Friday, December 30, 2011

Friday Favorites #12

Hello, my dears!  I hope the week since we've been together has been full of fun, family and food - I know mine was.  Our families enjoyed getting together to celebrate old traditions and create some new ones.  And I learned a few things, too.  Namely, don't play nice in a white elephant gift exchange with my sisters.

So let's hop right in with:

HOW TO WASH YOUR CAR WITH ONE BUCKET OF WATER - It's amazing what one bucket of water will do for a car.  Or to it.

BOX OFFICE STATS HIT 16 YEAR LOW - I can't afford the movies anymore, so this doesn't surprise me.  There are so many movies I want to see now, too, like The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Muppets, Hugo; I'm even making an exception to my "No Tom Cruise Movies Ever Again" rule and thinking about seeing the new Mission Impossible movie.  But unlike other forms of entertainment, movie theatres don't seem to be very price sensitive.  Even a matinee rate is pretty steep nowadays.

Of course, one reason people are skipping the movies might be 15 BIGGEST BOX-OFFICE FLOPS OF 2011- Admit it - even Harrison Ford teaming up with Daniel Craig couldn't draw you in. Nor could Jack Black in a film with Steve Martin.

WHAT ARE YOU DOING NEW YEAR'S EVE - Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt have more than just acting in their repertoire - they sing too!

OUR CHRISTMAS ELVES TRADITION - Why Christmas was a little difficult this year.

10 MOST ANNOYING MANAGEMENT TERMS OF 2011- Via The Mister - YES, you should internalize the ideation within the stakeholder community and reach out with the results to them.  Gaaaaaah, this is why I would fail in a real job job.  I don't speak this clearly.

LEFTOVER CHRISTMAS FAIL - I love, love, love reading Failblog, and the holiday fails (and wins) abound, like THIS HEARTWARMING FAMILY MESSAGE or THIS SENTIMENTAL CHRISTMAS STORY.   But for every one of those, there's THIS KIND OF WIN that makes up for it all.  But wait!  There's more!

PARENTING FAIL - nothing makes me feel more successful as a parent than seeing something like this, and realizing that my daughters won't have this to add to their therapy list.

SNOWED-IN WIN - Power go out in your blizzard?  At least your adult beverages will be taken care of in style with a little bit of clever.  But don't let the kitties get into your booze, or THIS COULD HAPPEN.

For your New Year's resolutions, you might consider:

GRAMMAR MATTERS - Learn it, please, for mankind's sake.  

GET ORGANIZED - Well, this is one way to do it, but you'll never find anything ever again.

LOSE WEIGHT - But maybe steer clear of these products.

But there's political holiday news as well...

CHRISTMAS DAY MASSACRE WAS AN HONOR KILLING? - Apparently that little nugget hasn't made much of a stir in the news.

TSA TO EXPAND AUTHORITY TO TRAIN STATIONS - Via Pat Dollard, your friendly TSA Groper Agent is now going to be hanging out in train stations as well!  Happy travelling!

BLACK VOTERS MUST BE ABLE TO KNOW WHICH CANDIDATES ARE DEMOCRATS - Also via Pat Dollard, who really ought to be on your "Read Every Day' list, a Federal judge has ruled that North Carolina's nonpartisan races are a violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1965.  Could we live in more insane times?

BROADBAND IS A BASIC HUMAN RIGHT - Apparently, no, we cannot live in more insane times.

JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD HEARD THE LAST OF WEINER - Former congressman Anthony Weiner and his scandals just never go away.

ART LAFFER ENDORSES NEWT - I'm not too surprised by this - Laffer was one of the economists working for Reagan in the 80s.  His endorsement is worth at least a listen.

INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY BILLS MAY NOT WORK AS INTENDED - First, when did ANYTHING Congress passed work as intended?  Secondly, I had a nearly three hour conversation with an Occupy leader recently, and one "aha moment" he seemed to have in our discussion was the lack of "next step" thinking in politics.  When we're in "crisis mode" long-term thinking goes out the window, and we lurch from one quick fix to another.  The Russell Kirk definition of conservatism includes that one needs to examine possible consequences.  We just don't do that anymore.

CONGRESS GETS RICHER - Via Joe Pags, who's surprised here?  Damned crooks.

BARNEY FRANK RETIRES, WITH 7 BONUS DEMS! - Via Sean Murphy, at least 8 Democrat veteran congressvarmints are retiring ahead of the 2012 election.  Hmmmmm...

OCCUPY TICKS OFF IOWA DEMOCRATS - Go figure.  The 99% meme doesn't seem to be playing so well anymore.

RICH ARE UNRELIABLE TAXPAYERS - And not just because they seek out tax shelters.  Turns out the rich have more volatile income, AND their income is more portable.  So yeah, let's base funding massive entitlement projects on autopilot using just the wealthiest 1%.  That sounds like a winning strategy.

This week in PEOPLE I ADORE, I want to highlight JENNY ERIKSON AND ASHLEY SEWELL who host TOP 7 every week, with the top 7 news stories just in time for the Friday office parties and family get-togethers.  Their motto is "You can get your think on, before you get your drink on."  How could you not love that?  Catch Jenny and Ashley on Twitter too.  You won't find better, funnier, smarter, or lovelier babes in the conservative movement.

And on the READING LIST this week, I'm working through the Zombie Survival Guide.  Because, you just never know.

So that's it for this week, and I'll see you next week with another batch of fun, fail, and frivolity!  

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Elves

My earliest Christmas memories are of Santa's elves.  Each year, these four-inch-high figurines would appear sometime after Thanksgiving, in various places around the house.  Our first real sign that Christmas was near would be the initial appearance of the first elf, and the admonition from Mom and Dad that the elves had come from the North Pole to record our behavior for Santa.  We were never to touch the elves, or they'd leave and report us for bad behavior; and we were always to remember that Santa, via these elves, was watching.  Each day after the first elf appeared, additional ones would show up until there were five or six deputized to monitor us.

Every night, as we slept, the elves changed position.  One would hide in the refrigerator, to make sure we didn't sneak mouthfuls of spray whipped cream that was supposed to be for the pies.  One might sit in the bathroom, making sure we cleaned the counters after washing our hands, or making sure we brushed our teeth before bed.  Another might nestle in a wall hanging in the den, checking that we didn't fight over the television channels or forget to pick up our messes after playing.  Yet another might sit in the hall and listen to us play with each other or our friends, making sure we remembered our manners.  Still another might sit on a bedroom bookshelf, to see whether we stayed up too late past bedtime, or forgot to pick up our clothes.  

And each morning, we'd race around the house to find out where the elves had moved, what new posts they'd assumed.  And on Christmas day, not a trace of the elves would be found, all having decamped and returned to the North Pole with Santa.

The elves were the most magical part of Christmas for us.  We knew Santa took a personal interest in us and our doings, and that he really did care whether we were naughty or nice.  The elves reminded us, at least during the Christmas season, that our good behavior was important, and that temptation could be resisted if we were thoughtful.

When we got older and the grandchildren came, it was a joy to see the elves resume their appearances, albeit with a force reduced by one, and with considerable battle-scars from many years of service.  Each grandchild would hunt for elves when visiting Nan and Pop's house, and the elves always found the most interesting places to hide: within the Christmas tree branches, in the light fixtures, in the manger scene.  

After forty-something years of elves monitoring the house and only leaving upon Santa's visit, we found all the elves in attendance still on Christmas morning this year.  Had they gotten lazy?  Did they believe there was impending bad behavior among the grandchildren for which they needed to be on the scene?  Did they miss their ride?  Decide to take a later sleigh?

Any of these things could be true, but my own theory is that with this year being our first Christmas without Poppy, the elves stayed to remind us of him, and to comfort us in those moments when we missed him most.

Merry Christmas, Poppy; I miss you.  It wasn't the same without you, but we did our best.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Friday Favorites #11

OK, OK, I know.  I said "Trust me" at the end of my last post.  I promised to have a huge quantity of goodies to suck your entire weekend away.  I lied.  I failed.  Not one week, but twice.  I'm covered in shame and chocolate and peanut butter.  I spent almost two weeks working on filling nineteen tins of chocolate goodness for the family (and also for a few people who would have murdered me and hidden the body too well to ever be found if I hadn't included them) for the holiday season.  That's my only excuse.  Well, that, and doing show prep for a guest hosting spot on the radio, working on my nascent business, trying to shop for Christmas, working on the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll and about eleventy other things.  Clone me. Please.

So let's jump right in to the links you're begging for:

Speaking of the straw poll, did you know the Saddle Up Texas Straw Poll has a THEME SONG?  Karl Brunig and his awesome band have recorded one, and you can DOWNLOAD IT ON iTUNES!   Check out his other music too, and support local artists like Karl and all his generous friends who helped make this possible.  Hit him up on Facebook, too, and thank him for his hard work!  

DARYL HALL & JOHN OATES GO VIRAL - @Snarky_Basterd alerted me to this story, which is a little ridiculous actually, because there's LIVE FROM DARYL'S HOUSE which has been out for years, and which you knew about already if you've read this blog with any regularity. 

INTERNET MEME MARRIAGE PROPOSAL - This has to be one of the cutest things I've seen in a while - a bashful guy in Kuala Lampur proposing to his honey in the internet age.  You won't be sorry you watched it, even if you're an old fogey who doesn't get internet memes, or even know what they are.  Though that does make it funnier.

WORST CHRISTMAS GIFTS EVER - Oh, admit it, you all have received one that has made it into your family stories.  ESQUIRE has even more of them.  Now you can compare your horror stories with other people's and feel better.  Or worse.  Or something.

BEST CHRISTMAS FEUD EVER - A true, heartwarming story about a twenty-five year "feud" over creative gift-giving.

ROMNEY HOLIDAY GIFT TAGS - to put on those Worst Christmas Gifts you plan to give this year, I guess.

MEDIA BIAS 101 - Gingrich tells a gay man in a conversation that he really ought to just vote for Obama,... or DID HE?  Via Larry O'Connor.

HAWAII 5-0 CREW DISSES VETERANS ON PEARL HARBOR DAY - Just read it.  If your eyes are still in their sockets, you aren't angry enough.

SAVE US CHUCK WOOLERY - I am officially in love with the former Love Connection host for THIS, and for THIS, and ESPECIALLY THIS.

THE NEWEST CHRISTMAS CLASSIC - Remy at Reason TV has recorded an instant classic with "Grandma Got Indefinitely Detained" for the holiday season.  Enjoy, and spread it around and share the Very TSA Christmas!

MICKEY MOUSE WANTS TO RECALL GOVERNOR WALKER - The poor, embattled Wisconsin governor is not only under fire from unions, but apparently Mickey Mouse and Adolph Hitler want him gone too.

50 ECONOMIC NUMBERS YOU WON'T BELIEVE - I don't believe some of them either, and I'll be looking into them further, but really, even if half are true, shouldn't we be seeing some of this in political campaigns pretty soon?

POLITIFACT'S LIE OF THE YEAR FOR 2011 - You have to check this out.  Then start asking why the conservative side usually sucks at messaging.  Because even though it's a PANTS ON FIRE type of lie, IT WORKS.

BECK CALLS TEA PARTY RACIST - It went down like this - Glenn was talking to Judge Napolitano, and he... well, watch the video.

BREITBART CALLS BECK OUT - Andrew Breitbart isn't standing for Beck's outrageous claim about tea party and racism.  And he's got a whole lot of anger about Beck's poaching.  Remember ATTACK WATCH?  Beck totally ripped it off, without credit.  That's just the tip of the iceberg.  

POACHERMAN - Gary Eaton's response to Beck- you gotta hear it!

UNICEF BASHES SANTA - Speaking of Breitbart, look what the crack team at Breitbart TV uncovered.  I bet you didn't know Santa was a freaking One Percenter.

GALLUP: REPUBLICANS GAIN GROUND IN SWING STATES - Don't get cocky, but there are some interesting stats.  The election is still eleven months away.  Again, don't get cocky.

DEMOCRATS LOSING VOTERS - Again, use this as momentum to work harder.  DON'T GET COCKY... Because...

HOUSE CAVES ON PAYROLL TAX CUT - You knew they would.  I always feel like Charlie Brown with  Lucy and that Damned football.

UNEMPLOYMENT RATES FOR METRO AREAS - Find yours, compare with your friends!  

MORE BAD NEWS FOR DEMOCRATS - Don't make me say it again, because ...

NAACP WARNS OF VOTER ID LAWS = VOTER SUPPRESSION - And people, that sells.  And it makes people angry and ready to fight.  And it makes them less likely to care about the truth.  We have got to have an answer to this that hits home.  Not just confronting it, but turning those communities into supporters for Voter ID.  

SMALLER GOVERNMENT = RACISM - I called this months ago.  I KNEW it would happen as soon as the Bigger Government Advocates figured out the fact that the government worker population has a higher percentage of minorities in employment than the general population.  

HOMELAND SECURITY SNOW CONES - I'm not kidding.  If they were using them to raise money for Homeland Security, maybe I could see this.  I mean, didn't we have all those bake sales in the '90s?  Am I the only one who remembers those?

This week in PEOPLE I ADORE, I bring you THE SMALL "g" GAY - Small g hosts a Blogtalk Radio show a couple of times a week, and he and his guests bring some of the best political commentary out there on the presidential horse race.  You can also follow him on Twitter, which I highly recommend.  Small g is nothing like what you'd think; a "homocon" who's not happy with the Gay Lobby pushing the Gay Agenda.  Open your mind and listen to a show or two - you'll be glad you did.

And on the READING LIST this week, I just finished HARD TIMES by Dickens and picked up DELIVER US FROM EVIL by David Baldacci.  Baldacci is the guy who wrote the book that led to the Clint Eastwood movie "Absolute Power" and has a large collection of really good whiplash-inducing action novels.  This one is about rounding up war criminals - not for the faint of heart.

So with all of that said, let me leave you with a few of my Christmas Favorites to reward you for slogging through all the crappy news above:



OH SANTA! - Veggie Tales



Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy New Year; and may all of the things you might celebrate be filled with joy, fun, love, peace, and chocolate.  Unless you're allergic or something.  In which case, you're on your own.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Friday Favorites #10

Hello, hello, hello, Friday Friends!  It's already December - how did THAT happen?  Ah, well, that means 22 shopping days until Christmas, so better get busy!

THINK GEEK - If you haven't browsed through their site, do it!  Gifts for the geek in your life.  And make sure to get on the catalog list.  Where else can you find THIS?  Or THIS?

MASSIVE WATER BALLOON BURST - This is cool in slow motion.  My sister found it and said "You never need be bored."

HOW TO GREET PEOPLE - I just discovered this You Tube channel by Ev.  Ev's hilarious.  And a little naughty.  But where else will you find out How to Survive a Nuclear Blast or How to Cross the Street?

MALL SANTA MUSICAL - Yeah, this.  Merry Christmas!

ACTUAL COLLEGE COURSES THAT WILL MAKE YOU #HEADDESK - So THIS is what all those student loans are funding!  Glad we got that straight.

KIDS + FLOUR = FUN! - Until Mom catches them.

PEANUT BUTTER PRETZEL BALLS - Yeah, I'm making these next week.  If they're good, I'll put them in the goodie tins for the family.  If they're great, I'll be recovering at Fat Camp.

MINI MAC & CHEESE MUFFINS - Oh my stars, I can't wait to try this.  See you after Fat Camp.  Seriously.

STEVEN CROWDER ON FALLON & MILEY CYRUS - Steven talks about engaging in the culture war.  Guess where he wants the troops to come from - your kids.  And you know, I think he's right.

UNEMPLOYMENT DOWN - Or is it?  I don't trust ANY change that large without really digging into the numbers.

SOMEBODY NEEDS TO PAY FOR ALL MY CHILDREN - If you missed this, I want the address of the rock you live under.  This is unreal.  Spread it far and wide, people.


TEA PARTY V. OCCUPY - Now in Video format with Bill Whittle!


This week's READING LIST includes WORLD WAR Z, which I found fascinating.  Pretend there's a worldwide infestation of zombies.  Then pretend there's a government official collecting personal stories about the survivors.  That's pretty much it.  But it's written so interestingly, I couldn't put it down.  Apparently it will be a MOVIE next year as well.

That's all I got - it's too late to add more, but believe me, next week I'll have enough time-sucking material to steal your whole weekend.  Trust me.