I spent the afternoon Thursday packaging up a set of tray tables I’d built to fill an order. It had taken me a long time to build the tables and my client had been very patient with me. It was time to request his payment and process a shipping label. I went to my computer.
I went to PayPal to send my client: Phil, a request for payment. Unable to connect. I checked my network status: connected to LAN, no internet gateway. That usually means the modem has gone wonky and I need to reboot it. I was on my way over to do that when my cellphone rang.
I carry a cellphone as emergency communication between my wife, Marie, and I. No other reason. This had to be Marie – unless it was a wrong number or robo-caller, which does happen from time to time. It was Marie.
She had been trying to call me on our home phone but was getting a “Not available” message. She wanted to let me know that their internet was down at work. That is a big deal since much of the data processing work they do is done over the internet on remote servers. She had heard that a wreck on Highway 25/70 took out some necessary infrastructure and a large area was blacked out and without phone or cable.
By this time I was in the office and could see that the modem was not receiving any signal from Comcast. My problem was external; rebooting won’t help. Cable TV was out too. I am electronically MAROONED! Read the rest of this entry »
The following tale has made the rounds of the internet in various iterations for quite a while now. It serves well as a starting point for this discussion:
We Didn’t Have the Green Thing
Checking out at the store, the young cashier suggested to the much older lady that she should bring her own grocery bags, because plastic bags are not good for the environment.
The woman apologized to the young girl and explained, “We didn’t have this ‘green thing’ back in my earlier days.”
The young clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations.”
The older lady said that she was right — our generation didn’t have the “green thing” in its day. The older lady went on to explain: Read the rest of this entry »
As the orange orb of the sun slid down behind English mountain, splashing the sky with rose, vermillion and mauve, the day’s heat began to wane. The air began to move; caressing their cheeks to further cool them as they sat in their rockers on the porch before it drifted off to play among the trees. The rustling leaves were like music.
The breeze wafted first from the south, then paused, and resumed again from the northeast, paused and swung back again as though it were playing a game. “I wonder what makes it change like that.” She sighed.
His mind filled with images of weather charts and thermal differential flows; warm air rising, pulling cooler air in from all around, mobile low pressure cells. He turned to her to deliver the dialogue that was forming. She sat there, eyes closed, head against the tall chair back, as she lolled gently to and fro. His nose wrinkled in thought, then he leaned back in his chair and resumed a slow rocking. “Oh, it’s just playful I reckon.”
The sky deepened through the shades of purple into black as the Chuck-will’s Widow added his melody to the concert of nature.
* * * * *
If I were to say to you, “I don’t believe in molecules” how would you go about convincing me that you and your certainty that molecules exist are correct?
I have never seen a molecule with my own eyes. Neither have you. No one has. Even those who claim to study such things have not seen them except through the filter of high technology; technology that could be flawed, or a grand conspiracy. I have seen representations of molecules and even atoms, drawn by those who claim intimate knowledge and experience, but no molecule has ever forced itself into my awareness so as to induce in me a belief in its existence.
Yes, situations can be set up where under certain conditions actions result in a predicted and repeatable outcome, but does that prove their theories of why it happens? These priests of molecular physics and chemistry have agendas of their own; perhaps nefarious agendas. They promote science as the ultimate authority. Read the rest of this entry »
Do you remember the movie Day of the Triffids? It is a schlocky sci-fi adventure from 1962 involving plants from outer space trying to take over the world after blinding most of the population. In case you’d like to see it, I’ll embed it below.
Lately I’ve been seeing these strange plants popping up along our roadways and wondered what they are. They are big. They look alien. They remind me of the Triffids in the movie. So I asked my super searcher web sleuth (Marie) to see what she could find on them. She found an excerpt from a book written by Tom Remaley of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, Gatlinburg, TN. It identifies the strange plant, which grows to be as much as 10 feet tall, to be a Common Mullein. It is a member of the figwort family of plants which is native to Europe and Asia and is identified by the Alien Plant Working Group (I KNEW it was alien!) as one of their Least Wanted Plants here in America.
Mullein may not have the ability to pull their roots out of the ground and walk around like Triffids (although they do have very shallow root systems, so; maybe!) Nor do they spray poisonous gas at passersby, but they seem to be almost as invasive and dangerous as Triffids: at least to meadows and forest edges. Here they spread rapidly and choke out native vegetation.
On the flip side herbalists collect mullein – a few actually cultivate them. Read the rest of this entry »