Coping: One Week to Christmas – Chit-Chat Checklist

(Back at the Ranch)  We are, as of this morning, almost exactly one week from Christmas Day.  And depending on your time zone, it’s about now that the turkey needs to go in.

People make a Very Big Deal about holidays.  And part of the act seems to be presentation of all kinds of checklists.

“Checklist for perfect gravy.”  “Checklist for perfect leftovers.”  “Checklist of 12 barf bag substitutes for this sickening season of commercialism.”

So this morning, in keeping with helping out, a couple of indispensible checklists.

Positions On Everything Checklist

The main purpose of any holiday gathering worth seconds is to be a decent human.  Communicate and gather intelligence.

To do this, we operate on the basis of seven major physical systems that support human life.  These are:  Food, Shelter, Communications, Energy, Transportation, Environment, and Finance.  It’s a short enough list to memorize, and shorter than a phone number.  An eighth topic is Conspiracies, but you might not want to go there, at least right off the bat.

Whenever people gather, once the social “Hi, how are you?” small-talk is out of the way, the main use of the Holiday gathering (as least from my perspective) has always been “fishing” for what people think.

Fishing, as noted in Delphi Method: Techniques and Applications is that the way the Oracle of Delphi worked (and seemed to have very good vision on future) was able to walk around and know the future.  Just listen.  Some people are idiots, but even idiots have a place in the herd.

I will lend you my categories of people system, but be sure to return it after the holidays:  Neanderthal, Average, Smart, and Smart-Trend-Setter.  I peg everyone into a box over time.

Often times after half a dozen words.

Rules of Engagement follow my classifications.  Neanderthals don’t  get much conversation from me.  I mean, what’s the point?  They wouldn’t know what to do with it, right?

On the other hand, Smart and Smart & Trend-Setters are honored with my rapt attention and hanging on every word.  I listen to everything they say uninterupted, unless it’s to ask a very short, pithy continuation question on the topic of interest.

In my family, we had a kind of tradition when we were young (mind you, this was back in the Old America, the one with two sexes, one-income households out of choice, and union-negotiated pay raises, uncrowded freeways, lower taxes, a balanced budget…) where we’d all do at least a bit of research before Christmas.

That’s because others would be putting us in the Neanderthal through Trend-Setter boxes, whether we like to play, or not.  Kind of like Shark Tank meets Martha Stewart with a side of Cramer.

You don’t go to Christmas in our family without research.  We haven’t had a big family dinner in years, as a result…


  1. The UK Telegraph (they’re gonna get a phone one of these days) figures this is the cheapest Christmas dinner since 2011.  However, the UK is much “bigger” on Christmas than Americans where we don’t place as much emphasis on meals together.
  2. There are two reasons we don’t “meal up” together.  A) everyone is on their phone and texting.  B) We have turned it into a commercial holiday and in terms of food, the cheaper and faster, the sooner we can get to our presents.
  3. Related:  The UK Heart Attack Rate is 60.1 per 100,000.  The U.S. rate in the same data series 77.97 per 100,000 which might mean having family dinners and Christmasing is a good health tactic.  Even better in Australia where the heart attack rate is about 55 per 100,000.  Or, skip Christmas meals and go to East Africa.  Somalia, Kenya, etc. (map here) don’t die so much from heart attack.  Starvation?  Different topic.


  1. As of yesterday, was quoting 3.87% on a 30-year fixed and 3.06% on  a  15-year fixed.
  2. If the question about home ownership comes up, stall or weasel on your answer for a couple of years.  Pretend the presidential election matters.  Fake it, as needed.
  3. While the Dow may sail above 25,000 in 2016, there is a chance we will have a presidential or national disaster in Q1 of 2017.
  4. That said, once the government is done with deflation, remember, the national debt could be effectively cut in half by simple watering down the purchasing power of the U.S. Dollar.  Inflation isn’t bad if you are levered in real estate and have the income to cover it.  ‘Course the price of milk would be $10-bucks a gallon, but you’re always gonna whine about something, right?


  1. Yes, we could kill internet traffic from Syria, Iraq, and Libya but it would cost money and would involve real work.  Unless there is major money involved, why do real work?
  2. Internet control and licensing has always been baked in the cake any time a good idea comes along.  See what the FAA did on Drones this week?
    Our American foundations have a real problem with wide-open freedoms.  It was workable when there were 100,000 people in America, not 320-million,  You will still have freedom of inquiry, but freedom of speech will limited when comes to hate and inciting.  See my book Broken Web on Amazon.
  3. The balance is that over-throwing the existing government is not a “protected right” except at the voting booth.  And that’s why the Second Amendment is there.  The fight over that line has been going on since humans went upright.  Still unresolved, too.


  1. Energy is cheap with West Texas Crude in the $35 range.  See yesterday’s column for how this is Roaring Twenties, II.
  2. There is still a depletion problem…but we have just been through an oil and gas development frenzy like never before.
  3. The Middle East is helping to keep down prices so they can buy American resources and so they can remain major players.
  4. As ME players roll out of the Dollar, we become hopelessly screwed.  Remember what happened when Iraq starting taking Yuan and such?  That was the REAL reason for that mess  in the sandbox and we still haven’t got it right.
  5. The West does a terrible job of sharing and leaves behind millions of pissed-off people who came out on the short end.  Why is anyone surprised that they want to kill us? GMAFB
  6. Is Obama and Congress stupid for bringing them here to work out their anger issues?
  7. Here’s the thing about politics:  They only seem like they are bright when running.  As soon as the butt hits the chair of office, their brains fry.  (Ears stop working, too.)


  1. One of the biggest scams in world history is convincing people there is a relationship between the model year of their car and their value as a human being.
  2. Second biggest scam is “annual model.”
  3. If you are not getting 27 MPG highway, you are part of the problem, not the solution.  Exceptions:  Work trucks engaged, van pools, tradesmen,  and semis.
  4. Manufacturers should be able to warrant their products for 300,000 miles (I believe the Checker Motor Company did that).
  5. Transporting more people who hate us, into the US where they can acutally do something about it, was included in the Corporate Party Budget which was passed this week.  Anyone who voted for the budget needs to be thrown out which is why I have founded the Porcupine Party – get the pricks out.
  6. Warren Buffett probably bought BN/SF to make money on oil.  Why else would the democratic saviors of all things green be against pipelines and risk derailments and all that CO2?  Do as we say, not as we do.


  1. ‘Global warming the greatest scam in history’ claims founder of Weather Channel.”
  2. The REAL PURPOSE of the Climate Accord is to stampede the globalsheep into a globalgov which will then impose a globaltax and there goes the notion of statehood.
  3. The Obama wing of the GOP passed funding this week for the climate scam come to America.
  4. New York was supposed to be underwater by now.
  5. Read “Why I am a Climate Change Skeptic “ and see how real science works.


  1. Money is “made up.”
  2. Gold does not back the U.S., dollar and hasn’t for almost half a century.
  3. The ONLY point of money is to buy food, things and time.
  4. You can’t make REAL money, until you have people working for you.
  5. You’re presumably bright enough not to overpay them.
  6. Use the tax code.
  7. Use the tax code.
  8. Have a tax attorney or CPA, not just a quickie filing unless you have a degree in finance…
  9. Never invest for tax benefits.  Invest for highest and surest returns – always.  Then, if there is a tax-angle, frosting.
  10. Read UrbanSurvival daily.  No kidding, there are still people who have never heard of this site.  You could do someone a favor by telling everyone at dinner about this site.

Our Christmas Party Plans

On Christmas Day, for 2-hours, Elaine and I will be sitting in front of the computer screens in the (not quite palatial) UrbanSurvival Solar powered office.  We will do Skype video and chat with any subscribers who call. us.  We’ll share more on these plans in the next Peoplenomics posting.

If no one calls, Elaine has her champagne…(We’re trying to figure out how to turn this into a regular Skypetail party hour now and then…Lower cost booze than out, no DWIs.. I mean is OK…)

We’re looking forward to that…never done such before, but why not?

A glass of wine, a subscriber fire-side chat (with no fire), a glass of bubbly, and a nice way to give the turkey its time to cook in peace and quiet.  Otherwise, I would be in the kitchen getting in the way.

But seriously:  Do some thinking about what’s going to “come up at dinner”  (I had that happen once….).

Then do a little bit of research and have a few facts.

As Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz dsemonstrated this week, even the wrong facts seem to weigh more than baldfaced lies and assertions.  Always pick the right “facts” with the proper “heft” to them

Oh, and if someone tells you democrats are honest?  Remember the Ocare sock-it-to-yah is delays for a year so the Crookocrats won’t face rebellion.  The big hikes went away for one year so Hillary could weasel-in before people figure out they’ve been screwed.  (Clinton’s have expertise, do they not?)

There…see why I don’t get invited to out to Christmas Dinner?

Write when you break-even,

Mr. Humbug

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George Ure
Amazon Author Page: UrbanSurvival Bio:

10 thoughts on “Coping: One Week to Christmas – Chit-Chat Checklist”

  1. George, I have two categories for the men at a social function. They are either, Smart Fellers, or Fart Smellers. The latter I can spot right away and don’t waste any time conversing with. I would lump in Washington politicians with the latter group. A very merry Christmas to you and yours, and thanks for all you do here and on Peoplenomics.

  2. Methinks a sign in the front yard saying we support the “Porcupine Party, do you?” could open our door to rocks at the windows and flat tires on the truck.
    So sad that rational thought died with our folks generation George.
    Have a great turkey dinner.

  3. I’m really sorry if I offend you, BUT when I research your cited sources for your climate theories, I ALWAYS find people in the employ of polluting industries: right-wing propaganda media, wing-nut think tanks, the Koch brothers, people with impressive-sounding, but off-topic degrees, etc. The one climate scientist you cited recently is a contrarian who is unconvinced that there is a link between smoking and cancer. You should be someone who is familiar with the Computer Science saying, GIGO.
    For example, your latest source, Patrick Moore:
    Again, my apologies.

    • I don’t know what you want to call it — climate change, global warming, whatever, and I don’t care who or what started it but something is making central Florida sizzle. I have lived in FL over 30 years and I have never seen the temperatures be so warm in December.

  4. Re Food – I always thought that at least one dish for holiday dinners should be of OMG quality – I still remember my mom’s candied sweet potatoes – she never made enough as EVERYONE loved them . . .

    Happy Holidays to you!

  5. Climate stuff ? Joe Bastardi ( weather bell ) Live in fear, die in debt, a fact is merely the point at which man agrees to cease investigation.

  6. Our family (for at least 100 years and counting) gets together for Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas with turkey and all the fixings dinners. The rest of the holidays, July 4th, Labor Day, Veterans Day, and others, we get together for cook outs. We always get together for each other’s birthdays and make sure the youngsters are getting a good example so they can carry on the traditions. For me, these get together’s are as nourishing as the food. I often wish I had a writing talent because the material is out of this world. For example, last year, we had a white elephant gift exchange, and my sister’s son had brought his first crush to the party, this young lady picked Old Spice After shave. My sister took her turn next and she decided to to go get that after shave from this newbie and stated for all to hear, ‘well that is my son’s favorite aftershave!’ We got a kick out of it cause you just had to see the look on everyone’s faces seeing that Momma take the after shave right out of the hands of the young filly. Anyway, every time we get together, it is fun. As far as trolling for info, though, mostly I find that most working class people are too busy working and raising families to keep track of what our government is up to in the shady details. They only are influenced by the propaganda messages which they then take as their positions. It is sad to see the dumbing down effects on America. Americans livelihoods and inheritances are being stripped from them right now and yet they do not see it. If they ‘feel it’ they are brainwashed to think they are not tolerant, racist, or have some kind of privilege. Last time I checked no one for centuries (in our lineage) has owned a slave, been a King or rich, or privileged, heck, not any of us. Also, this is the first generation 5 of us have even earned a college education, which we all paid for, not the taxpayers, and not the government NOR our parents, and not a charity, and not because we just get it cause of the color of our skin or our race. So, yeah, when we get together in a week, I will be interested to ‘listen in’ to see if conversations have shifted yet to anything of remote current interest. I do have to say, though, that one well heeled sibling has acknowledged that the one who shall not be named knew full well she was breaking the law with her private email server and that is not only not impressive, but more and more people understand how outright deceitful, and disrespectful of whatever rules/laws a country has to put in place to protect itself and its citizens, if she who will not be named could totally blow that rule/law that SHE of all people should have known about. Ok, over and out.

    • “As far as trolling for info, though, mostly I find that most working class people are too busy working and raising families to keep track of what our government is up to in the shady details. They only are influenced by the propaganda messages which they then take as their positions.”

      Agree with you on this.
      George: I wouldn’t mention your site, even to most of my family, as most of what you write about more n’ likely would fly over their heads. It’s a rare things for people to have any depth of knowledge across a wide enough breadth of subjects so as to see how the pieces fit together in the larger picture(s).
      As this commenter notes, it’s a time factor – nothing to hold folk to shame over. Those with immediate family concerns have plenty to keep the mind occupied. Add to this that most of us don’t discipline our thought flow much, and – well, the modern world is full of a whole spectrum of colorful, dramatic distriction.

      A simple way to find out with whom your dealing is to ask him/her to explain underlying reasoning behind their stated position(s) – small number will be able to articulate the foundation of their thought – which is indicative that it’s likely just regurgitation of someone else’s (thought).

      Skype conference sounds interesting – I like the idea. Look forward to the particulars about how & when. If I can get away from the family for a few, I’ll see about dropping in to say hello.

      Agree with the comment about the true ‘nourishment’ – the real value – which comes from time spent with family outweights that of gold or any currency. Because it’s under-pinned with Love – which is at least equivalent in value to Truth, if you ask me.

      All the best to you, Elaine, and the rest of yours.

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