From the monthly archives:

May 2008

Reminders of Death

May 31, 2008

My mom’s brother Don died this week. He was 76, and in a lot of pain for the last year or so. The funeral was today in a Methodist Church out in the country near the eponymous town of Black Earth. He’ll be buried not far from where he was born, at home on the farm, in 1931. After the funeral, we drove out through those green hills and fertile valleys, crossing trout streams and exploring the winding blacktop roads. We happened upon the Aldo Leopold Nature Center, and eventually found ourselves on top of a hill in Vermont township at the Vermont Lutheran Church. For me, as well as being the church where I was baptized long ago, this is an ancestral resting place. My great-grandparents, my grandparents, and many of their relatives are buried there. We walked through the cemetery and I told Beth the same stories I’ve told her before when we’ve visited. We marveled at the tenacity of those old Norwegians who settled the place, the commitment it must have taken to hitch the horse to the buggy in the nineteenth century to go to church. People came from miles around on unpaved roads to the top of that hill for church services whether it was a snowy winter Sunday or a sunny summer day.

We saw people we only seem to see at weddings and funerals. Some of the relationships are so tenuous (third cousin once removed, I’m not making this up) that we might as well be playing that Kevin Bacon game. Dad was on his best behavior and it wasn’t my day to watch out for him. The older and more demented he becomes, the more he is given to improprieties.

Just a week ago uncle Don was still alive and Beth, dad, and I visited mom’s grave at another Norwegian Lutheran church in a different part of the county. There’s a bronze marker there next to hers with his birth date and a blank spot for his date of death.

[tags]tombstones[/tags]

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Today Nate Silver, a writer at the baseball and baseball stats site Baseball Prospectus, revealed himself as the anonymous author of FiveThirtyEight.com, an ongoing detailed compilation and statistical analysis of poll results in the US Presidential election contests.

The data that Silver presents are not encouraging for Obama backers. He shows Hillary clobbering Mccain, and Obama losing a squeaker.

[tags]bring back Jimmy the Greek[/tags]

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Ten Minutes That Could Change Your Life!!!

May 29, 2008

[tags]eek the cat, sharky[/tags]

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IETF P2P Infrastructure Workshop

May 28, 2008

Stanislav Shalunov, Director of Engineeering for BitTorrent, Inc. presented a paper at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) Infrastructure Workshop in Boston today (PDF) calling for IETF support in resolving user performance and ISP congestion problems by standardizing a mechanism improving cache discovery for Peer to Peer (P2P) applications. That’s a mouthful. People using BitTorrent [...]

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Longwood Grove Dr. Resto

May 28, 2008

Back in the day, before twitter, before blogging, before Google and before Gopher, even before the very Innernecks themselves, Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu thought deep thoughts about government and the human condition. A republic, he thought, would be founded on virtue, despotism on fear. It was Montesquieu’s philosophy that [...]

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Meeting at Heart Attack and Vine

May 26, 2008

(A post in which we discover that the title has nothing to do with the content, even though there may have been a dim connection at some conceptual stage.) * * * I hate to disagree with Rage Boy, but I don’t get it. I don’t get why Jill Bolte Taylor’s schtick is so egregious. [...]

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Mars

May 25, 2008

Thanks NASA [tags]Lockheed Martin, NASA, if we wreck up the earth maybe we can all move to mars and eat red dirt[/tags]

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Elder Blogging

May 22, 2008

I’m about to put an “Elder Blogger” badge in my sidebar, and I just got this from an old, yes — a VERY old friend… [tags]that’s not funny[/tags]

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