Believe me, after this week, I've done so much thinking about gifts I could make the case I'm exempt from buying them.

My father is, traditionally, impossible to shop for. He's the most well-read man I know, so books are beyond cliché as a gift. Mom's not much easier. She's a horsewoman, which would seem to be an interest with all sorts of easily identifiable gift options. But those who keep a barn are usually the only ones who know what's really useful in it. The last thing I'd want to get her is the dressage equivalent of a Salad Shooter. Or a pasta maker, which my brother and I were ambitious enough to give one year. I think it ended up at the Habitat For Humanity Store.

As for Fletch, he's never any help, either. He always tells me never to get him anything. Fair enough, I never tell him what to get me either. One year, when we both were in college, we did a ritual exchange of twenty-dollar bills, which horrified Mom.

So, anybody has any ideas, I'm all ears. I ran out of them helping put together our gift guides. Until then, here's the daily discourse taking you into the weekend. Talk about anything, this thread is open.

  • Teenager from North Carolina stows away in the wheel well of a 747, with predictable results. His body was found in a Boston neighborhood underneath a flight path to Logan Airport. Seriously, have we not proven by now that stowing in the landing gear never ends well?
  • I'm honestly trying not to get too political, but this was a trending topic and a big social bookmark of the day. Vermont senator Bernie Sanders launched an eight-hour filibuster of the old school variety - 480 minutes of straight talking, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today. In a nation with so much going wrong, the major legislative priority now seems to be giving money to rich people in time for the Lexus December to Remember Sales Event. Good for Sanders, for using the letter and the spirit of the Senate's insipid rules against it. If we learned anything from this failure of a Congress, it's that the Senate, even with a 60-vote majority, is principally concerned with preserving the comity and traditions of their fucking goddamn useless Princeton eating club.