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The Daily Dose/January 17, 2019

The Daily Dose/January 17, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
Leading Off will return.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: There is big news on the convenience store front in the small town, plus Sparrow, citing the weather, declines to make his usual Wednesday trip to the Mexican joint in the next county.

When I got home I went to the convenience store for a couple of those sandwich deals that come on a croissant…This is hardly in step with the healthy eating The Wife and I have been doing for the past six weeks…But it’s hardly as if I eat healthy at the Mexican joint and I’m good for 19 of 21 meals every week, up from the old average of being good for three meals each week. 

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On This Date
In  1977 – Executions resume in the United States for the first time in nearly ten years, as Utah executes convicted murderer Gary Gilmore. Gilmore had been condemned for a murder committed the previous July, had waived all appeals and was annoyed that others, like his mother and the ACLU, tried to stop his execution. After his death, his corneas were transplanted in two other people and after an autopsy, he was cremated.

In 1999 – The Atlanta Falcons earn their first Super Bowl berth, defeating the Minnesota Vikings 30-27 in overtime to win the NFC Championship Game. A missed field goal by the Vikings late in the fourth quarter led to a game-tying touchdown by the Falcons as the Vikings became the first team in NFL history to finish the regular season 15-1 and not win the Super Bowl. The Falcons would lose Super Bowl XXXIII 34-19 to the Denver Broncos.

In 1981 – Kool & the Gang is at #1 on Billboard’s soul chart – then known as the Hot Soul Singles chart – for the fourth of six consecutive weeks with Celebration. It was their twelfth Top 10 hit on the soul chart and fifth #1. In February, Celebration would become Kool & the Gang’s only #1 song on Billboard’s Hot 100.

Quotebook
This species could have been so great, and now everybody just wants a new Salad Shooter or sneakers with lights in them. This is what we’ve settled for.
George Carlin

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
I’ll Never Smile Again by Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra with Frank Sinatra and the Pied Pipers was the first #1 song Billboard’s Best Selling Singles chart, on July 27, 1940.

Today’s Stumper
Before Gary Gilmore, who was the last person executed in the United States? –Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 16

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The Daily Dose/January 16, 2019

The Daily Dose/January 16, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off: We asked for it and we got it
The most prosperous nation in human history is approaching the end of its first month of making some of its employees work for free. They will have missed two paychecks and while they’ll eventually be paid the money they’ve earned that is not doing them a whole lot of good now.

(As we’ve noted here before, we don’t have to worry about whether or not the president and Congress and their staffs are getting paid during the shutdown. Essential government employees get paid during shutdowns and no one is more essential to this fiasco than the president and Congress.)

Everyone associated with this should be ashamed of themselves but no one really is. The president certainly isn’t. He is maximizing his only real talent of drawing attention to himself and he is accustomed to holding out and getting his way besides. The Democrats certainly aren’t feeling any shame; sniffing blood, they are also giving a clinic in hunkering down and circling the wagons. The GOP itself might be, but long ago they went all-in with a candidate and a president they never really wanted in the first place and they will continue to tolerate this.

We are tolerating it, too. We are allowing our government to completely hamstring our country. We are tolerating our government saying, in essence:

Here are the chains we have for you. Put them on.

A hundred years from when all new people are looking back on this period, they may well be looking back at the beginning of the end of The Great American Experiment, America having been tossed aside History’s scrap heap, along with, among others, the Roman Empire and the Soviet Union.

Or, perhaps, they will look at an America that collectively declared they’d had enough of perpetual war, of fiscal insanity, of a partisan, fractured and bickering government and went and did something about it at the ballot box.

We’ll see.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody
Dr Sparrow takes yet more water readings at the hotel and there is a house guest at The Shire.

I took more water readings at the hotel this morning…A classically trained scientist, I suppose, I simply needed more data before submitting my results for peer review in Nite Auditor’s Water Journal…

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On This Date
In 1605 – The Ingenious Nobleman Sir Quixote of La Mancha – commonly known as Don Quixote – by Spaniard Miguel de Cervantes is published in Madrid. Sales were strong from the start, despite the fact most of a shipment to the New World was lost. Don Quixote has long been considered one of the founding works of western literature and remains the second-translated book in human history, trailing only the Bible.

In 1869 – The University of Chicago defeats the University of Iowa 15-12 in Iowa City in the first college basketball game featuring five players on a side. The original 13 rules for the game, written by James Naismith in 1892, did not specify the number of players on a side and, previously, anywhere from seven to nine players had been used. Some sources give the date of this game as January 18.

In 1943 – Tommy Dorsey and his Orchestra is at #1 on Billboard’s Best Selling Singles chart – Billboard’s very first chart, established in 1940 – with There Are Such Things. Vocals were by Frank Sinatra and the song was the fourth and final #1 single Sinatra and Dorsey would have together. The song spent four weeks at #1 before dropping out of the top spot for a week and would return to #1 for one more week on February 27.

Quotebook
Fortune is guiding our affairs better than we ourselves could have wished.
Miguel de Cervantes
Don Quixote
Editor’s Note: click here to read commentary from Gaylon on this quote, from the old Thought for the Day feature.

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The parents of Elizabeth I were Henry VIII and his second wife Anne Boleyn.

Today’s Stumper
What was the first #1 song Billboard’s Best Selling Singles chart? –Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 15

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The Daily Dose/January 15, 2019

The Daily Dose/January 15, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off
We have talked about this from time to time here:

Why is the GOP still around? They are not doing anyone any good.  

For the first two years of the Trump Administration, they gave a clinic in How Not To Govern With Control of the White House and Congress. They had a golden opportunity to do some good for our country and they passed on this opportunity, the partisan and fractured state of our country gripping the Republicans, too. Perhaps they could have done less had they tried but we don’t know. They did have a tax cut that wasn’t too bad, but didn’t really go half as far as our taxed ravaged country was entitled to. They accomplished nothing else.

The Republicans have not produced a decent elected president since Eisenhower: Nixon was a crook. Reagan was the most managed president in history. George Bush was a decent man but was unable to parlay the Gulf War into a second term. His son lied to get us into war. Ford, of course, was not elected president and did well under circumstances the Son of Man would have found challenging.

Trump is petty, manipulative and vindictive, a 72-year-old child whose only real talent is drawing attention to himself, offering his party and his country nothing more than petulance and intransigence.

And Republicans are taking it!

From Congress to state capitols to governor’s mansions to Main Street, Republicans are shuffling around with their hands in their pockets accepting this. Collectively they are not revolting, not saying enough, not demanding better. It is time for them to disappear.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody
Sparrow takes more water impurities readings at the hotel, plus there are two tedious phone calls at the retailer to endure.

Later, this guy called me, more or less to have a captive audience for his whining…There was nothing I could do for him…It started when he asked what our price was on some beard oil, a request we don’t get half as often as you might think…I go find it and tell him it’s $7.22…Then he goes off about he is having problems with some retailer dot com orders he’s placed…He’s having trouble getting them picked up. 

It was one of those one-sided conversations you cannot get out of because there is no opportunity…And even if you did find a spot to chime in what were you going to say, you’re an idiot, stop talking to me???

The Bottom Ten/NFL FinalBetter late than never, it’s the final NFL Bottom Ten of the season culminating, as usual, with the awarding of The Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom supremacy.

10. Cincinnati Bengals (6-10; lost to ) – Six (6) win teams in final B-10 survey rare, but B-10 pollsters wanted to send shout out to ousted head coach Marvin Lewis who in 16 years produced as many playoff wins (0) as B-10 titles (0), going down in history as probably worst coach never to win B-10 title..Next Loss: 2019

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On This Date
In 1559 – Elizabeth I is crowned Queen of England in Westminster Abbey. Elizabeth I had ascended the throne the previous November upon the death of her predecessor Mary I and would reign for 44 years and 127 days, the ninth-longest reign by a British monarch. History refers to her reign as the Elizabethan Era. 

In 1997 – The Seattle SuperSonics establish a new NBA record for Most Steals in an NBA Game and ties the record for Most Steals in a Quarter, taking the ball away from the Toronto Raptors 27 times total and eleven times in one quarter, though the NBA record book declines to name the quarter. The Sonics won the game 122-78 and both records still stand. The Raptors added 12 steals and the combined total of 39 was the second-highest total in NBA history.

In 1972 – Don McLean is at #1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 for the first of four consecutive weeks with American Pie. The song also went to #1 in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand and spent three weeks in the runner-up spot in Great Britain. American Pie was Billboard’s third biggest song of 1972. While McLean has generally avoided answering questions about the song’s lyrics, in 2015 the lyrics and original notes for the song were auctioned off for $1.2 million. At 8 minutes and 33 seconds and was the longest song to hit the Hot 100 up to that time, and American Pie remains the longest #1 song of the Rock Era.

Quotebook
…[The Romans] decided that to eat state corn in the city was better than to sweat on the land…Sloth combined with superstition…Wealth mounted, but did not spread.
Will Durant
The Story of Civilization, Vol. III: Caesar and Christ 

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The Americans who signed the Treaty of Paris ending the American Revolution were Benjamin Franklin, John Jay and John Adams.

Today’s Stumper
Who were the parents of Elizabeth I? –Answer next time!

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The Bottom Ten/NFL Final

The Bottom Ten/NFL Final
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

It starts in July. 32 National Football League teams with one (1) dream: The Dan Henning Trophy, symbolic of NFL Bottom Ten supremacy. One (1) team wins it. 31 are left to wonder ‘what if?”

In the end it was the San Francisco 49ers who become the first team with five (5) Super Bowl titles to take home The Dan Henning Trophy, thanks to big strength-of-schedule points for losing both of their games to the Cardinals. 

The final imbroglio, as the nags cross the nags, finally, cross the finish line:

1. San Francisco 49ers (4-12; lost to Los Angeles Rams 48-32) – Despite only having second-lowest win total in league, 49ers earn first B-10 title thanks to losing twice to lousy Cardinals…49er fan(s) breathing huge sigh of relief, as late, two-game winning was thought to have taken Niners out of title contention…Next Loss: 2019

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 14

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The Daily Dose/January 14

The Daily Dose/January 14, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off: Hut, Hut, Hike
All right, it’s time for the final whining of the season about how our country determines its major division college football champion. Our every-hour-on-the-hour calls this past month for a 32- team, NCAA Division I Football Championship are falling on deaf ears, so let’s work with what we have.

Actually, taken in the context of what we are being force-fed, the recent College Football Playoff (CFP) did it’s work rather well…Plainly, Clemson and Alabama were the two best teams in the country. The way they sashayed through the CFP semifinals established that. Yes, Ohio State and Washington should have been able to show what they had in a playoff, but no one was complaining about the Clemson/Alabama title game.

Could we please end this on New Year’s Day, though? Nobody really cares about college football after either January 1st or Monday, January 2nd. It’s time to go back to work and the NFL playoffs are starting soon and pitchers and catchers report in a few weeks. It’s good to have college football in the rearview mirror.

Consider this: New Year’s Day could start off with the Sugar Bowl, followed by the Rose Bowl and then the CFP title game and the day would probably become an American classic quicker than you can say “selection committee”. The semifinals could be played on the third Saturday in December, rotating between the Cotton, Peach, Orange and Fiesta bowls.

New Year’s Eve could be a football fest, too. Hold the I-AA, Division II and Division III national championship games on January 31. The 23 people who genuinely care about the NCAA’s small school national championships will find the games.

Would this stop our annual whining? No, of course not; only a 32-team NCAA Division I football playoff that began the first Saturday in December and ended on January 1st would do that. But having the CFP title game on New Year’s Day would cover a multitude of sins.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a Nobody: Sparrow takes more water impurity measurements, scams some pizzza at the hotel and makes dinner for The Wife.

The Wife even let me do the dishes – a sign at how tired she was because usually she doesn’t let me clean anything because I’m no good at it – while she enjoyed a bath. 

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On This Date
In 1784 – The Congress of the Confederation ratifies the Treaty of Paris, which ended the American Revolution, in Annapolis, Maryland, then the capital of the United States. The treaty had been signed the previous September and Great Britain would ratify the treaty in April and the American Revolution would officially end on May 12, when diplomats exchanged ratified copies in Paris. Of the treaty’s original ten articles, only the first one, concerning American sovereignty, is still in effect.

In 1943 – Alex Smart of the Montreal Canadiens becomes the first player to score three goals in his first NHL game. Smart had two goals in the closing seconds of the second period added another goal in the third and finished the night with four points as the Canadiens defeated the Chicago Black Hawks 5-1. Smart would finish the season and his NHL career with five goals in eight games. His record was tied several times before Auston Matthews of Toronto scored four goals in his first NHL game on October 12, 2016.

In 1978 – Johnny Paycheck is at #1 on Billboard’s country chart – then known as the Hot Country Singles chart – for the second of two consecutive weeks with Take This Job and Shove It. Though Paycheck had eleven Top 10 hits on the country chart from between 1966 and 1978, Take This Job and Shove It would be his only #1. The B side of this single, Colorado Kool-Aid, also charted, peaking at #50 on the country chart. Paycheck was born Donald Lytle in Ohio in 1938 and had his name legally changed in 1964. He died in 2003.

Quotebook
I wanted to – know.
That is it. That is all there is, to want to know.
Gore Vidal
Empire

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
The Green Bay Packers were the first team to win consecutive Super Bowl titles, defeating the Kansas City Chiefs in Super Bowl I and the Oakland Raiders in Super Bowl II.

Today’s Stumper
Who signed the Treaty of Paris for the United States? –Answer next time!

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The Diary of a Nobody/January 13

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The Daily Dose/January 13, 2019

The Daily Dose/January 13, 2019
By Gaylon Kent
America’s Funniest Guy

Leading Off: A Look in the Mirror
The longest government shutdown in American history is now in its fourth week. The results really aren’t that drastic unless, of course, you’re one of the 800,000 federal workers who are working for free until this is settled. Then it is drastic because you have food, clothing and shelter to pay for and you do not have the money you’ve earned to pay for it.

(Congress and the president are getting paid, of course, don’t you worry about that. The shutdown only affects non-essential government services and Congress and the president, of course, are essential because without them we wouldn’t have this shutdown. It should be noted that President Trump has declined his salary since Day 1.)

The usual people are saying the usual things: Republicans are blaming Democrats, Democrats are blaming Republicans while the media dutifully chronicles all this as if it were legitimate news and not the blowhard ramblings of elected officials merely looking to further increase and consolidate wealth and power.  You and me, we the people, are frustrated and angry.

But, really, is any of this a surprise? No, of course, it isn’t. Collectively you and me – we the people – are to blame for this. We took a flier on making substantive, any, changes this past November to the way we are governed: a partisan, fractured and bickering electorate reelected a partisan, fractured and bickering government. As long as we keep re-electing the status quo, as long as we reelect incumbents at 80-90 percent rates, as long as we keep tolerating and enabling this, we will continue to have a substandard, partisan and bickering government.

We deserve better, of course, but we are not going to get better until we start demanding better on Election Day.

Today At The Site
The Diary of a NobodySparrow explains how sometimes you might find another person in your assigned hotel room, plus The Wife makes another good dinner, while also measuring the level of impurities in both their tap and filtered water.

The beef, of course, came from cows that were read bedtime stories and fed only grains that were fertilized by the waste of fasting, Tibetan monks and cost $93.37 a pound.

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On This Date
In 2012 – The Italian cruise ship Contra Costa runs aground and capsizes off the coast of Tuscany in northwest Italy. 32 people died and Contra Costa Captain Francesco Schettino was found negligent and convicted of manslaughter and is currently serving his 16-year sentence. Schettino actually fled his ship before it capsized, explaining that he slipped and just happened to fall into a lifeboat. The ship was ultimately towed to its homeport of Genoa, where it was scrapped.

In 1974 – The Miami Dolphins defeat the Minnesota Vikings 24-7 in Super Bowl VIII at Rice Stadium in Houston, becoming only second team win consecutive Super Bowl titles. It was the first Super Bowl played in a stadium that did not regularly host an NFL team and the last to be played with goal posts at the goal line. For the Vikings, it was the second of four Super Bowl losses. The game was broadcast by CBS, with Ray Scott, Pat Summerall and Bart Starr announcing, Charley Pride sang the national anthem and the University of Texas Longhorn Band entertained at halftime.

In 1973 – Carly Simon is at #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for the second of three weeks with You’re So Vain. The song also went to #1 in Australia, New Zealand and Canada and was Billboard’s ninth biggest hit of 1973. Exactly who the song is referring to remains a matter of some speculation. For her part, Simon has long said it refers to three men, one of whom is actor Warren Beatty. You’re So Vain remains Simon’s only #1 song on the Hot 100.

Quotebook
Older voters who had lived through the Depression and two world wars fretted that America had somehow lost its grit and will to sacrifice.
Evan Thomas
Ike’s Bluff

Answer To The Last Trivia Question
Rebecca Latimer Felton of Georgia was the first woman to serve in the United States Senate. Appointed in October 1922 following the death of Thomas Watson, Felton served one day in November 1922, after the Senate reconvened and was replaced the following day by Walter George, who had won the special election to fill Watson’s unexpired term.

Today’s Stumper
Which was the first team to win consecutive Super Bowl titles? –Answer next time!

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