Sunday, December 30, 2012

Last night's leftovers

Gumbo . . . yummmm.

That's one of the great things about the week between Christmas and New Year's -- the leftovers. This is the leftovers from our traditional Christmas Eve chicken-and-sausage gumbo. And the thing about leftover gumbo is this: The gumbo is always better a day or two later.

And, yes, there's a story behind the Christmas Eve gumbo.

It has been said that this was my best gumbo ever. Now. modesty prevents me from saying this myself, but if other people want to say it, who am I to stifle free speech?

That would be un-American. Burrrrrp.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Congressional cliff diving

This country, at least on a national level, has really, truly become ungovernable.

And we are Thelma and Louise, putting the pedal to the metal as we steer straight for the edge. Here's some of the story of Congress' fascination with the abyss from CBS News:
"[W]e'll see what the President has to propose," McConnell said in a statement. "Members on both sides of the aisle will review it, and then we'll decide how best to proceed. Hopefully there is still time for an agreement of some kind that saves the taxpayers from a wholly preventable economic crisis."

Meantime, on a conference call with the House GOP Conference this afternoon, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., told Republican lawmakers to be prepared for votes on Sunday night.

All of this action is not indicative that progress is being made on the tax hikes and dramatic budget cuts set to go into effect next Tuesday, however.

On the same conference call, Boehner reiterated to his conference that the ball is in the Senate's court. He called on Senate Democrats to pass legislation the Republican-led House passed earlier this year that would extend tax rates for all wage earners and another measure that would replace the across-the-board spending cuts to domestic and defense programs with targeted cuts.

"The House will take this action on whatever the Senate can pass - but the Senate must act," Boehner said.

But Reid had a similar message for Boehner earlier in the day: "Take the escape hatch we left you."

Reid called on Boehner to take up a bill the Senate passed weeks ago that would extend current tax rates for all wage earners making less than $250,000. "The way to avoid the 'fiscal cliff' has been right in the face of Republican leaders for days and days and days...," he said.

On the floor of the Senate this morning, Reid said Boehner "seems to care more about keeping his speakership" than avoiding the tax hikes and federal spending cuts set to go into place in just five days.
ON ONE LEVEL, one sees the outraged secessionist petition-signers' reasoning, such as it is, in wanting out of a country that no longer can organize a one-car cortege, much less manage the decline of a morally, intellectually, militarily and economically spent empire.

On a more realistic level, do you really think a country whose leaders can't control the urge to jump off a "fiscal cliff" -- despite all that would mean for a shaky economy and future unemployment -- could manage letting various states go their own uncertain ways without a river of blood and a sea of ruin?

Even if such a thing were constitutionally possible, that is?

In such a country, I suppose it's also pointless to think that we the people might consider for a second, as we behold this pathetic spectacle staged by politicians we put into high office, that we have exactly the kind of self-destructive, chaotic and silly governance we so richly deserve.

Of course it is. We're Americans. Pointless is what we do these days.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Oh, the old stuff and the new stuff can be friends

If you haven't given a listen to the Christmas edition of 3 Chords & the Truth, it's not too late, you know.

You do realize that Christmas isn't over until Jan. 6, right? And until then, you can find all kinds of novel ways to listen to the Yuletide version of the Big Show.

Here's a fun way to listen to the show if you're a geek like me -- one that will bring back the sounds you grew up with if you're of (ahem) a certain age.

PLAY SOME of the stuff we have on the 2012 Christmas show on a vintage hi-fi, and "Yule" soon find out that you're cooking with gas.

Yes, the Microsoft Surface and the 1956 Realistic tuner and amplifier can be friends. Yea, and the vacuum tube shall lie down with the microprocessor, and peace shall come upon the sound system.


Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Oklahoma: It's always somethin'

If you're considering pulling up stakes and pointing your Sooner Schooner toward Tulsa, Okla., you may want to delay your trip until after cold-and-flu season.

Or indefinitely. Whatever.

Hey, I'm just passing along what's out there on Facebook. And if it's on Facebook, it must be so.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

A blessed Christmas

Chapter 9
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; Upon those who dwelt in the land of gloom a light has shone.
You have brought them abundant joy and great rejoicing, As they rejoice before you as at the harvest, as men make merry when dividing spoils.
For the yoke that burdened them, the pole on their shoulder, And the rod of their taskmaster you have smashed, as on the day of Midian.
For every boot that tramped in battle, every cloak rolled in blood, will be burned as fuel for flames.
For a child is born to us, a son is given us; upon his shoulder dominion rests. They name him Wonder-Counselor, God-Hero, Father-Forever, Prince of Peace.
His dominion is vast and forever peaceful, From David's throne, and over his kingdom, which he confirms and sustains By judgment and justice, both now and forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will do this!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: Yule love this gift

Christmastime is upon us. So consider this your present under the tree.

That's right, it's the 3 Chords & the Truth Christmas show -- just a little holiday token from me to you. This year, the Big Show would like to thank the fine folks at the Tin Cup Retirement Plan for their gracious sponsorship of this special Yuletide musical offering.

In today's world, you can't count on much, but you can count on your Tin Cup.

To me, a lot of this special episode of the Big Show sounds like Christmas -- just like the ones we used to know. Your mileage may vary, depending on how many years you have under your belt, but I think this holiday offering will be just as enjoyable no matter who you are.

AFTER ALL, that's the whole point of 3 Chords & the Truth . . . being enjoyable, no matter who you are. Good music -- and especially good Christmas music -- is funny that way.

So once again, let me thank the fine folks at Tin Cup Retirement Plan for making this holiday extravaganza possible, and also thank you for listening.
May your days be merry and bright,
And may all your Christmases be white
IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Alo-ho-ho-ho-ha.

Friday, December 21, 2012

Only without call centers and nukes

Who knew that when Louisiana elected an Indian-American governor, Piyush "Bobby" Jindal, the dude would govern the place like it was . . . India?

I mean, we all knew that the Gret Stet wasn't really American or anything -- historically, it had been high-functioning Caribbean or Latin American at best. But Caribbean nations don't have "untouchables" as part of their caste systems.

Now Louisiana does. And it seems that this new bottom-feeding class in the bottom-feeder among the 50 states is growing exponentially by the day, soon to encompass everyone not named Bobby Jindal.

My prediction for the new year is that Louisiana's only growth industry will be the Missionaries of Charity. You know, Mother Teresa's order. The folks who pick dying people out of Calcutta gutters and care for them until the end.

The nuns who, by the way, have been in Baton Rouge for years, now. Where they now will be able to pick up the dying from God-knows-where after they've been abandoned by the state's social-service system due to yet another round of cuts to the Louisiana state budget.

THIS IS because the state has eliminated not only home hospice care for the terminally ill from its Medicaid coverage, reports the Times-Picayune, but indeed all hospice care.
Cuts to hospice care announced by state officials last week are deeper than originally portrayed, eliminating hospice treatment for all Medicaid recipients starting in February, the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals said Wednesday. In announcing the reductions to hospice care, which aims to make dying people more comfortable in the last six months of their lives, Jindal administration officials said the cutbacks would force people on Medicaid to seek the service in a nursing home. But the change actually means the state is eliminating all hospice care – both at home and in nursing facilities -- to people covered by Medicaid.

Jamey Boudreaux, executive director of the Louisiana-Mississippi Hospice and Palliative Care Organization, said he learned from the health department earlier this week that the initial characterization of the cut was a “misstatement.”

In an email, Kathleen Meyers, a spokeswoman for the state health agency, confirmed that the hospice cuts are a “service elimination.”

“Effective Feb. 1, 2013, Medicaid will no longer reimburse for hospice services,” Meyers wrote. People currently in hospice will keep those services through the rest of their lives.

Most people in hospice in Louisiana are elderly and, therefore, have their end-of-life care covered by Medicare, Boudreaux said. But more than 5,800 Medicaid patients received hospice benefits this year, according to state figures.

This care is usually provided in patients’ homes, where they are most comfortable, Boudreaux said. Hospice workers include not only doctors and nurses, but social workers and a chaplain, who meet to reassess the treatment plan for terminally ill patients every 15 days, he said.

While cutting hospice care is slated to trim the state portion of the Medicaid budget by $1.1 million, Boudreaux predicted it wouldn’t actually result in savings. This is because many dying people will end up at hospitals, where Medicaid will pay for at least a portion of their care.

“I predict they will spend at least four times that amount in emergency room visits and hospitalization of those type of folks,” Boudreaux said.
STUPID is one thing. Despicable is another. But when a state can combine stupid and despicable in a single public-policy debacle, it may be onto something. Or collectively on something . . . one or the other.

What is clear, however, is what Jindal -- and Louisiana -- regards as a "sacred cow."

That would the absolute right of Louisianians not to give a damn and for their "government" -- such as it is -- not to function worth a damn.

As always is the case in your average Third World hellhole, it's the "untouchables" who get to pay the price for the self-centered folly of their "betters" -- such as they are.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

A winter wonderland

A funny thing happened Wednesday evening here in Omaha, by God, Nebraska. Winter showed up.

And how.

Above is the long-exposure view of what the blizzard looked like at about 20 of 11 last night.

AND HERE, immediately above, is what it looked like when using a flash.
The following photos represent what it looked like today, after the storm was through and we'd had a chance to dig out from under the 7 or so inches of well-drifted snow. I think they speak for themselves, so I'll just shut up now.
Besides, I got water boiling on the stove, and I need to make me a pot of coffee.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Blizzard warning

4:06 p.m. -- starting to snow hard

The more the forecasters keep forecasting, the higher the snow totals keep going in these parts.

When we started our day today in Omaha, we were expecting a winter storm. Maybe 6 inches of snow.

Sometime along the way, that turned into a blizzard warning, and now we might get up to 10 inches of hard-blowing snow which, come to think of it, sounds a little kinky the way I just put it. A little more than an hour ago, it was just raining.

Now it's not.

Good thing I'm an artiste with a snow shovel, which is a skill not every -- OK, almost no -- Louisiana boy possesses. Perhaps I'm a real Midwesterner now, after 24 years.

By the way, in the Gret Stet, what we know in Nebraska as a "blizzard warning" is commonly referred to as "instant frozen death." Not an understated lot, those Louisiana folk.

Film at 11.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A walk in the park

No, I haven't a clue what the deal is
with the silk flowers under this tree.
Today was a bit nippy, and it was a lot windy, too, but it was a fine day for a walk in the park.

Especially considering that Thursday will not be so good a day to walk anywhere; there's a winter storm on the way Wednesday night.

Omaha's Elmwood Park is about a two-mile jaunt from our house, not too far a destination in an ongoing take-off-the-weight walking regimen. It was established in 1890, and it's simply one of the most beautiful spots in town -- and there are a lot of lovely nooks, crannies and wide expanses in this spread-out river city of almost 425,000 people.

This brisk almost-Christmas day, Elmwood -- a huge park just to the east of the University of Nebraska at Omaha and encompassing walking trails, a swimming pool, picnic and fitness areas and an 18-hole golf course -- was a winter wonderland.

I HAD been wanting to take pictures on one of my walks through Elmwood for some time now, and I'm so glad today was the day I chose to do it. The dusting of snow still on the ground from the weekend added such a picture-postcard quality to the landscape.

What is a tranquil and gorgeous spot right in the middle of Omaha's urban sprawl -- and the rewards in paradise must be bounteous for the old cow town's urban planners who created its park system more than 120 years ago -- was just stunning today, draped in a blanket of white.

So I just had to share this Omaha gem with the rest of the world here. It's what I do.

And it's my pleasure as well.

GOD, I love this town. Really, I do.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Red Roses for a Blue Christmas

Holy Stocking Full of D Cells and Oranges, Batman!

I think I have acquired the Mother of All Baby Boomer Christmas Albums.

If you remember the 1960s -- and I remember almost all of 'em -- put this record on and suddenly it's Christmas morning, you're 6 years old, in your pajamas and tearing into what Santa Claus left for you under the tree.

The difference between can't and won't

But we, as a nation, we are left with some hard questions. Someone once described the joy and anxiety of parenthood as the equivalent of having your heart outside of your body all the time, walking around. With their very first cry, this most precious, vital part of ourselves -- our child -- is suddenly exposed to the world, to possible mishap or malice. And every parent knows there is nothing we will not do to shield our children from harm. And yet, we also know that with that child’s very first step, and each step after that, they are separating from us; that we won’t -- that we can’t always be there for them. They’ll suffer sickness and setbacks and broken hearts and disappointments. And we learn that our most important job is to give them what they need to become self-reliant and capable and resilient, ready to face the world without fear.

And we know we can’t do this by ourselves. It comes as a shock at a certain point where you realize, no matter how much you love these kids, you can’t do it by yourself. That this job of keeping our children safe, and teaching them well, is something we can only do together, with the help of friends and neighbors, the help of a community, and the help of a nation. And in that way, we come to realize that we bear a responsibility for every child because we’re counting on everybody else to help look after ours; that we’re all parents; that they’re all our children.

This is our first task -- caring for our children. It’s our first job. If we don’t get that right, we don’t get anything right. That’s how, as a society, we will be judged.

And by that measure, can we truly say, as a nation, that we are meeting our obligations? Can we honestly say that we’re doing enough to keep our children -- all of them -- safe from harm? Can we claim, as a nation, that we’re all together there, letting them know that they are loved, and teaching them to love in return? Can we say that we’re truly doing enough to give all the children of this country the chance they deserve to live out their lives in happiness and with purpose?

I’ve been reflecting on this the last few days, and if we’re honest with ourselves, the answer is no. We’re not doing enough. And we will have to change.

Since I’ve been President, this is the fourth time we have come together to comfort a grieving community torn apart by a mass shooting. The fourth time we’ve hugged survivors. The fourth time we’ve consoled the families of victims. And in between, there have been an endless series of deadly shootings across the country, almost daily reports of victims, many of them children, in small towns and big cities all across America -- victims whose -- much of the time, their only fault was being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

We can’t tolerate this anymore. These tragedies must end. And to end them, we must change. We will be told that the causes of such violence are complex, and that is true. No single law -- no set of laws can eliminate evil from the world, or prevent every senseless act of violence in our society.

But that can’t be an excuse for inaction. Surely, we can do better than this. If there is even one step we can take to save another child, or another parent, or another town, from the grief that has visited Tucson, and Aurora, and Oak Creek, and Newtown, and communities from Columbine to Blacksburg before that -- then surely we have an obligation to try. 
Emilie Parker and dad

I agree with the president's sentiments, that we cannot accept that we are the kind of society where the wanton mass murder of little schoolchildren and other innocents is just the price of admission to "the greatest country on earth."

In fact, I would argue that any country where atrocities become commonplace -- and this is territory upon which the United States has trodden for some time now -- is no great country at all, much less the greatest. "American exceptionalism" may be alive and well, but it may well be an entirely different story than the propaganda spread by its most ardent cheerleaders

But then you have states like Louisiana, already perched atop the nation's gun-violence and child-welfare s*** lists, yet striving for greater perfection in sucking hard. Just in the last month and change, the state's voters have amended the constitution to make effective regulation of firearms all but legally impossible, while the administration of Gov. Bobby Jindal balances the state budget on the backs of those lacking the decency to become well-off before losing their minds:
The reductions mark the fifth year of budget cuts in the middle of the fiscal year. The trimming started at the end of the governor’s first year in office, coinciding with a rare snowfall in Baton Rouge.

For the latest round of cuts, the governor was able to fill the gap without needing legislators’ approval. Nichols outlined a combination of spending cuts, found money and streamlining savings to the Joint Legislative Committee on the Budget.

Among the deepest cuts were at the state Department of Health and Hospitals and the state Department of Children and Family Services.

Doctors, hospitals, mentally ill patients, pregnant women and dying patients will be affected by the state’s financial problems.

State Sen. Sharon Broome, D-Baton Rouge, complained that the reductions affect departments that deal with the state’s most fragile residents. “I hope we can see these reductions with faces on them,” she told Nichols.

Nichols said the administration avoided across-the-board reductions that would have dealt heavier cuts to health care and higher education. Instead, she said, the governor made cuts and drew in dollars from a legal settlement, a prison closure and a self insurance fund.

Higher education received $22 million in reductions. Nichols said that is softened by tuition increases producing more money than expected.

Other reductions include:

  • Contract reductions for health care providers who help the poor, the mentally ill and the drug-addicted. 
  • A 1 percent cut in the rate that doctors and hospitals are paid by the state to care for the poor. 
  • The elimination of dental benefits for pregnant women relying on the state for health care. 
  • Possibly laying off 63 state government workers.
Additionally, the administration will use money in a maintenance fund to operate state parks. Domestic violence victims will move into hotels or seek shelter with their families, reducing the cost of residential care. Some children at risk for mental illness might not receive treatment.

Several legislators zeroed in on the hospice program cut.

State Sen. Dan Claitor, R-Baton Rouge, said the cut amounts to the state not assisting people on their death beds unless they are in a nursing home.

“That’s pretty rough,” Claitor said.

SO, I GUESS the answer to the president's question Sunday night would be that there's no question America can do better in preventing atrocities involving firearms, but that there's also no question that whole swaths of this country won't do better in that regard.

Not can't do better -- won't do better. There is a difference.

That difference is as big as the one between life and death.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

3 Chords & the Truth: No lack of shellac

I've got me some old records, some 78s.

The "78" refers to the playing speed  -- 78 rpm -- and 78s are how folks listened to music at home way back there then.

Unsurprisingly to you, I'm sure, I have a lot of these masterpieces on black shellac. Last week, I picked up even more at an Omaha estate sale. All but one are from the 1930s, encompassing the very beginning of what we now know as "the Swing Era" of music.

And I'm sure it's also no surprise to you that we're featuring these old, old discs on this week's episode of 3 Chords & the Truth. Duh.

I'VE GOT some pretty early Benny Goodman in there and some Tommy Dorsey with a young Frank Sinatra on vocals, too. Lots of good stuff from when Grandma and Grandpa were young, and the world was about to learn all about the jitterbug.

That's just how we roll on the Big Show.

There's lots of other good stuff (not on 78s) on the show this week as well, which also is no doubt no shock to you. If it were, I'll bet you wouldn't be reading this to start with . . . or listing to this thing called 3 Chords & the Truth.

This is a program that's all about the music, without discrimination, pretty much.

NO, I take that back. The Big Show does discriminate big time. The bad stuff will not reach your ears -- at least not through any fault of your Mighty Favog or the Revolution 21 empire.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Friday, December 14, 2012

The little children suffer

The gates of hell opened upon a small town in Connecticut this morning, and the devil showed his true face to the little children.

As usual, Beelzebub looked a lot like us. Or a wild-eyed, murderous version of us.

We are a people that like to brag about the better angels of our nature, the divine spark that Abraham Lincoln once futilely tried to summon for a nation that instead imagined it saw nobility in the abyss. We also are a people that says its children are its future.

And, indeed, our children can embody the best that we are. Symbolize the best to which we aspire -- or say we aspire -- and sometimes even achieve.

"But Jesus said to them: Suffer the little children, and forbid them not to come to me: for the kingdom of heaven is for such."

Today, in this vail of tears we inhabit, Satan said "Let the little children suffer." And then one of his henchmen on earth, in a place called Newtown, Conn., walked into a school packing heat. He killed the principal. He killed school staff.

Most of all, he killed the children -- 20 of them. He gunned them down without hesitation and without mercy. Many were kindergartners.

THIS WAS the work of a madman who once was a little child. Who was the son of a mother -- a kindergarten teacher at the site of his devilish rampage -- who, no doubt, loved him very much. 

He killed her, too.

Fallen child of God that I am -- no angel am I . . . no way -- the first thing I wanted for the killer of 6-year-olds at Sandy Hook Elementary School was for vengeance to be wrought upon him. I envisioned a .45 caliber handgun, and some administrator of God's wrath shooting off one of his digits at a time, until none were left.

And then the Saturday Night Special of Justice would get down to business.

That will not happen . . . not because we Americans are such pillars of justice and devotees of human dignity, but instead because Adam Lanza, 20, turned one of his guns on himself in a school hallway. Our revenge fantasies will remain just that.

The apostle Paul once reminded us that "Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." The Lord God has stepped up to the plate. He'll be taking the swings, not us. That's a good thing.

I AM old enough to remember when events like today's in small-town Connecticut were virtually unthinkable. We had little frame of contemporary reference. When it did happen, it was so extraordinary that a TV movie surely lay in the prime-time future, and we'd forever remember the name of the perpetrator.

You know, like Charles Whitman, the "tower shooter" in 1966 at the University of Texas. He only killed 13, unlike Whatshisname.

"Whatshisname" is what we call all the madmen since Columbine. Ever since we and the world we inhabit have gone progressively more mad with the passing of each bloody year.

I don't know about you, but I'm starting to agree with my old man, who famously said a couple of months before his death, "Dey ain't no hope!"

Dey ain't no hope, indeed.

On the other hand, I am smart enough not to rely on my own judgment in this matter. To help me face times like these -- particularly Christmastimes like these -- I turn instead to the wiser counsel of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and Johnny Cash.

GOD bless us, every one.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Just because, OK?

This Kansas City star is just as big a head case as his newspaper-management brethren.

Just eminently more likeable.

"Kansas City star, that's what I are." Now that's writing. No, seriously.

And we have a winner. . . .

The 2012 Chickenshits of the Year award goes to management at the Kansas City Star, because that's what they are.

Think I'm being harsh?

Yeah? Then read this from KC Confidential:
Check out this startling tale involving a pair of Kansas City Star reporters reportedly presented with a proposition – a variation on Sophie’s Choice – that only one position remained for the two of their jobs.

“They brought in two reporters – Karen Dillon and Dawn Bormann – and told them that one of them had to go,” says a staffer. “And that they had to decide which one would stay and they had until next week to figure it out. Sort of like ‘The Hunger Games.’ That’s the scuttlebutt anyway.”

There’s more.

“Karen Dillon has seniority, so she has the option of taking it or not taking it,” says the source. “And if she does, Dawn gets laid off. Dawn’s a great person but I think Karen will vote in favor of herself because she’s got teenage kids at home.”

This just in: Bormann is o-u-t.
CAN YOU believe it? I knew that you could.

Just like I knew you'd come around to my way of thinking.

Amid the universal hand-wringing by newspaper-management types about how the difficult economy, a disintegrating business model and everybody's favorite bogeyman -- the Internet, of course -- is killing the industry, I'd like to propose another primary reason for Your Local Daily's impending doom. That would be that most American newspapers (and I don't think this is an overbroad generalization) are run by dolts, chickenshits and a-holes.

Difficult economies, disintegrating business models and the Internet can be coped with and overcome with a little thought, creativity and effort. Dolts, chickenshits and a-holes atop the organizational chart rarely can be.

HAT TIP: Romenesko.

It's the end of the world as we know it

There are fewer than nine days until, well . . . you know.

So, tell me, how are you coping with onrushing doom? Are you doing anything special in these days, our planet's last?

Are you begging the Mayans for just one more week? Have you retreated to a monastery for a final week and change of desperate prayer and earnest reflection?

Have you resolved to drink to excess because, like, it really doesn't matter now, right?

Or are you just trying to get laid?

Lemme know. I need suggestions on how to go out in style.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Everything I need to know, I learned in 1948

Click on photos for larger, readable versions

This isn't just an old issue of the Capitol News -- the way rad tout mag from the hot-wax peddlers in Tinseltown.

This isn't just another "primary source document" for students of the cultural history of the United States.

And this isn't just another fascinating estate-sale find in Omaha, Neb.

No, Poindexter, this is a guide to good living, good music, good writing and good times. Everything you need to know, pally, you'll learn in 1948. Because, as the continued existence and occasional unearthing of this cultural touchstone proves, it's always Postwar America somewhere . .  and there you, too, can be a hep cat, baby!

So, what did I learn from the preserved wisdom of '48? A few things.

FOR EXAMPLE, from the cover of the December 1948 edition of the platter-patter rag, I learned that if you're one to watch the record go 'round and 'round when you're grooving on your stacks of wax, don't be surprised if your eyeballs turn into spinning 78s.

I ALSO learned that the wise owl better give a hoot what Dave Dexter says -- he's gonna sign Sinatra to Capitol someday, you wait and see. I don't think he'll "get" the British invasion and the lads from Liverpool, though, Daddy-O!

AND WHILE I was doing a double take on that news blast about how Columbia's movie mavens are remaking Latin music maker Desi Arnaz into La-La Land's new cha-cha heartthrob, I found myself wondering what hilarious hijinks Lucy and Ethel will inflict upon the Left Coast.

LIKEWISE, didja ever wonder what the Pied Pipers would sing if they were pie-eyed? And do you suddenly want a piece of pie now?

I do.

I wonder why.

AND WE SEE that Nat  King Cole had himself a hit with "The Christmas Song" some 12 years before he had himself a hit with "The Christmas Song."

ONE VERY IMPORTANT thing to learn is that you got to be hep to the lingo, Clyde.

If you're not hep to the lingo, you might have ignorantly turned the headline Blues Bawlers / Sign New Cap / Waxing Pacts into something like Blue Ballers / Sign New Cap / Waxing Pacts. There's a difference, you know.

FINALLY, Capitol Records not only provides "Christmas cheer throughout the year," it also provides a pretty decent workout from lugging those albums full of 78s all over creation.

So drop the needle in a groove, dude, and we'll chatter about the platters long into the new-old year.