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About MickinMD

  • Birthday 10/01/1950

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  • Location
    Baltimore, Maryland
  • Interests
    chess, cycling, science, politics, history

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    cheap mountain bike

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  1. There are a couple of trips I do often where the Garmin wants me to take a route that's not the best. Here's an example that also shows why it's worth taking a look at a map - whether it's paper or on your phone screen. I have cousins that live on the West side of the Susquehanna River opposite Wilkes-Barre in Kingston and Larksville, PA. When I visit from Baltimore. traveling North on I-81, which passes East of Wilkes-Barre, the Garmin nuvi-52 wants me to take an exit that takes me near Blackmun St. which winds through town and connects with two more slow streets that take me SW to reach the bridge at Plymouth (left-middle of map) that's a few miles on slow streets from Larksville and Kingston (above and right of Plymouth). But a few exits later on I-81, there's another connecting expressway, Rt. 309. that crosses the river and has an exit right at the edge of Kingston, a few minutes from the cousin's home whose address is the one the Garmin is working with. I tried the Garmin's route and it's slow, even with little traffic. The locals confirm Rt. 309 is the way to go. Now I always keep driving past the I-81 exit the Garmin wants me to take and it recalculates a few times, finally picking Rt. 309. There is an online app that lets you set a route and copy it to the unit's memory, but it's not user-friendly and it's more work than worthwhile to set it up.
  2. I've been lazy. I was supposed to mow the lawn but have been waking up with some minor allergy effects after long periods outside the previous day, so I decided to wait until after Easter. I made moves in 10 rated chess games for Teams USA, USA Southeast, and Team Maryland and don't have to move again until Monday in 2 games and Wednesday in 8 games. I have to peel 8 lbs of potatoes, cut them into raw cubes for potato salad, then store them under water in a pot on the stove overnight. That way they'll be all ready to be boiled tomorrow. I'm going to have an 8 oz. boneless pork chop with BBQ rub and salsa and baby potato wedges, tossed with a little olive oil and baked for dinner, and then will watch TV and peel/cut potatoes.
  3. I get the same left-open lid about 50% of the time. Note that in most locations, starting garbage men make more than starting teachers despite the fact that teachers put in about 300 hours more per year than the average worker and are on task almost all the time. So they should be paid enough to close the lids.
  4. That was my first thought: public restrooms in American cities are hard to locate outside of businesses. When I prepare to travel overseas, one of the the first things I do is learn the words or characters for restroom and there are usually free public ones available. In Paris' Tuileries Gardens, I saw a sign that simply read "WC ->" and I assumed that WC stood for "Water Closet." I followed the arrow and found a small bathroom and relief! But I wonder why there was over 5 times as much feces in 2018 as in 2011. Either there's greater diligence in feces counting or there's a huge growth in homelessness or available facilities have greatly decreased in just 7 seven years.
  5. I regularly buy 40 oz. of frozen chicken tenderloins from Aldi for $4.99. There are about 13 pieces, each around 3 oz. They bake in an oven to nice and juicy chicken breast pieces at 375F for about 25 min. to reach 165F internal temp. If you don't use them up in a few days you can cut them into bite-sized pieces and freeze them, then use as much as desired. They are very versatile. I've added them to pasta or Rice-A-Roni or shred half a baked piece plus an ounce or so of frozen mixed veggies to a 3 oz. package Ramen Noodle soup when I'm nuking it. Or shred one and cook a handful of wide egg noodles and frozen mixed or soup veggies, drain and add to hot water with some Better Than Bouillon Chicken Base to make a quick and very good chicken noodle soup. They also taste great with Weber BBQ Rub or with a Mississippi-style BBQ Sauce (4 tbsp each ketchup & brown sugar, 2 tbsp each vinegar and Worcestershire sauce, 1 tbsp each Dry Italian Seasoning and minced garlic, cayenne pepper as desired). They can be soaked, raw, in an egg/milk wash then coated with a mixture of flour with a little dry Italian Seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper (a great approximation of the Colonel Sanders chicken seasoning I cooked as a teenager) and either pan fried or sprayed with a little cooking oil and baked.
  6. A scientist, at some point, realized that two different species of human-infesting lice existed, one type that infests hair and one that infests clothing. He realized that the two types would have been the same species but separated into a second species that focused on clothing, so if he could figure out how long ago the two types of lice became different, he could figure out how long humans have been wearing clothes. The estimate is around 170,000 years.
  7. There's a documentary on local PBS right now called, "10 Streets That Changed America." The young narrator, riding part of the original "Lincoln Highway" that initially connected the New York City area to the Midwest, asks a guide, "How did they figure out where to go without GPS?" I loved navigating with paper maps on long trips. I can remember not trusting GPS. My sister gave me a birthday present of a Garmin car GPS in the early 2000s but I didn't use it for a couple years until I was riding with her from a relative's church wedding in Westminster, MD to the reception hall in Gettysburg, PA and she had no idea of how to get there but let her same model GPS unit tell her where to go and turn on the 20 or so miles of several rural roads and she had no trouble. Still, until a few years ago I'd print out a couple 8.5" x 11" paper maps to get an easier glance at the route while driving. Today, I no longer print maps and use GPS even on roads I know but don't know how far down the road the crabhouse is, etc. If I want to look at a map, today's smartphones provide large enough screens to consult maps from Google Maps and Here WeGo (permanent offline) maps, when I want an overview of where I'm going.
  8. I usually have Maury on at 9 am and the most typical commercials are those aimed at the unemployed hoping to sue a former employer, drug company, etc. or insurance for people with bad driving records, debt consolidation companies, etc.
  9. Hometown - in June, 1972 when Hurricane Agnes flooded much of the Mid-Atlantic. The closed group, I grew up in Brooklyn PARK Maryland ("PARK" in all caps to distinguish it from neighboring Brooklyn, Maryland, a less-affluent area inside Baltimore City) is a great nostalgia site with lots of us Brooklyn Park High School alumni posting old pictures. Back then, I was trying to find any bridge still open that crossed the Patapsco River, which normally flowed about 100 feet behind these houses, so I could get to college, UMBC, and turn off the chemistry research reaction that was running in a lab. When the flooding was at its highest point, I was driving downhill on Edgevale Road, the road just behind the point from which this picture was taken that meets this Riverside Road. Suddenly, it occurred to me that Edgevale was leveling off sooner than I remembered. I came to a stop about 10 feet short of running into the water! It's fun to stay in touch with old classmates. Paul Kriewald, who liked this picture, and I are unique to the school because we not only were students in the same class at BPHS but later teachers there together and we also coached the Track Team together that we had run on together as students. Debbie Sanders, the other listed liker, was also in our class.
  10. We evolved to sleep before we had fire so my guess would be we'd tend to sleep with our faces toward darkness. No one knows why we evolved a sleep mechanism. Some think that early creatures who slept during darkness were less likely to be detected by predators and they survived to pass the sleep habit on to the next generations. If so, snoring must have begun much later!
  11. My 80 year-old cousin Sally, in Bristol, PA, called me yesterday and said the same thing - when you're getting old it seems there's always some health issue that pops up. I wish the best for you and your wife Sally had been prescribed the antibiotic "Levofloxacin" and has had knee tendon problems ever since - a known issue with that drug. Two others I know have also had joint problems after taking it, but Sally got to the point where she couldn't walk, was in pain, and was taken to the hospital. They couldn't find anything with X-rays. She's now staying at her daughter's and awaiting an MRI appointment. Her pain is on the inside of the knee, just below the knee. That's where a lot of athletes get Medial Collateral Ligament injuries, so I told her to complain that she might have an MCL tear until they properly do an MRI.
  12. My first thought on seeing the thread title was the Seinfeld Muffin Tops episode, but Kzoo beat me to it. This is a lazy day for me. I'm taking multi-song videos I've downloaded from YouTube or wherever and cropping from each one the single-song I listen to the most to make a separate single-song video file with the freeware Mediacoder, also correcting for out-of-sync audio. Right now I'm doing Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman" from Black & White Night with Bruce Springsteen, Jackson Browne, Elvis Costello, etc., then I'm doing Charlotte Church's "If I Loved You" from her 2001 Enchantment Concert in Wales - the most perfect singing performance I've ever heard, then Jackson Brown's "Stay" from his concert shown on BBC in 1978 with Rosemary Butler, David Lindley, etc.
  13. Easter dinner and long extended-family discussions on Sunday. About 18 of us are getting together and many of us bringing dishes. I'm doing several pounds each of: Polish Kielbasa (from fresh) with sauerkraut and a German-style (equal volumes of vinegar & mayo) potato salad with bacon and onions plus 10 disposable containers for people to take leftovers home. I got seven big Mary Sue chocolate-covered Butter Cream Easter Eggs for the kids.
  14. If you're looking for a large screen (17.3" or 15.6") Walmart Online has great prices on just-like-new refurbished HP laptops but I don't recommend them to anyone unless they have the skill to deal with some initial software problems that sometimes arise. A relative of mine called Apple and they hooked up to the laptop through the Internet and solved his problems then threw in a free Microsoft Office 2016 for his trouble. I got my last two laptops there. The only problem is that the 3rd party people sent me laptops where I had to send back (at their expense) the first laptop they shipped to me in each case. Supposedly, certified refurbished HP laptops are passed back through the assembly line but clearly there were still problems. But the price was worth the hassle for me for the 17.3" of screen I want. Right now, I see this one that's similar to one I got in the past, though my guess is that a virtually identical one for around $300 will appear within the next month. In general, computers with AMD processors are considerably cheaper than those with Intel processors of the same quality. The AMD A10-9620P is a quad-core processor that runs from 2.5 GHz to 3.4 GHz, speeding up from 2.5 if an application requires it. That's fast enough to run 1080p Anagraph 3D video, which is the most demanding stuff I run. The last one I got, for $519, has 12 GB RAM, a 2 TB HD and a 3+ GHz quad core processor that listed at $1399 new and I've been using it for 2 years.
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