Saturday, March 06, 2010

A Short Story & True: 21 Better Than Worst

First published on Facebook,
a new short story,
as true as it gets,
"21 Better Than Worst"
at this link:

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Having some extra time on my hands after giving up serious pool competition, and the time consuming practice required, I started on a new project I have been wanting to do for a long time.

Click here for the new blog

The Adventures of Airstream Mikie

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Shower-based idea and communications control center

In my relentless pursuit of perfection, I have been experimenting with a shower-based control center. It also gives me something to do with a couple of iPod touch devices.
Starting from upper left:
1. iPod touch version 1.0, open to a notepad application, so I can write down ideas I get in the shower but forget when I'm dry. (why is that?)

2. Remote control for lights, fans, heat. Lights are dimmable. 

3. iPod touch open to Pandora music stations.

The three units above are independently velcro mounted to a backboard, which is inserted into a common Ziplock baggie. The entire contraption is supported by a shaving mirror (gotta shave in the shower!)

4. The iPhone 3G, bottom right, is mounted in a separate baggie, and this device is set to record impulsive voice memos. Of course if the phone were to ring, the callers photo would be displayed on the screen and the phone application would take over automatically.

All this could be replaced with one large screen, and one computer running multiple apps, but I like the idea of all these modular, redundant, independent devices. 

I'm looking forward to the next evolution of this!

The current state of shower-based control center development is the evolution of previous experiments with iPhone and iPod in the shower. 

Recently I was doing some experiments on water conservation, turning the water off while soaping, etc... and I was using the Stopwatch function to time "Laps" of water on/off.

Ever since I've been here (5+ years), and installed the X-10 remote control system, I have had the light/heat/fans controller in the shower, waterproofed with a baggie

Monday, May 11, 2009

Facebook is taking over my blog!

I have been using Facebook more and more,
until now it's part of every day.
And since almost everyone I know is there,
it's easier to post non-billiards stuff on Facebook.
So click the image below and find me on Facebook!

Michael McCafferty's Profile
Michael McCafferty's Facebook profile

Sunday, March 15, 2009

The Most Important Thing To Do Right Now

Miyamoto Musashi, on of my favorite philosophers because he gets right to the point, says "Do Nothing Trivial". The more proactive way to state that would be to Do Something Important. And, because I like to optimize things, I have been on the search for The Most Important Thing. And because I like immediate gratification, I have been on the search for The Most Important Thing To Do Right Now. I have just now got around to writing down some thoughts on this topic:

The Most Important Thing To Do Right Now

I decided to, at last, get these thoughts more organized, rather than floating around in my head where they can no good whatsoever for anyone else, and it even tends to clutter up my mind if I don't get it down in writing. It's a start...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Completely wireless

I have disconnected all my land-based phones and forwarded calls to my iPhone. This simplifies things a good bit: only one phone number (email me for it) makes it easy for callers, only one place to get messages, fewer pieces of hardware (I had 8 cordless extension phones around the Fun House!), less electricity costs because all those cordless units no longer need charging, reduced costs for replacement batteries for the cordless units, less clutter, a single database of phone contacts, with photos that pop up when they call in!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Amazing Guest Loo at Mikie's Fun House

The Amazing Guest Loo at Mikie's Fun House

I have just installed upgrades to the guest loo
which you may find interesting.

Mikie's Fun House is a private residence and business office which reflects the extraordinarily high standards of the owner.
Friends visit frequently, and from time to time, guests are invited to Mikie's Fun House.
All visitors are treated equally and yet personally to the same 5-star standards that one would expect in the finest hotels, and then some. Of particular note is the guest bathroom. Everyone is treated to the following 16 point smorgasbord of loo-nacy.

1. Completely automatic faucet, automatic temperature control, automatic turn on & shut off with the wave of your hand.
2. Completely automatic dispenser of antibacterial soap. Hold out your palm to receive just the right amount.
3. Automatic lights & fan. Detects the movement of the door opening. Automatic off in 10 minutes. Just wave for more.
4. Disposable guest towels provide the maximum cleanliness for every guest. Take extra for owner-signature souvenir!
5. Medicine cabinet, fully stocked with sundries that might be expected in a 5-star hotel, and more. (lotions, candle, air fresheners, Fiji bottled water, 2-ply Cotonelle tissue, soaps, shampoos, toothpaste, brush, floss, notepad & pen, scents, etc.)
6. Skylight providing natural light for the live plants and flowers.
7. Selection of interesting reading matter. Guest may request favorites to be on hand for their arrival. (Bring your camera!)
8. PDA support for when duty calls: Wi-Fi service. AT&T cell 5 bars of reception, 3G, Edge. Verizon reception.
9. Supply of freshly laundered terrycloth hand towels.
10. Two freshly laundered terrycloth robes (back of door).
11. Original artworks and memorabilia cover the walls.
12. Full length mirror. Plus mirrors on insides and outside of medicine cabinet.
13. Full bath and shower. Clothes drying line.
14. Natural granite counter, stone flooring and shower surround. All woodwork is solid cherry.
15. Dual electrical outlet, with built-in circuit breaker, for personal electrical items, rechargers, etc.
16. And finally, the item that gets the most use of all, the loo seat is self closing and completely quiet. Impossible to slam. You'll want to try this several times!

Full details and photos online at:

This is the way it is out here at Mikie's Fun House.
It has been said that the owner has too much time on his hands,
but he denies it, saying that he also spends a lot of time in his hammock,
but that's a whole other story...

Friday, January 09, 2009

New Blog: The SoCal Beach Cruiser

Check out my new blog:

SoCal Beach Cruiser

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Kendra's Kickass Cookies

Kendra's Kickass Cookies

It's Thanksgiving, and a New Moon all on the same day.  What more could you ask?  How about the world's best cookies?  

Many years ago, my daugter Kendra made me a batch of cookies that were the best I have ever had, and that's saying something for a cookie connoisseur like me.  And so it has become a tradition on my every birthday, Fathers' Day, and Christmas that she whips up a fresh batch for me.  I live for these days!

However, I have never been one to leave well enough, or even Great, alone.  I have been secretly making continuous improvements to her recipe and after exhaustive experimentation and testing (it's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it), I am ready to announce to the world that I have concoted the PERFECT cookie.

As my way of giving thanks, on this Thanksgiving Day, I am sharing some of these wonderful little bits of heaven with some special friends, and for the rest of you, I give you the recipe.  You know what they say, give a man a cookie, and you feed him for a day, but give a man a cookie recipe, and you feed him for life.  Now go and do this in remembrance of me...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

I'm a Gruncle!

My little brother Jimmy just became a grandfather!
Doesn't that make me a grand uncle?

See photo for happy family:
Jackie (mom), Jamie (father), and baby Kendal Rose.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NotSoFastMikie Sources

I've been wanting to do this list for a long time, but never seem to get around to it, so I'm just going to "Begin it Now" and make it better later. San Diego area unless otherwise noted.

Businesses I prefer, in no particular order:

Scott McDonald

Geoffrey Murray, DDS
1333 Camino Del Mar
Del Mar, CA
phone: 858-755-1197

Physical Therapy
Dana Aoto
Physiotherapy Associates
phone: 858-793-1460

Hair Salon & Spa
Gina Watson
phone: 858.759.8998

Solana Beach Travel
Maggie Bucciarelli
phone: 858-481-7788

Debra Soto
Phone: 760-960-4273

Website design, marketing, advertising:
Ann von Gal
Olmstead von Gal Associates
phone: 858-481-0844

Mark Kalina, M.D.

Marshal Scarr

Recruiter, headhunter:
Alex Wenz

Used Cars, and all things automotive (Philadelphia):
Jim McCafferty

Tax returns, financial reports, etc:
Akore' Berliner, CPA
phone: 619-665-5911,

Personal assistant:
Carol Soria

Office coffee services:
Sean Curtis
Coffee Ambassador
phone: 858-453-8584

Billiard tables, supplies, cue repair:
Dave Whitsell
Quality Billiards

Billiard supplies, jewelry, unique items, lessons (Denver):
Samm Diep

Billiards lessons:
Louis Ulrich

Chris Tate
North County Blind Company
phone: 760-445-3881

Handyman, carpenter, photographer:
Walter Lilly
phone: 760-436-0505

Investment banker (NYC):
John Lehman

Financial advice, broker, etc:
George Hoover, Jr.

Real Estate:
Janet Hoover

Internet hosting services:
Mike McCafferty
M5 Internet Hosting

Hypnotist, entertainer:
Barry Jones

Software development:
Gary Bagheri
Magic Touch Software

Photographer, automobiles:
Dave Newhardt
phone: 626-644-3948

Welding equipment & supplies:

Jim Watson

1. No, you can not pay me to be on this list!
2. This list is not complete. I probably missed some good people, so please let me know.
3. Disclaimer: Click here!

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Lowell Williams video

This is one great video clip of 
my very good friend Lowell Williams,
on the occasion of his 72nd birthday 
and the surprise P-51 Mustang ride.

Lowell is gone now,
but we sure have great memories of him.

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Reading: The Brain That Changes Itself

The Brain That Changes Itself

Definitely worth reading.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Flurry of Activity at New Moon

George H. and I do the hike through Torrey Pines, the north extension, which is rarely used, and many locals are unaware of it. However, George grew up with this still primitive acreage as his back yard, literally. He knows every bit of it, especially the trails marked "Trail Closed". We were well into it when we were confronted with a ravine crossing using a fallen tree. The tree was substantial enough to support a man, but otherwise rather insubstantial visually, and with it being at a downward angle, and festooned with dead branches protruding and really very menacing. George, an ex-world-class triathlete, gave the challenge little thought, and was on the other side in a flash. I hesitated and saw the many ways that I could be impaled on the protruding spikes, or slip to a painful sudden stop at the bottom of the ravine... While I'm thinking, George's dog is also thinking, and he doesn't want any part of that fallen tree, and his center of gravity is an easy 3' lower than mine. I think what we have here is a smart dog. So now I gotta figure out a way to outsmart the dog, and that means crossing using the tree.

I did it, of course, I risked life and limb to prove that I was smarter than a dog, and to prove that I could do something George can do, and to prove I could face my fears and to do what needs to be done. To survive. To win.

The dog was now noticeably agitated and conflicted and fearful of certain death by crossing that fallen tree. He looked for other crossing opportunities up and down the banks of the ravine, but nothing appeared. Smart dog. Finally the dog decided the easy way, and the safe way, was to slide/jump to the bottom of the ravine, and climb up on the other side.

I'm thinking the dog won.

Birthday lunch with friend from TeleMagic days, DeAnn R. I learn so much each time we meet up. Mona Vie. Universal Remote. more.

David G. raced his vintage NASCAR toy on Coronado island today. Watched him race, and a few other races, from the luxury of his motorhome, toured the pits in a mongo golf cart, and have become forever spoiled and will never be able to watch a race in person without such amenities. Vintage NASCAR = Turning Money into Noise.

George and Barbie have moved to San Diego from Whistler, BC, Canada, and had a gathering of friends on Saturday afternoon.

Kate V. arrives on her annual trip home and is scheduled to play some Frisbee on the beach with me... any minute.

So many things happening lately. Today is the New Moon.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Wall of Heroes

(click for the big picture)

Recent upgrades to the workout area include the addition of a "Wall of Heroes" featuring posters of some of my favorite people. You probably recognize most of them, starting in the upper left corner of the wall: Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, the "Rat Pack", Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (Paul Newman & Robert Redford), Gandhi, Miyamoto Musashi, Einstein, James Dean, Charles Lindbergh, Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford), Easy Rider (Peter Fonda & Jack Nicholson), and the Blues Brothers (Dan Akroyd and John Belushi). Each has some personality or talent that I strongly relate to, either in real life or a character they play.

When I'm working out doing floor exercises (yoga, stretching, etc) or on the treadmill, and watching pool competition and/or training videos, I also am reminded of these men and what their characters mean to me. Hopefully, with prolonged exposure to the images, I may begin to become what I admire.

Notice the empty spaces, for heroes to be added later.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Gotta love 'em.
This one was on June 29, 2008.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

What's in a Wordle?

Click on the "Wordle" above to see what happens when a computer looks at my BrainWaves web page and tries to figure out what's going on with philosophy.

What's in your Wordle?

Friday, July 11, 2008

Family Tree

I have just installed Family Tree Maker Version 16
and imported the file from version 11
which my father had been working on for many years.
I added some edits,
and put together some reports,
and sent the stuff out to family members for review.

The program, Family Tree Maker v. 16,
seems to be very solid and creates professional outputs.

Friday, June 27, 2008

The new Ferrari California

I really want one of these!

Click the photo for lots more info!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Michael, the movie

It couldn't be just about the name of the movie...
There's more to it than that.
It's got philosophy, miracles, country music,
a bar fight, sweet love, and pie.
The only thing it needs is a biplane,
but an angel with wings is just about as good,
even though he doesn't get to fly.

Michael, the movie, is definitely in my top ten.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Email review: GMX vs. Gmail

Google's Gmail is great, but not perfect. And of course, I'm always looking for perfect, always moving in the direction of better. That's what got me checking out the email solution.

GMX mail is browser based, just like Gmail, but for some reason when it opens, it forces a new window for the mail functions instead of a more well-behaved tab in an existing browser window.

I do like the fact that GMX allows drag/drop, but Gmail doesn't.

GMX has keyboard shortcuts, as does Gmail, but they are different codes, which seems completely unnecessary. They should be the same. Why should I have to learn new codes for standard functions such as Reply, etc. Strangely, there is no shortcut in GMX for Archive. You can not choose to Archive a message while it is open, a big oversight which causes lots of extra keystrokes/clicks.

GMX doesn't work equally well in IE and Firefox. For example, Ctrl-R to Reply doesn't work in Firefox, but does in IE.

GMX seems to do a great job of spam filtering. Gmail puts spam in a separate folder, but I get a lot of it to wade through to find the few false positives.

One benefit to setting up an account at GMX is that you can probably get email addresses that are unavailable at Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, and other more popular email services. Get your favorite email handle ( for example) and then have it forward to your regular email address at Gmail, Yahoo, AOL, etc.

I could go on, but the bottom line is that GMX is still in Beta, and while it has some nice features, it needs more work to achieve the speed and functionality of Gmail.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

What's wrong with the food we eat

Sunday, May 04, 2008

McCafferty Ford 50th anniversary

The above video was created in 2004 to celebrate
the 50th anniversary of the founding of
McCafferty Ford, Langhorne, PA
by my father, Charles F. McCafferty
his brother Joe McCafferty
and Joe Foster,
in 1954.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Fill 'er up!

Sixty One bucks
for a tank of gas?

$3.96 per gallon, premium.


Friday, April 04, 2008

Dad's page

See Dad's page at

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

At home again, in the Fortress of Solitude

After 10 days of sickness, death and burial
in the rain and cold of Philadelphia,
I am home again
in my Fortress of Solitude,
my castle by the sea,
Mikie's Fun House, version 4.0

The weather is perfect,
early Spring, warm sunshine, high scattered clouds,
light winds from the southwest.
The sounds of the surf were far away,
it was a New Moon low tide.

I woke this morning in my own bed,
instead of a hotel.
I had my own food for breakfast.
I got back on the treadmill,
and did the full exercise routine.

My being rejoiced at the relief of stress.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Obituary: The Passing of The Patriarch, my father

McCafferty, Charles F. Sr. "Bud", March 27, 2008, age 92 years, Patriarch of the McCafferty Clan of Philadelphia, with ancestors from Doon Well, County Donegal Ireland. Born in West Philly in Our Lady of Sorrows Parish on August 19, 1915. Graduate of North Catholic High School, class of 1932. Married Verna Marie Meier of Philadelphia on April Fools Day, 1940.

After training at Sheepshead Bay, NY, served during WWII in the United States Merchant Marine, enduring the rigors of the high seas, delivering war materiel in support of the Allies, sailing the Atlantic, Caribbean and Mediterranean, from Brazil to Russia, and points in between, in the engine rooms of defenseless cargo ships, hunted by wolf packs of Nazi U-boats, while his bride and two young sons prayed at home for his safe return. The prayers worked. Many were not as fortunate, paying the ultimate price for our freedom. (Can we ever say "Thank You" enough?)

After the war he worked for John B. White Ford and subsequently founded McCafferty Ford in Langhorne in 1954. Attended University of Pennsylvania Wharton School. Recently of Blue Bell, PA and formerly of Glenside, PA.. Beloved Husband of the late Verna M. (nee Meier). Loving father of Charles F.Jr. "Bud" (Linda), F. Michael, Verna Walters, Kathleen Bean (Zenas), James (Barbara) and Eileen Koolpe (the late Harvey) also survived by 15 grandchildren and 9 great grandchildren. Additionally survived by his late model, low mileage Ford Taurus, currently available for purchase (call 856-628-1065 for info). Funeral Mass Monday 11:00 AM Our Lady of Grace Church 225 Bellevue Ave., Penndel. Relatives and friends are invited to his viewing at the church Monday after 10:00 AM. Interment: Our Lady of Grace Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Charles F. and Verna M. McCafferty Memorial Scholarship Fund at the La Salle College High School,. 8605 Cheltenham Ave. Wyndmoor, PA 19038.

Verna and Bud, seen here plotting their next adventures, while on a walk among the trees, near their home. Photo taken during the week of their 84th and 85th birthdays, respectively, August 2000.

Having accepted the mission of securing a banana for the fruit salad, this young (mid twenties), impetuous couple eloped by stepping away from the preparations of a dinner with the parents
and drove through the night in their tired, 60hp '37 Ford coupe to Warrenton, Virginia and were married. The day was Monday, April 1, 1940, April Fools Day. They remained partners in marriage for 64 years, until the passing of Verna on October 19, 2004.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Time Well Spent: Stroke of Insight

Whosoever may happen upon these words
will be rewarded by venturing further
and clicking this link
to view this 15 minute video sponsored by TED
of the experience of a neuroanatomist
who experiences her own stroke,
and how it changed her life,
and how it may also change yours:

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Home Improvements: The Wall

One single project has been on my list
for all of the last four years I have lived here.
And today, just this minute,
I put the finishing touches on it.
My work is done.

May I present: The Wall

My collection of pool trophies is
displayed at the far right of the line of bookcases,
closest to the chair where the pool opponent sits
and waits for his shot,
with plenty of time to let all those wins sink in...
(I know, it's evil, isn't it... Mwahahahahaha!)
(click for evil laugh)

To the left of the trophies
is the shelf of my favorite billiard books,
but there's lots more in the billiard library
on the shelves out of sight, under the pool table.

It's good to be finished with this key project.
Now I can more fully concentrate on my game.

How is it possible that this project
went undone for four years?
It was right after I moved in here
that I took up the game of pool,
and that pretty much put almost everything else
on hold for all this time.
Now, since I hurt my shoulder last summer,
I've had some time to take care of stuff.
And now that all (most) of my stuff is done,
I'm really looking forward to getting back
into the game.

The bookcases are from Levenger.
The paint is 3 coats of Yellow Brick Road by Behr,
with an eggshell finish.

Around the mirror, left to right:
1. First airplane solo, April 17, 1965
2. First glider solo, April 17, 1994
3. Signatures of all who built my first biplane, 1993
4. Second First airplane solo (biplane), Nov 18, 1993
5. Inc 500, 1991
6. Seaplane rating
7. Multi-engine airplane rating
8. Instrument airplane rating
9. Inc 500, 1992
10. Photo of the first biplane, roll out day 1993.
11. Papal Apostolic Blessing, 1992
12. Airshow exemption, Duxford, UK, 1997

Monday, February 25, 2008

Pancake Breakfast Tradition Continues

Alex and Joni showed up in
matching Mikie's Fun House t-shirts
for their special Fun House pancake breakfast.

This photo was taken after the first helping,
and before the second.
That's the sort of smiles you get when
I create my special Fun House pancakes,
with veggie sausage, Amy's ketchup,
Starbucks Gold Coast coffee,
and Naked blueberry juice.

This feast is limited to a maximum of one day per week,
(gotta watch the colorie intake)
either Saturday or Sunday, at 10:30am,
and only 1 or 2 special friends are invited each time
because the chef (me) can't handle more than that.

Here's a list of the pancake breakfast club members, so far:
Joey and Carolina
Sean and Graciella
Tim and Deb and Aviana
Mike and Kendra
David and Carol
Kendra and Debbie
Steve and Cara Lyn
Bonnie and Vince
DeAnn and Olivia
Jim and Gina and Siena
Alex and Joni