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About MickinMD

  • Birthday 10/01/1950

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

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  • Bike(s)
    cheap mountain bike

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  1. https://news.yahoo.com/let-borrow-bike-atlanta-police-132713211.html Police in Atlanta were able to apprehend a murder suspect thanks to a passerby’s bicycle. ...“I’m riding home from work... and the next thing I see is APD officers jogging towards me,” said Mr Willard. “The next thing I know one of the officers is waving his arms and flags me down and says, ‘Hey, man let me borrow your bike!’ “
  2. The three sets of graphs I look at each morning: The first is the 3-day rolling average of new deaths/day, where things look generally good for the USA: https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/daily-covid-deaths-3-day-average?country= The second is the 5-day rolling avg. of new daily cases, where things were looking unbelievably bad, but there's a hint of governors and people waking up: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/data/new-cases The third is my state's hospitalization and death and and new cases data, which look encouraging: https://coronavirus.maryland.gov/
  3. There are some late-bloomers that could do well in academic courses after 9th Grade, but watch out: I hope Ontario doesn't go too far the other way like the USA did. In the USA, the trend begun with the despicable No Child Left Behind program (known by teachers as "No Child Gets Ahead"), was to pretend that even Special Ed kids should take courses in Physics, high Algebra, etc. The result was that the top academic classes got dumbed-down to let unqualified but admitted students pass, so top students were less prepared for college and that lower-level students were denied great paying jobs in auto repair, masonry, carpentry, etc. because the students were required to take ridiculously watered-down courses like "Elements of Geometry" that kept them out of Vocational Technology courses. I was hired by my county's school system - in which I taught - for some summers in the mid 00's to evaluate how kids that went directly from high school into the workforce were prepared for it. I was hired because I was an industrial chemist before I entered teaching and understood the "real world." I spent time at everything from Sun Room construction companies to restaurants to United Airlines operation at BWI Airport. There were auto repair shop owners pointing out to me guys in their mid-20's with specialized skills in frame repair, certificates in air conditioning, etc. making $100,000/year with tons of overtime because too few auto mechanics were coming out of the schools. The repair shops of most of the major new car dealers in my area were renting repair bays out to subcontractors because they couldn't find enough mechanics to hire themselves. They were literally begging the high schools to produce more trained mechanics, but the schools had their hands tied by No Child Left Behind. Meanwhile, kids with learning disorders were memorizing things complicated enough they'd forget them two weeks later like, "If two parallel lines are crossed by a transversal, alternate interior angles are equal."
  4. Semi-rational Rationalizations that coronavirus is pretty much tamed though not defeated in Maryland keep entering my mind. I have to keep reminding myself of Tchaikovsky dying of cholera because he got tired of boiling water before drinking it during an epidemic. I wonder if the Mid-Atlantic States that got whacked hard initially are doing much better now, despite reopening, because a big enough fraction of the population has already had it that COVID-19 is having a harder time jumping to new victims and that's why COVID-19 has become so low there, while states not hit as hard initially, like Texas and Florida, have a population wide-open to being infected plus an idiotic leadership. Have a few months of worry made us gun shy of activities that are reasonably safe? An example of overreaction is my sister, who almost died from COVID-19 and she has severely restricted activities and is retiring in August at age 61 from a great, interesting, 6-figure job at Johns Hopkins Hospital - though she's well-set for retirement. I wonder if the traumatic months have made me too self-isolated when I realize that COVID-19 now only kills 1 out of every 500,000 Marylanders per day and about 1 of every 15,000 Marylander is (acute or critical) hospitalized for COVID-19. Of course, a lot of those dead or hospitalized had/have additional illnesses adding to or primarily the problem. On the other hand, 2740 of the 3140 deaths in Maryland were to those 60 and older and I'll be 70 in October. I would like to know how many of those who died had no problem walking a few miles, chainsawing, and doing other things without becoming short of breath, dizzy, etc. If I get it now, how much better prepared is the medical establishment to minimize my problems?
  5. Just a couple weeks ago, my cousin Ed was asking via email, Facebook, etc. if the state rules had been changed about the numbers allowed in outdoor bar/restaurant seating. Looks like he's back in business indoors. The Facebook comments ("Wing Night at The Birdcage tonight folks!!! Buy 5 and get 5 FREE! Don't forget to come on out tomorrow night for our Ladies Night/Karaoke with Samantha starting at 7. Always a lot of fun and some pretty good singers too!" "Ok we are going to try again to get our Thursday night "Showtime Trivia" going with our fantastic host Ron!!!) show Ed's open indoors! My brother's band Switch plays there on the last Friday of the month in normal times and I'll have to ask him if he'll be there soon - I know the band is practicing Wed. nights in my brother's basement.
  6. When I had a sinus problem in mid-March, I had to wait in my car in the office parking lot, phone the office to say I was there, was handed a mask at my car and escorted inside where I didn't see any other patients in a 4-doctor office. I just phoned to see what the procedure is for my Friday diabetic Blood Test and the follow-up with the Doc the following Friday. It's all back to normal except for masks and social distancing: just walk in the door wearing a mask, check-in, and sit while social distancing. Of course, I always social distance in the doctor's office anyway! This is going to be easy this week because they always call me for the blood test within 10 minutes of arrival, but next week I see the Doc and he is often 1/2 - 3/4 hour behind schedule. Sitting with a mask on for that time is doable but will be uncomfortable.
  7. MickinMD

    Hit and run

    My guess is it's more likely a kid's ball or something hit it. My last car, a 1997 Ford Taurus, was bumped in the rear bumper, by a hit-and-run driver, so mildly it was hard to see where it was bumped. But it was enough to trigger the air bags which popped and caused hundreds of windshield cracks. Since the car was 16 years-old when that occurred on Dec. 31, 2012, the cost of repair was more than the $900 Blue Book value so State Farm totaled it. The weird thing was that State Farm considered dealer mark-up, taxes, etc. and cut me a check for $2992 - giving me $2092 more than I would have gotten from a trade-in! I had spent a few years at car shows, online, etc., waiting for Soc.Sec. to kick-in in late 2012 before paying cash for a new car and had already decided on a Vortex Blue 2011-2013 Honda Fit. The used cars were nearly as expensive as new on that Consumer Reports Best-Bang-for-the-Buck and Most Fun to Drive car, so on Jan. 8, 2013, I turned-in the rental car State Farm had supplied and the rental car people drove me to the Honda Dealer where my brand new 2013 Honda Fit was ready to be picked up.
  8. All this, of course, assumes price is no object. If price is a problem, 12 GB RAM and a quad-core processor that's around 3.4 GHz or faster (AMD Quad-Core A12-9720P is up to 3.6 GHz, great and cheap) will run 1080p, 3D Anaglyph movies smoothly and should be fast enough to handle any ordinary stuff for years. AMD processors work about the same as the same GHz and core number Intel processors but are a lot cheaper (hundreds).
  9. MickinMD


    I still haven't gotten the USPS sent replacement Costco Visa from Citi that I got a text was mailed on 6/23. On 6/22, I got an email that my other Citi Card, Double Cash Mastercard, was expiring in a couple months and "Your new card will arrive in about one month in a generic envelope." On 7/2, I got a text that the Double Cash card had been shipped! I'm going to do the message-box thing with Citi again and get another Costco Visa mailed to me - the current one is working after a cleaning and expires July 31.
  10. There are three cartoons, click the right arrow on the right middle to move forward.
  11. The NFL is designing new uniform covers that will insure games will be played in 2020 while protecting the players from the virus. A prototype is now being tested and just a few bugs need to be ironed out before the season starts.
  12. The Chiefs' Quarterback Patrick Mahomes just signed the first ever HALF A BILLION DOLLARS sports player contract! It's for $503 million with "$477 million in guarantee mechanisms." The story at NFL.com is here. I have three concerns. 1) The NFL is so popular that taking one other person to an NFL game has become a financial adventure. Looks like that's going to continue to soar far above the inflation rate. 2) I wonder how many hundreds of dollars per year in increased product prices I'm paying to pay for the advertisements and endorsements with the NFL. That's likely to increase with NFL payroll caps expanding at a rapid rate. 3) The Ravens are said to be in good shape when Lamar Jackson's $2.5 million/year rookie contract runs out in 2022, with supposedly $40 million/year left under the salary cap then. But Mahomes contract will probably mean Jackson eats up that $40M/yr and the Ravens won't be able to keep their large number of excellent players.
  13. Thanks for the more blueberries rec's. I'll try it next time. But I don't understand that ratio. Isn't 50:50 one blueberry to one pancake? I used 5-6 because, the last time, I threw the blueberries into the container of batter, they sunk to the bottom and there were too many blueberries in the last batch. Next time I'll use more, maybe 7-8. I'll slowly move the number up until I reach what's optimum for me. I want blueberry pancakes, not blueberry jam. They do spread out:
  14. Have a fire. There are a lot less things to move.
  15. MickinMD


    No. I haven't been getting mail regularly. A replacement Costco Visa was supposed to arrive by June 30, mailed to my apartment. The old one is working but expires 7/31. If I don't get it in a couple days, I'll have to request another. I've also gotten a few pieces of damaged mail in the last month or so that arrived in a plastic bag the USPS put it in.
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