Things I Know

It didn’t occur to me until I saw a picture of the US Capitol being used as a backdrop on the news set at CNN, but there’s scaffolding all around the Capitol Dome and CNN hasn’t bothered to use an up to date picture. Since I noticed that, I’ve seen a lot of other articles in print and on the Internet use an older picture, sans scaffolding. The scaffolding is there because the dome is undergoing a multi-million dollar restoration that will be completed sometime next year.

My lawnmower has an electric starter with a rechargeable battery. The battery has worn out, so I opened the case to get a part number. On the battery it says BP3-12. I trotted off to the Toro dealer to buy a new one and he said he couldn’t tell what battery it needed unless I knew the model number of the mower. I don’t know where on the mower that’s hidden, but I do know it’s hidden. So, I went on line and found any number of replacement batteries based on the number printed on the battery. Instead of installing a new battery this afternoon, I have to wait till it’s delivered on Friday.

I understand that manufacturers use parts created by subcontractors, but they ought to be able to provide a replacement part based on the part itself, rather than the piece of equipment the part belongs to. I had a similar problem with an Andersen window. Took the sash balance into an Andersen dealer who told me he needed the sash, not the part. Again, I was able to order it on line based on the part.

I understand needing the VIN on a car (not VIN number, the n stands for number). Cars have lots of options and sometimes changes occur during a model year. But you ought to be able to find a replacement part for a lawn mower or a window if you have the part. You can too, you just can’t get it from a dealer.

The Catholic Diocese of Rockville Centre NY has a religious TV channel called Telecare that can be found on channel 29 of my cable system. The other day, while switching from TLC to HGTV, I came across what is probably the single most boring show on TV. They had a priest reciting the rosary. I have nothing against praying, but I don’t think someone reciting the rosary is compelling television.

A 26-year-old guy from Oregon communicated on-line for two years with a 24-yaer-old Alabama woman, then moved across country to meet her for the first time and live with her. She led him outside, had him sit at a table and close his eyes, then fractured his skull with a baseball bat. She said she did it because she didn’t want to be his girlfriend.

When I was in high school, I dated a girl once or twice. I liked her, but apparently it wasn’t mutual, so when I called for a date, she had her mom tell me that she’d gone to some exotic locale with her airline-pilot father for the weekend. This happened several times before I caught on.

Either of these women could have just said no. I know I would have accepted that and I suspect the poor guy from Oregon with the fractured skull would have too.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Kim Kardashian and Kanye West made Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people. So, either it’s not a very serious list, or God help us it is. Which?

What happened to all-night diners. Years ago, they were ubiquitous around here. But I gave my daughter a ride to the airport in the predawn hours this morning and all the diners I encountered were closed at 5:00 AM. One of them still hadn’t opened at 6:00.

The Transportation Safety Administration announced recently that they collected $675,000 in loose change from people who forgot to pick it up or deliberately left it when they went through security at airports policed by the TSA. I have a jar on my dresser that contains my loose change. When it’s full it has about $200 in it. What size change jar does the TSA have on its dresser if it holds more than half a million dollars?

Would the world in general be a better or a worse place if when anyone lied their pants actually did catch on fire?

If polling companies are going to use computers to telephone me and conduct opinion surveys, is there a computer program I can get to answer them? Until I find out, I’ll just hang up. Also, is there a way I can get telephone pollsters to stop calling me? Some of them are really salesmen and even if they’re not, I don’t want to talk to them either.

I wonder if anyone in the world follows the oil-change recommendation on a 4 cylinder, 2008 Nissan Frontier pickup. The owner’s manual specifies 3,750 miles. Who can remember that? I do 4,000, but oil-change intervals are getting longer. I could probably easily get away with 5,000 and either four or five is a lot easier to remember than 3,750.

Why are green seedless grapes almost always more expensive than the red ones?

I’ve seen it several places, so I can’t attribute it, but it’s an important enough question I thought I’d repeat it here. If Apple or Google does create an autonomous, or self-driving automobile, will it have windows?

Things I Know

Editing just isn’t what it used to be. On its website this morning, the NY Daily News describes the Arizona cop who hit an armed felon with his patrol car as “a former NYPD veteran.” I guess the article cleared the redundancy desk at the paper, but got lost between there and the copy desk.

As you may have sumarized based on the occasional mistake I make, this website doesn’t have a copy editor, but I hope the Daily News still does. If you send me too much money, I promise I’ll use some of it to hire one.

I have to assume that Bruce Jenner wants his personal life all over TV and supermarket tabloid rags, because if he’d like to keep his private life private, he’s doing it wrong.

Northeastern University in Boston needs to find a bigger venue for its graduation ceremonies. When my nephew graduates on May 8th, he only gets four tickets for family and friends. So if a graduate has even one sibling and his mother and father have both remarried, all of their immediate family can’t see their achievement celebrated in person. On the other hand, I don’t really need an excuse to visit Boston for a weekend. I can do that anytime I want. And this proud uncle doesn’t have to sit through another two-and-a-half hours of boring speeches. There is that.

Brits are right. Americans should call soccer “football” and find another name for American football. “Running into people” is too long for a name, but I’m sure the NFL could come up with something, maybe even something starting with “F” so they don’t have to change their initials as well. After all, kicking is a very small part of American football and an integral part of what we call soccer.

There’s an ugly statue of the late TV star Lucille Ball in her hometown in upstate New York. Citizens of the town are correct that it doesn’t look anything like her. There’s a campaign on to replace it or to at least replace the head. But why now? The statue has been there for six years.

I stumbled across a website that discusses the meaning of people’s names. It said that the name Thomas means twin. My daughter said she already knew that, but what she couldn’t find is a name that means other twin. So, she thinks if you have male twins they should both be named Thomas.

Things I Know

Happy Passover to my Jewish friends and Happy Easter to my Christian friends. If you celebrate something else at this time of year, I hope you enjoy that too. In fact, I hope you enjoy them whether we’re friends or not.

With all the controversy lately, especially in Arkansas and Indiana, over how to protect a mythical baker from providing a wedding cake to Adam and Steve, there’s one thing I don’t believe anyone has mentioned. As far as I know, baking a cake doesn’t violate anyone’s religious beliefs except possibly if you’re Jewish and it’s Passover.

You’ve no doubt heard the expression, “Dirt cheap.” Lately, not so much. informed me recently that I can buy from them a 15-pound bag of earthworm castings (that’s worm manure to you Bunkie) for roughly $20 including shipping. I think I’ll pass.

l can’t help doing math in my head. Sometimes, this makes me notice something almost nobody else would notice. I was browsing on line to find a place I can rent next March so I can go to baseball Spring Training. One place I located rented for $149 a night or $1,100 a week. Since 9 times 7 is 63, I know the answer has to end in 3, but the question is how much am I saving at $1,100 a week? Nothing. A week costs $57 extra although I have no idea why. Seven times $149 is $1,043. Don’t think I’ll rent that one.

The warranty on any car you own is longer for certain pollution controls and safety items than it is for other things. The check engine light was aglow on my truck and after pulling the code, I took it to the dealer because it was part of the emission system. I had to sit around an uncomfortable waiting room for over three hours, but the repair was free.

In case the New York International Auto Show was expecting me today (I go almost every year, usually on opening day), I’m still coming, but the easiest way for me to get from Penn Station to the Javits Center is to walk and it’s supposed to rain. Expect me Monday when it’s not supposed to rain instead.

And speaking of rain, if April showers bring May flowers, by the end of next week, we should be ready for more flowers than you can shake a stick at. I’m not 100 percent sold on the idea that April showers do bring May flowers anyway. In my experience, April showers tend to bring mildew and black mold.