Friday, August 10, 2012

Summer Musings

There Goes the Sun: I am green with envy at those able to harness the sun’s power. I learned yesterday my plans to install solar energy panels on the south side of our roof would not be economically feasible as my neighbor’s evergreen trees block too much of the sun, especially during the late fall, winter and early spring months. 

I tried all sorts of different configurations, including panels on the side of the garage facing east, but different trees got in the way. Well, at least I tried to reduce our carbon footprint ...

Out of the Woods: Did you hear about the golfer at Maple Moor Golf Course in White Plains who tackled a suspect fleeing from police the other day? The Good Samaritan golfer saw the suspect running away through a wooded area (

When I picked up driver and putter lo some 30-odd years ago, I played Maple Moor. Had a bad guy rambled through the woods back then I would have been in perfect position to tackle him, or at least take an errant swing at him, as I was most often in the woods because of my frequent errant swings from the tee or fairway. 

We played in a threesome back then, three new fathers—Dave, Rudy and yours truly—seeking diversion on Friday afternoons while our wives cared for our young’uns. We weren’t good golfers. Not even decent duffers. The only time our balls did not wind up in the woods was when the hole we were playing had a water hazard. You can guess where our balls landed when playing those holes. 

Anyway, Dave and I would emerge from the brambles pledging scores of eight or nine. Rudy would own up to a four, five at most. After a few rounds (golf, not drinks, though we did more than a little of that, as well), Dave and I concluded it was no fun playing with Rudy if he wasn't going to count every stroke. 

Easy Rider: Once again The New York Times has printed a story on adults learning to ride a bicycle. Here’s today’s article but if you want my version of late-in-life daredevil learning and exploits on two wheels, here’s a link to what I wrote in June 2011:

Reality TV: Have you noticed reality is starting to look a lot like TV? I mean, when did FBI and other law enforcement spokeswomen start looking like they came direct from Central Casting? 

Regrettably, over the last few weeks we’ve seen lots of TV coverage of mass shootings. I don’t intend any disrespect, but some of the public spokespeople put forward by the police and FBI have been downright good looking, like they belong on CSI or Criminal Minds.  

Perfect Match? As I’m washing up and dressing each morning I listen to the news on WCBS880, the all-news station. I’ve always assumed the station’s audience has above average education levels, and probably above average incomes. 

Which makes me wonder, why do they carry so many ads for male menopause/testosterone fixes, debt relief schemes and other “fly-by-night” remedies for everything from hair loss to car dealerships where “nothing down” lets you drive away in the vehicle of your dreams? It just seems odd that an upscale audience like the one I envision for WCBS880 would be a match for their advertisers. 

The advertisers must be reaping benefit or they wouldn’t be airing the spots so often and for so long. But you’d think that a well-informed audience would know better than to respond favorably to a pitch that promises the sexual performance of a teenager. As H.L. Mencken said, "No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."