Today, as the year comes to an end, I received a surprise. I can’t imagine why you should, but maybe you will remember a blog I posted in late April of 2006. It concerned my writing a Letter to the Editor department of our local newspaper. If you want a peek you can click here.
I had forgotten this letter since it concerned a section of rough pavement that has since been repaired. However, I was pleased to see that, once again, it was recognized as the splendid piece of literature it is. In the final issue of the paper for 2006 the editorial staff republishes about a dozen letters they received and enjoyed the most during the year. Now consider the paper publishes 365 days a year and there are always about 10 letters each day. Roughly that means there are more than 3,000 letters printed each year. So you can imagine my surprise when I turned to that page this morning and found my letter reprinted there. Not only was it there, it was Number 1.
For a short time it will be available at the paper but in case you miss it I’ll stick it in here also.

Letters to the editor

A Converted letter writer

Until now I haven't had much faith that letters to the editor ever accomplished much more than make the writer feel better. I may have changed my mind.
A short time ago someone wrote a letter taking the highway department to task for the stretch of Highway 1 going north between Carpenter Street and the turnoff to Pacific Grove. I agreed with the writer that this road is in terrible condition, but I couldn't see how a letter could change anything. I was wrong.
Apparently the highway department took heed. Now, as you drive north, just before Carpenter Street there is a neat, orange triangular sign that says in bold, black letters, "ROUGH ROAD."
Ah, the power of the press.

My name was here

I wonder if any letter to the editor ever won a Pulitzer Prize.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 31, 2006



I saw a headline on the front page of our local paper and thought, “How ironic.”

It read:
“Bush taking more time to craft new Iraq policy”

It might have been even better if he had taken more time in the first place.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 29, 2006



I know it must seem incredible to some that a couple approaching their mid-eighties would come across many romantic moments. Yet one happened to me the other day.

The lady who is the Love of my Life and I happened to meet, face to face, as we passed in a hallway. As we paused there for a moment I looked into her beautiful brown eyes and thought how lucky I was that such a lovely lady would be part of my life.

As this warm thought rolled around in my mind she continued to gaze into my eyes and whispered, “Your glasses need cleaning.”

Oh well.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 18, 2006



I’ve been seeing many television commercials about a product called Cialis. As I understand it this is supposed to assist males with erectile dysfunction and they say it will work for 36 hours. In the commercials there usually is a couple who are getting into a romantic mood when the doorbell rings. Lo and behold, there’s whole gang of people and they have come to visit. Any thoughts of romantic adventures obviously must be delayed. Here Cialis comes to the rescue because since using this product produces results that will last for 36 hours, the couple can get back to what they were planning as soon as the inconvenient crowd leaves.

In my opinion the advertisers are missing a great opportunity with this product. The 36-hour concept is great but why not advertise it as a product for elderly people who start out to do something and forget what it was but remember the next day?

That should work.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 17, 2006



President Bush has expanded the number of African nations receiving special U.S. aid to combat malaria. Mr. Bush says there can be no turning back from his goal of cutting the number of malaria deaths in half in the 15 hardest hit African countries.
Call me cynical but I visualize this announcement possibly coming after an earlier discussion President Bush might have had with his Press Secretary, Tony Snow. It might have gone like this:

PB: Ya know, Tone, these poll things aren’t looking as good as they were before.

TS: I know Mister President. It seems we are involved with some things that are rather unpopular these days.

PB: Well, there must be something out there that isn’t so unpopular.

TS: Yes sir.

PB: I saw a newspaper today and there was something about Israel. How about if I make a statement about Israel and Christmas or something?

TS: Respectfully sir, I think whatever you might say is going to offend someone and with your poll numbers you can’t affords to lose even one percent.

PB: Yup, I suppose you’re right about that. What about this malaria thing? Could we do something there that wouldn’t hurt the polls?

TS: That’s possible sir. You could issue a statement about that.

PB: Should I be for it or against it? What would be best in the polls?

TS: For or against malaria?

PB: Yah.

TS: Well, as far as the polls go it would be good for you to be against malaria.

PB: Okay then. You write it up that way and tell it to those reporter guys but be sure to emphasize that I am against malaria. In a few days we can take another poll and see how I’m doing.

TS: Yes sir.

Well, it could have happened that way..

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 15, 2006



I think it was around 1947 that I saw my first television set. I remember it clearly. It was at a bar in New York City and the television set measured 9 inches diagonally across the screen.  It was showing a hockey game in progress live.  Picture that, a 9-inch black and white TV showing a hockey game and I was behind the bar so I was about 10 feet away and I was hooked. I thought it was the most sensational thing I’d ever seen.

From then on I watched television develop to larger screens, then color pictures and now huge screens with high definition.  As this progressed I noticed watching sporting events kept getting better and better as the networks attempted to make the television viewer have the same experience as the person attending the event.

Now while watching football games I notice that almost all stadiums have now installed giant television screens at one end of the field in an attempt to make the ticket purchaser have the same experience as television viewer at home.

Wait a minute.  That means that a person can now buy a ticket, pay for parking, sit in the middle of crowd (often in bad weather) and not miss anything he could have seen if he stayed home.

What’s wrong with this picture?

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 5, 2006

P.S. I just remembered something the viewer at home doesn’t have.  He doesn’t get to experience that big fat guy with the beer who sits in front of you and jumps up to obstruct the view every time something exciting happens.