Archive for March, 2013

Just start at the beginning.

March 15, 2013 Leave a comment

My son learned a great lesson last week after going to work to find he had to mind the shop by himself; everybody else involved had dropped the ball.  After a quick call to The Wife and her encouragement to carry on, he was all alone.  What he learned is that he is just one man and he can only do what he can do.  He did his work, kept the doors open, and the world kept turning.

It doesn’t matter if you’re moving a mountain of bricks or just a few:  It’s only going to go one hod at a time so just get on with it.

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Futile but necessary.

March 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Some things are like that.  Today I was watching while a fellow was dying on Nicol St.  and, as paramedics were working on him I thought of something a friend said to me many years ago.

He was once a site safety and first aid man on a big construction project and said it  was a cushy job until the day when one of the workers fell five stories and he had to, “give CPR to a corpse until an ambulance arrived.”



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We really don’t have any class at all.

March 3, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve written before about a family circumstance that might make us seem more affluent than we really are; if only for a minute.  Here’s another one:

When the whole family gets together for a meal it’s usually pretty relaxed but can sometimes look pretty formal; let’s just say that we all know where the oyster fork goes.  One might assume that this stems from some kind of pretentiousness or even an upper-class background but it’s neither.

Our family does have an upper-class connection but it isn’t a haughty one.  A couple of relatives, many years ago, worked as servants.  When they had families of their own they set their own table the way they knew to be proper:  Just like their master’s.  It became part of the family culture.

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A mountain of sadness and shame, or a type 1 error?

March 3, 2013 Leave a comment

I’ve been sitting on this thought for a while.

There was a book I loved as a boy called The Cuckoos Egg by Clifford Stoll.  It was a non technical work about computer security and in its pages I was introduced to the idea that a foreign analyst could put together supposedly inconsequential pieces of information to uncover or confirm real state secrets.

It can work in everyday life too.  How about this?

  • I had a long conversation with a man I know that included the subject of drug side effects and a remark from him about a prescription acne medicine that causes birth defects.
  • I also remember seeing a vacation picture of the same man’s 20-something daughter with a bare midriff that showed a post gravid paunch that, depending on an individuals hormones and muscle tone, can appear even in the first few weeks of pregnancy and persist for a long time afterward.
  • The daughter isn’t toting around any children.

I’d like to be wrong.


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