Things I Know

  • Hurricane Earl is churning up the Atlantic.  Current projections say it will be within 150-miles of where I live by Friday of Labor Day Weekend.  So, I’m implementing my patented hurricane survival strategy:  I’ll watch the Weather Channel, find out where Jim Cantore is, and if he shows up anywhere near me, I’ll go somewhere else.

  • Roger Clemens was once a great major league pitcher, a starting pitcher.  He was indicted Monday for allegedly lying to Congress.  So, depending on the outcome of his trial, he may soon be headed for the pen.  Not the bullpen, the penitentiary.

  • I’m not big on August because football starts up, buying good fresh peaches becomes a chancy thing and cold weather is nigh.  But it is over 90 again, I can still nap in my hammock, I believe I’m going to be a guest lecturer in college once school us under way, and there are fresh tomatoes in my back yard.  So, it’s not all bad by any means.

  •  “The obvious solution to that is heated scrubs.”  Attention MS Word’s grammar checker:  “solution” is the subject of the previous sentence.  As used in the sentence and despite ending in the letter “s”, “scrubs” isn’t really a plural noun anymore than “pants” is.  So this sentence is correct.  Leave me alone.

  • I used more pain pills after this operation than I did in 2003, but the pain pills I got this time weren’t as strong and I stopped using them 48 hours after the operation.

  • In case there are any second graders reading my blog, here’s a hint.  I don’t know why this is, but the tooth fairy usually pays better at grandma’s house than at home.

  • Anesthesia makes it harder for a patient to urinate.  Pain medicine makes it harder for a patient to defecate.  Still, I suppose exploding is a very rare side effect of rotator cuff surgery.

  • I saw a TV commercial for ITT Tech, a private, for-profit college.  In the commercial, the guy who is telling what’s supposed to be his story and his family (they may be actors for all I know) were hand-washing a late model Ford Edge.  The Ford blue oval on the car was blurred out.  Once I noticed that, I didn’t pay any attention to another thing the commercial said.  I spent my time wondering why the commercial’s producers would do that.

  • Based on the theory that where there’s smoke, there’s cannabis, it may be inevitable that one day one of the drug-filled purses that seem to surround Paris Hilton may actually belong to her.

To Quote ET, “Ouch.”

If you have to go to the hospital, I suggest outpatient treatment if at all possible.  They don’t keep you overnight, you get to go home for dinner and you get to sleep in your own bed.  They don’t get to wake you up in the middle of the night to take your blood pressure and a blood sample (but not at the same time) and if you don’t stay, it removes two of the most annoying things about being in the hospital, daytime TV and hospital food.

I consider myself to be in pretty good health, but I’ve been in three hospitals in the last three years.  Clearly, I should have purchased the extended warranty on myself and just as clearly, it’s too late now.  Two of those visits were for repairs rather than for illness, which is why I still regard my health as generally good.  All three hospitals had severe parking problems.  All three were under construction.  All three are still under construction.  Is there a hospital anywhere that isn’t under construction?  Is there one where it’s easy to park?

Long Island Jewish Hospital has valet parking for those who wish to take advantage of it.  It’s still not easy though.  They don’t have enough room to leave the cars or enough valets to park or retrieve them quickly.  There is a charge for the valet parking, of course and it also costs four dollars an hour to park there without a valet.  So, if you’re a visitor, you fork it over, but if you’re a patient and either you or your insurance company is spending thousands of dollars a day, they do validate parking.  I think that’s nice, but it also strikes me as funny for some reason.

I had rotator cuff surgery recently and as one of my friends suggested, I hope to be rotating and cuffing like I used to pretty soon.  I recommend you do everything you can to avoid injuring your dominant-side arm.  And, no, I will not now become a starting pitcher for the Mets.  Starting pitching is the least of their problems and if I were pitching for them it would be the most of their problems instead. 

What is it about hospitals that allows doctors to be on time within their walls, but nowhere else?  I think they have these procedures very early in the morning so that you’ll be half asleep and they can save money by using a little less anesthesia.  I had some trouble with the anesthesia the last time I had surgery on my shoulder.  This anesthesiologist spent some time with me talking to me about the problems and reassuring me.  I wound up telling him that he was the doctor and as long as I had told him what my issues were, I’d trust him to use his best judgment and his skill.  That turned out to be a good decision in this instance.  We both learned from my previous experience.  I had less trouble this time.

Why is it so cold in the hospital?  The last operation I had was in December, so I thought they were conserving energy, but this one was in August, so that’s not the case.  I told my surgeon I heartily approved of the heated hospital gown they gave me.  He said he was jealous because he was too cold too.  The obvious solution to that is heated scrubs.  I wonder if someone’s working on that.  If you’re interested in the concept of heated hospital gowns, search the Internet for “Bair Paw.”

I don’t know how I could have done this without my wife.  I’ve thanked her over and over, but I’m now thanking her in public.  She’s not as confident of her driving ability as she should be, so I had to figure out how to get to and from the hospital on local streets, but she got me there and back safely.  She worried about me and I hate to make her do that, but it’s proof of how much she loves me.  I feel the same way about her and I don’t need any proof, so I still hate to make her worry about me.  I worry about her too.  When I spent more time than expected in the recovery room, I wanted them to tell her I was okay.

She got me medicine, got me food, cut up my food so I could eat it (I bet she thought she was done with cutting up other people’s meat).  She bought ice packs and brought them to me, changed dressings and helped me dry off after I showered too.  In other words, she did everything I needed and most of what I wanted, and thought up some stuff to do for me that I hadn’t thought of too, just like she always does, only I needed more than usual. 

Although I deserve very little of the credit, I am getting better.  So far, most of the credit goes to the doctors, nurses, technicians and other staff at the hospital and to my wife.  Soon, I hope to add physical therapists to the list.  Like so many other things in life, I don’t like physical therapy, but I know it’s good for me.

Things I Know

  • The meek will inherit the earth and one won the Democratic nomination for US Senate in Florida too.

  • I’m still having trouble typing after shoulder surgery.  I hope to expand and expound on that experience shortly.

  • They have heated hospital gowns now.  I approve.

  • I think we’ve probably already had our last 90-degree day around here for this year.

  • Imagine how many chickens there are in this country if the FDA recalled half a billion eggs and there are still eggs available.

  • This year the Mets are different.  Instead of an end-of-season collapse, they collapsed right in the middle of the season.

  • I went to the Mets game against the Phillies a week ago Friday.  They won, but they had three players with sub-.200 batting averages in the lineup, so it was no surprise they scored only one run.  I went with a college alumni group.  I didn’t know anyone there, but still had a nice time.

  • However, parking is $19 and the food I had (not a lot of food and I don’t drink beer) cost more than the ticket. 

  • In the Mets team store, you can buy a toaster that puts the Mets logo on your breakfast toast.  Seems redundant; the Mets are already toast.

  • If you don’t stop breathing when you are asleep and snoring, you may not want to tell the hospital you snore during pre-surgery screening.  Sleep apnea is a serious problem.  For one thing, it increases your risk of strokes, but my wife says I don’t stop breathing.  I told the pre-surgical screening I snore.  They sent me for a sleep apnea test which also said I don’t have it.

  • By the time I’m old enough for Willard Scott to wish me a happy birthday on TV, Willard will be too old to do it.

Things I Know

  • I’ve passed my pre-surgery screening, so I’ll be having rotator cuff surgery on Thursday.  And no, I won’t be pitching in the majors next season.  I don’t have a screwball; I am one.

  • Steven Slater:  Admit it, if your job had an inflatable emergency exit slide, you’d probably have used it with a lot less provocation than he allegedly had.  The problems I have with Mr. Slater are:  he could have had the offending passenger arrested, instead of having himself fired and arrested; and it’s looking more and more as if the story he told wasn’t true.

  • I’m not an Obama supporter, but I don’t care where the first family vacations.  I don’t even care whether they pay any part of the cost of the trip themselves, since their part is so much less than the actual cost because of who they are.  It’s impossible for any member of the first family to travel anywhere without extreme security.  They can’t fly commercially.  Mrs. Obama’s first-class tickets to Spain would probably have cost between $5,000 and $10,000.  The plane they used costs more than that to operate per hour.  If they pay what the trip would cost a private citizen, that’s still a small portion of the cost.  And the President and his family aren’t elitist, no matter what they do.  They are the president of the United States and his family; they are elite. 

  • Which leads me to the Boy Scouts at their National Jamboree who booed a video message the President provided to be played as they gathered.  They booed because past presidents have showed up in person.  And they were wrong to do it.  A Scout is courteous and Obama is the President.   On the other hand, before the criticism of the Scouts gets too severe, let’s remember that none of them were as old as 18.

  • Christine Romer leaving Washington as head of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors gives me a chance to rant about something I hate.  I have no objection to gender-neutral titles such as “Chairperson,” but to me, a “Chair” will always be a piece of furniture.  We already have way more ambiguity in the English language than anyone needs.  I particularly object to that example because I can’t think of a terrible pun that makes it worth keeping.

  •  If I had to rely on the smell of the plant’s leaves to decide whether to eat a plant’s fruit, I would never eat a tomato.

  • It wouldn’t occur to me to eat microwave popcorn either based on the way it smells while it’s cooking.

  • If stupidity had more consequences, we’d have less stupidity, or at least it would manifest itself less often.

  • And speaking of that, the person who was appointed in my place to one of the jobs I was qualified for and did do, called me recently to ask me a question about something he should know.  I answered his question.  In trying to drum up a conversation with me (something I was not all that interested in having), he asked me if I’m bored.  I’ve known about sensitivity training for some time; now I know there must also be insensitivity training.

  • It also seems to me that people who’ve had insensitivity training include those who want to build a mosque in a building that was hit by debris when those two planes were crashed into the World Trade Center in 2001.  I know they have the right, and that unpopular actions are the only ones that need defending, but they could easily build someplace a little farther away from ground zero.

  • Here’s another phrase that belongs in popular use:  Dust Rabbits.  A commenter who styles him or herself as “S” on the website, says Dust Rabbits are more feral and less cute than dust bunnies.  The phrase does fill a need.

Things I Want (Or Need) to Know

  • I’m having ambulatory surgery next week.  Wouldn’t it be easier on me and the doctor if I stayed still during the whole operation?

  • I was cruising the real estate listings and found one that said the property in question had a pedestal tub.  This prompted my wife to ask if it also has a claw-foot sink.  I think not.  The house is probably too new for that; a Jacuzzi sink, maybe.

  • I found another one that said the property’s master bedroom had two sinks and a separate tub and shower.   It didn’t say whether the master bath had a king-sized bed, but I do wonder.

  • Sometimes homonyms raise questions.  I’ve seen things that are so bad they could be considered wholly shit.  I could understand holey shit, especially if dung beetles have been at it.  But how would holy shit be any better than or different from secular shit?

  • Have you seen the Geico commercial with former major league pitcher Randy Johnson?  Apparently he does have a sense of humor.  I didn’t hear of him displaying that when he worked in New York.  Did you?

  • What’s the right way to pronounce Colorado?  I learned how to pronounce Nevada when I went there (not the way I’’d been pronouncing it, by the way).  However, even though I’ve been there too, I’ve heard Colorado pronounced two ways and don’t know which one most people who live there use.

  • If there’s Sunday Night Football, even exhibition football, can being cold be far behind?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Is it just a coincidence that the New York State Legislature passed the last elements of one of the latest state budgets on record during International Clown Week?

  • What have we come to as a country when nine people were killed at a beer distributor near Hartford CT and it’s reported on TV as the country’s worst workplace shooting rampage in nine months?

  • How old are all of us getting?  Winnie Cooper is pregnant.  At least Danica McKellar is.  Danica is the actress who played Winnie Cooper on the TV show “The Wonder Years.”

  • Do Nissan Armadas float?

  • Minnesota Vikings QB Bret Favre was reportedly retiring.  Then he was reportedly not retiring.  Isn’t that the third time in three years for each?

  • I read a story about another coffee shop that features scantily clad baristas.  It’s not the first one; in fact I’ve even heard of a topless coffee shop.  However, it started me wondering about other occupations.  If a female psychotherapist treated her patients clad only in lingerie, would the garment she wore be called a Freudian slip?

Things I Know

  • Sidney Harmon bought Newsweek for a dollar.  Not one copy of the magazine, the whole company.  I know you can get a back issue for $8.95, and I think the newsstand price for a single copy is $5.95, but no newsstand in my neighborhood carries it.  That sounds like a much better deal than it is because the magazine is hemorrhaging money and in the deal, Mr. Harmon assumes the magazine’s debts too.  But he”s a billionaire, so he probably knows something I don’t.

  • I read this morning that there are 667-thousand millionaires in the State of New York.  That certainly makes me feel like a loser. 

  • I couldn’t believe it.  During Shark Week on the Discovery Channel, they had a show called “Great White Shark:  Uncaged.”  At the beginning of the show, they actually had a warning on the screen, “Do Not Try This At Home.”  Don’t worry; I’m not even going to try it in the ocean.

  • You folks aren’t doing your part.  I’ve been trying to introduce a new phrase into the English language.  I’ve asked you to help spread it around and I still haven’t heard anyone else use it yet.  You know what A.S.A.P. means, right?  I’m still trying to replace it with M.S.T.P., much sooner than possible, and I need your help.

  • I learned from seeing a picture of Chelsea Clinton walking down the aisle with her father that she’s considerably taller than I thought she was.

  • Ed Lowe, a man I used to see frequently when I was a reporter and a man whose work I still admire believes that being crazy isn’t a problem; it’s a solution to a problem.

  • It disturbs me more than a little that if I say “Snooki,” you probably know who I’m talking about.  It disturbs me even more that when I say “Snooki,” I know who I’m talking about.

  • I’ve never met the woman, but it appears to me that the shirt Snooki was wearing last Friday when she was arrested is redundant.

  • Things were going so well, but now I’m regretting that I have a ticket to the Mets-Phillies game a week from Friday at Citi Field. 

  • Some of the things I write here are expressions of frustration, hence the name of the blog.  Sometimes I’m talking about what interests me.  A lot of the time, I’m trying to be funny.  Sometimes I’m just trying to get what’s on my mind off my chest.