April 2, 2016 -- by Jim Neff







Back in the olden days, before Al Gore invented the Internet (wink, wink), people kept their contacts list in a Rolodex. This was a wheel-like gizmo into which you clipped little cards. On each card was the contact information for a person. You can still buy a Rolodex, but if you whippersnappers want to see one just ask your grand parents to show you theirs. My guess is they still have one. I do.


Writers had a different use for a Rolodex. They would put one topic on each card. If they experienced writer's block, they would spin the Rolodex and whatever card flew out would be the writing topic of the day. Sometimes several cards would fly out, thereby making the process more disjointed and jumbled. (This method might make more sense if you are a sports fan because it's the way the Detroit Lions' offense calls their plays.)


So, I decided to spin my Rolodex (both traditional and electronic) to see what sailed though the air. What transpired was a bit random, but sort of fun.


Topic: Mowed down. This time of year many people trade in old lawn mowers for new ones. A guy in Georgia had an idea he thought would be more entertaining. He filled his old mower with three pounds of the explosive Tannerite. He fired twenty shots at the mower from a semi-automatic rifle. The mower exploded and his left leg was severed below the knee by shrapnel. Don't worry, though, because this genius should recover in time to vote in the presidential election where his vote will count the same as yours. See the video report below. 


Topic: Selfie from the slammer. Keep your head up in New Jersey. If you're one of those people who walk and text at the same time you may want to steer clear of the Garden State. “A proposed distracted walking bill would ban pedestrians from walking and texting simultaneously...The law would ban people from walking while texting on any form of electronic communication device unless it is totally hands free.


Those caught could face fines of up to $50, 15 days imprisonment, or both.” I wonder if sending a selfie or text from jail constitutes your one allowed phone call. I also wonder if walker/texters will be required to have collision insurance in case they ram into someone. (http://www.breitbart.com/tech/2016/03/28/new-jersey-distracted-walking-bill-to-criminalize-walking-and-texting/)


Topic: The passing lane. There is a solution to the walk/text “problem” and it is in effect at Utah Valley University in Orem, Utah. The school has divided some stairways into three designated lanes – run, walk text. Experimental lanes have also been tried in Antwerp, Belgium, and in front of Washington D.C.’s National Geographic museum.


We should try this in Cadillac. We could paint some lanes on the McKellop Walkway and end the lanes on the city dock to see how many people fall into Lake Cadillac.



Topic: Electrified feet. Whether you are in a walking or texting lane, Nike wants to make sure your shoes never come untied. The new Nike HyperAdapt 1.0 has power-operated laces. “As soon as you step into a pair — as if they were slip ons —and press a plus button, the laces tighten. The shoe even lights up...They're expected out by the holiday season, but Nike hasn't announced pricing yet.” The shoes are battery operated and take three hours to charge, so if you are looking for an excuse to avoid exercise you can just say your shoes are out of juice. With my luck I'd step in a puddle and get electrocuted or hit the wrong button on the shoe and launch a missile attack. (http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2016/03/16/nike-debuts-power-lacing-shoe/81884078/)


Topic: Hear the ROAR. Seriously, however, staying safe when you walk is a primary concern. A new product due out in the fall aims at doing this. “Athena is a simple device with a big mission - to protect women with the touch of a button. Once pressed, it emits a loud alarm and messages friends and family with your current GPS location.” This is a small, clip-on device about the size of a quarter. Although it is being initially marketed toward women, it is a great safety device for everyone. I'm thinking it would be perfect for children walking to and from school. Check this out at: http://www.roarforgood.com/.


Topic: No whine before its time. Any spin of the Rolodex is bound to spit out something to do with politics. You remember a few Republican debates ago when Donald Trump displayed examples of all the things he owned? One of those was Trump wine. He said: ““It’s the largest winery on the East Coast. I own it 100 percent. No mortgage. No debt. You can all check. You have to go check the records, folks. In fact, the press, I’m asking you, please check.” If you do care to check (trumpwinery.com), you will find this disclaimer: “Trump Winery is a registered trade name of Eric Trump Wine Manufacturing LLC, which is not owned, managed or affiliated with Donald J. Trump, The Trump Organization or any of their affiliates.” This is odd because Eric is Donald's son. Which makes you wonder why the son would have something on his website that completely contradicts his father. It's just one more strange twist to the strangest presidential primary season ever. (http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2016/03/10/trump-wine-is-built-on-acres-of-lies.html)


Jim Neff is a local columnist. Read Neff Zone columns online at CadillacNews.com and NeffZone.com/cadillacnews.