Thursday, November 17, 2005

Curmudgeon in the Wry 310

Thursday, November 17, 2005---532 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time well spent)
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Rave: Big and Rich.
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Rant: Don’t know which I dislike more: looking my age or feeling my age.
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Rave: In his strong debut legal thriller “The Color of Law,” Mark Gimenez keeps a tempo going that makes it impossible to put down.
A. Scott Feeney was football hero at SMU, married the head cheerleader, owns a home in the tony Dallas suburb of Highland Park and is the youngest partner in the most prominent law firm in "Big D.” In short, he has the perfect life.
After giving an especially disingenuous speech about legal idealism he is assigned a pro bono case by a Federal Judge. He must defend a black prostitute hooked on heroin who is accused of murdering the debauched son of very wealthy Texas Senator---who is the Presidential frontrunner for his party.
A. Scott assumes she is guilty. However, if he exposes the son’s sleazy past, he may save her from the death penalty. This does not please the Senator.
After the powerful Senator calls in favors all over Dallas, A. Scott has his mortgage called, his Ferrari repossessed, the country club membership gone, fired by his largest client and his firm…the perfect life evaporated.
He rediscovers his conscience and decides to give his best effort.
We know he will prevail, but the how keeps you reading into the wee hours.
I was so engrossed in his story telling that it was only near the end of the book that I started to wonder who really committed the murder.
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Hmmmm: Are neckties getting skinny again? Does that mean I can get my old ones out of moth balls?
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Rant: If we can ban people from bringing nail clippers aboard airplanes, we can ban people from bringing cell phones into movie theaters.
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Factoid: An acronym is an acronym only when you can pronounce it as a word, such as OPEC, scuba, NATO. If it does not form a word, and is read as letters, it is not an acronym, rather it is a pronounced abbreviation: YMCA, NFL, MSNBC.
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Truism: Purchasing a new laptop makes buying a pig in a poke seem easy. Especially if you expect customer service after they get your dough.
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Helpful hint: If you are discontented with the disastrous redesign of TV Guide, try Zap2It.com.
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Numbers game: The lowest Gallup approval rating for a president was Harry Truman’s 23 percent in 1952 during the Korean War.
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Hmmmm: How come the old Doonebury cartoons are so much funnier than the current ones?
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Wish list: Somebody to invent a quiet vacuum cleaner.
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Congratulations: To “The West Wing” for its live (scripted) debate episode. It was almost as dull as an actual presidential debate.
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This just in: Richest country in the world? British Virgin Islands…followed by Luxembourg, Norway and the USA. Most taxed? Belgium, Hungary, Germany, Sweden and France. The USA checks in at number 21.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Curmudgeon in the Wry 309

Tuesday, November 15, 2005---585 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time well spent)
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Rave: Ornette Coleman
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Rant: People don’t realize how stupid they look with one of those telephone things attached to their ear.
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Didjaknow: Heisman Trophy winner get to vote in subsequent years. Southern Cal QB Matt Leinhart (last season’s winner) promises to fill his first three choices with teammates.
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Factoid: The federal and state governments make more money off of a gallon of gas than the oil companies. Who is zooming who?
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I wonder: If we free France for the third time, do we get to keep it?
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Fair’s fair: If you can blame Dubya for the price of gas…you can blame him for the low World Series TV ratings.
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Factoid two: Ounce for ounce, gasoline is still cheaper than those sodas you get from vending machines.
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Hmmm: Why is it that fortune tellers never live in the expensive part of town?
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Rimshot: Church’s Chicken is adding beef to the menu? What about the separation of church and steak?
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Truism: BlackBerries are labor-saving devices that increase your workday from eight hours to eighteen.
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Rave: With “The Camel Club,” David Baldacci keeps the plots churning with his tale of four elderly, unconventional gentlemen of assorted backgrounds whose Camel Club is a “conspiracy watchdog group.”
They hold no power…their objective is to learn the “truth” behind the exploits of the US government.
Their leader has no acknowledged past and calls himself (with a touch of irony) Oliver Stone.
The four witness a gruesome murder and their hunt for the perps leads them on a path where the truth gets hazier with each clue and each new double cross…and could lead right to the Oval Office.
A Secret Service agent who is three years shy of retirement becomes an unexpected ally after being warned off by his superiors.
The amount of suspension of disbelief needed depends on how effortlessly you embrace conspiracy theories. Myself, I have yet to meet a conspiracy theory I couldn’t buy.
“The Camel Club” demands your attention and captures your imagination. It is certain to keep you engaged.
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Hmmm: Anybody who hates geometry isn’t thinking straight.
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Rant: Amazing how people use a photo ID to drive or cash a check but object to using one to vote
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Truism: Forward this newsy letter to five of your friends, and in 24 hours, nothing will happen.
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Rule one: Never wear a white shirt to an Italian restaurant.
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Rant: Looks to me like liberal columnist Maureen Dowd has injected a lifetime supply of botox…almost in the Joan rivers category.
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Rave: Finally saw my first movie of the year, and “Goodnight and Good Luck” was ten out of ten. It is an intelligent, brainy, well turned-out film. As good as George Clooney is as CBS’s Fred Friendly, David Strathairn is beyond excellent as Edward R. Murrow. He absolutely channels ERM.
The Diane Reeves soundtrack sets the mood perfectly…the black and white photography adds the proper authenticity…and it clocks in at a tidy ninety minutes.
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Useless factoid: There are 18 different animal shapes in the Animal Crackers cookie zoo!
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Rant: Three hours of Wolf Blitzer is two hours and 58 minutes too much.
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Truism II: Growing business opportunity: Tattoo removal.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.