It’s no secret to followers of my blog that I have lost a lot of weight. I brag about it a lot even though I’ve been at my present weight almost three years now. Then this morning I picked up the paper and found one of those “OH NO!” things. According to Associated Press a scientific study links weight loss in older people to oncoming Alzheimer’s Disease.

“A study of more than 800 healthy nuns, priests and monks who were slightly overweight on average showed that those who lost about one unit of body mass index (BMI) a year -- a little more than five pounds (2 kg) or so -- had a 35 percent greater risk of developing Alzheimer's than those with no weight change.

As I read that it says that those who lost five pounds (note the “or so”) had a 35% greater chance of developing Alzheimer’s. Let’s see, I lost 50 pounds. Does that mean I have a 350% greater risk? I’m not sure.
Where was I?
Oh yes, I remember now.

How about those Red Sox?

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 29, 2005



When I was a mere youth it was customary for families to regularly sit down around a table for at least one meal every day. Since there were four children in our family it was also customary that there be at least one frown accompanied with a slow left-right headshake and the often whispered statement, “Not at the table”. This quiet chastisement recently came to my mind when I decided to choose a title for the book I should write.

I have received several letters since I used this blog site to announce I had finally attained my ideal weight by losing about 50 pounds. Each letter wanted to know how I lost the weight or what diet I used. I think I have the answer and it is now set in my mind firmly enough that I can now go ahead and join the millions of others who seem to have written books on various ways to lose weight.

My approach to the problem of weight loss is quite simple. The secret isn’t so much what you do, it’s where you do it. Simply stated, you lose weight at the grocery store. For people who are at all weight conscious and do not come from some other planet, the basics are already known. It’s no secret that pushing sweet stuff and white stuff in your face will not make you thinner. So, drum roll please, do not buy sweet stuff and white stuff! It won’t be around the house and you won’t “accidentally” let a cookie fall into your mouth.

So, simple stated, you lose weight at the grocery store, Not At The Table!©

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 27, 2005



The other day I received a letter from a loyal follower of this blog.

Dear Professor,

I could use your advice. I don’t care much for cats but my wife does. About a week ago a cat showed up at our door and was, apparently, hungry. My wife fed the cat and ever since then it’s been coming back.

How do I get rid of it without upsetting my wife too much?

I’d appreciate any advice you might offer.

Signed, Non-Cat Person in Ohio

Well, thank you for writing, Loyal Follower. I have always been a firm believer in the power of coincidence and, coincidentally, your problem matches mine exactly. So, I will tell you how ours was solved and perhaps it would work for you too.

As in your case a cat appeared and it was hungry. Love of My Life fed the cat some table scraps and gave it some water then it disappeared until the next day when this was repeated. The she got a flea collar, as that was a problem the cat obviously had. After a few days of the cat reappearing, LOL decided she would more or less adopt the cat. The next time she went shopping she bought a dozen cans of cat food and a bag of dry cat food. She also picked up a few cat toys.

Inasmuch as the situation had advanced this far I insisted the cat be taken to the veterinary place and be checked and possibly “fixed”. We didn’t have any way to transport a cat that I was sure would be less than willing to go so I stopped at a pet store and paid about $30 for a “Cat Carrier”.

That was about a week ago and we haven’t seen the cat since. So, it appears the system is to invest a lot of money in things for a cat and then the cat will go away just to annoy you. Somehow they know.

I hope this helps your situation.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 25, 2005

P.S. If anyone needs a Cat Carrier there’s no need to pay $30. I know where you can get one that’s never been used one for less than that and some free cat food could go with it.



I have always felt that “The Forces That Be” must have a sense of humor.

This morning, Friday, September 23, 2005, I can hear the television in the other room. All of the coverage is about Hurricane Rita and problems its impending arrival is causing in the Galveston/Houston area in the state of Texas.

At the same time I am looking at a web page showing "America’s Most Livable Cities”.

This web site is sponsored by a group called Partners For Livable Communities.

I also see this group is having a conference and the web site shows it is to be September 21 – 23, 2005. Guess where! Houston, Texas!

As of this morning it’s impossible to get in or out of Houston or Galveston so, if this meeting did go off on schedule I imagine they will need another meeting to revise the conclusions they came to as a result of the first one.

Ironic, isn’t it?

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 23, 2005



There is a web site called Classmates Dot Com. If you go to this web site and indicate your school and class year you will find a list of others who share that class. I went there and found about 30 people from my high school class, most of the names didn’t ring a bell with me at all.

In order to communicate with the others you need to get the Gold Membership, which is $39 for one year.

I decided to try it out, paid the $39 and proceeded to write to others from my high school and also from my college class. In the past year I didn’t receive a single reply from anyone I wrote to or even any information that a message had been sent.

Then yesterday I received an e-mail telling me that since a year had passed the Classmate people were automatically using my credit card to enroll me for another year.

No way Jose!

I wrote a letter of protest and received a prompt reply. The reply was even numbered as “Reply #102-877-094”. It explained in some detail that this had been explained to me when I signed up but as a courtesy they would make a note to not renew it next year.

So, I got burned. Maybe next time I’ll read the fine print. Naw, that won’t happen but maybe you should.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 22, 2005



These days most people go entire lifetime and never actually witness a genuine miracle. I mean a miracle of such proportions that it makes one positive of the existence of a higher power -- one who controls everything. To me this seems strange, as it was a very common thing in days gone by. During the years, say 0003 to 0050, miracles seemed to happen all over the area we now call the Middle East. In those days it was hardly possible to walk down the street to get a newspaper without seeing a real miracle. But these days, it doesn't happen often. Personally, I only know of one person who witnessed a verifiable miracle first hand. I know this is absolutely, one hundred percent true because I was that person.

Please believe me when I say that what I am about to relate is absolutely true in every detail. I would swear to it on one of those miracle book things they use in court that people swear on.

It was the summer 1958; I was between marriages and living alone while working a summer job on a graveyard shift. I decided to have my car's oil changed and get it lubricated while I went home and got some sleep. About 8 o'clock in the morning of this particular day I left the car at a place about a half-mile from where I lived and walked home. I had gone about halfway when I realized I had left my cigarettes in the car. I was a fairly heavy smoker at that time and debated going back to get them. Instead, I felt perhaps this was an omen or a sign of some kind and decided to give up smoking right then. I continued to walk along the edge of the road, as there was no sidewalk.

Suddenly I heard tires squealing. I looked back and saw a lunch truck coming. It was one of those trucks that go to various places to sell sandwiches and other things for workers at lunch time. It was coming around a corner at high speed so I stepped off the road a little more. As it passed me it hit a bump and one of the aluminum side doors flew open and cigarettes rained down all around me. I tried to call to the driver but he was gone. I looked at the ground and I was standing in the middle of a puddle of sixteen packs of cigarettes. I don’t mean they were a short distance away – they were at my feet. They surrounded me. So I scooped up all the various brands of cigarettes and stuffed them in my pockets and continued walking home.

On the way I had time to think about this. I had just decided to quit smoking when a shower of unopened packs of cigarettes rained down on me from out of nowhere. What was I to do? Of course, I opened a pack and lit up. Who was I to defy this Greater Power?

The only thing I never have figured out is why the creator of this miracle didn’t know what brand I smoked.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 19. 2005



Somewhere around seven or eight years ago I suffered a seizure. It happened while I was asleep in bed and even though I didn’t even fall out of bed I managed to somehow shatter my right shoulder. The long bone of your upper arm that extends from the shoulder to the elbow is called the humerus, though there was nothing funny about mine. I snapped the ball at the end of the humerus off and shattered the cup it fits into in five pieces. Fortunately there was a good orthopedic surgeon who pieced the cup part back together and replaced the ball with a stainless steel one.

Since then there has been constant pain and I am always searching for some magic way to ease it. In this quest I recently had some more x-rays made. These days x-rays can be digital and are transmitted to the doctor via phone lines. I wondered if it might be possible for me to obtain my own copies. As it was simply explained to me, “Certainly, they’re your x-rays. You paid for them.”

So I obtained copies of my shoulder x-rays only because I thought them to be interesting. I thought you might like a peek at them too. Note the white part is the stainless steel prosthesis that was inserted into the humerus.

And from a different angle:

Now that I see it, I can't imgine how anyone would be interested. But, hey, minor details like that never stopped me before.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 18, 2005



A couple of blogs ago I posted a pair of experiences I have had with very young people and the conclusions reached using their limited powers of deduction.

Maybe it has something to do with the many years I spent in the education business but it has always fascinated me to watch little minds thinking the best they can.

It’s fascinating even when those minds are housed in the bodies of people who head up our government.

I take full responsibility.


What the hell does that mean? That and a fist full of dollars will get you a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 15, 2005



It’s been a few years now but I recall reading about a clock that started running backwards for no apparent reason. As I recall it was located in a tower someplace in Washington DC. I never heard of an explanation. That is, until now.

Associated Press has this item in today’s newspaper:
Scientists at the University of Chicago have found that two human genes involved in brain size and development are still evolving -- and, they suspect, mutating to make people smarter.
As I read this it means as time progresses we are getting smarter.
What would happen if time regressed, as it did in Washington?
That explains a lot.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 12, 2005



A few days ago I went online and ordered a new pair of walking shoes.
Today I received an e-mail notice informing me they had been shipped.
At the bottom of the e-mail was this note:

Please note, your order may come in several shipments.

I wonder how they will do that with one pair of shoes.
I wonder if both shoes will arrive at the same time or one shoe will come first and then the other.
If that happens, which do you suppose will arrive first – the left or the right?
Luckily these shoes need no laces or that might be another shipment.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 11, 2005



After my son was born in 1960 he spent much time with his maternal grandmother as his mother and I were both working. She (his grandmother) had many idiosyncrasies and one of them was that, in her terms, boys should not “play with their bodies” or “touch their bodies” and my son was often admonished not to do so.

Soon it was 1963. The Pope had just died and my son was 3 years old. There was much on the television about the papal funeral and once, while watching these ceremonies, my son giggled and leaned over to me and whispered, “The man said they are moving the Pope’s body.” Then he giggled. I tried to not giggle and explained as best I could.

I have giggled many times since then and often think of the day my son and I shared our first “Man’s Joke.”

The Old Professor
Carmel, Ca
September 9, 2005



To me it’s amazing how much children learn in their early years. How they learn it is even more amazing. Much of it comes from observing and deducing. A child’s deductions aren’t always accurate and I’ve run into a few that I thought were hilarious. I’ll toss one in now and then and perhaps it will give you a smile also.

At one time my grandson was about 3 years old and I drove him to pre-school. Each day we drove past a field where a few farm animals were grazing. Some days there were cows and some days there were sheep. Since in-depth conversations were rare with a 3-year old one of us usually made some comment like, “Oh, look at the cows.” That was on the days when the cows were there. Other days one of us said, “Oh, look at the sheep.”

One day there happened to be sheep in the field. I thought it might be nice to explain where wool comes from so I asked, “Do you know what happens to sheep when they get older?”

He replied, “Yes.”

I was somewhat taken aback but asked, “What happens to them?”

He shot back, “They grow up to be cows.”

So, you see the logic was marvelous. His powers of observation were great. But even so, his conclusion was incorrect.

At least I think it was. I never have really thought about it much.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 8, 2005



To me things like this are hard to believe but it's happening to us.
I don't understand why some people think it is perfectly acceptable for them to take their dogs for a stroll and use someone else's yard as a toilet.

First, it's illegal and second, it just isn't a nice thing to do.

We apparently have some neighbors who are unaware of this so
I made some signs and posted them in front of our house.

They came out looking like this:

Then if that doesn't work I plan to go to the second sign:

Then, as a last resort I might try this one:



I suppose I should apologize for the rant I posted yesterday where I took umbrage about some people playing “the race card” in the hurricane disaster. I indicated my irritation when certain leaders came up with the “It wouldn’t have happened if we were white.” bit.
I should apologize.
People who say things like that are not really at fault.
It really isn’t their fault they are simple-minded, half-witted idiots.
They probably were born that way and can’t help it.
So, to anyone I might have offended, I’m sorry.
I’m sorry you were born that way.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 5, 2005



They shouldn’t have done that.
I followed the Katrina hurricane situation in New Orleans avidly.
I could not have had more empathy for those poor souls.
It consumed me.
Then they played that goddamned race card!
“They would have helped help us sooner if we were white."
Damn! That pisses me off!
Though things were admittedly mishandled, race had nothing to do with it.
Anyone with a grain of intelligence can see that.
It’s time the so-called leaders rein in and stop trying to make racial intolerance the basis for everything that goes wrong.
For some reason I am reminded of a situation I ran into when I taught in a high school. There was a young man who always seemed to be getting into trouble of one kind or another. I happened to come up on him defacing the walls of the school. When I stopped him the first thing he said was, “At home I’m the only one who speaks English.”
Somewhere along the way he had learned that using that excuse got him out of accepting responsibility for anything.
OK, so you aren’t “white”.
OK, so you've had some bad deals because of that.
But this isn’t one of them so let's knock that off!

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 4, 2005