Thursday, November 29, 2012

Christmas Tree

This year's Christmas Tree has been acquired.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012


On this day in 2001, the Hubble Space Telescope discovered the first known planetary atmosphere outside the solar system, on the planet Osiris.

Friday, November 23, 2012


I've been laid up the past few days (103° fever Sunday night, erysipelas around my right calf & foot which made walking something to avoid), and Diana has sciatica, so it's a good thing that Josh was here to cook for us and that we weren't planning on traveling.

And Josh did indeed cook. Turkey with a homemade wild rice stuffing, golden mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberry orange relish. Mom and Dad were at a clinic in Tappahannock and came down for the day; Mom provided rolls and a pound cake. Add ice cream, raspberries and blackberries for dessert. Plus special additions for me, amoxicillin and acetaminophen.

What am I thankful for? "Being sick" has mostly involved "laying in bed and reading"; I haven't had to scrape together my last few dollars for medicine, I'm still getting paid, I haven't missed anything major. It was an inconvenience, really nothing more.

Our son is here, not lugging 80 pounds of gear around a desert filled with unpleasant natives. Nobody is dropping missiles on us, or rioting around us. We have electricity; some of the people in the New York / New Jersey area are still in the dark, more than three weeks after Hurricane Sandy. We haven't been affected by the post-election layoff notices. We're on good terms with all our relatives. I don't have a Christmas wish list because if I wanted something, I could already have bought it myself.

Mom and Dad told about some of the people in Zambia. The gardener whose wife was in labor, so he brought her to the hospital--by putting her on a bicycle and pushing it, for miles, through deep sandy roads. The thirteen year old girl whose grandmother left her on her own, with one dollar and a promise to be back in a few weeks.

Lots to be thankful for.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Chasing a bird

I left the deck door open this morning so the Mutt could go out and enjoy the sunlight. A bird took the Open Door Policy as an invitation, and flew in. Josh tried to shoo him out, but he was happy where he was.

Josh reported "Managed to chase the bird out using your rapier. He really did not want to leave."

I wish I had video...

Sunday, November 11, 2012

For the Fallen

They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

 They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

 --For the Fallen, Laurence Binyon

Lest we forget.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Well, that was a disaster.

I knew Romney was running behind in the polls but there was talk that several of the polls had biased sampling. It looked like he might win. And then...I dunno. The central issue of the campaign should have been the economy. Romney has a record of being a talented turn around artists, exactly what we need; while Obama can only be regarded as a dismal failure on the economic front, with more months of 8%+ unemployment in this one term than than there have been in total from 1945-2008, not to mention "quantitative easing" (ie diluting the money supply and pretending the resulting inflation doesn't happen), running up a multi-trillion dollar debt, wasting money on "green" companies which go bankrupt, the impending jobs implosion which will result from Obamacare, and so on.

And yet...they voted him in again.

As I drove in to work today, musing over the election results, I was reminded of a girl I knew, a girl who got into a relationship with a guy who promised to take care of her and make her happy. And he did occasionally do nice things for her, but he was pretty slack in other areas, and never hesitated to lie to her about a thing if he didn't feel like talking about it.

And then she found out that he'd been borrowing money left and right--from his friends, his relatives, her friends, anyone he could talk into lending it, and maxing out her credit cards. Some of the money he spent on things that really were necessities, but a lot of it was stuff they didn't need and couldn't afford, like another weekend vacation, or the Xbox he gave to his buddy.

I kept telling her "you need to get out of that relationship", and intellectually, she knew she was being abused; but she was emotionally tied to the guy and just kept hoping things would...somehow...all work out.

Sunday, November 4, 2012


Diana got me a bonsai juniper. Kind of an odd looking example of bonsai, as there's a mass of branches up to about four inches high; the central trunk stand up out of that mass about another 8 inches, then makes a 90° turn to horizontal and sticks out sideways for a foot. I really have no idea what to do with it.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Top Hat

As part of ongoing steampunkness...I got a top hat today. Photo to follow.