Service of Simplicity

December 30th, 2013

Categories: Automobiles, Heimlich maneuver, Medical, Physical Therapy, Simplicity

Tis a gift to be simplechicken sandwich

Technology can be time and life-saving but not always.

Next Time Add Mayo

During halftime on Saturday, a dry chicken sandwich caught in Chris Fowler’s throat. He was one of two ESPN commentators at this weekend’s Rutgers-Notre Dame Pinstripe Bowl game at Yankee Stadium. A simple Heimlich maneuver by Jesse Palmer, the other commentator, saved the choking announcer. I saw how a Heimlich rescued a man at my table at a business awards dinner and will never forget how effective it was–and how scary were the moments before.

En Voiture!

Cars in ParisFrench car manufacturer Peugeot introduced a vehicle with zero gewgaws. At eye height is a gauge indicating gas and speed, period. Does a car that gets you from A to Z place without built-in GPS, movie screens and gauges galore represent a trend? Note: The car is not available in the U.S.

Knee-Jerk ReactionKnee Physical Therapy

On the news last week results of a study on knee surgery suggested that physical therapy alone was as effective as an operation plus therapy in some cases. Physical therapy solved a severe shoulder injury for me–it seemed like a miracle.

Neither Rain nor Snow nor Heat nor Gloom of Night….

mailman in bad weatherI continue to recommend that job candidates follow up with both an email and standard mail thank you immediately after an interview. The stamped missive will distinguish you and amplify your interest in a non-intrusive, positive way. It will also stand out which yet another email won’t. Note: First class stamps increase three cents to 49 cents on January 26.

Will we increasingly see more examples that highlight the value of simplicity? Media appears to enjoy them or I wouldn’t know about most in this post. Are some seeking a balance from everything tech-hip?

homemade loaf


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8 Responses to “Service of Simplicity”

  1. Lucrezia Said:

    The adage “simple is best” is usually true, but there are exceptions. Power steering is an undisputed time saver, not to speak of saving thousands of joints being thrown out of whack. Perhaps Peugeot has an understanding with physical therapists? Surgeons?

    The unfortunate sandwich incident during the Pinstripe Bowl may have had a tragic outcome had someone not been trained in Heimlich, and be strong enough to carry it out. Was the dry sandwich requested? Some (not many to be sure) like it that way.

    Failure to express written thanks for a job interview is merely an exhibit of bad manners.

    Like everything else in life, one must make every effort to exercise good judgment, and it’s not always that simple. This reminds me of a long deceased friend, whose stunning outfits were always the height of simplicity. “It’s taken hours to get this together,” she would say. Who would have guessed?

  2. ASK Said:

    Why would anyone eat a chicken sandwich without mayo, or at least some kind of dressing? Great believer in physical therapy, too. Also, benign neglect: If you’re a runner and your knee hurts when and after you run, stop running for a while. Too many people don’t. Also, point well taken about a handwritten thank-you note. I can imagine the shock of the recipient…

    Happy New Year

  3. Peter Lombard Said:

    You put me to thinking about our latest air conditioner that has a remote control. The machine is through-the-wall and encased in a cabinet under a window making the remote useless and the manuel controls difficult to operate. I also worry about losing the remote.

    One place where simplicity is of prime importance is in cooking. I’ve been fortunate enough to have enjoyed my share of great cooking. It is exquisite and requires a master craftsman’s full attention to execute properly. Few American restaurants can afford the luxury, nor can any home that I know of. Therefore, I try to opt, whenever possible, for the freshest of ingredients, simply seasoned and cooked, promptly served when ready to eat.

    Keep It Simple Stupid.

  4. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I would hope that the simplified Peugeot included power steering…I have a pretty basic American car with few extras and maybe something on the dashboard indicates power steering but I doubt it, yet it’s there. I shudder to think what it would be like parking in a tight spot without it!

    Loved your friend who took time to dress simply. She reminded me of Mark Twain who apologized that he didn’t have time to write a short letter! Hers was a well-edited wardrobe.

    As for the sandwich and mayonnaise…it may have been there and the chef may have overcooked the white meat causing it to be dry. Maybe the pieces were too big for a sandwich and maybe Chris Fowler was very hungry or had only a few seconds to eat his lunch so he gulped it down. It’s easy to choke-singer Mama Cass was said to have died alone in her hotel room after choking on a ham sandwich which she was eating lying down. She might have been sitting up as no doubt Fowler was…a throat is only able to accommodate so much at a time which is easy to forget sometimes.

  5. Jeanne Byington Said:


    As I mentioned in my response to Lucrezia, the sandwich may have had a ton of mayo or dressing. My mayo subhead came from the reference to dry and chicken sandwich…could have been the chicken’s fault!

    I heard a story about two friends celebrating the law school graduation of one. The graduate was alone at the table when his friend left to use the men’s room. When he returned he found his friend had choked to death. Apparently nobody at adjacent tables noticed nor did restaurant staff but something got caught in his windpipe and tragedy ensued. Choking like this is an equal opportunity killer and age is no protection.

  6. Jeanne Byington Said:


    I love to experiment with new dessert recipes. As I was making a lemon charlotte Russe for Christmas dinner I was thankful for my ancient handheld electric mixer. The recipe called for 10 minutes of mixing egg yokes over a double boiler. Imagine some 20 minutes without the electric device…my arm would have fallen off or the eggs wouldn’t have been sufficiently cooked or light!

    I am also grateful for my trusty ancient Cuisinart food processor. Pie crust making is a dream as are the Christmas cookies I wrote about in a recent post. Hand grinding almonds is tedious, wrist-tiring and time consuming. It takes seconds to grind them in the vintage Cuisinart.

    While none of these tools are high tech, they are a step away from basic. I recognize this and am grateful for their help.

    There are very few ingredients you can cheat on when it comes to food. You can buy an inexpensive cut of meat and cook it for a long time so you can chew it. I’ve never used expensive wine in a beef Bourguignon. Those are about the only examples off the top of my head of not using the best for a satisfactory result.

  7. DManzaluni Said:

    I always get suspicious when I see some manufacturer (of eg cars) cheapening their product to improve their bottom line by pretending to cut out gizmos THEY SAY people dont want or dont use. I just dont believe these exercises are anything but cheapening the product and trying to justify such cheapening. Have a look at the Indian Nano, a car built down to a budget which cuts almost everything out in the name of cost.

    I do remember once having a car which did leave out some of those gizmos. It didnt come equipped with a fuel gauge. You were supposed to keep your self in tune with how much was left, stop every so often and use a dipstick to make sure. I emphatically dont remember thinking that when they did put such a gauge in to a newer model it was anything but an advance. Yes, it is definitely a gizmo.

    I wonder whether that Peugeot has dispensed with that particular gizmo!

  8. jmbyington Said:

    D. Manzaluni,

    Our 2013 American car has a fuel gauge that makes us guess. We can’t get the needle to hit “full” and the car seems to drink gas with alcoholic enthusiasm: I’m never sure how much is left. Maybe GM made a deal with gas stations in hopes we’ll buy snacks + drinks on our frequent stops or maybe it’s our car!

    Your reaction to a simple car may be valid and I interpreted the streamlining as a positive because I think blinking and moving GPS screens + other gizmos distract. The bluetooth component that allows me to speak on my mobile through the radio is cool when driving alone.

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