Gadgets

These Thermal Winter Gloves with LED will help you find the right key in the depths of a chilly winter. The LED is on the back of the glove and it’s powered by a pair of CR2032 buttons cells in each hand. The glove is a synthetic thermal glove with grippy pads on the palm and thumb. The gloves are only US$6.90 each but there’s a minimum order of 8. From chinavision.com.

Yep, the Salt Lamp is a lamp, made of salt, well a lamp inside a block of Himalayan rock salt and mounted on a wooden base. Why? Well the blurb goes on about things like negative ions, waterfalls, relief from sinus and rejuvenation. I just think it looks cool. Just don’t get it wet cos you know, salt + water + electricity doesn’t equal fun in my book. Oh and cows, remember to keep it away from cows. $29.98.

We’ve all gotten stuck passing the salt down to the other end of the table.  It’s not a big deal, but it’s just the same old thing every single time.  With these little Salt & Pepper ‘Bots you’ll never have to pass the salt that same old way again.  Just wind up the small key and they’ll waddle all across the table.  These can be picked up for about $33.

The Kapoosh Universal Knife Block is an angled knife block that securely holds any sized knife (up to 8″ in length). It’s filled with plastic rods that are displaced as the knife is inserted, holding it and any other knives at the angle you stick them in. It can accommodate most types of knives, as well as cleavers and even scissors and they come in a few different styles and finishes. $29.99

Canvas Bags

One of the funniest men on the planet is Tim Minchin. He’s also fantastically talented as a vocalist, songwriter, pianist, and more.

This is a number by him in which I find particular inspiration, as well as hilarity.

Our daughter has been an advocate for this cause for several years. I hope she finds this bit as over the top funny as I did. Well, yeah, and the message is important too.

I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus

One of the first Christmas songs I can remember. I guess I was six when this song came out. It was the number one record in the country at the time. It still brings back a lot of memories hearing it now.

Boyd was only 13 years old when he recorded this song. Mitch Miller at Columbia Records had him record the song, which was written by Tommie Connor.

When this was released in 1953, some people thought it was a little too risqué, the thought of a married woman, possibly having an affair. A closer listen implies that Santa Claus is actually the child’s father, but this didn’t stop radio stations in some cities, including Boston, from banning it when it came out. Columbia Records appealed to the Council of Churches to clear the song where it was banned. The tactic worked, and it became a Christmas favorite.

The Beatles in an Alternate Dimension

I ran across this website that is clearly the result of too much illegal chemical induction, or someone with a really way-out sense of humor. http://thebeatlesneverbrokeup.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1&Itemid=53

If you go there, you will see that is posted by someone who purports to have been abducted by beings from an alternative universe. As he tells the story, the Beatles existed in this alternative dimension, and hey recorded music that we don’t have in this dimension.

Each song can be listened to, or you can download the entire tape. After listening to it, I can say that it is entertaining in a weird way, made up of loops lifted from various songs by the individual Beatles that do exist in our dimension, interspersed with clips from unknown performers.

It’s a hoot, and not too bad to listen to, actually. The Beatles? No way. Another dimension? Even more, no way. It is fun though for any Beatle fan or someone interested in hearing something just a little different.

Small Town Saturday Night

This video is from Otis Gibbs. He’s from Wanamaker, IN, a small town in central Indiana. I’ve been hooked for some time on his album, “Grandpa Walked a Picket Line.” His music is simple, his delivery is adequate, his writing is pretty good, but the whole thing is really awesome. In this song, he captures small town Indiana, and small town anywhere, I would imagine, in accurate ways.

More Palin Lies: The Trooper in ‘Troopergate’ Breaks His Silence

The Alaska State Trooper at the center of Sarah Palin’s so-called “Troopergate Scandal” has broken his more than year-long silence.

After reading passages from Palin’s memoirs Going Rogue that deal with his marriage and subsequent divorce from Palin’s sister, a “fed up” Mike Wooten, who still serves as an Alaska State Trooper in Anchorage, called the book “a pack of lies.”

According to Wooten, Palin and her father, Chuck Heath Sr., have “interfered with my life–and my children’s lives–for at least the last five years. And it is still going on. I’m done with it.”

Characterizing his adversaries as “snakes,” Wooten said he has kept quiet long enough. “From this point on I’m speaking my mind,” he declared. He acknowledged that he is considering taking legal action against Palin on multiple fronts.

An independent investigation in 2008, ordered by the bipartisan Alaska Legislative Council (composed of ten Republicans and four Democrats) and conducted by former Republican prosecutor Steve Branchflower, resulted in the finding “that Governor Palin abused her power by violating Alaska Statute 39.52.110(a) of the Alaska Executive Branch Ethics Act.”

The report documented more than thirty occasions in which then Governor Palin, her husband Todd or members of her staff tried to influence Alaska’s highly regarded Commissioner of Public Safety, Walt Monegan, to fire Wooten. When Monegan refused, Palin fired him instead.

Public records from Alaska–some of which have been revealed for the first time–chronicle a half-decade long obsession with Wooten by Palin, her father and, later, by Palin’s husband Todd.

In Going Rogue, Palin cites many charges that were brought against Wooten that were subsequently dismissed. She contends that there were “ten different” citizen complaints filed against Wooten–without acknowledging that all of them were filed by members of her family. “They filed every stinking one of the charges,” Wooten contends. “But it’s been more like two dozen.”

John Cyr, the Alaska Public Safety Employees Association Executive Director, confirms Wooten’s charges:

“Not one complaint has ever been made about Mike Wooten’s professional performance from any member of the public other than the Palin/Heath family and their closest friends. The troopers that I’ve talked to that have worked with Mike tell me he is the kind of guy they’d go through a door with. That he does his work. He’s a professional. You know, just no complaints out there about Mike’s work. It’s the product of an ugly divorce and custody battle,” Cyr said of the complaints against the State Trooper. “It’s nothing more than that.”

Wooten has acknowledged several mistakes he made while “I was younger” and admitted there were several things he “would have done differently,” but he chose to remain silent until now.

Wooten calls the version of events rendered in Going Rogue an “outright lie.” Either it “didn’t happen [the way she alleges],” he says, “or she exaggerated it all beyond recognition. I look forward to telling my side of this story.”

Wooten now joins an ever-growing array of figures from John McCain on down who have challenged the veracity of Palin’s memoirs. The list also includes McCain senior advisers Steve Schmidt and Nicolle Wallace, Palin’s former legislative director John Bitney, her former political ally Andree McLeod, and former Alaska gubernatorial candidate Andrew Halcro. All Republicans. Wooten identifies himself as a “conservative” as well.

Palin contends “the chapter for our family was closed” with the divorce but fails to acknowledge any of the sustained harassment of Wooten, which, he says, continues to this day.

The father of three (two of whom are with Palin’s sister), Wooten, still living in Wasilla, is described by his friends as a “very involved father,” active as a coach in all of his three children’s extracurricular sports activities–hockey, football and soccer. “I’ve committed my life to these children and being a good dad,” he says. “I’m simply not going to allow the Palins or Chuck Heath to interfere in our lives any longer.”

Palin recounts a story in Going Rogue that Wooten “asked me to write him a recommendation for the Alaska State Trooper Academy.” What she doesn’t acknowledge is that she wrote more than one on his behalf. In a letter dated January 1, 2000, written on official City of Wasilla stationery, Palin praises Wooten profusely, though she fails to declare her then-pending familial relationship with him.

“It is my pleasure to provide character reference examples for Mr. Mike Wooten. Since I have become acquainted with Mike I continue to be impressed with his integrity, worthwhile community spirit and trustworthiness…


On a personal note, I have witnessed Mike’s gift of calm and kindness towards many young kids here in Wasilla. I have never seen him raise his voice, nor lose patience, nor become agitated, in the presence of any child. Instead, Mike consistently remains a fine role model for my own children and other young people in Wasilla. 

I wish America had more people with the grace and sincerity that mirrors the character of Mike Wooten. We would have a much kinder calmer trustworthy nation as a result.

I believe the United States Air Force has been fortunate to have the services of Mike the past 10 years. His work ethic, his American patriotism, his obvious dedication to traditional values, and his strong faith in God and truth is witnessed in Mike’s everyday living.”
–Sarah Palin, Mayor

None of which, of course, is mentioned in Going Rogue.