Clever multiband radio beats the big guys

I’m enjoying my new Retekess TR629 radio. This value-priced portable does a good job on MW (AM) and FM bands and a passable one on SW. From near my apartment’s south-facing window in Chicago, it receives many AM stations after dark from the Midwest, East Coast, and Southeast U.S.

I especially like that the TR629 records both off-air and plays prerecorded material. The recording feature isn’t even available on major manufacturers’ flagship radios, so its inclusion is a significant plus. The set has a solid feel — especially when working the tuning and volume knobs. There’s a large, easy-to-read digital display, and battery-free operation uses a cord plugged into radio and then AC outlet. No wall wart!

The video here is of me getting a feel for the DSP tuning. I purposely avoid staying on stations long to avoid copyright issues.

Meet Mr. Snip!

I’ve always thought that those “Today’s Chuckle”-type blurbs long favored by newspapers are among the most insufferable things to see the light of printers’ ink. That’s why I created my own, which appears in the Dollar Snatcher weekly shopper.

A humorous blurb called Mr. Snip features retro clip art of a snooty-looking man with a pointy nose, pencil-thin moustache, and dismissive stare. He says the following: Your grandmother is so ugly that if my dog had a face like hers, I'd sick a paper bag over its head and teach it to walk backwards.

Nobody puts baby in a woodchipper

Oh, look! Jennifer’s getting a rhinoplasty!

(This post originally appeared when the “Dirty Dancing” musical came to the Windy City.)

I guess I’m just a contrarian.

I’m unable to stomach what the rest of the civilized world apparently considers one of the greatest movies of all time.

I’m talking about “Dirty Dancing,” a 1987 coming-of-age picture starring Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Grey.

I count “Citizen Kane” and “Amarcord” as among the best films ever made, but I’m sure there are people who can’t get through either one without projectile vomiting and that’s fine with me. Similarly, I’ll be damned if I’m gonna watch “Dirty Dancing” more than once. My recollection of the film is some dancing, some more dancing, still more dancing, Jerry Orbach determines yep, that’s a botched abortion, and then a whole lot more dancing.

Well, color me twinkletoes!

It apparently wasn’t enough that this chick-o-rama production spawned a sequel called “Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights” — now every other Chicago Transit Authority bus has requisitely pink-colored ads for the stage version of the original film.

I could have saved the show’s producers the expense of mounting a live production. Look, it’s clear that today’s female moviegoers are seriously disturbed psychologically — or simply don’t mind grindhouse gore — or else they wouldn’t flock to and evidently enjoy the many movies in which folks are dismembered, tortured, and otherwise dispatched in some of the most violent means ever put on film.

In my opinion, “Dirty Dancing” didn’t need a stage version. It just needed another film sequel — but this one directed by Wes Craven. And, in a nod to one of my favorite Coen brothers scenes, I’ve even got the guaranteed megahit title:


“Dirty Dancing III: Nobody Puts Baby in a Woodchipper”

When in Fargo, visit the woodchipper!