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