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