Thursday, April 30, 2009
Well, April is about over. This month I was able to acquire a very rare 2nd edition of Marianne Moore's "Observations"--a much-sought book of poetry. It's difficult to get one's hands on a copy for much less than $1K, so I was pleasantly surprised to find this copy for $150.
I'll share one of the poems from "Observations entitled "Poetry:"
I too dislike it:
There are things that are important beyond all this fiddle.
The bat, upside down; the elephant pushing,
a tireless wolf under a tree,
the base-ball fan, the statistician--
"business documents and schoolbooks"--
these phenomena are pleasing,
but when they have been fashioned
into that which is unknowable,
we are not entertained.
It may be said of all of us
that we do not admire what we cannot understand;
enigmas are not poetry.
So that's an argument enshrined in poetry on what poetry is not. I'd like to argue one point about what poetry is good for.
I drive to work along nearly the same route except for rare occasions. I've needed to take a different route and then remember this half-way and have had to turn around. For a variety of mysterious reasons the human mind forms conventions and then once established, not much thought is necessary.
The comparison with electric circuits is applicable. After all, the brain connects one synapse with another and is said to use electricity. The more a circuit is used, the lower the impedance and then a path of least resistance is formed.
Good poetry I think causes thought to jump the track of conventional thinking and can produce an episode of rare discovery and learning. This is not only possible with the concepts treated by the poem within the world of ideas, but also with the words themselves of which the poem is composed.
A poem can cause one to admit something like "Had I not encountered this poem, I never in a million years would have associated those two things together" or "I would never have pictured that scene in exactly that way" or "I would never have thought to use that word."
Reading, thinking about and writing poetry is a good panacea to brain rot. It's an active rather than passive endeavor and can constitute a strenuous form of mental exercise. Happy reading. Your brain will love you for it.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
"Father in Heaven, thankful for this day. Bless the food, make us strong. Thank you that Jesus came back. Name of Jesus Christ, amen."
I was so moved and proud. I love to see my daughter grow in every way, but to see her grow spiritually is something special. I was especially touched by her being thankful for Jesus coming back. We talked about this a bit around Easter, but it's not something we say in prayers all the time, though we should. It really is the most important thing to be thankful for. Sweet and astute little Sally, thank you for making me remember what's really important.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Can you see who is in the background? Thomas! I'm more impressed with Bill. Isn't he so handsome? We got to ride him at Six Flags. We were there for an afternoon because I played there with Ryan Casper. I think he got some good exposure. It was fun too!
Little Alice. What a cutie. I never really use headbands, but I thought she looked adorable.
Look at her, sitting up like a big girl.
Pretty in pink
Sunday, April 5, 2009
"Dad, you're the best." I loved seeing this. It was out of the blue.
"Mama, can I (fill in the blank)? Yes or no." If the answer is no, she'll respond, "Yes?" over and over again. She starts this very calm, but sometimes gets frantic if the answer continues to be no. The girl is persistent.
She still talks about playing the cello. Whenever I talk about me playing the violin, she always talks about how she's going to play the cello. I'm excited she has the desire now! I hope it will last. I would love to have a string quartet in our family, she can definitely follow in Uncle Deej's footsteps.
She loves to build things and line things up in trains, We recently were the lucky recipients of some magna-tiles. I love to see her play with these. She makes lots of shapes and pretends they are all kinds of things- dogs, trains buildings, airplanes, faces. I love to see her imagination work.
When we pray, I love to hear the things she says she is thankful for. She'll always say each member of our little family, and a sprinkling of extended family members and friends. She usually will say something in nature like flowers or butterflies. Teletubbies and books- especially "You can do it Sam" and "Goodnight my Angel", very often make the list. Sometimes, it's yummy treats.
She independently declares her love for us and gives big hugs.
The girl LOVES food! She only hasn't liked the turkey, which is pretty much like cat food- I don't blame her. Other than that, she can't get enough of eating.
Sometimes, she'll suck on my chin or nose.
She's sitting up on her own. She does better when she has something in her hands, otherwise she's searching for something to put in her hands.
She can twist her tongue in a way I can't- turn it upside down. She does this a lot.
She's starting to move- but backwards! She'll kind of get on hands and knees (only for a moment and much more hands than knees) when she gets down, she'll move backwards. She's moved off several blankets this way.
She's a cuddler. She'll burrow into my shoulder or neck and then come away for a moment to give me a smile. Then, she'll go back to that sweet cuddling.
She's a mama's girl. When I'm around, she's a pretty "easy" baby. Very laid back and easily soothed. When I'm away, however, I guess she sometimes struggles. That's what they tell me at the gym. Sometimes, I get called out of my workout to take care of her. As soon as she sees me, everything is okay again. I know that isn't the best thing, but it makes me feel good to know we have that special bond.
Her smile is so bright. It's easy to come by and impossible not to give one back.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Emily did a nice post on Portland. I'd like to add a post since it's my home town.
It's not hard to have a good time in Portland! We managed it this year in March while it rained and snowed.
Go east about 40 minutes, you can drive up the Columbia River Gorge, a high-end scenic drive with great lookouts, parks, hikes and waterfalls.
Any fans of the movie Twilight out there? Well, I noticed a picture of the Multnoma Falls in the closing credits. That's the more famous waterfall that we visited in the Gorge. It's got a nice lodge at the base where we had lunch.
It might take an hour going east to be at Mt. Hood where there's snow year-round. So, if you need mountains, the Cascade Mountain Range is there for you.
Feeling land-locked and want to go to the beach? No problem. Head west for under two hours and you're at the Scenic Oregon Coast.
Portland is one of those cities with a river running through it with bridges going across the river and waterfront parks. In March, the Saturday Market opens up down by the waterfront in the historic district.
I hope that gives you some idea of why this is a cool city to live nearby.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
I wrote a technical article on T-SQL techniques in 2008 on SQLServerCentral.com. They round up some of the best articles of the year and publish a "Best of SQLServerCentral.com book each year." The 2008 book is volume 6. Red Gate Software makes this publication available. My article called "Owning the Spelling Suggestion Feature" is in there. I'm excited to have a technical article published in print!