Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Friday, August 31, 2007 12:15 pm

My ride’s here*

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 12:15 pm

Hearse in Lake Daniel Park, fall of '92 or '93

Platform: Nikon FG20
Settings: ASA 400, F1.8, probably 1/60 or 1/30
Date: Fall ’92 or fall ’93, I don’t remember which

I was just walking around Lake Daniel Park with the camera looking for good fog shots, and here’s this hearse parked across the street from someone’s house. It wasn’t black, so I assume it wasn’t in use. Still, spooky, at least to me.

*Title from Warren Zevon album and, yes, it refers to death.

Thursday, August 30, 2007 12:31 pm

Leaving it all on the field stage

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 12:31 pm

World, meet Brandi Carlile. Brandi, meet World.

The last female-singer debut I heard with this combination of melody and power was Melissa Ethridge’s. And Ethridge had a multi-album deal; apparently this lady thinks she’s getting only one shot at greatness.

She looks directly into the camera a tad too often, but she gets my vote.

(h/t: TRex)

UPDATE: YouTube has disabled embedding, but you can see the video here.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007 6:44 am

Half empty, half full? Depends? (Half-full Depends?)

Filed under: Odds 'n' ends — Lex @ 6:44 am

Victoria has been assigned to write an essay on whether a glass of water is half-empty or half-full. It reminded me that sometimes our nonliteral speech sometimes becomes far removed from its literal origin, if not severed entirely. I think this question is an example.

“Half empty” and “half full” can be understood as the glass containing 50% of its total volume, or total usable volume — however you want to define “full.” Then, if you understand “half” as “halfway to,” whether a glass becomes half-empty or half-full depends on whether you’re adding water to the glass at the moment or taking water out. (Given the heat wave, I know which one I’m doing.)

So in its metaphoric stage, the question Victoria was asked to answer is treated as a yes-or-no or bipolar question, when the real, literal answer might be “it depends.” And even that answer has real-world metaphoric uses, so that the connection between literal and metaphoric is closer than usual. If you’re saving for something and have acquired 50% of its cost, perhaps you’d say the glass is half full. If, say, you’re out driving a long way and look at your gas gauge and found it dead stop the one-half marker, then perhaps you’d say the glass, or tank, is half empty. These answers have tangible, real-world connections and aren’t just intended to tease out one or the other half of a binary world view.

So what’s my point? Too many questions are treated as if they have only two possible answers and, worse, that one must be right and the other must be wrong. Such an approach suggests an inability to cope with all of life’s major issues and many of its minor issues, and way too often, it leads to trouble.

Besides which, it utterly fails to take into account whether there is ice in my glass of water.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 12:43 pm

Heading out

Filed under: Salute! — Lex @ 12:43 pm

Kevin cuts the cake before shipping out

Our nephew Marine Lance Cpl. Kevin Ange cuts the cake at his family pig-pickin’ a week before his unit shipped out (which was this past Sunday — we’ve had connectivity problems). His unit is slated to be in Kuwait for seven months. We’ll see. But our thoughts and prayers are with him, and we are grateful for his willingness to serve.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007 7:12 am


Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 7:12 am

Rassafrassin’ cable modem apparently has given up for good. More coming, perhaps, when I can swap it out.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 11:10 pm

Just checking in

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 11:10 pm

When I pretty much laid off blogging about six months ago, I fully intended to return at the same level of productivity as before, about this time or soon after Labor Day.

But a funny thing happened on the way back to the keyboard: After five-plus years and a coupla thousand posts, I discovered I’d gotten tired of blogging.

As I said in that earlier post, I wanted to re-read the entire Harry Potter series, and I did, along with the final book in the series. I’m now reading a history of American infantry in WWII, along with some back issues of the New Yorker. And I find I like that better than blogging.

I’m also, for the first time in my life, trying to get a decent amount of sleep every night. And I find I like that better than blogging.

And I’m trying to get some exercise in a way I haven’t tried since Victoria was born. And I don’t like that better than blogging, but it’s doing me some good — down 15 since the 4th of July.

In fact, I haven’t spent much time on the computer at all lately. Part of it has been that Earthlink’s e-mail server stubbornly refuses to recognize my e-mail clients. Web-based e-mail works fine for most people, and for me in a pinch, but it makes it hard to store or organize stuff. So I’ve responded by just ignoring e-mail for days at a time. And if I can do that, I can ignore blogging as well.

And I’m not spending much time reading blogs as well. My subscription list has dropped from about 125 to about 15, and those 15 are all ones whose authors I know in real life (one of them is work-related). And I don’t comment on those very much.

I’m not quitting. If I shoot another photo I’m vain enough to think you’ll like, I’ll post it. If the kids say something I think you’d enjoy reading, I’ll post that. Maybe. But this slowdown, originally envisioned as a 5- or 6-month thing, might well be permanent.

‘bye, Mike, and thanks for all the hits

Filed under: Panthers — Lex @ 11:05 pm

As a minister, Mike Minter often hit his knees. But now, finally, his knees have hit him.

Minter, a 10-year safety with the Carolina Panthers and defensive captain for the past five, has retired. He had planned to retire anyway after this season, but he decided his knees were too far gone to play even one more down.

In a league predicated on legal violence — roughly 100% of players who last more than a season or two eventually end their careers with some kind of permanent disability — Minter was a particularly hard hitter. At 5 feet 9 and 190 pounds, he had to be just to play the position, and as free safety, he was the defense’s on-field traffic cop.

He leaves the Panthers as the leader in tackles, games started, interception yards and returns for TDs and fumble recoveries and is tied for forced fumbles. Less tangibly, he was the outspoken leader of the defense, a role that men of greater natural talent perhaps passed up. According to the Charlotte Observer story, team owner Jerry Richardson personally challenged All-Pro defensive end Julius Peppers to fill Minter’s shoes in this regard. Peppers is basically a very quiet, very rural Down Easter, but he has the talent to take the role if he can somehow find the voice.

Best of luck to Minter, and the next time Richardson ponders whom else to cast in bronze for permanent repose outside Bank of America Stadium, his period of reflection should start and end with Minter.

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