Friday, March 04, 2005

Random Thoughts

I entitled this post with a nod to Thomas Sowell, American conservative intellectual, whose best articles, in my opinion, are those which he titles "Random Thoughts".

I only discovered on Tuesday that the Brits make a distinction between practice and practise, with practice being the noun and practise the verb. My discovery came when Mark Goodacre was reading a text from Paul out of an American translation which he had printed on his handouts for everyone. His passage was Galatians 5:21, where Paul writes "I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God." Mark's remark was, "Of course, the correct English spells the verb form with an 's' not a 'c'." He did not say this jokingly, nor did anyone laugh, except for me to myself. One side of me admits that it seems reasonable that the English have a right to determine how to spell things in English. The other side takes solace in the fact that, one day in the near future, they will simply adapt to our form (because it is simpler and because we are taking over the place).

Just when I thought the snow was gone for good... yesterday was a sunny day with a high in the mid-40's... quite pleasant. I thought we'd seen the last of the white stuff, until I awoke this morning to find a half-inch or so covering the sidewalk and road. In fact, today was the messiest day I've had on my bike. Because (a) it was still so cold when I left that the sidewalks were covered the entire way, and (b) it rained "freezing rain" the entire time. And for the record, that is 9 of the past 13 days we've had snow.

We're having 4 folks over tonight -- 2 students and 2 significant others. Mary is making chili, and I plan to try my hand at some sweet tea (though I doubt English tea is the right stuff). Lou plays the banjo and John the guitar, so we... um, they... are going to do some jamming. Helen will love it. And I'll introduce them to one of my favorite bluegrass songs by Grandpa Jones, "The Banjo Am the Instrument for Me."

My friend John Hull, one of the most amazing people I've ever met, was elated today to discover that his personal website had over 640 hits in the past month. I wish I could tell you everything about him, but why don't you visit his site (, improve his hit count, and see for yourself. Interestingly, there is a chance that Al Pacino's character in "Scent of a Woman" was loosely based on John!!!

Last night on the way to church, I did manage to find 3rd gear for a while. But, alas, any time I got out of 2nd and had to stop, I struggled to find other gears. Because there always seems to be someone behind me, twice I simply popped it into 2nd and drove on. But it was nice to go 45mph again. I am determined to figure out the riddle of my piece-of-junk car.

For those of you who have seen our fat cat Shelly, she apparently has a British twin, who is much like her except (a) she is thinner, (b) she eats people food, (c) she is nice and (d) she meows with a posh English accent. Here are pics 2, 3, and 4.

I've been reading BK's blog. Many things stand out to me. It seems he rather enjoys living on the fringes of the South after having spent his entire life in the Deep South. I have been reminiscing about driving on rural county roads (mostly prompted by the book I am reading, John Grisham's "The Last Juror") . I can't wait to drive the 90-mile stretch from Columbia, Tennessee to Moulton, Alabama without using the interstate again. My favorite stretches are the rolling hills just north of Pulaski, TN, and when I cross the Tennessee River on highway 101 into Lawrence County, AL, my old stomping grounds. Tennessee is not technically the Deep South, but it can lay claim to the Beverly Hillbillies.

And one last hat tip to Capes for her faithful commenting...


At 1:56 PM, Blogger Mommy of Boys said...

So what's so different about English tea? Just pour a lot of sugar in and it'll be Southern!

Who's got Shelly right now? I used to cat-sit her in Auburn, remember?

Hope you have a nice dinner...I think that's great to be so hospitable to your students. This is a neat experience for all of you.

How's Flat Matt, by the way?



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