Yet Another Obsession
The plural of anecdote is not data...

A Random Firing of Neurons
In the depths of my soul I know we will survive...

Musings on my life, fanfiction, philosophy, physics and other strange stuff.

Friending is welcome, and usually returned.

"Be open-minded, but not so open-minded that your brains fall out."

Words of Wisdom - Carl Sagan:
"Our species needs, and deserves, a citizenry with minds wide awake and a basic understanding of how the world works."

"We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology."

"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

"Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence."

"Skeptical scrutiny is the means, in both science and religion, by which deep insights can be winnowed from deep nonsense."

"You can't convince a believer of anything; for their belief is not based on evidence, it's based on a deep seated need to believe."

"Science is not only compatible with spirituality; it is a profound source of spirituality."

"It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring."

"Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of
confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us -- and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along."

January 2015

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Getting to be a once-a-year visit here. :( But all the best to you all for the new year. Can't be worse than the last one.

I'm feeling a little: optimistic optimistic

My Dad died last night at about 3:30 am, peacefully, and in hospice. Myself, his cousin and her daughter, and his little dig Frannie were all able to be there with him at the end. We still can't really comprehend the reality of his absence; the house is permeated with his presence.

The last words I heard clearly from him were "I love you."

I love you too, Dada. I hope you knew how much.

I got that call from the hospital that no one ever wants to hear. My Dad is no longer breathing very well, and by his own request does not want any heroic measures taken.
His cousin Heidi Ross and I are heading back to the hospital to be with him as soon as we can. He'll be comfortable and we'll be with him.

I'm so grateful that I've been able to spend these last weeks here with him. Between the hard times there have been some very good times. We made crepes together, and he makes the best garlic bread that you've ever tasted. We got out shopping and to various appointments together. We laughed at how he was hardly ever able to stay awake for an entire episode of America's Got Talent.

We were very different in temperament; I'm not sure he knew where his left-leaning introverted daughter came from, but he loved me and was always there for me in any way that he could be when I needed hep.

I love you Dada. I hope you know how much.

Happy new year

Wishes for everyone in the new year.

This entry was originally posted at Comment wherever you please.

I'm feeling a little: awake awake
Birthday wishes

Happy day to my birthday family [profile] jadestarla, [personal profile] speaker_to_customers and [personal profile] sparkindarkness. Hope you all have a great day. I'm planning to drive out to Banff tonight for some quality fondue time. And then I'll have to book an appointment at the drycleaner to get the oil smell out of my clothes...

I'm 11000 today, if you can count in binary.

This entry was originally posted at Comment wherever you please.

I'm feeling a little: chipper chipper
Calgary flooding

We're fine; high and dry 13 stories up, and far from the rivers. But it's been essentially a 100-year flood; no one has seen such devastation since about 1923.


The Stampede pledges to go ahead, even though it's less than two weeks now to parade day. We'll be a long time recovering.

ETA: Above photo is from the Calgary Herald gallery on the flood here

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Happy Holidays

and Merry Christmas, which I still celebrate, godless heathen though I am. :D Belief in our common humanity and good will to all is something worthy to strive for, regardless of the source of the feeling.

I hope you all are well, and have the opportunity to be with family and loved ones (not necessarily always the same group, are they?). I am fortunate to have met you all, and though I don't post much any more, I am here every day to see what's up in your lives.

Finished buying and wrapping the last of the presents today, and lots of goodies, after an early-morning swim (last one until Thursday now), and was home just after noon to hunker down and start the cooking process.

Replete with turkey, we have listened to Alan Maitland reading "The Shepherd", an annual tradition. I've watched "How to Train Your Dragon" at last, and now the fireplace channel is crackling away merrily. It will be nice to not get up at between 5 and 7 in the morning for a couple of days.

Submitted 79 pages of the yearbook today. You know what they say: "If it weren't for the last minute, nothing would ever get done." Sigh. Every year we say we'll be more organized. Uh huh. Sure. Now, with online access to our files, I can let it go later than ever! Still, nearly half done. One of the ladies I swim with was actually a grad of my school back in '98, which was the first year I helped with the yearbook, and she says she still likes to take it out and look it over from time to time. Interesting how things connect and come around.

Off to sugarplum dreamland now. Good night/morning all, as your timezone would have it.

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I'm feeling a little: content content
Remembrance Day 2012

At school we had our assembly and service on Thursday, it being the last day of the week with long enough periods to accommodate it. Choir, band, strings, and drama students all gave moving performances.

The mention of Battalion Park in my previous post reminded me. One of the six names chosen from our memorial wall was a WWI veteran who was stationed here and was part of the group that laid out the battalion numbers on the hill that I can see from our window.

We are a (relatively) new school building (44 years - which by European standards is barely an infant, I know), with a history going back to 1910 when the first Central High School opened in what is now downtown Calgary. As such, we have plaques of remembrance in our entry foyer commemorating those who served and were killed in both World Wars... and as of last year we now have a plaque for Stephen Marshall, grad of 2002, who was killed in Afghanistan.

We could do without making any more such memories...

This entry was originally posted at Comment wherever you please.

I'm feeling a little: melancholy melancholy
Remembrance Day 2012

Got up early as is my habit to watch the ceremonies from Ottawa. I'm always glad for the veterans and the crowd when the weather is reasonably cooperative; today in Ottawa was cloudy and looked cold, but no wind or rain or snow as has happened in previous years.

We have no WWI veterans remaining; the last one died a few years ago. The ranks of the veterans from WWII and Korea are thinning. That there are fewer veterans now from Afghanistan speaks more to the dreadful efficiencies of modern warfare rather than to the idea that we are becoming more civilized.

And yet, in spite of what our hyperconnectivity might seem to tell us, we are living in history's least violent age. It is far from perfect, as anyone with eyes to see or ears to hear can tell for themselves, but I live in hope that we progress, though our incremental improvement be ever so painfully slow.

Just this moment I heard the sounds of a bugle playing the Last Post from Battalion Park across the hill.

Lest we forget.

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I'm feeling a little: thankful thankful
Hearing things: Last Post

So, when one is playing mahjong (as one does) while waiting for one's internet connection to be restored (because there's DNS issues down the pipes somewhere, apparently), it really says something when the game suggests there are 12 possible matches... and you can't see any of them.

What it says is apparently not very complementary...

This entry was originally posted at Comment wherever you please.

I'm feeling a little: cynical cynical
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