Tuesday, October 31, 2023

Happy Halloween

Happy Halloween!  Despite the 35-degree temperature and the blustery north wind, I had 74 trick-or-treaters stop by my house this evening.  My youngest (age 25) daughter decorated my house, and worked at a haunted house, and kids and grandkids generally had a good time.  I hope you all did as well.

Monday, October 30, 2023


It's not so much where my motivation comes from but rather how it manages to survive.

-- Louise Bourgeois (1911 - 2010), French-American artist and sculptor, quoted in The Guardian, "She'll put a spell on you" (14 October 2007)

Friday, October 27, 2023


Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. 

-- Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), English author and satirist, most famous for his The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series of radio plays and books, Last Chance to See, Chapter 4: Heartbeats in the Night, p. 116

Thursday, October 26, 2023

Political Contests

If the minority is as powerful as the majority there is no use of having political contests at all, for there is no use in having a majority.

-- Theodore Roosevelt, Jr. (27 October 1858 - 6 January 1919), American statesman, author, explorer, and soldier who served as the 26th president of the United States from 1901 to 1909, speech before the Federal Club, New York City, (6 March 1891), as published in New York Daily Tribune (7 March 1891)

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Chanute AFB

RANTOUL, Ill. (WCIA) — Chanute Air Force Base is officially in the hands of the Village of Rantoul after 30 years of environmental cleanup and redevelopment efforts.

Air Force and village officials held a ceremony celebrating the completion of the transfer on Wednesday.  The base was established in 1917 as a training center for pilots and ground crews.  It closed in 1993 as part of the base realignment and closure program, leaving behind more than 2,000 acres of land and hundreds of buildings.

Since then, acres have slowly been given back to the village.  Now, they own it all.

-- Will Simmons, "Rantoul celebrates official transferring of Chanute Air Force Base", wcia.com, 25 October 2023

[My dad went through meteorologist training at Chanute AFB at the beginning of WW II, and stuck around to teach for a year or so before being dispatched to the Pacific.  When I first started "trvth" on CERL PLATO in 1981 I was working as a PLATO lab manager and developer for the Department of Defense (3330th TCHTW/TTGH) at Chanute AFB as appleman/chanute.]

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Only As Young

You're only as young as the last time you changed your mind.

-- Timothy Leary (1920 - 1996), American writer, psychologist, and counterculture icon, as quoted in Office Yoga : Simple Stretches for Busy People (2000) by Darrin Zeer, p. 52

Monday, October 23, 2023

The Mistakes Of Others

You must learn from the mistakes of others -- you will never live long enough to make them all yourself.

-- Harry Myers and Mason M. Roberts, credited to an unnamed person in their book Human Engineering (1932)

Friday, October 20, 2023


Technical skill is mastery of complexity, while creativity is mastery of simplicity.

-- Sir Erik Christopher Zeeman FRS (1925 - 2016), British mathematician known for his work in geometric topology and singularity theory, in From Human to Robot and Back Again: The Process of Rehearsing and Performing, p. 1

Thursday, October 19, 2023

Silly Putty

I don't think there is a single person in that room that can get 217 votes.  People are starting to realize that Kevin McCarthy kept this thing together with duct tape and silly putty.  And it's not as easy as they think.

-- Representative Kelly Armstrong (R-N.D.) on the difficulties the Republican party is having electing a new Speaker of the House of Representatives, which office has now been vacant for 16 days, Politico.com, "House GOP drowning as crisis reaches breaking point", 19 October 2023

Wednesday, October 18, 2023

Managed To Conceal

I have managed to conceal my madness fairly effectively, and as far as I know it hasn't hurt anybody badly, for which I am grateful.

-- William Saroyan (1908 - 1981), Armenian American author, My Heart's in the Highlands (1939)

Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Limited Amount Of Damage

There is usually only a limited amount of damage that can be done by dull or stupid people.  For creating a truly monumental disaster, you need people with high IQs.

-- Thomas Sowell (1930 -), American economist and political commentator, Orange County Register, 30 September 2009

Monday, October 16, 2023

No Need

Faced with the choice between changing one's mind and proving that there is no need to do so, almost everyone gets busy on the proof.

-- John Kenneth Galbraith (1908 - 2006), Canadian-American economist and author, Economics, Peace and Laughter (1971), p. 50

Friday, October 13, 2023

Yanking Its Tail

A dragon’s inertia is not shifted by yanking its tail.

-- Glen David Brin (1950 -), American science fiction author, winner of both the Hugo and Nebula Awards, former NASA consultant and physics professor, Glory Season (1993), Chapter 27 (p. 551)

Thursday, October 12, 2023

Without An Eraser

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.

-- John William Gardner (1912 - 2002), President of the Carnegie Corporation and Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare (HEW) under President Lyndon Johnson, as quoted in Matthew M. Radmanesh, Cracking the Code of Our Physical Universe, p. 269

Wednesday, October 11, 2023


There's a hell of a distance between wise-cracking and wit.  Wit has truth in it; wise-cracking is simply calisthenics with words.

-- Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967), American writer, poet, and critic, Interview, The Paris Review (Summer 1956)

Tuesday, October 10, 2023

From Minds Profound

I might repeat to myself, slowly and soothingly, a list of quotations beautiful from minds profound; if I can remember any of the damn things.

-- Dorothy Parker (1893 - 1967), American writer, poet, and critic, "The Little Hours" in Here Lies (1939)

Monday, October 09, 2023


Saw pardelas and a green rush near the vessel.  The crew of the Pinta saw a cane and a log; they also picked up a stick which appeared to have been carved with an iron tool, a piece of cane, a plant which grows on land, and a board.  The crew of the Nina saw other signs of land, and a stalk loaded with rose berries.  These signs encouraged them, and they all grew cheerful.

-- Christopher Columbus (1451 - 1506), Italian explorer and navigator who completed four voyages across the Atlantic Ocean, opening the way for the widespread European exploration and colonization of the Americas, Journal of the First Voyage, 11 October 1492

Friday, October 06, 2023

Quite So Flexibly

Do American faces so often look so lost because they are most tragically trapped between a very real dread of coming alive to something more than merely existing, and an equal dread of going down to the grave without having done more than merely be comfortable?  If so, this is the truly American disease.  And would account in part for the fact that we lead the world today in insanity, criminality, alcoholism, narcoticism, psychoanalysm, cancer, homicide and perversion in sex as well as in perversion just for the pure hell of the thing.  Never on the earth of man has he lived so tidily as here amidst such psychological disorder.  Never has any people lived so hygienically while daily dousing itself with the ritual slops of guilt.  Nowhere has any people set itself a moral code so rigid while applying it quite so flexibly.

-- Nelson Algren (1909 - 1981), American novelist, essayist, and short story author, Nonconformity (1953/1996)

Thursday, October 05, 2023

Not At All The Same

To have a right to do a thing is not at all the same as to be right in doing it.

-- Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874 - 1936), British writer, A Short History of England (1917)

Wednesday, October 04, 2023

National Alert

National Alert

THIS IS A TEST of the National Wireless Emergency Alert system.  The purpose is to maintain and improve alert and warning capabilities at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial levels and to evaluate the nation's public alert and warning capabilities.  No action is required by the public.

-- Text of the most recent, triennially mandated test of the National Wireless Emergency Alert System, 4 October 2023

Tuesday, October 03, 2023


On this vote, the Yea's are 216, the Nay's are 210, the resolution is adopted.  Without objection, the motion to reconsider is laid on the table.  The office of the Speaker of the House of the United States House of Representatives is hereby declared vacant.  

-- Representative Steve Womack (R-Arkansas), tallying the vote on House Resolution 757, "Declaring the office of Speaker of the House of Representatives to be vacant", as Kevin McCarthy (R-California) became the first House Speaker in history to lose a vote of no confidence, 3 October 2023

Monday, October 02, 2023

A Convert's Enthusiasm

A convert's enthusiasm for his new religion is greater than that of a person who is born into it.

-- Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (2 October 1869 - 30 January 1948), Indian lawyer, anti-colonial nationalist, and political ethicist, in his autobiography The Story of My Experiments with Truth, Part I, Chapter 17, Experiments in Dietetics, vol. I, p. 144