I've decided to inflict on you some random but incisive thoughts.
- Everyone in Utah probably has some sort of "sprinkler story." When Marti and I were relaxing one Saturday afternoon at Snowbird, we put a blanket on the lawn and settled down in a prone position to read some books and magazines. After only a few minutes of deep concentration, something strange and terrible happened. Several rainbirds surrounding us exploded fiercely, and we and all our reading material were instantly drenched. Awkwardly we grabbed our soaked possessions and fled. It was hard to feel normal for a long time afterward. Talk about a wet blanket!- I have a new garbage unit. That's what I call it. You know, the humongous type with wheels that is effortlessly lifted up by a mechanized arm and deposited in the garbage truck without the driver ever leaving the cab. Pretty nifty. We had one delivered to our house with a note advising us to scrap our old garbage cans. (I can't throw them away because I can't fit them into the new unit!)
If we have too much garbage, we have to rent an extra one. So I've really been concentrating on keeping our garbage down to essentials, by flattening cereal boxes and carefully packing the garbage bags before I systematically pack the unit. It's tough - but I love the ease with which I can wheel the big thing out to the street. Progress!
- On KSL's Doug Wright Show, I heard a woman during Doug's "Sound off" portion call in and complain about the way Utahns pronounce the nationalities of people who come from countries beginning with the letter `I'. "Even though they say Italy, with a short `i,' they invariably say EYE-talians," she said. "The countries EYE-ran and EYE-raq are filled with people who are called EYE-ranians and EYE-raqians."
She is right. And it's also ARAB, not AYE-RAB. And it is NUCLEAR, not NUKULAR.
- Should it disturb us that newspapers everywhere seem to be experiencing declining revenues? A recent study by the Times Mirror Center for the People and the Press concluded that 8 percent of the people polled do not read a daily newspaper at all; 24 percent of those interviewed had not read a daily newspaper the previous day. This rose to 61 percent for people over 80. It appears that the older one grows, the less likely he or she is to read a newspaper.
Why is it that so many people have no desire to be informed?
- Even though there are more women than ever in the work force, sexism continues to run rampant. In a recent poll, the Roper organization concluded that women are increasingly dissatisfied with men because they are selfish and oversexed. Some 54 percent of the women surveyed agreed that "most men look at a woman and immediately think how it would be to go to bed with her." In 1970, only 41 percent agreed with that statement.
It is almost impossible to achieve equality in a society in which women are sensitive high-achievers and men are insensitive jerks.
- William Lutz recently wrote a book called "Doublespeak." He talks, among other things, about the current tendency in corporate America to resist laying off workers. Instead, they are "non-retained," "dehired," or "non-renewed." A patient who dies in a hospital is said to have experienced a "negative patient care outcome."
George Carlin has some, too. When, he says, did toilet paper become bathroom tissue? When did constipation become occasional "irregularity"? How is it that people have a "negative cash-flow problem" when they are in fact broke? "Shell shock" during World War I became "battle fatigue" during World War II and "operational exhaustion" during the Korean War.
That's why President Bush could claim that Iraq was not under blockade, even though all shipments going in and out were stopped. It was an "interdiction action." After that, he ordered a "minimum use of force." In other words, you disable a ship without destroying it. Pretty tricky.
And those are random thoughts for today.