I have recently had the pleasure of becoming reacquainted with an old friend of mine, Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock Holmes was so important to me at one time that I named my dog after him. (I also attempted to take up home chemistry and microscope work.) What I loved most was Holmes' tantalizingly simple technique of observation and deduction. I admired how he pieced the facts together in a way nobody else had considered to arrive at his (usually) correct conclusions. Being an only child with little reason to develop conversational skills, I used this advice to try to figure out what people were up to without actually needing to question them.

We've been reading the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes out loud at home and finding his detectiving addictive. One sees the world differently after a good dose of Holmes. For example, recently I returned home after a day of work and turned on the bathroom tap, which sputtered before running clear. I knew from this that I needed to reset all of our clocks to the right time. And I was right! (This is because a sputtering tap means the pump was off sometime during the day because of a power loss, so the electric clocks would be off.) On another day I deduced what the back of a truck looked like by how quickly it reversed into the loading bay at work. (Trucks with doors that swing open usually sit idling while the driver gets out and opens the doors before backing into the bay. When I heard a truck start to reverse without idling first, I realized it must have a roll-up door. I checked and righty-ho again! Hip hip!) Let's just say it's a warm feeling when these small exercises come along to brighten one's day...

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