May 7, 2011

Capping off an overlong career

I retired from the Press-Republican a month or two ago, and everywhere I go, kindly people ask me if I'm enjoying myself in my leisure. There's no time for that, I tell them. There are important things to do and discoveries to be made. My retirement is devoted 24 hours a day to these critical pursuits. Fun will have to wait.

For example, I've lately been occupied full time with finding efficient ways to transfer toothpaste from one tube to another. How did this prickly assignment land in my lap? It's a long story, but I'll try to be brief.

I noted with elation, one day, that Aqua Fresh toothpaste had developed a tube with a cap that could be unscrewed in half a turn. That's right — half a turn! (I don't strew my exclamation points lightly.)

I ran upstairs to implore my wife: "Don't ever buy a tube of toothpaste other than Aqua Fresh," I gasped. "No Colgate. No Crest. From now on, it's Aqua Fresh for us."

She inquired with an appalling disinterest what had led to my new devotion to Aqua Fresh. I explained that the cap on the tube would come off in half a turn. Did she know what that meant? Most caps require four or five turns. Cut the time in an eighth or a 10th, and you've revolutionized how mankind lives and progresses. There are 6 billion people on the planet. Many brush their teeth. Cut two or three seconds off the time spent unscrewing a cap, and then rescrewing it back on, and you've collectively saved hours, weeks, months across the globe for meditation over serious matters affecting us all. "Do you understand what I'm driving at?"

Text Only | Photo Reprints
  • Tobias_Sue_012914.jpg World in palm of our hands

    A newsroom workshop made writer Susan Tobias realize how far technology has come since she started working at the Press-Republican.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Mulholland_Jonathan.jpg Running tips to get you in top form

    Different limb lengths, tighter muscles, stiffer joints, prior injuries all play role in determining your running style, Jonathan Mulholland writes.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • clute_cropped.jpg When children are put at risk

    Adults who deal drugs, commit domestic violence and other crimes with kids present are guilty of yet another crime, writes columnist Penny Clute.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Walace_Jolene 7-12_cropped.jpg Let these tips on planting trees take root

    You may think that digging a hole and plopping the tree in will suffice, and it will if you only want the tree to live a short time, columnist Jolene Wallace writes.

    April 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • ouellette.jpg Web doctor always gets it right

    I have access to the collected medical knowledge of all recorded history at my fingertips, columnist Steve Ouellette writes.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • colin_read.jpg Airport projects can benefit local economy

    Using a local workforce keeps wages and spending in the community if it can be done in a cost-effective manner, according to columnist Colin Read.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Gast_Richard.jpg Producers can recycle tubing

    Project allows maple-syrup makers to conveniently dispose of their used tubing in an environmentally friendly way, according to columnist Richard Gast.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • Terry_Mattingly.jpg Easter with doubters and the 'nones'

    Should more pastors ask this blunt question: "Do you really believe Jesus was raised from the dead?" wonders religion columnist Terry Mattingly.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Black_Peter_2014_cropped.jpg Canadiens are Canada's team

    The National Hockey League playoffs are underway, and for Canadiens fans, many of whom likely reside in the Montreal "suburb" of Plattsburgh, it is a time of hope and joy.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • amy_ivy.jpg Is it time to plant? Not yet

    All we can do is wait and see how things get through, columnist Amy Ivy writes.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

Peter Black: Canadian Dispatch

Lois Clermont, Editor

Cornell Cooperative Extension

Richard Gast: Cornell Ag Extension

Bob Grady

Guest Columns

Peter Hagar: Cornell Ag Connection

Health Advice

Ray Johnson: Climate Science
Gordie Little: Small Talk

Terry Mattingly: On Religion

Steve Ouellette: You Had To Ask

Colin Read: Everybody's Business

Pinch of Time