Thursday, December 05, 2019


There's a lot of serious stuff going on lately. I'm a big believer in balance. Here's a small attempt to inject a bit of silliness into the world.

Our adult daughter who enjoys her Christmas elf shared this silly picture recently.

an elf attacked from behind

Her daughter shares her mom's silliness. Kids are great at showing adults how to be silly.

my nose is warm but I can't see

Perhaps the colonial three corner hat was designed as a serious hat. I think they are silly. I do like their look though.

mind if I borrow your hat?

Lastly, during my recent visit to a Waffle House I heard the following song (oh the song came out years ago but it only goes to show I don't get my Waffle House fix often enough)

Oh if anyone from Waffle House is reading this, I would gladly accept any free food offers from your great restaurants.

Friday, November 29, 2019

my local universe

Wow, I almost failed in posting here during the month of November. For about three quarters of the month (BTW I encourage the use of fractions in blog posts) my wife and I were on the road again. We didn't sing the Willie Nelson song but we should have. We weren't making music but were playing music with our family and friends.

  • We walked a beach.
  • I splashed in the Gulf of Mexico waves.
  • We held the newest baby of our extended family.
  • We enjoyed a Blue Angels air show.
  • We toured a house that George Washington rented once.
  • We were held up in traffic jams and confused by Google map directions.
  • We samples shots that tasted like pancakes (an excuse to drink before noon).
  • We learned historical stories from guides and my brother-in-law.
  • We played a new board game with family.

the gulf of Mexico

Garbage collection with a great attitude

Blue Angels


shit happens

I could spend more time and come up with other memories of the trip. I don't write travelogues.

I want to move on to a sadder event this month. Like everyone's little local piece of the universe there is good and bad in it. While my local universe was offering many enjoyable moments for me, it had some serious stuff waiting for my attention.

We got a few updates on my uncle's condition during the trip. I don't know, maybe it waited for me. After we settle back in at home, we got the news that my uncle had gone into hospice.

I have posted about my king-of-the-road uncle before. link (there's a good pic of him in that older post)

He is the last of my dad’s siblings. He doesn't live too far away but now his current holding area in only about 2 miles away. He is barely holding on. I visited him twice on thanksgiving (truly, he didn't realize this gave me a reason to duck out of the crazy T-day preparations at our house). I visited with him again today. He struggles to talk but I try hard to listen and prompt him for more.

Today he told me some golfing stories involving my dad and other uncles. He getting other visitors too.

I know we can't hold off what is coming. I don't believe we ever can. He's in his upper 80's. I feel good about my visits. I noticed a little chuckle from him during one visit. I try to make him comfortable. I know I'll miss him but I try hard to be upbeat during the visits. I'm very happy he can recall memories to share.

His beard is growing. I told him he looks like Lincoln. 

Then the jagged edge appears
Through the distant clouds of tears.
I'm like a bridge that was washed away;
My foundations were made of clay.

As my soul slides down to die.
How could I lose him?
What did I try?
Bit by bit, I've realized
That he was here with me;
I looked into my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.
I looked into my father's eyes.
My father's eyes.


Sunday, October 27, 2019

Nocturnal notes

The opposite is diurnal notes but those daytime notes are nothing special.

Now I'm not saying that I blog at night. I have done most of my post writing as a daylight activity.

Having a thought and then explaining that thought in a post is two distinct activities. Many of the thoughts found on my blog originate at night. What I seem to fail to do too often is writing a note of my nocturnal thought

They are listening

I just asked our Google Home Mini gadget if it would take a note. It told me there was an issue with the permission setting. After some fiddling with my smartphone and the gadget I was able to have the gadget save a short reminder for me. Not quite note taking but possibly useful for remembering a thought.

Most of my book reading is nocturnal. Typically before I fall asleep. I just finished a book titled, The Trouble with Gravity, (blog followers probably recall I read mostly non-fiction). It's a good overview of humanity’s understanding of gravity's pervasive effect on our existence.

I read a few online reviews of the book. I agree with the opinion that book doesn’t provide an in-depth explanation of the various theories of gravity. But those explanations are difficult to present without some serious math and science understanding. So the book offers a good overview history to a broader audience.

A few notes I found interesting:

  • Nobody really knows what gravity is. They can measure and predict its influences but still don’t know exactly its composition.
  • Throughout the spread of many different cultures/religions the distinction of things up there and down here being very different was incorporated in their views/teachings.
  • I learned of Roger Babson who considered gravity to be our enemy number one. He started the Gravity Research Foundation to develop gravitational shielding.
  • The LIGO gravitational-wave observatories have unbelievable sensitivity. 

Please listen to a song that leaves me thinking about gravity’s effect on moving the planets around, click the youtube clip below. I didn’t realize until I just read a comment on its youtube page that songwriter, Patrick Monahan, was inspired by his late mother, who had died after a struggle with cancer, and that the opening lines "came to [him] in a dream." A great example of a nocturnal thought.

The lyrics certainly play on ideas of gravity and space.

But tell me, did you sail across the sun?
Did you make it to the Milky Way to see the lights all faded
And that heaven is overrated?
Tell me, did you fall for a shooting star– One without a permanent scar?
And did you miss me while you were looking for yourself out there?

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