For simplicity's sake, let's just call them “things I don't like lately.”

Recently, I stepped out of character a bit and went all mushy-positive by detailing some things I'd come across lately that had particularly impressed me. I called it a collection of some of my "new favorite things."

Ever since I wrote that, I've been tearing myself up inside, because if anyone knows me at all, for every positive observation I make, I probably can come up with 10 negative judgments of things that cross my path, with widely varying degrees of accuracy.

Here's a few of them. For simplicity's sake, let's just call them "things I don't like lately."

• Avril Lavigne and Miley Cirus are the latest young female singers to be "Ke$ha-ized." Don't know what it means to be Ke$ha-ized? Well, Ke$ha, as the dollar sign instead of the "s" in her name might attest, is kind of a street-tough, trashy, in your face so-called singer with limited talent, who relies on computer software to sound presentable when she uses her mouth and vocal cords to form sounds.

Cyrus is a Disney-produced star who may have spunk but has never been much of a singer. As for Lavigne, I actually took our oldest son to see her in concert when he was in kindergarten at the "Jingle Ball" in Minneapolis. It featured the band Maroon 5, too, but at the time we dug Avril and, even though he was only a kindergartner, I wanted our son to witness her belt out songs, some of which she'd actually written, without any computerized voice enhancements. I also wanted him to see her actually play the piano, guitar and drums, and play them well.

Enter the Ke$ha-ization of Lavigne and Cyrus. Their latest singles are about being young forever, staying up all night in the club, partying non-stop and…did I already mention being young forever? And partying?

It's just...awful.

• Sticking to the music topic, if you're not making noise about partying all night in the club without a care in the world, you're punching a bunch of computer keys and making what is known as Electronic Dance Music, or "EDM." The robot-costumed duo "Daft Punk" are kind of considered EDM pioneers, but it had been years since they created any new music. Now they have a new album out, it's critically acclaimed, and all the rage.

The first single, "Get Lucky" is all kinds of catchy and I've cranked it once or twice, but that doesn't mean I'm going to pass myself off as some kind of old-school Daft Punk devotee. Until I read a cover story on them in Rolling Stone last month, I was vaguely aware of a musical act known as Daft Punk somewhere on this planet, I had no idea what kind of music they made, or if I'd ever heard a Daft Punk song. I certainly didn't know they wore robot costumes and masks.

Most likely, neither did you. So stop pretending you and Daft Punk go way know, to when you were six.

• I'm not big into all-star games in any of the professional sports. Maybe it's because I like a little more than phantom defense now and then on the ice, football field or basketball court.

If there's an all-star game that's truest to the sport, it's Major League Baseball's Midsummer Classic, which is fast approaching. That said, during a recent Twins broadcast on Fox Sports North, I saw something that put a rainy, dark cloud over my head.

It was live footage of a couple young men seated in the Budweiser Deck, or whatever it's called, high up in the left field corner of Target Field. The two guys were rapidly moving documents from left to right and appeared to be scribbling real quick on them, or punching little holes.

Turns out, Twins announcers Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven informed viewers, the guys were casting all-star game ballots for Twins' catcher Joe Mauer, one after the other, hundreds of them. And if you won a lucky drawing, Bremer said, you could sit up during an upcoming Twins game and cast countless votes for Joe, too.

Seriously? "Yuck" isn't a very manly word, I'll admit, but...yuck.