Sunday, August 15, 2010


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • I'm so obscure, my astrological sign has been taken down!
  • Closed-Captioning Gaffe of the Week (courtesy of MSNBC): The shooter in a Connecticut workplace massacre that left 9 dead on Aug. 3 was described as "a loaner." Thank God!
  • "I'm my own app."--Zippy's son in "Zippy (the Pinhead)" comic strip, Aug. 8, 2010.
  • I think I'm carrying my health kick to extremes.  I just bought a decaffeinated coffee table!
  • Career:  A job you've had too long.
  • When did everybody start saying, "Having said that . . ." or "That being said . . . "?  Those are what are known as "verbal tics." (Does Raid make a Verbal Tic Spray? I'd go through several cans a day!)
  • Book Titles of the Week:  "How To Defeat Your Own Clone (and Other Tips for Surviving the Biotech Revolution") . . . and "Still Life Adventures in Taxidermy."  (Both available at the Sturgeon Bay Library, along with another recent arrival, "Stem Cells for Dummies.")
  • I looked in the mirror the other day and saw I still had bags under my eyes.  But no big deal--they're just carry-ons!
  • Overheard: "I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy!"
  • Memo to producers of newspaper advertising inserts:  “WOW! doesn’t work for me anymore next to a loss-leader price tag.  I think we’re all pretty much "WOWed out" by now.  (A recent insert for Walgreen’s had 36 WOW! items.  Enough already!)
  • Tell you what, advertisers:  Just tell me the product and the price, and I'll decide whether it's a WOW! for me or not.
  • (Better yet, why not come up with some more novel wording, something more attention-getting, such as:
  • "HOLY SHIT!  Duracell AA's, 4 pack, 99 cents!!!" . . . Or, "JESUS CHRIST!  Snickers 2-pack, 89 cents!!! Now we're talkin' "grabbers," are we not?!
  • Door County is an absolute oasis for boaters, campers, hikers, fishermen, etc., but an absolute desert for train buffs.  There are no trains, just some rusty abandoned tracks. And I wanna hear that lonesome whistle blow!
  • "Economists put decimal points in their forecasts to prove they have a sense of humor."--Former U.S. Treasury Secretary William Simon.
  • All those who are sick of seeing self-absorbed, celebrity-obsessed motor-mouth Kathy Griffin on virtually every TV show (or so it seems), raise your hand.
  • Music note, jazz/trivia division:  The recent death of Mitch Miller, best known for his sing-along hits, reminded me (and other hard-core jazz fans) that he played the oboe interlude between Charlie Parker's choruses on "Just Friends" on the famous "Bird With Strings" album in 1949.  There's more:
  • Miller played in the pit band for the original production of "Porgy and Bess" on Broadway and then toured as a member of George Gershwin's own orchestra; he also soloed in the CBS radio symphony under Igor Stravinsky.  Not a bad curriculum vitae!
  • Fourth entry in the Wisconsin Town I Never Heard Of Until I Saw It Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes: Anston, Wis. (R.I.P. Shaun Brott, Green Bay Press-Gazette, July 20, 2010).  Previous entries:  Athelstane, Walhain and  Duck Creek.
  • “To be creative requires divergent thinking (generating many unique ideas) and then convergent thinking (combining those ideas into the best result).”--Recent Newsweek essay on creativity.
  • People who don't clear their table of their fast-food detritus should be exiled to the Island of Inconsiderate Slobs. 
  • And guys who wear ballcaps (or any other kind of headgear) in table-cloth restaurants should be flogged mercilessly with a pair of Larry King's old suspenders.  (The older the better!)
  • Sad but true:  "No matter how cynical you become, it's never enough to keep up."--Lily Tomlin
  • Somebody called me the other day and put my answering machine on hold! 
  • Been watching a lot of baseball this summer.  Otherwise, I'm usually reading Homer in the original Greek!
  • Two things that aren't used nearly as often as they should: Turn-signals on cars and flush levers on urinals. (Funny, guys, the handle worked for me!)
  • False economy at its best (or worst):  Companies that switch to the thinnest possible paper towels in their washrooms.  Don’t they realize we’re just going to use three or four sheets instead of one or two?  Meanwhile, they've alienated us and branded themselves as cheap.  Corporate strategy at its best!
  • Bumper sticker:  "Alabama--not as bad as you'd expect!"
  • Today's Latin Lesson: Ut res orator.  ("That being said . . .")