The Clark Chronicle
Volume 10 in       terra       pax       ~       peace       on       earth December 2009

Albuquerque Turkey
Caleb helped camouflage a turkey as the Incredible Hulk to avoid coming to a grievous end for Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, Caleb could not disguise all turkeys and this one found its way into a burgundy brine, a smoker, a dinner, and our tummies. (Oh, and the sammiches! Can’t forget the sammiches!)

Writing Tricks Tips
  • The passive voice is to be avoided.
  • Try to never split infinitives.
  • Avoid clichés like the plague.
  • A preposition is a bad thing to end a sentence with.
  • Despite dangling, I like participles.
  • What’s another word for thesaurus?

R.I.P. and thanks Michael Jackson: your oeuvre paved the way for Weird Al Yankovic’s success.

Back To The Future, originally a nostalgic time capsule of the 50s, is now a nostalgic time capsule of the 80s.

Clark Plan Preempted by Octo-Mom
    We thought about having octuplets — after all, Apu and Manjula Nahasapeemapetilon were able to make it work — but then that lady in California did it first, so we have tried to make do with the three kids already in our family.
    Making the best of the situation, we do have to admit that there’s always extra energy in the Clark household with Sara, Caleb, and Amy.

The Clarks Hit the Trail
    Before June 2009, the sentence “See you, honey, I’ll be hiking the Appalachian Trail” was not a sleazy euphemism, and could be used by actual hikers who actually hiked on national scenic trails. (Now we must clarify: “ATTN Lisa: When Bob hikes on the PCT, he is not secretly in Argentina.”)
    Sara and Scandal still walk, if not wilderness trails, at least the pathways and arenas of unincorporated Snohomish County.

The Clarks Patriotically Blow Stuff Up on the Fourth of July
    John Adams suggested a party with “illuminations, from one end of this continent to the other, from this time forward for evermore.”
    One thing about those founding fathers: the dudes knew how to party. Giving the founding fathers the respect they deserve, the Clark family blew some cash at the Tulalip Reservation for a pile of fireworks, many of which were legal.
    On the Fourth of July we had a block party and tried to avoid blowing away fingers, eyes, toes, and eyebrows. Success was mostly achieved; at least, no permanent injuries were acknowledged. We had fun barbecuing with our neighbors and dodging bottle rockets.
    Attention, kids: don’t abuse fireworks. Be aware! Explode with care!

Merry Christmas. Happy Holidays. Happy Four-Month-Late (or Eight-Month-Early) Ramadan. Pleasant Winter Solstice. Season’s Greetings. Happy Festivus. Happy Hanukkah. Give An Atheist Kid A Gift For No Reason.

“Dad, is your nose the fourth-grossest part of your body?”
— Caleb

White House Gate-Crashing
We hoped to crash a party at the White House, but eventually common sense won out: nobody could expect to get away with anything that dumb.
But we did manage to crash the WWVA twentieth reunion of the Class of ’89.

Summer of the Crazies
Being mad at the government I get. Wanting to yell and scream I get. But just going plain old bat-crazy has been something special during 2009, especially the summer months.

“If your doctor tells you about a living will, he’s part of a government death panel!”

“Birth certificates, newspaper announcements, and the goofiness of forgeries don’t mean anything — the dude’s Kenyan!”

“Empathy is bad.”

“Torture is A-OK.”

“Keep the government out of Medicare!”

Seriously, although the editorial board of the Clark Chronicle generally leans left, we wish there were a thoughtful and intellectually honest opposition party. (Indeed, we’d settle for coherent at this point.)

Many readers will find this to be a good time to see the story on our office of the ombudsperson.

New theory: those threatening to “go Galt” will actually end up on the B Ark.
(Note to long-term readers: this periodical has never before juxtaposed Glenn Beck, Ayn Rand, and Douglas Adams in a single sentence, and admits to feeling a bit dirty about it.)
Extended Clark Family Misses Promised Appointment with Henry Gates Jr.
    We were slated to hang out with Henry Gates Jr., but he bailed out, claiming he’d been invited to share a couple of beers with President Obama. (Yeah, I know. Real believable.) Miffed, we went camping...
    ... and the Clark kids renewed their love of beachcombing.
The Clarks and Balloon Hoaxes
    We had planned to fake a drift across the Great Plains in a homemade science project balloon, but we figured that we’d get caught as hoaxers and ostracized; instead our science experiments involved dry ice, submarines, and air pressure controlled logic.
The Clark Chronicle’s New Office of the Ombudsman
    Criticism of the Clark Chronicle has risen consistently year over year, and 2009 was the year the editorial board was forced to acknowledge the need for an ombudsman to handle the growing volume of complaints and cancellations. If you need to whine (ed: constructively comment) then send email to By funneling all complaints to a single email address (previous complaints have been received by email, US Postal Service, UPS, Federal Express, carrier pigeons, and in legal summons via law enforcement) we can streamline our damage control operations. We also have future plans to consolidate all pending lawsuits against the Clark Chronicle into a single class-action suit, so stay tuned.
    Update: We have processed and addressed our first complaint. To contact the ombudsperson please send to the updated ombudsperson@ email address.
    Amy (right) and all the other Clark grrrls are excited enough to dance about this improvement to the ombudsperson’s office.

Have a tremendous holiday season and a wonderful 2010.