Thursday, July 06, 2006

Thoughts, Now in Fun Size!

- Why is it that, in the Northeast, house numbers usually start in the single digits (5 Main Street), but in the Midwest, they often start with four digits and go up from there (3490 Main Street)? Which way do they work in the South? California? In Canada, are they somehow metric? Do they have to be repeated in French?

- It would be cool if we provided basic liability insurance for cars through a gas tax. (People who wanted more-than-basic could always buy it on the existing market.) As it is, if I took a bus to work twice a week (assuming, falsely, that the option existed), my cost of driving would decline only by the gas I didn’t consume. But if insurance were tied to gas, my savings would increase by the insurance I didn’t consume. Increase the marginal cost of new miles. (We’d have to leave collision insurance to the existing market, for some fairly obvious incentive reasons.)

- Why is it that, even though I last had a Shamrock Shake about 30 years ago, I could still describe its flavor, color and texture, but if you asked me which shirt The Boy wore yesterday, I’d be stumped?

- Why is bunting illegal in softball?

- Why is it that major franchise chains totally dominate the hamburger market, and increasingly dominate the hoagie/sub/grinder/hero market, but are relatively minor players in the pizza market?

- Has there ever been a lyric as inane as Van Halen’s “only time will tell if we stand the test of time”? (And I’m not counting “yeah yeah” or “oo oo.” Sentences only.)

- Back when Indecent Proposal came out, I remember Mom objecting that the premise was implausible. Robert Redford and money, or Woody Harrelson and poverty – to her, there was no dilemma; take Redford and the money, end of movie. I have a similar response to Big Love. Bill Paxton is married to Jeanne Tripplehorn. Definitely with ya so far. Then, he feels the need to marry Chloe Sevigny. Huh? The other way around, I could understand. This way, no.

- Why is it that nothing is more certain to lower my morale than morale-building exercises?

- If education is the key to success, why are there so many struggling adjuncts?

- If estate tax is reimposed fully on Jan.1, 2011, which is currently the state of things, I suspect there would be some very suspicious deaths around December of 2010. Incentives, and all that.

- If water is clear, why is the ocean blue? (The Boy asked me this, and I drew a blank.)

- If Chester the Molester moves onto my street, and the state posts his whereabouts on the Megan’s Law website and my property value drops, is that a ‘taking’ for fifth amendment purposes? If so, am I entitled to compensation for my lost property value? After all, the state’s act of publicizing his presence effectively confiscated the value of my property, in the name of a public use (that is, safety).

- Does the Constitution require that a President not use a pseudonym? (I’m thinking that Jimmy Carter’s given name wasn’t Jimmy, so maybe not.) I’m just askin’...

- On the 4th of July, I caught the Coney Island Hot Dog Eating Contest on ESPN. I couldn’t look, yet I couldn’t look away. The highlight, about ten minutes in, when the two frontrunners were in a virtual dead heat: one announcer says, “Now it all comes down to hot dog management.” Indeed it does.

- Is there a better compliment in the world than when The Girl pushes the The Boy off my lap, yelling “My Daddoo!”? (I’ll answer that one: no.)