Apostrophe Catastrophe II

For reasons I can’t explain, when the most recent update of the blogging software I use stripped some, but not all the apostrophes from the entire five years of the blog, it stripped out some, but not all of the quotation marks in the blog as well.

The last time I wrote about this, I said there was a limit on how far back I could go and edit the blog entries. I have discovered, however, that the most recent update of the blogging software also removed the limit on editing. So, I can now go back to the very beginning to correct and edit entries. I can go through all five years of entries and correct them for proper use of apostrophes and quotation marks after all.

Since I can, maybe I will. But, don’t count on it happening quickly.

Things I Know

I just figured out how to improve U.S. relations with the People’s Republic of North Korea. America should set up a good barber school in Pyongyang. Let’s face it, Little Kim’s haircut won’t win a prize anytime soon.

The actor Daniel Craig, famous for playing James Bond, made a seven-minute appearance at the NY International Auto Show during press previews on Wednesday. He arrived at the Javits Center in a Land Rover, on behalf of that company, stayed for 7 minutes and didn’t say a word. He was reportedly paid one million dollars. I could never do that. Nobody who knows me thinks I could possibly go seven minutes without uttering a word.

So I was watching a show called Prime Nine on the MLB cable channel and it was about what the show’s producers consider the nine best seasons of all times for individual pitchers. Of course, one of the nine was Sandy Koufax in 1965. The film clip they showed was of his perfect game in September and calling that game, 48 years ago, Vin Scully. Other than Koufax’s performance, what’s remarkable is Vin Scully. If you had gone back another fifteen years, a Dodger film clip might have had Vin Scully doing play by play. If you get one from next Monday or later, it might still be Vin Scully, but the chances are lower because Mr. Scully doesn’t do every game anymore. He still does home games and a few road games in states neighboring California. And, he is 85 years old!

Verizon wireless sent me an email suggesting I spend $4.99 on two cleaning wipes for my cell phone. That’s not going to happen.

Things I Know

50’s and 60’s singing idol Bobby Rydell was a no-show for his appearance at Dick Fox’s Doo Wop Extravaganza at the NYCB Theater in Westbury NY last night. Jay Black, former lead singer of Jay and the Americans filled in for him. According to the concert’s MC, Emil Stucchio (who is also lead singer of The Classics) Rydell had open-heart surgery earlier in the week. Rydell, who is 70 years old, had a double organ transplant last summer, receiving a liver and a kidney. I hope Bobby Rydell makes a complete and speedy recovery.

Note to doo wop singers: If you didn’t have THAT operation when you were nine years old (and aren’t you glad you didn’t?) you can’t sing falsetto at 70 or 60 or even 50. Hire a woman to sing the high notes.

Occasionally, someone says something extremely profound about something else that’s not profound at all. Case in point, Smokey Robinson, legendary lead singer of the Miracles on early group harmony: “When you learn a Moonglows’ record, you learn the background vocals before you learn the lead vocals.” Smokey said that on the recently rebroadcast PBS special “Doo Wop Discoveries.” True. I know when my son was a toddler, if he sang along with some music I was playing, he’d sing the harmony parts. And I also know I love me some Moonglows’ records.

“The National Association of Realtors supports maintaining homeowner tax incentives.” If this ad’s purpose is to convince Congress, or to convince the general public, I think it’s an awful ad. Do you know what they’re talking about? I don’t think many people do. “Homeowner tax incentives,” means you can deduct the interest you pay on your home mortgage from your income taxes. Whenever Congress talks about closing loopholes in the tax code, that’s one of the issues they’re addressing. Are you more interested now? I thought so. And you would have been more interested earlier if the ad explained that.

Every once in a while you run across some really strange pricing. Here are two examples.

First, if you ride a bus in Nassau County NY, you can pay with a lot of coins or you can pay with something called a Metro Card. The fare, in coins, is $2.25. On the card, it’s $2.50! I know that acquiring and carrying 18 quarters for a daily, round-trip commute is a bit of a burden, but I can’t see why anyone would use the card.

Second, we use a lot of ketchup in my house. My daughter puts ketchup on baked chicken and I put ketchup on ketchup. Since we use so much, we buy a lot. Recently, in the supermarket, a humongous bottle of brand-name ketchup (is there more than one brand name of ketchup?) cost $6.49. What do I mean by humongous? 1.43 kg. Strange pricing was in effect, so two humongous bottles held together by a white plastic thingy cost $5.99. Which should I buy, one for $6.49 or two for $5.99? Not $5.99 each, $5.99. Oh the stress of making decisions.

Apostrophe Catastrophe

I’m at least as smart as the average person and since I possess a master’s degree I’m reasonably well educated. Still, I do make mistakes; everybody does.

I haven’t, however, made as many mistakes in the use of apostrophes as there are in this blog. I usually write it in MS Word, then cut and paste it into the blog. When I do that the blog software sometimes indicates spelling mistakes involving apostrophes. In the past I haven’t corrected those and they have appeared as I intended them to when I make blog posts. While my blog has its own domain name, the ISP I use runs blogs through WordPress software. I presume WordPress uses a different character for the apostrophe than MS Word does. Since the recent WordPress upgrade, a lot of my apostrophes have mysteriously disappeared. This isn’t going to work. I will not pay ransom for any of my missing apostrophes, not even the ones I love most.

There’s a limit on how long after posting I can fix mistakes so at this point I won’t go back and try to fix all the apostrophes I’ve accumulated over more than five years of blogging. I know there’s no such word as whos and when I wished our Irish-American President a happy St. Patrick’s Day, I wrote it as President O’Bama, not President OBama.

Since I’ve discovered this problem, in the future I will correct the blog entries for apostrophes once they’re imported from MS Word. So, please forgive the apostrophe stupidity you may encounter if you read previous blog posts. A few of the mistakes are probably mine, but most of them have been injected by the most recent upgrade to WordPress. We will now move forward and not look back at catastrophic apostrophic mistakes.

Calling the Bank

I have a problem and I’m pretty sure it involves either information downloaded from my bank or the software I run on a PC that uses that information. You see, when I download bank information it shows up on my PC with check numbers attached, even if the transactions aren’t checks. Moreover, the inserted numbers don’t necessarily relate to each other or to existing numbers for transactions that are checks.

I have another problem with my bank. When I use Google Chrome, I can’t transfer money from one account to another.

About the first problem, I’ve called the bank and the software company and each blames the other. When that happens, I get frustrated and give up until I have another problem. I called the bank about the second problem and decided to address the first again for probably the fourth or fifth time.

The first lady I talked to in customer service was very nice and she asked an intelligent question. She wanted to know whether I could transfer money between accounts if I used another browser. I tried it and the answer was yes. So, I had a work-around, but the customer service rep wasn’t able to solve the problem if I use Chrome. Next, she put me on hold to talk to another customer service rep about the download v. software problem.

The bank, by the way, has a problem too. Both when I called in the first place and when I waited on hold for the second rep, I learned that my call is important to the bank. I also learned that even though my call is important, they don’t hire enough customer service reps to answer calls promptly, even if you are a preferred customer and call on the preferred customer special telephone line.

The second lady was also very nice and also unable to solve my problem. I still wind up with transactions that have check numbers even though they aren’t checks. However, unlike the people I’ve talked to in the past at the bank or the software company, this lady opened a case, gave me a case number and said someone will call me back. I hope so and we’ll see.

While I was on hold, waiting for the second rep and listening to awful music at extremely low fidelity, I figured out the answer to my first problem for myself. Is there anything I do differently, I asked myself, when I use Chrome as opposed to the other browser? Yep, there is. In Chrome, I’m running an anti-tracking extension called DoNotTrackMe. So, I shut it off and, lo and behold, I could transfer money again. Frankly, I’m surprised that the extension prevents me from transferring money between accounts, but doesn’t prevent me from accessing the bank website or any other functions of my accounts, but that is the way it works.

Solving the problem by myself makes me feel better about myself, but also makes me a little less confident in my bank.

Things I Know

Happy to be back. Did you miss me? I did.

Apparently, the blog was down for the past couple of days because WordPress which supplies the software this blog uses, was updating its programs. I don’t know what happened to the old layout and I don’t have time to mess with a new one right now, but I will fix it soon, I promise.

Things I Know

Happy St. Patrick’s Day. On the holy day, you may wish to try my recipe for Irish coffee. I recommend drinking it black, with no coffee.

Just to restate my Irish qualifications: My dad painted the first legal green line up Fifth Avenue for a St. Patrick’s Day Parade. Before New York City took over, a bunch of guys got drunk and painted the line green on a voluntary basis. I once met one of the guys who used to do that too.

And I also wish our Irish president, Barak O’Bama a happy St. Patrick’s Day.

I don’t believe I have any particular influence in local politics, but the Sisyphus Project hereby endorses Robert T. Kennedy for mayor of Freeport NY in the election to be held on March 19th. I recommend his running mates, the Unity-Home Rule candidates on Row B as well. As far as I know, most villages in New York State hold elections for mayor, trustee and village justice on the third Tuesday in March. So, if you live in a village in New York State and if your village is having an election on Tuesday, please vote. Turnout in these elections is usually low, so your vote means more in these elections than it does in Presidential elections.

I hope Pope Francis is successful in leading the Catholic Church more in the direction of helping the poor. I also hope he cracks down even further on child abuse among certain members of the clergy.

My wife made sauerbraten and potato pancakes for dinner. She told our daughter that if there were any potato pancakes left over, she’d freeze them. Our daughter replied, “Mommy, you’re cute.” She had a point. There weren’t any potato pancakes left over. I’ve never seen, or even heard of leftover potato pancakes, have you? And, if there’s even a smidgen of justice in the world, there is no such thing as leftover potato pancakes. Nor, should there be! Actually, our daughter has two points: Mommy is cute too.

If the Girl Scouts find this out, they’ll probably raise the price of their cookies, but some commercially baked cookies sell for more in your supermarket than the Girl Scouts charge for their cookies. However, I think packages of grocery-store cookies generally weigh more than packages of Girl Scout cookies. If Social Teas weren’t the most expensive cookies I like, I’d probably eat a couple of boxes of them a day!

Speaking of Girl Scouts, they almost made a terrible mistake. They only tried to sell cookies to my wife, not to me. However, I tracked down a Girl Scout and managed to buy another five boxes of Thin Mints.

Dennis Rodman’s trip to North Korea went exceptionally well since shortly after he returned to the USA North Korean dictator, Kim Jong Un, threatened a preemptive nuclear strike against the United States.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

One of the biggest questions of 2013 so far is who’s baby is going to get more publicity when it’s born, Kate’s or Kim’s?

I’m not a big fan of reality TV and I’ve never seen the show “Fashion Star,” but I did see Nicole Richie on “Today” this morning. I know her father is famous and that she and Paris Hilton became famous for being famous, but how can she be a featured player on a TV show if she’s as inarticulate and stammers as much as she did on “Today?”

Why did Jody Arias take the witness stand in her murder trial? She’s the 32-year-old Arizona woman accused of stabbing Travis Alexander multiple times. The NY Daily News reported, “Prosecutors claim she killed Alexander in a jealous rage, stabbing and slashing him 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head.” She says self-defense.

It’s almost never a good idea for a defendant to take the witness stand because it allows prosecutors to ask questions on cross examination that would not be permitted otherwise. Based on news reports, I don’t think she’s helping herself and she’d stand a better chance with the self-defense claim if Alexander hadn’t been stabbed 27 times. Generally, a lot of stabs and/or a lot of shots indicate rage was an element of the crime.

On the TV show “

“Pawn Stars,” I think I saw someone pawn something once, but I don’t believe I’ve ever seen anyone buy anything at the store. Still, the time Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me) and I drove past the store in Las Vegas, there was a line to get in, so someone must be buying their stuff.

Whenever there’s a big storm, the weather forecasters on TV keep talking about “The Eurpoean model.” Who is this European model? Heidi Klum? And why would a European model know anything about meteorology.

Things I Know

The TSA announced new rules about knives on planes. The new rules take effect on April 25th. Most of the reporting I’ve read said it’ll be okay to bring your Swiss Army knife on a plane after that date. However, if you read deeper into the articles they say the maximum length of a blade allowed will be 2.36 inches. I have a Swiss Army knife. If you measure only the sharp part of the blade, it’s about a tenth of an inch too long. If you measure the entire part that sticks out of the handle, it’s even longer. So be careful taking your Swiss Army knife on a plane, even after 4/25. Also, I wondered who has a tape measure you can use to measure 2.36 inches, but I’ve decided they really mean 6 cm.

If you subscribe to Norton Internet Security, you may want to turn off the automatic renewal feature. Norton told me when my subscription was due to expire, but they charged me for a renewal more than two weeks before the expiration date. Also, shop around. You can get their product (which I have used for years and like) a lot more cheaply than the price they sell it to you for. If you should have a problem, Nathan, the chat guy on Norton’s website is a computer, not a person. I contacted the company through Facebook and their Facebook team consists of real people I found very helpful.

Obviously, the Dolan family that owns Cablevision is a lot more skilled at making money than I am. They’re worth billions of dollars because of the company Charles Dolan founded. However, the current TV commercial for Cablevision’s Optimum cable service is exceedingly dumb. If you don’t live in an area served by Cablevision, the commercial claims that Optimum’s 800 number is so similar to the 800 number of singer Michael Bolton that Bolton is getting a lot of calls meant for them. Why would Bolton have an 800 number? Why would he make it public? And, why would he ever answer a publicly known 800 number himself?

I missed National Banana Cream Pie Day which was March 1st, but I have big plans to make up for that.

I’m glad I only learned that March 3rd was the date of the World Naked Bike Ride after it was too late to participate because it’s way too cold for that in early March where I live.

In this economy, someone must have money. I was at the Garden State Mall in New Jersey and I know they’re building a parking garage in part of the parking lot, but the rest of the lot was jammed, in the early afternoon on a weekday.

I believe it’s true throughout New York State and know that on Long Island most village elections will be held on March 19th. There are fewer than two weeks to go. Vote early, vote often and vote for the candidate of my choice.

I haven’t done a blog item on things I want (or need) to know in quite a while. I have to work on that.