A simple breathing exercise can help with stress and anxiety

Posted By on April 7, 2020

d-keep-calm-relax-button-clLikely I’m not the only one needing to de-stress or at least fall back on a few techniques to “Keep Calm and Relax.”

Here’s a Navy Seal technique to beat stress. With a little practice, you can learn “box breathing” or four-square breathing as a way to reduce anxiety.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Breathe in for four seconds.
  2. Hold air in your lungs for four seconds.
  3. Exhale for four seconds.
  4. Hold your breath, lungs emptied, for four seconds.

The Canary (cardinal) security cam alerts are driving me crazy

Posted By on April 6, 2020

CanaryCardinal_aniThought I would add a late day animated GIF to the blog … partially because these Canary alerts have become a normal annoyance by sending text message alerts and partially this cardinal is cute. Hopefully he will grow tired of “looking at himself” and find a female cardinal who he can impress!


Muzak Monday: The Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini

Posted By on April 6, 2020

HenryManciniPhotoNormally this post would be titled “Music Monday,” but since Henry Mancini’s Pink Panther Theme is often played as “elevator music,” I’m changing the subject line to Muzak Monday. The Pink Panther Theme is also a favorite for those The_Pink_Panther_Theme_coverwho enjoyed Inspector Jacques Clouseau films or just enjoyed listening to fun music played by a symphony orchestra.

During our early married years while living in Cleveland, Brenda and I often attended concerts by the Cleveland Orchestra, both downtown or their summer home at Blossom Music CenterI do miss it. Brenda is a violinist and grew up playing in orchestras and so it was a natural to pick up  tickets whenever we could (or be given them). I sort of think some of her older customers (she was a pharmacist in Shaker Heights) enjoyed seeing a few younger people appreciating and enjoying classical music and the orchestra. Considering our early loose-ties to classical music and the orchestra AND having the last name is Corbett … one would think we would be more involve with music in Cincinnati (see video below).

  The Pink Panther Theme – Henry Mancini Orchestra (mp3)

As an aside, I proposed to Brenda after a very nice concert at the Chautauqua Institution in western New York, an organization appreciated for their longtime association with music and the arts (I doubt I was thinking much about the music, and barely remember listening. HA!)

A simple framing woodworking jig idea and bookshelves update

Posted By on April 5, 2020

MiterAttachmentCrosscutSledSnipped an idea for the woodworking workshop that I’m planning to add to my table saw crosscut sled .. nothing complicated, but a way to use geometry in order to make the perfect 45 degree jig for cutting frames. It is a way to use perfect squares to accurately cut the 45 degree jig. Check out the YouTube clip – it is interesting!

As for the painting and bookshelves projects, they are slowly coming along and until you’ve primed and painted A LOT of bookshelves, you do not realize how long it takes! UGH!


I’ve also been tinkering with the accent lighting above the bookshelves and making my own strip of LEDs with the leftover “tape” (currently way too many) that will highlight the artwork display area. If and when I head to the Home Depot to purchase some additional molding material, etc … the plan is to to add a shadow depth box to the art display area. In other words, the framed art will be off the wall 3 or 4 inches in order to create a little depth and shadow to the artwork … at least that’s my plan?

As for artwork, Brenda and I have collected paintings over the years. Some from our travel and others from a couple artists in our family. We are planning to rotate a few of the pieces we have hanging throughout the house in the Library/ Music room. Hopefully the highlighted viewing will make us re-appreciate each of the pieces again.

Thoughts on everyday terms we use without thinking

Posted By on April 4, 2020

Catch22In a business meeting decades ago, Brenda used the term “Catch-22” without giving the etymology much thought. After the meeting, a older senior executive came up to her and commented that he was surprised to hear a 30-year old using the term “Catch-22” … and then asked if she knew it’s history. She did no, so he proceeded to enlighten her (she was not really interested and his “reference to the military” explanation escaped her).

She used it again the other day and then paused to ask if I knew where it came from? I spieled off something about the 1961 Joseph Heller book called “Catch-22” and the 1970 movie about the “lunacy of military decision-making.” I guess I really didn’t know. Neither of us were aware IF the term was really used in the military or if it stemmed only from the novel? (Answer: link)

So for me, it was worth reading and blogging a bit more about the term … and decided to add the movie to our Amazon Prime movie list.


Although Heller uses several circular and repetitive formulations throughout his novel that revolve around a WW2 Air Squadron, here’s a civilian example of a “Catch-22:”

In needing experience to get a job…

"How can I get any experience until I get a job that gives me experience?"

– Brantley Foster in The Secret of My Success.

Tech Friday: Word processor WordStar in 1980 for the Apple II

Posted By on April 3, 2020


Above is a graphic sent by a friend, who knows of my long time Apple addiction … and it had me pondering the Steve Jobs vs Steve Wozniak struggle when trying to grow Apple Computer back in the early days (watch the Danny Boyle Macintosh_SE_1987movie called Steve Jobs). One of the founders was an advocated for a closed system (Jobs) and the other, the engineer (Woz), believed that computer geeks wanted to be able to expand their computers. Both views had their merits.

Initially the early Apple computers were expandable, but by 1984 when the Apple Macintosh arrived, the slots were gone, the box (or unique all in one case) was buttoned up and Macintosh OS very restrictive. My first Mac was the SE with a 20MB hard drive and thankfully I found a way to “open it Apple3_5Disksup” and install a Radius accelerator card and full page external display. In my opinion, that was still one of the greatest advancement in my computing life as it help my Consolidated Printing and Publishing Co. along with software like Aldus Pagemaker grow and compete by “desktop publishing.” At the time others relied solely on typesetting companies and artboard oriented graphic artists to pasteup pages and flats … which we were doing too.

Although I can’t claim to have been an Apple II advocate back in the day, I did want one. At that time I was only familiar with mainframes, card decks and a borrowed TRS-80 Tandy with a cassette tape deck (when I took over classes at Miami University as a graduate teaching assistant for a professor on sabbatical). Eventually I did buy my first computer, a Compaq computer running MSDOS (which I still boots up).


All in all, it is interesting to have had a front row seat to personal computing history … thanks for the forwarded graphic, Jeff!      

Desultory - des-uhl-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee

  1. lacking in consistency, constancy, or visible order, disconnected; fitful: desultory conversation.
  2. digressing from or unconnected with the main subject; random: a desultory remark.
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