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Showing posts from February, 2008

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? We c…

Cornish-Windsor Bridge (A New Photograph)

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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 in th…

New Year's Resolution, 02008

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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 time I got …

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

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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.