Saturday, May 13, 2017

Curmudgeon in the Wry 593

Saturday, May 13, 2017--- 1022 Words---Average Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 19 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
No French Fry Left Behind.
Free shipping and handling.
Back by the demand of virtually no one.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
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Rave: Katie Hopkins.
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Reading: “The Nowhere Man” by Gregg Hurwitz.
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On the Hi Fi: “The Best of Laura Nyro.” 
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Under Rated: EVELYN KEYES
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Executive Decision: The only American president to own a patent was Abraham Lincoln.  When he was a lawyer, he patented a flat-bottomed boat design.  It never went to market.
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Quote: “ Let's have some new clich├ęs.” -- Samuel Goldwyn.
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Spelling Bee: There are only two words in the English language that end in "gry" . . . angry and hungry.
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Space Oddity: According to NASA, the Las Vegas Strip is the brightest spot on Earth from space.
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New Coke Stupid: MSESPN’s three-headed-yack-box make the Sunday Night MLB telecasts impossible to watch.
They are too busy not covering the game to cover the game.
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Numbers Game: After the Yankees retire Derek Jeter’s #2 jersey, they will be out of single digit uniform numbers.
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Jump Ball: The designer who created the NBA logo also made the 1040-EZ-tax form.
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Dollars and Sense: Free Wi-Fi is only free because…how could you charge for something that never works?
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Jumpin’ Jehosophat: No Celtic has ever won an NBA scoring title
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TV Time Out: I thought “The Blacklist” really lost it when the season kicked off in the fall…and I had zero interest in the spinoff that showed up mid-season. However, the return with the two-part back-story on Mr. Kaplan was outstanding and won me over once again.
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Progress Report: Seems to me that there are too many cranes in the sky and orange barrels on the road.
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Quote: “The more you know, the more you know you don't know.” Aristotle
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Civics 101: People who shout down speakers they disagree with should be given an American History lesson.
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Comic Relief: Mort Walker, creator of the "Beetle Bailey" and "Hi and Lois" comic strips, came up with the idea for using random symbols like exclamation points and hashtags to represent swear words in cartoons.  And the official term for it is grawlix.
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Quote: “When you are younger you get blamed for crimes you never committed, and when you’re older you begin to get credit for virtues you never possessed. It evens itself out.”—Casey Stengel.
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Nobody Move: It took a while, but I finally figured out the essence of Zumba. They choose the absolute worst music possible and play it so loudly, it is painful.
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Irrelevant Revelation: There is enough cash in circulation in the United States that every single person in the country could carry around $4,200.
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Setting the Bar: Haw bad are movies today? I cannot find one to go to…and my standards are pretty low.
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Simply the Best: They did not make two of Chuck Berry, who rolled over to the Great Beyond at 90.
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Fielder’s Choice: Carl Yastrzemski’s grandson is a prospect with the Orioles, playing at AAA Norfolk this season. If that doesn’t make you feel old…
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The Band Played On: You always like the music you grew up with.
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No Question About It: Alex Rodriguez while talking about his past mistakes, “I think I was just being a big jerk, you know. I was just a really big jerk.” No argument here.
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Imagine That: The NYT’s Leigh Steinberg says a conservative professional athlete is a former campus liberal who just saw the withholding from his first bonus check.
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Fruit Salad: A strawberry isn’t a berry but a banana is. Avocados and watermelon are berries, too.
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For What It’s Worth: Millennials just overtook baby boomers as the biggest age group in the country.
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Good Chemistry: Never trust an atom…they make up everything.
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Quotes from Bob Hoffman (The Ad Contrarian): "Social Media: Tens of millions of disagreeable people looking to make trouble."
"Marketers prefer precise answers that are wrong to imprecise answers that are right."
"The idea that the same consumer who was frantically clicking her TV remote to escape from advertising was going to merrily click her mouse to interact with it is going to go down as one of the great advertising delusions of all time."
"Nobody really knows what "creativity" is. Every year thousands of people take a pilgrimage to find out. This involves flying to Cannes, snorting cocaine, and having sex with smokers."
"Nobody ever got famous predicting that things would stay pretty much the same."
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Say Good Night Gracie: Most of the contestants on "The Voice" will never be that big again.
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You Know You Are Not Paying Attention: When the waitress says, "Enjoy your meal" and you reply, "You, too!"
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Say It Again Sam: An old baseball adage goes, “You never have enough pitching, even when you think you do.”
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Rhetorical Question: Are none of the colleges that appear at the NFL draft embarrassed that so many of their full scholarship “student-athletes” are unable to speak even marginally correct English?
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Tom Brady’s Jersey: Where is Inspector Clouseau when you need him.”
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Random Thought: The word "oxymoron" is actually an oxymoron.  It's the combination of two Greek words:  Oxy, meaning sharp and keen . . . and moron, meaning dull and stupid.
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Quote: From Shaquille O'Neal, when asked if he visited the Parthenon on a trip to Greece, “I can’t really remember all the clubs we went to.”
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Final Thought: You can train a cat to do anything the cat wants to do at the moment the cat wants to do it.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were.



Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Curmudgeon in the Wry 592

Wednesday, March 22, 2017--- 1035 Words---Average Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 2 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Back by the demand of virtually no one.
Once you put it down, it is quite easy not to pick it up again.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
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Rave: Robert Montgomery.
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Reading: “One Strange Date” by Laurence Shames.
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On the Hi Fi:  Sonny Stitt and Milt Jackson—“In the Beginning.”
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Under Rated: Audrey Totter.
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Quote: From Charles Barkley on the back cover of George Karl's new book: ''George Karl has always been one of my favorite coaches. Why? In Game Seven of the 1993 Western Conference finals, I scored 44 points against his team. ...That's why.''
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Jump Ball: No professional athlete is as good as he claims to be.
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Rant: How can ESPN continue to insult the intelligence of college basketball fans with that magpie, Seth Greenberg? He ended his college coaching career unable to escape mediocrity at Virginia Tech with just one NCAA bid in nine years.
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On Demand Stupidity: Why is it that the moment actor achieves any success they become an expert on politics and life?
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As Time Goes By: Sometimes a turned down marriage proposal can be looked at later as a wonderful unanswered prayer.
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Enough Already: The overuse of “checks all the boxes” is driving me crazy…just as did “at the end of the day.”
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It’s Academic: We have more ways to communicate now than we have things to communicate.
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Twofer: Philip Noel-Baker from England is the only person who's ever won an Olympic medal and received a Nobel Prize.  He won silver in the 1500 meters at the 1920 Olympics, then went into politics and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1959.
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Reality Check: Most things that they claim are being done for safety reasons have little to do with safety…and a lot to do with incompetence.
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Quote: Brad Dickson of the Omaha (Neb.) World-Herald, on the Royals’ Triple Play Dog featuring a hot dog wrapped in a burger patty wrapped in bacon: “It’d be healthier to throw this away and eat a baseball.”
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Show of Hands: When President Trump refers to hard working Americans, he is not talking about government workers, is he?
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Hmmm: Have you ever noticed that when you need a solution for a big problem you always tend to look up?
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Factoid: Prison is the only place where the government pays for health care, education, clothing, housing and utilities.
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Rule of Defactualization: “Information deteriorates upward through bureaucracies.”—Unknown.
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Ever Notice: When you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and somebody always answers.
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Too Much: Continuing to sell the person who has already said yes can lead to a "no."
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Humor Me: When you attempt to show that a machine will not work, it will.
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Quote: “When people are free to do as they please, they usually imitate each other.” – Anon.
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Great Expectations: Anything is possible if you do not know what you are talking about.
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Off Course: The Big Ten basketball tournament was held in Washington, D.C., the ACC tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y. This is what happens when our schools de-emphasize the teaching of geography.
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Sunshine State: Nobody moved to Florida to work harder.
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Priorities: I wonder how many people would want to come to the USA if they could not collect welfare.
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Didjaknow: The reason karate belts go white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, red, black is because fighters used to only be able to afford one belt . . . so they would keep dying it darker and darker as they progressed.
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Pop Quiz: What is the difference between a rostrum, dais, lectern and podium? Remember, neatness counts.
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Nobody Asked, But: It is said that one of the most pleasurable things you can do is to forgive an enemy. I am not ready for that kind of pleasure.
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Quote: “Coaching is easy; winning is hard.”—Elgin Baylor.
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You Don’t Have To Be A Ph.D.: You cannot force chemistry.
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Ahead of the Curve: Surrounding yourself with people smarter than you, makes you the most intelligent guy in the room.
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Both Sides Now: Oregon is the only state to feature a double-sided flag. The flag is two-sided in navy blue and gold with an optional gold fringe. On the front is the escutcheon from the state seal and on the reverse is a gold figure of a beaver, the state animal.
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Quote: "The U.S. Constitution does not guarantee happiness, only the pursuit of it. You have to catch up with it yourself."--Benjamin Franklin.
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Play Ball: Is it true that MLB will announce another “modification” to speed up games? It’s rumored that the seventh inning stretch will be conducted before games---at the same time The National Anthem is played.
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Beyond the Arc: The Celtics’ Chris Ford hit the initial three-pointer in NBA history. October, 1979 in the Boston Garden.
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Spring Forward: Last NFL season was the first time all four teams in the NFC West division were actually located in the west.  Since the Rams moved back to Los Angeles from St. Louis, the four teams were in L.A., San Francisco, Seattle, and Phoenix.
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Quote: “A bachelor is a selfish, undeserving guy who has cheated some woman out of a divorce.”--Don Quinn.
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Irony Alert:  No one knows for sure when the fire hydrant was invented . . . because the patent was lost in a fire at the U.S. patent office in 1836.
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Final Thought: The way they figured out how to get those food carts to go down the aisle on an airplane a whole lot quicker was by charging for everything on them.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were.



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Welcome to Bracketville 2017

Another March…another chance to call them as I see them. Judging from performances in the Marches of long ago, I do not excel in seeing two and a half weeks into the future.
No matter---often wrong, never in doubt continues to be my mantra, in March as in life.
After the field was announced, I did my “eyeball-bracket-picks” for practice.
Now after isolating myself (not difficult for a reclusive curmudgeon) with the data for a couple of days I have torn down that bracket and rebuilt it with my 63 guesses of the moment.
In a few cases I allowed myself to become confused by the facts.
From the Round of 64, I eighty-sixed my Creighton, Seton Hall, Butler, Northwestern and Florida
 Gulf Coast crushes.
Iowa State, Xavier, Baylor, Oklahoma State and Florida were swapped out as I sent Purdue, FSU, SMU, Louisville and UVA to my Sweet Sixteen.
 Listening to and reading the oracles of college basketball expertise, I have heard cogent and persuasive rationales for upset picks in all first round games except the one-seed and two-seed matchups.
I cannot recall when I saw as many games that could go either way, with just a couple of blessings from the basketball gods.
If they win tonight, NC Central will make Kansas earn it…KU will know they have been in a game. NCCU is very well coached.
Nevada averages 80 points per game and is #7 in free throws attempted.
Creighton’s loss of its point guard enhances Rhode Island’s chances.
Michigan/Oklahoma State will be a helluva game. Michigan does not foul or turn it over---OSU scores over 85 ppg, shoots at 40% from three, appears at the foul line all night and sinks 78.7% of those shots.
Arkansas is a one-point favorite, so anything goes. Seton Hall is the 7th best rebounding margin team, but doesn’t score like Arkansas.
Middle Tennessee out-performs Minnesota in almost every metric. Minnesota gets to the line a lot, but is average at converting and ranks a lowly 81st in offense efficiency.
Butler and Winthrop have similar metrics---Winthrop has big advantage at foul line and scoring. Neither team turns it over or fouls…should be a well-paced game.
Since the game is in Orlando, I give the edge Florida. East Tennessee and the Gators are closely matched in the stat department. ESTU shoots 49.1% (#10) and 38.3% (#44) from three.
Even though UNC-Wilmington grades out above UVA in turnover margin (surprised me), foul line performance, scoring (48.2%, 85.2 ppg); I go with UVA. The Pack Line Defense is impossible to prep for, and is a shock the first time. UVA has the element of surprise.
Since you never know which Baylor team will show up, I switched to SMU. If they can focus for six games, Baylor has the horses to make the finals.
Saint Mary’s could slow Arizona down enough for an upset ambush.
I wanted to pick Florida Gulf Coast, but couldn’t pull the trigger when push came to shove (to mix a couple of metaphors).
I tried to convince myself to go with Princeton, but stayed with Notre Dame. The Irish will get a tough workout.
I would not be surprised to see either Kansas, UCLA, Gonzaga, Arizona, Louisville or (begrudgingly) UNC cut down the nets.
This year’s most efficient offenses: Oklahoma State, UCLA, Villanova, UNC, Michigan and Duke.
At least two double-digit seeds reached the Sweet Sixteen in 16 of the past 20 years…at least one in 29 of past 32 years.
Pop Quiz: Is freshman talent better than senior experience?
Offense has slightly outweighed defense for the last 15 champions according to KenPom. 11th for offense—15th for defense.
In the past ten years, only UNC is the only champ (2009) to finish in the Top-100 in tempo.
Two more things: We will see the same commercials over and over and over. Then over and over.

Charles Barkley will attempt to come up with 25 different ways to say, “They need to rebound better.”

Friday, February 24, 2017

Curmudgeon in the Wry 591

Friday, February 24, 2017--- 887 Words---Average Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 2 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Back by the demand of virtually no one.
Once you put it down, it is quite easy not to pick it up again.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
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Rave: Ivanka.
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Reading: “One Strange Date” by Laurence Shames. Volume 12 in the Key West Capers series…I have read them all.
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On the Hi Fi:  “Time Out” by Dave Brubeck.
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Under Rated: Virginia Mayo.
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Just Between Us: I miss Al Capp.
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Quote: From former Providence Journal Columnist Gerry Goldstein on soccer, “If I want to watch a bunch of guys go 90 minutes without scoring, I’ll take some of my male friends to a singles bar.”
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No Surprise Here: Tiger Woods often withdraws when he is behind in a tournament, but never when ahead or in the hunt. He is such a putz.
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TV Time Out: Check out any of The Dick Van Dyke shows on You Tube, and tell me Laura Petrie isn’t more appealing than any female character on the tube today.
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For What It’s Worth: Father Time remains the greatest teacher.
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The Old College Try: In addition to the game on the court, other things I love about college basketball include: coaches wearing ties with school colors, crowd shots of moms and dads cheering and senior nights.
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You Know You’re Old: If you can remember when a radio station had a large enough air staff to field a softball team. Today, I doubt they could do that with the entire station.
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Back to Our Regularly Scheduled Program: I never knew who the Johnny Carson or Walter Cronkite types voted for, but I sure do today. It is not a plus.
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Food For Thought: I want to eat whatever Tom Brady eats.
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Quote: “Never assume the obvious is true.”—William Safire.
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Common Senselessness: When celebrities start to bore you, why do you blame yourself?
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Net Results: Roger Federer certainly has nothing more to prove. A classy champion. He never left!
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The Band Played On: The Super Bowl half time show has replaced Up with People with Down with Pants.
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100-0 and Counting: If the NCAA kept a stat for laughers, the UConn women would own that one as well.
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Occupational Hazard: The latest batch of Dos Equis ads do not have the same pop. The original Most Interesting Man in the World cannot be replaced.
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Numbers Game: The TV ratings for this year’s Pro Bowl were down for yet another year. That shows the good sense of the USA TV audience.
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Spelling Bee: There is no “we” in fries.
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Hmmm: When was the last time your bank did something good for you?
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Ahead of the Curve: How come the Asians in the USA do not need any help? Any visit to a college campus will answer the question. While others are whining, protesting and acting like asses, the Asian students are studying…while majoring in substantive disciplines.
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Full Disclosure: I can still fit into the socks I wore in college.
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Rant: A report says that, 180 million years from now, the pull of the moon’s gravity will make days on Earth 25 hours long.
And MLB games will be 6½ hours long.
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This spells trouble: The Australian Open featured a match between Anastasia Sergeyevna Pavlyuchenkova and Natalia Konstantinovna Vikhlyantseva. That’s a mouthful!
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Quote: Jim Barach of WCHS-TV in Charleston, W.Va., after ex-NBA player Stephen Jackson said he sometimes smoked pot before games: “Which was evident in his career game stats, where he averaged 15.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists and 4.7 pizzas.”
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End of an Era: Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey circus closes after 146 years.
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If You Are Scoring At Home: Just two athletes have played in both a Final Four and a World Series…Tim Stoddard with NCSU and the Baltimore Orioles and Kenny Lofton with the University of Arizona and the Cleveland Indians.
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For the Record: The letter J does not appear anywhere on the periodic table of the elements.
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Quote: “The journey of a thousand miles begins by going through a metal detector at the airport.”-- Bernie Lincicome.
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Beat Goes On: Beretta is the oldest manufacturing company in the world. I have owned a Beretta 950 for over 25 years…a .25 calibre pocket pistol that is easy to conceal.
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A group of former cheerleaders has filed a proposed class-action lawsuit against the NFL and 26 teams, alleging that management actively conspired to underpay them and keep them from negotiating better salaries.
The plaintiffs are reportedly seeking somewhere between two bits/four bits/six bits and 300 million dollars.
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Final Thought: Zero is the only number that cannot be represented by Roman numerals.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.

As you were.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Curmudgeon in the Wry 590

Sunday, January 15, 2017--- 696 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 18 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Back by the demand of virtually no one.

Once you put it down, it is quite easy not to pick it up again.
Seeking only to enlighten and amuse.
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Continuing to call them as I see them.
Virtually free of original ideas. 
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Viewer Indiscretion Is Advised.
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Rave: Tucker Carlson.
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Reading: “Salvation Lake” by G.M. Ford.           
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On the Hi Fi:  “Night Hawk” by Coleman Hawkins.
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Under Rated: Tammy Bruce.
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Rant: No one knows what traveling is anymore in college basketball.
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Quote: “Happiness is having a large, caring, close-knit family in another city.”—George Burns.
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Hmmm: What does Santa do in the off-season?
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Band Played On: Try driving the speed limit around here on Interstate 4, and cars go by you like they are on a fast break.
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If You’re Scoring At Home: The Red Sox have won the offseason, parade next week.
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As Time Goes By: You never outgrow Christmas carols.
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Truism: Everything has a shelf life.
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No Big Surprise: The average TV viewership for the NFL’s four wildcard games was down seven points from a year ago…following in the footsteps of the regular season.
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My Three Favorite Italians: Dean Martin, Annette and Chris DeCarlo. Neil Cavuto and Maria Bartiromo round out my Top Five.
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Bad Medicine: The Greatest Generation fought and won WWII…today we have the gratingest generation (Millennials).
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Food For Thought: “Keeping Up With The Kardashians?” Who wants to?
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Ahead of the Curve: For the sake of America, Cubs general manager Theo Epstein should be in charge of something bigger than a baseball team.
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Instant Analysis: In this age of artificial intelligence, way too many of our schools and colleges are producing artificial stupidity.
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For What It’s Worth: Over 400 million people worldwide have ad blockers on their connected devices. This could be the largest boycott of anything in human history.
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Quote: From Charles Barkley, “We never get mad when black people kill each other. You can’t demand respect from white people and the cops if we don’t respect each other.”
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There are already driverless cars on our roads today. Commonly called "texting while driving.
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But Wait, There’s More: There are two people you do not want to be next to at a party—somebody who has gone to Harvard or someone who is in recovery…because, chances are, they will tell you immediately.
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Factoid: Larry Brown is the only coach to win both an NCAA and NBA title.
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Like, who knew: The top grossing movie star of 2016 was Scarlett Johansson.
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Just When You Thought You Had Heard It All: Along comes the news that for $6,189 you can get a Barclays Center package to see the Nets that includes a chauffeur and a private dressing room.
Not to see the 1986 Celtics. Not to see the Jordan in his prime. The Nets.
Somewhere P.T. Barnum is laughing.
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Quote: “I don’t know where we are going, but we are on our way.”---Stymie.
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The easiest way to find something lost around the house is to buy a replacement.
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Quick Hit: The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong…but that is the way to bet.
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Inquiring Minds Want To Know: Just who is it that decides what is “breaking news?”
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Coming Attractions: More and more online shopping…more ghost malls.
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Reality Check: What is happening in Chicago is a national disgrace.
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Out On A Limb: The road to the Super Bowl…otherwise known as the Patriot’s Invitational.
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Final Thought: Ray Lewis meets with Donald Trump---Never too early or too late to work on a presidential pardon.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.

As you were