Things I Know

We have one more thing to be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Our son got married recently. We hope our son and our daughter-in-law remain thankful for each other for the rest of their lives together.

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah coincide this year. It won’t happen again in my lifetime and according to most sources I’ve seen, it won’t happen again in the lifetime of anyone on the planet. I’m glad that Thanksgiving and Yom Kippur never coincide. Imagine having to gorge yourself and fast at the same time.

No news is good news, unless you have to report the news on a holiday.

Andersen windows are a plus if you’re buying or selling a house. I have them in my house. Renewal by Andersen is the replacement company that specializes in installing them. I think the installation company is related to the manufacturer, but I’m not sure about that. They have a commercial running that says, and I’m paraphrasing here, that no matter where you live the temperature is unlikely to reach -20 degrees. Then it says the windows are tested from 180 to -20 degrees. But honestly, there are plenty of places in this country where the temperature does hit -20 degrees. I’ve been colder than that in upstate New York and in Chicago and believe me I’m never going to do it again. The record low temperature was recorded in Antarctica and it was -128.5 degrees! There is, however, no place where the outdoor temperature hits 180 degrees. Not even close. The recognized world record highest temperature is 134. There was a higher reading taken in 1922 in Libya, but it was later determined that the reading was inaccurate. So, while I’m convinced that Andersen windows are quality products, that commercial doesn’t convince me of anything.

The Google doodle for Thanksgiving is proof positive that there’s a lot more bandwidth than there used to be. It’s both animated and accompanied by a soundtrack. I didn’t time it, but it must be a minute or more long.

Big brother may not be watching me, but Google certainly is. On my birthday, the Google doodle on my computer (and I presume only on mine, not yours) was a birthday greeting to me.

Laptops are harder to repair or upgrade than desktop computers. On my laptop, the hard drive is nearly full, the CPU is frequently computing at or near its limit, there’s one balky key on the keyboard and the left mouse button went out yesterday. So, now I have to decide whether I get a new laptop on Black Friday or on Cyber Monday. I also have to decide what kind and that’s hard because various trade surveys disagree about which are the most reliable makes. And, I hope I still have my disks for MS Office.

Things I Know

There are two big historical events to remember next week, the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and the 50th Anniversary of President Kennedy’s assassination. I was going to call it “The Kennedy Assassination, but his brother Bobby was also killed by an assassin so there were two Kennedy assassinations.

If you get a call from a guy with an Indian accent who uses an Americanized name like Jack or Roger and he tells you he’s from Microsoft Windows Service Center, or some other official sounding group, it’s a scam. Don’t fall for it. I just put the words “windows phone scam” into Google and came up with 58.7 million hits. I told the latest one that if he knows what is happening with my computer he must be with the NSA and that I’m running Linux so leave me alone. Maybe that will stop the calls. Nothing else has.

If you head west across the George Washington Bridge and intend to pick up NJ Route 4 West, your Garmin Nuvi will tell you that exit 72A is on the left, even after it’s on the right. So watch out, or you’ll wind up in Oakland, California when all you want to do is go to Paramus, New Jersey.

Also, someone ought to tell the lady inside that little GPS on my dash that the “W” in New York State Route 9W doesn’t mean the road heads west. It means the road is on the west side of the Hudson River. So, its name is Route 9W, not Route 9 West.

If I were in charge of the world, the New York State Thruway and the Northway would be I-95 because they head north and south. The road that heads east and west through Connecticut would have another name, maybe I-80, since it doesn’t go north and south. It’s confusing because east-west interstate highways are supposed to end in zero, like I-40, I-80 and I-90. So, the phrase, “head west on I-95” if used for any extended period of time, ought to be an oxymoron, except there’s Connecticut and part of Rhode Island too.

Things I Know

My family drinks a lot of soda. We usually buy two-liter bottles of brand name soda (Saint Karen favors Coke and I like Pepsi, so we buy both) and we only buy it on sale. How much is a lot? We’re not going to drink all of it soon, but we currently have something like 21 gallons in the house.

In New York State, it’s a little known fact that it’s illegal to park within 15 feet of an intersection. I know this fact is little known because it may be the single most violated law in New York. One of the largest groups of offenders is school crossing guards where I live. Many of them park so close to the intersection that you can’t see around them to be sure it’s safe to proceed.

When it comes to insomnia, I much prefer difficulty falling asleep to difficulty sleeping through the night.

The strangest license plate I’ve seen in quite a while was a white Cadillac CTS 4-door station wagon with the NY license plate “COUPE.”

Since I bought a GPS, I find myself driving around, not following its directions, to see if I can get it to lose its temper and start screaming at me. And speaking of a GPS, don’t store an address in yours under the name “Home.” If you do and someone steals it, they’ll think you probably have other valuable electronic devices and they’ll know where you live too.

Groupon stopped sending me email offering me discounted stuff. I don’t mind because they never sent me anything I wanted to use, but I didn’t even notice when they stopped. This leads me to believe that email isn’t a really good marketing tool, except for the fact that it’s virtually free.

Speaking of email marketing, I believe CVS drug stores should be allowed to give people six-foot-long register receipts or tons of emails, but not both. I also find courtesy robocalls from CVS to be annoying rather than courteous.