Things I Know

With 2021 less than two weeks away, I’m asking my friends not to speculate on what else could go wrong this year.  After all, 2020 already reminds me of a horror movie.  I’m thinking now of the kind where you say the name of the demon, and the demon shows up.  So, please, no speculation along those lines.  Somebody already told me to cheer up because things could be worse, and when I cheered up, things did get worse.

I’m generally fairly conservative, at least fiscally.  I mean I was a government finance officer for decades, so that’s kind of natural.  Still, when President Trump talks about using the armed forces to redo the 2020 Presidential election in certain states, that wouldn’t be martial law.  It would be a military coup.  Is anyone talking about section 4 of the 25th Amendment yet?

Your sales pitch should at least be credible. I got a loyal customer offer from a car dealership I’ve never bought a car from. They want to buy 15 used vehicles. They want to give me up to 20 % above book value for my vehicle. It’s a truck, not a car, so I guess vehicle is okay. And, because I’m a loyal customer of their car store (nope), they’ll waive up to six payments on my current vehicle. Sweet! But it’s 13-years old, and I paid cash for it, so I sincerely doubt they really want to buy it even though I just put new tires on it. Plus, what good does skipping six payments do for me? I’ve already skipped all the payments.

I collect Christmas music.  I also like the Pentatonix Christmas CD’s.  I already owned one, and just picked up two more.  Without criticizing their musical performance, I would like to state for the record that “God Only Knows” isn’t a Christmas song, and neither is “When You Wish Upon a Star.”  I mean Pinocchio wasn’t a reindeer.

Sometimes Facebook’s algorithms concern me.  Today, the all-seeing computer suggested that I should be friends with a 16-year-old girl.  I’m sure she’s a wonderful person, still thanks, but no thanks.

Things I Know

A man named Joseph Epstein wrote an opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal where he said President-Elect Biden’s wife, Jill, should stop calling herself “Doctor” since she isn’t an MD.  I’d like to suggest that there are lots of more important things to worry about, and while Mr. Epstein is certainly free to express his opinion, it isn’t really any of his business.  Jill Biden has an earned EdD from the University of Delaware, not an MD.  While it isn’t common for people with academic doctorates to call themselves Doctor outside of academia, it isn’t unheard of either.  You can also call her first lady (beginning January 20, 2021) or professor if you like, but I think it’s absolutely fine for people to call themselves whatever they like.  I know several people who have changed their names over the years, and I do my best to get used to that as fast as possible and call them what they call themselves.

President Trump was quoted in the NY Post today as saying his fight to overturn November’s election results isn’t over.  I’m not a lawyer, or a judge, but I’m pretty sure it’ll be over tomorrow when the Electoral College meets and votes on who’s going to be President next month.

Maybe I should be flattered, but I’m not.  Almost every one of the limited images published in this blog are photos taken by me, the owner of the blog, and the photographer.  Not that it’s been a big problem, but the blog is copyrighted, and so are the pictures, individually.  Some wanker is offering them up on his or her website as free wallpaper for your computer or phone.  The pictures are credited to my website, but there are so many I can’t see how they can be classified as fair use.  Plus, nobody asked me, or paid me.  A DCMA notice asking that they be removed has been sent.

Details on product listings at Amazon.com are frustratingly incomplete.  I’m a luddite who still buys audio CD’s, but Amazon no longer feels it necessary to provide track listings.  Especially on compilation CD’s I won’t buy it if I can’t find a track listing.  My wife wants to buy Reynolds Wrap in the 18-inch width.  Every listing on Amazon for Reynolds Wrap includes the number of square feet in the package, which is important.  However, the width of the foil is important too, so let’s have it in the product description.

It’s possible I now have too much Christmas music.  I own 22 copies of “White Christmas,” 29 copies of “Silent Night” in English.   I probably have a few copies in German around here someplace too.  And, I have 33 copies of “The Christmas Song,” but I don’t own Mel Torme’s version, and he wrote it!  I just can’t buy Christmas music as fast as it’s being recorded.  In the first place, nobody needed to record “The Christmas Song,” after Nat King Cole did it.  “Silent Night” and “White Christmas” are fine songs (although “Holiday Inn” leaves a lot to be desired as a movie), but these three are among the many songs we really don’t need any additional versions of.

I haven’t gotten anything that looks like a real comment from a real person on this blog in more than four years.  That’s okay.  I haven’t done anything to promote the blog and I’m doing it for my own entertainment.  If you’re entertained too, that’s nice, but not essential.  I got quite a few generic compliments on my blog item from early November entitled “The Lieutenant.”  But they all came from one website and that website can’t be accessed by the general public.  So, I’m assuming those are from bots too, testing to see if I’ll put up any and all comments.  I won’t.  Comments on this blog are welcomed.  They are moderated too.  Decisions of the moderator (me) are not only random, they’re also final.

I mentioned it before the election, so I might as well mention the result:  Voters in Rhode Island did vote to drop “and Providence Plantations” from the official state name.  You can now just call it Rhode Island, especially since you already did that before the name was officially changed.

The website classmates.com was an interesting idea, but it became kind of obsolete due to My Space and later Facebook.  Still, I occasionally get a notice from classmates.com that someone has remembered me and described that memory.  Three people have done that in the past year.  I’m flattered that someone remembers me as attractive.  However, I apparently didn’t make much of an impression on my classmates because one remembered me as outdoorsy and another remembered me as soft-spoken.  I wonder who they’re confusing me with.

With President Trump now destined to leave the White House, whether he acknowledges it or not, here’s another way to make America great again:  get the people who make ice cream to go back to selling it in half-gallon containers.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

What do you want for Christmas?  When I was a college-radio dj, I shared my Christmas wish with my listener.  I said, “Dear Santa, all I want for Christmas is a doll.  Her name is Karen and she’s 18-years old.”  She was already my girlfriend back then, and she still is today.

What’s a preppy to do?  I need a new surcingle belt, so I went to the LL Bean website, and they don’t have any listed.  None at Brooks Brothers or J Crew either.

Is diet peach an unpopular flavor of Snapple?  I love it, so I ask because stores near where I live never have enough of the two-quart bottles to make me happy.  I visited two grocery stores this week.  One had one bottle, one had five.  I bought all six, but I want more.

What’s up with Christmas lights?  It is entirely possible to wire a string of lights so that if one goes out the rest remain lit.  It wouldn’t cost much more either.  Yet Christmas lights that do that are almost impossible to find.  The ones that all go out are all over the place.  In this day and age, where people are willing to pay for convenience, and where there’s too much else to worry about, let’s change to the ones that everyone knows will work better.

Why is Lysol advertising so heavily on TV?  Everyone knows, it’s a popular product and an effective disinfectant.  Still, I don’t know about you, but I haven’t seen any for sale in a local market since the pandemic broke out.

My wife recently picked up a supermarket checkout magazine called Women First.  In it was an article about what to do with leftover whipped cream?  Why?  I suppose you could put it on leftover latkes.  Why leftover whipped cream on leftover latkes?  Because there’s no such thing as a leftover latke.  And leftover whipped cream is even less likely, because once you’ve eaten whatever you made the whipped cream to go with, if you have leftover whipped cream, you can just eat that without anything else to put it on but a spoon.

You know what sovereign citizens are, don’t you?  People who claim the federal government has no jurisdiction over them because they are nations unto themselves.  How many sovereign citizens do you think accepted the $1,200 federal-stimulus payment?

Why do they even make a 10” breaker bar?  It’s not much longer than the normal ratchet handle for your socket wrench set, so it doesn’t supply much additional mechanical advantage.  If you need a breaker bar, get the 18” kind, or bigger.  If that doesn’t work, slip a pipe over the handle.