Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Brewing Bunch ...

Sometimes the screen captures from the Brewing videos on YouTube crack me up. I look like a total dork. And if you think I *look* like a dork, you should watch the show to hear some of the crazy things I say!

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When Democrats attack, Mitt and Barack sitting in a tree, and Powerball dreams ...

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

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Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and Nicki Minaj.

Ringing in the Christmas season right

I went to a tree-lighting ceremony Friday night and a parade Saturday. Plus I watched Christmas movies almost non-stop. But for some reason I just couldn’t get into the Christmas spirit.

Until it snowed.

The snow Sunday morning put me over the top and I am now officially in Christmas mode. I want Christmas movies and Christmas music and Christmas decorations. And basically, I want Christmas. Now. And forever.

I’m not entirely sure what it is that makes me such a Christmas fanatic. Maybe it’s a longing for my childhood. Maybe it’s just a desire for the innocence that comes with Christmas. Whatever it is, it’s always been this way. I love Christmas.

Truth of the matter is, I’m a Christmas geek all year round. Those that know me know that one of the best ways to tell if I’m in a good mood is to listen for me whistling Christmas music in the middle of the summer. Ding Dong Merrily on High and whatnot.

There’s not an aspect of Christmas that I don’t like. I want to put the tree up. I want to cover my art in Christmas wrapping. I want to go shopping. I want to put my Christmas ducks in the bathroom. As soon as humanly possible.

Of course, as any responsible adult, I wait until the day after Thanksgiving. This year that was earlier than most and I took full advantage.

Saturday afternoon I did nothing but watch Christmas movies with my daughters. One after another. After another. We continued the trend through the weekend, watching Home Alone, Home Alone 2, Jingle All the Way and National Lampoons Christmas Vacation, among others.

My memories of Christmas growing up are somewhat scant. Of course, I remember a couple presents here and there. I remember waiting with my dad for everyone else to wake up. And I remember family coming for dinner — or on a few occasions us going there. But I wish I remembered more.

My only hope is that my girls remember Christmas. And our Christmas traditions. First and foremost, I hope they remember that we loved each other. Because, really, that’s what the Christmas season is all about — loving each other, despite our differences. And despite any problems we might have the rest of the year.

I find it somewhat ironic that Christmas essentially begins on one of my least favorite days — Thanksgiving. I know, most people seem to love Thanksgiving, although I have no idea why.

I hosted Thanksgiving this year, and I’m told I did a good job. I hope that’s a for-real thing and not just people being nice because of it being the Christmas season.

You should be nice during the Christmas season, of course. That means now through the end of the year.

Of course, you should be nice all year long. But it seems so much easier this time of year. Maybe that’s because Santa is coming. Or maybe it just is what it is.

Either way, I hope your Christmas season is off to a great start.

Scott Leffler loves Christmas. If you have a problem with that, you can tell him @scottleffler on Twitter.

Monday, November 26, 2012

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Extreme couponing gets violent. Medical marijuana could cure New York state's budget ills. Plus, ROBOSQUIRREL!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

How is this possible?

Apparently, I own only two Christmas movies. Granted, they're good ones, but still ...

My "collection" includes "A Christmas Story," possibly the best Christmas movie ever made, and "The Ref," one of my favorite Christmas-oriented movies that isn't a Christmas movie.

Missing from my collection, however are "Elf," "It's a Wonderful Life," "Miracle on 34th Street," "The Santa Claus," "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," the "Home Alone" movies and more.

Obviously, I need to fix this horrible atrocity. And it just made me wonder ... what is YOUR favorite Christmas movie? I'm not looking for Christmas specials. I'll get into that in a future post.

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Election fraud? No more nudity in San Fran, more Tea Party politics and tomorrow's Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A world without Twinkies? Say it ain't so!

Growing up, I always looked forward to the day mom came home with groceries. It meant snacks. And by snacks I mean junk food.

Now we didn’t drink a lot of pop in the Leffler household. And we didn’t gorge ourselves on sweets or chips or anything like that. But that’s not to mean that there wasn’t often something extra tasty in the grocery bags.

Every so often that “something extra tasty” would be Hostess snack cakes — whether they were Ho Hos or Twinkies, it didn’t matter. They were made out of the magical stuff that all kids love — sugar!

In actuality, mom probably bought Ho Hos or Twinkies a handful of times in my life. And I may have bought them a handful of times for my kids in their lives. In other words, I don’t exactly subside on a died of snack cakes. In fact, I can’t recollect when was the last time I had the sugary goodness that is a Twinkie. Maybe that’s because as I grew old(er), I decided that what once had been sugary goodness is now just decadence.

And yet over the past few days I’ve found myself craving one of those cream-filled yellow cakes. Why? Because we might not be able to get them any more. The company announced last week that they were filing for bankruptcy and would cease production of all their goodies — including Twinkies.

I (along with the rest of the Internet) find it funny to think that Twinkies, which are supposed to be able to survive a nuclear holocaust and have a shelf life of forever, may disappear just weeks shy of the alleged end of the world (according to the Mayan calendar). I find it even funnier to think that this revelation has made me want one.

But you see, Twinkies are more than a sugar-filled death stick. They’re a part of my youth. And I’d imagine they’re a part of America’s youth. I have a feeling I’m not the only one thinking back on days when mom brought the groceries home and I “helped” put them away (primarily so I would know what goodies she brought and what cupboard they went into.)

So a Twinkie-less future just seems unAmerican to me.

But wait! Monday a judge told Hostess that the company needs to go to remediation to try to work things out with its union and continue to produce their sugary goodness.

So I’m hopeful for the future. And thankful for Twinkies. May there be a bounty of them on your Thanksgiving table.

Scott Leffler is thankful for more than just Twinkies. Follow him on Twitter @scottleffler for a running tally Thanksgiving Day.

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Another sign of the Tea Party's demise ... and the Huffington Post mocks the Bird War.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thursday, November 15, 2012

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Obama reminds us that he won. The Buffalo News reminds us that they're irrelevant and some guy reminds us that men can be really stupid.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

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Some people in Texas want to start their own country? Best of luck with that!

Let the pundit battle rage on

Like many of the pundits that you see on TV spouting off about politics, I went to school for journalism and political science. Unlike (seemingly) many of them, I was not in the least bit surprised by last week’s election results.

There is a battle brewing between words and numbers and right now, numbers are winning.

See, many of the political analysts thought they understood how polls worked and many of them tried to read them themselves as though they were soothsayers reading tea leaves or something. Then they mixed in a healthy dose of “gut instinct” and came up with their conclusion that the election was going to be a nailbiter and Gov. Mitt Romney had a good chance of winning because unemployment was high — among other reasons.

I’m not an analyst. I don’t pretend to read polls. I don’t pretend to understand polls. In fact, I don’t like dealing with numbers at all. Math is so not my strong suit. But I’m smart enough to know that, acknowledge it and use a lifeline to “phone a friend.”

For the past three elections, that “friend” has been Nate Silver*. He’s been spot on in reading the poll numbers, giving them weight, and figuring out what they all mean. Taking his cue from his ability to analyze baseball statistics, Silver created a website devoted to analyze polling statistics for elections. And a brand was made.

For some reason, Silver’s polling numbers got under some people’s skin this year — primarily because they didn’t like the results, I think. It was a classic case of attacking the messenger.

But now that the election has come and gone and Silver was overwhelmingly correct in his “predictions,” there will be a new fight - between Silver’s new (and old) fans and those who still believe that gut instincts and intuition plays a role.

I suppose it is possible that Silver’s dead-on predictions in the 2008, 2010 and 2012 election cycles are all a matter of happenstance. It’s theoretically plausible that he’s just gotten lucky for the past three elections. But the odds are that he’s just smart.

Sadly, people are already talking about who will run for what office in two years and four years. Personally, I’m not ready for that. I think we should finalize the results of this election first.

Apart from the battle for the House, Senate and White House, though, many political pundits — analysts, whatever — face an uphill battle for mere relevancy. And just as people hoped and prayed that Obama would be a one-term wonder, there are many secretly (and some openly) praying for the downfall of Nate Silver and his ability to do math.

That’s a battle I’m excited to watch. Granted, it’s inside baseball, but for a political geek like me it’ll be fun.

* Scott Leffler isn’t actually friends with Nate Silver. He just has an overactive imagination and a horrible penchant for mixing metaphors. Follow him on Twitter @scottleffler.

Thursday, November 08, 2012

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Did the voters give Obama a mandate? Or will he have to remain the "compromiser in chief?"

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

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It's Election Day in the U.S. One final show before we crown the (new?) president tonight.

Monday, November 05, 2012

I’ve added a holiday to the calendar this year

I have an incredible memory sometimes. While most people are able to recollect experiences, I can remember the calendar dates of those experiences.

As such it seems like it’s always an anniversary of something. In other words, I always have a reason to celebrate. It’s always a holiday in my head. As if the normal calendar items weren’t a big enough deal, this week was the anniversary of when I bought my car, my hedgehog’s birthday and Guy Fawkes Day, among other trivial items.

Some days are more important than others though. Like my birthday. And Halloween. And Christmas. And given their close proximity on the calendar, Halloween time really means the start of the neo-Christmas season. And my birthday is so close to Halloween that THAT means the start of Christmas. To simplify it, my birthday equals Christmas. Because after Halloween there’s nothing important until Christmas — usually.

The fourth Thursday in November, the rest of America tends to celebrate a holiday that I don’t usually recognize: Thanksgiving. As I did last year, I offered to work this Thanksgiving, in part to get out of having to endure the annual “celebration” that is Thanksgiving.

For those of you familiar with me from my radio days, my contempt for Thanksgiving should come as no surprise. For those of you who aren’t familiar, just google “Scott Leffler Thanksgiving.” It’s page-ranked.

Nonetheless, my loving mother asked if I wanted to do Thanksgiving this year. Bless her heart, she’s always trying. At first I said ‘no.’ But after thinking about it some more, I decided that I would actually celebrate America’s favorite giftless holiday. But I’d do it on my terms.

While I don’t “particularly care for” (pronounced “remotely like”) turkey, the thing that frustrates me about Thanksgiving the most is having someone spend hours — or days — creating a meal that I don’t like … and then give me the stink eye when I don’t rant and rave about how much I love it.

There’s this theory that “us men” can just sit in the living room and watch football while the “women folk” cater to us. Except I don’t work that way. I don’t believe in antiquated gender roles. I do laundry. I cook. I clean. I bake. True, I’m a bachelor and in my current situation, I’d have to do all those things. But I also did them all when I was married. And I’ll continue to do them all should my “bachelor-hood” change in the future.

In addition to my refusal to buy into gender roles, there’s the fact that there’s nothing more stressful for me than watching someone else work while I sit on my patootie. It’s guilt-ridden stress through and through. And it makes every bite of dinner guilt-ridden and stressful. It ruins the whole meal - to the extent that you can further-ruin turkey, at least.

So this year, I’m cooking the turkey. I’m making the mashed potatoes. I’m doing the stuffing. I’m hosting. Cleaning. And making doggie bags when we’re done. And then I’m going in to work. Guilt- and stress-free.

I hope this crazy plan works. Because while I may not like turkey, I prefer it to eating crow.

Scott Leffler is a Libra who likes long walks on the beach, burgers and pizza. Just not turkey. He often posts pictures of his dinner on Twitter @scottleffler.

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Polling update. Sandy's influence on the election. And WTF is wrong with people?