Just Two Snippets Of Snark …

I was working on other projects last night when the ‘breaking news’ came about and changed my focus.  I do wish that wouldn’t happen … I have a hard enough time these days staying focused with the marbles rattling about in my head.  At any rate, while I had no intention of being snarky today, that all changed in the blink of an eye, or a dropping of an explosive half a world away.

Stupid, Stupid, Stupid …

SoleimaniThere is little doubt that Iranian General Qassem Soleimani was not a nice man.  One might even say he was an evil man, and few will mourn his death.  HOWEVER … assassinating him was just about the stupidest thing Donald Trump could have done in the Middle East at this time.  While nobody can predict for certain what will happen next, there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that there will be a price to pay, likely a steep price. Last night, I am told by my Iraqi friend, the people of Iraq were dancing in the streets, so happy were they that Soleimani was dead.  I don’t think they will be dancing for long, as this is almost certain to lead to an escalation of tensions in the area, and many Middle East foreign policy experts predict it will quickly lead to a new war across the Middle East.

I am not an expert on Middle Eastern affairs, so I won’t even try to predict what form retaliation for the General’s assassination will take, other than to say that I think lives will be lost, and the blood will be on Donald Trump’s hands, for his move was not one based on strategy, but rather on a desire for revenge, and perhaps a desire to please his supporters by appearing strong.  There is a difference, though, between ‘strong’ and ‘stupid’.  At the end of the day, I think we will find that his actions will carry a high price tag.  I wonder how happy his supporters will be when they see the new price at the fuel pump in a few days or weeks.  Or, when their children start coming home in body bags?flag-burningYou may remember that Trump promised to pull the U.S. out of the Mid-East?  Well, guess what folks?  His actions have just all but guaranteed that we will be sending more and more troops to fight in a war of his own making.  Again, General Soleimani was an evil, nasty piece of work, and I don’t mourn his death, but it was the wrong thing, by the wrong hand, at the wrong time.

Just as I finished writing this, a breaking news alert came across that the U.S. Army is sending 3,500 more troops to the Middle East.  And so it begins …

And on the campaign trail …

Despite having thrown a match into a tinderbox by assassinating General Soleimani, Donald Trump returns to the campaign trail today, visiting an evangelical ‘mega-church’ in Miami.  The editorial in Christianity Today that I wrote about in my post Are Evangelicals Turning Against Trump? on December 20th, apparently caused some concern in the Trump campaign that perhaps he is losing ground with the evangelicals who comprise a substantial portion of his base.

The church he will be campaigning at is a Hispanic church in the south of a city with the nation’s largest foreign-born population … a city he lost by a huge margin in 2016.  Apparently, he thinks he can woo a group who he has damaged in numerous ways, using his “charm”.  Does he honestly think they will suddenly lose their memory of how he has hurt the Hispanic population in this country by his policies and actions against DACA, immigrants from south of the border, and others in the community?

It seems to me that Trump believes the most important part of his job is to campaign for his re-election.  He orders the death of a man, a death that is likely to lead to hundreds of thousands more deaths, then casually hops aboard Air Force One (at our expense) and travels to Miami to try to do a snow job on the Hispanic evangelicals.  Perhaps he can manage to squeeze in a round of golf while he’s there … also at our expense.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Okay, perhaps I can now get my focus back and return to my projects … thanks for allowing me to vent my snark.

Good People Doing Good Things … 1st Two Of 2020!

A clean slate … a fresh start … what better way to start the new year, the new decade, than by looking for some good people?  Oh wait … I think I see one now!

Meet Michael Esmond, of Gulf Breeze, Florida …Michael-Esmond-2.jpgMichael is a 73-year-old veteran, owner of Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas, a pool installation company.  But, Michael wasn’t always so lucky.  When Michael opened his utility bill in early December, saw the due date of December 26th, with the standard notice that “supplies may be cut if not paid by then”, suddenly memories flooded back.  Michael was remembering a winter in the 1980s when he couldn’t pay his bill, the gas was cut off, and the family had no heat.  Says Michael …

“Back in the ’80s I actually lived that. I experienced a time where I had trouble paying bills. And we actually had the gas disconnected. It happened to be one of the coldest winters in history. We had ice and icicles hanging out the window inside the house. I didn’t want anyone else to go through that same thing. … I wanted to do something that I knew would really make a difference for people around Christmas time.”

So, what did Michael do?  Well, he contacted Joanne Oliver, the billing supervisor for the Gulf Breeze utility company, and asked her to help him figure out who was likely to have their utilities turned off for non-payment.  And then, you can probably guess what Michael Esmond did next …

He paid the past due utility bills for 36 families in Gulf Breeze, spending a total of $4,558!  Okay, so it’s not billions, but Michael doesn’t have billions … he doesn’t even have millions.  But what he does have is a huge heart and enough money to help others stay warm this winter.

Instead of receiving a disconnect notice, those 36 families received a Christmas card with a note that read:

“It is our honor and privilege to inform you that your past due utility bill has been paid by Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas. You can rest easier this holiday season knowing you have one less bill to pay. On behalf of Gulf Breeze Pools & Spas we here at the City of Gulf Breeze would like to wish you and your family a happy holiday season.”

Michael-Esmond.jpgJoanne Oliver was overwhelmed by Michael’s generosity …

“It made me cry. It made me cry. For someone like him, a veteran to come in and do some grand gesture. It was heartfelt for me.  I’ve been in the customer service industry for a little over 20 years. Never have I seen this type of generosity come from anyone.”

And, as we have seen numerous times before, one good deed led to others who have been calling the utility company to see how they could help.  My hat is off to Mr. Michael Esmond for being one of Filosofa’s first good people of 2020!  doffing-hat

The next good person is … well, I really cannot tell you his name, for he wishes to remain anonymous, but I can tell you that he is a good person.  We can only refer to him as ‘Secret Santa’, and he apparently lives somewhere in eastern Idaho.  Let me show you just a few of the things he has done for the people in the region this Christmas season …

  • Abby Toone lost her husband, 37-year-old Jon, in September after he was stung by three wasps. Jon, who was in the U.S. Army Reserve, collapsed and died in his wife’s arms. Now, their family is coping with the loss. The mom of four has been struggling to make ends meet as she awaits the settlement from her husband’s life insurance policy. The East Idaho Secret Santa heard of Abby’s struggles and sent her a check for $10,000 to help her until the insurance settlement comes through.

  • Nikkie Schwemmer supports three children on her own in a house that needs multiple repairs and is without a car to get to work since hers died and couldn’t be resurrected. She had been borrowing her parents’ vehicle because she couldn’t afford to buy another. Secret Santa had a brand-new blueberry-colored Subaru delivered to her.

  • It’s not been an easy year for the Weber family. The number of children in their Idaho home roughly doubled after tragedy hit them not once, but twice. Dan and Lana Weber have five children of their own. Late last year Lana’s brother, Darin Hammond, took his own life. In April, his widow, Emilia, ended her life, orphaning their four children — Symphony, Gavin, Halle and Eva. The Webers, without a second thought, took in their nieces and nephew. Now they are looking after nine children in their Madison County home. Secret Santa sent them a check for $10,000.

  • When he was 14, Brad Crow was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma. Since then, to fight the disease, Brad has undergone radiation, chemotherapy and had the bone in one leg removed and replaced with cadaver bone. Now married and the father of 2, he and his wife Erica decided to build their own home.  But disaster struck, and Brad fractured his leg while building. The injury eventually progressed and he needed to have surgery to replace the bone. Even though he was recovering well, he developed a staph infection and began fighting for his life soon after. Brad had that leg amputated this spring and a hip replaced shortly after, and is now facing another hip replacement.  Long story short, Brad has not been able to work for more than a year now, and Erica’s pay from her school bus driving job just isn’t enough to cover everything.  Secret Santa surprised them with health insurance coverage for a year, and a check for $50,000 to go toward building their home.

And the stories go on and on and on.  For the past five years, starting in 2015, this anonymous Secret Santa has enlisted EastIdahoNews.com to help find people and families living in eastern Idaho who are in need. Secret Santa is a real person who wants to remain anonymous and wants to help as many people as he can.  In October of each year, the media outlet puts out the call for people to send nominations for people they know of who are in need of financial help.  The Secret Santa then chooses those he deems most in need and does what needs to be done to help them.  Sometimes it’s something as simple as paying for a veteran’s meal, other times it might be a car or a sizeable check.  In total, Secret Santa spends $500,000 … yes, a half-million dollars … each year helping people in eastern Idaho.

Wow … just wow.  Check out some more of the stories of the people Secret Santa has helped this year

Well, folks, that’s only two good people to start out the year, but I think both Michael Esmond and the Secret Santa are most deserving of being the stars of Filosofa’s first Good People Doing Good Things of 2020, don’t you?  Until next week, then, remember … let’s all try to find a way to be one of those good people.  We cannot all give away thousands of dollars, but maybe we can help carry someone’s groceries into their house, or take somebody somewhere, buy someone a meal … there are at least a million ways to be a good people.

Just Another Tequila … er, Jolly … Monday!

I don’t know about you guys, but Jolly and I are just about holiday-ed out … so don’t expect a bunch of New Year’s humour here … I gave you that on Saturday’s Surprise.  The only thing I really like about New Year’s Eve is that the girls and I all contribute to making a smorgasbord of appetizers, which is always both fun and tasty.  The tradition, for us, hails back to the day when the kids were little, and we had a variety of friends and family dropping by at various times throughout the evening to share a cup o’ cheer.  Today, we rarely have people visiting, but we maintain the tradition … if nothing else, it gives us plenty of leftovers to munch on for the following couple of days.  Anyway, Jolly and I have put out a few things, though given that we are both tired, not as much as usual, so grab a cuppa and a cookie and let’s see what we can find to start this week out with a smile or two, shall we?



You guys are gonna have to share this week!

It’s not unusual to hear about firefighters rescuing a cat from a tree, but it isn’t everyday that you hear about firefighters rescuing both a cat and its human from a tree!  The South Burlington (Vermont) Fire Department said the cat’s human called on Christmas Eve to report their cat was struck up a tree, but the department’s only ladder truck was assisting another fire department with a fire at the time.

The human decided to take matters into their own hands and climbed the tree until they also became stranded on a branch.  When the fire department arrived with the ladder truck, they were able to rescue both feline and human, and I’m sure they probably had a good laugh at the human’s expense.  They even posted about it on the department’s Facebook page …Cat-human-rescuecat-human-rescue-2

So, that one was embarrassing enough for the human, but wait ‘til you hear this next one …

In the wee hours of the morning on Christmas Day, a North Carolina couple thought they heard a burglar downstairs, and promptly called 911.  They then hid in the bedroom closet until the deputies arrived.  Well, it didn’t take the deputies too long to find the burglar …robo-vacYep, the couple had recently acquired a robotic vacuum cleaner, and it had decided that the middle of the night was a good time to clean up and was apparently none too quiet about it!  The couple was interviewed for the local news and said the deputies asked him how long he had the robo-vac, and when he said just a couple of days, they all cracked up with laughter! Ah well, it probably gave them something to tell their family and friends over Christmas dinner later.

Oh!  I almost forgot … for Larry, Emily and rawgod … today is the official Bacon Day!  According to the National Day Calendar Company …

Danya “D” Goodman and Meff “Human Cannonball” Leonard founded Bacon Day in 1997 as the one great day to bond everyone together.

BACON-DAY-–-December-30.pngIn the United States and Canada, bacon is made from the pork belly. Elsewhere in the world, the side and back cuts of pork are used. The meat is cured in either a salt brine or in a salt pack. It is then either dried, boiled, or smoked.

Bacon is a very popular food in the USA.  You can find many items also flavored or scented with bacon, including popcorn, soap, candles, air fresheners, and much more. While these uses are options, we suggest cooking with bacon.

It’s not just for breakfast anymore, either. Bacon improves everything from beverages to dessert. Some cocktails such as the Bloody Mary and Caesar add bacon to the olives, pickles, and other assorted ingredients. Bacon improves the flavor of many appetizers, sandwiches, and soups. Incorporate bacon into salads as a topping or mix it into the dressing. When it comes to dessert, bacon pairs well with maple frosting or maple ice cream. Thanks to the salty, smoky flavor of bacon, it compliments sweet quite well. The possibilities are endless.

According to the founders of Bacon Day, we are encouraged to eat a variety of bacon while watching Kevin Bacon movies, or movies with bacon in the title. Since Bacon Day was created before the Discovery Channel show How It’s Made debuted, it’s safe to say, we can eat our bacon and watch those, too. Giving and receiving gifts of bacon is also recommended. Other suggested traditions such as bacon toasts and kissing under pork fat mistletoe are mentioned as well.

Um … I like a bit of bacon every now and then, but you can keep the “pork fat mistletoe”, and I don’t think I care for the idea of showering with bacon-scented soap.  Blech.

Now, here’s the dream job for one of you coffee lovers out there!  Only trouble is, it lasts only one week, but still …Gevalia-coffee-queen.pngGevalia, the coffee company, is offering $5,000 and a free trip for an unusual one-week dream job: serving as the “Coffee Queen.”  The Coffee Queen will spend one week living in Scotland’s Carlowrie Castle with a full compliment of servants including a chef and a butler. The company said the winning applicant will receive free travel to and from Scotland and will be paid $5,000, plus $2,000 in spending money for the week.  Not a bad gig, eh?

“Gevalia believes a queen is anyone who transforms into the most confident version of themselves after that first cup of coffee — they speak their minds, are self-aware, and aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves.”

Interested prospective monarchs are being asked to submit 250-character mini essays on why they would be ideal for the position.  I would apply myself, but …

Jolly came across a few memes he wanted to share with you … Jolly?


And so, we come to the end of another Jolly Monday … but, not before we have a cute animal video!  I recently found out that our youngest reader, young Benjamin, has a  favourite animal — a Moose!  And so …

jollyHave a safe and happy week, my dear friends, and remember to share those smiles … I see far too few of them when I am out and about, so I think it’s our duty to share some, don’t you?  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

Just A Few ‘Toons …

In the interest of keeping it short, sweet, and to the point today (not to mention in the interest of the fact that I have more to do today than there are hours in the day), I have just a few ‘toons to make you shake your head and maybe smile … more likely smirk … on this Saturday afternoon.

I think there can be no doubt that the “Grand Old Party” can no longer be considered very ‘grand’ … I would say the GOP has done a 180° turn from the values they once claimed.GOP-principles.jpg

While Trump claims that he and Kim Jong-un of North Korea have a “very good relationship”, North Korea continues to test their nuclear capabilities, and Kim Jong-un promised, somewhat ominously, to send a Christmas gift to the United States earlier this month … though, as far as I know, said gift has yet to materialize.  North-Korea.jpg

While I work very hard at not critiquing others’ religions, I have to say that I’m a might sick and tired of the religious right, aka evangelicals, hypocrisy and double-standards …


It’s a sign of the times here in the U.S. …


And lest we forget what this nation is doing to innocent children …


Well … perhaps cartoons are sometimes more about waking us up, making us think, than making us laugh, yes?

Saturday Surprise — A New Year!

Good Saturday morning, my friends, and welcome to theweekendSince the new year is right around the corner, I thought we should have a little bit of fun with it. new-year-costume


new-year-costume-3Here in the U.S., the big televised celebration takes place in New York City’s Times Square, where an estimated one million people, many wearing funny hats ‘n glasses, pack themselves into the square to watch a big ball drop over a 60-second period, reaching the ground at exactly midnight EST.  Now, I found a bit of interesting trivia about the ball drop.  The Times Square ball drop dates back to 1907 when the ball weighed 700 pounds and had a diameter of 5 feet. It was constructed out of wood and iron and had one hundred light bulbs on it. new-year-ball-1907This year, the ball is a geodesic (whatever the heck that means) sphere, 12 feet in diameter, weighing 11,875 pounds, and covered with a total of 2,688 Waterford Crystal triangles that vary in size, and range in length from 4 ¾ inches to 5 ¾ inches per side. It will have some 32,000 LED lights.  Personally, I think the 1907 ball was just fine … no, I wasn’t around then, but I just like simplicity, and all those lights and Waterford Crystal seem like overkill to me.new-year-ball-2020The celebration at Times Square drops over 2,000 pounds of confetti on a million people each year. Needless to say, these people make quite a mess … such a mess that it takes 200 people to haul away the 50 tons of trash, rendering the square spotless again by 8:00 AM the next morning.

So, we know that people in the U.S. celebrate mainly by drinking too much, making lots of noise in whatever manner they can, whether it’s fireworks of banging pots ‘n pans.  But, how do people in other countries celebrate the new year?

  • New Year’s Eve in Greece has many traditions. During the day, children sing the New Year’s carols to be given money or treats. Then, it is time to have family lunch or dinner. In the evening, people cook a pie named “King’s pie” or Vassilopita, which is actually a cake flavored with almonds. Following tradition, they put a coin wrapped in aluminum foil inside the pie. During the family dinner, the hostess puts some of her jewelry in a plate and serves it in the side of the table, as a symbol of the coming year’s prosperity. After the dinner is over, the dish is not washed until the next day. The reason for that is that Saint Vassilis (Greek Santa Claus) is awaited during the New Year’s Eve and it is considered common courtesy to leave some food for the traveler who visits the house to bring the presents during the night. When midnight arrives, the families count down and then they turn off all the lights and reopen their eyes to “enter the year with a new light”.  After the fireworks show, they cut the Vassilopita and serve it. The person that gets the wrapped coin is the lucky person of the day and he is also blessed for the rest of the year. Gifts exchanges may follow.

  • In Italy, New Year’s Eve (Vigilia di Capodanno or Notte di San Silvestro) is celebrated by the observation of traditional rituals, such as wearing red underwear. An ancient tradition in southern regions (rarely followed today) was disposing of old or unused items by dropping them from the window (I rather like that idea!). Dinner is traditionally eaten with relatives and friends. It often includes zampone or cotechino (a meal made with pig’s feet or entrails), and lentils. At 8:30 pm, the President reads a television message of greetings to Italians. At midnight, fireworks are displayed all across the country. Rarely followed today is the tradition that consist in eating lentil stew when bell tolls midnight, one spoonful per bell. This is supposed to bring good fortune; the round lentils represent coins.

  • In Portugal the New Year celebration is taken very seriously. The tradition is to drink champagne and eat twelve raisins – one for each month of the year, making a wish for each. Another Portuguese tradition is a special cake called Bolo-Rei (literally: King Cake). Bolo-Rei is a round cake with a large hole in the center, resembling a crown covered with crystallized and dried fruit. It is baked from a soft, white dough, with raisins, various nuts and crystallized fruit. Inside is hidden the characteristic fava bean. Tradition dictates that whoever finds the fava has to pay for the Bolo-Rei next year. Initially, a small prize (usually a small metal toy) was also included within the cake. However, the inclusion of the prize was forbidden by the European Union for safety reasons. The Portuguese brought the recipe of the Gateau des Rois from France in the second half of the 19th century. To this day, this recipe is a very well-kept secret.

Although many people make resolutions for the new year, rarely are they kept past the second day of January.  I haven’t made a new year’s resolution in probably 40 years, for I learned early on that resolving to do something is the surest way to ensure it won’t get done.  If you want to do something to improve yourself or your life … just do it.  There’s no need to talk about it or write it down … just do it.  That said, I thought these were humorous …

  • My New Year’s resolution is to be more optimistic by keeping my cup half-full … with either rum, vodka, or whiskey.
  • My resolution was to read more … so I put the subtitles on my TV.
  • I was going to quit all my bad habits for the new year … but then I remembered that nobody likes a quitter.
  • At the beginning of this year I made a New Year’s resolution to lose 10 pounds … only 15 more to go!
  • My New Year’s resolution is to break my New Year’s resolutions. That way I succeed at something!


Not all of the New Year jokes are about resolutions …

A New Year’s Wish

On New Year’s Eve, Marilyn stood up in the local pub and said that it was time to get ready. At the stroke of midnight, she wanted every husband to be standing next to the one person who made his life worth living. Well it was kind of embarrassing.  As the clock struck – the bartender was almost crushed to death.

Lecture Tour with A Difference

On New Year’s Eve, Daniel was in no shape to drive, so he sensibly left his van in the car park and walked home.  As he was wobbling along, he was stopped by a policeman.  ‘What are you doing out here at four o’clock in the morning?’ asked the police officer.’I’m on my way to a lecture,’ answered Roger.’And who on earth, in their right mind, is going to give a lecture at this time on New Year’s Eve?’ enquired the constable sarcastically. ‘My wife,’ slurred Daniel grimly.

How to Quit Smoking

Peter, at a New Year’s party, turns to his friend, Ken, and asks for a cigarette. ‘I thought you made a New Year’s resolution to quit smoking,’ Ken responds. ‘I’m in the process of quitting,’ replies Peter with a grin. ‘Right now, I am in the middle of phase one. ”Phase one?’ wonders Ken. ‘Yeah,’ laughs Peter, ‘I’ve quit buying.’

A Bad Dream?

Jemima was taking an afternoon nap on New Year’s Eve before the festivities. After she woke up, she confided to Max, her husband, ‘I just dreamed that you gave me a diamond ring for a New Year’s present. What do you think it all means? ”Aha, you’ll know tonight,’ answered Max smiling broadly. At midnight, as the New Year was chiming, Max approached Jemima and handed her small package.  Delighted and excited she opened it quickly. There in her hand rested a book entitled: ‘The meaning of dreams’.


And that wraps up today’s Saturday Surprise!  I hope you found something to bring a smile to your face, and now … get out there and enjoy the last few days of 2019!!!


Post-Christmas Snarky Snippets

Well, Christmas is over, and it’s back to the drawing board … back to Trumpmania … back to the chaos and vitriol that defines the United States in this, the 21st century.  I hope you all are ready for a new dose of snark, for I have an overflow of it today.

Lock her UP!

This, my friends, is the face of evil …Nicole-FranklinHer name is Nicole Marie Poole Franklin of Des Moines, Iowa, and on December 9th, she struck not one, but two children with her car, in separate incidents.  No, they weren’t accidents, neither was a case where a child ran out in front of her car.  She intentionally aimed at and hit a 12-year-old African-American boy and a 14-year-old Hispanic girl who she “thought was Mexican”.  To top it off, in between hitting the two children, Franklin entered a convenience store, went on a tirade, yelling racial epithets at the clerk, throwing items, then walked out without paying for her purchases.  In both hit-and-runs, tire tracks in the snow show that she veered onto the sidewalk to intentionally hit the children, and video from nearby homes show that she did not slow down, nor did she so much as tap her brakes.

Both children are physically alright, having suffered relatively minor injuries, though the girl was hospitalized for two days and missed a week of school.  Ms. Franklin is in jail charged with assault, committing a hate crime, and attempted murder, the latter a charge that could carry a 25-year prison sentence.  Frankly, I hope she serves every single day of those 25 years, but prosecutors fear that the jury may opt to convict her on the lesser charge of committing a hate crime.

CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper and Joe Henry, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens Council No.307 in Des Moines, told the Des Moines Register that hate crimes and racist attacks have been on the rise in Iowa since President Donald Trump was elected in 2016.  What a surprise, eh?  He opened a door and the bigots walked through it.

A California State University study released this fall by the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism shows person-directed hate crimes rose to a 16-year high of 4,571 last year, accounting for 61% of all 2018 hate crimes. For Latinos, those crimes have risen 13% over one year and 48% over five years, according to the analysis of FBI crime statistics.

Home Alone without Trump …

Home-AloneI’m sure that somewhere along the line, I have seen the movie Home Alone 2, though I don’t remember.  Apparently, though, Donald Trump has a cameo in that movie, and earlier this week when he did a video conference call with overseas service members, he took saw an opportunity to brag on himself a bit (what a surprise, eh?) …

“A lot of people mention it every year, especially around Christmas. They say … especially young kids … they say, ‘I just saw you on the movie.’ They don’t see me on television as they do in the movie. But it’s been a good movie, and I was a little bit younger, to put it mildly. And it was an honor to do it.  And it turned out to be a very big hit, obviously. It’s a big Christmas hit — one of the biggest. So, it’s an honor to be involved in something like that, you always like to see success.”

So, given my antipathy for all things Trump, you can imagine my glee when I heard that the Canadian Broadcast Corporation (CBC) cut out Trump’s cameo when they aired the movie earlier this week!  CBC says it cut it in the interest of time, and that it was not integral to the plot … I fully agree, and would add that Trump is not integral to … well, never mind.  Anyway, it gave me a chuckle.  Trump, on the other hand, blamed Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau …Trump-Home-Alone

At least there’s one …

One good republican, that is.  Nebraska State Senator John S. McCollister came onto my radar a while back, though I can’t quite remember how.  He is a republican, but one who seems to have a fair sense of play, a conscience in other words.  On Christmas Eve, I noticed a post by him on Facebook that I thought worthy of noting …John-McCollister

Two thumbs up 👍👍 to Senator McCollister.  It’s only too bad that he isn’t in the U.S. Senate!

Well, folks, that’s enough snark for one day.  I know that Christmas is over, but I came across this yesterday and thought it just begged to be shared.Santa-Claus.jpg

Happy Boxing Day!!! – Reduxed Again

I know, I know … this is the same Boxing Day post I used last year … and the year before.  But, as I pondered doing a new one, I realized that this one pretty much covers all the bases, and some of you are new to Filosofa’s Word in the last year, and likely the rest of you have forgotten this one anyway!  I have added a few comments from last year’s post that I found interesting and that added context for those of us on this side of the pond.  Plus, there is the tiny matter of the fact that I am knackered, as my Brit friends would say … tee-totally exhausted as we say on this side of the pond.  Every year, I try to do too much, and every year I promise myself not to do that next year, and every year I do it again.  In other words, I am hopeless!  Anyway, please join me in wishing all our friends in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the UK the very Happiest Boxing Day!!!

BoxingNo no no no no … not that kind of boxing!  Boxing Day is on December 26th, the day after Christmas, and it is a bank holiday in the UK and Canada.  A brief bit about the origins of Boxing Day …

There are a few competing stories for the origin of the name, and while none are definitive, the one that seems most commonly accepted is that the day after Christmas was when servants of the wealthy were given time off to visit their family, as they were needed to work on Christmas Day. Each servant would be given a box to take home with food, a bonus and gifts. In Britain, it was a custom for tradespeople to collect “Christmas boxes” of money or presents on the first weekday after Christmas as thanks for good service throughout the year.


Now, that said, last year our friend rawgod gave me his explanation of the Canadian celebration of Boxing Day, at least in his household as a child …

“Each year an xmas tree was brought to the house, often on xmas eve. All the decorations were brought out of storage, and hung to decorate the tree. In those days baubles were not made of plastic, but rather blown glass. They were very delicate, and much too easily broken, as my poor bum learned every year. Moving on, the tree was the centrepiece of our home xmas day, and the next day, we put all the unbroken decorations into their special boxes so they could survive to the next xmas. By suppertime everything was boxed, and stored–thus Boxing Day.”

And this is what my house looks like on this Boxing Day!boxing-day

So how do our friends up north and across the big pond celebrate Boxing Day?  I went ‘in search of …’ and came up with some fun things, though I strongly suspect that most people spend the day recuperating from Christmas.  Let’s look at a few …

There is an annual barrel rolling race in Grantchester, Cambridgeshire


Until 2004 when the UK imposed a ban on fox-hunting, it used to be a tradition on Boxing Day.  Last year, Colette commented that legal or not, fox-hunting …

“As for fox hunting (despite tradition, I hate it), it still occurs. Meets go out following scent trails by people sent up ahead. The hounds are supposed to follow that and eventually find the people. Horses follow. But the hounds very often find real foxes which they tear to shreds if found. I am opposed to this horrific practice. The whole industry (and it is a lucrative industry) is a travesty akin to Bear Baiting or Cock Fighting, both long outlawed in Britain.”

Boxing-Day-2.jpgI understand that sports are big on boxing day, with horse racing and football.  But remember that what they call ‘football’ is actually what we in the U.S. refer to as soccer.  I asked one of my friends across the pond once, when he mentioned ‘football’ if he was referring to the kind with an ovoid pigskin ball where large people try to kill one another, or the kind that is played with a geometric-patterned black & white ball.  I was informed in no uncertain terms that he was referring to ‘real’ football and that what we called football was but a cheap knock-off. I never made that mistake again!

soccerAnd then there is shopping.  One article I read compared Boxing Day shopping with Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, in the U.S.  Apparently all the stores have huge sales.  But my question here is … who has any money after Christmas?

shoppingAnd so, to our friends across the big pond, however you spend Boxing Day, I hope it is a fun and/or relaxing day for you!  Happy Boxing Day!!!


Xmas Eve Trumptoons

Being that it’s Christmas Eve, and being that as I write this it is late and I am tired, and being that Donnie Trump makes such a great target for mocking and mirth, I thought we’d have a few Trumptoons!

Where else to begin but with some Christmas-themed ones?  Can you imagine what Trump would ask Santa for?  Or … what Santa would actually bring Trump?


This one is my favourite!


For some strange reason, Trump seems to have taken a disliking to Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi …


I LOVE this one!

Bruce Plante Cartoon: Trump gets a present

Given that the big news of last week … nearly the only news … was the impeachment of Donald Trump … only the third time in the 232-year history of this nation that a president has been impeached.  The cartoonists went to town with it …


The Senate, led by the ignoble Mitch McConnell, is planning to turn the upcoming impeachment trial into a mockery of justice.  Unless 20 republican senators can somehow find their consciences in their sock drawers, or wherever they have stashed them, then it is highly unlikely that the Senate will have enough votes to convict Trump and remove him from office.  


Last but not least, is this tribute to Trump’s upside-down view of the world … and himself


Alright, friends … time to go finish wrapping those presents 🎁 … oh, and today is National Eggnog Day ☕, so if you want to, you can have a cuppa eggnog (with or without a bit of accouterment 😉) while you wrap!  And just in case I don’t make it back with an afternoon post, I wish you all a very Happy Holiday!  Filosofa will not be posting on Wednesday, for I will be spending the day mostly in the kitchen 👩‍🍳!

A Holly Jolly Monday!


‘Twas the Jolly Monday before Christmas,
And all ‘round the ‘net,
Every creature was stirring,
And making me fret.


xmas-kittyOkay, folks, that’s the extent of my poetic talent.  The part about every creature stirring is true … the kitties get restless when there are goings-on afoot, such as present wrapping, packages being carried in, and they have been in rare form tonight … only two fights so far, but Boo has been doing his best to turn the television over trying to get at the kitty he thinks is inside of it.  Young Boo has recently developed a television addiction.  I blame daughter Chris for this, as she plays kitty videos for him when she’s home.  When she’s not home, he’s fine, but the minute she walks through the door in the evening, he jumps up on the table in front of the t.v. and waits for her to turn it on for him!

Since this is the last Jolly Monday before Christmas, naturally Jolly and I have done a bit of festive baking.  (Jolly’s cookies came out a bit burnt, but he worked so hard on them that I hope you’ll eat one anyway, so as not to hurt his feelings)  So, grab a treat and a cuppa, and let’s work on that Christmas spirit, shall we?  Oh, and Hugh … there’s a special treat for you … you’ll know it when you see it!  Cheers!


xmas-bacon-treeAnd for our young friend Benjamin, who is back for the first time in over a month … 

I found some interesting, fun Christmas-related trivia I think you might enjoy …

  • jingle-bellsJingle Bells was written for Thanksgiving, not Christmas. The song was written in 1857 by James Lord Pierpont and published under the title One Horse Open Sleigh. It was supposed to be played in the composer’s Sunday school class during Thanksgiving as a way to commemorate the famed Medford sleigh races. Jingle Bells was also the first song to be broadcast from space. Nine days before Christmas in 1965, the two astronauts aboard Gemini 6 suddenly sent an odd report to Mission Control that they saw an “unidentified flying object” about to enter Earth’s atmosphere, traveling in the polar orbit from north to south. They interrupted the tense report with the sound of “Jingle Bells” with Wally Schirra playing a small harmonica and accompanied by Tom Stafford with a handful of small sleigh bells they had smuggled aboard for that very occasion.

  • kfcJapanese people traditionally eat at KFC for Christmas dinner. Although the percentage of Christian people in Japan is close to zero, every Christmas, kids and grown-ups head to the closest KFC to enjoy some fried chicken – the closest food to turkey that you can get in Japan. It’s all thanks to a successful “Kentucky for Christmas!” marketing campaign in 1947. First aimed at foreigners, KFC offered a “Christmas dinner” that contained chicken and wine – a meal that remotely resembled the food expats and tourists had at home. After a huge success, Kentucky Fried Chicken started promoting this offer every year, until the fast food chain became strongly associated with the holiday season.

  • Iceland has 13 Santas and an old lady who kidnaps children. Christmas in Iceland is a colorful fusion of religion, fairy tales and folklore. Instead of one Santa, the kids are visited by 13 Yule Lads that either reward children for good behavior or punish them if they were naughty. The holiday period begins 13 days before Christmas and each day one of the 13 Yule Lads comes to houses and fills the shoes that kids leave under the Christmas tree either with sweets and small gifts or rotting potatoes, depending on how that particular child has behaved on the preceding day. The mother of Yule Lads, half-troll, half-beast, horrifying old woman Grýla, kidnaps naughty kids and boils them in her cauldron.iceland

  • xmas-treeYou might want to brew a cup o’ tea when decking your halls this year. The origin of Christmas trees goes all the way back to ancient Egyptians and Romans, who marked the winter solstice with evergreens as a reminder that spring would return soon. But it wasn’t until Prince Albert of Germany introduced the tree to his new wife, Queen Victoria of England, that the tradition really took off. A drawing of the couple in front of a Christmas tree appeared in Illustrated London News way back in 1848 and as we say today, the idea went viral.

  • According to Coca-Cola, Santa used to look a lot less jolly — even spooky. It wasn’t until the beverage company hired an illustrator named Haddon Sundblom in 1931 to create images of Santa for magazine advertisements that we got the warm and friendly Santa we know today. Now, kids wouldn’t fear interrupting Santa’s nightly work.

  • xmas-stockingsAccording to legend, we hang our stockings by the chimney with care thanks to a poor man who didn’t have the money for his three daughters’ dowries. Generous old St. Nick dropped a bag of gold down their chimney one night, where the girls had hung their stockings to dry by the fire. That’s where the gold ended up, and allegedly how the tradition began.

A few Christmas cartoons …



And of course Jolly Monday must have a cute animal video, and since it is the holiday season …

jollyFriends, I would like to just take this opportunity to let you all know how much you mean to me … and Jolly.  The very best thing about this blog has been the wonderful people I’ve met … I feel as if I’ve actually acquired a whole new family.  A couple of times, in times of extreme angst, I have considered giving up this blog … but the thought never lasts for long, for I would miss you all entirely too much.  Thank you all for being such great friends!  Jolly and I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!