Sunday, September 19, 2010


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • What do butterflies get when they're nervous?  Gorillas?
  • Redundancy of the Week: "We're now living in a global world."  (Heard on Bloomberg Radio, Sept. 9, 2010.) I think he meant to say, "We're now living in a global economy."
  • Broadcast malaprop of the week:  "[Rahm Emanuel and Jesse Jackson Jr.] talked about how [Chicago's] poor economic climate could really send the [mayoral] contest into a battle of racial epitaphs [sic] . . . "--Chicago Tribune/WGN TV political reporter Rick Pearson.
  • Shampoo shopping quandary: Where can I go to find out if my hair is normal, oily or dry? 
  • Men: Shouldn't it really be called a hisnia?
  • You can tell a restaurant is poorly managed if they have a reprint of a bad review in the window.
  • Hip-hop is to music as pesticide is to fruit and vegetables.
  • Book Titles of the Week:  "Storey's Guide to Raising Sheep (Breeding, Care, Facilities)" and "Common Dragonflies of Northern Door County."  (A couple of gift ideas for all you early-bird Christmas shoppers out there.)
  • When my wife saw a recent color photo of Jerry Lee Lewis, she thought it was Art Linkletter! Separated at birth? 
  • Seventh entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw It Mentioned in an Obituary Sweepstakes:  Amberg, Wis. (r.i.p. Wayne J. Bero Sr., Green Bay Press-Gazette, Sept. 8, 2010).  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston and Sobieski.
  • Obituary Headline Nickname of the Week:  James F. "Cheezy Jim" McMaster, late of Seymour, Wis. (Green Bay Press-Gazette, Sept. 9, 2010).
  • "The trouble with Italian food is five or six days later, you're hungry again."--George Miller, film producer.
  • Sports note from psychologist Ken Ravizza, Ph. D.: "Peak performance isn't about being in the zone; it's about getting a job done with what you have.  The phrase I use is, 'Comfortable being uncomfortable.' "
  • Today's sure-fire conversation starter:  What do baseball Hall of Famer Dave Winfield and journeyman outfielder Dion James have in common?  They're the only two major leaguers who have killed a bird with a batted ball during a game.  (Randy Johnson killed one with a pitch! And big-leaguers Eric Davis and Pat Burrell (still active) killed birds with batted balls during minor-league games.)
  • Piers Morgan, Larry King's replacement, on the other cable talk-show hosts: "I’m very familiar with Bill O’Reilly, Rachel [Maddow], Keith Olbermann. . . . But they’ve gotten increasing self-indulgent. They increasingly talk about each other--Rachel talking about Bill, Bill talking about Keith, Keith talking about Glenn and Bill. It’s all a bit of a laugh. I’m sure it’s all quite interesting to them, but I wonder how interesting it is to a bigger audience. . . ."  (Amen, Mr. Morgan, amen.)
  • Overheard:  "My boss didn't impose a salary cap--it's more like an iron helmet!"
  • If I can't find a dime's worth of difference between two political candidates, I'd vote for the one who promised to take ALL of his or her campaign signs down immediately after the polls close!  I'm as sick of looking at 'em as you are!  (Talk about visual pollution!)
  • Jim's Law of Travel:  Never visit a country that was called something else when you were in high school.
  • Years have passed since I have set foot in a comedy club. If the comic is doing badly, it's painful--and if the comic is doing brilliantly, it's extremely painful."--Dick Cavett.
  • If Alcoholics Anonymous ever wants to modernize its name, here's a suggestion:  Booze Control.
  • A person is presumed innocent until the surveillance video is shown on TV.
  • Why do companies keep changing their products' packaging--especially well-established ones? You'd think that having a familiar look would give you an edge in this era of choice-creep explosion, an age when there are, at last count, 19 varieties of Cheerios and about that many kinds of Tylenol, plus myriad copycat store-brand products, ad infinitum, all fighting for shelf space in the Super Wal-Marts and Target Greatlands of America. (And they wonder why "market share" is down.)
  • Sad sight seen more and more: Ghost malls--formerly thriving shopping meccas with just two or three remaining stores (sometimes just a beauty or nail parlor) among 85 soaped-up kaput storefronts.  Some of the stores probably closed before the new-paint smell faded away.
  • You're an old-timer if you refer to a train as "the iron horse."
  • Jim's Law of Doctor's Offices:  The shorter the wait, the better the magazines. The longer the wait. . . .
  • Whatever happened to Rae Dawn Chong?
  • Today's Latin lesson: Quis bonus pro anser est bonus pro gander. ("What's good for the goose is good for the gander.")