Tuesday, March 06, 2018

30,000 miles

On the way into work today, I passed 30,000 miles on my scooter's odometer. The picture on the right shows it. I wasn't quite able to pull off the road at the exact time (hence, the tenths of a mile number is half-way to 1). I ended up down the road from where it really happened which was in front of someone's driveway. I didn't want them to think I was stopping in for a visit.

The lower picture shows where I was when it happened. Not that anyone cares about that. It's just down the road from a cranberry bog I've shown before when they were harvesting in the fall. You can click on the picture to expand it but it won't mean anything to you. Nothing interesting was going on there this morning - except that some weird guy stopped his scooter to take a picture of the dashboard for his blog post.

Since I seem to be putting 4,000 miles a year on my scooter, I could hit 50,000 miles within five years. We'll see.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Winter Olympics? Summer Olympics? It's all mixed up!

The 2018 Winter Olympics finished in February. I've always been confused by the sports included in the two types of Olympics. Basketball, wrestling, boxing, gymnastics and many other indoor sports are really winter sports. Even volleyball (but not beach volleyball!) is normally played in the winter months. It seems like they should be in the Winter Olympics. A lot of people would complain but if major league sports teams can be moved from one conference or league to another (Astros from the National League to the American League, Seahawks from NFC to AFC then back to NFC), why couln't Olympic sports be moved?

Maybe it would be easier to just rename the Winter Olympics to be the Snow and Ice Olympics. Then, maybe, the Summer Olympics could be called just The Olympics with the Snow and Ice Olympics being a special case of the Olympics.

I know it will never happen but that doesn't mean I'm not right :-)

Monday, February 26, 2018

If you want to remember things better

I just read a fascinating article on the BBC (British Broadcasting Corporation) website about how we can increase our ability to remember things. It's not some supplement you take or drug you have to use. It's not a vitamin or a course of study you have to take. It's simply to rest. Yes, my favorite activity! Rest!

Here is the link to the article. Read it for yourself. It is very encouraging. I'm not sure this technique is useful in every situation. For instance, I am terrible at remembering people's names when I first meet them. I can't imagine being introduced to someone at a party or other gathering and then immediately finding a quiet place with no distractions, sitting down, closing my eyes and relaxing. That would be a little awkward.

Friday, February 23, 2018

A short story

This happened about 30 years ago. Wow. That's when I first started working for this company. Where does the time go?

I had just started working for this company and was trying to fit in. I took on every challenge that was handed to me and tried new things. Since this company produced a number of different computer boards and other electronic devices for sale, I made a point of getting familiar with each of them. Since it was a small company, we all did a little technical support, answering customer questions and even cleaning up around the office. I made an attempt to always be the first person to arrive in the morning and one of the last to leave. And there was a company coffee maker where we all took turns making a new pot when the supply was low.

At some point, I thought the coffee tasted a little off so I decided to clean the coffee maker before everyone came in that day. I was used to doing that. You just pour some vinegar in and run it through the brew cycle. Then you use plain water to wash out the vinegar. No problem. Except this coffee maker was a Bunn-O-Matic. They have a reservoir of hot water (I think it must hold four or five pots worth of water) so that there is no waiting for the brewing to start. There is always hot water available and new water just fills up the reservoir for the next time. So, when I ran the vinegar through the system, it was diluted by the large amount of water already in the reservoir. Plus, running it through the brew cycle only ran a diluted vinegar solution through the machine. Not only did it not really clean the coffee maker, there was still vinegar in the system. For quite a while. I remember running the machine through at least four cycles and I could still smell the vinegar. I didn't even try brewing coffee because with the overwhelming vinegar smell, I knew it was no use. I think I ran a few more cycles and it finally didn't smell anymore so I brewed a pot of coffee. It tasted terrible. I was going to have to dump out all the water in the reservoir and start over.

I couldn't find a drain so I had to tip the whole coffee maker on its side by the sink. I remember not being able to get it all out until I tipped the bottom up very high. When I did that, a tube that directed the hot water from the reservoir to the coffee basket fell out. It took me quite a while to find out how that fit together and when I finally figured it out and put it back in, I poured in more water and started a brew cycle (without coffee at first). But it leaked! There had been a seal around the pipe that fell out and I had either damaged the seal or put it in the wrong place. I tried re-seating it and that didn't work. I tried making a new seal with epoxy sealant and that stunk up the place and made the coffee smell bad.

Finally, someone else from the company figured out how the seal should be seated and it all worked. I think it took most of the day. And I never cleaned the coffee maker again. But at least they didn't fire me. I'm still here.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

The pressure is on

I had my annual physical check-up last week. Things went pretty well. Even though I'm not in terrific physical shape, I do have the advantage of not needing to take any pills. Unlike most of my other 66 year old friends, I don't take pills for my heart and I don't take pills for cholesterol. In fact, I don't take any pills at all except for a daily vitamin (Centrum Silver because it was recommended by a pharmacist friend). I also drink a can of V8 juice every day and I drink two or thee glasses of apple cider every day. Is that why I'm relatively healthy? I don't know. I'm just glad for the health God has blessed me with.

But now my doctor has said that my cholesterol is getting close to the bad zone and he is threatening to prescribe a cholesterol pill if it doesn't improve. He has asked that I get my blood tested in three months and if I can't get the number back into the good zone, I may have to start taking a pill to help. He feels the best non-prescription way to do that is with more exercise. So, for the next three months, I've got a real incentive to start walking at lunch again.

Our new dog is keeping me active but I'm only walking about a half mile with her in the morning. It's too dark to walk after work so far. But I always used to walk about one and a half miles at lunch time at work and I hope to start doing that again. It has been really busy at work for that two years and I often need the time at lunch to get work done. But when it comes down to doing that or being healthy, I'm going to stay on the side of healthy.

We'll see how this goes. I could have started on Wednesday this week but I let other things take priority. But this week is it! I'm going to walk during every lunch I can.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Politically Correct

I'm going to set you straight on something. The term "Politically Correct" is misused almost everywhere. Most people say that we are being politically correct when we change the way we say something so that we won't offend someone or some group. No. That is being Socially Correct or, some would say, being nice.

No. Being Politically Correct is not being able to say, "We need better control of guns." Or not being able to say, "Why does any private citizen need to be able to buy an AR-15 and as much ammunition as they want?" I have just been politically incorrect because you are not allowed to say that.

And that's all I've got to say about that.

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Sometimes you need to take your eye OFF the ball

Cropped view of full picture
I saw a funny story in Time Magazine about a fan who wanted to get a picture of a movie star he spotted while on vacation.

A father, on vacation with his family in Montauk, NY (at the far end of Long Island), recognized Matthew Broderick when he and his family stopped for snacks in a small store. He asked to get a picture of Mr. Broderick with his daughter. The only problem was Matthew Broderick had a friend with him who was in the picture, too. So, the father motioned for the friend to move out of the way. He was still in the picture so the father kept motioning for him to move further out of the picture. But finally, the friend could move no more so the father thought he would just crop the picture to only include his daughter and Matthew Broderick.

The full picture with Matthew's friend
As he was walking back to the car, his family was shouting to him about his mistake and what was he thinking? The full, uncropped picture is on the left. Matthew Broderick's friend, Jerry Seinfeld, is on the right! It's funny how you can miss a lot when you're focused on one thing. Not that getting a picture with Mathew Broderick wasn't a great thing to do but what about missing another terrific (or more specifically Super Terrific Happy) picture in the process? Sometimes you need to take your eye off the ball to see what is happening in the wide view.

The full picture is from the Twitter account @HonoredSpirit and can be found at this link.