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Thursday, November 9, 2017


Once a month I try to get ten hours of sleep.  That happened last night mostly because I walked 18 holes at the Ala Wai Golf Course (see the rainbow I played through by scrolling to the next posting--here is a second photo to the right).  When I awoke this morning I had no idea what would be my topic of the day, something that has been occurring more times than not during my almost ten years of doing this daily blog.  I now have less than half a year to go when my experiment with creative writing will end, but if I continue in any way, it will certainly not be every day.

In bed while watching TV I developed three themes for consideration:
  • The Marvelettes were singing Please Mr. Postman on the Music Channel of Solid Gold Oldies, and the info section to the right indicated that this was a cover of a Beatles' tune.  I said, nah, that cannot be true, for that song was the first Motown hit to reach #1 on the Billboard 100 way back in 1961, and I didn't think the Beatles began recording until after I graduated from college in 1962.  This will become a posting within a week, if not tomorrow.
  • The worst case scenarios Donald Trump can inflict on Planet Earth (global warming), the World (nuclear holocaust) and the USA (end of democracy as we know it).  However, people just don't like to read my diatribes about our current President, so maybe this will never become a posting.
  • For no reason at all, I began to wonder how cavemen/women cut their finger and toe nails.  Wikipedia reports that, while scissors were invented around 1500 BC in Egypt, an early variation was found in Mesopotamia 500 years before that.
So that is how AN OPTIMAL WAY TO CUT YOUR FINGER AND TOE NAILS became the topic of today.  Of course, I'm already a kind of expert in this field, for in May of this year I posted:

Interestingly enough, this became one of my more popular articles.  Note the term "optimal," for I have since then improved my cutting technique, which I'll get to at the end.

Okay, then, back to cavemen.  Answers Magazine shows this interesting graphic:

I did not realize that Homo erectus was so prominent in the past.  So this reportage goes on to report that at the end of the Great Flood around 2350 BC...wait a minute, this publication believes that we were created around 10,000 years ago.  Whoops.

Wikipedia starts by decrying the notion of the term caveman as a conflated and anachronistic stock character.  Well....  Anyway, earliest humans came way after dinosaurs, first appearing perhaps 4 million years ago, and many of them no doubt lived in caves.  The latest news about Homo sapiens is that we date back 300,000 years ago in Morocco.  How did they and early humanity in general cut their nails for 300 millennia or so?

But let's go back even further and answer three questions that no doubt have been bedeviling you all your life:
  • Why do we have hair, wisdom teeth and male nipples?  I'll get down to details someday.  The latest on your appendix, by the way, is that it harbors good bacteria for your gut.
  • Why we have nails is a simple matter of evolution.  The predecessors of apes had claws, which become what they are today.  We came from apes, and are now stuck with this almost useless portion of our anatomy.  Some guitar players use them and they can be applied to pick your nose, but that's about it.
  • How do apes control the length of their nails?  They have the ability to bite them off, including their toenails.  But how many humans have that kind of flexibility to reach all the way down there?
The consensus, thus, seems to be that early humans survived dangerously long nails through manual labor, walking barefeet, early versions of paring knives, biting and a range of abrasive instruments.

Today, Everyday Health says:
  • cut straight across and avoid cutting nails into a curve shape
  • use both finger and toe nail clippers
  • leave nails a little long
  • cut nails when they're dry, not wet
I disagree with all the above.  I take a bath just before nail cutting time and curve the final product to the shape of the finger or toe.  That article does say use a file (for which the Nail Care Plus is ideal) and don't cut your cuticles, which make sense to me.

Me?  I was blessed with a mother who cut both my finger and toenails, and a wife who also called it a duty to do so.  However, I wonder how I survived college?  The past eight years after Pearl passed away have been tedious, until only recently when, with some advice of friends, I finally optimized the process.  Still a drudge, but I don't want to pay $25+ for a combined manicure/pedicure.  I could try to find a new wife or companion willing to do this, but that would take too much effort for the possible downsides.

15 Craigside actually has a foot doctor that comes a couple of times a month, and several resident have her cut their toenails.  When you get old, it is painful to do this yourself.  However, I think that is too much of an insult to have a medical doctor do this.  Plus, I hear that she does a terrible job.

So here are my tools:

For a while the dremel (black device with plug in cord) eliminated the scissors, cutters and emery boards, but it was heavy and too powerful.  So I bought a mini-dremel optimized for nails (white, battery-powered device).  However, the Nail Care Plus (NCP) took too long, especially for my big toe nails. Thus, I optimized by adding back two nail cutters, plus the NCP:

I wouldn't call this one of my joys in life, for the effort still takes ten to twelve minutes, and I need to do this every two to three weeks, but compared with the traditional methods, not bad at all.

A small typhoon awaits Donald Trump:

Still a tropical storm, now over the Philippines, Haikui will attain hurricane strength and threaten Vietnam, two countries left in our President's tour of the Orient.


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