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What I Heard This Week! July 5, 2018

What I Heard This Week July 3, 2018

In Georgia, a 46-year-old woman went outside in her own front yard to take a picture and a bobcat attacked her, so she grabbed the cat by the throat and didn’t let go until she choked it to death.  She was treated for rabies, a broken finger and several bite and claw wounds to her hands, arms, chest and legs. It just so happens that her father-in-law was once a bobcat trapper. What are the chances.


How to win the war on drugs: 1. Legalize drugs. 2. Require all drugs be purchased through your local cable company customer service.


A black felt Bicorn-style hat believed to have been dropped on the battlefield at Waterloo 203 years ago by Napoleon Bonaparte, was purchased at auction for more than $400,000. The buyer was an unidentified private collector from Europe.


If you didn’t get Napoleon’s hat, then there is still time to purchase a private jet once owned by Elvis Presley that has sat on a runway in New Mexico for nearly four decades. Red velvet seats may seal the deal for you. It sold last year for $430,000. Better hurry.


The Miss America organization has announced that the pageant will no longer judge contestants on their appearance. Swimsuits are out and “each candidate will participate in a live interactive session with the judges, where they can highlight achievements and goals in life.”

Golfer Bubba Watson has donated $200,000 to the Travelers Championship to support the Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for seriously ill children. Pay it forward.


A woman has been ordered to pay more than $200,000 to her ex-boyfriend. Why, you ask? Hmmm…it seems that in 2013, when the boyfriend was accepted to study at Los Angeles’ Coburn Conservatory of Music, she intercepted his acceptance email and declined the “full” scholarship offer because she didn’t want him to leave her. I hope the girl will be able to get some help in the self-esteem department and eventually get rid of the huge “L” on her forehead.


Do you ever think about your own obituary and what it will say? I have a file in my desk that is titled, “My Funeral.” When I see something that I like; music, quotes, prayers, thoughts and more, I stick it in my funeral file. I believe I’m making the job easier for my children when my time comes. Well, in Minnesota, an 80-year-old woman died, and here are small bits of her obit: “She married…had two children, Gina and Jay. In 1962 she became pregnant by her husband’s brother…moved to California…abandoned her children…will now face judgement…she will not be missed…understand that this world is a better place without her.” Hmmm. A little harsh, perhaps. In Texas, the obit of a 74-year old male read…“a model example of bad parenting combined with mental illness and a complete commitment to drinking, drugs, womanizing and being generally offensive…he lived 29 years longer than expected, and much longer than he deserved.”  I just got back from a 10-day driving trip with my two kids. It was fun, but perhaps I should write my own obit. 😊


An American sperm donor, who has fathered 33 children, with 10 more on the way, has been banned from donating sperm in Israel. His nickname is ‘The Sperminator.’ Sometimes I have no comments that are printable. On a more positive note, just think of the lovely obit and all those children that he will leave behind. Surely, one of them will have something nice to say. If this isn’t enough information for you, then note that there is a documentary.


RECENT BIRTHDAYS: Singer Barry Manilow is 75. Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich is 75. Comedian Joe Piscopo is 67. Saturday Night Live when it was funny. Actor Thomas Haden Church is 57. Actor Greg Kinnear is 55. Tennis player Venus Williams is 38. Rapper Kendrick Lamar is 31. Baseball Hall of Fame Lou Brock is 79. Music legend Sir Paul McCartney is 76. Have you seen his ‘Car Karaoke with James Corden?’ It’s really good…a guided tour of Liverpool and some of the greatest hits ever, very sweet and very emotional.  


Actor Malcolm McDowell is 75. Remember A Clockwork Orange? Comic Tim Allen is 65. Tim the Toolman and Buzz Lightyear.  Actress Ally Sheedy is 56. The Breakfast Club and St. Elmo’s Fire. TV anchor Hannah Storm is 56. Actor Chris Evans is 37. Captain America. Actresses entrepreneurs Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are 32. Actor Robert Englund is 71. Playwright actor Harvey Fierstein is 66. Mrs. Turnblad in Hairspray. Comedian Sandra Bernhard is 63. Singer Tom Jones is 78. He still looks and sounds sooo good. Actor Ken Osmond is 75. Leave it to Beaver. Actor Liam Neeson is 66. Vice President Mike Pence is 59. Rocker Dave Navarro is 51. Red Hot Chili Peppers.


Vanna White, age 61, became the official cohost of Wheel of Fortune in 1982, has worn over 6,500 outfits, never the same one twice and helped give away millions of dollars in cash and prizes over the past 35 years. The mother of two (age 24 and 20), says she is not going anywhere anytime soon. We all have a Vanna White dress in our closet and I remember telling my daughter to just get up on stage and act like Vanna White. What an icon.


Rock singer Ann Wilson is 68. Heart. Actress Kathleen Turner is 64. That husky voice. Romancing the Stone. Singer Paula Abdul is 56. Actress Zoe Saldana is 40. Star Trek, Avatar, Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers: Infinity War. Rapper Macklemore is 35. Actress Isabella Rossellini is 66. Actress Carol Kane is 66. The Princess Bride. Country singer Blake Shelton is 42.


O.J. Simpson is 70. On June 17th, 1994, 95-million viewers were glued to their televisions as he led police on a low-speed chase along a southern Los Angeles freeway in his white Ford Bronco. He was arrested and charged with murder in the slaying of his ex-wife and her friend Ronald Goldman. Simpson shocked the nation when he walked out of court a free man in 1995 after his defense team proved there wasn’t enough evidence to find him guilty. The case cost nearly $20 million (in 1995 money) to fight and defend. While he was awaiting trial in prison, he was allowed to continue signing memorabilia as part of a marketing and merchandising plan by his defense team to generate money. He would sign cloth numbers that were later sewn on jerseys and sign leather pieces that were made into footballs. Later he landed in prison for armed robbery and kidnapping.


Richard Harrison, better known as the “Old Man” in the TV show Pawn Stars, has died at age 77.


Mark your calendars: The much-awaited documentary about the late comic genius Robin Williams will air on July 16, 2018 on HBO. Robin Williams died in 2014. The show is titled Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind.


LeBron James announced he is leaving the Cleveland Cavaliers for a four-year contract with the Los Angeles Lakers – and, cough, cough, $154 million. I wonder how much that is per day. My son says it’s $105,479.45 per day.


Speculation is that Ewan McGregor is going to reprise his role as the iconic Jedi master, Obi-Wan Kenobi, in Star Wars 9.


A 46-year-old, well-known criminal in France, escaped after an armed commando landed a helicopter in the prison courtyard then carried him away. Officials believe that they had scoped out the place with drones. BUT, there is more. He had done it before. In 2013, he took four guards hostage, then used plastic explosives hidden in tissue packs to blast through five sets of prison doors, escaping from another prison. At one time he renounced crime and wrote a book that said his life of crime was inspired by American films such as Scarface and Heat. Hmmm. No more hall passes for this guy. This has Hollywood written all over it.


In June of 1885, the Statue of Liberty arrived in New York Harbor, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of America.  The 450,000-pound, copper and iron statue, was reassembled and dedicated the following year in a ceremony presided over by US President Grover Cleveland and is known around the world as an enduring symbol of freedom and democracy.  French sculptor Fredeic-Auguste Bartholdi modeled it after his own mother. The statue alone (without the pedestal) cost the French an estimated $250,000, more than $5.5-million in today’s money. “Lady Liberty” was originally copper-colored, but over the years has gone through a natural color-change process called patination that produced its current greenish-blue hue. President Cleveland said, “We will not forget that Liberty has here made her home; nor shall her chosen altar be neglected.” 


US News and World Report’s annual list of Best Places to Live has several Texas locations including Austin as #1.  Other locations in Texas are San Antonio #14, Dallas-Ft. Worth #18, Houston #26, Killeen #90, El Paso #105, Corpus Christi #106, Beaumont #113, McAllen #115 and Brownsville #121.  Judging by the 5:00 traffic that we seem to be having lately in our small town, it must also be considered one of the best places to live.


In Richmond, Texas, three masked men kicked down the door of a home and held a 7-year-old boy in a bathtub of hot water to force his family to turn over cash and valuables. The boy was treated for burns. That was rather brutal.


In Italy, thieves used a blowtorch to pry open steel bars, then crawled in through a narrow window and stole a bunch of organic cheese. They did this twice in 24-hours. All in all, they made off with almost 25,000 pounds (271 wheels weighing 90 pounds each) of Italy’s famous Parmigiano-Reggiano with a total street value of $300,000.


People at Glenwood Caverns Adventure theme park in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, were evacuated because of a wildfire that was quickly stopped by fire crews. That’s an adventure that could be skipped.


In Topeka Kansas, a law went into effect that protests Good Samaritans who break into vehicles to save overheating children, animals and vulnerable adults. Why the heck would anyone need a law to protect this?


In Las Vegas, the names of about 7,200 registered sex offenders are due to be posted on a state website beginning in October. Why wait until October?  The kids and I ended our 10-day trip and flew home from Las Vegas last weekend. After looking at all the billboards and “other” things, it’s no wonder that there are many sex offenders there.


Stay cool, and many thanks to the readers that missed this column and let me know. That made me feel good, but I was having fun on vacation and rocket launching in White Sands with my daughter. More about that next week.

Much Ado About Nothing – Win A Cremation

Much Ado About Nothing July 3, 2018

Much Ado by Jean Ciampi

I had this actually sent to me, so you can’t accuse me of making this up. Besides, you can’t make up stuff like this. One day in the mailbox, there’s a letter from The Neptune Society announcing the opportunity to “WIN A PRE-PAID CREMATION!” … Really? What’s second prize?

Naturally, this sets off a fire storm of questions in my mind. Questions like, what do you do to get on this mailing list? Do they know something that I don’t? I mean, I’ve been running! I’m healthy! Are they after my gold fillings?! Do I have to be present to win? What if I do win? Do I have to collect immediately, because I’m not doing all this running to go ashes-to-ashes quite this soon.

So I go to the website looking for some answers. I want to know if I win, can I transfer the prize? This might be the perfect solution for what to get my dad for Christmas this year and at just the right price for my budget! However, I’m almost sure that wrapping up the prize certificate with a box of matches would certainly send any hopes of an inheritance up in flames.

What I did find on their website is information on how my cremated remains can be placed in an underwater memorial reef off of Key Biscayne, Florida. I’m married to an Italian, but this gives a whole new meaning to “sleeping with the fishes.” Becoming a citizen of their “classical recreation of The Lost City” 40-feet underwater lets me do my part to rebuild the coral reefs. Yeah, I get to be fish food. And my family will all have to be certified scuba divers to come put flowers on my gravesite. Which isn’t a bad thing. I’ll find out which of them are truly devoted to my memory and which ones need to be haunted by the Ghost of Christmas Future!

Regardless of how charming the whole contest seems at first glance, I think I’m going to pass … on the contest. Not pass on. Which would then make me rethink trying to win a free cremation. For now, I’ll just wait for Ed McMahan to show up and tell me I might have already won a million dollars.

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