Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

So, since Catholics traditionally name their children after saints, will we now have a rash of boy children named John XXIII and John Paul II?

Have you seen the HGTV show “Love It or List It?” Do you think Hillary will ever learn to add some extra money to her budget for contingencies?

When did they stop having a children’s section, complete with a matron, in the movie theater?

Recent headline on the NY Post website: “Columbia Student Reveals Secret Life as a Male Gigolo.” Other than male gigolos, is there any other kind?

And, here’s another one: “Flier busted at Newark airport with Soviet-style AK-47, ammo.” Aren’t al AK-47s Soviet style?

When I buy a new cell phone for $200, with a new, two-year contract, part of the cost of the phone is built into the contract, right? So, how come you don’t get a price reduction if you don’t get a different phone when the contract is up? Why doesn’t at least one carrier offer that as an option as a way to lure in new customers?

Do cell-phone processors “wear out” shortly after you’re eligible for an upgrade? My Droid X is an antique, I grant you that, and it sometimes takes more than a minute to connect and place a call, although the rest of the phone works fine. When that happens, I empty the cache and it helps for a while, but the guy in the Verizon store told me it’s because the processor is wearing out. I did political public relations for more than 20 years and so I’m an expert in bullshit, but even I am not sure if bullshit is what I was hearing from the guy at the phone store.

Things I Know

I shouldn’t be, but I am astonished at the news coverage People Magazine is receiving for naming the most beautiful woman in the world. Actress Lupita Nyongo is beautiful, but who’s most beautiful is a matter of personal preference and the whole idea is too trivial to deserve all the ink and all the electrons it’s getting.

Even banks don’t make much money on the float anymore. My school taxes are due by May 10th. My bank pays them through my mortgage escrow. My bank sent in the payment on April 9, a full month early.

I appreciate credit card loss and fraud prevention efforts. However, when I call my bank, all the security questions they ask me would be available to anyone who found or stole my wallet.

Also regarding credit card security, I can use my credit card in any other business I’ve ever encountered, twice in one day, but I can’t use it to get gas for both cars at the station nearest my house on the same day.

Had a couple of ultra-sound tests aimed at reducing the risk that I’ll have a stroke like the one my friend had recently. The tests got me thinking, tinnitus is bad enough, but you’d be hard-pressed to hear anything else if you could hear your blood circulating inside your body.

It’s bugged me since I bought my new laptop in December that when I plug in my earphones, it pings and puts a dialogue box on the screen telling me I plugged them in. Today, after four months, I finally figured out how to stop that.

I like old cars, I’ve been to one Barrett-Jackson auction and I watch them on TV when I can. Usually, I record them and watch later because I can’t sit in front of the TV all weekend. I don’t like the company’s new TV deal. They used to be on Speed Channel, but that was taken over by Fox Sports and the auctions now move around from Fox Sports 1 to Fox Sports 2 to the National Geographic Channel. First, I don’t see why these auctions fit with the rest of the programming on any of these channels and second, I don’t get Fox Sports 2.

TV production of Barrett-Jackson auctions hasn’t improved with the new deal and there is room for improvement. They could do a better job photographing the cars, an occasional short feature on a car or a car owner wouldn’t hurt either. They also need to work harder on incorporating social media. And, while April Rose is pretty, I think pretty is her major contribution to the event.

Hanging around for hours while what the surgeon cut out goes to pathology and before he or she finishes the operation is both annoying and boring, well, maybe tedious is a better word than boring, but the concept behind Mohs surgery is a clever idea and if it keeps my skin cancer from recurring, I’m all for it.

Don’t Die If You Can Help It.

I’ve known a lot of people for a long time. Like most of us, people have drifted in and out of my life. Nobody can keep everyone they like close to them for their entire life. I know I haven’t been able to. I’ve located some old friends and tried to rekindle relationships. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. I’m no stalker, but these are people I like. I want them in my life if they want me in theirs.

My longest-tenured friend almost died last week because he’s a monumental idiot. I want to use stronger language than that, but friend. I say longest-tenured because I have friends who are older than he is, but he and I have never lost touch since we first met and we’ve known each other so long, neither of us can remember meeting for the first time. I’m guessing we met at a school bus stop in middle school.

I love the guy like the brother I never had. I was best man at his wedding. He would have been best man in mine, but he was in the service and couldn’t get there. We’re not as close as we once were because we’ve lived a continent apart, pretty much since he got out of the Navy and I got out of the Army. Still, when he’s called me up and asks me for something, I’ve always done it and I can’t conceive of him asking me to do something I wouldn’t do. Unlike some of my crazy relatives, he’s only called me in the middle of the night once and he was sober when he did it.

He had a stroke. No, I don’t know how big it was, but even a small stroke is a medical emergency. It’s not just a sprain and it won’t buff right out like a scratch on your car might. If you think you had a stroke, get to the emergency room. If your wife thinks you need to go to the emergency room, go to the emergency room. If your daughter who is close to graduating from nursing school thinks you need to go the emergency room, go to the emergency room. These are the people who love you most. They have your best interest at heart even if nobody else does. It’s probably a bad idea to drive yourself and you may not be able to handle a car, but get to the emergency room.

He didn’t ask for my advice and he didn’t follow his wife or daughter’s advice until it was nearly too late. He did survive the emergency craniotomy. It was needed to stop the bleeding in his brain and it was performed in a community hospital because taking him to the nearest big university hospital would have killed him. He now has a plate in his head. My dad had a plate in his head almost a hundred years ago. That’s well-established technology. He’s home now and recovering slowly.

I haven’t really got an ending for this, but I’m glad as I can be that this wasn’t the end of him.

Things I Know

Since the final four is nigh, perhaps this is the best time to remind readers you can’t go swimming in a basketball pool.

If you eat too much comfort food, it’ll make you uncomfortable.

I was really disappointed when I found out eating Thin Mints won’t make you thin. I ate them all anyway.

The phone rang. I answered it. The recording said, “Hello, this is a courtesy call from CVS Pharmacy. To continue, press any key.” I pressed the disconnect button and it didn’t continue, so that wasn’t true.

We keep our money in a big bank. Let’s call it “Bank of a Huge and Powerful Country” shall we? That’s BHPC for short. In reading Internet articles, I sometimes see stories of bad customer service involving them, but I’m usually quite satisfied, especially with my local branch. However, the credit card division is a little wonky. My pet peeve is that I can go to the grocery or the Home Depot twice in one day and charge both trips on my credit card, but I can’t buy gas for both of my cars on one day at the station nearest my house. I have to use different credit card accounts for that.

Anyway, I’m going out of the country soon, so I called BHPC and asked if they had cards that work out of the country and don’t charge a foreign exchange fee. They do. They said they’d send me one and told me when. I said I’d buy the tickets from here to out of the country before that with my other card. Then I did that and BHPC turned down the charge. Ticket broker sent me an email instructing me to call them and straighten it out. The email didn’t include that company’s hours of operation, so naturally I called three minutes after they closed.

Spring is here and glaciers have receded from around my Long Island home. When they did, I found two home-delivered newspapers, one from February 3rd and one from the 13th. The snow blower found another one, so I have no idea what the date was on that one.

I am in favor of instant gratification in certain circumstances. I’m even willing to pay a reasonable premium for it. The “right-now fee” for USB cables is too high though. I went to several stores on Friday and Saturday. They all asked for about $20 for one USB cable. You can buy one for two dollars or less from I decided I could wait.

On “Face the Nation” recently, US Secretary of State John Kerry used a great word I’d never heard before, kleptocracy. I knew what it meant the moment I heard it (which is what makes it a great word); government of thieves. He used it to refer to the recently ousted government of Ukraine. And it’s not new word either. The dictionary I consulted said it was first used in 1819.

On an episode of “Ask This Old House” I saw a month or two ago, Tom Silva showed a homeowner how to get an over-sized box spring upstairs. He cut the bottom frame of the spring in half and folded it. I prefer the method I used in my first apartment on the second floor of an old house. We took out a second floor window and brought it in over the porch roof.

I am suggesting a new medicine. Since everyone now talks about flu-like symptoms instead of the flu, we should have flu-like shots instead of (or in addition to)flu shots. I had it all last week and now I feel like I should get a refund for my flu shot. I still have a cough so bad that I pulled a couple of muscles coughing. The rest of my symptoms have gone, but I still have to cough, only now it hurts, a lot. If you’re going to pull a muscle coughing, pull a back muscle. You can lean against a wall when you cough and that helps some. Quite naturally, I pulled a front muscle and I haven’t discovered anything to ease the pain of that.