Saturday, September 22, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 362

Saturday, September 22, 2007---6:13 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 7 seconds (time frittered away) (a pointless waste of time)
Offending readers one issue at a time since 2001.
Almost completely free of original ideas.
Often wrong…never in doubt.
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Rave: Duke volleyball!
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On the Victrola: Lyle Lovett and His Large Band---“It’s Not Big It’s Large.”
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Reading: “Booked to Die”---John Dunning.
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Rave: “Burn Notice” is the “Rockford Files” of today…outstanding combination of action and humor.
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TV Time Out: It was great to see “Broken Trail” and The PBS Tony Bennett Special win some of the Emmy Awards.
Of all the winners, those were the only shows that I saw during the year.
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Must See TV: “The War” from ken Burns starts tomorrow night…not to be missed.
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Rant: In the September issue of Forbes Life, I learn that the knit tie is back in fashion after 25 years. I must have missed that memo in 1982.
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Memo to O.J.: “Whatever happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” is just an advertising slogan, big guy.
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Didjaknow: Jules Verne was a stockbroker before he became a best selling author. His initial book was published in 1863. “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “Around the World in Eighty Days” have never been out of print.
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Hmmm: Where does bin Laden find Just for Men?
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Good advice: Never try to outwit your cat!
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Rave: Every detail counts in Stephen Hunter’s magnificent “The 47th Samurai.”
It is a taut thriller with punch featuring Vietnam War Marine Master Sniper, Bob Lee Swagger, a man of muscular elegance.
This unique protagonist has finally found some peace with his family in Crazy Horse, Idaho.
This all changes when Philip Yano tracks him down and the past and present collide. Bob and Philip’s fathers fought one another on Iwo Jima sixty year before. Earl Swagger survived, and acquired Yano’s battle sword.
The two former military men bond and Bob pledges to track down the sword.
When Bob presents the sword to Philip, they learn it is not typical WWII issue. It is, in fact, a celebrated shin-shinto katana altered for WWII use. It is a priceless Japanese relic, an object d’art…worth killing for.
Philip and his family are murdered for it…only the youngest daughter survives. She is placed in an orphanage.
Bob vows to unearth the killers, no matter the cost…a quest of revenge and retribution.
His adversaries are ruthless…members of Japan’s Yukaza, 8-9-3 Gang---up to the higher levels of the government.
Bob does pick up two superb allies in Japan… a drug-taking editor of an indie newspaper who senses a huge scoop and a covert CIA agent whose reluctance is gradually overcome.
The superior plotting, solid story telling and fascinating character studies will leave you sleep deprived.
Mr. Hunter is a master at choreographing violence with skill and grace.
It is an addictive read with a most powerful conclusion…one of the finest novels of the year.
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Rimshot: If you saw a heat wave, would you wave back?
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Truism: A flashlight is a container for dead batteries.
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Rant: Public conversations have gotten louder since cell phones were created.
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Crunching the numbers: If you had any faith in football polls to begin with, Michigan ranked as #5 to start the season ought to dissuade you of that belief.
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Rant: Just because the mortgage lenders give you a mortgage does not mean you have to take it. You know if you can afford something or not.
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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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