not much of a baseball fan. I pretty much see all I need on the highlight
reel of the nightly sports segment of the news. But with the World Series
going on right now I know that many of you are paying a lot of attention
to the game right now.
One thing I don’t like about baseball these days is the use of aluminum
bats in amateur games. If I’m going to watch baseball I want to hear
the nice ‘crack’ of the bat, not the metallic ‘plink’ of a metal bat.
I read an article about the use of these bats that claims that the ball
travels faster when hit with an aluminum bat. I don’t know if this is
true or not. It seems unlikely to me, but I haven’t seen any studies
one way or the other.
The reason the article was discussing the subject was because of the
outcome of a lawsuit in Helena, Montana. The suit was filed against
Hillerich & Bradsby, the company that manufactures Louisville Slugger
baseball bats. According to the article in the Missoulian,
the company "…failed to adequately warn about the dangers the
product can pose".
Now I thought, "What sort of dangers could a bat pose. Do they
break and injure people?" No they hit baseballs that could injure
The suit was the result of the tragic death of 18 year old Brandon Patch.
Brandon "…was pitching for the Miles City Mavericks when the
ball ricocheted off his head, eventually falling behind first base after
traveling as high as 50 feet in the air."
"Patch went into convulsions on the field in front of a horrified
crowd and died within hours from his injury."
As it happens, this isn’t the first time a player has been injured after
being struck by a ball hit by an aluminum bat. There are other lawsuits
that are still pending or have been settled. But in this case the jury
awarded the family $850,000.
The basis for such a large award? "…failure to place warnings
on the product."
Now it seems to me that people playing sports should have a reasonable
idea that they could be injured. Especially a pitcher in baseball. I
mean, the pitcher is standing there in front of someone who is supposed
to hit a ball back in his direction. Does the type of bat being used
really affect this aspect of the game?
"Attorneys for Hillerich & Bradsby declined to comment. They
had argued that accidents are bound to happen in baseball games and
there’s nothing inherently unsafe about aluminum baseball bats."
"A spokesman for the legendary bat-maker said Wednesday the company
did nothing wrong and the verdict ‘appears to be an indictment of the
entire sport of baseball.’"
"’We made a bat in accordance with the rules,’ Rick Redman said.
‘That bat was approved for play by baseball’s organizing and governing
If the league allows aluminum bats, and the bats are manufactured to
the league’s specifications, does it make sense to find the manufacturer
at fault here? Does it seem that it is the league at fault for allowing
the use of the bats? Shouldn’t the league be held liable, if anyone,
for not making the players wear protective headgear?
"In the verdict Wednesday, the jury also decided the product was
not defective. Drake (one of the family’s attorneys) said that decision
was not significant, since the jury found it posed a threat without
an adequate warning label."
So this will make it all better. Put a label on the bat that says "Warning.
Baseballs might leave the bat at high rates of speed." Sheesh!
On This Article
it worth $1 a month to you to keep RGQ going? Please click the
link and direct your contribution to keep RGQ going.
"The Artist Currently Known as Unpronounceable has wasted too much
time and public goodwill forcing that damned symbol down our throats."
– Rolling Stone (1995)
"Sting – where is they death?" – Joe Queenan
Little Johnny attended
a horse auction with his father. He watched as his father moved from
horse to horse, running his hands up and down the horse’s legs and
rump, and chest.
After a few minutes, Johnny asked, ‘Dad, why are you doing that?’
His father replied, ‘Because when I’m buying horses, I have to make
sure that they are healthy and in good shape before I buy.
Johnny, looking worried, said, ‘Dad, I think the UPS guy wants to
buy Mom ..’
"If the Old Testament were a reliable guide in the matter of capital
punishment, half the people in the United States would have to be killed
"In a rational society we would want our presidents to be teachers.
In our actual society we insist they be cheerleaders."
" Totalitarianism is patriotism institutionalized." - All
from television personality, musician, actor, comedian Steve Allen who
died on this date in 2000
Is Almost Here!
Speak right up!
We have been seting up a "Haunted Path" for Halloween for
quite a while now. It takes us from the first of the month to get it
all set up and ready for a one-day event. But, we think it’s worth it.
The reactions of the kids & not-so young kids is priceless. We do
not scare the younger kids even though we are in hideous costumes somethings.
Anyone under the age of 6 we consider as "appetizers" and
try not to scare them. We will even remove our masks if they seem even
the least bit scared. Anyone over that age is an "entree"
and it is open season. We get some very interesting reactions from some
kids, and some "kids at heart".
As many know, Halloween has been an adoption of other celebrations.
Some say our Halloween is more a merging of other events into one strangely
morphed secular event. Others say it is a poor adaptation of pagan celebrations
and refuse to participate. Fall has always been a time to celebrate.
All the crops have been put in and the laborious duties of farming are
over for a while. While some societies made it a secular activity, others
used it as a time to reflect on their religious feelings.
It is because some people would use it as a religious ceremony in the
past that some people today refuse to participate. Some religions and
denominations within religions will prohibit the celebration of any
other event, secular or otherwise, if there is a tinge of paganism or
lack of appreciation for their diety or their particular beliefs. Although
today’s Halloween seems completely secular, it’s past, and portions
of it’s current representation, are unappreciated by current religions.
As a child, then as an accompanying parent, I noticed that many houses
didn’t have decorations, or, even if they did, they didn’t have on a
light to indicate they were giving out candy or treats. Even some whose
lights were on wouldn’t answer the door. I was quite confused as a child
as to why some people wouldn’t let their kids come out with me to get
candy & treats. When I was admonished for being a pagan by one mother,
it upset me. I knew I was no such thing, whatever that was.
Some, even yet, have voiced quite emphatically that they will not participate
in any such pagan activities. Now it amuses me even though I feel sorry
for the children. They are left out of something fun simply because
a celebration doesn’t fit into their religion. I can respect that they
feel that way and practice their religious teachings. But, at least
from my viewpoint, it is something fun to do that has nothing at all
to do with past beliefs or religions.
Here’s your quiz:
Do you put out Halloween decorations?
Do you consider Halloween to be a pagan celebration and something to
Do you dress up in costume for any Halloween event?
Halloween - Annual Event To Scare The Crap Out Of Kids
Cliff (the High-Tech Redneck who doesn’t rate a fancy ’signature pic’)
moment. That instant when your fingers curl round the handles of a shiny,
uncreased bag - and all the gorgeous new things inside it become yours…
It’s like going hungry for days, then cramming your mouth full of warm
Confessions of a Shopaholic ~
When I left work today, I was not feeling very well. I had been feeling
exhausted throughout the day, I had a headache, and I just felt terribly
run-down. My theory is that I have been feeling the after-effects of
the H1N1 vaccine that I received. This idea is supported by the fact
that I have been feeling as if someone had punched me in the arm, right
where the needle went in. Interestingly enough, neither of the kids
seem to have been too bothered by anything. Either I’m a complete wimp,
or my kids have benefitted from the fact that they routinely punch each
other in the arm, and they don’t even notice things like that anymore.
Anyway, I wasn’t feeling well today and when I left work, all I wanted
to do was go home and sleep. I couldn’t do that, though, because a friend
from work had invited me to join her at an invitation-only clothing
sale at some fancy place in the city - the kind of the place that I
usually feel too intimidated to even walk into. I wasn’t planning on
actually buying anything; I merely wanted to provide moral support to
my friend, who lost everything, including her wardrobe, in a house fire.
But of course, once I was there, it would have been churlish to not
even try on some of those lovely clothes. I was impelled by three little
words: Fifty, Percent, and Off. Suddenly the prices seemed merely scary
rather than downright terrifying. I wandered through the place, selecting
things to try on. I tried on jackets here, coats there, and handed things
to my own designated assistant, who would take them to the dressing
room for me while I continued browsing. It was a fairly dramatic change
from shopping at, say, Wal-Mart, where you go to the change rooms, have
your things counted, and then have a plastic tag shoved at you which
grants you entry into a tiny little cubicle where the mirrors make you
At this place, the mirrors made me look thin, which, when you think
about it, is far better marketing. People are far more likely to buy
clothes that they think they look thin in. I tried on a pair of jeans
(yes! I’m officially one jeans size smaller than before!), a jacket
(very nice, really, but I don’t have anything that goes with it), a
white shirt (made my boobs look too big), a pants suit (looked lovely,
but similar to something I already have), and a skirt suit (very nice;
a complete departure from my usual fare).
When I was leaving the place (”store” seems like too ordinary a term),
bearing my new jeans and my new skirt suit, I suddenly realized that
I felt a lot better. No more headache, no more run-down feeling, no
more exhaustion. Even my arm is not aching anymore.
So men, take note. Next time your Significant Other wants to go shopping,
remember that it is not just for self-gratification. There is an actual
proven medical benefit. I am a living example.
On This Article
I’m gonna jump. Once again, our associate registrar has ventured into
territory she knows absolutely nothing about. Then again, she did
that the first time she walked on to a college campus. Unfortunately,
she hasn’t learned much since then, even though she now has a doctorate
degree. I didn’t give it to her, so don’t blame me for that.
Allow me to explain. SHE WANTED ME TO PUT A MESSAGE ON MY WEB PAGE
IN ALL CAPS. Did you read that? Did you comprehend what it said? Was
it easy to read like my normal musings?
If you answered “no” to any of those questions, you’re probably
normal. Typing with the caps lock on is considered shouting. It’s
hard to read. It’s bad form to do it on the internet. I apologize
for abusing your senses, but I had to demonstrate what I mean. I know
you went back to read it again just because it was in all caps. If
it had been normal print like this, you probably would have understood
and remembered what it said.
Of course, I told her no. I’m not going to use an offensive font
on my web page. When I told her that, she blew a fit. She thought
I should do it just because she wanted it. I told her it is against
internet protocol and I wasn’t going to make my site offensive. She
still thought I should do it just because she wanted it. Again, I
told her it wasn’t going to happen. She told me she was going to tell
What I didn’t tell her was that I was only making the changes just
to humor her. Our Board of Directors had requested the existing message.
Any change would have to be approved by them, and there is no way
I’m going to them with something offensive. It wasn’t her call, never
was. I could have simply told her the Board thought it was fine the
way it was. But except for the ALL CAPS part, the idea was reasonable.
So I went to the College President, my VP, and the acting Academic
VP, and showed them the proposed site. I don’t like to brag, but it
looked pretty good to me without ALL CAPS. I increased the font size
for the link so it would stand out a bit, but not be shouting. They
said it was fine.
So after I published it, I got a call from the Registrar. She wanted
to know why it wasn’t in ALL CAPS. I told her I don’t do that. It’s
considered shouting. She wanted to know who said that. I offered to
send her links to netiquette,
but she didn’t have time for that.
I know it’s going to happen again. This has been going on for two
That’s why I think I’ll get her a CAPS
LOCK Trainer Key for Christmas. I’ve jumped before, but my window
is only about 6″ off the ground. I almost stubbed a toe once.
Having a Ball with Yarns
E-mail Dear Tim
on this article
Never heat pesto sauce - the basil will turn black and taste bitter.
Well it finally happened. No submissions at all! Are we getting
tired of this section? Is it time to move on to something else
in this space?
Next opening line…
My wife just flew in on a broom…
Here’s a great new rhyming/composition tool. http://www.writerhymes.com/
There’s also a great rhyming dictionary at http://www.rhymezone.com/
Limerick rules. http://freespace.virgin.net/merrick.sheldon/limerickrules.htm
went in to try on a suit,
the salesman said "It’s a real beaut!"
I showed my new bride,
she laughed till she cried,
then told me I looked like a fruit! - Mike
Re: Flight Safety
is still pretty good, but I know a jet engine mechanic who gave up flying
himself. I quit too, but for environmental reasons. My brother in law
tells of a time many years ago when the staff at his flight school had
a rush of early-morning agricultural business, and one instructor fell
asleep during a lesson. The student could not wake him with physical
agitation, but fortunately he responded to the collision-avoidance warning
phrase used in the morning work. Even during normal times, a pilot fell
asleep soon after taking a flight test, while riding back as his co-worker
took the same test.
For the airlines, pilots used to have plenty of rest time available,
but after de-regulation, time for travel between airports, etc, got
called "rest" and dozens of similar changes have led to the
current situation where pilots are often moonlighting at other jobs,
and at least one is on food stamps. (see Michael Moore) I wouldn’t necessarily
fire the recent likely sleepers, just using them as a threat to others;
I’d improve conditions for all pilots. On long overseas flights, where
it is better to have alert pilots at the landing than in the middle,
there is even an official bunk concealed in the tail of a 747. - Bob
of the North
Re: Justice? of the Peace
Hi Mike, You
had the following comments in response to my posting last week:
You said; "Using the extremist viewpoint for a moment,
I would say your friend is a bum. Two years is too long to be on the
public dole. You mean to tell me that after two years he hasn’t been
able to find a job at McDonalds?? Cut him off! I’m sick and tired of
my taxes going to support people like this!"
First, I thought that standard RGQ protocol was to refrain from
any sort of personal attack, or is it because he’s not a member that
you felt you could tee off on him? Or maybe you felt that your "extremist
view" disclaimer relieved you of the obligation? Or maybe as a
moderator you’re immune from that restriction? I just want to make sure
I understand the boundaries I have to work within.
Second, have you applied for a job recently? Never mind that the unemployment
rate in California is more than 2% higher than the national average
(US = 9.8% while CA = 12.2%), my friend just turned 50 and even though
he has better than 25 years of experience in the insurance business
there hasn’t been much interest. Not difficult to understand when companies
can easily find folks right out of college who are willing to work for
considerably less than someone with a vast amount of experience to go
along with the education would command.
As a long time RGQ reader I have an idea of just how old you are and
your field of employment. I daresay you would be very hard pressed to
find a position in your chosen field in today’s job market at a salary
similar to what you are accustomed to even though the unemployment rate
in Arkansas is quite a bit lower (7.1%) than the national average. I
won’t insult the RGQ readers by asking them to accept my facts without
being able to back them up, so here are the websites where I found this
(national) and http://www.bls.gov/lau/home.htm
(state/regional.) These are for the month of September 2009 as of October
Even minimum wage jobs such as McDonald’s as you suggested have their
own barriers in place which make it difficult for some people to even
get a chance. I haven’t been to Arkansas in the past few years (actually
a very, very nice place with great people), but I can tell you here
in Southern California you’ve probably got a better chance of getting
into Harvard Medical school than you do of getting such a job unless
you’re fluent in Spanish. This is because most of the employees speak
nothing but Spanish and you are expected to be able to work with them.
This is exactly the sort of reverse discrimination I alluded to in my
One more comment about your suggesting McDonald’s for employment. We
have a rather generous (in my opinion) minimum wage here in California
($8.00), but you’re still only likely to work 18-24 hours a week and
certainly not more than 32 as that would be considered full time. I’ll
allow for an extreme case and allow for 28 hours. For those 28 hours
you could expect a paycheck (before taxes) of 28×8 = $224. Now that’s
not bad except when you consider unemployment was paying my friend $400
a week before taxes. I can’t imagine anyone would voluntarily go to
work in this type of situation when you could be making more money by
staying at home and searching for a position in your chosen field.
"I do believe there is a racial aspect to this. When the subject
of welfare cheats, or as you put it ‘generations of welfare families’,
come up I think most people think ‘black’. So I believe there is a movement
afoot in this country to do away with social programs and they’re using
racism to further their agenda."
Your comments above could themselves be interpreted as racist. The
fact is, it’s extremely difficult to adequately discuss the topic without
appearing to be racist from at least some points of view. What "movement"
are you referring to? Who are the "they" you mention? Is this
a conspiracy theory of yours, or do you have any evidence to validate
"There should be ways to ensure that people are actively seeking
work if they are able to work. But this requires there to be jobs for
everyone. There should be penalties for companies that ship our jobs
overseas in order to make a bigger profit for themselves."
Who are you to decide how much profit is too much? In a free market
economy the consumer determines the winner and losers in the market.
I’m sure the fund managers for your 401K account would not invest in
a company who was not showing a profit, and I’m sure you would not want
them to. I also do not believe that "bigger profits" are the
sole reason US companies either farm work overseas or hire illegal workers
here at home. What about the unions who are constantly forcing employers
into a corner with demands for higher wages? In the opinion of some,
unions have all but destroyed the American automobile industry. I won’t
go that far since Detroit’s problems go well beyond the UAW, but for
me a closer to home example can be found in the local grocery store.
The unions have such a stranglehold on the grocery store chains here
in California that cashiers are paid as much as $20 an hour to sit there
and swipe goods over a laser scanner. Then they complain that there
is no full time work available and stores are reducing staffing requirements
in favor of self checkout facilities. I ask, "Can you really blame
them?" The bottom line is any company is in business to make money,
period. If they can’t make money then they’re going to close their doors,
"But in a country as rich as ours, I don’t think there should
be people starving while others make multi-million dollar bonuses for
letting their companies go broke. And I don’t think people should begrudge
the relatively small part of their taxes that go to support social programs."
I strongly agree with you on this one. Each time I read or hear
on the news about how AIG and the other bailed out companies are reserving
millions for executive bonuses it really torques my nuts. A bonus should
be a reward for a positive objective or milestone achieved. Was their
objective to all but destroy the company and undermine the entire financial
infrastructure of the United States? If so, then they deserve every
penny, however I cannot imagine how that would be the case and they
should receive absolutely zilch!
It’s obvious that we need some type of taxation in order to fund government,
but everyone seems to have their own opinion on what is a fair percentage
and how the revenue generated from taxes should be spent. I think that
might be better left for another debate forum however..
- Robert from Southern California
you said "I thought that standard RGQ protocol was to refrain from
any sort of personal attack, or is it because he’s not a member that
you felt you could tee off on him?"
Of course it makes a difference that I wasn’t saying something of this
nature to you or your friend personally, but I thought it was clear
that I was only presenting a viewpoint that I have heard voiced by others.
Of course I don’t think these things about your friend or anyone else
who is collecting assistance. I believe that these programs exist to
help those in need and I support this.
You go on to make a good defense of my arguments in favor of public
assistance by pointing out the problems your friend is having finding
suitable employment. The problem is, of course, as you presented it.
Someone can make more on unemployment than at a minimum wage job, and
you can’t even get a full time minimum wage job. Why? Because the companies
don’t want to have to pay you overtime or provide benefits. It’s all
about using the lower classes to make maximum profit.
Corporate greed has gotten to a point where a long term employee is
an expense instead of an asset. The thinking is that you can layoff
the high priced employee and replace them with someone willing to work
for less. So what if productivity, quality, or employee moral drops?
Everyone is so scared they will be the next to go that they work overtime
for free in order to keep their jobs.
I’ll comment more on this next week. Right now there are huge thunderstorms
moving in and I’m afraid I’ll loose power before I get the issue sent.]
Disclaimer- All quotes printed in this publication are believed to be
accurately attributed, but no guarantees are made that some incorrectly
attributed, or even outright false quotes won’t get in here from time
to time. I assure readers that I will do my best to weed out incorrect
quotes, and will print a retraction as soon as I become aware of any errors.
Click here to see the archives of past issues, or go to http://groups.yahoo.com/group/reallygoodquotes/messages.
If you run across something really outstanding when perusing the archives,
I’d appreciate it if you’d mail me at TheBestOfRGQ@yahoo.com
and point it out to me. I’m in the process of compiling an e-book
called, not surprisingly, The Best of RGQ, and I’d like to hear from you
which pieces impacted you the most.
Comments? Want to contribute a joke or a quote or an image? Feel free
We’d love to hear from you! We’ll even publish your comments, if they
make any sense!
you’d like to receive RGQ by email, please send a blank e-mail
can’t imagine why you’d want to, but if you choose to unsubscribe, please
send a blank e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Should you choose to unsubscribe, please e-mail
us and tell us why. We listen to what people say, even if they’re