Search
Make Good Use of Your Sidebar

I may eventually put something worthwhile here. Then again, perhaps I won't.

Thursday
Apr192018

Relax

The past few weeks had been very stressful for me. An internal audit and the loss of a big client had left me edgy and irritable. My friend Mack, sensing my tension, proposed a weekend trip to go fly fishing. “Trust me, you’ll never have been so relaxed in your life.”

That’s how I found myself in a freezing stream at 6 a.m., casting a rod adorned with colorful plastic into the water. Three hours later I was in the same spot with nothing to show for it beyond my increasing frustration and perhaps some frostbite. I snapped my rod in two, did the same with Mack’s, and threw our gear into the stream. “You’re right,” said, “this *is* relaxing. I should have done this hours ago.”

 

Thursday
Apr192018

The morning after

In the 1970s, my parents participated in a monthly bridge game that rotated among houses. The host would put on a record, put out some food, and provide a great deal of liquor. They’d drive home, somewhere between tipsy and plastered – the 70s were groovy, children – and loud enough to wake the kids.

By the sober – and hung-over – light of the morning, the recriminations started. “You should have bid six no trump!” “I clearly signaled to you that I had no spades.”

Bridge games faded away like bell-bottoms in the 80s. So did my parents’ marriage.

 

Thursday
Apr122018

The inexplicable force

Scientists have found four fundamental forces in the universe: the gravitational and electromagnetic forces, and the weak and strong forces. More recently, they have uncovered a fifth force, more powerful than the others.

Ever wonder why hipsters like bad-tasting beer, or overpaying for pretentious-sounding dishes in restaurants? Why are some rich people drawn to the Prius? And how is it that the woman who is clearly out of the guy’s league besotted with him? It’s the inexplicable force! Striking seemingly at random, it becomes the superglue of physics. You won’t find the hipster trying a decent beer or the Prius driver learning that gasoline-powered engines in decent-looking cars are the way to travel.

And Sarah Jane… pure logic says she should dump that schlub of a boyfriend for me, but it never happens. Yup, the inexplicable force in action.

Saturday
Apr072018

Normal range

The new Metro trains were touted as modernizing the fleet: sleek, eight cars long, with overhead displays of the current and subsequent stations. The trains were also quite heavy.

Homeowners noticed increased vibrations as the new trains passed through the tunnels below their houses. Windows rattled, paintings shifted, and bric-a-brac walked in their displays. Metro downplayed the vibrations, claiming they were within “normal range.” That is, until house foundations began to crack and the occasional house collapsed. Even the transit system’s management had to concede the results were somewhat unusual and undesirable. True to form, their solution was to demand more taxpayer money to “improve” the system.

Saturday
Mar312018

Hysteria

The gun-grabber march seemed filled with teenage girls engaged in group-think: all were “scared” to go to school. Some held signs asking “Am I Next?” Hardly. The CDC reports an average of 43 violent deaths per year at schools for the decade ending in 2010. 43 may be 43 too many, but the 15 million high school students face pretty good odds. In contrast, the CDC reports 2,333 deaths of 16-to-19 year old teens in road fatalities in 2016, many involving poor decion-making, driving under the influence, excessive speed, and lack of seat belts. If kids truly cared about saving their lives, instead of goofing their way down Pennsylvania Avenue preening for the cameras, they’d march to raise the driving age. Fat chance of that.