Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Use Your Lightning Bolt!

I'm finally closing in on finishing off my start-to-finish re-reading of nearly all of the Knights of the Dinner Table saga. So there should be a post coming soon on that. To whet your appetite in the meantime, let me recommend for your general 80s-retro enjoyment this awesome, awesome vintage Dungeons & Dragons TV advertisement from YouTube.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

My Wacky Bachelor Weekend

Hmmn ... that post title sounds rather like the title of a dubious Judd Apatow comedy starring Jack Black, Vince Vaughn, several Wilson and Baldwin Brothers, Madonna, a random member of the cast of the American version of "The Office," Carrie Fisher, and Fritzi the Wonder Mule.

Nonetheless, I feel the documentary pressures of the blog demand a full accounting of what I did with my weekend while Monique was off in Milwaukee:

  • Slept in
  • Ate some cereal on the porch and read the paper
  • Checked my fantasy baseball teams
  • Walked Katie the Beagle
  • Ate a salami sandwich
  • Watched some afternoon baseball (White Sox vs. Cubs)
  • Read comic books
  • Ate some nachos
  • Took a nap
  • Watched the Tigers play the Astros.
  • Posted a bit on a fantasy baseball board
  • Sat on the porch and watched the Commerce Lake fireworks
  • Fixed the subwoofer on my movie surround sound
  • Checked the subwoofer fix by watching the pod-racing scene of Star Wars, Episode I: The Phantom Menace.
  • Got sucked in and watched most of Phantom Menace (I must confess that I fast-forwarded through a lot of Jar-Jar Binks) plus 1/2 of Star Wars, Episode II: Attack of the Clones.
  • Went to bed
  • Comforted beagle, who was quite distraught that Monique had not yet returned.
Um, and it turns out that that may have been my big-accomplishment day. Today did, however, bear some resemblance:

  • Slept in
  • Read some of the Sunday paper
  • Listened to "The Puzzler" on NPR Weekend Edition
  • Ate brunch on the porch (fried egg sandwiches on English muffins, and some cantelope)
  • Read a bit more of the paper
  • Watched some of the Sunday-morning talking heads
  • Took Katie the Beagle for a long walk
  • Ate some watermelon
  • Watered the potted plants
  • Returned the neighbor's goldfish
  • Watched the Tigers play the Astros
  • Lay in the hammock and read some more comic books
  • Cleaned the kitchen
  • Made a pizza pie (today's ingredients: artichoke hearts, eggplant, mushrooms, yellow bell pepper, onion, salami)
  • Ate some pizza pie
  • Watched the rest of Attack of the Clones.
Um, and that was pretty much it. Even I am astonished at how little I managed to do this weekend. It was mostly just 48 hours of me and the dog, hangin' out on a beautiful weekend on the lake. I wasn't even ambitious enough to go fishing, which may be the most pathetic thing I've ever written in this blog.

If you paid $10 for tickets to this movie, you should demand a refund. I guess a skilled screenwriter might do something with "returned the neighbor's goldfish" but I have a hard time seeing more than a brief Saturday Night Live skit coming out of that item. It hardly feels like a full-length feature film.

And, speaking of feature films, I've got Star Wars, Episode III: Revenge of the Sith fired up and ready to go. Gosh, I hope it ends well for Anikan and Padmé. They seem like such a nice couple, I'm sure it'll turn out all right.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Insecure Beagle Misses Her Mistress

Monique traveling,
Katie the Beagle at home.
I've gained a shadow!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Caution: Traffic Hazard Ahead

Blonde in bikini,
Sunning lakeside by the road.
She stands up. Whiplash!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Yours Truly, Mr. Wilson

I was inexplicably exhausted when I came home from work today, and so I lay down on the couch to take a nap. Within seconds of my head hitting the pillow, one of the little blonde girls from next door came in with Monique and started chatting up a storm, asking many questions, including why I was sleeping.

And at that moment it occurred to me that I had become Mr. Wilson, the grumpy, bald, old next-door neighbor of "Dennis the Menace" fame who was always taking a nap when Dennis came over. (Well, it was a little girl, so it was perhaps more of a "Denice the Menace" episode, but work with me here, folks.)

Good heavens, I don't remember putting that down on my list of career goals when I talked to the guidance counselor in high school.

Just imagine the multiple-choice questionaire:

Please select your top career goal:

1) Astronaut
2) Game-Show Host
3) Vice-President of the United States
4) Mr. Wilson, of Dennis the Menace

Monday, June 22, 2009

Look at me! Look at me! Or not?

I read an interesting article in yesterday's NY Times business section about some newly released video-editing software that can be used to significantly sharpen the images in home videos: Those Big Bright Eyes May Soon Be Brighter.

The software itself is interesting, but I was particularly struck by this little quote towards the bottom of the article (bolding mine):

Jon Peddie, who heads Jon Peddie Research, a consulting firm in Tiburon, Calif., said specialized software like vReveal might prove popular with consumers as more of them create and post videos.

“There’s a huge potential market for products like this,” Mr. Peddie said. “If two of us are at the same soccer game, each photographing it with a cheap camera, but I do some enhancing afterward,” that video will look better and get more views.

It kinda struck me that "get more views" would've been the last goal I would have thought mattered in improving the video of some kid's soccer game because who's going to watch this thing other than Grandma and Grandpa? So, I would've assumed the goal would be, "Will look better when a small handful of family members watch it." (And I rather suspect that would be the genuine goal of most people who would buy the software.)

But there really is a certain aspect of "Look at me!" to all of this for those of us who post various items on the Internet, especially in formats such as blogs, YouTube, and Twitter. And I'm occasionally struck by the widespread notion that the true and absolute measure of online value is the number of hits that an item receives.

To some extent I understand that this is an extension of business drivers for Web-based businesses. For them, "more hits" really does equal "more money". But what about for the rest of us?

I do this little blog as a fun way of updating my friends and family on what I'm up to and what's on my mind. So I do expect a certain amount of traffic from a couple dozen people, and would probably be a bit saddened if nobody ever read it or commented and I didn't muster up my 20 or so hits per day. And it certainly isn't inconceivable that an occasional visitor from somewhere outside that circle might stumble across it, as happened when I insulted Mark Rothko's paintings.

Heck, if I post something here that I think folks might enjoy, I even throw a link up on Facebook, where it can be seen by my ever-growing list of Facebook friends, now up to an astounding 218 people. But all-in-all, I don't think that I'm competing with anybody else for "more views" of this blog.

So does that mean that I don't care about "building an audience" for this little blog? Or just that I'm only trying to build a selected audience?

I'm not really sure what I'd blog about if I was trying to build a lot of traffic, but I would assume it would mean fewer beagle haikus, so the heck with that idea. Let nobody doubt that this is the Internet's #1 source for Katie the Beagle poems (which gives rather a whole new sense to the concept of "the long tail" of online content, now that I think about it.)

But I can't help but wonder if I'm missing some basic point when I find myself at such genuine odds with underlying assumptions that seem to be shared so many people. Should I be trying to build an audience? If so, to what end?

I dunno, my loyal "Followers" what do you all think?

Friday, June 19, 2009

Thunder God

Monique is the center of Katie the Beagle's universe,
The giver of lunch and walks,
The rubber of belly and scratcher of ears.
Monique is Freyja the Earth Goddess.
She makes the bunny rabbits appear,
Magically untangles the leash,
Saves the warm, dry beagle from little girls
Who want to drag the beagle
Through the cold water of the sprinkler,
When all a tired beagle really wants
Is to bask in warm sunlight.

And so it should be no surprise
That Katie the Beagle spends her days
Prostrate in a comfy bed,
Worshipping her Earth Goddess
Who types away the day
With her faithful beagle at her side.

It should be no suprise
That Katie the Beagle spends her nights
Curled in a comfy bed,
At the side of her Earth Goddess
Who slumbers away the night
With her faithful beagle at her side.

Except when the thunder strikes in the dark.

When the windows rattle and the walls shake,
And dark forces break the peace
With the clash of hammers and drums,
Then Katie the Beagle comes to my side of the bed
And sits in the dark, staring up at me,
Her shaking body lit only by flashes of lightning
As she asks for protection from the fury
That shakes her in the night.

Does she think I control the thunder?
Am I Thor, that I can call the storm into being
Then dismiss it with with a wave of my hand?
If Monique can be Freyja
Can I not control the skies?
Can I not call down the lightning?
Or return it to the clouds
To protect a wee beagle
From the wrath of nature unbound?

This may be a promotion.
Usually I am at best a minor beagle deity,
A lesser-known God of Liver Snaps,
Backup deity in the Pantheon of Ear Scratchers,
Obscure consort of the all-important Earth Goddess.

The God of Thunder bears more responsibility
Than the God of Liver Snaps.
A small frightened beagle in the night
Seeks audience with Thor,
But finds instead a sleepy scratcher of ears
As the windows rattle in the early morning dark.

But since the thunder eventually goes away,
Perhaps I am the Thunder God, too.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

You can all fill in the details

Katie the Beagle,
The freshly painted white bench,
Her new "blonde" highlights.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

John's Shelf of Constant Reproach

My friend Adam Goodman recently pointed me towards a recent NPR.org blog entry by Lynn Neary called 'The Shelf Of Constant Reproach': Best Books You Never Read.

Adam wrote up his own shelf of constant reproach, which you can read if you "friend" him on Facebook. I reckoned that my own list might make a good blog entry:

The Sound and the Fury (Faulkner) -- I believe I had this assigned in four different college classes and I wrote four different literature papers focusing on the first section of the book. Why? Because I couldn't stand this book and couldn't make myself read the rest. Perhaps one day I will make amends for my sketchy collegiate career and read the damn thing.

War and Peace (Tolstoy) -- I was genuinely enjoying it when I got distracted and set it down five years ago, about 300 pages in. I have yet to pick it back up, and now I fear I'll need to go back to the beginning to be able to keep everybody straight. That fear is what has kept me away from picking it back up, and year-by-year the fear is morphing into guilt.

One Hundred Years of Solitude (Márquez) -- This omission doesn't really haunt me like the others, since I still mean to get around to it and expect to enjoy it when I do. But I really do feel as if I should have read this by now.

Other than those three there are obviously lots and lots and lots of books that I'd like to read that I still haven't read yet. Heck, I've knocked off less than half of the Telegraph's list of 100 Novels Everyone Should Read, having only read 37 of them by my count. But that doesn't keep me up nights. I'm sure I'll keep knocking off the occasional classic, but other than the three titles above there's not really anything else that I feel genuinely bad about not having read yet ... at least there are none that I can think of right now. I'm sure more will eventually come to mind and I'm sure there are some that others would be shocked that I never read.

(Interestingly, I see that I knocked off only 28 of Time's All-Time 100 Novels, thus doing worse on the American publication's list than I did on the British publication's list. Since two of the books on Time's list are by Thomas Pynchon, and since I have read both and would put neither on my own top 100 list, I view the unread 72 with reduced guilt.)

Come to think of it, that list above is only three books, albeit big books. I could probably knock them off this Summer and enjoy a lighter load of guilt on my shelf this Fall. I usually try to knock off an as-yet-unread classic or two every year, so I guess I have three nominees in hand for this year's efforts. However, they have successfully eluded me thus far, so don't expect any dramatic developments anytime soon.

Um, so in the midst of these high-falutin' literary ambitions, what was my last big reading project? Glad you asked. I sorted out my copies of Knights of the Dinner Table: Bundles of Trouble, Vols. 1-26 (collecting issues 1-89 of the comic) and read them in order. Yeah, that didn't appear on either of the big lists, but it was a lot funnier than most of those entries. It had more insight into the human condition than some of them, too. Hopefully, I'll get around to a full entry on that deranged saga sometime soon.

P.S. As an interesting point of comparison, here's a link to the list of Ten Books That I've Read That Have Stuck with Me that I posted back in March.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Gran Torino

Long time no post. What can I say? It was a hectic week, followed by an overall lazing about weekend. Here's a quick movie review to start your week:

Gran Torino -- Clint Eastwood is the crankiest old man in the neighborhood, and you do not want to hit your ball into his yard, punk.

Monique and I both liked it, but split a bit on how much. She felt it was one of the best movies she has seen in years, while I didn't think it was quite up to the level of Clint's best directorial efforts, but still well worth watching, especially if you live around Detroit. This was one of the first movies filmed here after the movie-industry bill was passed, and it really does benefit from a genuine sense of place.

Both Clint and Bee Vang -- who plays Thao, the Hmong boy next door -- were strong in the lead roles, as was Ahney Her as Thao's sister Sue. I thought the developing mentoring relationship between Clint and Bee Vang's characters worked much better than the gang-violence storyline or some of the supporting characters, who often seemed more like quickly sketched caricatures than genuine characters.

Check it out, especially since this may be Clint's last steely-eyed go-round in front of the camera.

IMDB: Gran Torino.
Netflix: Gran Torino.
Rotten Tomatoes (80%): Gran Torino.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Now pitching for your Washington Nationals: Number K-9, Katie the Beagle.

Here's a little online exchange that cracked me up yesterday in a discussion of yesterday's major-league baseball draft on the fantasy baseball board that I hang at. The top pick was college pitcher Stephen Strasburg from. He was chosen by the Washington Nationals, who have had a terrible bullpen this year.

Circle360: If Strasburg signs early the Nationals might feel the need to have him pitch in the majors this year, Which might not be in his best interest since he has already thrown a bunch of innings this year.

Patioboater: If they want to keep his innings down they could maybe just use him to pitch just one inning a game, the ninth, and only when the Nats have a close lead. He couldn't do any worse than the current assortment in their bullpen.

Of course, my 13-inch beagle couldn't do any worse than the current assortment.

Frank Noto @ HQ: What's her out pitch?

Patioboater: The "roll on my back and ask you to scratch my belly" pitch. That may not sound all that effective, but it would be an improvement on what Julian Tavarez has been throwing so far this year.

Howie M: The beagle already scratches like a big leaguer, I hear.

Patioboater: ... and she has fewer fleas than Joe Beimel.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Yummy! Lentil Curry Stew

This really didn't start out to be a purposeful recipe. I just started throwing together things that I picked up at the Eastern Market yesterday, and it turned out to be extremely delicious. So, I'm writing it down here.

  • 1/2-cup olive oil.
  • 1 eggplant, finely diced.
  • 4 leeks, sliced.
  • 1 green bell pepper, finely diced.
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced.
  • 1 dozen roma tomatoes, cubed or diced.
  • Several minced or pressed garlic cloves.
  • 1/2-cup curry powder.
  • 1 12-oz. can of light or regular coconut milk.
  • 2 cups water.
  • 1 one-pound bag of dried lentils.
If you prep the eggplant, leeks, bell pepper, tomatoes, and garlic in that order, the timing is right to just add them as they are ready.

  • Heat a big pot. (I used our big cast-iron dutch oven.)
  • Add the olive oil.
  • Sautee the diced eggplant in the olive oil until the eggplant has absorbed the oil.
  • Add the leeks.
  • Add the bell pepper.
  • Add the tomatoes after the leeks are at least a bit sauteed.
  • Add the garlic.
  • Add the curry powder.
  • Simmer at a low heat for an hour, until the tomatoes are stewed and the leeks are soft.
  • Add the coconut milk, the water, and the lentils.
  • Stew another 30-40 minutes until the lentils are soft and cooked.
We served it with some brown rice, though it would be fine on its own or even with noodles.


  • The curry gives it a nice kick, but you could certainly add a hot pepper or two if you're looking for something spicier.
  • You might try adding a second can of coconut milk in the place of some of the water.
  • We used light coconut milk, which has 75% less fat than regular coconut milk. Going regular coconut milk and/or bumping up to two cans might add a bit more body, but the stew had a really nice body already from the stewed eggplant.
  • You could probably use a big can of diced or stewed tomatoes instead of the fresh roma tomatoes.
  • I thought about adding a few peaches, which might give it a nice fruity flavor. Mangos might work for that, too.
  • Heck, do whatever you want. I just made it up as I went along.

This n'That

Just passing along a couple of conversational items that cracked me up this morning.


On reading a story in this morning's paper about Amish communities moving from Pennsylvania and Ohio to Montana and Colorado.

John: Interesting, the Amish are moving West.
Monique: Really? How?
John: Slowly, I presume.


As John and Monique saw a hot-rod with exposed front struts and engine on the TV.

Monique: I don't like that skeleton look. I like a nice, chubby car.

Friday, June 5, 2009

June Sunrise

On a cool June morning tendrils of mist and fog
Rise from the still waters of the lake.

The sun rises above the full green branches of trees.
It lights the mist, then melts it away.
Cottonwood seeds ride the lake's shimmering surface
While songbirds work their own morning routine.

A blue heron walks along the wooden seawall
Searching the shallows for his morning meal.
He is a prehistoric figure, a dweller of swamps
With the same gait as so many generations before.

On such a morning it is impossible to deny
The harmony, the purpose, and the mystery
Of Life.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Rhymin' Ballad of Dirk McGurk

Rhymin' is a lot of work,
A duty that we should not shirk,
So I'll write about a rhymin' Turk
Whose name must needs be Dirk McGurk,
Who when surprised thus stutters, "Erk?"
That is a quite annoying quirk.
What shall I do with pesky Dirk?
Shall I have him cuss by saying, "Firk!"
Or send him on a trip to Herk-
imer. <-- Forced rhyme like that makes meter murk,
Though the license is my poet's perq.
What else to do with Dirk the Jerk?
He could meet up with Captain Kirk.
They could a pot of coffee perk,
But their breakfast plan would go bezerk
When they drank fresh-squeezed juice of orange.

Interregnum: The Not-So-Smooth Poetic Segue

This little post doesn't really have anything important to say. It's just that I wrote two poems this afternoon when I got back from lunch, and they were completely different in tone and structure. It's hard to believe the same brain contained the same two poems at the same time, but I reckon that's why it feels so crowded in my skull some days.

Really, the blog format doesn't support a smooth segue between two completely different poems that arrived at the same time, especially since some folks will be reading up, some will be reading down, and some will be reading the little subset of posts called "poetry".

And thus, this little post, in which I tell you that the next poem is different, no matter which direction you're reading. If it has made the transition less jarring, it has done its job, albeit in an entirely too verbose manner.

Cue John Cleese: "And now for something completely different--"


I hit a sparrow as I drove in to work this morning.
I had slowed to go through an intersection.
He changed direction to fly up, away from me.
It was just a glancing blow on my windshield,
A soft, puffy thump of feathers in my vision ...

... and then he was gone, up, over the roof of my car.

When I looked back I saw
A flutter of grey and brown wings
Out of the corner of my eye.
But there were cars all about me,
And I don't know whether he was flying
Or falling.

And then I was through the intersection and saw no more.

I wish you well, little bird.
I hope the same feathers that help you fly
Spared you from my car,
And left you surprised but safe,
Singing a slightly indignant song
That begins:

I hit a windshield as I flew in to work this morning....

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Godfather, Part III: An offer you *can* refuse

Monique and I just watched the Godfather trilogy. It was on the HD Movie Network over Memorial Day weekend (HD, no ads. Yippee!) It had been quite a while since I had seen I and II, Monique had only seen the first one, and neither of us had seen III, so I recorded them all on the DVR and we finally watched them all over the last few days.

No surprise, Godfathers I & II continue to stand up well. Four-star stuff, and if you've never seen them, do yourself a favor and watch 'em., preferably together. I prefer the first one, but there are lots of responsible opinions in favor of #2, and I shan't quibble here.

But the third one is a stinker. It was made about fifteen years after the others, and after watching it I can only conclude that Francis Ford Coppola needed more money for his winery up in Rutherford, CA. (Which is very cool and well worth touring -- a much better use of your three hours than this crappy movie.)

I knew Godfather, Part III had gotten bad reviews, but somehow I had let the hope that there was still one more half-decent Godfather flick out there that I hadn't yet seen. My hopes were in vain. I had pretty low expectations going in, and it didn't come close to meeting them. I shan't relive the horror, except to say that for the first hour or so, I thought a good editor might have saved this movie. The final two hours convinced me that it was an unredeemable mess. Worse yet, both Monique and I guessed the ultimate end less than five minutes into the flick.

And I don't think I'll even go into the weird cousin-love subplot, except to say that I thought the Corleones came from Sicily, not deepest Appalachia.

I could go on and on, but why bother. It was crap. You've been warned.

The last thing I'll say is that tonight Monique and I are watching Terror of Mechagodzilla (1978) and it makes quite a bit more sense than Godfather, Part III.

I won't even provide a link out to number three, so as not to encourage any of you. But here are a couple of handy links to more on Godfather, Parts I & II, which I would heartily encourage anybody to watch, or watch again.

The Godfather
The Godfather, Part II

The Godfather
The Godfather, Part II

Grilled Peaches. Yummy!

Here's a tasty and easy dessert recipe that a friend of mine from one of my fantasy baseball leagues passed along. He picked it up from Bobby Flay, of Food Network fame.



  • 4 large ripe freestone peaches
  • 8 (3-inch) cinnamon sticks
  • 8 fresh mint leaves
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup dark rum
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch salt

Rinse the peaches and blot them dry with paper towels. Cut each peach in half and discard the pit. Then, cut each peach into quarters. Using a pointed chopstick or metal skewer, make a starter hole in the center of each peach quarter, working from the pit side to the skin side. Skewer 2 peach quarters on each cinnamon stick, placing a mint leaf between the 2 quarters. Combine the butter, brown sugar, rum, cinnamon, and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil over high heat. Let the glaze boil until thick and syrupy, about 5 minutes.

Prepare and preheat the grill to high. Brush and oil the grate. Next, place the skewered peaches on the hot grate and grill until nicely browned, 3 to 4 minutes per side, basting with the rum and butter glaze. Spoon any remaining glaze over the grilled peaches and serve at once.


We put most of ours on a metal skewer and only did a couple of the cinnamon-stick skewers. The ones on the metal skewer were every bit as yummy, though the cinnamon-stick skewer does make for a very cool display. Having a bed of mint by our porch made acquiring the mint super easy, but you could certainly do it without the mint leaves and still have yummy grilled peaches.

Monique and I served ours over vanilla ice cream. It was extremely yummy. I suspect we'll be serving up quite a few more grilled peaches before the summer is out.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Assorted items for a Monday evening

First off, a link to the Sunday Telegraph article on the new Gale database, British Literary Manuscripts: Oscar Wilde love letters among thousands of literary originals in new collection.

Here's how they describe the collection:

The handwritten, intimate correspondence is among 600,000 pages of manuscripts and original documentation in a new online resource called British Literary Manuscripts Online c1660-1900.

The collection is the first of its kind and could revolutionise the study of English literature.

Until now, the material, which includes letters, diaries, sketches and early drafts of works by such literary greats as Charles Dickens, William Blake, the Brontës, Robbie Burns, Walter Scott and Wilde, has been scattered across the globe in different libraries and has been impossible to source in a single place.

I know there's often this murky question out there among my family and friends about what it is exactly that I do at my job. In this case, I went through a lot of the preliminary content about three years ago and came up with a strategy and plan for how we could use controlled author and work names on this 600,000+ pages of handwritten manuscripts, so that people using the database can search easily and consistently for specific items or groups of related items. I won't go into the details, but it was pretty complicated, since we didn't have the manuscripts themselves yet and had to work off a series of "finding aids" that the British Library had assembled over the last fifty years or so and our budget was limited.

Um, and then I asked for status updates as other people did the genuine work. (Call that the "management" part of my gig.) That's pretty much what the "Manager of Indexing and Metadata Tagging" does. I figure out clever, practical, and affordable ways to search accurately across vast piles of data. Then I ask somebody else to do the real work.

The real point here is that I worked on something that yesterday's Sunday Telegraph claims "could revolutionise the study of English literature" and even if you spell "revolutionise" in the silly British way, that's still pretty cool. (And I'm sure it would be a huge shock to any number of my former English Lit professors to know that I was involved in creating such a thing.)


Item #2 is a very interesting article from The Atlantic on the "Grant Study", a long-term study that followed several hundred Harvard students from the 1940s over nearly 70 years, and which had as one of its goals determining why it is that some people succeed in life, while others do not: What Makes Us Happy?

Here's one of its most interesting points:

In an interview in the March 2008 newsletter to the Grant Study subjects, (Dr. George) Vaillant (the study's director for the last 42 years) was asked, “What have you learned from the Grant Study men?” Vaillant’s response: “That the only thing that really matters in life are your relationships to other people.”

I won't go into the article in depth here, but it's a fabulous read for many reasons. Not least of which is that it leads you to reflect on the course of your own life.


The last item that I have to pass along results from a silly little Facebook quiz. Those of you who have been on Facebook know that these things are all over the place. About every two weeks or so one catches my eye. In this case, I'm sure it comes as no surprise that I found this quiz irresistable: What Godzilla character are you?

The results? According to the quiz -- which I'm sure carries every bit as much scientific validity as that 70-year Harvard study run by assorted doctors, sociologists, and psychiatrists:

John took the What Godzilla character are you? quiz and the result is You are Godzilla!

Nobody else can dominate your domain. You are brash, yet loyal. You can be protective as well as destructive in your social endevors. In the end, you are the master over all that you put your mind to.

Well sure, that makes sense. It does, however, leave us with one question. Why is it that my beagle is the one with the radioactive fire breath?