Thursday, March 29, 2007

The Days of Beer and Baseball

Low miles
Lots of smiles
(Maybe just a little barf on the right rear door)

"I got 'em!"

My fellow high school buddy John Hall, exclaimed.
He held in his hands the tickets we and other junior class degenerates: Erickson, Borchard, and Boyd had ordered for the April, something game between the Minnesota Twins and the Baltimore Orioles that was to be played at Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minnesota. It was the stuff of dreams. We had been planning this for months with nearly as much attention to detail as Ike employed for the Normandy invasion. Though I don't remember the specific date, it was a weekday and we knew that this would be an adventure that held the promise of LEGEND.

As I recall, we had forged school excuses for each other that had somehow past muster and had conned Hall's mom into loaning him her 64' Caddy for the day. (I believe John had given her some crack brained story about needing the car to help transport orphans or something.) Whatever it worked.

So there we were...the smartest kids in all of northwest Iowa heading out that early weekday morning from the confines of our parents and the small town of Spencer, Iowa destined for Minneapolis, professional baseball and whatever big city adventures awaited us. A slice of 17 year-old heaven!

The trip north, approximately 200 miles, was carefree and exciting. Though Neil Armstrong had yet to set foot on the surface of the moon, I think the five of us had that same "one giant step for mankind" vibe coursing collectively through us. No parents, no school, keys to the car and...MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL all in one day. Hot damn!

We arrived at "The Met" in Bloomington, a Minneapolis suburb, with plenty of time to spare. We had planned it that way as we wanted to catch batting practice and maybe, if we were lucky, have a chance to chat with some of the players. The Twins, if memory serves, were not expected to contend for the pennant in 1965 but Baltimore boasted both Frank and Brooks Robinson and several other memorable players. We really didn't care. We were just damned excited to be seeing a professional baseball game. It was the Big time.

Our seats were seats along first baseline. The sun was out, but it was chilly and the crowd was sparse. This was, after all, Minneapolis in April. The national anthem had been sung; Jim Kaat was winding up to hurl the first pitch...and then we heard it.

"Beer here...get your ice cold beer here!" The vendors were in full tilt sales mode and since there wasn't much of a crowd they were circling the areas where the most likely customers were seated. "Ice cold Hamms...get your ice cold Hamms beer here!"

I don't remember who held up their hand first. I do know that it wasn't me. Never in a million years did I think that any of these guys would believe that a single one of us was 21 and it didn't enter my mind that they might not care. They just wanted to make a buck. (Which by the way was what a beer in the stands at a Twins game went for in those days.) Whatever. Boyd, Borchard, Erickson, somebody held up their hand and said, "Right here".

WHAT AN AFTERNOON! To this day I am certain that several of the beer vendors at "The Met" were able to retire after selling out their inventory to the kids from Iowa who had a talent for dissipation that is probably still talked about throughout the upper Midwest. I know that we all had at least one beer per inning...Probably more. I can still see the tidal wave of cups and empty bottles of Hamms that encased our feet. It's surprising that we were able to stand and emerge from the malt beverage effluvia when the game ended.
The score? I haven't a clue.

I am ashamed to relate that we did drive home. And yes, I'm sure, Jesus must have taken the wheel. Somewhere south of Mankato Erickson stuck his head out the right rear window and deposited the day's hotdogs and the "ever so delicious" Hamms beer all over the side of Mrs. Hall's Caddy. We got most of it off at the robo-wash. (see picture above)

We were never caught in our web of deceit and, until today, the story has remained a secret.
Non of the names were changed to protect the guilty.


(Is anybody else thirsty?)

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

No Lie! That's Exactly How it Happened, Officer...

A story you may have missed...

Douglas County Ore.,...
Sheriff's Deputies in Douglas County charged William Roderick, 60, with assault after they said he shot a snorkeler in the head. Mr. Roderick explained that he thought the victim was a large rodent called a nutria swimming in the Smith River when he fired a .22 caliber rifle from the deck of a friend's riverfront home.
After being taken into custody, Mr. Roderick remembered that his name was actually Representative Patrick Kennedy of Rhode Island. Upon further reflection he recalled that he was on his way to Capital Hill for an important congressional vote. It was either that or he was on his way to the pharmacy to pick-up another bottle of the sleep aid Ambien...Or, was it the liquor store? Mr. Roderick, (er..Kennedy) was to be released to the custody of his father, Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Kennedy, but the senator was unavailable do to his busy schedule as an underwater driving instructor.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I feel slimmer ALREADY!

(not) Miss Australia

This is one of those things that will make your day.
At least it will make you feel thinner.

According to the BBC, (and with those accents you just know their not lying), Australians may have surpassed us as the world's lard asses. In fact, Aussies are now SO big that they have introduced a fleet of super sized ambulances to transport portly patients seeking medical attention. These vehicles have over-sized wheelchairs and hydraulic tailgates and are capable of carrying patients weighing up to 484 lbs. Studies now estimate that 67% of Australian men and over half of women aged 25 and over are overweight or obese. In fact, recently it took 16 people several hours to take a busted Aussie weighing 880 lbs. from his sty (er...home) to the hospital.

The absolute worst statistics I was able to find show that only 63% of American men in the over 25 age group were fatsos and around half of the women were considered "wide loads". Take of the world!!! In spite of the fact that all you lesser countries hate us, we ARE NOT THAT FAT! We're just "big boned". Perhaps a snappy ad campaign is in order?

Now, don't you feel better about yourself?
G'Day mates!
I smell pie. Anybody want some pie?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Random thoughts on a Sunday afternoon...

Does anybody have a spare eleven year-old who's not busy creating cold fusion in his bedroom?
I'm pretty sure that is just the person who can handle my latest computer problem. It pains me to confess this, but I have spent the better part of this whole weekend trying to make my computer files behave. The damn things are supposed to go to one "drive" and instead go...well, I'm not real sure where they go. Maybe they're busy doing other important computer file things. Or, more likely, I have files that are trouble makers...maybe even delinquent. Yes, I'm sure that's it! Anyhow, I have now given up and will wait for my son-in-law, Doug, to bail me out the next time he and Katie are here. (Wait...Isn't Doug the guy who once clicked a couple of keys on my computer; pronounced it "new and improved" and then watched it die on the table?) Screw it! In the old days I would have just had a few drinks and set fire to the thing. Now, I'm left with only the "buy a new computer" solution which, based on my former capacity for the sauce, is probably the more economical answer.

Linda and I finally got around to seeing the movie, "Borat", a couple of days ago. It is out on DVD now and I was worried that perhaps all of my friends who loved the film may have over sold it. I thought it was a scream. I laughed out loud...A LOT; Linda not quite so much. It is definitely NOT politically correct and that's what makes it so damn much fun! We need more movies that are just full speed ahead FUNNY. It IS offensive; that's why it's funny!

I save my Mom's letters... It's something that I have been doing for several years now. She is almost 86 and, frankly, I started saving them because I didn't think she had many more to send. Each week Linda sends her a letter bringing her up to date on what our family is doing and Mom, in return, sends a letter back. It's hard for her these days as dementia has robbed her of almost all of her short-term memory. (The really bad stuff my brother and I pulled she, of course, remembers.) But, she tries. Sometimes she only sends a few lines and maybe a clipping of a cartoon from her local newspaper in Illinois. Maybe our kids or grand kids will enjoy looking at these letters several years down the road. I hope so.

Excuse me...I've decided that I AM going to set fire to my computer!
No drinks, though...Well, maybe a Dr. Pepper.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Of Country Al, devine Providence and Reynolds aluminum

Providence, Rhode Island

In a business full of characters, Al Watterson is one of the all time greats...
I worked with Al at a radio station in South Dakota in the late 1960's. He was "Country Al" the host of a popular country music oldies show called the "Country Hall of Fame". I was a college student, working as the morning man at the station, newly married, and waiting for the Army to invite me to the big dance in Southeast Asia. Al was a few years older, no longer draft eligible and had punched his broadcast ticket at other stations as he bounced around the country.

Through the mists of time I don't recall exactly when we parted ways with that particular radio station, but I believe that Al left first either to avoid the man from the finance company or an angry ex-wife. A month or two later I was gone to a brief job in Florida and ultimately a date with the U.S. Army Infantry.

As people do, Al and I lost touch with each other until around 1977. Now with two daughters, my wife and I were living in San Diego. I was still happily working in radio at KOGO and had not given too much thought to South Dakota or Country Al in quite a while. Isn't that how it always works? It was a Sunday afternoon; the phone rings's Al calling from Providence, Rhode Island where he is on the air at WHIM. We quickly catch up and promise to stay in touch and... DON'T.

In 2002 Al finds me once again this time through the Internet and we now stay in contact like a couple of friends who are more aware of our mortality than we were in our salad days. Al has retired to the woods of Vermont near the town of Tunbridge and is being well taken care of by the "wife of his life", Joanna. He and I talk on the phone frequently and enjoy remembering our South Dakota days and have fun filling each other in on radio adventures that transpired during those "lost" years between 1977 and 2002.

A couple of weeks ago Al said to me, "Did I ever tell you how I got to Vermont?" My response in the negative netted this ONLY IN RADIO tale:
It all began shortly after Country Al had checked in from WHIM in Providence. He was only working part-time at the station; hanging on in hopes of eventually getting full-time work. One Sunday afternoon, while doing "rip and read" news off the Associated Press wire, Al read the story of a tragic traffic accident that had killed the program director and mid-day host of WNHV in White River Junction, Vermont. In misfortune...Al spotted opportunity.

After finishing his Sunday shift, Country Al packed his car and headed for Vermont. He was at the front door of WNHV by 8:00 AM Monday. The station was owned by Rex Marshall, the long-time TV spokesman for Reynolds Aluminum who had smartly diversified his money into broadcast ownership. Everything in the station was aluminum! Well, Rex did make an exception when he passed on putting aluminum foil on the rollers in the restrooms...but you get the idea. Rex liked Al and by early afternoon he hired him to fill the hole he now had in his radio line-up. The unfortunate program director's wife came by the station to pick-up his belongings that afternoon and Al made arrangements to buy his car and, since she was leaving town, rent the widow's house. Not a bad day for Country Al. (Also, the widow)

Al stayed on at WNHV for a number of years and became a real legend in the Vermont and New Hampshire environs. I'm making plans to get to New England to see Al real soon...a genuine radio character is a living museum piece these days. I'm also wondering if he can still get me a deal on some Reynolds Wrap.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Come for the SLIDERS...Stay for the ANGIOPLASTY

A $4 Trip to Heaven (as seen on TV)

When I was growing up, adventures did not take place in Mom's kitchen. I love her, but Mrs. C. thought "spicy" meant adding a little black pepper to something and a real gourmet moment might feature some form of cheese that was not Velveeta. It wasn't her fault. She is a Midwesterner through and through and still does not embrace any desire to indulge in "fancy" foods like fish or anything that is not meat and potatoes. Also, the fact that she was often busy telling my brother and I to: "Wait until your father gets home!", may have taken something away from her culinary game.

My brother Steve and I, though perfectly willing to gobble up all the groceries the folks could afford, often spoke of wanting to try some "weird stuff" if the opportunity ever arose. For years I imagined that a shrimp sandwich, just shrimp on bread with a little mayonnaise, sounded like a little slice of heaven. I promised myself that this would be one of the first items on my dream food list to debut in my mouth just as soon as I was on my own. Years later when I was married and living in Florida I bought some beautiful shrimp right off the boat and made my first shrimp sandwich. It was even better than I had imagined it would be! I was on my way to Foodtown!

Over the years I have sampled nearly every special food I've hankered for, including: raw oysters, snails, all kinds of sushi and sashimi, deep fried Twinkies and Snickers bars, and.....they were ALL better than I ever dreamed they would be!

But now...just when I thought there was not another punch left on my life's food ticket, it's here.
Ladies and gentlemen... I give you...THE DEEP FRIED SLIDER!
I can't believe I hadn't thought of it. I must have one NOW.
One small problem. They are only going to be available at the minor league Gateway Grizzlies ballpark in Sauget, Illinois and , dammit, their season hasn't even started yet.

Mmmmm. Burger, cheese, onions, all battered and deep fried.
Honey, get the airlines on the phone...and alert my cardiologist.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Detroit...We Have A Problem

When Henry Ford gave the common man wheels it was with the understanding that he could get a car in any color he wanted as long as it was...BLACK. This was no big deal at the time considering that it gave almost everyone a chance to give up old Dobbin and begin the eternal quest for a cheap tank of gas. (Cheap and tank of gas in the same sentence! Other blogs promise, but this one delivers!)

For years, as the auto industry developed, improvements were made as more manufacturers conceived models with a multitude of options for the car buying public. In fact, there was a time when you could buy a ride decked out in almost any color of the rainbow. The 1950's and 60's were especially colorful decades. (Either that or all of the designers and engineers were stoned...Yes, I'll go with that.) Whatever the case, you could actually buy a car decked out in a dazzling cool color.

Now, skip ahead to the present. WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED????!!!! Take a look around you the next time you're forced to wait at an intersection. Cars are now painted either black, white, silver or some form of metallic cow flop dark brown that looks a lot like that stupid burnt umber in your Crayolas. Did we ask for this? I think not! My contention is that this is all part of some evil communist plot hatched by German and Japanese car makers that was all about lulling us into becoming a country of boring "non colorful" mathematician types just like they are. THIS WILL NOT STAND! We kicked their asses in the BIG WAR and we're not about to succumb to boring colors brought to our shores in a fit of cheapness and bad taste that WILL LIVE IN INFAMY.


Give us some exciting colors! How about some dayglo orange? Maybe lime green or candy apple red? Something that says FUN! I know I speak for Americans everywhere when I beg you to give us back some good ol' AMERICAN colors. Let the rest of the world have boring cars! I'm ready to line up outside the first AMERICAN auto dealer's showroom that can give me a hot pink or lemon yellow convertible.

Oh, that's right. Mary Kay, you first, butI've got dibs on the lemon yellow.

Friday, March 16, 2007

And....In Other News


it is because there are so many very important stories to cover, ( the Spears girl, Anna's baby, Anderson Cooper's sexual proclivities etc.), that the fifth estate has ignored serious current developments that could effect all of our lives profoundly.

At the very tippy-top of the breaking news stories here at the Copper blog is the coming wrestling tilt between Vince McMahon and that equally annoying Donald Trump. Not that either one of these corpulent windbags will actually enter the ring and go to it in a Steel Cage Death Match! No, "hairboy" and Vince have selected two fat bastards from the WWF stable to wrestle in their stead before a sold out crowd in Detroit. I'm not sure of the date for this "sporting event", but I do know that either The Donald or Vince baby get his head shaved if he loses. I don't know about you but the chance to see somebody remove that live hamster from Trump's dome would have me plunking down big bucks if I lived in the Motor City.
I wonder if it's on pay per view?

In other sports news: Roland Fortin, the 91-year-old former "cut man" for retired boxing champ Joey Gamache, has challenged 92-year-old bodybuilder and fitness guru Jack LaLanne to a rumble. If it happens, the bout will take place in the Tropical Gym in Pompano Beach, Florida. Funeral details are pending.

And finally: Time really does fly! Clocky the alarm clock is now available to wake you up each morning. If a screeching buzzer can't blast your ass out of the sack, this is THE invention for you. Clocky allows you to hit the snooze button once and only once. After your initial snooze, Clocky rolls off the nightstand and runs away from you. Yes, Clocky has wheels mounted on each side. Clocky can survive a two foot drop and will run around the room beeping randomly and frantically until you wrestle it to a stop. It will not, however, withstand an assault from a baseball bat.
(I wonder if the same holds true for Trump's hair?)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

I Won't Dance...Don't Ask Me!

It's my least favorite time of the year.
The NCAA men's basketball tournament has started. It might cost U.S. Employers more than $1.2 billion in lost productivity before the winner is crowned on April 2, but that's not the part that bothers me. What I can't stand is college basketball.

Give me full contact college women's strip poker but spare me the sight of a bunch of pituitary cases in baggy shorts running up and down the maple with their beyond stupid squeaky tennis shoes. (Tennis anyone? Even that would be more fun to watch AND bet on.) Why are they playing basketball in college anyway? Wouldn't we all be better off if college students actually attended a couple of classes now and then? Just today I read that nearly half of the students in California's halls of higher education were enrolled in remedial courses for either math or English deficiencies. Since when do the words college and remedial belong in the same sentence?!!

In the late 80's and early 90's I owned stock in the then publicly traded Boston Celtics. It was fun to kick back in the Lazy Boy and yell at "The Chief", Larry and Kevin when I felt that they were dogging it and costing me money. But that got old eventually, as all investments do, and I sold the stock and renewed my vows of loyalty to baseball and football.

So, count me out of March Madness. We're all "full up"with crazy here. And, did I mention that the guy's shorts are so damn baggy that they look like the VFW Women's Auxiliary is running up and down the court? Well, they DO!

You'll have to excuse me now. My bookie is on the blower with the latest Vegas line on the Padres' chances to win the World Series. We don't need no stinking BRACKETS!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Your Routes Are Showing

"So won't you carry me back to
I've been on the road too long
Take me
To the West Coast daddy
And let me be where I belong"
(Carole King/ "Back to California")

"Better start packing, kids."
"We're moving to California."
That's what I told my daughters and my wife Linda in July of 1976. We were living in Tampa at the time and I had just said "yes" to an offer from a radio station in San Diego. The job, the afternoon drive show on KOGO, was a fantastic offer and I had to be on the air by the second week in August. We made it on time and have pretty much been denizens of the West Coast ever since. Our oldest daughter, Kelly, migrated to the East Coast for college in 1989 and has lived and worked in New York City since 1993. She always had, I think, an East Coast soul. That's good. We all need to be where it feels like HOME.

I love the West. We have lived in California, (North and South), Washington state, and Nevada. We settled in San Diego twice: in 1976 and once again in 1986. We must like it.
The absolute best thing about the West is the fact that damn near everybody here has a "story". They left someplace else to get here and most of the time it's an interesting narrative. The place is alive with characters. That's the reason your crazy cousin Carl lives here now. We're ALL here!

Linda and I are both native Midwesterners, she from South Dakota and I from Illinois, Michigan, Iowa and South Dakota. Our youngest daughter, Katie, was born in Kansas. Somehow, even with all of those roots, the Midwest never felt like home to any of us. Too flat, too common sensical, too windy, too.....who knows, it just never felt quite right.

We have lived in the South and love the people and the food. (Hate the heat and the bugs!) But, by virtue of birth, will always be looked on as "Yankees" by those natives of the Land of Cotton.

New England is a magical place of real beauty with all that early American history. It charms me every time I'm there, but knowing that my old pal "The Skipper" has lived in New Hampshire for nearly forty years and is still "The New Guy"makes me think that Linda and I could never feel truly at home there.

You have got to be where you're supposed to be.
That's why I'll be right here on the West Coast with all of the other weirdos making sure that the sun sets in the Pacific each evening.
Now, if you'll excuse me, I believe old Sol is waiting for my cue...

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Sunday afternoon with Cmdr. Cranky

We are not amused!

DAMN IT! Just decide!
Either we do this daylight saving time thing all the time, or we stay on standard time. I don't care...Just do one or the other and let that be the end of it. Better yet, ask God which one is really HIS time and that will settle it once and for all. All I know is that I'm sick of spending the better part of an afternoon changing clocks and seeing moronic feature stories on the pluses and minuses of how dark it will be tomorrow morning.
"School kids trip over still sleeping drunks while waiting for the at eleven...Or is it ten?"

While we're at it: Is anybody else picking up on the government plot to get us to hoard worthless one dollar coins? Here we go again. Who at the U.S. treasury department missed the message we sent regarding dollar coins? When was the last time you reached for a Susan B. Anthony or a Saca...Sacawhatchamahoogie...Sacajawea...(that's it!) to pay for anything? (I would have remembered the Indian babe if I still had any of those things around.)
The problem with the coins was and still IS that they are too small. Now they have presidents on the coins but they are still about the size of a quarter and we won't use them until they are at least as big as the almost non-existent fifty-cent piece. I'm sure that the government is aware of this. They want us to put them away because the treasury makes money when we don't keep them in circulation. (I wonder if the LBJ dollar will have him holding his hound dog by the ears?)

Also, as I run down my "bitch list". Where was this young genius John Cornwell when I was consuming vast quantities of a certain frothy, amber, malt beverage we like to call beer? This Duke University grad has built himself a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch with the click of a remote control. It took him about 150 hours and $400 in parts to modify a mini-fridge into a beer tossing machine. You click the remote, a small elevator inside the refrigerator lifts a beer can through a hole and loads it on to a catapult arm. A second click fires the beer up to 20 feet.
Excuse me...I'm misting up. Is this a wonderful country?!

Now, isn't it about time for a beer?
Do we spring forward or fall back? For the beer, that is.

Friday, March 9, 2007

At Last! A paternity suit that fits!

not Dannielynn

Okay, I'll admit it.
I'm the father of Anna Nicole's baby, Dannielynn. (not really..but keep it quiet.)

You see, I'm in the midst of doing my taxes and I really need the deduction. I need lots of deductions! In fact, if you have any spare kids around that you wouldn't mind me claiming as dependents, I'd be forever in your debt.

Steve Forbes, if only he were better looking, should be president. He advocated and continues to push for a flat tax rate of around twenty percent for everybody. No deductions of any kind, just a flat tax on all income. I think he is on the high side at twenty percent. I would make it ten percent, but I'm cheap. Just about ANYTHING is preferable to the system we have now...A system so whacked that the founding fathers would be lining up to dump Hiroshima Hot sauce on Washington, D.C. if you gave them half a chance.

Unfortunately, we have become a nation dependent upon an electorate that is stupid beyond belief. Voters who in times prior to the creation of the EPA and OSHA would have been eaten by bears or backed over by non beeping dump trucks are voting like it's TEN CENT BEER NIGHT in America. Mendacious politicians perpetuate their existence by promising these boobs anything and everything that will get them elected time after time. "Vote for me and I'll give you--------(insert favorite freebie here)------and we'll stick it to the MAN!"

Here's a thought: How about letting everybody keep their money and take care of their needs by THEMSELVES? Can you imagine how much you'd be worth if you were able to manage all of your social security contributions? Oh that's right...We're too stupid for that! Send your money to Ted Kennedy and the gang. They are so much smarter than the rest of us. (Good drivers too!)

Excuse me, please. I must get back to making up some more deductions. Don't worry...I've already had practice living in Kansas. Leavenworth should be lovely this time next year and I understand that the food is excellent.

Oh, by the way...YOU DA' MAN!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Mr. Copper's Neighborhood

"Mr. Copper?"
"I'm just calling to see if I'm still in the will."

It's my old pal Dwayne Taylor calling from Denver. "Sideshow" Dwayne and I worked for the same radio station about ten years ago here in San Diego. The station, K_BEST, is one I remember fondly because of great people like Dwayne who were in the harness with me. As I recall, he left for Denver of his own volition about twelve years ago. I, on the other hand, stayed just long enough to get fired in 1998. (Seventeen stations on my resume and only four firings. I've always had good timing.)

As we caught up with each other, Dwayne now works for a sports talk station in Denver, (Jesus, talk about a damn death watch!),I couldn't help but think how lucky I've been to have such good friends in my life. I don't have many...but the quality of my posse is beyond reproach. My brother, Steve, attributes this to the uncanny propensity of the Copper men to reduce most everyone to two categories. For us it's either: "He's okay." OR "He's a prick."
Don't knock it. It works.
It also greatly reduces the odds of casual acquaintances attempting to sell you insurance or Amway products.

Anyway...Where was I?
Oh yeah, ...friends and how great it is to have good ones. I really expected to make some new ones when Linda and I moved into our new neighborhood two years ago. We initially were surrounded by young couples with cute little kids and they all seemed to be passing muster with the old Copper "okay/prick" test. I base this on having lived next door to some world class "okay" neighbors over the years AND some interplanetary "non okay" types too. (I won't name any names but Bill and Rita and Dennis and Meredith are in the "okay" column.)

Now, two years hence, I find that we have chased off all of the young couples with kids and are now surrounded by middle-aged people even creepier than we are. The only neighbor I've met is the guy next door who has left his house maybe once this year. I think his name is Jay and he claims to be a day trader, which we all know is code for "unemployed". I know he still lives there because every once in a while I notice that my morning paper has been stolen.

So, what I'm thinking is that perhaps you might be interested in buying old Jay's place and becoming my next door neighbor. After all you must be "okay". You're reading this aren't you?
If Jay really is a day trader, he surely hanged himself earlier this week and you can probably pick-up the joint for a song and an out of town two party check.

Won't you be my neighbor?

Monday, March 5, 2007

Here's the POINT

Have you noticed that we like to use extraneous words whenever possible?
Americans seem to think that if one word is called for let's make it two just to be sure.

These extra words have a way of sneaking into our vernacular. One day we're referring to the price of something and the next day it's the price point. Have you noticed? "I think you'll like these numbers, J.B., our price point is now $20,000." "The price point on that model is $40k."
What the hell happened to PRICE for God sakes?

To me this use of superfluous words seemed to start with that weasel John Dean during the Watergate hearings. In John's testimony nothing ever happened early or was always early on. Nobody referred to things happening early on before Johnny Boy started saying it and now you can't escape it. I even see it in newspaper articles and on network newscasts. (Not that they don't make bonehead mistakes all the time.) In fact, I no longer think that ANYBODY checks the facts and pronunciations for newspapers or network news . How else do you explain the moronic practice of news reporters standing in either Reno or Las Vegas and referring to their location as Ne vah dah? Doesn't it ever occur to any of these clowns to ask a local how they pronounce the name of their state? (Here's a clue: The A sounds like the A in fatuous.)

But I digress. My favorite extra word is LIKE. This is a word employed by people mostly south of forty years of age. "So he was like like take the bike to like his folks' house."
It's like a quick way to make an Ivy League education sound like stupid.

Another beauty I hear all of the time is the extra of. Instead of: "It's not too bad a commute on our freeways." This comes out: "It's not too bad of a commute on our freeways." DUMB!

On the other hand there is one word that is lately often left out when referring to education. How did we get to the point where it is common to hear and see: "He graduated college." instead of, "He graduated from college."? If you don't know the answer to this one, you probably slept through English class before you graduated from college.

And, as long as I'm on a roll, something is either free or it is for nothing. It is NOT for free.
That one makes me like...ARGH!

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Thoughts of Sunday and '52 Buicks

I don't go to church.

There, I said it. God makes me nervous when you get him indoors.
It's not that I'm an atheist or anything. I just associate church with music that I don't groove to and the overwhelming feeling of being a complete fraud when I'm there. Being inside a church always brings to mind all of the horrible things I have ever done and the expectation of a massive lightning strike is a constant worry.

I do believe in God. Too many prayers have been answered and too many undeserved breaks have come to me and my family to be a cosmic coincidence. Atheists have it all wrong when they fail to wager with the house. Whether you're at the $2 or the $100 window, the percentages say:" Always bet the Big Guy to Win, Place and Show".

My parents were of the "Let's try beating God into them" school of religious education. They dutifully dragged my brother Steve and I to both Sunday school and church every Sunday and I guarantee that at this very moment I can pick -up the phone and reach my brother who is also not in church. Sorry Mom and Dad...It didn't take. Call me crazy, but I don't think God is so anal that he or she cares one way or the other about our answering "Here" when roll is called at church each Sunday. That's too much like the Army...and I really hated the Army.

So, here I am on a Sunday in March trying to buy tickets to some of the Padres games for the new season. Hey, I'm pretty sure that God loves baseball and I can't wait to get his opinion on whiskey and cigars. ( I really miss the former.) The whole process of buying tickets on line is driving me crazy. Every time I go to buy a ticket the Padre website starts a timer that gives me about three minutes to decide if I want to purchase a particular seat and at my age that is no easy task. Distance to the men's room is a prime consideration now. When I was a kid and my prostate was the size of a walnut I could go practically all day without a break for drainage. But now, like all guys past the age of forty, my prostate has surpassed my ego in mass and currently approximates the specifications of a 1952 Buick Roadmaster. This naturally means that access to the men's room is of great importance.

Well, thanks for dropping by. Please put some money in the plate on your way out.

You'll have to excuse me now. It's that prostate thing again.
That's something I really must ask God about...just not in church.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Jimmy Dean is a Pimp

Iowa Hussy!

The Skipper has me hooked on the TV show Dirty Jobs. It is on the Discovery Channel and it is pretty good. The star of the show, Mike Rowe, is an entertaining fellow who each week involves himself in what most of us consider a "dirty job". The usual episode finds him up to his neck in crab guts, pigeon poop, or in one case a Midwestern cesspool on a hot muggy July day. It's all very interesting...and dirty.

Just last week I caught an episode where Mike was happily engaged in the commerce of pig farming in the state of Iowa. Having spent my high school years there, I daily rubbed shoulders with kids whose parents were in the pig farming business. Holly hog jowls Batman! I had no idea that pig farms were nothing more than porcine bordellos and pig farmers merely PIMPS. Because the Discovery Channel is on cable, the porker porn was inescapable. Those sows and boars have no shame and the farmers encourage them. It's wanton! My wife and I now know way more than we ever wanted to know about where bacon comes from. There they are... RIGHT THERE!... in the mud... slobbering and...well, you know. All this show lacked was some of that cheesy porno music looping in the background. (I've been told about this.) No wonder Porky and Petunia never have any pants on.

All of those years thinking that my beloved bucolic Iowa was pristine and chaste... shot to hell. I'll never look at a BLT the same way again. We can all take some comfort in the fact that cattle would never behave like the pigs. I mean they wouldn't would they?

Maybe professor Harold Hill was right. "We got trouble, right here in Eye Oway!" "It starts with P' and that rhymes with porn and that stands for PORK!" Oh, what the hell....pass me some of those ribs.