Sunday, August 26, 2012

Something about nothing

Jerry Seinfeld famously said his idea for his long-running television show was "it's a show about nothing".

In honor of Jerry's show, and the fact that it has been over a month since I last posted a column on here, I present my blogpost about nothing:

- Sainted Mother threw out my baseball and football card collection when I went away to college. I was 75 miles away, and came back for a weekend visit to find my cards had been pitched. What, she never expected me to return? I always hoped one day I would discover one certain card at a card show, one on which I had printed a word in the margin on the back, and thus let my mother partially off the hook for my not achieving immense riches via my collection. Not that I would ever have sold them, unless really, really desperate.

- When I was attending morning classes at The OSU the first winter I was there, I had an 8:00 class that met in Denney Hall, where my counselor worked. I always arrived quite early, thanks to the bus system, and attempted to pleasure-read a book of Greek plays. I never got far into it, and usually used the book as a face cover to get in a short nap prior to the warning bell for first class. Later, after I had met my counselor for the first time, she asked about me always napping under the book. I told her it was not for class, and she was relieved.

- I had dine-in restaurant food three times in the past 24 hours; Happy Birthday to me. Burp!

-  One of my six grandchildren is about to become a baby supermodel. What a ham.

-When I graduated from The OSU, tuition was being raised from $298 per quarter to $312 per quarter. I ranted about how people could no longer afford to pay for college.

- Ahh, the quarter system, what a quaint way of holding classes. Thank heavens I did not have to spend 15 weeks in Bio100, Statistics, or Spanish101, among others. Ten weeks was more than enough.

- I currently have a runny nose, which I can't stand. (Told you this was about nothing.)

- Graybeard still has not quite grasped the concept of sending e-mails, but at least he does not give me a phone message asking if I got every one, the way he used to do. Luddites have a way with technology that is different from the rest of the world.

- He always blames it on his system. Computer people always say it is down to operator error.

- I told Robert T that I had finished three sci-fi e-books I had been sent, but that I found much of the plot to be way too unbelievable. He said, "It's science fiction. How can it be 'unbelievable'?"

- I still think I was correct.

- The Seekers were a hugely successful folk/pop singing group in the early-to-mid 60s. Many in the US thought they were British, but they actually were from Australia. The lead singer was the beautifully-voiced Judith Durham, who still sounds lovely today, at age 70.

- Target is back this year with more horrible back-to-school musical commercials. They are so bad they aren't funny/stupid, merely stupid.

- CBS seems to have a habit of putting good shows on Sunday nights at 10:00, then cancelling them after the ratings tank in the fall. Gee, do you think it may have something to do with football running way over each week (and now the afternoon games will be starting later), followed by a post-game show, followed by their insistence on showing their 7:00, 8:00, and 9:00 p.m. shows in their entirety first, followed by the 10:00 show, which may start at any time between 10:00 and midnight, it seems. It means I will have to set my DVR to record The Mentalist this year with a 2-hour end-time extension. That is as far as I can extend it. I hope that is enough. CBS says they will put a crawl on the screen to tell what time the later shows will start, put it out on Twitter, and on their website. If I do not have CBS on, am not near a computer, and since I never have or will go wherever it is you go to get Twitter, I will have to hope for the best.

- Nothing more today.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

A new short story

It is often said writing is an art. For some it is a passion and for others it is work. For me, it is something I have grown to enjoy. It is a challenge. It is an escape from the daily grind. What can I do to this story today to make it better? Is a story every truly complete? Those are what challenges me and drives me to write on.

I hope all enjoy this short story. My thanks to for the cover and North of 50 for editorial review.

Available at for purchase on a Kindle.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

I'll try harder

This is something I don't think I quite understand. It's about those who sign contracts, specifically athletes. There is a story in the sports world currently concerning a runningback for the Jacksonville Jaguars of the NFL. He was the leading rusher in the league last year. He has two years left on a multi-million dollar deal he signed a couple of years ago. Now he want to renegotiate his deal.

On the surface that sounds okay. He is a valuable member of the team and as a rule, they aren't very good. They need him. From the owner's point of view, you signed the contract. He didn't put a gun to your head to do so. The life of an NFLer is not very long. The average player is out of the league in approximately two and a half  years. That's not very long and the window to make significant money doesn't happen often. I don't blame them for the 'get it while you can' mentality.

What I don't understand is when they use the phrase, "out-played the contract". How is that possible? Does that mean if I only gain 1000 yards I get the full contract payment? What happens if I get 2000 yards? Do I now get double the contract? If that were the case, if you only gained 500 yards, shouldn't you give some of it back? Obviously you weren't trying if that were the case.

No, the contract is the contract and just because you had a stellar year doesn't mean you outplayed the contract because you are supposed to give 100 percent effort. Any less and you didn't live up to the contract. Run like you mean it and if you have another outstanding year you can take that into the negotiations the next time.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Alphabet soup

We all know what IBM is. Likely we also all recognize NCR and CBS. They are all iconic brands that have stood the test of time. Sometimes those times were tough, but they are still icons in the American landscape.

How did they become a three letter company? Again, they stood the test of time. They are brands we grew up with, that were perched in our family rooms and businesses since we were children. If you say IBM, you know what that means and who they are. Unfortunately, everyone now want to become a three letter brand. Don't think so? Listen to a radio or a television commercial especially when they are touting an organization fighting a disease. Medical branding seems to want to downgrade every prominent condition to three letters. Groups that are working for social change also fall into that category. Although MADD is a four letter word, no pun intended, I wonder if that is such a good thing.

I believe groups that are fighting for a worthy cause are short-circuiting their goals as they try to abbreviate their titles. What has more effect in your mind; Crohn's Disease Foundation or CDF. (As for purposes of illustration, as far as I know there is no Crohn's Disease Foundation). It is hip to be just a few letters in today's world but those letters do not convey the true intent of what they are working to achieve. The only ones who know the letters are the insiders in those groups. What does CDF mean to someone from the outside? Likely they mean nothing.

Too many groups and organizations are trying to establish an identity without establishing credibility as they pursue their cause. Tell the world your name and you might just get some help. The name has power in and influence to a cause. No one want to help a bowl of alphabet soup.


Monday, August 13, 2012

Auto redux

Yabba dabba doo! The car has its own motor, so there's no need for pedal power
I'm just sayin.....

Friday, August 3, 2012

A lieing game

If politicians ever wanted to know what turns the voters off perhaps they should watch the television. The campaign ads are already in full bloom here in the Midwest and the nominating conventions haven't even started yet. It's gonna be a long autumn.

Now, presently I am neither in Romney's camp, not am I in Obama's camp. If it were up to me, I'd burn them both down. The ad concerning Obama's rant about "you didn't build this business" is so taken out of context that Romney should be ashamed of running the spot. I remember that speech and it is not portrayed as it happened. The other side isn't any better. I hear the consistent complaining that Romney paid little taxes, or no taxes, whatever. If he stayed within the muddled and confusing tax code written by Congress and he didn't break the law, it doesn't matter how much taxes he paid. I'll bet I could go find 100 members of Congress that paid less than Romney. Taxes shouldn't enter into the equation if he didn't break the law. Don't like it? Change the tax code. It's really that simple.

And while I'm on it, I have a problem with the other commercial where a woman is speaking about Romney being out of touch and not supporting women's choice and birth control etc. He's taking away a woman's choice? Actually, he might be standing up for something he believes in. How often does a politician do that? It is not within my choice to pay for your birth control with my taxes as that is a choice you made as a woman. If a woman is considering an abortion, where is the child's choice? You are taking from the child the same choice you are fighting for. You made your choice when you lay down with another person. Some may say, it's not a human life yet. I would disagree simply because it can become nothing else; it can't be an elephant, it can't be a flower. It can only be a human being, therefore that's what it is and if the cells are dividing, that's life, that's human life.

You had the chance to make a good choice, perhaps you didn't.