Things I Want (or Need) to Know

California has primary elections tomorrow.  In case you’re not aware, California has open primaries.  You can vote for whatever person you want who’s seeking an office, whether you’re registered in the same party, or not.  If two Democrats get the largest vote totals in the primary, they face off in November.  If two Republicans get the most votes, you’re not in California after all.  Also, political parties in California aren’t allowed to raise money for candidates.  So, why do they even have political parties there?

It was so chilly this morning, that I wondered if God was aware it’s June.

When renewing your car registration on line, New York State DMV won’t let you put a dash in the field where you fill in your license-plate number. Example, ABC1234, not ABC-1234.  So, why do they put a dash on the license plate in the first place?

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Now that Spring is finally here, and grass is being mowed, wouldn’t it be nice if they made lawn-mower handles more adjustable, so tall people could use them whithout bending over, thereby not develop back pain in the process of tidying up the yard?

How cold has Spring been where I live this year?  Well I have some pictures of my lilacs from six years ago when they were in full bloom on April 20th.  On May 3rd this year, they haven’t bloomed yet.

Does anyone reading this know of a good way to get rid of English ivy, or how to destroy wild onions?  I’d like to kill the ivy without annoying my lilacs.  My onion problem is so bad this year, I’m thinking of renaming my family home “Vidalia Acres.”

What can I get Saint Karen (who must be a saint to put up with me) for her birthday, and Mother’s Day?  They’re always close together and sometimes fall on the same day.  I usually get her separate presents.  Twice before, I’ve gotten her one big, combined present for the two events.  Once, I bought her an iPad, and the other time, a 60” tv for the living room.  Unless someone has a better idea, and even if they do, this year, I’m getting another combined present:  I’m taking her to California to visit our son.

I was telling one of my doctors about all the muscle pain I’ve been experiencing.  He started complaining to me that he’s sore all over too.  Do you know what that means?  I think it means I need to find a younger doctor.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

My Daughter came up with an important question over the four-day weekend.  Can vegans eat beefsteak tomatoes?  She must get it from her mother.  God knows I’m completely normal.

Among the things Amazon recommends I buy this holiday season is an RF transmitter, and six receivers I can attach to my key chain and other things they think I’ll lose.  I agree I’ll lose my keys, but how to they think I’m going to find the transmitter?

Google is a proper noun, so obviously it’s capitalized, but how about when it’s a verb?

What do you want for Christmas?  I’m easy to buy for because I’m a photographer, and I collect music.  It’s hard to buy music for me because I have so much, so a gift card is appreciated.  But as far as photography is concerned, I do have a new body on my wish list.  A new camera body, that is, although come to think of it, I could use a new body to replace the one I currently live too.  It’s kind of wearing down in places.

Things I Want (Or Need) to Know

Did you miss me?  Saint Karen (who must be a saint to put up with me) retired and I took a little while off from the Sisyphus Project.  We went to Boston, we went to the Poconos, we went to the Delaware Water Gap to see Fall colors, because when we went the only Fall color where we live was green.

Did you vote?  I hope so.  You can still complain if you didn’t vote, but still, you should vote.  And, it’s more important to vote in local elections than in the Presidential election.  Local elections have fewer voters, so each vote is a bigger percent of the total.

Why is everything more expensive in an expensive hotel?  Five dollars for a cup of coffee, not a fancy, Starbucks-style coffee drink, a simple cup.  And valet parking was convenient, but it was almost three times as expensive as parking in a public garage.

Speaking of expensive hotels, why don’t they offer services that are common in less expensive places?  Specifically, free breakfast and free Wi-Fi. 

I went to the men’s room in the Burger King across from Boston Common.  There was no urinal, so I lifted the seat to take care of my needs.  A question arose when I finished.  Was I supposed to put the seat back down, or since it’s a men’s room, should I have left it up?

Why doesn’t the Lupus Foundation or Big Brother and Big Sister contract with local governments to collect all their trash?  I understand charities are exempt from the federal no-call law.  Because each has a worthy purpose, I’m less inclined to be rude to the people who call on their behalf to advise us they have a donation truck in my area.  Still, I think both are seriously overdoing their telemarketing efforts by a long shot.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

It’s a boy!  April, the internet giraffe, finally gave birth at the Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville NY.  Owners of the animal park announced they’re going to have a naming contest for the newborn baby giraffe.  Can Spotty McSpotface be far behind?

I recently watched a rerun of the PBS special, “50 Years with Peter, Paul and Mary.”  In all the years I’ve watched and listened to them, I only just noticed that the three of them sang into two microphones.  Peter had his own, but Mary and Paul shared one.  Why?  They could easily have afforded a third.

Have you ever seen the TV show “Expedition Unknown?”  Do you think Josh, the host, will ever find what he’s looking for at the start of an episode?

I like pepperoni, either on pizza, on Triscuits, or with scrambled eggs, but to me it tastes more like salt than pepper.  I know saltaroni sounds stupid.  Still, whenever I have it, I do wonder why they call it pepperoni since it doesn’t taste much like pepper.

BTW, if you like pepperoni, but aren’t fond of salami, don’t order pepperoni pizza in Pernik Bulgaria.  The pizza was good, better than I expected, but what they think of as pepperoni tasted like salami to me.

Have you seen the TV ad for gradsoflife.org?  Big deal.  I got through high school without a car, phone or computer too.  In fact, I also got through college without a phone or a computer.  Just to be clear, I think the cause is a good one, but I’m not impressed with the TV ad.

The supermarket tabloid, “US Weekly” said recently that Donald Trump and his wife don’t sleep in the same bed.  Whether that’s true or not, whose business is it?

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Can you believe that nine years of this nonsense passed on Friday, without notice?

Has the website Floridaman.com ceased operation?  Looks like it.  It’s a website that chronicled the adventures of some of the idiots who do idiotic things in Florida.  First, they didn’t post anything for four weeks.  Now, if you type the URL, there’s a note for the domain owner to contact the ISP.

Burger King, in its recent TV commercials has been touting its breakfast Croissan’wich made with “100% butter.  I don’t understand.  Wouldn’t a Croissan’wich made with 100% butter be butter, rather than a Croissan’wich?

There were 19 slices of bacon in each of the last three packages of Oscar Mayer bacon consumed in my family.  I don’t know about you, but when I have bacon for breakfast, I usually eat six slices, because I have no self-control, and six is the number that fits comfortably in my largest frying pan.  Depending on the size of your frying pan, and your level of self-control, you may eat anywhere from two slices up.  I don’t know anyone who has enough self-control to eat only one slice of bacon.  But all this leads me to one question:  do the people who sell Oscar Mayer bacon know that 19 is a prime number?

Amanda Knox claimed she had a lesbian experience in an Italian prison.  Why on earth did that qualify for the front page of the NY Daily News?

Do people who live in Australia refer to the United States as “up over?”

Are the chickens who manufacture the eggs we eat for breakfast trying to discourage us from eating them every day?  The reason I ask is there are seven days in a week, but eggs are sold in multiples of six.

What if there’s a guy with a heavy Indian accent, and a very American sounding name who actually does work for Microsoft support?

I’ve been battling a miserable cold.   You know, the kind where you go to bed and sleep, but in a couple of hours, you wake up basically drowning because of post-nasal drip.  This made me realize that post-nasal drip is a misnomer.  Shouldn’t it be pre-nasal drip, since it comes out before it gets to your nose?

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Since the first night of Hanukkah and Christmas Eve coincide this year, who’s going to anchor the TV news tomorrow night?

Now that the electoral college has voted, how soon after he takes office before one of the sore losers begins impeachment proceedings against President Trump?  I didn’t vote for either one of them.  Still, I hope the level of sore losing exhibited by many Clinton supporters proves unfounded.  I already think it’s unprecedented, at least in my lifetime.  I suggest it’s time to stop name calling, and to save the criticism for things he proposes and things he actually does.

Do the people who want to do away with the electoral college want to do away with the U.S. Senate and allow Congressional district lines to cross state lines too?  I mean that would only be consistent, right?

Have the people who want to do away with the electoral college considered that it would require an amendment to the US Constitution, and amending the Constitution isn’t a one person-one vote proposition either?  It requires ratification by two thirds of the states.  Does anyone think Utah, Nebraska, Montana, or either Dakota among others would ever vote to abolish the electoral college?

Joan Baez has been elected to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  Isn’t that all the evidence you need that the place needs to change its name?  No quarrels about her as a musician or as a cultural figure.  But I am unaware of any song she’s ever sung that would be considered rock.

What’s the point of security cameras when the images are usually so blurry you can’t recognize anyone in the picture or read a license plate either?

Bath sheets are about 80 percent larger than bath towels, so why do they cost twice as much?

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

How does one judge progress on the comment front?  This week, most of them were still plugging drugs for the treatment of erectile disfunction, but one was for Propecia, which is a treatment for baldness.  I spared you all of them.

A Southwest flight en route from Philadelphia to Orlando was diverted recently when a woman passenger gave birth in the air.  I couldn’t help wondering if the new mom had to buy a seat for the kid, and whether that airline charges an in-flight birth fee.

As the holiday season is upon us, I’m compelled to ask, if the President of the United States is the most powerful person in the world, what the hell is he doing pardoning turkeys?  And why do the media cover it?

Also since the holiday season is upon us, isn’t egg nog redundant?  What other kind of nog can you drink besides egg nog?

Woodbury Commons is a large outlet mall, north of New York City, near where NY Rte 17 joins the New York State Thruway.  During the holiday season, you can take a helicopter from Manhattan to the shopping center and back for the low, low price of $390.  If you can afford that, why are you shopping at an outlet mall?

Why is the second “C” in Connecticut silent?

Do you like creamy or tangy coleslaw?  I like tangy.  The only time I eat creamy is to taste it to find out if it’s tangy.

If mice is the plural of mouse, shouldn’t hice be the plural of house?

My wife watches the Animal Planet show, “My Cat from Hell.”  I was walking through the living room during the opening shot of the host, Jackson Galaxy, driving along.  You could only see the interior, but obviously, a convertible and obviously old, because it has vent windows.  I took one look and asked, “Why is he driving such an old Lincoln?  When he parked, you could see it was a ’57 Lincoln convertible.

But that’s not my question.  What I want to know is how I can instantly recognize the interior of a sixty-year-old car, but I don’t know anything that would make me a ton of money, or remember the name of anyone I met yesterday?

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Have you seen the new Liberty Mutual Insurance commercial that tells you that you already know what winning an Olympic medal is like?  No, I don’t.  Frankly, I’d rather the young lady call me Brad and that isn’t my name.

What’s the most clichéd question in the world?  I think it’s asking a really old person the secret of their long life.  Al Roker asked Tony Bennett that on the Today Show recently, on his 90th birthday.  Al (and everyone else), the secret to a long life is don’t die.  It really is that simple.

Do empty, light-weight, plastic garbage pails set at the curb cause strong winds?  That’s my working hypothesis, anyway.

If English made any sense, wouldn’t great and meat rhyme?

Superstitious is a word.  I know that.  What about stitious?

You may wonder why I say my wife, Saint Karen, has to be a saint to put up with me.  Well, last night, I told her that if I have made her even half as happy as she has made me over the years, she is one lucky woman.

The latest Jaguar commercial starts out, “Being British, it’s not in our nature to boast.”  Isn’t that a boast?

How long has it been since you last saw a reel-type lawnmower that doesn’t have a motor?  Every power mower at my local Home Depot is a rotary. I bet more than half the people alive today in the United States haven’t even seen a reel-type mower that does have a motor.  They cut grass better than a rotary mower does, but they don’t cut certain kinds of common weeds at all.  I’m guessing that’s why they fell out of favor.

The Food Network’s website has a feature called “50 states, 50 pizzas,” in which they say they have discovered the best slice in every state.  Is it wrong for me, as a person from New York, to maintain that some states don’t have a best slice?  I’ve been to Alabama.  I haven’t tried BLT From Trattoria Centrale: Birmingham, Alabama, but it doesn’t sound good to me.

Are UPS trucks even capable of parking legally?

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Have you noticed that when Burger King advertises “Ten nuggets for $1.49” on TV, the commercial doesn’t say a word about what’s in the nuggets?  Do they, for instance, contain chicken?

My only deductions are real estate taxes, mortgage interest, and charitable contributions.  So why does it take so damned long to do my taxes?

If you’re not supposed to pick at scabs, why do they itch so much you have to scratch them?

Why don’t babies have freckles?

Why is knowing a thing or two better than being a know it all?

Wouldn’t sock sizes make a lot more sense if they corresponded to shoe sizes?

Things I Want (Or Need) to Know

If there’s one thing I don’t understand about St. Patrick’s Day, it’s green bagels.  Can you explain them?

Can you remember the last time you went twenty-four hours without reading or hearing the name of a Kardasian/Jenner pseudo-celebrity in the media?  I can’t, but I’d like to.

I haven’t received any email spam trying to sell me either Cialis or Viagra in ages.   Have you?

Does anyone you know or anyone who reads this follow the directions on the shampoo bottle and wash and rinse their hair, and then do it again immediately?

Similarly, is there anyone who owns a box of Q-tips, or any other cotton swab for that matter, who has never used them to clean the wax out of their ears?  The directions on that box say don’t do that.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

What’s the largest number of hosts it’s possible to have on one TV show?  And, has the Today Show reached that number yet?

The Bugatti Chiron is the about-time replacement for the Veyron.  When it was released, the Veyron was the fastest road car in the world at around 230 mph.  The Chiron is reputed to hit 260 mph.  My question is, where?

Have you seen Quicken Loans’ TV commercial for Rocket Mortgages?  Isn’t that exactly the kind of thinking that precipitated the real estate crash nine years ago?

Miss Dior Fragrance has a TV commercial out that uses Janis Joplin, Big Brother and the Holding Company singing “Piece of My Heart.”  I’m always in favor of playing Janis Joplin’s music, but when it’s associated with Miss Dior Fragrance, I can’t help wondering if the perfume smells like bourbon or weed.

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Is New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation Presidential primary as important as news coverage would have you believe?  Will anyone who is currently running for President of the United States visit New Hampshire again this year?  How about for the rest of their lives unless they run again in 2020?

Who ever thought Groundhog Day would be a believable annual event?  Has Spring ever arrived in Pennsylvania in the middle of February? 

Does anyone here know how many blocked numbers you can maintain on a Samsung Galaxy S5 phone?  I block every robocaller who calls my number and I’m hoping there’s no limit.

A national drug store chain lied to me.  I got a robocall from them.  It said, “This is a courtesy call from (insert name of actual national drug store chain here) for (insert my daughter’s name here).  To continue, press any key.”  I pressed the hang up key and it didn’t continue.  Why?  When I get an emergency robocall from the county I live in, hanging up on them doesn’t make them hang up on you.

I love my Weber gas grill.  It’s expensive, but everything about it reeks quality.  Except for one thing.  Why can’t Weber put decent wheels on it?  And, since they don’t, why doesn’t Weber, or someone else, sell decent wheels for a Weber grill as an accessory?  I don’t move mine often, but every time I do, I wish it had better wheels.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

I hope the Mets clinch the National League East pennant today, but will they?

When the Pope said mass before 20 thousand people at Madison Square Garden, how many ushers did they need to pass the collection plates?

Why do I have to tap my cell phone three times to turn it off?  If I could turn it off by mistake with only one tap, I’d need just a second tap, not a third, to turn it back on.

Why does fixing the tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) on my Nissan Frontier cost so much more than it would cost to buy a tire gauge?  And, don’t I need the gauge anyway to see if the TPMS is broken or if my tires really are low on air?

Text messaging costs the telephone company almost nothing to provide.  Yet, the phone company charges for it and doesn’t charge for it the way any other company charges for its merchandise and/or services. The phone company the person who receives the messages, not the person who sends them.  If I had to pay to send text messages, it wouldn’t bother me:  paying to receive them does.  As far as I know, this is the only instance in the world where someone who didn’t order something from a private business has to pay for it.  What makes the phone company so special in that regard?

Speaking of the phone company, I got a letter from them telling me I have to call them to make an appointment because they’re changing our whole area over from copper to fiber.  Should it bother me as much as it does that they don’t seem to know they already changed me over to fiber?

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According to the website of the NY Daily News: “A 24-year-old mother is in custody after her two young children were found barefoot, dirty and living in a wooden shipping crate in an underground cave on the eastern edge of Kansas City, Mo.”  This is, of course, a terrible way to treat children.  Still, I must have missed something.  What kind of cave isn’t underground?

 Hungary doesn’t want refugees from the Middle East and the refugees just want to pass through to get to Germany. I know you’re supposed to register when you enter an EU country, but still why is Hungary keeping the refugees from leaving?

Every time I buy medicine at my local CVS drug store, they ask me for my date of birth.  Is it too much for me to expect them to send me a birthday card?

Do you know what a TPMS warning light is, or what it’s warning you about?  It’s a system in all late model cars that tells you if the tires are under-inflated.  If it comes on, you should check the tires, inflate them if necessary and get the system serviced.  It doesn’t bother me if you don’t know that, but the one in my truck is on.  It was on for two months and I’ve repeatedly checked the tire pressure.  It’s fine, so I called the dealer.  What bothers me is the woman who answered the phone  in the service depart didn’t know what it is.  The other things that bother me are I had it fixed, two months later, it broke again, and these things cost a lot more than a tire gauge.

Prince William is bald.  Kate isn’t.  Why don’t they make him wear the silly hats?

Have you ever installed a new electric box and found the hole in the drywall was too large for the box to fit snugly? I didn’t do that, but the electrician I hired did, and hid it.  The outlet is seldom used so it’s long past the time when any complaint would seem legitimate.  There are two kinds of electric boxes:  new work boxes are attached to the studs before the wall board or paneling is installed; and old-work boxes fit in a hole in wall and use ears on the outside and little, moveable tabs on the inside of the wall to keep the box in place.  If the hole for a new work box is too big, you can buy an over-sized cover plate.  If the hole for an old-work box is too big, they don’t make a box with bigger ears and tabs.  You have to fix the wallboard.

How do you make the hole for an old-work box too big anyway?  You don’t measure them.  You hold a box up to the wall and trace around it with a pencil.  Then, you cut along the lines.  Maybe that’s why they don’t make an box with big ears and tabs to fix it.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

The late radio commentator Paul Harvey used to observe that people who did terrible things often did so to become famous. Then, he wouldn’t use their names in his radio reports. So, did you see the pictures of the Charleston mass murderer? The one that caught my eye was the scrawny kid wearing a shirt from Gold’s Gym. Since racism and anti-Semitism often go hand in hand, I hope he has learned that Joe Gold, sometimes credited with popularizing body building and the founder of Gold’s Gym, was Jewish.

You have to wonder not what, but whether Joyce Mitchell was thinking. She’s the 51-year-old former employee of New York’s Clinton Correctional Facility in Dannemora NY. Mitchell is charged with aiding two convicted murderers to escape from the 170-year-old prison. What positive outcome could she possibly have envisioned? I’m guessing that if they had gone together to kill her husband, the two escaped murderers would have killed her as well.

You also have to wonder whether the two convicted murderers who escaped from the Clinton Correctional Facility are more comfortable hiding out in the woods and scrounging for food over the last two-and-a-half weeks than they would have been if they didn’t escape.

And, if you wonder what Dannemora and the now infamous prison are near, the answer is they aren’t near anything.

In my house, furniture like bookcases and bureaus that you place against, but don’t attach, to the wall wind up with a lot of dust on their backs. But the wall behind the furniture doesn’t have the same problem, or at least doesn’t have it any near as badly as the furniture does. Why? Is there good physics behind that?

Am I being unreasonable? I assume that any company unethical enough to violate the federal no-call law to sell me something will also be unethical in dealing with me if I buy from them.

Have you seen the TV commercials for Liberty Mutual Insurance that are shot near the Statue of Liberty? If so, what’s a torque ratio? I’ve never heard the phrase before.

Optimum cable has a very cute commercial for their multi-room DVR service about an older sister and younger brother signing a formal peace accord. Funny, but obviously fiction.

A security officer was shot and the two gunmen responsible were killed during an incident in Texas a while back at a Muhammad cartoon contest. No question that Muslims are offended by any representation, even a respectful one, of the Prophet. Also no question that in the US the contest was legal. Still, who thought it was a good idea?

Now that Heinz is making mustard, shouldn’t they change it to 58 varieties? Also, now that Heinz makes mustard, I suppose it was inevitable that French’s should make ketchup and they are.

What’s up with major league baseball players and beards? Do any of them look good?

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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?

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Today is the seventh anniversary of the Sisyphus Project. I haven’t had anything profound to say in the last seven years, so why should I start now?

Another incidence of who do they think they’re marketing to. Expedia ran a commercial on Valentine’s Day showing lots of couples kissing. The ad went on to say that if you booked a room through Expedia.com on Valentine’s Day, they’d give you $50 off. My problem with the ad? The soundtrack is “This Is the Night For Love” by the Valiants. The song is 56 years old! What demographic are they trying to reach here?

I have the same complaint about the Bank of America’s current TV commercial which uses “Danke Schoen” by Wayne Newton as a sound bed. Exactly what demographic are they marketing to?

Cho Hyun-ah, granddaughter of the founder of Korean Air and a vice president of the company, was sentenced in Seoul to a year in prison because of an incident at Kennedy Airport last December. You may remember news reports that she threw a tantrum when she was served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a dish, confronting the cabin crew and ordering the plane to return to the gate to throw one crew member off the plane. According to a NY Post article attributed to the Associated Press, “The court said Cho was guilty of forcing a flight to change its route, obstructing the flight’s captain in the performance of his duties and forcing a crew member off a plane.” I don’t think what she did was right, but I do wonder how she gets to go to jail in South Korea over something she did in New York.

Do you have a memory foam mattress? If so, do you know what memory foam remembers? I know I don’t. Nancy Giles asked that question recently on CBS Sunday Morning and I wished so fervently that I had thought of it, I brought it to you to see if we can solve the mystery together. If I thought for a moment that memory foam mattresses were digital, I’d ask what kind of memory they had, and how many MB, but I don’t.

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Do Jehovah’s Witnesses ever proselytize at the homes of other Jehovah’s Witnesses by mistake?

If you get a blood transfusion, do you have to bring them some orange juice, so they’ll have it to give to the people who are donating blood?

Have you seen those commercials on TV where the car salesman tells you that if you have $200 and a job, he can put you in a new car? I’m not picking on one dealer. Lots of them do it. They do it with loans that may last longer than the car does. Subprime car loans are an increasing problem that may eventually bite the economy in the ass in much the same way the subprime mortgage crisis did back in 2008. If you have a job and only $200, you don’t belong in a new car, unless it belongs to someone else.

Over the weekend, my wife was making lunch and she asked if I wanted some bacon. I found myself wondering if there are really multiple answers to that question.

I know they’re all repeats because Tommy passed away late last year, but Click and Clack on NPR’s “Car Talk” asked an interesting question recently: Have you ever seen a UPS truck legally parked? I know I haven’t.

I’m not adding to my collection of CD’s as fast as I once did, but I got four or five new ones for Christmas and when I went to put them away, my CD storage was full, again. Every time I go to Ikea to buy something else to hold them, the store has discontinued the last thing I bought. In this case, it was an inexpensive wall-mounted metal rack. You can still find them on Ebay, but if you want them, you’ll pay about ten times what Ikea used to charge for them. If demand exceeds supply by that much, why did Ikea stop making them? I think the next time I want a CD cabinet, I’m going to have to make it myself. One made of wood will be heavy enough that I should probably mount it to the wall using French cleats.

I’ve been listening to a lot of old time radio. You’d be surprised how many of the radio dramas from the thirties to the fifties are available for free as MP3 downloads. One thing strikes me. A lot of people on those shows spoke English in a way different from what you and I are used to hearing. It’s an accent closer to British English than anything I hear today. Did a large group of people actually speak like that, or was it something they affected to be on the radio?

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I have just learned (and am baffled to know it) that you can buy camouflage lingerie. I’m baffled because if you went to the trouble to wear sexy lingerie, wouldn’t you want your significant other to be able to find you?

Since I don’t get a new cell phone every two years and since I do let my contracts expire, how come my monthly phone bill doesn’t get reduced by the amount of the cell-phone subsidy I’m not using?

If you’re old enough to remember the TV show “Dukes of Hazard,” you recognize the car in the TV commercial for autotrader.com. Did you notice they never show the roof?

Have you seen the commercial for the Infinity Q50? The one that says, “Its instinct to protect leaves you free to drive.” It’s about what they call driver assists, things like warnings when someone’s too close to the side of your car. I’m all for safety features in cars, but the commercial, to me, seems to suggest the Q50 will help you if you are a habitual distracted driver.

When hair stops growing on top of your head, why does it start growing out of your nose and ears?

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Nadal Hasan, the army psychiatrist who killed 13 people at Fort Hood Texas in November, 2009 has written to ISIS asking to become a citizen of that group’s Islamic state. Can we now travel back almost five years and finally describe Doctor Hasan’s attack as a terrorist incident?

Isn’t the last weekend in August too early to be Labor Day Weekend?

August 20th was National Radio Day. I listened to the radio that day as I do every day. Why didn’t anyone on the stations I listened to mention that?

Would I be violating any trademark or copyright laws if I were to sell “Free Jessa” t-shirts?

Does the color of sprinkles make any difference in their flavor?

Why does Facebook think I need to see so many ads for Toyota RAV 4s?

So, I keep getting this robocall and the guy with a beautiful, sonorous, radio announcer voice that reminds me of my old friend and colleague Allen Shaw intones, “Don’t hang up! This is not a sales call.” What kind of call is it? I don’t know because that’s when I always hang up.

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The phrase “duck-billed platypus” is kind of curious to me. Is there any other kind of platypus?

Suppose for a second, that you only wanted to eat half a package of Keebler’s Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies. How would you get the plastic tray back into the bag without ripping the bag or breaking the tray or its contents? I know I could just eat the entire bag of cookies, and I am able to do that if I have enough milk in the house. However, I’m not supposed to.

I’m sorry, but I don’t understand the purpose of camouflage uniforms for baseball games. The uniforms are ugly, and besides, you can still see the ballplayers.

Why does the cost of renting a car have so little to do with the cost of the car?

I wanted to go sit on a beach for a week or two in October, but my wife can’t go with me because it’s a busy time of year at her job. I won’t go without her so the beach will have to wait. Where can the two of us go for a long weekend that’s not too far from New York City?

I don’t want to go to Florida in November because the weather can be iffy for the beach then. I would like to go in March, for baseball spring training, but vacation rentals and hotels are more expensive in Florida then. So the question would be, can we afford that?

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I’m an adult male. I graduated from college more than a decade ago (a lot more) and I have never played basketball in a way serious enough for me to have a team uniform. I went shopping for shorts recently. I wanted two kinds, running or workout shorts for the gym and cargo shorts for the street. Would it be too much bother for clothing manufacturers to include the inseam length on men’s shorts? To me, shorts that hang below my knees are longs and I don’t like to have to hold every pair to my waist in a nearly fruitless quest to find shorts that are shorter than longs.

Hanes now sells underwear in resealable bags. Why?

Hanes isn’t the only company that now makes underwear without tags, but it’s the only company I’ve seen make a big deal of it in TV commercials. In the commercials, Hanes claims it’s done away with annoying tags. I am not a garment-industry insider, but tags in underwear have never annoyed me and I suspect the real reason for the trend away from tags is it makes manufacturing underwear slightly less expensive.

Have you see the latest TV commercial for Subway’s pulled pork sandwich? Extra pickles, sure, but who the heck puts lettuce on a pulled pork sandwich?

Why is it necessary for people to set off firecrackers on the 4th of July? I think aerial fireworks are beautiful, especially the biggest shows like the one Macy’s puts on each year, but what’s the deal with firecrackers? To me, all they do is keep people awake and scare dogs. Also, get off my lawn!

Why are Social Tea cookies so expensive and how come they never go on sale?

Wal Mart is running TV ads touting its “all natural” steaks. Fine. As opposed to what? Those plastic steaks that all the other big box stores and supermarkets sell?

Pope Francis excommunicated the Mafia. Makes sense, but how come it didn’t happen a long, long, long time ago?

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The Kentucky Derby is 1.25 miles. The Belmont is 1.5 miles. The Preakness, the one in the middle of the quest for the triple crown, is shorter than either at 1.1875 miles. I’m no expert at horse training or horse racing. Still, I can’t help wondering if winning the triple crown would be easier or harder if the races got progressively longer. In other words, if the Preakness was 1.375 miles, would it help or make things more difficult?

Who’s idea was it to design one of my room air conditioners so you can’t remove or install the air filter while the unit is in a window?

When Kim and Kanye got married last month, why did Kim get top billing when at least Kanye has some talent?

The display on a cell phone is programmed to tell whether you’re holding the phone horizontally or vertically, right? So, why can’t they make a cell phone that won’t record video in portrait (vertical) mode? Or at least one you have to override in some way in order to record video that way.

Whatever happened to Bill? We’ve had the same phone number in our last two homes. We like it and when we moved nearby, we kept it. We used to get calls all the time looking for Bill. We believe the reason is that Bill’s phone number was one digit different from ours. But it’s been quite some time since we’ve received one of those calls. Did Bill move away? Did he pass away? Did he just get tired of getting a lot of wrong numbers looking for me and change his number? I’d like to know.

Cesar Alvarez, 26, a make high school teacher in the Bronx, NY, was arrested after he took a 16-year-old female student on two dates during which he reportedly plied her with alcohol. The girl’s parents complained when she came home drunk. What I don’t understand is why didn’t they complain when she went out with her teacher, who is ten years older than she is?

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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.

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Did you watch the opening pitch of the Major League baseball season from Australia? It came a little after 4:00 AM where I live. Because the game was in Australia and because I know about the coriolis effect, wanted to see if curveballs break the other way south of the Equator.

You know what nunchucks are, right? I do too, but whenever you hear the name, don’t you get a picture of a chain holding two rulers together?

I was really, really sick for pretty much all of the past week. So were my wife and daughter. Maybe I brought it home from my recent road trip to Ithaca, NY. Now, I find myself wondering, can we all get a refund for our flu shot?

Does Jimmy Fallon’s audience always shriek “Wooooooo” instead of cheering or applauding? I hope not because it hurts my ears.

If the man of the house doesn’t watch much television, does he still get to control the remote?

What happened to the proposed NFL rule change to prohibit football players from using the “N” word on the field? And isn’t the NFL the league that’s brewed controversy because one of its owners refuses to consider changing the team name many people also regard as offensive?

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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?

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Is today Holidays Eve or Seasons Eve? Which ever it is, I hope you have a happy one.

While watching traditional Christmas movies I find myself wondering, do all angels have odd names like Clarence and Dudley?

I don’t really consider “Bells of St. Mary’s” to be a Christmas movie although it is traditionally shown at this time of year. If you recall, Sister Benedict is found to have TB and they decide to send her to the desert. That’s what they did before antibiotics were widely available. But still, didn’t they know that TB was contagious and transmission was airborne by the time the movie was made? I ask because Sister Benedict continues to interact with the kids for a while before she leaves the school.

I almost feel bad for the people who call me telling me they’re from the Windows support center. How awful must your life be if you work in a call center in India, presumably for the Indian minimum wage if they have one, and all day long you call people and try to get them to bite on what you know is a fraud? I keep telling them I know it’s a fraud and they keep calling back.

I also ask them if they know how many hits you get on Google if you use it to look up the following three words, “Windows, telephone and scam.” Last time I looked them up it was about 58 million.

McDonald’s is switching to another brand because the new head of the Heinz ketchup company is a former top executive of Burger King. I didn’t know there are other brands of ketchup besides Heinz, did you?

Isn’t sleeping in the top bunk bed dangerous? I mean, doesn’t it leave way too much room for monsters under your bed?

GPS units are amazing, but one thing I don’t understand: Why does mine want to send me home a different way than it took me to my destination?

Since young and tongue rhyme, why aren’t they spelled similarly?

Since slaughter and laughter don’t rhyme, why are they spelled similarly?

The word “wound” has two meanings, so do lots of other words, but why is this one pronounced differently depending on what it means?

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It’s been far too long since I posed a bunch of questions that need asking here, so:

Is there such a thing as a closet claustrophobic?

I went for a physical and wound up wondering how I can tell whether the doctor is caring for my health or just running up the bill. They rolled in an EKG machine. Okay, but I had that done in June and asked the other doctor to report the results to this one. They wanted blood. Okay, but I had that done last month, so I brought in the lab results. They read the three pages and wanted more tests. They also urged me to get a whole lot of other tests. I do have diabetes, but I see a specialist for that, so I tend to think some of the tests this doctor wants are really overkill, but I have no way of knowing.

The BBC announced during the summer that actor Peter Capaldi is the twelfth Doctor in the long-running series “Doctor Who.” But there have been 17 other actors who played the Doctor on television, three of the additional five served mostly as fill-ins for the prime doctors, but two of them (John Hurt and Toby Jones) appear to be future doctors. One, Peter Cushing, is famous for appearing in horror movies, played the Doctor in a couple of bad 1960’s movies. How come none of them count?

Don’t you just hate it when you call to make an appointment, get a recording, the recording tells you to call back during regular office hours and it is regular office hours?

“In” is a prefix that reverses the meaning of the word it precedes, right? So, famy must be a word, mustn’t it? I’ve heard of infamy, but I’ve never heard of the word famy. Have you?

Since an abductor is a muscle in your leg, why is kidnapping someone called an abduction?

Now that the guy who founded Amazon.com bought the Washington Post, how soon before the newspaper will be delivered via UPS and frequently in too large a box? Also, will same-day delivery cost extra?

In my continuing quest to improve the English language, shouldn’t the word “Swedish” have two e’s in it?

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Have you ever experienced anything “express” on or even near the Staten Island Expressway? I only ask because I didn’t again today.

If checkout time at my hotel is 11:00 AM, why does the free wifi expire at 6:08 PM?

Since the use of air conditioning became widespread, has any hotel or motel anywhere in the world been built with a quiet HVAC system?

I like to go to major-league baseball games, but usually go to only one a year because they’ve so expensive. A seat in the upper deck costs more these days than a field box seat cost 20 years ago. I went to one recently which made me wonder once again, why do they even bother with batter’s boxes? The first right-handed batter in the first inning obliterated the back line in the batter’s box. After that, if the umpires enforced the rule about batter’s boxes, every right-handed batter would have been out on every ball put in play because every single one of them had his right foot out of the box. Left-handed batters tended to stand farther up in the batter’s box because they want to eliminate an extra step or two when running to first base.

Have you ever done something advertently?

If you say or do something only once, is that dundant?

Whatever happened to velour upholstery for cars? On the other hand, I recently sat on velour upholstery in a tour bus.

And while I’m remembering days gone by, whatever happened to brown cars? Not UPS-truck brown, you understand. I’m talking about metallic shades of brown, bronze and copper. In fact, what happened to colors on cars altogether? Most of the cars I see around here these days are black, white, grey or silver.

Since the word “upholstery“is spelled with an h, why isn’t it pronounced the way it’s spelled? You know, why isn’t it pronounced ufolstery?

Sword? Board? Since both words are pronounced similarly, why are they spelled so differently?

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Yanira Maldonado, a 42-year-old Mexican-born American citizen, was released from jail in Mexico on Friday. She was charged with smuggling drugs after 12 pounds of marijuana was found under the seat where she was sitting on a bus. Her release came after surveillance video of the bus station showed she wasn’t carrying a package when she boarded the bus. That’s fine, but why did it take a week to look at the video?

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is running for reelection. Have you seen his campaign commercials? If you’re the incumbent and if you’re ahead in the polls, isn’t it unusual to attack your opponent by name, especially six months before the election? Doesn’t that contribute to her name recognition and put her on a more equal footing with the governor in the mind of the public?

Have you ever named your car? My sister used to call our old Jeep “Jeepy Girl.” Not sure why. I have only named one car, a clapped out Plymouth we called “Blue Cloud.” The car was red, but it burned A LOT of oil.

If you sign up for a cell phone contract and get a new phone, the cost of the phone is subsidized, right? So how come if you let the contract expire and don’t renew or get another phone your monthly bill doesn’t go down once the subsidy for your old phone is paid off?

How do Linked-In and Facebook decide who they suggest I might know? I haven’t shared my contacts with either one. Both thought I might know the woman I took to my senior prom. That was a long time ago and while I’m grateful that she’s one of the people who introduced me to my wife, I really only see her at my wife’s class reunions. Linked-In recently told me I might know David Einhorn, the billionaire hedge fund guy who is probably most famous in this area for trying to buy into the NY Mets. I was in a group of 20-25 people introduced to him at a ball game, but I wouldn’t say I know him and I’m a thousand percent sure he wouldn’t say he knows me.

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What should I get my wife for Mother’s Day? Frankly I’ve run out of gift ideas, not just for that but for anything. To balance things out, I’ve run out of gifts I want to receive as well.

When Queen Elizabeth dragged Prince Charles with her to the ceremonial opening of Parliament on Wednesday, my daughter wanted to know if it was bring your children to work day in Great Britain.

Is Martha Stewart being paid for looking for a date using Match.com? The website has experienced tons of publicity and a surge in membership, so I assume so, but if she is being paid by someone other than the Today show when she appears there to promote the search, I think it should be disclosed.

Why are there no B batteries?

I always confuse the word artisan with the word artesian. So, sometimes I wonder how cheese could ever be able to come out of the ground without benefit of a pump, or with for that matter.

Where did I park my car?

Don’t you need a gun and a mask to charge that much for a new ignition key and a new remote for your car? Admittedly they weren’t new cars, but I’ve owned more than one car that cost less to buy than the dealer wants for a new key and fob for my five-year-old truck.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

I’m all for recycling plastic, so why can’t they make the little numbers inside the triangles on the bottoms of the plastic containers big enough to read?

Diamonds are a girl’s best friend and a dog is man’s best friend. Is that unfair to men or women?

Every spring I wonder, shouldn’t the plural of crocus be croci?

Do you understand the show “Deadliest Catch?” I don’t. When I was growing up, nobody wanted to catch crabs.

Isn’t that Marshall Efron doing the voice of the cartoon general in the TV commercials for The General Insurance?

Why is my kitchen exhaust fan just as noisy on low speed as it is on high?

Are pancakes really so hard to cook that we need the Flip Jack pan?

Why are we supposed to tip the newspaper delivery guy? When I was a paper boy, I bought papers wholesale and sold them for list price. A tip, if I got one was a little extra for the convenience of getting the paper delivered to the door. These days the newspaper delivery person is an adult working from a car, very early in the morning. And, the cost of newspaper home delivery is higher than the price printed on the newspaper. So, they’re being paid more than retail for their service, right? Therefore, why are we also supposed to tip?

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One of the biggest questions of 2013 so far is who’se baby is going to get more publicity when it’’s born, Kate’’s or Kim’’s?

I’’m not a big fan of reality TV and I’’ve never seen the show “Fashion Star,” but I did see Nicole Richie on “Today” this morning. I know her father is famous and that she and Paris Hilton became famous for being famous, but how can she be a featured player on a TV show if she’s as inarticulate and stammers as much as she did on “Today?”

Why did Jody Arias take the witness stand in her murder trial? She’’s the 32-year-old Arizona woman accused of stabbing Travis Alexander multiple times. The NY Daily News reported, “Prosecutors claim she killed Alexander in a jealous rage, stabbing and slashing him 27 times, slitting his throat and shooting him in the head.” She says self-defense. It’’s almost never a good idea for a defendant to take the witness stand because it allows prosecutors to ask questions on cross examination that would not be permitted otherwise. Based on news reports, I don’’t think she’’s helping herself and she’’d stand a better chance with the self-defense claim if Alexander hadn’’t been stabbed 27 times. Generally, a lot of stabs and/or a lot of shots indicate rage was an element of the crime.

On the TV show “Pawn Stars,” I think I saw someone pawn something once, but I don’t believe I’’ve ever seen anyone buy anything at the store. Still, the time Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me) and I drove past the store in Las Vegas, there was a line to get in, so someone must be buying their stuff.

Whenever there’’s a big storm, the weather forecasters on TV keep talking about “The Eurpoean model.” Who is this European model? Heidi Klum? And why would a European model know anything about meteorology.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

I understand the need for security with respect to credit card accounts. I even appreciate it. Still, why can I use the same Visa credit card account twice in one day at the Home Depot a mile or so from my house, but my wife and I can’’t fill up our cars at the gas station three blocks from our house on the same day?

Since preposterous is a word, why aren’’t posterous and postposterous words as well? And yes, I know that posterous is a website that was sold to Twitter and is closing down in April, but it’’s still not a word and that’s preposterous.

In real estate, why do short sales take a long time?

The spam filter on my blog bounced a comment from one-third of my commenters (Richard formerly from New Jersey). Therefore, I shut off the spam filter. So, now I get spam comments. You don’t see them because the comments are moderated. For your comment to appear here, it has to meet two requirements: no spam; and no flaming. Why do the spam comments show up in posts I made months or even years ago? Is it just to create mischief? It doesn’’t seem to me that most people who visit blogs go through all the back posts in order to find spam.

When’’s the last time Paris Hilton was in the news? I don’’t want her back, I just wonder.

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Has the Super Bowl pre-game show started yet?

It’s not football, but are you on Team February or Team Febyouary?

Are garbage trucks designed to maximize the noise they make?

I have never seen the TLC reality TV show “Here Comes Honey Boo Boo,” but I have seen the promos and they make me ask, is it shown with subtitles?

There’s a book called ““Dreams of My Real Father”” that claims President Obama’’s real father was a poet named Frank Marshall Davis. The book also says that Mr. Davis was a communist and that the President’’s mother posed for nude photos some of which were published in fetish magazines. The book is controversial and you can find lots of material on the internet claiming to debunk it. I don’’t know whether anything in the book is true, but if Mr. Davis was President Obama’’s father, that would be proof positive that the President wasn’’t born in Kenya. Wouldn’’t it?

Do you think real estate in New York and San Francisco is expensive? Have you heard about the guy in Paris France who lived in a 17 square foot apartment with a ceiling slanted so he couldn’’t stand up everywhere in the room? The rent was 330 Euros or about $442 a month and he lived there for 15 years before running afoul of building codes that say an apartment must be at least 97 square feet and have a shower.

Someone has asked you at some time to “keep an eye out” for something or someone, haven’’t they? But, if you actually did take your eye out so you could keep it out, wouldn’’t that make it harder (rather than easier) to see?

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When do you take down your Christmas decorations? Or do you leave them up all year?

decorations-3.jpg

This year, trying to look organized, I took ours down on January 7th. Yes, I am bragging.

Have you seen the TV commercial for Progressive Insurance where a guy is juggling three chain saws? Would it surprise you if Progressive doesn’t issue policies that cover chain-saw juggling?

German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said, “That which doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” So how come you start losing strength many years before you die?

Have you heard the radio commercial for ROKU, the inexpensive device to make your TV Internet enabled? My daughter has one and she likes it. I have nothing against the device, but I think the commercial is strange. It suggests you should sit around and watch TV while other people achieve important things. Is that a selling point? And anyway, some of the things they suggest others will achieve have already been achieved. Mars rover? Been there, done that. Battery-powered battery charger? The have those. I can even charge my cell phone from my laptop.

Veal, meatball and chicken Parmesan. Why are they called that when they have Mozzarella cheese melted all over them, not Parmesan cheese?

Speaking of cheese, since the people who make Cheez Whiz spell cheese the way they do, why do they spell whiz correctly?

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This isn’’t a question, but since it’’s my first blog post of 2013, the Sisyphus Project is copyright 2008-2013.

Is there a way to get a refund for unused credit from Google Voice? Most Google Voice services are free, but there’’s a small charge for overseas calls. From where I live to Shanghai, for example, costs two cents a minute. When my son and daughter were in Shanghai in 2009, I paid ten dollars in advance for the charges I would incur. But I didn’’t use it all up before they both came back. So Google Voice has had a small amount of my money for a year and a half. I’d like it back, but if there’’s a way to get it, I couldn’’t find it. I’d even be happy if I could transfer the credit to Google Music.

If someone wants a new car at Christmas time, can they get anything they want, or does it always have to be a Lexus?

Have you seen the new commercial for the Google Chrome web browser? As a music bed, it uses Louie Lymon & the Teenchords’ recording of “I’’m So Happy.”” If you were 15 when that recording was made, you’re 72 now. It makes me wonder again about the science of advertising, because I I’’m guessing the music bed distracts at least some older people who might otherwise pay attention to the commercial and I also think it might make some younger people change the channel. So, I repeat a question I’’ve asked before in similar circumstances: who exactly are they marketing to anyway?

Did you get what you wanted for Christmas? The instructions for the elaborate flash unit my wife bought me are 39 pages long. I have some reading to do.

Around this time of years, the military sends video recordings to TV stations of soldiers from the station’s’ areas who are stationed in a war zone and sending holiday greetings back home. Some stations run them and some don’’t, so you may never have seen them. All the ones I’’ve seen this year address their families and wish them “happy holidays.” I have no objection to that phrase. I celebrate Christmas, but you can celebrate whatever you want and I hope you both celebrated and enjoyed. However, if you’’re speaking directly to your family, shouldn’’t you know what holidays they celebrate? If you do, why not be specific?

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In the wake of the horrendous school shooting in Newtown CT., can we please concentrate on the innocent children and the heroic school personnel who lost their lives like Dawn Hochsprung and Victoria Soto? I’’d like not to direct any attention or notoriety toward the shooter who probably did what he did at least in part to spread his name all over the world.

When children play with their food, do they keep score? If they do, who wins more often, the kids or the food?

Have you seen the Capital One commercial with the little girl who doesn’’t want fifty percent more cash? How did they get any child that age to say yes so many times?

You never got that pony for Christmas and you never will because how can Santa possibly gift-wrap a pony?

I’ve told you some of my Christmas stories over the last several years. Do you have any you’’d like to share? Or Hanukkah stories, or Festivus stories, or stories from any other holiday that’’s celebrated this time of year?

Are what used to be known as broken families now the norm? Basically all of the made-for-TV Christmas movies I’ve seen this year are about single moms, widows, widowers, orphans, etc., and none of them about what we used to call nuclear families.

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Who is this Fiscal Cliff guy who’s mentioned in every TV newscast these days and why is everyone afraid of him?

What do you want for Christmas? Or since it starts this weekend, what do you want for Hanukkah?

At Christmas time, the airwaves abound with commercials where someone says, ““He went to Jared,”” when some guy buys some romantic jewelry for his girlfriend. Okay, but wouldn’’t, ““He went to Tiffany’s,”” be even more romantic?

There’’s another TV spot for TD Ameritrade, an on-line stock broker. The commercial, apparently designed to appeal to active adults, features a sky diver. It also features a music pad that comes from a TV show from 1955, once again prompting the question: what demographic are they trying to sell to anyway?

While walking along the sidewalk the other day I passed a tanning salon. In the window, they had a big poster of a pretty young woman in a white bikini getting a spray tan. If you wore a white bikini to get a spray tan, wouldn’t it stain the suit? And, if the spray tan doesn’t come off of you in the ocean, would it come out of the bathing suit in the wash?

Why does Bed Bath & Beyond even put expiration date on those 20%-Off-One-Item coupons they distribute everywhere? I used one on Tuesday that expired about 19 months ago.

Did you hear about the terrible crash between a parade float and a freight train in Midland Texas in November? Several people on the float were killed. I don’’t know what other contributing factors were involved, but it serves as a reminder that you should never pull on to railroad tracks if you don’’t have room on the other side to move off the tracks immediately.

Rutgers has agreed to join the Big 10 athletic conference, becoming its 14th member and raising the question, isn’t it time for the Big 10 to change its name?

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Why didn’’t the FBI remove boxes of potential evidence from Paula Broadwell’s North Carolina home before the Petraeus scandal became public, instead of waiting until the Monday night after?

President Obama said there’s no evidence that General Petraeus’’ affair with Paula Broadwell jeopardized national security. If that’’s true, then even if the administration wanted him out, why did they make him jump under a bus as he left? And don’’t we have something more important than that to take up half the network TV newscasts for a week?

If I don’’t order something, under every business law I’’m aware of, I don’’t have to pay for it. So, how come I have to pay for a text message that someone sends to me, but I didn’t ask for?

Have you seen the new J C Penney TV commercial using music by T-Rex? The band broke up 35 years ago when the lead singer died. The song, “”Bang a Gong,”” is 40 years old. All the models in the commercial are at least ten years younger than the band or the song. Exactly what demographic is that commercial aimed at?

Do you think they’’ll ever finish the New Jersey Turnpike?

Have you seen the Capital One commercial with the little girl who doesn’t want fifty percent more cash? How did they get any child that age to say yes so many times?

Why does my phone say, “Droid,” every night around 7:00 PM? Is there any way I can stop it from doing that? It used to do it around 8:00 PM, so how come Verizon Wireless didn’t switch that computer to standard time?

Also about my phone: if I let the battery die completely, plugging it in to charge it doesn’t allow me to use the phone right away. I have to get the battery up to five percent charge before it’’ll work, even while plugged in. Why?

Last month, the History Channel ran a show called “101 Gadgets That Changed The World.” How can one take this program seriously when #87 was the Ginsu knife and the wheel, the lever and the inclined plane aren’t even on the list?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Can anyone tell me when the Yankees were last swept in a post-season series? I don’’t recall. It was probably the 1963 World Series which was worse because it was the World Series, not the ALCS. I’’m actually quite surprised that even though he’s been dead for quite a while, we haven’t heard from George Steinbrenner about this. George must be spinning in his grave. Am I right?

You’’ve cleaned out the lint filter on your clothes dryer, haven’’t you? So, have you ever wondered why your clothes don’’t eventually disappear if you put them in there often enough? And, since they don’’t, where does all that lint come from anyway?

While watching the Washington Nationals and the St. Louis Cardinals play game five of their division series last Friday night, I thought of something I should have asked about years ago, many years ago. Why do the Cardinals’’ road uniforms include blue hats? Have you ever seen a blue cardinal?

Why does Advair runs commercials in which the medicine to ease breathing difficulties talks about employing a bronchodialator? I know that’s the right word and I know it’’s not missing a letter “i”, but whenever I hear it, I can’t help wondering why I would need medicine to make my horse open wider.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

I’’ve been saving up some of these questions for a while because I’’ve been on vacation.

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Is it alright to buy odds and ends separately, or can you only get them together?

After doing the laundry, I wondered why some of my underwear comes out of the dryer right side out, while none of my wife’s does.

With topless photos, bottomless too or so I’’ve heard, of the Duchess of Cambridge all over the Internet, one has to wonder about the state of security for the British royal family. If a photographer sitting in a tree or by the side of the road can capture photos like that, what’s to stop a sniper similarly situated from killing Prince William?

Insurgents in Afghanistan have said they’’re trying to kill or kidnap Britain’s Prince Harry. Why does he have to be in Afghanistan in the first place? And, since he is, why isn’’t his location being kept secret?

The Today Show had a big feature on Justin Bieber which made me wonder, if instead of Justin, his mom had named him Bucky Bieber, would he appeal to a much older demographic? And would he be known for his teeth rather than his hair?

Dina Lohan, Michael Lohan, Lindsay Lohan. Why does anyone pay any attention to any of them?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

““The Blues Brothers”” was on cable this morning. Just how many full-sized Dodge four-door sedans were harmed while making that movie anyway?

Has America really aged so much that the Fonz has replaced Fred Thompson as the spokesman in ads for reverse mortgages?

Why does the dentist give kids lollipops? Is it to ensure future business?

Have you seen the TV commercials that say there are lots of jobs in cyber-security so you should earn a degree completely on line from the University of Maryland University College? My daughter suggests that with such a name, perhaps the University of Maryland University College also offers a program where you can earn two degrees at the same time from the University’’s Department of Redundancy Department and that for each degree you can both major and minor in redundancy.

I’’ve read recently of several arrests for kiddie porn. It’’s good that the cops are finding these despicable people. But how do the despicable people find each other? I’’m not going to try to Google, “”buy kiddie porn,”” and the town where I live, but I presume the cops are doing that all the time as one way of looking for them.

In need of some fast food, I went to Arby’s. The woman behind the counter gave me a selection of sauce packets. My wife, Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me), knowing that I don’’t care for horseradish sauce, expropriated the packets of Horsey Sauce that I bought home. So I asked her, “”Other than our lifetime together and all the times I’’ve said it, what makes you think you can just take anything that belongs to me and use it as you please?””

Were you glued to the TV during the Olympics? I know that’’s the only way I would have watched the whole thing.

If you never know, why do we even have schools?

Are mums for sale in the supermarket the first sign of autumn?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

My friend Richard once tried to figure out what he could search for that wouldn’’t return any results on Google. That leads me to wonder what’s the largest number of results possible if you search Google? I searched Google for the phrase “Things I Want (Or Need) To Know.” While I got almost 400-thousand hits, the ninth one wasn’’t about this topic in my blog. I also searched Google for the word Google and got almost 14-million hits. I was kind of worried that searching Google for Google might break the Internet.

If Curiosity is on Mars now, can it still kill cats here on Earth?

Why can’’t the TV content producers, cable TV companies and the DVR companies get their act together so that when you use the program guide to set the DVR to record something, the DVR doesn’t cut off the beginning, the end, or both?

If my doctor’’s office called me yesterday to remind me that I have an appointment tomorrow, would it be rude for me to call my doctor’’s office today to remind the doctor that he has an appointment tomorrow too? I mean, I’’m not the one who forgets these things.

How do you throw away a garbage pail?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Mayflower Movers is running a TV ad in which they specify that one of the services they offer is to provide “portable containers.” Isn’’t that redundant? If the container isn’’t portable, isn’’t it called a building?

USA 156, Nigeria 73 in Olympic basketball. There are several questions we can ask here.

Was it sportsmanlike for the US to run up the score THAT much?

Does Nigeria have any business sending a basketball team to the Olympics if they’’re that outmatched? Based on that match, I was going to question whether basketball should even be an Olympic sport, but subsequent games have been more evenly matched.

Why does anyone watch the opening ceremony for the Olympics? I’’ll admit there might be elements of it that are interesting to someone. The speeches, for instance, are probably interesting to the mothers of the people who make them, but on the whole I find the ceremony boring. Plus, don’’t we already know that Greece finishes first in the parade, thereby winning the gold medal in parade?

I lost a tiny MP3 player. It’’s tiny; it’’s easy to lose even though it’s red. Plus, I’’m good at losing things. Whenever I lose something, my wife, Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me) asks me where I had it last. This always annoys me. It’’s one of the few things she does that annoys me. Why? Does she think I haven’’t asked myself that question? And, if I knew the answer to that question, whatever I’’ve lost when she asks it wouldn’’t be lost. Would it?

Is a 4G phone heavier than a 3G phone? Shouldn’’t it be?

According to Louis Freeh’’s investigation, Graham Spanier, Joe Paterno and other former high-ranking officials at Penn State covered up a child sex abuse scandal to preserve the reputation of the university and its football program. That’’s worked out really well, hasn’t it?

I found the MP3 player. It was in the last place I left it. But, I found it by looking for it, not by remembering where I put it. If I could remember where I left stuff, I’’d never lose anything, would I? As an aside, I discovered this week that I have another utility knife. This one’’s blue. I think that’s seven, but frankly, I’’ve lost count.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

There’’s a pool company on Long Island called “Brothers 3 Pools” that advertises heavily on cable TV. In the ads, a young woman urges you to remember, ““My uncle makes them: My father sells them.”” Okay, but what does the third brother do? She’s been keeping us in suspense for years.

My friend Wes Richards asked the following question in his blog recently (see my blog roll to get to his blog) and since I want to know the answer too, I repeat it here: If you throw your hat into the ring, it means you’’re in it to win it. If you throw your towel into the ring, it means you quit. If you throw a white terry cloth hat into the ring, does it mean you’’re in and out at the same time?

Khloe Kardashian has a new baby named Penelope. That raises the question, how can you possibly pronounce the name Penelope as if it started with the letter K?

Why do dogs LOVE air blowing in their faces?

Google Voice is, among other things, an inexpensive and practical solution to making overseas calls from the USA. I used it frequently last year to call my son when he was in China for three months. But I haven’’t used it for that purpose in over a year and I don’’t know anyone else who’’s overseas right now. Does anyone know how I can get a refund for the $3.82 in credit that remains in the account? I’’d even be satisfied if I could use the $3.82 to buy music downloads from them.

If cows could laugh, would milk come out of their noses?

Nobody but the security guard works the graveyard shift at a cemetery, so why do they call it that?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

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Do you realize that the phrase ““Independence Day,”” and the phrase, ““The Fourth of July.”” have the exact same number of syllables?

Do you also realize that if we could get everyone to call it “Independence Day” we could have it on a Monday every year?

Andy Griffith passed away at the age of 86. The actor was best known for his role as homespun sheriff Andy Taylor on the ‘60’s “Andy Griffith Show. He also starred in the successful TV series “Matlock.” RIP Andy. But did you ever wonder why he had such a strong southern accent while Aunt Bea, Opie and Barney Fife didn’’t?

Why do they call it the Albert Einstein College of Medicine? The school’’s website describes Professor Einstein as, “The renowned scientist and humanist.”” True. Professor Einstein is no doubt one of the most prominent scientists in history. But he was a theoretical physicist whose discoveries had little or nothing to do with medicine. I don’’t think he was wealthy enough to endow the college and it’s associated with Yeshiva University while he was a professor at Princeton. So, why do they call it the Albert Einstein College of Medicine?

Have you read Rielle Hunter’s book, ““What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me?”” I haven’’t. It’’s been described as a tell-all book: I’’m waiting for her “I’’m never going to say another word” book myself.

Things I Want (Or Need) to Know

What does the monster in the bedroom closet have nightmares about?

Why do they have a sign at the eastbound entrance to the Verrazano Bridge saying how long it’’s going to take to get across? First, the sign isn’’t correct. Last time I crossed it said 9 minutes and it took 24. Second, once you get to the sign, there’’s really nothing you can do about it but go across the bridge anyway.

If they want a sign telling you how long it takes to cross the Verrazano Bridge, shouldn’’t it be on the Jersey Turnpike west of the Goethals Bridge so you can make a meaningful decision?

Don’’t you just love it when you get to the head of a traffic jam and there doesn’’t seem to have been anything causing it?

How come New York City radio station traffic reporters ignore Staten Island?

Why do they even bother to have speed limit signs on the New Jersey Turnpike? As far as I can tell, most traffic goes about 75 mph whenever traffic conditions permit, no matter whether the limit is 65, 55, or even in work zones where it’s 45.

Has anyone ever pawned anything on the TV show “Pawn Stars?”

Did you know that if you have a Facebook account, you also have an email address ending in “@facebook.com?”

Did you ever use your email address ending in “@facebook.com?”

Do you know anyone else who uses such an email address?

If someone is running a robocall operation, can they tell if the people they call always hang up on them? Do they know what percentage of the people they call listen to the entire message? Do they cull their call lists based on that information? Do they even care?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Since it’’s Queen Elizabeth’’s diamond jubilee, shouldn’’t she be all sparkly? I mean, cherries jubilee is full of cherries, isn’’t it?

Do you ever wonder if the British media are as excited over Queen Elizabeth’’s diamond jubilee as Katie Couric was during her ABC 20/20 special on the event?

If MS Word’’s spelling and grammar checker can’t determine any proper use of the contractions it’’s and its’’, why do they flag them all as wrong?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Groupon recently sent me a discount offer for bikini wax. That made me wonder why would anyone need or even want a shiny bikini?

Has anyone ever been arrested for touching a child appropriately? Of course not! I’’m not making fun of a problem, I’’m making fun of the way we describe a problem. Sex abuse and especially child sex abuse is very serious, so serious that I think euphemisms like “inappropriate touching” are really out of place.

Why are there so many different ends on USB cables?

Onions and garlic are in the same botanical family, right? So, how come onions don’t have any effect on vampires?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Even if you use Facebook, and I do, why would you buy the stock when it’’s trading at THAT MANY times earnings? I’’m not saying the stock won’’t be successful, just that it strikes me as extremely overpriced. If it’’s going to be worth that stock price, they’’ll have to operate a lot more aggressively to increase their earnings enough to justify it.

Did you read about how a CIA drone was used to attack and kill Fahd Mohammed Ahmed al-Quso, an Al Qaeda leader on the FBI most wanted list who was reported planning a new and improved underwear bombing attack? Honestly, I don’’t understand underwear bombing. How are the 72 virgins who’’ll greet you in Paradise going to do you any good if you’’ve blown off your private parts?

If Google succeeds in its current effort to develop a driverless car, will someone riding in the car still have to have a driver’’s license?

Why is it that soda, or pop, or soft drinks, or whatever they call it where you live is sold in two-litre bottles while milk and orange juice are sold by the half gallon? And with ice cream and a lot of other goods being sold in smaller packages at no reduction in price, do the bottlers of soda realize that switching to a half gallon bottle would effectively raise the price?

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Right now, my daughter is watching an MTV show. As far as I can tell, it’’s called “Ridiculousness.” It’’s a show consisting of lots of clips of people hurting themselves while doing dumb things. There’’s also a small panel, members of which laugh at the clips. Why is this funny?

If eight hours is considered a healthy night’’s sleep, why don’’t I ever sleep more than six, no matter how tired I am or how late it is when I go to bed?

Don’’t banks make money on the float anymore? The bank that holds our mortgage paid our school taxes three or four weeks before the due date. If I were a stockholder, I’d object to paying early.

Don’’t you just love it when you pull up in the left lane behind a car stopped at a red light, and after the light turns green the jerk driving puts on his left turn signal? I know I do.

Why do they call it “rush hour” when it’’s anything but?

Did you ever clean the lint filter in your clothes dryer? Yeah, me too. So, why don’’t your clothes eventually disappear if you always put them in the dryer?

Let’’s say someone calls me on my Google Voice phone number, and I have it set to forward calls to my cell phone. If I don’’t answer, which voice mail service does it actuate, Google Voice, or the cell phone? Here’s one I’’ll find out soon. If someone texts me on my Google Voice number, and that number is set to forward to my cell phone, will the cell phone provider charge me for receiving the forwarded message? I don’’t like texting because it costs the recipient money, so I don’’t have a texting plan.

Things I Want (or Need) to Know

Have you seen Time Magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people? Not a very serious list, is it?

Fifty years ago, you’d see stretched passenger cars or station wagons like this, called airport limos, around big airports and certain resorts.

airport limo

This one is a 1960 Chevy. The website where I first saw the photo said the car is rated to carry 18 passengers, but eight doors implies four bench seats which would mean it holds only 12. That is, of course, unless the station wagon before it was stretched had a third row seat. If that’s the case it probably holds 14 people. Still, that made me wonder, how many clowns do you suppose it would hold?

Do your kids take “English Language Arts” in school? What the heck is up with that? Is it an effort on the part of schools to give teaching English a higher status? To me English Language Arts is just poor English. The term doesn’t do anything more to describe the subject than the term English does. So, English Language Arts lends obfuscation to the subject, not clarity.

Which came first, the refrigerator or the magnet?

Would noise-cancelling headphones do anything for my tinnitus?

The expression ““head over heels in love”” has recently come to bother me. If by “over” you mean above, then my head is almost always over my heels, except while I’’m sleeping. So, is there really anything special about being “head over heels in love?”

Have we really sunk so low as a society that the question of whether and/or how Kim Kardasian acquired a hickey is worthy of network TV news stories? Yeah, we have.

During the run up to last month’s $640 million Mega Millions prize drawing, I kept hearing how much worse the odds were of winning the lottery than say being struck by lightning or eaten by a shark. This led me to ask, what are the odds of being struck by lightning while being eaten by a shark?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

How did you observe Pi day? You know, 3/14, the day that celebrates the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter which is about 3.14. That’’s why it’’s observed on 3/14 you see. I celebrated it with vanilla ice cream on top. Evidently enough people celebrated by going to www.piday.org to learn more about pi that when I tried, the page wouldn’’t load.

If it were daylight savingS time, wouldn’’t it also be eastern standardS time?

How can something be both new, and improved? If it’’s really new, it hasn’’t had time to be changed (in order to improve it) yet, has it?

Did you see the video on the Internet of two cute penguins on a Delta Airlines flight? Don’’t those penguins have to be able to fit underneath the seat in front of their owners?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Can’’t you be against the government paying for everyone’’s birth control without calling anyone a slut or a prostitute?

Some ultra-conservatives are arguing that birth control shouldn’’t be widely available no matter who pays for it. I haven’’t talked to Bill Baird in a very long time, but wasn’’t the issue of contraception settled in this country in the 1970’s? If you don’t know who Bill Baird is, look him up. He must be close to 80 years old and March 22 is the 40th anniversary of a US Supreme Court decision involving him. Baird is both a birth control, and an abortion advocate. I know people who agree with him on one, but not the other.

I agree with those who say that the personal attack Rush Limbaugh leveled on Sandra Fluke was wrong. Still, which amendment to the US Constitution is the one that guarantees that nobody will ever be offended? I missed that one.

Why do they call them ticker tape parades, when they don’’t even have ticker tape anymore?

Do dead possums ever play live?

Does the tooth fairy ever take somebody’s dentures by mistake?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

When I read that CBS is resurrecting the show “Person to Person,” it led me to wonder if they’’re resurrecting Edward R. Murrow too.

Have we reached the point in this country where you have to cheat on your spouse in order to run for public office? If so, that’’s one more reason I’’ll never run.

Attention iTunes programmers: I don’’t want the program to automatically download anything, so how (other than giving the program the information it wants) can I stop it from asking me twice to sign in every time I open the program to listen to some music?

When I turn on my Android phone, it says “DROID!” quite loudly in a strange voice that sounds as if it might be machine generated. Does anyone here know how to turn that off? The voice, not the phone. I know how to turn the phone off. I thought maybe I could replace the sound file that generates the word with a sound file that’s silent, but I can’t locate the appropriate file.

Since they have Caterpillar earth-moving equipment, why have I never seen any Moth or Butterfly earth-moving equipment? It seems as if it would be a natural progression to me.

Has the TV Show “Cheers” really been off the air for so long that when you hear that song on TV, you think of State Farm Insurance and not the show?

Grey Goose Vodka is now running a TV commercial that uses the song ““C’’est Ci Bon.”” The song is over 50 years old and, like its title, the entire lyric is written in French. This makes me wonder what demographic Grey Goose intends the ad to appeal to when vodka is generally thought of as Russian, and advertisers typically want to appeal to an audience fewer than 54 years of age because advertising agencies think older people aren’’t influenced very much by commercials.

Things I Know

In case you didn’’t think so, and since I forgot to mention it for two weeks, the Sisyphus project is also copyrighted 2012.  All rights continue to be reserved.

At some time in the history of television, some show business professional fortunate enough to win an award must have made an entertaining acceptance speech. However, while flipping in and out of the Golden Globes, hoping to see Ricky Gervais say something really inappropriate, I can’’t think of one tonight.

As long as I’’m talking about award shows, if you win an award, and you’’d like to thank someone, don’’t tell us that you’’d like to, just thank them. Telling us you’’d like to thank them takes three extraneous words that someone else has surely already said.

Every politician, or almost every one, knows that if you try to thank everyone, you’’ll forget someone. That’’s why most of them don’’t try. Actors, directors, producers, etc., should know the same thing.  I hope they do know it someday.

I’’ve known for a long time, and said here before that the older you get the older both young and old get. I’’ve also said that growing older means having to explain things to grownups. Last Thursday night, I hung around for a few hours in Midtown Manhattan with a group of students who now attend a university I once attended. As I left that party, I realized that the older you get the MORE stuff you have to explain to grownups.

It didn’’t surprise me to find out there is a place in midtown Manhattan called “Peep World” (and while I didn’’t go inside, I don’’t think it sells baby chicks). Since I walked past it on Thursday night, if my reader needed to know where it was, hypothetically of course, I could now tell him or her.

I thought it only got as windy as it was here on Friday and Saturday on days I put those lightweight plastic garbage cans out on the curb to blow away, but Friday and Saturday proved to me that I was wrong about that. The cans apparently don’’t cause the wind after all.

I may be the last person in the world to do this, but I finally programmed my telephone for a personal ringtone. It took me a while to realize this, but personalized ringtones are actually useful as well as, of course, annoyingly cute. If you’’re in a room with a hundred people, and you hear a noise, you’’ll know either the phone call is for you or Doctor Who has just shown up in his TARDIS.

Oh God! Not only does the spell-checker in MS Word know how to spell TARDIS, it knows it’’s an acronym, so every letter should be capitalized.

If she hadn’’t died in 1971, Toughie Brasuhn would be 88 years old on Tuesday. If you don’’t already know, you don’’t care, so there’’s really no need to look it up. But I thought to look it up because I couldn’’t sleep last Tuesday morning and at 1:00 AM, modern-day Roller Derby was on Cablevision Channel 22. They didn’’t say, but I’’m pretty sure it no longer comes from the 69th Regiment Armory.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

What’’s your New Year resolution? My New Year resolution is not to make any New Year resolutions. That’’s been my only resolution for a long time now, and I have no trouble keeping it.

Do Orthodox Christians celebrate New Year’’s Day thirteen days later than the rest of us too?

It didn’’t take Verizon Wireless very long to back down from that two-dollar charge for making one-time payments on line, did it? I believe they can hear us now, don’’t you?

Have you seen the TV commercial for a product called Hot Booties? They’re slippers and the soles that contain linseeds. According to the spot, you put them in the microwave oven, and when you take them out they keep your feet warm. The commercial even shows steam rising from the fresh-out-of-the-oven Hot Booties. That leads me to ask, do they come with their own dedicated microwave?

When it comes right down to it, aren’’t we all feckless? I mean, do you know anyone who owns even one single feck? Feck actually was once a word (it could be a noun or a verb), but most references list it as obsolete now.

Just exactly how American is apple pie anyway?

Have you seen those battery-operated finish nailers? The ones you can use without an air compressor? Did you know they cost at least as much, if not more than a compressor, and a nailer?  Since you don’’t have to lift up the compressor every time you drive a nail, the cordless ones are heavier than the pneumatic tool, and therefore more tiring to use too.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Is the world really going to end this time next year, or did the Mayans just go out of business (due to a hostile takeover by Spain) before they could publish a sequel to that famous calendar?

Can somebody please explain to me why some of the packages I order on line sit around my local post office for two days before they’’re delivered? According to the tracking data they provide, a package I ordered arrived at my local post office on Monday and was slated for delivery on Wednesday.

There is a small community off Rte 17 in upstate NY called Fishs Eddy. I’’m reminded of it because I drove past it over the weekend. Shouldn’’t it have an apostrophe in its name, or another “e?”

If you’’re in the express checkout line at the supermarket, do you mind if the person in front of you has more than the approved number of items? I hate it! If I ran a supermarket, and you got on the line with too many items, I’’d check out the number allowed, and tell you to go stand on the line again.

If you were looking for a recipe for Sushi, would you find one in a cookbook? I mean Sushi isn’’t cooked, right?

Do on-line merchants start their post Christmas sales after Christmas, or after they can no longer guarantee delivery of presents by Christmas?

I’’m pretty sure we won’’t have a white Christmas on Long Island, but if it stays as warm as it has been for much longer, do you think we can have fresh, home-grown tomatoes?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Is “bookkeeping” the only word in the English language with three double letters in a row?

According to the Wall Street Journal, Sears Holdings Corp. owner of Sears and K-Mart lost $421 million in the quarter ending October 31st. Some retail analysts think the company is planning to milk its stores, sell its respected brands, and then sell off the real estate, and get out of retail. If Sears does go out of business, what happens to the lifetime guarantee on all my Craftsman tools?

How did Santa handle the naughty, and nice list before we had computerized databases, and tracking cookies?

Can you remember the last time you chewed gum? I can’’t remember the last time I did.

Has any supermarket anywhere ever had 2-liter bottles of Coke, and Pepsi on sale the same week?

Do you think my wife will buy it if I tell her I need a compressor, and a couple of nail guns to build radiator covers and book cases? More importantly, will she let me buy the kit?

Are there really very few people who want bubble lights on their Christmas trees? The reason I ask is that the replacement lights are getting harder, and harder to find. The hardware store down the street used to stock them, but stopped two years ago, and bubble lights burn out faster than any other Christmas decoration I have.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Why did my endocrinologist’s office call me yesterday and again today to remind me of my appointment with him next week? After all, I’m not the one who has been late for any of the appointments, so I’m not the one who needs reminding. To be fair to him though, he still isn’t good, but he has gotten better at appointments in the past two years or so.

What did people use to distract cranky babies before we had car keys? And what are we going to use once proximity starting fobs become widespread?

Would the dog like it if I licked its face?

Don’’t you wonder why outlook and look out don’’t mean the same thing? Especially after what Yoda did to grammar.

The most recent chapter in the Lindsay Lohan story is that she was released from her 30-day jail sentence in a few hours because of prison overcrowding. After all the times she’s been slapped on the wrist, can she possibly have any respect whatsoever for our legal system? Hell, she’’s been slapped on the wrist so often that she must think someone’s trying to find a vein and give her a blood test.

What’’s the difference between Lindsay Lohan and Rick Perry? According to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, Lohan can finish a sentence in four-and-a-half hours.

If the world is my oyster, am I the oyster’s world too?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Do people or companies that place robocalls get a report telling them how many of the people who receive calls hang up as soon as they determine the nature of the call? If they do, I want to know what percentage of robocall recipients listen to the entire call, and what percentage of recipients does not.

I know that political ads, and charities are exempt from the federal no call list, but if I’’ve gone to the trouble of getting on the no call list, what makes you think I’’d welcome your exempt calls either? Whatever makes you think that, by the way, is wrong! In fact, this week I called my state senator’’s office, and politely told the woman who answered that I believe the senator is overdoing the robocalls.

The word “nosey” has an “e” in it, right”? So shouldn’’t the word “noisy” have one too? And since Halloween has just passed, let me say that “scary” should have an e in it too.

When was the apostrophe dropped from Halloween?

Bouillon cubes I understand, but why do they call it cubed steak?

The electrician I called is so late for his appointment now that I think he may be a doctor too. Would it be wrong to call two electricians, and tell the second one to show up to get lost?

Lindsay Lohan was reportedly paid a lot of money to pose naked for Playboy magazine. Who cares? About Lohan or about Playboy?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

I’’m not trying to be snarky here; I really want to know what the Occupy Wall Street protesters are trying to accomplish. I haven’’t heard any goals articulated, have you?

Did you watch the first round of the baseball playoffs on TBS? I have older TV’s; no high definition ones and I can’’t read the graphic on the upper right of the screen telling you what inning, what’’s the score, and how many outs there are. I can’’t read it even if I get close enough to see the pixels in the cathode ray tube. Can you? I can read it on a high-def set though. I know that because the tire store where I bought a pair of tires today had a high def set in the customer waiting room. How soon do you suppose it will be before you have to buy high definition TV’s to see what’’s on the screen properly? Analogue CRT sets are already obsolete; how soon before they’’re unusable?

If laughter is the best medicine, why did my health insurance turn down coverage of my tickets to a comedy club?

The phrase “one another” recently caught my eye. What’s the maximum number of anothers you can have in one place at one time anyway?

Did Nancy and Sir Paul choose to get married on John Lennon’’s birthday, or was it just a coincidence?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Denmark has passed a so-called fat tax on food that’’s high in trans-fats. Haven’’t the Danes heard about Danish pastry?

TV networks that air football games usually schedule them for three hours. On CBS, for example, the late-afternoon football game is scheduled to air from 4:00 PM and 7:00 PM. During the football season, the news magazine 60 Minutes always airs late. There must be statisticians around who know that a one-hour football game takes more than three hours. Why don’’t the networks schedule the games to air for at least as long as the median football game takes to be aired?

I heard audio clips of President Obama’’s speech last month before the Black Congressional Caucus’’ annual dinner. Where did he get that accent? Wasn’’t he born in Hawaii?

Do you think Jennifer Lopez has ever driven a Fiat 500 anyplace except in the TV commercial she does for the car?

Night games in the MLB division championships are scheduled for first pitch at 8:37 PM eastern time. I know they want the audience in middle and western time zones to be able to see the first pitch, but don’’t you think it would be nice to schedule the game so people on the east coast can see the last pitch?

I wanted to marry my wife, not her hand, so why did I ask for her hand in holy matrimony?

Do you have a Google Voice account? It’’s pretty amazing really. One of its features is if you get a voice mail message, you can set your account to email you a computerized transcript of the message. Wouldn’’t it be even more amazing if the emails you got were coherent? I don’’t get a lot of emails this way, but for the ones I have received, I’’ve been able to figure out what phone number to call back, but not a lot more.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • So the last two of the three of the young hikers arrested for spying near the Iraq-Iran border two years ago have been freed on $500,000 “bail” each.  I’’m pretty sure each of them has every intention of skipping bail.  But nobody paid any ransom, so it’s okay, right?

  • I hate being cold, so why do I live someplace that’’s cold for more of the year than it is hot?

  • Have you ever walked along a beach that is just covered with shell steaks?

  • Is there any other kind of cold than a miserable one?  I don’’t think so.  That’’s the only kind I’’ve ever had, and I had one starting last Thursday.  Unless a new symptom presents itself tonight or tomorrow, I think I’’m getting better now.

  • I’’ve lived in a lot of places, so I’’ve probably painted the inside of more houses, and apartments than most amateur house painters. That makes me wonder why I knocked over a bucket of paint today when I was trying to paint the walls, not the floor?  I’’ve never done that before.

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • Are there any other Word Press bloggers out there who can tell me how to reset the time on the blog?  I only ask because I posted my piece on 9-11-11 very early in the morning, right after midnight, but the blog software decided for me that I posted on 9-10-11, making my references to “today” seem a little silly.

  • Did you know that if you buy them from Amazon.com, you can subscribe to Good & Plenty candy, and then they’’ll send you more at specified intervals?  Subscribing to candy appeals to me a great deal more than subscribing to magazines does.

  • You’’ve got a lot of holes in your head and so, of course, do I.  There’’s your mouth, your nasal passages, your sinuses. and in my case, the large space where a normal person would have a brain.  Because of something called head resonance, your voice sounds different to you than it does to anyone else.  That’’s why someone who hears their voice recorded for the first time may be surprised, and think the recording doesn’’t sound like them.  To overcome head resonance, radio broadcasters often wear headphones, and turn them up quite loud so they can hear what they really sound like.  I did that when I was on the radio.  I think that’’s at least part of the reason for my hearing problems.  I have tinnitus, so if there’s a lot of background noise, I have trouble understanding what people are saying to me.  Since I know I have minor hearing problems, this leads me to ask you, do you have trouble understanding the actors on BBC TV programs?  I often do, and it’’s not because of the accents.  I think the background music is too loud, and some of the actors’ speech sounds muddy to me.

  • Why would you quit cold turkey?  I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving so I can make myself a delicious turkey sandwich on rye with mayo and cranberry sauce.  Just for the record, I like hot turkey sandwiches with giblet gravy too, but I prefer those on white bread.

  • I don’’t understand this kind of marketing, do you?  I never subscribed to Rolling Stone Magazine, but somebody sent it to me anyway.  Rolling Stone did ask me to renew, and I didn’’t do that either, but I’’m still getting the magazine.  I understand the logic behind a free sample, but how does one make money by giving away the product, and continuing to give it away once the user refuses to pay to continue receiving it?

  • Having confessed my fondness for the British sci-fi TV show Doctor Who, I’’ve never understood the following:  Why doesn’’t the Doctor’’s miraculous sonic screwdriver (which disrupts things electronic and mechanical) disrupt Daleks or Cybermen?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • I keep hearing commercials (or maybe they’’re public service announcements) on radio station WFAN for the Jerry Lewis Labor Day Telethon.  It was all over the place when the Muscular Dystrophy Association split with Jerry who raised over a billion dollars for them since the telethon began.  Have they made up?  I know there was one report, later retracted, in the Las Vegas Review Journal that they had, but I’’m still under the impression that Lewis is no longer in the picture, so why are they still using his name on the telethon?

  • Is your power back on yet?  I hope so.  Luckily for us we never lost ours during Hurricane Irene.

  • I understand that the entire power grid is outdoors (the part that is indoors belongs to the people who own the buildings) and that Hurricane Irene was as big as or bigger than Europe.  What I don’’t understand is hasn’’t it been outdoors since electricity became commercially available?  And weren’’t there storms outdoors when electric companies started doing business too?  I know putting the electric power lines underground is more expensive than putting them on poles, but in the name of reliability, shouldn’’t they do that, at least in the places subject to big windstorms like hurricanes, nor’’easters and blizzards?

  • Rolls of toilet paper with no cardboard tubes in the middle are probably good for the environment as long they continue to unroll smoothly when you need them to.  But how does the manufacturer know that doing away with the tubes saves enough cardboard in a year to fill the Empire State Building twice?  And is that measurement taken with flattened or uncompressed cardboard tubes.

  • By the way, do you know what those tubes are called?  They are doot-doots.  The name comes from the first little kid who pretended such a tube was a musical instrument, raised it to his lips to pretend to play it and said, “doot-doot, doot-doot, doot-doot.”

  • Since they rhyme, why aren’t nude and glued spelled consistently?

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Was hurricane iRene something Steve Jobs thought up before he stepped down as CEO of Apple?
  • With a hurricane churning up the east coast, I want to know where Jim Cantore of the Weather Channel is.  He turns up at weather disasters with such regularity I am beginning to believe he causes them.

  • I saw a five-series BMW driving five miles per hour under the speed limit on the New York State Thruway on Thursday.   Doesn’’t the factory have people they can send to confiscate a BMW from a driver like that?

  • Are you one of those annoying people who will swerve across lanes of traffic, cutting people off, because your highway exit came up unexpectedly?  That’’s not cool.  It’’s even less cool if you;’re driving a tanker truck like I saw in Ramapo NY yesterday.

  • To me, people who walk or drive behind cars or trucks as they are backing up fall into a special subcategory of jackass.  Why do you do that?  Don’’t you know it’’s dangerous?  A lot of cars and trucks don’’t have great visibility to the rear while backing up.  Mine doesn’’t, and I have three mirrors and a back-up TV camera.  If you had to back my truck out of a parking space, I bet you’d never walk or drive behind a vehicle as it is backing up again.

  • To the guy driving the silver Honda Odyssey in the left lane and the center lane and sometimes both lanes at the same time of the Cross-Bronx, Vehicle-Storage facility so slowly that everyone was passing you:  Don’’t you think you should sober up before taking your family for a ride?

  • Former Met and Phillies outfielder Lenny Dykstra was charged in Los Angeles with exposing himself to women who answered an employment ad he posted on Craig’’s List.  If the charges are true, does that mean he’s running for Congress?

  • When I see a commercial for the prescription drug Lyrica, I can’’t help pondering whether it helps you write better songs.

  • The new FM news station in New York, WEMP had a promo on yesterday about “weather whenever it happens.”  Weather happens all the time, so what the hell does that mean?

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • My son the lawyer emailed the head of the California office of a large international law firm and asked for an informational interview.  The gentleman graciously agreed.  Do you suppose his willingness to see my son had anything to do with the fact that he and I were friends in college?  In any event, the guy apparently lied through his teeth about me.  My son said the first twenty minutes of their talk was about me and that all of the stories he told about me were good!  Can you believe that?

  • Have you seen the TV commercial for Direct TV that uses an Asian actor who calls himself a whale (as in the Las Vegas term for a big-spending gambler)?  If I were Asian, I believe the stereotypical portrayal of the Asian guy in that commercial would offend me.

  • What kind of minerals do they use to make mineral spirits?  I only ask because that stuff is expensive.

  • Why do you need a prescription for a mammogram?  If your insurance had two requirements, I think we could get by without prescriptions for mammograms and slightly reduce the cost of health care.  The insurance could pay for mammograms once a year and require that the results be reported to your primary care doctor, thus eliminating one doctor visit, or at least one point of contact with one doctor.

  • Why does everyone in town get to pay to fix the road in front of my house, but if the sidewalk breaks, I have to pay for that all by myself?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • I wonder what the cause of Michelle Bachmann’’s public gaffes is.  Her latest faux pas was to wish Elvis Presley a happy birthday, not on his birthday (which is in January) but on the anniversary of his death.  She’’s achieved too much in life for me to think she’’s a complete moron, but if the gaffes were poor staff preparation, I have to think the responsible staff member would have been fired long ago.

  • When we pulled up the wall-to-wall carpet in our living room we found hardwood floors that were once very nice and are now badly stained because of various things spilled on the carpet over the years.  This led me to wonder if they make a carpet pad that won’’t let spills through to the floor underneath.

  • If you like doo wop music, did you know that Little Anthony’’s first name isn’’t Little?  It’’s Jerome.

  • The music I like is old enough that some of it isn’’t available as an MP3 download so I still buy the occasional CD.  When I look at a CD to buy on Amazon, the website only shows the first twenty tracks unless I click a second link.  There are even a few CD’s there where the website doesn’’t have a track listing at all and some that show who wrote the song rather than who sang it.  Why wouldn’’t I want to see all the tracks on a CD the first time I look it up?

  • I was delighted to be able to download the long-lost instructions for my ten-year-old cordless telephone system.  However, if I store it on my computer under its original file name, do you think that’ll be of any help the next time I need it?  The original file name of the downloaded instructions is PP_S2730_Cr_D57ACF1985235D4D9A0FA6E26EDB871C.pdf.  Just me,  but I would have thought Sony 2730 Cordless Phone Manual.pdf would have been a more helpful name, so I renamed it.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • How much extra would light fixtures, covers for wall switches, outlets and etc. cost if they made the screws that come with them just a quarter-inch longer?
  • Did you read as I did that in 43 states now grade school students are no longer required to learn cursive writing?  The theory is that everyone either prints or uses a keyboard now.  I suppose this means that once the few people with legible signatures die, nobody will be able to read anyone’s signature anymore, unless it’s a big “X.”  But the other big question is who will they get to write on birthday cakes?
  • Why do we need vacuum cleaners?  Isn’’t a vacuum already clean?  And aren’’t the vacuum cleaners we already have misnamed?  Aren’’t they really suction cleaners?

Shouldn’’t a salt bagel have more salt on it than this one does?

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Have you seen the promo on NBC for its upcoming series “Prime Suspect?”  The reason it caught my attention is the music in the promo is the song “”Mr. Sandman”” as sung by the Chordettes.  That song was published and recorded by the Chordettes in 1954.  Not just the song, but that version of the song, is almost sixty years old!  TV is advertiser driven.  Most advertisers want their ads to appeal to people under 54 years old because of the belief that older people are not swayed very much by commercials.  So, why does the promo for “Prime Suspect” use music designed to appeal to people who are about 70 years old?
  • The way TV news went overboard about the recent heat wave makes me wonder if people really tune into the networks’ evening newscasts to find out that it’s hot.
  • Is it autumn already, or did the extreme temperatures last week cause all the sycamore trees around here to turn yellow and start dropping their leaves?
  • The word “elderly” ends in “ly” so why isn’’t it an adverb?
  • Now that the last one has landed for the final time, I know all the NASA space shuttles are going to museums, but where are the giant crawlers that take the shuttle and its rocket from the assembly building to the launch pad going?  Wherever it is, I’’m sure they’’re going there slowly.  I mean, they’’re called crawlers, not runners, right?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  •  What’’s with all the back to school ads and sales?  Where I come from, summer vacation isn’’t half over.  School got out at the end of June and doesn’’t start again until the Wednesday after Labor Day.  It isn’’t even the end of July yet.
  • Prunes come from plums, right?  So how come pruning and plumbing have nothing to do with each other?

  • If the cat’s got your tongue, who’’s got your brisket and your pastrami?

  • Returning to the word shebang, have you ever seen more than one shebang or is there only one in God’’s creation?  If I’’m more interested in shebangs than you are, tough.  My blog isn’’t ratings dependent or advertiser supported and it is, to refer to the beginning of this sentence, my blog, so I have editorial control.

  • I asked before if shebangs were indivisible:  I wonder now if they’’re visible.

  • If there is more than one, do shebangs exist in various sizes or are they standardized? 

  • If they aren’’t standardized, do you suppose that somewhere, there’’s a physicist working on the big shebang theory?

  • You can find a treatise on the phrase whole shebang here.

  • Somebody who is reading this blog must know more about poetry than I do.  I know Ogden Nash wrote a book called ““You Can’t Get There from Here.””   I swear he also wrote a poem that started like that, but I can’’t find one in either of the Nash anthologies I own.  Can anyone reading this point me in the right direction, or assure me that I’’m wrong in remembering the poem?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Have you ever seen something less than a whole shebang?  I’’m talking about a partial shebang or a segment of a shebang or are shebangs indivisible?
  • The boys who were signed up to go to Boy Scout Camp with our troop next week cancelled out.  How long do you think it would take the camp to notice if the scoutmaster, and I went anyway, without any kids?

  • Do you need a lot of upper body strength to run fast?  I only ask because world-class sprinters, and hurdlers all seem to have heavily muscled chests and arms.

  • How many cable TV channels would go begging for programming if Bill Kurtis (who narrates a huge number of documentary and true-crime shows) ever decided to retire?

  • The strawberry ice cream we bought last week contains “strawberry swirl” rather than strawberries.  I’’m guessing strawberry swirl is cheaper than strawberries, even now, when fresh strawberries are in season.  My question is why are they allowed to call it strawberry ice cream if it doesn’’t have any strawberries in it?

  • I have an ice cream freezer.  Does anyone have a good recipe for homemade strawberry ice cream?

  • When did they stop calling them grammar schools?  I think they stopped calling them that because they stopped teaching grammar in them.  I received an email note from my beloved niece yesterday.  In the note she used the words “I” and “me” consistently wrong.  And she’’s not in grammar school.  She’’s going to graduate from a storied Ivy League institution in December.  If you have the same problem, I is a subject, me is an object.  I did something.  Something happened to me.  Easy, see?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • With the imminent arrival of the Fourth of July, have you been to the beach yet?  I went today and the Atlantic off Long Island was much warmer than I expected it to be.

  • I don’’t get Pippa Middleton.  I have nothing against her.  I recognize she’’s attractive and understand that she and her family are wealthy, but why is she now a celebrity?

  • Come to think of it, why are Prince William, the Duchess of Cambridge (not Princess Catherine, not yet anyway) or any other member of the British royal family celebrities in the United States?  I know British royalty had celebrity status here hundreds of years ago, but didn’’t we fight and win two wars with the British to get out from under the British royal family?

  • Why is Bristol Palin famous, and can we do anything about that?

  • Has Charlie Sheen calmed down, or are we now completely bored with him?

  • I wonder how many people who are now adults, but were raised with Cabbage Patch Kids, have the word “Xavier” tattooed somewhere on their bodies.

  • My daughter asked me the other day if you get hearing aids from sharing loud music with intravenous drug users.  She must get it from my wife, Saint Karen (who has to be a saint to put up with me), because I’’m obviously completely normal.

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Five days before their scheduled wedding, Playboy Magazine founder Hugh Hefner, 85, announced via Twitter that his fiancé, 25-year-old Crystal Harris had a change of heart and the wedding is off.  If those two crazy kids can’’t make it, is there any hope for the rest of us?
  • Was the whole thing a publicity stunt?  She did back out when it was too late to change the July issue of Playboy which features her, semi-nude on the cover, as the new Mrs. Hefner (or so I’’m told).  I read that the magazine now has a “Runaway Bride” sticker on the cover.

  • I didn’’t tangle up my 100-foot–long outdoor extension cord before I put it back in the garage, so how come it was tangled when I got it out again?

  • If I did tangle it up before putting it away, would it be tangle-free when I needed to use it again?

  • Blinds to Go is a chain store that makes blinds and other window coverings to custom fit your windows.  I’’ve bought a lot of things from them over the years.  I guess they don’’t have appointments at Blinds to Go because while I’m punctual, not many other people are.  However, when dealing with Blinds to Go, the waiting time is horrendous so, couldn’’t we at least call ahead to be put on the waiting list the way you can at Outback Steakhouse and a lot of other restaurants?

  • Why did Rep. Anthony Weiner hold a news conference to resign?  It was bound to be impossible to control.  He could have just sent a letter (which hadn’’t been received as of noon the day after the news conference) or resigned on a Youtube video.

  • I don’’t have Sirius or XM.  Did Howard Stern use any of the questions he sent an idiot member of his staff to that news conference to yell on camera on his show the day after?

  • Have you seen a map of New York’s ninth CD?  It would astound Elbridge Gerry!  And why would anyone want to run in a special election there, since it is rumored that the current ninth CD will be eliminated when they redistrict for the 2012 Congressional election?

  • Why is there confusion about Elbridge Gerry’’s name?  He was a pretty famous guy:  gerrymandering was named after  him and he served as a member of the Continental Congress; delegate to the Constitutional Convention; signer of the Declaration of Independence; governor and U.S. Vice President, but I’’ve also seen his first name spelled “Eldridge.”

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  •  Do you think that if Rep. Anthony Weiner had covered himself everyone else wouldn’’t be covering him?
  • When Sarah Palin made her idiotic statement about Paul Revere warning the British, did anyone consider that perhaps she had confused Revere with Mark Lindsay?  That used to happen a lot as I recall.

  • Does it disturb you (as it does me) that you see gasoline below $4.00 a gallon as a hopeful sign for the economy?

  • Perhaps Harold Camping was right after all.  Do you think the Rapture might actually have happened last month, but that too few people were faithful enough to go directly to heaven, so nobody noticed?

  • There’’s a new TV show called ““My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.””  It bills itself as looking at the secret world of gypsies.  But how secret can it be if it’s on TV?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • The sign in my doctor’’s office says, “”Please refrain from cell phone use.””  But you can only see the sign as you’’re leaving the office, so does that mean the doctor only wants me to use a cell phone while in his office, and nowhere else?

  • Should I plant tomatoes this year?  My back yard is fungus central and it’’s rained so much I wonder if it’’s worth it or if they’’ll come up covered in black spots and die as soon as they rise out of the ground.  It’’s also been a cool spring which is why I haven’’t planted them yet.  Tomatoes like the soil to be warm.  I have some tomatoes growing from fruit that fell off the plants last year, but they’’re plum tomatoes I planted by mistake.  Plum tomatoes are good for sauce, but I wanted to plant cherry or grape tomatoes which are better for eating right off the vine.

  • Tumultuous.  Is there another word in the English language that uses the letter “u” four times?  I can’t think of one, can you?

  • On the front passenger seat back of an empty minivan in McDonald’’s parking lot today, there was a woman’’s blouse with a bra on top.  I’’m pretty sure there’’s a question I should ask here and I have no idea what it might be.

  • Not only did the Lincoln Town Car I rented recently have an obsolete radio, Ford doesn’’t offer a built in GPS for it either.  I know Ford is phasing this car out, but putting an up-to-date radio and a GPS in the hole in the dash requires no engineering at all.  They could use the head unit from another Ford product or get one from an after-market radio maker.  I can’’t understand why they don’’t do that, especially since a lot of Lincoln Town Cars are sold to car services and their drivers would probably enjoy a better head unit and find a GPS very useful as well.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  •  When I graduated from high school, the last name of the last person who walked across the stage to receive a diploma began with the letters “Zw.”  Clearly, the order was alphabedical.  I attended a law school graduation on Saturday and I have no idea how they determined the order in which they called the grads, but it certainly wasn’’t from A to Z.
  • I know Ford is planning to discontinue the Lincoln Town Car after this year and after it has been in production on a similar chassis for roughly 32 years.  Still, couldn’’t they update a few things without a major investment in engineering or tools?  Ford does make a transmission with more than four gears for that engine.  Using it would improve the vehicle’s mileage.  And it wouldn’’t take any engineering at all to substitute a more sophisticated radio in that hole in the dash, would it?  I mean, the only way to listen to an MP3 in that so-called luxury car is with ear phones on the MP3 player you bring with you.
  • Do you need a lawyer with an LLM in transnational business and some experience in China?   I’’d be happy to pass along your inquiry to the lawyer I watched receive that degree on Saturday.  Comments in this blog are moderated, so your contact information won’t become public if you contact the Sisyphus Project in regard to this matter.
  • The curb strip in front of my house is 45 inches wide.  Most if not all of the curb strips in my town are about the same width.  My power mower cuts a 21-inch swath; that’’s fairly common for a home lawnmower.  A 45-inch wide curb strip doesn’’t take 2.14 passes with the mower to cut, it takes 3 passes.  How much imported oil could we save if all the curb strips took only two passes to keep tidy?
  • By the way, shouldn’’t a power mower cut power and not grass?
  • During remodeling currently taking place at my house, we’’ve discovered some knob and tube wiring.  The house is over 100 years old.  Almost any knob and tube wiring still in service is heavily overloaded.  For that and other reasons, it’’s a fire hazard and I’’m replacing it.  To do so, I have to give the electrician access to part of the attic.  The question is exactly how much of the junk in my attic do I have to move out of the attic to replace the wiring?
  • There are two other questions as well.  Will my wife and children let me throw some of that stuff out?  And if I can dispose of enough junk will the house stay on its foundation or will it float off like a giant hot-air balloon?
  • Does anyone here have an effective strategy for quickly adjusting to a three-hour time zone change?  I find myself going to bed very early by California standards, waking up for a few hours about three hours after I hit the hay, then going back to sleep until 6 or 7 in the morning.  It kind of works, but not effectively, and I’’m in California just long enough that while I haven’’t adjusted completely to the time zone shift, I will have to do some adjusting again when I get back to New York.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • I wonder why I’m thinking of weddings today?  I don’t know why the blog software says I posted this on April 28th.  I posted it at about 1:00 AM on the 29th.
  • How can anybody seriously say that Prince William’s marriage to Kate Middleton is the “wedding of the century” when the century is only a little over ten years old?
  • I’m sorry, but I just can’t picture William and Kate and all their royal friends doing the electric slide.  Can you?  And if they don’t do it, are they considered officially married?
  • I’’m thinking that catching at least a glimpse of “THE WEDDING” today will be unavoidable (even if you’re not interested, and I’’m not) if you’’re anywhere near a TV.  What do you think?
  • Last week, on NBC Nightly News, Brian Williams showed a darling snapshot of our President as a child with his mother.  In it, he was dressed in a pirate costume.  Williams said that President Obama is the first former pirate to be elected President.  How does he know that?  Perhaps there’s an historic photo of another President in a pirate costume.  And what about all the Presidents who served before photography was invented?
  • Are there any rules for pushing a shopping cart around the supermarket?  Are you supposed to try to block the intersections of all the aisles?  Is the objective to run head-on into any cart coming in the other direction?
  • If you want to join the mile-high club, does being in Denver, CO, or Laramie, WY, count?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Have we had more gales since the beginning of last winter than we usually do?  It seems like we have to me.
  • Who decided that standard saw horses should be as short as they are (I believe 32”)?  I’’m staining porch flooring in preparation for repairing my porch, and if I didn’’t have a couple of really tall saw horses (37”), I’’d be crippled right about now, instead of just aching.
  • If you’’re wasting something expensive, do people still say, as my mother used to, “”Do you think that grows on trees?””  Lumber is so expensive these days; you’’d think it doesn’’t grow on trees.
  • Did you hear the latest commercials for Dodge cars and SUV’s?  They have a tag line:  “We are Dodge.  We are never neutral.”  What does that mean?  Is every new Durango delivered with a broken transmission?
  • I read an article about security measures hotels take to keep people from stealing towels.  Could someone please explain to me why anyone steals hotel towels?  If stealing is wrong doesn’’t work for you, they’’re too small and too thin for me to want them.  I need two or three to get dry after a shower; the ones they distribute at the hotel pool are even worse.
  • A sixteen year old girl survived a plunge from San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge.  The news story I read was dated April 18th, but didn’’t specify whether the incident happened Monday or Sunday.  According to the San Francisco Chronicle, it wasn’’t clear whether the girl jumped or fell from the bridge.  Suicide is a serious mental health issue; so is attempted suicide.  I don’’t mean to make light of either, but how exactly do you fall from the Golden Gate Bridge unless you’re rebuilding it, painting it, or changing the light bulbs?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • If you enter your PIN number in the local ATM machine, do the two redundancies cancel each other out, or multiply?

  • I heard a song by the 60’s British Invasion group, Herman’s Hermits.  It made me wonder why hermits would get together for the purpose of making recordings.  Wouldn’’t that defeat the purpose of being hermits?

  • As part of the observation of National Library Week, I read to two classes at a grade school.  Were there really pretty teachers when I was in elementary school?  If there were, I was totally oblivious to beautiful women at that stage of my life.

  • What’s the most important thing you learned in school?  The reason I ask is I just realized the most important thing I learned in school had nothing to do with academic subjects and I didn’’t learn it from a teacher.  The most important thing I learned in school is you can’’t make someone love you if they don’t want to.

  • A TV commercial touts the benefits of the Bell & Howell solar animal repeller.   It says if you use the product, there’’s no need for cruel traps or toxic poisons.  I couldn’’t help but wonder what a non-toxic poison would be like. 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did you win the $319 million Mega Millions Lottery last night?  I won three bucks, not $319 million, but I’’m not going to let it ruin my day.  Not recently, but I have bought lottery tickets at the store in Albany, NY, that sold the one winner.  It’’s close enough to the Governor’s mansion that it’’s possible Governor Cuomo bought tickets there.  Maybe he won.  He could use the money to help balance the New York State budget.
  •  I think we all know by now that DVD’s are copyrighted, so can’’t we please start making some that either don’’t have the annoying notice at the beginning, or allow you to skip it?
  • Musician Sammy Hagar announced last week that he had been kidnapped by aliens.  This lead me to wonder why aliens never seem to kidnap the world’’s leading intellectuals.  Or is it that the leading intellectuals who are kidnapped by aliens are smart enough not to tell anyone about it afterwards?
  • Why does my cable TV box go into power saving mode at 1:30 in the morning unless I press one of the buttons on the remote between 1:15 and 1:30?  Can I shut that feature off?  I’’m often up at 1:30 AM and it’’s annoying.
  • Is going to the gym good for you?  The reason I ask is that most of the people who go to the gym near where I live, including me, are overweight.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  •  I wonder if I can get my wife, Saint Karen, to find the hour I plan to lose tonight?
  •  Did you hear about this study?  Then shouldn’’t I be a lot healthier than I am?  The guy who came up with that study must have been in a lot of trouble with his wife or girlfriend when he thought of it.
  • If gasoline keeps going up as fast as it is these days, how soon will it be before someone comes out with a car that runs on computer printer ink?
  • Where does the tooth fairy get all the money she leaves under kids’’ pillows in exchange for their baby teeth?  I’’ve never heard of her having another job, have you?  And she’’s not on the new Forbes Magazine list of the richest people in the world.
  • Supposedly, we have illegal immigrants or undocumented aliens (depending on your political viewpoint) because they do jobs Americans don’’t want to do.  So, how come they don’’t serve on jury duty?
  • You can’’t get prune juice by squeezing prunes, can you?
  • If people want low sodium food, I have no problem with providing it, but isn’’t salt the idea behind pretzels, potato chips, French fries and salt bagels?  Making those available with reduced salt is fine with me, but why have they stopped making the kind with a lot of salt?
  • This blog is produced using Word Press software.  Does anyone know if there’’s a way to eliminate drafts (other than weather stripping, I mean)?  If there is, I can’’t figure it out and I have two draft blog items I’’d rather delete than publish.
  • National Ravioli Day is March 20th.  So, perhaps someone can explain to me why a restaurant in Naples FL is celebrating on March 21st.
  • Homonyms are words that are spelled and pronounced the same, but mean different things.  Ripe is a homonym.  If something smells ripe, it’s spoiled and not fit to eat, but if a fruit is ripe, that’s the best time to eat it.  How do you tell what the meaning is?  Context.  It’’s been a long time since I took grammar.  Is there a name for words that sound the same, but are spelled differently and mean different things?  I think the people in charge of English should eliminate all but one of those words and let context tell you which of the multiple meanings the one word left carries.  I think two, too and to are the most common examples, but I was reminded of this by compliment and complement.  I knew the two meanings and the two spellings, but I have to look them up to be sure which spelling goes with which meaning.   What’s the point?  Why don’’t we get rid of one and pick the other?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Today is the third anniversary of the Sisyphus Project.  As I stated at the beginning, I’’m doing this to entertain myself:  So far, so good.  After three years (and without making any effort to analyze what’’s most popular and why, or to promote the thing), I get between four and five thousand hits a month.  I’’m aware that figure doesn’’t mean four to five thousand individual readers.  During that time, as far as I know I’’ve been linked in one other blog and I’’ve attracted two commenters.  One of the commenters is an old college buddy, and fellow blogger.  So, if you haven’’t chosen to comment in the past, why are you reading it?
  • If four Americans were murdered by Somali pirates, why were only two Somali pirates killed when the Navy boarded the captured yacht?
  • Why do we say, “Going to hell in a hand basket?””  The prevailing theory is that they used hand baskets to carry the heads of people executed by guillotine.  But a hand basket doesn’t seem like an effective way to get anyplace to me.
  • February 18th was National Drink Wine Day.  Just February 18th?
  • Did you know there’’s now an iPhone app to tell you where to buy Girl Scout Cookies?  That answers my recent question about how retired and jobless people can get their fix of Girl Scout Cookies.
  • The New York City Health Department has developed an app for iPhones and Androids.  The app tells the user where to go to get a free condom.  If you can afford a smart phone, why can’’t you do your part to reduce government spending and buy your own damned condoms?
  • Were you surprised to learn there’’s also a phone app for Catholics to help them with confession?  As I understand it, the app doesn’’t grant absolution, but it’’s supposed to help you keep track of your sins.  Keeping track of your sins seems a little obsessive-compulsive to me.  How does it strike you?
  • If the word “Google” is used as a verb, should it still be capitalized?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Who won the puppy bowl?
  • More importantly, who won the lingerie bowl?  I mean it was all over the news who won the Super Bowl, but the outcomes of the other two contests got no coverage at all.
  • I’’m listed on Linked In, which is a social network for business contacts.  The site has been guessing at people I might know, based on the information I’ve given it, and apparently based on information I haven’’t given it too.  I have no idea how it makes these guesses.  I’’d like to know.  It even suggested last week that I might know a woman I met yesterday.
  • How much money can the people who make Eskimo Pies and Klondike Bars possibly be saving by omitting the stick?
  • Why doesn’’t the pop-up blocker on my computer work on newspaper websites?
  • I’’m cleaning up my basement.  Do you think it’’s alright for me to throw away my installation floppies for Windows 95?
  • How desperate for circulation are newspapers?  I bought a one-year, pre-paid home delivery subscription to the NY Daily News today for $52.  The newsstand price is $4.50 a week.
  • During a recent job interview, my cell phone fell off my belt.  New cell phone, new case, new clip, but still, it isn’’t the first time it’’s happened.  Does anyone make a good system for clipping your cell phone to your belt?  I’’d keep it in my pocket, but I have enough snapshots and videos of the inside of my pocket.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Where I live, they sell Girl Scout Cookies in February, but Girl Scouts don’’t go door to door, their parents sell them at work; so how are all the retired or  jobless people around here going to get their Girl Scout Cookie fix?

  • Is it too late to plant bulbs?

  • Could I just get the certificate of authenticity and skip all the authentic crap infomercials sell along with the certificates?

  • How come the abbreviation TV is capitalized, even when the word television isn’’t?

  • Could we possibly make the Golden Globe awards as irrelevant as the Miss America pageant has become?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Do the people who wrote the contact app for Android phones also have a white-pages phone book in which all the entries are sorted only by first name?

  • There are a few apps on my new phone including one video game that I don’’t want, but don’t seem to be able to delete.  Any suggestions?

  • I’’m admittedly late to the party with this one, but I do wonder why Elizabeth Edwards leaving her cheating husband, John, out of her will was considered news?  To me, it would have been news if she left him in the will.

  • Hugh Heffner, and Crystal Harris?  A friend of mine once got divorced because her husband was cheating with a woman half their age.  She asked at the time, and I think the same question is relevant here, ““What do they talk about afterwards?””  If my math skills haven’’t deteriorated too much, he’’s more than three times her age, closer to four!

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • New governors are taking office all over the country.  There’s Brown in California, Cuomo in New York, and Scott in Florida, just to name  three.  The election in November was called a gubernatorial election, so why are the new officials called governors, not gubernators?

  • I got a new cell phone, one with a touch screen.  Now, where do I get some inhumanly skinny fingers so I can type accurately on it?

  • Other than to promote the sale of cell phone chargers and USB cables, why do we have more than one kind of mini USB plug?

  • They’’ve agreed to go forward with a universal cell-phone charger in Europe.  How come we can’’t have the same thing here?

  • I know what caused five-thousand birds to fall out of the sky in Arkansas:  gravity.  The real question is why they died.  Plus, I’’m more worried about what happened to the hundred thousand fishes now sleeping with the fishes.

  • While I’’m at it, why do they spell Arkansas that way, and since it ends in “s” is there another one? And since they spell and pronounce Arkansas the way they do, how come they do pronounce the last “S” in Kansas?

  •  “S” is the most common consonant in the English language.  Consequently, the “S” key on a computer keyboard frequently wears out before anything else.  You can get a new keyboard for a desktop very inexpensively, but how old does a laptop have to be before fixing that problem doesn’’t make any sense?

  • A man in North Fort Myers, FL was arrested after he threatened his neighbors with a club when they looked at his Christmas lights.  Then why put up the Christmas lights if you don’’t want anyone to look at them?  And would it surprise you if I told you that law enforcement officials said alcohol was involved?

  • When the National Weather Service issues a blizzard warning, what are they warning the blizzard about?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Snow preparation?  Let’’s see, I got bread and milk, backed all the cars into the driveway, bumper to bumper, got out the snow shovels, the soft push broom and the rock salt, brought around some firewood, located the hot cocoa mix  and took some butter out of the fridge so it will soften and we can bake cookies.  Did I forget anything?

  • Did you ever think you’d live long enough that you’d have to wait for your children to get up on Christmas morning?

  • Did you get what you wanted for Christmas?  I got a lot of what I wanted, so I’’m good.  But when I said I wanted a couple of CD’s, I didn’’t mean the kind with music on them; I meant the kind with money in them.

  • Why do they call it Christmas shopping when nobody buys Christmas?

  • With oil prices as high as they are, when is Santa going to leave coal in your stocking only if you’re good?

  • Why do dogs enjoy snow so much?

  • If your doctor says you can’’t shovel snow anymore, is snow removal covered by your health insurance?  How about if you use a participating snow-shoveling provider and make the copayment?

  • This morning a couple of the Sunday TV news shows did roundups of all the famous people who died during 2010.  What will they do if someone else famous dies between now and Friday at midnight?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Heroes show up when they’’re needed.  Right away!  Sometimes without anyone calling them.  So why is Congress taking so long to come up with health care for the first responders and construction workers from the nine-eleven attack at the World Trade Center?  They may vote on the Zadroga bill today.  I think they should have passed something like this years ago, when it became obvious that the pile made a lot of people sick.  What do you think?

  • Maybe it just happened.  Maybe I didn’’t hear about it when it did happen, but do you know you can now get a Sponge Bob Chia Pet?

  • What are steamed clams angry about anyway?  And are steamed vegetables angry about the same thing?

  • The speed of sound is roughly 768 mph.  It varies depending on the humidity and what the sound is traveling through.  Of course, it moves 20 mph more slowly through highway construction zones.  But it leads me to wonder, how fast is silence?

  • Would you save some time if you went Christmas returning this week instead of next week?

  • Chrysler just trademarked the name ‘Cuda.  Do they know they haven’’t made Plymouths in something like ten years?

  • There’’s a TV show on cable called, ““I (Almost) Got Away With It.””  The title kind of spoils the suspense, don’’t you think?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Now that Hanukkah is over, I wonder, is there any such thing as a leftover latke?  I don’’t celebrate Hanukkah, but I do celebrate latkes and there is certainly no such thing as a leftover latke at my house.

  • Why are there multiple ways to spell Hanukkah, but only one way to spell Christmas?

  • The Jets had their asses handed to them in their game against the Patriots and again in their game against the Dolphins, although on a lesser scale.  What sense is there in that expression?  Didn’’t they already have their asses?

  • Have you noticed the language surrounding the debate on income taxes?  All tax rates are temporary and subject to change.  So, even though the law authorizing the current tax rates is about to expire, if you let it expire, that’’s a tax hike.  Of course, if you continue to spend like a drunken sailor while continuing the current tax rates, that increases the national budget deficit and the national debt too.

  • Why is there a “b” in the word “doubt”?

  • Do you think Dr. John belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?  I understand he is much more popular in New Orleans than he is nationally, but if regional popularity is a criterion, I think there are lots of doo wop artists who should have been considered before the good Doctor.

  • Is it cold enough for you?  It’’s way too cold for me, but I haven’’t been too hot yet.

  • There’’s been a rash of drunk drivers on Long Island headed the wrong way on local streets and major highways.  Local governments are trying to figure a way to combat this problem.  How about making everyone drive on the left side of the road?  If you can’’t beat them, join them.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Have you ever negotiated the intersection of Jericho Turnpike and the Cross Island Parkway in Bellerose, in any direction?  Who thought that intersection was a good idea?

  • You may remember that, ““Reach out and touch someone,”” was the signature advertising slogan of communications giant AT&T back in the early 1980’s.  I wonder if the TSA has to pay royalties to AT&T.

  • During this holiday season, can we at least let the operators who are standing by sit down?

  • Have you seen the TV commercial for Jarred Jewelers extolling the virtues of the Pandora Bracelet?  The product could be great, I don’’t know, but in my opinion, Pandora is a terrible name for a gift.  How would you like to receive a gift with a name associated with all the trouble in the world?

  • There’’s also a TV commercial telling you that you can now get a great deal on the Mercedes you’’ve always wanted.  Can I really get deal on a 300 SL gull-wing coupe from the 1950’s?  If so, I’’ll have a red one and a silver one thank you.

  • How did my children manage to grow to adulthood, when I haven’’t matured much at all?

  • If the leaves didn’’t fall, the trees would probably break under the weight of snow.  I know that.  But why do they have to fall in my yard?

  • Have you made out your Christmas list yet?

  • My wife told me she heard on the news that German scientists now claim that people who tell awful jokes are suffering from a mental disorder.  In the first place, I’’m not suffering from telling awful jokes; my wife is the one who suffers when I do that.  In the second place, she knew it from the very beginning, so why did she go out with me in the first place?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • More than 1,000 people in Haiti have died in an outbreak of cholera which has hospitalized over 14,000 people.  There are half a million people in Haiti who are homeless since last winter’’s earthquake.  Many of them live in refugee camps with little or no clean water and little or no way to handle the sewage.  That’’s a recipe for a public health disaster if ever I heard of one.  The US has yet to allocate as many resources as it might because the Haitian government is incredibly corrupt, so a lot of the money wouldn’’t go where needed.  It kind of makes you wish you could relocate the entire country, doesn’’t it?  Can anything really be done to help Haiti?
  • According to the website of the British newspaper “The Guardian,” “Paul and Rachel Chandler ‘free and safe’, say officials in Somalia after spending more than one year in captivity.”  I’’m happy the Chandlers are safe, but because of the incredible lawlessness there, I didn’’t think they had officials in Somalia, did you?
  • Does this seem strange to you?  Every radio station I ever worked at had a general manager; not one radio station I ever worked at employed even a single general.
  • If we lose an hour in the Spring and get it back in the Fall, without any interest at all, how exactly does daylight saving time save anything?
  • Have you seen the TV spot for maxmyspeed.com?  If they’’ve invented time travel, I think they should come right out and say so.  Don’’t you?  It’’s either that or their advertising agency doesn’’t understand math very well and that’’s not a good thing for a technical company.  One of the actors in the commercial says that maxmyspeed.com has increased the speed of her computer by 100 –to 150%.  If your speed increases 100% from what it was before, that means it now takes 100% less time than it once did or no time at all.  If it increases 150%, it takes less than no time; you’’ve invented time travel!  Am I missing something?
  • Why would anyone want a Labrador Retriever?  In the first place, how could the dog bring Labrador here, and secondly, if it did, what the heck would you do with it?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • He was so dominant during the playoffs leading up to the World Series that I have to ask, what happened to Cliff Lee?

  • Did you vote yet?

  • Why are people cynical about elections?  Do you think it might be because everyone who ever ran for office promised to fight for lower taxes and people’s taxes hardly ever go down?

  • Did you see John Stewart’’s rally to restore sanity?  His closing speech raised a serious question:  What’’s worse, the light at the end of the tunnel is an on-coming train, or the light at the end of the tunnel is just New Jersey?

  • Why is there a Secretary of the Interior, but no Secretary of the Exterior?

  • Pontiac is no more.  GM’s franchise agreements with Pontiac dealers expired on November 1.  Who’s going to build excitement now? 

  • My car has something called a stability control.  Why would I want to control stability?  It’’s instability I should be trying to control, isn’’t it?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Have you tried to sign up for MLB TV because Fox pulled the World Series from Cablevision in a fee dispute?  I did.  I can’’t figure out why, after taking my money, MLB decided that I’’m blacked out and wants my credit card information again so they can straighten it out.  How does that help, if they already have that information and already got it wrong?

  • I wonder if the hotel I stayed in last week thinks it’’s fooling anyone by designating the top ten floors of the place penthouses.

  • A teenaged boogie boarder was killed recently in a shark attack.  I’’ve seen on TV that many scientists believe that sharks attack surfers and divers because they mistake them for seals.  I’’ve also read that sharks see in color.  If both of those things are true, why does anyone wear a black wetsuit?

  • Sears and Kmart (same company) have revived lay away plans for shopping.  Lay away laid low once credit cards became ubiquitous.  Do you think that letting people pay over eight weeks will make that big a difference in their sales?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Other than bringing a 19-year-old story back to life, what was Ginny Thomas thinking when she left a voice mail message for Anita Hill asking Professor Hill to apologize to her husband, Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas for accusing Judge Thomas of sexual harassment during his confirmation hearing in 1991?

  • According to NBC News this morning, Professor Thomas turned the call over to the FBI.  Other than bring a 19-year-old story back to life, why did she do that?

  • Mark Teixeira isn’’t the only player I’’ve seen sliding into first base this year, but what the heck is up with that?  For those who don’’t follow baseball, you can run faster than you can slide and the first baseman only has to step on the bag, not tag the runner on his way to first base.  Since there’’s no need to evade a tag, there’’s no need to slide and Teixeira strained his hamstring on the play, although not necessarily because of the slide.

  • Do you think they’’ll ever finish Kennedy Airport?  Or LaGuardia?

  • Is there any candidate for any elected office anywhere in the country who hasn’’t promised the voters that he or she will “fight” for something?

  • I keep wondering why Carl Paladino, Republican candidate for governor in New York shot himself in the foot while he had both feet in his mouth, instead of firing either before he put them in or after he took them out.

  • Does Jimmy McMillan, the candidate New York governor of the “Rent Is Too Damned High Party” think that beard is attractive?  I’’m disillusioned with him, by the way.  Did you know that he doesn’’t pay any rent?  He does maintenance on the Brooklyn building he lives in rather than paying money to live there and that’’s been going on since the 1980’s.

  • Do you think that TV executives are longing for the ratings winner that a Texas v San Francisco World Series won’’t be?

  • If there is a Texas v San Francisco World Series, will anyone but football Giants fans in New York care that Fox has pulled channel five in New York from Cablevision in a dispute over fees?

  • My wife and I got married after the World Series.  This year, the Series starts after my anniversary.  Do the people who run Major League Baseball know that it is possible to have a Minnesota v Colorado World Series?  Both the Twins and the Rockies play in outdoor stadiums, not under domes.  Do the powers that be at MLB know that a November game in either of those cities could be cancelled because of a blizzard?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Is the outcome of New York’’s gubernatorial election a foregone conclusion?  And has Carl Paladino damaged his own cause badly enough to also hurt the cause of Republican candidates for offices like State Senate, State Assembly and Congress in New York?

  • Brett Favre is, after all, a quarterback, so you’’d expect him to make passes.  Still, if you were the recipient of unrequested pictures of a  guy’’s private parts, would you be impressed enough to date him?

  • Okay, but would you bring him home to meet the family? 

  • My wife and I are going on a trip soon, but since I’’m not working, I can’’t really call it a vacation, can I?

  • I saw former US Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao on TV recently.  I believe she was raised on Long Island.  If she were interested, Secretary Chao would be a formidable US Senator.  She doesn’’t live in New York now as far as I can tell and she is married to Kentucky’’s Senator McConnell, but I wonder why New York Republicans can’’t run someone like her for public office instead of some of the candidates they do have.

  • Esquire Magazine called Minka Kelly the sexiest woman in the world.  I’’d be interested in knowing how that was determined and whether Derek Jeter objected to the selection process.

  • October is breast cancer awareness month.  People wear pink ribbons, race car drivers appeared at an event with pink cars and many newspaper comic strips were printed in pink rather than in full color.  Lots of other PR events have or will occur.  Encouraging people to get examined for breast cancer is a good thing.  I say people, by the way, because men get breast cancer too, although not as frequently as women do.  Encouraging research on breast cancer is also a good thing.  However, did you know heart disease is the leading cause of death among women?  February is heart disease awareness month in case you were wondering, but the media I notice seem more aware of breast cancer awareness.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Why the controversy?  Katie Perry was wearing SOMETHING.  Elmo was naked!

  • Does anything happen to Pontiac Michigan now that GM has stopped making Pontiacs?

  • According to the radio spot, a Visa prepaid debit card keeps you from spending more than you have.  Doesn’’t cash accomplish the same thing?

  • If you ever meet anyone from MSNBC’’s “Morning Joe” show could you please urge them to take turns speaking?  They talk all at once and I can’’t listen all at once.

  • Where did the phrase “red-letter day” come from?  I know some calendars print holidays in red so they stand out, but wouldn’’t those be red-number days?

  • The Travel Channel had a bunch of shows about Las Vegas, one of them about high rollers.  If you can afford to gamble one to five million dollars in a weekend, what is the attraction in winning or losing?

  • I went to a retirement party where several people presented the retiree with “tokens” of their esteem.  In this day and age, wouldn’t a Metro Card of their esteem be more useful?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did Bristol Palin really dance to the song ““Mamma Told Me Not To Come?””

  • Why do sidewalks exist?  In my neighborhood, everyone walks in the middle of the street.

  • Why do we even have the term “correctional facility?”  It’’s eight syllables instead of one or two.  How ambiguous are the words “jail” and “prison?”

  • The sign in the window of the Frederick’’s of Hollywood store in the nearby shopping mall said, “Take an additional 50% off.”  I thought, “I’’m in favor of that.”  Then I wondered, don’’t you think that would be a great slogan to put on a T-shirt? 

  • According to their commercial, the New England Mint is selling two-dollar bills, two for ten dollars, plus shipping and handling.  Why didn’’t I think of that?

  • President Obama said recently that Republicans are treating him like a dog.  What’’s wrong with that?  Do you treat your dog well or poorly?  Many people treat their dogs better than they treat any person, don’’t they?

  • Criminally annoying?  I have no doubt that Snooki is annoying, perhaps even to the point of criminality, but the idea of criminally annoying seems very vague to me.  Where exactly is the line you have to cross to be criminally annoying?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Once it becomes apparent that a storm (hurricane or blizzard) isn’t going to be as bad as we thought it might be, could we please, please cut back a little on the TV news coverage?

  •  So now there’’s a TV show about a guy who eats nothing but cheeseburgers?

  • And how can his wife possibly not know that the guy doesn’’t eat anything else but cheeseburgers?

  • The History International cable TV channel broadcasts one hour on weekday mornings in a language other than English.  The language is Spanish, but that’s not material to the conversation.  First, why one hour a day?  Second, how come the commercials during that hour are all in English?

  • What do they do with half a billion eggs recalled because they might be contaminated with salmonella?  I’’m sure they don’’t put them back in the chickens.

  • Is there a US Post Office anywhere in the country that was built with adequate customer parking?

  • Do you suppose that the guy in the maroon Maserati convertible with NY plate “PP DOC” is a urologist?  I guess a supporter of one of many deposed Haitian presidents is also a possibility, but it’’s a bigger stretch, don’’t you think?

  • How come sleep apnea is in my spell checker, but Maserati isn’’t?

  • The sign on the door to the men’’s locker room at my local pool says, “All patrons must be fully dressed before leaving the locker room.”  Is this really a problem?  I mean seriously?

Things I Want (Or Need) to Know

  • I’’m having ambulatory surgery next week.  Wouldn’’t it be easier on me and the doctor if I stayed still during the whole operation?

  • I was cruising the real estate listings and found one that said the property in question had a pedestal tub.  This prompted my wife to ask if it also has a claw-foot sink.  I think not.  The house is probably too new for that; a Jacuzzi sink, maybe.

  • I found another one that said the property’s master bedroom had two sinks and a separate tub and shower.   It didn’’t say whether the master bath had a king-sized bed, but I do wonder.

  • Sometimes homonyms raise questions.  I’’ve seen things that are so bad they could be considered wholly shit.  I could understand holey shit, especially if dung beetles have been at it.  But how would holy shit be any better than or different from secular shit?

  • Have you seen the Geico commercial with former major league pitcher Randy Johnson?  Apparently he does have a sense of humor.  I didn’’t hear of him displaying that when he worked in New York.  Did you?

  • What’’s the right way to pronounce Colorado?  I learned how to pronounce Nevada when I went there (not the way I’’d been pronouncing it, by the way).  However, even though I’’ve been there too, I’’ve heard Colorado pronounced two ways and don’’t know which one most people who live there use.

  • If there’’s Sunday Night Football, even exhibition football, can being cold be far behind?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Is it just a coincidence that the New York State Legislature passed the last elements of one of the latest state budgets on record during International Clown Week?

  • What have we come to as a country when nine people were killed at a beer distributor near Hartford CT and it’’s reported on TV as the country’s worst workplace shooting rampage in nine months?

  • How old are all of us getting?  Winnie Cooper is pregnant.  At least Danica McKellar is.  Danica is the actress who played Winnie Cooper on the TV show ““The Wonder Years.””

  • Do Nissan Armadas float?

  • Minnesota Vikings QB Bret Favre was reportedly retiring.  Then he was reportedly not retiring.  Isn’’t that the third time in three years for each?

  • I read a story about another coffee shop that features scantily clad baristas.  It’’s not the first one; in fact I’’ve even heard of a topless coffee shop.  However, it started me wondering about other occupations.  If a female psychotherapist treated her patients clad only in lingerie, would the garment she wore be called a Freudian slip?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • A nine-year-old boy was left alone and unsupervised for nine hours at an airport in Chicago after a United Airlines employee forgot about him.  If you leave your own or someone else’’s nine-year-old alone and unsupervised, especially in a very busy airport, even for a lot less than nine hours, shouldn’’t police and child-protective services be investigating?

  • Did I misunderstand, or is BP really planning to send Tony Hayward to Siberia this winter?  Isn’’t that a little harsh?  Even for the outgoing president of BP?

  • A British car insurance company called “Sheila’’s Wheels” (I swear, that’’s the name) reported that in 2009 men filed 16.4 percent more accidents during the summer than they did the rest of the year.  The reason, according to the company is the male drivers were distracted by women in skimpy outfits.  We needed a study to tell us that?

  • I got an envelope in the mail the other day.  On the outside were printed the words, “Do Not Bend.”  Did they mean the envelope, or me?

  • Gold is a commodity.  So what’’s with all the TV commercials urging people to buy gold from one company or another?  Shouldn’’t cost per transaction and customer service be your major considerations?  And if gold is such a great investment, why are these companies so anxious to sell theirs to you and me that they advertise on TV?

  • My Lipitor-chip cookies are doing really well, so what do you think of my latest idea for a business venture, toupees for bald eagles?

  • Who would have thought I could get an awful bagel in Great Neck NY?

  • Ripped and torn mean the same thing, right?  If my body is “ripped” (and it never has been) then I have an over-abundance of clearly defined muscles.  But the rotator cuffs in both of my shoulders are torn and that isn’’t good; it means I need surgery.  What’s up with that?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • “Oliver Perez got out of the inning.”  When is the last time you heard those five words in that order?  But then Ollie gave up a homer in the bottom of the 13th and the Mets lost another one on this debacle of a road trip.

  • Twitter, not only why, but why 140?

  • Have you ever screamed for ice cream?

  • If you’’re trying to get on an Interstate Highway, the people already on the highway should let you in.  However, you don’’t have the right of way in that situation, so before you pull out into traffic, could you at least look?

  • Will they ever finish I-95 just east of New Haven?

  • Have you noticed how many men appear on TV wearing suits and dress shirts that don’t fit?  If there’’s a gap between your suit collar and your neck, your suit doesn’’t fit.  If you can stick two or three fingers between your neck and your shirt collar, your dress shirt doesn’’t fit either.

  • Mike Taibbi reported on “Christmas in July” sales for the Today Show this morning.  It’’s a ploy by retailers to boost summertime sales.  That’’s fine for little kids, but what the hell am I going to do with a stocking full of coal in the middle of summer?

  • Why do I watch the Today Show regularly when I find fault with it almost every time I do?

  • My wife wonders if the whale that attacked that sailboat off South Africa has read Moby Dick.

  • Shouldn’’t August be National Cicada Month? 

  • If it’’s a “rare and potentially devastating eye infection” shouldn’’t Channel 4 in New York tell us about it right now, instead of making us wait until Monday night at 11:00 PM?

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • What’’s wrong with the voters of New York?  Sienna College conducted a poll while I was in the woods last week.  Seven percent of the voters gave the New York State Legislature an A based on the way they’’re handling the state budget and only 47 percent gave the legislature an F.  We are in danger of having the latest budget in state history.  I would have thought everyone would flunk them.

  • The new DVD AV receiver I just bought for my truck has a safety feature that keeps you from watching DVD’s while you’’re driving.  I know there’’s a way to bypass the safety feature, but why would anyone try to watch a DVD and drive at the same time?  I mean wouldn’’t you miss a lot of what’s on the DVD, or hit a lot of what’s on and near the road, or both?

  • Why do the Mets let Mike Pelfrey pitch in the daytime?

  • Shouldn’’t a trauma center be where you go to get hurt?

  • Why do they call it rush hour?

  • Why is Lindsay Lohan still famous, and is there anything you and I can do about that?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Why don’’t giraffes get fat?  I mean, have you ever seen a fat one?

  • Most of the Chinese takeout restaurants near where I live have a sign that says “Chinese food to take out.”  A new one opened.  Its sign just says, “Chinese to take out.”  Doesn’’t it sound like that one is running a dating service instead of a restaurant?  I know they’’re not, but it does to me.

  • Should I be perplexed or impressed?  I made a terrible pun, which is the very best kind.  The pun was deliberate and it was spelled correctly too, but MS Word’s spell-checker still didn’’t like it because it was the wrong word.

  • Speaking of contextual spell checking, MS Word’s spell checker tells me “takeout” is one word, but apparently only if it’’s used after the word “Chinese.”  When did that happen?

  • What the hell is a “crazed sex poodle?”  I can imagine what a sex-crazed poodle would do, and I know who the “crazed sex poodle is alleged to be, but what the hell is a “crazed sex poodle?”

  • Would anyone watch beach volley ball on TV if the women wore something other than bikinis while playing?

  • Time Life is selling a music collection called “Pop Memories of the 60’s.”  The infomercial has a kinescope of Patsy Cline singing “Crazy.”  I’’ve seen that clip before and in it everything looks tilted to the right.  Next time someone uses it on TV, could they please digitize it and straighten it up?

  • My local Pathmark supermarket chains its shopping carts together.  To separate them, so you can use one, you need a quarter or a special token.  You get the quarter back when you put the cart back.  Why do they do this?  If I wanted to steal a cart, twenty-five-cent deposit wouldn’’t keep me from doing it.  Getting my quarter back wouldn’’t make me return the cart either if I was at the far end of the parking lot and it was raining.  But due to ever-increasing prices, we don’’t need coins very much anymore and I seldom carry a selection.  If I don’’t have a quarter, the shopping-cart deposit would keep me from shopping at that store.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did you see Cody Gifford doing a film review segment on the Today Show, during his mom, Kathie Lee’’s last hour on Friday?  Even allowing for the fact that it was his first appearance, he was still awful.  His report was full of clichés and vocalized pauses and his mom, as she always has, did her very best to embarrass the poor kid.  Incidentally, her best efforts to embarrass him are extremely good. 

  • Senator Brown’’s daughter, Ayla, is on CBS TV, but it’’s the Early Show so almost nobody sees it.  Luke Russert, the late Tim Russert’’s son is a correspondent for NBC news.  Jenna Bush Hager, President Bush’’s daughter is on the Today Show and now, so is Cody Gifford.  When did network news become a haven for the children of politicians and the children of people who already work in network news?  Plus, it almost seems like a requirement that they be either horrible, or at least so inexperienced that they get on-air network exposure long before they’’re up to the task.  John Cameron Swayze was one of network TV’s first anchormen.  His son, Cameron Swayze is also a broadcaster; a good and well respected broadcaster.  And Cameron Swayze eschewed the famous last name for many years because he didn’’t want people to think he got where he did because of his dad rather than because of his own talent and hard work.

  • I read that a local TV station took a poll and determined that eighty percent of New Yorkers think our new license plates are ugly.  That figure seems low to me, very low in fact.  How about you?

  • Having declared Cooper’’s Beach in Southampton the best beach in the country, does Doctor Beach realize how much it costs non-residents to park there for a day?  Last time I was at Doctor Beach’s second-best beach, the north public beach on Siesta Key off Sarasota Fl., parking there was free.

  • How are old people going to get around in Florida once Ford stops making the Mercury Grand Marquis?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • The brain trust that runs General Motors wants to do away with the name “Chevy.”  Isn’’t that one of the most recognizable product nicknames in the world?  They want people to say “Chevrolet” instead.  They want it so badly that they sent a memo (not a memorandum) to the employees of the Chevrolet division telling them not to refer to the cars as Chevies anymore.  Do you suppose they wrote the memo on a PC or a personal computer?  Or did they use a Mac or an Apple Macintosh?  While they were working late at night to do this, if they sent out for food to sustain them, were they eating KFC?  Were they drinking Coke?  And do they know that a lot of their cars, not just Chevrolets, have a little logo on them that says GM, not General Motors?

  • Isn’’t the trend in language to shorten words and names, not to make them longer?  If GM wants to keep one brand name, they should keep Chevy, not the name of a now obscure, long deceased, Swiss-American race car driver who sold his company 95 years ago, way too early to make much money for himself.  And while I’’m at it, they should keep GM, not General Motors. At least that’s what I think, don’’t you?

  • Why do teenage girls scream hysterically about Justin Bieber?  I saw him on TV and he didn’’t scare me at all.

  • How many #3 leaders of Al Qaeda have been killed now?  I’’m thinking five.

  • In ancient Egypt, among those who worshiped the sun god, was their list of rules for personal conduct called the tan commandments?

  • Clean as a whistle?  Just how clean is a whistle anyway?  When you blow into a whistle, I think you probably can’t help spitting into it at least a little at the same time.  Clean as a whistle?  EEEEWWWWWWW!!!!!

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Memorial Day is on Memorial Day this year.  How often does that happen anymore?

  • Sarah Ferguson:  Isn’’t influence peddling a crime in Britain too?  And how much influence could Prince Andrew have to be worth that much money?

  • On your half birthday, do you get to be half your normal age for the day?

  • I lost one of my clevis pins and have to get another one.  Why do I even know they’’re called that?  And why are they called that when they aren’’t used to attach anything to your clevis or to attach your clevis to anything else either? 

  • A little research can spoil a joke.  While I use clevis pins to secure my backpack bag to my backpack frame, it turns out a clevis pin certainly can be used to attach a clevis to something else after all.

  • Next question:  How come I knew about clevis pins, but not about clevises?

  • Why is it that the word “own” has the letter “w” in it but no “w” sound, while the word “one” has the “w” sound, but no letter “w?”

  • Which is more awesome, fantacular or spectastic?

  • Shouldn’’t Jehovah’s Witnesses have to go to work on Wednesdays instead of ringing doorbells in my neighborhood?  And so many families in my neighborhood have two wage earners that I can’’t imagine ringing doorbells mid-week works very well.

  • Is it just me, or would you also expect the Ramen noodles to be in the Asian food section at your local supermarket?

  • And what was the Coke salesman doing that there was not one ounce of Sprite, or one bottle or one can, on the shelf at my local supermarket at 11 AM on Thursday morning preceding Memorial Day Weekend?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • “Law and Order” has been cancelled.  This leads to two questions.  All of them or just the original?  And, does that mean NBC is cancelled too?

  • There is a page on Facebook promoting the “shitload” as a standard unit of measurement.  It has almost a million fans.  Is that necessary?  Isn’’t it already a standard unit of measurement?

  • This blog isn’’t suitable for adult audiences, because it’’s childish, not obscene.  Which reminds me, why don’’t childish and childlike mean the same thing?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did Meredith Vieira really say what I thought I heard her say during the driving simulator segment on the Today Show this week?  I guess she did.  They edited it out of the west-coast rebroadcast of the show.

  • When some people suggested boycotting Arizona over its new law regarding illegal aliens,  the folks who make Arizona Iced Tea were quick to tell us that Arizona Iced Tea is made on Long Island.  So, where is Long Island Iced Tea made?

  • I’’ve noticed that the titles of many popular songs are in the form of questions, so when I want to pad my “Things I Want (Or Need) To Know” blog items, I will, from time to time, use one of those song titles.  Here’’s another one:  “Do you wanna dance?”

  • Leading up to the first Saturday in May, when I hear someone ask, “Who do you like in the Derby?” I can’’t help wondering why a horse would wear a hat.

  • Did you pull any pranks on May Fools’ Day?  I find you surprise more people pranking them on May 1st than you do on April 1st.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

 

  • Are the 33 people who work for the SEC, and were accused of viewing and/or downloading pornography on government-owned computers really that stupid?  If you work in a company or government that has an IT department, somebody besides you can see what you’re doing on the computer provided by your employer.  And what about management?  There’’s software available to block such sites.  And one guy reportedly did this eight hours a day.  If the guy didn’’t do any work and his managers didn’’t notice, maybe both should be canned.

  • Where are my car keys?

  • The OEM replacement blade I bought for my Toro lawnmower is called an Atomic blade.  That would explain James Arness and the giant ants running around in my backyard, however, it raises two questions.  Is an Atomic lawnmower blade even safe?  And if it is an Atomic lawnmower blade, why do I have to put gasoline in the mower to get it to work?

  • I’’ve noticed that the titles of many popular songs are in the form of questions, so when I want to pad my “Things I Want (Or Need) To Know” blog items, I will, from time to time, use one of those song titles.  Here’s another one:  Are you experienced?

  • I believe this needs explaining, but I’’m not sure what question to ask.  While driving through Wantagh NY, I saw a tavern named “Guido’’s Irish Pub.”

 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Why did you leave your last job?  The new mayor said he was going to appoint his own person (not me) to my job.  I said, “If that’’s the way you feel, I don’’t want to work here anymore.”  Mutual agreement; I left mine by mutual agreement.

  • According to the website of the St. Petersburg Florida Times, Hellas Restaurant in Tarpon Springs Florida has a nine-legged octopus.  Wouldn’’t that make it a nonapus?

  • One of the little kids in cartoonist Bill Keane’’s ““Family Circus”” on Easter Sunday, while coloring Easter eggs, asked an important question:  who colors the jelly beans?

  • Is a dentist really a doctor?  I respect their knowledge and skill and all.  The only reason I ask is I’’ve never dealt with a dentist who was always horribly late for all of his or her appointments.

  • That big storm a couple of weeks ago reminds me to ask, where does wind go when it stops blowing?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • How did my empty garbage can wind up on the curb?  I don’’t think the wind blew it there.  And if the guys who collect the garbage don’’t leave the cans in the street, two to three feet from the curb, they’’ll get fired.

  • Explain this if you can; I know I can’’t.  I left my home in the morning, drove south on a two lane road to the nearest traffic light and stopped because it was red.  I activated my left turn signal to indicate that I intended to turn left when the light turned green.  A woman in a big, black SUV headed south toward the light on the same road.  My car is easy to see; it’s big too.  Yet she stopped to my left, headed south in the northbound lane.  I couldn’t see if her turn signal was on, but I really hoped she didn’t plan to turn right.  The light changed and she turned left.  Whew.  She didn’t expect me to turn with her because she turned into the extreme right lane.  She was in such a big damned hurry that she went one block and parked.  I proceeded to the nearby neighborhood deli, parked and checked my turn signals to see if they were working; they were.

  • The Marriage Ref:  didn’’t the prime time Jay Leno show teach NBC that to succeed, a comedy show should be FUNNY?

  • Someone on TV advised me that I would want to stay glued to my television set.  I never wanted to be glued to my TV set in the first place, so why would I want to stay glued to it?

  • I should have thought of this myself, but former radio personality Dick Summer did.  How can you possibly go to rehab if you’’ve never been to hab?

  • If you’’re out of context, where do you get more?     

  • Charlie Rangel stepped down temporarily as chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.  I can’’t recall anyone stepping down from a committee chairmanship in Congress temporarily and getting it back.  Can you?

  • If super model Naomi Campbell’’s behavior is as bizarre as news reports, and police records would have you believe, my daughter wonders if it’’s because she’’s hungry all the time.

  • I’’ve noticed that the titles of many popular songs are in the form of questions, so when I want to pad my Things I Want (Or Need) To Know blog items, I will, from time to time, use one of those song titles beginning with this one:  Why don’t we do it in the road?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • This week was the one-year anniversary of the national economic stimulus cargo (it’s too big to be a package).  Has your economic been stimulated lately?

  • I read about a survey that said eight percent of Americans think Congress deserves reelection.  That seems high to me.  What do you think?

  • My doctor told me not to shovel snow.  So, shouldn’’t hiring someone to do it be covered by my health insurance?

  • Sarah Palin’s hand writing isn’’t very easy to read, is it?

  • Have you ever caught any fish with baited breath?

  • When Don Imus reads commercials for appliance and electronic retailer PC Richards, he emphasizes that the company has been in business for 100 years.  I’’ve shopped there, and been satisfied, but does being in business for 100 years count for that much in that field?  I mean, 100 years ago were they selling big-screen TVs, sound systems, computers, air conditioners, microwave ovens, refrigerators and dish washers?  

  • When is a bargain not really a bargain?  Do you think it’s when the $9,200 lens for my new camera is on sale for $6,140?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • The folks who run the New York Lottery aren’t doing a lot to tell people they can now buy Powerball tickets as well as Mega Million Tickets, are they?

  • Could we please have a snow storm on Thursday night or Sunday night?  Friday night is bad because I already have Saturday off. 

  • Ed Lowe was once a columnist for Newsday.  I knew Ed many years ago and always enjoyed his columns.  Did you ever wonder why, when snow is imminent, people strip the stores of bread and milk?  Ed’’s theory was that they make the traditional cream of bread soup.

  • The woman’s hairdo known as a ponytail looks like the tail of a pony, so I understand the name, but why do they call pigtails that?

  • Woman and women.  If you change the spelling of the second syllable, it changes the pronunciation of the first syllable.  Are there any other English words like that?

  • Could we please have a law that says when a car dealer advertises a car for sale and the ad includes the price, it should be the price?  You know, no $16,000* and in print too small to read at the bottom of the page, it says *price includes $3,000 trade in or buyer equity.  If I’’m not mistaken (and I seldom am about math) that makes the price $19,000, not $16,000*.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Was anyone you know out of work or under-employed a year ago when President Obama took office?  Are they still out of work or under-employed?

  • Did you find it as funny as I did that when President Obama called for bipartisanship during the State of the Union Address all the Democrats in the audience cheered and all the Republicans in the audience sat on their hands?

  • Steve Jobs, head of the Apple company, is, among other things, a marketing genius.  Do you think he introduced the iPad on the same day as the State of the Union Address on purpose?  Maybe he thinks the iPad can’’t live up to its pre-introduction hype, so he released it when it would be overshadowed by another event.

  • Here’’s a serious question and I’’d like a serious answer if anyone out there knows.  Why is my car covered with frost in the morning when the outdoor temperature is above freezing by a couple of degrees?

  • The Mets acquired outfielder Gary Matthews Jr. from the Angels, leading to this question:  can he pitch?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • I was In the US Army a long time ago, in something called a STRAC unit.  Here’s what wikipedia says that means.   To us it meant we were supposed to be able to pack up all our equipment and arrive at Pope AFB within two hours of being alerted.  We never went anyplace for real, but we practiced enough so that when the alert came during breakfast, we finished breakfast before we started packing.  Having said all that, I wish someone would explain to me why it takes a week to get a US Navy hospital ship from Baltimore to Haiti.  I assume there’’s a good reason, but I have no idea what it is.  You don’’t have to pack a ship.  You do have to provision it, but I understand the situation in Haiti is dire, so why not deploy the ship and send the provisions by air to meet it when it gets there?

  • If Carlos Beltran or any other professional athlete needs surgery, he needs surgery.  But I don’t remember any NY Met doing anything important last October, do you?  Pitchers and catchers report to spring training on or about February 15th.  When do Met centerfielders report?

  • Now we have a TV “reality” show about a family of four in which everyone, including the 14 and 16-year-old kids, eats way too much.  What’’s next?  A reality show about a family that sits around the living room or family room watching TV all the time?

  • The other day, the Long Island newspaper Newsday, printed an article in which it described a 61-year-old man as “elderly.”  This led me to three questions:  does the 61-year-old man describe himself as elderly; how old is the reporter who wrote that; and how old is the editor who allowed that to go into the paper?

  • Would it be too much to ask if when you search Facebook for someone by name the exact matches come up first?

  • Which makes you feel better, being happy or doing something to make someone else happy?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.  Instead of turning him over to the FBI, why didn’’t they turn him over to a Detroit street gang?

  • So now, we have to worry about weapons-grade tighty— the usual expression is whiteys, but those were kind of yellow weren’’t they?  Come to think of it, my underwear would probably be yellow too if it was on fire either deliberately or by accident.  It would, of course, become yellow in an effort to douse the fire.

  • If he had donned his underpants backwards, would they have become a weapon of ass destruction?

  •  My father read the NY Daily News from back to front.  Sports and comics, then news, if there was any.  I do too.  In fact, do you know anyone who reads the NY Daily News from front to back?

  • What’s the point of newspaper comic strips if they’re too small to read easily?

  • What did you return after Christmas?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Do you know what you’’re getting for Christmas yet?

  • What do you want for Christmas?  I’’m good right now.  My son passed the bar exam, I bought myself a good, new camera, and my wife made Swiss steak for dinner last night.  Swiss steak is one of my very favorite meals, although I do wonder why there are no holes in it.  I told my wife I would be happy if my Christmas present is a cupcake or something equally extravagant.

  • What did you get other people for Christmas?

  • May we please have our next big snow storm on Sunday night?

  • What do you get as a present for someone who’’s just become a lawyer?  My wife and I got our son the family heirloom pocket watch (it belonged to my late father) and we also bought him two Internet domain names for his fledgling law practice.

  • I just saw “Vince” demonstrating the Slap-Chop on TV for the nine-billionth time and I don’t know why this didn’t occur to me before:  why do I need two Slap Chops?

  • When I sign on to Amazon.com and it says I have recommendations, why do I have to click two different things to see all the recommendations?

  • Who would have thought a TV show about Helvetica type would be an hour long?  Or interesting?  What’’s Helvetica?  It’’s a ubiquitous type face.  You see it on highway signs and almost everywhere else.  And if you haven’’t seen Helvetica, you’ve seen Arial on your computer because Microsoft uses Arial widely and Arial is very similar to Helvetica.

  • Have I ever written two blog items in one day before?  I don’’t think so.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • How many times did the word “Pasadena” appear in the Sunday Tuscaloosa Times this week?  And since my son is an alumnus, Roll Tide!

  • Flying across the United States, I noticed on one of those progress maps on the TV screen in front of me a place called “Atlantic City Wyoming.”  Of course I wondered why anyone would name a place in Wyoming, “Atlantic City.”  The next thing I wondered is whether it has a boardwalk.  I got the answers to those questions.  It’’s Atlantic City because it was founded as a mining community and it’’s near the Atlantic Lode.  It doesn’’t have a boardwalk.  It’’s kind of a ghost town.  Fewer than 50 people live there and it’’s only accessible over land on a gravel road.  So now, my only question about Atlantic City is, “why is a place like that even on the GPS map the airlines show for your in-cabin entertainment when you’’re flying cross country?”  While I’’m at it, why is the Atlantic Lode called that when it’’s in Wyoming?

  • Have you or anyone else you know ever stayed in a hotel with a quiet HVAC system?

  • Why do car rental companies even bother to tell you what kind of car they rent?  I’’ve never gotten the car they said, have you?  Historically, you got a better car if they couldn’’t deliver what they promised.  A few times recently, I was offered a lesser car for the same price.   That should open them up to charges of false advertising, don’’t you think?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • What was Tiger Woods doing at 2:25 AM when he had an auto accident while backing his car out of his driveway?  My daughter suggests he was leaving early to sign up for a good tee time at a nearby public course.

  • I’’m going to San Francisco, and with apologies to Scott McKenzie, I’’m not going to wear some flowers in my hair.  Is that alright?  I would wear the flowers, but I don’’t have any hair.

  • I bought a boxed set of Simon & Garfunkel CD’s.  You’’d think a big music company like Columbia would know better.  The set contains 5 CD’s with slip cases (not jewel boxes) that are replicas of the original vinyl album covers.  I don’’t mind the lack of jewel cases so much (and who called them that anyway?).  I don’’t even mind that the type on the slip cases is too small for a Simon & Garfunkel fan to read.  After all, the slip cases are mini-replicas of the actual 12-inch vinyl record covers.  But Simon & Garfunkel fans are likely to range from over 40 to over 60, so why did they make the type in the booklet that’’s included with the set too small for fans to read too?

  • And as long as I’’m on the subject of Simon & Garfunkel, by mistake, I typed it here as “Garfunkle,” but you can add Garfunkel to the list of names MS Word knows how to spell along with others such as Asimov and Mandelbrot.

  • A lot of the things we say when we’’re cursing don’’t make any sense.  If you really were a son of a bitch, you’’d be a puppy, right?  How is that bad?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Who watches infomercials?  Somebody must, or there wouldn’’t be so many of them.

  • South Florida hunter Jamey Mosch was found in reasonably good shape after being missing for four days in the Everglades.  I can understand how he could lose his way in the Everglades, but how exactly did he lose his pants?

  • I can’t find my spirit level.  Here’’s the experiment.  Does borrowing someone else’’s tool help you to find your own, or do you have to buy another one before you can find the one you lost?

  • Do you suppose scruples or ineptitude kept Ashley Dupree from cashing in on her tryst with former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer early last year?

  • Why do they call it candy corn?  I’’ve seen close matches for the color in nature, but not all on one ear of corn and have you ever seen a corn kernel shaped like that?

  • Can you be in a hair band if you’’ve gone bald?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • One of the guys who works where I work thinks I’’m one of the brainiest people in the building.  Is that flattering or frightening?

  • How long do you think it will be before one season’’s World Series takes place after opening day of the following season?

  • Did Bernie Madoff get his money’’s worth or his money back?  Before he went to prison, he engaged the services of a consultant to teach him to get along better in the big house.  On October 13th, the NY Post reported that he had a fight with another inmate.

  • I have plantar fasciitis.  Do I have anything else in common with a multi-millionaire star NFL quarterback?

  • My boss told me I’’m indispensible; I disagree.  But, if I am, why don’t they treat me as if I were indispensible? 

  • Over the last 30-40 years, General Motors has built some awful cars and some mediocre cars and very few great or even good cars.  So, many people have decided never to buy another GM car.  If you are one of those people, what car made you reach that decision, no matter how reluctantly?  For me, it was a malaise-era Monte Carlo.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • I’m not complaining because I am a baseball fan, but regular season baseball is ending on October 4th, this year.  What’s with that?  Did you know that the World Series has often ended earlier than that, but not recently?  If they’re playing the seventh game of the World series in Boston, in November, I reserve the right to complain at that time.

  • TLC has renamed one of its biggest reality shows, “”Kate Plus Eight.””  Will they come up with a spin off and call it, “”Jon Is Gone?””

  • There are a lot of commercials on TV these days for gold bullion.  If you buy it, take it home and drop it in a pot of boiling water, will it make soup?  Broth?

  • The endocrinologist I go to has been on time or early both times I visited his office this year.  Those are the only two times he’s been on time or early in the 15 years I’’ve been his patient.  Does that mean he’’s getting ready to retire?

  •  “I could care less,” and, “I couldn’’t care less,” mean the same thing.  Why?  The first one doesn’’t make sense.  If you could care less and you wanted to care less, wouldn’’t you?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • With all due respect to play-by-play baseball announcers, how does one achieve back-to-back-to-back, two-run home runs or back-to-back-to-back anything else for that matter?

  • I have a wheelbarrow full of acorns.  If I dump them all in the compost pile, how many oak trees do you think I’’ll have next spring? If I spread them out on my back lawn, how many squirrels will arrive by dinner time?

  • Everyone has used it to make casseroles, but has anyone ever used a can of Campbell’’s condensed cream of mushroom soup to make soup?

  • My wife’’s health insurance company wants her to prove that we’’re still married.  How can anyone do that with certainty?

  • “I’’ve got it,” means you understand something.  “I’’ve had it,” doesn’’t mean you used to understand something, but you’’ve forgotten.  I don’’t get it, do you?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Has anyone done any research on murder-suicides?  There was another one a few miles from where I live.  This bozo killed his daughter and his mother-in-law and critically wounded his estranged wife before turning the gun on himself.  These incidents really trouble me.  Why isn’’t suicide enough for someone like that?  But how would you find out if all the perps killed themselves?

  • Have you seen the funny TV commercial for Staples office supply stores?  A father is gamboling through the store, buying back-to-school supplies and the Christmas song, “”It’s the Most Wonderful Time of the Year”” playing in the background.  Clearly from his antics, he agrees with the song, but about back-to-school time, not Christmas.  His kids follow with a really down-trodden look.  Clearly from their body language, they don’’t.

  • What’’s with the weather around New York this summer?  Has it been hot?  Well, my wife runs the room air conditioner in our bedroom every night it’’s in the window, whether it’’s hot, or humid, or not.  This July, we used about 12 percent fewer kilowatt hours of electricity than we did last July. 

  • Has one of those car alarms that flashes the headlights and honks the horn ever prevented a car theft?

  • If someone is signaling a left turn, why pass him or her on the left?   I’’d particularly like the person who did that to me today to answer that question.  Someone could have been seriously killed.

  • Michael Jackson died more than six weeks ago.  To the best of my knowledge, he’s still dead.  So could we please stop devoting so much air time to his demise?  That is, of course, unless there’s some news about it and there hasn’’t been any in quite a while.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • I was in a 2.5 hour meeting today with two other people.  Each of them left their cell phone buzzing or ringing and each of them answered their cell phone more than once.  Am I wrong, or is that rude?

  • Mark Sanford.  What?  Was he thinking?  Governor Sanford, meet Murphy and his law.

  • Is South Carolina’’s newspaper. “”The State,”” out of line for publishing Governor Mark Sanford’’s e-mails to his lover?  They didn’’t come from his government account.  And is Governor Sanford out of line for not spell checking his e-mail?  Maybe he did spell check it.  The trouble with trusting a spell checker is that if your mistake is also a word, the spell checker won’’t tell you it’’s wrong.  And neither “world wind” nor “lightening” will trigger the spell checker, which doesn’’t know you mean “whirlwind” and “lightning.”

  • Did Jenny Sanford write that statement by herself?  If she did, she has a future in crisis management PR.

  • She’’s classy and he’’s not.

  • Let me get this straight.  Jon and Kate Gosselin are getting divorced because they’’ve been living apart for two years, right?  And their TV show is a “reality” show?

  • Ed McMahon died.  How dead is he?

  • You can eat blueberry pie without vanilla ice cream, but why would you?  I grow blueberries in my yard and they never make it inside the house.  I pick and eat them as I’’m walking past the bushes while I’’m mowing the lawn.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Have you read about the Israeli woman who bought her mother a new mattress and threw the old one away?  The old one stuffed with a million dollars! 

http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2009/jun/10/million-dollar-mattress-thrown-away 

I’’m skeptical.  A million dollars in US currency weighs around a hundred pounds, maybe 110, assuming it’’s all in hundred dollar bills.  I assume Israeli currency weighs roughly what US currency does and I doubt anyone converts their life savings into hundred dollar bills.  So it would likely be in mixed, mostly smaller denominations and therefore, it’’s likely to weigh more than that.

If the mattress you were throwing away had the body of a young, slim woman on it, you’’d notice the extra weight, wouldn’’t you?  On the other hand, maybe the million dollars was in the form of a check.

Adam Lambert, runner up on this year’’s version of “American Idol,” announced that he’’s gay.  Two questions:  why should anyone care, and among those people who do care, did anyone really think he was straight?

My doctor’’s office called to confirm my appointment this week.  If I were Jewish, would they still have confirmed the appointment, or would they have Bar Mitzvahed the thing?

As the US government switches frequency spectrums and makes TV go digital, I do have one TV that needs a converter box to work with the new system.  I’’m not getting one.  The TV is near death anyway.  I’’ll just throw it away. 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Can we give President Obama his own TV show so he won’’t interrupt all the other shows so much?

  • Who invented the common cold?  It was a really, really bad idea.

  • Is nothing sacred?  A woman in Dayton Ohio was caught embezzling money from the sale of Girl Scout Cookies.  She has agreed to repay $20,000.  If she stole the cookies instead of the money, and if all the cookies were Thin Mints, I’’d buy as many as I could afford from her so she could pay back the Girl Scouts.

  • If speed bumps slow down traffic, what do goose bumps do?

  • I went to a catered fund-raising dinner where one of the deserts on the buffet was cream puffs filled with chocolate pudding rather than whipped cream.  Why didn’’t I think of that?

  • If I buy a Saturn and lose my job, Saturn will make my car payments, right?  What happens if I buy a Saturn and I lose my job and Saturn goes out of business?

  • Has there ever been a reality TV show that contained even one iota of reality?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did they release the results of the MRI of the horse “I Want Revenge” that scratched from the Kentucky Derby?  I was wondering, did the MRI make the horse’’s nose itch too?

  • All the spam I get offers to sell me Cialis or Viagra.  Why doesn’’t anyone try to sell Levitra that way?

  • If I needed Cialis or Viagra, I’’d already be annoyed, so what makes the Internet spam generators think I need to be further annoyed with nine-million unwanted e-mails a week?

  • I know there are exceptions to the federal no-call law, but if I went to the trouble of getting on the no call list, what makes anyone think I’’d welcome their call, even if it falls into one of the exceptions?  When my cell phone company started calling me because my contract was expiring, I told them that if I had to stop doing business with them to get them to stop calling me that could be arranged.

  • Could the Mets possibly catch the ball or hit the ball or both when Johan Santana is pitching?

  • A few years ago, my wife let slip a previously carefully guarded secret.  She likes lilacs.  I wonder what awful thing she expected to happen once I knew that.  So far, she’’s got four lilac bushes growing in the back yard.  I bought the most recent one for Mother’’s Day.   Each is a different color.  Is that so bad?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • How can National Vanilla Pudding day fall in the middle of National Chocolate Custard Month?  That’’s just not right!

  • “I Want Revenge,” the pre-race favorite in the Kentucky Derby, was scratched on race day because of a sore ankle.  The horse’’s owners said they were going to give the three-year-old colt an MRI to determine the extent of the injury.  Do they have to use an open MRI on a horse?

  • Over the winter, the NY Mets signed left-handed pitcher Oliver Perez to a three-year, $36 million contract.  Perez has shown flashes of brilliance, but has been inconsistent during his career.  Who would have thought that when he turned consistent this year, he would turn consistently bad?

  • Raccoon roundworm, a rare and serious disease that can be fatal, has been reported in New York City.  It is spread, according to one article through ingestion of raccoon feces.  Is ingesting raccoon feces really a big public health problem?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Can you remember the last time you saw a May Pole?

  • Do you need a license to run amok?

  • If I buy a buttered roll or muffin for breakfast at my local deli, the butter only sticks to one side.  Why?  Do you think it’’s a plot by the people who manufacture plastic knives?

  • William Parente.  Why?  Once again someone killed a bunch of other people, in this case his wife and two daughters, in a Maryland hotel and then killed himself.  If, as has been suggested, he was in trouble with the law for running a Ponzi scheme, perhaps he thought his arrest and imprisonment would ruin his family’’s lives.  They might have recovered.  They can’’t recover from being murdered.

  • Chocolate candy cigarettes supposedly encourage smoking.  I wonder what chocolate Easter bunnies encourage.

  • If Chrysler does merge with Fiat, how long will it take before Chryslers rust that fast?

  • Did you think you’’d live to see General Motors become a government agency?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Do you think paving over the area where Shea Stadium used to be got rid of the strong smell of urine?

  • What did the golden goose ever do to merit so many people trying to kill it?

  • Why do we need any ado at all, let alone much ado or further ado?

  • If you could care less, wouldn’’t you?

  • Why don’’t people ever watch TV on television?

  • The ground hog saw its shadow.  Isn’t the six weeks up yet?

  • Isn’’t it too early to rehabilitate Eliot Spitzer?

  • Madonna says she fell off a horse on Long Island’s fashionable east end because paparazzi jumped out of the bushes and spooked the animal.  So, how come there aren’’t any pictures of the event?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • There are several ways to spell Chanukah, so why is there only one way to spell Passover?

  • Is radio and cable TV host Glen Beck like that, or is it an act?

  • If I had a dog named Trick and I taught it to roll over, would I be guilty of turning a trick?

  • Do they still dye pistachios red?  Why?

  • The people who run the cable channel that carries NY Mets games schedule the live broadcasts of games for two-and-a-half hours.  They almost always last longer than that.  So why do they do it that way?

  • When Chrysler president Jim Press arrived at the New York International Auto Show the other day in a Fiat 500, he said Fiat and Chrysler didn’’t have a merger to announce yet.  He also said that Chrysler was conducting business as usual.  That’’s not a good idea, is it?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • When the Today show runs a live via satellite interview with real people who participated in some story, couldn’’t they possibly find articulate real people?  Wouldn’’t that make for a better program?

  • According to JD Powers Associates, the two auto makers who have the best quality across their entire brand are Jaguar and Buick.  Does that say good things about Jaguar and Buick quality, or bad things about the accuracy of JD Powers’ survey?

  • I truly don’’t understand SPAM as a marketing tool.  How does annoying someone every day make them want to buy your product?  If I order a three-month supply of prescription drugs over the Internet, why would I need to order another three-month supply tomorrow, and the day after tomorrow, and the day after that?  Do you care that free shipping ends tomorrow when you know it begins again Saturday?  If I ask you not to e-mail me, why do you e-mail me to confirm that I don’’t want to get your e-mail?  Don’’t the people who do this know you can set your e-mail program to dump that stuff in the trash.

  • In this media intensive day and age, what’’s the point of a wax museum?

  • When you are turning on to a highway with four or more lanes, you’’re supposed to end up in the lane that’’s going in your direction and closest to where you came from.  So if you turn left, you’’re supposed to end up next to the center line of the road and if you turn right you’re supposed to turn near the curb.  You flunked your road test if you didn’’t do that.  These days, if you count on people doing that, you’’ll have an accident.  So, could everybody please do it right at least when there’’s another vehicle coming from the opposite direction and turning with you?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Maybe I missed something.  Has Meghan McCain, 24-year-old daughter of Arizona Senator John McCain, done anything on her own to justify the attention she’’s received recently in all sorts of media?

  • March Madness (the NCAA basketball tournament) starts Sunday.  At least they announce the brackets Sunday.  But it doesn’’t end until sometime in April.  Once they reach the final four, I know it’’s not March anymore, but is it still madness?

  • I haven’t tried this, but could you have a computer password that consisted of eight asterisks in a row?  And if you did, how would it appear on screen when you went to enter it?

  • Fighting with someone doesn’’t prove who’’s right.  It only proves who’’s stronger and that’’s not usually in dispute.  Do you think, for instance, that Chris Brown thought Rihanna stood a chance of beating him up?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Do you suppose Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez needed pre-approval from his health insurance company to have surgery this morning in Colorado?

  • Let me get this straight.  We got into the economic mess we’re in because we spent and borrowed too much, right?  And the way we’re planning to get out of it is to spend and borrow a whole lot more, right?

  • Is it time for crocuses yet?

  • If you were trying to buy Viagra or Cialis on line, could you communicate with the company you were trying to purchase from, or would your email program insist it was all spam and block it?

  • Have you noticed that Ringling Brothers doesn’’t call it a circus anymore?

  • Considering how bad the odds of winning are, I think people who make plans for how to spend their lottery winnings before they win are foolish.  Don’t you?

  • Do Donnie and Marie Osmond own the TV show Entertainment Tonight?  They’’re not big enough celebrities to be on the show as often and as prominently as they are without some other explanation than they were big in the 70’s.

  • Teen star Miley Cyrus has published an autobiography.  She might have written it, or it might have been ghost written.  She’s sixteen!  Even though she’s famous, how long can that book possibly be?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • If you spent your adult life as a play-by-play announcer for major league (or even minor league) baseball games, watching your team play baseball every day, when you retire, do you have to go to an office from nine to five every weekday?

  • Why would you call something you stick in your ear a Bluetooth?  In fact, why would you call anything a Bluetooth?

  • Cursing is supposed to demonstrate that you’re angry.  If you curse all the time, how is anyone supposed to tell?

  • Are we searching for intelligent life on other planets because we’ve determined conclusively that there isn’t any on this one?

  • Was the person who named it the Cross Bronx Expressway being ironic, or hopeful?  And, either way, isn’t it way past time to change the name?

  • As I was crawling west on the Cross Bronx Expressway last Friday night at 5 miles per hour,  I couldn’’t help but question all the electronic signs that said, “Reduce speed.”  Do you think traffic would have hit 15 miles per hour if they shut those signs off?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • “The Insider,” is a TV show that primarily covers the world of entertainment.  Tonight they led with the Chimpanzee named Travis that mauled a woman in Connecticut this week, blinding and disfiguring her for life.  I know Travis was in at least two commercials some years ago, but will someone please tell me what’’s entertaining about that vicious attack?  My wife and I changed the channel.

  • How’’s the stock market doing since the economic stimulus cargo became law?

  • I take medicine that affects the way some foods taste to me.  I hope it’s the medicine, but this year Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies don’’t taste quite as minty or quite as chocolaty as they used to.  Is it the medicine, or does it seem that way to you too?

  • Comedian Bill Engvall asked a question so profound I’’m repeating it here because it needs answering.  How did fish acquire a taste for worms?

  • Have you seen the Food Channel TV show, “Ace of Cakes?”  Has it occurred to you that this is a TV show about cake decorating that doesn’’t really show you how to decorate a cake?

  • When I make a doctor’s appointment, instead of asking for the first appointment of the day, would it help if I asked for the first, first appointment of the day?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did you hear the audio of the conversation between pilot Chesley Sullenberger and the LaGuardia tower as he was ditching flight 1549 in the Hudson river last month?  Basically, it boils down to save my life now, panic later.

  • Has Christopher Lambert ever been in a good movie?

  • The janitor in the office building where I work rolls a large trash barrel up to each waste basket in order to empty it.  He takes the barrel to the waste basket, not the other way around.  So, it seems to me that moving my waste basket from where I put it would be extra work.  But he never puts it back where I want it.  Why is that?

  • The birth of octuplets in California raises some troubling questions.  Why would a single woman who already has six kids want more?  If you know you won’’t abort any of the implanted embryos, why have so many implanted?  I mean having eight more kids at the same time is dangerous to both the mother and the children; any of the nine may develop serious health problems as a result.  And if it’s dangerous to the mother, then she was risking the welfare of the six children she already had.  Both fertility treatments and post natal care of octuplets are very expensive.  I’’d like to be assured that this family, mom and her parents, have the resources to handle the expense.  I’’d rather not see taxpayer funds expended on what appears to me to be an ego trip.

  • Is there a category in the Guinness Book of World Records for the most credit card offers received by one person over a specified period of time (like a month or a year)?  If there is, how do I apply for recognition?

  • Haven’’t paid your federal income taxes?  Maybe you’re qualified for a cabinet-level appointment in the Obama Administration?  I was being considered to be secretary of the Department of Redundancy Department until they found out I had paid my taxes.

  • Someone on the radio used an expression I hadn’’t heard in a long time:  “smart as a whip.”  Aren’’t whips inanimate objects?  Isn’’t a whip exactly as smart as a box of rocks?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • If I’’m worried about how much snow we’re going to get over night, is that the qualm before the storm?

  • When do you suppose we’ll reach the saturation point on cable TV shows that say you can’’t sell your house because it’s filthy and full of junk?  I hope soon.

  • If beauty is in the eye of the beholder, where’’s ugly?

  • Republicans in Congress say they’’re against President Obama’s economic recovery program.  They want a more sensible spending program.  How do they know sensible spending will work?  Has that ever been tried in Washington?

  • Don’’t you  just hate it when the Chinese New Year rolls around and you’re still writing Year of the Rat on your checks when it’’s already the Year of the Ox?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Is there a dumber ad campaign than Varian Medical System’s’ TV and radio commercials featuring letters from cancer?  Their website works for me, but their TV and radio commercials with the letter to cancer that ends, ““Love, Me,”” don’’t.    I think being inspired by cancer patients courage is a wonderful idea and for each letter they post on their website Varian donates $10 to cancer research, up to $100,000.  That’’s great too.  Look at the letters on their website instead of watching or listening to the commercials:  http://www.varian.com/.  The first one I looked at is signed, “”Your sworn nemesis.””  That’’s much more like it.  When I think about cancer, a number of four letter words pop into my head, but love isn’t one of them.

  • Did you know I’’m being plagiarized by someone I don’’t know and never heard of?  I said plagiarized for effect:  I don’t really mean it.  The blogger in question doesn’t credit the Sisyphus Project by name, but does link to it if you want more.  http://download.gamers-haven.com/here/things-i-want-or-need-to-know.  I’’m flattered.  If I didn’’t know me really well, I’’d be impressed too.

  • Job hunting is very frustrating.  I know why a prospective employer won’t give you a reason they don’’t hire you.  Nevertheless, how are you supposed to improve your act for the next interview if you never get any feedback about the mistakes you’’ve made or how you could improve?

  • I’’d understand the whole thing about Bernie Madoff and bail, if he were free on bail as reporters keep saying and writing that he is.  But he’’s not free on bail; he’’s under house arrest that he’’s paying for.  And if he is guilty as charged, he’’s paying for the guards and the monitoring with money he stole from the people he swindled.  As long as he’’s under house arrest, I don’’t understand why they don’’t just throw him in jail.

  • Near the end of that TV commercial Billy Mays does hawking some miracle fabric glue, he says, ““You get everything for just $19.99.””  I doubt he really means that, don’’t you?

  • Are hamburgers really that difficult that we need the Big City Slider Station?

  • Would someone please explain to me why watching amateur video of people hurting themselves is funny?  I cringe and change the channel if I inadvertently tune into “America’’s Funniest Home Videos,” but the show has been on the air for many years now.

  • Why does the Viking raider in the Capital One credit card commercial have a British accent?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • I mean some of these things as jokes; this one is no laughing matter.  Bruce Pardo must have been terribly troubled and imbalanced to create that appalling Christmas massacre in California.  When someone is so disturbed they want to kill themselves and a bunch of other people, I’’d hope they get psychiatric help, but whenever one of these things happen, I wonder why killing themselves isn’’t enough for people like that. 

  • I’’ve never bought anything from a TV infomercial, but I’’ve often wondered if you call later, instead of calling right now, can you still get the special deal?

  • Why does it rain more on weekends?

  • Why does most windy weather happen when you have to put the garbage out, or after the light-weight can and the light-weight lid are separated from the heavier garbage?  There’’s an idea for a product:  weights for plastic garbage cans and plastic-garbage-can lids.  I wonder if you could patent something like that, or if someone already has.

  • Getting up at the crack of dawn is overrated.  What’’s wrong with bouncing out of bed at the crack of noon?

  • Instead of signing all the most expensive baseball players, why don’’t the New York Yankees bail out General Motors?

  • Which is bigger, egantic or ginormous?

  • Takeru Kobayashi, the guy who made a name for himself by winning hot dog eating contests at Nathan’s of Coney Island, failed in an attempt to set a new world record for eating fruitcake.  I didn’’t know fruitcake was edible, did you?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • While channel surfing, I heard the end of an infomercial where Vince, the announcer, warned viewers to beware of Shamwow imitators.  Why?  What harm can a fake cellulose towel do to me?  I mean I’’m a pretty tough guy.  I don’t think it can hurt me and I’’m not afraid.  In fact, I’’d be more afraid of an imitation Shamu.

  • Have you read about Alex Rodriguez and Madonna?  They were recently reported to be in Mexico together, and then looking for a house in Florida.  Who knows if these reports are correct?  If they are, Madonna is in very good shape for a woman of her age and many people enjoy her singing.  But still, doesn’’t Alex Rodriguez know that she isn’’t particularly pretty, she’’s almost old enough to be his mother and he’’s Alex Rodriguez?

  • How can you steal $50 billion and not have much of anything to show for it?

  • I’’d like to know whether Bernie Madoff started out to run a Ponzi scheme, or whether he switched to that when his investments went to hell in a hand basket.  By the way, Charles Ponzi didn’’t invent the Ponzi scheme.  His were just the best known ones until now.

  • I can’’t resist a good pun, or especially a bad one, so shouldn’’t I classify what Bernie Madoff did as a capital crime?

  • Assuming for a minute that some of the institutions getting government bailouts are really too big to be allowed to fail, why isn’’t anyone at least looking into new anti-trust legislation to prevent additional companies from getting so big we can’’t let them fail?

  • How do children survive between the time they stop being cute and the time they start being bigger than we are?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • This morning, someone wished me a happy Thanksgiving and admonished me to not eat too much turkey.  Aren’t those two things mutually exclusive?  In order to have a happy Thanksgiving, don’’t you have to eat too much turkey, or too much of something anyway?  Glutton that I am, I plan to eat too much turkey and too much pumpkin pie as well.

  • Why do so many people these days stop so far behind where they’’re supposed to stop at traffic signals?  Don’’t they know that a lot of traffic signals have sensors under the pavement and if nobody passes over the sensor the light won’’t change?
  • If there’’s a liquidity crisis in this country, shouldn’’t I be receiving fewer credit card offers in the mail?
  • I’’m beginning to think that traffic officials in New Jersey deliberately abandoned the left turn, rather than never discovering it in the first place.  Yesterday, I saw someone make a U-turn on a major New York State route (six traffic lanes, turn lanes in each direction and a center divider), from the middle lane, with the left turn signal red!  Is going around the block a felony?  I only ask because I know that was at least three traffic violations.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Did Joe Scarborough perform a necessary public service this week on his MSNBC program, or did you already know which word “the f word” is?

  • The National Toy Hall of Fame has named the stick as one of this year’s inductees.  I’’m not kidding!  http://www.cnn.com/2008/US/11/07/stick.hall.fame.ap/index.html  How would you differentiate between a toy stick and a real one?

  • Polka dots:  why are they called that?  Does it have anything to do with dancing or accordions?

  • Is bombarding people with unwanted e-mail an effective way of selling stuff?  I took my wife to a nice restaurant last month.  They have a rewards program.  If we joined, they’’d give us a ten-percent discount on the bill, so we joined.  Now, we get at least one e-mail from the restaurant per day.  Yes, I’’ve added them to the filter that dumps selected e-mail into the junk mail folder.

  • I know I’’m admitting to being older than a teenager when I ask this, but if you know what pismatology is, or the meaning of either the pompatus or the puppetuse of love for that matter, get in touch, please.

  • Has any individual ever used every function of a top-of-the-line Swiss Army knife?

  • Did you ever wonder why there are no holes in Swiss Army knives or in Swiss steak?

  • Into—, one word.  On to, —two words.  How does that make any sense?

  • Why is orange the only fruit named after a color?

  • Did you know you can play solitaire without a computer?

  • I don’’t know if they still do, but the NY Times used to run personal ads in the regional sections on Sunday.  I didn’’t see this recently, but it’’s still stuck in my mind.  Only in a NY Times personal ad would a man describe himself as “ursine.”  I know that means bear-like, but doesn’’t it really mean big, fat and hairy?

  • Are you as sick of teasers on TV newscasts as I am?  “Governor Patterson’s proposed state budget cuts, how will they affect your property taxes?  Coming up.”  Uh, your property taxes will go up?  I think I’’m going to banish those things to a new cable TV channel and call it The Obvious Channel.

  • For less than $200, I bought a portable hard drive that holds 500GB of information.  Do you know how much that is?  The package says it will hold 120,000 songs.  I have around 6,000 now.  I’’d better get busy downloading.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Is anyone really interested in watching Senator Obama’’s infomercial tonight?  I’’m more interested in watching oil-based paint dry. 

  • The Federal Reserve lowered the interest rate that banks charge each other today.  I know this is ordinarily considered an economic stimulus, but as I understand it, our economic woes include (but are not limited to) banks being unwilling to extend credit to each other.  There are more banks that want to borrow than banks that want to lend.  If that’’s true, wouldn’’t it make more sense for the Federal Reserve to raise that rate?

  • I’’d like to buy a flash-memory MP3 player that’’s also an AM/FM radio.  I know there are some with FM radios in them, but I need one with an AM radio to listen to ball games.  Does anyone make such a thing?

  • Someone did steal a base in the first game of the World Series.  Did you get your free taco on Tuesday?

  • Would you, ever, in your wildest imagination, have thought anyone could come up with a TV show about Mandelbrot sets?

  • Would you, ever, in your wildest imagination, have thought that someone would have programmed the proper noun “Mandelbrot” into MS Word’’s default spell-checking dictionary? 

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

  • Can you be paranoid if everyone is out to get you?

  • With the Dodgers (I root against them) and the Mets (I root for them) done for the season, who am I going to root for in the World Series?  And why?

  • If General Motors and Chrysler merge, what will the resulting company be called?  I’ve seen “General Mopar” suggested and that is funny.  However, I vote for General Motors.  I mean how many Chrysler models are likely to survive such a merger?  I think two:  the minivan and the Jeep.

  • What do you call a mistake on a map?  Is it a topographical error?

  • Has your $600 check from the federal government made any significant difference in your own personal economic situation?

  • If someone steals a base in tonight’’s World Series game, everybody in America gets a free Taco from Taco Bell next Tuesday.  But what happens if I don’’t want a free Taco?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

How is that Kazmir for Zambrano trade working out for the Mets these days?

How come “albeit” and “nevertheless” are one word each, but “inasmuch as” is two?

Wouldn’’t it be ironic if all the ancient pyramids really were built by space aliens, and the ones in Mexico were built by aliens who were there illegally?

Have you tried to buy a radio lately?  Just an AM/FM radio for your bedside, or your kitchen or your office.  Just a clock radio or what they used to call a table-model radio.  Best Buy doesn’’t sell them anymore.  Lots of electronics stores don’’t.  Any radio you can buy for your bedside in the Best Buy nearest to me is also an iPod dock.  The fact that plain radios are getting harder to buy can’’t bode well for the broadcasting industry.

If you use the trademark “iPod” at the beginning of a sentence, would it be spelled “IPod?”

Is there any rational reason for all the extra days off that have been injected into the Major League Baseball Playoffs?  The Brooklyn Dodgers won their only World Series on October 3rd, 1955.  This year’’s series, if it goes 7, will end on October 30th.

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Let me get this straight:  The pirates on that ship full of Russian tanks in the Indian Ocean have a spokesman?  Then I guess both journalism and public relations are dead.

By the way, would you call a ship full of Russian tanks a tanker?  Just wondering.

I have more thumb drives than I have thumbs.  Is that going to be a problem?

Has anybody considered that maybe Heather Locklear wasn’t DUI?  Maybe she slid across the hood of the police officer’s patrol car and he was too young to remember that.

Why do the people who make sneakers make them with shoe laces that are too long? 

Shouldn’’t the word “synonym” have at least one synonym?

Where did 2 million people go when they evacuated New Orleans for Hurricane Gustav?   I didn’’t see anything about that on the news.  Did you?

Is there anything that doesn’’t make the price of oil and gasoline go up and the major stock market indexes go down?

Things I Want (Or Need) To Know

Pride of lions, gaggle of geese, murder of crows.  Today, I found myself wondering what the correct term is for a large gathering of putzes.  It happens often enough there has to be a word for it I think.

If a policeman pulls you over, why does he ask if you know how fast you were going?  If he doesn’t already know, why did he pull you over in the first place?

If my call really was important to you, wouldn’t you hire somebody to answer the damned phone?

How did they figure out that Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies could be frozen?  At my house, they would all be eaten long before they got that cold and no matter how many boxes you bought.

Is there any way to reserve a rental car at an airport, fly to that airport, and get the make and model of car you reserved, instead of an “or similar?”

Can you be paranoid if everybody is out to get you?