Holiday Cheer

Jim Downey's picture

Obviously.

I've worked in retail enough to appreciate the anecdotes on "Not Always Right." This one has a delightful UTI twist:

Caller: “Hey…I need y’all to come out to [motel] and take me to the airport.”

Me: “I’m sorry, I don’t think I’ll be able to do that.”

Caller: “Oh, and bring forty-five dollars.”

Me: “I’m sorry sir, I cannot come pick you up.”

Caller: “What? I just came to your crummy town for a weekend and now I gotta get back home. Why the hell aren’t you helping me? I just need a ride and forty-five dollars!”

Me: “Sir, I’m afraid I can’t.”

Caller: “Ain’t y’all a church? Why don’t you get off your lazy a** and come get me?”

Me: “Sir, I am not accustomed to meeting strange men at motels.”

Caller: “Well, it’s obvious YOU ain’t a Christian!”

Happy 2010, one and all!

Jim Downey

Jim Downey's picture

Time to invest in Kimberly-Clark,

the makers of Depends:

In the wake of the terrorism attempt Friday on a Northwest Airlines flight, federal officials on Saturday imposed new restrictions on travelers that could lengthen lines at airports and limit the ability of international passengers to move about an airplane.

The government was vague about the steps it was taking, saying that it wanted the security experience to be “unpredictable” and that passengers would not find the same measures at every airport — a prospect that may upset airlines and travelers alike.

But several airlines released detailed information about the restrictions, saying that passengers on international flights coming to the United States will apparently have to remain in their seats for the last hour of a flight without any personal items on their laps. It was not clear how often the rule would affect domestic flights.

That's from today's NYT's article. Here's what's on the TSA site:

Jim Downey's picture

We create the meaning. (reprise)

I thought I would repost this item from the end of 2006. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all - I hope yours have the meaning you create.

Jim D.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I had lunch the other day with an old friend and fellow atheist. It’s ironic that we really only get to see one another during the Christmas period, when he is in town to visit family.

In the course of the wide-ranging conversation (we share many opinions, and differ just enough on some others to keep things lively), he mentioned that he thought that what my wife and I were doing in caring for her mom was praiseworthy.

Jim Downey's picture

Merry F&*#ing Christmas!

"...and all you atheists, too!"

Yeah, pretty well sums it up.

Y'all enjoy, be safe if you have to travel.

Jim Downey

Jim Downey's picture

"There," says he, "if that line don't fetch them, I don't know Arkansaw!"*

Gods, this is funny:

Q: Is the ButtCandle really a candle?
A: Yes, but not necessarily what you might picture as your dining room table variety of candle. In length and diameter, it's similiar to common candles. However, a hollow channel is cut from bottom to top which causes air to be drawn from the base to the top. In practice, this creates a vacuum at the base which, when inserted in the rectum, gently dislodges intestinal and rectal blockage.

That's from the ButtCandle FAQ.

Yup. ButtCandle. Which is just like it sounds. A candle that you stick in your butt, then light "with the 10" wooden match that is provided." You know, like those silly "Ear Candles" that you can find in woo-shops? Which is how I stumbled across it, over on Phil Plait's site.

Don't use it after having chili, though.

Jim Downey

Jim Downey's picture

It's all winter fun until someone pulls a gun.

Well, maybe there is a use for Twitter, after all. Seems that in the middle of the big snowstorm smacking the East Coast, some folks in DC decided to organize a good ol' fashioned snowball fight. You know, show up, informal sides, throw snowballs at one another. Some 150 - 200 people joined in. And everyone was having just too much fun.

Until some idiot in a Hummer drives through the intersection where this party is going on, and his vehicle gets smacked by a few snowballs. Said idiot jumps out of said Hummer, and draws a gun.

WTF?

Seriously, that's what happened. There were plenty of witnesses, plenty of pictures, plenty of video. Here's a good one, where you can clearly see the gun in his left hand:

IMG_1721

Nice, eh?

And here's the *really* good part: the guy in question is a D.C. police detective, tentatively identified as Detective Baylor. But don't take my word for it, here he is himself:

Jim Downey's picture

Yay!

Another victory in the War On Christmas!!!

Winter Display Featuring Einstein, Bill Gates Can Go Up at Ark. Capitol, Federal Judge Rules

A secular display celebrating the winter solstice and "freethinkers" such as Albert Einstein and Bill Gates can be placed at the Arkansas Capitol alongside a traditional Christian nativity scene, a federal judge said Monday.

The Arkansas Society of Freethinkers sued last week after Secretary of State Charlie Daniels rejected its proposal, saying it wasn't consistent with the Capitol's other decorations and displays. The group asked for a quick hearing before the winter solstice, which is Dec. 21.

U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright granted an injunction Monday allowing the display to go up.

Quick, someone tell Bill O'Reilly! Maybe we'll get his head to actually assplode!

Jim Downey

HT ML!

Jim Downey's picture

Be sure to use the proper gang-identification slang.

Nice - there's now a website dedicated to making sure that all the places you shop use the proper gang signs:

How "Christmas-Friendly" Are Retailers?

Millions upon millions in our nation deeply value the great truths of Christmas and the holiday's inspiring place in American life and culture. We hope you will take a moment to "Stand for Christmas" by sharing feedback about your Christmas shopping experiences.

We're asking YOU to decide which retailers are "Christmas-friendly." They want your patronage and your gift-shopping dollars, but do they openly recognize Christmas?

Please post your rating and share your comments, which will go directly to retailers and appear on this site. Then, forward them to a friend!

Right, because the "Reason for the Season" is whether or not retailers flash the correct hand signals at the checkout counter.

Guess who is behind this glorification of the mighty dollar:

Jim Downey's picture

No Hunter's Home should be without one.

Now, through the magic of modern technology, you too can have your very own Camo Bible!!

NEW
Holy Bible (New King James Version) with Mossy Oak® Break-Up® Camo Leather-Bound Cover

This outdoor inspired edition of the New King James Version of the Bible comes in large print for easier reading with a ribbon bookmark and a handsome gift box. Bound in Mossy Oak® Break-Up® bonded leather with gilded-gold edging. Dimensions: 9.3'' x 6.7'' x 1.7''. 1728 pages

Yup. There I was, browsing through the latest holiday flyer from Bass Pro, and there it was: the Bible of My Dreams. How can I resist?

Jim Downey

Jim Downey's picture

I'm sure

that this sounded like a good idea at the time:

Matthew Allan McNelly, left, and Joey Lee Miller, 20, still had the permanent marker on their faces when they were booked.

(CNN) -- Police say guilt was written all over their faces.

Police received a call Friday night that two men with hooded sweatshirts and painted faces had tried to break into a man's home in Carroll, Iowa.

When police stopped a vehicle matching the caller's description blocks away, they were stunned by the men's disguises.

There were no ski masks or stockings pulled over their heads; instead, Matthew Allan McNelly, 23, and Joey Lee Miller, 20, streaked their faces with permanent black marker.

Yes, alcohol *was* involved.

Well, that solves my quandary about what Hallowe'en costume to wear this year . . .

Jim Downey

Cross posted to my blog.

Jim Downey's picture

Next thing, this guy will learn that water is wet.

Well, at least the court ruled against him:

Man Burned at Burning Man Assumed Risk of Being Burned by Burning Man, Says Court

On June 30, the California Court of Appeal held that a man who was burned by the huge bonfire that ends the Burning Man festival each year could not sue the festival organizers. Anthony Beninati admitted he had intentionally walked into the fire, and that he had previously known fire was hot. But he argued, basically, that the organizers were negligent because they should not have let him approach the fire so closely.

He did not win.

Seemed like the perfect item to post for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, as a cautionary tale. Here's a bit more Schadenfreude:

Jim Downey's picture

The Easter Bunny vs. Jesus.

Got a flyer in the "doormail" yesterday that my good lady wife set aside for my amusement. I figured I should share. Since I can't construct the same kind of grid they use, here's the basic idea:

The Easter Bunny vs. Jesus

Hides eggs throughout your house: The Easter Bunny.
Brings baskets of goodies on Easter morning: The Easter Bunny
Favorite food is carrots: The Easter Bunny
Gives peace, life, & forgiveness to your soul: Jesus!

Our research has shown that although both The Easter Bunny and Jesus get a lot of press this time of year, they actually have very little in common. If you are into a quick chocolate buzz, hide and seek with inedible eggs, and someone to share your carrots with, the Easter Bunny is your guy. If, however, you are looking for peace for your soul, some eternal assurance of acceptance, and unlimited forgiveness... Jesus has much more to offer. Go to church on Easter, and do a little research of your own.

Jim Downey's picture

Wait, what? 'Conversations with God' author lied, you say? No, really!

I just cannot believe that such a good and holy man, a spiritual leader for our times, who has . . .

*ugh* Sorry, even I can't keep up that level of snark.

Here's the story, in all of its Schadenfreude glory:

Christmas Essay Was Not His, Author Admits

Neale Donald Walsch, author of the best-selling series “Conversations With God,” recently posted a personal Christmas essay on the spiritual Web site Beliefnet.com about his son’s kindergarten winter pageant.

During a dress rehearsal, he wrote, a group of children spelled out the title of a song, “Christmas Love,” with each child holding up a letter. One girl held the “m” upside down, so that it appeared as a “w,” and it looked as if the group was spelling “Christ Was Love.” It was a heartwarming Christmas story from a writer known for his spiritual teachings.

Except it never happened — to him.

Jim Downey's picture

So, what're your plans?

Just 11 days left. Barely time to put in adequate stocks of the foods and beverages of your choice. So, I'm curious, what are your plans to celebrate the stepping down of the Worst President Ever? Massive party? Coke and pretzels for everyone on your block? Kegger complete with cheerleaders? Or just a quiet, albeit kinky, evening of electrostimulation and waterboarding among friends? Perhaps a bonfire with your 401k statements and a copy of the Constitution?

Tell us here, so the SS can open a file on you, too!

Jim Downey

Jim Downey's picture

Party Party!

Just dropped this note to a friend:

So, you guys doing anything particularly celebratory for New Years? We're going to be whooping it up - I got the triple meat pizza rolls! Woo-hoo!

What wild-n-crazy plans have you got?

We're having an open house for our neighborhood tomorrow, so getting plastered and making a big mess tonight has zero appeal for me. Well, even without the open house it would hold almost zero interest, so I suppose that isn't much of a factor . . .

Anyway, what's the haps, my friends?

Jim Downey

Brent Rasmussen's picture

Christmas Past

My youngest was lamenting the fact that Christmas was very thin this year. Not in a bad, whiny, selfish way, but rather in the general "aw, it's too bad that everyone is so broke this year due to the economy." (His 12 year old brain is finally beginning to realize that there is a wider world out there, and it's all connected - somehow - by this 'economy' thing, among other equally nebulous concepts. And it affects him. Wow! :)) So, we had a little talk about Christmas, the holidays in general, and what is really important.

I asked him to remember back to Christmas, two years ago, and tell me about one gift that he still has and enjoys.

He thought about it for a good thirty seconds - an eternity in 12-year-old land - and admitted that he doesn't have a clue what he got two years ago. He couldn't remember a single thing.

Then I asked him what he does remember about Christmastime two years ago.

"I remember when all of the family came over and we made peanut butter balls and sat around the firepit and played guitar and I jumped on the trampoline with my cousins. Then Uncle Kris fell over the dog and tipped over the pretzels!"

Point made. Family, friends, getting together and just enjoying each other's company, singing songs and laughing - that is the true meaning of Christmas for this atheist family. All that other stuff - the holiday sales, the gift-giving, the decorations, the music, Santa Claus - just gives us the perfect excuse to get together and be a family together. I love this time of year because of that.

I hope your holiday time was happy, all.

Jim Downey's picture

Confession Time: Eggnog edition.

OK, Gang - time for confessions. Take a stand: Eggnog, yes or no?

If you say yes, what variety, what kind of alcohol?

If no, you're a heathen destined to live forevermore as an outcast from society.

Me, I like my eggnog with whiskey (Scotch, actually), minus all the milk and egg gunk. With ice.

Jim Downey

Paul Fidalgo's picture

Hardened Hearts

I will be really glad when the hubbub over the atheist placard in Washington State is over with, but it does keep generating insight on the state of atheists in the culture--but not just in terms of how they are perceived, but in how they are portraying themselves.

Take, for example, Dan Barker, head honcho at the Freedom from Religion Foundation, an important group that is responsible for the placard which states, in part, "Religion is but myth and superstition that hardens hearts and enslaves minds." (Emphasis mine.)

[Barker] said if anything, it's the Nativity scene that is the intrusion.

"Most people think December is for Christians and view our signs as an intrusion, when actually it's the other way around," he said. "People have been celebrating the winter solstice long before Christmas. We see Christianity as the intruder, trying to steal the holiday from all of us humans."

Paul Fidalgo's picture

The Mercy of Medved

I continue to be amazed at how hurt many religious people claim to be by the atheist plaque at the Washington State Capitol Building. I have written on my own blog about the false equation often made of criticism of a person’s choice of religion versus denigration of a person for accidents of their birth (race, gender, sexual orientation, etc.). I posit that criticizing a particular religion (or religion in general) is akin to criticizing someone for being a Democrat or a Keynesian: it is a reaction to someone’s philosophical or ideological choice, the tenets of which are open to debate. It is not the same as hating someone simply because they are black or gay or Romanian or what have you.

Chuck Norris (for whom I think a whole separate post is required to lament the loss of a folk hero to wingnutsville), for example, has “written” an “article” for the “news site” WorldNetDaily in which he laments:

Jim Downey's picture

Ah, the true spirit of Christmas!

Neighbor uses lawn decoration to subdue knife-wielding man

When a drunken neighbor came over and threatened his Thanksgiving guests with a kitchen knife, one Del Paso Heights man allegedly took matters - and a plastic candy cane - into his own hands.

In what police said was self-defense, the man used the two-foot plastic lawn decoration to beat 49-year-old Donald Kercell until police could take Kercell into custody, said Sacramento Police spokesman Sgt. Norm Leong.

Remember kids, don't bring a knife to a candy cane fight. And using a candy cane to beat some drunk will make the baby Jesus cry, since it is His symbol. Or not.

Man, you gotta love the holidays.

Jim Downey

(Via BB.)

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