Thursday, February 08, 2007

Culture Week Part II - Books I Read in 2006

Hello folks and welcome to our shortest column of the year…

And what a week it has been… is there anything crazier than an astronaut in a love triangle? I mean I’m happy the police were able to stop this looney kazoonie before she would have killed anyone but you gotta give her credit for planning… I mean she packed diapers so she wouldn’t have to take an intermission to go pishing.. But can you imagine the amazing concentration you need to drive 900 miles from Houston to Orlando without stopping? In this age of chronic ADD, you gotta keep her in the space program if she can drive that long without a break! I say .. Even if she is convicted… keep sending her out on space missions.... I mean ya send her up into space in the shuttle.. she really is in custody and not “free”? What's she going to do? Run away? And if she works in the kitchen on the space station…would she be called “The Pampered Chef?”

This goes along with my long time belief that we can ease our overcrowded prisons and landfills by sending prisoners and garbage to other planets. I got a kick out of some bigshot politician in NY the other day who reacted to neighbors opposing a homeless shelter by telling a reporter…”Neighbors will always object to this type of thing.. If we put it on the Moon.. The Martians would complain”. However, it now appears that the crazy astronaut has been Anna Nicoled out of the headlines…

And how about that President Bush?… He adds to the budget to allow for more troops in Iraq yet he cuts the budget for Homeland Security. Does that mean Iraqi’s safety is more important than American safety… I guess hes gotta protect the family’s oil money.

Today for the 2nd straight year.. We present the books I read in 2006. I heard a great Sam Waterston line on Law and Order a couple of weeks ago…… The L and Os seem to be the only shows I still watch on NBC… aside from Heroes and Deal or No Deal. I only mention Deal or No Deal because there is this DOND fan website that lists this very blog as one of its “Top Bloggers”… I only tossed that reference in to get me up there in the rankings!

Anyway they had this wacky L and O episode about a reality show that led to the killing of a rapist by his victim. The episode dealt with Waterston’s prosecution of the show’s producer… In the episode the reality show was a spinoff of another show that was verrrrry similar to those Chris Hansen Dateline NBC shows where they lure child molesters into a home on the premise of meeting a young child. Anyway, Waterston convicts the producer and her network throws her under the bus by asking Waterston if he would allow the trial to be… a reality show. Waterston’s response to watching coverage of his prosecution….: “I’ll be reading a book”

As a regular reader of his fine blog, I gotta give Neil's blog credit. He constantly writes columns about the books he reads.. I recently asked him if he actually has read all those books.. And he does! Wow… I’m really not much of a book reader.. Although I do read a lot, I read a few newspapers each day and Entertainment Weekly plus a bunch of other online publications.. not to mention a lot of other blogs… but as you can see by today’s column.. The book reading .. It ain’t what it oughta be.

This past year I read 2 books and started 2 others that I‘m “still reading“… including one that I got at the tail end of 2006 during one of those trips to Dollar Tree and that irresistible dollar book bin . The first book I read was early in the year…. Podcasting for Dummies.. I bought it after numerous futile attempts to get my NWOW pod casts on Itunes. Ultimately I figured out how to do it… but not through the book which by the way is extremely informative. I finally saw the light to itunes when I bought my cell phone! As I mentioned in my Technology Schmecknology column last summer in my July 6th column… I couldn’t get my music into the mp3 player until I went back to the Cingular store and they explained that the songs only work in mp3 format.. and not as a wma… Once I figured that out… I realized that Itunes also wasn’t catching the wma format either… Once I changed ‘em to mp3, I was able to hook up my NWOW pod casts with Itunes.

Podcasting for Dummies is another book in the popular dummy series.. It is quite informative, especially for those looking to get a start in pod casting. . But with technology being updated constantly…a book like this … which was just written last year could be out of date before too long.,. However for now, it’s a good reference guide to find stuff when you run into trouble getting a podcast up and running. I thought pod casting would be more popular by now as a forum for people to do little radio shows or commentaries… Podcasting has caught on but in a different way… now people go on their My Space page and post links to the drek that they uploaded to You Tube.

As I wrote in a column a few months ago on November 24th I was a guest on another pod cast.. hosted by a guy who had heard my Mortgage Podcast… (and I suspect reads this blog too). My ability to be a “good guest” was based on tips I learned from Book #2 - “Get on TV” by Jacquie Jordan.. my first poolside book of the summer.. Jacquie and I worked at the same radio station many moons ago, and she was a guest on my pod cast here last April. Technically, I didn’t finish the book… it was summer book #1... I lost it somewhere along the line as I was reading the last chapter! However, I am sure at some point during spring cleaning, it will turn up.. But even though I technically didn’t finish it… I am still counting it on my 2006 tally.

The 2nd Summer Reading book was The Bob Schieffer autobiography “This Just In” … I picked it up at Dollar Tree and I was about 80 pages in when I ran out of summer. Schieffer has some very interesting anecdotes about his career.. Including how he met Lee Harvey Oswald’s mother after the assassination of JFK. He also tells about ducking bullets during riots at The University of Mississippi when black college student James Meredith attempted to break the color barrier by enrolling there. Oddly enough Meredith went on to become a Right Wing Republican and actually endorsed David Duke when he ran for President! Was David Duke at the Holocaust Revisionist Conference that they held in Iran?

Speaking of that hideous Iranian President.. What about that moronic group that calls itself the Neturei Karta.. A bunch of low lives who dress like Chasidic Jews but who are an embarrassment to Judaism and have now sunken lower on the Jewish food chain beneath the Jews for Jesus cult. Just so you understand.. There are a lot of very nice ultra Orthodox Jewish Chusids who dress up in their traditional black hat and black suit outfits. They are very fine people who are very devoted to their religious practices.. The Neturei Kartas are a bunch of morons who try to confuse people by going out in public dressed as Chusids, but in reality they are a bunch of idiots.

The NKs are anti Zionist… who don’t think it’s the Jews biblical right to be in Israel so they constantly come out in support of Israel‘s many enemies.. But to insult the memory of all those who died in the Holocaust by joining in with Holocaust deniers is beyond disgraceful.. One of these idiots…. “Rabbi” Friedman of Austria just saw all 4 of his kids tossed out of their Jewish school and those kids are now banned from attending any other Jewish schools. Some people say these Friedman kids are being picked on because of their controversial dad but the reality is they shouldn’t be in Jewish schools.. because the schools only take real Jews.. and the Nks are not real Jews.

I also picked up another good one at Dollar Tree at the tail end of last year…… “Stealing Time”.. about the AOL - Time Warner Merger.. I read about 30 pages of that one shortly after I bought it.. and hopefully it will make next year’s Books I Read column. In addition, I just bought Jim Cramer’s new book on eBay, and it looks like that is going to be the first book that I actually finish reading in 2007.

Now time for the Clip of the Week. This weekend the Grammys move from its annual weeknight slot to its new Sunday Night slot… thus avoiding a repeat of last year where it got hammered in the ratings by American Idol. As I mentioned in a prior column, I went to the Grammys in 1988... highlighted by an incredible “Man in the Mirror” performance by Michael Jackson that got so intense.. he seems to have briefly zoned out right in the middle. Here is a clip from that show! Check out the audience for younger versions of Mayor Koch and Billy Joel and somewhere there... little ol' me.

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