Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Memorial Day is on Memorial Day this year.  How often does that happen anymore?

  • Sarah Ferguson:  Isn’’t influence peddling a crime in Britain too?  And how much influence could Prince Andrew have to be worth that much money?

  • On your half birthday, do you get to be half your normal age for the day?

  • I lost one of my clevis pins and have to get another one.  Why do I even know they’’re called that?  And why are they called that when they aren’’t used to attach anything to your clevis or to attach your clevis to anything else either? 

  • A little research can spoil a joke.  While I use clevis pins to secure my backpack bag to my backpack frame, it turns out a clevis pin certainly can be used to attach a clevis to something else after all.

  • Next question:  How come I knew about clevis pins, but not about clevises?

  • Why is it that the word “own” has the letter “w” in it but no “w” sound, while the word “one” has the “w” sound, but no letter “w?”

  • Which is more awesome, fantacular or spectastic?

  • Shouldn’’t Jehovah’s Witnesses have to go to work on Wednesdays instead of ringing doorbells in my neighborhood?  And so many families in my neighborhood have two wage earners that I can’’t imagine ringing doorbells mid-week works very well.

  • Is it just me, or would you also expect the Ramen noodles to be in the Asian food section at your local supermarket?

  • And what was the Coke salesman doing that there was not one ounce of Sprite, or one bottle or one can, on the shelf at my local supermarket at 11 AM on Thursday morning preceding Memorial Day Weekend?

Shopping For Cars

I’’m in the market for a late-model used car or pickup truck.  Many trucks these days are very car-like, so I could go either way.  I’’ve decided that more people would buy cars and trucks if they didn’’t have to go to car dealers to get them.  It’’s certainly a major reason I don’’t buy them very often.  I hate haggling with car dealers. 

Let’’s face it.  Enough of them are scum that it taints the whole market segment.  Let’’s face it too, enough customers walk away feeling swindled that most consumers have no scruples when it comes to deceiving the car dealer.  Plus, it’’s one of the biggest purchases we’’ll ever make and I don’’t think many people go back to the same salesman at the same dealership over and over again.  There isn’t a lot of repeat business.  Car dealers aren’’t generally looking for a win-win situation.  They haggle over cars several times a day.  I do it once every ten years or so.  Who has more experience?  Who’’s more likely to win?

I want a different vehicle, but I don’’t need one, so despite the best efforts of car salesmen, I will not be rushed into a purchase.  I won’’t spend that much money on impulse either.  I found a pickup.  It looks clean, doesn’’t seem to have much mileage on it, has part of the new-car warranty still in effect and seems not to be priced too much over what I want to pay.  The color isn’’t obnoxious either. 

The ad said, “Must close today.”  No I mustn’’t.  The salesman asked me, ““If I offered it to you for $5,000, would you buy it today?””  Sure!  I could make over 100 percent on that deal.  But because I could make over 100 percent on that deal, the car dealer won’’t sell it to me for that price and we both know it. I took it for a ride.  I still liked it, so I went to do some research. 

I would have to pay for a Carfax report, but I found the AutoCheck report on the dealer’s website and that looked clean.  Both my mechanic and Consumer Reports think this make and model is more reliable than average.  The blue book value is okay and maybe I could talk them down a little. 

I talked it over with my wife.  She looked exasperated and said, “”Do what you want.””   Every married man knows what that means!  And, did I mention that the car dealer has an F rating from the Better Business Bureau?  I know, a lot of them do, but it’’s still a concern.  So I wandered around to other dealers with better ratings and discovered that a lot of car dealers advertise trucks (cars too I suppose) they don’’t have, hoping to reel you in and switch you to something else.

Then, yesterday, I decided to enter into negotiations.  I called the dealer.  They sold it.  There will be others; I know that, but still. . . .

Maybe next time I’’ll ask the car salesman what I have to do to get them to sell me the car today, other than offering to buy it for twice what it’s worth, of course. 


The people of our beloved village, by voting in yesterday’s school election, rejected the advice of our beloved mayor both on the school budget and on candidates for the school board.  They rejected his advice overwhelmingly, two-to-one on the budget and more than that on the candidates he endorsed.

School Election Today

In almost all school districts on Long Island, voting on the school budget and on candidates for school board takes place today.  If you are eligible to vote, please do so.

Our beloved mayor thinks the people of our beloved village ought to vote against the school budget because in his judgment the school superintendent makes too much money.  All school superintendents on Long Island receive extremely generous salary and benefit packages and ours is nearer to the bottom than the top.  If you are eligible to vote, please do so.

All school superintendents on Long Island, including ours, work under employment contracts, so even if the school budget is defeated, it won’’t affect the school superintendent’s salary and I have to assume our beloved mayor knows that.  If our beloved mayor knows that, his position is a text-book example of demagoguery.  If you are eligible to vote, please do so.

I’’m told (but don’’t know for sure) that our beloved mayor objects to the school superintendent’s salary at least in part because it’’s almost twice what our beloved mayor makes.  Our beloved mayor is elected; the school superintendent isn’’t.  School board members are elected and don’’t receive any salary at all while our beloved mayor’s salary is in six figures.  If you are eligible to vote, please do so.

Things I Know

  • I’’ve said before that the smartest thing I’ve done was marry my wife, but I have no idea what the second smartest thing I’’ve ever done is.  Over the weekend, one of my friends suggested that’s because I’’ve only done one smart thing.  She could be right!

  • There is no better indication of just how true Murphy’s law is than the way the NY Mets are playing; not just true, profound.

  • It must be painful to be a NY Met right now too, but at least they’re paid well for it.

  • Once called “Little Orphan Annie,” the newspaper comic strip “Annie” is being cancelled by its syndicator, Tribune Media Services, effective June 13th.  In Annie the strip, Annie the character is currently tied up and gagged in the trunk of a stolen car driven by a professional killer.  I hope they don’’t kill her off when the kill off the strip.  Tribune Media Services handles fewer than two dozen comic strips.  I hereby nominate three more for them to cancel:  “Brenda Starr,” “Dick Tracy;” and especially “Gasoline Alley.”

  • My daughter told me that Miracle Gro™ is just dehydrated Miracle Whip™ dyed green.  Sometimes I worry about the child, but it struck me as funny, so sometimes I worry about me too.

  • I appear to have been wrong about one thing at least.  I said I’’d probably blog more while I’’m temporarily retired, but it was nine days between the two posts before this one. 

  • Here are two things I’’ve learned about having a job:  jobs do give some structure to your life and maintaining the structure requires more effort if you don’’t have one; and it’’s easier to be lonely if you aren’’t working and those around you are.

  • Suggestion:  Let’’s change the name of one of the patrols in my Boy Scout Troop.  They are currently the Eagle Patrol, but I think the Wander-Off Patrol would be much more appropriate. 

  • I have so many wild onions in my back yard, I’’m thinking of giving my yard a name:  Vidalia Farms.  That was supposed to be a joke.  I’m aware that the wild onions that grow in people’s yards around here aren’’t edible while Vidalia onions are delicious.  I’’m also aware that Vidalia Farms™ was registered as a U.S. trademark earlier this year.

  • I used to think the slowest elevator in the world was in the old Nassau County Executive Building in Mineola NY.  I may be wrong.  Evidence gathered last weekend suggests it’’s the elevator in TGI Friday’s in Times Square in Manhattan.

  • I’’m suffering from adult onset.  Not adult onset diabetes, just adult onset.

  • They now make at least two MP3 players with an AM radio in them.  I bought the less expensive of the two; it came on Wednesday.  So far I like it except for two things:  it doesn’’t handle play lists and it doesn’’t let you play your music in random order.   It’’ll do, but it could be much better.  On the plus side, it has a much better radio than any device I’’ve ever owned that is that small.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • “Law and Order” has been cancelled.  This leads to two questions.  All of them or just the original?  And, does that mean NBC is cancelled too?

  • There is a page on Facebook promoting the “shitload” as a standard unit of measurement.  It has almost a million fans.  Is that necessary?  Isn’’t it already a standard unit of measurement?

  • This blog isn’’t suitable for adult audiences, because it’’s childish, not obscene.  Which reminds me, why don’’t childish and childlike mean the same thing?

Things I Know

  • Most terrorists know this or I wouldn’’t point it out:  you’’re supposed to steal the vehicle you use to make a car bomb.

  • The Feds are investigating Wall Street at least in part because of the way complicated and risky financial instruments known as derivatives have been traded.  Derivatives have caused troubles before.  Orange County California went into Chapter 9 bankruptcy in the mid 1990’s because of its treasurer’s trading in derivatives and the treasurer went to jail.

  • There are so many geese on Long Island I don’’t see how we can legitimately call them Canada Geese anymore.

  • It’’s “moot point,” not “mute point.”

  • There is a service area on the New Jersey Turnpike named after the poet Joyce Kilmer.  It’’s in East Brunswick Township.  That’s in case you didn’’t get my blog item entitled “Nash, Kilmer and Me.”

  • Somebody I know told me the other day that somebody we both know had “”terrible gas.”  I suggested that there is no other kind.

  • I am less inclined to buy a Ford Ranger pickup truck than I once was.   I’’ve determined that in the state where I live (semi-conscious state) the vanity license plate “LONE” and the vanity license plate “KEMOSABE” are both taken.

  • Manholes are round so utility workers can’’t drop manhole covers into them by accident and so vandals can’’t do it on purpose.

  • It’’s chipotle, not chipolte, and I heard a chef say it wrong on TV last week.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did Meredith Vieira really say what I thought I heard her say during the driving simulator segment on the Today Show this week?  I guess she did.  They edited it out of the west-coast rebroadcast of the show.

  • When some people suggested boycotting Arizona over its new law regarding illegal aliens,  the folks who make Arizona Iced Tea were quick to tell us that Arizona Iced Tea is made on Long Island.  So, where is Long Island Iced Tea made?

  • I’’ve noticed that the titles of many popular songs are in the form of questions, so when I want to pad my “Things I Want (Or Need) To Know” blog items, I will, from time to time, use one of those song titles.  Here’’s another one:  “Do you wanna dance?”

  • Leading up to the first Saturday in May, when I hear someone ask, “Who do you like in the Derby?” I can’’t help wondering why a horse would wear a hat.

  • Did you pull any pranks on May Fools’ Day?  I find you surprise more people pranking them on May 1st than you do on April 1st.