Pondering road trips, old movies and hot air

Short takes and not-so-deep thoughts:

• One of the greatest feelings one can experience is dew-laden grass on bare feet – especially if it occurs as you are going out in the morning to pick up that day’s newspaper.

• There seems to be an unwritten rule that during every 24-hour period, some channel on Charter’s basic lineup must be showing “Die Hard,” “Sister Act 2” or “My Cousin Vinny.” In the cases of “Die Hard” and “My Cousin Vinny,” the pull for me to settle into the recliner and lose a couple of hours re-re-re-re-re-watching them is almost overwhelming. They’re not exceptional films, but their entertainment value holds up and there are so many quotable lines in both of them.

• Every presidential election cycle, there are dozens of fake campaigns propped up for movie and TV characters, and this year is no exception. My favorite has to be the online campaign for Ernest T. Bass, the rock-throwing hillbilly from “The Andy Griffith Show.” I realize that reference shows just what an old chunk of dirt I am, but my connection to Ernest T. goes back to my senior year of high school, when during Homecoming week some of us got in trouble for putting up a banner that read, “Ernest T. Bass says juniors don’t take baths.” The memory of the assistant principal struggling to pull down the banner and his overly dramatic destruction of it still makes me laugh.

• This past week was the Smith-Cotton football team’s contact camp. I was out of town for a work-related seminar and when I checked in with my son, Chaz, he summed up the first day working in the intense heat and humidity perfectly: “It’s like breathing hot maple syrup.”

• Respect for intellectual property continues to erode. People create artistic and creative content then others snag it for their own use without paying, crediting or at least requesting permission from the originator. Elementary school students are taught not to plagiarize, so Melania Trump’s speech writer has no excuse. Then there is the case of Donald Trump’s campaign continually using music against the objections of artists who don’t want their work affiliated with him. Queen’s Brian May, R.E.M., Neil Young and Adele all stated they did want Trump using their songs to promote his presidential bid. There are conservative artists who support Trump who likely would be happy to provide their work for him. Trump closed out the Republican National Convention on Thursday using a Rolling Stones tune even though the band has repeatedly protested his use of their work. In a season where everyone running for president is a disappointment, the fact that the song was “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” is beyond ironic.

• As I noted, I attended a seminar earlier this week in Chicago. We also have spent a lot of time on the road this summer taking Chaz to various football camps. My favorite function on my smartphone now is the audible directions through the map app. You punch in your destination and the app tells you, turn by turn, where to go as you “proceed to the route.” Count folding a road map among the old-time skills I am more than happy to give up to technology.

• If I had access to a time machine, I would go back and build parking decks in major cities. Rates at some of the downtown Chicago garages were up to $64 per day. For that fee, they should wash your car and give you a Chicago-style deep-dish pizza on your way out.

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