Things I Know

A Stony Brook University Professor, Fred Friedberg, has received a $600,000, two-year grant to study home-management techniques for chronic fatigue syndrome. When I was in college, I had a couple of professors who could alleviate chronic fatigue with their lectures which put people to sleep. But that’’s not a home-management technique, so I suppose it won’’t be covered in the study.

The word “microcosm” exists. So does the less-often used word “macrocosm.” But I’’ve been unable to find any use of “cosm” as a word. Strange. Using Google, you can find several places that use cosm as an acronym though.

I knew about East Orange, South Orange and West Orange, NJ, but until I went and looked it up, I was unaware that just plain old Orange NJ exists too. There isn’’t, however, a North Orange, NJ.

I’‘m very impressed with Sta-bil, the fuel stabilizer. Two years ago, I didn’’t run my pressure washer until it ran out of gas before storing it for the winter, but I did put Sta-bil in the gas tank. Even though I put pump antifreeze in the pressure washer, the pump went bad, but in the summer of 2010, I had it fixed. I didn’’t use it last year though because I had shoulder surgery and couldn’’t pull start it. This week, it started right up on two-year-old gasoline! I’’m sure there are other products like Sta-bil, but I’’ve tried this one, it works great and I’’m going to go buy more.

I have to buy more because there’s no Sta-bil preserver. According to the product label, Sta-bil expires two years after it’s opened.

The odds of winning either Powerball or Mega-Millions is in the range of 200 million to one. Your mileage may vary. Buying a ticket for every drawing, 104 tickets a year, doesn’’t improve your odds enough to notice. Buying a ticket for every drawing and living to be around 2,000,000 years old would improve them a lot more.

Having just done it, if you live in a house with lath and plaster walls, I don’’t recommend hanging your new flat-panel TV on the wall. The instructions say you have to attach the mount to a stud. Finding studs in lath and plaster isn’’t easy. Electronic stud finders are useless. I found mine with a drill. I had to drill about a dozen holes and probe those holes with a wire coat hanger to do so. But the TV is up now and it looks great.

There is a business in Bellmore NY called the Bare Naked Bakery and Café. I haven’’t been in there yet, but it does give me the mental picture of formerly naked people made by the health department to dress in head-to-toe hairnets. That image may be enough to keep me out of the place.

It’’s supposed to be nice for the next few days, so I’’ll probably be staining the floor of my porch.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Threatening a country with military action is called saber rattling. So, is threatening to attack someone’s computer or internet connection or network infrastructure known as cyber rattling?

If, as reported on the news Monday, the Occupy Wall Street protesters have received $300,000 in donations, are they keeping it in a bank?

I bought a TV from Amazon.com. Now, when I sign in and look at my recommendations, the list contains a lot of TV sets. Is this normal? Does it work? The same thing happened when I bought a camera from them. It annoys me. Does it happen to you and if it does, what do you think about it?

So, I was in the store buying a lottery ticket (because I could use $124 million). The store also sells loose candy (a much better bet), and the guy in front of me ordered a small bag of jelly beans. That prompted me to ask if he could sing the “Jelly Beaner” song from Romper Room. He couldn’t, but the lady behind the counter looked at me as if I was weird. Can you sing it?

What will society be like in a few years if children who are watching reality TV now think “Jersey Shore,” “Bridezillas,” “Real Housewives,” and other shows of that ilk represent both normal behavior, and the way they should act?

Some years back, the word geek became common in the English language. I’ve always wondered if all the nerds who existed at the time were grandfathered in, and automatically became geeks too. Someone told me recently that the word “nerd” was created by Dr. Seuss. Did you know that? I didn’t.

Was the copywriter for the latest Dos Equis beer commercial on the track team at some point in his or her life? I think the writer is or was a shot putter and I’m not being politically correct here. Women do throw the shot put; it’s an Olympic sport for women. The reason I say that is the most interesting man in the world bowls overhand. That’s a shot putter’s joke, a really old shot putter’s joke.

Things I Know

Even more than “you know,” I wish everyone who is professional enough to be paid for being on TV, and/or radio would stop forever saying the word “like.” “Dancing with the Stars” is particularly egregious in this matter.

I don’’t usually watch that show, but I’’ve noticed that a lot of the music they use is too old to play on most radio stations.

All of the participants in the baseball league championship series are located in the central time zone. That certainly makes it easier for their fans to stay up long enough to see the end of the games.

If someone tells you they can’’t hear you, try this: cover your mouth with your hand, turn away from the person you’re talking to and speak more softly; you’ll find out as I have that doesn’’t work!

Blackberry email service had multiple outages in multiple places in the last week. First, for something so vital to the company, it amazes me that Blackberry doesn’’t run a completely redundant system so that if part of it fails they could activate a switch, and keep on keeping on. Second, if your company is thinking of switching to another device because of this system-wide failure, you should know this: The phone directory app that came with my Android phone only sorts entries by first name, not last name, and not company name. To me, this means I have to use the search function to find an entry for almost anyone whose first name isn’’t Abe. Very un-business like!

If you have an Android phone, and you are a geek, check out an app called LHSee. It allows you to view in real time what’s going on at the Large Hadron Collider over in Switzerland.

It used to be a lot easier to set up a TV set, but that’’s the trade off because today’’s sets can do a whole lot more than the old ones did. The one I just bought for my wife, Saint Karen (she has to be a saint to put up with me) is right now streaming Netflix. I’’m sure it can do a lot more too. Unless it dies prematurely, I’’m sure we’ll like it a lot.

Most people still work Monday to– Friday during the day. So, we have to go to bed on Sunday night early enough to be able to get up, and go to work on Monday. That’’s why it has always baffled me that late-night TV and radio shows generally broadcast overnight Monday-Tuesday thru overnight Friday-Saturday. Five in a row beginning on Sunday night-Monday morning makes more sense to me. There is at least one radio show that does follow that schedule. It’’s Red Eye Radio with host Doug McIntyre.

In my continuing quest to improve the English language, I propose that we change the word palindrome so that the word that means palindrome is a palindrome.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

I’’m not trying to be snarky here; I really want to know what the Occupy Wall Street protesters are trying to accomplish. I haven’’t heard any goals articulated, have you?

Did you watch the first round of the baseball playoffs on TBS? I have older TV’s; no high definition ones and I can’’t read the graphic on the upper right of the screen telling you what inning, what’’s the score, and how many outs there are. I can’’t read it even if I get close enough to see the pixels in the cathode ray tube. Can you? I can read it on a high-def set though. I know that because the tire store where I bought a pair of tires today had a high def set in the customer waiting room. How soon do you suppose it will be before you have to buy high definition TV’s to see what’’s on the screen properly? Analogue CRT sets are already obsolete; how soon before they’’re unusable?

If laughter is the best medicine, why did my health insurance turn down coverage of my tickets to a comedy club?

The phrase “one another” recently caught my eye. What’s the maximum number of anothers you can have in one place at one time anyway?

Did Nancy and Sir Paul choose to get married on John Lennon’’s birthday, or was it just a coincidence?

Things I Know

RIP Steve Jobs.

I am extremely saddened that the “establishment media” thought it important on Wednesday to discuss whether Nancy Grace farted on “Dancing With the Stars” Tuesday evening.

There is a movie about to go into theaters called “Real Steel.” It’s supposed to be about robots that fight each other. My daughter said it should be called “Rock ‘‘em Sock ’em Robots: the Movie”

If I ever get one of those Ford Raptor muscle pickup trucks, I’m going to check with DMV to see if the vanity license plate VELOCI is available.

When I was a child, people went to movie theaters to see movies (or to make out). You paid the adult admission price at 12 years old, but had to sit in the children’s section until you were 16. I always told the ushers that if I was adult enough to pay the adult admission price, I was also old enough to sit in the adult section. If that wasn’t good enough for them, I maintained, they could refund my ticket, and I would leave. They only made me leave once.

My wife, Saint Karen (she must be a saint to put up with me) likes TV a lot more than I do, and watches a lot more of it than I do too. I’m thinking of buying a high definition TV for her for our anniversary. And, no, I’m not buying it for me to watch football. I don’t watch football, and neither does she. Although, she will occasionally check the score on University of Alabama is playing football because our son is an alumnus.

If anyone has a more romantic suggestion for an anniversary present for Saint Karen, I’m open to it. Last Year, I bought her a ruby pendant and took her to Las Vegas for a week.

I think my daughter was kidding when she asked if I knew that the guy who does all those TV commercials, especially for Ford, is also a baseball shortstop.

I learned a new medical term today. The dentist told me I have an “incipient cavity.” That means he thinks one is forming, so he’ll look for it at my next regular check up.

I’d much rather go to the dentist than to the doctor. It hurts more, but the dentist is much better at being on time.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Denmark has passed a so-called fat tax on food that’’s high in trans-fats. Haven’’t the Danes heard about Danish pastry?

TV networks that air football games usually schedule them for three hours. On CBS, for example, the late-afternoon football game is scheduled to air from 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. During the football season, the news magazine 60 Minutes always airs late. There must be statisticians around who know that a one-hour football game takes more than three hours. Why don’’t the networks schedule the games to air for at least as long as the median football game takes to be aired?

I heard audio clips of President Obama’’s speech last month before the Black Congressional Caucus’’ annual dinner. Where did he get that accent? Wasn’’t he born in Hawaii?

Do you think Jennifer Lopez has ever driven a Fiat 500 anyplace except in the TV commercial she does for the car?

Night games in the MLB division championships are scheduled for first pitch at 8:37 PM eastern time. I know they want the audience in middle and western time zones to be able to see the first pitch, but don’’t you think it would be nice to schedule the game so people on the east coast can see the last pitch?

I wanted to marry my wife, not her hand, so why did I ask for her hand in holy matrimony?

Do you have a Google Voice account? It’’s pretty amazing really. One of its features is if you get a voice mail message, you can set your account to email you a computerized transcript of the message. Wouldn’’t it be even more amazing if the emails you got were coherent? I don’’t get a lot of emails this way, but for the ones I have received, I’’ve been able to figure out what phone number to call back, but not a lot more.