Rick's Ramblings

You have found Rick's Ramblings, a Web Log.

I have been writing in this space for a few years now. Visit the archives to get a feel for my style.

Thanks for visiting one of my creative outlets! Please send me an e-mail, or add a comment to any post.

More Rick Umali web sites at:

Yahoo! Geocities
Lycos Tripod
The World
My Own Domain

Email: rickumali@gmail.com

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Saturday, April 21, 2001
Lately, the obituaries have given me pause. Today, the New York Times reported that the inventor of the single-handle faucet died. The inventor's name was Alfred Moen, and he was 84. Mr. Moen told his company's newsletter: "...you ought to be able to get what you want out of a faucet. The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced that a single-handled mixing faucet was the answer, so I began to make some drawings." He had to convince a metal products company to build his design, and it originally sold for $12.

Fast forward: Moen, Inc. is one of the world's major producers of plumbing products. It's presently a division of Fortune Brands.

Mr. Moen did not finish college. He held some 200 patents, and served as the head of research and development until 1982, when he retired. Now this is a life!

Thursday, April 19, 2001
Today, I did a highly adult thing. I went to the main branch of my bank in Harvard Square, and put some important documents into my safety deposit box.

The ritual of obtaining the box is enough to remind me that I'm a grown-up. First, you sign in. Then you present your key to the attendant, who then uses it along with his master key to open the small safe (yours!) inside the vault. Then he grabs the actual deposit box itself. This is a thin, long, black metal affair. The attendant then ushers you to a small room with two chairs (presumably more than one person can view the box at once). Then the door closes, and you're all alone, with your most valued possessions.

For me, a sampling includes: my birth and baptism certificates, and the title deed to my wife's car. Our marriage license is in there as well.

When you leave, it feels like you just finished confession: relief, pride (I just did something good!), happy. It's wonderfully sobering to visit your safety deposit box.

Wednesday, April 18, 2001
The Washington Capitals stuck it to the Pittsburgh Penguins in overtime, winning 4-3 in this NHL playoff game. The playoff series is now tied 2-2.

I love watching ice hockey. It's the most exciting television sport to me. And no, the puck isn't too small. I rarely watch whole games now. I remarked to my mother-in-law a few weeks back that I've watched my share of hockey games: all I need is to snack on a few minutes of hockey on TV now and then.

I like the moment in an ice hockey telecast when the referee blows the whistle to stop play, and instantly the players 'stop skating', and glide to their next position. They slide in graceful curves back to the face off dot, or to their positions. Occasionally, there will be a quarter-hearted push, or shove, between opposing players.

I always feel like skating after watching any ice hockey, usually because I see a player do something that I'd like to try: skate backwards with one foot, and then change direction; a nifty cross-over deke. My playing days are over, but the love of the game remains.

My wife discovered yesterday that she needs to have a root canal done, and I found a good explanation of the process at http://www.animated-teeth.com. I found out about this web site through About.com, always a terrific resource for primers on many subjects.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001
I spent some part of the evening reading about the Trellix and Blogger deal. I am a big fan of Dan Bricklin's web site. And of course I love BLOGGER. Reading about the deal was actually very heart-warming. I used Trellix to build a web album of my Paris trip with my wife, and I'm looking forward to some positive synergies here.

Monday, April 16, 2001
I'm so confused about days and dates since I've stopped working. In the evening, I was about to take out the recycling bin, for the usual Wednesday pickup. My wife (who is also not working!) told me that it's only Monday. And then she reminded me that since Monday is a Massachusetts holiday, the recycling pickup would be on Thursday.

Sunday, April 15, 2001
Happy Easter.

In Massachusetts, tomorrow is a holiday: Patriot's Day. The Boston Marathon will be run. There will also be an afternoon Red Sox game (versus the Baltimore Orioles). Post Offices and banks will be closed. And we actually get one extra day to file our taxes because the IRS center in North Andover will be closed.