Thursday, June 10, 2010


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:  
  • Sometimes I feel like a crouton in the salad bar of life.
  • No one laments the apparent end of the recession, yet . . . one good thing about the downturn was the decrease in truck traffic. One sure sign the recession is now abating:  The semis are once again looming up in my rear-view mirror every time I take to the interstate.
  • Boaters have a saying--"The two happiest days in a boater's life are the day he/she buys it, and the day he/she sells it."
  • Wait a minute!  Isn't that true also of car owners, homeowners, horse owners . . ? How did boat owners get left holding the bag on buyer's remorse? (Full disclosure: Never owned one, don't want one.)
  • "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."--Anais Nin
  • Everywhere I look I see a story about Lady Gaga. And Larry King (!) did an entire surreal hour with her--you can't escape her.  Hmm, I wonder--is there a Lord Gaga too?
  • Probably 90 percent of the people who use the words "zen" and "zen-like" would be hard pressed to accurately define those terms.  (Not that that stops them from using them . . . )
  • Wrigley Field, a venerated baseball shrine.  Miller Park?  "A nice facility."  In other words, the Cubs play in a beautiful park, the Brewers play in a building.  And what is the point in closing the roof on a hot day, cutting off all air circulation and turning the place into a veritable sauna?  Amazing.  Where is the air-conditioning?  The Metrodome in Minneapolis had it, and it wasn't exactly in the Sun Belt!
  • Speaking of baseball, one of the many things wrong with my favorite game is that the system of fines is long overdue for a revamp.  Fining $25 million-a-year man Alex Rodriguez $500 for throwing his helmet is laughable when the same infraction costs a fringe player the same amount.  Solution:  Make the fine a percentage of base salary, not a flat amount.  How hard is that?  If showing up the umpire costs A-Rod $50,000 instead of $500 . . . .  But I'm sure the players union and its full roster of attorneys would shoot down any attempt at reform.
  • (And if we can put a man on the moon, why can't they keep the batters box chalked for more than two innings?  They replace the bases--including lightly used third base--midway through the game, yet they don't re-chalk the batters box.  Stupid.)
  • Best description yet of the world economic mess (a la Greece/the euro, etc.):  "It's starting to look like one of these tragic stories where one person falls through the ice, then everyone else rushes in to help and ends up drowning."  Thus spake independent market analyst Edward Yardeni to the Associated Press.
  • (Yardeni went on to say that European countries will need stringent spending cuts to pay down heavy debt loads.  Such cuts would likely lead to long economic slumps for those countries . . . resulting in a long-term, multi-year economic decline in Europe.)
  • My favorite golf handicap story ever:  Sammy Davis Jr. was invited to play at an all-white Las Vegas golf course many years ago. One of the stuffy lawyers who was his host, asked, "What's your handicap, Sammy?" To which the multi-talented entertainer magnificently replied, "I'm a one-eyed black Jew. What's yours?"
  • What do Clint Eastwood, George Clooney, Al Pacino, Julia Roberts and Denzel Washington have in common?  None of them have stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, yet recently deceased Dennis Hopper, a drugged-out middling talent who made a career out of playing drugged-out characters, has one.  Hurray for Hollywood?
  • Cars today!  They come equipped with GPS devices, backup cameras, DVD players  . . . but with floor mats that get tangled in gas or brake pedals.  (Latest example: Federal safety regulators are investigating reports of gas pedals becoming trapped by floor mats in 2010 Ford Fusions and Mercury Milans.)  Words fail me.
  • Wish I'd said that:  "Dolly Parton?  She's a female female impersonator."--filmmaker John Waters
  • More Waters words:  "I like minorities that don't even fit in [with] their own minorities.  That's who I get along with best."
  • News to me: It was interesting to note that Chris Haney,  the recently deceased co-creator of Trivial Pursuit, was a newspaper photo editor who had a "blind faith" that the game he invented with another newsman, sports reporter Scott Abbott, would succeed.  And after a slow start after its 1982 release, it caught on--you might say.  The pair sold the Trivial rights to Hasbro in 2008 for a decidedly untrivial sum of $80 million.
  • Speaking of trivia, often what is passed off as such is not trivial, as on the day the Wrigley Field scoreboard Trivia Quiz asked the assemblage:  "In 1930 I hit 56 home runs and drove in 190 runs.  Who am I?"  That's not trivia, that's significa!  Trivia is who wore No. 14 before Ernie Banks.  (Answer: Paul Schramka.)
  • When a TV show disclaimer states that a show "contains adult language," well, I guess that isn't much of a compliment to adults, is it?  What it also is, is a lame euphemism for "bad or profane language."  So why don't they just call it that and leave adults out of it (as if we're the only ones who depart from circumspect speech at times)?
  • Last but not least, here is Today's Latin Lesson: Is est quis is est. ("It is what it is.")
  • As usual, I don't always agree with everything I say!

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