Random Thoughts

By Jack Smith

While Driving in Waco

There is a lot more about computers that I don’t understand than I do understand. The “cloud” thing is part of the former. I read an article in which someone said that the cloud was nebulous. I think of a cloud as being cumulus, but I may be a little vague about that.

I also read that the average American will spend 43 days on hold during his or her lifetime. On that score I think I may be above average. I don’t know if the worst part is the on-hold music or the lady telling me how important my call is. Thank goodness for speaker phones. Without them I would have a cauliflower ear.

Do you think it’s wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly?

Vicki and I and two other couples recently went on a wonderful cruise to the Panama Canal. Since this vacation happened while school was in session, there were no kids on the cruise. There were no young adults on the cruise. There were almost no middle age adults on the cruise. We felt very young in that crowd. It was like an assisted living cruise.

I love cruising — the food, the scenery, the relaxing. I really enjoy sitting in a comfortable place and reading a good book. Wonder why I don’t do it more at home? I guess I would blame it on the TV.

The Panama Canal was fascinating from an engineering standpoint. It’s amazing that they built the canal 102 years ago without much technology and mostly using raw manpower (personpower). The canal still works. We also made stops in Aruba, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica and Grand Cayman in the Cayman Islands.

I’m not much of a shopper, but I did buy a Panama hat. Panama hats are made in Ecuador and they don’t travel as well as predicted when rolled up and packed in a suitcase. I now own a lopsided Panama hat. Or it could be that my head is lopsided. What is a “lop”? I looked it up. To “lop” is to cut branches off a tree, making it lean to one side or become asymmetrical. Now I know.

Speaking of shopping, Vicki always says, “If the shoe fits, buy it.”

One of my favorite palindromes is: “A man, a plan, a canal, Panama!” And remember, palindrome spelled backward is emordnilap.

We flew in and out of the airport in Ft. Lauderdale. There were taxis lined up and waiting with large phone numbers printed on the sides of their cabs. There were three different cab companies, and their respective phone numbers were 222-2222, 777-7777 and 888-8888. Pretty cool. Wonder if you have to pay the phone company extra for memorable numbers?

A friend said that in order to support the environment, he was going to grow his own food, but he gave up when he couldn’t find any bacon seeds.

Is it just me or does sweet and sour sauce just taste sweet?

There’s a Chevy ad on TV that shows people guessing what car is behind three doors. The disclaimer at the bottom of the screen says, “Real people, not actors.” There are several actors I feel that way about.

It has also been announced that technology will soon let people change TV channels with their minds. This will only work out for those living alone. I can see a married couple settled down for an evening of television-watching with the channel jumping back and forth like a tennis ball at Wimbledon, switching between HGTV and ESPN every seven seconds.

Did you hear about the store that was giving away dead batteries? They were free of charge.

IF I WERE KING: Life would be more like a cruise and less like a job.