Skip to main content


Showing posts from July, 2022

One Billion Donuts

Friends, The Mega Millions jackpot for tonight is over  one BILLION dollars!  --admit it, Dr. Evil's voice snuck into your head as you read this phrase. That's a lot of money. Even if you take the $650 million cash option and pay half in taxes, that's substantially  north of a quarter billion dollars take-home cheddar. Unfortunately, the Mega Millions billboard on I-25 South failed to envision the possibility of such a large prize, and only shows $999 Million --what's $101 Million among friends? I will spare you my thoughts on the virtues of billboard capacity planning, and will instead fess-up to paying the  tax for the statistically impaired  this week. Yes, I bought a lottery ticket yesterday. When the prize gets this big, one might be tempted to spend the $605 million it would cost to purchase every ticket combination --if one had the means, that is. Doing so guarantees you will win every prize the lottery has to offer. If no one else hits the jackpot you'd come

It's Electric!

Friends, What if   electricity  --named after elektron, Greek for "amber"-- had instead been christened after some other substance with similar properties?  We could be talking about   plasticism  or   glassitude   --after all, like amber, these materials can also store a static charge. Or how about sticking with English?   Amberness ?   Amberence ? But why stop there? The central naming authority could have gone in a very different direction. The old pantheon could have easily played a role in naming such a powerful force.   Zeusessence   anyone? How about   thordom  or   mardukance ? Heck, back when the name was coined, some hypothesized the phenomenon was caused by amber's fatty and sticky "humor" (fluid) attracting dry (thirsty) objects.   Humorness ?   Humoresence ?   Humoracity ?? Speaking of fatty and sticky, I'm heading down to   Tasty Donuts  in Commerce City to find out what all the buzz and high ratings are about. And on my way, I might just have

Cryptic Notes

Friends, As the world marvels at the first batch of Webb Space Telescope  images , I'm reminded we are all made of star stuff. Carl Sagan knew ancient stars were born, lived and died to make the stuff of which we're made (anything heavier than Beryllium originated in a dead star). We borrow these elements for a while to lead our star-struck lives. Then, one day, breathe our last, and the stuff that was us is spread to the four winds, laid to rest in a cemetery, embedded in a columbarium, stored in a mausoleum or buried in a crypt. If you happen to be in Cuenca and in the mood to tour a crypt, there are two options. Located a block apart from each other these very different final resting places sit under the city's old and the new cathedrals --think of them as the Hubble and Webb of crypts. One served its purpose well for many years, the other is newer, and much bigger. The 16th century  old cathedral  (Hubble, if you will) is now a museum. It has six small crypts, the large

7.33 Dozen

Friends, The escalinata (stairway) connecting Cuenca’s historic downtown to the Tomebamba river bank has 88 steps —the same number as keys in a piano. Counting them (stairs, not keys) helps keep my mind off the arduous 60 foot climb. Five flights between landings of 17, 18, 18, 12 and 23 steps respectively. After counting to 88 a few times, the number starts bouncing around in my head. Wasn’t that the speed professor Brown’s DeLorean reached for time travel in  Back to the Future ? Maybe, instead of OUTATIME, a better vanity license plate might have been “88MPH ”. Now, getting the number eighty eight on your license plate will cost a pretty penny in China and is impossible in Austria —for different reasons. In China, it summons fate (lucky eight). In Austria it screams out hate (father state). As for the piano, an octave has a dozen notes —the same number as donuts in a box, yet 88 isn’t a multiple of 12. I suppose Steinway wanted to throw in four baker’s dozens when they settled on th

Do You Remember?

  Friends, Ever had an old friend boast on your exploits? They describe the whole misadventure in rich detail. “I remember when this guy showed-up at Alexandra’s formal party at Hotel El Dorado, wearing white sandals and torn jeans and she had to be paged because they wouldn’t let him in...” You smile and nod, unable to recall any of it! You dig through your mental archives. Nothing. It sure sounds like something you’d do, are you losing your marbles? Of all the experiences memory retains, some more trivial than others, why didn’t this one make it through your thick skull? Lately, it seems I retain less than I used to. After some angst, I’ve come to terms with the notion that experience is like a chisel, shaping the marble block of my life into a sculpture. I may not remember every stroke, but everything I do chips away at the old block, revealing my character. All those “lost” moments create the space my true self needs to manifest itself. Memory retains interesting, useful, comfortin