I have no idea if everyone knows what a “septic tank” is. If you have doubts just click here for a detailed description at Wikipedia.

For my purposes here I’ll mention that there are trucks with huge tanks that pump out the contents of septic tanks when needed. Yesterday I stopped at a traffic light and there was one of these septic tank pumping trucks in front of me. I was impressed with how clean it was considering the dirty job it does. It was all polished chrome with the company name on the side of a huge cylindrical tank.

But the thing that attracted my attention was a message neatly painted on the back of the tank. It read: “Caution: This tank may contain political promises.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
March 22, 2012



I ran across a thing I wrote last year and intended to post as a blog but don't think I ever got around to it.

I don’t think there is actually a physical ailment called “coincident-itus”, but I think there should be. This would be applied to people who seem to run into more than a normal number of coincidences. If there were such an ailment I would be first in line if a vaccination to prevent it were to suddenly appear. I am a long-time sufferer.

It happened again just a week ago. Currently I’m in the midst of trying a new vitamin pill that might make me be able to leap buildings in a single bound. It’s a rather large blue capsule and I am supposed to take one, three times a day. I seem to be able to remember to do this most of the time but often the noontime dosage is missed. Luckily, I keep an iPhone in my pants pocket. One of the features this wondrous gadget is the alarm clock function. I use this to remind me of things I might forget. For instance, every day, at exactly 12 noon, “my pants ring.” I then fish out my iPhone and the screen says, “Take blue pill.”

There was nothing at all unusual about that until last week. It was while I was attending a Writer’s Class meeting and one of my fellow writers, who’s name I will keep anonymous, was reading a section of a novel he’s writing. In his story there is a married couple and they are having troubles with his “ability to perform” in bed. He tries using Viagra and even though it worked, his wife does not approve. She doesn’t like the idea of their love being based on “a little blue pill.” Just as the novel’s author was reading that section, my “pants started ringing.” To silence my iPhone I dug it out of my pocket and there on the little screen were the words, “Take blue pill.”

Now there are people who will be quick to point out that I was the one who originally programmed the iPhone to have the words “Take blue pill” appear at noon each day. This is true but the unusual part is that, until I heard the novel being read, I had no idea what color Viagra was. It’s not a thing a person would ordinarily go around wondering about.

Coincident-itus strikes again.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
March 15, 2012



Someone may be interested in my adding to my complainant about how children are allowed to behave in restaurants. Several people agreed with my opinion but the very next after one of the bad experiences we saw a situation that was exactly opposite.

We were in a restaurant having lunch and a young lady with two children in tow sat at a table right next to use. The children were cute girls I would guess to be 2 and 4 years old or so. My immediate reaction was to wonder if I was being repaid by some mysterious force for complaining. I was in for a surprise! The mother did not have an easy time as she was continually doing something for her girls and one time I was close enough to hear her whisper, “If you don’t put that down right now, we are leaving.”

As we left we commented to the young mother on how wonderfully her children behaved. She had no way of knowing that just the day before I had complained to the world in general about the way parents control children in public places. I was wrong in that I implied that all parents do this with all children. I am very happy to learn that is certainly not true.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
March 11, 2012



It’s not a new thing for me to run into something I don’t understand. It happens often but lately I’ve observed something and I really don’t get it.

Why is it that some people go into a restaurant with a young child and proceed to ignore whatever the child might be doing? Most recently we were in a restaurant and saw two women with a youngster I’d guess to be around 3 or 4 years old. During the meal this couple completely ignored the child even though at times it was screaming and actually jumping up and down in the booth.

I realize children can be, and perhaps, must be, active and I have gone through that stage with a few of my own. However, this “causing a scene” business only happened in my family once. As soon as it started we were on our way to the car in the parking lot. Of course, I wasn’t going to leave the child in the car alone but the child didn’t know that and we never had to go through that again.

I recently read a “Letter to the Editor” in our local newspaper. A woman had taken the time to write a letter to complain about the loss of manners these days. She had been in a restaurant recently and had actually seen, “two men wearing wearing hats while eating.” I wish she could have been with me with the jumping and screaming child in the next booth. I’m sure she would trade that annoying child for a man with a hat.

The Old Professor
Carmel, CA
March 4, 2012