Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

I’ve been saving up some of these questions for a while because I’ve been on vacation.


Is it alright to buy odds and ends separately, or can you only get them together?

After doing the laundry, I wondered why some of my underwear comes out of the dryer right side out, while none of my wife’s does.

With topless photos, bottomless too or so I’ve heard, of the Duchess of Cambridge all over the Internet, one has to wonder about the state of security for the British royal family. If a photographer sitting in a tree or by the side of the road can capture photos like that, what’s to stop a sniper similarly situated from killing Prince William?

Insurgents in Afghanistan have said they’re trying to kill or kidnap Britain’s Prince Harry. Why does he have to be in Afghanistan in the first place? And, since he is, why isn’t his location being kept secret?

The Today Show had a big feature on Justin Bieber which made me wonder, if instead of Justin, his mom had named him Bucky Bieber, would he appeal to a much older demographic? And would he be known for his teeth rather than his hair?

Dina Lohan, Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan. Why does anyone pay any attention to any of them?

Things I Know

Having recently returned from the American south, I’m reminded that “y’all” is not the plural of the singular “you.” As you know in English, “you” is both singular and plural. Unlike what some southerners claim, “y’all” is the singular form. The plural of “y’all” is “all y’all.”

Here are a few things I didn’t get around to posting earlier because I was on vacation.


Returning home on Southwest Airlines, the flight attendant said that if there was anything she could do to make the flight more comfortable we should ask. So, I asked her to make the plane a few feet wider.

Twenty people were trapped for hours on a ride at Knott’s berry Farm in California earlier this month. It was the second time in two weeks that the ride got stuck. If I ever get stuck on a ride like that for four hours, nobody better stand under the ride. That’s all I’ve got to say.

Almost everyone who pays attention to world events has heard of the film, “Innocence of Muslims” because it supposedly supplied the spark that ignited riots in the Middle East, one of which resulted in the death of four US diplomats, including our ambassador to Libya. If it weren’t for the riots, almost nobody would have heard of the film. I also find it too much of a coincidence to believe that the riots on 9/11 were inspired by a film nobody heard of.

Just because Mitt Romney’s fund-raising letters are too thick to go through my shredder unopened is no reason I should read them after opening them and before shredding them.

It is a word! I’ve never seen or heard it used before. Even if it didn’t exist, it is implied by the word impervious. The word is “pervious.” It means permeable, something that will absorb water or allow it to pass through. I saw it on, a news website of Scripps newspapers covering the southeast Florida area known as the Treasure Coast.

Rent and Bait and Switch


Car-rental companies are the worst bait and switch people I’ve ever encountered. I’m not going to specify the company, because in my experience, they’re all like this. I reserved a Mustang convertible (or similar). I even paid in advance so you might think that I’d get preferential treatment, but no. I got a Chrysler 200. Now that car is better than the last Sebring I rented. It’s got a smoother engine and it doesn’t shake as much on rough roads. But I don’t consider it similar at all.

The base model Chrysler is $800 cheaper than the Mustang, MSRP. It’s heavier, but it has a four cylinder engine as opposed to the Mustang’s six. The Chrysler has about 57% as much power, it’s a lot slower, and it gets slightly worse gas mileage too. It’s hard to believe the Mustang has worse rear seat legroom because the Chrysler doesn’t have much. I wouldn’t be able to sit in back if someone as tall as me was driving.

Worse, the company was willing to rent me a Camaro hardtop for $15 a day more than the 2012 “Or Similar” convertible they did have for me because the Camaro is a premium car, implying that the Chrysler isn’t. Now, I’d consider that if it was a V-8 with a manual transmission, but it was a six with a slushbox. I do think the Camaro is pretty similar to the Mustang, except that it’s $15 a day extra and it isn’t a convertible, but they did have some of those.

In fact, I don’t think they had any intention of providing me with a Mustang this week and I don’t believe I’ve ever gotten the car I reserved. Last year in San Francisco, I wanted a big Caddy sedan for its big trunk’s ability to contain and conceal the stuff my son brought home from China. I got a Lincoln Town Car which is about as big, but the Town Car was really out of date technically to such an extent that Ford stopped making them at the end of that model year. Before I got the Town Car, they offered me a Caddy Escalade. I don’t want an SUV on vacation because I want to keep my stuff out of sight in a car’s trunk and an SUV doesn’t have one of those. Twice I reserved Jeep Grand Cherokees (not on vacation and in places I wanted four-wheel drive). On one of those occasions, I got a Chrysler Pacifica (not four-wheel drive) and on the other I got a Subaru Outback (four wheel drive, but smaller). Once I reserved a Chevy Blazer and got a smaller Mitsubishi SUV. I reserved a Nissan Altima and was offered a Dodge Magnum. The Altima’s a sedan. The Magnum is a station wagon. That time I complained and got a Honda Accord. Again, they told me it was really an upgrade. So I guess they think that on a rental car a trunk is an upgrade. By the way, I’m not saying I have anything against the other cars. I’m just saying I don’t consider them similar to what the rental company advertised.

At least the Chrysler 200 (as inferior as I consider it to the Mustang) is the same body style. I’d really like to know the ratio of advertised cars to ‘Or Similars” in each rental car fleet. I doubt that my rental car company of choice had any Mustang convertibles at the Orlando International Airport. Have you ever gotten the rental car that was advertised to you?

Things I Know

I’ve heard that this is the first years there will be no political speeches at the September 11th memorial ceremony at Ground Zero. Good.


I just learned that I once knew President Kennedy’s Harvard roommate. I also learned that the man passed away eight years ago. I went to elementary school with his children and I knew him a little when I became both an adult and a broadcast reporter. He was active in local politics and government. He was always very gracious to me and the only problem I ever had with him (since I was his children’s contemporary) is that he called me Tommy on the air.

The most interesting man in the world has more than one Facebook page. Seriously! If you go on Facebook and look up that phrase, you come to a Facebook page and there’s also a separate one under Dos Equis beer.

One-A-Day vitamins sells a product called Vita-Crave. It’s a chewable gummy vitamin. The label recommends you take two a day, which I find somehow counterintuitive.

“A pedestrian is a man with two cars, a wife and two teenagers.” –George Romney (Mitt’s father)

Cans of white, high-gloss enamel exterior paint are my new screwdrivers. I’ve already told you I own dozens of screwdrivers. I discovered today that I have three gallons of white, high-gloss enamel exterior paint. I won’t be buying anymore at least for a while.

By this weekend, I should be finished with a five-gallon bucket of tan paint I bought a while back. I’m never buying another five-gallon bucket of paint. Yes, it is a little cheaper than buying five one-gallon cans, but five gallons of paint are too heavy to lug around comfortably.

Things I Know

I have been a fiscal conservative for all of my adult life. I believe there are more fiscal conservatives in the Republican than in the Democratic Party. I also believe there are more people who have no regard for science in the Republican than in the Democratic Party and that both disappoints and disturbs me. As the late New York Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, “You are entitled to your own opinion. You are not entitled to your own facts.”

Thanks to MLB TV, I am reminded that Vin Scully still sounds great. Maybe he’s lost a step, but he is 84 years old.

Jerry Stiller is in a TV commercial for Capital One Bank. In it, he says, “Instead of earning bupkus, your checking account could be earning five times the national average.” Jerry, five times bupkus is still bupkus.

The latest TV commercials for Walgreens Drug Stores claim that Charles Walgreen invented the chocolate malted. Wow. To me that’s a lot more impressive than creating a nationwide chain of drugstores. I wish I could be remembered for creating the chocolate malted, or even the coffee malted, which is also pretty damned great, as is the vanilla malted. I’ll certainly be remembered for consuming more than my fair share of all three.

I also wish I had created reality TV. I mean, I said, “Oh my God,” many times before the phrase became a staple of television programming.

Some things bother me a little about home improvement TV shows. On the show “Hideous Houses,” I’d suggest that the product placements from Sears are a little heavy handed. I lost count of how many times they mentioned Sears; beginning with the large, portable shade structure they erected to shade the work area. It says Sears on it in huge letters.

On the same show, the designer is painting without covering her long blonde hair or removing her dangling earrings. She’s also painting in a nice sweater, good black slacks and knee-high, high-heeled boots. The clothes I wear when I paint are basically indistinguishable from paint.

On the other side of the coin, I saw a “Property Brothers” show in which the producers blurred out the Chevy bowtie emblem on the grille of the Chevy (I think it was a Traverse) belonging to the property owners. Once I noticed the bowtie blurred out, I paid attention to that instead of paying attention to the show. I don’t know why they do that. Some for-profit college ran a commercial a while back that blurred out the Ford blue oval on the grille of an SUV and that also distracted me from the message of the commercial.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

“The Blues Brothers” was on cable this morning. Just how many full-sized Dodge four-door sedans were harmed while making that movie anyway?

Has America really aged so much that the Fonz has replaced Fred Thompson as the spokesman in ads for reverse mortgages?

Why does the dentist give kids lollipops? Is it to ensure future business?

Have you seen the TV commercials that say there are lots of jobs in cyber-security so you should earn a degree completely on line from the University of Maryland University College? My daughter suggests that with such a name, perhaps the University of Maryland University College also offers a program where you can earn two degrees at the same time from the University’s Department of Redundancy Department and that for each degree you can both major and minor in redundancy.

I’ve read recently of several arrests for kiddie porn. It’s good that the cops are finding these despicable people. But how do the despicable people find each other? I’m not going to try to Google, “buy kiddie porn,” and the town where I live, but I presume the cops are doing that all the time as one way of looking for them.

In need of some fast food, I went to Arby’s. The woman behind the counter gave me a selection of sauce packets. My wife, Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me), knowing that I don’t care for horseradish sauce, appropriated the packets of Horsey Sauce that I bought home. So I asked her, “Other than our lifetime together and all the times I’ve said it, what makes you think you can just take anything that belongs to me and use it as you please?”

Were you glued to the TV during the Olympics? I know that’s the only way I would have watched the whole thing.

If you never know, why do we even have schools?

Are mums for sale in the supermarket the first sign of autumn?