INTERPREP PRO ★ DECEMBER 5, 2017

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DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 5, 2017

This is day 339 of 2017. There are 26 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• Opera singer José Carreras is 71

• Jim Messina (Loggins and Messina, Poco) is 70

• Brian Backer (Fast Times at Ridgemont High) is 61

• Comedian Margaret Cho is 49

• Paula Patton (Warcraft, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) is 42

• Frankie Muniz is 32

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1766: In London, James Christie held his first sale.

• 1848: In a message before the U.S. Congress, US President James K. Polk confirmed that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.

• 1968: Graham Nash quit the Hollies. Three day later, he announced the formation of Crosby, Stills and Nash.

• 1968: Aides to President Richard Nixon mailed out 66,000 letters signed by Nixon to potential administrative office holders. Among those receiving one was Elvis Presley.

• 1970: Judy Collins’ recording “Amazing Grace” entered the British music charts. It would exit and re-enter seven times in two years, totaling 67 weeks on the charts.

• 1992: The Denver Post quoted a Department of Energy memo showing that a vital safety system at the Rocky Flats nuclear weapons plant required 43 workers to change a light bulb.

• 2002: Actor Richard Gere won Plain English Campaign’s Foot in Mouth award in Britain for the year’s most baffling celebrity quote. Gere won the award after telling a Sunday newspaper: “I know who I am. No one else knows who I am. If I was a giraffe and somebody said I was a snake, I’d think ‘No, actually I am a giraffe.”

• 2005: A bi-partisan Sept. 11 commission said the U.S. remained vulnerable to terrorist strikes four years after the 2001 attacks with ”many obvious steps” not taken.

• 2008: OJ Simpson was sentenced to 33 years in prison for kidnapping and armed robbery.

• 2008: Human remains previously found in 1991 were finally identified by Russian and American scientists as those of Tsar Nicholas II.

• 2013: Former South African President and anti-apartheid icon Nelson Mandela died at the age of 95.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• Bathtub Party Day. Skip the shower and take a bath!

• International Ninja Day

• World Soil Day

• Comfort Food Day

UPCOMING

• December 6: Time’s Person of the Year announced
• December 8: The Crown Season 2
• December 9: Heisman Trophy awarded
• December 10: Nobel Peace Prize ceremony
• December 11: Golden Globes nominations
• December 12: Hanukkah
• December 15: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
• December 21: First day of winter
• December 24: Christmas Eve
• December 25: Christmas Day
• December 31: New Year’s Eve
• January 1: New Year’s Day
• January 1: Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (college semis)
• January 8: College football championship (Alabama won in 2017)
• January 23: Oscar nominations announced
• January 31: Total lunar eclipse/blood moon
• February 4: Super Bowl 52


NUMBER FOR THE DAY

60 billion: Dollars spent annually on U.S. lotteries.


NEWS ATTACK!

Facebook has a new messenger app just for kids. [And already the Russians have hacked it with fake news stories about SpongeBob.]

According to the latest from WalletHub, the safest city in America is Nashua, New Hampshire. The least safe is Fort Lauderdale. Factors taken into account include crime, natural disasters [and the likelihood that someone will start filming a reality show next door to you].

A Cathay Pacific passenger jet reported actually seeing the latest North Korean missile reenter the atmosphere and splash into the ocean. [“This is your captain speaking. If you’ll look out the left window, you’ll get a beautiful view of the Sea of Japan. And if you look out the right window, you’ll get a glimpse of how the world will end.”]

A possum sneaked into a Florida liquor store, broke a bottle of bourbon then drake the whole thing. It was taken to a wildlife refuge center to sober up. [That’s a weird story. I thought possums were beer drinkers.]

A new study finds that if you read something aloud rather than silently, you’re more likely to remember it. [However, that doesn’t seem to apply to marriage vows.]

A new study finds that if you read something aloud rather than silently, you’re more likely to remember it. [That’s why parents who have to read the same bedtime story to their kids each night always maintain fully stocked medicine cabinets.]

The RV industry reports increased sales due to baby boomers. [That’s because they don’t want to be caught again at Woodstock without a bathroom.]

Public water fountains in Paris are being updated to offer sparkling water. [Well, now they’re just showing off.]

The U.S. Army has been granting more and more waivers to people who want to join the military but have a history of criminal marijuana use. [However, they are allowed only three times to slip up and refer to their superior officer as Sir Dude.]

Donald Trump announced plans to shrink national parks in Utah, opening them up to developers. [If you’ve seen one tree, you’ve seen them all. But a backhoe — now there’s a thing of beauty.]


NEWS & NUGGETS

FACEBOOK HAS A NEW MESSAGING APP FOR KIDS _ More than one billion people — mostly adults — use Facebook’s Messenger app to communicate every month. Now Facebook wants to get kids to message more. On Monday, Facebook announced Messenger Kids, a stand-alone mobile app that allows children age 13 and under to use the service. The point of the new app, the company said, is to provide a more controlled environment for the types of activity that are already occurring across smartphones and tablets among families.

THE UPSIDE-DOWN CHRISTMAS TREE TREND _ In recent years, turning Christmas trees upside-down — and occasionally hanging them from the ceiling — has become a bona fide trend. In 2016, London’s Tate Britain museum hung a Christmas tree with gold leaf-covered roots upside down from the ceiling. Karl Lagerfeld recently designed one for a London hotel. Target currently sells an upside down tree for nearly $1,000. And, naturally, they can be found on Amazon.com.

… Critics say the upside down tree is a corruption of the traditional, time-honored method of tree display. Fans say it’s an ancient practice itself — one that was an integral part of early medieval Christmases — and that in the 12th century, it was a tradition in Eastern Europe. The tree, they say, was positioned upside down to create a representation of the Trinity and mimic the shape of a crucifix.

… The fact is, there simply isn’t that much recorded information about early Christmas trees, upside down or otherwise. Which makes the inverted tree mystery as tangled as a string of Christmas lights.

WOMEN ARE AGAIN DECORATING THEIR BARE BREASTS FOR XMAS _ It’s Christmas time, and you know what that means — holiday boobs are here. Yep, human breasts covered in jolly decorations. And googly eyes. And fuzzy, red noses. Some women are even taking their holiday boobs out of the house, wearing custom-made sweaters with holes cut out. • IMAGE

UNITED HAS DECIDED TO REDUCE SPACE ON TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHTS _ United Airlines has decided to use its most heavily densified planes across the Atlantic, starting next year. Should you not be familiar with the term densification, it translates as: “Shove as many seats inside the plane as you can to make more money.” United isn’t the only who’s doing it. American has had some joys with the concept, even reducing the legroom in First Class.

EXTERMINATOR FIGHTS HORNET NEST FOR 45 MINUTES _  ( AUDIO)  A Louisiana exterminator has released a video of himself battling a hornets’ nest for 45 minutes. Jude Verret was well protected by a beekeeping suit, and armed with a shovel to hack away at the monstrous nest. The nest he shared in his video is “the granddaddy of all hornets’ nests.” He figures the nest was home to a million or more hornets. • VIDEO

PRINCE HARRY ASKS PRINCE WILLIAM TO BE HIS BEST MAN _ From big brother to best friend and now best man, Prince William will take on the role as Prince Harry’s best man in his 2018 wedding to Meghan Markle. An insider says Harry has asked William to be his best man at St. George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in May. The source adds that Kate Middleton will not have a role in the nuptials, as she will have her hands full with three children (she’s due to give birth in April) and plans to stay in the pews for the ceremony.

… Traditionally, there isn’t a “best man” at a royal wedding. Instead grooms have “supporters.” Prince Charles asked brothers Prince Andrew and Prince Edward to be his “supporters” when he married Princess Diana in 1981. However, Prince William broke with tradition and had Harry be his best man when he married Middleton in 2011. Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton served as maid of honor.

WOMEN WANT MEGHAN MARKLE’S NOSE _ A New York-based rhinoplasty specialist says patients are requesting Meghan Markle’s nose. The surgeon (Dr. David Cangello) says that the narrow and well-defined bridge and tip of Markle’s nose are why it’s so enviable.

PEOPLE UNFOLLOWED JOHN MCCAIN AFTER PLEA FOR FOLLOWERS _ On Monday afternoon Senator John McCain called to his Twitter followers to help him reach 3 million followers, and it did not go the way he’d hoped. McCain urged his followers to “spread the word” and help his account reach 3 million. The call came just just days after McCain voted in favor of the controversial Republican tax bill, and Twitter was quick to remind of him that. Following the tweet, McCain began losing followers at a rapid pace. He started with 2,999,926 followers on Monday afternoon, and as of 7PM Monday night he’d dropped to under 2.8 million.

SCIENCE SETTLES HOW TO HANG TOILET PAPER DEBATE _ How do you hang your toilet paper when you start a new roll? Do you hang it with the end going over the top of the roll or with the end under the roll, near the wall? As it turns out, the over-versus-under debate isn’t simply a matter of personal preference. According to a new study, the “right” way to hang toilet paper is with the end going over the roll — and it’s actually better for your health that way. The University of Colorado went to germ-filled public bathrooms for its study. The study suggests that using toilet paper hung over instead of under the roll decreases the likelihood that germ-filled hands will touch the wall, leaving a deposit of bacteria on the wall that could be picked up by others using the bathroom and reaching for toilet paper.

… Unrelated to the germs issue, there is also the fact that the person who patented the toilet paper roll actually included multiple illustrations showing the toilet paper hanging over the top.

HONEY PAYS FOR TRIP TO ITALY _ A man in England spotted a wet spot on the ceiling above his bed and noticed a strong smell of honey in the attic of the house. When he checked inside the ceiling, he found a honeycomb three inches deep by 20 feet long. He sold the honey to pay for a family ski trip to Italy.

McDONALD’S EMPLOYEE GETS $110,000 REWARD _ A Tampa McDonald’s employee received $110,000 after her tip led to the arrest of an alleged serial killer who terrorized the community for 51 days. Delonda Walker was at work when her co-worker, Howell Emanuel Donaldson III, asked her to hold his bag while he ran an errand. Walker opened the bag when Donaldson left and found the gun inside. She gave it to a police officer in the McDonald’s.

SADLY, ‘IRREGARDLESS’ IS A REAL WORD _ If hearing or seeing the word “irregardless” sends a shiver down your spine, you’re not alone. No respectable writer, author or even manager uses it. It’s an unnecessary word that makes the write sounds, well, dumb. Sadly, irregardless is technically a real word. The Merriam-Webster dictionary says so. And lexicographer Kory Stamper says so. She’s the author of Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries. In a video, she explains that the word was first used in dialectical American speech in the early 20th century, and remains somewhat common in spoken English. Kory says irregardless means “regardless” and is a blend of two words: “irrespective” and “regardless.” • VIDEO

… But Kory notes that “just because a word’s a word doesn’t necessarily mean you should use it,” and encourages people to use “regardless” instead.

REMEMBER THIS? A YEAR AGO THIS WEEK: (2017 NOTE: THE BROWNS ARE 0-12 AS OF THIS WEEK! THEY’LL PLAY GREEN BAY SUNDAY.) WILL CLEVELAND WEATHERMAN GET TO SHAVE HIS BEARD SUNDAY? _ You’ve almost certainly heard of a playoff beard, a staple of offensive linemen and hockey players the world over. A Cleveland weatherman has a losers beard: he promised to let his facial hair grow till the NFL Browns win a game.

… Beards aren’t the only way Browns fans are “celebrating” their team’s perfectly imperfect record; some Cleveland-area supporters are planning a parade should the Browns join the 2008 Detroit Lions as the only teams to finish 0-16.


WACKY-BUT-TRUE

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: SQUIRREL VANDALIZED TOWN’S XMAS DISPLAY _ The borough of Sea Girt, New Jersey holds a popular tree lighting ceremony every year — an event threatened this year when officials found wires to Christmas display lights severed by what they believed to be vandals. Crews raced to repair and replace the damaged wires so Friday’s Christmas tree lighting could go on as scheduled. Police kept a close eye on the display in an effort to catch those responsible. But after the tree lighting ceremony, police caught the perpetrator in the act Saturday morning: It walks on four legs and loves eating acorns.

… Police were unable to catch the squirrel and so the Christmas display will now be under constant surveillance to make sure the critter doesn’t munch on wires again.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: POLICE REMOVE GATOR FROM COMMUNITY POOL _ Authorities in Florida responded to a community pool where they “arrested” an alligator spotted taking an unauthorized swim. The 3-foot alligator was turned over to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: MAN PASSES DRIVING TEST, FAILS REAL-WORLD DRIVING _ In Houston, a student driver passed his test, then crashed the car into the Texas Department of Public Safety building. The man was parking the car when the vehicle went over the curb and hit a wall of the brick building, creating a small hole.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: GUY WHO AGREES TO SEARCH FOR DRUGS NOW REGRETS IT _ An Atlanta officer was patrolling a neighborhood street when, he says, a man came up to his patrol car and said, “Boo!” The officer asked the man, “Do you have any illegal drugs on you?” The man said no. The officer asked, “Can I search you?” The man said yes. So the officer searched the man and found what appeared to be marijuana.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: BANK ROBBER FILLS OUT APPLICATION _ Apparently in an attempt to stall, waiting for an opportune moment, a bank robber in Tennessee started filling out paperwork. Then he made his move, handing a teller a demand note. He fled with an undisclosed amount of cash — but without the paperwork he’d been filling out. It was a credit application listing a name, date of birth, and social security number.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: WIFE TAKES HAMMER TO CARS _ A petite Singapore woman slammed a sledgehammer into 18 cars, including her husband’s four-month-old BMW, in a lunchtime rampage. Casualties of the woman’s rampage included Mercedes-Benzes, Volvos and her husband’s brand new BMW — which she hit till the windshield shattered. In just two minutes, it was all over. She said she suspected her husband of 16 years had been having an affair.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: NIGHTGOWN BANK ROBBER _ When an armed robber hit a bank in Chicago she was pretty clear on what she wanted the tellers to do: “Go to the vault.” An employee said he couldn’t get into the vault, which required “dual control.” The robber, wearing an overcoat over a pink floral nightgown, wouldn’t accept that, and demanded he put in his access code. He complied, and the robber escaped with more than $126,000 in cash. When investigators arrived, employees said they were pretty sure they knew who the robber was: a former colleague who had transferred to another branch. Detectives went to that branch, and their suspect arrived late to her job. She confessed to the robbery.

WACKY-BUT-TRUE: PEPPER SPRAY BEFORE THE MOVIE _ Just before a movie started, 200 people evacuated a theater in Osnabrück, Germany, when a seated customer tried to open a beer bottle. The man brought the bottle from home but forgot to bring an opener. His solution: he tried to pry the cap off with the canister of pepper spray he was carrying. The bottle cap was stronger than the canister, which split open, contaminating the entire theater.


ON TELEVISION

THE VOICE (8p ET, NBC) — New. Two more go home on the results show. There will also be performances from Portugal. The Man and Danielle Bradbery.

NCIS (8p ET, CBS) — Repeat

THE MIDDLE (8p ET, ABC) — New. The Middle celebrates its 200th episode

LETHAL WEAPON (8p ET, FOX) — New. Riggs and Murtaugh are drawn into a world of conspiracy theories.

THE FLASH (8p ET, CW) — New. The Thinker traps The Flash in a speedster-proof prison.

FRESH OFF THE BOAT (8:30p ET, ABC) — New. Eddie thinks he needs to find cooler friends.

SEAL TEAM (9p ET, CBS) — Repeat

WILL & GRACE (9p ET, NBC) — New. This special Christmas episode sends the gang back to early 20th century New York City.

BLACKISH (9p ET, ABC) — New. Dre is chosen to a new charity campaign to help people give back to their community.

THE MICK (9p ET, FOX) — New. Chip discovers he is the product of an affair and seeks out his biological father.

DC’S LEGENDS OF TOMORROW (9p CW) — New. The Legends investigate an anachronism in a Viking settlement.

MAJOR CRIMES (9p ET, TNT) — New. A well-known attorney celebrated for her defense of oppressed women is found dead.

SUPERSTORE (9:30p ET, NBC) — New. Amy turns a boring Christmas Eve at the store into a holiday adventure.

THE MAYOR (9:30p ET, ABC) — New. Courtney tried to save a historic music venue by sponsoring a music festival.

BROOKLYN NINE NINE (9:30p ET, FOX) — New. The entire precinct attends a funeral in Los Angeles.

BULL (10p ET, CBS) — Repeat

CHICAGO MED (10p ET, NBC) — New. Dr. Charles and Dr. Reese are surprised by a patient’s theory about his sickness.

KEVIN (PROBABLY) SAVES THE WORLD (10p ET, ABC) — New. Kevin has to choose between completing his mission and attending the opening night of Reese’s play.

SERIES PREMIERE: STRIPPED (10p ET, Bravo) — In this new reality show, people give up everything they own (clothing, furniture, money, and all possessions) for 21 days. Each day, they can get back one item that they cannot live without, all while going about their regular daily lives.

DROP THE MIC (10:30p ET, TBS) — Celebs battling in this new episode are Big Bang Theory co-stars Mayim Bialik and Kunal Nayyar, and Ashley Tisdale challenges Nick Lachey.


ENTERTAINMENT

NEW ON DVD _ Released December 5.

• Despicable Me 3
• American Assassin
• Better Watch Out
• Conor McGregor: Notorious
• Fargo – Season 3
• One Day at a Time – The Complete Series
• The Simpsons – Season 18
• Twin Peaks – Season 3

NETFLIX HAS TWO MORE REASONS TO DUMP CABLE _ When you eventually cut the cord you’ll wonder why you ever spent 70 to 100 to 150 a month to watch TV. On Monday Netflix gave us two more reasons to ditch cable TV or satellite: Wormwood and Altered Carbon.

… Wormwood is a genre-blending mix of documentary and drama. Wormwood examines the can’t-believe-it’s-true story of one man’s search to discover what caused his father’s death. Was it suicide, or did the CIA play a part? • TRAILER

… Altered Carbon is a 10-episode series based on the award-winning 2002 novel. It’s set more than 300 years in the future. Society has been transformed by new technology: consciousness can be digitized; human bodies are interchangeable; death is no longer permanent. • TRAILER

HOUSE OF CARDS COMING BACK WITH ROBIN WRIGHT AS LEAD _ Netflix has decided to move forward with the production of House of Cards. The future of the show had been unknown after reports surfaced that the show’s star, Kevin Spacey, had been accused of sexual misconduct. Kevin Spacey will not be returning and Robin Wright will move into the lead role. Production will begin in early 2018 for the eight-episode sixth season, which will also be the final season of the show.

CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR SHOW WILL FILL-IN FOR CHARLIE ROSE _ Veteran foreign-affairs correspondent Christiane Amanpour will get a seat at PBS as the public broadcaster works to fill the slot left vacant by the now-canceled “Charlie Rose” program. PBS and its New York affiliate WNET will offer the anchor’s nightly global affairs interview program  on an interim basis to PBS stations nationwide. PBS said it is in the process of “finalizing plans” for a second public-affairs show to follow Amanpour on PBS.

BLAKE LIVELY INJURED HER HAND ON SET OF FILM _ Blake Lively sustained an injury while filming her new movie in Dublin, Ireland. The film’s studio, Paramount Pictures, released a statement saying “filming has been temporarily suspended on The Rhythm Section as Blake Lively sustained an injury to her hand whilst shooting. Production will resume as soon as possible.”

MATTHEW MCCONAUGHEY ALMOST STARRED IN TITANIC _ Titanic launched Leonardo DiCaprio’s career when it hit theaters 20 years ago, but it turns out the role almost went to Matthew McConaughey. Titanic co-star Kate Winslet says Matthew was actually the studio’s top pick to play Jack — and she even auditioned with Matthew.

… Even Winslet wasn’t a lock to play Rose. She revealed in 2012 that Uma Thurman, Gwyneth Paltrow and Winona Ryder were all in the running.

JIMMY KIMMEL’S SON HAD A ‘SUCCESSFUL’ SECOND HEART SURGERY _ Jimmy Kimmel‘s baby boy Billy is a fighter. ABC announced on Monday in a statement that the 7-month-old “had a scheduled and successful heart surgery this morning.” The network also revealed that Kimmel is “with his family” and will have celebrity guests filling in as host of Jimmy Kimmel Live! for the week. In Kimmel’s place, Chris Pratt kicked things off Monday, and he’ll be followed by Tracee Ellis Ross, Neil Patrick Harris and Melissa McCarthy. Originally, Billy’s surgery was scheduled in late October but had to be postponed “due to the common cold.”

KIT HARRINGTON NAMED BRITISH GQ’S WORST-DRESSED MAN _ He may be a major heartthrob with million of fans all over the world but it seems Kit Harrington has yet to win over the fashion crowd at GQ magazine. The Game of Thrones star has been named the worst dressed man on an annual list compiled by British GQ.

… GQ Britain’s Best-Dressed award goes to Matt Smith, star of The Crown and Doctor Who. Runners up: A$AP Rocky, Jeff Goldblum, Harry Styles, Andrew Garfield, Skepta, Riz Ahmed, Ryan Reynolds, Brooklyn Beckham, Alessandro Michele.

… Worst-Dressed: Kit Harington, Paul Merton, Shmee150, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Morrissey, PewDiePie, Louis Theroux, Marshmello, Elon Musk, Joe Wicks.

ANNA FARIS FILES RESPONSE TO CHRIS PRATT DIVORCE PAPERS _ Anna Faris’ divorce response looks very similar to Chris Pratt’s filing. E! News obtained documents showing Chris had filed for divorce from Anna. We also learned that Anna had filed a divorce response simultaneously — and it looks identical to Pratt’s filing. She lists irreconcilable differences as the reason for the split and lists the date of separation as July 13, 2017, as did Chris. They tied the knot in July 2009. Both Anna and Chris are seeking joint legal and physical custody of their 5-year-old son Jack Pratt.

… A source says Chris and Anna “are both ready to move on with their lives. They worked everything out and it was time. It was well coordinated and all details were agreed upon.”

DURING AWARDS SEASON, CELEBS ARE WORRIED ABOUT ARMPIT VAGINA _ Awards season is about to begin and the top worry among female celebrities is — armpit vagina. Jennifer Lawrence wasn’t the first to experience the phenomenon that women fear in a sleeveless dress, but she is the woman getting credit for giving it a name. That excess flesh forming around the armpit when a tight sleeveless dress or top is worn has been an unflattering look since the dawn of women’s apparel without sleeves. Rebbeca Corbin Murray is a much-in-demand stylist to the stars, and she says A.V. is the biggest worry of the celebs when dressing up to walk the red carpet.

ALEC BALDWIN TEACHES HIS KIDS TO DO THE TRUMP _  ( AUDIO)  Alec Baldwin‘s comedic chops are being passed down to his kids. After cracking up Saturday Night Live audiences with his spot-on impersonation of Donald Trump, the 59-year-old actor gave some lessons on how to do a proper impression to 4-year-old daughter Carmen Gabriela. And now Alec and wife Hilaria’s boys — 2-year-old Rafael Thomas and 14-month-old Leonardo — have gotten in on the action.

SHYAMALAN WRAPS PRODUCTION ON SPLIT AND UNBREAKABLE SEQUEL _ Director M. Night Shyamalan has wrapped up production on Glass — the sequel to his movies Split and Unbreakable. Glass picks up following the conclusion of Split and finds David Dunn (Bruce Willis) pursuing Kevin Wendell Crumb (James McAvoy), aka The Beast, in a series of encounters that begin to escalate. All the while, the shadowy presence of Elijah Price (Samuel L. Jackson), aka Mr. Glass, emerges as an orchestrator who holds secrets critical to both men.


AUDIO

Find these audio files on the PRO AUDIO PAGE.

HORNETS: A Louisiana exterminator fights hornets nest for 45 minutes. This is the sound of hornets hitting the camera and its mic.  →  December 5 News & Nuggets

BALDWIN BABY: Alec Baldwin is teaching his little one to talk like Trump.

DMX DOES XMAS: DMX sings Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.


MORE PREP IN THE FACEBOOK GROUP


BITS & BREAKS

ARE YOU A GRINCH?

Here’s how to tell…

• Your only contact with three spirits on Christmas Eve is gin, vodka and bourbon.

• You turn on the lawn sprinklers on Christmas Eve to keep carolers away.

• You buy all of your Christmas gifts at a store that also sells gas.

• Your idea of Christmas dinner is a six pack of beer and a cheese log.

• You reuse last year’s Christmas cards and send them out under your own name.

• You steal light bulbs from you neighbor’s outdoor display to replenish your own supply.

• You put out last year’s stale candy canes for children.

BAD HOLIDAY GIFTS

FB icon Start it on Facebook, take it to the phones: Start with the results of this online poll: What’s the worst holiday gift you ever received:

• When I was kid, I received one of those McDonald’s gift certificates “good for 1 cheeseburger” from my grandparents.

• Sometimes I don’t understand my parents. Last year, among the better gifts from others, my dad got me a flashlight and a tire gauge. Thanks Dad, this will help every time I ever need to know the PSI of my tire at 3am.

• My father-in-law is tops when it comes to cheap, horrible gifts. One year he gave me a government publication he got for free at work, something about the history of nuclear materials handling.

• Two years ago I got a musical jewelry box from my mom. I’m a 22 year old male, by the way.

• Some hick relatives from South Dakota sent me a shot glass when I was about 12.

• For Secret Santa in eighth grade I got one of those magnetic “travel” chess gameboards, the kind that fold in half to keep the pieces inside and is about 6″x3″ folded up. Not too bad except that it had a big red “CLEARANCE” tag on it for 99 cents and it was opened and sealed shut again with staples. And there were no chess pieces inside.

THE BEST MARRIAGE ADVICE EVER

From Dave Willis, author of several relationship books including The Seven Laws of Love: Essential Principles for Building Stronger Relationships.

• Choose to love each other, even in those moments when you struggle to like each other.

• Always answer the phone when your husband/wife is calling.

• Make time together a priority.

• Surround yourself with friends who will strengthen your marriage.

• Make laughter the soundtrack of your marriage.

• In every argument, remember that there won’t be a “winner” and a “loser.”

• Realize that a strong marriage rarely has two strong people at the same time.

• Prioritize what happens in the bedroom.

• Remember that marriage isn’t 50/50 — divorce is 50/50. Marriage has to be 100/100. It’s not splitting everything in half, but both partners giving everything they’ve got.

• Give your best to each other, not your leftovers after you’ve given your best to everyone else.

• Learn from other people, but don’t feel the need to compare your life or your marriage to anyone else’s.

• Don’t put your marriage on hold while you’re raising your kids or else you’ll end up with an empty nest and an empty marriage.

• Never keep secrets from each other.

• Never lie to each other.

• When you’ve made a mistake, admit it and humbly seek forgiveness.

• When your husband/wife breaks your trust, give them your forgiveness instantly.

• Model the kind of marriage that will make your sons want to grow up to be good husbands, and your daughters want to grow up to be good wives.

• Be your spouse’s biggest encourager, not his/her biggest critic.

• Never talk badly about your spouse to other people or vent about them online.

• Always wear your wedding ring.

• Connect with a community of faith.

• Pray together.

• When you have to choose between saying nothing or saying something mean to your spouse, say nothing every time.

• Never consider divorce as an option.


FUN & GAMES

TRIVIA: On a clear day, you can see five of these from atop the Empire State Building in New York City. (States. They are New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and Pennsylvania.)

TRIVIA: Next time you hit the (casino/gambling boat) add all the numbers on this together and you’ll come up with a total of 666. (Roulette wheel)


VIDEO OF THE DAY

Thomas Train stunts.


IMAGE OF THE DAY

67% of the world’s population uses a cellphone, including this guy.


source: unknown

COUNTRY DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 5, 2017

• 1956: Several artists were dismissed from the Grand Ole Opry including RAY PRICE, FARON YOUNG, GEORGE MORGAN, JOHNNY WRIGHT, KITTY WELLS and JUSTIN TUBB.

• 1968: Killers Three, a movie featuring MERLE HAGGARD, was released in theaters.

• 1987: RICKY VAN SHELTON scored his first chart-topping hit with Somebody Lied.

• 1994: JOE DIFFIE’s album Honky Tonk Attitude was certified platinum. Hits included the title track, John Deere Green and Prop Me Up Beside The Jukebox (If I Die).

• 2000: FAITH HILL and the DIXIE CHICKS were the big winners at the Billboard Music Awards, taking home a combined five trophies.

• 2002: KENNY CHESNEY’s album No Shoes, No Shirt, No Problems was certified double platinum.

• 2006: RASCAL FLATTS scored their sixth number one hit on the Billboard Country Chart with My Wish, ending CARRIE UNDERWOOD’s run after five weeks at the top with Before He Cheats.

• 2007: SUGARLAND’s album Enjoy The Ride achieved double platinum status.

• 2011: THE BAND PERRY earned a platinum album for their self-titled debut. Hits from the album included If I Die Young and You Lie.

• 2012: TAYLOR SWIFT co-hosted the Grammy nominations special from Nashville with rapper L.L. Cool J. During the show, LUKE BRYAN performed and DIERKS BENTLEY, THE BAND PERRY and HUNTER HAYES honored the music of JOHNNY CASH.

• 2012: FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE’s Cruise topped the chart, making it the first debut single by a duo to top the charts since 2006 when THE WRECKERS did it with Leave The Pieces. It was also the first debut No. 1 by a male duo since BROOKS & DUNN’s Brand New Man in 1991. Cruise would spend more consecutive weeks at the top of the country charts than any other song in history.

• 2013: CARRIE UNDERWOOD starred in The Sound of Music Live! on NBC.

TYLER ENGLAND is 53. The Oklahoma native played guitar with GARTH BROOKS several years back and is best-known for the tune Should’ve Asked Her Faster.

GARY ALLAN is 50.


COUNTRY AUDIO

Find these audio files on the COUNTRY AUDIO PAGE.

• FLORIDA GEORGIA LINE on giving their songs to other artists.

• MIDLAND on cutting their teeth in honky tonks.

• JUSTIN MOORE on his second-oldest going to kindergarten.


COUNTRY MUSIC NEWS

LUKE BRYAN is the most digital country artist. In human speak, Luke has sold more digital song tracks — over 40 million — than anyone in country music history.

LUKE BRYAN performs Friday on Good Morning America. It coincides with the release of his sixth studio album, What Makes You Country. He’ll perform that night on The Tonight Show With Jimmy Fallon. Luke’s performance on GMA will take place at the new Opry City Stage in New York, making him the first major country artist to play at the venue.

LUKE BRYAN will visit The Ellen DeGeneres show December 12.

GARTH BROOKS has his firsts number one in a decade. Ask Me How I Know tops the country charts (Billboard Country Airplay, Mediabase) for the first time since 2007’s More Than A Memory.

DANIELLE BRADBERY guests tonight (Tuesday) on The Voice. Danielle is a former The Voice contestant, taking the top prize in Season 4.

BRETT YOUNG will visit Live With Kelly & Ryan this morning (Tuesday) and perform O Holy Night.

Video of RANDY TRAVIS’ 2012 arrest in Texas was released Monday, showing him naked and cursing at the police officer who arrested him. Randy issued a statement apologizing for his behavior, but also saying that a civil rights suit against the state of Texas would continue. TMZ released a portion of the three-hour video on its web site, showing Randy inside the police cruiser. Randy recounted how he had a disagreement with his fiance, how his father did not treat him well growing up. He then told the officer that he was mad at him for having locked him up inside the car and that he would pray for him.

… The statement from Travis’ publicist said: “Randy’s behavior was extremely altered the evening of his arrest due to the state of his mental health, and substances in his body, causing him to do and say things that were entirely out of character. He suffered a severe concussion and sustained numerous other injuries from the crash.”

GARTH BROOKS’ fans were left briefly in the dark for his final performance after a three-night stop in Newark, New Jersey. The outage occurred just before 8 PM Sunday while a warm-up act was on the stage. Fans sang Friends in Low Places while they waited for the lights to come back on.

MARTINA MCBRIDE’s Joy Of Christmas Tour is one of her favorite parts of the year. Martina says not only is the set beautiful, but she gets to do costume changes that she doesn’t get the chance to do during the year at any other time.

GEORGE STRAIT has been named the 2018 Texan of the Year by the Texas Legislative Conference. He will receive the honor March 22. Previous honorees include George W. Bush, George H.W. Bush and Ray Benson of ASLEEP AT THE WHEEL. George is being recognized primarily for his efforts to help those impacted by hurricane Harvey, which hit the Houston area earlier this year.

MONTGOMERY GENTRY will hit the road next year to celebrate the band’s 20th anniversary. The Here’s To You Tour kicks off February 9 and will run through September. It’s not yet known how the absence of TROY GENTRY will be addressed.

Several country artists have partnered with St. Jude for the This Shirt Saves Lives T-shirt. The shirt is available to those who become a St. Jude Partner for $20 a month and is being sported by such artists as THOMAS RHETT, KELSEA BALLERINI, LUKE COMBS and MAREN MORRIS. More details can be found at ThisShirtSavesLives.org.


DATEBOOK: DECEMBER 6, 2017

This is day 340 of 2017. There are 25 days remaining.

BIRTHDAYS

• JoBeth Williams is 69

• Craigslist founder Craig Newmark is 65

• Tom Hulce is 64

• Steven Wright is 62

• New York Governor Andrew Cuomo is 60

• Janine Turner (Cliffhanger, Northern Exposure) is 55

• Director Judd Apatow is 50

• 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel is 25

IT HAPPENED TODAY

• 1768: The first edition of the Encyclopedia Britannica was published.

• 1877: The Washington Post newspaper was first published.

• 1884: The Washington Monument in Washington D.C. was completed.

• 1897: London became the world’s first city to have motorized taxi cabs.

• 1947: The Everglades National Park in Florida was dedicated.

• 1995: Vegetarian Linda McCartney, the wife of former Beatle Paul McCartney, paid $4,600 at a London charity auction to save a prize turkey from the dinner table. Traditionally, the champion bird was purchased and served by a restaurant.

• 2000: A Kazakh man who was electrocuted and buried shocked friends and family by showing up for his own funeral feast. After two days in a shallow grave, the man regained consciousness and rose naked from the ground. Reportedly, he had difficulty flagging down a car to take him home.

• 2002: Actress Winona Ryder was sentenced to community service for stealing more than $5,500 in merchandise from Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills, California.

• 2006: NASA revealed photographs taken by Mars Global Surveyor suggesting the presence of liquid water on Mars.

• 2012: A 243 million year old Nyasasaurus fossil was discovered in Tanzania.

SPECIAL EVENTS

• National Miners Day. In appreciation, honor and remembrance of the accomplishments and sacrifices of miners.

• Saint Nicholas Day

• Pawnbrokers Day

• Microwave Oven Day

UPCOMING

• December 6: Time’s Person of the Year announced
• December 8: The Crown Season 2
• December 9: Heisman Trophy awarded
• December 10: Nobel Peace Prize ceremony
• December 11: Golden Globes nominations
• December 12: Hanukkah
• December 15: Star Wars: The Last Jedi
• December 21: First day of winter
• December 24: Christmas Eve
• December 25: Christmas Day
• December 31: New Year’s Eve
• January 1: New Year’s Day
• January 1: Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl (college semis)
• January 8: College football championship (Alabama won in 2017)
• January 23: Oscar nominations announced
• January 31: Total lunar eclipse/blood moon
• February 4: Super Bowl 52