Scott Horowitz | October 28, 2004
I guess with November starting, means the beginning of the holiday season. I for one hate this time of year. It is way too commercial, and the hype is ridiculous.

I also hate my neighbors across the street. Not only do they have the brightest lights I have ever seen, but they have a fucking speaker playing Christmas music from 6PM to 11PM from Thanksgiving to MLK jr. day. It is the most infuriating thing ever.

My biggest gripe with this time of year tho has to be the comparisons between Christmas and Hanukkah. They are 2 completely unrelated holidays. The only thing the 2 have in common is the time of year. Jews technically don't even classify Hanukkah as a holiday it is considered a festival. The gifts to be received are traditionally candy or small amounts of money for good luck. The commercialization of Christmas have afffected this tradition as well.

If you love the holiday season, good for you (I am not being sarcastic here). As for me, I'll be spending Christmas eating Chinese food and at the movies (becuase there is NOTHING ELSE TO DO).

Anna Gregoline | October 28, 2004
I would rip those neighbor's speakers out of the wall.

Reminds me of the time during a storm at my parent's house where I almost went out in the rain to cut down their windchimes. I am TRYING TO SLEEP.

Or the guy this morning who was blowing three scant leaves off the sidewalk. COULD WE WAIT TO USE THE DAMN UNNECESSARY LEAFBLOWER AFTER 7:30 IN THE FREAKING MORNING!?!!

Sorry. =)

Christmas is stressful, sometimes for me. I get very exhausted during the holiday season. But this year I'm slightly more peppy about it because I've already got more than half my shopping done (very unusual for me, I'm usually last minute).

But. This year will be the first year in all my 25 where I won't be celebrating actual Christmas with my family. I'll be with Jesse's family in Massachusetts. He did the opposite last year, and it made him very sad. I'm sure we'll have fun up there, but I'll be very sad as well.

Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 28, 2004
Well, I didn't actually cut down the windchimes, but I wanted to. I felt that they wouldn't know I did it cause this was a huge storm and it would be likely they would fall down on their own (in fact I think this is what happened).

We had our windows closed and they were still so loud they were clanging in my ears. If I had gone over there, though, I probably would have just taken the thing down. This was also while I was living at my parent's house, so I wouldn't have wanted to start something with their neighbors.

Random clinking noises can be annoying. Your neighbors should have talked to you instead of doing something rude like that though.

Jackie Mason | October 28, 2004
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Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 28, 2004
I'm also amazed at the decorations for other holidays now. When I used to go trick-or-treating, you'd see a pumpkin on someone's door. Now, people turn their front lawn into graveyards. I think all holidays are getting bad with decorations.

Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Lori Lancaster | October 28, 2004
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Jackie Mason | October 28, 2004
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Amy Austin | October 28, 2004
"About Xmas though... Now I see Christmas stuff out in the stores before Halloween! It drives me nuts! I dont want to look at this shit for 3 months. Can't we at least have halloween on its own, not Halloween and early Christmas stuff?"

Jackie, I made this exact same observation just about a week ago -- WAY TOO EARLY for the freakin' Xmas shit to come out on the shelves!!! How about a little post-Halloween discount candy before the red/green m&ms, eh???

Jackie Mason | October 29, 2004
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Todd Brotsch | October 30, 2004
I think there was some tolerance in the teachings of whomever you listen to. Maybe you should refresh yourselves.

Amy Austin | October 30, 2004
I'm sorry, Todd, but sometimes you are just a bit too cryptical for me... could you please spell that out for those of us in the back of the short bus? ;D

Are you trying to tell us to remember "the reason for the season" and quit complaining... because I think that's perfectly legit -- I know that deep down I really can't stand to hear so much griping and complaining about "all the commercialism" and all that such 'n' such every year during the holidays (but I must also say this: 01 November, or "All Saints' Day" or "Dia De Los Muertos", is supposed to be kind of a sacred time for some folks, too... so can't we just put the tinsel & trees on hold for just *a teeny little bit* longer than mid-October???!!!)... so call that last post my last bitch about the time of year that's supposed to have everyone "caring and sharing", and let's get to it!!! (But it doesn't mean that I won't have another bitch about something else altogether... ;>)

Merry Christmas, everyone!

Todd Brotsch | October 30, 2004
You hit is dead on Amy; that's the cliff's notes version of what I was trying to say.

Just once I wish some people could have a thicker skin and not advocate violence or destruction of property as a solution to some small problem. Though, if this minutia is all you have to be concerened about in life I really envy some of these people.

I wish I could say the only problem I had in life was my neighbors wind chimes.

Jackie Mason | October 30, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 30, 2004
We wish our only problems in life are wind chimes too - but what the heck is wrong with talking about that as something that bothered us? I'm mystified.

Raffy Madaffari | October 31, 2004
I hate it when people put the fake snow on their lawns and then that crap gets all over the others.

Jackie Mason | October 31, 2004
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Scott Horowitz | October 31, 2004
Well, technically it isn't a menorah. A menorah only has 7 branches, which represent the days of the week. The correct terminology is a Chanukkiah. Which is the Chanukkah Menorah, it has 9 Branches. 8 symbolizing the eight days of Hanukkah, and the center candle or the Shamash which is used to light the other 8. Just in case anyone was wondering.

Who needs fake snow now anyways? They should have plenty left over from last year.

Jackie Mason | October 31, 2004
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Anna Gregoline | October 31, 2004
And if parents are so worried, they can go with their kids.

Jackie Mason | October 31, 2004
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Kris Weberg | November 1, 2004
I had to unplug my doorbell tonight, because, despite my proch light being off, my blinds down, and the like, children kept mashing the button.

Kris Weberg | November 1, 2004
A big part of the trick-or-treat weirdness has been the spread of rather flimsy, usually phony tales of perverts attacking trick-or-treaters and sticking razor blades in candy and so on.

This despite overall declines in crime rates over the last decade.

We really have gradually become a very paranoid society.

Jackie Mason | November 1, 2004
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Lori Lancaster | November 1, 2004
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Scott Hardie | November 2, 2004
I live in a neighborhood with lots of families around, so I bought three bags and waited. What happened? Not one damn kid wanted to climb the stairs to come get a piece of candy. I didn't even put any razor blades in 'em this year or nothin'.

Jackie Mason | November 16, 2005
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Michael Paul Cote | November 16, 2005
Screw holiday movies, is anyone besides me excited for "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" coming out "for the holidays"?

Lori Lancaster | November 16, 2005
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Jackie Mason | November 16, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | November 16, 2005
3 movies I'm looking forward to: Harry Potter, Rent, Producers.

Scott Hardie | November 19, 2005
Dave Mitzman must not be reading TC these days, or he'd have taken issue with "Reindeer Games" being called crappy. It is, of course, but he likes to push my buttons, and I guess I'm flattered that he bothers. :-)

I would be psyched about Wardrobe since I loved the book as a kid, but sorry, the trailers make it look like a desperate LOTR wannabe. Maybe I'm put off by seasonal blockbusters financed on the presumption that I'm automatically going to be apeshit to see them, but I'm still waiting to be impressed. We'll see when it comes out.

Scott Horowitz | November 19, 2005
I saw Harry Potter last night, I found it to be excellent. I had 3 major problems with it
1) They didn't explain priori incantatem well
2) There were some scenes where Dumbledore seemed out of character
3) I think they blew over the Longbottoms a little too much, and didn't help explain Neville's problems with the curse.

Any other opinions?

David Mitzman | November 19, 2005
Oh please! Reindeer Games was definitely not the worst movie of all time. I'm sure we can reserve Waterworld for that honor. I'll give that it wasn't the BEST movie ever, but it wasn't that bad.

And yes, I've taken an extended vacation from TC since the end of the goo game to rejuvinate myself and get in the mode for the debut of the next round. I'll pop up every now and then to defend my tendencies to watch crappy films.

Jackie Mason | November 20, 2005
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Scott Hardie | November 20, 2005
You know, this got me thinking: How many crappy movies has Ben Affleck made? Besides "Reindeer Games" and "Surviving Christmas," he was in "Bounce," "Forces of Nature," "Phantoms," "Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back," and "Daredevil." I was going to start a poll about whether "Pearl Harbor" or "Armageddon" was his worst movie, but let's face it, the only movie that's going to win that title is "Gigli." I didn't realize just how many truly terrible movies he'd made.

Jackie Mason | November 20, 2005
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David Mitzman | November 21, 2005
All the Kevin Smith movies, Dazed and Confused. Just a couple of the movies he's been in that were awesome. Paycheck was decent, not great thoughl.

Michael Paul Cote | November 21, 2005
I truly like "Dogma" although not because of Affleck. But he didn't make it suck.

Scott Hardie | November 22, 2005
Did anybody else like "Changing Lanes"? I wish I could talk more women into seeing it, since it's smarter and deeper than its reputation as a "two men arguing" movie.

Amy Austin | November 22, 2005
E and I both thought it was great. We saw it at the drive-in in Washington -- along with "Signs" (which *I* found rather disappointing in a way, at the time) -- and we really enjoyed it. I thought it was rather clear from the previews that it was more than just a "test-fest" -- and it's also one of the few worthwhile Affleck performances.

I agree with Mike about "Dogma", too... although I find all of Kevin Smith's movies just a touch overdone in a way that bugs me -- I still liked many of them, despite this juvenile cheese factor, and Dogma was probably the most likable of them all.

Aaron Shurtleff | November 22, 2005
"Affleck was the bomb in Phantoms."

Sorry, I couldn't resist. ;)

David Mitzman | November 22, 2005
word bitch, phantoms like a motherfucker!

John E Gunter | November 22, 2005
Actually, I thought he was the sheriff! ;-)

Yes I could have resisted, but decided not to!

Oh and I'm not sorry!


Amy Austin | November 22, 2005
Is it saying something that I don't even know what the hell y'all are talking about??? Was he another superguy besides "Daredevil", or am I missing something else altogether (or... not at all)?!?!

Scott Horowitz | November 22, 2005
Did you even see Forces of Nature?

Scott Hardie | November 22, 2005
You never saw "Phantoms"? (link) Check out those one-star critic reviews.

No, I haven't seen "Forces of Nature." Is it also better than its reputation? (It might only have the reputation because Affleck is in it.) Normally I won't call a movie bad unless I've actually seen it, but for "Armageddon" I'm willing to make an exception.

Amy Austin | November 22, 2005
HaHAAA... No, looks like I missed that one altogether -- poor me.

I actually thought "Forces of Nature" was quite a decent flick, despite a lukewarm feeling for both Affleck and Bullock in general... I credit that completely to the cinematographer and the screenplay author(s) -- there really are some amazing visuals to that movie, and I love that it doesn't have the sappy Hollywood ending that you might expect when you watch it... I'd put this one ahead of "Dogma" on the Afflikeability Scale (TM)... ;-DDDDD

And I actually kind of liked "Armageddon", too, Scott -- maybe you should give it a chance!

Scott Hardie | November 22, 2005
So we've discussed before, I believe. I don't refuse to see it; I just have about 2000 other titles I'd rather see first. :-)

Amy Austin | November 22, 2005
Hmm... I don't remember, but I do understand having cinematic priorities. :-)

Kris Weberg | November 23, 2005
Armageddon is a film that makes you wish for the real thing.

Steve Dunn | November 23, 2005
I saw Walk the Line.


Trying too hard for the Oscars. Aimed for a knockoff of Ray but came off as a knockoff of VH1: Behind the Music. About an hour too long. Not enough dark songs. Cut off too early in Cash's life. Lots of emotion and tension and trying to be Oscar-worthy.

It must be said, however, that Reese Witherspoon is hot.

On the subject of meteor movies, I remember that Deep Impact and Armageddon came out around the same time. One was horrible. The other was surprisingly good. I don't remember which was which.

Amy Austin | November 23, 2005
Oh, no -- don't tell me that! I love Cash, and I've been wanting to see it... I still will, though... if only to see the "hot" Reese Witherspoon. ;-D

Scott Hardie | November 23, 2005
Missed you around here, Steve. Welcome back.

I'll probably be seeing "Walk the Line" myself tomorrow. David Ansen's been hyping it for months. I'm expecting good acting and music but not much more. We'll see. If it has the same box-office legs that "Ray" did, I'm sure we'll see several more like them in years to come. If they put Adam Sandler in the dramatic life story of Bruce Springsteen, I'll declare the shark jumped.

Michael Paul Cote | November 23, 2005
I heard that it would be better if Phoenix didn't sing. But I haven't seen it myself.

Amy Austin | November 24, 2005
Well, from what I've seen of the previews, I'm expecting his performance to be quite impressive. And as for the musician biopic trend... I saw an interview where this film's director?, producer? (my attention was divided) indicated that Johnny Cash -- his friend -- asked him personally, before his death, to make it. And he also specifically said that he did intend for it to be about the early part of his life... so, as for enough "dark songs" -- in light of this intention and the tumult of his early life -- well, that may well be a legitimate enough gripe... but I shall see! I wouldn't miss it, for sure...

Oh, and I'm glad you're back, too, Steve -- it just didn't seem quite as long to me for all that I've had going on... I hope you had a good time in Europe.

Jackie Mason | November 26, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | November 28, 2005
Dave Mitzman and I camped out Thursday night until Friday to get sales at Circuit City. It was fun, but I think it was the coldest night of the year so far

David Mitzman | November 28, 2005
It was slightly insane what we did. Ho didn't really have to go, but he wanted a printer and kept me company. I tell ya, Circuit City had the absolute best sales this year with the exception of a 42" plasma TV for $999. When I went into bestbuy and was talking to some of my old co-workers on Saturday, they told me they thought the same thing.
I made out pretty well I'd say:
Acer Aspire 5002 (1.6ghz AMD Turion64, 100gig hd, 1gig ram, dvd+-rw, integrated wireless ) for $800 from $1200 with a free wireless router and all-in-one Epson printer (I think those were bout $150 before rebates).
HP PSC2610 all-in-one printer/scanner/copier/fax for $99 from $260. They offered it for $49 if purchased with a computer but it couldn't be combined with any other offer and since I was getting the other free all-in-one, it was a no go.
The best part was the 18 months no interest on the circuit city card.

The wait outside was fun though, lotta people there to talk to and whatnot. I'd say the line at the store was well over 200 people by 4am when they were handing out voutures for the big ticket items.

Kris Weberg | November 29, 2005
I have no money and hate shopping.

And yes, I hate shopping even when I have money.

Jackie Mason | November 29, 2005
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David Mitzman | November 30, 2005
Haha no we didn't. There was a giant 6'5 300+ pound security guard at the door. They let people into the store in as much of an orderly fashion as possible.

Scott Hardie | December 5, 2005
"Walk the Line" was good but had some real room for improvement. My biggest gripe was the unmistakeable feeling you're watching an episode of "Behind the Music" without the commercial breaks. The movie really hammered Cash's drug problem but it didn't seem to be either a long period in his life, an important period in his life, or a defining element of his identity as an artist, just a passing phase he went through. The movie could have been more interesting by chucking that tired formula and focusing on other elements of Cash's long life for conflict.

Scott Horowitz | December 6, 2005
I think they should enforce laws on holiday decorations. Xmas lights cannot be put up before Thanksgiving weekend and taken down by MLK day. who's with me?

Jackie Mason | December 6, 2005
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Amy Austin | December 6, 2005
Well, (and touching on the other "holiday" discussion here), I get a little tired of those who jump to put them up right after Thanksgiving (and I agree that before is *way* overkill!) and yet are the first ones out *right* after New Year's to take them down! Quite often, these are the same right-wing religious freaks (apologies to the spiritually sincere here) who like to carry on about "Christmas" vs. "holiday" and all that garbage. I'm always wondering how many of them realize that the "12 days of Christmas" are supposed to come *after* the 25th, not before. Seems to me that they've succumbed just as easily to a certain amount of secularism/commercialism with regards to the "holidays"... Epiphany, anyone???

Michael Paul Cote | December 6, 2005
It's just that people have taken to the redneck way of not bothering to take them down year to year. Course now you could pass a law that states that it's ok to keep them up, just don't turn them on until after Thanksgiving.

Amy Austin | December 6, 2005
BTW, I forgot to mention how I can't believe that any of you are discussing the passage and/or enforcement of any more ridiculous and unnecessary laws (and it doesn't get much more ridiculous or unnecessary than this!)... but then, of course, I do realize that you're only being facetious -- I just wouldn't want any legislative fanatics out there taking any of you too seriously. ;-)

Michael Paul Cote | December 7, 2005
Do you really think that any legislative people, fanatical or not, would take any of us seriously? ;-)

Amy Austin | December 7, 2005
You nev-er know... ;-)

Jackie Mason | December 8, 2005
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Scott Hardie | December 8, 2005
Remember, they're not Christmas sales. They're holiday sales. Because Labor Day is a holiday too.

Amy Austin | December 9, 2005
Stephen Colbert, in a matter of just a couple of shows, quickly became my new political satire favorite. Who knew he'd be so damn funny in his own show -- it's not like I found him particularly hysterical on The Daily Show ("a fake newsman's fake newsman") -- but he makes me laugh out loud so much that my dogs look at me and start "talking" (I think they're telling me "that guy's fuckin' funny!" too...) Anyway, I've been finding his "Campaign Against Humbuggery" pretty amusing.

Scott Horowitz | December 14, 2005
So, my latest pet peeve with the holiday season. You know how these places put up these huge holiday displays for Christmas, and then a little section for Hanukkah, so "Jews don't feel left out"

I think it's more insulting to put a little bit up than nothing at all. It's like trying to make the Jews feel better, but to me, it's like escalating a meaningless holiday in Judaism.

Jackie Mason | December 14, 2005
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Kris Weberg | December 15, 2005
The most important Jewish holidays, as far as I know, are Yom Kippur (day of atonement), Passover (a ceremonial meal in honor of God freeing the Israelites from the Egyptians as chronicled in Exodus), and Rosh Hashanah (New Year, and ten days prior to Rosh Hashanah; the entire span of days are called the High Holy Days). Channukah, like Purim, is a rabbinical festival that Jews celebrate but it lacks the ritual and full historical significance of the three big days listed above.

Now, if anyone wants to help me remember the names of the rabbinical rhetorical techniques proper to midrash halakh, feel free.

Scott Horowitz | December 19, 2005
Woah, here's my quick breakdown on Jewish holidays.

There are 5 high holidays, or in Hebrew, Yom Tovim. These are under restriction of doing work (can't even turn on a light switch to certain Jews)
these include: Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, Sukkot (first 2 days, last 2 days), Passover(first 2 days, last 2 days), Shavuot.

Many Jews actually consider the Sabbath to be the holiest holiday. It has the most restrictions, and if any of the yom tovim fall on the Sabbath, it takes precedence. For example, during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur it is customary to hear the Shofar (Ram's horn) blown during the service. Since this would violate Sabbath observance, the shofar is never blown.

There are minor festival holidays that Hanukkah falls into. It has gotten hyped up do to its occurance around Christmas.

I think that's a pretty good crash course, I will try to answer any questions you guys may have.

Jackie Mason | December 19, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | December 19, 2005
I'm not too observant of a Jew, so I just take off for Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, and on Passover I leave early for the meals. I had to use sick days for the 2 days of Rosh Hashanah, but we have a "floating religious holiday" that I used. It's nice when they fall on weekends, as they wil next year.

Lori Lancaster | December 19, 2005
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Scott Horowitz | December 19, 2005
You just made my day, Lori

Scott Hardie | December 20, 2005
Another alternative: $5 per individual bulb. That guy with the Trans-Siberian Orchestra would be screwed.

Amy Austin | December 20, 2005
Puh-lease... the fact that it's called a "common sense" ordinance just smacks of the irony that I see in legislating this nonsense! Seems like every day offers up a new reason to move to France or Australia... ;-DDD

These are under restriction of doing work (can't even turn on a light switch to certain Jews)...

Hahaha... this conjured up an image of a Jew who wakes up on the "holiday" and doesn't even get out of bed -- too much "work"... ;-DDDDD

Scott Hardie | December 20, 2005
(For the record: I'm kidding. Let's not legislate private displays, except for the really grand ones that truly are public disturbances. And now, back to making fun of them...)

Jackie Mason | December 26, 2005
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Amy Austin | December 27, 2005
Uh-oh, Jackie... that's called "premature aging"!

(That was a cute card -- I watched it twice. ;-D)

Jackie Mason | December 28, 2005
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Amy Austin | December 28, 2005
Two words: online shopping! ;-D (Beats "in line" shopping any day!!!)

Scott Horowitz | December 28, 2005
In college, people would always laugh when I'd say, "I'm waiting online". They'd be like "you're on the internet??"

Stupid fucking dialects

At least I'm not a hick who says, "y'all" (No offense to any hicks on this site)

Amy Austin | December 29, 2005
Nope -- I'm sorry, but that *does* sound dumb, Scott. ;-) And at least "y'all" is a legitimate contraction of "you all"... I hardly think it an inferior product of dialect. (Nor do I consider myself a "hick" for saying it. ;-D)

Jackie Mason | December 29, 2005
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Scott Hardie | December 30, 2005
Holy crap. You weren't kidding, Jackie. When I found that site (link) I figured it was just the corporate site for investors and the press, and they had to have another one out there for shoppers, like they do with their store for girls. (link) But if there is one, I can't find it. That's one weak site.

I say "y'all" because A) I like making fun of hicks who say "y'all," B) I also enjoy being a hick for that moment I'm saying it, and C) it's a fun word. But it seems to be gaining permanence in my vocabulary the way "Internets" (plural) did for many bloggers, so I need to back off. One neologism, also from Bush, that has apparently entered my vocabulary without my permission is "misunderestimated." At least once a week I find myself saying it and smacking my forehead, and I can't seem to stop.

"Waiting on line" though? That's just fucked up. When I hear it I imagine a line of people holding you up over their heads like you're body surfing. To me the line is the people, not the ground.

Michael Paul Cote | December 30, 2005
Check out the redneck doctors -

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