Random Thoughts

It’s starting to get warmer. The screen door is going in, the windows will soon be opened, the birds will be singing and I’ll be wearing shorts. God I hate it.

We don’t have to agree on everything, but can we at least agree to stop using the word “webinar?”

If you’re talking about something that happened in 2004, you can’t use the phrase “back in the day.”

Sleepy Hollow was renewed by Fox today. I still have the second half of last season on my DVR but now I’m not going to watch it, considering what they did in the season finale. Why would any fans watch it next season?

It always surprises me that people are surprised when they find out that Twitter isn’t a good place for debate.

You know what the world doesn’t need and probably don’t even really exist? Social media experts.

“We don’t want to speculate…” – what news anchors on cable news say right before they speculate

Sometimes I wonder if I don’t like new bands because I”m getting old, then I realize that it’s because I have good taste in music.

The world can be divided into two groups of people: those who still wear watches and those who use their phones to tell time.

Have a great weekend!

The Case of the Mysterious Nut

It’s not up there with a Sherlock Holmes or Perry Mason mystery, but it’s still baffling.

I often use a one of those lapdesk things, the ones with the bean bag bottom and plastic top you set your laptop on when you’re typing on your lap – even when I’m using my Macbook on the coffee table (it raises it up a bit). The other day I got the lapdesk and placed it on the coffee table, and then I placed my Macbook on top of it. Suddenly, a nut (of the “nuts and bolts” variety, not pistachio or macadamia) falls out of the…well, I don’t know where from…hits the table and rolls on to the floor. That’s the mystery. It either came from my computer or from the lapdesk. But that’s pretty much impossible. This was a rather big nut, black and around the size of a dime, and I can’t see how it could have come from either of those things. It’s like making a peanut butter and jelly sandwich and all of a sudden a nail falls out of it. Sure, they might both exist in your home but it still doesn’t make any sense that they’d be together.

One idea I had was that maybe it came from the area where I store the lapdesk and computer. But it just…can’t. There’s nothing in that area like that, I do this same routine every single day, and the last time I had a nut in my hand was many years ago (please get your mind out of the gutter).

New column up, if you haven’t read it yet. By sheer coincidence, I talk about Peanuts.


Is there a more pleasing moment in one’s life than when the power comes back on after being out?

Of course there is. Probably a hundred or so. But it is very pleasing. When the power goes out, you really don’t know what happened or how long it’s going to be out. It could be out for 5 minutes or 2 days. And you’re sitting there with your candles lit and your emergency lanterns, maybe reading a book or writing something, counting the minutes as they go by, worrying you’ll have to discard all of the groceries you bought today if the power is out for too long.

My power has gone out twice this week. The first time it was for just under an hour. Tonight it came back on after 2 hours and 10 minutes. I can get through snowstorms and Nor’Easters and hurricanes without the lights even flickering once. But when there’s a sunny, 50 degree day with hardly any wind, the power goes out. This week, it goes out twice.

But I love that moment when it comes back on. You don’t expect it, and it makes you say – sometimes to yourself, sometimes out loud – THANK GOD. THINGS ARE BACK TO NORMAL. The lights shine again, the printer makes a noise, and all of the clocks start flashing. You have to go around the house and set all of those clocks again and reset timers and wait for the cable channels to load. That’s a bit of a pain (again, twice in one week), but it’s worth it if you can get online again, go to the bathroom without bringing a candle with you like you’re Ebenezer Scrooge, and you can microwave some Hot Pockets.

The Letter is coming back next week, I swear. Working on it right now.

A reminder…

Just a quick note to point you to the weekly column I write for The Saturday Evening Post. This week I write about texting in movie theaters, Elvis Presley, a Harry Potter game come to life, and how Michael Buble has a lot of trouble eating corn on the cob.

In the column I posted a video – which I also put up at PBJ – of the 2004 Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame tribute to George Harrison, an all-star band playing “While My Guitar Gently Weeps.” Prince plays the solo and, holy cow, he just owns it (and he knows it). Truly an incredible performance.

Thank God there’s a Shaw’s in town

Some days you’re not sure what you’re going to write about, and then you make a trip to the Stop & Shop.

I’m going down an aisle, minding my own business, shopping cart full of chicken and potato chips and rice pilaf and Metamucil, and I decide to grab a gallon jug of spring water. I immediately notice that the safety tab is missing. In other words, it’s open. I obviously don’t want any customers accidentally buying it because they didn’t see it was open so I take the gallon jug and put it on the floor in the corner.

I go to the register – like most days at Stop & Shop the place is packed and they only have one register open and there are nine people ahead of me and they refuse to open another register, which is a rant for another day – and I tell the clerk about the open water jug that’s on the floor. He says OK and thinks that maybe someone dropped it on the floor and the cap came off and they just left it on the shelf. I tell him that the cap’s not off, somebody actually took the plastic safety tab off of it. He sarcastically says “Oh, you made it sound like the whole cap was off!” Actually, I didn’t make it sound like that at all. You just assumed. And you know what happens when you assume.

This isn’t the first time I’ve tried to point out something at this store, and it’s getting to the point where I shouldn’t even bother, but that doesn’t hurt the store at all it just hurts any potential customer who might buy something they shouldn’t.

Of course, I have no expectation that they’re actually going to remember (or care about) the open water jug. It’s not really important to them. So in short: if you go to a certain Stop & Shop in Massachusetts – a “Super” location, though that point is debatable – and find a gallon of water on the floor, check to see if it’s OK.

Before I leave the clerk asks me if I have my Stop & Shop discount card. I don’t have a Stop & Shop discount card. I’ve had the same exact conversation with this clerk at least 25 times in the past year. You know you can save money with the discount card, right? Yes, I’m familiar with the concept of “discounts” and “cards.” I just don’t want to bother with another damn card in my wallet. Also, every other clerk at this store puts in the store card for customers that don’t have them. You don’t. Why, I don’t know, except maybe because you’re a douchenozzle? Every time I see this guy at the register I want to go to another but today…well, see the third paragraph above.

Luckily there’s a Shaw’s in town. I like shopping there. They take care of things when you point something out to them, they got rid of their discount cards, and they open a new register when everyone’s ice cream starts to melt.