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December 9th

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then is not an act but a habit. – Aristotle


343rd day of the year (344th in leap years) of the year with 22 days to follow.

Holidays for Today:
~ Christmas Card Day
~ International Anti-corruption Day
~ National Pastry Day
~ Weary Willie Day (for the clown character made famous by Emmett Kelly)


  • 1608 John Milton, London, England, poet/Puritan (Paradise Lost)
  • 1845 Joel Chandler Harris, Eatonton, Georgia, journalist (Uncle Remus stories)
  • 1886 Clarence Birdseye, Brooklyn (NYC), New York, frozen food manufacturer (Birdseye foods)
  • 1898 Emmett Kelly, Sedan, Kansas, circus clown (Weary Willie)
  • 1902 Margaret Hamilton, Cleveland, Ohio, actress (Wicked Witch in Wizard of Oz)
  • 1916 Kirk Douglas, Amsterdam, NY, actor (Spartacus, Gunfight at OK Corral, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea)
  • 1922 Redd Foxx, St. Louis, Missouri, comedian (Sanford and Son)
  • 1928 Dick Van Patten, New York City, New York, actor (Eight is Enough, Spaceballs)
  • 1941 Beau Bridges, Los Angeles, California, actor (Stargate: SG1; Hotel New Hampshire; 5th Musketeer, The Millers, Bloodline)
  • 1945 Michael Nouri, Washington, D.C. , actor (Flashdance, Legend of the Seeker, Mossad Director Eli David on NCIS, The Slap, The List)
  • 1952 Michael Dorn, Luling, Texas, actor (Worf on Star Trek NG, voice for characters of many animations and computer games, Dr. Carter Burke on Castle, Unbelievable!!!!!)
  • 1957 Donny Osmond, Ogden, Utah, singer (Osmond Brothers, Donnie and Marie, 2009 Dancing w/the Stars champion)
  • 1961 Joe Lando, Prairie View, Illinois, actor (Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman, Higher Ground, Wildfire, The Secret Circle, Earthfall, Freshwater)
  • 1962 Felicity Huffman, Bedford, New York, actress (Desperate Housewives, Sports Night, American Crime)
  • 1969 Allison Smith, New York City, New York, actress (Kate and Allie, Cagney & Lacey, The Sound of Music, Gypsy, The West Wing)

An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last. – Sir Winston Churchill


  • 1793 Noah Webster establishes NY’s first daily newspaper, American Minerva.
  • 1861 American Civil War: The Joint Committee on the Conduct of the War is established by the U.S. Congress.
  • 1875 The Massachusetts Rifle Association, “America’s Oldest Active Gun Club”, is founded.
  • 1888 Statistician Herman Hollerith installs his computing device at the United States War Department.
  • 1950 Harry Gold is sentenced to thirty years in jail for helping Klaus Fuchs pass information about the Manhattan Project to the Soviet Union. His testimony is later instrumental in the prosecution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg.
  • 1962 The Petrified Forest National Park is established in Arizona.
  • 1965 The Kecksburg UFO incident: a fireball is seen from Michigan to Pennsylvania; witnesses report something crashing in the woods near Pittsburgh. In 2005 NASA admits that it examined an object.
  • 1968 NLS (a system for which hypertext and the computer mouse were developed) is publicly demonstrated for the first time in San Francisco.
  • 1979 The eradication of the smallpox virus is certified, making smallpox the first and to date only human disease driven to extinction.
  • 2008 The Governor of Illinois, Rob Blagojevich, is arrested by federal officials for a number of alleged crimes including attempting to sell the United States Senate seat being vacated by President-elect Barack Obama’s election to the Presidency.


Two men are sitting in the doctor’s office.

The first man is holding his shoulder in pain, while the second has ketchup in his hair, fried egg down the front of his shirt and two sausages sticking out of his pockets.

After a while, the second man asks the other what happened.
“My cat got stuck in a tree,” the man says, gripping his arm. “I went up after him and fell out. I think I’ve broken my shoulder. You?”

“Oh, it’s nothing serious,” the second man replies. “I’m just not eating properly.”

Two cowboys are riding along a trail in the mountains when they suddenly hear tom toms beating very close to them.

‘Oh! That doesn’t sound good,’ one says to the other.
As soon as the words were spoken, an Indian jumps out from behind a tree and said, ‘Yeah, our regular drummer is out sick.’

ONE-LINERS: Points to Ponder

* A closed mouth gathers no feet.
* Opportunities always look bigger going than coming.
* The real reason you can’t take it with you is that it goes before you do.

* Junk is something you throw away three weeks before you need it.
* Hospitality is making your guests feel at home, even if you wish they were.
* A man (or woman) who can smile when things go wrong has found someone to blame it on.

* Money isn’t everything….there’s credit cards, money orders, and travelers checks.
* The world is full of willing people: some willing to work and some willing to let them.
* A modern pioneer is a woman who can get through a rainy Saturday with a television on the blink.

Today’s Grandma

In the dim and distant past
When life’s tempo wasn’t so fast,
Grandma used to rock and knit,
Crochet, tat and baby sit.

When the kids were in a jam,
They could always call on Gram.
But today she’s in the gym
Exercising to keep slim.

She’s checking the web or surfing the net,
Sending some e-mail or placing a bet.
Nothing seems to stop or block her,
Now that Grandma’s off her rocker.

A father and his son were looking at a nativity scene in a London gallery. It was Titian’s world-famous painting of the scene at Bethlehem. The boy said, “Dad, why is the baby lying in such a crude cradle in a pile of straw?”

“Well, son,” explained the father, “they were poor, and they couldn’t afford anything better.”

Said the boy, “Then how could they afford to have their picture painted by such an expensive artist?”

pic of the day: Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow…

snow falling at night

Q: What’s wrong with lawyer jokes?
A: Lawyers don’t think they’re funny and other people don’t think they’re jokes.

Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and an onion?
A: You cry when you cut up an onion.

Q: What do you throw to a drowning lawyer?
A: His partners.

Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a vulture?
A: The lawyer gets frequent flyer miles.

Q: How does an attorney sleep?
A: First he lies on one side and then on the other.

Q: What’s the difference between a shame and a pity?
A: If a busload of lawyers goes over a cliff and there are no survivors, that’s a pity. If there were empty seats, that’s a shame.

Q: What’s the difference between a lawyer and a leech?
A: The leech will stop sucking your blood when you die.

Q: How many lawyers does it take to change a lightbulb?
A: Three. One to climb the ladder, one to shake it and one to sue the ladder company.

“My father refused to spend money on me as a kid. One time I broke my arm playing football and my father tried to get a free X-ray by taking me down to the airport and making me lie down with the luggage.” –Glen Super


~ My first job was working in an orange juice factory, but I got canned because I couldn’t concentrate.

~ I wanted to be a barber, but I just couldn’t cut it.
~ Next I tried working in a muffler factory, but that was exhausting.
~ I used to work at a donut bakery but I got tired of the hole business.

~ Then I worked in the woods as a lumberjack, but I just couldn’t hack it, so they gave me the axe.
~ After that I tried to be a tailor, but I just wasn’t suited for it. The job was only so-so anyhow.

Just before leaving the North Pole on Christmas Eve to deliver gifts to children around the world, Santa asked Mrs. Claus about the local weather forecast.
Mrs. Claus responded, “Looks like rain, Dear!”

A headmaster at a parochial school wanted to provide his new students some advice for appropriate behavior at church. He thought he would try to elicit rules that their parents might give the youngsters before taking them to a nice restaurant.

“Don’t play with your food,” one second grader cited.
“Don’t be loud,” said another, and so on…

He then turned to another youngster to ask, “And what rule do your parents give you before you go out to eat?”
Without batting an eye, the child replied, “Order something cheap.”

The road by my house was in bad condition. Every day I dodged potholes on the way to work, so I was relieved to see a construction crew working on the road one morning.

Later, on my way home, I noticed the men were gone and no improvement in the road. But where the crew had been working stood a new, bright-yellow sign with the words “Rough Road.”

The restaurant where I took my two sons for a meal was crowded with fans watching a sporting event on television. The harried waitress took our order, but more than half an hour passed with no sign of her return.

I was trying to keep my kids from becoming restless when suddenly shouts of victory came from the bar.
“Hey,” commented my 11-year-old, “it sounds as if someone just got his food.”

Headlines from 2040 . . .

— Baby conceived naturally…. Scientists stumped.
— Authentic year 2000 “chad” sells at Sotheby’s for $4.6 million.
— Postal Service raises price of first class stamp to $7.89 and reduces mail delivery to Wednesday only.

— Upcoming NFL draft likely to focus on use of mutants.
— Average height of NBA players now nine feet, seven inches.
— 35 year study: diet and exercise is the key to weight loss.

— IRS sets lowest tax rate at 75%
— Congress authorizes direct deposit of illegal political contributions to campaign accounts.
— Microsoft announces it has perfected its newest version of Windows so it crashes BEFORE installation is completed.
— New federal law requires that all nail clippers, screwdrivers, fly swatters, and rolled up newspapers must be registered by January 2041.

TODAY IN TRIVIA: Are Graham’s crackers still good for you today? Not really. Originally made solely with graham flour, many modern imitation graham crackers contain no graham flour at all, and are based on bleached, refined white flour, which the Rev. Graham implacably opposed. Today, graham crackers are made with much greater amounts of sugar and other sweeteners than used in the original recipe. Cinnamon is also commonly added to graham cracker mix to enhance the flavor.

~ Who was Weary Willie? He was the clown character made famous by Emmett Kelly, a sad, down-on-his-luck clown did not fit the formula most circuses were seeking. Later, when the country was in the depths of the Great Depression people could identify with Weary Willie and his frowning, whisker-shadowed face and his dirty, torn and worn costume, went on to become an American icon.

~ When was the first fantasy novel published? The history of modern imaginary-world fantasy begins with William Morris, who pioneered the genre in the late 19th century with The Well at the World’s End and other novels, and Lord Dunsany, who continued the tradition into the 20th.

~ How many runners finished Boston’s first marathon? In the first Boston Marathon, 15 runners competed. Ten of them finished the race.
QUIP OF THE DAY: What’s on your mind? If you’ll forgive the overstatement. – Fred Allen


Thought for the day. . . “No matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow.” ― Maya Angelou

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