Sam Lapides goes to the grocery store to buy some salt

I distinctly remember Lou Holtz telling this joke, which is classic today.

Sam Lapides (that was his character that he used), Sam Lapides goes to the grocery store to buy some salt. He goes to the grocer and he says to the grocer, “Have you got, do you have salt?”

And the man says, “Have I got salt? Have I got salt? Here, take a look this wall. Salt, salt. Take a look down here. Salt, salt. Take a look here. Barrels salt, boxes salt. Come on downstairs. I show you more salt. That kind of salt. We have salt here. And where else? Salt. Salt. My God.”

And Sam Lapides says, “This is marvelous, but will you ever sell all this salt?”

And the grocer he says, the grocer says, “Me? I can’t sell salt, but the guy who sells me salt, OH can he sell salt.”

–Shelley Berman (When Jews Were Funny)

Eyesight goes down hill when I’m tired

My eyesight continues to decline year after year.  One of the things I don’t recall being a problem when I was younger, is how sleep deprivation can affect my eyesight.  When I’m tired, I can barely focus on a computer screen.  Blurred letters and double-vision make it almost impossible to do any kind of work.  Fortunately, getting some sleep seems to restore my eyes – at least for now.

Making a mailbox delivery alert using coat hanger wire

Inspired by this gadget, I’m attempting to replicate the functionality using a coat hanger wire bent in a similar fashion.

Here’s what I did:

  1. Took a coat hangar, cut the wire and curled one end in a spiral (I wrapped it around a pencil, metal mandrel would have been better) to act as the lever (the part that makes contact with the front of the mailbox). Shaped the hangar more or less to mimic the commercial gadget in length, bending the angled end at about 50 degrees.
  2. Made a large loop at the bend and worked it into the cavity in the small caster wheel
  3. Used magnets to hold the caster wheel and the stop (just a corner bracket adhered with caulk to the magnet) against the side of the mailbox.
  4. Attached a marker flag with zip ties to the hangar.
  5. Positioned caster wheel about 1.5″ from bottom and 2″ from front.

Voila. It works!

Repairing the old mailbox

The two screws holding the mailbox to the redwood plank had become loose due to wood rot. I got my cordless drill, some new drywall screws the same length and drilled and fastened two more connections. Seemed to due the trick (at least for now). This of course led me to Google “old mailbox repair” which opened my eyes to lots of photos and the lore of old rusty mailboxes.