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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Friday, March 23, 2007

Is it time? Can we do Ask James Anything Friday?

I don't know what it is. Maybe my vitamins -hope those were vitamins - are more potent today, or something. But I'm up for some challenging questions. You know the rules of this day: there are none, except try not to be profane if you can help it. This is mostly a PG-13 blog. And don't ask me anything rude/mean about my wife or my mother. That would make me angry. And you wouldn't like me when I'm angry. Wish I had some music right now to play that Incredible Hulk theme song.

Anyway, ask away - anything about anything, including me, the news, my opinions, your opinions, my opinions of your opinions, why the sky is blue and the stupid water in my koi pond is too green.



  • I picture your life to be something like "Everybody Loves Raymond" except without the I-talian guy.

    By Blogger Matt, at 12:26 PM  

  • What needs to be done to convince Billy Donovan to stay at Florida and not come to UK? It's time we left the Pitino-era (both Himself and any of his former assistants) to history.

    By Blogger SWF41, at 12:59 PM  

  • What was the biggest mistake you've ever made?

    By Blogger hyacinths and biscuits, at 2:04 PM  

  • If there are no rules, then I'm asking two questions. I love "ask James anything" fridays, btw - for some reason it reminds me of the times when I was a kid and I'd get to hang out with my older brother. Can't explain it.

    Anyway - question 1, what is your favorite meal?

    Question 2, if you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be?

    By Blogger fiwa, at 2:10 PM  

  • If you could move anywhere in the world, where would you move?

    By Blogger Erica AP, at 2:59 PM  

  • OK, here's a question.

    Remember the link swap you suggested yesterday? :)

    Have a great weekend my friend!

    By Blogger Dan, at 3:33 PM  

  • no question, james, just have a great weekend. oh yeah, i finally learned how to hyperlink! :-)

    By Blogger savannah, at 4:49 PM  

  • If there are truly no rules, then my question is:

    Would you mind if I ask your readers to add to your response to my informal "ethics" survey at and tell me how they would handle winning $20,000 after betting a dollar given to them by a friend?

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 4:58 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 7:26 PM  

  • OK. I have an embarrassing one for you (embarrassing for me, not for you).

    I said something to someone today that -- had they been white -- I wouldn't have thought twice about. But because they weren't, a double entendre immediately flashed through my head (and by the amused look on his face, it did his, too).

    Is it offensive that I even second-thought my comment? You can find the conversation on my blog. I'm even thinking about taking it down. The story amuses me on one hand... but I'm also bothered by it. Hence my question to you.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 8:15 PM  

  • Thanks, James, except that your new link doesn't lead to mine. But I appreciate the support!

    By Blogger The Sarcasticynic, at 8:21 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by the author.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:04 PM  

  • Um, that's not a question Matt, but you're not far off the mark with that image.

    SWF41, Billy's gonna have to be given a ton of dough by Florida.

    H&B, I can't answer that. It's not that I don't want to. It's that I've made a ton of big mistakes, and I made them all under different circumstances. So in each circumstance I can think of the biggest one, but overall? I don't know. I lied to my wife (no, I didn't cheat or anything like that) and really hurt her feelings. I made an error in an article once that caused a PR nightmare for my editor at my former paper. I attributed a comment to a state prisons official that was given to me by a third party, a local police official. It was a sensitive statement, a potentially inflamatory statement, about a sex offender. The official denied it (on the record). Though there was little question she'd said it. But since I didn't get the comment directly from her it became a matter of he said/she said, and I was forced to do a correction. It was ugly. I once was offered a scholarship/fellowship and didn't get it, because I forgot to turn in the paperwork on time. Today the biggest mistake I made was not properly balancing the water in my koi pond. And now two of my fish have died. R.I.P. Orange and Rhymes with Orange.

    Fiwa, I'm a pasta guy. I like almost any variety of pasta, but especially pasta in a pesto sauce, with spicy Italian sausage. And if I had my way I'd live on the water in Savannah, GA.

    Erica, like I alluded to w/ Fiwa, if the world was perfect and I was independently wealthy, I'd love to have a big old house with a wrap-around porch next to the water in Savannah, GA....and I'd have a farmhouse in Maine, a brownstone in London, a loft in NY, a townhouse in D.C., a cliff-side cottage in Portland, and a grass shack on the beach in Fiji.

    Dan, I deserved that. I swear I'll do my half tonight.

    Kudos Savannah. Enjoy your weekend too!

    Sarc, that was strike two. I just tried to link it again, and got my own dashboard. I give up. Folks check out Sarcasticynic's comment above and visit the link in his comment for a very interesting ethics query.

    ThirdWorst, I'm intrigued. I'm gonna come over and read the post. Don't take it down. And as a general rule, I say never second guess yourself unless you doubted the righteousness or innocence of your intentions in the first place. If you meant well and meant no harm and it wasn't some blatantly obvious insulting thing don't sweat it. Most reasonable people of any color will be able to ignore or laugh off anything, if they know it wasn't said with ill intentions.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 10:09 PM  

  • Do you still love me?

    By Blogger Dayngr, at 11:34 PM  

  • you really like savannah, ga, doncha, james? i live near the savannah river...i know what you well and thanks

    By Blogger savannah, at 12:48 AM  

  • Wow...I didn't realize this was a tradition, just like checking out Chuck photos on dooce...

    Okay, here's one: if you HAD to sleep with a celebrity of the same sex, who would you choose?

    (Sorry not being too creative tonight, so I just stole something I wrote about earlier this week.)

    Still would like the answer, though!

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 12:57 AM  

  • Dayngr, I am still enamored of you! No worries;-) I'll be by the blog spot for a visit later this afternoon.

    Savannah, I'm serious. That would be my ideal location. Mrs. B and I plan to vacation - a long weekend - in Savannah when she gets spring break next month.

    Tiggerlane, that is an impossible question. You'd do better asking me that one with a gun to my head. The closest I can give you to an answer is the male celebrity with most money and the least reservations about giving it away. I suppose, technically, by our common definitions of celebrity and by my definition of most money, that would mean Bill Gates. Would I be allowed to get hammered first, and then inject numbing agents all over first?

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 12:22 PM  

  • I'm sorry about your fish. I always feel bad when I fill my fish from something asinine. But I admire your mad naming skillz. Like, a lot. I think those are the best pair of names I have ever heard.

    By Blogger hyacinths and biscuits, at 1:53 PM  

  • You are too much fun to tease! :)

    I'm actually doing my taxes right now. Ugh! Life imitates crappy art! :)

    By Blogger Dan, at 2:31 PM  

  • Okay, I know it's Saturday, but this can't wait until next Friday. Why do other cars pass my sweet little red Prius, pull in front of me, and then slow down? Did I do something worse in another life than I've done in this one? Are they mad because I'm getting 50 miles to the gallon? Perhaps it's just my karma, but if you're out there and you have this annoying habit, enlighten me. Understanding is the beginning of forgiveness.

    By Blogger wordsonwater, at 5:04 PM  

  • H&B, thanks for the condolences and the name praise. The others are named Foxy Brown, C. Boogie Brown, Spot, and Fred. I'm pretty bummed. I have three big koi in my pond, and I put six 25 cents feeder goldfish in the pond about a year ago to keep the koi company. When I put the feeders in I didn't expect 'em to live long. But that was right when I finally figured out the proper chemical balance for the water, so all the feeders lived and they've gotten huge - not as big as the koi, but still a good six inches long and several inches around in the middle.

    Good luck with the taxes, Dan. I've been making excuses for not knocking mine out early.

    WoW, they do it 'cause they're insecure numbnuts who probably moved to your area from South Florida. It's not so much that they feel the need to go faster than you. It's that they have this subconscious need to be at the head of the line.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:35 PM  

  • A friend of mine said I would be engaged by the end of the year. True?

    By Blogger Manola Blablablanik, at 1:51 PM  

  • MB, I'm with your friend. Of course, I don't know the guy or whether he's worthy of you. But if at this point he's already passed your litmus test, I say your friend's right. Let me know if you want me to rough him up a little and get him to cough up any secrets he's holding out on.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 1:54 PM  

  • Why do you have a koi pond???

    of course if you meditate next to it on a regular basis, disregard this comment.

    By Blogger dennis, at 9:10 PM  

  • Dennis, no worries. I do meditate next to the pond. I'm no Buddha. But it's a nice place to get my hippie on, sit on the grass, watch the fish and clear my head.

    But I can't take credit for the pond. The guy we bought our house from (or maybe the person before him - can't remember) installed the pond.

    When we got this house it was a few weeks after Hurricane Wilma. Shortly before closing we did our final walk through. The pond was a mess. The liner was torn up. The water was thick and muddy and stagnant. The seller told us the hurricane had beaten the pond up pretty badly and that there were no more fish in the pond.

    Anyway, about a month after we moved in, when we were relatively settled we decided to clean out the pond and start from scracth. So we jumped in with buckets and shovels (it's only about 2.5 feet on the shallow end and 3.5 feet on the deep end) and started scooping everything out. We got near the bottom and I was ripping up the last bit of liner when I felt something huge scratching my feet. I leaped about two feet in the air, and saw a huge black fish in the mud. It was alive, squirming around. I put it in a tub of water and kept scooping. A few secs later I got a shovel full of mud that was moving. I took a closer look: another huge black fish.

    The other fish had died. Both of those koi had survived more than two months in that messed up pond. Needless to say, they're both named Lucky.

    OK, that was TMI. I'll stop rambling now.

    By Blogger James Burnett, at 11:49 PM  

  • Sorry, James, it was too embarrassing so I took it down. I had hoped you'd been able to read before I did.

    Basically, the (completely unintentional) innuendo was, um, "intimate" and racial in nature. And by the huge smile on the guy's face, he definitely picked up on it. I didn't realize what I'd said, though, until I noticed he was trying so hard to hold back laughter that he was shaking.

    Let's just saying I was talking to a guy in a cafeteria. He asked why I wondered if the chicken was white meat.

    It went downhill from there.

    By Blogger thirdworstpoetinthegalaxy, at 9:24 PM  

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