Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

The year is almost over, it will soon be 2009.


That sounds so futuristic. We may not have flying cars or personal robots like books and movies promised us, but I'm still super psyched. This year, just like past years, I want to resolve do some things differently. Whether I actually will or not is irrelevant. I figure as long as I have positive thoughts I may accomplish some by random event.

Let's ring in the new year with a video from David Hasselhoff!

Thanks for reading, and a Happy New Year to all of you!

Thursday, December 25, 2008

What Christmas Means To Me...

Christmas to me means family, love, caring and giving.

As a child, Christmas was always my favorite day of the year. It meant being rewarded with gifts for good behavior, thanks Santa!

As a young man in the military, Christmas was a time of celebrating with other service members. A time of attempting to create a sense of normalcy in a strange place far from home and if I really wanted that RPG launcher, I'd better start calling mom more often...

As I've grown older, Christmas is still my favorite day of the year.

It's a time to enjoy being with the ones I love, to share memories and make new ones, giving instead of receiving, doing what I can for my community and seeing my youth reflected in the eyes of our boy.

As a Christian, Christmas has always meant celebrating the birth of one very special child in particular. The Christ child. A time for midnight mass, giving thanks to God for all that has been done for us and celebrating the true religion of peace.
I hope anyone reading this has a safe and happy holiday!

From all of us to all of you - Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Special Christmas Wish...

Tell Us About Your Balls Pete...

Order your Holiday Schweddy Ball Sack Today!

Unusual Christmas Trees

The Festivus Pole

Okay, technically not a Christmas tree, but since as depicted on the December 18, 1997 Seinfeld episode "The Strike" today is actually Festivus I couldn't not include it on this list.

Happy Festivus - The Holiday for the Rest of Us!

During Festivus, the Festivus Pole is displayed completely unadorned. The aluminum pole was chosen apparently in opposition to the commercialization of highly decorated Christmas trees, because it is very low-maintenance, and also because the holiday's patron saint, Frank Costanza, finds tinsel "distracting".

The Upside Down Christmas Tree

This upside-down seven foot pre-lit Christmas tree evokes a 12th century Central European tradition of hanging a tree from the ceiling at Christmas, this unique fir is inverted to ensure a smaller footprint for less-spacious areas, and allowing more room for the accumulation of presents underneath.

The Who-ville Christmas Tree

Clasp hands and sing Fah who for-aze! Dah who dor-aze! Welcome Christmas around in true Dr. Seuss style with this little tree, based on the classic illustration from "How the Grinch Stole Christmas".

Charlie Brown’s Pathetic Christmas Tree

Good Grief! Learn the true meaning of Christmas with Charlie Brown's classically pathetic Christmas tree. Linus Van Pelt says: "It's not a bad little tree. All it needs is a little love."
The Mountain Dew Christmas Tree
Three months of soda drinking (approximately four hundred cans of Mountain Dew) and four days of building to get this really creative Christmas Tree ready for the holidays.
The Beer Bottle Christmas Tree

Now this is a project I can get whole heartily support. Forget drinking all that soda-pop, if you want an alternative to your boring Christmas tree and are comfortable displaying your healthy beer drinking habit...then all you need it a taste for Grolsch and a little free time and you too can have a beer bottle tree.

Christmas Tree-zilla!

This is the mother of all Christmas trees. A gigantic seven story "tree" made from three hundred and fifty regular-sized Christmas trees! Approximately seventy staffers of the Yilong Media company of China constructed this pyramid of Christmas trees.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Collection Of Kris Kriminal Mug Shots

The Smoking Gun has a great roundup of mug shots featuring some arrestees who bear a striking resemblance to Santa Claus.

It's The Thought That Counts...

It's that time of year again...Christmas is almost upon us and with it, all the pressures that come with it to get the perfect gift for everyone on your list. The truth is though that your friends and loved ones may not love the gifts you've chosen.

Sometimes they'll open the gift, it’s not exactly what they expected or even something they wanted and after they feign excitement for the obligatory amount of time, what do they do with it?

Well, if they're like most Americans, they regift or pass the less than stellar present on to someone else who might enjoy it more.

Wikipedia defines regifting as the act of taking a gift that has been received and giving it to somebody else in the guise of a new gift.

The term was coined on an episode of Seinfeld called "The Label Maker" in which Elaine calls someone a "regifter" after they give Jerry a label-maker that was originally given to them by her.

If you have ever watched "A Christmas Story" you know that Ralphie received one of the worst gifts a young boy could ever bunny rabbit pajamas. I wonder if they regifted it?

Which brings me to the question...Is it okay to regift?

Heres some tips in case you're stuck with a recyclable gift this year:

No Guilt Necessary

According the President of Ethics at Work, "There is no reason to feel guilty for regifting. The purpose of giving a gift is to give pleasure, to bring joy to someone's life. If for example you already own a copy of the 'Godfather' collection and you know that someone else would like to have it, what's the point in keeping it? It would be wasteful."

Once a gift is given, it's the recipient's to do with as they wish, whether it be returning it or regifting it. Another etiquette expert we spoke to said people are not required to keep something they don't need or like. Good etiquette doesn't require you to keep anything, just that you are grateful when you receive it.

Obligation To Regift

Not only is it okay to regift, some experts say there are times you are morally obligated to regift.

For example, if someone gives you an article of clothing or food that you don't want or don't need but that someone else could benefit from such as a homeless person or a shelter, it's not only a good thing to give it to the shelter, you ought to give it to the shelter. As a bonus, if you do give it to a charity, you may be eligible for a tax deduction.

Rules Of Regifting

If you plan on regifting, do it with a gift you recently received, in other words, the sooner the better. Otherwise you may forget who gave it to you in the first place and could end up giving the gift back to the original giver.

Also, make sure you give the gift to someone who won't possibly run into the first person. It would be terribly embarrassing if your mother-in-law saw the one of a kind, handmade sweater she gave you on another relative.

The gift should be in its original condition and do your best to remove the evidence by taking off all the original gift tags!

Consider The Recipient

Naturally, if you're regifting, be casual. You don't want to give the recipient the impression you bought the item, spent a lot of time looking for it, picking it out and ordering it.

If the guilt is too much, you may want to be honest with the person you are giving the gift to. You can say "I received this sweater, but am allergic to the fabric and I thought you might like it."

When you're giving the gift out of season for example, not during the holidays or not around one's birthday it is probably fair to tell the person you are regifting so you don't unfairly obligate them to give you a gift in return.

Accepting The Regift

A tip for the giftee: if you suspect you are being given a re-gift, never make mention of it.

If you receive something you're not thrilled with, consider donating it or passing it on to someone you really think would appreciate it or try selling it on eBay.

Have a Merry Christmas and remember it's the thought that counts.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Patience Is A Virtue...

Is a saying that apparently Season and Gabriel are not familiar with!

Before we could leave on our road trip I finally broke down to their pestering and let them each open an early Christmas present from under the tree.

They both knew they were each getting their own Nintendo DS game systems and they claimed they couldn't wait a moment longer.

They were so anxious to play with them that I finally caved in and in the spirit of Christmas let them open those two presents early.

At least they will both be entertained on the long drive to Texas.

Merry Early Christmas Gabriel and Season!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Texas Sized Merry Christmas

Tomorrow we are going to celebrate an early Christmas with some family and friends down in Texas!

Out of the ten states that I have hung my hat in Texas is definitely one of my favorites and the one that feels most like home.

I can't wait to get there and see everyone.

Season Starts Her MS Treatment

Last night a nurse came out to the house to educate us on Season's multiple sclerosis medication and trained us on the use of her nifty autoinjector.
The autoinjector reminds me of the nerve agent antidote injectors of atropine we were issued in the military.
She is going to be taking Rebif which is used to treat relapsing forms of MS. In order to decrease the frequency of relapses and delay the occurrence of some of the physical disability that is common in people with MS.
The first few shots will be at a low dosage which increase as she continues taking the medication.
We were both very excitied for Season to finally begin treatment, but also a little worried if she would have any negative side effects.
The most common side effects with Rebif are injection site reactions, flu-like symptoms, depression, and abdominal pain.
I got to play doctor and give her the first injection and I am happy to report that so far she didn't have any negative reactions. I am praying and hoping that this stuff works wonders on her MS.

Walken In A Winter Wonderland

"Walken in a Winter Wonderland," with John Tesh on piano...

Thursday, December 18, 2008

The Grinch Who Stole From Charities

Some would say that there is never a good time to defraud a charity out of so much money that it's forced to close its doors, but doing it during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, that's just really messed up.

Many of the investors who handed millions over to Bernie Madoff were charities and foundations who now find their assets severely depleted, some to the point that they are having to shut down.

Among the charities that Bernie managed to shut down is the JEHT Foundation, which promoted "Justice, Equality, Human Dignity, and Tolerance." Other charities that were hit hard were The Children Of Chernobyl and The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.

You're a mean one, Mr. Madoff.
You really are a heel.
You're as cuddly as a cactus, you're as charming as an eel.
Mr. Madoff.
You're a bad banana with a greasy black peel.

Come on Bernie! You don't steal money from charities you a-hole!

Microwavable Christmas Cheer

Thanks to Bon Jour, Pee Wee

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Terribly Tacky Christmas Gifts Ideas

Squirrel Feet Earrings
Have anyone on your Christmas list that either loves or hates squirrels? These beauties are made from one hundred percent real squirrel feet recycled from a taxidermist. You can choose between squirrel earrings or a necklace. They are the perfect accessories to complement that raccoon skin cap you got them for their birthday.
Fetus Cookie Cutter
Okay, who doesn't love eating fetuses? Nobody? What about fetus shaped cookies? You can serve delicious fetus shaped cookies at the next baby shower, or pro-choice rally, or maybe even the stem cell research cotillion? Still no? Well, if you happen to know someone who is weirdo enough to want to pretend to eat fetuses this fetus shaped cookie cutter will make a great stocking stuffer.
Fundies (The Underwear Built For Two)

Just when you thought underwear couldn't get any more fun...or just plain weird and uncomfortable. For the people who won't accept that there is such a thing as too much intimacy, there is Fundies. A great gift for that irritating couple who are constantly engaging in way too many public displays of affection and are are pretty much joined at the hip anyway. Here is a way of subtly trying to make them realize how clingy they've been, and hopefully, they won't be so damn annoying anymore. It could just be the gift that keeps on giving.

Decapitated Teddy Bear Lamp

This thing looks like a reject from Rudolph and the Island Of The Misfit Toys. Check out the look of confusion as that brat Timmy starts crying his head off and watch his parents scramble to explain why teddy has a light bulb instead of a head and an electrical cord shoved up his butt after he opens this wonderful present. The decapitated teddy bear lamp is both cuddly, yet functional and is the perfect gift to freak out that little kid you despise.

Dissected Knitted Frog

If you love biology, but don't want to handle actual dead animals, you'll love this hand crafted dissected knitted frog. All the organs are in place for your dissecting pleasure. You can also unpin him from the background and cuddle your dead amphibian friend, which is more than I can recommend doing with the decapitated teddy bear lamp...unless you are into electrical shocks.

The Gift Of Nothing

Ever been so mad at someone that not giving them a gift seems to be an understatement? The problem is they might just think you forgot or couldn't afford to get them something. Nothing says you intentionally left them out like the gift of nothing. Show them exactly how much they mean to you, give them the gift of nothing.

The P-Mate

Ah, Freud would be proud. That's right, women everywhere can now experience the joy that is standing up while urinating. There is no longer a need for women to lose their dignity squatting or risk unhygienic and unpleasant public restrooms anymore. While The P-Mate might be useful for women who go camping a lot or run marathons, nothing says “I'm a total freak” than giving the woman in your life a fake penis to pee with.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Carol Of The Christmas Pickle

Do you have a Christmas Pickle?

The Christmas Pickle Ornament Poem

To start a tradition that surely will last.
Here’s a short story about the pickle of glass.
The night before Christmas it’s hung on the tree.
While everyone’s sleeping it’s done secretly.
On Christmas morning when you arise.
The first one to find it will get a surprise.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Year Without A Santa Claus?

(Photo obtained from Santa Claus' MySpace account)
The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that it was bringing a lawsuit against Santa Claus for violations of the civil rights of children.
An ACLU spokesman stated that: "Mr. Claus has been violating children's right to privacy and has been compiling information about children’s behavior in a vast database, many times without the parent’s knowledge or consent."
"This information is then used by Mr. Claus’ organization to determine which children are considered “naughty” or “nice” according to his own intrinsic belief system. It is obvious Mr. Claus has violated the children's rights, as we have alleged in our suit, as proof we have obtained memos and other company information."
Among the documents presented to the courts today was a copy of a mass e-mail threat sent out to children worldwide which reads:
  • You better watch out.
  • You better not cry.
  • You better not pout.
  • I'm telling you why.
  • Santa Claus is coming to town.

In addition the ACLU believes those threats to be Mr. Claus’ way of engaging in mind control experiments designed to curtail children’s free will.

The ACLU claims the document, which was obtained from a worker in the distribution department of Mr. Claus' organization,"Clearly shows a concerted attempt to restrict the rights of children to free expression and free thought. In addition, there are concerns about the security of the information. What would be the result if the information in his database was made available to other agencies around the world?"

Lawyers at the Justice Department also confirmed today that they were investigating the possibility that Mr. Claus was at the core of a vast conspiracy against children.

An anonymous source from inside Justice stated: "We believe a large number of parent, ministers and teachers are involved in this business of attempting to get children to behave and we expect several of them will testify for the State in return for a lighter sentence.

"In addition, the same sources indicated a parallel investigation by the IRS and the FBI on possible charges of smuggling on the part of Mr. Claus: "Our records do not show Mr. Claus, or any one else in his organization paying any import duties or taxes on any items he has delivered. Since Mr. Claus has representatives in all of the States of the Union we believe he should have to pay state and local taxes on all of the goods he delivers also."

Lawyers for Mr. Claus stated, "The charges of the ACLU are absurd. Mr. Claus is a well known and highly respected figure. His supporters are from around the world and his message of love and respect can, in no way, be taken as a form of "mind control" or a violation of the civil rights of children."

The lawsuit is complicated by the fact that Mr. Claus is not a resident of the United States or any country which the United States currently has an extradition treaty.

It is unknown where Mr. Claus is at the moment, but it is believed he is hiding out at his North Pole estate.

In a brief statement, read by his lawyer, Mr. Claus said, "I find the charges of the ACLU absurd and I am confident they will be rejected by the courts. As for any criminal charges, I believe the Justice Department will discover they have no basis."

Experts are uncertain what effect the suit or possible pending charges might have on Mr. Claus' Christmas travels this year.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oklahoma State Capitol Christmas Ceremony

Gabriel's third grade S.E.A.R.C.H. class was invited to attend the Oklahoma State Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony.

The kids decorated one of the small trees that will be on display inside the building, made cards for deployed soldiers, saw some neat holiday performances from local artists and got to meet and get their picture taken with Governor Brad Henry, his wife and Santa Claus before going outside to attend the official lighting of the large Christmas tree out in front of the capitol.

The children had a really great time and at the end of the evening we were lucky enough to even get some snow flurries.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Gotta Do The Cooking By The Book

Stephanie from Lazy Town and Lil' Jon & the East Side Boyz

Cooking By The Book...Yeeeeaaaah!

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Remembering Pearl Harbor

December 7th, 1941 – "a date which will live in infamy" - sixty-seven years ago today, pilots from a Japanese carrier force bombed Pearl Harbor.

They killed two thousand, four hundred and three Americans, most of them service personnel, while destroying much of the American naval fleet and air planes stationed in Hawaii.

Our citizens reacted to the attack with firm determination to defeat tyranny and secure our Nation. This enterprise required the commitment and effort of our entire country. At the height of the conflict, the United States had ships on every ocean and troops on five continents. In all, more than sixteen million Americans wore the uniform of our Nation. They came from all walks of life. They served honorably and fought fiercely. At home, millions more contributed to the war effort, laboring for victory in our factories, on farms, and across America.

Today, we honor those who fought and died at Pearl Harbor, and we pay special tribute to the veterans of World War II. These heroes hold a cherished place in our history. Through their courage, sacrifice, and selfless dedication, they saved our country and preserved freedom. As we fight the war on terror, their patriotism continues to inspire a new generation of Americans who have been called to defend the blessings of liberty.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

It's Beginning To Look A lot Like Christmas

The Christmas tree is up, decorated and since we got so much of the Christmas shopping out of the way early this year it already has a lot of presents underneath! The anticipation has begun! I am so excited!

Friday, December 05, 2008

View On Wrapping Christmas Gifts...

This is the time of year when we think back to the very first Christmas, when the Three Wise Men; Caspar, Balthasar and that other guy; went to see the baby Jesus and according to the Bible, "presented him with gifts of gold and of incense and of myrrh."

These are simple words, but if we analyze them carefully, we discover an important, yet often overlooked, theological fact...

There is no mention of wrapping paper!

If there had been wrapping paper Matthew would have also written:

"And lo, the gifts were inside six hundred square cubits of papyrus and the papyrus was festooned with festive pictures of angels blowing trumpets.

But these words do not appear in the Bible, which is undeniable evidence that the very first Christmas gifts were NOT wrapped.

This is because the people giving those gifts had two important characteristics:

1. They were wise.
2. They were men.

Men are not big gift wrappers. We do not understand the point of putting paper around a gift just so somebody else can tear it off.

Perhaps it's because they don't make wrapping paper that can hold a man's interest long enough for him to complete this tedious task.

That is why today I am presenting: Wrapping Paper For Men:

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Inspirational Speeches Montage

I am so fired up now! Nobody and nothing is gonna keep me down!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

When It Rains, It Pours...

I lost my job today!

I didn't lose it...I know where it is, I just don't work there anymore.

I had an inkling that there was something going on, but I still didn't believe it would actually happen to me.

With finding out Season has multiple sclerosis and Christmas right around the corner this is really bad news. I am worried about finding a new job with as good a salary as I had, but on the bright side I was very bored with my work and am looking forward to a change.

Well, time to dust off that interview suit and update the old resume.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Trouble Is A Friend