Friday, November 30, 2007

Did you know that today is Whatever Splotchy Says Day?

Splotchy says post another Taint post.

Here you go, good man:

Oh, and: "V'z abg chggvat hc nabgure cbfg sbe lbhe qrznaqf, Fcybgpul! Fb gurer."

A Word About the Cheesehats

Often, coverage of Packer games on television leaves one with the impression that the foam cheesehead is required at all home games. I am here to tell you that that is not the case. Season ticket holders (aka luckyfreakingbastards*) never wear them. At all Packer away games you will see far more cheeseheads in the stands than you do when the Pack is back at Lambeau Field. Only people who think everyone wears them wears them. And they quickly learn the truth.

*There are 57,000 people on the waiting list for season tickets. The Packers website says that wait is about 30 years. That is a lie. Only if 1900 tickets get freed up every year would you get your tickets in 30 years. It's a guess, but I think about 2 tickets (not together) become available every year.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Who Is Today's Saint? (Special FranIam Edition)

Today's saint is not a saint, though she is on-track to become one. Fresh! Today marks the anniversary of her death in 1980, so I guess this is the day my Saint-A-Day Guide has assumed would be her feast day.

She is Dorothy Day. (Not Doris Day, lover of animals and the fabulous Rock Hudson). Apparently the most fascinating thing about Dorothy Day is that she had an abortion. Okay, I kid. Except that every single bit of information about Ms. Day on the 'nets include the fact that she had an abortion. Personally, after a lifetime of good works, I would think that would suck. Maybe they'll make her the patron saint of abortion doctors?

Here's what my Saint-A-Day Guide says about Dorothy Day:

In her younger days Dorothy was a suffragette, a Communist, a journalist [blog note: isn't that redundant?] a free love advocate and a knockout to boot. She had a seies of lovers (including Eugene O'Neill), a divorce, an illegal abortion, and a "punk" hairdo, and she could make wine from dandelions and parsnips. Pregnant with her (out-of-wedlock) daughter, she became interested in Catholicism. Dorothy converted, left her lover, and raised her daughter alone. Because the Catholic Church had brought her to Christ, she put aside her reservations about its bureaucracy and bilious priests-"One must always live in a state of permanent dissatisfaction with the Church," she said. She and her fellow pacifist Peter Maurin founded the Catholic Worker for the poor and disenfranchised of society and personally distributed its newsletter. Dorothy built and lived in a "hospitality house" in the slums of new York, which she established to feed and shelter the homeless. She slept on a cot there and would wear only secondhand clothes. In the words of the Making Saints author, Kenneth Woodward, "Dorothy Day did for her era what Saint Francis of Assisi did for his: recall a complacent Christianity to its radical roots." She died penniless, and Abbie Hoffman, Cesar Chavez and Daniel Berrigan attended her funeral. When Dorothy's expensive canonization process began in March 2000, Father Berrigan, calling her the people's saint, suggested the money be given to the poor instead. She might have agreed: when a reporter, in light of her status as a living Saint, asked if she had holy visions, Dorothy's response was an irritated "Oh shit!"

If Ms. Day were alive today she would not be a Saint (uh, cuz' she's still not), she would be Angelina Jolie.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Could I get a little help here?

Could you just come over and sign that electronic notepad thingamawhatsahoosie for me? Thanks, yer a bud.

Oh, and do you have a corkscrew onya?

Can we declare these people brain dead yet, chapter 2

Here in the frozen tundra of 'Sconni land there is a terrible scandal afoot. Tomorrow night's matchup between the 10-1 Packers and the 10-1 Dallas Cowboys will not be seen by the majority of Wisconsinites because most of the cable companies don't carry the obscure channel that will be broadcasting the game. Wisconsin Badger fans are suffering too, since the Big Ten Network that shows the games is also not carried by the big cable companies (Charter, etc.)

Into the fray steps US Congressman Paul Ryan, who represents southern Wisconsin. Ryan, who votes to the right of George Bush, sent his constituents the following e-mail:

Wisconsin’s First District Congressman Paul Ryan today sent a letter to Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Kevin Martin voicing the concerns of constituents who are not able to watch this Thursday’s Green Bay Packers game or Wisconsin Badgers’ basketball games due to disputes between cable providers and the NFL Network and the Big Ten Network.

In his letter, Ryan urged the FCC to consider rule changes that facilitate the appointment of an arbitrator in disputes such as these, so they can be resolved more quickly and with consumers’ interests foremost in mind. He also applauded the Chairman’s decision to review the cable television market and urged him to ensure that free market competition can thrive.

“When so many Wisconsin Packers and Badgers fans can’t watch their teams play, it’s a sign that something’s very wrong with the cable market,” Ryan said. “People all across Wisconsin want to be able to stay home and watch Thursday’s game against the Cowboys and future Badgers games too, so the demand is there. It’s frustrating that fans are losing out because of disagreements between cable carriers and the NFL and Big Ten networks. The FCC should ensure future rules changes boost free market competition and consumer choice – and promote speedy resolution of such disputes.”

Dear Congressman Ryan: what about the "free market" do you not understand? The part where if pesky 13-year-old congressmen want to interfere in business, that would be called "regulation", no longer making the market "free"? Laissez-Faire loosely translates to "Let it be" so if you don't like what occurs when the market behaves on its own whims, don't you think you should just STFU?

Ironically, republicans in our state are pushing very hard for a "Cable Competition" bill which would further balkanize our cable lineups, not solve the problems of viewers being unable to see programming they used to see for free on the networks.

P.S. Here at the Wundrun home we've got DishNetwork, and so will be watching. With many relatives and other cable orphans.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Retirement: If you get there afore me, Trentie....

"The good news is - and it's hard for some to see it now - that out of this chaos is going to come a fantastic Gulf Coast, like it was before. Out of the rubbles of Trent Lott's house - he's lost his entire house - there's going to be a fantastic house. And I'm looking forward to sitting on the porch."

Who Would've Guessed?

Not one of us. I did handicap him at 7.5 to 1 shot, but not with a male prostitute. Wowza. But now it seems kind of obvious. Like, the toupee should have been a tip-off.
Tengrain at Mock, Paper, Scissors is er, on top of this one.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Channeling Tengrain

While lighter in weight than their predecessors, the new military humvees do not seem to have much more protection than earlier models.

Yeah, we already knew

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Vice President Dick Cheney, who has a history of heart problems, was found to have an irregular heartbeat during a doctor's visit on Monday morning, his office said.

Cheney visited his doctors because of a lingering cough from a cold and during the examination he was found to have an irregular heartbeat, which on further testing was determined to be "atrial fibrillation, an abnormal rhythm involving the upper chambers of the heart," said Megan Mitchell, spokeswoman for Cheney.

Cheney will undergo further evaluation on Monday and if required he will have an electric impulse to the heart delivered, which is standard treatment for this diagnosis, Mitchell said. He would be put under sedation.

It would be an outpatient procedure and Cheney was expected to return home on Monday night, she said. It had not yet been determined whether he would require the procedure, she said.

Atrial fibrillation is a heart rhythm disorder that is becoming increasingly common. The heart's two small upper chambers quiver instead of beating effectively and blood isn't pumped completely out, so it may pool and clot, putting the person at risk of stroke

Ignorance and Want

It was a long night, if it were only a night; but Scrooge had his doubts of this, because the Christmas Holidays appeared to be condensed into the space of time they passed together. It was strange, too, that while Scrooge remained unaltered in his outward form, the Ghost grew older, clearly older. Scrooge had observed this change, but never spoke of it, until they left a children's Twelfth Night party, when, looking at the Spirit as they stood together in an open place, he noticed that its hair was grey.

"Are spirits' lives so short?" asked Scrooge.

"My life upon this globe, is very brief," replied the Ghost. "It ends to-night."

"To-night!" cried Scrooge.

"To-night at midnight. Hark! The time is drawing near."

The chimes were ringing the three quarters past eleven at that moment.

"Forgive me if I am not justified in what I ask," said Scrooge, looking intently at the Spirit's robe, "but I see something strange, and not belonging to yourself, protruding from your skirts. Is it a foot or a claw?"

"It might be a claw, for the flesh there is upon it," was the Spirit's sorrowful reply. "Look here."

From the foldings of its robe, it brought two children; wretched, abject, frightful, hideous, miserable. They knelt down at its feet, and clung upon the outside of its garment.

"Oh, Man, look here! Look, look, down here!" exclaimed the Ghost.

They were a boy and a girl. Yellow, meagre, ragged, scowling, wolfish; but prostrate, too, in their humility. Where graceful youth should have filled their features out, and touched them with its freshest tints, a stale and shrivelled hand, like that of age, had pinched, and twisted them, and pulled them into shreds. Where angels might have sat enthroned, devils lurked, and glared out menacing. No change, no degradation, no perversion of humanity, in any grade, through all the mysteries of wonderful creation, has monsters half so horrible and dread.

Scrooge started back, appalled. Having them shown to him in this way, he tried to say they were fine children, but the words choked themselves, rather than be parties to a lie of such enormous magnitude.

"Spirit, are they yours?" Scrooge could say no more.

"They are Man's," said the Spirit, looking down upon them. "And they cling to me, appealing from their fathers. This boy is Ignorance. This girl is Want. Beware them both, and all of their degree, but most of all beware this boy, for on his brow I see that written which is Doom, unless the writing be erased. Deny it!" cried the Spirit, stretching out its hand towards the city. "Slander those who tell it ye. Admit it for your factious purposes, and make it worse. And abide the end."

"Have they no refuge or resource?" cried Scrooge.

"Are there no prisons?" said the Spirit, turning on him for the last time with his own words. "Are there no workhouses?"

The bell struck twelve

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Apres ca, le deluge

One quiet moment this morning that I have stolen before the troops come for Thanksgiving. 22 blessings to be fed at my table today.

Hope everyone has a fabulous thanksgiving. Please, let's remember those soldiers who should be home today but who are not.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Good Cop, Bad Cop

One of these guys steps over the line all the time. One of these guys will never cross the line. Somedays you need a scorecard.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

It is all beginning to make sense, Part II

They're not swallowing it as easily as they used to. Still, we have our ways.

Wiped from the mortal coil

From Wikipedia:
According to Charmin makers Procter & Gamble, a 1978 survey found that "Mr. Whipple" was the third best-known American, behind only recently-ousted President Richard Nixon and evangelist Billy Graham.

And now they're all gone.*

From TV Acres:
Prior to his Charmin involvement, [Dick] Wilson had been a stand up comic, stuntman, acrobat, and a movie actor. Dick's Mr. Whipple character gave him such a high profile that his career in movies was basically over. After all who wants to see Mr. Whipple kissing or killing somebody. Wilson's TV credits included the role of a local drunk on BEWITCHED for nine years; a cop on THE MUNSTERS; Colonel Gruber on HOGAN'S HEROES; and Dino Baroni on MCHALE'S NAVY.

*I know. Just kidding.

What's wrong with this advertisement?

Smiling mother: "This Friday morning I'll be going to Wal-Mart. Because I'm known as the coolest mom on the block. And I want to keep it that way".


Monday, November 19, 2007

They'll take our jobs

But they won't take our dollars.

India: Tourist Sites Refuse the Dollar

Published: November 17, 2007

The Ministry of Culture has begun insisting that tourists visiting the country’s monuments, including the Taj Mahal, pay the entrance fees in rupees rather than in dollars. Entrance to many sites for foreign tourists is priced in dollars and then converted to rupees, but the ministry has been losing tourism revenue as the dollar slid more than 12 percent this year against the rupee. The government had fixed a $5 entrance fee for World Heritage sites like the Taj Mahal and Humayun’s Tomb and $2 for other monuments at a time when the dollar was worth about 50 rupees. It is now worth around 39 rupees. The new rate for Heritage sites is 250 rupees, meaning a foreign tourist will pay the equivalent of about $6.50

Wundrun's True Employment Tales

One of the features of Monkey Muck, written by that awesome typewriting Monkey, Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein is his "True Employment Tales".

Though the last time I received a paycheck with my name on it was four and a half years ago, I have had a very wide variety of odd jobs in my background. So, to shamelessly steal ideas from my betters, I bring you installment one of Wundrun's True Employment Tales:

Dirty Board Game Assembler

(the photo is not of the actual game)

My day job was a very crappy outside sales job, which I will save for a later installment. My roommate had a friend who published board games that are sold in adult book stores and at places like Spencer Gifts. In the evenings we would go to a very old, dark, cold warehouse to put together the pieces of the board game. Little mini whips, little mini blind folds, little mini erotica. There was sort of a makeshift assembly line so I felt like Lucy and the chocolates except rather than something you could eat, there were just little plastic collars to try to get into each box quickly.

The main thing I remember about the job is feeling really sad for anyone that would think sitting around playing erotic board games would be fun. I ain't saying I'm against getting a little silly when the drawers are down, but this game just seemed ...boring. I mean, if you're naked and you can't figure out what to do, I doubt a board game is going to expand your horizons.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Because I do what Splotchy says to do.

Here I am linking to I,Splotchy. Just because he said to. Now, you go and link to me linking to Splotchy and someday there will be numerous non-Ugandan riches in it for all of us. Except latecomers who will henceforth be called 'suckers'.

Also, while doing what Splotchy says to do, I'd like you to know that I recently removed the word verification from my comments section. Hellz, if non-humans want to drive up traffic at Maison de Wundrun go right ahead little spiderbots or whatever you are called. That might actually earn me some money someday, too.

I think word verification comes with spyware, wherein someone in the sublevels of a really shitty office building (Joe v. the Volcano kinda) gets to watch increasing levels of frustration as you type 8 new nonsense words just so your incredibly pithy comment will not be relegated to the forgotten tendrils of electronic whispry. (WTF does that mean? I don't know, I just typed it, and no-I'm not drunk).

Housekeeping meeting is now closed.

When can we declare these people clinically brain dead?

Under the headline "At present we are losing our country, but our fate is in our hands" a commenter on the website "The View from the Right" writes:

That the leading Republican candidates are participating in a Spanish language debate ["Really terrible news"] is indeed terrible news. What is one to do? I don't even think I am such a "traditionalist." How can people just watch this go on and not feel at all disturbed by it?

From my experience in pointing out this surge of Spanish language translations being put on every product and sign and brochure, it seems that people just don't see anything wrong with it.

Last summer I went to a Mets game, for the first time in a long time. The game programs at Shea Stadium now include Spanish translations of everything [blogger's note: *gasp!*]--all the headings, positions, etc. So, for one thing, the page is just jammed with text now, with the English and Spanish words and phrases being placed next to each other in the same lines, so it is one big long line of text separated by a slash. What I find particularly egregious is that surely no Hispanic baseball fan doesn't know all the English terminology already. They are not even real Spanish-language words, since they are almost all "Spanglish" or transliterations from English. (beisbol, honrun)

Mets games programs published in Spanish? Oh the horror, oh the coming apocalypse. I bet these Mets players are outraged, too:

Ambiorix Burgos, Dominican Republic
Willie Collazo, Puerto Rico
Pedro Juan Feliciano, Puerto Rico
Orlando Hernandez, Cuba
Pedro Martinez, Dominican Republic
Guillermo Mota, Dominican Republic
Juan Padilla, Puerto Rico
Oliver Perez, Mexico
Duaner Sanchez, Dominican Republic
Jorge Sosa, Dominican Republic
Ramon Castro, Puerto Rico
Carlos Delgado, Puerto Rico
Ruben Gotay, Puerto Rico
Anderson Hernandez, Dominican Republic
Jose Reyes, Dominican Republic
Carlos Beltran, Puerto Rico
Endy Chavez, Venezuela
Carlos Gomez, Dominican Republic

18 of 33 players on the Mets roster were born in Spanish speaking countries.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

It is all beginning to make sense.

(AP) -- Tiny robots programmed to act like roaches were able to blend into cockroach society, according to researchers studying the collective behavior of insects. Cockroaches tend to self-organize into leaderless groups, seeming to reach consensus on where to rest together.
For example, when provided two similar shelters, most of the group tended to gather under the same one.

Hoping to learn more about this behavior, researchers led by Jose Halloy at the Free University of Brussels, Belgium, designed small robots programmed to act like a cockroach.

The robots didn't look like the insects and at first the roaches fled from them, but after the scientists coated the robots with pheromones that made them smell like roaches the machines were accepted into the group, nesting together with the insects.

Given a choice, roaches generally prefer a darker place and the robots were programmed to do the same.

When given a choice of a darker or lighter shelter, 75 percent of the cockroaches and 85 percent of the robots gathered under the darker one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

The President in the Swimming Pool

America's best senator happens to live not in my neighborhood, but about one neighborhood over, maybe a mile or so away. 'Jesus, Jess' you say. 'We had no idea you were a swell, living the high life in an exurban mansion accessible only through a large, protective, moat-like, gated barrier.'

Friends! I am not such a person, because the senator is not Trent Lott or John D. Rockefeller. The senator is Russ Feingold, and he really is a smack-dab-in-the-middle of middle America guy. My neighborhood is made up of older ranch style houses with unfinished basements and one car garages. (The Senator has a 2 car garage).

It is possible to run into Senator Feingold all over town. About a year ago, I saw him swimming laps in the lap pool at our health club. "Health Club!" you snort, "sounds prestigious!" "Not at all," I answer. "Just like the Y, and locally owned!"

I told my daughter that the next president of the United States was in the pool. Sadly, only a short time after we saw him he made the announcement that he would not be running for president. Still, whenever we walk past the lap pool my daughter asks "is that the president's swimming pool?"

If My Friends Could See Me Now

At about noon today I was sitting in front of my stove watching the dial on my steam canner maintain 10lbs pressure for 30 minutes (beets) while starting the second of a pair of socks I'm knitting.

Nobody who knew me 20 years ago, hell, nobody who knew me 10 years ago would believe it.

A Platform for Protest



It seems that bridge players everywhere are clutching their pearls over this outrageous act of defiance by the US team as it accepted the Venice Cup Women's championship award in Shanghai last month.

These women may receive sanctions that will keep them from playing bridge professionally for a year.

According to the NY Times: '
The proposed sanctions would hurt the team’s playing members financially. “I earn my living from bridge, and a substantial part of that from being hired to compete in high-level competitions,” Debbie Rosenberg, a team member, said. “So being barred would directly affect much of my ability to earn a living.”'

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Maybe he should put little stickers on the insoles

to tell the left shoe from the right shoe.

It works for my 4yo.

(Image swiped from Commander Other's Otherwhirled)

Update: I think Franiam has helped solve the dilemma: Bush is so far right he refuses to wear the left shoe.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

One more reason to be a locavore (or E. Coli is A.Ok with the USDA)

A locavore is a person who puts buying locally at the top of her priorities when shopping for anything. Barbara Kingsolver wrote a book about extreme locavory - her family spent a year eating nothing that was not produced within a few miles of her home, each family member claiming an exemption for something non-native to Virginia, coffee for one, chocolate for another.

Buying organic is good, but not so much if your organic bib lettuce had to be shipped in a petroleum- based plastic container the size of a baby bathtub across country on a diesel truck or train.

Thanks particularly to nationally centralized chains like Wal-Mart, it becomes more and more difficult by the day to purchase local meat. Yes, it can be done but it takes a lot of leg work and planning.

Today I read a report that the US Department of Agriculture allows millions of pounds of E.coli tainted beef to be sold in the US. The loophole allows pre-cooked meat with E.coli to be sold to the general public and to schools. USDA officials don't believe an E.coli outbreak will occur from the cooked meat, but some inspectors claim this year's rise in cases is due to the practice. In addition, it raises the possibility that allowing E.coli inside processing plants will also contaminate raw meat.

Pre-cooked hamburgers use the suspect meat. So too, does any of that convenience food busy moms and dads lean on--those crock pot dinners, pre-cooked stir fries and so on. Burritos, taquitos-any frozen food you buy with pre-cooked beef inside could be tainted.

From the Chicago Tribune: "
"The government keeps putting out that we've reduced E. coli by 50 percent and all of that," said an inspector. "And we haven't done nothing. We've just covered it up."

The reason that locavores are safer than others is that small, local processing plants are much, much less likely to be involved in meat recalls and tainted food. Like everything else in the free trade movement, meat that comes from processing plants that pay skilled workers decent wages are better on many, many levels. This is just one.

Wine people, Beer people

We went to a fancy wine tasting Saturday night at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee. The Pfister is a beautiful old downtown hotel. It is only slightly tainted (sorry, splotchy) for me due to some unfortunate remarks made by the musician Beck when he stayed there during Summerfest. He compared the name of the grand old hotel to an act usually engaged in by homosexual men, portrayed rather unvarnished in the movie Caligula. Wow, I digress like Dennis Miller on crank.

I know beer people and I know wine people. They are very different. Here's my guess why: beer people make batches. Those batches don't keep. You put the happy in the bottle now. Very few beer people get really rich, but many, many try. Wine people make vintages. Much is left to the caprice of the weather; ocean breeze, rain, sun; bugs; timing. Wine keeps and everyone thinks they can get rich off of wine. Either by making your own or by making a buy low/sell high choice on something you've cellared.

Wine people compulsively brag about their cellars. They brag about a wine they tasted somewhere and how lucky they were to have a thimbleful. Beer people don't cellar, so they are a less snobby bunch. Some beer stakes its claim on terroir-the unique combination of global positioning and soil minerals that effects the hops, but not much. They aim for consistency.

Wine people say that it takes a lot of beer to make good wine. Beer people never say that it takes a lot of wine to make good beer.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Happy Birthday to my favorite world traveler

Happy 50th, Franiam! Many happy trails to you, kid.

Happy Veterans Day

Happy Veterans Day to my dad and all the other men and women who have served in the Armed Forces.

Veterans day tidbit: the current 110th Congress less than 25% of its members who are veterans, the lowest number since WWII. The end of the draft is partly responsible for this fact.

Another veterans day tidbit: Larry Craig, the heterosexual senator from Idaho is an Army veteran. He served in the Army Reserves where it was his duty was to visit high schools and impress upon swarthy young high school students the exciting opportunities awaiting them in the army. He was discharged due to a medical problem with his, I kid you not, feet. Others say it is because it was discovered that he was gay. Which we know is not true because the senator is not now, nor has he ever been, gay.

Update: Another tidbit: Mitch McConnell was an army man for 10 whole days before being discharged. The rumor is that he fondled a privates privates. Of course, McConnell is not gay anymore than he-men Craig or Lindsay Graham for that matter, so one simply must be amazed at the length to which republicans will go to get themselves excused from service in time of war.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Who's Bugging Me Now

It's one thing to be a corporate tool. It's entirely different if you build your whole persona on being just the opposite. Is it irony or hypocrisy for Buffett to speak out about endangered species, to take a bit role in Carl Hiaasen's movie "Hoot" which has an environmental anti-overdevelopment message, all the while building 44 Cheeseburger in Paradise Restaurants and at least a dozen Margaritaville Resorts? The Margaritaville in Negril has helped change Negril from a laid back hippie enclave to an all-inclusive nightmare. BTW, friends at a small hotel are losing their beach. Hurricanes are largely responsible, but so too is the overdevelopment of the north end of the beach where Margaritaville, now joined by a dozen other all-inclusives, is located.

Remember Dennis Kozlowski, shamed CEO of Tyco? He threw a 2 million dollar birthday party for his wife - guess who was the entertainer? Jimmy Buffett. He was paid $250,000 for the bash. Here's a question, though. Why does a guy who nets 25 mil a year from concerts alone (not to mention what he makes writing books, building chain restaurants and theme hotels, plus royalties) go to the mediterranean for a $250k gig?


How is Buffett different than a guy like Rush Limbaugh whose schtick is hating on the French and the Cubans all the while filling his fat gullet with French wine and Cuban cigars?

Just wondering.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

I love this blog!

Axis of Evil Knievel

I found this blog on Pygalgia's blogroll about a week ago. The only thing that I don't like is that the author doesn't publish every day.

On the days that he does publish, he puts up an article about an outrage that occurred on that day in history. His tagline is "Another day, another pointless atrocity".

I'm obsessed.

Qwinky Dink, Dr. Dictionary?

Do you think there is anything behind the selection of today's Word of the Day?

Just wondering.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Ersatz Children's Holidays

Plug in your fogey-scope here's my 'when I was a kid' diatribe.

There are three holidays from my childhood that have disappeared.


The night that the TV channels put on their Saturday morning line-up preview. Friends would come over to watch. It was a big deal. Cartoons were only on Saturday mornings for about 4 hours, and new seasons started every year in September like clockwork. You can understand the obvious reasons this children's holiday is gone.


Similar to the first, the night that "Wizard of Oz" was shown on television. You got to see "Wizard of Oz" once a year, and it was stay home and watch it special. This holiday died with the advent of the betamax.


The day the JC Penney or Sears wish book arrived in the mail. Hours were lost contemplating the treasures located within. I can still smell those books, feel the glossy paper in my fingers and hear the soft crinkly sound of pages turning. Ah, childhood longing. It was all there in those books. The closest we come now are Lillian Vernon catalogs or the Sunday Toys 'R' Us flyer. Lame by comparison.

(We were a Penney's family. My first lesson in diversity was that some families were Sears families. They were different, yes, but we had to accept that. Just like some people chose, inexplicably, to drive Fords.)

Monday, November 5, 2007

Conversations with a 4yo

She: Wow that was a big poop.

Me: Well, having a big poop is a sign that you are healthy

She: Then I am really, really healthy.

What're you talking about around the water cooler this morning?

Friday, November 2, 2007

Who is today's saint?

Answer: Nobody.

Today we remember All Souls. Yesterday we remembered All Saints. If you are dead and were never canonized today is your day!

According to my Saint-A-Day Guide:

Obviously not all of us are good enough for Heaven or bad enough for Hell. We can anticipate spending some afterlife remedial time atoning for our sins in the fires of Purgatory. Dante visited the place in 1300 and the Council of Florence made its existence a matter of Catholic dogma in 1439. But four centuries earlier a French pilgrim to the Holy Land chanced upon an opening in the earth through which the howls and moans of the suffering Souls could be heard. He told Abbot Odo of Cluny about it, and that good man immediately instituted the Feast of All Souls-the Day of the Dead, when Catholics the world over remember and pray for the souls of the Faithful departed. The notion of indulgences (which so upsets non-Catholics) simply means that our prayers, good deeds, and financial contributions to the parish here on earth can-if they are "offered up for the intentions of those souls-shorten their sentences.

Today is celebrated with joyful festivals in many Latin countries as "Dia de los Muertos". You might have a picnic in the graveyard and celebrate the life of a loved one who has passed. (Traditionally, children who have died are celebrated on Nov. 1st and adults are celebrated on Nov. 2nd). The Day of the Dead was an Aztec celebration that was co-opted by the Church and moved from the entire month of August to a single day in November.

If today's saints (souls) were alive today it would be impossible to get a seat on the bus or reservations at that cool new bistro.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Startling film footage that will rock the Monkey/Love campaign!!!

My mom went to an auction in Detroit. She bid on a box of miscellaneous kitschy stuff and found this old 8mm film in the bottom of the box. I just had to pass it along.

I was on the verge of announcing my endorsement of Dr. Monkey von Monkerstein, but this. This is making me rethink my allegiances. (Did you know that they called him 'Schlocky' von Monkerstein when he was a kid?)