Things I Know

  • The first lady and the vice president’s wife too will be at the World Series game tonight.  Security will be tight.  In fact, it has been reported that if fans leave their seats, they’ll have to go through security again to get back.  That ought to cut way down on beer sales.

  • I run Norton Internet Security on my home network.  I recently upgraded the program.  The spam filter is now so good that it recognizes all the junk e-mail Symantec sends me as junk mail and dumps it.  Now there’s a company with integrity!
  • The 1955 World Series ended on October 4th.  The 1969 World Series ended on October 16th.  The 2009 World Series ends in November if it goes seven games. 

  • Met fans had a really ugly year.  It’s topped by the two teams they would hate most to see in the World Series, the Yankees and the Phillies.  I suppose most Met fans are hoping both teams lose.

  • Buy an ugly used car.  Often, the ugly ones are cheaper.  Plus, you bought it used, so you didn’t cause them to make another ugly car, and when you’re driving it, that’’s one less ugly car you have to look at.

  • Being an effective manager means getting people who work for you to do more work for the same money, or less.

Special Day

Today is my wedding anniversary.  Coincidentally, it’s also my wife’s wedding anniversary, so we’ll probably celebrate together.

The smartest thing I ever did was marry my wife.  I doubt I’ll ever do anything smarter.  I have no idea what the second smartest thing I’ve ever done is and I should be able to keep track.  I haven’t done that many smart things.

Sometimes, when I’m having trouble sleeping (I have trouble sleeping every night, I just do this sometimes) I look over at my wife sleeping beside me and think how lucky I am to have her in my life.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • One of the guys who works where I work thinks I’’m one of the brainiest people in the building.  Is that flattering or frightening?

  • How long do you think it will be before one season’’s World Series takes place after opening day of the following season?

  • Did Bernie Madoff get his money’’s worth or his money back?  Before he went to prison, he engaged the services of a consultant to teach him to get along better in the big house.  On October 13th, the NY Post reported that he had a fight with another inmate.

  • I have plantar fasciitis.  Do I have anything else in common with a multi-millionaire star NFL quarterback?

  • My boss told me I’’m indispensible; I disagree.  But, if I am, why don’t they treat me as if I were indispensible? 

  • Over the last 30-40 years, General Motors has built some awful cars and some mediocre cars and very few great or even good cars.  So, many people have decided never to buy another GM car.  If you are one of those people, what car made you reach that decision, no matter how reluctantly?  For me, it was a malaise-era Monte Carlo.

Number Two

The Albany Times Union newspaper in Albany, New York piqued my curiosity with an article declaring that Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska, was the second wackiest tourist attraction in the United States as determined by the website

Carhenge, for the uninitiated, is a bunch of cars that a farmer erected in a formation similar to Stonehenge, except that Stonehenge is in Britain and made of big slabs of stone, while Carhenge is just outside Alliance, Nebraska, and made out of old American cars painted flat gray.  Many of the cars are installed nose-down in the sand hills. 

As an aside, if you were to search the Internet for Stonehenge replicas, you’d find a surprising number of people in the USA have lots of land, some big stuff, some heavy construction equipment to stack the stuff with and far too much time on their hands.

News judgment is my issue with the Albany Times Union.  I’d buy a story with that lead in the Alliance, Nebraska, Times Herald (and I didn’t see it on their website tonight, I looked).  I’d even buy that story in the Omaha World Herald.  Nebraska is a big state.  Unlike Rhode Island, you can be in Nebraska and be pretty damned far from something else in Nebraska.   Omaha is pretty far from Alliance.  Omaha is on the west bank of the Missouri River, which means it’s at the eastern edge of Nebraska.  Alliance is about 30-45 minutes north of Sidney Nebraska.  I’ve been to Sidney, twice, (don’t ask).  I was surprised to learn that Alliance is considerably larger than Sidney, although “large” is a relative term when referring to cities in western Nebraska.  Carhenge is on my bucket list, but when I was in Sidney, I forgot it was nearby.

News, herald, times, post, union, world, there seems to be a short list of words that you’re allowed to have in the name of a newspaper.  I have no idea how picayune got on that official list, but I digress.  So the story in the Albany Times Union seems odd to me because Sidney, Alliance, Carhenge and even Nebraska aren’t anywhere near Albany, NY.   

If I was editor of the Albany Times Union (and I don’t want to be because most newspapers, including that one, are struggling financially) I would have wanted a story about the list of ten, or about the top one which is the toilet seat museum in San Antonio, TX.  Oddly, I checked the website of the San Antonio News and the story about the second wackiest place to visit isn’t there and there’s no story about the wackiest place either.  Or if there is, it’s hiding. In case you didn’t click the link near the beginning of this piece, the tenth wackiest tourist attraction is the world’s largest ball of twine.  The Winchester house in California isn’t even on the top ten list.  I wonder what’s #11.

Things I Know

  • Doug McIntyre on WABC said something profound in the five-o’clock hour this morning.  He said, “Nobody ever calls the cops because they’re having a good day.”

  • Nobody ever accused me of waiting until the last minute, unless of course they were serious.  I filed my 2008 income taxes last night at 10:00 PM.  And, yes, I filed the extension at around 10:00 PM on April 14th.

  • It costs the government less and doesn’t take as long either to process your income tax return electronically, as opposed to handling your paper return.  So, the government ought to encourage electronic filing instead of allowing companies to charge you a significant amount of money to do it.  I paid, because I wanted the convenience, but as a money decision, I got a very small refund and it would have been cheaper for me if I printed the thing out and mailed it in.

  • I won’t like this winter any better than I liked last winter.  A guy on the Weather Channel last night around dinner time said the 40 degree temperatures taking place in the Midwest are more like winter than fall.  There’s a guy who’s never been to Minnesota in January.

  • Since I root for the Mets and whoever is playing the Dodgers, I still have a rooting interest in the post season.  I was for the Cardinals, but the Dodgers have, after all, made the NLCS.

  • I don’t like all the extra days of rest that have been inserted into the post-season schedule this year.

  • The lords of baseball may be surprised that the Rockies made the playoffs, but they can’t be surprised it snows in Denver in October.  Some year, the Rockies will make the World Series and, under the new schedule, they’ll be playing baseball in Denver in November.  Note to the lords of baseball:  you’re supposed to play winter ball in South and Central America and the Caribbean, not in the Rocky Mountains.

  • Almost every time a baseball player checks his swing, the bat still crosses the plate and it should still be called a strike.

  • It would not upset me if you didn’t know what points are on a mortgage because you’re young and don’t own a house.  That wouldn’t upset me unless you were young, didn’t own a house, didn’t know what points are on a mortgage, and worked in the mortgage servicing department of the bank that holds my mortgage.  That bank is, of course,  Or maybe it’s by now.

Things I Know

  • If you are an extortionist, as Robert Halderman is accused of being, don’t accept checks, ever.  Your victim can stop the check, the check can bounce and most important of all, the check is evidence.

  • I hope Elizabeth Smart is as together as she appeared to be when she testified in court against her alleged kidnapper, Brian David Mitchell.  It’s hard to imagine that Mitchell didn’t do what he’s accused of and if he is found guilty, Mitchell’s heinous acts make me wish once again that cruel and unusual punishment were required for certain crimes, rather than prohibited in all instances as it is in the US Constitution.

  • According to a website of indeterminable reliability, the word “mispronunciation” is one of the 100 most often mispronounced words in the English language.  I found this website because I looked up the pronunciation of the word “hierarchy” after sitting through a sales presentation for a major computer hardware and software package.  One of the presenters mispronounced hierarchy multiple times during the sales pitch.  According to the same website, “hierarchy” is another of the 100 most often mispronounced words.  I was right; she said it wrong.

  • I wasn’t the only one who noticed that woman mispronouncing hierarchy.  We had another meeting about a new software system today and somebody else brought it up too.

  • Even before her current book tour, I knew far more about Mackenzie Phillips’ sex life than I cared to.  Recently, thanks to a pervasive lack of taste in most mass media, I learned more about the sex life of Robert Melia than I wanted to know as well.  Google him.  I won’t help you find out.  I tell you what.  Whether or not you tell me about yours, I won’t tell you about mine.  Okay?

  • MS Word’s spelling and grammar checker doesn’t recognize “Google” as a verb.

  • I bought a new paper shredder.  The old one died while I was cleaning out some files in my basement.  Here are the two things I like best about the new one.  You can empty it without taking the shredding part off the waste basket part.  The bin slides out.  That makes it a little less messy than most of them.  And it’s  powerful enough that I can shred any credit card offer I get in the mail without opening the envelope.  What a time saver that is!

  • Speaking of credit card offers coming in the mail, Capital One’s TV commercials are much better than its direct mail advertising.

  • Here’s an unintended consequence of having a wireless computer network in my home,and a laptop computer.  When watching one of those mystery true-crime shows like “48 Hours,” I often researching the outcome on the Internet instead of waiting until the end of the show to find out what happened.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • I’m not complaining because I am a baseball fan, but regular season baseball is ending on October 4th, this year.  What’s with that?  Did you know that the World Series has often ended earlier than that, but not recently?  If they’re playing the seventh game of the World series in Boston, in November, I reserve the right to complain at that time.

  • TLC has renamed one of its biggest reality shows, “Kate Plus Eight.”  Will they come up with a spin off and call it, “Jon Is Gone?”

  • There are a lot of commercials on TV these days for gold bullion.  If you buy it, take it home and drop it in a pot of boiling water, will it make soup?  Broth?

  • The endocrinologist I go to has been on time or early both times I visited his office this year.  Those are the only two times he’s been on time or early in the 15 years I’ve been his patient.  Does that mean he’s getting ready to retire?

  •  “I could care less,” and, “I couldn’t care less,” mean the same thing.  Why?  The first one doesn’t make sense.  If you could care less and you wanted to care less, wouldn’t you?