Mar 312011

While walking to lunch in downtown Huntsville today, a colleague noticed an SD card on the sidewalk at the southern corner of Clinton and Washington.  It contains 279 photographs, taken with a Sony DSC-T99, between March 7 and 17 inclusive.  It includes pictures of Mardi Gras in Mobile.  Here is one of the “stars”:

(Photos deleted.  Owner located, and card returned.)

Any idea who these folks are?  I’d be glad to return the card to its owner, if I knew who that was.

 Posted by at 11:08 pm
Mar 312011
  • A question for my fellow bloggers:  anyone else seeing unusual increases in traffic from Romania this week?  It appears legitimate—different IPs, reasonable distribution throughout the day, and so forth—but that’s pretty odd, don’t you think?  Monday was the biggest day, and it’s been falling off since.
  • I’ve seen a little rationalization and a lot of outright dismissal over this.  There may be something to this and there may not, but I’m glad it’s not my team.
  • David E. Davis Jr. has died at 80.  He hadn’t been back at Car and Driver for very long, but it seems fitting that he was there when he passed.  Definitely a tad pompous, but a talented, pioneering, and engaging journalist.  I’ll miss him.  RIP.
  • Tiger Woods is even getting fired from innocuous economics examples in textbooks.  Poor guy.  Don’t you people realize he has a disease?
  • Met Saintseester at Sun Cafe earlier this week.  I thought it would be Asian fast-foody like Mama Fu’s, but it was considerably nicer inside than I expected.  The sushi was good, too.
  • Is this Calvin Klein billboard secretly cursing at you?  Hey, what ever happened to the guy who found the word SEX all over Ritz crackers?
  • So I just started putting “sex on Ritz crackers” into Google, and the auto-complete guessed “sex on Ritalin.”
  • Best pictures of Mercury ever.  Cool stuff.
 Posted by at 7:59 am
Mar 302011

There is strength in affiliation.

I suspect there are enough reasonable exceptions to keep that from being axiomatic.  But it’s probably true most of the time, else why would affiliations exist?

Some affiliations are simple, and therefore largely uncontroversial.  But affiliations concerned with complex constructs—like, oh, those of politics or religion—tend to be complex themselves.  It surprises me sometimes how eager people can be to isolate some reason to exclude themselves from an affiliation, even if they are largely aligned with the affiliation’s greater purpose.

It surprises me how often people assume they must be gears instead of considering that they could be motors.

There is no First Church of Bo Williams.  There is no Bo Williams Party.  I can easily find a reason to exclude myself from any church or political party you can name.  However, if I think churches and parties are more good than bad, isn’t it a better path for me to look for the greatest commonality, and then become part of the machine?

My old high school acquaintance Dean Lusk posted a good story recently that I’ve been chewing on.  Go read it.  It’s not long.

Becoming part of that machine—a church, in this case—makes you stronger.  You benefit.  To use the example, you get fed.  But with that integration comes opportunity to feed others as well.  Perhaps it is fraternal/sororal.  Perhaps it is spiritual.  Perhaps it is intellectual.

You can be led, but you can also lead.  You can agree, but you can also define a counterexample.  You can announce that the tent extends this far, because well, you’re standing in it.

Affiliating need not be passive by design.  Sometimes it’s good to be a gear.

But don’t be afraid to be a motor.

 Posted by at 12:37 pm
Mar 292011

So Lea called me right after lunch today to tell me she had collected Aaron from the school nurse’s office, and he was the eighth pupil with identical gastrointestinal symptoms she’d sent home today.  He was too ill to ride round-trip again for the other boy, so I came home from work early to stay with him.

Essentially Aaron has two modes.  He is either:

  • lying on the couch looking pitiful; or
  • forcefully ejecting disgustingness from his body.  (Choose your orifice; even odds.)

There is no reason to believe Lea will rest this evening.  Aaron’s going to be up every hour or two, and only Mommy is suitable parental reassurance during such trauma.  So, insufficient compensation though it was, I volunteered to cook.  Further, as Aaron wouldn’t be joining us, I asked Lea to ask Nathan if there was something specific he wanted for dinner.  He selected “Dad’s spicy chicken.”

This started as a Big Bob Gibson recipe, but I’ve modified it extensively enough that I’m comfortable claiming it now.  Rub chicken with this (I use the boneless breast “fillets,” but I suspect it’d be fine with bone-in as well):

  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup paprika
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tbsp celery flakes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp cilantro
  • 1 tsp dry mustard

Let it sit 45 minutes or an hour, then grill as usual.  Good, good stuff.

 Posted by at 10:06 pm
Mar 282011

Everyone stop pretending Donald Trump is a legitimate candidate for president.

Not that there aren’t many other reasons to consider the prospect thoroughly ludicrous, but dig:  Donald Trump won’t shake hands.  No person who won’t shake hands can win the presidency.

I was no big Bob Dole fan, but honestly, I always wondered just how much his inability to use his right arm—and therefore his inability to deliver a customary handshake—hurt his campaign.  It’s not just face-to-face that it matters, either.  I always thought it was funny-looking when I’d see him on television and he’d grab an extended right hand with his left and give it that weird little clutch-and-bob.  I knew full well why he was doing it, and it was still dissonant.  There’s something about it that’s bigger than the facts.

So what’s Trump going to look like never touching anybody at all?

 Posted by at 9:20 pm
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