Things I Know

  • My father was a police officer in New York City.  He hated being on duty in Times Square on New Year’s Eve so much that I never felt any desire to go to the big event.

  • In case you’re planning to miss the weekend “Twilight Zone” marathon on SyFy channel starting Friday, let me remind you (or inform you) that it’s a cookbook.

  • December is National Tie Month.  Of course it is; twenty percent of all ties are given as Christmas gifts.

  • I’m not on the selection committee, but I believe the person who invented the brownie sundae deserves a Nobel Prize, even if they have to come up with a new category.

  • A slow news day and an impending snow storm are a powerful combination.  So are a slow news day and the aftermath of a big snow storm.

  • Attention dogs:  I’m so sure I would hate dragging my bare belly through the snow that I’ve never tried it.

  • While I was snowbound, I decided to bake chocolate chocolate chip cookies.  I found a recipe on the Internet.  It was a good decision.

  • I’m pretty sure my son the lawyer is joking.  He said he wants to sue the TV show “Dog Whisperer” because the guy never whispers to the dogs.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Snow preparation?  Let’s see, I got bread and milk, backed all the cars into the driveway, bumper to bumper, got out the snow shovels, the soft push broom and the rock salt, brought around some firewood, located the hot cocoa mix  and took some butter out of the fridge so it will soften and we can bake cookies.  Did I forget anything?

  • Did you ever think you’d live long enough that you’d have to wait for your children to get up on Christmas morning?

  • Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?  I got a lot of what I wanted, so I’m good.  But when I said I wanted a couple of CD’s, I didn’t mean the kind with music on them; I meant the kind with money in them.

  • Why do they call it Christmas shopping when nobody buys Christmas?

  • With oil prices as high as they are, when is Santa going to leave coal in your stocking only if you’re good?

  • Why do dogs enjoy snow so much?

  • If your doctor says you can’t shovel snow anymore, is snow removal covered by your health insurance?  How about if you use a participating snow-shoveling provider and make the co-payment?

  • This morning a couple of the Sunday TV news shows did roundups of all the famous people who died during 2010.  What will they do if someone else famous dies between now and Friday at midnight?

Things I Know

  • I’d praise Congress for finally passing medical aid for first-responders at the World Trade Center after 9/11 except for that one little word:  finally.  You see, 9/11 happened nine years, three months and almost two weeks ago.  Now to be fair to Congress, it didn’t become obvious for several months that working on the pile that once was the World Trade Center was making people really sick.  Also to be fair to Congress, the date on which the Zadroga bill passed was 3,389 days after 9/11!  Disgraceful!  Michael Daly, writing in today’s New York Daily News, called the US Senate, “Last responders.”  That pretty much sums it up. 

  • My son took me on the behind-the-scenes tour of Citi Field last Sunday.  It was a disappointment.  They wouldn’t show us the Francisco Rodriguez Memorial Holding Cell.

  • On the Sunday before Christmas, Charles Osgood performed “The Christmas Song” on his excellent TV show, “Sunday Morning.”  We already knew he had a beautiful speaking voice and now we know he can play the piano.  I deliberately chose “performed” rather than sang, because as talented as Mr. Osgood is, he can’t sing.  Neither can I.

  • By the way, if you aren’t Nat King Cole (and he’s dead so nobody is), from my point of view there’s no use singing that song.  It’s already been sung as well as it can possibly be sung by Mr. Cole.

  • Former radio personality Dick Summer has a blog and a podcast.  The other day, Dick thanked his wife for not making him grow up.  I knew I hadn’t grown up, but it never occurred to me to thank my wife for not making me, or at least not trying to make me.  Dick’s right; thanks honey.

  • I found out that the kind of sleepwear my wife likes is called a sleep shirt.  A night shirt is a little different.  She likes them in silk and I also found out that the only place I could locate that sells them is out of stock until next June.

  • Country music star Shania Twain is engaged to be married.  Her former husband left her for another woman and Shania just became engaged to that woman’s ex-husband.  Now, that’s what I call a country song!

  • Snooki and JWoww of “Jersey Shore” fame are reportedly looking to buy a house in E. Setauket, NY.  Whew!  I don’t live in E. Setauket.

  • The loose cushions you often see on couches and chairs are called throw pillows.  It’s a great name for them because when I sit on a couch or chair that has a throw pillow on it, I throw it someplace else, or at someone.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Heroes show up when they’re needed.  Right away!  Sometimes without anyone calling them.  So why is Congress taking so long to come up with health care for the first responders and construction workers from the nine-eleven attack at the World Trade Center?  They may vote on the Zadroga bill today.  I think they should have passed something like this years ago, when it became obvious that the pile made a lot of people sick.  What do you think?

  • Maybe it just happened.  Maybe I didn’t hear about it when it did happen, but do you know you can now get a Sponge Bob Chia Pet?

  • What are steamed clams angry about anyway?  And are steamed vegetables angry about the same thing?

  • The speed of sound is roughly 768 mph.  It varies depending on the humidity and what the sound is traveling through.  Of course, it moves 20 mph more slowly through highway construction zones.  But it leads me to wonder, how fast is silence?

  • Would you save some time if you went Christmas returning this week instead of next week?

  • Chrysler just trademarked the name “Cuda.”  Do they know they haven’t made Plymouths in something like ten years?

  • There’s a TV show on cable called, “I (Almost) Got Away With It.”  The title kind of spoils the suspense, don’t you think?

Things I Know

  • You would think that since I don’t have a job I’d be able to get my Christmas cards in the mail in plenty of time.  If today counts as plenty of time, you’d be right.

  • A while back, I mentioned that only one recipe for sugar plums I found on the Internet contained plums.  CBS “Sunday Morning” had a story about Christmas pudding which many people (including my grandmother) call plum pudding.  I couldn’t find a recipe for that which contained plums either, but I did find an explanation.  When plum pudding was invented, “plum” is what they called a raisin.

  • My grandmother’s presentation of a flaming plum pudding was considered a highlight of Christmas dinner at her house.  Personally, I can’t stand it.  But I hate fruitcake too, and to me, the two seem closely related.

  • We must really have a messy house.  Our son is visiting from California and he took it upon himself to clean off our kitchen table.

  • I saw my next door neighbor run outside in her pajamas to deal with her dog.  I would never do that; it’s not a good look for me.

  • I know I’d enjoy a big Lego set for Christmas.  That’s why my contribution to the Marine Corps Toys For Tots program this year was a Lego set.  Not as big as I’d like to have or to contribute, but I can’t afford a set that big.

  • They say bacon makes anything better, but Papa John’s is advertising “double bacon pizza” on TV, so maybe not.

  • This morning, I saw on TV a commercial offering me a $200 value for just $19.99 plus shipping and handling.  I thought to myself, either the shipping and handling is a bitch, or somebody’s not telling the truth.

  • We went to a wake last night for a man who’s related to some of my relatives, but not to me.  This led to a discussion of what we’d like our own funerals to be like.  I said I’d like to be buried in a Chevrolet Aveo and on that Aveo, I want a sign.  The sign should say, “I was wrong; I would be caught dead in this thing.”

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Now that Hanukkah is over, I wonder, is there any such thing as a leftover latke?  I don’t celebrate Hanukkah, but I do celebrate latkes and there is certainly no such thing as a leftover latke at my house.

  • Why are there multiple ways to spell Hanukkah, but only one way to spell Christmas?

  • The Jets had their asses handed to them in their game against the Patriots and again in their game against the Dolphins, although on a lesser scale.  What sense is there in that expression?  Didn’t they already have their asses?

  • Have you noticed the language surrounding the debate on income taxes?  All tax rates are temporary and subject to change.  So, even though the law authorizing the current tax rates is about to expire, if you let it expire, that’s a tax hike.  Of course, if you continue to spend like a drunken sailor while continuing the current tax rates, that increases the national budget deficit and the national debt too.

  • Why is there a “b” in the word “doubt”?

  • Do you think Dr. John belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  I understand he is much more popular in New Orleans than he is nationally, but if regional popularity is a criterion, I think there are lots of doo wop artists who should have been considered before the good Doctor.

  • Is it cold enough for you?  It’s way too cold for me, but I haven’t been too hot yet.

  • There’s been a rash of drunk drivers on Long Island headed the wrong way on local streets and major highways.  Local governments are trying to figure a way to combat this problem.  How about making everyone drive on the left side of the road?  If you can’t beat them, join them.

Things I Know

  • I hope that Elizabeth Smart is as together as she appeared to be when she faced the media after her kidnapper and rapist, Brian Mitchell, was convicted last week in Utah.

  • The approach of Christmas reminds me that choir is another English word that ought to be either spelled or pronounced differently. 

  • If I had invented the language, the word for syllable would be only one syllable long.

  • In this holiday season, you’ve probably heard someone extol the benefits of either keeping Christ in Christmas, or putting the Christ back in Christmas.  There is some logic in my daughter’s thought process.  Not a lot, because she is related to me.  Since both Christmas and Easter contain elements unrelated to divinity, my daughter thinks we should take the Christ out of Christmas and out of Easter and have a holiday devoted to Christ and nothing else.  No Christmas trees, no gifts, no Easter Bunnies or bonnets.  I suggested we have that holiday in August.  We need at least one holiday in August and we really don’t need more than one in either November or February.

  • Nothing makes me appreciate 40-degree weather more than 15-degree weather.

  • You have to feel sorry for Howie Rose who does play by play for both the Islanders and the Mets.

  • Back in July, I wrote that I consider it unlikely that I’ll ever drive on I-95 through Nebraska again.  I know I-95 doesn’t go through Nebraska.  I meant I-80, but my fingers weren’t thinking when I typed that.

  • I don’t think I’d like to be a taxidermist, because if I was and someone told me to stuff it, I’d have to do it.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Have you ever negotiated the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and the Cross Island Parkway in Bellerose, in any direction?  Who thought that intersection was a good idea?

  • You may remember that, “Reach out and touch someone,” was the signature advertising slogan of communications giant AT&T back in the early 1980’s.  I wonder if the TSA has to pay royalties to AT&T.

  • During this holiday season, can we at least let the operators who are standing by sit down?

  • Have you seen the TV commercial for Jarred Jewelers extolling the virtues of the Pandora Bracelet?  The product could be great, I don’t know, but in my opinion, Pandora is a terrible name for a gift.  How would you like to receive a gift with a name associated with all the trouble in the world?

  • There’s also a TV commercial telling you that you can now get a great deal on the Mercedes you’ve always wanted.  Can I really get deal on a 300 SL gull-wing coupe from the 1950s?  If so, I’ll have a red one and a silver one thank you.

  • How did my children manage to grow to adulthood, when I haven’t matured much at all?

  • If the leaves didn’t fall, the trees would probably break under the weight of snow.  I know that.  But why do they have to fall in my yard?

  • Have you made out your Christmas list yet?

  • My wife told me she heard on the news that German scientists now claim that people who tell awful jokes are suffering from a mental disorder.  In the first place, I’m not suffering from telling awful jokes; my wife is the one who suffers when I do that.  In the second place, she knew it from the very beginning, so why did she go out with me in the first place?

Things I Know


  • Run for your life!  The Weather Channel’s disaster guy on the spot, Jim Cantore, is at LaGuardia Airport tonight.  That’s uncomfortably close to where I live and I’ve always found it prudent to be somewhere Mr. Cantore isn’t if I want to avoid storm damage. 

  • If anyone who reads this blog celebrates the festival of lights, Happy Hanukkah.

  • I read that the anchors and weatherman on the CBS morning news are being replaced.  Sometimes it’s been a quality show, but it’s never been a ratings success.  In fact, what CBS should have done decades ago was to admit the program was a mistake and bring back Captain Kangaroo.  But the captain has passed away, and his audience has grown up, so that won’t fix it now either. 

  • My friend Richard (not Feder) of New Jersey (not Fort Lee) has come up with a new word and until he came up with it, I didn’t realize how much it was needed in the English language.  The word is chocolack.  Of course, that means a lack of chocolate.  In order to make sure that never happens, we need a word for it and Richard has provided it.

  • I found a bunch of recipes for sugar plums on the Internet.  There’s no agreement on exactly what goes into them except for one thing:  only one of the recipes contains plums.

  • I was driving behind a Nissan Maxima over the Thanksgiving weekend with the license plate Phakakta.  That isn’t the right way to spell it, which may be why it made it through the censorship computer at the New York DMV.  Either that or they don’t employ enough landsmen at the DMV to catch it.

  • On Black Friday morning (but at 7:30, not at 3 or 5 AM), I shopped at my local Staples and my local Home Depot.  Each of them was very crowded with employees who were apparently on hand to help all the customers who hadn’t show up yet.

  • Attention Coach Sabin:  a great defense doesn’t blow a 24-point lead.  It pains me to say it, of course, but congratulations to Auburn for winning THE GAME.  Today, the NCAA said it can’t prove that Cam Newton knew his father was shopping him around, so he can play in the SEC championship game.

  • It may have been a rerun, I don’t know, but on Sunday’s edition of “America’s Funniest Home Videos,”  host Tom Bergeron mentioned that it was the program’s 21st season.  Frankly, I’m astonished that there are enough uninjured crotches left in the United States to sustain another season of that show.

  • Freeport High School’s Red Devils won the Long Island Class I Championship football game over the weekend.  Freeport’s good, but come on, William Floyd.  No championship game should be decided by 28 points.