Showing posts from 2008

December Hair Photos

As you will recall from previous posts, my New Year's Resolution this year is to try my best to resist the urge to cut my hair, with the ultimate goal of donating it to Locks of Love . Here are the December 9, 02008 photos. During November, I passed the one-year mark since my last haircut. Sometimes I feel as if my hair is actually starting to look better, almost as if it's a style rather than just a mess. But really, that's all self-delusion. The truth is: It's a mess. But at least now I can mostly keep it out of my eyes. So in that sense, it's improving. As a best-case scenario, I may be on pace for meeting the 10-inch minimum by May of 02009. I'm really not sure that I can manage to last that long. Time will tell.

A (Brief) Hopeful Thought For the Day

I have recently been thinking of how nice it would be for the Most Dangerous Person in the World to no longer be the President of the United States of America . Obviously, there are basically two different scenarios whereby this could come true: The POTUS could become significantly less dangerous. Someone else could become even more dangerous, thereby surpassing the POTUS . Here's hoping the first of these scenarios comes to pass.

Worst...Hair...Ever! (A double shot)

As you will recall from previous posts, my New Year's Resolution this year is to try my best to resist the urge to cut my hair, with the ultimate goal of donating it to Locks of Love . Here are the October 6, 02008 photos, followed by the November 5, 02008 photos. My apologies for posting them so late. And my apologies for how horrifying they are.

September Hair Photos

As you will recall from previous posts, my New Year's Resolution this year is to try my best to resist the urge to cut my hair, with the ultimate goal of donating it to Locks of Love . Last week, my hair started really annoying me because it keeps getting into my eyes. Grrrrr... Anyway, here are the September 2, 02008 photos. My apologies for posting them so late. For those few of you who will get the reference, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror a couple of days ago while I was wearing a baseball cap. Suddenly, I'm thinking of dressing up as a member of the Baseball Furies for Halloween.

A Neologism (and a half), After Much Rambling Buildup

Surely there are people who spend their time trying to devise neologisms (new words or expressions). I suspect that there is a whole subculture of these linguistic hobbyists. I think it's fair to say that the most blatant (and for a time, the most famous (and possibly the most prolific)) of these neologists in recent memory was Rich Hall. His "sniglets" (words that don't appear in the dictionary but should) were featured for a time on Saturday Night Live and he published a few volumes of them, which I believe were bestsellers. [Note: Hall was a cast member of Saturday Night Live during at least one of what I think of as "The Forgotten Years". In recent years, when I have sporadically caught reruns of SNL on E! , I don't believe I have ever seen one of the episodes from this era rerun. These were actually my favorite SNL years (probably more than for any other reason because they're the years when I started watching, and they therefore have a real

Some Thoughts on the Olympics

First, Michael Phelps was spectacular. There's no denying that. What he did was amazing. Congratulations to him and his teammates. (Note: The most impressive moment of all of the swimming events that I saw was Lezak chasing down and passing Bernard in that 4 x 100 m freestyle relay.) However, given the coverage and praise that has been heaped upon Phelps, Usain Bolt has not gotten nearly enough attention in the television coverage here in the U.S. Once again (as happens every time the Olympics comes around), I am reminded that our televised Olympics coverage really is way too America-centric. I wonder what the coverage in Jamaica has been like. I hope Bolt has been getting his due there! Unfortunately, it seems that half the commentary I have heard about Bolt has been disparaging remarks about his poor sportsmanship (exuberance) and showboating (premature celebration) . I feel somewhat cheated by not seeing what he would have done in the 100 m if he had really given it his all. B

The Bell Ringer Joke Revisited

or: If I'm Destined to Get a Pulitzer Prize for 02008, This is the Line of Thought That Will Earn It For Me I'm pretty sure that it's been at least two decades since the idea of The Bell Ringer Joke started knocking around in my head. (I've mentioned the joke in a previous blog post .) There has been hope and despair, laughter and great disappointment, spread out over more than half my lifetime! On Thursday morning, out of the blue, I had a few epiphanies regarding the joke for all of these years. Epiphany #1: The first and second parts of the joke are spectacular, and if I had not been told at the time that I first heard them that there was a mysterious third part floating about in the ether, those two known parts would have been deeply satisfying. There would have been no disappointment associated with The Bell Ringer Joke whatsoever. The two parts stand together as a complete and brilliant story, riotously funny. Which is to say that the third part is only relevant

Welcome to the Seventies (August Hair Photos)

As you will recall from previous posts, my New Year's Resolution this year is to try my best to resist the urge to cut my hair, with the ultimate goal of donating it to Locks of Love . I'm officially one of the long-haired freaky people now. I had been getting very pessimistic about managing to get to the 10 inch minimum. I was especially worried that for the hair at the front of my head to just get long enough to reach the back of my head to join the pony tail, it would have to get to at least 13 or 14 inches! That just is not going to happen. But I recently took another look at the Locks of Love web site and discovered this little gem: Hair that is shaved off and not in a ponytail or braid is not usable. If shaving your head, first divide hair into multiple ponytails to cut off. There's my salvation! Instead of having to gather all of my hair into a single pony tail, I can separate it into multiple pony tails. This gives me new hope of actually seeing this thing through.

My Career in Spelling Bees — Part 2 of Recollection of Childhood — and other things

I can't begin to tell you why I have been thinking of this recently, just that I have. I remember in third grade, we had a classroom spelling bee, which I won. My winning word was "government". I remember pausing after the "R", considering whether the "N" belonged or not. It did not occur to me to ask for a repeated pronunciation or for alternate pronunciations, and it occurred to me that when I had heard the word spoken, it was most often the pronunciation in which the "N" is dropped — which is a legitimate alternate pronunciation in the dictionaries I consulted this morning before starting this blog entry. I opted to throw in the mysterious "N", and I won the bee. Surely my finest moment in this life. Presumably, winning the classroom spelling bee would have qualified me to go on to compete against all of the other classroom champions in a school-wide bee. However, I have absolutely no recollection of any such thing. I would be a

The Repeal of Gravity Store, back from hiatus

I have had a recent fit of "creativity"--although you surely wouldn't have guessed it based on my lack of recent blog posts. Anyway, the result is that I recently re-launched my online store , with a boatload of new t-shirt designs. Won't you check them out? They're mostly humorous designs. (Although I guess humor is a subjective thing. They amuse me, anyway. Perhaps they will amuse you as well. Perhaps even enough that you'd be interested in buying some?) Here's an example: Of course, my old designs (previously posted here on my blog) are there as well, and I've also included both a t-shirt version and a mouse pad version of my "world famous" Bleeding Heart photograph. (I say "world famous" because the image has spent quite a lot of time as top image search result on Google for the search phrase "bleeding heart". I figure that's as close to world famous as anything I've ever been associated with is likely to get.

July Hair Photos

As you will recall from previous posts, my New Year's Resolution this year is to try my best to resist the urge to cut my hair, with the ultimate goal of donating it to Locks of Love . To my eye, the July pics (shot on July 1, 02008:) don't seem drastically different from the June pics. However, I have to live with this stuff on my head, and I can tell you with a great deal of certainty that my hair has, in fact, continued to grow. Anyway, here are the July photographs:

The Long Now and Why Nuclear Power is a Bad Idea (Maybe)

Oftentimes, it is a mystery to me why my brain goes off in a particular direction. I have written before, on this blog, about having read an interesting book entitled The Clock of the Long Now . Having read that book is the reason why I try to use a 5-digit year in writing dates (for example, 02008 instead of 2008). It's a technique for trying to train myself to think on a longer term time scale. To think in terms of millennia instead of decades or centuries. I haven't yet fully trained myself on the 5-digit years (which is why sometimes I'll post a blog entry that mentions a 4-digit year and then go back and edit it afterwards--and I suspect there are times when the 4-digit year has simply slipped past my notice). Anyway, I've recently been thinking about nuclear power, but I've been thinking about it with that "long now" mindset. So, where previously I had mostly taken the view that nuclear power is actually a good idea (better for the environment than b

The Hair Continues Growing

It occurs to me that people who stumble upon these hair picture posts might not know what they're all about if I don't explain them with each new posting. So, for those of you who don't know, my New Year's Resolution this year is to try my best to resist the urge to cut my hair, with the ultimate goal of donating it to Locks of Love . In just a few short months, my relationship with my hair has gone past the stage of bargaining and past the stage of forced submission. It's now at the stage where I wash it and dry it and brush it once a day to ensure that it doesn't get knotted. Beyond that, I am now allowing it to do as it sees fit. It's a big mess and it keeps getting bigger. Recently I looked in the mirror and was reminded of Andre the Giant in his heyday. Soon, I expect I will look like I ought to be on the cover of an MC5 album. Anyway, here are the June pics, shot on June 3, 02008:


It's been a while since I posted anything political. Tonight, I'll change that. Understand that it's late and I'm a bit sleepy. Here's what I'm thinking, since tonight's primary results came in, the primary season is over, and Hillary Clinton has made her "I will be making no decisions tonight" speech: Part one: If Obama chooses to make Hillary his running mate, she will work hard to ensure that they win. The ticket will win. Hillary will take credit for delivering the victory. She will spend two years doing what is asked of her as Vice President, all the while "secretly" dealing with an exploratory committee to "help her decide" whether to run for the presidency in 02012. Meanwhile, she will be even more secretly praying for that assassin. [Oops! Is it impolitic of me to suggest such a thing?] Two years into the Obama administration (assuming said assassin has not appeared), she will announce her candidacy for the presidency. S

May Hair Photos, Late

Here are the hair photos I shot on May 2. Sorry they're so late to be posted. I have been terribly busy, and I have been having and trying to fix some technical issues on the blog. This partially has to do with my porting of the host, and partially (I think) with a glitch in Blogger's software. Anyway, here are the photos. Enjoy. (And I aim to get the June photos up much closer to the start of the month.)

Technical Issues

My apologies to my visitors. The site is having some technical issues. Images are not automatically loading--at least not internally linked images. I will try to sort this out within the next few days. In the meantime, if you see a spot where there should be an image, you should be able to load it by right clicking and choosing to view it, using whatever command your browser allows for doing such.

Things Worth Sharing

There are a few things I would like to share with my readers today: For the last couple of years, I have been enjoying listening to the tail end of the Vinyl Cafe on CBC Radio , when I get out of the book store on Sunday afternoons. I don't think I've ever caught an entire episode, which is a shame. I was thrilled to hear a couple of months ago that they are making weekly Vinyl Cafe podcasts. It's a free subscription, so of course I subscribed as soon as I learned that the podcasts were happening. I'm a bit disappointed that the podcasts are not the entire shows. However, they're absolutely worth listening to. If you've never listened to the Vinyl Cafe, you really should give it a try! And with podcasts, it's easy to fit the listening into your schedule, rather than trying to fit your schedule around listening. This Stuart McLean fellow is a truly amazing storyteller. Really, a Canadian national treasure, in my opinion. ----- If you've spent years using

A Walk in the Woods

I went into the town forest this afternoon, because it was such a spectacular day and I wanted to get out there and enjoy the weather. It was an interesting experience for several reasons. First, I noticed lots of scat. I assume it's deer scat, but I'm no expert. This was interesting to me primarily because I have an established history of not noticing scat in the woods. So to notice so very many piles of it today was unusual. I suppose it might be moose scat, but I doubt it. It's rare to see a moose in this neck of the woods. I think they mostly only come down this far south when they're forced to (by flooding, for example). I spent most of my hike climbing. I ascended over 400 vertical feet, covering a distance of just about 0.7 miles. That's pretty steep, especially when you do as I did and pretty much just aim up, instead of aiming for the most convenient paths. I saw several frisbee golf holes as I was hiking today. I had either not known or forgotten that ther

April Hair Pics

Apologies for my tardiness in posting this. I've been keeping very busy and I've been burdened by a persistent cold which has lasted all month, so far. These photos are being posted well behind schedule, but they were actually taken right on schedule (April 2). I was feeling genuinely sick on that day, so I didn't make any effort to focus the camera well or ensure proper exposure. That does not explain the change in hair style. What does explain the change in hair style is that sometime in March I came to the realisation that when it is long, my hair will not submit to my will. So instead of slathering in the goop to try to keep it down, I decided instead to allow it to do what it will. So basically I just towel dry and shake now. It's a different look. More wild. But somehow, I think it's a bit less ridiculous than what happens when I brush my hair. On with the photos: Enjoy!

Watching Hair Grow

As I mentioned in a previous post, my New Year's Resolution for 02008 is as follows: To at least make a valiant attempt at resisting the urge to cut my hair, with the eventual goal of donating it to Locks of Love . In the last month, my hair has definitely crossed over into the silly range. I think it's hovering on the ridiculous precipice, but I don't think it's quite crossed over. Certainly, it will have done so a month from now. Here are the March 2, 02008 photos: The last time I shaved was on February 1. That has nothing to do with the resolution. It has more to do with its being winter, and my having gotten through the itchy time, which is what usually keeps me from not shaving. I fully expect to shave by the end of this month. That will, of course, serve to amplify the difference between the March and April photos.

The Pledge of Allegiance--a Brief Recollection of Childhood

For some reason, I've recently been thinking much more about my elementary school years. I had gone quite a lot of years without having thought much at all about them. Interesting that I should have recently started remembering bits of childhood that I thought were forgotten. Strange that I've actually been pondering them. I remember that we used to recite the Pledge of Allegiance at the start of every school day. I participated with as much vigor as did each of my classmates. It was a recitation that was learned by rote. Participation was expected, and there was no question as to whether to participate or not. (That came later.) What strikes me as the most interesting aspect of this phenomenon is that, as far as I can recall (and I firmly believe this to be true), we were never taught what it actually means . Big words involved there! Why were we taught to use the word "allegiance" in kindergarten (or first grade at the latest), without being taught its definition? W

Cornish-Windsor Bridge (A New Photograph)

I went out yesterday for a little bit of photography. Here's a photograph of the Cornish-Windsor Bridge. [I guess Vermonters call it the Windsor-Cornish Bridge, which actually has a nicer ring to my ear, but since I'm living in New Hampshire, I'll call it "Cornish-Windsor".] What you see is the Connecticut River, not nearly frozen over, but covered with a lot of floating ice. The long horizontal thing is the bridge: the longest wooden bridge in the U.S. and the longest two-span covered bridge in the world. There's snow on the roof. In the background, I believe that's Mt. Ascutney (VT), but I could be wrong about that. I have no idea of what mountain it would be if it's not Ascutney, though. As always, comments are welcomed and encouraged.

02008: A Nightmare Scenario

Since my last political post, three noteworthy (from my perspective) things have happened in the U.S. presidential nominating process: John Edwards has dropped out of the race. That's OK with me. I'm sad it had to come to that, but the writing was on the wall, and it was obvious that the Democratic race was not available for him to win. Super Duper Tuesday has come and gone, seemingly establishing that the Democratic race is too close to call (note the great discrepancy between CNN's delegate tracker --currently showing Hillary ahead by 96--and Newsweek's delegate tracker --currently showing Obama ahead by 4), and that Huckabee is still alive on the Republican side--although he's still in third place in the delegate count. Most interesting of all is yesterday's announcement that Romney is out. Why is this last bit so interesting? Because of the potential nightmare scenario it sets up. Before I describe my nightmare scenario, let's keep in mind what happened

New Year's Resolution, 02008

Cracking a nut is not really an art, and therefore no one would ever dare to call together an audience and crack nuts in front of them in order to entertain them. If he does it anyway and he succeeds in his intention, then it can certainly not be a matter of nut-cracking alone. Or it is a matter of nut-cracking, but it becomes clear that we have ignored this art because we have mastered it too completely and this new nutcracker shows us its true nature for the first time, in which case it might even be useful for the effect if he were even less skilled at nut-cracking than most of us. -Franz Kafka, as translated by Kevin Blahut from the story Josephine, the Singer or The Mouse People I made a New Year's Resolution this year, and I actually did it at the start of the year. (I made last year's resolution in June.) My resolution for 02008: To at least make a valiant attempt at resisting the urge to cut my hair, with the eventual goal of donating it to Locks of Love . The last ti

A Photo of Autumn! (just a few months late)

Well, this past autumn was absolutely spectacular here in New Hampshire! (By far, the best we've seen since moving here.) However, I was largely lazy about taking my camera out to shoot it. Mostly, I just gazed in wonder, without any thought of my camera. I did take a few shots, though, and I think this one is the most interesting: This shot was taken at night, using a compact fluorescent light source. As always, I welcome any feedback.

Star Wars, Nothing But Star Wars....

I recently watched all six of the Star Wars movies, in the order that George Lucas prefers. That is, episodes I-VI, rather than in the chronological order of their production. Here's what I came away with, as far as opinions are concerned: 1) The saga holds up very well, in terms of a narrative flow. To some degree, I think this is a bit of a feat. On the other hand, there was plenty of time between the production of Episodes VI and I, to ensure that the plot points were all ironed out in a way that keeps things consistent. I'm not really all that sure of just how much tinkering Lucas did to alter Episodes IV-VI to achieve that end. I did notice, with a bit of disgust, the insertion of the Christensen ghost and the appearance of celebratory Gungans at the end of Episode VI. Neither insertion improved the movie in any meaningful way. 2) Hayden Christensen is a phenomenally awful actor. He's dull on the grandest of scales, rivalling Kevin Costner--and that's no small ant

Responding to Some Early Democratic Primaries

Well, I must admit, I was fairly crushed by what the Democratic primary voters in New Hampshire did. Michigan was an aberration (thanks to Obama and Edwards and others choosing to stay off the ballot). Nevada was surprising, inasmuch as Edwards got such a teensy slice of the pie--but at least Obama likely came away with more delegates than Clinton. I'm still supporting Edwards, in principle. However, it's become quite apparent that his chance of getting the nomination is approximately as good as is my chance of winning the general election. Which is to say, approximately nil. So, I've got to say that my political spirits are greatly buoyed by yesterday's results from South Carolina. Why? Because my preference for Edwards over Obama is only about the width of a dime. Whereas my preference for either over Hillary is as vast as the Pacific Ocean. I am unaffiliated with any political party, and yes, I do consider myself to be a true political independent. Nonetheless, it