Monday, December 31, 2012


I know that I have been out for a while.  There are reasons, of course, but they are unimportant.

I did want to make a comment or three about this year now passing.  I have been exceptionally blessed in it; I was able to earn my doctorate at last, and I have done much to develop my career through conference work since.  I have maintained a job that does much to secure a good standard of living for my wife and me, and I am not at all unappreciative of it.  Too, I remain surrounded by a number of excellent people, friends and family alike, and I am very much grateful for them.

Their number is somewhat reduced this year, however, and that is less pleasant.  I have noted the passing of Prof. Anderson already.  In the past weeks, I have also lost a key member of my family, my great uncle, Denny Hardy.  I may have more to say about the matter, but for now...I cannot speak more of it than I already have.

Even with the losses, though, I am a fortunate man, and I hope to expand upon that fortune in the year that dawns tomorrow.  And I hope that you do, too.

Thursday, December 6, 2012


[Insert usual comment about delay between postings here.]

Yesterday, my wife and I received a package from my parents.  In it, we found a host of home-made goodies to eat.  Cookies, cookie pops (seriously), and pretzel sticks were all very much welcome, and they still taste pretty good.

Among them, though, was an even greater treasure: Mom's fudge.

The fudge has a long and storied history with me, even if no individual batch lasts long when it is around me.  Although the recipe is comparatively simple, the taste of Mom's fudge is remarkable, as many people who were in school with me have had occasion to find.

I will explain.

Because I am a sharing person (i.e., I like to think that I can get people to like me if I give them things), I would through middle and high school take a batch of fudge with me to share with others.  This usually meant that a lot of it got distributed in the bandhall--I was a band nerd, and I spent most of my free time at school in the bandhall, although not in practice as I ought to have been.  And being in the bandhall meant that drummers were involved.

There is something wonderful about being a drummer (aside from all the jokes at their expense: "What do you call a drummer without a girlfriend?"  "Homeless.").  The very act of drumming--making music by hitting things, sometimes with other things--speaks to something primal and, really, entertaining.  I want to think that there is something of the warrior nature in the act of drumming, but that kind of philosophizing is beyond me.

I philosophize otherwise.

The drummers, because they had a decided appreciation for the pleasures of the senses, enjoyed the fudge immensely.  And because they were jealous and inclined to violence (again, by trade and training, they hit things to get results), they would not seldom get into fights over the fudge.  Drumsticks and the heavier mallets used for timpani and gongs flew across the room or flailed about in adolescent, sugar-fueled hands.

Sometimes, I miss it.

Now, though, I do not have to share the fudge so much.  So there is that.