Monday, December 27, 2010

Niggle, niggle, niggle

Port Mortuary, Dear Gentle Reader(s), by Patricia Cornwell, is another of her competent books.

There might be, however, a point over which to niggle.  Since this is the final week of a year of constant caviling, let the niggling begin:

Page 29 contains this “Thick clouds pass over the oblong moon…”

Got it?  Crescent moon, yes.  Perhaps dish of a moon, but oblong moon?

Usually an oblong figure is classified as a rectangle, isn’t it?

Even given that a second definition of oblong is elliptical, ellipses have to have a circular element, and the concavity of the crescent prevents that element.

So authors get bored and try new combinations.  That can be insightful.  It can also be detrimental to the flow of the narrative.

An “oblong” moon dams the flow.

Don’t be lazy, writer.

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Saturday, December 11, 2010

Countdown Day

Have to love these early century dates. 

December 12, 2010, will go down, on many checks and letters, as 12/11/10.


Wonder how it would’ve ended.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010


DADT fails by 3 votes.

Not much sympathy for Repuglicans for the next few years.

Now if we could only get rid of Boehner’s bitches.

(Do I sound disgruntled?  Very well, then, I sound disgruntled.)

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Wednesday, December 01, 2010

You Know It’s a Myth

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My only objection to the billboard advertising the above is the fact that it doesn’t somewhere also state that all religious writings are metaphorical.

When will we learn?

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Friday, November 26, 2010

the grunge factor

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Anne Hathaway could well be in the running for an Academy Award for her work in Love & Other Drugs.  At least she should get some sort of award for allowing herself to be photographed with dirty soles.  It was definitely in keeping with the character, but what a surprise!

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Thursday, November 18, 2010


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An acquaintance recently responded to a condolences email by noting the death of a mother-in-law by writing that, since the woman had been bedridden and under constant nursing care for five years, her passing was a “blessing.”

My father’s response, in private, to someone who had said my mother “was better off” after her death from effects of Parkinson’s disease was “How can she be better off?  She’s dead.”

It’s somehow, (or obviously), easier to pass the blessings and better offs over to the deceased than to admit that the survivors are the ones who benefit from a final moment of life, not the dead.

How we do manipulate the language to avoid saying what we mean.

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Monday, November 08, 2010


Is there any thing sadder than watching Fred Thompson shill for reverse mortgages?

50 years ago today I cast my first vote in a presidential election—for John F. Kennedy.

Two senators, two vastly different men.

Tempus fugit.

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Isn’t it cute how NPR’s Morning Edition, after saying something like, “Cokie Roberts, who joins us every Monday morning,” now announces that Ms Roberts joins the ME hosts “most” Monday mornings.

Years of “No, she doesn’t, Gang” have ended.


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Monday, November 01, 2010

Binary Palindrome

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It’s rather like watching the mileage meter on your car’s dashboard rolling a series of zeroes after a string of nines.  49999.9 magically becomes 50000.0 slowly and with measured grace.

Today, November 1, 2010, will be marked, in the European Union at least, by zeroes and ones presented in various forms—01.11.10; 01/11/10; and 01-11-10.

What fun.

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Saturday, October 30, 2010

Headline of the Month (and a good article, too!)

Dear, Gentle Reader(s), it comes from Andrew Sullivan’s The Daily Dish,  and here it is, in toto:

Killing Two Turds With One Stone

30 Oct 2010 02:14 pm

Alex Goldmark reports on Micromidas, a company that has a variety of bacteria that eat poop and poop plastic. The technology may help with sanitation and reduce the amount of plastic in our landfills:

[The people at Micromidas] take sewage and feed it to bacteria. “The bacteria store the organics as a bio-polymer ... ” Just like when we eat sugar and, through a series of metabolic processes, turn that into a fat, those little micro-buggers turn sewage into plastic in their bodies. ...[T]he end product is a high-value, low­-cost plastic resin ready to be sold off, and it biodegrades in under 18 months once disposed of.

It that great, or what?

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Friday, October 29, 2010

Andrew, Andrew, Andrew…alas

Ah, Dear Gentle Reader(s), Andrew Sullivan has posed, I think, a conundrum in a posting today on The Daily Dish.

What to do when English language writers, acting in the Germanic manner of stringing a lot of words together-schauspielhaus (show talk house)=theatre, come up with neologisms such as Sullivan’s “faux-bullshit-science” as an adjective for political science.

How do we call BS on him?

What, really, is “faux” bullshit?  False bullshit? Does that make political science “real?”

Mightn’t Sullivan have meant faux science with a little bullshit science thrown in for, um, flavor?

Andrew, next time use commas.  After all, you’ve been doing a meme on the final comma for a few days now.

Faux, bullshit science” reads clearer than “faux-bullshit-science.”  More American, don’t cha know.

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Wednesday, October 27, 2010


One has to smile, Dear Gentle Reader(s).

Andrew Sullivan, he of the plummy English voice, wrote this while being slightly critical of MSNBC:  “But the bias is pretty overwhelming nonetheless - and sometimes veers into suffocating smugness.”

When on his high horse, the nicest thing which can be said about Sullivan is his smugness.

Love him when he isn’t on a bender about some obscure item (Truly, isn’t Trig’s birth record so last year?!?), and refresh his page several times a day, but the last word he should use in criticizing anyone is any permutation of smug.


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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Whence the editor?

What does it do to you, Dear Gentle Reader(s), when you run across a possible editing error on the first page of a new book?

For instance, on the first page (not numbered—what’s that about?) of the narrative of Red Rain, by Bruce Murkoff, published by Knopf, you will find, in the middle of the second paragraph, this sentence:  “Now, as the sky began to lighten, the stars faded away and the moon moved eastward.”

When does the moon move eastward?  What time of the year?  Here, in California, the recent full moon has been rising in the east and setting in the west.  Is it different in New York’s Hudson River area, the scene of the first page?

Does, perhaps, the moon seem to move eastward while sailing up the Hudson? 

How much money did Murkoff or Knopf pay whoever edited this book?

We might never know.

There’s no editor in the acknowledgement paragraphs.


Perhaps I just answered my own question.


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Friday, October 22, 2010

Merci, Ciel

Thank heavens for the wit of Bill Maher via The Huffington Post.


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Thursday, October 21, 2010

Mary Whitaker-Bono-Baxley-Mack

Some fun facts about Mary Whitaker-Bono-Baxley-Mack:

Born  on October 24, 1961, married Sonny Bono 1986, widowed 1998, married Glenn Baxley in 2001, divorced Glenn Baxley in 2005, married Connie Mack in 2007.

Other trivial facts:

Sonny Bono was born in 1935.  Mary was his fourth wife.  Sonny’s first daughter, Christine, was born on June 24, 1958.  His second daughter, Chastity (Chaz), was born on March 4, 1969.

Famous line uttered by Mary Bono during the Clinton impeachment hearings, “What do we tell the children?”

Hmmm.  Good question.  Start with, perhaps, “trophy wife.”  Continue then with serial monogamy, May-December romance, and lessons learned therefrom.

Should be a great family meal discussion.

I kid Representative Bono-Mack, R-Palm Springs.

God bless America.

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Dr J (Joyce, that is)

Doctor Joyce Brothers’ on television in an ad.

Lookin’ her years.

(Aren’t we all?)






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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Devaluation of the Mother Tongue?

Ah, Dear Gentle Reader(s), what is one to do?

This from the 10/17/10 print edition of The Desert Sun, p.A6: 

Investigators in New Mexico say a Chaparral man who was cleaning his handgun Saturday morning accidentally shot his four-year-old son the the bullet passed through the boy and hit the man’s mother.

Dona Ana County Sheriff’s Department investigator Bo Nevarez says both are in critical condition but their wounds aren’t believed to be life-threatening.

The problem is:  the condition is critical but not life-threatening.

One must ask, then, just how does one describe a condition which is life-threatening?  Or, just how does a serious condition differ from a critical condition?

Back to work, English teacher colleagues (and, most importantly, editors).  Words should have meaning.

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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

The last prime time Republican to say, “I am not…”?

Tricky Dick Nixon said, “Your President is not a crook” in the ‘70s; now Christine O’Donnell is saying, “I am not a witch.”  Separated at birth?

Turned out Nixon was, ahem, fibbing (albeit never proven in a court of law).

Now, the question is, will history repeat itself?

Trust, but verify.

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Saturday, October 02, 2010

Is this really what God had in mind?

Try this one, Dear Gentle Reader(s).  Andrew Sullivan has this little gem on his Daily Dish blog included in a bit titled, “How To Write About Pakistan”:

If woman [sic] are on the cover, then the two possible Pakistans are expressed through choice of clothing: is it bridal wear or burkhas?

On the subject of women, they never have agency. Unless they break all the rules, in which case they’re going to end up dead. I don’t think there’s anything else to be said about them, is there?

The author, one Mohammed Hanif, is being facetious one hopes.  Even in jest, though, given what we’ve been told about the treatment of women in that area, this is harsh.

An anthropology professor once warned about “arrogance” which sometimes infected the biases of one culture’s observations of another’s. 

Keeping in mind the dangers of hubris still allows, I hope, the observation that this attitude towards women cannot be what the Creator worshipped by this culture, and similar cultures, had in mind.

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Thursday, September 23, 2010

It’s the tick-tick-tick, Stupid!

Well, something like that.

It probably started with pigeons.  Or smoke signals.  Or signal flares.  Pony Express.  Telegraph.  Telephone.  Radio.  Television.  You get the picture.

Information now is the by-word.  No more Battle of New Orleans fought after the peace treaty has been signed.

All of that, however, is only the background in which the problems for President Obama are set.  Instant gratification has become the standard by which much of our lives are measured.

Health care now.  End DADT now.  Microwave meals now.

How did we come to this level of expectation for our wants and desires? 

Tone dialing.

Tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick-tick; tick-tick-tick; is how long it takes to dial my phone number on a land line if one were to use pulse dialing; and beep-bip-bop-beep-beep-bap-bup-bip-bap-bup for tone.

We have been programmed for now.  We find it entirely too frustrating to wait for discussion, debate, and compromise.

Anyone thinking things will speed up beginning on January 3, 2011?


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Thursday, September 09, 2010

She’s got…gonads

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The muckroom over at is ever the source of amazement.  OK, not amazing amazement, but at least a little eye-rolling.

Today, 9/9/10, we have this from the muckroom’s email.  It’s the teaser from an offering by Ann Coulter:

Ann Coulter: Bonfire of the Insanities
Gen. Petraeus objected to the Quran-burning protest on the grounds that it could be used by radical jihadists to recruit Muslims to attack Americans. If the general's main objective is to hamper jihadist recruiting, may I respectfully suggest unconditional surrender?

The article itself is the usual tripe.  Ho-hum.  Still, the teaser is great.  Smear the intelligence of the “hero of the Surge,” not to mention a hero of the Bush II war of choice.

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Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hey, it’s your book, but…

What good does a book editor do when he lets the author get away with nonsense? 

We’ve discussed the idiocy of “could of” instead of “could’ve.”  It’s time to look at “could care less.”  A particular favorite of mine.

What’s particularly exasperating is when a published author from a major publishing house uses it.  What in the world did the book’s editor do to earn his keep?

Take, for instance, Michael Grant’s Line of Duty, page 172, where, in a narrative paragraph, the author, describing a character’s state of mind, writes, “Still, Stone could care less.”

Really?  How much less? 

Sloppy work, guys.  The story deserves better, so do your readers.

Do a better job, ed.  Think about what you’re doing to the language, writer.  Know your tools, both.

(Of course, this particular horse is well out of the barn, the book was published in 1991.  Still, there might be a young writer or editor who can be saved from himself.)


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Monday, August 30, 2010

Wha’d I miss?

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There are, as of a very recent count, 1975 comments to the discussion panel on Mad Men.

With repeat comments, that puts the number of people who take time to discuss the show at well over 1,000; and their comments indicate they pay close attention.

I like Mad Men.  I’m astonished, though, that it raises such commitment.

Ought I to be paying more attention?

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Monday, August 23, 2010

A Contemporary Dilemma for Agnostics

Given the limitations of language, a good argument can be made for defining everyone as agnostic.  No matter whether or not we believe or don’t believe, we don’t, and we can’t, know.

It doesn’t take much observation, however, to know that eliminating some of the myths about religion have the potential for devastation to the lives of many believers.

To some it seems logical that the sooner such ideas as some sort of “life” after death, a life that is a continuation of whatever life had been lived while on earth, the better off the human race will be with that particular political tool removed from discourse. 

What, though, would be the effect of an overnight elimination of “life after death?”  How would that play with the millions of people who are not engaged in politics?

Page 233 of The Cabal, by David Hagberg, Hadid speaks of his recently killed wife and son, ”They are waiting for me in Paradise.  This I truly believe and it gives me comfort.”

Emma Darwin so wanted to believe in afterlife that she is reported to have influenced her husband’s writings to mitigate the obvious nihilistic conclusions of his theory of evolution.

Virtually daily reminders of the promises of rewards in afterlife remind us of how this myth can be used as a tool to ensnare believers into political acts.

But what about the families of those so deluded?  What can be offered to them to ease their pain?

Where is their comfort?

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Friday, August 20, 2010

Ain’t gonna no mo’ [buy ‘em]

For several years now, a colleague of mine has been expressing doubts about the quality of the fiction produced by James Patterson.

It turns out there’s reason, and it’s been around for almost a year now.

Patterson, last September, signed a contract to produce 17 books by the end of 2012.

Not bad, eh wot?

Not necessarily good, either, if one considers the quality of the product.  Books, successful books, well-written [i.e., well-thought-out] books can be produced in such quantity with such a timeline?

We’ll see.

It might be wise, though, to let someone else pay for those books as they come out.  Let someone else be the reading public’s guinea pig.

Perhaps my friend won’t be so willing to buy the latest by “a New York Times” best seller.


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Friday, August 13, 2010

How’s this for strange? (Updated)

Went out to retrieve the paper this morning and had a surprise.  Instead of The Desert Sun, I was greeted by USA TODAY.


No warning.  Just USA TODAY

I don’t like USA TODAY.  I think it’s a little too facile.  No depth.  And certainly no information about Palm Springs or the Coachella Valley. 

I wonder if Gannett, which publishes both papers, thought we wouldn’t notice.

I also wonder what the advertisers, whose ads are not on several hundred driveways this morning, think about the switch.  Or if the advertisers were told about it.

Refunds, anyone?

My subscription cost some $200 a year.  Money in the bank for me if this wasn’t some sort of monumental screw-up.  7 bottles of Bombay Gin—on sale at Ralphs.  I can live with that.

(Business hours begin at 10:00a.m. today.  I can hardly wait.)

UPDATE:  TF Turns out it was a delivery problem.  Only some of us got USA TODAY.  That doesn’t explain why the local coin box didn’t have today’s paper, but that’s a different WTF.

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Final Word on Same-Sex “Marriage”

Finally, Dear Gentle Reader(s), someone has come up with the absolutely last, ultimate, final word on why “gay people” should not be allowed to call their committed relationships “marriage.”

From The Desert Sun:

As far as I'm concerned, (gay people) can and should have all the rights as anyone else, except to call their union “marriage.”

When they call the union married, it infringes on my right to be identified as being married to one from the opposite sex.

When asked or questioned if I'm married, I shouldn't have to explain whether it is to a male or female.

Jodie Griffin
Palm Desert

Makes sense, eh wot?  Really.  How is it possible to forge a refutation? 

The right not to have to say, “I’m married to a male” is surely embedded in the Constitution…somewhere.  Now, if I could just find my copy to read it…

Congratulations, Jodie Griffin of Palm Desert.  You’ve earned a spot in philosophical history books!

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Political Inanity of the Day

It comes in The Desert Sun, and from the inimitable supervisor for the 5th District of Riverside County, John Benoit.

Regarding a newly approved budget, Benoit says, “[Citizens] are going to see some levels of reduction of service, but we hope they're not really visible.”

Perhaps we citizens will have X-ray eyes of some sort.

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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

OK By Me

The newest wrinkle about the “Ground Zero” mosque?  A gay bar next door which would cater to Moslem gays with an “alcohol free” floor.

OK by me.  There should be a gay bar next to every church, mosque, synagogue, and temple on earth.

Let Freedom Ring.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010


Just spent a few moments surfing Facebook likes/dislikes.

Found one which had the following: 

American Patriots:
Rush Limbaugh
Glen Beck
Sean Hannity
Sara Palin
(Honorable Mention)
Fox News Commentators

Hard to believe.

Unless, of course, he was reverting to his old prank of hustling others to do something he wouldn’t think of doing himself:  Once he led a march at college protesting the Kent State shootings, except when it looked like the police were going to take some action, he scooted, leaving some of our mutual friends to be tear gassed and arrested.

I hope it’s just the prankster returning.

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Monday, July 26, 2010

A Tale of Two Ideas about one subject

The New York Times today carries a mini debate between Paul Krugman and Ross Douthat concerning global warming.

They both discuss, essentially, how we got to the point at which we find ourselves.  Both raise interesting points which converge ironically, in the final paragraphs.

Krugman ends with “Greed, aided by cowardice, has triumphed;” Douthat with “sometimes it makes sense to wait, get richer, and then try to muddle through.” (Emphasis added.)

Two mentions for greed, one for cowardice. 

Greed wins.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Wanted: Spell Check for frmr gov, near veep

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Of all the gaffes, this is the best one in years:

Ground Zero Mosque supporters: doesn’t it stab you in the heart, as it does ours throughout the heartland? Peaceful Muslims, pls refudiate

The idea of a new verb, to refudiate, might be a good one. 

Let’s hope the Republican electorate puts it to good use in the near future.

Trust, but verify.  (And Spell Check can help with that—although maybe Facebook doesn’t have that app.)

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Friday, July 16, 2010

Social Security at 70? Maybe.

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There are discussions about deficit reduction, entitlements, saving Social Security and Medicare.  One of the ideas floated recently is raising the Social Security retirement age to 70.

From this side of 70—72—I can see a benefit to this, with some qualifications.

When I retired at 60 in 1998, I figured to start an “early” Social Security withdrawal at 62, and that’s what I finally did.

At the time I had an option of starting an early withdrawal at a considerable reduction in benefits.  I don’t remember the exact amount, but I’d say it was in the 50% range. 

My needs are small.  My teaching pension is small-ish, but doable.  The extra couple of hundred bucks was very helpful, and I saw no benefit to wait three years for plus five hundred dollars.  I’ve been lucky, got a break in housing five years ago.  And now, at 72, with a bit of Depression Era mind set from my parents, I’m not in trouble unless California truly succumbs to the Republican mantra of “starve the beast.”  (!)

If the retirement age for Social Security were to be enacted, along with a similar draw-down for “early” withdrawal pensioners, and some good luck along the way, surely there would be enough who would decide to take a smaller payment, and, thereby, the system would be a bit more sustainable.

With enough education, and enough time to develop private pensions, the system will be OK.

Let’s begin a discussion.  Speak with Social Security recipients.  Maybe we can help.

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Sunday, June 27, 2010

Harsh Short Stories

Burning Bright, a collection of short stories by Ron Rash, is worth your time, Dear Gentle Reader(s).

The first couple are somewhat harsh to read.  They do, however, inoculate against the remaining stories, making them easier to take.

If Southern Gothic doesn’t fit these, it should.

Enjoy.  If that’s the correct word.

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Monday, June 21, 2010

Boom! Bust! Saving Grace…meh

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The series finale for Saving Grace was a partial disappointment. 

The whole Grace-as-off-the-tracks first part lacked sense.  All during the series Grace Hanadarko was her own person, in charge.  During the penultimate scenes she was acting out a moment in the life of the little girl who died under the wheels of Grace’s car, but whose death was the result of a series of normal activities, none of which could be assigned ultimate responsibility.  Yet Grace assumed the total burden to the point of virtual suicide.

What was that about?  If there was a rationale for the arc, writers, you didn’t get your point across very well.

The whole angel angle of the series was amusing and interesting.  It is, however, a lose-lose proposition.  The presence of angels is speculation.  And the presence of “evil” which bleeds and can be wiped out in an explosion is speculation to the nth degree.

At least we got to see Ken Johnson once more as a sweat (or baby oil) drenched lover.

(Corny saluting bit, too.)

Loved the series; not so much the finale.

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Friday, June 18, 2010

Brachytherapy 28 months later

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As part of the brachytherapy treatment for prostate cancer is a prescription for certain hormones which assist the remnants of the prostate gland.  A side effect of this prescription is “breast enlargement.”

Guess what that means.



(Actually it’s :-)…what a joke!)

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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Fathers’ Day

Hie the hence, Dear Gentle Reader(s), and get thee over to The New York Times website to Nicholas Kristof’s column today and read about a wonderful rat.

And Fathers’ Day.

And this wonderful quote:  “Father’s Day tends to be less a celebration of fatherhood than a triumph of commercialism.”

You’ll be glad you did.

And Happy Everybody’s Day.

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Monday, June 14, 2010

If you don’t like puns…

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…or word play…or stale jokes which have been revived, then don’t read The Pint Man by Steve Rushin.  You won’t like it.

If you do like puns, etc., this is the book for you.

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Sunday, June 13, 2010

Saturday, June 05, 2010

A 60’s Lesson for the 2010’s

Remember, Dear Gentle Reader(s), the 1960’s?

No?  Yes?

Well for those of you who do, here’s a reminder; for those of you who don’t, here’s a tidbit.

There was a wonderful bumper sticker with a good lesson for us today.  For the “entitlement” generation, whether we’re new to it or not, the lesson on the sticker is:

“Ass, Gas, or Grass!  No one rides for free”

There’s always a price to be paid by someone.

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Friday, May 07, 2010

April in Paris

Back on April 23, on a lay-over in Paris, I came across this building near the Eiffel Tower.  It faces the Seine, and has the most interesting facade.





All vegetation for some three stories.

Wonder how they do that.

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Sunday, April 04, 2010

April Fool!

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They thought they’d get away with it.

From Centcom, the story of a pirate attack gone awry.

Enjoy the read.

Hurray for our team!

(Of course, it begs the question of what drives a person to go from a 7 pound infant to a pirate.)

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Friday, April 02, 2010

A theological question (Seriously!)

In Box Turtle Bulletin, a website I visit daily, appears this quote (attributed to a particularly virulent homophobe): “Because, God makes the rules and Jesus didn’t abolish the Old Testament.” (Actually, the Bulletin doesn’t use the quotes, I’m doing a little creative editing, but the sense is not violated.)

The question, in the Easter season of 2010, then, is, “If Jesus didn’t abolish the Old Testament, what was the point of his life and death?”

Just askin’.

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Friday, March 26, 2010

Let me offer a thought…

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…about the current brouhaha about abuse of children by religious persons.

Centuries ago religions, rather than deal with evil, got ensnared in the concept of "sin," which encompasses the concept of redemption.

The problem today is that criminal activity has been hiding under "sin," and the church has been responding the only way it can respond as an institution dedicated to the eradication of sin.

If we insert evil whenever we discuss sin, we’d have a better moral compass for daily life.

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Monday, February 15, 2010

Ah, the finger

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As you might recall, Dear Gentle Reader(s), two years ago there was a little tussle with “the old man’s” disease, during which I learned of the suffix brachy.  (It means, more or less, short.)

The GP who got the show on the road once blithely informed that the digital prostate exam was not on his plate because his “finger is too short” to reach the affected organ.

Many a dinner party has been enlivened by the sharing of that bit of information, as you can well imagine!

Upon hearing of a cramping in the general prostate (or what’s left of it) area, said doctor recently sent this as part of an email exchange:  “If you are continuing to have pain than I would suggest
Antibiotics x 10 days and if not better a urology finger thingy.”

“finger thingy.”

Ya have ta love it!

More dinner party fodder.

Thanks, Doc.


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Sunday, February 07, 2010

Did Tebow or Fockus on the Family or CBS punt?

I saw only one ad by the Tebows.  It was tame; it didn't really raise the issues which have been discussed for the past week or so.
Who punted?
Who had the most to lose?
Or was that the intent all along?  (To get people upset?)

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Super Bowl 44 (Who remembers Roman numerals?) Ads

The ads during the first half were better than the game; the 2nd half starts with a great two minutes. 
Kia ad strange. 
So far the Snickers,, and Doritos non-bark collar  are winners.  Ms Tebow looks a little brittle.
Vizio ad very interesting, if a bit scary.
Emerald snacks a bit cheesy.
Dante's Inferno game...why al the scifi?
Bud calf and colt ad cute; animals are always cute in the ads.
Denny's screaming chickens another strange one.  Funny...but...
3:24 to go and the Saints are leading.  Who woulda thunk?
Audi green police ad very good message.
Sir Charles, selling Taco, it pays.
Three things can happen with a pass, and two of them are bad.  the Colts just learned that lesson in spades.
Tim's Doritos ad very funny.  Looks like Doritos wins the Ad Super Bowl 44!
Bud's Book Club ad is funny...a bit demeaning, but funny.
Congrats, Saints.

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Saturday, February 06, 2010

McChrystal takes a turn

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General McChrystal, Dear Gentle Reader(s), has come out with a different statement about the situation in Afghanistan than the one he issued last spring.

You’ll find the complete article at Centcom’s web site.  Here is the beginning:

Although he stopped short of saying the worst is over for troops as they prepare to surge into some of the toughest Taliban-held areas, the top NATO and U.S. commander in Afghanistan said here today that conditions no longer are deteriorating.

“I am not prepared to say that we have turned the corner. I am saying that the situation is serious. But I think we have made significant progress in setting conditions in 2009, and … we’ll make real progress in 2010…”

One hopes that his words are prescient.

Trust, but verify.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Alas, even my favorite digital cartoonist…

…has fallen to the enemies of good diction.

Ann Telnaes, Political Animation cartoonist for The Washington Post, has a very astute eye, and I recommend her insight even when I (rarely) disagree with her point.

That willingness to embrace her philosophy does not, however, extend to her occasional gaffe, in my opinion, regarding diction and the representation on the page thereof.

In today’s animation, Telnaes depicts President Obama’s signature slogan, “Yes We Can” re-written as “Yes You Should Of.”

Once again, Correct-Man points out that the vocalization of the abbreviation of the verb have is something like “uhv.”  In other words “’ve” has the same vocal attributes as “of.”  So it is more correct to write “should’ve” from a phonetic point than “should of.” 

Telnaes, you wonderful person, ya shoulda known better.

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Monday, January 11, 2010

Vocabulary lessons abound

The Supreme Court has become a forum for vocabulary lessons.  Try this bit of amusement over at BLT  (it isn’t a sandwich) which discusses romanette and orthogonal.

(Well, I found it amusing.)

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Pleeze forgeeeve me…

…for speakin’ een your face, Senorita.”*

Using quotes from a soon-to-be-released political book, the e-zine Salon quotes Nevada Senator Harry Reid saying, in 2008, that candidate Obama as a black man "with no Negro dialect, unless he wanted to have one” could be elected to the White House.

Such a brouhaha has arisen.

My Deep South, East Texas, Southwestern Louisiana childhood informs my response to this kerfuffle:  it’s a tempest in a truthful teapot.  *The quote is from very popular radio program in the 1940s.  It’s a worker on one of the Judy Canova radio shows; it was his signature entry speech.  It got laughs every time he delivered it.  It was a popular radio show using dialects as a comic tool.

Does anyone think for a second that if Mr. Obama’s voice was similar to that of Jessie Jackson’s or Stepin Fetchit’s that he would be the President of the United States today?  Surely he would have been dismissed out of hand.

We have built-in vocal biases that we work to overcome.  We deal, although not always honorably, with Southern accents, Appalachian accents, Boston accents, Brooklyn accents, and “Ebonics” (remember that?), just to name a few.  Each one of those accents give background to how we respond to what is said.  Some responses are positive, others not so much.

What Senator Reid said, and remember, it was a private conversation, makes perfect sense to me.  The President’s rhetorical skills and cultured voice and diction went a long way to assuaging the American public that he was not a figure to be feared.  That allowed many to overlook racial and class barriers and to cast their votes as they did.  (Just how many did not are legion and have kept up the yammering are there for the world to see on a daily basis.)

Political correctness was better for the nation when it was conscientious awareness.  Those were the days when you tried not to be offensive out of respect for fellow human beings.  Nowadays we’re pilloried for forthrightness which is not soaked in pablum.

Let’s get real.  Let the good Senator work on real problems without distraction.

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