Things I Know

As she resigns from Congress today, and we honor Rep. Giffords for her courageous battle to recover from the gunshot to her head, let’s also take a moment to remember the other victims, the ones who died, like the little girl, the man who died shielding his wife, the young man from Rep. Giffords’ staff, all of them.

I’ve been to Las Vegas twice. I’m not a big drinker, I don’t gamble either, but I like the shows and the fancy hotels. One thing I like that surprised me is the fancy bathrooms in the nicest hotels. It’s not that I spend a lot of time in them; it’s just that the bathrooms in most hotels aren’t all that nice at all so the ones in the large strip hotels look even more extravagant than they are by comparison.

My latest genius entrepreneurial idea is as follows: a service that will deliver prepared meals to people trapped in the waiting rooms of orthopedists.

I’ve seen a couple of rants recently against touch screens in cars. This reminded me that I wanted to rant about the same thing. Why? Because you have to look at the touch screen to use it, and while you’re looking at the touch screen, you can’t be looking at the road. I don’t think the head unit in my truck could do quite as much if it had to rely on buttons, but I would like to return to buttons for radio presets.

Last weekend, a Boy Scout troop I’m associated with went camping. When we returned to our cars, someone had written a racial epithet in the snow on the windshield. It doesn’t matter what camp because I’m sure that the camp staff didn’t do it, and the council that runs the camp didn’t condone it either. I emailed the camp’s Scout Executive about the incident, and received an appropriate reply. The funny thing is when I first emailed the man through the Boy Scouts’ email server the software wouldn’t even accept the complaint because I used the verboten word. So I had to complain a second time without being as specific about what happened.

I don’t know if I like that or not because I’m generally against censorship. I know the Boy Scouts of America don’t approve of the word, and that’s good, but they didn’t use it and I only used it to complain about it.

It was such a hateful and ignorant thing to do that the only thing that encourages me about the person who actually did it is that he spelled the word right.

I read that Kim Kardashian has an Internet search alert that tells her whenever her name appears on the Internet. So, Kim honey, if you read this enjoy. It doesn’t say anything bad about you. It doesn’t say anything good either, but it doesn’t say anything bad.

I have commented before on some of the surprising words that are included in MS Word’s dictionary, even proper nouns like Mandelbrot and Asimov. I’m happy to report that MS Word doesn’t recognize Kardashian as a word.

Things I Know

In case you didn’t think so, and since I forgot to mention it for two weeks, the Sisyphus project is also copyrighted 2012.  All rights continue to be reserved.

At some time in the history of television, some show business professional fortunate enough to win an award must have made an entertaining acceptance speech. However, while flipping in and out of the Golden Globes, hoping to see Ricky Gervais say something really inappropriate, I can’t think of one tonight.

As long as I’m talking about award shows, if you win an award, and you’d like to thank someone, don’t tell us that you’d like to, just thank them. Telling us you’d like to thank them takes three extraneous words that someone else has surely already said.

Every politician, or almost every one, knows that if you try to thank everyone, you’ll forget someone. That’s why most of them don’t try. Actors, directors, producers, etc., should know the same thing.  I hope they do know it someday.

I’ve known for a long time, and said here before that the older you get the older both young and old get. I’ve also said that growing older means having to explain things to grownups. Last Thursday night, I hung around for a few hours in Midtown Manhattan with a group of students who now attend a university I once attended. As I left that party, I realized that the older you get the MORE stuff you have to explain to grownups.

It didn’t surprise me to find out there is a place in midtown Manhattan called “Peep World” (and while I didn’t go inside, I don’t think it sells baby chicks). Since I walked past it on Thursday night, if my reader needed to know where it was, hypothetically of course, I could now tell him or her.

I thought it only got as windy as it was here on Friday and Saturday on days I put those lightweight plastic garbage cans out on the curb to blow away, but Friday and Saturday proved to me that I was wrong about that. The cans apparently don’t cause the wind after all.

I may be the last person in the world to do this, but I finally programmed my telephone for a personal ringtone. It took me a while to realize this, but personalized ringtones are actually useful as well as, of course, annoyingly cute. If you’re in a room with a hundred people, and you hear a noise, you’ll know either the phone call is for you or Doctor Who has just shown up in his TARDIS.

Oh God! Not only does the spell-checker in MS Word know how to spell TARDIS, it knows it’s an acronym, so every letter should be capitalized.

If she hadn’t died in 1971, Toughie Brasuhn would be 88 years old on Tuesday. If you don’t already know, you don’t care, so there’s really no need to look it up. But I thought to look it up because I couldn’t sleep last Tuesday morning and at 1:00 AM, modern-day Roller Derby was on Cablevision Channel 22. They didn’t say, but I’m pretty sure it no longer comes from the 69th Regiment Armory.


I must be prescient: I do know how to spell it.

The weekend before Christmas I attended the graduation at Cornell where my niece received what she earned, a BS degree. I met her roommates, one of whom is an optical engineer, and is thinking of going to the University of Rochester because she says it has an excellent graduate program in that field. I asked her if she thought the university would be able to continue to afford that program if Kodak went bankrupt. I still don’t know the answer to that question, but we may soon find out. Not quite three weeks later, the Wall Street Journal said Kodak is preparing for, and may soon declare bankruptcy.

Kodak is a company that didn’t react quickly enough to changing technology. You may think I’m talking about digital cameras, and I am, in part. However, years before digital cameras, Fuji mounted a challenge to Kodak in manufacturing photographic films. Kodak’s lack of reaction to Fuji eventually meant that Fuji film first became the equal of Kodak and then better than the photographic pioneer’s products.

I hope that somehow Kodak can still pull things together. Its downfall is really too bad. Not only has the company been a major employer in Rochester, it’s also been a marvelous corporate citizen, contributing to many, many good causes in that part of New York State.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

What’s your New Year resolution? My New Year resolution is not to make any New Year resolutions. That’s been my only resolution for a long time now, and I have no trouble keeping it.

Do Orthodox Christians celebrate New Year’s Day thirteen days later than the rest of us too?

It didn’t take Verizon Wireless very long to back down from that two-dollar charge for making one-time payments on line, did it? I believe they can hear us now, don’t you?

Have you seen the TV commercial for a product called Hot Booties? They’re slippers and the soles that contain linseeds. According to the spot, you put them in the microwave oven, and when you take them out they keep your feet warm. The commercial even shows steam rising from the fresh-out-of-the-oven Hot Booties. That leads me to ask, do they come with their own dedicated microwave?

When it comes right down to it, aren’t we all feckless? I mean, do you know anyone who owns even one single feck? Feck actually was once a word (it could be a noun or a verb), but most references list it as obsolete now.

Just exactly how American is apple pie anyway?

Have you seen those battery-operated finish nailers? The ones you can use without an air compressor? Did you know they cost at least as much, if not more than a compressor, and a nailer?  Since you don’t have to lift up the compressor every time you drive a nail, the cordless ones are heavier than the pneumatic tool, and therefore more tiring to use too.