by Max Barry

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I'm thankful for the friends I have, both online and irl. Without them, I doubt I'd be where I am today.


My family isn't big on traditional Thanksgiving things, but we always try to get the family together for a few days. This year is the first time I'm hosting—they've never interacted with our cats for this long before so I was nervous about that and fitting four extra people and a baby in our average apartment (and went to bed at almost 4 am last night after cleaning), but everything's gone swimmingly so far and I'm really really grateful that I've had the chance to share my living space with my family.

I very often feel like I'm not really my own full person, and it's things like this that remind me that's 99% in my own head.

Come on baby light my fire!

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם אֲשֶׁר קִדְּשָׁנוּ בְּמִצְוֹתָיו וְצִוָּנוּ לְהַדְלִיק נֵר חֲנֻכָּה
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has sanctified us with His commandments, and commanded us to kindle the Hanukkah light

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁעָשָׂה נִסִּים לַאֲבוֹתֵינוּ בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם בִּזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who performed miracles for our forefathers in those days, at this time.

בָּרוּךְ אַתָּה אֲדֹנָי אֱלֹהֵינוּ מֶלֶךְ הָעוֹלָם שֶׁהֶחֱיָנוּ וְקִיְּמָנוּ וְהִגִּיעָנוּ לִזְּמַן הַזֶּה
Blessed are You, Lord our God, King of the universe, who has granted us life, sustained us, and enabled us to reach this occasion.

#Best Week Ever

This was a god week. I had a great time with my family at Thanksgiving, I've finished most of my Christmas decorations, and a Scout I mentored came by today and gave me a fishing pole. He'll be entering the Marines after the holidays.


"Fa La La La Laaaa La La La La!"

The orphans at St. Agatha's laughed and cheered, even though Suzie was the only one with any sense of tone.
They were delighted that The Bukwas Blizzards, dressed as Elves, had taken time out from their practice schedule to belt out some Christmas carols, and share cookies and candy canes. The whole team enthusiastically supported this Blizzard tradition ... a great way to relax before a tough match, while keeping in touch with the spirit of the season.


Scene: Flying Walruses hotel room

Greg the Younger was waxing his mustache as the team prepared for a night on the town. Martha S. had mapped out a route of all the local party spots, and they were going to try to start fights in all of them before the bonspiel was over.

Greg (neither the Elder nor the Younger) quietly spoke up. “Younger? Do you hear that?”

Greg the Younger paused. He heard nothing. “Hear what?”

“I don’t know, but I could have sworn I heard the sound of rapidly approaching power metal.”

Greg the Younger stared. “You need to lay off the edibles, mate.” But suddenly, he heard it too. And unlike regular Greg, he knew exactly what it meant.

Mr. Leonardo W. van der Leonardo entered from the adjoining suite. “Y’all hear that too?” he asked, calmly.

Greg the Younger nodded solemnly. Regular Greg, the newest to the team, didn’t grasp what was going on yet. The sound grew still louder.

“Greg, you might want to keep clear of the front door,” Greg the Younger cautioned.


“You’ll know in 5…4…3…”

Right as Greg the Younger reached “1”, the door came flying in, coming off its hinges and traveling completely horizontally until it crashed through the window of the hotel room. Standing where the door once was, as fog filled the room, was Stone Cold Jane Austen.

“Took you longer than expected,” van der Leonardo mused, nowhere near as afraid as he should have been.

“Alright, listen here, you scoundrels,” Stone Cold boomed. “You really thought you could go to an international competition and not so much as tell me about it?!”

“Well,” Greg the Younger began, “after what happened opening night in Tiger Creek…”

“You barely scraped by to win the local league wile I was injured, and you thought you could best some of the strongest teams in the entire Sasquatch Republic? How’s that working out for you?”

“Not very well,” regular Greg offered, helpfully.

“And dare I speak of how the behavior of this team has declined in my absence? I was told all about what happened at the Lost Taco after winning the championship. I should think you all were happy to be rid of me!”

“Now, now, Jane,” Greg the Younger pleaded. “Your strict training schedule was great and all, but we just—”

“Enough!” Stone Cold bellowed, hoisting Greg the Younger over her shoulder. In the next moment she had yaught him across the room, following the same path as the unfortunate door, out the broken window. Fortunately for him, hotels in the area weren’t any taller than two stories.

This seemed to calm Stone Cold down. Greg the Elder and Martha S. had crowded behind van der Leonardo, watching. “Well that was easier than expected,” Greg the Elder remarked.

“Are you satisfied, dearie?” Martha S. inquired.

“I have half a mind to do a repeat of the Tartan Cup, but the regulations here are tighter,” Stone Cold huffed. “So yes, this will have to do. Now, get out those brooms, ladies!”

As Greg the Younger’s leg and pride were broken, his place in the team shall be taken by Stone Cold Jane Austen. The team will be preparing extremely hard for this week’s match, trying to get at least some momentum going.

”So…what happened at the Tartan Cup…?” Regular Greg asked of van der Leonardo, as the smoke from the fog machines dissipated.

“Oh, that was the last time we tried to ditch Jane,” Leonardo replied. “She found us out and sent all of us to the hospital, then went on to win the cup by herself. It would have been great to watch even if I wasn’t high on morphine the whole time.”

After a loss and a week away from the bonspiel, The BASTARDS are looking to change their fortunes at tonight's match. "Ya yous gonna have to hit the mark tonight. We have had the stench of losing on us for too long." Said Yinzer Yanchuk trying to hype up the squad during the Wednesday night rehearsal. Bertha's Bar owner has announced free shots of minty schnapps for every end that leads to points for The BASTARDS! Record crowds are expected. Hot drinks like Sasquatch Coffees are also available in quantity this evening. "Howl early and howl often" Bertha exclaimed!



Cliff struts his way into the team's Coast Street clubhouse wearing a new pair of sunglasses. He casually nods and finger guns at the sparse fellow members as he cuts a path across to his usual perch.

Norm looks up from his beer with an amused look and shakes his head to himself.

"Buongiorno," Cliff says as he passes.

Norm chuckles a bit louder.

"Yeah. It's kind of bright out there today, Norm."

Norm turns his head and scratches his ear, trying to stifle a laugh. "I wouldn't know." He takes a sip of his beer.

"Yeah," Cliff leans against the bar and surveys the room. "I feel sorry for all those people who have to squint."

Norm clears his throat and sits up straight. "Say Cliff, those wouldn't happen to be new glasses would they?"

"Oh hey, you noticed huh?" Cliff says with a big grin. "Yeah, Dilberi imports. Sixty-five smackaroonies. That's right. Notice the sleek papist styling here, the sturdy reinforced frames, and the high tech shatter-proof reflective lenses that allow me to scope out the house for the perfect throw."

"Oh good," Norm wryly responds. "Our season is saved."

MBC Morning News – #Curling2022

After the celebrations following the Montmorencia Curling Association's 8-5 victory over the Wahkiakum Ten-Pin and Curling Club of Illahee, hopes were high for another subsequent victory against Team Astrid of Ellestede. However, the aspirations of fans came short with a final score of 3-4. Though, the tournament is remains early, and the players, fans, and coaches are hopeful for a victory.

RP Cutoff for tonight's curling games!


Group A
Lanzona (The Outsliders 1-1) 5–7 A Newly Born Kraken (Varanius Inquisitors 0-2)
Altimazing (Owls Against Fuentana 2-0) 4–6 El Tejon (The BASTARDS 1-1)

Group B
Illahee (Wahkiakum Ten-Pin and Curling Club 0-2) 9–6 Ellestede (Team Astrid 2-0)
Montmorencia (Montmorencia Curling Association 1-1) 6–4 Chodean Kal (Chode Uncles 1-1)

Group C
Altai Almas (Altaysk Golf and Curling Club 1-1) 10–3 Wymth (Wymth Wizards 0-2)
Teralyan (Šarplaninac Curling Club 1-1) 6–5 Bukwas (Bukwas Blizzards 2-0)

Group D
Hun-Hoen (The Jolly Joggers 1-1) 4–5 Joe Exotic (Flying Walruses 0-2)
Fort Ewok (Payette Pirates 1-1) 5–4 Sealands Little Brother (The Fairy Tale League 2-0)

Check out our Guilded for round one standings and round two groups.

[Interior: Altaysk Golf & Curling Club alternate meeting room, AKA Rec Room 1 at the local Legion.]

Rounds of cheering erupt from Rec Room 2, the usual post-game haven for the Altaysk Golf & Curling Club. This time the Hog Wilding Darts Club was able to get Sonya to open up room registration early so they could use the more enclosed room for their "darts tournament".

Anatoli rolls his eyes at the louder-than-usual cheering emanating from Room 2. "You know, I doubt they're even playing darts in there! A bunch of bikers and rough guys liek them probably got some other stuff goin' on."

"Oh come ooooon Anatoli. We don't own that room, so stop being a spoilsport. We won today!" Replied Keysha, adding "-and you know what that means!"

Seemingly on-queue, the regular server Lisa rounds the corner with a handful of beers and holds them up in celebration. "It means party tiiiime!"

#Best Week Ever

We moved into our new office this week and even though not everything went as expected, it appears that it will all work out fine in the end.

Grandson turned 5, decorated the house in our Christmas décor, and baked cookies with Astrid. When life is this good it has absolutely been the #BestWeekEver.

Yesterday, I received my turnout gear at the fire hall and with that done, I am officially a probationary firefighter. Hopefully, with the storm coming through tonight, I will get to respond to my first call. #BestWeekEver

Montmorencia wrote:Yesterday, I received my turnout gear at the fire hall and with that done, I am officially a probationary firefighter. Hopefully, with the storm coming through tonight, I will get to respond to my first call. #BestWeekEver

Stay safe!


Coach Kringle's belly shook as he learned why Coco had been so sluggish in the last match.

"Coco!" he yelled, the slight merry curl of his lips belying his stern tone. "Next time, NO STUFFING YOURSELF WITH CHOCOLATES BEFORE A MATCH! What were you thinking!? Those were supposed to be for the whole team for St. Nick's Day and you ate them all! It's a good thing the rest of the team did so well or our loss would have been even bigger."

"It was funny when he upchucked all over the ice, though," added Joe with a snort.

"At least it wasn't until the game was over," said Suzie smiling and putting her arm around the embarrassed Second.

Somewhere... not near anyone else...

The Conversation Street jingle plays, Hammond hits Clarkson over the head with a bottle. It really hurt. It was supposed to be a pretend bottle.

Jeremy Clarkson: Hello everyone!
Richard Hammond: Yes, we are back to everyone's surprise and no one's excitement.
James May: How we are, well we haven't figured that out yet and probably never will.
Jeremy Clarkson: Anyway, the Hertfordshire and Jammbo curling team.
James May: They are called Herts' Heavenly Host Jammboree. Quite a good wordplay there actually.
Jeremy Clarkson: Known as Glacier Doughnuts or The Snowstorm Shrine, it is said by its fans to have been chosen by the shrine god of Hertfordian/Jammbian legend to represent the cold land they call home, they're preparing for their first ever bout in an international competition.
Richard Hammond: All of them were experienced in other sports, but had never done curling on a stage such as the Bonspiel. They are subtly confident however, a sort of understated confidence. After all, Hertfordshire & Jammbo have built a tradition of dominating TWP sport.
James May: However that is an entirely different world, and its not even certain if the many successes of H&J even count for anything here in The Sasquatch Republic where the Bonspiel is being held. We would guess that they don't. Yeah, let's go with that.
Jeremy Clarkson: I think we should let the 5 members - Mizore, Shirou, Embry, Faust & Peko - get things done before we start performing our usual arguments followed by an accident.
Richard Hammond: Actually I say we can get through this without a single mishap.
James May: Pffft.
Jeremy Clarkson: Wanna bet?
James May: Alright, I bet my grand piano.
Richard Hammond: I'm betting Oliver.
Jeremy Clarkson: I'll bet my prize drumkit.
James May: So that's now on. I shall prove to you two that my confidence is placed well.
Jeremy Clarkson: Yes and on that we shall bid farewell. These will be much shorter than what we usually do for the record. Take care, goodnight!

Screen fades to black, then fades to white again as Clarkov Jammbonevych Furutani, the notoriously shy (and weird) Hertfordian/Jammbian Prime Minister, appears out of nowhere in the Conversation Street studio, spots the camera quickly becoming flustered as he realizes what's going on and gives the lightest of smiles & waves to the audience.


"Oh you know, the BASTARDS gonna roll
Hey der hey, gonna score all day!
Ol' Bertha's Bar set a new record last week of selling their famous shot the Slipp'ry Sasquatch. "Yinz called a great match and Butch didn't do anything stupid. Everything went as well as possible for us last week." Said Second Cassidy Kreutzmann."We are in a good spot right now. Everyone come down and cheer. Remember, you might not be an athlete. But you can be an athletic supporter!"

It's jock strap night this Thursday. All of the BASTARDS fans, who cheer loudly, will get "Keep Wahkiakum Weird" jock straps. It should be exciting! Come on down to Bertha's Bar!

24 teams have entered the tournament and will play a 5-match round robin. The bottom 2 teams from each group will be eliminated tonight. The top 16 advance to the event rounds tomorrow.


Altai Almas (Altaysk Golf and Curling Club) 11–4 Montmorencia (Montmorencia Curling Association)
El Tejon (The BASTARDS) 5–4 Tevaris (The Ghosts Throwing Stones At You Curling Club)
Hun-Hoen (The Jolly Joggers) 4–6 Woodapple (The Golden Dawn)

Bukwas (Bukwas Blizzards) 4–8 Teralyan (Šarplaninac Curling Club)
Giovanniland (Giovannilandian National Curling Team) 7–5 Lanzona (The Outsliders)
Joe Exotic (Flying Walruses) 9–8 Blue Bubble (Blue's Dad and Friends)

Ellestede (Team Astrid) 9–8 A Newly Born Kraken (Varanius Inquisitors)
Chodean Kal (Chode Uncles) 8–3 Altimazing (Owls Against Fuentana)
Hertfordshire and Jammbo (Herts' Heavenly Host Jammboree) 7–5 Fuentana (Fuentana and the Rockettes)

Sealands Little Brother (The Fairy Tale League) 6–5 Wymth (Wymth Wizards)
Illahee (Wahkiakum Ten-Pin and Curling Club) 8–7 Fort Ewok (Payette Pirates)
Zoran (Sand Curlers) 8–4 Ghad (The Ghadian Pines)


Montmorencia (Montmorencia Curling Association) 5–7 Woodapple (The Golden Dawn)
Tevaris (The Ghosts Throwing Stones At You Curling Club) 3–11 Hun-Hoen (The Jolly Joggers)
Altai Almas (Altaysk Golf and Curling Club) 9–8 El Tejon (The BASTARDS)

Teralyan (Šarplaninac Curling Club) 5–7 Blue Bubble (Blue's Dad and Friends)
Lanzona (The Outsliders) 5–8 Joe Exotic (Flying Walruses)
Bukwas (Bukwas Blizzards) 7–5 Giovanniland (Giovannilandian National Curling Team)

A Newly Born Kraken (Varanius Inquisitors) 3–8 Fuentana (Fuentana and the Rockettes)
Altimazing (Owls Against Fuentana) 6–9 Hertfordshire and Jammbo (Herts' Heavenly Host Jammboree)
Ellestede (Team Astrid) 9–6 Chodean Kal (Chode Uncles)

Wymth (Wymth Wizards) 5–9 Ghad (The Ghadian Pines)
Fort Ewok (Payette Pirates) 4–8 Zoran (Sand Curlers)
Sealands Little Brother (The Fairy Tale League) 5–4 Illahee (Wahkiakum Ten-Pin and Curling Club)


El Tejon (The BASTARDS) 6–11 Montmorencia (Montmorencia Curling Association)
Hun-Hoen (The Jolly Joggers) 6–8 Altai Almas (Altaysk Golf and Curling Club)
Woodapple (The Golden Dawn) 6–3 Tevaris (The Ghosts Throwing Stones At You Curling Club)

Giovanniland (Giovannilandian National Curling Team) 10–6 Teralyan (Šarplaninac Curling Club)
Joe Exotic (Flying Walruses) 7–5 Bukwas (Bukwas Blizzards)
Blue Bubble (Blue's Dad and Friends) 6–9 Lanzona (The Outsliders)

Chodean Kal (Chode Uncles) 5–4 A Newly Born Kraken (Varanius Inquisitors)
Hertfordshire and Jammbo (Herts' Heavenly Host Jammboree) 4–3 Ellestede (Team Astrid)
Fuentana (Fuentana and the Rockettes) 5–3 Altimazing (Owls Against Fuentana)

Illahee (Wahkiakum Ten-Pin and Curling Club) 5–4 Wymth (Wymth Wizards)
Zoran (Sand Curlers) 6–5 Sealands Little Brother (The Fairy Tale League)
Ghad (The Ghadian Pines) 7–6 Fort Ewok (Payette Pirates)


Montmorencia (Montmorencia Curling Association) 5–7 Tevaris (The Ghosts Throwing Stones At You Curling Club)
Altai Almas (Altaysk Golf and Curling Club) 5–6 Woodapple (The Golden Dawn)
El Tejon (The BASTARDS) 6–5 Hun-Hoen (The Jolly Joggers)

Teralyan (Šarplaninac Curling Club) 11–6 Lanzona (The Outsliders)
Bukwas (Bukwas Blizzards) 4–3 Blue Bubble (Blue's Dad and Friends)
Giovanniland (Giovannilandian National Curling Team) 7–5 Joe Exotic (Flying Walruses)

A Newly Born Kraken (Varanius Inquisitors) 4–6 Altimazing (Owls Against Fuentana)
Ellestede (Team Astrid) 4–6 Fuentana (Fuentana and the Rockettes)
Chodean Kal (Chode Uncles) 8–6 Hertfordshire and Jammbo (Herts' Heavenly Host Jammboree)

Wymth (Wymth Wizards) 9–10 Fort Ewok (Payette Pirates)
Sealands Little Brother (The Fairy Tale League) 4–5 Ghad (The Ghadian Pines)
Illahee (Wahkiakum Ten-Pin and Curling Club) 8–5 Zoran (Sand Curlers)


Hun-Hoen (The Jolly Joggers) 7–6 Montmorencia (Montmorencia Curling Association)
Woodapple (The Golden Dawn) 9–10 El Tejon (The BASTARDS)
Tevaris (The Ghosts Throwing Stones At You Curling Club) 5–7 Altai Almas (Altaysk Golf and Curling Club)

Joe Exotic (Flying Walruses) 5–3 Teralyan (Šarplaninac Curling Club)
Blue Bubble (Blue's Dad and Friends) 6–5 Giovanniland (Giovannilandian National Curling Team)
Lanzona (The Outsliders) 4–6 Bukwas (Bukwas Blizzards)

Hertfordshire and Jammbo (Herts' Heavenly Host Jammboree) 7–3 A Newly Born Kraken (Varanius Inquisitors)
Fuentana (Fuentana and the Rockettes) 5–7 Chodean Kal (Chode Uncles)
Altimazing (Owls Against Fuentana) 6–7 Ellestede (Team Astrid)

Zoran (Sand Curlers) 9–2 Wymth (Wymth Wizards)
Ghad (The Ghadian Pines) 10–4 Illahee (Wahkiakum Ten-Pin and Curling Club)
Fort Ewok (Payette Pirates) 5–9 Sealands Little Brother (The Fairy Tale League)

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