Sunday, October 19, 2014

Curmudgeon in the Wry 570

Sunday, October 19, 2014---1171 Words---Average Reading Time: 4 Minutes, 12 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.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Completely biased.
Don’t forget to floss.
Low carb.
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Rave: Woody Herman.
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Reading: “Storm Prey” by John Sandford.
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On the Hi Fi: “Personal Best” by Artie Shaw.
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Under rated: Lewis Stone.
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Quote: “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”---Albert Einstein
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TV Time Out: Really looking forward to the finale of “Manhattan” later this evening. So far, it’s been a good journey…hoping for a good destination. Show was renewed last week.
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Captain Obvious: The only young people you see driving Mercedes convertibles are usually blonde females.
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Golden Oldies: Remember when the world seemed to stop for the World Series? No longer…unless it is in your town.
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Numbers game: Kansas City ranked 25th out the 30 MLB teams in attendance.
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Excess blather: When it comes to sports on TV, what I want is far less pregame chatter {none would be good} from overcrowded panels whose analysis amounts to nothing.
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TV Time Out II: The three-week hiatus for “Hell on Wheels” is a good break. It’s been moving too slowly season…but at least now Cullen is finally armed and dangerous. Hope that Bohannan, Durant and Mickey can take down the provisional governor. Here’s hoping the final three episodes are filled with more western action.
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Quote: “Spike Lee is an avid Knicks fan who doesn’t know anything about basketball.”—Phil Jackson.
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Bottom Line: The song has yet to be written that doesn’t receive immense benefits from a Count Basie arrangement. Ditto for a Nelson Riddle arrangement.
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Fifth Law of Applied Terror: If you are given an open-book exam, you will forget your book. 
Corollary: If you are given a take-home exam, you will forget where you live.
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Bottom Line: Whatever you did, that's what you planned.--- Featherkile's Rule.
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TV Time Out III: “Gotham” is a diabolical good time. Alfred is becoming my favorite character. The cinematography, costume and set design are all top notch. Fish Mooney is way too over the top for me. Overall, I am intrigued by the series.
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Reality check: Chicken Little only has to be right once.
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Second thoughts: Just when you think you are over the hill, you find there's another hill. And it's steeper.
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Quote: “Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.”--- Bernard Berenson
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Fast start: According to Nielsen, Fox Sports 1 is the country’s fastest growing network.
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Food for thought: How much will electricity cost once we go “all electric?”
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Hmmm: Is it bragging if it’s true?
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TV Time Out IV: “Person of Interest” is utilizing its procedural elements smartly to expand its mythology. Great seeing Elias reemerge…a most engaging character. POI handles its villains extremely well…the Brotherhood and Dominic are formidable adversaries and the perfect big baddies for this season. POI is smart, fun, strikingly ominous, and finds the correct places to inject some humor among the action and drama.
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New Normal: Florida State has spent years trying to run a university the football team can be proud of.
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Picture this: You realize that you have been phased out of the culture, when you wouldn’t wear what’s fashionable on a bet.
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Bad medicine: People who drive too slowly on interstates are worse than those who drive too fast.
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Reality check: If government employees had to live off tips, they would starve to death.
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Fun Fact: Whoever wins the World Series will have participated in five champagne celebrations.
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New definition for overkill: The George Clooney wedding.
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Factoid: There is no sense giving advice. Wise men don’t need it and fools don’t take it.
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Final TV Time Out: “The Blacklist” has so many strings and directions that could be pulled or followed, I have not a clue where season two will go. Will we see more of Berlin? Will Mossad agent, Samar Navabi get more involved? What are she and Red up to? Who has Liz locked in the closet? I enjoy the way the criminal of the weeks ties in to Red’s larger plots. “The Blacklist” characters never give a straight answer. “The X-Files” was the last show that came close to legitimizing epic covert plots on this scale for government conspiracies. Through it all, Red is the chess master in this game. Ever feel like Red magically teleports himself from place to place?
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Dollars and sense: The Yankees’ payroll is larger that the Royals and Orioles combined.
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Common Core: Bloomberg News reports the high school class of 2014 turned in the lowest math scores on the SATs since 2000.
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Stop the presses: Very few things turn out better than you expected.
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True or false: Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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C’est la vie: All the easy problems have been solved.
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Truism: You never find the lost article until you replace it.
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Quote: “An appeaser is one who feeds an alligator in the hope it will eat him last.”—Winston Churchill.
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William Safire's Rules for Writers:
Remember to never split an infinitive.
The passive voice should never be used.
Do not put statements in the negative form.
Verbs have to agree with their subjects.
Proofread carefully to see if you words out.
If you reread your work, you can find on rereading a great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
A writer must not shift your point of view.
And don't start a sentence with a conjunction. ( Remember, too, a preposition is a terrible word to end a sentence with.)
Don't overuse exclamation marks!!
Place pronouns as close as possible, especially in long sentences, as of 10 or more words, to their antecedents.
Writing carefully, dangling participles must be avoided.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Take the bull by the hand and avoid mixing metaphors.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Everyone should be careful to use a singular pronoun with singular nouns in their writing.
Always pick on the correct idiom.
The adverb always follows the verb.
Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; seek viable alternatives.
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Quote: “Just because you call powerful idiots ‘the government’ doesn’t mean they’re not idiots.”---Ben Stein.
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Final Thought: No books are lost by lending except those you particularly wanted to keep.
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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.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Curmudgeon in the Wry 569

Saturday, September 27, 2014---1160 Words---Average Reading Time: 4 Minutes,
12 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.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Completely biased.
Don’t forget to floss.
Low carb.
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Rave: Les Brown.
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Reading: “Walking Money” by James O. Born, a proud Floridian.
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On the Hi Fi: “Blues in the Night”—Artie Shaw.
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Under rated: Gabby Hayes.
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Hmmm: How long is a piece of string?
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Bottom Line: Andrea Tantaros is one tough cookie.
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Rave: Mike Post’s theme music for “Hill Street Blues” still thrills me.
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TV Timeout: I liked “Gotham” {the Batman prequel} enough to add it to my weekly recording list.
The first five minutes were as exciting as any TV debut.
Will we learn who killed the Waynes?
Will the series take a major time jump or will the main character be Gotham, telling compelling tales that just happen to have DC Comics characters?
In episode one, we got peeks at Cat Woman, The Penguin, The Riddler and The Joker in their early stages.
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Didjaknow: Bruce Wayne and Bat Man first appeared in Detective Comics # 27 in 1939, receiving the stand-alone title in 1940.
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Rant: If you cannot get into a parallel parking place after two tries…please move on.
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Numbers game: The original Dave Clark Five had six members.
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Quote: When asked by her agent what kind of product endorsement deals she was interested in after finishing as runner-up in the U.S. Open, Caroline Wozniacki answered, "I will do a chocolate deal for product only. No need for money."
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Quote: “One year we had six guys in jail. Not together, that would have taken too much teamwork.”---Former NY Nets president, Jon Spoelstra.
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Fast start: “The Maltese Falcon” was John Huston’s directorial debut.
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Stop the presses: Soccer is a game made for highlight tapes…very short highlight tapes.
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TV Timeout II: The “Scorpion” debut had its moments and was entertaining with high degree of suspension of disbelief. It’s not subtle, rather a fun, high-tech procedural.
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Food for thought: When a habit begins to cost money, it’s called a hobby.
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You bet: That inner voice that tells you that somebody is watching, is your conscience.
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Any truth to the rumor: That waiting for Derek Jeter to retire is like waiting for Y2K.
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Just asking: How many Christians and Jews behead people today for any reason? How many crash planes into buildings?
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Go figure: Players call pro sports a business…fans call it a sport.
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Truism: We do not remember days, we remember moments.
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TV Timeout III: “The Blacklist” is at least a distant cousin to “The X-Files.”
Rowen’s performance from shocked and scared to the cold-faced, focused bad guy was reminiscent of Aaron Stampler in “Primal Fear.” Bravo!
Berlin is one nasty piece of work…a terrific big-baddie for the series.
Best news is that Lizzie got a haircut and no longer wears the worst wig on TV.
“The Blacklist” strikes a balance between engaging week-to-week stories and a more challenging overarching narrative that commands a little attention and loyalty from the audience.
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Hmmm: Is a humorist a man who feels bad, but feels good about it?
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Not as easy as you think: When you go to a restaurant, choose a table near a waiter.
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Sharp move: Sharpen your scissors by cutting up pieces of sandpaper.
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Lights, camera, action: The first R-rated movie to win an Oscar for best picture was “The French Connection.”
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Random Thought: A miracle is an event described by those to whom it was told to, by men who did not see it.
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TV Timeout IV: Is anything ever official on “Person of Interest?” This season could be a cold war between two AIs (The Machine and Samaritan).
This week’s number connected to, and solved a problem for Reese, Finch and Company. A private phone line using old school TV antennae is diabolically cool.
The machine guiding Finch to the abandoned NYC transit tunnels for the hideout was chillingly clever. Their version of the Bat Cave!
Already a ton of questions: Who is Romeo? Is he one of the good guys? Who is the globetrotting mystery woman, Martine Rousseau? Reese and Fusco as partners on the NYPD Homicide Squad? Who is Root’s job interview with? Is Senator Garrison a threat to Samaritan? Could Garrison become an ally with Finch’s crew?
I love new camera shots being shown that indicate the Machine is watching.
Root steals every scene she is in.
Shaw is the hottest female on TV.
This is can’t miss TV.
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Instant analysis: Tiger Woods fired his swing coach because he couldn’t fire himself…what a putz.
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True or False: Is “How are you,” a greeting or a question?
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Rimshot: As the Zen Master said to the hot dog vendor, “Make me one with everything.”
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Rave: Love the new Navy football unis…a take on the Navy summer whites right down to the all white shoes…featuring each player’s rank on the shoulder.
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Idle Thought: If violent TV shows are supposed to make kids more violent, why don’t comedies don’t make them any funnier.
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Hamm: When watching college football games, ever wonder if there are more state police guarding the head coach than there are on the highways?
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Truism: The three largest funerals in the south were for Elvis, Bear Bryant and Huey Long.
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Final TV Time Out: For consistent excellence, you cannot beat “Blue Bloods.”
For intense, tension it will be difficult to improve upon the first six minutes of the season debut.
Sgt. Gormley’s two visits to Frank’s office were priceless. Very well done!
I abhor Mayor Poole…he is malevolent. Hope Frank finds a way to take him down.
It still astonishes me that CBS (the network where Steve Croft coddles obama in the guise of journalism) carries this show…a program that presents the good side of cops, the importance of family values and ethics.
The Reagan family dinner is always a treat…just a wonderful ensemble.
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Pop quiz: Quickly now---name fifteen players from last year’s Super Bowl
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Advice at no charge: Never attend the “first annual” anything.
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Rant: When news people announce a “deadly murder-suicide”, is that to distinguish it from all other kinds?
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Great Business Names Spotted: “The Fur Seasons”---a dog boarding service. “The Sod Father”---a landscaping operation.
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Final Thought: In thirteen seasons with the Baltimore Colts, Raymond Berry caught 631 passes for 9,275 yards and 68 touchdowns---and fumbled exactly one time. Pretty amazing!
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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.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were




Saturday, September 20, 2014

Curmudgeon in the Wry 568

Saturday, September 20, 2014---825 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 52 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.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Completely biased.
Don’t forget to floss.
Low carb.
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Rave: George Raft.
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Reading: “Street Level” by Bob Truluck, an Orlando author.
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On the Hi Fi: “De Lovely, Music from the Motion
Picture.”
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Under rated: Marie Windsor.
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Hmmm: Does anybody today know any phone number other than their own? 
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TV Timeout: Cullen Bohannan obviously leads “Hell on Wheels,” and without his presence, I would be hard pressed to keep watching.
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My word: It seems like ages ago when NFL officials thought their biggest distraction this season would be Michael Sam.
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Food for thought: Take away the gambling and fantasy football, and the NFL’s popularity would be quite different.
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Show of hands: Do you recall when Radio Shack was perceived as the new frontier?
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Reminiscence: We always used to remember summer songs. No longer.
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Quote: “What is there in obama’s background that would justify the assumption that America’s best interests are his goal? Everything in obama’s history suggests that he is going to leave the job half done, so long as that gets the issue off the front pages.”—Thomas Sowell.
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Didjaknow: Ilorida State University was an all women’s college until shortly after WWII.
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Pop reference: Just like Cary Grant never said, “Judy, Judy, Judy.”---James Cagney never said, “You…you dirty rat.”
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TV Timeout II: “Manhattan” is most intriguing. It has a couple of big mysteries and questions larger than one episode.
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Didjaknow: Catfish Hunter was the last pitcher to win 20 games five years in a row (1971-1975). You will not see that again.
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Good advice: Never try to outwit your cat!
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Factoid: Before Trigger and Roy Rogers hooked up in 1938; Trigger was ridden by Maid Marian (Oliva de Havilland) in The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938).
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Pop Quiz: Recite the first five letters of the Greek alphabet.
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Rant: Nancy Grace is repulsive!
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Pop Quiz II: Name the first five books of the Old Testament. Now, the New Testament.
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Random Thought: Should the Orioles and the Nats make it to the World Series, it cannot be a “Beltway Series.” The two cities do not share a beltway…they each have their own.
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Factoid: Tim Stoddard (NC State & Baltimore Orioles) and Kenny Lofton (Arizona & Cleveland Indians) are the only two athletes to play in both the Final Four and World Series.
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Quote: “Three announcers in a sports booth is one too many.”---Frank Deford.
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TV Timeout III: Sure hope USA Network renews “Royal Pains” for season seven.
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Hmm: What is with these “next generation” claims on various products? If they are truly “next generation,” why are here now?
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One to ponder: If it is not the height of irony, it is at least perfect symmetry that both the launch of Sputnik and the first episode of “Leave It to Beaver” occurred on October 4, 1957.
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Stop the Presses: While he continues to perform in concert, Chuck Berry hasn’t released a major studio album since 1979. “Little Queenie” (1959) is still my favorite Berry tune…”She’s too cute to be a minute over seventeen.” 
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Truism: You seldom regret what you never said.
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Picture this: Season six of “White Collar” returns November 6 to the USA Network.
“The Blacklist” returns September 22nd at 10 PM on NBC. Nothing is ever as simple as it appears.
“Person of Interest”: September 23rd on CBS at 10PM. POI thrives on intrigue and mystery…and many unanswered questions will continue to smolder. More Fusco please!
“Blue Bloods” returns September 26th…CBS, 10 PM. Can’t wait for more Reagan family dinners.
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Good call: Only the people who are behind you need to learn patience.
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This and That: The classic noir structure is two seemingly unrelated cases that soon become intertwined.
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Quote: “I want to make mysteries that have a dimension other than whodunit.”---Michael Connelly.
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Rant: How did we get to this point where everybody has all these rights, but no one, it seems, has any responsibility?
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Fun Fact: “If you watch CNN, you could become impotent.”---Bill Bartlett.
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Mgt 101: Great leaders realize that most people need reminders a lot more than they need new instructions.
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Quote: “Biden shouldn’t be allowed anywhere near the Oval Office, even as a member of a tour group.”---Burt Prelutsky.
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Final Thought: There are no sidelines…only sides.
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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.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Curmudgeon in the Wry 567

Tuesday, September 16, 2014---1001 Words---Average Reading Time: 3 Minutes, 2
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.
If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!
Gluten Free.
Completely biased.
Don’t forget to floss.
Low carb.
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Rave: Rollo Tomasi.
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Reading: “Robert B. Parker’s Blind Spot” by Reed Farrel Coleman.
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On the Hi Fi: “Poetics of Sound”—Miles Davis. 
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Under rated: Keyser Söze 
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TV Timeout: The last three episodes of "Hell on Wheels"  have been pretty dull…except for one great shootout won by Syd Snow over the bounty hunters from Mexico.
I am less and less interested in the Swede.
Glad the Elam Ferguson story is done. It was fitting when Eva said, “He ain’t in that box.” Elam died the moment he became Bear Killer.
For all the “law” that has come to Cheyenne, the lawless and brutal actions continue to dominate.
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Quote: “Too many people are leaving games in the sixth and seventh innings because they can’t watch 3½ hour games.” Red Sox owner, Tom Werner.
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Works for me: A woman’s greatest asset is a man’s imagination.
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Rimshot: How many Germans does it take to screw in a light bulb? One…they are quite efficient and not very funny.
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Quote: “Organized crime is better than disorganized crime.”—Joan Rivers.
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Truism: If you’ve seen one laser light show…you’ve seen them all.
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Hmmm: Is it true that if Tom Brady gets hurt, fall gets canceled in New England?
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SOS: Men’s tennis in the USA needs a life raft…not a star in sight.
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Factoid: The true greats make sports look easier than they are supposed to be.
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Reality Check: Whoever said less is more, never tried more.
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Speaking of morons: I suspect the Earth will keep turning no matter what happens to Jay Z and Beyonce’s marriage…but I could be right.
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Quote: "In every war, Britain always wins at least one battle---the last one."---Winston Churchill.
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Rave: With its decision to cease selling tobacco products, CVS has won my business away from Walgreens.
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Works for me: A Senior Citizen power nap is better than nighttime sleep.
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Is there any truth: To the rumor that the ongoing Derek Jeter saga is lasting longer than Cher’s farewell tour?
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Speaking of Jeter: Since nobody else will say it, I will---Jeter has stayed one year too long.
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Fun fact: Derek Jeter was the last All-Star caliber position player drafted and developed by the Yankees since 1992.
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Full disclosure: I was born to be retired...I wake up in the morning with nothing to do, but by night, I’ve only done half of it.
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Go figure: The more TV channels there are, the less there is to watch.
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Quote: Half a century ago, Clark Kerr, prexy at the University of California, said, “The job of a college president was to provide parking for the faculty, sex for the students, and athletics for the alumni."
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If you’re scoring at home: The Yankees have one World Series title in the last 14 years.
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Numbers game: Since 1981 the length of the average baseball game has risen from 2:33 to 3:02…boring!
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Didjaknow: obama is the first two-term president to receive fewer votes the second time around.
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Quote: “If you have read 6,000 books in your lifetime, or even 600, it’s probably because at some level you find ‘reality’ a bit of a disappointment.”—Thomas Allen.
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Idle thought: Three things that are absolutely useless to tell other people: "Just relax," "Try not to think about it" and "Don’t worry."
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Just wondering: When was the last time you saw someone using a coin changer like the Good Humor man used to use?
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Rant: One reason people scream into their cell phones is because they cannot hear their own voice in the earpiece like on a regular phone. Seems like a feature some enterprising tech-company should invent.
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Blimey: What’s the over/under on Johnny Football flaming out.
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Rave: Driving down a two-lane road with nobody in front of you.
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Rant: It is never permissible to dog-ear the page of a book…period.
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Pop quiz: Quick…name the only state whose first two letters are vowels.
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Things everybody gets wrong: Mano a mano does not mean man-to-man or one-on-one. It is Spanish for hand-to-hand.
One does not stand behind a podium. One stands on it. One stands behind a lectern.
A wooden house cannot be dilapidated. Dilapidated applies only to objects made of stone.
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Didjaknow: The Patriots have won the AFC East an amazing 11 times in this century.
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Bottom line: If you say you never swiped anything off a maid’s cart, I say I do not believe you.
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Quote: "There is no greater thief than a bad book."---Old Italian saying.
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Rimshot: I just found a box of Tic-Tacs buried in a drawer. And they're still in mint condition!
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Instant analysis: As the ultimate narcissist, obama finds it impossible to tear himself away from himself.
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Factoid: The longest word you can type using only one row of keys is typewriter.
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Rant: Strollers are becoming like SUVs. They keep getting bigger and bigger, yet babies are staying about the same size.
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Quote: “If politics were like sports, we could ask Israel to trade us Benjamin Netanyahu for obama. Of course, we would have to throw in trillions of dollars to get Israel to agree to the deal, but it would be money well spent.”---Burt Prelutsky.
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Final Thought: The police never think it is as funny as you do.
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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.
And, for everything else you have, thank God.
That is all.
As you were