Tuesday, January 24, 2012

He Bugs Me, He Bugs Me Not (Part 2)

January 23, 2012

And what’s up with the grown-ups who bust on Barney? That show’s for little kids—why are you watching it, anyway?

By the way, how many of you Barney-haters have no qualms about seeing Batman movies? You pay good money to watch deep psychological dramas about the back-stories of comic book characters; you happily watch them doing impossible deeds in ridiculous costumes; but you’re busting Barney’s chops for teaching kids how to act civilized? Go figure.

He Bugs Me, He Bugs Me Not (Part 1)

January 23, 2012

People get bugged by the oddest things. There’s a TV weatherman whose tagline is, “The 7-day forecast, where your weekend is always in view.” An astonishing number of people write in to the paper to complain about this: “Seven days is a week, so of course the weekend will be in view!”

It’s a catch-phrase, folks. Give the guy a break.

Or (here’s a thought)—watch the weather on another channel.

Friday, January 20, 2012

A Common Language

January 20, 2012

I have here an advertisement from Warren Jeffs’s church offering for sale various publications about the imminent return of Jesus Christ, Son Ahman.

One section of the ad reads, “I, who am of the full Godhead power over the world, even of my Father, Elohim, who is my Eternal Father, saith Jesus Christ, your Lord and Holy Savior, Son Ahman…I say to all nations--Repent ye.”

According to the ad, the various publications have been “Mailed to libraries of every nation, also sent to leaders of all nations of national authority.”

I’m picturing the reactions of the various “leaders of all nations of national authority” as they receive their copies.

I wonder if there’s an international word for “Crackpot”?

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Radio Days

January 17,2012

Part 1:

A DJ read us this interesting tidbit during a recent broadcast:

A study showed that colors can influence how we operate. Red makes you pay more attention to detail, blue enhances creativity, etc.

What she didn't say, was red what—clothes, ink, paper, wall color…

I need more details.

Part 2:

Lots of radio stations have teams of DJ's in the morning—supposedly a comedy duo.

But on several of these broadcasts, it seems like one does all the lines, and the other one laughs. So when I read that a broadcasting company was filing Chapter 11, naturally I thought of one way they could save money: Get rid of the faithful sidekick, who laughs annoyingly.

(Also, in my opinion, the person delivering the lines isn't usually funny, either; but apparently other people disagree, because it's a fairly common radio practice. But if they DO need to cut back...)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Fee Fi Fo Fum

January 13, 2012

Airline baggage fees—hated by the masses.

I figure that if they weren’t socking us with the fees, they’d be socking us with higher rates, so either way, we pay. But I don’t think that they were very smart about it.

When you buy a concert ticket, the price listed is one thing; but by the time you’re finished paying fees, you’ve added $8-$10 to the cost. Besides that, I can get the tickets at the store near my home instead of going to the box office—for a mere $2 more. And the fees are per-ticket, not per order; order 3 tickets, pay an extra $30. So someone’s cleaning up big time.

Then there’s a $5 parking fee, which we also fork over.

There’s a freight service that will come to your business to pick up parcels. They invoice twice a month; and on every invoice is a $10 service fee. Why? For pickup, they say. It’s the same $10, no matter how many times they come. (And isn't that cost included in the freight price anyway?) So basically it’s a fee that they charge just to print your invoice, as far as I can tell.

Look at your utility bills. Fees for research, fees for education, fees for…

So the airlines aren’t doing anything that nobody else is doing; they were just stupid about it—and greedy. Had they only charged $5 per bag, it would have been a hiccup; people would have rolled their eyes and paid up, and Congress wouldn’t be getting involved.

Maybe it’s not too late, guys. Reduce the fee; look like semi-good guys. Avoid the Congressional inquiry—it’ll cost you.

And then you’ll have to raise our fees.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

TV Notes

January 11, 2012

Every time I see "Body of Proof" on ABC, I think, "They cancelled 'Eli Stone' for this?"

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Tax Man Cometh

December 23, 2011

I just loved what economist Ed Lotterman wrote in his column about real estate taxes:

“The $70 that my wife and I pay in monthly tax for city government is less than we pay for phone and Internet service. We pay more for car insurance. Yet we have great parks, pretty good streets, and excellent police and fire departments.

“We pay a bit more for public schools, $90 a month. All three of my kids got most of their K-12 education in these schools, and the cumulative total I have paid in school taxes over 25 years would not have put one of them though one of the excellent private high schools in our city. (Mr. Lotterman lives in or near Minneapolis.) Moreover, it is important to me that a good education be available to all citizens.”

As tax time (and my inevitable teeth-gnashing) approaches, it’s good to be reminded of this.