The other day I spotted something in a newspaper. It seems there is a man who is compiling a history of the interrogation of Nazi prisoners during World War II. There was a special compound where these prisoners were held and interrogated by special members of the United States Army. These interrogators were sworn to secrecy and even after they were discharged from the military service they were not allowed to speak of what they had done or were they had been. One man, who is now well over 80 years old, said that all of the time he was married his wife never knew what he did when he was in the Army. According to the historian, he needs to hurry his research because, in his words, "These men are quite frail and disappearing rapidly."

It seemed funny to me that I had never thought of myself as "frail" and I mentioned this to one of my daughters. Her reply was a questioning, "Really?" So I wondered if I really knew what "frail" meant. As usual I went to the dictionary.

Possibly I do meet some, or at lease one, of those definitions and I certainly don't feel that way. This made me wonder, "Why not?" For some reason I thought of how a sword is manufactured. In case you didn't know, to make a sword you start with a piece of steel and heat it up until it is a nice glowing red color. Then you take some sort of a large hammer and begin pounding on it trying to flatten it out. After a while the red glow disappears and you reheat the metal until it's red again. Then, once again, you take the big hammer and beat the hell out of it.

In order to make a good strong sword this process must be repeated several times. In fact, the more times the metal is beat up on, the stronger it is. This made me wonder if it might not be the same for people. If so, I certainly have been through that process often enough. Perhaps that's why I feel stronger. Maybe it's just that I've had the emotional hell beat out of me enough times that I have finally attained the strength of a good sword.

That explanation was sufficient for me for a while but then my background in manufacturing came to mind. There is one very important thing I didn't mention that's required to make a good sword. You first must start with a piece of metal that has some good stuff inside. If that isn't there to begin with you can beat on it from now until eternity and you will never get a sword -- at least not a good sword.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 26, 2006



Since wearing a sweatshirt with some kind of printing on it seems to be a popular thing to do, I think someone could make some money selling a sweatshirt that looks like this.
Basically I feel it’s a rather attractive design with the Chinese characters across the front. In addition, if you were wearing this someone would certainly ask, “What does that mean?” You would just reply, “I don’t understand Chinese.”

Since that is what it actually says (or so I’m told) imagine the interesting conversations that might follow.

I wish I could say this was 100% my idea but it wasn’t. I heard some stand-up comedian mention it as an idea for a tatoo. I’d give him credit if I knew his name but unfortunately the age factor is apparently moving in and I don’t remember it.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 17, 2006



I have a friend in Scotland who recently told me she had visited Drummond Castle Gardens. This place has a really nice website with many good pictures of the gardens. However, there was one thing that caught my attention. There was a notice of what the admission charges were for 2006.
Admission 2006:
Adults £4.00
Superadults £3.00
Children £1.50
10% discount for groups of 20 or more
Limited disabled access

I think I finally have found an appealing description of what I am. I never quite bought into "Senior Citizen" or any of those other terms but now I can proudly admit to being a Superadult!

The Super Professor
Carmel, CA
August 9, 2006



As you may recall we have a very small dog named Jake. We also live in a house where our bedroom is upstairs and we would prefer that Jake did not come upstairs during the night. I tried to explain this to Jake but occasionally finding him nosing around the bed at 3 a.m. required I take additional steps.

First I stapled a small piece of Velcro on the face of the bottom stair.
Then I found on old mailing box and cut it to fit and glued on a matching piece of Velcro. I then pressed the box against the bottom stair.
To be sure there was no misunderstanding I painted a sign on it.
This sign explained that there were to be NO DOGS UPSTAIRS.
I was amazed that this dog, with little or no formal education, was able to read that sign and he didn't come upstairs.
I decided to test him further and got another box.
This time I wrote the message in French.
I know you'll find this hard to believe, I find it hard to believe myself, but that dog can read French just as well as he can read English.

Amazing! I may test him in other languages too.

The Old Professor

Carmel, CA
August 6, 2006



I think I may have accidentally stumbled upon the answer to a question people have been asking for many many years. What happens at the end? The way I discovered this was quite accidental which is how most great discoveries are made.

Not far from here there is a country club called RANCHO CAÑADA. I personally speak very little Spanish but almost anyone can see this means, "Ranch that isn't in Canada". Every once in awhile they put on a thing and they call a Crab Fest. It actually is a wonderful buffet dinner with an all-you-can-eat meal. As the name indicates there are heaping piles of fresh Dungeness Crab as well as prime ribs of beef and almost endless tables of other wonderful food. It was a fantastic dining experience!

I had never been to RANCHO CAÑADA before but we went with friends who guided us there. This is when I discovered what happens at the end. We turned off the main highway on to a straight narrow road that came to an abrupt end. Just in case one didn't know the road had ended there was a sign posted that read END.
When we looked to the left we saw the entrance to RANCHO CAÑADA.
When we look to the right there was a driveway to a church.
Underneath the END sign there was another sign that seemed to me to indicate what one should do at the END.
PLAY or PRAY. Those were the only choices.
There wasn't any preference indicated so I assume when one gets to the end it's a matter of individual choice.
We always want to do the right thing but this time we turned left.
And a great time was had by all!

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 5, 2006

By the way,
I think RANCHO CAÑADA really refers to a ranch located in a small valley between hills.



I wonder when this happened and how long it was before I noticed it.  Has anyone else noticed that somehow the earth has moved farther away from our feet and it hasn't even been mentioned on the news?  I noticed that especially today when I needed to do a small job involving some tools that were on the floor.  I found that picking up those tools seemed to be a lot more difficult than it used to be.  The only thing I can attribute this to is the fact that the earth must of somehow moved farther away from my feet than where it used to be because I can clearly remember being able to bend over and pick up a tool with one hand while doing something else with the other.  The present distance makes that impossible.  

I can only wonder what kind of an effect of this will have on the economy inasmuch as people such as carpenters, car mechanics, plumbers and so forth are constantly picking up things from the floor.  Now it will take them some time longer, which of course translates to more costly.

I don't know how they did it and I don't really even have any objection to them doing it I just wish they had told me either before they did it or at least after they did it.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 4, 2006