My wife and I checked out the new IKEA on Monday. Wowsers, that place is huge. We walked for miles, but we scored a sweet Blomma, a couple Mongstads, and a Pjätteryd. I'm also enjoying the jar of Sylt Lingon. We had to park 100 yards away from the entrance, probably because the lot was so full of people from Nashville. I don't know what the Swedish word for busy is, (I'm guessing "hölyshyttz") but that place is definitely hopping.
The Flyer staff took a week off between Christmas and New Year's. I spent part of my time in New Mexico, visiting family. And let me just tell you, this carry-on luggage situation is Out. Of. Hand. People are schlepping so much stuff on planes these days that it takes 20 minutes just to get off after you've landed. Here's a free idea, courtesy of my brother: Everybody who doesn't have carry-on luggage gets to deplane first, leaving the schleppers to battle it out among themselves. You're welcome.
While in Las Cruces, my brother and I took a walk in the Rio Grande River. That's right, in the Rio Grande, which in the wintertime is nothing but a broad stretch of dirt, due its being shut off by an upstream dam. Insert "build a wall" joke here.
Speaking of jokes, our president-elect appeared to spend most of his holiday break (Excuse me, "Christmas break") tweeting. He reiterated his love for Vladimir Putin, continued disparaging the investigation of the nation's intelligence networks into Russian hacking, gloated several times about his election victory, and complained that a new CNN book on his campaign used an unflattering picture of him on the cover. I keep wondering when it's going to hit him that he has the most important job in the world coming up on his agenda in two weeks. Maybe his inauguration will wake him up, though I doubt it.
And even that event has proven problematical, mainly in that no "A List" stars have agreed to perform. The Rockettes were slated to dance, then many of the dancers decided to opt out. The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is still on the docket, but now some of those folks are getting cold feet. At this point, the entertainment may be six Rockettes, the Mormon Tabernacle Quartet, and Ted Nugent performing "Wang Dang Sweet Poontang." Though I hear the Red Army Chorus is available.
Trump's premier media supplicant, Sean Hannity, interviewed Julian Assange, who conveniently said that the Russians weren't involved in Wikileaks, thereby moving former conservative media outlet Fox News further into the Soviet camp. In other news, Hannity has also agreed to become Pravda's New York correspondent.
It really is mind-boggling, when you think about it. Fox News, the former bastion of right-wing conservatism, has become the most prominent American media booster of Vladimir Putin, a thuggish dictator who shoots down civilian airliners and murders his political opponents. Imagine if someone had suggested this scenario a year ago. You would have thought they were insane.
It's a topsy-turvy world right now, and 2017 is looking like one for the books, as Trump continues to deflect and postpone questions about how he'll insulate himself from his business interests while president. Meanwhile, Congress proposed, then backed off — due to public outrage and a critical tweet from Trump — ridding itself of that pesky Office of Congressional Ethics. If there were ever a clearer indication that we're flirting with becoming a kleptocracy (or a tweetocracy?), I don't know what it would be.
Meanwhile, on Twitter, First Daughter/Lady Ivanka Trump hustled "Happy New Year" coffee mugs with her daddy's face on them. I'd buy one, but I got a "Liberal Tears" kaffeekopp at IKEA, and I've grown attached to it.