Random Thoughts

By Jack Smith

While Driving in Waco

Are any of you still doing well with your New Year’s resolutions? I decided this year to resolve to do as little physical activity as possible. So far, so good. I’m in a fitness protection program.

A new study says that if you end your last sentence in a text message with a period, it’s a terrible thing. A study of 126 college undergraduates found that they rated texts ending with a period as insincere, and some thought it was an act of psychological warfare. But an exclamation point may make your message more sincere. The world has gone crazy. Especially on college campuses. I have lived longer than my tolerance for stupidity. I’m being sincere (don’t place period here) (Or here)

They say that duct tape can’t stop stupid, but it can muffle the sound.

I saw a headline that said drug companies are saving network TV. My first thought was that people were taking tranquilizers just to get through the news. But it turns out that the networks are being saved by the huge (or “yuge” in Trumpeese) number of nightly commercials by pharmaceutical companies. It seems that on some shows — the ones that mainly appeal to us old folks — two-thirds of the commercials are for medicine. The commercials are unique for several reasons. First, many of them are for diseases or problems that only a very tiny percentage of the population have. Secondly, instead of 30-second commercials, they are 90- and sometimes 120-second commercials. Thirdly, they frequently have more bad news (the side-effects) than good news (the potential cures or relief). In a new trend, while the announcer is reading the minute-long list of bad things that can happen, you are shown beautiful video of beautiful people doing unusual and/or beautiful things. You are so visually distracted that you don’t hear the audio about how taking this pill could kill you.

What if political commercials had to list all of the bad things that could happen to you if you voted for the candidate in the commercial? They would have to be two minutes long also.

Speaking of politics, remember as you step into the voting booth: Your vote counts just as much as Honey Boo Boo’s mom’s vote.

There’s a Chevy ad on TV that shows people guessing what car is behind three doors. The disclaimer at the bottom of the screen says, “Real people, not actors.” There are several actors I feel that way about.

Is it just me or does sweet and sour sauce just taste sweet?

I was in a class to train new justices of the peace awhile back. It was suggested that when trying to read and understand documents written by lawyers with excessive legalese, we should look for Boolean connectors. I’d never heard the word “Boolean,” but I really like it. Boolean connectors are a way to search documents for information. You look for words like “and,” “but,” “not,” “unless,” “if,” “then” and the like. This should help you get to the meat of the information, if there is any meat there. Many legal documents seem to me to be vegetarian.

Did you hear about the guy in Paris who stole several paintings from the Louvre Museum? He made his getaway, but was captured only two blocks away when his van ran out of gas. When asked how he could mastermind such a crime and then make such an obvious error, he replied, “I had no Monet to buy Degas to make the Van Gogh.” I report. You deride.

IF I WERE KING: Late night TV would be on earlier.

Join the Conversation