Sunday, December 21, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 416

Sunday, December 21, 2008---631 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 20 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Ann Sothern.
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On the Hi Fi: Shorty Rogers “Swings.”
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Reading: “Big City, Bad Blood” by Sean Chercover.
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Under rated: John Litel.
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Must see TV: On Christmas night, Turner Classic Movies rolls out three Humphrey Bogart masterpieces. At 8 PM: “Casablanca”---followed by “The Big Sleep” at 10---at midnight, “The Maltese Falcon.”
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Rant: The college football postseason is ridiculous. I mean, what other sport would require the teams participating in the championship game (Florida and Oklahoma) to wait forty days before playing the game?
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Just asking: Most of the TV infomercials make me reach for the remote. However, Sham-Wow is a product that I can sort of accept intellectually. If anyone has actual hands-on experience, please advise.
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Quote: “Is there any chance that unions would agree to accept card check in reverse? If an employer gathered cards signed by 51% of its workforce stating that they no longer wished to be represented by the union, would the union agree to pack up and leave?” —Paul Cooper in the Wall Street Journal.
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Rant: James Bond movies became glorified cartoons about two decades ago.
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Hmmm: Polaroid filed for bankruptcy…betcha didn’t hear that. Why bankruptcy is good for Polaroid, but not the automakers makes no sense.
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The Good Old Days: From 1946-48, the New York Yankees, New York Giants, and Brooklyn Dodgers were both major league baseball teams and professional football teams.
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Hmmm: Is there a new rule that says any governor has to look casual during a snowstorm?
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Truism: Rest assured, if the spotlight is not on Terrell Owens, he'll do something to find it.
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Rant: The phrase “whatever” needs to be put on hold for a while. “My bad” needs to be expunged from the lexicon. Actually, anyone using “my bad” ought to be expunged.
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My-oh-my: Just when you think you have heard it all, along comes Bernard Madoff.
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Rant: I just might have a modicum of respect for Newsweek if they changed the magazine’s name to Opinionweek. I take great pleasure in their remarkable drop off in subscriptions. The magazine has moved beyond reporting the news as it attempts to create the news.
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Stats: The NY Giants will close out their season as the only NFL team to play ten consecutive games versus opponents with winning records.
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More stats: Shaquille O’Neal is about to become the second player in NBA history to miss 5,000 free throws.
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Useless Factoid: The only team in NFL history with twice as many ties as wins during a regular season was the 1960 Washington Redskins who went 1-9-2. Their only win was over the 0-11-1 expansion Dallas Cowboys.
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True confession: I am still uncertain about the proper use of “that” or “which.”
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Another useless factoid: Of all the original AFL franchises from 1960, only the Buffalo Bills and Denver Broncos remain as the lone franchises not to have relocated or changed their names.
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Rave: I don’t think I have ever heard a bad rendition of “The Girl from Ipanema.”
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Rant: “Holiday music, holiday concert, happy holidays, holiday this and holiday that.” It makes me wonder; what holiday do they mean? Could it be Presidents’ Day…but no one hesitates to say Presidents’ Day, do they? If you cannot wish a Merry Christmas, you should not take the holiday off…and report to work on December 25th.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 415

Saturday, December 13, 2008---643 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 29 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Ann Blythe.
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On the Hi Fi: The Complete Lionel Hampton, Volumes ½(1937-1938).
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Reading: “Hit and Run” by Lawrence Block.
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Under rated: Leon Ames.
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Must see TV: Tuesday, December 16th---ESPN---#4 Stanford Lady Cardinals at #12 DUKE. I figure Stanford is 12-20 points better. They have four starters over six feet tall. There will be a lot of high SAT scores on the floor at Cameron Indoor this Tuesday.
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Quote: “Were we directed from Washington when to sow, and when to reap, we should soon want bread.” --- Thomas Jefferson.
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Rave: As usual, the “TCM Remembers” tribute to those in the film community who passed away this year (from Charlton Heston to Paul Newman), is just excellent. So many truly irreplaceable.
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Practical math: At a salary of $23 million next season, should C.C. Sabathia not miss a start, the Yankees will be paying him just about $6,250 per pitch.
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More math: There is no way in this big, bad world that Sabathia will be worth the dough in the final years of his seven year, $161 million contract.
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Rave: When you watch Davidson basketball on the tube, it is amazing how cool Stephen Curry’s dad Dell is sitting in the stands…no matter if his son is zero out of 13 or on a tear while taking over the game. It is easy to see where Steph gets his composure.
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Silver lining: If the current financial crisis leads to a reduction in the number of college football bowl games, at least something positive will have come out of it. The fact that 6-6 teams are eligible for bowls tells you there are more bowls than we need.
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Rant: Coaches love the idea of postseason games lowering the bar on mediocrity…even when it results in Michigan vs. Florida Atlantic, Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech and South Florida vs. Memphis. And, who wants to miss the EagleBank Bowl in D.C. that pits Navy against Wake Forest (the 9th out of 11 teams in the ACC).
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Truism: Life is unfair…college football is even worse.
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Depression era football: Back in 1929, New York Giants (football) owner Wellington Mara coveted Detroit Wolverines quarterback Benny Friedman, the first of the great passers. When told by the Wolverines that they wouldn't trade Friedman, Mara simply bought the entire Detroit franchise, disbanded it, and kept Friedman for his New York team. In 1929, Friedman led the NFL in touchdown passes with 18.
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Rave: The new Panera Bread slogan---“Unsliced bread. Best thing since sliced bread.”
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Hmmm: It seems most of the movies nominated for the upcoming Golden Globes have yet to be released outside of NY and LA.
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Rave: Kudos to the Las Vegas Wranglers of the East Coast Hockey League, who are going to wear black-and-white-striped jerseys with prison numbers on the back in honor of Illinois Gov. “Hot” Rod Blagojevic.
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My two cents: The Heisman Trophy should go to the best college player, not the guy who figures to be the best pro prospect.
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Quote: “If reactionary liberals, unsatisfied with dominating the mainstream media, academia and Hollywood, were competitive on talk radio, they would be uninterested in reviving the fairness doctrine.” —George Will.
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Hmmm: You know all you have to know about the Raiders when owner Al Davis is still the biggest name.
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Quote: "Two and two equals four -- unless we're in outcome-based education, in which case it equals whatever you want it to be.” —Rush.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 413

Thursday, December 04, 2008---531 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 49 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Joel McCrea.
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On the Hi Fi: Fleetwood Mac’s Greatest Hits.
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Reading: “Hit and Run” by Lawrence Block.
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Under rated: Jack Carson.
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Must see TV: On Saturday, December 13th at 9 PM, ESPN will present “The Greatest Game Ever Played” to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the December 28th, 1958 NFL Championship game. It was the first overtime game in playoff history and won by the Colts (23-17).
It will be great to see this game again, but be prepared to go with the sound off as the buffoon Chris Berman is the narrator.
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Hmmm: Is there anything more ridiculous in sports than seeing NHL players stand around and watch two guys fight?
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Factoid: In 1959, Chicago Bears owner, George Halas told George Blanda, age 32, to retire and promptly released him. He played another 16 seasons....Blanda's so old he played for Bear Bryant at Kentucky...And he's the only NFL player to play in four decades - 40's, 50's, 60's and 70's..
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Didjaknow: The Planters Nuts logo known as Mr. Peanut cost the company the princely amount of five dollars. That was the first prize money in a 1916 logo contest.
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Pop Quiz: Does Mr. Peanut wear his monocle over his left or right eye?
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Net results: The off-season for professional tennis began this weekend. It ends, me thinks, in approximately 36 hours.
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Q & A: What’s the difference between a drug dealer and a mortgage broker? Interest.
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Rant: Standing in line waiting for a store to open on the day after Thanksgiving…I don’t get it.
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Quote: “Life is one long process of getting tired.” ~Samuel Butler.
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Truism: In Detroit, the Lions are the only business run more poorly than the auto companies are.
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Changes: You know things are changing out there when General Motors dumps Tiger Woods as one of its spokesmen.
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Silver lining: At least Tiger no longer has to pretend to drive a Buick.
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More changes: A Keith Olbermann would not have been allowed to do commercials in the 1950’s.Chet Huntley, Eric Sevareid, et al must be turning in their graves.
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Hmmm: Is there any truth to the rumor that one of the growth industries on the horizon will be tattoo removal?
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Give me a break: Kanye West recently said he wants to be the next Elvis. Memo to Kanye: OK, and I want to be the next Raymond Chandler, but so what.
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Rant: Time Magazine does a cover comparing obama to FDR before he has been sworn in. Of course, this is the same prescient Time Magazine that comically portrayed the ineffective Jimmy Carter as Gary Cooper in “High Noon” during the Iran hostage-crisis in the spring of 1980. We know how well Carter handled that one.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Curmudgeon in the Wry 414

Tuesday, December 09, 2008---702 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 59 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Ben Johnson.
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On the Hi Fi: Dizzy Gillespie, “The Complete RCA Victor Recordings.
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Reading: “Hit and Run” by Lawrence Block.
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Under rated: Wendy Barrie
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Must see TV: This month on Saturday mornings, Turner Classic Movies is showing the “Crime Doctor” series starring Warner Baxter. Far better than the average B pictures, this series surrounded Baxter with member of Columbia Studio’s plethora of up and coming stars. These flicks are most entertaining…and since they last a tad over an hour, are perfect for instant gratification.
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My take: Rickey Henderson is at the top of the list of first-timers being voted on for the Hall of Fame. He was a character, as well as a most skilled player. If you did not enjoy watching him play…you were not paying attention.
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Hmmm: UNC’s basketball team appears to be at least 20 points better than everybody else in the country, including the Oklahoma Thunder.
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Rave: The condiment aisle is just about my favorite territory in the grocery store.
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Insecurity: Somehow, I know that I will not sleep better at night knowing Janet Napolitano is the head of Homeland Security. On the flip side, I feel certain the majority of Arizonans will chip in to pay for her move.
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Rave: “Twittering isn’t entirely new, of course. The Facebook generation has been sorta twittering for years, posting prosaic bulletins about their whims and whereabouts, thus providing a glimpse of what the world would be like if hummingbirds could type.” —Kathleen Parker.
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Stats: Running backs Tony Dorsett and Marcus Allen are the only two players who have won a college national championship, the Heisman Trophy, an NFL championship, and have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.
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Just wondering: Now that O.J. is a guest of the state of Nevada, who is going to look for the real killers?
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Rant: You can start any movie based on a video game without me.
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Rave: Love my new Exxon/Mobile credit card. It gives me thirty cents off a gallon for the first sixty days…fifteen cents for the duration.
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Hmmm: Is it true that Plaxico Burress missed his Mensa meeting to go clubbing in Manhattan?
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Just wondering II: What do you think Vince Lombardi would have thought of Plaxico Burress?
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Do you think: Plaxico’s jury might find him innocent by reason of being a total idiot?
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This just in: Police in New York challenge reports that NFL officials informed them of Plaxico’s accidental shooting, claiming they didn’t know about it until an NYPD detective saw it “scrolling along on ESPN.”
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Quote: “If you must forecast tomorrow’s weather, you will be tolerably accurate more often than not if you say it will be sort of like today’s.” —George Will.
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Rant: Why is it that the gas stations that provide squeegees to clean your windshield, do not have the type of pump handle that allows gas to be pumped without you holding it down?
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Dollars and nonsense: Stephan Marbury makes $256,000 a game, and he does not even dress for the games with the Knicks, let alone play. And, all this time you thought the Big Three auto companies were the biggest fools out there.
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Practical math: It is easy to spot those whose strong suit in school was something other than math. They are the ones in front of you in the “ten items or less” lane.
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Keynesian economics 101: “The state is wise and the market is stupid.” ---from John Maynard Keynes’ biographer, Robert Skidelsky.
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Rant: In addition, why do stores use the village idiot as the cashier on the “ten items or less” aisle? Seems to me, the store’s best cashier should be on that lane---the better to expedite many many more customers.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 412

Saturday, November 29, 2008---501 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 59 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Alice Faye
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On the Hi Fi: Diana Krall’s “From This Moment On.”
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Reading: “The Colts’ Baltimore (A City and Its Love Affair In the 1950’s)” by Michael Olesker
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Under rated: Phil Harris.
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Must see TV: The Old Spice Classic featuring four ranked colleges (Georgetown, Gonzaga, Michigan State and Tennessee). Eight games on ESPN and espn2 Thursday, Friday and Sunday---with four on ESPNUnavailable.
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Quote: “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” ---Abe Lincoln.
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Rant: Let the automakers unions bail out the automakers.
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Truism: The world will run out of oil before it runs out of vampire movies.
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American History lesson: On January 1, 1933, “The Lone Ranger” debuted on Detroit radio station WXYZ.
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Practical Math Lesson: The Atlantic 10 Conference has 14 teams for basketball.
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Economics Lesson: I would feel a whole lot better if Barney Fife, rather than Barney Frank headed the House Finance Committee.
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Another Practical Math Lesson: The three US automakers want a $25 billion dollar bailout. You could buy all the outstanding shares of Ford and GM for somewhere between seven and ten billion dollars. You do the math!
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TV Timeout: How many more years must America tolerate the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving afternoon? One turkey is enough for any household.
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Rant: With 68 college football bowl game slots to fill, mediocrity will become a valued commodity…again!
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If you’re scoring at home: Seventy-one percent of Americans failed the American Civic Liberty test conducted by the
Intercollegiate Studies Institute, with an overall average score of 49%. You can test your knowledge at: http://www.americancivicliteracy.org/resources/quiz.aspx
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Hmmm: If the top half of your body has four layers of clothing, why does the bottom half require only shorts?
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Didjaknow: James Bond’s creator, Ian Fleming, wrote the children’s book “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,”
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Rant: How can Steve Miller not be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
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Stats: When Paul Hornung won the Heisman in 1956, Notre Dame was 2-8. He was the lone Heisman winner from a team with a losing record.
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Rant: Even with the cost of gas on the decline, a share of stock in Ford sells for about the same as a gallon of gas.
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Time’s up: The TV series Monk will go off the air
at the end of its eighth season. That means this coming summer.
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Quote: From Sir Winston Churchill, “Socialism is a philosophy of failure, the creed of ignorance and the gospel of envy, its inherent value is the equal sharing of misery.”
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 411

Saturday, November 15, 2008---622 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 15 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Howard Duff.
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On the Hi Fi: “Toni Tennille Swings the Big Bands.”
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Reading: “The King of Cards” by Robert Ward.
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Under rated: The Bobbettes.
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Must see TV: Women’s Basketball State Farm Tip Off Classic starts Sunday (11/16) at 2:30 on espn2. Four Top 25 teams---LSU vs Notre Dame and Pitt vs Texas A&M.
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Rave: The complete 117 episodes of all three seasons of “M Squad” starring Lee Marvin as Lt. Frank Ballinger is out on DVD. It was a groundbreaking early television police drama, on the screen as well as the soundtrack. RCA released “The Music from M Squad” in 1959.
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Quote: “In America, the young are always ready to give those who are older than themselves the full benefits of their inexperience.” —Oscar Wilde.
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Didjaknow: While at Syracuse, Jim Brown was an All-American in both football and lacrosse. In 1956, he set an NCAA for points scored by an individual in a game. He scored 43 points---six touchdowns and kicked seven extra points. Yet he never won the Heisman Trophy, losing to Alan Ameche, Paul Hornung and Howard Cassady.
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Oh well: With repeats everywhere on cable, I sure wish I liked “House.”
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Rant: It drives me crazy when basketball announcers use the phrase “near miss.” It’s a miss, plain and simple. A more definitive description would be “near basket.” It’s sorta like the “foul pole/fair pole” argument in baseball.
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Hmmm: Sean Connery will always be James Bond to me.
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Rant: I still think the baggy shorts look in basketball is hideous.
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Quote: From Will Rogers, “I remember back when a liberal was someone who was generous with his own money.”
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Truism: You know the economy is in tough shape when the Red Sox hold the line on ticket prices.
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Wondering: If lawyers are so unpopular, why, from Perry Mason and Judge Judy to “Law and Order” and “This is Wonderland”, are they pop culture heroes? Perhaps the answer is that the courtroom provides a classic setting for drama.
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Didjaknow: Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge was never considered an intellectual. Yet he read the classics in the White House…read both Greek and Latin, and read Dante in the original Italian. Since he spoke several languages, it was said that the taciturn Coolidge could be silent in five different languages.
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Tournament Stats: There are fifty regular season tournament this year in college basketball…and at least 28 have “classic” in their title. Sorta devalues the adjective classic.
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Hmmm: What do you suppose is the Las Vegas over/under on the first professional sports team to go out of business.
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Count ‘em: What makes the Dallas Cowboy’ bleak season so mystifying is the fact that they returned 13 Pro Bowl players from last year.
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Quote: From that sage, Manny Ramirez, “The price of gas is going up and so am I.”
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Didjaknow: There are an even dozen former U-Conn players currently in the NBA.
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Truism: “We’ve gone from protecting the unfortunate to supporting the irresponsible. In fact, many liberal politicians seem to want to keep citizens dependent on government. They hate poverty so much they reward it!” —Terry Paulson.
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Rant: Stephon Marbury has become like the Ferris wheel in the Coney Island of his youth---loud, noisy, overrated and in the end not worth 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.
We return you to your regular programming

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 410

Sunday, November 02, 2008---588 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 59 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Gloria Grahame.
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On the Hi Fi: “Jazz Signatures---Great Performances by Jazz Masters”—A Starbucks collection that includes Jobim, The Duke, Dizzy, Stan Getz and Willie Bobo.
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Reading: “The Gate House” by Nelson DeMille. It’s his sequel to “The Gold Coast” and it is terrific.
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Under rated: Guy Madison.
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Must see TV: I miss Mad Men, Burn Notice, Psyche and The Wire.
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Rave: The “America on the Move, 50’ Fins and Chrome” set of commemorative stamps is absolutely fabulous. A great job by the Post Office. It features five classic looks from the 1950’s including the 1959 Cadillac Eldorado---possibly the longest passenger car produced in Detroit. What great looks these cars had---back when the automobile actually had sex appeal…and you could tell one from another at a distance.
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Rant: The 82 game NBA pre-season has begun. They play four months to eliminate the Clippers and one other team then start seven rounds of playoffs.
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Truism: The next time Bud Selig comes up big in a big moment will be the first.
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Stats: In the initial seven weeks of the NFL season, the Tennessee Titans are not only 7-0, but they’re 7-0 against the spread, which is even tougher to do.
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Hmmm: If you are going to practice nepotism, you may as well keep it in the family.
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Didjaknow: The last Republican the NY Times endorsed for president was Dwight Eisenhower.
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Truism: Philadelphia is one of a dozen U.S. cities that has a team in all four major team sports. The other eleven have had at least one championship in the past quarter century. Before the Phillies grabbed the 2008 World Series, Philadelphia teams had failed to win a championship in 100 straight seasons.
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My-Oh-My: Recently shares TV Guide, one of the famous brand names in magazines, were selling for one dollar, less than the price of a single copy.
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Hmmm: David Ortiz of the Red Sox needs to come back next season in the best shape of his life.
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News item: The Canadian Women’s Olympic Biathlon team has created a nude calendar to raise money for the team and increase familiarity of this little known sport. It combines cross-country skiing and target shooting. Available at:
www.boldbeautifulbiathlon.com
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Rant: Why do people keep hiring Billy Mays to hawk their products... and who would need so many tubes of Might Putty, anyway?
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Rave: The sixth and final season of The Rockford Files comes out on DVD on January 20th of next year. Forever a classic…it received six Emmy nominations that season.
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Made for each other: Madonna and A-Rod are the perfect celebrity couple…so self absorbed, they have become clueless.
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Think about it: No one ever got more normal.
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Just asking: In LA does Hollywood cross Vine---or does Vine cross Hollywood?
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Truism: Rule on Dining Out: Never wait more than 15 minutes for a table, because the meal will rarely be worth it.
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Hmmm: And remember when Halloween was a night for kids, instead of a costume party for adults
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Born this day: Burt Lancaster, Bunny Berigan, Pat Buchanan, Daniel Boone.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Friday, October 24, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 409

Friday, October 24, 2008---641 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Aaron Tippin
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On the Hi Fi: “The Golden Age of Song”---another delightful Starbucks compilation that includes Tex Ritter, Artie Shaw, Frank Sinatra, Doris Day, The Ink Spots and a dozen more.
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Reading: Vince Flynn’s “Extreme Measures.”
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Under rated: Bradford Dillman
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Must see TV: Final season two episode this Sunday of “Mad Men” on AMC…10 PM.
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Didjaknow: “Rum and Coca Cola” by the Andrews Sisters was the best selling record of 1945 and held the #1 spot for ten weeks, despite being banned from radio due to its mention of alcohol. The Andrews Sisters placed 113 records on the charts during their recording career.
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Rant: The World Series viewers deserve far better than Joe Buck and Tim McCarver. They are atrocious. This is baseball’s biggest stage, and Fox gives us two complete bozos.
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Rave: “Appaloosa” is terrific western…just a great movie…wonderful entertainment. Like those westerns of an earlier time (the great John Ford Monument Valley films, “The Big Country,” etc.) it features spectacular establishing shots that emphasize the starkness and vastness of the West.
Sam Elliot could have played any of the good guys, while the villains are modeled on the best Jack Elam roles…a magnificent job of casting. The details of the period costumes are another highlight.
There was nothing I did not admire about this Ed Harris production. In addition, he did it with a slender budget.
Mr. Harris was very true to the Robert B. Parker novel…I hope he wants to film the follow-up, “Resolution”---it features the same protagonists and is another enjoyable read.
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Quote: “Like most people, I have no wish to live in a community organized by community organizers.” ---Mark Styne. Neither do I!
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Go figure: Just when you want to believe in the enduring power of love, Madonna and Guy Richie announce they are calling it quits.
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Rant: If you could stay up past midnight in the east, there was a most exciting Red Sox-Rays game on Thursday, the 16th of October. Wonderful sports theater. One of the greatest comebacks in all sports occurred while a huge portion of the country was asleep. Baseball sure knows how to promote itself.
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On the side of the coin: It is impossible to imagine going to sleep without knowing the outcome of an NFL playoff game. Betcha even Selig cannot envision that.
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Rave: The “Fast Draw Team” on CBS Sunday Morning with Charles Osgood.
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Rant: Here’s my idea of the Fairness Doctrine that the libs want to reinstate: “switch the station if you don’t like what you hear.” That is a pretty basic act of hand-eye coordination…even a caveman could do it.
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Rave: Michael Connelly does it again with his pairing of Mickey Haller (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) and LAPD Detective Harry Bosche in “The Brass Verdict.”
I am not alone in my praise as it debuted at #1 in the Wall Street Journal book chart.
Harry is on the case to solve the murder of a lawyer who left his practice…while Mickey defends an accused murderer whose case was one of those he inherited.
They two plots intertwine, and an uneasy alliance is formed between the dual protagonists.
As usual, Mr. Connelly hides the clues in plain sight in such a way that they elude you on first reading.
The story arc is so intriguing and captivating, that giving away anything would be unfair.
Do not miss this one!
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Michael Connelly Book Signing

Dateline: Raleigh---Friday, October 24, 2008
I was part of a crowd of about 100 that attended a Michael Connelly talk and book signing at Quail Ridge Books.
A few of the interesting points unveiled:
* "The Brass Verdict" is Mickey's road to redemption.
* Doing Harry Bosch from Mickey’s point of view refreshed Michael’s take on Harry.
* Character is king. Main character is the driver of the car.
* Raymond Chandler, Ross Macdonald and Joseph Wambaugh are his primary influences…all wrote of LA.
* In creating Harry Bosch, he wanted an outsider with an insider’s job…attempting to meld the best of his influences. Examples: being left-handed in a right-handed world and being the lifelong product of institutions (foster homes, the military and the police force).
* As an outsider in “The Black Ice”---Harry sees he has no family.
* In the novel, Harry and Mickey are diametrically opposed, but must form mutually dependant
relation.
* He has three or four more Harry books in his mind. Harry in Vietnam, Bosch in Hong Kong with his daughter and Harry as a young cop in the 1970’s.
* Next book will feature reporter Jack McEvoy from “The Poet” in “The Scarecrow.” It is based on a true story of a serial killer of women whom was obsessed will calling Michael at the LA Times while incarcerated.
* On this book tour he is reading Dennis Lehane’s “The Given Day.” Other recommended writers: George Pelecanos, UK hard-boiled writer Denise Mina and new writer
Michael Koryta (“Envy the Night”)
* Writing regret? Does your main character age in real time or not age as time moves on? Giving Harry’s birthday year as 1950 has set a time limit on how long Harry can be on the LAPD as there are not a lot of homicide detectives on the LAPD force past the age of 60.
* When I asked him if Mickey was truly going to stop practicing law as the “The Brass Verdict” suggests---with a twinkle in his eye, he said, “Remember, Harry retired from the LAPD at one time.”

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 408

Saturday, October 11, 2008---568 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Barry Fitzgerald
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On the Hi Fi: “Polka Dots and Moonbeams” by Paul Desmond.
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Reading: “The Given Day” by Dennis Lehane.
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Under rated: Joseph Cotton
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Must see TV: The baseball playoffs with the sound off. Being able to watch the Red Sox/Rays and listen on radio to the Rays broadcast was a treat.
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Quotes: “Momentum in sports is something like UFOs — people say they see them, but nobody has ever actually proved they exist.” --- “If Andruw Jones hadn’t gotten hurt, they (the Dodgers) wouldn’t have made it this far.” ---Dwight Jaynes.
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TV Timeout: Sarah Palin identifies herself as a hockey mom, but by the look of NHL ratings each year, she must be the only one.
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Hmmm: Is OJ now going to subcontract out the search for the real killers?
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Rave: Yesterday (10/10) marked the 50th anniversary of “77 Sunset Strip.” That’s where you met “the highbrow and the hipster.”
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Didjaknow: The three most popular betting sports on the Internet are horse racing, soccer and tennis.
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Rave: Say what you must about him--- Manny Ramirez is something to behold with a bat in his hand.
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Rant: Tim McCarver is the lamest baseball broadcaster the world has ever produced.
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Rave: Any day is improved when you hear a Bacharach/David song.
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MLB on TBS: It is nice of TBS to slip in a little baseball between those “Frank TV” promos.
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Rant: Thus far, the announcing on both TBS and Fox during the MLB post season has been boring. Why not use the team broadcasters? How about using the home team play-by-play guy and the visiting team color-man? It would give much more insight and provide a bit more inside info for the viewer.
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Rave: “An American Carol” is hysterically funny, wonderfully politically incorrect and skewers those who have so deservedly earned it.
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Bet ‘em Dano: Before the season, you could have gotten 75-1 odds in Las Vegas on the Tampa Bay Rays winning the American League pennant. The Rays are the 1967 Red Sox!
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Truism: Being televised on ESPNU is the TV equivalent of the Federal Witness Protection Program
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First law of the universe: Everything takes longer than you think.
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Didjaknow: Farrah Fawcett played David Janssen’s girl friend in the 1974-1976 TV series, “Harry O.”
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Stats: Out of 120 Division I-A schools, only 11 head football coaches have held their current jobs for 10 years or more.
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Quote: “ACORN is where Sixties leftovers who couldn’t get tenure at universities wound up.” ---Mona Charen.
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Hmmm: Consider this: the World Series winner participates in four clubhouse champagne celebrations. That is three too many wine spritzers.
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Rant: obama told Pastor Rick Warren that defining when a baby gets human rights is “above my pay grade.” Apparently, it is above the pay grade of mainstream media reporters to press obama on his abortion record.
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On this day: In 1950, the Federal Communications Commission issued CBS the first license to broadcast color television.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 407

Saturday, September 27, 2008---646 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 7 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Aldo Ray
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On the Hi Fi: “The Indispensable Bix Beiderbecke.”
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Reading: “Hot Mahogany” by Stuart Woods.
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Under rated: Edward Everett Horton.
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Must see TV: A new episode of “Mad Men” this Sunday on AMC at 10 PM.
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Rave: The Elmer Bernstein soundtrack to “The Magnificent Seven.”
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Didjaknow: “77 Sunset Strip” was the first hour-length private detective series on US TV. It ran from 1958 to 1964. Among those who guest starred: Sandy Koufax, George Jessel, Peter Lorre, Fay Wray, DeForest Kelley, and James Garner.
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Quote: “I don't miss vinyl as much as I miss album jackets.” —Chris DeCarlo.
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Raise your hand: If you can remember the last time you used your slide rule.
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Rave: If Josh Beckett is on his game, the BoSox have as good a chance as anyone in the MLB post-season.
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Just asking: When you purchase more than one bottle of booze, why do the liquor store clerks put the bottles in individual bags before putting them into one bag? I mean, what protection does that thin bag provide?
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Rave: I love Spell-Check.
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Hmmm: How many folks do you think would watch those late Sunday afternoon NFL games if they couldn’t bet on them?
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Rave: Retro-TV.
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Rant: It takes me days to get my rear view mirror back where I like it after someone adjusts it for their use.
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My-oh-my: You just have to love Hank Steinbrenner as the new “go-to” guy for nitwit statements.
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Truism: A lot of 401(k)s have become 201(k)s.
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Stats: A third of all the new jobs in the U.S. in the last 10 years were created in these three states: Texas, Florida and Arizona.
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In Passing: I will sorely miss Paul Newman. He seemed a selfless, self-deprecating man who was a Hollywood star, but not of Hollywood. His talent was so immense that he could overcome “Slap Shot.”
I truly enjoyed “The Drowning Pool,” “Absence of Malice,” “The Sting,” “Cool Hand Luke,” “Hombre,” “Hud,” “Harper,” and “Cat on a Hot Tin Roof” (with Elizabeth Taylor at her most beautiful).
Number one on my list remains 1982’s “The Verdict.”
He made good flicks and did good works and never looked for credit. Via con Dios.
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Rave: Central Florida is festooned with color as the bright blue plumbagos and vivid purple Mexican blue bells are just electric.
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English 101: TV and the print media continue to drive me crazy when they describe an open date on an NFL team’s schedule as a “bye” week. Webster as defines “Bye”: “the right to proceed to the next round of a competition without contesting the present round, often through nonappearance of an opponent.” NFL teams are just taking a week off. They are not advancing, just resting.
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Rave: No matter what happens in the post season, bunches of us were wrong about the Rays. They have not bent, folded or mutilated. They have never flinched versus the Red Sox or Angels. The Rays and the Cubs have been the best stories in baseball this season.
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Dodger Blue: The Yankees have fallen apart…but, for the 13th season in a row, Joe Torre is going to the postseason.
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Didjaknow: The Dragnet TV show used different announcers for the opening and closing of the show. George Fenneman set up the episode with the opening spiel…Hal Gibney did the closing when the sentences were pronounced. Just the facts, ma’am.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 406

Wednesday, September 10, 2008---548 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
+++++++
Rave: Broderick Crawford
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On the Hi Fi: “The Jazz Singers—Vocals by Great Instrumentalists.”
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Reading: “Lying in Wait” by J.A. Jance.
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Under rated: Ellen Corby.
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Must see TV: “Burn Notice” returns this Thursday on USA Network at 10 PM. Three new episodes to come---I think.
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Rave: The songs created in Tin Pan Alley.
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Quote: “In politics, if you want anything said, ask a man. If you want anything done, ask a women.” ---Margaret Thatcher.
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Raise your hand: If you can remember the last time you used your protractor.
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Truism: The only people who serve harder than Andy Roddick do it in video games.
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Rave: The US Open was wonderful. Roger Federer is a gracious winner and helluva tennis player. Having mono early this year and coming back to win the Open was quite an accomplishment.
Serena Williams is a most joyous winner…never lost a set…most incredible.
USA Network did a great job with its wall-to-wall coverage. It is a shame that The Open is moving to ESPN next year. That means we watch with the annoying screen roll that accompanies every show on espn2.
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Rave: Often it seems like the Williams sisters have been around forever, but they are still the best story in women’s tennis.
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Rant: ESPN televising 19 high school football games. Putting high school athletes on TV strikes me as a great way to inflate some already huge egos.
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Didjaknow: There is only one scene in “The Maltese Falcon” without the presence of Bogart’s Sam Spade. That’s the scene on the dark street corner of Bush and Stockton Streets when the unseen assailant shoots Miles Archer early in the film.
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Rant: There are few things more irrelevant in this world than knowing which presidential candidates celebs are supporting.
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Just a guess: As they prepare to leave Yankee Stadium behind, I wonder how many fans are saying, “Where have you gone, Joe DiMaggio?” And, Joe Torre as well.
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Rave: Google manager of the year and Tampa Bay’s Joe Maddon should turn up.
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Rant: Four NFL exhibitions are about two too many.
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Hmmm: Any truth to the rumor that it takes a sociologist to tell the difference between a soccer mom and a hockey mom.
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Truism: You need a long memory to remember when the Orioles were important.
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Quote: “Journalists are not going to change their coverage because of what John McCain says. They are going to change their coverage because of what Jon Stewart says.” —Robert Lichter, President of Center for Media and Public Affairs, when asked if PMSDNC would change its approach in response to conservative criticism.
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Stats: Research indicates that fantasy players watch three hours more football a week than a guy with an actual life.
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Rave: The best story in baseball this year is either Boston’s Dustin Pedroia or Rocco Baldelli from the Rays.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Curmudfeon in the Wry 405

Sunday, August 31, 2008---550 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 32 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Sarah Palin
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On the Hi Fi: Esquire’s All-American Hot Jazz Sessions
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Reading: “Blood Trail” by the incomparable C.J. Box.
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Under rated: Thelma Ritter.
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Must see TV: The US Open.
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Rave: I love the flaming tennis ball U.S. Open logo.
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Rave: This is Lindsay Davenport’s 17th U.S. Open. With a one-year-old son and assorted injuries, it may be her last. She has been wonderful for the game of tennis.
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Didjaknow: The first state law designating Labor Day a holiday was passed in Oregon on February 21, 1887.
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Rant: Why is it that we can block unwanted phone calls from commercial sources, but not block the automated phone calls from politicians, that will be inundating us this election year?
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Rave: Listening to John McEnroe, Mary Carillo, Dick Enberg and Tracey Austin call the U.S. Open is a treat.
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Just a guess: I’ll bet this is not the first time Sarah Palin has been proud of her country.
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Rave: I have never had less than an A-Plus experience with the used booksellers at Amazon.
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Didjaknow: Bruce Springsteen has a son who is freshman at Boston College. Time flies…does it not?
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Hmmm: Remember when drinking straws were stronger than their paper wrappers?
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Rant: If one is running for the highest office in the land, there is no question above one’s pay-grade.
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On this day: In 1897, Thomas Edison was awarded a patent for his movie camera, the Kinetograph.
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Factoid: The first credit card was issued by American Express in 1951
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Pop quiz: Name all the seven continents.
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Rave: The USA performances in the Olympics. Gold for the men’s and women’s basketball teams…Fort Knox type gold for Michael Phelps…Venus and Serena taking the gold in tennis doubles. Watching the sisters Williams in doubles, I am amazed when they lose a point, let alone a game or a set.
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Truism: Eating a salad while driving is harder than it looks.
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Rimshot: What do you call a deceased reporter? A journalist.
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Auto tip: AAA advises not to drive with the fuel gauge at one-eighth or below. At that level, sediment build up in the gas tank can flow thru the fuel system and clog injectors or the fuel pump.
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Hmmm: Only a cynic would say the reason we get beach volleyball in such large doses during the Olympics is that the girls wear bikinis, right?
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Ahhh tradition: “McEnroe tossed from geezer tournament” was a headline on the blogosphere. If you want tradition in sports, it doesn’t get any better.
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Quote: “The past is never dead. It’s not even the past.” ---William Faulkner.
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Didjaknow: Except for some exterior night shots, first time director, John Huston shot the entire “Maltese Falcon” in sequence.
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Factoid: Disney world is twice the size of Manhattan.
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Born this day: James Coburn, Frank Robinson and Arthur Godfrey (and all the little Godfreys).
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 404

Saturday, August 16, 2008---748 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Veronica Lake
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On the Hi Fi: Bobby Darin and Johnny Mercer’s “Two of a Kind.”
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Reading: “South of Hell” by P.J. Parrish.
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Capsule movie review: “Pineapple Express” will not be mistaken for “Citizen Kane.”
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Must see TV: Tuesday is Barbara Stanwyck day on TCM. Included are eight from the 1930’s that are seldom aired. At 8 PM is 1929’s “The Locked Door” costarring William “Hopalong Cassidy” Boyd.
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Rave: It is quite possible that Paul Newman is the best actor of my lifetime.
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Rant: This year’s USA Women’s Basketball Team could be a Dream Team…it is to me. They are 4-0…all blowouts…and nobody knows it. In their infinite wisdom, NBC has them in the 2 AM slot on Telemundo. These girls are spectacular and we should be able to celebrate their skills and victory. They play New Zealand at 10:15 A.M. on Sunday. NBC promises to show it live.
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Seems to me: The Olympics are not the same without Jim McKay. His classy nature is missed.
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Hmmm: Why would you watch a reality TV show about people you would run from if they sat next to you in a restaurant?
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Truism: Any child can tell you that the sole purpose of a middle name is so he can tell when he is really in trouble.
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Didjaknow: Both babe Ruth and Elvis died on this date. Ruth in 1948 at age 53…Elvis in 1977 at 42.
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Rant: If you bet money on NFL preseason games, you just might want to locate the nearest Gamblers Anonymous meeting.
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Truism: Everyone works for the sales department.
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This just in: From the Wall Street Journal---A Toyota Prius lists for $3,700 more than a similar sized gasoline powered Toyota. That means it takes 3 ½ years to make back the investment in fuel savings.

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Hmmm: After you have heard two eyewitness accounts of an auto accident, it makes you worry about history.
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Rant: I never understood why builders are afraid to have a 13th floor, but book publishers are not troubled about having a chapter 11 in their books.
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Ever noticed: Anyone going slower than you is an idiot, and everyone going faster is a moron?
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Rave: Never thought I would give props to Donald Trump and his hair, but fair is fair. He is buying Ed McMahon’s house and then leasing it back to Mr. McMahon. Beats foreclosure for Ed. Seems like a “hail fellow, well met” moment for Mr. Trump. Now, if he would employ a new hair stylist.
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Rant: What were the Atlanta Braves thinking when they signed Tom Glavine? Clearly, he was a great athlete whose time had passed. It should be no surprise that he is back on the disabled list.
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Rave: Michael Phelps just keeps winning the gold (at seven now) and setting records. Go USA. Now, I try to swim two miles twice a week…albeit at pace considerably less than that of Mr. Phelps. It takes me 45 minutes to swim a half hour. If I get a tiny bit of water in my goggles, I have to cease all operations…empty the goggles, tighten them, put them back on and restart. His goggles get full, and it is a trifle on the way to yet another world record. You would think it would be at least a second’s mental adjustment. He is remarkable.
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Didjaknow: Frank and his wife Kathy Lee Gifford were both born on the same day (today). Frank in 1930…Kathy Lee 23 years later.
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Didjaknow: If Starbucks engaged in the latte futures market, a barrel would go for $1,200.00. And, that dim bulb community agitator wants a windfall profits tax on the oil companies.
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Rave: The Kashi TLC (Tasty Little Cookies).
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Hmmm: Why do you suppose liberals think censorship is wrong…except when it is applied to conservatives on college campuses or on talk radio via the fairness doctrine
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Just asking: Why do soft breads get hard when they get stale and hard crackers get softer when they go stale?
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 403

Thursday, August 14, 2008---700 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 33 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Leo Gorcey
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On the Hi Fi: “Hooray for Hollywood,” an RCA two disc collection that includes Bing Crosby, Hank Mancini, Dorothy Lamour, Max Steiner, Gogi Grant, Lena Horne, Ella and cast of dozens.
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Reading: "South of Hell" by P.J. Parrish.
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Real treat: USA’s James Blake defeating Roger Federer today. Federer, down one set and 0-3 in the second, and I thought Federer had Blake right where he wanted him. Blake was not to be denied.
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Must see TV: Fred Astaire day this Saturday on TCM including “Easter Parade” with Judy Garland and nine with Ginger Rogers. Lest we forget, Ginger made every dance move with Fred, only backwards and in high heels.
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Didjaknow: The Muppets are left-handed.
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Rant: POTUS Bush looked into the eyes of Putin and saw his good soul.
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Rave: American war hero, Senator John McCain looked into Putin’s eyes and saw three letters---KGB. Who was prescient one?
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Rave: Some books are ballyhooed by a “ripped from today’s headlines” blurb. Daniel Silva’s “Moscow Rules” was ahead of the news. If you read only one novel this year, make it “Moscow Rules”---his account of today’s Russia is what we are reading in today’s Wall Street Journal. It is amazing that this best selling novelist “got it” way ahead of the administration.
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Irony: The one time W does not listen to the Veep (on Putin and the Russian thugs), Dick Cheney had it correct.
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Truism: Miami is a place where 1,000 different nationalities get together and give one another the finger on Interstate 95.
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Rant: It is easy to identify people whose math skills are retarded and cannot count to ten. They are in front of you in the supermarket express lane.
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Rave: Just about any version of “Satin Doll.”
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Rant: Anyone who did not know that John Edwards was a huge phony (at best) four years ago was either not paying attention or not watching Don Imus or both.
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Quote: “In order to cement your status in the cultural elite, you want to be already sick of everything no one else has even heard of.” ---David Brooks, New York Times.
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Hmmm: Where do all the missing pens go?
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Rimshot: The difference between a lawn mower and a banjo is that you can tune the lawn mower.
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Irony: The Dims plan to relocate the Denver homeless population where TV cameras cannot show them…this is the very same Denver that the Dims have led for the past 25 years and the homeless problem rages on.
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Didjaknow: Actors Dana Andrews and Steve Forrest were brothers.
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Rave: Was there any actor better than Peter Lorre at portraying the furtive villain.
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Hmmm: Rumor has it that Manny Ramirez has told friends he wants to sign with the Yankees so he can get revenge on the red Sox 19 times a season. If true, that is just Manny being Kobe…I mean Manny.
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Truism: Nothing in life is “fun for the whole family.”
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A defeat for the PC crowd: The NCAA announced it would not prohibit alcohol ads on NCAA sports telecasts. College presidents, ADs and some high profile coaches wanted to eliminate beer ads and take a stand against underage drinking. It would have been a merely a symbolic gesture, costing members schools millions of dollars---and would have had absolutely zero effect on the drinking habits of underage students.
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Hmmm: I heard that University of Georgia football team has to go to the no huddle offense this year because conditions of parole won't let half the players be seen with each other
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Didjaknow: “Mannix” starring Mike Conners ran for eight seasons. In today’s network TV landscape that would be tenure…or “Law and Order.”
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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.
We return you to your regular programming.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 402



Saturday, August 09, 2008---599 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Myrna Loy
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On the Hi Fi: “The Very Best of Diana Krall.”
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Reading: “South of Hell” by P.J. Parrish.
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Real treat: Completing Sudoku in ink.
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Must see TV: Richard Widmark day on TCM this Monday (8/11). Play hooky!
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Pop Quiz: A running back, linebacker, and a lineman from the University of Georgia are in a car. Who is driving? ---A: The police officer.
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Truism: As long as there are exams, there will be prayer in school.
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Rave: Westerns! It is quite interesting how many westerns were dismissed as just another average movie when they were released…only to be considered classic later on. They aged well and are now regarded as masterpieces…not only in the genre, but also in the pantheon of film. “Rio Bravo,” “Hour of the Gun,” “Hondo,” “Ride the High Country,” “The Magnificent Seven” and all the Randolph Scott/Budd Boetticher collaborations (such as “The Tall T,” “Comanche Station” and “Seven Men from Now”) are just a few now considered landmark flicks.
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Rave: I love the daily Sudoku puzzles. Oddly enough, the USA Today puzzle usually seems easier than the one in the local rag. The crossword puzzles are about even.
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Rave: The Post Office is on a roll with great stamps. The Sinatra is a beauty. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” is outstanding.
In October look for ’50’s Fins and Chrome” for a trip down memory lane---when cars had sex appeal.
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Quote: “I think Nancy Pelosi (whose autobiography released this week is hovering near 1000 on Amazon; a fate well deserved) should resign and get her own cable fashion show (a wildly narcisstic incompetent) and Harry Reid (a despicable little man who must have had some pretty interesting photos of his colleagues to get his senator leader job).” ---Ed Gorman (Author and uber-liberal)
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Hmmm: Any truth to the rumor that Manny wanted to go to L.A. so he can try out for the TV show “Are You Smarter Than A Fifth Grader?”
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Rant: Charging full price for NFL exhibition games seems pretty close to consumer fraud to me.
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Truism: If what happens in Vegas should stay in Vegas---there are lotsa folks who should stay out of Vegas.
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Quote: “There's nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.” -- Peter F. Drucker
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In passing: It is sad to see the passing of a fellow curmudgeon. Atlanta Braves esteemed announcer Skip Caray was sardonic, ironic, cynical, witty, oft times sarcastic, and had a dry delivery---with his tongue usually in his cheek. All characteristics I admire. He made watching a game a total treat. He, Ernie Johnson and Pete Van Wieren turned me into a Braves fan. He died at 68 while taking a nap…not a bad way to go.
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Truism: If baseball were literature, Barry Bonds would be “The Scarlet Letter.”
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Rant: If you are going to the local Bijou hoping to find an interesting, intelligent, adult movie, you are swimming against the tide.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 401

Thursday, August 07, 2008---575 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 3 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Fred McMurray
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On the Hi Fi: “Jazz Signatures”---a Starbucks collection featuring Jobim, Wes Montgomery, Duke Ellington, Stan Getz and a host of other jazz masters.
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Reading: “South of Hell” by P.J. Parrish.
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Real treat: Check out the new CD “Prayer of a Desperate Man” by Thom Schuyler. To preview and order please visit www.thomschuyler.com.
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Must see TV: Richard Widmark is the feature actor on TCM’s “Summer Under the Stars” on Monday (8/11). Included are a couple of seldom seen gems---“A Prize of Gold” (1955), “The Law and Jake Wade” (1958) and the wonderful “Pickup on South Street” (1953).
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Rave: “Resolution” by Elmore Leonard is a great read. It is the second installment of the Virgil Cole and Everett Hitch old west saga. Mr. Leonard is as good at writing Westerns as he is writing about grifters, cops, loan sharks, hustlers and dames.
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Quote: "Poor people have been voting for Democrats for the last fifty years...and they are still poor.” --- Charles Barkley.
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Hell-o messiah: Inflating tires is a PSA announcement, not an energy policy. Here is the fool’s quote (word for word): "Making sure your tires are properly inflated, simple thing, but we could save all the oil that they're talking about getting off drilling, if everybody was just inflating their tires and getting regular tune-ups. You could actually save just as much."
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Rant: NBC will offer over 200 hours of Beijing Olympics coverage---each day. That adds up to more hours of competition and studio blather than in all the past Olympics combined. They’ll be using NBC, USA, msDNC, CNBC, Oxygen, Telemundo, Universal HD and NBCOlympics.com. Best of luck trying to figure out where to watch what.
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Didjaknow: “The Maltese Falcon” was John Huston’s directorial debut as well as Sydney Greenstreet’s first talkie.
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Quote: “In summer’s dog days, does anyone really sit through an entire baseball game on TV? Who has the time or inclination? Baseball broadcasts are so ubiquitous, no one is any more special than another.” ---Bob Molinaro.
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Rant: The odd couple, pelosi and reid, had their “let them eat cake” moment in their arrogant moves in shutting down the congress and the senate without even a vote on drilling for oil. Absolutely gutless!
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Fair is fair: The failure of President Bush to call a special session of congress is equally gutless and unconscionable.
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Belated Rave: On ABC News This Week two Sundays ago, George Will called obama’s Berlin speech “narcissism elevated to a metaphysic" and concluded that it was the "no metaphor left behind" speech. He is quite the wordsmith and deadly accurate with this evaluation
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Manny being Manny: There may be no joy in Mudville, but there is great joy in Gotham City as Manny was a true Yankee killer. His stats against the Yankees are off the charts. I am betting the Yankees sign him as a free agent after the season.
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Rave: Ward Bond was terrific as Buffalo in 1953’s “Hondo.” The stunt work in that movie was incredible.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 400

Saturday, August 02, 2008---660 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 32 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: William Powell
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On the Hi Fi: Blue Note Blend 2---A Starbucks collection featuring Art Blakey, Bud Powell, Dizzy, Cannonball, Chet Baker and other greats of jazz. Blue was an exceptional record label.
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Reading: Brad Thor’s “The Last Patriot.”
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FYI: It's safe to read on. This is a Favre-free Zone
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Must see TV: Episode two of Mad Men’s second season tomorrow night at 10PM on AMC.
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Rave: Heard a number of tracks from the Willie & Wynton album while browsing Borders the other day. Very tasty stuff…the Wynton part is better than the Willie part.
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Rave: Gary Sinise and his Lt. Dan Band.
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Hmmm: How well do you think that vile cretin ludacris would have done at the Hanoi Hilton? Another wonderful associate for the community agitator.
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Rave: John Ford’s 1939 masterpiece, “Stagecoach,” is spectacular on too many levels to count. No telling how many times I have seen it…and each time it just gets better. It quite easy to see why Thomas Mitchell as doc Boone got an Oscar. There were lotsa award deserving performance in “Stagecoach.”
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Rant: The made-for-TV version of “Stagecoach” with Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash is too terrible to imagine. It is painful to watch.
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To do list: Attend any meeting where food is served. If something productive is accomplished during the meeting, it’s a bonus.
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Rave: Good for John Rich to write and record “Raisin’ McCain.”
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Ratings game: July Cable Prime Time shows USA as #1, Fox News at #6, The ClintonNewsNetwork #22 and msDNC as last at #30. All day it is NICK at #1, Fox News #9, The ClintonNewsNetwork at #26 and msDNC again brings up the rear at #30.

July Cable News Shows: The O’Reilly Factor #1, the O’Reilly repeat is #6…in fact Fox News has the first eight shows. CNBC does poorly…but in a bull market, their ratings would go up substantially.
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Plan accordingly: Most meetings last around 50% longer than you anticipated.
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Rave: There are two rules for success: 1.) Don't tell all you know.
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Generally speaking: The Olympics are intended to entertain people who aren't really sports fans. Anticipating drug-related controversies at the Summer Games doesn't make you a cynic, just a student of history.
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Good advice: Plan to attend your high school reunion.
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Truism: Employee Activity Committees never have enough money and make employees neither more active nor more satisfied.
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Rant: ESPN ought to refrain from televising 32 Little League World Series games and just let the kids be kids.
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Factoid: The sons of Joe Montana and Wayne Gretzky are battling for the starting quarterback job at the same California high school.
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Hmmm: Pro tennis player Ashley Harkleroad posed for the August edition of Playboy magazine. That's amazing. I mean, who knew that there was a tennis player named Ashley Harkleroad?
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Rave: Couple of wonderful bumper stickers recently seen: “Look out for the idiot in back of me” and “Jesus is coming, look busy.”
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Good idea: Play hooky at least once a year.
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Three little words: Simplify, don’t complicate.
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Truism II: Life is comprised of ambiguous victories and nebulous losses---claim them all as victories.
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Rave: Of all the Wyatt Earp OK Corral movies, Walter Brennen, in John Ford’s “My Darling Clementine” played the best Ike Clanton.
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Originality: The art of concealing your sources.
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Rim shot: Is Marx's tomb a communist plot?
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Truism III: It's not who you know, it's whom you know.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 399

Tuesday, July 29, 2008---684 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 42 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: John Garfield
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On the Hi Fi: "Martinis with Mancini.”
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Reading: Brad Thor’s “The Last Patriot.”
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Must see TV: Season two of AMC’s “Mad Men” started off strongly. Just great entertainment. Sundays at 10 PM EDT on AMC.
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Rave: Was there ever an actor better at playing the duplicitous villain than Claude Raines?
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Tedious: Putting your Blackberry on the table when you sit down at a restaurant.
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Hmmm: Looks like Castro is new ombudsman at the New York Time, where the new motto is “All the news that fits, we print.”
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Just wondering: Is Greta Van Susteren still interviewing Brett Favre?
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Rave: The Orange-Mango-Banana Vivano at Starbucks.
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Rave: Rita Hayworth slinking her way through “Put the Blame on Mame” in the exceptional film noir, “Gilda” (1946) is one of the sexiest, sultriest numbers in Hollywood history. All this without the graphic scenes of today where nothing is left to the imagination. Director, Charles Vidor was a genius.
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Quote: “Short is the joy that guilty pleasure brings”---Euripides.
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Rant: The dims and all the libs, who were screaming for the “fairness doctrine” in their last ditch attempt to subvert conservative talk radio, were mutes when it came to asking for “fairness” while covering obama’s summer vacation trip.
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Truism: Referring to yourself in the third person is a sign that you are a legend in your own mind.
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Didjaknow: In 1953, Hollywood released 90 Westerns---by 1963, the number was down to 11.
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The Happy Couple: Newlyweds Greg Norman and Chris Evert have 20 major titles between them…18 belong to Chris.
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Rave: Good for Katie Couric for breaking ranks with the fawning media disciples and asking obama a tough question. Actually, she asked it three times as the community organizer did his best Fred Astaire routine in triplicate. I still am unable to tell if he failed to answer it or failed to answer it forthrightly.
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Rave: Daniel Silva knocks it out of the park once again with “Moscow Rules.”
This time elegiac and continuing protagonist, Gabriel Allon (master restorer of classical paintings and assassin for the Israeli government) ventures into today’s Russia.
Mr. Silva does incredible research on his timely novels and has consistently narrated most prescient works of fiction. So, do not, think the Russian are good guys.
In “Moscow Rules” a formidable Russian arms dealer is covertly selling missiles to Middle Eastern terrorists---and eliminating anyone who could betray him.
Today’s Russian is run by former KGB officials…80% of Putin’s circle come from the KGB.
To halt the sales and destroy the credibility of the arms dealer a complex organization from the CIA, Britain's MI5 and the French security network join with the Israelis to accomplish the mission. Gabriel is at the center and his odyssey takes him St. Tropez, London, Moscow and Umbria, Italy.
The book will entertain, educate and captivate you. It is crisply plotted, populated with credible characters and wonderfully suspenseful. Daniel Silva is a master.
An undercurrent of the book is that Russia is not a normal country…”Moscow Rules” is chillingly realistic.
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Stats: On average, Fox and Friends beats Morning Joe by a two or three to one ratio.
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Even more tedious: People who say “my bad.”
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Should have seen this coming: NBA-bound teen guard, Brandon Jennings, decided to pass on college and play the “one and done” season in Italy. Guess college did not interest him as his Oak Hill Academy bio listed his favorite class as “lunch.”
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Another truism: All-Star games of all types are anachronisms.
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Hmmm: How can we declare Yankee Stadium to be the world’s most famous sports venue, and then pretend it is easily replaceable?
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Monday, July 21, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 398

Monday, July 21, 2008---605 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 12 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Mary Astor
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On the Hi Fi: “She Could Be a Spy” by Swingerhead.
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Reading: “Resolution” by Robert B. Parker. (A great western)
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Must see TV: Season two of AMC’s “Mad Men” starts on the 27th. This Sunday (20th) AMC had all season one episodes in order from noon to midnight.
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Rave: I had forgotten how wonderful the opening credits are for “Mad Men” until I watched the AMC Mad Men Marathon on Sunday. The show justly deserves all the accolades and great reviews it has received.
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Stats: Everyone knows that in 1992 the USA “Dream Team” won the Olympic Gold Medal in basketball---but did you know that during their run, they never called a timeout?
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Tedious: Fist bumps.
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Rave: www.Metacritic.com
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Hmmm: What do you suppose the Vegas over/under is on the number of tough questions the obama media disciples will ask on his European/Middle East tour? Methinks less than single digits.
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Rant: obama is going to need a big supply of syrup for his waffles.
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Via con dios: Jo Stafford was magnificent. From the Pied Pipers of the Big Band era to her solo pop career, she brought effervescence to the music scene. She sang a bunch of light novelty songs that were both fun and entertaining. She could also handle the ballads and more substantial material. Quite a singer and entertainer. With her passing, we lose one more irreplaceable entertainer from the greatest generation.
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Rave: Marie Dressler probably stole more scenes than any actress in Hollywood. TCM is making Monday, August 4th, Marie Dressler Day. A dozen talkies form the late 1920’s and 1930’s and one silent with Chaplin will be shown. If you cannot play hooky and catch them…be certain to catch 1933’s “Dinner at Eight” with Jean Harlow (8 PM in the east). A laugh riot…truly a classic.
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More tedious: Men who shave their heads at the first sign of baldness.
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Charge: Don’t look now…but here come the New York Yankees…and if they keep up their woeful road play, the Red Sox will be in the Yankees’ rear view mirror. Count the Yankees out at your own peril.
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Rant: In today’s media driven world, every golf shot is documented and every score updated and posted throughout each tournament…yet the LPGA punishes one of its most bankable, young, attractive and highly skilled stars over an esoteric scoring rule that has zero to do with what happens on the course. Hurts the kid…hurts the tournament…hurts the LPGA…absolutely brilliant.
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Rave: I do not think Ben Johnson has ever given less than a Grade A performance.
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Rave: Women who wear hats…not baseball caps.
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Didjaknow: 10% of the world population is left handed…25% of the MLB population are lefties. In the Hall of Fame, 15 of the 70 pitchers are southpaws. As for hitters: 59 out of 138 batted left-handed and another eight were switch hitters---that makes 46% of the best hitters in the game swung from the left.
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Rave: Brenda Lee’s voice.
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Even more tedious: People who download a ring tone.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 397

Thursday, July 17, 2008---677 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 26 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Joseph Cotton
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On the Hi Fi: “Three Great Swing Saxophones”---Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster, Benny Carter.
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Reading: Robert B. Parker’s “Resolution.”
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Must see TV: Season two of AMC’s “Mad Men” starts on the 27th. This Sunday (20th) AMC has all season one episodes in order from noon to midnight.
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Hmmm: Do you think that the folks that complain about voter ID's would mind having to show an ID if they won the lottery?
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Rave: I will miss Billy Packer at the Final Four. His basketball acumen is second to no one. His acerbic personality was one of his charms for me. His replacement, Clark Kellogg, is great in the studio where he is extremely well prepared. His broadcasting skills need polishing. Being teamed with Jim Nantz for the Final Four should accelerate his growth.
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Rant: No one should use the self-checkout unless they can operate the machine at least as well as the 16-year-old pregnant high school dropout at the regular register.
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Didn't see this coming: The New Yorker cover featuring the obamas is a way that did not suggest a second coming.

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Didjaknow: Blake Edwards was the writer for the radio version of “Richard Diamond, Private Detective” that ran from 1949 to 1953.
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Tedious: Caucasians with tattoos in Asian lettering.
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Hmmm: Why is okay for the media to mock Vietnam War hero John McCain’s age and George W. Bush’s intelligence, but unfair to parody obama?
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Rant: Seems like we just had the 4th of July and I am already seeing Back-to-School sales.
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Rave: To those who say, “it’s only tennis” about the incredible Federer/Nadal final at Wimbledon, I say---“go watch a tractor pull.”
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Not a math major: Imprisoned NFL player Michael Vick has filed for bankruptcy, citing debts totaling between $10 million and $50 million. My guess is that he will have to get a wee bit more specific when it actually gets to court.
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Rave: “Kiss Me Deadly” is one of those rare movies that is better than the book.
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Rant: Customers must remember that the self-checkout lines are supposed to be for quick transactions. Talking on the phone while checking out slows the process
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Stats: It has been five years since the MLB All Star Game winner received the seventh game of the World Series home advantage. In those five years there has been no seventh game. The American League is 5-0 in the All Star games and 3-2 in the Series.
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Truism: The Lottery is a tax on people who are bad at math. It is a tax I never pay. The more Lotteries, the better.
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Rant: The E*Trade ad with the stupid baby making a trade.
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Hmmm: His agent whines that there is a conspiracy in MLB not to sign Barry Bonds. Gee--- what reason could a team have not to sign him---other than the perjury indictment, he is injury prone, close to 44 and one of the most dislikable athletes to play the game.
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More than tedious: Using a Bluetooth headset in public.
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Rant: Who is choosing Eddie Murphy’s movie scripts? This guy was brilliant in “48 Hours.” His Axel Foley character in the “Beverly Hills Cop” series was top drawer---“Trading Places” was up there as well. However, this latest streak of “Meet Dave,” “Pluto Nash,” “Dr. Doolittle,” “Nutty Professor” and the like is a waste of an incredible talent.
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Really Tedious: Including the names of kids and pets in you home phone-outgoing message.
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Rant: If you are not responsible enough to have an ID, then you are not responsible enough to vote.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

A Tale of Two Covers



By now everyone is aware of the satirical New Yorker cover featuring the Obamas in a less than Obamessiah-like glow (a first for the liberal publication), and the attendant whining and complaining from the Obama camp, their enablers and surrogates.





However, unless one was a New Yorker subscriber, one is most likely unaware of this Oval Office cover from 2005. It, too, is a satire.




No one remembers it because 1) the leftist mainstream media felt no sense of outrage and failed to mention it…and 2) conservatives and Republicans did not go into throes of wailing and gnashing of teeth. They soldiered on…knowing that politics at this level is not the powder-puff derby. They never played the victim card.

To paraphrase a line from Act 3 of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, “The Obama cadre doth protest too much, methinks.” They are far too thin-skinned. Obama needs to “man up.”

I realize the libs prefer to live in an irony-free zone, but this is ridiculous.

Reading the New Yorker is a good way to get the Hezbollah point of view…but they do have the best cartoons on the planet, Roger Angell and James Surowiecki on Finance.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 396

Saturday, July 12, 2008---563 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave:
Joan Bennett
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On the Hi Fi:
“Swing” by Rupert Holmes.
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Reading:
Duane Swierczynski’s “Severance Package.”
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Must see TV: I enjoyed the first episode of “Burn Notice.” It is remarkable that they find all those parking places in South Beach. I do wish that Michael would send his mother on a season long cruise. Sharon Gless’s part is fingernails on a chalkboard.
Looking forward to this season’s kickoff of “Mad Men” on AMC tomorrow night at 10 PM.
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Didjaknow: “Burn Notice” is filmed in Miami---“CSI Miami” is not.
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Rave: Helping bag your own groceries.
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Rant: Litterers---they are close to subhuman. How difficult is it to use a trash container? Seems like it should be part of the public school curriculum. Teach the kids some manners early.
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Didjaknow: It took only a month and a half to film “The Usual Suspects.” All at a cost of $6 million.
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Truism: Senator John McCain has not spent decades aiding and abetting people who hate America.
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Stats: A recent Harvard study says the average American walks about 900 miles a year. An American Medical Association study finds that Americans drink an average of 22 gallons of alcohol a year. This means, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon. Rather makes you proud to be an American, doesn’t it.
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Rant: Barbara Walters spent the 4th of July kicking back in Syria with oppressive strongman, Basher al-Assad. Baba Wawa said she “never felt safer” walking the streets in this terrorist state. A one-way ticket back for her sounds about right to me.
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Rave: Private detective fiction is modern America’s western.
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Rant: Hussein Obama’s “change you can believe in” is his ability to change his tune.
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Hmmm: Raise your hand if you can remember how you used to waste time at work before the Internet.
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Quote: “It would seem that the obligation of any immigrant is to learn the language of the country he or she is living in. It should not be the obligation of the citizens of that country to learn the language of the immigrant.”---
Mark Whittington.
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Hmmm: Ever notice how few US citizens immigrate to Muslim and African countries?
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Workplace etiquette: Never abandon a half-finished drink in another’s office.
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Rant: People who talk in movies should be removed from the theater.
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My wish: That Starbucks would employ cell-phone jammers.
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Hmmm: I have never understood how a product can be “new and improved.” If it is new, there has never been anything before it. If it is an improvement then there must have been something before it!
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Rant: Can someone explain to me how the voter ID law places an undue burden on the right to vote on the poor, the disabled & minorities?
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Truism: You are not the leader of the pack just because you drive slowly in the left lane.
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Attention CNN: When oil hits another record high it not "breaking news" anymore.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Curmudgeon in the Wry 395

Tuesday, July 08, 2008---776 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 51 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Alan Ladd
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On the Hi Fi: Elvis---“The Complete 50’s Masters.”
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Reading: “The Ivory Grin” (1952) by Ross Macdonald. It is part of his Lew Archer series. His 1949 Archer novel, “The Moving target” was the basis for Paul Newman’s 1966 flick, “Harper.” In 1975, Mr. Newman reprised the role in “The Drowning Pool”---written in 1950.
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Must see TV: “Burn Notice” returns on the USA Network at 10 PM this Thursday. It is a tightly written comedy-drama about a fired (“burned”) spy who ends up in Miami Beach. Great cast and second banana Bruce Campbell steals lotsa scenes. Better than anything on network TV.
The DVD for Season 1 came out June 17th.
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Must see TV, part II: AMC’s polished original program, the 1960’s-era drama “Mad Men,” returns for season two on July 27th.
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Rave: Don’t know about you, but after the Supreme Court decision on the DC gun control, I celebrated by going out to the shooting range.
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Quote: “The lucky writers are those who can outwrite their readers without outthinking them.” ---Raymond Chandler.
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Hmmm: When the guy paid $20 million to ride the next shuttle, did they charge him $25 to check his bag, $3 for peanuts and $5 for a Coke, etc.?
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Rant: Every time that botoxed liberal Pelosi opens her mouth I feel like Charlton Heston’s character in “Planet of the Apes” must have felt when he learned the apes were at the top of the food chain.
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Renaissance Man: Ben Stein.
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Rave: I would like it if Joe Horn lived next door to me.
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Rant: Weasely Clark turned “Face the Nation” into “Disgrace the Nation” with his uncalled for comments concerning Vietnam War hero John McCain. Bob Schieffer was caught off guard by the Weasely’s slam and was clearly astonished. I have often thought Weasely got his commission on-line.
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Rave: I do not think anybody “gets” the Wimbledon tradition better that Roger Federer, Rafa Nadal and the Williams sisters.
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More Wimbledon: No one plays harder than Rafael Nadal does…he is almost like a linebacker. However, those Capri pants he wears are a tad ridiculous. Betcha Nike sells a bunch of the muscle shirt he wore during the tournament.
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Rave: Enjoying the match between Venus and Serena is watching history. Never again will we see two sisters win as many combined singles titles (16) as these classy women.
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Rave: No matter the country of origin of the Wimbledon players that turn up in the interview room, they speak great English. No need to press one for English with these athletes. They are far easier to understand than the tech support folks you get from the computer and Internet providers. It begs the question…if these ladies and gentlemen who are not US citizens can make the effort to learn the language, why can’t those who have chosen to make the US their home do likewise?
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Rave: As long as they stay healthy, the sisters Williams have committed to playing both singles and doubles for the USA in the 2008 Olympics. That gives us hope in women’s tennis, men’s basketball, men’s swimming and one event in women’s swimming (Dara Torres).
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Stats: The past weekend’s Red Sox/Yankee series marked the first time since 1997 the AL East rival have played when neither was in first place. Congrats to the new look Tampa Bay Rays for that stat!
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One can only hope: The cretin Barry Bonds has said he will boycott the Hall of Fame if his asterisk-stained 756th home run ball is displayed with an asterisk. Promise or threat?
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Hmmm: The only discipline Don Imus deserves for his remarks about Pacman Jones ought to be for turning that cretin into a victim momentarily.
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Rant: Last time I checked the country had exactly one National Anthem.
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Rant: When I learned the hot dog eating contest between Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi ended in a tie that necessitated a five-dog overtime, I just assumed it was pretty much the same as a penalty kick in soccer.
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Changing times: Michael Phelps will be in the hunt for eight gold medals in Beijing. If this were the 1930’s, he would be on his sixth Tarzan movie by now.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 394

Sunday, June 29, 2008---756 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 32 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Cynicism is my beat.
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Rave: Gene Tierney
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On the Hi Fi: Once again, “Return to Forever, the Anthology”---Chick Corea. It is a wonderful treat.
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Reading: “Kiss Me Deadly” by Mickey Spillane. TCM will air the exquisite 1955 film version twice in July. On Wednesday the 15th at 8:15 AM and Thursday the 24th at 2 PM.
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Must see TV: “Burn Notice” returns on the USA Network at 10 PM on July 10 (Thursday). It is a tightly written comedy-drama about a fired (“burned”) spy who ends up in Miami Beach. Great cast and second banana Bruce Campbell steals lotsa scenes. Better than anything on network TV.
The DVD for Season 1 coming out on June 17th.
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Must see TV, part II: AMC’s polished original program, the 1960’s-era drama “Mad Men,” returns for season two on July 27th. The DVD for the first season arrives July first.
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Rave: I love Wimbledon. Tennis on grass is great viewing. I could watch the Williams sisters all day. They are superb athletes who carry the USA banner most graciously. Between them, they have the best pair of smiles in sports. Their parents are an embarrassment, but the girls trump them. Early upset victim, Maria Sharapova is the 2-1 favorite, and she too is amazing to watch.
Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic (upset early) are spectacular competitors in the men’s bracket. They bring a fire and passion that rivals the McEnroe, Conners, Borg days.
Speaking of Johnny Mac---the last time both contestants in a major pro tennis tournament used wooden rackets was when he and Pat Cash met in 1984 US Open semi-finals.
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Wimbledon redux: Took me a few days to figure out the worldwide leader’s new scoring graphic running at the top of the screen during matches. The NBC scoring graphics make sense.
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Rant: When will Spike Lee say that the Federal Government blew up the levees that failed in Des Moines?
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Hmmm: Those Kobe Bryant/Michael Jordan comparisons sure look a little premature now, don’t they?
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Hmmm: The NBA draft was so young it should have been carded.
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Rave: Jay Bilas was excellent as an NBA Draft analyst.
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Rant: Will Ferrell is a one trick pony.
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Hmmm: It’s summer. Can yet another Cher farewell tour be far behind?
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Rant: Don’t you just love those people who get tattoos so that "every time they look at it, they'll be reminded" of (something). Those with better money management call that a long-term memory
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Rave: Vietnam War hero, Senator John McCain’s “Dr. No” ad depicting Hussein Obama as the Dr. No of energy security is just terrific. Were Obama any softer on energy security he’d be wrapped in Kleenex.
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Rant: Obama is one of the Harvard law grads who thinks lawsuits are a substitute for production. In reality, he continues to be the candidate of presto-chango
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Get a room: Before the spin-doctors get done with this, it will seem like Hussein Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton are dating.
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The hand of fate: We lost two good ones recently. George Carlin was a lot of things, but more than anything this guy was funny as Hell. He brought laughter and I can of no higher praise.
Cyd Charisse had the greatest legs…and my-oh-my how she could dance. When you can hold your own with both Gene Kelly and Fred Astaire your are playing in the major leagues. It was wonderful for TCM to break format and salute her last night. Any time you can catch “Singing in the Rain” and “The Band Wagon” back to back is a good evening.
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Geez: I will never understand, more than a month after colleges let out, the College World Series was grinding on. It ran almost as long as the Democrat Party primary season.
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Rant: My rule is I do not want to see any movie based on a comic book, graphic or otherwise.
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Rave: The St. Louis Cardinals’ logo with the two cardinals on the baseball bat remains a classic, timeless, stylish masterpiece of traditional elegance.
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Rant: Neither screaming children nor cell phones belong in a restaurant.
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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.
We return you to your regular programming