Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Hey Sherman! Don't be a d*ck!!!!!!!!

I am an American. I could shout "MERICA!!!!!! WE'RE #1!!!!!!" but....I'm still trying to sort out this whole numeric order; Who is #2? #7? What is the classification scale?

I've spent a fair bit of time in other countries. I'd like to spend more time in other places. It has less to do with any personal dislike of my homeland as personal curiosity. I like checking out different places. I like experiencing new things. I found, in my travels, that Australia is a better fit for me in many ways...but not all. Their government wasn't too thrilled about me wanting to stay permanently. I get it We have a bad reputation. I discussed it with an immigration attorney friend of a friend there...seems we have a reputation for being unnecessarily violent. Ya think? One look at recent news and I can understand that perception of us.

Many of my fellow Americans believe our own hype. We're the greatest! The best! Land of the FREE!!!! Home of the BRAVE!!!!! Many would be surprised to find that freedom and bravery and all of that fun stuff isn't necessarily unique to the U.S. of A.

One freedom that we have, possibly more than others, is the freedom to fail (unless you're a bank or large corporation). Make a few less than brilliant decisions in life and you can find yourself utterly fucked. No food. No shelter. Definitely no health care. But you were free to make those decisions.

We often believe that everyone wants to come here and be just like us. Maybe in the movies...but not so much in real life. Sure, there are folks that want to come here. But...there are people that move away from here too. I have friends who have moved to Germany, the UK, Italy, Spain, Mexico, Canada, Costa Rica and a few other places. Sometimes they come back. Sometimes they don't.

Those that want to come here usually want to, thanks in large part, to our unique way of marketing our country, often through movies and television. On my first trip to the UK, there were two questions almost everyone asked...as they believed these to be truths about the US:

"How many guns do you own?"

"Do you drive a Cadillac?"

While I found these questions amusing, it almost felt cruel to answer honestly and dispel the myth. While I have owned guns in the past, I haven't for a long time. I have driven Cadillacs but have never owned one.  Not my kinda car.

When friends visit from overseas, they often find things they like...as well as things they don't like. This is common. I've experienced the same in my travels. I've witnessed people have their first root beer, their first Dr. Pepper, their first milkshake, their first REAL pizza (never order pizza in the UK. It's just sad. It's as bad as ordering it in Indiana). Among the frequently heard complaints about the US is how bad our coffee is and how awful our bread is. I have to agree for the most part. Mind you, some good sour dough or Italian-style bread is wonderful (as is a good marble rye!), our Town Talk, Wonder Bread, etc....not so much. In fact, in recent years, yet another chemical has been added and now it won't even grow mold...even after 7 weeks! (I've tested this. It's true.)

Americans, however, continue to believe that we're the greatest. A nation of Muhammad Alis.....but mostly white and without the Islamic connection. We think we're the beautiful people.

We're not.

A phrase you'll often hear outside the US is "ugly Americans". We tend to dress badly. We often visit another country dressed like we're there to clean out it's garage or trim it's hedges. We can chalk this up to our own unique cultural preference of being comfortable. I'm reminded of a former co-worker who was planning her outfit for a dinner out with her husband and his new boss. She was planning to wear her "good sweat pants".  She was serious.

It may surprise you to know that there are slurs for Americans. Just like the unfortunate epithets for our fellow humans from other countries, there are many for us. I've been called a few of these. To my face. I think it was intended as an insult (in some instances) but it takes more than that to truly insult me. I'm not as thin-skinned as some.

For the cultural adventurers out there, here's a short list of some of the more common names our fellow humans have for us Americans. I won't lie...some really are amusing.

Amerikos - Russian derogatory term for a dumb American

Flash - Fucking Lazy American Shit Head. Used by Israelis to refer to American tourists who are accustomed to an easier standard of living.

Hamburger - Used by Koreans to slur Americans.

Hot Dog Eater - Used by Canadians, referring to American tourists who eat a lot of hot dogs.

Jake - Used by Jamaicans towards white Americans. May be from "Jake and the Fat Man" TV show.

Kano - Filipino slang for Americans. Shortened from "Amerikano."

Pindos - A new word for "American" used in Russia

SCAB - Stupid Caucasian American Bitches

Scheiss-Ami - Used by Germans as derogatory reference of Americans.

Sceptic - Rhyming slang, Sceptic Tank = Yank. Both are "full of shit."
Seppo - Cockney rhyming slang for septic tank = yank, shortened.
Seppo/Zeppo - Short for Septic, see Septic, Septic Tank.
Septic - Short for Septic Tank, which is rhyming slang for "Yank." Commonly used in Ireland. May also be used in the UK.
Septic Tank - Cockney rhyming slang for "yank", often abbreviated to "Seppo"
Septic/Sherman - Cockney rhyming slang. Septic Tank/Sherman Tank = Yank

SFA - Stupid Fucking American - not very clever, but very prevalent in Europe

TAP - Typical American Prick

Yank - A more commonly used derivative of Yankee, used by pretty much every other English speaking country in the world. It is usually derogatory, but can be an endearing term.
Yankee - Slang used primarily by the British. Also used in the former Confederate states to refer to people of the Union states. Origins can be traced to the Ottowa Indians calling the English, "Yang-gees," which morphed into "Yankees" by the British who then took that home after the French and Indian war in 1763.
Yankee Doodle - Used by the British Army to make fun of the rag-tag American army in the revolutionary war.

I would probably find all of this far more humorous except for the fact that my fellow Americans are growing bolder in their public displays of hatred towards each other. The reasons for the animosity are based on sheer idiocy. They're nothing more than excuses to act like a dick than to accept responsibility for one's own life. Its easier to point a finger at someone other than yourself.

Hey Sherman! Don't be a dick!!!!!!!!

List compiled from http://www.rsdb.org/race/americans

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

We Got Kim!

While some of you are filling your unders worrying that Lord Dampnut is going to get us into a war with the North Korean Fascionisto, I've been sitting here trying to figure out what He Of The Tiny Hands is really thinking. I believe I've got it.

He was going to destroy ISIS in a matter of days. That FAILED to happen. Ban Muslims. FAILED. Build his wall and make our neighbors pay for it...FAILED. Repeal and Replace...FAILED. He's been trying everything his tiny mind can think of to undo anything and everything Obama did. Simply put, Obama really got under his skin. His perceived masculinity and self-worth are still so threatened by Barry O. & Co. that he has to find a way to at least match up.

While he could start by being a man and showing off his tax returns (the LONG FORM please...you know, the LONG FORM), we all know that isn't going to happen. He's too busy golfing, watching TV, still running for office, and declaring war on the media. While he should be busy trying to lead the country in a proud and productive manner, he's busy waiting for Putin to save his ass. (Ain't gonna happen)

So, while he HAS been busy pissing off our allies, he's also been picking a fight with one of the crazies. Kim Of The Krazy Hair Klub For Kommunists!

 In Baby Fingers' twisted little brain, he's probably thinking that if he can rid the world of THE EVIL NORTH KOREAN THREAT TO ALL MANKIND AND EVERYTHING GOOD AND SWEET AND FILLED WITH CANDY! it will historically negate Obama taking down Bin Laden ("We got him!"). In the real world...far from comparable. More akin to kicking the wheelchair-bound old lady with Alzheimer's who lives down the lane than tackling an evil mastermind.

 Back to the "long form"....I have to wonder how his wife, Melanoma, felt when Obama finally did produce his long form. I bet she thinks about that particular long form...often. Maybe she talks about it in her sleep. Maybe Donny's long form is out of it's element and just can't compare. (Sorry...couldn't resist being a tad juvenile...just so easy to do with this current SADministration)

So there we have it...the media hasn't figured it out yet. When they do, they'll have a field day with it. Lord Dampnut wants his own "We Got Him!" moment. A "We Got Kim!" moment, if you will. Another sad, pathetic attempt that will ultimately do nothing but make the once United States of America look more and more like a bad horror show. Seriously people, this clown has gotta go.

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Just A Wee Bit Pissed Off

Like the title says, I'm a wee bit pissed off. Why? Good question. One could assume it's due to my latest vision-related health issue. One would be wrong.

No, it's band related. The Bessemers are no more. I shouldn't be this angry but I am.

The Bessemers were a cover band. Mind you, we, for the most part, played obscure or lesser known covers. The only reason I joined this band was to work with friends of mine who I consider to be top notch musicians (and I will NEVER call any of them anything less).

In May of 2012, I was asked to fill in on bass for a show with these guys, at the Thunderbird Cafe, opening for Danny Kay (who I later toured with as a guitarist). As I was out of work and had the time, I agreed.

One show led to two which led to three and so on. I was finally asked to join the band "officially". The funniest part - I didn't own a bass or an amp. I had been borrowing gear! (Thank you to Josh, Rob, and Mark)

Even though I was not working a "real job" at the time (read this as "Broke As Fuck") I managed to buy a bass. One of the guys in the band had a bass amp for me to use, so we were set. I eventually bought an amp and two more basses. Needless to say, this was an investment in the band (not counting my time) of roughly about a grand. (think for a moment how much time you'd work your normal job for an extra grand...then factor in that I didn't have a day job).

Long story short, we turned this into a pretty BAD ASS band! I didn't like all of the songs we played, but it was my job to play them well. AND I got to work with some great musicians!

Over the years, we played the usual crappy bar gigs, the occasional "opening act" gig, and gigs wherever we got paid. JUST LIKE ANY OTHER WORKING BAND! It all seemed to be going well.

Some of us in the band also played in other bands. This is not unusual. In fact, over the years, we've sat in with each others' bands. It's really been fun!

We had discussed recording. Odd, as we didn't do any original material....but as we did some really cool and unusual versions of some of the covers, I was intrigued at the thought of recording this stuff.

It never happened.

We gigged a decent amount. Not enough to prevent any of us from doing other gigs...maybe once or twice a month...but enough to get out there, make some noise, and keep the "brand" alive.

All of a sudden...it ended. One member decided he no longer wanted to work with another due to "artistic differences". That's all I'll call it. The reality is just too stupid to go into. As a fellow musician, I'll give this cat his due. If he's no longer comfortable playing with the same guys he's been playing with for years (who work really well together, I might add) then it's time to move on. I get it.

But really, do one last show. Say good-bye. Give it "closure".

Nope. Ain't gonna happen....even though we had shows booked.

Ideally, we'd pick one of these shows and call it the Farewell Performance. One of the shows we had booked was at a local festival. The PERFECT end to the band.

Again....ain't gonna happen.

I'm not pointing fingers. I'm not laying blame.  I'm just pissed off that it ended without an ending. 5 years and a lot of time and  money invested...I'm pissed! I even offered to take the band into the studio to record some of, what I considered, our better songs.

Well hem and haw...maybe...when blah blah blah.....fuck that. It's just done. I do not like having to be the one to say that but I'm not 20. I have other shit to do.

As a musician, I'm lucky enough to have a relatively good reputation, and after multiple decades, still get asked to do a lot of work with a number of great musicians. I've worked with some well-known names (as have my band mates). I'm still gigging and still being asked to do paying gigs.

I'm just pissed off that this quality band is ending without a proper send off.

It is, as far as I'm concerned, too late. The reasoning behind it all, from what I've been told, is just childish and unprofessional. Nothing that couldn't have been worked out. But noooooo. Typical small time petty bullshit.

In November 2007, I had a massive heart attack. 7 days later, I was back onstage. THAT is how seriously I take the art of making music.

The Bessemers essentially came into existence in 1992, under the name The Udder Cats. It was an offshoot/side project of The Rowdy Bovines. Over the years, the band has been changed to  The Daisy Cutters, Ethyl & Octane, The Bessemers, and possibly a few others. I've sat in on bass with almost each version. This last time round lasted 5 years. That's a fair bit longer than most bands last.

I'm just pissed off that it ended so poorly. It had been suggested that maybe we replace a member....but screw that. A band doesn't replace a high quality musician with one of undetermined skill. That's like replacing a Mercedes with a Hyundai.

So, its done. The Bessemers are no more. To everyone that ever came to a show, THANK YOU!
To those that didn't, and to those who might miss us...there are videos on YouTube.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Art of the Telecaster

As a professional musician with nearly 40 years experience under my belt, I can say this: There is no electric guitar in all of the instrument's history that can rival the elegance and simplicity of a Telecaster. Not a one.

Some of my 'kids'. Lots of hot-rodded Telewhackery going on here!

It's been said that a Tele can sound like anything but nothing sounds like a Tele. This is pretty much true. Tonally, it can cover any and all ground a guitarist could want. It's a totally utilitarian instrument, which given my political bent could be one of the many things that attracted me to it. It's basically a slab of wood with a neck and pickups. The bolt-on neck can be easily replaced or removed. In this day and age, that makes it perfect for the travelling musician. Take the neck off, put both pieces in your luggage and you can pretty much fly worry-free (provided the airline doesn't lose your luggage).

When Leo Fender and Doc Kauffman built a crude prototype in 1943, the demand from local country pickers told them they were on to something big. Many manufacturers had been trying to come up with an amplified guitar but the successes were few and far between. When Leo & Co. came up with the Esquire, and later the Broadcaster (which due to legal hassles had to be renamed) the legendary Telecaster was born.

I know a lot of guitarists who have issues with the Tele. I'll wager that this is due to one simple reason: They don't understand the techniques involved with getting a Tele to sound the way they want. Like I stated, it's a workhorse of an instrument. You can get out of it whatever you want...but you have to know how.

This is no slight to any picker's playing abilities. This is more a tribute to the brilliance of the Tele, both literally and figuratively. The Tele, by nature, can be an almost overwhelmingly bright/trebly instrument. It will give more twang than you'll ever need. The neck pick-up is often described as "creamy" sounding. Having been playing Teles since 1981, allow me to give you the #1 trick to a good tone on a Tele: Start with the tone knob rolled about halfway back. It wouldn't hurt to roll the volume knob back a bit as well, giving you the ability to raise your volume during a solo. Do these two things, set your amp and GO!

Great for rhythm or lead, the Tele is all ya need! The neck is designed for play-ability with ease of access to the upper frets. This is something most younger pickers will take for granted, Nowadays, even most acoustic guitars have a cutaway body. I remember when I first started playing guitar on an old Silvertone classical. Getting past the 12th fret took some real work! The design of the Tele neck makes is easy to play anywhere on the neck. Sure, one can go down the rabbit hole of which Tele neck shape, radius, etc. is 'best'...but that's up to each player.

Some of the best players on the planet have all used Teles...at least at some point. Danny Gatton, considered by those who know, to be the best there ever was, originally hated Teles. He was more into Gibsons. He started out with big ol' hollowbodies and was often seen playing a Les Paul...until he found the right Tele. Look the story up. I won't go into it here...suffice to say, few have achieved the level of mastery that Danny did with a Tele.

Not being a guitarist, Leo Fender managed to create the awesome instrument...but there are a few tweaks players may want to do to their Tele. The #1 is one shown to me by Bill Kirchen (one of the baddest Telewhackers out there!). He flips the control plate around. This puts the volume and tone knobs in closer proximity to the picking hand, making it easier to access them for on-the-spot changes as needed. Utilizing these techniques on a Tele, the player can (and often will) modify volume and tone with some frequency during a song.

I'm a fan of brass and silicon nuts on my guitars. The brass gives a little more sustain, although some may argue that. It's always worked for me. The silicon nuts (and saddles) also help reduce string breakage.

I rarely use stomp boxes but for those that like them, a Tele will respond to them as well if not better than most guitars...and still retain it's twang.

If you're a working guitarist, you should probably have a Tele in your arsenal. If you're just a bedroom picker, you just might want one simply because they're cool. The best part, you don't have to pay a fortune for a good one. I just bought yet another Tele. A Mexican-made* one. Even with Custom Shop Nocaster pickups it was under $350. Sure, you spend a grand or more on one...but you don't have to. If you like spending extra money, go for it. Just realize you don't have to.

I'll leave you with some prime Telewhacking, courtesy of The Twangbangers.

* Which would you prefer? A Telecaster made in Mexico by Mexicans or a Telecaster made in the US...by Mexicans. ;-)

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Breaking Bread

Back in the 80s, I often said that I could end the Cold War. With a BBQ. The US would supply the ribs, sauce and beer. The Soviets would supply the vodka, spuds, and whatever else they wanted. All countries interested would be invited...but they had to bring food and beverages. It would've worked.


You get any people together from different areas and one of the things they're going to talk about is food. It's easy to go EWWWWWWW rather than try something different. I was the King of EWWWWW for years but in my 20s, I made a conscious effort to change that.

I'm still a picky eater. Those who know me know my avoidance of cheese and my severe issues with certain textures. But at least I try stuff. Sometimes I like it. Sometimes I don't.

For Easter this year, I decided to try to make some authentic Middle Eastern food. I can tell you this: IT WAS AWESOME!!!!! While a chore to make, it was beyond delicious.

Instead of all of this fighting and moaning all over..how about we sit down to a pot luck dinner. If something is being served that is way outside of your comfort zone, just try it. Ask the origins of the dish. Learn something new. In learning about the food, you'll learn about the culture...and probably realize that people aren't so different.

In my travels, I've tried a number of different things...some of which I will run a mile from if I ever see them again. Some I try to add my regular diet. Some are more of a treat.

See how many of these you've had and which ones you'd like to try.

Vegemite: I love it! It's an acquired taste for an American but if you use it correctly, it's awesome

Jellied Eel: Run. Just run.

Laver Bread: No thank you.

Gumbo: I liked it so much I mastered it!

Maqluba: Mercy this is good eating!

Currywurst: You're probably not worthy but try it anyway.

Fried Catfish: I don't like fish. Period. But...deep fried in beer batter with hot sauce, I can do this!

Buffalo: AWESOME!

Ostrich: See above.

Wild Boar: Again, see above.

Elk, ram, moose, rattlesnake: Yep...see above.

Kangaroo: Now that's eating!!!!

Crocodile/Alligator: Not for me. I've tried both. In future, I'll politely pass (if at all possible).

Faggots & Peas: Once you get past the name, good eating!

Shandy: Why would anyone mix beer and lemonade? Pick one or the other.

Pork Pie: Sounds odd. Tastes great. Even cold.

This is just stuff off the top of my head. There are some dishes I've had that I'm pretty sure were so traumatic that they're now repressed memories,,,but I tried them. I said Thank You and cleaned my plate. I've only ever once vomited at a table and that was as a kid when Dad and I had a stand-off over cooked spinach. He learned his lesson. I can now enjoy raw spinach, on a salad or sometimes on a sammich...but I still won't eat cooked spinach by itself. I don't care who serves it.

Think about it. Everyone eats. Everyone has their favorite foods. Discuss that instead of personal things like religion or politics.

I'll leave you with the immortal words of GK Chesterton, "Poets have been mysteriously silent on the subject of cheese.”

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Just One Good Thing

I've seen evil up close. It ain't pretty. That said, I try to hold to the belief that everyone has at least one redeeming quality. True evil reared it's head at least a few times in the 20th century. Hitler and Manson come to mind. One would be hard pressed to think of two more evil beings.

That said, even these two utterly despicable beasts had a spark of beauty deep inside them. Manson was a musician and a songwriter. Hitler was an artist. Neither were considered 'good enough' by those considered the experts at the time.

Manson's music, which I've heard alleged recordings of, was pretty average sounding mid 60s proto-hippie stuff. I've heard worse. I've heard better. I've written worse. But it was his music. His art. It meant something to him. Being a musician, I can imagine how he felt playing it, writing it, and being given the opportunity to record it. I can also imagine the pain he felt when it wasn't considered 'good enough'.

I doubt this was the defining factor that turned him evil. If anything, it was the one pure thing about him that defined him as a human. He could relate to art and beauty. As could Hitler.

The history books will tell you that Adolph Hitler was a failed artist. This isn't quite as accurate as told. He did manage to make a meager living as an artist for a short time. He mostly painted landscapes and postcard images. While no da Vinci, his art wasn't horrible. It wasn't groundbreaking either. I've seen images of some of his work and as one who grew up around the art world, I can say I've seen worse go for relatively high prices. I personally like his Madonna and child painting. I doubt that his career would have ever gone to any great heights but an artist should never produce his/her art, regardless of the medium, for profit. If one can earn a living from it, that's great. More often, the artist will create simply because, as the old song says, "It's in him (or her) and it's gotta come out!"

Mother Mary with the Holy Child Jesus Christ (1913 Hitler)

I doubt that Hitler's shortcomings as an artist made him into a monster. As with pretty much anyone, look deep enough and you'll find that one redeeming quality. The one thing that makes them human. The thing that shows their vulnerability. The one quality that shows that they are capable of creating something good.

I've tried for a long time to find something of quality about the being currently holding the highest office in our country. I am beyond sad to say that I have found no such thing.

Donald John Trump may actually be the Anti-Human. I don't believe he has ever done anything for anyone but himself. Perhaps his father's shadow looms so great over his psyche that it damaged him beyond help from Day 1. I doubt we'll ever know the whole story.

As an American, I've been aware of Trump most of my life. He was the scumbag slumlord-turned-real estate developer who we've all heard about for years. The media often touted his latest scheme or latest failure...and he's had many of the latter. It wasn't fake news when the media created the caricature he became.

His so-called charitable foundation was a scam. His "university" was a scam. The few things he's actually built are tacky beyond belief. That's why he's taken to simply putting his name on other's work. Most of it is still pretty tacky.

This is a man who has lost more money than even many of the rich will ever even have. He has always seemed to bounce back. How? Because he's a whore who will sell himself just for the momentary belief that he's beautiful. While I can't say for certain, I'd guess he does this because he realizes, deep inside, just how truly vile he really is.

I'd like to believe that there is one good thing about him. My faith practically dictates that I look for it. I've tried and tried. I just can't find it. Not one good thing.

I'd like to think that maybe, just maybe, he's done his good at home, away from prying eyes. Maybe his good was done in bringing up his children to be good people. From everything we've seen of his progeny, it appears to not be the case. I worry that his youngest, possibly doomed from the start, will grow into something worse. Just imagine knowing that your family is among the most despised on the entire planet.

I'd like to find one selfless act...one beautiful thing he's done. I keep looking for it...and yet it escapes me. I've asked those who admire him...none can answer the question. They'll say things about his business empire or his business acumen. Well, his so-called empire only exists because of the money of others. He has ripped off those who built his walls. He'll most likely continue because let's face it, old habits die hard. No one can tell me one good thing.

I'm honestly starting to believe that he may just be the most evil person ever. He lives to want, not to give. His beliefs are based on greed and power. Those are the things a weak person strives for. A strong person strives for better. He just strives for more.

I don't think he's mentally ill. I say that from nearly three decades working with the mentally ill. I'd wager that he knows exactly what he's doing. There's no genius to it. There's no crafty long game to it. He's the ultimate spoiled brat and he just doesn't care about anyone but himself. I can imagine him blowing up the world just to try to save face.

Yet I'm still looking for one good thing about him. Just one good thing. Is it some well-hidden secret? If it exists, let us know. If there is that faintest glimmer of hope, show us. Show us just one good thing.

Monday, November 21, 2016


Been posting this for over 10 years now. Seems especially important this year. - MM


Thanksgivus: that's what she called it. The 'she' in question would be a very short, loud, middle aged black woman with retardation who I supervised for years. Her name is Omega...fitting because she truly is THE END!

Omega didn't exactly have a speech problem but I think her hearing wasn't 100% on the mark, as certain words would get slurred together such as "Thanksgivus". Another fave was her version of Social Security, which often sounded more like "sociable secretary" (of which I've known a few).

Thanksgivus (which is what I now prefer to call the US holiday Thanksgiving) is the last Thursday of November (this is for my overseas friends who may not be fully knowledgeable of the subject). It is the holiday where we Americans give Thanks to God for giving us BIG tasty birds, punkin pie & cranberry sauce...all courtesy of a tribe that we soon took great pains to wipe out. In short, when those Pilgrims (essentially English religious nuts) 1st landed at Plymouth Rock, they didn't have a CLUE what they were doing or what they were in for!

After that 1st winter (what do you mean "No Central Heating"???), most of the Pilgrims had died off. A few hearty ones remained (probably by eating the others...but that story seems to have vanished in the annals of history) and it was looking bleak for them, as they didn't know SQUAT about farming North American soil. Luckily, the Indians (bite me, I will NOT be PC) took pity on them, showed them what to do and the Pilgrims survived. They did sooo well, in fact, they had a big feast and invited the Indians. When the Indians showed up, they realized that white folks are either really bad at planning feasts or are just stingy, so they sent some braves to go kill a half dozen or so deer....gotta make sure ya don't leave the table unless yer ready to burst....STILL an American Thanksgivus tradition. NOWHERE on the menu was green bean casserole....PLEASE make note of that! (the Americans reading this will get the humor)

Finally, sometime in the 19th century, after decades of confusion as to what this "New England" holiday was and when it was supposed to be observed, some mad woman wrote everyone in the colonies suggesting the last Thursday in November...just in time to mark the start of Xmas shopping season!

Now, contrary to what some of my English colleagues have been lead to believe, Thanksgivus is NOT the American Xmas. Trust me, NO ONE on this planet overdoes Xmas like the Americans! Here it is, the Sunday BEFORE Thanksgivus and I'm looking out my front door at my neighbor's Xmas lights! 1 month 5 days before we celebrate the Man's b-day (even though we have the date wrong)...1 month 5 days of looking at those damned lights! Don't get me wrong, I love the holidays as much if not more than most people...but I like things to be done for the right reasons...not just to be the 1st, best or brashest.

For the holidays, I wish you all peace, happiness and a full belly. May your homes be filled with laughter (and not just the canned version coming from your TV). May your pockets never be empty, maybe your fridge always be full (with at least 1 6pack of decent beer...in case I should stop by lol) and may your troubles be few & far between.

In fact, I don't just wish you these things for the holidays...I wish them for you all EVERYDAY.

I'm having a few friends over (as usual) this year for Thanksgivus. It might not be the fanciest dinner but I hope to guarantee all a good meal, a full belly and someplace to sit and digest and enjoy some good company after (and before...as long as they stay OUTTA MY WAY in the kitchen.).

We will revel in the death of a turkey. We shall take delight in the taters, which will be mashed. The rolls will hopefully not be slightly burned on the bottoms...but if they are, that's what butter, gravy & butter knives are for! The veggies will be plentiful and not overcooked. The pie will be chocolate cream...NOT PUNKIN! (my tradition...not yours, OK? ) And yes Virginia...there will most likely be cranberries of some sort...JUST NO DAMNED GREEN BEAN CASSEROLE...PLEASE!