Renaissance News Report

Today’s a half-day, and like I said the Christmas party is tonight, so things are pretty quiet around SCC (by the way the fact that our Director of Education quit yesterday isn’t really helping morale) so I’m going to crank out the news early today:

* Forecasters are predicting a busy hurricane season for 2007, making me happy that I only have to worry about earthquakes, mudslides, and drought. Fair trade.

* Former UN Ambassador Jeanne Kirkpatrick passed away at 80.

* The Transportation Safety Administration is allowing a test program at the Detroit and Dallas airports that would allow non-travelers past security checkpoints for the first time since 9/11. Since then, family and friends have been barred from meeting people at gates or utilizing concessions. If the program is a success, others (specifically Pittsburgh) are looking at adding some sort of visitor program. The major concern is a back-up at security checklines (which speaking as a frequent flier are clogged enough).

* Barry Bonds signed a 1 year $16 million deal with the Giants. He’s 22 homers from Hank Aaron’s all-time mark, and I honestly hope they find a smoking gun and ban him before he sticks a permanent asterisk on another record.

* University of Miami defensive coordinator Randy Shannon has been promoted to replace departing head coach Larry Coker. Shannon’s got a big job, Miami’s got their thug image back AND now they suck. Good luck, man.

* Former Giants shortstop Jose Uribe was killed in a car crash at the age of 47.

* Actor Wesley Snipes surrendered to authorities two months after he was indicted on tax evasion charges.

* In more celebrity tax news, Richard Hatch, the first Survivor winner, who is currently serving time for being CONVICTED of tax evasion, is appealing his conviction.

Screw the Christmas Party, I’m GOING TO DISNEYLAND!

Tonight is Summit’s annual Christmas party, where everyone gathers at a hotel and gets tremendously loaded. I will, however, be wearing an absurd hat and walking around the Magic Kingdom. Jan and I have annual passes to Disneyland and we can pretty much go whenever we want. Disney changes the whole park for Christmas: the Haunted Mansion is all done up with Nightmare Before Christmas characters, Small World is different, and it snows on Main Street after the fireworks show. This sounds like much more fun to me than wearing formal clothes and making small talk with people that I 95% despise. Plus, given that people in my office are fired over things beyond trivial, I don’t think it’s that great an idea to get loaded in front of the pinheads who do the firing. So screw that, I’M GOING TO DISNEYLAND!!!

Renaissance News Report

Don’t take naps at lunch. Little pointer from me to you. And I don’t say that just because I woke up with half of my keyboard imprinted on my face. Today is apparently “fire people of worth” day at my office, so I’m hunkered down in my office avoiding flying rumors and the general cloud of fear. To the news:

* Today, on the 65th anniversary of the attack, is the last official gathering of the dwindling survivors of the Pearl Harbor attack. Every generation seems to have a day that smacked them upside the head and serves as a linchpin for everyone alive during that time. Ours is obviously 9/11, but 12/7 was certainly it for my grandparents.

* The Seminole Indian Tribe bought the Hard Rock casino, restaurant, and memorabilia business.

* The Senate confirmed Robert Gates as the new Secretary of Defense.

* Greece has banned cell phones from all its schools. We’d never do it here, but I actually think that’s a pretty darn good idea.

* Barry Bonds is now apparently talking to the St. Louis Cardinals about a deal. Dangit, how many steroid-bloated sluggers do the Cardinals need in their history?

* Grammy nominations are out and Mary J. Blige leads the field with 8 nods. James Blunt, the Dixie Chicks, and John Mayer all got five. The big deal seems to be that Bob Dylan, who was supposed to get showered with nominations, only got three. That should piss my fiancee off. She would leave me for Dylan in a heartbeat (I’ve made my peace with it). Grammys get handed out in LA on February 11th.

* So Scary Spice (Melanie Brown) says Eddie Murphy is the father of her unborn child. Eddie says he’s not sure….good Spice Girl news, just when I thought we were free. Bravo, Eddie, Bra-frickin-vo.

* JJ Abrahms (Lost, Alias, MI:III) is officially the director of the next Star Trek film. The film, which reportedly will feature a young Kirk and Spock, is slated for a 2009 release.

* Lost will return February 7th, but it’s getting out of the way of American Idol. The drama will be moving from 9pm to 10pm on Wednesday nights, to try to avoid the ratings hit it took from Idol last year.

Gettin’ Christmassy

I grew up in an artificial tree household. Every year my dad would drag the box out of storage and assemble the tree, and we’d all learn a few new words we could try out at school as he tried to make it all fit together. Last year was the first year that I had a live Christmas tree. I have to say, there’s no comparison. You gotta go live. The whole ritual of going and picking out the perfect tree, kicks of the Christmas season. My clan went to Home Depot last night and got a 7 foot Douglas fir, strapped it to my car, and it is now awaiting decorations in my living room.

This, by the way, was a much better purchase than the one my fiancee made at Rite Aid earlier in the day. She bought this 3 foot tall stuffed bear in a soldier suit that sings “The Little Drummer Boy” every time someone passes it. It’s motion-sensitive. It’s very VERY motion sensitive. So I’d be sleeping (which I occasionally do) and every time one of the dogs would wander past it…COME THEY TOLD ME PA RUM PA PUM PUM…..I’d fall back asleep and 10 minutes later….A NEWBORN KING TO SEE PA RUM PA PUM PUM….I’d fall back asleep now dreaming of stuffed bear decapitation and 10 minutes later….OUR FINEST GIFTS TO BRING PA RUM PA PUM PUM….you get it. All night long. So I’m a bit blearly eyed today. I’m sure I’ll be cynical and motivated later and write the RN, but right now I’m trying to scrub that song out of my head.

Renaissance News Report

After lunch, things are usually pretty dead around SCC until there is an inevitable crisis at 4pm. So, seeing as how I have 2.5 hours to kill until someone throws me a migraine, let’s look at the news:

* Taco Bell is removing all green onions from their restaurants until they can determine that they’re safe. This is after an E-coli scare. I’ve always blamed scallions for many of the worlds ills, and have long been suspicious of their ambition for power.

* An independent panel headed up by former Secretary of State James Baker recommended the US pull out of Iraq by 2008, calling the system “grave and deteriorating”. President Bush has promised to take the report seriously, and as he will be pulling out of the White House in 2008 that should give him all kinds of free time to meet with widows and orphans….not that I’m sour on the President or anything.

* The Vatican thinks they found St. Paul’s tomb. I don’t have anything witty to say about this, but woo hoo, holy bones, cool beans.

* The Boston Red Sox signed Dodgers outfielder JD Drew for 5 years $70 million…this pleases me because I think it’s a moronic deal and I’m a Yankees fan.

* Barry Bonds is wandering around the winter baseball meetings in Florida looking for a team stupid enough to pay a tremendous amount of money for someone who, more than likely, will be banned for life. I’m pulling for the Red Sox.

* Jennifer Anniston and Vince Vaughn apparently broke up…but since they never admitted they were together…how can you break up? Never mind I’ve had that relationship too.

* The National Board of Review picked Clint Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima as the best film of 2006. It’s a companion piece to Flags of Our Fathers that was released earlier this year to disappointing box office numbers.

* Andy Dick apologized for dropping the N bomb at a LA comedy club. What is it with spindly white comics going insane onstage lately?

* ABC has put The Nine on hiatus, which sucks, because as much as I love Heroes and Studio 60, The Nine’s the best new show of the year.

* Rumor is that we’ll get a look at a young Jack Sparrow in Pirates 3.

* George Clooney has optioned the movie rights to John Grisham’s new non-fiction book An Innocent Man.

* David Letterman renewed his contract with CBS, so we’ll be having Dave on The Late Show through 2010.

* 5 million of you bought the Pirates 2 DVD yesterday. Why would you do that? I’m friggin’ disappointed in all of you.

That’s all the interesting nuggets I can find. I’m going to go see if I can find an office with holiday candy.

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