Saturday, November 26, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 515

Saturday, November 26, 2011---778 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 16 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)

Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.

Continuing to call them as I see them.

Virtually free of original ideas.

Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.

Often wrong…never in doubt.

Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.

A Grumpy Old Man Production.

If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

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Rave: Philo Vance.

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Reading:

Dead Last” by James W. Hall.

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On the Hi Fi: “Hot Java Jazz”—A Starbucks compilation from the Verve vaults.

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Under rated: Yvonne DeCarlo.

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I miss: William Powell, Artie Shaw, Walt Dropo.

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Quote: “Don’t have rules, have standards.”—Duke Basketball Coach, Mike Krzyzewski.

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Rave: Arnold Palmer recently shot a 79 for a round of golf, which included a hole-in-one, his 20th. Not bad for 82.

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Quote: “Good programming makes a good radio station but a good premise makes a great radio station.”—George Johns.

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Rave: Feel good story of the month---"'The Joy Behar Show' has been canceled.

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Truism: Every man is a damned fool for at least five minutes a day---wisdom comes from not exceeding the limit.

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Quote: “The only reason people watch 'The Ed Show' is they’re working out in a hotel gym and they can’t find a staff member to change the channel to ESPN.” GQ, from their December issue list of “The 25 Least Influential People Alive.” That moron is #3.

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Rant: “Political Correctness” is simply “re-education.”

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Hmmm: In sports, they always say all surgeries to athletes are "successful" and every new manager is a "good choice." That's just the way it works.

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Quote: “The record business is gone, but I still have songs to write."—Burt Bacharach.

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Truism: It’s sure easy to figure out that a lot of professional athletes didn’t finish College.

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Rave: Game, set and season to NCAA Basketball.

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Quote: “It's better to waste one's youth than to do nothing with it at all.”--Georges Courteline.

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Hmmm: Any notion that driving down dusty rural dirt roads is a great experience exists only in a Country song.

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Rant: Whenever a woman shows up in public joined at the hip of Gloria Allred, it is safe to assume that she either belongs in jail, a brothel or a psycho ward.

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Pop quiz: What to you call a bunch of millionaires sitting around watching football? The NBA.

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Hmmm: The Presidents Cup is an example of what golf was never meant to be - a team sport.

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Quote: “One of the people in the debate was bombastic to the point of manic, and another was more pointedly aggressive than her usual poised and beautiful self. But enough about Jim Cramer and Maria Bartiromo. It was a revealing debate. It would be wonderful to see obama grilled as the Republicans were Wednesday night in Michigan.”—Peggy Noonan, Wall Street Journal.

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Rant: It is sad that a show as good as NBC’s “Prime Suspect” never found an audience…there’s a lot to love about that show. NBC is pathetic…their cable cousin (USA Network) pulls in better ratings for shows in this genre.

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Truism: There is no great mythmaker than the American sports page.

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Hmmm: How come you never see Asians in the welfare line and how come you never hear about it being so.

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Quote: “After all is said and done, a lot more is usually said than done.—Anon.

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Rant: obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness membership is composed of23 corporate chiefs, two labor leaders, one economist, one biologist and exactly zero representatives of small business. Talk about crony capitalism…according liberal Washington Post’s Zachary Goldfarb, Wall Street firms earned more in the first two and a half years of the obama regime than they did in the entire eight years of the George W. Bush administration.

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Department of redundancy department: Revert back, same exact, completely surrounded, UPC code, VIN number, SAT test, personal opinion.

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Hmmm: Any truth to the rumor that if the NBA players and owners were playing a shooting game, it wouldn’t be called “HORSE”; it would be called “PIG?”

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Truism: My ex-wife and I had fights that lasted longer than the Kardashian-Humphries marriage.

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Hmmm: Am I the only one who thinks Ron Paul looks like a bigger version of Mr. Magoo?

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Truism: Pop culture is running a fast-break.

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If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.

If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

That is all.

As you were.

Welcome to Bracketville---Feast Week Issue

The 1992 Blue Devils were the last team rated No. 1 throughout an entire season, finishing with a 34-2 record and a second consecutive NCAA title.

In their 73-50 victory over Auburn, the Duke women’s basketball team missed all 12 of their 3-point attempts, ending a string of 84 games with at least one successful shot outside the arc.

Old Dominion found a way to frustrate Kentucky---play half-court and get tough.

NC State will finish in the upper half of the ACC this season.

Long Beach State is no joke.

Kevin Pangos is another in the long line of big-time shooters from Gonzaga. A shame the time zone limits the Zag’s visibility in the East.

In their ten point loss to Duke in Maui, Tennessee failed to make a three for the first time in 14 years.

Jackson State’s Jamarious Sykes managed to foul out of the game against Baylor…after playing just three minutes, scoring zero points.

When Evansville surprised Butler in overtime, they outscored the Bulldogs 32-15 from the foul line.

TV Timeout: The ACC/Big Ten Challenge is November 29-30 and the Big ten/SEC will follow from December 1-3---that gives us five straight days of good basketball early in the season. What NBA season?

While losing to UNC and Duke to open the season, Michigan State out-rebounded both teams and outscored UNC in the paint.

Thomas Robinson of Kansas is an All American in my book.

Kansas got zero points off the bench in their loss to Duke in the Championship Game in Maui. The game featured 16 lead changes---every play counted. Duke’s Ryan Kelly and Mason Plumlee were particularly intense, and Kansas was impatient.

I like the four-guard attack Missouri is using---they’ve got a bunch of speed and very good playmaking ability. Wings Kim English and Marcus Dermon are well worth watching.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

James W. Hall at Murder on the Beach

Dateline---Delray Beach.

On Tuesday, 11/22/11, James W. Hall had a book signing for his newly released “Dead Last” at Delray Beach’s Murder on the Beach bookstore.


I had a cake created by Publix and dropped it off when MOTB opened.






It was tip-off time for “Dead Last” so I got my copy and was off to the pool for some enjoyable reading.

After a wonderful dinner at the best seafood joint extant with my good friend from the class of 1961 at Graham Eckes, Roy Connors and his wife, Mona, it was off to the event.


“Dead Last” makes an even dozen novels featuring Thorn as the reclusive and reluctant hero. For lack of a better description, it is Florida noir at its best.

Dr. Hall (Ph.D) is a raconteur of the highest order, comfortable behind or in front of a lectern, rostrum or podium. He is exceptionally engaging and his self-effacing humor slays me.

Some tid-bits from his chat…

Terry Miller (executive producer of “Burn Notice”) is a former student and recognized in the book’s acknowledgements. The good doctor considers “Dead Last” his homage to the goodly number of great cable TV shows currently on the air.

His Elmore Leonard stories were hysterical, as were the tales of the popularity of his books in prisons.

The best question from the audience asked what writers in the genre he was into when he first started writing mysteries.

He chose Elmore Leonard for characters; James Lee Burke for the sense of place; Robert B. Parker for snappy dialog; John D. MacDonald for his love of Florida; and Ross Macdonald for that 20 year old incident that has been simmering and is finally solved/revealed (a Freudian story.)

In the audience was another Florida writer high on my list, James O. Born. His Alex Duarte and Bill Tasker series are big fun. “Walking Money” is not to be missed…a wonderful caper novel.

Crime novelist Wallace Stroby was on hand as well…Jim Hall had high praise for his “Cold Shot to the Heart.” I put it on my list.

Due to a comment or two, Dr. Hall inspired me to reread Elmore Leonard’s “La Brava.”

There were lots of laughs and a good time was had by all. Murder on the Beach does a great job and really treats the authors right.

I was back at the hotel in time to watch the second half of the Duke victory over Michigan and “Covert Affairs.”

If you have yet to discover Jim Hall, “Dead Last” is a good place to start. Thorn is a compelling and quirky protagonist.

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Welcome to Bracketville---Opening of the Season Edition

The ’82-’83 Duke recruiting class (Jay Bilas, Johnny Dawkins, Mark Alarie and David Henderson) scored more combined career points than any recruiting class in NCAA history.

Of the last ten NCAA Champions, there have been as many teams that started the season unranked in the AP poll as those that started season ranked at #1.



It appears that this season, UConn’s biggest opponent will be their grade-point average.

Florida State returns eight players who averaged 10-plus minutes per game last season.

Boston College has to replace its entire starting lineup and returns just two scholarship players. Nine freshmen enter the program.

While coaching at Maryland, Lefty Driesell kicked off the college ritual of Midnight Madness in 1971.

Last season, Belmont led the NCAA in bench points. On Friday, 11/11/11 Belmont was far and away the better team on the floor at Cameron Indoor Stadium.

Duke has recruited at least one prep All-American every class since 1982.

UNC’s Tyler Zeller averaged 25.8 points and 8.8 rebounds in last season’s NCAA Tournament.

In ten years under Coach Bo Ryan, Wisconsin has yet to finish lower than fourth in the Big Ten.

UTEP lost eight seniors from last season’s team that won 25 games…they return just three players who saw action last year.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 515 Veteran's Day Issue

Friday 11/11/11---866 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 41 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)

Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.

Continuing to call them as I see them.

Virtually free of original ideas.

Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.

Often wrong…never in doubt.

Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.

A Grumpy Old Man Production.



If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

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Rave: Rebecca Pigeon.

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Reading: Zero Day” by David Baldacci.

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On the Hi Fi: “Martinis with Mancini.”

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Under rated: Dorothy Malone.

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I miss: Robert Ryan, Clem Labine, Benny Carter.

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Quote: “The NCAA is to college football in 2011 what the League of Nations was to Europe in 1935.”—Frank Deford.

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Hmmm: Halfway through season five, isn’t about time that the intro to “Burn Notice” was updated? Michael’s not really burned anymore, Fiona is no longer his ex-girlfriend and Jessie is not even mentioned.

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Rave: The debut episode of AMC’s “Hell on Wheels” was good enough to entice me back for the next few chapters. It’s not “The Magnificent Seven” or “Rio Bravo”---but for today’s Hollywood, it’s A-OK.

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Truism: Life was easier before anyone ever heard the word “password.”

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Hmmm: Pat’s coach Bill Belichick was more of a defensive genius when he had better players---that’s the story of, that’s the glory of sports.

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Quote: “Making it illegal to pay less than a certain amount does not make a worker’s productivity worth that amount---and, if it is not, that worker is unlikely to be employed.” The great explicator of the economics of free markets, Thomas Sowell, PhD.

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Rant: The upcoming Jose Conseco/Lenny Dykstra fight is not exactly Ali-Frazier…put a tent over that circus.

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Quote: “I don’t know the name of today’s heavyweight boxing champion, and I bet you don’t either. The death of Joe Frazier this week reminded me that there was a time when I wouldn’t have made that bet.”-- Bob Mankoff, New Yorker Cartoon Editor.

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Rave: Tony La Russa sure went out as if it were a movie script.

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Truism: If the media cannot distinguish between protesting and disturbing the peace, then their education may have wasted a lot of taxpayers’ money.

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Rave: “Psych” is entering its sixth season (a long run in today’s TV market); and is still fresh, entertaining and contains some purely brilliant moments.

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Wondering: Am I the only one who feels the stories on “Criminal Minds” are a lot darker this season? And, Penelope Garcia could wear the balls off a pool table---she gets way too much camera time.

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Quote: “The ‘most transparent administration ever’ is hyper-allergic to sunlight and subpoenas.”—Michelle Malkin.

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Hmmm: If a big box store closes its doors, and there is another big box store less than 9 miles down the road and two smaller chain stores less than 4 miles away in either direction selling almost the same items (not to mention that the store closing also has locations 11 and 8 miles away) does it matter?

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Hmmm: Anyone who sells an average home in San Francisco can enter the top 1% income…for that year.

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Didjaknow: On the 1957-1960 TV show, “M Squad,” Lee Marvin as Det. Lt. Frank Ballinger was the first television cop to carry two pistols concealed on his person. Ballinger carried two Colt Cobra .38 Special snub-nosed revolvers, one as his primary sidearm and the second as his back-up weapon.

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Rave: I could not be happier to see that the liberal obama lapdog, Brian Williams’ new show drew fewer viewers than the show NBC canceled, “The Playboy Club.”

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Rave: The good-bye scene between Kate and Nico in last Sunday’s “Pan Am” was as potent as any farewell scene between lovers as I have seen on TV. The show has excellent writing to go along with attractive and appealing characters. Kelli Garner is just superb.

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Didjaknow: All the episodes in the current winter season of “Covert Affairs” are named after songs by either R.E.M. or Led Zeppelin.

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Stats: During the month of September, U.S. consumers spent 15% of their online time at Facebook…that’s according to comScore, Inc.

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Quote: “For the past three years, as we’ve watched obama try to deal with a lot of things that we can all agree are way above his pay grade, we’ve been constantly mindful of the fact that this schmuck has never really held a job in the private sector.”—Burt Prelutsky.

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Rave: “Pan Am’s” Maggie Ryan is a bit reminiscent of Mike Ross in “Suits.”

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Truism: Personal irresponsibility in managing money can trap anyone.

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Quote: “The economy depends about as much on economists as the weather does on weather forecasters.” -- Jean-Paul Kauffmann.

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Rave: The more the NBA labor squabble is dragged out, the less people care.

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Hmmm: Any truth to the rumor that the real NBA lockout is the guys who have yet to hook up with Kim Kardashian.

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If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.

If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

That is all.

As you were.

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

Curmudgeon in the Wry 514

Tuesday, November 01, 2011---546 Words---Average Reading Time: 2 Minutes, 16 Seconds. (A pointless waste of time---time frittered away)

Offending readers and hindering productivity one issue at a time since 2001.

Continuing to call them as I see them.

Virtually free of original ideas.

Warning: Contains unsound bites from the apple of life.

Often wrong…never in doubt.

Being wrong is the risk you run by thinking and acting.

A Grumpy Old Man Production.

If you want this in a different language…move to a country that speaks it!

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Rave: Evelyn Keyes.

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Reading: “The Litigators” by John Grisham.

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On the Hi Fi: “Sugar” by Leon Redbone.

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Under rated: Barry Sullivan.

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I miss: Virginia Mayo, Chet Baker, Sal Maglie.

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Hmmm: Do you see any elected official even being interviewed; let alone being capable of becoming the new CEO of Apple? It’s a rhetorical question!

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Truism: My shovel is always ready whenever obama opens his mouth with another ill-conceived plan.

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Rant: How would you ever field a radio station softball team now?

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Hmmm: Weren’t Art Carney and Wally Cox the same person?

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Just wondering: I realize that basic arithmetic is a most difficult concept for the Wall Street Occutards---I get that. However, one might think that the so-called 99% would understand that any job they may obtain would come from the 1%.

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Truism: In every company, people are going to make fun of the boss; it's just that in the good companies, it happens when the boss is around.

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Quote: “There isn’t a Recording Artist alive who doesn’t remember hearing their record on the radio for the first time. You Tube doesn’t even come close to supplying that kind of excitement.”—George Johns.

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Hmmm: What once was called being too busy is now referred to as multitasking.

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TV Time Out: “Prime Suspect” has gone from a curiosity, to good, to intriguing to fantastic. Maria Bello is amazing as Jane Timoney in this smart police procedural. The new opening credits are a major improvement from the obtuse PowerPoint one.

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Rant: With his profiles in caution, nobody is more adept at projecting the courage of his absence of convictions than obama.

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Pop Quiz: What's another way of saying "workaholic"? Answer: "Employee of the Year."

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Fair Share: IRS data for 2009 {last year for complete figures} show the top-earning 5 percent of taxpayers (AGI equal to or greater than $154,643), paid far more than the bottom 95 percent.

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Another TV Time Out: “Person of Interest” gets better with each episode. I hope that last week’s POI (Zoe Morgan) makes some repeat appearances…she is fascinating and amusing, a spectacular combo.

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Truism: Talent is wonderful, but experienced talent is apt to be transcendent.

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Bumper Sticker of the Month: “In God We Trust. obama, not so much.”

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Truism: The shortest distance between two points is under construction.

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Rant: The World Series proves that baseball is called our national pastime because "it's well past my bed time."

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Hmmm: Is it just me, or does it seem that Oregon has different football uniforms every week.

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If you can read this, thank a teacher.

If you can’t, thank the teacher’s union.

If you are reading it in English, thank a Veteran.

That is all.

As you were.