Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Rev. Falwell Dead

I can't remember if Mom ever really said "if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all" but just in case...


Monday, May 14, 2007

RAH 100

Kevin Drum points out something that I should have known - Robert Heinlein's 100th birthday is coming up July 7 with a celebration scheduled for (of course) Kansas City. I can't say that Heinlein was my introduction to Science Fiction - I'd read at least one Andre Norton and some quite good short stories by Ted Sturgeon and Isaac Asimov before one of Mom's friends introduced me to Starship Troopers when I was about 11 or so. For Christmas that year (I believe I'd just turned 12) I got a 5 book boxed set of I Will Fear No Evil, Stranger in a Strange Land, Farnham's Freehold, Glory Road and, best of all, The Moon is a Harsh Mistress. The latter remains one of the best novels of any kinds I've ever read, and introduced me to agnosticism, revolutionary theory, computer theory and any number of other concepts that still stick with me. I've read a number of his other stories and novels, some of which suck but most of which at least have some redeeming qualities (except for To Sail Beyond Sunset - I'm assuming he was massively drugged when he wrote that one). I often disagree (sometimes vehemently) with his politics and much of his social commentary, but he always made me think of WHY I disagreed. And some of his ideas, like the evangelical theocracy that the US becomes in Revolt in 2100 are frighteningly prescient.

There's a lot to like and a lot to dislike, but I put myself firmly in the like column.



Sunday, May 13, 2007


Spent Sunday through Wednesday at the historic Grove Park Inn in Asheville - and played around with the black-and-white feature of the digital camera.

The air was amazingly clear for during the week - usually there's a bit of smog causing quite the haze over Asheville. I don't recall ever seeing it this clear for so long.

Oh, and we went to the Durham Bulls game Thursday night - great game! Lot's of scoring, cheap beer and the Bulls won!
I'll admit to not being the biggest baseball fan in the world (although the live game kicks the TV game's ass) but it is fun to watch the between-game goofiness that is a large part of minor-league baseball.


My Momma

Great big happy Mother's Day to me mum!! As I was watching the UNC graduates and their parents in town today, I thought more than anything about the love of learning and the love of reading in me that Mom was primarily responsible for. From as early an age as I can remember, she made sure that she took the time to read to me and my sister every single day. She also introduced us to one of the miracles of civilization - the public library. I've never been prouder than when I was able to trade in my kid's library card for an adult card at the old East branch of the Nashville Public Library (which looked like a library is supposed to look, by golly - stone and imposing). It was due to Mom's influence that I never went through that "hating school" phase that almost all kids go through - she loved school and there was no reason that I shouldn't either. It was never a chore - it was a privilege (one that I still miss).

So thanks, Mom, for all those afternoons reading stuff to us that must have been awfully boring the 12th time through - it paid off!


All Wet

Ending a week of vacation at Top of the Hill while J's at church, taking advantage of the excellent beer and free wi-fi. It's been a very wet vacation, from spending two full days at the spa at Grove Park Inn to sweating all the way home Wednesday after getting a call about a problem at work that could have gotten me and a couple of my folks fired (luckily problem was later averted) to then spending Thursday and Friday pressure-washing the house. Couple that with a couple of inches of rain yesterday and my skin feels like it's about to just slough off - I feel like I've been living in a swamp the last few days.

Grove Park was wonderful as usual and I feel a great sense of accomplishment in giving the house a nice bath (it was looking a bit worse for wear). But as J pointed out today, I've taken no time during my vacation to just sit and veg. That's a problem - I'm thinking that I've kinda lost the knack of doing that. If I'm not working there are so many things that I WANT to do that I'm having trouble doing nothing.

In the meantime, maybe it's a good thing that I'm going back to work. Maybe I can dry out...