Monday, March 31, 2014

I'm Just a Font of Useless Knowledge, So to Speak

You probably don't ever think about it, but there's a lot of thought and science that goes into the design of what you read. The way the individual letters are formed into fonts is carefully designed to make the printed words easier to read, and the pitch, or size of the font, adds legibility and - when needed - emphasis to the text. The average word-processing or graphics program comes with a bazillion different fonts* in all sorts of styles to help you express your thoughts in exactly the right way. Blogger allows you seven different fonts (Arial, Courier, Georgia, Helvetica, Times, Trebuchet, and Verdana), and I imagine there's a way to use lots of others for those smarter at html coding than I.

But in addition to style, there's an economic aspect to fonts that most of us never think about. You already know that printer ink is really expensive ... over $4,000 per gallon, according to this New York Times article from back in 2009. But did you know that the font you select can have a great impact on your ink usage?

CNN recently reported on a study done by 14 year-old Pennsylvania middle school student Suvir Mirchandani for a science fair project. Mirchandani's analysis revealed that by changing the default font his school district used in its documents from Times New Roman to Garamond, which has thinner strokes, the district could reduce its consumption of printer ink by 24%, saving as much as $21,000 annually. Here's a sample that shows the difference between the two fonts, both presented in the same pitch without bolding or other enhancement:

Mirchandani went on to extrapolate the potential savings to the level of the Federal Government, estimating that the US Government could save as much as $136 million per year simply by changing its default font. When the Federal budget is measured in the trillions of dollars, 136 million may seem like chump change ... but at the level where it can be applied to help Real People, it's a lot of money. It could pay for improvements to education, extra investments in scientific research, environmental clean-up, more tax breaks for big business and the wealthy, or lots of other things more worthy than printer ink.

As far as I can tell, the difference in legibility between the two is negligible, and it's clear that the Garamond font requires less of that $4,000-per-gallon ink. I have already changed the default font that I use on my personal documents to Garamond, although anything work-related I do at home will still need to used good old Air Staff-approved Times New Roman, 12-pitch ... at least until the leadership realizes that printer ink is a lot more expensive than jet fuel.

Have a good day. Choose your fonts carefully. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Do you suppose that the cheese of choice for printers and typesetters is fontina?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Poetry Sunday

You all know that I enjoy poetry, and occasionally post a poem that's caught my attention. Today, I'm starting up a new weekly feature - Poetry Sunday. Each Sunday (unless there's something else pressing I decide to post), I'll offer up for your entertainment a poem from my collection.

For the inaugural edition of Poetry Sunday, here's a poem for those of us who are getting a little older ...

The Woodcutter Changes His Mind
by David Budbill

When I was young, I cut the bigger, older trees for firewood, the ones
with heart rot, dead and broken branches, the crippled and deformed

ones, because, I reasoned, they were going to fall soon anyway, and
therefore, I should give the younger trees more light and room to grow.

Now I'm older and I cut the younger, strong and sturdy, solid
and beautiful trees, and I let the older ones have a few more years

of light and water and leaf in the forest they have known so long.
Soon enough they will be prostrate on the ground.

I hope you enjoyed the poem. Let me know whether or not you think Poetry Sunday is a good addition to my family of specialized posts (which so far includes Cartoon Saturday, The Ass Clown of the Month/Year, and Great Moments in Editing). And if you have a favorite poem, send me a copy ... I'm always looking for good ones.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


Saturday, March 29, 2014

Cartoon Saturday

Once more unto the breach, dear friends* ...

At least 17 people are dead and dozens still unaccounted for in the wake of a huge landslide in Washington state; tensions remain high in Ukraine in the wake of Russia's seizure of the Crimea; David Samson, chairman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, resigned on Friday as the latest casualty in the growing "Bridgegate" scandal that has enveloped New Jersey governor Chris Christie; nine Air Force commanders at a base in Montana were fired in the wake of a scandal involving systemic cheating on tests by nuclear missile officers; and a man suspected of killing a young mother and her two year-old son in 2010 was arrested in Nicaragua one day after he was named to the FBI's Ten Most Wanted list.

March came in like a lion ... stayed like a lion ... and forget the lambs, it's going out like an ocelot. Good thing we've had the cartoons to keep us sane.

This week's theme collection of cartoons deals with one of my favorite topics - books and reading. Let's get to them ...

What horror stories do you suppose books tell around the campfire? ...

I suppose it's a consolation of sorts ...

The dawn of problems with lending your books ...

Backing up your data ... one way or another ... is always a good idea ...

Today's children grow up with a very different concept of "books" ...

Turning to other cartoons, I could use a few mental health days, too. And I should probably keep one of those nice canvas jackets at the office ...

It's a good idea to be careful when you're scheduling meetings ...

 An obvious joke, but I've never seen it as a cartoon before** ...

There are things the real estate agent never seems to remember to mention when he's showing you the properties ...

Finally for this week, thinking for oneself is not always encouraged nowadays. Unfortunately ...

And there you have it: the last edition of Cartoon Saturday for March of 2014. It's going to be a rainy weekend here in NoVa, so my yard will remain untended and my garden unplanted for yet another week. Oh, well ... there's still laundry to be done and indoor spring cleaning to be started. Assuming, of course, that Spring is actually here. We'll see.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Sorry, Henry V.

** One of my coworkers uses a great expression to refer to mindless agreement with dumb ideas: "Doin' the drinking duck."

Friday, March 28, 2014

More Editorial Gems, Anyone?

And away we go ...

Well, yes, that would do it ...

If you think I'm going to touch my next line without an eleven-foot pole - even without the subject-verb disagreement - you are sadly mistaken ...

You do what you have to do to win ...

No grudges held here ...

Some people go to work for Apple, and some join the ...

Oops ... my mistake ...

There's surely a great story, here ...

Looks to me as if he's trying to make a getaway ...

And the point would be ... ?

A blinding flash of the obvious ...

Gotta run, now ... Agnes is headed up to Pennsylvania with one of her friends for two days of sewing classes, and I have to get her gigantic, 800-pound computer-driven sewing machine and its 3-acre embroidery hoop loaded into our modestly-sized car. There are days I really miss our old Aerostar van that could transport a small house if you took out the last row of seats. Sigh.

Have a good day. Be sure to come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday. 


Thursday, March 27, 2014

Five Jokes

Mike and Angel seem to be able to get a lot of mileage out of posts consisting of jokes, so who am I to argue with success? Here are a few ya-has for a very cold Thursday morning ...

Number One ...

Pavlov was enjoying a drink at his local tavern when the phone rang. He jumped up and cried, "Oh, no! I forgot to feed the dog!"

Number Two ...

A woman went into a pharmacy and said to the pharmacist, "I would like to buy some cyanide."

The pharmacist asked, "Why in the world do you need cyanide?"

The woman replied, "I need it to poison my husband."

The pharmacist shook his head and said, "I can't give you cyanide to kill your husband! That's against the law! I'd lose my license and my business, and we'll both go to jail! I absolutely cannot sell you any cyanide!"

The woman reached into her purse and pulled out a picture of her husband in bed with the pharmacist's wife.

The pharmacist looked at the picture and said, "Well, now, that's different. You didn't tell me you had a prescription."

Number Three ...

Q: What's the difference between a bad marksman and a constipated owl?

A: The marksman shoots and shoots, but doesn't hit.

Number Four ...

A fire and brimstone preacher was wrapping up his fiery temperance sermon when he shouted, "If I had all the beer in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river!"

With even greater emphasis he roared, "And if I had all the wine in the world, I'd take it and pour it into the river!"

Hitting his stride, he wrapped up his sermon by shouting, "And if I had all the whiskey in the world, I'd take it and dump it into the river!"

The preacher sat down, everyone shouted "AMEN!!," and the song leader stood up and announced, "For our closing song, let us sing hymn number 365: "Shall We Gather at the River." 

Number Five ...

Two men in a bar were comparing their sex lives. "Do you and your wife ever do it doggie style?" asked the one. 

"Well, not exactly," his friend replied. "She prefers dog trick style." 

"Wow ... kinky, huh?" 

"Well, not exactly. I sit up and beg, and she rolls over and plays dead."

Have a good day. Stay warm. More thoughts tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Where the Psychopaths Are

If you watch TV shows like "Criminal Minds," "Hannibal," and "Law and Order: SVU," you could be forgiven for thinking that every other person you see on the street is a sadistic serial killer. The psychopath is the new villain of choice ... the crazy person who haunts the dark corners of our fears.

A psychopath is not necessarily a killer, though. In psychological terms, a psychopath is generally understood to be a person characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear) and lacking in empathy and guilt. A psychopath tends to be superficial, coldhearted, egocentric, manipulative, irresponsible, impulsive and antisocial, and usually lives a parasitic lifestyle and engages in various criminal activities.

In other words, a psychopath can be a thoroughly unpleasant person, although not necessarily your neighborhood Hannibal Lecter.

Time Magazine recently pondered whether certain professions tend to attract more (or fewer) psychopaths. You can read the full article here, but in case you'd rather have the short version, here are the top ten professions that attract psychopaths (with my comments, of course):

1. CEO. Plenty of room to do all sorts of evil stuff in that corner office;

2. Lawyer. Don't tell me you were surprised about that one;

3. Media (TV/Radio). Rush Limbaugh. Anne Coulter. Glenn Beck. Oy;

4. Salesperson. Think used cars, subprime mortgages, and hedge funds;

5. Surgeon. Now that's scary;

6. Journalist. Faux News. 'Nuff said;

7. Police Officer. Now that's scary, too ...;

8. Clergyperson. Now that's really scary;

9. Chef. Hmmm ... I'm not a professional chef, but I really like to cook. Hmmm ... ;

10. Civil Servant. Ever been to the DMV? Or watched C-SPAN? Yep ... this one's nailed down.

These professions place people in positions of power relative to everyone else, often able to impose their will or opinions on others. People in these professions must be able to make objective decisions without regard for personal feelings and empathy ... appealing jobs for psychopaths.

And these are the occupations least likely to attract psychopaths ... most of them seem pretty obvious to me, as they're all professions that involve empathy and caring. They wouldn't appeal to a psychopath as much as the professions we discussed above:

1. Care Aide;

2. Nurse;

3. Therapist;

4. Craftsperson. This one sort of surprised me. I guess a true craftsperson is a creative artist, putting himself (or herself) into the art;

5. Beautician/Stylist;

6. Charity Worker;

7. Teacher;

8. Creative Artist. See what I said above about craftspersons;

9. Doctor. I could see this one going either way. While a doctor should have a reasonably good bedside manner, he or she also needs to make life-or-death decisions, often dispassionately. The "mad doctor" is a staple of horror movies for a reason;

10. Accountant. This one surprises me ... I think there are a lot of CPAs who had a hand in the murder of the economy.

So, Dear Readers, what do you think? Any other professions you think might attract psychopaths? Leave a comment so we can try to avoid them.

Have a good day. Try not to go Norman Bates on anyone without genuine provocation.

More thoughts tomorrow.


Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A Man's Age, as Determined by a Trip to Home Depot

Yesterday afternoon Agnes and I helped celebrate the fourth birthday of our granddaughter Elise. It was a wonderful time, but an exhausting experience. I usually don't feel my age, but after a few hours in the company of loud, happy constantly moving children, I feel like a museum piece. And speaking of advancing age, I recently received this piece courtesy of my friend Bob ... which is more true than many of us would like to admit ...

A Man's Age, As Determined by a Trip to Home Depot

You are in the middle of a few projects at your home: putting in a new fence, painting the basement walls, putting in a new garden. You are hot and sweaty, covered in dust, lawn clippings, dirt and paint. You have your old work clothes on. You know the outfit -- shorts with the hole in the crotch, old T-shirt with a stain from who-knows-what, and an old pair of tennis shoes.

Right in the middle of these projects you realize you need to run to Home Depot for supplies.

Depending on your age you might do the following:

If You're in Your 20s:
Stop what you're doing. Shave, take a shower, blow dry your hair, brush your teeth, floss and put on clean clothes. Check yourself in the mirror and flex. Add a dab of your favorite cologne because you might meet some hot chick while standing in the checkout line. And yes, you went to school with the pretty girl running the register.

If You're in Your 30s: 
Stop what you're doing, put on clean shorts and shirt. Change your shoes. You married the hot chick so no need for much else. Wash your hands and comb your hair. Check yourself in the mirror. Still got it. Add a shot of your favorite cologne to cover the smell. The cute girl running the register is the kid sister to someone you went to school with.

If You're in Your 40s:
Stop what you're doing. Put on a sweatshirt that is long enough to cover the hole in the crotch of your shorts. Put on different shoes and a hat. Wash your hands. Your bottle of Old Spice is almost empty, so don't waste any of it on a trip to Home Depot. Check yourself in the mirror and do more sucking in than flexing. The hot young thing running the register is your daughter's age and you feel weird about thinking she's sexy.

If You're in Your 50s:
Stop what you're doing. Put on a hat. Wipe the dirt off your hands onto your shirt. Change shoes because you don't want to get dog crap in your new sports car. Check yourself in the mirror and swear not to wear that shirt any more because it makes you look fat. The cutie running the register smiles when she sees you coming and you think you still have it. Then you remember -- the hat you have on is from Bubba's Bait & Beer Bar and it says, 'I Got Worms.'

If You're in Your 60s:
Stop what you're doing. You don’t need a hat any more. Hose the dog crap off your shoes. The mirror was shattered when you were in your 50s. You hope you have underwear on so nothing hangs out the hole in your pants. The girl running the register may be cute but you don't have your glasses on, so you're not sure.

If You're in Your 70s:
Stop what you're doing. Wait to go to Home Depot until the drug store has your prescriptions ready too. Don't even notice the dog crap on your shoes. The young thing at the register stares at you and you realize your balls are hanging out the hole in your crotch.

If You're in Your 80s:
Stop what you're doing. Start again. Then stop again. Now you remember you need to go to Home Depot. Go to Wal-Mart instead. You went to school with the old lady greeter. You wander around trying to remember what you are looking for. Then you fart out loud and think someone called your name.

If You're in Your 90s or Beyond:
What's a home deep hoe? Something for my garden? Where am I? Who am I? Why am I reading this? Did I send it? Did you? Who farted?

Have a good day. Be age-appropriate, even if I'm not.

More thoughts tomorrow.


Monday, March 24, 2014

Makes Cents to Me, Ha, Ha ...

Great Britain recently announced plans to introduce a new 1 Pound coin* which will be specially designed to foil counterfeiters. According to a British Broadcasting Company report, the move is necessary because an estimated 45 million one-pound coins - roughly 1 in every 30 - are phonies. The new coins will contain a number of features designed to make them impossible to counterfeit, such as having 12 sides and including two colors of metal. This is what the obverse side** of the spiffy, ultra-secure new coin will look like:

This is clearly a wake-up call for those who worry about the security of American coinage. Although I imagine it makes more economic sense for counterfeiters to make phony $20 bills than phony dollar coins***, there is clearly a niche criminal market for those who would counterfeit Susan B's or Sacagawea dollars. After all, someone may use them someday.

What can we do to make American coins less susceptible to counterfeiting?

A brilliant Harvard-trained economist recently suggested adopting the coinage used by Yap Islanders, which is considered extremely secure because it's just too much trouble to forge ...

This proposal was vetoed by GOP members of the Senate and House Banking Committees because, according to the Government Accountability Office, it would be prohibitively expensive to engrave Ronald Reagan's image on each one.

Over the last few years we've had major makeovers of much of our paper currency to try to make it less vulnerable to counterfeiters. Special papers, color-shifting inks, embedded threads, and evil curses levied by sorcerers hired by the Treasury Department have all been used to discourage paperhangers, to no particularly noticeable effect. Of course, at the rate the economy is going, there probably isn't much difference any more between the value of the real and the phony notes, anyhow.

There have been some suggestions for new versions of the hundred-dollar bill, known colloquially as the "Benjamin" ...

As well as variations on a new design for the traditional one-dollar bill featuring the image of our first President ...

and ...

In the final analysis, though, we'll probably never get too far ahead of the counterfeiters. It's the only way some people can actually make money in today's economy, other than to act crazy enough to appeal to the extremists of the far right (and, to a lesser extent, the far left) and start up a Super PAC to vacuum up loose cash.

How about a little musical interlude on the subject of money to wrap things up ...

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


No, it's not really that heavy, it's just that the British call their currency the "Pound." Given the state of the world economy, though, they're rumored to be considering renaming it the "Ounce."

** Why on earth is it called the "obverse," rather than just the "front" side?

*** They're a lot lighter, and each one buys more stuff. And besides, who uses dollar coins, anyhow?

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Poetry Interlude

I've previously admitted to being a fan of poetry, and have shared a number of poems with you in this space. Here's another great one I ran across a short while ago ...

by Wendell Berry

How much poison are you willing
to eat for the success of the free
market and global trade? Please
name your preferred poisons.

For the sake of goodness, how much
evil are you willing to do?
Fill in the following blanks
with the names of your favorite
evils and acts of hatred.

What sacrifices are you prepared
to make for culture and civilization?
Please list the monuments, shrines,
and works of art you would
most willingly destroy

In the name of patriotism and
the flag, how much of our beloved
land are you willing to desecrate?
List in the following spaces
the mountains, rivers, towns, farms
you could most readily do without.

State briefly the ideas, ideals, or hopes,
the energy sources, the kinds of security;
for which you would kill a child.
Name, please, the children whom
you would be willing to kill.

The best poetry, like the best essays, derive their power from the thinking they force you to do. I think this one does a lot of forcing.

Have a good day. Think about how you'd answer the questionnaire.

More thoughts tomorrow.


Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cartoon Saturday

It's been another wonderful week, proving that March Madness doesn't necessarily always refer to basketball pools ...

The most hated man in America, fiercely bigoted Westboro Baptist Church leader Fred Phelps, died at the age of 84; Microsoft has strongly defended its right to break into its customers' accounts and read their e-mails; a new app developed for the iPhone uses online data to plot the positions of people you know based on their most recent social posts so you can avoid them; nearly 40 people were killed in a wave of suicide car bombings in cities across Iraq; and Malaysian Airlines flight 370 is still missing in the Pacific, nearly two weeks after it disappeared en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

And winter still isn't over yet. I don't know about you, but I can use the cartoons ...

This week's selection of theme cartoons was inspired by yesterday's celebration of the birthday of German composer Johann Sebastian Bach ... let's take a look at some cartoons about music and musicians ...

Sometimes the player needs a little help ...

One wonders if stringed instruments are covered under the Affordable Care Act ...

They're actually quite easy to find without the detector ... you can hear them a mile away ...

Good advice for some amateur musicians ...

It ain't over until the ... well, you know ...

Moving on to other topics, which bottled water do you prefer (considering that they probably all actually come from the city taps in Scranton, Pennsylvania) ...

A problem I've been having more and more as I get older ...

There are plenty of racy websites out there, as long as you have the ... bread ...

This week's hideous pun cartoon ...

And finally, thinking back to my earlier post that asked the question, "Who Gets the Statue?" ...

There you have it for this week's Cartoon Saturday. Although last Thursday was the theoretical First Day of Spring, the message apparently has not reached the right ears ... we're looking for yet another winter "event" of some sort on Tuesday. Oy.

Have a good day and a great weekend. More thoughts tomorrow.


Friday, March 21, 2014

Clip Art Friday

It's another one of those busy mornings, so I thought I'd just share a few things from my Mighty File o' Internet Clip Art with you ...

I know a lot of very flexible people ...

Sad, but true ...

A very, very big apology ...

The older I get, the more it applies ...

On work days, I get up at a ridiculously early hour. On weekends, not so much ...

Note to those on the extreme right and left - "brain protection" does NOT mean tinfoil hats ...

If only ...

I'm thinking of a particular person, here ...

Paging Mr Limbaugh ... Mr Rush Limbaugh ...

There's a lot of this going around, sadly ...

You've just gotta love the Internet, where things like this come right to you for future use.

Have a good day. Come back tomorrow for Cartoon Saturday.


Thursday, March 20, 2014

Bringing Guns to the Closing

One of the big business opportunities in America and around the world is real estate ... as someone once urged, "Buy land, because the Good Lord ain't makin' it any more." Everyone dreams of his (or her) own plot of land on which to raise crops, build a house, plant trees, hang a hammock, or dig for gold. Fortunes are made and lost in real estate, as prices for prime properties are driven through the roof by their desirability and limited availability ... location, location, location, as the real estate professionals and mortgage brokers are fond of saying as they pump zeroes onto the left side of the decimal point on your closing documents.

Real estate agents, like most other professionals, tend to specialize. Some deal exclusively in residential properties, commercial properties, or undeveloped land. Some work only with top-of-the-line properties - the spectacular, multi-million dollar properties coveted by celebrities and the ostentatiously wealthy. And there are agents who deal only in international properties (click to supersize) ...

Have a good day. Keep a close eye on your deed. More thoughts tomorrow.


Wednesday, March 19, 2014


From WordSpy, one of my favorite websites, comes this new and very useful word - uptitling - defined as "renaming a job with a grandiose or inflated title; giving an employee a more senior job title in lieu of a pay raise."

As the economy continues to limp along (unless you're in the financial management industry, where you make your fortune by manipulating other people's money), we've gotten used to getting meager (or no) raises, or to seeing our pay and benefits reduced. The one thing we can get at no cost to our employers is a spiffy new title. We can be uptitled so that we have a nice title, if not something we can actually use to pay the bills.

As it happens, and as you may remember from this 2008 post, I'm interested in titles. Being citizens of the United States, where we do not have a formal aristocracy*, we can't be dukes, archdukes, counts**, viscounts, barons, earls, margraves, or lords ... instead, we have to rely on more down-to-earth things like descriptive job titles. When I was still serving in the Air Force and working on the Air Staff in Washington, we expended a great deal of energy on coming up with highfalutin' titles that we hoped would impress promotion boards. Everyone had to be the Chief of something ... whether it was a section, branch, division, directorate, or deputate, even if you were the chief of a section or branch consisting only of yourself. In the civilian business world, if you're just the president of the company, you're a relative nobody*** ... you need to be the Chief Executive Officer if you want people to take you seriously. In government circles, your distance from true power can be estimated by the number of words in your title: the Deputy Assistant Vice Under Secretary of Blah-Blah-Blah isn't likely to be found in a corner office with big windows ... he (or she) will be walking five paces behind the Assistant Vice Under Secretary of Blah-Blah-Blah like a draped and hooded Afghan housewife trailing along the dusty road behind her husband and carrying his load. And that Afghan housewife doesn't have much of a shot at uptitling, either.

In my earlier post, I told you that I rather liked the title I'd seen on a reserved parking place outside a local fraternal lodge - Illustrious Potentate. It's short, impressive, and to-the-point.The only problem with a title like that, though, is that it limits the abilities for uptitling. Even More Illustrious Potentate and Illustriouser Potentate don't quite make it.

I need to think about this a little more and report back to you. In the meantime, you can just call me Dad, Opa, or Grandpa ... I think those are as good as any.

Have a good day, whatever you choose to call yourself. More thoughts tomorrow.


* Except for professional celebrities, politicians, and the wealthy, who lack only the titles.

** Or no-accounts.

*** And if you're just a mere vice-president, forget a seat at the big table ... you need to be at least an executive vice president to have a seat not located along the wall of the room.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

If World War I Was a Bar Fight

You may think it's Tuesday, but since Disneyland-on-the-Potomac was shut down yesterday for our latest face shot from Old Man Winter, it's really Monday. And since I spent so much of yesterday shoveling away our six inches or so of the white stuff, I didn't get a lot of other things done. That, of course, means that I'll be doing a simple post today so that I can free up time to catch up with other chores.

You already know that I'm a great history buff ... I love the study of history and the idea that the world we know is the end result of the lives and the actions taken by countless billions of other people who came before us. At the moment, I'm reading a marvelous book by British historian Max Hastings titled Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War, about the outbreak and the first few months of the First World War. And although you might not think of the First World War as being in any way "funny," I think you'll enjoy this piece that I found out there on the internet, in which "The War to End All Wars*" is compared to a common bar fight. Click to giganticize (NOTE: if you still can't read the text, download the image to your desktop and open it with your image viewer in actual size) ...

If you know anything at all about the First World War ... how it started, who participated, and how it generally developed ... you'll find this as hysterically funny as I did.

I have things to do before I can go to work and catch up for the day we lost yesterday, so I'll sign off now. Come back tomorrow for more thoughts ... hopefully without snow.

Have a good day. More thoughts coming.


* It wasn't, of course.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Surviving Childhood

Back in September of 2007 I wrote a post called The Bubble-Wrapped Child in which I talked about the lengths to which modern parents go to protect their children from every conceivable danger. I was a child who grew up with protective, but not smothering parents in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in the 1950's and 60's. I drank water from the garden hose, walked home in the dark through the woods and along poorly-lit streets, ate nuts, rode my bicycle without a helmet*, and did all sorts of things that would horrify today's parents.

Somehow, I managed to make it to adulthood.

If you are my age or older, you may remember a time when this was the sort of seat we installed in the family car for our small children ...

Compare it to the average car seat we buy for our children today ...

Makes you wonder how any of us survived to adulthood, doesn't it?

Nostalgia is a fine thing, but all things considered, I'd use the newer seats if I were you.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* I remember taking a fall from my bike and coming home with a lot of bad scrapes ... which my mother treated by pouring hydrogen peroxide over them to "fizz out the dirt," putting a few band-aids over the ugliest of the scrapes, and sending me back outside. I survived.