Your Grrrs: June 20, 2006

Thank you to everyone who has helped Mike out with his ring problem, since apparently tungsten carbide isn't as strong as advertised. Included are your opinions on everything from the NBA Finals to Daryl Hannah in a tree... Katherine Sands, FOX News intern (Meet Katherine in The Real Deal).

Fran in Kansas City, Mo., writes: Hi Mike, tungsten carbide is a compound used in the metal removing industry and it is very brittle, so it can not sustain shock, and develops microscopic cracks and eventually breaks. Honor your wife and wear the gold just like the rest of us slobs. By the way, get your money back. The new ring will break again. Or just leave it at home and wear something else and save the carbide so it won't break. Gold is beautiful and it is a noble element. Take care.

Logan Burt writes: I was amused at your story about your carbide wedding ring. As I read the first paragraph, I was already wondering how long the ring would last without breaking. You were up against basic metallurgy. When adding carbon to harden steel, there is a trade-off: the harder the steel becomes, the more brittle it becomes. Tungsten Carbide is extremely hard, and also extremely brittle. That is why a drill bit made of carbide will cut through practically any type of metal, but will shatter rather easily. That is also why your ring is impervious to scratches and dents, but broke in half fairly easily. All the knocks it took in normal wear (the ones that scratch gold rings) likely started small cracks. Each knock could have further weakened it until it finally broke in half.

Brad DeMoranville writes: Hi: You said, “So until then, I'm ringless, but still very married — as the tan line on my ring finger can attest, but this doesn't bode well for the future of Tungsten Carbide jewelry.” I get the tan line, but I've also put on some weight since I got married, so I also get "the dent." The skin is slightly sunken all the way around, and the width of, say, my wedding ring. I got a rash once and took the ring off for days or weeks and the dent never went away. I love my wife, but Mike, the dent never went away. It's the Mark of Cain!!

Benjamin Ritcey writes: If you ever break your finger, they often have to cut your ring off when your finger swells. I'd think carefully about that before wishing for a truly unbreakable ring. = )

David Kimbro in Apex, N.C.: Just like a journalist to be that freaking stupid. Tungsten carbide is used for tools because of its hardness, which prolongs wear life. That doesn't make it suitable for other purposes. Ever see a brick shatter? Jeez. Next I suppose you'll tell me that you make all your buying decisions based on TV commercials. Hey, in fact, I've got a nice collection of wedding bands made form Berkelium. Interested? Oh, and don't flatter yourself, I generally ignore your column, but the title was so breathtakingly moronic I just had to read. Do you hear the rumble of laughter? That's engineers all over the country thanking God that they were smart enough to get a respectable degree.

John A. Grace in Newport, N.C. writes: I’m glad you get to watch the NBA Finals or maybe you TiVo it. I leave for work every morning at 7. The Finals, I’m certain because of David Stern’s infinite wisdom, don’t start until 9 at night. That is an end time of maybe 11:30, if you’re lucky. Apparently David Stern is from the Bud Selig School of television broadcasting; there they must teach that you should have the start time of your sport’s premier event start about an hour before people on the East Coast go to bed, at least the ones with jobs. Maybe they should take a lesson from America’s most popular sports league, the NFL. Super Bowl kick-off is at 6:20 in the evening.

Stephen Scott in Tulsa, Okla., writes: Mike, although I haven't been paying attention to the NBA finals, I must ask: why is basketball still going on? It is now mid-June! I thought basketball was a winter sport. The same is true for the NHL, another winter sport that just finished a couple of weeks ago. Don't get me wrong, I like sports, and I know that my cup of tea isn't always the same for the other. Still, my Grrrrr is that ALL professional sports now drag out their season too long. Baseball now goes into late October and early November. For the last couple of years, the Super Bowl is played in February! Most of this resulted from league and conference expansions. Maybe if the powers that be shorten the regular season a little, we could get the playoffs and championship games done earlier.

Vinni Gidman writes: All these celebrities that seem to stay in the media spotlight only because they like the attention they get from the public. The public thrives on both the negative and the positive issues with the stars. Brangelina, TomKat and a small host of others should always expect the media to chase them around. Privacy? No such thing when you're a star.

Jared Clough writes: Mike, I'd like to grrr! a group of people that I call "I wish I were in show-bizniots." Britney Spears is not a perfect mom ... in fact she's not perfect at much, but nor are we. We assume that since people have a marketable talent that they immediately should withstand the keen scrutiny of our ever-watchful eyes. When the stage lights turn off, she is a 23-year-old mother, raising a baby and pregnant with her second. And yet we have an entire society that is obsessed with celebrity. Why can't we live our own lives? Why can't we cut famous people the slack that we request be shown us? And then, the sense of schadenfreude we feel as these demi-gods we love to hate make the mistakes of "ordinary" people fails to remind us that we were the ones to plant them on the pedestal in the first place. We are the force behind the paparazzi. These bottom-feeders wouldn't have careers if it weren't for the fact that the average American fails to mind his own business. I am ashamed of us every time I walk by a supermarket counter and see the Star and other yellow journalism outlets glorifying gossip, blatantly telling lies and overall wallowing in the destruction of another human being's privacy. I am more ashamed when I think that I know just as much about those in public life because I pay attention to what these people say. Why can't we just follow the simple rule: do unto others? Isn't that what the grrr! log is about?

Marc Schlebusch writes: Instead of sitting in the trees, why didn’t the celebresnobs offer to buy the land from the developer and donate it to the community? I am sure they could have come up with a song and held a fundraiser at one of their lavish mansions. Why don’t they do something worthwhile with their time and money instead of vying for cheap PR?

Melissa H. writes: People at work that talk all day long on their cell phones on personal calls and then complain because they can’t get their work done. This is driving me nuts. What happened to this thing called work ethics? Why do so many companies put up with this? Why can’t these people realize that everyone around them can hear their personal calls? I don’t want to know what is going on in your life. I come to work every day to work. Is it just me or does this bother other people out there? Had to get this one off of my chest…

Bethany in Tenn. writes: I have never written to your column before, but after the news stories of the past few days, I just have to write now. After hearing of the money wasted after Katrina on sex toys and dream vacations, and now learning that donations from September 11 were passed along and resold for profit, I will SERIOUSLY rethink ever giving money or donations to another disaster relief appeal again. I do not have much myself, but when there is a time of need, I will give if I can. Not anymore. Why are people allowed to get away with crap like that?!?! It makes me sick to know that the FBI and other government officials knew what was going on with the goods from Sept. 11 and no one did anything about it. It's a shame that victims of future disasters will suffer because of the idiots who take advantage of other's generosity! GRRRRR!!!!!

C. Atwater in Tappan, N.Y., writes in response to Shelia in New York: I tip my hat to Shelia who wrote it galls her to see our American flag disrespected. Illegal citizens rant and rave for rights they don't have, and then to add insult to injury, they disrespect our flag by putting their flag above it. My question is if they’re so proud of their country, why aren't they still there? If you have to run from a country because you can't live there, why the heck are you honoring their flag?

Jennifer Torres writes in response to Shelia in New York: Has it ever occurred to you that people fly those flags because they have respect for their heritage? They are in a country that is diverse and it is their privilege to display the flags of their homeland. I am married to a Latino and he displays the flag of his country but he still loves and supports the nation that provides him with life and liberty. Latin Americans are not trying to disrespect this county by waving their national flags during a time of war. They are letting us know who they are and where they came from.

Jennifer in Denver, Colo., writes in response to JR in Greenville: Would "Steeler Ben" go out on the football field without his protective gear? No, of course not, that would be stupid. There are ways to prevent many football injuries, and those precautions should be taken. But, somehow, flying through the air at 75 mph without a helmet is sane? Where's your logic? What he did was stupid, but it's also not the government's place to prevent it. I don't agree with helmet laws or seatbelt laws because they are the first steps toward unchecked government rule. But, I'd also never ride a motorcycle without a helmet, because I'm not an idiot. People need to realize that we don't need a "nanny state" to keep us safe. We just need to use a little common sense and utilize the protective measures available to us!!

John in Maryland writes: Some people are quick to condemn Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger for not wearing a helmet when riding his motorcycle. The only person to blame for his injuries is the 62-year-old woman who caused this incident when she turned left directly in front of him. Blame her, not him.

Genny in Oklahoma City, Okla., writes: My Grrr goes out to the World Cup coverage that the USA team is getting. They had live coverage of the Mexico game against Iran on ABC. It was a fine game. I rather enjoyed it. But, when the U.S. played, it was only covered on the cable channel ESPN. I have nothing against ESPN. They are doing a fine job. But why wasn't our home team's game broadcast where everyone in our country could see it??? How are we supposed to support our team when we can't even watch the games? But Mexico and Iran get their games broadcast here. I am an avid soccer fan and player. I have to hunt to find our team's games while the others have commercials and massive coverage. This just seems wrong.

JLS in Anchorage, Alaska, writes: This isn't so much a Grrr as it is a head-scratcher. There have been countless occasions where it seems the media have tried and convicted someone before the cops get the handcuffs on them (can you say Scott Peterson?). I don't watch the news all day every day, but I do skim and other news sources several times a day, and I haven't heard anything about the person who took 20-something million vets' personal information home only to have it "stolen." There was the initial story for a couple of days and then nothing. I saw where there might be a class action suit and then nothing. Nothing on the employee or the case to catch the would-be robber. Even poor Bartman who tried to catch a foul ball at Wrigley field got more press than this. I'm just wondering why the press isn't stalking the person who has conceivably ruined the financial future for MILLIONS of our nation's finest. On second thought, the more I write, the more this is becoming a GRRRRR. Love the column; keep up the good work.

Melissa in St. Louis, Mo., writes: This afternoon, while on my lunch break, I passed a young woman in an SUV on a 50mph two-lane highway. As I passed, I noticed that she had her window down and her left leg propped up on the door catching some wind. I also couldn’t help but notice that she was using her cell phone at the same time. Sweetheart, what makes you think that contorting your leg in such a fashion while driving is safe, much less comfortable? Is your leg hot, does it need a tan? Heaven forbid you might be involved in an accident, or cause an accident for that matter. Where do you suppose your leg might end up after that? A little responsibility will go a long way.

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