The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 1/18

Once again, our friend TokyoSand has found some great political cartoons! They say that a picture is worth a thousand words, and these pictures surely fit that bill. Thank you, TokyoSand, for digging these up!

Political⚡Charge

img_3538 By Christopher Weyant

Maddening. Insightful. So, so very spot on.

The best editorial cartoons express a strong opinion, and in so doing, make us feel something emotionally. This week, these were the cartoons that made me stand up and take notice. Which ones grab you the most?

McConnell Readies for the Trial

By Phil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Kevin Kal Kallaugher,Kaltoons

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Lalo Alcaraz

img_3532

By Nick Anderson

Impeachment & the GOP

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Bill Bramhall, New York Daily News

By Ann Telnaes, Washington Post

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Repeat1968

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

And Other News

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Matt Davies, Newsday

By Matt Wuerker, Politico

By Mike Thompson, Detroit Free…

View original post 33 more words

Jolly Monday — Squirrels ‘n Hugs!

jollyHi … it’s me, Jolly!  I’m lettin’ gwammie sleep dis morning ‘cause she’s weally tired, but she’ll prolly be up inna few minutes.  I’m not ‘lowed to use da stove or oven after … welllll, you ‘member what happened last time, so I jus’ went out an’ got some donuts an’ Starbucks, if dat’s okay.  Oh … and Benjamin’s juice boxes … or is it milk now?  Anyway … go gwab a snack an’ I’ve found some things!

donuts-2donuts-1donuts

coffee-Starbucks

juice boxes

Benjamin’s juice boxes — but he’ll share if you ask nicely!


Now, do you like some cartoons?  I found some …

toon-1toon-2toon-3toon-4


And den I found …

JOLLY!!!

Uh-oh … sounds like gwammie’s up … see ya bye  💨Monday-sleepy-2Oh … hi … I’m so sorry … I was really exhausted and … I see Jolly started without me … he should have woken me.  Just let me throw some clothes on …

Okay … again, I’m really sorry!  At least Jolly bought donuts and … Starbucks???  Now where did he get the money, I wonder?  Oh well, let’s get this show on the road!  Tomorrow there are two national days that I want to celebrate today, for they are both very ‘jolly’ sort of days!


A little birdie told me about this first one, Squirrel Appreciation Day … who knew? Let’s learn a bit about the day …

squirrel-appreciationIn 2001, wildlife rehabilitation specialist, Christy Hargrove, founded National Squirrel Appreciation Day in Asheville, North Carolina. Christy created this day to encourage kind attitudes towards our bushy-tailed neighbors by setting out food and water for squirrels, and even allowing them to play with that bird-feeder you normally don’t want them touching. We might generally look at squirrels as being an unnecessary nuisance, but their existence is actually beneficial to the environment, and in urban areas, assists in park beautification. Albeit by accident, squirrels plant seeds (initially meaning to store away nuts to come back to when they’re hungry) which eventually grow into trees, thus assisting with forest renewal. They’re natures gardeners!

And some fun facts about squirrels …

  • The front four teeth of squirrels grow about 6 inches a year. It’s only the squirrel’s constant gnawing that keeps them under control.
  • A group of squirrels is called a scurry.
  • There are 265 squirrel species all over the world.
  • There are 44 species of flying squirrels.
  • Wild squirrels will eat out of a human’s hand.
  • Grey squirrels will build nests called dreys, high up in trees.

Some special tips for feeding squirrels in your backyard …

Many people leave out a birdbath filled with water for squirrels in the backyard because squirrels are always in need of a clean source of water. Many people will also leave out a variety of nuts for the squirrels in their backyard. These nuts include acorns and hazelnuts. Some people also plant a variety of trees and shrubs to give squirrels in their backyard the cover and food sources they need. Some of these trees and shrubs include oaks, pines, hazelnut bushes and smooth sumac trees.

And a few special squirrel pictures …

squirrelsquirrel-1squirrel-3squirrel-4squirrel-7squirrel-8squirrel-9squirrel-17squirrel-26squirrel-babysquirrel-bobtail

If you just can’t get enough and want more adorable squirrel pics, head over to Bored Panda

And wouldn’t you know … I just happened to come across a video about a most delightful squirrel named Gibby … take a look!


Now, I mentioned two special days tomorrow … the second one is National Hug Day!  Some calendars refer to it as National Hug Day, while others call it National Hugging Day … either way, the concept is the same.  According to the National Day Calendar people …

National Hug Day or National Hugging Day occurs on January 21st and is officially recognized by the United States Copyright Office but is not a public holiday. The purpose of the day is to help everyone show more emotion in public. The only way to celebrate the day is by offering a hug to anyone and everyone you want.hugsWhether you hug a family member or a stranger, the mental and physical health benefits are the same. From the day we are born, hugs or touch improve our sleep. Hugging, like cuddling, releases oxytocin. On its own, this hormone provides tremendous health benefits. Not only does it give us feel-good hormones, but it reduces pain. Receiving a hug helps reduce stress, lowers blood pressure and lowers the risk of heart disease. It also eases anxiety.

Now, if that isn’t enough reason to hug someone today, then I don’t know what is!  And just in case you don’t have enough hugs to go ‘round … here’s one from me to you that you can share!hug-2


Now, I see that Jolly found a few cartoons … not the ones I would have chosen, but I do encourage him to think for himself, to use his own creativity.  Anyway, here are a few funny ‘toons ‘n memes to bring a chuckle …

meme-1meme-2meme-3toon-5toon-6toon-7


And finally, I came across this short ‘snow art’ video that I thought was just too cool to pass up!

 

jolly


Now, friends, remember that tomorrow is National Hugs Day, and go out there and hug some people … see how great it feels, and see if you can bring a smile to someone’s face that matches that gorgeous smile on your face.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

Blame It On Nancy

I stumbled upon this last night, and thought you might find some wisdom and humour from it.

claytoonz

cjones01172020

Yesterday, A Canadian CEO blamed Donald Trump for the lives lost by Iran shooting down the Ukrainian airliner.

Iran was responding to the United States killing its top general while he was on his way to the airport in Baghdad. The general was killed after Donald Trump ordered his assassination. The CEO, Michael McCain, chief executive of Canadian food packaging company Maple Leaf Foods, says one of his colleagues lost his wife and 11-year-old son when the airliner was shot down.

Iran has taken responsibility for shooting down the plane a few hours after shooting rockets at bases in Iraq where American troops where stationed. Iran’s attack was a response to Trump’s ordered hit.

McCain, who’s probably going to incur Republican wrath for his last name alone, lashed out on Trump through Twitter, and not just his private account, but his company’s. He said the 57 Canadians killed in this…

View original post 514 more words

The Week’s Best Cartoons ⚡ 1/11

I hadn’t done a ‘toon post for a while, as events of the past week or so kept me busy, but last night I came across this one by our friend TokyoSand, and it seemed a perfect recap of recent events. Thank you, TS, for this collection of some of the amazing talent that helps put the events of our time into visual satire!

Political⚡Charge

By Graeme MacKay, Hamilton Spectator

Alarming. Insightful. Devastating.

The best editorial cartoons express a strong opinion, and in so doing, make us feel something emotionally. This week, these were the cartoons that made me stand up and take notice. Which ones grab you the most?

Iran

ByJimmy Margulies, King Features

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Walt Handelsman,The Advocate

By John Cole, The Times-Tribune

By Kevin Kal Kallaugher,Kaltoons

By Ed Hall

By Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByDavid Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Daily Star

By Ed Wexler

By Pat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

By Ed Hall

By Mike Luckovich, Atlanta Journal-Constitution

By Christopher Weyant

Impeachment

By Lalo Alcaraz

By Matt Wuerker, Politico

By Steve Sack, Star Tribune

By Kevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

By Scott Stantis, Chicago Tribune

View original post 54 more words

Jolly Day After Sunday!

How, I ask you, did it get to be Monday so fast?  And … do you realize that January is almost half over?  That means the year is 1/24 over, or 4.1% … gone … poof!  In another month, we will all be one full month older! arghAnyway, it is Monday, so … it must be time to start your week with an all-new Jolly Monday!  Today’s food theme, for no other reason than that Jolly and I deemed it to be so, is … blue.  Take heart, though, we didn’t dye the coffee & tea blue!  So, grab a blue snack and let Jolly and I put some smiles on those faces, ‘k?

And, two special treats … a blue sprinkled donut for Benjamin, and a promised Black Forest Gateau for David!

blue-mondayfood-blue-donut           food-bfg-david


Chicken?  Or spinach?

I’ve written a few times about Popeye’s Chicken restaurant … they seem to be in the news a lot these days!  Well, the latest … have you ever seen that game show called “Family Feud”?  I saw it once or twice way back in the day, probably the 1980s or so, and thought it was dumb just like all the game shows, so I never watched it again.  But, they pair up two families, and each are asked trivia-type questions, the family that collectively scores the most points by getting the questions right, wins.

So, earlier this month, a woman named Eve Dubois and her family were competing against the Tomlin family, and the score was tied … it was the final question.  Whoever answered this one correctly first would take home $10,000!  The question was …

What is Popeye’s favourite food?

popeyeNow, of course the question meant Popeye the Sailor Man, who we all know eats spinach by the canful, but Ms. Dubois yelled out excitedly … CHICKEN!  So sure of her answer, she began doing a victory dance … until her opponent correctly answered, Spinach!

So, ‘bye-bye’ Dubois family, no prize for you.  Until … the video clip went viral on social media and came to the attention of somebody in the upper echelons of Popeye’s Chicken.  I’m sure they figured it would be a great publicity stunt, and cost them relatively little, so they offered the Dubois family a little consolation prize …Popeyes-DuboisUmmm … $10,000 worth of fried chicken?  🤢  A heart attack looking for a place to happen!


Technology run amok?

Just because you can isn’t always a good reason to do something.  Now, I admit that most technology has a use, serves a purpose … I’m definitely not one of these people who wants to go back to the days of horse & buggy, no electricity, no indoor plumbing, etc.  I’m even grateful for computers and cell phones, though I dislike the venues the technology has opened for scammers & hackers.  But, I am not a fan of drones.  Unmanned flying machines that can … and often do … kill unsuspecting, innocent people with a blink of an eye.  But … are you ready to ride in an unmanned flying taxi?flying-taxiAccording to United Press International …

A flying taxi with no pilot made its first U.S. test flight in North Carolina with an audience of about 100 people, including several state officials.

Gov. Roy Cooper, state lawmakers and North Carolina Department of Transportation officials were among the more than 100 spectators at Tuesday’s demonstration of the EHang 216 autonomous aerial vehicle.

The two-seat drone is designed for use in cargo delivery and human transportation.

Seriously?  They think people are gonna ride up in the air in something with no bloomin’ pilot?  Not me!  I don’t even like the idea of them flying over wherever I might be!  You know, and I know that sooner or later, somebody will make a mistake and … kerthud.  Sigh.  Why can’t they just work on developing things like a cure for AIDS, or a way to help homeless people grow food in their refrigerator, or socks that never wear out, or light bulbs that never burn out, or headlights on cars that don’t blind the other drivers … something useful!


A sporting wedding …

Quick question … where did you get married?  No, I don’t mean the town or city, but was it a church, Justice of the Peace, family home …?  I got married by a Justice of the Peace … we were both on our lunch hour from our respective jobs, met at the courthouse, quick got married more or less in dual languages, then we each went back to work.  All very romantic, don’t ya know.  Neither of our sets of parents would agree to attend our wedding, mine because they didn’t approve of him, and his because they didn’t approve of him, either.  Yes, seriously!  More than a few times during our marriage his mom would say to me, “Honey, I don’t know how you put up with him.” So, anyway (I get easily sidetracked these days) …

Last week, Lonnie and Pam Harris of Kodak, Tennessee tied the knot … at Bass Pro Shops, a sporting goods store!  Turns out that Pam works at the local Bass Pro Shops and wanted her co-workers to be able to attend her wedding.  Says Lonnie …

“I asked her out on a date 37 years ago and she told me no. It took me 37 years to get her to say yes.”

wedding-1The manager of the location said the store previously hosted a wedding about seven years ago.  Well, I guess it’s no worse than a quick wedding at the courthouse on your lunch hour!


HELP!  HELP! CAW!

The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call from a Lake Worth Beach resident who heard what sounded like a distressed woman calling for help from a neighbor’s house.  When the deputies arrived, they found the owner of the house working on his wife’s car in the driveway while someone can be heard shouting, “Let me out! Let me out!”

The homeowner introduced the deputies to the origin of the cries — his pet parrot, Rambo, on an outside perch.parrott

“I was changing the brakes on my wife’s car and had my 40-year-old parrot, Rambo, on his outside perch where he sings and talks. Sometime later four police officers showed up saying a neighbor called because she heard a woman screaming for help. I promptly introduced the officers to Rambo and we all had a good laugh.”


I found just a few funny signs a couple of weeks ago that I’ve been meaning to share …

sign-1sign-2sign-3sign-4sign-5


Just a few fun cartoons & memes …

meme-1meme-2meme-3toon-1toon-2toon-3


And that’s it … what?  Oh!  I forgot the cute animal video … how dare I?  Wait just a sec …


jollyNow, that’s a wrap, folks.  Go forth and have a productive week and remember to share those million-dollar smiles I see on your faces this morning.  People need them now maybe more than ever.  Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa and Jolly!

The Monsters Under My Bed

Some nights, of late, there are monsters under my bed, just like when I was a child.  Some nights, the nightmares are vivid and I wake up thinking that I am screaming, but not a peep is coming out of my dry throat.  Given the things I write about, the things we all live with day-to-day, I suppose it’s no wonder.


Who knew a tweet …

Could cause such a stir?  Here’s how it started …

U.S. Representative Paul Gosar from Arizona, a republican, posted this tweet

rouhani-obama-tweet-2.jpgThe image purports to show President Barack Obama shaking hands with President Hassan Rouhani of Iran.

Trouble is, other than the obvious, that a) the photo was photoshopped – Obama never met Rouhani in person, and b) Rouhani is still in power, still the president of Iran.  The purpose?  Well, as best as anyone can figure, Mr. Gosar was, as many republicans have been scrambling to do over the past several days, attempting to find some justification or purpose for Trump ordering the assassination of General Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s second-highest ranking government official. The name of the game is “blame Obama”.

But Mr. Gosar’s response, when it was pointed out that this was obviously a fake picture, is what I find interesting.  His response was basically of the “yeah, so what?” sort …Gosar-tweetI guess that makes me a dimwit, eh?

Y’know, folks, Trump & Co, the Republican Party as a whole, have an unnatural hatred of President Obama and seemingly everything he stood for, but it has gone many steps too far.  Obama was a hundred times the man Trump is, and a thousand times better president than Trump.  It’s time for the republicans in power to start doing their jobs and stop finding ways to prove how much they hated having an African-American president, for that is what it really all boils down to.

Mr. Gosar has flown onto my radar a time or two before.  For one, he is a member of the ignoble House Freedom Caucus – a misnomer if ever there was one.  And for another, as a recipient of donations from the NRA.  He has engaged in conspiracy theories ala Alex Jones about such things as the fatal Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, and has also supported Iowa Representative Steve King, who was removed from his congressional committees for his blatantly racist public remarks.  He has accused both the FBI and the Department of Justice of treason and has referred to Native Americans as “wards of the federal government”.  He claims that the 2nd Amendment is the single most important amendment set forth by the Bill of Rights, even more important than the 1st Amendment, freedom of speech, press & religion.  He has signed the Koch Brothers pledge promising to vote against any legislation to combat global warming.  In September 2018, prior to the 2018 elections, six of Gosar’s nine siblings actively supported his democratic opponent, David Brill, saying their brother had become an extremist.  And the list goes on … this is the face of our republicans in Congress today, my friends.  This is the sort of garbage that has been lured out from under the rocks in the past decade.  Thirty years ago, such a sample of pond scum would not have gotten even 1% of the vote.

Arizona … do not send this dolt back to Washington in November!  You dishonour the name of your favourite son, the late, great John McCain when you send your trash to Congress!


Tie his hands … please!!!

The House of Representatives is expected to vote today on a resolution to force the president to halt any military action against Iran unless Congress authorizes it.  Nothing quite like closing the barn door after the cow’s already out, eh?

The measure would require that Trump cease all action against Iran unless Congress votes in advance to approve it, effectively tying his hands in the escalation of tensions between Trump and Iran.  We all see the handwriting on the wall, yes?  The House, with a democratic majority, will approve it and send it to the Senate where either it will languish along with a few hundred other House-passed bills, or rapidly be voted down.  There is a ray of hope, albeit a slim ray, because yesterday, two Republicans signaled they were inclined to support it.  Just need two more … any takers?  Doubtful, as most congressional republicans are still praising Trump for assassinating Iran’s highest ranking general.

In her statement yesterday, Nancy Pelosi said …

“Members of Congress have serious, urgent concerns about the administration’s decision to engage in hostilities against Iran and about its lack of strategy moving forward. Our concerns were not addressed by the president’s insufficient War Powers Act notification and by the administration’s briefing today.”

The divide in Congress is representative of the divide in this nation … and it is a lethal divide.  Make no mistake … that old saying, “United we stand, Divided we fall” is apt.  We certainly cannot continue as we are … that much is clear.  There is a disconnect among the people of this nation, and it extends well beyond political parties.  Donald Trump and his minions are using that disconnect to widen the gap, to make this nation so dysfunctional that it is an easy prey.  Frankly, I am sick to the death of the “us vs them” mentality. Trump-fate

First Jolly Monday Of The Decade!!!

Welcome to yet another Monday, my friends … actually, though, it’s the first Monday in the new year and in the new decade, so I guess that makes it a special Monday.  Take heart in that there are only 51 more Mondays in the year!  There, don’t you feel better now?  Anyway, Jolly’s girlfriend, Joyful, is here to help bring joy to this special Monday, so … a special treat!  We were all sitting around last night, trying to decide what special treat to offer you guys today.  We all agreed that we had just about burned out on cookies, fruitcake, and other holiday treats, so it was Joyful who came up with the idea of … PIZZA!!!  It’s a switch from the ordinary, but we made enough variety to please everyone – even our bacon lovers!  So, grab a slice or two and let’s just see what we can find to bring a smile to start the week off! 

bacon-pizza

Bacon-lover’s Pizza

Now … in addition to everything else, this is indeed a special Monday … I would like to take this opportunity to wish a …

happy-birthday… to our young friend Benjamin, who will turn a big 6 years old tomorrow!!!  Happy Birthday … Feliz Cumpleaños … Benjamin … We Love You!!!

happy birthday cake

Benjamin’s Birthday Cake, WITH SPRINKLES!


Now, speaking of Monday …

Several months ago, thanks to our friend Ellen, I signed up to get daily notifications about the “national days”.  Some days have numerous events or memorable dates, others only a few, but it’s usually interesting, and often I find myself scratching my head, wondering who the heck came up with that one.  Well, today’s is no exception, for today is “National Thank God It’s Monday” Day.  No, I am not joking … serious as a dead horse!NATIONAL-THANK-GOD-IT’S-MONDAY-DAY-–-First-Monday-in-JanuaryNational Thank God It’s Monday Day encourages us to celebrate the first Monday of the new year with vigor and energy.

Not only does the observance focus on the first Monday in January, but on every Monday throughout the year. Mondays are often full of new beginnings. New jobs often start on Mondays. Couples usually marry on weekends and a Monday represents the first work week of their new lives together. Many federal holidays take place on Mondays and therefore special occasions frequently take place on Mondays throughout the year.

Besides the scheduled events, many random events occur on a Monday. When Monday repeats between 52 and 53 times out of the year, important things will happen. It’s 1/7th of our life. Blaming Monday for our woes (traffic) doesn’t improve our personal track record in life (being late). Stop shaming Monday and look at what Monday has to offer.

    • Freshly brewed coffee to keep us perky
    • Opportunity for a bright future
    • 52 chances to see a beautiful sunrise
    • A new week share your talents with the world
    • 52 opportunities to teach someone a new skill that will better their lives
    • Each Monday offers the potential of meeting new people

Bah humbug, Pollyanna!  Give me Friday over Monday any day of the week!


Let it snow???

Over here we call them sweaters, the Brits call ‘em jumpers.  Either way, this is a case of a sweater/jumper that cause giant retailer Wal-Mart a bit of a red face.

The product’s description on the Walmart Canada website said:

“We all know how snow works.

It’s white, powdery and the best snow comes straight from South America. That’s bad news for jolly old St Nick, who lives far away in the North Pole.

That’s why Santa really likes to savour the moment when he gets his hands on some quality, grade A, Colombian snow.”

cocaine-sweaterWal-Mart quickly took the product off of their website when someone pointed out the error …

“These sweaters, sold by a third-party seller on Walmart.ca, do not represent Walmart’s values and have no place on our website.”


A ‘Kissmobile’? Who knew???

wienermobileNow, we’ve all heard of the Oscar Meyer wiener mobile, but last night I discovered that there is also a Hershey’s Kiss mobile … well, there was a Hershey’s Kiss mobile.  Turns out the company had three of them, and they are retiring them all.  They will be on display at the AACA Museum in Hershey, Pennsylvania for an unspecified period of time.kissmobile-2But, that made me wonder … have other companies utilized similar mobiles to promote their product.  Silly me … of course they have!

cadbury-mobiledunkin-mobilegoldfish-mobilellbean-mobilepeeps-mobileplanters-mobile

And every now and then, they all meet up for a cookout!

mobile-cookout


Okay, folks … how about some fun memes and ‘toons to make you chuckle?

meme-1meme-2meme-3meme-4meme-5toon-1toon-2toon-3

And, of course, if it’s Jolly Monday, we must have a cute animal video, yes?


jollyJollys girlfriend JoyfulAnd on that note, I’m sad to say, it’s time for you guys to head to work or whatever you have on your dockets today, and I have promised Jolly and Joyful a special surprise … I’m going to let them clean out the refrigerator!!!  So, please keep those smiles on your faces and share them whenever you can.  I think this is likely to be a tough week in more ways than one, so … give a smile, or even a hug to someone each day this week, ‘k?  Love and hugs from Filosofa, Jolly and Joyful!

A Few New Year ‘Toons …

Typically, I only do a post of ‘toons once every ten days or so, and since I just did one last Saturday, you may be surprised to see another so soon.  Two reasons … these are timely and will lose their ‘flavour’ in another few days as the world moves on, and second, I am still doing research for the post I was planning for this afternoon … I slept too late this morning and am behind … er, behind-er than usual!

But first, I have a short Seth Meyers clip that I hope you’ll watch … it’s funny as heck, but also rather uplifting!  Thank you, Colette, for sending me this!


The cartoonists had fun with the New Year … lets take a look …

Trump-new-year-2

new-year-1new-year-2new-year-3new-year-4new-year-5Trump-new-year

new-year-7

new-year-6

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 …

evangelicalsreligious-right


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

Santa-guns.jpg


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

kids-in-cages.jpg


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-2

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!

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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’.

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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!!!

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