Monday, December 11, 2006

Let's review, shall we?

I actually started the Foreign Intelligence Files (FIF for short!) to catalogue the funny news stories that happen every day. It just kinda grew from there. Usually, the funny stories are relegated to the "On to the news" section. But once in a while, we get something here that looks like this:

WICHITA, Kan. - A Wichita man called 911 to report he was the victim of an armed robbery. The theft? A pound of marijuana worth about $1,100 that he had been trying to sell at his home.

The victim told police Thursday that a buyer had pulled out a sawed-off shotgun and stole the drugs. Police brought in a drug-sniffing dog to the house and located more marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

The victim was booked into Sedgwick County jail on several charges, including possession with the intent to sell drug. The thief has not been found.

Drugs are bad, mmmkay?

This week's theme:
Year in Review, 2006

This will be my last week of blogging for the year. (I know, sad.) So, this week, I figured it would be best to review the year FIF-style.

We begin on January 1st, where Dick Clark, despite being having suffered a stroke, showed up at midnight to ring in the new year. The man is immortal. Even after he dies, I'm predicting that they'll bring him back Weekend at Bernie's style.

On January 3rd, Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff (giggle) agrees to a plea deal in which he will testify that just about everyone in Congress is a crook. Shock ensues!

On January 19th, NASA lanches the New Horizons probe which will take a nine year journey to the edge of the solar system to explore Pluto. Hopes are dashed later in the year when astronomers, some of whom presumably work for NASA, point out that Pluto isn't a planet. Buzzkill.

On January 23rd, Canadians went to the polls and elected a new conservative government after many years of the liberal Labour party being in power. Nobody in America noticed. So, on January 25th, the Hamas political party won control of the Palestinian assembly. Most Americans still think Hamas is a Scots dish involving sheep intestines.

January 31st marks the first day on the job for Samuel Alito as a Supreme Court justice. After a long, protracted fight on both sides to keep him from being confirmed, Americans can breathe easily and go back to not being able to name him or the eight people he works with. But they can name the Seven Dwarfs.

On February 4th, and for a few days afterwards, following the publication of a few political cartoons in a Danish newspaper depicting the prophet Mohammed (a big no-no in Islam), riots are held in which everything Danish is burned. The problem is that... well, it was a small fire. A counter-protest in which people actively sought to buy Danish products turned up little more than some butter cookies. Attempts to buy Ikea furniture were rebuffed when Bill O'Reilley was informed that Ikea is actually Swedish and that's different.

February 5th, The Pittsburgh Steelers beat the Seattle Seahawks 21-10 in Superbowl XL. A few highlights from the game are here, here, here, and here.

February 10th saw the opening of the 20th Olympic Winter Games in Torino, Italy. You forgot about that, didn't you.

On February 11th, Dick Cheney sends a gift to stand-up commedians all over America by shooting his friend in the face. Cheney immediately withdrew from the biathlon portion of the Olympics. (A thought: Who came up with this idea? Let's take someone and make them cross-country ski for a few hours, and then get their heart rate really going. Then, let's have them shoot guns! Answer: Norwegian soldiers in the 18th century)

For most of the days following February 23rd, America was told that it was angry about a company in Dubai, which none of them could locate, which is in the business of running seaports, which none of them knew anything about, really, was contracted to run some American seaports. Everyone screamed that this was bad, but no one really knew why. But they were sure it had nothing to do with the fact that they were Middle Eastern.

On February 28th, the Supreme Court, apparently having nothing better to do, hears the case of whether Anna Nicole Smith should really inherit that rich guy's money.

March 5th, at the Academy Awards, Crash, a film about racism in L.A. beats Brokeback Mountain, a film about gay cowboys. (Neither should have beaten Good Night and Good Luck, but that's another blog.) Also winning awards was March of the Penguins, a film about penguins having sex.

March 10th brought the resignation of Secretary of the Interior Gale Norton. Most Americans were unaware that such a department and person actually existed.

On March 15th, Sadaam Hussein, testifying in his own defense brags about his role in the charges he's facing death for. He considers writing a book called, "If I Did It..."

In France, on March 28th, young workers set out to protest a law that would allow companies to fire them within 2 years for no official reason. In an attempt to show that they would actually make excellent workers, the (mostly) students take to the street and start a riot. Makes sense.

Perhaps they were rioting over the "Britney Spears Giving Birth" sculpture that premiered that day. This featured a nude likeness of Mrs. Federline over a bearskin rug giving birth. Apparently not happy with this depiction, Spears decided to set the record straight on everything later in the year.

March 31st, Former U.S. Senator George Mitchell is tapped to start a probe into the possibility that some Major League Baseball players may have used steroids.

On to the news:

Crime fighting Santa!
(They'll clearly be getting lumps of coal)

Dog gets plastic surgery
(Let's play a game called "priorities")

Yet another man tries to do a Santa impersonation
(Contains the sentence: "Emergency workers were summoned at about 3:20 a.m., but it wasn't clear who called them.")

Border patrol finds alligator in someone's suitcase

Bright, shiny objects:

It's time for our Monday check of
(Mine smells like roses)

(Oy vey!)

Today's random next blog:

A painting blog by a young Polish artist living in New York
(I'm impressed.)

The Monday playlist feature:

This week features my birthday (Saturday the 16th). Naturally, there are a lot of memories associated with my birthday, and I suppose I could pick any of them. But, today, I go with December 16, 1995, my 16th birthday. This day will go down in history as the first time I was on television. At least, that's the day we taped the show. It was a high school quiz show that my school participated in. We wiped the floor with the competition.

Here's what we listened to afterwards:

5) Alanis Morrisette -- Hand in my Pocket

4) Madonna -- You'll See

3) Goo Goo Dolls -- Name

2) Whitney Houston -- Exhale (Shoop Shoop)

1) Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men -- One Sweet Day

Has it been 11 years since Jagged Little Pill? I feel so old right now. I've never heard of the Madonna song. And perhaps there is someone out there who knows why the Whitey Houston reference is outright hilarious.

Today's strange anniversary:

December 11, 1928 -- NL President John Heydler proposes that teams be allowed to use a "designated hitter" to bat for pitchers. That idea will never work.

Fun fact of the day:

A few fun facts about islands.

And finally:

Another trip to Walgreens, another sign of the apocalypse. This seems to happen every time that I go to Walgreens. For those of you who are keeping track, it's December in Chicago. I was in buying shaving razors minding my own business. Someone came in and asked if the store carried suntan lotion.

Can't blame him for being optimistic.

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