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