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December 16th

The question is whether or not you choose to disturb the world around you, or if you choose to let it go on as if you had never arrived. – Ann Patchett


350th day of the year (351st in leap years) with 15 days to follow.

Holidays for Today:
~ National Chocolate-Covered Anything Day (make it dark chocolate & it’s healthy!)
~ Barbie and Barney Backlash Day (If you don’t understand this, you don’t have kids. It’s the one day each year when parents can pretend Barbie and Barney don’t exist.)

Wildness is the preservation of the World.
Every tree sends its fibers forth in search of the Wild. – Henry David Thoreau


  • 1770 Ludwig von Beethoven, German composer (Ode to Joy)
  • 1775 Jane Austin, England, author (Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice, Mansfield Park, Emma)
  • 1917 Arthur C[harles] Clarke, sci-fi author (The Sands of Mars, Childhood’s End, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Rendezvous with Rama, The Hammer of God)
  • 1927 Randall Garrett, Lexington, Missouri, sci-fi and fantasy author (Lord Darcy books, The Gandalara Cycle)
  • 1928 Philip K[indred] Dick, Chicago, Illinois, sci-fi author (Hugo-1963, Blade Runner; Total Recall, A Scanner Darkly, Minority Report)
  • 1947 Ben Cross, London, England, actor (Chariots of Fire, Far Pavilions, Banshee, Viking Quest)
  • 1963 Benjamin Bratt, San Francisco, California, actor (Demolition Man, Clear and Present Danger, Miss Congeniality, Despicable Me 2; Law & Order, Private Practice, 24: Live Another Day, Dr. Strange)
  • 1978 Joe Absolom, English actor (Long Time Dead, EastEnders, Doc Martin, Hatfields & McCoys, The Level)
  • 1981 Krysten Ritter, Shickshinny, Pennsylvania, model, actress, and producer (Breaking Bad, Gravity, Don’t Trust the B—- in Apartment 23, Jessica Jones, The Defenders)
  • 1984 Theo James, English-American actor (Underworld: Awakening, Golden Boy, Divergent, War on Everyone, Allegiant, Underworld: Blood Wars)
  • 1985 Amanda Setton, New York City, New York, actress (Gossip Girl, One Life to Live, The Mindy Project, The Crazy Ones, Hawaii Five-0)
  • 1987 Hallee Hirsh, Omaha, Nebraska, actress (You’ve Got Mail, The Ultimate Christmas Present, JAG, Flight 29 Down, ER, Infiltrators)
  • 1988 Anna Popplewell, London, England, actress (The Chronicles of Narnia, Halo 4: Forward Unto Dawn, Reign)

Never do anything when you are in a temper, for you will do everything wrong. – Baltasar Gracian


  • 1773 Boston Tea Party: Members of the Sons of Liberty disguised as Mohawks dump crates of tea into Boston harbor as a protest against the Tea Act.
  • 1811 The first two in a series of severe earthquakes occur in the vicinity of New Madrid, Missouri. These three so-called mega-quakes are believed to be an ongoing cataclysmic danger that could reprise the 1811-12 series of 2,000 quakes that affected the lands of what would be eight of today’s heartland states of the United States.
  • 1937 Theodore Cole and Ralph Roe attempt to escape from the American federal prison on Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay; neither is ever seen again.
  • 1944 The Battle of the Bulge begins during World War II with the surprise offensive of three German armies through the Ardennes forest.
  • 1947 William Shockley, John Bardeen and Walter Brattain build the first practical point-contact transistor.
  • 1978 Cleveland, Ohio becomes the first post-Depression era city to default on its loans, owing $14,000,000 to local banks.
  • 1979 Libya joins four other OPEC nations in raising crude oil prices, having an immediate dramatic effect on the United States.
  • 1985 In New York City, Mafia Paul Castellano and Thomas Bilotti are shot dead on the orders of John Gotti, who assumes leadership of the Gambino family.
  • 1989 Walter LeRoy Moody begins his terrorist bombing streak when he sends Judge Robert Smith Vance a bomb in the mail, instantly killing him near his house in Birmingham, Alabama.
  • 1995 Official adoption of the name of “Euro” for currency used by the Institutions of the European Union.
  • 2003 President George W. Bush signs the CAN-SPAM Act of 2003 into law. The law establishes the United States’ first national standards for the sending of commercial e-mail and requires the Federal Trade Commission to enforce its provisions.


While assembling furniture for a friend, I asked her five-year-old son to bring me a screwdriver. He said, “Do you want a Daddy screwdriver or a Mommy screwdriver?”

“Which one can you get faster?”
“The Mommy screwdriver.”

“Okay. Bring me a Mommy screwdriver.”
The child came back and handed me a butter knife.

An educational psychologist is asked to see a pupil who draws all his pictures with black and brown crayons. He talks to him. Nothing obvious. He gives him projective tests. Nothing shows up.

Finally, in desperation, he gives him some paper and a box of crayons.
“Oh goody,” says the boy, “I get an old box of crayons in school and only the black and brown were left.”


10. Anne of Avonlea/Anne of Green Gables Collectors Edition with 74 minutes of extra footage
9. Any knick-knack
8. Tickets to the ballet

7. Another new tie
6. A Bath and Body Works Soap Basket
5. New teddy bear pajamas

4. Vacuum cleaner
3. A weekend seminar on “Getting in Touch With Your Feelings”
2. Pair of fuzzy bunny slippers
1. A nose and ear hair trimmer


10. A car wash kit
9. A table saw
8. Two all-day passes to Best Buy’s Home Theatre Installation Seminar

7. A case of oil
6. Five-year subscription to Sports Illustrated
5. Custom engraved bowling ball

4. New outboard motor for fishing boat
3. Rambo Trilogy on DVD
2. New satellite dish with sports package
1. Three-year membership to Weight Watchers Clinic

The chef of the upscale restaurant I manage collided with a waiter and spilled coffee all over our computer. The liquid poured into the processing unit and resulted in some dramatic crackling and popping sounds.

After sopping up the mess, we gathered around the terminal as the computer was turned back on.
“Please let it work,” pleaded the guilt- ridden waiter.
A waitress replied, “should be faster than ever now. That was a double espresso.”

pic of the day: Christmas at the Castle

snowy castle

The outgoing message on our office answering machine says, “Thank you for calling Company, Inc.
We’re sorry, the office is closed. Leave your name and number and a brief message, and please spell any difficult words.”

One Monday morning we arrived to hear this message:
“My name is Kristen Jones, my number is 555-1212 and my difficult word is commitment,
C-O-M-M-I-T-M-E-N-T. I always want to put two t’s in the middle.”

Needing some clothes cleaned in a hurry, a man searched this small Georgia town in which he was visiting until he found a sign which read: “Cleaning and Pressing, 24-Hour Service.”

After explaining his needs, he said, “I’ll be back for my suit tomorrow.”
“Won’t be ready till Saturday,” replied the proprietor.

“But I thought you had 24-hour service,” the customer protested.
“We do, son,” the proprietor said reproachfully. “But we only work eight hours a day. Today’s Thursday – eight hours today, eight hours Friday, eight on Saturday. That’s 24-hour service.”


~ I studied a long time to become a doctor, but I didn’t have any patience.
~ My best job was being a musician, but eventually I found I wasn’t note worthy.
~ I attempted to be a deli worker, but any way I sliced it, I couldn’t cut the mustard.

~ Next was a job in a shoe factory; I tried, but I just didn’t fit in.
~ I thought about becoming a witch, so I tried that for a spell.
~ I became a professional fisherman, but discovered that I couldn’t live on my net income.

MY SON PAUL, a lieutenant, is an aviation instructor at Naval Air Station North Island, San Diego. At Paul’s annual physical, the doctor was studying his chart and noticed his birth date. “What a coincidence,” he said. “I was born the same day.”

Paul thought to himself, ‘Here’s a guy the same age as me, and he’s already a doctor.’

The physician continued reading my son’s chart and then exclaimed, “Wow, that’s fantastic. You’re only 28, and you’re teaching guys how to fly!”


Housewife: “How did you know I was home? My son told you I was out”
Salesman: “It was easy Lady. He was mowing the lawn.”

Little girl to little boy: “Do you wanna play house?”
“Sure! What do you want me to do?”
“I want you to communicate.”

“That word is too big. I have no idea what it means.”
“Perfect! You can be the husband.”

Some guy bought a new fridge for his house. To get rid of his old fridge, he put it in his front yard and hung a sign on it saying “Free to good home, You want it you take it”.

For three days the fridge sat there without even one person looking twice at it. He eventually decided that people were too un-trusting of this deal, looks to good to be true, so he changed the sign to read “Fridge for sale $50”. The next day someone stole it.

US tourists, a man and his wife are traveling in the Middle East. An Arab approaches the husband, saying, “I’ll give you 100 camels for your woman.”
After a long silence, the husband says, “She’s not for sale.”

The indignant wife says, “What took you so long to answer?”
The husband replied, “I was trying to figure out how to get 100 camels back home.”

TODAY IN TRIVIA: What does a porcupine do to find a mate? During the mating season, male porcupines bristle their quills at each other and chatter their teeth in rage before attacking. All porcupines at this time become very vocal: grunting, whining, chattering, even barking and mewing at each other.

~ What is mistletoe? With evergreen leaves, yellow flowers, and white berries, mistletoe is a parasitic plant usually found high in the canopies of fruit trees, maples, and sometimes oaks. (And at our house, sweetgum trees.)

~ According to the language of flowers, what does mistletoe symbolize? Overcoming difficulties.

~ Is mistletoe poisonous? Caution: raw mistletoe berries are very poisonous and tend to fall off the plant easily. They have been known to cause seizures or death when ingested and can be especially lethal to children and pets.

~ What is the legend behind mistletoe? In an old Norse legend, Frigga, the goddess of love, had a son named Balder who was the god of innocence and light. To protect him, Frigga demanded that all creatures swear an oath not to harm him, but she forgot to include mistletoe. Loki, god of evil and destruction, learned of this and made an arrow from a sprig of mistletoe. He then tricked Hoth, Balder’s blind brother, into shooting the mistletoe arrow and guided it to kill Balder. The death of Balder meant the death of sunlight—explaining the long winter nights in the north.

Frigga’s tears fell onto the mistletoe and turned into white berries. She decreed that it should never cause harm again but should promote love and peace instead. From then on, anyone standing under mistletoe would get a kiss. Even mortal enemies meeting under mistletoe by accident had to put their weapons aside and exchange a kiss of peace, declaring a truce for the day. (Farmer’s Almanac)
QUIP OF THE DAY: If Stupidity got us into this mess, then why can’t it get us out? – Will Rogers.


Thought for the day. . . It is better to suffer wrong than to do it, and happier to be sometimes cheated than not to trust. – Samuel Johnson

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