Potpourri

A distinguished cardiac surgeon about to retire decided to write a book on the history of medicine. He asked an author friend if she had any tips for him.  “Sure, I’ll be glad to help,” she said.  “I’m about to retire, too.  I was planning to take up heart surgery. Do you have any tips for me?”

***

I was painting a small object in my basement and wanted to protect my shirt. I remembered a shop apron hanging in the basement for a long time. It worked perfectly. It was dark orange and even had my name stenciled on it. Where did it come from, I wondered?  Ah, it was my old high school wood shop apron, still useful 60 years later, just like me.

***

With all of the recent snow in the Northeast, we have been inundated with government news conferences assuring us how well prepared they are. The governor (or mayor) is usually dressed in corduroys and a sweater, as if he (always a “he”) has only temporarily stepped out of the busy operations center.

We can tell the speaker is a politician because they always have a signer for the deaf standing by the podium, even though it is being televised. Wouldn’t any deaf person watching have closed-captioning?  Would any media organization send a deaf reporter to cover the news conference?  Is it all showbiz?

***

When waiting for a train at the Marcus Hook station. I have often watched an American flag flying in the wind high up on the top of one of the distillation towers at the Sunoco refinery. The flag was almost always blowing straight out, even when there was little wind at ground level, as expected. Anyone who flies a kite knows, the higher it goes, the more wind it catches.

My new weather station is mounted about six-feet high on an unobstructed pole. The wind speeds it records are nowhere near the high speeds reported on TV, which they use to calculate  alarming wind-chill factors.  But we live at more moderate ground level.

***

Speaking of weather, a new term, “feels like” is replacing “wind-chill.”  Beware—they are not necessarily the same.  “Feels like” tweaks the wind-chill factor with additional factors, such as the humidity, cloud cover and even the time of day to account for the warmth of the sun on our skin.  Each weather reporting organization has their own secret factors and formulas that they are very reluctant to discuss, so it is meaningless.  It either works for you, or it doesn’t.

RWalck@Verizon.net

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About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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