Friday, November 22, 2013

Ride'em like an eventer!

Richard Spooner is NOT an eventer, he is a California grand prix rider -  and he is GOOD! When his horse takes off long at a triple combination, Richard does the unthinkable.

He throws away his reins and rides through it like a boss.

Everyone who jumps knows that, no matter WHAT we think we are doing up there, it's the horse who is jumping the fences, and if something goes wrong, it's the horse who is going to take care of it.

Remembering that when 5' 6" fences are rushing up on you is another thing entirely.

When I watch this I am amazed at how instantaneously and effortlessly he just lets go and stays out of the horse's way...and I say that as a rider who used to be teased mercilessly because I was always coming at the biggest combination on the course having dropped either my reins or my stirrups.

But I never did it on purpose.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Apparently, looks actually matter.

Yesterday I wrote about a recent study which put forward the extraordinary finding that when wives calmed down -- fercrissakes -- they had happier marriages. I hope I was able to offer a little insight into why this is so. 

Honestly, I was also hoping that we wouldn't immediately be gifted with any more highly significant studies from incredibly intelligent people whose Very Important Findings About Life were learned by the rest of us in junior high.

Give it a rest for awhile, could you, smart guys? 

But grant money doesn't just land in one's bank account, kittens. You have to think of something very important yet completely misunderstood by other pointy-headed pencil-biters to keep those sweet sweet dollars flowing. So, alas, a new study published in the "Journal of Personality and Social Psychology" presents us with yet another heaping pile of stupid so enormous that I feel -- once again -- obligated to sort things out for everyone.

Men With Attractive Wives Report Higher Levels Of Marital Satisfaction, New Study Finds

Pardon me for my momentary outburst but, "Are they f*&king kidding?"

Apparently they are not. The study was funded and conducted with a straight face by all involved.

Happy wife, happy life? Not anymore -- a new study suggests it’s an attractive wife that leads to a satisfying marriage.

In the study, which was recently published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychologist Andrea Meltzer tracked over 450 newlywed couples during the course of four years and posed the question: does a good-looking spouse lead to a more satisfying union?

What Meltzer and her team discovered was that spousal attractiveness does play a major role in marital satisfaction -- but only for men. In other words, men care about looks more than women do. (Emphasis mine, but only because you can't hear me laughing my head off.)
We needed a study to let us all in on the Secret of the Century -- men are more driven by physical looks than women.  Feel smart now? You needed to be told this. Researchers at major universities and in professional organizations thought you didn't already know this. You had to be told. And more than once, it turns out. UCLA conducted a similar study in 2008 and found the same thing. What are the odds?
A study conducted in 2008 at the Relationship Institute at UCLA reached a similar finding. Researchers theorized that men who felt they "lucked out" by marrying attractive wives were happier and more likely to care about their wives' needs -- and in turn, the good-looking wives were happier in the relationship as well.

“The husbands seemed to be basically more committed, more invested in pleasing their wives when they felt that they were getting a pretty good deal,” study author Benjamin Karney explained.
Get that? A good looking wife is "a pretty good deal." I suppose so, in the same way that a man who makes $400,000 per year is a "good catch." So we each have our motives. And everyone older than 12 has known this since forever. But we hadn't done a STUDY on it. So we didn't really know it.

Now we do.

Oh goody.

So a great deal more money than any of us will ever enjoy has been spent on a number of studies to tell us that men are happier when they are jumping good-looking women, as long as those good-looking women know when to just calm down and/or shut the hell up.

So put your mascara and lipstick on, sister, and start batting your eyes and stop flapping your lips.

We'll all be a lot happier.  I mean those of you who make it.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Marital advice for free.

Linked yesterday by numerous blogs around the internet was the story that if wives would just calm down faster things would be a whole lot more pleasant around the house.

Excuse me for making the obvious observation but, "DUH!"

I realize it is entirely futile, but I hope that this "research" wasn't paid for with tax dollars.

Of course it was.

Wives really ARE the glue that hold marriages together: Those who calm down quickly after arguments have the best relationships

  • Happiest marriages are those where the wife cools off quickly after a row
  • Researchers at Berkeley College, California monitored 156 couples
  • Husband's emotional regulation has 'little bearing' on marital satisfaction

Let me elucidate the findings.

Marital happiness is based on the wife's emotional state, not the husband's. Why? Because it is the woman who is most likely monitoring the emotional state of a relationship at all. Men, bless their little hearts, are content with:
  1. good food
  2. good sex, and 
  3. a good night's sleep. 

After that you can throw in football and a cold beer.

You've got yourself a happy, happy man.

Men are simple.

Women, however, are complicated. And so they make relationships complicated.

You're welcome.

Women are the ones in a relationship who are "looking for growth". This is basically a toxic statement to a guy, as the only "growth" they want her looking for relates back to one of the basic three needs listed above. The average man has no idea what emotional growth means and doesn't much care. He is ready to work hard, play hard, love hard, and fight hard, if need be. And he's ready to do all that on Day One. No additional growth needed.

Considering this, it is reasonable -- though politically incorrect -- to conclude that women are far more likely to be the ones who are ticked off about the status of their marriage. Women are far more likely to bring up a subject (or subjects!) that not only never occurred to their husband, but if it (they) had, he would have ignored it (them) completely.

To a man this is called emotional maturity.

To a woman it is called emotional immaturity.

Do you see how this little difference can be a big problem? They don't call it the Battle of the  Sexes for nothing, kittens.

So the "research" finds that the marriages in which the wife calms down quickly after an argument are the happiest. As I said before, "DUH!"  The man never wanted to fight in the first place, never understood the need for the fight throughout, and just wanted it to be over so he didn't miss the second half of the football game.

I jest. But only barely.

Here's the solution. No, you don't have to pay me for this advice.

Women will always be more interested in the "temperature" of a relationship, the nuances of words, the meaning behind every action. Deal with it, guys. It's how we're wired. But, to be fair, women, you need to understand that men brought the whole enchilada to the table when they asked you to marry them. It was simple for them and now you're just trying to make it complicated. If you MUST dig into the details (of which they are blissfully unaware), at least have the grace to do it quickly and then lose the attitude and go make him a sandwich.

And don't forget the cold beer.

He'll not only be happier, he might just listen next time.

However, I know very few women who will take my advice. I don't even take my advice. I am far more likely to act like this stupid bird. Although I have yet to do the sideways head thing. Might add it to the repertoire. It has a certain emphatic "take THAT!" quality that could come in handy. It would be fun, at any rate.

And to make matters worse, if the wife doesn't figure this whole thing out early on, things just get worse because this!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Shut UP! This is inconceivable!

Most Americans have now managed to get their heads out of their behinds. A first, kittens.

And our first black president made it happen. Maybe all that "god-like" talk was for reals. Maybe Obama really is capable of performing miracles.

Of course it could just be more proof that we are a nation of racist, ungovernable, pigeon-toed trash.

Take your pick.

H/T: Weasel Zippers and Ace of Spades HQ

For the Classy Cowboy!

You all know him. The guy who stands out without standing apart. The man who doesn't need to raise his voice to be heard. He is cool, iconic, and has the moves like......


Monday, November 18, 2013

This is why I don't take pictures of my recipes.

Because it's not easy to style and light and position food to look super yummy. Even Martha "As A Matter Of Fact I DO Know How To Make License Plates" Stewart proves this with her recent food tweets.

Hilarity ensues.  Also nausea.

Obviously I am seriously conflicted.

There's this for my ennui, lethargy, and general "don't give a shit" attitude today.

But then there's this for my feeble attempt to see things differently.

Still conflicted. And too lazy to choose.

I'll be in my closet.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Liberals are the New Tories

Once upon a time liberals "spoke truff to  power" and righteously called for the impeachment of a president over an enemies list and spying and bullying, which was bad even though the president in question was only spying and bullying and collecting the names of DEMOCRATIC POLITICIANS, which, when you think about it, is sort of understandable though reprehensible and we should always be careful to act disapprovingly and tut-tut over such behavior and raise our eyebrows and purse our lips just to make sure everyone understands that we sincerely disapprove...even though it WAS directed just at Democratic politicians.

Zoom ahead to the topsy-turvy world of today's liberals where they cheer their king when he turns the full force of government muscle on its OWN CITIZENS attempting to exercise their rights to support and elect candidates which represent their values. For today's liberals are staunch supporters of the king.  Now they LOVE the government and the establishment and the power structure! Now they LOVE THE IRS for having an enemies list and bullying and spying! Now it's for "the cause." Now it's for King Obama. And, besides, it was highly effective. So don't expect any liberal to be upset or disapproving of the similar tactics of special prosecutor Francis Schmitz in Wisconsin.

Perhaps the probe will turn up some nefarious activity that warrants this subpoena monsoon and home raids. But in the meantime the effect is to limit political speech by intimidating these groups from participating in the 2014 campaign. Stifling allies of Mr. Walker would be an enormous in-kind contribution to Democrats. Even if no charges are filed, the subpoenas will have served as a form of speech suppression.

Mr. O'Keefe told us that the flurry of subpoenas "froze my communications and frightened many allies and vendors of the pro-taxpayer political movement in Wisconsin and across the country." Even if no one is ever convicted of a crime, he says, "the process is the punishment."
(Emphasis most emphatically mine)


The Madness of King Barry

Brought to you by the hilarious and irreverent Joe Dan Gorman of Intellectual Froglegs.

I have his videos on continuous loop in my Drinking Closet.  

We're supposed to be laughing at the little Prince and his Court of Clowns.

I fully realize that everyone has already seen these articles, but I've been busy and so, in a 24/7 news cycle, that means I'm late to the party. Is everyone already drunk?

Last week Jonah Goldberg wrote in the National Review about the three-ring goat rodeo and clown circus that the launch of Obamacare has become:

But come on, people.

If you can’t take some joy, some modicum of relief and mirth, in the unprecedentedly spectacular beclowning of the president, his administration, its enablers, and, to no small degree, liberalism itself, then you need to ask yourself why you’re following politics in the first place. Because, frankly, this has been one of the most enjoyable political moments of my lifetime.

If I believed for one teeny minute that the spectacular failure of Obamacare would actually mean its demise, I would be laughing until I cried. I would be sending out postcards that read:

But I don't.

I truly believe that we've entered a time in our political history when the political class DO NOT CARE what effects their policies have on us. They care only about the increase of their own political power and they aren't even slightly worried about our reaction to that reality. Oh...there are a few Democrats who are in purple districts and might be sent home over this, but the politburo considers those comrades expendable. As long as the power is maintained by the socialists and progressives and all-round creeps, the DNC doesn't give a hoot for the personal careers of vulnerable senators or congressmen.

Ask yourself, when was the last time a government social program was scraped because it was disastrous, expensive, inefficient, immoral, unfair, and unconstitutional?

I'll wait.

Obamacare is just the beginning of the end. It is the mile marker on our hike into socialism. Next stop -- utter despair.

And the Clown Prince Obama and and his Court DO NOT CARE, and they aren't going back and they aren't giving in and they aren't going to fix anything.

So Mr. Goldberg can find joy in the enormous and unmitigated failure of all failures, as do I, but only because it is better to laugh than to cry.

Because as I always say, "Laugh and the world laughs with you. Cry and you cry alone because you look horrid and feel worse with puffy eyes, a stuffy nose, and a migraine headache."

Even though Obamacare would cover that if you could get insured, the deductibles mean you're paying for that out of pocket, sucker. Crybaby. Wimp. Loser.

Mark Steyn, sets out the new reality for us all to grasp:
On Thursday, he passed a new law at a press conference. George III never did that. But, having ordered America’s insurance companies to comply with Obamacare, the president announced that he is now ordering them not to comply with Obamacare. The legislative branch (as it’s still quaintly known) passed a law purporting to grandfather your existing health plan. The regulatory bureaucracy then interpreted the law so as to un-grandfather your health plan. So His Most Excellent Majesty has commanded that your health plan be de-un-grandfathered. That seems likely to work. The insurance industry had three years to prepare for the introduction of Obamacare. Now the King has given them six weeks to de-introduce Obamacare.
We just suffered through a government shutdown where we witnessed 90 year old WWII veterans barred from visiting their own memorial, tourists barricaded into hotel rooms for fear that they might see Old Faithful blowing off steam and -- HORRORS! -- take a picture, and death benefits being denied to soldier's families because Prince Obama wasn't having ANY of the Republicans' efforts to delay implementation of Obamacare. He wasn't going to be held hostage. Oh no...

NOW it's Prince Precious' idea and so everything is fine, except it probably -- HAHAHAHA! PROBABLY -- isn't even legal.
“I wonder if he has the legal authority to do this,” mused former Vermont governor Howard Dean.
Can I ask WHY we have men and women ELECTED TO MAKE AND UPHOLD THE LAW not knowing whether an action is LAWFUL OR NOT?  Can I ASK that???? Shit, people, this is ridiculous. "Ahh...duurrr...I just got myself elected by lying and bribing. I don't knows nothing 'bout laws and stuff."
Later that day, anxious to help him out, Congress offered to “pass” a “law” allowing people to keep their health plans. The same president who had unilaterally commanded that people be allowed to keep their health plans indignantly threatened to veto any such law to that effect: It only counts if he does it — geddit? As his court eunuchs at the Associated Press obligingly put it: “Obama Will Allow Old Plans.” It’s Barry’s world; we just live in it.
This is a Clown Prince determined to act unconstitutionally.  This is the plan, folks. Every time he is able to clearly and defiantly act outside the law and challenge the eunuchs in Congress who shuffle and mumble and whisper among themselves, "Can he even DO that?" he increases the power of the office. The presidency inches closer to dictatorship.
The reason for the benign Sovereign’s exercise of the Royal Prerogative is that millions of his subjects — or “folks,” as he prefers to call us, no fewer than 27 times during his press conference — have had their lives upended by Obamacare. Your traditional hard-core statist, surveying the mountain of human wreckage he has wrought, usually says, “Well, you can’t make an omelet without breaking a few eggs.” But Obama is the first to order that his omelet be unscrambled and the eggs put back in their original shells. Is this even doable? No. That’s the point. When it doesn’t work, he’ll be able to give another press conference blaming the insurance companies, or the state commissioners, or George W. Bush . . .
 And through it all, the god-awful, insultingly stupid, embarrassingly incompetent, outrageously illegal shenanigans, we are expected to be so compliant, so eager for his petty favors, that We The People don't even challenge shit like this:

Still, as historian Michael Beschloss pronounced the day after his election, he’s “probably the smartest guy ever to become president.” Naturally, Obama shares this assessment. As he assured us five years ago, “I know more about policies on any particular issue than my policy directors.” Well, apart from his signature health-care policy. That’s a mystery to him. “I was not informed directly that the website would not be working,” he told us. The buck stops with something called “the executive branch,” which is apparently nothing to do with him. As evidence that he was entirely out of the loop, he offered this:

Had I been I informed, I wouldn’t be going out saying, “Boy, this is going to be great.” You know, I’m accused of a lot of things, but I don’t think I’m stupid enough to go around saying, “This is going to be like shopping on Amazon or Travelocity,” a week before the website opens, if I thought that it wasn’t going to work.

Ooooo-kay. So, if I follow correctly, the smartest president ever is not smart enough to ensure that his website works; he’s not smart enough to inquire of others as to whether his website works; he’s not smart enough to check that his website works before he goes out and tells people what a great website experience they’re in for. But he is smart enough to know that he’s not stupid enough to go around bragging about how well it works if he’d already been informed that it doesn’t work. So he’s smart enough to know that if he’d known what he didn’t know he’d know enough not to let it be known that he knew nothing. The country’s in the very best of hands.
Remember, Obama didn't have a clue about the IRS scandal until he heard about it on TV, just like the "folks." And he was playing cards with Reggie Love when bin Laden was taken out. Oh, and he was packing for a weekend in Vegas when Benghazi went down.

Apparently, just because he never knows a damn thing doesn't mean he isn't really, really smart.
Michael Beschloss is right: This is what it means to be smart in a neo-monarchical America. Obama spake, and it shall be so. And, if it turns out not to be so, why pick on him? He talks a good Royal Proclamation; why get hung up on details?
All in all, I could just puke.

I'll be in my Drinking Closet. If anyone wants to join me, it's BYOB. I'm not sharing today.

I've read the list twice...

A good reason to pray.

Men Don't Go To Baby Showers

When a soldier in the army requested time off to attend his wife's baby shower, the request was denied, of course. Everyone knows "men don't go to baby showers."


Men do MANLY stuff.

Ok, then. Request granted.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes.

Yesterday was Veteran's Day and many of us around the country were celebrating and remembering loved ones who fought, some who died, in our nation's wars. All were heroes.

But there were other heroes that we should remember. The animals who go into war alongside our soldiers are heroes, too.

There was Judy, the pointer in World War II.

Judy, the prisoner of war.

Judy was the mascot of several ships in the Pacific, was captured by the Japanese in 1942 and taken to a prison camp, there she met Leading Aircraftsman Frank Williams who shared his small portion of rice with her.Judy raised morale in the POW camp giving alarm when poisonous snakes, crocodiles and even tigers approached. She was smuggled out in a rice sack when the prisoners were shipped back to Singapore, she never whimper or betrayed her presence to the guards.

The next day the ship was torpedoed.Williams pushed Judy out of a porthole in an attempt to save her life, even though there was a 15 feet drop to the sea. He made his own escape from the ship, not knowing if Judy had survived. Frank Williams was recaptured and was sent to a new camp without news of Judy's survival. However, stories began being told of a dog helping drowning men reach pieces of debris on which to hold.Williams was giving up hope of finding Judy when she arrived in his new camp. "I couldn’t believe my eyes. As I entered the camp, a scraggy dog hit me square between the shoulders and knocked me over! I’d never been so glad to see the old girl. They spent a year in Sumatra.

"She saved my life in so many ways. The greatest way of all was giving me a reason to live. All I had to do was look at her and into those weary, bloodshot eyes and I would ask myself: What would happen to her if I died? I had to keep going. Even if it meant waiting for a miracle.

Once hostilities ceased, Judy was smuggled aboard a troopship heading to Liverpool.She was awarded the Dickin Medal, "the animals' VC", in May 1946. Her citation reads: "For magnificent courage and endurance in Japanese prison camps, which helped to maintain morale among her fellow prisoners and also for saving many lives through her intelligence and watchfulness". At the same time, Frank Williams was awarded the PDSA's White Cross of St. Giles, the highest award possible, for his devotion to Judy.

Frank and Judy spent the year after the war visiting the relatives of PoWs who hadn't survived; Frank remarked that Judy always seemed to give a comforting presence.Judy died at the age of 13. Frank spent two months building a granite and marble memorial in her memory, which included a plaque which told of her life story.

And Sgt Reckless during the Korean War.

There is even a statue commemorating the horses and mules lost during the Civil War. One and one half MILLION.

Statue stands in the garden of the Library of Revolutionary Times
The plaque at the base of the statue.

Never forget.

Men. Women. Animals.

Heroes all.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Excellent advice.

So often we struggle with life, wrestling it triumphantly to the ground only to have it redouble its efforts and throw us off the cliff. This lovely, funny, warm mother gives her daughter some excellent advice.

The main thing is just to try to be nice. You already are – so lovely I burst, darling – and so I want you to hang on to that and never let it go. Keep slowly turning it up, like a dimmer switch, whenever you can. Just resolve to shine, constantly and steadily, like a warm lamp in the corner, and people will want to move towards you in order to feel happy, and to read things more clearly. You will be bright and constant in a world of dark and flux, and this will save you the anxiety of other, ultimately less satisfying things like ‘being cool’, ‘being more successful than everyone else’ and ‘being very thin’.

One of my favorite quotes of all time is from the movie "Harvey" when James Stewart is explaining the first rule of life. "Years ago my mother used to say to me, she'd say, 'In this world, Elwood, you must be - she always called me Elwood - In this world, Elwood, you must be oh so smart or oh so pleasant.' Well, for years I was smart. I recommend pleasant. You may quote me."

The fact that this rule of life completely eludes me is of no importance. It is still the first rule. But because the Rule of Nice consistently dances out of reach, my mouth always able to easily slip the bonds of good manners and deliver the direct hit before I even realize I've taken aim, this advice is especially pertinent to me.

Second, always remember that, nine times out of ten, you probably aren’t having a full-on nervous breakdown – you just need a cup of tea and a biscuit. You’d be amazed how easily and repeatedly you can confuse the two. Get a big biscuit tin.

I think I may just start drinking tea and eating biscuits. It might go a long way to keeping me out of trouble. Wine hasn't helped.

This is brilliant. Everyone memorize this.
Four: choose your friends because you feel most like yourself around them, because the jokes are easy and you feel like you’re in your best outfit when you’re with them, even though you’re just in a T-shirt. Never love someone whom you think you need to mend – or who makes you feel like you should be mended. There are boys out there who look for shining girls; they will stand next to you and say quiet things in your ear that only you can hear and that will slowly drain the joy out of your heart. The books about vampires are true, baby. Drive a stake through their hearts and run away.
 I am a fixer. I am constantly getting involved with people that - right up front - I know are complainers, whiners, disappointed in life, unhappy with themselves. I'm not really sure why, but I think it is rooted in the fact that generally I find life pretty easy to navigate and always believe I can just tell others how to do it and -- PRESTO! -- they will be happy. So far this hasn't worked. Ever. I'm going to start carrying stakes.
But this is the advice that is near and dear to my heart, because it is exactly what I have always said and always remind everyone every time.

This segues into the next tip: life divides into AMAZING ENJOYABLE TIMES and APPALLING EXPERIENCES THAT WILL MAKE FUTURE AMAZING ANECDOTES. However awful, you can get through any experience if you imagine yourself, in the future, telling your friends about it as they scream, with increasing disbelief, ‘NO! NO!’ Even when Jesus was on the cross, I bet He was thinking, ‘When I rise in three days, the disciples aren’t going to believe this when I tell them about it.’

The best experiences and the worst experiences are the ones we remember with the most emotional energy. They are the ones that most directly shape our lives and give us shared memories that create our history. There are the peak moments -- the weddings, the births, the graduations, the birthdays, the promotions. Enjoy them; celebrate them! But the god-awful catastrophes are just as meaningful, just as powerful in teaching us how to live life. The Thanksgiving when the oven door fell off with 12 guests arriving, the storm that blew out the power for seven days, the moments of embarrassment, disappointments, failures, and screw ups. These moments add meaning to our lives. If we let them. And we should. We allow them to add meaning to our lives by laughing at them...remembering incidences that were once horrifying with humor allows us to embrace our frailties and humanness, and the silly, impossible, messiness of life. People who struggle with depression are often those who can not find the humor in the awful moments; they cling desperately to the initial feelings of frustration or humiliation or disappointment, relieving them until they define how they view life.

Laugh at the mess. It's a better way.

Read it all, the way she wrote it. It's great.


Thursday, November 7, 2013

Clever horse.

But not a great career move. Unlikely he'll be selected to be a jumper after this.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

They say there are early warning signs in serial killers.

You decide.

Two little girls. Two giant voices. Same song. By the way, does every soprano in a talent contest sing "O mio babbino caro"? Just asking. And every SINGLE tenor sings "Nessun dorma" from Puccini's Turandot. Or it certainly seems that way.

So which one is your favorite?

Jackie Evancho, ten years old 

Amira Willighagen, nine years old

Sunday, November 3, 2013

I don't care how hot it is, everyone should NOT wear a bikini

Seven days in Hawaii and I am completely over the idea that anyone should be able to just go ahead and wear a bikini. No. This is insane. The only women who can wear a bikini are under 30 and/or have personal trainers. Everybody else? Please show a little restraint and wear a classic one piece. They can look lovely and I don't have to avert my eyes. I have seen more cracks, rolls and hideous bulges than I can count. A sales girl tried to sell me a bikini. I weigh 115lbs but there is still no way you're getting me in a bikini again.  

She said, "You're in Hawaii.  I have 300 lb friends who wear them."

I replied, "They shouldn't."

No one wants to see that.