Things I Know

In a currently running Allstate TV commercial, Dennis Haysbert, the announcer, says, ““Emily’’s just starting out, and on a budget. It’’s like a ramen noodle every night budget.”” That’’s a really strict budget! Ramen noodles every night I could understand, but only one?

Mercedes Benz is running commercials on radio and TV featuring young children saying that when they grow up they will take over their parents’’ certified pre-owned (used, but with a warranty) Mercedes Benz. I guess Mercedes has data showing that owners keep the cars long enough to pass them to children, but it surprises me. I do keep cars until they die (one of my cars is 21 years old), but I would have guessed that someone who buys a used, late-model luxury car would be less likely than I am to keep that car until the bitter end.

I had to laugh at Speaker of the House John Boehner when he suggested President Obama was playing politics with a bill to keep interest on student loans low. He was right, because Republicans in the House and GOP presidential candidate Romney want to keep the loan interest low too. The difference is in how each party proposes to pay for it. The reason I had to laugh at Boehner’’s remark is he proposed paying for it in a very political way himself; by taking the money away from the President’’s health care program.

There’s a bill in Congress to allow people who borrowed money under student loan programs to get out of the loans if they declare bankruptcy. Students, don’t get your hopes up about that bill passing. However, if it does, you’’re still stuck if your parents cosigned the loan. If you go bankrupt, the maker of the loan will just go after your parents.

I’m reading a book called “Dewdroppers, Waldos and Slackers” by Rosemarie Ostler. It’s about slang in the 20th century and it’s also about 10 years old. Someone familiar with my interest in language bought it for me as a gift. Part of it is like a dictionary and part of it is narrative. No book fewer than 250 pages long can be comprehensive. I’m not finished with it, but so far I have two complaints. It doesn’t give the definition of “Waldo” I expected to see, a machine to manipulate objects as described in Robert Heinlein’s novel, “Waldo.” I wouldn’t complain about that except the word is in the title. And while it does mention the word “Funk,” it doesn’t include its definition as a kind of music. George Clinton would be disappointed. Speaking of Mr. Clinton, he’s bringing Parliament Funkadelic to Huntington, New York’s Paramount stage this weekend. If you like the funk, perhaps you should check it out.

Based on the recommendations it offers me, Amazon.com seems intent on selling me music that’s 10-20 years newer than the things I like best.

The makers of SDHC memory cards appear to be obfuscating how quickly they’’ll write data. First, they print the class information in very small type on the label or the package. Second, you can buy cards that claim to far exceed the spec. I bought a micro SDHC card that says it’’s class 6. That means it can write 6 MB/second. The package says it can write up to 30 MB/sec. Granted there are two asterisks after that figure, but I can’’t find the footnote they refer to. I know there isn’’t any class 30, but there is a class 10. If I manufactured cards that were better than class 6, I’’d call them something better than class 6 and charge more than a class 6 price for them.

There are lots of radios that offer docking and charging for Apple phones, and some that offer an external input jack so you can play your Android or Windows phone. There are even MP3 players and phones that will play external memory cards. I’’d certainly pay for a radio that would also accept and play an SDHC card. I could load it with music I like instead of the music they now play on the radio.

I bought a Sansa Clip Zip which is a very small MP3 player. I like it except for two things: It’’s so small I misplaced it within five days of buying it even though I got a red one; and you can’’t play it while it’’s recharging. So, I can’’t plug it into my car radio and recharge it while I’m driving and listening to my tunes.

Author: Tom

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