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DOCUMENTS


The Tentacle


December 24, 2009

“I wonder as I wander…”

Tony Soltero

It's Christmas Eve. I'm not in a particularly political mood today. So let me just state, very quickly, that this health-care reform bill is better than nothing, but it's pretty weak tea, and doesn't do a thing to establish any competition for the private insurance industry, which is the root of the problem with our health-care system.

 

Republicans, who oppose it, are just trying to deny President Barack Obama a political victory; there's nothing in the bill, policy-wise, that seriously challenges the status quo.

 

That's all I could tell you about the health-care bill if I took a whole column. So since it's Christmastime, I thought I'd just jot down a few random one-line thoughts about life in general, not that Andy Rooney has anything to fear from me...

 

Why do people say "ATM Machine" and "PIN Number"?

 

Few things amuse me more than drivers who circulate for 10 minutes in their quest to secure the Ultimate Parking Spot...when they're going to the gym.

 

Related to the above: I've driven by fast-food places and seen 10 cars sitting in the drive-thru...and no one inside.

 

Pepsi One is the best diet soda there is. And Coke with Splenda was much better than Coke Zero, even if the latter won the market-share battle.

 

Why does Garfield hate Mondays so much? It's not like he has to get up and go to work.

 

I've never actually heard music in an elevator.

 

Language oddities: When you're playing golf, you want a "subpar" performance. When you're playing anything else, you don't.

 

There is no drive in Maryland as breathtaking as I-68 through Allegany and Garrett Counties.

 

How come Eliot Spitzer had to resign, but Mark Sanford didn't?

 

I don't think the Coen brothers have ever made a bad movie. But I don't see them ever topping Fargo or The Big Lebowski.

 

Baseball has never been the same since the wildcard was added. There was something uniquely compelling about pennant races.

 

Shoveling snow beats cutting grass. Snow melts away. Grass gets taller.

 

Do we really need TV's in our faces at every corner of the airport? Air travel has become a miserable enough experience as it is.

 

I know William Faulkner is great and everything, but The Sound and the Fury lost me by the second chapter.

 

Exercise is one hour of effort a day. Dieting is 24 hours of misery a day. The former sounds like a much better deal to me.

 

Has anything good ever come out of fundamentalism?

 

Try going a day without your cell phone.

 

There are two types of people in America: those who are informed, and those who watch cable news.

 

The state of Ohio has something in common with the country of Nepal. What is it?

 

Every visitor to Frederick I've shown around town goes back home wishing his suburban tract featured a real downtown to walk around in.

 

There is no rational basis for alcohol being legal and cannabis being illegal. None.

 

Language oddities, part II: "Sanction" as a noun suggests precisely the opposite of "sanction" as a verb.

 

Ray Davies of the Kinks is the greatest popular music songwriter to come out of the British Isles.

 

Within a few years, a restaurant/cafe charging for wi-fi will be about as popular as a restaurant/cafe charging for air conditioning.

 

There is no better political analyst in America today than Salon's Glenn Greenwald.

 

I've never understood how pawnshops work.

 

Would you report a stolen radar detector?

 

The best recording of "Route 66" was by Depeche Mode.

 

How do the so-called "strict constructionists" get around the Ninth Amendment?

 

Having Thomas Boswell covering the Washington Nats is like having Picasso running a tattoo parlor.

 

Take a look at maps of Burkina Faso and the Central African Republic. They both have uncannily similar shapes...sort of like cats curled up on a bureau.

 

A few years ago I saw Dr. Laura Schlesinger's book Ten Stupid Things Women Do To Screw Up Their Lives featured prominently in a bookstore's Christmas display. That conjured up a picture of some household's Christmas morning exchange, "Sis, I saw this book and I immediately thought of you!" Hmmm...how would that be received?

 

You only need one rule for driving in the snow: Drive so that you hit the brakes as infrequently as possible. Do that and you'll be fine. Oh, and brush the snow off of your car. All of it.

 

The best opening Scrabble word I can think of is "quetzal".

 

And a Merry Christmas to all!

 



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