Friday, December 28, 2007

Only in America!

A Charlotte, North Carolina lawyer purchased a box of very rare and expensive cigars and then insured them against fire, among other things.

Within a month, having smoked his entire stockpile of these great cigars and without yet having made even his first premium payment on the policy, the lawyer filed a claim against the insurance company.

In his claim, the lawyer stated the cigars were lost "in a series of small fires."

The insurance company refused to pay, citing the obvious reason that the man had consumed the cigars in the normal fashion.

The lawyer sued and WON!

In delivering the ruling, the judge agreed with the insurance company that the claim was frivolous.

The judge stated nevertheless, that the lawyer "held a policy from the company in which it had warranted that the cigars were insurable and also guaranteed that it would insure them against fire, without defining what is considered to be unacceptable fire "and was obligated to pay the claim".

Rather than endure lengthy and costly appeal process, the insurance company accepted the ruling and paid $15,000 to the lawyer for his loss of the cigars lost in the "fires".


After the lawyer cashed the cheque, the insurance company had him arrested on 24 counts of ARSON!!!

With his own insurance claim and testimony from the previous case being used against him, the lawyer was convicted of intentionally burning his insured property and was sentenced to 24 months in jail and a $24,000 fine.

This is a true story and was the First Place winner in the recent Criminal Lawyers Award Contest.

ONLY IN AMERICA! No wonder third world countries think we're nuts!

The Stella Awards

It's time again for the annual "Stella Awards"!

For those unfamiliar with these awards, they are named after 81-year-old Stella Liebeck who spilled hot coffee on herself and successfully sued the McDonald's in New Mexico where she purchased the coffee. You remember, she took the lid off the coffee and put it between her knees while she was driving. Who would ever think one could get burned doing that, right? That's right; these are awards for the most outlandish lawsuits and verdicts in the U.S. You know, the kinds of cases that make you scratch your head. So keep your head scratcher handy.

Here are the Stella's for the past year :

Kathleen Robertson of Austin , Texas was awarded $80,000 by a jury of her peers after breaking her ankle tripping over a toddler who was running inside a furniture store. The store owners were understandably surprised by the verdict, considering the running toddler was her own son.

Carl Truman, 19, of Los Angeles , California won $74,000 plus medical expenses when his neighbor ran over his hand with a Honda Accord. Truman apparently didn't notice there was someone at the wheel of the car when he was trying to steal his neighbor's hubcaps.

Terrence Dickson, of Bristol , Pennsylvania , who was leaving a house he had just burglarized by way of the garage. Unfortunately for Dickson, the automatic garage door opener malfunctioned and he could not get the garage door to open. Worse, he couldn't re-enter the house because the door connecting the garage to the house locked when Dickson pulled it shut. Forced to sit for eight, count 'em, EIGHT, days on a case of Pepsi and a large bag of dry dog food, he sued the homeowner's insurance company claiming undue mental Anguish. Amazingly, the jury said the insurance company must pay Dickson $500,000 for his anguish. We should all have this kind of anguish.

Jerry Williams, of Little Rock , Arkansas , garnered 4th Place in the Stella's when he was awarded $14,500 plus medical expenses after being bitten on the butt by his next door neighbor's beagle - even though the beagle was on a chain in its owner's fenced yard. Williams did not get as much as he asked for because the jury believed the beagle might have been provoked at the time of the butt bite because Williams had climbed over the fence into the yard and repeatedly shot the dog with a pellet gun.

Amber Carson of Lancaster , Pennsylvania because a jury ordered a Philadelphia restaurant to pay her $113,500 after she slipped on a spilled soft drink and broke her tailbone. The reason the soft drink was on the floor: Ms. Cars on had thrown it at her boyfriend 30 seconds earlier during an argument. What ever happened to people being responsible for their own actions?

Kara Walton, of Claymont, Delaware sued the owner of a night club in a nearby city because she fell from the bathroom window to the floor, knocking out her two front teeth. Even though Ms. Walton was trying to sneak through the ladies room window to avoid paying the $3.50 cover charge, the jury said the night club had to pay her $12,000...oh, yeah, plus dental expenses. Go figure!

This year's runaway First Place Stella Award winner was Mrs. Merv Grazinski, of Oklahoma City , Oklahoma, who purchased a new 32-foot Winnebago motor home. On her first trip home, from an OU football game, having driven on to the freeway, she set the cruise control at 70 mph and calmly left the driver's seat to go to the back of the Winnebago to make herself a sandwich. Not surprisingly, the motor home left the freeway, crashed and overturned. Also not surprisingly, Mrs. Grazinski sued Winnebago for not putting in the owner's manual that she couldn't actually leave the driver's seat while the cruise control was set . The Oklahoma jury awarded her, are you sitting down, $1,750,000 PLUS a new motor home. Winnebago actually changed their manuals as a result of this suit, just in case Mrs. Grazinski has any relatives who might also buy a motor home.

Are we, as a society, getting more stupid...? Ya Think??!!

NFL Picks - Week 17

I was 9-7 in Week 15 picking winners (Las Vegas was 11-5), and I hit neither of the 2 upsets I picked. I am 145-95 (60.4%) on the season.

My Chargers played pretty well in beating Denver 23-3. I predicted Chargers 24-20 over the Broncos thinking that Jay Cutler would throw better than he did. It looks like the Chargers defense has it together - stuffing the run (except for QB scrambles) and defending the pass - the pass rush was good and coverage was decent. The Bolts played decent on offense for three quarters, running off to a 16-0 halftime lead. LT had several long runs in the first half, This week the Chargers travel to Oakland to face the Raiders (now 4-11) on Sunday afternoon. The Bolts are favored by 8 points. My prediction is that it will be a close game - I'll say Chargers 24-16 over the Raiders as the Chargers try to protect their key players for the playoffs, but still need to win to get the #3 AFC seed.

Here are my week 17 picks of winners (Vegas favorites denoted by *, home team denoted with an H):

New England* (15-0) over NY Giants (10-5) (H)
Philadelphia * (7-8) (H) over Buffalo (7-8)
Tampa Bay* (9-6) (H) over Carolina (6-9)
Miami (1-14) (H) over Cincinnati* (6-9)
Washington* (8-7) (H) over Dallas (13-2)
Green Bay* (12-3) (H) over Detroit (7-8)
Jacksonville (11-4) over Houston* (7-8) (H)
New Orleans* (7-8) over Chicago (6-9) (H)
Pittsburgh* (10-5) over Baltimore (4-11) (H)
Seattle (10-5) over Atlanta* (3-12) (H)
Cleveland* (9-6) (H) over San Francisco (4-11)
Tennessee* (9-6) over Indianapolis (13-2) (H)
Minnesota (8-7) over Denver* (6-9) (H)
Arizona* (7-8) (H) over St. Louis (3-12)
NY Jets* (3-12) (H) over Kansas City (4-11)
San Diego* (10-5) over Oakland (4-11) (H)

The Las Vegas odds this week are skewed by the playoff situation - Minnesota, Washington, New Orleans, Cleveland and Tennessee need to win their games. Seattle, Tampa Bay, Indianapolis, Dallas, Green Bay, NY Giants, Pittsburgh and San Diego don't need to win their games, but would like to win with backup players without losing key players due to injuries. New England would like to win and be undefeated for the year.

I picked four games against the Vegas spread - Tampa Bay (+3), Miami (+2.5), Jacksonville (+6.5), and Seattle (+2.5). The Denver-Minnesota game is still off the board - by the time they play, Minnesota should know their fate.

Here are my 32 team power ratings (my estimates based on won-lost record and point differential) after 15 games:

1. New England (15-0) ........... PR = 38
2. Dallas (13-2) ........................ PR = 33
3. Indianapolis (13-2) ............ PR = 32
4. Green Bay (12-3) ................ PR = 30
5. Jacksonville (11-4) .............. PR = 29

6. Pittsburgh (10-5) ................. PR = 27
7. San Diego (10-5) ............... PR = 27
8. Seattle (10-5) ...................... PR = 26
9. Tampa Bay (9-6) .............. PR = 24
10. Cleveland (9-6) ................ PR = 24

11. Tennessee (9-6) ............... PR = 23
12. New York Giants (10-5) ..... PR = 23
13. Washington (8-7) ........... PR = 22
14. Minnesota (8-7) ............. PR = 22
15. Philadelphia (7-8) .......... PR = 20

16. New Orleans (7-8) ........ PR = 19
17. Houston (7-8) ............... PR = 19
18. Arizona (7-8) .................. PR = 19
19. Buffalo (7-8) ................... PR = 18
20. Cincinnati (6-9) ........... PR = 17

21. Chicago (6-9) .................. PR = 17
22. Detroit (7-8) .................. PR = 16
23. Denver (6-9) .................... PR = 15
24. Carolina (6-9) ................ PR = 15
25. San Francisco (5-10) .... PR = 13

26. NY Jets (3-12) ............... PR = 12
27. Oakland (4-11) ............... PR = 12
28. Kansas City (4-11) ......... PR = 12
29. Baltimore (4-11) ............ PR = 11
30. St. Louis (3-12) ............. PR = 10

31. Atlanta (3-12) ................ PR = 10
32. Miami (1-14) .................. PR = 8

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Our Christmas story

We celebrated Christmas at our house this year rather than visiting our daughters' families in Victorville and Santa Cruz, and Linda's brother's family in Sonoma County in the Bay area. It was much more hectic for us than if we had traveled around California! Here is a day-by-day rundown:

Wednesday, December 19: I flew to Santa Cruz (into San Jose, picked up by Lori, Lucas (age 4) and Logan (almost 2)) and spent the night at their house on the hide-a-bed. The boys have a lot of toys and are always playing with the airplanes and race cars, not so much the trains any longer. They also watch a lot of Disney Channel (Wiggles, Tigger and Pooh, Little Einsteins, etc.) and Nick Jr. (Diego and Dora) on TV and video. Lori had a board meeting in the evening, so I got to bathe the boys, read to them, and put them to bed. Lucas likes stories about dinosaurs, airplanes and my childhood. Lori's computers are on the fritz, so we will take them to Chula Vista and see if James can resurrect them.

Thursday, December 20: We packed the car in the morning, then visited Logan's school, Lori's friend's family , went shopping, and had lunch at home before we started the 500 mile drive to Chula Vista. We left at 1:30 PM and got to CV at 11:30 PM. We stopped in Paso Robles for a break and walk the dog (Annie), then in Santa Maria, and had dinner at a forgettable Chinese place in Santa Barbara. Then it was straight to Chula Vista, stopping for short breaks in Santa Monica and Long Beach. The boys watched videos most of the way, and slept after Long Beach. This was not a fun trip ... but necessary.

Friday, December 21: I came down with a cold overnight - fever, headache, cough, snuffy - so I started my Tylenol Cold regime augmented by Robitussin overnight and Hall's lozenges when needed. I don't remember much about this day except wrapping some gifts in the garage with Lori after the boys went to bed.

Saturday, December 22: Still sick, feel even worse. Stayed home. Watched TV with the boys and read a lot.

Sunday, December 23: Still sick, but getting better. The boys and I watched videos all morning, and went for a walk. Linda went to church. I watched football games and played with the boys in the afternoon - lots of chasing through the house, wrestling on the floor, race cars on the kitchen floor, etc. After the kids were down, Lori and I put Logan's trike together - she's good at mechanical things - I couldn't have done this by myself - no step-by-step directions, only pictures!

Monday, December 24: I'm feeling much better, but Linda has a stomach virus - can't keep anything down, so she's miserable in bed. Lori took the boys to Sea World for awhile. Tami, James and Lauren (age almost 3) arrived in the afternoon with Walter (a basset hound) and the kids had fun playing with each other. James looked at Lori's computers on the fritz, but couldn't fix them without more diagnostics. We watched most of the Chargers game - they won 23-3 - no stress! Lori cooked a pot roast for dinner - and it was timed for halftime. We had to house Tami and her family on short notice at a friend's house due to Linda's sickness, so I escorted them over there at Lauren's bedtime and they spent the night there. Lori and Lucas wrote the letter to Santa and set out cookies and milk. She got the boys to bed while I got the stuff into the back yard. Lori and I put up the Blow-up Jump House in the back yard ready to plug in on Christmas morning. Then we brought all of the gifts around the tree and in stockings. Lastly, Lori wrote the Santa letter back to Lucas and Logan, and we ate the cookies.

Tuesday, Christmas day: The boys were up by 7 AM, and Tami and her family came by 8 AM. We turned the tree on, got the stockings down and distributed and the kids tore through the gifts in a frenzy. Then we distributed the gifts from under the tree. In the mean time, Logan played his new drum, then discovered his tricycle and rode it around a little, while Lucas played with his new airplanes from the aircraft carrier box and put on his astronaut suit and helmet. Lauren was happy playing with her gifts - we gave her a scooter and helmet, Disney princess boombox and microphone, and lots of goodies. After the opening frenzy was over, we turned on the Jump House and the kids were surprised again, and ran out and jumped away for awhile.

I was exhausted and took a nap at 11 AM, then went into the Jump House with the kids after lunch. The moms tried to have the kids take naps - they had short ones. Tami and her family decided to go home early - they left at about 3 PM.

Linda and Lori started the turkey at 2 PM, and worked on the other dishes for a 6 PM feast. We had turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes, stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie and ice cream for dessert. Linda ate dinner but took it easy. The boys ate pretty well, but really scarfed the dessert. They went to bed fairly easily, having had an exciting day. The house looked like a tornado hit it - we tried to gather toys and gifts in boxes for each of them, and put the trash in bags. The cartons and boxes and plastic wrap were stacked for recycling. Whew. It was a long day.

Wednesday, December 26: No rest for the weary. Linda felt sick again and stayed in bed. I took down the jump house, packed it in the car, and packed everything else - the van was very full! We had lunch, then left at 12:30 PM hoping to get to Santa Cruz at a reasonable hour. The traffic through LA was OK, only one or two stop-and-goes, and we stopped in Thousand Oaks for a break. Lori bought some new videos at Target, while I walked the dog. Then we went to the Foster's Freeze for ice cream (the boys loved it) and gassed up for the next trip segment. Traffic through Santa Barbara was terrible - a 10 mile backup, and we got to Buellton at about 6:30 PM. We ate at a pancake house across from Pea Soup Andersens. We got the boys in PJs, then took off again, stopped in Paso Robles for gas and a break, and finally got to their house by 11:45 PM. It was 1 AM by the time everyone got to bed.

Thursday, December 27: Logan was up by 7 AM, so I got up and let Lori and Lucas sleep until about 9:30. We ate cereal and played in his room and watched Disney channel shows. After everyone was up, I unpacked the car (put all the toys into the garage) for Lori and put my bag in the car. We left for the airport at 11 AM, and they dropped me off at noon. The lines were long but I was at the gate by 12:45 for a 1:20 departure, but the plane wasn't. When I got to San Diego, I hitched a ride home with Linda's friend Barbara who came in from Sacramento about 30 minutes after I arrived. We had an early dinner (leftover turkey) , watched a bit of the Holiday Bowl, and talked about the week a bit before I adjourned to the computer room to retrieve two days of messages.

Looking back, most of my time and energy was spent with Lucas and Logan. I feel like I neglected Lauren when she was here, although we sat in my chair cuddling, played on the floor with blocks and puzzles, and bounced in the Jump House together. She played most of Monday afternoon with the boys, and all of Tuesday morning was devoted to opening gifts.

The boys require a lot of patience and attention - they are very "busy" - always playing, talking, testing and trying. They whine a lot, and often tussle with each other. In the mornings, I usually watched them for an hour or two while Disney Channel played - we have waffles and pancakes (Lucas eats them frozen, Logan eats them toasted with me), and cereal (Honeycomb and Rice Krispies with milk) until they got dressed and went out and played or went somewhere. At bedtime, I put Logan down several nights - we rock, lie down together and I sing to him - then I recite his genealogy and he passes out quickly!

The most fun is talking to the boys - listening to them talk and think out loud, asking them questions, and playing games with them. Lucas talks a lot about his feelings and about what is happening around him - he really enjoys life. He is very bossy - he tells people what to do and wants to lead his brother and any body else in what to play and do. Logan has some words and is directive too - he says the word for "yes" a lot. Their grandpa is just a big kid at heart, and they know it.

I'll put some pictures up when I have had time to upload them. We didn't take very many pictures this week because of the sickness and the hecticity of the days.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Two nights with Logan and Lucas

I flew up to the Santa Cruz area for a day, then drove back to Chula Vista (500 miles) on Thursday with my daughter and her two sons, who will all stay with us for Christmas. I'll do the reverse after Christmas - drive up and fly back.

I flew to San Jose on Wednesday, getting in just after 11. My daughter, Lori, and her son Lucas, age 4, picked me up and we drove to the Santa Cruz area and picked up her 2-year old son, Logan, at his pre-school. We stopped to get lunch, and then drove to their home in the woods. The boys had swimming lessons after their naps, and we came back for dinner, playtime and bedtime. I got to put Logan to sleep, and read books and told three stories (he loves dinosaur stories and family stories) to Lucas before bedtime.

On Thursday, Lori had things to do in the morning - visit friends to exchange gifts, go to the store, stop at the school, have lunch, pack the car, etc. The four of us, with Annie the Aussie cattleherder aboard, left at about 1 PM. We stopped for a break in Paso Robles, and in Santa Maria, and ended up in Santa Barbara for dinner. While I walked the dog, Lori and the boys tried to find a fast-food restaurant for dinner. We ended up at a sit-down Chinese place, and ate, but it wasn't wonderful and the boys were antsy - Logan spilled his drink and needed a clothes change. We left there and drove to Chula Vista, stopping in Santa Monica and Long Beach for breaks. We got to Chula Vista at about 11:30 PM.

Today, the boys got up earlier than their mom, so I got them breakfast and entertained them until about 9:30. We took Annie for a walk, played tag in the yard, and had lunch before naptime. I slept for two hours, but Lucas didn't sleep at all. After naps, they played in the house, we went for another walk, played ball in the back yard, and watched videos. Logan bangs on his drum and sings his "mommy" song. Lucas runs and jumps everywhere. We forgot to kid-proof the house before they came, so they got into the M&M canister, the candy bowl, and found the pens and pencils before we could put them up. After dinner, their mom went out with friends, so I put Logan to bed at about 8 PM and Linda put Lucas down at 8:30. Hopefully, they'll sleep the night.

I fear that I picked up a cold over the last weekend, so I've been fighting fatigue, headaches, snuffy nose and coughs for three days. I hate when that happens!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Story behind "12 Days of Christmas"

Have you ever wondered about THE TWELVE DAYS OF CHRISTMAS? What in the world do leaping lords, French hens, swimming swans, and especially the partridge who won't come out of that pear tree have to do with Christmas? Well ..... here it is!

From 1558 until 1829, Roman Catholics in England were not permitted to practice their faith openly. Someone during that era wrote this carol as a catechism song for young Catholics. It has two levels of meaning: the surface meaning plus a hidden meaning known only to members of their church. Each element in the carol has a code word for a religious reality, which the children could remember.

The partridge in a pear tree was Jesus Christ.

Two turtledoves were the Old and New Testaments.

Three French hens stood for faith, hope and love.

The four calling birds were the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke & John.

The five golden rings recalled the Torah or Law, the first five books of the Old Testament.

The six geese a-laying stood for the six days of creation.

Seven swans a-swimming represented the sevenfold gifts of the Holy Spirit: Prophesy, Serving, Teaching, Exhortation, Contribution, Leadership, and Mercy.

The eight maids a-milking were the eight beatitudes.

Nine ladies dancing were the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, and Self Control.

The ten lords a-leaping were the Ten Commandments.

The eleven pipers piping stood for the eleven faithful disciples.

The twelve drummers drumming symbolized the twelve points of belief in The Apostles' Creed.

NFL Picks - Week 16

I was 9-7 in Week 15 picking winners (Las Vegas was 10-6), and I hit only 1 of the 3 upsets I picked. I am 136-88 (60.7%) on the season.

My Chargers played very well in beat Detroit 51-14. I predicted Chargers 27-23 over the Lions on the basis of Bolt injuries and Detroit's back to the playoff wall. The Bolts played well on offense for three quarters, scoring on their first 7 possessions, running off to a 34-7 halftime lead. LT had several long runs in the first half, and Darren Sproles had over 100 yards in the second half. Philip Rivers was 14 of 21 with no turnovers, hitting key third down passes several times in the first half. The defense played well, especially in the first half, with five picks, despite several key injuries. This week the Chargers are home on Monday night to face Denver, who are 6-8 and is out of the playoffs. The Bolts are favored by 9.5 points. My prediction is that it will be a close game - I'll say Chargers 24-20 over the Broncos due to all of the Bolts injuries.

Here are my week 16 picks of winners (Vegas favorites denoted by *, home team denoted with an H):

Pittsburgh* (9-5) over St. Louis (3-11) (H)
Dallas* (12-2) over Carolina (6-8) (H)
Cleveland* (9-5) over Cincinnati (5-9) (H)
Green Bay* (12-2) over Chicago (5-9) (H)
Indianapolis* (12-2) (H) over Houston (7-7)
Kansas City (4-10) over Detroit* (6-8) (H)
New England* (14-0) (H) over Miami (1-13)
Buffalo (7-7) (H) over NY Giants* (9-5)
Jacksonville* (10-4) (H) over Oakland (4-10)
New Orleans* (7-7) (H) over Philadelphia (6-8)
Minnesota* (8-6) (H) over Washington (7-7)
Arizona* (6-8) (H) over Atlanta (3-11)
Seattle* (9-5) (H) over Baltimore (4-10)
Tennessee* (8-6) (H) over NY Jets (3-11)
Tampa Bay* (9-5) over San Francisco (4-10) (H)
San Diego* (9-5) (H) over Denver (6-8)

I picked Kansas City (+5) and Buffalo (+1) as the only upsets this week. This is a critical week for Tennessee, Buffalo, Minnesota, New Orleans, and Washington as far as playoff spots go.

Here are my 32 team power ratings (my estimates based on won-lost record and point differential) after 13 games:

1. New England (14-0) ........... PR = 38
2. Dallas (12-2) ........................ PR = 33
3. Indianapolis (12-2) ............ PR = 32
4. Green Bay (12-2) ................ PR = 32
5. Jacksonville (10-4) .............. PR = 28

6. Pittsburgh (9-5) ................. PR = 26
7. San Diego (9-5) ............... PR = 26
8. Tampa Bay (9-5) .............. PR = 25
9. Cleveland (9-5) ................ PR = 25
10. Minnesota (8-6) ............. PR = 24

11. Seattle (9-5) ...................... PR = 24
12. Tennessee (8-6) ............... PR = 22
13. New York Giants (9-5) ..... PR = 22
14. Buffalo (7-7) ................... PR = 20
15. Washington (7-7) ........... PR = 20

16. New Orleans (7-7) ........ PR = 20
17. Houston (7-7) ............... PR = 20
18. Philadelphia (6-8) .......... PR = 19
19. Arizona (6-8) .................. PR = 18
20. Denver (6-8) .................... PR = 17

21. Carolina (6-8) ................ PR = 16
22. Cincinnati (5-9) ........... PR = 16
23. Chicago (5-9) .................. PR = 15
24. Detroit (6-8) .................. PR = 14
25. Oakland (4-10) ............. PR = 13

26. Kansas City (4-10) ......... PR = 13
27. Baltimore (4-10) ............ PR = 12
28. San Francisco (4-10) .... PR = 12
29. NY Jets (3-11) .............. PR = 12
30. St. Louis (3-11) ............. PR = 10

31. Atlanta (3-11) ................ PR = 10
32. Miami (1-13) .............. PR = 8

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Saturday, December 15, 2007

Santa's Reindeer

According to the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, while both male and female reindeer grow antlers in the summer each year, male reindeer drop their antlers at the beginning of winter, usually late November to mid-December. Female reindeer retain their antlers till after they give birth in the spring.
Therefore, according to EVERY historical rendition depicting Santa's reindeer, EVERY single one of them, from Rudolph to Blitzen, had to be a girl.
We should have known... ONLY women would be able to drag a fat man in a red velvet suit all around the world in one night and not get lost.
My only comment is "what self-respecting mother would name her daughter 'Rudolph?'" I can see Donder, Dasher, Vixen, Cupid, etc. Maybe Rudolph had special genes that let him stay "horny" through Christmas.

Alternative "12 Days" videos

There are some funny "12 Days of Christmas" videos on YouTube:

1) "12 Daze of Christmas" by Fay McKay (drinking...)

2) "Jeff Foxworthy's Redneck Days of Christmas" by Jeff Foxworthy

3) "12 Pains of Christmas" - annoying Christmas things

4) "Janice Dickinson's 12 Days of Christmas" by Janice Dickinson - funny, R rated.

That's probably enough levity for the season! Puts you in the mood, doesn't it? Or not.

Recipe: Tequila Christmas Cake

Tequila Christmas Cake


1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
Lemon juice
4 large eggs
1 bottle tequila
2 cups of dried fruit


Sample the tequila to check quality.
Take a large bowl
Check the tequila again.
To be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer.
Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add one teaspoon of sugar.
Beat again.
At this point it's best to make sure the tequila is still OK.
Try another cup... just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy.
Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Pick the fruit up off floor.
Mix on the turner.
If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the lequita to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt.
Or something.
Check the tequila.
Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one table.
Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink.
Whatever you can find.

Greash the oven.
Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.
Don't forget to beat off the turner.
Finally, throw the bowl through the window.
Finish the tequila and wipe counter with the cat.


Thank you letters for the gifts - 12 Days of Christmas

This is what happens to a beautiful friendship when gift-giving goes overboard.

Day One
Dear Nuala,
Thank you very much for your lovely present of a partridge in a pear-tree. We’re getting the hang of feeding the partridge now, although it was difficult at first to win its confidence. It bit the mother rather badly on the hand but they’re good friends now and we’re keeping the pear-tree indoors in a bucket. Thank you again.
Yours affectionately, Gobnait O’Lúnasa

Day Two
Dear Nuala,
I cannot tell you how surprised we were to hear from you so soon again and to receive your lovely present of two turtle doves. You really are too kind. At first the partridge was very jealous and suspicious of the doves and they had a terrible row the night the doves arrived. We had to send for the vet but the birds are okay again and the stitches are due to some out in a week or two. The vet’s bill was £8 but the mother is over her annoyance now and the doves and the partridge are watching the telly from the pear-tree as I write.
Yours ever, Gobnait

Day Three
Dear Nuala,
We must be foremost in your thoughts. I had only posted my letter when the three French hens arrived. There was another sort-out between the hens and the doves, who sided with the partridge, and the vet had to be sent for again. The mother was raging because the bill was £16 this time but she has almost cooled down. However, the fact that the birds’ droppings keep falling down on her hair while she’s watching the telly, doesn’t help matters. Thanking you for your kindness.
I remain, Your Gobnait

Day Four
Dear Nuala,
You mustn’t have received my last letter when you were sending us the four calling birds. There was pandemonium in the pear-tree again last night and the vet’s bill was £32. The mother is on sedation as I write. I know you meant no harm and remain your close friend.

Day Five
Your generosity knows no bounds. Five gold rings! When the parcel arrived I was scared stiff that it might be more birds, because the smell in the living-room is atrocious. However, I don’t want to seem ungrateful for the beautiful rings.
Your affectionate friend, Gobnait

Day Six
What are you trying to do to us? It isn’t that we don’t appreciate your generosity but the six geese have not alone nearly murdered the calling birds but they laid their eggs on top of the vet’s head from the pear-tree and his bill was £68 in cash ! My mother is munching 60 grains of Valium a day and talking to herself in a most alarming way. You must keep your feelings for me in check.

Day Seven
We are not amused by your little joke. Seven swans-a-swimming is a most romantic idea but not in the bath of a private house. We cannot use the bathroom now because they’ve gone completely savage and rush the door every time we try to enter. If things go on this way, the mother and I will smell as bad as the living-room carpet. Please lay off. It is not fair.

Day Eight
Who the hell do you think gave you the right to send eight, hefty maids-a-milking here, to eat us out of house and home? Their cattle are all over the front lawn and have trampled the hell out of the mother’s rose-beds. The swans invaded the living-room in a sneak attack and the ensuing battle between them and the calling birds, turtle doves, French hens and partridge make the Battle of the Somme seem like Wanderly Wagon. The mother is on a bottle of whiskey a day, as well as the sixty grains of Valium. I’m very annoyed with you.

Day Nine
Listen you louser! There’s enough pandemonium in this place night and day without nine drummers drumming, while the eight flaming maids-a-milking are beating my poor, old alcoholic mother out of her own kitchen and gobbling everything in sight. I’m warning you, you’re making an enemy of me.

Day Ten
Listen manure-face, I hope you’ll be haunted by the strains of ten pipers piping which you sent to torment us last night. They were aided in their evil work by those maniac drummers and it wasn’t a pleasant sight to look out the window and see eight hefty maids-a-milking pogo-ing around with the ensuing punk-rock uproar. My mother has just finished her third bottle of whiskey, on top of a hundred and twenty four grains of Valium. You’ll get yours!
Gobnait O’Lúnasa

Day Eleven
You have scandalised my mother, you dirty Jezebel, It was bad enough to have eight maids-a-milking dancing to punk music on the front lawn but they’ve now been joined by your friends ~ the eleven Lords-a-leaping and the antics of the whole lot of them would leave the most decadent days of the Roman Empire looking like “Outlook”. I’ll get you yet, you old bag !

Day Twelve
Listen, slurry head, You have ruined our lives. The twelve maidens dancing turned up last night and beat the living daylights out of the eight maids-a-milking, ‘cos they found them carrying on with the eleven Lords-a-leaping. Meanwhile, the swans got out of the living-room, where they’d been hiding since the big battle, and savaged hell out of the Lords and all the Maids. There were eight ambulances here last night, and the local Civil Defence as well. The mother is in a home for the bewildered and I’m sitting here, up to my neck in birds’ droppings, empty whiskey and Valium bottles, birds’ blood and feathers, while the flaming cows eat the leaves off the pear-tree. I’m a broken man.
Gobnait O’Lúnasa

The PC 12 Days of Christmas

On the 12th day of the Eurocentrically imposed midwinter festival, my potential-acquaintance-rape-survivor gave to me,

TWELVE males reclaiming their inner warrior through ritual drumming.

ELEVEN pipers piping (plus the 18-member pit orchestra made up of members in good standing of the Musicians Equity Union as called for in their union contract even though they will not be asked to play a note...)

TEN melanin-deprived testosterone-poisoned scions of the patriarchal ruling class system leaping,

NINE persons engaged in rhythmic self-expression,

EIGHT economically disadvantaged female persons stealing milk-products from enslaved Bovine-Americans,

SEVEN endangered swans swimming on federally protected wetlands,

SIX enslaved fowl-Americans producing stolen nonhuman animal products,

FIVE golden symbols of culturally sanctioned enforced domestic incarceration.

(NOTE: after a member of the Animal Liberation Front threatened to throw red paint at my computer, the calling birds, French hens and partridge have been reintroduced to their native habitat. To avoid further animal-American enslavement, the remaining gift package has been revised.)

FOUR hours of recorded whale songs,

THREE deconstructionist poets,

TWO Sierra Club calendars printed on recycled processed tree carcasses and

a Spotted Owl activist chained to an old-growth pear tree.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Planning the Christmas Party

From my email - looks like I won't get to the office party this year.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 01, 2007
RE: Christmas Party

I'm happy to inform you that the company Christmas Party will take place on December 23, starting at noon in the private function room at the Grill House. There will be a cash bar and plenty of drinks! We'll have a small band playing Traditional carols...feel free to sing along. And don't be surprised if our CEO Shows up dressed as Santa Claus!

A Christmas tree will be lit at 1:00 PM. Exchange of gifts among employees can be done at that time; however, no gift Should be over $10.00 to make the giving of gifts easy for everyone's pockets. This gathering is only for employees! Our CEO will make a special announcement at that time!

Merry Christmas to you and your family -- Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 02, 2007
RE: Holiday Party

In no way was yesterday's memo intended to exclude our Jewish employees. We Recognize that Chanukah is an important holiday, which often coincides with Christmas, though unfortunately not this year. However, from now on we're calling it our 'Holiday Party.' The same policy applies to any other employees who are not Christians or those still celebrating Reconciliation Day.

There Will be no Christmas tree present. No Christmas carols sung. We will have other types of music for your enjoyment.

Happy Holidays to you and your family -- Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All Employees
DATE: December 03, 2007
RE: Holiday Party

Regarding the note I received from a member of Alcoholics Anonymous requesting a non-drinking table ... You didn't sign your name. I'm happy to accommodate This request, but if I put a sign on a table that reads, 'AA Only' you wouldn't be anonymous anymore. How am I supposed to handle this?Somebody?

Forget about the gift exchange, no gift exchanges are allowed since the union Members feel that $10.00 is too much money and executives believe $10.00 is a Little chintzy. NO GIFTS EXCHANGE WILL BE ALLOWED.

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
To: All Employees
DATE: December 04, 2007
RE: Holiday Party

What a diverse group we are! I had no idea that December 20 begins the Muslim Holy month of Ramadan, which forbids eating and drinking during daylight hours. There goes the party! Seriously, we can appreciate how a luncheon at this time of year does not accommodate our Muslim employees' beliefs. Perhaps the Grill House can hold off on serving your meal until the end of the party- or else package everything for you to take it home in a little foil doggy baggy. Will That work?

Meanwhile, I've arranged for members of Weight Watchers to sit farthest from the dessert buffet and pregnant women will get the table closest to the restrooms. Gays are allowed to sit with each other. Lesbians do not have to sit with Gay men, each will have their own table. Yes, there will be flower Arrangement for the Gay men's table.

To the person asking permission to cross dress, no cross-dressing allowed though. We will have booster seats for short people. Low-fat food will be available for those on a diet. We cannot control the salt used in the food we suggest for those people with high blood pressure to taste first. There will be fresh fruits as dessert for diabetics, the restaurant cannot supply 'No Sugar' desserts. Sorry!

Did I miss anything?!?!? Patty

FROM: Patty Lewis, Human Resources Director
TO: All damn Employees
DATE: December 05, 2007
RE: The damn Holiday Party

Vegetarian pricks I've had it with you people!!! We're going to keep this party at the Grill House whether you like it or not, so you can sit quietly at the table furthest from the 'grill of death,' as you so quaintly put it, and you'll get your damn salad bar, including organic tomatoes. But you know, tomatoes have feelings, too. They scream when you slice them. I've heard them scream. I'm hearing them scream right NOW!

I hope you all have a rotten holiday! Drive drunk and die,

The Bitch from H*ELL!!!!!!!!

FROM: Joan Bishop, Acting Human Resources Director
DATE: December 06, 2007
RE: Patty Lewis and Holiday Party

I'm sure I speak for all of us in wishing Patty Lewis a speedy recovery and I'll continue to forward your cards to her.

In the meantime, management has decided to cancel our Holiday Party and give everyone the afternoon of the 23rd off with full pay.

Happy Xmas

Things you see at the mall

From my email ...

I took my dad to the mall the other day to buy some new shoes. We decided to grab a bite at the food court. I noticed he was watching a teenager sitting next to him. The teenager had spiked hair in all different colors: green, red, orange, and blue.

My dad kept staring at him. The teenager would look and find him staring every time. When the teenager had enough, he sarcastically asked, "What's the matter old man, never done anything wild in your life?"

Knowing my Dad, I quickly swallowed my food so that I would not choke on his response, knowing he would have a good one. And in classic style he did not bat an eye in his response.

Dad said "Got drunk once and had sex with a peacock. I was just wondering if you were my son."

The Magic Elevator

An Amish boy and his father were in a mall. They were amazed by almost everything they saw, but especially by two shiny, silver walls that could move apart and then slide back together again.

The boy asked, 'What is this Father?'

The father (never having seen an elevator) responded, 'Son, I have never seen anything like this in my life, I don't know what it is.'

While the boy and his father were watching with amazement, a fat old lady in a wheel chair moved up to the moving walls and pressed a button. The walls opened, and the lady rolled between them into a small room. The walls closed, and the boy and his father watched the small numbers above the walls light up sequentially.

They continued to watch until it reached the last number, and then the numbers began to light in the reverse order. Finally the walls opened up again and a gorgeous 24-year-old blonde stepped out.

The father, not taking his eyes off the young woman, said quietly to his son .. 'Go get your mother.'

50 Years of Wedded Bliss

A man and his wife were celebrating 50 years together. Their 3 kids, all very successful, agreed to a Sunday dinner in their honor.

"Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad," gushed son number one ... "Sorry I'm running late. I had an emergency at the hospital with a patient, you know how it is, and didn't have time to get you a gift."

"Not to worry," said the father. "The important thing is that we're all together today."

Son number two arrived and announced, "You and Mom look great, Dad. I just flew in from Los Angeles between depositions and didn't have time to shop for you."

"It's nothing," said the father, "We're glad you were able to come."

Just then the daughter arrived, "Hello and happy anniversary! I'm sorry, but my boss is sending me out of town and I was really busy packing so I didn't have time to get you anything."

After they had finished dessert, the father said, "There's something your mother and I have wanted to tell you for a long time. You see, we were very poor. Despite this, we were able to send each of you to College. Throughout the years your mother and I knew that we loved each other very much, but we just never found the time to actually get married."

The three children gasped and all said, "You mean we're Bastards!!!???

"Yep," said the father. "And cheap ones too."

NFL Picks - Week 15

I was 14-2 in Week 14 picking winners (Las Vegas was 13-3), and I hit 2 of the 3 upsets I picked. I am 127-81 (61.1%) on the season.

My Chargers played well enough to beat Tennessee 23-17 in overtime. I predicted Chargers 21-17 over the Titans. The Bolts played poorly on offense for three quarters, then scored 20 points in the 4th quarter and overtime. LT had several long runs, but Rivers was only 21-40 with three turnovers. The defense played decent, especially in the second half, despite several key injuries. This week the Chargers stay home to face Detroit, who is 6-7 with 5 losses in a row. The Bolts are favored by 9.5. My prediction is that it will be a close game - I'll say Chargers 27-23 over the Lions due to all of the injuries.

Here are my week 15 picks of winners (Vegas favorites denoted by *, home team denoted with an H):

Denver (6-7) over Houston* (6-7) (H)
Cincinnati* (5-8) over San Francisco (3-10) (H)
San Diego* (8-5) (H) over Detroit (6-7)
New Orleans* (6-7) (H) over Arizona (6-7)
Tampa Bay* (8-5) (H) over Atlanta (3-10)
Baltimore* (4-9) over Miami (0-13) (H)
Buffalo (7-6) over Cleveland* (8-5) (H)
Green Bay* (11-2) over St. Louis (3-10) (H)
Jacksonville (9-4) over Pittsburgh* (9-4) (H)
New England* (13-0) (H) over NY Jets (3-10)
Seattle* (9-4) over Carolina (5-8) (H)
Tennessee* (7-6) over Kansas City (4-9) (H)
Indianapolis* (11-2) over Oakland (4-9) (H)
Dallas* (12-1) (H) over Philadelphia (5-8)
NY Giants* (9-4) (H) over Washington (6-7)
Minnesota* (7-6) (H) over Chicago (5-8)

I picked Denver (+3), Buffalo (+5.5) and Jacksonville (+5.5) as upsets this week. This is a critical week for Denver, Tennessee, Buffalo, Arizona, Minnesota, Detroit, New Orleans, and Washington as far as playoff spots go.

Here are my 32 team power ratings (my estimates based on won-lost record and point differential) after 13 games:

1. New England (13-0) ........... PR = 38
2. Dallas (12-1) ........................ PR = 34
3. Indianapolis (11-2) ............ PR = 32
4. Green Bay (11-2) ................ PR = 31
5. Pittsburgh (9-4) ................. PR = 27

6. Jacksonville (9-4) .............. PR = 27
7. Seattle (9-4) ...................... PR = 27
8. New York Giants (9-4) ..... PR = 25
9. Tampa Bay (8-5) .............. PR = 24
10. San Diego (8-5) ............... PR = 24

11. Cleveland (8-5) ................ PR = 23
12. Minnesota (7-6) ............. PR = 22
13. Tennessee (7-6) ............... PR = 21
14. Buffalo (7-6) ................... PR = 20
15. Arizona (6-7) .................. PR = 19

16. Washington (6-7) ........... PR = 19
17. New Orleans (6-7) ........ PR = 19
18. Houston (6-7) ............... PR = 19
19. Denver (6-7) .................... PR = 18
20. Detroit (6-7) .................. PR = 18

21. Philadelphia (5-8) .......... PR = 17
22. Cincinnati (5-8) ........... PR = 17
23. Chicago (5-8) .................. PR = 16
24. Carolina (5-8) ................ PR = 15
25. Baltimore (4-9) ............ PR = 14

26. Oakland (4-9) ............. PR = 14
27. Kansas City (4-9) ......... PR = 13
28. NY Jets (3-10) .............. PR = 12
29. St. Louis (3-10) ............. PR = 11
30. Atlanta (3-10) ................ PR = 11

31. San Francisco (3-10) .... PR = 10
32. Miami (0-13) .............. PR = 6

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Bad Day on Via Trieste

Life - and death - have a way of turning a day to something you hadn't planned on. I was working on my email in my pajamas this morning when Linda called "Randy, come here quick."

I ran to the front door, and saw a fire truck at the neighbor's house three doors down. We heard a siren in the distance, it was coming closer, then the siren stopped and the ambulance turned onto our street, and stopped in back of the fire truck. I ran back in and put on my pants and shoes and walked down to the house - Leroy and Nina's house. Their neighbor, Mary, came out also and we watched the EMTs take the gurney in. We had no idea what had happened, but we knew it wasn't good.

By the time Linda got dressed and came down, the EMTs came out with a grim look and started talking on their radios. We could hear only snatches of conversation about "down ... 30 minutes ...declare ..." When one EMT walked to his truck, I went down and asked what had happened. He said "the gentleman died..." Linda and Mary burst into tears, and we three hugged each other in the wind and cold. We didn't know what to do. Mary went and called Nina's best friends to let them know.

Finally, the firemen came out, took their suits off, and we approached them again. They said that there was nothing they could do for him. Soon, they called for Mary to go in and console Nina. Linda went off to go to church. I went across the street to tell Arland about it, and he said "Leroy was fine last night when we were talking in the garage. What a terrible thing."

This afternoon, we went down to visit Nina and took her some cookies to share with visitors. Others were there. She said that Leroy had gotten up, taken the sports section into the bathroom, and never made another sound. She found him on the bathroom floor, and called 9-1-1. They tried to resuscitate him but were unsuccessful. A massive heart attack, they said.

Mary and others had the situation under control - the body had been taken away, tentative plans for burial were made, family and friends were contacted, and Nina was grieving in her own way. There was a lot of sharing about Leroy and even some chuckles about his habits and personality.

My friend Leroy was a wonderful man - a Chargers fan, a Padres fan, a real Neighbor who helped you any way he could, a mechanical genius, a wonderful husband and father.

May he rest in peace.

A baby's hug

From my email...not my story.

"Be kinder than necessary...everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about."

We were the only family with children in the restaurant. I sat Erik in a high chair and noticed everyone was quietly sitting and talking. Suddenly, Erik squealed with glee and said, 'Hi.' He pounded his fat baby hands on the high chair tray. His eyes were crinkled in laughter and his mouth was bared in a toothless grin, as he wriggled and giggled with merriment.

I looked around and saw the source of his merriment. It was a man whose pants were baggy with a zipper at half-mast and his toes poked out of would-be shoes. His shirt was dirty and his hair was uncombed and unwashed. His whiskers were too short to be called a beard and his nose was so varicose it looked like a road map.

We were too far from him to smell, but I was sure he smelled. His hands waved and flapped on loose wrists. 'Hi there, baby; hi there, big boy. I see ya, buster,' the man said to Erik.

My husband and I exchanged looks thinking, 'What do we do?' Erik continued to laugh and answer, 'Hi.' Everyone in the restaurant noticed and looked at us and then at the man. The old geezer was creating a nuisance with my beautiful baby. Our meal> came and the man began shouting from across the room, 'Do ya patty cake? Do you know peek-a-boo? Hey, look, he knows peek- a-boo.' Nobody thought the old man was cute. He was obviously drunk.

My husband and I were embarrassed. We ate in silence; all except for Erik, who was running through his repertoire for the admiring skid-row bum, who in turn, reciprocated with his cute comments. We finally got through the meal and headed for the door. My husband went to pay the check and told me to meet him in the parking lot. The old man sat poised between me and the door. 'Lord, just let me out of here before he speaks to me or Erik,' I prayed.

As I drew closer to the man, I turned my back trying to sidestep him and avoid any air he might be breathing. As I did, Erik leaned over my arm, reaching with both arms in a baby's 'pick-me-up' position. Before I could stop him, Erik had propelled himself from my arms to the man. Suddenly a very old smelly man and a very young baby consummated their love and kinship. Erik in an act of total trust, love, and submission laid his tiny head upon the man's ragged shoulder. The man's eyes closed, and I saw tears hover beneath his lashes. His aged hands full of grime, pain, and hard labor, cradled my baby's bottom and stroked his back. No two beings have ever loved so deeply for so short a time.

I stood awestruck. The old man rocked and cradled Erik in his arms and his eyes opened and set squarely on mine. He said in a firm commanding> voice, 'You take care of this baby.'

Somehow I managed, 'I will,' from a throat that contained a stone.

He pried Erik from his chest, lovingly and longingly, as though he were in pain. I received my baby, and the man said, 'God bless you, ma'am, you've given me my Christmas gift.'

I said nothing more than a muttered thanks. With Erik in my arms, I ran for the car. My husband was wondering why I was crying and holding Erik so tightly, and why I was saying, 'My God, my God, forgive me.'> I had just witnessed Christ's love shown through the innocence of a tiny child who saw no sin, who made no judgment; a child who saw a soul, and a mother who saw a suit of clothes. I was a Christian who was blind, holding a child who was not. I felt it was God asking, 'Are you willing to share your son for a moment?' when He shared His for all eternity.

The ragged old man, unwittingly, had reminded me, 'To enter the Kingdom of God , we must become as little children.'

Sometimes, it takes a child to remind us of what is really important. We must always remember who we are, where we came from, how we got where we are, and, most importantly, how we feel about others. The clothes on your back or the car that you drive or the house that you live in does not define you at all; it is how you treat your fellow man that identifies who you are.

'It is better to be liked for the true you, than to be loved for who people think you are......'

Why Men are Happier

Your last name stays put.

The garage is all yours.

Wedding plans take care of themselves.

Chocolate is just another snack.

You can be President.

You can never be pregnant.

You can wear a white T-shirt to a water park.

You can wear NO shirt to a water park.

Car mechanics tell you the truth.

The world is your urinal.

You never have to drive to another gas station restroom because this one is just too icky.

You don't have to stop and think of which way to turn a nut on a bolt.

Same work, more pay.

Wrinkles add character.

Wedding dress $500. Tux rental-$100.

People never stare at your chest when you're talking to them.

New shoes don't cut, blister, or mangle your feet.

One mood all the time. !

Phone conversations are over in 30 seconds flat.

You know stuff about tanks.

A five-day vacation requires only one suitcase.

You can open all your own jars.

You get extra credit for the slightest act of thoughtfulness.

If someone forgets to invite you, he or she can still be your friend.

Your underwear is $8.95 for a three-pack.

Three pairs of shoes are more than enough.

You almost never have strap problems in public.

You are unable to see wrinkles in your clothes.

Everything on your face stays its original color.

The same hairstyle lasts for years, maybe decades.

You only have to shave your face and neck.

You can play with toys all your life.

One wallet and one pair of shoes -- one color for all seasons.

You can wear shorts no matter how your legs look.

You can "do" your nails with a pocket knife.

You have freedom of choice concerning growing a mustache.

You can do Christmas shopping for 25 relatives on December 24 in 25 minutes.

No wonder men are happier!!!

12 Gifts of Christmas

On the first day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A Japanese transistor radio.

On the second day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
Green polka-dot pajamas,
And a Japanese transistor radio.
(It’s a Nakashuma.)

On the third day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A calendar book with the name of my insurance man,
Green polka-dot pajamas,
And a Japanese transistor radio.
(It’s the Mark IV model. That’s the one that’s discontinued.)

On the fourth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A simulated alligator wallet,
A calendar book with the name of my insurance man,
Green polka-dot pajamas,
And a Japanese transistor radio.
(And it comes in a leatherette case with holes in it, so you can listen right through the case.)

On the fifth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A statue of a lady, with a clock where her stomach ought to be,
A simulated alligator wallet,
A calendar book with the name of my insurance man,
Green polka-dot pajamas,
And a Japanese transistor radio.
(And it has a wire with a thing on one end that you can stick in your ear, and a thing on the other end that you can’t stick anywhere, because it’s bent.)

On the sixth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A hammered aluminum nutcracker,
And all that other stuff,
And a Japanese transistor radio.

On the seventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A pink satin pillow that says San Diego, with fringe all around it,
And all that other stuff,
And a Japanese transistor radio.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to meAn indoor plastic birdbath,
And all that other stuff,
And a Japanese transistor radio.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A pair of teakwood shower clogs,
And a Japanese transistor radio.

On the tenth day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
A chromium combination manicure scissors and cigarette lighter,
And a Japanese transistor radio.

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love gave to me
An automatic vegetable slicer that works when you see it on television, but not when you get it home,
And a Japanese transistor radio.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, although it may seem strange,
On the twelfth day of Christmas, I’m going to exchange:

An automatic vegetable slicer that works when you see it on television, but not when you get it home,
A chromium combination manicure scissors and cigarette lighter,
A pair of teakwood shower clogs,
An indoor plastic birdbath,
A pink satin pillow that says San Diego, with fringe all around it,
A hammered aluminum nutcracker,
A statue of a lady, with a clock where her stomach ought to be,
A simulated alligator wallet,
A calendar book with the name of my insurance man,
Green polka-dot pajamas,
And a Japanese transistor radio.

by Allan Sherman

Merry Christmas everybody!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

NFL Picks - Week 14

I was 8-8 in Week 13 picking winners (Las Vegas was 10-4-2), and I hit only 2 of the 6 upsets I picked. I am 113-79 (58.8%) on the season.

My Chargers played well enough to beat Kansas City 24-10. I predicted Chargers 20-16 over the Chiefs. The Bolts turned several long plays into touchdowns, but had trouble sustaining drives on offense. Tomlinson had several long runs, but Rivers was only 10-21. The defense played better - they had 8 sacks at KC could not protect the passer, who could find only Tony Gonzalez to catch the ball. This week the Chargers go to Tennessee, who is also 7-5 after beating Houston last week. They are like the Chargers - a decent defense with a suspect offense. The Titans are favored by 1.5. My prediction is that it will be close game - I'll say Chargers 21-17 over the Titans.

Here are my week 14 picks (winners, home team denoted with an H):

Chicago (5-7) over Washington (5-7) (H)
San Diego (7-5) over Tennessee (7-5) (H)
Jacksonville (8-4) (H) over Carolina (5-7)
Dallas (11-1) over Detroit (6-6) (H)
Buffalo (6-6) (H) over Miami (0-12)
NY Giants (8-4) over Philadelphia (5-7) (H)
Green Bay (10-2) (H) over Oakland (4-8)
New England (12-0) (H) over Pittsburgh (9-3)
Cincinnati (4-8) (H) over St. Louis (3-9)
Tampa Bay (8-4) over Houston (5-7) (H)
Seattle (8-4) (H) over Arizona (6-6)
Minnesota (6-6) over San Francisco (3-9) (H)
Cleveland (7-5) over NY Jets (3-9) (H)
Denver (5-7) (H) over Kansas City (4-8)
Indianapolis (10-2) over Baltimore (4-8) (H)
New Orleans (5-7) over Atlanta (3-9) (H)

I picked Chicago (+3), San Diego (+1.5), and NY Giants (+3) as upsets this week. I picked only 7 home teams (Las Vegas picked 10). This is a critical week for Chicago, Washington, Tennessee, Arizona, Detroit, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Baltimore, Denver and Cleveland as far as playoff spots go.

Here are my 32 team power ratings (my estimates based on won-lost record and point differential) after 12 games:

1. New England (12-0) ........... PR = 37
2. Dallas (11-1) ........................ PR = 33
3. Green Bay (10-2) ................ PR = 30
4. Indianapolis (10-2) ............ PR = 30
5. Pittsburgh (9-3) ................. PR = 28

6. Jacksonville (8-4) .............. PR = 26
7. Seattle (8-4) ...................... PR = 25
8. Tampa Bay (8-4) .............. PR = 25
9. New York Giants (8-4) ..... PR = 23
10. San Diego (7-5) ............... PR = 23

11. Tennessee (7-5) ............... PR = 22
12. Minnesota (6-6) ............. PR = 21
13. Cleveland (7-5) ................ PR = 21
14. Arizona (6-6) .................. PR = 20
15. Buffalo (6-6) ................... PR = 19

16. Philadelphia (5-7) .......... PR = 18
17. Washington (5-7) ........... PR = 18
18. Chicago (5-7) .................. PR = 17
19. Denver (5-7) .................... PR = 17
20. Detroit (6-6) .................. PR = 17

21. Carolina (5-7) ................ PR = 17
22. New Orleans (5-7) ........ PR = 17
23. Houston (5-7) ............... PR = 17
24. Baltimore (4-8) ............ PR = 16
25. Kansas City (4-8) ......... PR = 16

26. Cincinnati (4-8) ........... PR = 16
27. Oakland (4-8) ............. PR = 15
28. St. Louis (3-9) ............. PR = 13
29. NY Jets (3-9) .............. PR = 12
30. Atlanta (3-9) ................ PR = 12

31. San Francisco (3-9) .... PR = 11
32. Miami (0-12) .............. PR = 9

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Money is Money

Morris and his wife Esther went to the State Fair every year. Every year, Morris would say "Esther, I'd like to ride in that helicopter."

Esther always replied, "I know, Morris, but that helicopter ride is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars."

A few years later, Esther and Morris went to the Fair. Morris said, "Esther, I'm 85 years old. If I don't ride that helicopter now, I might never get another chance.

Esther replied, "Morris, that helicopter is 50 dollars and 50 dollars is 50 dollars."

The pilot overheard the couple. He said, "Folks, I'll make you a deal. If you can stay quiet for the entire ride, and not say a word, I won't charge you! But if you say one word, it's 50 dollars."

Morris and Esther agreed -- and up they went. The pilot did all kinds of fancy maneuvers, but not a word was heard. He did his daredevil tricks over and over again, but still not a word. When they landed, the pilot turned to Morris. He said" By golly, I did everything I could to get you you to yell out, but you didn't. I'm impressed!"

Morris replied, "Well, I was going to say something when Esther fell out, but 50 dollars is 50 dollars."

Chocolate Sings!

From my email...

One day I had a date for lunch with friends. Mae, a little old "blue hair" about 80 years old, came along with them --- all in all, a pleasant bunch. When the menus were presented, we ordered salads, sandwiches, and soups, except for Mae who said, "Ice Cream, please. Two scoops, chocolate."

I wasn't sure my ears heard right, and the others were aghast. "Along with heated apple pie," Mae added, completely unabashed.

We tried to act quite nonchalant, as if people did this all the time. But when our orders were brought out, I didn't enjoy mine. I couldn't take my eyes off Mae as her pie a-la-mode went down. The other ladies showed dismay. They ate their lunches silently and frowned.

The next time I went out to eat, I called and invited Mae. I lunched on white meat tuna. She ordered a parfait. I smiled. She asked if she amused me. I answered, "Yes, you do, but also you confuse me. How come you order rich desserts, while I feel I must be sensible?

She laughed and said, with wanton mirth, "I'm tasting all that's Possible. I try to eat the food I need, and do the things I should. But life's so short, my friend, I hate missing out on something good. This year I realized how old I was. (She grinned) I haven't been this old before.""So, before I die, I've got to try those things that for years I had ignored. I haven't smelled all the flowers yet. There are too many books I haven't read. There's more fudge sundaes to wolf down and kites to be flown overhead. There are many malls I haven't shopped. I've not laughed at all the jokes. I've missed a lot of Broadway hits and potato chips and cokes. I want to wade again in water and feel ocean spray on my face. I want to sit in a country church once more and thank God for His grace. I want peanut butter every day spread on my morning toast. I want un-timed long distance calls to the folks I love the most. I haven't cried at all the movies yet, or walked in the morning rain. I need to feel wind in my hair. I want to fall in love again. So, if I choose to have dessert, instead of having dinner, then should I die before night fall, I'd say I died a winner, because I missed out on nothing. I filled my heart's desire. I had that final chocolate mousse before my life expired."

With that, I called the waitress over.. "I've changed my mind," I said. "I want what she is having, only add some more whipped cream!"

This is my gift to you - We need an annual Friends Day! Be mindful that happiness isn't based on possessions, power, or prestige, but on relationships with people we love and respect. Remember that while money talks,


The Chauffeur

Billy Graham was returning to Charlotte after a speaking engagement and when his plane arrived there was a limousine there to transport him to his home.

As he prepared to get into the limo, he stopped and spoke to the driver. "You know" he said, "I am 87 years old and I have never driven a limousine. Would you mind if I drove it for a while?"

The driver said, "No problem. Have at it." Billy gets into the driver's seat and they head off down the highway. A short distance away sat a rookie State Trooper operating his first speed trap.

The long black limo went by him doing 70 in a 55 mph zone. The trooper pulled out and easily caught the limo and he got out of his patrol car to begin the procedure. The young trooper walked up to the driver's door and when the glass was rolled down, he was surprised to see who was driving.

He immediately excused himself and went back to his car and called his supervisor. He told the supervisor, "I know we are supposed to enforce the law.... But I also know that important people are given certain courtesies. I need to know what I should do because I have stopped a very important person."

The supervisor asked, "Is it the governor?"

The young trooper said, "No, he's more important than that."

The supervisor said, "Oh, so it's the president."

The young trooper said, "No, he's even more important than that."

The supervisor finally asked, "Well then, who is it?"

The young trooper said, "I think it's Jesus, because he's got Billy Graham for a chauffeur!"

The Old Priest

The old priest lay dying in the hospital. For years, he had faithfully served the people of the nation's capital in Washington D.C. He motioned for his nurse to come near.

"Yes, Father?" said the nurse.

"I would really like to see President Bill and Senator Hillary Clinton before I die," whispered the priest.

"I'll see what I can do, Father" replied the nurse.

The nurse sent the request to the Senate and waited for a response. Soon the word arrived; the Clintons would be delighted to visit the priest.

As they went to the hospital, Hillary commented to Bill, "I don't know why the old priest wants to see us, but it certainly will help our images and might even get me elected President. After all, I'm IN IT TO WIN IT."

Bill agreed--it was a very good thing for her campaign once they put out a press release about it.

When they arrived at the priest's room, the old priest took Bill's hand in his right hand and Hillary's hand in his left. There was silence and a look of serenity on the old priest's face.

Finally Bill Clinton spoke. "Father, of all the people you could have chosen, why did you choose us to be with you as you near the end?"

The old priest slowly replied, "I have always tried to pattern my life after our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

"Amen" said Bill.

"Amen" said Hillary.

The old priest continued...

"He died between two lying thieves. I would like to do the same."

The Christmas Pageant

My husband and I had been happily married (most of the time) for five years but hadn't been blessed with a baby. I decided to do some serious praying and promised God that if he would give us a child, I would be a perfect mother, love it with all my heart and raise it with His word as my guide.

God answered my prayers and blessed us with a son. The next year God blessed us with another son.The following year, He blessed us with yet another son. The year after that we were blessed with a daughter. My husband thought we'd been blessed right into poverty. We now had four children,and the oldest was only four years old. I learned never to ask God for anything unless I meant it. As a minister once told me,'If you pray for rain, make sure you carry an umbrella.

I began reading a few verses of the Bible to the children each day as they lay in their cribs. I was off to a good start. God had entrusted me with four children and I didn't want to disappoint Him.

I tried to be patient the day the children smashed two dozen eggs on the kitchen floor searching for baby chicks. I tried to be understanding... when they started a hotel for homeless frogs in the spare bedroom, although it took me nearly two hours to catch all twenty-three frogs. When my daughter poured ketchup all over herself and rolled up in a blanket to see how it felt to be a hot dog, I tried to see the humor rather than the mess.

In spite of changing over twenty-five thousand diapers, never eating a hot meal and never sleeping for more than thirty minutes at a time, I still thank God daily for my children. While I couldn't keep my promise to be a perfect mother -I didn't even come close...I did keep my promise to raise them in the Word of God.

I knew I was missing the mark just a little when I told my daughter we were going to church to worship God,and she wanted to bring a bar of soap along to 'wash up' Jesus, too. Something was lost in the translation when I explained that God gave us everlasting life, and my son thought it was generous of God to give us his 'last wife.'

My proudest moment came during the children's Christmas pageant. My daughter was playing Mary, two of my sons were shepherds and my youngest son was a wise man. This was their moment to shine. My five-year-old shepherd had practiced his line, 'We found the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes.' But he was nervous and said, 'The baby was wrapped in wrinkled clothes.' My four-year-old 'Mary' said, 'That's not 'wrinkled clothes,' silly. That's dirty, rotten clothes.'

A wrestling match broke out between Mary and the shepherd and was stopped by an angel, who bent her halo and lost her left wing.I slouched a little lower in my seat when Mary dropped the doll representing Baby Jesus, and it bounced down the aisle crying, 'Mama-mama.' Mary grabbed the doll, wrapped it back up and held it tightly as the wise men arrived. My other son stepped forward wearing a bathrobe and a paper crown, knelt at the manger and announced, 'We are the three wise men, and we are bringing gifts of gold, common sense and fur.'

The congregation dissolved into laughter,and the pageant got a standing ovation. 'I've never enjoyed a Christmas program as much as this one,' laughed the pastor, wiping tears from his eyes. 'For the rest of my life, I'll never hear the Christmas story without thinking of gold,common sense and fur.'

'My children are my pride and my joy and my greatest blessing,' I said as I dug through my purse for an aspirin.