Sunday, December 30, 2012
Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Friday, December 21, 2012
I have a heart warming Christmas tale that I'd like to share with you. It's all about Santa and his Elves and their love of cookies. But not just any cookies. They loved warm, soft homemade cookies filled with North Pole care and love. They loved them so much that they developed a distaste for ordinary cookies.
By ordinary, I mean cookies that were not made exclusively by Santa's elves in Mrs. Claus' kitchen and with locally grown ingredients. Because of this, some very vocal elves persuaded Santa and Blitzen to enact a strict quota on the amount of imported cookies allowed into the North Pole. They also added a stiff tariff onto the price of the few cookies that were allowed in.
Elf cookie bakers enjoyed this arrangement because this allowed them to stay in business despite the fact that sugar cane and cocoa beans grow very poorly in the Arctic Circle. But, after a while, the price of these cookies got so expensive that many elves started baking their own at home to save money. "HO HO HOOLLLD on a minute! All this baking at home is cutting into the bakery sales," said Santa. So Blitzen made it so tough to bake at home with all of the EPA, DoA, EEOC (Elvish Equality Occupational Codes) etc. regulations that everyone threw away their baking supplies and equipment. But the North Pole elves didn't mind because they still were able to eat all of the gooey, homemade goodness that they wanted.
But, one day, that all came to a halt. Rudolf had hired Hermey (he dropped dentistry for law) to represent him in an EEOC complaint against Blitzen and the rest of the company for lost wages when they let him go because he was differently abled (or was that firing on the basis of 'lookism?'). On top of that, the Teamsters (the reindeer are in the freight hauling business, after all) organized a strike. So, to stay in business, Santa had to drop the baking arm and focus on his manufacturing and distribution core businesses. Since there were very few cookies anymore, Santa's elves began to pay more and more for them until what was once a $5 box of cookies skyrocketed up to $500 dollars a box! Santa noticed that the elves were looking kind of thin and their toy production was dropping precipitously. "Mr. Santa, Sir" said the littlest, frailest elf with tears welling in his big, weepy eyes "We are too weak to make toys any longer. We must cancel Christmas!" "Cancel Christmas! What will I tell all of the little girls and boys all over the world!" said Santa.
Amazing, Surprise Ending!
On Christmas Eve, the elves walked into their workshops and were overjoyed to find plates and plates of yummy cookies. Mrs. Claus had come to the rescue and had insisted that Santa lift the embargo on Keebler elf cookies and to slash cookie baking regulations. The elves were soon back hard at work and Christmas was saved!
I guess a gusher of off-shore North Sea oil revenues can enable some ridiculous policies to continue in a country like Norway. -But would other societies be so lucky?
There is an excellent article in Forbes that gives the full account of how butter became so expensive in Norway. See The Great Norwegian Butter Famine
Tuesday, December 18, 2012
If you want a really old school, trad candy for a gift, how about some Licorice Scotties in a cool tarten bag? If you are convinced that you can't stand licorice because of memories of that weird plastic red and black rope that you gnawed on as a kid, give these little black dogs a try. They have a nice herbal flavor that is addicting. They make a good jelly bean too although they are pretty much like Jelly Bellys.
Saturday, December 15, 2012
Monday, December 10, 2012
Inasmuch as the great Father has given us this year an abundant harvest of Indian corn, wheat, peas, beans, squashes, and garden vegetables, and has made the forests to abound with game and the sea with fish and clams, and inasmuch as he has protected us from the ravages of the savages, has spared us from pestilence and disease, has granted us freedom to worship God according to the dictates of our own conscience.
Now I, your magistrate, do proclaim that all ye Pilgrims, with your wives and ye little ones, do gather at ye meeting house, on ye hill, between the hours of 9 and 12 in the day time, on Thursday, November 29th, of the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred and twenty-three and the third year since ye Pilgrims landed on ye Pilgrim Rock, there to listen to ye pastor and render thanksgiving to ye Almighty God for all His blessings.
Ye Governor of Ye Colony
Sunday, December 9, 2012
Blown out. Yeah, these jeans that I picked are beat-to-hell, but then again, so am I. So, why not?
At the same estate sale where I found the socks, I found this great, soft loden wool trilby hat.