Things I Know

I just watched the Johnny Depp Lone Ranger movie. I don’t think it’s supposed to be a comedy. I suppose that’s good since it’s not funny. But the one funny thing about it is it’s not good either.

If you have a good camera, you probably don’t need to bring a tripod on your European vacation, unless you want to take really sharp pictures of landmarks at night, or include yourself in the pictures. The places you would like to take pictures indoors with a tripod probably won’t let you take pictures with or without one, so you can save a kilogram or two and leave the tripod home.

If you have a big boy camera and a big boy flash unit and you bring them to a wedding, bring extra batteries for both to the wedding too. I knew that before, I just didn’t do it in Bulgaria.

Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me) and I were walking through first class on the way to our seats in a lesser part of the plane. This particular plane had those little compartments in first class that embrace one or two seats and keep the well to do from having to share an armrest. Some of the seats face the rear of the plane and my wife, who is prone to motion sickness, said she wouldn’t want to fly facing backwards. So I told her she was exceptionally fortunate that she didn’t marry a rich man.

Want to lose about five pounds? Go to Europe for two weeks. That’s what I did. A lot more walking than I’m used to and way fewer snacks between meals.

My friend Wes Richards claimed recently in his blog that the most important sentence ever written in the English language could well have been “See Spot run.” If he has a point there, it isn’t his only one. You can find his blog by Googling, or even Binging “Wessays.”

If I understand correctly, Sears and Land’s End finalized their divorce in April. However, I was in a Sears Store in Garden City NY in early May and they have a bigger display of Land’s End clothing than I’ve ever seen before, especially women’s’ clothing. Also, as of this writing, if you mail order something from Lands End, you can still return it to a Sears store if you need to send it back. For the record, my wife ordered a dress that didn’t fit. Sears took it back with no problem of any kind.

I recorded 700 Sundays, the Broadway one-man show starring Billy Crystal the last time it was on HBO. When I watched it, he said something I found really profound about meeting and beginning to date his wife. “You never let ‘The One’ get away.” I don’t think I’ve ever heard better advice in my life.

To me, it just makes sense that the bigger the coin is, the more it should be worth. But, before I get on England about that, I have to get on the US for its coinage that doesn’t work that way either. However the British could help us tourists out a little bit. Since I am unfamiliar with their coinage, I would have found it helpful if the value of each coin was listed on both sides.

Memorial Day 2014

I took this picture at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington VA about a year and a half ago. To me, it’s a fitting reminder of exactly what we’re supposed to pause and remember today.

Unknown for Blog

Comment Policy Change

I don’t know if I changed it inadvertently, or if the folks at Word Press did during one of their software updates, but until today, you had to be a logged in user of Word Press to comment on the Sisyphus Project. However it got that way, you no longer have to log in to post a comment. The comment block does require some information, including an email address that won’t be published. I’m pretty sure it doesn’t have to be a real email address. I’m absolutely sure I won’t be verifying them.

I hope this will increase the number of comments and commentators.

All comments are moderated because I don’t want you to know how much money my friend’s cousin made last month working part-time from home on her laptop. A panel of moderators has been carefully selected by me. It is my blog, you know. This panel consists of me. All decisions made by the moderators are both arbitrary and final.

I’ve Been Traveling in Europe

I always wanted to say that, but now that I have, it seems kind of stuck up, doesn’t it?

Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me) and I went to London and then on to Bulgaria. The new masthead on the blog is a picture of one of the legendary ravens of the Tower of London. Chris Skaife, the Yeoman Warder who served as our tour guide, is also the master raven keeper at the Tower.

Chris Skaife for Blog

According to tradition, if the ravens leave the Tower, the British Monarchy will fall and so will Britain. Chris claims that his official title is Raven Lunatic. I swear. He said that. And, if you look for him, he does have a Twitter account, @ravenmaster1.

More later, but I was in Europe just long enough to become unaccustomed to the time zone for the Eastern United States and I haven’t been back long enough to become re-accustomed to it.

Things I Know

Rarely will an incumbent politician run attack ads against his or her opponent, especially very early in the campaign. It helps the challenger gain name recognition and implies that the incumbent takes them seriously. Some PAC is running ads attacking Rob Astorino, the Republican nominee to face Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic incumbent governor of New York. And it’s even stranger because Astorino is about 30 points behind Cuomo in recent polls.

it was really bush league for Yankee fans to boo Robinson Cano roundly during every plate appearance of his first trip back to the Bronx since signing with the Seattle Mariners. The Yankees weren’t willing to match what the Mariners paid Cano. The difference between the two offers was in eight figures. Even if you were as rich as a Major League Baseball star, you wouldn’t leave that much cash on the table either.

It’s hard to keep the story of the racist owner of the LA Clippers basketball team straight when the owner and the NBA commissioner are named Sterling and Silver respectively.

Talk about disillusioned, according to this this, Murphy didn’t formulate Murphy’s Law.

Kudos to the NY State Department of Taxation and Finance. I got my state tax refund in fewer than two weeks after I filed. The IRS is no slouch either. I received my federal refund before the end of April as well.

When I drive a car regularly, after a while I cut a hole in the driver’s side floor mat because of the way I move my feet while working the gas and brake pedal. You can’t buy just one floor mat though, so if I want mine to match, I have to buy two for the front and one for the rear. That can cost $150 or more. Being cheap, I took the mat to an upholstery shop and they’re sewing a heel pad on just the driver’s side mat. They’re doing it for a lot less than $150 too.

If I call my bank with questions about my accounts, they ask me a bunch of security questions. All of the security questions except one would be available to someone who found or stole my wallet. The one that isn’t is, “What’s your mother’s maiden name?” They have my wife’s maiden name wrong.

When CD players were first introduced, many of the early ones had a random play feature. Consumers didn’t like that because a random selection could play the same song more than once before all of them had been played. Really random is hard to achieve, but that’s beside the point in this instance. CD makers retooled and came up with a shuffle program. It would play all the songs in a different order each time, but it wouldn’t repeat any of the songs until all of them had played. I have a 10 CD player in my old minivan. It plays all the songs before it repeats, even if you shut the car off from time to time. To get it to reset, you have to play all the songs or remove and reinsert the CD magazine. I bring this up because iTunes shuffle button seems to play some songs more than once before playing all of them. ITunes says shuffle, but appears to means random. It would be both nice and not much of a software problem if you could choose between random and shuffle.

I recently had minor surgery on my forehead under local anesthetic. My wife, the lovely Saint Karen (she has to be a saint to put up with me) told the women she works with that on the occasion of that surgery she felt comfortable calling me a numb skull.

The doctor’s office had a lot of storage compartments labeled with what they contained. One of the compartments was labeled Xylocaine. That reminded me of two things: I’d still wonder how they come up with names for all these drugs; and I did once meet famous jazz musician Lionel Hampton.