Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Things That Come To Mind

My pharmacist is very thoughtful; he makes sure he has one refill on the shelf of each med I take. I almost always give him a week's notice, but for the rare times I forget, it's right there. His wife works in the office next to mine; I tell people she sleeps with my drug dealer.

There's a Grand Central Terminal, as well as a Grand Central Station. They aren't the same thing. GCS is a post office, located deep down inside GCT. The railroad building is called a "Terminal" because trains finish their runs there; at the end of the track is a bumper and a huge cement wall. Penn Station, on the other hand, is a run-through; trains stop, pick up passengers, and keep going.

Almost everybody you know, perhaps everybody, has an even number in the fifth position of their Social Security number. Ask around. The odds are something like 10-1, maybe higher, that you will not run into an odd number in the fifth position. The first three numbers indicate in what state the number was issued.

Our "ok" signal, thumb and index finger together, means "worthless" in France (you are making a zero) and "asshole" in Brazil (self-explanatory). I wonder how many international incidents have been started when you have signaled what you thought was a positive comment, only to cause a fight?

The 78 and 33 1/3 rpm records' speeds were chosen because the worm gear that drove the motor on the turntables was tied in with the house 60-cycle current and was the easiest way to make record players work. The 45 rpm speed was chosen for convenience of disc size for length of music that would fit on the record.

There never was a law that radio and tv stations could not advertise hard liquor; it was just an agreed-upon practice that most stations adhered to. Stations that broadcast to more mature audiences did carry discreet ads for them.


Anonymous Ewok said...

The 5th digit of my SSN is 1.

September 19, 2006 12:28 PM  
Anonymous Ewok said...

Here's a breakdown of how the numbers are assigned: http://www.snopes.com/business/taxes/blackssn.asp

September 19, 2006 1:45 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

You are, indeed, an unusual person. I work with SSN's all the time and rarely run into your situation. May I frame you?

September 19, 2006 2:43 PM  
Anonymous Mad Drummer said...

Did you know that a 78 RPM record and a 45 RPM record have the same number of grooves?

One groove - from start to finish.

September 19, 2006 9:34 PM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

MAD Magazine had a record as an insert. It had maybe four grooves and, depending on where the needle landed, you got one piece or another. I think it was MAD.

September 20, 2006 12:20 AM  
Blogger Cold Josh Vail said...

In Germany they use the thumb as #1, whereas we use the index finger to designate #1. I would go into a beer garden and hold up my index finger and the waiter would show up with two beers! It took me a while and I discovered it when I saw an old guy holding up just his thumb. (I thought that he was telling the waiter that his beer was good! LOL).

Mad Drummer.....I didn't know about the grooves. I do know tho, that the term 'groove'' came from when they were maxing a master in wax, way back when, they would ''cut a groove''. If you ever run across the book ''Stagolee'' by Cecil Brown, jump on it!

September 20, 2006 6:52 AM  
Anonymous Mad Drummer said...

Stagolee? I Googled it and got a good sense of the book. Thanks for the suggestion. I'm on it.

September 20, 2006 8:38 PM  

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