Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Curmudgeon in the Wry 363

Tuesday, September 25, 2007---672 Words---Average reading time: 2-minutes, 17 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: Lyle Lovett
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On the Victrola: Benny Carter’s “All of Me”---features four cuts from the “M Squad” soundtrack, including three composed by Mr. Carter.
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Reading: “Playing for Pizza” by John Grisham.
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Rave: Finally discovered John Dunning with his initial Cliff Janeway novel, “Booked to Die.” It was written in 1992, and the plot, characters and pacing are all spot on…the lack of cell phones is about the only thing that dates it.
Janeway is an ex-cop, now a bookseller.
What may seem an unexciting premise for a whodunit is quite the opposite…with one of the finest surprise endings I have encountered.
Then I rediscovered Lawrence Block. His Edgar winning “A Dance at the Slaughterhouse” is superlative. (Also written in 1992)
Scudder, also an ex-cop, works as an unlicensed PI in NYC. He and his cop contact know who the guilty parties are in a pair of intertwining cases…but cannot get the necessary evidence to get the DA to prosecute.
Matt has no compunction about coloring outside the lines. His searches, inquiries and analysis take him to many of NYC’s seedier parts.
Realistic deductions that keep you entertained all the way. You know who is guilty, but the ride to find out how to get justice is wonderful
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Rant: More pathetic than O.J. Simpson is cable's saturated coverage of his latest legal troubles.
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Didjaknow: “Anatomy of a Murder” was nominated for seven Oscars in 1959, including two in the Best Supporting Actor category (George C. Scott and Arthur O’Connell). It won none.
Of course, 1959 was a remarkable year for films including “Some Like It Hot,” “North by Northwest,” “Diary of Anne Frank,” “Room at the Top,” “Compulsion,” “Rio Bravo” and “Pillow Talk.”
“Ben-Hur” was Best Picture and Charlton Heston was Best Actor---and there was nary a big bang explosion every ten minutes.
Sure was a better output from Hollywood than we get today!
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Quote: “Coincidence is God trying to maintain His anonymity.”---Matt Scudder in “Dance at the Slaughterhouse.”
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Factoid: According to Mark Pennin in his book, “Microtrends”: Kids born to women over 40 are 128% more likely to be lefties than those born to women in their 20’s.
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Hmmm: The PGA will soon start testing golfers for performance-enhancing drugs. Everyone but John Daly, who will be tested for donuts.
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Rave: Roberta Flack is the only female vocalist with a #1 hit on the pop charts over three consecutive years…”Killing Me Softly,” “Feel Like Making Love” and “The First Time.”
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Remember when: The Celtics were the best team in basketball…no one had ever heard of pitch counts…very few kids played one sport year round…nobody had ever heard of performance-enhancing drugs or a luxury box…there was no sports talk radio…no one had a clue what on-base percentage was…tennis players used wooden rackets…tennis players wore white…kids played pickup games in neighborhoods…there were zero TV sideline reporters…there were no hockey teams in the south…there were Sunday doubleheaders in baseball…the World Series was played in the afternoon, and everyone ran home from school to catch the final innings…there was no union in baseball…MLB had just 16 teams…baseball gloves were not big enough to catch basketballs…pitchers got only three days of rest (and completed their games)?
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Didjaknow: Catfish Hunter was the last pitcher to win 20 games five years in a row (1971-1975). You will not see that again.
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Hmmm: How glad are the Seattle SuperSonics that they drafted Kevin Durant?
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Who Knew: Alan Greenspan says that he wooed his wife with an essay on the Sherman Anti-Trust Act. Now, that is what I call kinky.
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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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