Thursday, October 27, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 513

Thursday, October 27, 2011---612 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 6 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.

If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

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Rave: Max Steiner.

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Reading: “The Litigators” by John Grisham.

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On the Hi Fi: “Bebop, The Sound That Transformed Jazz”—A Starbucks collection.

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Under rated: Guy Kibbee.

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I miss: Jim Reeves, Suzanne Pleshette, Bobo Newsom.

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Quote: “Like so many people, in so many countries, who started out to ‘spread the wealth,’ obama has ended up spreading poverty.”—Economist Thomas Sowell.

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Rave: “Person of Interest” has been picked up for the entire season.

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Truism: A paradox of the Information Age is how little useful information actually gets through.

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Department of redundancy department: Exact same, act naturally, at this point in time (thanks Bonnie).

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Quote: “Professors are folks who talk in other people’s sleep.”—Poet W. H. Auden.

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Rave: The current crop of red grapes available locally at Publix is as sweet and firm as any I can remember.

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Rant: Mostly, I see the occupy Wall Street types as leftover hippies who missed the last chopper out of the sixties, and who will show up at any demonstration about anything out of nostalgia and for something to do.

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Rave: Before obama, “trillion” was a word used only in astronomy textbooks.

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Didjaknow: Parity? Mediocrity? Call it what you want, but not a single NFL game on Sunday (10/23) and Monday (10/24) was played between teams with winning records.

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Quote: “Do not speak unless you can improve the silence.”—Buddhist proverb.

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Didjaknow: Since Nixon nationalized passenger rail service in 1971; Amtrak has not made money in a single year.

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Truism: Politicians can solve almost any problem---usually by creating a bigger problem.

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Didjaknow: Poland has the lowest top tax rate (18%)---and Poland is the only European nation that has no recession.

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Rant: Joe Buck and Tim McCarver have kept their streak alive---they are just as annoying and uninformative as usual.

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Hmmm: You gotta love the obama demand for congress to pass half a trillion dollar Jobs Act---a bill that has yet to be written and calls for funding that does not exist.

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Truism: A tree falling in the forest makes more noise than the NBA labor squabble does.

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Didjaknow: In 1997, there were 66,000 fewer road injuries than in 1995, the year that congress repealed the 55 mph speed limit.

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Hmmm: Ever wonder why companies send you a bill when your balance due is zero?

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Rant: It is a farce to fine pro athletes for their rules violations. Suspensions are something that even the highest-paid athletes can feel.

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Hmmm: obama sure seems comfortable with his own incompetence.

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Rave: Sports Illustrated’s Conference Basketball Preview editions…as usual, spectacular photography…good, at a glance stats…projecting winners in a sport featuring many teenaged athletes needs to be taken with a grain of NaCl, but still fun to ponder.

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Rant: People who live within their means are increasingly being forced to pay for people who didn’t live within their means---whether individual home buyers here or entire nations in Europe.

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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.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Welcome to Bracketville---Exhibition Season Edition

Syracuse returns nine of its top 10 scorers, including four starters, from the team that went 26-7 last year.

Harvard brings back its entire roster.

Freshmen and sophomores received nearly 90% of last season’s playing time at Wake Forest.

Belmont returns nine guys who averaged at least ten minutes last season.

Vanderbilt starts three potential NBA picks. Point Brad Tinsley led the SEC in assists last season…John Jenkins led the SEC with 19.5 points per game. Jenkins could be a first team All-American.

Florida’s Billy Donovan once lost on the opening weekend of the NCAA Tournament for five consecutive years. Then he led the Gators to back-to-back championships.

North Carolina returns all five starters and adds two freshmen McDonald’s All Stars.

Florida State’s opponents shot just 36% last season…the best in the nation.

Last season the Big East sent eleven teams to the NCAA Tournament…only two made it to the second weekend, and only by eliminating another Big East school.




Sunday, October 16, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 512

Sunday, October 16, 2011---741 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 39 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.

If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

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Rave: Veronica Lake.

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Reading: The Killing Song” by Florida’s P.J. Parrish.

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On the Hi Fi: “The Indispensable Duke Ellington and the Small Groups.”

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Under rated: Elisha Cook, Jr.

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I miss: Myrna Loy, Vic Wertz Count Basie.

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Quote: “Ninety-Ninety Rule of Project Schedules: The first ninety percent of the task takes ninety percent of the time, and the last ten percent takes the other ninety percent.”—Anon.

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Quote: “Humor is generally a function of intelligence. You’re only as funny as you are smart.”---Gregg Doyel, CBS Sports columnist.

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Quote: “Fond of diversity in everything but thought, a certain kind of liberal favors mandatory harmony {e.g., campus speech codes}. Such liberals, being realists at least about the strength of their arguments, discourage ‘too much’ debate about them {e.g., restrictions on campaign spending to disseminate political advocacy}. —George Will.

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Department of redundancy department: Same exact, free gift, safe haven, end result.

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Rave: I’m a big fan of the cocky, smart aleck, sarcastic Tommy Jefferson on “Harry’s Law”---brilliantly played by Christopher McDonald. NBC has ordered six more episodes.

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Rant: Don't you think baseball teams overdo it in the celebration department? Dog piling, spraying champagne and generally acting like frat boys at a toga party is a bit asinine just for advancing to a possible world championship.

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Hmmm: USA Today pointed out that Fox's NFL pregame show Sunday (10/2) {never mind the actual games} garnered a larger overnight rating than any baseball playoff game played that week. It doesn't help MLB that its first-round games were parked on TBS, the equivalent of the witness protection program.

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Hmmm: Depending on what criteria are used, you can have as much official poverty as you want, regardless of whether it bears any relationship to reality.

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Hmmm: Corporate speak is the art of saying nothing.

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Hmmm: If big corporations did control everything, they would, like government programs, never change or lose power. However, large firms regularly come and go, because, in contrast to government programs, they only remain powerful as long as they are serving customers.

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Department of redundancy department: Advance warning, close proximity, PIN number, ATM machine, foreign imports.

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Truism: I am always smarter after reading a column from Dr. Thomas Sowell.

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Truism: Three differences between Occupy Wall Street extremists and tea partiers. The tea partiers have jobs, showers and a point.

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Truism: Dan Duryea made every film he was in better.

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Truism: General Electric employs more workers outside than in the USA. GE has created more jobs overseas in the last decade than it did at home. The company has received $127 million in contracts, grants and loans from the $787 billion federal stimulus package, according to Recovery.gov…all while paying zero federal corporate taxes last year.

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Truism: Experience is knowledge acquired too late.

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Truism: If you can afford junk food, you can certainly afford healthier food.

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Truism: P.T. Barnum would love the Kardashians.

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Department of redundancy department: Exact same, basic fundamentals, future plans, each individual.

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Irony Alert: The anti-capitalist, anti-corporate extremists of “Occupy Wall Street” mourning Apple founder Steve Jobs.

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Dweeb Humor: “We don’t allow faster-than-light neutrinos in here,” says the bartender.

A neutrino walks into a bar.

Don’t get it? Wait a second. It will hit you.

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Didjaknow: In the last nine years, seven of the 18 teams reaching the World Series have been wildcard teams.

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Passages: Peter Gent…Dallas Cowboy wide receiver, whose best-selling “North Dallas Forty” [1973] was the seminal novel about drugs, sex and greed in the NFL---sort of the canary in the coal mine.

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Passages: Al Davis was a true original. In truth, he probably was as close to being a legend in his own time as anyone. The concept of political correctness was not in his lifestyle. Just win, baby.

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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, October 07, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 511

Friday, October 07, 2011---656 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.

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.

If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

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Rave: Hank Williams Jr.

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Reading: “Nobody Runs Forever” by Richard Stark.

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On the Hi Fi: The self-titled Swing Shift album.

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Under rated: Marilyn Maxwell.

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I miss: Robert Taylor, Artie Shaw, Mel Parnell.

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Quote: “Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels.”—Kate Moss

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Irony: Ballpark sushi.

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Didjaknow: Of the 260 playoff series in baseball history, just 40 have ended with the victor scoring fewer runs over the series than the loser. The Rays are just the second team to outscore a winner despite winning just one game, thanks to Tampa Bay’s 9-0 rout in Game One against the Rangers. (The first team was the 1998 Red Sox, who beat the Indians, 11-3, in the first game of their division series but then lost three straight games by a combined six runs.)

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Rave: Yankees go home as Tigers and Rangers make the MLB Final Four. Having A Rod make the final out with a swinging strike three is sweet…even sweeter was his seventh inning strike out with the bases loaded

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Quote: “I’m tired of losing the same fifteen pounds.”---Anon.

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Rant: The obama way: punish bank earnings…so banks raise fees…then denounce banks for raising fees. Brilliant!!!

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Truism: I have had a debit card my entire life…it is known as cash.

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Passages: Steve Jobs was a visionary, battler and an innovator…he was always moving forward. The All-American success story…from the garage to the Apple campus and the Apple Stores. He built the better mousetrap over and over and over again. He made life better for millions, increased their wealth and never gave up. God Bless Steve Jobs.

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Quote: “The modern American university’s purpose has come to be defined as providing parking the faculty, sex for the students and athletics for the alumni.”—Clark Kerr.

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TV Time Out: “Person of Interest” has me hooked. More so now that there appears to be an overarching storyline concerning the identity of “M. Elias.” It is a pretty gritty show, for one relying so much on high-tech. Great juxtaposition.

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Rant: I am certain the moron in the White House is convinced that Apple could have been much more successful if only they had paid more taxes and had to overcome more regulations.

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Truism: All great comedy contains an element of truth.

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Quote: “Cynicism is an unpleasant way of saying the truth.” -- Lillian Hellman.

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Didjaknow: Mega best-selling author James Patterson read lots and lots of comics growing up. He was a huge fan of Mad Magazine as well.

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TV Time Out: While the reviews are somewhat mixed, “Prime Suspect” is must see TV for me.

Maria Bello is a joy to watch…I love her self-deprecating style…her ability to flip her good cop/bad cop personality on a dime is powerful.

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Hmmm: 28 million Americans tuned into the initial episode for the revamped “Two and a Half Men.” That won’t happen again.

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Rant: Sideline reporters are asinine. The questions they ask coaches between halves about the second half plans always have the same answer. The coach who’s ahead promises to maintain the intensity and avoid mistakes. The coach on the short end of the score vows to get more physical and avoid mistakes.

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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.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 510

Saturday, October 01, 2011---926 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 41 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.

If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

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Rave: Norman Granz.

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Reading: Lee Child’s “The Affair”—beyond spectacular.

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On the Hi Fi: “Live Close By, Visit Often” by K.T. Oslin.

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Under rated: Jack Jones.

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I miss: Leo G. Carroll, Laura Nyro, Hoyt Wilhelm.

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Quote: “Cynics regard everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regard everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves.” -- Robert Anton Wilson.

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I Wish: That I could whistle really loudly, play the piano and skip rope.

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Truism: Stupid should be painful.

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TV Timeout: Mark your iCal for these returns. “Psych” (season6 debut) on Wednesday, 10/12 at 10 on USA. USA’s “Covert Affairs” on Tuesday, 11/1 at 10 PM. “Burn Notice” on USA at 10 PM on Thursday, 11/1. “The Closer” and “Rizzoli & Isles” on TNT, Monday, 11/28 at 9 and 10.

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Hmmm: Am I the only one who thinks that Rachel Maddow looks like Harry Potter?

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Rant: You know baseball analysis has become ridiculous when one of the new ways of evaluating players is some gibberish called Wins Above Replacement. If you can figure that out, calculus II is next semester.

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Didjaknow: A billion is 1,000 times greater than a million. If you did, you are smarter than obama who equates 200,000 with a million.

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Rave/TV Timeout: I’m a fan of “Pan Am.” Any show that features Bobby Darin as part of the soundtrack is jake in my book. Great overall look and feel, the wardrobes and sets---all the glamour that promised adventure and elegance when you heard, “This is your Captain speaking.” Fly me to the moon.

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Money Ball: The Tampa Bay Rays have the second lowest payroll in baseball. Go Rays! Too bad this excellent organization (in playoffs three of the past four seasons) has such a lukewarm fan base.

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Truism: The only guy who had a worse September than the Red Sox was Rick Perry.

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Quote: “Bigots are just plain lazy. If you just take the trouble to know people as individuals, almost invariably you will discover better reasons to despise them than their race, religion, etc.”—Burt Prelutsky.

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Truism: Baseball games were certainly shorter before anyone heard of Bill James.

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Baseball lore: You know that you have seen too many post-season baseball games if you can remember running home from school to watch the World Series.

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Rant: I am certain post-season baseball would be far more enjoyable if the geniuses from TBS, FoxSports and ESPN used the TV announcing crews from the various participating teams.

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Quote: “Has obama ever grown even a potted plant, much less a business, a bank, a hospital or any of the numerous other institutions whose decisions he wants to control and override? But he can talk glibly about growing the economy. Arrogance is no substitute for experience. That is why the country is in the mess it is in now.” Distinguished Economist, Dr. Thomas Sowell.

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Hmmm: I am certain it is some sort of moral failing, but I really do not care is Beyonce is pregnant.

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Rave/TV Timeout: It may not be high art, but “The Playboy Club” is big fun. It’s got the look and style from the swinging sixties down cold. Oh how sophisticated we thought we were during college with our Playboy Club keys…it was a fun place and the show gets that right.

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Truism/Quote: “Any government bureaucrat who could make a smart venture capital investment wouldn’t be a government bureaucrat.”—Star Parker.

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Didjaknow: Fourteen quarterbacks threw for more than 300 yards in the NFL during opening week.

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Truism: Sports and entertainment become more important as societies get worse.

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Hmmm: Could the NBA season will be reduced to a video game

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Rant: It used to be Sonny and Cher. Now it’s the talentless Chaz Bono.

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Quote: “Nobody who didn’t vote for obama last time will vote for him in 2012, whereas millions who did, won’t. Not since the advent of the Edsel and New Coke has an over-hyped product turned off more Americans than obama.”—Burt Prelutsky.

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Rave: My flame vines are blossoming like crazy, making up for the crepe-myrtle’s minimal blossoms, as the squirrels have decided their buds are the proper diet this year.

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But Who’s Counting: “Dirty Harry” turns 40 next year.

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Bumper Sticker of the Month: Criminals Prefer Unarmed Victims.

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Hmmm: Doesn’t it seem like A-Rod and Cameron Diaz break up more than the king and queen of the ninth-grade dance?

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Truth be told: Already, I have enough 2012 calendars…and enough address labels to last a lifetime.

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Hmmm: I wish I had been as clever as obama and blamed bad luck when I was getting C’s in high school.

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Rave: “Blue Bloods” is just as entertaining and riveting this season as last. Is there any other actor who can convey as much with the “silent brood” as Tom Selleck?

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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.