This morning I executed a slug in our garden.
If you don’t know what a slug is, just skip this. Trust me, you don’t want to know.

Seeing this slimy, ugly, good-for-nothing creature made me wonder what went wrong. Obviously, something went terribly wrong when Noah was loading his boat. When all the animals came up in pairs, the slug, being both male and female housed in one body, should have at least raised a flag.

If only Noah had said, “Sorry, couples only.” the world would be a much better place today.

But I suppose that would have left him open to some sort of legal action and, in those days, “legal actions” were thunderbolts or locusts and things like that.

So, maybe Noah did fairly well considering the conditions he had to work under.



Last week the annual Big Sur Marathon was run here.
“Big Sur” is a place about 26 miles south of here and this race is a world-class event. It takes place on a highway that runs along the coast and is a scenically beautiful, even riding in a car. You can see some of it at http://www.bsim.org/
I watched the recap of it on TV and noted a guy from Kenya won and a very close second was another guy from Kenya. Surprise! Not really.
When the race started the TV announcer said, “Here they are at the 1-mile mark in just under five minutes.”
I thought of myself wogging around the track where it takes me 5 minutes to do one quarter of a mile and thought, “If those guys were on the track with me, they would have passed me 4 times on the first lap.” How humiliating.
Of course, I don't have the advantage of coming from Kenya.



For those of you who have not yet attained the age of 82, listen and learn.

As you well know, you have an acquaintance with your brain that goes back many years. You get to know your brain and how it works. At least it lets you think this is so. However, often we don’t dwell on it but the brain also gets to know us. Well, believe me, it does and after 82 years mine seems to know me fairly well.

And my brain, and I assume most others, is a sneaky dammed thing. It likes to trick me whenever it can.

Here’s a good example. Right now my brain has hidden the manual for the DVD player someplace and is not letting me find it – yet. It did this 3 days ago. I took the manual out of the file cabinet where it belongs (but is rarely found) and then the brain distracted me. It uses that tactic a lot. When I went back to use the manual it was gone. At least I couldn’t find it anywhere.

Ordinarily this might be a panic situation but I have learned quite a bit about my brain and know it doesn’t like to be ignored, so that’s just what I’m doing. I know from experience that pretty soon the brain will tire of this silly game and just quit. Then I will find the manual someplace I hadn’t looked; probably in the back of the freezer or some place like that.

Ah ha! I hadn’t checked the freezer. It must be there. I checked everyplace else.



I may be a couple of years late, but that’s nothing new.
Saw a good DVD the other night.
“Under the Tuscan Sun”
We enjoyed it and that seems to be a fairly rare thing these days.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
April 22, 2005



Back in 1985 I bought my first computer and had my first experience with Word Processing. I wrote a “thing” that was “A Letter to the Pope” and several people enjoyed it. Not everyone, but several. Because it’s a bit longer than most blogs I parked it on my web site. To see it click here.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
April 20, 2005



Two days ago our local paper carried an article with the heading:


I wondered what the qualifications were, what hours were expected and thought I might apply.

Today there was another article with the heading:


I wondered what the qualifications were, what hours were expected --- Nah.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
April 19, 2005



About a month ago I had an appointment to see my dentist for my regular checkup. Unfortunately, it was a busy day at the office and I was forced to wait 45 minutes past my appointment time.

This wait turned out to be a mixed blessing because it gave me time to invent my Dentist Promptness Incentive Kit©. The DPIK© simply consists of several small envelopes. Each envelope contains one (1) Oreo cookie and six (6) blueberries. The patient takes these to the regular appointment and for each 15 minutes the appointment is overdue, one DPIK© packet is eaten. Hence, by the time a 45-minute waiting period has passed, the not-patient patient will have chewed up three (3) Oreo cookies and eighteen (18) blueberries. This is sure to catch the attention of the dentist and the reason can be explained.

I’m fairly sure it would only be needed to be done once.

Footnote: Though it should be rarely needed, a clove of fresh garlic may be carried in case the waiting time is more that one hour.

Not for use with those taking diabetic medications or those with a severe cases of boredom. Side effects may include thirst, non-thirst, nausea, drowsiness, blurred vision, sexual dysfunction, sexual function, muscle weakness, magazine allergies, or, in rare cases, tooth decay. If symptoms last more than 4 hours, though rare, call the office and ask whatinell is going on.



I, as well as the rest of the world, am aware that there soon will be a new Pope.

I also note that gamblers are posting odds.

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, of Germany seems
a favorite at III to I,while Cardinal Giacomo Biffi, of the archdiocese of Bologna is a long shot at CXXV to I.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
April 17, 2005


Lately I have been taking some criticism because I claimed to have coined the word “wogging”. Obviously, it’s possible that, unbeknownst to me, I could create a word that someone else already was using. This seems to be the case with “wogging”.

I really did check several online dictionaries and encyclopedias and found no trace of wogging. However, I forgot Google. There are over 1000 references there, including my own blog and a few that kindly referred to mine. And one other.

Some of the references describe it as alternating between walking and jogging such as walk a bit, jog a bit, walk a bit. That’s really called a WJW. Now, this obviously is not wogging but since the name “wjwing” was already used by pole-vaulters I suppose someone just called it "wogging".

Wjwing describes a style of approach to the bar when pole-vaulting and is named after the famous one-legged pole-vaulter from Poland, Stanislau Wjwowski, who competed in the 1940 Olympic Games. Wjwowski -- everyone called him “Wjw” -- would more or less hop down the runway and then soar into the air. Anyone hopping down the runway was said to be doing a “wjw” or “wjwing”.

Many competitors complained because he was only required to get one leg over the bar while they were needed to get both legs over.

Unfortunately, in 1940 World War II forced the cancellation of the Olympic Games so how Wjwowski compared with other top vaulters of the day remains unknown.

When the war ended and Wjwowski was liberated from a Nazi concentration camp he tried pole vaulting again but never regained his previous form. However, his legacy, the term “Wjwing”, or as it’s known today, “Wogging”, lives on.

I ran across this old clipping of Wjwowski as a boy and thought it interesting.

Stan Wjwowski died in 1973 while testing a new shoe for Nike

The above newspaper clippings are shown here with the permission of the Wjwowski children.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
April 17, 2005



The other day we were in a doctor’s waiting room for some routine wait. In the corner diagonally opposite me was a man reading a magazine, which had been thoughtfully provided by the doctor. This man happened to have the worst hacking cough I had heard in a long time. I was concerned and hoped he was covering his mouth when he coughed. He was. He was using the magazine. Yes, he was coughing into the magazine.

Think about that the next time you are in a doctor’s office wondering which magazine would help pass the time.

Even my grandson learned what to do in nursery school. He showed me how he was supposed to cough into the crook of is arm, at the elbow area.

“So germs won’t get on the toys.”

Of course, they don’t have magazines in nursery school.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
April 15, 2005


Recently I had a conversation with a friend who recently bought a new printer.
He said, "I bought the So-And-So® brand. It's far and away the best there is."
"Really? Why is that brand the best one?"
"I don't really know but the man at the office supply place said it was the best."
I find myself saying, "Oh." a lot these days.
But this time I think it led me to a rather good idea.

Get ready for this.

I think all employees should be REQUIRED to wear name badges with a message similar to this:



In California there is a small city (44,000) called Gilroy, which is known as The Garlic Capital of the World. Each summer they hold a 3-day Garlic festival where there are cooking competitions as well as the crowning of a Garlic Queen. They even serve garlic ice cream. Last year they say about 150,000 people attending the affair. It was televised and I viewed a 1-hour program devoted to this on our local PBS station.

A strange thing happened as I was watching the program. The longer I watched the more I felt as though I could actually smell the garlic. I thought about this and rejected the idea there was some new electronic process I was unaware of which allowed the transmission pictures, sounds and smells.

I concluded it was a psychological thing and my brain was tricking me into thinking I smelled garlic.

When the program was over I went to the kitchen to tell Jen-Chi about this phenomenon. She was at the stove cooking something.

"What are you cooking?"
"Onions and garlic."



At various times I have hinted the story of my last 3 or 4 years is interesting. Several people (well, two) have asked me for some details. I finally got around to writing this but I feel it’s really too long to post as a blog. So, I have it at my web site http://www.oldprof.com/ and if you click here you can get it. If you are in a hurry at all you might want to just save it and read it later. There are pictures in the story and I’ve noticed that sometimes it’s slow in loading. So, the story of “How The Old Prof Got To Be Where He Is” can be seen by clicking here. Enjoy.


Just what the world needs!
While cruising around I found another blogger who calls himself "Old Prof".
I have written to him and even though we know I am the Real Old Prof (or is that the Really Old Prof?) I'm sure you will enjoy visiting his blog. He writes some very good stuff.

You can find him by clicking here.



I have been watching some of the funeral ceremonies for Pope John Paul II. It certainly has been an elaborate production.

Lately we have all been made aware of having our final wishes known to those who will be responsible for making the final arrangements. I want it know to one and all that I do not want any ceremony like the one Pope John Paul II had. I really don’t want millions of people dropping by to say goodbye. I don’t want all those people in colorful clothes singing and chanting. I think I would feel very uncomfortable.

So, please respect my wishes and do not have my funeral services as flamboyant as those at the Vatican. It’s okay for others but for me, just tone it down a bit.

In Latin they “Requiem aeternam dona ei, Domine

In English that’s “Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord”

Or as I say, “Please, just let me relax”

Thank you.



I ran across an interesting set of circumstances. As you may know I have become a great fan of wogging. You know, faster than walking but slower than jogging. I just made up the word. It seemed to fit nicely.Rafael Nájera in Montreal, Canada used the word on his web site http://rnajera.com/en/From there he received an interesting comment from Dave Gwyn. You can see it at Rafael's web site.

Since many folks take statements on the Net to be gospel, I feel obligated to correct your comment on the origin of the verb "wog". The Old Prof did not coin the term, whether or not he knew of any previous use of the word to indicate rapid walks without competitive intent.I first heard the term in 1979 from fellow avid-runner-turned-race-walker Neal Picken, aka T. Grimm Reaper. Neal framed, on a mat, a stick of the sort that could reasonably be used for recreational walking and presented it to Dean Ingram, chair at the men's Race Walking Committee meetings, in the Amateur Athletic Union's annual meetings. Neal referred to it as a "wogging stick" in recognition of Dean's claims that he, a 55-minute 10-kilometer race walker, didn't represent himself to be a talented athlete. Neal indicated to me that he felt the term "wogging" was in wide use to indicate noncompetitive walkers. Remember that the word "jogging" came into common conversational use only a few years earlier.

First, I found it amusing that my using this word would be taken seriously though I had made a sincere effort to find out if any such word actually existed and several dictionaries showed no sign of it.

But even more interesting was the argument that "Since many folks take statements on the Net to be gospel, I feel obligated to correct your comment on the origin of the verb "wog". (Translation: I will correct your error on the Net and this will be gospel. Trust me.)

Come on Dave, lighten up. If you feel a real need to know the etymology of the word wogging it goes back at least to 1957 that I personally know of. That was the year we had the 3-legged dog. Well, actually it was a regular dog but he lost one leg futilely attempting to mate with a moving ice cream truck - but that's another story. Incidentally, his name was "Pirate" because of a black patch over one eye.

I used part of a broomstick and some duct tape to fashion a crude artificial leg for the dog making it look even more like a Pirate. I had no idea if it would work but I can still hear my daughter, who was about 2 or 3 at the time. She shouted, "Wook Daddy, uh dog is wogging."

I'm sure there are probably other instances that predate mine. This always happens. In fact, I imagine that after Newton documented the force of gravity there were people who came up to him and said, "Oh, I knew someone who says he noticed apples always fell towards the ground back in 1690."

Oh well, you can't win them all.



We subscribe to a Health and Nutrition Newsletter from The Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy at Tufts University. This little 8-page, monthly publication is about the best around for our money. It’s available online at www.healthletter.tufts.edu though only older editions are viewable.

The current issue (April ’05) devoted 2 of its 8 pages to “More Than One Way to Run a Marathon.” The case is well made that most people will never run a marathon race that is actually 26.2 miles long. However, they contend each person can create his or her own marathon. It makes sense. Even if a person were to run, jog, walk or wog just one mile each day, the marathon would be completed in less than a month.

Following that idea the article goes on to make suggestions including warm-up procedures. They also recommend and suggest methods of joining a group or team. As an example, the staff at Tufts University has their marathon project online and it can be seen at http://marathon.president.tufts.edu/home/index.php.

In my opinion, they've hit the nail right on the head. I have been wogging for about 16 months now and I can personally vouch for regular exercise of this type as a way to make it to at least 82 years old. Go for it!

The Old Professor
April 6, 2005
Carmel, CA



I was doing my usual early morning wogging and I saw a pretty blonde girl who must have been about 10 years old. Not wanting her to think of me as an old man who needed to be feared I struck up a friendly conversation.
I pretended I was looking for a lost puppy and asked her if she would like to help me.

She sprayed pepper spray in my face and ran away.


Moral of the story:
Obviously the above fable was just that – a fable with a moral. Because of the way things are these days, if I actually did see a 10-year old girl alone I would not speak to her even if she had fallen and broken her leg unless she had written permission, signed by at least 2 adults, 1 of whom was not a lawyer.