Is this the pet rock of the grocery industry?

Maybe you're too young to remember pet rocks. They were just what you imagine.

This morning at the grocery store I came across a box of water labeled "Just Water."

But that's not all. On the side of the box it said, more or less, "This water [no mention here of babbling brooks or artesian wells] is protected from UV rays [and various other vaguely described catastrophes] by this box made of paper from certified forests. [Here I closed my eyes to see a unicorn gambol across the screen.] Who wouldn't want a sip?

I didn't stay to check the price. I was afraid I might buy a case.

And you thought we had enough trouble already

Chocolate Chip Mint: Try not to panic.


Too many cookies?

Santa renews pilot's license: Transport Canada

"Santa Claus successfully renewed his commercial pilot's license, passing a written exam as well as a health check - despite high sugar levels - and is good to fly for Christmas, Canada's transportation department said on Thursday."


Forward this to the tax department, please

Headaches, insects and yachts; excuses for not filing British tax returns



It's difficult to take a three-day weekend when you don't do anything anyway…

…but it can be done.

Some management guru from the last century once said work expands to fill the time allotted. Which, of course, it does; they don’t call those guys gurus for nothing. It—work—also shrinks in the same way.

So what you do is—pencils up—make a long, long list of stuff you need to get done, enough to fill three, maybe even four days of time. And then some afternoon, like this afternoon, you allow yourself about, say, 45 minutes to knock the whole thing off, Don’t worry, your list will shrink right down. See above.

And just like that, you can goof around for the next three days. Or four. Starting right about now.

Christmas music at the laundry

Wash fast, little socks, wash fast.

I quit singing in nineteen-aught-forty-six or thereabouts…

…when I realized I can’t. Still, after all these years, once in a while I get a sort of vestigal hum in the back of my brain that could, possibly, be mistaken for music if it were only in some recognized key.

There’s one there right now—has been for nearly two weeks—that’s driving me wild-eyed raving NUTS. It sounds like a mangled song with the words “rags to riches” and “if you would only be” in it somewhere, and also it sounds really old.

I bet Tony Bennet would recognize it if he’s real. He can’t be real though, can he? I mean, I remember when he was real but that was really old too. He could be a hologram, I guess, but then if you were making a hologram why wouldn’t you…oh, never mind.

Maybe it’ll just go away.

Avoiding work on the edge

Obama to Dismantle 9/11-Era Registry - The Daily Beast

"Trump has indicated that he hopes to resurrect the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System, which was created in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. It has not been used since 2011…"

So we had some kind of plan to keep track of people coming from and going to countries with active terrorist groups but we haven’t used it for five years? Somehow that seems a little bit not too smart. But it probably does avoid quite a bit of work, and I’m all for that.

Biggest loser ever, says Daily Beast

Hillary Earned Historic Number of Votes - The Daily Beast

"In the final, certified presidential-election tally, Hillary Clinton received more votes than any other losing  candidate in U.S. history."

You already know, of course, that raw numbers like this are not necessarily meaningful because the population keeps growing at a pretty rapid clip. This past election season set all kind of records in the counting department, as I recall: Most votes for a Trump in a Republican primary, most votes for a Vermont socialist (go Bernie!), and so forth. Ir’s nice to have something to brag about even if it’s not the thing you wanted to brag about at the start.

Montreal: Not just too cold

Montreal's Rockefeller-style Christmas tree is an epic failure | New York Post

"Montreal's Christmas tree looks like it was just released from Xmas tree rehab and needs any spare change you might have for a bus ride home," one Twitter user said…



Hot water

Heat and water are kind of alike in one way: If you try to keep them in, they leak out, and if you try to get them out they stay right where they are and will not budge. But heat is slipperier. There's probably a lot of physics in that.

For example, the pipe that runs from the basement of my house to the shower head on the second floor carries heat and water, both, up in hot months only. June, July, August, it really steams the place up. But in winter, the water gets up just fine but the heat—a lot of it, at least—leaks out. So the water's not cold, exactly, but it's not half-hour-shower hot, either.

Which reminds me, winter starts at 5:00 AM Eastern, tomorrow. Which means Christmas day will be just a wee bit longer than today, and Super Bowl Sunday will be longer still. More light every day until the end of June, when the bathroom mirror will be nice and foggy again.

You'd think that just rolling away would be bad enough, right?

U.S. probes 1 million Fiat Chrysler vehicles for roll-away crashes | Reuters


Chicken-veggie-noodle soup will set you free

For those of you playing along at home, here's the recipe:

  1. Chicken
  2. Veggies
  3. Noodles
  4. Broth, bouillon, stock, something like that.

Cook it.
Me, I like to add a couple cranks of fresh black pepper.

And it's even better the next day.

This guy needs one of those bright orange balls

Golfer tries to hit ball from ice, falls through it instead - NY Daily News



This is a test

Hmmm, worked.

Let's hear it for fake news

Putin to Sing at Trump Inauguration - The New Yorker


OK, here's the plan

First, it rains all day today.

Then, for the next two days it freezes solid.

Then it warms up a little, just enough to put a thin layer of water on top of all the ice, making it even slipperier.

Finally, I run out of Spam and have to send for more. Or go get it myself. I hope it’s still on sale.

Oh wait! It might snow on Thursday too!

Maybe we should at least try to get the story straight

DNC Chair Says Russian Hackers Attacked The Committee Through Election Day | The Huffington Post

"That goes against Obama’s statement that the attacks ended after he spoke to Putin in September."

They may not be cool but they're pretty cold

Chicago Bears
Updated @weatherchannel forecast for kickoff is 10 degrees.That would be tied for 5th coldest #Bears game ever at @SoldierField .


There's still time to shovel a little more

Buffalo Bills offering free tickets for help shoveling snow off field - The Washington Post


If it has more words it must be better, duh

Al Capone and the Short, Confusing History of Expiration Dates

Munchies_ Food by VICE - 14h ago

…In an attempt to help curb food waste, The US Department of Agriculture has just come forward to encourage producers to start using the phrase "Best if Used By," rather than similar phrases—such as "Sell-By" and "Use-By"—which carry their own distinct nuances, and tend to confuse consumers.


Pretty soon there'll be no place to hide

Hologram 'robot girlfriend' texts you throughout the day - but is she romantic or incredibly creepy?

"A tech company has launched a virtual girlfriend device which can send touching texts throughout the day asking how you are feeling."