I understand the Dead Sea Scrolls were written on papyrus so they would last a long time. And, according to what I hear, Moses, with the same idea in mind, used stone. I’m left wondering what material I could use today to assure a message would be readable many, many years from now.

You may wonder why this would interest me. Allow me to explain. Our home is 5 or 6 miles away from the Pacific Ocean. (I was about to say “inland from the Pacific Ocean” – duh) Last night I listened to a discussion about global warming and heard that it is expected sea level will have risen a foot by the end of this century. It was pointed out that a continuing rise in sea level would eventually mean great damage to coastal cities and maybe even eliminate Florida -- if that’s important to anyone.

This made me think about our property inasmuch as we aren’t that far from the ocean. I used Google Earth to see what our elevation was and found we are exactly 132 feet above sea level. That means that in only about 120 centuries from now we could be expensive beach front property. That’s a mere 12,000 years from now!

Of course I won’t be here. I’ve already figured that out but I do want to get some long-lasting material in order to jot down a note for the owners telling them just how to go about jiggling the handle on the toilet to make the water stop running. It would seem like a decent thing to do.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 24, 2007



I’m sure most people have noticed this without my pointing it out but old people walk in a different manner than younger people. In addition to being slower their stride is usually shorter and perhaps they don’t seem quite as steady on their feet. Now this is “most older people” – not all. All right, many older people. Well, some older people then.

The last time I had my annual physical the doctor mentioned that over 80% of his patients my age seem to have had some kind of a fall. I think perhaps he noticed I don’t feel as nimble on my feet as I once did. Surprise, surprise!

This led me to try to analyze what I might be able to do so I wouldn’t “walk like an old man.” So, I deliberately try to lengthen my stride and walk as though I had a purpose. I also experimented with having my feet farther apart than I normally would. This led me to a remarkable observation.

If I walk with my feet farther apart my shoulders seem to automatically move in a different way. It seems like sort of a swagger. It reminded me of the way the actor John Wayne used to stride when he went about saving the world from whatever was endangering it that day. I could just picture him walking up to the bad guy with his feet somewhat apart and his shoulders swaggering.

Then it hit me. My God, this man projects confidence but, in reality, he’s trying to keep from falling down! Could it be that one of the world’s greatest he-men is constantly on the verge of tipping over. It’s possible. Anything is possible – so they say but I can't personally vouch for this being true.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 19, 2007



This morning I climbed out of the shower and passed by a mirror. I thought what I saw was unusual enough to capture the image for eternity. So using the camera feature in my cell phone I grabbed this self-portrait. But then came the hard part. I needed to give it a title or a name otherwise it might fall into that vast pile of pictures that no one remembers.

Everyone knows about “Washington Crossing the Delaware “ or “Whistler’s Mother”. And the image of “Mona Lisa” is still easily recalled by many and that’s because they all had names that were easily remembered. I thought of an easy one for my soon to be immortal image.


The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 17, 2007



Recently it was discovered that the Light Brown Apple Moth has appeared in our area. I understand it came from Australia and is well known as a voracious eater. “The Authorities” deemed it imperative that the area be aerial sprayed with something called Checkmate OLR-F. This has caused uproar from the people who don’t really have enough to cause uproars about.

My Google search led me to discover it is supposed to be harmless to humans. In fact, it’s supposed to only affect the Light Brown Apple Moth and I found the way it does this to be interesting.

Checkmate OLR-F is a pheromone that doesn’t kill the Light Brown Apple Moth. Instead applying very low amounts of the female pheromone upsets of the distribution of pheromone and the male moth cannot follow the female’s pheromone trail, and therefore the moths do not mate, eggs are not fertilized and the mating cycle is disrupted.

I can’t help but wonder if any of this pheromone stuff had been recently sprayed around the Minneapolis Airport or possibly in some large areas of Idaho. It might possibly explain a lot that’s been in the news lately. It might even provided a defense. I doubt if it can do much for a reelection. The public is not that gullible – oh, wait a minute – Weapons of Mass what?

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 9, 2007



Today I ran into a scary thing as I went for my usual wogging session. (Click on the word wogging if it is unfamiliar to you.) I was there early enough to get a couple of laps in before people started to arrive. I asked one lady what was going on and she told me there was going to be a football game for the 14-year olds.

Soon, as I was wogging down the home stretch, I saw two young men walking towards me. Since they were carrying big cases and appeared to be around 14-years old, I assumed they were carrying the equipment they were going to wear during the game. As they passed me I said, “Go gettum, guys. Good luck.”

Now here comes the scary part: One of them said, “Thank you sir.”

That’s something you don’t hear very often these days. I smiled and felt good all the way home. Maybe the future will be in good hands after all.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 9, 2007



This morning I was at the high school track for my usual wogging session. (Click on wogging if the word is unfamiliar to you) As I go around and around I find myself playing mind games to pass the time.I often wonder about things I see, hence my calling it “Wonderland.”

Sometimes I wonder about the elderly Japanese gentleman I met there a few weeks ago. He is the ONLY person who travels slower than I do. I even manage to overtake him and pass him once in awhile. He told me he was 85 years old and his doctor advised to walk a mile every day so he comes to the track to walk his mile early every morning. Each morning as I observe him I wonder about him. I wonder if I should tell him that once around the track is a quarter of a mile – not a mile. I've decided not to say anything.

Yesterday I wondered about a different man who was walking faster than I was and passed me. When I started I was the only person on the track and I was wearing my earphones, listening to music. I didn’t know this man was coming up behind me or I probably wouldn’t have been doing a sing-along with Barbra Streisand. But having the earphones on covered the sound of his approaching steps or I certainly would not have been singing for his benefit. Not only my singing isn’t that good but just as he came up on me Barbra and I belted out:

” He touched me, he put his hand near mine
And then he touched me
I felt a sudden tingle when he touched me
A sparkle, a glow”

I don’t know how much he heard but I did notice he started walking faster and left before I had a chance to explain. I wonder what he thought.

Another event that still has me wondering involves a shoe. Someone left a shoe beside the track and it’s been there for more than a week. Just one shoe.

Now I can see how a pair of shoes could be carelessly left behind but I wonder about the one shoe. How come it’s not missed? I wonder if the person has only one leg and come to the track to do hogging. (That’s a combination of hopping and jogging.) That would be with only one leg.

Now this is the only hopper I could find on the Internet but she’s in England. Additionally, it’s the wrong foot. Of course she could have been hopping on one foot and carrying the shoe in her hand. That would make sense. Wouldn’t it?

I hear them coming. I think I need to go lie down now.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 8, 2007



This article is the ninth in a series of articles where an 84-year Old Professor attempts to find out "what it's all about" after learning it isn't as simple as putting your right foot in and putting your right foot out and then putting your right foot in and you shaking it all about. After which you do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around. That's not what it's all about. Not even close in spite of what we've been taught all these years.

I was thinking about eating corn or more specifically, corn on the cob. Why do many people say they eat corn on the cob when even casually observing the process it's fairly obvious we are eating the corn off the cob?

Stimulated by this line of thought I began to wonder about the various ways that corn on the cob is eaten. This seems to be an area that has been largely ignored by researchers. I seem to naturally start at the left end** of the ear of corn and nibble my way to the right end. At that point I return to the left end and go across again much in the manner of the old fashioned typewriters. I have no idea why starting at the left end seems so natural when it's equally efficient to start at the right end. Perhaps it's because it's the way I read - left to right.

I'll need to investigate how my Jewish friends eat corn on/off the cob. I understand that Hebrew writing is read from right to left and perhaps corn is eaten that way too.

But then when I observe my lifetime partner eat corn and she goes about it in much the same manner I do. However, she is Chinese and lived all of her formative years in China. Their writing goes up and down so my original theory probably will not hold water although eating corn that way would be a very efficient way to do it. If one started nibbling up (or down) and continued to spiral around until all the corn was eaten there would be no wasted time or effort in going back and forth to start all over again. In controlled studies my observations have proven that 50% of the lateral effort is non-productive.

** The expression, "start at the left end" assumes the nibbler is the one viewing the corn. If an observer were facing the nibbler, it would be the right end.

I need to go someplace and lie down and rest now. This research stuff is very tiring.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 4, 2007



I wanted clearly understood that homosexuality does not bother me in any way. Would it affect my vote if I knew a political candidate was homosexual? No, not even a little bit.

However, I have strong feelings about the recent episode involving Senator Craig (R) from Idaho. I don’t care much about what happened in the men’s room that led to his arrest. What he did after does bother me. Homosexuality doesn’t bother me. Stupidity does and what he did there was really stupid only to be topped by that ultra-stupid press conference later.

The person I really felt sorry for was his wife. During that press conference she stood next to him and I imagine she was thinking; “Now everyone in the world knows I married a moron.”

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
September 2, 2007