News of the Week: February Notes, Early Bedtimes, and Why Do So Many Charities Ask For $19 a Month?

In the news for the week ending February 9, 2024, are big games, big purchases, and big charities who want your 63 cents a day.


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Random Notes

Apparently, there’s a milk war going on. I’m on Team Cow.

Why does every house on every HGTV show have a flat-screen TV mounted to the wall? Doesn’t anyone buy one that goes on a stand or the floor anymore? I hate TVs on a wall. How can a kid lie on the floor and watch it?

I use a dumbphone, and this guy has created a site to help you find one too.

My spellcheck doesn’t recognize “dumbphone,” but it’s a word!

Bluesky is now open to everyone, no need for an invitation. And if you don’t know what I’m talking about, I envy you.

I think the most difficult work I do every day is in the morning, when I attempt to pour just one of the pills out of the bottle into my hand. I rarely succeed.

I miss Erma Bombeck.

Milk, paper towels, razors, and Fig Newtons. There’s no story here, I’m just making a list of stuff I need from the store this weekend.

Generation Zzzzzzzz

When I was young, I wouldn’t have dreamed (no joke intended) of going to bed at 9 p.m. But today’s twentysomethings are weird.

Are You a Doom Spender?

When you’ve had a bad day, do you treat yourself to something you know you shouldn’t, like a pepperoni pizza or a chocolate dessert or several cocktails? I know I do (I rationalize it by telling myself I DESERVE THIS).

Gen Z is spending their money on luxury goods and other expensive things. And they’re increasing their debt and not saving as much money. Why not? The world is in chaos anyway!

And after they spend all that money, they go to bed at 9 p.m. and dream of other things they can buy.

For Only 63 Cents a Day …

Maybe instead of doom spending you can give that money to charity. Have you noticed that a lot of TV commercials for charities ask for $19 a month?

Organizations like St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Save the Children, and the ASPCA all ask for a $19 a month donation. Why is that? Is there something magical about that amount? Was there some sort of marketing research done that showed people are willing to give a maximum of 63 cents a day?

Of course, I knew I’d find an answer online. There are actually a few answers.

RIP Carl Weathers, Toby Keith, Don Murray, Wayne Kramer, Ellen Gilchrist, Toni Stern, Bob Beckwith, and William O’Connell

Carl Weathers was best known for his role as Apollo Creed in the Rocky movies. He also appeared in films like Predator, Action Jackson, Happy Gilmore, Semi-Tough, and Toy Story 4, and in TV shows like The Mandalorian, Arrested Development, Fortune Dane, Tour of Duty, In the Heat of the Night, and NBC’s Chicago shows. He died last week at the age of 76.

Toby Keith was a country music superstar whose hits included “Who’s Your Daddy?,” “Made in America,” “Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue,” and “How Do You Like Me Now?” He died Monday at the age of 62.

Uploaded to YouTube by Toby Keith

Don Murray had a long career too and was best known for his roles in films like Bus Stop (for which he received an Oscar nomination) and Advise and Consent and TV shows like Knot’s Landing and Twin Peaks. He died last week at the age of 94.

Wayne Kramer was the co-founder and guitarist for the influential punk band MC5. He died last week at the age of 75.

Ellen Gilchrist won the National Book Award for Victory Over Japan, a collection of short stories. She died last week at the age of 88.

Toni Stern wrote the lyrics for several Carole King songs, including “It’s Too Late” and “Where You Lead,” which was used as the theme song to Gilmore Girls. She died last month at the age of 79.

Bob Beckwith was the retired firefighter who stood on the rubble with President Bush after the attacks on 9/11. He died Sunday at the age of 91.

William O’Connell played the alien Thelev in the classic Star Trek episode “Journey to Babel.” He also appeared in several Clint Eastwood films. He died last month at the age of 94.

This Week in History

Facebook Launches (February 4, 2004)

Yup, we’ve had 20 years of likes, arguments, and pictures of what we’re having for dinner.

William Henry Harrison Born (February 9, 1773)

President Harrison holds a lot of records. He gave the longest inaugural speech in history (almost two hours), he had the shortest presidency (one month), and he was the first president to die in office. The latter has always been blamed on the weather at his inauguration and his refusal to wear an overcoat, but is that true?

This Week in Saturday Evening Post History: Motorola TV (February 3, 1951)

Think of what your guests would say if you dragged out this small screen to watch the Super Bowl this Sunday.

Super Bowl Recipes

The game airs at 6 p.m. on CBS and Paramount+ (and don’t forget the 4 hour pre-game and the commercials). You’ll need some food to eat.

How about starting out with a Football Field Dip from Delish. It’s a dip that looks like a football field! And then try The Pioneer Woman’s Chicken Nachos. How about some Pepperoni Rolls from Food & Wine? And it’s the Super Bowl, so you’ll need some chili. Try Emeril Lagasse’s favorite.

For dessert, Country Living has an easy-to-bake Wacky Cake.

I know absolutely nothing about football, but here’s my prediction anyway: Kansas City Chiefs/Taylor Swift 31, San Francisco 49ers 20.

Next Week’s Holidays and Events

Puppy Bowl (February 11)

If you like your running and tackling to be more adorable, you can watch Puppy Bowl XX at 2 p.m. on TBS, TruTV, Discovery, and Animal Planet.

Valentine’s Day (February 14)

Or as I call it, “Wednesday.”

Don’t Cry Over Spilled Milk Day (February 14)

This is the day to remember to not worry about or get upset about something you can’t change. Though if you literally spill some milk, you can use paper towels to clean it up.

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  1. Fave Erma Bombeck quote:
    “Worry is like a rocking chair: it gives you something to do but never gets you anywhere.”

  2. I agree with you about missing Erma Bombeck. She had such insight in regards to everyday matters. If you were having a not so good day, reading Erma would always pick you up.

  3. I miss Mike Royko.

    I envy people who can go to bed easily at 9:00 PM. Both of my parents were nocturnal. I was nocturnal from the start, a baby who slept all day and was awake all night. Maybe it’s possible to re-jigger the system?

    Until he became too sick to go out at night, which was around the time he turned 80, Frank Sinatra was a perennial greeter of the sunrise. He was fascinated by the sunrise in Las Vegas, which he thought had a vague purple quality.

  4. Thank you for recognizing the loss of Don Murray. I did not see anything about his death on the news. TCM also failed to recognize his passing. He was a good actor who was too often overlooked.

  5. Regarding pills, do what I and many others do and use a pill caddy divided into 7 days. Load it up once a week and you don’t have to fight with the pill bottle(s) every day, you just have to worry about spilling the pills all over the table if you aren’t careful.

  6. You’re right to stay on ‘Team Cow’. Soy isn’t healthy for men to consume. I’m really not using the TV at all anymore, just my 22″ desktop for all my TV needs. Technically the iPhone too, but not really for that. The next one (when I decide to) will be a flat screen from Costco for my living room. Mainly concerned with the width for proportions, so it looks good on the wall.

    Gen-Z is onto something good Bob, with many choosing to go to bed at 9 p.m. Life today is nothing but endless stress and chaos. Why not get extra hours of restorative healing sleep before facing the next day? If today’s twentysomethings are ‘weird’ it’s largely due to how messed up everything is!! Still and all, they really need to be saving their money. Much of this ‘spending’ is maxing out one credit card after another. Not good.

    Thanks for the Toby Keith video. Great song with a clever, fun, well edited video. He was a true country legend, gone FAR too soon! Don Murray was an underrated actor. ‘Bus Top’ with MM I would say was his signature role. He was on the 2017 “continuation” Twin Peaks: The Return, and was good, but this series was not. Sad, because the 1990-’91 series was excellent. The feature film from ’92 was terrible. I walked out, and got my money back.

    Toni Stern was so talented. She was the right writer at the right time for the right woman, Carole King. Two of the best songs on ‘Tapestry’. Of course ALL the songs on it were/are wonderful as most of us know… I hope.

    Love the 1951 Motorola TV ad. It was just as state-of-the-art for then, as much as TV’s now are for now. I’m watching the game on my friends large TV screen. The game BETTER be good, because the commercials have been getting progressively worse over the past 10 years or so, and some I’ve previewed don’t look good either. Does Oreo really need plastic Kris Jentrashian plugging their cookies?! I’m bringing the chips ‘n salsa Sunday.

    Bob, did you hear about Coca-Cola ‘Spiced’ coming out on Feb. 19th? It’s a new ‘permanent’ raspberry flavor. It sounds good, and I’ll definitely try out a bottle before buying the 12-pack. The ‘Zero’ version? Forget it! None of their ‘Creations’ experimental flavors have been that good. I wish they would have continued Cinnamon Coke permanently. Unfortunately Christmas 2019 was it. Finito.


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