End of Year Open Thread


Tunch decided it was NYE and my pathetic tree needed to die. And so it did.


Just poured a nice scotch and am settling in to take in the night’s festivities as I watch the waning minutes of the LSU/Clemson game, and I thought I would just thank you all again for another wonderful year. New Years Eve, as I have aged, has gone from a drunken bacchanal to a night of quiet reflection, and as I sit here typing on the laptop, in a fully heated house, a couple pets on my lap, a drink in hand, I realize I have it pretty good.

My family is all healthy despite my dad’s best efforts to kill himself in a wood chipper, my dogs and my cat are in good health, I’m safe, secure, fully (OVERLY) fed, and comfortable. All in all, the end of the year inventory is good. I forget how good I have it, but I really do have the best life ever. I seriously hope the Buddhists are wrong, because there is no way that any rebirth will be as good as this.

As always, thanks again to you all. We have some amazing people writing here, most of whom are a helluva lot smarter than me, and we have an active and vibrant comments section filled with people who care about each other, even if this isn’t meatspace. Over the last year, we raised over 15k for animal rescue, goodness knows how much for the Kenyan Socialist Muslim and other Democrats, and that doesn’t include all the money we raised for other charities. Find me another website filled with generous, decent, caring people who selflessly help others the way you all do. I’ll spare you the time. You can’t.

So I will sit here in the last few minutes of 2012 and hope that 2013 is just as good and better. I realized earlier that Tunch and I have been together going on 11 years tonight, and I have Lily and Rosie on my lap. This is the good life.

I hope you all have a great night and a great 2013, and despite my attempts to put up an act about being an uncaring jerk, I really do love you all and wish you the best.

Happy New Year!

And yes, I take shitty pictures, as evidenced above. Eat a bag of dicks.

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239 replies
  1. 1
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    Thank you, John. All the same back to ya. Happy New Year.

  2. 2
    Paddy says:

    Backatcha Cole.

  3. 3
    Valdivia says:

    Happy New Year everyone.
    I am probably going to crash before 2013 since I already celebrated w the boyfriend over the phone in a different time zone.
    Also, too. Being politically annoyed all day is exhausting. I had my freak out moment and now I am going to put it behind me. Still hoping for the best with the debt ceiling.

  4. 4
    AliceBlue says:

    Happy New Year to you, John and all the pets and people in your life (and to everyone else too!).

  5. 5
    spudgun says:

    Venturing out of lurkdom to say thank you to John and all the Balloon Juicers for such fine commentary this year and wishing all of you a wonderful New Year.

  6. 6
    JGabriel says:

    John Cole @ Top:

    And yes, I take shitty pictures, as evidenced above. Eat a bag of dicks.

    Crikey, Cole, that picture is yellow. What’d you do, shoot it through a jar of piss?

    Maybe you could market it as Piss Tunch (With Upside Down Piss Christmas (Pissmas?) Tree).

  7. 7
    Valdivia says:

    oh and thank you John for creating this amazing community. Where else would we be in 2013?

  8. 8
    WereBear says:

    You are an amazing host, John Cole.

    Blessings on your and yours!

  9. 9
    Richard Fox says:

    You add greatly to my life. Your tweets always are a joy. My roommate is heavily allergic to animals so impossible to own pups and kitties so I live vicariously through everyone’s pet epics,
    All in all I wish I felt more comfortable in commenting more, as I do so only rarely, but frankly that is not the point. This blog gives me intelligent dialogue and perspective, and I so need that in this hectic life i lead. So happy new year to you Mr. Cole, your family, and the Balloon Juice commentariat at large. Cheers.

  10. 10
    Ron says:

    Happy New Year to you, John. Thanks for having a place where it feels like there is sanity (for the most part!)

  11. 11

    Thank you, John and the rest of the front-pagers for everything you do. I really have gotten to love coming to this site and learning a lot, and I’ve made some friends here, too. It’s a great community.

    I’ve been watching re-runs of “The Newsroom” on HBO Signature and then turned on MSNBC to watch coverage of the cliff diving. Talk about ironic comparisons…

    Happy New Year.

  12. 12
    Garbo says:

    Are they standing up, like baguettes, or soft and floppy like chicken parts?

    Thank you, Innkeeper Cole. Nice place you have here. It is a sanctuary in this crazy mixed up world. And you built that.

  13. 13
    Nicole says:

    I am in the bedroom, cuddling a sick toddler, listening to the friends we invited over wailing on our new karaoke machine, waiting to be tagged out by my husband so I can go massacre “Brass in Pocket.”

    (Toddler got sick after party started. I think it was “Mockingbird” that did it.)

    Happy 2013; bet wishes for an excellent year for everyone!

  14. 14
    Narcissus says:

    @JGabriel: Piss Tunch. Another reason to abolish the NEA, am I right

  15. 15
    daize says:

    Thanks, John and Tunchie. A very happy new year to you, too.

  16. 16
    srv says:

    Is that a couch or a continent?

  17. 17
    Howard Beale IV says:

    And may 2013 be better than 2012 was.

  18. 18
    Garbo says:

    Also, Tunch looking down in satisfaction over his vanquished foe is a classic.

  19. 19
    JGabriel says:


    Piss Tunch. Another reason to abolish the NEA, am I right?

    Clearly we need a federal blogger ethics panel.


  20. 20
    MattR says:

    @srv: That’s no moon.

    Happy New Year to all, especially Lily.

  21. 21
    BettyPageisaBlonde says:

    Agreed. You rock. Onward!

  22. 22
    srv says:

    @JGabriel: Dude hasn’t even discovered instagram filters. Probably an original polaroid.

  23. 23
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Happy New Year Boss! May all of you have a better ’13!!

  24. 24
    Karen in GA says:

    John, I wish you a happy new year right back, and many magnificent bags of dicks to you and yours.

    Wait, that didn’t sound right. I need to start drinking.

  25. 25
    SarahT says:

    Happy and healthy 2013 to all Balloon Juicers and Balloon Juice Critters. Doorbell just rang – must be that bag of dicks we ordered. Hope it goes well with bubbly.

  26. 26
    Ted & Hellen says:

    Happy New Year to all!

  27. 27
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    @Mr Stagger Lee: And my thread is being moderated??? (In his best Charlton Heston voice)
    F*&K YOU WORD PRESS!!!!!!!

  28. 28
    Alison says:

    Tunch pic = best NYE gift ever :)

  29. 29
    Christopher Steinmuller says:

    Happy New Year!

  30. 30
    Cacti says:

    A peaceful, prosperous, and happy New Year to my fellow juicers.

    I’m two pints into my New Year’s Eve (AZ time), and feeling jovial already. ;-)

  31. 31
    the Conster says:

    You’re a mensch, John Cole, Happy New Year. This is still my first and last stop every day, for 4 years now. I’ve got a good feeling about 2013. 2012 was teh sUxx0r, but I blame Obama.

  32. 32
    muddy says:

    Old King Cole was a merry old soul and a merrycurmudeonly old soul was he. He called for his mop and called for his bowl and called for his animals three.

    Thanks for the festivities. I hope 2013 will be a productive year for all.

  33. 33
    Princess Leia says:

    Thanks to John and all here for being the closest thing to a gang of good friends tonight and so many other nights. If it wasn’t for the BJ community,and especially John’s adoption of Lily, I wouldn’t have adopted my amazing cattle dog Maisie. And my life would have been lessened, much. Happiest of 2013 to all!

  34. 34
    MattR says:

    Anyone know if the Clemson kicker is any good?

  35. 35
    Dee Loralei says:

    John, you’ve created a great community here. If it weren’t for your huge heart none of us would be here.

    My Thanksgiving rescue kitty is finally settling down enough to actually dare to slink past the dogs to get to her food, and she was batting around paper earlier.

    2013 will be even better for all BJers I hope.

  36. 36
    John O says:

    Best blog on the nets. Thanks for all your stuff, John.

    I am struggling for midnight, as I have a brand new mattress (delivered this AM) that is replacing one that was well and truly shot. It’s going to be such a huge step up in sleep quality I’m being lured in by the minute.

    Also, too, I’m +3 and getting sleepy…

  37. 37
    Genine says:

    Happy New Year to John, the Cole Family and the greater Balloon Juice community!

    This has been a haven for me over the years and I appreciate all of you. This is a great space.

  38. 38
    Yutsano says:


  39. 39
    Narcissus says:

    Next year I’m going to spend New Years partying and drinking and screwing but this year I’m spending it with Balloon Juice

  40. 40
    PeakVT says:

    Can’t wait for the midnight cliff. Got my parachute strapped on already.

    Also, too, Rock Art Black IPA seems mighty hoppy, though that might be because I haven’t had good beer in a while.

  41. 41
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    Happy New Year all. A headache and car troubles are keeping me in tonight. Meh. New Year’s is overrated.

  42. 42
    Yutsano says:

    @PeakVT: 45 minutes until doomsday in DC.

  43. 43
    Emma says:

    Thank you for hosting us and putting up with our bad tempers, and showing us pretty pet pics, and letting us vent. All that stuff. You’re a good guy, Cole.

  44. 44
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    Time management Dabo!!! Time Management!!! Kick the ball!

  45. 45
    JGabriel says:

    Happy New Year, John!

  46. 46
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    Bag of dicks? Who invited Armey and Cheney here?

  47. 47
    asiangrrlMN says:

    TUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUNCHIE! Give my boy a smooch, Cole. Happy New Year to you, too.

  48. 48
    Maude says:

    This is sickening. It’s like we don’t all fight in regular threads.
    Tunch looks like he wonders how that tree fell.
    Staying home beats having someone throw up in your lap.

  49. 49
    Culture of Truth says:

    I knew Tunch was 15 feet tall

  50. 50
    Phylllis says:

    Thanks for a terrific community John. Happy New Year. And Go Clemson!!

  51. 51
    The Dangerman says:

    Damn, look at that couch cushion yield under the load; poor thing (referring to couch here).

  52. 52
    lamh35 says:

    Happy New Year’s to everyone in the BJ fam. Like I said before John u and all the FP and even the commenters (some of ya’ll…lol) are really good people.

    I don’t remember how I came to blog, but I’m glad I did.

    Happy New Year’s everyone.

  53. 53
    General Stuck says:

    Baaaaah Humbug :)

  54. 54
    onlymike says:

    Happy New Year John, Tunch, Lily and Rosie too. God bless you, every one. Thank you every member of the Balloon Juice community – I’m going to bed now and it’s not even 9:30pm and I don’t care.

  55. 55
    Gex says:

    2012 has easily been my worst year ever. Good riddance to it. 2013 will start with four more months of cancer treatments for my girl, so the year can only have an upward trajectory after that. Just gotta get to May.

    Anyhow, love to Balloon-Juicers. Happy New Year!

  56. 56
    PeakVT says:

    @Yutsano: Welding mask in one hand, beer in the other. I’m prepared no matter what metaphor is unleashed.

  57. 57
    RSA says:

    Eat a bag of dicks.

    It’s hard to think of a better year’s end sign-off for Balloon Juice. Happy New Year to you too, John, and thanks for keeping the show going.

  58. 58

    My New Year’s Tradition post … there are some funky New Year’s superstitions out there!

    Mr. Beale and I saw “Chasing Ice,” an amazing documentary about climate change. Then we had dinner at a pretty fancy place nearby. My food wasn’t all that great for the amount of money it cost. Now we’re home and I’m about to work on my New Year’s Eve burn list.

    What’s happening with y’all?

  59. 59
    BigHank53 says:

    Eat a bag of dicks.

    We love you too, John.

  60. 60
    onlymike says:

    @lamh35: I came via Andrew Sullivan. I’ve long since quit reading him (not even to point and laugh.) And now I really am going to bed – tomorrow is the first day of the rest of my life and all that (but it’s the day after tomorrow that scares me ….)
    Again, Happy New Year!

  61. 61
    Yutsano says:

    @Southern Beale: After the car tow I’m in a less than festive mood so I’m staying in. But I’ll be celebrating with a friend after she geeks out hardcore over ancient Egyptian art. So that won’t suck too bad.

  62. 62
    Morzer says:

    Cudlips all, Happy New Year!

  63. 63
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Happy New and thanks, John. This has not been the best year and when I showed up here to whine many of you came through, patted me on the back, and extended your sympathy.

    It’s a good place.

  64. 64
    Carrie says:

    >Raises glass<
    Chinchin, Cole.

  65. 65
    Zelma says:

    Thank you John for Balloon Juice. It is my first stop every day. Somehow I feel it is my community. (Could it be that we are both Steeler fans, and that I root for West Virginia except when they are playing Syracuse? Re the Steelers, wait till next year!)

    I enjoy the personal nature of your posts (more Tunch, Lily and Rosie pictures please) and want to thank you for encouraging me to adopt a rescue dog. Bandit has enriched my life immeasurably. I also appreciate your down to earth approach to what is going on. As a one-time Republican (OK, it was before Goldwater; I bailed in 1964, my first election), I understand the dawning recognition that the party you grew up with has gone loco. And I want to thank your contributors for their astute and witty responses to an insane world.

    As I prepare to enter my eighth decade (I just figured out that’s what happens when you turn 70!), I appreciate the fact that there are folks who care and who are still fighting the good fight. Please don’t give up. I have children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We can’t let the nihilists win.

    Happy New Year!

  66. 66
    Linda Featheringill says:

    Happy New Year to everyone.

    The second half of 2012 was very insecure for me, but I’m now in a rather secure situation, in the loving custody of daughter and her SO. Kind of nice, actually.

    NYTimes and WaPo report a deal agreed to by Biden and McConnell, but I see no reports that it’s been voted on.

    If it isn’t voted on tonight, why would we bother tomorrow?

  67. 67
    Comrade Jake says:

    Happy New Year folks! Stay safe – bags of dicks can be deadly.

  68. 68
    TrishB says:

    May you and all your pets all stay in the best of health in the coming year.

    Said as the owner/patron of two schnauzers- one pup, who could have had 4 years of college paid off in the last three years if only she had the right scores. Instead it goes for meds and tests, and in return, she continues to lick my nose. And you know what? That’s more than enough. The other dog has 7 teeth left, but hey, he’s still cute, even with his now permanent smirk.

  69. 69
    Zelma says:

    Also John, make a resolution to get at least a little bit healthier in 2013. It can be done. I decided at 65 to start going to the gym. I still hate it, but it’s changed my life. Also Weight Watchers. We want you to be around for the next few decades.

  70. 70
    Antonius says:

    Happy New Year, everyone. John, Balloon Juice is really my home on the web. Thanks to you and the whole crew.

  71. 71
    Anne Laurie says:

    Happy New Year to all!

    Even you, Cole!

  72. 72
    Elie says:

    Thank you John and all my friends here (and their pets and loved ones)

    You guys are the best and I look forward to hanging on your every word…

    Best always and Happy New Year —



    PS – Hubby and Buddy the kitty also send their regards

  73. 73
    Johnny Coelacanth says:

    @Maude: “It’s like we don’t all fight in regular threads.” I’m guessing you’re an only child.

  74. 74
    donovong says:

    Happy new year, John. I love this place.

  75. 75
    Librarian says:

    Shouldn’t that be, “Eat a bag of salty dicks”?

  76. 76

    @Linda Featheringill:

    If it isn’t voted on tonight, why would we bother tomorrow?

    It’s actually the other way around, since the stock markets are closed tomorrow because of the holiday, they don’t have any reason to hang around and vote on it tonight. So it’ll get done tomorrow.

  77. 77
    WaterGirl says:

    @onlymike: One foot in front of the other. :-)

    Happy New Year!

  78. 78
    La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes) says:

    @Zelma: Happy New Year!

    thanks Cole and all the Juicers for the best spot on the intertubes!

  79. 79
    Judge Crater says:

    Maybe 2013 will be the year that we (as a nation) wake up from the jingoistic and greedy zombie country that we have devolved into during the past several decades. We are better than the “free market” society that the Randians and faux libertarians imagine is our destiny.

    There are reasons to hope: private equity, i.e. Romney, has lost – humanity may yet prevail.

  80. 80

    Think it was Conan O’Brien who Tweeted that he was headed to D.C. to “watch Congress drop the ball.”


  81. 81
    MoeLarryAndJesus says:

    This site is a national treasure.

    Thanks, Cole, and Happy New Year to you and your menagerie.

  82. 82
    mainmati says:

    John, thanks for Balloon Juice and the community you engendered (how I don’t know; that was before I discovered the blog several years ago). Anyway, the photo of Tunch ending the…er…Christmas tree is actually quite artistic. I think you would find any number of photographs, especially from the late 19th century using the same slightly out of focus/misty effects usually for romantic/poetic effects.

    I sum, you’re an artist and don’t know it.

    (Go Steelers next year.)

  83. 83
    Rhubarb says:

    Thanks for everything. I seldom say anything, but I can’t well say how important this place is to me. Through you all I feel connected to a lot of good people. May 2013 be kinder to all of good will. I won’t ill-wish the others, but I do hope they have cause to reconsider.

  84. 84
    Odie Hugh Manatee says:

    Happy New Year!
    … Eat a bag of dicks.

    Now that’s the asshole that we’ve all come to love and whatnot.

    Fuck you… I mean Happy New Year to you too. :)

  85. 85
    Yutsano says:

    Fascinating. Bernie posted a thread then spiked it.

  86. 86
    efgoldman says:

    Gawd. All this good will can make a body wanna pewk! I hope there’s posting tomorrow (even if its only about the f’bawl) so we can all drag out the snark from wherever we put it tonight. Under the couch? Pets eat it? Buried in a snowbank?

    Ah well, Happy New Year all you Balloon Juice freaks.

  87. 87
    Culture of Truth says:

    Puny tree. I crush you.

  88. 88
    John Cole says:

    @Yutsano: I spiked it. I want eat a bag of dicks to be the final words of 2012. I don’t fucking ask for much.

  89. 89
    mainmati says:

    @Yutsano: Yeah, I was just about to comment on hist post and – whiff – it disappeared. Maybe I should check the news again. Maybe the HOR decided to sell us to China.

  90. 90
  91. 91
    lamh35 says:

    I’m still awake. Looks like I will make it to midnight, thanks in no small part Kathy Griffin and Anderson Cooper on CNN’s NYE broadcast.

    I love the way Kathy Griffin says crazy thing and Anderson Cooper pretends that he’s so uncomfortable. I find Cooper a bit of a phoney but when he’s with Griffin, I find him tolerable.

  92. 92
    JordanRules says:

    Thanks John, all the FPers and the entire motley BJ crew!

    I love and appreciate this place so much!

    To 2013 All!!!

    -Happy New Year-

  93. 93
    Narcissus says:

    @Librarian: Unsalted dicks are the worst

  94. 94
    dead existentialist says:

    Happy New Year to all. This is a pretty amazing site community.

    Haha, Mister Cole, you are the master of your domain!

  95. 95
    hoi polloi says:

    Happy New Year, Juicers.

    Thanks, John and all the rest of you all.

  96. 96
    Spaghetti Lee says:

    The channel I’m watching has some band (Train?) playing Imagine. I can hear it now: liberal media says there’s no religion! HNY, y’all.

  97. 97
    Schlemizel says:

    And a happy new year to you all.
    Thanks John for keeping the light on for us even when we don’t treat the place nice

  98. 98
    Yutsano says:

    @John Cole: I r dedded from teh LULz.

  99. 99
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    @John Cole:
    Could we just eat part of the bag of dicks and save the rest for New Year’s Day?

  100. 100
    Schlemizel says:

    @John Cole:

    I knew I loved you.

  101. 101
    Poopyman says:

    Sounds like that’s a hell of a scotch!

    Happy New Year back atcha, to John and all the front pagers, and to all us commenters too.

  102. 102
    WaterGirl says:

    @John Cole: Wow, you act like you own the place. Oh wait, right. :-)

    Thanks for that, this is an amazing place.

    Happy New Year to all!

  103. 103
    Koios says:

    Happy New Year all and thank you John our fine host and all who contributed to the BJ community.

  104. 104
  105. 105
    BGinCHI says:

    Happy new year you fucking wonderful jackals.

  106. 106
    MacKenna says:

    I’d say Tunch is also (OVERLY) fed but then we all know he, like all domestic pets, just haz big fur.

    Happy New Year and may the next one bring more photos of Tunch, Lily and Rose, and fewer mentions of “fiscal cliff” by the media and RepublicRats.

  107. 107
    mai naem says:

    Feliz Ano Novo or as our Blackity Black Musleem Soshulist Kenyan overlord would say – Heri ya mwaka mpya.

    2013 better not suck as bad as 2012 did.

    Also too I like the Tunchmeister pic. It looks like you wanted it to look like that. Like, you know those old Depression era photos you see. Except Tunch isn’t starving like the people during the Depression.

  108. 108
    ihop says:

    anybody else?


  109. 109
    SIA says:

    John Cole, don’t comment much any more, but a day never passes without me checking in. You’ve created a singularly unique place here. Thank you.

    PS I’ll take mine without salt, thank yew very much.

    PPS We have a new puppeh! Pyrenees/Lab/? mix.

  110. 110
  111. 111
    scav says:

    And A Happy and Forthright New Years to us Each and Every One.

  112. 112
    PeakVT says:

    @Librarian: Or pickled. Or warty. There are lots of different bags of dicks on offer at Balloon Juice.

  113. 113
    Ash Can says:

    Sick with a cold tonight, so no bubbly for me. :( I’ll be over it by the weekend, though, and the champagne isn’t going anywhere till then. :)

    Happy 2013 to all. And John, thanks for everything.

  114. 114
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Your damn post reminded me of the leprechaun joke.

  115. 115
    punkdavid says:

    Happy New Year to all, especially the proprietors. Nice place you got, glad it’s open late.

    Since it’s an open thread, I wanted to comment on the “fiscal” shit going on tonight. Everyone at the GOS is shitting their pants right now, but I learned a lesson about Obama and his negotiations two years ago when he gave up the Bush Tax Cuts extension. I felt betrayed then, and my estimation of him and our nation’s future hit rock bottom.

    But as the smoke cleared, it became evident that Obama really got the better of the deal for the Dems and the American people, and the same thing happened a few months later, and then again with the debt ceiling fiasco.

    The lesson I’ve learned about Obama in a negotiation is to never get too happy or sad until all the dust has settled and you can really see who won what and who lost what. In the end, it always seems that Obama did way better than all the Firebaggers think he did when the deal points are coming out in the media for the first time.

    For that reason, I trust Obama to get the best deal possible. I just get SO fucking tired of the pants-shitting left. They do no one any good, especially when the negotiations are happening. The time for shouting about your principles is BEFORE negotiations start. Once they’re afoot, you just have to trust the man driving the boat and shut the fuck up.

  116. 116
    PeakVT says:

    Hey, I just realized we’re over the cliff and we’re STILL ALIVE. Wahoo!

  117. 117
    mdblanche says:

    Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind…

    @Yutsano: So I wasn’t imagining things.

  118. 118
    SIA says:

    @SIA: Hmm. I rather believe singularly unique may be redundant. :)

    2012 wasn’t bad. Obama got re-elected, and the GOP crazy started getting noticed. Lieberman is gone. Snowe is gone. Murdock and Akins didn’t get in at all. Women, AAs, and Latinos flexed their political muscle. Romney got 47% of the vote. In two weeks I’ll be +0 for 32 years. And PUPPEH!

    HAPPY 2013!

  119. 119
    Shadows mom says:

    Happy New Year to everyone in the BJ community.

  120. 120
    Svensker says:

    What a big ball o’mush masquerading as a tough guy. As though you fooled anyone, Cole. You’re just a big sweetie.

    And as Jack Lemmon would say, hope you all have a wonderful New Year, felicity-wise, finance-wise, health-wise and life-wise.

  121. 121
    WaterGirl says:

    @srv: Thanks for posting that! Love the first pet photo, and it’s fun to go back in time like that.

    Second link is good, too. Perspective is a wonderful thing.

  122. 122
    efgoldman says:


    …and we’re STILL ALIVE.

    No, no we aren’t. We’re all a fever dream, including especially this blog.

  123. 123
    MikeBoyScout says:

    Happy New Year Cole!
    And Happy New Year to all of us! :-)

    Let’s make 13 our best year ever!

  124. 124
    WaterGirl says:

    @PeakVT: Say, is there a good selection of bags of dicks available on-line at the BJ store?

  125. 125
    brashieel says:

    Happy New Years, BJ-ers!

    You make one of my favorite online communities, and I thank you for it.

  126. 126
    Tom Q says:

    I haven’t been around much since the election — real life in the form of a sick wife has drained most of my energy. But it seemed a good moment to drop by and thank John for the site, and the commenters for (with a few exceptions) providing truly above-the-norm quality of analysis. I look forward to experiencing many more Obama betrayals with you.

  127. 127
    piratedan says:

    @Narcissus: agree, after everything we’ve done for this blog, the best the host can do is unsalted dicks…. christ, I bet they have salted dicks over Breitbart’s palce.

  128. 128
    Yutsano says:

    @piratedan: Salt yer own damn dicks ye lazy piker. :)

  129. 129
    Belafon (formerly anonevent) says:

    @punkdavid: You’ll want to repeat that in Bernard’s post when John lets it come up. My thoughts are the same.

  130. 130
    ArchTeryx says:

    Cole got it all wrong.

    It’s “Eat a bag of salted dicks.” If I’m going to have to eat a bag of dicks, at least I’m gonna have ’em with good old Navy flavor. ^.^

  131. 131
    TooManyJens says:

    So, are black-eyed peas and a bag of dicks the new New Year’s Day tradition? I feel so behind the times.

    Happy New Year, y’all (though it won’t be, here, for another 34 minutes).

  132. 132
    Studly Pantload, the emotionally unavailable unicorn says:

    Mrs. Pantload just saw the Tunch picture and declared him “generously boned.”

  133. 133
    dww44 says:

    For the first time in memory I turned off the TV before the New Year arrived,mostly becuz I was sick to death of the fiscal cliff madness, turned on the old PC, and checked out BJ. Like everyone else commenting, thanks to John and his animals and his posters for making this the first place I go to each and every day. There’s a reason for that.

    Does anyone else wonder if our Congress people are possibly pissed at Boehner and the Tea Party for putting them and us thru this madness? But then, according to MSNBC, McCain says that Obama’s remarks about this being the fault of Congress will make the House GOP members very mad. I actually will laugh if the House votes this down tomorrow, assuming the Senate passes the deal.

    Also, did you all know that Rep. John Lewis left DC tonight for his Atlanta home as his wife Lillian, died. They’d been married 44 years.

  134. 134
    PeakVT says:

    @WaterGirl: Probably not. I mean, I think these are the only dicks big enough to put Tunch’s image on.

  135. 135
    RosiesDad says:

    Happy New Year you cranky bastard.

  136. 136
    mdblanche says:

    @PeakVT: I’m pretty sure I just saw something on TV about how the Earth is now hurtling away from the Sun, but it might have been the Twilight Zone marathon.

  137. 137
    Culture of Truth says:

    Dicks: Now Unsalted

  138. 138
    scav says:

    @piratedan: I think the slicing and char-broiling of dicks is often safely left up to us and there’s usually enough salty and saucy language about a normal thread to provide a greater variety of taste options. This is just a brief contrarian well-behaved phase.

  139. 139
    mainmati says:

    @dww44: Did not know that. It’s very sad. I assume it must have been sudden since he was in DC. Lewis is a good man.

  140. 140
    RedKitten says:

    Awww…happy new year to you too, John. Are you sure it’s only been 11 years with Tunch? ‘Cause I’ve been commenting here for at least that long, and could have sworn that Tunch was around when I first started reading you.

    Goddamn…I just realized that out of all of my online-only friends, YOU’RE the one I’ve known the longest! That’s nuts. Anyway, cheers, Cole, and hopefully 11 years from now we’ll still be here and still be cranky. Big hugs to you, sweetpea!

  141. 141
    SIA says:

    @dww44: I didn’t know that about Mrs. Lewis. John Lewis is my rep. Thanks for the info. I’m so sorry to hear his wife died. RIP Lillian.

  142. 142
    Dissatisfied Customer says:

    Happy New Year to you, too, John.

    Now, I’m hearing Bugs Bunny’s Italian Chef voice in my head saying: “One-a bagga deeks, commin’ opp!”.

  143. 143
    WaterGirl says:

    @SIA: His photo is next to “such a good man” in the dictionary.

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    eemom says:

    Happy New Year y’all.

    Dunno, somehow I feel like we all ought to be dumping a bag of money on Cole’s couch right now while Tunch whispers, “Look Daddy! Teacher says every time a bag of salted dicks gets eaten, an angel gets his wings!”

  146. 146
    SIA says:

    @WaterGirl: Hi WaterGirl. He has such a presence. I don’t know what it is, but when he speaks I get choked up. I really love him, and having him as my rep makes up for Isakson (nonentity) and that scum of the earth, Saxby Chambliss..

  147. 147
    Culture of Truth says:

    “I can’t believe I ate the whole bag!”

  148. 148
    JCJ says:

    Here in Wisconsin it is not quite midnight, but my wife reports from Bangkok (13 timw zones ahead) that the new year seems OK so far. Hopefully Amir Khalid can confirm from KL.

    สวัสดีปีใหม่ (pronounced sawadee bee mai)

  149. 149
    piratedan says:

    @Yutsano: and I didn’t mention anything about the lack of dipping sauces……

  150. 150
    The prophet Nostradumbass says:

    Happy New Year, east coasters, and sláinte!

  151. 151
    efgoldman says:


    “Look Daddy! Teacher says every time a bag of salted dicks gets eaten, an angel gets his wings!”

    FTW! And now goodnight.

  152. 152
    PeakVT says:

    @mdblanche: I hope that’s not true. The last thing I want to hear when I die is global warming deniers saying “I told you so.”

  153. 153
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Happy New Year, John, Carrie.

  154. 154
    piratedan says:

    @scav: so much for New Years Revolutions then… er Resolutions… well maybe…. nah, I think the year would be better with a few banksters heads on pikes

  155. 155
    WaterGirl says:

    @SIA: I love him, too, and he’s not even my representative. I get the feeling that when he speaks, everybody shuts up and listens, whether they agree or not. I wonder if that’s true?

    Loved the article about LIllian that you linked, just couldn’t say so because I had a kitty in my lap, which makes typing more difficult!

    Did you switch back to SIA from something else?

    In any case, nice to see you here!

    Edit: just re-read your comment. I get choked up, too. I think it’s because he speaks from the heart, and he speaks the truth.

  156. 156
    WaterGirl says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Who’s Carrie?

  157. 157
    Just Some Fuckhead says:


  158. 158
    Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason says:

    John — This is my go-to site for all the reasons you mentioned in your post. I feel like I’ve gotten to know the regular commenters as real-life people. Odd for a bunch of pixels, isn’t it?

    Oh, and please confirm. That’s a 5-foot pine in your picture, right? Tunch continues to fill out.

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    SIA says:

    @WaterGirl: I was ScreamingInAtlanta, before shortening it. :). And I remember you as one of the nicest people here. Happy new year!

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    scav says:

    @piratedan: This is a party. Toothpicks, Dicks, both readily available. We could start perfecting our techniques and teamwork. . .

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    Yutsano says:

    @Brother Shotgun of Sweet Reason: Is anyone else disappointed in the fact that the tree is not orbiting Tunch?

  163. 163
    WaterGirl says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Ah. I was making up this whole story in my head, wondering if this unknown Carrie was the lady friend Cole had staying with him for awhile. That was really more interesting than the truth. :-)

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    4 minutes to midnight by my calculating … hope I don’t fall asleep….

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    dead existentialist says:

    Also, too: Playing for Change’s “One Love.” Sweet dreams, all.

  166. 166
    WaterGirl says:

    @SIA: Right! For such a long time, I had to manually translate SIA into ScreamingInAtlanta in my head. I guess it finally took, if I couldn’t recall what you were before. :-)

    And thanks for you kind words!

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    FlipYrWhig says:

    Happie Neu Yir errbody

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    Just Some Fuckhead says:


    Ah. I was making up this whole story in my head, wondering if this unknown Carrie was the lady friend Cole had staying with him for awhile. That was really more interesting than the truth. :-)

    I’ve been sworn to secrecy about John’s new live-in lover.

  169. 169
    wasabi gasp says:

    Rolling like chocolates on a conveyor belt.

    Happy new year, people. Babaloo.

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    rda909 says:

    @WaterGirl: Ironic that they met on a New Year’s Eve in the 1960s. RIP Lillian.

  171. 171
    WaterGirl says:

    @rda909: I saw that, too. Ironic, yes. Heartbreaking that she would die on this day all these years later, definitely. I seem to have gotten something in my eyes just now…

  172. 172
    Hill Dweller says:

    It’s 2013, I’m inebriated, and deep in a youtube rabbit hole. I suppose a sentimental clarion call for Balloon Juice is called for, but words are escaping me. Nevertheless, this is a great blog, and I feel lucky to have found it.

  173. 173
    WaterGirl says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: See, that was part of the whole story in my head, too. Cole and JSF are friends, and he would know.

    And don’t think I don’t know you’re just messing with me with the whole “live-in lover” part.

    Happy New Year! (anyway)

  174. 174
    danielx says:

    Thanks John.

    Happy New Year, and may it be a better one for us all. Not bad music on the celebrations this evening…even enjoyed Taylor Swift, which surprised me. We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together is clearly a women’s anthem already, or maybe a grrrls anthem.

    Tornado by Little Big Town, excellent…and not a bad cover of Crossroads by Keith Urban, who is more of a rocker than one might suspect. Robert Johnson’s recordings being the ur-base of blues and rock and roll in this – still and always – amazing country in which we reside, as demonstrated by tonight’s cover of Crossroads being the only cover this evening of a song originally recorded in 1936…

    But there are covers and then there are covers.

  175. 175

    Happy New Year from the neighborhood of That big flowery parade that takes place tomorrow, and the Stanford game in a big stadium a couple miles away. No, we don’t go near the parade or the game, but my beau got his MS and PhD from Stanford, so he’s gonna watch while I figure out how to do masterful recording audio stuff w his Nexus 10.

    We watched Hugo tonight (win!) ate nom nom holiday leftovers, and are sitting in front of the fire while those poor adventurous saps spending the night in the parade route tonight freeze their kiskees off. (we will get up to see the big B2 bomber flyover and watch the parade on HDTV —yay KTLA Bob Eubanks and Stephanie Edwards— and drink champagne and eat popcorn in our fuzzy robes like sensible people, even though the real thing is only a few miles away)

    peace out from very near Pasadonuts, California

  176. 176
    Sawgrass Stan says:

    Merry Christmas to all!!!
    Oh, wait…. Anyway, thanks John, for making this place up. And a great big hug to all the folks here that make it such a great place to visit and talk, or even just listen. FWIW, John, I think you’re way to critical on your photo of His Nibbles– it’s lovely in a grainy, Seurat kinda way, and I MEAN it. Betcha Tom L. will back me up.
    Sweetest of dreams to y’all!!

  177. 177
    JCT says:

    Happy New Year John and Tunch and Lily and Rosie!

    And to my fellow BJers – Gave a Healthy and Happy one.

    And try to ignore the fucking wingnuts, your blood pressure will thank you.

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    Higgs Boson's Mate says:


    No, no we aren’t. We’re all a fever dream, including especially this blog.

    I am a solipsist. You all better watch your asses.

  179. 179
    rda909 says:

    JohnCole: I’ve been a liberal my whole life, and I’ve been suspect of all these former-Republicans-turned-Democrats telling me what it means to be a liberal (you, Ed Schultz, Markos, etc.), but with this post, in my mind you’re a good dude, dude. Let’s kick much Republican arse in 2013, and all the best to you and those you love!!

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    Punchy says:

    As the resident troll, I say WTF us going on in Washy w/r/t the phikil kliff? TPM says “done deal”, but no info that the House passed it. WTF?

  181. 181
    WaterGirl says:

    @Punchy: Yeah, when I clicked the link to a christmas thread from 2006, I noticed your name on that thread. For a troll, you are apparently very persistent. :-)

    Senate hasn’t passed anything yet, House won’t until Tuesday or Wednesday at the earliest. So there may be a “deal” between the white house and the leaders of the senate, but nothing has been voted on yet in either house.

    I have to think Pelosi isn’t a big fan of the details since she said that if it passed the house, she would present it to the democratic caucus in the house. Ringing endorsement!

  182. 182
    Hill Dweller says:

    I’ll preface by acknowledging he volunteered for the gig, but spare a thought for the President, who spent New Year’s Eve alone.

  183. 183
    Punchy says:

    @Punchy: Cant edit, so added: drunk as nuts, so if theres a good/reasonable answer to my questy, lotta apologies. Just dont get why blogs pumping hot Senate akshun when Hizzy hasnt passed JBN.

  184. 184
    Liquid says:

    Wandering between bars in downtown Seattle and theres a peck here with an acorn pointed at me!!

  185. 185
    Joseph Nobles says:

    Happy New Year, Balloon Juice, from Dallas!

  186. 186
    Yutsano says:

    @Liquid: Just watch out for the Dust of Broken heart dude. I hear tell that one has a really rough hangover.

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    Wag says:

    @Karen in GA: @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Thanks for the sense of community and the rational approach to the election. One of the few sites that actually listened to Nate Silverman and avoided most of the progressive lead-in to the election angst, making this blog a refuge of sanitary.

    Love ya all.

    Happy New Year!


  188. 188
    cmorenc says:

    @John Cole:

    Eat a bag of dicks.

    Now you’ve got me paranoid that what’s labeled in the grocery store as a bag of “bagel chips” is actually a bag of toasted sliced dicks. The even optionally come salted.

    Keep it rollin’ in the new year John and fellow BJers. Having fellow-travelers like you all helps keep us sane amid all the political madness around us.

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    ruemara says:

    I got about 20 minutes of Anderson Cooper and Katy Griffin and that was about enough on the broadcast festivities. Have to say, John, that’s exactly why my cartoon card chose cats and trees as the subject

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    Cassidy says:

    + something or other, but it started with monk beer. Kids are passed out in the couch. Kissed my wife. This year started just fine.

  191. 191
    Violet says:

    Happy New Year to you too, John. And Happy New Year to the Juicers. Love this place.

    Watched “50/50”, which I thought was great, then watched the ball drop in Times Square while cracking up at Anderson and Kathy and then did a bit of a jigsaw puzzle. All in all and pleasant evening.

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    The Dangerman says:


    Toothpicks, Dicks, both readily available.

    SHIT! I thought those were Vienna sausages!

  193. 193
    Wag says:

    Ok. So with the “upgrade” my iPhone wont let me edit. I meant sanity, not sanitary.

    Although sanitary does being to mind brain bleach. A concept that I learned on this site and have internalized so completely that I think of it daily.


  194. 194
    PsiFighter37 says:

    I am so goddamon drhnk. You aj ap rat b ag og drikd. Happum fgukin 2-13/. FUCK YAHHHHHHHHHHHHH

    Pf37 +infityiy

  195. 195
    Steeplejack says:


    This year started just fine.

    Yeah, it did. I felt a little out of it when I got a text from my brother chiding me for not coming to a party that I had not heard about, but then some friends called and were still on the phone at the stroke of midnight. After that I discovered The Big Lebowski was on Encore, so I watched that. Very funny, of course, but kind of elegaic in the late going. And I had forgotten how beautiful the photography is.

    Best wishes to all Juicers for the coming year!

  196. 196
    Culture of Truth says:

    mr crapo…

    mr de mint….

  197. 197
    Yutsano says:

    @PsiFighter37: Go home Psi. Yer drunk. :)

  198. 198
    Redshift says:

    Happy New Year, everyone! Back from my friends’ regular party; I wasn’t enough of a geek to post from there.

    Redshift +5

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    The Very Reverend Crimson Fire of Compassion says:

    Happy New Year, Fuckers!

  200. 200
    Hill Dweller says:

    FWIW, the Senate still hasn’t voted for the bill. Harkin just gave a great speech on the floor against the bill.

  201. 201
    The Dangerman says:

    @The Dangerman:

    OH, NO! Apparently Tunch thought those were Vienna sausages, too!

  202. 202
    SiubhanDuinne says:


    So in only six years, Cole’s New Year’s culinary advice has gone from “Don’t forget to eat pork and sauerkraut” to “Eat a bag of dicks.”

    Happy New Year to everyone here. I can’t imagine not having Balloon Juice in my life. This place is the best.

  203. 203
    Cassidy says:

    @Steeplejack: It took me a few years to really appreciate The Big Lebowski. When I first saw it, in the theater, I hated it. I think the life it took on in the intertubes may have helped with that.

    ETA: I made some bitchin’ black eyed peas today. A whole package of bacon, a pound of ham, the peas done quick style, an onion, and some cajun seasoning slow cooked for 6 hours. I’m as white as a halogen bulb, but I swear I made some soul food tonight.

  204. 204
    MattR says:

    @Cassidy: I think it is one of those movies that is better once you actually know the plot so you are not focused on that while watching it and can notice all the finer details.

  205. 205
    seaboogie says:

    A bag of dicks to all, and to all a good night!

  206. 206
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR: I agree. The first time I kept thinking it was a huge mess and some sort of Jeff Bridges out of body experience.

  207. 207
    Suzanne says:


    Piss Tunch


    Five minutes to go. Lots of love to you all for making this my favorite place on the series of tubes.

    My Mew Year’s resolution for 2013 is to set up matoko_chan and Political Observer. I think they’d make such a cute couple.

  208. 208
    MattR says:

    @Cassidy: Have you ever seen the fuck only version of Lebowsku?

  209. 209
    poptartacus says:

    Happy new year ya big softie

  210. 210
    Seanly says:

    Hurray for my Clemson Tigers! What a great game! No, I wouldn’t be saying that if we lost…

  211. 211
    David Koch says:

    @Cassidy: The film it’s based on “The Big Sleep” is a big gawd-awful mess.

  212. 212
    Redshift says:


    My Mew Year’s resolution for 2013…

    Our Lord and Master Tunch demands that we all make Mew Year’s resolutions!

  213. 213
    Nora Carrington says:

    Mostly I hang out at TNC’s place, but I love that you’re here, and ornery, and here. Love your people and your animals, know you’re loved for what you do, and what you don’t.

    We are family, and it’s the dark snuggly times.

  214. 214
    Cassidy says:

    @MattR: I had not and that was funny. I’m also kinda buzzed.

  215. 215
    Mnemosyne says:

    Spending New Year’s Eve the way we spend most evenings — with G asleep on the couch with Antenna TV on the tube.

    And I wouldn’t have it any other way. Happy New Year!

  216. 216
    jackmac says:

    Thank you John Cole for providing this place to hang out, argue, learn and share. You’re truly a mensch Mr. Cole. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones –especially the pets — and may you be blessed with many fulfilling years.

    And, off topic, GO NIU HUSKIES in tonight’s Orange Bowl!

  217. 217
    dance around in your bones says:

    One minute to go to the New Year and then to sleep.

    I also love this place and alla youse guys. Tash a kor!

  218. 218
    Steeplejack says:

    @dance around in your bones:

    Good to hear from you! Either you haven’t been around in a while or we’ve been working different shifts.

  219. 219
    dance around in your bones says:


    Oh Steep, I’m always around, just not commenting lately. Life stuff, doncha know. Thanks for noticing me!

    I really do love this place.

  220. 220
    freemark says:

    Happy New Year everyone. I second many of the good comments about BJ. Without this place and the wonderful people here I wouldn’t have my wonderful kitty Natasha for the New Year.

    I partied like it was 1999. Unfortunately I’m going to recover like its 2013.

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  228. 228
    Rosie Outlook says:

    Happy 2013 to you all, and may your dicks always have just the right amount of pink Himalayan salt to delicately season them.

    You put the tree on the back of the sofa? No wonder Tunch knocked it down. Now all he can do is peer at it innocently like he’s wondering how that got there.

    Do you have any pictures of Tunch as a kitten?

  229. 229
    Rosie Outlook says:

    @Redshift: I resolve to learn how to mew in Spanish.

  230. 230
    Maude says:

    @Rosie Outlook:
    Meow. I got it first.
    Happy New Year.
    I hope we all have a good one.

  231. 231
    Johannes says:

    @La Caterina (Mrs. Johannes): the missus beat me to it, but happy new year, cudlips, and thanks, John, for the best of blogs!

  232. 232
    MazeDancer says:

    May 2013 bring wondrous happiness to all.

    And new pets to all who can find room for more love.

  233. 233
    Fluke bucket says:

    2013 starts off like every year since 2004 with my morning Balloon-Juice devotional. Thank you John and all other front pagers. 2013 is going to be a great one.

  234. 234
    gogol's wife says:

    Very late to this thread, but thank you, John, and thank you everyone at BJ for keeping me SANE through the 2012 election season!

  235. 235
    AMY says:

    Happy new year! Thanks for all the good work and hearty cussing. And thanks for putting our dog Raymond and our cat Aubrey (both rescues) on the same calendar page as Tunch!(One dog, two cats to go.)

    One more thanks. Wiley Cash is going to be the featured guest at our annual Writers Symposium (Caldwell Community College-Hudson, NC) this spring. I appreciate your introducing us to his work.

    I have nothing profound to add-I’m just tired of lurking.

  236. 236
    Trinity says:

    Group hug!

    I consider this place my online home. Thanks John and love to all in the new year!


  237. 237
    Denali says:

    Happy New Year to all, also too! Thank you John Cole for providing great fun and diversion in 2012. Also righteous anger.

  238. 238
    Thatgaljill says:

    Thank you for creating this space, John… and thanks to the front pagers who make it a must read for me every single day (whether I comment or not)

    Happy New Year!

  239. 239
    Pinacacci says:

    since it is 238 comments in, and I couldn’t be bothered to read them all, I am sure I’m not the first person to say that that is a wonderful photo of Tunch shoving an xmas tree up the ass end of a couch. Makes me feel all warm inside. Also obligatory JC lovin and so forth.

Comments are closed.