Friday, October 10, 2008

Ann's great commenters part 2 of many...

Last night Prof. Althouse put up a post called, The Gold Liquid Café which seemed to evoke reflections on the good things in life. The below comment was one of the best: A perfect little essay in the middle of a comment thread.
Michael_H said... I developed an odd habit during this past summer. I am a motorcycle rider who enjoys taking off a few weeks now and then and logging 3,000-5,000 miles.

I began wearing foam earplugs under my helmet this summer on the advice of my physician, in order to reduce the noise that leads to hearing loss.

I have come to enjoy the quiet that comes from wearing earplugs. Weird, eh? Wearing them makes the ride very quiet, with only a little engine, road and wind noise intruding. Over a few months I began keeping them in after each ride ended,and wearing them while mowing the lawn as well.

After that, I began wearing them when I went shopping in a mall. And quite a few other places as well, but never when out in the wilderness.

The strange part is, I've come to enjoy the quiet. I can hear my own footfalls; my own breathing. I can pretend to not hear people who want my attention.

My wife is in on it, and now she sometimes wears her earplugs when we are out shopping. It feels like we are aliens from another planet, quietly making our way unnoticed among earthlings.

A nice young woman at a Barnes and Noble noticed and asked whether we needed a signer. I said "no, we learned to read lips a long time ago. At Galluadet.

"When we got to our car, laughing, my wife said "read my lips: I'm an alien from the planet of the horny women".

Welcome to the quiet world!

Thursday, October 09, 2008


Yesterday I took the window air conditioning units out and stored them in the basement. If anybody noticed this yesterday, they didn't mention it to me.

This morning I was opening Dahlia's room curtains and she looked at the spot where the unit was; her expression showed the thought forming in her head, "Oh, thanks for taking out the air conditioner". She has always been the observant one.

Let's see how soon the others notice...

That reminds me: I need to take my in-laws units out.

Also, my wife does read this thing sometimes but my bet is she notices the A/C missing before she reads this.

Cause or effect?

This is a classic vicious cycle: The voters (being dumb on average) go for the new guy when the market is down. Shareholders (being smart on average) see that the Senator is gaining popularity and know that Obama's policies will likely hurt the economy. So they try to get out of the market and stock prices go down.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Update: Just saw that the Club for Growth had the same idea--and better charting.

Update 2: Maybe electing The One will help...

A run I hope to take in NJ this weekend.

I can't seem to embed it, but here is the link...

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Practice start...

I did this run today in the morning. I ran it as a kind of rehearsal for the marathon's first 10 miles. It gave me a chance to try out the new racing shoes I purchased last weekend and it gave me a chance to try and set a reasonable pace--fast enough that I get a little ahead of my 8 min/mile plan, but not so fast that I burn myself out.

Today I did the 10.3 miles in 78 1/2 minutes, for a pace of 7:37/mile. That is more or less perfect and I hope to do exactly that on the 19th.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Physical contrasts

In our first house we had 3 acres of forrest and a wood stove: It was a no-brainer to heat with wood. Turning a tree into firewood involves heavy and hard instruments: Chainsaw, axe, sledge hammer and chisel. In the 4 years we lived in that place, we had two children, so we had small kids around--they were infants and toddlers.

The pleasure of wood heat was in the contrasts: The house was very warm because it was small and easy to heat and the fuel was effectively unlimited. Yet, I made and hauled firewood when it was cold out. I would spend my time at hard labor in bitter cold or relaxing in a warm house. After handing the loud, hard and heavy tools of firewood making, I would come inside and play with my small, delicate, soft and cute little girls. They seemed even more delicate and soft after smashing apart great wheels of oak and maple with my axe.

My wife was out walking Meenah and met some folks along the way. They live in a cape, much like the one we had in Vermont and they even had wood stoves in it. They had the stoves removed because they have small children! Ack! Our kids never showed any impulse to touch the hot stove, probably because it got pretty uncomfortable to get close enough to touch it when it was running. But had it been a problem we could have used a really sophisticated technique to assure safety: Not use it! I just can't believe sane people would rip out two perfectly good wood stoves!

Seems like a stretch...

By DOUGLASS K. DANIEL, Associated Press Writer Sun Oct 5, 10:43 AM ET WASHINGTON - By claiming that Democrat Barack Obama is "palling around with terrorists" and doesn't see the U.S. like other Americans, vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin targeted key goals for a faltering campaign. And though she may have scored a political hit each time, her attack was unsubstantiated and carried a racially tinged subtext that John McCain himself may come to regret.

And what pray is the racial subtext in associating Obama with a couple of white domestic terrorists? Oh, you didn't know who Gov. Palin meant? She meant Bernardine Rae Dohrn and William Ayers. Founders of the domestic terror group Weather Underground and in who's living room, Sen. Obama began his political career.

But Sarah Palin is racist because she knows that "terrorist" conjures-up images of swarthy Arabs right? Well, maybe if the AP had done its job, we would all know about Ayers/Dohrn and know who Gov. Palin meant.