Tuesday, May 1, 2012


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • Jim's advice to all 2012 graduates:  Work hard, be honest, and never let failure go to your head!
  • I love it!  My all-time favorite media euphemism surfaced often in coverage of the recent Secret Service scandals: "Sexual favors."
  • Another of SZSEZ's Media Words (words you see or hear only in news reports and never hear a normal person actually use in real life):  "Debauchery."   (Also seen prominently in reports about the Secret Service sex scandals.)
  • Why are baseball teams often referred to as  "ball clubs"  but  football and basketball teams never are?  They're "teams." But they use a ball, too, last time I looked, so . . . .
  • "Baseball is a game of failure coached by negative people in an environment of misinformation."--Tom House, noted major-league pitching coach.
  • The trouble with politics today:  It's too adviser- and focus-group driven.  How  much of what Candidate A or Candidate B espouses lies deep within the candidate(s)?  You'd have to drill through a lot of layers to find out what the candidate really believes versus what he or she thinks people want to hear.
  • Whatever happened to Chesterfield cigarettes? Tareyton?  Viceroy?
  • Redundancy of the Week:  "Total stranger."  If you know someone only ever-so-slightly, they're not even a "partial stranger."  There is no such thing.  You either recognize someone or you don't.
  • Choose one (and death is not an option): Having to share a jail cell or hospital room with Charles Manson, Newt Gingrich or DIck Cheney.
  • I like to look at classified ads occasionally to see what odd items people are selling.  The other day:  "Jukebox, good shape, $325."
  • Now, that may be a good deal for someone, but not for me.  I don't have any jukes, so why would I need a box  to put them in?
  • Tailgating is a strange word.  It can mean either (a)  A rambunctious motorist following a vehicle too closely, or (b) Cooking bratwurst or some other fatty meat in a stadium parking lot. 
  • Yucky Strikes:  According to Mother Jones magazine, the following can be found in a cigarette (in addition to nicotine): Beeswax, butter, caffeine, chocolate, maple syrup, pathouli, pine oil, prune juice, rum and urea.
  • SZSEZ's Book Title of the Week:  "Happiness for Dummies," by W. Doyle Gentry, PhD. (SZSEZ's suggested sequel:  "The Idiot's Guide to Misery.")
  • There'd be (a lot?) fewer fatalities during tornadoes, hurricanes, tsunamis and other "acts of God" if people would heed warnings and take shelter instead of "capturing the moment on video." 
  • What is the tipping point between being reluctant to admit how old you are . . . and being proud of how old you are? 
  • We 've all known people in both camps, but when do they cross over from being sheepish about their advancing age . . . and proud of how far they've made it ?)
  • Jim's Party Ice-Breaker of the Week: "Say (actual fellow party guest's name here),  did you know that Burma is home to some of the early civilizations of Southeast Asia including the Pyu and the Mon. In the 9th Century, the Burmans of the Kingdom of Nanzhao, entered the upper Irrawaddy valley and, following the establishment of the Pagan Empire in the 1050s, the language and culture slowly became dominant in the country."  (Thanks once again to Wikipedia, the partygoer's best friend.)
  • People who work out at the gym in street clothes (and punish the treadmills in street shoes) are clueless and pathetic human beings.
  • If Fred Willard isn't the funniest comic actor of all time, I'll eat my entire collection of privacy notices.
  • Ever notice that you never see a beer belly in a beer commercial?
  • Recent headline:  "More people shifting to manual transmissions."
  • Comment:  The way most people drive, their mileage won't improve one bit.  To get the better mileage that manuals supposedly provide, you have to drive the way your Aunt Betsy used to, i.e.:  Shift into second gear at about 15 mph and into third at 25 mph.
  • Nobody does that, so the automatic transmission, which does the shifting for you--and more efficiently than you can--gives you the optimal mileage.  (Why don't people just admit that they like to play with their cars and skip the transparent "better mileage" rationale?)
  • Recent headline II:  "Teens using hand sanitizer to get high."
  • Comment:  What's next:  Odor-Eaters Foot & Sneaker Spray?  Phillips Milk of Magnesia?
  • Today's Latin lesson: Is est non cado , is est subitus subsisto. ("It's not the fall, it's the sudden stop.")

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