Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Curmudgeon in the Wry 299

Wednesday, June 29, 2005---607 Words---Average reading time: 1-minute, 52 seconds
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Rave: Dwight Yoakam
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Rant: I am with Dick Vitale on the NBA’s new 19 and under mandate. Merely a band aid on a broken leg. Pure Stern BS.
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Rave: The tie breaker in the Venus Williams and Mary Pearce quarter finals at Wimbledon was absolutely riveting.
A shame so few saw it. Tennis ratings have plummeted since the mid-1980’s heydays.
Today’s players may be better athletes and in better shapes…but cannot match the personality/star power of yesteryear. There are no Conners, McEnroe, Borg, Martina or Chris on the tour today.
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Hoops du jour: Bottom line on an NBA Finals that drew poor TV ratings: Defense wins championships ... and loses viewers.
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Rave: The John Pizzarelli “Sound Check” on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball with Jon and Joe. Great music and baseball savvy.
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Rant: Three most annoying TV ads---NFL Sunday package on Direct TV, the Ditech cross dresser and anything with Billy Mays giving the pitch.
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Truism: Golf is one of those sports often discussed by people who think that golf history began the day they got interested in it.
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Cliff Notes:
*“Shame the Devil” (2000) by George Pelecanos is outstanding…an A. My first encounter with protagonist Nick Stefanos…and I will read the entire Stefanos oeuvre. A profound crime store featuring killers who embody pure evil…and a bona fide Peckinpaw finale.
*Ron Faust’s “Dead Men rise Up Never” (2004) features former CID, now paralegal Dan Shaw.
Shaw wants to be a lawyer in the near future, but goes for some easy dough when a top lawyer hires him to locate an heir to millions of dollars...
The heir is kidnapped…and the chase is afoot against some particularly vicious modern day pirates.
Wonderful characters and lean prose from a stylish storyteller.
First in a series set me up to read the rest.
*James Lee Burke’s “In the Moon of the Red Ponies” (2004) did not do it for me.
While the writing is terrific and the scene setting colorful and breathtaking, the plot seemed perpetually stuck in low gear. A C minus here.
*I loved the early Doc Ford novels from Randy Wayne White, but was flummoxed by his latest, “Dead of Night” (2005).
Not great, not awful. It has its moments, but there are too few of them. The reading went pretty fast, but never took off and grabbed me.
Methinks RWW ought to give Doc a bit of a rest and do a stand alone next year. He is too good a writer to give us C plus material.
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Rave: The Nat King Cole CD distributed at Starbucks…many of Nat’s standards and a few I was unfamiliar with. Great stuff!
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Rant: The idiots who do not turn right on red.
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Rave: Altoids sugar free cinnamon gum. I may become addicted.
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Rave: Those wonderful people who gave the world the Dove bar have come out with a line of cookies that are spectacular---and contain no trans-fats.
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Look it up: Cigarettes=pesticides for humans.
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Stats: Yankee second baseman from the 1940’s, Joe Gordon played in exactly 1000 major league baseball games and had exactly 1000 hits. How’s that for symmetry?
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Hmmm: What if there were no hypothetical questions.
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Universal law of nature: You never have an alibi when you need one.
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Truism: The two most commonly found elements in the universe are hydrogen and stupidity.
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If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading it in English thank a Veteran.
That is all.
As you were.

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