Parlor Spider...Step In, Little Fly

Insightful thoughts and/or rants from atop the soapbox from one who wishes to share the "right" opinion with everyone.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Mom Was Only Partly Right

"Close the door. Were you born in a barn? You're letting all the cold air in!" My mother probably shouted this exact phrase several hundreds of times when I was a child. Not that she was different from most mothers who had addled children...I think my issue was that standing in an open doorway in colder weather was somewhat refreshing: warm on one side and cool on the other. A rotation every few minutes, and the rotisserie body temp was good. Except for Mom, of course.
Since those days, I have learned that she was only partly right in her assessment of the temperature exchange that was happening: it wasn't that I was letting cold air in, per se; it was that I was letting warm air OUT, thus cooling the house. I learned this is an environmental science class in which I was tutoring a student. There's this pattern of ocean currents, nicknamed "The Conveyor Belt" that basically provides a current for the entire planet. The water starts out near the equator, where it is, understandably, quite warm. It moves northward toward the Arctic, losing heat as it disperses through colder waters. This is why the weather in the British Isles is so crappy: the water currents flowing past there have just come from the Arctic so cold, foggy, misty conditions are the norm. Eventually, the water gets back to the equator, warms up, and continues its way around the globe, offering warmer temperatures to cool water. OK. I've got that, but it wasn't until a couple of days ago that I discovered that the same principle works on human tissue!
It was almost 9 p.m. and I was riding my bike home from study table. The temperature hovered around 20, but I had dressed for it so I had no worries, right? Right, except for the bike saddle. Gel bike seats aren't very gel-like at 20 degrees, but I gave it little thought except to note how hard the seat felt.
During the ride, though, as the seat began to lose the rock-hard texture, I noticed that my rear end was getting increasingly cold! At that point, the light bulb went on, and I remembered Mom. My body heat was transferring itself to the gel in the seat, making it somewhat more pliable but making my rear end considerably more chilly.
I marveled at the realization all the way home, blissfully aware that my bike seat was cushy while my personal "seat" was numb.
Ah, science!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Tears in Your Eyes? Must Be the Onion

I simply cannot do better than this today:

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Little (or a Lot) of Pinot Noir, I Think

It's always a nice thing when one's friends look out for one's best interests. In my case, I have a professor who specializes in environmental things, focusing on sustainability and how to save oneself in the event of the calamitous shortages that will undoubtedly befall all of us sooner or later. Today, she sent mean excerpt grom a website called that lends itself to all things environmental...sometimes a bit offbeat, and this was definitely in that category.
The theory is that eventually we will wipe out our normal food sources through overkill (not so far fetched), the availability of potable water will dry up (another very real threat), and we will be left to fend for ourselves, trying to subsist on whatever is left since the oil production has been used far beyond the tipping point (you're already starting to believe, I see). In this scenario, what would be left to drink? Why, the best wines, of course, since they keep for a very long time. But what to pair with vintage wine...what that will still be available, that is? The Huffington Post has an entire article devoted to this, and a link is included inside the link for a post from an organization titled i09 that is at the bottom of this post.
However, back to the topic: what to pair with which wine? My expertise is limited to red wine with beef and white wine with chicken and fish (mostly because we used to have wallpaper that noted those facts). So, with the remaining food sources, what to drink?
With squirrel, author Lauren Davis suggests a dry red like a claret.
For wild boar, she suggests something like a Shiraz. However, she notes that a Pinot Noir might well go well with BOTH of those entrees.
Let's say you've turned over a log looking for a snack after days of starvation and find several slugs. Hey, they ARE edible, and the best thing about them is that they take on the flavor of whatever they've been fed! This information comes from Ron Zimmerman of The Herbfarm restaurant in Washington who serves basil and carrot fed slugs with a Chenin Blanc. really. he does.
If all the other animal forms have been swallowed up, so to speak, and one has only dog food (the dog also being long gone), try to have some Newman's Own. In a study done in 2009, many participants could not distinguish between the dog food and pork liver pate! Just be sure to pair it with something like a Chianti, a White Burgandy, or that old standby: Pinot Noir.
That brings us to our last resort: a Donner party. People have a complex system of differing textures and taste in various body parts so the connoisseur must select the wine carefully, depending on which part is to be consumed. You can read the report from i09 or the Huffington Post for that information. I'm not particularly interested...nothing I could find goes with a nice Pinot Noir.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Wrong on A Number of Levels

If you have ever lived in the South with high humidity and relatively elevated temperatures for most of the year, you know about roaches...they breed faster than rabbits and infest just about any living space they can find. Move your refrigerator to get something behind there? You'll find roaches. Turn the lights on suddenly at'll find roaches scurrying to get back to their hidey holes while you scream and wish you'd put slippers on. Almost impossible to get rid of, these varmints are some of the most disgusting to be found. Find me a person who likes cockroaches, and I'll show you someone anxious to live the rest of his or her life (however long that may be) alone. Such was the case with Edward Archibald of Deerfield Beach, Florida.
The story is several months old, but for some reason has made another appearance...maybe Cyber Monday wasn't a big enough story, or maybe the BBC just missed it back in October when it occurred. Anyway...
Archibald was the winner of an eating contest sponsored by a Deerfield Beach pet store. The prize? A python. really. As if anyone would want something that could squeeze the life out of him or her (except, perhaps an amorous paramour). In order to "win" the snake, Archibald had to defeat almost 30 other competitors by eating the most cockroaches. yes. eating.
Archibald won but ultimately lost; moments after being declared the winner (no word on the winning total), Archibald collapsed and died, choked to death, according to the Broward County coroner, "with an airway obstructed by arthropod body parts."
Like other participants, Archibald had signed a disclaimer stating that he knew that what he was doing was a bit "unorthodox" and assigning any consequences strictly to himself.
He got those, all right.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

"I Have Thumbs...Can I Drive a Sports Car?

While the creation/evolution argument goes on an on and on and on (ad infinitum), scientists continue to study both apes and humans regularly. One would think by now that everything would be known that could be known, or that behaviorists would begin to study something else, but not so, it appears. Now that we've decided aliens are probably no more likely than vampires or Sasquatch, despite the conspiracy theorists, we return again to study the species that most closely resembles humans, if only due to the fact that it has opposable thumbs to distinguish it from, say, cows.
Anyway, in a study completed by Alexander Weiss of Edinburgh University and reported in Time magazine, it has been postulated that the great apes suffer from a malady quite common in their more humanoid descendants (for the evolutionists). On the other hand, this finding can be merely a quirk that occurs throughout the animal kingdom in ALL species (for the creationists). While the science isn't foolproof since zookeepers responded to the questions rather than the apes themselves, there is enough evidence, it appears, to begin a whole new rush toward scientific research looking for proof that...
apes have midlife crises just like humans do!
The occurrence in humans is well documented, at least from the male perspective. Sports cars, trophy wives, new careers: these are all signs that a man somewhere between his mid-thirties and fifty is undergoing a re-evaluation of his life and finding the results lacking. Odd now that I think about it: have we really studied whether female humans have the same crises that males so pointedly have? Or is it menopause that redefines a woman, albeit at a later stage? I have no idea, and I probably don't want to know since too much information can be dangerous(that for the creationists, too).
In the great apes, the desire to redirect a life comes in the form (according to human respondents) of wishing to mate with more females or gaining access to more resources; exactly what those "resources" are was not identified by Weiss, but it bears further study. Scientists are already suggesting that "real" research would involve monitoring hormone levels as well as other chemical balances (or imbalances) to determine the "crisis" stage.
Interesting enough, however, is the idea that apes, like humans, tend to have a sense of well being early in life; this sense is followed by the midlife crisis which, in turn, is followed by an upsurge in well-being as the apes age! No more trudging to work every more mortgage... no more wailing children hanging about...Oh, that's me not the apes.
What do they have to be so upbeat about?
It's not like they get to go to The Villages and hang (literally or not) out with others just like themselves.
We need more scientists studying this problem.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Cigars and Scotch...or Chainsaws and Torches

Now that the political campaign ads have been replaced (ad nauseam) with holiday gift suggestions and Black(and blue) Friday is a recent memory, it's time to decide how to solve the gift-giving conundrum. I have eschewed the Neiman-Marcus catalog this year because nobody I know shops there. Instead, I have turned to While not exactly a compelling place for gift-giving guides, it will have to do for the time being. I have already insisted that NOBODY should get me anything since I have everything I want, and what I don't have and might want, I'd prefer to buy myself. However, since my protestations will probably be ignored as they were for my birthday...I needed a list. According to the savvy shoppers at Reddit, here are some of the things NOT to get any guy...and I include myself in that category:
DO NOT under any circumstance get underwear, socks or cologne. They top Reddit's list of gifts to avoid if you want to remain friendly until New Year's. However, there are many possibilities to delight that special man on your list, and in no particular order, here they are. (Notice I wrote "the man on your list," but I did not include myself.)
1. Glenfiddich scotch
2. Cuban cigars.  (the editors feel one can NEVER go wrong with the two in combination.)
3. A chainsaw. seriously. ( the editors also opine that chainsaws and torches are essentials.)
4. Knives and flashlights...the serious tactical kind for self-defense at any time of day or night, I guess.
5. Coffee (in lieu of a mug, I think)
6. Tires. really. tires for the car.
7. Concert tickets. Now THIS is a possibility, but every time one of the kids mentions a concert he or she thinks I would like, I end up going...after buying both mine ticket and his or hers! Usually, I get a free T-shirt, though.
8. Gift cards. I'm actually OK with these, particularly if they involve food of some kind.

So...for the guy who has "everything," I'll bet he does not have everything on this list. I'll also bet he might not want everything on that list; it's best to keep one simple rule in mind:
Don't mix scotch and chainsaws. or torches.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Case For Divine Intervention

One might think that the 1971 Pinto was the worst car of all time built in this country or anywhere else. One would be wrong! Oh, sure, it blew up in a napalm-like fireball when struck from behind since there was no protection for the fuel tank, but that was only until Ford stopped making them...and began paying out millions in settlements to survivors.
Still, if one ever owned a Chevy Vega, a Saturn Ion, or a Pontiac Aztek (to say nothing of the horrendous Yugo), it would be hard to say that the Pinto is at the head of the class of automotive infamy when it comes to ideas that got some automobile engineer fired for being totally harebrained. But at least I didn't get fired, literally.
See, I actually owned one of these Pintos back in the day, and I was sitting inside it during a rear-end collision...and I was not engulfed in flames, amazingly enough. In fact, my survival of the whole episode was rather amazing.
Just about this time in 1972, I was going to pick up an aunt in Wichita, Kansas, to take her home for the Thanksgiving festivities. Since it was something resembling rush hour, I had to stop for a stop light in front of an aircraft manufacturing plant. The screech of tires alerted me that all was not going well since traffic should have been at a standstill, and it was except for the Chevy Caprice that had just screamed out of the parking lot headed toward me at a speed that would defy braking in the distance allotted.
Of course, it didn't stop and slammed into the rear end of my somewhat new Ford Pinto, slingshotting me forward (while still in the car, of course) to subsequently smack the rear end of the big Buick in front of e in queue at the light. I had to turn around to see what had crunched my car since the rearview mirror was gone...courtesy of my head which was bleeding a bit. Seatbelt? Only sissies wore them back in the day!
Lawrence Welk would have loved the accordion shape my Pinto ultimately resembled as I pinballed between the two automotive behemoths that had sustained very minor damage: so minor, in fact, that they both drove away while I waited for the police to report the accident...still, no fire, no explosion, no death benefits for my family from Ford Motor Company.
It was a miracle, really. One that I attribute to the aunt I was going to pick up.
She was a nun.
That's the only reason I can figure I wasn't bacon crispy forty years ago this week.
So, while I would never set foot (or butt) in a Ford Pinto again, I would not vote it the worst car ever made in this country, either.
Ride on, Pinto Boy!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

At Least I'm Still Here

While hoarders stock up and kids wonder what the heck the fuss is all about, the iconic Hostess company has decided to close its doors in a labor dispute...meaning the end of Twinkie the Kid (seriously? A guy you could call "Twinkie"?) and a host of other products people of a certain generation have come to see as the ultimate in comfort foods. Me? I'd take a Hostess Snowball any day of the week. I loved to squeeze the marshmallow stuff through my teeth. No more, though. I couldn't even find any at the store today, and I looked for ten minutes. Lest we think the world is coming to an end, let me remind you that Hostess is just the latest in a long line of beloved-by-some companies that have gone under, whether to outsourcing, labor disputes, changing American tastes, or competition from within. Think I'm kidding?
When was the last time you stepped into a Woolworth's store? For some...never. for the rest of us, it's been since 1997 when the company folded, giving way to the pressure of the big box stores, I suspect.
If you've flown in the past, oh, 20 years, you never had a chance to fly Pan Am since the airline crashed in 1991. Even an attempt to revive it via a cheesy television show promising willing stewardesses last year didn't get off the ground.
Chances are we've all heard of the Palm Pilot though none of us currently own one. What was supposed to be the greatest all-inclusive device ever has been replaced by a dozen better and cheaper machines since its demise late in 2010.
Do you have the urge to show off your inestimable wealth by driving a vehicle that gets 8 miles per gallon? Too bad: Hummer went out of business in 2010. You might be able to get one somewhere but only as a bonus for buying $50 worth of groceries.
Despite fan fervor and a "Save the Surge" campaign by dedicated drinkers, this full-content drink from the Coca Cola company designed to one-up the hyper-caffeinated Mountain Dew failed to make it out of 2003, doomed, no doubt by the super-dooper monster drinks containing taurine that were designed to amp us up for 24 hours straight. Of course, Five-Hour Energy might be the next on the way out if actual deaths can be attributed to it as has been surmised.
Naturally, there are others: take Pontiac, for example...nobody else would...or Saturn...Many did but it was just too darn boring.
Zima drinkers have switched over to Skyy, the demographic has gotten even younger, and the Coors company has to come up with something else.
Taste is a fickle thing, it would appear; no doubt, changing tastes accounted for some of the lost treasures above, but then, there's no accounting for taste.
I ate poutine the other day for the first time. How aboot that?
No Twinkies, though. They were all gone.
So long, Kid!

Friday, November 16, 2012

I'll Do That For Free

Gone are the "good old days" where service stations actually serviced a vehicle instead of being a junk food emporium..."compromise" was still part of the lexicon in this country...and people did things for others just because it was a kind thing to do. Now, it seems everyone wants to gain an edge (note all the Black Friday stores opening on Thanksgiving, of all things), and the family physician practically sets a timer when he or she steps into the room.
Today, however, I actually heard someone offer a service for free. Granted, there was already money being exchanged for something else, but still...
The event was a visit to a dermatologist to check out some suspicious growth that had begun to be an irritant. In addition, I had a small mole that seemed to be positioned just in the wrong place for wearing a dress shirt and tie (which I do now on every casual Friday).
Initially, the dermatologist recorded the growth and checked my head, face, chest and back for anything suspicious. Having decided that she was ready to slice off the suspicious growth, I mentioned that it was no big deal to deal with the small mole on my neck...I could put up with the discomfort. She replied, "I'll do that for free." After slicing off the offending protrusion, she grabbed the can of liquid nitrogen and sprayed my neck for ten seconds or so, smiled, and said, "There. You're all set." I was still a bit bewildered at her largesse. Sure, the treatment was quick and probably relatively inexpensive for her to complete, but it still struck me as unusual.
Maybe I'm too jaded; maybe there are more folks like that out there.
At this point, though, I just hope I don't have to find them in the medical profession.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

We The Sour Grapes People

Back in 2011, the president wanted to give everyone in the nation a chance to be heard so he instituted a website entitled "We the People." Anyone could petition the White House on any issue he or she thought was likely to have a significant effect on his or her well-being. In order to make it to the web site as legit instead of being labelled a potentially crackpot idea, the petition had to have at least 150 signatures.
If the petitioner wanted an actual response from the White House, that number jumped to 10,000. As of today when I read about it, there were 146 petitions currently on the site...66 of them (like the one from Texas posted above) asking that the president "peacefully grant" secession to an individual state. Petitions from all 50 states are noted, though one must wonder why there is no coordinated effort (after all, there ARE 66 of them). Most of these petitions have arrived following the latest presidential election, as one might guess. To date, the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, Florida, Georgia and Texas have more than the required 10k signatures.
But, secede? Really? Wasn't that tried once before? How did that work out?
Interestingly enough, some petitioners would like to have the president grant the request on a few conditions:
1. Anyone signing such a petition could be "peacefully deported." (leaving room, one might assume, for people who wanted to live here)
2. Allow any state to secede as long as it paid its share of the national debt before closing the border.

I guess there are scapegoats for everything we don't care to admit (see Karl Rove)...a result of our entitled childhoods as Baby Boomers, perhaps. But, really, get with it, folks. Without a federal government, what would any individual state do when a natural disaster struck...or when they found out that there really IS such a thing as global warming...or when all the immigrant workers moved to a more friendly environment leaving all the crops to rot in the fields and all the cows to cross their hind legs for want of milking? There would be NOBODY to perform those tasks we consider ourselves too refined to complete.
When the roads crumbled and schools failed even more miserably, where would they get the money? Bake sales? You can see that the middle class would all move to places like Oregon that would welcome new blood since all the hippies are getting older!
How would they enforce laws governing transport, travel and business between states? Would Iowa jack up corn prices for ethanol because Illinois people are rude? Would there be no bread because Kansan farmers won't sell to the godless people of...well...just about anywhere? Where would we house all the criminals that we keep sending out of state because we still believe incarceration is the best way to go?
The degree to which some people go to vent idiotic ideas (are you reading this, Donald?) borders on insanity.
As we rush toward the fiscal cliff like lemmings following people like Rush Limbaugh because "our" guy didn't win, we need to stop and get a grip on reality. More people (and the electoral college) voted for the winner than they did for the loser. Get over it. Let's start working together...foreign concept though that may be.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

New Phone Law In Order For Teens

As is generally typical, I think, many municipalities and states are currently debating the issue of whether or not to allow teenagers to use a cell phone while driving. Of course, we've already decided that texting while operating an auto is a bad idea; of course, I think reading, eating and applying makeup are also bad ideas for those behind the wheel, but because teenagers seldom do those things while driving, we've ignored that. Walking across a college campus, I've seen more near-misses from teens simply walking while trying to read/send messages, so maybe we ought to take a look at that as well! Naturally, it's just another way "the man" is trying to keep teens down...back in the day, the method of choice involved a trip to the barber shop. Now, it's phone use.
I will say one thing, however, we should legislate teens walking into snake pits while attempting to use the phone. I'm serious...just ask Vera Oliphant, a 16-year-old girl from California who recently experienced just that phenomenon.
It seems she was visiting an uncle somewhere near San Diego recently, and she walked outside and up a hill in an attempt to get cell phone service (wouldn't it be interesting to see who her carrier was? Can you say, "free service for life"?) Anyway, as she was motivating up the hill, she heard the ominous sounds of rattlesnakes, well, rattling. Realizing that there were no babies playing in the area, she immediately thought, "Snakes!" and she began to hotfoot it out of there...only to step right into the proverbial viper's den where she was bitten six times within a matter of seconds. According to Oliphant, the pain that shot through her envenomed body measured a 45 on a scale of 1-10. She immediately began to swell but was able to get back to her uncle's place which led to a very quick trip (not the convenience store) to the hospital where the doctors saved her life .
Several lessons are to be learned here.
1. Doctors say that we really have more time than we think when bitten by such a critter.
2. Don't stop to put on a tourniquet or slice yourself open to suck out venom. Go to the emergency room! 
3. Get an effective wireless carrier.
4. Look before you leap.
5. Always carry a flaming torch when going anywhere there might be snakes (hey, it worked for Indiana Jones!).
6. Wear boots that extend to your upper thigh when traipsing about outdoors.
7. Live in Antarctica.

These are almost foolproof methods of avoiding snakebite, but always remember: you are more afraid of them than they are of you!

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Like Any Wreck, It's Hard To Look Away

The U.S. Postal Service has seemingly been on the downhill slope with regard to finances for some time. Talk of limiting Saturday deliveries and raising rates are numerous and somewhat disturbing. What happened to "neither rain, nor sleet, nor snow...etc."? For that matter, maybe the downward spiral of the government service has something to do with the downward slide of Lance Armstrong...even though he continued to win after being sponsored by U.S. Postal. And that's where I'm torn. Marcy, my favorite teller at the post office where we used to live, knew I was a fan of the cycling champion, so when the Postal Service was no longer a sponsor, all branches were to dispose of the promotional posters that had adorned the walls (right next to the F.B.I.'s Most Wanted, in fact). Instead of shredding it as was the custom, she gave it to me, and I have kept that secret until now. Of course, I had it framed and periodically had it on my office wall, trading time with an Elvis Costello poster and an original Nedobeck we bought as a fundraiser for a school where we used to teach. Now, though...I'm not sure.
Should I hang it upside down or not hang it at all? Should it matter that "everyone was doping"(...and they were) or that he supposedly simply created a smarter way around testing. Surely, the evidence seems overwhelming with so many of his former teammates, who have accepted bans for their participation, having thrown him under the team car.
Certainly, his promotional work for the foundation he began has done wonderful things...but should all of that be colored with the tint of what he did to achieve the notoriety he has achieved? Tough call. Is the cycling world just jealous of his incredible fame and fortune?
Interestingly enough, Armstrong tweeted this photo of himself on the couch in Austin with his seven Tour de France winner's jerseys displayed prominently. He's obviously trying to make a not-so-subtle point, and there are definitely haters out there as well as a host of supporters.
My real problem is that his message on Twitter was "Just layin' around in Austin."
I cannot tolerate the abuse of the English language. He, of course, should be "lying" around.
I cannot forgive that.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Sour Apples

As if there weren't enough things going seems that Apple has had a problem with the hard drives in the Mac computers and wanted to replace them under warranty. all well and good. The three or four days it took the shop to effect the changeover were like five mornings straight without coffee after long nights of watching election last count, Florida was just finishing up. Go figure.
It is amazing how attached we get to things in our lives, especially things that we use all the time like computers. Sure, I have one in my office, but there's nothing like sitting in the solitude of the den, switching on the ol' computer, and getting lost in the news, weather, sports, and EBay.
It did make me wonder how long I could possibly live without being connected to the worldwide web...just when I have entertained the idea of a smartphone. I hesitate on that front simply because I don't want to get THAT connected, feeling that my life would speed up even more with 24-hour access.
Actually, the list of "things" that I could probably NOT live without would be a short one. I could probably do without my iPod now that I have a constant ringing in my ears (and the iPod was on my earlier list of "must haves"). Food, shelter, and enough warm/cool clothes to keep me comfortable would be on the short list. TV? no Internet? Maybe, but I think, given a few weeks in the mountains somewhere, I could adjust (warm mountains, to be sure!). Some way to communicate with significant others? Yes, I think that might be a must...hermiting is OK, but not for too long. Perhaps I would arrive at some kind of enlightenment...but I would want a way out, I think.
Ice cream. There would have to be ice cream.
Computer...not so much.

Sunday, November 04, 2012

Clothes Make the Person?

At this point in the election cycle, I have been attempting to focus on things nobody else has noticed or written about in a letter to the editor or to be read from the pulpit...actually, I skipped church last week to avoid walking out on a letter from our religious leader implying that I should vote a certain way (fortunately, he gave me a heads up by announcing his intentions in the newspaper). Anyway, I've gotten beyond all the spin from every angle and PAC and come up with something about dressing that does not include a lapel pin.
I have noticed that candidates seldom appear wearing a suit. Oh, they have the requisite dress shirt and slacks on, but never a addition, in a jacketless appearance, the sleeves are invariably rolled up. I'm sure they shirts are custom so sleeve length cannot be the problem (as it is for some of us when buying off the rack). Nor can it be that the candidates are simply too hot to keep the sleeves at wrist length. My impression is that each wants to appear as a roll-up-the-sleeves-and-get-to-work type of person: an attempt to mesh smoothly with those of us that actually GO to work every day instead of touting how amazing we are in our ability to change the entire world for the better.
The shirts are always white as well, perhaps to signal yet another connection with the common folk who usually don white when wishing to impress others (though not after Labor Day).
By the way, Nike is out, and North Face is in for that sporty, rugged, I'm-one-of-you look. If you've noticed, fleece is also a popular item, adorned with the North Face logo, of course. "I work out" must be the message they are trying to send as well as, "I know what's fashionable. I'm up with the times."
Of course, the latest big thing is having musicians show their support, whether it's Katy Perry in a blue dress with "Forward" on it (who paid for that?), Springsteen with a new song at a rally, or Meatloaf jumping onstage to shout out his support (Meatloaf? Really? What demographic are they going for...aging counterculturists?).
At any rate, it is obvious that candidates are not content to merely sling slime at each other; they want to appear to be just more dedicated to civil service renditions of you and me...just common, everyday Joes and Janes ("You're damn right") who listen to highly-paid spin doctors with a pulse on the demographics to eke out every last uncommitted person as a potential vote.
Next, I expect to see them all on Saturday Night Live doing the Gangnam Style dance.
That, I would pay to see...and maybe even vote for.