There is a rather famous short story attributed to Ernest Hemingway where it’s said he wrote a short story that consisted of only six words. He wrote, “For sale, baby shoes, never used.”

I wasn’t able to write a decent one that was as brief but I did come up with a very short story I call, “How Did You Like It?

In 1968 the United State State Department sent me to Malawi, Africa to help set up a Technical School. I was there for 2 years, 1 day, 4 hours and 7 minutes.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
November 13, 2010



Most of the time my life is fairly mundane giving me little of interest to report. However, every once in a while I have a day that is so unusual that reporting it becomes a problem in that few will believe it actually happened. But I’ll swear that what I’m about to relate is absolutely, 100 percent, the truth.

As yesterday was progressing I began to sense it was going to be a different day -- a special day. Therefore I was unusually alert for details. But before I knew it the day had passed and I realized a complete twenty-four hours had gone by and nothing unusually exciting had happened.

I didn’t trip or fall down even once.

I didn’t break any bones anywhere on my body.

I didn’t go to the hospital in an ambulance.

A most unusual day!

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
November 12, 2010



The first time I heard about “surge protection” I misheard the question and thought the subject was “urge protection.” I thought it was some kind of adolescent birth control thing.

But it was not that. Surge protection refers to protecting electrical devices from being overloaded by a surge of excessive electricity from the power company.

“Who needs that?” you ask. "This house was built about 35 years ago and we have never had a problem like that."

Until last month.

It was late one Saturday afternoon couple of weeks ago when we heard a load explosion and all the lights went out. We were suddenly without power. Subsequently we were to learn that there had been some kind of problem with one of the Electric Company’s transformers and somehow a billion volts or amps or something went coursing through our house. Almost all of our appliances suffered some kind of burnout and no longer functioned.

After having several different electricians and appliance repair people evaluate the situation it was determined that replacing ALL of these appliances with new ones was less expensive than trying to repair what was left of the old ones.

So, we now have a brand new microwave oven, washing machine, clothes drier, refrigerator, garage door opener, heating thermostat and telephone.

Oddly, my computer was located in a room that had been built as an addition some years ago and luckily was on a different circuit so it was spared any damage.

In addition, a few years ago we bought a large screen TV. (See blog of 11/9/2004) At that time the sales person convinced me that purchasing a rather expensive surge protector for this very expensive new TV set was a good investment. Ever since then I have silently complained about having been taken advantage of by this sales person. But that protection device gave it’s life to save our big screen TV set. Otherwise, a new TV set and digital video recorder would also be on the list of things that needed to be repurchased.

So now we have mostly new appliances and are in the process of gathering the extensive paper work needed to attempt to get the power company to acknowledge their responsibility for the damage and thus for the cost of the replacements.

Meanwhile, there is an electrician at work right now installing a “whole house surge protector.” So, when this happens again 35 years from now we will be protected and be able to keep all of our appliances which will then be 35 years old.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
November 11, 2010



As I’ve mentioned before I tripped and broke my right hip a couple of months ago. I spent most of the month of June in a rehab facility where I was under the care of a lovely Physical Therapist named Sherry. Even though at the time I felt she was terribly mean spirited because she pushed me hard. However, today, some four months later, my left hip feels 100% and I’m very grateful to Sherry. We have become friends and stay in touch via e-mail since then.

So, not being content with being just plain normal, about a month ago I tripped and fell again. This time it was the knee on the other side that took the brunt of the fall. It turned out the knee cap, AKA, the patella, wasn’t broken but an MRI showed damage inside the knee. The orthopedic surgeon says it will be between 8 and 12 weeks before it fixes itself and I get back to normal.

So, I am back to exercise, pain and frustration. However, I did receive some excellent advice from Sherry, who you remember was my Physical Therapist during the hip adventure. She came up with some fantastic advice and I will follow it to the best of my ability. She wrote, “Stop falling down!!”

I considered this very good advice and, since it came from a medical professional, I plan on following her counsel to the letter.

It also occurs to me that this advice might benefit others too. So, if you know of someone who might profit from this advice feel free to pass it on. I’m sure Sherry won’t mind.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
November 10, 2010