Friday, February 18, 2011

This and That

We've had a sudden surge of spring-like weather, which is quite welcome after having piles of snow everywhere since the day after Christmas. And while the snow on our front lawn is gone and there are signs that there is still a swimming pool under all that white in the back yard, there are still plenty of piles around.

This did not stop people from doffing their coats and hats yesterday afternoon. I watched numerous kids on their walk home from the high school, almost all wearing light sweaters or sweatshirts and a few even in shirtsleeves. There were some joggers out and even a couple of folks riding bicycles.

We're in for another warm day today, with temps promised to be near 60 degrees. However, it is still February and it was only in the 40s this morning. Despite this, I drove past one brave young lad standing at the school bus stop, clad only in shorts and a t-shirt. Either he generates immense amounts of body heat or was just too stubborn to go back home and get a jacket.


Two articles in U.S. News Weekly had me shaking my head today:
One mentions a Fox News reporter who asked 26 Iowa voters about President Obama's religion. Ten of them incorrectly said he was Muslim.
Another cites a survey of likely Republican primary voters in which 51% of the respondents said that Obama was born abroad and an additional 21% said they were not sure. There is no mention of a follow-up question about how many of these people think Hawaii is a state.


A recent commercial I've seen a few times hawks a pill that is made from fish oil. What I recall from it is that this pill could increase the amount of bad cholesterol, cause upset stomachs, and change the way you taste food. Unfortunately (or, perhaps, fortunately), I don't remember what the pill is supposed to do.
So, I guess I don't need to ask my doctor if this pill is right for me.

Don't get me started on the other medication they advertise that has possible side effects that include heart attack, stroke and sudden death. The warning continues with something like, "Contact your physician immediately if you experience any of these side effects."
Yes, you can be sure I'm going to call my doctor if I die from using this stuff! I wonder if Verizon and AT&T have coverage in the afterlife?


Once upon a time, we celebrated George Washington's birthday on February 22nd. In the great changeover that moved almost all the national holidays to Mondays (the 4th of July being an exception, because, after all, it wouldn't make much sense to celebrate it on another date), Washington's Birthday morphed into "President's Day" on the third Monday of the month. As such, it is never celebrated on the 22nd. This year, though, we get as close to it as we can.

Even as I am writing this, there is a commercial on the radio for Lowe's that invites us to celebrate President's Day by saving Benjamins and Washingtons. The "Benjamins" presumably are $100 bills, which feature the image of Benjamin Franklin, who, though the Lowe's ad writer seems unaware, was never President of the United States.
In fact, the only Benjamin who was President was Benjamin Harrison, perhaps most notable because he was our 23rd president, having served his single term between our 22nd and 24th Presidents, both of whom were Grover Cleveland. He was also the only "grandson President" in our history; his grandfather was Old Tippecanoe, William Henry Harrison.

1 comment:

  1. Holy cow, Answer Man! If _I_ know that you have to be born in the US as a prerequisite for becoming US President, (and I've lived most of my life in Oz, barring one year in the middle east and a few weeks here and there in the US and UK) how is it that native born Americans aren't aware of this fact?