Friday, June 1, 2012


I know many people follow my writing here in Blog-ville and I’ve been grossly negligent.  A month between blogs doesn’t cut it, but here’s what’s been occupying my mind.
First, I am going to stray from the familiar whimsy of sports to some reality checks that make me wonder about the basic intelligence of those whom we elect to legislate.
How about the highways?
When we Connecticut folk travel through Massachusetts, New York and New Jersey, we pay tolls.  After I got stuck at an NYC-area booth that accepted only EasyPass and got thoroughly embarrassed about holding up a line of people with NYC-style patience, I bought the EasyPass gizmo for the windshield and cruise through the booths.
But here in Connecticut, drivers from other states zip through for free.  How does the state make up for the shortfall that these millions of drivers would bring, and do so elsewhere? Simple, they double the tax on our gasoline.
As a resident of the Farmington Valley, I go out of my way to plan trips to the Commonwealth so I can fill my tank for up to 25 cents-per-gallon cheaper than I can here.  I buy a whole bunch of stuff up in Southwick now – trips to The Summer House for lunch, Meadow View Farms to buy the veggie plants and flowers for the garden and grab a cuppa Joe at the Daily Grind, a terrific coffee shop in an old church at the north end of town. Then over to Valero I go to fill up the truck.
How did our legislators let us down so?  Where were you guys when our neighboring states were figuring out how to establish revenue streams without taxing their residents to the brink of hysteria?
So, you guys need money that you can spend it on what YOU deem important.  Okay, somebody ostensibly smarter than me has to make these decisions.  I just wish the voters would engage in some analytical thinking instead of just casting their votes like elections were popularity contests.
Did you notice when you’re on the highway and doing 65 or so, there are at least a dozen people flying by you on the left and right who have to be touching 90?  If they want to drive like idiots and endanger the lives of innocent people, why shouldn’t they pay the freight?  How about putting some troopers out there and assessing some hefty fines, not for just disobeying the speed limit, but obliterating it.
Common sense, guys.  Let’s take our attention off these worthless busways that too few will use and focus on that elusive element that the Good Lord disbursed, which has devolved dramatically since the long-gone days of my youth.
Another kick that I’ve gotten on is all the rackets out there in which some cash in and the foolhardy get sucked in.  Some of these infomercials and spam emails defy sensibility so severely that it’s hard to imagine anybody could possibly fork over their hard-earned cash.
Anybody who knows me can rightly conclude that I have studied up on weight-loss gimmicks over the years.  Hey, I ain’t giving up my Pepe’s Pizza (Sally’s when I get to Wooster Street in my native New Haven), my fried clam visits to Lenny and Joe’s and my occasional burger binges at Harry’s in Colchester.  We’re all going to die anyway and I’m dying with a grin on my face, not having eaten rabbit food in vain for 20 years.
“Take this pill three times and day, and if you follow a sensible diet plan and get plenty of exercise, you will drop 20 pounds in a month.”  No shit, Charlie, and you’ll lose the 20 just as readily without taking the placebo.
“Congratulations, you’ve won the Belgian Lottery.  Just give us your social security number and all your bank account data and we’ll share our $2 billion bounty with you.”  So scream the emails I get about 30 times a week.  You mean to tell me that there are folks gullible enough that buy into this bilge that it encourages these back-room geek reprobates to keep on sending them?
How about today’s TV shows and movies?  If there aren’t either robots, fire or both involved, the majority don't watch.  Robots.  Fire.  Mmmm, cool.  Then a fabulous movie like “The Artist” comes around, sweeps the Oscars and 75 percent of the people I talk to never even heard of it.  But that idiotic, repetitive computer-generated trash with one-eyed, metal evil-doers plundering smoldering cities below?  Robots.  Fire.  Mmmmm, cool.
Call me an old-fashioned fool trapped in the past but I’m having a grand old time watching movies like “Mutiny on the Bounty” (Charles Laughton-Clark Gable version) and “Casablanca” for the umpteenth time.  And how awesome it’s been rediscovering the merit of the old Westerns. 
James Arness (Matt Dillon of “Gunsmoke”) recently passed away but he’ll never be forgotten.  Clint Eastwood sure was cool in those old “Rawhide” shows.  You even learn new words, like remuda (where the horses were secured at night during cattle drives).
That’s only part of what fires me up.  C’mon over for a few hours of “Bonanza,” James Cagney flicks and a couple of tomato pies from Pepe’s and you’ll get the rest.

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