This week it was more difficult than usual finding a science-related topic to write about. Rather than continue my search, I have decided to indulge myself and approximately describe how I spend my average day. Many of you will no doubt stop reading at this point.

 I go to bed late so I get up late as well, usually around 8:30 or 9 a.m.  After a shower and leisurely breakfast consisting of a KOR shot, orange juice, coffee, yogurt and a hand full of vitamins, I start my day. I check my emails, scan the Science Daily, New England Journal of Medicine and the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) websites, record my sleep time, and read the liberal New York Times on line. On Sunday, I do the same for the more conservative Wall Street Journal. I use all of that material to find something to write about in my weekly column.

Now that we are in the middle of summer, I have a garden to attend to and this year’s tomato crop is astounding. My tomato plants are more than 6 feet tall and loaded with tomatoes of all sizes. Also have flowers to water and some light weeding and pruning.  

After puttering outside for about an hour or so, I return to the couch or my basement office to recover from my arduous work. I generally have a book to read, right now it is a collection of 143 short essays written by Joseph Epstein, the title is “Gallimaufry” and available from Axios Press. One of the reviewers describes these pieces as delightful, infuriating, endearing and aggravating. They are fun to read.

Frequently, I will watch something on my iPad. I have a subscription to the Great Courses and there are a countless series of lectures available on almost every topic including science, language, philosophy, public speaking, history, art, music, medicine and engineering.  Right now, I am enjoying a 12-part series about infamous crimes, including macabre stories about the Son of Sam, Charles Manson, the Lindbergh baby kidnapping, the Zodiac killer and some about murders committed much earlier.  

Often I will intersperse the programs with videos about cooking or language.  My daughter, as a birthday present, sent me a subscription to Master Class, another series of lectures given by famous people in the arts or in science. I am currently enjoying a series of lectures by Steve Martin, one of my favorite all-around performers.  (You can watch him on YouTube.)  He is an educator, author, part philosopher, banjo player and movie actor.  Some days I watch free lectures streamed from Hillsdale college presented by professors at that wonderful institution.

While I watch or read, I have a habit of writing down in my weekly planner, observations, adages or witticisms from famous or long-forgotten people. Examples include “Not everything that counts can be counted, and not every thing that can be counted counts” attributed to Albert Einstein.  Or “Absence of evidence is not the same as evidence of absence.”  The latter written by Donald Rumsfelt is often stated as “Simply because you do not have evidence that something exists does not mean that you have evidence that is doesn’t exist.”   

The quotation I use most often is “A healthy person hasn’t been examined carefully enough.”  I am not sure where I first heard that one.  It was something I quoted in my auditing days.

In the afternoon, I may go grocery shopping as my wife is no longer able to drive nor does she cook.  I am fascinated with the varieties of food available and I never pass up something new not on my grocery list. Last week, I found almond butter syrup and a new butter with chia, flax and other seeds.  

Needless to say, but our refrigerator is loaded with foods we will never eat and much ends up in the garbage disposal. I am strangely fascinated with spices, herbs and bottled sauces, many of which I send away for.  Around 5:30 p.m. or so, I will start dinner.  Yesterday we had bourbon marinated salmon, homemade potato salad, an ear of corn, lemonade and ice cream for dessert.  I continue to have a childhood fondness for ice cream, especially butter pecan or chocolate topped with sliced bananas and hot fudge.  After indulging, I may take a short walk to partially atone for my gluttony.

Our evenings are fairly routine. To avoid commercials, we may watch a movie on Prime Video, Netflix or HBO Max.  I just finished the seventh season of “Bosch,” an old-school detective series with a remarkable cast set in Los Angeles.  When my wife goes to bed I may rewatch some of my favorite old movies (often a Western) or a recorded science program from Nova or PBS. I will usually do the crossword puzzle.   At 11:30 p.m. or midnight, I head for bed congratulating myself on being here for another day.

Max Sherman is a medical writer and pharmacist retired from the medical device industry.  His new book “Science Snippets” is available from Amazon and other book sellers. It contains a number of previously published columns.  He can be reached by email at