December 18, 2016: Sunday ONAIRprep

***DAILY DOSE OF WEIRD NEWS – FREE TO AIR! (Need to receive this earlier than when it’s posted? Get FTP access and receive a fully-produced version FREE with a customized tag specifically for your station or show! Contact me with your ONAIRprep username for details!)




Good morning! I want you to know I am in the holiday spirit… I am exhilarated… I am wearing my new Frosty the Snowman underwear…


“Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.” –Matthew 24:42

Philippians 2:14-15 = Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky.

An angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.” — Matthew 1:20-21



You know my folly, O God; my guilt is not hidden from you. May those who hope in you not be disgraced because of me, O Lord, the LORD Almighty; may those who seek you not be put to shame because of me, O God of Israel. — Psalm 69:5-6

Thought: While we’re all weak and sinful, and while we do have Jesus to atone for our sins and to intercede before the Father on our behalf, there are still a couple of big problems with our sin. This verse reminds us of one of them: we don’t want our sin to be an embarrassment to God or his people. Let’s avoid sin because that is what God wants us to do. Let’s avoid sin so it won’t reflect badly on God’s people. But let’s also pray for ourselves and our brothers and sisters in Christ that God will not allow our failures to bring shame on his Church, his Christ, and his cause.

Prayer: Forgive me, loving Shepherd, for my sins. I am sorry for rebelling against your grace. I am fully confident that you have forgiven and cleansed me of my sins through Jesus’ sacrifice. But please, dear God, use your divine power to prevent them from bringing shame or embarrassment on you and your people. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen.

The Thoughts and Prayers for Today’s Verse are written by Phil Ware. You can email questions or comments to

BIRTHDAY VERSE” OF THE DAY (The chapter and verse corresponds to the month and the day!)

Matthew 12:18 NIV = “Here is my servant whom I have chosen, the one I love, in whom I delight; I will put my Spirit on him, and he will proclaim justice to the nations.


(NOTE: Some holidays may be duplicated due to various calendars reporting conflicting dates)

Today is LET’S SEE WHAT WE FIND IN THE FRIDGE DAY, a day to be brave and eat something from way back in the refrigerator. ***That might be tough – some of the stuff from Thanksgiving might’ve grown legs by now.

Today is NATIONAL WEAR A PLUNGER ON YOUR HEAD DAY. ***If it’s good enough for LarryBoy…

Today is NATIONAL BAKE COOKIES DAY. You have six days before Christmas, and you need the practice! You don’t want to give Santa your “experimental” batch do you?

According to an old episode of the “Mr. Ed” TV show, NATIONAL SCROOGE WEEK begins today. ***I have no idea what that means, and no idea how it’s to be celebrated. In fact, seeing as it’s Scrooge Week, I’d think any celebration whatsoever would be contrary to the day.

Today is NATIONAL ROAST SUCKLING PIG DAY. ***Feel free if YOU want to, but I’ll be taking a pass on this one. If there’s one thing I like in my meals is that it doesn’t stare back at me.


Answer The Telephone Like Buddy The Elf Day Link
Arabic Language Day Link
Give A Wine Club Day
International Migrants Day

COMING UP NEXT (Just a list, we are not endorsing the holidays posted below.)


(None Today)


International Human Solidarity Day
Games Day
Mudd Day
National Sangria Day 
Poet Laureat Day

World Day of Prayer and Action for Children Link


Ann & Samantha Day  Link
Celebrate Short Fiction Day
Crossword Puzzle Day
Forefathers Day
Humbug Day
International Dalek Remembrance Day
National Flashlight Day (Shortest Day of The Year)
National Homeless Persons’ Remembrance Day
Phileas Fogg Win A Wager Day
Short Girl Appreciation Day (Shortest day of the year)
World Peace Day/Winter Solstice
Winter (Winter Solstice) 5:44 AM EST


(None today)


Human Light Celebration


Chanukah (12/24-1/1)
Christmas Eve
Egg Nog Day Link


‘Phabet Day or No “L” Day
Christmas Pudding Day Link


Boxing Day (Canada)
National Candy Cane Day  Link
National Thank-you Note Day
National Whiner’s Day


1719: Thomas Fleet of Boston published Mother Goose’s Melodies for Children. The stories had come from Fleet’s mother-in-law, Elizabeth Foster Goose.

1796: America’s first Sunday newspaper was published: The Baltimore Monitor.

1968: “Bag-ism” was introduced at London’s Underground Club when John Lennon and Yoko Ono crawled onstage inside a large white bag.

1975: Singer Rod Stewart announced in London that he was leaving the Faces to launch a solo career.

1975: Werner Erhard of San Francisco set a record by mailing his 62,824th personal Christmas card in one year. ***Now you know why the mail is running so slow. Thanks a lot, Werner!

1976: “Wonder Woman” debuted on ABC-TV. Lynda Carter was Wonder Woman; Lyle Waggoner was Major Steve Trevor. Wonder Woman had appeared in comic books since 1941. She possessed “the beauty of Aphrodite, the wisdom of Athena, the strength of Hercules, the speed of Mercury.”

1982: Auburn beat Boston College 33-26 in the Tangerine Bowl. MVP was Auburn fullback Bo Jackson. It was the first of four bowl game MVP awards

1985: Box office receipts made “Beverly Hills Cop” the top film of the year. “Back to the Future” was #2; “Rambo: First Blood, Part 2” was #3.

1995: Houston police warned residents that a con man already had sold $25-thousand worth of water he claimed astronauts brought back from the moon. NASA assured police there was no such thing as “moon water.”

1997: Comedian Chris Farley was found dead in his Chicago apartment. He was 33 years old.

1999: Environmentalist Julia ”Butterfly” Hill came down after living two years in the top of an ancient redwood tree in Humboldt County, California, to protest logging.

2000: Hungarian divers held their Christmas celebrations early at the bottom of a lake. In a lake near the town of Hegyeshalom, the group swam around a fully decorated and weighted Christmas tree humming carols into their oxygen masks. Then they had a turkey feast on shore.

2002: Robert Johnson, the billionaire founder of Black Entertainment Television, was chosen as owner of the NBA’s new Charlotte expansion franchise.

2004: The U.S. officially forgave all of the $4.1 billion owed the government by Iraq and urged other creditors to do the same.


1555: John Philpot is burned as a Protestant during the reign of Queen Mary.

1821: George Müller spends his first night in jail on theft charges. After his release the following year, he becomes a Christian and one of the great prayer warriors of all time.

1707: Charles Wesley, who founded Methodism with his brother John, is born in England. A celebrated and prolific hymnwriter, his “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” and “Lo, He Comes” are widely sung this time of year.

1834: Emory College is chartered by Methodists in Georgia. It becomes Emory University many years later.

1835: Lyman Abbott, a Congregational clergyman who was a leading proponent of the social gospel, is born in Massachusetts. Prompted by his admiration of Henry Ward Beecher to enter the ministry, he succeeded Beecher as pastor at Brooklyn’s Plymouth Congregational Church.

1865: Slavery is abolished in the United States as the Thirteenth Amendment to the Constitution is ratified. Many of the abolitionists who pushed for its passage were Christians seeking to make America more like the Kingdom of God.

1957: English author Dorothy Sayers, a Christian apologist who was also the most popular mystery writer in England, dies.


  • actress (Thank You For Smoking, Batman Begins, “Dawson’s Creek”, Mrs. Tom Cruise) Katie Holmes 38

  • actor (Ocean’s Eleven, Se7ven, Spy Game, Meet Joe Black, Legends of the Fall) Brad Pitt 53

  • actor (John Q, Unlawful Entry, Goodfellas, Field of Dreams) Ray Liotta 61

  • movie critic Leonard Maltin 66

  • director/producer Steven Spielberg 70


(Music Artist Birthdays From

1938 : Chas Chandler (The Animals, Jimi Hendrix Experience)

1941 : Sam Andrew (Big Brother & the Holding Company)

1943 : Keith Richards

1953 : Elliot Easton (The Cars)

1970 : DMX

1972 : DJ Lethal (Limp Bizkit)

1980 : Christina Aguilera


Why do they say “love” instead of “zero” in tennis?

Tennis used to be a sport for ladies and gentlemen. But in recent years we’ve seen championship caliber players cursing the linesman and throwing both their rackets and temper tantrums on the court. “Love” was hardly the point: tennis had become war. Not that tennis terminology such as “love” ever had anything
to do with being polite. In fact, substituting love for zero was a way of saying that the player with no points had laid an egg, and that’s not being very nice. The French, who popularized tennis, thought the zero on the scoreboard resembled an egg. French for egg is “l’oeuf,” which is what they called zero. When tennis crossed the pond, Americans also called zero “l’eouf.” They just slightly scrambled the pronunciation. And that’s the story of love.


This is just a tiny sample of the 5-6 pages of material you could be receiving three days a week from!

Jonny Diaz is making sure the guys on tour stay in shape. Jonny and his wife run a fitness gym in Nashville. Right now he’s out with Building 429 and front man Jason Roy says Jonny is a tough task master. He posted a rundown of one of the band’s workouts and added: kudos to Jonny Diaz for the near-death experience.


The Newsboys are planning something special for their spring Love Riot Tour. They announced this week that their concerts will include Rivals, a live theatrical performance of God’s Not Dead, each night during the tour.


Selah had some extra help in their weight loss efforts over the weekend. The trio is currently on their Rose of Bethlehem Christmas tour and catering for the tour was in what they described as the creepy basement of a high school, six flights of stairs below the concert venue. Group member Allen Smith posted a video as he made the treck from catering to their dressing rooms.


Worship leaders Shane and Shane reported a live reindeer sighting over the weekend. The Shane’s were performing at the Magnolia Silos, owned by Chip and Joanna Gaines in Waco, Texas, when they spotted the reindeer. They posted: Pretty sure it’s either Dancer or Dasher. Hard to say, though.


Jamie Grace admitted over weekend: sometimes I say things out loud that make perfect sense in my head. She was responding to a listeners confusion from earlier when Jamie had announced: “I lost my comb, do you think I can part my hair with scissors?”


Casting Crowns Megan Garrett may want to change shoes. She posted: Had the shoe toots today at church. So awkward walking to my seat during the quietness of prayer time, shoe loudly tooting with every step.


Andrew Thompson is currently a background singer and dancer for Mandisa. However, it isn’t his first time onstage. Mandisa says he actually began his career as the Oscar Mayer Weiner kid! She shared a video of Andrew performing at just three years old.


Switchfoot shared why they sing. Front man Jon Foreman posted: We sing because we’re alive. We sing because we’re broken. We sing because we refuse to believe that hatred is stronger than love. We sing because melodies begin where words fail. We sing because the wound is where the light shines through.


The latest edition of Bus Invaders features the band Skillet. The Digital Tour Bus invaded the Skillet bus this fall for episode 1072 of their feature. Get an inside look at Skillets tour bus by clicking on the link at


NeedToBreathe members Josh Lovelace recently answered questions online. Here are a few of his answers:

Q: Can you pick up any instrument and play it?

A: Music is not only what I do for a living but it’s a hobby too. Love trying new 

Q: what is your hair care routine like

A: Wake up. Look in mirror. Shrug shoulders. Add hairspray. 

Q: what’s the best part about having a newborn daughter?

A: So far, she doesn’t talk back. 

Q: Who’s the best athlete in the band?

A: Depends on the sport/activity. But I’m the best athlete at NBA2K on Xbox. 

Q: if you could only play ONE song for all of your future concerts- which one would you choose?

A: Brother 

Q: what is one instrument you wish you could add to your band?

A: I’ve always wanted to play fiddle. Any teachers out there?!


(No news on the weekends. As on ONAIRprep subscriber, you can get a fully-produced, customized version of the Daily Dose of Weird News FREE with a station or show specific tag! Email for details!)



According to a festive poll, one-third of Americans would rather have a root canal than go Christmas shopping.  ***Well sure, because you’re numbed up, you’re reclined, and it costs less.

WONDER WOMAN (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)


DAILY COMEDY CLIP (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD TODAY’S EPISODE… Scott Gregory, “British Baseball”



CHRISTMAS 01 of 09

OPEN: And now,, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you another inspiringly inspiring inspirational story in the never-ending deep-jungle soap-opera saga that is As the Jungle Turns!

CLOSE: Do you get the feeling Gruffy Bear is NOT going to get a good night’s sleep? And what does this all have to do with Christmas? Find out next time – As the Jungle Turns!

AS THE JUNGLE TURNS – SATURDAY/SUNDAY VERSION (This feature will be disappearing in 2017)


OPEN: And now,, (Show Name), and (Station Call Letters) bring you As the Jungle Turns! When last we left the jungle, all of the animals found out the source of the giant footprints… there were from a giant gorilla! Somehow, all of the animals were able to run away and hide from the gorilla in a giant, scary cave… and now Cheetah Bonita is thinking the gorilla might not be so mean.

CLOSE: Here we go again! Will Millard be able to escape the gorilla’s grip? Will the gorilla try and eat the other animals too? Find out next time, As the Jungle Turns!

***You may simulcast “As the Jungle Turns” on the Internet stream of your live broadcast only. Any other Internet use of “As the Jungle Turns” in whole or part including podcasting of your live broadcast is a violation of copyright law. Thank you for your cooperation on this vitally important issue. If you have any questions, please e-mail us and ask about “Jungle Jam & Friends the Radio Show” usage.


A fast-acting fire department acts a little TOO fast.

The El Paso Fire Department recently answered a call about smoke coming from a building. Upon their arrival, firefighters broke into the building, which turned out to be a new restaurant called Bodacious Bar-B-Q. Restaurant co-owner Adrian Newton says firefighters should have shown restraint and should have noticed the smokestacks and signs about the new restaurant. However, Newton says he has no hard feelings and hopes firefighters will stop by to try the barbecue.



10. “Christmas with the Kranks”

09. “Surviving Christmas”

08. “Deck the Halls”

07. “Home Alone 3”

06. “Ernest Saves Christmas”

05. “Santa with Muscles”

04. “Jack Frost”

03. “Jingle All the Way”

02. “Silent Night, Deadly Night”

01. “Santa Claus Conquers the Martians.”


10. Santa Visits the Magic Land of Mother Goose

09. Santa’s Magic Kingdom

08. A Christmas Story

07. The Santa Clause 3 — The Escape Clause

06. Miracle on 34th Street (the new version)

05. Silent Night, Deadly Night

04. Santa Claus Conquers the Martians

03. Santa’s Slay

02. Santa Claus: The Movie

01. Bad Santa


A burglar asks his victim out on a date!

FILE #1: 20 year old Stephen Mitchell broke into the apartment of a 21 year old woman. Stephen was surprised to find anyone at home and was even more surprised at how lovely the woman was. So, instead of robbing the place, he did what any idiot-burglar would do. He asked her for a date. Just to get rid of him, she gave him her phone number and of course he called back later to set up the date. She arranged to meet him at a restaurant but the only person waiting there for Stephen was a police officer.

FILE #2: (One of my favorite stories of all time… period.) Some cops in Portugal were pretty sure the man they were interrogating was guilty, so they hooked him up to a home made lie-detector. They put a metal spaghetti strainer on the man’s head with wires that lead to a copy machine. On the copier there was a piece of paper that said “He’s lying.” Every time they asked the guy a question about the crime, a cop pushed the copy button and out popped a sheet of paper that said “He’s lying.” Amazed by the cop’s accurate lie detector, the criminal broke down and confessed to three robberies.

FILE #3: Philip Roklen’s tank makes quite a first impression — especially on police. Officers pulled Roklen over during an anything-but-routine traffic stop. Roklen is a military vehicle collector and took one of his tanks out for a spin on the town beach. The World War Two tank has a fake cannon and three phony machine guns. But officers didn’t know the weapons were fakes. Roklen was charged with a number of violations, including operating an unregistered vehicle.

STRANGE LAW: In Miami it’s against the law to imitate animals.


Gregory Walter went to court to deal with two criminal charges. By the end of his appearance, he had gotten a third.

Walter as in court on attempted burglary and drug possession charges when he was accused of trying to hide cocaine under a courtroom chair. Witnesses said he reached into his shirt pocket and tried to hide a small plastic bag of white powder under a chair leg. A deputy retrieved the packet, the substance tested positive for cocaine and Walter now has a new drug charge added to his file.


America’s favorite Christmas songs of all time?

  • Bing Crosby’s “White Christmas” (1942)

  • Nat King Cole’s “The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)” (1946)

  • Burl Ives’s “A Holly Jolly Christmas” (1965)

  • “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree” (Brenda Lee, 1958)

  • “Jingle Bell Rock” (Bobby Helms, 1957)

What’s YOUR favorite Christmas song?


QUESTION: Who was told to name his firstborn son Jezreel?

ANSWER: Hosea (Hosea 1:1-4)


QUESTION: According to Men’s Health, doing this will take 16 years off your life! Smoking is not the answer. What?

ANSWER: Worrying!


Pay attention! If our next player doesn’t answer all ten T/F questions correctly we start all over from question #1! First person to answer question #10 correctly is our winner!

1. The Christmas wreath is actually a holdover from an old Halloween celebration. (False – it’s actually borrowed from ancient Rome’s New Year’s celebrations. Romans wished each other “good health” by exchanging branches of evergreens.)

2. The poem commonly referred to as “The Night Before Christmas” was originally titled “A Visit From Saint Nicholas.” (True. This poem was written by Clement Moore for his children and some guests, one of whom anonymously sent the poem to a New York newspaper.)

3. The Puritans began the tradition of singing Christmas carols. (False – they actually forbade the singing of Christmas carols!)

4. There are twelve courses in the Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper, in honor of the twelve days of Christmas. (False – according to the Christian tradition, each course is dedicated to one of Christ’s apostles.)

5. Oklahoma didn’t declare Christmas a legal holiday until the year 1987. (False – they did so in 1907.)

6. In 1937, the first postage stamp to commemorate Christmas was issued in Austria. (True.)

7. “Toys for Tots” started making the holidays a little happier for children by organizing its first Christmas toy drive for needy youngsters in 1947. (True)

8. In 1996, Christmas caroling was banned at two major malls. (True. Both malls were in Pensacola, Florida. Apparently, shoppers and merchants complained the carolers were too loud and took up too much space.)

9. In an effort to solicit cash to pay for a charity Christmas dinner in 1891, a large crab pot was set down on a San Francisco street, and that’s how the Salvation Army collection kettle started. (True)

10. In America, the weeks leading up to Christmas are the biggest shopping weeks of the year. (True. Many retailers make up to 70% of their annual revenue in the month preceding Christmas.)


You have to match the blank in the tabloid headline with the word or phrase that has been removed!

“______ Considering Run For New Jersey Governor!” (Joe Piscopo)
Piscopo said he feels emboldened by the against-all-odds victory of President-elect Donald Trump, whom he spoke for recently at a Florida rally. Piscopo said, “When I saw Mr. Trump in Tampa and he invited me to speak, I saw it was contagious. It was the movement. It wasn’t the machine.”



Jill had applied for a job and when she returned home, her mother asked how the interview went. “Pretty good I think”, replied Jill, “but if I go to work there I won’t get a vacation unless I’m married.

Her mother of course, had never heard of such a thing and asked “Is that what they told you?

“No”, replied Jill, “they didn’t tell me that, but on the application it said,

‘Vacation time may not be taken until you’ve had your First Anniversary.’


Are caterpillars good to eat?” asked Little Kurt at the dinner table.

“No,” said his father. “Why would you ask a question like  that?”

“Well, there was one in your salad, but it’s gone now.”


A young man was having some money problems, and needed $200 to get his car fixed and road-worthy again. But had run out of people to borrow from. So, he calls his parents via the operator, and reverses the charge and says to his father. “I need to borrow two hundred dollars,” he says.

At the other end, his father says, “Sorry, I can’t hear you, son, I think there may be a bad line.”

The boy shouts, “Two hundred. I need two hundred dollars!”

“Sorry, I still can’t hear you clearly,” says his father.

The operator cuts in, “Sorry to butt in, But I can hear him perfectly clearly.”

The father says, “Good. YOU send him the money!”


According to a survey of historians, today is the best time in U.S. history in which to be alive.  ***Because if you were alive in the 1700s or 1800s, well, you’d be dead by now.

In an AIG Insurance poll, 66% of men said their wives were the people they’d most want to be with if they were stuck in a traffic jam.  ***Apparently, the poll was conducted among men who were stuck in traffic jams with their wives sitting right there beside them.  (Personally, I’d want to be in the car with Superman so he could fly us straight out of there!)



1. You’d never be expected to make the coffee.

2. There’d be no more early morning decisions about what to wear to the office.

3. You could grow a gut the size of Fat Albert’s and consider it a job requirement.

4. One big black belt – accessorized for life!

5. There’d be no reason to have your colors done.

6. Everyone would be extremely nice to you, even if you weren’t.

7. Should people suggest your belly jiggled… that is when you giggled… like a bowlful of jelly, you could hit them with your purse.

8. You’d always work in sensible footwear.

9. There’d be no need to play office politics; a hearty ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’, would remind everyone who’s boss.

10. You wouldn’t need an expensive briefcase.

11. No one would dare ask for a ride to work.

12. Never again have to wear pantyhose or worry about your slip showing.

13. No more trips to the vending machine… you’d just snack on milk and cookies all day.

14. You’d never be asked to take an early retirement package.

15. Juggling work and family would be a breeze because your children would adore you; even your teen-agers would want to sit in your lap.

16. You’d be guaranteed the best chair in the office.

17. Age discrimination wouldn’t be an issue.

18. You’d never grab the wrong coat on your way out the door.

19. No one would ask to see your job description.

20. Your co-workers would be on notice that they’d better not pout.



In China, there are companies that won’t hire you even if you are the most qualified applicant, simply because you have a blood type they don’t approve of!

A number of companies in China will not hire people unless they have blood types O or B because, strange as it may seem, they believe that people with these blood types are ”comparatively more stable and personable.” They are so particular about this, that they force applicants to submit to a blood test. Apparently, in China, coming up with various obscure rules and regulations for hiring people is perfectly acceptable. It’s legal for companies to set their own criteria for employment, however cockamamie and discriminatory they may be. ***MARLAR: Fortunately, we don’t have this freedom here in the U.S.  Otherwise I might not still be employed here.



(From a radio friend, Chris Wallace)

I’m sitting in my chair enjoying the upteenth showing of It’s A Wonderful Life while I’m trying to get over this bronchial infection. Anyway, as usual there’s that …thing in my eye when watching the end…You know after George Bailey’s nightmare alternate reality(even with this classic, I’m not going to take the chance of spoiling the movie for you). Once again for those of us who remember the emotional living room scene with some of the movies character’s parading before George and his family, each face with a story of how George impacted each of their lives. Now right from there I could go into a lesson of how each individual life is touched by ours..but isn’t that the point of the movie?

No, my focus this time was on the bank examiner and the man(whoever he was) with an arrest warrant. More emotion struck me as the bank examiner threw money on the pile, and then..the other guy..the one with the arrest warrant…pulls the menacing document from his coat, smiles at George and rips it up and lays it upon the pile! Then I thought…this…This is what Christmas is all about. An insurmountable debt being paid by the One who had and has the power to put us away…permanently. Romans 8:33 says “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies. Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” The ultimate bailout. We don’t deserve it. We can’t afford it. We can’t even justify it. We don’t need to. He already did. This is something I’ve been even meditating this week in my own heart. Tonight, I

literally saw it in black and white(I’m not a big fan of the colorized version by the way). Can you imagine, the Holy, Righteous Judge of All, looking you straight in the eye…knowing all the guilt that you deserve..standing before your mountain of sin…no matter how high, suddenly winks at you and rips up your condemnation. If that ain’t grace and redemption illustrated…man.

Hopefully, if we find ourselves behind a mic or on a platform reciting Luke 2:14, we’ll do it with a new resonance, a new understanding and a deeper and more personal appreciation of the greatest bailout of all time.

“Glory to God in the Highest…Peace on earth…Goodwill toward men. “(Luke 2:14 NKJV)

Merry Christmas!

–Chris Wallace


After more than 2 months of indulging myself on all kinds of holiday goodies, the last thing I want to do is squeeze myself into a tight pair of jeans. But that may be just the thing I need to do if I’m serious about losing the weight I gained from eating Halloween candy, Thanksgiving pies, and Christmas cookies.

Although I feel thinner when I wear loose-fitting clothes, it’s a feeling based on illusion, not reality. And if I choose to believe the feeling, I’ll have to buy more and more clothes in larger and larger sizes so I can avoid feeling fat and uncomfortable.

The same thing happens when I allow myself a little self-indulgent behavior. If I’m not careful, the “privilege” turns into a habit. If I begin staying out late on week nights, sleeping late in the morning, or going to work late, soon the exception becomes the rule. I feel as if I have more freedom when I live under fewer rules but it too is a feeling based on illusion, not reality. And if I choose to believe the feeling, I’ll have to keep expanding my definition of “late” to avoid feeling bad about myself.

In the spiritual realm, a similar principle is at work. If I reserve the right to indulge myself in things like lust, revenge, or negative thinking, they soon become part of what I consider normal and acceptable. Although I feel more spiritual when I set looser restrictions, it’s a feeling based on illusion, not reality. And if I choose to believe the feeling, I’ll have to redefine sin to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of guilt.

Maybe your first semester away from home has been a nonstop celebration of freedom, and in order not to feel bad about yourself, you just keep “loosening your belt,” figuratively speaking, of course. You keep expanding your wardrobe of acceptable behavior because the “tight jeans” your parents sent you off to college in are much too uncomfortable.

Moses, in his last words to the children of Israel, reminded them that the Lord’s restrictions were for their own good (Deuteronomy10:13-17; ch. 28). This was a difficult truth for the people to accept, and it hasn’t gotten any easier in the past 3500 years. But it’s one that all of us have to embrace if we want to find happiness.

It’s a stretch to say that tight jeans can solve a spiritual problem, but they can serve as a good reminder that “tight-fitting” rules are actually for our good. –JAL



“Wanted: Human scarecrow. Must be able to move arms. Immediate opening.”

That very well could have been the job ad for a German electric company. The Envia firm has hired a man to stand under power lines and wave his arms all around to scare off overweight birds that are disrupting electrical service.  The birds spend all day feasting in sunflower fields near the junction of four major power lines and at the end of the day have eaten so much they can barely manage to fly. And being so overweight the birds are weighing down the cables after settling down for a night’s sleep. The cables, which are stretched to breaking point by the thousands of overweight birds, are then shorting out causing power cuts to nearby towns.  Electrical outages were so frequent that residents were threatening not to pay their electric bills. Traditional scarecrows proved ineffective. The only thing that worked was when engineers from the firm went round to the field to scare the birds off, so a man has been hired full-time to scare away the birds.



Front Seat, the civic software company that operates the Web site, has announced America’s most walkable cities. With the price of a gallon of gas skyrocketing, Americans are increasingly looking for walkable places to live. The findings are based on analysis of 2,508 neighborhoods in the 40 most populous U.S. cities. According to Walk Score, the top 10 most walkable cities are:

1. San Francisco – Chinatown, Financial District, Downtown

2. New York – Tribeca, Little Italy, Soho

3. Boston – Back Bay-Beacon Hill, South End, Fenway-Kenmore

4. Chicago – Loop, Near North Side, Lincoln Park

5. Philadelphia – City Center East, City Center West, Riverfront

6. Seattle – Pioneer Square, Downtown, First Hill

7. Washington, D.C. – Dupont Circle, Logan Circle, Downtown

8. Long Beach, CA – Downtown, Belmont Shore, Belmont Heights

9. Los Angeles – Mid City West, Downtown, Hollywood

10. Portland, OR – Pearl District, Old Town-Chinatown, Downtown




Ever wish you could have that lady next to you in the elevator arrested for wearing too much perfume?  Move to Canada and you can do that.  In fact, one city has banned fragrances of any kind… period.
Someone’s extra use of cologne might not just annoy you, but could actually get them arrested in a certain Canadian city. The authorities in Nova Scotia attracted worldwide attention when it banned fragrant scents, perfumes and colognes from public spaces in order to protect the rights of those with allergies to perfumed products. Recently a 17-year-old girl was arrested by Canadian Mounted Police for wearing a scented hair gel!
Now industry leaders, who claim the ban has no scientific foundation, are trying to get the ban overturned arguing that fragrances and scented products are safe for human use and therefore shouldn’t be banned. Experts
brought in by the pro-perfume lobby say it is not true that perfumes contain toxic ingredients including carcinogens and neurotoxins.



  • Instead of milk and cookies, leave him a salad and a note explaining that you think he could stand to lose a few pounds.
  • While he’s in the house, go find his sleigh and write him a speeding ticket.
  • Leave him a note explaining that you’ve gone away for the holidays. Ask if he would mind watering your plants.
  • While he’s in the house, replace all his reindeer with exact replicas, then wait and see what happens when he tries to get them to fly.
  • Keep an angry bull in your living room. If you think a bull goes crazy when he sees a little red cape, wait until he sees that big, red Santa suit!
  • Leave a note by the telephone telling Santa that Mrs. Claus called and wanted to remind him to pick up some milk and a loaf of bread on his way home.
  • While he’s in the house, find the sleigh and sit in it. As soon as he comes back and sees you, tell him that he shouldn’t have missed that last payment, and take off.
  • Leave a plate filled with cookies and a glass of milk out with a note that says, “For The Tooth Fairy. (*Smile*).”  Leave another plate out with half a stale cookie and a few drops of skim milk in a dirty glass with a note that says, “For Santa. (*Frown face).”
  • Take everything out of your house as if it’s just been robbed. When Santa arrives, show up dressed like a policeman and say, “Well, well. They always return to the scene of the crime.”
  • Leave out a copy of your Christmas list with last-minute changes and corrections.
  • Leave Santa a note explaining that you’ve moved. Include a map with unclear and hard-to-read directions to your new house.
  • Paint “hoof-prints” all over your face and clothes. While he’s in the house, go out on the roof. When he comes back up, act like you’ve been “trampled” and threaten to sue.



Sure you want to live to be old? Would you reconsider if I told you that it might mean being required to go back to school at age 105?  In Switzerland in 1998, a 105-year-old retired teacher was ordered to attend elementary school, thanks to a computer that cut a century off his age. The mix-up happened because a list of local residents had only the last two digits of his birth date. So the man, along with sixty-five 5-year-olds in the town, received a letter ordering him to start school. ***MARLAR: But he was a good sport about it, and said that at his age he tends to forget things, and reviewing the ABC’s might not be a bad idea.


Are you a fan of the adult coloring book trend? You are in good company. Prince William recently revealed that his wife, Princess Kate is a big fan of coloring. He made the comments while awarding one of Queen Elizabeth’s honors to illustrator Johanna Basford at Buckingham Palace. The coloring pastime has been known to relax and calm, quietly replacing the stress of digital screens that takes up so much of peoples’ lives.

What’s the best way to avoid the flu?  Glad you asked! We have all been told again and again that hand-washing is the top way to prevent the spread of germs. But while most people lather up their palms, turns out fingertips are the real scare zone. “they are most likely to come in contact with potentially contaminated surfaces and your face,” Says Neil Schachter, M.D., medical director of the respiratory care from wrist to tips on the front and back of your hands for at least 20 seconds, being careful to scrub between fingers and beneath nails. (Women’s Health)

Trying to watch you figure?  A study shows that if you eat slowly, you will eat less — and you will enjoy the meal more. Women consumed about 70 fewer calories when they were told to take their time eating a meal of pasta and sauce, compared to when they were instructed to eat it as quickly as possible. They also rated the meal as more pleasant when they ate slowly.

Whether you’re trying to write the great American novel or just a cleverly-worded e-mail to your boss, inspiration can fail. If you need a boost of creativity, take a walk. Or ride a bike. Or hit the gym. Exercise can help alleviate writer’s block and improve creativity, the London Telegraph reports of research from Leiden University in The Netherlands. Led by cognitive psychologist Lorenza Colzato, the team found that people who exercised at least four times a week were able to think more creatively than those who led a sedentary lifestyle. It seems that those who exercised regularly notably outperformed the couch potatoes on both tests. “We think that physical exercise trains your brain to become more flexible in finding creative solutions,” Colzato told The Telegraph.

Using your cash for life experiences, such as dinner with friends or a trip, is better than buying that pair of shoes you really don’t need. People who spent their money on experiences were more satisfied and happier in the long run, no matter how much they spent, says a San Francisco State University study. “We never get bored with memories like we do with material items,” says study author Ryan Howell, Ph.D. Of course, most experiences happen with friends or family, which helps you feel connected and engaged all keys to long term happiness.


I think my Christmas shopping has come to a screeching halt. Yesterday I stuck my ATM card in a machine, and it said, “You’re kidding, right?!”


Marie Asner has been reviewing films for over 30 years. Her outlets include radio, print and Internet. For more in-depth movie reviews of the following films, visit Ratings from 1 (Low) to 5 (High).

DECEMBER 16, 2016 thru JANUARY 01, 2017…

 Why Him?—James Franco takes on the role of the son-in-law from Hades. Who would want him?  The daughter of Bryan Cranston, that’s who. The daughter is played by Zoey Deutch. Franco has lots of money, but acts and dresses like a scarecrow. “Why Him?” is rated R. No rating.


A Monster Calls—(now opening from an earlier date) A young boy (Lewis MacDougall) finds that his mother is quite ill.  He doesn’t know how to cope and it doesn’t help that his grandmother (Sigourney Weaver) is not a sympathetic person. What to do? Here comes a “monster” in the shape of a large tree (voice of Liam Neeson) to help the boy. “A Monster Calls” is rated PG. Rating of 3 and bring hanky. 


Manchester By The Sea—A story of grief, several times over, loss and trying to cope are all in this film that suits actor Casey Affleck fine. He plays Lee, who suddenly finds himself guardian to a teenage nephew when Lee’s brother (Kyle Chandler) and the boy’s father dies. What to do? Face up to life or keep trudging along. “Manchester By The Sea” is rated R. Rating of 3. Bring hanky.


Neruda—Luis Gnecco stars as the famed Spanish poet who finds his past membership in the early Communist party comes back to haunt him.  Also in the cast are Gael Garcia Bernal, Alfredo Castro and Mercedes Morau. “Neruda” is rated R. Subtitles. No rating.


Passengers—A science fiction film of trying to help humanity…in a big way. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt star as two people, among many, who are traveling in deep sleep to another planet.  When something awakens the two, they realize something is very wrong and they have to help…and fight. “Passengers” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.


Sing—This animated film concerns a singing contest…with animals.  Yes, there is a mother pig (voice of Reese Witherspoon), the theater owner, a koala bear (voice of Matthew McConaughey) and a rockin’ porcupine (Scarlett Johansson). You can imagine what happens during the contest. Also lending their voices are Seth MacFarlane, Tori Kelly, Taron Egerton and Nick Kroll.  “Sing” is rated PG. Rating of 3 for fans.


(Opening moved ahead from an earlier date) The Space Between Us—On a colonization voyage to Mars, it is discovered that one of the female astronauts is pregnant.  This results in the first child, a boy, being born on Mars, but in that atmosphere, gravity, etc. Fast forward to teen years, and the kid (Asa Butterfield) knows about Earth and even has a girl friend, Britt Robertson (Skype) he communes with.  However, something happens and Asa ends up on Earth. “The Space Between Us” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.


Gold—Try, just try to recognize Matthew McConaughey in the role of Kenny Wells who goes to Borneo to find gold. You read that right.  His girlfriend, Bryce Dallas Howard, faithfully follows him.  People will do just about anything to get rich in a hurry.  Also in the cast are Edgar Ramirez and Corey Stoll. “Gold” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.


Hidden Figures—This is an unusual title for a film and another might have better explained the film’s content.  It is about three black women who are top mathematicians and work to put the first space flights and astronauts into earth orbit and beyond. Prejudice is prevalent here. Stars include Taraji P. Henson, Octavia Spencer and Janelle Monae. “Hidden Figures” is rated PG 13. Rating of 3.


Paterson—Adam Driver (“Star Wars”) is a bus driver whose name is Paterson and he lives in Paterson, N. J. The film concerns a week in his life and how he and his wife (Golshiften Farahani) handle problems. “Paterson” is rated R. No rating.


Jackie—Now opening from an earlier date, Natalie Portman stars as Jackie Kennedy in the few days before the funeral of President Kennedy. Portman takes the role and goes with it to bring you into that era of assassination of a  president and the aftermath in the country and his family. Also in the cast are Peter Sarsgaard and Billy Crudup. “Jackie” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans. Bring hanky.


Live By Night—Ben Affleck stars and directs this movie about gangsters and their rise to the top in Boston.  Based on a Dennis Lehane novel and set in the 1920’s. There is back-stabbing, love and the rest of crimes included. Also starring in the film are Sienna Miller, Elle Fanning and Zoe Saldana. “Live By Night” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.

20th Century Women—Annette Bening shines in this film of three generations of women in the mid-1970’s and how they cope with changing times. The cast includes Elle Fanning (great work), and Greta Gerwig. Wonderful soundtrack, too.  “20th Century Women” is rated R for sexual content. Rating of 2.


A Kind Of Murder—Here is another adaptation of a Patricia Highsmith novel. The film stars Patrick Wilson and Jessica Biel who are not happy in their marriage. Along comes Eddie Marsan, whose wife has passed away and they become friends.  However, suspicion lurks here.  “A Kind Of Murder” is rated R. No rating.


Julieta—This is a Spanish language film directed by Pedro Almodovar. It concerns a mother’s (Emma Svarez)  search for a missing daughter. Also in the cast are Daniel Grao and Adriana Ugarte. “Julieta” is rated R. No rating.


Collateral Beauty—Will Smith plays a man who has suffered a tragedy in his life. His friends worry about him and decide to help, though in unconventional ways. Also in the cast are Helen Mirren and Edward Norton. “Collateral Beauty” is rated PG 13. Rating of 2 for fans.


Fences—The stars of this film, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, already have Tony’s for their roles in the Broadway version.  Now, Washington stars and directs this film that is set in the middle 1960’s and tells how working class African-Americans cope with problems. August Wilson wrote the play. “Fences” is rated R. Rating of 3 for fans.


The Founder—Ray Kroc made McDonalds a global name with unique marketing. However, the real founders were the McDonald brothers (played by Nick Offerman and John Carroll).  Kroc is played by Michael Keaton. This is a study in how to build a business, ruthless though it may be. “The Founder” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.


Rogue One: A Star Wars Story—Felicity Jones is the female lead in this “stand alone” story in the “Star Wars” saga. The story is about when the Death Star was being built and the Rebels were trying to get the plans. Also in the cast are Ben Mendelssohn and Riz Ahmed. Get your light sabers ready. “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story” is rated PG 13. Rating of 3 for fans.


Assassins Creed—This film is yet another adaptation of a game board.  Here, Michael Fassbinder takes on the role of a man in the 15th century Aguilar) and at the same time, in this century (Callum). Those fighting outfits are reminiscent of “The Arrow.” Also in the cast are Marion Cotilliard and Jeremy Irons. “Assassins Creed” is rated R. Rating of 2 for fans.


Note: ”Patriots’s Day” and “Silence” are now set to open the middle of January, 2017.


Happy New Year 2017. – Marie Asner

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