Due to a Case of Life Happening . . .

notably a combination of other people’s field trips, a concert (mine), and prepping for a meeting, real content will resume tomorrow.

Until then:

ExCUZE me! I was napping here.

I’m taking up a collection for the relief of the Venetian Blinds… Are you using that really large and well-padded cat bed? Can I try it? Just to see if it fits, that’s all.


Overheard in the Halls, Part Four

Mrs. Heiden: The world religion classes will be in the gym tomorrow. We’re doing tai chi.

Sr. Scholastica (aka The Dean): Thus the dress code change request. Understood. [makes notes] Will you be leading it?

Mrs. Heiden: No, Mrs. Chi from the college continuing ed program will. But I know how. [takes a tai chi pose] If anyone ever tries to mug me in slow motion, I’m ready.


Continue reading

Tuesday Tale

An excerpt from one of the North American Power stories, featuring Leigh Kendall, geologist and trouble-shooter.

Jake Nutter, the driller in charge of the John Marshall # 5, started pulling the bit as soon as he heard the sound and felt the vibration in the platform change, but he was too late. The heavy steel pipe dropped almost out of sight and all the available drilling mud vanished down the hole, pulled into a void that should not have been there. “Damn and blast it,” Jake swore. Once everything had slowed and the drill bit stopped, the roughnecks on the rig floor started pulling the pipe up enough to add additional sections, while the mud man worked to keep the critical fluid moving into the hole so it didn’t try and collapse. This was the fourth time in a week that something had gone wrong with this well, and although he wasn’t superstitious, Jake started to wonder.

He took a moment to climb down from the drilling platform. A hot summer Texas sun glared down on the crew and Jake pulled a clean-ish bandana out of his back pocket and wiped the sweat from under his hardhat. Typical August, and not as bad as some places he’d worked, Jake grimaced. I’ll go work in the Amazon before you get me back in Saudi he promised yet again. In Brazil you only had the environment working against you, not the environment and people too. The driller kicked a rock, making a puff of reddish dust as he walked over to where the geologist and the mud man were looking at the rig readings. “Not supposed to be a hole,” Jake stated.

Amos McKenna, the geologist, spread his hands in a “don’t look a me” gesture. “Here’s the seismograph, and here’s, well, something that’s not supposed to be there.”

“There’s nothing there.”

“Nothing’s not supposed to be there,” Amos growled. “We’re past the gippy layers and now that we’re under the Rodrick shale, we shouldn’t be hitting anything but sandstone until we reach the Lipscomb granite.” He pointed to the log from the John Marshall #4 mounted on the side of the trailer. Continue reading

…And then What?

A group of activists is attempting to erase Confederate history, most notably monuments, from New Orleans. I suppose that eventually, removing Andy Jackson from Jackson Square and re-naming it will be somewhere on the agenda, if they are going to wipe the city clean of the taint of glorification of antebellum history. Which raises an interesting question: if you remove all public memory of the period and conditions that lead to X, what justification remains for remembering X? Continue reading

“It Ties the Room Together.”

The small, patches-of-colors rug that held down the floor in the family room at Redquarters reached the point of replacement, or so Mom and Dad Red said. I hadn’t noticed. I just vacuumed it and swept out from under it. Mom and Dad went rug shopping, found an option and placed an order. Said rug was supposed to be small-ish, say 3′ X 6′, and mostly serve to keep the ottoman from scratching the laminate floor. They paid for the small rug and waited.

The new rug arrived. It was installed.

Wait, you say. Install a throw rug? What? Continue reading

“Earth Hour” by Ross McKitrick

A belated welcome to Instapundit readers stopping by!

Anthony Watts of Watts Up with That (a science and climate and weather blog) suggested copying and posting this in honor of Earth Hour. I heartily agree. I’ve gotten to live without electricity for a week in winter after an ice storm. No thank you! I’m a firm believer in conservation and stewardship of our resources, which Earth Hour does not do.

Earth Hour: A Dissent

by Ross McKitrick

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, Univer...

Ross McKitrick, Professor of Economics, University of Guelph, Canada. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Image via Wikipedia

In 2009 I was asked by a journalist for my thoughts on the importance of Earth Hour.

Here is my response. Continue reading

Places of Meaning

Fr. Romanus and Miss Thalia were talking about great moments on school trips. Miss Thalia recounted taking a group of advanced students to England on a drama and literature trip, and visiting Poets’ Corner. Fr. Romanus reminisced about finally getting to see the island of Ithaca, and just how much the opportunity meant, and how powerful the moment was. Several of the teachers and staff have either taken school trips, traveled on their own, or have been assigned places outside the US at least once. I think Mr. Long-Slavic-Last-Name may hold the school record for “visiting places smart tourists don’t go,” while I hold the European duration record (cumulative). But the conversation started me thinking about places that made connections I’d never sensed before.

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A Junk Knife

Or as I usually refer to it, a cr@p-knife. Something to use for cutting packing tape, prying open boxes, and those things you really do not want to use a good knife for. I hate having to get tape residue off a good knife. And thus was created the cr@p-knife.

It needs to be cheap yet functional, something that if it gets gunked up or dull, doesn’t really make a difference. I prefer fixed blade knives, since junk folding knives seem to have hinges that break or springs that fail at the worst possible moment in the worst possible way. I don’t want the blade snapping loose as I try to defeat UPS’s box adhesive, for instance. Stabbing myself is not the goal. Continue reading