I know I should care and take an interest in subjects such as personal finance, car repair, home maintenance, plumbing and cooking but I don’t.
I don’t really care. Or take much of an interest. And I sure as heck won’t blog about those topics or even bothering reading blogs on such subjects.
Now, you want to talk baseball or movies or history or writers or literature? Then you’ve earned my attention.
Those other things? Not so much.
Personal finance and investing?
I slip into MEGO mode.
My Eyes Glaze Over.
If anybody anywhere mentions anything useful or helpful about car maintenance or repair I’ll fall asleep standing up.
Cooking tips or recipes?
I’ll call Pizza Hut.
Interior decorating? I’ll joke about taking up chewing tobacco just so I’ll need spittoons scattered around The Hovel, my small Fort Myers condo.
All these useful subjects should command my attention. But they don’t.
It happened again this afternoon at my mom and sister’s house. Plumbers are here working on a problem that required them digging a hole in the ground, exposing some roots and putting in new pipes.
One of the plumbers explained it all and I nodded sagely and murmured meaningless syllables as if I knew what the heck they were talking about. I’m lucky I didn’t nod off and tumble headfirst into the hole.
Do you want to know exactly what the plumbers were doing at the house today? Don’t ask me.
I’m just emerging from another MEGO episode, this one induced by plumbing talk.
While the plumbers were plumbing away doing whatever it is they were doing, Uncle Don stopped by and we started talking baseball.
Now you’re talking. …
We somehow got onto the subject of Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak in 1941 and Ted Williams hitting .406 the same year and I mentioned that a pitcher named Thornton Lee received a first-place vote that year for American League MVP.
That means one writer voted for Lee over DiMaggio and Williams. We both find this absolutely mystifying as well as fascinating.
Then I went traipsing through the baseball-reference.com website looking for more information. I found statistics on Lee and a few biographical details.
Lee enjoyed an excellent season, going 22-11 for the White Sox and leading the league with a 2.37 ERA. But how could anybody vote for him over DiMaggio or Williams?
Then came the coolest piece of baseball trivia I’ve stumbled across in a while. When Williams was a rookie in 1939, he homered off Lee. In Williams’ final season in 1960, he homered off Don Lee, Thornton’s son.
So Ted Williams is the only player to homer off a father and son in big-league history. I love such useless information.
While looking up this information and more there was no danger I’d slip into MEGO or tumble headfirst into a hole in the ground.
I consider baseball-reference.com the greatest website in Internet history. It’s a repository of facts and statistics that are endlessly diverting.
But I should spend more time learning about my mortgage or good deals on new tires for 2003 Toyota Camry.
Not a chance. I’d rather talk baseball or movies or books.
I’m fascinated by useless information and can’t be bothered by useful information. Earlier today I glanced at the pitching match-ups for today’s Major League Baseball games and noticed something odd right away. Yankees starter Ivan Nova is 6-5 with a 5.18 ERA for a sub-.500 team. Orioles starter Kevin Gausman is 1-6 with a 4.15 ERA for a first-place team.
I was so fascinated by this contrast that I posted a comment on Facebook about the incongruity of Gausman having a better ERA but a much worse record while pitching for a better team.
I should learn about stocks or something financial instead of being distracted so often by baseball.
Or movies. …
While visiting my mom and sister I spend a lot of time watching movies. In the room where my 85-year-old mom watches TV are three or four or maybe even five movie reference books.
I just walked back there and fetched “Leonard Maltin’s 2002 Movie & Video Guide.” The cover notes that it contains more than 19,000 entries. I don’t think I’ve seen all 19,000 movies mentioned in the book but I’ve certainly watched hundreds.
When watching movies with mom I often grab the Maltin book or look up movie information on imdb.com.
I love the useless information I find on movies whether in print or on-line.
When I had my taxes done earlier this year the fellow who did the work explained some things and asked for an insurance form. I had no idea what he was talking about. I didn’t know anything about an insurance form.
I just nodded dumbly and numbly and said I’d try to find the right form, whatever it was called. Now if the accountant had asked about Joe DiMaggio or “Casablanca” I would have snapped out of my stupor and engaged him in conversation.
Instead, I just stumbled to to my 2003 Camry with that all-too typical glazed, stupefied feeling in full-blown MEGO mode.