Thursday, November 25, 2004

Curmudgeon in the Wry 277

Thursday, November 25, 2004—608 words---Average reading time: 2-minute, 18 seconds
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Rave: Lena Horne
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Quote: "When in doubt, have two men enter a room with guns." ---Raymond Chandler.
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Rant: It is never permissible to dog-ear the page of a book.
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Hmmmm: At what age were you the most attractive? And, if you think you have not reached it yet, you are most likely kidding yourself.
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Rant: The cost of parking overnight in a hotel garage has gotten totally insane.
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Hmmmm: If there any difference between a root beer float and a Black Cow, I am unable to discern it.
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Rave: Pfeffernusse.
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Rant: The NBA would be well served to spend less time talking about the thug Artest and more about formed Duke great Grant Hill, who is enjoying a great start after being sidelined for most of three seasons with at least four different ankle surgeries.
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Quote: "They said everything to Jackie Robinson in 1947. If he did not go into the stands, no one is allowed to go into the stands."—Celtics coach Doc Robinson.
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Rant: Where is it written that alcohol needs to be served at sporting events?
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Book BIZ: At best, a Cee Minus for David Baldacci’s "Hour Game."
It starts out promising with the return of ex-Secret Service agents turned PIs, Sean King and Michelle Maxwell. They were terrific in "Split Second" and still have some savoir-faire.
However they are placed in a bloated plot that is filled with one contrivance after another. Even I do not possess the ability to suspend my disbelief this much.
Ludicrous situations and resolutions abound. When, in a shootout, the two bullets collide---well, you almost lose your sanity.
If you like thrillers that offer sound reasoning, elan, plausibility or profoundness this is not for you.
It win this quarter’s James Patterson Pathetic Thriller Sweepstake.
He phoned it in.
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Rave: The opening credits to "Catch Me If You Can" are as good as any movie released in the past ten years. Leave it to the folks at Dreamworks.
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Rant: As a rule, whenever you check into a hotel and the desk clerk tells you that he is giving you an especially nice room, he is invariably lying.
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Just asking: When is the last time you heard a really good marching band? And, when was the last time you really wanted to?
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Pop quiz: Quick…name the only state whose first two letters are vowels.
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Rave: I truly admire people who know how wrap packages flawlessly.
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Rant: How was it that the party of Lincoln in the Land of Lincoln could not come up with a competitive candidate for the U.S. Senate?
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Quote: "The promise of mystery fiction is that some sort of justice is achieved. Something has been accomplished, some wrong has been righted."—Laura Lippman.
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Rant: It drives me crazy every time The New York Times refers to Osama bin Laden on the second reference as "Mr. bin Laden." How many people do you have to murder before you lose the "Mr."?
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Things everybody gets wrong: Mano a mano does not mean man-to-man or one-on-one. It is Spanish for hand-to-hand.
One does not stand behind a podium. One stands on it. One stands behind a lectern.
A wooden house cannot be dilapidated. Dilapidated applies only to objects made of stone.
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Hmmmm: What if it turns out carbs are good for you?
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Quote: "The problem with doing nothing is not knowing when you are finished."—John Corey in Nelson DeMille’s last spectacular read, "Night Fall."
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Born this day: Lenny Moore, Joe DiMaggio, Jeffrey Hunter, John F. Kennedy Jr., Joe Gibbs, Ben Stein.
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That is all
As you were.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Curmudgeon in the Wry 276

Tuesday, November 09, 2004—619 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 08 seconds
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Rave: SHeDAISY’s "Come Home Soon."
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Quote: "Well…I guess the majority felt Jesus was a better role model than Michael Moore." ---Don Imus.
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Rant: Think it is about time for Michael Moore to start bathing on a regular basis?
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Hmmmm: How did glove compartments get their name? When were gloves deemed so important that they deserved their own compartment? And, why keep your gloves in the car, where they will get cold.
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Don’t you agree: Really classy eateries give you liquid sugar for your iced tea.
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Rave: Zell Miller had a couple of classic zingers on Imus 11/9 that I wish I been clever enough to think up. He called left wing bomb thrower Maureen Dowd, Maureen Loud and referred to her as a "high brow hussy." What a wonderful turn of phrase! Amen, Zell.
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Hmmmm: If you say you never swiped anything off a maid’s cart, I say I do not believe you.
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Alert: Always examine your credit card bill carefully. Hotels love to sneak in phony "mimibar" charges on your card long after your have left the building.
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Survey: If you can name Ralph Nader’s running mate, you are most likely following politics a bit too closely.
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Hmmmm: Why do dry cleaners always refer you clothes as garments?
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Rant: Do not let the celebrity TV shows dupe you: Texas hold ‘em is an amazingly dull form of poker.
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Rave: The limited edition Hershey’s Double Chocolate bar. Creamy milk chocolate with a dark chocolate filling.
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Rant: Methinks the liberal left media and the Kerry braintrust misunderestimated us. So many of those who think they are actually "elite" media thought us to be rubes who are not able to read a book. Their mistake was equating not standing in the driveway at the crack of dawn awaiting the morning delivery of the New York Times in order to hang on every word poison-penned by Maureen Down with a room temperature IQ. Better luck next time on reading the room.
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Overbooked: A solid A for "Garden of Beasts" by Jeffery Deaver. Set against the backdrop of the 1936 Berlin Olympics, it seamlessly combines factual and fictional characters. A US government agency promises mobster hitman Paul Schumann forgiveness if he will eliminate Hitler’s architect of rearmament.
A cover set up and the chase is on. The feeling of 1936 Germany is an important character as is Schumann’s antagonist turned accomplice, German policeman Willi Kohl.
Red herrings abound and the twists and turns are addictively tantalizing.
A Plus for T. Jefferson Parker’s incredible "California Girl." Stylish and engaging, it transports you back to 1968 in Orange County (and up to present day)…again mixing real life characters (Dick Nixon, Tim Leary, Charles Manson) with a fictional cast of vividly sketched characters.
The three Becker brothers (a cop, a crime reporter and a minister) have an intense commitment to finding the truth about a decapitated friend from their teenage years.
Their search for the facts leads to compromise, concessions and exposure of the brother’s secrets.
It is a subtle, sophisticated, cerebral novel with justice the overruling topic…no matter how long it may take.
A well-crafted look back at a period of time that fashioned a generation told in a most intriguing manner.
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Rant: And speaking of reading a book…the next book Maureen Dowd needs to read is one of the many diet books on her own New York Times best seller list.
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Rave: If you missed John Stewart’s appearance on "Crossfire,’ you missed one of live TV’s wackiest moments.
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Born this day: Claude Rains, Martin Luther, Richard Burton, Roy Scheider, Donna Fargo.
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That is all.
As you were.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Curmudgeon in the Wry 275

Thursday, November 04, 2004—513 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 58 seconds
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Rave: Natalie Wood
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Rant: Missing the NHL season is a dare America is more than willing to accept.
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Hmmm: Can I buy an entire chess set in a pawnshop?
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Quote: "There is no greater thief than a bad book."---Old Italian saying.
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Rave & Rant: Why do I know that the History Channel’s production of "Alexander the Great" will be far more enjoyable than the one coming soon to a multiplex near you. The History Channel is using real people for the battle scenes as opposed to computer graphics.
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Absolutely: When a place of worship houses weapons and terrorists, it is no longer "sacred."
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Rant: If you want the government to tell you when to take your kids trick-or-treating, then government should take your kids
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Rimshot: I just found a box of Tic Tacs buried in a drawer. And they're still in mint condition!
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Rant: It's hard for me to believe that anyone would pay to listen to Howard Stern
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Rave: The Rod Stewart Great American Songbook III is brilliant. The duet with Dolly Parton is inspired.
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Attention, cellphone users: That phone can be turned off while dining in a public place.
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Rave: When it was all said and done the American public decided the junior senator from Massachusetts was strictly junior varsity.
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Truism: If you call America Online for help, you will not talk to anyone from America
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Rimshot II: Do you suppose the Grim Reaper's hairstylist has ever had a brush with death?
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Rave: The final tally showed that majority could care less about what Maureen Dowd, Michael Moore and the rest of the liberal, left, elite media have to say.
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Truism II: Marriage is the process of finding out what type of man your wife would have preferred.
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Generation gap: I never bought into the theory that the cell phone youth demo would ride to the Kerry rescue. Casual observation of this group tells one they are America’s most self-absorbed generation. Only a mental patient could envision a scenario where they would spend more than a nano-second waiting to vote…let alone an hour or more. Hard to tear them away from themselves.
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Hmmmm: When did the yellow in the traffic light become "continue" instead of "caution"?
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Rave: The XM Radio Portable XM2go receiver got my attention. They may get me with this version. MLB on XM is a far better bet than NFL on Sirius.
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Bottom line: Game 5 of the Yankees-Red Sox series drew bigger TV ratings in the Boston metro area than the last Super Bowl that featured the Patriots ... in case you were wondering which franchise owns New England’s heart.
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Hmmm: Interestingly, the longest word you can type using only one row of keys is typewriter.
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Truism III: You know that you are getting old when you hear a woman talk about working the polls and you never even think about a strip club.
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Born this day: Laura Bush, Loretta Swit, Martin Balsam, Art Carney, Walter Cronkite, Will Rogers.
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That is all.
As you were.