My Mirra Chair 10 Years Later

I used to buy new office chairs about every two years.  I'm big, 6'4” and about 270 pounds, and I spend a lot of time at my desk. I'm also a leaner. I tend to relax with my weight on the left armrest, so my chairs all had a distinct list to port after a few months. After a year-and-a-half or so, parts usually started falling off and I'd be hunting for a new chair.

Don't Top-Off at the Gas Pump

I learned something new today. 

The next time I put gas in my car, I won't top-off the tank. It's bad for my car, and a waste of my money. This enlightening article on the Daily Finance website explains why. 

While you're at it, look around on the excellent Daily Finance website. You'll find lots of good information, presented clearly.

The Degrading of Grades

A while back, there was an article in the New York Times* that said 43% of all college grades were now A’s. That was up from about 15% in 1960. In the same period, the percentage of students earning D’s and F’s decreased from over 20% to around 10%. It’s an indictment of the grading standards in this country - and a damn shame, but it doesn’t surprise me at all.

So how and why did we get into such a ridiculous situation?

Leland Cultural Arts Center


A couple weeks ago I took a walk through the recently opened cultural arts building. It is an impressive step forward by the town of Leland, and the center promises to be a busy and interesting place.

Give the Mormons a Fair Shake

Most people don’t know much about the Church of Latter Day Saints (LDS), a.k.a. Mormonism, and what little they do know makes them suspicious. Mormons are “different” - and that makes many people nervous. I’ve heard the Mormons referred to as non-Christians, and their beliefs damned as fraudulent. Some “real Christians” even call the Mormon faith a cult.

I won’t pretend to be an expert on the tenets of Mormonism. What I do know is what I have seen for myself - examples I believe reflect Mormon principles in a positive way.

Coaxing AT&T

The other day we suddenly lost our phone and Internet service, and it made us realize how dependent we are upon AT&T, and how careless they are with our time.

Underground Electric Lines - Good for the Country

Over and over again, we see the same thing. There’s a storm of one kind or another, and power is cut off to thousands - even hundreds of thousands - of households and businesses. Then come the complaints that the “electric company” is too slow to get service back up and running. The economic damage is extreme. Business can’t do business, perishables perish, teachers stop teaching and tweeters can’t tweet. 


Working Dog

The other day, I wrote about the Border Collies that chase away the pesky geese in Waterford. They’re amazing. We have an amazing working dog too.

If you live in Waterford, you’ve probably seen our Rottweiler, Daisy. She and The Lady* go for long walks every morning and afternoon, and Daisy is usually carrying something in her mouth - lately an umbrella.

A Billion

How can you express a billion? *

It's far. In miles, more than 1900 round trips to the moon. 

It's heavy. The weight of 234,192 Chrysler 300C's. 

It's many. The number of salt grains that will fit in a bathtub.

It's obscene. When it's the number of dollars needed to make a run for the presidency.

Goose Dogs

When we moved to Waterford of the Carolinas, The Lady insisted we find a house on one of the canals in the community. I didn't need convincing - and we did. For nature lovers, it's just right. There are fish, turtles and frogs in these waterways - and the water attracts lots of water birds too - including ducks, geese, swans and herons.

AARP is Wiping Out Our Forests

The amount of mail we receive via the U.S. Postal Service has dropped considerably over the past decade. The Internet has made that possible. Now we get a lot of junk Email instead, but we have tools for dealing with the cyber glut. It isn’t as annoying and wasteful as the paper sort.

By far our largest source of snail mail is the AARP. The volume of their mailings has become especially noticeable as the amount of other paper mail has decreased.

Breakfast at Saltworks II

A while back, neighbors invited us for a most enjoyable breakfast at Saltworks II. The food was good and the portions were especially generous. The server was efficient and pleasant - and kept an eye on our coffee cups.

USS Liberty


I've been accused of being a skeptic when it comes to information promulgated by officials of any government.  I plead guilty.

My cynicism has its roots in an incident more than 40 years ago.  In 1967, during the Six Day War between Israel and it's neighbors, the Israelis shot up the USS Liberty off the coast of Egypt.  Thirty-four crew members of the American intelligence ship were killed and 170 of their shipmates were injured in a series of attacks by torpedo boats and aircraft.  The incident occurred in international waters.