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By Jeremy Schiffres, Daily and Sunday Freeman, Kingston, N.Y.

Monday, June 23, 2008


Some things that are on my mind this day:

* The death of George Carlin late Sunday made me feel a bit old. Carlin was the first stand-up comic for whom I developed a real passion – and this was before he hosted the 1975 debut episode of “Saturday Night Live” – and, even though he was 27 years older than me, I always thought of him as an entertainer of my generation. He was a one-of-a-kind genius, and he’ll be missed.

* Is it just my imagination, or are we getting a far greater number of severe thunderstorms this year – in rapid succession, no less – than usual? (And at weird times of day, too – like the one that shook my house in Kingston at 2:30 a.m. Monday.) I’m not one of those global warming nuts, but I can’t help but suspect the planet’s changing climate has at least something to do with this disturbing trend.

* In a sports headline on Monday, The New York Times credited pitcher Andy Pettitte and slugger Jason Giambi with propelling the Yankees to their win on Sunday over the Cincinnati Reds. Andy Pettitte and Jason Giambi – the only two active Major League Baseball players who have admitted taking steroids. These guys shouldn’t even be allowed to play the game, let alone be lauded in a newspaper headline. What an embarrassment.

* Speaking of embarrassments, how ’bout those Mets? Fresh off the public relations debacle of firing Manager Willie Randolph in the middle of the night, they returned to Shea Stadium for their first post-Randolph home game on Monday, and not only did they lose to the Seattle Mariners – the rock-bottom worst team in baseball – but, in the process, alleged pitching ace Johan Santana gave up a grand slam to Seattle pitcher Felix Hernandez. A pitcher; and, for God’s sake, an American League pitcher – who knows as much about hitting as I do about brain surgery. Stick a fork in the Mets. They’re done.

* Lastly, our son Marc began his annual eight-week stint at summer camp today. We’ll miss him, of course, but you won’t hear me complaining about the lower grocery bills, the cleaner house and being able to sleep in.



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