Monday, November 30, 2015

A matter of scale

Limestone is made out of tiny seashells. Layers and layers of tiny seashells, laid down over a mind-bogglingly vast span of time by generations of small critters. Then over another mind-bogglingly vast span of time rainwater will get into the cracks and stay there. In the middle of Iowa, about 74 million years ago, a rock from space bumped into the planet Earth and made a big dent, blowing all the limestone away. The crater is buried, but if you drill a well in Manson, Iowa, you get soft water, while the whole rest of the region has hard water.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Sparklers in the tailpipe

Somebody once told me everyone’s normal till you get to know them. Which is so true. A person who at first seems pretty unremarkable may turn out to be deeply peculiar, for instance an oboist or model railroader. Another time on an occasion I’d like to forget, a guy whose name I can’t remember said “I always get into trouble when I compare my insides with somebody else’s outside.” Because everybody’s life is hard. It’s like a Buck Rogers rocketship in a Republic serial. From a distance it looks like it’s flying, but it’s really just hanging by a thread.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Found wanting

My neighbor is growing his own mangrove swamp, out by the curb. Actually, right now it’s in a clay pot and stands about three centimeters high, but he has a vision of an extensive National Park sized thing, with trained monkeys that bring him icy cold martinis. This man is a genius. He has a goal which, if handled correctly, can remain unattained for the remainder of his life. I’ve wanted a 1972 Buick Riviera for over four decades now. I hope I never get one. I’d be left with two tons of rusting steel and nothing to live for.

Monday, November 2, 2015

I have great ideas like this all the time.

They say Daylight Savings was designed to conserve electricity, but every office, store, and factory in the USA is artificially lit, so that can't be it. It does give you a 25-hour Sunday once a year, which is pleasant. Here's my genius idea; forget the Daylight Savings thing, but make every Sunday an extra hour long. Every week. Then fix it back by deleting the last hour of work every Monday. So at 4:00 p.m. it's suddenly 5:00 – quitting time. Also, I always forget how to reset my wristwatch, but I'd remember if I did it twice a week