Sunday, December 30, 2007

The Age Thing

Punching the "next blog" button, I ran across a touching and well written page, The woman got divorced at 49. So I am wondering, if 49 or 50 is middle age, does old age set in when you hit one hundred? I remember when middle age was 35. One of the great radio soap operas, "The Romance of Helen Trent" opened with Helen's valiant attempt to prove that "because a woman is 35, or older, romance in life need not be over. That the romance of youth can be extended into middle life and even beyond.” Even after 27 years on the air and over 7000 episodes, poor old Helen failed to get Gil Whitney to marry her. The cad.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The Old Pianna Roll

I love player piano music. It's the most fun you can have without doing sonmething immoral, illegal or fattening. Makes you want to dance. Here is an amazing repository of hundreds of old player rolls you can listen to on the 'net. They load fast and sound great.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Good Christmas Movie

There is at least one very good Christmas Movie. It's Jean Shepherd's "A Christmas Story." Shepherd was an American original. The first radio novelist. His tribute to another original, Arthur Godfrey was aired on NPR. It's the March 17th show on the list of Shep's NPR shows. Check that site for some of his great monologues. I was privileged to chat with Shepherd on ham radio from his place on Sanibel Island, where he spent his last years.

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Mike Royko again: "Whether one eats a cat or not is a personal choice, and I don't want to sway anyone one way or another. But if you do, there is one obvious cooking tip: Always remember to remove the bell from the cat's collar before cooking. "

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Hereditary Cynicism?

Gleaned from Christmas Day Conversation: Cliffie Junior has inherited the old man's healthy cynicism about bad movies, bad game shows, bad commercials, bad stuff in general. I'm proud of him. We both miss Mike Royko. That says a lot about us. Here is a great Royko quote: "It's been my policy to view the Internet not as an 'information highway,' but as an electronic asylum filled with babbling loonies." Our respective wives do not have easy lives. Just ask them.

Monday, December 24, 2007


A special Christmas Night "Deal or No Deal??!!" That's obscene. If the TV has to be on at all, I'll watch a bad Christmas movie. I am getting Scroogier.

Sunday, December 23, 2007


How many bad Christmas movies can there be? Television's voracious appetite for programming has spawned hundreds of them. How many ways can you tell a touching story of love and reconcilliation without getting sappy or too religious. So call me Scrooge.

Jennifer Love's Body Again

I detest shopping. Only good thing about it is reading the tabloid covers at the checkout. Great questions like, " Will Jennifer Love Hewitt pose for Playboy?" I don't suppose she can sue anybody for printing that. The magazine's lawyer would say, "We did not imply that she was thinking about it. I was just looking at her latest photo, not the bad butt shot, and wondering if she might do that. A perfectly logical and legal question." I wonder how much lawyers get paid for that sort of thing. I will ask Denny Crane and Alan Shore.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Can You Trust Snopes???

I don't believe anything I read on the internet. That includes the stuff I grind out, much of which is baloney and bullpuckey. Let the reader beware. When I get one of those virus warnings that I should send to everybody I know or their comptuers will blow up in their faces, I immediately go to Snopes. Snopes does a great job of exposing those crazy myths, hoaxes and phony stories that have been around so long that they have become legends. Many are years, even decades old. They are changed just enough to make them look contemporary. The e-mail that makes me most suspicious comes from genuinely concerned forwarders that include a quote from Snopes to prove that the warning is the real thing. That can be a classic case of a half truth that's worse than a lie. It circulates the very hoaxes that Snopes is trying to expose. You gotta go into Snoopes and read the whole, often lengthy story, not just the part that's copied in the forward. There's one going around now that warns about a virus that will wipe out your hard drive, reported on CNN. There's a scary Snopes quote right at the top. Read the whole Snopes article and down at the bottom it tells you no such virus exists and there was no report on CNN. So if you and/or your computer croak because I failed to let you know about some terrible evil that was waiting to do you in, sue me.

Sunday, December 09, 2007


You grammarians calm down. The title is correct and the apostrophe is in the right place. I speak of two Jennifers and their respective rear ends. Jennifer Love Hewitt is having a major tizzy fit because of a most unflattering photo of her butt that is all over TV and the tabloids. To put it politely, let's just say that if Victoria's secret is looking for a star to model their bikini bottoms, they would not choose Ms. JLH. As well as having an imperfect posterior region, she has this really weird TV show on which she counsels troublesome ghosts that are stuck between here and the other side. When she gets through with them, they cross over.
Not long ago, Jennifer Lopez's rear was the object of much speculation about whether it was too big. She said she liked her "little round bubble-butt. "
So if you are about to give birth to a female child, do not name her Jennifer. Or if you already have a little Jennifer and she wants to grow up and be a star, you need to sit her down and have a serious talk about the birds, bees, butts and show business. Let her know that her now cute little tushie might someday become splashed all over the media. Think about that.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Moms love Phil

Dr. Phil had another show that left the women applauding and the men clutching their family jewels. Phil's philosopy: If your wife wants a kid it's your job to give her one, whatever it takes. Up to and including reversing your vasectomy. Phil did it for Robn and six weeks later, Jordan was in the oven. What a guy, what a guy. When old Phil boasted, "My boys did the job," how many women all over the country started fantasizing about doing the nasty with him??

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Must the show go on?

I found a You Tube of Peggy Lee singing "Mr. Wonderful." I couldn't watch all of it. She was sick, overweight, sitting, probably because she was unable to stand. Not singing well at all. The same thing happpend to Rosemary Clooney, Judy Garland and many great stars. It made me think of one of my favorite Rosie recordings, "Mixed Emotions." I have lots of ambivalence about legendary performers who keep going right up to the end. It's a mix of admiration for what they were and what they gave to the world, their dedication to their fans, sadness for what time has done to them and a wish that they had chosen quiet retirement. I don't think I would want to be in the adoring audience for one of those concerts, wondering if the fading star is going to sing his or her final note and expire right before my eyes. I surely would not want to be the performer. Let 'em remember me as when as when I was at the top of my game. Those concerts usually get maudlin reviews with a polite reference to the star not being at his or her best anymore, but we love them anyway. Makes me sad.