New Shoes in the Rain

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


I'm running out of subject lines for these catch-all excuse my lack of creativity. Nothing in particular to post about but a few things to note....

Are you watching the Winter Olympics? We are at our house, and for the life of me, I still haven't a clue of how NBC determines what its audience wants to see or when to televise any event. For instance, they televised over an hour of recorded ski jumping last night in prime time. Admittedly, if you're around my age and you used to see this sport only on ABC's "Wide World of Sports" way back when, you probably remember spectacular crashes more than notable athletic achievement in this event. Yet, there it was last night, and to be fair, no one was injured, which was a good thing, but it was so BORING. And my wife is an early riser due to her work schedule, so several times during the Games she's had to give it up before her preferred competitors (ice dancers, skiers, skaters, etc.) were shown performing. I'm certain the time difference has something to do with the scheduling but, realistically, most folks won't stay up past midnight to see certain athletes do their thing. At least we won't.

I didn't interrupt my workday last week to view Tiger Woods' confessional live, but I admit I did watch it after the fact. Typical of Tiger....controlled environment, no questions from anyone, and then he's off, presumably back to rehab of some sort. As a columnist on opined just after Tiger's appearance, I'll be happier when Tiger returns to doing something I like watching him golf. Until then, it's all media frenzy coupled with speculation and never-weres jockeying for media attention via representation by a famous feminist attorney (why do "victims" so often feel they need representation?).

"Forrest Gump" has been shown several times this week on American Movie Classics (which is using more and more loose definitions of "classic" in the last few years) and I have to admit I've sneaked a few peeks here and there. It's kind of an iconic movie, in that there's not been much like it before or since, and it's sort of a travelogue of what's happened during my lifetime. The music, in particular, set the stage for various points in history throughout the film and Tom Hanks is, as usual, very good in this role. I would think it's hard for intelligent people to act stupid for the sake of art, but Tom pulls it off quite believably here.

My company recently decided to discontinue access to company e-mail from non-company-issued wireless devices, so I now have two mobile phones. And in my effort to streamline as much as possible, I decided to forward my old (personal) number to my new company-issued device, thus creating confusion for family and friends when I make or return calls to them. I suppose I could carry both phones, but that seems a bit much, plus it would make my pants sag in an unwelcome fashion, and no one wants that. Will continue tweaking my approach.

Our weather here in central Kentucky was wonderful over the weekend, so much so that I actually grilled real food outdoors on Sunday. It's been progressively cooler since then, but that's not unexpected, as it is February....

So, how's that for an unconnected set of comments?

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Recent observations

No particular subject for this posting, just a few things that caught my attention....

Watching the Winter Olympics? I do not care at all for most of the sports featured therein, except during the Olympics. I mean, I don't ski, skate, sled, snowboard or shoot (I think that covers most of the sports one way or another) but I've watched several hours of coverage since the Games began last Friday night with one of the longer and less exciting opening ceremonies I can recall (but after the opening ceremony in Beijing a couple years ago, who could top that?). I felt especially bad for the final torch-bearers Friday night, standing there with their torches while waiting for the stagers to fix their technical problems. And whose idea was it to have all of these athletes clad as though they'd be sitting outdoors for several hours, and then march them all into an indoor football stadium? Nice seeing young, fit people sweat while at rest.

Next a larger-than-average person I took note of film director Kevin Smith (no relation) and his recent issue with Southwest Airlines. You can read the reports for yourself, but the basic premise is that Southwest is the first airline to make a serious attempt to crack down on oversized passengers by making them buy a second seat for most flights. For my part, I fly another airline most of the time and have never been made to feel embarrassed or uncomfortable for needing a seat belt extender or for preferring an aisle seat. This may be a "he said she said" story but you can bet there'll be more discussion of it in the days to come.

I don't know if it's just me, but does Dick Cheney seem more and more desperate to be noticed as time passes? Criticizing the current administration for.....doing what the administration of which he was part was also doing? Hmmm.....

Now let's talk about the home area of central Kentucky has been pelted with more snowfalls than I can remember, and it always seems to be just before or during the weekend that this happens. I admit, I think less about the impact of snow during the week because I work at home, but my wife works outside of our home and I worry about her when the weather isn't good. But, really, for heaven's sake, it's SNOW, not hydrochloric acid. Is it really necessary for all of the daycare centers and so many other businesses to simply close when the weather's bad? Are their services less essential in times of inclement weather?

The weather is so strange that I almost was stuck in Dallas last week. There was a point in time where you could just about bank on Dallas having at least decent weather during the winter, but not any longer. It seems that up is down and down is up when it comes to weather, as I have coworkers who've had record snowfalls around the country, and folks in Florida are seeing routine sub-freezing low temperatures night after night. Enough, already!

And, finally, in the surest sign of the coming of spring, baseball spring training begins later in the week, with pitchers and catchers reporting to their teams' camps to begin preparing for the season to come. Spring training may be one of those quaint activities that's a little out of date, as it originally began as a way for players to return to shape after a winter of not inactivity, but of working at a job. This was back when athletes weren't so highly compensated that they could devote their offseasons to workouts or leisure, but rather had to go to work to support their families. But make no mistake, this most definitely means that spring is just around the corner! And not a moment too soon!

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Burning questions

If you're read this blog once or twice, you understand that I see things a little differently than some, so here are some questions, some rhetorical, some unanswerable, that I feel the need to ask at this particular point in time.....

Since the Oscar nominations were just announced, here's a good one (or, actually, a few good related ones): How is it that a movie can win Best Picture but its director NOT win Best Director? Or, if a movie director is responsible for coaxing a performance from a given actor, how can the actor win one of the acting awards and the director not win the corresponding prize for his/her category? And does the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences TRY to find obscure arthouse films to recognize, year after year? Nothing more frustrating to me than to really like a movie, hope for it to be nominated for SOMETHING, only to lose out to a movie that I've barely heard of!

Here's a similar question regarding the Grammy awards for the music industry: how can you have different winners for the categories of Song of the Year and Record of the Year?

Why do people who comment on newspaper and other information websites seem so hopelessly out of touch with reality? Case in point: my Cincinnati Reds made a couple of sensible player moves in the last week or so, and I was glad to see these moves. They unloaded a player who had no specific role on this year's team and got another club to take on his salary, and also added a proven veteran to fill the shortstop position for the coming year. Yet most of the comments on the corresponding Web site indicated that the Reds got taken by both the veteran player and the other team in these deals. Folks, you need to get a life....

Why are congressional Democrats whining that they "only" have a majority of 59-41 in the Senate? Don't they realize that there are advantages to having a majority?

Why did Rush Limbaugh feel the need to dance (badly) at the Miss America pageant Saturday, where he was a judge? Didn't he know that SOMEONE would have a camera?

Why don't people know the difference between barbecue and ribs?

I have a Twitter account, mostly to post the link to this blog as well as to look at the posts of others whom I follow. How do people decide what's "tweet-worthy?"

When advertising televisions, why do some retailers unfailingly list the important specifications (resolution, size, refresh rate, etc.) but others don't? Is it so that the less scrupulous retailer can take advantage of uninformed consumers? How could they?

Why do some bloggers feel that their opinions are so vastly important that they must post on everything they're thinking? Oh, wait......