Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Top Ten Cloves: Ways Harry Reid and Democrats Can Keep Roland Burris From Taking Senate Seat

News Item: If The Senate Democrats Accept Lieberman, Why Not Burris?

10. Since he'll be in Washington, have Rick Warren bring along his "Cone of Silence" and issue that to Burris, as his office

9. Have a debate, between Burris and Caroline Kennedy, winner take all

8. Taking a cue from Obama, Harry Reid can say they are going to text Burris the info on getting into the Senate

7. Tell Burris that, if he comes to the Senate, he'll be the first one Michele Bachmann will have investigated

6. All they have to do is say that Chuck Norris is thinking about taking the seat and the controversy is all over

5. Ring the Congress with the Arizona Minutemen

4. Get Todd Kobus, who tackled Patriots linebacker Junior Seau, to line up Burris as he goes to enter the Senate

3. Shame him - Get Zbigniew Brzezinski to say to Burris, and Blagojevich, "You have a such stunningly superficial knowledge of what went on it's almost embarrassing to listen to you."

2. They can throw their shoes at him, until he gets the hint

1. Inform Burris that they lost the Senate seat in the Bernie Madoff Scandal

Bonus Burris-Blagojevich Hijinks

Deb Cupples: Blagojevic Shoots U.S. Senate the Bird

Attytood: Between Barack and a hard place: Blago picks a senator

Think Progress: Former U.S. Atty: Blagojevich appointment shows he’s ‘crazy like a fox,’ playing to future black jurors

Nate Silver: Reid Has Few Ways to Block Burris Appointment

Year End Brings Another Sad Note ... Loss of Jazz Giant Freddie Hubbard

We made reference to one year-end disappointment yesterday, and, on the heels of that, this morning, a good friend alerted me to another.

Jazz Legend Freddie Hubbard passed away, at the age of 70, apparently as a result of a heart attack suffered a week ago.

I had the good fortune to see Hubbard perform scores-of-times, here on the East Coast, and also in Los Angeles and San Francisco.

He was an incredible soloist ... You could walk into a room, with music playing and immediately recognize "Oh, that's Freddie Hubbard on ..." and you would stand and listen, the music washing over you, so, so satisfying.

From Don Heckman, in the LA Times;

From the beginning, Hubbard's playing was characterized by its strength and assurance, its capacity to roam confidently across the trumpet's entire range, and his gift for spontaneous melodic invention.

He was barely out of his teens in the late 1950s and working with such established jazz figures as drummer Philly Joe Jones, trombonist Slide Hampton, saxophonist Sonny Rollins and composer/arranger Quincy Jones. His identification as an important new arrival gained him a Down Beat Critics Poll Award when he was in his early 20s.


Seemingly the first choice for artists of every stripe, he was present on many of the most significant jazz albums of the '60s, among them Ornette Coleman's "Free Jazz," John Coltrane's "Ascension," Eric Dolphy's "Out To Lunch," Oliver Nelson's "Blues and the Abstract Truth," Wayne Shorter's "Speak No Evil" and Herbie Hancock's "Maiden Voyage."

He received a Jazz Masters Award from the National Endowment for the Arts in 2006.
He was both a master musician (he played with a "Who's-Who of Jazz History), and a top-notch performer, not shy about joking or bantering with the audience from the stage.

Always a pro ... Well, just about always ...

One performance, in the mid-90's, at the Regattabar, in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA, wasn't quite up-to-par.

Bringing a new girlfriend to the show, that I had built up to incredible heights, saw the rhythm section come out, play for nearly a half hour, minus Hubbard ... Hubbard then came and took the stage, played for about 20-minutes and left the stage, with the rhythm section finishing up another 20-minutes, or so.

The heated discussion we noticed Hubbard engaged in, as we entered the club, must have had to do with, perhaps, the financial arrangement and, apparently, Hubbard came out and played just enough to meet the gig requirements.

That brought to mind stories of Hubbard I heard, at a party in the late 1980's, in Los Angeles, during the Playboy Jazz Festival, where the late John Stubblefield had the room in stitches, falling on the floor with laughter, retelling tales of being on tour with Hubbard.

Freddie Hubbard on Wikipedia

Freddie Hubbard at

NYT OBITUARY - Freddie Hubbard, Jazz Trumpeter, Dies at 70

BBC: Jazz giant Freddie Hubbard dies

AP - Freddie Hubbard dies - brilliant jazz trumpeter

A related note, word came today that Nat Hentoff, prolific writer of Jazz, and other subjects, has been laid off by The Village Voice.

“Nat Hentoff wrote liner notes for every great musician that I’ve ever loved, from Billie Holiday to Bob Dylan and Aretha Franklin, and that’s not even what he’s been writing about for the last 30 years,” said Tom Robbins, a Voice staff writer.

Mr. Hentoff said he learned the news in a phone call with Mr. Ortega on Tuesday morning. “I’m 83 and a half. You’d think they’d have let me go silently,” he said. “Fortunately, I’ve never been more productive.”

Mr. Hentoff plans to continue to write a weekly column for the United Media syndicate and contribute pieces to The Wall Street Journal. His book “At the Jazz Band Ball: 60 Years on the Jazz Scene,” is expected next year.

“With all due immodesty, I think it doesn’t help to lose me because people have told me they read The Voice not only for me, but certainly for me,” he said.

Some of Freddie Hubbard's Music

You can click to listen to classics Red Clay and Little Sunflower, as I post below a few personal favorites.

Freddie Hubbard "Hubbard's Cupboard"

Sky Dive - Freddie Hubbard


No doubt, Freddie will wow'em up in Bebop Heaven!

R.I.P. Freddie Hubbard ...

It was great having you here!

This Date ... On The Garlic

31 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Seventh Day

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves 31 December 2006

Buck Up Rick, There'll Likely Be Better Days Ahead ... The Results - The Garlic Week Poll

31 December 2005... On The Garlic

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Apology Owed

Well, the end of the year comes with a resounding "clang" for The Garlic.

Alas, our efforts to gain a berth in the 2008 Weblog Awards have gone unrewarded.

The Finalists were announced last evening, and, in the category of 'Best Humor Blog', The Garlic was nowhere to be found.

Initially, I thought - "We Wuz Robbed".

For, on the final day of nomination voting, it appeared The Garlic was sitting pretty, seemingly, racking up the second most "votes".

We use "votes" in quotes due to discovering this morning, via Kevin Aylward, of the Weblog Awards, those calls to "hit the little "plus" icon (+)" were not calls to vote for The Garlic, rather they were "Me Too's", which counted for nothing, or very little, basically just endorsing the nomination (For, the Weblog Awards were looking to trim down on duplicate nominations).

"Those aren’t votes, they’re “me too” indicators. The idea is to minimize the number of duplicate nominations. It doesn’t always keep people from nominating a site over and over, but it helps. The directions in the nominating post are pretty clear. Sites with one nomination are evaluated the same as sites with several “me too” votes."
Got that?

Going back and looking on the Weblog Award site, at the FAQ's, etc, we did notice this;
The number of nominations a blog receives is irrelevant. One nomination is enough...

Rather than add a "me too" nomination for a site you're encouraged to use the "+" icon to indicate your preference for nominees. The "+" ratings are one extra piece of information the finalist selection panel can use to help generate the finalist slates in each category.

See, hitting that little icon, registering your "Me Too" was only "one extra piece of information" and not an actual vote that counted for anything.

In the 'Best Humor Blog', 8-of-the-Top-10 "Me Too" getters did not get chosen as a Finalist.

All I had to do, quietly, was nominate (or have someone else do it) The Garlic, and kick back until they went through the nominations, leaving The Garlic's fate, as it were, in the hands of the judges.

There was no need to ask you, our loyal readers, to take a minute and jump on over to The Weblog Awards, to vote for The Garlic, when, as noted above, you were not, in fact, voting for The Garlic.

I wasted your time.

For that, a most grande "Lo Siento" ... A thousand-and-one pardons ...

Should The Garlic enter, or be entered, into any award programs in the future, we will make certain - absolute crystal clear - what-is-what, how it works, what is required, before we ask for your valuable time, regardless of how many few seconds it may be ...

And, in the end, it is your visits, and readership, that is reward enough.

This Date ... On The Garlic

30 December 2007... On The Garlic

Three For The Road To Democracy (And How To Make SUV Sunroofs Safer) ... Perrin and Crimmins ... And Perrin Again ...

What If Spartacus Ran The Justice Department? ...The Bush administration's dumbest legal arguments of the year

A spoonful of sugar helps the history go down ... Edward Copeland Review of 'Charlie Wilson's War'


30 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Sixth Day

Garlic Special: A George Bush Dream - The Victory

Monday, December 29, 2008

I Won't Dance

I suppose, there's a number of items I could spin off the title of this post.

You have Israel pounding the shit out of the Palestinians, almost as a final fireworks salute to The Bush Grindhouse ("Shock and Awe" - Again!) ...

And there's Mitch McConnell already defiantly declaring he wants to be the Biggest Asshole in 2009 ...

But no, it's just that I am beat tired, another banner day on the homefront (only to get better, with, not one, but two snowstorms coming down the pike this week).

So, a little musical interlude, and a quite tasty one at that ...

Blossom Dearie - I Won't Dance

This Date ... On The Garlic

29 December 2007... On The Garlic

Yes, Virginia, Even Sadder, Little Billy Kristol Is Going To The NYT

29 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Fifth Day

Developing Story - Self-Admitted Killer Offers Details of Friendship With ‘Godfather of Soul’; Former Ramsey Suspect Claims Was With James Brown In Final Hours; Says Longtime Friend, Confidant of Legendary Singer; Plans Were To Make Young Ramsey Girl “Princess of Soul”

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard During The NSC Meeting At President’s Crawford Ranch

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Our Ignorant Dolt of the Week ... RNC Hack Chip Saltsman!

Jesus, you really had to be, overtly, strenuously, going-out-of-your-way, knocking people over, to garner the IDOTW title - during Christmas Week!

I fully expected to come up with a goose egg for our "Ignorant Dolt of the Week" honoree this past week.

I mean, everyone is on the down low, chilling out for the holiday.

Even MSNBC had given most of their Big Dogs time off, and running their venerable Doc Block pap.

It was time to kick back, chow down on the leftovers, and wait to zombie-out in front of TNT's marathon showing of 'The Christmas Story'.

So, if you thought you could sneak a big Christmas-wrapped dollop of racism under the ol' tree, you screwed the pooch.

And that is exactly what RNC Hack Chip Saltsman did.

Who is Chip Saltsman, other than a full-grown adult that continues to call himself "Chip"?

Chip Saltsman, via Wikipedia, "has served as chairman of the Tennessee Republican Party, senior political advisor to Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, and manager of Mike Huckabee's presidential campaign".

You remember the former Majority Leader, don't you?

Frist, also being a doctor, had the uncanny ability to make medical diagnosis via videotape, and was a deft player in the stock market, miraculously, selling his stock in a company, coincidentally, just before the stock crashed.

Mike Huckabee campaign?

Please ...

No, our IDOTW Chip, is one of those Republican hacks, and he's mounting a campaign to become Chairman of the Sarah Palin Party, err, we mean the other dying one, the Republican's.

He even has a cheesy website up, touting himself as the next hero, the guy with the juice to pull the party out of the ashes.

Leadership has impacted every milestone in American history. Looking forward at the opportunities ahead and examining the lessons learned from the past, it is apparent to all that now is the time for new leadership within the Republican National Committee.
Now there's someone with some serious vision, such prescience.

You just got your asses kicked in the Presidential Election, and your party is hemorrhaging seats in Congress, but you cut through all that and make the call for "new leadership".


So, as a warming gift, a little trinket to get his name in front of the potential other hacks who would want this particular hack to be running the show, "Chip" handed out a little gift bag.

From 'The Hill';
RNC candidate Chip Saltsman’s Christmas greeting to committee members includes a music CD with lyrics from a song called “Barack the Magic Negro,” first played on Rush Limbaugh’s popular radio show. Saltsman, a personal friend of conservative satirist Paul Shanklin, sent a 41-track CD along with a note to national committee members.

“I look forward to working together in the New Year,” Saltsman wrote. “Please enjoy the enclosed CD by my friend Paul Shanklin of the Rush Limbaugh Show.”
A closet Dittohead?

Maybe a Gold Level Dittohead, the friend-of-a-friend, who has actually worked with ...

Or is Chip just one of the Flying Monkeys that lives in that alternate universe and believes, as Barry Crimmins used to call him, "the cheeseburger that sweats", actually is a great mind, and spews out pearls of wisdom?

You know, because the former drug addict Limbaugh passes it off as harmless parody, than that is what it must be, not that a majority of the rest of the country would think it to be vile racist slander.

Because that's what Chip is claiming, as he actual defends the "gift".

Please, RNC members, elect this guy to lead your party!

Having Chip with a direct hand in the national campaign of Sarah Palin in 2012.... Priceless!

And, look, he already has another endorsement.

He can proudly post to his website - during Christmas Week, mind you - Chip Saltsman, The Garlic's Ignorant Dolt of the Week!

Go get'em Chip!

Bonus "Chip-in-Mouth" Riffs

Michael Shear: RNC Rivals Discuss Racial Song; Would-Be Chairman Who Sent CD With Parody Blames Media


Robert Stein: GOP Goes South But Obama Doesn't

Bob Cesca: Rush the Magic A-hole

This Date ... On The Garlic

28 December 2007... On The Garlic

As Goes Pakistan, So Goes Iowa ... But I'm Still Putting My Money On Colonel Mustard and Ms. Scarlet ...

Good Post Alert: Juan Cole's "Top Ten Myths about Iraq 2007"

28 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Fourth Day

28 December 2005... On The Garlic

Bush, White House Aiding Chalabi; Will Appeal Election Results To Supreme Court

Top Ten Cloves: Complaints Heard Most By Returns Departments This Christmas Season

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Our 1,000 Post This Year!

Boy, doesn't it always goes that way ...

On a day of a milestone, it was dark, rainy, but one that has had me running from dawn, to sundown, a moderately cumbersome day on the homefront.

The milestone?

Our 1,000th post this year!

I did set out to be more productive, after the heavy-duty Aunt/hospital runs last year, and it was an Election Year, so, in some respects, I shouldn't crow to loudly, being that the count should have been even higher ...

What a slacker!

It, kind of, snuck up on me.

It was only last week that I noticed where the post count was, and thought, well, if I stay on course, I should be able to make it.

Then, all-of-a-sudden, this morning, I was staring at 999!

Good thing, as the old creativity pool was a bit shallow this evening.

So, time to thank one, and all, for coming out to The Garlic, and reading along the way.

We will endeavor, in 2009, to keep up the pace, good riffs and go where it takes us.

Since this is a celebratory ocassion, we need some celebration-like music, so we turn to one of our favorites, the great Jaco Pastorius, to ring in #1000

Thanks, again, for visiting, and reading, The Garlic!

Jaco Pastorius & The Word of Mouth Big Band - Liberty City

This Date ... On The Garlic

27 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Third Day

Developing Story - Polar Bears Added To Iraq Options; Bush Administration Wavering On Polar Bears; Considering Employing In Iraq, War Against Terror; Rove Claims He Also Has “The Science”, Says Bears “Will Do Fine In Desert Heat”

Top Ten Cloves: Other Surprising Things Found With Microsoft’s New Windows Vista Software

Friday, December 26, 2008

Top Ten Cloves: Other Things The CIA Tried To Use With The Afghan Warlords

News Item: 'Viagra lure' for Afghan warlords

10. Special Visas, and a years' pass at the Mustang Ranch

9. Private photo collection of Jennifer Lopez's ass

8. A staff of writers to embellish their letters for them, to Penthouse Forum

7. A Cargo-plane full of Glow-in-the-Dark Condoms

6. The World's Finest Love Doll! ...As many as they wanted

5. Private meeting with Condi Rice, and she'll wear that boot outfit

4. Unedited, Directors Cut DVD of Nine 1/2 Weeks

3. Hours of video of Sarah Palin, winking

2. Ryan Seacrest and Anderson Cooper???

1. Pamela Anderson Posters

Bonus CIA Afghanistan Warlord Bonus Boner Riffs

The Heretik: You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Prairie Weather: Winning Afghanistan with Viagra

Noam Scheiber: The CIA's Secret Weapon in Afghanistan? ... Viagra


Spencer Ackerman: Viagra As Counterinsurgency Asset

Megan - Viagra: The Gift That Keeps On Giving, Even In Afghanistan

Kathy: When Is Prescription Drug Abuse Okay?

dday: Welcomed With Flowers, Sweets And Prescriptions

This Date ... On The Garlic

26 December 2007... On The Garlic

Oscar Peterson

Boppin' Around The Christmas Blogs (Herb Caen-Dot-Dot-Dot Style) ...

Top Ten Cloves: Things Overheard In The Returns Department of Retail Stores Today

26 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twelve Days of Dubya ...The Second Day

26 December 2005... On The Garlic

Weekend Special - Sautéed Cloves 26 December 2005

Special Announcement - Barry Crimmins 2005 Year-In-Review

Thursday, December 25, 2008

So, This Is Christmas ...

Last evening, Christmas Eve, NBC (or the local affiliate here) replayed the Christmas classic, 'It's A Wonderful Life'.

Interesting viewing this time around, following an article by Wendell Jamieson, in the NYT last week (Wonderful? Sorry, George, It’s a Pitiful, Dreadful Life).

Was this what adulthood promised?

“It’s a Wonderful Life” is a terrifying, asphyxiating story about growing up and relinquishing your dreams, of seeing your father driven to the grave before his time, of living among bitter, small-minded people. It is a story of being trapped, of compromising, of watching others move ahead and away, of becoming so filled with rage that you verbally abuse your children, their teacher and your oppressively perfect wife. It is also a nightmare account of an endless home renovation.
Forget about adulthood.

My dreams, were relinquished as a small child.

This is, probably, my least fun time of year.


Ever since I was a young child, after one particular Christmas, I bemoaned the calendar, as it turned from November, to December.

The avalanche of ads that flooded out, gleaming toys beaming out of the television set, made all more annoying, with the weather, getting colder and colder each day, and all those conned into thinking, that, "OMG! ...Will we have a white Christmas this year?", like that actually adds to the merriment of the day.

Yes, I secretly thought.

Let it snow, so much, so heavy, that Christmas would be muted out.

The snow, would be so dense, so deep, that even that fat jolly guy would be grounded, unable to make his way, dropping down chimneys, leaving behind those not-so-gleaming toys (they never looked as good, in your hands, in your house, as they do in those television ads).

And what kind of person drops down a chimney to deliver something, I thought, as I got a bit older.

Why wasn't he using the door, or a window, even?

And, why was it none of the toys, or gifts left, ever carrying a millimeter of soot on them?

Did he stop and clean them?

Then, there is the weight issue.

First of all, he was fat, really fat, so there was a problem.

None of the stories mentioned anything about grease or Vaseline being used, so he could just slide right down, all those chimneys.

Being that fat, and with all those deliveries to make, you have to wonder about stamina, and what kind of shape such a fat person would be in.

All the stories have him being jolly, going "Ho, Ho, Ho", never anything like he was bent over, gasping for air, like a rescued coal miner.

With a few more years under my belt, I begin to look for news articles, that a fat guy in a funny red suit was found, stuck in a chimney, dead, the victim of a heart attack, a odd-looking, sleigh-like vehicle parked nearby, stuffed with toys.

No such articles did I ever find.

Only more PR for Christmas, the same stories, with slight tweaks, appearing year-after-year, carrying the main, and only, theme, of commercialism.

Buy, Buy, Buy!

If you don't go out, traipse all over downtown, arms stuffed with "presents", that you were just a horrible person.

And, school ...

Oh the burden, all my fellow classmates, chirping like little Christmas birds "What are you getting for Christmas?", or "What did you ask Santa to bring to you?"

Their incessant Christmas promoting stopped as abruptly as a crash-test dummy hitting the dashboard, when I would answer, "A blizzard".

The cookies, and other confections ... The dinners ...

All done, and conducted, imbued with that "Christmas Spirit".

After that incident, Christmas morning for me was like a parole hearing, and I never had enough merits to get sprung from it.

All the relatives, seen only this once per year, coming in-and-out, pinching your cheeks, like you were some good-luck totem standing by the door.

After they all piled in, I would look out the door, longingly, cheeks still stinging for the numerous death grips, for a hint, that first lonely flake of the impending snow tsunami I fervently wished for.

And the cameras, the Super 8's ...

The dreary jobs my relatives held down all year long, gave way to their new careers of being the next Cecille B. DeMille on Christmas, documenting your every move, punctured by their frequent shouts of direction, to, basically, due something stupid for their camera, so all the adults could guffaw until their jaws ached, next time we visited the home of that particular film hot shot.

Why no seasonal mirth, oozing out of every pore?

It goes back to that particular Christmas, when I was around four, or five-years-old.

Oh, I was a junior Mr. Christmas back then.

We couldn't get the decorations up soon enough, fast enough, or early enough.

As Thanksgiving dishes were being washed, I would be rummaging through the closets, pulling out all the Christmas booty.

If the tinsel wasn't in stock at the local stores, I had no patience to wait for the next shipment.

I would, with my little hands, using an older sibling's Exacto knife, spend hours-and-hours, cutting the Reynolds Wrap into tinsel-like strands.

Tangled Christmas Tree Lights?

Heck, I could solve a Rubik's Cube with one hand, while my little fingers unraveled them effortlessly.

Christmas was on the line ... The sooner they could be strung on the always tall, plump, blinding-green pine I would lobby, actually badger, that we get (and, as a slightly older child, I wondered, if it is that we cut down trees on Christmas, why don't we cut down crucifixes on Arbor Day?).

No, it was the annual photo trek, downtown, to see Santa Claus.

You know, where you go to the enormo-department store, stand in line for about an hour, with a zillion other kids, quietly dissing them, confident that Santa, not caring about the others, is going to be at rigid attention with your own Christmas order.
Finally, it was my turn and a single bound landed me on his lap.

After dispensing with my laundry list of gifts I expected, I remembered, suddenly, something I heard my older siblings talking about, so I asked the question.

"Are you really Santa Claus?"

He looked at me, a bit taken back, then leaned forward and whispered in my ear.

"Of course I am ... But let me tell you a secret ..."

OMG! ... Santa was going to tell me a secret, I thought .. How cool was this!

He glanced around for a moment, and then laid it on me.

I was shocked, horrified!

I jumped off his lap, running as fast as I could, tears streaming down my cheeks.
I never told anyone.

I carried it around, like an ocean liner's anchor for years.

Christmas after Christmas came, and went, and I barely noticed.

No, it wasn't the same anymore.

I never had a good Christmas, the day after a Department Store Santa Claus told me that my parents were fake, that they weren't really my parents.

Jingle Bells!

Merry Christmas! ... Glaedelig Jul! ...Vrolijk kerstfeest ...Boas Festas! ...Hauskaa Joulua! ...Joyeux Noel! ...Frohe Weihnachten! ...

Natale allegro! ...Christmas Alegre! ...Feliz Navidad ...God Jul! ...Joyeux Noel! ...Maligayang Pasko!

Throw another log on the fire, and eggnog for everybody!

And, strap yourselves in, for the most merriest, rollickin', foot-tappin', finger-snappin', sugar-shackin', beboppin' rendition of Jingle Bells you'll ever hear!

It's a gas, the best way to kick-start your Christmas morning!

Crank it up!

Merry Xmas!

Duke Ellington Orchestra - Jingle Bells

This Date ... On The Garlic

25 December 2007... On The Garlic

Merry Christmas!

25 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twelve Days of Dubya ...The First Day

Happy Holidays! ... Coming Soon - The 12 Days of Dubya

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Christmas Time is Here

Perhaps, some of you, may have first become aware, and hip, to Vince Guaraldi via his hit tune "Cast Your Fate To The Wind", born out of his work on "Jazz Impressions of Black Orpheus".

However, numerous generations are warmed by the music from all the Charlie Brown specials, completely unaware of Guaraldi.

From the Vince Guaraldi website;

The most prestigious task, however, was yet to come. Even before Duke Ellington played San Francisco's Grace Cathedral, that venerable institution's Reverend Charles Gompertz selected Guaraldi to write a modern jazz setting for the choral Eucharist. The composer labored18 months with his trio and a 68-voice choir, and the result is an impressive blend of Latin influences, waltz tempos, and traditional jazz "supper music". It was performed live on May 21, 1965, and the album became another popular and critical hit. Clearly, if Vince Guaraldi could write music for God, he could pen tunes for Charlie Brown.

The jazz pianist's association with Charles Schulz's creations actually had begun the year before, when Guaraldi was hired to score the first Peanuts television special, adocumentary called"A Boy Named Charlie Brown " (not to be confused with the big- screen feature of the same title). The show brought together four remarkable talents: Schulz, writer/producer/director Lee Mendelson, artist Bill Melendez and Guaraldi.

Guaraldi's smooth trio compositions -- piano, bass and drums -- perfectly balanced Charlie Brown's kid-sized universe. Sprightly, puckish, and just as swiftly somber and poignant, these gentle jazz riffs established musical trademarks which, to this day, still prompt smiles of recognition.

They reflected the whimsical personality of a man affectionately known as a "pixie", an image Guaraldi did not discourage. He'd wear funny hats, wild mustaches, and display hairstyles from buzzed crewcuts to rock-star shags.

Unfortunately, with an irony that seemed appropriate for a documentary about Charlie Brown, Mendelson never was able to sell the show, which remains unseen to this day by the general public. Fortunately, the unaired program became an expensive calling-card that attracted a sponsor (Coca-Cola) intrigued by the notion of a Peanuts Christmas TV special. Thus, when "A Charlie Brown Christmas" debuted in December 1965, it did more than reunite Schulz, Mendelson, Melendez and Guaraldi, all of whom quickly turned the Peanuts franchise into a television institution. That first special also shot Guaraldi to greater fame, and he became irreplaceably welded to all subsequent Peanuts shows. Many of his earliest Peanuts tunes -- "Linus and Lucy", "Red Baron" and "Great Pumpkin Waltz", among others -- became signature themes that turned up in later specials.
And, Wikipedia;
While searching for just the right music to accompany a planned Peanuts television documentary, Lee Mendelson (the producer of the special) heard a single version of "Cast Your Fate to the Wind" by Vince Guaraldi's trio on the radio while traveling in a taxicab on the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California. Mendelson contacted Ralph J. Gleason, jazz columnist for the San Francisco Chronicle and was put in touch with Guaraldi. He proposed that Guaraldi score the upcoming Peanuts Christmas special and Guaraldi enthusiastically took the job, performing a version of what became "Linus and Lucy" over the phone two weeks later. The soundtrack was recorded by the Vince Guaraldi Trio, whose other members were bassist Fred Marshall (who later married Bev Bivens of the folk-rock group We Five) and drummer Jerry Granelli. Guaraldi went on to compose scores for sixteen Peanuts television specials, plus the feature film A Boy Named Charlie Brown as well as the unaired television program of the same name.

Here's a little something familiar, to warm you up ...

A Charlie Brown Christmas - Christmas Time is Here Song

Bonus Bonus

NORAD Tracks Santa 2008

Top Ten Cloves: Things About Christmas Around The Nation's Capital

News Item: Bush's Lame Duck Christmas Dinners: The White House Menus

10. 'Do You Hear What I Hear' ... Even on Christmas, no break from the wiretapping

9. Blackwater USA sings "Sleigh Ride" all year round

8. When John McCain sings "I'll Be Home For Christmas", he has to focus on just one of his seven homes

7. 'Silent Night' is, pretty much, the summation of Condi Rice's tenure as Secretary of State

6. Ted Stevens is afraid to sing "Deck The Halls", fearing it may bring new indictments against him

5. All the Obama Team will say is that he's 'Away In The Manger'

4. For Karl Rove, and his Legacy Project, is all about 'O Come All Ye Faithful'

3. Bob Novak's favorite Christmas tune is 'Grandma Got Run Over By a Reindeer'

2. All of Bush's pardons to cronies are hung by the fireplace with care

1. Cheney's still making the lists, and torturing them twice

Bonus Xmas Links

Wikipedia: Christmas music

Rawlin Blake: Christmas Songs

Santa's Sing-A-Long Christmas Carols

phillyBurbs Staff: Best and worst Christmas songs

Zach Baron: Another Free iTunes Single of the Week: Stephen Colbert's "Another Christmas Song"

This Date ... On The Garlic

24 December 2006... On The Garlic

Twas The Night Before The New Congress

“Really, It’s Just A Coincidence" ... The Results - The Garlic Week Poll

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

We Free Kings

Ah yes ... Today's Christmas Tune is a killer!

Rahsaan Roland Kirk ... Need we say more?

Kirk takes the traditional "We Three Kings of Orient Are" and, well, "Rahsaanifies" it, as only he could.

From Verve;

According to an old-time myth, only a blind man can truly understand the meaning of the blues. On the deeply passionate CD, “We Free Kings”, Roland Kirk transforms this myth to reality. On the title track, Kirk has converted the traditional Christmas carol into a melancholy contemporary gospel performance.

Kick back, and let your Christmas Freak out!

We Free Kings by Roland Kirk Quartet

This Date ... On The Garlic

23 December 2007... On The Garlic

Happy Holidays - All of Them!

23 December 2006... On The Garlic

Garlic Christmas Special - David Sedaris Christmas Letter

Monday, December 22, 2008

Our Ignorant Dolt of the Week .... President-Elect Barack Obama

Yeah, you read that right.

Fully, we didn't expect for The Big O to pop up on our IDOTW radar until after he took office, perhaps due to some gaffe, or other, in the First 100-days, or some major policy mess down the road.

And we held out over the weekend, waiting, hoping, some other twit would come along, proving themselves IDOTW-worthy.

Dick Cheney, going on his victory tour, blabbing away about torture and stomping on The Constitution like he had dipped into the Christmas punch a little to much is in a league all by itself.

And that's part of the whole, on-going Bush Legacy Project, which we anticipate tackling between now, and when The Bush Grindhouse folds its' tent next month.

No, the choice of super-evangelist Rick Warren, for the Inaugural Invocation, rings the IDOTW bell for Obama.

And, it was just two-weeks ago, Rick Warren was our IDOTW!

First-and-foremost, and going with the whole "change" thing, we thought this bright, Ivy Leaguer would have looked at this aspect of the Swearing-In Show, remembering our thing about "the separation of church and state" and announced that he was going to run another one of those "I'm From Kansas" videos, to warm up the crowd, or maybe a new one, a montage of the history of the country, building up to a cacophonous crescendo, right to the exact moment, cutting in live, of Obama and Chief Muckity-Muck Roberts hitting their marks, Obama lying his hand down on the bible, with the backdrop of red, white and blue fireworks.

But, no, we get the Saddleback carny entering, stage right ... Make that entering, stage extremely far right, continuing his hustle of the networks, that he's the Big Cheese Bible Thumper these days.

And the networks are buying it, as we've heard, more than a few times, of Warren being referred to as "America's Pastor" which, I guess, is kind of like when the Dallas Cowboys were "America's Team", expect we drop the busty, scantily-clad cheerleaders for the Purpose Driven hustler.

If the Right Wing Jesus Freaks are in the middle of some kind of Hatfield-McCoy war, on who God is whispering to, let'em fight it out, but maybe, they can do in that infamous Saddleback Cone of Silence.

With Obama giving Warren center-stage, on his own, mega-big day, that seems like a pretty big chip to be tossing into the pot.

As, with the inclusion of Warren on Jan. 20th, he's kicking the LGBT supporters away from the table.

After all, comparing homosexuality to incest and child molestation, like, that wouldn't be offensive to anyone.

Yeah, Yeah ... This is the "reaching across the aisle" thing ... "Bipartisanship" ... Of sitting down with our enemies and talking, working through to find common ground ... Blah, Blah, Blah

It's really great that our next president likes to mix it up, that he's not afraid to step in shit, and then, clean his own shoes ...

But, Rick Warren?

America's Pastor? ...

Please, Shoot Me!

Last week, on Countdown', Keith Olbermann talked with Rob Boston, of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Boston summed it up with a killer line;

Well, Warren, to me, is—he has a great P.R. machine. And he has people thinking he‘s a moderate, but he‘s really just Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt. And we don‘t need that again. You know, with the sort of passing of the guard of some of the old religious right leader, some of them have died, others of whom are sort of in semi-retirement, a lot of us are hoping for a more moderate religious voice to come to bear. And we‘re not getting that.
Jerry Falwell in a Hawaiian shirt ...

Well, whether or not President-Elect Barack Obama wears Hawaiian shirts, he's wearing The Garlic's "Ignorant Dolt of the Week" crown.

And both these guys are big-time, PR-savvy ...

Can't we see a "schedule conflict" or, some other excuse pop up, knocking Warren out-of-the box?

C'mon Guys! ... Get a glove! ... Get in the game, here!

Bonus Obama-Warren IDOTW Riffs

YouTube - Warren: The Bible says that God puts government on earth to punish evildoers

YouTube - Rick Warren Endorses Prop 8

YouTube - RIck Warren on gays, their immaturity and desire for multiple partners

Brilliant at Breakfast: Sorry, President-Elect Obama, you blew it big time with this one

Attytood: R-E-S-P-E-C-T...find out what it means, Barack

Joe Sudbay (DC): Rick Warren is a major fail and a total affront

Blue Texan: In a Surprising Development, Barney Frank Objects to Incest Accusations

Joan Walsh: Disappointed by Rick Warren

Mike Madden: How the hell did Rick Warren get inauguration tickets? Barack Obama knows liberals are upset he picked the conservative evangelical preacher to pray at the inauguration. And he doesn't care

Late Breaking

Think Progress: Warren’s church removes anti-gay statements from website

John Aravosis (DC): Rick Warren pulls anti-gay language from his Web site

TowleRoad: As Obama Bakes, Rick Warren Controversy Simmers

Pam Spaulding: Lowery, Rhue speak out on Warren debacle; Saddleback homophobe to keynote at King Memorial Service

All I Want For Christmas Is A Brand New Handgun!

As Steve Benin noted, "the NRA must be desperate";

Estimates vary, but the National Rifle Association reportedly spent about $15 million in 2008 on attacks against Barack Obama. The group is no doubt frustrated, not only with the election's outcome, but with its inability to have a serious impact on the campaign.
Or, why else would they be conducting robocalls, during the Holiday Season, and, no less, ignoring the economic meltdown, hitting people up for donations?

Well, the Second Amendment says you can have a gun, but it doesn't specifically mandate that you have a brain.

One such robocall was received Colin McEnroe, at The Hartford Courant.

And, he wrote about it.

Merry Christmas from Wayne LaPierre

So my phone rings today; and after that 1.5-second delay that tells you it''s not a beloved friend, a guy comes on the line and says his name is Chris White from the NRA. Do I want to listen to a message from Wayne LaPierre about "Obama's scheme to ban guns?" You bet I do.


Obama has been "stacking his administration with the most notorious gun-banners in America."

Wayne says he wants to "send a message loud and clear that the fight for our freedom is not coming. It is here and now."

As proof of the administration's deep bias, Wayne says applicants for jobs are asked if they own a gun and, if so, if it is properly registered. (A clear attempt to discriminate against Plaxico Burress.) Of course, the gun question is but one of 63 queries on the famously detailed questionnaire.

After some more of this talk, a different human being comes on the line and tells me that Obama is appointing "a cabinet full of gun haters."

"Could you please tell me the name of at least one of the gun-haters?" I ask.

Go read "Merry Christmas from Wayne LaPierre", it's very funny.