As much as a guy like me can do so, I try to take aggravations in stride. But I do permit myself a brief tirade now and then.

With that it mind, it’s time for my yearly impersonation of former ’60 Minutes’ Grouch in Chief, Andy Rooney, who shared his views on everything from the stupidity of hot-air hand dryers in bathrooms to revealing that God told him he should share with his viewers that Pat Robertson and Mel Gibson were wackos. It is in his honor (and voice) that I’ve written this week’s commentary.

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Have you noticed that real estate signs in front of houses up for sale increasingly feature a photo of the agent? I have. Sometimes an informal shot by an associate at their desk, but others a posed studio photo (occasionally even a retouched glamour shot.)

I don’t know about you, but when I’m buying a property, I don’t consider going through the realtor’s photo portfolio of agents to see which is the most handsome or attractive. Give me plump, balding guy in an old t-shirt or a woman with no makeup who looks likes she just rolled out of bed who can get me a good deal.

• • • • •

I’m tired of unwanted upgrades and updates. Most times they make my electronic device less user friendly. Haven’t they heard of “Keep it simple, stupid”?

It got me thinking of some of the things most all of us have around the house that were passed along by grandparents and parents and never need upgrades - like hammers, screwdrivers and pliers.

• • • • •

I watched a George Brett interview by Dan Patrick this week in which he lamented professional ballplayers’ excessive celebrations for doing something they’re getting paid millions of dollars to do. Well said.

I find myself talking to the TV sometimes, saying, when I see a player dance and posture after a sack or first down catch, “Chill out, man. You’re losing the game 28 to 3.”

The same goes for the post-touchdown celebrations. Even when they’re winning the game, group twerking in the end zone makes a team look like a bunch of juvenile idiots.

The common thinking is that the end zone rules were liberalized to enhance NFL viewership and revenues, What’s next, balloons, champagne and party hats?

There is one good thing about the touchdown celebrations, though. They do delay the game long enough for players to recover a little from the concussions they got marching down the field to the end zone.

• • • • •

Every year I grouse about there being no street sign at the corner of Jefferson and Rouse in Pittsburg, the oppressiveness of the PSU JUNGLETRON, the onslaught of TVs in restaurants, and the endless, narcissistic drivel of Twitter.

So far, nobody’s listened. Nothing’s changed. But that never stopped Andy, so I’ve just listed them again.

In the case of the TRON at Carney Smith stadium, a friend of mine told me that, if the wind is right, you can get hear the giant TV (replete with commercials between every play) five miles away in the Republic of Frontenac. No need for an upgrade for it this year.

• • • • •

In closing, here’s a few curmudgeonly quotes:

“The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.” – Mark Twain

“I love mankind … it’s people I can’t stand!” – Charles Schulz, “Peanuts,” (Linus)

“The power of accurate observation is commonly called cynicism by those who have not got it.” – George Bernard Shaw

“People will buy anything that is one to a customer.” – Sinclair Lewis

“I wish people who have trouble communicating would just shut up.” - Tom Lehrer

“Actions lie louder than words.” - Carolyn Wells

“The bible tells us to love our neighbors, and also to love our enemies; probably because they are generally the same people.” – G.K. Chesterton

“Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.” – Nick Diamos

— J.T. Knoll is a writer, speaker and celebrant. He also operates Knoll Training, Consulting & Training in Pittsburg. He can be reached at 620-231-0499,, or 401 W. Euclid, Pittsburg, KS 66762