Some sure signs it’s New Year’s Day

As I sat and nursed my post New Year’s Eve wounds the other day and did my "typical male" channel surfing thing on the tube, I noticed a number of traditional and not-so-traditional New Year’s happenings worth commenting on:

1.) What’s with the total sensory bombardment of ever-more bizarre sounding college football bowl games? They literally seem to come at you 24×7 and each tries to convince you it’s more critical than the others (How about the Chick-Fil-A Peach Bowl and the sponsor’s tagline: We didn’t invent chickens. Just the chicken sandwich." Talk about poignant). My favorite obscure bowl game, though, was the Boise State-Boston College game that was sponsored by some computer maker and played on blue, yes, blue grass. A football game played in Boise, Idaho, on blue grass? What has the world come to?

2.) The Sci-Fi Channel’s 24-hour Twilight Zone marathon. No matter how bad your hangover, a good Zone episode is guaranteed to perk things up. My daughter, Catharine’s favorite is "Talking Tina," the vicious talking doll who ends up killing the abusive Telly Savalas. She’s seen it so many times, she literally knows every word of dialogue. Tina is so memorable that Mattel should think about producing a 45th anniversary model to boost their sagging sales.

3.) The media’s single-minded obsession with all things diet related. Each day, the morning shows trotted out one self-help weight-loss guru after another, all of whom were re-cycling the same old bromides. Every January we get the media weight-loss feeding frenzy and, every year, it seems like more and more Americans are becoming obese. What’s wrong with that picture?

4.) Last, but definitely not least, I actually saw three separate commercials reminding viewers that Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Another week or so and I’ll bet we start seeing back-to-school specials. Do advertisers have no shame?" As some pre-blogging pundit once said, "the more things change, the more they stay the same."

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