How to get rid of hiccups

image I know everyone has their own technique and what works for one person won’t work for another.  I, personally, get hiccups fairly regularly, generally after not chewing my food well enough followed by a large swig of Diet Dr. Pepper.  Although, sometimes they show up spontaneously. 

I have a list of things to try and almost never have to live with them for very long.  The first thing I try is around 90% effective for me.  I’ve offered the suggestion to a few of my friends and they’ve had mixed results.  Nevertheless, it’s a fairly sure thing for me.

Technique #1: Timing the Hiccups

image Depending on if I have watch handy, I’ll do this different ways.  When I can watch the second hand of the watch or the seconds on a digital watch, I will count the number of hiccups in a minute and then focus very intently on making the subsequent minute have fewer hiccups.  I came up with this by remembering when I was in grade school and I had a few friends that would use hiccups as an excuse to go to the bathroom or the water fountain.  The teacher would ask them to hiccup and the entire class would turn and watch.  Then, inevitably, they wouldn’t be able to.  A few times, I actually had the hiccups and asked to go get a drink.  When I was put in spotlight, I was unable to follow through no matter how severe the hiccups had been.  Seems to me that focusing intently on making yourself hiccup can help rid yourself of this infirmity.  Timing is a good way to make myself focus on them and force the next one.  If I don’t have a watch, I time them by counting the number of seconds between each hiccup trying to make the time extend longer and longer, until they are gone.  Usually if I can get to 30 seconds between hiccups, they are gone.

Technique #2: Holding my breath

image This has been much less effective.  In those 10% of cases I can’t rid myself of hiccups otherwise, I will just hold my breathe as long as possible.  It occasionally works.



Technique #3: Drinking backwards

image This stopped working for me years ago, but in the last few months I have gone back to it and have been surprisingly successful.  Take a full glass of water and drink the entire glass from the opposite side.  Drink from the side that is farthest away from you.  You have to lean yourself way over, ending up almost upside down by the time the glass is empty.  You might want to excuse yourself so you don’t do this in public, because, not only is it an embarrassing position to contort yourself into, you are also likely to spill some up your nose which will definitely create a scene.

Happy hiccupping!


Laundry Woes

image One of my new chores is to take over laundry folding.  Lori has agreed to put away all the folded clothes.  She’ll even sort and load the washing machine, as well as move loads from the washer to the dryer.  Her least favorite portion of laundry is the folding, so I agreed to take over this responsibility.  So far, it hasn’t been too bad.  In our new house we have place next to the washer and dryer perfect for folding.  Previous residents of this house installed a closet organizer perfect for sorting and folding laundry.  Thus far it has been cluttered with boxes and junk.  (We’re still not completely moved in, which is good since we’ll be moving in another few months.) 

This past week, I cleaned it all out and have been folding laundry like a mad dog.  (Strange saying) We got a little behind on laundry over the holidays so I’m helping us catch up.  In one of our loads we had a disaster.  I have a very bad habit of leaving pens in the pockets of my shirts and pants.  Lori has learned to check the pockets thoroughly when loading the washing machine, but every once in a while, I manage to sneak one in.  If we can catch it after the wash, things aren’t too bad, but after the dryer, there are usually some ruined clothes.  Last week, that just so happened to be the case.  A few of our favorite shirts (2 of mine, 2 of Zachary’s, 1 of Lori’s, 1 of Timo’s), a dress of Emily’s and a pair of Timo’s pants were among the casualties.

We’ve got to restock on a few of these items which is rather unfortunate but it motivates me to be more careful in the future.  In fact, it begs the question: Why is a mathematician carrying around so many pens in the first place?  It’s time to switch back to pencils.  It reminds me of when I started at Wayland and was helping to prepare budget justifications.  I had to convince the administration that the Mathematics department needed more supplies than just pencils and chalk.

Celebrity Golf Handicaps (updated)

I recently posted a list of celebrity golf handicaps that I stumbled across and a reader pointed out that this list looks either out of date or just wrong.  So, I hunted down an accurate list published by Golf Digest this year.  In fact, here are two lists for your.  The first is a list of the top 50 celebrity golfers and the top 50 athlete golfers in 2007.

Top Hollywood:

1- Jack Wagner  – +.3- Soap star plays for pay on celeb tour, for fun with Heather Locklear
2- Lucas Black – 2.3- In “Sling Blade” and “Friday Night Lights” with Billy Bob Thornton
3- Billy Crudup – 4.5- Almost Famous rocker plays at Bayonne G.C., near Manhattan
4- Craig T. Nelson – 4.7- TV’s “Coach” played a coach in Will Ferrell’s “Blades Of Glory”
5- Chris O’Donnell – 5.2- Playing more after “Grey’s Anatomy” and “The Company”
6- Joel Gretsch – 5.6- Bobby Jones in “Bagger Vance”; Tom Baldwin in “The 4400” on USA
7- Scott Wolf – 5.7- Bailey from “Party Of Five” lives and plays in Park City, Utah
8- Dougray Scott – 6- The Scot in “Desperate Housewives” and upcoming film “Hitman”
9- Dennis Quaid – 6.1- No. 1 on our ranking in ’05; Index has climbed 5 shots since then
10- Flex Alexander – 6.4- Before “Snakes On A Plane,” He starred on UPN sitcom “One On One”
11- Samuel L. Jackson – 6.9- Highest-grossing actor of all time, according to Guinness Book
12- Thomas Gibson – 7- Regular at Pebble Beach with “Criminal Minds” (CBS) doing well
T-13. – Bill Murray – 7.2- Needed no-cart rule in Sweden, where police detained him
T-13. – Kevin Sorbo – 7.2- From TV’s “Hercules” to “Andromeda” to making movies
15- Kevin Dillon – 7.3- Johnny Drama from HBO’s “Entourage” is show’s top golfer
16- Hugh Grant – 7.4- Puts game on display often at Dunhill Links in Scotland
T-17. – Matt Craven – 7.8- Character actor an “Disturbia” and with Goldblum in “Raines”
T-17. – Andy Garcia – 7.8- Improving game at Lakeside G.C. despite busy film schedule
T-19. – Greg Kinnear – 8- Oscar nominee In ’97 (“As Good As It Gets”); Plays at Bel-Air
T-19. – Bruce McGill – 8- More than 100 credits since he was D-Day in “Animal House” in ’78
T-21 – James Caan – 8.2- Returning to films after four seasons on “Las Vegas”
T-21. – Kurt Russell – 8.2- Former caddie was Stuntman Mike in Tarantino’s “Death Proof”
23- Don Johnson – 8.3- Back in movies again, this fall in “Moondance Alexander”
T-24. – Matthew McConaughey – 8.6- Played high school golf; says he’s made four holes-in-one
T-24 – Aidan Quinn – 8.6- Dark Matter with Meryl Streep won ’07 prize at Sundance
26- Mark Wahlberg – 8.7- Oscar nominee (“The Departed”) making more films, fewer birdies
27- Peter Gallagher – 8.9- The OC dad is doing films again; played with Sabbatini in AT&T
28- Kyle MacLachlan – 9- Dale Cooper from “Twin Peaks” is on “Desperate Housewives”
29- Eric Close – 9.5- FBI agent Martin Fitzgerald on CBS’ “Without A Trace”
30- Haley Joel Osment – 9.6- Teen actor plays at Oakmont Country Club in Glendale, Calif.
31- Cheech Marin – 9.8- Down from 14.4 index in ’05 despite busy acting career
T-32. – Dave Annable – 10- Plays Justin Walker on Sunday ABC drama “Brothers & Sisters”
T-32. – Carmine Giovinazzo – 10- Detective Danny Messer co-stars with no. 76 Sinise on “CSI: NY”
T-32. – Gregory Itzin – 10- Emmy nominee in ’06 for recurring role on “24”
T-32 – Richard Karn – 10- Al from “Home Improvement” was also “Family Feud” host
36- Bruce Greenwood – 10.6- Canceled “John from Cincinnati” means more golf in Malibu
T-37 – D.L. Hughley – 10.8- Comedian was Simon Stiles on “Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip”
T-37. – George Lopez – 10.8- Host of Bob Hope Chrysler Classic is down from 14.2 index in ’05
39- Kevin Costner – 11.2- Filming “Swing Vote”; still plays in the AT&T at Pebble Beach
T-40. – Sylvester Stallone – 11.4- Star and director of “John Rambo,” due out in January
T-40. – Luke Wilson – 11.4- Active film career explains handicap climb from 7.4 in ’05
42- Ray Romano – 11.6- TV project and “Ice Age 3” in works; plays mostly at Lakeside
43- Robert Wagner – 11.7- Mr. Wilson in upcoming “A Dennis the Menace Christmas”
T-44. – Eddie Cibrian – 12- TV roles in “Third Watch,” “Invasion” and “Vanished”
T-44. – David James Elliott – 12- After 10 years on “JAG,” he practices law on “Close To Home”
T-44. – John O’Hurley – 12- Hosts “Family Feud”; was King Arthur in “Spamalot” in Vegas
T-47 – Richard Kind – 12.5- Known for “Spin City” but getting lots of movie roles
T-47. – Jack Nicholson – 12.5- Started playing 18 years ago; Fond of Lakeside, Bel-Air, Riviera
T-49. – Brian Baumgartner – 13- Kevin Malone in Emmy-winning sitcom “The Office”
T-49. – Carlos Bernard – 13- Tony Almeida on “24”; Dr. Richmond on “Nurses”

Top Athletes

1- Rhoden, Rick  – plus-2.5  – Won 151 games as a major-league pitcher; has won 43 golf tournaments on the celebrity tour. Some athletes might occasionally have the same—or better—handicaps, but we’re confident Rhoden is the best of this bunch right now.
2- Sheppard, Ray – plus-2.5 – Prolific goal scorer with Red Wings in 1990s.
3- Sharpe, Sterling – plus-2.4 – Ex-Packers receiver now analyst for NFL Network.
4- Quinn, Dan – plus-2.1 – Ex-NHLer is four-time champ in Tahoe event.
5- Hentrich, Craig – plus-2.0 – Tennessee Titans punter for past eight seasons.
T-6 – Longwell, Ryan – plus-1.8 – Vikings kicker spent his first nine NFL seasons with Packers.
T-6 – Van Slyke, Andy – plus-1.8 – Gold Glove outfielder now coaching with Tigers.
T-8 – Chandler, Chris – plus-1.5 – Falcons QB in ’99 Super Bowl loss to Denver.
T-8 – Dilfer, Trent – plus-1.5 – Ravens QB in ’01 Super Bowl win over N.Y. Giants.
T-8 – Tolliver, Billy Joe – plus-1.5 – QB played 12 NFL seasons; two wins in Tahoe.
11- Jarrett, Dale – plus-1.4 – NASCAR driver improved his game in ’06.
12- Del Greco, Al – plus-1.3 – NFL kicker for 17 seasons; celebrity-tour winner.
13- Sabo, Chris – plus-1.2 – All-Star 3B won ’90 World Series with Reds.
14- McGwire, Mark – plus-0.7 – Ex-Cardinals slugger played high school golf
15- Favre, Brett – plus-0.8 – Packers QB can play to scratch during NFL’s off-season.
16- Smoltz, John – plus-0.2 – ’96 Cy Young winner is in 19th season with the Braves.
17- Candiotti, Tom – plus-0.1 – Knuckleballer won 151 games in 16 seasons.
T-18 – Cammalleri, Michael – 0- Led L.A. Kings in points through early April.
T-18 – Fuhr, Grant – 0- Goaltender won five Stanley Cups with Oilers.
20- Hull, Brett – 0.1- Third behind Gretzky, Howe in NHL career goals.
T-21 – Bartkowski, Steve – 0.2- Ex-QB’s “Ultimate Game” began as “Big Stakes.”
T-21 – Elway, John – 0.2- Broncos QB has played Tahoe celeb event 17 times.
T-21 – Sampras, Pete – 0.2- Won 14 Grand Slam tennis titles; plays golf at Bel-Air.
24- Gillies, Clark – 0.3- Hall of Famer part of Stanley Cup run by Islanders.
T-25 – Roenick, Jeremy – 0.7- Coyotes center, in 18th year, nearing 500 goals.
T-25 – Savard, Marc – 0.7- Boston Bruins star tried Canadian Tour Q school.
27- Theismann, Joe – 0.9- Ex-Redskins QB is TV commentator.
28- Anderson, Dick – 1- Defensive player of year in ’73 with Dolphins.
29- Rice, Jerry – 1.1- NFL great had 7-handicap in ’02 (see Final Exam).
T-30 – Allen, Ray – 1.2- Top scorer for Sonics is best golfer in NBA today.
T-30 – Jordan, Michael – 1.2- Charlotte Bobcats parowner still avid golfer.
32- Schmidt, Mike – 1.3- Hit 548 HRs in 18 seasons for Phillies.
T-33 – Del Negro, Vinny – 1.4- Ex-NBA guard plays at Scottsdale’s Whisper

T-33 – Feely, Jay – 1.4- Kicker left N.Y. Giants for Dolphins in off-season.
35- Roberts, Nate – 1.5- Mogul skiing world champion in ’05.
T-36 – Fernandez, Gigi – 1.6- Top woman won 17 Grand Slam doubles titles.
T-36 – Rypien, Mark – 1.8- Super Bowl MVP in ’92 when Redskins beat Bills.
38- Chang, Michael – 1.9- ’89 French Open tennis champ has taken to golf.
39- Sakic, Joe – 2- Avalanche center was also ’06 Olympian.
T-40 – Langenbrunner, Jamie – 2- Devils right wing is among team’s top scorers.
T-40 – Martin, Todd – 2- Davis Cupper and twice Grand Slam runner-up.
42- Slater, Kelly – 2.1- Surfing great played in his first AT&T this year.
T-43 – Marino, Dan – 2.2- Dolphins Hall of Famer works with Jim McLean.
T-43 – Romo, Tony – 2.2- Cowboys QB attempted to qualify for U.S. Open.
T-43 – Stenerud, Jan – 2.2- Retired Chiefs kicker is still team’s best golfer.
46- Lemieux, Mario – 2.3- Penguins co-owner is a member at Oakmont.
T-47 – Eldredge, Todd – 2.4- Six-time U.S. national figure-skating champion.
T-47 – Larouche, Pierre – 2.4- Won two Stanley Cups with Canadiens.
T-47 – Modano, Mike – 2.4- All-time goals co-leader among U.S.-born NHLers.
T-50 – Morgan, Joe – 2.6- Baseball Hall of Famer and ESPN analyst.
T-50 – Smith, Stan – 2.6- Former tennis No. 1 lives in Hilton Head.

Celebrity Golf Handicaps

(This post has been updated by a new list – See Celebrity Golf Handicaps (updated))

There are quite a few that surprised me. I don’t know how I missed out on the fact that my new favorite NFL quarterback has mad skills on the links. I’m also pretty proud of the fact that I can outplay some folks like Costner, Murray and Will Smith, all who I thought were pretty decent golfers. Of course, that’s based on handicap alone. I’d almost definitely choke if I were to actually play them in person.

Celebrity Golfer’s Handicaps: Who is the best?
From: List after List
Here are some of the handicaps of many of Hollywood’s celebrity golfers (from best to worst):

1. Tony Romo – 1 – NFL quarterback for Dallas Cowboys

2. Adam Baldwin – 2.5 – from The Patriot

3. Jack Wagner – 3.5 – from General Hospital

4. Michael Jordan – 4 – NBA Basketball great

5. Craig T. Nelson – 5.6 – from “Coach” and The District

6. Randy Quaid – 6.1 – from “Independence Day” and “Days of Thunder”

7. Chris O’Donnell – 6.6 – from Batman and Robin

8. Dennis Quaid – 7 – from The Big Easy

9. Bruce McGill – 7 – from Bagger Vance

10.Thomas Gibson – 8.1 – actor from Dharma & Greg

11. Bob Newhart – 8.2 – actor from Newhart

12. Tea Leoni – 8 – from The Family Man

13. John O’Hurley – 9 – from Seinfeld

14. James Garner – 9.4 – from The Rockford Files

15. Jack Nicholson – 10.7 – actor from One Flew Over the Cucko’s Nest; The Shining

16. Scott Wolf – 10 – from Party of Five

17. Sylvester Stallone – 10 – from Rocky

18. Clint Eastwood – 11.0 – actor / director from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly; Dirty Harry; Unforgiven

19. Andy Garcia – 11 – from Internal Affairs

20. Robert Redford – 12 – actor from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid; The Sting 12

21. Kevin Costner – 12.6 – from Dances with Wolves

22. Bill Murray – 13.4 – actor Caddyshack, Ghostbusters, Lost in Translation

23. Sidney Poitier – 14.6 – actor from Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner; In the Heat of the Night

24. Joe Pesci – 14.1 – actor from Goodfellas, My Cousin Vinny

25. Richard Kind – 14.2 – actor form Spin City

26. Stephen Baldwin – 14 – from The Usual Suspects

27. Will Smith – 14 – from Men in Black

28. Rob Lowe – 14.5 – from The West Wing

29. Dennis Franz – 14.6 – from NYPD Blue

30. Sean Connery – 15.0 – actor from Goldfinger; The Hunt For Red October

31. Tom Smothers – 15.5 – from Smothers Brothers

32. Frankie Muniz – 15 – from Malcolm/Middle

33. Michael Douglas – 15.5 – from Wall Street

34. Tom Poston – 15.9 – from Newhart

35. Alan Thicke – 16 – from Growing Pains

36. Martin Sheen – 16 – from The West Wing

37. Mikhail Baryshnikov – 16 – from White Nights

38. Bruce Willis – 16 – from Die Hard

39. Steve Van Zandt – 16.2 – from The Sopranos

40. Cheryl Ladd – 16.4 – from Charlie’s Angels

41. James Wood – 16.9 – from Any Given Sunday

42. Jack Lemmon – 17 – actor from Some Like It Hot; Grumpy Old Men

43. Leslie Nielsen – 17.8 – actor from The Naked Gun

44. Kevin James – 18 – actor from King of Queens

45. Ray Romano – 18 – actor from Everybody Loves Raymond

46. Cheech Marin – 18 – from Nash Bridges

47. Dean Cain – 18 – from Lois and Clark

48. Peter Falk – 18.2 – from Columbo

49. Robert Stack – 18.4 – from Untouchables

50. Matt Damon – 20 – from Good Will Hunting

51. Catherine Zeta-Jones – 20 – from The Mask of Zorro

52. Patrick Duffy – 20.9 – from Dallas

53. Kirk Douglas – 21.4 – actor from Champion; Paths of Glory; Spartacus

54. Dennis Hopper – 21 – from Easy Rider

55. Tom Cruise – 23 – from Risky Business

56. Arnold Schwarzenegger – 24 – from The Terminator

57. Richard Crenna – 24.5 – from The Real McCoys

58. Tom Selleck – 24.7 – from Magnum P.I.

59. Richard Schiff – 25 – from West Wing

60. Catherine Bell – 32 – from JAG