Showing posts from December, 2010

Cold Case, Warmed?

Video games, computers, and text messaging aren't helping, but the days when kids stopped spending time outside started dwindling long before those tech gadgets hit the market.
In fact, you can trace some of it back to a 13-month period that began in February 1976 and ended in March 1977.
Before then, before those 13 months when the Oakland County Child Killer preyed, there was an innocence about kids riding their bikes and playing outside. It was no skin off mom's nose to let her adolescent boys and girls spend hours away from home, sans cell phone or any sort of adult supervision.
That's what I did as a kid---I spent untold hours cruising the neighborhoods on my bicycle, looking for open baseball diamonds, or trying to horn in on games already in progress, my mitt strung over my handle bar.
Or maybe it was off to Cunningham's Drugstore, in search of baseball cards and bubble gum.
Whatever the mission, it meant leaving the house on a summer's morning and not returning …


How big do the retail and food service folks think my wallet is?

I don't mean in terms of space for cash to pay for their products---I mean in terms of space for the stacks of cards they keep giving me as a "reward" for being a return customer.

They're all over---on your key chain, in your wallet, jammed in a coat pocket---those cards that you must present to get scanned or kerchunked, to edge you closer to a free whatchya-ma-call- it.


I have cards in my wallet, worn and with the printing almost rubbed off, some with holes punched in them, that now only serve as mementos of visits to Rio Wraps, etc. gone by.

I almost never remember for which businesses I have cards.

They always sound like a good idea at the time. First, they're free. Second, the arrangement has a nice little "you scratch my back, I'll scratch yours" aspect to it: keep buying our stuff, and eventually you'll get something for free.

Sounds good, right?

Trouble is, I never reach th…

Oh, Miley!

Where will Miley Cyrus be five years from now?

You might think you don't care, but you should.

Where will Miley be, if she isn't annexing radio playlists, isn't an honorary owner of YouTube, or doesn't have her own TV show?

Where will she be if she hasn't yet launched a movie career, hasn't leased her name to a line of makeup, or hasn't come out with a book (or two)?

Where will Miley Cyrus be in five years if she hasn't found a nice young man, hasn't settled down a bit, or hasn't gotten involved with a charitable cause?

You might think you don't care.

But you should.

Cyrus is the just-turned-18 pop star who not that long ago was, simultaneously, cutesy Hannah Montana on television and spunky Miley Cyrus on stage, belting out songs that could barely be heard over the screams of the adolescent girls in the audience.

She was in her mid-teens, wholesome, and the daughter of a recording artist who should have been a beacon of guidance for her.

Now, Miley …

Not Another!

What has Detroit done to anger the gods so?

What have we done that is causing us to lose so many icons, so quickly? It's like we're being smited.

This has been going on for a couple years now. Most of them were from the world of sports.

Mark "The Bird" Fidrych, killed in a tragic accident at his home, involving his truck.

Chuck Daly, the greatest of all the Pistons coaches, succumbing to cancer.

George Kell and Ernie Harwell, Tigers announcers and welcome in our homes anytime.

George "Sparky" Anderson, the curiously funny little manager.

Now we may be losing truly one of our own---Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul.

Reports are that Franklin, 68, has pancreatic cancer. After that, who knows---but these things have a way of ending badly.

When the news came that the always well-coiffed Daly and the beloved Harwell had cancer, we all went into pre-death mode, bracing ourselves. Both men probably lasted longer than we had hoped.

Sparky's demise was swift, a surprise …

Turn out the Lights

Before Don Meredith's cowboy boots stepped into them, the broadcast booths in NFL cities were the equivalent of libraries. You were to be courteous, staid, and peer at the game over your eyeglasses.
Then along came former NFL quarterback Meredith, and before long, sometimes what went on inside the booth sounded a lot more fun than what was happening on the field.
Dandy Don is gone. He died Monday, at age 72 from complications brought on by a brain hemorrhage.
Turn out the lights, for the party is truly over now.
Dandy Don is what Howard Cosell called him when Meredith, Cosell and Frank Gifford teamed to form what is STILL the best "Monday Night Football" broadcast team in the franchise's 41-year history.
Meredith was just two years ago a player when he joined the team in 1970, the show's first season. He was the battered and bruised leader of the Dallas Cowboys, the first QB to lead the franchise to a championship game.
But Meredith's fun take on life and his count…