There’s No Diet Pepsi

There are some things that are omens, they portend bad things.  In late 1991 Nirvana hit the charts with Smells Like Teen Spirit.  It seemed like a pretty cool song from a band of stinky homeless guys.  But it was just the bugle call signaling the end of hair metal.  In the 1990 the FCC implemented the educational/informational mandate and unfortunately killed Scooby Doo, Thundarr the Barbarian and Spiderman & His Amazing friends along with the rest of Saturday morning cartoons.  In week 6 of the 1980 NFL season the 1-4 Bengals came into Three Rivers Stadium to play the defending Super Bowl Champion Steelers.  The Bengals lone win and the Steelers lone loss was the result the first meeting between the teams in week 3.  The Bengals won again and it seemed like an unfortunate upset but it was really the beginning of the end for the 70’s Steelers Dynasty.

I show up at the gas station Wednesday morning as I normally do on my way to work.  I head over to the fountain pop and grab the big 44 oz. styrofoam cup.  If I have the option, I always pick styrofoam and 44 oz.  52 oz is too much and 32 is too little.  One place has a 42 oz and I’ll go with that when I stop there.  But it’s always styrofoam.  It keeps the pop colder than plastic.  Plus, and I’m just going by some extremely lazy research, styrofoam is not biodegradable or recyclable while plastic is recyclable.  So I figure walking around with a big styrofoam cup makes the PC enviro crowd irritated.  Good enough for me.

Aside from that small and extremely petty victory, I just like cold fountain pop in a big cup.  Irritating the left is really just a unintentional bonus.  Not that I’m dismissing lefty irritation but if we’re all being honest with ourselves, irritating the left isn’t especially difficult.  They’re offended by almost everything.  And if somehow you come to a non-offended conclusion, they will explain why you should be and twitter shame you into being offended.  Regardless, I really like Diet Pepsi in the big cup.  It’s the official soft drink of the NFL.  Plus fountain pop tastes different the can pop.  Not that I’m against can pop.  If I’m ranking them, can pop is a solid second to fountain pop.  Plastic bottle pop is last.  I’m not drinking that if I can avoid it.  It’s like Bud Light.  I’m not avoiding it at all costs, but I’m grabbing can of something else first.

But on this particular Wednesday morning, as I fill up my big Styrofoam cup, the liquid coming out of the Diet Pepsi dispenser is alarmingly clear.  Like it could be Sprite.  Nobody wants Sprite in the morning.  But I don’t have a lot of options.  There’s only one Diet Pepsi dispenser.  So here’s the situation…I can leave the gas station and drive to another gas station which really isn’t that close and is in the opposite direction of my office.  I can get a crappy plastic bottled Diet Pepsi.  Or I can bite the bullet and fill up with…Diet Coke.  I know.  It’s a lose-lose situation.  Probably a lot like the Democrat’s presidential primary choice.  Luckily for me I’ve faced this situation before and I went with the driving to another gas station option.  But that was on a Saturday morning and I still have to get to work.  So I filled up Diet Coke.  I wasn’t happy about it.  I got to work and yeah, I drink the whole thing.  But as soon as I finished it, I went down and got a can of Diet Pepsi to wash the taste out of my mouth.  And then I get my arse kicked for about 6 hours in meetings.  Clear liquid outta the Diet Pepsi dispenser…bad omen…

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Hello Christmas My Old Friend

I like Santa.  He’s a jolly old fat man with a snowy white beard.  He’s about giving, hope and faith.  He represents the best in all of us and asks nothing in return.  He shows up regardless of the weather, regardless of how you voted in November and regardless of whether you believe in him or not.

Christmas is the season, to paraphrase Frank Cross, when we’re all a little nicer.

Theoretically anyway.

Mom was in Omaha and Lincoln for most of last week. And her side of the family came to the house over the weekend to celebrate an early Christmas.  Plus Rogue One came out Friday.  Yeah, so Friday morning was pretty much shot when it came to cleaning up the house and making food along with all the other related holiday preparedness chores necessary to accomplish when family is about to arrive.

So that means it fell upon me to get the place ready.  I unilaterally modified that task to mostly ready.  Why?  Because I’m a simple dude.  And a lot of stuff that some people think are necessary, I don’t.  But listen, we kicked Christmas’ ass decorating this place.  It looks freaking awesome.  Our family room looks like HG-freaking-TV was here.  Chip and Joanna, when they’re not fighting off the leftwing twitter lynch mob, would be proud.  The house smells like a yuletide log filled with mistletoe and sugarplums, delivered to the house by a one-horse open sleigh driven by eleven lords-a-leaping, exploded leaving an exquisite ensemble of poinsettias, silver bells and a sea of swirly twirly gum drops.   It’s like Santa himself detailed the Seal Team 6 of elves to come get the place ready for the holidays.  So I figured as long as the house is clean, the beer is cold and there is enough food to prevent starvation, we’d be set.

Yes, there were a few things left to clean up after we got home from watching Rogue One.  But it was Rogue One.  What the hell were we supposed to do?  Wait until next weekend to see it?  Here’s a pic of me getting ready to watch.

theaterrogueone

First one in the theater baby!

Regardless, I was on top of making sure the house was ready.  Thursday night, whilst cleaning up the basement, I thought I’d get all the laundry done too.  Seemed reasonable.  However, there are three teenage girls in the house.  Things which are of deathly importance to them do not always rise to that same level with me.

So, I’m doing the laundry and various clean up related tasks.  I’m about done and getting ready to call the evening’s prep work a win and just go to bed when Rye comes into the bedroom.

“Dad, when you were doing laundry did you go into my room and take anything?”

“Are you asking did I pick up any of the clothes that were strewn about your floor?  No, I didn’t.  I asked if you had any laundry you wanted done and you specifically said no.  I chose to believe you.”

“Ok, well it was Kinsey then.”

“Wait, what was Kinsey?”

“Well, my Lulu Lemon tights got washed in the washer and they are only supposed to be hand washed.”

Quick point of context – Lulu Lemon is the brand that sells tights/leggings that are about $700.  I’m kidding but Rye did save up a bunch of money this summer specifically to buy leggings that were about $100.  Yes, $100 American dollars.  They are so precious but also evidently constructed so poorly that they can’t cannot survive a routine cycle in a washing machine and instead can only endure 19th century clothes washing technology.

“Sorry about that kiddo but I just put whatever whatever was in the darks pile into the washing machine.  I didn’t look to see what was in the pile because I figure if you guys made the rare decision to put your own dirty laundry in the laundry room I was just going to go ahead assume you were serious about that stuff getting washed.  I just unloaded the washer and hung up 3 or 4 pairs of black tights or leggings or whatever.  Nothing like that got put in the dryer.”

“Okay, well, Kinsey must have put them in the laundry on purpose.  I hate her.”

Then she went into Kinsey’s room, blamed her, and then went back into her room and started crying.

So much for there being a feeling of Christmas in the air.  But that is how the mind of 17 year-old upset about her ridiculously expensive black leggings being washed glitches when upset.  She doesn’t think that she may have inadvertently put them in the wrong pile, or absent mindedly picked them up with something else off her floor, instead she tried to pin the blame on me.  When it was obvious that wouldn’t work, she seamlessly transitioned to blaming her sister, for no other reason than malice, for trying to purposely ruin them.

I mean what was Kinsey’s motive?  What did she have to gain by going into Rye’s room, searching for the Lulu Lemon leggings and then sneakily placing them in the pile of dirty laundry in the laundry room.  Where’s the payoff?

After getting blamed, Kinsey comes into my room looking like the media on election night.  She confusedly asks me if I knew what Rye was talking about.  We went through a quick recap and Kinz says, “Why would I do that? That literally makes no sense.”  Aside from acknowledging her use of “literally” in a relatively appropriate way, I just told her to ignore Rye and go to bed.

Which, if I’m being honest, is my go to strategy when dealing with the three teenage girls in my house…

Christmas and…beer

Nothing goes together like Christmas and beer.  Well, yes, family and friends, the baby Jesus, and large conifers placed inside your house are all more important than beer.  But does anything feel more yuletidy than these:

 

 

 

Published in: on December 15, 2016 at 4:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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He’s Nothing Without His Choppers

Remember that story I told you about my two front teeth getting knocked out by a line drive off my daughter’s bat about 16 months ago?  Not really?  Okay, quick refresher – took a line drive directly to my face, just below my nose and just above my front teeth.  I assume what I felt was similar to what Hollywood felt when they called Pennsylvania for Trump.

No bone fractures, no cracked teeth, just quite a bit of blood.  And swelling.  Pretty gross.  Also my face is evidently made out of high grade steel.  Not that I’m bragging or daring you to test that conclusion but its pretty amazing that my teeth were fully intact along with the rest of my face.  Anyway, went to the ER and then to the dentist.  After their unexpected exit from my mouth the fugitive teeth were transported to the ER in my pocket and then to the dentist in a cup of milk.  For teeth, milk is apparently like a defibrillator.  After about an hour of being as toothless as Hillary’s appeal in the upper Midwest, the dentist replanted the teeth using sheer brute force.  Afterwards it was clearly explained to me that they had no idea if the replanting would work.  Replanting normally only works in teenagers.  Dudes in their mid-40’s eventually come back in to get permanent replacement teeth because we do not have the bloodflow necessary in our gums for a complete healing process to succeed.

Yeah, so here’s the update.  I had a dentist appointment last week and it was time for x-rays.  By the way, does it cause anyone even the slightest bit of concern that your protection against multiple invisible radioactive x-rays is a flimsy apron infused with lead or a lead equivalent?  Or that the lead apron covers you from mid-thigh to your neck…but they are aiming the radiation at your mouth which is unprotected and, if I remember human anatomy correctly, is really damn close to your brain.

Anyway, I had a new hygienist working on my teeth.  She didn’t know the whole backstory.  I suggested she read my dental history before working on my teeth.  I think she took the comment as skepticism of her ability to her job.  Which, in retrospect, is silly.  If you’re going to pick a fight with someone, it sure as hell isn’t going to be a person armed with sharp pokey things and the legal protection to cause significant dental related pain.  But she still looked at me the same way I looked when the Steelers were eliminated from playoff contention in 1980.  Then she went back to the chart and after about 30 seconds, she turns toward me and says, “So, those are your real teeth back in there, huh?”

Is Samantha Bee a hypocritical condescending douchelord?

After she’s done cleaning my teeth, she grabs the x-rays and calls for the dentist to take a look.  They’re laughing as they come back to my chair.  Dentist says, “I was just going over our, um, history.”  Turns out getting your teeth knocked out by a softball moving faster than the Milennium Falcon making the Kessel Run then salvaging them quickly enough that they can be shoved back into your sockets isn’t something most hygenists are taught to deal with in school.

Dentist holds up the x-ray of my front teeth and describes that inexplicably the gum tissue surrounding my teeth is not only healthy but it appears as if nothing ever happened.  Additionally, the ligaments appear to have reattached.  But mostly importantly it looks as if the roots of the teeth and the bone are fusing.  This is a condition called ankylosis .

So sort of a double edged sword here according to my dentist.  Chances are, as long as things remain healthy, these teeth aren’t coming out again.  They are pretty damn secure.  Which, again, she can’t believe because dudes in the mid-40’s don’t have their teeth replanted, they have them replaced.  But the downside is that if they ever need to come out for some reason, it’s kind of a big deal.  The dentist’s conclusion?

“You’re are an amazing healer.  Your gums are as healthy as can be, the teeth look completely normal and they are really, really secure in there.”

My response?

wolverine“I might be off base here but what I’m hearing you say is that I’m Wolverine.  I have extraordinary healing powers but instead of retractable adamantium claws, I have beaver teeth.”

Dentist didn’t totally agree, but also didn’t completely reject it.  So I’m counting that as win.

Christmas Lists

Growing up we made lists.  We’d wait for the JC Penny and Sears Christmas catalogs to arrive with a feeling of anticipation only a Gen Xer can truly appreciate.  When those 10 lb. bundles of wishes arrived it was magical.   We’d grab a pencil and a legal pad and get to work.  I’d roll through several versions before finally whittling the list down to those things that I desperately wanted and felt comfortable submitting to the powers that be.  I’d always chuckle softly inside when I’d see my sister’s lists.  They’d have 45 things on there.  I’d think to myself, “you simpletons, interest rates are like 20%, there’s no way you’re getting all that stuff.”   My list would be narrowed down to 10-12 specific items.  If you wanted Santa, and later your folks, to get it right you needed give them clear and unambiguous instructions.  Because nobody wanted to end up with this:

1980SearsCatalog8

If you wanted Chopper Command for your Atari 2600, you needed to spell it out.  Now, as I’ve become older, it has come to my attention that there are some folks who don’t appreciate getting lists.  If fact, they will ignore the list.  These individuals will go and buy something that they think you’ll like despite having an actual list of things they know you’ll like.

This makes no sense.  Like Bernie Sanders’ view of economics.  Or casting Hayden Christensen as Anakin Skywalker.

It’s not that I view it as disrespectful or dismissive of all the work I, or someone else, may have put into building the list.  I simply do not understand why anyone would intentionally choose to make their own life harder by ignoring the list.  And make no mistake, that’s what you’re doing.  You might church it all up by convincing yourself that you’ve thought about it and have really come up a sincerely heartfelt and profoundly meaningful gift.  But you’d be almost always wrong.

Sure I get a benefit from you choosing something from my own Christmas list.  I put it together therefore I obviously have a fairly high level of affinity for everything that made the final cut to get on the list.  But the real beneficiary is you.  The real advantage is the simplicity for you the buyer.  The time saved.  The hassles eluded.  The avoidance of that awkward realization that the gift you gave someone has become a garage rag or been returned for store credit.  Why in the name of all that is holly and jolly would someone purposefully choose to add needless decisions to a time of year that is already overrun with extra stuff?

Especially when you were given a list!  A Christmas list is a yuletide map to joyous merriment.  Literally the only decisions you have to make, outside of how much beer you’re going to drink during the period of time when everyone else is still shopping, is which store to visit first and whether or not you should pity laugh at all the holiday shoppers without lists to guide them.  Do you really think the three Wise Men showed up at the stable in Bethlehem with gold, frankincense, and myrrh because they had spent most of the summer and fall contemplating the perfect baby gifts for Mary and Joseph?  They are dudes.  And dudes need a Christmas list to go shopping or they will always – ALWAYS – come back with a six-pack, a gift card and a t-shirt with the logo of their favorite NFL team.  Because they want you to be happy while you’re watching the playoffs drinking the six pack.  To remedy that, the Angel Gabriel showed up one night and gave the three Wise Men Jesus’ Christmas list.  Scholars still debate why Jesus chose those things.  But its in the Bible so who are we to question it.  So if you still want to be one of those people who ignores the biblical foundations of Christmas lists whilst deriding the gift choices of the three Wise Men, go ahead, but don’t expect me to follow along.  The Angel Gabriel and I will be at the mall with our lists shopping for gifts…

I-76 Christmas

Every other year we travel to Colorado for Christmas. You could do worse. Colorado is cool place. It has mountains, a crap ton of microbreweries and both of my sisters live there. It was also 65 degrees in the middle of December. Not too shabby. This trip not only gives us the chance to spend time with my side of the family but also affords us the opportunity to really evaluate the interstate system, grade the exits and their dining opportunities along with the scenery along I-76.

So, Colorado, you have legal pot now. I am sure this reality has drawn a certain demographic to settle within your borders. Congrats, I guess. But you did not have to hire all them to work at the Department of Transportation. Because one of two things is happening as a result. Either the Colorado DOT forgot to take care of their roads because they got hungry or Colorado isn’t using any of the pot tax revenue on its roads. Granted, you probably have other needs which need funding. Off the top of my head, I guessing more law enforcement. But geez, c’mon Colorado, you suck at highways. Badly. It’s like you deliberately laid each concrete section of I-76 a half inch off of the last one. Describing it as washboard effect does not do washboards justice. The right lane going west was like driving on the brain waves of Nancy Pelosi. So we switched lanes to the less annoying but still shoddy asphalt in the left lane. It was like we were driving on pillows. And not the crappy Wal-Mart pillows, the expensive ones at Pottery Barn. Regardless, how about throwing some of that new drug money at the interstate?

Now, if you find yourself traveling on I-76 in eastern Colorado, here’s a few things to remember:

First, your cell reception will be as reliable as a French armored division in the spring of 1940. Two, if you enjoy watching barbed wire fencing, cattle and a complete lack of trees, you’re in luck. If you’re driving west and you forget to get gas in Ogallala, here’s a rundown on your options just over the pot frontier in Colorado.

Julesburg. We’ve never made it past the Shell station or Wagon Wheel right at the exit so I can’t comment on the town itself. The Wagon Wheel has more room and nicer bathrooms. Also it has an impressive about of trinkets and baubles.

Segewick. I’m not sure what Segewick looks like or actually entails. Lucy’s Café is right off the interstate and had a couple gas pumps. Lucy also had a General Store. I assume the General Store sold more than gun powder and sasparilla. But one thing Lucy’s didn’t have was pavement. I don’t want to cast aspersions upon Segewick or Lucy’s Café and General Store but we haven’t been back since we stopped there in ’08.

Sterling. I recommend stopping here. Although we never have. It appears to be the biggest small town you’ll pass until you get to Ft. Morgan. So I guess there’s less chance you’ll be mauled by a rabid elk or something.

Atwood. There’s a Sinclair station. We stopped there on our way home. It looks like its located on the moon. And there was a small café-type restaurant attached. We were there pretty early on a Sunday morning so it wasn’t real busy. Not that anything is busy at any time anywhere on I-76 in eastern Colorado.

So, in conclusion, getting gas before you cross the Nebraska-Colorado stateline is a good idea. Also having a large capacity bladder.

Uptown Funk’s Parental Application

Nothing brings teens and soon to be teens together with their folks better than Mom and Dad liking the same songs they like. This also gives you the chance to introduce your kids to your stuff. Mom, the girls and I have been bonding over this song:

It is impossible not to like that song if you’re a Gen Xer. Might not be your favorite, but you like it. Not as much as a 15 year-old girl, but you still like it. Why do you like it so much?

This is why:

Morris Day and The Freaking Time. This dance ain’t for everybody, just the sexy people… Uptown Funk clearly has drawn some influence from Morris.

Furthermore, somewhere deep down in your childhood, this song has taken up residence:

I got bodyguards, I got two big cars, That definitely ain’t the wack, I got a Lincoln Continental and a sunfoofed Cadillac. You’re welcome. Bruno Mars is awesome and everything, but let’s not forget Sugarhill Gang cause Bruno obviously hasn’t.

I really wanted to add Parliament Funkadelic but I don’t think Bruno Mars really sounds like them. You don’t remember hearing P-Funk. But you did. You were over at the neighbor’s house and their teenager had it going on the record player and without you knowing it, you identified this stuff as cool because you were 8 and a teenager was listening to it. And teenagers could drive. And swear.

Yeah, Merry Christmas. You’re going to be singing this stuff all day.

Christmas is well underway

Every year I lament the tendency of, well, everyone to jam as much stuff into December as possible. For whatever reason, we all feel the need to schedule EVERYTHING for December. Its not like December is longing for more stuff either. It already has NFL football with playoff implications and Christmas. But we have to fit a Christmas lunch in for every single group with which we have even a passing involvement. Every activity in which girls participate has to have a Christmas performance. Every brewery has to sell us a Winter Lager or a Christmas Ale. Granted, that last one really isn’t that upsetting.

Bails recently had her orchestra concert. It is the third and last of our 5th grade Winter Orchestra concerts. This makes us happy. For the first time, the concert wasn’t held in the junior high’s gym, it was held in the high school’s brand new Performing Arts Center. Rumor has it the stage is equipped with a massive hydraulic lift system. Yeah, that’s taxpayer money well spent…

So she’s supposed to be at the Performing Arts Center, or PAC as the cool kids are calling it, between 6 and 6:30. But like I said, this is our third 5th grade Winter Orchestra concert. If the PAC is anything like the gym, then we need to be there at 6:00 if we want a seat. After she eats dinner, I tell her to get ready. She’s dressed and ready at 5:45. Weird. Ready with a few minutes to spare. What happened next should not be a surprise however.

“Bails, get your viola and music stand in the car, we gotta go.”

“OH MY GOSH, I LEFT MY VIOLA AT SCHOOL!!!!”

Quick review of the relevant facts: She’s been home for over an hour and at no time did it even occur to her that she’d need a viola for an orchestra concert. It’s almost 6:00 which is H-Hour if you want seats and it also happens to be the time in which the school locks down. There is an after school program that ends at 6. You ain’t getting into that school after 6:00 unless you have leverage with the janitor. And the janitor isn’t a cool janitor like Carl from The Breakfast Club. Our janitor is the guy who wields the power of the keys over all who need access to the building and her rooms. Like Lando with his limitless power in the Cloud City…wait that’s a bad example, Lando didn’t have power to do anything except cave to the Galactic Empire.

So we have 11 minutes to get to school before it locks. And we have to hope that the music room isn’t locked. Then we also have to hope that we can make it to the high school in time for me to get a seat and save one for Mom who is coming right from work. Since I’m not a community organizer, I don’t like to base strategies on hope.

My truck is pretty cool. It seats five and has a trunk underneath the bed. The trunk also has a drain so it can double as a cooler. I know, right? But one thing it doesn’t have is the cornering abilities of a Corvette. But we have 11 minutes. Depending on your activity, 11 minutes is a good deal of time. For example if you are watching the Steelers in the playoffs and they have the lead with 11 minutes left and you have to depend on the current sieve of defense, 11 minutes may seem like a lifetime. Or if you have 11 minutes left in an Insanity workout, it seems like a really, really long time. When you are racing to school on a residential road with a speed limit of 25, then driving through a parking lot with an unnecessary amount of speed bumps, then hoping the music room is unlocked, then racing up another 25 mph street before guessing what door is the right door to enter at the massive new PAC, 11 minutes really doesn’t seem like a very long time.

Somehow we did it. Not only did we make it to school before 6:00, but music room was unlocked. Only problem was we parked on the wrong side of the high school for the concert. But we found our way through the building and Bails made it to the stage with plenty of time to spare. I began the dreaded seat search.

No parent likes this process. No parent likes to save seats. No parent likes to continually ask if these seats are saved. So I just thought, hey this place is massive, I’ll just go up to a corner near the top and grab a couple seats. Easy enough.

I find two seats in a row near the top right on the aisle. Sweet. I sit down, begin taking off my coat to place on the seat next to me and the woman three empty seats away from springs into action. She had the speed and quickness of an NBA point guard. Within seconds of my arrival, she goes from mom reading a book not really aware of her surroundings to the Darth Freaking Vader of Seat Saving. Out of nowhere, three coats arrive on the three empty seats next to me. Not kidding. It was like she used some kind black magic to conjure up some coats to save the seats. It couldn’t have been more than 5 seconds from the time I sat down to the time I took my jacket off to the save the seat next to me for Mom. I was too slow. This woman was a seat saving savant. Or a huge jerk. Either one. You choose.

Once Mom arrived, I stood. Not too bad. But the place was about 800 degrees. Millions of dollars to build this place and it retains heat like a brick oven. But the concert was only six songs. 5th graders can’t really behave longer than that.

Christmas pic of the day:
christmastreewallpaper

I Finally Saw Something Today…

Why do brewing companies make the best Christmas commercials? It’s a legit question. Lots of companies run Christmas themed ads. Toy companies, candy companies, fast food companies. But it’s beer commercials that I remember. Granted, I like beer. And it doesn’t have to be Christmas. But I don’t like coffee. At all. But this ad has always stayed with me.

C’mon man, tough not to get all sappy syrupy sentimental about Peter making it home for Christmas and surprising his family with the smell of Folgers in the morning. Because, seriously, who doesn’t like waking up on a snowy morning to smell of fresh brewed coffee coming from the kitchen? No one. Because coffee smells like morning. So does toast. Gotta have toast. So coffee and toast on a snowy morning in December. Well, donuts too I guess. And probably a raspberry coffee cake. But they don’t quite have the powerful aromas that can travel up a flight a stairs to wake you up. Not too many things do. And some of them aren’t pleasant. But we are talking donuts and coffee cake. So then those things, plus the Folgers and Peter making it home for Christmas – all those things together is what makes this a great Christmas ad.

Then you have this classic:

Everybody getting along, singing, smiling, furnishing things with love and snow white turtle doves while wishing we all could just sit down and have a coke. Paul Ryan and Patty Murray did it. You can do it too. Plus it was the 70’s. And aside from the 25% interest rates, the complete loss of confidence in governmental institutions and Tony Orlando and Dawn, what’s not to like? You had the Steelers and Cowboys duking it out to be the greatest teams of the decade. And I guess the Raiders, Vikings and Dolphins too. And the Rams. Chuck Knox had some good teams. Plus you had Mr. Kotter, Schoolhouse Rock and Delta Tau Chi.

Then there’s this ad. The all-time best Christmas ad in the history of Christmas ads.

It just screams Chronicles of Dad vintage Christmas from back in the day. Beer, overcast snowy day, I’ll Be Home For Christmas, small town decorated with lights, gallivanting about town in your sleigh filled with presents. If your sleigh is a ’77 Oldsmobile and the presents are backpacks and the gallivanting is my Mom dropping my sisters and I off at school. That’s probably beside point. But, and this is a key component of this commercials inherent awesomeness, it always ran during NFL games. Like this one from December of ’78. Steelers 35 Colts 13.

Rocky Bleier-1

If you’re in your 40’s, you remember these ads. Maybe not snowy Steelers games but definitely the ads. And they always help you remember the golden days of yore. When gifts like Stratego or a hand held Mattel Electronics Football game could occupy me for days. Plus I always kinda hope somebody will go out and top these ads every Christmas season. But that’s tough task. Not only do you have to overcome nostalgia and the dreaded double bomb Stratego flag defense strategy but you have beer to deal with.

Now I know 30 million of you beat me to it, but then I finally watched this:

Teared up. I did. If I could do this every Christmas, I would. Good job outta you WestJet. Putting that look on so many folks’ faces is yuletide awesomeness.

Chocolate Butter

December is an awesome month. You get all the Christmas themed episodes of your favorite TV shows. Like this:

You get Christmas music 24-7 on at least one local radio station. Can’t really figure out why the Peanuts theme is a Christmas song though. But I have found it virtually impossible to get keep smirky grin off my face every time The Christmas Song is played. If you’re a nostalgic sentimental sap like me, you can’t help it. Because Nat King Cole nails nostalgia in this song the way Mean Joe used to plant Brian Sipe. Except for the roasted chestnuts. Because nobody actually does that. Nobody. If it’s Christmas time and you’re sitting in front of the fire you either drinking Christmasy beer with nutmeg and cinnamon…mmmm…or your watching NFL football in the snow with playoff implications. Or both. Because nothing beats the awesomeness of sitting in your house with the NFL Sunday Ticket amid all the Christmas lights and decorations in front of a blazing fireplace drinking Christmasy beer while watching fans dressed up like they’re about to spend a week outside in the woods on Cold War-era foot patrols along the Norwegian-Soviet border.

But one of the best things about December is the gift baskets delivered to your office. Today’s basket lasted about as long as Jamie Farr’s career after MASH. Pepperidge Farms cookies (Sugar and Chessman), Hershey’s kisses, summer sausage and gouda cheese, water crackers and cheese spread along smoked almonds. The cookies and almonds have virtually no chance at survival. Like a can of mousse in the 80’s. The kisses disappear at a fairly steady pace. They’re easy to grab and eat without anyone knowing how many you’ve taken. The crackers and cheese spread require some utensils so they last a bit longer…until somebody breaks down and puts a knife on the table.

Now, the summer sausage and gouda are an entirely different story. Nobody wants to be the guy who finally breaks open the sausage. Which I don’t really understand. It’s not like the rest of the office is going to berate you for eating something unhealthy…while they are chomping down cookies and cheese spread. But not together. That would be gross. I assume eating the sausage and gouda represents some kind of snacking escalation from the cookies and kisses. Because it is actually not a snack. It’s a meal. A mid-afternoon meal of meat, salt, fat, sausage casing, and dutch cheese.

But that’s not all. Noooo. Somebody always bakes. And baking means some type of homemade cookie or coffee cake. Today, in addition to the gift basket, we had cookies. Homemade chocolate chip cookies. Although, after a decent of amount sampling, I determined they weren’t really cookies. They were in fact round cut-outs of chocolate flavored butter. Sure there were some extraneous ingredients used to give them a cookie-like appearance. Like sugar and alarmingly high amounts of four. But this was straight up chocolate butter.

Not that any of that is bad…