I don’t know about you but in spite of 2005 being a good year for me personally, I’m happy to see it go.

What a year we had! In addition to the Iraq thing continuing on we had a horrible tsunami, a huge earthquake, terrorist bombings, and a couple of major hurricanes and the associated floods.

For me, I lost a couple of friends but I suppose I need to expect that at this age. However, my own health has been good and my personal relationships seem great. I’ve met some new friends via my blog and the coming year looks as though it could be the best I’ve ever had.

But 2005, there’s the door and don’t let it hit you in the rear when you go out.

I am wishing a wonderful 2006 for all of you.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 31, 2005



A couple of weeks ago we received a letter from our power company. It announced they were going to upgrade a transformer on our street and we would be without electricity from 8 AM to 3 PM. Of course, this struck terror in our hearts. What would we possibly do to go almost a whole day without electricity? Think about it! No lights to read by. No electricity to cook with. No hot water and, of course, no computer. We needed to make plans.

It was finally decided to keep a morning appointment we had and then go to some restaurant that had electricity and have lunch. After that there was the possibility of going shopping or even attending a movie, which we haven’t done in years.

The power didn’t actually go off until 8:30. I looked outside and saw two huge trucks from the power company almost in front of our house. I didn’t go out to see what they were doing but the power came back on about 20 minutes later. Then I looked outside and the trucks were gone and there was no further interruption of power. It seemed strange that we were notified to be prepared for doing without electricity for 7 hours and it turned out to be only 20 minutes.

I thought about it and finally concluded it might have gone something like this.

“Okay, Harry, let’s get started.”
“Right, you get the transformer out of the truck.”
“Why do I have to get the transformer out of the truck?”
“All right, I’ll get the transformer out of the truck. Hand me the wrench.”
“What wrench?”
“The wrench for taking the transformer out of the truck.”
“Oh. Where is the wrench for taking the transformer out of the truck?”
“ I don’t know. You were supposed to bring the wrench for taking the transformer out of the truck.”
“Nobody told me I was supposed to bring the wrench for taking the transformer out of the truck.”
“How did you think we could do this if we didn’t get the transformer out of the truck?”
“I don’t know. That’s not my job.”
“Well, I guess we need to go back and get the wrench for taking the transformer out of the truck.”
“Shall we turn on the electricity again?”
“It’s not my job to turn the electricity on again.”
“It’s not mine either but let’s do it anyway and get out of here.”
“Good idea. How do you get back to the garage?”
“I don’t know. I thought you knew.”

And so forth.

That was not an actually transcript of what happened but definitely a possible explanation.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 30, 2005



These days there are many who seem to object to using the word “Christmas”.

Well, the Old Professor often takes advantage of the “Old” part by doing whatever he pleases irrespective of what others may think or do. So today I wish all my blog friends a very merry Christmas.

The Old Professor

Carmel, CA

December 25, 2005

December 25, 2005



There is a veteran female TV Investigating Reporter named Barbara Walters. She produced a 2-hour program called something like “Heaven. Where Is It? How Do We Get There?” She interviewed many people representing many religions and had them present their concept of Heaven and how we get there. As you might guess, opinions were lacking in any uniformity.

However, I did get a chuckle when she interviewed one particular lady. This lady was a widow who had lost her husband 32 years ago. They were both 40 years old at that time and she is now 72 and has never remarried. Her idea of Heaven is that Tom will be waiting there and they will greet each other lovingly.

That seemed to be a pretty good idea, except for one thing. She forgets that, for the past 32 years, Tom has been in Heaven bopping around with Marilyn Monroe and Ava Gardner and all those other deceased Hollywood sex goddesses. (That may be why they call it “Heaven”) Also, I imagine one doesn’t age in Heaven so when she shows up she will find 40 year old Tom, probably watching a football game on a giant-size TV with a couple of super-models hanging on him and a couple more in the heavenly kitchen making a pizza for him. He will look up and wonder why he should he interested in this 72-year old woman.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 23, 2005



It has arrived – I think.

I’ve always wondered about “senility”.  I wondered if it ever caught up with me, would I know it.
The answer is a resounding, “Yes!”
This morning I went to the Veterans Administration clinic for my regular eye checkup.
This is something that with anyone with a history of diabetes should do regularly.
I showed up for my appointment at exactly the right time.
And it was the correct day.
There was only one thing wrong – and it was a minor thing – it was the wrong year.
I was one year early, to the minute.

I can’t believe I showed up for an appointment a year early!  I didn’t find that exact symptom listed in the description of “senility” but I’ll bet it’s in some medical dictionary someplace.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 19, 2005 (I think)



Most people who know me are aware that I am hopelessly addicted to gadgets. Any kind of a thing that will do something I didn’t know could be done has me hopelessly hooked. How many people do you know who bought a wire recorder? How many people do you know who even know what a wire recorder is? They appeared briefly around 1946 and I bought one. Almost as soon as I did tape recording was introduced and I was stuck with a museum piece.

But last week I reached a peak. We bought a new car and it does so many fancy things I may not live long enough to discover them all. We now own a white, 2006 Toyota Prius with all the extras available.

Not only is this a really great car, it amazes me constantly. Just this morning I “taught” it to activate my garage door opener by pushing on a little button on the frame of the rear-view mirror. By the way, that mirror automatically dims if there are bright headlights behind me.

One of the first things about this machine is that it is keyless. I have a plastic thing I keep in my pocket and as I approach the car the door unlocks, I get in and push a start button. That’s it.

The first startling thing that happens is when I start to back out of the garage. There is a small screen, about 6 inches, and it shows what is behind me in full color. This small camera is activated anytime the car is in reverse. This will keep me from backing over small children unless I really want to.

High on my list of “Oh Wow” things is the navigation system. That little 6-inch screen and a kind female voice seem to be able to guide me anywhere I want to go. I merely enter an address and it seeks out several routes, asks me which one I want and then leads me, step by step. I have my home address stored so I can push the Home Button and it will get me home from anywhere I happened to be.

Here is a list of the options we received (purchased):
Package #8 -- includes driver and front passenger front seat-mounted side and front and rear side curtain airbags [2], anti-theft system and auto-dimming rearview mirror with HomeLink® [5] universal transceiver, Smart Key System, backup camera [3], Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) [4], High Intensity Discharge (HID) headlamps and integrated fog lamps, JBL® AM/FM 6-disc in-dash CD changer with nine speakers in seven locations, auxiliary audio jack, MP3/WMA playback capability and hands-free phone capability via Bluetooth® [6] wireless technology, voice-activated DVD navigation system [7], and leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel
So, I must be off now to see if I can figure out how my car communicates with my cell phone using Bluetooth wireless technology. It’s supposed to.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 15, 2005



This morning we visited a cardiologist (heart doctor) as a routine follow-up of an angiogram Jen-Chi had recently. All was well but I did compliment the doctor on the Christmas wreath he had on the front door.

It was in the shape of a heart.

You know, heart doctor/heart wreath.
You see the connection?

At no time did I mention proctologist or gynecologist.

My mother would have been so proud of me.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 6, 2005



In 1958 the Eastman Kodak Company introduced an adhesive substance with an acrylate base to the public. They called it Superglue and it truly was.

Now we mostly see it as Krazy Glue and it’s advertised to glue almost anything together, including fingers and, from what I’ve read, other body parts. I also understand it’s often used medically in place of stitches.

As far as I have ever been able to tell, this product is almost perfect. It has one glaring weakness. I’m sure most of you have done this: You open the Krazy Glue tube and use the drop or two you need. Then you close the tube and the adhesive goes to work so that you can never open it again. So the Krazy Glue people came up with this:

A package of 4 single-use tubes! Use one and throw it away!

I wish I had thought of that.

The Old Professor
December 5, 2005

By the way, there are many web sites that will give you advice on what to do if you do accidentally glue yourself to some undesirable thing. One of the best is the Krazy Glue web site.



Yesterday I put my regular Old Prof website on hold for some indefinite time. I called it being “on leave”, a sabbatical of sorts. The site will still be there but for now I will not be making any additions or changes

I am now going to attempt to create a new web site in honor of my late son, Michael. Some of you may recall the blog I wrote called My Son The Rock Singer.

I plan on trying to make some of his music available for listening online and/or downloading. Since I am rather inexperienced at this (to say nothing of being old) it may be some time before it’s ready so, stay tuned.

Meanwhile, I’ll still post my blogs here so you will know what’s going on in the Old Professor’s crazy world.

If you would like me to notify you when Michael’s music is ready, please-mail me at OldProf@OldProf.com.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 3, 2005



Here is a safety warning. Heed it and save yourself much pain.

We had a mouse or mice in our garage. Repeated attempts using various devices failed to even slow the problem down. We used glue traps, safety traps and even had one where that is like a little house and the mouse crawls in for some reason and can’t get out. Our high IQ mouse wasn’t interested in any of these except to eat the bait and probably laugh a lot.

So I decided to go to the old-fashioned mouse trap. You know, the one with the spring that humanely snaps on the mouse’s neck.

I decided to also get the rat trap also which is the same thing only larger.

I read the instructions even though I felt they were obvious.
1. Place bait inside curl found at end of bait pedal. Remove excess bait protruding from pedal.
2. Pull back bow and hold down with thumb.
3. With other hand, engage curved portion of the locking bar under small, V-shaped lip on bait pedal.
4. Place trap against wall with bait pedal facing the wall.
I decided to put 2 mouse traps on my work bench and the larger trap on the floor at the base of the bench.

I set the rat trap first.

Now notice, nowhere do the instructions even hint that one should wear safety shoes or at least not wear soft-top sneakers. Also, it didn’t even hint that one should not step on the trap after it’s set.
So, my first safety tip is to set the trap on the floor last, just before you are leaving or, if, for some reason, you need to do it first, do not step on it. It probably wouldn’t be too bad if it was the smaller mousetrap but that giant rat trap will definitely sting.

Take my word for that.

Additionally, it does not say anything about not letting your finger get under the snap wire ,they call “the bow”, in case it does decide to go off accidentally. I wish they had mentioned this.

Hypothetically, if you do let the rat trap snap on the tip of your left index finger you will find it hurts like hell and almost immediately turns purple making you look like a Iraqi who just voted for the first time. You then will need to get some ice on it. You will spend a rather sleepless night and the next day you will need to go to a drug store to buy a guard to protect the end of the finger because it will really hurt when you bump it on anything.

So, my second safety tip is to not let any part of any finger get anywhere near the snap wire.

Take my word for that.

I have no bad feeling toward the company that manufactures this devilish device and I do not plan on suing them. However, as soon as my finger heals I do plan on writing this blog to warn the world of these inadequately labeled devices.

I would also suggest that anyone owning stock in this mouse trap company seriously consider some other investment. This thing can’t last for long.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 1, 2005