Thursday, January 28, 2010

Paranoiac In Reverse

J. D. Salinger's signature.I am a kind of paranoiac in reverse. I suspect people of plotting to make me happy.

-- J. D. Salinger (1 January 1919 - 27 January 2010), American author, Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters (1955)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

RIP Howard Zinn

Howard Zinn Speaking at Marlboro College - 02/17/2004If those in charge of our society -- politicians, corporate executives, and owners of press and television -- can dominate our ideas, they will be secure in their power. They will not need soldiers patrolling the streets. We will control ourselves.

-- Howard Zinn (24 August 1924 - 27 January 2010), American historian, political scientist, playwright and activist, Declarations of Independence: Cross-Examining American Ideology (1991): "American Ideology"

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Very Small Stage

Earth from 22,000 miles 'up'The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

-- Carl Sagan (1934-1996), astronomer and writer

Monday, January 25, 2010

Pre For Me

Palm Pre+Palm Pre+ (Verizon) for me today. I've been carrying a Palm Centro as my combination cell phone/calendar/contacts/clock/music system/data caddy for the past year and a half or so. From the little I've played with it so far, the Pre does *not* feel like a Palm. It does feel like a slick high-tech device.

I've spent over 7 years learning all the Palm OS applications that are useful for the types of things I like to do. I hope it's quicker (and cheaper) to find and learn to use the best Pre software.

Thursday, January 21, 2010


Dalai Lama at Xiaolin Village 31 Aug 09If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion.

-- Dalai Lama Jetsun Jamphel Ngawang Lobsang Yeshe Tenzin Gyatso (1935-), quoted in Meditations for Living In Balance: Daily Solutions for People Who Do Too Much (2000) by Anne Wilson Schaef

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


Flag of the International Committee of the Red CrossI need a better word than unprecedented or amazing to describe what's happened with the text-message program.

-- Red Cross spokesman Roger Lowe, on a campaign that has brought in $22 million in pledges since the earthquake in Haiti, New York Times, 19 January 2010

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

There Comes A Time

1964 July 30Cowardice asks the question, "Is it safe?" Expediency asks the question, "Is it politic?" Vanity asks the question, "Is it popular?" But, conscience asks the question, "Is it right?" And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because one's conscience tells one that it is right.

-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Never Be Afraid

Calendar showing MLK day (and Mumble)Never, never be afraid to do what's right, especially if the well-being of a person or animal is at stake. Society's punishments are small compared to the wounds we inflict on our soul when we look the other way.

-- Martin Luther King Jr. (1929-1968), civil-rights leader

Friday, January 15, 2010

No Bonus

Dollar Sign$500,000 is not a lot of money, particularly if there is no bonus.

-- Wall Street compensation consultant James Reda on Feb. 3, 2009, giving the New York Times a good example of just how totally out of touch the super-rich really are,, "The decade's top 10 quotations", 1 January 2010

Thursday, January 14, 2010


Haiti Quake MapI'm still looking to understand the magnitude of the event.

-- Haitian President Rene Preval, 14 January 2010, on the 7.0 earthquake that hit Haiti

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

2009 Mileage

My 1999 Saturn SC2For the year 2009, driving my 1999 Saturn which now has >217,000 miles, with past years' stats for comparison:
                  2009      2008      2007      2006    2009 delta  % delta
Total miles : 27,307 24,346 25,847 25,111 +2957 +12.1%
Total cost : $1,809.71 $2,188.79 $2,231.76 $1,942.72 -$379.08 -17.3%
Total gallons : 793.73 686.27 812.14 776.47 +107.46 +15.6%
Avg gallons/day : 2.174 1.875 2.225 2.127 +0.299 +15.9%
Avg days/fillup : 4.9 5.3 4.7 4.9 -0.4 - 7.5%
Avg miles/day : 74.81 66.52 70.81 68.80 +8.29 +12.4%
Avg cost/day : $4.90 $5.92 $6.00 $5.27 -$1.02 -17.3%
Avg cost/gal : $2.28 $3.14 $2.75 $2.50 -$0.86 -27.3%
Avg miles/gal : 34.95 35.48 32.24 32.77 -0.53 - 1.5%

The stats are starting to look a little cramped. I'll hafta work on that.

MPG dropped by a fraction, but not by much; I can still claim my car gets 35mpg. The drop in cost for a gallon of gas surprises me -- cheapest year so far, despite the high miles. I ran up the most miles for a year, but not the most gallons of gas. Now I need to cut mileage to <25,000 again.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting On Top

Tom LackeyHe just needs a little more help getting on top of the plane now.

-- Sue Pitham, on the stroke that has slowed down 89-year-old Tom Lackey, who took up wing-walking over the English Channel at 160 miles an hour, New York Times, 8 January 2010

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sufficient Conclusions

Computer connector sockets on laptopsLife is the art of drawing sufficient conclusions from insufficient premises.

-- Samuel Butler, Notebooks, Ch 1, "Life", 9

Friday, January 08, 2010

Suffer A Little

Cold SnapshotIf you want your children to have a peaceful life, let them suffer a little hunger and a little coldness.

-- Chinese Proverb

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Which Is This?

Tamil year signThere are years that ask questions and years that answer.

-- Zora Neale Hurston (1891-01-07 - 1960-01-28), American folklorist and author, "Their Eyes Were Watching God" (1937)

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Being Methodical

Visite à BedlamHe may be mad, but there's method in his madness. There nearly always is method in madness. It's what drives men mad, being methodical.

-- G. K. Chesterton, The Fad of the Fisherman (1922)

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

The Artist's Business

Romain Rolland, Nobel laureate in Literature 1915It is the artist's business to create sunshine when the sun fails.

-- Romain Rolland (1866 - 1944), French writer, 1915 Nobel Laureate in Literature

Monday, January 04, 2010

Look It Over Carefully

Alfred E PerlmanAfter you've done a thing the same way for two years, look it over carefully. After five years, look at it with suspicion. And after ten years, throw it away and start all over.

-- Alfred Edward Perlman (1902-1982), American railway executive