Category Archives: Misc

10 Years – 1000th Post!

Today we celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the blog - and (not exactly coincidentally) our 1000th post! Thanks everyone! Here's to another 10 years!

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42 Words of Wisdom: #18

Got this in a fortune cookie the other night - and immediately thought of Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy:

"In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitchhiker's Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopaedia Galactica as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older, more pedestrian work in two important respects. First, it is slightly cheaper; and secondly it has the words DON'T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."

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Caught In the Act!

The other night I opened the downstairs medicine cabinet to look for something, and saw this odd arrangement of the kids' toothbrushes. Does it look like they caught it the act of ... ahem ... making sweet toothbrushy love?

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42 Words of Wisdom: #17

    "I've come up with a set of rules that describe our reactions to technologies:

  1. Anything that is in the world when you're born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works.
  2. Anything that's invented between when you're fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it.
  3. Anything invented after you're thirty-five is against the natural order of things."

- Douglas Adams

I think I've hit stage 3. While I find a lot of new technology interesting, I don't find it quite interesting enough to actually take part in it. This is probably why I can't muster up any enthusiasm for facebook, twitter, smartphones, tablets (like the ipad), or any of that sort of stuff. Gosh dernit, you kids! Get off my lawn!

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Kepler Discovery

There has been some buzz in astronomical news lately about Kepler, which was a program I worked on at SwRI (my last job). Kepler is a space-based telescope whose mission was to search one area of the sky over a long period for rocky, Earth-like planets. I've been very anxious to hear how its mission was going, and today I say this article - which totally made my day. Here's an excerpt that did it for me:

"...the results so far of the Kepler mission heralded a Corpernican revolution. Just as Corpernicus revolutionized astronomy by publishing data that the solar system rotated around the sun, rather than the earth, so too the data from the Kepler mission would lead to another scientific revolution. Rather than planets like earth being unique or an uncommon occurrence in the galaxy, they in fact are plentiful."

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42 Words of Wisdom: #16

"Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all."

- Douglas Adams

I just now fixed a bug in our software at work that has been on my to-do list for a long time. I've dipped into debugging it a few times in the past, and each time I had to leave it unfixed to struggle my way back out of that code while I still could, before I could fall hopelessly behind schedule. But today, I defeated the beast. :)

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42 Words of Wisdom: #15

"Today must be a Thursday. I could never get the hang of Thursdays."

- Douglas Adams

Nothing incredibly deep or insightful in this one - just a bit of mid-week silliness. How is your Thursday going?

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42 Words of Wisdom: #14

"You live and learn. At any rate, you live."

- Douglas Adams

I read an article this morning about new research showing that you have to make mistakes in order to learn. Seriously? This is considered "new research"? This is what I have always believed, and is one of the fundamental principles of the way I raise my kids. To quote the article: "For years, many educators have championed 'errorless learning,' advising teachers (and students) to create study conditions that do not permit errors." To me that doesn't sound like learning, but rather memorization. And how long does memorization usually last? Just long enough to pass the test - that's how long. Being afraid of making mistakes just means that you will never really learn anything.

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42 Words of Wisdom: #13

"He hoped and prayed that there wasn't an afterlife. Then he realized there was a contradiction involved here and merely hoped that there wasn't an afterlife."

- Douglas Adams

Lori has recently joined me in watching the first season of Battlestar Galactica. I'm noticing that it's got a lot of religious themes in it. Which is a bit mind-boggling, when you really think of it - robots that believe in God? I find this quote to be particularly appropriate. We're both enjoying the show quite a bit, by the way. I didn't originally ask Lori to join me, as I didn't think it would appeal to her much. But after accidentally watching an episode or two while waiting for Carter to fall asleep, it's piqued her interest. The depth of the characters on the show is really pulling us in.

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42 Words of Wisdom: #12

"The major difference between a thing that might go wrong and a thing that cannot possibly go wrong is that when a thing that cannot possibly go wrong goes wrong, it usually turns out to be impossible to get at or repair."

- Douglas Adams

We have had quite a string of bad luck over the last few months. Each event taken seperately is not that terrible, but taken as a whole it is starting to seem a little overwhelming. First, I discovered that the framing behind the front porch and the headers over the garage were rotten, and had to be repaired. Then, the ground froze before I could get concrete footings poured for the new porch - so we are porch-less until the spring. Next, we got hit with an ice storm that left us without power for eleven days. When the power finally came back and we tried to come home (two days before Christmas) the heat didn't work yet. Once the heat started working and we were back in the house - which was Christmas Eve at this point - we lost the power again, at 2:00 AM on Christmas morning. The day after Christmas, my laptop died - totally bricked. It's still out for repair (it was thankfully still under warranty), and I have no idea if they will be able to fix it without wiping the hard drive - which contains all the work I've done since my last backup, including our Christmas pictures for this year (which is why I haven't posted them yet, in case you were wondering). And then last week, the whole family started getting sick. Come to find out (yesterday), Carter has bacterial pnuemonia, Lori has a sinus infection, and I've got bronchitis. And to top it all off, we had to bring the van to the shop yesterday, as it had started giving Lori trouble with the power steering. Sweet merciful crap! I thought bad luck was only supposed to come in threes?!? Sorry to post a rant, but it feels better to get it off my chest. :)

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