Don’t Grinch or Scrooge This Post

How many times have we heard it? Someone is acting non Christmassy and so we label them a grinch. Or someone is cheap with the amount of money spent on gifts so someone calls them a scrooge.

Who would argue that someone taking back a Christmas gift shouldn’t be called a grinch? After all that is in keeping with the Grinch’s whole plan of stealing Christmas from the whos down in whoville.

Who would argue that someone exhibiting miser like qualities, especially around the holidays, shouldn’t be called a scrooge? That was Ebeneezer Scrooges M.O. throughout much of A Christmas Carol.

I would argue against both of these. The whole point of How the Grinch Stole Christmas and A Christmas Carol is the transformation of their protaganists from sour, bitter, anti-Christmas characters to happy, pro celebration and pro good deeds characters.

To be a grinch is to be someone who takes joy in carving the roast beast at Christmas time. Only vegans and vegetarians might see this as bad.

To be a scrooge is to be one who revels in the good health of Tiny Tim.

Would you like to be labeled forevermore as something you once were? How about calling you Poopy Pants for the rest of your life because this once described you as a baby.

It would be even more fitting to use your name be it Gerard or Sandy or Della as a synonym for poopy pants. “Ewww! I smell a Gerard!” Or how about, “Baby! Are you a Sandy today? Gross.” Or wrinkling your nose and saying with a sneer, “Are you Della in your used Depends?”

Now I have only to apologize for abusing the words scrooge and grinch in the title of this post. After the transformation they saw, I want you to grinch and scrooge this post. Perhaps it will go viral.

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Kammarina was despondent about working at the White House as a cleaner. She had asked her employers for a better contract but none were available since it was a given that you start at the bottom.

She was descended from an obscure South American indigenous group. They were a lot like other groups from their area it’s just that her group didn’t use the ‘t’ sound in their language. Thus Kammarina didn’t use the ‘t’ sound in her English, either.

This worried her to some degree. “Please,” she had asked, “don” make me ‘alk ‘o the presiden’.”

Her supervisor could only ask, “Wha?”

She slowed herself down and carefully chose her words. “Please do no’ make me speak with the presiden’.”

“Gotcha,” said her supervisor. “We don’t wish to make this job any harder than it needs to be. So no, you will not to need to speak with the president.”

This, Kammarina was to find on only her fifth day working there, was a lie. It was the very first time that she had worked in the presence of the president.

“Miss, can you clear away my empty glass?” he asked.

“Sure,” she said, hoping to remain under the radar. She snatched the glass and headed toward the kitchen.

“Not so fast,” said the president. “You forgot my honourifics.”

She wasn’t exactly sure what he meant by this so she tried a couple of tacks. “Sorry, sir, Mis’er Donald, sir.”

“Melania and I agreed she had to spend some time in New York. So, no I don’t miss her. Hey! We are not on a first name basis!”

“Sorry, Mis’er ‘rump, sir!”

“Yeah, I do. Hey! Use my last name and make it clear I have achieved the highest office in the land!

As a person that usually didn’t use ‘t’s she tried her best and even placed her teeth together in the way others do when they make ‘t’s. As luck would have it she got 2 of 3 ‘t’s right. “Sorry, Mister President ‘rump, sir.

President Trump made a sour face which turned to a smile as he realized he had a chance to use his old catch phrase. “You’re fired! Get out of here!”

Kammarina smiled. ‘Perhaps this would be for the best’ she thought as she left for the check points. Getting out this early meant that she might never be grabbed by that man by her p**sy. That made it a victory for her. Even the yelling of her supervisor would not sour that.

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Maybe We Should Conscript Tomboys

Ever since the entrance of females in the military, most of the developed world has avoided the thorny question of ‘to conscript or not to conscript.’ Quite simply if we conscript every able bodied young person then the home front falls down.

We used to get away with just conscripting the men, aged 18 to 40, who are in nonessential work. Even if homemaking were nonessential, women are putting off having a baby to later and later. They have more years being eligible to soldier in a war. But some men choose to stay home with baby. Shouldn’t they get the conscription exemption?

And, in fact, if we base exemptions on whether the couple have a baby or not, mightn’t there be a baby boom? At least half of the people in couples with a baby would be exempt from the war. The fight to stay at home with the kid might escalate. The males and females would both want to stay home. So how does the government decide?

Don’t we all think that girly girls should be exempt? By the same token, females could still fight in the war, if they are tomboys.

Both are loose definitions. Perhaps the female could decide for herself. Indeed she may have already done so in a more official manner. Perhaps she has registered as a feminist at some point in her life. Or taken part in a feminist rally. Perhaps these females will be seen as being outed and have to serve if conscription comes about.

Some men would enjoy seeing feminists put in a war situation against their will. But would they enjoy seeing girly men staying home? The men who are prejudiced against feminism are almost certainly homophobic. Their opinion on girly men is probably just as low.

Do females even want to see equal rights on the battlefield when the decisions are still made by male commanders and commanders in chief? Most of the deciding about the battlefield is decided by men to this very day.

If a war came about that needed conscription in a developed country, I would bet with great certainty that they would conscript the men and leave the women as voluntary participants. I could be wrong but that’s how I see this. Because the issues are just too thorny for some leader who relies on the votes of its populace to decide. But even this ‘compromise’ hasn’t happened yet.

So I just want to thank all our women in uniform. Thank you for making the issue of conscription so thorny for our society that since the women’s movement got going strong in the seventies, there hasn’t been one act of conscription that I know of.

I do know that it has been hard on the enlisted, though. The government keeps forcing the enlisted to go back for another tour of duty so society never has to decide these thorny gender issues. I credit the women in uniform for having stopped conscription from being enacted. Yes, I know this might just be a temporary era. But it is an era nevertheless.

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‘rump Roast

We are in dire need of another Donald Trump roast. Since 2012 we have learned so much more about the Donald now that this update must be done and soon.

First of all we would have no problem getting comedians. At this point, the Donald could be roasted all in simple sarcasm. “The Donald is a man of truth.” Or “The high Cheeto is a white man who is so pro equal rights that the Nobel Prize is really his just for the asking.”

But, some comedians might say, sarcasm is usually the domain of teenyboppers looking for a way to express themselves. It really isn’t high comedy that is going to make adults have full belly laughs. Or have adults repeating the jokes the very next day.

I object to this. Just pay attention to the finishing of the human rights bit. “The orange headed troll doll is known for his strong support of equal rights for all the peoples around the world. He never lets the rights of females fall to the wayside. And obviously he is a fan of the LGBTQ community.”

Imagine a polished comedian saying the first sarcastic sentence. Of course she’ll leave a slight pause after it for people to realize that this is the time to laugh. But I bet that even an experienced roaster might have trouble coming in again. She might try a couple times before the roll of laughter of the audience subsides enough. There will be similar effects after the other two sentences.

Now imagine the laughter continuing as the roaster calls out other positive attributes Donald ‘rump just doesn’t have.

“Honest! A man of his word! Empathetic! A fair man!” The jokes and laughs just go on and on.

But for a true comedy roast, ‘rump must be in attendance. Microphone or no, Trump will try to out yell the roasters. As well, he will tweet his displeasure to the world, calling each comedian “unfunny”. So Donny boy will have to be gagged and handcuffed throughout the whole roast.

And that last sentence is the real reason to have the roast. I would laugh so hard at a bound and gagged Trump. That might be as close to jail or impeachment as the nervous Democrats will ever get him to be.

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Commercial for Bell’s Fibe TV Sounds a Lot Like Homeopathy

If you still watch some ads on network TV like I do, in Canada, then chances are you’ve come across a certain ad for Fibe TV.

In the ad a presumed gay couple are at a real estate open house and just sit watching television and go over all the advantages of the installed Fibe TV. Then the real estate agent comes over and asks them if they want to see any other rooms in the house.

“No, we’re sold,” say the gay guys. Presumably they will buy the house after seeing Fibe TV inside it.

But, for those of you who don’t know, Fibe TV doesn’t come as a package deal in the sale of a house. First you buy the house and then maybe you will install (or reinstall) Fibe TV.

So the gay couple bought the house because it once had Fibe TV inside.

That’s like buying a house because it once had a certain scent of air freshener you love.

Or buying a house because it once had a piano inside and you love music.

Think of all the marketing schemes you could come up with people being so desperate for a tenuous connection.

Real estate agents might begin to hire top chefs for a day to make gourmet meals inside houses for sale.

Or rent really expensive jewelry, you know, the kind with its own names, and telling potential buyers that it was once in the house for sale.

This comes dangerously close to homeopathy. You know, that quack medicine where you fill a bottle with a possibly lethal active ingredient. Say you use an arsenic solution. But you don’t want to actually kill your customer so you dump out the liquid and dilute the remaining arsenic solution with water. But that’s still potentially dangerous so you dump it out and dilute again. And again and again. The drink is now completely safe but you have lost all traces of your active ingredient. So now you say it will work anyway although it can be shown that the solution contains less than 5 molecules of arsenic.

So Bell’s strategy is the same as for homeopathy. There might appear to be a tenuous connection but in reality it is so slight as to be nothing.

Homeopathy is believed in by gullible people. Perhaps Bell wishes to corner this market and thus have future sales of other nefarious products. Or future upgrades that all the cable and phone companies like to up sell their customers with.

But most importantly, I hope that someone in charge of advertising for Bell’s Fibe TV gets to read this article and realize just how ridiculous their advertising is. Then they might take this commercial off their networks. Which would be a great thing because I’m so terribly sick of this ad.

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TOP isn’t Top Anymore

Twenty-One Pilots is of course TOP and with their new album Trench they are no longer the top rock band to watch.

Do not be fooled by Stressed Out from the last album and Heathens from the soundtrack for Suicide Squad both of which garnered over a billion views on Youtube. They don’t have a hit of this quality from the album. Jumpsuit is the first single released and so far this has gathered a mere 34 million views and I don’t expect it to surpass 100 million views before their next, hopefully better album.

Jumpsuit to me is only as good as some of the worst songs from Blurryface and Vessel, the previous two solid outings from Twenty-One Pilots. Trench doesn’t come close to its predecessors.

I had so much hope for this new album but realize I had been warned. The two concept songs from Blurryface were Stressed Out and Goner.

In Stressed Out, Blurryface is introduced as, “My name is Blurryface and I care what you think.”

In Goner it’s stated, “I’ve got two faces, Blurry’s the one I’m not. I need your help to take him out.”

I guess the help singer/songwriter/keyboardist/bassist/ukeleleer (any better ideas for that last one?) Tyler Joseph meant was the help of buying the album and the songs.

Well Twenty-One Pilots got the acclaim and sales they were after. They broke the billion viewer barrier before Coldplay and Imagine Dragons are likely to break a billion some time in the future for Thunder. Really, they were on top of the rock world.

Then they put out Trench. I am being harsh about this because Tyler, I care what I think.

It should be noted that for Vessel, Twenty-One Pilots didn’t want to jinx themselves by calling the band, TOP. After the acclaim for this solid outing, on the next album, Blurryface, they called themselves TOP. And why not? They were sill putting out great stuff.

In the credits for Trench, they call themselves TOP again. I don’t think it is deserved. I’ll just let it go because they were at the top for Vessel and didn’t use it then. But, if they continue to use the moniker for subpar albums, I’m going to stop buying those albums.

Really, I have high hopes for Twenty-One Pilots being TOP again at some point. They are still a relatively young band. Hopefully they will get it right in the future.

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Better Than “Baby on Board”

I still sometimes see baby on board signs in cars of their presumed parents. If this type of sign works in the first place and gets other drivers to watch their actions better, I have some even better ideas all in the interest of baby safety.

1) Two baby on board signs are better than 1. That’s right, now you can put one baby on board sign in the back so cars behind you can see it and one in the front so more cars can see its cautioning message.

2) Just in case the caring parents forgot, better than a baby on board sign, is a properly mounted baby car seat . A bit obvious perhaps but its usefulness cannot be overstated.

3) Concerned parents buy their teenagers SUVs so they are safe in more accidents. Well this should be multiplied by a factor of 10 for a baby. So, concerned parents, may I heartily recommend that you buy a forty seat capacity (or more) bus. Buses are still considered so safe they don’t use seat belts. Well, while driving your bus you can properly mount a baby car seat and put baby on board signs up.

4) How you drive can be important. So might we suggest every so often you can flash your high beams at oncoming cars. They will assume that you are warning them of an upcoming speed trap. As a result, they will slow down and drive more carefully.

5) Might we suggest a more powerful sign? You can make your very own “Explosives on board” sign. Just get out of the area quickly before the cops show up.

6) And the most impressive idea to make cars around you drive carefully because of your baby? 2 “Explosives on board” signs – one for the back and one for the front.

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L. A. Losers

There are three big centres for music in the English speaking world. They are London, New York and Los Angeles.

London bands sound like the clear winners of all the bands of the world. ‘Let’s see, should I stay in a city that is always rainy and foggy or should I leave to tour the world?’ The answer is always to leave and tour the world. Those Londoners sure are smart. In fact I’ve heard of rumours of some acts voluntarily touring when they don’t even have an album to push.

New York is sometimes unofficially known as the centre of the world. Perhaps it’s not such a good idea to volunteer to tour from here. But with instantaneous communications to keep in touch through most of the English speaking world, it’s kind of like you have never even left New York when you are on tour. Although some New York bands go further north into even worse northern weather, it’s not as if it doesn’t snow in New York in the winter, too. Remember that half the cities they tour are warmer than New York so this of course becomes a wash.

Los Angeles is different. When the city and area isn’t burning or in drought or having mudslides, the weather is supposed to be phenomenal most of the time. The usual dryness leads to more sunny days. The nearness to the ocean moderates the temperature so it is generally warm but usually not too hot either. So it is my theory that only the stupidest of bands wants to tour away from L.A. The losers if you will.

Look at that example of the Beach Boys. They helped make surfing culture world famous. They sang and sang and sang about how great surfing was. Did this make them surf more? No, it made them tour other parts of the United States and elsewhere where there weren’t even surfing conditions. The Beach Boys were obviously losers when they toured the English speaking world.

Decades later Guns and Roses began leading with a song that had a stupid idea as its genesis. Sweet Child O’ Mine was written from a finger exercise that one of the guitarists kept doing. With a slight change or two it became the lead line for Sweet Child O’ Mine. This was so stupid that Los Angeles decided to make them famous with it and thus kicked them out of the city for months at a time, allegedly to tour. Obviously Guns and Roses were more losers that L.A. exported to the world.

No Doubt followed. No doubt you are asking what the no doubt stands for. It seems that there was no doubt this band would tour far and wide and thus lose the niceties of L.A.’s weather. I could go on about the losers that L.A. exports to the world. But by now it should be as obvious to you as it is obvious to me.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t like L.A. bands. Just be aware that if they are on tour, chances are they are losers.

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What Do You Call Someone Who Hangs Around Musicians?

The real answer is Mike. The eighties answer to this – (the one that everyone knew) was a drummer.

Everybody knew that drummers were on the way out in the eighties. Drum machines were the oft pointed at pieces of technology that were the beginning of the end.

A guitarist could program a drum machine with super accurate beats. A bassist could put in a bit of randomness to sound like a real drummer by not making the beat super accurate. And keyboardists probably did the most programming because it was so similar to what they do.

Twenty years later there were the White Stripes which only was a two piece. And one of those two instruments was a drum kit.

One of the biggest acts of today is Twenty-One Pilots. A two piece where one member is again a drummer. Sure the singer, who usually plays keyboards, also sometimes plays bass and the ukelele. That helps to expand the sound. But today it seems there is always that incessant need for live drumming.

Drumming didn’t go the way of the dodo. It has become a thriving part of modern music.

Some rap artists have been saying for years that all the sounds possible for a guitar have been done. With keyboard and DJ equipment you can get ever expanding sounds for your basic instrument.

It’s not unexpected to see modern bands without guitarists. Even older veterans like Coldplay and Imagine Dragons, though they have a dedicated guitarist, are more likely to produce synthesized sounds for up front.

The guitarist seems destined to disappear entirely from the music scene.

Technically a guitar is just cords that produce sounds. Much like vocal cords. Does this mean that one day rapping will be passe? Will singing be passe? The instrument keyboards were based on also used cords. Will keyboards become passe? Basses are bass guitars.

It’s more than possible to make guitar synthesizers. The guitar six string format with frets could just be another way to control music. Guitar synthesizers can be updated just as quickly as any synthesizer and DJ equipment in existence.

I think modern music just likes to poke at guitarists who were number one for so long. But I think it is a nervous poke because they must know that music can turn again on them and put another basic instrument on life support.

The basis of a guitar is a neat format for a chord enabled instrument (the keyboard is the other great format). It will rise again. Wind instruments and bowed string instruments need a section to produce chords. With some chords having 6 or more notes, this becomes an expensive option. Even without the synthesizer a lot can happen with guitars. Guitarists have never been adverse to electronic enhancement of their sounds. Drums never went completely away either.

So now is the time to out myself. I am one of those guitarists mentioned often these days as useless. But calling me useless isn’t going to get me to stop. My adolescence was in the eighties. If you want to insult me to the max, call me a drummer.

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Eat $#!+ and Live

No this title is not an example of a sentence that is totally changed with the insertion of commas. It is uncomfortable because it needs to be.

For a very long time scientists have dreamt of resurrecting the woolly mammoths. Their almost perfectly preserved bodies in the arctic, with their sometimes readable DNA, has spurred this dream along. But there is more complication here than meets the eye.

At first brush it might seem that the act of finding one cell, that has a perfect copy of the DNA, that might be cloned. But the closest relative to the the woolly mammoth is the much smaller Indian elephant. To have an Indian elephant carry a woolly mammoth baby is likely to hurt or even kill the surrogate. So we have to deal with artificial wombs.

De-extinction is complicated. Splicing mammoth DNA into elephant cells is the first step. Next the hybrid cells must be turned into specialized tissues. Growing these tissues to see if they are correct is next. Then they could grow these hybrid cells in an artificial womb. Only then would we be close to getting a woolly mammoth.

We’re still not there. Woolly mammoths must make it to reproductive age and have babies of their own to reestablished. For that we might need elephants again.

Currently we are killing elephants faster than they can reproduce. All for their ivory. I don’t know how to solve this problem. Perhaps all ivory must be banned to stop this. Destroying all ivory – even the stuff that was collected centuries or millennia ago might be the way to go. There are petitions to sign here and here and here. If these don’t work, only in a handful of years the elephant might be extinct.

Well we might have gotten the splices we need and artificial wombs just might be good enough in a few years. Then perhaps we can make our woolly mammoths bring back elephants. But there are unknowns or just things that remain unthought of.

Baby elephants eat their mother’s scat. Mother elephant has gut flora that helps break down what she eats. The only way for these animals in the wild to transfer this gut flora is through the mother’s scat. It may sound horrible but this is the only way that baby elephants can live and grow to adulthood.

We may have to get the gut flora for a woolly mammoth from the Indian elephant. There might be other reasons to need elephants in order to bring back woolly mammoths, too.

So if you ever wanted to see a woolly mammoth, save the elephant and sign one of the petitions that exist to ban ivory sales. After all how else are we supposed to have Ice Age Park go amok? That is the dream.

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