mytopleft

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year, Eff You nation

I realize it is not yet midnight where I am, but there is no guarantee I'll make it that far. On the other hand, it is already Jan. 1 in many other parts of Eff You nation.  Plus, it is nowhere near midnight in many parts of Eff You's readership, and there's no damn way I'm waiting up for midnight in Tahiti or wherever the hell the last country is before the International Dateline. By the way, Tahiti, you've never come by. Get on the stick. But I digress. I believe I was wishing all of you a Happy New Year.


Black-eyed peas tomorrow! Happy New Year! Thanks for coming by, and keep it up.

I'm happy to say, Tara Reid seems to have recovered from her plastic surgery disasters

I'm just blogging in the interests of modern medicine here, mind you. Nothing prurient at all about this. However, on a recent trip to Hawaii, Tara Reid was showing no ill effects of some of the cosmetic surgery failures some claim she has suffered in the past:


I suppose I could withhold judgment pending a closer examination. However, another, more recent picture from her vacation in Tulum* (wherever the fuck that is) seems to support my conclusion:


Look, it's not like I'm trolling for viewers with pictures of Tara Reid with practically no clothes on. You know I don't do naked pictures of hot celebrities. That would be wrong.

*Tulum, by the way, apparently is on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico and is the site of some pretty cool Mayan ruins, plus some tony resort beaches where you can see celebrities like Tara Reid, who looks pretty damn good for 39, cosmetic surgery or not, practically naked. I'm just sayin'.

Strange traffic patterns

Traffic this month is on pace to be the 4th or 5th best month in Eff You history, but the forces driving it are a little strange. The U.S., Russia and China are to be expected -- they're always searching for porn, and I use the right words a lot -- but two big visitors this month puzzle me: France and the Czech Republic. Both are way, way above what you would expect from countries where I don't know anyone. Go figure, right?

Get ready for spring cleaning, too

Yeah, I'm getting pretty fucking commercial here, because Amazon thinks I'm a shitty associate who doesn't pump their stuff enough. So use the widget or this banner to get your stuff for winter and spring cleaning:


Just do it, OK?

Don't forget to get your New Year's deals here

Remember, if you shop Amazon through the widget to the right, Eff You gets a little cash and it costs you nothing. So check out these tech gear deals:


Shop Amazon - Tech Accessories Year-End Deals

Don't thank me, just shop through the Eff You widget. Thanks, and Happy New Year!

Still time to get your New Year's black-eyed peas started!

As everyone from the right part of the world knows -- the American South, y'all -- eating black-eyed peas on New Year's Day is not only a tradition, it is good luck for the coming year. You can also prepare collards or other greens if you like, but the beeps are what is important. (Black-eyed peas, b-p's, beeps. Are you following, here? Good.)

You just need to put a pound of beeps in a soup pot and cover them with water. (Check later to make sure they stay covered, as they will absorb the water.) You'll cook them tomorrow:


I hope you all enjoy your New Year's Eve. Don't get in too much trouble, unless you feel you must.

OK, fine, I've got some random food porn for you

While the New Year's black-eyed peas are soaking (won't be cooked until tomorrow, to be eaten New Year's Day), I went ahead and made some more boiled peanuts, on account of the last batch was so good. Since we moved up north, I usually only fix these as game food, but the Packers are on the bye this week, and I won't likely fix game food to see inferior teams, so I figured I would end the old year right and give the new year a kick start. Lucky for Eff You nation, I have documented the process. You will, of course, start with raw peanuts, which should be available at all of your better grocery stores:


You will put these in a large soup pot and cover them with water:


This might prove more difficult than you might think. As you can see, they float. Do not be alarmed. Just make sure they are all off the bottom of the pan.


Next, pour in a bunch -- and I mean a bunch -- of salt:


Bring those suckers to a high boil:


Once a high boil is achieved -- this has nothing to do with the substances you might be ingesting during the process -- turn down the heat to low medium (or high low -- I don't know, call it 3 or 4 on a scale of 10) and let that shit roll, covered. You should periodically check the pot to stir and make sure there is enough water, adding as necessary, because this will go on for at least 4 hours and more likely 6:


Because I did not take a picture of this finished batch, and because you can't tell one batch of boiled peanuts from another, here is a picture of what you can look forward to using the photo from Sunday's game food:


Eat them just like you would roasted peanuts, splitting them along the seam. Except with more paper towels. They can be drippy. Enjoy.

Monday, December 29, 2014

You're damn right the man of the year is a Marine

In 2011, former Marine Sgt. Dakota Meyer was awarded the Medal of Honor* for his actions in Afghanistan. That's isn't why he's the Washington Free Beacon's Man of the Year, but we'll get to that. First, it is important to know what kind of a badass Myer is. His Medal of Honor citation reads thusly:
Corporal Meyer maintained security at a patrol rally point while other members of his team moved on foot with two platoons of Afghan National Army and Border Police into the village of Ganjgal for a pre-dawn meeting with village elders. Moving into the village, the patrol was ambushed by more than 50 enemy fighters firing rocket propelled grenades, mortars, and machine guns from houses and fortified positions on the slopes above. Hearing over the radio that four U.S. team members were cut off, Corporal Meyer seized the initiative. With a fellow Marine driving, Corporal Meyer took the exposed gunner's position in a gun-truck as they drove down the steeply terraced terrain in a daring attempt to disrupt the enemy attack and locate the trapped U.S. team. Disregarding intense enemy fire now concentrated on their lone vehicle, Corporal Meyer killed a number of enemy fighters with the mounted machine guns and his rifle, some at near point blank range, as he and his driver made three solo trips into the ambush area. During the first two trips, he and his driver evacuated two dozen Afghan soldiers, many of whom were wounded. When one machine gun became inoperable, he directed a return to the rally point to switch to another gun-truck for a third trip into the ambush area where his accurate fire directly supported the remaining U.S. personnel and Afghan soldiers fighting their way out of the ambush. Despite a shrapnel wound to his arm, Corporal Meyer made two more trips into the ambush area in a third gun-truck accompanied by four other Afghan vehicles to recover more wounded Afghan soldiers and search for the missing U.S. team members. Still under heavy enemy fire, he dismounted the vehicle on the fifth trip and moved on foot to locate and recover the bodies of his team members. Corporal Meyer's daring initiative and bold fighting spirit throughout the 6-hour battle significantly disrupted the enemy's attack and inspired the members of the combined force to fight on. His unwavering courage and steadfast devotion to his U.S. and Afghan comrades in the face of almost certain death reflected great credit upon himself and upheld the highest traditions of the Marine Corps and the United States Naval Service.
No, bad-ass as all that might be, Meyer is the Man of the Year for this:
Recently Meyer has spent his time trolling Islamic State fighters after reports surfaced that the Islamic terrorists may be targeting U.S. military members through social media.
“I’m just tired of us as Americans living in fear,” he told Jeff Schogol. “I want people to know: Stand up to this; stand up to these people.”
“I don’t want to put anybody else in harm. They can come after me.”
You've got to like a guy who invites a bunch of chesty terrorists to go ahead and come on by. Following a warning from the FBI to former service members to delete references to their military background from social media accounts to avoid being targeted by the terrorist group ISIS, Meyer took the opposite approach.  He sent out a message on Twitter inviting the members of ISIS to "drop by and join my book club." God love him.

* The Medal of Honor is frequently erroneously referred to as the "Congressional Medal of Honor." The medal, while awarded with the approval of Congress (much like promotions to the rank of general officer require approval by Congress -- it is pro forma, and they never get rejected), is simply the Medal of Honor. No "Congressional."

Speelunking kit-tay

Yeah, I know, more kit-tay photos. Blame Mrs. Wolves. This isn't a kit-tay blog, after all, except when it is. Anyway, we have this rolled-up carpet in one of the back bedrooms. The kit-tays have discovered it and are treating it as a playground. Maybe they think they're speelunkers, exploring a cave. I don't knwo what cats think. In this series of photos, one of the kit-tays is already in the rolled carpet -- it could be Mayhem, but it could be Murder, I don't know) down at the bottom, daring her sister to come down and do battle, or some such shit. I don't know what cats think. But here we have Murder (or it could be Mayhem) contemplating life atop the rolled carpet:


She knows that Mayhem (or it could be Murder, I don't know) is down there, and she figures she probably should go down and do battle, or some such shit. I still don't know what cats think:


So for whatever reason, Murder (or it could be Mayhem, I don't know) decides to take the plunge and go do battle with her sister, or whatever the hell it is they plan to do down there. I don't know what cats think:


Whatever it was they did down there, Murder (or it could be Mayhem, I don't know) came back out of the carpet, honor apparently satisfied:


I swear, I'm done with kit-tay photos. This isn't a cat blog, after all. Except when I say it is.

You can't escape Kit-tay Claus

You know that jolly old elf, Santa Claus? He sees you when you're sleeping, he knows when you're awake, he knows who's been bad and good? Presents for the nice, coal for the naughty, all that stuff? Yeah, he's got nothing on Kit-tay Claus. Or maybe that should be spelled "Claws:"


I don't think any naughty people got any of those presents. She looks pretty fierce.

The kit-tays that snuggle together . . .

. . . um, snuggle together. Mrs. Wolves has been inundating me with kit-tay photos lately, on account of she worships the little feline devils. So, anyway, the top of my usual chair is, of course, a perch of preference for Mayhem. Sometimes, though, Murder joins her, giving us terminal cuteness, like this:


And, other times, like this:

Yeah, they're really cute and all, but how the hell am I supposed to sit in that chair? Serious you guys!

Shitty-golfer-in-chief to wedding couple: move

Sure, they are only going to marry each other once (one hopes), and he's played hundreds of rounds of golf, but Emperor Barry I told a couple in Hawaii to move their wedding. On 24 hours' notice:
President Obama’s golf game Sunday forced U.S. Army captains Natalie Heimel and Edward Mallue Jr. to relocate their wedding ceremony.
The lovebirds were set to wed Sunday at the Kaneohe Klipper Golf Course, located on Marine Corps Base Hawaii, until they learned Obama had his eye on the same course and they would need to find a new spot for their nuptials.
“In less than 24 hours they had to change everything they had planned,” the groom’s sister told Bloomberg News.
Instead, they held the ceremony on green lawn on the base that offered views of the Pacific coastline.
Does anyone at the White House think this is good PR? Nothing like showing some concern for the little people. Let them eat cake.

And hey, I'm not the one who say's he's a shitty golfer. Michael Jordan is.



Win-the-damn-division game food porn

Yeah, there were a few tense moments when Aaron Rodgers went down hurt, and again when that asshole Ncan'tspellmyfirstname Suh stomped on Rodgers' injured calf, but we put the Lions in their place and ensured that they will have to try again next year to win in Wisconsin for the first time since 1991. I would feel sorry for them, but Lions fans are used to disappointment. Anyway, we won, they lost, we got the division title (for the fourth straight time), the first-round bye and the game food was pretty good.

It was dinner-ish game food, although maybe a little veggie-light. We started with apples and caramel dip, the new favorite of Marrying into Wolves:


I also boiled some peanuts for a true Southern delicacy. For those of you who have never tried them (or made them), I promise to do a step-by-step later in the playoffs. For now, this:


By the way, along with the autographed Aaron Rodgers photo, Cpl. Wolves gave me a new Packers apron he assumed was too damn gay for me to wear. He was wrong:


Naturally, we had stuffed potato skins:


We did baked beans (not made-from-scratch this time):


Because they go so well with hot dogs:


And because they also go so well with ribs:


So, yeah, the only green vegetable was the relish on the hot dogs and the green onions on the skins. Live with it, and revel in the pork products. Game food will be on hiatus next week while we enjoy the bye and hope Aaron is a quick healer.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Only two to go

In the last couple nights we have watched "Die Hard" and "Lethal Weapon." Still to go -- "A Christmas Story" and "It's a Wonderful Life." Feel like we'll get through that by New Year's, no problem. Mighta coulda done it last night, but I watched "Zombieland" instead.  Hey, a man's gotta make his stands.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Some people are just really good at Christmas

Cpl. Wolves is perhaps the best gift-giver ever. He consistently gives gifts that are not what you expected but are exactly what you wanted. Every damn time. It's embarrassing. Anyway, this year he gave me this:


It is, of course, a framed picture of Aaron Rodgers during Super Bowl XLV, which, yeah, we won, and Rodgers was the MVP. So far, great. More? Yeah:



It is autographed. I cried like a baby. Kind of like I did when we won Super Bowl XLV. So, yeah, it's already on the wall. And no, it is not crooked. That's just how the picture looks.


God, I love that kid.

Pelosi and ethics: words you don't expect to hear in the same sentence and really shouldn't here

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Cal.) apparently is insisting that Speaker of the House John Boehner (R-Ohio) must somehow force the resignation of a Republican representative convicted of tax evasion. Naturally, Nancy sees no irony here at all, or even any hypocrisy. Unfortunately for Nancy, her hypocrisy is not invisible to Republicans:
Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said Tuesday that his office won’t comment on the matter “until the Speaker discusses the matter with Mr. Grimm."
But a senior GOP aide pointed out that Pelosi didn't call for the resignations of several House Democrats who found themselves ensnared in ethical controversies.
“After standing behind Reps. Bill Jefferson, Charlie Rangel, Jack Murtha, and many others, Rep. Pelosi has zero credibility of these issues,” the aide said.
Charlie Rangel (D-NY) was never prosecuted, for reasons that escape me, but was censured by the House for his ethics violations, including tax evasion. Pelosi never called for his expulsion, nor did she support his censure. Worse, with Jack Murtha, (D-Pa.), she backed his candidacy for a major leadership position despite his being ethically, um compromised:
House Speaker-designate Nancy Pelosi's endorsement of Rep. John P. Murtha's bid for House majority leader set off a furor yesterday on Capitol Hill, with critics charging that she is undercutting her pledge to clean up corruption by backing a veteran lawmaker who they say has repeatedly skirted ethical boundaries.
Pelosi (D-Calif.) directly intervened in the heated contest between Murtha (D-Pa.) and House Minority Whip Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) on Sunday by circulating a letter to Democratic lawmakers. The letter voiced her support for Murtha and put her prestige on the line in a closely fought leadership battle. Some Democratic lawmakers and watchdog groups say they are baffled that Pelosi would go out of her way to back Murtha's candidacy after pledging to make the new 110th Congress the most ethical and corruption-free in history.
Murtha, a longtime senior Democrat on the House Appropriations Committee, has battled accusations over the years that he has traded federal spending for campaign contributions, that he has abused his post as ranking party member on the Appropriations defense subcommittee, and that he has stood in the way of ethics investigations. Those charges come on top of Murtha's involvement 26 years ago in the FBI's Abscam bribery sting.
Murtha was scum, but looked like a choir boy compared top "Dollar Bill" Jefferson, who took $90,000 in bribe money from an undercover FBI agent (and who knows how much in actual bribes) and stashed it in his refrigerator:
WASHINGTON — Former Representative William J. Jefferson was convicted Wednesday afternoon of using his office to try to enrich himself and relatives through a web of bribes and payoffs involving business ventures in Africa.
A federal court jury in Alexandria, Va., deliberated for five days before finding Mr. Jefferson, 62, a New Orleans Democrat who served in Congress for 18 years until being defeated in 2008, guilty of 11 of 16 counts of bribery, racketeering and money laundering. He was acquitted of obstruction of justice and violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, which makes it illegal to bribe foreign government officials.
Funny how Nancy Pelosi had no problem with any of these scumbags staying in office. Should Grimm go? Yes. Should anything Nancy Pelosi says about it have any impact? No. She is at least as sleazy as the Democrats she refused to move against. If Grimm were a Democrat, he'd probably be in line for minority whip under Pelosi. Pelosi's ethics are purely situational, which is a fancy way of saying non-existent.

Already working on tomorrow's game food porn

Let's just say that ribs will be involved. Right now I'm about to go put up some shades, but after that I will be boiling some peanuts and starting some ribs down the long road to edibility. Delectable, fall-off-the-bone edibility. It's a long process, y'all.

Friday, December 26, 2014

A very Wolves Christmas

There were multiple presents all around, just like most households. The difference, of course, is I have the cutest Wolves couple ever at my Christmas. Cpl. Wolves and Marrying Into Wolves got into the spirit:


No, he's not asleep -- look at Marrying Into Wolves -- he just said something funny:


Mrs. Wolves realized a long-time dream when Santa brought her an ocean kayak. She can hardly wait for spring.


I hope everyone had a good Christmas I know a lot of people are still struggling financially, but I hope everyone was able to find the spirit of the day and have a good Christmas regardless of their circumstances.

This is how kit-tays spend Christmas

First, they spent some time chilling out. Murder (or Mayhem, I can't fucking tell) cuddled up against Mrs. Wolves behind:


 Meanwhile, Mayhem (or Murder, I can't fucking tell) curled up on the top of my chair, which of course makes it pretty much impossible for me to sit there. But she was comfortable, so there's that:


Once nap time was over, it was time to lie in the sun. And then fight:



And fight:



And fight:


And that's Christmas for a kit-tay. Aren't you glad you asked?

I got all the Christmas food porn you can handle

I promised you Christmas food porn, and I am delivering -- sort of. The recipe for a green bean casserole that I used -- and documented with photos because it was a first-timer -- sucked, so I won't be posting the photos and instructions. Also, I got a little caught up and missed a few end-time photos on the tenderloin. Having given those mea culpas, we will now continue.

The centerpiece of any dinner, especially Christmas, is the main entree. In this case, it was a slab of tenderloin, seasoned according to the recipe of an old friend of my late mother-in-law's. The friend was a caterer who gave me only after I swore myself to secrecy to protect her proprietary information. Since she has since passed, I feel like I can now share the recipe. So here it is.

You will start with a 3-pound (or so) piece of tenderloin, which you will lay out on a large piece of aluminum foil:


You will be rubbing this sucker with a tablespoon of thyme, so you should probably get some time and grind it, so it rubs better:


Take the thyme, rub it all over the tenderloin :


Now, mix a teaspoon of white pepper, 1 tablespoon of seasoned salt, a teaspoon of garlic salt, 1/4 teaspoon of oregano and a teaspoon of salt:


Pour the seasoning evenly over the tenderloin:


Roll the tenderloin around on the foil to pick up all the seasoning, and rub it around on the tenderloin to spread it evenly. And for God's sake, remember, it's a tenderloin. Don't get too excited. Just make sure the seasoning is thoroughly distributed:


Yeah, that's a Diet Coke can. It was 9 am on Christmas Eve. Even I can't start drinking beer that early. Anyway, wrap that sucker in the aluminum foil:


Refrigerate that thing until it's time to cook it on Christmas Day.

Is it time? Cool. Take the meat out of the refrigerator 2 hours before you plan to put it in the oven . Put the beef in a roasting pan, sprinkle it with a teaspoon of salt, add 1/4 cup of of worcestershire sauce and 1 cup of water to the pan/ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, cook it for about 35 minutes for rare to medium rare. Depending upon the thickness of your tenderloin, it likely will take longer. Yes, I missed the photos of this part of the cooking, but I was up to my ears in people and other food prep. So sue me. Anyway, the meat eventually looks like this:


We also had mashed potatoes (no photo), a sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole and corn pudding:


I baked some bread that turned out pretty good:


And here's a plate with a sampling:


Anyway, it was great. Come New Year's, we'll have the black-eyed peas, so there's that to look forward to. Try the tenderloin for you next special occasion. Not a cheap piece of meat, but well worth it. Bon appetit, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.



Boxing Day haiku

Having been shut down for next week, I am desperately trying to locate work so that I can either jump to the new job for good, or at least make some money next week. The results? Haiku time:

Unearthly silence
Greets my efforts to search for
Gainful employment.

Here's hoping for a Happy New Year.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

Some more Christmas music for you

The Waitresses probably are best known in this country for the theme song to the very short-lived TV sitcom "Square Pegs,"  although the early '80s college crowd should remember "I Know What Boys Like." Great stuff, both. Here's their take on Christmas, heard less often in this country -- the band was from Akron, but this song charted in the UK, not the U.S. -- but worth a listen:



Merry Christmas.

Bing and Bowie, bustin' it

They only did one duet, and it actually seems less strange that Bing Crosby only did one duet with David Bowie than it does that Bing Crosby did a duet with David Bowie. Unlikely as the pairing might be, it worked really well. I remember seeing this the first time, and had not seen it since, until now. Hat tip to Ace for that.



Please forgive David Bowie's haircut. It was the '70s.

Have a very Ramones Christmas

Nothing says Christmas like the Ramones, right? The only surviving Ramones might be drummers and later bass players, but we still have the music. Like this:


And from Joey:


Ho, ho, ho, y'all.

Merry Christmas, y'all

I hope all of you have a merry Christmas and a happy New Year. I don't care if you celebrate Christmas. I hope the day brings you joy, as every day should. I likewise hope the coming new year is good to you. God bless all of you, and keep coming back.


Wednesday, December 24, 2014

One down, four to go

We just watched "Miracle on 34th Street," the 1947 version, not those later, evil remakes. It once again proved why it is on the Five Essential Christmas Movies list. For those who doubt:


Merry Christmas, y'all.

Yes, I have Christmas food porn coming

We have a big family meal coming up tomorrow night, including a recipe I have not previously shared. There was some debate about putting this recipe on the blog, as the woman who gave it to me, a caterer who was a friend of my late mother-in-law, swore me to secrecy. On the other hand, that was to protect her business, and she is now deceased, so at the risk of sounding insensitive (has anyone reading this blog regularly gained the sense that I care about sounding insensitive?) I will be posting food porn tomorrow about that recipe and the rest of the Christmas meal. In the meantime, watch one of the Five Essential Christmas Movies, and we'll talk tomorrow.

Linus knew what was going on

All of you please remember why we celebrate tomorrow as a time of giving, joy and love. Sometimes it takes a cartoon to remind us what is really true:



Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

OK, that hurt

So, at about 2 pm Tuesday (yesterday), we all got an email that Christmas Eve would be normal hours for the project -- 8 am to 7 pm. At about 4:30 pm, we got this:
All-
The client has asked that Project Star shut down until Monday, January 5, 2015. We will operate until 7pm this evening and then be on extended break until the 5th. There is no work tomorrow, Wednesday, Dec. 24, and all of next week.
I regret bringing this news to you and I apologize for any inconvenience this causes you. It is my sincere hope that this time will play a positive role in your lives and in the lives of your loved ones as time spent together during a special time of the year.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out with any questions or concerns, and thank you for the time and hard work you have put in on this project.
Warm regards and best wishes for the new year.
The person sending the email works for the agency and had nothing to do with this sudden decision to shove large and thorny objects into orifices that were never meant to take incoming traffic. Naturally, this hiatus raises serious questions about whether there will actually be a project on the Monday after New Year's. That certainly is not the way to bet, so anyone who can find a new project, will. Yeah, I've applied for three already. This is not a great time of year to get a new project, so none of the ones I applied for start before Jan. 5, when this project supposedly resumes, but I am trying to keep my options open. I would really like to tell these folks to fuck off.

I've talked before about how firms and clients have absolutely no concern about temps and treat us like completely fungible goods -- widgets. This move stands as absolute proof of that. Yes, they are totally within their rights as at-will employers to put us on hiatus. They are completely within their rights to simply fire us without warning. But to put us on hiatus over the holidays -- a time when we already were expecting reduced hours and were worried about making the January mortgage -- without warning and in contradiction of earlier announcements is simply unacceptable, within their rights or not. Further, because we haven't actually been fired, no one can apply for unemployment benefits to mitigate the fucking we just endured. They have no reason to expect any of us to be their when they "restart" the project.

Unfortunately, because it is a shitty time of year to find work, some people will be there Jan. 5 if the project resumes. Naturally, there were projects available last week, but none of us applied for those, because we felt secure. I always adhere to Rule No. 3 -- every project ends tomorrow -- so I left with the same things I came to work with, as every day I bring nothing I care if I ever see again if it gets left behind. Many people leaving yesterday looked like sherpas on an Everest expedition, toting their shit home. I also saved some postings for jobs from last week, so I applied to all of those yesterday. We'll see how that works out. Maybe I'll just sit home next week, maybe this project really will start up again on Jan. 5.

And maybe I'll have a new gig starting Jan. 5 so I can tell these guys to suck it. I'm rooting for door no. 3. As it stands -- merry fucking Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Hey, time for some haikus

I mean, why not? It hardly counts as blogging behind enemy lines if the enemy lets you do whatever you want. But never forget Rule No. 4. Nothing good lasts forever, especially in Temp Town. So, without further ado:

Christmas coming soon.
Workplace extremely cheerless,
So let's watch Die Hard.

Still no work for us
But we still have overtime
So that's pretty cool.

Swordfish looking good
Like healthy competitor
Or swimming zombie.

I guess we'll be back
doing squat again next week
Merry Christmas, y'all.

Sony grows a pair; Cuba proves how little we got from them

In updated news on caving in to tyrannical communist regimes (private sector edition), it appears that Sony will be releasing "The Interview" on Christmas Day, after all:
Sony Pictures is set to release the canceled Seth Rogen-James Franco comedy “The Interview” in theaters and on video on demand, TheWrap has learned.
The plan is to release the film simultaneously in participating theaters and via video on demand. The Plaza Theater in Atlanta, the MX Theaters in St. Louis and the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in Austin have now said they will distribute the film. The MX said it would be selling tickets as of 2 p.m Tuesday.
The release will likely be in the 200-theater range; exhibitors typically cap the rollout of films that offer day-and-date VOD at around 300 sites, because it usually cuts attendance significantly.
Looks like most of the theaters willing to show the movie are the ones that had planned to show "Team America: World Police" in its stead before Paramount went full jelly-spine and wouldn't give permission. So, instead of an old movie mocking the North Korean regime, we get a new one instead. Super! Let's hope that if the Norks try something, someone competent at a level below the Secretary of Homeland Security is on it, since Homeland Security is run by a political hack with no background in actual national security, who replaced another political hack with no background in actual national security. Maybe state and local authorities.

So, props to Sony for going ahead with the release. And fuck all those distributors who told Sony they wouldn't put the movie in their theaters, forcing Sony to temporarily cancel release plans.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, Emperor Barry's "historic" rapprochement with Cuba is already going about as well as I thought it would. Did I not say that Cuba gave us nothing and we gave Cuba the store? Gosh, seems like just a few days ago, and already Cuba has proved me right:
Cuba said Monday that it has a right to grant asylum to U.S. fugitives, the clearest sign yet that the communist government has no intention of extraditing America's most-wanted woman despite the warming of bilateral ties.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie has urged President Barack Obama to demand the return of fugitive Joanne Chesimard before restoring full relations under a historic detente announced by Obama and Cuban President Raul Castro last week.
Chesimard was granted asylum by Fidel Castro after she escaped from the prison where she was serving a sentence for killing a New Jersey state trooper in 1973 during a gunbattle after being stopped on the New Jersey Turnpike.
This is the kind of Eff You you get when you give tyrants something in exchange for nothing.

We got Czechs all over the place here

Interesting phenomenon on the traffic front. The Czech Republic came by recently, and I check to see if it was a first-time visit. It was not; the Czech Republic had been by once before, but a blog I like is by a guy here so I felt like I should give a proper welcome to the Czech Republic, which famously got short shrift the first time around.* I decided to give the Czech Republic the travelogue treatment.

Before I got to it, I got inundated with visitors from the Czech Republic, "inundated" being a relative term, of course. For a couple days, they trailed only the U.S. in numbers of visitors. Anyway, given the love the Czechs have been showing Eff You, I figured I better get off the dime and reciprocate. So, just in time for Christmas, I bring you the Czech Republic, Eff You style:
The Czech Republic . . . is a landlocked country in Central Europe bordered by Germany to the northwest and west, Austria to the south, Slovakia to the east and Poland to the northeast. Prague, the capital, is the largest city, with 1.3 million residents. The Czech Republic includes the historical territories of Bohemia and Moravia, and Czech Silesia.
After a few tumultuous centuries that included basically starting The 30 Years War and stints under the Habsburg, Austrian and Austro-Hungarian empires, the Czech Republic emerged from World War I as Czechoslovakia, an entity that survived until 1993. Czechoslovakia was occupied by Germany during World War II. The Sudetenland, the border regions of Czechoslovakia around the western half of the country occupied largely by German-speaking people, actually got occupied in 1938, when Neville Chamberlain and the other European powers achieved "peace in our time" about a year before that claim got blowed up. But I digress.

U.S. Gen. George Patton's 3rd Army liberated part of Czechoslovakia, but the Soviets liberated most of it and rigged the 1946 election so that the Communist Party won. Unhappy with the results -- Czechoslovakia still was holding actual elections, after all -- the Soviets backed a coup in 1948 that left Czechoslovakia a single-party state run by the Soviets and their puppets.

The Czech people were not digging it, so they revolted in 1968, known as the Prague Spring. The Czechs were doing a pretty good job of instituting reforms that inevitably would have weakened Communist control, so the Soviet Union invaded and put a stop to that crap. More than 20 years later, in 1989, came the Velvet Revolution, a peaceful movement that shook off Communism as the Soviet Union slid toward collapse. In 1993, Slovakia and the Czech Republic split into separate nations. The Czech Republic has developed into one of Europe's better economies since then and is a member of NATO and the European Union.

The Czech Republic is a multi-party parliamentary representative democracy. The Prime Minister is the head of government, which includes a two-house Parliament consisting of the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The president, formerly chosen by Parliament, now is directly elected by the people. The president is the formal head of state, but has limited, specific powers with respect to the government.

The CR has a varied geography, with significant mountainous areas as well as rolling hills and several major rivers, including the Elbe River, Oder River and the Vltava River, which flows through Prague, the capital and largest city. Prague is pretty:


The CR is doing much better economically than most of the other former Soviet satellite states. It has not adopted the Euro yet (don't do it, guys!) and is doing quite well without it:
The Czech Republic possesses a developed,[51] high-income[52] economy with a per capita GDP rate that is 81% of the European Union average.[53] One of the most stable and prosperous of the post-Communist states, the Czech Republic saw growth of over 6% annually in the three years before the outbreak of the recent global economic crisis. Growth has been led by exports to the European Union, especially Germany, and foreign investment, while domestic demand is reviving.
Oh, yeah -- the Czech Embassy in D.C. is kind of nice, too:


So there you have it. Hope all of our Czech Republic visitors keep coming back. Welcome to Eff You (the proper response, I believe, is "Eff You, too!").

*That might be the first time I ever included three links in one sentence.