Mar. 28, 2005

Here’s another closed-captioned gaffe (see the first one), this time from ESPN’s Pardon the Interruption.

The PTI hosts, Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon, were discussing Mariners outfielder Ichiro Suzuki, who has posted a blistering .531 batting average through 15 games during spring training this year. But the caption spelled the player’s first name as follows:


As opposed to, um, Scratchy Row?

[ No. 161 ]

Mar. 23, 2005

The fourth in a series (see posts 1, 2, and 3):

Stop it.

Stop writing “phase” when you really mean “faze,” as in, “the long line at the DMV didn’t even faze me.” That’s faze. F-A-Z-E. It’s a homophone that most third graders can spell correctly.

Stop automating everything in public restrooms. Toilets that automatically flush are a good idea, but I feel like an idiot when I have to repeatedly wave my hands at faucets and paper towel dispensers with motion sensors. Meanwhile, automatic soap dispensers seem to work a little too well — even after I have plenty of soap to work with, they just keep on…dispensing.

Stop dodging questions about whether you used steroids during your baseball career. C’mon, McGwire, Congress hauls you into a hearing, and all you have to say is, “I’m not going to talk about the past”? Regardless of where your herculean strength came from, you certainly don’t seem to have a backbone.

Stop exploiting Terri Schiavo to further your own religious or political agenda (thanks for the link, MamaQ). It’s a very sad, complex case, but one fact remains: no fewer than 19 judges have agreed that Schiavo made her wishes known to her husband. So why do some people feel compelled to “save” her on behalf of a simplistic right-to-life movement? And what gives any governor the right to challenge and possibly undermine those previous rulings?

You heard me. Just stop.

[ No. 160 ]

Mar. 17, 2005

Well, it’s St. Patrick’s Day once again — the feast day of Ireland’s patron saint and the highlight of the holiday season for my potato-eating, beer-swilling people. But for the Devine household, this day is not just about green beer and leprechauns.

On Mar. 17, 1975, when I was just a few months old, my parents completed settlement on their first house in West Chester, Pa., so today is our house’s 30th birthday. It’s pretty unusual for people to live in the same house for three decades, but I’ve always appreciated having a single childhood home. While everything else around me seems to change on a daily basis, the house that I grew up in has remained a comforting constant.

But observing this milestone for my parents’ house reminds me of a depressing fact: my own 30-year mortgage runs through 2034. Ugh.

[ No. 159 ]

Mar. 14, 2005

Intriguing new TV show: Intervention, which recently began airing on A&E.

Each episode profiles two people who are led to believe that they are being filmed for a documentary about addiction, but don’t know that they’re about to face an intervention organized by their families and friends. That might sound a little deceptive, but you simply can’t imagine the depths to which these people have fallen:

Scary stuff. Most of these people have no one to blame but themselves, yet I think some of their parents probably enabled some of their self-destructive behavior along the way. God forbid, but if I went broke from a drug habit or a massive gambling debt and I was forced to move back home at the age of 30, my parents would probably send me to a recovery center the next day.

One minor complaint: each show spends about 40 minutes on the addicts’ background stories, 15 minutes on the tension-filled intervention itself, but less than five minutes on the post-rehab update. The outcome seems to be an afterthought, for some reason. A few more details on each person’s road to recovery could make for a more uplifting story.

Intervention isn’t for everyone — it’s a gritty show that’s not always pleasant, but it can certainly put your own everyday problems into perspective. And maybe that “Just Say No” campaign wasn’t such a bad idea after all.

[ No. 158 ]

Mar. 8, 2005

Allow me to paraphrase a thought-provoking question that was posed by radio talk-show host Michael Smerconish this morning:

Why was the CEO of Boeing forced to resign over an embarrassing extramarital affair with a subordinate, while a certain former U.S. president was not held to a similar standard of conduct for the same unethical behavior?

Personally, I’ve been required to sign a code of conduct at most, if not all, of my employers over the last nine years. It’s part of the corporate landscape, and for good reason. Should we expect anything less from our elected officials?

[ No. 157 ]

Mar. 5, 2005

While I was withdrawing money from the ATM at the supermarket this afternoon, a specific title on a nearby rack of “Inspirational Books” caught my eye:

Saying It So He’ll Listen

You Can Have Better Communication
with the Man in Your Life

Dr. David Hawkins

Interesting generalization right there in the title — communication problems are the man’s fault. I think we all know some women who aren’t exactly gold medalists in listening, either, but no one would dare to write a book entitled, Getting Her to See It Your Way. That would be offensive and sexist, right?

To make matters worse, the book’s author (the self-proclaimed “relationship doctor”) is a guy! Hey, whose side are you on?

[ No. 156 ]