A few weeks ago I ran into another one of my mysteries. Something disappeared and nobody seemed to know how or exactly when this happened. The missing item was a wide mouth funnel of the type that is used in home canning operations. I sometimes used it to pour a thick drinks from the blender into a tall glass. One day it was gone so I decided to order a replacement.

I went online to E-Bay and found several but there was one particular funnel that seemed like a bargin that was too good to be true. It was a “wide mouth, stainless steel funnel.” The “buy it now” cost was only one dollar and twenty-nine cents ($1.29) and the shipping was free. I couldn’t pass up a bargain like that so I ordered one and began to wait. I waited three weeks and had about decided it was a dishonest seller and was preparing a complaint to file with E-Bay.

Then one day the funnel arrived in the mail and, as advertised, it was a stainless steel funnel but the size wasn’t exactly what I had anticipated.

I suppose everything in life can be a lesson. I know the next time I will be sure to check the size before I buy. But, all in all, it wasn’t a bad price to pay for a valuable lesson in life, plus getting a subject for a new blog.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 10, 2011



Around 1930 my father built a house with a rather large living room. Jutting off from that room was a dining room on one side and a room they called “The Sun Room” on another. It was “The Sun Room” because it had windows on all sides. I recall a particular Sunday afternoon when I was 17 years old and in the Sun Room doing homework for a drafting class I was taking in the evenings. As I casually listened to the radio the program was interrupted with an urgent news bulletin. Japan had bombed Pearl Harbor! We soon learned that Pearl Harbor was in Hawaii and the United States was unwillingly at war with Japan and World War II had begun.

For me, December 7, 1941 was one memorable Sunday afternoon and today, 70 years later, it seems as though it was yesterday.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 7, 2011



It seems that many of my adventures in my life could serve as a lesson to others if examined closely. I thought of that the other day when another one of my experiences came to mind.

One summer, when I was a skinny kid about 10 years old, I decided to mow the lawn as a surprise for my father when he returned home from work. So, in the hot summer sun and using an old fashioned, hand-powered mower I proceeded to push that clunky old mower back and forth for about two hours.

I waited for my father to come home and soon the car drove up, my father got out and headed towards the house.

I called to him, “Look Dad. I mowed the lawn.”
He glanced towards me and said, “You didn’t trim around the trees.”

Those six words have been in my mind for more than seventy-five years now. They are as clear as though they had been spoken yesterday.

Fast forward to 2011 and I am now 88 years old.

A few days ago I undertook a minor repair job at home. Well, actually, I replaced a toilet seat that had a broken hinge. I replaced the entire seat with a new one and after I had cleaned up everything put the tools away I thought it looked pretty good. So, I ushered in my spouse to show off my handiwork.

She took a quick look, pointed to the two fasteners and said, “One is higher than the other.”

Without thinking I said, “And I didn’t trim around trees either.”

Of course, there is a point to my writing this story and thinking about it might benefit some readers with young children.

I’m sure if, as an adult, I had ever mentioned this to my father he wouldn’t have the faintest idea what I was talking about. Never the less, we all should constantly be aware that everything we say to our children might be remembered and could affect their lives for many years.

Now to get back to making those fasteners the same height.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
December 5, 2011