Friday, December 31, 2010


Auld Lang Syne - three four letter words to ring in the new year.

I may take a drink for old times sake... but would very much rather look forward. Best wishes to everyone for happiness and health in the new year.

Monday, December 27, 2010


Plow is a four letter word.

With this winter, there should be no surprise that my four letter thoughts tend to focus on the weather.

Saturday, December 25, 2010


Open is a four letter word

And what does one do with a wrapped gift from the mall?

Open it of course!

Friday, December 24, 2010


Wrap is a four letter word.

You know all that stuff that I got from the mall yesterday? Well... its time to wrap them!

Thursday, December 23, 2010


Mall is a four letter word.

(Hey... at least I didn't wait till Christmas Eve to go to the mall!)

Tuesday, December 21, 2010


Hide is a four letter word.

So much for photographs of the lunar eclipse. Clouds rolled in just as the partial eclipse started. Perhaps next time... um... when will that be again?

Monday, December 20, 2010


Moon is a four letter word.

There will be a lunar eclipse this evening, visible to most of the continental United States. I can't remember the last time I was able to watch one, but I'm hopeful to get some halfway decent pictures of it this evening.

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Shut is a four letter word.

Most of the rooms in my house have doors, and I use them on occasion, but mostly the doors remain open. There is little around here that require blocking out from everyone else - more often I really want people to be there... to be available to me and for me to be available to them.

Saturday, December 18, 2010


Drip is a four letter word.

It is one of the things I enjoy about watching icicles - how they've been formed by water both melting and freezing at the same time, warmed by the sun that then reflects it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


Fork is a four letter word.

"When you come to a fork in the road, take it." -- Yogi Berra

Wednesday, December 15, 2010


Left turn are two four letter words.

I've never really liked making left hand turns while driving. If there is oncoming traffic, one has to wait, which mostly bothers me because it means I'm holding up traffic that is behind me. There is a subtle pressure to make that turn, even if it might be a little bit risky because of a truck barreling down on you. But you make it across... and wonder why you were worried and didn't turn seconds earlier.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


Snow is a four letter word.

Friends from various regions around the country expressed jealousy that I was getting snow and they weren't. I replied the same to all of them - they're welcome to come and take as much as they wanted from my driveway.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Friday, December 10, 2010


Cake is a four letter word.

No lie! I love cake.

Thursday, December 9, 2010


Mark is a four letter word.

It has always vexed me that Mark is both a name and a noun (and the verb about making the noun). It gets even more vexing when you think about how "a mark" is sometimes talking about a symbol made to represent someone's signature. Mark's mark?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010


Last is a four letter word.

Tonight is the eighth and final night of Chanukah.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010


Burn is a four letter word.

Tonight is the seventh night of Chanukah.

Returning back to the candles - there are a lot more of them lit now than when we began! We light one candle on the first night, two on the second, and so forth. As a child, I would watch the candles burn and melt into all sorts of strange and colorful patterns.

Monday, December 6, 2010


Spud is a four letter word.

Tonight is the sixth night of Chanukah.

The holiday celebrates a victory in battle, focusing around the miracle of oil used in the Temple. Since oil is part of the Chanukah story, frying foods in oil are a tradition during the holiday. One of the most common in the United States are fried potato pancakes, called latkes, served with sour cream or applesauce.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Gelt is a four letter word.

Tonight is the fifth night of Chanukah.

The modern tradition of gift giving actually comes from an older tradition of giving gelt, or money, as part of the holiday. More recently, these actual coins became chocolate coins, and one would gamble with them during the dreidel game.

Saturday, December 4, 2010


Gift is a four letter word.

Tonight is the fourth night of Chanukah.

The concept of gift-giving is a relatively recent addition to the holiday. Coming as close to some other gift-giving holidays. Always bothered me a little... but mostly because I'm so bad at giving gifts and would rather not be bound by a specific time to do so.

Friday, December 3, 2010


Spin is a four letter word.

Tonight is the third night of Chanukah.

One tradition is to spin a small top, called a dreidel, and using the symbols on the dreidel to tell the story of Chanukah.

Thursday, December 2, 2010


Wick is a four letter word.

Tonight is the second night of Chanukah.

I always look at candles, fascinated by the wick. The wick is not what causes the light in a candle - but it is necessary for the candle to work. To hold the light in place.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Glow is a four letter word.

It is the first night of Chanukah, Judaism's celebration of light in the midst of winter darkness. Each night, another candle is lit, bathing the room in a soft glow of candles, casting light through the windows into the outdoors, glowing like local stars.


Deer is a four letter word.

One of the interesting things about living in an area that is sorta urban and sorta rural is that you get wildlife wandering through areas that you don't expect them to. I was driving past a series of houses and a nearby golfcourse... when a few deer wandered across the road. One of these days I'll be able to get my camera out in time for a picture of something like this.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Cell is a four letter word.

Cell phones and I have... a constant disagreement. When people were raving about how they were going to give up their landlines in favor of their cell phones, I would wonder how they could actually complete a call on them. As people talked about their great deals, I would be amazed that people would pay so much for such poor quality. Yes, I have a cell. And I found one at a reasonable price for my usage... but I just can't see making this my primary anything in favor of nice reliable wires. Tough to have the wires trailing me out of the house, tho, I'll admit.

Sunday, November 28, 2010


Mess is a four letter word.

With the holiday weekend over, its time to clean things up and return to the routine.

Saturday, November 27, 2010


Turn is a four letter word.

Turns are changes in direction. Sometimes we change direction because the path we are following changes direction. Sometimes the new direction is by our choice. Sometimes we must turn back and retrace our steps. Sometimes we must turn and forge a new path.


Sock is a four letter word.

Ahhhhhh... the Joy of Socks....

Thursday, November 25, 2010


Have? Give.

My thanks to those who have shared much with me, and whom I've been able to share much with. Peace, Prosperity, and Happiness to all of you on this day of Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010


food prep - two four letter words for this day before Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Glue is a four letter word.

I learned today that earlier this week, Dr Harry Coover received the National Medal of Science in a ceremony at the White House. Who is Dr Coover? Why... he's the man who "invented" Super Glue, of course. At a time when we think about science and innovation when it comes to telecommunication and computing... we need to remember that we, as a culture, need good ideas and good research in a wide range of areas. Environmental research is hot now, so to speak, and medical research and technology is always a favorite, but there are so many things that need to be explored and understood that don't get recognized. Glue seems mundane - but work in this field has led to all sorts of innovations in other fields, including medical technology!

Don't discount the new things that we must discover to make real advances for everyone.

Monday, November 22, 2010


Draw is a four letter word.

I have almost no artistic ability to draw. Stick figures are about as good as I can do, and I'm not even sure I can do them very well. But my two-year-old is constantly coming to me with a magnetic drawing board and asking me to draw things. I'm pretty good with the shapes, but when he asks me to draw a dog, I'm in big trouble. He doesn't seem to care.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010


Just is a four letter word.

There are so few things that are as deceptively simple as the word "just". It belies the complexity that are behind most things, almost becoming dismissive of the complexity. Even if we are able to handle something simply, there is a complex set of issues leading up to it. Do not take things for granted, even if they are "just" so simple.

Saturday, November 13, 2010


Play is a four letter word.

All work and no play make Jack a dull boy.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Blow is a four letter word.

Sure seems windy out there today!

Saturday, November 6, 2010


Time is a four letter word.

Daylight Saving Time is ending in the United States. As a morning person, I am somewhat happy about this. It gives some more morning light just at a time it is beginning to get darker in general... so I welcome that. It is only a brief respite, however, as the days get grimmer and grimmer.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


What is in a name?

'Tis but thy name that is my enemy;
Thou art thyself, though not a Montague.
What's Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O, be some other name!
What's in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo call'd,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
Romeo and Juliet

And yet... names have great meaning and power. In stories as diverse as Vernor Vinge's True Names and Ursula K Leguin's Earthsea trilogy, the name of the thing is what was required to be able to have power over it. Even in the here-and-now, there is much desire to hide behind "anonymous", and many people who wish for it to be not-so-anonymous.

Is a rose by another name really just as sweet? Rose is, after all, another four letter word.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010


Vote is a four letter word.

Voting is our most constitutionally guaranteed way to express our opinion. We may not like the results. We may be the one voice against the many. But it is our opinion and our right to express it and be counted. Avail yourself of that right.