News of the Week: Random Notes, Best Places to Live, and Cookout Season Has Begun

In the news for the week ending May 26, 2023, are a shoe debate, a great place to live, some ruby slippers, a Frankmobile, a time traveler, and more.

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Random Notes

The weather has been very deceptive lately. Some days it’s in the 50s and I’m drinking hot tea, and the next day it’s in the 70s and I’m drinking something cold and wearing shorts. I don’t know what to drink, what to wear, or whether or not I should leave my window open. Like April and Bitcoin, May is confusing.

There are many aspects to the film industry that I don’t care about — how much a film costs, how much money it makes — but I think the thing I don’t care about the most is how many minutes of a standing ovation a movie gets at Cannes. Asteroid City got six minutes! Indiana Jones and the Dial of Destiny got five!

I don’t remember my mother asking anyone to take off their shoes when they came into our house when I was a kid. Maybe she wanted people to wipe them off if it was snowy or muddy, but I don’t remember too many people taking them off. Apparently there’s a big “shoes on or off?” debate going on right now.

I can’t prove this, but I think someone is stealing my socks. I bought six pairs just a couple of months ago and they seem to be disappearing one by one. I need a security camera in my house.

The best games on The Price is Right are Cliffhangers, Rat Race, Check-Out, and Back to ’73. The worst game is That’s Too Much!

Tonight on HBO and Max there’s a new documentary titled Being Mary Tyler Moore. Here’s the trailer.

Anyone want to pool their money to buy the Brady Bunch house? It’s $5.5 million. I can only contribute $100 but I’ll do all the housework and grocery shopping.

I Wonder What Number 151 Is?

There are many “best places to live” lists every year, but the most important one just might be from U.S. News & World Report. Here’s the 2023-24 list of the 150 best places to live (and to retire). The lists are based on housing affordability, job market, education, crime rates, healthcare, air quality, climate, and other factors.

The best place to live? It’s Green Bay, Wisconsin. The worst? For the 39th year in a row, it’s Cabot Cove, Maine.


In recent weeks I’ve linked to stories about Andy Warhol, The Wizard of Oz, and the Weinermobile. There are now updates to these stories.

The Supreme Court, in a 7-2 decision, has ruled that Warhol infringed on the copyright of a photographer when he created a series of colorful silkscreen portraits of Prince; a man has been charged with the 2005 theft of a pair of ruby red slippers used in The Wizard of Oz; and, for reasons only known to the people at Oscar Mayer, the famous Wienermobile is now going to be known as the Frankmobile. Apparently it has something to do with a new recipe for the hot dogs coming this summer.

The new name might not stick though if fans don’t like it, and I have to say, I don’t like it.

Headline of the Week

“Man Claiming to Be Time Traveler Throws Brick through Window to ‘Save’ Homeowners”

RIP Tina Turner, Jim Brown, Martin Amis, Billy Graham, Ray Austin, Andy Rourke, John Giblin, Rick Hummel, Ray Stevenson, Nicholas Gray, Helmut Berger, and Rick Hoyt

Tina Turner was a rock icon who had such hits as “Proud Mary” and “River Deep — Mountain High” (both with Ike Turner), “What’s Love Got To Do With It?,” “Private Dancer,” “The Best,” “Let’s Stay Together,” “Better Be Good to Me,” and the theme from the James Bond movie Goldeneye. She died Wednesday at the age of 83.

Jim Brown was one of the greatest football players ever (and not a bad lacrosse player) who transitioned to a successful movie career, appearing in such films as The Dirty Dozen, Ice Station Zebra, The Running Man, and Mars Attacks!, as well as many TV shows. He died last week at the age of 87.

Martin Amis was a novelist and critic who wrote such acclaimed books as Money, The Information, The Rachel Papers, London Fields, and the memoir Experience. He died last week at the age of 73.

“Superstar” Billy Graham was one of the top wrestlers of the 1970s and ’80s. He died last week at the age of 79.

Ray Austin started out as a stuntman (he doubled for Martin Landau for the Mount Rushmore scenes in North by Northwest) before becoming a director. He helmed such shows as The Saint, The Avengers, Zorro, Highlander, JAG, Space: 1999, and Magnum, P.I. He died last week at the age of 90.

Andy Rourke was the co-founder and bass player for The Smiths. He died last week at the age of 59.

John Giblin played bass for such artists as Paul McCartney, Elton John, Peter Gabriel, Kate Bush, Phil Collins (including “In the Air Tonight” and “I Cannot Believe It’s True”), and Simple Minds. He died last week at the age of 71.

Rick Hummel covered baseball for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for 50 years. He’s a member of the Baseball Hall of Fame. He died Saturday at the age of 77.

Ray Stevenson played Volstagg in the Thor movies and appeared in Punisher: War Zone, RRR, and The Book of Eli, as well as in TV shows like Rome, Black Sails, Vikings, Das Boot, and the upcoming Star Wars series Ahsoka. He died Sunday at the age of 58.

Nicholas Gray was the founder of the New York hot dog institution Gray’s Papaya. He died last week at the age of 86.

Helmut Berger was a European movie star who appeared in such films as Conversation Piece, Ludwig, The Godfather Part III, and The Damned, as well as the TV show Dynasty. He died last week at the age of 78.

Pushed by his father Dick, wheelchair user Rick Hoyt completed 32 Boston Marathons. He died last weekend at the age of 61.

This Week in History

Levi Strauss and Jacob Davis Get Blue Jean Patent (May 20, 1873)

Jeans are 150 years old this year, and CBS Sunday Morning has the story:

American Red Cross Founded (May 21, 1881)

Here’s the Post’s Ben Railton on the Civil War and the origins of the American Red Cross.

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Scotkins (May 28, 1960)

This was a product I wasn’t aware of. They were colorful napkins from the Scott paper company. You can buy some on eBay!

Memorial Day Recipes

With the burgers and the watermelon and the pitcher of lemonade (plus something I can only assume is stalks of celery used as a table decoration?), that Scotkins ad looks like a Memorial Day cookout. So here are some recipes (as a bonus, Sunday is National Hamburger Day).

Do you like pineapple on your burgers? Try these Sweet Hawaiian Mini Burgers from The Beef Checkoff. Do you like dill pickles in your potato salad? Try the Best Classic Potato Salad from Delish. Do you like lemonade but wish it was green? How about this Cucumber Lemonade from AllRecipes? Do you like tortilla chips and salsa on your hot dog? Try these Taco Dogs from Good Housekeeping.

And no matter what Oscar Mayer says, they’re still wieners.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

French Open (May 28)

With Rafael Nadal out because of injury (he also announced that 2024 might be his final year), things are a little bit more open than usual at the Paris Grand Slam. Though the smart bet is still on Carlos Alcaraz, Novak Djokovic, Holger Rune, or Danill Medvedev. Tennis Channel will have first-ball-to-trophy-ceremony coverage.

Indianapolis 500 (May 28)

It’s the 107th race, taking place only a couple miles south of the Post offices. NBC will have coverage starting at 12:30 p.m. ET.

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  1. I totally agree with you about the unpredictable weather! It’s like we’re stuck in a constant dilemma of what to wear and what to drink. Mother Nature seems to be playing tricks on us, just like the confusing world of April and Bitcoin.

  2. Cabot Cove the worst? Tell that to Jessica Fletcher!

    I see my adoptive hometown Fredericksburg, Virginia, did not make U.S. News and World Report’s list at all (probably because of I-95 congestion). Sheesh!

    The world could use more people with the resiliency and determination of Tina Turner. She will be missed.

  3. The weather’s a drag in Ca. Gray, dreary and humid. Just getting over a mild cold. Was it from the hot to cold weather or allergies? I don’t know. Was sneezing a lot then got a sore throat. I’ll check out ‘Being Mary Tyler Moore’. Her show was a brilliant comedy that really only rarely touched on her being a woman in the work place as such or specifically. When it did, it was always done in an entertaining light manner. That’s one of the reasons it’s not “dated” now, unlike ‘All in the Family’.

    $5.5 million for the Studio City Brady House isn’t that shocking. I saw it a couple of years ago, and it was restored to exactly the way it was 50+ years ago, much of the work done by the Brady Kids* . I have no idea when/if it’ll be sold, and if that will be the end of it as a tourist attraction.

    I’m still going to call the Weinermobile by that name, and you can/should too! Tina Turner was always a favorite of mine. Overlooked in tributes to her was one of my personal favorite movie roles as Gypsy, the Acid Queen in the ’75 rock opera film, ‘Tommy’. She was magical.

    That potato salad recipe from Delish looks really good. Why DO socks disappear? It’s both weird and aggravating.


    *I’m not sure if Eve Plumb (Jan) helped out with the restoration or not. If she didn’t, I wouldn’t be surprised. Unlike her 5 working class actor ‘siblings’, Eve’s apparently loaded enough to buy that house if she wanted to!


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