How I Work

My favorite gadget

Tom McDonald tagged me a few weeks ago to do a post on "How I Work"; and apparently the answer is slowly because I've not got around to it until now. I'll be talking primarily about the work I do at home: blogging, other writing, preparing for RCIA classes, personal programming projects and like that, as opposed to my day job. (In my day job I sit in an office with an ancient Windows box and a big monitor doing mathematical modeling and writing software. There.)Location: Southern … [Read more...]

Bunnies Don’t Lay Eggs? Who Knew?

Lay the eggs?  How simply ghastly!

So a relative of mine was at the mall, and heard a father say to two very small crying children who wanted to see the Easter Bunny,Birds and reptiles lay eggs! Bunnies don't! We don't support the Easter Bunny, how many times can I say this!I can understand not wanting to stand in line for the Easter bunny, especially with two little ones who were probably over-tired already, so I don't think this dad is a monster for not wanting to do it. But I'm fascinated by what he had to … [Read more...]

Catholic Pick-Up Lines

From Daily Theology (a site I'd not previously visited) comes this year's list of 20 Catholic pick-up lines, just in time for Valentine's day.Several of them made me laugh out loud, especially #3: "The Holy Spirit is driving me into the wilderness of your temptations." … [Read more...]

Howdy, Doofus! Or, an In-Joke is Born

Some years ago, after watching some Harry Potter movie or other, my second son mispronounced the Potterverse unlocking charm, "alohomora", as "Aloha, Moron!" This led to the formulation of a companion charm, "howdeedoofus", pronounced "Howdy, Doofus!". We didn't ascribe a meaning to this charm, just admiring the sound of it, but over time it has come to be a charm against bad jokes.By which I mean: when my elder son makes a bad joke, I will say, "Howdy, Doofus!" This still happens at … [Read more...]

Ten Facts You Won’t Believe


Back in the day, McDonalds' shakes used to contain real wooden shakes. The SuperBowl is filmed in the same soundstage as the Moon landings. So are the Olympics. PhotoShop is really a tool for taking pictures of alternate worlds disguised as image manipulation software. Barack Obama was born in Abilene, Texas, and he doesn't want anyone to know. The airspace above Area 51 in Nevada appears on air traffic control systems as Volume 51. Benjamin Franklin invented the fax … [Read more...]

You Are Not an Agent of Karma

I found the above title in my idea notebook yesterday, and thought, well, yes, this is true. Unfortunately I didn't capture any of the reflections that went along with the title, so I've no real idea what I was planning on saying about it. It's too good a title to waste, though, so there it is.If I recall correctly, it had to do with making the bad behavior of others an excuse for bad behavior of one's own. I have an image of an expensive car parked across two parking spaces, and an … [Read more...]

Review: Kindle Voyage

Once, these many moons ago, I bought myself one of the first Amazon Kindles. Truly, it was a strange and wondrous beast, with a peculiar shape, page turn buttons you couldn't help pushing if you held it wrong, an odd thumbwheel cursor for selecting a line, extremely slow page turns, and four shades of gray. I'd been interesting in the notion of e-books for quite some time, and the Kindle was the first that seemed to have the bookselling ecosystem down pat.So I tried it, and it wasn't … [Read more...]

Duquette’s Law of Theology and Quantum Mechanics

Mr. Aristotle, he knows.

Occasionally I'll hear a speaker discussing the religious or philosophical implications of quantum mechanics. There'll be some quantum randomness, and a stray cat or two, and perhaps more worlds than the canonical Best of All Possible, and then they'll draw some conclusion from all that to support their views on the nature and possibility of free will or on the existence of God.Contrariwise, Duquette's Second Law, aka Duquette's Law of Theology and Quantum Mechanics, states that Every … [Read more...]

O Christmas Cow!

Santa Cow

Jane and I have been arguing where we first heard this bit of Christmas goofiness. I seem to recall running into it on Usenet; she seems to recall having heard it from a fellow she worked for for a while who was a big-wig in the dairy industry. Either way (or possibly both), it's sung to the tune of "O Christmas Tree", and it goes like this:O Christmas Cow, O Christmas Cow,     You bring us lovely cheeses. O Christmas Cow, O Christmas … [Read more...]