With the Iraq death count up to 2,000 now, it is my opinion, and also one shared by many others, that it’s time to take another look at the Iraq situation.

What was it we were told about why we are in Iraq in the first place? Well, the first place doesn’t count. That was either a pack of lies or based on very faulty information. I doubt it was only the latter or we would have been in an, “Oops. I’m sorry.” position and we never were there.

So, why are we in Iraq? Let me see if I have this right.

One: It was necessary to get rid of Saddam Hussein as he was a really bad guy who did really bad things.
Okay, I have no reason to dispute that but we have him now. That part is done. Finished. Next.

Two: It’s necessary to build a democracy to establish a stable Middle East.
Let’s see. Democracy? Hmm. I’ll have to look that up.

Democracy: A system of government in which power is vested in the people, who rule either directly or through freely elected representatives

Yah, that’s what I thought it was.
Wasn’t there an election just held in Iraq where the people did express their wishes directly? Why not do it again? Have another election in Iraq. They do it all the time in California. This time have the Iraqi voters respond to one just simple question on the ballot.
Do you want the Occupation Troops to go home? Yes. No.
Of course, not in English like this.
It would be in that chicken scratching writing they seem to like.
After the election shouldn’t we go along in the true spirit of democracy?

I have a feeling the vote would be overwhelming for us to leave. After all, I’m sure the Iraqi parents are getting tired of having their own children added to that even longer list of people killed in action and they certainly wouldn’t blame themselves. That’s not human nature.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 29, 2005



Awhile back I posted a blog that had something to do with my age and my mystification at how could I have arrived at this age (82) with all the longevity rules I violated. I ended with a comment where I hoped it wasn’t intended that I do something great as I was having too much fun doing what I am doing now. I think I may have stumbled onto something I can do that might be great.

Yesterday I went to the Veterans Administration Clinic for my annual eye checkup. I have been diabetic since 1982 and uncontrolled diabetics tend to have eye problems. My exam went great. Though I do now wear eyeglasses my vision has not changed in the last year. They especially dilate the pupils and check carefully behind the eyes for any signs of macular degeneration.

I always hold my breath when they come to that part as my father had that happen to him and I had to watch his vision get worse each day until he was completely blind. He was in his sixties. For me to watch this healthy, active man turn into a listless creature, sitting in a chair staring straight ahead all day, was probably the worst experience of my life. Of course, it was worse for him. Amongst many other things, he never even got to see his grandchildren grow up. It was sad.
But yesterday my eyes checked out fine with no change in the past year.

So where does this “doing something great” come in?
It comes right here, right now.

There have been several thousand people stop by and some may have actually read something I wrote. If I can get one person to read about my father and his method of handling diabetes and if that one person changes something, then I will have done something great. Super-great, if there is such a thing.

You see, my dad was a stubborn man and somehow was convinced that he knew more about diabetes than doctors did. Many times I heard him say, “I have it they don’t.” In those days there was no oral medication but my dad would inject insulin. If he wanted to eat some cake he would just inject a little more insulin. It didn’t work.

Now, why don’t you make me great? If you are diabetic you know what you should do. You don’t like it but you know the drill. Do it and do it every minute of very day.

If you want a sample what will happen if you don’t shape up then try the Old Professor’s test. Just turn off your television set. Now sit in front of it all day and stare at the blank screen. Now imagine doing that for 365 days a year if you are lucky enough to live a year which might be iffy at best.

If by my writing this I might somehow touch one person who will make a change in his or her own or possibly some loved one’s life, I will truly have done something great. Really, really great.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 26, 2005



Do you know about Skype?

If you spend any significant amount of money on long-distance phone calls I hope you know about Skype.
There are several million people who use it regularly.

Skype is a free software program that allows you to converse, using voice, with any other person who has the Skype program installed. Conference calls can be set up too so that more than one person can use Skype at the same time. You also can transfer files while you are talking. I found that to be rather slow but it didn't interfere with the conversation at all.

I have used a couple of other “voice over internet” programs but found them all to be somewhat less satisfactory than the telephone. With Skype I find no difference.

Best of all, it’s completely free unless you opt to get into SkypeIn which allow calls from your computer to any regular telephone or SkypeOut which works globally. There are charges involved with that but they are much less than regular long distance telephone calls.

If you have any need for this at all go to their web site at www.skype.com and download the program. Of course, you will need a microphone and some listening device such as earphones.

Try it. You’ll like it. I promise.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 24, 2005



I see where someone finally won the Powerball Lottery yesterday after 20 previous drawings with no winner.The winner will get approximately 340 million dollars! It’s said the winner, who is unknown at this time, resides in Oregon. At least the winning ticket was sold in Oregon.

I have a daughter, Meggiecat, and she lives in Oregon. I’m hoping she was the winner as I’m sure she could use the money.

In fact, I had actually planned what I would do if I had been lucky enough to have won the money. I would give most of it to her keeping just barely enough to ward off the extra expenses of getting older so I wouldn’t become a burden to my children.

Of course, I would have given this money with no strings attached allowing her to do whatever she pleased with it. After all, it’s her life and she makes her own decisions and will need to live with them the rest of her life.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 20, 2005



I keep seeing these things in the newspaper that everyone else seems to think are perfectly normal.

(If you feel a need you can click above to read the story.)

At a glance I immediately became alarmed as my birthday is in March and I really was hoping to somehow delay it but according to Associated Press, March is no longer preventable.

Well, of course the real story is one about a Peace March that was planned in Toledo, Ohio but ended up with violent gang fights.

Maybe I should read more slowly or at least not jump to conclusions until I’ve read the story. What a radical idea.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 17, 2005



I wonder if it’s just me.(That’s what is known as a rhetorical question and needs no answer so, no matter how strong your feelings may be, please don’t feel compelled to comment on that statement.) Sometimes I glance at some headline I misread it getting a completely different idea from what the writer had in mind.

As an example, yesterday while browsing the MSNBC site I saw this:

Man coughs up screw after operation

It turns out that a man in Belgium had an operation 4 years ago where the doctors put a metal plate in his neck to help mend some damage from an accident.

He said, “I have had a cold for the past few days. I had a terrible cough a few days ago. That’s when I suddenly felt something in my mouth.”

“It turned out to be a screw.”

That certainly was unusual but not as interesting as I thought it would be when I quickly glanced at the headline and saw:

Man coughs and screws up operation

I mean the man coughing might be unusual, not screwing up an operation.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 15, 2005



We have observed a new word quietly creep into everyday use. The word itself isn’t really that new but we seem to hear a lot about “outsourcing” these days. Recently I had a technical problem with my Hewlett-Packard computer and received excellent technical help by phone and I was talking with a technician in India!

I suppose, like most things, it isn’t an “All Good” or “All Bad” situation. However, I think, and I believe most people think, outsourcing should not be done if there are capable people in this country who could perform the same service for the same cost. That’s why I was upset this morning when I saw the headline in our local paper, the Monterey County Herald.
Molester found in Uruguay
Come on now! Are we expected to believe there are no unemployed, or under-employed molesters in our own country so we needed to go to South America to find one? The last I heard there were several in prison and most of them are happy to work for enough money to buy cigarettes at the prison commissary. If they don’t currently exist in prisons then it should be easy enough to set up training programs. After all, how hard can it be?

Just another case of governmental lack of imagination.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 14, 2005



It's been almost 2 years now since I started wogging at the high school track every morning. In the hundreds of times I have circled that track I never have passed anyone. I don't really count that old lady with the aluminum walker because she had fallen and even though she seemed in a little pain I did manage to pass her. But other than that, all kinds of people overtake and go by me every day. Old people, young people, couples chatting, and once even a man who was running backwards.

I have wondered why this is because it seems to me I'm going as fast as I can. I think I may have inadvertently stumbled across the answer. Recently I received advertising in the mail offering to sell me some shoes called "Joggers".
At first I didn't notice but then I saw the shoes had a "New Streamlined Design" that "does away with wind resistance!"
So, I think I now know why everyone has been passing me. They are wearing special shoes. This gives them minimum wind resistance while my shoes are definitely holding me back. All this time I thought it was me. I may give the "Less Wind Resistance" approach a try.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 10, 2005



I have been told the famous Chinese restaurant dish we know as Chop Suey is not a Chinese dish at all. Jen-Chi tells she had never heard of it until she came to America. She told me about taking a cruise to China and arriving in Shanghai to see a huge sign AMERICAN CHOP SUEY RESTAURANT. There is an interesting article exploring this in some depth at this website.

Interestingly (to me) is a dish my mother used to make and I loved. It was ground beef and onions sautéed in a pan. Then it was combined with a can of Campbell'’s Condensed Tomato Soup, right out of the can. To this mixture was added some cooked elbow macaroni. She called it American Chop Suey. I always thought she had invented the dish as well as the name but I see recipes for it on the Internet so I guess I was mistaken.

However, when it comes to naming food, I do know of some originals. We are close to a lady who is married to a man who comes from Italy. At times she serves him what has come to be known as "“Spare Me Spaghetti". That might be as good as another lady who makes what is known as "Shut Up Meatloaf."

As the old proverb goes, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." I think you are allowed to substitute any food you choose for "pudding".

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
October 9, 2005



On September 7, 2005 I posted a blog describing my solution to the problem of having neighborhood dogs mistake our front yard as their personal toilet. I made 3 signs like this and posted them. They seem to be working well. The first thing I knew several other people also wanted these signs. This led me to believe there might be commercial possibilities hidden in there somewhere. I thought I might be able to sell them on the Internet, possibly with a special domain name.
As you no doubt know, there is an organization that assigns domain names and keeps them unique. For instance, I have www.oldprof.com and no one else can have that name.
So I looked into registering a name where I might sell my signs. Now, you aren't going to believe this but I swear it's true.
I first started with something simple like www.DogSign.com.
(I've added caps for readability)
That name was already taken.
So I moved it up to www.DogPoopSign.com.
That was taken.
I kept adding to the name until I got to www.NoDogPoopHereSign.com.
I kid you not, that was taken!
However, they offered alternative suggestions. One of them was www.TheFirstNoDogPoopHereSign.com.
That sounded too much like a bank:
The First National Bank of Dog Poop
That's probably taken too.
So, it's back to the drawing board.
Regarding The First National Bank of Dog Poop, A suggestion was made by a reader who uses the name s'mee. "No deposits- only WITHDRAWALS!"
Thank you, s'mee.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 7, 2005



What’s this thing about becoming older?
As I recall, when we were very young and asked certain questions we were told, “You’ll understand when you get older.”
When you wanted to drive car it was, “Someday, when you get older.”
Then you thought it might be nice to vote but were told, “You need to be older.”
You needed to be “older” to be able to go to work and even “older” to retire.
Then, all of a sudden the word “older” disappears.
Now it’s, “old”, as in, “Old people play bingo a lot.” or “Oh, he’s too old” or “You can’t live in that place unless you are old”.
So, I guess this is it. There isn’t any “older” anymore.
There should be a turnaround point somewhere so “old” people could have something to look forward to.
Like, “You can get a motorcycle when you are younger.”
That would be nice.
Not the motorcycle part especially but something new to look forward to.
When the future all looks the same it gets old. Or is it older?