Tuesday, July 27, 2004
Thursday, July 15, 2004
Monday, July 12, 2004
However, it does bring to mind a kind of geographic knowledge. I think that there are things we know simply as a result of where we grew up. We can't even explain knowing them. One of the things that I grew up knowing about in central West Virginia was coal. I know the types, where the major seams are and what kinds of coal are found there, the processing, the machinery, the uses, and even the labor history. The labor history I remember consciously learning, but the rest of it I simply absorbed, from living in the area. Some of it came from my dad, some from school, but I'd swear that there are things that I absorbed from breathing the air so near to a coal mine. Maybe they are things that I'm not interested, maybe even would rather not know, but I'm still fascinated by this knowledge. Maybe places have a knowledge of their own in addition to a memory of their own.
U.S. News Press Release: U.S. News obtains all classified annexes to the Taguba report on Abu Ghraib (7/9/04)
Thursday, July 08, 2004
Wednesday, July 07, 2004
The Story of the Snake
Once upon a time, in a place way too close to here, there was a lonely snake. This snake lived in the woods, but he was so lonely that he decided to move to a place where he could find a friend.
So he started off on a journey. He found an apartment building where many people lived. In one apartment lived a very nice woman. He hadn’t met her, of course, but she spent a lot of time on her patio reading books. Every night she talked on the phone. She seemed to have a lot of fun when she did that.
So the snake decided to move in to the yard in front of her patio. His plan was simple: after a short time, he would introduce himself. Then, of course, they would be friends.
So one Friday night, he moved in. That night a man was there. The woman and the man spent almost all evening on the porch, talking, singing, and laughing. The snake was thrilled. He even enjoyed their conversation, especially the part where they were talking about Bush. See, he didn’t like Bush either. Their conversation was so interesting that he strained out of his hole to listen to them.
Then the woman came over and looked at him.
He looked at the woman.
The woman looked at him.
He looked at her some more. She couldn’t take her eyes off him! Then she said, “Honey, can you come here for a minute?” The man walked over.
“Is that a head poking out of that hole?” she asked.
The man was very quiet for a while. Then he said, “I hate to say this, but I think it is.”
She said, “Oh, I hate a snake!” Then she said some words that weren’t very nice and started to go inside for the night.
The next day the snake woke up and found that it was very dark in his hole. He tried to crawl out, but bumped his head on the roof. It was surprisingly hard. As he moved his head around, he discovered that a rock had moved over his snake-hole. He wondered how that could have happened as he dug out another hole next to the rock. That night he waited for the man and the woman to come out.
They came out and were talking politics again. The snake really enjoyed the way they were talking about Bush. (Obviously, this was a smart snake.) Once again, he strained to listen.
The man saw him first this time. “Dear, don’t look now, but I think I see a head poking out of that hole next to the rock.”
The woman looked and said, “I hate a snake! What’s the matter with that stupid thing?
Can’t he take a hint? Then she said some more things that were even less nice than the ones she had said the night before. Then she said, “That cans it. We’re going to have to buy some dirt to fill in that hole. There is nothing I hate more than a snake.”
The snake couldn’t believe his ears. But they didn’t even know him! If they sat down and talked to him, they would really like him, he was sure of it. Surely they wouldn’t fill his home with dirt!
But the very next day, he was awakened by the sound of rain. The hole was closed, and he could hear the rain on the roof of his hole. Had they really filled in his hole? Oh, no, they couldn’t have been so mean. The rain must have washed the dirt, that was it.
So that night he worked very hard to make another hole, this one far away from the rock. But the very next day, he woke up and it was much darker than it should have been. His hole was also much smaller than it had been. He heard the woman talking on the phone again.
“So I went to the store and got another 40-pound bag of dirt and spread that around. I certainly hope that snake takes the hint! I just hate having a snake around!”
The snake felt terrible. How could she not like him when they hadn’t even talked? But then he started thinking again. Maybe the woman wasn’t as nice as he had thought. Maybe he should look somewhere else for a friend. So he set off again on a journey.
This time he chose a house with just one woman living there. She spent a lot of time outside in her garden, singing to herself as she worked. The snake thought she sounded very nice, so he poked his head out of the hole.
“Why, what do we have here?” the woman asked. “It looks like a nice garter snake. I’m glad to see a snake around here…it can get rid of the mice. “
The snake, faced with a woman that didn’t already hate him, spoke up. “I would like to be your friend.”
“I would like to be your friend too,” the woman said. “Just eat all the mice you can, and stay outside in the yard. It does get lonely out here at times.”
The snake agreed. He had all the mice he could eat, and he and the woman shared many wonderful conversations. And neither one of them was lonely any more.
The snake was happy. The woman in the house was happy. But the woman in the apartment was the happiest of them all!
This story has two morals:
1. Don’t try to make people like you. Just be yourself, and you will find friends who love you for just being you.
2. Even a snake hates Bush.
Tuesday, July 06, 2004
with me the story of the snake
that got in her house. She was able to get the snake
removed. But that's another story.
I think the snake has
found a new home in my backyard.
Friday night Kim and I saw a hole
with a head poking out of it.
Kim, brave snake-fighter that he is,
moved a large rock over the
snake-hole where our icky friend
was sitting. The next day, we saw
a new hole tunneling out from under
the nock. I'd love to know why it
decided to move here. We moved the
nock over the new hole in hopes of
making the new neighborhood as unwelcoming as possible.
Then another hole appeared, along
with yet another glimpse of that
ugly head. Yesterday we got a
40-pound bag of topsoil and
spread it in the hole.
continues. My colleague told me
that her exterminator recommends
a concoction called "Dr. T's Snake-
B-Gone." I hope such extreme
measures won't be necessary.
I'll keep you posted.