HCaldwell:On . . .


What is there to say? I'm not very interesting. I'm not a good writer. I don't even dress well. If you insist on knowing something about me just wander through the archives. It's all there.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

On spring yard work

Well, it was a beautiful day today.

For the first time in a long while, the sun was shining. It was warm. The winds were gentle. It has been such a long winter that I kept looking over my shoulder, sure that a huge blizzard was sneaking up on me. I decided that this was certainly the day to write the obligatory springtime yard work posting.

(Why is clockwork one word, but yard work is two words?)

I spent the late afternoon raking the winter’s detritus off of the flowerbeds and from around the house. I planted some caladiums and summer flowering Asian lilies. I spread out about ten bags of mulch. By the time that I was finished the sun was going down and it was starting to get chilly again. I was a bit dirty, a bit stiff in the lower back, but it was offset/enhanced by a wonderfully cathartic, almost spiritual tiredness. I can understand why people enjoy farming.

I could never be a farmer, of course. I have known several successful farmers. The stresses and abuses of the business side of farming would kill me off in only a few seasons. Plus, modern farming is as much about diesel mechanics, politics, and chemistry as it is about scrounging around in the dirt. No, if my livelihood depended on what I could grow from the soil, it would ruin the experience for me. I would also starve, hence, the ruining part.

I just like the digging in the dirt part.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

On the definition of illegal

I had another “yell the television” moment yesterday. I was watching the news and one of the commenter made the following statement.

“…the worst thing is that they are making illegal immigration a crime...”

Now, I don’t really have much of an opinion on this country’s immigration policy, but I do know how I feel about people who make statements like this one.

Someone really needs to highlight the definition of the word, “illegal” in this man’s dictionary.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

On feeling old

When light passes from air to glass as it does when it enters a magnifying lens, it slows down. This change in speed causes the light to bend, to droop. This is called diffraction. The same thing happens again on the other side of the lens as the light moves from glass back to air.

Today, I decided that I am not getting older; I am in the process of passing through the lens of life.

I am simply diffracting.

Monday, March 20, 2006

On feeling logy

This morning, I thought to myself, “I’m feeling a bit logy today.”
Then I had to go look up the word, logy.

I knew that I felt logy, but I wasn’t sure that I really knew the definition of the word. The feeling was there that I knew to be indicative of a state of being logy, but I couldn’t pull the word’s denotative meaning out of my brain. Odd.

I once had a client say to me, “I know exactly what I want, but I just don’t know what it is!”

That statement could just about sum up my day. I knew I was feeling logy, I just didn’t know what logy was. I was even less sure about what I wanted to do about it. I was even logy about feeling logy.

At this rate, I suspect that tomorrow may be a flummoxing kind of day for me.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

On the Big Bang

I saw a news item yesterday. Scientists have now discovered astronomical data to support the Big Bang Theory. In addition, they are now certain that the universe will continue to expand forever. This brings to mind a number of unanswered questions.

If the universe continues to expand forever, how will we get our mail forwarded?

Did the universe really start with a “big bang” if there was no one around to hear it?

Was there ever a “little bang”?
Or a “really big bang”?
Were there any duds?

Why are scientist convinced it was a bang?
Why not a bong?
Or a klunk?
Or a resounding thud?
Maybe, it was just an embarrassing fart noise?

If the universe expanded to most of its present size in less than a trillionth of second, why does it still take five days to get your cable fixed?

Now that we apparently know that the universe started with the “Big Bang”, what exactly do we intend to do about it?

Thursday, March 16, 2006

On recycling history

Science fiction writers have been known to base the premise of their stories on a somewhat fuzzy theory that time is circular in nature. The details of each theory in each story vary considerably, but the idea that time (and the universe) is likened to a circle is common.

I was struck today by the apparent recycling of history that I am now experiencing. An “unwinnable”, increasingly unpopular war in a far distant place, an energy crisis, and a presidency in trouble made me realize that I am now reliving the Seventies. My greatest fear may come to pass. I quake at the thought. Terror approaches.

They may try to bring back disco.


Monday, March 13, 2006

On stained glass in the bathroom

There is something magical about stained glass. We had a house that had an octagonal window installed in the bathroom right over the bathtub. It was a great mystery to as to why the previous owner had put a window there that could be not be opened. Even worse, there was no easy way to curtain a window with that shape. I suppose that they were just very proud of how they looked upon stepping out of the bathtub. They wanted to share their joy with the next-door neighbor. My desire to share was somewhat more constrained. After searching in vain for some reasonably aesthetic and cost effective way to shutter off this window, I happened upon an octagonal stain glass reproduction of a Frank Lloyd Wright design. With a little molding alteration on the window frame, it fit perfectly.

Since the window was on the east side of the house, the morning sun would come through that stain glass and paint the entire bathroom in colored light. It became one of my favorite features in the house. All bathrooms should be built with stained glass windows. It creates the perfect setting for meditating, contemplating, and eliminating.

Friday, March 10, 2006

On haircuts

Haircuts, like everything else in life, have become very expensive. They are also one of the things that definitely are not a “do-it-yourself” operation for me. If I were limber enough and dexterous enough to make the attempt, I suspect that the results would be aesthetically horrifying. Since I am not limber enough, I would end up dislocating my shoulders. Since I am not dexterous enough, I would end up losing an ear. I could end up as a one-eared hunchback sporting a butt-ugly haircut. I have enough problems; it just isn’t worth the risk.

Since I am too cowardly to even make the attempt, I give my monthly tithe to the hair god while giving thanks that I still have hairs on my head that need cutting. The moral of the story is that of the silver lining in the dark cloud, coincidentally, my hair used to be a dark cloud; now, it is a silver lining.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

On spring rains

It rained all day today.

For a brief time this afternoon, I sat in the garage with the door up and watched the rain falling. Sitting on a lawn chair with a cup of tea watching the world get wet was an incredibly relaxing experience. Spring rains do not seem to induce the mind numbing depression brought on by a fall rainstorm. This may have to do with all that crap about the promise of spring flowers and the rebirth of nature after the long winter nap. I suspect that it is just a case of winter depression fatigue. I am just tired of it. I am ready for “something else”. Spring rain is simply “something else”.

By April, I will probably be complaining about how much I hate spring rainstorms.

Variety is, after all, the spice of complaining.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

On sale

I had to go to the hardware store today. All I needed was a bicycle tube repair kit, about a “buck and a half” item. I ended up buying the repair kit, but also purchased two sets of brass lettering templates. They are for making two-inch letters. I don’t really have any good reason for buying them, but THEY WERE ON SALE.

This is obviously a genetic flaw. My mother once bought twenty pounds of bananas.
Twenty pounds of bananas makes a pretty impressive pile of fruit when gathered together on one kitchen counter. When my dad came home and asked her why we had so many bananas, she replied, “THEY WERE ON SALE.”

I have decided that I want to have two tombstones when I die. The first will have all my biographical infomation like name, birth date, death date, etc. The second gravestone will stand right next to it and simply be engraved with the words, “IT WAS ON SALE.”