Monday, August 27, 2007


Wattenblog is back in business !!!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bob at the Beach

I spent a long weekend on the Eastern Shore --- at Bethany Beach, Delaware.

I had a crab-cracking beer-swilling dinner with Robert Novak whose new book The Prince of Darkness is selling very well.

It is a fascinating book with
unique political insights. I recommend it highly.

Bob is all grumpy and growly on camera ---but with heart of drawn butter--- of the sort we had on our steamed clams.

Monday, August 20, 2007

HOW TO WRITE GOOD by Frank L. Visco

My several years in the word game have learnt me several rules:

1... Avoid alliteration. Always.

2... Prepositions are not words to end sentences with.

3... Avoid cliches like the plague. (They're old hat.)

4... Employ the vernacular.

5... Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.

6... Parenthetical remarks (however relevant) are unnecessary.

7... It is wrong to ever split an infinitive.

8... Contractions aren't necessary

9... Foreign words and phrases are not apropos.

10.. One should never generalize.

11.. Eliminate quotations. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said:
"I hate quotations. Tell me what you know."

12.. Comparisons are as bad as cliches.

13.. Don't be redundant; don't use more words than necessary;
it's highly superfluous.

14.. Profanity sucks.

15.. Be more or less specific.

16.. Understatement is always best.

17.. Exaggeration is a billion times worse than understatement.

18.. One-word sentences? Eliminate.

19.. Analogies in writing are like feathers on a snake.

20.. The passive voice is to be avoided.

21.. Go around the barn at high noon to avoid colloquialisms.

22.. Even if a mixed metaphor sings, it should be derailed.

23.. Who needs rhetorical questions?

Monday, August 13, 2007

As a younger man I loved gambling.

At age 20 I was a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal earning $29 each week. I paid my weekly motel rent ($5) and bought two $5 meal tickets at a greasy spoon diner.

That left $14 each week to gamble --- at a time when Benny Binion's accepted 10 cent bets. I loved it.

Gambling is very much a part of the human experience. What can I say: I still love it and the excitement it yields.

I am spending a couple of days at the Jersey Shore. The food is good; the people are nice; the ocean is glorious --- but for me the allure is not the azure ocean but the green felt of the --- crap tables. I am gambling more than dimes. I have learned that gambling is fun when it hurts to lose but not to lose so much that it hurts too much.

I played for a few weeks in that famous (barely legal) poker game with several Supreme Court Justices. I stopped. They were playing quarter-and-a-half.



Wednesday, August 08, 2007

A stunningly arrogant and stupid cover story in Newsweek (8-13-07) is entitled

Global Warming is a Hoax*

or so claim well-funded naysayers who still reject the oveR-whelming evidence of climate change. Inside the denial machine. By Sharon Begley

Ugh --- how very cutesey-poo climatologists believe that the threat s so very grave.