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Sunday, March 23rd, 2014
11:18 am - There is hope for the future people. There is hope.
In the past six months or so I've been working my way through the collected works of Sinclair Lewis. Other than my FIL was a fan of Aerosmith, I can't really say why I started. I've kept with it, because of his adherent to early 20th century progressive thought. If you haven't read him lately, seriously Re-read Aerosmith, Babbitt, Main Street, Free Air or The Job (one I'm likely sure you've never read, but it's truly fantastic). Anyway during the course of reading these books, I've taken to reading excerpts to the boys after dinner just to remind them that their father is something of an excentric... Astonishingly they are more than just patient, can follow along, and actually join in on the discussion aftwords I have with my wife.

I say all that to set the stage... Recently, looking for a bit of a change, I started reading 'the abyss' by Jack London (yet another lynchpin in fiction that supported the progressive movement... If you haven't read it, do so.), and I decided to read them this passage (I'm cutting it short, the setting is a Salvation Army in which Jack London has gotten a free breakfast that is intended for homeless people and is trying to leave to go look for a job):

No sooner was breakfast over (and it was over almost as quickly as it takes to tell), than the tired heads began to nod and droop, and in five minute half of us were sound asleep. There were no signs of our bening dismissed, while there were unmistakable signs of preparation for a meeting. I looked at a small clock hanging on the wall. I indicated twenty-five minutes to twelve. Heigh-ho though I, time is flying, and i have yet to look for work.

"I want to go." I said to a couple of men near me. "Got ter sty fer the service." was the answer.

"Do you want to stay?" I asked.

They shook their heads.

"then let us go and tell them we want to get out." I continued. "Come on."

But the poor creatures were aghast. So I left them to their fate, and went up to the nearest Salvation Army man.

"I want to go." I said. "I came here for breakfast in order that I might be in shape to look for work. I didn't think it would take so long to get breakfast. I think I have a chance for work in Stepney, and the sooner I start the better chance I'll have of getting it."

He was really a good fellow, though he was startled by my request. "Wy" he said, "we're going to hold services, and you'd better sty"

"but that will spoil my chances for work" I urged. "and work is the most important thing for me just now"

As he was only a private, he referred me to the adjunt, and to the adjunt I repeated my reasons for wishing to go, and politely requested that he let me go.

"but it cawn't be done," he said. Waxing virtuously indignant at such ingratitude. "the idea" he snorted. "The IDEA."

"Do you mean to say I can't get out of here?" I demanded. "that you will keep me here against my will?"

"yes" he snorted.

I do not know what might have happened, for I was waxing indignant myself; but the "congregation" had "piped' the situation, and he drew me over to a corner of the room and then into another room. Here he again demanded my reasons for wishing to go.

"I want to go," I said, "beecause I wisht to look for work in Stepney, and every hour lessens my chance of finding work. It is now twenty-five mintues to twelve. I did not think when I came in that it would take so long to get a breakfast"

"You 'ave business, eh?" he sneered. "A man of BUSINESS you are, eh? then wot did you come 'ere for?"

"I was out all night, and I need a breakfast in order to strengthen me to find work that is why I came here."

"A nice thing to do," he went on in the same sneering manner. "A man with BUSINESS shouldn't come 'ere. You've tyken some poor man's breakfast 'ere this morning, that's wot you've done."

Which was a lie, for every mother's sone of us had come in.

Now I submit, was this Christian-like, or even honest? after I had planely stated that I was homeless and hungry, and that I wished to look for work; for him to call my looking for work "business," to call me therefore a business man, and to draw the corollary that a man of business is well off, did not require a charity breakfast, and that by taking a charity breakfast I had robbed some hungry waif who was not a man of business.


I went on to note that it was astonishing that this was written in 1902, back when they actually taught rhetoric in the public schools (it was of the three R's after all).

Later that evening, Oliver had asked me who Rush Limbagh was. I tried to sumarize by noting that he'd made popular for Conservatives a method of using manipulating language to create straw men arguments that were made it impossible to disagree with them. Oliver, not missing a beat suggested that he'd done what that Salvation army guy had done by calling Jack London a 'BUSINESS MAN..."

Astonished as I usually am when confronted with the big O's extraordinary ability to cut to the chase, I agreed.

There is hope for the future people. There is hope.

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Friday, March 21st, 2014
8:21 pm - Xpost from LJ test...
LiveJournal was the first 'social networking' site I ever heard of. I've been a member there since early 2000... In all seriousness, the interface was always better. EVERYTHING was always better, as you could use HTML tags in your posts to format, add links (that weren't mined), it really is/was fantastic. The only thing they didn't have was people I used to know. The people it did have (well then, anyway) were absolutely fantastic.

that said, let's see how the CROSS-post goes.

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Saturday, July 23rd, 2011
12:30 pm - google+
I seem to have an unlimited supply... Anyone want one?

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Saturday, February 19th, 2011
7:03 pm
I ran across an old roommate from college back in '85-'86. Consider:


Dig that snazzy TRS80 Model IV (p). Very nice.

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Monday, January 17th, 2011
6:17 pm
NVa wasn't that bad last night...

Today I managed to get the new painting and new frame off to the framers to have it mounted. I also managed to get the closet rewired to accommodate the old TV, so the boys would stop tearing up the furniture lounging on it... Now they have to sit on hard backed dining room table chairs if they want to watch TV, or they can go downstairs to watch the projector.

I picked up my new glasses today. I'd been in denial about how badly I needed them generally, but when it became obvious that I was literally blind when reading, I finally broke down and got some bifocals. It always astonishes me how much I need glasses, but by brain can compensate 'enough.'

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Sunday, January 16th, 2011
7:31 am
In case you were wondering, I'd rather crawl through broken glass naked than go to N.Va. My wife just informed me I have to accompany her to N.Va tonight for a dinner with people she works with. What a kick to the nuts.

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Friday, January 7th, 2011
9:00 pm
What is the word for picking facts to justify a point of view instead of letting a complete set of facts guide your point of view?

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Saturday, January 1st, 2011
9:01 am
I used to look forward to the holidays for one thing: the twilight zone marathon in new years eve. It's simple, I know, but ever since I went back to school in the mid nineties I've become something of a monk. A couple of years ago, my mother got me the complete set, and it was a revelation how much was utterly destroyed by SciFi in the name of commercials. Now I that I can watch them whenever, I generally don't and just watch them during the holidays. In years past, I used to try to work my way through the entire 38 dvd set, which of course was absurd. This year, I've taken to randomizing the episodes, and quite frankly, it really is the way to go.

While you people who overindulged last night get a grip, feel free to tune in SciFi and bask in the glory that is Rod Serling.

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Friday, December 24th, 2010
10:27 pm
My wife has a typical Christmas sermon that posits Santa is a teaching device for faith. Kids, by learning to have faith in Santa, are able to transition to faith in God more easily. She typically preaches it once during advent.

This year she was concerned that U was losing faith... faith in God, faith in Santa, so she went to these extreme lengths to get an actor to come by tonight wearing a really authentic Santa costume. She briefed the guy on our bios, gave him some presents, set it up so the boys were up way later than usual, to 'catch' him while he was in the house. The plan went off without a hitch... but the outcome? very peculiar.

1) Her father was sort of freaked out because the guy knew an unnerving amount of details and he managed to give him the book he asked for (true grit), but it was a first edition that had been given to him by his dead wife's sister back in '69 that he'd long forgotten about. He was noticeably rattled until I explained to him how it could have possibly been so (remember the dude is a radiologist who interned at the mayo clinic).

2) Oliver wept... openly. He went to bed mumbling over and over again, it must be real... he made a sarcastic comment about the fireplace, and knew I was statistician... and he got me the one thing I wanted...

3) Uly just freaked out. He picked up a piece of a 'veggie tails' nativity set and tried to bean Santa with it. He chucked it so hard it actually ricocheted around the room. When Santa gave him exactly, the only thing he wanted... he was stunned that he knew, but I could tell he wasn't convinced at all...

Now me, I'm an atheist. I remember my parents having a Santa come over when I was about Uly's age and I saw right through it. Personally, I think it's not a bad thing that in America we get kids to believe in Santa, or the easter bunny, or even God... By teaching faith in magic, it motivates us to dream, and innovate, to appeal (generally anyway) to our better natures. I'm not sure, however how much good it did Oliver tonight though. The boy's almost ten, and quite frankly a bit of a hard core geek. Having him show up at school swearing he met Santa over break, while his brother is still pretty skeptical may lead to some pretty serious bitterness when he realized it must have all been a sham we set up for him.

Ah parenthood, why must you be so tough?

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8:32 pm
merry christmas, monkeys.

Currently watching Jim Carrey's 'a christmas carol'.

It is superb.

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7:58 am
My God. It may just be that this Christmas may actually come off without a hitch... Last night we managed to get the presents packed (the first time in years I wasn't left in a lurch on Christmas eve). I also managed to clean the basement, and H actually cleaned the house yesterday... All that's left today is to keep it clean, and try to manage the boys' enthusiasm. For this, I'm taking them swimming this afternoon (while H is taking some toys off to some dude who's going to pop by this evening in a santa suit), and I may even take them to see a movie. With luck the beatings will be kept to a minimum.

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Wednesday, December 22nd, 2010
8:02 pm

Six hour road trip to canton... Oy that civic is not meant for road trips.

Decent music though. I loaded up the phone with crap loads of modest mouse, the replacements, the feelies, and a wild card: the grateful dead... Time passed well enough.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Tuesday, December 21st, 2010
4:43 pm

So what did I get done on my list?

I went through the mail, realized that I needed the battle axe's signature in some checks and the drove to her work and met her for lunch. We went to some vegetarian Jewish joint, them went back to her office for a tour.

I was wiped when I got home so I took a nap. God I've got so much work to do...

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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9:12 am - Merry !@#$ing Christmas...
It's that time of year again... My wife's busiest time, leaving me, of course to work like a dog to fullfill the ghost of her mother's notion of a 'perfect' Christmas. To be fair, they were really pretty decent, but she didn't have an actual job, and a household staff at her disposal... clearly it'll be 'better'.

My plan was to take tomorrow afternoon off to fetch her Old Da', but I think I'm coming down with something, and to ensure I'll be able to make it, I was planning on spending the day in bed... maybe wrap presents. Having heard that I was taking today off, My better half left the house a complete wreck, and wrapped utterly no presents, so that she could make sure she baked the 400 cookies (in 10 different varieties) for the boy's Christmas parties, as well as our own celebration.

So today's to do list:

1) go through the mail to find money.
2) go to the bank.
3) wrap ALL the presents.
4) clean the basement.
5) contemplate decorating the tree in the basement.
6) clean the boys' rooms.
7) clean the living room
8) clean the dining room.
9) work out.
10) take O off to fetch presents for his mother and brother.
11) oh right, get rest for tomorrow's 16 hour road trip to fetch H's father.

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Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
8:45 pm
Some recently completed furniture...

A little side note: the lovely and talented plural planed and conditioned the wood for panels. The mirror I finished last year some time.

I don't think a picture will ever be able to do this tabletop justice. It's extremely figured curly maple. I've been told it's mostly used in guitars. It's got this freaky iridescent quality such that the strips shown here appear to move as you move around the table.

The finished table, in it's natural environment The lower frame is Cherry. The legs were leftovers from the bench... It's hard to see the taper in them, as it's a crappy cell phone pic, but there it is.:

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Wednesday, December 8th, 2010
7:53 pm

Only nine minutes late.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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7:40 pm

Eight more minutes if the train is on time. I'm not sure which is worse the boredom or the cold.

Note to self: Nancy-boy Calvin Klein wool coats are !?$&ing worthless in the cold

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7:31 pm

!?$& If anyone ever asks me again why I don't read books on the train I'll point them to this night... 27 degrees alone on a deserted platform waiting for a train to take back to my missed stop.

Seriously I'm freezing my ass off... No hat no gloves I'm pathetic.

Posted via LiveJournal app for iPhone.

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Wednesday, December 1st, 2010
11:52 am

And another thing: any ideas on what O's cool for a six and nine year old?

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11:47 am


1) big o got the part of agustus gloop in a local school affiliated production of Charlie and the chocolate factory.

2) after nearly five year in development, the last two of which actually involved programming, it looks like the American people will finally be getting variance estates on one of their financial stats... I know, it's very exciting for me as well.

3) I didn't get the job I interviewed for a couple of weeks ago... It's just as well as they seemed to be looking for an economist on a statistician which would have meant I'd have to start wearing something more dressy than old tshirts and ripped jeans.

4) h got he contract renewed

5) big O's first computer game is almost ready for something like a pre release.

6) we bought a new tree to go with our new living room. It's just over nine feet tall

7) my new coffee table should likely be done before Xmas

8) while I'm digging the new phone, it's rapidly losing it's shiny and I strongly suspect soon I'll start leaving it at home as per usual... If only because it needs to be charged so frequently

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