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My wife is doing a series at church on the founding of America, of course that means Pilgrims. As she's researching, she keeps finding new things related to what she's looking at and trying to figure

Last night my eldest (7) took all his remaining allowance and birthday money (~$40) and put it in an envelope to give to the church. He said, "The church needs it more than I do. It will help."   My

Student: "I notice that you've been getting more sassy with our class. Is that because you're starting to feel more comfortable with us, or because you're just getting tired of our bullcrap?"   Me:

I was talking to a coworker today about a project that will simply things in our department once implemented. He said, "The biggest issue right now, but we aren't at the point where we can address it, is to find out who uses the data in these old tables. We know some people are using them, but not who."

 

I said, "Turn off the update routines and see who screams."

 

He glanced at me sideways. "That's always an option I consider."

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My wife is doing a series at church on the founding of America, of course that means Pilgrims. As she's researching, she keeps finding new things related to what she's looking at and trying to figure out the why for that event.

 

"I can't believe this. I've just got to pick a time and stop. Did you know the Pilgrims spent time in Holland before coming to America?"

 

"Yes, I did."

 

"Do you know why they left?"

 

"No."

 

"This happened, and this happened. And Holland and Spain were coming to the end of their peace treaty. War might have broken out. Now, that war happened because of this and this. And that all happened because of the Spanish Inquisition!"

 

"What? Nobody could have expected that!"

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Me: My stupid bodyguard keeps tackling my girlfriend and I can't make him stop!

 

edit: to give context,

I have been trying to load Open Office (my "girlfriend") the office software I've been using for several years for everything from poetry to character sheets on my new computer and something calling itself "Windows Smart Filter" (my bodyguard, or at least it thinks it is) is blocking it.

 

Mike: Your new computer has Windows 8.1? No wonder you're having problems. Everyone with Windows 8.1 on a laptop has issues. It was designed for tablets.

 

Me: I need to take two tablets now for my headache. You're saying that's by design?

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary suggests I should take Windows 10 up on its offer to move in

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My wife is doing a series at church on the founding of America, of course that means Pilgrims. As she's researching, she keeps finding new things related to what she's looking at and trying to figure out the why for that event.

 

"I can't believe this. I've just got to pick a time and stop. Did you know the Pilgrims spent time in Holland before coming to America?"

 

"Yes, I did."

 

"Do you know why they left?"

 

"No."

 

"This happened, and this happened. And Holland and Spain were coming to the end of their peace treaty. War might have broken out. Now, that war happened because of this and this. And that all happened because of the Spanish Inquisition!"

 

"What? Nobody could have expected that!"

 

Something I wrote long ago and haul out each Thanksgiving:

 

Do You Know This Man?

 

He was born in a town of about two thousand people, a farming and fishing

settlement on the shore of a bay of a great ocean, among people who often

supplemented their crops by hunting or gathering the bounty of the forest.

We do not even know how old he was when he was carried away from the place

of his birth, but he must have been not yet grown and yet not too young -

perhaps fourteen.

 

Strange men, unlike any he had ever seen and speaking an unknown tongue, had

gained his trust by sharing their strange food, and brought him and his

companions aboard their ship. Perhaps they wanted to go, perhaps even their

parents trusted the strangers and consented, but it seems likely they were

simply tricked. We have the word of the ship's captain that this boy in

particular was treated well. We also have his word that two grown men were

taken by brute force. It would be nine years before the boy, now a young

man, would return home. Little is known of what he did in that time, but he

seems to have spent part of it in the home of a wealthy and powerful man, a

knight, who had sponsored the captain's voyage. In the ninth year after his

first voyage, he was working as a guide and interpreter for another sea

captain who had agreed to bring him to where he began. The homecoming was

brief. Within days he had been again tricked and abducted by yet another

captain of yet another ship, a partner of the captain who had employed and

released him, who proved as willing to betray his senior partner's

intentions, as the trust of a young man he viewed as a commodity. This

treacherous captain took twenty men he captured to a land foreign to himself

and surely even more alien to his captives.

 

- Yet another new land with a new tongue, and again the wanderer becomes a

helpless stranger, this time openly to be sold as a slave. There is

disagreement as to whether he was ever actually sold, but we have the word

of the knight - who he would meet again before his wandering was done - that

men of a monastic order thwarted the traitor's plan by rescuing the captives

- on what authority they acted, and why in this case when the port was known

for the slave trade, is not stated. It would be two years before he could

return even to the land of his first exile, and another year before he again

crossed the ocean, this time to an island that was not far, as measured on a

globe, from where he was born. But there he seems to have been stranded,

until the knight, learning where he was, sent for him and they were

reunited. The wanderer had to wait another two years before making his final

voyage across the ocean, finally reaching his home town again, fourteen

years after first leaving it. Perhaps half his life now, and his entire

adult life, he had been a wanderer far from home.

 

And so he remained; there was no home now to come to. A plague had destroyed

his people, and he was the only survivor. Homes were now ruins, and fields

lay untended. We do not know what he thought or felt - perhaps deep grief,

or maybe nothing, for was he not now accustomed to being a man without home

or family? But in another year, a new settlement was founded on the fields

of his ancestors. Strangers had come from across the sea, this time to stay.

Again we don't know what he thought or felt, but these strangers wrote of

their surprise in finding one who spoke their tongue so well, and their

gratitude for his patient teaching and wise advice. They were now strangers

in a strange land - he had never been anything else.

 

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary is sure you know who that is.

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The 305-m diameter Arecibo dish -- larger than some of the asteroids it images -- is the world’s most powerful radio transmitter, capable of sending ∼0.5 MW pulses. It is also the world’s most sensitive radio receiver, acquiring reflected energy <10−27 watt at high signal-to-noise.

The textbook I'm using has a rather weak discussion of asteroids, so I am mustering up my own notes; the quote above is from a standard reference and triggers some pause for thought.

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  • 2 weeks later...

"... I mean, we're talking about infinity. If you're not lost, you're doing it wrong."

 

-- overheard as students file out of class; today is the last day of classes

 

Me: I mean, here I am supposed to be close to graduating with an Interdepartmental Major in English and Religious Studies, and I find I don't have a definition of "Literature" that I'm satisfied with and I don't have a definition of "Religion" that I'm satisfied with either."

 

Barry Childs-Helton: You're doing good. Most people are graduate students before they realize that they can't define the basic terms of their own disciplines.

 

On a separate occasion, many years earlier in my life:

 

Me: You haven't really understood a subject, until it has blown your mind at least once.

 

Lucius Alexander

 

The palindromedary now blows my mind by asking if that applies to people as well as to subjects.

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Watched a DVD of the old Lois and Clark: Adventures of Superman TV show last night.  The episode involved cryo-frozen Nazis, supported by sleeper agents in the US, trying to revive the Reich and take over the US.  At the end, Perry White is upset because a long-time friend / US senator was revealed to be a Nazi.  Clark, Lois, and Jimmy are expressing concerns that there may be even more out there that weren't found out.

 

Clark:  If Senator Black was a Nazi... who else might be?

 

Me (mumbling):  Well, there's Donald Trump...

 

My daughter and her boyfriend about fell off the couch laughing.

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