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May 2023
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July 2023


My Granddaughter

Another milestone: she’s eating scrambled eggs. She still finds great amusement in throwing her toys on the floor, which means I have to kneel down or bend over, both of which are increasingly difficult.

Paul Stories: Paul McCartney To The Judge’s Desk

My announcing career began in the spring of 1966, when I was picked to be the public address announcer at the Beaumont track and field day. I was having the time of my life. I was so thrilled and excited that I really didn’t pay attention to the slip of paper two girls handed me, saying, “Would you page him please.” If I’d been more alert, I probably would have been suspicious of their giggling. “Would Paul McCartney please report to the judge’s desk. Paul McCartney, please report.” I was a huge Beatles fan. I can only assume that I read it out loud because I was basically reading anything people put in my hand that day. The crowd burst out in laughter. I know I blushed, because I often blushed at that age.

  This and That

Donald in the John With Boxes - A Randy Rainbow Song Parody. (Think Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds)

More On Scars
To my surprise two readers had similar wrist-scar stories to mine (check comments). Which leads me to chin scars; mine, Harrison Ford’s and so on. I can’t find the statistic but I remember there are a lot of chin scars; statistics are hard to come by except about 10 pediatric chin scars a month at a hospital in Lahore. I think it’s common.

Jackie the Journalist
A tip of the PSACOT hat to Daniel Dern for noting that The NY Times wrote a feature about Jackie Kennedy in her journalist days. Her boss said women joined the staff “expecting to write the great American novel, then leave when they find “the great American husband.” In Jacqueline Bouvier’s case, he was right.

Digits Of Any Multiple Of 9
The digits in any fmultiple of 9 always add up to a multiple of nine, I was (accurately) told by Hajj, a friendly vendor at the Farmer’s Market. Well, of course there is an explanation of the nine trick on the Internet; after all, this is the 21st century.

Support Humor

I recently heard two acronyms sometimes used in tech support departments:
PEBKAC - Problem exists between keyboard and chair
ID-10-T error (take out the dashes)

While We’re On The Subject of Maths (Down the Google Hole)

I told Hajj the Arabs invented zero, because that was what I was taught 60 years ago. Of course the idea of nothing is as old as language. But an Indian mathematician invented the concept and a symbol for zero; the Arab Mathematician later used it to invent algebra. Maybe that is what I was taught, and I garbled it because I was just 12 at the time.

Which got me to thinking about other things I’d been taught. For example, that Sir Isaac Newton invented Calculus (as well as the law of gravity). Well, it’s not as cut and dried as that (Hello Leibniz), according to Miss Wikipedia. It is apparently true that, as with the telephone, the vacuum tube and the integrated circuit, when the time comes for a discovery to be made, multiple people make it at the same time.

I was going to include copious detail on the Newton-Leibniz Calculus Controversy, Alexander Graham Bell vs. Elijah Gray, (telephone), Lee Deforest and John Fleming (vacuum tube). You can look it up. This is a column, not an encyclopedia (a what?)

Often such arguments come down to invented/discovered or “made practical.”

You can take my word for it, look it all up yourself, or become disillusioned about famously self-promotional Thomas Alva Edison.

Right Column Redux: Paul on the Top 5 List

The column to the right on this blog contains permanent content, most of which has appeared at one time or another in the main body. I’ve decided to include a reminder.

It has been reborn as Top5!

Humor: Heaven and Hell In Europe

Heaven in Europe is where
    the English are the policemen
    the French are the cooks
    the Germans are the mechanics
    the Italians are the lovers
    and the Swiss organize everything

Hell in Europe is where
    the Germans are the policemen
    the English are the cooks
    the French are the mechanics
    the Swiss are the lovers
    and the Italians organize everything

(Yes, I’m half Swiss, but I’m also a quarter Irish: if an Irishman can’t punch it or drink it, he’s not interested in it)

Fake Jobs

Of the seven jobs I had in my life, only two kept me busy 8 hours a day; AP and UPI. I loved the Oregon Journal, but was told I was required to spend an hour a day reading the Journal and the "competitor" Oregonian, and then only turn out one or two stories a day. At magazines, I turned out one or two stories a week, and was thought prolific. At Bank of America PR, we were supposed to read the Chronicle, the Examiner, and the output of a clipping service every day.

Ample time for at-desk leisure, as described in Vox: How some people get away with doing nothing at work