The Electronics Shop

By admin |

There's a bit in Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance where Robert M. Pirsig says that there are two types of mechanics [I'm paraphrasing]: those who have to have a place for everything and everything in its place, and those who remember where they put everything down. If you disturb either one of their organization schemes, they won't be able to find anything.

One Night in Cleveland

By Ben |

In 1996, my sister and her boyfriend had just moved into a new apartment in Pittsburgh, and they invited my family to join them for Christmas. I decided to take the bus there from my college in Grinnell, Iowa, which meant I had layovers in Des Moines, Chicago, and Cleveland. As I recall, the Cleveland layover was from roughly 11pm to 2am.

The Cleveland bus terminal back then was one big hall, with gates on three sides and a ticket counter on the fourth, with seats in the middle of the room and restrooms up a flight of stairs. I settled in to wait.

Some things I've learned from Dad

By Ben |

Both my parents turn 80 this year. Dad's birthday is first. Here are some of the life lessons I've learned from him specifically, that I wouldn't have got from just any father.

The road less traveled is there to be explored.

Dad has always made it his business to know where every road or path goes and what one can find there. He rarely takes the same route twice in a row. Often a routine trip home from church in Tulsa or visiting his parents in OKC would turn into an adventure in the countryside, as he would spot a road he didn't recognize and turn off to explore it.

Ben's 2016 Facebook quips

By admin |

If I were a right-wing conspiracy theorist, I would think that the reason the Democrats are allowing the Trump presidency farce to play out is so that all the white supremacists and misogynists feel comfortable identifying themselves on social media, in order to compile a registry of such people for use after Clinton takes office. Because otherwise I would have to admit that I was totally dead wrong about Obama's motives for the last 8 years, and that would be awkward.Mining ever closer to the present...

Beyond Evolution

By admin |

When I finished reading The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity by David Graeber and David Wengrow, I immediately started reading it a second time. I can count on one hand the number of times I've immediately reread a book, and two of them were on similar topics, so before I tell you what I thought of the new book, I'll tell you about the other two so we can see how they relate.