From: Deep Thoughts Weekly

Sent: Monday, October 20, 2008 8:21 AM

Subject: Deep Thoughts Weekly - October 20, 2008


Good Morning . . .


If your kid makes one of those little homemade guitars out of a cigar box and rubber bands, don't let him just play it once or twice and then throw it away. Make him practice on it, every day, for about three hours a day. Later, he'll thank you.


Since my last issue of Deep Thoughts Weekly two weeks ago, there have been two presidential debates, the market collapsed (and tried to recover), my dad had successful hip surgery (Oct 9), my mother-in-law turned 70 (also Oct. 9), our family made a trip to Florida and I hit 43 years of age (Oct. 16).  A lot can happen in fourteen days!



1972 - Snoop Dogg (rapper, actor, hip hopper)

1967 - Dann Gillen (songwriter)

1958 - Eric Scott (actor)
1958 - Viggo Mortensen (actor)

1952 - Melanie Mayron (actress)

1950 - Tom Petty (singer)

1942 - Earl Hindman (actor, d. 2003)

1937 - Wanda Jackson (singer, songwriter)

1935 - Jerry Orbach (actor, d. 2004)

1934 - Michael Dunn (actor, d. 1973)

1932 - William Christopher (actor)

1931 - Mickey Mantle (baseball, d. 1995)

1928 - Dr. Joyce Brothers (psychologist)

1925 - Art Buchwald (author/journalist, d. 2007)

1923 - Herschel Bernardi (actor, d. 1986)

1914 - Fayard Nicholas (tap dancer, d. 2006)

1913 - Grandpa Jones (country singer, d. 1998)

1907 - Arlene Francis (actress, d. 2001)

1882 - Bela Lugosi (actor, d. 1956)

1874 - Charles Ives (musician, composer, d. 1954)

1854 - Arthur Rimbaud (poet, d. 1891)

1632 - Sir Christopher Wren (architect, astronomer, mathematician, d. 1723)



Government in Action

Things Government Does When It's Not Bailing Out the Economy: The municipal transit company in Austin, Texas, unveiled a rider-education campaign in August, giving step-by-step instructions in how to stand up on buses without falling over. When the bus is accelerating, "lean forward and put your weight on your front foot." (The introductory frame on the poster features a harried rider exclaiming, "Help! I'll never figure it out!")


A British government-funded poster campaign, also introduced in August, aims to encourage those waiting for municipal buses to do Pilates-type movements to improve physical fitness. Among the suggestions: standing on one leg, pointing the toes forward, clenching the buttocks.


Most workers who have retired in the last few years from New York's Long Island Rail Road have also qualified for disability payments (though most did not claim such disabilities while working), according to a September New York Times investigation of state records. Lax union work rules, plus the astonishingly cooperative "Railroad Retirement Board" (which virtually never rejects a disability application), have resulted in nearly every worker drawing about as much money in retirement as he made on the job. In October, the Times also discovered that many of the same retirees were apparently so confident that their "disability" status would be approved that they also purchased private disability insurance to make retirement even more lucrative.



As a reminder, my reason for sending this is to help keep communication lines open between friends while hopefully adding a bit of levity to the day.  Back issues are available in the Deep Thoughts section of my website.  Have a great week!


Bryan McGonigal


*Weird News is borrowed from Chuck Shepherd's "News of the Weird", available at



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