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Tuesday, January 4, 2005

The Casual Critic — Ramblings

Bill Lyon of The Philadelphia Inquirer used to write an occassional column he called Random Thoughts and Second Thoughts. I say “used to” only because I haven’t seen one in a while. So, with a nod to Mr. Lyon, I decided to offer some of my own random thoughts . . .

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September 11, 2001, was supposed to change everything—forever. Almost everyone had an American flag on their car, the national anthem was regularly broadcast on television, and the every speech the president made was covered live. What happened?

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Buying a new monitor the other day, I was advised against the sleek new hi-def models because they don’t last very long. I mentioned my old CRT model – not that I knew it was a CRT – had lasted almost 10 years, and was actually still going strong. I just wanted a larger, larger screen. The salesman bluntly told me the new CRTs wouldn’t last any where near that long. I left scratching my head . . . with a new CRT.

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I did a search on “new year’s resolutions,” and received about 1,450,000 results. My favorite result offered the following in its meta description: “The actual origin of New Year’s resolutions started with the Babylonians or something.” Another suggests resolutions were originally “when humans should ‘slaughter’ their weaknesses.” A third site tries to convince us that in “planning for the year Christians would meet . . . and announce their intentions. . . . This is the origin of New Year’s resolutions.”


Another of the results offered the following stats:

· 63% of people are keeping their resolutions after two months.

· 67% of people make three or more resolutions.

· Top four resolutions:

o Increase exercise

o Be more conscientious about work or school

o Develop better eating habits

o Stop smoking, drinking, or using drugs (including caffeine)


It didn’t say how many people made the same resolutions every year because they stopped keeping their resolutions by mid-March.

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It is now all but a fact that Barry Bonds set the major league record for the most home runs in a single season while on steroids or at least some form of performance enhancing drugs. Yet, there has been barely a murmer about removing his name from the record books.

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I have received more than 50 junk e-mails since New Year’s, 30 of which came from the same sender and was arriving every minute until I blocked it. Telemarketers are no longer alone at the bottom of the food chain.

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