Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rant #781: Pierce Arrowed

In three months, minors in New York State will need their parents' consent if they decide that they want to pierce their belly buttons, their eyebrows, their cheeks, their tongues, or wherever else they want to put holes into on their bodies.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo, in one of the few good and smart things he's done since he was elected to that office--in my opinion--signed into law yesterday a measure that prohibits anyone younger than 18 years of age from getting a piercing without patental consent. The law takes effect in 90 days, so youngsters have until the end of October to get piercings done without mom and dad knowing about it.

Cuomo said in a statement: "Body piercing can result in severe health risks and it is our obligation as New Yorkers and parents to make sure that our teens are taking every precaution to remain healthy and safe." He said studies show that about 20 percent of all piercings result in infection.

State law already requires someone to be at least 18 before they get a tattoo.

A customer's identification must be checked by piercing studios, and if the person is underage, teens must provide a consent form, signed by a parent or guardian in the presence of the studio owner or piercing studio employee.

With the law, New York became the 32nd state to mandate that minors get their parents' approval before getting a body piercing.

And no, the law does not apply to ear piercing.

I don't get body piercing, and I don't get tattoos, so I have to applaud the new law.

Kids don't think when they do these things to themselves--not only don't they think about the possibility of infection, they don't think of the future.

Would you hire someone with visible piercings and rampant tattoos all of their body? Not if I was an upstanding business. I can see these people working in tattoo parlors, but where else would such body art be tolerated?

And I don't know about you, but I find these garish gestures absolutely disgusting.

And yes, I have family members who have pierced themselves full of holes. They aren't bad people, but you are giving people another reason to judge you by displaying these things like they do.

When I see someone with tattoos and with rampant body piercing, yes, I immediately judge the person. It may not be right, but you are basically waving yourself in the wind when you do this to yourself.

And is this attractive?

No, I personally don't think so.

Being a Jew, we are not supposed to do this to ourselves--we are supposed to go to the grave the same way we came into the world--but this has really nothing to do with my feelings about body art.

Jew or not a Jew, I don't find these things attractive, I find them disgusting.

And kids, who want to show the world who they are, who want to stand out from others, are getting tattoos and piercings before they even leave high school--and go out into the world to really try to make a name for themselves.

Sorry, if I were an employer, and I saw all of this elaborate body art, you could be the best person for the job, but I would write you off immediately.

It is simply not professional to look like this.

Yes, I know society's attitudes are changing, but they aren't changing that much, at least not yet.

So kids, hold off on doing this to yourself.

If you feel you must have it done, now, at least in some states, you are going to have to wait.

And if waiting is the hardest part, so be it. Maybe something will flame up in your brain to change your mind while you wait this thing out.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Rant #780: The Long of It

I know that everyone is excited about the Presidential race right now.


But some spice has been put into the race.

Porn star Ron Jeremy, picked by one outlet has the greatest porn star of all time, has let it leak out that he is voting for President Obama this time around in November.

However, he doesn't dislike the presumptive Republican nominee, Mitt Romney.

Here is what he told the Boston Herald:

“I think he means well, I think he’s a good man,” Jeremy said.
“I think the fact that he’s such an amazing father proves a lot. I give him a lot of credit. He’s raised some good sons. When a man is a really, really good father, that’s very important,” said Ron, a lifelong bachelor. “It’s a good race.”

I am sure that many people will base their vote on people like Jeremy, a guy who was a former New York City school teacher and who has made thousands of porn flicks. 

Based on his profession, he should know the long--and the short--of it.

And Jeremy is a man you can trust. He gave every ounce of energy--and lots of other things--to all of his performances.

And let's not forget that he has been in numerous "legit" films too, like "10," so he is an "Actor" with a capital "A."

If people can base their votes and political leanings on other actors, like George Clooney, why can't Ron Jeremy and his beliefs be used to the same degree.

They probably belong to the same actors' union, so Jeremy's political leanings carry as much weight as Clooney's.

Maybe Jeremy should, himself, run for President. 

I am sure he will get many votes from people who feel let down by both our President and Romney.

Perhaps he can call his party the "Adult" Party, or the "Fun" Party, or something else that illustrates his background in a tasteful way.

I doubt his campaign would go bust, and I bet he would hit his target, or money shot, on the amount of votes he expected.

Heck, the Republican vice presidential nominee hasn't even been named yet ... although Jeremy is evidently going Democrat, maybe he could be persuaded to change his mind as the VP nominee of the Republicans.

Gimme some skin on that!

Nah, it won't happen, but I am glad Jeremy decided to stick his ... thoughts into the race.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Rant #779: The Post-Vacation Blues

I have to say it: I have the post-vacation blues.

Sounds like the name of a song that could have been sung by some bluesmen strumming his guitar on a porch somewhere, but not being musically talented, it's just a feeling I have after having a wonderful respite from the usual drudgery I face most of the time.

Sitting at my desk, typing, writing
What have I got to lose
I've got the post-vacation blues.

Thinking of those times
That we had as we tanned to darker hues
Yes, I've got the post-vacation blues.

Fun, fun and more fun
Doing what we wanted to do without any cues
Yup, I've got the post-vacation blues.

To sum it up
What's a poor boy to do
To cure my post-vacation blues?

No, that will never be a song that any bluesmen would ever sing, but the fact of the matter is that I wish I was still on vacation.

I think as I get older, I value the vacations more than I did when I was a kid.

I guess I need more relaxation now than I did when I was younger. As you get older, the stress level appears to increase, and you say to yourself, "I'm too old for this anymore."

And you persevere. You can't stop doing what you're doing, because if you did, you would be on a permanent vacation, and that's not something that you want to do--having been unemployed twice as an adult, and once for a year-and-a-half, I wouldn't call those times off "vacations" per se, but let's face it, if you don't work, you don't have a vacation.

I will get over it. I think once the weekend comes, and my family and I are firmly in our usual mode, I will be fine.

But right now, there's no pill to cure my ill, there's no lotion to change my emotion.

I have the post-vacation blues.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Rant #778: What Happened While I Was Away

When one is on vacation, the tendency is to forget about the little things that concern us during our daily lives.

Things like the news, sports scores and other things don't figure into our vacations.

We aren't supposed to care about our email, the latest happenings in the entertainment world, and things like that.

But I find that with the increase in the availability of technology, we can't fully turn our backs to what is going on when we are away.

Case in point was the during my family's vacation, when we had some down time--which admittedly wasn't much--I had the TV in our room tuned to ESPN.

I just had to know the baseball scores, and what was doing with the Jeremy Lin and Dwight Howard sagas. I also wanted to know the sanctions leveled against Penn State.

In the past, the TV was only in our room as something to watch as we wound down the day. However, I find that that isn't the case anymore; I am just as interested in finding out this stuff as I would be during a normal day.

And just looking around me, people are constantly playing with their cell phones, texting, reading email, keeping up on Facebook.

Vacations were once times to totally get away from it all, but those days appear to be over for good.

Technology has allowed us to keep up with everything, and do so quite easily.

Sure, when I was swimming, I wasn't totally thinking about the sports scores from the night before, but I did think about how the Yankees were doing, that's for sure.

Heck, I found out about the prior night's game that morning before going swimming.

I guess that's the way it is now, and that's the way that it is going to be for now on.

We are on information overload 24/7/365, and there is very little one can do about it.

I guess the only thing one can do about it is to just leave your devices at home when you are away, and don't turn on the TV or read any newspapers.

And that won't happen. Sure, you might not watch TV or read newspapers while you are on vacation, but leave your cell phone home?

Not a chance.

So while we are relaxing on vacation, we really aren't, to a certain extent. We are still tuned in, still on top of what is going on in the world.

I kind of pine for the days when we weren't so tuned in, but I know those days are really a thing of the past.

"Tuned in, turned on, dropped out," is pretty much what Timothy Leary said about the 1960s generation, turned on by drugs and a different type of lifestyle than their predecessors.

But think about it; he really could have been talking about the current way we do things.

And to an extent, his vision of the 1960s is as sad as using that phrase today.

But it seems to apply today just as much as it did all those years ago.

Too bad.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Rant #777: I'm Back

Well, it was a good vacation while it lasted ...

I have returned, and thus, this blog has returned.

I look at the photo of Annette Funicello that I posted on my last Rant, and I say to myself, "I need another week ... at least!"

But it isn't going to happen.

I will look back at this vacation with a lot of glee.

It started off poorly. Rain, rain and more rain, and I mean of the monsoon variety. It rained on almost the entire drive to Florida, and then it rained in Florida, too.

There was actually one day where it did nothing but rain. My wife was so cold that she ended up buying a jacket.

Happily, the situation did not continue. The rest of the vacation featured sunny, hot non-humid weather, which we took advantage of.

What did we do besides swim?

We went to the movies--Spider-Man gets a good review from me, Batman a decent review with reservations; we saw TNA Impact Wrestling live at Universal; we saw a 14-inning Rays-Mariners game at Tropicana Field ... to sum it up, we did just about everything we wanted to do, and more.

(We saw Batman a day after that horrible tragedy in Colorado, and signs were posted at the ticket window that no one with a covered face would be admitted. The thought of that horror did creep into my mind briefly, but you can't think like that and enjoy yourself, so I quickly put it out of my mind.)

But that's over with now--our next vacation is a big one for the misses and me, because we are going on a cruise to celebrate our upcoming 20th wedding anniversary. It should be fun, but we have to wait until February for that one.

So I'm back. I wish I wasn't, but all good things must come to an end.

Take a gander at the photos I have posted. If every picture is worth 1,000 words, these might be worth even more.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Rant #776: V-A-C-A-T-I-O-N!!!

Yes, it's that time of year again.

My family and I are ready to take our annual vacation, our annual pilgrimage to somewhere different.

And yes, my wife and I need a vacation like a bee needs honey.

This has been a very trying year thus far on us and our extended family.

It hasn't been a good year in any stretch of the imagination.

In fact, I can't remember a worse year--and we still have more than five months to go before 2012 calls it quits! And then we go right into ... 2013! And in fact, today is Friday the 13th ... oh no!

Back to reality ...

So, at least for a week or so, we can forget all the nonsense and concentrate on one thing--having fun.

Actually two. While we're having fun, we're going to relax ... if it kills us!

Anyway, as I always do when I post my vacation rant, here is pretty Annette Funicello looking like she's had many vacations. Even in black and white, she was hot, wasn't she?

I don't think she can keep that pose too long, so I think it's about time to sign off and join her.

I won't be speaking to you until July 25 or so.

So take care, and if you can, go on your own vacation--you deserve it!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Rant #775: Papa Was a Rolling Stone (And So Was Grandpa)

Today marks the 50th anniversary of an event that helped to change the cosmos.

Well, probably not, and it's not even up there with the meeting of Paul McCartney and John Lennon at a church picnic, a meeting which eventually led to the formation of the Beatles.

This anniversary is a bit more subdued than that, but it is important in the grand scheme of things:

The Rolling Stones played their first-ever live performance, at The Marquee club in London.

No, the world probably didn't change because of this event, the first concert of thousands that the Rolling Stones have played over the years.

But if you were at that show, you could say that you witnessed the first notion that this band was "the world's greatest rock band" as they have been called since the 1970s.

To see the young band at the very beginning of its ascent must have been something to behold. I mean, probably hundreds of bands had their first gig before and after that occasion, but the Rolling Stones are most probably the only one to have endured for the past 50 years.

The Rolling Stones went on from that gig, and like the Beatles, eventually made recordings that sold millions and millions of copies.]

And like the Beatles, they played small halls, and eventually stadiums, but unlike their Liverpudlian counterparts, they continued to play these types of venues into the 1970s, the 1980s, the 1990s, and well into the 2000s.

The Beatles ... well, they hung it up as a live band in 1966 in San Francisco.

Although cut from roughly the same cloth, you really can't compare the two bands, although everyone does.

Yes, it took both bands a little while to sustain a following, and yes, there were plenty of personnel changes until the "classic" lineup took hold.

But in early 1964, when the Beatles finally broke through in America, the Rolling Stones hadn't achieved that type of popularity yet.

In fact, during the early days of the British Invasion, from early 1964 to mid 1965, the Rolling Stones were back in the pack, with bands like Herman's Hermits, the Dave Clark Five and the Animals making a major dent in the American charts before Mick Jagger and Co.

But once "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" hit the airwaves in 1965, the Rolling Stones were not to be stopped. They supplanted those other bands, and some say, they actually jumped over the Beatles, too, but that is an argument that I don't think anyone can win.

But unlike the Beatles, who called it a day in 1970, the Rolling Stones have played on.

For whatever reason, the main players in the group seem to need this band "outlet" to vent their musical frustrations. They have all had solo careers, but when they come together as a band, it seems to rise their music to another, more magical, level.

The Rolling Stones' scruffiness, ugliness, bad behavior, or whatever you want to call it, was the perfect black side to the Beatles' relative cleanliness during the early days, and while that was a clear fallacy, it has pushed the Rolling Stones to this day.

I remember the older sister of a friend of mine once said to me something to the effect that "they are so ugly that they're lovable," and I think that is part of the whole deal with them.

And, of course, their music is endearing.

At the time, I think a lot of older people thought that these guys were the sons of the devil, but now, aren't the Rolling Stones just about the most mainstream, corporate band that there has ever been?

So, hats off to the band on the 50th anniversary of their first gig. May they play on for as long as they want and as long as people want them to play on ... which is forever.

We love you!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Rant #774: Busted

The so-called "Buxom Bandit," who robbed a gas station in Australia while wearing an outfit that exposed her ample cleavage, has been caught.

I know that we were all sitting on pins and needles waiting for the latest update on this robber, but evidently, the authorities kept abreast of the situation and caught her.

Tonee Walker, the 22-year old bandit who caused a media sensation last week when video of her heist--and the accompanying boobage--was one of the top Internet trend setters for the week.

Evidently, according to news reports, things became too hot for the woman to be out on the lam, since her face--and other body parts--were exposed to the world.

So she did the only thing she could do, and turned herself in.

Also arrested was the getaway driver, who told police that he adjusted Walker's top before she entered the gas station because he wanted to give the middle-aged male cashier "something to look at."

Since her arrest, other photos have been posted online of Walker, and she is a rather fetching young lady.

However, she has an arrest record as full as her bustline, and now, she has been caught.

She is now in police custody until her next court date in late August.

The question remains: why did such a beautiful woman, who could easily be a Playboy centerfold or a model simply based on her looks, do such a stupid thing?

Well, as I said, she has a long arrest record, so this isn't the first time she has been on the wrong side of the law.

Also, would anybody really care if she actually looked like, say, Olive Oyl?

I don't think so.

Let's face it. Men--and women--are obsessed with female breasts, and add a star if the woman who has the ample cleavage is attractive.

And yes, this lady is both busty and beautiful, so the world--again, both men and women--are fascinated by this.

But back to the breast of the matter.

We, as a society, are obsessed with these virtues. Men like them, females like having them.

They signify power, womanhood, motherhood, everything that is good.

Women even go under the knife to get them just right.

Heck, I'm obsessed too. I am no different from anyone else.

So when you have a woman like this, with cleavage and beauty, who does such a stupid thing, and it's all caught on tape, and plastered all over the Internet, you just know that people will become fascinated with the whole thing.

She will probably be convicted of her crime, do her time, but if she's smart--which she doesn't appear to be--she might be able to parlay this when she gets out into a lucrative modeling career.

And you just know that people like Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt are monitoring her case on a minute by minute basis. And you just know that they are searching around for photos of the young lady that were taken prior to the robbery, nude photos that they can buy up for a few dollars and put in their magazines as an exclusive.

And she's young enough that if they wait a few years, heck, they can take new shots of her for their magazines.

So no, don't cry for the "Buxom Bandit."

If she plays her cards right, she might not have to rob a gas station ever again ...

And the magazine that she appears in just might be in gas stations around the world.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rant #773: Raining Cats and Dogs ... For Good Health

Did you know that having pets can actually help your newborn?

A new study by the journal Pediatrics finds that babies who lived with cats or dogs during their first year of life were less frequently ill than kids growing up where there were no pets in the home.

The study showed that sharing a home with a pet might actually build up the child's immune system, because sharing that space with another species bolsters helpful bacteria, yeast and other microscopic entities that reside in the youngster's body.

The effect was stronger with dogs in the house than with cats. Babies who lived with dogs were 31-percent more likely to be in good health than their counterparts who did not live with a dog. Cats improved the health of babies by 6 percent over those without cats in the home.

These are not what you would call incredible percentages, but the study is still interesting because it brings out the possibility that cats and dogs, even with their own body issues linked to cleanliness, might actually help babies due to that situation.

My son grew up with two dogs.

Mikey the mutt was our first dog, a holdover from my wife's home before we were married.

He was a very smart dog, very vindictive, and quite frankly, if we didn't take him in, I don't know where he would have ended up. He had a mean streak, and a lot of people didn't like him.

He could be very nasty in his own way, but he was great with our son.

We allowed him to live a little too long. He had a lot of things wrong with him, and we learned with Mikey that there comes a time when there isn't much you can do with a dog whose body was failing on him like it was.

We put him to sleep maybe six months to a year later than we should have, but we learned that lesson with him.

Max was our next dog. He was quite the opposite of Mikey. He was pleasant, very loyal to us, and he was basically a good mutt, a bit of of a mush but a really good pet to have around the house. I remember him as a puppy, and his playful, mushy disposition didn't change much as he got older.

He was great around our son. They basically grew up together, although they weren't really that close. They each had their own space, and each respected the other's space.

My wife really loved Max. It was like Max was a second child to her.

Me, I'm not really an animal person, but I grew to love him too.

He was my best buddy in the morning. I would take him out to do his thing, and then we would eat breakfast together. I would give him his Cheerios. He really loved to eat with me, and we both looked forward to it.

Then about a year and a half ago, he almost fell down our stairs, hurt is hind leg, and it didn't take long to see that no matter what we did for him, he wasn't going to get better.

He lost that "oomph" he had had for his first 13 years, and basically became a lump.

After awhile, he couldn't hold his bowels anymore, and he had trouble getting up and walking.

We made the decision, and last December, we put him to sleep. It was better for him, and better for us.

We don't have any babies in the house anymore. Our son is a teenager, more concerned with Facebook than with the possibility that we might have another pet in the house.

But next year, sometime next year, we will go to the local pound again, and pick out a dog for our home. We'll get another mutt, and I am sure he will be a great addition to our household.

And I am sure he will make us healthier, just by his presence.

I have learned that pets that you love, and who love you back, can be the best medicine there is for whatever ails you.

I guess this study kind of backs that up. Even little kids benefit from having a pet in the home.

And my wife and I know that we do, too.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Rant #772: McHale Buried At Sea

Two TV icons died in the space of a few days of each other.

Andy Griffith died last week, and Ernest Borgnine died yesterday.

Borgnine's career path was a bit different than Griffith's, as Borgnine continued to be better known for his movie roles than for his TV roles, while Griffith was basically TV all the way, even though he did make several memorable movies early in his career.

But Borgnine was a movie star first, a TV star second.

He scored an Oscar with "Marty," an absolutely wonderful film about a lonely guy in his 30s who doesn't believe in himself--until he meets a girl who basically is his mirror image. Just about everyone could relate to him and his character, and the film made him a star.

Borgnine in real life had no trouble with the ladies, being married four times.

But let's fast forward to 1962.

Borgnine was in several other movie roles, but he seemed to almost be a one-hit actor, as the other movies and the roles he starred in generally weren't that memorable.

He chose to move into television as the star of a show about the commander of a World War II PT boat, and the rest is history.

"McHale's Navy" was one of the most beloved TV shows of its era (1962-1966), and one of the reasons was that Borgnine not only played Quinton McHale, but he played himself.

Borgnine was a Navy veteran, so he knew the terrain he was working in. Stealing a page from Phil Silvers, "McHale's Navy" was a sort of "Sgt. Bilko" on the water, as McHale led a band of misfit sailors during the war, not only battling the enemy, but also taking on Navy authority as they connived their way through five seasons of adventures.

The ensemble cast was brilliant, including Joe Flynn and Tim Conway, and a very young Gavin McLeod.

After the show ended, Borgnine left TV for good, and appeared in numerous high-power movie features including "The Dirty Dozen," "Ice Station Zebra," and "The Wild Bunch," and he also was one of the stars of one of my favorite movies from my youth, "Willard."

He was also in "The Poseidon Adventure," "Escape From New York," and he had a cameo in the absolutely horrible "McHale's Navy" film of several years ago.

But he and McHale could not be separated, and he appeared with other cast members on bits that were part of the show's DVD release.

I think one of the charms of Borgnine was that not only was he a great actor, but he poured himself into every role he was in. He had a bombastic personality, and he brought that to every role he played.

But to me, Borgnine will always be Quinton McHale.

As a kid, I watched that show in reruns, and found it to be quite funny.

Not just "quite funny," but hilarious.

Even though today, we might cringe at some of the references made in the dialogue on the show, it was a really funny sitcom, and it was funny because you believed in Borgnine's character. He made that character endearing, believable, and memorable, all at the same time.

So R.I.P., Ernest Borgnine. Now you and Flynn can go at it once again in heaven.

(Just as an aside, how many TV stars have passed away thus far this year? In addition to Borgnine and Griffith, we had Don Grady, Davy Jones, Doris Singleton and several others I can't remember right now leave us. It's been a bad year for deaths of these TV stars of yore.)

Friday, July 6, 2012

Rant #771: Tidbits

Yesterday was really a bad day for me.

I woke up as I normally do for work, but I knew from the get go that I wasn't right.

My right eye was tearing something terrible, and it was affecting my entire right side. My back hurt, my nose was running like a faucet, but I tried to move on from it, hoping it would go away.

It didn't.

I actually went to work, but after an hour of problems, I decided that I wouldn't be able to work at all with me not being able to see very well and being sick like this.

Somehow, I was able to drive home with probably 50 percent of my vision. What was worse, the sun was shining in my eyes just about the entire way home.

I got home, went to the doctor, and he said that I had something called ocular something or other. The sum total was that somehow, I slept the night before with my eye not fully closed, and it dried up my eye, leading to it being bloodshot and tearing intensely.

He gave me some eye drops, and that was it.

I went home, slept away the day, and at about 9:30 p.m. last night, finally felt like myself.

I woke up today without any real problems, and everything appears to be hunky dory.

In the interim, a couple of things have happened on the landscape that I look at each day, so I figured I better get back on the horse and make some random comments about them.

Actor Andy Griffith Passes Away: Andy Griffith was a true American success story, a hayseed who transferred over that country charm to a career that spanned seven decades.

He took his country charm that he began to mind as a standup comic to the movies, with the high point being "A Face In the Crowd," one of the best movies ever, where he played a performer on the up and up who had more than getting to the top of the staircase on his mind.

But he really hit the goldmine on television. As Sheriff Andy Taylor of Mayberry, he became America's favorite law enforcement official on "The Andy Griffith Show," one of the greatest sitcomes ever.

It was one of the few shows where out and out jokes weren't told; the comedy came directly from the characters' personalities, and yes, there were lots of characters in Mayberry, from Floyd the Barber to Aunt Bea to Otis the town drunk to Barney Fife, Andy Taylor's cousin and fellow law enforcement official ... it goes on and on. Needless to say, the show had one of the great ensemble casts ever, making Frances Bavier, Don Knotts, Jim Nabors, George Lindsey and the like forever residents of that mythical town.

And the Andy Taylor character held everything together for eight solid seasons, finally passing the torch over to Ken Berry on "Mayberry R.F.D.," which kept the Mayberry flame burning for several more top-rated seasons.

After Griffith left Mayberry, he starred in a number of other shows and movies, never matching his popularity as Andy Taylor.

But then came "Matlock," and a whole new chapter of Griffith's career evolved. As an attorney, Griffith took a step up from his previous sheriff role. Although a lot of people--myself included--will always think of Griffith as Sheriff Andy Taylor, he developed a whole new audience as Matlock, and the show ran for many seasons on two different networks.

He had been ill for several years when he died of a heart attack earlier this week. My he R.I.P.

Buxom Bandit Stirs the Internet: Nobody has any idea about who this person is, but didn't she set of a flurry of excitement the other day?

Evidently, a blond bandit with a bust size to match her ego tried to rob an Australian service station of its cash the other day, but instead, she made many, many mistakes that will soon lead to her arrest.

Using her ample bustline in a low-cut top as something of a decoy, she didn't hide her face, picked up the cash and smeared her fingerprints with a gloveless hand, and her image was so clear that police say she is as good as nabbed, although I haven't seen a thing about her for the past few days.

Why she had to do this is anyone's guess--with her ample cleavage, she could have done so many other things to get money rather than rob a bank.

And when she gets out in 10-15 years, if she still maintains her figure, you just know that Playboy will be knockers ... er, knocking on her door.

Katie Holmes Set to Divorce Tom Cruise: Having been through one divorce myself, I hate to read about those things, but heck, this marriage seemed so phony to begin with.

Cruise has been married a couple of times previously, so you hoped for the best from number 3, but it didn't work out.

Rumors are that the Church of Scientology may have had a hand in this. Evidently, like what happened with his previous wives, Holmes tired of the reach that Scientology had over her, Cruise and their union, and she balked at going further with them and with him.

Other rumors persist about, let's say, Cruise's stance on love, but whatever the reason, as with any divorce, it is really between the man and the woman, and no one else.

And the coverage this is getting is starting to reach the ridiculous level; it's not as if someone really important is getting a divorce, is it?

And I am no better, giving this story a few paragraphs.

It doesn't really deserve even one.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Rant #770: Sick As a Dog

I am not feeling well at all today, so this is going to be brief.

My whole right side is out of whack. My nose is running, I can't see too well out of my right eye, and I am just a bit of a mess.

I knew it from the moment I got up. I was sweating profusely earlier, but that has gone away.

I will make an appointment with my doctor today to see what the problem is.

Funny, my son and wife have had some minor issues themselves lately, and I think I may have stumbled upon whatever they have.

I am currently typing this with one eye open, the other eye about 95 percent shut.

Not good, not good at all.

I felt fine yesterday, and now this.

And it is starting to effect my left side now too.

I am going to sign off.

Speak to you tomorrow ... maybe.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Rant #769: Happy July 4th

Tomorrow is July 4, Independence Day, the day we celebrate each year as the birthday of our country.

At 236 years old, the country is as vibrant as it's ever been, and compared to other countries, it is a true young'un.

How are you going to celebrate July 4?

My wife has to work, so I am home from my own work for a brief mid-week break with my son.

We will have a barbecue, weather permitting, and when my wife gets home by the afternoon, she will have her traditional July 4 hot dog--the only hot dog she eats the entire year.

I will cook some other things for my family and my mom, who will also be there, but my father is working, so he won't be attending.

We will have the traditional hot dogs, hamburgers, steak and probably some fish or some other things that my mother and wife like to eat at a barbecue.

I'll probably watch some baseball, too. Baseball and July 4 go together like bread and butter, so I will watch the Yankees take on the Rays at Tropicana Field, maybe even take in another game or two.

When my family goes on vacation this year, we will see a Rays' game at the Trop, so it will give me a good view of what we'll see there. We have been to the Trop twice before, and I have yet to see the actually Devil Ray they have swimming in the tank there. I hope to get a view of it when we are there in a few weeks.

Anyway, back to July 4.

With all the baseball games and barbecues, I think we often lose sight of what the day actually means, as the birthday of the greatest country in the world.

Sure, we have problems, we aren't a perfect country, but is there a better place to live on earth?

I don't think so.

And on July 4, we celebrate those who are serving now, and those who have served in the past, all of whom have kept this country strong.

But we don't only celebrate service members. We celebrate all those who have brought our industrious nature to this country, all of those who have made a name for themselves here, and all of those who have contributed to make this country great.

That means all of us, every American can take a bow on July 4.

So on July 4, we celebrate the greatest country in the world. It's a coast to coast celebration, and I know you'll probably hear firecrackers either on the TV or in your own neighborhood during the holiday.

So, at least for one day, put aside your work mode, and enjoy the day. It falls out kind of oddly this year, right smack dab in the middle of the week, but heck, I would rather have it off than have to work that day, even if it is a Wednesday.

I wish my wife didn't have to work, but that is the way it is, I guess.

She works for a Canadian-based company. I wish that since they do business here, that they would celebrate America too, but heck, they probably think they do celebrate America by keeping open.

So have a nice holiday, and I will be back here on Thursday, hopefully recharged from the day off and the amount of barbecued food that I have eaten.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Rant #768: Take Me Out to the Ball Game

I am very happy to say that the New York Yankees, my favorite major league baseball team for my entire life, is in first place in the American League East.

With more than half a season to go, they lead the division by six games.

Hopefully, they can maintain that lead up through the All-Star break later this month and throughout the remainder of the baseball season.

They have some big games coming up against division rivals Tampa Bay and Boston, so it won't be easy.

They aren't the only local professional team in first place in their division.

I know the Atlantic League is not nearly as good as Major League Baseball, as it is an unaffiliated minor league featuring a mix of players who have been to the Big Leagues, players who hope to get there, and castoffs who will never make it.

But the league is very, very successful.

The most successful team is the Long Island Ducks, which regularly draw more than 6,000 spectators to their home games in Central Islip.

Their ballpark is a minor marvel, one of the nicest looking minor league parks in the country.

My son and I went to another game this past Friday, and although it was more than 90 degrees with absolutely no breeze at all, we had a fun time.

The Ducks won 7-4, beating the team from Sugar Land, Texas.

That's right, Sugar Land, Texas. The Skeeters.

The Atlantic League is so successful that it is expanding west, and reports are it hopes to have a full Texas division in place during the next few years.

Sugar Land is a suburb of Houston, and the team's new stadium, seating about 7,000, is regularly packed.

The team's manager is Gary Gaetti. You might remember him, as he was a standout on those great Twins teams in the 1980s.

He brings a certain strut to the team, and it has helped make the team so successful that other Texas towns are clamoring for their own team in the league.

Baseball is truly our national pastime, although some would argue that it isn't anymore.

But when you see towns willing to give their right arms to gain a minor league baseball team in an unaffiliated league--meaning that the teams have no ties to any major league baseball team, although scouts do regularly survey the action--you know that baseball is big time, whether major or minor leagues.

Even in the heat of the summer, stadiums from coast to coast fill up to see games that are often played in heat stroke-inducing conditions.

Just the other day, Washington Nationals pitcher Stephen Strasburg had to be removed from a game after just a few innings due to the heat. He had to have liquids pumped into him intravenously to get him back to the desired comfort level.

But back to minor league baseball ...

Unlike major league baseball, tickets are a bargain, food is manageable, and parking is often free.

Sure, you aren't getting Robinson Cano during these games, but you do get a very competitive game, with decent pitching, hitting and defense.

The Atlantic League is equivalent to a Double-A minor league, I believe. For most of the players, this is their last stop, and they probably won't advance beyond this level.

For others, it allows them to showcase their skills for major league teams looking for depth.

And for the fans, each game is a three-hour pause in their daily lifestyles, full of peanuts, hot dogs, Cracker Jack, soda, water and maybe even a beer.

You can't beat it, and although I would love to go to a Yankees game this year, for me at least, you can't beat the fact that after the game, it takes me maybe a half hour to get home.

No, while you really can't beat the heat, you can beat the traffic and the muss and fuss, and this is the way to do it.


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