News of the Week: Powerball, Christmas Music, and Garfield Visits the Rockwell Museum

In the news for the week ending November 4, 2022, are warm weather, Twitter’s takeover, Oprah’s offers, the Spruce Goose, and more.


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Random Notes

As I type this, it’s 65 degrees and a little muggy. That’s not November weather, it’s early September weather. I still have my screen in the front door. I think this is the latest in the year I haven’t put the glass in.

I won Powerball last week. I got one number for $4.00, but a win is a win. I don’t have to buy another ticket!

I called my doctor’s office the other day and I’m pretty sure the on-hold music playing was a polka version of Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven.”

When I got the secretary on the line she said to me, “Could I have your name?” So I answered, “You could, but that would be a remarkable coincidence.” Crickets on the other end.

I don’t know what made me think of this, but I haven’t danced in 25 years.

I lied, I did buy another Powerball ticket.

Will Elon Musk Ruin Twitter?

There are three possible responses to this question:

  1. Who cares?
  2. It was already ruined.
  3. I hope so.

Musk has already fired several top execs at the company and now wants to charge $19.99 a month to people who want a blue checkmark. And to that I say HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.

When Stephen King objected, Musk dropped the price to $8. Order now and he’ll throw in this stainless steel Bundt pan!

Honestly, I’m not even sure why I’m writing about this (and I envy you if you have no idea who Musk is or why Twitter is important to some people). If you’re only quitting Twitter now, you haven’t been paying attention. You should have quit years ago.

These Are a Few of Oprah’s Favorite Things

Sometimes I wonder if Oprah has all of her “favorite things” in her house or they’re just suggestions she’s making. I bet it’s the former. Every single one of the 104 items on this year’s list is currently in her home. When she gets up in the morning, she makes toast in the Revolution toaster that goes for $408 (by the looks of it I think it’s also a supercomputer or stereo system?); at work she uses her Amazon Echo ($170); and at night she sits by the fire drinking espresso from her Delonghi Espresso Machine ($900) as she decorates her Frantoio olive tree ($86).

Maybe I think way too much about how Oprah spends her day.

Is It Too Early for Christmas Music?

This is a question I ask every year, and I have to because it seems that they’re starting to play Christmas music earlier and earlier every year. The SIRIUSXM “Holiday Traditions” channel launched just a few hours after Halloween ended. (Actually, the channel runs year-round now, but every holiday season they move it to a more prominent number on the dial.)

And to that I say … fine! I actually like Christmas music, and I see no reason why it shouldn’t be played from November 1 until New Year’s Day. If it’s going to be 65-70 degrees in November, something has to get us into the holiday mood.

I don’t feel this way about everything associated with Christmas. I started to see Christmas commercials two weeks before Halloween, and that’s just plain wrong. No one wants to fa-la-la when they’re carving pumpkins dressed like Wonder Woman.

Speaking of Christmas, here’s the trailer for A Christmas Story Christmas, the sequel to the 1983 favorite A Christmas Story. I just used the word Christmas four times in one sentence.

RIP Jerry Lee Lewis, Julie Powell, Gael Greene, George Booth, Sy Presten, D.H. Peligro, and Takeoff

Jerry Lee Lewis was one of the last of the original rock ’n’ rollers, with such classic songs as “Great Balls of Fire,” “Whole Lot of Shakin’ Going On,” “High School Confidential,” “Breathless,” “You Win Again,” and others. He died last week at the age of 87.

Julie Powell gained fame by cooking everything in Julia Child’s cookbook Mastering the Art of French Cooking and keeping a blog about it. She was one of the original amateur food bloggers. Nora Ephron made a movie about her, Julie & Julia, starring Amy Adams as Powell and Meryl Streep as Child. She died last month at the age of 49.

Gael Greene was an influential restaurant critic who wrote for New York for 40 years and helped start Citymeals on Wheels. She died Tuesday at the age of 88.

George Booth was a legendary cartoonist at The New Yorker for 50 years. His work also appeared in Collier’s, Look, and The Saturday Evening Post. In fact, Booth had an interesting story about how his time at the Post ended and how it led to his hiring at The New Yorker. He died Tuesday at the age of 96.

Sy Presten was one of the last of the old-school Hollywood press agents (from the days of Walter Winchell). He began his career in the early ’40s and stayed with it for 75 years. He died last month at the age of 98.

D.H. Peligro was the drummer for the punk band The Dead Kennedys. He died last week at the age of 63.

Takeoff — real name Kirsnick Khari Ball — was part of the rap trio Migos, who had several Billboard top ten hits. He died Tuesday at the age of 28.

This Week in History

Only Flight of Howard Hughes’s Spruce Goose (November 2, 1947)

It’s the largest wooden airplane ever built, and it’s now at the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum in McMinnville, Oregon.

Godzilla Released (November 3, 1954)

When the American version of the Japanese monster movie was released in 1956, they edited in Raymond Burr.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: “Garfield at the Freedom From Want Table” (November 1, 1984)

If you’re a subscriber, you can read the feature in this issue about Garfield’s trip to the Norman Rockwell Museum. Artist Jim Davis inserted the lasagna-loving cat into several classic Rockwell illustrations.

Nachos Day

It’s this Sunday. Some people say that nachos are only an appetizer or a snack, but who decides things like that? Why can’t a plate of nachos be your whole dinner?

Rachael Ray has a recipe for Super Nachos, Life Love Good Food has Italian Nachos (made with Italian sausage, Parmesan cheese, and alfredo sauce), and for dessert you can try these Easy Chocolate Nachos from AllRecipes.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Daylight Standard Time Begins (November 6)

Don’t forget to “fall back” by setting your clocks back an hour before you go to bed on Saturday night.

Election Day (November 8)

The day after is the real day to celebrate, when all of the awful political ads stop.

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  1. I don’t have to tell you that your nicely surrealistic one – liner to the receptionist, though worthy of Groucho Marx, still isn’t as funny as her obliviousness.

  2. Don’t worry about it being too warm back East, it’ll be freezing cold soon enough—unless it isn’t. My weather is much colder than normal for early November. My condo’s temp has been 61-63 degrees at 8am; 42 outside.

    I chipped in $6 at work on the latest Powerball potential. Nothing; no shock. I’m on Twitter and haven’t noticed any changes or charges. I’ll let you know if I do. Christmas music should probably be ‘eased in’ if before Thanksgiving, but that’s rarely done on anything. Oprah’s favorite things are a little pricey, but she sure looks great in that Amazon photo!

    Jerry Lee Lewis was amazing. I wonder if he ever met Jerry Lewis? You never know. I want to re-watch the 1989 film “Great Balls of Fire.” I’d like to read more about George Booth. The 1984 ‘Garfield’ Post issue was/is a great one. Rockwell (I’m sure) would have approved, and gotten a huge kick out of it!

    Sorry Bob, but the nachos paragraphs almost made nauseous just reading it. Chocolate? Yikes. I’ll even listen to a polka version of ‘Stairway to Heaven’ to distract my mind from that! It’ll be great when the daylight savings garbage finally stops; don’t hold your breath.

    A proud Independent, I got my voting over with by mail already. Hopefully there won’t be violent incidents on Tuesday and the days (weeks?) that follow. And those who do cause trouble are quickly stopped and neutralized.


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