Good morning and greetings, Ides of March fans. In case you’re wondering what the Ides are all about, it’s the 15th day of March on the Roman calendar, the date on which Julius Caesar was assassinated back in 44 B.C.E. after adding croutons and parmesan cheese to one of his famous salads. And interestingly enough, that’s where the expression of “All roads lead to Romaine” came from. And I believe it was George Clooney, who directed and starred in the movie “The Ides of March,” who then coined the phrase, “When in Romaine, do as the Romaines do.” The final thought from the salad bar comes from Cool Hand Luke himself, Paul Newman, who said, “The embarrassing thing is that the salad dressing is outgrossing my films.”
So as a TV critic and blogger, I pride myself on staying atop of the pulse of this great nation, which I accomplish through phone, email and ham radio. And what I have learned is that cold and flu activity is alive and well around the country. Yes, just like the postman always rings twice, people are still coughing and sneezing, wishing and hoping, laughing and praying that the common cold, also known as a viral upper respiratory tract infection, doesn’t stick around too long and turn into bronchitis, running pneumonia or chicken pox. As the poet Ogden Nash once spouted, “A family is a unit composed not only of children but of mice and men, women, an occasional animal and the common cold.”
Now I rarely get a cold, but that comes from living life in a bubble. But when I do, I’m never thrilled with the nasal drainage, sore throat, hallucinations, sneezing, hoarseness, panic attacks, fatigue, fever, growth spurts, headaches, loss of appetite, premature hair loss, congestion, chills, thrills and the wonderful overall achiness. I know those days of dragging around the house, with my sinuses as stuffed as a Thanksgiving turkey never last more than than a week or so, but it gives me a true appreciation when feeling healthy of having nothing hanging over my head except a couple of hunting trophies.
According to researchers at the Kleenex Institute, there are more than 200 viruses known to cause the common cold. What this means is because there are so many different viruses wreaking havoc, while at the same time new viruses are graduating and going to college, the body never gets a chance to build up any resistance. With our immune system down on ground level, the body is as helpless as a baby veal to fight off bacteria, and colds return as frequently as our daughter tests our boundries. This makes the common cold one of the world’s most reoccurring diseases in the world, along with selfishness and stupidity.
So how do colds spread? Well, it is very simple, my non-glove wearing friends. It is by direct hand-to-hand combat, er contact, that these germs are spread. And it’s just so easy, like taking John Candy from a baby. All you need is someone blowing their nose, and then when they touch someone else, they’ll be as infected as a computer done in by a Chinese government hacker. And as a bonus, a cold virus can live on items like telephones, computer keyboards, magic wands, pens, books and treasure maps for several hours, or the time it takes for your number to be called at the DMV. When you grab a doorknob, a shopping cart, or a hazardous waste suit, you never know whose disease-ridden hand my have been on it before. So if someone had sneezed, ah-choo becomes ah, s***.
Personally, I love that special moment when the feeling of a cold front moves into my chest. Now it doesn’t happen often, but when it does, I know I’m in for some good, old-fashioned feeling lousy for a few days until I’ve been punished long enough, and my nasal passages clear and I can quietly slip back into men’s clothes.
Now it’s a common myth that wintertime is the cold and flu season. But you are mistaken, my runny nose due to excessive mucus flow friends. Although colds are much more popular during the colder months of the year, it’s not because of the frigid temperatures, but for the fact that people are huddled together like football players indoors and this helps to spread the joy and love. For young children in school and day care, the reoccurring cold is a parent’s nightmare, just like getting the call from the principal’s office informing you your child is not on the honor roll.
So what is one do to to avoid the contracting the common cold or being harassed by telemarketers? Best option, live in total isolation, with no contact with any fellow human beings. If that’s not realistic, wash your hands forty to fifty times a day, as cold germs can survive up to three hours outside the nasal and Northwest Passage. You want to keep your fingers and toes away from your eyes and nose as to try and avoid infecting oneself with some cold virus particles that may have come along for the ride. Remember, as any detective will tell you, a handshake is not a man’s best friend in the world of cold cases.
But don’t be afraid to go out in the cold weather. You won’t catch a cold or a sniffle. A cold virus can only enter the body through the nose and mouth, so wearing warm clothing or a fur lined burka will not help to decrease your chances of catching a cold or a Saudi prince. Heck, you can go outside with wet hair and no jacket and play in the snow and never worry about getting a cold. Hypothermia yes, a cold, no. And my thanks to EzineArticles.com for some research help on this matter.
So with spring less than ten days away, I thought for today’s photorama that we would take a break from the sunrise/sunset experience and check out some sights from the upcoming change of season. Plants and trees have been blooming for weeks here on the central coast, and I’m always amazed at the way they know when it’s time to make their yearly appearance above the soil. It is always a thrill to see new life surface. And after doing some landscaping a month ago, my rose bushes have been busier than the phones in the Golden State Warriors ticket office, as both spring majesty and the NBA playoffs (hopefully) are on the horizon. I believe it was Bill Murray or the Dali Lama who said, “Gardening is cheaper than therapy and you get tomatoes. I say,” Ronzoni sono buonio, Ronzoni is so good.” But the final word belongs to writer Robert Brault, who simply says, “Why try to explain miracles to your kids when you can just have them plant a garden.”
On to some late night humor. ” President Obama took a group of Republicans to dinner last night. And at the end of the meal, the president personally picked up the tab. Afterwards, Republicans said “Typical Democrat. Spend, spend, spend.” Dennis Rodman visited North Korea. Rodman came back and said President Obama should call North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. But President Obama was busy discussing Iran’s nuclear capabilities with Scottie Pippen. Last night Justin Bieber outraged fans by showing up two hours late for his concert. In fact, I’ve got to tell you, I almost left.
Horse meat was found in some products at Taco Bell. Which explains Taco Bell’s new slogan, “You can lead a horse to Taco Bell. We will take it from there.” – Conan O’Brien
“As you know, the Pope stepped down today. There’s a lot of cardinals running for this Pope position. Some of the slogans are pretty catchy. My favorite: ‘Yes, We Vati-can.’” – Jay Leno “President Obama’s half-brother is running for office in Kenya. He’s a political novice who was born and raised in Africa. I don’t know much about the half-brother.” – Craig Ferguson “Yesterday, Groupon fired the founder and CEO of the company. Yeah, he could tell something was up because today’s deal was his parking space.” – Jimmy Fallon “Mark Zuckerberg unveiled a new Facebook news feed today. He said that with this improved news feed Facebook hopes to give the world “the best personalized newspaper that we can.” He’s playing it a little bit loose with the word “newspaper.” A newspaper tells us that North Korea is threatening to attack us, not that your friend went to Panera Bread this afternoon.” – Jimmy Kimmel
So that’s our daylight saving time report. Interesting that folks in Arizona and Hawaii don’t join in the savings fun. We’ll catch you putting up tremendous, back-to-back 41 point performances last week and putting your team on your back as you try and will them into the playoffs. Aloha, mahalo and later, Kobe Bryant fans.