The $400 Million Plan

I have maintained for years, some of them right here, that nobody should make serious plans for winning a big lottery, the reason being that your chances of winning aren’t serious unless and until you win. Instead, I advocate making silly plans for winning the lottery.

Powerball tonight is $400 million, so we need a new silly plan. We have one and not a moment too soon! It’s from my daughter who says if she wins she’ll use at least part of the money to establish a charity to assist destitute Nigerian princes. This is the same young lady who says if she wins she may send out for a pizza.

It’s really nice when you see yourself reflected in your children. Me, I’m still fixated on jumping on the bed. However, if she wins or if I do, you may never read it here. If I had $400 million, the one thing in the world I would not try to acquire is notoriety.

Things I Know

Two of the nation’s largest cable providers are merging when Comcast acquires Time Warner. A company spokesman will come to your house to explain the deal a week from Tuesday, sometime between 9 AM and 7 PM.

US Olympic skier Gus Kenworthy found five stray puppies at the Sochi Winter Olympics. He’s trying to arranging to take them home to Colorado with him. You may have heard that Olympic organizers were euthanizing Sochi’s stray dogs. Instead, they should have just given one to each Olympic athlete.

Let’s say you get a phone call and there’s nobody on the end of the line, but if you wait 10 or 15 seconds, someone picks up. A computer is calling your phone number because it anticipates that the person who’s making all these annoying telemarketing calls is about to finish with his or her previous victim. It improves their efficiency and allows them to annoy more people per hour. If a telemarketer calls me before they’re ready to talk to me, I hang up, This is actually more efficient, because if they call me when they’re ready to talk to me, I have to wait for them to talk before I hang up.

Not only does the groundhog always see his shadow because of TV lights, but it’s cold around here for more than six weeks after groundhog day. It’s cold in Pennsylvania where the official groundhog is located longer than that too.

I believe gossamer toilet paper in public rest rooms is a bad thing. Ultra narrow toilet paper is something else we should all band together to battle to the death.

An important new medical study has proven that eating a lot eggs does not increase your risk of heart disease. But, all the bacon you eat with those eggs will do you in.

Sometimes luck trumps stupidity more than once in the same driving situation. Last summer, I was headed south on a two-lane road. An idiot kid on a bicycle was headed north in the middle of the southbound lane. I slowed to a crawl. At the last minute, he turned to his left and rode by my passenger-side door, while flashing me a gang sign. He sure showed me, didn’t he? At the same time, the guy in the Chevy Suburban following me sped past me on the right shoulder. I wasn’t signaling a left turn: there wasn’t any place to turn left. Both the kid and the driver were lucky they didn’t create a kid-and-bike sandwich on two trucks with no mayo. If somebody slows down in front of you for no apparent reason, perhaps there is a reason and you just can’t see it.

Snow plows are typically wider than the trucks they’re installed on. I was reminded of this last week when I was almost hit head on by a snow plow. The truck was in its lane, but the plow was considerably over the double yellow line.

“Procrastinate now, don’t put it off.” Ellen DeGeneres said that in a recently rebroadcast TV special and it’s still good advice.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

The Super Bowl is over and pitchers and catchers report this week, so can we start talking about baseball now? And, no, I don’t want to talk about college basketball in the meantime.

What do you call Tater Tots once they grow up?

If my neighbor’s dog wanders near my property line, is it okay if I bark at the dog?

We’re going to Europe this Spring. So, this raises two questions. How much additional camera gear can I buy using the trip as my excuse before my wife has a fit? And how much of this new camera gear can I get her to carry? After all, I’m about maxed out myself. I could easily spend another $3,000 to $6,000 on more camera stuff and spending more than the cost of the trip wouldn’t be out of the realm of possibility.

Could a Tyrannosaurus Rex pick its nose?

If not, did they pick each other’s noses?

If it’s possible to be prone to infection, is it also possible to be upright to infection?

Things I Know

We’ll have six more weeks of winter. The groundhog always sees his shadow because of TV lights.

I hope you know that the people who phone you claiming to be from Microsoft Support are really scam artists. You have my permission to hang up on them. Anyway, Gary from the so-called Microsoft Support called last week. I told him I was glad he called because it gave me the chance to ask if he had accepted the Lord, Jesus Christ as his personal God and Savior. He asked me what I was talking about. If he doesn’t know, I sure don’t, so I hung up on him.

Since I’m not a football fan, I’ll be so glad when the Super Bowl is over.

Justin Bieber should be embarrassed for his recent run in with the law in Miami. First off, you should never drink and drive. You might spill it. Second, street racing is very dangerous and you shouldn’t ever do that either. But if I ever get picked up for speeding in a Lamborghini, you can bet I’ll be driving a hell of a lot faster than the 60 mph the Bieb was accused of driving in Miami.

If you buy a Dell computer from any other company but Dell, the first thing you should do is register it on line and check when the warranty expires. I recently bought two Dell computers. The first one broke in three weeks. That happens, but it was both new and out of warranty. I sent it back to and they were great about it, so great that I bought another Dell from an Amazon seller and the warranty on that one started three weeks before I bought it. Dell customer support adjusted it for me, but Dell ought to find a way that it doesn’t need adjusting. Either that, or it should stop selling computers through third parties.

I’ve got to say this computer came with less bloatware than I’m used to seeing on new PC’s.

However, attention Dell: I know I plugged in the headphones. Stop warning me about it.

Also, attention Microsoft: I stopped some programs in the start menu from launching when they want to; Windows didn’t. So, warning me about that way too many times is annoying, not helpful. And that’s an annoyance Microsoft has gone back and added to versions of Windows earlier than 8.1 I’m not sure how many earlier versions, but as far back as Vista anyway. At least give me a check box that says don’t show this to me again.

I’m getting used to Windows 8.1. It boots a lot faster than Vista did, that’s for sure. I know there’s a screen with all the apps on it, but I’d still like the restored start menu to contain a list of installed programs. I know I can get rid of the lock screen too and I plan to look up how to do that soon. This is not a telephone, it’s a laptop.

Microsoft will let you remove software like Office from one computer and install it on another, but the third computer, they don’t like so much. Understandable. So, when my first new computer lasted less than a month, I had to call them to install Office on my replacement. They let me. They let me with so little hassle that they didn’t even ask me why. So, if they’re not going to ask you why, I don’t think they should make you call at all.

A company called Cyberlink has a media suite that wound up on my new laptop. It might be good. I don’t know. But it bothers me to buy it frequently during my free trial period. It was doing that every time I booted my laptop. So, I went into my startup menu and found five Cyberlink programs set to start every time the computer does. I disabled them all. If it still finds a way to annoy me every time I start the computer, I’ll uninstall them all. Aggressive sales tactics like that can be self-defeating. They certainly are if you try them on me.