Things that bug me a little

very LOUD

After going to NYC, I started pondering a few things that bug me a little. Maybe a bit more than a little. I’m listing from most to least annoying.

Motorized bicycles are a hassle to avoid in Albany, especially the lunkheads, who insist on riding on the sidewalk.  But in Manhattan, they ride in the designated lanes, yet often don’t yield to pedestrians, ignoring traffic signals.

As someone who has been going to the City since 1971, I have found that car drivers have been, in the main, more aware of pedestrians. I had to scowl at only one car, and naturally, it was a taxi driver turning left and heading toward me as I was in the middle of the walkway.

Snow removal is something I excel at. Before I went to church on January 7, I shoveled the walk. The WHOLE walk. Then, just before dark, I shoveled again. There was a dusting the next morning, which I planned to get to, but the sun took care of it.

On the 9th, the absentee landlord for the property next door, Tick, and his long-suffering wife were trying to clear that sidewalk, which had mainly turned to ice by then. Not that he asked my opinion, but he might be better served to engage one of the tenants to shovel for a monetary consideration. Heck, I’d do it myself if he paid me enough.

Bathroom etiquette

I put the toilet seats down. There’s a sign in the all-access bathroom at my church asking people to lower the seat, yet twice in 2024, the seat was up. When I grew up, I was in a household with three females and one other male.  I live with two females currently.

A few years ago, I mentioned this topic to a guy who was quite perturbed. He gave me a diatribe about how women are liberated. “Why should men have to touch the filthy toilet seat?” I had no pithy response, so I just walked away. And I still put the seat down, but don’t tell him.

Hands-free cell phones bug me because the person walking down the street yakking is often very LOUD. That said, sometimes, it’s entertaining. One guy seemed to be pumping himself up when he said, “I’m ready to take on whatever they think I can do.” Another guy muttered,  “I don’t know what the f*** they’re talking about.” A woman was delighted to share, “I  was kind of lying telling people that Disney is involved.”

The photo, BTW, is one in a series of failed attempts to take a decent picture of the moon with my phone. I sort of like it because it looks like the moon lit the porch.

Pigskin conversation

On the other hand, I enjoyed this conversation immensely. On January 14, my wife and I ate dinner at a local Italian restaurant for our lunaversary. A television showed the Green Bay Packers playing at the Dallas Cowboys. The Pack was leading 27-0 until the ‘boys scored a touchdown just before the half.

I told my wife, ” I hate the Cowboys.” The woman at the next table, dining with her husband, said, “I can’t help but overhear what you said. I hate the Cowboys, too.”

While eating and watching the game during the second half at our respective tables, we discovered that our fathers and we were all New York Giants fans. She had one sister, and growing up, they both watched the games on Sundays with their dad. Since her family lived in Delaware County, NY, adjacent to Broome County, where my hometown of Binghamton is, we all watched the games on WNBF-TV, Channel 12, the CBS affiliate that carried the games locally.

I know a great deal about this person, including the fact that she is two years younger than me, except for her name. It was fun for us to do a running commentary of the game. At one point, I noted that Dallas, then down by 24 with about 20 minutes left, could tie the game if they scored three touchdowns AND two-point conversations. Fortunately, GB beat DAL 48-32. Our spouses were very patient. 

1951 music: Giants win the pennant

two by Tony Bennett

Cry_-_Johnnie_RayIn 1951, the New York Yankees won the third of five World Series in a row, why so many people hated the Bronx Bombers.

Yet the thing I remember most from that baseball season, which even predates me being born, was Bobby Thompson’s home run, which meant that New York “Giants win the pennant!” I still hear the call in my mind’s ear. The Giants were in second place in the National League, 13 games behind the Brooklyn Dodgers. But the teams ended up tied at the end of the regular season, requiring a three-game playoff.

As for the music of 1951, I’m quite familiar with most of these songs and performers. These songs all hit #1.


Cry – Johnnie Ray and The Four Lads, eleven weeks at #1, gold record (Okeh). I know Johnnie Ray mostly from the reference in Come On Eileen by Dexys Midnight Runners. “Poor old Johnnie Ray. Sounded sad upon the radio. Moved a million hearts in mono.”

Because of You – Tony Bennett, ten weeks at #1, gold record (Columbia). Despite his Alzheimer’s, he has a new album with Lady Gaga.

How High the Moon – Les Paul and Mary Ford, nine weeks at #1, gold record (Capitol). What to consider when buying a Les Paul guitar.

(It’s No) Sin – Eddy Howard, eight weeks at #1, gold record (Mercury). I was unfamiliar with this bandleader and vocalist.
If – Perry Como, eight weeks at #1 (RCA Victor). Yes, I did watch his variety show for a time.
Come On-a My House –  Rosemary Clooney, eight weeks at #1, gold record (Columbia). Much more than George’s aunt.

Cold, Cold Heart – Tony Bennett, six weeks at #1, gold record (Columbia). Yes, the Hank Williams song.

Too Young – Nat “King” Cole, five weeks at #1, gold record (Capitol). When I was a kid playing Beatles albums, the inner sleeve always featured several albums by Nat Cole. So I’ve long known that he was on the same label as the Beach Boys and Peter and Gordon, as well as Nancy Wilson and Al Martino.

Be My Love – Mario Lanza, gold record (RCA Victor). Possibly THE most familiar song for me on this list, on the radio a lot when I was a little kid. But I experienced a mondegreen re the last word in the first line. I thought it was “end this yearney”, with him mispronouncing “journey.” But the last word is actually “yearning.”

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