Friday, November 28, 2008

A good day of Horrors

The roller derby team The Hudson Valley Horrors will be skating around the kitchen of the Queens Galley, 254 Washington Ave., Kingston, from 3 to 7 p.m. today.

The Horrors (love the name) will be preparing and serving produce donated by local farms for The Queens Galley's Black Friday-Thanksgiving dinner service.

Serving thousands of meals each month, The Queens Galley is open to anyone in need of a meal, three times a day. Of course, They also accept food donations.

More information on The Queens Galley can be found at

The Horrors say they won't stop at whipping up holiday meals this winter.

They will host a holiday food drive on at 9 p.m. Dec. 13 at The Dubliner Irish Pub, 796 Main St. in Poughkeepsie. Promised are raffles, prizes and giveaways. Music will be provided by DJ Noops throughout the evening.

Admission is 5 cans of food or $5 at the door.

All proceeds will go to the Food Bank of the Hudson Valley.

For more information on the food bank, or for food-donation guidelines, visit

To make contributions in advance, food drive boxes will be located at the following local businesses: Hyde Park Roller Magic, 4178 Albany Post Rd./Rt. 9 in Hyde Park; and Joe's Italian Marketplace, 1083 Route 9 #44 in Fishkill.

The horrors! The horrors!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Now what?

If you are reading this today, you should hit yourself in the head for being online.

After that, you should use the recipes from Wednesday that deal with Thanksgiving leftovers, like the one titled Turkey, stuffing go great in popovers."

Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thankful for these links

The following sites were visited in the horrible construction of "Be thankful Thanksgiving is just one day":

* The History Channel, which airs "Modern Marvels: The Turkey" (?) today, has a pretty cool Thanksgiving site, with stories of such historical significance like "The History of Turducken." At least it's a break from the channel's never-ending features on Hitler.
Other shows today include "Home for the Holidays: The History of Thankgsiving" and "Desperate Crossings: The Untold Story of the Mayflower," because nobody's ever heard of the Mayflower.

* A must-visit for anybody interested in real Thanksgiving history is the Plimoth Plantation, home of the Wampanoag's Homesite, ahem, site. There is interesting information about the Pilgrims, too, like this gem written by by Carolyn Freeman Travers, Research Manager at Plimoth:

"The Separatists who founded Plymouth Colony observed three holy days; the weekly Sabbath, the Day of Humiliation and Fasting, and the Day of Thanksgiving and Praise."

Humiliation. Now that's a holiday!

The site also has a timeline of the Plymouth Colony and stuff about Thanksgiving with no stuffing. But foodies can get their fix with original 17th Century recipes.

*Learning more than history at Plimoth - The Boston Globe

Thankful I can finally use this

I've been saving this Thankgsviging photo since 2001, waiting for a good excuse to use it. You can make your own caption, but I'm not going there.

Thankfully for you, twisted readers, UK's The Guardian did. Not only did the paper featured the story on its front page, it hosted a caption contest. Here are the winners:

Bush: "I know the human being and turkey can coexist peacefully."

First man: "What's that turkey doing?"
Second man: "He thinks he's running the country."

Bush: "I don't know why you're laughing, one of you two has to go second."

Bush: "Somebody get this ... ermmm ... squirrel off me."

Bush: "I did not have sexual relations with that bird."

"Close, but no cigar ..."

"The president made a mental note to sack whoever it was that hired the 'Rod Hull and Emu' tribute act."

"No Tony, I said later."


This Reuters photo by Kevin Lamarque, by the way, is one not included in the White House's Turkey Pardon Day Whatever Page, where other photos of presidents and turkeys grace the site, without the use of "the filter."

Reuters has a blog post about the photo as well. Check it out.

Thankful for Sarah Palin

The truth is, where I come from, it works like this: When you go to the market, you pick the animal and they slaughter it right in front of you, to ensure freshness (and being desensitized).

You've seen this video, but here it is again.

For kicks, here's a mean and cute parody of it.

Thankful for this map

For an idea of what the early 17th Century was like, I present this map.
The captain with the original name, John Smith, made this famous 1616 map of New England, which shows what Smith found in the New World, things like a sea monster, lines in the ocean, a floating coat of arms, beasts larger than mountains and other 17th Century staples, like the unicorn on top right.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The best thing Guns N' Roses has ever done

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Dr Pepper is making good on its promise of free soda now that the release of Guns N' Roses' "Chinese Democracy" is a reality.

The soft-drink maker said in March that it would give a free soda to everyone in America if the album dropped in 2008. "Chinese Democracy,"infamously delayed since recording began in 1994, goes on sale Sunday.

"We never thought this day would come," Tony Jacobs, Dr Pepper's vicepresident of marketing, said in a statement. "But now that it's here,all we can say is: The Dr Pepper's on us.

"Beginning Sunday at 12:01 a.m., coupons for a free 20-ounce soda will beavailable for 24 hours on Dr Pepper's Web site. They'll be honored untilFeb. 28.Dr Pepper is owned by Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Inc.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Spam for the soul

"Government spam the way to fight scams" mentions the IC3, which says on its Web site that it is in partnership between the FBI, NW3C and the BJA, whatever that means.

As noted in the column, some of the scams involve "notices" from the agencies themselves.

In one, an e-mail "advises the recipient that they are the beneficiary of a large sum of money which they will be permitted to access once fees are paid and personal banking information is provided. The appearance of the e-mail leads the reader to believe that it is from FBI Deputy Director John S. Pistole."

The other one is an e-mail claiming you have a "refund notifications purportedly from the IC3 and the government of the United Kingdom. The e-mails claim the refunds are being made to compensate the recipients for their losses as victims of Internet fraud."

There is a good number of Web sites that deal with the issue. Here's but a few:

* The Federal Trade Commission:
* FBI on scams:

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

RSS for the soul

One of the new features of the Freeman's new Web site is the not-so-new concept of RSS, or Really Simple Syndication, a nice way of getting updates on your computer and even your phone, if your phone is more expensive than my television*

There are many news readers, like my Yahoo page, shown below, which allow me to scan many sites at the same time. If you click on the image, you'll see the Freeman's news on top right.

Most browsers (Internet Explorer, Safari, Mozilla) have an RSS button. Google, Yahoo, AOL and many other provide "readers" as well. The button looks like this (sans the 3-D and the shadows):

If you are super lazy, I've got one better for you. Below, you'll see the Freeman's latest news in a widget.

You can grab this and put it in your site or blog.

Or - this may sound crazy to some - you could buy a copy of the paper.

* My TV was $125, no mail-in rebates, either.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

New site

It's alive!

Because some files have been moved, some of the links in this blog soon will no longer work. Click on them while you can.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

A successful campaign

When it came to appealing to Joe Six Pack - especially during Prohibition -- Hyde Park's FDR's knew it best, as shown in this 1932 Campaign License Plate.

FDR, beer you can trust on.

1932 Campaign License Plate.
Green Duck, 1932
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum

Metal campaign piece simulating an automobile license plate. Has colored image of large stein of beer flanked by black and white images of Franklin D. Roosevelt (on left) and John N. Garner (on right). "ROOSEVELT AND GARNER" printed along bottom. Printed along very bottom edge: "© F.S. WATTELLS-TURRELL, 11323 INDIANA AVE., CHICAGO, ILL" and "GREEN DUCK CHICAGO".

Presented to FDR by F. Robers of Chicago, Illinois.

Gift of the Roosevelt Estate

P.S. It might be my beer goggles, but John Garner looks an awful lot like movie critic Roger Ebert.


Prohibition Beer Glass
Unknown Maker, 1933
Franklin D. Roosevelt Library and Museum

Clear drinking glass with red rim and image of donkey and elephant. Imprinted on the glass, in white, are the images of a "G.O.P." elephant and a "D.E.M." donkey facing off with their front legs resting on a barrel labeled "BEER." Above them are the words "AT LAST!" and between them "1933."

Prohibition was a major issue during the 1932 campaign, with the Republicans supporting it and the Democrats trying to repeal it. In 1933, while the Twenty-First Amendment (designed to do away with Prohibition) was making its way through the government, FDR amended the Volstead Act to allow the sale of beer.

Gift of the Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt Institute (FERI)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

(expletive) sources -- including 'Big Bird dropping the F bomb'

The following are some recent news accounts related to "In defense of (expletive) expletives"

"Must It Always Be About Sex" -- New York Times, Nov. 2, 2008

Best part:

"The Oxford English Dictionary’s three core entries on the word — noun, verb and interjection — are about six times as long as this article. That doesn’t count about 30 derivations and compounds, all colorful and many recent. The nimble word, the dictionary tells us, can help express that a person is incompetent; that another is not be meddled with; that a situation has been botched; that one does not have the slightest clue; and, in a recent addition, that someone has enough money to be able to quit an unpleasant job."

"You know the word I mean."

"Supreme Court Appears Divided on TV profanity Case" -- Wall Street Journal, Oct. 4, 2008

Best part:

"Solicitor General Gregory Garre warned the justices that the broadcasters who challenged the 2004 rule want the right "to use expletives, whether in an isolated or repeated basis, 24 hours a day, going from the extreme example of Big Bird dropping the F-bomb on "Sesame Street," to the example of using that word during "Jeopardy" or opening the episode of "American Idol.'"" (emphasis mine)

"Don't Read His Lips -- You Might Be Offended"-- Wall Street Journal, Oct. 3, 2008

Best parts:

"The FCC's finding is 'absolute rubbish,' says Jesse Sheidlower, North America editor at large for the Oxford English Dictionary and author of its entry for f-."
"As for Bono, he regrets he used the word at the time. 'It's an uncool thing to do. I genuinely blew it,'"

"FCC v. Fox draws intense interest" -- First Amendment Center, Nov. 3, 2008

Best part, on Carter Phillips, who argued on behalf of Fox and the other broadcasters:

"Phillip's brief, by the way, uses the word “f---” 30 times, and “s---” 23 times. The government brief uses them only three times, when it quotes from the actual broadcasts at issue, but it uses asterisks or euphemisms in all other mentions of the word."

Primary Sources (PDF):
Raw document: U.S. Court of Appeals forthe Second Circuit: Fox Televisions Stations v. Federal Communications Commission (52 page PDF file, filled with "f" bombs)

Get your own at Scribd or explore others: court fox

Raw document: Supreme Court oral arguments: FCC v. Fox Television Stations

Get your own at Scribd or explore others:
Oh, yeah, and Obama won.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Another close race

State Assembly, District 100, 164-vote difference, 2 precincts to go

103 of 105 precincts - 98 percent

Frank Skartados, Dem 20,155 - 50 percent

Tom Kirwan, GOP (i) 19,991 - 50 percent

5:30 a.m. update: 700-vote difference, one precinct to go (plus absentee ballots)

District 100

104 of 105 precincts - 99 percent

x-Frank Skartados, Dem 20,647 - 51 percent

Tom Kirwan, GOP (i) 19,947 - 49 percent

Update: Kirwan conceded defeat, The Freeman has reported.

So what happens if, say, he wins?

Finish line?

585 advantage by Quigley over Auerback. There are way more absentees than 585. So this one's not over.


Photo finish, one district to go

With 1057-vote difference...

Attack of the holograms

CNN's Wolf Blitzer is interviewing holograms tonight.

According to USA Today, the cable network is using "44 cameras and 20 computers in each remote location to capture 360-degree imaging data of the person being interviewed."

The person looked like from a "Star Wars" hologram, or the blue guy from "Tron."

Oh, and I was so distracted by the whole thing I didn't pay attention on what was reported.

I think the interviewee said, "Help me Obi Wan Kenobi, you're my only hope!"

Election map

Pepe el Plumero

At a rally in Miami shortly after midnight on Monday, Sen. John McCain tried to appeal to Hispanic voters.

Invoking "Joe the Plumber," McCain said:

"Pepe el Plumero ... that's the last time I'll try that."

"Plumero" is Spanish for feather duster.
So, yes, please retire the feather duster. And take the plumber with him while you're at it.

I told you those Peruvian shamans (see post below) were meddling.

(For those of you who like to fact-check, here is some raw video, the mishap happens at minute 7:20.)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Peruvians meddle with U.S. elections

Peruvian citizens like myself can't vote on Tuesday's presidential election.