Category Archives: Life

Sam’s Song

Father’s Day, 1994
(It really was June 19!)

Back in 1994, when Samantha and I first began living with each other, during our long walks together, I composed this little bit of “doggerel” (to the obvious tune of)…

This little dog, she’s a pup.
She’s got big paws and a tail.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
chew a rawhide bone.
This little dog came running home.
This little pup, she’s a black lab.
She likes running in the park.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
chase a tennis ball.
This little dog came running home.
This little lab, her name’s Sam.
She’s getting bigger every day.
With an arf, arf, sniff, sniff,
run around the yard.
This little dog came running home.

(I got a new laptop, so I’ve been going through a lot of old data deciding what to archive and what to transfer to the new machine. Among all those files I found the little dog ditty I wrote 24 years ago. (And I still miss that dog! One of the best I’ve ever known!))

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Winter Is Coming

Fall back! Fall back!

Also: Please Vote On Tuesday!!


New Stuff!

To take a break from all the ranting about stuff that upsets me (I do like things, I do, really), here’s an idle slice-of-life with the main purpose of not messaging a bunch of the same pictures to a bunch of different friends. And because, when one is as frugal as I tend to be, finally getting around to spending some money on nice things is cause for (minor) celebration.

It’s not that I’m cheap — at least I don’t think I am. I’m more than willing to spend plenty of money, but only on things that make sense to me. I don’t cut corners on vacations, for instance. They’re rare enough to be worth going all out; stay in a nice hotel; eat in nice places. But I have no urge towards getting the latest, greatest, fastest whatever. “Works for me,” is kind of a personal ethic.

Anyway, I finally bought a new dining room table set. And got a new driveway.

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All Bits Won

To advance, I’m gonna need another bit…


Old Love Letters

I’m a keeper and a collector, especially of sentimental mementos. My (these days declining) love of physical books is connected to this. It’s exactly why I’ve dragged dozens of boxes of them every place I live. (Bookshelves are a whole discussion!) And it’s also why I still have every love letter I’ve ever received.

Which, I’ve come to realize, is silly — especially now, when I’m seeking a simple, small life. My goal in retirement is minimalism in everything. Clearance! (Going out of business!) Everything must go!

Quite some time ago, a friend commented that I hadn’t put anything on my walls — that years later they were as blank as the day I moved in. They’re still blank, at least twice as many years later.

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I Don’t Like Dinosaurs

I should probably start by hastening to add: I don’t dislike dinosaurs, either! It’s an ambiguity of English that when one says, “I don’t like X,” it can mean one has negative feelings about the ‘X’ in question, or it can mean just that one has no positive feelings for it — that one is neutral (or perhaps not interested enough to have an opinion).

It’s an easy jump from “don’t like” to “dislike,” so the phrase, “I don’t like X,” is usually taken that way. But I have wiring in my brain that makes me see it more literally — as failing to have a liking for ‘X’ — so I often have to clarify what I mean.

And what I mean is that I have zero interest in dinosaurs.

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Lucky Sevens?

It’s that time again, July 4th, a date that, for me, has multiple life events bound to it. The key one here is my blog’s anniversary. Now it’s seven!

I started it on July 4, 2011, a date I deliberately selected to — I hoped — add a positive life event to the mix (which most recently was my wedding anniversary for a marriage that lasted only four years). And, pretty much without qualification, it’s definitely been a positive experience! I’ve enjoyed the writing, and I hope it’s been entertaining, educational, and thoughtful. I’d like to think it has been. I’ve also met some great other bloggers along the way.

Oddly (and this wasn’t planned), it turns out I’ve written 700 posts here (this is #701). So there’s kind of a sevens thing going. Which is lucky, unlucky, or completely meaningless, depending on how you look at it.

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Summer Darkness

Happy Summer Solstice (today at 10:07 UTC)!

And now the irony of the “Beginning of Summer” coinciding with the days starting to have less and less light. No sooner does summer begin when the system begins insuring its cyclic demise.

One tries not to take that as a statement of the human condition…


The Fermi Paradox

Where are all the aliens?

I’ve mentioned the Fermi Paradox here quite a number of times, but I’ve never made it the main topic of a post. Lately I’m becoming more and more convinced our world is facing a Great Filter, and that we may very well be seeing one answer to Mr. Fermi’s interesting paradox.

Which is a response to the Drake Equation, which I have made the topic of a post.

Essentially, the Drake Equation attempts to estimate the number of intelligent space-faring species in a galaxy and, by most accounts, comes up with a number noticeably larger than one. The Fermi Paradox says: Okay Mr. Drake… if so… where are all the aliens?

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Feelings vs Intellect

xkcd #1901There’s really only one web comic I read anymore: xkcd. Randall Munroe continues to turn out thoughtful gems, and I really appreciate the ad-free nature of the site. I also find his What-If? series delightful; the first episode is one of my favorite interweb jewels!

But it’s his insight to the human condition and ability to nail a point with such brilliant brevity that I most relish. I value some of his comics as highly as I value favorite quotes; both are pithy petards against our myths and illusions.

And sometimes he even hoists my petard a bit!

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