Out and About – Week of December 18th

This week’s “Myth Buster”: Computers are more reliable, and they last longer when they’re left on all the time. FALSE. The theory was that thermal cycling, from powering computers up and down, stressed and broke the components. The fact is that thermal problems are usually from heat buildup and/or poor ventilation. In any case, it’s always better to shut the machine down for energy, security, and operational reasons. Experts agree – shut it off when you leave for the day. See: Energy Star.

I try to stay away from two topics when writing this column. They are politics and religion. I do this because both are very personal and nobody else’s business. Besides you’re never going to convince another to change their beliefs on either subject. I would, however, like to mention briefly the subject of “Faith”. We all have a little faith in something. Here’s one example:

Once, in a small village, all the villagers decided to pray for rain. On the

day of prayer, all people gathered, but only one boy came with an umbrella.

That’s faith!

A week from today, Christmas will be but a memory. The excitement of opening gifts and watching others open the gifts that you provided, will still be on the minds of many. It will be time to fine tune those plans for New Year’s Eve. Next week might be confusing for many, because Monday is a holiday. This always messes my mind up, because Monday won’t feel like any other day of the week. There won’t be any mail delivery, the banks will be closed, and, of course, your friendly garbage man will be stopping by a day later than usual. The same holds true for the following week, because of New Year’s Day.

Speaking of mail delivery, there are, I’m sure, some folks who have procrastinated too long. They still have packages of gifts that need to get to loved ones in time for Christmas. Sorry folks, but I’m afraid you’re a little late. Be prepared to pay a little extra for “Next Day” delivery.

We’ve already experienced a snow storm or two, so you’d think we should know by now that, when driving with less than desirable visibility, it might be smart to have your headlights on. I mention this several times every winter, yet there are drivers who don’t heed the advice. I always have my headlights on, whether it’s daylight or dead of night. I’ve seen too many cars coming at me in inclement weather and at eleven at night. I think that there’s even a state where, if you are using your windshield wipers, your headlights must also be on. Just makes sense to me.

I’ve owned more than a few cars in my lifetime. The one thing that puzzles me, but is not a deciding factor when it comes to purchasing a vehicle, is why some vehicles come with the fueling port on the driver’s side and some on the passenger’s side. In my mind, the fuel port should be on the driver’s side just for the convenience. It also makes it easier to tell when you’re closest to the fuel pump. This is just another thing you might think about when you have nothing better to do with your time. If you’re an automotive engineer, perhaps you might be able to satisfy my curiosity.

If travel plans are in your near future, I hope you’re prepared TO spend extra time at your friendly airport. Every big holiday, the news media has staff stationed at all major airports prepared to interview stranded passengers with questions like, “Did you think you’d be sleeping on the floor of an airport on Christmas Eve?” When traveling by air, be prepared for untimely delays. Plan accordingly.

A man’s dreams are an index to his greatness.

There are two words in the English language that have all five vowels in order: “abstemious” and “facetious”.

A very Merry Christmas to all, and I’ll be seeing you Out and About!

Submitted by Norm Stutesman

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