Thursday, November 29, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 373

Thursday, November 29, 2007---479 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 42 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: Count Basie
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On the Hi Fi: Dean Martin’s aptly titled, “Forever Cool.” The duets with Martina McBride, Paris Bennet and Shelby Lynn with Big Bad Voodoo Daddy are the highest of highlights for me.
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Reading: “Stripped” by Brian Freeman.
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Wonder of wonders: Barry Bonds indicted. Boy, I sure didn’t see THAT coming.
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Rant: When Hillary smiles, she looks just like the Grinch.
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Quote: “Coach Belichick doesn’t put us on the field to punt.”---Tom Brady.
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Eyesore: The Buffalo Bills uniforms invented ugly.
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Odds are: If you took the turkey and the points last Thursday, you lost.
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Rave: It was fifty years ago this Christmas season that “Jingle Bell Rock” by Bobby Helms debuted. I can remember exactly where I was the first time I heard it.
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Ever notice: In the movies, all grocery shopping bags contain at least one stick of French bread.
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Rant: Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton led the kangaroo court, declaring the innocent Duke lacrosse guilty (within minutes of hearing about the false accusations). They also formed the lynch mob that ran Imus out.
I cannot help but notice their deafening silence on Michael Vick, O.J. Simpson and Barry Bonds.
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Rave: Some movies get better and better with each viewing, no matter how many times you see them.
A few that fill that bill for me: “The Maltese Falcon,” “Saving Private Ryan,” “Guns of Navarone,” “Magnificent Seven,” “Mr. Holland’s Opus,” “Band of Brothers,” “Stagecoach,” all seven Randolph Scott/Bud Boetticher collaborations filmed in the late 1950’s, “The Thin Man,” “Hoosiers,” “Double Indemnity,” “The Cowboys.”
What titles are on your short list?
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Here’s a thought: I think we should declare a holiday when only government workers report to work.
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Rant: If people had to pass an IQ test to breathe, most would simply choke to death
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Hmmm: Dennis Rodman says he is interested in coaching in the WNBA. Is that because he misses wearing the dress?
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Rimshot: Is the Ottoman Empire a furniture store?
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Rant: That sound you hear is the people jumping on the Celtics’ bandwagon.
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Factoid: Since game four of the 2004 ALCS, Alex Rodriguez has come to plate in the post season 27 with men on base (38 total) and gone a perfect oh for 27.
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Quote: “Never judge a book by its movie.”---J.W. Eagan.
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Bumper sticker of the year: “National Sarcasm Society, Like We Need Your Support!”
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Hmmm: Is it true that Shaq has more commercials than rebounds this season?
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Just asking: How’s David Beckham doing?
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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.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Duke Women At USF

The St. Pete Times Forum is a major league facility...certainly good sightlines in the lower level. The parking garage ($10) is a short walk from the Forum...no further than the end of Card Gym lot to Cameron. There is a mega Marriott in walking distance, if the Final Four is in your plans.

I had great seats in the 4th row behind the Duke bench...seated next to me was Mark Stein (Duke, 1997), head of the Duke Club in Tampa. He organized the turnout that looked to be a couple of hundred and the Coach P meet and greet after the victory.

The second game was Tennessee and Oklahoma---and it might as well have been a Tennessee home game. There was a sea of orange in every section. Their roar when Tennessee took the floor for warm-ups was intense. They are great fans and deserve all the respect and accolades that can be given.

The first site to greet me was Abby Waner on crutches and in a boot. The add thing to me was she wore a high heel on the other foot. Whenever I have been on crutches, the doc has told me the uninjured leg has to do all the work and needs to be stable.

There was a lot to like in this game. The Denver game sounded very lackadaisical and sluggish to me. This one showed off the speed---especially Jasmine. Most surprising to me is the speed that Joy and Krystal get down the floor for bigs. They have far, far greater mobility than Bales.

Krystal had a nice personal cheering section from Orlando. Too bad she got two fouls almost immediately after being subbed in and had to sit the rest of the first half. When she played, she was a force---at least a half dozen blocks---a couple which were thunderous.

Jasmine had a handful of steals, assists and blocks from the smallest player on the floor, and did not the same mistake twice.

Chante and Ketura seemed to be dominant on the boards. Brittany had a few assists...a couple that were eye popping.

For most of the first half our free throw attempts were atrocious...then we started a run of never missing. Chante was particularly deadly from the line---may not have missed any of her attempts.

USF played all 40 minutes and was very physical. They had two centers listed at 6'3" who both fouled out by the first half of the second period.

Brittany went out with a cut to eye area from an elbow. At the second half 8 minute timeout, Wanisha was in obvious pain and called a trainer over and spent the rest of the game with ice on her hand.

Coach P was most gracious at the meet and greet. About 50 in attendance.

She is a good salesman...and just might fill Cameron on a regular basis. She knows the average attendance figures for all the elite programs, and stressed that for Duke to get to the Tennessee/U-Conn level we need eight to nine thousand a night in Cameron. She will go door-to-door to sell them. Somehow she needs to get the students to take the lead in that quest---in my opinion.

Said Abby has a high ankle sprain and will be out at least thru the Paradise Jam...was most enthusiastic about the recruits for next year...praised the girls as special people...could not say enough nice things about the assistants and staff.

Strength and conditioning continue to be in her mantra. She said we will continue to see an emphasis on post play. With four bigs and a couple who can play big, she plans to exploit that area.

Still says point will be by committee. Does not want to rely on only one player in case of injury---wants to keep as many people involved as possible.

With a two-hour drive home, I left with about 5 minutes to go in the first half of the Tennessee/Oklahoma game.

Watching Candice Parker go against Courtney Paris is like watching beauty and the beast...a cement mixer vs. a Corvette.

Paris is a wide load who can bully her way into position regularly...no finesse, just brute strength. She picked up a couple of quick fouls and was replaced by Abi Olajuwon...just as tall at 6'4" and even wider.

Candice is simply poetry in motion. I think she is the first player I have seen listed in the program's position column as F/C/G. An amazing athlete.

Go Duke!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 372

Saturday, November 10, 2007---603 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 12 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: Van Morrison
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On the Hi Fi: Eagles—“Long Road Out of Eden.”---“Busy Being Fabulous” and “No More Cloudy Days” are my faves.
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Reading: Clive Cussler’s “The Chase.”
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Hmmm: When TV writers go on strike, do they carry blank picket signs?
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Slogan: Looks like Hillary has adopted a new policy on the campaign highway, “Even if You Ask, I Will Not Tell.”
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Rant: Joni Mitchell smoking on camera during her CBS Sunday Morning interview. And, shame on CBS for allowing it.
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Rave: I have had nothing but outstanding results with every used bookseller I have ordered from on Amazon.com. When asked for comments, I have always put, “exceeded expectations.”
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Hmmm: Seems like the saucer is no longer a part of the coffee drinking experience.
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Input requested: Am yet to use an ink jet refill service---just wondered if any reader had capsule review of one.
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Quote: “Can’t we put the off back in off-season? Please.”---Frank Deford.
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Rave: If you are a fan of the outstanding novels of Nelson DeMille, there are a few movies on the way.
“The Gold Coast” is filming.
Columbia owns the movie rights to “Plum Island”---a John Corey novel---and it is a maybe.
Columbia also has the rights to “Lion’s Game.” It is in development for a five-part TV mini-series. Goodson-Toddman is working with Columbia to make it happen.
The rights to “The Charm School” (my particular favorite DeMille novel), is in active development by Bristol Bay Entertainment. Frank Marshall (“Seabiscuit”) is slated to produce and direct.
“Up Country,” a Paul Brenner novel, is with Paramount---Mace Neufeld producing.
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Rant: John Travolta is first choice to play Paul Brenner. He is a terrible choice unless he can lose about a hundred pounds, Brenner is a fit soldier.
Even worse is the choice of Alec Baldwin to play John Sutter in “The Gold Coast.”
Both are 180 degrees off the characters on the printed page.
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Rave: Brett Favre plays football the way we would want to play it---still.
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Rant: All this hand wringing and gnashing of teeth about the writers in Hollywood going on strike. All say collective “woe is me” about the talk show hosts. This would never have bothered the truly creative talents like Dick Cavett, Jack Paar, Steve Allen, Jackie Gleason, Dave Garroway and their ilk. Today, maybe Dennis Miller has the chops to do his own writing.
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More strike: As long as the strike continues, there is no place for news for a generation. Actually, you could have fooled me---who knew they still had writers in Hollywood?
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Quote II: “If my books had been any worse, I should not have been invited to Hollywood, and if they had been any better, I should not have come.”---Raymond Chandler (Philip Marlow’s creator).
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Hmmm: When at the movies or sporting event, which armrest is yours?
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Quote III: “Movie agents are never more important than the talent, never have been and never will be. Agents just live longer.”—William Goldman.
Same could be said about sports agents.
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Department of Redundancy Department: Frozen solid, pizza pie, exact same, front windshield.
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Hmmm: How can those “one day sales” last all weekend?
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Rant: If I never saw Tom Cruise again in a movie, it would be all right.
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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.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 371

Saturday, November 03, 2007---515 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 53 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: Steely Dan
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On the Hi Fi: Miles Davis, “The Jazz Biography.”
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Reading: “Protect and Defend” by Vince Flynn.
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Factoid: According to delanceyplace.com, Chuck Berry learned to write narrative songs by listening to the Grand Ole Opry on Saturday nights.
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Rant: I am certainly a member of the anti-Barry Bonds contingent---however, those most vocal Bonds’ detractors are going to make this jerk a sympathetic figure if they do not tone it down.
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Admit it: You always try to figure out the message when you spot a vanity plate…and are frustrated when you fail to “get it.”
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Rant: In today’s politically correct world, moonshiners would be referred to as undocumented distilleries.
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Hmmm: Why is it that there are no plastic bags open from the end on the first try? And why do Ziploc bags come out of the box closed?
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Rant: A week or so ago we had United Nations Day. I celebrated by sending a stern letter to someone.
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Rim shot: An agnostic-dyslexic with insomnia lays awake at night pondering whether or not a dog exists.
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Hmmmm: I never got the whole Croc thing from day one…still don’t. Then again, a lot eludes me these days.
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Truism: Driving or waiting to check out at any store---if you change lanes the other one will always start to move faster.
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Rant: Since giving us the Statue of Liberty in 1886, the French have given us nothing else of value.
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In you’re scoring at home: Red Sox starting pitcher, Dice-K has two RBIs in World Series competition, compared to A-Rod’s zero.
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Rave: Joe Torre will have the last laugh on the Brothers Steinbrenner.
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Hmmmm: Hollywood used to glorify cowboys. Now it glorifies gangsters.
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Give me a break: All those teams whining about the Patriots rolling up the score---too bad! Try stopping them…if you cannot…keep quiet about it.
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Retraction: Last issue I was critical of Hillary Clinton’s double speak. I guess it was my conservative nature. Her obfuscations are more like triple talk with a fancy dance on top.
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Quote: “Political correctness has gone beyond anything benign. The victims are the victimizers now because they have everyone’s sympathy from the get-go.”—Debrah Correll.
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Rant: With his boorish “state of me” address during the World Series, Alex Rodriguez retires the trophy as the planet’s most self-absorbed athletic diva. His agent, Scott Boras, joins my personal axis of evil along with Hillary Clinton, John Edwards and Nancy Pelosi.
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Eye sore: The Oregon Ducks have an electrifying football team…a national title contender. But, who designed those uniforms--- Kermit the Frog?
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Hmmm: Why is it that slim chance and fat chance are the same, while a wise man and a wise guy are opposites.
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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, November 01, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 370

Thursday, November 01, 2007---602 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 5 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: Miles Davis.
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On the Hi Fi: John Fogerty’s “Revival.”
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Reading: Vince Flynn’s excellent new one, “Protect and Defend.”
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Rave: John Fogerty’s “Revival” sounds like music Sun Records would be making today if Sam Phillips was still cutting tracks.
There is a lot to like on this CD.
“Gunslinger” is just about the best song I have heard this year.
Some astute Nashville country singer could have a huge hit covering “Broken Down Cowboy”---an exceptional song that speaks volumes.
As a sixties rocker, he has the obligatory song bashing President Bush. However, the wordsmithing of “Long Dark Night” is so quick and witty, that it offends me (a Goldwater Republican) not a whit. It is easy to appreciate.
His paean to all things Britney, Lindsay, Paris and the like (“It Ain’t Right”) is a lively satire that gives you ear-to-ear grins.
“I Can’t Take It No More” is the mandatory antiwar song---a 21st century update of “Fortunate Son” from the Viet Nam War. Since he was making music in San Francisco during the war, one could say he was just as fortunate as those of us ensconced in institutions of higher learning during that war. Therefore, I will give him a push on it.
There is not a clunker on the disc. The musicianship is first rate. The vocals are strong and the lyrics are not to be faulted.
Perhaps the best part is how quickly you find yourself singing along with the songs.
Only a pair of tunes exceed four minutes---so this is not some artist indulgence.
It is just a big pleasure. Welcome back, Mr. Fogerty.
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Hmmmm: I driving on the hiways and byways---tooling along at 5-10 mph over the speed limit in the “slow lane” and still get the tail-gaters and my doors blown off.
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Rave: The Dalai Lama impressed me as the most honest preacher I have seen. When someone asked him a question, he actually answered, “I don’t know.”
Most unlike the world famous Hillary double speak.
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Rant: Churches holding “fall festivals” in their parking lot on or about October 31st are still celebrating Halloween. It just more bogus PC crapola.
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Factoid:
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Most disturbing: Braille instructions on a diaper-changing table located in the men’s room of a restaurant.
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Rant: It would be a true public service if there was a “none of the above” lever to pull in the upcoming primaries and general elections.
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Rave: After age 55, happy hour is a good nap.
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Hmmmm: What do you suppose the “Thirty Years War” and the “Hundred Years War” were called while they were still going on?
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Truism: If you do not know where you are going, any road will take you there.
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Rant: The Democrats in their majority in both houses are absolutely terrific at passing a bunch of non-binding resolution---as opposed to real legislation. Sorta like kissing your sister.
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Hmmmm: The problem with bucket seats is that not everyone has the same size bucket.
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Truism: You have been using your computer excessively much when you expect spell-check to appear on handwritten notes.
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Rant: Companies that provide return envelopes that are about 1/8 of an inch too small to hold their very own bill stub that has “do not fold” stamped on it.
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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.









John Fogerty---"Revival"

John Fogerty’s “Revival” sounds like music Sun Records would be making today if Sam Phillips was still cutting tracks.

There is a lot to like on this CD.

“Gunslinger” is just about the best song I have heard this year.

Some astute Nashville country singer could have a huge hit covering “Broken Down Cowboy”---an exceptional song that speaks volumes.

As a sixties rocker, he has the obligatory song bashing President Bush. However, the wordsmithing of “Long Dark Night” is so quick and witty, that it offends me (a Goldwater Republican) not a whit. It is easy to appreciate.

His paean to all things Britney, Lindsey, Paris and the like (“It Ain’t Right”) is a lively satire that gives you ear-to-ear grins.

“I Can’t Take It No More” is the mandatory antiwar song---a 21st century update of 1969’s
“Fortunate Son” from the Viet Nam War. Since he was making music in San Francisco during the war, one could say he was just as fortunate as those of us ensconced in institutions of higher learning during that war. Therefore, I will give him a push on it.

There is not a clunker on the disc. The musicianship is first rate. The vocals are strong and the lyrics are not to be faulted.

Perhaps the best part is how quickly you find yourself singing along with the songs.

Only a pair of tunes exceed four minutes---so this is not some artist indulgence.

It is just a big pleasure. Welcome back, Mr. Fogerty.