Category Archives: Uncategorized

A STORY ABOUT CONCRETE.

A STORY ABOUT CONCRETE. Many years ago, two men I knew were preparing an unusual gift for their mother. The gift required a fencepost anchored in the ground, and they were mixing concrete in a bowl. They kept reminding themselves … Continue reading

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MATISSE AND PATTERNS.

MATISSE AND PATTERNS. Once, when my brother Elmer and I were in college and my sister Mary was in high school, Elmer came downstairs in either a plaid shirt and striped Bermuda shorts or plaid shorts and a striped shirt. … Continue reading

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SOME OF THE SYSTEM PROBLEMS AT THE OSCARS.

SOME OF THE SYSTEM PROBLEMS AT THE OSCARS. I posted a couple of days ago on the Oscars mixup. I had not read that much about it, but I hazarded a guess, based on the generalization of W Edwards Deming … Continue reading

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THE OSCARS MIXUP—IT’S THE SYSTEM, NOT THE PEOPLE.

THE OSCARS MIXUP–IT’S THE SYSTEM, NOT THE PEOPLE. There was a lot of excitement last night at the Oscars. La La Land was announced as the winner for best movie, but after some of the acceptance speeches had been given, … Continue reading

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WHICH WRITERS USE EXCLAMATION POINTS MOST—THE KEY.

WHICH WRITERS USE EXCLAMATION POINTS MOST—THE KEY. Here are the results for the ten writers. The number opposite their names is the number of exclamation points they use per 100,000 words. Elmore Leonard…….49 Ernest Hemingway…..59 Toni Morrison…….111 Salman Rushdie……204 Virginia … Continue reading

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“ŚMIGUS-DYNGUS”—A GOOD WORD FOR THE DICTIONARY GAME.

“ŚMIGUS-DYNGUS”—A GOOD WORD FOR THE DICTIONARY GAME. Our family has played the dictionary game with lots of different friends. One player (call the player the “chooser”) selects a word from the dictionary that nobody knows. The chooser writes the real … Continue reading

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AN AARHUS JOKE.

AN AARHUS JOKE. As I posted here, Seamus Heaney begins his poem on the bogman, Tollund man, in Aarhus, which is the city in Denmark where my mother’s people lived. An Irish friend of mine who knows that some of … Continue reading

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PEAT.

PEAT. I posted here on an article by Seth Porges which argued that it was happy accident that scotch whiskey arose in poor and remote places. I had posted here that my father used to say at the dinner table … Continue reading

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MINNESOTA NICE.

MINNESOTA NICE. I had a memorable encounter with “Minnesota nice” while driving in Minneapolis. I was lost. And if I didn’t get to the boat on time we would miss a wedding that was important to us. This was before … Continue reading

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KIM KARDASHIAN—“THE AMERICAN WOMAN”.

KIM KARDASHIAN—“THE AMERICAN WOMAN”. Maureen Callahan’s story reveals the fact—surprising to an American—that Kim Kardashian is not that well known in France. When the Paris Police Chief was informed of the Kardashian robbery, neither he nor his Number 2 knew … Continue reading

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