Monthly Archives: September 2002

A Monster in the House

“Is there a monster in the house? Is there a baby writer sitting over there on the floor storing up memories of family fights and betrayals for future books? Beware.”

Thus the NY Times begins… Continue reading

Types of Failure

1. Accident

2. Mistake

3. Weakness

4. Inability

5. Incorrect Method

6. Uselessness

7. Incompatibility

8. Embarrassment

9. Confusion

10. Redundancy

11. Obsolescence

12. Incoherence

13. Unrecognizability

14. Absurdity

15. Invisibility

16. Impermanence

17. Decay

18. Instability… Continue reading

Fire Update

3100 acres

1600 firefighters

11 homes consumed

1 state of emergency

3 more days, probably, until it’s contained

Several hints that it started in a meth lab.

If you want to see the kind of country that’s burning,… Continue reading

Chilly Weather

Tonight in Palo Alto I saw a middle-aged professorial gentleman wearing this typical California outfit:

Birkenstock sandals

ankle socks

khaki Bermuda shorts

heavy sheepskin jacket.

It was dark, and the temperature had dropped to all of 65.

As… Continue reading

California Burning

Even from forty-odd miles away, we could see the column of smoke rising and spreading as we drove home Monday night. A 200-acre fire. Last night the smoke was a deep bruise across the southern sky. By this… Continue reading

Wisdom from Steve Lopez

Thoughts on the coming war from one of the few people left who has any common sense:

The biggest threat to our security in the new world isn’t Saddam’s potential to build a nuclear weapon in… Continue reading

That’s a Spicy Meatball!

Tony came over this afternoon, bearing a chili joke he found online. Being the virtuous person I am, I websearched until I found the original. Bruce Cameron is a professional writer, and I refuse to… Continue reading

Fathers and Daughters

Something in yesterday’s Neil Gaiman blog tore at my heart and left me feeling bereft:

I finished reading “The Snarkout Boys and the Avocado of Death” to Maddy last night, and tonight Maddy volunteered to read to… Continue reading

So What Do You Two Find to Talk About?

What Bill Bryson does for travel, this guy does for romance. That is, he distills the experience into a series of bizarre encounters that leave me drowning in tears of mirth.… Continue reading

God Help America

From today’s Philadelphia Inquirer.

Profiling charged on ‘nightmare’ flight

A doctor on Delta Flight 442 was detained by U.S. marshals.

By Thomas Ginsberg

Inquirer Staff Writer

The incident on Delta Flight 442 was scary enough last… Continue reading

The greatest thing
in the world
is the Alphabet
as all knowledge
is contained therein
except the wisdom
of putting it together.
—from an old German bookplate