Friday, October 27, 2006


The highest-ever Scrabble score--830--was recently recorded, in the basement of the Unitarian church in Lexington, MA (where I once slept, with a group of teenagers, and was warned *very* strongly against bothering the Scrabble people!). has a great story about it, including the fact that it probably would *not* have happened had the players been "better." Because they made some mistakes (less-than-optimal plays), and took some strange risks, they ended up with this improbable feat. They made history, but only because they weren't really trying to do so...

Thursday, October 26, 2006

dirty car art

The creative spirit of the universe, channeled through the human, can even make use of limestone dust on car windows:

For more of Scott Wade's amazing work, see his website.

From Scanner.

Friday, October 20, 2006

lilly and me

"Marley and Me" is John Grogan's book (and website) about a misbehaving dog, Marley, and his human companions. Whereas Mr. Grogan gets fame and fortune from Marley, all I get is urine-stained carpets and hair everywhere.
And a wife who is absolutely crazy in love with the dog, and smiles and laughs a lot when she is playing with Lilly. Which makes it all worth it.

Friday, October 13, 2006

radio the sound sensation

I'm listening to WWOZ radio online, from New Orleans. Their jazz often gets my morning off to a good start. I also listen to WCBE, from Columbus, Ohio; their morning and afternoon shows play "Americana" music--lots of rock, folk, blues, country and story songs. Traverse City is blessed with four(!) public radio stations; I listen to the classical station WIAA, from Interlochen, mostly. It is in my (eventual) budget to support each of these stations.

I would listen to WXRT, a commercial radio station, but I havne't made their stream work on my machine. I used to listen to KPIG, another commercial radio station, from Watsonville, CA. They play a lot of Americana, too.

Occasionally, I'll listen to XM on the internet; and I do have a Pandora account, but I'm too lazy to do much work with that.

Of course, I spend *most* of my time streaming the good old Grateful Dead.

Monday, October 09, 2006

laundry chute of Mystery

Our cat, MaeMay, is absolutely fascinated by the laundry chute. It is a hole cut in the floor, inside the second-floor linen closet. Any time the closet door is open--even just ajar--she is compelled to go in and look down the hole. Happily, she doesn't seem inclined to plunge *into* the Mystery Hole, but she sure spends a lot of time peering over the edge.

Now I'm trying to remember the article that said the "pleasure center" of the brain is more accurately named the "engaged/interested" center of the brain...

No wonder I like to read mystery novels.

Friday, October 06, 2006

UUs retreat

I spent part of this week with my UU ministerial colleagues, at a Catholic retreat center in southwestern Ohio. Grailville has a labyrinth, a constructed wetland wastewater treatment system, and a very comfortable feel to it. We UUs need to build more retreat facilities. There are a few, but some are pretty fancy, compared to the Spartan-but-comfortable Catholic centers I've attended. Decent beds, communal bath facilities, vegetarian food, some good natural surroundings, and a well-stocked bookstore are sufficient. Maybe an internet connection, although I can see a reason to *not* have that, too. What would you want/need in a UU retreat center?