This year in New York City more than a million people will gather at Times Square to watch the ball drop signifying the arrival of the year 2005. Authorities have announced there will be "stepped-up" security. They plan to have snipers, with rifles, stationed on rooftops. I assume the snipers will somehow be in radio contact.

I can imagine one of the snipers calling his superior and the conversation might go like this:

"Chief, this is Harry."
"Okay Harry, what is it?"
"There's a guy on the roof of the building next to me and he looks suspicious."

"What do you mean suspicious?"
"He has a rifle. Do you want me to I shoot him?"

The Old Professor sends his best wishes for a terrific 2005 to all of you who have been kind enough to tolerate his prattling. And the rest of you also.



I must share this story with you.

This morning I was brushing my teeth with my ultrasonic toothbrush.
She came in and asked, "What does ultrasonic mean?"
With my mouth half full of toothbrush I replied, "Can't hear it".


I realize that wasn't a very precise definition of "ultrasonic" and it's also a variation on an old joke but it really happened this way and I laughed.



I grew up in a family where there were four children. Some may question the term, "grew up" but nonetheless, there were four of us and I happened to be the oldest. As in most families, Christmas was a rather special time and one we all look forward to eagerly.

We didn't have a fireplace, so our stockings were hung on the handrail of the stairs leading up to the bedrooms. We called it a banister and as children, our rule was that we could go to the stockings on the banister the first thing in the morning but we were to stay out of the area where the tree and the presents were. We also were given a second rule concerning when we could go to our stockings. The rule was "When the street lights go out".

I recall those restless nights when we would take turns getting out of bed, peering out the window and whispering, "The streetlights are still on.” Or someone might ask softly, "Have the streetlights gone out yet?"

Throughout my life this question has represented a time leading to some wonderful and magical happening. Sometimes I even look at things in my life today and ask the same question.

I think of Iraq and silently I ask, "Have the streetlights gone out yet?"



On December 19, 2004, CBS aired their regular 6O Minutes program and it featured an interview with Ricky Williams.

The interviewer was Mike Wallace.

If you don't follow professional football closely, you probably don't know that Ricky Williams was an outstanding running back for the Miami Dolphins. Last summer he decided to forgo a $5 million contract to go "find himself". One of several reasons he gave was that he doubted his ability to pass the compulsory drug test because he used marijuana.

The following is not verbatim but is pretty close to what happened.

Towards the end of the interview Mike Wallace asked, "Do you still smoked marijuana?"
Rickey easily admitted that he did.
Mike Wallace asked, "Do you do anything more than that?"
"What do you mean?"
"I mean something more harmful than marijuana."
Rickey replied, "I use a little sugar sometimes."

On the behalf of all the other diabetics, I say, "Bravo, Ricky!"



When I was growing up our family always had a Christmas tree and it was always a beautiful tree. However, to my mind, it was always too short. I suppose it really wasn't too short but it always seemed as though it could have been two or three inches taller.

When I got to be of an age where I was working and had a little money, I approached my parents asking if they would allow me to buy the Christmas tree that year. They were delighted.

When it came time to purchase the tree I chose a day when my parents would not be home so that I could buy a real, full-sized tree and set up all by myself and surprise them with the perfect Christmas tree. I went to three different places before I found the tree that suited me. I tied it to the roof of the car and took it home.

The first problem arose when I tried to fit the tree into the stand, which was used to hold it upright. The trunk of the tree was too big so I needed to get a small ax and whittle the bottom of the trunk so it would fit into the holder. I then enlisted the aid of my sister and, together, we stood the tree upright. If I had been more careful I might have noticed the tree exceeded height of the room by three or four inches. This meant that as the tree was raised the top rubbed across the white ceiling leaving you rather unattractive green streak about two feet long.

It then became necessary to cut about 12 inches off the top of the tree because in addition to the excess tree there was a traditional star placed on top. Soon I had a rather weird looking tree with a good portion of the top cut off. This made it look like the first floor of a two-story tree and, by far, the strangest Christmas tree in town -- but it was bigger.

As the years went by I made several attempts to erase that green streak, including repainting the ceiling, but it always stubbornly remained. It always seemed to be a mocking reminder that sometimes perhaps my parents did know what they were doing and that being a bit conservative wasn't all that bad.



It's not my intention to promote any particular commercial enterprise on my blog. However, I've just had an experience that I would like to pass along to everyone in the hopes that perhaps it might catch on and eventually be a common thing.

There is on office supply store called Staples. They recently started a new policy regarding rebates. This morning I purchased an inexpensive printer and utilized the online rebate procedure and it was an easy and relaxing experience. Of course, I don't actually have the rebate yet.

This compares with an episode I had a week ago when I purchased my new monitor from Circuit City. It was necessary for me to complete and mail in two, not one but two, rebate forms complete with the IPC code printed on the box. Luckily I can use copies but in general, it seems to be a pain.

Not only that, a couple of months ago I submitted the rebate form for a different product and after eight weeks or so I received a very polite letter saying I didn't qualify as I had the wrong IPC code.

To my mind the whole idea of rebates is ludicrous. I wonder if it's possible to organize some sort of resistance to this nonsense. I know suggesting it to one of the sales clerks at Circuit City had no effect. I tried that.

If I owned a store it would seem a good idea to employ some young hot-shot to sit at a table and fill out these forms and send them in for my customers. I know I purchased the printer at Staples and the main reason for selecting that store was the Easy Rebate thing.

And before I leave the subject, if you accept the idea of rebates, can anyone explain why it takes "up to 12 weeks" to get the rebate? There are several ideas come to my mind. Wouldn't you like to use several thousand $50 rebates for about 12 weeks at no expense to you?

End of rant.

For today.



One of the things which has always mystified me is the Santa Claus hat. I wonder who designed that foolish looking piece of apparel. It must've been an elf.

Perhaps some part of the design functions as an image creator but its practical use has escaped me. Why is it pointed at the top? What does that white ball do? Is there a protocol that tells if the white ball should dangle on the right or on the left?

I have wondered if perhaps there is some socially accepted signal given off by wearing a white ball on the left or the right. Perhaps if it dangles on the left it would indicate the wearer was single and looking whereas, wearing the white ball dangling on the right would indicate that person is not available. I've seen many pictures of Santa Claus where he is wearing it on his right but I have no way of knowing if these are authentic photos or not.

It is fairly obvious that it should not be in the front, as it would obscure the view when driving a sleigh or any other vehicle.

I personally have found the white ball dangling at the back, on the nape of the neck, to be most annoying.

Maybe it has something to do with being worn at the North Pole most of the time. I understand it’s pretty cold up there and almost everything is frozen.

That must be it.

PS Please do not send me mail asking me to clean up the desk area behind me. I already have too many people telling me that already.



We live in California amongst some tall pine tree and last night it rained.

When you live amongst tall pine trees and it rains there usually is a mess.

This is after a rain last night, December 8, 2004

It seems that pine trees have many, many pine needles, which just wait for a rainstorm to fall onto our patio area. They also know when the patio has just been swept clean. It’s not that they only do it then; they try every once in awhile for no reason at all and often enlist the aid of a squirrel or two.

You may notice a rose bush growing which would seem to belie the fact that it is December.

We have about 80 rose bushes and this is the only one that doesn’t seem to get the word.
Maybe it thinks it’s a Christmas tree.
Not a bad one at that.



This is probably old hat but it was new to me.
Every once in awhile I see something that is clever and simple and I think, “I wish I had thought of that”

This is a plastic, 4-cup measuring cup, with a slanted side so there's no need to bend over or lift it up to see the exact amount in the cup.

It’s made by OXO and you can see the details here.

Okay, so it doesn’t exactly rank with the invention of the wheel, but it's a pretty good idea.



Whenever I read or hear of a person being described as kind or gentle, I think of my grandfather. He probably was one of the most soft-spoken human beings to ever grace this earth.
His name was Bernadotte Chisholm, though my grandmother always called him Bernard. He was my mother's father.

Grandpa Chisholm was a watchmaker by trade and I, as a boy, often observed him bent over his workstation, peering through a magnifier and using small tweezers to correct a problem on someone's watch. His bench, complete with a small watchmaker's lathe, was in the dining room of their apartment, in the days when they had an apartment.
In the 1930's the whole country was deep in a depression and my grandfather had been working at the Standard Time Company, makers of clocks for schools and businesses but, like millions of others, he lost his job. Inasmuch as there were no jobs and hence, no income for my grandparents, arrangements were made for them to move in with us. My father was a police officer with a generous heart and a steady income, so he
fixed up the attic of our house to be a livable place and my grandparents moved in, along with an uncle who had also lost his job at the same time.
It so happened that our house was adjacent to an empty lot, so my grandfather met with the lot’s owner and obtained permission to plant a vegetable garden there. The lot was fifty by one hundred feet and the lot’s owner was delighted to have someone see that it didn't become an eyesore.
Grandpa started to till the soil. There were no plows available so it was all painstakingly done with a spade, by hand. When it was about time to start the planting, the subject of fertilizer arose.
In those days garbage trucks came to our neighborhood and collected garbage. There were also trash trucks but they were on a different schedule and food-type garbage was kept separate from trash. After the garbage was collected each day, the truck would transport it to a pig farm out of town. There it was dumped as pig food.

My father knew the pig farmer and somehow managed to get a full truckload of pig manure delivered to the lot next door. It takes very little imagination to understand that the whole atmosphere in the neighborhood changed in a major way.
It didn't faze Grandpa who started to patiently work the pig manure into the soil and then plant the vegetable seeds. Eventually the odor went away and eventually plants began to appear. Each seedling that popped up received Grandpa's special attention and the garden thrived.
Every once in awhile a plant appeared that had not knowingly been planted. Most of the time no one had any idea what it was. But Grandpa gave the same loving care to these orphaned plants as he did to his own.
Finally, the plants began to mature and this often started a search to find out what vegetable it was. For example, no one in our family was familiar with the Acorn Squash, which they called Table Queen Squash. After it was determined to be edible, my mother set out to find out ways to cook it. The same held true for zucchini squash. That year we had all kinds of melons, peppers and varieties of tomatoes we had never seen before. There were yellow tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, Italian tomatoes as well as several varieties of regular round tomatoes. Vegetable-wise, it was an exciting summer.
As these vegetables were harvested and put to use, the seeds were carefully saved for the next planting.

Long after the depression had ended and my grandparents had their own housing again, we still were eating delicious vegetables that were the offspring of those original, uninvited, vegetables that grew from the pig manure.
It seems to me that at least one of life's lessons might be hidden in there somewhere. Perhaps it's something like the realization that
from something as inherently ugly as pig manure, it's possible to get something beautiful and good if you exercise patience and kindness.
My Grandpa Chisholm did just that in all facets of his life.



In 1966 I purchased an electronic calculator for my school. It was a marvelous machine. It sat on my desk and was about the size of a small portable typewriter. Not only did it do addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division – it did square roots! The best part was it cost just under $1500.
At first I used to play with it a lot. For example, I calculated how long it would take to walk to the moon. At that time it was impossible to walk to the moon but I was intrigued by President Kennedy’s comment that, “In 10 years we will have a man walk to the moon.”
I found out it’s approximately 230,000 miles to the moon depending on which side you’re going to. But for my purposes I took my marvelous calculator and fed in the numbers to convert that to feet and then calculate and average walking time and found out it would take 6.5 years of continues walking, with no breaks, to get to the moon. I didn’t even need the square root function.
I was going to write to President Kennedy and explain that it shouldn’t take 10 years, as he had said, but only 6.5 years. Maybe 7 if the walker took time to look at the scenery.
Then I learned he had actually said, “walk on the moon”, not "to the moon" which, of course, changed the whole thing.
But nonetheless, I had a lot of fun doing it and where else can you get that kind of calculating power for only $1500. And, if anyone ever casually says, "I wonder how long would it take to walk to the moon.” I can come right back with "Oh, I'd guess about six and a half years." Since 1996 no one has done that but they might someday.

Keep wogging!



Here is a little thing I wrote in 1982. As you can see, I call it:

There's no business like show business
My son is a rock singer. He always wanted to be a rock singer. The odds against achieving great success in that field are overwhelming - - - but he did it. He is the lead singer with a group known as August Redmoon.
There's no business I know
Most importantly, he did it on his own. As his father, I have absolutely no knowledge of this type of work. In fact, I was against the whole idea. “It was well and good to have an interest in music, but first you get a job.” If I said it once, I must have said it a thousand times.
Everything about is appealing
Mike always loved music. To be able to work at an enjoyable activity is a goal to be longed for; desired by many; attained by few. What better way of life could exist than spending endless hours working towards improving and perfecting a love relationship? Not to mention the satisfaction gained by bringing so much pleasure and happiness to a world so sadly in need.
Everything the traffic will allow
Mike had pleaded with me for months to see him and his band perform. I declined the many invitations for the simple reason that rock music was not my thing and I was sure I would neither enjoy nor appreciate it. Finally, feeling pangs of parental guilt, I conceded and we went to see a concert. The long drive through Los Angeles to get to an affair, which was bound to be unpleasant, did not get the evening off to a rousing start. Once committed, however, we did go through with the deal.
Nowhere could you get that happy feeling
It was at a small club in Reseda, California, called The Country Club. I now understand it is a well-known center of rock music, but I didn't know that at the time. It probably wouldn't have meant much if I did know. It was an impressive structure as far as the exterior went. A huge, brightly lit marquee announced the appearance of AUGUST REDMOON. I felt something was crawling on the back of my neck.
Yesterday they told you, you would not go far
Mike, with his wireless microphone, took off into the audience. He was singing and dancing though the audience when I heard him yell, "My Dad's here somewhere. Where's my Dad?" He found me and came to our table and threw his arms around me, announcing to all assembled, "This is my Dad?' I pumped my fist skyward and yelled, "Yah. yah!" in tempo. Something got in my eye about then and somehow that affected my ability to breath easily
That night you opened and there you are
Somehow the music wasn't loud anymore. I was watching a great performance. People were at the edge of the stage trying to reach up and touch my kid. It was fantastic! More flashing lights, more fog, a drum solo and the show was over. The lights went down and they left the stage. So soon? The fans would have none of it. They wanted more. Much cheering and whistling brought them back for one more number. To say I was impressed would be, at least, an understatement.
Next day on your dressing room they hung a star
We went backstage to the dressing room. After passing a guard and going up a small flight of stairs, we saw the band. They were all sitting quietly, perspiring and, not surprisingly, tired. I hadn't realized that a show was such an athletic undertaking. I too was exhausted, but proud and extremely happy to have been there. I feel the words I spoke to them at the time were inadequate to express my true feelings.
I know this much, perhaps the industry has not yet acclaimed Mike as a star, but Webster says,
"Star(n.) a person who excels or performs brilliantly in a given activity."
In our house, he's a star!
We left and went to the car. Looking back I saw the marquee with the big, now even bigger, letters "AUGUST REDMOON”.

That darned bug was back on my neck again
Let's go on with the show.
August 29. 1982
Yorba Linda. CA
The band, August Redmoon, eventually dissolved and my son, Michael Henry, who was the lead singer, formed a new group called ARMED FORCES. They were well on their way to success when a rare bone cancer overtook Michael and he died in 1998 at the age of 37. His music lives on and I see that his final CD called “Take On The Nation” is still available at Amazon.com.
Fortunately, the music Michael composed and sang will live on, as will the positive impression he made on all who were privileged to meet him.
I couldn’t have asked for a better son – only one who stayed longer.

Let's go on with the show.



This is Sunday morning.
I am wogging (half walk/half jog) as usual at the high school track.
There is no one else here.
I wonder why.
Perhaps, because it’s Sunday, many are attending church services this morning.
As I continue, mindlessly, around the track it occurs to me that attending church services regularly and wogging at the track regularly have many things in common.
For one thing, it's is very difficult to make up one’s mind to go at all. There are dozens of logical reason why you should not go this time, but once you overcome these and get started it’s not so bad.
Once you arrive at the church you must go through with it; there’s no turning back.
It’s the same way at the track.
Then, as you continue on it seems all right at first but then begins to get boring but you fight the temptation to quit and do continue on.

It’s the same way at the track.
When, at last, it’s finished you are elated that it’s over, but also relieved knowing that you did something that, in some way, is good.

It’s the same way at the track.
Just what it is that’s so good isn’t readily apparent at that time but you have faith that somewhere, sometime, you will find out that you did something good.
As you head for home, you actually feel some euphoria knowing this is done and you can relax and not think about it until next time.

It’s the same way at the track.
And you did something that’s good.

Perhaps wogging could be called a "religious experience".



It seems as though it was a long time ago--in fact it was. More than fifty years or so I had the dubious privilege of meeting a "Most Unforgettable Person I Ever Knew"--Stanley Tabor, though I have taken the liberty of changing his name.
Stan was an incredibly skillful toolmaker as well as being a truly amazing person; shrewd, devious and often cruel.
He seemed to have an insatiable appetite for reading, which, strangely enough, was his biggest failing. I think Stan read too fast or something. In conversation he knew exactly what he meant to say, but it always seemed to come out jumbled or twisted and often in remarkable form.
Stan was the Shop Superintendent when I met him. I had resigned a teaching position to pursue a career in industry and became the Shop Foreman. As I was working directly under Stan I came to know him quite well. The first time I heard a ’Stanism’ I wasn't sure if it was intended to be humorous or not. I laughed once-- only once--it was not intended to be humorous.
It developed that Stan had been on a trip to Chicago for the company. "Had a great time," he said "but it sure erupts your morals". It seems as though he had met a girl who worked as a "short hand cook" and even though he thought she was a "lease bean", they did have a good time.
The supervisors meetings were events which everyone looked forward to. Stan chaired them and many people would listen intently, so as to not miss one of his jewels. For my part I followed instructions to "get a notebook with pages in it and write things down".
A typical meeting would go like this. "We are going to propagate 500 dollars for small tools". It seemed that the budget rumors, which had spread "like wildflowers" were just a "force alarm", Stan assured us that we could "exorb" the expense. He wasn't going to "quiver" over a few dollars. If necessary we could "decrease the costs down" in other areas, because profits "had made a gain downward" last month.
Further following instructions, I often spoke frankly to Stan. After all he had said to me "confine in me and don’t keep secrets". Expressing the feeling that perhaps leaving teaching was not the smartest thing I ever did prompted Stan to suggest that perhaps I was "just boring from the heat". Further opinion, based on recent experience with a customer from Sweden, led him to suggest that my college experience would no doubt qualify me for a job as an "interpertator".
The one time I really looked forward to was our "annual meeting, once a month". At this time all of the "big wheels" went out to lunch for an hour or so. I don't know who ran the shop during that time. In fact I’m not sure who ran it when we were there. Stan’s performance was totally predictable. First, at the top of his voice, "GARSO” followed by an aside, "That means waiter in French--they hate it". As if after months of this I didn't know that garso meant waiter in French. An interpertator like moi? Next came the order for "a glass of burgundy with an ice cube in it", followed by the main course "a plate of scalps with a toss up salad." It was always the same.
Stan was by no means all work and no play. He had a family. In fact had just purchased a new television set, "a Magnetbox -- the best kind". Even though he felt that his son, who had just started "kiddie garden", dressed like "Little Lord Faunt Royal", he did take him fishing. They caught several of Stan’s version of pickerel --"pickelers".
His views of the political scene were interesting. He took a firm stand opposing farm subsidies. He personally knew a farmer who had "20 asylums full of corn" which the government had paid far. Even a knowledge of Industrial Psychology popped out one day when Stan explained "the foreman’s outview should consign with that of the worker." Whew! Luckily I did attend college. That's pretty heavy stuff.
We manufactured a power saw that involved assembling some pistons using a tool known as a spanner wrench. One day as Stan was busy demonstrating the use of the "spaniel wrench" for the installation of the "pistings" to a bewildered customer someone came in and said that he thought he knew Stan from somewhere. Stan was sure "he didn't know him from Adam and Eve".

Oh yes, unforgettable he was. Mean, vicious? -- That too. However, that’s another story.


Some people spend a lifetime searching for the meaning of life.
It really isn’t that difficult.
Just click



My Internet provider is a cable company called Comcast.
Recently they introduced a new service they call Video Mail.
It's possible for a user to record 45 seconds of a video and audio message.
This can be sent as a plain message or in the form of a greeting card or as a narrator for a series of still photos.
As I understand it, the recording is stored at Comcast for 30 days and the recipient can pick it up any time.
It also provides a link to use for connecting the video to a web page or, as in this case, a blog.
If you are curious, click below to see the real unvarnished me talking.
You DO NOT need to download any special video mail progam to see and hear this 10 second greeting, though it may take a little time if you have a slow dial-up connection.
Just Click here.



I think I will always remember my Junior High School English teacher, Miss Batchelder. I sometimes try to think of things I learned in school and still consider valuable. I can’t think of many. On the other hand Miss Batchelder did teach us all something which was valuable and has helped me my entire life. Well, not my entire life. As the old joke goes: I haven't lived that yet. But, for as long as I have been around, I can still see and hear Miss Batchelder greeting the class every single day. There was none of the traditional, "Good morning, class." Instead, each day the class filed in, took seats and Miss Batchelder stood in front of the class in silence. When she had everyone's attention, she spoke. One firm statement: "R-E-C-E; receive." Every single day, "R-E-C-E; receive." And then the class would begin with no further mention of “receive”. I will never forget how to spell "receive”. Her approach sure beat the hell out of "I before E, except after C."

I don't remember anything else learned in that class, but I did come out with a lifelong ability to spell receive. My own innate intelligence led me to develop skill in handling "deceive" and "beleive", plus a few other assorted words.

So now, when someone asks me, as they surely must someday, “What did you learn in school?” I can shoot back, really fast, “R-E-C-E, receive.” No one has asked me yet, however.

By the way, I really do know how to spell “believe” correctly and even if I didn’t, my spelling checker, which I have nicknamed Miss Batchelder, would nag me.



When I first met Love of My Life I was 50 pounds heavier than I am now. She is a dietician so, she and I cured that overweight condition in about 3 or 4 months.

When a person loses that much weight there’s a lot of extra skin left over with nothing to do. I think this might not happen so much in younger people but older skin seems to lack elasticity and doesn’t spring back readily. Or, as in my case, perhaps it had been stretched beyond its elastic limit. Whatever the reason, it just hangs there hoping all the residents of some small town might need a donor for skin grafts.

One of the prominent places it hangs is under the chin. I’ve actually had people (one waitress, actually) grab that skin and shake it and say, “That’s so cute.” The waitress had small children so she still lives.

One morning LOML was still in bed and I was standing bedside her. She looked up and said, “I think that little thing that hangs down is getting smaller.”
I explained, “That ‘thing that hangs down’ on a turkey is called a wattle. I don’t know what it’s called on a human but I’d appreciate it if you didn’t go around telling everyone “my little thing that hangs down is getting smaller.”



I suppose everyone has, at one time, had trouble getting to sleep. In my case, my mind will keep moving from one subject to another in spite of my trying to get it back to think of peaceful, sleep-inducing scenes.

But have you ever done this? Last night I fell asleep easily and then lapsed into a dream where I was having trouble falling asleep. Now that is weird. Or as my Mother used to say, “No, he’s just different.”



I have always wanted a big screen TV set.

It is working wonderfully except for one problem

The remote control is difficult to handle.


Okay, I’ve had it! I’ve heard quite enough about our nation getting back to “the fundamentals upon which our nation was founded”. Hold on a minute!

This nation was originally founded by a bunch of religious fanatics who wanted to set up a colony where their religious beliefs were strictly adhered to and no others were tolerated. Does any of this sound familiar to you yet?

It’s pointed out that early on these Pilgrims set up educational programs to educate the young in reading. This was not for any altruistic reason; it was so they would be able to read the Bible. This somehow promoted these “family values” we hear so much about these days. What were some of these values?

How about a man not being permitted to kiss his wife in public? In seventieth century New England a certain Captain Kimble, upon returning from a three-years' ocean voyage, kissed his wife on his own doorstep and spent two hours in the stocks for his "lewd and unseemly behavior”.

How about it being a penal offense for a man to wear long hair, or to smoke in the street, or for a youth to court a maid without the consent of her parents?

How about one law that forbade the wearing of lace, another of "slashed clothes other than one slash in each sleeve and another in the back”?

I’m not making this stuff up. You can check it out by clicking here

Please think of this when you hear politicians talking about returning to the values our forefathers established when founding this country.

If that’s what you really want, there are a few groups who still live this way.
None of them are in Washington, DC.



This just about says it all for me.

This is The Old Prof and I approve this message.
(Cover courtesy of Daily Mirror)



Yesterday I received a huge white envelope in the mail. It was the biggest envelope I have seen in some time. It measured 9.5 by 12 inches.
It was from Mutual of Omaha, a life insurance company.

There was a stamp that called it urgent and suggested – no, ordered me to open it immediately

Then there was our address that also contained wonderful information.
1. The policy status was “PRE-APPROVED
3. The value: “UP TO $10,000

What a winner! But it gets even better for me. The address was correct but the addressee was my late wife who passed away more than 3 years ago. She never was connected to this address at all and I have no idea how it came here addressed to her.

However, since the Omaha people were generous enough to offer her a PRE-APPROVED policy GUARANTEED for UP TO $10,000, I can see no reason to decline their generous offer.
I suppose there’s a catch somewhere. They probably want the first premium paid but, even then, I would come out ahead. And, if they need a check, I think there are still some of her checks around here someplace.

I'm just guessing, but knowing how slowly these big companies move, it will proably be a couple of weeks before I actually get the money. I can wait.

It’s about time the little guy got a break. Maybe this George W. Bush guy isn’t as bad as I thought he would be.


The news has really been around for some time now, but it seems there are legitimate scientists who believe that most, if not all, of the world’s ecological problems are caused by flatulence from cows and termites. They have actual statistics showing how much methane gas, which is the principal component of natural gas, and what flatulence actually is, gets expelled into the atmosphere. They then show how it affects everything from the ozone to global warming, as well as causing everything from smog to premenstrual syndrome.
Information is presented in such a compelling manner that disputing it is difficult but it still leaves me with big questions.
How do they measure the flatulence? Now, with the cows it shouldn’t be too difficult. Anyone of the universities in the Red States would have an agriculture program. They could provide the cows. Then the athletic department could provide the two people who are needed to collect the data. These people would only need to know which end of the cow was the front, as the belching would also need to be taken into consideration. After that it’s matter of following a cow around and waiting until some noise comes out of the cow and making a mark on a piece of paper, noting which end it came from. Simple enough for most college students.
But with termites it would seem to be another matter. As far as I know, termite flatulence is silent, so there must be some kind of instrument that is used. What would it be like? Is it inserted into some cavity on the termite’s body? If so, how do you get the termite into that position? I can’t picture the termite bending over a table or having its feet up in little tiny stirrups.
The other alternative of having the termite wear some device seems silly to me.
That only leaves me with one conclusion. The scientists are guessing. They can measure how much methane there is in the atmosphere and how many termites there are, but they can only guess at other sources, like the fat lady who was on the bus with me last week. She had to be factored in as at least 1,000 termites or one cow.
I conclude that this information is, at best, sketchy but personally, if I were going to be anywhere near the ozone layer I wouldn’t choose that time light up. Or near that fat lady on the bus.



Many sports have away of deflating one’s pride. Golf is a good example. The game allows a person to improve to a point where some pride is possibly justified and then, all of a sudden, it’s gone and the player needs to start over.
I expect this from most sports but not walking. What could happen when walking? A lot can happen.
Maybe you saw my blog of September 18, 2004 called:


If not, you can read it by looking into my September archives to the right.

You may recall that I started a regular walking/jogging exercise routine at the local high school track. I began this about 10 months ago. I go there at about the same time; early almost every morning. Mostly the same people are there although they do come and go. I am far and away the senior member (oldest) of the group.
I have been working at improving my performance and thought I was doing well. I started by not being able to even walk for half a mile. I now do between one and a half miles and 2 miles each morning. In addition I have worked my time down so that I am doing a 20-minute mile. To me this is a pretty good speed and I end up perspiring, breathing hard with an elevated pulse rate. Plus that, my legs are telling me that I have been working.
I was very pleased with that until I picked up the paper the other day and some, so called, doctor was explaining that everyone needed exercise. He said it didn’t need to be much excercise. “A simple half hour walk at a brisk 15-minute mile pace is fine.”
15-minute mile pace? A 20-minute mile is pushing it for me. What a quack!
But yesterday I was humiliated even more.
In all the time I’ve been doing this, many people have overtaken me and passed me. I have never passed anyone. I almost did once when a man fell down but he got up before I could pass him. Then yesterday morning I was chugging along, listening to Louis Armstrong in my earphones and I could hear footsteps coming up behind me. I thought nothing of this until the man passed me and I notice he was jogging backwards! He was facing me and grinning - possibly laughing.
I muttered unkind things under my breath.
He probably was that quack who calls himself a doctor.



Most people have at least heard of the famous Bell Curve. This famous theory contends that, given a sufficient sample, distribution of almost anything can be graphically represented by a curve which is, more or less, shaped like a bell with most of the samples in the middle while tapering off both ends. To create a hypothetical example, if the height of all of the males in a certain large city were to be measured it would show there were a few men who were very tall and a few very who were very short. The largest proportion of the men would be somewhere in between. The distribution takes the shape of a bell.
As an example;

This is the usual bell curve indicating the relative intelligence of the population of voting age in the United States as of January 2004.

Note there are approximately the same numbers of people on the Genius side of average as there are on the Moron side of Average. This is normal.

However, something that baffles scientists happened on November 2, 2004. For some unknown reason there was a dramatic shift as shown on the skewed bell curve below.

Scientists are still trying to figure out why American intelligence disappeared so all of a sudden. It may be that American intelligence never was that intelligent. It couldn’t find any weapons of mass destruction.



It was more than 10 years ago now. In the summer of 1994 I received a Certificate of Competence from the National Society of Internet Instructors.

This certificate has been framed and hung proudly on my wall since then.

Besides having a gold seal in the corner, it states that I have been awarded this certificate,
“On Having Met All The Criteria Required For Certification As An Internet Instructor”

This certificate, plus some bravado, has enabled me to teach several Internet classes a various levels.

I use the word “bravado” as in “a false show of bravery”. There’s a reason for this is. As far as I know, there is no “National Society of Internet Instructors”. If there is, I think it would only have one member.

I made the certificate myself and printed it on special paper. Did you know that offices supply places sell special paper just for certificates? And they sell gold seals that look a lot more golden than the scanned image of my certificate.

The most amazing thing to me is that I have proudlly shown this certificate to many people and no one has noticed it is signed by the same person it is awarded to.

There is a lesson here to think about.

“Don’t let a framed certificate make you think it is anything more than a piece of paper.”


When I began this collection of sense and nonsense, it was my intention to add something daily, or almost daily.

As the saying goes, "The best-laid schemes o' mice an 'men gang aft agley." That was the poet, Robert Burns giving his interpretation to, “No matter what you do, it will get screwed up.” (I didn’t take all the English Lit courses for nuttin.)

It all began when She mentioned there might be a small leak under the kitchen sink. She deduced this by the puddle of water there so She thought there “might be” a leak.

Being the man of the house, of course I could fix this. I started by looking under the sink. Sure enough, there was a small puddle of water. Independently I came to the same conclusion. It appeared there was as small leak under the kitchen sink.

I could handle this. First, I needed to go to the garage and get some tools to make the necessary repairs. No problem.

I crawled under the sink and began to make the needed adjustment when I realized that somehow a part had broken and water had spurted all over the place, including directly in my face. After I shut the water off I had time to examine the faulty part and concluded it needed to be replaced. This involved a trip to the hardware store where I purchased the part with no trouble. I suppose I should have asked someone at that time but I neglected to buy the special wrench that’s needed to install the part. So, I can’t blame anyone for the second trip to the hardware store, as it was solely my fault.

Now, as most people know, and now I do too, these parts are located in positions where it is impossible to for any normal human being to reach, much less do whatever it is that needs to be done after you do reach it. So, this involved calling a plumber who agreed to attempt to fit me into his busy schedule.

Eventually two plumbers arrived. One knew how to fix pipe things and the other knew how to write on a clipboard. They smiled and made remarks about this really being a job for a professional and eventually they left and went to another job. I was left with a new garbage disposal, some new gadget for inside the faucet and a bill for one third of the National Debt.

You can see how much of by blog posting time this is consuming, but that wasn’t all.

I went back to the hardware store to see if they were hiring any part-time employees in order to get some money to pay for the leak repair. I got to meet with the manager who was a little punk kid who couldn’t have been more than 60 years old, if that.

He told me they no longer employ octogenarians since the last one had died on the job, thereby clogging the aisles with paramedics and firemen. He said, “We lost more money that day than we saved by hiring him at less than minimum wage.”

So, you get some idea of why I haven’t had time to post much here. In fact, I can’t do very much right now either. I’m expecting the plumbers to return to fix a small leak under the kitchen sink. It’s still there. So I will get this blog posted sometime between 8 and 12, unless they are late.

P.S. They just called. It will be between 1 and 4.



This is a personal message from me to all you “undecided” people.


This electioneering has been going on seriously for months now. What more do you need? Do you plan to go into the booth and make up your mind then?
What’s in there that you don’t know now?

They say this election is so close that you “undecided people” will determine who our next president will be. So, please make up your mind.

You’re scaring me.

Please, at least think about it.

Interesting fact: When I typed my question,
in MS Word the spelling checker made a suggestion that I should say,
Maybe that’s the answer.

This is The Old Professor and I approve this message.



This has been one spooky time and I’m not really sure what it all means.

Last night there was a lunar eclipse. I guess this is a big deal in some circles but it got a big yawn around here.

I was interested to read one columnist in the local paper who pointed out one of the values of observing this eclipse was that it by observing the earth’s shadow there was proof positive that the world was round. Thank God that turns out to be a fact.

Then during this breathtaking event the Boston Red Sox won the World Series of Baseball for the first time in 86 years.

Thank God for that too. I was beginning to get a little bit impatient after the 1946 debacle against these very same St. Louis Cardinals. That was the series where my hero, Ted Williams, arguably the best hitter of all time, only managed to bat .200 and the Red Sox lost in 7 games.

Then this morning, I looked to the east and just as I have always predicted would happen if the Red Sox ever won a World Series, I saw these three Wise Guys, riding on camels and bearing gifts of frankincense and

I have no idea why they chose those particular gifts except I suppose the variety of gift selections are fairly sparse in the camel-riding part of the world these days.

By the way, my prediction 'that they would come from the East' wasn’t exactly brilliant. To the West is all ocean and camels are not known for their swimming abilities.

Anyway, they wanted to get a peek at the miracle baby to see what all the fuss was about.

They took one look and left. One of the Wise Guys wanted his myrrh back but the other two talked him out of it.

It was quite a memorable day.



The Chinese culture and many traditions date way back to before the Boston Red Sox won their last World Series. Even before that.
My domestic partner, Jen-Chi, has explained much of this to me but I was surprised when I learned about the Chinese Zodiac.

When I started these blogs and created a profile I was told I was “Born in the year of the boar.”
I had no idea what that meant so I asked and learned a little.
It appears the Chinese celebrate years and name them for animals. They occur in repeating 12-year cycles based on a lunar calendar. Those years start at the Chinese New Year, and this year (2004), the Chinese New Year was either January 21 or January 22 depending upon what time zone you happen to be in at that time.
People born in certain years have certain characteristics. I wanted to know that kind of a person was “Born in the year of the boar”. I found out that person is:

Honest, chivalrous, gallant, with tremendous fortitude, the Boar person is affectionate and kind to loved ones, has a great thirst for knowledge. Boar year people mate well with Rabbit and Ram year people.

I don’t know about that mating with rabbits and rams stuff; I've never tried that. But other than that, isn’t it remarkable that the rest of it is so accurate? Anyone reading that description would know right away that I was the one being described. Remarkable people, these Chinese.



I don’t know why, but every once in awhile a word pops into my mind and I feel I must “look it up” even though I think I know what it means.
Today the word was “ironic”.
I think maybe it applies to my life.
Allow me to explain a little.
I’ve always been fond of using tools.
In high school I took shop courses at a Technical High School.
Then I worked as a tool and die maker.
Then I went on to teach thousands of students to use tools.
I even built a boat. Well, most of a boat.

Then two things happened:
I broke my shoulder and it never healed properly.
On top of that, I got older, but I suspect that didn’t have anything to do with the shoulder.
I had planned on getting older anyway.

But now things are different.
I can pick up a hammer but no longer can hammer.
I can pick up a saw but no longer can saw.
I can pick up a plane but no longer can plane.
I can pickup a screwdriver but no longer can use that either.
Well, at least not very well.

Now that’s ironic.

It’s “3. Poignantly contrary to what was expected or intended.”

Now I have to look up poignantly”.

poign·ant (poin'yənt) adj.

1 a. Physically painful: “Keen, poignant agonies seemed to shoot from his neck downward” (Ambrose Bierce).
b. Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings: poignant anxiety. Profoundly moving; touching: a poignant memory. See synonyms at moving.

Yah, that’s it all right, “1b. Keenly distressing to the mind or feelings.”

Or both.



While walking early this morning I saw one of the most beautiful sunrises I’ve ever seen. The sky was baby-blue, streaked with a few pure white jet trails. Also featured were a few rows of lamb’s wool clouds that were tinted with enough pink to almost be red. I wished I had brought my camera.

It made me think of The Bible where it says, “God hath created beauty to celebrate and rejoice in all things wondrous”(John: 9:15)

I wondered what “wondrous” thing was about to happen. Then I remembered an old poem I'd heard many years ago:
Red sky in the morning,
St. Louis take warning.
Red sky at night,
Cardinals' delight.

Tonight the world series opens!

Go Red Sox!!


Todaythe 2004 Word Series of baseball begins with the New York Yankees playing the Boston Red Sox at Boston.

My daughter, Meggiecat, writes me that she would love to root for the Boston to win the series but she has a dilemma because she has always heard me say, “When Boston wins a World Series it will be the end of the world.”

Oh well, we all have to go sometime.

Go Red Sox!



I was doing something that almost always proves disastrous, I was thinking. This time I got wondering about a word. The word is crastination.

Apparently people are divided into two camps on this word. You are either for crastination or you are against it.

The anticrastinators point to the efficiency of their method by claiming that with people opposed to crastination in charge, things get done.

The people who support crastrination point to the sorry state of affairs in the world today and blame it entirely on the anticrastinators.

I suppose both sides have valid arguments but for myself, I support procrastination and have had remarkable success following the basic principles of procrastination. There are many, many of these principles but I have only read a few. I’ll probably read the rest soon.

To just give one example of the positive side of the Procrastination Movement, if we had a procrastinator in the White House today, there would be no war. At least not yet. Maybe tomorrow, but not right now.

At the last meeting, our banner hung proudly above the speaker’s platform for all to see our motto: “There’s No ‘I’ In Procrastination”.

After the sign was made someone noticed there really was an “I” in procrastination and a committee was formed to look into fixing that. Someday. That was eight years ago. The motto has been officially changed but the banner will be printed soon. Maybe tomorrow. The new motto is, “ A Procrastinators Best Friend is a Committee”.

Please click here.



While I was attending college I somehow, managed to convince some people that I had a great depth of knowledge in the field of English Literature. Nothing could be further from fact. I didn’t then and today I still don’t, understand the imagery and references in most poems of early England. However, I did learn there are people who contend they do – many, many people. A great number of these people have written books to demonstrate to others that they do know. These books are in abundance in most libraries and my college had many. Hence, with some reading it was possible for me to appear to have knowledge that, in reality, I did not have.

My very first challenge was when the assignment called for the reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge around 1800.

Now to begin with, the word “rime” meant, “rhyme” back in those days. Like in "Mary Had a Little Lamb". I didn’t know that but they people who wrote those books knew that.

It starts out with:

It is an ancient Mariner
And he stoppeth one of three.
'By thy long beard and glittering eye
Now wherefore stopp'st thou me?

Now as any fool can see, this says there’s these three guys and this old sailor stops one and that guy says, “Wadda ya stopping me for?”

So in each class I would just repeat what I had read in these books even though it still didn’t make any sense to me. It seemed to work.

Then one day our assignment was to read a particular poem by Robert Browning called “How They Brought the Good News from Ghent to Aix”.

According to what I read, Ghent was place in Belgium where some kind of conflict had taken place. Three guys had jumped on their horses to attempt to ride all the way to Aix, which is in France, to carry the news there had been a victory. It was a long trip and only one horse made it and even he died in the town square. The rider gave his horse a sip of his wine but it didn’t help. The horse died.

The critics I read seemed to think this was as simple poem about horses that Browning had written just for the fun of it. So, that’s what I thought too. But it wasn’t that simple.

At lunch, just before the English Lit class, I sat at a table with other class members. They happened to all be girls in the 19-year old range. One blonde girl is memorable because she said everything twice. No one knew why.
As I got to the table she said, “You’re good at this. You’re good at this.
Did you read the poem? Did you read the poem?”
I said I had read the poem and didn’t mention the library work. I never did.
“What did it mean? What did it mean?”
For some reason I really can’t explain, I gave a playful answer. I told her, (well, actually I told all of them) “I saw this as a poem about man, racing though life searching for God and then, the wine at the end, that was his attaining it.”
“Oh, thank you. Oh, thank you.”

We went to class and there was a quiz. We were asked to write our opinion of that poem. I wrote something that started with, “Having been brought up on a farm, I know how devoted a horse can become to his master.” Of course, I wasn’t raised on a farm. I only knew what a farm looked like from pictures.

I thought nothing more about it until the next class when our professor told us the test results.

She said, “I know I’ve told you that whatever you read into a poem is what it is, but in this case so many of you thought the horse represented man, racing towards his immortal goal. I didn’t see it that way at all.”
Then, actually using my name, she said that she tended to think along the same lines as I did and it was simple story about a horse. She felt it was nothing more than that.

From behind I heard a soft voice say, “You son-of-a-bitch. You son-of-a-bitch.”



Yesterday, October 16, 2004 the New York Yankees beat the Boston Red Sox -- again. For a long-suffering Red Sox fan and confirmed Yankee hater, I felt this was humiliating as the score was 19 for the New Yorks and only 8 for the Bostons.

I lay part of the blame for this directly on Harry Truman. You recall that he was the President who decided to drop the first atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. He could just as well have gone a few miles north and wiped out Kanazawa. If this had happened the radiation would probably have left the whole Matsui family sterile and Yankee oufielder, Hideki Matsui, would never have been born and obviously would not have hit two homeruns to help destroy the Red Sox last night.

Losing a game that way may have put the Red Sox away forever and their fans probably can never again look forward to the day they might, just might, possibly beat The Yankees.

And it's all your fault, Harry Truman.



I realize this subject might sound trivial and not have the scholarly depth of my previous blogs but I think it needs investigation.

Who decides how acronyms are pronounced?

I heard a different one on the radio this morning and it started me wondering if there are rules and, if so who makes them?

Take a simple acronym such as NASA, like the space people. Using my own non-standard phonetic symbols, I think most people say like NAH-SUH or maybe some say NAH-SAW. Maybe some Bostonians might even say NAH-SER.

However, if we look at what NASA is an acronym for we find it’s the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. So, to pronounce NASA we would start with the “NA” as in “National”, and hence the “NAH” seems about right for the first part. But what about the SA? Wouldn’t the ‘A’ be from Administration and pronounced like beginning of “Administration” or sort of like “AH”. So you end up with the “AH” and the “AH” giving you NAHSAH.

That even confuses me, so let’s try this. Say out loud, “National” and then again but only the first syllable – the “NA” part. Now say “administration” and say it again dropping all but the “AD”. Throw in the “S” now and you have NA-S-AD. Now drop the ‘D’.
You now are pronouncing it one way and even though it seems logical, I have never heard it that way. I wonder why.

So, as I said, what actually got me thinking about this was a pronunciation I heard on the radio. A woman said, “For further information go to http://www.xyx.org/.” [Don’t click on that: it’s a dummy address] Now, the way she pronounced the “org” was as it would be in “George” or “orgy”, where as I've always thought it was like the “org” in “organization.”

Maybe her web site is an orgy web site. I’ll have to check it out.

All this has given me cephalalgia. Or as NINDS (National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke) defines it, “a headache”. I think that’s pronounced “nin-duz” but it could be “n-eye-dis”. Whatever it is, they suggest I go someplace quiet and lie down. Actually, they said, “lay” down but according to NAEP, that’s pronounced – Oh, the hell with it, I’m going to do it.



Way back when I was 18 years old, I was living in Springfield, Massachusetts. A frequent Sunday activity was borrowing the family car and driving 25 or 30 miles to the State Theater in nearby Hartford, Connecticut with some buddies. Every weekend the State Theater would have one of the popular orchestras or bands featured on-stage. I saw most of the best. Harry James, Count Basie, Tommy Dorsey, Cab Calloway, and the list goes on and on. I even saw a 19-year old, scrawny-necked kid named Frank Sinatra when he was the vocalist for Tommy Dorsey’s orchestra. Yes, the girls screamed though I couldn’t understand why. To this day, I don’t know why.

But to me, one of the most memorable shows was Duke Ellington with his orchestra. I clearly remember him strolling on to the stage dressed in white tails. He sat at the piano, flipped the tails back, threw his hands in the general direction of the keyboard and began to play beautiful music. Not only that, he looked around and smiled. He was also conducting the orchestra as well as chatting with them. He even spoke to members of the audience. The best I could tell, he paid little attention to the piano but yet, the music was great.

After seeing that show I occurred to me that it might be nice to be able to do that. We had a piano in our house, though no one knew how to play it. I thought it would be nice if I could learn to do that. I didn’t have the white tails or an orchestra but I could do the rest. Anyone could; it was easy.

I contacted a local piano teacher and made an appointment for my first lesson. Since I was working many extra hours at my apprentice tool and die maker job, as well as attending Northeastern University three nights a week, Saturday afternoon was the only time I had free, so I went to my first lesson.

When I first met my teacher I took some time to explain carefully what my goals were. I had absolutely no aspirations or interests in becoming an accomplished concert pianist. I just wanted to play for fun. I didn’t even need to learn to read music unless that was absolutely necessary for some reason I couldn’t imagine. He kept nodding even when I told him, “I just want to learn to play like Duke Ellington.” He didn’t even smile. He just nodded.

For my first lesson he showed me where to place my hands. Apparently pianists don’t just throw their hands up there any old place, although Duke Ellington did it that way.

Then he demonstrated how each finger hits a key. He had me repeat what he did with my right hand. There were five fingers and, starting with the thumb, it was “dah-doh-dee-dum-di.” In a very Unellingtonian way he had me repeat this several times.

Then we went the other way. Starting with the little finger it was “id-mud-eed-hod-had”. Pretty soon he had me doing “dah-doh-dee-dum-di-id-mud-eed-hod-had”

An hour went by and then we were finished until the next Saturday afternoon. I was to practice what I had learned at home. All I had learned was, “dah-doh-dee-dum-di-id-mud-eed-hod-had”. I was pretty disappointed. I couldn’t see that as much fun at a party and I was sure Duke Ellington didn’t do that. Ever.

Due to work schedules, and probably a moderate lack of interest, I was unable to practice at all when, all of a sudden, it was time to go to my next lesson. I was sure it wouldn’t matter much as it certainly didn’t take any skill to do what I had learned. I decide not to mention that I hadn’t practiced during the week.

He asked me to show him what we had learned last week. I did and he looked incredulous as he said, “Didn’t you practice at all during the week?” I explained about the work and how I didn’t want to really be a pianist and, because apparently he hadn’t understood me the first time, I repeated that I just wanted to be able to play like Duke Ellington.

Lesson Two consisted of the same thing as Lesson One except it was with the left hand. My teacher promised that soon we would do that with both hands.

As I drove home from Lesson Two a gnawing suspicion began to creep up on me. I didn’t think my teacher even knew who Duke Ellington was.

I cancelled my next lessons and I never did learn to play the piano with both hands at the same time. One blessing was that I hadn't done as I had planned and bought the white suit with the tails.



Doing my walking exercises each morning gives me much time to ponder; sometimes too much. Recently I got to thinking about the promises of what life would be like in the Hereafter. I wondered if there really was such a place and if so, would I be willing to make many sacrifices in order to eventually get there. So, hello Google; I looked it up.

Hereafter, Arkansas is a small town in the northwestern corner of the state south of Hiwasse and north of Eagle Corner and about 32 miles off of Rte. 59.

It has 12 miles of road, 6 of which are paved, with plans to add another paved mile soon between Reverend Martin’s home and the store. Reverend Martin is just a nickname as he not really a man of the cloth. It’s just that he used to go around saying, “My Gawd”, all the time so people nicknamed him Reverend.

The population is 39, of which 9 are children under the age of 16. There are 2 other young men who are 17 and 18 years old. They alternate driving the 1992 Dodge Station Wagon, which serves as school bus.

Hereafter has no schools but there are two lady schoolteachers who have lived out on Robbins Road for more than 30 years. People used to talk about them but not anymore; they’re too old now to be doing anything sinful so nobody pays any attention to them.

There is one combination store and filling station. There also is an auto mechanic there but sometimes he doesn’t show up for days at a time and often when he does show up there is no work to do for days at a time.

The post office is in Farley Graham’s camper, which is parked near the store most of the time. Farley is the honorary postmaster since there is no real post office. Mail is often sent to the school with the children and Farley usually picks it up there too. Farley’s name was given by Lou (Louise) and Lou (Louis) Graham, who have both passed on now. They once shook hands with Jim Farley, the Post Master General under FDR. Hence, Farley was a logical choice to run whatever there was of a Post Office. During holidays, when all post offices are closed anyway, Farley usually takes off. So, it isn’t only that the post office is closed on weekends and holidays; there isn’t even a post office there at all. This was particularly true during fishing season because Farley loved fishing and she would take off for fishing whenever she had a chance.

You can go to movies but you need to drive down the mountain to Rogers. Not many people do this because it takes about 45 minutes to get here and another hour and a half to get back. With icy roads in winter it only takes 30 minutes to get there but then it’s close to 3 hours to get back.

Taxes are very low because there is no law enforcement and only one town employee who works in the Town Hall, which is one small room and part of the store. The turnover at that position is high due to the salary being very low and the duties broad. Right now, Janice Selby is serving as Mayor, City Clerk and Town Council. In addition, she takes care of the janitorial duties. This is were the conflicts set in when Harold Crock, who owns the store, felt that Janice should clean the floors of the store. They argued and she wants to let the Town Council settle it. Harold doesn’t think this is fair inasmuch as Janice is the Town Council. So, most of the time the floors are not very clean.

Since 1918, when Hereafter was founded, there have been several noted people who claim Hereafter as their place of birth. Perhaps the best known is Jack Warken whose name appears on a plaque in the store. It was Jack, who one early morning on May 18, 1927, helped wash the airplane that Charles A. Lindbergh flew to Paris two days later.
For several years there was an annual Jack Warken Day parade but since most everyone was in the parade, there were no spectators and if they stayed out of the parade to be spectators, there wasn’t anyone to be in the parade. So that celebration was abandoned and a small plaque was made. Well, it actually it’s a Post-it note on the store bulletin board but serves the purpose.

A disclaimer: Since I am not clear as to the source of this information, Lawyer Morton, of Hereafter, Arkansas, insists that I hereby state, “I cannot, and will not guarantee the accuracy of this report.” This is because I’m not sure if it came from Google or in a dream.
By the way, Lawyer Morton isn’t a real lawyer. He really is Andy Morton, the auto mechanic, but he always goes around saying “I object to that” so everyone calls him Lawyer. For more click here.



In 1982 I was diagnosed as being diabetic. Ever since then I have carefully followed all the special instructions given to diabetics. However, I ran across one potential problem diabetics might face and want to alert any who might benefit from my experience.

All people with diabetes face possible neuropathy in the lower extremities. In fact, Medicare approves visits to a podiatrist every 2 months since diabetics often develop foot problems and aren’t even aware of it. It’s quite possible for some diabetics to step on a sharp object and not even feel it. Hence, we are constantly warned to not walk barefooted and observe similar cautions.

But there is a new hidden danger that no one ever mentioned to me. Just happened to discover it a few days ago and consider myself lucky to have made this discovery.

I often wear some old, friendly slippers around the house.

One day I thought these slippers might have reached the end of the road as one of them was making my toes feel slightly uncomfortable.

Before I went to bed I looked inside the slipper to see if there was some kind of flaw.

There was a flaw all right. The cap for my pen, which had been missing all day, was in the toe of the slipper and I had been walking that way almost all day.

Now this wasn't some small cap. It was full-sized.

So now, when anything is missing, the first place I look is in the toe of my slipper. Yesterday I couldn’t find the keys to my car and I thought, “I’ll bet I know right where they are.” I looked in the slipper and they weren’t there. But they could have been.

So, my new rule for diabetics is, “When anything around the house is missing, look in your slippers”. Not a bad rule for non-diabetics too.

Of course common sense must be applied. I wasted a little time one day when I went upstairs and looked in my slipper to see if the toaster was there. It wasn’t.


Note: Clicking on bold text might elaborate.

It was Sunday and I was at the track doing my exercise stuff. I was alone and wondered where all the other people were. I realized many people devote that particular part of that particular day to piety. With some, it’s only on that one day. So, since walking alone gives plenty of time for figuring out the mysteries of life I began wondering if the fact that I exercise “religiously” qualifies as a legitimate Sabbath activity.

In the bible I knew that Exodus 20:8 says, “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”
Well, I didn’t actually remember it but Google did. When it came to what I knew personally, I wasn’t even sure what Sabbath meant. “Sabbath?” What was that? But Google knew.

It turns out it isn’t that simple. Different religions have made their own determinations as to what and when Sabbath should occur.

In Judaism the last day of the week (Saturday) is observed as a rest day for the twenty-five hours commencing with sundown on Friday. In the biblical account of creation (Gen. 1) the seventh day is set as a Sabbath to mark God's rest after his work.

On the other hand, early Christians had a weekly celebration of the liturgy on the first day (Sunday), observing the Resurrection. Hence, among Roman Catholics and Eastern Orthodox, Sunday is a liturgical feast; Protestants, applying the idea of the Jewish Sabbath to Sunday, forbade all but pious activity.

And then there is Islam, which decrees that Friday is the weekly day of public prayer.

So, in addition to not knowing if I was observing Sabbath properly, I wasn’t even sure I was on the right day. Again Google led me to learn about WWJD. As you no doubt know, this acronym stands for What Would Jesus Do? Apparently followers of this movement believe all problems can be solved by asking, “What would Jesus do?”

We happen to be lucky. Jesus Sanchez is our part-time gardener. So I asked him what he does on Sundays. He replied, “If I got no lawns I watch football on TV.”

That’s OK with me; I got no lawns, so I watch football.

Sabbath problem solved.



I see where Mt. St. Helens is erupting again.

I don’t know what governmental department might be in charge of such things but I saw a commercial on TV that might help control it. It’s a product called Cialis, which promises 36 hours controlling dysfunctional eruptions. One would think it might be a good time to apply this to Mt. St. Helens.

I checked this on the Internet and there apparently is one problem which area residents should be aware of. The company clearly states
: “Although a rare occurrence, those who experience an eruption for more than 4 hours should seek immediate medical attention”

So, Washingtonians and Oregonians, consider yourselves forewarned.



The news has been announced that Washington, DC will once again have a major league baseball team. The team that is currently in Montreal and known as the Expos, will play in Washington next year.

It’s not unusual for sports team to move from city to city, usually taking the team nickname with them even though it often makes no sense.

As an example, from 1948 to 1960 there was a professional
basketball team in Minneapolis, Minnesota. They were known as the Minneapolis Lakers. This made sense, as Minneapolis is famous as an area of many lakes.

However, in 1960 the franchise moved to Los Angeles and were known as the Los Angeles Lakers

even though the nearest lake to Los Angeles is an ocean.

Even more ludicrous was when the New Orleans Jazz

moved to Salt Lake City and from then on called themselves the Utah Jazz.

When in Utah the closest place to find jazz is New Orleans.

The move from Montreal to Washington, DC does make more sense in that it’s possible to come up with a new name that fits the new location and at the same time preserve the connection with the past.
The old team was called the Expos.

The new Washington name could be the Exposés.

The Washington Exposés.

Only one additional letter plus a little thingee over the “e”.