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


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Curmudgeon in the Wry 393

Wednesday, June 18, 2008---591 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 5 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: Sydney Greenstreet.
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On the Hi Fi: “Historic Gershwin Recordings”---various artists on BMG Classics.
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Reading: “Nothing To Lose” by Lee Child.
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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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Quote: “"It is imperative that we never suggest that there's a moral equivalency between the United States of America and the terrorists. Period. I'll believe that until the day I die."---Tim Russert.
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Rave: The Andy Hardy series. Lotsa great supporting actors on the way up to augment a strong core group. Any series that has that many appearances by Judy Garland is bound to good…she had as much talent as anyone in Hollywood---before and after her career.
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Rave: Good for Walgreen’s for posting Amber Alerts on their digital boards outside their Florida stores.
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Rave: I never tire of any movie in “The Thin Man” http://www.filmsite.org/thin.html series. The Dashiell Hammett http://januarymagazine.com/features/hammettintro.html novel is worthy of multiple readings, as are his other books.
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Rave: After being ravaged by the enormous floods, the people of Iowa have not bitched, moaned, and complained that it was all the fault of a neglectful government. Neither have they gone on looting sprees, as did those in New Orleans after Katrina. Different demos, different work ethic, different mindset, different outlook, different attitude, different approach to life. The people of Iowa are to be admired.
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Rave: The “Don’t let a good idea get away” TV ad campaign for the iPath ETNs at Barclays Bank is just terrific. I have only seen it on CNBC and Fox News, so you may have to search for it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ID7hTaWo7I
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Rant: What has happened to The History Channel? Instead of interesting, informative, instructive programming presenting in intriguing fashion on subjects like World War II, Viet Nam, the Decades, etc. have been bypassed for lowest common denominator shows like Ice Road Truckers, Monster Quest, Gangland, Axe Men and Mega Disasters.
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Rant: NBA players who pound their chests after missing a shot should be required to put their hands around their throats when they miss a wide-open shot. Sounds fair to me.
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Rant: Jason Giambi’s new mustache makes him look like a 1970’s porn star.
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Rant: I will exhaust a lot of entertainment opportunities before I go see “The Incredible Hulk.”
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Hmmm: June 11th was the 14th anniversary of the death of Nicole Brown Simpson, which leads to the inevitable question: How’s O.J. doing with his search for the real killers?
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Quote: “Liberals cannot compete on radio airwaves. They’ve shown that; Air America proved it. In a media format stripped down to just a mind and a microphone, liberals cannot command an audience. So their new motto is: If you can’t beat ‘em, silence ‘em.”---Laura Ingraham on the threat of the Fairness Doctrine.
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