Sunday, April 10, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 499

Sunday, April 10, 2011---805 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 43 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)

Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.

Continuing to call them as I see them.

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: James Garner.

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Reading: “Dead Zero” by Steven Hunter.

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On the Hi Fi: “Ricky Nelson’s Greatest Hits.”

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Under rated: Jack Carson.

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I miss: Buffalo Springfield, John Garfield, Gus Zernial, and James M. Cain.

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Truism: Charlie Sheen has become a one-man reality show.

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Quote: “Brazil joined China in calling for a cease fire in Libya, just hours after obama ended his fawning two-day Brazil visit. Another triumph of presidential personal diplomacy.”—Charles Krauthammer.

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Hmmm: What’s a kid to do these days in a played-out culture where it’s all been done?

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Rant: Kids today know more about “Jersey Shore” than what’s happening in Libya.

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Rave: Last time I went to a movie was on 2007 to see “3:10 to Yuma.” This week I caught the film version of Michael Connelly’s outstanding novel, “The Lincoln Lawyer.” Downright entertaining. It was very faithful to the book…no composite characters. Where the movie strayed is not worth stewing about. If you liked the book, you’ll like the movie.

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Quote: ““Drawing on my fine command of language, I said nothing”—Robert Benchley.

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Hmmm: You know it’s not Johnny Unitas’ NFL with the news that the Cowboy’s Dez Bryant was banned from a Dallas mall for three months for wearing his pants too low.

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Rant: It galls me that obama is never modest about himself, but is supremely modest our great country.

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Rave: "The Fifth Witness" by Michael Connelly.

With the recession, fewer and fewer of LA’s crooks can afford a lawyer for the defense. The legal growth industry is home foreclosure defense. So Mickey Haller (“The Lincoln Lawyer”) morphs into a foreclosure lawyer.

Circumstances take an abrupt turn and Mickey shifts from a foreclosure attorney back to a murder defense when his client is accused of murdering the banker who has taken away her home.

Mickey is crafty, cynical, some might say sleazy---but tireless, fearless and ruthless in fighting for his clients.

Nuisance that she is, Haller suspects his client may actually be innocent.

The prosecutor is a worthy opponent, a sharp and dangerous deputy DA on the rise.

It turns out the murdered banker was involved with organized crime while attempting to bail out his underwater properties. The possibility exists someone else was not pleased with the victim’s activities…a chance for reasonable doubt.

From set-up to accusation to trial prep to the trial and on to the verdict, Michael Connelly once again shows his mastery of suspense. The plot is loaded with energy and surprise. As usual, the clues are hidden in plain sight. The twists and turns do not stop when the trial is concluded. The ending Connelly augured all along nevertheless comes across as unforeseen and satisfying.

Every sentence in a Connelly novel is important. There are no wasted words. Skim and scan at your own peril.

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Quote: ““The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself.”—James Thurber.

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Zen Question: If all the new technology is supposed to make everything easier, why does life seem more and more difficult?

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Truism: The cultural parade has left you at the curb when you not only don’t know the top songs in the country, you would pay not to hear them.

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My-Oh-My: You know it is already a strange baseball season when the Yankees have a $200 million payroll and are an underdog.

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Truism: What I learned from watching the promos on Tru-Tv during the NCAA Tournament is that I won’t be watching Tru-TV again until next March.

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Quote: “After lunch, back to my room for a long nap. Wow, do I love naps. God’s gifts.”—Ben Stein.

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Rant: I wonder what color evening gown Dennis Rodman will wear when he is inaugurated into the Basketball Hall of fame.

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Hmmm: Seems like every other movie released is made for a twelve year old.

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Truism: If the federal government were a baseball team, it would be the New York Mets.

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Quote: “I wonder if there has ever before in history been a national leader who sent his country off to war—and the same day went on vacation. Has that ever happened before obama?”—Ben Stein

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Oh So True: They didn’t make two of Manny Ramirez.

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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.

Welcome to Bracketville---Withdrawal Edition

At UNC, John Henson and Tyler Zeller are returning for their junior and senior seasons---good decisions and bravo to them. Reggie Bullock will be healthy. Harrison Barnes is still undecided. If Dexter Strickland can add some serious perimeter defense to his game, then my money is on Carolina for #1 preseason and a genuine favorite to make the Final Four. By the way, they have two four star recruits coming in---Marcus Paige and J.P. Tokoto. So, even if Barnes bolts for the NBA, Roy Williams will have to make do with only six or seven future NBA players.

In 1973’s Championship game, UCLA’s Bill Walton scored 44 points, three more than Butler did this season. Remember, that was before the three point shot.

Here’s a link to a most worthy article by Andrew Clark, the author of “Bracketeering,” that recaps the Tournament in a pithy fashion. http://idevmail.americaneagle.com/UserFiles/actasports/file/Bracketeering%20Supplemental%20Chapter.pdf

Lastly, here is the take on the Tournament from the curmudgeonly John Feinstein. http://www.washingtonpost.com/sports/instead-of-a-coronation-dismal-ncaa-title-game-was-a-culmination-of-bad-habits/2011/04/05/AF4NgUkC_story.html


Saturday, April 02, 2011

Welcome to Bracketville---Final Four Edition

As the Butler/VCU tip-off approaches and all our brackets are cinders and ashes, it is time to announce that Carl’s victory (not his first in this contest) prize is a copy of “Bracketeering: The Layman's Guide to Picking the Madness in March" by Andrew Clark.

When Arizona definitively out-rebounded Duke in the Sweet Sixteen, the Wildcats were ranked 193rd in that category…a truly humbling stat.

Of the final 16 teams in the Women’s NCCA Tournament, UConn played ten of them in the regular season.

Butler’s Coach Brad Stevens has more wins in his fist four seasons than any coach in NCAA Division I history.

ESPN covers college basketball a lot better than does CBS.