When did stocking stuffers become so expensive? I remember getting inexpensive little things, like pencils & pens, candy and a toothbrush. I just read an article which suggested an MP3 player as a stocking stuffer! That's an under-the-tree gift in my book. Maybe even the gift.
That keyring Precision Micro Digital Camera might qualify as a stuffer. It's certainly small enough and really neat in a spy camera sorta way. It's $19.99 and takes up to 99 photos.
What did you get in your stocking?
MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM CRAWFORD!
Click here to enlarge the message.
BUNDLE UP & KEEP MOVIN'
That's what I told DogMan when he tried to nudge up the thermostat. I set it at 60* ever since I read that Corning Natural Gas Corp. announced that we may see a 55% increase in our bills this winter. Mind you, the rest of the state will see increases ranging from 30% to 45% while ours will be even higher because CNG screwed up big time:
Concerns about adequate supplies stem from the company's apparent failure to adhere to its own plan for securing natural gas supplies, as well as the procurement practices encouraged by the New York State Public Service Commission's 1998 Statement of Policy on Gas Procurement. The guidelines in the Commission's policy statement were developed to shield customers from price volatility and, had they been followed by Corning, the cost of natural gas reflected in customers' bills this winter would likely be lower than current projections.
I got the first real bill of the season (click image to enlarge). It's 37% higher than last year.
FUZZY WUZZY IS BACK!
Nurse G and Zappa were just kids when they saw Jessica Lange in King King. At the point in the movie when Kong is climbing the Empire State Building and dodging attacks from planes and guns, little Nurse G whimpered, "Poor ol' Fuzzy Wuzzy." She cried right there in the theater. His nickname as stuck to this day.
This gorilla of a film is blockbuster of the year
There's a beautiful moment with Kong sitting on top of a mountain, Ann in the palm of his hand, both watching the sunset. I actually heard one tough broad of a movie executive sobbing. [Director Peter] Jackson evokes such a sense of empathy for his beast that Kleenex should be sold along with the popcorn.
King Kong truly is an 8,000lb gorilla of a movie. I'm still marvelling at a scene where a herd of brachiosaurus stampede as they are pursued by predators with teeth the size of carving knives.
Then, just when you think such a sequence can't be topped, Kong pounds to rescue his damsel in distress when some hungry velociraptors mistake her for a snack.
An almighty battle ensues and it's at this point Kong goes from super monster to super hero in Ann's eyes.
Behind the scenes ...
THE BIG APE-LE
[Director Peter Jackson] constructed a three-by-four-block Big Apple replica at his production studio in Wellington, New Zealand.
"A lot of people think that shooting New York in New Zealand is kind of a crazy notion," Jackson says in a making-of "Kong" DVD due out Dec. 13. "Why don't we go to New York and shoot it for real?"
Here's why: Jackson, fresh from his Oscar win for the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy, is skipping over the hokey, modernized 1976 remake and turning back the clock in homage to the original's release in 1933.
"Shooting modern-day New York as 1933 is almost impossible," he says. "I mean, the city is hard to shoot in the rest of the time, and to actually dress large sections and control large sections of it would be very difficult."
Jackson's well-chronicled eye for detail covers more than every last computer-generated hair on Kong's head.
In his grimy Depression-era big town, Model T Fords roll through intersections of red and green streetlights (no yellow), blasting that wheezy dying-duck horn and narrowly missing a swarm of jaywalkers.
Stroll along the old-timey storefronts, and you'll pass shops like Flannery Watts Tobacco & Snuff, Kneebone Apothecary for Prescriptions and a Ten Cent Barber shop. There's even an F.S. Huffman Gunsmith, where you can "buy, sell and exchange" firearms. Clearly, this is pre-Giuliani New York.
It seems as though the harder I try to devote my time to writing, the more delicious bits of news I find which I can't wait to post. I should never even read my e-mails before I spend time writing! Right now, I've several things to post. However, this salacious tidbit will have to do for now. And salacious it is! Leave it to the NY Post for one helluva front page to grab one's attention. I have no sympathy for the perverted Abraham Alexander, who will be punished, just not by Lady Sage. (Why do I keep thinking of Slick whenever this type of story crops up?)
SPANKY PANKY LOOT
A charity executive used $210,000 meant to cure heart disease to get his own pulse pounding — repeatedly flying a dominatrix halfway across the country to spank him, law-enforcement sources said yesterday.
Abraham Alexander racked up charges on an employer credit card for a slew of personal items, including steamy S&M meet-and-beat sessions with Lady Sage, a world-renowned whip mistress based in Columbus, Ohio, the sources said.
Alexander, 45, is an accounts-payable exec at the not-for-profit Cardiovascular Research Foundation.
He also paid for jewelry and fancy dinners, in addition to $30,000 in fees to the leather-clad Ohio backside paddler, sources familiar with the case said.
Lady Sage — who goes by her real name, Pam DeBord, outside her dungeon — says on her Web site that she charges $1,000 a day plus expenses to travel to clients.
On top of that, clients pay $250 an hour for her spanking services.
France's Toll of Destruction
Not a single word in the press anymore about the ongoing vandalism in France’s lost neighbourhoods. Yesterday the French government officially declared the riots over. Police figures are at exactly 98 cars torched on Wednesday night. This, the police say, is “a normal average.” Consequently the 20th consecutive night of violence was declared the last one.
In contemporary multicultural France such staggering figures of lawlessness are considered to be a sign of “normality” and are hardly reported in the mainstream media. Neither is the following little piece of information. This week Professor Dominique Reynié of Sorbonne University in Paris, told the Brussels weekly Knack that the French state was obliged to borrow money last week to pay the wages of its civil servants. “The money has run out. One must concede: this is no example of a strong state.”
Perhaps what we are witnessing in Europe, but what the politicians and the media dare not say aloud, is the implosion of the (welfare) state. The Soviet Union suddenly collapsed in 1989, when owing to the inability of communism to create wealth, the state went bankrupt, was unable to maintain its army and hold its empire together. In France, the same thing might be happening. The socialist welfare state is no longer able to maintain law and order and is abandoning entire neighbourhoods to anarchy.
* The French word "miserables" means both poor wretches and scoundrels or villains.
Jimmy Breslin, a staunch NY liberal, is livid and wants to know,
Where's Hillary on Iraq?
Hillary Clinton today holds the new North American record for fakery.
She copies. She sneaks and slithers past you with her opinion on a war that kills every day.
Hillary Clinton is in favor of the war and of executions. Sensational!
The other day, when Rep. John Murtha of Johnstown, Pa., called for a withdrawal from Iraq, and obviously did so with half the Pentagon behind him, Hillary said, no, we shouldn't pull out at this time. Oh, it would cause so much violence.
If Hillary Clinton wants this war to go on, then she should send her daughter to fight in Iraq.
HER ROYAL CATTLE-FUTURES
Chris, who won the "C" contest yesterday, has a timely bit of news concerning Her Royal Cattle-Futures' investments. (Log on and scroll down to)
Lucky Dawg's Words of Wisdom
Speaking of Hillary's $99,000 profit on a $1000 short term investment trading cattle futures, the firm that handled Hillary's ill-gotten windfall, Refco, is in the news recently. Refco is now in bankruptcy and its CEO is charged with securities fraud. Gee, why am I not surprised that something Her Royal C has her pudgy fingers in turns out to be corrupt and scandal ridden?
Great catch, Chris! And just in time to launch her new name.
Note to TWD: Thanks!
HUMP DAY TIDBITS
Looking for the latest toy for your rugrats?
How about an ATM machine, just like Mommy and Daddy use? I kid you not, for a mere $39.95, Little Heather can have her very own ATM Bank: This at-home ATM is an excellent way to learn about saving money. Create your own secret code for access and keep your allowance safe from little brothers and sisters!
Short on the rent? Ask your kid for a loan.
For $99.99, how about this FLY Pentop Computer: FLY Pentop Computer is computer power on paper! Its power comes from an optical scanner that sees everything you scan and write on special dot-matrix FLY paper. It's got a brain (a built-in computer processor) and it's got a voice. It's even got its own language. If you've got a math problem FLY pentop computer can solve it as a calculator. You can schedule anything, and FLY pentop computer will remind you. You can draw drums and keyboards and record your own tunes. Play games with your friends anywhere, any time! Plus, you can load FLY pentop computer with FLYware cartridges to add new games and adventures, sold separately.
Makes me nostaglic for Christmases past. Remember Sea Monkeys? From TV Cream [which appears to be British]: A hundred memorable toys from years gone by.
h/t Mister Snitch!
8 Happy 53rd Birthday, Mandy Patinkin!
8 David Hasselhoff, What Happened to Your Face?
8 Remember Jeff Conaway, who played the actor Bobby on Taxi? He had a meltdown on camera. Story here. Video teaser here (click on "related video" on the RIGHT).
8 And last but hardly least, something special from THIRDWAVE Dave, whose “C” contest entry was “See You Next Tuesday” :-)
I "C" WE HAVE A WINNER!
Phew! The answers were amazing!
Some were political in nature: Communist and Closet-Liberal (Chris); Hopes to Ruin our Country (ScottG); Chomskian (Buckley F. Williams).
Some were personal: Crotch-Face (Chris); Chunky-Thighs (Gayle).
Boy Michael tried the scattershot tactic with 17, ranging from Colon to Clammy.
The Man chimed in with Cleptomaniac.
Pam recommended Chutzpah, since HRC has plenty of it. Besides, we all remember that HRC has Jewish roots – HERE and HERE -- don’t we?
Pat (who just happens to be my personal patron saint of blogging) could only think of Crappiness, which Gayle found “so descriptive!”
Mike G. suggested Conniver and Chameleon.
Blog Ho opted for vegetarian with that USSR culinary delight of Cabbage.
We all know which “C” word everyone thinks of, so THIRDWAVE Dave tried the hilarious junior high maneuver of “See You Next Tuesday”!
Which reminded LoanCat of a song by April Wine called “If You See Kay.”
(drum roll please)
However, right outta the gate, Chris hit the homer with Her Royal Cattle-Futures for its witty reminder of her innate herd instincts.
Thanks to all who participated! Your entries were great and I didn't have to delete a single one :-)
THE "C" WORD CONTEST!!
Pam links to an article about a possible senate seat challenger to Her Royal C in
Annoying Gnat Buzzes Around Hillary.
Howard Wolfson, pictured between the two political faces of HRC, is an "ex-Green Party member" who advocates "an immediate withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq." The fact that he lives in New Paltz (NY) s'plains it all. People may say that Upstate NY is right-of-center, but take it from one who lives here: liberalism has spread, like a cancer, from NY City to all counties of the state. The greatest concentrations of liberalism can be found around the cities, and New Paltz is not that far north on the Hudson. The counties just north of NYC are the retreats of the city's limousine liberalati. But I digress. Wolfson is smokin' crack if he honestly thinks that he has even a whisper of a chance of unseating Her Royal C.
About that "C" ...
I nicknamed HRC "Her Royal Clinton-ess," which I soon shortened to Her Royal C. One day last year, my comments about "Her Royal C" were deleted from L.com. Apparently the L.com staff had had EEE-nuff! with commenters flagrantly flaunting the rules, and they decided that the "C" could be misconstrued for something naughty. I threw myself at the mercy of Lucianne and had my posting privileges re-instated that day. In all honesty, I had meant the "C" to stand for Clinton-ess, which is suffiently risqué.
Question: What could the "C" mean? Her Royal Crook?
Please keep it clean or face deletion, using $%^* if you must. Have fun!
UPDATE: I've decided to make the question a contest! Check those rules, though ;)
BURN, BÉBÉ, BURN!
Over at AnkleBitingPundits, the ingenious Bull Dog Pundit offers a solution to 2 of France's most vexing problems: keeping its citizens alive during extreme weather conditions, and what to do in order to keep the "disaffected" youths from rioting again.
MONDAY MORNING GATHERINGS
Click above message to enlarge.
I recently received the following message, supposedly from the CIA!:
we have logged your IP-address on more than 30 illegal Websites.
Please answer our questions!
The list of questions are attached.
What a joke! It arrived with a zip file attachment, which I naturally did not open. So I located the CIA's website and found that message above. I sent an e-mail warning friends and family about this nasty business, and Gayle replied, “I deleted 74 of them from my office computer this morning! Some were from the CIA and some were from the FBI”
Newsy Bits ...
8 Bruce Willis comes out fighting for Iraq’s forgotten GI heroes: ANGERED by negative portrayals of the conflict in Iraq, Bruce Willis, the Hollywood star, is to make a pro-war film in which American soldiers will be depicted as brave fighters for freedom and democracy.
8 Couric Questions Wisdom of Iraq Withdrawal: Let this morning's segment be a cautionary tale to any weak-kneed Republicans foolish enough to believe that acceding to demands for an accelerated withdrawal will earn the Bush administration an iota of respite, let alone praise, from the MSM and the Dems.
8 How Long Will The MSM Be Able To Ignore These?
8 What If They Threw A "Bush=Hitler" Party And No One Came?
Not-so-Newsy Bits ...
8 Rik & fam shared an American Thanksgiving with their neighbors in Italy. Delicious pictures!
8 LuckyDawgNews wonders, Jessica Simpson Find of Nick's NASCAR Porn Party the Last Straw? (scroll down)
8 Rachel wonders, Have you ever?
8 Sorry Miss Jackson, You Still Look Nasty
8 Kitty Myers, ACTRESS?