Thursday, November 23, 2006

Giving Thanks

Hey pals and palettes,

Hope everyone had a super-groovy Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving has always been one of my favorite holidays, full of warm memories from my childhood, right up to today.

This year was another triumph. The day began (of course) with the yearly ritual of watching the Thanksgiving Day Parade. Despite the yucky weather, no light poles fell on anyone this year, and that alone is something to be thankful for. Even an unwelcome roof leak that sprung up in the middle of the daycould not ruin the good karma today.

We had the familiy over here and set up extra tables, chairs, etc. We had a 22-pound turkey (!) that was big enough to feed a small, fourth-world nation. I don't know how Mon does it, but she always makes perfect turkey - whether it's a 10-lb midget or a 22-lb behemoth. This year's was juicy, dark brown and perfect. One breast pretty much fed the whole brood.

Two kinds of stuffing, two kinds of cranberry (compote and the good ol' jelly), the obligatory green bean casserole, yams, corn...a feast above feasts. Five kinds of pie and cheesecake for dessert. Woof...I'm still stuffed.

It's been a few hours since the house emptied out, and as we sit and reflect, we certainly have a lot to be thankful for, leak be damned (especially the new Maytag dishwasher!). I sit here and raise a late-night beverage to all friends and family, I wish that you and yours enjoyed the same good company and food that we enjoyed here today at stately Sayek manor.

Let the holiday season begin!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

No Thanks...for the Spam

Has anyone else has had the misfortune of getting Spammed or included on this chain e-mail that's been going around lately telling people NOT to celebrate Thanksgiving this year? There's a big diatribe attached to it that rehashes the old "Evil Pilgrims" tale and goes on about how the Indians were mistreated and taken advantage of, so Thanksgiving is bad, bad, BAD, etc., etc.

Thankfully (no pun intended), the guy who forwarded me this nonsense IS a friend and only sent it to me because he knew it would get my goat (and so I won't feel obligated to take a tack hammer to the side of his head). Unfortunately, the origins of this chain e-mail do indeed seem to be serious.

Look, lunatics…Thanksgiving is all about being thankful for what you have, your friends and family and counting your blessings - NOT what went on over 400 years ago. Maybe some people still DO think about it that way, but many people DON'T. Nothing is more unappealing than modern-day, 21st-Century Pilgrim guilt. What the hell is THAT all about?

If it makes the malignant narcissists out there feel any better (because I know, nowadays it's all about "feelings"), speaking as someone whose lineage is 50% American Indian (or Screaming Red Savage, whatever you prefer), it's OK. I forgive you on behalf of people that have been dead for a few hundred years and probably weren't your ancestors anyway. Let's move on. Or, feel free to go right ahead and have a Whopper with a side helping of self-righteousness on Thursday. Personally, I'll be enjoying the company of family and counting my blessings.

I get older…and the world keeps getting weirder. What's up with that?

Thursday, November 16, 2006

This 'N That

Greetings peeps,

Now that the Election Day unpleasantness is in the rear view mirror, and I have entered the calm, acceptance phase (like with frostbite, the moment right before your digits fall off), I figured I'd just shoot the breeze tonight instead of griping for a change. I popped my ankle on the way to work so I'm currently on ice like Ted Williams' head.

Thanksgiving week is just about here...hope everyone has nice plans for the day of the feast. We have the usual spread on tap - big turkey, ham, two kinds of stuffin', potatoes, cranberry...I can't wait. The family will be coming by as always and the spirits should be grand.

One of these years I'm gonna convince the Mrs. to do a TurDuckEn. I am SO intrigued by the concept of that, but my palate is a tad more exotic than Mon's. I don't quite know how that works out. I know you have to cook them for nine hours at real low temperatures or something crazy like that. So you can watch football or play Monopoly by the actual rules and the bird-within-a-bird-within-a-bird should be done by then.

As it is, the REGULAR turkey takes too long for me, I might not have the patience for the mighty TurDuckEn! Maybe someone will sell them fully cooked - then I can shove it in the oven for an hour and go to town!

Have some new update news on the WHOT Aircheck Archive, but I'll save that for the next update.

Pass the apple cider!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The News Just Gets Better and Better...

I think I might move into a cave in the Andes for a while. Not only is it probable that we're going to have to deal with psycho-surrealist-facelift-manic-phycho-hosebeast as Speaker of the House, now comes the wonderful news that ten-toed, do-nothing sloth Gnarls Rangel will likely be the next head of the Ways and Means committe.

Great. This is rapidly turning into that eposode of Star Trek where Kirk ends up in the "evil" parrallel universe where everyone is insane and has goatees. The same tugboats they are using to try and move the Intrepid will have to be employed to haul his fat, moss-covered ass out of his old office.

This is gonna be a long, sad couple of years...

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Post-Election Post Mortem

I started to get the sinking feeling some time around 8:30 last night that things were not going to go well. The early numbers were coming in, and races that I had good confidence in were not going as expected. By 9:00, I was fairly certain that the House was lost, and so today it is – with the Senate hanging by less than a cat’s whisker. The TV was off and I was in bed by 11.

After the initial shock comes acceptance, and so that’s where I am at today. The Dems are doing their best to play up last night’s election results as a “referendum against Bush / the War on Terror”, etc. Don’t believe it. Two of largest win margins were chalked up by WoT supporters (Arnold and Leiberman). If anything, the results of last night are a glowing example of just how out of touch the Republican Party is with their core constituents right now. The foundations that were successfully laid by Reagan and Gingrich were being neglected to the point of decay. Somewhere along the line, both the cart and horse ran way off the road.

If you believe in the ebb and flow theory of politics, then this turnaround was expected. What you see now is what happens when a party is in control for any extended period of time: they become complacent, fat and sloppy. If any good comes out of this, hopefully it will be the Republicans looking at themselves in the mirror this morning and realizing that what Republicans want to see in office are Republicans – not RINOs that play the “moderate” card without bringing any real thoughts or ideas to the table.

The Dems ran a campaign based on painting their opponents as “being with Bush”. The mistake the Reps made was not standing up to that and saying, “You bet your ASS we are with the President. We’re fighting the biggest threat to Western Civilization since Nazism, you idiot”. Instead, it was the same old smear-and-smear-more campaign. Maybe people are tired of that. Who knows. I’m certainly have my issues with Bush – the way he spends like a drunken sailor at the local whorehouse and never met a veto he didn’t sign – even disagreeing at time on how the War on Terror is being handled – but the alternative option was far more distasteful in my humble opinion. Others seem to have disagreed.

I guess what I am most disappointed about today is lost opportunity. We had 6 years of Republicans in the Oval Office, House and Senate. There was a golden opportunity to push through some REAL issues – REAL immigration reform (not that “guest visa” nightmare that Bush keeps pushing), REAL tax reforms, you name it. Instead, there were to many tangential issues that to be honest, the majority of Republicans (and Americans, for that matter) weren’t really all jacked up about. Sure, there was the Democratic stonewall that reared its’ ugly head whenever a judicial nomination came up – but with all three branches controlled by one party, it just feels like we showed up for a kick ass road trip, but no one remembered to buy gas. In many ways, W is too much like his Dad…mamby and pamby at the worst of times (when the Cowboy in him was most needed).

It also irks me that while a change at this juncture is not surprising, I guess it is what we are left with that is the most disturbing. I woke up today fully aware that not only had the Republicans lost the house (and possibly the Senate), but what we are left with is the usual Democratic refugees from Dick Tracy’s Rouge’s Gallery: a Klansman in West Virginia, a potential terrorist sympathizer in Minnesota, the swimmer / murderer in Massachusettes, a run-of-the-mill thug in New Jersey and a carpet-bagging leech in New York. Never mind the fact that we’re about to be saddled with the most oblivious raving lunatic ever to be installed as Speaker of the House in possibly this country’s history. It’s hard to find solace and feel good about that.

Despite the way this will be played up, what happened last night isn’t even CLOSE to the Republican Revolution of 1994. As waves go, this was no tsunami. I look at it this way: if I lived through the Rangers winning the Stanley Cup, the Red Sox winning the World Series and TWO TERMS of Clinton, I can live through this, easy.

The GOP has two years to get their act together and learn from these mistakes. Hopefully, the Democrats wont muck up the political process so much that our enemies have two free years of scheming to try and kill more of us. The focus is now on them. They wont be able to get by on bitching and moaning anymore. Since the Democrats did so well in the minority of mucking things up, threatening filibusters and locking up judicial nominees, maybe the Republicans can return the favor.

Bottom line now is to focus on 2008. The madness stops NOW.

PS – Despite the gloom and doom, we had a great time in the Hot Air Election Night Chat Room last night. It was about as much fun as you can have while watching your pet hamster get run over by a mack truck!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Monday Evening Quarterback

Well, the eve of Election Day is upon us, and regardless of the outcome (more about that later) I'll be happy to finally be rid of these freaking politcal ads on TV. The basic approach from the Dems (at least in NJ) has been to offer up nothing in the way of a platform, other than to discredit their opponents for backing President Bush. Nothing new here.

I've also greatly enjoyed Madame Hillary's ads that give her credit for everything - from the sun coming up in the morning to man landing on the Moon ("When we needed sunrise in the morning, Hillary was there to make it happen..."). If you didn't know any better you could swear they were a really elaborate SNL sketch - THAT'S how ridiculous they are.

This is an important election, and while the latest POLLS now show a more realistic-looking dead heat across the board, I tend to put very little into polls. As our old friend Tammy Bruce points out, since most polls are run by the major media outlets, relying on them is like trusting Goebbels to be honest with you about how World War II was going.

That said, if you really care about what the next few years are going to look like, get out and vote. On the other hand, if your only knowledge of the candidates running in your local race is what you see in their campaign ads, maybe you should stay home. Just a thought. As Hank opined on Sunday's Election Day special, when you are in the voting booth, just ask yourself: who would the Al Quada prefer you vote for?

Think about it.

Alrighty then off to bed. On an unrelated note, I'm starting to think that I am the only person on the face of the Earth who thinks that Borat movie looks like the stupidest thing ever caught on film. I think I'll hold on to my $10 - $15 and wait until I can't sleep one night and it's on HBO.

Keepin' the faith,

Today's The Day

Some good advice from the legendary Ray Stevens.