Recently in Life Category

Some Observations from Chili's Bar and Grill, Blaine, MN

January 4, 2008

I hope that I can remember all the observations from dinner out tonight with my Indian friend and co-worker, here now for a third of his six month work visa.

“Why do they put so much ice in the drinks here?” “Because ice is cheaper than coke.” At the end of dinner, when the server brings the third glass: “But I wonder how much it cost for them to wash three glasses instead of one, to give me five straws (the first two had two to differentiate my diet), and to throw out most of the ice, and to waste the 10% at the bottom that you don’t end up drinking because a fresh one arrived?” Oh, and add in the time taken to deliver the fresh cup. If they would have just given me a small amount of ice to begin with, I might have been happy with one glass, or two at the most.

No, I was not on the bridge

August 2, 2007

Many of you readers will know that I live in the Twin Cities of Minnesota and will have seen the news about the bridge collapse. The news all over the country is covering this horrific tragedy, as are many outlets outside the U.S. (leading headline on the BBC News website last night). Luckily the "first responders" reacted quickly, pulling many people from the strong river currents. It is sobering to think about how much trust and faith we put into colossal man-made infrastructure every day.

Looking Forward

July 20, 2007


I was looking at that again, though only briefly, as I was thinking once again about my life in the future. You see, in the next year or two I expect a major transition (moving) will affect me, but then after that I have nothing to look forward, explicitly, for the next thirty-five years or more. I don't mean that I won't look forward to many day-to-day activities, but that there won't be further major changes to prepare for or expect. At least at this point. That has me kind of weirded-out. And thus that gets me back into my historical pattern of periodically thinking: "what do I want to be doing in 5 years time?"

Barbecuing/Smoking Tips

July 4, 2007

Since its the 4th of July, it seems appropriate to talk about one of America's favorite ways of celebrating its independence from King George: barbecuing. I didn't actually do that today, in fact I didn't even take the day off. I worked at home so that I can have next Monday off — July 9th is the commemoration of the Martyrdom of the Báb in 1850.

A Day in Amsterdam

June 14, 2007

On Saturday we had a break between the Global Staff and Global Council meetings: free time! So a few of us decided to spend two hours each way on a train to Amsterdam. First impression: vibrant, incredibly so. Second: old. Older than most of what I saw in Brussels. Older by far than anything I've seen in Antwerp (though both Belgian cities are technically just as old).

Photos from Brussels

June 10, 2007

We spent Friday afternoon in the city of Brussels (Bruxelles), capital of Belgium and of Europe. There we met with a diplomat from the European Commission at their swanky headquarters; noshed on small sandwiches, juice and champagne with a deputy mayor at a former palace; and were treated to a wonderful meal courtesy of a local Catholic priest and lumber-yard owner. In other words it was interesting being there (most of the time), but not so exciting to try to write about. So I'll just share some photos instead.

Arrival in Belgium

June 5, 2007

now with photos! 2006-06-07

After managing to sleep a cumulative half hour or so overnight, I arrived in Belgium this morning at 8:30 local time. It was then that I knew my day would be pretty much shot.

Out With the Dandelions

April 19, 2007

Today I had my first therapy session with the dandelions. Therapy involves me using various means to rip the dandelions from the ground, preferably with 6 inches or more of root attached. It was a good day for therapy.

21 Inches of Snow; Fasting

March 3, 2007

So we've got nothing on Buffalo, I'll admit. But for me, 21 inches of snow in one week is rather impressive. We've been snowed in the last few days; technically we could have gotten out yesterday, as they actually plowed in the morning. But my back is unhappy enough with all the shoveling that I just couldn't face the thought of shoveling out the end of the driveway, where the plow had deposited a huge dam. So that meant working — and fasting — from home yesterday.

I still exist

December 19, 2006

I still exist. Just been working a whole lot in the last couple of weeks. I'll come back at some point, hopefully after Christmas. Here's a fun article I wrote explaining the phenomenon of superconductivity: To Infinity and Beyond! The Science of Superconductivity.

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