Flicker Vertigo

arlier, I mentioned our recent spate of warm weather in December. As pleasant as unexpected warm weather can be (if you enjoy that sort of thing a week before winter officially begins), there can be unpleasant side-effects. A case in point took place on Saturday. Around lunchtime, I had a craving for a ham and […]

June in January

ou wouldn’t know it is mid-December by the look of things here in northern Virginia. On Saturday night, we went with friends to a Christmas light show where you walk through gardens decorated with all kinds of Christmas lights. We attended this event a few years ago bundled up in coats and hats and glove. […]

Rounding Up

n Saturday, the yellow “low fuel” warning light blinked on in the Kia, and after picking up the Little Man from a friend’s house, we stopped to fill up. A local station had gas listed for $1.96/gallon, which is about as low as I’ve seen around here. We stopped. I pumped. I filled the tank—about […]

Answering the Telephone

omehow, I have managed to accumulate four phone numbers. There is the land-line at home; my personal mobile number; my work mobile number; and my Google Voice number that I use in freelancing work. I try to consolidate things. My personal mobile number forwards automatically to my work mobile number, since I don’t want to […]

The Architecture of Time Travel in a Role-Playing Video Game

ne of the things I’ve enjoyed about following along with the progress of Richard Garriott’s Shroud of the Avatar: Forsaken Virtues is the peek I’ve gotten into the process behind the scenes of video game development. The Ultima games were my absolute favorites as a kid, and as a software developer (by profession), I’ve always been […]

Thoughts on Stephen King’s story “A Death” in the New Yorker

tories like Stephen King’s “A Death” in the March 9 issue of the New Yorker go a long way to explaining why I love short fiction. I have this sense–perhaps a false one–that while there is no such thing as the perfect novel, there is a perfect short story. It is as rare as a perfect game in […]

4 Elements That Make the Apple Genius Bar Experience Effective

aving been in I.T. for more than twenty years, I am loathe to call technical support numbers or take hardware in for technical support issues. A few months back, when I cracked the screen on my iPhone, I took my phone to the Apple Store and it was fixed in under an hour. A very […]

All of this has happened before…

hile reading about the life of the people of ancient Rome in Will Durant’s Caesar and Christ this morning, I came across this brief, but rather remarkable passage concerning music in Roman life: Old men mourned that recent composers were abandoning the restraint and dignity of the classic style, and were disordering the soul and nerves […]

Thoughts on the Star Wars Episode VII Trailer

was five years old when the original Star Wars was released in theaters. I don’t remember seeing any trailers for the movie. I just remember my parents taking me to the drive-in to see the movie. That’s right: the first time I saw Star Wars was at the drive-in. When The Phantom Menace came out in 1999, I remember seeing the […]

3 Ways I Avoided All Election Campaign Ads This Season

t occurred to me this morning that it was election day, a fact that crept up on me mostly because I managed to avoid all election campaigning this season. I was pretty busy with the day job, and the family, and writing, but there were at least three things that helped me avoid the ads […]

Thank You, Derek Jeter, for Saving Baseball

started at my present job in the fall of 1994, at the end of one of the more depressing baseball seasons of my life, thanks to the player’s strike that killed the postseason for that year. Baseball, it seemed, was at an all-time low. In May of the following season, Derek Jeter made his major […]

Winston Churchill’s Bacon Number is… 3!

esterday on Twitter, I was ruminating about how many notable people are mentioned in Churchill’s biography. Churchill was born toward the end of the Victorian era, and lived 90 years. So Churchill had conversations with the likes of Mark Twain, as well as actors like Charlie Chaplin. Indeed, Churchill lived long enough that, despite being […]