Tuesday, April 9, 2013


Rhetorical questions, questionable rhetoric and whimsical observations about the absurdities of contemporary life:
  • Never join a club that requires you to use a secret handshake.
  • When was the last time you saw someone smoking a pipe?  (And video footage of Hugh Hefner, either vintage or current, doesn't count.)
  • Wisconsinites, please don't be too hard on Gov. Walker.  He's destroying the state as fast as he can.
  • Jimjustsaying's Book Title of the Week:  "The Three Stooges Scrapbook," a whopping 355 oversized pages and touted by the Washington Post (!) as "The official Three Stooges bible."
  • (Oh, by the way, it's labeled as an "updated edition."  Whew.  Sure wouldn't want any stale, outmoded Stooges material!)
  • Fine Print Follies:  Do you know anyone who stops to read "click-through" agreements on websites in the middle of performing a task?  
  • One company, PC Pitstop, deliberately buried a clause in its end-user license agreement in 2004, offering $1,000 to the first person who e-mailed the company at a certain address. It took five months and 3,000 sales until someone claimed the money. 
  • (The situation hadn't improved by 2010 when Gamestation played an April Fools' Day joke by embedding a clause in their agreement saying that users were selling them their souls.)
  • Why do they call them barbershop quartets?  I've never heard one guy singing in a barbershop, much less four!
  • "She had the eyes of Caligula and the lips of Marilyn Monroe." --Former French president Francois Mitterrand on the recently deceased Margaret Thatcher.
  • Most people know that Amazon sells just about everything--but did you know they even sell wolf and coyote urine!  (Coyote Urine Pee Pure will set you back $14.95 for 16 ounces.)
  • "Never marry a man you wouldn't want to be divorced from."--Nora Ephron
  • "Ever wonder why a pirate wears patches? It's not because he was wounded in a sword fight," says Dr. Jim Sheedy,  a doctor of vision science and director of the Vision Performance Institute at Oregon's Pacific University (and jimjustsaying's go-to guy on pirate-related vision issues).
  • It seems that seamen must constantly move between the pitch black of below decks and the bright sunshine above.  Smart pirates "wore a patch over one eye to keep it dark-adapted outside." Should a battle break out and the pirate had to shimmy below, he would simply switch the patch to the outdoor eye and he could see in the dark right away—saving him 25 minutes of flailing his cutlass about in near blindness, Sheedy relates.
  • Jimjustsaying's Media Word of the Week (a word you see only in print and never hear an actual person use in real life):  Plethora.  As in, "2013 has seen a plethora of mass shootings."
  • You either understand the appeal of haiku (pretentious and overrated in the extreme) or you don't.  It's sort of like . . . literary rutabaga.  
  • According to news reports, Justin Bieber, who got trashed for showing up two hours late for his London show, has been spotted twice wearing a gas mask while shopping.  (And here you thought the white Michael Jackson would never show up!)
  • Time is like money in many ways--some of it well spent, some of it wasted . . . and some of it has you wondering: Where oh where did it all go?
  • T. Boone Pickens is probably a very nice and very smart guy, but what's up with these pretentious first initial people?    The T. is for Thomas, by the way, but apparently that is too common . . . or something . . . .  (Now, T-Bone Walker--now that's an entirely different breed of cat!)
  • Got milk (plants)?   A recent news story noted that there are 400 milk bottling plants in the U.S. right now.  In 1975?  2,500!  
  • More numbers:  In 1980 the average credit-card contract was 400 words.  Now? Many are more than 20,000.
  • "Fine print" complexity costs us money in the form of hidden fees (about $900 per year for the average consumer, according to research conducted by the Ponemon Institute), denied claims and unanticipated charges ($2 billion in one year for landline phone customers, according to the Federal Communications Commission). --Wall St. Journal, March 3
  • Newspaper Obituary Headline of the Week:  "Jigger."  As in Frank "Jigger" Bogda (Green Bay Press-Gazette obituary, March 5,  2013). R.I.P., Mr. Bogda.
  • Do people still play canasta, and if so, why?
  • Jocular Book Titles (via Vanity Fair):  "Too Soon to Call," by Karl Rove and "The Audacity of 'Nope,' " by Paul Ryan.
  • Today's Latin Lesson:  Totus res in temperantia - comprehendo temperantia.  ("All things in moderation--including moderation!")