I would assume that just about everyone in the world knows the United States government maintains an airplane for the exclusive use of the President of the United States and his entourage. In fact, there actually are two airplanes and they both are called Air Force One. One reference I noticed indicates the cost of running one of these planes is $40,280 per hour.

The cost of operating Air Force One is $40,243 per hour of flight. Each year the Pentagon spends approximately $185 million on travel expenses for the President and his top aides, according to the House Post Office Committee's Subcommittee on Human Resources.

I also assume that most people have seen one or more movies where the pilot of the airplane is overpowered by bad guys and forced to carry out some evil mission. In each of the movies that I saw there is always a plea for someone who knows how to fly the airplane. Should we not take this into consideration when we choose our next president?

Now, it's a well-known fact that John McCain was a pilot in the United States Navy. It's equally well-known that Barack Obama was not. Would it not make sense for us to have a president who knows how to fly an airplane in the event of an emergency? On the other hand, I suppose it wouldn't cost too much to train a president to do this. After all, I was in the United States Navy and I flew airplanes so it couldn't be too hard.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 28, 2008


When I was about 45 years old I looked forward to the day when I would be 85 years old. I was sure that by that time I would have the answers to all the questions in life. It turns out that I now am 85 years old and I do know all the answers but find I have the problem that no one asks the questions.

As a good example, there's a question about, "What is the best speed to drive an automobile?" My many years of research and trial and error testing led me to the conclusion that the best speed to drive automobile is 42 mph. Yet, in spite of my knowing this, I see people driving at unsafe speeds every day. It's very easy to fall into the trap of driving the way these people do but I don't do that. I get into my lane and stay there driving 42 mph.

Very often I will have people in other cars wanting to ask a question, perhaps about safe driving speed. Sometimes they pull up next to me and yell what I assume to be questions. I don't have any idea why they would assume I would pull over, park and answer their question. I usually just roll down the window and shout as loud as I can, "42, 42". That usually answers their question but they usually ignore my advice and speed off dangerously sometimes waving a fist with one finger held up which I assume is a modern gesture meaning, "Thank you.".

Perhaps when they get to be 85 years old they will be wise enough to figure this out themselves. If they live that long.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 8, 2008



Okay, so the 2008 Summer Olympic Games are finished and Tibet is still not free and people are still not allowed to stand in front of tanks in Tinanmen Square but I think everyone must admit that at least China knows how to put on a show as evidenced with the opening ceremonies for the 2008 Summer Olympic Games in Beijing, China.

I thought that was about as good as it could possibly get but the closing ceremonies came close to matching it.

I understand that most of the performers were "volunteers". Some reports mentioned there were, perhaps, as many as a million of them.

As much as I enjoyed watching both ceremonies on television I can’t help but think, "That would buy a lot of rice."

I wonder if those same "volunteers" are out there with brooms the next morning cleaning up all the debris that surely was created by the fireworks.

Probably not.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 25, 2008



This year, in our area, they have an annual event is known the Concours d'Elegance. At this time, antique and classic automobiles come from all over the world to parade and be seen on display. We also see these antique cars driving around the highways with the drivers in costume, including wearing goggles as they did in the old days. I even saw an all chrome sports car. I mean, it was all polished chrome. Not just the bumpers and wheels and trim.

I wondered how all these expensive cars managed to get here. I know they don't drive these cars from all over the country. Then I happen to drive down one particular street and saw all of the moving vans lined up. These cars all have their own deluxe moving vans and drivers to take them wherever they need to go. I thought that was nice and that these people must have a lot of money.

Then I was reading about the Olympic equestrian events. I saw beautiful and expensive horses from all over the world and I wondered how they got to be in Beijing, China to compete. I then heard they have special airplanes fitted out with almost anything a horse would need. I thought that was nice and that these people must have a lot of money.

Then I saw this picture.

I thought, well, I wasn't sure what to think.

What do you think?

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 22, 2008



Today I had occasion to drive by a motel. In front there was a huge sign proclaiming to the world that it was the LONE OAK LODGE. This seemed strange inasmuch as there didn’t seem to be an oak tree in sight – lone or otherwise. There was one tall palm tree but that was all.

It made me wonder how that place got its name. Perhaps at one time there was an oak tree there but it was no longer and they just didn’t change the name. After all, what a motel is doesn’t necessarily need to be represented by its name.

Just a little farther down the road there was another motel called QUALITY INN. That made me wonder too. After all, what a motel is ...

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 12, 2008



Today I was in my dentist’s office and noticed this unusual sign. I made me wonder about punctuation. Now, I’m not a stickler for such things but do believe most of the rules exist for a reason and violating the rules can give a false interpretation.

Now, in this sign the word “Technologist” might rate an opening upper case letter much the same as President or General might. Although technically that’s not the correct way unless we say, “Yes, X-ray Technologist Smith” as you might say, “Yes, General Smith.” (A note here: There is no provision for saying, “No, General Smith". No one says "No" to a general.”)

So, we might move to the word “Pregnant.” I suppose you might speak to a lady and say, “Yes, Pregnant Smith.” but that doesn’t sound very nice. Maybe, “Yes, you are Pregnant Smith.” Meaning I agree, you are the Mrs. Smith who is pregnant. But that phrasing is a bit awkward.

Anyway, I was in the chair long enough to get that fairly well sorted out in my mind but I never did quite get the “X-Ray Taken” at the end. That must have been a signature of a person with the first name of “Xavier”, a middle name of “Raymond” and the surname of “Taken”.

Very strange.

I mean the sign.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 7, 2008

PS For those of you who are ridiculing this waste of time: What do you do when you are stretched out and then told, "Don't move. I'll be right back."? What do you do for the next 30 minutes? I read all the signs and look at all the charts.



By now I suppose everyone is aware of the Olympic Games being held in China. Many will recall the lighting of the torch ceremony. It’s sort of a tradition for a torch to be lit someplace on earth and passed from runner to runner until it is delivered to the stadium to open the games. The identity of the last person who carries the torch and lights the flame is usually kept secret.
The previous Olympic Games featured an ailing Mohamed Ali running up the steps and lighting the cauldron of the Olympic Flame. One of the reasons he had this honor was because, amongst his many other accomplishments, in 1960 he was the gold medal winner boxing in the light heavyweight division
There is much speculation as to who will light the torch this time.

I have a hunch based on very little information but it does seem strange to me that the President of the United States, George Bush, is flying all the way to Beijing at this particular time. It seems like a long way to travel just to watch games.

Do you suppose?


The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
August 6, 2008