Given the vast wasteland of what is Sunday night television programming, the fact that I was footballed out, and that I am a curious sort, I tuned into "Sarah Palin's Alaska" to see what the noise was all about.
I was not disappointed. Well, not much anyway.
Sunday night's episode featured Palin hosting Kate Gosselin and her tribe of eight little ones for a little camping in the wilderness. Both women are reality TV stars who work for The Learning Channel, which used to feature educational programming. Apparently, the only thing it teaches now is narcissism.
But I'll admit I learned a few things.
-- Sarah Palin, dressed in a camouflage, truly is a frontier woman. She'll shoot a bear between the eyes to protect her family, something those of us in "the lower 48" apparently don't get. Sarah also kind of likes the smell of gunpowder. She designated herself camp protector. Todd, who spent most of the show fishing, was showing absolutely no interest in interacting with the reality stars. Can't blame him.
-- Palin really does have an annoying voice. Fingernails on a chalkboard.
-- Sarah, however, seems more likable than Gosselin, who did nothing but complain about camping in a cold rain on an isolated sandbar in the wilderness with bears lurking everywhere.
OK, "bitch" is probably a better word than "complain."
Kate's kids, on the other hand, seemed to enjoy camping and eating s'mores and throwing wood on the fire. (Full disclosure: I hate s'mores.)
Kate, who had had enough of the Palins and their darn outdoorsyness, asked her children if they wanted to be Palins or Gosselins -- they knew they had to pick the latter -- and then herded them off to a rescue boat or plane or something to get away from that horrible place so apparently they could check into a Holiday Inn Express in Wasilla. Kate was not about to sleep in bear-infested wilderness and I don't blame her. It didn't look fun to me either.
What, expect Yogi at 3 a.m.? It would be my luck that I would be ... never mind.
Conclusion: It's OK that Sarah Palin quit the governor's job to make some money -- a lot of money. But she doesn't have any more business seeking the nation's most important job than does Kate Gosselin. Oh gosh, by golly, gee, keep your day job, Sarah. It becomes you.
* * *
Ohio's new Republican Gov. John Kasich will deliver at least one thing when he takes office next month -- news.
I like that.
Already he has put the kibosh on the proposed high-speed passenger train that would connect Cleveland, Columbus and Cincinnati and points in between. Big waste of money, he said. And with that, Ohio forfeited its share of simulus money that would have helped get the project going.
Seriously, he's probably right on that. I did an informal poll of Clevelanders not too long ago and asked them if they'd consider taking a train to Cincinnati. Got a lot of smiles with that one.
Clevelanders generally don't go to Cincinnati and vice versa unless there are relatives involved. And Columbus by car is only two hours away from Cleveland.
High-speed trains elsewhere in the country seem to make more sense especially in those congested cities along the eastern seaboard. A high-speed train linking Chicago and other Midwestern cities also has possibilities.
With the rail project apparently a dead issue, Kasich and friends are questioning other government givens such as the 1983 law that allows public safety forces unions to ask for arbitrators in the wake of a contract impasse.
While the law forbids safety forces from striking, it allows a third party to call the shots in a labor dispute, potentially costing taxpayers thousands (millions?) of dollars above and beyond what the municipality can afford. Or should afford.
The Columbus Dispatch offered background on the issue in a story published Monday, Dec. 13. You can read it here.
Here's a prediction. By Jan. 31, John Kasich will have just about everyone in this state fired up about something. And a few months later, we'll have a pretty good clue whether his thinking was right on the money, or seriously flawed.
One way or another, he'll be making news.
* * *
Clearly my use of Facebook to announce new posts is working. Readership of this blog continues to grow to about 300 page views a week.
That's why I'm now adding Twitter to the mix. You can follow me -- cappy1898 -- and I'll tweet when I've posted something new.
Yes, I'll be tweeting.
For God's sake.