Does it seem like the summer of 1816 to you?

This column has been cross posted at
http://www.smirkingchimp.com/thread/bob-patterson/33942/the-return-of-the-year-there-was-no-summer

A volcanic eruption of Biblical proportions is often cited as the cause of the unusual weather experienced around the northern hemisphere in 1816, which is often called “the year there was no summer.”  If, as some of the cutting edge conspiracy theory advocates are alleging, the summer of 2011 does a repeat of its 1816’ disappearing act, because of the Gulf oil spill, pundits will eventually get around to haggling over the topic:  “Did global warming start with the volcanic eruption in 1815?”  This columnist would like to ask that question now, and move on (dot org?) to something else for this summer.

While doing some fact checking about the wagering on various candidates who might be the successful candidate for the Presidency of the USA in 2012, we came across the curious bit of information that one of the overseas bookies is giving a thousand to one odds for bets that Laura Bush will be the winner.<!–break–>

Is it true that only the best journalistic hot dogs cover the <a href =http://www.buchmesse.de/en/fbf/>Frankfurt Book Faire</a>?

Has any columnist laid claim to the boast “the pundit other pundits read first”?  Did Freddie Francisco use that line?  If so, would he be gracious enough to let us “borrow” it in the Internets era?  Didn’t Ambrose Bierce write a San Francisco based column before he went AWOL?  Isn’t there a conspiracy theory that suggests that Bierce sneaked quietly back into “Baghdad by the Bay,” and did ghost writing using Freddie Francisco as his nom de plume?

One of the items included in the wrangling over the city budget in Berkeley CA is some quibbling about the use of medical coverage for city employees who want sex change operations.  Maybe if Rush Limbaugh mentions that in a future broadcast, he’ll attribute the tip to Freddie Francisco?

Will the efforts to orchestrate a boycott of Rush’s sponsors work or will it come off looking like a Chinese fire drill?  Wasn’t the very first boycott over an Irish matter?

Speaking of Oprah, we wonder:  Will Qantas now move on our suggestion that they use bargain fares to lure Netroots Nation into holding one of their conventions in Sydney?  Heck, bloggers could go to Sydney in January of 2013 and then come back and hold a second one somewhere in the USA in July and, then it would be the year with two summers, for those who attended both events.

We’ve lost our copy of “Naked is the best disguise,” by Samuel Rosenberg.  As soon as we find a replacement copy (there are beau coup good used book stores in Berkeley) we will start to write a column on his conspiracy theory that philosopher Fred C. Nietzsche was the real life identity of Sherlock Holmes’ nemesis Professor Moriarty.

Why do polar bears (Ursus Maritimus) get all the publicity?  If global warming is more than a figment of the collective mind of the scientific community, then why don’t penguins get some attention?  If the ice cap in the northern hemisphere is in danger of melting away, then won’t the other one melt too and leave the penguins (Aptenodytes patagonica) homeless too?  If the Southern ice cap isn’t going to melt, why not just send the polar bears down there?
Do the luxury hotels in Antarctica tout surfing on their fine beaches or do they stress the skiing experiences available nearby?

Speaking of San Francisco, that’s where the True Oldies Channel (TOC) has their home office.  One of the top features of the TOC is their daily selection of a sentimental song as the cheesy listening song of the day.  You want schmaltz?  You wanna do a Boener blubber scene because of a song on the radio?  We urge our faithful readers (all dozen of you) to e-mail in this suggestion:  Elvis’ “Old Shep.”  Tell Scott Shannon (the TOC’s answer to Emperor Norton?) that you got the idea from Freddie Francisco.

Did you know that San Francisco has two official songs and that (the last time we checked with the city clerk) Berkeley doesn’t have even one?  We’ll have to see what the official city song is in Concordia Kansas.  Do they have two like Frisco?  Or have they been as lax in that department as has Berkeley?

Did you just ask for some political punditry before we fade to commercial?  Our latest bit of fact checking indicates that the current odds regarding JEB as the winner of the 2012 Presidential Elections are forty to one. 

In “Don’t Call It ‘Frisco” (Double Day & Co 1953 hardback page 195), Herb Caen wrote:  “Books that are banned in Boston are best sellers in San Francisco, and their merits are argued hotley in the finest salons.”  Did he really mean to use just one “o”?

Now the disk jockey will play Fred Astair’s “Mr. Top Hat” album, Paul Evans song “Seven Little Girls (Sitting in the back seat with Fred),” and Freddie and the Dreamers album “Fun Lovin’ Freddie.”  Now, we gotta go get tickets for the Porchlight showing of the film “Brushes with Fame.”  Have the kind of week that only Munro Leaf could chronicle.

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