Archive for December 2013

The 14’s Up to 2014

December 30, 2013




The 14’s—All 21 Up to 2014




14: Yeshua son of Joseph, following much talked about bar mitzvah, apprentices as carpenter.


114: Yuanchu era of the Chinese Eastern Han Dynasty gets off to promising start under precocious 12 year old Emperor Liu Hu.


214: Roman Emperor Claudius II, who would crush the Goths once and for all at the Battle of Naissus, is born.


314: The Synod of Ancyra in Galatia, modern day Turkey, begins theological considerations highlighted by a sliding scale for the punishment of bestiality.


414: Trying to solidify his tenuous hold on the Western Roman Empire, Emperor Honorius marries off sister Galla Placidia to the Visigothic King Ataulf.


514: Cissa of Sussex, part of the original Anglo-Saxon invasion which slaughtered local Britons down to the last, becomes King of South Saxony and founder of Chichester.


614: The Persian army, led by Shahrbaraz and reinforced by Jewish rebels under Benjamin of Tiberias, lays siege to and conquers Jerusalem.





714: Birth of Pepin the Short, King of the Franks, whose success in consolidating much of Germany will be considerably overshadowed by that of his son, Charlemagne, aka Charles the Great, aka Father of Europe, who, himself dies in




914:  Vikings, under Jarl Ottar or Ottar Jarl (mentioned in the Saga of Olaf Tryggvasson) rid Ireland of the Irish.


1014:  Cnut, who may have been dyslexic, is proclaimed King of England by the Vikings while retaining the Danish throne to have something to fall back on.


1114:  In what has to be his best or at least a very good year, ambitious Ramon Berenguer III of Barcelona and his Pisan allies conquer Ibiza and Mallorca.


1214: After besieging Beijing for over a year Genghis Khan and his Mongol hordes level the city and send Emperor Xuanzong packing.


1314: On 24 June the most decisive battle in the First War of Scottish independence, The Battle of Bannockburn (Blàr Allt a’ Bhonnaich) is won after Robert the Bruce’s men pepper the road with potholes greatly aggravating Edward II’s troops.


1414: The Tibetan Lama Je Tsongkhapa unites the Sutric and Tantric paths of Buddhism during one memorable evening in the spring.


1514: Massive fire devastates the Rialto of Venice despite the abundance of water due to low hose pressure.


1614: On April 5th Pocahontas (‘Playful One’), the Powhatan princess who intervened on behalf of John Smith, marries English tobacco planter John Rolfe when Smith not ready to settle down.


1714: “10 poor boys and 10 poor girls” are enrolled in the first co-ed school, Archbishop Tenison’s Church of England High School, Croydon.


1814: Denmark cedes Norway to Sweden getting only West Pomerania in return.


1914: The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria in Sarajevo sets in motion events leading to World War One and the Glasgow band.


2014: The Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare, a universal health insurance mandate not universally welcomed, goes into effect in the United States.

Pepin the Short

Pepin the Short

Whad’ya Know Christmas Letter

December 19, 2013

Thanks to the nimble fingers of Chief Engineer Tom Blain the Whad’ya Know Christmas letter as it was meant to be!

Breakdancing Panda & All 12 Jokes for 12 Months 2013

December 17, 2013

Panda 17

12 Months 12 Jokes for 2013

January:  Chief Justice Roberts clearly relieved to not have sworn in Osama this time.

February:  Pope Benedict clearly looking forward to being Joe Ratzinger again.

March:  President’s dinner with Senators a good first step, let’s see how the dancing goes.

April:  George W Bush becomes the first C+ English student to have his own library.

May:  In Jerusalem, Wailing Wall controversy solved as women allowed to use the Kvetching Wall.

June:  NSA director testifies before the House Intelligence Committee, then has to kill them.

July:  Shrinking Arctic icecap threatens baby seal clubbing.

August:  Woke up, I was a Chelsea Manning.

September:  By the time she is Mrs. Kansas Miss Kansas will probably regret the tattoo.

October:  Shutdown over, National Zoo’s baby panda back home after 2 weeks in a cardboard box on the mall break dancing for bamboo.

November: Rather my seatmate had a box-cutter than an iPhone.

December: Dairy Farmer brought to Lambeau Field attempts to slap, poke and prod Aaron Rodgers to his feet.

Discount Double Check & All the News That Isn’t

December 16, 2013




President Obama now says he was hallucinating at the Mandela memorial.

In which case the interpreter got it exactly right.

Anyway that explains the selfie sandwich with David Cameron and Helle the way hot Danish Prime Minister while his wife, at his elbow, attended a funeral.

Dave and Barry’s Excellent Adventure.

House considers whether selfie at state funeral is impeachable offense.

Chinese lunar-lander lands on the moon, claims all the lack of airspace.

North Korean lunar lander lands Kim Jong Un’s uncle on the moon.

A lot of conjecture that Kim Jong’s aunt behind uncle’s execution.

At 600 million and rising Mega-Millions leaps to near Obamacare website levels.

Wisconsin Representative Paulie Ryan, out from under parent’s Blue Cross, signs up for Obamacare.

Then Paulie puts on his big boy suit and comes up with budget deal–

fewer across the board but more below the belt cuts.

Pope Francis is Time magazine’s person of the year even if his Renault not even close for Car & Driver’s Car of the Year. The Lord Giveth and Taketh away.

12 Years a Butler snags all the nominations at the Screen Actors Guild.

Oprah not nominated, but Stedman is for continuing role in 12 Years a Manfriend.

365,000 signed up for Obamacare, which sounds like a lot until you realize that 6.7 million went to the opera this year.

GM’s first female CEO says her first priority is the Chevy Silverada.

Legal weed January 1st in Colorado and Uruguay whichever is more convenient.

International Space Station AC out, and try getting an HVAC guy in orbit.

Meanwhile, Tom Hanks suits up to fix it using common household objects and duct tape.

Speaking of whom, in his new movie Tom Hanks takes Walt Disney all the way back to the boy trying to fit tiny little red shorts on a mouse.

Bavaria abandons attempts to reissue Mein Kampf, will instead reprint Unintimidated.

Next for NBC, following the success of The Sound of Music with Carrie Underwood,  is Yentl with Miley Cyrus.

Stung by criticism for lack of black females in the cast, Saturday Night Live announces Juwanna Mann will join the cast.

Snow, sleet and frigid temperatures sweep the country–they’re calling it “winter.”

Not so bad–it’s a dry cold.

Twice as many people sign up for Mars as Kenosha.

Major League Baseball outlaws home plate collisions, so I guess I can lose that home plate collision deductible.  Still a good idea to carry uninsured catcher protection.

Dairy Farmer brought to Lambeau Field to slap, poke and prod Aaron Rodgers to his feet. Otherwise just some really expensive steaks and chops . . . .

That’s All the News That Isn’t . . .

Whad’ya Know! It’s Good News Week!

December 9, 2013

Four Horsemen & All the News That Isn’t

December 9, 2013