Leslie's Omnibus


As JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!" It's also the last Friday in National Polka Month, so here you go:

Ah, what the heck! Let's have one more -- the "Always Happy" polka:

The accordion player sure does look "happy," doesn't he?

And now, one for the youngsters in the crowd:


Cholesterol specials from the Princess Mom's recipe box, just in time for the Super Bowl:

Olive Balls

1 Cup flour
2 Cups sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 Stick butter or margerine, softened
50 Small pimento-stuffed green olives, drained

Blend the butter and shredded cheese, then blend in flour just enough to form a dough. Take about 1 teaspoonful of dough and flatten in the palm of one hand. Place an olive in the center, then roll the whole thing into a ball. Place on a cookie sheet and freeze, then throw 'em in a freezer bag to store. Make a double batch if you're doing this for a Super Bowl party. You'll run out fast.

Bake frozen in 400 degree oven for 20 minutes. Serve hot!

Warning: These are as addictive as crack cocaine and you'll be popping them like potato chips.

Beef 'n Cheese Ball

1 8-Oz. package cream cheese, softened
1 Jar or 1 pkg. Armour Star Sliced Dried Beef
1-2 Tbsp. green onion, minced
1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

Julienne the beef, then mix all ingredients together. Shape into a ball and refrigerate.

Simple, but really yummy.

Little Pizzas (a/k/a Heart Attack Waiting to Happen)

1/2 Lb. Bacon
1 Cup shredded cheddar cheese (sharp)
4 Green onions, finely chopped
Mayonnaise (Use the real thing, not that fat-free junk)
1 Loaf cocktail rye bread

Fry the bacon until crisp. Drain on paper towels, then crumble. Mix bacon, cheese onions and enough mayo to make a spreadable paste. Spackle onto slices of cocktail rye, arrange on a cookie sheet and stick under the broiler until bubbly. (Or do as my sister does and stick 'em in the oven at the same time you do the Olive Balls and take 'em out when the cheese bubbles.)

Makes about 20. Again, if you're doing these for the Super Bowl, you may want to double that recipe!

Funniest Comment Thread of the Week: Go here.

Giggle of the Day:

bartender kitteh  iz tellin u 2 go home
more animals

Charlie Delta's cats strike again!

It looks like research may have turned a corner in treating Multiple Sclerosis. That's wonderful news!

You remember that laughable quote about the Chicago Olympics being 100% privately funded?

While for selfish reasons I'd love to see the summer games, I fear the cost to this city would be far too high. Second City Cop agrees:
We can't even name a City Contract that was delivered on-time, on-budget in the past twenty years of Daley's rule - and neither can you because they don't exist.

We are so doomed.
Too right.

One more thing...

Ex-Governor Blago? I've got your theme song right here:


Tootin' the Horn

Well, he had his 43 minutes and lost.

Now that the Blagoviator has gotten the boot, maybe the Illinois state legislature can finally get some real work done.

'Scuse me while I do the happy dance.



Quote of the Day:
As a card-carrying liberal, I'll always defend the rights of the Rush Limbaughs of the world to speak their minds. That's kind of the point of freedom of speech, right? It's not just for me and my like-minded friends -- it's for everyone, no matter how narrow-minded.

Argue about the context of Limbaugh's comments all you want, but the reality is that more than a handful of conservatives want Obama to fail, just as many liberals wanted George W. Bush to fail.

It's fine to root against certain presidential goals if you believe those agendas will harm the greater good. Of course, if you're rooting for the president to fail only because you didn't vote for him and you want him to lose in 2012, that says a lot more about your alleged patriotism than you might like.
Why can't all liberals be as reasonable as Richard Roeper?

Wow! There are some great Chicago dining deals here. Anybody interested in getting together?

It seems Drew Peterson couldn't stand the fact that someone was getting more negative publicity than him, so he went on back on the radio to pollute the jury pool once more:
"I will acknowledge that I would have concerns if I was the friends and family of this young girl," Peterson told Bashir.

But "she likes me. She likes me a lot," he said. "I'm good to her and I treat her better than she's ever been treated. ... But I will acknowledge that I would have concerns if I was the friends and family of this young girl."
So he's selfish and thinking of only himself? Gee! Who'da thunk it?
Peterson complained about all the attention he gets from the media, and the picture of him it paints.
Sure. Which is why he's doing this interview in the first place. Spare. Me.

Oh, holy night, I've fallen in love. Just go here, and you'll understand. Even more sick, this one, this one, this one and this one are my very faves.

I'll be giggling all week about these critters.

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Chartered Excursions -- Dublin, Ireland?

I'm badly in need of a vacation, and I've found a really good deal on a one week trip to Dublin.

I can afford it.

There's no reason for me not to do this.

So why can't I just push the purchase button???

Damn it, people, talk me into this!

Ear Worm of the Day:



Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

(Charlie Delta's cat, obviously.)

Da big lie:
The budget for London's 2012 Olympic Games is four times what was initially projected.

But Chicagoans shouldn't worry about potential cost overruns drying up public money if the Olympic Games come to town in 2016, the chief of bid operations for Chicago 2016 said Tuesday at the Union League Club.

John Murray said it's a misconception that taxpayers could lose money if Chicago hosts the 2016 Olympic Games. That won't happen because Chicago's bid is "100 percent privately funded," he said.
I nearly fell out of my chair laughing. (And if time proves him wrong, does he get a re-do?)

While nobody is more anxious than I to see the back end of the Blagoviator in the governor's office, I'm thinking Pat Quinn is showing the signs of Illinois pol accute, chronic oxymoronism that advances the higher up the food chain you go:
One target would be the signs displaying Blagojevich's name over state tollways, which Quinn called a symbol of "pompous government."

"The signs will go down, and we'll probably have a ceremony to do it," Quinn told the Tribune. "I might even ask some toll payers to help us out."
Do these guys EVER listen to the crap that rolls out of their mouths? And isn't it nice to see our soon-to-be governor focusing on the important stuff?

Quote of the Day:
At the rate Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich is going on his media blitz to distract from impeachment proceedings Downstate, he will be closing out the week on Cable 10 community access channel in Aurora, reciting his talking points to Garth Algar and Wayne Campbell on "Wayne's World."
Made me laugh, that did.

Rather than arresting this kid, why hasn't somebody gotten him involved in an Explorer Post here, or asked him to volunteer at the local PD shop? Seems to me there'd be far more benefit, all the way around.

And people wonder why the economy is in trouble? Yikes.

Ear Worm of the Day:


Bus Fumes

I'm all Blagoed out for the moment. He reminds me of my six year old niece, who's been known to stick out her lower lip and pout, "It's not fair!" from time to time.

For her, and, I'll wager, for Blago, it's not fair simply because it's not going her (or his) way.

Or, when caught in a fib, TMBCITW (yes, I admit it -- she's not perfect... but close) might say, "Uh, uh! It wasn't me," knowing all the while that it sure was.

I've gotten to the point where I'm waiting for Blago to haul out an imaginary friend to blame it on, just like TMBCITW. Oddly, Richard Roeper thinks along the same lines:
As for Blago's other possible choices to fill that Senate seat, no word on the rumor that he also considered asking his very good friend, Jimmy the Imaginary Lemur.
And speaking of Blago's dreams, remember how I've been saying he's probably concocting his strategy for running in the next Presidential election?
Actually, his delusions may be worse than we suspect. Blagojevich's actions this week make sense only if he thinks he has a political future after he's removed from office. And given his capacity for implausible dreams, I suspect that's exactly what he imagines.

Obviously, he's not helping himself with senators by refusing to show up or send his lawyers to mount a defense. But he undoubtedly realizes that given the evidence against him, he has no chance of being acquitted regardless. So he's planning for what happens afterward.

Here's the scenario I think Blagojevich has in his mind: He denounces the Senate trial as a lynching, and he's removed from office. But in time, he manages to secure an acquittal in his criminal trial. At that point, he can declare that his innocence has been confirmed beyond all doubt, claim that the Senate verdict was clearly a gross miscarriage of justice, and re-enter the political arena as the ultimate comeback kid.
So how come I'm not getting paid for writing Op Ed pieces for the Tribune? Obviously, I'm ahead of my time.

Why am I so depressed? Because this and this are so true it's frightening.

That capering fool is distracting us from those two truths, and we should be ashamed of ourselves for ignoring what's really important here and giving the Ego That Ate Illinois a feeding platform.


Obama calls his "Hope" and "Change."

As for me...

You Should Call Your Boobs "Death & Taxes"


Which do you think is more close to the truth?

(A tip of the cap to Kelly for the giggle.)

Ooooh! There's a new Thomas Perry/Jane Whitefield book coming out! I'm a huge Thomas Perry fan, and have been waiting forever for the next in this series. Woot! (Happy dance time.)

The Venomous One knocks this one over the fence and right out of the park:
Oh, sure. I know some of you rabid non-smokers out there are no doubt applauding, particularly those of you living in apartments and condos who’ve had to deal with the smell of your neighbor’s cigarette smoke.

But just remember: first they came for the smokers. Piss enough of us off and you’re going to see smokers starting to call for legislation that makes it illegal for you to cook smelly food, wear cheap perfume, clump around in high heels on hardwood floors and sing along with your radio.
Sing it, sister!

I really do need a bigger bank account, because after I saw this, I wanted it ALL. Cool, Beautiful. Eco-Friendly.

Ear Worm of the Day:

Which makes this little Blogthing appropriate:

Your Ideal Island Vacation is Fiji

On an island vacation, you prefer to get the full beach experience.

And for you, that means staying somewhere with few people and lots of beach.

With over 300 islands, you can find your own private spot in Fiji.

Relax by the crystal clear water, or venture off to find a waterfall.


Regular Riders

Update II: We Have A Recipient: Livey has gracefully deferred to Maeve, who'll have to let me know what kind of gift card she'd like.

Update: We Have A Winner -- The delightful Livey of Northwoods Woman fame.
Since she doesn't have a Potbelly's nearby, I wonder if she'll take a gift card for Perkins Restaurant? (And I know she's got one nearby.)

Anyway, thanks again for playing. I will bribe you again another time, because this was just too darned much fun.

To my loyal 40, the approximately 40 of you who stop by every day, please stand up and identify in the comments. Number 40 in the comments gets a $20 Potbelly's gift certificate. You can identify more than once, but not more than once in a row.

My faithful few, you have no idea how much I appreciate your loyalty... and your constancy. In the meantime, let me make this small gesture of thanks.

You've got forty comments.

Go ahead. Make my month.

What's Potbelly's? Only my favorite place to stop for breakfast, let alone lunch. If you don't have one in your area and you happen to be number 40 in the comments, I can substitute Panera Bread, Caribou Coffee or Starbucks gift cards. I'm not so picky about the gift as I am about seeing just how many of you I recognize... and to get to know those of you I don't!

I'm moving this up to the top for a while, just to see if I can't make it to 40 comments. Go ahead. Humor me.

Clearly I need to be bribing you people more often. This is FUN!

Update: 1/22/09, 1:50 p.m. CST, 27 down, 13 to go!

Update: 1/23/09, 10:52 CST, 32 down, 8 to go. (Remember -- my comments don't count, and two comments back-to-back by the same person count as one.)

Hmmm. You think maybe somebody will win this today?

Bus Fumes

The Blagoviator continues his codswallop-flinging tour:
“I keep hoping that maybe they will wake up and realize that this is just one big misunderstanding.”
There's a misunderstanding alright. When you're the only one in the world who believes he's misunderstood, maybe... just maybe... you're not.

Even his attorneys have given up on him:
Gov. Rod Blagojevich's chief defense attorney announced Friday that he is bailing out of the fraud and bribery case against the governor, strongly hinting that his embattled client refused to listen to his advice.

"I never require a client to do what I say, but I do require them to at least listen," Edward Genson said. "I intend to withdraw as counsel in this case."
Well, what did he expect?

And now, the Gov is pulling out the stops and doing a Drew:
By hiring the public-relations firm that represents former Bolingbrook Police Sgt. Drew Peterson, the impeached governor of Illinois has accomplished two things.

He has given the green light to those of us who felt timid about drawing comparisons between his brash behavior and Peterson's. And he has cemented our state's new marketing slogan as: "Come to Illinois. Chock full o' crazy."
I don't think he's crazy though... at least not any crazier than I think Drew Peterson is. Tainting the national jury pool seems to be gaining popularity as a legal strategy around here, that's for sure.

I'm not the only one who doesn't think he's crazy:
[T]here’s usually not much hope for a person with a narcissistic personality disorder, he says.

“The personality is really hard to change,” Bohlen said. “They’re hard to work with. They’re non-compliant. There are impairments to either social or occupational or other types of functioning. They’re easy to make mad, and when they do, they tend to drop out of therapy or counseling. They only come back when they’re hurting again and they need an immediate fix, and they expect you’ll make them well with a pill or something.”

Just ask Ed Genson.

“People who are narcissistic rarely get psychotherapy,” Moredock said. “They don’t think they’re the problem.

“They think everyone else is the problem.”



Quote of the Day:
Were I ever to be elected, I’d mandate Pantsless Policy Days randomly. I’d just periodically get a bee in my Presidential bonnet, and declare that day to be a Day When No Pants Are Worn. Everyone in the West Wing that day — lowliest congressional Page to Senior detail Secret service Chief — would have to be detrouserified**. Any appointments on the Presidential calendar? Tell ‘em to wear their good squirrel covers.
Made me giggle, it did.

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Why do I get the feeling there's a dad involved in this somehow?

Once again the City of Chicago engages in the kind of behavior that bodes dangerous for our future. Will Mayor Shortshanks ever get the message that we need to stop spending like a sailor on shore leave?

Ear Worm of the Day:

It's really, really cold here again, and I'd rather be someplace where...

... yeah. I could be sitting in the sand with my feet in the ocean sipping boat drinks.

Quick Trip

Giggle of the Day:

The late, great Johnny Carson and the incomparable Betty White in my favorite skit of all time.

No other late night host has ever come close to his wacky genius!


Because CharlieDelta has been so amused with my kitty p*r*on postings lately, this one's for him:

(Gleefully swiped from Julie.)

And, while we're at the pole dancing...

So there.

Hazmat Alert

I see in the news that the Blagoviator has hauled out his cartload of codswallop and taken it on the road to offer up to the other 49 states of the union, a fistful of spoons in his back pocket for your sampling pleasure.

I especially enjoy his comparisons of self to Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King, Jr. when, by rights, he should be comparing himself to Bernie Madoff, Chuckles the Clown and Nero, fiddling while Illinois burns with embarrassment.

Whatever you do, dear readers, do not sup from the swill he ladling up. It’s equal parts hubris, the contents of his chamber pot, and generous dollops of the “testicular virility” of which he so happily boasts, and stinks worse than the odors wafting out from the Parisian cheese shop that nearly brought me to my knees a few years ago.

If you insist on sampling his goods, hold your nose and close your eyes. That’s what we’re force-fed daily in Illinois, and the only way to swallow is to force it down. The smell is not the worst part, though. The taste, my friends is bitter, very bitter, and lingers long after the fifteenth time you’ve brushed your teeth and gargled with Listerine.

Bus Fumes

You know how my train just missed hitting some idiot woman who just had to run in front of it to make it to work on time last week?

Yeah, well this morning her sister in stupidity wasn't so lucky, and it made everyone's train thereafter late.

Compounding my aggravation? Stupid people, and lots of them, at my own train station crossed the tracks after the gates were down, knowing that the same behavior had just gotten someone else killed not even an hour before, jockeying for position to be the first on the first train that came our direction.

Since the first train was about an hour late, it was, of course, packed, so not everyone could board. The whole herd of lemmings crossed back and forth across the tracks trying to figure out if the next train would be on the local or the express tracks.

Nothing makes me want to whip off a shoe and apply it upside someone's head like this kind of colossal idiocy.

That stupid woman probably left a mother, a father, a sister, a brother, a lover, a husband, some kids and who knows how many friends... with broken hearts. She certainly took ten years off the life of the engineer who was driving the train and couldn't warp the laws of physics to allow him to stop the train in time. I'm sure it also did nothing good for the clean-up crew who had to scrape her bits and parts and scrub her blood from the tracks. Anyone and everyone who saw what happened will certainly be traumatized for a long time by her last rash act.

That one hour later I could see so many more of her kindred spirits waiting to join her in oblivion stood on my one last nerve when it comes to this.

As far as I'm concerned, Metra should just keep the trains running and let nature take care of the grease spots on the tracks. These folks clearly don't value their own lives. Why should I?

(And, yes -- I'm pissed beyond belief about this at the moment. I'll calm down later. But not by much.)


JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!" In my continuing homage to National Polka Month:

(Confession time: When my nephew, who is now 28, was a toddler, the only way I could get him to stop crying was to sing "Roll Out the Barrel" and swing him around the room on a rollicking polka. That always led to peals and peals of laughter. So, yes -- I do like polka music.)

Weekend Comfort Food From the Princess Mom's Recipe Box:

Do you like the French Silk Pie from Bakers Square? If so, here's the Princess Mom's luscious home version.

Chocolate Velvet Pie

3/4 cup chocolate chips
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 pint whipping cream
1 bar good quality milk and/or dark chocolate

1 baked pie shell (TPM always used this idiot-proof recipe for the crust)

Melt chocolate chips in a double boiler. Remove from heat and cool slightly. Beat in egg yolks with a spoon, one at a time. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff. Add sugar gradually. Add vanilla to chocolate mixture, then fold mixture into egg whites. Pour into baked pie shell and cool until firm. Cover with sweetened whipped cream. Garnish with shaved chocolate (shave from the bar of chocolate using a very sharp knife or a vegetable peeler).


Quote of the Day:
I was hesitant to go because after the Drunken Bible Charades Incident of Aught Eight I placed a self-imposed moratorium on parlor games (YOU try making people guess “You are the priest of Melchizedek” in five-inch alligator sling backs after your third caipirinha. NOT THAT EASY. Although I must say all in all the folks at the seminary were VERY understanding) so as I said…hesitant…but I make it a priority to attend any party hosted by any man with a building named after him and so I went.
I love the Plumcake... even if she is bad for my pocketbook.

Here's a number that'll make your head spin:
Some 37 million Americans have moved to the nation’s shorelines since 1980, just as hurricanes have become more destructive.
There's lots more of interest here. Let's hope Obama listens.

I don't know if having this skill would be a blessing or a curse. It sure would make it difficult to maintain normal relationships, wouldn't it?

Blago is bloviating up a storm:
"Dec. 9 to my family, to us, to me, is what Pearl Harbor Day was to the United States," Gov. Rod Blagojevich said in an interview with The Associated Press. "It was a complete surprise, completely unexpected. And just like the United States prevailed in that, we'll prevail in this."
My personal fave:
"In some respects it's an honor to fall on principle on behalf of the people," he said.
"They want to get me out fast so they could put a huge income-tax increase on the people of Illinois," the governor said in a 43-minute interview this morning on WLS-AM 890's Don Wade & Roma show. "And they want to raise the sales tax on gas. . . . If I'm out of the way, they can quietly push this through."
If they have to push through an income tax, it's because you, Governor Giveaway, were such a spendthrift that you have all but bankrupted the state treasury.
"I’m immaterial in this process."
Got that in one, Skippy.
"If I participate in this sham impeachment, I will undermine the people," Blagojevich said, also calling himself "a soldier for constitutional rights."
Ah, the hubris.

All that and more here, here and here.

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals


Quote of the Day:
Small part choking hazard
The ovaries may be pulled off
and become a choking hazard.
Keep away from children
Yeesh. I don't want to even know the kind of mind that comes up with stuff like this.

Looking for work? Here are 13 companies hiring right now. Good luck!

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more puppies

Ear Worm of the Day:

Work... and work...

Oh, what the heck. Let's have a few Blogthings:

You Are Silver

You are a flexible person. Being open to opportunities in life has served you well.

You are very polished and sophisticated. You're probably in a higher class than you were born into.

You are naturally popular and quite influential. You are a bit of a trend starter among people you know.

And while you are well liked, you don't let it go to your head. You remain contemplative and wise.

Your International Spy Name is Solitaire Whisper

Your Code Name: Checkmate

You Reside in: Las Vegas

Why You're a Good Spy: You're a good liar

You Are A Romantic Realist

You tend to be grounded when it comes to romance.

Sure, you can fall hard... but only for someone you've gotten to know.

And once you're in love, you can be a total romantic goofball...

But you'd never admit it to your friends!


There. My work is done for today...


Ear Worm of the Day (inspired by this):


Quotes of the Day:
[A] well placed claw in a bean tooshie may not always get you your food faster, but it will amuse you to no end when the bean starts jumping around and hollering. -- Miles Meezer

I am the mighty Whapinator. -- Sammy Meezer

What? The Meezer boys make me laugh.

Psssst! Ladies! If you want to know how to get a guy's attention, forget dressing provocatively. Just be able to recite this recipe by heart. Unless he's a vegan or vegetarian, he'll follow you anywhere.

(A big smoocharoonie to Contagion for the pointer.)

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals


If Charlie Delta had a cat, it would have a purrsonality like this:


This is how my day has gone:

How was yours?

Rest Stop

For my friend Judy, yes, I really meant it. And this is for you:

I hope you sleep well tonight.

Bus Fumes

You know, it's almost embarrassing to tell people you live in Illinois these days.

First of all, we have the lunatic governor who's really good at making others look bad.

In fact, he's playing organ grinder to the dancing monkeys of the Illinois legislature. They're too busy capering to the tune he's playing to stop and realize they can change the rules on him at any time -- and should have done it months ago.

Then we've got Chicago pols, who spend more time on foie gras, transfats and keeping big box stores out of the city than on cutting crime or bringing jobs into the city.

And the leadership of Chicago's constabulary is not much better.

Is it any wonder this is true:
“In several parts of Illinois, voters have come to tolerate a certain level of corruption if they’re getting their streets plowed after a snow storm and getting their garbage picked up,” said Mike Lawrence, a retired director at the University of Southern Illinois’ Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.
Sorry. This is not acceptable, and what got us into our current mess in the first place. Argh!


Giggle of the Day, Part 1:

Go here.

Giggle of the Day, Part 2:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Yep. That's me most Mondays...

Giggle of the Day, Part 3:

Go here. Then go over here and tell Beth how much you enjoy her work!

Ass-Burgers? I've met more than a few folks who could claim the same...

Quote of the Day:
Just tell me one thing why is so much money being spent on Portapotties in Washington DC? Who is going to need them? After all, as soon as the 44th president is inaugurated, sunshine is going to start beaming out of our collective national ass.

Isn't it?

Leanne is calling for entries in her graphite portrait give-away contest number 4. Go on! Enter! You know you want to.

A meme, swiped from Richmond:

Five Things You Will NEVER Hear Me Say:

Bungee jumping? Count me in.

No thanks -- I couldn't possibly read another book.

Bartender! Another round of Ouzo!

Whaddaya mean there's no topless bar dancing? Gimme a boost and I'LL show you topless bar dancing. (Preceded immediately by "Bartender! Another round of Ouzo!")

Pinot Noir? I'm SO over that.

Ear Worm of the Day:


Tootin' the Horn

One of the best parts of blogging, for me, has been the wonderful people I've met.

Saturday night I got to share food and drink with a guy who I met only briefly in Austin, TX and that was almost three years ago.

Now, he may tell you he's a fat, hairy Norwegian from New Scandahoovia, but really, Mike is a terrific teddy-bear of a guy. Widely-read, thoughtful, funny, and a semi-confirmed bachelor, he's wonderful company. (And a little bit crazy. Anyone who'd drive from the land of Sven and Ole to Chicago in a snow storm...)

Anyway, if you ever get a chance to break bread with the guy, just do it! You'll thank me for it.

(And, Mike? Safe travels, my friend.)

Road Conditions

The Sun Times has it right:

Mostly Sunny


Eric Zorn asks, "How Cold Is It?"

And one of my coworkers sent this little tidbit earlier today:

Fun fact of the day... It is colder here than at the North pole! The latest temperature data for the North Pole says it is -15.3 Celsius (+4.5 F), it looks like it got as low as -4 F at its lowest point yesterday.

North Pole Temp: http://psc.apl.washington.edu/northpole/


JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!" In honor of National Polka Month:

(And do me a favor -- JihadGene and family could really, really use your prayers right now. I've walked that road, and I know.)

Giggle of the Day:

(A tip of the cap to Thumper).

Oh. Mah. Gawd. I think this calls for a road trip to Des Moines. Anybody game?

Hmmmm. I wonder of Christine's got room on her couch?

If you thought lawyers were boring, think again.

The Homeless Guy has a simple request that won't cost anything but a few minutes of your time. He's an incredibly talented writer who's passionate about his subject and educating the public. He really does deserve a chance to dig himself out of homelessness.

You really didn't think I'd let the week end without a couple of Blogthings, did you?

Your Word is "Love"

You see life as possibility to form deep connections with a few people.

Relationships are the center of your world, and you always take time to bond with those you love.

You are caring and giving. You enjoy helping those you love.

And when it comes to romantic love, you feel passionately ... even in a very long term relationship.

Your Friendship Style is Empathetic

You deeply care about each person you're friends with. For you, friendship is all about the personal connection.

You tend to know everything about your friends' lives... and they know everything about yours. Your friends are your confidants.

You are always there for your friends. You celebrate their successes and support them in their times of need.

You are as loyal as they come. And you expect the same loyalty and understanding from your friends in return.

You and another Empathetic Friend: Have a amazing friendship, when it works. You care for each other deeply, but you often end up with hurt feelings and drama.

You and a Gregarious Friend: May have a bit of a one sided friendship. You adore your Social Friend, but you sometimes feel a bit neglected.

You and an Independent Friend: Struggle a bit. You are very interested in your Independent Friend's life, but your friend often needs more space.

You and a Philosophical Friend: Respect one another. You love to learn about your Philosophical Friend's brilliant ideas.

Guys Think You're Easy to Be With... But Not Easy

You're definitely a flirt - and a good one.

But you also know that you shouldn't make a move on any cute guy who passes by.

You save your seductive moves for someone who already knows the real you.

That way, your sex appeal is just part of the whole package.



The Advice Goddess coins a new term. I giggle myself silly for hours... and then I swipe it, merrily. Betcha you will, too.

The Presidents of the Field Museum of Natural History and the Lincoln Park Zoo take salary cuts due to the economy. Kudos, gentlemen.

Mayor Shortshanks and his band of Merry Aldermen, on the other hand, pretend the well will never run dry.

Chicago -- the city that... never ceases to amaze.

Did you know?
Funeral procession laws vary from state to state and even among communities. Illinois law states that the lead vehicle in a procession must obey stop signs and traffic signals, but the rest of the caravan can proceed without stopping and has the right of way as long as all vehicles keep on their headlights.
Seems that fewer and fewer people are aware of that law, and it's leading to lots of accidents.

I just love it when people blame everyone but the people who failed to do their homework and chose to live beyond their means:
And while there's plenty of blame to go around -- unethical mortgage brokers, greedy bankers and irresponsible homeowners -- one culprit continues to get off scot-free: HGTV.
Spare. Me.

I don't know when or how we came to be a culture that lives right up to the outer limits of its credit limits, but you can hardly blame a single television network for that. You might as well throw in any network that features customized cars and motorcycles and RVs. QVC and HSN. Any children's programming network, because they advertise extensively. The Food Channel, for hawking Rachel Ray cookware to Alton Brown's DVDs. The History Channel for hawking mini-series DVDs, books, etc. Any network that sells advertising for anything, because we are a weak-willed consumer society who can be easily persuaded to buy ANYTHING and EVERYTHING, whether we can afford it or not.

I'm betting that many of the same people who overextended themselves on mortgages are also carrying multiple credit cards with balances pushed to the limit. I'll bet they're also driving vehicles that have every whistle and bell the outer limits of their credit at the car dealerships could buy. They've got designer clothes, glasses, dishes and jewelry.

Call me kooky, but I don't have a single credit card; I do have a debit card. If I can't afford it, I don't buy it... or I save up for it. I rent, instead of own, because I don't want the hassle of property upkeep. I remember layaway... and Christmas clubs. I've been frighteningly poor and, although I have a good job now and have for a long time, I have never forgotten what it was like to be terrified of where I was going to go to earn enough money to pay the bills. (And notice I say earn and not get. I didn't beg for it. I didn't borrow it. I earned it, even if I did work myself into the ground to do it.)

Growing up, I watched my parents live on a strict budget so they could pay off credit card bills monthly and pay off mortgages long before they were due. My dad hated the thought of living beyond his means, and simply wouldn't do it. As a result, there was plenty of money to live a comfortable life once retirement rolls around. I learned my lesson from the best.

Instead of educating themselves and saving for their futures, however, one hell of a lot of people in this country have been playing the grasshopper instead of the ant.

In addition, Mr. Sollisch also fails to acknowledge that many of the shows on HGTV were created for people who want an attractive home, but are, for whatever reason, limited as to the budget they can spend. Imagine! Actually promoting the idea of decorating on a shoestring budget! Yes, the good folks at Design on a Dime are Satan and responsible for the collapse of the economy.

Just thought you'd like that cleared up for you.

Ear Worm of the Day:


Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more puppies


Partly Sunny
Weather: VICIOUS

They're not kidding, either!


Ear Worm of the Day:

Boy, I haven't thought about that one in years, but today's weather churned this one up from the bottom of the ol' memory bank.

Speaking of the ol' memory bank, these reminded me of my '80s big shoulder pads days... BUT... don't those particular ones look like something you'd stick in your bra and not on your shoulders? By golly, all the darned things lack is nipples.

For those of you who appreciate fine wine, beer and spirits, I present The Boozehound. Don't say I never did anything for you -- especially those of you in Chicago.

Giggle of the Day (and must be from someone who loves me!):

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more puppies

It's freaking COLD outside, and getting colder by the minute. It's headed for 30 degrees below with the wind chill tonight. Brrrrrrrrrrrr!

I'd forgotten about this photo, but that's probably going to be me for the next week or so. (And boy, oh, boy do I miss her still.)

I believe in angels, you know.

I met one this morning -- a lovely young lady named Roxie who saw me trudging through the snow and offered me a ride up the street to the train station. Roxie, wherever you are, there's a special place in heaven for folks like you.

I also almost saw one created today, and not in a good way. My train came within about six inches of ending the life of an INCREDIBLY STUPID woman who just HAD to cross the tracks in the face of an oncoming EXPRESS train. (Yes, I am shouting, thank you very much.)

Do the rest of the word a favor and QUIT BEING A SELF-ABSORBED IDIOT!!! There's always another train. Unless you believe in reincarnation, there's not always another life.


Psssssssssssst! Nancy, Pammy and Julie: My boss gave me a bottle of Veuve Clicquot Ponsardin for a late Christmas gift. I'm saving it for the mini-fridge at BlogHer.

I'm pretty darned sure my wine gurus would approve heartily.

You game?

For Beauty Care Product Fanatics Only (Everyone else just scroll on past this, please.)

As you all know, I don't have any ads on my sidebars. I will, however, write about products that I've used and liked, do restaurant reviews and the like.

I got a request today for ad space on the ol' sidebar which I had to refuse... but I took a look at the site they wanted ad space for, and liked what I saw.

I don't know about you, but I don't have the time, money or energy to go out and try all the latest and greatest moisturizers, wrinkle removers, exfoliators, etc. The Performance Leader, however, has done all the homework so you don't have to. In fact, I'm likely to spend the money to try their choice for Best Wrinkle Cream for 2009 - Dermapril-SP.

Take a peek for yourself.

Leanne's doing Week #3 of her Graphite Portrait Give-Away Contest. What are you waiting for?

How I'm getting home tonight:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

I'm an embarrassment to Barack!

I only scored 17 on the Obama Test

Yup. Sounds about right.

Roadside Diner

The comfort food craze continues at the Depot de Omnibus Driver. I found a very inexpensive package of deli ham ends at my favorite local grocery store (1.25 pounds for $2.25? C'mon. I'm buying it and I'll figure out what to do with it later), froze half, and used the other half to make one of my all-time favorites:

Omnibus Driver's Knock-Your-Socks-Off Lentil Soup

1 Carrot
1 Rib celery
1 Medium onion
2 Cloves garlic (or one generous spoonful of the jarred stuff from the produce section)
Olive oil
1 Lb. Lentils
10 Cups water, divided
1/2 - 3/4 Lbs. diced ham or sliced smoked sausage
1 Bay leaf
1 Can tomato paste
4 Extra-large beef bouillon cubes (I like the Knorr stuff.)
2 Tsp. Worchestershire sauce
3 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
Lawry's Seasoned Salt and Lemon Pepper to taste

Fine dice the veggies. In a large dutch oven, add olive oil, two turns of the pan. Saute the veggies over medium heat until glassy. Rinse the lentils and add to the pot with the bay leaf, meat and four cups of water. Bring up to a boil, then simmer over low heat for an hour or until the lentils are soft.

Add the rest of the ingredients, adjust the seasonings and let simmer for at least 1/2 hour more.

Serve with good crusty bread and real butter... and a big glass of a bold red wine. Mmmmmmmmmmm!

And while I'm on the subject of food:

You Are Buttermilk Pancakes

Your prefer traditional, old fashioned foods.

You shy away from anything fake, and you like meals with simple ingredients.

It's not likely someone would find margarine or diet soda in your kitchen.

Instead, someone might find a loaf of homemade bread baking or a soup simmering.

You Are a Blueberry Muffin

You are a nurturing, domestic, homey person.

Of all the types, you are the most likely to make your own muffins at home.

You don't like to rock the boat, and you're most content when you're making everyone else happy.

You are very loyal. You'll defend your family and friends, even if you secretly disapprove of what they're doing.

You tend to be a bit shy and withdrawn. You don't make friends quickly or easily.

But once you do make a good friend, the chances are high that you'll be friends for life.

You Are a Boston Creme Donut

You have a tough exterior. No one wants to mess with you.

But on the inside, you're a total pushover and completely soft.

You're a traditionalist, and you don't change easily.

You're likely to eat the same doughnut every morning, and you pout if it's sold out.

You Are Toast

Old fashioned and a bit of a homebody, you totally go for comfort food.

You're the type who loves to cook for friends, and they love you for it.

You truly know what tastes good, and you can often pick out the best dish at a restaurant.

You don't fall for food trends. You stick with what's been food for a long time!


The Wheels On The Bus...

... go 'round and round... just like Illinois politics:
Thank goodness for Alpana Singh, who has the best answer to all of this: imPEACHment Chipotle Margaritas.

I'll drink to that, anyway.

Roadside Diner

I've been craving a lot of rice lately, and this is one of my favorite ways to get a Saturday night meal and three containers to freeze for lunches during the week:

1 splooch of olive oil or 1 tbsp. of butter/margerine
1 medium onion, diced
1 clove garlic, crushed or minced
1 can of diced or crushed tomatoes (better, if you can get it, 1 can of Ro-Tel Original)
1 can of niblet corn, drained or 1-1/2 cups frozen corn
1/2 lb. smoked beef sausage, sliced (sometimes I just use a couple of these, which I always have in the freezer), or substitute 1-2 cups cooked chicken if you've got it.
1 pkg. Vigo Santa Fe Rice and Beans or Smokey Cowboy Beans & Rice
1/2 cup less water than the amount indicated on the packaging

In a sauce pan, saute onion and garlic in butter or olive oil until glassy. Dump in the tomatoes, corn, sausage slices and water. Bring up to a boil. Add the rice mix and seasonings and finish cooking per package instructions.

While it's great right out of the pan, this totally ROCKS when it's had a chance to sit for a day and let all the flavors blend.

Mmmmmmmmmm! I'm getting hungry again.


As JihadGene says, "It's Friday! Let's Dance!"

Shake your caboose, baby.

Remember that hairball I was talking about the other day? It sounded about this big:

funny pictures of cats with captions
more animals

Giggle of the Day:
Being that he’s one of the Trailerians, that of course means he’s meth-chic skinny, and his underoos are dangerously close to falling off his nonexistent ass, potentially - and terrifyingly - exposing his twig and berries.
Eye bleach, indeed.

Via Mamacita comes the funniest video I've seen in a while:

I think the Elderly Brothers should learn that one for the next Jawja Blodgmeet... and the rest of us should learn the sign language. Whaddaya say, Eric? After about a gallon of Chatham Artillary Marching Polution... er... Solution... er Liquid Courage, we'd be a hell of a sight.

Have a great weekend!

Bus Fumes

More Chicago crap that chaps my ass:

I agree with Eric Zorn:
Yes, it's a poultry fest—one of the biggest turkeys in Illinois political history will have placed one of the silliest roosters in Illinois political history in a luxury coop on Capitol Hill. Both birds should be ashamed of themselves. Neither are. That's that. We'll survive.

Once again Mayor Shortshanks is playing games with city streets:
Yesterday, Daley was all willing to circumvent State and Federal law regarding grants and matching funds to get a piece of the pie Obama is setting up after the inauguration. Today he can't reveal how cutbacks are going to become dollars for plowing?
SCC is right. Richie is nuts.

If you wonder at all why Cook County, IL has the highest taxes in the nation, how 'bout this for example:
Last winter, Cook County Highway Department maintenance employees called in sick, took vacation or put in for paid time off on the same days they earned overtime compensation, a Chicago Sun-Times review of payroll records shows.
Nice work if you can get it, huh?

Well, DUH!
Lawmakers detailed a litany of alleged abuses of the governor's power in the draft report. The list include Blagojevich expanding health care without legislative approval, spending state money on useless flu vaccines, refusing to release federal subpoenas and other government information to the public, widespread hiring abuses and pay-to-play activities in which big contributors often wound up with hefty state contracts.
This could have and should have been taken care of months ago by our pals down in Springfield. We wouldn't be facing the mess we're in with Blago's selection of Roland Burris if they had.

I'm not surprised. Are you?

The fighting in DC has started before the Exalted One has even taken the Oath of Office:
President-elect Barack Obama's proposed tax cuts are running into opposition from senators in his own party who say they won't do much to stimulate the economy or create jobs.
Hope and change. Right.


I've got two new heroes.

First is Liberty Girl:

Unfortunately, we have reached a point where most people just cannot conceive of living without the Government’s help and supervision. Self-reliance to them means carrying the trash to the curb, so Government services can whisk it away to La-La Land. What happens before and after that is not really their concern, and they like it that way.

I just have one question, and it may as well just be rhetorical for all the intelligent response it will generate:

Do you enjoy being a victim?

Beautiful stuff, idn't it?

The second is Ed Morrissey of Hot Air fame:
He who pays the piper calls the tune. When we surrender our responsibilities to ourselves in favor of a nanny state, don’t be surprised to be treated like children … or worse.

Kevin Barbieux asks a very valid question:
It seems funny to think of refusing to treat a person with a broken leg because of the bad decisions that person made in life. Or, of telling a person with a ruptured appendix that he must fix his injury on his own without help from anyone else. It's odd to think of denying rest and proper nutrition to people who require it to return to health. It's even funnier to believe that if we provided the necessary services to injured and ill people, that it would only encourage other people to become injured and ill too – and that we should fear our city being overrun by sick people, if word got out that we were actually treating and healing them.

So, why do people think that way about homeless people? Why are we afraid to help homeless people get well? Why do we pawn homeless people off on God, and expect God to take care of everything?
Tell it, brother!

It's nice to see I'm not the only one reveling in her geekitude this week! Congrats on your new baby, Theresa.

In honor of National Polka Month, how about a little Frankie Yankovic?

(Frankie and the boys were on every Sunday after lunch when I lived in Cleveland. This clip is typical fare!)

Ooooh! I want to be like HER when I grow up.

Giggle of the Day:

funny pictures of dogs with captions
see more puppies

Roadside Diner

You can tell winter is really setting in, as some of my favorite bloggers are turning to comfort food. The great thing about comfort food is that it isn't necessarily difficult to make, but it's delicious and filling.

crankylitprof is making Homemade Onion Soup.

Pammy is making Hungarian Crockpot Beef Stew.

John Walkenbach & wife are making Thai Vegetable Noodle Soup.

Keesie is making MAN ALONE. Simple and yummy.

Me? I've been going through the Princess Mom's recipe box, and I found this budget-conscious recipe that was a favorite of my Darling Daddy's, especially reheated for breakfast the next day:

Hamburg Stroganoff

1/4 cup butter or margerine
1/2 cup minced onion
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 lb. ground beef
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1/2 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. salt
1 8-oz. can mushrooms (do not drain)
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh minced parsley (optional)

In a skillet, melt the butter. Add garlic and onion. Cook until lightly brown. Add beef. Cook only until redness disappears. Add salt, pepper, mushrooms, flour and soup. Stir thoroughly and cook over low heat for 20 minutes. Add sour cream just before serving and top with parsley.

May be served in a rice ring or on cooked noodles, buttered potatoes or buttered toast.


If anyone else out there is sharing comfort recipes today, drop me an email and I'll throw you a link!