Sugar Maple Burl Tree

Last week over at Cullen’s he posted a post about some of the gorgeous wood that guitars are made out of, and, as we all know, Cullen is all about the guitar. In the comments I mentioned that I had a sugar maple in my yard that was darn-near all burl, and he asked for a picture, so take a peek below the fold…

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God Bless Us, Every One

And I think he already has, far more than we deserve. From the most wonderful brothers in the world and their incredible families, to such warm, marvelous friends as we’ve made here. From your daily comments and emails, to your generous, incredible support for the Marines of VMU-1 Forward’s S-2 shop, we have been honored and just plain tickled to death to be associated with each and every one of you. Be safe, happy and well, whatever you call this week.

Thank you all so much. With all our hearts.
ths, major dad, Ebola and BooBoo

Christmas Compassion Challenge

I failed. The woman’s an idiot.
Hopefully some of you will fare better.

I Feel Happy!

And, apparently, so do a lot of other people.

NEW YORK (Reuters) – U.S. consumer sentiment ended stronger in December and better than analysts’ expectations, bolstered by falling energy prices, a report showed on Friday.
The University of Michigan’s final December index of consumer sentiment rose to 91.5 from November’s final reading of 81.6, and a preliminary reading of 85.5 in early December, according to sources who saw the subscription-only report

Manly Men Arise!

This is an outrage!

JACKSON, Missouri (AP) — Nathan Warmack wanted to honor his heritage by wearing a Scottish kilt to his high school dance. Then a principal told him to change into a pair of pants.

Where are his fishnets?
Update: Alright, I’m a moron. THS posted the same story yesterday. I can only plead that the picture of me she used distracted me from actually clicking through on the link she, er, linked.
And the 3 Bourbon Manhattans I had for lunch yesterday may have played some small part in it as well.

Some People’s Names Just Keep Turning Up

…like bad pennies. Geesh.

ROME – A U.S. soldier is being investigated for his alleged role in the March killing in Baghdad of an Italian secret service agent, who had just secured the release of a journalist held hostage, a prosecutor and news reports said Thursday.
Rome prosecutors are investigating the March 4 death of Nicola Calipari, who was killed by U.S. gunfire near a checkpoint as he headed to the Baghdad airport with Italian journalist Giuliana Sgrena, who was held hostage by militants for a month.
…According to Apcom, prosecutors also are considering attempted murder charges concerning the other two people in the car: Sgrena and a second secret service agent, who was driving. Both were wounded.

Enough already.

Pictures from Mordor….

the CAG just missed Sauron last Wed…
(Dial-up warning: Big pics ahead, open at own risk!)
Update: My lovely, stunning bride the CAG has told me that these were taken at sunrise, for those wondering.

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Hoot, Mon!! Don’t Let the Bastarrrrrds

…get ya doon. They may take yairrrr kilt, but they ken nivverrrr take yairrrr Frrrrreedom!!

Student asked to change out of kilt seeks dress code change

Ah carrrrse, we’d be inna fairrrr mind grrrratefool if summum’d strrrrip the same cloth frrrae Bingley’s pasty arrrrse and coovairrrr it up decent like, so wee bairrrrns don hafta coovairrrr theirrrr eyes wan he strrroots bye, as he’s wont ta dooo.


May the tree you hug, love you back. Isn’t that special? For everyone but Mr. TV Personality Kraut, that is.

Shouting “STOP! U.S. Marines!!”

…while daunting to the suspect, is still preferable to doing it this way.

A suspected mugger being chased by security guards met a grisly end when he fled into a South African zoo and climbed into the tiger enclosure.

Life Imitates The Simpsons

3 eyes, 2 mouths


Call Me Cranky But

I sort of have a problem with this story opening. The folks in it survived a God awful, harrowing Katrina night and have lost everything. My heart goes out to them; truly it does. But the set-up paragraph is just so jaw dropping a snap-shot of everything wrong with an ingrained welfare system, that it took reading it three or four times to get past it. See if you read it the way I (we) did. Tell me if I’m wrong.

Lisa Moore, 37, says that she was in church with her husband, Larry Morgan, and never heard the mayor’s warning. “We didn’t think it was going to be that bad,” she says. Besides, they had no place to go. “New Orleans is our home, our culture,” says Lisa. “It’s everything.” Larry and Lisa, who have been together since she was 18, have 10 children, ages 2 to 18. Before Katrina, they “had a good life with beaucoup stuff,” says Lisa. There was the widescreen TV, their favorite spicy foods (red beans and rice) and federally subsidized rent (only $280 a month) for their large, yellow four-bedroom house. On most Sundays, Larry donned a white suit and top hat and waved feathered fans as a member of a “second-line club” that marches in jazz funerals (the “main line” is the grieving family; in the “second line” come the friends and revelers). Larry, who could make $2,500 a month as a roofer, could make hundreds more marching behind coffins. Even though Lisa and her family lived in the city’s most impoverished neighborhood, they never felt poor in New Orleans. “That’s why they called it the Big Easy,” says Lisa.

They never felt ‘poor’ in New Orleans? Maybe because they weren’t.

I Wish I Knew What Channels

she was watching. I could have avoided the Mother Sheehan lovefest I was subjected to night after night.

But the peace movement in the U.S. remains small. Why?
One thing that has prevented the peace movement in America is the media. I spoke with 5,000 people in North Carolina on March 19, 2005, and the press called the protest “insignificant.” They covered the Terri Schiavo case instead.
You feel like you were mistreated by the press?
They got hold of everything I’ve ever said and scrutinized it so carefully. They never scrutinized what Bush said. No one said, “Why did you lie to the American people and say there was WMD?” The press found an easy target in Iraq, and they found an easy target in me



You know, everytime that I start to think that maybe certain religious folks have too big a say in some aspects of the government some story like this comes along:

Work on the world’s first human-made species is well under way at a research complex in Rockville, Md., and scientists in Canada have been quietly conducting experiments to help bring such a creature to life…
…Government and scientific bodies in the U.S. have investigated safeguards for the new technology, given its potential to yield new pathogens as weapons of bioterror. Ethicists have raised concerns about humans altering the “nature of nature.”
But proponents feel the many benefits of redesigning micro-organisms to do human bidding far outweigh the risks…
…”I grew up doing that with cars and clocks and radios and things like that,” Dr. Venter said. “You take them apart to understand them and then you try and see if you can reassemble them.”

Holy sweet mother of (insert deity name here) does that scientist’s attitude scare the bejeebus out of me. Life. It’s just a game for some, I guess.

Twins Separated At Birth?

Of course, they might have been triplets…

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A Christmas Roast Beast Primer

By virtue of long standing tradition, Casa de Major Dad always has Prime Rib for Christmas dinner, one of three Alien movies on the tube and a glass of the Macallan never far from hand (stinky cigars, too, if Bingley’s in town). I thought I’d give you all a recipe heads up, as we’ll be blogging this, but it’ll be too late if you wanted to cook along. The basic recipe began as Marfa Stewart’s (hence very fussy), but has been jazzed up and thoroughly ths’ified. We loves it and thought you might, too.

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Torture Expands!

First it was menstrating blondes tormenting allegedly suspected militants in Cuba. Now comes horrific news of single Israeli girls tormenting dead rabbis:

HUNDREDS of young Israeli women hoping to find themselves a husband have been placing their underwear on the tomb of a venerated rabbi in the hopes that their marriage prayers will be answered.

When will the neo-con nightmare end?

On This Day in 1621

…the Pilgrims…
…posed for this picture.

After a 65-day journey, the Pilgrims sighted Cape Cod on November 19. Unable to reach the land they had contracted for, they anchored (November 21) at the site of Provincetown. Because they had no legal right to settle in the region, they drew up the Mayflower Compact, creating their own government. The settlers soon discovered Plymouth Harbor, on the western side of Cape Cod Bay and made their historic landing on December 21; the main body of settlers followed on December 26. The term Pilgrim was first used by William Bradford to describe the Leiden Separatists who were leaving Holland.

Big ‘First’ For Me This Mornin’

Woo-HOO!! Major Dad finally took me to breakfast at da Waf-fell House. Yummy. Excellent coffee.

Johnny Damon A Yankee



Germany paroles terrorist after 19-year term
Hamadi was jailed for hijacking TWA jet, killing a U.S. Navy diver

If he’d killed a couple gutterally languaged tourists named Hans and Frieda, it would have been a different story. And he’s left Germany ~ what a surprise. Any guesses where the bus ticket’s to? Danke schön, unsere Freunden.
UPDATE: Watching FoxNews at this moment and there’s speculation the Germans released this murderer as a quid-pro-quo to get Arab terrorists to release their own GERMAN hostages. I can’t find anything on it right now, but a Google search brings up a poignant, prescient Victoria Toensing column.

When I was in Bonn in June, 1987, negotiating Hamadi’s extradition, I warned the German delegation meeting with us that Hamadi would be a “hot potato.” If they convicted him, they would always have to deal with threats for his release. It would be far better to send him to the United States, I argued, where we had the resolve to keep him because he was charged with the murder of an American serviceman, the hostage-taking of U.S. citizens and the hijacking of a U.S. carrier. West Germany had no victims whatsoever involved in TWA Flight 847; the sole jurisdiction for the trial was finding Hamadi on its soil. Therefore, the German government might not have the strong support of its people to continue to imprison a convicted terrorist when fellow Germans’ lives are once again being threatened-as was the situation on the extradition decision.
So the case of Hamadi is not over and will not be until he actually serves life in prison. Since the terrorists succeeded in making Germany modify its behavior on the extradition, they will expect acquiescence again on lessening the life sentence. By caving in to the terrorists’ demands in 1987, the Germans merely delayed making the tough call. We can only wish them well. Now they must display a strong national will and refuse to reduce Hamadi’s sentence when the inevitable new demand from the terrorists arrives.

Well, they didn’t.

Stick to Commercials, Snoop

“It’s nine-fifteen on twelve-thirteen and another black king will be taken from the scene,” Snoop Dogg told mourners, reciting a poem about the execution.

On second thought, maybe Corey Maye doesn’t need your help.

That’s Got My Vote

Inclusiveness. Mark Steyn oughta listen to this guy.

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The Goonies

Mentally unstable reporters who are tempted to compulsively make up phony stories now have a place to turn: disgraced former New York Times staffer Jayson Blair has set up a foundation to help people who suffer from bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression. “The key issue in Jayson Blair’s life has been his lifelong battle with mental illness, in the form of manic-depression,” notes The Jayson Blair Foundation’s Web site

Don’t get crushed in the rush. I’m gonna wait and then slide right in behind Mary “Miss Marple” Mapes.

Driving Mr. Bingley

NY exchanges ferry traders by sea and land

Of course, we all knew he was an old salty water stud, Aqua Man/Speedo type boat person to begin with, so no big deal there.

I’m still a little confused about the transit workers’ union and its beef with the MTA. The whole thing sounded pretty reasonable to me ~ I mean, they still HAVE a pension ~ but whuddoo I know?

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