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December 8th, 2013

06:33 pm: A good man gone.
My brother, Roy Mackenzie Paterson, Jr. died at 17:05 today, after a long bout with progressively worsening COPD. He was watching a football game with his youngest son, and at the end of the game he closed his eyes and passed gently and without pain. All who know him will miss his unique presence.

Current Mood: saddened
Current Music: Dies Irae

August 18th, 2012

03:44 pm: Hang on Carl ...
We're coming. Someday.

See: http://i.imgur.com/GZf95.jpg

January 16th, 2012

11:39 am: Do you hear the call?
Happy New Year, y'all.

Here's a nice thought from Carl Sagan:

"The sky calls to us.
If we do not destroy ourselves,
we will, someday, venture to the stars."

Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=zSgiXGELjbc

Current Mood: peacefulpeaceful
Current Music: Also Sprach Zarathustra

May 7th, 2011

10:23 am: Why I can't watch the news any more.
We have had "Birthers" who still don't believe President Obama is an American citizen, even though his full birth certificate has now been published, and "Truthers" who reject the accepted explanation of the events of 9/11. Now we have "Proofers", who argue that the decision not to release photographs of the dead Osama bin Laden proves that he wasn't killed in the attack, despite Al-Qaeda having confirmed it.

I am old enough to remember a time in (during the Eisenhower administration) when the public generally accepted as true whatever stories government spokesmen offered. The press also seemed was more protective than adversarial with public figures, editors apparently feeling that promoting public confidence in authorities was their civic duty.

All that changed with Vietnam, where the nightly news programs constantly juxtaposed official spokesmen giving a rosy picture of the situation there with the goriest films they could find of our soldiers being killed. And after that came Nixon. Apparently he thought things had not changed since the days when his "Checkers speech" was enough to mollify the press. He was wrong. Things under Lyndon Johnson had deteriorated to the point that the public had come to assume that if the government took the trouble to deny some bizarre allegation, then it was probably true. So, perversely, when Nixon gave his "I am not a crook" speech the public assumed that he was.

Finally, when Woodward and Bernstien won a Pulitzer prize for bringing down the Nixon administration by publishing every unattributed allegation they could find, the die was cast. So now we have a society where the press resemble a ravening pack of wolves and where every situation, however clear cut, generates a clique of contrarian conspiracy crazies who get press coverage proportional purely to the outlandishness of their claims.

Sigh. For a 50's era student of journalism what passes for "journalism" today is the sort of breathless sensationalism that once upon a better time was the exclusive realm of the tabloids.

Current Location: DataCellar #3
Current Mood: tiredtired

January 17th, 2011

06:18 pm: Just call me Grampaw !!!!

For anyone other than myself who may read this, I became a grandfather at 13:31 on 1/11/11 !!

The new arrival is one Eva Sophia (zeroband). Parents zeroband and kanin-chan are doing fine if a bit sleep deprived.

November 10th, 2010

03:31 pm: Chaos absolute ...
... but it's nearing the end. Unless the light I see at the end of the tunnel is an oncoming train.

We have been subsumed in the painting of the interior of our house. The whole thing. While we continue to live in it. If you are ever tempted to do this, just take it from someone who knows and don't.

Today sees the beginning of the last of five increments: the kitchen. So now we finish by having no kitchen for a week or so, after which we can begin trying to collect all the stuff we have been moving from the room about to be painted into someplace else and try to put it all back in place. I expect it will take at least as long as the painting has taken, so if we are back to normal by Christmas I will regard that as successfully surviving.

Current Location: Datace;;ar @ #2
Current Mood: tiredtired
Current Music: You Can Close Your Eyes -- Ja,mes Taylor & Carly Simon

May 24th, 2010

08:03 am: WHEW !! it's finally done.

Saturday saw the running of "T5.5": the fifth iteration of our annual "TipToe Thru The Tulips" road rally. on which zeroband and I have been thrashing since early January.

No one who hasn't actually done it can ever fully appreciate how much work goes into putting on a rally. First there is all the running of roads, searching out checkpoint locations, and working out the route. And then begins all the administrivia of formally measuring the course, publishing the general instructions, the contestant's route instructions, the checkpoint worker's instructions, checkpoint slips, and award certificates. Then comes the actual running of the event, doing all the registration paperwork, and trying to keep everyone on course. Then at the end comes collecting time records from the checkpoints, and working out the team's final scores. Whew.

But then comes the really fun part: handing out awards, schmoozing with the teams, and hearing that everyone had a good time. That's the part that has kept us doing it for five years. Every time we finish one, we look at each other and say "Do we really want to go through this again?" And then long about November we start having ideas about what we could do if ... and then in January we start it all again.

Right now we're busy enjoying the afterglow of a successful day. Ask me about another one sometime after Labor Day!

Current Location: #2 datacellar
Current Mood: relievedrelieved
Current Music: Goodnight you moonlight ladies --James Taylor

May 6th, 2010

04:20 pm: Achoooooo ...
Blankety-blank pollen is indeed blanketing the world just now. Achoo! Everytime I go outside to fiddle in the yard or take my constitutional walk around the block, by the time I get in my eyes are burning and my lungs are full of yellow dust. Achoo! My beautiful white oak tree is not only shedding its pollen but also the little strings of poofballs that pass for flowers (and are also loaded with unfallen pollen). Achoo!

What I (and my lawn) really need is a nice downpour to wash the remaining florets off the trees and the pollen haze from the air. Calling Jim Duncan: some showers, PLEASE!

April 12th, 2010

04:30 pm: Me, V6.6.09863
Yeah, I'm late with the annual Gebürtstages note by a few weeks. Time just seems to ooze away these days without my noticing.

Anyway, yet another year has passed and I have learned very little, other than the obvious: that getting older does NOT guarantee any increase in wisdom. Only in aches and creaking of joints. But to paraphrase Descartes, "I creak, therefore I (still) am!" I may be sore after I get out and putter around in the yard, but I have learned to be grateful for being able to do so, and for the beauty of nature and the pleasures of a blue sky and a warm day for my creaky old bones.

And I have family to care about and be cared about by, and silly things like auto-sports and crossword puzzles to keep me busy and still thinking. So thanks, Boss, for all that is right in my world. Ya dun good with it all, it's just that Your design seems more intelligent than we humans who inhabit Your good Earth.

April 22nd, 2009

10:36 am: Intimacy

Something I found in a really obscure place made me want to share:

"Strangers rarely give away anything about themselves.  Lovers must trust each other with full knowledge of their true selves, and be comfortable being naked in each other's presence.  Physical nakedness is relatively simple for our sexual drives carry us forward like a rising tide.  But to be naked and unashamed together in spirit –- that is so much more risky, hence so much more difficult."

... and yet so very essential. When you are wearing a mask any relationship you try to maintain is based on a lie, and true intimacy is impossible.

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