Sep 11 2017


“Slumgum in beekeeping is the residue of the beeswax rendering process. When the beeswax from brood comb is rendered to produce clean wax, it leaves behind the pupal lining, wax moth cocoons, excrement from larvae, and other residual debris included in the original material.”

from Wikipedia

For extra fun, do a Google image search for “slum gum.”

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Feb 15 2016

Proud to be ‘Murican

I see a lot of stuff online about, “Welcome to America, now speak English.”

I do think immigrants to America should learn to speak English.

However, I also think Americans should learn to speak English as well. And while we are learning how to write and speak English properly, perhaps we might also learn to be courteous to those who are new here.


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Feb 12 2016


A few weeks ago my friend Jeff rolled over 300,000 miles on his car. I mentioned to him that I was just about to roll 300k on my Toyota. A few days ago when my girls were both home from college I noticed I was just 24 miles of my milestone, so we got in the car and went for a drive. We often make late night drives throughout the year, talking, snacking, joking, listening to music at levels Heather and Elsa disapprove of.

We wandered for 23 miles and then headed home. The odometer stayed at 299,999. We rolled through town, around the school, back down our street, back up to Walmart. Still at 299,999. Just for giggles I googled “Toyota Corolla 299,999.” Turns out it’s a known issue:

Now I’m stuck there forever.

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Apr 17 2015

Quotable: Jeffrey Dvorkin

“murder rates in Canada are low, he said, partly because “it’s quite rude to murder someone.””

from Eric Weiner’s article Can Canada teach the rest of us to be nicer? via Tim Challies

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Feb 27 2015

chromatical book stacking

Dr Ray Stantz: “Symmetrical book stacking. Just like the Philadelphia mass turbulence of 1947.”
Dr. Peter Venkman: “You’re right, no human being would stack books like this.”
–Ghostbusters, 1984

Last Saturday Heather and I went to Excelsior Springs to kick around some antique shops and flea markets. We have found in our travels that you can categorize these shops in one of the following:

  1. Antique Shops–they have antiques, and sometimes other random things.
  2. The Savoy–they have antiques, and usually have names that are prefixed with ‘The’–The Blackthorn, The Pristine. These places are very expensive.
  3. Flea Markets–a little bit of everything, priced anywhere from bargains to way too much
  4. Junk shops–the prices don’t even matter, the place is full of junk

One of the places we went to was large and full of stuff, but another shopkeeper had given us the heads up that we should expect some “hoarder tendencies.” Turns out he was right–it was a junk shop extraordinaire. There were several rooms entirely sorted by color and material: teacup room, blue glass room, red glass room, white glass room, wood and brass room.

As we neared the end of our tour of this shop, I was, naturally, drawn to the books. At first. Then I decided I didn’t really want to sort through them. Now, there are different ways of sorting books: Dewey Decimal, Library of Congress, alphabetical by title, author, or genre. But this was entirely new to me:


I have often wandered into a bookstore and the owner is like, “What can I help you with?” And I’m like, ya know, I’m kind of looking for something…orange to read.”


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May 9 2014

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Commerce

I have written before about how I am generally opposed to the idea of buying locally for the sake of keeping money in a particular town, state, or country. I think it goes against the idea of a free market, where one purchases goods or services based on the best price, selection, customer service, etc., and purchasing based on guilt/local loyalty alone discourages those businesses from trying to improve their products or services in order to compete.

However, there are groups that exist primarily to promote this ‘buy locally’ idea; few towns or cities do not have a chamber of commerce and/or other economic development organization.

A friend of mine, let’s call him Bret, provides a certain service. A couple of years ago he was asked to provide that service for a large event in and for his hometown. As the event was run by volunteers and funded only by the vendors at the event, he gave them a pretty good break on the price. The next year they hired him again, and he gave them the same price break.

But the third year was a little different. The local group decided to try to save some money, and shopped around until they found an out-of-towner (let’s call him Shawn) cheaper than my friend, so they hired him.

Soon Shawn realized he didn’t know what kind of equipment he needed for the event, so he called the locals back. They didn’t have any idea what he needed, so they directed him to someone they knew did–Bret.

I’m all for saving money (see my thesis statement above). But if your organization exists to funnel business to your town, and you take your business outside of town, then you are really refuting the reason you even exist.

If it seems odd to you for a be-loyal-buy-local group to direct an out-of-towner to ask for help from the in-towner he undercut to replace him, then you, Bret, and I have something in common.

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May 7 2014

ultima Thule

“The term ultima Thule in medieval geographies denotes any distant place located beyond the ‘borders of the known world’.”

Link to the Wikipedia article.

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May 5 2014

Do you want to watch the Superb Owl?

In case you really didn’t know, Microsoft Word is programmed by nerds and not jocks:

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 2.43.43 PMAnd yes, I would like to watch a superb owl.


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May 3 2014

Bar Sign in Jamesport, Missouri

IMG_4453Normally I would say something funny, but when it comes to the sign on a bar in an Amish town that shows what appear to be a Sasquatch and an alien with an 8-ball bracelet drinking beer–I got nothin’.


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Apr 28 2014

Trolling the Daughter


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