Things I Know

Since Thanksgiving is only two days away, as a public service, I’m republishing my recipe for roast turkey. Clean, wash and season the bird as usual. Stuff it with unpopped popcorn. Put the bird in the oven at 350 degrees. Baste every fifteen minutes with Wild Turkey bourbon. When the bird blows up, throw it away and drink the gravy.

Here’s how I hung a shelf that has those keyhole things on the back to hang over screws driven into the walls. If the walls are made of wall board, you have to drive the screws into the studs or use wall anchors. I drew a level line on the wall with a pencil where the shelf goes and on that line, I put a mark showing where the center of the shelf will go. I put a wide piece of masking tape on the back of the shelf, covering the keyhole slots. I put a mark on the tape at the center of the shelf. I punched small holes in the masking tape where the screw heads go into the keyholes. Then, I removed the tape and put it on the wall along the level line with the center mark on the tape aligned with the center mark on the wall. I put screws through the holes, then after testing for fit, I tore off the tape and hung the shelf. You can’t see the pencil lines I drew because they’re behind the shelf. If you would see the pencil line, put masking tape on the wall and draw the lines on it, then remove it when you’re done. I do it that way because the holes that go over the screw heads tend not to be at an easy to measure distance from each other. On the shelf I measured today, the holes are 23-and-7/16 inches apart. If I made shelves to he hung over those keyhole things, I’d put the keyhole things on 16-inch or 24-inch centers, so you could hang them on the studs.

Most people hang pictures too high on the wall. Having learned that lesson, I usually hang pictures half way between my eye level (I’m tall) and my wife’s eye-level (she’s short). It works for us. However, if you hang a picture directly over the sofa, make sure you hang it high enough so nobody will hit their head on it. Unless you have really tall friends or an extremely tall couch, hanging the picture so the bottom of the frame is four feet from the floor ought to be plenty high enough. You might even be able to go a few inches lower than that.

I’m so happy. I thought I had left the proprietary battery charger for my DSLR camera in some hotel room and was about to buy another, but before I did, I made one more sweep through the house and found it. The brand-name charger costs around $60.00 and while there are off-brand chargers that are much cheaper, the reviews say they are inferior.

I also ordered a new telephoto lens for my DSLR camera, although it hasn’t come yet. It’s a good thing the new lens has image stabilization because a 250 mm lens on a cropped-sensor digital camera is equivalent to a focal length of over 400 mm on a 35 mm film camera. That’s a really long lens to try to hand hold. So, without image stabilization, you’d either have to use a very fast shutter speed or a tripod to get pictures that aren’t blurry. comes up with some interesting suggestions of things for you to buy based on what you’ve already bought from them. But their system isn’t perfect. First, they sometimes recommend the same thing more than once. Second, they recommend something based on what you bought from Amazon and you don’t need those things because you already bought them. One example: I bought my daughter a point-and-shoot camera before she went to China. Since then, Amazon has recommended a lot of point-and-shoot cameras. Third, I already know I want the things on my wish list; Amazon doesn’t have to recommend those to me. And fourth, they tend to go overboard, especially on music, DVD’s and books. If I bought the Bear Family CD box set for a particular artist, they might recommend everything else the artist ever recorded. But if I bought the Bear Family boxed set, I already have everything they ever recorded. Bear Family CD collections are the most complete collections in the universe. Yesterday, I made the mistake of telling Amazon that I owned a couple of books they suggested by sci-fi legend Robert A. Heinlein. Today, they recommended I buy everything else by him. I did that, years ago. I have read everything I’m aware of that he ever wrote.

I don’t recommend wearing any kind of pants with text on the posterior. Especially avoid the word “ultimate.” Last week at the gym I saw a woman who wore pants that dubbed her glutes, “Ultimate Style.” In the first place, you’re not ever going to be in a position to tell if your glutes are ultimate. That’s up to someone standing or walking behind you to both observe and judge. In the second place, hers weren’t. Mine aren’t either and never will be. To be fair to her, she was exercising a lot harder than I was in order to try to reach ultimate style status.

I found a site that’s supposed to tell you of other, similar sites. It’s I tried it on my blog and while I didn’t go through all 595 it suggested, I found the few I did check baffling. I think it checks only for key words or key phrases.

I wear eye glasses. I’m not crazy about them, but I don’t see well and do get headaches if I don’t wear them, so I do. Similarly, I see more doctors and take more medicine than I’d really like to. I’m not crazy about that either. Whenever I go to a doctor, I bring a typewritten list of medicines. The list also helps me track changes in my meds since I save those lists on my computer. The doctor I went to this week has been accepting the lists for 15 years, but now he wants the list handwritten on a form of his design. He told me he couldn’t read something I’d written. I didn’t snap back that nobody wanted the typed list.

You’ve got to admit there’s a certain irony in a doctor complaining that he can’t read your handwriting.

The doctor I went to this week also has a new form that asks, among other things, for your race. I didn’t fill that in. The secretary who reviewed the form asked me if I wanted to. I said no for three reasons. First, it’s nobody’s business what race I am. Second, they have choices on the form that aren’t races: European isn’t a race. And third, I have lots of freckles and polka dotted isn’t a choice.

Author: Tom

I know my ABC's, I can write my name and I can count to a hundred.

1 thought on “Things I Know”

  1. Did this blog item recently get reposted somewhere? Happy to have comments, but I ask because I wonder what else would prompt two comments on a post from 14 months ago.

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