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Wednesday, December 23, 2009


Family isn't about who's blood you have. It's about who you care about.
~ Trey Parker and Matt Stone, South Park, Ike's Wee Wee, 1998
1. I don't usually put exactly where the quote is from, but I really wanted to include the title, "Ike's Wee Wee" in the blog.

2. Elizabeth is fixated on the idea of adopting a little boy and buying him a special sweater for Hanukkah. I am not sure how familiar she is with either the adoption process or the celebration of Hanukkah. I am sure she will do her research. She has already asked, "How old do you have to be to adopt a kid?" Concerning? Yes. But at least she's still asking and not just filling out paperwork without our knowledge.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009


"Music is your own experience, your own thoughts, your wisdom. If you don't live it, it won't come out of your horn. They teach you there's a boundary line to music. But, man, there's no boundary line to art."
~ Charlie Parker

I wake up with a song in my head every day. Sometimes I get busy and it slips away before I realize it's there. I've started posting the song in my head on my Facebook status. Annoying to some, I'm sure (but they don't have to read it if they don't want to).
Here is the list of songs that were in my head going back to September:
3rd - "Where Are You Tonight?" by Tom Johnston
10th - "New Shoes" by Paolo Nutini
11th - "Please, Mister, Please" by Olivia Newton-John
12th - "Before He Cheats" by Carrie Underwood
13th - "Domino" by Van Morrison
14th - "I'd Rather Ride Around with You" by Reba McEntire
18th - "Believe" by Cher
19th - "I've Got Two Eyes" from either Sesame Street or the Electric Company (can't remember which)
21st - "My Cheri Amor" by Stevie Wonder
23rd - "Six Feet from the Edge" by Creed
26th - "It's Gonna Be a Good Night" by the Black Eyed Peas"
27th - "The L & M Don't Stop Here Anymore" by Michelle Shocked
29th - "Feeling Good" by Nina Simone

2nd - "Enter Sandman" by Metallica
3rd - "Saturday Night" by the Bay City Rollers
4th - "The Night Has a Thousand Eyes" by Bobby Vee
6th - "Good to Me" by Halcyon
7th – “I'm Coming Home" by Daughtry
8th - "Pocket Full of Sunshine" by Natasha Bedingfield
9th - "It's Magic" by Pilot
12th - "Are You Gonna Go My Way?" by Lenny Kravitz
13th - "Second Chance" by Shinedown
16th - "If Today was Your Last Day," by Nickelback
19th - "Fireflies" byOwl City
21st - "Someone Like You" by Boys Like Girls
22nd - "Not Meant to Be" by Theory of a Deadman
23rd - "Disturbia" by Rhianna
25th - Conga" by Miami Sound Machine
26th - "I'm Yours" by Jason Mraz
27th - "I'm Not Gonna Write You A Love Song" by Sara Bareilles
28th - "Viva La Vida" by Coldplay
31st - "Jolene" by Dolly Parton

1st - "Wherever I May Roam" by Metallica
3rd - "She's Got You" by Patsy Cline
4th - "Fallin' for You," by Colbie Caillat
5th - "Ironic" by Alanis Morissette
8th - "Crazy Train" by Ozzy
9th - "That's the Way Love Is" by Marvin Gaye
10th - "You're Always Welcome at Our House" by the Serendipity Singers (lyrics by Shel Silverstein)
11th - "Ruby Tuesday" by The Rolling Stones (the 11th was a Wednesday)
12th - "Something More" by Sugarland
13th - "She Will Be Loved" by Maroon 5
14th - "When Something is Wrong with my Baby" by Sam and Dave (written by Isaac Hayes)
15th - "The Song that Goes Like This" by Sara Ramirez and Christopher Sieber
16th - "Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
17th - "Down" by Jay Sean (featuring Lil Wayne)
18th - "Benedictus" by Simon and Garfunkel
19th - "Forever Young" by Audra Mae & the Rangers
20th - "Poker Face" by Lady GaGa
21st - "Keep Your Hands to Yourself," by George Thoroughgood and the Destroyers
22nd – "Everybody's Somebody's Fool," by Connie Francis
23rd - "Sweet Dreams," by The Eurythmics
24th - "Son of a Sailor" by Jimmy Buffet
25th – “The Chicken Dance" Unsure of the artist.
26th - "Party in the USA," by Miley Cyrus
30th "Frosty the Snowman" by Jimmy Durante

1st - "Rock Me Like a Hurricane" by The Scorpions
2nd - The Rain in Spain Stays Mainly on the Plain" by Julie Andrews
4th - "Baby, It's Cold Outside" by Pearl Bailey and Hot Lips Page
5th - "Three is a Magic Number" from Schoolhouse Rock
6th - "Watcha Say" be Jason DeRulo
7th - "Complicated" by Avril Lavigne
8th - "Time Don't Run Out on Me" by Anne Murray
10th - "Fireflies," by Owl City
11th - "Cold-Hearted Snake" by Paula Abdul
12th - "Mama Tried" by Merle Haggard
13th - "Livin' on a Prayer" by Bon Jovi
14th - "Already Gone" by Kelly Clarkson
15th - "Paparazzi" by Lady Gaga
16th - "C'Mon, C'Mon" by the Von Bondies
17th – “Falling for You" by Colbie Caillat
18th - "Get the Party Started" by P!nk
19th - "We Built this City" by Jefferson Starship
20th - "Winter Wonderland" by The Eurythmics
21st - "Over the Rainbow" by Israel Kamakawiwo'ole
22nd- “Battlefield” by Jordin Sparks
No idea what it all means except that you can tell when I've been listening to the radio with the girls and when I haven't. When I haven't I get random things in my head like stuff from Schoolhouse Rock, Sesame Street / Electric Company, or The Serendipity Singers.
Not a bad variety for a kid who grew up in a household listening to German and Irish drinking songs and '70s & '80s country music.

Monday, December 21, 2009


If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adverstity, prosperity would not be so welcome.
~ Anne Bradstreet
Elizabeth: Hey, Mom, did you lose a yak track?
Chris: No, I still have both of mine.
Elizabeth: Okay. Bella found one on campus, and she was walkin' around at school today wearing one yak track.


Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

~ Kurt Vonnegut


This is a perfect quote for this time of year. It also aligns nicely with my hatred of Jordan Creek Mall. I hate it more than other malls because the people who shop there appear to have more money (or appear to value the things that more money can provide) than those who shop at other malls.

I hate seeing people trying to "buy themselves happy."

As for the cat in the photo above... Well, she's just trying to construct a life that makes sense from things she finds around the house.


"The world is mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful."
~ e. e. cummings
Today Emily and Chad's babies will finally arrive. I hope they have as much fun in the mud-luscious and puddle-wonderful world as Maddie and Elizabeth do (at least most of the time).
I also hope that Chad and Emily like linoleum and can afford to have it installed throughout the house. It makes the mud easier to tolerate.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


We're always on the side of the animal that's being chased. We always seem to be on the side of the rabbit or the fox and not on the side of the hounds.
~ Norman Jewison
I'm not on the side of the animal being chased if it is a mouse, a rat, an oppossum, or a burglar.
Elizabeth built a rabbit hutch with my dad. I put a rabbit in the hutch and went inside and told her that a rabbit had gotten into the hutch she built. I acted all excited and told her to run outside and see.
She came outside. She saw.

She was unimpressed.


Events at home, at work, in the street - these are the bases for a story.

~ Naguib Mahfouz


When I was a kid, I used to dream every winter about a world where all children would unite. In my dream world, all the children would organize to create more time for play and creativity and fun. "How would children do that?" you ask?

Every child, in every house in town would get a plastic gallon milk jug and fill it with water. They would go to the street in front of their house and dump the water on the street. The water in front of all the houses all across town would freeze. Then, school would be canceled because the roads would be too icy for the buses.

That was my dream.


We're rapidly approaching a world comprised entirely of jail and shopping.

~ Doug Coupland


I don't really like shopping. I don't like people that much. I don't like being asked if I need help - I prefer to ask if I need help not have it forced upon me. Most of all, though, I hate going places and seeing people trying to buy themselves happy. To me it's almost as depressing as the time I heard a woman in a casino say, "Mom, don't go losing all the money for the kids' birthday presents!"

But in the middle of the blizzard, if nothing else is open, there will always be someplace you can go to shop. Of course, if you're shopping for a snow shovel, ice remover, or a space heater, you'll be out of luck.


I am open to the guidance of synchronicity, and do not let expectations hinder my path.
~ Dalai Lama
Dear pedestrian in this photo... I know we got a lot of snow the night before this photo was taken, but if you're going to walk in the road, walk toward oncoming traffic and walk closer to the edge so cars don't smack into you.
Sometimes you need to worry less about the obstacles on the path in front of you than about the speeding cars (or hungry animals or angry villagers) coming up on you from behind.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and charm and gaiety to life and to everything.

~ Plato

This photo reminds me of a 1970s record album cover. If I were writing this album, the title would be: "Sisters of Autumn."

Here are a few of the tracks that I would include:

* I Love Love and My Love Loves Me

* Don't Forget

* Sisters of Autumn (title track)

* Windy Chipmunk Heaven

* The Meadow Song

* Time Tells and Alarm Clock Bells

* Breezetime

* You're Amazingly Amazing

I would hope that K-Tel would distribute, but if not, I would try to work with some other label.


The price of success is hard work, dedication to the job at hand, and the determination that whether we win or lose, we have applied the best of ourselves to the task at hand.
~ Vince Lombardi
Elizabeth decided to try out for a role in "Pirates of Penzance." She ended up with the role of "pirate." My main hope is that she is not a method actor.

Monday, December 7, 2009


The teacher who is indeed wise does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom but rather leads you to the threshold of your mind.
~ Kahlil Gibran
This image is on my facebook from when we moved into our house. The caption reads, "Some people wallpaper over light switches. Some people don't like that."
Anyway, my job offers me the chance to talk with and read many things from students and involving students. I was amused by something I re-read in going back through my notes recently. In the information a student discussed the "aggressive manor" in which s/he was confronted.
It made me realize how grateful I am not to live in an aggressive manor.

Friday, December 4, 2009


Duct tape is like the force. It has a dark side, a light side, and it holds the universe together.
~ Oprah Winfrey
One thing I found as a hall director is that students like to be taped to the walls with duct tape.
A couple of suggestions, though:
1. Don't do this activity on a painted wall.
2. Don't let students put tape around the tapee's throat.
3. Wearing sweats or some other covering instead of taping bare skin is more comfortable for the tapee -- particularly when the activity is over and the tape is being removed.


Fill your bowl to the brim and it will spill.
Keep sharpening your knife and it will blunt.
~ Lao Tzu


This is a singing bowl that I have. I wanted one for a long time. You use the wooden thing (which probably has a name, but I call it "wooden thing") and when you stir it around the outside rim of the top of the bowl, the bowl's vibrations sing.

The purpose of the bowl is to clear away bad energy and to make spaces safer and cleaner and healthier. I have thought about bringing it into work or places where I'm doing projects to put good energy into the environment. And then I have imagined someone walking in on me and reporting me for using a singing bowl or being weirded out by the singing bowl.

I don't think our culture is really ready for 8th Century A.D. Tibetan technology.


Marriages are all happy.
It's having breakfast together that causes problems.
~ Irish Proverb


The other day Maddie asked me what I eat on my poptarts. I was confused. I don't even really pop my poptarts, assuming that the pop comes from the fact that they pop out of the toaster. Anyway, I told her I didn't put anything on them. she pointed at the two poptarts in the photo. I thought they were Elizabeth's and she had created some special sugar-syrup for her poptarts (because that's the kind of thing that Elizabeth does). But, no. They were Chris' poptarts and had butter on them.

Maddie and I were both kind of grossed out.

Thursday, December 3, 2009


Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of.
~ Charles Richards
This is the calendar thing we do for the girls' grandparents every year. We put notes in th boxes or pieces of candy or whatever. I think this year we might put a live mouse in one of the boxes.
At least it's not like Brad's Advent Calendar. The ants hijacked it over Thanksgiving weekend. No chocolate for you, Brad! I bet it's karma because you're such a jerk.
(For those of you who don't know Brad, he's really not a jerk at all -- which is why this is funny. Though now that I've had to explain it, some of the humor has fallen away).

Monday, November 30, 2009


If you would know a man, observe how he treats a cat.
~ Robert Heinlein

Our cat hates Elizabeth. Elizabeth who claims Neko is her cat. Why does Neko hate her? Because Elizabeth likes to do things to the cat that make her "poof up." Cats, from what I can tell, only "poof up" when they are displeased.

So, this weekend they put up our tree at home. Among the decorations on the tree are some the girls have made over the years at day care or in school. There is only ONE decoration that Neko tore down off the tree last night. Only one. The one Maddie is holding.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009


“I’d be normal, but I had a family.” ~ Adrienne Gusoff
I am confident that Maddie and Elizabeth will have a lot of memories when they grow up. I like to think that they'll be happy ones. However, I have made my peace with the fact that with the right verbage they could also end up writing a couple of very dark memoirs.


Some days there won't be a song in your heart. Sing anyway.
~ Emory Austin
At this time of year I am reminded that there really are no Thanksgiving Carols. This could be because of a lot of reasons:
* not everyone is thankful for Thanksgiving
* it really is just a holiday about eating and watching TV
* people are usually 3-4 holidays ahead, so there are songs for other holidays out there
etc. etc. etc.
I also think that it's because turkey isn't a good rhyming word. You have to kind of make up adjectives to rhyme with it -- smirky, worky, quirky (less made up, still adjective-y).
I think that if the holiday was about eating duck, there might be more songs. But they might not be songs we would want to sing around children.
Thanksgiving Carol
It is fall
Watch football
And eat it all
The stuffing the turkey the yams
We give thanks
And close our banks
But don't eat franks
Instead - green beans, potatoes and ham
And when it gets late
We fix a plate
Because it tastes great
So in some more food we will cram
(sung to the tune of either "Dueling Banjos" or "Thus Spake Zarathustra")

Saturday, November 21, 2009


Better a thousand times careful than once dead.

~ Proverb
Maddie was on the safety patrol at her school. This made me particularly proud since not only was I on safety patrol in elementary school, my 6th grade year I was CAPTAIN of the safety patrol.
Anyway, I think Maddie can be one of the most caring and nice people ever. Children LOVE her.

When she was going into 4th or 5th grade, we got a call from her principal. The principal said, "I got a call from Mrs. So-and-So and her daughter is very upset she's not in Maddie's class this year. Is Maddie upset about that?" Chris said we didn't think Maddie was upset because she got the teacher she wanted, but we'd check. When we asked Maddie about it, she couldn't even remember for sure who the girl was.
And then there was the day Chris went to school and everyone came up and said, "Maddie is my best friend!" Seriously, like 3 kids said that.
Maddie definitely got the bulk of the nice. And I'm pretty sure it must have been environmental not genetic.


My mother had a great deal of trouble with me,
but I think she enjoyed it.
~ Mark Twain
As you can tell from the photo above, Elizabeth has a hard time when her mother pays attention to Maddie. E needs to be coddled and listened to and hugged and loved on. If Chris ever pays attention to Maddie instead, well, that is simply unacceptable.


Do you wish to rise? Begin by descending. You plan a tower that will pierce the clouds? Lay first the foundation of humility.
~ Saint Augustine
Today we moved the rabbit hutch from the front yard to the back yard. We used some old pavers as foundation for the corners. It is fairly level and pretty stable. Once we had it set up, I picked up Elizabeth and put her on top of the hutch to make sure it wouldn't tip.
"I wouldn't want this to fall and hurt the rabbits, so I am using you to test it out." I was joking when I said it.
"I know," she agreed. "I wouldn't want this to hurt my little bunnies!!"
So, E can be sensitive. Not so much toward people, but at least toward rabbits.

Monday, November 16, 2009


Winter is not a season, it's an occupation.
~ Sinclair Lewis
Elizabeth said yesterday she is ready for snow. I told her to stop talking like that.
"Why don't you like snow?" she asked.
"Because it's cold and wet and cold," I said.
"And you also forgot that it's fun," she said.
Please note the outfit that Elizabeth is sporting in the above photo. Her sense of fashion can be summed up as this, "If I'm wearing it, it MUST look good."
This is the same fashion philosophy employed by my friend Dr. Gildersleeve. I like people like that.


A family is a place where minds come in contact with one another. If these minds love one another, the home will be as beautiful as a flower garden. But if these minds get out of harmony with one another, it is like a storm that plays havoc with the garden.
~ Buddha
In going through old emails that I have saved, I came across this list. I had asked Maddie and Elizabeth to help me come up with a list of 30 things you can do when you're 30 that you can't do when you're 7 or 11. Here is the list:
30 Things You Can / Should Do when your 30 that you Can't / Don't Get to do when you're 7 or 11:

1. Get a job at Dairy Queen.
2. Live in a mansion. (I tried to convince the girls that the residence hall they live in IS a mansion, but they didn't buy it).
3. Have a big screen TV.
4. Have a hot tub.
5. Have a bowling alley or movie theatre in your house.
6. Have a pinball machine and air hockey game in your house.
7. Have a basketball hoop.
8. For your birthday, go out to dinner.
9. Go see a movie.
10. Drive a car.
11. Buy a house.
12. Go to the beach.
13. Go swimming with dolphins.
14. Don't go to school.
15. Get a gecko.
16. Ride in a limo.
17. Have a closet 2 or 3 times the size of your bedroom.
18. 9 times the size of your bedroom would be even sweeter.
19. Have a mall in your house.
20. Go to a bar, if you like beer.
21. Go to a play for grown-ups.
22. Hang out with your friends.
23. Have a sleepover whenever you want.
24. Get a dog -- unless you're like terrified of dogs. Or allergic.
25. Have a racquetball place in your room.
26. Have an art studio.
27. Fill balloons with paint and throw darts at them to make art.

Apparently, they could only come up with 27 things. So, perhaps, this means that 27 is really the optimal age to be.

Thursday, November 12, 2009


So many get reformed through religion.
I got reformed through dogs.
~ Lina Basquette


A story by Maddie Fowler (probably written when she was about 7):

Once a pon a time there was a little dog. the owner of the dog is Michelle. once she got the dog from the dog pond she thought he needed to do some cricks so all day they did cricks. So then wen the dog got older he wood no how to sit. he was the best dog in the universe. I love him.

PS. It is a true story.


The surest way to corrupt a youth is to instruct him
to hold in higher esteem those who think alike than
those who think differently.
~Friedrich Nietzsche
The other day Elizabeth and I were watching a commercial with a little kid sneaking his broccoli to his dog. Elizabeth said, "Why in the world is he doing that with perfectly good vegetables?!"

Sunday, November 8, 2009


My parents are both college professors, and it made me want to question authority, standards and traditions.

~ Maya Lin
Once upon a time, Maddie got in trouble for texting when she'd been told not to. When confronted, I talked with her about integrity and responsibility and trust. I tried to stress how important it is to maintain your reputation and convey a sense of honesty to others and how she had compromised that by her actions. My sanction was for her to lose her phone for a week.
Chris talked with her about her feelings and thoughts. The learning activity Chris came up with for Maddie was to journal every night for a week. It could be about the situation or her feelings toward us and how we handled the event or about what had happened that day -- whatever she wanted.
And that is what it's like to get in trouble when you live with one adult who is in judicial affairs and another with a counseling background. It must stink to be held accountable AND have to deal with how you feel about being held accountable.
Poor kid.


In the information society, nobody thinks.
We expect to banish paper, but we actually banish thought.
~ Michael Crichton


I don't think we'll ever banish paper. Email and Facebook and all -- that is fine, but nothing can replace finding a note or getting a letter in the mail.


Some of my staff members once brought me a note that they were made aware of by one of their residents. It said, "NO making babies on my couch... GET YOUR OWN!!" While it's pretty funny to tell and might be funny to read in this blog, it is not nearly as funny as it must have been to walk into a room and see the note sitting on a couch.

Of course it wasn't funny to everyone involved and led to a discussion about roommate respect and a renegotiation of the roommate contract. Regardless, I think it was a pretty good use of paper.


I can't stand a naked light bulb, any more than I can

a rude remark or a vulgar action.

~ Tennessee Williams


I can stand the above in the following order:

1. Naked light bulb.

2. Vulgar action.

3. Rude remark

What I cannot stand at all is the word "conglomerate."


A successful man is one who can lay a firm foundation with the
bricks others have thrown at him.

~ David Brinkley
This sign could also be used to signify when a person is bullet-proof. Good thing it isn't, however, because being bulletproof and being careful of thrown objects really aren't synonymous.
You know who should not use snowblowers? Children. Even though there is a sign clearly indicating not to stick you hand in the part where the snow shoots out, I know a child who tried to / started to put her hand in that thing. Then the child's mother screamed at her.
I guess we will never know which is worse -- the physical scars that Maddie -- I mean "the child" MAY have gotten, or the emotional scars that Chris -- I mean "the parent" caused to the child.


. . . the companions of our childhood always possess a certain power over our minds which hardly any later friend can obtain.
~ Mary Shelley (from Frankenstein)

My best friend when I was a kid was Joel Hanson. Chris and the girls know him as "My best friend Joel Hanson." That is how I always refer to him.

I remember once hiding behind a snowdrift and throwing ice chunks and snowballs at cars. Then we hit one and the car circled back for us. We ran and hid under his snowmobile trailer.

I think that experience is one of many that helped prepare me for a career as a judicial affairs hearing officer.


It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.

~ C. S. Lewis


I beg to differ. I know some bad eggs and some good eggs, to be sure. However, I also know some who are cracked, others who are scrambled, and still others who are stolen by rodents in the night and eaten.

Well, maybe not so many of that last one.


No cord or cable can draw so forcibly, or bind so fast, as love can do with a single thread.
~ Robert Burton
But just try to bind a puppy with a single thread of love and you're bound to have a runaway dog.


It is not heroin or cocaine that makes one an addict, it is the need to escape from a harsh reality. There are more television addicts, more baseball and football addicts, more movie addicts, and certainly more alcohol addicts in this country than there are narcotics addicts.

~ Shirley Chisholm


I walked the tailgate lots with ISU PD this weekend. It seems that there are three kinds of reaction to police by students who are tailgating:

1. Oh - __________ - the cops are here! (this is what underage students say / think)

2. Stupid [or some variation thereof] cops! (this is what the barely 21 students say / think)

3. Hey, there's a cop. I best I could be the best friend of the cops ever. I had better go and talk with them. (this is what the 21+ students -- including students who have been arrested in years past by the police say / think)

This late in the season it was more of #3 than of 1 or 2.


Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.

~ Rabindranath Tagore

I like the way some of the branches in the photo above are highlighted by the clouds. My guess is, that those are the branches you need to remember for some upcoming quizzes.


A man who wants time to read and write must let the grass grow long.
~ Sloan Wilson
This summer we let our grass grow longer than we did the first year we were here. We have some neighbors who mow their lawns 2-3 times a week and have pretty flowers and arbors and landscaping.
We, on the other hand, had a few trees choped down, removed some dead vines and tried planting flowers. A lot of people stopped while we were working this summer and said how nice it looked. The compliments were kind, but I wonder what they said when they drove by before we did anything to the yard.


As iron is eaten away by rust, so the envious are consumed by their own passion.
Envy is so destructive. I think that when you are envious of something you should have to get it and everything that comes with it. For example, Maddie might be envious of kids at school who live in bigger houses. But if we lived in a bigger house, do you know what else Maddie would get? She'd get to be scared more often because there would be a lot more places for me to hide and jump out at her from.
I also think those who are envious of birds should get the chance to fly, but should also have people shoot at them randomly and for no apprently good reason.
The morale of the story (and an old family proverb):
It ain't what you want, but what you get that makes you fat.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009


If you have a talent, use it in every which way possible. Don't hoard it. Don't dole it out like a miser. Spend it lavishly like a millionaire intent on going broke.
~ Brendan Francis
I believe everyone has a talent. Unfortunately, some people's talents include:
* Being a idiot
* Singing that high screeching part of the song "Loving You" by Minnie Ripperton
* Making tuna casserole
* Being loud
* Wrapping everything in your office in aluminum foil
Fortunately, the people who are good at that last item, also leave small dog treats behind as clues as to who might have done such a thing. And when they do, you can exercise your talent at getting revenge!

Monday, November 2, 2009


Even a fish wouldn't get into trouble if it kept its mouth shut.

~ Korean Proverb

Elizabeth loves pets. She had a hermit crab named Apple and then a fish. I found this email announcement I sent out to people shortly after we had moved off-campus:

Elizabeth's fish died last night.
She doesn't know it yet, but I'm sure will figure it out when she notices the fish laying on the bottom of the bowl. Not sure what happened, maybe the trip was a bit too rough. Goodbye, London Rose Fowler.

Elizabeth didn't really mourn her fish too much. She did take a lot of time choosing the right name for it, though.


People are not disturbed by things, but by the view they take of them.

~ Epictetus


I am disturbed by (the view I take of) many things. Here are a few:

* crumbs in enclosed spaces (pockets, bags, under cabinets, etc.)

* movies about the desert or being trapped in snow

* monkeys in clothes (or chimpanzees or gorillas or whatever)

* when things aren't organized correctly (towels should be folded in a certain way, put in a closet a certain way; furniture with wood grain or stripes should run parallel to the furniture it faces or to the longest wall in the room; music collections should be alphabetized)

* clowns and dolls (of course)

* when closet doors aren't closed

* stuff by my feet when I'm riding in a car

* the smell of old books

And there are more.

Friday, October 30, 2009


The creation of a world view is the work of a generation rather than of an individual, but we each of us, for better or for worse, add our brick to the edifice.

~ John Dos Passos

Someone who lived in our house before we did left a bunch of bricks to the edifice in a pile in the backyard.


I always wanted to be a cowboy, and Jedi Knights are basically cowboys in space, right?

~ Liam Neeson


If I could be either a cowboy or an astronaut, I'd choose cowboy. If you fall off your ride, it's not as hard a landing.


One thought follows another without interruption. But if you allow these thoughts to link up to a chain, you put yourself in bondage.

~ Zen saying


My brother, Erik, once tied up our youngest brother, Kirk. And then put him in the bathtub. And then ran the water.

Kirk was never in any real danger. But to hear him tell it, you'd think Erik was trying to kill him or something.


Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.

~ Dalai Lama


I remember being hurt as a kid (usually of my own doing). I would yell, "Mom! Mom!"

My mother - the nurse - would respond, "Come over here and I'll help you up."


Ultimately, literature is nothing but carpentry. With both you are working with reality, a material just as hard as wood.
~ Gabriel Garcia Marquez
This is Elizabeth in my dad's workshop getting ready to start work on the rabbit hutch. The hutch is now complete other than being sealed and stained. And filled with a rabbit.
And the string Elizabeth is about to pull changes our basement into the BatCave.