Dec 202021

dimanche 26 decembre

There is a longing among people and creatures to have a sense of purpose and worth. To satisfy that common longing in all of us we must respect each other.

Chief Dan George

It’s All Over Now

The Globe and Mail – Beaulieu-Kratchanov – The last ride for Montreal calèche drivers

I hung a WELCOME KEITH RICHARDS banner down here every day for forty years. Eventually I just gave up.


You Can’t Always Get what you want but Sal says that you can exchange it for something you need the day after Boxing Day.

Next to a circus there ain’t nothing that packs up and tears out faster than the Christmas spirit.

Kin Hubbard

Heart-Shaped Box

Red Truck Beer Company

Red Truck Bakery

Blue Truck Barbecue

Blue Truck Bakery

From there to here, from here to there, funny things are everywhere!

Dr. Seuss

New Scientist – Sparkes – Robotic fish scares invasive species so badly that it cannot breed

Sunday December 26, 2021

Santa Anita Park

American Oaks (GIT) $300k g 3yo f 10f Turf
La Brea S (G1) $300k g 3yo f 7f Dirt
Mathis Brothers Mile (GIIT) $200k g 3yo 8f Turf
Runhappy Malibu S (GI) $300k g 3yo 7f Dirt
San Antonio S (GII) $200k g 3&up 8.5f Dirt
San Gabriel S (GIIT) $200k g 3&up 9f Turf

Santa Monica

Bloodhorse – Santa Anita to Honor Sherman Dec. 26

Discover new beers & ciders on Opening Day at Santa Anita Park!

The tradition continues – Opening Day, December 26!


Blushing K.D. S $75k g 3&up f/m abt 8.5f Turf
Buddy Diliberto Memorial S $75k g 3&up abt 8.5f Turf
Gun Runner S $100k g 2yo 8.5f Dirt
Richard R. Scherer Memorial S $75k g 3&up abt 5.5f Turf
Tenacious S $100k g 3&up 8.5f Dirt
Untapable S $100k g 2yo f 8.32f Dirt

House of the Rising Sun

The Boxer

My wife never knew I was a drunk till the night I came home sober. Some jokes come out when I least expect it. When I get the cue, the joke comes out.

Esquire – What I’ve Learned – Jake LaMotta

Sal says that there’s a lesson there.


Esquire – What I’ve Learned – Muhammad Ali

Esquire – What I’ve Learned – Satan

Esquire – What I’ve Learned – Joe Frazier

Esquire – What I’ve Learned – George Foreman

The Greatest Love of All

I like to box. How I like to box.
So every day I box a Gox.
In yellow socks I box my Gox.
I box in yellow Gox box socks.

Dr. Seuss

LA Times – Roberts – How Jim Morrison’s final sessions with the Doors produced an L.A. classic out of chaos

Beverly Hills

A horse is not like a dog. It don’t love ya.

Robert Duvall

ESPN – Shilton – What you need to know ahead of the 2022 World Junior Championships

The Ringer – The Best Performances of 2021

Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.

Mark Twain

What I Got

The three toughest fighters I ever fought were Sugar Ray Robinson, Sugar Ray Robinson and Sugar Ray Robinson. I fought Sugar so many times, I’m surprised I’m not diabetic.

Jake LaMotta

Chaotic Neutral Zone – The Ministry of No Fun

Ain’t That A Shame

Sal says that he hopes that everyone received a grammar lesson for Christmas so that they know the difference between your shit and you’re shit.

Vogue – On Self-Respect: Joan Didion’s 1961 Essay from the Pages of Vogue

The Letter

TSN – Meet Team Canada’s Forwards

TSN – NHL postpones return to play to Dec. 28


The Ringer – Fennessey and Nayman – The Best Movies of 2021

TSN – Garand to start for Canada vs. Czechia

And she’s got brains enough for two, which is the exact quantity the girl who marries you will need.

PG Wodehouse

Barbie Girl

Southern Living – Markham – Cook Up Some Good Luck With These Traditional New Year’s Day Recipes

Speed is often confused with insight. When I start running earlier than the others, I appear faster.     

Johan Cruyff

The Weight


LA Woman

Los Angeles Times – AP – Webb telescope launches on daring quest to behold first stars

Sloop John B

TDN – Formidable Pair Could Put Baffert Back in La Brea Winner’s Circle

Good Vibrations

If everything seems under control, you’re not going fast enough.     

Mario Andretti

There’s no pensions for old prize fighters.

Jake LaMotta

TDN – ‘Charlie’ Looms Large in San Antonio

Driving – Kana – ‘Wheel of Fortune’ denies prize after contestant stalls, but Audi gifts car anyway

Somewhere Down the Crazy River

Boxing is like jazz. The better it is, the less people appreciate it.”

George Foreman

TDN – Can Flightline Handle a Dogfight in Malibu?

National Post – Brean – Ted Byfield dead at 93: Journalist was a catalyst for the rise of Western conservatism

 SportsNet – Sadler – 5 bold NFL predictions for 2022: Russell Wilson, king of NYC?

Now, a very great man once said That some people rob you with a fountain pen.

Bob Dylan

Food and Wine – Castrodale – Is Olive Garden Ending the Never Ending Pasta Bowl?

Trash City

samedi decembre 25 joyeux Noël

When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.


Out of Time

Sal says that you’re not quite out of time as your local 7-11 still has a few gift cards left.

Part of the secret of a success in life is to eat what you like and let the food fight it out inside.

Mark Twain

Oh Canada

Sal says let us listen to Roger today instead of the Queen. Sal says that Roger understood that the fans weren’t paying to see him sing the National Anthems and got the job done tout de suite. Sal says that in another time another place another Forum Roger’s worked some Mohawk or Ojibwa or Cree or Blackfoot lyrics in.  Ask Jean or Fred.

Sal says that Roger understood the Rocket’s red glare.

Signed Sealed Delivered

Sal says that while you’re picking up a gift card for the ones you forgot you can lay a couple of shekels on the NBA or NFL Christmas Day games.

Sports Select

There is no me. I do not exist. There used to be a me, but I had it surgically removed.

Peter Sellers

Sal says that if you must listen to the Queen.

Brevity is a great charm of eloquence.

Marcus Tullius Cicero

Sal says that if you must listen to the Queen.

LA Times – Merritt – Op-Ed: This may be the year to have yourself a stoic little Christmas

It is quality rather than quantity that matters.

Lucius Annaeus Seneca

Sal says that if you must listen to the Queen.

NBA announces 2021 Christmas Day schedule

The Ringer – Devine – Suns – Warriors Is the Best the NBA Has to Offer

NBC Sports – Omitiga – 2021 Christmas Day NFL schedule: Kickoff times, games, who is playing, TV channels

My favorite traditional Christmas movie that I like to watch is All Quiet on the Western Front. It’s just not December without that movie in my house.

Tom Hanks

All Quiet On The Western Front

Smithsonian – Sauer – The Most Loved and Hated Novel About World War I

If they were starting their careers today, Rockwell and Picasso would probably both be painting on black velvet.

Brad Holland

The Cat Came Back

Girl You’ll Be A Woman Soon

The New Yorker – Khullar – How to Think About the Risks of Omicron

Revelation can be more perilous than Revolution.

Vladimir Nabokov

Twin Spires – The ultimate Kentucky Derby quiz

Hey Jude

Christmas doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas perhaps means a little bit more.

Dr. Seuss


Southern Living – The Southern Fried Chicken Recipes We’re Always Craving

CNN – Springer – How KFC became a Christmas tradition in Japan

Taste – How Much Do You Really Know About the Food You Eat?

There is no reason why good cannot triumph as often as evil. The triumph of anything is a matter of organization. If there are such things as angels, I hope that they are organized along the lines of the Mafia.

Kurt Vonnegut

Paulick Report – Weekend Lineup: Santa Anita’s Opening Is The Day After Christmas Present For Racing Fans

Smithsonian – Wetzel – Mammoth and Horse DNA Left in Freezer Rewrite Ice Age Extinctions

Cuts Like a Knife

I disconnect the telephone to keep the outside world in it’s correct place.

Chuck Palahniuk

Paulick Report – A Christmas Tradition: Gin Fizzes, Turkey Dinner And Daily Racing Forms For Santa Anita’s Opening Day

NPR – Greenfieldboyce – Astronomers find a new planet that’s mostly made of iron

Humans From Earth

You must write for children in the same way as you do for adults, only better.

Maxim Gorky


Today is gone. Today was fun.
Tomorrow is another one.

Dr. Seuss

vendredi 24 decembre

Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

Sal says that if that’s your Christmas shopping theme song you’re in deep water over your head fighting against the current up the creek without a paddle.

There’s man all over for you, blaming on his boots the faults of his feet.

Samuel Beckett

The Verge – Wetsman – FDA authorizes first COVID-19 antiviral pill

ESPN – Seifert – NFL chief medical officer: Symptomatic players driving COVID-19 spread; no indications of asymptomatic spread

Land of Confusion

An expert is a person who avoids the small errors while sweeping on to the grand fallacy.

Steven Weinberg

Discovery – 50 Christmas Stories for the Holiday Season

Food and Wine – 33 Christmas Brunch Recipes to Add to Your Menu

If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?

Steven Wright

SportsNet – Spector – Hockey Canada, Oilers tackle late logistic challenges ahead of World Juniors

The Globe and Mail – New York Times – Shoalts – Arizona Coyotes weighing future options

Wine Folly – 16 Stylish Wines For Upscale Breakfasts

In Between Days

Resist the temptation to subject yourself only to that which re-affirms what you already think.

Jake Tapper

Bon Appetit – Beggs – It’s Supersized-Everything Season at Trader Joe’s Right Now

Insider – Cain – We taste-tested 8 of Trader Joe’s ‘Two-Buck Chuck’ wines. Here’s how they ranked from worst to best.

Bon Appetit – 89 Christmas Dinner Ideas That Rival What’s Under the Tree

Toaster Oven Love – Brie – Toasted Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Neighbour Food – Courtney – Grilled Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich

Sal says to remember Bill Belichick and use raisin bread with peanut butter on both sides so the bread doesn’t get soggy.ic

Never ascribe to malice, that which can be explained by stupidity.

Robert J. Hanlon

Silent Night

Saveur – Our 21 Best Christmas Breakfast and Brunch Recipes

ESPN – Barnwell – NFL quarterback offseason dominoes 2022: What if Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson get traded? What if they stay? Three scenarios

If you tell a joke in the forest, but nobody laughs, was it a joke?

Steven Wright

The Globe and Mail – Stueck – Salmon swept off course by B.C. floods rescued by Sumas First Nation members, volunteers

TwinSpires – Criscola – The best teams in NHL history

Let’s have some new cliches.

Samuel Goldwyn

Twelve Days of Christmas

AEON – Hesketh – What Big History Misses

We can learn from history, but we can also deceive ourselves when we selectively take evidence from the past to justify what we have already made up our minds to do.

Margaret MacMillan

Tired of Waiting

ListServe – DeVries – 10 Surprising Ways Christmas Is Celebrated in Japan

TopTens – Best Race Horses of All Time

Wishing on Another Lucky Star

Bloodhorse – Allen Jerkens Stakes Tops Gulfsteam Christmas Eve Card

ESPN – Thomson – Mayfield tornado recovery gets boost from sports figures returning to help

New York Times – Segal – Welcome to the Charles Dickens Luxury Apartments

Christmas Wrapping

SportsNet – World Juniors

IIHF – World Juniors

SportsNet – Cosentino – Three players to watch on every team at the 2022 World Junior Championship

ListServe – Estelle – 10 Unconventional Christmas Traditions From Around The World

All Day and All of the Night

It’s Christmas Eve! It’s the one night of the year when we all act a little nicer, we smile a little easier, we cheer a little more. For a couple of hours out of the whole year, we are the people that we always hoped we would be.

Bill Murray

I Got You Babe

TopTens – Best Sports Movies of All Time

Canadian Thoroughbred – How Canadian Racetracks Battled On Through the Pandemic

Bon Appetit – Bernabe – How Eating Hawai‘i’s Invasive Deer Saves Its Ecosystems

Some Time Around Midnight

jeudi 23 decembre

Under Pressure

Bloodhorse – HISA Announces Suspension of Negotiations with USADA

TDN – Ross – USADA Unable to Reach Deal With HISA Authority

Brisnet – Scully – Concert Tour returns on stakes-packed Fair Grounds program

Silver Bells

Southern Living – Cribb – The South’s Best Bourbons for Gifting This Christmas

Bloodhorse – Gantz – Flightline, Dr. Schivel to Face off in Malibu Stakes

Paulick Report – Santa Anita – Willman – Prat Sticks With Untested Flightline For Sunday’s Malibu Stakes


The Guardian – Williams – The 50 best wines for Christmas 2021

The Globe and Mail – Waters –  Twelve Canadian wines to order now for the festive season

Averill Creek

If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration.

Nikola Tesla

Frequency Winery

Good Vibrations

What’s The Frequency Kenneth

TSN – CP – Vancouver, Whistler and First Nations expected to explore 2030 Olympics bid

Take Me Out To The Ball Game


High Fidelity

The Ringer – Surrey – ‘The Matrix Resurrections’ Is the Anti-sequel Sequel

Chaotic Neutral Zone – E. – Days Like These

Times Like These

Times Like These

NPR – Acovino – Need to break up with someone? Baboons have found a good way to do it, study finds

Happy Festivus

Financial Post – David Clement: Happy Festivus, for the rest of us

Bloodhorse – Never Surprised the One to Beat in Tropical Park Derby

Scarborough Fair

I wanted an electric train for Christmas but I got the saxophone instead.

Clarence Clemons

Sal says that if you’re too busy to cook you can always order delivery from your local 7-11.

Twin Spires – Dacus – Art Sherman’s lifetime horsemanship hit the stratosphere

Taste – 100 Questions for My Friend the Chef

Sal says that with all those questions this site should be a thrill for Phil

I’m always looking, and I’m always asking questions.

Anne Rice

Tougher Than The Rest

Los Angeles Times – Lee –  ‘An invisible addiction.’ Amid pandemic, a rise in gambling addiction emerges

Is it really not possible to touch the gaming table without being instantly infected by superstition?

Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Ooh Las Vegas

Brisnet – Hanson – Best of Hanson: 2021 Anthology

Texas Monthly – O’Neal – Texas Could Sure Use a Man Like Hank Hill, I Tell You What

The last temptation is the greatest treason: to do the right deed for the wrong reason.

T.S. Eliot

The Bitter Southerner – The Wild Horses of Shackleford Banks – Darrough

Winter Wonderland

ESPN – Hale – Is momentum real? An in-depth investigation of sports’ most overused term

p = mv

It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near one.

J.R.R. Tolkien

Brisnet – Scully – Going Global, Hit the Road highlight opening-day turf stakes

Bloodhorse – Eric Mitchell – Judge Vacates Order to Sell Ramsey Horses at Keeneland

TDN – Thornton – Two Weeks From Crucial Hearing, NYRA Adds to Arguments Against Baffert

If We Were Vampires

Paulick Report – Frank Mitchell – Bloodlines Presented by Caracaro: Into Mischief Works His Magic With Sugar Swirl 1-2 Finish

SportsNet – Engels – Top 5 Canadiens prospects: All eyes on Canadian WJC captain Guhle

Driving Home For Christmas

SportsNet – Kelly – 2022 World Junior Championship Primer: Strengths, weaknesses, X-Factors

2,000 Miles

Bloodhorse – Ehalt – Gait Sensors at NYRA Could be Game Changer for Injuries

ESPN – Seifert – NFL playoff picture 2021: Week 15 standings, bracket, clinching scenarios and postseason outlook

Sea Of Love

ESPN – Rogers – MLB lockout: Are the owners and players talking? Should baseball fans be worried? Here’s the latest

National Post – Diane Francis: Make the unvaccinated pay for their own health care

Sal says that sometimes when a writer like Francis thinks she has a good idea she should think a little more before she puts fingers to keyboard. If we’re gonna make the unvaccinated pay for their own healthcare, then how about the smokers, the overeaters, the drinkers ad infinitum.

The world doesn’t need any more mediocrity or hedged bets.

Anne Rice

mercredi 22 decembre

Lost In The Supermarket

Food and Wine – Pomranz – NYC’s $1 Pizza Is No Longer a Dollar

A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.

Yogi Berra

$1.00 Pizza

DunnEnzies Pizza

Green Matters – Hirsh – This Farm Rents Out Christmas Trees, Then Replants Them for Next Year

Country Living – Barratt and Pritchard – Rent a Christmas tree: How tree renting works, where to rent from and choosing the right one

O Tannebaum

108th – Grey Cup Halftime 2021

Proud Mary

Stuff your eyes with wonder, live as if you’d drop dead in ten seconds. See the world. It’s more fantastic than any dream made or paid for in factories.

Ray Bradbury

The Ringer – Nayman – Something Wicked This Way Comes

Sal says that Sal will be using Dave Grohl’s favourite word a few times to give Dave a plug for his book.

The Globe and Mail – Hertz – The Matrix Resurrections is the whoa-level blockbuster 2021 deserves

Bloodhorse – Kieckhefer – San Gabriel Stakes Gets Santa Anita Opening Day Started

DRF – Andersen – Dr. Schivel works for Malibu; Hernandez picks up mount

FiveThirtyEight – Koerth – The Science Behind Those Comfy, Cozy Holiday Feelings

Texas Monthly – Gold – The Dead Sea of West Texas

The Boys are Back In Town

Life is like an ice-cream cone, you have to lick it one day at a time.     

Charles M. Schulz

Bloodhorse – Johnson – Analyzing Kenny McPeek’s Derby Contenders

Bloodhorse – Rollins – Beyond Brilliant Carries Momentum Into Mathis Mile

Atlas Obscura – Brown – The Hidden, Magnificent History of Chop Suey

Thrillist – Alexander – Why ‘Authentic’ Food Is Bullshit

Bloomberg – McArdle – ‘Authentic’ Food Is Not What You Think It Is

Nostalgia isn’t what it used to be.

Peter de Vries

Bloodhorse – Ehalt – Going Global Heads Field of 11 in American Oaks

FiveThirtyEight – The NFL Keeps Chugging Along Through The Chaos, On And Off The Field

Horse Racing Ireland – HRI announces increases to minimum and maximum weights

He says he still owns and uses guns, and he believes in Americans’ right to do the same.

But, he says, “I also know that every right that we enjoy has to be balanced with the appropriate amount of responsibility. And I believe that over time … that has gotten badly out of whack.”

NPR – Davies – Former gun industry insider explains why he left to fight for the other side

Sal says Busse hit the nail squarely on the head. Too many people screaming their fucking idiot lungs out about their rights, but failing to acknowledge any responsibility.

Politicians were like talking dogs in a circus. The fact that they existed was uncommonly interesting, but no sane person would actually believe what they said.

Alan Furst

Bloodhorse – Oser – Hot Rod Charlie Caps 3-Year-Old Season in San Antonio

Silver Bells

Fivethirtyeight – Hickey and Libresco – The ‘Charlie Brown Christmas Special’ Dancers You Most Want To Party With

In Between Days

California is a place where they shoot too many pictures and not enough actors.     

Walter Winchell

Bloodhorse – King – Private Mission Sprints in La Brea After Distaff Fade

Canada’s National Observer – Logan – What will save the mainland moose?

Bloodhorse – Cash – Beholder’s First Foal to Debut Dec. 26 at Santa Anita

Esquire – Rense – The 38 Best Gifts for People Who Take Their Whiskey Seriously

Don’t be too harsh to these poems until they’re typed. I always think typescript lends some sort of certainty: at least, if the things are bad then, they appear to be bad with conviction.

Dylan Thomas – Flicker – The Best Cheap Alcohol of 2021, According to Bartenders – Flicker and Porter – The 12 Best Bourbons to Drink in 2021

Old Tub


Sal says that you can purchase a 750ml bottle for about the same price as some of those exotic cocktails.

Under certain circumstances, urgent circumstances, desperate circumstances, profanity provides a relief denied even to prayer.

Mark Twain

Birds and Bees Spirits

My Back Pages

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Juddmonte mourns loss of outstanding sire Dansili

Esquire – Kranc – The Esquire Editorial Board Endorses: The First Half of a Beer

There are no real Californians. There are only people who live there and people who don’t.     

Laura Kalpakian

Liquor – Willsky – Bourbon and Root Beer

Sal says that he’ll leave the Bourbon and Root Beer for Smoky and Yogi’s pal Rooty, but Sal’s gonna try natural cola this year.

The Bitter Southerner – Wooddell – A Child’s Christmas in Carrboro

It snowed last year too: I made a snowman and my brother knocked it down and I knocked my brother down and then we had tea.

Dylan Thomas

TDN – Thornton – Owner Who Filed Remsen Protest Surprised NYSGC Won’t Hear It

Rolling Stone – Greene – Who Will Reunite Next? We Place Odds on 18 Groups, From Led Zeppelin to One Direction

My Way

National Post – Rex Murphy: How are Alberta and Quebec treated differently? Let me count the ways

Sal says that if Murphy had some balls his article would point out that the reason they’re treated differently is decades of brutal leadership in Alberta.

I am dying from the treatment of too many physicians.

Alexander the Great

DRF – Welsch – Trio of locals gearing up for Kentucky Derby preps

The Ringer – Baumann – The NHL’s Stars Aren’t Going to the Olympics. And for Some, This Was Their Last Chance.

I don’t give a damn for a man that can only spell a word one way.

Mark Twain

mardi 21 decembre

Darling Be Home Soon

Garden and Gun – Howard – Beware of Howards Bearing Gifts

The only good reason to ride a bull is to meet a nurse.

Cowboy wisdom

Top Bulls of 2021

Sal says that the cowboys with more cattle than hat watch and enjoy, the ones with more hat than cattle use their communication device to show off to the world just how truly fucking stupid they are.

The Ringer – Bauman – The Perfect Pandemic Christmas Song Is (Unfortunately) Still Relevant a Year Later

Sal says the favourite for Christmas shoppers in 2021 was:

Don’t Stand So Close To Me

LA Times – Haberkorn – Democrats eye massive shift in war on wildfires: Prevention

Dedicated Follower of Fashion

Silver Bells

Music is the shorthand of emotion.

Leo Tolstoy

Ahead of Thyme – 30 Best Christmas Appetizers

Would you eat them in a box? Would you eat them with a fox?

Dr. Seuss

The Ringer – Gonzalez – The House Always Wins … Unless

Everybody Knows

Texas Monthly – Cardenas – The Texan Who Saved the Beatles

National Post – Chaya – Keanu Reeves reminisces about growing up in Toronto after induction into Canada’s Walk of Fame

Baby The Trans

Los Angeles Times – Evans – Utah State wins Jimmy Kimmel LA Bowl, which embraces fun and keeps things weird

Je suis comme ça. Ou j’oublie tout de suite ou je n’oublie jamais.”

Samuel Beckett

Paulick Report – Boisterous Moves To Alberta For 2022 Breeding Season

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Anne-Marie Poirier: Why it’s so difficult for racing to progress in France

Sal says that Poirier thinks a 3 person committee could control racing in France. Sal says that Marcomm thinks we need a committee 5 times that big in Alberta to report to a Board that’s only sort of controlled by the government. Sal says the $400k given to Marcomm was an absolute waste of Alberta taxpayers’ money.

TDN – Indiana Grand Offers ‘Road to Louisville’ Contest

Sal says that with all the no show marketing positions at Horse Racing Alberta why didn’t one of them come up with an idea like that for Alberta. Were they expecting a biplane with a banner behind it to fly by the window they look out.

Paulick Report – Santa Anita – Eric Golden – Sadler ‘Feeling Very Good’ About Undefeated Flightline’s Chances In Malibu

Paulick Report – Paulick – Takeaways From Tucson: HISA Talk Dominates Global Symposium On Racing

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Hayward – Of course launching HISA wasn’t going to be easy – but it should be more than worth the effort

Sal says that HISA may be a boon horse racing industry regulation in the US, but far too many US thoroughbred participants seem to have borrowed the QKB HRA issued rose coloured glasses viewing HISA as a one stop solution to all of US thoroughbred racing’s problems.

HISA is a step forward in uniform regulation of horse racing across the US. That’s all it is.

Cookie Hoops

Reading is a journey like no other. By simply opening up a book and beginning to read, you will be able to transport yourself back into history to be a part of someone else’s story. A good author will have you feeling like you are right there with Babe Ruth, Muhamed Ali, and some of the other amazing sports figures that highlight the different sports books on this list.

List For All – Best Sports Books: The Top 40 List

Sal says that a pretty representative list and for 2021 Sal adds:

Lists For All – Sports

Sal says that thoroughbred racing in the US still has miles to go post-HISA.

The only important statistic is the final score.

Bill Russell

The Ringer – Parker – The Magician in the Checkered Shirt

Nostalgia is a beast of fiction: It’s an act of selective editing, of carving out just the bits you want, in order to tell the story you want to tell. It’s the kind of forgetting rampant in country music. Seeking nostalgia is seeking a mirage, for its beauty, yes, but also for its safety. Isbell is not in the business of safety. His music paints the image of a man who’d sooner shout a thousand uncomfortable truths than take refuge in one lie.

Buzz Feed News –  Abdelmahmoud – Jason Isbell Is Tired Of Country’s Love Affair With White Nostalgia

Remember when is the lowest form of conversation.

Tony Soprano

Cover Me Up

Horse Racing Nation – Shifman – Kentucky Derby Scouting Report: 15 to know on the East Coast

Fat Bottom Girls

Bloodhorse – Johnson – Which Region Will Produce the 2022 Derby Winner?

Sal says that dreaming on another winter’s day that a California based horse can win the 2022 Kentucky Derby is complicated by the CDI – Baffert spat.

Sal says that it’s not unreasonable to foresee the CDI – Baffert spat affecting the Oaklawn based horses as well.

The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely the one who dropped it.

Lou Holtz

Redemption Song

TDN – Bill Finley – Court Allows Ruis to Pursue Justify Matter

Bloodhorse – Ehalt – Baffert Awarded $109K in Attorneys’ Fees From NYRA

TDN – Thornton – Baffert vs. NYRA Fight Grinds On

Bloodhorse – King – Baffert, NYRA Continue Legal Tussle in Court Documents

Sal says better not forget about the Baffert – NYRA legal tussle.

Record Player

Garden and Gun – Ellis – All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Fake Trees!

The Globe and Mail – Skwarna – Hallmark’s trademark American Christmas movies? They’re made in Canada

All I Want To Do

Where is all the knowledge we lost with information?

T. S. Eliot

TDN – Monmouth Moves Friday Post Time, to Add Five Monday Cards in 2022

Sal says that the exploding heads that Phil derided recently need to pay attention to other larger tracks moving into the niches where they perceived their handle exploding. Sal says that the big tracks didn’t get to be big by misjudging the market.

TDN – Thornton – CDI Denied Illinois OTB Licenses

Don’t tell your problems to people: eighty percent don’t care; and the other twenty percent are glad you have them.

Lou Holz

Bloodhorse – Santa Anita to Honor Sherman Dec. 26

Nature – Callaway – Beyond Omicron: what’s next for COVID’s viral evolution

Sal was wondering if any of the gaming houses are making book on what SARS-CoV-2 will evolve to.

The reward for work well done is the opportunity to do more.

Jonas Salk

Nature – Kreuter – What surveys really say

Family Feud

Hazy Shade of Winter

The hard soil and four months of snow make the inhabitants of the northern temperate zone wiser and abler than his fellow who enjoys the fixed smile of the tropics.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

TSN – Westhead – Beach, Blackhawks reach confidential settlement

SportsNetwork – Grant – Kyle Beach, Blackhawks reach mediation settlement

You should never be proud of doing the right thing. You should just do the right thing.

Dean Smith

This Christmas Will Be Different

Nightmare Alley

Variety – Lang – Guillermo del Toro and Jane Campion Talk ‘The Power of the Dog,’ ‘Nightmare Alley’ and Learning to Love Netflix

The Ringer – Nayman – There’s Nothing Behind the Curtain in ‘Nightmare Alley’

The Show Must Go On

The worst thing about new books is that they keep us from reading the old ones.

John Wooden

Lovers In A Dangerous Time

Love has been described as a three-ring circus: First comes the engagement ring, then the wedding ring, and after that the suffering.

Bob Phillips

Bloodhorse – Ferrari Bonus From Coolmore Australia for Justify Foals

The rare dose of perfection is far better than the consistent drip of mediocrity.

Joe Ray

Bloodhorse – Justify Season to Generate Aid for KY Tornado Victims

Garden and Gun – Gomez-Misserian – How You Can Help Victims of the Tornadoes in Kentucky

New Westminster Record – Labbe – Want to help B.C. flood victims? Here’s how

The other Dons in the room applauded and rose to shake hands with everybody in sight and to congratulate Don Corleone and Don Tattaglia on their new friendship. It was not perhaps the warmest friendship in the world, they would not send each other Christmas gift greetings, but they would not murder each other. That was friendship enough in this world, all that was needed.

Mario Puzo

Home For A Rest

ESPN – DiRocco – Jacksonville Jaguars QB Trevor Lawrence says coaching change gives locker room ‘focus’

Michael, if you can’t pass, you can’t play.

Dean Smith

427 Sports – Hughes – Michael Jordan Framed His $200 Check From Dean Smith

Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.

John Wooden

ESPN – DiRocco – Urban Meyer remains optimistic Jacksonville Jaguars will rebound, ‘heartbroken’ he won’t lead them

ESPN – DiRocco – Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan fixes his biggest mistake firing Urban Meyer; he can not afford another one

The Ringer – Clark – The Urban Meyer Experiment Has Passed the Point of No Return

Sal says that Clark looks to be taking research lessons.

All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.

Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

Garden and Gun – Adler – Requiescat In Pace, Anne Rice

Garden and Gun – G&G’s Favorite Books of 2021

When I have a little money, I buy books; and if I have any left, I buy food and clothes.


The Guardian – No ho ho: Italian church apologises over bishop’s claim about Santa Claus

The age of chivalry is past. Bores have succeeded to dragons.

Charles Dickens

Boston Herald – Cohan – Boston University scientists getting closer to diagnosing CTE in living people using MRI

To shorten winter, borrow some money due in spring.

W.J. Vogel

Southern Living – Yarborough – Make-Ahead, Freezer-Friendy Desserts That Will Save the Holiday Season

National Post – The Telegraph – Allen – Bruce Springsteen sells song catalogue to Sony in record US$500M deal

I Can See For Miles

Them Kids

Bloodhorse – Eric Mitchell – Successful Consignor, Breeder Jerry Bailey Dies at 78

The telephone will be used to inform people that a telegram has been sent.

Alexander Graham Bell

lundi decembre 20

Sal says that during the run-up to the Big Day the first song each day is dedicated to Christmas Shoppers .

In Between Days

Sal says that Sal never said that the dedicated songs would pertain to either Christmas or shopping.

Silver Bells

A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.

Mark Twain

Dedicated to The One I Love

A gentleman is someone who knows how to play the banjo and doesn’t.

Mark Twain

Dueling Banjos

Sal says if you didn’t get that one read on in bliss.

Music is the space between the notes.

Claude Debussy

Garden ans Gun – Wilmes – Epic Bourbon Auction Supports Tornado Relief

The Kentucky Bourbon Benefit

Canada’s National Observer – Sharp – Staying fierce and sober over the holidays

Everything in moderation, including moderation.

Oscar Wilde

The Atlantic – Heller – The Explosive Song That Liberated Tina Turner

Proud Mary

FiveThirtyEight – Cassellman – The Ultimate Guide To Winning Your White Elephant Gift Exchange Using Game Theory

Southern Living – Learn How to Play Dirty Santa – The Best Christmas Game Ever

Games Without Frontiers

The Chaotic Neutral Zone – E. – Catch a Collapsing Star

I paint things as they are. I don’t comment.

Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec

French 75

Psychlopaedia – Trounson – Why kids genuinely can’t wait until Christmas

Three o’clock is always too late or too early for anything you want to do.

Jean-Paul Sartre

Waiting For Godot

Tired of Waiting for You

Land of Confusion

Dangerous Economics

It takes two to tango, and if you dance too long, implosion is inevitable.

Allie Burke

National Post – Reuters – Kaye – Frustrated in efforts to end smoking, New Zealand plans lifetime ban on cigarette sales

Sunday December 26, 2021

Santa Anita Park

American Oaks (GIT) $300k g 3yo f 10f Turf
La Brea S (G1) $300k g 3yo f 7f Dirt
Mathis Brothers Mile (GIIT) $200k g 3yo 8f Turf
Runhappy Malibu S (GI) $300k g 3yo 7f Dirt
San Antonio S (GII) $200k g 3&up 8.5f Dirt
San Gabriel S (GIIT) $200k g 3&up 9f Turf

Malibu Sunset

Bloodhorse – Cash – Flightline’s Patient Connections Ready for Malibu


Blushing K.D. S $75k g 3&up f/m abt 8.5f Turf
Buddy Diliberto Memorial S $75k g 3&up abt 8.5f Turf
Gun Runner S $100k g 2yo 8.5f Dirt
Richard R. Scherer Memorial S $75k g 3&up abt 5.5f Turf
Tenacious S $100k g 3&up 8.5f Dirt
Untapable S $100k g 2yo f 8.32f Dirt

House of the Rising Sun


Every country gets the circus it deserves. Spain gets bullfights. Italy gets the Catholic Church. America gets Hollywood.

Erica Jong.

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Stabell – Has the 2021 stakes program exploded one central myth about Lasix?

Sal says that the indiscriminate use of Lasix by rote by almost of the North American needle pushing trainers could be the tool that the animal rights activists ultimately use to shut down racing.

2021 World Juniors

Paulick Report – Kilroy – Nominees Released For Fair Grounds’ New Road To The Derby Kickoff Day

The Guardian – ‘I could have done with eight more hours’: readers on the Beatles documentary epic Get Back

Let It Be

Failure isn’t fatal unless you let it be.

Mike Ditka

The Ringer – Lindbergh – Five Lingering Questions About ‘The Beatles: Get Back’

Sal says that the Beatles gave us the answer to the last question.

Ob La Di Ob La Da

National Post – Colby Cosh: The little-known role the Beatles played in revolutionizing medical imaging

Thoroughbred Racing Commentary – Hovdey – The great racehorse who provided many lessons for Christmas

The Globe and Mail – MacDonald – When floods came to B.C.’s Nicola Country, a horse sounded the alarm – but saving the day was another job entirely

Canada’s National Observer – Fawcett-Atkinson – ‘We’re going back,’ say flooded B.C. farmers as cleanup continues

TDN – Velazquez to Winter at Santa Anita

Bloodhorse – Geroux to Base at Oaklawn, Travel to Fair Grounds

Paulick Report – Paulick – View From The Eighth Pole: Irad Ortiz Jr.’s Reckless Ride A Litmus Test For Stewards

Bloodhorse – Jockey Ortiz Jr. Suspended 30 Days

TDN – Bill Finley Jr. – Irad Ortiz Jr. Suspended for 30 Days

I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

Bloodhorse – Oser – Classic-Winning Jockey Albarado to Retire

Bloodhorse – Ehalt – Monmouth Eyes Fixed-Odds Wagering by January

Remembrance of things past is not necessarily the remembrance of things as they were.

Marcel Proust

TDN – Report: Corniche to Freshen at WinStar Before Returning to Baffert

Paulick Report – ‘There Hasn’t Even Been Any Talk About Another Trainer’: Juvenile Winner Corniche Will Return To Baffert After WinStar Vacation

Sal says that it does not matter whether Baffert or CDI win this game of chicken when thoroughbred racing and thoroughbred racing fans lose and the sport gets another black eye.

Bloodhorse – Eric Mitchell, Angst and King – Medina Spirit Collapses, Dies After Santa Anita Workout

TDN – Bill Finley – Medina Spirit: The Public, Mainstream Media Reacts

Los Angeles Times – Cherwa – Dianne Feinstein calls for ‘transparent examination’ into Medina Spirit’s death

TDN – Feinstein Asks for ‘Thorough, Transparent Investigation’ Into Medina Spirit’s Death

If you can’t ride two horses at once, you shouldn’t be in the circus.

James Maxton

Sal says that it does not matter why Medina Spirit died so young, the rabble from all sides will do nothing but further harm thoroughbred racing.


Sal says that if you enjoy thoroughbred racing enjoy it while you can.

DRF – Andersen – WinStar sends Country Grammer back to Baffert for 2022 campaign

Cold and dark, this time of year,
the earth lies dormant, awaiting the return
of the sun, and with it, life.
Far beneath the frozen surface,
a heartbeat waits,
until the moment is right,
to spring.

Prayer to the earth

Bloodhorse – Hovdey – Sherman Steps Away With One Final Work of Art

2014 Kentucky Derby

Bloodhorse – Ramsey Horses Supplemented to Keeneland January Sale

Southern Living – Overdeep – There’s a New Peanuts Holiday Movie on the Way!

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.

H. L. Mencken.

SB Nation – Dator – The MLB lockout explained, in 5 minutes

SportsNet – Davidi – MLB Owners vs. Players: A look at the issues as lockout begins

Sal says it only takes 5 letters to explain the MLB lockout: greed.

The gain to the winner is always less than the loss to the loser.

Ian Fleming

Bloodhorse – CDI, Nevada Reach Agreement for Winter Simulcasting

TDN – Report: CDI Exploring Selling Off Twinspires

The more social media we have, the more we think we’re connecting, yet we are really disconnecting from each other.


Bloodhorse – Eurton, Rosario Among Those Honored in ABR’s Fan Awards

Sal says that what differentiates Eurton from most interviewers in all sports is that Eurton listens to the responses, thinks on her feet and asks questions that follow up on the responses, whereas most of the talking heads are already looking at their tablet for the next question.

When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling.

Ernest Hemingway

2021 Kentucky Derby

Esquire – Kirkland and the Editors – The 60 Best Christmas Movies of All Time

The Bishop’s Wife

The other day I started to take a course in psycho-ceramics. What is psycho-ceramics? It’s the study of crackpots.

Joey Bishop

About a Boy

Killing Me Softly

Any reviewer who expresses rage and loathing for a novel is preposterous. He or she is like a person who has put on full armor and attacked a hot fudge sundae.

Kurt Vonnegut

Beautiful Girls

Little Miss Marker

Introducing someone as a “Negro poet with a University degree” or again, quite simply, the expression, “a great black poet.” These ready-made phrases, which seem in a common-sense way to fill a need-or have a hidden subtlety, a permanent rub.

Frantz Fanon

West Side Story

The Ringer – Lazic – How Steven Spielberg Unlocks ‘West Side Story’ for Film

LA Times – Swed – Commentary: Does ‘West Side Story’ work best as a film? An opera? Neither?

Sal says it works best in whatever form you enjoy it.


American Woman


American Woman


Romeo and Juliet

‘Tis but thy name that is my enemy.
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What’s in a name? That which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet.


William Shakespeare

Los Angeles Times – Commentary: Spielberg tried to save ‘West Side Story.’ But its history makes it unsalvageable

Sal says Ashley Lee is one of those fucking idiots out to destroy the last vestiges of fun left in the world in their quest to make everything authentic. Sal says she probably doesn’t put pineapple on her pizza. Sal says she’s just another ivory tower mouthpiece with -0 street cred who thinks she can talk for the spics and the wops.

Certain things need to be said if one is to avoid falsifying the problem.

Frantz Fanon

Better Off Dead

TDN – Nine Organizations Join Diversity and Inclusion Commitment

TDN – Joseph Eyes Triple Crown Trail With Make It Big

Paulick Report – Donk Eyes Longer Distances For Geno After NYSSS Great White Way Win

The Ringer – The 50 Best Movie Soundtracks of the Past 50 Years

The Guardian – Perry – Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell review – a musical journey

The Guardian – Dave Grohl: The Storyteller review – rock’n’roll raconteur riffs with profanity and positivity

Garden and Gun – G&G’s Favorite Cookbooks of 2021

Garden and Gun – Lotz – One Outdoorswoman’s Delicious Love Letter to the Wild

The Smithsonian – Py-Lieberman – Smithsonian Scholars Pick Their Favorite Books of 2021

The Globe and Mail – Cannon, Canton, Colbert, Dutt, Pereira, Rogers, Scott and Donaldson The Globe 100: The books we loved in 2021

Literary Hub – Temple – 10 Famous Book Hoarders

Girl You’ll Be A woman Soon

Yule is when the dark half of the year cedes to the light half. Known as Solstice Night, Awaiting the rebirth of the Sun God. Bonfires, wassailing crops with toasts of spiced cider a time of madness and awesomeness.

Anujj Elviis

Wassail Song

In Anglo-Saxon times, according to Crippen, it was customary for someone offering a drink to say, “Wassail!” and for the recipient to respond “Drinkhail!” and for the participants to repeat the exercise until comfortably horizontal.

Bill Bryson

Sloop John B

Southern Living – 11 Classic Christmas Cocktails That You Should Definitely Make This Holiday Season

Cookie and Kate – Homemade Wassail

Girl You’ll be a Woman Soon

Will you teach your children what we have taught our children? That the earth is our mother? What befalls the earth befalls all the sons of the earth. This we know: the earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth. All things are connected like the blood that unites us all. Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself. One thing we know: our god is also your god. The earth is precious to him and to harm the earth is to heap contempt on its creator.

Chief Seattle

Edmonton Journal – Boothby – ‘Slippery slope’: Alberta liquor store group worries more convenience stores will follow Edmonton 7-Eleven’s booze model

Sal says that he thought that the first requirement of obtaining a restaurant license was that you had to be selling food.

7-11 Pizza Review

The Circle Sanctuary – 13 Ways to Celebrate Yuletide

The Goddess and the Greenman – Yule/Winter Solstice December 21st

Southern Living – The Tradition of the Yule Log at Christmas

If the triangles made a god, they would give him three sides.


Lumberjack Song

Log Driver’s Waltz

Cherry-and-Chocolate Bûche de Noël

Light My Fire

How To Celebrate Yule


How To Celebrate Yule

Fire and Rain

How To Celebrate Yule

Alabama Song

How To Celebrate Yule

The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down

Sal says that Sal would love to see the miles of Last Waltz footage that Scorsese shot get the Get Back treatment.

Find My Horse

The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled.


Sal says that only the fools in the US bureaucracy would make up a divisive holiday like Kwanzaa when everyone residing in the Northern Hemisphere can celebrate Yule.

Sal says that those who tout and allegedly celebrate something they know nothing about need to take their asshats off.

Making a Fire

I wanted to have the adoration of John Lennon but have the anonymity of Ringo Starr. I didn’t want to be a frontman. I just wanted to be back there and still be a rock and roll star at the same time.

Curt Kobain

Don’t Let Me Down

Stand By Me – Kwanzaa: Fake news about a fake holiday that I debunked long, long ago | Mulshine

The Jewish Press – Dunetz – Kwanzaa: A Fraud, Racist Holiday, Created By A Criminal Madman

Sal says that the Kwanzians should all head to a Quonset hut a few kms south of the Antarctic Circle for their Kwanzian celebrations.

Sal says it time that our holiday seasons became times of unity and reconciliation not further division.

When religion and politics travel in the same cart, the riders believe nothing can stand in their way. Their movements become headlong – faster and faster and faster. They put aside all thoughts of obstacles and forget the precipice does not show itself to the man in a blind rush until it’s too late.

Frank Herbert

Burning Down The House

National Post – Higgins – The Capitalist Manifesto: How many millions of people escaped poverty, lived longer and got TV?

The Smithsonian – Selkirk – Bison in Canada Discover Ancient Petroglyphs, Fulfilling an Indigenous Prophecy

Garden & Gun – Liles – Saying Goodbye to Winter, a Very Special Dolphin

The Bitter Southerner – Wells –  Where the Tupelo Grows

Tupelo Honey

CBC – The best Canadian fiction of 2021

CBC – The best Canadian nonfiction of 2021

Washington Post – Heil – Publisher pulls Singaporean cookbook ‘Makan’ amid plagiarism allegations

The New Yorker – Schulman – Mel Brooks Writes It All Down

I’m Tired

Nowhere Special

But I have bad taste with a deep fount of intellectuality.

Mel Brooks

Literary Hub – Bob Spitz on Writing the Definitive History of the Greatest Rock Band of All Time

Sal says that them’s fighting words to many.

Darkness, Darkness

Immigrant Song

The Ringer – Harvilla – ‘60 Songs That Explain the ’90s’: How the Spice Girls Took Over the Planet With Girl Power and “Wannabe”

Hazy Shade of Winter

Foreign Policy – Musgrave – The Doomed Voyage of Pepsi’s Soviet Navy

In The Navy

I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things.

Henri Matisse

Ahead of Thyme – 50 Best Christmas Side Dishes

I do so like green eggs and ham. Thank you! Thank you, Sam-I-am.

Dr. Seuss

The Globe and Mail – Reguly – The Pope has a rare antique kayak and many more Indigenous artifacts hidden away in the Vatican Museums. Here is a look at some of them

The Globe and Mail – Reguly – Antique kayak in Vatican Museums must be returned immediately, Inuvialuit group says

Sal says its time that the Catholic Church returned these artifacts back to the indigenous peoples of the Americas.

Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!

Chief Seattle

Bloodhorse – King – Woodbine to Keep Queen’s Plate in August

The Chaotic Neutral Zone – E. – Try

I’ve never understood why artists, who so often condescend to the cliches of their own culture, are so eager to embrace the cliches of cultures they know nothing about. 

Brad Holland

Thoroughbred Raving Commentary – Stabell – Is Del Mar really a suitable venue for the Breeders’ Cup?

2016 Travers

1994 Travers

Tougher Than The Rest

The tiger and the lion may be more powerful, but the wolf does not perform in the circus.

Earl Derr Biggers.

Southern Living – Our 61 Easiest Ever Christmas Cookie Recipes

Food & Wine – Youngman – This Holiday Season, Join the League of Cookies

Salted Caramel Dark Chocolate Cookies

Would you like them in a house? Would you like them with a mouse?

DR. Seuss

12 days of Christmas Cookies

Town and Country – Villarosa, Livermore and – Flager – Every Single Christmas Cookie Recipe You Could Ever Need

Christmas Wheels on the Bus

Magic Bus

Sal says that bus songs are not favourites in Phil’s repertoire ever since that bus did an Acme Anvil on him.

A Cork, Fork & Passport – 12 Days of Christmas Cocktails

Food & Wine – Nieset – 18 Festive Cocktails to Master for the Holidays, According to the Pros

It is all very well to copy what one sees, but it is far better to draw what one now only sees in one’s memory. That is a transformation in which imagination collaborates with memory.

Edgar Degas

Sommelier Tries 16 Celebrity Wines

Ace Of Spades

You may like them. You will see. You may like them in a tree!

Dr. Seuss

The Guardian – Finney – Fromage fictions: the 14 biggest cheese myths – debunked!

The Nights of Wine and Roses

Wine Folly – 12 Classic Wine and Cheese Pairings You Must Try

Sal says that Sal doesn’t think André Hueston Mack is a real sommelier as he’s not an arrogant condescending asshole jerk.

My books are like water; those of the great geniuses are wine. (Fortunately) everybody drinks water.

Mark Twain


Wax On, Wax Off

It is good to rub and polish our brain against that of others.

Michel de Montaigne

Sommelier Shops For Holiday Wines: Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve

Southern Living – The Grinch’s Famous Cave Is Now Open for Overnight Stays and It’s Surprisingly Cozy

If you surround yourself with clowns, don’t be surprised when your life resembles a circus.

Steve Maraboli.

Sommelier Tastes the Same Wine at 5 Ages (1978-2016)

Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

William Safire

2015 Malibu Stakes

She looked as if she had been poured into her clothes and had forgotten to say “when”.

PG Wodehouse

Canada’s National Observer – Baker – Vancouver Island’s Crowtographer captures one of nature’s most misunderstood birds

Mr. Jones

Me and Mrs. Jones


The Raven

Daylighting Tibbetts Brook

The music is not in the notes, but in the silence between.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

ESPN – Schlabach –  Oklahoma senator proposes ‘appropriate goodbye’ to new USC football coach with Lincoln Riley Highway

When the Oakies left Oklahoma and moved to California, it raised the I.Q. of both states.

Will Rogers

Running on Empty

Bon Appetit – Karim – What Is the Best Mayo and Why Is It Kewpie

Inside Hook – Diamond – I Tried 30 Mustards This Summer. These Were the Best.

Inside Hook – Bleier – How to Make a Michelin-Starred Chef’s Chicago-Style Dog

One of the great things about kids is, they haven’t heard a lot of the old jokes. You can get away with corny ones.

Fred Willard

While you’re waiting for Yule, Christmas, Boxing Day and the opening of Santa Anita’s winter meet enjoy a few of Sal’s favourite readings, Carols, Christmas and other songs.

Sunset – Farrell – How to Celebrate the Winter Solstice, the Shortest Day of the Year

The Cremation of Sam McGee

By Robert W Service
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
      By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
      That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
      But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge
      I cremated Sam McGee.
Now Sam McGee was from Tennessee, where the cotton blooms and blows.
Why he left his home in the South to roam ’round the Pole, God only knows.
He was always cold, but the land of gold seemed to hold him like a spell;
Though he’d often say in his homely way that “he’d sooner live in hell.”
On a Christmas Day we were mushing our way over the Dawson trail.
Talk of your cold! through the parka’s fold it stabbed like a driven nail.
If our eyes we’d close, then the lashes froze till sometimes we couldn’t see;
It wasn’t much fun, but the only one to whimper was Sam McGee.
And that very night, as we lay packed tight in our robes beneath the snow,
And the dogs were fed, and the stars o’erhead were dancing heel and toe,
He turned to me, and “Cap,” says he, “I’ll cash in this trip, I guess;
And if I do, I’m asking that you won’t refuse my last request.”
Well, he seemed so low that I couldn’t say no; then he says with a sort of moan:
“It’s the cursèd cold, and it’s got right hold till I’m chilled clean through to the bone.
Yet ’tain’t being dead—it’s my awful dread of the icy grave that pains;
So I want you to swear that, foul or fair, you’ll cremate my last remains.”
A pal’s last need is a thing to heed, so I swore I would not fail;
And we started on at the streak of dawn; but God! he looked ghastly pale.
He crouched on the sleigh, and he raved all day of his home in Tennessee;
And before nightfall a corpse was all that was left of Sam McGee.
There wasn’t a breath in that land of death, and I hurried, horror-driven,
With a corpse half hid that I couldn’t get rid, because of a promise given;
It was lashed to the sleigh, and it seemed to say: “You may tax your brawn and brains,
But you promised true, and it’s up to you to cremate those last remains.”
Now a promise made is a debt unpaid, and the trail has its own stern code.
In the days to come, though my lips were dumb, in my heart how I cursed that load.
In the long, long night, by the lone firelight, while the huskies, round in a ring,
Howled out their woes to the homeless snows— O God! how I loathed the thing.
And every day that quiet clay seemed to heavy and heavier grow;
And on I went, though the dogs were spent and the grub was getting low;
The trail was bad, and I felt half mad, but I swore I would not give in;
And I’d often sing to the hateful thing, and it hearkened with a grin.
Till I came to the marge of Lake Lebarge, and a derelict there lay;
It was jammed in the ice, but I saw in a trice it was called the “Alice May.”
And I looked at it, and I thought a bit, and I looked at my frozen chum;
Then “Here,” said I, with a sudden cry, “is my cre-ma-tor-eum.”
Some planks I tore from the cabin floor, and I lit the boiler fire;
Some coal I found that was lying around, and I heaped the fuel higher;
The flames just soared, and the furnace roared—such a blaze you seldom see;
And I burrowed a hole in the glowing coal, and I stuffed in Sam McGee.
Then I made a hike, for I didn’t like to hear him sizzle so;
And the heavens scowled, and the huskies howled, and the wind began to blow.
It was icy cold, but the hot sweat rolled down my cheeks, and I don’t know why;
And the greasy smoke in an inky cloak went streaking down the sky.
I do not know how long in the snow I wrestled with grisly fear;
But the stars came out and they danced about ere again I ventured near;
I was sick with dread, but I bravely said: “I’ll just take a peep inside.
I guess he’s cooked, and it’s time I looked”; … then the door I opened wide.
And there sat Sam, looking cool and calm, in the heart of the furnace roar;
And he wore a smile you could see a mile, and he said: “Please close that door.
It’s fine in here, but I greatly fear you’ll let in the cold and storm—
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tennessee, it’s the first time I’ve been warm.”
There are strange things done in the midnight sun
      By the men who moil for gold;
The Arctic trails have their secret tales
      That would make your blood run cold;
The Northern Lights have seen queer sights,
      But the queerest they ever did see
Was that night on the marge of Lake Lebarge

I cremated Sam McGee.

The Night I Cremated Sam McGee

Christmas is a time when everybody wants his past forgotten and his present remembered.

Phyllis Diller

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy


Sal says that sometimes Sal just has to be Sal.

Best Christmas Ever

Le Jazz Hot

How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, His precepts!

Benjamin Franklin

Fireplace Channel

How the Grinch Stole Christmas

by Dr. Suess

…So he paused. And the Grinch put his hand to his ear.
And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low. Then it started to grow.
But the sound wasn’t sad! Why, this sound sounded merry!
It couldn’t be so! But it WAS merry! VERY!
He stared down at Whoville! The Grinch popped his eyes!
Then he shook! What he saw was a shocking surprise!
Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was singing! Without any presents at all!
He HADN’T stopped Christmas from coming! IT CAME!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!
And the Grinch, with his grinch-feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling: “How could it be so?”
“It came without ribbons! It came without tags!”
“It came without packages, boxes or bags!”
And he puzzled three hours, till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before!
“Maybe Christmas,” he thought, “doesn’t come from a store.”
“Maybe Christmas…perhaps…means a little bit more!”…

March of the Children

Father Christmas

Fat Bottomed Girls

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Want to keep Christ in Christmas? Feed the hungry, clothe the naked, forgive the guilty, welcome the unwanted, care for the ill, love your enemies, and do unto others as you would have done unto you.

 Steve Maraboli

Harlequins and Dolls

1970 Epsom Derby


The Little Drummer Boy

Jet Song

Bennie and the Jets

Under Pressure

Bennie and the Jets

Under Pressure

The real reason Jews don’t have more Hanukkah music is that, historically, American Jewish singer-songwriters were too busy making Christmas music. ‘White Christmas,’ ‘Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘Silver Bells’ and ‘The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting)’ were all written by Jews.


Drosselmeyer’s dolls

2011 Breeders Cup Classic

Fireplace Channel II

O Holy Night

76 Trombones

Fairytale of New York

Christmas is a time when kids tell Santa what they want and adults pay for it. Deficits are when adults tell the government what they want – and their kids pay for it.

Richard Lamm


by Robert Munsch

Oh the great Canadian Winter
Is not so very cold.
I once knew a kid who didn’t freeze
Until he was ten years old.

And just last year in Ottawa,
When they cleared away the ice,
They found two people still alive
And they said Winter was nice.

On Baffin Island the Inuit
Go swimming with polar bears.
Of course they always come back dead.
That’s why they go in pairs.

So don’t stay inside when it’s snowing,
Don’t stay inside when there’s ice.
Go out and get frozen like a brick,
And then you’ll think Winter is nice.

Pub Crawl

The First Noel

Christmas Song

Roses are reddish,

Violets are bluish,

If it weren’t for Christmas,

We’d all be Jewish.

Benny Hill

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

Solitary Man

Elsa’s Procession to the Cathedral

Cold As Christmas

It is my heart-warm and world-embracing Christmas hope and aspiration that all of us-the high, the low, the rich, the poor, the admired, the despised, the loved, the hated, the civilized, the savage-may-eventually be gathered together in heaven of everlasting rest and peace and bliss-except the inventor of the telephone.
Mark Twain

Proud Mary

Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening

Whose woods these are I think I know.
His house is in the village though;
He will not see me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
My little horse must think it queer
To stop without a farmhouse near
Between the woods and frozen lake
The darkest evening of the year.
He gives his harness bells a shake
To ask if there is some mistake.
The only other sound’s the sweep
Of easy wind and downy flake.
The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.

Christmas Medley

Christmas in Hollis


The Sound Of Winter

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children,

Sitting Bull

Journey of the Magi

 by T. S. Eliot

“A cold coming we had of it,

Just the worst time of the year

For a journey, and such a long journey:

The ways deep and the weather sharp,

The very dead of winter.”

And the camels galled, sore-footed, refractory,

Lying down in the melting snow.

There were times we regretted

The summer palaces on slopes, the terraces,

And the silken girls bringing sherbet.

Then the camel men cursing and grumbling

And running away, and wanting their liquor and women,

And the night-fires going out, and the lack of shelters,

And the cities hostile and the towns unfriendly

And the villages dirty and charging high prices:

A hard time we had of it.

At the end we preferred to travel all night,

Sleeping in snatches,

With the voices singing in our ears, saying

That this was all folly.

Then at dawn we came down to a temperate valley,

Wet, below the snow line, smelling of vegetation;

With a running stream and a water-mill beating the darkness,

And three trees on the low sky,

And an old white horse galloped away in the meadow.

Then we came to a tavern with vine-leaves over the lintel,

Six hands at an open door dicing for pieces of silver,

And feet kicking the empty wine-skins.

But there was no information, and so we continued

And arrived at evening, not a moment too soon

Finding the place; it was (you may say) satisfactory.

All this was a long time ago, I remember,

And I would do it again, but set down

This set down

This: were we led all that way for

Birth or Death? There was a Birth, certainly,

We had evidence and no doubt. I had seen birth and death,

But had thought they were different; this Birth was

Hard and bitter agony for us, like Death, our death.

We returned to our places, these Kingdoms,

But no longer at ease here, in the old dispensation,

With an alien people clutching their gods.

I should be glad of another death.

Holy Night

American Woman

Christmas Card From a Hooker in Minnesota

Little Drummer Boy

Snoopy’s Christmas vs. The Red Baron

What Child is This

One Christmas was so much like another, in those years around the sea-town corner now and out of all sound except the distant speaking of the voices I sometimes hear a moment before sleep, that I can never remember whether it snowed for six days and six nights when I was twelve or whether it snowed for twelve days and twelve nights when I was six.
Dylan Thomas

Fairytale of New York

Carol of the Bells

Waltz of the Flowers

Little Drummer Boy

Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain

Family Christmas

When the Earth is sick, the animals will begin to disappear, when that happens, The Warriors of the Rainbow will come to save them.

Chief Seattle

Blow, Blow Thou Winter Wind

William Shakespeare

Blow, blow, thou winter wind.
Thou art not so unkind
As man’s ingratitude;
Thy tooth is not so keen,
Because thou art not seen,
Although thy breath be rude.
Heigh-ho! sing, heigh-ho! unto the green holly:
Most friendship is feigning, most loving mere folly:
Then, heigh-ho, the holly!
This life is most jolly.
Freeze, freeze, thou bitter sky,
That dost not bite so nigh
As benefits forgot:Though thou the waters warp,
Thy sting is not so sharp
As friend remember’d not.

Send In The Clowns

The Weight

Santa Claus is Coming

O Holy Night

Sump’n Claus

I once bought my kids a set of batteries for Christmas with a note on it saying, toys not included.

Bernard Manning

O Holy Night

Mohammed’s Radio

Little Drummer Boy

Why did Chicken Little cross the road?

To warn the people on the other side that the sky was falling.

What Child Is This

Tiny Dancer

Too many new writers dress up old cliches.

Christopher Fowler

Silent Night

Christmas gift suggestions:  To your enemy, forgiveness.  To an opponent, tolerance.  To a friend, your heart.  To a customer, service.  To all, charity.  To every child, a good example.  To yourself, respect.
Oren Arnold

Send In The Clowns

Thank God it’s Christmas

Rebel, Rebel

Little Drummer Boy

Santa is very jolly because he knows where all the naughty girls live.

Dennis Miller


O Holy Night

The Season’s Upon Us


I Won’t Be Home For Christmas

I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas

Santa Claus has the right idea – visit people only once a year.
Victor Borge

Fairytale of New York


Pretty paper

Load Out / Stay

What kind of Christmas present would Jesus ask Santa for?

Salman Rushdie

Lessons from A Christmas Tree

by Jane Lee Logan

  1. Be a light in the darkness.
  2. We all fall over sometimes.
  3. You can never wear too much glitter.
  4. Bring joy to others.
  5. Sparkle and twinkle as much as possible.
  6. It is okay to be a little tilted.



Grand Pas de Deux

Alas! How dreary would be the world if there was no Santa Claus! There would be no childlike faith then, no poetry, no romance to make tolerable this existence.

Francis P. Church


Foy Music

What do you call a kid who doesn’t believe in Santa?

A rebel without a Claus.


Ho Ho Holyland

Going, Going, Gone

Ho Ho Ho

Hawthorne Sal

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