Why People over 65 Need Advanced Mathematics

We recently moved, about eight miles, from an older house that was being sold to a nearly new home that is MUCH closer to Kapa’a High School. In order to make the move easier on all of us, we paid the deposit and one month’s rent on the new place and gave 30 days notice on the old place. However, with four month’s rent in play, there was nothing left in the budget to pay movers, so we moved what we could daily in our compact car.

Still, beds and large, heavy furniture would remain at the old place for awhile, beds being the most crucial piece of the puzzle because until we had a place to sleep, we really couldn’t stay at the new place. We rented a 9′ van from Uhaul mid-month to accomplish that big task, and maybe, just maybe a second trip. So, mattresses and disassembled bed frames fit in both houses, and in the Uhaul van, but getting them out of the old place—out of the bedrooms, down the hall, then down the 15 steps (15 levels of Hell if you please)—would require some thought, followed by sweat.

Can I do this, by myself? Archimedes, and Pythagoras to the rescue!

A simple turn of the screw(s), and an inclined plane or two were all I needed, besides the sweat and muscle derived from preserving the trails. A year ago I would have told anyone who suggested that I was physically capable of doing a self-move that they were certifiable.

When I picked up the van on Saturday, I was still somewhat doubtful after having disassembled beds the night before. The van was a dream to drive, not too bad on fuel, and tough enough to get out of the way, quickly, and I was able to back it up square (more advanced math) to the bottom step. First to be loaded were the side rails from the wooden bed frames, followed by our Queen-size mattress, which was too heavy to lift. Taking advantage of its span of steps, it went down the impromptu inclined plane rather smoothly, and then went end over end near the bottom to slide up into the van. After that, I loaded the remaining frames, and wooden footboards and headboards, with single mattresses stuffed in between. One of the single mattresses was equipped with four handles; the other was not, so went down the inclined plane and end over into the van, last.

So far, so good. Inclined plane assumed greater meaning at the new place, certainly nothing to sneeze at.

steep driveway
Short, Steep Driveway

However, once I backed the van up to the top, I only had to move things a short distance across a CLEAN, dry double garage, and up four steps straight into the house rather than twisting and turning, and hanging large heavy things out over a narrow landing in order to get through the door.

clean and dry garage
Four Wide Steps

Over two subsequent trips I moved the deep freezer, storage chests, dining room table and chairs, lamps, bookcases, dishes, two sets of stainless steel storage shelves, and four very heavy porcelain hibachis, and two rattan chairs from the living room for the lanai at the new place.

All I managed after trucking it all into the house was getting the beds set up, and I don’t even recall what we did for dinner that night. After a shower and a good night’s sleep, I got up and returned the van on Sunday. Upon returning I still had a few more carloads of sundries to move, and some of the rough cleanup to go.

Ultimately, we went another day with the dining table top resting on the floor, but had no trouble getting the girls off to school on Monday. And I heard through the grapevine that they were impressed at how much a man of my advanced years accomplished in a little over 24 hours. Well, it’s easy when you know a little calculus.


6 thoughts on “Why People over 65 Need Advanced Mathematics

  1. Science and maths are awesome, no? It is funny you should mention this at this time, because this Sunday I have a post scheduled about this topic, sort of. 😉 I’ll steal a bit of it and post it here..

    I said to The Other Half – can you move the planter box? He said no, remember when we built it, I told you to pick the spot well because it would be too heavy to move later.

    I said well, you really can’t go to Mars if you can’t move this planter box, with science. Pulleys and fulcrums and physics, and shiznit. I’m sure you can manage it, with science.

    And manage it he did, with a sack truck and a crowbar. The Other Half can now go to Mars!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Be careful with that crowbar, mind you. When I was 17, someone dropped a 9-foot crowbar over the side of a dump truck onto the back of my head, and it left an egg sized welt.

      Then again, perhaps that’s what made me the man I am today 🙂


  2. Darn it, our math teachers were right. I never took any advanced classes, but I use math all day, every day.


    1. Agreed. During my first enlistment I took a lot of math courses, pure math that is, but my daily routine only required me to follow instructions to isolate defective subassemblies, circuits, or components, and replace same. Then the storm troopers from quality assurance began extorting why is this so, did that fail, and even forced me to consider when might such events happen again: Statistics & Probability.

      As technology advanced–printed circuit boards were increasingly printed on both sides, don’t even get me started on multilayering–I had to predict (calculate) expected results, and work through complex navigation problems: Algebra; Trig; Geometry, oh My!

      My second career revolved around displays and diagrams–graphical user interface (GUI); computer human interaction (CHI)–and for the most part, geometry, interspersed with intuition, was my predominant mode of operation, aside from writing out the story for the benefit of anyone who might struggle to extract the thousand words from a picture alone.


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