MMMMMMMMM, Bacon!

I believe I’’ve accurately quoted Homer Simpson there in the title.  When I called recently for resealable packaging of God’s perfect food, bacon, my friend Richard (not Feder) of New Jersey (not Fort Lee) asked why I want such a thing and I replied because I can’’t eat a pound of bacon at a sitting anymore and if I did my cardiologist would have a heart attack.

Let’’s face it, anything that tastes as good as bacon is bad for you.  If cigarettes carry a warning label, bacon should too.  As I’’ve opined before fresh strawberries and fresh peaches are notable exceptions, but it’’s a pretty good general rule that tasty food and healthy food are inversely related.   One of the running gags in the comic strip “Zits” is that 15-year-old Jeremy can eat prodigious amounts of any edible thing he finds.  That’’s funny because in many circumstances, it’’s true.  I started life at two feet tall and weighing almost eleven pounds.  I was the biggest baby born in a large Manhattan hospital that year and until I stopped growing while others continued to, I was always extremely large for my age.  I was the tallest kid in my sixth grade; there wasn’’t even a taller girl, and if you remember sixth grade a girl is usually taller than any of the boys.  That’’s because girls mature relatively early and boys never mature at all.

I’’m still above average in both height and weight, just no longer extremely so.

My cousin and I were the two largest kids our age we knew and when we were together, nothing edible was safe from our grasp.  At a barbecue when we were about 14, the two of us teamed up to eat a dozen hamburgers, and a dozen ears of corn.  Lettuce, tomato, butter, salt, and ketchup were also consumed of course, maybe onions, pickles, potato salad, and cheese as well.  We could have eaten more, but they ran out of food.  And I could do that without his help.  Once, while staying at another aunt’’s house (not my cohort in gluttony’’s mother) I had a half dozen eggs and a pound of bacon for breakfast.  I had some toast too, but not a whole loaf; I left room for the bacon.  So I know from trial and error that I could at one time eat a pound of bacon at a sitting.  It’’s not bragging if you can back it up.

I met my friend Richard (not Feder) when we were freshmen in college he was and remains larger than I am so I suspect his eating habits, and mine were similar as he grew through high school. Since Richard asked why I wanted a resealable package for bacon, I’’m willing to allow that he may still be able to eat a whole pound at a meal, and therefore see no need for my proposed invention.  I know that no linzer torte is safe within his reach.  In fact, I know that Richard (not Feder) roams the countryside seeking out the elusive best linzer torte ever.

When I was say 16 or 17, I enjoyed a snack as I arrived home from a hard day of talking in class and avoiding homework.  To me, a snack might be something like a ham sandwich and a quart of milk.  In those days, I would also consider liverwurst, roast beef and several other cold cuts acceptable substitutes for ham.  I still like liverwurst, but I only like it once in any given day, so I don’’t eat liverwurst anymore.  Let’’s face it:  if liverwurst doesn’’t repeat on you, it certainly repeats on me.  My mother should have known better than to assert that I’’d spoil my appetite for dinner, because as a teenager, food never did spoil my appetite.

Not only can I no longer eat as much as I used to, but I also take a medicine which has as a side effect reducing my appetite.  That’’s both a blessing, and a curse, but it is why I need bacon to come in a resealable package.

Things I Know

 

  • I want one of those reverse 911 machines like the ones my local mayor and county executive used to annoy constituents through the long hurricane weekend.  After the recent hurricane, I have a list of people I want to telephone and order to get out of town.

  • We were ordered out of our home, but we didn’’t go and neither did any of our neighbors.  My house has been here for over 100 years.  I have checked the flood plain map.  We’’re not in the 100-year or the 500-year flood plain, and even if we were, we haven’’t lived here for 500 years, but we have lived here long enough to know that our storm drains don’t back up.  So we remained right here, unscathed.

  • Hurricane Irene, in all her fury, knocked a few twigs out of the 40-foot oak tree in front of my house.  Bully that she was she also knocked down a blueberry bush and a two-foot tall mountain laurel in my back yard.

  • We had it very easy in Irene, no flooding, no property damage, never without power, phone service, cable or the Internet.  If you are still without power, and will be for the rest of the week, or if your home was flooded or your boat is in someone else’s front yard, it’’s no laughing matter, I know.

  • One of my friends had both his blog and his personal website go down during the storm.

  • Since at least one of the supermarket tabloid gossip rags has a cover story every week about singer/actress Beyonce being with child, I suppose it was only a matter of time before at least one of those stories was true, even if being true was an accident, or the unintended consequence of making stuff up.

  • Congratulations to the impending parents, and I predict the baby will be named Babeyonce, or possibly Irene.

 

Things I Know

  • Where I live, public officials are using reverse 911 way too much.  That’’s the computer program that allows you to feed recorded information by telephone to people within a geographic area.  Where I live, they’’re using it beyond information dissemination to the point of self-promotion and dissemination of conflicting and even wrong information.

  • I predict a significant increase in the birth of girls named Irene on the east coast of the United States in late May of 2012.

  • As far as I know, this is serious as opposed to being a joke.

  • Don’’t make kissing your spouse or significant other routine.  Kiss them frequently of course, but put some passion into it at least once in a while.

  • I was in Queens, having lunch with an old friend from college when the earthquake hit on Tuesday.  We didn’’t feel a thing and we weren’’t even drinking.

  • I’’m pretty sure that someone could make a resealable package for bacon if they set their mind to it.

  • If you coat steel with zinc, you make the steel rust resistant.  However, if you leave a galvanized garbage can sitting in your compost pile for twenty years, the bottom of the garbage can will compost too.

  • In case you’’ve wondered how you can throw away a garbage can, I solved that one by taking it to the dump myself.

  • A hurricane is coming, so go to the store and stock up on milk and bread so you can pass the time making the traditional cream of bread soup.  That recipe isn’’t original with me.  I got it from the late and very much missed Newsday columnist Ed Lowe.

  • I really believe a hurricane is coming.  Otherwise, I wouldn’’t have been up on the corrugated metal roof of my garage adding screws to keep it in place after my wife got home from work Friday.  I don’’t like to crawl around on the garage roof when nobody else is around.  I’’d much rather have someone available to call 911 in case while falling off the roof I  break enough bones that I can’’t call 911 myself.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Was hurricane iRene something Steve Jobs thought up before he stepped down as CEO of Apple?
  • With a hurricane churning up the east coast, I want to know where Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel is.  He turns up at weather disasters with such regularity I am beginning to believe he causes them.

  • I saw a five-series BMW driving five miles per hour under the speed limit on the New York State Thruway on Thursday.   Doesn’’t the factory have people they can send to confiscate a BMW from a driver like that?

  • Are you one of those annoying people who will swerve across lanes of traffic, cutting people off, because your highway exit came up unexpectedly?  That’’s not cool.  It’’s even less cool if you;’re driving a tanker truck like I saw in Ramapo NY yesterday.

  • To me, people who walk or drive behind cars or trucks as they are backing up fall into a special subcategory of jackass.  Why do you do that?  Don’’t you know it’’s dangerous?  A lot of cars and trucks don’’t have great visibility to the rear while backing up.  Mine doesn’’t, and I have three mirrors and a back-up TV camera.  If you had to back my truck out of a parking space, I bet you’d never walk or drive behind a vehicle as it is backing up again.

  • To the guy driving the silver Honda Odyssey in the left lane and the center lane and sometimes both lanes at the same time of the Cross-Bronx, Vehicle-Storage facility so slowly that everyone was passing you:  Don’’t you think you should sober up before taking your family for a ride?

  • Former Met and Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was charged in Los Angeles with exposing himself to women who answered an employment ad he posted on Craig’’s List.  If the charges are true, does that mean he’s running for Congress?

  • When I see a commercial for the prescription drug Lyrica, I can’’t help pondering whether it helps you write better songs.

  • The new FM news station in New York, WEMP had a promo on yesterday about “weather whenever it happens.”  Weather happens all the time, so what the hell does that mean?

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • My son the lawyer emailed the head of the California office of a large international law firm and asked for an informational interview.  The gentleman graciously agreed.  Do you suppose his willingness to see my son had anything to do with the fact that he and I were friends in college?  In any event, the guy apparently lied through his teeth about me.  My son said the first twenty minutes of their talk was about me and that all of the stories he told about me were good!  Can you believe that?

  • Have you seen the TV commercial for Direct TV that uses an Asian actor who calls himself a whale (as in the Las Vegas term for a big-spending gambler)?  If I were Asian, I believe the stereotypical portrayal of the Asian guy in that commercial would offend me.

  • What kind of minerals do they use to make mineral spirits?  I only ask because that stuff is expensive.

  • Why do you need a prescription for a mammogram?  If your insurance had two requirements, I think we could get by without prescriptions for mammograms and slightly reduce the cost of health care.  The insurance could pay for mammograms once a year and require that the results be reported to your primary care doctor, thus eliminating one doctor visit, or at least one point of contact with one doctor.

  • Why does everyone in town get to pay to fix the road in front of my house, but if the sidewalk breaks, I have to pay for that all by myself?

Things I Know

  • Anyone who knows me and is nice to one of my children because of it gets special thanks from me.  So, thanks the gentleman who took ninety minutes out of his busy day last Thursday to talk to my son and give him some career advice.  I always liked the guy and his family.  I like him even more now and because we live 3,000 miles apart, we haven’’t seen each other in many years, but I think I’’d better make a trip to correct that oversight.
  • The most brilliant marketing award for August and probably for the decade of the tens goes to Abercrombie and Fitch which issued a news release last Tuesday saying they have offered to pay Mike Sorrentino, known as “The Situation” on the TV show “Jersey Shore,” not to wear clothing from their company.  It’’s brilliant marketing because it got a lot more press than paying him to endorse their clothes would have.
  • Teddy Roosevelt’’s daughter, Alice, was famous for saying, “”If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me.”  My grandmother would have said, ““If you haven’’t got anything nice to say about anyone, don’’t say anything at all.””  As of today, I’’m more inclined to follow my grandmother’s advice, but I bet Alice was a lot more fun than granny.
  • Because I’’ve been painting the inside of my house, I’’ve spent more time moving my hammock so I could mow under it this summer than I have relaxing in the hammock.
  • The philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to fulfill it.”  If that’’s true, then President Obama ought to study President Carter.   A good man, although misguided in some issues I think, Carter is widely regarded as a much better former President than President.  Why?  Because he wasn’’t a strong leader.
  • I told my wife that if she ever says to me:  ““Honey, I’’ve got something to tell you, but I can only tell it to you on the Jerry Springer Show,”” I’’m not going on the show with her.
  • Here’’s a way for a bike rider to get him or herself killed, but with the caveat that it’’s not 100 percent reliable.  I was headed south on Rte 111 in Islip.  A kid was riding his bike north in the southbound lane, not on the shoulder.  He flashed me what I assume was a gang sign and gave me the choice to stop or run him over.   I stopped, in traffic, on a state highway.  I already had an accident recently.  Having demonstrated his power over oncoming traffic, the kid swerved to pass me on the passenger side of my truck.  At the same time, the idiot in the Suburban behind me decided to pass me on my right.  The kid narrowly escaped becoming a bike-rider sandwich without mayo, mustard or ketchup—and when I say narrowly, that’’s exactly what I mean.
  • Here’’s proof some people have too much money.  It’’s a good TV show, but come on, $700?  And you thought I was going to complain about the 1957 250 Ferrari Testa Rossa prototype that sold for $16.39 million at the Pebble Beach auction Saturday night, including commission.  No, that seems perfectly reasonable to me.

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • I wonder what the cause of Michelle Bachmann’’s public gaffes is.  Her latest faux pas was to wish Elvis Presley a happy birthday, not on his birthday (which is in January) but on the anniversary of his death.  She’’s achieved too much in life for me to think she’’s a complete moron, but if the gaffes were poor staff preparation, I have to think the responsible staff member would have been fired long ago.

  • When we pulled up the wall-to-wall carpet in our living room we found hardwood floors that were once very nice and are now badly stained because of various things spilled on the carpet over the years.  This led me to wonder if they make a carpet pad that won’’t let spills through to the floor underneath.

  • If you like doo wop music, did you know that Little Anthony’’s first name isn’’t Little?  It’’s Jerome.

  • The music I like is old enough that some of it isn’’t available as an MP3 download so I still buy the occasional CD.  When I look at a CD to buy on Amazon, the website only shows the first twenty tracks unless I click a second link.  There are even a few CD’s there where the website doesn’’t have a track listing at all and some that show who wrote the song rather than who sang it.  Why wouldn’’t I want to see all the tracks on a CD the first time I look it up?

  • I was delighted to be able to download the long-lost instructions for my ten-year-old cordless telephone system.  However, if I store it on my computer under its original file name, do you think that’ll be of any help the next time I need it?  The original file name of the downloaded instructions is PP_S2730_Cr_D57ACF1985235D4D9A0FA6E26EDB871C.pdf.  Just me,  but I would have thought Sony 2730 Cordless Phone Manual.pdf would have been a more helpful name, so I renamed it.

Things I Know

  • I think of Fitch Ratings as #3 in the financial ratings business behind Standard & Poor’s and Moody’’s.  So it’’s no surprise to me that when Fitch maintained its rating of United States debt at AAA, it made a lot less news than when Standard and Poor’s dropped it a notch.
  • President Obama’’s bus tour:  perhaps he’’s planning to become a country singer rather than run for reelection.
  • If he’’s not embarking on a career in country music, I think the President’’s bus tour is wholly political.  I have read, however that it’s being billed to the taxpayers as an official government function.
  • Even though I’’m on the federal no-call list, I keep getting calls from a company that identifies itself over the phone as “Card Member Services.”  All I know about the company is that it wants information I wouldn’’t give over the phone to anyone who calls me cold (beginning with my outstanding credit card balance), it cares nothing for the federal no-call list and there are lots of websites carrying complaints about them calling despite being told not to.  Those things taken together make it sound suspicious to me.  Today I told their representative who identified himself as Sean not to call me again.  I also made a list starting with today of the date and time of the call and beginning with that notice, I’’m going to complain to the Federal Trade Commission every time they do call.  If you wish to do the same about this company or any other, the link is: 
  • https://complaints.donotcall.gov/complaint/complaintcheck.aspx
  • I don’’t have any stock, but I do have more CD titles in my house than Best Buy does at my nearest store.  Of course, CD’s are nearly obsolete by now, so that’’s almost like saying I have more vinyl titles than Best Buy does, which is also true.
  • Unsolicited email must be an effective marketing tool, and I know it costs hardly anything.  I can tell both of those things because of the huge quantity of unsolicited email I receive every day.  It just annoys me.  Case in point:  I bought a couple of good-quality faucets from an online retailer.  I get a lot of email from them.  I have five faucets in my home.  All of them are good quality and relatively new.  I doubt if I’’ll ever buy another faucet as long as I live here.  People who sell faucets probably don’’t do a lot of repeat business, except with plumbers and contractors.  Those emails don’’t convince me to do anything but delete them.
  • If I ever get a kitten, I believe I’ll name it Caboodle.
  • I mentioned a while ago that we got some strawberry ice cream that had strawberry swirl in it rather than whole strawberries or chunks of strawberry.  I have an ice cream maker so I looked up some recipes for strawberry (sans swirl) ice cream.  Lots of them recommend that you puree the strawberries and refrain from putting chunks of fruit in the ice cream because the berries will freeze and the texture will be unpleasant.  Having been raised on Breyer’s strawberry ice cream, I like the chunks.  But I thought strawberries must be getting expensive,and I was right.  The Breyer’s strawberry ice cream we had last week had almost no chunks of fruit in it.  My solution to strawberry ice cream with no pieces of strawberry in it is to have the ice cream with slices of fresh strawberries on top of it.  That works nicely, trust me.

Things I Know

  • Standard and Poor’s has reduced the United States’ credit rating from AAA to AA+.  That’s still pretty good unless your country’s currency is the standard for international trading, which the dollar is, but maybe not for a lot longer.
  • The rating company said part of the reason it made the rating reduction was the bickering and brinksmanship on the part of the White House, Senate and House.  So, naturally, reacting to this news, the Democrats and Republicans blamed each other.
    • Well, I answered my own question about what I considered premature back to school sales.  School started the first week in August at least in some parts of Georgia and it starts this week in Florida.

    • Encouraging news:  when I went to the store, a little boy was standing near his parents’ car and without being told, he got way out of my way as I pulled in to park.  On the other hand, three adults walked behind my truck as I was backing out. 

    • Summer is over.  On Friday, I was at Home Depot and they had a big rack of flowers for sale in front of the store; a big rack of mums!

    • While I was at Home Depot, the skies opened up and we had a cloudburst.  After I paid for the stuff I needed there were lots of people standing under the overhang at the front of the store.  But I’’m not water soluble, so I walked to my truck, and came home.   I wouldn’’t do that around here in February, but it is August so I might as well enjoy it.

    • I’’m pretty sure now that the format problems I’’ve encountered with this blog are due to the fact that I’’ve been posting to the blog using more than one Internet browser.

    • I know I’’m part of a very small minority of US men here, but I don’’t like football.  I understand it, I even played it badly as a kid, but I don’’t like it.

    • I don’’t like reality TV either, nor do I understand it.

    • I didn’’t have to empty the attic entirely to have the electricians do away with knob and tube wiring.  I did get most of the stuff out though.  Before we put anything back, my wife, daughter, and I have agreed to throw away a few more things that are still up there and to throw away some stuff rather than take it back upstairs.

    • Progress report on the remodeling:  I’’ve painted the ceilings in the hallway, foyer, one bedroom and the living room.  I’ve installed the pot lights in the hallway and the ceiling fan in the living room.  I had an electrical inspection, but have to be reinspected because I took down some of the ceiling fixtures so I could paint.  I’’ve put them back, so I’’m ready for another inspection.  I have also stained all the woodwork that needs staining, but I have to put urethane or varnish on it to finish the job.  Once that’’s done, I can paint the walls in every room except the kitchen and the two bathrooms.

    • We pulled up the carpet in the living room and found lovely, inlaid hardwood floors.  They’’re badly stained and need some minor repair though, so I’’m getting a floor finisher in to tell me if they can be saved.

    • The thing that’’s going to take the most effort is paying the electrician.  With all the knob and tube wiring we found and replaced, that bill comes to around $4,000!

    • The Lowe’’s I was in last week had a deal going where they would install overhead light fixtures throughout your whole house for $249.  That doesn’’t include the cost of any new wiring.  I have six overhead light fixtures in my house and I’’d replace them myself before I’’d pay anyone $249 to do it for me.

    • I love to go to the beach and I have a pass to get into the beach for free, but I’’ve only been once this year.  I’’m going to fix that this week.

    • You’’ve probably read that all-time record high temperatures were reported in various places across the USA something like 9,000 times in the month of July.  But I also read a story in the Las Vegas Review Journal kind of complaining that it hasn’’t reached 110 degrees in Las Vegas even once this summer.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • How much extra would light fixtures, covers for wall switches, outlets and etc. cost if they made the screws that come with them just a quarter-inch longer?
  • Did you read as I did that in 43 states now grade school students are no longer required to learn cursive writing?  The theory is that everyone either prints or uses a keyboard now.  I suppose this means that once the few people with legible signatures die, nobody will be able to read anyone’s signature anymore, unless it’s a big “X.”  But the other big question is who will they get to write on birthday cakes?
  • Why do we need vacuum cleaners?  Isn’’t a vacuum already clean?  And aren’’t the vacuum cleaners we already have misnamed?  Aren’’t they really suction cleaners?

Shouldn’’t a salt bagel have more salt on it than this one does?

 

Things I Know

  • Once upon a time, I could care less about hockey.  Then I realized the implications, so I did care less.  Now I couldn’’t care less about hockey, so I voted no on the $400 million bond issue to build a new Nassau Coliseum as home for the NY Islanders.
  • At Houlihan’’s restaurant in Westbury NY, there’s a sign pointing to “additional parking for Houlihan’’s” and that additional parking is closer to the entrance than any of the other spaces are.

  • There’’s an ad on TV, seeking plaintiffs for a lawsuit regarding surgery using trans-vaginal mesh.  The announcer says the phrase “trans-vaginal mesh” several times and each time he does, I can’’t help thinking of the musical round we used to sing when we were kids.  It went, “George Washington Bridge, the George Washington Washington Bridge.”

  • While painting the inside of my house, I’’ve been watching a lot of true crime stories on TV.  But I hate suspense, so as soon as they mention the murder victim’’s name, I put it into a search engine to see whether they’’ve caught the killer.

  • Here’s an update on my plans for a band called, “Flu-like Symptoms.”  We’’re going to be really, really bad.  That way, I can be the lead singer and that way, when someone says they’’re suffering from flu-like symptoms, everyone will think it’s us.

  • Glucose is not just a sugar, it’’s also a carbohydrate and all carbs are important to diabetics, not just glucose.  This is true because most other carbs convert to glucose to one degree or another in the body.  If you look at sugar-free foods, that can be misleading.  Many of them are higher in carbs than foods with sugar.  Some of them have sugars other than glucose in them.  I saw a sugar-free iced tea powder that was loaded with dextrose and dextrose is a sugar.  I got an ice cream freezer, thinking I’d make sugar free or lower sugar ice cream.  A lot of the so-called sugar-free recipes I found called for agave nectar and that has more fructose in it than high-fructose corn syrup does.

  • I think they still have push-to-talk cell phones, but I haven’’t seen one in a long, long time.