Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 355

Tuesday, July 24, 2007---589 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 17 seconds (time frittered away)(a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
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Rave: Errol Flynn
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On the Victrola: “Night Hawk” by Coleman Hawkins (1960)
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Reading: “The Guards” by Ken Bruen.
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Guess what?: David Beckham is not going peg the needle on viewer ship of Major League Soccer. No matter how much ESPN is going to prostitute itself to attract an audience, it is not in the American DNA to watch soccer on the tube.
I mean---really---how often do the soccer moms sit around the table at Starbucks and discuss last night’s thrilling one all MLS tie game.
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Rant: Baseball's fuddy-duddy power structure will never allow Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban to buy the Chicago Cubs. Whatever else you think of him, Cuban is a 21st-century thinker trying to break into a sport that, in some ways, still embraces the '90s - the 1890 s
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Rave: If you like a good conspiracy theory novel and can suspend your disbelief, then “Vertical run” by Joseph Garber will knock your argyles off.
A very fast-paced cat and mouse yarn…and when the prey becomes the predator, the action becomes nonstop.
Dave Elliott, a highly successful exec at Senterex, arrives at the office…next thing he knows his boss enters his office, pistol in hand and ready to end Elliott’s life.
Subsequently, extraordinary professionals with unlimited manpower and resources pursue him.
Twenty-five years ago Elliott was a Green Beret in covert ops in Viet Nam and knows all the dirty little secrets and tricks his government has taught him. It will take all his training and cunning to evade his hunters and discover why all these people want him dead.
Compacted into a 36-hour period, “Vertical Run” is ingeniously plotted and the tension never lets up.
It is easy to buy into the conspiracy theory and no problem to enjoy Elliott’s quest for why it is happening to him.
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Hmmmm: What were the odds back in the early 1960’s that Smokey Robinson and Johnny Mathis would still be touring in the summer of 2007?
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Quote” “Hain’t we got all the fools in town on our side? And ain’t that a big enough majority in any town?”---Huck Finn
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Truism: The reason some expressions become clich├ęs is that they are so true there is no need to find new ways to say them.
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Hmmm: Is it true that when Mexicans apply for welfare in Mexico, they give them a map of the United States?
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Rave: If Fred Thompson decides to run, we won’t have to worry about him spending $400 on a haircut.
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Truism: With the possible exception of Dennis Kucinich, every Democratic presidential candidate lives like the top 1 percent of the people they are denigrating
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Rave: I eagerly await the upcoming Ken Burns PBS Special “The War.”
It debuts on September 23rd and is a seven part series on WWII.
http://www.pbs.org/thewar/
Original Music Composed and Arranged by Wynton Marsalis.
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Hmmmm: If you buy two bottles of Half-and-Half, do you have a bottle of Whole?
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Rimshot: How long until fantasy hot dog eating leagues begin appearing around the country? Not that I relish the thought. Wiener take all.
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Rant: Speaking of faddish programming, isn't it about time poker on TV folded its hand.
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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.






Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 354

Wednesday, July 11, 2007---481 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 29 seconds (time frittered away)
Offending readers one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
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Rave: Eve Arden.
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On the Victrola: “A Classy Pair”---Ella Fitzgerald and Count Basie.
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Reading: “Cases” by Joe Gores.
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American History and Practical Math: Bush is only 596 pardons behind Clinton.
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Rant: The garbage that passes for sports on TV these days…such as hot dog eating contests, a rock-paper-scissors tournament, and worst of all, the Home Run Derby the day before the MLB All Star Game.
These are better suited for a carnival freak show!
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Rimshot: Bakers trade bread recipes on a knead-to-know basis
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First take: “The Bronx Is Burning” is running for eight weekly episodes on ESPN. The initial show was an interesting table setter.
However, there ought to be a special place in Hell for the make up department. Where did they find those ears for John Turturro as Billy Martin and that ridiculous afro wig for Daniel Sunjata as Reggie Jackson? They looked like cartoonish caricatures---maybe that was the point.
In addition, Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner was a bit over done and over blown. Again, perhaps that was on purpose.
So far, Leonard Robinson as Mickey Rivers has stolen the show…sort of as he did in real life.
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Rant: NBC firing Bud Collins after 35 years of covering Wimbledon.
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Hmmmm: The Federal Reserve is concerned about the core inflation rate, which excludes food and energy. I am more concerned about the cost of food and energy.
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Good tip: Anytime you are going to microwave leftovers, simply spread water over the product before you microwave. It will taste like it was just made
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Factoid: Two big reasons for the Red Sox success thus far are Mike Lowell and Josh Beckett. Ironically, the trade that brought them to Boston was completed when the boy genius Theo Epstein was in self-imposed exile.
Shows there are a few perceptive baseball people in Red Sox Nation.
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Quote: “It's my belief that the more technology available in sports television, the less we learn about the people playing the games.”—Frank Deford
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Rant: Ringtones! What a boring annoyance!
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Rave: I love watching the tennis at Wimbledon. Requiring the players to wear white is a big draw for me.
The comeback by Serena Williams against Daniela Hantuchova after suffering calf spasms was incredible theater. Very exciting tennis!
The Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal 5 set men’s finals match featured two championship performances. It was captivating to watch.
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Hmmmm: It is amazing that severe weather never occurs during the commercials, is it not?
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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.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 353

Thursday, July 05, 2007---759 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 19 seconds (time frittered away)
Offending readers one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
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Rave: Lou Dobbs
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On the Victrola: Ratatouille Soundtrack
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Reading: “Garden of Viper” by Jack Kerley.
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Hmmmm: I find it rather ironic that the same people who are willing to commute, pardon, or grant amnesty to 12 million illegal aliens who broke federal laws are now screaming about an American citizen being legally commuted.
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Rave: High on the suspense meter are “A Thousand Bones” by P.J. Parrish and “Power Play” by Joseph Finder.
Finder’s is perhaps the most intense of his business thrillers to date. A nonstop ride. At a corporate retreat in an isolated resort where cell phones and PDAs do not operate, twelve company officers are kidnapped for a half billion-dollar ransom.
Who is the insider betraying them…and how to escape? Impossible to put down until you know.
“A Thousand Bones” gives the back-story to Louis Kincaid’s girl friend.
Now a Miami cop, Jo Frye had a rough introduction to police work in her rookie year in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. It continues to haunt her and she spools the tale out to Louis.
The case involved a venal serial killer…but was uncovered by a chance finding of human bones in a secluded forest. It is 1975 and Jo fights the good old boy network…but picks up a mentor and believer in a Michigan State Police Investigator.
As the clues are unearthed and more bones are found, Jo becomes both predator and prey.
Unable to resist “just one more chapter” I finished this exhilarating novel in two sittings.
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Rant: If the amazingly vacuous Paris Hilton did not exist, our astonishingly bankrupt celebrity culture would have had to invent her.
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Just asking: Do the Cincinnati Bengals need a parole officer more than a coach?
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Hmmm: What did pro athletes do before there were strip clubs?
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Inquiring minds: Does the NY on the Yankee ball caps stand for Next Year?
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Rave: The salute to King Vidor by Molly Haskell on Turner Classic Movies.
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Factoid: Didjaknow that Orlando’s University of Central Florida in the seventh largest university in the USA with over 47,000 students.
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Truism: There are two types of people in this world. Those who buy the latest high-tech gadgets, and those who wait for all the kinks to be ironed out and the price to drop and then, when they're finally ready to buy, the thing is obsolete and replaced by an even more expensive gadget.
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Rumor mill: Paris Hilton is the new Madonna minus the talent.
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Hmmmm: Did it seem like there was more interest in the NBA draft than in the NBA Finals?
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Rave: Bob Schieffer’s “Final Word” on his Sunday “Face the Nation” show is always a treat…informative, witty and often sardonic.

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Rave: The “Boston Blackie” movies from the 1940’s are among my guilty pleasures. Chester Morris was perfect in as Blackie in all fourteen flicks. There was also a radio show and a television series that ran for two seasons (1951 and 1952). Almost half the episodes were filmed in “living color.”
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Rant: With the lack of sales people to help customers, the name of the store should be changed to Nobody’s Home Depot
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Rave: Oliver Platt as George Steinbrenner and John Turturro as Billy Martin in the upcoming ESPN movie, “The Bronx Is Burning” is inspired casting. I hope the story line and screenplay is worthy of these actors.
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Rant: If you have a question at Home Depot you will need to have your track shoes on to catch any of the floor people
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Rave: Shortly Time-Life will release all 105 episodes of “The Man from U.N.C.L.E.” The series ran from 1964-1968 and was, along with “The Fugitive,” must see TV during my college career. A pop culture touchstone!
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Rave: I just love it when I can complete a midweek USA Today Sudoku Puzzle in ink.
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Rant: After staging the phony death of its chairman, WWE is concerned about “sensationalistic reporting” of the death of Benoit? Give me a break!
It deserves zero coverage.
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Hmmmm: If GM would make and sell an exact replica of the 1957 Chevrolet body, it would be debt-free in six months. That car was mucho roomy…great big back seat.
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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.