Wednesday, December 31, 2008

and counting

20 agonizing days left.
(And now we find that he has actually one extra second to serve! Something about the sun.)
PLEASE. Those participating in the Book Report please send in your answers. Thanks.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Light Through the Leaves

"When Mr. Bush officially takes his leave in three weeks (in reality, he checked out long ago), most Americans will be content to sigh good riddance. I disagree. I don’t think he should be allowed to slip quietly out of town. There should be a great hue and cry — a loud, collective angry howl, demonstrations with signs and bullhorns and fiery speeches — over the damage he’s done to this country."
- Bob Herbert,
Thanks to SPARTY for the suggestion

Tuesday Evening Quiz

PART I; Study these pictures:

1. Which one is moving to Dallas?

2. Which one would you rather live next door to?

3. Which would you rather have for a lover, assuming that both have STD's?

PART II: Assuming that after you shuffle off this painful coil of life, you are able to come back for a second go around, who would you least like to be?

(a.) Laura Bush (b.) Rosie ODonnell (c.) a frog


PART III: Which of these Republican athletes would you most like to be assaulted by, assuming that it's inevitable: The gun slinger, the puck slinger or, the dancer


PART IV: Which organization do you think is worthy of the next big government handout?

(a.) General Motors (b.) The Detroit Lions (c.) Madame Fortuna's Whorehouse and Grill

Monday, December 29, 2008

All I Want for Christmas is a Bullet in the Brain

(Child damages everybody's Second Amendment rights. We should not all have to suffer because one little guy gets careless and shoots himself.)

A convicted felon on probation for a drug charge was arrested Christmas morning, hours after his 3-year-old son accidentally shot himself to death with a gun the father is barred by law from having.

Raleigh police say toddler Pharell Hinton found his father's gun, which discharged, killing the boy late Christmas Eve.

Eric Eugene Hinton, 26, of 1123 Ujamaa Drive in Raleigh was charged with involuntary manslaughter and possession of a firearm by a convicted felon. He remains in the Wake County jail under a $100,000 secured bond.


COMMENT: Wonder what they will do with the other unopened presents, return them to Wal-Mart?

The Loyal Opposition (#10)

Another graphic illustration of what the opposite side thinks of the President-elect.

Gold Stars for Last Quiz:


The Question was
... and the answers

In what Christmas songs do these these things happen?

1. angels are bending
It Came Upon a Midnight Clear

2. men are employing tongues
Joy to the Wolrd

3. a horse is picking up its feet
Jingle Bell Rock

4. I'm tucked in a bedroom
I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

5. beams are radiating from a face
Silent Night

6. Grandaddy is drinking beer
Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer

7. A cop is hollering 'stop.'
Frosty the Snowman

8. You're letting your heart get light
Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas

9. An old man is whispering to me
Jolly Old Saint Nicholas

10. smiling people are passing
Silver Bells

Monday Friends Report, December 29, 2008

With, it seems, everywhere on earth being involved somehow in the game of human violence, and with the weather itself being so hard on the country, and with the economy in such a fit that most people are either badly hit by financial concerns or trying to avoid them, you would think Christmas would have been a disaster. But, around here, we got so much good news from people and so much chance to be with friends and family,  this Christmas could not have gone better.


Two more:

Some News

TRASE - coming home this morning from the hospital with new kid!

SPARTY - says all new babies look like Winston Churchill.

SCOT - says the new kid "... spends a great deal of time sleeping peacefully so far, but he also has shown a good appetite. He has bright eyes and a good grip. Everyone agrees he's far more handsome than Dad, for which Dad is thankful. Dad is on Cloud 9."
He can say this stuff because he's the Dad. This is what happens to new fathers. They assume a self-deprecatory role, find themselves on strange terrain half the time, and begin speaking in odd declensions.

IRISH MIKE - was the big winner at the euchre tournament he dominated, and he now promises to spend all his money on beer for friends. (Part of this might be untrue).

IRENE - and her family were in the U.S. - in fact in Michigan - and her kids are now thoroughly familiar with snow. The best part of snow was the sledding. One of them said, "That's the most fun I ever had in my life."

FELIX - has been writing up the adventures of 10-years ago when he had the greatest adventure a hiker can have: The Appalachian Trail from end-to-end. We have shared some of those adventures here on BIRCHES.

BRENDA and STEVE's new house: winter

MARSHA - is home in S. Carolina, for a few minutes or hours, before she has to go off to Tampa with her favorite football team. She is healthy and way-y-y too busy!

WOLVERINES - The University of Michigan Wolverines won the Great Lakes Invitational hockey tournament this week, a nice pick-me-up for fans who have suffered through so many bad news days in football season.

SANDY - had her whole family home for Christmas.

What some people are chuckling about:

158 years ago, California became a state.
The State had no electricity.
The State had no money.
Almost everyone spoke Spanish.
There were gunfights in the streets.

So basically, it was just like it is today,
Except the women had real body parts and
The men didn't hold hands!!!

The bailout, a different perspective:

Back in 1990, the government seized the Mustang Ranch brothel in Nevada for
tax evasion and, as required by law, tried to run it. They failed and it
Now, we are trusting the economy of our country to a pack of nitwits
who couldn't make money running a whore house and selling booze?

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Welcome to our world, Liam

After a 3 day absence, we are back under the Birches with a new member of the family, who entered this domain on this day, Saturday, Dec. 27th, first child of Trase and Scot. He is Liam and he weighs almost 8 pounds and looks perfect! More on Monday Friends Report.

some notes

Many thanks to those who have contributed to the conversation on "Vicissitudes" which was printed below on Tuesday. I'll add to this conversation tomorrow.

Noted: that over this holiday, many guns were used around the country to protect houses against relatives and other noxious beings who now lie dead. Santa went bananas and gunned people down. More on that, also, later.

Noted: That Israel is once more at war. Whatever happened to Isaiah 40:1-2:
"Comfort ye, comfort ye my people,saith your God. Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished..." (?)

MOVED FORWARD: Reprint with comments --- The Vicissitudes of Life: it "isn't a new problem"

BILL FROM WNNCO and I have often discussed the problem of identifying "worthy" or "deserving" or "qualified" people. Some folks use these terms to tell who should get welfare, for example, or who should be able to get food from the food pantry. Or who should get rent supports, that sort of thing.

We don't want to be spending lots of public funds on those who "don't deserve it," right? Ronald Reagan used to talk about "welfare queens" which referred to women who had kids as a kind of profession, in order to get more welfare money and qualify for more programs. They were usually considered to be lazy and probably fat and immoral.

So, let me posit this question: Should a 21 yr-old woman who has 3 kids under the age of 5, all with different last names, be given rent supports and food stamps and welfare stipends? The woman is not competent to hold down a job because she's uneducated and probably uneducable. OR, is such a woman undeserving? I am inclined to say that society should help this woman and her children. Bill is likely to think she has created her own problems and should be expected to work out her own solutions.

Our friend Jim Thill recently addressed an issue like this on his blog, Planetary Gears:

from Planetary Gears
Dec. 12 '08.
I've been volunteering at the homeless shelter for a month now. My "position" is a commitment to one 2-hour shift per week, during which time I have a good deal of freedom to do whatever needs to be done with regard to handing out books and maintaining the small library. Since the library seems to generally be in good repair (thanks, I assume, to other volunteers), I follow my natural inclination and station myself in the lobby, where people are coming and going and hanging around for social purposes. It's been a lifelong blessing/curse of mine that I tend to be the focal point of those who gather for idle chit-chat, and the shelter is no different. I sit down and people start to gather around to chat with me, or tangentially involve me in their discussions with each other. Today, during a discussion in which I was a minor participant, one resident was explaining, in his peculiar way, how he came to be in the homeless shelter. It was a sordid tale of dysfunction at every turn: drug abuse and other bad choices, extreme dependency on government programs, no concept of personal responsibility, no concept of respect for others, etc, etc. Somehow this fellow saw himself as the hero of his vile narrative, though it was plain to me that he was his own villain.

As I rode home on my bike, I considered how impossible it seemed that this character would ever become a productive member of society or be able to take care of himself. The hope in every private or public charity is to empower people to be independent and solve their own problems, but the success rate with these worst cases is apparently pretty low. Maybe a low success rate is the best we can expect with people like this. I entertained thoughts that this fellow should be totally cut off from assistance, and that the resources should be directed to someone who can make better use of them. But then I wondered if he could ever accept any responsibility to support himself, and if being cut off from assistance would simply starve him to death in the street. And that wouldn't be pleasant to watch. Anyway, I started to consider that poverty isn't a new problem, and that concerned people have been wrestling with these difficult questions since the beginnings of civilization.

If you can contribute your thoughts to this discussion, please do.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Felix spends Christmas 'on the trail'

Another report on Felix's trek from Maine to Georgia on the Appalachian Trail, 10 years ago.

Ten years ago this morning I woke up to find that the temps had dropped drastically through the night. Into the lower 20s or less. This was a good thing as the mud puddle in the middle of the shelter floor had frozen and it was much easier to walk around in the shelter.(The shelters in the Smokys have a 6'xSW walking area (with 'SW'= shelter width) It was also a good thing because there usually isn't much in the way of clouds, or fog, when it's that cold. So, just after daybreak I headed
up a crunching, frozen Trail. I like crunching better than sloshing. The sky was actually clear above, and the valleys below were full of the 'smoke' that is the namesake of these mountains. At one point I saw what I thought were bobcat prints. I don't know if there are bobcats here, or not. It could have been a fox. I don't know if there are foxes here or not.

I made really good time this day. I was surprised to find the Trail crowded from Icewater Spring to Newfound Gap. It was a beautiful day. Mid-twenties and clear. I got to Mt. Collins shelter a little before 5. That shelter is a beautiful place just before sunset on a crisp, cold Christmas evening. The fire the two boys from Cincinnati had built was a beautiful thing, too. I'll never forget the one who looked at me and said "That fire'd cost you $8,000 if you bought the wood at a convenience store." I laffed then. I laff now.

I had an enjoyable evening with these two guys. They didn't necessarily practice some of the LNT techniques the way I'd have liked for them to. But, they were harmless, overall. They gave me my first-ever drink of Jaegermeister. "Nyquil from the liquor store," I call it. They also gave me hair-covered cheese and salami that I didn't want to eat but, couldn't throw away. In the dark, it all tastes the same. I smoked a cigar.

add to your day; A Little Innocence.

Go have fun acting like a kid again. Sing along. 

Eddie Hodges
I'm gonna
knock on your door


I'm gonna knock on your door, ring on your bell
Tap on your window too
If you don't come out tonight when the moon is bright
I'm gonna knock and ring and tap until you do

I'm gonna knock on your door, call out your name
Wake up the town, you'll see
I'm gonna hoo-hoot and howl like a lovesick owl
Until you say you're gonna come out with me

Hey, little girl, this ain't no time to sleep
Let's count kisses 'stead of countin' sheep
How, how can I hold you near
With you up there and me down here

I'm gonna knock on your door, ring on your bell
Tap on your window too
If you don't come out tonight when the moon is bright
I'm gonna knock and ring and tap until you do

------ guitar / piano ------

Hey, little girl, this ain't no time to sleep
Let's count kisses 'stead of countin' sheep
How, how can I hold you near
With you up there and me down here

I'm gonna knock on your door, ring on your bell
Tap on your window too
If you don't come out tonight when the moon is bright
I'm gonna knock and ring and tap until you do

I'm gonna knock and ring and tap
and knock and ring and tap
and knock and ring and tap
and knock and ring until you do

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker

Times Are Hard For Everyone 

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

quiz note

I know that two people are working on the Christmas song words from the Tuesday Quiz. We need more. There is an endless supply of Gold Stars to Award!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Quiz

ALICE suggested this quiz, but of course, she didn't provide any questions. That's evidently the host's responsibility. Everyone wants quizzes and then they can do 'em or not do 'em just as they please. That ain't the way it was when I was in school.


In what Christmas songs do these these things happen?

1. angels are bending

2. men are employing tongues

3. a horse is picking up its feet

4. I'm tucked in a bedroom

5. beams are radiating from a face

6. Grandaddy is drinking beer

7. A cop is hollering 'stop.'

8. You're letting your heart get light

9. An old man is whispering to me

10. smiling people are passing

Monday, December 22, 2008

Monday Friends Report, December 22, 2008

We had occasion to go downstate yesterday and stay overnight. The weather in the state has been brutal with sub-zero temps and high winds that have made even expressway travel a risky adventure. But we're there and back again with no trouble but a long tense drive.

Here, we are celebrating the DETROIT LIONS new record, 15 straight losses in a season. It is the best ever in the NFL. The only reason it isn't 16 straight is because they've only played 15. There is a rumor going around the state that perhaps the team has given up hope.

Now we are in the last month of the Bush reign and we don't know anyone who is sorry to see him go.

ALICE - has had the back of her van bashed in by a snowplow. This is a piece of bad luck she didn't need, that's for sure.

BRENDA - Just in time for Christmas and the new year, in this terrible economy where jobs seem so scarce, she has found a very good new job with a publishing company. Congratulations and bless you on this new trail.

IRISH MIKE - sponsored a Guinness Club at his house last Friday because the weather was so terrible and the roads were difficult. Only his very best friends showed up. :)

TRASE - this is the week of the new baby. Will it be born on Christmas?

MARSHA - is traveling to the north for Christmas with friends and family. Everyone hopes she will miss all the bad weather, and that she will be safe.

FELIX - sends another report of his adventures on the Appalachian Trail (AT) ten years ago. He through-hiked it from Maine to Georgia that summer and about Christmas time found himself in North Carolina.

Location of Bald Mt. Shelter, S. of Rte 19, near Tennessee/N. Carolina border.

* click on the map to enlarge it
The Kid (Groovin' Moose) caught me and hiked through the DMZ with me. [It is an area of the Trail in Tennessee that the NPS took some land (I'm not sure if it was eminent domain, or not) and the locals weren't too thrilled with the idea. It is a rough area. I once encountered fishhooks hanging at eye level across the trail and a shelter was burned down. It is called that because of its similarity to a demilitarized zone, I believe. ] He said he didn't want me to hike through alone :-) . Kids. Oddly enough, I actually had two conversations with locals in their yards. Imagine that: Felix talking to someone. Anyway, a little while later, I took one of my 3 falls on the trip. Thought I broke my wrist. I didn't.

The next day (10 years ago Thursday) I left the hostel at about noon and headed up to No Business Knob. It would be the last time I'd see Groovin' Moose on the hike ... I was pretty much alone from this point on. That was alright, as it meant I didn't have to spend so much time explaining what I said.

It snowed pretty hard the last 4 or 5 miles. Very windy and cold. I stayed at Bald Mt. Shelter that night. That is where I met Hooper and Toto. I had a blast with those guys that night, even though I never saw either of them (they were in tents 'upstairs'.) I was once again suprised to be crossing paths with northbounders. It got very cold and snowy that night. I think [it] seemed worse than it was, though.

So..ten years ago yesterday was...December 19th, 1998. Miserable weather. It warmed up enough to rain, and the snow of the previous day had turned to slush.It may have rained, or snowed, or drizzled every step of this day. I remember when I got to Sam's Gap, it was pouring. There was lots of traffic ... As the traffic whizzed by, the long tails of water that followed them would, of course, hit me. It didn't matter, I was already soaked and cold. I finally made it across the road, and up to Hogback Ridge Shelter. It was good to get out of the wind and rain for a snack. That is where the announcement "Vote to Impeach" came through my headset. I had been listening to the NPR broadcast of the stuffy impeachment proceedings all morning. It definitely helped to take my mind off the ankle-deep slush I was trudging through.

SANDY - Her daughter is home for Christmas and will be attending the Coffee Klatch this week to watch all the natives frolicking there.

LAURA - a favored barrista, is celebrating a birthday this week. Congratulations.

ETC.... :

IRISH MIKE - reports that at least 20% of the pharmaceuticals used in the United States are manufactured in China (Yikes) where they fall under the same sort of regulations that gave us poison dog food and toxic toys. This includes virtually all the vitamins sold here.

has discovered the only really worthwhile "Buckeyes" and they seem to come in pairs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

ah, freedom!

Here is one more reason why the U.S. Constitution and courts have so carefully separated church and state.  Of course, the priest is perfectly within his rights to censor anything he wants in his religious domain, leaving his people as stupid or well informed as they are willing to accept. But, put him and his friends in charge of the government, ad they will do the same to you, and you, and me, and all of us. 

Priest removes Obama books from school

BLUE SPRINGS, Mo., Dec. 18 (UPI) -- A priest has removed two books about Barack Obama from a Missouri Roman Catholic school's library because of the president-elect's abortion position.
"I am very pro-life," the Rev. Ron Elliott of Blue Springs, Mo., told KMBC-TV, Kansas City, Mo. "Because of his stance on certain issues, I was asked to look into that matter."

Sunday silly Sites

Go get your non-gun weapons of murder and mayhem. CLICK

"This is a great little golf game. Enjoy playing and watch out for the last hole. I only played one time so far and managed a 48 but had 8 on the last hole." CLICK

[referred by SPARTY]
Hit Bush in the face with a shoe. Wonderful for burning off some of that hostility we all feel. CLICK

Saturday, December 20, 2008


The Loyal Opposition (#9)

Here is the latest in our parade of images created by the Loyal Opposition in our country, to the man who is going to be President.

Wacko-of-the-Week, December 20, 2008

This week, it all gets pretty sleazy --- aren't ya glad?
Baldwin, L.I., New York  

BIRCHES is going to make a couple of disclaimers here:
1. We do not intend to tell anyone who to choose for sex partners.
2. We are not going to make any puns on the name Tuckruskye.

A Long Island PTA official has been charged with endangering the welfare of a child after police say she was caught half-naked in a car with a 13-year-old boy.

"Police say Joan Tuckruskye, a PTA official, was arrested after being found half-naked in her car with a 13-year-old boy.

"Joan Tuckruskye, 44, of Baldwin, N.Y., was found with the boy in the parking lot of Meadow Elementary School. When an officer approached the Nissan Pathfinder, neither was wearing pants, according to police."

Silly woman. If she is guilty as charged of playing doctor with a kid, she has overstepped her mark. Doesn't she know that these sensitive matters should be left to the experts: Teachers and priests?

We can't have every Jane, Janet and Joan going around knocking the horns off our teenagers. How will it look if every back seat is filled with civilian practitioners, boffing our impressionable boys? It won't be long before those guys get the idea that other folks are simply sex objects.

So, Lady Tuck-roger, you are Wacko!

1. Brian Lafaver, Tygh Valley,Oregon, who drove his car, filled with his family, off the road and through a ditch and into a clearing in the woods, in order to drive into and kill a deer. He hit it smack on! It turned out to be a fake deer, put there by the State Police to catch poachers. The list of charges against Brian is extensive.

2. The two guys on opposite sides of the world with purple penises:

After all, 'tis the season to be jolly, and maybe folly.

Friday, December 19, 2008

This cartoon was passed on by JERRY -


A Light Through the Leaves

"The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober."
- William Butler Yeats

Thursday, December 18, 2008


to SPARTY - An additional Gold Star is awarded because the answers he sent got stuck in transmission. He knows all these people because he knows just about everything about American history.

PAM - sent this caption, which made me laugh: "You're grounded, no more TV, no more wars, no more torture."


It seems the world has entered an age of pathetic gestures. Look around and you see more and more efforts by individuals or nations to make some supposedly important point, only to end up looking pathetically banal.

1. SHOE THROWER - If the guy hadn't been frisked and 'wanded', he probably would have carried in an AK-47 and blown away half the room. That would have been a notable achievement. Yes, he's become famous for his stunt, but to what end? Now he's bound for jail with several broken bones, his target is none the worse for wear and in fact bragging about his own magnanimity, and the whole incident has become a joke along lines the thrower evidently did not intend.

2. THE ISLAMIC MOBS - who are roaming the streets in far-flung cities brandishing shoes and signs and lionizing the show-thrower. These mobs will turn up at any incident from anti-Mohammed cartoons to the most recent shooting by an Israeli. And the effect? Nil.

3. GEORGE BUSH'S VICTORY TOUR - What could be more pointless than this trip to Iraq and Afghanistan? The man has fouled the nests of half the world, and now in his insistence that he's really a decent well-meaning fella, he's wandering around from military audience to military audience preening and crowing like a rooster who just got his diminutive rocks off. No one is buying this charade except possibly Rush Limbaugh, and historians are already lining up to laugh at him.

4. THE RUSSIAN NAVY - has been moving about the Caribbean, showing up in the ports-of-call of any country that might have spit in the eye of the U.S. in the last few years. It even sent a ship through the Panama Canal, the first time in decades. Why? No one in the world believes the Russian navy has a fighting chance in case of war, and coming under the silent guns of the American military couldn't be more pathetic.

5. ROD BLAGOFABITCH'S PUBLIC APPEARANCES - Does he look brave? Does he look innocent? Does he look gubernatorial?

Does he look pathetic? Oh yeah! That's the one, Pathetic!

The Loyal Opposition (#8)

From time to time, we present a look at how the opposition is depicting the new President. Here's a simple, direct, to-the-point graphic:

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker (74)

... Lean Your Ear This Way ...

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

We're Holier Than Thou

We do not shop at:

1. WAL-MART because we consider it a traitor to the U.S. and the people of the U.S. who work for it.

2. CIRCUIT CITY - because earlier this year they fired every one of their workers in the stores and replaced them with new, cheaper labor, thus ruining the lives of many and perpetuating the concept of exploitation of workers. This is what happens and will happen more often without either unions or government rules protecting workers in this country.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

answers to the last Tuesday Quiz, Gold Stars


The answers, the Secretaries of State and their Presidents:

1. William Jennings Bryan- Woodrow Wilson
2. Thomas Jefferson- George Washington
3. Madeleine Allbright- Bill Clinton
4. George Marshall- Harry Truman
5. James Madison- Thomas Jefferson
6. Henry Kissinger- Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford
7. Daniel Webster- W.H. Harrison, John Tyler, and Millard Fillmore

Latest caption challenge- responses

When it appeared online, this photo just seemed to be a contradiction in our understanding of the universe, so BIRCHES challenged some readers to provide a caption. Here are some of the captions provided by our clever friends.


BILL FROM WNNCO - "'s another degree I had to purchase for you."

FELIX - Nice to meet you.

JANET - Rare sighting: George H.W. Bush, George Washington, and George W. Bush.

ALICE - "Come on you guys! Kiss and make up. Let bygones be bygones."

IRISH MIKE - Gee wiz! Mom and Dad, I told you I would graduate.

ANONYMOUS - Anything is possible in Texas.

FELIX - It's a deal. I won't wear black, you won't wear blue.

LAURA - Just remember everything I've taught you~ as soon as you see a shoe flying toward you, hook to the left. It's what I do whenever Babs gets mad at me.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Monday Friends Report, December 16, 2008

Here in Mid-Michigan, the opinion has been almost totally in favor of the government giving the needed loans to the Big-3 automakers. Many of our people have made their livings working for one of the companies, or have been dependent in other ways upon their success.

If the government will come through with that money (there are still possibilities, one of them being Bush) it will make this holiday season even better. Below I give some others reasons why this holiday is wonderful.

Although we have a bitterly cold wind blowing here in mid Michigan, driving wind chills to below zero, and even though freakish rains in the past few days melted a lot of the snow, there are still predictions for more snow and the prospects that we will have a white Christmas.

What's up with some people here

DASHMANN says he has been bad-mouthing Bush for 8 years, now suddenly, the fate of his pension from G.M. may be in Bush's hands. "If this decent and maybe final act of his administration comes to fruition, I guess I would have to owe him a big one that will make subsequent criticism from me very difficult indeed.

ALICE - says that we can't count on the U.S. pulling out the Blackwater Guards and other private forces when our troops come out of Iraq. Apparently, they aren't part of the settlement with Iraq.

FELIX - recalls that it was ten years ago this week when he was 'through-hiking the A-T' (Appalachian Trail) that he met and had a stare-down with a bobcat.

TRASE and SCOT - report that so far, the baby is still biding its time. The arrival of this child will make this holiday even more wonderful than it already is.

MICHIGAN BUCKS - reminder: The match between the U.S. Women's Soccer team and China, set for a 7:30 PM kickoff Wednesday night (Dec. 17) at Ford Field in downtown Detroit. Watch it when it appears on T.V. if you can't go in person. These are two of the greatest teams ever.

DIGG S - has taken a new job in California, and we'll miss him in this neck of the woods. He says: "Finally made it to LA after a 2400 mile journey cross the country in a 22' truck with my car on a trailer (I've earned my trucker creds.) while making a brief detour in Moab, Utah to see the Arches National Park (highly recommended). Settling in slowly and haven't bothered to unpack 90% of my stuff. Goes to show how little one really needs day to day."

MARSHA - has returned safely from Cancun.

GIGI - is telling the world that she is completely A-OK after her last checkup. She's a miracle survivor and proud of it! Another reason this is a wonderful holiday season.

PAM - says that her husband is recovering very well from recent surgery. Another reason why this is a wonderful holiday season.

What Some People are Reading and Talking About:

SPARTY - sends a short article from the Detroit Free Press ( CLICK ) discussing the unfairness of foreign trade practices which add a tax to American cars, while foreign cars often have the tax refunded.

The $20,000 American car exported to Germany is saddled with the VAT (Value Added Tax) at the border -- which is imposed not just on the base price of the car, but the shipping and insurance costs as well -- and winds up costing $25,792 in Germany.

BILL from WNNCO - Commenting on the deepening crisis: "I keep saying that the next year will be "great theatre", however the reality is I hope that we just survive the next year. There are a lot of things that are at risk of collapsing. Not most things but a lot of things. The only selfish hope I have is that we are not majorly wounded by all of this."

JERRY: presents a different look at the problem:
(Click on picture to enlarge it)

SANDY (and others, actually) - sent a quotation from Garrison Keillor about Obama's election:
The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos, and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot.

He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit and constitutional law. I just can't imagine anybody cooler.

DASHMANN - really liked this commentary by Robin Williams about the Obama election:

Some Humor folks sent in :

from BILL from WNNCO : Why you shouldn't piss off a mathematician:
(click to enlarge the picture)


The Supreme Court has ruled that there cannot be a Nativity Scene in
Washington DC this Christmas season.
This isn't for any religious reason, they simply have not been able to
find Three Wise Men in Washington ,
nor could they find a virgin.

There was no problem,however, finding enough asses to fill the

BILL - sends this example of what the new Obama government will bring us, a new Form 1040: 
click to enlarge


from JOE -


from JERRY

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Add to your day - the sound of a golden voice

Kristin Chenoweth

freedom of speech

This is why I love democracy: 

OLYMPIA, Wash., Dec. 12 (UPI) -- A Kansas church known for its militant opposition to homosexuality wants to post a warning against Santa Claus in the Washington State Capitol.
A sign from the Westboro Baptist Church saying "Santa Claus will take you to hell" would join other religious statements on the third floor of the building ...

"So get this fact straight:

you're feeling God's hate,

Santa's to blame for the economy's fate,

Santa Claus will take you to hell."

Sunday Morning silly Sites

The Most Extreme Conditions Ever Seen on Earth CLICK

Last pictures taken of famous people before they bit the dust. CLICK

(discovered and referred by Dashmann) Go here to test the age of your brain. Even if you can't read Japanese you can easily figure out how it works. (Feel free to doubt the results, I did!) CLICK

Saturday, December 13, 2008


A history professor of mine once said that a good historian does not use the word "if".

Nevertheless, I keep thinking what the world would be like IF Bush had never been chosen President by the Supreme Court, 8 ugly, bitter,culturally divided, bankrupt, war-weary years ago.

Wacko-of-the-Week, December 13, 2008

SIR ELTON JOHN - knight errant

He sued (for 30  million dollars) a newspaper in London which he claimed "ridiculed him in its article and poked fun at the annual charity ball organised by" him.

Poked fun at him? Uh-h Is he serious?  (tee-hee) 

He lost.  Elton, dear fey spirit, enjoy your Award as this Week's Yellow Brick Wacko.  



SHIRLEY GOOD, of Port St Lucie, FLA - It must be terribly embarrassing, if you've named your daughter surely good uhh, Shirley Good, to have to call the cops and have her carried away for being drunk, disorderly, and destructive in your home. Then, how embarrassing is it to have to go retrieve her from jail after the new charge of twisting the cops' testicles? Ah yes. A great lady for our Wacko column! You know, when she is good, she is very very good, but when she is bad she gets really nutty. CLICK

JOSHUA WEIGAND, of Boise Idaho. He called the cops because someone was trailing him dangerously in a car. The cops came and arrested Joshua because he was a break-and-enter burglar who was being tracked by the neighbor of the 90-year old woman he tried to burglarize. The principle of law here is this: If you're going to victimize old ladies, don't call attention to yourself! Remember this rule, children. It will help you out in your future endeavors. CLICK

Friday, December 12, 2008

Barney Fife Award, #12. Orange County, FLA, Sheriff Dept.

5 Months Later; Bones Found Near Missing Girl's Home

"An Orange County water meter reader found the skeletal remains of a child around 9:30 a.m. Thursday in a wooded area while taking a bathroom break near South Chickasaw Trail and Suburban Drive, less than half a mile from the Hopespring Drive home of George and Cindy Anthony, Local 6 News reported."

Comment:  Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha HA! 

noted in passing

Barney Frank, Congressman,
makes a thought-provoking statement:

"No. We’re not propping up companies ... We’re propping up individuals. The world doesn't consist of companies. The world is people. The country is people."

Thursday, December 11, 2008

American Women's Soccer Team ...

is reloading.

Our Women's team is the best in the world. Now the American Women's Under 20 Team has won the Under-20 World Cup. Future continues to look bright!

note from the love nest

We have put up our Chinese made Christmas tree with our Chinese made ornaments and Chinese made lights dressing it up real fine. Now we'll put some Chinese made Christmas stuff under it and settle back for a good old Michigan Christmas. What in the hell did people do for Christmas before the Chinese jumped in? Frankincense?

This is the first year for us to use what reader SCOT calls a fake representation of a cultural symbol, (that is, a fake Christmas tree) and we struggled with the proprieties. Is it better to have for ten years, a tree made out of petroleum from China than go out and chop down a living specimen at the local tree farm? On general principles of tradition, it should be a real tree.

And, after all, the real trees wouldn't even exist but for the fact that someone planted them in the hopes of someone else cutting them down a few years hence. Then, in most places, the real trees wind up in a landfill where they stay for sixteen million years or something waiting for a weevil to find them and chew them up. Our local nursery will gladly take them back for compost, which they then use for growing more Christmas trees.

Soon there will be a new baby in our family. Then we can go through the debate about reusable versus plastic diapers.

Thursday Morning Smile-Maker (73)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

(Tues quiz)

Aw, come on a few of you could take a few guesses and make Felix happy. (Actually it would make me happy, I don't really know how Felix wold feel about it.) And if you hit a few, you get a star!

concerning: "Hot Rod" Blagojevich

In a democracy, a political party should be a bonding agent for its own elected officials. If one of theirs does wrong, they owe it to the people to get rid of him. CLICK

The Democrats owe this country a full airing oF the Rod Blagojevich scandals -- and everyone who played ball with him. Do it now!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Tuesday Evening Quiz, 12/09/08

FELIX proposed this quiz. Here are pictures of famous Secretaries of State. Starting at the top and numbering them 1-7, can you tell who the President was when each was Secretary of State?

It has been a long time since we've had a Tuesday Evening Quiz. Felix has been asking for them. So, he was challenged to propose a theme and this is what he proposed.