Friday, January 29, 2016

Depressed? Then Stop By And Cry With Ten Things Of Thankful!!!

Did you ever get so pissed off at the world that you didn't care if you lived or died?

Have you ever felt like God's whipping boy ... continuously taking lashes for every bad thing that ever happened?

Remember the time that no matter how hard you tried to be positive, everything turned out to be a negative that was thrown in your face?

Did you ever find yourself in a losing situation with nowhere to go but deeper and deeper into the mire?

Was there ever a time in your life where the good times out weighed the bad and you thought they'd never end?

When was the last time you were able to take a few minutes to appreciate what you had instead of being pressured for more of what you didn't?

Did you ever gaze into a mirror wondering why some people had all the luck and you had none?

Have you ever wondered how some people constantly hit the winning numbers on scratch off tickets and daily Pick Three lotteries?

What new excuse did you come up with to tell the bill collectors when your car payment was due and your money wasn't enough?

Do you remember what it was to have been a big fish at one time, only to find yourself ashore suffocating without water now?

Did you ever want to spend time with the kids you didn't have time to spend with when they were young ... and still don't?

Sound like the opening to a 
depression medicine commercial?

Sound like an elderly person looking at their life 
and living in regret?

Sound like a television news psychologist making excuses
 for someone going ballistic and using a toy gun 
to fake out police officers in hopes of committing suicide?

Sound like your life?

Let's see if this can take your mind off of things for a while.


 Forget your troubles, grab a cup of tea, and read on to this week's edition of 
TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL!!!
This Week, I'm Thankful For ...

1)  ... a Masonic Temple massacre has been averted.  Samy Mohamed Hamzeh was arrested by the FBI this week on illegal weapons charges as a plan to use machine guns to kill at least thirty people in a Milwaukee Masonic Temple was thwarted.  In his report, he stated that his group was Muslim and that it would be an act that if the hit had been executed, it would have been known all over the world.  It was to be in defense of Islam.


I've had many Muslim friends over the years, especially during my time in the 
Middle East.  This is obviously an extremist that is not indicative of those
 I knew, or the millions like them.  However, the ideas expressed by
 this individual included that he, and those like him, 
were fighting on the front lines of a war.  

People, the war has come to America.  Stop being naive and think otherwise.  
For decades, we have watched bombings and daily terrorist activities take
 place overseas.  True, we had our own experience on 9/11 and a few more 
since then.  If you don't believe in a religion or God, you are as much a target
 as the Christians that do.  You are the "devil" in the eyes of an extremist.  

So, if a person comes up to you on the street and asks you where to purchase 
machine guns and bombs, please use discretion in giving them directions.

2) ... Argentina is facing the worst plague of locusts in fifty years.  Over 1.7 million acres in northern Argentina is covered by the insects.  In hopes of stopping the plague, officials are fumigating the young insects.


I guess age does have its benefits!


In a special ad campaign, chocolate covered grasshoppers are now on sale at your favorite specialty store.  However, remember, though the insects can be tasty, chocolate may add inches to your waistline!

3)  ... those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it.  A San Diego Televangelist, Morris Cerullo, wants to build a Christian themed resort in Mission Valley.  Designs for this include over 120 timeshare suites, a biblical museum, a 20 feet high version of the Wailing Wall, a dome theater, and some catacombs.


It's a shame Jim Bakker's Heritage USA has been sold and developed. 
Maybe Cerullo could perform the park's first exorcism on the remaining
property by getting rid of the ghost of Tammy!

4)  ... a new study on coffee, tea and chocolate that proves it safe!  The University of California San Francisco states that heart palpitations, heart fluttering, or other heart maladies.  Researchers say it's time for doctors to "lighten up" on their stand against these drinks.


In a related story, several energy drink companies have fired their 
public relations firms for not foreseeing the coffee findings.  

"Damn" said one CEO, 
"Just as we were replacing java as the morning drink of choice!"

5)  ... Zika Virus may be transmitted by sex!  Yep, here's another virus for you.  The Zika Virus, which can cause brain defects and paralysis in babies, has been shown to have possibly been transmitted by sex.  


Okay, here's the typical joke, 
"Damn, what are babies doing having sex?"

Done laughing, yet?

Okay, so, if it is transmitted that way, I'm safe.  
So is my wife.

That's what 36 years of marriage does for you

Anyone want to add the element of danger to their life?

Please?

6)  ... Puerto Rico confirms eighteen new cases of the Zika Virus.


Someone's having sex.

San Juan, here I come!

7)  ... President Obama will be proposing plans to aid (?) Americans in saving for retirement.  These plans include automatically enrolling all workers in I.R.A.'s and making it easier to keep their savings when changing jobs, regardless of their income level.  

Okay, for those of you that love the President, this will make you mad, as
 I simply consider him another politician like all the rest (regardless of party)
 making money for big business.  Think about this ... how much money 
has insurance companies gained in new premiums paid now that 
health insurance is mandatory in the United States.  


So, after filling the pockets of the insurance companies, 
why not do the same for the banks? 


 Automatic means "mandatory" in Washington.  So, regardless of how little 
you're being paid, a chunk of your paycheck will go to the banks, of which 
will be more than happy to take out their maintenance fees.  You may
 not have a home to live in, nor be able to pay either the premiums for
 the health insurance you're required to have (or the fines for not having it), 
but you'll be forced to put money into an I.R.A.

So, if you want something special, you'd better do it now
while you can still afford to do so.

I'm going to San Juan!  

8) .. the snowstorm that covered the Midwest and Eastern United States this last weekend. Snowfall was between 5 to 40 inches in various places, and is basically mostly gone by now.  Ho-hum. 

 Nothing like a little snow to bring families together to drink milk and eat bread.
(If you don't get this you didn't read last week's TTOT post.  Your fault!)

9) ... Whole Foods has recalled 74,000 pounds of store brand frozen pizza.  No, there's no illness to fear.  However, the "uncured beef pepperoni" on the label is really "pork".  Whole foods blamed the mistake on a change of suppliers (that couldn't friggin' read English and tell the difference between "Uncured Beef Pepperoni" and "Pork").


So, if you're a Muslim, or any other group that doesn't eat pork 
(the other white meat), then you'll probably be ticked off.   
Just beware of a man named Samy that is looking to purchase 
machine guns and bombs in front of your local "Whole Foods" grocery.

10)  ... Oregon has been chosen for the third year in a row to be the most popular state in the United States to move to.  South Carolina came in second.  In contrast, New Jersey has had more people move out of the state, followed by New York.  


Okay, since this has happened in Oregon, housing prices have increased
 11% from the same time last year.  Otherwise, I can only guess that the moves 
are an effort to negate the strong conservative vote in South Carolina, and 
other areas of the Deep South by saturating them with the liberals 
from the Northeast.  After all, it is an election year.

But ... I'm still going to San Juan!


See ya next week!

Ciao!



And SMILE!!!!




**Btw, your comments are always appreciated!


Friday, January 22, 2016

Blizzard Panic, Pimento Loaf and Ten Things of Thankful!!!

The warnings are being blared from every local television and radio.  We are in for it!  


(Ever wonder what "it" actually is?  Patience.  I'll tell you in a second or so.)  

People are freaking out!  They run around like crazed animals, grasping every possible container and package they can wrap their sweaty palms around.  The frenzy presents itself regardless of the words of caution being broadcast over the store's speakers.

The panic is there, whether you want to admit it or not.  You attempt to stay far away from the madness but it's contagious.  Slowly it sinks into your psyche, as painlessly as a tick sinking its jaws into your flesh.  And, as statistics rise, it proves that you, too, can be infected by the malady that appears too many times in too many cities in too many countries this time of the year.


A snowstorm has been forecast!!!!!

What is it that makes a person lose their sanity whenever the threat of snow comes around?  You'd think that the Walking Dead television series had come to life and we were all looking at the last supplies that would ever be manufactured.  A family that normally eats a loaf of bread a week purchases 4 loaves as the terror of being without takes over.  The same occurs with milk, bottled water, lunch meats ... even potato chips!  

Have they forgotten last year ... the year before ... and the year before that?  Most had passages cleared within a matter of a couple of days.  Electrical power stayed on, gas lines still supplied heating fuel, and Pay Per View ordering exceeded all expectations!

And, when all was said and done, two loaves of bread sported a green fungus, a gallon of milk (partially solid with age), and three packages of Pimento Loaf (proving no one would eat it even in case of an emergency) were tossed in the trash as a Large Pepperoni Pizza was delivered by Pizza Hut.

Are weathermen paid by grocery stores to create this type of panic so the stores can minimize their losses by cleaning their shelves out once a year?  If so, why has the public been so dense in catching on to the ploy?  

I think it is actually the sole purpose of the Boy Scouts Of America.  As a Boy Scout, one is taught to always "Be Prepared."  This puts a subconscious order in our brains for future use.  The order is later triggered by a weatherman saying, "There's a threat of snow."  KaBANG!!!  The order explodes in our brains, our eyes develop a silver glaze, and off to the grocery store we go.

What?  Not everyone is a Boy Scout?

Of course not!  I know that.  However, with today's politically correct society and its "herd" mentality, all it takes is a few upstanding citizens (of course, former Boy Scouts) to lead the charge.  Before you know it a stampede is taking place and the cash registers are chinging and changing and buzzing at full speed.


And that, boys and girls, is how first quarter profits are made.  

Now, how about a glass of milk and a Pimento Loaf sandwich?


And now, tighten up your pajamas and put on your spec's as it's time for this week's 

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL!!!!

SEE ALL GREAT TTOT POSTS HERE!!!!!

This Week I'm Thankful For ...


1)  ... Sarah Palin for dooming Donald Trump's run for the office of President of the United States by becoming a supporter of his.  Sometimes, the most simple of things can have the greatest importance.



(All she needs to do now is go home to Alaska, 
try to see Russia from her bedroom window, 
and dream of Pimento Loaf sandwiches.)

2)  ... a teenage boy being taken by the police from high school after substituting "ISIS" for "The United States Of America" during the Pledge of Allegiance.  


However, this isn't as simple as it just sounded.

The youth was witnessed doing this in October of last year.  It went before the school board before being handed over to the police.  Then, the police handed it over to the Department of Homeland Security.  Now, it seems as though the police are involved again as they just picked up the boy this week.


Nothing like speed and diligence during the holiday season.

So, where is the boy now?  Back at school!  The Ansonia, Ct. police have decided that the youth poses no threat at this time.  

Why do I see a headline in the future over this?  

3) ... TSA for confiscating 2,653 guns last year in airport luggage.  Of that number, over 80% were loaded.  Needless to say it was a record year.

A record year?  Yep, for dumb asses!

People, TSA has been checking bags for over a decade.  It's there jobs to find anything that even remotely resembles a gun, bomb, or flammable liquid.  Even an idiot, which many of the TSA employees may be, can get good at their jobs if they do it long enough.  A decade is definitely long enough!  


So, why in the hell are you still trying to carry guns onboard the plane?  
You don't really think you'll get away with it, do you?

Or, do you?

Dumb ass!

4)  ...United States Marines for not letting a young man join the Corps because of a "Southern Pride" tattoo he had on is waist.  Supposedly, it's offensive to sport a Confederate Flag tattoo now in the USMC.  The young man said it was to show that he wasn't a racist and didn't know what to do now as he'd planned only on the military for his future.

Okay, before this blows out of proportion and I'm accused of not supporting the military, let me say I was in the military and gave them four years of my life in return for an honorable discharge.  

Now, the good stuff.  Marines are known to be America's "Toughest Fighting Force", if by no one else but Marines.  (Navy Seals will debate that any time of the day.)  Their primary job is to kill before being killed.  Of course, there are purposes and stuff that validate what they do, but in essence, they're known in our world as those that kill.

So, if you're going to kill, be it by knife, grenade, rifle, pistol, bazooka, rocket launcher, or other elements of destruction, why is a tattoo, which will be hidden beneath the uniform, reason enough to keep a person out of the Marines?

This is kind of an Alice's Restaurant type of thing where Arlo Guthrie was asked if he'd rehabilitated himself after being fined for littering and creating a nuisance.  Watch the video and you'll see what I mean.
"You can get anything you want, at Alice's Restaurant"

5) ... Ronda Rousey has guaranteed a rematch with Holly Holm in 2016.  No date has been set, but we're are assured that it will be after her date as host on Saturday Night Live.


Got her butt kicked once, gonna happen again.  
As Forrest says, "Stupid Is As Stupid Does."

6) ,,, Glenn Frey of the Eagles passed on this week.  He will be soundly missed by anyone that enjoyed growing up with him, Don Henley, Don Felder, Randy Meisner, Timothy B. Schmidt, Joe Walsh and others during the '70's.


Gonna be one hell of a rock concert in Heaven real soon.

7)  ... St. Georges School in Middletown, R.I. for successfully hiding four decades of reported campus rapes and other sexual molestations.  The campus of the Bushes, Vanderbilts, Astors, and other higher echelon members of the elite society has finally lost control of the situation and the floodgates are bursting open with stories of illicit activity.  These acts were carried out by students, members of the faculty, and other boarding school employees.  When asked why it took so long to get this out to the public, school officials felt it had been swept under the rug so long that a bevy of lawsuits would bankrupt the school.

Here come the lawyers.
See their smiles.
See their lawsuits.
See the school's reputation go down the sink.
See a new piece of real estate go on the market.
Anyone looking for a new place to locate another shopping mall?


8)  .. Chipotle Restaurant chain has been hit with a lawsuit concerning the norovirus incident that took place last year.  Between the norovirus and other illnesses sustained by the public in the last few years, officials felt it had been swept under the rug so long that a bevy of lawsuits would bankrupt the chain.



Damn, I guess we know where the members of the Board of Directors
 went to boarding school at, don't we!

9) ... a teenager that was huffing gasoline in his garage.  The Missouri youth was caught doing it by his mother, walked away from the gas can, lit a cigarette (which ignited the gas fumes), and ended up with burns over 90% of his body.

Did I say something above about, "Stupid is as stupid does"?

10)  ... Oscars, Oscars, let's boycott the Oscars!  


It's real simple, if you don't wanna go, don't go!  Not every great actor gets nominated for an Academy Award.  Sometimes, I think the winners truly suck.  But, you're not gonna get nominated for playing a thug, just like Clint Eastwood never got nominated for playing a cop.  I don't know who should have been nominated as I don't go to the movies.  I wait until they come out on Blu-Ray and then watch them at home ... and don't have to worry about assholes like you complaining about everything, including the smoke from my cigarette!   But, please, will someone stop this crap about everything in the world being about racism.  Hell, I used to get pissed because it seemed that all the English actors were coming to the states to take home Oscar.  Get over it, grow up, and quit being racist about racism.  Damn, I'm Italian.  How would you like to hear, "Oh, I make you a deal you can't refuse" every time you tell somebody that?  Like I said, "Get over it!"



Until next time ...

Ciao!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fruit Cake or Fruitcake, That Is The Question! Oh, and TTOT, Too!

Okay, so I'll admit, these were last
years fruitcakes sent to me by Ivy.
I'd already cut into this year's
before thinking about taking a
picture.  But, they were just as
big and just as good, if not
better!  Thanks, Ivy!!
If anyone has noticed, I've been absent since around Christmas.  

I could blame it on Ivy and the delicious Fruit Cakes she made from scratch and sent me for the second year in a row, but I won't.  (By the way, if you've never had scratch, you don't know what you're missing!)

No, besides satisfying my taste buds and increasing the size of my stomach, Ivy's tremendous pastries (for which I thank her with all the gratitude my heart can generate) cannot be blamed for my lack of appearances.  

I could blame it on some of the family illnesses going on to those close to me.  Illnesses that cost me many hours on the road during times I should be resting and preparing to be the best at my new day job, but I won't.  My love and obligated devotion take precedent and cannot be blamed.

The pain between my shoulder blade and neck that charges down my left arm and fills my left forearm and hand with electric shock vibrations could also be the culprit.  Many chiropractor visits later, I've almost got it to the point that it doesn't wake me four or five times a night ... or, every time my body moves during time that should be allotted for sleep.  Pinched nerves and injured forearm muscles can be hell, but cannot be blamed for one's inability to move forward.

And, if I had won the billion dollar lottery the other night, I couldn't even blame that.  I will stop all rumors right now that winning it was not the case.  I am strictly a contributor to the wealth of others, it seems.  C'est le Vie!


No, it's simply because I allowed all of the above to provide excuses for my laziness.  



Don't tell my wife I admitted being lazy, please.  I'll never hear the end of it!


See, justifications are excuses.  Root problems can't rely on justifications, or excuses.  To dismiss an act due to excuses is to deny truths.  Continue to deny truths and before you know it, there are none left.

I refuse to act like a television "shrink" or a ghetto dweller.  These, and many other groups, have blurred the lines between right and wrong by continually making excuses for behavior that is detrimental to society as a whole.  Nor will I live in the narcissistic realm of the politically correct where the "I" is always right and everyone else is always wrong.  I believe in the glory of individualism and the benefits it provides to anyone with a little common sense.  Keep your uniforms and acceptable word tracks as I refuse to accept your excuses for practicing them.

So, no excuses.  Laziness was my downfall.  All else only factors by the importance I gave it to validate my temporary logic to avoid sitting down at a typewriter and producing something worth perusing.

Now, if we could get everyone else in the world to live by such a rigid set of values, we might just survive the next century ... without killing ourselves or the Earth!

And, Ivy, those Fruit Cakes are absolutely the best I've tasted in decades!


With that behind us, let us move on to why we're really here!  It's time for 

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL!!!
View All TTOT Posts Here!!!

My last offering here gave many of you the idea that I'm a softy at heart.  I think "human" might be a better description.  I attempt to bring about a sarcastic look at what is happening in today's world by scraping away the sensationalism and political rhetoric and simply stating the reality of the situation.  I might come across as "icy" or "cynical" at times, but what I'm really attempting to do is to get the reader to think.  

We are told so much these days that many have stopped thinking about what is being said.  As long as we accept everything as stated, we allow ourselves to become a herd of cows lining up for the slaughter.  We need to listen to what is being said, use our powerful sense of reasoning to question it, and arrive at our own decisions.  It will keep us from copying the acts of the German citizens before World War II and being caught up in the emotions and propaganda for which their government was known for.  As long as one of you ignites the tender that creates a blaze there will be hope for individual thought and ideas.  Hopefully, government will never gain total control because of your inspirations.

So, this week ...

I'm Thankful For:

1)  ... the POTUS's final State of the Union Address.  It's nice to see that the President visits Facebook.  Two days before the speech, Princeton University releases a post about how a bill is really created.  Of course, it showed that the common citizen's opinion didn't matter to Congress.  Instead, Big Business and its funding of politicians wrote the bills that they wanted.  

The President ended his speech by talking about how the nation's faith in government had dwindled.  He challenged all in attendance and viewing to ensure that necessary changes would take place.  It was a good ending that touched Facebook viewers deeply.


Of course, politicians and Big Business were laughing underneath as they are the ones that could change things, but won't for obvious reasons.  Neither political party wants to be the one to piss off Big Business, just as you wouldn't want to piss off your meal ticket either.  So, it's been addressed, discussed and passed into the past.  Just as Obamacare is getting thousands of premium payers never seen by insurance companies before, Big Business is busy planning its next scam on the American public.  I think it's entitled, "Mein Kampf."

2)  ... the passing of David Bowie and Alan Rickman.  It's nice to see people go out on top, instead of hearing about how decrepit, sad and lonely fading stars are in their later years. We'll miss them both.

 "Major Tom meets Snape on the Road to Purgatory"
 ... now that's a movie I'd pay to see, 
and I'd damn sure buy the soundtrack, too!

3)  ... the pictures of American Navy personnel on their knees after being detained by Iran.  Why?  Because they're alive, not dead!  

Remember, the U.S. and Iran are not the best of friends.  Now, one of our boats ventures into Iranian waters.  They get caught.  Once upon a time, Iran would have shot first and asked questions later.  Instead, they take the prisoners, ensure our people aren't armed and ready to blow up their captors, feed them, and then release them.


Stop bitching, people!  That's what I call "Progress!"

4)  ... Alabama barely defeating Clemson in the quest to win the college football playoffs!  Yes, I'm sick of Alabama always winning!  Yes, Alabama has a fine coach and a team that's a well oiled machine.  Yes, my wife is from Alabama and thus a strong Alabama football fan.


However, to see Clemson come as close as they did gave me hope that the underdog still has a chance in this world, regardless of the strength of the machine they face or the money that supports it.  Kind of sounds like the common man vs. Big Business and tainted government employees, doesn't it?

5)  ... the Ebola epidemic is gone!  After years of battle, the World Health Organization has given the "all clear" to the three countries in West Africa.that suffered over 11,000 deaths by the virus.

Any guesses what's up next on the "Deadly Disease" agenda?  Betcha it has to do with ingrown toenails.

6)  ... John and Mary have been found in a study by MooseRoots.com to be the most common names of geniuses.  
That's El Toro Defecation if I've ever heard it!  
Everyone knows Richard is the number one name.  (cough, cough)  

And what in the hell is MooseRoots.com?  

7)  ... the Druid Hills Academy in Charlotte, N.C. for banning their teachers from using the word "Please" when dealing with students.  Officials of the school say it's to make the "bratty" kids behave.


I guess schools have figured out that if the kids aren't taught the basics 
of manners at home, it's not their job to teach it at school.

Next week, the school board is to vote on installing "Waterboarding" as a viable 
form of punishment for shooting spitballs at the ceiling over the teacher's desk.


8)  ... the 8 glasses of water a day rule controversy.  Doctors seem to be at odds over saying how much water it takes for a person to stay hydrated.  Some say 8 glasses a day may be too much, where others stand by the rule.

I say, 
"Have a beer and don't worry about it.  
And, if you're still thirsty afterwards, 
have another!"

9)  ... water for being found on the Rosetta Comet!  First, it was oxygen.  Now, water has been discovered on the Rosetta Comet!  


What Next?

How about instructions on how to speak Spanish?

10)  ... Senator Rand Paul from Kentucky for flipping off the media.  After not being allowed into the latest presidential debate, Rand's followers have called in masses with not so nice comments for Fox News.  Simply explained by Rand, he raised his middle finger in expression of his supporters to the media.


A man of few words, yet, one that gets his point across precisely.  Hmmm, I may have to look into this candidate a little deeper!

Oh, and Rand, I couldn't have said it better!

So, with laziness behind me, I submit to you this Ten Things of Thankful.  
Or, in the words of a once wise man, 
"That's All Folks!"

CIAO!

*** I just noticed that several of you wrote in after I'd put the blog aside last time.  My most sincere apologies for not answering or acknowledging your comments in any way.  I do ask your forgiveness as I am usually good about responding as soon as I'm able (weekend work schedules and such).  Again, I'm very sorry for my neglect!



Friday, December 18, 2015

LOVE, Christmas And Ten Things Of Thankful Holiday Edition

L-O-V-E …

What is it?

Could it be a blending of various emotions and human characteristics such as desire, obligation, happiness, trust and mankind's need to feel wanted?

For example, a mother needs to feel that her family needs her. That feeling of need brings about happiness within. It also reminds her of her obligation, or responsibilities that must be fulfilled in order for that same family to return that feeling to her. That desire brings about a closeness of the central core group and a reminder of how necessary the family unit is to continue the core successfully as trust, or knowledge of each of the core's members intent provides a security blanket for all.

In simple terms, by doing what a mother is expected to do, love is created. The same applies for a father, grandparents, uncles and aunts, and so on and so on. The circle's strength provides for mistakes to be made and forgiveness to be provided to the “Black Sheep” of the family, or those that recognize too late what family actually means.

We are in the season of the “Family.”

No, I'm not talking Godfather style.
But, stay with me and I'll make you a deal you can't refuse.

Christmas was wonderful when I was young.  Unfortunately, my mother passed when I was thirteen.  Christmas seemed to lose its luster for a few years.  I drifted away from its true meaning, even though my actions were in support of its true meaning.  

Confused?  So was I.

It was a time I rejected my satellite family. I was young and rebellious and knew everything. Being a member of the “Peace, Love, Dove” Generation, I knew that love for all was a false facade only spoken by those naive enough to believe in fairy tales and Gilligan's Island. The military, the loneliness, and some of its required tasks, had removed me from the ranks of the naive. Thus, a bitterness filled the void.

Returning to civilian life, I moved 20 miles away from my core family. Christmas arrived as usual that year and I refused to drive the distance to be with them. It was an act I repeated for two years. Why? Because my family used to taunt each other, flaunt their gifts, and see who out did who in the presents department.  It was pride instead of love, or so it seemed.

I spent those Christmas days alone in my apartment, smoking dope, trying to find something to eat besides a box of Kraft Macaroni and Cheese, and feeling sorry for myself.

I was a fool.

If the future could only have been viewed for a split second I would have changed my mind immediately. To know that my grandparents would both be dead within only a few short years, soon followed by an aunt and uncle, would have been reason enough. To recognize that all of us kids were growing up and would never again sit together, as we had, sharing
laughter and tales of Christmas morning would have been helpful, too. And, knowing that never again would the feast that my Grandmother would prepare (turkey, roast, ham, all types of vegetables, oyster bread dressing, dumplings, yeast rolls, and several cakes and pies and cobblers) would never be seen again would have been the final reason to attend.

Yet, in my protest to what I saw as greed weakening the season's main reason for being, the birth of Christ, I missed out. Now, only memories are all I have left to remember those family times.

What I think I seriously ignored was the love that they provided. From the smiles on the faces of those receiving gifts to the laughter the family provided when my Grandmother figured out I'd tied her apron strings to the back of her chair, love was the true feeling in the air. We were as one, enjoying the day and each other as if it would never end. Unfortunately, as sure as the coffee will run out on your day off, each day had its end. Now, the days remembered are only remembered. That time of my life is over.

So, as there are so many that don't believe in Christianity these days, so many that have switched faiths these days, and so many that don't believe in anything except arguing these days, we have forgotten the one thing that we need so desperately to remember.

L-O-V-E.

Don't miss out while you have the chance. Enjoy it! Feast on it! Drink more than your fill of it and don't worry about its hangover! Love will not give you a headache or add to your waste line. No, it will give you an inner warmth that you'll never lose.

This season, as in every season, there will be those on Social Media blasting the day. If they don't like it, I more than welcome them to go to work for regular wage (since it's not a holiday for them) and bitch to those who want to hear it. Let their bitterness be quieted, one day, by a realization that they are not the superior beings. Or, let their screams be heard in the afterlife. We've done all we can.

Don't be selfish with your love. Give to all those you can give. You'll get so much more in return in the memories it provides.

And, if you find you've got some left over, I'll take any handout I can.
(I'm not proud.)

And, with that uncharacteristically sober opening, 
let's get on to the Christmas edition of

TEN THINGS OF THANKFUL!!!
This Week I'm Thankful For ...


1)the Winner of The Voice Is Jordan Smith!


Okay, many of you know I don't care for these type of television programs.  Any public "call in" voting can be rigged one direction or the other.  This is one of the few times that the voting was unable to go any other way.  Jordan Smith, the second winner in a row from Kentucky, was so far above all the rest of the entries in the area of true vocal ability that the playing around with the results would have instantly been obvious to a hearing impaired person.  
(Now, let's see what happens next season.  Oh, and remember, previous winners on the show have only had minor success afterwards.  Jordan's goal is to sing the National Anthem at the Superbowl.  Okay, so he's done a song by Sia and one by Beyonce, so I guess he could record it for playback like Whitney Houston did years ago!)
Episode XXVII coming
in 2079!!!!
Buy Your Tickets Now!


2)  … Star Wars “The Force Awakens footage is being leaked online. Okay, dragging out a movie and its sequels for over 40 years is ridiculous. Obviously, some fans think so as well and are leaking footage out online of the new Star Wars film.
(It's subtitled in Indonesian so these are obviously Jar Jar Binks fans who are pissed off over being overlooked in the film. Damn, and I spent my high school years in Latin Class instead of Indonesian. Hindsight is indeed 20/20.)

3)  … J. Birnbach Inc. jewelry store tosses diamonds. When employees are pulled away to do things that are not necessarily their jobs, mistakes generally occur. When employees are told to move boxes (which entails physical labor), they will generally find a way to shorten their efforts. Throwing out three wooden boxes was the decision made by employees of the J. Birnbach Inc. jewelry store. Unfortunately, these boxes contained over $5 million worth of diamonds. Fortunately, a security guard went through the trash and found them. Unfortunately, the only reason he found them was that he always went through the trash since his pay is a joke. Fortunately, the jewelry company didn't lose the diamonds. Unfortunately, they didn't reward the security guard as he was only doing his job. Fortunately, the security guard has lost his honest streak and will not be so quick to return missing items in the future.
(Moral to the story: Screw me and I'll screw you!)


"...and it only cost me twelve gas stations
and three camels!"

4)  … Saudi millionaire gets away with rape! (This happened in a British court, believe it or not, so let us forget about American courts being the only ones that provide stupid verdicts.) Ehsan Abdulaziz met a twenty-four year old and a teenager in a West End club, took them both to his apartment, had relationship with the older of the two, walked out in his living room, tripped, fell atop the teenager with his erect penis sticking out of his underwear, penetrated her vagina, which just happened to be wide open and uncovered, and is declared innocent of rape by a jury.
(Am I missing something here? Oh, yeah, the British court system loves to remind the U.S. about prison overcrowding. When is rape not a rape? I guess when Viagra gives you a four hour erection and you trip atop a teenager and poke her with perfect aim. I know what male enhancement I'm buying next trip to London!)

5)  … Obamacare under attack by Democrats! What? You thought Republicans were the only foes of the program? Not when big business money is involved. Confused? Okay, this is how it lays out. Obamacare depends on constraining the high costs of medical care. The Cadillac Tax, due to go into affect this year, is being fought by Democrats as high up as Hillary Clinton and Harry Reid. Why? Only they know for sure, but most of us are betting it's because of campaign contributions and the favors already promised to the medical side of big business.
(So, let's be real, for anyone that thought politician's really were different and that Hillary and company were the next holy triumvirate to save the United States from utter degradation … SURPRISE!!!!! She's just as dirty as the rest of them. And, it doesn't even take a British Court to await that verdict. )


"And, even though I'm a total dumb ass
that is hoping you get hit on the way back
to the car so I can collect insurance,
will you marry me?"
6)  … Man stops Interstate 45 traffic to propose. Ah, love makes a person do stupid things for sure. Still, stopping three lanes of interstate highway traffic in order to get out of the car and propose to his girl on his knees is something that the grandchildren will one day look back and say, “Damn, we carry his genes?”
(What's really sad is that this couple both exited the car in order to accomplish this. So, it's not a case of one set of bad genes, but two! Looks like a future president in the making!)


7)  … House Bill allows for more foreign “guest workers” to be allowed in U.S. Introduced into a current spending bill by a Democrat and a Republican, this will allow for almost four times the amount of “guest workers” to do the jobs that disabled veterans, single working mothers, and uneducated members of society normally do in the industries of hotel house keeping, truck driving, construction, and food processing.
(So, once again, the people of the United States are given the shaft by their government so that big business can bring in “guest workers” that don't have to have various benefits and taxes, as well as health care benefits paid. Big business profits, more Americans go on the Welfare lists and become dependent on government handouts. It almost makes me wish the military would indulge in a coup d'tat and clean house. “In with the good air out with the bad … in with the good air out with the bad.”)
And, since Christmas will preclude the TTOT next week,
a few personal notes to finish things up.
My buddy, Faletame.  (Gabriela is
camera shy ever since she gained weight.)

8)  ... two wonderful cats that give me joy all year long.  Faletame and Gabriela are the biggest pains in the necks there could be.  Yet, as Gabriela meets me in the hall each morning on my initial trek to the bathroom and begs for attention as I do my thing and smoke the day's first cigarette, and Faletame takes over after my shower and follows me back to the bedroom to get dressed and even rubs up and down my back as I put my socks on, they are as precious to me as any living creature.  

9)  ... a year in which I was able to purchase a new sports car, and when Summer was over, trade it in on a new Mazda CX-3 with All Wheel Drive for Winter driving.  I've had much better years financially, but am lucky in that I'm still not as bad off financially as many others.  

My new car and the one it replaced.  Who knows what next year will bring?
59 and still a blonde ...
how does she do it?
10)...a year in which I was able to: 
a)  leave a job that was starving me out and find another that has many future opportunities,  

b) recognize my love for my wife (pictured falling asleep at my dad's house after we'd stopped 
and brought him barbecue from Kentucky) 
even more than ever before, 
and the same for my family by my side, 

c)  get closer to my father who, though in dwindling health, is still alive and able to maintain the lifestyle he chose many years ago,

 d) finally see my cousins and still living aunt and uncle who have finally become a part of my life 
once more,

e) thank God for the friends that have stuck by me and continue to read my blog even though my ever worsening eyesight prohibits me from returning the favor as much as I'd like, and to Lizzi who tolerates my "sometimes here/sometimes not" behavior,

and finally 

f)  for the sun which always is 
shining whether the clouds are in the way or not.  

I am truly blessed.
I pray you are, too!

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

Spread the LOVE!!!