Friday, August 25, 2006

Curmudgeon in the Wry 327

Friday, August 25, 2006---699 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 21 seconds (time frittered away)
Offending readers one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…but never in doubt.
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Rave: Gabby Hayes
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Currently reading: “The Night Gardener” by George Pelecanos. Beyond excellent….exceeding even my high expectations.
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On the Victrola: “Got Nothing But Song” from the Starbucks Hear Music series. A wonderful collection of great jazz vocalists from Billie Holiday to Chet Baker to Ella. Superb!
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Rant: There needs to be a law preventing cable channels from running commercials at the same time.
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What’s wrong with this picture: A suspected murderer flies home first class from Thailand at government expense, sans handcuffs, dining on roast duck, fried prawns and drinking champagne. Tell me this is a gag!
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Department of redundancy department: Meaningless NFL preseason game, unconfirmed rumor and free gift.
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Rave: The DNA of Ross Thomas’ novels contains unpredictability, witty urbane dialogue, inventive plotting, intricate double (and triple) dealing and a rogue’s gallery of quirky characters.
“Cast a Yellow Shadow” (1967) is the second in his Mac and Padillo series featuring two guys who just want to operate a nice bar and grill after their cold war time. Nevertheless, the saloon keepers are caught up in political skullduggery because of Padillo’s enforced activities for the CIA.
Mac’s wife has been kidnapped to ensure that Padillo will assassinate a South African prime minister.
The other side is offering cash for Padillo not to pull the trigger.
For a couple of old soldiers of fortune, this mess should be no problem---except that whether Padillo does the shooting or not, Mac’s wife is going to die.
Padillo enlists the aid of a trio of foreign double agents he has tuned and Mac gets some helpers from the local criminal element.
The scheme is hatched to free Mac’s wife and the chase is on as clever devious people try to outfox one another. Who will pull the double cross, who will stay loyal?
Like crossword puzzle fans, readers will delight at how neatly all the pieces fit.
Ross Thomas: always surprising, always entertaining!
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Q & A: What is worse than watching a meaningless NFL preseason game? A preseason game that goes into overtime.
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Just asking: What do you suppose the Las Vegas over/under on Paris Hilton’s declaration to remain celibate for a year is?
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Rant: I just read that Jerry Springer and Emmitt Smith will compete in the third season of TV's "Dancing with the Stars." Amazing. Who knew there was a first and second season?
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Hmmmm: While driving down the road, I see a sign that reads, “Watch for hidden driveway.” But I can never find it.
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Rave: Count me in as one who is ecstatic about the service from the used book sellers on Amazon.com. Finally got discouraged trying to locate the seven out-of-prints by Ross Thomas I was lacking.
So, I ordered them plus a 1927 S.S. Van Dine “Philo Vance” novel---using seven different vendors.
My comment on each was “exceeded expectations.”
And, some have been known to find me hard to please!
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Rant: Apparently, there is less guilt involved in throwing your trash into your truck bed and having it blow out, than throwing it out your truck window.
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Truism: The hotter the car, the more pathetic the old guy driving it. And, the longer the comb-over.
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Truism II: Congressmen continue to appear on “The Colbert Report,” convinced they
will be the first not to look foolish. So far, none has succeeded.
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Rave: There is nothing better in baseball than a 1-0 game.
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Hmmmm: There are nights when I am almost certain I could get a job in the Texas Rangers’ bullpen.
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Rant: When news people announce a “deadly murder-suicide”, is that to distinguish it from all other kinds?
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Numbers game: “The Catcher In the Rye” still sells over 200,000 copies annually…”To Kill a Mockingbird” does six figure business as well.
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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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