Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Curmudgeon in the Wry 479

Wednesday, June 30, 2010---590 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 2 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Virtually free of original ideas.
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.
A Grumpy Old Man Production.
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Rave: The Mamas and the Papas.
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Reading: “The Overton Window” by Glenn Beck.
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On the Hi Fi: “Hot Java Jazz,” a Starbucks collection.
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Under rated: Marshall Crenshaw.
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Rant: MLB’s interleague play bores me stiff.
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Rave: I love Wimbledon. I just wish the USA was more competitive in the men’s division…and that we had some women in the wings for when Venus and Serena hang it up.
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Truism: Many of the standard features on a 2010 Honda Accord were considered luxury items ten years ago----almost unimaginable 20 years ago.
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Economics: Common sense made difficult.
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Rave: The obama regime continues to govern by press release and by trying to win the press conference---but does not appear to have the ability to win the living room.
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Stats: Astonishingly, despite the witching-hour time slot, Fox News Channel’s Red Eye has more viewers than any show on CNN, including its primetime lineup.
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Good advice: Everyone needs to work on their second serve.
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Truism: Ronald Reagan wanted to cut taxes dramatically in order to starve the government. obama wants to raise taxes dramatically to starve his political opposition.
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Irony alert: The Big 12 now has ten teams---the Big Ten has twelve teams.
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Rave: As for renaming the ten teams in the Big 12, the suggestion I like best is Pure Prairie League.
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Truism: Overnight successes do not exist.
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Pop quiz: You have one match. You enter a room that contains a wood burning stove, a kerosene lamp and a fireplace. Which should you light first?
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Hmmm: A whistle and a clipboard will often put you in charge.
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Didjaknow: A higher percentage of Republicans than Democrats voted for the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
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Truism: Do not worry if you are making it up as you go along… most others are as well.
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Quote: “Head to the local big-box electronics store and buy yourself: a Panasonic home theater system ($500), an Insignia 50-inch plasma HDTV ($700), an Apple 8GB iPod Touch ($175), a Sony 3-D Blu-ray disc player ($219), a Sony 300-CD changer ($209), a Garmin portable GPS ($139), a Sony 14.1-megapixel digital camera ($200), a Dell Inspiron laptop computer ($450), and a TiVo high-definition digital video recorder ($300).
This is not an endorsement of any of these products. I do not own any of them (though if the manufacturers are keen to find out my opinion, they can send me some non-returnable demos). However, you can fill your shopping cart with these items for less than $3,000. The average American worker needs to work 152 hours to earn that much money.
In 1964, however, the average American worker could buy one pricey stereo from Radio Shack after working 152 hours.” —Jonah Goldberg.
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Rave: Fox News continued its domination of the cable news landscape in the second quarter of 2010, with the top 13 programs on cable news all on the channel.
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Truism: If you ask for feedback, don’t expect to hear what you want.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Curmudgeon in the Wry 478

Tuesday, June 15, 2010---529 Words---Average Reading Time: 1 Minutes, 39 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Virtually free of original ideas.
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.
A Grumpy Old Man Production.
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Rave:
Jonathon Winters
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Reading: “
Special Ops” by W.E.B Griffith.
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On the Hi Fi:
Art Blakey and the Jazz Messengers--"Paris 1958."
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Under rated:
The Great Gildersleeve.
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Rant: When I saw the news, that obama promised a $400 million aid package to Palestine, I was certain I was reading an Onion headline.
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Rave: I’ll watch any movie featuring
Robert Montgomery.
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Rave:
Dennis Miller had the best line on Helen Thomas, “At least we know that she didn’t sleep her way to the top.”
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Happy Birthday: It was 80 years ago this year that intrepid girl detective
Nancy Drew first appeared.
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Rave: Crimestoppers Textbook.
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Rave: Some of
Ridley Pearson’s Lou Boldt/Daphne Matthews novels set in Seattle are better than others. “The Pied Piper” is among the former. It’s a wonderful ride. It has a complicated plot with a myriad of twists. A terrific whodunit.
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Hmmm: Any truth to the rumor that now that Al and Tipper have split up, she gets half the Internet?
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Rave: Breezes.
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Rant: The culture is surely tired when updates of “The Karate Kid” and “The A Team” are the big opening movies on the same weekend.
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Rave: If the first two episodes of this season’s “
Burn Notice” and “Royal Pains” are any indication, both will have stellar seasons.
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Hmmm: What are the odds that Stephen Strasburg stays with the Washington Nationals forever?
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Justified: While I was aware that FX’s great series, “
Justified” was based on an Elmore Leonard short story (“Fire In the Hole”)---I had forgotten that protagonist Raylan Givens appeared in two of Leonard’s novels, “Pronto” and “Riding the Rap.” Both were super entertaining reads…I will have to dust them off and reread this summer.
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Rave: I certainly wish more MLB pitchers worked as fast as Stephen Strasburg.
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Quote: “Why are liberals so convinced that poor people are stupid? Is it because poor people vote for liberals? That is a fair point.” ---
P.J. O’Rourke.
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Rave: I love toast.
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Didjaknow: The Celtics and Lakers series have gone to seven games four times.
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Hmmm: Remember when BP meant batting practice?
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World Cup: Yawn!
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Rave:
Nelson DeMille has another major winner with “The Lion.” Ex-NYPD Detective, current member of the Anti-Terrorism-Task-Force, John Corey returns and goes up against the terrorist who nearly killed him in “The Lion’s Game.” Corey is, perhaps the most sarcastic and anti-authority good guy in current fiction. Since I majored in sarcasm (with a minor in cynicism), I find Corey a perfect role model. There are elements of the plot that eerily mirror those of the recent Times Square bomber. A very prescient novel.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Welcome to Bracketville, Off Season Rates In Effect

The Duke/Butler Championship game was a display of superb defense and demonstrated a beautiful command of the fundamentals of the game---and included zero dunks.

John Wooden was the first person inducted into the Naismith Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and a coach.

Both Bill Walton and Lew Alcindor were honor students in the classroom when they graduated from UCLA.

UCLA played ten different schools in their ten Championship seasons under John Wooden.

Quote: “College basketball is closer to college baseball than college football in terms of the importance placed on the things that will shape leagues.” —Gary Parrish, CBS Sports.

The college basketball season seems too short---the off-season too long.

Virginia Tech is the only one of the 73 schools in the six major conferences returning each of their top ten scorers.

Maryland is the only ACC School to win national championships in football (1953) and basketball (2002).

In this age of “one-and-done”---no team in the Final Four started a freshman…they started seven seniors, seven juniors and six sophomores.

In the past decade the ten national champions started a total of four freshmen---Josh Boone (UConn, 2004), Carmelo Anthony and Gerry McNamara (Syracuse, 2003) and Duke’s Chris Duhon in 2001.

Line-up for the November 18-21 Puerto Rico Tip-Off: UNC, Davidson, Hofstra, Minnesota, Nebraska, Vanderbilt, Western Kentucky and West Virginia.

Not since the John Wooden-UCLA dynasty has a team lost three starters (as Duke has) and repeated as champion.

Temple coach, Fran Dunphy holds the record of 11 straight NCAA Tournament losses.

When Terrance Jones 86’d Washington and opted for Kentucky, it gave the Pac-10 zero Top-20 recruits for 2010.

It’s more difficult to get out of a cell phone contract than the typical college coach’s contract.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

Curmudgeon in the Wry 477

Sunday, June 06, 2010---670 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 11 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Virtually free of original ideas.
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.
A Grumpy Old Man Production.
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Rave: Preston Sturges.
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Reading: “The Pied Piper” by Ridley Pearson.
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On the Hi Fi: Dizzy Gillespie, The Complete RCA Victor Recordings.
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Under rated: 1947’s “Dark Passage,” a most overlooked Humphrey Bogart film.
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Rant: Today, June 6th is the anniversary of D-Day. One would think that at least one network would show “The Longest Day.” Seems like a no-brainer. The History Channel, in their infinite wisdom, is dedicating the entire day to reruns of “Ice Road Truckers,” a series not written by members of the Mensa society.
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Quote: “Never mistake activity for achievement.” —John Wooden.
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Rant: How can anybody outside of Hollywood root for the Lakers after being subjected to a front row of Adam Sandler, David Spade and Chris Rock on their TV screens? They're promoting a movie that will be in the DVD racks in about five minutes. Point is, does any place on earth look phonier than courtside at a Lakers' home game?
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Quote: “Adversity is the state in which man most easily becomes acquainted with himself, being especially free of admirers then.” —John Wooden.
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Full disclosure: There’s no limit to the things I cannot do.
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Quote: “Winning takes talent, to repeat takes character.” —John Wooden.
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Rant: Memo to LeBron: your “Will I stay or will I go?” routine is getting tired.
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Quote: “If you don’t have the time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” —John Wooden.
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Truism: It’s time for the summer movies, which means you probably should take about 50 points off your IQ before you enter a theater.
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Quote: “If you’re not making mistakes, then you’re not doing anything. I’m positive that a doer makes mistakes.” —John Wooden.
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Rant: When it comes to political punditry, Paul McCartney proved he’s a pretty good songwriter. He is about as deep as a thimble.
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Quote: “Failure is not fatal, but failure to change might be.” —John Wooden.
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Truism: Summer doesn't officially begin until June 21, but Florida summers start when we switch on the AC — and leave it on until November.
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Quote: “It’s not so important who starts the game, but who finishes it.” —John Wooden.
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Didjaknow: John Wooden was the first three-time All-American while a player at Purdue…1930, 1931, 1932.
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Hmmm: We have iPhones and iPads, but I bet the first "I" thingy was IHOP.
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Quote: “The main ingredient of stardom is the rest of the team.” —John Wooden.
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Rant: The Emmy dummies need to show “Friday Night Lights” some respect this year. It's becoming downright embarrassing. The show, the directors, the writers and Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton all deserve wins.
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Quote: From John Wooden on the NBA, “If I want to see traveling, I’ll go to a track meet. If I want to see wrestling, I’ll go to a wrestling match. If I want to see showmanship, I’ll go to the Globetrotters and know what I’m going for.”
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Didjaknow: Beulah Bondi played James Stewart's mom in four movies.
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Remembrance: There has been no greater influence on college basketball, not just about the game but the team, than John Wooden. He was generous with his time, wisdom and advice. He was a man of humility and there will never be another like him. He’ll be missed, but never forgotten. There are dozens…maybe hundreds of obits on John Wooden, but the one from the gang at Duke Basketball Report is as good as it gets.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Curmudgeon in the Wry 476

Thursday, June 03, 2010---909 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 59 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)
Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.
Virtually free of original ideas.
Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.
A Grumpy Old Man Production.
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Rave:
Van Johnson.
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Reading: “Deliver Us from Evil” by
David Baldacci.
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On the Hi Fi:
Les Brown, “Session #55.”
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Under rated:
Andy Devine.
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Hmmm: Let’s see---get to the Super Bowl and you get to spend a week in the Meadowlands. What’s second place?
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Bumper Sticker of the Week: I support 2 teams—the Red Sox, and whoever beats the Yankees.
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Quote: “The NCAA is so mad at Kentucky, it’s going to give Cleveland State two more years’ probation.” —Jerry Tarkanian, over 20 years ago.
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Hmmm: If the opposite of pro-life is pro-death, why do those in favor of abortion identify themselves as pro-choice?
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Didjaknow: At the end of the 20th century, more Americans were connected to the Internet than were connected to a water pipe at the beginning of the century.
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Rave: Duke’s National Championships in Men’s Basketball and Men’s Lacrosse this season mark the first time Duke has attained two National Championships in the same year.
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Hmmm: When you think about it, “American Idol” is this generation’s “
Queen for a Day.”
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Quote: “Whenever people agree with me I always feel I must be wrong.” --
Oscar Wilde.
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Rave: Good news---FX renewed “
Justified” for a second season. Protagonist US Marshall Raylan Givens, a Dirty Harry type, continually in hot water with his superiors metes out justice with a strong hand. Intelligent scripts that reflect sound values and realistically depict the consequences of bad choices. Must see TV.
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Rave:
Lee Child’s “61 Hours” may be his best Reacher novel to date…spectacular read.
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Hmmm: You always hear the smart guys say that, come playoff time, a team "can't just throw a switch." However, that's what the Boston Celtics have done.
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Didjaknow: From 2000 to 2008, sales of
“Atlas Shrugged,” (published in 1957), averaged a remarkable 160,000 a year. Since the obama regime landed in Washington, more than 600,000 have been sold.
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Hmmm: Should wins against the Orioles count in the standings?
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Quote: “Wouldn’t it be grand if the obama administration cared more about policing our borders than about policing our refrigerators? How about fixing our deportation system instead of fixing our junk-food diets?” —
Michelle Malkin.
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Rant: Earth to Bud Selig---No one wants to watch four hours of anything, never mind a baseball game.
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Didjaknow: Norman Lear flew more than 50 missions over Nazi-occupied Europe during WWII.
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Stats: On average, those evil casinos take 1.4% of each bet at the crap table, while those benevolent state lotteries take 50% of every bet. I still believe state lotteries are a tax on people who are poor at math. It’s a tax I don’t pay.
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Old Times: Notre Dame and Miami are renewing their football rivalry of the 1980’s---
Catholics vs. Convicts---starting in 2012. It won’t be the same unless both programs get major upgrades.
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Truism: If you didn't get any of the blame, you can’t get any of the credit.
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Hmmm: If physical fitness is
such a pressing issue for the obama regime, why hasn't presbo nominated anyone to lead the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports?
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Stats: A poll of 100 major league players taken by ESPN, The Magazine says the three most overrated players are A-Rod, Joba Chamberlain and Nick Swisher.
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Rant: You can start “Iron Man 2” without me…same for the Russell Crowe “Robin Hood.”
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Rimshot: One of the Roman’s greatest achievements was learning to speak Latin.
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Quote: “The cynics are right nine times out of ten.” -- Henry Louis Mencken.
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Rave:
C.J. Box is among the most underrated thriller writers extant. His novels (the Joe Pickett series and the stand-alones) read as swiftly as Michael Connelly’s books. While Connelly’s take place in urban settings, Box’s are set in the vastness of Wyoming. The pacing is remarkable and the characters (both good and evil) are well conceived and believable. I devoured “Below Zero” in two sittings---it’s that compelling.
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Hmmm: Let’s see now---the problem is Tiger’s swing coach?
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Rant: ESPN's buffoon Chris Berman will be honored with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. This leaves me speechless - a condition, unfortunately, never experienced by Berman on the air.
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Rave: Didn’t sports seem much better when no one knew what athletes made?
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Truism: Twitter, Facebook, constant texting---when did life become like junior high?
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Rant: Most high school girls shoot foul shots better than Shaq.
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Stats: If Brian Cushing is the only NFL player using performance enhancing drugs, I’m Snow White.
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Truism: Sadly, the world will never run out of vampire movies.
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Rant: Here in the USA, if you drive illegally, they take your driver's license. If you're here illegally, they want to give you one.
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Truism: Shipping and handling is where the money is. Soon it will be in tattoo removal.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher.
If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.
If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.