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Jim's Jottings


Think the order for light meant flashlight?



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February 23, 2011 - The flashlight was invented about 1898, according to my encyclopedia. Notice I didn't have to go to the internet to find that fact.

Also, notice I still refuse to capitalize the word internet. If there was an outernet would it have a capital O?

My attention this week on the flashlight comes from the exposure it is getting on my tv shows . . . NCIS, CSI and Law and Order.

The shows are my only addiction, except for golf, baseball, football, chocolate shakes, Fox news, evening cocktail, morning oj, and, well, you get the idea.

Cops and robber stories, cowboy and Indian movies and Tarzan shows were an addiction in my growing up years. They worked in daylight.

The big difference in today's mysteries and yesterday's is the flashlight. The flashlight has shortened script writers jobs and lessened the need for show settings.

Now, writers can put a flashlight in a good gal or guys hands and use up 15 minutes of show time in every hour show as they pretend to search hideouts, sewers, attics and closets, which also are pretend.

The western heroes of yore would go in dark or low lit places with their guns drawn, find the culprits and rarely get shot. Script writers had many more minutes to fill.

Today, the flashlight search is an extreme stretch for television viewers' imagination. Of course, if there is one thing we tv viewers have it's an extreme imagination.

My Britannica didn't say who invented the flashlight, but I'll bet that nerdy Tom Edison made it possible.

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I've bought a few Lotto tickets in my life, but never did it enter my mind I was helping pay for Michigan's school children's eduction.

I was gambling for bucks.

I was against having our state promote gambling (that's it isn't it?) to finance education in the first place. And, all it did is give legislators the opportunity -- which they jumped at -- to move money out of the education budget and into some other project.

Today, Michigan is promoting gambling (Lotto) heavier than ever. It's teaching school kids the "true" budgeting experience. Bet on it.

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This goes back several years. There was a sharp, jokester-type gal in our clan, Elizabeth (Liz) Baldwin. I did a lot of hunting and fishing with her husband (Pansy), and every trip she'd sneak a picture of herself in his duffle

She did off-the-wall stuff, like putting a note on the ceiling over their bed: "Kiss Mrs. Baldwin Goodnight."

She wrote to Ann Landers and asked if toilet paper should come off the top or bottom of the bathroom roll.

Ann was definite: "Off the top!"

That came back to me recently in a Charmin commercial with the adult and young bears.

Charmin isn't so sure of the unrolling as Ann.

The first half of the toilet paper message has the y'ung'un pulling the paper from the top and the last half they pull from the bottom.

Old adage for advertisers: Try to not offend anyone.

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Top speed of a chicken in full gallop is nine miles per hour. Bet you didn't know that.

Jim Sherman, Sr. is president of Sherman Publications, Inc. He has penned "Jim's Jottings" since 1955.
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