Funny Family Thanksgiving and Christmas Stories

Holidays with the family can be quite the adventure, can’t it? Here is a small collection of some funny Thanksgiving and Christmas stories.

Cold and Lonely on Christmas Eve

We were young and alone on Christmas Eve. I’d accepted a new job during the summer, so Mary and I had loaded our meager belongings into a truck and drove it a thousand miles. For both of us, it was the first Christmas away from family and friends.

The holidays were hard as we came from large families. Making matters worse, Mary was heavily pregnant. My Dad said that married men have to learn to walk on water, and when the wife is pregnant, we have to walk about three feet above it. She was on an emotional roller coaster that dipped up and down minute by minute.

That Christmas Eve, I tried to cheer her up by getting her out of the tiny apartment we’d rented, aptly named “the cave” for it’s tiny windows and dark interior. We went to an inexpensive family restaurant, about all we could afford on our tight budget. Even though the staff wanted to go home to their families, they treated us nicely, maybe because Mary was so obviously pregnant.

We finished the meal and returned to the dark, empty apartment. I retreated to the bedroom to wrap some small gifts while Mary busied herself in the living room. When I came out, she beamed, pointing at a lamp she’d decorated with ornaments because we couldn’t afford a Christmas tree. A minute later, I held her in my arms as she sobbed.

The Ice Storm

My in-laws drove halfway across the country to visit us on Thanksgiving, much to the joy of Mary and the kids. Who can spoil children better than some doting grandparents? My father-in-law enjoyed eating out at restaurants, a real luxury when you come from a tiny farm town, so I could claim to be spoiled too.

We planned a big Thanksgiving dinner with a turkey and all the goodies. Mary made a pumpkin cheesecake, and then had to make another one when my father-in-law and I ate most of the first one the night before the holiday. It hurt, but it was very good!

The next morning was cold and wet. The temperature dropped steadily through the day. Ice accumulated on the trees outside, making them look like crystal. I was nervous about a power outage. Sure enough, just after sunset a transformer blew and the lights flickered out.

We lit every candle we owned to light the kitchen and dining room. Fortunately, we had a gas stove, so cooking was still possible, and an hour later we sat down to dinner.

If you don’t help with cooking, you have to do the dishes. It’s our house rule, and I’d avoided doing any of the cooking, gambling that my friend Mr. Dishwasher would be up to the job. I lost, but I didn’t complain. I washed and dried dishes, scrubbed pots, and cleaned flatware for about 45 minutes. Finally, I poured a cup of coffee and cut another piece of that marvelous cheesecake just as the lights came back on.

The Quasimodo Tree

Mary and the kids went to pick out a Christmas tree while I was at work. They visited a local tree farm and selected one from the bargain rack. The guys there wrapped it in netting, probably chuckling all the while, because when I got home and looked at it, the tree appeared to have a huge bulge on one side. Trees don’t get pregnant, do they? This one looked like it was ready to pop out a sequoia.

At first glance, it looked like a perfect Christmas tree. I’m sure it looked that way while leaning against the rack, but further examination showed that the trunk was bent and wildly off-center. The branches were carefully trimmed to give it that “perfect” look. I found that it was almost impossible to balance in the tree stand. Mary held it up so it wouldn’t fall on me while I laid on the floor muttering and fussing with it. Eventually it stayed upright.

The kids decorated it with tinsel, strings of lamps, and ornaments, putting the latter out of reach of Mittens the Wonder Cat. When they finished, we had dinner. Minutes later, the tree crashed to the floor! Mittens streaked through the dining room, looking like a furry torpedo. She’d had a paw in the crash, I knew.

We put the tree back up. An hour later, it crashed onto the floor again. This time Mary saw Mittens trying to extricate herself from the tree. She was tangled in lights and tinsel with an ornament stuck on her tail. She took off again, hiding in the bathroom to sulk until the evil, cat-eating tree was gone.

Just to be safe, though, we tied the tree to the wall with rope, leading a friend to ask, “Are you afraid it might try to get away?”

Do you have any funny family Christmas/Thanksgiving stories that you would like to share?

Mob Doctor – Thoughts From Someone Who Has Never Seen it

Sexy woman who kills people for cold hard cash.

Anyone heard of this show on Fox called “Mob Doctor” ? Here’s the premise, according to the Fox website:

For most physicians, the Hippocratic oath is sacred. But for one Chicago doctor, who is indebted to the mafia, saving lives isn’t her only concern. THE MOB DOCTOR is a fast-paced medical drama focusing on a young female surgeon caught between two worlds as she juggles her promising medical career with her family’s debt to Chicago’s Southside mob.

DR. GRACE DEVLIN (Jordana Spiro) is a top resident at Chicago’s Roosevelt Medical Center. Smart and self-assured, she’s heralded as one of the country’s most promising young surgeons. But family ties keep her glued to her Southside roots. To pay off her brother’s life-threatening gambling debt, she makes a deal with the devil and agrees to work “off book” for the mafia men she once despised.

Sounds like it might be interesting, right? I like the premise, but I think it’s silly to give the audience payoff immediately. Why reveal that the character is in debt to the mob right away – unless the producers think the show has no long term life to it?

A much better show would probably be about a doctor, who is close to her family and trying to deal with her brother’s gambling debt. Who, sometimes, oddly has a patient die on the table when it seems like she should be able to save them. You could hide the true nature behind emotional family moments that could just make these brief bouts of incompetence appear to be moments of distraction – her brother is in jail again. Or is in debt again. Whatever. Lots of opportunities here. The deaths wouldn’t even have to be super major plot points at first. Just ways of getting the audience to connect to her plight – dealing with a family that seems to be purposefully weighing her down. You know, typical drama crap. It’s not like it’s difficult to make a compelling doctor show on its own, right?

Then, you can spring the surprise a few seasons into it. And show flashbacks about how she did it. How she got into debt with the mob. The interesting bits. That’d be a huge payoff. If the show got to be popular prior to this, simply by being compelling, the payoff would huge news in the industry. Especially if it was revealed that this was the plan from the beginning.

It’d be ground breaking. But as it is, with a cheap payoff immediately it seems so “blah” and when them mob thing eventually gets old, which it will, does the show change names? Former Mob Doctor? What? At least in my scenario, the mob thing could end 2 or 3 seasons after the reveal with some sort of way to arrest the mobsters. Her having to go to jail for her murders, etc. Which would also be a fantastic way to conclude a show on a high note.

I don’t know. It just seems like a good premise is wasted with a pay off that hits a little bit too soon. Then again, what do I know. I don’t watch this crap.

Claro Search Hijacking FireFox

It looks like “free software” is becoming a little less free these days. I got a new computer earlier this year and just realized my favorite screenprint software wasn’t on it; so I went to download it last night. Well, bad news. It seems the download site here now attaches a little piece of adware to your install to cash in on your free download. There may have been a way to avoid it; but I don’t remember – it was late and who reads these things anyways?

Well, the adware in question forces you to use something called “claro-search” for lots of functions. It’ll hyperlink words on various websites for an advertisement, change your Firefox/Chrome search to Claro Search instead of Google or Bing or whatever. It’ll also reset your homepage to Claro Search. As if that weren’t annoying enough, it’ll also install a toolbar. Removal doesn’t seem to be difficult, just annoying.

To Remove Claro Search in Firefox, use these steps:

If you use the built in search function, click the down arrow and select “Manage Search Engines”. When the popup appears, select Claro Search and Click Remove.

Then, go to Tools->Add-ons and and look in your Extensions and Plugins tabs for Claro Toolbar and Claro Ads. Remove both of them.

Finally, go to your Windows Control Panel and find the Chrome Claro Toolbar and the Firefox one. Remove both.

Reload your browsers and you should be good to go. Also reset your homepage.

Guess that’s the last time I download anything from softonic.com – unbelievable.

My 2012 Election Prediction

CNN has it tied up at 49-49 with a high Democrat sample that probably doesn’t reflect reality. So, before the voting really begins tomorrow, here is my predicton for the 2012 election.

I fear that Romney will lose the close states (OH, PA, MN, CO, NV) and get very close to winning but not enough to put him over the top. While the polls may be biased, I just have a feeling he will not be pulling this one out. So that’s my prediction.

If Romney does win, I’ll celebrate (and watch MSNBC all night of course), but on 11/7, I’ll go back to hating him. He is/was marginally better than Obama, but not enough to make me happy he’s the new President. Maybe he’d surprise me, but I doubt it.

Make your own prediction at Hotair.

Obama Channels Dictators in Final Weeks of Campaign

First we have this ad from Obama yesterday:

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Which very closely reflects Putin’s ad a few years prior. Although, I must admit that – at least – Putin had the taste to put attractive women in his ad. So point Putin, I guess.

Now, Obama has decided to up the ante and channel Mao in putting a dunce cap on Romney.

And Obama’s version:

And, as we all know Obama’s “Forward” campaign theme is a popular one among socialists around the world. So I guess it shouldn’t surprise you where we are at with about ten days to go until election.

Vote accordingly.

Aquaman Sucks?

Look, I don’t want to be the one to tell you this; but Aqua-man is pretty pissed at people saying that he sucks all the time.

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Aquaman has been preemptively attacking us land-lovers with sharks. This is gettin’ real now, folks.

Bear in mind, this course is about three miles from the ocean. You know what that means: HOLY CRAP, SHARKS ARE FLYING NOW! THE END TIMES ARE NIGH

Even normally even-keeled reporters are scared. Aqua-man has lifted his mighty hand (the one he has left, I guess) and hurled a shark upon us. Maybe this is simply payback for us blowing up a whale a few years ago, maybe it’s a the first prong in a multistage assault on the surface dwellers. Either way, I’m preparing to bow before our Atlantean Overlords.

Casey the Cat: He Died on a Wednesday

Casey the Cat. He died on a Wednesday

When I first met Casey, he was a loud annoying cat who wasn’t very friendly to anyone and had the smell of a sweaty old man. The more I got to know Casey, I realized that he wasn’t very friendly, but was loud and annoying and smelt like a sweaty old man. But he loved me and I loved Casey. He was a great cat. He died on a Wednesday.

A killer cat to be sure. Not many days would go by when he didn’t kill a lizard, a moth, a butterfly, a rabbit or a snake. He was our pest control service. He was also our pest. And we loved him. I don’t think he ever caught enough animals to satisfy him. Always one more that needed to be caught.

Over our years together, he had to go to the vet for many things: a snake bite to the foot, a wound in his other leg and, at in the end, cancer. He was a cat you’d think would have gotten his comeuppance in a fight with a neighborhood cat or maybe a snake that would finally get the best of him. But no, in the end, it was his own little body that failed him.

Never again, will he wake us up at 4 in the morning demanding to be petted or be fed. Never again will he bring a moth into the house, let it loose and meow proudly – as if laughing at our efforts to catch it. He’ll surely be missed. He could never get enough attention at night; while not wanting to be bothered during the day.

Casey wasn’t really a cat though. He was a dog in a former life and he’ll be a dog in the next one. Always dirty – bringing in mountains of dirt from his favorite hobby, rolling around under the sheds. Or hiding in boxes full of popcorn. If he wasn’t dirty when he came in, it was an unusual day. He’d scream at us when it rained; trying to blame us. He loved the dogs and always ran over to them to greet them when he came back inside.  Then cuddle up on the couch and eat sunflower seeds till he had enough.

On a Wednesday, he had enough. For a cat, a full life – finally at peace after his body let him down. For the wildlife in the yard; peace at least.

Godspeed, Casey.

(cross posted at Deco Florida)

Daily Caller: The Sean Hannity of the Internet

I think it’s come time to call a spade a spade. The Daily Caller is awful. It’s almost as bad as listening or watching to Sean Hannity on a regular basis. And believe me, it pains to me to say this, as both are ideologically inline with me. But let me explain.

Back on 10/2/2012, Daily Caller promised a huge expose on Obama from a tape they had acquired. It’d be huge – red headlined on the Drudge Report and everything. So it drops later that night and it turns out to be an unedited tape from a known 2007 speech Obama had given. Daily Caller made the decision to highlight certain aspects of the speech – the accent he uses and acknowledging his connections to Reverend Wright. Because of this, the tape was widely ignored (and panned, even in much of conservative circles) as nothing new – which it wasn’t. Well, it wasn’t new for what Daily Caller had highlighted.

But they completely ignored the blow out point of this video – the part which hadn’t been seen elsewhere. And that was Obama’s railing against the Federal Government’s supposed decision to not waive the Stafford Act after Hurricane Katrina. He was reinforcing Kanye West’s point that Bush doesn’t care about black people – in an attempt to forment rage at Bush. In fact, the Stafford Act had been waived. And Obama had voted against this measure.

As Thomas Sowell writes:

Because, less than two weeks earlier, on May 24, 2007, the United States Senate had in fact voted 80-14 to waive the Stafford Act requirement for New Orleans, as it had waived that requirement for New York and Florida. More federal money was spent rebuilding New Orleans than was spent in New York after 9/11 and in Florida after hurricane Andrew, combined.

Unlike Jeremiah Wright’s church, the U.S. Senate keeps a record of who was there on a given day. The Congressional Record for May 24, 2007 shows Senator Barack Obama present that day and voting on the bill that waived the Stafford Act requirement. Moreover, he was one of just 14 Senators who voted against — repeat, AGAINST — the legislation which included the waiver.

So. Obama both knew that the act had been waived. And he had voted against the waiver. So, he was lying to his audience to stir them up.

This was the only real news from the tape that the Daily Caller released. And it didn’t even register with them at the time of release. It took nearly a week for people to look into those remarks. A week too late for it to matter. So Daily Caller had a great scoop right in their grasp and fumbled it away.

So fast forward to today. Daily Caller has another “scoop” on Obama. That he had more connections with Wright than previously admitted to and he wanted his radical buddies put into positions of power. Earth shattering news? More like old news. This isn’t new, either. It just fits Obama’s pattern since he’s been in public life.

And here’s the problem. Daily Caller advertises all of these scoops as explosive, when they are really just duds or bad reporting. I get that the goal is to generate hits for their site, but these dud “scoops” are just going to make conservatives less likely to link to them in the future.

And this brings me to Sean Hannity. Hannity, in many conservatives’ estimation, is a GOP talking point robot much like Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. He has had this same pattern. Market a huge scoop so that people will turn into his radio show or his Fox News show – then when people do, it turns into a dud. So what pull does Hannity have with the grass roots? None. And Daily Caller is following this same lead.

Which is probably why Hannity was in on the the 2007 tape revelation along with Daily Caller.

Bodybuilding Meets He-Man Toys

Do you ever think back to your childhood? Did you ever own He-Man toys? Do you remember what He-Man was?

He was a “superhero” (I guess) who fought bad guys on his planet. His main thing was that he was bulging with muscles, carried a sword and dressed in a loin cloth. You know, the kind of thing that is pretty normal in your average pron movie these days. Anyways; He-Man had this toy line where you could buy all the heroes and villains. The odd thing was that every toy had the exact same body (except the women, of course) – they were super muscular. And I mean SUPER muscular. They were flexed like body builders and their faces made them look like they were about to crap their pants.

So anyways, while the bodies were the same (only colored differently, diffeent accessories, etc), the heads were different. And the heads were squishy cuz they were cheap rubber placed onto the premolded body. The heads sometimes didn’t really match well with the body – coloring, etc. Which made it funny to play with these things.

The women had the same problem. They all had the same body and even the heads were remarkably identical. It was silly. But given there were like four females (and who wanted girl He-Man toys?) who cared. Everyone wanted to play with the real stars of the show.

So today. I’m reading the news and I see this picture and immediately say to myself, “I have the power!”

Someone has placed the wrong head on this poor guy’s body.

Inkmaster Season Two Debut

I have to admit that I loved Inkmaster last year. While I loved Josh’s artwork, it was clear that Sean and Tommy were the best. And Sean, won. So I was happy to see that it came back for a second season.

I don’t have any tattoos myself (I think they are repulsive, in general), but the artwork that some of these people come up with is just amazing. I can’t imagine how they do it, especially since you cannot even see what you are doing sometimes, with the way ink spreads on top of the skin. It’s fascinating. So when I watch the judges complain that a line is a little shaky or whatever, I just say to myself, “That’s kind of nitpicky isn’t it?” But when fingers are missing, words misspelled or colors are all messed up; that’s what I can relate to.

So, I was watching the debut last night and it looks like they’ve upped the “drama” between the participants. This was something I was glad was missing last year. I hate reality shows and their fake drama laden fights. Just show me people doing their tattoos and I’m happy. That said, some of these people are real asshats. This guy, especially. I really hate people who purposefully try to stir up trouble with others. It seems kind of pointless to me.

I’m not a huge fan of the show letting the flash challenge winner pick skulls (tattoos) for everyone else; as it doesn’t create the best possible winner; it creates a game of strategy where mediocrity wins out over skill. I hope it’s something they get rid of as the 16 or so people is dwindled down.

Also looks like the host, Dave Navarro, has some new tattoos this year. Gone are those awful Batman symbols on his shoulders. I guess the ribbing he took on Twitter last year and on various sites made him drop that mess. Good for him. They were awful. It was like, “How can you judge tattoos, when you have these turds sitting all over your skin.”

That said, Jay Smith and Kay Kutta had the two best tattoos from that second premier episode. I love the colorful cartoony stuff that Jay did. And that peacock that Kutta did was really impressive – even though that guy is a douche, he does some sweet work so far. In the first premier episode, I thought the dude who made the bull had the best looking tattoo. Judges, however, picked a machine arm tattoo, which was also pretty impressive.