Saturday, December 25

Merry Christmas

Saw this on Facebook and had to share:

Merry★* 。 • ˚ ˚ •。★Christmas★ 。* 。*
° 。 ° ˚* _Π_____*。*˚★ 。* 。*。 • ˚ ˚ •。★
˚ ˛ •˛•*/______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛★ 。* 。*★ 。* 。*
˚ ˛ •˛• | 田田|門| ˚

Gotta love ASCII art!

Friday, December 24

Thursday, December 23

Events Of The Day

Wednesday, December 22

Hoop Jumping

I hate jumping through hoops. I'm not terribly athletic anyway, so...

Sorry, wrong kind of hoops.

Right when you think you've gotten the hoop-jumping down pat, someone else comes along and makes up a new set of rules, making the hoop-jumping that much more treacherous, to say nothing of all the red tape you're likely to become ensnarled in.

Don't get me wrong - it's all that red tape that makes the world go 'round. Without red tape, we'd all be running into each other in intersections, let alone flash-mobbing in malls, threatening to collapse structures because no-one alerted anyone about their impending antics.

Has anyone seen my scissors?

Sunday, December 19

Bad Analogies

Friday, December 17

The Centipede's Dilemma

I had a free moment today, and decided to take a look at Dad's Spiral Notebook, a blog of sorts I started a week or so ago. Admittedly, I'm probably the most prolific reader of my own blog; now over two years old, I look back on some of those old entries, and realize I wrote some pretty good sh!t.

But with Dad's Spiral Notebook, it's a bit different - the text isn't mine; in fact, the content isn't even by the person who wrote it all down. Sadly, that information has otherwise been lost. For all I know, many of the entries may be by the ubiquitous Anonymous.

OK, so I only wrote transcribed those entries on DSNb just a short time ago, but I was only transcribing, not really thinking about the actual content.

So it was during that moment today that I did a search for the first line of today's entry:

A centipede was happy quite,
Until a frog in fun
Said, "Pray, which leg comes after which?"
This raised her mind to such a pitch,
She lay distracted in the ditch
Considering how to run.

I wasn't terribly surprised to find that first line, since wherever it was copied from had to have been popular at some time. What I was not expecting was a search match at Wikipedia. It turns out that some of the stuff in Dad's Spiral Notebook is quite profound, including today's entry.

Known as "The Centipede's Dilemma", it is "...a concept related to cognitive behavior theory that describes a way of confusing someone who was self-taught. It involves forcing an individual to think about the steps involved in performing a task that he or she does intuitively, rendering the individual incapable of performing the task in question. The mental block that the Centipede's Dilemma creates is usually temporary. If a task or action can be taught, then it can be understood, and thus a process one has previously performed intuitively can be learned consciously, removing the mental block."


Dad's Spiral Notebook may just be the blog I read on a daily basis...

Monday, December 13

Back To Reality


After a none-too-eventful flight back to Salt Lake City, there's only one thing I have to say about the TSA experience in Oakland.

Freaked out.

Random events being what they are, it's that randomness that has me most concerned. You can't plan for them. But should that randomness be taken advantage of, that's the time you freak out.

OK, so I'm not a terrorist. I don't carry nail-clippers or box cutters. But I could have. And in this freak accident, I could have made it all the way onto the plane and no-one would have been the wiser.

Standing in line for the scanner, something broke down. Whether it was the x-ray machine, or the body scanner, I'll never know. So when everyone was ushered over to an adjacent line, we were NOT groped, NOT scanned, NOT anything. Sure, our carry-ons went through the x-ray machine, but that was it. And, since the body scanners and pat-downs are the current standard, there aren't any metal detectors to go through.

Again, I had nothing to be concerned about, but that started me thinking - how many opportunities actually exist for this sort of thing to happen?

Sunday, December 12

Old School Geek

I expect there's only a few of you out there who will understand what the following line could possibly mean:


Old school geek for you Star Wars fans.

Saturday, December 11

Friday, December 10

That Notebook Project

So I've started this here "Dad's Spiral Notebook" project, and didn't really realize the length of it all. I did count out all the entries, and it looks like I won't be done with it until well into Spring.

Yes, typing it all in is tedious, but what isn't apparent - to you, the reader - is how awesomely cool the original is. As I'm in California, and for once didn't bring my camera, I haven't yet accomplished the "other" part of the project: photos of each individual page. WRITTEN IN LONGHAND. It's only then that one realizes how truly neat it was that this woman copied down all these things for my Dad.

It was posited that she may have had a similar notebook, compiled by and in the hand of my Dad. Don't know. In fact, I don't even know where it may have been compiled. California? South Dakota? Somewhere else entirely?

Hey, internet! Where's Jess Nolan?

I've thus far transcribed up until January 1, 2011. A little bit at a time.

Enjoy the ride.

Tuesday, December 7

Dad's Spiral Notebook

I'm writing a new blog.

Wait, that's not entirely true. "Dad's Spiral Notebook" refers to a little notebook, from the late 1930's or early 1940's. As it had been in his possession, I refer to it as such. Now that it's in my possession, it could just as easily be referred to as mine. But that's not the point.

Written in "Dad's Spiral Notebook" is a collection of poems and prose. But they were not written by my Dad, rather, they were written for my Dad.

I know only the name of the person who filled that little notebook chock-full of love. I can only guess that this is the reason someone so painstakingly wrote down all that is contained in the notebook, if only for the following, which is at the end:

"Wally - Thank you again, for inspiring me to look up, and read, and copy, all these lovely verses etc. Reading them, and putting them down for you, has helped me too. This time, I saw them through different eyes. LOVE YOU, JESS NOLAN."

No, I don't know who Jess Nolan was. Wally - Wallace - was my Dad. Since there's never any mention of her past this notebook, I can only guess she was more keen on my Dad than vice versa.

Anyway, I've begun transcribing the notebook in another place - - you can find the entries there. I'll be putting down each of the entries once per day until I come to the end. Unlike most blogs, this will have an end, I'm afraid. At least these entries will be around for longer than this little book will surely last.

That's the point. Enjoy the ride.

Monday, December 6

...But Not Too Closely

So I'm in Dublin. And must say the experience at the airport wasn't painful at all.

(Get your mind outta the gutter - no, lube was not involved.)

Before I knew what was happening, I'd disrobed to the extent of shoes, belt, and jacket. Laptops laid bare. And then, in a scene reminiscent of The Fifth Element, I was asked to place my feet over yellow foot prints - which, ironically, looked like footprints with shoes on - and place my hands over my head. Odd stance, that.

"...and stay perfectly still" said the TSA agent. I didn't glance around to see how silly one might look in that pose. Then again, the shifty eyes that might occur from glancing around might be thought of as...


Sadly, I was not asked if I wanted a souvenir photo.

Mike's comment from earlier today did make me think, though. Mayhaps I could save some money by getting my MRI at the airport.

OK, so my back doesn't hurt as much as it did in the latter part of last week. Or at least it doesn't now, with pain killers coursing through my veins. Standing in line at the air terminal, along with sitting in an oh-so-comfortable seat on a CRJ-200 for two-and-a-half hours made me realize more healing is necessary.

The Corona in front of me may help, if only short term.

They're Watching

I guess Big Brothe works for the TSA:

I'm flying out to Dublin, CA, today - more later...

Sunday, December 5


I found a couple Robert A. Heinlein quotes this morning, and just had to share:

"There is no way that writers can be tamed and rendered civilized or even cured. the only solution known to science is to provide the patient with an isolation room, where he can endure the acute stages in private and where food can be poked in to him with a stick." - Robert A. Heinlein

"The difference between science and the fuzzy subjects is that science requires reasoning while those other subjects merely require scholarship." - Robert A. Heinlein

"Political tags - such as royalist, communist, democrat, populist, fascist, liberal, conservative, and so forth - are never basic criteria. The human race divides politically into those who want people to be controlled and those who have no such desire
." - Robert A. Heinlein

Friday, December 3

I'm A Puddle Of Goo

Or rather, I would be, if not for Marilee.

Wednesday morning, I had gone out with the dogs in the backyard, prior to going upstairs to get ready for work. I had my brand-new slippers on, purchased by Marilee the previous day. I'd had my "sea-legs" already this winter season - yeah, I know it's still fall here - but wasn't prepared for, nor did I see, the patch of ice on the second step off the family room.


Out my legs flew from my torso, and landed squarely on my back.

Like that pain we guys know all too well, the pain took a few microseconds to sink in. "This is not going to end well" was all I though in those fleeting moments.

But again, the pain didn't set in until I tried to right myself. Shooting from my left hip down to my toes, I had to shift my weight off to the right side, and it wasn't so bad. "Yeah, just try to walk now" was the thought in my brain.

OW - OK - OW - OK - OW - OK

Standing still isn't in the game plan here, unless I put all my weight on the right.

That morning, Marilee was in the bedroom upstairs, and I could hear the blow dryer. "MARILEE!" [crickets]



Leaning against the banister, I quietly waited until the blow dryer ceased.


"Did you call me?"



This was going well.

I stumbled upstairs - slowly - and one look at me told the story. "WHAT DID YOU DO?"


"Get in bed."

"Need phone."

"Take this."

Two Lortabs were thrust into my hand before I knew what was happening. Actually, it was about fifteen minutes; in the meantime I'd called work and dealt with all those unpleasantries.

Wednesday led into Thursday, and now today. A doctor's visit was in the offing, and while an X-ray didn't show anything abnormal - "If this continues into bext week, we'll get you in for an MRI" - it was enough to scare the sh!t out of me.

With an injection of Toradol in my [too much information] and I was out of there with my own prescription for Lortab, and one for one I cannot even hope to pronounce. "What'll this one do", I asked of Marilee.

"It'll make you sleep."

"You know, without you, I'd be a puddle of goo."

"After those meds, you WILL be a puddle of goo."
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