I don't just put my commentary on this blog. Sometimes I come across things on Facebook that I "like," and then sometimes the things I like go and post stuff that provokes a thought or two out of me. With that in mind, here are highlights from the last seven months' worth of deep thoughts, wisecracks and other comments I've contributed to the Facebook universe, on subjects ranging from sports and entertainment to food and education:
June 3: Kellie Martin, one of my favorite actresses, posted on her blog about making ravioli. (She doesn't act much now and spends more time gardening, cooking and raising her daughter Maggie, age 4.) I said, "If Gordon Ramsay ever does a celebrity Hell's Kitchen (the UK version of HK is just that--all celebs), you'd have a leg up on your competition." KM replied, "I'd be way into that! Love that adorable Gordon Ramsay!"
June 29: The producers of Food Inc. (the Oscar-nominated documentary about the food industry) posted an article on "crop mobs"--groups of people who help independent farmers--and that very term reminded me of the Facebook game Mob Wars, which in turn led me to make this wisecrack: "FarmVille meets Mob Wars! 'You get any of those Round-Up resistant seeds anywhere near my crop, I swear I'll whack you so bad you'll be eating soft food for 3 months!'" 6 people liked that little remark--a personal record up until today. The bit about "Round-Up resistant seeds" refers to a part of the Food, Inc. documentary in which Monsanto, the makers of Roundup, had developed a soybean seed that was resistant to that herbicide, and subsequently won the right to get a patent for that seed, then proceeded to put farmers who used those seeds without paying Monsanto out of business.
July 29: Rotten Tomatoes (a great film review web site) posted the trailer for Resident Evil: Afterlife. I said, "I wish film studios would have realized already what a waste of time it is to make bad movies. Story comes first, guys, not special effects, guns or explosions!!!" 2 people liked that.
August 12: Chunky Soup asked me which flavor I would choose when I'm hungry for it: "Look for a time machine to go back to '83 so I can get some Campbell's Chunky Fisherman's Chowder!" Eight hours later, they responded back: "A 'hot soup time machine'?" (Fisherman's Chowder is one of a few Chunky Soup varities that Campbell's Soup no longer makes; I mentioned it in this blog entry from 11 months ago.)
August 17: The makers of the Back to the Future films asked its fans to tell them what I was doing in 1985: "25 years ago... I was 13 in the summer of '85, and oddly enough, I was writing a series of short stories about a mad scientist and two teenage assistants and each story involved some weird invention the mad scientist had made up (including stuff that didn't make sense, like synthetic bread dough and a potion that would allow trees to keep their leaves forever--the first story involved a time machine and was called 'That Was Now, This Is Then')."
August 24: Kellie Martin asked, "Do you guys think early reading is good or bad for young kids?" and I said, "To me, the key is to let kids read what they want to read when they're ready to read it. Sounds simple but not really--too many teachers and school administrators prescribe certain books for certain grades even if not all the kids in that grade are ready, and some kids may grow up thinking that reading is just another chore, no different than cleaning up their room or taking out the garbage." Five minutes later, KM responded, "Right, hopefully it's never a chore."
September 5: Footballguys.com notes that former Chicago Bear defensive lineman and Pro Football Weekly commentator Dan Hampton made the terribly insensitive comment, "The Vikings need to go down there and hit (New Orleans) like (Hurricane) Katrina." I commented, "Absolutely terrible. Stick him in a house that floods all the way to the attic and let's see how he feels about that choice of words then."
September 29: The group "Republicans Are Idiots And Arguing With Them Is A Waste Of Time!" mentioned how Republicans are big proponents of deregulation. My bottom line on the matter: "Every time anyone expects Corporate America to be able to 'police itself,' we end up with ValuJet, the Peanut Corporation of America, Bernie Madoff, and so on. I'm not saying deregulation sucks, just that it only works when Corporate America demonstrates that it really *is* able to police itself. Which is why I'm firmly in the corner of what the roody poo GOP calls 'Big Government.'" 4 people liked that.
October 15: Food Inc. had a poll about who people thought was "food's greatest enemy." I said, "I want to cast a write-in vote for Stewart Parnell, the owner of the Peanut Corporation of America, who cared more about profits than people to the extent that he ordered salmonella-tainted peanut products to be retested until they tested negative, then shipped them out. The toxic peanut products he sold killed at least 9 people. Then PCA filed for bankruptcy protection to avoid having to pay any money. Slimy bastard." 5 people liked this comment.
October 26: Parade magazine interviewed Rupert Grint on life after the Harry Potter films. My two cents: "Rupert should get plenty of opportunities in the UK. Besides, if worse comes to worst, Rupert will just tour the world for the rest of his life with the J.O.P. (James and Oliver Phelps) doing Harry Potter and other fantasy-genre conventions (not unlike certain Star Trek actors who went on to do those Creation conventions)." 3 people liked it. (For those not familiar with the Harry Potter films, Grint played Harry's best friend, Ron Weasley; James and Oliver Phelps played Ron's mischievous older twin brothers, Fred and George.)
November 8: KFFL.com reported that the Dallas Cowboys fired head coach Wade Phillips, one day after getting shellacked by the Green Bay Packers, 45-7. My comment: "Phillips looked like a man who had already lost his job the last two weeks. It was no longer a question of 'if,' but a question of 'when.'" 2 people agreed and must have also been watching the Cowboys-Packers game.
November 17: Food, Inc. asked, "What do you think is the worst food in America?" The question was related to this article, but I decided to answer the question directly: "To answer the question, what do I think is the worst food in America, anything that's tainted with E. coli, salmonella, listeria, or other pathogen due to poor food hygiene and/or food inspection programs. I know it's got nothing to do with the article, but I'm not going to answer the question any differently." 2 people liked that answer.
November 24: On Thanksgiving Day, KFFL.com asked, "Who have been the biggest fantasy football and NFL turkeys this year?" My response was creative because it addressed players who aren't used in fantasy football, but have an influence on how their teammates perform, the offensive line: "How about the Carolina Panthers' offensive line (as it as hurt the production and/or health of a lot of the Panthers' skill players)? Already 2 QBs and 3 RBs are banged up and that's hurt WR Steve Smith's production. RBs DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart are having their worst seasons due to injuries, and DeLo is on the IR. And I thought my Detroit Lions had a bad O-line..." What prompted me to make that remark was, I own Williams and rookie QB Jimmy Clausen in a very deep (16 teams), very competitive dynasty football league.
December 21: Paula Apsell, senior Executive Producer of NOVA (a very good documentary series that has run on PBS since 1974), commented that Spider-Man had too many "mad scientist" villains. My response (liked by 8 people, my new personal record): "For a moment there, I thought I was reading an Onion article. Anyway, mad scientist characters don't make people think that science is bad... they remind us that as long as there are people who strive for great power or personal gain, there will be people who misuse and abuse science to accomplish such ends."
For those of you wondering about whether I've tried any different diet sodas: I finally have; I like Diet Dr. Pepper Cherry and Kroger Diet Dr. K and I especially like Sprite Zero. I also have some Kroger Big K Cola Oh, but I haven't decided whether to go "thumbs up" or "thumbs down," and anyway, I'm starting to think that the only diet colas I really like are the ones with the extra flavoring in them (Diet Pepsi Lime, Coke Vanilla Zero, Coke Cherry Zero).