Friday, September 17, 2010

Beachy Day

A gang of us from Vi at Lakeside Village took our bus out to a famous (deservedly) restaurant on the beach for breakfast yesterday. After eating too much, we were free to go frolic on the beach. Who am I kidding? The last time I tried to frolic in the surf, it took my wife and two surfers to get me back on dry land! No, Sally and I stayed dry and went out on the fishing pier. There weren’t many fisher-people, probably due to a snappy wind. It was determined to blow hats and anything else under twenty pounds into the surf. Hurricane Igor is a ways off Florida stirring things up right now. Makes for a beautiful day, high winds, hazardous surf, and a glad to be alive mood. Anyone with left-over vacation ought to “come on down”.

If my Penn State is in “Happy Valley”, we are now living in “Happy Sea Coast”.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Attention! Hand! Salute!

Quite a while ago I read that the rules had been changed and Veterans were now allowed to use a standard hand salute when in civies instead of the old hand over the heart business. I'm a bashful sort of fellow and didn't want to be the first to do that.  Finally, tonight during the National Anthem belore the Saints-Vikings game they showed a quick shot of two Vikings and one coach standing at full attention in their game clothing and giving perfect hand salutes. I gave me goose bumps and chills up my spine. Now I can't wait to show my respect in that fashion. I hope to soon see all veterans: Army, Navy, Marines. Wasps, Waves, etc., start identifying themselves in this way.

That ought to scare the begeebers out of those ragtag terrorists that think the USA is getting soft!

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Viva! Scotch Tape!

I usually wear my wristwatch almost 24/7.  I don’t believe that it is waterproof so it comes off for showers, shaving, swimming, etc. This morning I showered and then flopped on my comfy chair in the living room.  I fell asleep while reading the paper and woke up with no idea what time it was - no watch. So I promptly had the million dollar idea.  Why doesn’t Samsung put a little clock on their TV remotes. I would pay an extra dollar or two for that feature.  The idea is about as clever as putting a clock on a church steeple so I doubt there would be any patent problems.

Reminds me. Yesterday’s Newsweek had a highlighted sentence within an article about Apple. It said approximately the following; Apple today may be the most incredibly inventive lab in the recent history of Silicon Valley. That must automatically be translatable to: in the country, because I can’t think of a true invention from American industry outside of Silicon Valley since I retired 30 years ago. (Not that I claim there is a connection.) Being of a simple minded sort, I still credit 3M as displaying the most group creativity of any lab I ever knew of. The basic invention that got them started involved putting a sticky surface on one side of a strip of cellophane in such a way that it wouldn’t stick to the other side. Thereby the tape could be rolled up and when unrolled, one side only had stickum on it. From there, a relatively small group of people created a myriad of innovations, modifications, line extensions and cleverness. They were a bee hive where the question, “What’s new?”  always got an answer.

All that on the basis of a one day visit  to the lab, probably forty years ago.

PS I still haven’t got my quotation marks to behave consistently. You may have noticed. Sorry.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Where were I ??

Folks may wonder what I have been doing that has kept me from the business of keeping up with blogging for the last three months. Well, my 85th birthday sort of got me thinking that I didn’t have a lot of time left and I should be using what time there was in “doing” instead of writing about things I had done. I love to read and I hadn’t done much of that recently and the “NOOK” was sitting right there ready to help me do it. So below is a list of books (not literature) that I have read since May 18, 2010.

“The Promise” by Jonathan Alter
“Point of Origin” by Patricia Cornwell
“The Cove” by Catherine Coulter
"A Dangerous Fortune” by Ken Follett
“The Surgeon” by Tess Gerritsen
"The Apprentice” by Tess Gerritsen
“K is for Killer” by Sue Graftin
“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” by Stieg Larsson
“The Girl who Played with Fire” by Stieg Larsson
“The Naked Viscount” by Sally MacKenzie
“Think of a Number” by John Verdon
“Loitering with Intent” by Stuart Woods

In addition, I have nibbled at, but not completely read:

“The Federalist” by Alexander Hamilton and friends
The Invention of Air by Steven Johnson
Poems by Vachel Lindsay
The King James Version Holy Bible Edited by God
Essential Tales and Poems by Edgar Allen Poe by Same

Barnes and Noble say they have well over a million ebooks available so I think I can stay with reading as long as need be.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Scattered Thoughts for August

I love the story of the flight attendant that blew his stack at the passenger who thought the rules didn’t apply to him/her. When I was very young, I got furious at my boss. I went to the locker room, got my coat, and went home – at 2 in the afternoon. Next day I came to work wondering if I still had a job. My boss did the most hurtful thing he could have done to me. He never said a word about my disappearing act that I thought of as a big grandstand play, It made me mad at him all over again.

[Can anyone tell me why my computer will not print an apostrophe? I get a [ instead. Also, I cannot put quotation marks in front of the letter O. When I try, I get Ö. It sort of reminds me of the Geico TV commercial. The two little eyes peeking over the O. ]

Sally has recovered from the nasty cat bite she got a couple of weeks ago. She now needs to recover from two trips to the ER, Two potent antibiotics, one hefty shot of one antibiotic, and multiple OTC pills of antihistamine.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Florida Politics

After a brief (?) pause, I hope I am back for some more blogging. While I have been off, I've had the misfortune of having to watch a lot of commercials for the various candidates for governor and US Senator. This year there was no fooling around. They jumped right in with the negative ads and just kept getting more negative. What disturbs me the most is the use of the phrase "career politician" as a pejorative, suggesting that politicians that have devoted their lives to public service are somehow dishonest or, at least, tainted in some way. I know that may sometimes be true, but I believe that, in general, public service is an honorable pursuit. By the same token, I do not believe that an "outsider" is by definition more qualified or more honest than a career politician to participate in government.

We have a fellow running for governor who readily confesses that while he was collecting multi-millions of dollars from the company he was CEO of, the company received record sized fines from the the US Government for defrauding Medicare. Now he says he has learned his lesson and that is probably true, but should he be disparaging politicians just because they have spent their careers as a part of government?

We have another fellow who also makes his claim to fame as a successful businessman with lots and lots of money. Turns out his wealth was made bigger by his use of credit swaps (what ever they are) to bet against the economy when the recent recession was getting started. The more the economy suffered, the more money he made. And this guy also makes the career politician his whipping boy. No thanks. He'll not get my vote.

Friday, June 25, 2010

I was already to write a rave review of the Barnes and Noble Nook e-reader when Monday, B&N dropped the price from $253 to $199. Guess which price we paid. I’ve cooled off a little and decided that if I was happy before the price came down, I shouldn’t be bitter about someone else’s good fortune.

The Nook is quite fabulous and I love it. I have read four books since we got it. Also, I have downloaded the “Poems of Vachael Lindsay” and a collection of Edgar Allan Poe poems and stories.( I have a confession: I enjoy reading poems out-loud – to myself alone and late at night.) Someone asked me Sunday why I liked the Nook. I answered that that was the question I had been asking myself. Not having an answer ready was what had delayed my writing a blog about it. Today, I will try. First I can enlarge the font and I do not have to fool around with a magnifying glass. People with decent vision would discount that. A feature I like so much that I may never go back to a book–book is that it always knows where I stopped reading. With a book, I never got used to using a bookmark and always had to read several pages to find my place. Books to read are easy to find and download. I search through B&N’s website on my Mac until I find a book I am interested in. Then I go to “Shop”on the Nook and search by author and buy the book. It is downloaded to my Nook in seconds. (The gal at telephone “help” walked me through configuring the Nook to use my own router.)

I suppose I should mention the lower price for books plus there are a bunch of “Free” books available. Whatever the reason, I am addicted.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

The corporation that includes the CCRC (Continuing Care Retirement Community) in which we live, and over a dozen others, was named “Classic Residence by Hyatt” until last week.. Last week they took a bold step and renamed themselves. The new name, announced with champagne parties across the country in every one of their communities, is Vi (pronounced vee). It landed among current residents like a lead balloon.

Reportedly, two years of market research and name development went into the decision to change and the search for an appropriate name. The results indicated that the baby boomers coming along want a more active lifestyle in their retirement years than currently offered by retirement facilities. But one analysis of the results suggests that while current residents traditionally have moved in at ages averaging in the mid-eighties, the new strategy would target a younger entrance into retirement community living. One can visualize an advertising campaign aimed at sixty year olds that stresses the advantages of using a CCRC as a base for the lifestyle of travel and sports they desire. Current residents may not like some of the change in emphasis needed to make the new positioning a reality, but if done right it should make life more interesting for every generation.

In my personal experience, I resisted moving into this place when I was in my early seventies. I thought I was too young. I thought that moving here was some sort of surrender. Like many others, I soon realized I was wrong and that I retained the freedom to do pretty much what I wanted. I even wished I had made the move sooner.

The name ”Vi” is more than a little bizarre but demonstrates that management is willing to take chances with big change. I think the new positioning will succeed and lead to a shift in the whole industry.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Calling All Inventors!!!

Do you have any idea how many old folks are standing back on the boardwalk wishing they could walk down to the water and out a few yards?

Can't some clever fellow develop a "sand cane" based along the lines of a ski pole which could assist walking in soft sand. A regular cane is no use at all. It sinks in the sand down to china and is a devil to pull out for the next step The right design and you could make billions --- or many just cover your costs and make a lot of people happy. Simply find a good lawyer to write a waiver for buyers to sign agreeing it is the buyers fault if he falls down and drowns.

Beach Day

While talking food and all the current emphasis on eating healthy the other day with a friend, he said that he had no objection to eating “healthy” at home; but by golly, when he went out to eat, he wanted to eat "UNhealthy" and enjoy it! The picture above is just to show that I think he has a useful and valid philosophy. A group of us went over to the beach yesterday for breakfast at John G’s. For Sally and I, it was a reward for a rotten week of hospital tests, tension, and fatigue, Believe me I finished every morsel on that plate.
After breakfast, Sally and I went out to the end of the long fishing pier located right there. It was hot, but beautiful. The ocean was calm and sparklingly clear, contrary to the fears of many. No sign of the Gulf coast’s tar. We both got mild sunburns and Vitamin D to last a week. I slept all afternoon.

Friday, May 28, 2010

One Tiny Corner of the Immigration Flap

There, of late, has been a lot of negative noise made about immigration, immigrants, and illegal immigrants. I’ve had a spell of less that sparkling health lately and I got thinking about the team of doctors that have pulled me through. My cardiologist is from Israel. My oncologist has two unpronounceable names that I have never explored the origin of. My rheumatologist came from the United Kingdom. His wife is from Iran and he makes frequent visits to Iran to give medical assistance to the poor. My vascular surgeon was born and raised in Cuba. It is amazing to hear him switch from English to Spanish without a pause as he changes patients. My urologist is plain old All-American Jewish. Finally, I suspect that our family doctor and the heart surgeon who fixed me up are both preceded my enough generations in this country to have dropped any racial or nationality hypens from just American.

Where would I be without immigration? (Buried back in jolly old England).

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Golden Years

GOLDEN YEARS, my A**! Ooops! Sorry, every once in a while that thought just bubbles up and out. We just went to the super market and it hurt going, there, and back. The driver that takes us is very nice. He lets everyone else out at the entrance, then drives me the 75 feet to the exit where the electric carts with the big baskets are parked. We get there at twenty to the hour and the bus is back for us at fifteen after the hour. That is less than forty five minutes to get a week’s worth of shopping done. Rush, rush. I admit we can stay for two or even three runs of the bus, but our choice seems to be to do the one-run rush.

We had a lot of fun over the last couple of weeks. It doesn’t seem to hurt as much when pure pleasure is the objective. We went out to dinner innumerable times with all kinds of excuses and several times with a real purpose, ie., birthdays, Mothers’Day, graduation celebrations, and a bunch of times just because we felt like it. Last Saturday, Sally rode up to Orlando with daughter Mary to attend Ann’s graduation ceremony (two more Masters’ degrees). For the last week we rented a car and did the accumulated chores and errands. You know, important stuff like replacing some dead fish and getting fresh batteries in wrist watches. You can’t do that sort of thing on scheduled transportation.

O. K. now we return to our normal social life – doctor visits and physical therapy sessions. The GoldenYears.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

For those of you that don't recognize this fellow, he is a purple gallinule. This particular one had quite a sense of humor. He used to jump (fly) up on to the dock when I rode my bicycle out onto it. Believe it or not, in this picture he is on his way to untie my shoe laces. (He may have thought they were food, but I like the sense of humor premise.)

I seldom get down to the dock any more, but I doubt that the gallinules are still around, there has been a lot of development since this picture. But I am sure that they are still building nests somewhere in the wetlands of Florida. I just wanted to post the picture to remind us how many beautiful creatures we will lose if the Oil Spill gets caught in the Gulf stream and makes its way onto the coast of Florida and seeps a little further in-land. Man shouldn't really have the right to destroy such peace loving beauty.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010


$106,000! That’s one hundred and six thousand dollars!! That’s how much the hospital charged for the simple little angioplasty I had last month. That doesn’t include the surgeon who did it nor the anesthesiologists that put me to sleep. Needless to say, Medicare sliced that down by orders of magnitude.. After Medicare and my insurance paid their share of a much smaller number, I have only to pay $211, which isn’t bad. But consider the poor guy that has no insurance. He simply couldn’t have the procedure. Now I understand the why of Obama’s Healthcare bill. Let’s get it cranked up in a hurry.

These hospitals say they have to overcharge to pay for all the charity work they do. I know my hospital has handled a bunch of patients from the Haiti earthquake, but don’t put the onus of paying for them on poor Americans. This is just plain ridiculous!

$106,000! Cheez!!

Friday, April 23, 2010

I Did a Bad Thing

My conscience never kicked in. It was overpowered by laughter. I flat-out stole the following from Kenju's blog IMAGINE...(Always a source of Joy.)

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer history if you die.
2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you
realize you're wrong.
3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was
4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.
5. How the heck are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?
6. Was learning cursive really necessary?
7. Map Quest really needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty
sure I know how to get out of my neighborhood.
8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the
Person died.
9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.
10. Bad decisions make good stories.
11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work
when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for
the rest of the day.
12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blue Ray? I
don't want to have to restart my collection...again.
13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me
if I want to save any changes to my ten-page research paper that I swear
I did not make any changes to.
14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash
this - ever.
15. I hate when I just miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello?), but
when I immediately call back, it rings nine times and goes to voice
mail . What did you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run
16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not
seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.
17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to
answer when they call.
19. I disagree with Kay Jewelers . I would bet on any given Friday or
Saturday night more kisses begin with Miller Lite than Kay.
20. I wish Google Maps had an "Avoid Ghetto" routing option
21. Sometimes, I'll watch a movie that I watched when I was younger and
suddenly realize I had no idea what the heck was going on when I first
saw it.
22. I would rather try to carry 10 plastic grocery bags in each hand
than take 2 trips to bring my groceries in.
24. I have a hard time deciphering the fine line between boredom and
25. How many times is it appropriate to say "What?" before you just nod
and smile because you still didn't hear or understand a word they said?
26. I love the sense of camaraderie when an entire line of cars team up
to prevent a jerk from cutting in at the front. Stay strong, brothers
and sisters!
27. Shirts get dirty. Underwear gets dirty. Pants? Pants never get
dirty, and you can wear them forever.
28. Is it just me or do high school kids get dumber & dumber every year?
29. There's no worse feeling than that millisecond you're sure you are
going to die after leaning your chair back a little too far.
30. As a driver I hate pedestrians, and as a pedestrian I hate drivers,
but no matter what the mode of transportation, I always hate cyclists.
31. Sometimes I'll look down at my watch 3 consecutive times and still
not know what time it is.
32. Even under ideal conditions people have trouble locating their car
keys in a pocket, finding their cell phone, and Pinning the Tail on the
Donkey - but I'd bet everyone can find and push the snooze button from
3 feet away, in about 1.7 seconds, eyes closed, first time, every time!