The men in the Pollak family live their lives by this simple philosophy.
“Why stand when you can sit? Why sit when you can lie down?”
As you might imagine, this sort of lifestyle governance lends itself not only to the hardening of every artery in our bodies, but to time well-spent in profound thought. Herewith, profound or not, are several of my recent epiphanies:
• I’ve noticed that all of those TV deals for food slicers, absorbent rags, laundry cleaners, etc., seem to have the same scam going. “But wait! If you call right now, we’ll DOUBLE your order. Just pay separate shipping and handling.”
It’s that “separate shipping and handling” _ usually about seven bucks _ that gets you to buy twice the product you want, assuming you even want the stuff in the first place.
Oh, and people such as Vince Shlomi _ the ShamWow character who was arrested for allegedly punching a prostitute _ and the late Billy Mays, whose cocaine use was a “contributory cause” of his death, have your credit card number.
• On the subject of scams, who has a better one than the National Rifle Association and the industry it supports?
Two years ago, the organization got its members and other gun owners so worked up over the election of Barack Obama that they bought up every bullet in sight, fearing that with a Democratic president, the government would come in and take their guns away.
Seriously, target shooters, hunters and others couldn’t find bullets for many of their weapons, such was the bullet-buying fervor drummed up by the NRA.
The NRA did the same thing, of course, when Bill Clinton was elected. Meanwhile, no law-abiding citizen had his gun or bullets taken away by Clinton and none has had his gun or bullets taken away by Obama.
It has been reported that sales of 9mm Glocks like that used in the recent Tucson shootings have been booming, thanks to people fearing they won’t be able to buy them anymore.
Someone, by the way, is going to have to explain to me why anyone needs a gun that fires 30 bullets in rapid succession instead of — say — one with a 10-bullet magazine.
I’m not buying the old “slippery slope” nonsense about one reasonable restriction leading to a total ban on guns, not when perhaps a 10-shot handgun instead of a 30- shot one might _ just might _ have spared the life of that sweet 9-year-old girl killed by the madman in Tucson.
• When it comes to Sunday’s American Football Conference championship game _ with the winning team going to the Super Bowl _ I’m having a tough time figuring out which team to root for. Do I cheer for the sideline player-tripping New York Jets, with their obnoxious coach, or the Pittsburgh Steelers, with their quarterback who was suspended for four games this season because of accusations from a 20-year-old college student that he sexually assaulted her? Gee, the lout or the thug? Some choice.
• Everybody makes mistakes. I just happen to work for a place that makes them in front of many thousands of readers. In case you might be wondering, finding out in the morning that you’ve screwed up _ and knowing the paper will be out there all day long and there’s nothing you can do about it other than fixing the online version _ is not a good feeling at all.
We do, of course, print corrections for all the mistakes we know about. Some aren’t totally our fault in that they’re based on erroneous information provided to the newspaper, but most of the boo-boos are ours.
The thing that surprises me every year is how consistent our number of corrections turns out to be. In 2010, The Daily Star ran 178 of them, down from 187 in 2009 and just slightly up from 174 in 2008 and 176 in 2007. Most folks who let us know when we’ve messed up are very nice about it. Others can get downright snarky. But believe me, no one is more upset than I am when we make an avoidable error.
Where that is concerned, we’ve already got a running start on 2011. Just this week, in an editorial, we managed to refer to the current New York governor as “Mario Cuomo.” If we were writing between 1983 and 1994, we would have been right-on. However, in 2011, the governor is Mario’s son Andrew.
We regret the error, and all the others we shall make in 2011.
And how to keep them to a minimum is certainly something to think about.
SAM POLLAK is the editor or The Daily Star. He can be reached at email@example.com or at (607) 432-1000, ext. 208.
The men in the Pollak family live their lives by this simple philosophy.
- Big Chuck D'Imperio
Gilbert Lake a jewel among N.Y. parks
New York does quite a few things right, and misses the mark on things almost as many times. But nobody does a state park quite like New York does.Continued ...
- Baseball cards: Different spokes for different folks
- It's just a short drive down my memory lane
- Sept. 11 Museum is sobering, inspiring
- Remembering the singing cowboy
- Gilbert Lake a jewel among N.Y. parks
- Cary Brunswick
'Insurgent' or 'patriot' can be hard to define
A common perception may have been that writing human history is a mere description and explanation of events. We know better now, however, that even the driest facts are colored by the language and ideology of those doing the writing.Continued ...
- Gaskin and The Farm filled a void
- We shouldn't be surprised by Iraq's turmoil
- Brunswick column on hiatus
- Two-tiered Internet is a bad idea
- 'Insurgent' or 'patriot' can be hard to define
- Chuck Pinkey
- Guest Column
Baseball Hall of Fame evolves, but remains as relevant as ever
I am often asked how the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum continues to be successful, year-in and year-out. The answer is simple: relevance. Our methodology to remain relevant is straightforward: preserve history, honor excellence and connect generations.Continued ...
- Guns only dangerous in wrong hands
- Like it or not, the curriculum needed reform
- Police must crack down on motorcycle noise
- SAFE Act won't help get the lead out
- Baseball Hall of Fame evolves, but remains as relevant as ever
- Lisa Miller
A view from above
Fire towers in the Catskill Mountains have always been destination points, built to capture some of the region’s best views. These sentinel stations served an important role for the earliest possible sightings of forest fires in the remote mountain ranges. But the fire towers and those who manned them fulfilled a multitude of other roles as well.Continued ...
- Being a parent is a constant learning process
- Healthy doesn't have to mean expensive
- A family era ends with close of Potter series
- Independent stores make up for loss of Borders
- A view from above
- Mark Simonson
Lure of local off-track betting gained little foothold
From now until Labor Day, many from across our region will take a trip to Saratoga Casino and Raceway. Some will go to take in the sights and sounds, others for the "swag" that's given away, and of course some will place their bets on a favorite racehorse.Continued ...
- Future Hall of Famer Mack visited Oneonta in 1924
- Successes, train derailment were newsmakers in July 1984
- Oneonta street boomed to prosperity in 1893
- Local landmarks, new conveniences made news in summer 1954
- Lure of local off-track betting gained little foothold
- Rick Brockway
Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole
As I've told you many times, I grew up on the family farm outside of Laurens. During the summer, we spent many hours each day putting hay in the barn for the cows. It was hot and sweaty work, stacking the bales in the mow when temperatures were in the 90s and the humidity was about as high. But at the end of the day, we headed up the creek to a favorite spot â€" the old swimming hole.
- Sometimes hungry animals just come with the territory
- There's plenty to do at the Ellenville Fault Ice Caves
- Fireflies never cease to amaze as nature's night-lights
- Waterfalls are worth the trip
- Good old days revolved around a good old swimming hole
- Sam Pollak
Garagiola shows that nice guys can finish first
Through the long decades, I have managed to retain the ability to really, really annoy people, especially, it seems, nice people.Continued ...
- Macho, crazy America sticks to its guns
- My father is in my mirror, my dreams
- Being president doesn't look like much fun
- Some changes are just style over substance
- Garagiola shows that nice guys can finish first
- William Masters
Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues
As the time to vote draws near, we need to remember how money can run politics more than we can. Raising funds is a prominent (if not the dominant) task of getting elected. Raising issues is also crucial, but those efforts are subject to distortion and fear-mongering.
Republicans feelentitled to allthey can garner
An entitlement is a legal benefit available from the government to individuals who are within a defined category of recipients, such as needing insurance for unemployment or health services.
Romney focuses on self; Obama emphasizes unity
Mitt Romney criticizes President Obama for saying a person's success is rooted in his community, and is not all his alone. Romney belittles this with his belief in individual initiative. He is better at the put-down than the push-up.
Romney shows little regard for common man
The Republicans in Congress have voted over and over, 33 times, redundantly and uselessly, to rescind what they call Obamacare.
Scouts' gay ban creates problem where none exists
The Boy Scouts of America's "emphatic reaffirmation" of its vow to exclude any and all homosexuals from its hallowed ranks is ill-considered and pathetic, especially in view of its having reviewed the matter for two years.
- Schreibman tops Chris Gibson on women's issues