Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Is anyone really interested in watching Senator Obama’s infomercial tonight?  I’m more interested in watching oil-based paint dry. 

  • The Federal Reserve lowered the interest rate that banks charge each other today.  I know this is ordinarily considered an economic stimulus, but as I understand it, our economic woes include (but are not limited to) banks being unwilling to extend credit to each other.  There are more banks that want to borrow than banks that want to lend.  If that’s true, wouldn’t it make more sense for the Federal Reserve to raise that rate?

  • I’d like to buy a flash-memory MP3 player that’s also an AM/FM radio.  I know there are some with FM radios in them, but I need one with an AM radio to listen to ball games.  Does anyone make such a thing?

  • Someone did steal a base in the first game of the World Series.  Did you get your free taco on Tuesday?

  • Would you, ever, in your wildest imagination, have thought anyone could come up with a TV show about Mandelbrot sets?

  • Would you, ever, in your wildest imagination, have thought that someone would have programmed the proper noun “Mandelbrot” into MS Word’s default spell-checking dictionary? 

Things I Know

  • It was a nice restaurant.  We had a good time.

  • I like some non-traditional versions of the National Anthem.  I liked Jose Feliciano’s version even though it was controversial at the time.  I liked En Vogue’s sort of doo wop version at one of President Clinton’s inaugural parties.  In fact, I wish they had recorded it.  And I know there are very few people who have enough range to sing the standard version correctly.  That being said, if you take more than a minute to sing the first stanza of the Star Spangled Banner at a baseball game, you’re trying to show off.  So the first strike-out of the 2008 World Series:  The Backstreet Boys.

  • The people I work for are using Barracuda Web Filter to suppress ads if you surf the Internet from my place of business.  They have every right to restrict what you view at work.  Not that they need my approval, but I approve.  Only thing is when the Barracuda Web Filter blocks an ad, it replaces said ad with a message that says the ad was blocked by Barracuda Web Filter.  In other words, every ad Barracuda Web Filter blocks is replaced by an ad for Barracuda Web Filter!

  • I discovered through extensive and painstaking research that I need to own four utility knives in order to know where at least one of them is at all times.  It doesn’t matter if they’re brightly colored either.  I still need four.  What’s troubling is that right now, I know where all four of them are.  That’s never happened before.

  • During election time, if I get a telephone call from someone who says they’re conducting a survey, I tell them I know how big my property is, say “thank you” and hang up.

  • And since this is the political silly season, I would be remiss if I didn’t tell all cable TV news hosts that there’s only one “n” in “pundit.”

  • If you are what you eat, I’m Pepsi Cola and pretzels; either that, or chocolate ice cream.

  • Dilbert isn’t funny, not one bit funny, not a damned bit funny, if you work for the pointy-haired guy.

  • A chain saw is very handy to have if you believe the guy in the next college dorm room is making too much noise and you need to convince him to quiet down.  But an electric chain saw won’t do.  It has to be gas powered.  Firing that thing up and touching the tip of the bar to the door of the offending dorm room is remarkably effective.

  • Anyone under the age of 30, maybe 40, would sound a lot more intelligent if they never again uttered the following four-letter word:  “LIKE.”

  • If I ever win one of those big lotteries like Mega Millions or Power Ball, I have a great plan.  I’m going to turn up the heat in my house.  And, if I win one of those big lotteries, I want you to know there will be a really big party.  I don’t want you to think you’re invited, in fact I may not show up, but there will be a party.

  • When someone says, I know (insert the name of a big shot in the company or the government here), I usually think they don’t.  If they did know that person, they’d be talking to him or her, not to me.

  • My father’s whole life was about obligation.

  • Buffalo don’t have wings, chickens don’t have fingers or nuggets, and fish certainly don’t have sticks.

  • The word “hiccough” should either be spelled the way it is or pronounced the way it is, but definitely not both!  Same thing for the word “tongue.”

  • This year is the 75th anniversary of the end of prohibition.  I didn’t hear anyone offer a toast to commemorate the event.  Did you?

So Far So Good

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away and on this date in history, I got married.  Coincidentally, my wife got married the same day.  So today is my wedding anniversary and her’s too.  Therefore, tonight I’m taking her out to dinner at what I hope is a nice restaurant.  It comes well recommended.

Think about what you promise each other when you get married.  Marriage is really serious and not enough people take it seriously.  I like the love, honor and cherish part best!

We’ve done the for better or worse thing.  I prefer better:  we both do!  We’ve done the sickness or in health thing too:  I prefer health and hope we never do sickness again.  I’m pretty sure we’re also going to make it to the until death do us part milestone.  I’m certainly not looking forward to that, but I consider myself very fortunate–perhaps even blessed.  So many marriages these days end in divorce and ours seems to be a success.

I say this all the time because it bears repeating:  the smartest thing I ever did was marry my wife!

I only say this once a year:  happy anniversary darling.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Can you be paranoid if everyone is out to get you?

  • With the Dodgers (I root against them) and the Mets (I root for them) done for the season, who am I going to root for in the World Series?  And why?

  • If General Motors and Chrysler merge, what will the resulting company be called?  I’ve seen “General Mopar” suggested and that is funny.  However, I vote for General Motors.  I mean how many Chrysler models are likely to survive such a merger?  I think two:  the minivan and the Jeep.

  • What do you call a mistake on a map?  Is it a topographical error?

  • Has your $600 check from the federal government made any significant difference in your own personal economic situation?

  • If someone steals a base in tonight’s World Series game, everybody in America gets a free Taco from Taco Bell next Tuesday.  But what happens if I don’t want a free Taco?

Stupid, Wrong and Dangerous!

I understand the first, but not the second-day coverage of New York Yankee pitcher Joba Chamberlain’s arrest over the weekend for drunk driving.  Chamberlain is relatively well known.  In Lincoln and in New York City, I’d venture to say he’s famous.  So his arrest was news.

Drunk driving is stupid, wrong and dangerous for the person doing it and those around him or her.   Hanging around with buddies who are willing to indulge in a shoving match with another patron over  his alcohol-fueled smart mouth is stupid, wrong and dangerous too. 

Bar fights can lead to death or career-ending injury for the professional athlete involved, even if he’s a bystander, or for someone else who happens to be there.  You might be the toughest guy in the bar, but you could hurt yourself or someone else proving you are.  Also, you are unlikely to know if someone there has a concealed weapon, because concealed weapons are (to state the obvious) usually concealed. 

Injury, criminal charges and death are all things anyone would do well to avoid.

All these aren’t things Chamberlain did:  all of them are reasons he should avoid places where problems like these  could happen.  And if Chamberlain develops into an alcoholic, that’s going to be a big problem for both him and for the Yankees.   I hope that doesn’t happen.

However, is the second-day lead, the fact that Joba Chamberlain spent part of Friday night with some buddies in a strip joint, really news? 

If you were 23-years old, made over $300,000 a year with the prospect of making lots more, single, didn’t have to show up at work until February 15th, and found yourself in Lincoln Nebraska, where would you take your buddies?  To the opera?

I don’t mean that as criticism of Lincoln, Nebraska either.  I have been lots of places and I know they all have good and bad points and I know the good and bad points about one place can be different from the good and bad points about another.  Moreover, you and I might differ on what is good and what is bad about one place or another. 

I suspect that New York has a more varied night life and I know it has over thirty-times more people than Lincoln. I know there’s live opera in New York City.  I don’t know if Lincoln has an opera company. 

I’m just saying that a group of young, single men are more likely to spend a typical Friday night in some bar than in some opera house.

I’m not nostalgic for everything from the past, but I’d like to return to a time when the obvious wasn’t news.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

How is that Kazmir for Zambrano trade working out for the Mets these days?

How come “albeit” and “nevertheless” are one word each, but “inasmuch as” is two?

Wouldn’t it be ironic if all the ancient pyramids really were built by space aliens, and the ones in Mexico were built by aliens who were there illegally?

Have you tried to buy a radio lately?  Just an AM/FM radio for your bedside, or your kitchen or your office.  Just a clock radio or what they used to call a table-model radio.  Best Buy doesn’t sell them anymore.  Lots of electronics stores don’t.  Any radio you can buy for your bedside in the Best Buy nearest to me is also an iPod dock.  The fact that plain radios are getting harder to buy can’t bode well for the broadcasting industry.

If you use the trademark “iPod” at the beginning of a sentence, would it be spelled “IPod?”

Is there any rational reason for all the extra days off that have been injected into the Major League Baseball Playoffs?  The Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World Series on October 3rd, 1955.  This year’s series, if it goes 7, will end on October 30th.

Last Debate

Don’t get too excited.  Tonight is the last debate of the 2008 presidential campaign, not the last presidential campaign debate ever.

I was going to say that the security in the area surrounding the Hofstra University is extraordinary, but it’s really the norm.  It’s pretty damned hard to get within a mile of the debate site and it’s been that way since the most public part of the security plan was put into effect at 5:00 AM this morning.

 There was a time in this country, where if you wanted to see the Presidential candidates in person, you could find out where they were going to be and stand by a road to watch them ride by waving to the crowd from the backseat of a convertible.  Heck, there was a time you could knock on the door of the White House and maybe get to talk to the President.  Abe Lincoln did some of that during the Civil War.  All security around Presidents and Presidential candidates tightened up after President Kennedy was killed, of course.

I’d hate to think anyone wants to hurt these men badly enough to justify all this security.  There aren’t many who do, and  one would be too many, but the security is justifiable.  While there’s probably a very low chance of anything untoward happening, anything anyone can do to reduce that risk even farther is a good idea. 

And that’s not just a fact of life, it’s also sad.

Things I Know

The worst invention in history is either the battery-powered amplifier or the 2008 presidential campaign.  I’m leaning toward the latter.

The crowning achievement of western civilization to date is mixed vegetables, either canned or frozen, with no lima beans in them.

There’s no “I” in “electoral.”

I hope the people who make Viagra don’t think their awful TV commercials have anything to do with the product selling well.

I know you can’t make somebody love you because if you could, everybody would make somebody love them and nobody would wait for love to happen the way it does now.

The four food groups for teenage boys are salt, sugar, carbonated and French fried.  So the perfect food for teenage boys must be heavily salted French-fried Fizzies.

The smartest thing I ever did was marry my wife.  I have no idea what the second smartest thing was.  I should be able to keep track.  It’ not like I’ve done that many smart things.  Nor do I know the smartest thing my wife ever did.  She hasn’t said.

In raising her children, my sister neglected to teach at least one of them something very, very important.  I had to tell my niece there’s no such thing as too much chocolate.  I believe there’s also no such thing as too much money, but I’m never going to get close to having even in inkling of whether I’m right about that.

Insomnia wastes more time in my life than even the Internet.

Coke or Pepsi?  Pepsi!  For me, Pepsi.  My son likes Mexican Coca Cola because it’s made with sugar, not high-fructose corn syrup.  I don’t like either Diet Coke or Diet Pepsi.  To me, Diet Coke doesn’t taste like anything.  At least Diet Pepsi tastes like soap. 

Attention airline industry:  what you’re doing isn”t working.  Try something else!  Attention investment banking industry:  What I said about the airline industry, it applies to you too, if there are any of you left.

No More No Comment

Back in February, I started this blog with the avowed purpose of entertaining myself.  So far, so good.

Until the end of September, I hadn’t looked at the statistics on who’s visiting the Sisyphus Project.   Frankly, the stats surprised me.   After eight months in operation, it turns out I have a few readers.  Not only that, but the number of individual site visits is rising steadily.

I’ve only told a handful of friends that I’m doing this and two fingers of that handful have told me they don’t make a habit of reading blogs.  It occurs to me that some of the people who are reading the Sisyphus Project don’t know me from Adam.  So in addition to being surprised, I’m also flattered. 

Now that I know there’s somebody out there, I’ve turned comments on. 

There’s no registration and no password, however the software system we’re using here does require you to enter a name and an e-mail address.  It certainly doesn’t require you to enter your name.  Handles are okay with me.  I assume that nobody is using their real name to comment.  Everybody else should make that assumption too.  The software also requires you to enter an e-mail address.  I haven’t tried it and don’t know whether the address has to be a valid one.  The software says it doesn’t publish the e-mail addresses.  I haven’t tried that either.

Rules for commenters (I’m trying to keep them to a minimum):

The first and foremost rule is:  It’s my blog!

A panel of judges rules on the quality of comments.  The panel consists of me.  Decisions of the judges are arbitrary. 

Also, I’m writing this for free, and so are you.  If I figure out a way for me to make money on this, I get to keep it, and you’re commenting for free.  If you figure out a way to make money on this, I get to keep that too, and you still comment for free.  In other words, copyright 2008:  all rights reserved.

By choosing to post here, you agree to those terms. 

Please try to have your comments make sense, or nonsense.

I may delete something you’ve posted here if I feel like it.  If I delete something, it just means I feel like it.  I suppose I can edit things too, but I probably won’t.  No guarantees though. 

I don’t do libel and/or slander.  You can do libel and/or slander if you want to, but not here.  I don’t flame people either.  You can do that too, but again, not here.

In the very likely event   something comes up and I didn’t think of a rule to cover it, the first and foremost rule applies.  It’s my blog!