Reading the biography "Martin Luther" by Eric Metaxis was an eye-opening experience for me, a German-ancestry Methodist. I was completely unfamiliar with the Catholic church which Luther encountered around the year 1500.
Just a quick Thanksgiving story. It was 1958, I was 15 years old, and the whole extended family was gathered at the farmhouse in which I grew up. Tables were lined up end to end, table settings were counted over and over. Were there enough chairs? Plates? Table cloths? How to get all the pies served? The details seemed endless.
Deer hunting is here. Now is when the best part of deer season starts. Now is when hunters get their money's worth, not about hunting specifically, but while spinning yarns about how they got their deer. I think they hunt just so they can talk about it.
It was May, evening, 1969. I and Ted—a radio guy attached to my unit—had, as I remember it, reconfigured a single sideband receiver so that we could tune Hanoi Hannah in. We had to do it on the sly; the lifers frowned on extra-curricular activity. We listened to her, mainly because she had the coolest music. I don't hear it much anymore, but when I do hear In-A-Gadda-Da-Vita by Iron Butterfly, I am reminded of the taste and smell of the nights of Vietnam, and of Hannah, who played it.
I've reached an age where suddenly The Bucket List makes more sense. A bucket list is a bunch of those things you've never done, things more "out there" than normal. Things unlike doing stuff you've been doing forever, like going to town, going to work, making your bed, washing windows, etc.
The family farm in Iowa where I grew up, the buildings and land now owned and cared for by my brother Mark, has become more front and center in his and my mind. That's because he has an opportunity to sell the buildings. Because of that, and because those buildings are still quite full of reminders of our parents, I made a trip down there recently and brought back what was left of dad's and grandpa's and maybe grand-grandpa's horse harness.
After explaining loop quantum gravity last week, a new sense of bravery has overtaken me, and this week, despite the probable widespread confusion that will ensue, we will examine another phenomenon. Warning: This topic will arouse new and as yet undiscovered personal feelings. This is America, where by now if you haven't become accustomed to new daily assaults on your personal feelings, then you're well overdue. (What! You thought I was going to add to the mountainous pile of poo our president has accumulated? Nope. That's large enough already. We're ready for a new topic, aren't we.)
"Despite obscurities, infelicities, and unanswered questions." So begins one chapter of Carlo Robeli's book titled "Seven Brief Lessons on Physics." He goes on to provide the reader with a dizzying array of guesses about the universe in which we live. Each guess has a substantial slice of supporters in the current world of physicists. None of them make much sense.
A recent family get-together has produced another Balderdash contest for you. In the Balderdash game, various words, movie titles, abbreviations, etc. are read out loud and the contestants have to produce realistic versions of what they're about. Here we go.
Six hundred cans of beer, somewhere around 40 bottles of wine (I lost track while counting corks afterward), most of a roast pig, 150 white chairs with 150 people in them, 30-some round white tables, maybe a thousand feet of fairyland lights on strings in trees and buildings and all over and lots of love and celebration and relatives and people helping put the farm into shape.