New Shoes in the Rain

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Winning....or is that "whining"?

Wouldn't it be funny if they had a Republican Presidential debate and a slap fight broke out?

That just about happened in Tampa last night, as we finally saw Mitt Romney not just stand there with a placid expression while his opponents pile on him.  No, he apparently doesn't like Newt Gingrich (joining a long list of others, it would seem), and especially didn't like how Gingrich won the South Carolina primary.  So Mitt went on the offensive last night, poking Newt on his relationship with Freddie Mac and the unceremonious end to his role as Speaker of the House in the late 90s.  I honestly thought the two "statesmen" were going to roll around in the mud before it was over, but decorum reigned and order maintained.  But it's getting uglier by the minute, and now that Romney has finally released a couple of years of tax returns (and revealed that he made nearly $43 million over the past two years, all legally), Gingrich will probably continue his attack that Romney can't identify with the common man.  But neither can Gingrich, with his multi-million dollar consulting arrangements, Tiffany's lines of credit, etc.

Speaking of winners and losers, you have to feel at least a little bad for the Baltimore Ravens and the San Francisco 49ers, as both lost in their respective conference championship games Sunday.  The Ravens missed a last-second field goal that would have sent their game with the New England Patriots into overtime, and the 49ers mishandled two punts, allowing the New York Giants to win in overtime and advance to this year's Super Bowl.  Such is the nature of athletic competition, I suppose.

The Academy Award nominations were just announced a few minutes ago, and, once again, I don't know that I have seen ANYTHING that was nominated.  OK, I have to admit that one film that received an acting nod, called "A Better Life," was shown on a flight to Arizona in December, but the subject didn't interest me and I didn't watch.  I did read the book upon which "Moneyball" was based, but I have a feeling that the subject matter was heavily dramatized.

Kentuckian George Clooney was honored with a Best Actor nod for "The Descendants" and also for a screenplay nomination for his political film "The Ides of March."  So I want to see both of those pictures, and, on the recommendation of a couple of friends, will probably see "Moneyball" and "War Horse," Steven Spielberg's World War I film, but I haven't seen any of the major nominees.

Finally, here in Kentucky all is right in the world, as our beloved men's basketball team is currently ranked #1 in the most recent polls.  The Wildcats won their last game on Saturday, but didn't look great doing it.  Funny that HOW the Cats win is as important to local fans as WHETHER they win, as there's been a lot of "what's wrong with the boys?" talk in my home area.  Enjoy it, folks, it never lasts.

Friday, January 20, 2012


I was traveling back from a couple of days of business meetings in North Carolina earlier this week and thought it might be a nice exercise in discipline (the first time I've used that word in the history of this blog, to my recollection) to write a few of my infamous observations as one-sentence comments.  So let's see if I can do this (and, no, they won't be interminable run-on sentences, either, smarty).

Thanks for playing, Rick Perry, and good luck winning reelection as governor of Texas, now that you've shown everyone that your memory is about THIS long.

The coronation of Mitt Romney as this year's Republican nominee will be about as long as John McCain's march to that status four years ago, but the hardcore Republicans won't like him any better if this happens quickly.

Stephen Colbert for President.

Is anyone surprised that Tiger Woods' former swing coach is writing a tell-all book about their time together, or that Tiger himself is disappointed by this?

Rob Lowe has thrown all caution to the wind and is playing Drew Peterson in a TV movie, and in the same week that the promos for that movie started he also tweeted that Peyton Manning will retire from football.

Wouldn't it be funny if it turns out Eli Manning wins more Super Bowls than his big brother Peyton?

I thought the Packers couldn't lose, except to Kansas City.

I think we should all leave Joe Paterno alone.

I also think Alabama proved recently that they could probably beat about 40% of the teams that played in the NFL this year, and could have probably won one or two of the divisions as they finished.

Al Davis is dead, but that didn't stop the Oakland Raiders from firing their head coach after a single year.

The Cincinnati Reds have been busy remaking their franchise with some valuable pieces, and should be awfully competitive in 2012.

The St. Louis Cardinals visited the White House this week, but neither departed slugger Albert Pujols nor retired manager Tony LaRussa made the trip, as I suppose both felt they shouldn't go.

There are a lot of funny people who are on Twitter whom I don't even know, but I enjoy what they write all the same.

Speaking of Twitter, I get a lot of strange people telling me that they're now "following" me.

And, repeating something I tweeted earlier in the week, there's only one thing worse than a bad cold, and that's having to take a business trip while suffering with a bad cold.

And that's all I have to say about all of that.

Friday, January 13, 2012

How in the world.....?

Another random collection of even more random observations about.....random subjects.  I chose the wording of the first sentence.....(wait for it) random.

Sorry, couldn't help it.

Anyway, here we are, about midway through the first month of 2012.  Are you still dating things 2011, as I am?  I don't write many checks anymore, since we do most of our banking electronically, and that, above all else, used to be the primary area for mistakes.  Now it's all over the place, with reports, expense requests, reservations, etc.  And I always love the incriminating wording our computers use:  "This event occurs in the past and cannot be added to your calendar."  Thanks a lot.

Funny how Mitt Romney finished the Iowa caucuses in a dead heat with Rick Santorum and won New Hampshire's presidential primary election in a walk, yet he walked away from New Hampshire with a very small amount of momentum.  Seems that a couple of his opponents have seized on the opportunity to criticize him for his work with private equity firm Bain Capital, and the companies that were gutted and sold off or closed during his tenure.  Funny they didn't think of this before.  And since it's high season in presidential politics, I miss the late, great Tim Russert of NBC.  It just isn't the same without him.

Tebowmania continues in the football world, as the former University of Florida quarterback/battering ram/resident Christian athlete is now running the Denver Broncos' offense.  The Broncs beat the estimable but aging (and beaten up) Pittsburgh Steelers last weekend to win the privilege of visiting the mighty New England Patriots tomorrow night.  I swear, I believe I'd root for escapees from Alcatraz against the Patriots.

Kentucky's basketball team eked out a road win this week but local fans are asking what's wrong with their boys.  That means all's right in the Bluegrass State.

More evidence of the statement above being accurate....the Kentucky Department of Agriculture announced that they're working with the Kentucky State Auditor to determine the whereabouts of nearly $500,000 worth of office and other equipment that now appears missing.  The departing Secretary, former Wildcat Richie Farmer, lost his bid for Lieutenant Governor in November and is now unemployed.  One would hope that he and his appointees didn't think that folks wouldn't notice that they didn't turn in their laptop computers, GPS units and such when they left office.  The new Agriculture Secretary is a Republican, like Farmer, so one cannot make the argument that this is simply a partisan smear campaign.

I saw a news item about a very bright high school student in New York who's a finalist for a prestigious science award....and she and her family are homeless.  Now it appears that the family will get help in locating a new home.  Why do people have to be publicized before they get the help that may have already existed?

I started painting our downstairs interior last fall, and only have the kitchen and living room (with its daunting 14-foot vaulted ceilings) left to complete my project.  Somewhere along the line I lost my motivation, so if you happen to see it....

Finally, I appreciate that my employer observes Martin Luther King, Jr. day next Monday by closing and giving all of its employees the day off.  The biggest drawback I see is that there won't be another company holiday until late May.  Better enjoy the long weekend while I can.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Fifteen minutes

Andy Warhol once supposedly said that everyone in the world will be famous to some degree for fifteen minutes.  Since I worked in radio many moons ago, I suppose that would qualify as my "fifteen minutes," but I am fond of saying to my wife and friends that "____'s fifteen minutes should be just about over, shouldn't they?"  Here's a sampling of who I think fits that mold now:

NANCY GRACE:  I know she has quite a following and a nightly show on CNN's HLN channel, but this irritating former prosecutor seems to surface to weigh in on anything remotely related to "legal" issues.  She's currently all over the place screaming about Casey Anthony (who should probably also be on this list, but isn't for no particular reason) and her recently discovered "video diary" that all of the news outlets are talking about.  Grace is shrill, a terrible interviewer and very opinionated, which makes her perfect for the cable news landscape, I suppose.

DONALD TRUMP:  Known for being rich and a major blowhard.  One of the funniest things I ever read was the chapter of Rick Reilly's book "Who's Your Caddy?" (in which the sportswriter author spends one chapter each caddying for various folks in the golf world and otherwise) devoted to The Donald.  I don't think I need to say anything more, save to ask him for HIS birth certificate.

KATHY GRIFFIN:  Comic who seems to be in the news frequently for the wrong reasons.  She apparently co-hosted CNN's coverage of New Year's Eve (why is CNN covering this, when other networks do this for entertainment purposes?) with Anderson Cooper (who, thanks to his daily talk show, is watching his journalistic credibility wane by the day) and she is reported to have taken off her top.  But, no, she's not just trying to get our attention.  Nooooooooooo.......

RUSH LIMBAUGH:  I liked Rush when I first heard his syndicated radio show back in the mid '80's.  He was funny, insightful and had an interesting way of looking at things.  That was over twenty years ago, and he's no longer any of those things, in my opinion.  But the cash keeps tumbling in, so Rush keeps at it, and makes himself into even more and more of a buffoon each day.

ROSIE O'DONNELL:  Another comic who fell backwards into hosting talk shows, and she's now on Oprah Winfrey's cable channel with a daily show.  She also just became engaged to marry another woman, which is all fine, but why should we care about anything she does?  Since she came out of the closet she's made a lot of noise about gay rights and such, but does she really think she's a credible spokesperson for that movement?

BOBBY KNIGHT:  No, I won't call him "Bob," as many have taken to doing.  The name I used sounds more petulant, which is fitting this spoiled brat of a disgraced college basketball coach who has always thought he's beyond the scrutiny of mere mortals like you and me.  Also fitting that he counts Tony LaRussa, the pompous and hypocritical former baseball manager, among his best friends.

SARAH PALIN/MICHELE BACHMANN/CHRISTINE O'DONNELL/NIKKI HALEY:  They're all essentially the same person, at least in the press they appear to be. And that's all I have to say on this entry.

JIMMY FALLON:  Sorry, you're not funny.  Never were.  Saturday Night Live hasn't been funny since the early 80's, and to think that a much more recent version of that show launched your "career."  Funniest thing that has happened on his late night show was his bandleader's choice of intro music for Michele Bachmann's appearance recently.  I'm not going to reference it here in my PG-13 blog, but Google that phrase to see what I mean, if you like.

I could go on, of course, but that's a pretty good list right now of who I'm simply tired of.  Hopefully, it will be a different list this time in 2013.