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Is there a particular moment or event in your life that you reflect on most? Why was it so important, and how did it shape you?

I entered the teleportation chamber that I had made and the teleportation worked.  The trouble was, there was a fly in the chamber at the same time I was.  It took me a while to figure it out and even once I did it was too late.  I turned mostly into a fly.  Think puberty times 1,000 to describe the awkwardness.  The only way I can type this now is because my brain stem is attached to a series of sensors that allow me to express my thoughts.  My advice:  when you experiment on yourself, make sure you can monitor your variables from within your experimental capsules.  Live and learn, I guess. 

If an alien ship were to land in your backyard and choose you as the earthly representative of humanity, what would you tell them about our world? Would you consider going back with them for a visit?

Every time this happens they don't land.  I just get in somehow.  My memories are very foggy on some of these things.  I'd tell them about our world but they usually know more than I do.  I think they are more curious about human nature than anything else.  It is fun to go back with them, what I can remember of it, because they have such funny looking pets. 


My daughter suggested I read Solitaire Mystery because she enjoyed it so much in her high school english class. I am happy to oblige as it will not take long and it is something we can discuss together. That is always a good thing.

The discussion in the book goes something like this:

“You have two parents, four grandparents, eight great-grandparents, sixteen great-great-grandparents, and over 4,000 greater grandparents if you go back 10 generations. If a single one of them had died, you would not be reading this. Even through times of war, plague, and natural disaster, every single one of those more than 4,000 people lived and was able to reproduce.

“The chances of one of those people not dying while growing up is one in several billion. Each time an arrow rained through the air, your chances of being born have been reduced to the minimum.

“The fact that you exist is the result of one long chain of coincidences.

“In fact, the chain goes right back to the the fist living cell, which divided in two, and from there gave birth to everything growing and sprouting on this planet today. The chance of my chain not being broken at one time or another during three or four billion years is so little it is almost inconceivable.

“In return, I appreciate how fantastically lucky I am to be able to experience this planet together with you. I realize how lucky every single little crawling insect on this planet is.”

So I ask you, in the face of these staggering odds that suggest you should not exist, how lucky do you feel to be alive at this very moment at this very time? I think this is a case for the fact that chance, alone, is not the guiding force in life. There has to be more because, statistically speaking, none of us should be here.

In love and appreciation for the fact I am able to think and to type and that you are able to read,

This week we finished an article on depression.  Click here if you are interested in reading it. 

I am now working on the email that invites 145 people to stay with us this summer.  We have had 30ish in the past and it has been great.  We'll see what happens this year.  The economy is a little tight still so we may get less and we may have to scale back the trip.  Either way it will be fun. 

I'll post that one once I am finished writing it. 

I exceeded my character limit.  Here are the answers to the questions: 

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I got this from a new lj friend the other day so I figured it would be an informal introduction to answer them myself.  I am posting this here,  I will reply to myself with my answers. 

1. If you're on my friends list, here's a list of 35 things. If you're up for it, and short and sweet is fine.

2. Comment here with your answers and repost the questionnaire on your own journal (if you want)...

01) Are you currently in a serious relationship?
02) What was your dream growing up?
03) What talent do you wish you had?
04) If I bought you a drink what would it be?
05) Favorite vegetable?
06) What was the last book you read?
07) What zodiac sign are you?
08) Any Tattoos and/or Piercings? Explain where.
09) Worst Habit?
10) If you saw me walking down the street would you offer me a ride?
11) What is your favorite sport?
12) Do you have a Pessimistic or Optimistic attitude?
13) What would you do if you were stuck in an elevator with me?
14) Worst thing to ever happen to you?
15) Tell me one weird fact about you.
16) Do you have any pets?
17) What if I showed up at your house unexpectedly?
18) What was your first impression of me?
19) Do you think clowns are cute or scary?
20) If you could change one thing about how you look, what would it be?
21) Would you be my crime partner or my conscience?
22) What color eyes do you have?
23) Ever been arrested?
24) Bottle or can soda?
25) If you won $10,000 today, what would you do with it?
26) What's your favorite place to hang out at?
27) Do you believe in ghosts?
28) Favorite thing to do in your spare time?
29) Do you swear a lot?
30) Biggest pet peeve?
31) In one word, how would you describe yourself?
32) Do you believe/appreciate romance?
33) Favorite and least favorite food?
34) Do you believe in God?
35) Will you repost this so I can fill it out and do the same for you?

My oldest daughter is trying out for Miss Her School, it is semi-democratic.  She had to be nominated and teachers vote based on several short competitions and talents. 

She is performing in front of the entire school.  She is "flying."  This is some sort of a cheer leading thing where she trusts other high school people to throw her up in the air and catch her in some sort of a way where she does not die.

There are seven high school girls flying around my living room as I type this.

This is funny in many ways and significant in one major way.

She is a junior now.  She nearly failed out of her first two years of high school before we made the decision to send her to a small charter school.  She missed many classes every week.  She spent time "helping" her drop out friends with all their drama.  She didn't take care of herself at all.  It would have had major implications for the rest of her life.  Now she is now getting nearly all A's and she is social and happy and participating in student council and things like this. 

I am so proud of her and all she is doing and how well she is doing it.  She is smart and intuitive.  She always has been.  She has just been more motivated to help people than to take care of her needs.  (I wonder where she got that?)  She is learning a balance and it is wonderful and I am unceasingly happy that things have turned how they have for her. 

Social judgments from when we were in school aside, you have a certain and definite pride in your children at any age and no matter what they do.  I am so glad to be hosting her friends for this.

I wish her the best of luck tomorrow. 

I have been typing a lot for the last few years.  I figured I could average 60 words per minute but I was wrong.  I was able to keep up with about 90 wpm.  I topped out at 99 for one test.  I can't consistently do that.  I type with my left hand properly but use my right in some hybrid between hunt and peck and proper finger usage.  I am retraining my right to use the keys with the right fingers.  This will bring down my errors and bring up my speed. 

Typing may not be all that fun but I use it so much that the practicality of doing it well is a good incentive for me to do better. 


I am now two thirds of the way through Becoming Enlightened by the Dalai Lama.

In short, he has taken 2,600 years of documents, read most of them, meditated more than most people, is the Buddha incarnate and has condensed all of these teachings and experience into 250 pages.

My short interpretation is this:

The first step is making the choice that you want to improve yourself and your life. That is the most important step of all. Once you do this, changes flow in as quickly as you are willing to let them assuming your dedication is sincere.

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A good friend and colleague of mine sent me a wonderful gift. She knows my love of English tea and my infatuation with the propriety and ritual of English meals.

She sent me the gift of proper English loose leaf tea. It is a 250gram bag of Yorkshire Tea by Taylors of Harrogate (The official supplier of beverages to The Price of Whales) along with some Yorkshire biscuits and some Harrogate Toffees. She is Welsh which is very close to Yorkshire (or perhaps part of it, I am not certain). She is very proud of her area and heritage.

I am now sitting down to a late cup o' tea just to try it. I have poured the suggested amount of leaves into the teapot-shaped infuser she sent in the package. It has just finished steeping so I set the infuser onto the little chrome saucer. It smells great. The Assam & African tea blend is so tasty. I did not add any white sugar to this cup as I am enjoying the flavour (go English spelling) of the tea.

On my last trip to the UK I was taught proper procedure for how to treat my teas. Herbal (pronounce the H or you will be ridiculed) gets nothing. You could add honey but you wouldn't usually do that. With ordinary teas (I guess ordinary is anything other than herbal) you could add white sugar. Turbinado sugar is reserved for coffee. They say the best way to make tea is the way you like it but they really mean to do it according to these rules. The consequence is I would be quietly noticed as an eccentric American who does not know tea.

I do love the exchange of culture to and from anywhere. We have a date to have tea latter this week via Skype video conference. We'll probably double up and make it a work conference since she is doing a talk for us later and we have a few things left to sort out.

Have a great evening everyone.

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