Good afternoon Widdershins. Here’s hoping your Thanksgiving and Yerwelcome Days were bountiful in the pleasant memories they produced for you and your families.
It must be December. Just like clockwork the one-sided “War on Christmas” has erupted in its annual skirmish. That inimitable wartime correspondent, Bill O’Reilly, armed with his faithful soapy loofahs, has once again sworn his perennial fealty in protecting the “good Americans” so they can “worshop” at the nearest mall of choice comforted with the Muzak of the season.
Last night’s breaking news from the war front: “Rhode Island has officially dubbed their celebratory state tree a Christmas tree instead of an atheistic conifer otherwise known as a Holiday tree.” Crisis avoided.
December also brings us a Congress where both Houses will be in simultaneous session for four overlapping days. That’s right — four whole days.
There’s quite a bit on the congressional to-do list. There’s things like immigration, worker job discrimination, increasing the minimum wage, unemployment benefits, retraining benefits for displaced workers, reforms to the tax code, a jobs bill, a water bill, confirming Janet Yellen for Fed Chair, numerous judicial vacancies, continuing the ban of plastic guns that fire real bullets, and a little worrisome thing hanging out there — funding the federal government.
Not to worry though, this Congress will be record-setting. The record they are set to break is for the least productive Congress in the history of the country. Previously that honor belonged to the 1995 Congress led by the “Gingrich who stole Congress” with a total of 88 public laws passed. This Congress, led by the burnt umber Boehner, has passed less than 60 public laws.
Let’s take an example of the illusive logic dogging these over-employed legislators who could be favorably compared to rutabagas in stretch wigs if it were not so insulting to root vegetables everywhere.
Without being able to definitively inflict the pain of a $40 Billion cut in food stamps, Congress has passed no farm bill. Without a farm bill, there are no commodity price supports. Without them, be prepared for milk costing $7.00 a gallon. That’ll teach those food stamp moochers who dare to splurge on milk for their children. Hopefully, it will teach the rest of us the corrosive futility of electing a bunch of people who believe the First Amendment should stop after, “Congress shall make no laws.”
There was a small article over the weekend that might shed some light on why Congress is so abysmally dysfunctional. The article recited the findings of a survey concluding that, “Americans don’t trust one another.” Only one-third of Americans say most people can be trusted. In 1972, one-half of Americans felt that way. Two data points result in an alarming trend line.
Regrettably, we see others not with the potentiality of goodness, but rather with a jaundiced eye of preordained potential for evil.
In explaining our wary nature, two-thirds of Americans say, “You can’t be too careful and you have to be suspicious in all your everyday encounters.” With crime falling in both the 1980s and 1990s and now at, or near, an all time low for violent crime, we have constructed personalized penitentiaries steeped in the mistrust of others.
With these self-imposed sentences of less civility and increased social isolation, we have lost a true sense of a shared national fate. It is no longer “united we stand,” but rather “divided we feel reinforced in the isolation of our mistrust.”
Is there any question why a fictitious ginned-up issue like a “War on Christmas” so conveniently exists? Or why it is such heresy to aspire toward healthcare coverage for those who face bankruptcy with an emergency room visit? Or why it is acceptable to carry handguns in churches, in bars, or even on playgrounds? We have withdrawn our helping hands and instead filled them with firearms to do battle not with an unseen foe, but with ourselves.
Maybe — just maybe, a Congress based on the loudest, angriest, least informed malcontent sitting in the back row at a town hall is more representative than we would dare to believe. I hope not.
This is an open thread.
Hello Widdershins! I hope your holiday was good, and that you spent time with those you wanted to spend time with, whomever they might be.
According to AAA, approximately 43 million Americans were supposed to travel this past week. My husband and I joined that mass and added about 800 miles onto our car over the Thanksgiving holiday. Our journey went from New York, to Virginia, to Maryland, to New Jersey, and finally back to New York.
The most stressful part of the trip was the first leg, from New York to Mineral, Virginia. (I swear, this place does exist.) We stuffed my brother and sister-in-law, along with their gifts, food and luggage, into our small car and started off around 1 pm Tuesday afternoon. Normally this would be about a 6 hour drive, but what with the nor’easter covering the I-95 corridor with pouring rain, accidents were many and traffic was at a standstill. All told, it was a 10.5 hour odyssey, made bearable only by good music on the radio, and good company in the car seats. Questionable highlights included:
- Stopping for bourbon (for cooking purposes of COURSE!) in rural Maryland, where we allegedly narrowly escaped being “deliveranced;”
- Stopping for food on the New Jersey Turnpike, where my brother could not get to his seat in the food court because the woman behind him was so fat, she couldn’t move her seat in far enough to let him pass;
- Stopping at a Taco Bell for a bio break, only to hear that the woman behind us in line for the ladies’ room had a friend who had just “busted her ass” on the soaking floor; and
- The epic fight hubby and I got into after we finally arrived and made it into our room in the big communal house, only to have him accidentally break a piece of glass on top of the dresser (which shattered, like movie glass made of spun sugar, into an self-regenerating nightmarish mess). This was my favorite part of all!!!1111!!!
I know that many of you do not travel for the holidays now, but I’m guessing you used to. Do you have any nightmare travel stories you’d like to share? If so, please do so in comments.
This is an otherwise open thread.
Good Sunday, Widdershins.
I don’t know how y’all are feeling, but I’m still semi-somnolent. The tryptophans are wearing off, but I’m still tired from Thanksgiving, exhausted and saddened by the end of CFB season, and looking around at the amount of stuff that needs to be done to get ready for Christmas. The BFF retrieved the Christmas stuff from my storage facility, and I do not exaggerate when I tell you that every flat surface of my living room, dining room, and hall are littered with potential joy. There’s just not a lot of time to be allotted for a post Thanksgiving collapse. Stimulus is required, and quickly, please.
I’ve made my list of five songs that might just get me going, and I’d appreciate your input. Please post any tunes that come to mind, and anything else that’s on your mind, in this wide open thread.
(1) Conga – Miami Sound Machine, 1985
(2) Shout – The Isley Brothers, 1967
(3) Save a Horse, Ride a Cowboy – Big and Rich, 2004
(4) Higher and Higher – Jackie Wilson, 1967
(5) Play That Funky Music – Wild Cherry, 1976
(6) Banana Boat Song – Harry Belafonte, 1956
Yes Fredster is shedding some tears here along with our chat I’m sure, as the regular season of college football comes to an end. LSU played their last game Friday against Arkansas for “the boot”, a gold-plated trophy in the shape of Louisiana and Arkansas. LSU won the game, but my God was it ugly. What can I say though, because it was a win and if the Tigers are lucky enough to win their bowl game that will give them a 10 and 3 season; nothing to sneeze at. The rest of the SEC will play today except for Ole Miss and Mississippi State who played Thanksgiving night. However, as chat reminded me, we still have the bowl games to go through. :-) So with that said let’s take a look at some of the things I’ve found that were amusing, odd, or otherwise interesting.
Okay this is an older one
I’ve had this bookmarked for awhile…perhaps because I wanted to avoid using it? Anyway, what could be worse than the HoneyBoo Boo clan or the Kardashian clan? Why the melding of the two into the Katrashaian Clan! Oh Miz Pat where are you?
Here’s Mama June and her band of deep fried balls of butter as Lucifer’s favorite whores the Kardashians.
Uncle Poodle and Mama June are Kim, Honey Boo Boo is Pimp Mama Kris, Chubbs is Khloe, Chickadee is Kourtney, Sugar Bear is Bruce and Pumpkin is Scott Isadick.
If the Kardashians had souls, had butter running through their veins instead of the black blood of Satan and were filled with cheese balls instead of Botox, this is exactly what they would look like. It’s perfect and a million times better than the real thing. If being the Sketti Sauce Queen of Georgia doesn’t work out for Mama June, she should be Kim Kardashian’s double. If she perfected the whole “dead-eyed whore” look, she’d be a dead ringer.
And yes indeed, here they are:
There’s nothing else I can add to this and now I can delete the link!
But I’m not done with the Kardashians!
It seems that Kim K. decided to hold an ebay auction of some of her clothes with the announcement that “a portion” of the proceeds would go to help the people in the Philippines who were affected by the typhoon that hit.
“Hi guys, this is a very special auction because a portion of the proceeds of my eBay auction are going to International Medical Corps, a nonprofit organization that provides critical health services on remote islands where families are struggling to access medical care and basic resources like food, clean drinking water and vital medications,” she explained.
“The proceeds will go directly to the communities they’re serving in the Philippines and will help typhoon survivors get access to medical care and ultimately save lives,” she noted before adding, “My prayers and thoughts are with those affected by the typhoon. Check out my eBay auction here and support those who need our help in the Philippines.
What she didn’t disclose was that she was going to donate a lousy ten percent of the proceeds to this nonprofit. Grrr!!! If we don’t hear from Pat, I do hope that Socalannie will give us a comment since she’s actually been, like, up close and personal (within the same room) with them. Bleh!
Puhleeze say it ain’t so!!
Geez, I didn’t even know he was a grandfather, but Mick Jagger is about to become a great-grandfather!
Jagger’s daughter Jade says that her own 21-year-old daughter Assisi is due to give birth in early 2014.
The 70-year-old Rolling Stones frontman has seven children and four grandchildren. Jade Jagger told the paper that the new milestone doesn’t seem like such a huge deal to him now. “I think making Mick a grandfather obviously had a big impact whereas, now, making him a great-grandfather is no longer particularly fascinating,” she said. “My dad has always been great at keeping the family together and having those important moments – Christmas parties, his birthday. We’ll be spending New Year’s Eve together, nearly all of us [in Mustique].”
Sheesh! I sorta feel like I should go pick out my urn now!
I’m sure you’re tired of Black Friday stories
However, I have to admit this one is kind of cute as far as they go. Annie Luck lives in Anchorage Alaska, not exactly known for balmy temperatures in November. She was shopping for her three teenaged sons and saw some things at Best Buy that looked pretty good. So Annie was there at Best Buy Wednesday at 4:00 pm. Now she was no “dummy” so to speak. She wore “five pairs of pants and five shirts to stay warm in 16-degree temperatures.”. But Annie wasn’t going to be encamped in line at the store. Annie had a better idea:
The 53-year-old Anchorage woman set up a lawn chair at 4 p.m. Wednesday, local time, to stake out first place in line for the opening of Best Buy 26 hours later. She spent part of Wednesday night sleeping in her car. A dummy in a face mask and construction hat held her place. She figured she could save $1,100 by getting to the store early for two laptop computers and three iPods.
I’m just wondering what the person behind her, the 2nd in line felt about the dummy occupying space?
A few youtube videos
These two fellows were down under in Oz, when what pops up on their windshield but a red-bellied black snake, a poisonous critter native to Australia. There are two clips and there is profanity in them.
And part two:
Again, sorry about the profanity but these two guys were hilarious!
A guy on a motorcycle goes 300kph (184mph) on the Germany autobahn (their federal expressway), and then you see him pull into the right lane to let some guy pass him, because you wouldn’t want the slow guy, going nearly 200 miles an hour, to cause a traffic jam.
Watch the speedometer on the motorcycle. You can get some clear looks at it. You can see where he drops down to 180 kph and then accelerates back up. Yikes! Oh I checked and 288 kph = 178.9 mph. And your Fredster here freaks when he gets on I-65 and folks are doing 75-80 passing me by. LOL!
Okie-doke that’s it for today. Let me know below how your day is going. I’ll be watching some college football trying to catch as many games as possible.
Hear ye, hear ye Widdershinners! I propose we start a new tradition and it starts today. Instead of fretting about what obscene wee hour Black Friday shopping starts, the new tradition I propose is to take this day after Thanksgiving to think about how many times we have been fortunate enough to utter a simple, “Your welcome,” in our daily lives.
Thanksgiving is a good day to take stock of all things for which we are thankful. Taking Friday to assess how many times we have done something worthy of a “thank you,” seems fitting.
We all have buckets of emotional energy. The best way to fill our buckets with positive energy is to fill the buckets of others with good words or good deeds and to keep our dippers out of the buckets of others. See, the parable of The Dipper and the Bucket.
Negativism is easy. It isn’t the product of particularly stellar intellectual activity. It is common and pedestrian. It saps life energy. It is polarizing and stultifying. It isn’t happy-making.
Positivity in thought and deed is just the opposite. It buoys our hearts, our souls, and our minds. It makes us better people. It rewards us with the smiles of those we may meet later on our life’s journey. It challenges us to lift our eyes from the ground to the horizon and beyond. Positivity is the antidote for the commonplace and the elixir of the exceptional.
Counting your “yer welcomes” is a good way to take stock. It is a small bit of self-indulgence paying dividends far better than a trip to the mall or another turkey sandwich.
While saying thanks is always important, being able to utter a “your welcome” means you have left the world a little better place by word or deed. That is indeed worth celebrating.
This is an open thread.
Happy Thanksgiving, Widdershins, and a good Thankgivukah to our Jewish Widdies as well. Thaksgiving is a time for friends and family to gather and reflect on the blessings of the year before, It is my great honor to assemble my candidates for the Annual Widdershins Thanksgiving Playlist, so before I go join my family and local friends, let me just say how much I have come to cherish the friends that I have made here at TW. Y’all mean a great deal to me.
So, without further ado, here are my choices. Please add yours, and anything else that you might like, to this open Thanksgiving thread.
(1) Sweet Potato Pie – James Taylor and Ray Charles
(2) Charlie Brown’s Thanksgiving Theme – Vince Guaraldi
(3) Alice’s Restaurant – Arlo Guthrie
(4) Thank God I’m a Country Boy – John Denver
(5) Homeward Bound – Simon and Garfunkel
Madamab is in travel mode, but not for work. She’s on the way to visit for Thanksgiving and let’s hope she makes it with the weather the way it is lining up. When she asked if one of us could do the Wednesday post for her and why, I immediately thought of the hilarious movie about turkey-day travel or travails! What can you say about holiday travels nowadays? It’s torture, that’s what you can say. If you are flying you have worries about the weather, as we do this year, and you get to be up close and extremely personal with your friendly TSA employee, plus deal with an entire lot of people you’d really, really, really rather not get to know that well while barreling through the skies in a tin can. If you are traveling by train you mainly have options only in the northeast or if you happen to live on or near the few train routes we have in this country. Also, forget it if you are thinking cross-country unless you leave several days before your holiday celebration. There’s always “the dog” aka Greyhound, but most of us don’t want to relive any scenes from Midnight Cowboy. There is a new option in bus travel called megabus which looks interesting, and they also have wi-fi on the buses! They even look halfway decent as you can see from the picture below:
All of this is to lead up to the movie, Planes, Trains and Automobiles, which I guess we’ve all seen at one time or another and have probably been able to sympathize with. How perfectly it described the nightmare of trying to get from point A to point B around Thanksgiving!
The movie featured Steve Martin as the fastidious business traveler who gets bumped from first class into “steerage” sitting next to John Candy as the perfect slob.
The movie is just a complete laugh riot all the way through and perfectly described the horrors of holiday traveling, closed airports and tacky motels, especially the tacky motels when you have to share a room and a bed with a perfect stranger!
And let’s not forget Steve Martin’s encounter with the rental car lady!
another good one here:
The one which had me almost fall onto the floor, laughing so hard:
And lastly, the car rental scene involving the worlds worst car rental agent (note - copious use of the F word!) :
Okay Widdershins, I hope all who may have been: in the air, on the road or riding the rails have or will soon be arriving at their destinations with no problems and hope you have a GREAT Thanksgiving! Should you still have a loved one who is traveling by air this holiday you can check the FlightAware Misery Map here.