Apr 30


Posted by Simon

Acronyms are part of living in a complex society.  This IPhone application will make it a little bit easier.  Just punch in any acronym and the acronym-omatic will tell you the most common uses of that acronym.  Some examples:

  • POTUS    President of the United States
  • MOC        Member of Congress, Mount Olive College or Make Out Club
  • PCV         Peace Corp Volunteer or Positive Crankcase Ventilation
  • PVC         Poly Vinyl Chloride or Premature Ventricular Contraction

You can have this idea.  I estimate it is worth a few dollars.  Billions of Iphone applications have been downloaded.  I checked there is not an acronym decoder available for IPhone yet but there are some acronym dictionaries available on other platforms.

Apr 29

There is a great explanation of President Obama’s budget on YouTube

It uses pennies.

This is my attempt to embed it:

YouTube Preview Image
Apr 28

Senior Options

Posted by Simon

I am helping Nurit manage her parents through the labyrinth of medical, personal and societal choices that aging invariably makes one face.  It has caused me to start a new section on my blog called AGING.  I have also realized that there is a need for a new profession called Senior Options Counselor.

A Senior Options Counselor would help a family find the best available care and services for their seniors.  Every case is different but here are some questions we need advise on:

  • We need a driver who will escort Nurit’s mom to the door at both end of her journey.
  • We also need help convincing the In-laws that they can spend some of their money to live comfortably.
  • When is the right time to sell the house and move to assisted living?
  • Are there facilities nearby where two seniors who need different levels of care can live together?

Senior care is going to be a larger and larger cost to our society.  Trained people with experience and resources will be able to provide an important service as Senior Options Counselors and make very good money doing it.

Apr 27

MT (Mental Therapy)

Posted by Simon

When you are hurt or have an operation you are often given Physical Therapy (PT).  It seems to me that many older people who have to adjust to new physical constraints also need Mental Therapy (MT).  How about that: I invented the new career and the acronym at the same time.

MT is different than Psychiatry.  It helps you adjust to the present situation with simple exercises.  It deals with just issues related to the change in circumstances.  In other words it is PT for the mind.  Plus MTs are available and don’t have the stigma that psychiatry has to many people.

Apr 26


Posted by Simon


Inflation got a little bit out of hand in Zimbabwe last year and they printed this One Hundred Trillion dollar bill.

I bought mine on ebay for $3.00 plus postage.

I hope that Federal Reserve Chair Ben Bernanke has one as a reminder of what happens if he doesn’t do his job well.

Apr 25


Posted by Simon

The Pope John Paul II center in La Habra, California has Bingo on Thursdays.


My question is:  Would Pope John Paul II be okay with bingo as a fund raiser?

Apr 24

Postal Rate Increase

Posted by Simon

This is a Public Service announcement:

Postage rates in the USA go up on May 11, 2009

Click here to go to the USPS site for details

First class postage is going up two cents to 44 cents and a domestic postcard is going up a penny.  The killer for me is that overseas postcards are now 98 cents each.

But all of the rate increases in the world won’t save the postal service.

Read my old post on why the Post Office is doomed.

It is not because they are doing a bad job.  It is because technology has changed.  The USPS will be the Amtrac of our childrens generation.


A young admirer with a postcard

Postcards are the lp record of the future

they will vanish in his lifetime

The record player is dead and it’s replacement the CD is dying because the IPod is a better delivery system.  We adjusted to the low-cost high value technology.  And we will adjust to the end of regular mail delivery.  The countries that do it the fastest will gain a slight competitive advantage.

Apr 23

Jerry Found

Posted by Simon

I feel like Columbo.  “One more Philippine post….”   I’d lost Jerry, our dive-master’s, email address and had to track him down using my CIA techniques.  Don’t worry no water-boarding was used in the making of this post.  btw Why is it that some people think that water-boarding is wrong but snowboarding is okay?

Jerry is in my estimation the worlds best dive-master and a very good guy.  I am using this picture of him as my computer wallpaper.  This is a perfect illustration of his style.  He is in the background directing an amazing production.


And as one final addition to the Philippines dive trip a small album of the land photos he took.

Including this rare Simon and Howard drinking photo:


Apr 22

Does History Repeat?

Posted by Simon

I got this cartoon from Joe S.  It appeared in the Chicago Tribune on 4/21/1934.

cartoon from 1934 - history repeats itself

It is a dire warning about the dangers of the socialist path the Roosevelt administration was advocating but in the 75 years since then the US and the worlds economy have boomed.  We are all better off today than we were in 1934.  Apparently some of what Roosevelt and the “young pinkies” were doing worked out pretty well.  So do we have to conclude that Orr, the cartoonist, was wrong.  No in a constitutional democracy like ours we need advocates for both sides.  It may be that the concerns of the right about the death of the “sound government” tempered the actions of the left and the middle course was the one that worked.  We shall see.

Apr 21

Plants that Swim

Posted by Simon

A couple of weeks ago I posted a bunch of photos of Crinoids.


I know you didn’t believe that they were in fact animals and could swim.  So watch this video and see the proof.  If you want to save a bit of time go to the two and a half minute mark on the video.

The video was taken by Rainer Otto one of the good people we got to know during the Codger Divers trip to the Philippines.  See more of Rainer’s photos and videos here.