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Tuesday, November 21, 2017


The rain, it raineth on the just. And also on the unjust fella, but mostly on the just because the unjust steals the just's umbrella.
~ Charles Bowen
- - - - -

You know who it doesn't rain on? It doesn't rain on martians because water can only be on Mars in the form of vapor or ice. That's why Gene Kelly is relatively unknown on Mars.

Monday, November 20, 2017


Photography has nothing to do with cameras.
~ Lucas Gentry
- - - - -

I think that is a bit of an exaggeration. It has a little bit to do with cameras. Without them, it would just be staring. And that is less socially acceptable. Trust me. I found that out the hard way. The irony was when the person yelled, "Why don't you take a picture -- it'll last longer!" True, but I just kept staring because I didn't have a camera.

Cameras are an excuse to stare. 

Saturday, November 18, 2017


The devil can cite scripture for his purpose.
~ William Shakespeare
- - - - - 

And wicked pigs give us deviled ham.
And wicked farmers give us deviled food.

Actually none of that is true. You have to pay for most of those things. Farmers and pigs don't just give ham and food away.  

Tuesday, November 14, 2017


The wide world is all about you, you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot for ever fence it out.
~ J. R. R. Tolkein
- - - - -

People bragged and bragged about Petit and the Wallendas and RØnningsbakken, but they never met Grandpa. Grandpa used to string BARBED wire between the barn and the other barn. Then he did his high wire act. 

Just the one time, but still all those people never met Grandpa.

Monday, November 13, 2017


We are all prisoners but some of us are in cells with windows and some without.
~ Kahlil Gibran 
- - - - -

I think maybe if I had a different house I would have different windows. I wouldn't have hard glass. I'd have something more pliable. Something more forgiving. Something soft and comforting. And I would have much smaller windows. A hundred small windows - if they were small enough - would still allow light in and would still allow a view outside, but they could be configured in so many different ways.

Tiny windows. Plush windows.

Yes, in a different house I think I'd prefer to have micro, soft windows.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


We invent nothing, truly.  
We borrow and re-create.  
We uncover and discover.  
~ Henry Miller
- - - - -

I agree with Henry Miller on this. I was going to put, "Except for Velcro. Someone invented Velcro." Sorta true except Velcro is a borrow and recreation of sandburs - just as Hamilton is a borrow and recreation of Aaron Burr.

Saturday, November 11, 2017


If we reflect, we shall recognize.
~ Laila Gifty Akita
- - - - -

You know how you can see a reflection in the water?  And you can see a reflection in a window.  Isn't it also interesting when a water tower sees its reflection in a window?


Yeah, probably not. 

Friday, November 10, 2017


A great wind is blowing and that gives you either imagination or a headache.
~ Catherine the Great
- - - - -

I like windmills like these. If they are broken or if they don't work, I don't care. I still like them. They remind me of hard work and ingenuity. They remind me resourcefulness and slower time.

But they remind me of something else, too. Something that is hard to see. Something that sneaks up on us sometimes and is right in our faces at other times.

You see windmills also remind me of wind.

Thursday, November 9, 2017


As I grow to understand life less and less, 
I learn to live it more and more.
~ Jules Renard
- - - - -

Leslie went to visit her grandchildren over fall break. She has two of those things now - grandchildren not fall breaks. She gets to just swoop in and have fun and play with the children and take them Sleeping Beauty gloves and then leave when she gets tired.

She's like a super hero.

Most grandmas are like that.

Especially Grandma Hulk. Or Grandma Cyborg.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017


Beer makes you feel the way you ought to feel without beer.
~ Henry Lawson
- - - - -

Most popular drinks in the world:

1. Water
2. Tea
3. Beer

Most poplar drinks in the vampire world:

Nothing. Vampires aren't real.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017


Like fragile ice, anger passes away in time.
~ Ovid
- - - - -

Without ice, we wouldn't have curling. Without curling, we wouldn't have curling teams. Without curling teams, we wouldn't have fun. Without fun, we wouldn't have anything.


Okay. We might have fun without curling teams, but not as much fun.

Thank you, ice!

Monday, November 6, 2017


It is always with excitement that I wake up in the morning wondering what my intuition will toss up to me, like gifts from the sea. I work with it and rely on it. It is my partner.
~ Jonas Salk
- - - - -

I have heard people say that "only boring people get bored." I don't believe that. Actually, maybe there was more to the quote than that. I tuned out after a while because it wasn't that interesting.

But my point is that Kirk has shared that he sometimes gets bored. Take, for example, this series of text messages I got from him a while back:

Kirk:  The airport is boring.  FYI.

Kirk:  Glad I leave soon.

Kirk:  I wish there was a Republican debate here.

Of course his solution to boredom wouldn't work for everyone.

Sunday, November 5, 2017


As a child I thought, 'Once I am a grown-up, there will be no more fear, no more worries, and it turns out that's not true.
~ Olivia Colman
- - - - -

Sometimes I wonder if childhood is about what we let in and what we get into and if adulthood is about what we push away and what we stay out of. Maybe if we went into more and let more in we would be happier and freer. Maybe not. That's why I wonder - because I don't know.

Sometimes I also wonder if grown-up is misspelled. Perhaps it should be groan-up.

Saturday, November 4, 2017


I have to accept the fact that no matter what I do it's going to annoy someone.
~ Nathan Lane
- - - - -

Why a one lane bridge? Why not a fast lane bridge? A bowling lane bridge? A Nathan Lane bridge? A Diane Lane bridge? Hey - are Nathan and Diane Lane married? Wait... probably not. A Drury Lane bridge? 

I love bridges. What about a Beau Bridge? 

The world is full of so many questions. And bridges. 

Friday, November 3, 2017


The knowledge of yourself will preserve you from vanity.
~ Miguel de Cervantes
- - - - -

I wonder if that is true from grapes and berries, too.

Thursday, November 2, 2017


Well, I must endure the presence of a few caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies.
~ Antoine de Sainte-Exupery
- - - - -

I bet if we could read the thoughts of the butterfly and the butterfly used a lot of profanity we wouldn't think they are all that pretty. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017


I'm not really a storyteller myself I tend to get all tangled up when I try and tell stories.
~ Daniel Day Lewis
- - - - -

I am okay with telling stories, but I am not good at telling jokes. I get tangled up telling them. I think the difference for me is that jokes require more structure than stories. There is the set up, the misdirection, and then the punchline. And if you tell those out of order, it sort of ruins the joke.

I don't find that to be true with stories. You can tell the pieces in any order as long as you tell them in interesting ways. The best part is you don't even have to have a point. If people don't understand your stories, you can just pretend the stories are too complex for those people. 

If they don't fall for that you can always ask them, "So... do you know any good jokes?

Tuesday, October 31, 2017


Nothing scares me more than people with some doll collection.
~ Karl Lagerfeld
- - - - -

I agree, Karl.

Dolls are scary. Also the heads of dolls are scary. Also, listening to a podcast about an unsolved murder while you are home alone and then looking at the window and worrying that the murderer in the story of the unsolved murder is going to be at your window watching you listen to the podcast and then will have to kill you because now you know that they are the murderer - that is scary.

I used to get the same level of fear watching America's Most Wanted and worrying that the most wanted would see me watching the story about them. That doesn't scare me anymore, though because I quit watching it. Maybe it's not even on anymore. Of course, I won't go check because if it IS still on because what if there is an update and I see it, then the person the update is about might be walking by my window and then I'm a goner.

Basically, maybe I'm just afraid of people walking by my windows.

Monday, October 30, 2017


Seeing a murder on television... can help work off one's antagonisms. And if you haven't any antagonisms, the commercials will give you some.
~ Alfred Hitchcock
- - - - -

Once upon a time I lived next door to an old woman named Georgia.  We shared a wall in a duplex.  She was loud and she smoked and she watched something hilarious on Friday nights.

Then one day she got a roommate.  I forget who it was, but she and Georgia had while working together on the 2012 Rick Santorum campaign.  Anyway, one weekend Georgia was gone - probably in the hospital.  The roommate...  I really wish I could remember her name... She was making something and she set the smoke detector off about 10 times.

I remember posting on Facebook at the time that I thought she was trying to kill me by setting the house on fire.

Well, a couple days later Georgia was back from intensive care or wherever she had been. She came over and gave me some brownies.  She said they were an apology gift from her roommate.

This is the label that was on the brownies.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


I always just wanted to be funny. I never planned to be scary.
~ R. L. Stine
- - - - -

How do we decide what is scary? Like vegetables and legumes and that stuff? A pumpkin carved into a face is scary. But what if we did the same thing to a cucumber --

Jack - o - Cuke? Is that scary? Or maybe a Cuke - o - Lantern? Is that better?



Cuke-o-lantern?  Is that better?  No.

Anyway, if you don't get my point, it's because I'm really a deep thinker.

Saturday, October 28, 2017


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth.
~ Oscar Wilde
- - - - -

You know the story of the Man in the Iron Mask (or at least you should), but have you heard the story of the Man in the Cow Mask? That's what I thought. I'm disappointed in you.

And how many of you have a papier-mâché cow head in your basement?


That's what I thought. Get out of here. I don't even know what to say to you.

Friday, October 27, 2017


"Meow" means "Woof" in cat.
~ George Carlin
- - - - -

This book is in the basement of my parent's house.
Also we never owned a cat when I was a kid. At least not for long. Just kidding - we never owned a cat.

Thursday, October 26, 2017


Learning is a tunnel experience that makes us think more broadly.
~ Anna Deavere Smith
- - - - -

The other way that learning and tunnels are similar is you don't always know how long either one is going to take. And then you get through one experience and there is always another one. And also both have the letters L, N, and E in them.

Wednesday, October 25, 2017


Sadly, it's much easier to create a desert than a forest.
~ James Lovelock
- - - - -

Last summer my brother Kirk took me to the Desert of Maine. It was a very fun trip. We saw the Desert of Main and a barn museum and the guide talked about am movie called "Dirt." 

Kirk and I are simply people who enjoy simple pleasures. 

And why I thought it was a good idea to sit at the front of the tram when I knew we would be laughing and would bust up if Kirk and I made direct eye contact during the trip... I will never know.

Good choices, bad choices, it's all up to you. Whether it's sitting too close to the tour guide or creating a giant desert because of poor soil management practices.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017


Life is like a game of cards. The hand you're dealt is determinism;
 the way you play it is free will.
~ Jawaharlal Nehru
- - - - -

When this game originally came out it was called "Yatzie." What a stupid name. I'm so glad they changed it.

Monday, October 23, 2017


There will be good days and bad, which means that some days I may be cranky and some days really cranky!
~ Peter Jennings
- - - - -

The other day I had to go to campus for a meeting. It turned out to be a pretty great meeting, but that isn't my point.

My point is that I wasn't excited about driving to campus for a meeting on a Saturday. 

When you get in your car a little earlier than you wanted and you’re a little grumpier than you would prefer and
Then you have to go around the building because they are refinishing the front doors, but you encounter a puppy named “Sully” and get to pet her.
And then you get to your office and have this note on the door and you RE-realize that you have the chance to work with some of the best students ever...
Sometimes it takes too much work to be grumpy, so you might as well be in a decent mood.

But my point isn't that you shouldn't be grumpy, either. That was my point in my FB post, but not now. Today my point is that when I got in my car to drive home from the meeting that day, the song that came on my iPod was "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch," by Thurl Ravenscroft.

My point is that the universe will play jokes on you and you may not think they are funny or you may think they are funny. Either way, you are correct.

Also my point is - how great a name is "Thurl Ravenscroft"?!!!

Sunday, October 22, 2017


New birth, new blessings.
~ Laila Gifty Akita
- - - - -

You know how when babies are learning to walk and they walk a little bit and then just sit down really hard. Who do they think they're fooling? We know they didn't just suddenly decide to sit down. We know they FELL down. 

Babies are fakers.

Saturday, October 21, 2017


A clear conscience is usually a sign of a bad memory.
~ Steven Wright
- - - - -

If I were to choose three or four signs to put on a tree in front of my house, I wouldn't.

Friday, October 20, 2017


I always tried to do the best. I knew I couldn't always be the best, but I tried to be.
~ Frank Robinson
- - - - -

My mentor Frank used to sign notes, "I'm glad you're here." I do that now sometimes, but not for everyone. Let's be honest, I'm not glad everyone is here. 

Now you're going to go back and look at all the notes I sent you and see if I wrote that to you. If yes - be grateful. If no - try to think about what you did wrong.

Thursday, October 19, 2017


If the shoe doesn't fit, must we change the foot?
~ Gloria Steinem
- - - - -

Jared put this koozie - that was in the shape of a boot - on Zak's foot. I think it was Jared. I just felt bad for Zak. He looked ridiculous when his shoes didn't match.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017


Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking successive autumns.
~ George Eliot
- - - - -

I like a lot of things about living in the South. 
Something I do not like is how hot it is. 
The day before yesterday it felt like autumn for the first time. 
It is mid October. 
That is too late for it to feel like autumn for the first time.
But at least it's here.


Tuesday, October 17, 2017


One must also have faith to grow flowers...
~ Stella Walthall Patterson
- - - - -

I think that the quote above represents what George Michael meant when he wrote:

Well I guess it would be nice
If I could touch your body
I know not everybody
Has got a body like you 
                  -- "Faith" - 1987


Of course, I suppose there are different kinds of faith.

Monday, October 16, 2017


Cooking is at once child's play and adult's joy.
~ Craig Claiborne
- - - - -

They say you shouldn't play with your food, but I think maybe it's okay to have food with your play. Otherwise - uh, what about dinner theater?!

Sunday, October 15, 2017


I would start a revolution, but I just bought a hammock.
~ Zach Galifianakis
- - - - -

The peep standoff continued for several hours. The sun beat down on them. They knew none of them would last. They also knew none of them were going to back down when it came to the hammock. What they failed to realize (mainly due to poor eye sight) was that none of them - even in attached groups of four - would ever enjoy the hammock. They would fall through to the ground.

There was no relaxation to be had. Not in the midst of conflict. Not in the hammock. No where. 

There was no privacy, either. They were forever bound to at least three other peeps - maybe more if they stayed in the sun much longer.

"So THAT'S why," Wilbert thought to himself, 'There's no such saying as 'To peep his own.'"

Wilbert was wise, but the others didn't want to hear any more from him, so he decided to keep his wisdom to himself.

Saturday, October 14, 2017


Laughter is poison to fear.
~ George R. R. Martin
- - - - -

You know what else is poison to fear? Antifreeze. At least it is if Fear is the name of a skunk - and that could be a thing. Fear the skunk.

Friday, October 13, 2017


If I exorcise my devils, all my angels may go, too.
~ Tom Waits
- - - - -

I'm surprised there is as much evil in the world as there appears to be. One would think with people recommending 20 minutes of exorcise at least three times a week that we'd be rid of a lot of it.

Thursday, October 12, 2017


You are my sun,
my moon,
and all of my stars.
~ e. e. cummings
- - - - -

The first time Leslie met Ezra, she sang to him. 
She sang the Bill Murray lyrics to "Star Wars" from Saturday Night Live (Episode 56 which aired during season three).

I don't know what that does to a baby, but hold on because we're about to find out!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Life's not fair. Why should it be?
~ Margaret Atwood
- - - - -

I don't know why they call it a fair. I don't think it's fair that I have to wait in line. I don't think that it's fair that rides cost money. I don't think that it's fair that they frickin' clowns EVERYWHERE.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


Yeah, as long as we know we're trapped 
we still have a chance to escape.
~ Sara Grant
- - - - -

I love this photo. In it we see a kid with a bug trapped under her had. She is riding on a school bus. Just as the bug is trapped under her hand, the kid is trapped in the school system and perpetuates privilege and power and diminishes her senses of agency and independence. 

Or maybe this was a bus headed to entomology camp. 

Monday, October 9, 2017


Find a place inside where there's joy and the joy will burn out the pain.
~ Joseph Campbell
- - - - -

If you pay attention, you can see little signs of joy everywhere. If you don't pay attention they are still there, but you are missing out. And if you dwell on missing out on the little signs of joy then you're going to miss more of them. It's like a vicious circle. A vicious circle with a smiley face if you pay attention. And if you don't...  Well, there - you just made my point.

Sunday, October 8, 2017


Sleep is the best meditation
~ The Dalai Lama
- - - - -

If you are ever out driving and you find yourself behind this car, be careful. There are a couple of things that could happen: 1. The driver could be asleep and cause and accident. 2. The driver could be a hypnotist and put you to sleep and you could cause an accident.


Those are the only two possible things that could happen, so be careful.

Saturday, October 7, 2017


Children learn to smile from their parents.
~ Shinichi Suzuki
- - - - -

Sometimes when the kid with the cape says everyone should wear party hats, you wear party hats. Unless you're the baby brother. Then you don't have to. That's because the baby brother is the boss of everyone. He doesn't even realize his power.

But the kid with the cape realizes his power. And she is not always pleased about it. When he gets a little older she'll explain how things are SUPPOSED to work around here, buddy!

Friday, October 6, 2017


What is a farm but a mute gospel?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
- - - - -

Ken came from a family of very introverted barns. They sat. They held hay. They sheltered animals. They stored tools. Didn't say much. Didn't thrive on drama. Quiet, calm, simple barns.

But Ken wasn't like the others. He had bigger dreams and needed more out of his day than watching the sun rise and later watching the sun set. He wanted action. He wanted distraction. He wanted the satisfaction of the occasional infraction.

Ken was a different kind of barn. In fact the elders could be heard whispering to one another with disappointment and disdain in their voices, "That Ken... he was barn to be wild."

Thursday, October 5, 2017


The land of embarrassment and breakfast.
~ Julian Barnes
- - - - -

Breakfast might be the most important meal of the day, but you forget that if it's dinner time and you're hungry.

In that case maybe breakfast is the most self-important meal of the day.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply; by the lives they lead.
~ Edith Wharton
- - - - -

Karma is a mystery. You don't know when it's going to happy and you don't always realize why it's going to happen. 

Like this text. I have no idea what it was about.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017


Wind warns November's done with. 
The blown leaves make bat-shapes,
Web-winged and furious.
~ Sylvia Plath
- - - - -

When we were in Canada, I went and got Leslie. I said, "Um... can you come with me? I think there are a couple of bats in the other room." There had been bats in the cabin in past years, so it seemed believable.

When I showed her these two bats, she was not amused.

I just don't know what's wrong with Leslie sometimes. Sometimes I DO know what's wrong and it's usually because of something I have said, but this time... I have to tell you - I was at a loss.

Monday, October 2, 2017


Success isn't about the end result. 
It's about what you learn along the way.
~ Vera Wang
- - - - -

I learned that whoever had this magazine before me doesn't understand the concept of crossword puzzles.

Sunday, October 1, 2017


It would be judicious to act with magnanimity towards a prostrate foe.
~ Zachary Taylor
- - - - -

Today is Zak's birthday.
He is two years old.
He was named in honor of Zachary Taylor the 12th president of the United States. His parents both desperately hope Zak will grow up to be a member of the Whig party and reluctantly run for president.

That's not true. I made it up.

But take a look at the photo below and you will notice a striking resemblance between Zak Boettcher and Zachary Taylor. It's a little creepy.

Happy birthday, Zak.