Saturday Surprise — Big Things!

I am rather an idiot.  I had more than half of a snarky post written for this morning when to my dismay I realized it was Friday night.  And, if it was Friday night, than I should be writing Saturday Surprise, not snark, right?  So, I considered making my apologies and skipping Saturday Surprise, for that was written into the contract when I first started the feature, but … it’s been a hellish week and I figure we are all ready for something more fun.

Australia has been plagued by massive bushfires for the past several weeks … remember, it’s summer down under.  So, when I came across the ‘Big Things’ of Australia, I thought it was the perfect thing for this week’s Saturday Surprise!  So, what are the ‘Big Things’?

Australia’s ‘Big Things’ are a roadside symbol, an obsession that turned into a tradition and now a popular tourist attraction. These are sculptures of everyday items that have been recreated in gigantic dimensions and littered across the country. It has been estimated that there are over 150 such objects around the country.

It started back in 1964 when a local banana grower John Landl decided that a visible gimmick would help him sell more fruit. So he built an 11 meter long, 5 meter high fibre glass banana, based on the precise measurements of the winner from the recent agricultural show.bananaThe Big Banana, one of the first big things, is a walkthrough banana in the city of Coffs Harbour, New South Wales. Banana-related products are shown or sold, and the grounds of the building are a banana plantation, a souvenir shop and restaurant.pineappleThe Big Pineapple is located on the Sunshine Coast in South East Queensland, Australia. It is 52 feet high and was originally opened on the 15 of August 1971. Inside the fruit are two rides: one on a Nut Mobile, the other on a small train that takes passengers on a tour of the plantation and lets them optionally disembark at a small zoo situated on the property.guitarThe Big Golden Guitar is located in Tamworth, New South Wales, in front of the famous Longyard Hotel on the Sydney Road. It was unveiled in 1988 by Australia’s most popular country music artist, Slim Dusty. The monument is one of the best-known points of interest in New South Wales and is also a major attraction during the Tamworth Country Music Festival.beer.jpgThe Big Beer Can is located above the entrance to the Grand Hotel in Cobar, New South Wales. It stands about five meters tall and is two-and-a-half meters across. Built in 1990, it entered the Guinness world record for the largest beer can anywhere in the world.koala.jpgThe Giant Koala is situated midway between the Victorian towns of Stawell and Horsham at a small town called Dadswells Bridge. The Giant Koala was erected in 1989. It’s 46 feet high and weighs just over 13 tons, set on a steel frame and a paste of fiberglass and bronze was used to create the exterior. Inside is a restaurant and souvenir shop.crocodile.jpgThe Big Boxing Crocodile is located outside the United fuel station (formerly known as the Bush Shop) on the Arnhem Highway, in a town called Humpty Doo. This humorous attraction is a reference to the large crocodile population in the area.  Humpty Doo … don’t you just love that name!antA bull ant sculpture designed by artist Pro Hart, which was erected in 1980 and originally stood at the Stephens Creek Hotel. It was moved to its current location, next to the Tourist Information Centre in Broken Hill, after being donated to the city in 1990.spiderThe Big Funnel Web Spider was built at Jamberoo Action Park located 20 minutes south of Wollongong and is a steel, fiberglass and concrete structure 420 times larger than a female Sydney funnel-web spider. It was awarded a Guinness World Record as the Largest Spider Sculpture in August 2015.scotsmanThe Big Scotsman, affectionately known as ‘Scotty’, was erected in 1963 and thus predated the Big Banana by a year. Located at Scotty’s Motel on the corner of Main North Road and Nottage Terrace in the inner-city suburb of Medindie, the Big Scotsman was designed by Paul Kelly, who later went on to build the Big Lobster.
wineLocated in the Hunter Valley which is home to some of Australia’s best vineyards stands the Big Wine Bottle. Thousands of tourists flock ever year to sample some of the best wine in the region. It was built in 1998 and the neck forms a chimney for an open fire contained within.crabLocated at the Shell petrol station and roadhouse on the corner of Dougall Street and Roe Street (Bruce Highway). Created by proprietor Lex Milner, who owned the service station at the time and wanted to promote his tasty mud crab sandwiches. Mud crab sammies?  I’ll pass on that one.  mangoThe Big Mango stands at the tourist information centre in Bowen. In February 2014, the Mango was temporarily “stolen” by restaurant chain Nando’s as a publicity stunt.melonIn 2018, the town of Chinchilla won a national competition run by Wotif to create a Next Big Thing as a tourist attraction. The melon was installed next to the town’s information center in November 2018.

Obviously, I cannot cover all 150 of the Big Things, but if you’re interested, Wikipedia has a fairly comprehensive section listing most of them.  This video had some interesting information on a few of them, too.

As I mentioned in the beginning, much of Australia is afire, so let us hope the winds die down and they get some much-needed rain … soon!  To our friends in Australia … keep safe!!!

Okay, folks, that’s a wrap … now go enjoy your weekend!

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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! 

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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!!!

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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?

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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 …

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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?

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food-bacon

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?

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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 …

evangelicalsreligious-right


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

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

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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

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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!

new-year-resolution-1new-year-resolution-2new-year-resolution-3new-year-resolution-4new-year-resolution-Maxinenew-year-resolution-5new-year-resolution-6

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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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?

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This one is my favourite!

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

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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 …

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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.  

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

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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!

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

-Filosofa

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!

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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 …

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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!

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A Bit Of Borowitz …

It’s another of those holiday season days when there is more to do than resources (time & energy) to do it all.  I have two posts in the works, but not enough time to finish either right now, so I thought a bit of humour in the form of Andy Borowitz might make up for my shortfall.


Andrew Johnson Horrified That History Books Will Mention Him in Same Sentence as Trump

Shopping Makes For Snarky Snippets!

I spent several hours today driving through packed parking lots, wending my way through crowds in stores, and watching my bank balance take a nose-dive, all of which has only added to my normal snarkiness.  Yes, yes, it’s called “finish the last-minute Christmas & stocking shopping on the last Saturday before Christmas”.  Bah humbug. I am not a shopper … the various concoctions that humans put on their bodies to make themselves smell flowery sets off my asthma, I am uncomfortable in crowds, and I tire easily … all of which adds up to not being a very happy shopper.  When I returned home and sat down, removed shoes, and let out a deep sigh, daughter Chris said I looked like I had just come through a war zone.  In truth, the stores on the last Saturday before Christmas rather resemble a war zone.  Anyway … the end result is that I’m tired, wheezy, and snarky.  You know what that means, right?


An update …

First, I start with an update on an October post, titled Her Life Mattered, about Atatiana Jefferson, an African-American woman who was shot through her apartment window by a trigger-happy police officer, Aaron Dean.  In October, Dean was charged with murder, and on Friday a grand jury indicted him.  The county prosecutor’s office has announced plans to “prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law,” though a trial date has yet to be announced.  With so many cases in the past few years where a white officer killed an unarmed black person and the officer was let off with no more than a slap on the wrist, it is good to see this case being taken seriously.


Gotta love George Conway

George Conway, husband of the infamous Kellyanne Conway, is a smart man.  The first clue was that he turned down a job in the Trump White House, and I imagine he congratulates himself on a daily basis for that move.  I still wonder, though, how he manages to share a home and a dinner table with his wife, one of Trump’s biggest bootlickers.

After Trump’s impeachment on Wednesday, then Nancy Pelosi’s announcement that she will not send the Articles of Impeachment over to the Senate just yet, until she sees some signs that the Senate is prepared to hold a fair and impartial trial, Trump is fuming and stewing.  Oh wait … Trump is always fuming and stewing about one thing or another, isn’t he?

So what do you call a person who holds the most powerful office in the nation, stewing over his inability to influence a coequal branch of government that just accused him of high crimes and misdemeanors? George Conway has an idea …ImpotusWorks for me!  He’s always giving others nicknames, maybe it’s his turn to acquire one!  I can’t wait to hear if he likes it!


The “Space” is in his head!

Little boys and their toys … sigh.  Only problem is, this “little boy” is a 73-year-old juvenile delinquent who is using OUR tax dollars … some $4.7 billion in start up costs alone … to fund his stupid games!  Think about that one … do you know how many children could eat for a full year for $4.7 billion???  Approximately 3 million children could be fed for a full year … and he is spending it playing space games instead?  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

Stupidest damn president this country has ever had!  I wonder which of his wealthy donors will benefit from this one?

With his signing of the defense spending bill on Friday, Trump created a sixth and completely unnecessary branch of the U.S. military called “Space Force”, joining the Army, Air Force, Coast Guard, Navy, and Marines.  Senior military officials have previously raised concerns about what it will cost, and former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis warned against rushing into creating the force without clearly defined goals, but when does Trump listen to anybody?

According to the oaf in the Oval …

“Space, going to be a lot of things happening in space.  Space is the world’s newest war-fighting domain. Amid grave threats to our national security, American superiority in space is absolutely vital. And we’re leading, but we’re not leading by enough. But very shortly we’ll be leading by a lot.”

What “grave threats”???  The biggest threat to the security of this nation is Donald Trump himself!  War-fighting domain”???  What the hell does that even mean?  I tell you, the only space we need to be concerned about is the one between Donald Trump’s ears!


And now that I’ve managed to raise my own blood pressure, if not yours, I end with a bit of dark humour about the potential impeachment trial in the Senate …

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