Things I Know

  • An aide to former Presidential candidate John Edwards reports in his new book that Edwards made a sex video with his mistress.  I’’m not the least bit surprised, or the least bit interested.

  • John Smoltz was once a great pitcher, but he’’s past his prime.  Once, and for many years he was the ace of the Atlanta Braves.  He was released by the Red Sox last year and caught on with the Cardinals who didn’’t offer him a contract for this year.  At 43 years of age he’’s likely to be injury prone.  So he’’s a perfect candidate for the Mets.

  • Twenty days to pitchers and catchers.

  • Since Groundhog Day is Tuesday, I thought I’’d point out that the Groundhog always sees his shadow because of TV lights.

  •  If Conan O’’Brien and Jay Leno had been as funny over the past seven months as they have been over the past few weeks, this whole mess would not have happened. 

  • I couldn’’t imagine this would turn out right, but I do admire the guy’’s optimism.  A man from Ft. Myers had a pen pal named Theresa Jones.  She’’s 49 and was a prisoner at the Lowell Correctional Institution in Ocala, Fl.  Why was she in jail?  Escaping.  According to published reports, she had done three other sentences for stuff like cocaine and prostitution.  Anyway, she was released.  He was waiting for her.  They went to a hotel.  Maybe they were looking forward to multiple channels of HBO, but I’’m just speculating.  After being there a while, Theresa said she was going to his car to bring in some beer.   Time passed; he went to look for her.  No Theresa, no beer, no car.  She did bring the car back the next day.  By then she had acquired a crack pipe, some cocaine, and still no beer.  Also by then, the man had called the police.  They sent her back to jail and mercifully didn’’t release his name to the news media.

  • I thought “orientated” wasn’’t a word, but it is.  It means the same thing as oriented.  In fact, in Britain, “orientated” is the preferred usage.

  • Producers of the History Channel TV series ““Life After People”” don’’t think Twinkies will last forever, but  they quote unnamed experts as estimating they’’d be edible for at least 25 years.  However, they don’’t say “Twinkies.”  They call them “snack cakes.”

  • I’’m thinking of buying a different car.  Either a new one or a late-model used car.  But to do so, I’’d have to deal with someone who sells cars and that’’s a major turn off.  I’’m sure there are some fine, and honest people who sell cars, but enough of them are anything but to stain the entire business.

  • In case it’s not obvious, the Sisyphus Project is copyrighted 2010 too.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Was anyone you know out of work or under-employed a year ago when President Obama took office?  Are they still out of work or under-employed?

  • Did you find it as funny as I did that when President Obama called for bipartisanship during the State of the Union Address all the Democrats in the audience cheered and all the Republicans in the audience sat on their hands?

  • Steve Jobs, head of the Apple company, is, among other things, a marketing genius.  Do you think he introduced the iPad on the same day as the State of the Union Address on purpose?  Maybe he thinks the iPad can’’t live up to its pre-introduction hype, so he released it when it would be overshadowed by another event.

  • Here’’s a serious question and I’’d like a serious answer if anyone out there knows.  Why is my car covered with frost in the morning when the outdoor temperature is above freezing by a couple of degrees?

  • The Mets acquired outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. from the Angels, leading to this question:  can he pitch?

It’s the Stupid Economy

If you are a politician and someone of a different political party comes up with an idea, it’’s your duty to be against it, even if it’’s a good idea.  I know that.  I don’’t see how President Obama’’s economic policies are helping one of our worst recessions. 

If what you’re doing isn’’t working, try something else.  I’ve been telling my son that since he was a toddler.  It must have made an impression, because I’’ve heard him say that to other people.  As an aside, hearing your kid parrot your advice is pretty cool, even if he’’s just parroting it and not actually putting it into practice.

President Obama, people don’’t believe your economic policies, such as last year’’s economic stimulus cargo (it’’s too big to be a package) are working.  You can say without those policies things would be much worse and you may even be right, but the problem is nobody can prove that.  In addition to thinking the policies aren’’t working, many people think the current administration’s policies are going to lead to a lot of inflation and soon. 

These don’t have to be partisan comments.  I seem to recall Bill Clinton won the White House with a campaign that included the slogan, ““It’’s the economy stupid.””

I understand the President, in his state of the union address,will propose tax credits for businesses that create jobs.  Good.  It’’s a step in the right direction.  If I were advising the President, I’’d say concentrate on jobs to the exclusion of almost all other economic initiatives.  If anything might produce jobs, the President ought to be in favor of it and ought to be the major cheerleader for it.

Something called consumer confidence is an important element in the national, and even the world economy.  It sounds crazy, and it might even be crazy, but if all of our leaders were to say the recession is over and say it loudly,  clearly and repeatedly, it would help.

Things I Know

  • I would leave my job for much less than the $32.5 million NBC is reportedly paying Conan O’’Brien to go away.  In fact, I’’m sure I know at least three people who have left NBC for less than they’re paying Conan O’’Brien to go away.

  • Anyone who has watched the Tonight Show or the Jay Leno Show in 2010, especially the Tonight Show, now knows why radio and TV companies usually don’’t let you back on the air once they’’ve fired you, even if they have to continue to pay you for a while.

  • Some talking heads on the TV this morning threw Martha Coakley under more than one bus.

  • Those  political pundits who think either President Obama or the Democratic Party is dead after this week’s Senate election in Massachusetts should remember, a lot of political pundits thought the GOP was dead 15 months ago.

  • Many of the people who voted for Scott Brown did it because he isn’’t a Democrat, not because he is a Republican, so I’’m not sure the Senate election in Massachusetts marks a turnaround for the Republicans either.

  • So, I walked into an office supply store that’s named after some sort of paper fastener, intending to buy a copy of Turbo Tax.  Except the floor display was marked with the wrong price and all the boxes in the display were display boxes (empty).  There was a sign on the display that directed prospective customers to see a sales associate for help.  But there weren’’t any sales associates around.  So I walked out of the office supply store named after some sort of paper fastener without buying a copy of Turbo Tax.

  • Correction:  For many years, the major league baseball uniform player agreement opened Spring Training for pitchers and catchers on February 15.  Apparently that was changed when I wasn’t paying attention.  According to the MLB Network, the date this year is February 18.  So, 29 days to pitchers and catchers.

  • I don’’t wish the NY Jets anything bad, but I don’’t care at all about football.  Therefore, I hope it’’s over soon so I don’’t have to listen to football talk on the local sports radio stations and we can move on to something important, like baseball.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • I was In the US Army a long time ago, in something called a STRAC unit.  Here’s what wikipedia says that means.   To us it meant we were supposed to be able to pack up all our equipment and arrive at Pope AFB within two hours of being alerted.  We never went anyplace for real, but we practiced enough so that when the alert came during breakfast, we finished breakfast before we started packing.  Having said all that, I wish someone would explain to me why it takes a week to get a US Navy hospital ship from Baltimore to Haiti.  I assume there’’s a good reason, but I have no idea what it is.  You don’’t have to pack a ship.  You do have to provision it, but I understand the situation in Haiti is dire, so why not deploy the ship and send the provisions by air to meet it when it gets there?

  • If Carlos Beltran or any other professional athlete needs surgery, he needs surgery.  But I don’t remember any NY Met doing anything important last October, do you?  Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on or about February 15th.  When do Met centerfielders report?

  • Now we have a TV “reality” show about a family of four in which everyone, including the 14 and 16-year-old kids, eats way too much.  What’’s next?  A reality show about a family that sits around the living room or family room watching TV all the time?

  • The other day, the Long Island newspaper Newsday, printed an article in which it described a 61-year-old man as “elderly.”  This led me to three questions:  does the 61-year-old man describe himself as elderly; how old is the reporter who wrote that; and how old is the editor who allowed that to go into the paper?

  • Would it be too much to ask if when you search Facebook for someone by name the exact matches come up first?

  • Which makes you feel better, being happy or doing something to make someone else happy?

Things I Know

  • I don’’t want in any way to diminish the tragedy of the earthquakes in Haiti this week.  They are a natural disaster of the highest order.  My prayers go out to those killed and injured and to their loved ones.  I hope yours do too.  That said, Haiti is on an Island.  It shares the island with another country, the Dominican Republic.  Lots of Dominicans live in the area where I do.  If I were in charge of news coverage, I would mention that the earthquakes were felt in the Dominican Republic, but damage was minor and nobody was killed.  Also, if you want to be pedantic, and I know I always do, since Haiti is part an island and not an island unto itself, the earthquake happened in Haiti, not on Haiti.

  •  I own a Canon Pixma MP980 printer.  It works well except for two things:  it takes a long time to buffer a print job; and it uses more ink than I’’d like, a lot more.  It even uses colored ink when it prints black and white.  If you have one of these and it tells you that you’re running low on ink, you can buy some more, but don’’t replace any of the cartridges until the printer won’’t work anymore.  You get the low ink warning quite a while before you run out.

  • When it’’s appropriate to be a little silly, I often pronounce the “c” in the word scissors as a mild protest of the ridiculous ways some English words are spelled.  And in similar circumstances, I pronounce the first “x” in Xerox as an “x” rather than as a “z” too.

  • As I count down the days to baseball spring training, I know all the teams don’’t report on February 15th.  In fact I’’m aware some report on the 16th or 17th.  But February 15th is the first day teams can require pitchers and catchers to report and that’’s why I use it as the benckmark.

Things I Know

  • I saw a woman shopping in Macy’s today.  The lower half of her body was covered only by a pair of shiny, magenta tights.  She was wearing shoes, but no skirt, no tunic, no leg warmers, just the tights.  It was not a good look for her.  Come to think of it, I can’’t imagine it being a good look for anyone.

  • It turns out drunk walking is dangerous too.

  • I saw the public TV broadcast of the 2009 Kennedy Center Honors recently.  One of the honorees was jazz musician Dave Brubeck.  On the show, they over-played “”Take Five”” to such an extent that I thought if that’’s why they’re honoring him, they’’re a little late.  Great song, but it came out almost 50 years ago.

  • There’’s a commercial on the radio about an improved thermometer for taking a child’’s temperature.  In the commercial the little kid says something like, “Mom, I hate when you stick that pointy thing in my ear.”  And I find myself thinking, “You’re sure lucky you weren’t a kid when I was.”

  • At least they’’re consistent.  The same people who thought mistakenly that the twentieth century and the millennium ended at midnight on December 31, 1999 also thought the decade ended on Thursday night, December 31st. 2009.  They are wrong, of course, because there was no year zero.  However, I believe this is one of those situations where being right is no excuse. 

  • We made it through the holiday season without any Pfeffernusse.  Perhaps it’’s because I don’t know how to spell Pfeffernusse.  Neither, by the way, does MS Word’s spell checker.

  • Effective Monday, six weeks to pitchers and catchers.  Of course, the Mets need both, but that’’s neither here nor there.

  • I understand that Gasoline Alley was the first comic strip to allow its characters to age at a more or less natural pace, but Walt’’s one of the world’s oldest people now and Skeezix is pushing 90.  Phyllis died in 2004.  It’’s time to let someone else go.  Plus, there’s a crying need for new characters.  In my opinion the strip hasn’’t been reliably funny in many years.

  • In newspapers, comics have been shrinking to the point now where they’’re hard to read.  I’’ve taken to reading some of them on the Internet.  Even there, they’re too small.  But at least on the web, you can zoom in and make them big enough to understand.