Friday, August 3, 2012

For the 4th of July, just a few bullet points

This being a holiday week, it’s a good time for some quick hitters…

–A young TV reporter out of Cleveland was on the scene of a tree downed by a storm. Turning momentarily to look at the tree, which had fallen on a house, the reporter turned back toward the camera and proclaimed: “This tree literally fell on this house.” Apparently up to that point trees only fell on houses in her dreams.

–Bill Simmons, the prolific sportswriter for ESPN, commenting on the Cleveland Cavaliers’ curious draft pick of  Syracuse guard and bench player Dion Waiters, offered this joke: “Anytime you can take the Big East’s ‘Sixth Man of the Year’ with the fourth pick in an NBA draft, you have to do it … The lesson as always: God hates Cleveland.” Yes, it seems He does.

–This being the 4th of July, it’s a good time to watch a patriotic film or miniseries. I would recommend starting with “John Adams,” the HBO production that details the founding of our country; “Gettysburg,” one of the better Civil War films; and then “Saving Private Ryan,” which is the most explicit and what experts call the most accurate rendering of the D-Day invasion ever offered. If you have any time left, try “The Deer Hunter” to get a feel for the Vietnam War era. Watch all four productions and you will have a fairly decent idea of where this country’s been in a little more than 235 years, which is a relatively short time when you consider that I’ve been alive for roughly 25 percent of that span.

–I checked to see if any of those films/productions were available for streaming via Netflix. They are not. This is a good reason for not investing in Netflix.

–Count me among those who do not feel sorry for Ann Curry, who got bounced from NBC’s “Today” show because, among other things I’m sure, she’s a stiff. Curry is getting her own reporting crew for special global assignments, will fill in on “Nightly News” and is being given a $10 million severance/bonus. And she goes all weepy? You’re kidding, right? Hey, Ann, try signing up for unemployment compensation while trying to figure out how to pay the mortgage like millions of Americans have had to do over the last four years. My goodness, then you can cry. Get a grip, Ann. And nice of you, NBC, to have Curry announce her own execution. Who’s running that network anyway?

–News flash: Katie Holmes is divorcing Tom Cruise. I just knew it wouldn’t work. Can’t wait to get my hands on next week’s Us magazine. They are promising extensive coverage. Yes, I’m kidding, but not about the coverage.

–Apple has really started to market Suri, the invisible woman embedded in the iPhone who tells jokes and is supposed to become a better friend to you than anyone you know on Facebook. My experience with Suri is that she doesn’t understand half of what I tell her, that she tells the same joke over and over and that she is only as good as her source material. She does work better with one- or two-word commands. Bottom line: The iPhone is a wonderful device, but Suri is overrated.

–If memory serves me correctly, the all-star youth league season is under way. My kids are grown and my grandchildren are too young, so I don’t have any connection to the game right now. Note to all-star coaches: If a kid is good enough to make the team, he’s good enough to play – even at the expense of your own kid. Don’t forget that.

–It would be really cool if every home in America displayed the flag on national holidays. I saw a 3-by-5 flag kit advertised for $8, which seems to be affordable. This is a good week to consider such purchases, don’t you think?

Happy birthday, America.

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