Moon Man

RIP Neil Armstrong. He died at the age of 82. He was the first human being to set foot on the moon and so he was once the most famous person in the world or on the moon. But that was so long ago that when he died way more than half the people alive on earth were born after he did it. At one time everybody knew who he was, but when he passed away, most obituaries I saw took considerable space to describe who he was and what he did. At one time, that would have been completely unnecessary.

I was a reporter when it happened and when I was, this is the only press kit I ever kept. I still have it.


Things I Know

With Tropical Storm Isaac becoming stronger, churning in the Atlantic and headed first for Haiti and then for the GOP Presidential Convention, I’ve said for years that the best way to survive a weather disaster is to watch the Weather Channel, find out where Jim Cantore is and be someplace else. Matt Hardigree, writing on the website, has a more nuanced approach, but ultimately agrees with me.

Roker-Cantore Coverage Scale

Some Local Reporter On National News , all is well, relax.
Al Roker, minor inconvenience, you’ll be fine.
Jeff Morrow, better start moving stuff off your porch
Stephanie Abrams, things are getting serious
Mike Seidel, uh oh.
Jim Cantore, prepare your body for the Thunderdome

Just as I returned from the pizzeria and set foot on the porch, my daughter came downstairs and opened the front door lending credence to her claim that she’s gifted with P.S.P.: Pizza Sensory Perception!

Prince Harry should know (and so should you) that if you don’t want naked pictures of yourself on the Internet, you shouldn’t get naked when there’s a camera (or phone which is the same thing) around. In fact, I would not be at all surprised if there are more pictures of naked people on the Internet than there are people.

I usually recommend removing one’s foot from one’s mouth before shooting one’s self in the foot. In Representative Todd Akin’s case, however, I’ll consider amending my position. “Legitimate rape,” indeed. President Abraham Lincoln is widely regarded as one of our greatest presidents. He said a lot of smart things. This is one of them: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

Things I Know

I have to take issue with what Brian Williams said on NBC Nightly News when Phyllis Diller died. There was nobody like her even after she came along.

In case you missed the news, eating eggs is bad for you again. I’m beginning to think the Woody Allen movie “Sleeper” was more than satire when he woke up and everything that everyone thought was bad for you when he fell asleep was now considered good for you.

Soon, very soon, Nike will be selling LeBron James sneakers for $315 a pair. I believe that if I had that kind of money to burn, I’d get more satisfaction from burning it.

Public Radio is apparently trying to attract younger listeners. While listening to “Car Talk” on Saturday, I heard a promo for a show called “WTF.”

I am totally disinterested in football, so it should come as no surprise that I’m already really tired of news about football on radio, TV, and in newspapers. And, we’re still in preseason!

I really like baseball, but it should also come as no surprise that I’m really tired of hearing about the Mets too. I suppose I should be satisfied with what the Mets achieved in the first half of the season, since everyone (me included) thought they’d be awful all year. But, if we can only have one good half season, just once I’d like to see them be good in the second half.

With all the seeds each sunflower produces, it’s kind of amazing to me that sunflowers haven’t taken over the universe.

I cheat during public TV pledge week. I DVR any pledge programming I’m interested in and fast forward through all the pledges. One of the funniest things I’ve ever seen on TV was when Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street declared that pledge breaks were his absolutely favorite TV shows.

I’m sure there are non-franchise carpet cleaners who do a good job and there are probably also franchise carpet cleaners who don’t. But I had Stanley Steemer in to clean the carpet in the bedroom today. They showed up when they said they would, did a good job, did it quickly and left.

I saw a blog post criticizing GOP vice-presidential candidate Paul Ryan for calling Social Security a Ponzi scheme, while he also attended college using Social Security survivor’s benefits. There are plenty of things to agree or disagree with Paul Ryan about without attacking straw men. He was entitled to those benefits because his father died when he was 15. Social Security was less of a Ponzi scheme 25 years ago than it is today. And there is one significant difference between Social Security and a Ponzi scheme: Social Security is legal. But anyone who thinks there’s a Social Security Trust Fund is delusional. If you are retired now, you have probably already collected what you paid into the system. People who are working now are paying for people who are retired now. People are living longer, a lot of people are out of work right now, the general population isn’t growing all that fast, but thanks to the post World War II baby boom, the population of retirees is. Sounds like a Ponzi scheme to me. Ask an actuary, if you can afford that. Actuaries are paid very well. There are lots of issues to talk about in the presidential campaign. Could we talk about those instead of doing this?

Things I Know

I hope my bank pays attention to this. I have Internet service. When I call you, I don’t want to know my balance. I can get that on your website, or from any ATM. I don’t want to pay you over the phone either. I can also do that on your website. Good website, by the way. When I call you, I have a problem I can’t resolve that way and I need to talk to a person. Please put me through to a person, or at least let me talk to a banker.

A week or two ago, when the Powerball drawing was for a $212-million first prize, I won! I only won $4, but I’m not going to let that ruin my life. I didn’t win the $337 million drawing this week, so don’t call me asking for money.

Clearly, the cost of doing business has nothing to do with the price of a car rental. As another part of looking into taking a vacation I found that a $20-thousand car costs about $25 a day where I want to go. A $40-thousand car costs more than four times as much. My problem with rental car companies is they don’t guarantee the type of car. I might lay out the money for a Mustang convertible, but they think a Sebring convertible is similar and I think a Camaro is.

My doctor was less than a half hour late for my appointment today. That’s not good, but it’s not awful either. I contributed to him being later for patients who came after me. He was in the mood to talk about politics and I indulged him.

I wish I had my camera at the beach the other day because while walking along the waterline, I saw two young women in different locations wading in the surf while yakking away on their cell phones. It would be funny if they were talking to each other.

Here’s a product recommendation. Nobody’s paying me for it and it doesn’t do you any good because they don’t make it anymore. I have a Grundig Yachtboy 400 radio. Maybe it’s 15-16 years old and it was a very expensive radio when I bought it. The company that now sells Grundig radios bought the brand when the company that used to make them went out of business, so I don’t know whether current radios are as good. However, I’ve dropped this thing several times and I’ve managed to sink it in water twice, once in a bathtub and once in a pail of water. It still works.

If you drop any electronic device in the water, take it out right away, remove any batteries (they’re ruined) and cover the device in uncooked white rice. Leave it alone for several days. The rice will absorb moisture and maybe it will help save the device. But maybe it won’t.

Rambo III is a very weird movie when viewed today, considering what’s happened in Afghanistan since the movie came out 24 years ago.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

My friend Richard once tried to figure out what he could search for that wouldn’t return any results on Google. That leads me to wonder what’s the largest number of results possible if you search Google? I searched Google for the phrase “Things I Want (Or Need) To Know.” While I got almost 400-thousand hits, the ninth one wasn’t about this topic in my blog. I also searched Google for the word Google and got almost 14-million hits. I was kind of worried that searching Google for Google might break the Internet.

If Curiosity is on Mars now, can it still kill cats here on Earth?

Why can’t the TV-content producers, cable-TV companies and the DVR companies get their act together so that when you use the program guide to set the DVR to record something, the DVR doesn’t cut off the beginning, the end, or both?

If my doctor’s office called me yesterday to remind me that I have an appointment tomorrow, would it be rude for me to call my doctor’s office today to remind the doctor that he has an appointment tomorrow too? I mean, I’m not the one who forgets these things.

How do you throw away a garbage pail?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Mayflower Movers is running a TV ad in which they specify that one of the services they offer is to provide “portable containers.” Isn’t that redundant? If the container isn’t portable, isn’t it called a building?

USA 156, Nigeria 73 in Olympic basketball. There are several questions we can ask here.

Was it sportsmanlike for the US to run up the score THAT much?

Does Nigeria have any business sending a basketball team to the Olympics if they’re that outmatched? Based on that match, I was going to question whether basketball should even be an Olympic sport, but subsequent games have been more evenly matched.

Why does anyone watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics? I’ll admit there might be elements of it that are interesting to someone. The speeches, for instance, are probably interesting to the mothers of the people who make them, but on the whole I find the ceremony boring. Plus, don’t we already know that Greece finishes first in the parade, thereby winning the gold medal in parade?

I lost a tiny MP3 player. It’s tiny; it’s easy to lose even though it’s red. Plus, I’m good at losing things. Whenever I lose something, my wife, Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me) asks me where I had it last. This always annoys me. It’s one of the few things she does that annoys me. Why? Does she think I haven’t asked myself that question? And, if I knew the answer to that question, whatever I’ve lost when she asks it wouldn’t be lost. Would it?

Is a 4G phone heavier than a 3G phone? Shouldn’t it be?

According to Louis Freeh’s investigation, Graham Spanier, Joe Paterno and other former high-ranking officials at Penn State covered up a child sex abuse scandal to preserve the reputation of the university and its football program. That’s worked out really well, hasn’t it?

I found the MP3 player. It was in the last place I left it. But, I found it by looking for it, not by remembering where I put it. If I could remember where I left stuff, I’d never lose anything, would I? As an aside, I discovered this week that I have another utility knife. This one’s blue. I think thats seven, but frankly, I’ve lost count.

Things I Know

I didn’t watch the Olympic 200 meter butterfly on TV. I figured it would scare me because even Mothra wasn’t that big.

Who wins an Olympic event or the most Olympic events has nothing to do with whether one country is better than another. The older I get the more homerism on the part of the TV coverage bothers me.

The eight badminton players who were expelled from the Olympics were trying to win the whole tournament. If the rules of a tournament make it advantageous to lose a game or match in quest of overall victory, there’s something wrong with the rules, not with the players and coaches who understand the rules.

There’s also something wrong with the rules for the overall title in gymnastics. If there are 24 spots in the finals, they should go to the 24 best performances leading up to the finals and not be limited to two people from any given country. If the preliminaries don’t determine who’s in the finals, why have preliminaries?

Chick-Fil-A. The guy who runs this company is against gay marriage. He’s entitled to his opinion, even though I don’t care who you marry. People who disagree with his politics are entitled to spend their money elsewhere. They’re also entitled to organize opposition if they wish and as long as it’s peaceful. Likewise, people are entitled to organize support. But when government leaders say they’re going to keep that or any other company from locating in their areas because of its owner’s political beliefs, that’s wrong. Maybe it’s not unconstitutional because the first amendment applies to the federal government, not local zoning boards, but it’s still wrong and against everything America has always stood for. Love who you want, eat what you want is my position.

A tourist from Spain was brutally attacked this week by a man wielding a hammer while sitting in Manhattan’s City Hall Park at 3:00 AM. I can appreciate that someone from Spain, whose body clock is on Spanish time, would be wide awake at 3:00 AM New York time. However, if you are a tourist anywhere in the world, you should find out whether an area is safe before being out and about at 3:00 AM. I don’t think I’d walk around in my suburban neighborhood, let alone in a New York City park at 3:00 AM.  Very few good things happen anywhere in public places at 3:00 AM.