Quote of the Day: Saran Wrap Can Kill You


“I think there are a lot of things out there that are humorous that people don’t realize until you actually show them what is going on. Saran Wrap for one thing. You know, you could pull enough of that out of the box and it will actually kill you. It will get a hold of you, stick to you, and choke you to death.” — Tim Conway

I’m a sucker for physical humor: Peter Sellers in the Pink Panther movies, Jim Carrey (in his early days), Buster Keaton, the Marx Brothers, Carol Burnett — they all crack me up. But Tim Conway stands at the top of my list.

I think slapstick or silly comedy gets a bad rap. Yes, it’s unsophisticated. Yes, it’s not for everyone. But to watch a person who projects a sweetness or naivete, yet has me falling on the floor with laughter, that person has a remarkable gift.

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Goal-setting is a common theme I seem to return to here on Ricochet, and as 2020 is nearing its end (and I’ve been setting up my 2021 bullet journal), I have been thinking about what my goals will be for next year. I don’t like to call them “New Year’s Resolutions” for some reason. Maybe […]

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Quote of the Day: Rush Limbaugh on the “Press” in America


This paragraph appears at the end of the December 2020 issue of the Limbaugh Letter, in an article entitled “American Pravda: Our Soviet-style Media”. Rush quotes numerous publications, in sections titled “Disinformation”, “Outright Lies”, “Race Propaganda”, “Orange Man Bad”, “Orange Man Voters Bad”, “Lies of Omission”, and “No-Fraud Gaslighting.”.

You have to wonder how these so-called journalists sleep at night, with all their intentional deception, disinformation, fabrication, and distortions to serve the agenda of the hard-left Democrat Party. In the old totalitarian USSR, reporters didn’t have a choice; but the American Pravda drive-bys do. Of their own free will they’ve surrendered their talents, their objectivity, their spirit of free inquiry, and even their curiosity to the socialist hive mind; they have become the totalitarians.

Quote of the Day: Department of Agriculture and Fruit Cocktail


My quote of the day comes courtesy of some bureaucrat (or possibly some committee of bureaucrats) at the US Department of Agriculture on the requirements for Grade A fruit cocktail:

Peach. The texture is typical of diced peaches prepared and processed from at least reasonably well-matured fruit and the units may range in tenderness from slightly firm to slightly soft but possess fairly well-defined edges;

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Since President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump now have some level of natural immunity, having experienced a bout of the Chinese virus, it fell to Vice President Pence and Second Lady Karen Pence to lead the nation in the Warp Speed vaccination program. They did so, in a public event, a ceremony of sorts, […]

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Quote of the Day: You Don’t Have to Burn Books


“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.” —Ray Bradbury

For as long as I can remember, books were my closest companions. They took me to exotic countries and taught me about the cultures and the people who lived there. They invited me to go on mysterious investigations and introduced me to bizarre and silly creatures from another world and time. They became friends who let me tag along with them, play with them, and explore new ideas with them. In their presence, life would suddenly become intriguing and fun. There was always something new to learn.

Life would have been empty and lonely without them.

‘Tis the Season: The Jinx is Gone!


Cow ElkThe Colorado high mountain air was cold and thin. Our legs, tired from marching through 20 inches of snow all day, get relief as we travel along a south-facing, therefore, snow-free ridge. Below us, double thick aspen groves reveal very little. But friend and hunting partner, Cliff, whispers my name. His eagle-eyes, assisted with bino’s, pierce the dark aspen jungle. I quickly raise my own binoculars, matching his direction. And there she is — a cow elk.

Hey, I heard you chuckle. Yeah, you. “A cow elk. Like shooting fish in a barrel.” Ok, I didn’t hear you say the second part, but I know you’re thinking it. Sure, a cow. Not some big, cagey, trophy bull with years of experience dodging hunters and crafty hunting guides. Just a little old cow with cute deer eyes, never hurt a soul, cropping grass and nursing her young offspring. Innocence on four hooves. Right?

The gals are good. Very good. Female elk are smart, tough, and live a lot longer than their male counterparts. Their biggest advantage: They run in a harem. With multiple sets of eyes, acute smellers, radar hearing, and spider-senses tingling like Antifa crashing a Taser manufacturers convention, you may have a better chance seeing Bigfoot dancing an Irish jig.

‘Tis the Season for Bad Christmas Music


The Christmas season brings with it holiday music: some quite good, some not so good, and some wonderfully bad. Every wave of popular music brings with it eventual Christmas singles or albums. Singing stars, and others, seem drawn like the wise men following the star. Consider a few examples, but do set your beverage down before listening, as some are inadvertently merry and bright.

We start, of course, with disco. At the tail end of the disco craze, you could expect orchestras to show they are with it. The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra did not disappoint, recording a medley, “Hooked on Christmas” in 1981. The Universal Robot Band released “Disco Christmas” in 1977, straddling street cred and sentiment. Then there were the combined efforts of various session musicians and disco labels. Salsoul released the 1976 album whose cover art you see here. I think the Salsoul OrchestraChristmas Medley” is better than the philharmonic attempt. All of these are better than the perhaps earnest attempt by Charo: “Mamacita, Donde este Santa Clause.” Then there is the album by Mirror Image, a group of studio musicians, turned out Disco Noël with “Silver Bells” as you’ve never heard it before:

‘Tis the Season…The Collection


I got my first Nativity scene when I was 10 years old. I attended an activity at our church for elementary school children that was held in the afternoon on Wednesdays. That year we older girls received a paper depiction of the Manger Scene that could be put together into a diorama. I displayed it every year on our piano in the living room. I found it again after I was married, in the closet of my old bedroom. So I brought it to my own home and put it on display in December every year after that. A few years later, I found an adorable little wooden folding set at a California mission gift shop, and that is when I started the theme for our Christmas decorations.

I had never emphasized Santa Claus with our children. We had three born within three years…yes…we knew what caused it. (I answered THAT question a few too many times–laughing politely with gritted teeth.) (We have five children in total.) But, that Christmas when the baby was only a couple of months old, and I no longer had my home daycare income, I knew that Santa definitely was not coming. We knew there would be a few gifts under the tree from the grandmothers. I was feeling sorry for myself when I experienced a life-changing thought: it isn’t about the presents, is it?? So that is the year we started the tradition of celebrating Christmas a little bit each day of December and emphasizing the commemoration of Jesus’ Birth. We had books to read and treats to make, and songs to sing. Santa was involved when they were little, but it was just a little part–not the whole thing.

‘Tis the Season to Reminisce, and to Put Up the Tree!


I first started commemorating the years I’ve spent here with number six, in 2016. (If you’re younger than me in RicoYears, and you’d like a rundown of what the site looked like on that first day, you’ll find it in that post.)

I found out about Ricochet in August of 2010 on PowerLine, a site I discovered as a result of the Bush/National Guard memo story. (The typeface/font controversy interested me even more than the politics, because it spoke to my professional expertise and wheelhouse.) And I lurked here for a couple of months before the earth-shattering announcement from “Busy System Admin” that members would be allowed to start their own conversations! (Yes, Virginia, for the first six months of Ricochet’s existence, there was no member feed, and even when I joined ten years ago, on December 12, 2010, there was neither personal messaging, nor groups, nor a number of other features and bells and whistles that, to a greater or lesser extent, we all enjoy today.)

Although I was forward enough to comment on my first day here, it took me two full years to work up enough nerve before I dared to write my first post. It took me four-and-a-half more years to get to post 100. Now, a mere three-and-a-half years after that, I’m at 420. Go figure.

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At this time of year there are Advent church services on midweek evenings, usually on Wednesdays or thereabouts. My favorite one took place about this time of the month in December 1959, at the church shown in this photo. My younger brother (James, age 9) and I were home alone, but Mom had prepared supper […]

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One hundred fifty five years ago, the 13th Amendment became part of the United States Constitution, with Georgia’s ratification vote. This year, there is still involuntary servitude around the world, and not as punishment for crime. Indeed, President Trump’s State Department highlighted the well-documented problem of women forced into marriages, shipped into Communist China for […]

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‘Tis the Season: Free the Cake!


It’s the time of year again when many Americans find themselves isolated, out of step, and even mocked and persecuted. I am one of them. This year I am stepping out of the shadows to plead for tolerance for this beleaguered minority. So here goes: My name is Suspira* and I like fruitcake.

I know. Listen to voices in the media—comedians, chatty newscasters, and even advertisers—and you’ll come away with the idea that no one likes fruitcake. In fact, no one even tries to eat them, instead making them ammunition in fruitcake tosses and other seasonal activities for fruitcake-haters. Then there’s the joke that there really is only one fruitcake that has been passed around for centuries.

Fruitcakes (that’s plural!) have been around for a millennium, at least. The ancestor of today’s fruitcake was concocted by the Romans, and the fruitcake habit was spread along with the Roman legions throughout Europe. Each nation produced its own variety, from German stollen to Italian panforte to England’s dense versions featuring marzipan and royal icing.

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Dedication. To one whom I have found ever ready to aid me by his counsel, and to encourage me by his sympathy—my husband—I would affectionately dedicate this little volume. The Author.–Caroline Mehitable Fisher Sawyer, The Merchant’s Widow and Other Tales A spouse’s encouragement can be very important to a writer, or to anyone else. How […]

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Group Writing: Unconventional Holiday Celebrations


Growing up somewhat Jewish, I’ve always felt like a bit of an outsider at Christmas time. It was more difficult as a child because although we were barely observant, we didn’t have even the secular trappings of the season. I thought I’d reminisce a bit, and then bring you current to life at this holiday season time of year.

When I was in the school choir in grade school, singing Christmas songs was, well, awkward. Singing about sleigh rides didn’t create a problem for me (even though I grew up in CA) but songs like, “Silent Night,” as beautiful as it was, made me uncomfortable. Then there was the Christmas concert—in those old days they didn’t make the silly substitute for Christmas with the word “holiday”— and I remember telling my mother about the upcoming concert that I wanted to participate in. It was one thing to sing in class, but another to be on public display. But she decided to let me perform with my friends; I don’t remember if she attended. The administration always tacked on a Chanukah song—usually an awful tune—but they were making a genuine effort to be accommodating.

* * * * *

Quote of the Day: Gone to Texas


“As for Texas, GTT will have consequences. The state welcomes its new residents as friends, but do many of the new residents know and understand the policy set that has driven them from one state, most likely declining and blue, to the Lone Star State?” — Bryan Preston, PJ Media, 12/8/2020

Thanks to Bryan Preston, I now know the acronym that I should have put on my Christmas card: GTT. And to answer his question, yes, I do know!

‘Tis the Season, but…


Traditions linger on…for a time. I had a friend, I have been known to call him my Mentor, even though at times the lessons went the other way. Sherm was born on the exact same day as Alex Trebek. He retired from his corporate job back in maybe 1995 to run a couple of small businesses that he and his wife had. We would go up and visit them. They were closer to the country, probably a good sixteen miles north and ten east of us. Their businesses were complementary: an ice cream shop and a candy factory and retailer. The candy had big days from September through May, and the ice cream was big during the summer. At some point, they decided to buy a place for the candy factory. They had intended to keep the ice cream and candy retailer in the same place but their landlord at the old shop got wind they were looking around, so he tripled their rent. They moved into the new factory and took the retail candy business there as well, but closed down the ice cream business. They sold all of the ice cream equipment.

Somewhere along the way, maybe even before Sherm had retired from his corporate job, my wife and I started giving out gifts of half-pound boxes of chocolate from Sherm’s factory for Christmas. We gave a box to each family member, brothers, and sisters, step-brothers, step-sisters, parents, nieces, and nephews. The box count went between twenty-five and sixty over the years. Then we might get larger boxes for various places, such as a two-pounder for our chiropractor’s office. Everyone in my family plus people at church and other friends have looked forward to that little half-pound box every year, it was really very good chocolate.

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I never considered a difference of opinion in politics, in religion, in philosophy, as cause for withdrawing from a friend. –Thomas Jefferson Here we are, about to have the results of the 2020 election finalized. Much chaos has ensued in the last four years. Relationships have been strained and, in some cases, ended; much hurt […]

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