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Showing posts from August, 2011

My Senior Moment

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A less scrupulous parent might encourage his daughter to drop out of high school before her senior year. Or a poor one.

I'm about to be the latter, because I'm not the former.

Confused? Sorry.

Our daughter is entering her senior year of high school, or as it's otherwise known to parents, The Shakedown.

The schools have us senior parents between a rock and a hard place, and don't think they don't know it.

My wife registered our daughter this morning for the school year, and being a senior is not only a very special year, it's also very expensive.

There are the senior photos, of course. Those were taken this summer and while the proofs are absolutely beautiful, the packages begin at over $500.



I graduated high school in 1981, and I remember making a very understated trip to the Olan Mills studio in Livonia in the summer of 1980 with my polyester, three-piece suit and a comb.

We snapped a few head shots and I was probably on my way back home within the hour, at mo…

Beetle Mania

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The VW bug I remember was baby blue, had the engine in the rear, and there were subway car-like straps hanging from the roof over the back seats.

I loved the logo (still do)---the "V" perched on top of the "W" inside a circle; the word "Volkswagen" on a diagonal over the back hatch, which hid the engine.

This was circa 1970-72. I was a young child and the baby blue VW Beetle was the first car my parents possessed of which I have vivid memories.

I used to sit in the car as a youngster, in the driver's seat, and pretend I was driving on the open road. I would play with the "controls," as I called them---the dials of the radio, pushing the cigarette lighter in (don't worry; it didn't get hot because the car was turned off), fiddling with the vent and heat knobs, etc.

I was stationary in our driveway, but in my imaginative mind, I was cruising along at 45 MPH, switching lanes and making turns. I would pretend to drive to locations I was …

Size DOESN'T Matter

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When we first saw Danny DeVito, he was behind a cage, his face poking out over a counter.

Despite his small stature, it soon became evident that you couldn't keep DeVito caged forever.

DeVito, 66, filled our living rooms with his bitter venom as Louie De Palma in ABC's "Taxi," starting way back in 1978. His role as the taxi company's boss and dispatcher, pacing behind his caged pen as he spewed words of anger, frustration and exasperation with his employees, made De Palma one of the best-known characters on TV. Not the most well-liked, but one of the best-known.

DeVito was so good as De Palma that it was easy to think he was a mouthy little runt in real life.

Turns out he was a pretty nice guy---and a terrific actor, to boot. And producer. And director. And comedian.

Today, finally---after dozens of his lesser-deserving colleagues received them---DeVito was honored with the 2,445th star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

The ceremony was held in connection with the S…

Drawn and Quartered

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Fifty cents to add sweetener to iced tea. Thirty cents for extra sauce on a Big Mac.

We aren't being "nickeled and dimed" anymore; we're being quartered---and drawn.

The two examples above happened to my family recently. Our daughter wanted a sweetened iced tea at Starbucks and it cost us four bits. A couple days later my wife asked for some extra "special" sauce at Mickey D's on her Big Mac and the tab was three dimes.

The markup on some sweetener for a 12-oz. glass of iced tea, at 50 cents per, must be a gazillion percent. Same with 30 cents for another splat of sauce on a hamburger.



Again, these are only two examples. Lord knows how many more there are, of food and drink establishments gouging us for "extras."

It's a lose/lose proposition, in my book. The asking price should be negligible, like a nickel. But then, when you ask for a nickel for something, you look petty (probably because you are).

The answer?

FREE!

Why not?

How many peop…

Check out the New Hansons Windows Blog!!

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Self-promotion time---sort of.

I've added a new link to the Blogroll---the official, re-launched blog from my employer, Hansons Windows and Siding.

But it's not what you think, I don't think.

Yes, there will be articles about home improvement and tips about how to maintain your home, but there are also going to be human interest pieces like the one from August 8, which tells of 98-year-old Keiko Fukuda, who recently became the first woman (and fourth person overall) to achieve the rank of tenth-degree black belt, in Judo.

We'll also blend in some guest bloggers to pontificate, some of whom will have instantaneous name recognition.

So drop on by and check it out!

A Sexual Drive-By

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There's an old one-liner, culled from back in the day.

"I'm against too much sex on television," it goes.

"I mean, I keep falling off!"

Ba-dum-bum.

Last night I saw too much sex on television---this time, I mean spewing forth from my 50" screen in my living room.

I'm talking real, unadulterated sex. Not pretend sex, not inferred sex. Not fictitious sex.

On ABC, no less.

It was a shade past 10:00 last night and the family and I happened upon "Bachelor Pad," an amalgam of "The Bachelor" and "The Bachelorette." It was the first time we'd ever seen "Pad."

Apparently, "Pad" brings back contestants of the other two "seeking partner" shows and throws them together in yet another dating bunker hole, from which they must scratch and claw to find
"love"---and the $250,000 grand prize, which might be the greater of the two incentives.

On last night's episode, everything was going al…

Billy Goes Radio Ga-Ga

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Bill Bonds is about to get top billing, once again.

Consider yourself warned. The 78-year-old iconic newscaster, who has been the news almost as much as he's reported it, is teaming with another TV news vet in Detroit, Rich Fisher, and they're going to take radio by storm.

Well, maybe not by storm; let's shoot for by shower.

Bonds and Fisher will co-host, appropriately, "Bonds and Fisher," which will be an afternoon radio show on WCAR-AM (1090), the Little Station That Could. The gig starts on WCAR's 250-watt signal on October 3.

Neal Rubin, over at the Detroit News, gives a much more detailed version of how this all came to be in his column which ran today.

WCAR's station manager, the 33 year-old Sima Birach, Jr., wined and dined Bonds and got Billy to sign a makeshift contract on a cocktail napkin, according to Rubin's account. Hold the jokes about whether there was much more wining than dining. I know what you're thinking.

Birach told Bonds, "I …