Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Help Your Roommates Out*

Home from college and it's summertime, the living is easy.

At least it ought to be. But sometimes it seems we're buying twice the food, taking out twice the garbage, doing twice the laundry and washing twice the dishes.

It's not supposed to be this way. Consider basic algebra: Work × 2 ÷ (workers × 2) = work ÷ workers. It should come out the same. You did get an A in algebra, didn't you?

So here are a few ideas for how you can help your roommates out:
  1. Clean up the kitchen. Wash the dishes. Put things away. Wipe the counters. Stop when the job's finished.
  2. Tend the koi pond. Clean the filter every day or two. It's not complicated but we've written up a checklist so you won't miss any steps. Clean the skimmer too — it's simple and you can do it any time.
  3. Pull weeds. Put them on the burn pile. If you're not sure what's a weed, check with Mom. Basically, if it has thorns or burrs, it's a weed. (Roses are an exception.)
  4. Post something on the blog. Brag about your accomplishments, if you have any. Post a picture of the cat — anything. Grandma and Grandpa love reading the blog. Go ahead, make their day.
  5. Mow the lawn. Any time it's shaggy and even if it's not. Mom loves a new cut lawn. She has the same attitude toward haircuts on guys.
  6. Do your own laundry. Of course you do already, but start early enough in the day that the clothes are dry, folded, and put away before bed time. Don't leave your laundry overnight.
  7. Turn in by ten o'clock. We value our rest, especially if we have to work the next day. People prowling around the house in the middle of the night tend to disturb our sleep. Old people need their sleep.
  8. Clear out now and then. It was real quiet last winter. Kind of nice, actually. Don't you have some place to go?
*Inspired by an article in The Wall Street Journal.

Monday, June 16, 2014

Call Me Gramps

tabby_kitten_thumb.jpgThis little tabby kitten, a ginger obviously, was born on Saturday about 8:20 in the evening. Nine pounds, eight ounces, nineteen and a half inches. My daughter, who stands something less than five feet tall, labored more than twenty-four hours.

To while away the time in the weeks preceeding the birth I worked in my woodshop on a little cradle boat.

cradle_boat_1_thumb.jpgThe planking is Port Orford cedar, copper riveted. The stem and stern post and knees are Douglas fir left over from building the porch for Lizzy's wedding. So are the davits.

cradle_boat_2_thumb.jpgThe keelson and gunwales are scraps of the super fine-grained fir that Bob Tewksbury used to make our windows. The breast hook and quarter knees are from the walnut tree that Bill helped me cut up.

cradle_boat_3_thumb.jpgThe transom is poplar.

The boat was designed by Warren Jordan of South Beach, Oregon, from an ad I spotted in Wooden Boat magazine while Lizzy was still a baby.

I hope the little kitten likes her craft.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Bergdahl Deserves Court-Martial

However, Bret Stephens says, we are not "in time of war." We are in Time of Obama.
In Time of Obama, dereliction of duty is heroism, releasing mass murderers with American blood on their hands is a good way to start a peace process, negotiating with terrorists is not negotiating with terrorists, and exchanging senior Taliban commanders for a lone American soldier is not an incentive to take other Americans hostage but rather proof that America brings its people home.
At a minimum, Americans should demand precise answers from the administration about the circumstances of Sgt. Bergdahl's capture before he's given a hero's welcome. At a minimum, Americans also deserve to know the precise costs we have incurred before congratulating the administration for obtaining his release.

But in Time of Obama, that's not what Americans are going to get.
It's behind the pay wall. Email me, and I'll send you a link.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014


Tell the truth. If nothing else, for the shock value
Gregory Cochran

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Shovel and Bucket

Derb says he's content to be a middlebrow.
We middlebrows don't plunge too deep into things. Perhaps we're afraid of what we might find there; or perhaps we're just lazy. I'll go with lazy: I'm not aware of being scared of anything, other than of course women and the po-lice. So I'm lazy. So sue me.

Shallowness can anyway be redeemed by breadth. Life is short. You get around four thousand weeks. That's not many: you can count to four thousand in an hour or so, and there they go — gone. We all have to make a fundamental choice regarding our enthusiasms: shallow and wide, or narrow and deep. You can wade for clams or dive for pearls. I believe my pearl-diving days are over. From here on out, it's clams all the way.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Max is Riding The Redline

Oregon's preminent blogger Max Redline has a great new site.
I plan to transition everything from the incompetent Typepad site to the WordPress site. The new place is athematic, so none of the stuff you've seen here will be there until I can get around to adding them in.

Hey, you aren't here for mongoose photos, anyway.
Well, I was, but.

Go check him out.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Get Set... Go!

get_set_go_cr_14_thumb.jpgLeslie and the girls ran (mostly walked) the 5K Color Run today.
If you haven't seen a Color Run, it's where as you run through gates they throw colored powder on you. You start with a clean white t-shirt, and you wind up...


Wednesday, May 14, 2014

In the mail today.

troublesome_inheritance.jpg“I never read,” my friend Charles once sniffed, “what everyone’s reading.”

Words to live by, no doubt, but I do make exceptions. Six years ago I read Before the Dawn and it was good enough to read a second time. A Troublesome Inheritance: Genes, Race and Human History, if it is half as good as the prequel, will bear reading twice too.

Along with this comes a new blogroll. Politics makes my eyes glaze over these days, so at the right you'll find a new list entitled Anthropology (a sort of all-encompassing category) that more accurately reflects my current interest. Like all my blogrolls, it updates when I post, so it will change from time to time depending on who is more active. Check them out.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ten Best and Worst Jobs

(Click pic for the rest)
Mine's number seven, as usual. My sister's is six. I have a nephew with the number two job, university professor, although he's only adjunct, which I'm sure is not what they mean. I have another nephew with the ninth worst job, firefighter, but I've never heard him complain. Interesting that speech pathologist is tenth best. My wife works for one now, doing her paperwork.

Article in The Wall Street Journal.

Monday, April 14, 2014


Hairy Reed on the cattle battle:
“Well, it's not over. We can't have an American people that violate the law and then just walk away from it.”
I like the way he talks about an American people like it's something outside, and probably below, himself. Most of us, if we were to talk about the American people, would say "we" or "us."

Not Hairy. To him we're subjects, not fellow citizens.