Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Phone Police

As many of you know, it's a short walk from my home to the grocery store. Being so, I usually make 8 to 10 trips a week because I'm cheap and I shop on impulse.
Today, on my way home, I spied a driver at the traffic light (yes, there's one of those) yakking on his cellular telephone. As many of you know, this I believe is a bane on our existence.
As he turned the corner I shouted, "Get off the phone!" He stopped, which was odd because I figured he couldn't hear me over the din of his conversation.
"What did you say?" he asked, in a tone which conferred that he knew exactly what I said.
"Get off the phone," I replied, figuring that I'm just big enough to be mildly intimidating and still remembered that I'm carrying a 10-pound bag of cat litter which can also be used as a weapon.
"What are you, the phone police?" he asked, begging the reply.
"Yes I am. Now shut up and drive."
To protect and serve.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Creamer shoots the lights out at the Klinger Classic.

This was the forecast on Yahoo weather today:
Tonight: A few passing clouds.
Tomorrow: Sunshine along with some cloudy intervals.
Tomorrow night: A few clouds from time to time.
Sunday: Times of sun and clouds.
Passing clouds, a few clouds, times of sun and clouds (my favorite) and cloudy intervals. It's impossible for them to be wrong. I'm telling you, the guys at the National Weather Service are on a break and the interns are filling in. Check the men's room. 2 meteorologists, no waiting. Weather forecasters must wash their hands before returning to work.
I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that my girl, Paula Creamer shot a first-round 60 at the Jamie Farr Classic. Yes, that Jamie Farr. Besides Annika's record 59 a few years ago, it's the lowest round of any LPGA player. Only 4 other LPGA golfers have shot a round of 60. Nice going, kiddo. When I was in Maryland last month I saw someone walking around with a shirt styled after a sports jersey. The name "ANNIKA" and the number 59. Pretty cool, I thought. Now I can make one with a 60 on it. You'll see the back of me on ESPN.

Paula continued her dominance today, shooting six under. However, there lurks another Korean, Eun-Hee Ji, only 5 strokes back after all her trouble.

Meanwhile, pain in the ass Brett Favre is completely on my nerves. First he tearfully retires and gets more news coverage than the Kennedy assassination. Now, he's full of remorse and wants to get his old job back, asking the Packers to grant him his release. There's one problem - once a guy retires he has to petition the league for reinstatement. You can't fire me, I quit. You can't quit. You're fired. Make up your mind, old man. He turned on the tear machine and blubbered like a baby when he announced his retirement. Now he wants a Mulligan. I thought (hoped) we had heard the last of this anointed God of football. Now, it's starting all over again. Anyone wonder why I like women's golf so much?

If you're looking for another cool blog (notice how I said another?) Here's one, called Indexed, where Jessica Hagy takes ordinary events and makes up little graphs and pie charts. There's virtually no mention of the LPGA, but you might like it anyway.

Thank the Lord for making me a cynical S.O.B.

ROCKWOOD, TN - Erikka Ridinger paused from hoeing between rows of hip-high corn in the Roane County Victory Garden, wiped her brow and smiled. "I thank the Lord I'm able to get out here and work," said Ridinger, an inmate serving time in the Roane County Jail. "It makes you feel good that this food is going to the needy and for the prisoners."

NEW YORK - 59-year-old home health aide Linda Holley of The Bronx won a $19 million Lotto jackpot in May. "I thank the Lord for allowing me to win this," she said. New York state Lottery spokeswoman Carolyn Hapeman said that about $70 million in prize money goes unclaimed annually.
Thanking the Lord is one of my favorite human activities in the world of greed and fortune. Apparently, the Lord is more interested in some people than others. How else to explain why He would single-out one person over another? If you follow the logic of “the good Lord” granting someone a prize, then how to justify His exclusion of another deserving person due to their diligence and devotion to the Lord? Isn't it the same Lord that Erikka thanks for working that got her in prison to begin with? You can’t justify it, and therein lies the problem.
People, through either guilt or blind obedience thank the Lord for things over which they feel they have no control. I’ve seen race car drivers thank the Lord for “a good safe race,” even though another car hit a wall earlier or another driver blew an engine and finished last. Those are the heathens, I assume, because the Lord is only interested in the few, and if you’re one of them, then thank Him because if you don’t, He’ll smite thee. He smites too.
So Linda and countless other Lottery winners thank the Lord for allowing them to win at gambling, even though $70 million in prize money is unclaimed. I guess the state is thanking the Lord for allowing them to keep the money. Otherwise, we’ll assume that the people who failed to collect are Satan worshipers who don’t really deserve to win, right?
I’ll tell you this: the Lord (whomever or whatever you deem it to be) isn’t in the business of singling-out one over another. If you believe that, you’re either egocentric or afraid or both, because it just doesn’t make sense. Millions of people buy Lottery tickets. If we have the Lord to thank for our lots in life, then shouldn’t we all win at some point?
The one you have to thank is yourself for not stopping to double-wipe after your morning crap so that you could get to the convenience store two minutes ahead of the heathen behind you, allowing you to get the winning ticket. Meanwhile, you scratched your ass all day wishing you had stopped to wipe better. Once the numbers were drawn you thanked the Lord for making you a winner and magically, your ass stopped itching.
I think maybe it was Satan who told you to gamble to begin with, so why isn’t anyone thanking him?
NEW LONDON, CT. - A two-car accident, involving an elderly man and a man in his 20s, temporarily shutdown the Waterford Pizza Palace when one of the cars crashed into the eatery. Here is a comment on Monday's story posted on “I've had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate cancer and diabetes. I'm half blind, can't hear anything quieter than a jet engine, take 40 different medications that make me dizzy, winded and subject to blackouts. I have bouts with dementia, poor circulation; hardly feel my hands and feet anymore. Can't remember if I'm 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends. But, thank the Lord, I still have my driver's license.”

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The idea man.

The producers of Wife Swap should get together with the producers of Baby Borrowers and produce one disgusting TV show. That would be the decent thing to do.
We need cordless vacuum cleaners. We have cordless telephones and cordless vibrators ... why not a cordless vacuum cleaner? I'm tired of running over the cord, and I'm running out of electrical tape.
If I paid for the cable TV channels that I watch, my bill would be about ten bucks a month. As it is, it's $60 and I don't go near seven-eighths of them.
NOTE TO AUTO MAKERS: Put the fuel fill door under the license plate like it was when I was a kid. That way, I could use any open gas pump, instead of having to wait for the one on the side where my fuel intake is.
I want a headphone jack in the arm rest at the movie theater so I don't have to listen to the stupid kids behind me narrating the story.
I need more horny, single women to approach me for sex.
Anyone buying more than three items in a store should have to pay for a bag.
Any t-shirt that contains the name of a product or company should be free to the consumer.
And stop telling me that something is "free" and charge me for shipping and handling. That isn't free.
If 90-proof alcohol is legal (which it is) and cigarettes are legal (which they are), then marijuana should be legal. There isn't anything in marijuana that isn't in high-end scotch or a pack of cigarettes. Either it's all illegal or none of it is.
Children and animals should not be used to sell products.
No single serving of a beverage served in a restaurant should cost more than a person would spend to buy six of them in a store.
There is absolutely no reason why an automobile sold in the United States should be able to travel at a speed faster than 75 miles per hour.
Any questions?
Any answers?

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Times of clouds and sun.

That's a picture of a typical mid-summer evening around here. Midway between Wilmington and Philadelphia. I don't know how it works, but it does. The late-afternoon/early evening thunderstorm. A hundred miles either way and it doesn't matter, but here in the Land of Me, it's a semi-regular occurrence. It keeps me indoors and (lucky you) in front of the blog screen so I can torment you with more of my nonsense.
Times of clouds and sun. That's my favorite forecast that we get. They could tell us that every day and be right. I picture the forecaster having to use the toilet when the call comes in for the daily forecast. Just like the DJ who puts "Stairway to Heaven" on, out they run with the "times of clouds and sun." That covers him until he wipes up and gets back to work. Meanwhile, we're left wondering what to wear.
I must be way out of touch. I don't know who this Jamie Lynn Spears is or who Miley Cyrus is. I did hear someone pining over Miley and the upshot was that she's a kid or something, so what he was saying was a major faux pax. It seems to me, every time I see Miley on the TV doing whatever she does, she's dressed up like some sort of little kiddie slut, so you could probably forgive a guy for thinking what they want us to think. As for Jamie Lynn, I figure she's only on a magazine cover because her sister shares the same surname. For that matter, I'm not altogether sure what Britney Spears does either. I think it's great that we live in a society that can flaunt a 17-year old with a baby and put them on a magazine cover, as though they're supposed to be proud or something. All I can think is that I missed out on a lot of teenage sex when I was a teenager.
Speaking of kids dressed up like whores, the family of JonBenet Ramsey was exonerated via the DNA evidence. I for one was hoping that someone in the family was guilty. That way, we could move on with our lives and put somebody in prison. As it is, all the DNA testing did was confirm that nobody knows who killed that kid. Meanwhile, I can't sneak a sugar packet out of our cafeteria without somebody seeing it, and someone can kill a kid and we can go 12 years without the slightest clue as to who did it. I'm in the wrong line of work.
The upside of all the rain we've been getting around here (or were predicted to get) is that I'm saving a fortune on sunscreen. I'm a big sunscreen guy, and I'm still amazed that it's as expensive as it is. Prices on all sorts of technology come down as the years go on, but a nice can of sunscreen still costs about 8 dollars. Ten or more if you want the good stuff that doesn't make bugs stick to your arms and legs. They tell us that nothing above SPF 30 works better, but they continue to make SPF 50 and now I see SPF 80. I think, when you spray it on, that one actually becomes a shirt.
I like the way the instructions tell you to "apply generously," as though the use of the word generous is a coincidence. Generous equals five bucks. Meanwhile, the first listed ingredient is water, followed by a lot of stuff I can't spell and something called Leaf/stem extract. Ten bucks for leaves, stems and water. For ten bucks I was expecting that it included crude oil.
But I keep using it, fully expecting to reach a ripe old age and not look ripe. That's what the Banana Boat people tell us. It says "Long lasting UVA/UVB protection" and something about "photostable UVA technology." I don't know what it means. I think they say that so we'll think it's worth ten bucks. All I want is no visible tan lines and a life without melanoma.
I hope I'm getting what I've paid for. That would be a first.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A random musing on a subject of minor importance.

I saw a story today that said former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick is bankrupt. While I know that the term bankrupt has several different financial meanings, it brought me back to the story a few weeks ago that said former Tonight show co-host Ed McMahon is about to lose his home by foreclosure.
I realize that these are two isolated incidents involving people who had more money than brains, but it makes me think that fame and fortune aren't always what they're cracked up to be. At best, there is a tenuous relationship between people and money, and sometimes the more you have the more careless you are with it.
Take for example, Charles Barkley. Barkley would think nothing of spending $400,000 gambling, saying that he had it to spend and it meant nothing to him. I think therein lies the foible of great wealth - the ensuing disrespect of money and its value.
Some of us would run over a kid in a wheelchair for $400,000; but people with millions figure that they can throw it away on something as frivolous as gambling and think nothing of it. They don't think of it until they are down to their last $400,000 and the mortgage company or casino comes calling. Then, suddenly they recall the value of the money, because they no longer have it.
It's a sad state of affairs when some people, whether by circumstance (McMahon) or talent (Barkley) acquire money that in the end, they have not learned the value of. McMahon hosted the prehistoric, and less successful version of American Idol (Star Search), laughed when Carson laughed and went on to a lucrative career hawking all manner of junk to people his own age. Vick and Barkley are skilled nitwits who failed to realize (Vick too late, Barkley just in time) what life had given them. All of them pissed away a fortune.
I think about stuff like that whenever I see someone achieve great wealth either because of the way they look or whom their relatives are. Most of us work like Hell to survive from week to week and something as small as a $600 check from the government makes us think about what we'll do with the money. People like Barkley would take it to a casino and it would be gone in less time than it took to open the envelope.
That's the sad part. That life and its rewards are so diverse as to exclude great numbers of people who would genuinely appreciate a fraction of what people with no real skill are given merely because they breathe air and walk upright. Fashion models and other so-called "beautiful people" make $600 in less time than it takes to read this essay, and it comes so quickly and easily that they have lost perspective of its value.
I suppose, in the final analysis I'm some sort of Socialist who believes in equal distribution of wealth, and that the supremely rich are entitled to share at least some of what they have so that those in the lower strata are not so put-upon that they awake every morning wondering how they will manage to pay their bills or find food for their children. The kind of person who believes that life is meant to live, not survive and that when the end comes for the wealthy, theirs is no more than ours - so why allow their earthly time to be so much more rewarding?
If that's who I am, I suppose I'll have to live with it.

Monday, July 7, 2008

More genius advice from medical science.

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - There's new advice for older men who want to preserve their sexual function: have sex, and have it often, researchers say. In a study that followed nearly 1,000 older Finnish men for five years, researchers found that those who were regularly having sex at the start of the study were at lower risk of developing erectile dysfunction (ED) by the study's end. In fact, the more often the men had sex, the lower their ED risk. The implication, say the researchers, is that men should be encouraged to stay sexually active into their golden years.
Who are these researchers and why are they getting paid for this? I'm not a doctor (nor do I play one on TV) but I'd have to guess that men who are having sex aren't in danger of erectile dysfunction, so the study would seem to be a means to its own end.
By the way, did erectile dysfunction exist twenty years ago, or did we just recently make it up so that we could sell erectile dysfunction drugs? I'm guessing the latter, but I'm no researcher. It's fascinating to me the way ED is advertised on the radio, during the daytime hours when presumably children are listening. We're not allowed to say "penis" or talk about sex, but we can advertise ED drugs. That makes good nonsense.
I'm also a big fan of the way they tell us to "stay sexually active," as though it was a choice of ours not to. I'm exactly running that show.
Meanwhile, your children will soon be on drugs, just like you:
CHICAGO - For the first time, an influential doctors group is recommending that some children as young as 8 be given cholesterol-fighting drugs to ward off future heart problems. It is the strongest guidance ever given on the issue by the American Academy of Pediatrics, which released its new guidelines Monday. The academy also recommends low-fat milk for 1-year-olds and wider cholesterol testing.
With one-third of U.S. children overweight and about 17 percent obese, the new recommendations are important, said Dr. Jennifer Li, a Duke University children's heart specialist. "We need to do something to stem the tide of childhood obesity," Li said. Li said that 15 years ago most of her patients with cholesterol problems had an inherited form of cholesterol disease not connected to obesity.
I'm guessing that the best way medical science can think of to stem the tide of childhood obesity is to start handing out the pills. What will that teach the kids? It will teach them that they can continue eating the junk that their parents feed them and all they need to do to keep from developing fat-ass disease is to take a pill.
Just tell me which exit to get off.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Seven for summer

I got tagged by Kimmyk.
Here are the rules: (because there are always rules!) Instructions: List seven songs you are into right now. No matter what the genre, whether they have words, or even if they're not any good, but they must be songs you're really enjoying now, shaping your spring/summer. Post these instructions in your blog along with your seven songs. Then tag seven other people to see what they're listening to.
Strangely, I'm not much into new music these days. I think it goes with the "don't care much" attitude I've taken on. Still, here are 7 I can stand.
Typical Situation - Dave Matthews Band. Lately, the summers have been filled with Dave Matthews shows. Usually, I go for the up-tempo stuff like Too Much or Louisiana Bayou, but this song has been haunting me, and it took until the last show in Hershey for them to play it, proving that good things come to those who wait.
Abacab - Genesis/Umphrey's McGee - Believe it or not, this song winds up in my head more than any other song. I think I need psychotherapy to find out why, but suffice it to say there are enough cool hooks in it to make it a brain repeater. Then, when I saw Umphrey's McGee last year, don't they go and play it. Transformation complete.
Icky Thump - White Stripes. I don't know what it's about, but it's a catchy tune, even if it's a little old by now.
Testify - Daniela Cotton. Something new on the list. It's from her second album and a CD worth picking up - or downloading, which is how I get my music these days.
Blue - King's X - A brand new album from a band that has been around a long time.
On Call - Kings of Leon. I know, it's a lot of Kings, but this song is worthy, and it makes me think of the way my cat comes when I call him, which is odd for a cat.
Clint Eastwood - Gorillaz. Go figure.
As for the rules, I don't know 7 people, so if you want to play along, go ahead.