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Tampa Bay Rants And Raves

WEEK OF JUNE 7, 2020


TBRR is a weekly airing of national and local politics, sports and lifestyle items from a very politically incorrect viewpoint. As always, beware - certain accounts printed here should not be taken literally.


The cost of doing business


We suppose it was inevitable that some Japanese steakhouse would add a surcharge for their cost of masks, cleaning supplies and the like to a dinner tab. Elsewhere, dentists are adding a similar charge to their fees – ten bucks a head. This is simply a cost of doing business – did they not clean and sanitize before the epidemic? Oh, UPS is tacking on some surcharge for an undetermined reason. Then there’s gas stations and other businesses who want to surcharge you for using a credit card – we avoid those folks like we avoid poisonous snakes. The same with our vendors who added delivery charges during high gas prices – most of which did not disappear when as prices normalized. A price should reflect all costs and then the consumer can decide whether to purchase or not. But don’t surprise us with added fees after food or services have been rendered.


Great Tampa Bay, politics and stuff:


1. An addendum to our lead article. If there is one person         who would be justified in an added charge, it is a physician friend. His patients were stealing bottles of hand sanitizer from his exam rooms during the height of the virus scare – pretty cheesy.

2. “Florida’s Best Newspaper” is completely clueless. They recently took White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany to task for voting by mail in her home county – Hillsborough County. She and the rest of us would have no problem with vote by mail if it was all done in Hillsborough or Pinellas County instead of various places around the country and our state where “funny things” happen during elections (TBRR 5/10/20).  

3. Joltin’ Joe Biden takes on Amazon, saying they don’t pay their fair share of taxes. Amazon responds with their $15 billion tax bill from 2019 and pointing out they pay those taxes under tax laws which, for the most part, were developed while Biden was either in the Senate or VP. Try taking on a hungry grizzly bear next time, Joe.

4. Let’s just say we’re glad we never had Minneapolis Mayor Jacob Frey leading our troops into battle. And a tip of the hat to the city of Tampa for their quick imposition of a curfew in response to bands of thugs who chose to make a tragic situation a reason for looting and destruction.

5. GE’s recent sell off of their light bulb division after 125 years reminds us that most of the home appliance names from the 50s and 60s are no longer around. We think of Admiral, Curtis-Mathes, Philco, Sylvania, Westinghouse and Zenith to name a few.


Sports, media and other stuff:


6. 80 years ago this summer – a pivotal event in baseball. A very promising pitcher for the Daytona Beach Islanders injured his pitching shoulder diving for a ball during batting practice. With the severe injury, the youngster’s manager, former MLB pitcher Dickie Kerr, suggested he try to further develop his hitting skills and become a position player. The kid's name was Musial.

7. Idle thought – the best five starting pitchers we have had the privilege to watch over the years are Steve Carlton, Bob Gibson, Sandy Koufax, Greg Maddux and Nolan Ryan.

8. 65 years ago this week, NBC Radio premiered their weekend-long show Monitor – one of the best productions in the history of radio. It would air for twenty years and become the model for NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered.

9. A friend shared a not so complimentary nickname for the Neiman Marcus Stores which we profiled a couple weeks back (TBRR 5/24/20) – ‘‘needless mark-up.” The same could apply to the pricey Pier 1 – which has folded the tent permanently.

10. And from the always credible 5:05 Newsletter: “When expelled into the air by people speaking very loudly or shouting, the Coronavirus can hover for 15 minutes ... which explains why the infection rate is highest in New York City.


The pandemic – rediscovering television


Years ago, FCC Chairman Newton Minnow described television as “a vast wasteland.” Overall, we can’t say we disagree. Other than Channel 13’s excellent morning news program and baseball (remember that?), we don’t spend much time in front of the set. But with our “interesting times,” we discovered a few enticing things to make up for the lack of books and outside activities. Mostly we’ve watched shows we were going to get around to someday like The Good Wife, Monk, Veep, Curb Your Enthusiasm plus a dozen or more historical documentaries. The only current running show we’ve latched on to is the captivating The Amazing Mrs. Maisel – arguably our favorite of the bunch with its excellent scripting and outstanding cast. These shows along with MLB’s airing of the last two baseball seasons have made the quarantine tolerable. Granted, there were just as many disappointments such as our visit back to Pardon the Interruption which is still ridiculously overloaded with inconsequential pro basketball stuff and little of value, but overall, the return to TV has been a pleasant experience.

UP NEXT: The worst public policy proposal in US history



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