Yahoo)

Monday, December 17, 2007

The A-Team!

Director John Singleton (Boyz in the Hood), is rumored to be slated for a movie version of the A-Team!

I used to love the show. I wonder how a movie version would fare?

Here's who I would pick for the starring roles:

Col. John "Hannibal" Smith (George Peppard): (Can't we just resurrect Peppard?) I sincerely can't think of anyone. Ummm....Sir Anthony Hopkins?

Capt. H.M. "Howling Mad" Murdock (Dwight Schultz): Will Smith

Sgt. Bosco "B.A." Baracus (Mr. T): Vin Diesel

Lt. Templeton "Faceman" Peck (Dirk Benedict): Colin Farrell

Who are your choices?
(H/T: Beyond Hollywood)


Did I hear you right?

On my links list, I have a couple of "overheard" sites. One of them is especially from the Philadelphia area. It can be pretty funny at times. I read it once in a while and I just saw these and thought I'd share. While the language is rated R, in context, it is all really funny. Enjoy.

As Long As The Candy Cane Matches All Is Good In The World

Older woman looking at Christmas ornaments, loudly: "Here is what you need! Look at these! Who doesn't love big brown balls!" Everyone looks at her.

Younger woman whom she is with bursts into laughter.

Older woman puts down box and sheepishly slinks into the next aisle.

For This I Endured 40 Hours Of Labor?

Middle Aged Woman with 2 goth/punk rock teenage daughters (wearing chains, ripped stockings, snow boots and a vest)

Mom: "So, if your shoes could talk what would they say?"

Goth Punk Chick #1: "Obscenities, and nasty words and ya know, Fuck Bush, Fuck Cheyney, Fuck everything and everyone."

Goth Punk Chick #2: "My shoes wouldn't say anything. they would look at her shoes and just think, 'Damn, that is one crazy bitch'"

Ummm. . ."pardon" me.

Philly anchor woman, now know as "anger woman," Alycia Lane, has been arrested and charged with felony assault of an officer. That's the old news. (Ironically, KYW-3 is notorious for reporting news that has been reported by every other station around the country, days after the news was news.)

Here's the official complaint against her.

Today, it has come to light that once she was released from jail, she did what any girl that can bat her eyes and get men to jump would do: she called Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell. He's the former mayor of Philadelphia. I guess she thinks Uncle Ed can get her off, I mean, out of trouble. Maybe she thought he could put a call in to Governor Spitzer.

But it has also been reported that she may also try to reach state Sen. Vince Fumo (corrupt guy with well over 100 counts of corruption facing him in legal actions).

Hmm...was she trying to reach him for tips on how to keep one step ahead of the courts?

This is a representative of the Philly "media."

How sickening.

When she came to town a few years ago, a big deal was made about how she dug around for her stories and set up her own camera and did her work. Now I probably know why: no one wanted to work with her.

Her tarnished reputation is now permanently stained and she needs to go. (Well, her bosses have started her vacation early.)


Sunday, December 16, 2007

Headlines (lame ones)

1. Pieces of Britney Big on eBay
I bet her brain doesn't get many bids. I wonder how much her. . . never mind.

2. I-Report: Frozen limbs come crashing down
Geez! Look out for those arms and legs. That could hurt.

3. Celine Dion takes her final bow in Vegas
Darn. I was going to go to Vegas to see her perform. NOT!

4. Author of nasty letters from Santa sought
Apparently he's a bit miffed with some kids who keep asking for a Red Rider BB gun. They'll put your eye out, you know.

5. Vuitton-clad official spouts socialism
Then he realized that he was a capitalist.

6. German dads jump at chance to stay home with kids
Meanwhile, French fathers deny the ability to procreate given their innate lameness.

7. Clinton Invites Voters to 'Inspect' Her
Ewwwwwwww! Even Bill won't do that!

8. Lovers turn to text message to say it's over

9. Deformed swan finally finds mate

There is hope for me, yet.

10. Man accused of stealing plane to impress girlfriend
Yeah, because nothing says lovin' like a conjugal visit at the Federal prison.


Jeffro has posted another update at The Poor Farm.

He's home, has a lot of healing and rehabilitation to do, and could probably use your well wishes.

Go visit and say hello.

RIP: Dan Fogelberg

Growing up, my radio was my best friend a lot of the time. I've listened to hard rock since I was a little kid. However, I've also listened to more mellow tunes, too. This weekend, one of those mellow voices passed away. Dan Fogelberg died of prostate cancer. He was 56. While it would be cliche to play his biggest hit, "Same Old Lang Syne" (especially because of the season), I want to play "Leader of the Band." It has just really been a song I love to hear come on over the airwaves.

On a related note, gentlemen, I read this weekend that men who have females on the maternal side of their family, that have had breast cancer, run a higher risk of prostate cancer, skin cancer, and of developing breast cancer themselves. Take care of yourselves. :)