“It’s not really Sunday,” Professor Plum said as he entered the mail room. “Saturday is not over!”

He read the mail…. (More)

The Squirrel checked the time and date on his Blewberry. “Uh, yes, it really is.”

Professor Plum shrugged and left with Ms. Scarlet to join the resident faculty in the wine cellar library, where they’ll spend the weekend drinking thinking on our motto of Magis vinum, magis verum (“More wine, more truth”).

In the staff poker game, the Professor of Astrology Janitor also refused to concede defeat. Chef opened the pot by raising. The Squirrel called and the Professor of Astrology Janitor put in a pot-sized raise with the Ace and King of Clubs. Chef paused for a moment and called, and the Squirrel called as well.

The flop brought the Jack and Ten of Clubs and the Seven of Hearts. The Squirrel checked and the Professor of Astrology Janitor offered a half-pot-sized bet. Chef called and the Squirrel raised an equal amount. The Professor of Astrology Janitor figured the Squirrel had either Jack-Ten for two pair or a pair of Sevens for three of a kind. But with both straight and flush draws, including a royal flush draw, the pot odds demanded a call. He called and Chef called too.

The Ace of Hearts came on the turn, giving the Professor of Astrology Janitor top pair to go with his straight and flush draws and 17 outs against two pair: 2 Aces for three of a kind, 3 Kings for top two pair, 3 Queens for an Ace-high straight, and 8 Clubs for a flush, and the Queen of Clubs for a royal flush. And even if the Squirrel had three Sevens, the Professor of Astrology Janitor had 14 outs for a better hand. So he called the Squirrel’s half-pot-sized bet, but Chef folded.

Alas, the Six of Spades fell on the river. The Squirrel offered smallish bet – 10 big blinds – giving the Professor of Astrology Janitor 15:1 pot odds to call. Was there even a 1-in-15 chance that the Squirrel had only a single pair, so the Professor of Astrology Janitor’s pair of Aces were the best hand? Maybe, if the pot had been heads-up from the start. But the Squirrel had check-raised on a three-way flop, and led the betting on the turn before Chef folded. The pattern of play seemed far too bold for a single pair. But was it 15-to-1 bold?

The Professor of Astrology Janitor called and the Squirrel turned over the Jack and Ten of Hearts.

“I had soooo many outs,” the Professor of Astrology Janitor said. “If there were just one more card.”

“But there isn’t,” Chef said.

The Professor of Astrology Janitor nodded and began his plaintive mewling, and Chef went to the kitchen to make Santa Pancakes, leaving your lowly mail room clerk to review the week’s correspondence….


Dear Ms. Crissie,

Despite the fake news reports, the race is still close. There are military and provisional ballots left to be counted and I’m collecting numerous reported cases of voter fraud. So I’m asking supporters to contribute to my election integrity fund. The battle is NOT OVER!

Roy in AL

Dear Roy,

We note that the Alabama secretary of state said there are not enough uncounted ballots remaining for you reach the 0.5% threshold for an automatic recount. If the margin exceeds 0.5%, then petitions to contest an election result are covered by Section 17-16-40 of the Code of Alabama. But that section lists only elections for state offices and the legal principle of expressio unius est exclusio alterius would apply, meaning that elections for federal offices cannot be contested under 17-16-40. Thus, under Alabama law, you have no legal path to contest the election unless the uncounted ballots bring you within the 0.5% threshold.

We conclude that, while it is customary to concede a lost election, a losing candidate’s refusal to concede does not suspend the election outcome. Unless you reach that 0.5% threshold, the battle is indeed over.


Dear Ms. Crissie,

I’ll guess that Chef uses whipped cream for the beard on Santa Pancakes, but what does she use for the red hat?

Bearding for Breakfast in Blogistan

Dear Squirrel,

Chef says she does indeed use whipped cream to form Santa’s beard, moustache, and hair. She uses cherry pie filling for the hat, and banana slices with chocolate chips for the eyes. You can see the complete recipe at the link below. Bon appétit!


Photo Credit: NBC News

Roy in AL; Code of Alabama Sec. 17-16-40; expressio unius est exclusio alterius.

Santa Pancakes.


Happy Sunday!