Walkabout Wednesday

From Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary: walkabout; noun, a short period of wandering bush life engaged in by an Australian aborigine as an occasional interruption of regular work

I hope this blog is a daily walkabout for those who read it. Also, today’s post is EXTREMELY random or wandering.


My wonderful wife and I watch episodes of Frasier on Cozi (via Hulu + Live TV) from time to time. Yesterday, we watched “The Last Time I Saw Maris.” From frasier.fandom.com a synopsis of the episode:


After a relieved Niles learns that Maris’ mysterious three-day disappearance took her on a shopping spree to New York, Frasier tells him to demand an apology from her instead of giving her a welcome home gift. Niles takes his brother’s advice and reads her the riot act, but when he later refuses to apologize, Maris asks for a divorce.


Frasier telling Niles to confront Maris leads to Niles smashing all sorts of vases and statuettes. He then says, “Smashing things is therapeutic.” I can relate: I think this happened a few months after I had been fired from my first full-time baseball job. I bought an answering machine, but one without tapes. It was a “newfangled” electronic type that digitally recorded my greeting and incoming messages.

The problem was that no matter how many times I recorded my greeting, 24 hours later it was gone. I would record the greeting, play back the greeting, and then play it back again a few hours later. It was always gone the next day.

I don’t know what catalyst caused me to do the following, but after the 15th or 20th time the greeting disappeared, I yanked the machine out of the wall, threw it down the stairs and then proceeded to smash it into hundreds of pieces with a hammer. I have to admit that felt good.

Oh, in a 2006 poll taken by Channel 4 in the UK of professionals in the TV industry, Frasier was voted the best sitcom of all time. I have all of the episodes on DVD and have streaming access to all of them on Hulu. Frasier, Taxi and The Big Bang Theory are my three favorite sitcoms ever. I think the phrase “modern sitcom” is an oxymoron, now without exception with the end of The Big Bang Theory in 2019.

Also, while I acknowledge that Seinfeld had moments of comic brilliance, its internal motto of “no hugging, no learning” left it a bit short compared to other sitcoms. The occasional poignant moments make the comedy better, in my opinion.

The word is that a Frasier reboot will begin airing next year on Paramount+, a streaming service. Sorry, I’m not going to pay more money every month just to watch one show. Three of the service’s main offerings are channels I would never watch: Comedy Central, nickelodeon and MTV. I will be quite happy occasionally watching an “old” episode.


Yesterday saw blog views from the usual countries outside the US (Canada, France, Malta, Nigeria) except one: Chile. The South American nation was second in views by country behind only the US and more than half of the views for the year from Chile happened yesterday. From Wikipedia a map showing Chile’s location:


Chilean territory in dark green; claimed but uncontrolled territory in light green


The green slice of Antarctic land shown is claimed but uncontrolled territory. Chile is about 2,700 miles from north to south, but only about 220 miles at its widest east-to-west point.

The strongest earthquake ever recorded (M 9.5) happened off the coast of southern Chile in May of 1960. From this NOAA report:


This earthquake generated a tsunami that was destructive not only along the coast of Chile, but also across the Pacific in Hawaii, Japan, and the Philippines…The number of fatalities in Chile associated with both the earthquake and tsunami has been estimated to be between 490 and 5,700. The Chilean government estimated 2 million people were left homeless and the damage was USD $550 million [my note: almost $5 billion in today’s dollars]. In Hawaii, the tsunami caused 61 deaths, 43 injuries, and USD $23.5 million in damage… The tsunami hit the Pacific coast of Japan almost a day after the earthquake causing 139 deaths and destroying or washing away almost 3,000 houses in the Hokkaido, Aomori, Iwate, and Fukushima Prefectures. Waves observed in Japan were higher than other adjacent regions nearer to the source due to the directivity of tsunami wave radiation. At least 21 people died in the Philippines due to the tsunami.


Waves as high as 35 feet were observed more than 6,000 miles from the epicenter. Oh, the earthquake lasted 10 minutes, an extraordinarily long time for such an event. Anyway…if you’re reading, thanks to those of you who read Disaffected Musings from Chile yesterday.


David Banner (not his real name) sent me a text in which he wrote, “I don’t get an EV Hummer…that’s like a sugar free donut.” Yes, GM is going to reboot the Hummer brand as an EV AND is introducing an EV Silverado pickup truck. My response to his text was, “LOL! It’s 2021 and come hell or high water most “car” companies are going electric. What better way to engage in virtue signaling than to produce an electric Hummer?”

For the nth time, I realize that some form of “alternative” power for cars will become the dominant paradigm some time in the future. I also realize that most of the market still wants to buy cars powered by Internal Combustion Engines. For at least the next 10-20 years, a significant market opportunity will exist to cater to those buyers. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Of course, I’ll be sticking to this car for some time to come:



Since I am now fully vaccinated, I may speed up the timetable for the second round of modifications (Modificata!) to increase engine output. The powertrain warranty expires in about three months and since the shop is booked 8-10 weeks out, will it really make a difference if I get the work done a couple of weeks before expiration?

I have babbled on enough today. For only the third or fourth time in the three-plus year history of this blog, a post is 1,000+ words long. I hope you have enjoyed it.











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9 thoughts on “Walkabout Wednesday

  1. I’ve been lurking for awhile and decided to comment. This is a great blog and you are a great writer. I will be disappointed if you stop blogging but I understand tho.

    Have a great day.


  2. I love Frasier, but I think it was a bit high brow for some, although it had a great run. I also liked Barney Miller. Very few tv shows hit the mark today.

    IMHO, the reimagined Hummer should have been a plug in hybrid, where 20-40 miles would be purely electric, with a gas engine. Since many first generation Hummers were used for beer runs or hauling “germ factories” to soccer matches/swim meets, 40 miles is more than enough for a daily drive. I can imagine an aftermarket for the new cars in battery packs/generators that one would carry when one runs out of juice four wheeling in the desert. I think ultimately the price of the original Hummers will skyrocket as true 4WD aficionados will want the ability to carry two gas cans vs a 300 mile extension cord.


    1. David, for some of us who live in the West, flyover country to some, 40 miles is not enough for a daily drive. My commute when I worked a the nuclear power plant was 72 miles one way, door to door.


  3. When I excuse myself to head to the Head, I tell my wife I’m going Walkabout. Nothing wrong with taking care of the answering machine Office Space style.


  4. Please keep on rambling in your writing. We watch Frasier, and on COZI. We have one season on DVD the one with the Valentine’s episode of Niles ironing his pants in silence.

    Being the Geography nut that I am, I am well versed in Chile’s location there on the Western slopes of the Andes. That makes it the driest country in the world. It also makes it a great location for astronomy observatories as the dry air makes for a whole lot less distortion requiring correction in the observations.

    Having had family who lived on the Big Island of Hawaii and visited there, we are familiar with the tsunami of 1960. It is interesting to note that the Japanese destruction occurred at Fukushima. The tsunami caused by an earthquake off the coast of Japan several years back inundated the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant. This plant was not there in 1960 and therefore would not have been damaged. The lack of understanding of the potential for tsunami size at Fukushima by the nuclear power plant design engineers is an engineering failure IMHO. I do not understand as the Japanese culture and mindset is such that their preparedness for earthquakes and tsunamis is legendary.


    1. Thanks for the kind words and for sharing your perspective on Hawaii/Japan and tsunamis, Philip. Yes, the opening scene in “Three Valentines” where Niles irons his pants is classic.


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