Moeller Commentary: More Bits and Pieces From a Wandering Mind


With one exception, there haven’t been many goofs lately on television’s closed captioning attempts to present the written word as quickly as possible after it’s spoken.  

A recent one told of Native Americans’ efforts to recapture as many of the Atlantic salmon as they could from those that escaped recently from nets owned by a Canada-based company. It was said that the tribe had succeeded in catching roughly 7,000 of them, but that “43,000 remain on cots.”  

It’s nice that they’re comfortable, and I’m sure you can figure out the word that was meant.

I’ve recently griped about the difficulty of trying to find just one popsicle, but here’s another memory of the past just as difficult to find: a U-No candy bar. Remember those? It was the only candy bar in an aluminum wrapper and it had a chocolate covering over a center that was described as being rich, milk chocolate truffle-like.

A short search online brought out the fact that they’re still being made by the Annabelle Candy Company and can be ordered online at a cost of $28.99 (plus shipping) for 24 bars.  

But all I want is one!

From the “truth in advertising” department: I’ll bring up the Sunday evening news program on CBS known as “60 Minutes.” If you’ve paid any attention to the clock shown ticking away at the end of the program, you’ll notice that as the program ends it reads 57 minutes, not 60! I guess “57 Minutes” as a title doesn’t sound classy enough.

One of my favorite sports to watch on TV is tennis, mainly because it pits just one person against one other person (except for “doubles” of course). The distraction at the U.S. Open this year was disturbing.  

Spectators shouted between every point made on the courts to the point where the players —  especially those who were about to serve — often stood silently until the rabble was through.

It reminded me of golf where, after almost any putt, someone would shout out, “Get in the hole!” until permanent banishment was promised — and enforced — for such stupidity.

I recently bought one of those indoor air fresheners that you plug into a wall outlet. I couldn’t believe how annoyingly saccharine it made the room smell before I yanked it out. It was no improvement over those little cardboard trees we used to hang from our car’s rearview mirror.  (If you’re over 70, I’ll bet you remember necking knobs as well.) A trip back to the store was no help. From the labels on other fragrances I could see that there wasn’t going to be an acceptable alternative. Why can’t a fragrance remind us of a fir or pine forest, or a freshly cut field of hay or alfalfa? The closest I could come to the ideal was something called “Driftwood,” but I’ve smelled too much driftwood at the beach to be impressed.

To get serious for a moment — but only a moment — we can certainly sympathize with those families who have been uprooted by the two recent hurricanes. We’ve had our own flooding from time to time, with some people west of Chehalis being rescued from roofs and others who lost all their livestock, but most of us can’t imagine what those in Texas and Florida have gone through.

One sad aspect of the damage is something that’s happened before. 

Most of those whose lives were forever changed by the damage will return to the same places that they left, hoping that it will never happen again.  It will.

In the midst of the tragedy, though, there was one chuckle.  Well-known pontificator Rush Limbaugh labeled the prediction of hurricane damage from Irma as fake news, a liberal media plot to “advance this climate change agenda.”  That was before he canceled his Friday program and quickly fled the scene.


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at