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I’m looking over August 25, 2009

Posted by caveblogem in luck or time.
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I find maybe 50 or so four-leaf clovers a year.  A couple of years ago I tried giving them away as gifts, but I guess I don’t have enough friends to do that successfully, because I have a pretty big backlog

I started looking for them, in part, because I was intrigued by how you could actually get better at finding them (other reason was a puppy that took forever to do her business).  Once you know where and how to look, you see tons of them.

A couple of weeks ago I started taking pictures of them before I picked them, to look into the perceptual issues a little more formally.

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The picture above, taken right next to the flower bed that encloses my mailbox, has two four-leaf clovers in it.  See if you can find ’em.

This end (of the universe) up August 17, 2009

Posted by caveblogem in Other.
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Finished my last final yesterday morning at 7:00am and the whole family decided to take the rest of Sunday off.  The weather was promising to be warm and muggy (but not as warm and muggy as today and tomorrow, which the meteorblahblahists are calling “oppressive.” And New England weather has no business making promises.)  Just a side note, here: You should feel free to rearrange the final punctuation marks in that last couple of sentences howsoever you see fit.  I give up. Anyway, we decided that Boston’s Museum of Science might be air-conditioned and cool, and there are films (3-D sharks, no less) and other stuff.

Special added bonus: Almost empty until like noon.  Lots of people decided the beach was the place to be.

A new exhibit on Black Holes (well, if you are capitalizing things like God and The United States, then, well, I don’t know . . .) is still in the “asking for feedback” stages.  My lovely wife thought it was a little short on saying how these things are formed in the first place (always the teacher). And I certainly couldn’t remember seeing any explanations.  She posited that maybe everyone is supposed to know this already.  I’m wondering if maybe they just didn’t think of it.  As support for this, I offer the following photo:

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Now maybe it doesn’t matter which direction they face, but I certainly wouldn’t take the chance.

Balding like an embalmed syphilitic tyrant August 10, 2009

Posted by caveblogem in Other.
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3 comments

I try not to be a vain person, really.  I’ve got to admit, however, that having a little mostly bald patch on the top of my head near the back really bothers me.  Try to put my finger on what there is about it that really gets to me and I’d have to guess that it makes me feel like I look weak. It’s stupid.  I am much stronger, and in slightly better shape than any other time in my life, except possibly my late teens.  Something about having hair, but a missing patch, seems worse than no hair at all.

There are few famous people sporting this particular look, which makes it all the worse, of course.  The famous guys my age have rugs or hair plugs or were vain enough to start using monoxidil in their youth.  Some shave their heads, which my wife discourages me from doing.  I was reading last week’s New Yorker and ran across a real gem, though.  Buried in Ian Frazier’s two-part travel narrative about Siberia is the phrase, used to describe a companion, “Lenin-pattern baldness.”

With Lenin-pattern baldness I can still be intimidating and frightening. I find that a comfort, somehow. “Get off my lawn,” bellowed the big guy down the street with Lenin-pattern baldness.

*I should probably note that the title to this post is derived from a line in one of my favorite books, Microserfs, by Douglas Coupland.

One of the things that are wrong with me August 2, 2009

Posted by caveblogem in Other, Rock.
3 comments

It is a time of transition for me (as Warren Susman once wrote, “It’s always a time of transition”). I’m finishing up my second-to-last class today, and last night I was listening to the radio (all night) and reflecting upon early influences on my way of viewing relationships–the stuff that crept (slithered?) into my head during my formative years, circa 1980.

For those of you who were not there, or don’t remember, this was the time when in the suburban US, there were at least two bands whose music was ubiquitous to the point where, for a teenager, it was unavoidable: Journey, and REO Speedwagon.  There were good things, musically, about that time period; they are not the subject of this post.

The subject of this post is the way that the music you listen to (or even hear) shapes you in ridiculous ways. I’m going to paraphrase these two examples from REO Speedwagon so that I don’t ruin any young lives through exposure to the actual lyrics.

Take away the sappy music and here’s the basic message of “Take It On The Run” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980, for those of you who wish to play along at home):

I heard a rumor from someone (let’s face it, one of our local liars) via a process similar to the game “Telephone,” that you are cheating on me.  I believe wholeheartedly and completely that it’s not true.  But if you go out tonight it is over between us–frickin’ over.

And the basic message of “Keep On Loving You” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980):

Look, I tried to tell you that I’ll love you for ever, but you were cold and hissed at me like some kind of snake and basically ignored me.  But really, I’ll love you forever, you cold, evasive snake.

As someone who was a scholar of American Culture in a previous lifetime, I could drone on and on about the function of contradictory messages in blues and pop music, and the necessity to appeal to different audiences within the same song, hidden meanings, blah blah blah.  But I won’t.  All I’m going to say is WTF? WTF—ing F?

I’m sorry I’m so screwed up, hon.  I really am.  I am trying to get over these early psychotic influences.  Maybe we all are.

And I don’t know why this post is in such tiny letters, if that’s the way it looks published.  I can’t figure out how to fix it, if it needs fixing.  Oh, I could tweak the html, but I’m not getting paid for this, or course credit, for that matter, and there’s always the chance that, since I don’t know why it got small in the first place, if it is small, it might just revert to that state.

Today is my 19th wedding anniversary.  I got my wife a nice gift, but because we are both so busy right now, we’ll probably actually celebrate in a week or two.  But it is a time of transition for me (as Warren Susman once wrote, “It’s always a time of transition”) and I’m being reflective today about early influences on my way of viewing relationships acquired during my formative years circa 1980.

For those of you who were not there, or don’t remember, this was the time when in the suburban US, there were at least two bands whose music was ubiquitous to the point where, for a teenager, it was unavoidable: Journey, and REO Speedwagon.  There were good things, musically, about that time period, but they are not the subject of this post.

The subject of this post is the way that the music you listen to (or even hear) shapes you in ridiculous ways. I’m going to paraphrase these two examples from REO Speedwagon so that I don’t ruin any young lives through exposure to the actual lyrics.

Take away the sappy music and here’s the basic message of “Take It On The Run” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980, for those of you who wish to play along at home):

I heard a rumor from someone (let’s face it, one of our local liars) via a process similar to the game “Telephone,” that you are cheating on me.  I believe wholeheartedly and completely that it’s not true.  But if you go out tonight it is over between us–frickin’ over.

And the basic message of “Keep On Loving You” (from Hi Infidelity, 1980):

Look, I tried to tell you that I’ll love you for ever, but you were cold and hissed at me like some kind of snake and basically ignored me.  But really, I’ll love you forever, you cold, evasive snake.

As someone who was a scholar of American Culture in a previous lifetime, I could drone on and on about the function of contradictory messages in blues and pop music, and the necessity to appeal to different audiences within the same song, hidden meanings, blah blah blah.  But I won’t.  All I’m going to say is WTF? WTF—ing F?

I’m sorry I’m so screwed up, hon.  I really am.  I am trying to get over these early psychotic influences.  Maybe we all are. Happy Anniversary!