Thursday, December 31, 2020

I Don’t Make the Rules, Hallmark Does

Hello, my name is MOTUS  and I’m addicted to Hallmark Christmas movies – don’t judge, especially if your idea of a Christmas movie is Die Hard.

In fact, I’m watching one – A Boyfriend For Christmas - as I write this. It is one of the first of 5 Christmas themed movies that Hallmark made way back in 2004. There are now 136 Christmas movies if Wiki is to be believed, although I’m not sure if that includes the whopping 40 new ones they cranked out in 2020 despite the cooties. So I think we can all agree then when I say of Hallmark:


Now when I say I’m “watching” I mean that in the same way I once “watched” Fox and Friends First when I woke up at 5 AM: it is providing a low buzz of background noise as I work on my post. And for about 6 months at this longitude, it also provides background light in an otherwise dark bedroom.

Now I’ll bet there are some of you that pride yourselves on never having seen a Hallmark Christmas movie. Too bad, as that means you are unfamiliar with the unique genre in which 15 actors, 2 writers, 5 settings and a plot generator -

Hallmark Christmas Movie Plot Generator | Wrong Hands

are used to create an endless array of escapist movies that are both cheesy and predictable while at the same time as comfortable as a pair of old jeans, assuming they still fit.

Up until this year the movies were, well, embarrassingly middle class and white.


But with BLM’s “encouragement” and the LBGBT community’s shaming, this year’s 40 entrees made up for that. You have never seen so many ethnic characters and mixed race couples enjoying Hallmark romance.

"Memories of Christmas," "Majestic Christmas," "Christmas Everlasting"“Memories of Christmas,” “Majestic Christmas,” “Christmas Everlasting”

Plus, the yuletide has certainly never been gayer on the Hallmark channels.

But aside from those new twists, everything else is the same: a plot selected from the matrix above, a conflicted main character meets his or her true love but doesn’t realize it: tension/misunderstanding ensues followed by a happy ending. To say that the movies are formulaic is an insult to formulaic fiction, but then…did you miss the part about a happy ending? Guaranteed!


Is there anyone out there who couldn’t benefit from a happy ending once a year or so?

And if you’re still not convinced allow me to point out other benefits of the genre: you can organize a whole evening of games around a Hallmark Christmas movie. There’s bingo of course:


And if that’s not enough there is the Hallmark Christmas Movie Drinking Game, which is basically bingo sans the markers.

Jen Saunderson on Twitter:

So as the New Year approaches, and the Hallmark Christmas Movie season draws to a close – at least until July – you should consider catching one before it’s too late. There are worst things than happy endings you know…

Pin on covid funnies ‍‍Hijinks ensue.

Or you can just watch Die Hard again I suppose. It does have a happy ending so I suppose it technically qualifies.

die hard

Either way, Happy New Year’s Eve to one and all!

Wednesday, December 30, 2020

WWTFD: What Would Thomas Freidman Do?

I don’t know about anyone else in Congress but Rep. Jim Jordan is concerned about autocratic lockdowns in this country.


See the source imageBusiness closed by government mandate until further notice, or until they go bankrupt

Well honestly, I think they were pretty clear on the subject.

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” - Founding Father Benjamin Franklin

But never mind the founders, what would our great thinkers of today, like renowned NYT economist Thomas Friedman, say?  I can’t say for sure but I can guess, given his 2009 wistful yearning for America to be a little more like autocratic China:

One-party autocracy certainly has its drawbacks. But when it is led by a reasonably enlightened group of people, as China is today, it can also have great advantages. That one party can just impose the politically difficult but critically important policies needed to move a society forward in the 21st century. It is not an accident that China is committed to overtaking us in electric cars, solar power, energy efficiency, batteries, nuclear power and wind power.

China’s leaders understand that in a world of exploding populations and rising emerging-market middle classes, demand for clean power and energy efficiency is going to soar. Beijing wants to make sure that it owns that industry and is ordering the policies to do that, including boosting gasoline prices, from the top down.

The price of that one-party autocracy is a tad high in the human rights and civil liberties department -

How a Crackdown in Hong Kong Would Reverberate, From Shanghai to TaiwanHong Kong: China jails 10 who fled by boat to Taiwan for up to three years

but hey! – small price to pay for enlightened leadership - as displayed during the Great Pandemic -

covid nonsense rules

- and a Green New Deal, eh?

To be clear, Friedman thinks that urban, liberal, modern ‘thinkers’ (Democrats) ‘get it’ while rural, ignorant, children of the corn (Republicans) don’t. If we could just prevent the rubes from Iowa, Nebraska, Kansas etc. from voting to muck things up, we’d already be enjoying that Green New Deal that enlightened thinkers like him are so fond of.

And don’t think for a moment the ‘09 column was a one-off, he doubled down in his most inarticulate way a year later on Meet the Press:

“You know, that's really what, what it's come down to. So I don't—I, I—I'm worried about this, it's why I have fantasized—don't get me wrong—but that what if we could just be China for a day? I mean, just, just, just one day. You know, I mean, where we could actually, you know, authorize the right solutions, and I do think there is a sense of that, on, on everything from the economy to environment. I don't want to be China for a second, OK, I want my democracy to work with the same authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness. But right now we have a system that can only produce suboptimal solutions.”

Good grief Thomas, if your “optimal solution” is China’s “authority, focus and stick-to-itiveness” we’ve got a problem. As Matt Welch pointed out at the time:

You do not get the "stick-to-itiveness" of Friedman's authoritarian one-party fantasia without the violent, freedom-depriving assault on those (especially though not only activists and bloggers and journalists) who are seen as threats to the regime. Dreaming about removing checks and balances to impose a super-genius policy is not the work of a geopolitical thinker, but the tantrum of an impatient sloganeer.

We’ve seen what tantrums of impatient sloganeering gets us: fraudulent elections, ongoing shutdowns/lockdowns, permanent business closures and the destruction of massive amounts of capital. So what the heck, let’s have a little more of that autocratic "stick-to-itiveness."

UPDATED: A full list of which Pa. businesses must close, which are  'life-sustaining' under new coronavirus shutdown orderMake that March 27, 2021…

Where would we be without our enlightened overlords who know so much more and are so much smarter than us?

covid signage

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

A Miracle! There’s Always Enough Votes - As Long As You Keep Counting

And in the home stretch of the 2020 “keep counting until morale improves” contest,

Pennsylvania has  currently pulled into the lead with this entry:

A comparison of official county election results to the total number of voters who voted on November 3, 2020 as recorded by the Department of State shows that 6,962,607 total ballots were reported as being cast, while DoS/SURE system records indicate that only 6,760,230 total voters actually voted. Among the 6,962,607 total ballots cast, 6,931,060 total votes were counted in the presidential race, including all three candidates on the ballot and write-in candidates.

The difference of 202,377 more votes cast than voters voting, together with the 31,547 over- and under-votes in the presidential race, adds up to an alarming discrepancy of 170,830 votes, which is more than twice the reported statewide difference between the two major candidates for President of the United States.

Cliff Notes version: over 200,000 more votes than registered voters. Of course we don’t know for whom those supplemental votes were cast, do we? Therefore ‘no reasonable prosecutor’ would bring a case. Although I can’t actually remember the last time we’ve seen a “reasonable prosecutor,” can you?

And besides, how many times do I have to tell you: IT’S BEEN DEBUNKED! By FACT checkers! 

How many facts could a factchecker check

If a factchecker could check facts?

As many facts as a factchecker could check

If a factchecker could check facts.

And history has determined that fact checking has always proved itself to be quite useful -

Twitter Fact-Checking Parodies | Know Your Meme

to ruthless tyrants.

So just sit back, shut up and BELIEVE…in the Democrats’ soup kitchen miracle of 2020.

vote again loaves and fishes pantry

Where there’s always enough votes to serve as many as we need – why, it’s a miracle!

Monday, December 28, 2020

Toilet Paper May Be The Least Of Our Worries

For those of you looking forward to a better year when the calendar flips, there’s bad news on the horizon: the  “new strain” of COVID is sure to launch a “new panic.”

Not much is known about the so-called “new strain” of the virus, but that hasn’t stopped the ruling class from using it to their advantage.

The latest narrative, which is being used as a vector for endless amounts of COVID-19 panic and fear mongering, is related to the claim that there is a new mutation of the novel coronavirus spreading, which is claimed to be much more contagious — a claimed 70%(!) increase in transmissibility — than the original dominant variant.

Here’s the problem with that claim: it’s based solely on a single model put together by a team of epidemiologists with a track record of failure. There is no actual evidence that the new variant of the coronavirus is any more or less transmissible or deadly than previous strains...– The Dossier

Of course that won’t prevent a new round of lockdowns and other restrictions and, worst of all, another world wide toilet paper shortage. So while not new, I  present the following information on t. p. alternatives as a public service announcement, should the need arise.

TP substitutes

Natural Toilet Paper Substitutes: Slippery elm leaves, Osage orange, and large, soft mullein leaves

Field and Stream frequently provides information needed by naturalists, hunters, hikers and outdoorsie people of all persuasions.  This particular SURVIVAL article “Six Best Toilet Paper Substitutes From Nature” may prove to be important and useful for one and all in light of what’s coming down the pike:

As I write this, Charmin, Cottonelle, and Downy Soft toilet paper, to name a few, are “currently unavailable” on Amazon. This verifies what you’ve always suspected: When things get scary in the U.S., the first thing most of us think about is pooping. The average American goes through 30 rolls of t.p. a year, which is kind of impressive but still not a reason to stock an entire wall of your basement with them. Seventy percent of the world’s population doesn’t even use bathroom tissue. They use a variety of things, including, in some countries, the left hand. I have no intention of covering that technique here.

Thank Dog!

The Vikings used old sheep wool and smooth pottery shards. They were hardy people. The Eskimos used two of the better t.p. substitutes: snow in the winter and tundra moss when it was available. Snow, incidentally, is often ranked both as one the best and one of the worst alternatives by natural-bathroom-tissue experts.




“Watch out where the huskies go, and don’t you eat that yellow snow” 

Did you know that there are natural-bathroom-tissue experts? I do hope some of them are employed by the CDC because we’re gonna’ need their help from now on.

So as we prepare for the next round of deprivations let’s spend a little time reviewing how we all “handled” the last, great TP shortage of 2020? Did you do any or all of the following?

  • Stand in the Soviet style “bread” lines?
  • Beg, borrow or steal from friends and family?
  • Find other creative locavore solutions?

Desperate mums use unmatched socks as loo roll – as coronavirus panic sees  supermarkets sell out of toilet paper

      Snow-for-Alternative-Toilet-Paper-Thumbnail-Copyright-Your-Family-Ark-LLCNo toilet paper?  Got snow? Then you’re good to go.     

  • Finally “go” organic?

PicInfo - SickipediaJoin your local co-op and save even more  

I don’t want to contribute to the inevitable 2021 t. p. panic, but I do want people to be prepared. You know, in case we end up going the Venezuelan route.


Although at that point toilet paper will be the least of our worries.

venezuelaUh oh, we’re getting close

Sunday, December 27, 2020

Brain Worms, Mondegreens and ‘The Hook’

I will be gone all day so what do you say we spend today pondering this eminently ponderable: what is it about the human brain that causes us to mishear certain words or phrases? And why, once misheard, does the brain try to render meaning to the nonsensical and forevermore insist on mishearing the same thing over and over?

Ed Driscoll was obviously wondering more or less the same thing when he posted this little gem retweeted from a reddit thread. He did so with this droll observation: ANALYSIS: TRUE. France is Bacon.

We’ve all had this happen to us, but somehow it seems other people’s misheard brain worms are more interesting than mine. Take Gerard Van Der Leun for example: not only does he advise us what this phenomenon is called (a ‘mondegreen’) but as you’ll see in his post - Delete “Hook.” Insert “Heart” – when his brain misfires it’s actually better than the original. Here’s his take on the Blues Traveler’s song titled “The Hook” (which really should have been a clue, but the brain will do what the brain will do):

All of this is a periphrastic way of coming to what I had heard sung in the refrain to ‘The Hook.’ for many years. I never heard the word ‘hook.’ Instead I heard the word ‘heart,’ as in:

“Because the heart brings you back
I ain’t tellin’ you no lie
The heart brings you back
On that you can rely.”

I’ve listened to ‘The Hook.’, with attention or just as background, probably around a hundred times over the years. I’ve trance danced to it. I’ve even been to a Blues Traveler concert in New York City that had it on the setlist. In all those iterations I’ve never heard ‘hook,’ but always heard ‘heart.’ Now I know different …. but not better.

Seen whole the lyrics to ‘The Hook’ are all about the plight and pain of being a pop star. One of the thousands of such screeds in which our celebrities bemoan the curse of wealth and fame their rise has brought to them — the endless angst of those who fear they had to ‘sell-out’ in order to ‘buy-in.’ I try, but somehow I just can’t feel this pampered pain.

In the end, I really don’t want ‘The Hook.’ to bring me back. I want ‘The Heart’ to bring me back:

“Because the heart brings you back
I ain’t tellin’ you no lie
The heart brings you back
On that you can rely.”

It might be a mondegreen, but it makes a much better song.

It’s hard to argue with his conclusion, it really would make a much better song. But then, Gerard is a poet and writer so I suppose it shouldn’t surprise us that his mondegreens are better than ours, and indeed, better than the real thing.

Still, I find it interesting to ponder the power of the human brain to fill voids with misinformation. But for this fact the mockingbird media would not exist. They’ve literally created an entire industry out of replacing news and information with alternate words that they want you to believe are better than the real thing. They exist to make us see clearly now: Lorraine is gone.

lorraine_2020-12-27 Action on Hearing Loss

Warning: misinformation is not a joke

I vote to give MSM ‘The Hook’

History of Comedians Getting the Hook — Comedy History 101

Saturday, December 26, 2020

Boxing Day America: Celebrate The Schtruggle

One day it’s November


and Thanksgiving,Gurley-Pilgrims-Thanksgiving-Candles-Vintage-Lot-Of-4

the next thing you know it’s Christmas.

and then blammo!  Boxing Day.

A boxing glove on the arm of someone wearing a Santa suit.

The name, origin and traditions of Boxing Day are disputed, as are most things these days. But in America to the best of my knowledge it’s just a day set aside for post-Christmas-sales shopping and returns. Back in the olden days (pre-cooties) people would storm back to the cheerfully over-decorated malls they had sworn just one week earlier to never ever visit again in search of super-sales on stuff they don’t need, don’t want and likely will end up giving away by the Fourth of July.

christmas 2020 be likeThe quintessential 2020 mall decoration: Christmas Godzilla

But now that we are in semi-lockdown around the land I’d like to suggest we all put our boxing gloves down, settle in with a nice cup of hot cocoa,

hot chocolate2jpg

flip your laptop open, and shop for all those after Christmas bargains in the safe, COVID-free environment of Amazon Outlet: Clearance, Markdowns and Overstock Deals!

After having been robbed of St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Christmas and everything in-between by our government overseers we deserve at least one extra holiday this year. So whether you choose to shop on-line, cruise the internet randomly, watch old movies or just eat, drink and be merry, go right ahead.

And if you’re feeling festive and a wee bit energetic you could actually get into the spirit of the day by finding a REALLY BIG BOX, cram it full of stuff you want to get rid of and set it out at the curb

2020 Dumpster Fire - NeatoShop

for pickup – torching. Yes, definitely torching, much more festive. And if you don’t believe me just ask ANTIFA and BLM; now those guys really know how to celebrate a schtruggle.

Friday, December 25, 2020

Merry Christmas 2020: Good Tidings of Great Joy

And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. And the angel said unto them, fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 


For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.  And this shall be a sign unto you; ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men.




MOTUS and Raj would like to wish all of our wonderful friends here a very, very Merry Christmas. We all deserve to set the world’s burdens aside and simply embrace the beauty and miracle that is Christmas.

We send our love to each of you and wish you all a wonderful Christmas. Fill it to the brim with all the merry and the bright you can muster. For we are blessed.


Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eves Past, Present and Future

My Christmas Eve posts of the past have been some of my favorites, starting with the very first one in 2009. You remember - the year the Obama’s decided they simply must continue their family tradition (est. 2008) of spending 2 weeks over Christmas at a luxury resort in Hawaii on somebody else’s (ours) dime. Raj did a short video of that trip that I think I’ve used every Christmas Eve hence so tradition demands I use it again. From Mele Kalek-Obama:

I, MOTUS, make several cameos in this short musical so watch for me!

Amazingly the opening sentence of that 2009 post is still mostly true:

Santa and his elves are hanging around D.C. just long enough this morning to vote on how much they’re going to charge for shipping and handling on this year’s free gifts.

Then there was the year that the seeds of the BLM movement were sown and it became clear that there was no winning the Left’s race war.

I can’t keep up with the ever shifting sands of racism and political correctness. One day Santa is okay, butt his sidekick, Black Pete is unacceptable. The next day it’s Santa who’s unacceptable: too white, too fat, too privileged:

white chocolate santa

In the twinkle of an eye, only black guys matter:



Some years we did mostly recipes and cute stuff to eat and drink:

elf cupcake

marshmallow polar bearsinstructions here

Or sometimes I focused on highly inedible cute stuff like these adorable Marshmallow Men that came with their own Christmas story.

Marshmallow Men-1

Warning! Cute little men made of confections are NOT, repeat, NOT edible!!!!


I’ve tried to keep Christmas Eve as politics-free as possible, but that grew more difficult as the country’s deep divide grew ever deeper and people began to dread even seeing certain relatives over the holidays:

I see the country is as divided over Hallmark movies as it is over politics. It’s like asking people whether your  eggnog/Tom and Jerry should be dusted with nutmeg or cinnamon.

Of course your Dem and Never-Trumper relatives think that everything, including Christmas, is about President Trump. Remember Newsweek’s top Christmas week story back in 2017?  How Trump and the Nazis Stole Christmas To Promote White Nationalism. Things have only grown worse since then so let’s hope families either abstain from discussing politics or simply refuse to engage in bait-setting scenarios with warring members of their tribe. A truce for Mom’s sake would be nice.

Alas, COVID has pretty much solved that problem in most blue states for us. By more or less banning Christmas gatherings of more than 6 people it should be easy to avoid bumping elbows with the enemy camp this year. But do pay attention as that is how the left prefers to settle all grievances: strictures and mandates.

And that brings us to Christmas Eve Present doesn’t it? I know I shouldn’t do this, and I can’t actually bring myself to post any of the pictures, but here is the Daily Mail’s Christmas Eve Present to all of us. Open with extreme caution and have your eye bleach handy when doing so. Don’t say later I didn’t warn you.

As for Christmas Eve Future  - well, who knows?  I say we all go to sleep tonight with hope in our hearts and dream a little dream. Maybe, just maybe there really is a Santa Claus.

trump as elvis

And now I really must go sit in the corner and think about what I just did here.


[santa_monkey2%255B5%255D.jpg]Merry Christmas Eve to Janice the Elder, wherever you are!

Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Santa’s Little Seraphim

Santa came to my house yesterday, with a sleigh full of gifts.


Yet more gifts for MOTUS, from the MOTI. After you already gave me such a glorious Christmas bouquet (which still looked perfect for our guests yesterday)!

tuesday before Christmas

First up, sweets and savories of my picking from Zingerman’s – which had lines to get in the store long before anyone ever heard of COVID 19.

Ari Weinzweig and his Zingerman's Deli ... "the coolest small company in  America" - GeniusWorks

If you’ve ever tasted their old style breads you would understand.

Ann Arbor: The Zingerman's Empire | Veggie Next Door

But that’s only the beginning: they have a whole line of homemade bakery products, imported and house made cheese, deli selections…and more.

House made cheese as well as

from around the world.

All The Tastings At Zingerman's In Ann Arbor, MI - No Home Just Roam

All so good that one simply ignores Ann Arbor’s  - and Zingerman’s - annoyingly leftist inclination in order to enjoy it all.  Their Paesano loaf alone would be enough to convert you to their ideological viewpoint. If, that is, you had not been educated well enough to know that if we adopted their commie ways you would be standing in line much, much longer than the longest wait at Zingerman’s for a far, far more inferior loaf of bread. 

But(t) still, that’s not it!! There are still more gifts in MOTUS’ email box. The next, a most, most generous gift from my favorite art supply house, Dick Blick’s. My painting has languished over the years due to, well, other stuff, but I’ve sworn to spend this winter here at home base while Raj’s knees (hopefully both) heal, re-immersing myself. Since most of my neglected oils have dried up over time they all need replacing,

Professional all colors 50ml each tube Oil paints colors painting drawing  pigments art supplies AOA011|tube oil paint|oil paints colorsoil paint -  AliExpress

and to be honest I’ve had my eye on a pochhade box for quite awhile now.

Pochade Boxes – Lines and Colors

I’m looking forward to a bit of plein air painting when spring/summer finally returns to these environs.

So thank you my little angels, for such thoughtful gifts which will delight me throughout the year come what may.  And if you accept my humble thanks for your splendiferous bag of Christmas gifts I do hereby swear to never, ever call any of you minxes again (unless of course you deserve it).


Now get out there and get that tree decorated if you haven’t already.

naked trees on sill