Archive for the ‘Christmas’ Category

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

Friday, December 12th, 2014

Carolyn Hax 2014 Hootenanny of Holiday Horrors. (The good stuff starts about halfway down.)

My brother turned to me and said in a rather flat tone, “No standards today. If they are alive at the end of it, we win.”

The Dissolve’s “Worst films of 2014″.

Thank you, folks!

Tuesday, October 28th, 2014

I made a few pennies off of Amazon referrals this month, so thank you, my readers, for making purchases and helping fight off entropy for a little while longer.

I hope the person who ordered Young Men and Fire likes it as much as I did. And whoever ordered the My Little Pony Friendship is Magic 2 Inch PVC Figure Mystery Pack, good for you.

What am I going to buy with my Amazon earnings? Well, I already spent most of them on FloFost. I want to assure you, however, that one thing I will not be purchasing is this:

That does remind me, however: with the holiday season coming up, I need to dig out that Harlequin NASCAR Christmas romance collection and do a “Quaint and Curious” entry on it.

I’ve seen tax-fattened hyenas on fire off the shoulder of Bell…

Friday, July 25th, 2014

Teresa Jacobo, former city council person for the notoriously corrupt California city of Bell, was sentenced today. As you may recall, Ms. Jacobo was convicted earlier this year of misappropriating public funds, and struck a plea deal on additional charges.

And what do we have behind door #3 for Ms. Jacobo?

Two years in prison and “more than $242,000″ in restitution payments.

The prosecution had requested four years; it seems like they’ve been requesting four years for all the council members.

TMQ Watch: February 4, 2014.

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

And thus we slog to the end of another NFL season, and the end of another TMQ season. Surprisingly (at least to us) TMQ avoids any discussion of unrealistic television shows, but there’s a lot of discussion of books. Speaking of which, did you know TMQ had a new book out?

After the jump, the last TMQ for the 2013 NFL season


Bread blogging: experiment #1

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

This requires some background.

One of my Christmas presents was a box of smoked meat from Goode Company Barbecue in Houston. The meat itself has been very good so far. But included with the meat was a loaf of Goode Company’s Jalepeno Cheddar bread.

I was warned in advance: “This stuff is addictive. You’ll find yourself eating the whole loaf in one sitting.” Well, I wasn’t quite that bad (it took two sittings to finish the loaf), but it is very very good bread. I wouldn’t put it at the “crack cocaine” level; that’s reserved for Caramel deLites (or Samoas, depending on which part of the country you’re in). It is even better if you toast it and spread some of Trader Joe’s Pub Cheese on the toast, but that’s a digression.

(And by the way, Girl Scout cookie season is upon us again.)

Anyway, after I finished the loaf, I found myself saying the following: “Hey! I have a bread machine! How hard could it be to replicate their bread?”


Merry Christmas. (Part II)

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013


Blogger, with occasional reindeer.

(Why, yes, that reindeer’s nose is red.)

(Why, yes, as a matter of fact, you might even say it glows.)

Merry Christmas, everybody.

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Merry Christmas from the Los Angeles Times.

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

If you’re like me, and just a wee bit tired of Virginia, here’s a Christmas story you might enjoy (reprinted: it originally ran on Christmas Day in 1986).

This is a story that has everything: a dying child, an impossible request, and a gruff but kind hearted hard-drinking city editor. It is almost as if someone took many of the cliches of 1950s journalism and rolled them into a single morality tale.

He listened to the problem and told me to telephone the Secretary of Agriculture and have him clear the peaches when they arrived.
“It’s close to midnight,” I argued. “His office is closed.”
“Take this number down,” Reck said. “It’s his home. Tell him I told you to call.”

Merry Christmas from Doge.

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

Shaming the Pets — Does It Work?“, from Larry Harnisch at The Daily Mirror. Featuring two cute doggies and a sworn enemy of WCD.

Yeah, he was asking for it.

Merry Christmas from the Austin American-Statesman.

Tuesday, December 24th, 2013

It is the most celebrated letter to the editor and its reply the most celebrated editorial in American journalism.

Yes, that one.

In the summer of 1897, 8-year-old Virginia O’Hanlon sent a letter to The New York Sun asking if Santa Claus was real. An editorial writer named Frank Church was assigned the task of answering Virginia’s letter. Church’s response, published anonymously Sept. 21, is a Christmas classic.

Please, good sirs, do go on.

This story continues on our new premium website for subscribers,


Or you could read it on the Newseum website. On on the New York Daily News website. Or any number of other places where they don’t charge you to read something that (I strongly suspect, but you never know with US copyright law) is in the public domain.

I have a new (second) favorite Christmas song.

Saturday, December 21st, 2013

Second because it is hard to replace “Fairytale of New York” in my affections. Hattip to LawDog for this:

This is not suitable for children, or adults who have no sense of humor. And I would buy this in a heartbeat if it was available on iTunes or Amazon.

The 18th Brumaire of Louis Napoleon.

Saturday, December 14th, 2013

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I loved the “worst” lists published in various places. Jeff Millar‘s worst movies list in the HouChron. Siskel and Ebert’s “worst movies of the year” episode. High points, things I looked forward to every year.

(On a side note, it fills me with delight down to the bottom of my coal-black little heart that Siskel & has the complete 1992 worst up on their site. This is the year that Roger lost the coin flip and picked Shining Through as his worst movie of the year, complete with the interminable strudel scene. Really. I kid you not. Melanie Griffith just goes on. And on. AND ON. Here, watch for yourself:

Edited to add: Actually, go over to their web site and watch there, because whoever runs the site has decided to make embedded videos auto-play.

The Shining Through section begins at about 15:30, but you should really watch the whole thing.)

But things have changed. Siskel and Ebert and Millar are all dead. For a while, the AV Club was an acceptable substitute.

But this year’s AV Club is a little off. Take their worst movies of the year, for example. I admit I have not seen Planes (I don’t care for Pixar films) or A Good Day to Die Hard. But were they really among the worst movies of the year, in a year that included The Purge and The Incredible Burt Wonderstone? Worse than Last Vegas or the Carrie remake? At least Battle of the Year made their list. (Didn’t see it, but saw the trailer for it.)

Smurfs 2 came out this year. It isn’t on the AV Club list. Enough said.

Likewise, a “worst TV” list that doesn’t include Bob’s Burgers, Family Guy, or Raising Hope is pretty much worthless, and tells me that the AV Club writers are either on drugs or taking payoffs from Fox.

But there is one thing I can count on, although it technically isn’t a “worst” list (except maybe of family disasters): the Carolyn Hax Hootenanny of Holiday Horrors. The 2013 edition is here.

All of the sudden she stuck out her hand and bellowed “SPOOOOOON!” at which point someone meekly handed her a spoon and she proceeded to stir the gravy.

(And dryer lint really is great for starting fires. Especially with a flint and steel. At least, that’s what I learned in the Boy Scouts.)

Edited to add more: someone on the AV Club posted a link to “The Dissolve”, aka “Where Many of the AV Club’s Most Interesting Writers Went to Languish In Obscurity”. And they have their own worst list, which I find…kind of credible.

Yeah, okay, the Die Hard movie is on it, and Smurfs 2 isn’t, but they do get points for reminding me of some other candidates for year’s worst movie. For example, The Internship, aka “A Two Hour Long Commercial for Google”, and Movie 43. Might be worth keeping an eye on this site in 2014.