For a couple of years now my smiling face has appeared here to the right of this text. Well, I have a confession to make. I don’t look like that. Today I actually look like this.
 My Photo
The difference is very subtle but perhaps you notice there are now 2 front teeth missing. I don’t care for the look much in spite of the fact that some think this improves my overall appearance –-- “gives me character” they say. Well, I’ve seen many characters and just looking like one doesn’t seem to be a huge plus for me. Allow me to explain how I got this look.

It was October in New England and the colorful leaves were leaving the trees and I was 12 years old. Yes, I was 12 years old once and still remember it. Well, some of it. In our neighborhood there were 2 young girls about my age who were having fun raking up the leaves into a big pile. Don’t ask me why, but at the time I thought it would be really hilarious for them to rake up the leaves and for me to run through the pile strewing leaves all over the place. I did that and received the expected reaction. The girls cried and I laughed.

But they recovered and raked the leaves up again. I decided to run through the pile again. One of the girls was against this idea and as I approached the pile of leaves she swung the rake handle at me. Her aim was great and just as I arrived at the leaves the rake handle hit my mouth breaking the 2 front teeth. Probably I would have made out better if I hadn’t been yelling with my mouth wide open. But several years would pass before I learned that keeping my mouth shut was very often the best thing to do.

So for the past 72 years I have been deceiving everyone by showing 2 front teeth that were actually manufactured in a lab and in some way were fastened in my mouth. Tomorrow I go to see the dentist. She probably will laugh and explain to me that my idea of having a relaxed retirement without having to worry about money was just a foolish dream. I wish I could remember the name of the girl who hit me. Wouldn’t it be ironic if my dentist was her daughter? Anything is possible!

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 23, 2007

PS The new window was installed today and now all is well with that.



This morning I was once again wogging at the track .For those of you who were absent when we discussed “wogging” a free explanation can be yours by clicking here.

I was reminded of a rhyme we used to say when I was in the Navy long ago.
When confused
And in doubt
Run in circles
Scream and shout
Even though I don’t feel in doubt about much I found I was indeed running in circles --– well, sort of running. Maybe I was sort of in doubt about some things.

But “confused” is a different question. I’m confused about almost everything. I use this wogging time to possibly sort out some things that confuse me the most. This morning I was confused by the term “pigeon toed”. Almost everyone know this refers to a condition where a person walks with the toes are pointing inward instead of straight ahead. The confusion came in my mind when I saw a pigeon walking. I wondered if there are some pigeons that walk with the feet pointing straight ahead. If so, do they refer to those pigeons as person-toed? And do the young pigeons tease the person-toed pigeon about it? And, in school do they have to take art classes instead of gym and every time there’s a team are they the last person chosen?

So, trying to figure out things like that are part of the reason I run in circles. I haven’t got to the “scream and shout” stage yet but sometimes I do hear voices.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 21, 2007



I finally figured it out - I think.

For about 2 years I religiously wogged around the local high school track almost every morning. But for the past year and a half I've been unable to do this for a variety of legitimate reasons. There were things involving hernia surgery and other things involving walking a dog and no dogs are allowed at the track. But I finally am back to the track on what I hope is a regular basis.

During my absence I noticed that someone had lengthened the distance around the track. It seems to be longer. The sign still has it posted as quarter of a mile but it seems longer than I remembered it.

One thing hasn't seemed to change. Everyone, including one elderly woman with a cane, seems to go faster and pass me while I, on the other hand, have never passed anyone. Well, I don't count that woman with the cane as she had tripped and fallen.

But today I may have discovered their secret. While thinking about increasing my speed I decided to observe the high school track team practicing. Since they specialize in running fast I might be able to learn something. Well, I did indeed learn something and it wasn't as secret as I had thought it might be.

With my binoculars to help me observe, I took a seat in the spectator area. I was hoping to see one of the running coaches teaching a student how to run faster. It didn't take me long to find the real secret. The runners have little nails sticking out of the bottom of their shoes! I didn't notice this before because they are rather short nails and not at all obtrusive. In fact I hadn't noticed them on any of the people going past me previously. I didn't even notice them on the lady who fell but she must have had them. In fact, everyone must have been wearing nailed shoes and I never even noticed.

So today I will go to a store and buy some short nails and tomorrow I'll be the one doing the passing. I suppose I should remove those shoes before I come into the house. I'm only guessing, but I think they might be hard on the carpet.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 20, 2007



On August 6, 2007 there was a mining accident in Utah. Six miners were trapped and we all followed the rescue attempts, which so far have been unsuccessful. It was covered on all the television networks and given much newspaper space as well.

Friday, August 19, 2007 there was another mining accident. In this case almost 200 miners were trapped and presumed dead. This was in China and I read about it in a small story on Page 7 of our newspaper and didn’t see it mentioned on television at all, though I’m sure it was and I didn’t see it.

Then today (Sunday) the Chinese disaster was mentioned again in a small item on Page 12. The Utah accident was still a big story on Page 2.

Just for my own information (which I now will share with you) I wondered what an internet search would show. I went to Google and searched for “Utah mining accident” – with the quotation marks. (If you are unfamiliar with Google, the quotation marks are important. Otherwise it would find every mention of “Utah” and every mention of “mining” and everywhere “accident” was mentioned.) My search produced 80,100 sites where “Utah mining accident” was mentioned.

Then I did the same thing again only I searched for “China mining accident”. This time I found 1,590 references cited.

“Utah mining accident” 80,100
“China mining accident” 1,590

What, if anything, does that mean? Does it mean that Utah miners are 50 times more interesting than Chinese miners? Or does it say something about all of us? Are we getting so used to death figures they are becoming meaningless? What about the hundreds of thousands who died in the Rwandan genocide and the 400,000 or so already dead in Darfur?

I won’t even mention Iraq.

Those of you who have read stuff I’ve written previously know that this blog is very uncharacteristic of The Old Professor. I apologize. I usually don’t post things this serious or serious at all for that matter. Perhaps this came to my attention because I’m closely involved with a wonderful Chinese lady but I don’t think that’s it. It’s more that I feel there’s something wrong and wonder why it is so. I’m reminded of an old movie called “…And Justice For All”, starring Al Pacino”. In one scene he was in a courtroom. He jumped up and screamed, “There’s something wrong here! Something terribly wrong!”

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 19, 2007



I've received several comments and questions regarding the Infinity Razor which I wrote about on 6/26/07. I subtly suggested not buying one. Well, actually I said, "INFINITY RAZOR -- DO NOT BUY IT !!"
Shutterbug left this comment:
what bothers me about it is, if you will never need another, they why do they send you 2 of them??????????????

Oh, they explain that. One for upstairs and one for downstairs or, if a person lives on one floor, it's an extra one for the other bathroom. If that fails, it's available for a guest to use. You know how often that happens. A guy (or strange gal) shows up and forgets to bring a razor. Actually, a good way to cure them of that is to give them an Infinity Razor. Not only will they not forget the next time but there's a better than even chance they never will speak to you again and that would be a good thing.
The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 18, 2007



I’m sure I’m not the first to notice that we have much we could learn from other species. This was brought to my attention the other day when I saw a spider web. It would ordinarily be unseen except it was covered with morning dew.

A spider had chosen to construct its delicate trap across a path I often use. It was a magnificent piece of engineering and still puzzles me as to how the spider managed to construct this masterpiece, which hung suspended from one tree to another. However, though the architecture was flawless the location could have been better. By design the web is almost invisible. One morning I could see it because of the moisture condensed on it. However, usually it’s unseen and I have managed to walk into it thereby destroying the beauty as well as the functionality of it.

But the next day it was back! A tribute to the tenacity of the spider and I believe there is a lesson we all could learn.

Perhaps some of us have higher reasoning powers and have already learned this and the spider should eventually figure this out. One of the fundamental laws of nature states that no matter how well designed something is or how well constructed it is, someone will come along and screw it up no matter how often you rebuild it.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 15, 2007



(This is the second blog I've posted today. Please check my other one too. It's below this one.)

I’ve never heard of this or even suspected it existed.

Last evening we were watching a television program and the telephone rang.

I answered it.

I recorded voice said, “You are being contacted by the America for Americans Committee” (or something like that).

It went on to say, “All of our operators are busy at this time. Please hold and someone will be with you as soon as possible.”

I am very familiar with this message when I am calling to ask for assistance about something but I never had experienced it when I was getting an unsolicited, unwanted phone call.

But what can you do? Think about it. The only way to complain is to stand there, with the phone to your ear and wait however long it takes until someone starts talking to you. Then you can complain and hang up.

Is the world getting weirder or am I just beginning to recognize it more? Probably both.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 11, 2007


On August 2nd I posted a blog (See below) describing how I had bumped a fairly small crystal pyramid off the top of a low bookshelf and it had slowly and methodically proceeded to destroy a very large glass windowpane. At the time I mentioned that some people believe the crystal pyramid has some metaphysical powers. I also mentioned that I uttered several metaphysical exclamations. Some people have asked about that. Specifically, a lady called riseoutofme asked how many metaphysical explanations I knew

I would have used those words in the original blog but was afraid there might be censors lurking to delete such words. However, I’ll take a chance even though I have seen censored letters during World War II and, in those days, they actually cut the words out with a sharp blade of some kind. Often the end result looked more like a piece of lace than a letter.

First I said, “Oh xxxx”. Then, in awe, I muttered, “I'll be a xxxxx

Then I called, “Look at this XXXXXX thing.”

We will need to call the “XXXXXXXX“ window man tomorrow.


So, assuming those did get by the censors, that should be enough to get most beginners started in the metaphysical exclamations business.

By the way, it will be 2 or 3 weeks before the xxxxxx glass people can get the job done and they require a XXXXX 50% deposit before they will even take the order.


The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 11, 2007



Have you ever read anything similar too this? “If everyone in the country would change just one regular incandescent light bulb to a fluorescent type it would be the same as taking 4200 cars off the road.” Those may not be the exact numbers but I’m sure they are equally valid.

Have you ever wondered who gets these figures and how?

I think someone just makes them up. I have no idea why except possibly to get their 15 minutes of fame that Andy Warhol’s promised.

I even think I could create one.

If everyone in America would eat one less egg a month that would mean fewer trucks would be needed to ship the eggs and that alone would provide enough gasoline to run every automobile in the African nation of Chad for over a year.

Now, I challenge anyone to prove that’s not true.

But that isn’t the way that science works or at least it isn’t supposed to work that way. One doesn’t make a statement and if no one proves it wrong it becomes fact. But now that I think of it, maybe that’s not true. It seems that Hitler did exactly that prior to and during World War II. In fact, it was well known that his philosophy was, “Make a lie big enough and repeated it often enough and people will believe it.”

Maybe we should all be careful about what we hear as it relates to what we think, especially with an election coming up because when it comes to telling the truth during election campaigns, there are no guarantees.

I must make a note to remember that.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 9, 2007



We have had quite an experience here. Or I should say we are having quite an experience because it’s not over yet.

A little background:

Our house has lots and lots of big windows. This is wonderful as it allows the sunlight in and lets us look out to the beautiful landscaping Jen-Chi has done. I realize this would be most impractical in many climates but luckily we are mild here in Carmel, CA. I especially like our bedroom where fortunately we are hidden from neighbors and therefore have no drapes on the floor-to-ceiling glass windows. I enjoy waking in the morning and seeing the tall pine trees and, sometimes, blue skies.

In front of one of the exterior walls is a low bookcase. In addition to books there are cassettes and CDs as well as a small crystal pyramid about 6 or 7 inches tall. As well as being an attractive ornament there are those who believe crystals have some metaphysical powers. I know for sure they are hard because Friday night, while getting ready to go to bed, I accidentally bumped the crystal off the bookcase and it hit the base of a window which is 6 feet wide and 8 feet tall. Immediately a crack appeared starting at the point of impact and running diagonally across the pane of glass to the top corner. The glass is a tempered safety glass so I assume that is why the crack didn’t suddenly appear but rather traveled across the pane.

I uttered an appropriate metaphysical expletive and repeated it as a second crack appeared emanating from the same point of impact and running up the window. Then there was a third one and a fourth and so on. These cracks kept appearing one after another. As soon as one crack finished its journey to the other side another one started. These were not in rapid succession but maybe a second or two apart. The window continued doing this for about 4 hours quieting down around 1AM. By some miracle no glass fell out and the morning showed us a beautifully designed window.

We boarded it up and called the glass people about replacing it.

We also called the insurance people and here is where we learned something very interesting.

We have what is known as a "500 Dollar Deductible" policy. In case you don't know, this means in the event of some damage to our house the insurance company will pay for fixing it after we pay the first 500 dollars. There is one exception and that is for replacing glass. If that happens our policy covers all except the first 50 dollars! I know, we had trouble believing it too but have checked with the insurance company 3 times and it's true. This window alone will run over 2000 dollars and we will pay 50 and they will pick up the rest of the bill. Amazing!

Strangely, if we had a glass company boarded it up for us too it would go as a 500 Dollar Deductible. It didn't take a genius to figure out the way to go on that. We boarded it up and the glass company will do the glass. It will be interesting to watch and see how they will manipulate a sheet of glass that size up to an upstairs bedroom.

Stay tuned.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 2, 2007