Neither Rain, Nor Snow….But Not Always

On October 8, 2017, I mailed a small check to the town newspaper to renew my subscription. It wasn’t received by December 15, so I gave them a credit card. I figured the envelope probably had fallen between the car seats. On January 3 the check was received, postmarked October 8 by our local post office, which is a half-mile away.


Traffic

We’ve just returned from a 300-mile round trip drive to Tarrytown over two days. Not that long ago, I drove about the same distance in Italy in a car not nearly so powerful. In Italy, on two-lane roads, drivers stay on the right except to pass. Everyone is polite. The trip is fast. Very rarely do you have to flick your high beams to remind the person in front of you to move over. It’s simply a reflexively polite driving …


RIO: Rhode Island Oddities

Rhode Island is more a state of the mind than a state of the union. It has snowed in these parts for at least 10,000 years. Yet every winter, a disproportionate amount of time is spent by the media on snow, as if it’s Haley’s Comet showing up unexpectedly. They even harken back to past storms, although many people here weren’t even born “during the blizzard of ’76.” Nonetheless, here’s what going on this morning, while it’s snowing: • People …


Proportion

I don’t know about you, but I find it trivializing when a two-minute report on Matt Lauer’s unbelievable, gross, illegal, sociopathic behavior is then followed immediately by a “happy talk” weather report or a piece on a truck fire, as if it’s equal to a cold front or a traffic jam. Maybe it’s just me….


DASM: Not All Rides Are the Same

I am not making this up. I arranged through the concierge of the W Times Square Hotel to have a car pick me up at Penn Station and take me on some errands and then to the hotel. The driver was from India. His accent was so thick that he was unintelligible. I couldn’t find him outside the train station because he seemed to say he was in mid-block when he was at the end of the block. I’d tell …


Replace This

A few times a year I actually receive requests from people who have lost one of my books, or lost the links to programs they purchased long ago, or whose computers have crashed, asking me to replace the lost items. I ask them if they request replacements from Amazon, or iTunes when they lose items purchased in those places. None of them makes an offer to even partially pay for the replacement when they contact me. I’ve stopped doing it. …


Warning: Leftovers Can Kill You

Just when I thought the indicators of a total loss of judgment and over-reliance on rules were at their craziest height, I hear this on AM radio this morning on the way to get coffee with the dogs: An interview with a guest “expert” on how to treat Thanksgiving leftovers so that you don’t create serious health problems. My mother told me to wash my hands and never eat anything that smelled bad. If it was borderline, we ate it …


Stealing More Than the Ball

Three UCLA basketball players in China with the team were found guilty of shoplifting and it took the President of the US appealing to the President of China to free them. UCLA says they will be “suspended” from team activities and may, “at some point,” be allowed to work out again with the team. Here’s another idea: Why not insist they actually attend class, do some public service work, and see if they can maintain the grades necessary to stay …


Enough About Me, What Do You Think About Me?

Have you ever encountered the “black hole” individual? All light, matter, and energy are drawn into their own agenda. You could be talking about a basketball game and they will comment, “You’d better hope no one is injured because the Republicans are trying to ruin health care!” Or you’re thinking of going to Italy to see Capri and they say, “I was served a horrible meal in Rome. I think they give inferior food to tourists.” When you get gum …


Just Dumb Ass Stupid

Someone I’ve never heard of by the name of Howard Stein write me to tell me that “my logo is awful, low grade 1970s” and that if Bentley used such poor practices you’d never know you were the owner of a fine car. (Forget that illogic for the moment, because the value makes the brand. My logo could be a tree frog—I hear them nightly here in Fiji—and it wouldn’t matter to my success.) He wanted to provide better typography …