I look at it every year and every year it looks a little different from how it looked the year before.
“Beware the ides of March.” So said the soothsayer to Julius Caesar. The date was known to Caesar and every Roman because it, today, March 15, was the official day for settling debts. Which I suppose some of Caesar’s colleagues thought they were doing when on that date in 44 B.C. they multifariously perforated him with knives, rendering him dead.
We often say, “I love Jesus.” But how often do you hear, how often do you say, “I like Jesus”?
A number of years ago, after having one — in a secular, not religious context — it hit me that the best working definition of an “epiphany” is the instant when the obvious is recognized.
There’s a tremendous reward in learning local history. I say this as one who vigorously avoided learning any history of the area where I grew up, in central Missouri. I have great affection for the kind of people who won’t let local historical questions rest. They have to learn the answers to those questions. I have tendencies in that direction, too, though my laziness threshold is high and I’ll go looking only if the questions hold the potential of having really interesting answers.
Twenty year ago this morning I was having coffee when I remembered that the space shuttle was landing, so I turned on the television to watch it. Everything seemed yawningly normal. But then I was interrupted mid-yawn — a very unpleasant sensation, though not as bad as a stifled sneeze — when the commander and pilot of the shuttle failed to respond to calls from the flight controller.
The Linux operating system for Intel-architecture personal computers wasn’t exactly new when I switched to it. There were already a number of publishers — I choose the word carefully; you’ll see why — who were offering their own versions, which were similar in some ways yet mostly incompatible with each other.
There used to be a joke — well, we said it was a joke — among photographers: when shooting family groups and weddings, put the inlaws at the ends of the line of people. It would then be easier to crop them from the picture if things didn’t work out.
Once per generation, it seems, those who have any money at all go berserk and, soon thereafter, bankrupt. It happened in 2000, plus or minus about three years, and it’s happening again now.