Saturday, December 31, 2011

In memorium

Some people we lost in 2011

Anne Francis January 2, 2011
Pete Postlethwaite January 2, 2011
Gerry Rafferty January 4, 2011
Peter Yates January 9, 2011
Susannah York January 15, 2011
Jack LaLanne January 23, 2011
Maria Schneider February 3, 2011
Betty Garrett February 11, 2011
Kenneth Mars February 12, 2011
Dwayne McDuffie February 21, 2011
Jane Russell February 28, 2011
Nate Dogg March 15, 2011
Warren Christopher March 18, 2011
Loleatta Holloway March 21, 2011
Elizabeth Taylor March 23, 2011
Farley Granger March 27, 2011
Sidney Lumet April 9, 2011
Michael Sarrazin April 17, 2011
Phoebe Snow April 26, 2011
Osama bin Laden May 2, 2011
Jackie Cooper May 3, 2011
Sada Thompson May 4, 2011
Dana Wynter May 5, 2011
Arthur Laurents May 5, 2011
Robert Stempel May 7, 2011
Randy Savage May 20, 2011
Gil Scott-Heron May, 27, 2011
Jeff Conaway May 27, 2011
Jack Kevorkian June 3, 2011
James Arness June 3, 2011
Clarence Clemons June 18, 2011
Peter Falk June 23, 2011
Betty Ford July 8, 2011
Amy Winehouse July 23, 2011
Bubba Smith August 3, 2011.
Cliff Robertson September 10, 2011
Nick Ashford August 22, 2011
DJ Mehdi September 13, 2011
Charles Napier October 5, 2011
Steve Jobs October 5, 2011
Sue Mengers May 15, 2011
Dorothy Emma Howell Rodham November 1, 2011
Andy Rooney November 5, 2011
Joe Frazier November 7, 2011
Heavy D November 8, 2011
Ken Russell November 27, 2011
Patrice Oneal November 29, 2011
Harry Morgan December 7, 2011
Christopher Hitchens December 15, 2011
V�clav Havel December 18, 2011
Kim Jong-il December 17, 2011

I kept meaning to get to this but never did, even though it's late, keep them in your thoughts. Remember, you should imagine, all of te incredible clips I attached to each name.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Hanukkah is finally over, I think.

It's the Eighth night of Hanukkah.

At this point, just drink the oil - it will act as a purgative.

And here, I promise is the last set of songs celebrating Hanukkah -

Hanukkah With Veronica Monica

On Christmas I Got Nothing Chuck Brodsky -

Candlelight The Maccabeats

Hanukkah in Santa Monica Tom Lehrer -

Hey, somebody has to clean up all of that wax on the break front. And somebody's got to dump all of this oil.

I found one last Christmas gift for you, way in the back of the tree

A Space Ghost Christmas

Start cleaning up the house for your New Years Eve party.

Monday, December 26, 2011

I may have lost count

It's the seventh night of Hanukkah.

That oil is a tad rancid

If you can stand it, more Hanukkah songs

Give The Jew Girl Toys Sarah Silverman -

My Holiday Song Casey Shea -

No Gelt,No Glory Gods of Fire -

Isn't it over yet?

It's Boxing Day today.

I'm not even going to attempt to explain it to you. Just be happy we're not English.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Which day is this anyway?

It's the Sixth Night of Hanukkah

At this point, you're probably deep frying just about anything. Please keep small children and pets out of the kitchen.

Chanukah Jewish Rock of Ages -

My Menorah Chevonne -

Feast of Lights They Might Be Giants -

You should begin thinking about where you are going to store your Menorah? (I don't mean to insinuate that you aren't normally observant. Perhaps you proudly display your heirloom menorah in your living room. I can't be everywhere.)

Merry Christmas Folks!

Hope you all have a wonderful and peaceful day. (It's been so hectic at our house that I had to borrow Mr Peabody's wayback machine to post this.)

2 more days of Hanukkah and Kwanzaa starts tomorrow.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Orin Hatch says: Chag Channukah Sameach

It's the Fifth Day of Hanukkah -

The ennui may have already set in. Hold on, you will get through this.

Hanukkah Blessing BNL -

Oh Hannukah Meshugga Beach Party -

Miracle Matisyahu -

Please drink more water and have some fiber.

What would the holidays be without a little visit with the boys from up north? Why not check out South Park - Mr. Hankey's Christmas Classics -

Now that you're in the proper mood for the holidays - I'll leave you with these thoughts from Henry Van Dyke (and no it's not Dick and Jerry's dad) -

There is a better thing than the observance of Christmas day, and that is, keeping Christmas.

Are you willing...

To forget what you have done for other people, and to remember what other people have done for you;
To ignore what the world owes you, and to think what you owe the world;
To put your rights in the background, and your duties in the middle distance, and your chances to do a little more than your duty in the foreground;
To see that men and women are just as real as you are, and try to look behind their faces to their hearts, hungry for joy;
To own up to the fact that probably the only good reason for your existence is not what you are going to get out of life, but what you are going to give to life;
To close your book of complaints against the management of the universe, and look around you for a place where you can sow a few seeds of happiness.

Are you willing to do these things even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing...

To stoop down and consider the needs and desires of little children;
To remember the weakness and loneliness of people growing old;
To stop asking how much your friends love you, and ask yourself whether you love them enough;
To bear in mind the things that other people have to bear in their hearts;
To try to understand what those who live in the same home with you really want, without waiting for them to tell you;
To trim your lamp so that it will give more light and less smoke, and to carry it in front so that your shadow will fall behind you;
To make a grave for your ugly thoughts, and a garden for your kindly feelings, with the gate open -

Are you willing to do these things, even for a day? Then you can keep Christmas.

Are you willing...

To believe that love is the strongest thing in the world -
Stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death -
Then you can keep Christmas.
And if you can keep it for a day, why not always?

But you can never keep it alone.

You can track Santa's progress here

3 more days of Hanukkah, 1 more day until Christmas. Run to your local drugstore and pick up some lottery tickets and breath mints.

And so it goes

Friday, December 23, 2011

Dr. Nick says: "Shalom, everybody!"

It's the fourth night of Hanukkah -

now it time to figure out how to get rid of all of your relatives.

Christmastime for the Jews Darlene Love -

Hanukkah Oh Hanukkah Erran Baron Cohen -

Jon Stewart & Stephen Colbert Sing Hanukkah Songs -

Have some fruit

Are all these holiday specials a tad treacly for you? Are you feeling a little sick to your stomach? Why not check out Mythbusters Christmas Special -

Today’s Christmas video countdown – Happy Holiday from Prisoner 1073015

Side One

Side Two

Side Three (go figure)

4 more days of Hanukkah, 2 more shopping days until Christmas. (At this point, if you haven't started shopping, may I suggested that a bag of athletic socks, purchased from the local drug store might have to do.)

And so it goes

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Please pass the Bicarb

It's the third night of Hanukkah -

Move on to the donuts.

Hanukkah song (Part 3) Adam Sandler -

And here's some more Hanukkah songs for you - The music of comedian Eric Schwartz aka Smooth-E -

Hanukkah Bird

Hanukkah Hey Ya!

Honika Electronica

Remember to eat some steamed vegetables

Do you have to work on Christmas eve? Are you feeling sorry for yourself? Why not check out how Mary handled it -

Today’s Christmas video countdown – special guest programmer (Julie)

All I Want For Christmas Is You BTR -

Feliz Navidad -

Jingle Bells Barbra Streisand -

Sleigh Ride -

The 12 Days of Christmas -

5 more days of Hanukkah, 3 more shopping days until Christmas. (1 more shopping days until Festivus. Please feel free to add me to your list of family grievances together - I miscounted the days until Festivus.)

And so it goes

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

That's the smell of fried food in your clothes

Tonight is the second night of Hanukkah -

And here's some more Hanukkah songs for you -

The Chanukah Song Part 2 Adam Sandler -

8 Nights of Hanukkah

Applesauce vs. Sour Cream Lee Vees -

I wonder if Lipitor is a sponsor of Hanukkah?

Today’s Christmas video countdown – Random Yuletime

White Christmas Johnny Mathis -

Happy Holidays Bing Crosby -

Christmas Island The Andrew Sisters -

This Time of Year Brook Benton -

6 more days of Hanukkah, 4 more shopping days until Christmas. (1 more shopping days until Festivus. Get your list of family grievences together.)

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hanukkah means "dedication"

Hanukkah starts tonight,

get the loose pants out.

Original Hanukkah Song Adam Sandler -

Hanukkah Harry -

Dreidel Erran Baron Cohen -

And kids, know when a simple game becomes an addiction - please no actual gambling while playing with your dreidels. Gamblers Anonymous (718) 352-1671

Remember, pace yourself - 8 days is a long time

December 20, 1946 -
The Frank Capra film It's A Wonderful Life had a preview showing for charity at New York City's Globe Theatre, a day before its official premiere on this date.

The film is regarded as a classic and is a staple of Christmas television around the world, although, due to its high production costs and stiff competition at the box office, financially, it was considered a flop.

Next time you get a chance to watch the film, notice what a truly strange little film it really is.

Today’s Christmas video countdown – A Hip Hop Christmas (Old School)
Christmas Rappin Kurtis Blow -

Millie Pulled A Pistol On Santa De La Soul -

Christmas In Hollis Run DMC -

Santa Claus Goes Straight To The Ghetto Nate Dogg and Snoop Dogg -

7 more days of Hanukkah, 5 more shopping days until Christmas. (2 more shopping days until Festivus. Remember to get your Festivus pole before they run out of them down at Home Depot.)

And so it goes

Monday, December 19, 2011

Another Holiday Special

... I'm going to have to call you back, I got Dinah Shore on the other line.

While you're getting ready for Hanukkah tomorrow, check out this Holiday Special (before it's pulled off of You Tube.)

Today’s Christmas video countdown – U900 Christmas Songs

Jingle Bells

Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

Sleigh Ride

Silent Night

Ginger and Bread

1 more shopping days until Hanukkah (get your potato graters ready,) 6 more shopping days until Christmas. (3 more shopping days until Festivus). Remember, stores will be packed with late Festivus shoppers.

And so it goes

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Once it was lost,

But now it's been found!

December 18, 1989 -
An I Love Lucy Christmas episode, nicknamed "The Lost Episode" because it was not included in the syndication package, was shown for first time in over 30 years on this date.

It was not included in the usual syndication package because of its Christmas theme and because it mostly consists of flashbacks to previous episodes. CBS aired a colorized version (as you may know, I'm not a fan of colorized versions.)

Hey, here's another happy little Hans Christian Anderson fairy tale - The Brave Little Soldier -

How would this have turned out if Han had been on Zoloft?

Today's Christmas countdown - Holiday Cartoons

Toy Tinkers -

The Night Before Christmas -

Gift Wrapped -

Bedtime For Sniffles -

Alias St. Nick -

2 more shopping days until Hanukkah (get to the supermarket before they run out of potatoes,) 7 more shopping days until Christmas. (4 more shopping days until Festivus). If you haven't started shopping yet - think cash (the gift that shows you care.)

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Darkness is cheap, and Scrooge liked it.

December 17, 1843 (there is some controversy concerning this actual date) -

Charles Dickens published A Christmas Carol, on this date. Dickens wrote the novel after his first commercial failure. His previous novel, Martin Chuzzlewit had flopped, and he was suddenly strapped for cash. Martin Chuzzlewit had been satirical and pessimistic, and Dickens thought he might be more successful if he wrote a heartwarming tale with a holiday theme.

He got the idea for the book in late October of 1843, the story of the heartless Ebenezer Scrooge, who has so little Christmas spirit that he wants his assistant Bob Cratchit to work on Christmas Day.

Dickens struggled to finish the book in time for Christmas. He no longer had a publisher so he published the book himself, ordering illustrations, gilt-edged pages and a lavish red bound cover. He priced the book at a mere 5 shillings, in hopes of making it affordable to everyone. It was released within a week of Christmas and was a huge success, selling six thousand copies the first few days, and the demand was so great that it quickly went to second and third editions.

God bless us, everyone!!!

Today’s Christmas video countdown – A Christmas Carol

Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol

Muppets Christmas Carol -

A Christmas Carol Tom Lehrer-

The Night Santa Went Crazy "Weird Al" Yankovic -

And there is no better way to get into the holiday spirit than drinking spirits -


Eggnog is usually thought of as a Christmas beverage and to tell the truth I am not a huge fan of Eggnog. So I find it amusing that the recipe that I'm posting is for Eggnog.

Coquito, a Puerto Rican twist on the classic, is a family favorite and my sister asked me for our family recipe – I have become the repository for family recipes. I thought I’d share it with you and perhaps you can try it out on your family.

Please note: these drinks go down quite smoothly and are very potent – they could be administered as a calmative to frayed nerves during the holiday season.


* 4 large egg yolks
* 1/4 cup of sugar
* 1/2 can of (14-ounces) condensed milk
* 1 14-ounce cans evaporated milk
* 1 1/2 cans of 15-ounce cans cream of coconut
* 1/2 of a Fifth of white rum (or more)
* 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
* 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
* 1 teaspoon coconut (or vanilla) extract


* Drink Blender
* Can opener
* Glass

Add the egg yolks, sugar, spices and vanilla into the blender. Mix until well blended.

Add the evaporated & condensed milk to the blender and briefly mix. (Condensed milk is very thick - you may want to open the can up all the way and scrap out all of the milk with a spatula.)

Vigorously shack the can of cream of coconut (it tends to separate.) Pour the cream of coconut into the blender and mix well. Scrap out any remaining coconut stuff from the can.

Add the rum and mix. Taste. If you think you need more rum, add it.

Refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. Serve cold.

3 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 8 more shopping days until Christmas.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The things a girl will do for a mink coat.

This wonderful holiday film, Christmas in Connecticut premiered on August 15, 1945

The character of Elizabeth Lane was loosely based on the then popular Family Circle Magazine columnist Gladys Taber, who lived on Stillmeadow Farm in Connecticut.

Christmas video countdown - Male Rockers

Santa Claus is Coming to Town Bruce Springsteen -

Run Rudolph Run Chuck Berry -

Jingle Bell Rock Hall and Oates -

Please Come Home For Christmas Death Cab for Cutie -

Pretty Paper Roy Orbison -

Little Drummer Boy The Dandy Warhols -

I Won't Be Home for Christmas Blink 182 -

Get Behind Me Santa Sufjan Stevens -

Winter Song Elvis Costello -

4 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 9 more shopping days until Christmas.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Here's a happy little tale

from that cheerful storyteller, Hans Christian Andersen - The Little Match Girl

Happy Holidays!

Christmas video countdown - Female Performers:

Silent night Sinead O'Connor -

Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas Bette Midler -

Merry Christmas Baby Sheryl Crow -

Peace Norah Jones -

Christmas Wrapping The Waitresses -

Hark the herald angels sing Jewel -

La Marimorena Natalie Merchant -

I Saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus Amy Winehouse -

5 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 10 more shopping days until Christmas.

And so it goes.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

To be the First Toymaker to the King

December 14, 1970 -
Another holiday special from Rankin & Bass, Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town premiered on this date.

The film tells the story of how Santa Claus and several Claus-related Christmas traditions came to be. It is based on the Christmas hit of the same name, which was introduced on radio by Eddie Cantor in 1934.

Today's Christmas countdown - Those gentlemen from Philadelphia were so moved by our themes concerning Frank and Dino that after much grappa and threatened 'kisses of death', I have be persuaded (forced at gunpoint) to have another Mobbed Up Christmas. This is not to say that any of these singers are in anyway associated with organized crime. It's just that Frankie No Neck, Clams Vincenzo, Joey Walnuts, etc, 'requested' these songs.

Shake Hands With Santa Claus Louis Prima -

Home for the Holidays Jerry Vale -

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear Sergio Francho -

O Holy Night Al Martino -

Buon Natale Jimmy Roselli -

6 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 11 more shopping days until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

We always believe in equal time

While we're changing the needle on the Victrola, why not watch this Christmas cartoon -

OK, Frank wasn't the only member of the Rat Pack to sing carols - today's theme is A Dean Martin's Christmas (Dean died on Christmas day in 1995.)

Marshmellow World

I'll Be Home For Christmas

The Christmas Blues

Silver Bells

Baby It's Cold Outside

Ahhh, you can practically taste the Bourbon in the air.

7 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 12 more shopping days until Christmas.

Monday, December 12, 2011

He wishes you the merriest, the merriest

In honor of Ole Blue Eyes Birthday - it's a Sinatra Christmas

I Wouldn't Trade Christmas

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear was written by Edmund Sears, pastor of the Unitarian Church in Wayland, Massachusetts in 1849. Sears' lyrics are most commonly set to one of two melodies: "Carol," composed by Richard Storrs Willis or "Noel," adapted from an English melody.

Winter Wonderland

Santa Claus is Coming to Town

Santa Claus is Coming to Town was written by John Frederick Coots and Haven Gillespie, and was first sung on Eddie Cantor's radio show in November 1934. It became an instant hit with orders for 100,000 copies of sheet music the next day and more than 400,000 copies sold by Christmas.

White Christmas

8 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 13 more shopping days until Christmas.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Children, scoosh closer to the screen

Settle in and watch these holiday specials

Today's countdown is a secret - you figure it out

Cherry Cherry Christmas

Jingle Bells

O Come All Ye Faithful

The Christmas Song

9 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 14 more shopping days until Christmas.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

No Virginia, they're not Santa

Don't be afraid children - those drunken people in red suits and even redder noses aren't the very jolly St. Nick but revelers celebrating Santacon.

Children you know what, it's best if you just avert you eyes. At the pace they're going they'll all collapse in a drunken heap by early this afternoon.

In honor of the nasty Santas out there - here are a few traditional Christmas Carols:

It Came Upon A Midnight Clear -

It Came Upon a Midnight Clear was written by Edmund Hamilton Sears in 1849. The carol started life as a poem written by its author who was a minister living in Massachusetts at the time. The music for It Came Upon A Midnight Clear was composed by American musician Richard Storrs Willis in 1859 who was inspired by the words of the poem.

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen -

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen was first published in 1833 when it appeared in "Christmas Carols Ancient and Modern," a collection of seasonal carols gathered by William B. Sandys. The lyrics of God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen are traditional olde English and are reputed to date back to the 15th century although the author is unknown. It is believed that this particular carol was sung to the gentry by town watchmen who earned additional money during the Christmas season. The lyrics to this simple carol are reputed to be one of the oldest carols.

O Come All Ye Faithful -

The text to the Carol O Come All Ye Faithful was originally written in Latin (Adeste Fideles) and was intended to be a hymn, it is attributed to John Wade, an Englishman. The music to O Come All Ye Faithful was composed by fellow Englishman John Reading in the early 1700s. The tune was first published in a collection known as "Cantus Diversi" in 1751. In 1841 Rev. Frederick Oakley is reputed to have worked on the familiar translation of O Come All Ye Faithful which replaced the older Latin lyrics Adeste Fideles.

Away in a Manger -

Away in a Manger was originally published in 1885. The publication of Away in a Manger was in a Lutheran Sunday school book and this created the misconception that the lyrics of Away in a Manger were actually written by Martin Luther himself. The author is unknown. The music to Away in a Manger was composed by William J. Kirkpatrick in 1895.

10 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 15 more shopping days until Christmas.

A complete aside - shouldn't there be a minimum educational requirement when you are running for President?

Friday, December 9, 2011

Bringing Joy and Cheer

It's the 46th anniversary of the premiere of the bi-polar kid and his wacky friends first experiences of the depressive nature of the holiday season -

Let's all get in the mood and have a depressing Christmas -

Charlie Brown Christmas - Performed by the Cast of Scrubs -

Merry Christmas Dawn Davenport

Listening to Otis Redding at Home During Christmas Okkervil River -

Did I make you cry on christmas day? Sufjan Stevens -

The Little Boy That Santa Claus Forgot -

And what holiday would be complete without The Sammy Maudlin Show Christmas Special -

11 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 16 more shopping days until Christmas.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

I should have posted this yesterday

December 7, 1969 -
Another Rankin/Bass production, Frosty the Snowman, premiered on CBS-TV

So today's theme is - Christmas, the horrors of frostbite

Frosty the Snowman Cocteau Twins -

The Snow Man (1932)

Snowman in July

Frosty The Snowman (1953)

Spunky The Snowman (1958)

Frosty the Inappropriate Snowman

Finally here's a happy way to remember John Lennon on this sad anniversary

12 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 17 more shopping days until Christmas.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

(If Asked) there are a total of 364 gifts

OK kids, PNC bank has reported that there is a 3.5% increase in the price of the items needed for the 12 days of Christmas. In the 28th year of the survey PNC has found that the 12 items come out to a grand total of $24,263 which is a $824 increase from last year.

These prices are, of course, just for one verse of the song. If you add up the total cost of all the items from the entire song (what PNC Wealth Management calls “The True Cost of Christmas”) it would surmount $100,000!

In honor of PNC's dedication to the holidays - The 12 Days of Christmas

The Muppets

Bob & Doug

The Twelve Gifts of Christmas Allan Sherman -

The Twelve Gifts of Christmas Straight No Chaser -

13 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 18 more shopping days until Christmas.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Exactly - what kind of names?

Since it's the anniversary of the original premiere of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer today, I thought that we'd check out some other Rudolph cartoons.

The original broadcast version commercials -

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer cartoon from 1944 -

Verizon Commercial

Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer & Regis Philbin -

And if that's not enough

It's the Feast of Saint Nicholas, yes that St. Nick. Amongst other things, he is the patron saint of children and was known for his generosity. He's also known as the patron saint of sailors, fishermen, merchants, the falsely accused, prostitutes (Huh), repentant thieves, pharmacists and broadcasters.

In honor of Saint Nick, we have a second Christmas video countdown today - Santa!

Here Comes Santa Claus -

Santa Claus Is Comin' To Town -

Must Be Santa -

14 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 19 more shopping days until Christmas.

And so it goes

Monday, December 5, 2011

What says Christmas more (Part 2) -

than music by kids abused by their domineering father (the Motown edition)

Today's Christmas countdown - A Jackson Five Christmas

Give Love On Christmas Day

Christmas Won't Be The Same This Year

Little Christmas Tree

15 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 20 more shopping days until Christmas.

Another early Christmas special - Mystery Science Theatre 300 - Santa Claus

You won't see Santa battling Satan anywhere else today.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

What says Christmas more -

... than music by kids abused by their domineering father

Today's Christmas countdown - A Beach Boys Christmas

Merry Christmas, Baby

Blue Christmas

Morning Christmas

16 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 21 more shopping days until Christmas.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Don't let it be a Blue Christmas

Today's theme - As this is the anniversary of St. Elvis' comeback - It's an Elvis Christmas today

Santa Claus Is Back In Town

Oh Little Town of Bethlehem

Here Comes Santa Claus

Friday, December 2, 2011

Because, sometimes you feel like a nut (during the holidays)

Today's Theme - Dr. Demento's Christmas:

A Christmas Carol

I Yust Go Nuts at Christmas

Nuttin For Christmas

Christmas Dragnet

18 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 23 more shopping days until Christmas.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Remember those who'll be away for the holidays

Today's Christmas theme - Sometimes the holidays occur during war time -

Happy Christmas (War is Over) -

Snoopy's Christmas

Pipe's of Peace Paul McCartney -

I'll Be Home For Christmas Bing Crosby -

19 more shopping days until Hanukkah, 24 more shopping days until Christmas.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

This is not helping

Today's theme: People who feel their electric company doesn't make enough money - Christmas Light Shows:

Apparently, the terrorist have won.

Friday, November 25, 2011

The Fourth Annual Christmas Spectacular

The holidays are upon us and we here at Dr. Caligari's love to celebrate like it nobody's business. So over the next several weeks check back here to see what we're listening to or thinking about - Today's kick-off - really bad Christmas music (we'll have a few versions of this entry.)

You've been shopping at the Department Stores today, you you're in a grouchy mood. Here's some music to extend the feeling.

Back Door Santa
I like the Black Crows, so I not complain about them. But really, listen to the song -

It's exactly what you think it's about and nothing says Christmas like thinking about Santa bringing joy to young woman in only the way a 'Back Door' Santa can.

Merry Christmas with Love
I will try very hard to keep this promise

I will only play anything associated with Clay Aikens one other time this holiday. The from the Geneva Convention have already called. As a matter of fact, I suggest you put your head phone on and listen to NIN Closer several times until the feeling goes away.

Star Wars Christmas
I'm almost sorry that we are showing this

it's just so wrong.

Christmas Shoes
You knew it was coming, what would Christmas be with out the song about the strange child's need to buy his dying mother a pair of shoes.

I need a drink after watching that one

The song itself is wallpapery at best but just watch the video

Remind you kids not to hang around the Corgan boy's house. I hear he buffs his head with the ear wax of his murder victims.

Mistletoe and Wine
What is it with Rock stars looking through the window at kids - Cliff Richards you should know better.

Now will you all be quiet, the kid in that cabin has to go to bed.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
Poor Amy, if only she had seen this horrible scene

perhaps she wouldn't have drunk herself to death.

Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk This Christmas
Another C & W classic. I can't believe this hasn't been options for a Hallmark special.

And now smartypant, it's not the theme song at my house.

Have A Cheeky Christmas
At first I thought this was a very silly Euro Trash Christmas video but then I understood -

It's merely surveillance video from The Silvio Berlusconi Bunga Bunga country shack

Merry Merry

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Since you're up early getting ready

Here is a brief history of the holiday you may wish to share with your loved ones:

In the winter of 1620-1621, a group of immigrants in Massachusetts experienced a devastating winter. The weather was fierce. Food was scarce. Many died. At last spring came, then summer, and by the time of the autumn harvest things were looking about as rosy as they ever look in Massachusetts.

At a fundraising dinner that fall, Governor Bradford stood up and gave a speech:

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God this harvest gives us a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to the Committee to Re-Elect the Governor, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

The ensuing winter didn't turn out too badly, so the superstitious immigrants concluded that Governor Bradford's magic spell of "Thanksgiving" had done the trick.

The holiday was intermittently celebrated for years, with an enthusiasm scaled to the previous winter's weather, until November 26, 1789, when President Washington issued a proclamation calling for a nationwide day of thanksgiving for the establishment of the Constitution.

Washington's proclamation wasn't much different from Bradford's.

"Thank God we survived last winter," he said. "Thank God we've got a fighting chance to survive the coming winter. Thank God we've got our own damn country now and don't have to put up with a bunch of meddling European bastards. And thank you for your support in the last election, please make checks payable to Federalists for Washington, God bless America, amen. Let's eat."

Washington, the Constitution, and many of the immigrants (who were now Americans) survived the winter, so this new spell was also deemed effective.

President Lincoln later proclaimed the last Thursday of November Thanksgiving Day in 1863 (although he did not survive to see the next Thanksgiving),

but President Roosevelt moved it back to the fourth Thursday of the month in 1939 to extend the time available for holiday shopping.

President Ford proposed making it the third Wednesday in September, in order to really extend the time available for holiday shopping, but he only made the proposal to his golden retriever, Liberty, so the suggestion never reached congress.

And so we celebrate Thanksgiving on the fourth Thursday of November every year, in honor of having survived last winter, having got rid of those meddling European bastards, having invented our own rules and having plenty of time to shop before the holidays.

If you're not already on line, ready to kill for a $5 DVD of Rocky III, don't bother (wait until cyber Monday!)

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Menu

Ok, if for some reason you have to pull a Thanksgiving dinner together at the last minute, rather than take the gas pipe, review my menu suggestions, rush out to the supermarket right after and start cooking

Shrimp Dip

Carrots/ Celery Sticks
Pre-cubed Cheese from local deli

Turkey w/ Stuffing

version 1 or
version 2

Ginger Carrots
Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Green Beans

Fennel Salad

Apple Crisp
Vanilla Ice Cream
Butter Pecan Ice Cream
Coffee/ Tea


Friday, November 11, 2011

We read it all, so you don't have to

November 11, 1821 -
Fyodor Dostoyevsky was born on this date. Mr. Dostoyevsky is universally recognized as one of the pre-eminent authors of nineteenth-century Russia and perhaps one of the finest novelists of all time. As mentioned yesterday, on November 10, 1969, public television broadcast the Children's Television Network's first episode of Sesame Street.

I like to take advantage of this serendipitous occasion by celebrating both of these cultural icons, who have more in common than you might think.

One of Mr. Dostoyevsky's most enduring characters is that of the angst-ridden student, Raskolnikov, who brutally murders an old woman with an axe in order to confirm his own intellectual freedom. One of the most popular characters on Sesame Street is Big Bird, an eight-foot-tall, easily flustered, flightless yellow bird of indeterminate species.

Mr. Dostoyevsky's novels deal with a broad range of complex issues such as as parricide, political philosophy, epilepsy, freedom of the will, suicide, theosophy, revolution, addiction, dissipation, forgiveness, and the legitimacy of absolutist rule. Sesame Street deals frequently with the alphabet and the numbers one through ten.

Mr. Dostoyevsky was once sentenced to death, blindfolded before a firing squad, then reprieved at the very last moment and exiled to Siberia, where he overcame great obstacles to produce some of his finest work. On Sesame Street, Ernie and Bert often bicker over household chores.

Mr. Dostoyevsky was a devout Russian Orthodox Catholic, and in The Idiot he explores the practical difficulties of living a life according to the principles of love, tolerance, and forgiveness set forth by Jesus Christ. Sesame Street features a grumpy green monster named Oscar, who lives in a garbage can and frequently breaks into song to proclaim his love of trash.

Imagine all of those similarities. Now write a two hundred page essay discussing all of this and your have a doctoral thesis.

You're welcome

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

What's up with those Bavarian Beer Halls?

On November 8, 1923, a general assembly of the Bavarian government began a meeting at a Munich beer hall at approximately 8:00 pm. At about 8:45 pm, the meeting was disrupted by a man in "a baggy, black suit that made him look like a waiter." The man leaped onto a table, fired a couple of shots into the ceiling, then forced his way onto the platform.

"The national revolution has begun!" he shouted.

Having gained everyone's attention, the strange little man announced that six hundred of his own men had the beer hall surrounded (they didn't), that the national and Bavarian governments had been taken (they hadn't), that the military and police barracks had been occupied (they weren't), and that he'd like a word or two in private with the three Bavarian leaders on the platform if it wouldn't be too inconvenient (it wasn't).

Once in a private room, the stranger informed the trio that he'd welcome their participation in his new government. They expressed no interest. He waved his revolver in their faces, but still they demurred. He held the pistol to his own head, then realized this wasn't very persuasive and simply returned to the general hall to announce that the leaders were behind him.

A little later, a prominent Bavarian general arrived at the beer hall and announced his support for the stranger. At this point the three leaders were released from their private room, and they too were suddenly in support of the little stranger. Feeling pretty swell about all this support, the stranger left the beer hall briefly to quell a dispute among some of his men outside the hall.

By the time he returned, he found that the three leaders had left the beer hall and were hastily making the rounds in Munich, retracting what they'd been forced to say. The stranger became apoplectic. He and the Bavarian general then came up with a contingency plan: they would gather some men and storm the government the following morning, November 9.

And so they did. Eighteen of their followers and four Bavarian policemen were killed in the conflict. Two days later, the stranger was arrested at the home of a friend, where he'd been hiding.

Ten years later, the evil wingnut bastard was elected Chancellor of Germany.

And so it goes

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Another episode of The Russian Revolution

This week: Revolution whatever month it is!

The October Revolution, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution or the November Revolution, was the second phase of the Russian Revolution of 1917, the first having been instigated by the events around the February Revolution. The October Revolution was led by Vladimir Lenin and the Bolsheviks with the Mensheviks, Left Socialist-Revolutionaries and anarchists. It was the first Marxist communist revolution in history. Apparently communists don't have a firm grasp on dates.

On evening of October 23, 1917 (by the Julian calendar still in use in Russia at the time; November 5 by the current Gregorian calendar), the Russian Revolution took place, bringing the first Communist government in the world to power, under the control of Vladimir Lenin. There had been a semi-Democratic government in Russia since 1905, with the Czar (Tsar or Tzar) sharing power with a parliament. But the Czar had grown increasingly unpopular ( owing to the fact people couldn't agree on the spelling of his name and had to learn Cyrillic to spell it anyway), especially since the beginning of World War I. The Russian army was poorly equipped and poorly led (they were usually issued a sharpened stick and a rotten potato and led by men who knew how to correct address the head of their nation but wouldn't tell the unwashed masses), and Russian soldiers were slaughtered in the thousands by the Germans. World War I also disrupted the economy and created huge food shortages. Inflation raised the prices of available goods by more than 700% in just three years

(borscht only had become so expensive, that people had taken to drawing pictures of bowls of the beet soup and serving them to their starving children).

Soldiers began deserting the Russian Army and many of them went to St. Petersburg, where food riots broke out in the winter of 1917. There were demonstrations calling for an end to the war and an end to the Czar's rule. To prevent revolution, Tzar Nicholas II stepped down from the throne on March 15th, 1917 and he was replaced by a provisional government.

That summer, Russia experienced a brief taste of true democracy. Freedom of speech was granted to both individuals and newspapers for the first time. All political and religious prisoners were given amnesty. And all citizens were given the right to vote in secret ballot elections and to refer to the Tsar as that 'old Russian bastard'. But the provisional government decided to continue fighting in the extremely unpopular war against Germany, and that helped fuel opposition groups.

In April of 1917, Vladimir Lenin crossed the border back into Russia for the first time in ten years. He had been in exile in Switzerland, plotting how to start a socialist revolution. Lenin's argument was that capitalism had started the World War, and that the workers in the trenches fighting the war should turn their guns away from each other and instead fight a civil war to overthrow their leaders and take rightful control of their governments.

New political parties began to spring up. The second most popular party was, "Stay drunk all day with hot Russian chicks" party. Surprisingly, this was not the most popular party. Lenin's political party was called the Bolsheviks, and their slogan was "Peace, Land, and Bread." With the continuing unpopularity of the war, they quickly became the most popular political party in the country.

Lenin was accused of being a German spy by the provisional government in July 1917, so he had to go underground.It made party meeting very uncomfortable and dirty, to boot. In order to attend a meeting of the Bolsheviks in late October of that year, he had to wear a disguise (as Queen Victoria) and sneak through the city streets. He made it to the meeting undetected, and after a heated ten hour debate, he persuaded a majority of his party to launch an armed takeover of the country.

Lenin gave the order for the workers' militia to seize government buildings on this day in 1917, and the coup met almost no resistance (as there was little to no soap available for the workers, they were quite greasy). Official films made much later showed a huge storming of the Winter Palace and fierce fighting, but in reality the Bolshevik insurgents faced little or no opposition and were practically able to just walk into the building and take it over - more people were killed in the shooting of the film October than in the actual revolution. Then next day, Lenin was elected chairman of the Council of the new Soviet Government. Overnight, he had gone from a fugitive in hiding to the leader of the revolutionary government in the largest country in the world.

Lenin believed that a communist country would need to be ruled at first by a military dictatorship, but that once communism took hold, people would be so happy with the new system that most of the coercive elements of the government would wither away, and society would become a classless, stateless paradise. He also believed that bathing next to an Armenian gave you cooties (go figure). He said, "While the State exists there can be no freedom; when there is freedom there will be no State."

His vision never came to pass.

Russia would remain a totalitarian police state for most of the rest of the twentieth century.

For some reason President Boris Yeltsin, waking up from a four month vodka tasting competition, decided to celebrate the anniversary of the storming of the Winter Palace by outlawed the Communist Party on this date in 1991.

And so it goes