Sunday, December 23, 2012

Your Christmas baking

Well, we're still here. Good thing I'd already bought the Christmas presents. Anyone know when the next apocalypse is supposed to arrive? Just so I can prepare myself...

It felt like I'd discovered a black hole - at least with the internet access. All I can think of is that the heat and onshore breeze is messin' with the wireless signal. Morning access is fine, but once the wind comes in off the Bay, reception turns very dodgy indeed. It may get worse given the storm and strong wind warnings we've got for the next couple of days.

Your next Christmas... amusement:

Holiday Fruitcake Recipe

1 C Water
1 C Sugar
4 Large eggs
3 C dried fruit
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1 C Brown sugar
Lemon juice, nuts
1 FULL bottle of your favorite whiskey

Sample the whiskey to check for quality.
Take out a large bowl.
Check the whiskey again to be sure that it is of the highest quality.
Pour 1 level cup and drink. Repeat.
Turn on the electric mixer; beat 1 C of butter in a large fluffy bowl.
Add 1 tsp. sugar and beat again.
Make sure the whiskey is still OK.
Try another cup. Turn off the mixer.
Break two geggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit.
Mix on the burner.
If the fried fruit gets stuck in the beaters, pry it loose with a screwdriver.
Sample the whiskey to check for toxisisticity.
Next, sift 2 cups of salt.
Or something. Who cares? Check the whiskey.
Now sift the lemon juice and strain your nuts.
Add one tablespoon of sugar or something...whatever you can find.
Grease the oven. Turn on the cake tin to 350 degrees.
Don't forget to beat off the turner. Throw the bowl out of the window.
Check the whiskey again. Go to bed.
Who the hell likes fruit cake anyway???

Friday, December 21, 2012

The End is... sigh

Today's the day, so what's the world saying about it?

"And now The Mayan Channel forecast. Thursday: cloudy, chance of showers, high 39. Friday: volcanoes, asteroid strikes, apocalypse." –David Letterman


Certain people are already set with their explanations:

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Take a Taxi

This would be a community service announcement, but...

Hi family and friends!

With Christmas celebrations upon us, I would like to share a personal experience with my friends about drinking and driving.

As you may know some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time on the way home after a "social session" out with friends. Well, two days ago I was out for an evening with friends and had several cocktails followed by some rather nice red wine.

Feeling jolly, I still had the sense to know that I may be slightly over the limit. That's when I did something that I've never done before - I took a cab home.

Sure enough on the way home there was a police road block but since it was a cab they waved it past. I arrived home safely without incident.

This was a real surprise as I had never driven a cab before, I don't know where I got it and now that it's in my garage I don't know what to do with it.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Pearly Gates at Christmas

We had our office Christmas party today.... 'nuff said.

Number... something or other; how can you expect me to remember after the day I've had? Okay, the afternoon, but I still managed to get some audio editing in. It's amazing what you can make people say with a few judicious cuts of the file and pasting it where it shouldn't be. I wonder if I posted it to our intranet or not... Anyway. Three days to go until the End Of The Werld!!!
Three men die in a car accident Christmas Eve. They all find themselves at the pearly gates waiting to enter Heaven. On entering they must present something "Christmassy".
The first man searches his pocket, and finds some Mistletoe, so he is allowed in.
The second man presents a cracker, so he is also allowed in.
The third man pulls out a pair of panties.
Confused at this last gesture, St. Peter asks, "How do these represent Christmas?"
The third man answered "They're Carol's."

Monday, December 17, 2012

Technical Night Before Christmas

I found this one earlier on in the year - of course too late to post for last Christmas. As a writer and journalist, I find this hilarious, although you have to be patient and remember the original. I also think someone had wa-ay too much time on their hands...

Number six:

'Twas the nocturnal segment of the diurnal period preceding the annual Yuletide celebration, and throughout our place of residence, kinetic activity was not in evidence among the possessors of this potential, including that species of domestic rodent known as Mus musculus.

Hosiery was meticulously suspended from the forward edge of the wood burning caloric apparatus, pursuant to our anticipatory pleasure regarding an imminent visitation from an eccentric philanthropist among whose folkloric appellations is the honorific title of St. Nicholas.

The prepubescent siblings, comfortably ensconced in their respective accommodations of repose, were experiencing subconscious visual hallucinations of variegated fruit confections moving rhythmically through their cerebrums.

My conjugal partner and I, attired in our nocturnal head coverings, were about to take slumberous advantage of the hibernal darkness when upon the avenaceous exterior portion of the grounds there ascended such a cacophony of dissonance that I felt compelled to arise with alacrity from my place of repose for the purpose of ascertaining the precise source thereof.

Hastening to the casement, I forthwith opened the barriers sealing this fenestration, nothing thereupon that the lunar brilliance without, reflected as it was on the surface of a recent crystalline precipitation, might be said rival that of the solar meridian itself - thus permitting my incredulous optical sensory organs to behold a miniature airborne runnered conveyance drawn by eight diminutive specimens of the genus Rangifer, piloted by a miniscule, aged chauffeur so ebullient and nimble that it became instantly apparent to me that he was indeed our anticipated caller.

With his ungulate motive power travelling at what may possibly have been more vertiginous velocity than patriotic alarm predators, he vociferated loudly, expelled breath musically through contracted labia, and addressed each of the octet by his or her respective cognomen - "Now Dasher, now Dancer..." et al. - guiding them to the uppermost level of our abode, through which structure I could readily distinguish the concatenations of each of the 32 cloven pedal extremities.

As I retracted my cranium from its erstwhile location, and was performing a 180-degree pivot, our distinguished visitant achieved - with utmost celerity and via a downward leap - entry by wary of the smoke passage.

He was clad entirely in animal pelts soiled by the ebony residue from oxidations of carboniferous fuels which had accumulated on the walls thereof. His resemblance to a street vendor I attributed largely to the plethora of assorted playthings which he bore dorsally in a commodious cloth receptacle.

His orbs were scintillant with reflected luminosity, while his sub-maxillary dermal indentations gave every evidence of engaging amiability. The capillaries of his malar regions and nasal appurtenance were engorged with blood which suffused the subcutaneous layers, the former approximating the coloration of Albion's floral emblem, the latter that of the Prunus avium, or sweet cherry.

His amusing sub- and supra-labials resembled nothing so much as a common loop knot, and their ambient hirsute facial adornment appeared like small, tabular and columnar crystals of frozen water. Clenched firmly between his incisors was a smoking piece whose grey fumes forming a tenuous ellipse about his occiput, were suggestive of a decorative seasonal circlet of holly.

His visage was wider than it was high, and when he waxed audibly mirthful, his corpulent abdominal region undulated in the manner of impectinated fruit syrup in a hemispherical container.

He was, in short, neither more nor less than an obese, jocund, multigenarian gnome, the optical perception of whom rendered me visibly frolicsome despite every effort to refrain from so being. By rapidly lowering and than elevating one eyelid and rotating his head slightly to one side, he indicated that trepidation on my part was groundless.

Without utterance and with dispatch, he commenced filling the aforementioned appended hosiery with various of the aforementioned articles of merchandise extracted from the aforementioned previously dorsally transported cloth receptacle. Upon completion of this task, he executed an abrupt about-face, placed a single manual digit in lateral juxtaposition to his olfactory organ, inclined his cranium forward in a gesture of leave-taking, and forthwith effected his egress by renegotiating (in reverse) the smoke passage.

 He then propelled himself in a short vector onto his conveyance, directed a musical expulsion of air through his contracted oral sphincter to the antlered quadrupeds of burden, and proceeded to soar aloft in a movement hitherto observable chiefly among the seed-bearing portions of a common weed. But I overheard his parting exclamation, audible immediately prior to his vehiculation beyond the limits of visibility: "Ecstatic Yuletide to the planetary constituency, and to that self same assemblage, my sincerest wishes for a salubriously beneficial and gratifyingly pleasurable period between sunset and dawn.”

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The... Politically Correct Christmas

Or how to suck the fun out of Christmas... and have a suitable moral at the end.

Number Five

'Twas the night before Christmas and Santa's a wreck...
How to live in a world that's politically correct?

His workers no longer would answer to "Elves,"
 "Vertically Challenged" they were calling themselves.

And labor conditions at the north pole
Were alleged by the union to stifle the soul.

Four reindeer had vanished, without much propriety,
 Released to the wilds by the Humane Society.

And equal employment had made it quite clear
That Santa had better not use just reindeer.

So Dancer and Donner, Comet and Cupid,
Were replaced with 4 pigs, and you know that looked stupid!

The runners had been removed from his sleigh;
The ruts were termed dangerous by the E.P.A.

And people had started to call for the cops
When they heard sled noises on their roof-tops.

Second-hand smoke from his pipe had his workers quite frightened.
His fur-trimmed red suit was called "Unenlightened."

And to show you the strangeness of life's ebbs and flows,
Rudolf was suing over unauthorized use of his nose

And had gone on Geraldo, in front of the nation,
Demanding millions in over-due compensation.

So, half of the reindeer were gone; and his wife,
Who suddenly said she'd enough of this life,

Joined a self-help group, packed, and left in a whiz,
Demanding from now on her title was Ms.

And as for the gifts, why, he'd ne'er had a notion
That making a choice could cause so much commotion.

Nothing of leather, nothing of fur,
Which meant nothing for him. And nothing for her.

Nothing that might be construed to pollute.
Nothing to aim. Nothing to shoot.

Nothing that clamored or made lots of noise.
Nothing for just girls. Or just for the boys.

Nothing that claimed to be gender specific.
Nothing that's war-like or non-pacific.

No candy or sweets...they were bad for the tooth.
Nothing that seemed to embellish a truth.

And fairy tales, while not yet forbidden,
Were like Ken and Barbie, better off hidden.

For they raised the hackles of those psychological
Who claimed the only good gift was one ecological.

No baseball, no football...someone could get hurt;
Besides, playing sports exposed kids to dirt.

Dolls were said to be sexist, and should be passe;
And Nintendo would rot your entire brain away.

So Santa just stood there, disheveled, perplexed;
He just could not figure out what to do next.

He tried to be merry, tried to be gay,
But you've got to be careful with that word today.

His sack was quite empty, limp to the ground;
Nothing fully acceptable was to be found.

Something special was needed, a gift that he might
Give to all without angering the left or the right.

A gift that would satisfy, with no indecision,
Each group of people, every religion;

Every ethnicity, every hue,
Everyone, everywhere...even you.

So here is that gift, its price beyond worth...
"May you and your loved ones enjoy peace on earth."

 (c) Harvey Ehrlich, 1992

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Jingle Bells - The Ozzie Way

It gets hot here, damn hot. So while the northern hemisphere freezes during the Christmas season, we down in the southern hemisphere are lazing by the pool or at the beach trying to cool off.

Needless to say 'dashing through the snow' brings the occasional lip curl from we Aussies.

Australians being Australians, we came up with our own version of 'Jingle Bells':

Dashing through the bush in a rusty Holden ute,
Kicking up the dust, Esky in the boot,
Kelpie by my side, singing Christmas songs,
It's summer time and I am in my singlet, shorts and thongs.

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer's day,
Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a dusty Holden ute.

Engine's getting hot, we dodge the kangaroos,
The swaggie climbs aboard, he is welcome too.
All the family is there, sitting by the pool,
Christmas day in the Aussie way, by the Bar-b-cue. Oh!

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer's day,
Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a dusty Holden ute.

Come the afternoon grandpa has a doze,
The kids and Uncle Bruce are swimming in their clothes,
The time comes round to go, we take a family snap,
And pack the car and all shoot through Before the washing up. Oh!

Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells jingle all the way,
Christmas in Australia on a scorching summer's day,
Oh! Jingle bells, jingle bells, Christmas time is beaut,
Oh what fun it is to ride in a dusty Holden ute.

Santa's Replacement: Bubba Claus

Here's a question: if the Mayan calendar ends on the 21st December, does that mean the apocalypse will start at the International Date Line and work it's way around the world or is this a simple mass extinction event and it will be the 22nd for some of us as the clock runs out in Maya-land?

Huh. And why am I spending buckets of money on prezzos if we're doomed?

Number Three:

To: Southern USA Residents
From: Santa
RE: Replacement Santa

I regret to inform you that effective immediately, I will no longer be able to serve the Southern United States on Christmas Eve. Due to overwhelming current population of the earth, my contract was renegotiated by North American Fairies and Elves Local 209. I now serve only certain areas of Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin and Michigan. As part of the new and better contract I also get longer breaks for milk and cookies so keep that in mind. However, I'm certain that your children will be in good hands with your local replacement who happens to be my third cousin, Bubba Claus. His side of the family in from the South pole. He shares my goal of delivering toys to all the good boys and girls; however, there are a few differences between us. Differences such as:

1. There is no danger of a Grinch stealing your presents from Bubba Claus. He has a gun rack on his sleigh and a bumper sticker that reads: "These toys insured by Smith & Wesson."

2. Instead of milk and cookies, Bubba Claus prefers that children leave a RC Cola and pork rinds (or a moon pie) on the fireplace. And Bubba doesn't smoke a pipe. He dips a little snuff though, so please have an empty spit can handy.

3. Bubba Claus' sleigh is pulled by floppy-eared, flyin' coon dogs instead of reindeer. I made the mistake of loaning him a couple of my reindeer one time, and Blitzen's head now overlooks Bubba's fireplace.

4. You won't hear "On Comet, on Cupid, on Donner and Blitzen..." when Bubba Claus arrives. Instead you'll hear, "On Earnhardt, on Wallace, on Martin and LaBonte. On Rudd, on Jarrett, on Elliot and Petty."

 5. "Ho, ho, ho!" has been replaced by "Yee Haw!" And you also are likely to hear Bubba's elves reply, "I her'd dat!"

 6. As required by Southern highway laws, Bubba Claus' sleigh does have a Yosemite Sam safety triangle on the back with the words, "Back Off!" The last I heard it also had other decorations on the sleigh back as well. One is Ford or Chevy logo with lights that race through the letters and the other is a caricature of me (Santa Claus) peeing on the Tooth Fairy.

7. The usual Christmas movie classics such as "Miracle on 34th Street" and "It's a Wonderful Life" will not be shown in your negotiated viewing area. Instead, you will see "Boss Hogg Saves Christmas" and "Smokey and the Bandit IV" featuring Burt Reynolds as Bubba Claus and dozens of State Patrol cars crashing into each other.

8. Bubba Claus doesn't wear a belt. If I were you, I'd make sure you, the wife, and the kids turn the other way when he bends over to put presents under the tree.

9. And finally, lovely Christmas songs have been sung about me like "Rudolph the Red-nosed Reindeer" and Bing Crosby's "Santa Claus Is Coming To Town". This year, songs about Bubba Claus will be played on all the AM radio stations in the South. These song titles will be Mark Chesnutt's "Bubba Claus shot the jukebox"; Cledus T. Judd's, "All I want for Christmas is my Woman and a Six-pack", and Hank Williams Jr's "If You Don't Like Bubba Claus,You Shove It."

Sincerely Yours,
Santa Claus (Member of North American Fairies and Elves Local 209)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Christmas Corporate Memo

One day closer to Christmas... or the Apocalypse. So here's number two:

To: All Staff Date:
December 1
Subject: New "Twelve Days of Christmas" Policy

The recent announcement that Donner and Blitzen have elected to take the early reindeer retirement package has triggered a good deal of concern about whether they will be replaced, and about other restructuring decisions at the North Pole.

Streamlining is due to the North Pole's loss of dominance in the season's gift distribution business. Home Shopping TV channels and mail order catalogues have diminished Santa's market share. He and the Board could not sit idly by and permit further erosion of the profit picture.

The reindeer downsizing was made possible through purchase of a late model Japanese sled for the CEO's annual trip. Improved productivity from Dasher and Dancer, who summered at the Harvard Business School, is anticipated. Reduction in the reindeer will also lessen airborne environmental emissions for which the North Pole has received unfavorable press (gas and solid waste).

We're pleased to inform you that Rudolph's role will not be disturbed. Tradition still counts for something at the North Pole!

Management denies, in the strongest possible language, the earlier leak that Rudolph's nose get red, not from the cold, but from substance abuse. Calling Rudolph "a lush who was into the sauce and never did pull his share of the load" was an unfortunate comment, made by one of Santa's helpers and taken out of context at a time of the year when they are known to be under 'executive tress'.

As for further restructuring, today's global challenges require the North Pole to continue to look for better, more competitive steps. Effective immediately, the following economy measures are to take place in the "Twelve Days of Christmas" music subsidiary:

1) The partridge will be retained, but the pear tree, which never produced the cash crop forecasted, will be replaced by a plastic hanging plant, providing considerable savings in maintenance;

2) Two turtle doves represent a redundancy that is simply not cost effective. In addition, their romance during working hours could not be condoned. The positions are, therefore, eliminated;

3) The three French hens will remain intact. After all, everyone loves the French;

4) The four calling birds will be replaced by an automated voice mail system, with a call waiting option. An analysis is underway to determine who the birds have been calling, how often and how long they talked;

5) The five golden rings have been put on hold by the Board of Directors. Maintaining a portfolio based on one commodity could have negative implications for institutional investors. Diversification into other precious metals, as well as a mix of T-Bills and high technology stocks, appear to be in order;

6) The six geese-a-laying constitutes a luxury which can no longer be afforded. It has long been felt that the production rate of one egg per goose per day was an example of the general decline in productivity. Three geese will be let go, and an upgrading in the selection procedure by personnel will assure management that, from now on, every goose it gets will be a good one;

7) The seven swans-a-swimming is obviously a number chosen in better times. The function is primarily decorative. Mechanical swans are on order. The current swans will be retrained to learn some new strokes, thereby enhancing their outplacement;

8) As you know, the eight maids-a-milking concept has been under heavy scrutiny by the EEOC. A male/female balance in the workforce is being sought. The more militant maids consider this a dead-end job with no upward mobility. Automation of the process may permit the maids to try a-mending, a-mentoring or a-mulching;

9) Nine ladies dancing has always been an odd number. This function will be phased out as these individuals grow older and can no longer do the steps;

10) Ten Lords-a-leaping is overkill. The high cost of Lords, plus the expense of international air travel, prompted the Compensation Committee to suggest replacing this group with ten out-of-work congressmen. While leaping ability may be somewhat sacrificed, the savings are significant as we expect an oversupply of unemployed congressmen this year;

11) Eleven pipers piping and twelve drummers drumming is a simple case of the band getting too big. A substitution with a string quartet, a cutback on new music, and no uniforms, will produce savings which will drop right to the bottom line;

Overall we can expect a substantial reduction in assorted people, fowl, animals and related expenses. Though incomplete, studies indicate that stretching deliveries over twelve days is inefficient. If we can drop ship in one day, service levels will be improved.

Regarding the lawsuit filed by the attorney's association seeking expansion to include the legal profession ("thirteen lawyers-a-suing"), a decision is pending.

 Deeper cuts may be necessary in the future to remain competitive. Should that happen, the Board will request management to scrutinize the Snow White Division to see if seven dwarfs is the right number.

 Happy Holidays all!!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

12 12 12 and 12

It's twelve, twelve, twelve with twelve days to Christmas Eve.

So, since I've finished my Christmas shopping, twelve... written pieces shall I post, one every day. (Unless, of course, we all die in an apocalyptic inferno on 21 December, in which case, I probably won't be posting the rest.)

Number One:

The Unknown Reindeer

The game show contestant was only 200 points behind the leader and about to answer the final question - worth 500 points!

 "To be today's champion," the show's smiling host intoned, "name two of Santa's reindeer."

The contestant, a man in his early thirties, gave a sigh of relief, gratified that he had drawn such an easy question. "Rudolph!" he said confidently, "and, ...Olive!"

The studio audience started to applaud (like the little sign above their heads said to do,) but the clapping quickly faded into mumbling, and the confused host replied, "Yes, we'll accept Rudolph, but could you please explain... 'Olive?!?'"

 "You know," the man circled his hand forward impatiently and began to sing, "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer - had a very shiny nose. And if you ever saw it, you would even say it glowed. *Olive,* the other reindeer..."