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{ Author Archives }

Ask a Silly Question…

There’s a small book, practically a booklet, titled F for Effort. It’s sort of a case study in stupid test answers. Or is it? To be sure, some of the answers betray ignorance, or are simply lazy. Doodling over the cylinder illustrated on your geometry test to make it resemble a section of a sushi […]

Son, be a Dentist!

1/29/13 We have a new dentist. Over the course of a few visits, it became clear that our old one was… unexacting, to put it kindly. As in, twice failing to observe cavities large enough for me to feel with my tongue. More recently and far more seriously, it seems Eileene’s been building up a […]

Dear Pen Pal

Charlie Brown, from the Peanuts comic, had a pen pal. It became a running joke that hadn’t really been funny the first time. Every so often, he would sit at a table, tongue industriously poking from one corner of his mouth, and explain to his pen pal that he would doggedly continue to use a […]

Failing the Midterms

The election results are in, and, though individual races broke in surprising ways, the overall trend was about what po predicted, though perhaps not quite as hard on the Democrats as most of the polls expected. (Kudos again to’s Nate Silver, who nailed it despite admitting up front that the margin of error was […]

Cat Out of the Bag

William Kristol, over at the conservative Weekly Standard, summarized the staff’s reaction to the Republican presidential primary debates as: “Yikes.” He quotes a “bright young conservative” who puts it less succinctly but more eloquently: “I’m watching my first GOP debate…and WE SOUND LIKE CRAZY PEOPLE!!!” Indeed. Liberals have known this for decades. Too many democratic […]

The Continuing Story

Eileene and I have been watching Downton Abbey together. It’s very much in the spirit of Upstairs, Downstairs or Gosford Park (which latter shares writer Julian Fellowes with Downton Abbey): an ensemble casts portrays the trials of gentry and their servants on the eve of WWI. It’s good but not great. It stretches the limits […]

Pork Couture

While shopping for groceries today, I again received a compliment on my Spam shirt. This is easily my most popular article of clothing. I receive more compliments on it than on the entire rest of my wardrobe combined. (My fedora comes in a close second, with nothing else receiving much attention at all.) WHY?!? I […]

Until Morale Improves

My classes at MSU included some perfunctory discussion of morale in the school. Bad morale is an insidious problem; it moves easily from teachers to students, or from students to teachers, or from the general community to the school. Because it can start at and spread from any level of a working school community, it’s […]


So the General Knoxx expansion to Borderlands has a boss creature, just as you might expect. Crawmerax, a really, really big version of the Pandoran craw worm, a burrowing lobster-like horror, is the ultimate challenge and the ultimate loot source in all the game and its add-on content. I stumbled on its lair early, but […]

Casualty of the Class War

Cuh-ree-pee! I don’t know whether you followed the Republican primary debate. I didn’t, preferring to let someone pick out the relevant bits in the post-analysis rather than expose myself to all that crazy, hateful ideology, known as “red meat for the Republican base” in one go. Apparently, there wasn’t much to miss. Even liberals who […]