Saturday, February 28, 2009

The Way of All Flesh

Our friend who kept us company on long cross-country drives is dead. I heard Paul Harvey on the radio last week, after not hearing him for many years, and was surprised, 1st that he was still living, 2nd that he sounded so weak. I used to love listening to his show when I was a boy. I'd be sprawled on the back seat of my parents' car reading this or that book not paying any attention to anything, but when Paul Harvey came on with his news show, announcing even when he started a new page, I was all ears. He will be missed.

Memory Eternal!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Psalm 136: By the Rivers of Babylon

Psalm 136.
By the waters of Babylon, there we sat down and we wept when we remembered Sion. Upon the willows in the midst thereof did we hang our instruments. For there, they that had taken us captive asked us for words of song. And they that had led us away asked us for a hymn, saying: Sing us one of the songs of Sion. How shall we sing the Lord's song in a strange land? If I forget thee, O Jerusalem, let my right hand be forgotten. Let my tongue cleave to my throat, if I remember thee not, If I set not Jerusalem above all other, as at the head of my joy. Remember, O Lord, the sons of Edom, in the day of Jerusalem, Who said: Lay waste, lay waste to her, even to the foundations thereof. O daughter of Babylon, thou wretched one, blessed shall he be who shall reward thee wherewith thou hast rewarded us. Blessed shall he be who shall seize and dash thine infants against the rock.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Cheese Week, John the Baptist, and a Ph.D. (maybe)

Dairy week is going full steam ahead. (Orthodox said goodbye to meat last Sunday.) I tend not to eat a lot of dairy food other than heavy whipping cream in my coffee, so I have been enjoying all of the cheese. Tonight I had fetta. In the fridge is still gouda, feta, a mild chedar, a small wedge of maytag blue, a raw milk blue from France that is pretty good, a hunk of something hard and white, a hunk of something soft and white. I'll make pancakes for the boys in the morning to use up a lot of butter. I guess I'll make grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner. The blues are good spread on baguette and accompanied by a martini. I am no fan of gouda. I guess Atanasia bought it for the boys. I anticipate all the dairy being consumed by bedtime Saturday night. Sunday will be either pancakes or blini or fondue at Church and that will be it for dairy until Pascha.

One of the things I've been doing, lately, is reading aloud the appointed scriptures at the dinner table. Our schedules are such that we are unable to do it any other time. It seems to be working. Today was the commemoration of the first and second findings (Now that it is found, I hope someone is keeping an eye on it. I bet if Cossacks were watching it it wouldn't keep getting lost.) of the Honorable Head of the Glorious Prophet, Forerunner and Baptist John so part of what we read was this passage from the Wisdom of Solomon in the Old Testament:

The Righteous man, though he die early, will be at rest. The righteous man who has died will judge the ungodly who are living. For they will see the end of the righteous man and will not understand what was said about him; for the Lord will cast down the ungodly speechless to the ground and shake them from the foundations; they shall become desolate to the end; they will be in sorrows, and their memory will perish. For they will come to fear at the thought of their sins, and their iniquities shall stand against them to convict them. The the righteous man will stand with great boldness before those who have afflicted him, and those who have made no account his labors. Having seen it, they shall be troubled with much fear and they will be amazed at his most glorious salvation. They will say within themselves in repentance, in anguish of spirit they will groan and say" "This was he whom we had sometimes in derision and a proverb of reproach - we fools! We accounted his life as madness, and his end to be without honor. How is he numbered among the sons of God? And why is his lot among the saints? Therefore we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of righteousness did not illumine us, nor did the sun shine on us. We took our fill of the paths of lawlessness and destruction, and we walked impassible pathways, but the way of the Lord we have not known."

This reading and the others were oft interrupted by Anselm Samuel wanting to know how this was written about St. John centuries before St. John was born, why the king killed St. John, what exactly is a prophet, why did they keep losing St. John's head, who exactly lost it and how, what does perish mean, why did God let the Herods get to be kings in the first place, and more besides.

In other news, Athanasia is thinking about beginning a Ph.D. program in Human and Organizational Systems. If she does, it will be difficult. I might have to forgo my own grad school if she does. Our marriage almost did not survive the last time we were both in school. We'll see how it goes. What is interesting is that she has the greater gift for academic pursuits while I have the greater desire. In a way, it makes us a good team.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

The Ancient is the Future

One of the things that I find so exciting about the New Urbanist movement is the possibility of reviving the ancient norms of city life: Walkability, density, nearby agriculture. Tonight I came across a website that deals specifically with questions such as how to bring the lessons of ancient Byzantine city building into the modern world. And I think I might have found a new hero in one Besim S. Hakim. I think I need to write to him and see if he'll let me work for him when I finish grad school.

Friday, February 20, 2009

For your consideration

For the obvious reason I don't talk much about charitable giving on this blog. But I'd like for you to know about an organization I know of that has helped many people, including some of my friends. Teen Challenge rescues drug addicts. If you see them collecting money in front of a grocery store, please, open your wallet. You can also donate online.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Singing at Bed Time

Each night to Basil Wenceslas and Anselm Samuel I read some books (tonight it was just one, Strega Nona), tell them a story from the Bible (Tonight it was Jesus and Peter walking on water), and sing them some songs. Usually I sing Amazing Grace, Go Tell Aunt Grody, Down in the Valley, America, Danny Boy, On Top of Old Smokey, Softly and Tenderly, The Streets of Laredo, The Old Rugged Cross, and The Red River Valley. But tonight, a song popped into my head that I haven't thought of in years: Stewball. As I sang it I started to cry, which is, I am sure even more evidence that I am getting old. (How I pity the people who will have to take care of me when I am an old weepy man. Which reminds me of an Army story. Once I and some of my fellow soldiers of 101st Airborne were drunk on champagne when one of got out a copy of the Constitution and began reading it aloud. As he read we all began crying when suddenly one of us snatched it away from the reader, held it to his breast, and declared with much earnestness and passion, "I love the the third amendment". At which point the rest of us declared our inebriated yet undying love for the Constitution.) What you might like to know is that Stewball was a real horse. He was born in the middle of the 1700's in England and was famous in England, Ireland, and America. And each country tells the story according to its own lyrical and musical traditions. In all versions of the song except a recent French version, Stewball wins the famous race at Kildare Plain. In the French version Stewball is injured and has to be put down. (You expected different from the people of Camus and Sartre?)

In America there are two different musical traditions, the chain gang version first recorded by Leadbelly, and the almost hymnodic folk version made famous by Joan Baez (my Mother's favorite singer), the Hollies, and Peter Paul and Mary. It is this folk version I know best. I used to play it on a little Martin guitar until I had to sell the guitar to pay rent.

I like the words recorded by Joan Baez on the Joan Baez/5 album the most. They relate more of the truth of Stewball's life than some other versions, and are the words of the great horse's jockey "I rode him in England, I rode him in Spain, and I never did lose, boys, I always did gain." But Peter Paul and Mary's lyrics (on their 1963 album "In The Wind") telling the story from a spectator's point of view are the best known words today.

Maybe, someday, if I get another guitar or mandolin, and if my fingers remember how to play (it's been 20 years) I'll record the song myself. In the meantime, here is the song,both the words and the melody, I sang to my boys tonight. And, of course, they had many questions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Some questions

I listened to the President's speech on how he plans to end the housing crisis. I just have a couple of questions? I made some bad investments in the last 2 years, are you going to bail me out? It isn't my fault the value of my stocks went down. I think you should really help me out. (Gag! Puke!)

Why are you going to take taxpayer money and reward people who bought stuff they couldn't afford? I certainly didn't hold a gun to anyone's head, saying, "Sign that ARM that adjusts to 20% in 5 years." Yet, I who did not buy a house, am going to have to pay more in taxes to help pay for houses of people who made bad business decissions. Isn't that un-American?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rain Rain Rain

We are now on our 6th day of rain. The Sump pump is now overwhelmed and the carports are flooded. One of the buildings is being threatened. I am off to rent more pumps in just a few minutes. But, perversely, it still isn't enough rain.

It has officially been rainy season since Oct ober 15 but we have had less than 2 weeks of rain since then. On Jan 31 the snow pack in the Sierra Nevada range was 61% below normal. (There is an argument about what normal means. Some scientist are now contending that what we call normal is based on several decades of unusually heavy precipitation.) Many of the reservoirs are still close to empty. Rationing is still likely. Please, people, stop moving to California. Go to Wisconsin and Minnesota instead. They have water.

Oh, by the way, the amount of water consumed by lawns is another reason why I think it is immoral for CCRs and local ordinances to require lawns.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Only In the Big Easy: Saturday Soundtrack

You start tapping your foot and all of a sudden you realize you have that syncopated shave and a hair cut six bits thing going on. Now you have to make a decision and you have to make it fast. Are you going to head off in the direction of Bo Diddly, or are you going to take the Hand Jive path? I can't speak for you, but most of the time I go a different direction. I head south. To the Big Easy, just like Ringo Star, Cindy Lauper, The Dixie Cups, the Grateful Dead, and Sebastian the singing lobster (on ice skates, no less). Obviously, we are talking great music - music of such soul-moving poetry and profound universality that it could only have been composed (in 1954) in New Orleans, and by a man with a name like "Sugar Boy". As in James "Sugar Boy" Crawford. Yes, I mean Iko Iko.

The problem with picking this song for the Saturday Soundtrack feature is that there are so many versions of it that have been hits. Some I can't put on here because the videos are less than salubrious. Others are such low quality bootleg concert footage that you wouldn't listen to the whole song (I didn't). But aside from those, there are still many many versions. You should be happy I didn't choose the lip-synced performance by some kid under contract to Disney. But you should be happier still I chose this version by student at the Musicians Institute.

Everyone who sings this songs changes them, but here are the most common Lyrics
my grandma and your grandma were
sittin' by the fire
my grandma told your grandma
"i'm gonna set your flag on fire."

talkin' 'bout, hey now ! hey now !
i ko, i ko, un-day
jockamo feeno ai nane
jockamo fee nane

look at my king all dressed in red
i ko i ko un-day
i betcha five dollars he'll kill you dead
jockamo fee nane

my flag boy and your flag boy were
sittin' by the fire.
my flag boy told your flag boy
"i'm gonna set your flag on fire."

see that guy all dressed in green
i-ko, i-ko, unday.
he's not a man;
he's a lovin' machine
jocka mo fee nane

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Say it in English, Please.

I remember when I was a youth hearing a certain television news present pronounce Nicaragua as Neee-ka-log-oo-wa. I thought he was pretty dumb. Now I hear Burma called Mayanmar. And I have to wonder why? Sure the military oligarchs changed the name, but why whould we care? The English name for the country is Burma. And I hear people on the radio calling Peking by a strange name, too. They call it Bay-zhing. Why? And why is Bombay now being called Mumbai? The English words are Nicaragua, Burma, Peking, and Bombay. They don't call Norway Norge. They don't call Rome Roma. They don't call Austria Ostereich. They don't call Germany Deutschland. What is going on? How are the media people deciding which places get to keep there English names and which are going to be called by non-English names? As for me, I think I'll stick with English when talking to English speakers.

Pres. Hoover is, to a great degree, to blame for suburbs.

As Fortune would have it, just in time to help me alleviate some of the hurt feelings I caused in some of my frieneds, the Market Urbanism blog (where freedom meets the city) has a very informative post regarding the role Hoover and the meddling Progressives. It seems that Hoover and the Progressives (backed by the automobile companies) were responsible for suburban sprawl. The author tries to make the role played by banks sound Nefarious, but I amnot convinced by that aspect of the presentation. The Banks were just doing what they always have done, try to make ma profit by lending and borrowing. The real change was Hoover promoting national standards that favored Suburban development over the traditional Urban and Rural patterns.

Hoover was instrumental in starting the “Own Your Own Home” suburban advocacy movement, which lasted through the twenties. The government and business leaders of the “Own Your Own Home” movement described the single family home as a “symbol that could build consensus” and a “hallmark of the middle-class arrival in society.” To encourage home building, Hoover created the division of Building and Housing within the Commerce Department to coordinate the activity of builders, real estate developers, social workers, and homemakers as he worked closely with banks and savings and loans industry to promote long term mortgages (a new concept at the time - sound familiar?). Hoover’s promotion of home ownership as an investment of the 20’s remains a concept embedded in the American psyche, and may have helped contribute to our current financial mess. (Read the whole thing here.)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Family

The sun rose this morning on frosty lawns and rooftops. Breakfast for the boys was milk, raisins, cream cheese and baguette. I had coffee. Basil though was coughing and puking. (I had to cancel my Wednesday at the Cathedral. I've been doing work for Fr. John one day a week.) After Anselm Samuel was off at school Basil and I played with blocks. Then we played with plastic animals. My fave is the longhorn bull. If I was a rancher I'd raise longhorns.

After play time, and when it seemed to me that Basil was not seriously ill (he hadn't puked since breakfast), we went to the Home Depot to buy a bird feeder, seed, and some cleaning supplies. Then we went grocery shopping. Basil took the plastic animals (his favorite today was a pink piglet.) with us on our shopping trip. When we got home Basil and I made Rice Krispie Treats with M&Ms. Basil did the measuring. He learned the hard way that a 2 quart package of marshmallows does not fit in to a 1 quart measuring cup. As luck would have it there was a broom nearby. After that it was time for a wee nap. While basil slumbered I had a bit of French roast with heavy cream, and started getting supper together.

I baked a chicken with onions, garlic, pumpkin, and squash all in one big pot for supper. While it was cooking Basil awoke, and both Anselm Samuel and Athanasia came home. Anselm had homework. Basil had distracting to do.

After supper the boys and I walked up to the library. It was drizzling. (Thank God it has been raining the last few days. The water levels have been so low all winter.) We checked out some picture books for the boys, and Dean Koontz novel for me. (I better hurry with it. Lent is almost here.) On the way there and back I charged the corn cob with a blend of burley and black cavendish. It was a pleasant walk. Athanasia remained indoors, knitting a baby blanket for a friend who is due next month.

When we got home she was already in bed. I ran the boys quickly through their bedtime routine, and they are in bed now, too. I have Koontz and some other reading to do, and a bit of the Christmas porto to drink, and then I shall hit the hay, too.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Who is to blame for suburbs

Well, that letter (see the post below this one) sure did get me in trouble. I received some messages from people were were very offended by it. I'd like to take a moment and reply to all of them at once.

I'm sorry. I didn't mean to offend you. I don't think you or the the vast majority of people alive today are to blame for the way land is being used. The decisions to rip up farms, neglect cities, and build car-dependent suburbs were made by people in the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. Most people alive today have no choice because single family detached houses in residential-only neighborhoods are all there is to buy. If you want to live in Silicon Valley, or in Dallas, or in Tampa, or in Sacramento, single family detached houses are virtually the only choice. Suburbs are what the developers in earlier times built, and we are stuck with them for at least the next 100 years. I don't at all fault the people who buy them. I fault the builders and planners of the past.

Monday, February 09, 2009

Why Urban Planning

As regular readers of this blog know, I have very strong opinions about concernnig land use. Well, I am finally doing something about it. I am trying to become a city planner. Part of the application is a letter stating why I want to study urban planning. Below is my first draft of that letter.

Why I Want to Study Urban Planning.

I grew up in Palo Alto and Mountain View, California, two suburban communities. Every house I saw was a single family detached house. Every house had a lawn. We drove every where we went. We barely knew the people who lived next door. But on television I saw Sesame Street. Every one knew everyone. The buildings were tall and right up against each other. Mr. Hooper's grocery was right across the street. Even as a child of 5 and 6 years old I could see that that way of living was better than the way I was living in the suburbs. The only thing I experienced that was close to what I had seen on Sesame Street was Castro Street in Mountain View. But Castro Street in the 1970s was neglected and it had boarded up buildings, the life having been sucked out of it by a shopping mall a mile away, and by more car friendly shopping destinations along El Camino Real.

But in 1979, when I was 10, we moved to Ukiah. And that meant we had to drive through San Francisco. It was my first time to see The City. Even though almost the whole drive through San Francisco was on an elevated freeway (Since destroyed by an earthquake and not replaced.) what I saw enthralled me. I saw skyscrapers! I saw town houses and factories and offices. And every where there were throngs of people. People on foot, on bikes, on buses. And I was fascinated.

After that first drive through San Francisco I memorized the map of San Francisco in the World Book Encyclopedia. I began watching the local news out of San Francisco (the cable system in Ukiah carried the San Francisco stations.), and I began to learn about cities. So by the time my 6th grade class went on a field trip to the San Francisco financial district to go on a tour of Chevron's world headquarters I was nearly inflamed with desire to actually stand on my own feet in The City. And when I finally got there, and ascended to the 28th floor of the Chevron building, and ate a hot dog in the plaza at the end of Market Street, under the roar of that now gone freeway, I was in love.

Later, when I was a seventeen year old private, stationed at Fort Monmouth, New Jersey, I was given a 24 hour pass. I rode a bus to New York City. And I saw majesty! I walked up Broadway from the bowery to Canal Street, and then down an alley, and then down some stairs, and across an empty basement to a lighted glass door covered with a red curtain. Behind that door was an illegal Vietnamese restaurant where I had fried imperial rolls, pho, kung pao prawns, fried jelly fish, contraband Vietnamese beer, and the best coffee of my entire life. I walked and walked and walked. As evening approached my buddy and I wandered into an open air clothing market. There I bought a sweater, and had my first ever experience of haggling over a price. I had my first mixed drink near Times Square. I was yelled at by Dan Rather ("Hey, do you mind getting out of the shot?") while walking in Central Park.

Later when I was out of the Army and living in another Silicon Valley suburb - this time Sunnyvale, just next door to Mountain View- I passed by a computer store in a mall that happened to be demo-ing Sim City. I watched a guy play it for about fifteen minutes, and when he got up I sat down. And that was the first time it occurred to me that someone has to plan a City. They don't just happen. So I began thinking about what makes a good city.

I observed that both San Francisco and Manhattan had narrow streets, wide sidewalks, tall buildings, no lawns and no space between buildings. I also noticed that unlike the suburbs I lived in, a person didn't have to drive. Cars were not needed to get around. Everything was close at hand. It was possible for a person to find everything he needed to live within a few blocks of where he lived. And if one wanted to travel farther than legs could comfortably bear him, there were buses, taxis, cable cars, and subways.

And then I began to contrast The City with the suburbs I lived in. Cars were a necessity in Palo Alto, Sunnyvale, and Mountain View. There was no way to shop, get to and from work, go to a restaurant, to the movies, or anything without a car. Even along the main commercial area of Mountain View, there were tremendous distances to cover. God help the person who wanted to get from a store on one side of El Camino to a store on the other side of El Camino. First there would be the walk from the store across the parking lot to the side walk. Then there would be the walk to a cross walk, but the blocks are very long and it could easily be a quarter mile to the nearest cross walk. Then there is the actual crossing of the road. Left and right turning lanes, three wide forward lanes, a planted median, three more wide forward lanes, and two more turning lanes. That is El Camino through Sunnyvale. Most people only have time to cross to the median before the light changes, then they have to wait for another green light. Then there is the quarter mile walk back to the store, and another long walk across a parking lot. But Market street, the main street in San Francisco, and Broadway in New York were different. Both of those streets carry 10 times the traffic of El Camino Real through Silicon Valley, yet they are much narrower. Along its busiest stretch, through the Union Square shopping district and the Financial District, Market street is merely 4 narrow lanes. If one wants to go from the Sheraton Palace Hotel to the shoe shine stand across the street one only has to take 35 steps.

For a couple of years, at the beginning of this decade, I had the sublime joy of living in San Francisco. I knew my baker. We actually ran into each other at the grocery store once in a while. I knew my dry cleaner's kids and he knew mine. I was friends with several of the bartenders on my block. The girls at the taqueria knew my name. The Sisters of Mercy walking their girls to school got to know me - we passed each other on the side walk every morning. I knew all the people in my building. Because I was on the sidewalk and not in a car, I met new people everyday. Some I liked. Some I didn't. But every day was an adventure. I was living on Sesame Street.

For 20 years I have been griping about suburbs, how ugly they are, how wasteful they are (what is the point of a lawn if there are no sheep?), how they poison the well of culture (San Jose, a suburban city has about a 20% larger population than San Francisco but only 1/5th the density. It has no culture to speak of.) and how they require ugly architecture (garages as the dominate feature on houses, Wal-Mart, Home Depot). I got tired of complaining. I want to help fix the problem. I want to be the bureaucrat who says "yes" to developers trying to build mixed-use, pedestrian friendly, high-density developments. I didn't get to live on Sesame Street but, maybe, I can make it so that other kids can live on Sesame Street.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Publicans Herald Lent

My favorite time of year is fast approaching. Christmas, which was just a few weeks ago, was much fun but Lent is my favorite time of year. This might seem like a strange thing to say, but I like Lent even more than Pascha. Pascha celebrates what happened and what will be. But Lent, it seems to me, meets me where I live today. I am not saying the power of Pascha isn't evident about us. I know I would get no benefit from Lent if Jesus was still in the tomb. His Resurrection is what gives us the ability to go through Lent finding more life in it each day. If it were not for the Resurrection, Lent would benefit us nothing. We'd be like the Stoics, or the Hindu hermits in the high Himalayas. (How was that alliteration?)

Anyway, last week and this week I've been thinking about Publicans. The historian Philo wrote of the publicans:

"They [Romans] deliberately choose as tax collectors men who are absolutely ruthless and savage, and give them the means of satisfying their greed. These people who are mischief-makers by nature, gain added immunity because of their "superior orders," obsequious in everything where their masters are concerned, leave undone no cruelty of any kind and recognize no equity or gentleness . . . as they collect the taxes they spread confusion and chaos everywhere. They exact money not only from people's property but also from their bodies by means of personal injuries, assault and completely unheard of forms of torture." [Philo, De Specialibus Legibus 2.19 (93-95) (trans. Maxwell-Stuart, supra note 35 at 160)]

Last week and this week we heard about publicans. And this means Lent is almost here. It started last week when Fr. David preached about Zacchaeus. In talking about the passage he reminded us that both Zacchaeus and Matthew were Roman publicans. What Fr. David pointed out was that the responses of the two men to Jesus were different: St. Matthew abandoned his position (which was a capital offense) while Zacchaeus remained in it, pledging to repay 4 times all he had over collected. Jesus accepted both.

Today, on the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee we were reminded to ask God for mercy and not try to impress him by keeping rules; He's not impressed. He wants us to be like Zacchaeus and Matthew and the unnamed publican in today's Gospel reading, not offering defenses but admitting guilt and leaving sin behind.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

What To Do When The World Co-opts an Orthodox Saint.

Honestly, I hated hated St. Valentine's day when I was a kid. I was embarrased to give those mushy greetings to my classmates. I didn't know who St. Valentine was. I always thought it was weird to have to give cards to kids i didn't even like. Now, my son Anslem has a class party scheduled for St. Valentine's Day. Well, now, I love am in awe of St. Valentine. And think the way his memory is being celebrated leaves much to be desired. I want Anselm Samuel to have a better experience, a more Christian experience of this day than I had. So, I was looking around on the internet and found this very helpful site.

President to Reverse Outcome of Civil War

“The president believes that federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws, and as he continues to appoint senior leadership to fill out the ranks of the federal government, he expects them to review their policies with that in mind," White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said. (Read the whole thing here.)

Well, I think Little Rock and the 101st Airborne Division would be surprised by that. And so would Jefferson Davis. I'm as much of a Federalist as anyone, but we do have a Constitution and that Constitution gives supremacy over state acts to acts passed by the Congress. This was settled legally in Mucculloch v. Maryland (1819) and, on the ground at Appomattox Court House. This is insane. Even though I didn't expect anything good from President Obama, I didn't expect him to try to reverse the outcome of the Civil War. This is why we should never elect lawyers to be President. They think everything, law and history included, is flexible.

Solution to the problem: The President can simply state that the 10th Amendment forbids enforcing the Law (whether or not it does is not relevant.) and then stop enforcing the law. But to say "federal resources should not be used to circumvent state laws" flies in the face of history and settled law, and begs for social discord.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Children are the problem. Is that what the Speaker just said?

How long till we start building gas chambers?


Today I turned forty. And the first thing I thought of when I realized it was my birthday was, "Oh, no. I'm going to die soon and I'm not ready."

The tool bucket in the picture is what my wife bought me for my birthday present. I had been carrying around my drill, snake, pipe wrench, and extension cord in a whole foods shopping bag. (I called it "my sewer bag".) I had wanted one of these 5-gal bucket tool carriers for months but figured the shopping bag was working. And now I have one. In it is my Dad's hammer, the electric drill (no the battery powered Dewalt. that has its own carrying case.), the pipe wrench, the crescent wrenches, the small hack saw, the snake, the extension cord, a square, a small level, nails, screws, screwdrivers, a scraper, a putty knife, a utility knife, electrical wire snips/pliers, tin snips, grip-all, and needle-nose pliers. Athanasia is very thoughtful. I never thought something like this would make me so happy, but it does.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Who is General Tso?

On Thursday I was at Panda Express and had some Gen. Tso's Chicken. And I thought at that time, "Who is Gen. Tso?" Now I know.