Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • I don't want to say I had a bad cold, but I just won the Puffs Customer of the Month Award.  (Unfortunately, it's not worth the paper it's printed on!)
  • The Green Bay Packers' ignominious early exit from the NFL playoffs comes as a welcome wake-up call to the legion of fevered Lambeau/Lombardi loyalists who thought their team was an invincible juggernaut that was going to waltz its way to annual Super Bowl titles as long as Aaron Rodgers was drawing a breath.  (Right!)  I have a feeling that somewhere in Mississippi, Bret Favre is cackling in his Barcalounger and saying something like, "It ain't that easy, boys!" 
  • You spend $8 at a Chinese restaurant and get a fortune cookie.  You spend $28 at a steak house, and you have the good fortune of paying "$2.75 extra  for mushrooms." (The cookie would be extra, too, if they offered one!)
  • If Mitt Romney is indeed the Republican nominee for president in November, I think he should name Donald Trump as his running mate.  Since they both like to fire people, they'd both be on the proverbial same page and provide the vital unity the GOP has been sorely lacking during the primary season.
  • Does anyone really understand the process of dry cleaning?
  • Speaking of which, isn't it strange that there is no "As Seen on TV" Home Dry Cleaning Kit?
  • Yet.
  • Jim's Faded Phrase of the Century Award:  "In a jiffy."  Nobody says that anymore.  (What was a "jiffy" anyway?)
  • Imponderable of the Week:  A comic who name escapes me has asked: Why are the Three Musketeers shown holding swords instead of muskets?
  • SZSEZ's question:  Why aren't they shown eating candy bars?
  • If you have to show your tax returns if you want to run for political office--even something as relatively low profile as part-time mayor of a small town--why is it that financial advisors--people who have your entire portfolio at stake--don't have to disclose anything? 
  • Ouch!  Frank Rich of New York magazine on Newt Gingrich: "Heaven knows his saving grace is not his perennially self-advertised genius as a 'historian.'  He is a scholar only if compared with Bill O’Reilly, whose current best seller, 'Killing Lincoln,' is replete with references to the Oval Office even though the Oval Office wasn’t built until 1909."
  • I had my litmus tested the other day.  Unfortunately, I need a litmus transplant, but my insurance won't cover it!
  • "Trying to be popular in high school is like trying to be mayor of a city that won't exist in four years."--Artist Jenny Holzer in Huffington Post. Com.
  • My bank just sent me a privacy notice.  I called and told them they were invading my privacy.
  • A pox on those charities that petition you to be their de facto middleman and put the arm on your neighbors. 
  • Two problems:  The neighbors most likely resent the intrusion and/or are embarrassed if they are not able to come through with some cash.   That makes you the bad guy . . . all in the name of "a good cause."  Enough.  I did it once and got one response out of 19 envelopes I sent out.  My wife had a similar experience.  Enough again.  (I don't know if our experience is typical . . . but I strongly suspect that it is.)
  • SZSEZ's Media Word of the Week (a word you only see in print or hear on broadcast media but never hear a real person ever use):  "Roil."
  • "Talent hits a target no one else can hit; genius hits a target no one else can see."--Arthur Schopenhauer, quoted in the Associated Press.
  • Thirty-second entry in the Wisconsin Town I Didn't Know Existed Until I Saw it Mentioned in a Newspaper Obituary sweepstakes: Readstown, Wis. (R.I.P., Norman R. Dregne, Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, Dec. 15, 2011.)  Previous entries: Athelstane, Walhain, Duck Creek, Breed, Anston, Sobieski, Amberg, Osseo, Angelica, Brazeau, Waukechon, Sugar Camp, Kossuth, Lessor, Kunesh, Pulcifer, Cato, Florence, Greenleaf, Eaton, Poygan, Hofa Park, Hilbert, Hollandtown, Beaufort, Glennie, Harshaw, Bessemer, Crooked Lake, Tigerton and Goodman.
  • "Nearly half of all people in the United States are torsos."--Demetri Martin
  • The answer: John McDonald, Harry Chiti, Archie Corbin and Mike Ross.  The question: Name the four major-league baseball players who were traded for themselves.  (In other words, they were traded to a team for a "player to be named later" who, as it turned out, turned out to be  . .  . them.)
  • If you think that's weird, a player was once traded for a dinner. At the 1994 trade deadline, the Minnesota Twins sent Dave Winfield, a player who amassed over 3,000 hits in his career, to the Cleveland Indians for a player to be named later.
  • Winfield never played a game for the Indians because the rest of the season was canceled because of the players' strike. No player was ever named later. To settle the deal, the Indians executives took the Twins executives out to dinner and paid the bill. 
  • Another Stupid Warning Seen on an Actual Product: On a package of Fisherman's Friend Throat Lozenges: "Not meant as substitute for human companionship."
  • "A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in . . . and how many want out."--Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair in the Montreal Gazette.
  • There will never be a  Wolf Blitzer Look-Alike Contest.
  • Today's Latin lesson:  Utor es postulo purgo manuum pro recidivus laboro.("Employees must wash hands before returning to work.")