Sunday, November 25, 2012

"...OMG...Now Fluffy Has Gone After Mom's Eggo..LOL..."

Let's get one thing straight at the outset.

I am not technophobic.

Despite my arrival into the age bracket that tradtionally shuns, disparages and/or naysays contemporary living, often lapsing into one version, or another, of what basically boils down to the iconic "back in my day", I have always been fairly comfortable with whatever advances technology makes at any given time.

To wit, when they first came along, my VCR did not blink 12:00. I made effortless, even enthusiastic transitions from eight tracks to cassettes to CD's to Mp3.

Likewise from Beta to VHS to Laser Disc to DVD.

I've resisted BluRay thus far, but not as a generational protest, more an expression of consumer opinion that for whatever minute difference there might be from one set of pixels to another set of pixels with these average viewer's eyes, there's not much sense in spending a lot of money to, essentially, buy new copies of the movies I already own.

I did that when I moved from Beta to VHS to Laser Disc to DVD.

I love "Wrath of Khan" as much as the next guy, but there comes a time you have to draw a line.

So, I'm not going to gladly suffer any fools who want to label me as being out of step with the times.

I think today's happenings are totally groovy.

That said, it occurs that not everything that glitters, or downloads, is genuine fourteen karat.

Or fourteen gigs as the case may be.

I caught an article on line that caused me to access that part of my RAM where I store my suspicions.

Here's a link. Take a look and then we'll chat.

For those of you born after 1995, that means we'll reboot the conversation.

While this article isn't particulary unique, it does underscore a perspective I have long possessed but only occasionally voiced, both out of respect for contemporary points of view and in order to insure my continued membership in the "he's getting older but at least he knows the difference between megabyte and megatron" club.

Here's the thing about the thing, though.

If you go back and look again, you'll see that the lion's share of the new apps being hyped here are really nothing more, or less, than variations on the basic social networking paradigm, in the versions illustrated here, pretty much short shot comment sites. And no matter what you call it, it all pretty much posts the same.

A tweet by any other name, as it were.

Okay. Here's the down low on my problem with the glut of upload.

Seriously, kids, how many different methods of communication do we require in order to, essentially, do little more than share with others what we are doing at any given moment of the day?

And, more to the point, besides your wife, husband, kids, BFF and/or mistress (in case you're a general or director of any large Federal agency), who cares that you are now at "Ernie's Beach Towel Town" or about to watch "Real Housewives of Suburban Waukeegan" or can't stop laughing because your cat missed the litter box and hilariously shit in your Cheerios?

One sure risk in dissing the download crowd is being labeled as a mega-malcontent and having to live with the whispers, snickers and assorted OMG's, IKR's and WTF's that inevitably start flying around behind your back the moment you post your position.

And, depending on your age, of course, you can pretty much bet that any pilloring of participation in the exchange of mindless minutae will result in your being ostracized by those whose day simply doesn't seem worth living unless they can post their beach towel and/or real housewife and/or cat shit status.

But, at the risk of having my bleak picture tagged while bracing for the flood of unfriending sure to follow, I can't help but wonder...

Where are we going to find the space to fill and, as a result, live our lives to the fullest when our lives are so full of other people's lives?

Where's the app for that?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

"...We Could Do With A Little More Larry...and Lot Less Real..."

There's reality.

And there's reality.

The distinction between the twain that shall never meet in a moment.

(CNN) -- Actor Larry Hagman, who created one of television's iconic villains with the treacherous J.R. Ewing of "Dallas," died Friday, according to a family statement. He was 81.

Hagman died at a Dallas hospital of complications from cancer, said the statement posted on Hagman's official web site early Saturday.
"Larry was back in his beloved Dallas, re-enacting the iconic role he loved most," it said.
"Larry's family and close friends had joined him in Dallas for the Thanksgiving holiday. When he passed, he was surrounded by loved ones. It was a peaceful passing, just as he had wished for. The family requests privacy at this time."
Hagman shot to television superstardom in 1978 with the role of J.R. Ewing, the scheming Texas oil tycoon, in the prime-time soap opera "Dallas." He was the villain viewers loved to hate.
In 1980, the show became a mega-hit with the "Who Shot J.R.?" plot line that left Americans guessing who pulled the trigger.
The answer came on November 21, 1980, in an episode dubbed "Who Done It?." More than 350 million viewers tuned in around the world to find out Kristen Shepherd, the sister of J.R.'s wife, shot him. It remains one of the most watched television episodes in history.
Ewing survived that shooting, and Hagman and the rest of the cast thrived for 14 seasons total before bowing out in 1991.
He reprised the role for TNT's reboot of the series "Dallas" in June 2012. Hagman filmed appearances for the show's second season, which is set to air in January. (Like CNN, TNT is a division of Time Warner and Turner Broadcasting.)
It was a role he clearly reveled, even developing a trademark laugh for the character. At one point, Hagman made up fake $100 bills emblazoned with his face and the words "In Hagman We Trust" to hand out to fans.
In one of his final interviews on CNN, Hagman appeared alongside original "Dallas" cast members Linda Gray (Sue Ellen) and Patrick Duffy (Bobby) on "Piers Morgan Tonight."
During the interview, Morgan described the character of J.R. Ewing as "the dark dealer of evil scheming."
"Moi?" Hagman said, breaking into a wide smile.
In a statement released Friday by Gray's publicist to KNBC-TV in Los Angeles, the actress described Hagman as "my best friend for more than 35 years."
"He was the pied piper of life and brought joy to everyone he knew. He was creative, generous, funny, loving and talented and I will miss him enormously. He was an original and lived life to the full and the world was a brighter place because of him," the statement said.
Hagman told Morgan when he was first approached about doing the "Dallas" remake, the first question he asked: "Are my friends going to be on the show?"
"I wouldn't be doing it without them," he said.
Word of Hagman's passing spread quickly late Friday and early Saturday, with everybody from celebrities to fans mourning his death.
"He was a wonderful human being and an extremely gifted actor. We will be forever thankful that a whole new generation of people got to know and appreciate Larry through his performance as J.R. Ewing," TNT said in a statement. "Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time."
Hagman was born in Fort Worth, Texas, on the cusp of the Great Depression to actress Mary Martin and Ben Hagman, a lawyer.
He spent a year at Bard College in New York and then embarked on a life in theater in Dallas and New York, according to his official website.
He appeared onstage with his mother in "South Pacific" in England and even produced and directed several shows while in the U.S. Air Force. After getting married and leaving the service, Hagman returned to the United States and starred in a number of Broadway plays.
His family then headed to Hollywood, where Hagman earned roles in such television shows as "The Edge of Night" and "The Defenders."
Hagman's breakthrough role came in 1965, when he played astronaut Maj. Tony Nelson, or "Master," as he was known to the scantily clad, 2,000-year-old genie played by Barbara Eden in the hit comedy, "I Dream of Jeannie."
"I can still remember, that first day on Zuma Beach with him, in the frigid cold. From that day for five more years, Larry was the center of so many fun, wild, shocking and, in retrospect, memorable moments that will remain in my heart forever," Eden said in a Facebook post on Friday, shortly after hearing of Hagman's death.
"...I, like many others, believed he had beat cancer and yet we are reminded that life is never guaranteed."
Eden signed off, simply: "Goodbye Larry. There was no one like you before and there will never be anyone like you again."
Hagman kept busy after the show went off the air in 1970, appearing in guest roles in "The Streets of San Francisco," "The Rockford Files" and "Barnaby Jones." In the 1990s, he starred in the television show "Orleans."
Off screen, his drinking earned him unwanted attention from the tabloids, which chronicled his battle with alcoholism.
In recent years, he went public with his wife's battle with Alzheimer's.
He also suffered several health scares, including a bout with cirrhosis and a 16-hour liver transplant in 1995 that helped save his life.
Last year, he revealed that he had been diagnosed with cancer, but at the time, Hagman called it "a very common and treatable form."
He is survived by his wife, a son, a daughter and five grandchildren.
While obviously poignant for those of us who were aware of Larry Hagman since back in the days his career first got started, his passing represents, of course, yet another mile marker on our own roads to the end of the line.
To younger folks, of course, the passing of an eighty year old actor whose main claim to fame came along long before they did will register little more than a blip on their radar.
Or touch screen smart phone, as it were.
There is, though, something about this passing I think both connects the generations.
And draws a very clear, equally poignant, even ironic distinction between them.
The aforementioned twain that shall never meet.
And, given that this passing comes from the world of celebrity, it's perhaps even more ironic that the distinction comes from the world of reality.
There can't help but be something to be said for a celebrity whose primary fame resulted from his being known, world wide, for the better part of forty years, as a selfish, shallow, self absorbed, self centered, manipulating opportunist who never missed an opportunity to take what he wanted, when he wanted, regardless of cost to fellow man or even humanity in general.
And yet, upon his passing, is being sincerely remembered as a good and decent man, loving and caring, genuinely concerned about people and their welfare, a class act combination of first class husband, father and friend.
That he was totally believable as  J.R. Ewing, the aforementioned selfish, shallow, self absorbed, et al opportunist is a testament to the skills of Larry Hagman the actor.
That he is being celebrated today as a good and decent man, loving and caring father, husband and friend, et al, is a testament to the character of Larry Hagman the man.
In a culture that has seen "reality television", if not legally, then most assuredly morally, usurp quality drama, comedy and variety shows, the irony becomes even more obvious.
In the day, when we turned off the tube and went about our lives, we knew, without having to even consider it, that J.R. Ewing's selfish, shallow, self absorbed, self centered, manipulating opportunism was nothing more than an incomparable job of pretending by a good and decent man, loving and caring, genuinely concerned about people and their welfare, a class act combination of first class husband, father and friend.
Today, when we turn off the flatscreen and go about our lives, we know, without having to even consider it, that the selfish, shallow, self absorbed, self centered, manipulating opportunism we are witnessing is the real deal.
And that's really sad.
There's reality.
And there's reality.
One is clearly harsh.
The other is being celebrated today by friends and family of a class act combination of first class husband, father and friend.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

"...If You Think Getting A Ship In A Bottle Is Tough, Think How Hard It Must Be To Put Something Actually Good For You In One..."

Today's memo from the "all that glitters" folder.

( -- Pepsi's latest refresher claims to fend off fat. But is a healthy soda an oxymoron?
"Pepsi Special," the new drink distributed by Pepsi's partner in Japan, Suntory Holdings Limited, contains dextrin, a dietary fiber that dissolves in water and is found in fiber supplements such as Benefiber.
Eaten appropriately, in fiber-rich foods such as vegetables and fruits, fiber helps to regulate the digestive system, lower cholesterol and may lower the risk of heart disease.
A Suntory news release claims the drink acts by "suppressing the absorption of fat" and can inhibit the rise in triglycerides after a meal, making it, potentially, the first "healthy" soda.
Because of these purported health benefits, Pepsi Special has received the label "FOSHU" in Japan, a government designation that stands for "Food for Specified Health Uses." A Japanese government website states that "FOSHU" products are meant to be consumed "by people who wish to control health conditions, including blood pressure or blood cholesterol."
As odd as the fiber-packed cola sounds, however, it's not the first to debut in Japan. Kirin, the Japanese beer company, launched the country's first "FOSHU" beverage with dextrin in the spring called Kirin Mets Cola, a sugar-free beverage geared towards "health conscious" men in their 30s.
Is there anything to the dextrin trend?
A 2006 study conducted by researchers from the National Institute of Health and Nutrition in Tokyo found that rats fed both dextrin and fat absorbed less fat than the rats who did not eat the fiber. But that research, alas, wasn't extended to people.
In fact, too much dextrin could make you sick.
"Studies of humans ingesting dextrin suggest short-term risks including stomach pain, gas, and bloating," says Lilian Cheung, editorial director of Nutrition Source, the Harvard School of Public Health's nutrition website. "The long-term risks have not been studied."
Dr. Walter Willett, chair of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health, added in an email statement: "Unless Pepsi can provide data from controlled studies in humans to the contrary, their claim should be regarded as bogus and deceptive."
In fact, Pepsi may face challenges if it decides to bring Pepsi Special to the United States, since the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) tends to frown on such potentially suspect nutrient-boosting of essentially unhealthy products in an attempt to make them healthier.
In fact, its regulations specifically discourage such fortifying:
"The Food and Drug Administration does not encourage indiscriminate addition of nutrients to foods, nor does it consider it appropriate to fortify fresh produce; meat, poultry, or fish products; sugars; or snack foods such as candies and carbonated beverages."
"You shouldn't add good things to bad things because that could encourage people to eat something that isn't healthy for them," said Michael Jacobson, Executive Director of the Center for Science in
In the U.S., soda companies have been called out for making exaggerated health claims about their sugary drinks.
CSPI recently sued 7UP's parent company Dr Pepper Snapple Group for making specious health claims about its Cherry Antioxidant, Mixed Berry Antioxidant, and Pomegranate Antioxidant varieties, arguing that drinking a soda with a small amount of Vitamin E is not as healthy as consuming antioxidants from fruits, as the company implied. (The company decided to discontinue the line.)
In 2008, the FDA sent a letter to Coca-Cola, arguing that the company "misbranded" its "Diet Coke Plus" because it did not provide enough nutritional information to justify the word "plus."
So as appealing as it sounds to down a healthy dose of fiber from a can, health experts say it's probably best to get your daily allotment from food if you want to truly take advantage of the good things fiber can do.
"I would assume it's a soda and treat it that way," Vandana Sheth, a registered dietitian in the Los Angeles area and spokesperson for The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, says about the beverage. "Whole grains, vegetables, barley, beans, lentils have significant positive effects like lowering blood glucose, and some of that will make you feel more full. It is also more satisfying to chew and swallow real food rather than to drink a beverage."
Not to mention that guzzling soda and sugary drinks contributes to health problems like obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and may raise blood pressure as well.
"Adding a fiber to a drink made from caffeine, caramel coloring, phosphoric acid, sugar, and high fructose corn syrup doesn't make it healthy," says Alissa Rumsey, a dietitian at New York Presbyterian Hospital and spokesperson for the New York State Dietetic Association. "If people think they're going to lose weight by drinking a beverage like this, then they are more likely to drink more soda and therefore consume even more calories."
Which would simply make any of the purported health benefits fizzle out.
At this point, it's only fair that I point out that I have absolutely no credentials as a health professional.
That said, though, I do believe that, given my own history with weight control (an iconic oxymoron if ever there was one), I qualify as, if nothing else, a lay expert on the subject, owing to the fact that for nigh on seven decades now, I have seen my weight go up and down and up and down and up and down (psychologists would likely offer there's a pattern here, but I can't see it) and up and down.
Truth be told, ballpark guess, I have probably lost and/or gained, in my entire adult lifetime, the pound equivalent of an average sized fourth grade class.
Or one Kardashian posterior.
I have spent more than just a few hours of my earthly life hourglass alotment looking into, searching for, chewing and/or swallowing a myriad of various and sundry foods and/or beverages, reasonably optimistic that I would, sooner or later, discover that which I would need to, once and for all, get a handle on my tendancy to develop handles.
And by way of assuring you that I'm no pie (or cupcake) in the sky kind of fat fighter, naively believing that there is any such thing as a "magic pill" that will make me finally, and permanently, statistcally in line with what statistics tell me my weight should be,  please know that I'm not naive, I don't believe that a magic pill could ever do it all.
At the very least, that pill would require at least eight 8oz glasses of water every day.
Because as all of us who know more about Jenny Craig than we know about, say, Rosa Parks know, there is no instance in this life that includes the opening of the mouth, in the category of nutrition, of course,  to put something in it that doesn't require at least eight 8oz glasses of water every day.
So, as a result of my years of participatory self education, it's not without some feeling of qualification that I offer the following observation as regards the ongoing quest to find the "perfect" weight control foods and/or liquids, this purported Pepsi possible the latest of the contenders.
There is no magic pill.
There are no magic foods.
There are no magic beverages.
There is, simply, the need to eat balanced meals, in correct quantities, as dictated by the body's need for nourishment, said need signaled by the concept we all know as hunger.
And, of course, eight 8oz glasses of water every day.
As far as Pepsi Special, and all its kissin cousins, liquid and/or solid, is concerned, there is a simple, irrefutable and, yes, tragic truth that cannot be denied.
Food and drink manufacturers are not in the business of creating products to help any or all of us find our ideal weight.
Food and drink manufacturers are in the business of selling us foods and drinks.
And, sparing you the tiresome talky tirade about more fresh fruits and vegetables, I can only, in order to be totally honest about it, admit to you, not matter how sad and/or inevitable said admission might be, that there is only one beverage that will really, ever, ever, ever (apologies to Taylor Swift) do for you what a liquid is supposed to do for you in terms of giving your body what it needs.
Eight 8oz glasses every day.
And if you're not a big fan of whatever comes supposedly pure but, likely, no, not so much, out of your kitchen tap, take heart.
Water is available at your local grocery store in bottles.
Very likely bottled by the same folks who manufacture Pepsi Special.
They just left out the Pepsi.
And whatever makes it special.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

"...Of All The News Sites, In All The World, They Have To Post This Crap On Mine...."

Apparently, contemporary media's favorite holiday is Thanksgiving.

Because they seem to have a knack for presenting bones to pick.

To wit...

If you look closely, you can see the resemblance Elettra Wiedemann bears to her screen legend grandmother, the late Ingrid Bergman. The gene pool doesn't fall far from the tree in this case: Wiedemann is the daughter of Isabella Rossellini -- who also bears an uncanny resemblance to her famous, Oscar-winning mother.

Unlike Rossellini and Bergman, Wiedemann isn't an actress. (So any ideas that she could take on her grandmother's role as Ilsa in a remake of "Casablanca" are a bit pie-in-the-sky.) But that doesn't bar Wiedemann's genetic propensities from explaining her career path. You see, both of her parents met on a Calvin Klein photo shoot in the early '80s. (Rossellini has both modeled and acted.) And Wiedemann has followed in their footsteps, having graced the pages of Vogue as well as served as a spokesmodel for LancĂ´me.

Here's the side by side picture this yahoo on Yahoo offered up as support of similiarity.

Now, I'm no Abby Scuito, but I don't think you have to be a goth forensic scientist to see that this girl doesn't look at all like her famous grandmother.

In fact, from my side of the retinas, if you imagine the young lady with darker hair and squint just a teeny tiny, I think you'll see who I see.

Kristen Stewart.

Meanwhile, if you look at a picture of Widermann's mom, Isabella Rossellini, you'll see what everyone has always seen.

A pretty poignant resemblance to her famous mom.

Ingrid Bergman.

Admittedly, this ridiculous assertion of alikeness, the ridiculous article written about it and, in fairness, the time that I have wasted telling you about it, doesn't amount to a hill of beans in the crazy world.

But I can't help but feel the insatiable urge to round up the usual suspects when media offers up this kind of cut rate "journalism".

And yes, I understand that much of today's media is only interested in sensationalism, facts be damned.

That they are, too often, really nothing more than parasites.

Personally, I don't mind parasites.

I just object to cut rate ones.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"...What Kind Of Stuffing Goes With Lycanthrope, Anyway?..."

Halloween is behind us.

Thanksgiving to come.

So a story about vampires and werewolves might seem inappropriate.

But, it's not.

More in a moment.

Compassionate strangers banded together this week to raise more than $56,000 to help a 19-year-old college student whose parents were killed in Superstorm Sandy, leaving her to raise her three younger siblings on her own.

Zoe Everett of Randolph, N.J., posted her story at the Wish Upon a Hero Foundation website.

"I was studying for an exam, waiting out Hurricane Sandy and then I received a phone call," Zoe, a student at Rutgers University, wrote at "At 11 p.m. on October 29th, I found out both of my parents had been killed. They were driving the pickup truck home with my two little brothers sleeping in the back seat."

Richard Everett, 54, and his wife, Elizabeth, 46, were driving through Mendham Township when winds from Superstorm Sandy sent a 100-foot-tall tree crashing down onto the cab of their truck. Their sons, 14-year-old Theo and 11-year-old Pierce, survived; 17-year-old Talia was not with them at the time.

"My brothers made it out alive but with some bumps and bruises," Zoe wrote. "I finally made it to the hospital in the morning after battling with Hurricane Sandy all night. I was no longer your typical 19-year-old. A moment in time, a second of bad luck, changed my life and my siblings' lives forever."

She immediately decided to drop out of school in order to raise her siblings, but needed help to get by.

"I now have two goals: Caring for and being guardian of my three younger siblings and keeping my family in the house we grew up in," she wrote. "I love them more than they could ever fathom and I am ready and willing to put any amount of weight on my shoulders to lessen the load on theirs."

She was hoping to come up with $5,000 to pay bills and buy groceries while lawyers figure out how to process her parents' estate. Instead, online donors reached deep into their pockets, and raised $56,884.81 for her in a single day.

Tucked among the more than 100 comments were words of support more valuable than money.

"You and your siblings will make it through this. It will be rough but with your guidance and love you will all be OK. Clearly your Mom and Dad did a tremendous job raising you to be the fine young woman you are today," Elizabeth Aprile of Elmsford, N.Y. wrote. "If ever you need a shoulder to cry on or a friend to listen, please don't for a second ever hesitate reaching out to me."

"I am a retired navy SEAL, and can simply offer a safe & comfortable environment for your siblings & remaining family members," wrote Pete Carolan of California. "I salute your ability to survive this ordeal, and am willing to help in any way that I can."

Neighbors posted messages offering everything from hugs to help driving the younger kids to school. Fellow Rutgers students sent sympathy and emotional support, and plenty of people simply offered their prayers. Late Thursday night, Zoe posted a thank you note to the thousands of people who are now a part of her virtual extended family.

"On behalf of my siblings and myself, I would like to express our sincerest thanks for the overwhelming support and generosity shown to us," she wrote. "Wish Upon a Hero has raised funds for my family that have exceeded our wildest dreams. The donations have ensured our well-being for the next few months and will hold us over until we are able to access our own funds."

"If there is something we strive for, it is to be as benevolent and giving as our parents were," she continued. "They had the ability to see the good in everyone they encountered, and they trusted in the good hearts of humanity. It has been a blessing to witness these qualities in action, as a community and a country pull together for a cause."

She asked that those who wish to donate to her family send their money instead to others who are still suffering in the aftermath of the storm.

"My family has been so blessed," she wrote. "We would like to be able to do the same for others who have suffered the misfortune of Hurricane Sandy." The Wish Upon a Hero Foundation has set up a Hurricane Sandy site.

"This wish was spectacular," Wish Upon a Hero's founder, Dave Girgenti, told NBC News. "The entire country came together to help this girl with her tragedy. Her wish is granted."

Every now and then, when the seeming lack of class in our culture nudges drought proprotions, a much welcomed and appreciated shower comes along to soak us.

This young lady, and all the people who have, thus far, contributed to this effort, are forty days and nights of rain and then some.

Oh...and as to that whole Halloween/Thanksgiving thing?

If the whole narcissistic Lohan/Jenner/Kardashian self indulgence is a vampire and/or werewolf doing its best to suck the life blood out of us with each passing day....

...Zoe Everett represents the very best of what a good wooden stake and/or silver bullet can do.

"...And All Of This Before I Learned That The Other Woman Is His Biographer, Said Biography Titled...Well, It's Simply Too Easy A Shot To Take..."

First, an architectural disclaimer.
My own house is primarily, and inevitably, made of glass.
So the intention here is most assuredly not to throw stones.
That said, though,  a couple of things about this made me laugh.
If only commiseratingly.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - David Petraeus was a star on the battlefield, commanding the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, but was undone by "poor judgment" in engaging in an extramarital affair that led to his downfall as CIA director.
Just two days after his 60th birthday, Petraeus stepped down from the spy agency where he had held the top office since September 6, 2011.

"After being married for over 37 years, I showed extremely poor judgment by engaging in an extramarital affair. Such behavior is unacceptable, both as a husband and as the leader of an organization such as ours. This afternoon, the President graciously accepted my resignation," Petraeus told the shadow warriors he commanded at CIA.

It was a stunning downfall for a revered military man who was seen as one of the top American leaders of his generation and was once considered a potential contender for the White House.
Petraeus was credited with pulling Iraq from the brink of all-out civil war and for battlefield successes in Afghanistan after overseeing a surge of 30,000 troops ordered by President Barack Obama in late 2009. He became known for counter-insurgency strategies that were seen as gaining ground against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

"I don't think he was professionally overrated. His were genuine accomplishments," said James Carafano, a war historian with the conservative Heritage Foundation think tank.

At the time of his nomination to the CIA post, some Washington insiders had said the White House wanted to find a prominent position for Petraeus to ensure he would not be recruited by Republicans as a challenger to the 2012 Obama-Biden ticket.

When he was nominated to lead the CIA there were some concerns in intelligence circles that the high-profile four-star Army general might not be able to lead from the shadows as appropriate for a spy chief.

But once he took over the head office at the U.S. spy agency, Petraeus kept a decidedly low public profile.

Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Dianne Feinstein, a Democrat, expressed regret about the resignation of "one of America's best and brightest" and said it was an "enormous loss" for the country.

"At CIA, Director Petraeus gave the agency leadership, stature, prestige and credibility both at home and abroad. On a personal level, I found his command of intelligence issues second to none," she said.

This article goes on for a while, but I pretty much stopped reading here because, first, I already knew and/or had gotten the gist.

Second, I had laughed, again if only comiseratingly, three times.

And there comes a point where you have to sqeulch the snickering and get on with things.

First, there is an old joke that, paraphrased for family viewing, essentially deals with the irony of how even an otherwise insightful, perceptive, strategically gifted and, yes, let's be honest, powerful man rising to the top of a military organization with a power second to none on the planet comes face to face with the fact that he is, after all is said and done, no match at all for the power of the vagina.

Second, there is yet another old joke, truer than true, that God gave man a brain...and a penis...but he only gave the man enough blood to go one place or the other.

Third, though, and, to my sensibilities, the most ironic, poignant and, yes, humorous.

The last line of that last quote.

"....I found his command of intelligence issues second to none...".

As regards that observation, I respectfully refer you to the first two jokes.

As you were.