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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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  • Bike(s)
    cheap mountain bike

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  1. I took a break last fall from competitive chess after a couple years of tournaments without a break. I just got this message from our Team USA Southeast Administrator: Next up....Albania. Team USA Southeast is down on every board, with kickoff Thursday night. The East Europeans are strong. We need our "Cruisers", our 1500s, 1600s, and 1700s to lead us to victory. Thanks, Jim My current rating is 1726 and it's been as high as 1889. But, just like baseball, football, etc. I need a pre-season period to get back into form and the VERY good Albanians will kick the shit out of me right now. So I have to start doing tactics drills, puzzles, studying openings, etc. I'll start after I get my lost property list from the fire completed this month.
  2. Note that the mask works to protect you for only about 10 minutes and the reason they're recommending wearing masks is to protect others from you, who may be asymptomatic and not know you have the virus. I have one from my visit to the doctor's office Monday (sinus inflammation) but I'll have to practice wearing it before I go out because when I exhale so air is coming up under my glasses and fogging them and you make things more dangerous for yourself if you touch the gloves with your hands as you are out and about.
  3. The mounds in high school and college softball are flat with the top of the 24" x 6" pitching rubber (allegedly) even with the level of the playing surface. The pitchers waste no time at the beginning of the game to dig, with their cleats, a channel in front of the mound so they can launch themselves toward the plate. The pitcher's foot is supposed to be in touch with the pitching rubber as the ball leaves her hand, but the good ones managed to cheat by a foot or so with their launch.
  4. There was an abandoned chalk quarry a mile from our community through a thick woods and there were 20 foot high walls of chalk where they had stopped digging. That's where we went for target practice with 22's. Several of us - around age 12 - 15, would walk a mile with our rifles in soft cases to Sears to but 22 shorts. This was around 1963 and no one thought anything unusual about it. We then walked back and to the chalk quarry.
  5. I also don't care about what they do with my remains. There was an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where humans observed, on the Enterprise, the Klingon Death Ritual for the first time. After it was over, the Enterprise crew asked the Klingons what they wanted done with the body. "You may do with it as you wish. It is now just an empty husk." Those watching it with me were a little shocked, but not me. I feel the same way. When I'm dead, I don't know if my spirit continues to exist, but clearly "I" will no longer occupy the container I'm currently in. Of course, funerals are for the living - not for the dead. So I want to be cremated, have my friends and relatives celebrate my life/death on one of those party boats that go between Baltimore and Annapolis in a couple hours and during the short cruise, dump my ashes in the Bay so they can provide nutrients that end up in crab shells, etc.
  6. Can't help. The late Dr. Victor Vitullo, the professor with a big grant who hired me to do research as an undergrad used to ask students, "What do you get when you cross a Polack with an Irishman? Then he'd point to me! And he'd get laughs!
  7. I took a hit in pay with Social Security plus a good pension compared to working, but my last house payment occurred 7 months after I retired and with no FICA plus tax advantages, I ended up with more spending money in retirement than when I worked.
  8. A chocolate egg or bunny I'm wondering what to get the younger people in my family. We have an outstanding Easter Egg company locally called "Mary Sue Candies." They make a 12 oz. pecan nougat egg and a 16 oz chocolate butter cream egg, each for about $7.99, that are both to die for. I usually hunt them down - Walmart usually carries them locally - and get 8 of them: one for me, one for each of the 7 younger members of our extended local family. Because of limited contact, I'd like to get 2 of them for my nephews that I still see on occasion. If I don't find Mary Sue Easter Eggs in Walmart next week, i give up. I'll get them a chocolate bunny of some kind.
  9. I almost had an accident from laughing so hard at a bumper sticker I saw a few years back: "Born ok the first time." If these people could put together a biblical reference that would justify these claims, I could understand their taking their position. Or if EVERYONE who was totally religiously faithful never had a serious illness, I could understand. But I have no respect for someone who can quote or put spins on a few choice phrases from a religious text but knows very little about the test as a whole. I'm not religious - a "supposed to be Catholic" - but I am extremely well read and studied in both the Old and New Testaments. I know people who are "born again" and they will tell of things to come because of some spin on a Biblical quote. I'll then ask them about other Biblical quotes and get a blank stare: they don't have a clue what I'm talking about because they never studied the Bible!
  10. I tried it before and liked it a lot so I tried it again and it was very good! I don't have any lemon juice, I don't have any of the creamy or cheesy frozen potatoes, etc. I usually have with fish while trying to avoid tartar sauce or other higher-calorie stuff as a condiment. Last year, I saw a recipe for fish cacciatore - with tomatoes, onions, etc. I tried it, didn't particularly like it, then thought, "A little salsa on it would make it taste better!" Then, DUH, it occurred to me to just put salsa on it! I think it's great, but then again I love a good, chunky salsa (Aldi's is 24 oz for $1.19 and makes Tostitos, Pace, etc. look like purees) and I put salsa on breakfast bowls, meatloaf, and lots of things.
  11. I normally have a lot more frozen veggies in my freezer, but I didn't move into my apartment until March 10th, and by the time I hit the stores on March 12th the pickings were already slim unless you wanted several pound bags. So I've got lots of canned veggies and my refrigerator freezer is mostly a carnivore's dream. My refrigerator freezer's main compartment: Mostly prepared stuff including: 2 lb kielbasa, pierogies, meatballs, 2 12' Red Baron Pizza's, creamed chipped beef, some frozen bags of veggies, a few frozen dinners and lots of breakfast stuff and 2 pints of Ben and Jerry's Phish Food and Chocolate Fudge Brownie ice cream. The top shelf in the door has 4 lb of Top Round Steak cut into 6-8 oz. pieces, 4 lb of BBQ seasoned Chicken Leg Quarters, 1 lb Haddock Filets, and 2 lb of 16-21 count "easy open" raw shrimp. The bottom shelf in the door has 3 lb of ground beef divided into 8 oz ZipLoc packages, 1.5 lb of stuffed salmon, 5 lb of chicken nuggets, plus various stuff that wouldn't fit in the main compartment. My refrigerator has 1 lb of bacon, 2 lb of boneless ham, and 3 lb of corned beef that say use or freeze by May 21, May 25, and June 3 respectively.
  12. Haddock Filet, Baked with Salsa, Baked Potato Chunks tossed with EVOO and seasoned with Italian Seasoning, Salt and Pepper:
  13. Almost every other advanced nation is showing a decrease in new cases, possibly because they began preparing for it long before the USA did. Check out this webpage: https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html click on "Daily Cases" under the graph on the right, and then start clicking on the list of countries. You'll see that almost every country has dropped below it's peak except for nations including the USA, Romania, Indonesia, Algeria, and Egypt. The Gov. of New York expects the "Apex" of cases to hit there within the next 10 days. There's a good chance the number of new cases will begin to drop substantially during the last half of April. So I'm hoping that, with some minor shopping next week, I'm good for the month and then things will start getting better. I've been saying for a couple weeks that shopping while numbers are low is a very good idea and it's why I went on my "now I'm officially a hoarder" spree a week ago.
  14. A friend owed 7 cents on a bill to some store or service. He was so pissed off they'd worry about 7 cents he didn't pay it. They sent him at least 10 letters before giving up. I guess there was an accountant irritated that he couldn't take the money off the books. Right now, I have $0.96 in Apache Oil stock at E*Trade. I sold the stock after the record date for tiny dividend, so I got the dividend even though I had sold the stock. I just leave it there and it's the only stock I have at E*Trade now. As long as there's no annual fee I figure it will keep my account open!
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