bike rack 2014.12.17

bike rack

what’s funny about that? 2014.12.16

a discussion between 11 year old boys

boy-1: we saw the funniest movie over the weekend, it had all these car crashes!

boy-2: what’s funny about that?

boy-1: cars were going off cliffs and crashing. [pause for effect] [add emphasis with hands] in slow motion!

the simple pleasure of something working 2014.12.15

as the owner of a house, and as a computer science professional, my life seems to be full of too many things that don’t work as expected.

garage doors don’t open properly, the front door has to be manipulated just so before the latch can be operated, i have more passwords and strong authentication challenges for the web sites i have to work with than santa visits chimneys.

so when exactly four hours after dusk the utilitech timer with remote control turned off the lights i had wound around the limbs of a tree in our front yard i did a risky business slide down the front hallway to celebrate.

scientific research 2014.12.04

this letter arrived in the mail for ethan – while i’m not sure about the scientific research claim, i am certain it improved my general happiness.

dear ethan

message transcribed:

dear ethan,

happy thanksgiving. you have been my best friend for four years. i have never had a friend as good as you. we are nearly identical in both mind and body, we like the same things, we think the same way, we look identical. i am soo happy to have you as a friend. when i am with you all of my qualities are strengthened. i’m always excited to go to your house or for you to come to my house.

as my best friend you play a very important roll in my life. you are the only person that i play paper games with. in fact you pretty much started the idea. speaking of ideas, you always encourage, elaborate on, and advance my ideas. you are a awesome, wonderful, happy, energetic, helpful, great, and smart person. you are [a] great companion and ally, sometimes even a formidable enemy. you are very truthful and i trust you very much. i am very grateful for your help, trust, friendship, companionship, and intelligence. even though we are sometimes enemies we are always allies and friends.

– thankfully

p.s. send a note like this one to one of your friends. scientific research shows that it will improve your general happiness. add a p.s. like this one in your note.

p.p.s. tomorrow is only a concept

p.p.p.s. skanky chicken! har har har har har har!

p.p.p.p.s. thank you sooooooooo much for being my friend.

p.p.p.p.p.s. i have a bar / restaurant at my house in minecraft.

px6.s. i am also a potion master in minecraft.

they’re just old 2014.12.03

ethan: dad, your lips are really dry and chapped.

logan: can i see?

logan: they’re not chapped, they’re just old.

chasing lincoln’s killer 2014.12.02
author: james l. swanson

this was the first title we read from ethan’s battle of the books list. it was surprising how few details i knew of the plan, assassination and hunt for john wilkes booth. i’ve been anxiously awaiting the day when the kids school was going to begin teaching me things or cause me to re-learn things i have forgotten, today officially marks that day.

from the author: …a woman rushed through ford’s to get to the president. she knew history was being made in the presidential box and had convinced herself she must be a part of it. actress laura keene…

hope you learned something 2014.12.01

my nephew came to the table where i was sitting and asked me if i wanted to play a logic game.

i said sure and he asked me to divide sixteen armies randomly across three battlefields.

after a few minutes i gave three him three numbers which distributed my sixteen armies across the three battlefields.

he looked at me with exasperation and said i was supposed to keep the numbers secret and that he also was going to distribute his own sixteen armies across three battlefields.

on our next attempt, we compared our answers and after a few minutes he said his distributions (1, 7, 8) defeated my combination of (4, 5, 7) because in the greater number of combinations of my armies against his, he would win more battles. as he stood up, he told me we had just played a classic botto game.

and just before he walked away he said “i hope you learned something”

happy thanksgiving 2014.11.21

i’m taking off next week for don’s funeral and thanksgiving.

the obituary is here: in memory of donald egbert fowler

happy holidays to you and yours.

grandaddy 2014.11.20

my wife’s father passed away yesterday.

he was already in failing health when i met him almost fifteen years ago so i didn’t take it personally that it took two years before he could remember my name. its also possible his youngest daughter had too many boyfriends to keep up with and he was just waiting to see if i would stick around.

what i will always remember and respect about don, was his genuine interest and well wishes for his family. he always wanted natalie to be enjoying life and experiencing life, even if her activities weren’t necessarily aligned with his world view. you always knew he was in your corner.

we were going to see him next week at thanksgiving and now there will be a large, empty place at the table where he would have been. and one of my favorite family traditions, watching his three daughters fret over his well being, comes to an end.

spider 2014.11.19


i may regret letting this big, old spider nest over my front door, but right now i just enjoy seeing when i come and go…

the creature in the compost 2014.11.18

i’m writing this should one day i sudden and mysteriously disappear – the search should begin in our backyard, past the fence and out by the compost bins.

i’ve never seen what lives in there and i can only hope it is vegetarian since it seems quite content upsetting our bins to enjoy the contents inside.

you may think i’ve overreacting but you have never lifted the lids on our compost bins to know how hard it is, or how unlikely for any friendly forest creature to be doing it.

i continue to take scraps out there but never after dark any more…

soccer tournament 2014.11.10

logan at this weekend’s soccer tournament

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