Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year's Day--1911!

Click to enlarge

Take a moment to think about what living in Chicago was like
one hundred years ago.
Better, worse, or the same old-same old?

From the Geniuses at JibJab!

The celebration of 2011 has begun!

A very blessed and prosperous New Year to one and all!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

RIP Agathe, and Thank You, and all the von Trapp family!

Woman whose family inspired singing clan in 'Sound of Music' dies in Maryland at 97

Agathe von Trapp (highlighted)

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) — Agathe von Trapp, a member of the musical family whose escape from Nazi-occupied Austria was the basis for "The Sound of Music," has died, a longtime friend said Wednesday.

Von Trapp, 97, died Tuesday at a hospice in the Baltimore suburb of Towson after suffering congestive heart failure in November, said Mary Louise Kane. Kane and von Trapp lived together for five decades and ran a kindergarten at the Sacred Heart Catholic parish in nearby Glyndon until 1993.

Von Trapp was the oldest daughter of Austrian naval Capt. Georg Ritter von Trapp. His seven children by his first wife, Agathe Whitehead von Trapp, were the basis for the singing family in the 1959 play and 1965 film, which won the Oscar for best picture.

Read the rest here.


Without the von Trapp Family Singers, the world would never have experienced this:

Thank you, Agathe, and may you rest now.

It's almost time, isn't it?

When my two boys were young, they really loved the soundtrack from Maurice Sendak's "I'm Really Rosie". I can't tell you how many times we sang this song:

It's also quite a nice calendar for the year, isn't it? The year of Chicken Soup, that is.

Just how do you make Chicken Soup with Rice?

Follow these directions, as I've just made a pot today!

Two skinless chicken breasts (or any couple of chicken parts)
Half a large onion, chopped
3 medium carrots, washed and sliced
A generous sprinkle of crushed red pepper
A generous sprinkle of dried minced garlic
Several bay leaves

NOTE: I've used no salt, as the skinless chicken breasts I buy have quite enough. If you're using chicken parts (backs, etc.) you might want to add a teaspoon or two of Sea Salt.

(I like to use my serrated slicer for the carrots--it's easier on my arthritic hands and makes a prettier presentation!).

Add filtered water to cover

Bring to a boil, then cover...

..and simmer for about 2 hours...

...stirring occasionally.

Add a half cup (or so) of rice.

(I've used Arborio here, but you can use long grain white, or even brown rice--which will require a bit longer to cook).

Let this simmer for at least another 20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked.

Now--how difficult was that, huh?

And soooo much better (and cheaper) for you than 'Campbell's'!

From my window:

In the midst of winter... very careful out there, please?

BLOGGER is being so obstinate today...

...I am thinking of switching to Wordpress!

Get with the program, Blogger!

If you just can't, get your frying pan out of the fire!

(I really hate it when Blogger goes 'topsy-turvy', don't you?)

For the past 24 hours, I have been attempting to post a 'simple video'--about 20 Meg--and Blogger does not seem to be able to handle that...though they say they will accommodate a video up to 100M!

As I write, the font is Times Roman in this window...not Arial, as it should be.

Perhaps it is leave Blogger...and post somewhere else? (And perhaps then I could lose the TROLL, Mike Giovanelli--and his stupidity?).

Shouldn't he be considered a hero?

Lynn Sweet reports...

Davis to Obama, Clinton: Stay out of it

Chicago mayoral hopeful Danny Davis

Mayoral hopeful Rep. Danny Davis warned former President Bill Clinton — who will be campaigning for rival Rahm Emanuel — to stay out of Chicago politics if he wants to maintain warm relations with African Americans — and told me President Obama should remain neutral as well.

“There are lots of people who supported the Clintons here” Davis told me, referring to the former president as well as Chicago native Hillary Rodham Clinton, now the secretary of state. “I think it would be great if they both took a neutral position.”

Read the rest here.


Danny Davis has a lot of 'street smarts', and hopefully will be able to defeat Rahm Emanuel, 'the Chosen One of the supposedly Chosen One'...Barack INSANE Obama!

I support Danny Davis for Mayor of Chicago.

Just for Kicks!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

ON: Giving and Receiving

For Christmas, my Filipino friend Zeny gave me a tin of the most wonderful cinnamon-nut cookies she baked herself. Zeny is 76 years old, yet ageless!

Her cookies were scrumptillicous!

Yesterday, she visited again, to return a 'certain item' I lent her, so as not to disturb the building maintenance man. I had been doing some 'table-top' photography--I've already begun MY New Year's resolutions.

When I showed her one of the items I had shot, she remarked that, in the Philippines, it is considered a sign of GOOD LUCK!

This piece was purchased by my mother back in the 1940s. I was born in '46, and it was something that was, simply, always there, since I could recognize my surroundings.

We children were always told 'don't touch'--and it is in excellent, like-new condition all these years later.

So I decided, today, to print and frame the photo, and give it to Zeny--so that she may have GOOD LUCK also! Her cookies were soooo tasty!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day...2010

From Andrea Bocelli's "Sacred Arias" DVD.

Remember those who keep us free!

From my Window:

Christmas Eve

Christmas Morning

We have a beautiful white Christmas here in the northern-most neighborhood of Chicago.

The Christmas tree lot has been being dismantled for the past hour...their Christmas tree-selling is over, so perhaps they'll be able to enjoy the remainder of the day.

May your Christmas Day be one of Joy and Peace!

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Thursday, December 23, 2010 Christmas Present to...

...Barack Obama, whom Fagin would love!

Buon Natale a Tutti!

Joyeux Noel!

My Christmas present... Michelle Obama, who has been 'basking in the rain and polluted waters' of Hawaii!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It is time, now... understand and know

just who is the Savior

and who is against HIM.

The politically correct


for saying HIS name.

In doing that, they deny

HIS existence.

Do you not think


just might live

amongst us today?

Copyright: 2010

For unto us...

In lieu of all the sadness of the day here in Chicago...

For those we have known...

...and left us all too soon.


I have a smile

Stretched from ear to ear

To see you walking down the road

We meet at the lights

I stare for a while

The world around disappears

Just you and me

On this island of hope

A breath between us could be miles

Let me surround you

My sea to your shore

Let me be the calm you seek

Oh and every time I’m close to you

There’s too much I can’t say

And you just walk away

And I forgot

To tell you

I love you

And the night’s

Too long

And cold here

Without you

I grieve in my condition

For I cannot find the strength to say I need you so

Oh and every time I’m close to you

There’s too much I can’t say

And you just walk away

And I forgot

To tell you

I love you

And the night’s

Too long

And cold here

Without you

And perhaps, this might help our sorrow...

Comfort ye, comfort ye My people, saith your God.

Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned.

The voice of him that crieth in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord.

Make straight in the desert a highway for our God. (Isaiah 40:1-3)

Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill made low, the crooked straight, and the rough places plain. (Isaiah 40:4)

Perhaps... is time, simply PRAY.

In light of the deaths of the two Chicago firefighters today, I ask you to be patient enough to watch and listen...and perhaps say a prayer of your own?

In his own voice...

Edelweiss - Sound of Music - Christopher Plummer's own voice from Mark on Vimeo.

And...please...Bless OUR Homeland, the United States, forever....

Feel-good Story of the Day!

Peas For Prosperity Putting Homeless to Work

ATLANTA – Christy Annis is busy packing, wrapping and shipping black-eyed peas across the country for last minute stocking stuffers. And she is looking to the homeless for help.

“It’s a southern tradition to eat black-eyed peas on New Year’s Eve for prosperity, it goes back to General Sherman during the Civil War,” said Christy Annis, the founder of Peas for Prosperity, an online boutique that sells everything peas.

For more than a decade Annis was an attorney but she gave it all up to pack peas.

“Peas for Prosperity was founded on one principle,” she said. “To help people in need one pea at a time, I wasn’t looking to get rich quick or even start a business. I wanted to make a difference in my community and help others receive their second chance.”

She hires homeless men and women on a contract basis- they label, wrap and ship the bags for kitchens across the country. She calls it peas to paychecks.

“The south got their second chance after the Civil War. I’m getting my second chance and that’s why I want to help other people too,” Annis said.

Read more here.


My old South Carolina friends told me it should be 'red beans and rice' on New Year's Day, which I have done since the late 60s...but who am I to argue with Christy Annis, a successful businesswoman and former lawyer?


UPDATE: Despite their earlier denials, the Obama Administration now admits that Director Clapper had not been briefed on the London terror arrests that occurred the morning of this interview. Their initial response was to blame the interviewer, Diane Sawyer, for asking an "ambiguous question". We await the righteous indignation from the mainstream media for this outright lie at the expense of a journalist.

Director James Clapper, who briefs the president daily on the nation's security, appeared to be unfamiliar with the events in London.


These are the three people ensuring our safety as citizens of the United States?

Hmmm...seems to me they are only there to enjoy their salaries and the perquisites their positions provide.

A f'rinstance...if Brennan was briefed about London, why wasn't Clapper?

The look on Clapper's face after Diane Sawyer's question definitely places him as an Obama 'suck-up', and nothing more.

And to claim Sawyer's question was 'ambiguous' is just simply, another LIE, brought to you by the Obama administration!

Diane Sawyer looks a little miffed during the close of this video, don't you think?


2 firefighters dead, 14 hurt in extra-alarm blaze

Two firefighters died after a wall collapsed during a 3-11 alarm fire at an abandoned South Side commercial building this morning, authorities said.

Fourteen other firefighters were injured, including two who were trapped with the ones who died.

The firefighters killed were identified as Edward Stringer and Corey Ankum.

Police squad cars escorted two ambulances north on Lake Shore Drive to Northwestern as ramps were closed to clear it of traffic, according to fire communications.

Stringer was one of the firefighters taken there. The condition of the other one was not known.

, who had been with the department only 16 months, was taken to Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, where he died.

Late this morning, dozens of firefighters stood at attention, removing their caps and saluting, as Ankum's body was taken from the hospital and put in an ambulance. A police escort led the ambulance to the medical examiner's office.

A similar procession with a dozen department vehicles left Northwestern shortly after noon with Stringer's body.

The fourth firefighter buried in the rubble, and as many as 12 other firefighters with undisclosed injuries, were also taken to hospitals.

Fire officials and sources said 10 were stable and six were taken to hospitals in serious to critical condition, including the two who later died.


The firefighters' deaths came on the 100th anniversary of a huge fire at the Union Stockyards that claimed the life of 21 Chicago firefighters, the single greatest loss in U.S. history of professional big-city firefighters until Sept. 11, 2001.

Read more here.


My deepest sympathy to the families of Corey Ankum and Edward Stringer. Deaths which occur during what is supposed to be the 'happiest time of the year' are overwhelmingly sad.

If you, my few readers, could just take a moment today, and say a prayer that these two firefighters' families will have strength to endure their sorrow...that would be the greatest gift you could give!

To those firefighters who were injured, I pray you all make a speedy recovery.

And to the Chicago Fire Department: There are many of us out here who appreciate so very much how you put your lives on the line each and every time you race to strike down a fire. My sincere condolences to all of you on the loss of two of your family members.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Mayor Daley and his cronies...

...over at the Department of Water Management here in Chicago...

...need a quick visit from this woman...

Julia Roberts as "Erin Brockovich"

...or someone just as tough!

High levels of chromium found in Chicago-area tap water

Advocacy group reports level of cancer-causing metal is three times as high as considered safe under a California proposal

The cancer-causing metal made infamous by the movie "Erin Brockovich" is turning up in tap water from Chicago and more than two dozen other cities, according to a new study that urges federal regulators to adopt tougher standards.

Even though scientists at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and National Toxicology Program have linked the ingestion of hexavalent chromium to cancer, the EPA doesn't require Chicago or other cities to test for the toxic metal.

Nor does the EPA limit the dangerous form of chromium in drinking water.

To take a snapshot of what is flowing through taps across the nation, the Environmental Working Group, a Washington-based research and advocacy organization, hired an independent laboratory that found the metal in treated drinking water from 31 cities.

The amount in Lake Michigan water pumped to 7 million people in Chicago and its suburbs was 0.18 parts per billion, three times higher than a safety limit California officials proposed last year.


The Chicago Department of Water Management said tap water is still safe. "Our water ... meets or exceeds all standards set by the EPA," the department said in a prepared statement.

The source of chromium in Chicago drinking water is unclear, though federal records show that some of the nation's biggest industrial sources are four steel mills in northwest Indiana that discharge wastewater into the city's source of drinking water.

Last year alone, records show, the U.S. Steel and Arcelor Mittal mills dumped a combined 3,100 pounds of chromium into Lake Michigan and its tributaries, less than 9 miles away from Chicago's water-intake crib off 68th Street.

Read the rest here.


How about it, Mister Mare? Don't the inhabitants of Chicago and its environs deserve CLEAN, UNCONTAMINATED DRINKING WATER?

On the lighter side...

Tonight's the night!

From Astronomy Picture of the Day:

A Lunar Eclipse on Solstice Day

Credit & Copyright: Jerry Lodriguss (Catching the Light)

Sometime after sunset tonight, the Moon will go dark.

This total lunar eclipse, where the entire Moon is engulfed in the shadow of the Earth, will be visible from all of North America, while the partial phase of this eclipse will be visible throughout much of the rest of the world.

Observers on North America's east coast will have to wait until after midnight for totality to begin, while west coasters should be able to see a fully darkened moon before midnight. Pictured above is a digital prediction, in image form, for how the Moon and the surrounding sky could appear near maximum darkness.

Parts of the Moon entering the circle labeled umbra will appear the darkest since the Sun there will be completely blocked by the Earth. Parts of the Moon entering the circle labeled penumbra will be exposed to some direct sunlight, and so shine by some degree by reflected light.

The diminished glare of the normally full Moon will allow unusually good viewings of nearby celestial wonders such as the supernova remnant Simeis 147, the open star cluster M35, and the Crab Nebula M1.

By coincidence this eclipse occurs on the day with the shortest amount of daylight in the northern hemisphere -- the Winter Solstice.

This solstice eclipse is the first in 456 years, although so far it appears that no one has figured out when the next solstice eclipse will be.


Unfortunately, we here in Chicago are expecting cloudy skies tonight. case the sky does clear, the best viewing time will be just past midnight to about 4 AM.

Harry and his shenanigans...

Senator Harry Reid (D-evil, NV), who doesn't know left from right when it comes to his toupee


In Sunday-evening surprise, Senate unanimously passes food safety bill

The Senate unexpectedly approved food safety legislation by unanimous consent Sunday evening, rescuing a bill that floated in limbo for weeks because of a clerical error.The Senate passed the Food Safety and Modernization Act on Nov. 30 by a vote of 73-25. But the bill was later invalidated by a technical objection because it was a revenue-raising measure that did not originate in the House — Senate staff had failed to substitute the food safety language into a House-originated bill.


Republicans, however, later agreed to pass it by unanimous consent.


Reid’s staff earlier in the day had told a coalition of groups supporting the legislation that it had a chance of passing but the prospects appeared to dim as Sunday wore on. The swift approval by unanimous consent caught some aides and lobbyists working on it by surprise.
Sen. Tom Coburn, the outspoken conservative Republican from Oklahoma, had been blocking the legislation. He lifted his objection at the final moment.


Absolutely disgusting show by our 'servants' in the Senate!

If you'd like to read S 510 (Summary or Full Text) go here.

You might also like Mike Adams' take at Natural News: "Top ten lies about Senate Bill 510"

I'm wondering: If this passes the House, will Mrs. O have to lose the famous (but toxic) White House demi-organic garden?

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Ask yourself this question:

Courtesy: ReasonTV

Come up with any similar answers?

What Christmas is truly about

From a beautiful piece called "A Ceremony of Carols", written by Benjamin Britten.

Submitted to YouTube by : 4boytrebles who utilized artwork from their own archives

My high school presented "Ceremony of Carols" for Christmas 0f 1961. I was 15, and was one of several soloists. That remains a fine memory!

The following year, I played the mother in Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors", which became an even greater memory!

Ah, the olden days!

Friday, December 17, 2010

A Christmas Card for you!

Enjoy a bit o' the Irish!

I love the addition of 'Irish flavor'...hope you do too!

Flashback: BIG Promise, FAT Lie!

Obama Promised 5-Day, Public Review of Bills Before Signing...remember

Signs Tax Bill Today Within Hours of House Vote!

I'd call that an outright LIE!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Can Do: Wishing our Troops a Merry Christmas

A special hat tip to Mr. Pinko at for letting us on to this.

"Passing the info on:


If you go to this web site, you can pick out a thank you card and Xerox will print it and it will be sent to a soldier that is currently serving in Iraq. You can’t pick out who gets it, but it will go to a member of the armed services.

How AMAZING it would be if we could get everyone we know to send one? It is FREE!!!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the soldiers received a bunch of these?"

Thanks so much, Mr. Pinko...and I know Big Fur Hat approves this message.

Words from the Wise

Barack Obama's intended takeover of Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness via alleged "healthcare reform" suffered a major setback this week when a U.S. District Judge declared a key part of the legislation to be "so unbelievably unconstitutional that it makes my eyes bleed."

Okay, that's not what he said...though we'd be surprised if he wasn't thinking it.

Instead, Judge Henry Hudson struck down the "individual mandate" which compels Americans to purchase health insurance under threat of financial fines or prison.

The judge wisely pointed out that "At its core, this dispute is not simply about regulating the business of insurance -- or crafting a scheme of universal health insurance coverage -- it’s about an individual’s right to choose to participate."


The "individual mandate" is, by its very nature, a usurpation of Americans' rights; it mandates what the individual must do...and if not struck down, the government could just as easily use the "individual mandate" to declare that you must buy a GM car or face a fine.

You must watch MSNBC or go to jail.

You must "eat the salad."

You must do whatever the government says.

That's exactly the kind of abuse of power our Constitution was written to forbid.

Barack Obama, who has previously claimed to be a Constitutional Law Professor, would have to be an idiot not to know his draconian Healthcare bill is unconstitutional.

But we assume that he does know, and doesn't care.

Which is why our Founding Fathers specifically authored our nation's most magnificent document to protect us from men who wish to be kings.

When I was sixteen...

...I played the role of the mother in Gian Carlo Menotti's "Amahl and the Night Visitors".

I have a photo...somewhere. I'll find it soon, and just to let you know, I could hit the high "A".

The musical director, James Keeley, was also the Director of the Bel Canto Chorus in Milwaukee, of which I was a member for a time.

Old times, good times. And wonderful memories of Jim Keeley and his wife, Roseanne.

Bing Crosby: Through the Years

May your days be merry...and be brighter than they have been, under Barack Obama's REGIME.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Conan: Always a HOOT...and a half!

"Say a Prayer" and "My memories are exciting"...

...that's pretty much the story of my life.

But here, to say and sing it better than I ever could....

Just because we all do...need a little Christmas!

Nanny Michelle Apparently Knows Best?

This is the menu for Michelle Obama's now-passed ACT: Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids.

First, I caution you. By virtue of Barack Obama saying he may have had to 'sleep on the couch' if this law was not passed, I propose that Michelle LaVaughn Robinson Obama is nothing more than a self-seeking HARRIDAN, who will deny her own husband unless she gets her own way!


, she and her lovely assistants we all pay a mil and a half PLUS for per year, came up with the above menu.

MY comments, which were also posted in comments at

Sooooo...THIS is MOO's idea of what is going to dispel obesity in these United States, huh?

Do you know any child who is not Hispanic who will eat a 1/4 cup of JICAMA?

And any child who would follow that with cantaloupe wedges (year-round?) will be belching his way through English class, won't he?

What the great MOO has is no, I repeat NO, knowledge of is the 'mixing of foods'.

Why would you ever offer the mix of green beans, cauliflower, AND broccoli to a child...and follow it up with the acidity of kiwi fruit?

These poor children are going to be passing gas in their detriment. And it's part of the Marxist way to break down society.

This so-called woman is very evil.

I am certain she has worked long and hard on this make it as effective as she possibly could to tear apart the dignity of the children of the citizens of the United States.

Remember...she is not elected...but apparently she RULES BARACK OBAMA'S BEDROOM ( he says.)!

She is doing nothing more than trying to destroy our children's wills (as she has done, apparently, with her own children, who seem to be becoming her clones.).

And...she wants the PAYCHECK, badly, for her supposed 'good works').

Her attitude SUCKS.

Her look SUCKS.

And IMHO, Michelle Obama just SUCKS as the actress she tries sooooo hard to be!

Things are cracking in DC...specifically the Obamas.

She's trying to keep her image as 'Gaia', by wearing suede thigh boots with jersey, while he's STILL trying , hollow-eyed, to get over his first PERIOD (November 2nd!).

Omnibus? Earmarks? Just say NO to anything Obama!

Senator Coburn calls it not an 'Omnibus', but...OMNI-TERRIBLE!

Barack-INSANE-Obama has no, I repeat NO, concept of Economics, nor does his wide-hipped wifey.

Time for them to GO!

And...BTW...just what the hell is "Salmon Recovery"? Are the Dumbycrats proposing to CATCH the salmon (the usual thing, because salmon have been provided by our Creator as food) OR...send the salmon to SALMON TRAUMA EXPERTS,who will work furtively to help the salmon get over the trauma of the potential of being caught?

And furthermore, teach them the time-honored ways of the Mohammedans...salmon jihad...

I'll stop's getting a bit surreal, don't you think?

Christmas in Chicago!

The lobby of the Harold Washington Library at State and Van Buren Streets

The Great Tree in Bloomingdale's on Michigan

The lobby of the Drake Hotel, Michigan and Walton

The Great Christmas Tree, with read and blue lights, at the base of the John Hancock Building, Michigan and Chestnut, downtown Chicago.

I almost went up to the Signature Room for a martini (costly), but decided to wait until I really have something to celebrate (other than just being ALIVE!).

And...I sure hope the Obamas have been monitoring this they can see what Barky's faux 'hometown' looks like this time of year!

Christmas Creativity!

It's really kind of pretty, after all the LED lights are added...don't you think?

But, I really hate how the commercials are snuck in!


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Saturday Cartoons: 1952

I always loved the old Disney, when Walt was still in control...and hope you enjoy this one!

Merry Christmas, to everyone!

And the government shall be upon His shoulders...

...and His name shall be call-ed:



The Mighty God!

The everlasting Father!

The Prince of Peace!

Apparently, there shall never be any room at the inn for the Obamas, and rightly so...they do not seem to have faith in much of anything, sadly.

The Incomparable Andrea Bocelli!

E, Buon Natale a Lei, Signor Bocelli, e la tua famiglia!

Judy at her best...

...and MY best Merriest Christmas Greetings to you ALL!

Today, Tomorrow, and the Past

TODAY...would have been my Dad's 96th birthday. How I wish he had lived to see it. The photo is from 1932, and my Dad is the handsome Czechoslovakian on the right. On the left is his younger brother, my uncle.

He died June 7, 1994, after almost 5 years in a nursing home, suffering from the effects of multi-infarct dementia caused by mulitple strokes.

TOMORROW...would have been my younger son's 41st birthday. He and his Grandpa had some sort of special bond, being born 55 years and one day apart. He died (in a car crash in Poland, where he was redesigning pollution control systems) on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1996, at the tender age of being two weeks short of his 27th birthday.

THE PAST...comes to life, as do they both--these fine men--and the memories flow, unstoppable, as a river in flood.

In November of 1977, long before each died, I wrote this:

I am the dying:
Your closest friend

Conscious of your tears
Moistening this vanquished flesh.
Death's perpetual parade courses
Victorious over Life ephemeral.

I surrender:
At Christmas
Fourth of July
My birthday
I was:

Copyright 2010


Paul Valery

French poet, essayist, and philosopher
October 30, 1871 – July 20, 1945

"That which has always been accepted by
everyone, everywhere, is almost certain to be false."

"Politics is the art of preventing people from taking part in affairs
which properly concern them."

Before the shock of Obama ditching the presser...

...I went to Evanston to pay my internet bill. Below is the Christmas tree in the lobby of Chase Bank, at the corner of Davis and Orrington streets. Isn't it gorgeous--in ALL the colors of MONEY!

Gold. Silver. Copper. Bronze. And, of course, GREEN!

Just wondering how many people took HOW long to decorate this tree? It's 12 feet tall, a bit shorter than 'the Douglas fir' in the White House.

When I arrived home, turned on the computer and found the least-impressive 'empty suit' walking out of what could have been 'an historic' press conference (current AND former presidents), I was, to say the least, not shocked to finally hear confirmation of the fact of just who 'wears the pants' (and not very well, as they are always too tight or too long!) in the White House!

I finally made myself a light dinner: Fresh Campari tomato salad and basil-seared (in extra-virgin olive oil) salmon fillet and a few large black olives. was yummy!

Oh, BTW...the salad consists of chopped tomatoes, pesto sauce, a light pour of extra-virgin olive oil and...that's NOT mozzarella! It's 'firm tofu', which definitely benefits from the pesto!

A satisfying yet simple dinner for one.

Cost: way under $2.00!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Whooeryu? I mean, whooeryu, an' whoostheguy walkin' out?

Apparently, this is more to this story:

Bill Clinton implores Democrats to back tax deal

© 2010 The Associated Press
Dec. 10, 2010, 4:08PM

WASHINGTON — Bill Clinton implored Democrats to back the tax-cut deal that President Barack Obama negotiated with Republicans as the former president made a surprise appearance at Obama's side in the White House briefing room Friday.

"I don't believe there is a better deal out there," Clinton told reporters who'd been summoned at a moment's notice to see the former chief executive back the current one. Clinton and
Obama had just finished a private meeting in the Oval Office.

Obama said it was a "terrific meeting" and then turned the podium over to Clinton.

The voluble former president took it away, and Obama left part-way through his remarks, saying he had holiday parties to attend.

(You can read the rest here).

Well, well, the fifth-grader hands it over to the college favor of "PARTYING" is what it sounded like.

Boy, oh boy, I go grocery shopping and pay my internet bill, and Obama has to stop the world to par-tay!

He did not say he had holiday parties to attend.

From RCP Video--click to watch-- comes this:

Obama Ditches Tax Cut Presser After Bill Clinton Takes Control

Former President Bill Clinton gave a statement after his meeting with President Obama about his tax compromise with the Republicans.

However, after his statement, Clinton began to call on and take questions from the press with Obama at his side.

Obama leaves promptly after a few moments and said he had to see Michelle, as he was keeping her "waiting."

"I don't want to make her mad, please go," Clinton told Obama.

Posted on December 10, 2010


Michelle Obama, an almost 47-year-old woman, can't handle a Christmas party by herself?

Is she as incompetent as he?

HE is the pResident and he could not stand beside the former President for 10-15 minutes--because Michelle might throw a fit?

Is this just another Obama excuse, like "I have to go scoop the poop"?

Who in the world are these two 'par-tay putzes', and can we send them back to their home planet? SOON?

Personally, I feel the Obamas 'time' came and went...on Jan. 20, 2009.

A peek at what it was like...

...back when I was a small girl.

Remember them...and pass this on please?

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A little bit of Christmas history

Back when the White House still called it "Christmas"!

"Mr. T", star of the TV show the "A-Team" poses as Santa Claus
December 12, 1983 to help First Lady Nancy Reagan
unveil the White House Christmas decorations.

(UPI PHOTO/Larry Rubenstein/FILES)

99 & 99/100% pure... floats!

BTW, 85 meters translates to 288.15 feet tall!

"I read the news today, oh boy..."

I did not forget John Lennon.

30 years ago this morning was when I found out he was murdered...something no one could ever imagine.

Christmas without the tree?

From Reuters:

ON: Black Holes in Space

From APOD:

Too Close to a Black Hole

What would you see if you went right up to a black hole?

Above is a computer generated image highlighting how strange things would look.

black hole has such strong gravity that light is noticeably bent towards it - causing some very unusual visual distortions.

Every star in the normal frame has at least two bright
images - one on each side of the black hole.

Near the
black hole, you can see the whole sky - light from every direction is bent around and comes back to you.

original background map was taken from the 2MASS infrared sky survey, with stars from the Henry Draper catalog superposed.

Black holes are thought to be the densest state of matter, and there is indirect evidence for their presence in stellar binary systems and the centers of globular clusters, galaxies, and quasars.

Then, there's MY version:
The Light-bender

An Early Gift for All!

From a woman who goes by the moniker 'Hesperos Rising' comes this beauty.


Why bake, when Maurice Lenell does it for you?

They're back!

Maurice Lenell cookies!

And they taste better than ever!

Thank you sooo much, Bach brothers!

Purchased yesterday at my local Dominick's (owned by Safeway)

Jeff and Russell Bach with a customer

Brothers bring back city classic -- Maurice Lenell

From the crumbling of the famed Maurice Lenell Cooky Co. comes a new Chicago store to peddle the sweets.

A pair of Chicago brothers have opened a spot to sell the cookies, the first retail store dedicated to the brand since the company's 2008 shuttering of operations in Norridge.

Since Russell and Jeff Bach opened The Cookie Store and More, 3829 N. Harlem, on Nov. 28, they have heard stories of childhood trips to the old cookie factory.

The store carries the full line of nine flavors of Maurice Lenell cookies, along with sweets from other manufacturers.

While a couple of varieties are available at area Dominick's and Jewel stores, many people are unaware that the cookies are still being sold, said Russell Bach, 43, a Maurice Lenell distributor.

"I see the demand and how much it affects the people in the Chicago area as far as the history behind it; the customer loyalty," he said. "People in Chicago don't even realize that Maurice Lenell is still available."

The Bachs' store is five blocks south from the original factory and outlet store. The cookies are made by Ohio-based Consolidated baking Co., using the same recipes.

"We're trying to bring back the good old days," said Jeff Bach, 45, a restaurateur. "It's almost like customers are going to the Fountain of Youth or something."

The pair can count on Don Slovin, 84, to buy the cookies.

As a Prudential Insurance Co. salesman -- the company's top agent in two years of his four-decade career -- Slovin gave holiday gifts of boxes of cookies to 400-500 customers each year.
He has continued the practice, even after retiring in 1980s.

He also gives the cookies as gifts to nurses who care for his disabled wife; a local gas station employee, and others. And boxes are set out during the appreciation luncheon he and his wife chair for their Galena homeowners association.

"Everybody knows me as the cookie man," Slovin said.

"I used to say the greatest sales tool I have is giving Maurice Lenell cookies away to my customers."