Greg Norman still is the leader in the clubhouse of life

I have no idea why the wheels always fall off of Greg Norman during final rounds of majors. I guess Never On Sunday is the story of his otherwise stellar golf career.
Norman’s fight to make a liar out of Father Time came unglued yesterday when his improbable run at the British Open proved impossible after all.
He finished in a tie for third behind Padraig — what kind of name is that, by the way? — Harrington and thus now has 30 top-10 finishes in the majors. But only two titles — the British Open in 1986 and 1993 — despite holding the 54-hole lead eight times.
Does Norman choke? That is a difficult question to answer, much like why is navy bean soup seldom on the menu?
I don’t think he choked this time, since at age 53 he is older than some of the dirt in the Southport rough. And because he now is a zillionaire walking conglomerate who merely dabbles with his golf clubs because he’s preoccupied playing tennis with new bride Chrissie Evert.
Difficult to feel sorry for the guy, I would say.

Will the Reading School Board's arithmetic on its $100 million loan add up?

The Reading School Board voted Tuesday night to borrow $100 million to add seven new schools and make infrastructure upgrades to existing schools in the district.

Usually taking out a loan of that magnitude when the economy is nastier than Amy Winehouse would unleash the cry of the damned, not to mention city taxpayers.

But the board claims it can pay the $5 million annual debt service on the bond without having to raise taxes.

Apparently the district’s horizon encompasses a geographic wonderland known as Harrisburg.
The Reading School District evidently is going to receive $10 million more from the state than anticipated. This year the district will receive an estimated $102.4 million in basic education funding from the state.
The district’s total cost on the 30-year bonds will be $181 million. The state will pay back another $35.8 million. Of course — if past is prologue — financial storm clouds still could trespass upon the sun seemingly shining on the dawn of a new era in the district.
After all, there is no such thing as fixed costs in major construction. Hence the financials usually are rooted merely in topsoil.

The time to call it a night had long passed

When the eerie early hours of the morning settle over a party like a shroud, it’s time to turn out the lights — the party should be over.
As my mother once told me, nothing good happens after midnight. Not at least until you wake up and eat breakfast.
There was a party over the weekend in Muhlenberg Township. About 4:50 a.m., a 22-year-old man was fatally stabbed with a steak knife. A 24-year-old man has been charged with his murder.
You don’t have to be carrying around a sack of hate to suddenly do something grotesquely violent if the hour is too late and the revelry is too long.
And now the potential and promise of two young men suddenly have been kicked over a cliff.

Driving up the mileage may drive the rest of us insane

Slow down, baby, now you’re movin’ way too fast.
The Beatles
With gasoline prices cooking our wallets like chicken-fried steaks, apparently there now is a posse of dangerous hypermilers clogging up our highways like plaque in an artery.
I used to think hypermilers were marathon runners. Come to think of it, those folks save plenty of money when they run to Pottstown instead of driving there.
But most of us are just too damn lazy to become marathoners. So some among us are becoming hypermilers — dastardly drivers who morph into turtles behind the wheel; who tippy-toe the accelerator instead of stomping on it; who shut off the engine or put the vehicle in neutral while coasting downhill; who inflate their tires until they are bigger than NASCAR Chevys to reduce rolling resistance and bump up the mpg; who draft other vehicles also going 5 mph; and who ignore stop signs as if they were ugly women.
Of course, all these driving misdeeds are a bit riskier than having a Cobb salad with ranch dressing.
At least they won’t get a speeding ticket. But they could find themselves playing an unwanted game of bump cars.

McDonald's and dieting can be cellmates after all

You usually can tell if folks inhale a lot of fast food. They’re the ones who are bigger than Abrams tanks.
But apparently you can eat nothing but fast food and not balloon to the size of Montana.
A guy in Virginia ate nearly every meal at McDonald’s over six months. You would think the only culinary experience more nauseating than that would be eating live bait at every meal over six months.
But this former porker actually DROPPED 80 pounds, the tonnage on his 5-8 frame dramatically shrinking from 278 to 199 pounds. And his waist size no longer was the circumference of the Earth’s equator, plummeting from 50 to 36 inches.
So how the hell did he do it?
He ate mostly salads, wraps and apple dippers without the caramel sauce and avoided Big Macs, french fries and chocolate shakes as if they were deadlier than James Bond.
With discipline like that, I guess he could go to bed without a bad feeling about the mint on his pillow.

A parking spot ain't worth dying over

Somebody alert the Division of Insanity, please!
Because folks in Reading really are acting nutso these days.
It was bad enough when people were killing themselves over drugs and money.
Now they’re whacking people in disputes over parking spaces. A handicapped parking space at that!
What the hell ever happened to the days when guys simply settled disputes by punching people out or by whacking a pipe across their knees? Now they’re literally whacking people.
Now Herbert Rupp Jr. is dead and will have a permanent parking spot in eternity.
And the man charged with his murder, Santiago Robles, likely won’t ever need a parking spot again if he’s convicted and sent to prison.

The International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship isn't quite Neil Armstrong on the moon, but it's up there

Not everybody can be a PGA golfer, PBA bowler, NFL quarterback, major league shortstop, NBA shooting guard or even a crackerjack cricket wicket-wielder.
Which is why summer is such a lovely time for folks to flourish in oddball sports that seldom make ESPN’s SportsCenter or the Las Vegas betting lines.
For instance, there’s the insanely popular (among boisterous Bubbas and their kin) International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship.
Indeed, any Martians visiting our planet on summer vacation may correctly deduce that cherry pit spitting likely is the end of our civilization as we know it.
This year’s International Cherry Pit Spitting Championship was quite the family affair, what with Brian “Young Gun” Krause claiming his seventh championship by out-spitting his old man, Rick “Pellet Gun” Krause.
Young Gun’s winning spit was 56 feet, 7 1/2 inches — 6 1/2 inches better than his father.
Then again, Young Gun’s nuclear lips and tongue have lost a lot of projectile power the past five years. He astonished loogey lovers around the world when he uncorked a cherry pit a world record 93 feet, 6 1/2 inches in 2003.
Hope he wasn’t wearing dentures because those flying bicuspids could have killed someone.