Happy holidays.

Weird. It’s snowing around Indianapolis and well into southern Indiana, and in Detroit, it’s 46 degrees with a steady rain. Weather, you are an endless bafflement.

And with that inane small talk, let’s segue into the long slide into the holiday week, which I have off for the first time in maybe forever. And while it’s possible I might be moved to blog and blog some more over the next 10 days or so, I’m far more likely to throw some links and pix up from time to time. Keep coming back if you like; we won’t be entirely dark, but the lights will be dim.

I will spend today madly shopping. Will you be the lucky recipient of a tchotchke, a sweater or a bottle of decent likker from the Nall-Derringer co-prosperity sphere? Check under the tree to find out!

For the rest of you, some links:

If Robert Bork wasn’t dead, Jeffrey Toobin would have killed him with these few well-chosen words:

Bork was born in 1927 and came of age during the civil-rights movement, which he opposed. He was, in the nineteen-sixties, a libertarian of sorts; this worldview led him to conclude that poll taxes were constitutional and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 was not. (Specifically, he said that law was based on a “principle of unsurpassed ugliness.”) As a professor at Yale Law School, his specialty was antitrust law, which he also (by and large) opposed.

The 50 worst columns of 2012. Can’t argue with too many of them, although the two chosen from M—- A—- aren’t even close to his worst for the year.

Some people’s worst nightmare: She’s marrying her sorority sister. It’s like a porn movie, but not.

Olympian/mom/real-estate agent in Wisconsin, but in Vegas? Look out.

I almost emailed this photo to Cooz today while I was shopping, but I couldn’t find his address in my phone. This’ll have to do. It’s a shop for plus-size sexywear. It is not. I have been corrected by the fabulous Nancy Friedman in comments. It’s just a trendy shop for plus-size teens. Let’s all get our freaks on — it’s almost Christmas.


And have the best one ever, OK?

Posted at 12:28 am in Housekeeping |

110 responses to “Happy holidays.”

  1. MaryRC said on December 21, 2012 at 2:58 am

    I agreed with most of Atlantic’s choices for 50 worst columns of 2012. It seems to have been put to bed before some of the more egregious comments on the Sandy Hook killings were published (Charlotte Allen’s for one) but then who wants to hear about any of those again? I do agree with one of the commenters though — I can’t see how this piece by Kevin Williamson at National Review didn’t make the cut. Ordinarily I might think Williamson’s argument — that Romney is an alpha male because he fathered sons while the President only fathered daughters so he might as well be a girl himself — was an attempt at humor, but it’s the National Review so it couldn’t be that.

    Happy holidays to you too, Nancy.

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  2. Sherri said on December 21, 2012 at 3:09 am

    I thought Derbyshire’s column deserved a category all its own, for most heinous column written by a writer still acknowledged in polite company.

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  3. Connie said on December 21, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Light snow cover this morning on my end of the metro area with more coming down.

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  4. alex said on December 21, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Nothing on the ground here despite the promises. When I went to bed last night it was sleeting.

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  5. coozledad said on December 21, 2012 at 8:29 am

    I only shop at Torpid- the sexwear store for people in traction.

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  6. beb said on December 21, 2012 at 8:34 am

    The admonishment to speak no ill of the dead had kept me from dancing with joy over the news of Robert Bork’s death. The more one reads about him the more loathsome he appeared.

    I’m not sure how one judges the 50 worst columns of the year what with so many columnists writing two or three times a week. The number of candidates is so large how does one go through them all?

    On the other hand Alex Pareene has been working on his future unemployability by listing the ten most hackitude media operations of the year. What with media consolidation and all, there aren’t much more than ten media outlets left. So if he ever gets fired from Slate he might want to consider a new line of work.

    The terrible blizzard of ought-twelve pounding the midwest kind of fizzled out by the time it hit Chicago. One of these days I ought to buy some gas for the snow blower … just in case, you know. But so far it’s been a why bother winter.

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  7. Basset said on December 21, 2012 at 8:37 am

    For some reason that plus-size place generates a mental image of spike-heeled FM shoes with foot fat bulging out between the straps.

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  8. brian stouder said on December 21, 2012 at 9:01 am

    Not sure I know very many folks who would shop at a place called “Torrid” (‘Hell, if I want tored clothes, I’ll go to a garage sale!’), but I bet their catalog is better then the Trumpster’s beauty contest.

    And, thanks for skipping the stupid Mayan butt-end meme

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  9. Sue said on December 21, 2012 at 9:02 am

    I have never dealt with such heavy snow in my life. So beautiful, so evil. I carefully parked my car at work facing out and got plowed in, had to dig out only to get stuck again trying to get into my driveway. Branches down everywhere and electricity out for hours. The plows came by during the night and this morning there were (sorry MMJeff & others) fucking snow boulders as tall as me blocking our driveway. Can’t fault the plow trucks, there’s nowhere for the snow to go.
    I am happy for the snowcover but holy shit.

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  10. Bob (not Greene) said on December 21, 2012 at 9:21 am

    Sue, I gotta drive from Chicago to Madison today to pick up my son from school. Am I going to make it? There was almost no snow here in Chicago, so I have no idea what the roads are like up there.

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  11. Sue said on December 21, 2012 at 9:40 am

    BnG, try this map. Click on upper right corner to view alerts. I noted that there are alerts regarding closed roads in Dane County, but I don’t know what roads you are traveling.
    South of us (Milwaukee and south) was mostly rain until late yesterday afternoon. West of us and I think some points southwest got hit worse than we did.

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  12. Fritinancy said on December 21, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Torrid’s audience is plus-size teen girls who follow trends. The name is (intentionally?) misleading; I wouldn’t call its merchandise “sexywear”– it’s the usual jeans, tees, dresses, sweaters. The chain has been around since 2001.

    LOVE “Torpid.”

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  13. Minnie said on December 21, 2012 at 10:04 am

    Raising a toast here to Sam and Laura, though at this early hour it’s a cup of tea rather than a flute of bubbly.

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  14. Dorothy said on December 21, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Sue where are you again? Do you carry a shovel in your car just in case? I’m sorry you’re having such a time of it. We’re just blustery and flurrying this morning so far. Jym Ganahl, though, said last night that next Wednesday/Thursday we’re supposed to get a big snow storm. Gulp. Wednesday is our getaway day for Vegas and the wedding. I scoff at people who get up in arms about forecasts a week away, but I admit to feeling quite pissy about this particular forecast five days ahead of time. Fingers crossed.

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  15. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 10:32 am

    Just got up and looked at the Torrid photo without rubbing sleep from my eyes. Read it as Lurid from across the room and had to agree. I wonder what kid wants to be seen shopping in that place? But to the extent it might be empowering to some, applause.

    I looked up Whitman College. Very impressive. Very selective. Congratulations to your daughter Sherri. Walla Walla looks like an excellent place to spend four college years.

    Worst columns? Rounded up the Usual Suspects. (Turn down the sound.) A list of fifty could easily be compiled for Brooks, Will or Douche-hat by their ownselves. Peggy Noonan and Rich Lowry? Fish in a barrel. I subjected myself to most of those columns, and seeing them all in one place causes recriminations about time frittered away forever on vapid blatherhammers. But how does the “bottled spider, poisonous bunchback’d toad” Krauthammer not make the cut? He must feel so ashamed this morning.

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  16. alex said on December 21, 2012 at 10:43 am

    No sooner did I post the above at #4 about no snow when it started coming down like an avalanche. The roads around my house were a mess by the time I left for work. Once I got into town, though, the roads were fine and looking out of my window I see no accumulation on the ground.

    Regarding Robert Bork, I knew he was backward but had no idea he was that far out. Talk about unsurpassed ugliness.

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  17. Sue said on December 21, 2012 at 10:57 am

    Dorothy, I am NW of Milwaukee. I don’t carry a shovel in this car because it’s old and unreliable and we don’t usually take it out of the city. The car is basically never driven anywhere that would require rescuing, and getting plowed in was a fluke. We were expecting max 12 inches over the entire storm period but we were already at 13 when I was trying to get out. But, since we had our potluck lunch yesterday, I had a lovely Christmas plate handy that worked surprisingly well.

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  18. Bitter Scribe said on December 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

    The Chicago Tribune this morning ran a column by some “black conservative” named Stephen Carter about what a brilliant legal scholar Bork was and how unfair it was that he was borked, etc. Honestly, do guys like this Carter think they’re too good to need civil rights laws?

    Someone needed to tell Bork the same thing that every man who combines a beard with a scraggly mustache, or none at all, needs to be told: Don’t. It makes you look Amish, or like your face is a giant armpit.

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  19. Dorothy said on December 21, 2012 at 11:21 am

    Wow, you dug with a plate! That’s impressive. One of my brothers still loves to remind us that when he first moved from Pittsburgh to Atlanta, he saw co-workers trying to scrape ice from their windshields after an unexpected storm with their credit cards.

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  20. Catherine said on December 21, 2012 at 11:23 am

    Digging snow with a Christmas plate…Midwestern resourcefulness at its finest.

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  21. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

    I’m just imagining snow boulders engaged in intercourse, but Sue, it’s probably because I just saw “The Hobbit” on Sunday and the storm giants, if painted white, would probably fill the bill.

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  22. Sue said on December 21, 2012 at 11:27 am

    It was a square plate with a ridge, Dorothy, so it was nicely designed for the job at hand. Like a freezer-to-oven dish, only in this case bundt-cake-display-plate-to-blizzard-shovel.

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  23. Catherine said on December 21, 2012 at 11:28 am

    And that Suzy Favor Hamilton story… man, just when you think you can’t really be shocked anymore. I feel terrible for her daughter. And also a little bit for the Disney people who will be spending Christmas huddled with Legal, trying to back out of that contract as fast as humanly possible, while retaining their rights to sue her ass.

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  24. brian stouder said on December 21, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I dunno Catherine; Mickey Mouse just found a treasure chest full of gold (or at least silver and bronze), I’d say.

    All they have to do is rebrand her to one of their other (non-Mouse related) production arms, and voila!

    Plus, reading the article she comes across as a sympathetic figure, I think

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  25. Sue said on December 21, 2012 at 11:41 am

    Ah, Jeff, sometimes profanity is the only thing that fits the bill. Fortunately, if we are being literal here and the boulders are engaging in the act, they are moving at such a glacial pace that no one notices. They were probably no further than second base by the time I went after them with my shovel, poor things.

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  26. Catherine said on December 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

    Good point, Brian. Maybe Marvel needs a sexy new superhero.

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  27. del said on December 21, 2012 at 11:44 am

    I feel sorry for Suzy Favor Hamilton and her husband and child; you run fast when you’re running from the demons.

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  28. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I always thought Bork looked like he should have goat hooves and little horn nubs, and a forked tongue and vestigial tail.

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  29. Little Bird said on December 21, 2012 at 11:57 am

    CD cases make for effective impromptu windshield scrapers. According to one of my neighbors.

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  30. nancy said on December 21, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    That NRA “press conference” was the craziest shit I’ve seen in a LONG time.

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  31. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    Some interesting music books. The videos of the Beck songs are quite good. I’m really hoping somebody gets me that Songbook project for a Christmas gift.

    Nancy@30: How do the Teabangers react to the idea of employing more of those union-thug, money-grubbing cops to man all the schools, I wonder?

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  32. LAMary said on December 21, 2012 at 12:45 pm

    I was driving to work when the press conference came on. I had to drive with my left hand because the right hand was giving the radio the finger.

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  33. Jeff Borden said on December 21, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    Agreed on Wayne LaPierre, who truly seemed like a madman this morning. In my opinion, he is nothing less than a terrorist. . .a fucking evil man whose stock in trade is death and gruesome injury for fun and profit. And who the fuck allows this guy to moralize about the violence of the media when his organization endorses cop-killer Teflon-coated bullets that slice through body armor and believes that even those who are crazy or on the terrorist watch list should not be prevented from buying as many high-powered guns as they want. I would never wish tragedy on another but Lord, what if one of LaPierre’s family members was lying in a pool of blood after a mass shooting? Would that change his mind? Would anything? BTW, what kind of lapdogs are the media to attend a “press conference” in which there are no questions permitted? Pretty candy-assed, if you ask me.

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  34. coozledad said on December 21, 2012 at 12:48 pm

    Gawker had a good point: The NRA is just there to take the shit for the real perps, the ones who own the corporations that make the guns and their stockholders, and the sales outlets that are making so much fucking money they don’t even need to track inventory.

    And while that creep was speaking?

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  35. Kirk said on December 21, 2012 at 1:01 pm

    Dorothy, just remember that Jym Ganahl gets a stiffy at the tiniest possibility that bad weather might occur. For a more-reasonable, less-screechy forecast (rare among TV weatherpeople), I stick with Mike Davis.

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  36. Sue said on December 21, 2012 at 1:17 pm

    The NRA takes an entire week to respond to the massacre and this is what they come up with? And they start the conversation by holding a press conference where no one is allowed to ask questions?

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  37. alex said on December 21, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    In celebration of this date, some music.

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  38. alex said on December 21, 2012 at 1:30 pm

    Try, try again.

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  39. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Game of Thrones brewskis.

    Seems like Skeeter Davis’ hair prefigured Callista Gingrich’s, Alex. And I’m pretty sure I had a Herman’s Hermits album with The End of the World on it.

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  40. Sherri said on December 21, 2012 at 1:46 pm

    Another lovely quote from Wayne LaPierre’s remarks today:

    How many more copycats are waiting in the wings for their moment of fame — from a national media machine that rewards them with the wall-to-wall attention and sense of identity that they crave — while provoking others to try to make their mark?

    A dozen more killers? A hundred? More? How can we possibly even guess how many, given our nation’s refusal to create an active national database of the mentally ill?

    Yeah, that’s what we need, an active national database of the mentally ill. Nothing says freedom like that.

    And tell me something, Wayne. I’m not quite clear on when good guys with guns turn into tyrants that we need guns to overturn. Where’s the line? Is it cops, good, FBI and ATF, jack booted thugs? You’d think the military, as the primary armed instrument of the state, would be bad, but they seem to be good. It’s all very confusing.

    Or is that shooting brown people is good, and shooting white people is bad unless we have an active national database that proves they’re crazy?

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  41. Bitter Scribe said on December 21, 2012 at 1:53 pm

    LaPierre says we need to “start a dialogue” and then refuses to take questions. That should tell you everything you need to know.

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  42. brian stouder said on December 21, 2012 at 2:15 pm

    Well, and either Mr La-P. is an apostate, when it comes to his Absolute Faith in the Infallibility of the Founding Fathers (see “2nd Amendment”), or else he’s just a lyin’ sack-a-shit…or possibly he is sincerely (and certifiably) insane (as Nancy says), evidenced as he focuses his attacks on something called the “national media machine”.

    What’s that?

    Has he heard of Fox News or the Wall Street Journal or coast-to-coast talk radio? Who are those people?

    And, on the way to the bathroom with his copy of the Second Amendment, has he never read the First Amendment? Is his argument that we need to reign in the worhtless First Amendment, even as we genuflect toward the Second?

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  43. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 21, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    Well. Regulated. Militia. Mr. LaPierre et alia would do well to parse those three words as closely as they do “keep and bear arms.”

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  44. brian stouder said on December 21, 2012 at 3:03 pm

    Jeff, yes indeed. And don’t forget the implications of the phrase –

    “..being necessary to the security of a free State

    Because to hear other gonzo-for-guns advocates, the reason we all need guns is in case we decide to rebel against our government (the government formed by that very same Constitution)!!

    They have it exactly backward. By that reading, the chuckleheads and terrorists who used to lynch abolitionist newspaper editors, and throw their printing presses into rivers, were simply exercising their First Amendment rights. Up is down, and down is up, if the thought is that the US Constitution is purposely designed as a suicide pact, with the seeds of our own destruction planted within our founding documents. That view was (I thought) thoroughly discredited by the American Civil War; whereas I suppose others take the opposite view, even to this day.

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  45. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Jeff@43: They don’t have to. They have the luxury to simply ignore that clause because the Scalito gang says it doesn’t count. And Brian, LaPierre has been going on with his hydrophobic fulminations about “jack-booted thugs” for a long time, referring to the FBI and the ATF, since even before he meant the feds taking Elian Gonzalez back from whacko’s after the kid was kidnapped from his dad by his mom, or the Feds that lay siege to the Branch Davidian Waco compound before Koresh had his captives all shot and the place burned to the ground. Add a Kenyan anti-colonialist usurper (and I will never get how anti-colonialist is somehow an aspersion to theses Sons of Liberty) and “They are coming for you guns”. These would-be freedom fighters would be happy as pigs in slop so long as the cable doesn’t go out on Sunday pm and the beer stays stocked, the creek don’t rise, and the darkies are kept down.

    This sounds like a pretty damn good movie to me./a>

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  46. coozledad said on December 21, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    Poor Skeeter. Not only does she try and cram a diphthong into “end”, Her evil hairdresser framed her face in a Swedish toilet seat.

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  47. Jolene said on December 21, 2012 at 4:32 pm

    I like this piece by Fareed Zakaria because it sharply dismisses the idea that either our mental illness rates or our media culture are distinctive enough tp account for our distinctive gun death rate and because it contains this unforgettable sentence:

    With 5 percent of the world’s population, the United States has 50 percent of the guns.

    What could possibly justify that?

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  48. mark said on December 21, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    Here’s a chucklehead with a contrary view of the Second Amendment. http://www.saf.org/TribeUSA.html

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  49. Jolene said on December 21, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    Don’t forget: Tonight is the annual appearance of Darlene Love on The Late Show.

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  50. Heather said on December 21, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    I want a “like” button so I can use it for LA Mary’s post.

    So, according to the NRA, gun deaths are caused by everything but guns. Got it.

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  51. paddyo' said on December 21, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Me, too, Heather — so great to hear that somebody else gives the finger to the car radio like I do whenever craven and despicable ghouls like LaPierre start yammering.

    Fortunately, being left-handed, I can still control the wheel, if not my temper, while letting the right hand do the sign language.

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  52. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    NRA sure as shit likes to blame everybody else, and their favorite word is sure as shit, “responsible”.

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  53. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 6:29 pm

    driftglass and BlueGal say the GOPers should just go ahead and make Louie Gohmert Speaker. Full-goose looney alright.


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  54. Prospero said on December 21, 2012 at 6:38 pm

    LaPierre says the money for the public school cadre of jack-booted thugs to guard schools could come from the federal budget for foreign aid? What a fucking idiot. He’s on of these dumbasses that thinks foreign aid is a lot of cash, and when you subtract Israel, it’s remotely visible. What an ignorant, willfully stupid and bigoted little man that asshole is.

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  55. David C. said on December 21, 2012 at 7:59 pm

    The vet put one of the cats on Baytril pills which are reputed to taste nasty and be the hardest to get a cat to swallow. After a real goat rodeo this morning with the cat biting my wife and drawing blood, I went back to the vet for a little more instruction. Well, the first time flying solo, so to speak, Petey took the pill. It’s a tiny, little victory, but I’d rather think of that than the sick bastard king of the gun nuts.

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  56. Sue said on December 21, 2012 at 9:33 pm

    And speaking of gun nuts, does ‘gun nut’ get to go on the database as a category? Mr. “King of the Gun Nuts” (thanks David C., and I hope your cat is feeling better) didn’t really think that one through, did he? There might be an interesting overlap between those with fervent unyielding belief in gun rights and those with already diagnosed, add-him/her-to-the-database mental illness.

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  57. basset said on December 21, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Pros, if you’re channeling Hunter Thompson here, I believe it’s “bull-goose loony.” Not to be confused with “full bull colonel,” which I think shows up in nearly all of WEB Griffin’s military novels.

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  58. Deborah said on December 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

    Basset, I’m still trying to get foot fat out of my head, too funny.

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  59. Prospero said on December 22, 2012 at 9:54 am

    Basset, it’s actually Ken Kesey, in Cuckoo’s Nest, and it is bull. Randall Patrick McMurphy. And I always thought the phrase was full bird colonel, though the only military novels I’ve ever read are Von Ryan’s Express and Red Badge of Courage.

    Sue@56: How ’bout “gun nuts with Obama derangement syndrome”?

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  60. Prospero said on December 22, 2012 at 12:32 pm

    Humongous iceberg calving.

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  61. Dexter said on December 22, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    All my friends love Ronnie…Merry Christmas


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  62. MaryRC said on December 22, 2012 at 3:04 pm

    Speaking of the late Robert Bork, have you seen this?

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  63. Basset said on December 22, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Pros, that wouldn’t be the first time HST copied Kesey. And “bird” colonel was how I’d always heard it too, Griffin uses that construction a lot in the 47 or however many essentially identical novels he has cranked out.

    No military experience myself, but I was a teenage civilian dishwasher at a naval base officers’ club one summer.

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  64. Basset said on December 22, 2012 at 3:13 pm

    I should say Griffin uses the “full bull” construction. Got
    distracted there for a minute, thought a deer was coming by.

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  65. Sherri said on December 22, 2012 at 3:25 pm

    I always thought it was “bird” Colonel because the insignia used to designate a full colonel (rather than a Lt. Colonel) is a silver eagle.

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  66. Sherri said on December 22, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    Some say that being denied the Supreme Court turned Bork into a bitter old man. What’s Scalia’s excuse?

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  67. coozledad said on December 22, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    MaryRC: The money quote from that piece-

    One evening at a hotel in New York I flipped around the television channels. Suddenly there on the public access channel was a voluptuous young woman, naked, her body oiled, writhing on the floor while fondling herself intimately…. I watched for some time–riveted by the sociological significance of it all.

    And that, my friends, why the sociological significance industry makes billions every year.

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  68. Prospero said on December 22, 2012 at 5:25 pm

    On that Ronnie Spector page Dexter linked, Ronnie and Johnny Ramone doing an endearing, boozy version of the great Johnny Thunders’ song, You can’t Put Your Arms Around a Memory.

    Bork was a clearly intelligent human being that was basically cracked. His Constitutional readings were simply, untethered loony. His misanthropy was titanic, and he exuded racial animus. According to MaryRC’s link (awesomeness), Bork said Radical individualism is the handmaiden of collective tyranny. I wonder how that would go over with the Randians in the GOP? I mean, it’s sorta intelligent sounding, and it’s also total bullshit, so it’s just the sort of thing they like about the Priestess. And what, pray tell, is the psychological significance of horny, beardy Bork watching oiled-up porn in an NYC hotel room? Gives me the creeps, sure as shit. No concealed carry permit for you!!!

    I love the great Pogues Christmas song, and I like the ELP one a lot, and Darlene Love’s is an institution. Chrissie Hynde’s is great too. But for a rock ‘n’ roll Christmas song, you must have Ray and Dave, them Davies boys. Dave just rips it up on this one and Ray’s lyrics are ineluctably brilliant:


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  69. Prospero said on December 22, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    I suppose Bork and Silent Clarence could have bonded over porn, and putting pubic hairs on Ginsburg’s Coca-Cola. What I think of the US Supreme Court was summed up perfectly by Mick Jagger back when he was in movies:


    KT Tunstalls gorgeous version of the great Pretenders Christmas song:


    It also pains me that Bork blasphemed and took the name of the world’s greatest poet in vain by calling a book “Slouching Toward Gommorah”, while he was leading the slouch toward Bethlehem. What a piece of semi-human scum.

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  70. alex said on December 22, 2012 at 6:44 pm

    The Hoosier asshat who made headlines for torching a mosque in Toledo explains himself: Fox News made him do it.

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  71. Prospero said on December 22, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    Which is the greater Scrooge musical piece?




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  72. Prospero said on December 22, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    And razzleberry dressing, even for you, Danny.

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  73. brian stouder said on December 22, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    The Hoosier asshat who made headlines for torching a mosque in Toledo explains himself: Fox News made him do it.

    Or, to paraphrase the Pharisees of our gun culture, ‘the Right Wing Media Machine’, eh?

    (to be clear – I do not think that Fox News caused the catastrophic attack in Connecticut; the point is that I’m very tired of the right condemning “the mainstream media”, as if they weren’t part and parcel of the very same)

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  74. Basset said on December 22, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    Believe you’re correct there, Sherri@65.

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  75. Kirk said on December 22, 2012 at 9:57 pm

    I’m very tired of “the media” being blamed for everything damned thing that goes wrong. But that’s just me.

    I have to work in my part-time “media” job Christmas night and probably won’t be back here until then. So Merry Christmas to all.

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  76. Deborah said on December 22, 2012 at 11:10 pm

    The days are starting to get longer, even if it’s only a minute a day, I’ll be glad when the darkness is over.

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  77. Prospero said on December 23, 2012 at 6:47 am

    I believe y’all know the tune:

    Deck us all with Boston Charlie,
    Walla Walla, Wash., an’ Kalamazoo!
    Nora’s freezin’ on the trolley,
    Swaller dollar cauliflower alley-garoo!

    Don’t we know archaic barrel
    Lullaby Lilla Boy, Louisville Lou?
    Trolley Molly don’t love Harold,
    Boola boola Pensacoola hullabaloo!

    Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
    Polly wolly cracker ‘n’ too-da-loo!
    Donkey Bonny brays a carol,
    Antelope Cantaloupe, ‘lope with you!

    Hunky Dory’s pop is lolly gaggin’ on the wagon,
    Willy, folly go through!
    Chollie’s collie barks at Barrow,
    Harum scarum five alarm bung-a-loo!

    Dunk us all in bowls of barley,
    Hinky dinky dink an’ polly voo!
    Chilly Filly’s name is Chollie,
    Chollie Filly’s jolly chilly view halloo!

    Bark us all bow-wows of folly,
    Double-bubble, toyland trouble! Woof, woof, woof!
    Tizzy seas on melon collie!
    Dibble-dabble, scribble-scrabble! Goof, goof, goof!

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  78. Prospero said on December 23, 2012 at 7:17 am

    Just read this comment on George Will’s latest excrescence:

    Furthermore, Mr. Will has the independence and integrity of a remora. He takes money to try to refurbish the sullied reputations of people like John Yoo. If Mr. Will has some moral point beyond which he will not go for money, it has not yet been discovered.

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  79. Sue said on December 23, 2012 at 10:24 am

    I seem to recall the NRA, and LaPierre in particular, pushing very hard the idea that Obama would outlaw guns if elected. They and he pushed this in 2008 and even though nothing happened they and he pushed it again in 2012.
    Fear-mongering works based on the way guns and ammunition flew off the shelves after Obama was first elected. If you push the idea that society will disintegrate and the only thing between you and anarchy is your guns you will end up four years later with survivalists being egged on by the likes of Ted Nugent.
    If Obama ‘outlaws guns’, the NRA will have had an unwitting hand in it.

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  80. Connie said on December 23, 2012 at 10:31 am

    https://takingsenseaway.wordpress.com/ , confessions of a former TSA screener. Interesting reading.

    I have this vision of all of you scurrying around to shop and bake, and I am jealous. I have for some months now been suffering from a rare auto immune skin disease on my lower left leg. I am currently sentenced to as little walking and standing as possible, keeping my leg elevated as much as possible. I can go back to work half days on January 2.

    This was one of those deals where one specialist sends you to another specialist and it was specialist number 4 who figured it all out. I am visiting a wound clinic twice a week and am on the way to healing.

    Needless to say I am bored stiff. Books, TV, computer have gotten old. My husband offered to take me to the grocery store for a ride in the handicapped cart. So feel free to entertain me. Links? Stories? Jokes? Anything is welcome.

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  81. Sherri said on December 23, 2012 at 10:44 am

    Connie, perhaps you’ll enjoy exploring this basement: http://cabel.me/2012/12/19/the-basement/

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  82. MichaelG said on December 23, 2012 at 12:16 pm

    It is most definitely ‘Bird Colonel’ or ‘Full Bird Colonel’. And yes, the term derives from the eagle insignia.

    Pros at 77, I recall seeing that ‘Deck us all’ in Mad Mag when I was fourteen or so.

    My sympathies, Connie. Please be better soon.

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  83. Basset said on December 23, 2012 at 12:41 pm

    A ride in the handicapped cart… Reminds me of the time Menard’s in Bloomington was out of wheelchairs and I had to take Mrs. B. and her broken leg (from sledding, spiral fracture, big pink cast) around the store on a lumber wagon.

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  84. Connie said on December 23, 2012 at 12:46 pm

    The fascinating basement to which Sherri sent me reminds of the basement in the building we called the Library Annex in my previous job. It started out in 1970 as a small four story office building with an exterior wall contiguous to the library. It was originally built as an annex to the neighboring bank, and its basement contained the remains of the central boards and wires of numerous phone systems.

    We always wondered why the elevator didn’t go to the basement. Then a former civil defense official gave me a magazine article about the construction of the building which informed me that the basement had been designed as a fall out shelter for 200 people that would protect them in case of a direct nuclear hit on the New York Central Railyards just west of town. There was nothing left to give the slightest clue of that, no cots, no barrels of crackers, no toilets. We used the space to store our Christmas stuff.

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  85. coozledad said on December 23, 2012 at 1:19 pm

    Nancy got a link from Wonkette:

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  86. Deborah said on December 23, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Cool about the Wonkette link.

    Sorry to hear you’re under the weather Connie, here’s a link that has some funny stuff to pass the time http://wwdtm.tumblr.com/

    I myself have come down with a damn cold just in time for Christmas.

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  87. Heather said on December 23, 2012 at 3:16 pm

    Connie, Longreads.com has a nice long list of long-form essays and journalism, which I may or may not look at while I’m supposed to be working at my job.

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  88. Sue said on December 23, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Connie, this might keep you busy for awhile:

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  89. Jolene said on December 23, 2012 at 7:30 pm

    Connie, you can download Christmas at Downton Abbey, which, as far as I know, hasn’t been shown in the U.S. Ninety minutes of entertainment, free at iTunes.

    Also free, Stephen Colbert, Michael Stipe, and Mandy Patinkin singing Good King Wenceslas. Nice music and a moral lesson as well.

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  90. Prospero said on December 23, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    Speaking of LaPierre, check this out:


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  91. Sherri said on December 24, 2012 at 12:43 am

    Connie, I can’t remember what kind of books you like, but one of the more interesting books I read this year was Alif the Unseen, by G. Willow Wilson. It’s science fiction, about a hacker in an Arab city ripe for revolution, sort of reminiscent of Neal Stephenson but not as didactic.

    Other favorites from the year were Bring Up the Bodies, by Hilary Mantel; Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, by Ben Fountain; and Gone Girl, by Gillian Flynn, which we’ve already discussed here, I believe. I’m waiting until next month to read Behind the Beautiful Forevers, by Katherine Boo, because my book club isn’t discussing it until February.

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  92. Dorothy said on December 24, 2012 at 2:53 am

    Sorry, Connie, I was going to send you a link to virtual bubble wrap but I can’t find it at the moment! A check with Google might turn it up for you. I wish we were neighbors – I’d come over and teach you to knit or crochet. You would not be bored anymore! Feel better soon. You too, Deborah. And I’m with you on the days getting longer bit. I don’t even mind that it’s winter for sure now. All I want is more sunshine for Christmas. And clear travel weather for Wednesday when we depart for Vegas. Oh – and for any of you who loved Call the Midwife, don’t miss the Christmas special that is airing on most PBS stations on December 30th.

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  93. ROGirl said on December 24, 2012 at 5:11 am

    Best New York Times correction ever:

    Correction: An earlier version of this slide show misspelled Mr. Hemingway’s given name. It is Ernest, not Earnest.

    I made hazelnut biscotti yesterday. First I shelled the nuts, toasted them in the oven and ground them in the food processor. They filled the house with the lovely scent of butter, sugar and hazelnuts. I’m taking them to a Christmas eve gathering so I won’t be tempted to eat any. Maybe one.

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  94. Deborah said on December 24, 2012 at 6:29 am

    Books I’ve read recently that I recommend:
    This is How You Lose Her by Junot Diaz
    A Hologram for the King by Dave Eggers
    May We Be Forgiven by A.M. Holmes
    Every Love Story is a Ghost Story (I can’t remember the author’s name, it’s a biography of David Foster Wallace)
    Currently I’m reading Far From the Tree, which was discussed here

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  95. Jeff (the mild-mannered one) said on December 24, 2012 at 6:52 am

    Merry Christmas for all who would rejoice at God’s love made known in a baby in a stable; for everyone else, as Richard Dawkins says, Happy Axial Tilt! Because, in his view, axial tilt is the reason for the season . . .

    And as Deborah has already said, any of us can find room in our hearts to rejoice the still, small lengthening of daylight first becoming noticeable around Dec. 25th. What existential points that cosmological reality leads you are all likely to lead you to joy of one sort or another! (But as Mr. Seagram says, “Celebrate Responsibly.”)

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  96. Jolene said on December 24, 2012 at 8:03 am

    Thanks for the reminder re “Midwife”, Dorothy. Hope you have a great trip.

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  97. Prospero said on December 24, 2012 at 11:18 am

    More Midwife? Yay. That beautiful Colbert Christmas Carol reminds me, Walt Kelley also did a Wenceslas rewrite for Pogo, to go along with Deck Us All. Good King Sauerkraut looked out, On his feets uneven. I’m pretty sure Spinmaster O would find the carol objectionable, since I’m fairly certain Mandy Patinkin is Jewish. Merry Christmas y’all.

    Here’s a nice piece about Camilla Fortescue Cholomondley-Browne, better known as Chummy:


    Andn a nice trailer for the Christmas show:


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  98. LAMary said on December 24, 2012 at 11:35 am

    I like how Stephen Colbert reminds us about actual traditional Christian values with music.

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  99. Connie said on December 24, 2012 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks for the offer Dorothy I would love to learn how to knit. Imagine making socks that actually fit my wide foot. I’ve been crocheting for years from afghan to doilies but my daughter stole my collection of hooks.

    Today I got to Target and drive the handicapped cart. It was an adventure. It has a loud beep when you back up, and has zero turning radius. Got the last bit of shopping done and then some.

    Thanks for all the suggestions. I am already tired of reading best books of the year list,

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  100. Prospero said on December 24, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Another good reason to check into Call the Midwife is the wonderful, addled/mystic nun, Sister Monica Joan, played by Jenny Agutter, who was so good in Logan’s Run many years ago. Another movie I still like to watch sometimes. Really though for all of the seasonal favorites, I still like Millions best. I have a copy for a Christmas gift for my brother in Savannah, with whose family I’m spending the day tomorrow. I’m one of those people for whom bile rises to my throat at even a commercial for It’s a Wonderful Life. Can’t stand it. Already watched the Christmas Story and expect to see it once or twice more this year, in the preferred, disjointed fashion. Another favorite is One Magic Christmas, with Mary Steenburgen and Harry Dean Stanton.

    Nice story from the Boston Globe today. Some art stories are love stories.

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  101. Jolene said on December 24, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    You’re right about Millions, Pros. Absolutely delightful. See it if you haven’t.

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  102. brian stouder said on December 24, 2012 at 2:14 pm

    Cooze – great link!

    Anyone who hasn’t read Nancy’s Bridge piece about Michigan’s relaxation of restrictions on large people-eating animals ought to immediately go see!

    And Connie – by gosh if I were you I’d take up your husband’s offer and do that scooter thing. Nothing perks me up more than getting out and seeing the folks scurrying hither and yon, especially at this time of the year.

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  103. Deborah said on December 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

    Merry Christmas everyone, and happy holidays to those who don’t observe Christmas. We are getting ready to bake some cookies, waiting for the butter to soften. Our tradition is to have pasta bolognese for dinner on Christmas Eve. We made the noodles a couple of days ago, they’re in the freezer. The sauce is made with ground pork, veal and sirloin with a bit of tomato paste and lots of heavy cream, of course garlic and onion too. it is my favorite of all time. We open our gifts on Christmas Eve too, have always done it that way. We may take a stroll over to Canyon Road tonight where they have farilitos (brown lunch sacks with candles in them) and luminarias (small bonfires built by rectangular stacking of wood) burning. Hoards of people go and sing carols while they walk up the road. It can be a bit of a zoo with all the people milling about.

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  104. Basset said on December 24, 2012 at 2:55 pm

    In the woods right now, trying to ambush another deer but mostly getting away from Christmas. Got the tree in the stand last night, tonight Mrs. B. and the boy will decorate it and set out the gifts while I try not to ruin the vibe.

    Jr. works part time stocking at a large chain craft store & says the Valentine’s & St. Patrick’s Day stuff is already coming in, they’ll start putting it on the shelves Wednesday.

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  105. MichaelG said on December 24, 2012 at 3:59 pm

    Merry Christmas to everyone!

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  106. Julie Robinson said on December 24, 2012 at 5:02 pm

    Thanks for the story on Chummy, Pros, she’s my favorite character. Dorothy, hope your trip and the wedding are wonderful.

    We can’t keep my sister out of the kitchen and I may gain 10 pounds before they go. Pecan and pumpkin pies are wafting their temptations my way, and we’re headed off to church in a bit. Blessings of the season to all.

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  107. Prospero said on December 24, 2012 at 6:35 pm

    Great Christmas story, with the truly incomparable Art Carney:




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  108. Dorothy said on December 24, 2012 at 9:35 pm

    Happy Christmas to all. We got some sad news while we were driving home tonight; a dear theater friend died this afternoon. He has been sick with liver problems and was hoping for a transplant next year. He was a terrific guy, retired from Kenyon about a year ago. His wife is a professor there. I am really glad Mike & I took him to lunch two weeks ago.

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  109. beb said on December 25, 2012 at 12:26 am

    Sympathies, Dorothy. Christmas Eve is always a tough time of year to lose someone. My mother-in-law died on Christmas Eve a few years ago. It turns your whole world upsidedown.

    Bassett’s comment about getting the tree in the stand had me confused for a moment because most of the time you put the deer stand in a tree, not the other way around. Then I realized he must mean putting a Christmas up in his stand. I hope Bassett looked twice before shooting once. Wouldn’t want him to confuse a flying reindeer for a white-tail.

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  110. basset said on December 25, 2012 at 2:27 am

    Spreading confusion once again… should have said that we’d put our Christmas tree in its holder or something, whatever you call that device you stand (that word again!) the tree up in and clamp it in place with screws, then cover with a decorative cloth.

    The tree stand, the one I sit in with my politically correct non-assault-type rifle, has not been productive this year, only gotten one deer out of it. Gonna try again tomorrow and at least one more weekend before the season ends Jan. 6; the reindeer are safe from me, though, haven’t seen a deer of any type the last couple of times out.

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