Sunday, July 23, 2006

this and that again

No new pics of our house yet. I'll wait for the siding to go on, which is about 2 weeks away.

Wrote a letter to the editor of the JI about global warming. I need to edit it down to fit. When published, I'll post a link.

Here is a pic of Wanda on her new Honda for the TSI MS ride (sorry you can't see her behind the helmet):

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Ancestor photo

From Wanda's side:

Friday, July 14, 2006

Genius types

Interesting to see from the latest Wired mag that Daniel Pink (author of A Whole New Mind: Moving from the Information Age to the Conceptual Age) claims that there are 2 kinds of geniuses - the early bloomer and the late bloomer. More at

And a great commentary on writing for Wired is here:

Here is an excerpt:

Here's what I believe was done to my original story to bring it into a state of
supreme Wiredness. I think than anyone willing to read both the version here and the
version that appeared in Wired will second these assertions.
* All references to "the little people" were eliminated. The elite world that
matters according to Wired is full of Big Actors. Whether professor, millionaire, artist,
manager, engineer, hacker, or eccentric, they are all Important People. The grunts and--
God perish the thought!--the "unwired" who actually keep things running are unnamed,
invisible and unworthy of attention.
* Ambiguity was minimized. Everything in the Wired universe is known with
certainty. This is good for you, that is bad. You're part of the Movement, or you're out in
the cold. No dissenters from the reigning cyber-Babbitry are allowed, no grey areas
* Facts were cloaked in "hipness." It's not enough to convey the information,
but it must be delivered in such a way as to inculcate the feeling that both the writer and
his readers are already intellectually above whatever scene is being described, more
expert than the experts. This results in a prose that reads as if written by a team of
Austin Powers and Dustin Hoffman's Rainman character, and paradoxically gives the
majority of Wired articles a curious sense of "been there, done that" even if the topic is
brand new.
* The past was dismissed as unimportant. History does not matter except as
prelude to the future. Even the present is merely a waystation toward Technotopia.
* Quotidian matters were de-emphasized. Boredom does not exist in the
Wired cosmos. Only "peak" experiences count. The immense amounts of hard work
involved in getting from conception to reality--work which can even have its own simple
meditative pleasures--is just something to skip blithely over.
* Drama was injected into basically undramatic situations. This is a corollary
to the previous problem, and perhaps the one flaw in this list shared by magazines in
general. "Why are we devoting space to this story? Because it's exciting!" Are we
having fun yet? We'd better be, or our advertisers won't feel they're getting their money's
I'm not paranoid enough to imagine that any of these dicta exist as a written
stylesheet. If quizzed, Wired editors would probably deny that they had any agenda other
than to present "cool" stuff to their audience. But when a well-funded, image-conscious
juggernaut like Wired gets rolling, it's inevitable that all of the harnessed team has to pull
in unison. The corporate attitude becomes just something in the air, inhaled like
Strontium-90 and passed down from veteran to novice to freelancer.
For a few bleak days, I toyed with having my lobotomized story published under a
pseudonym. "J. Ives Turnkey" was going to be my choice. I thought the byline would
leap out fairly effectively as "jive turkey," a kind of analogy to Cordwainer Bird. But in
the end, I chose to go with my own name.

House is weathertight

The shingling is done except for the porch, and the windows and sliders in.
The floors of the garage and basement poured yesterday.
Pics to come this weekend.

david copperfield's reverse mugging

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - David Copperfield has magically escaped getting robbed.
The 49-year-old illusionist was walking with two female assistants to their tour bus after his show Sunday at a performing arts center when four teens pulled up in a black car, a police report said.
Two armed robbers allegedly got out of the car and demanded the group's belongings. One woman handed over $400 from her pockets and the other gave up her purse with 200 euros, $100, her passport, plane tickets and a cell phone. Copperfield refused to empty his pockets, the report said.
Copperfield says he turned his pockets inside out to reveal nothing in them, even though he was carrying his passport, wallet and cell phone.
"Call it reverse pickpocketing," Copperfield told The Palm Beach Post for Wednesday's editions.
Copperfield read the license plate number of the car to an assistant while she called 911, the report said.
Four teenagers were arrested and charged with armed robbery. They were held without bond, police said. The women's property was recovered.
See his site at


Check out the danolight at
Highly recommended, great price, light weight.
Dan, the lead guitarist of The Clams (, designed the light to be much less expensive than competing xenon lights. As they say, the definition of an engineer is someone who can do for $1 what everyone else does for $2.