journal (web log)
Site last modified
8:51pm 25 Sep 2003
"Hey Cole! That looks like me!"
Note added 8 December 2003:
This is my "old" web site, circa September 2003. There's a lot herethousands of pages, in fact. Until I figure out how to merge it back with the new structure, I'm going to leave it as is.
21 September 2003
We finally got rid of our TV
It's been my idle fantasy over many years to not own a television set. Somehow the moment never seemed right to take the decisive stepfinal disposal.
Amidst the many slingings of furniture and boxes associated with our recent kitchen remodelling and repainting project, I at last saw the opportunity to strike. With Gloria's silent approval, I hauled the TV out to the dump along with other unworthy artifacts from the early- to mid-1990s, when we moved into our current house.
It cost me $15 to leave our TV at the dump. I cannot say I wish it well.
Long ago, we decided we wouldn't spend money on cable TV in our house. That has meant 10 years of rabbit ears and various fiddlings, mostly to get crummy stuff, and certainly not much worth staring at through static. Over time, pieces broke off the rabbit ears. I found one today while moving the huge piece of furniture in our living room that we've always called THE TV THRONE.
The only TV shows I would say I 'enjoy' are COPS, America's Funniest Home Videos, The Bachelor, and Curb Your Enthusiasm, which we don't get, anyway. So it's not too hard to let go.
I first tried to take it to Goodwill, but they said they don't take TV sets. Nor would they take the simple little coffee table that had served us for many years. Only a pair of ancient stereo speakers and a hot plate met their cut.
19 September 2003
16 September 2003
Search for your name in the digits of Pi
9 September 2003
New Kitchen Update: Concrete Countertop Installation
Apparently big slabs of concrete are best hauled by using gigantic clips to attach them to the inside wall of the truck.
7 September 2003
Some Suggested Things to Shout After Inhaling Helium
"Ah, we meet again, Lord Xchltabochev! Only this time, I *know* how to spell your name!"
"These onion snacks are unknown on our planet!"
"Your superior intellects are no match for our puny weapons!"
"Drop the cheese slicer! DROP THE CHEESE SLICER!
7 September 2003
I bought a Roomba Robotic FloorVac.
It's the size of large frisbee, only thicker.
The Lobster Trap (click image to expand)
I charged it up overnight and then we let it have a go in a hardwood hallway. It successfully negotiated its way over a bump in a rug, declined the opportunity to enter the next room, then slipped under a shoe stand (and successfully reemerged, although this video [1.33Mb MPG, 15 sec] doesn't show it, because my camera ran out of memory).
5 September 2003
New Kitchen Update: ConcreteWorks Studio
The new countertops are almost ready.
5 September 2003
"I'd like your vote for Governor of California..."
The first few candidates on the California Governor Recall Ballot:
*Iris Adam . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Natural LawI thought I would be an informed voter, and carefully consider each candidate.
I began with Iris Adam. She writes:
A candidate’s personal fame or fortune—or “experience” as a career politician—are irrelevant when it comes to successful administration. The ONLY qualifications that matter are the candidate’s profound knowledge and actual expertise in offering proven solutions to the problems confronting our state...So far so good. I like the the "total brain functioning." And, who's not in favor of "nourishing, healthy food," (so long as appropriate fizzy drinks and other snacks are also available, of course)?
Yes, I'm getting ready to support Iris. Call me one of the "pupils."
4 September 2003
Page Mill Winery 2000 Merlot
Unread Books and Magazines
3 September 2003
Das Werden der Habsburgermonarchie
I received this luscious book from the KHM. I've observed that whenever I order something from a European vendor, the receipt or box inevitably has someone's handwriting on it somewhere. Amazon boxes, shipped out of Nevada somewhere, might as well have been packed by robots.
It's a book stuffed with amazing images of 16th century art and artifacts. Here are a couple that I picked at randomnot even particularly good onesfor this book, at least!
For the rightmost one:
Das Leichenbegaengnis fuer Kaiser Ferdinand I. am 6. August 1565 in WienThis raises the question, when did Ferdinand die, really? 1564, or 1565? The Encyclopedia Britannica says 1564:
Ferdinand I: Born March 10, 1503 (Alcalá de Henares, Spain) , died July 25, 1564, ViennaLizzie lived from 1533 to 1603.
Shakespeare, 1564 to 1616.
Sir Walter Raleigh, 1552 to 1618.
Michaelangelo, 1475 to 1564.
It's always good to have those dates in mind.
2 September 2003
The Art of the Escape, or
Afloat off San Quentin aboard the Rub-a-Dub-Dub
Elderly man to stand trial for bank robberyMore art of the escape, or read the theory.
1 September 2003
We moved by Mayflower too...not a scratch on anything! 
The (deeply flawed) perspective of the truckif it were ten feet longer, the cab looks like it would be about, say, three feet high.
It's hard to imagine that the destination is not California, with the arid peak, palm trees, and looming ranchero chimney in the middle distance.
But now I read the text of the ad, for the first time:
Mrs. D. U. relates in a letter to us concerning her Mayflower move from Minneapolis, Minnesota, to Phoenix, Arizona: "Sure would recommend Mayflower. Our things came out just fine. Not a scratch on anything!"OK, Arizona instead. That might even be one of the craggy mountains you see on a flight into the Phoenix airport. In the foreground, a virgin pietà. Also several crossesinvolving the fence and the road.
Cross-country. Not a scratch in sight, rebirth in the new land. Mrs. Dieuher things came out fine.
This is from the Devil and Daniel Webster, by Stephen Vincent Benet:
"Attorney of record for Jabez Stone," said Dan'l Webster, but his eyes were glowing too. "Might I ask your name?"I scanned the image from the 12 January 1962 LIFE magazine, pg 26. Here's more from the same magazine.
The company is still around.
1 September 2003
"Chauncey Wright[,] a nearly forgotten philosopher of real merit, taught me when young that I must not say necessary about the universe, that we don't know whether anything is necessary or not," [Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr.] wrote to Frederick Pollack in 1929, when he was in his eighties. "...So that I describe myself as a bettabilitarian. I believe that we can bet on the behavior of the universe in its contract with us. That leaves a loophole for free willin the miraculous sensethe creation of a new atom of force, although I don't in the least believe in it."
Oliver Wendell Holmes to Frederick Pollack, August 30, 1929, Holmes-Pollack Letters: The Correspondence of Mr Justice Holmes and Sir Frederick Pollack, 1874-1932, ed. Mark DeWolfe Howe (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1941), vol 2, 252, quoted in The Metaphysical Club (2001), by Louis Menand, pg. 217.
"It is you. Look at the big ears."