Saturday, December 31, 2005

The Book Of The Year

IN a few minutes I'm going out, to ride the towpath to Bethlehem, watch the First Night fireworks and usher along the old and new years right -- with a bike ride. Meantime, this quote I think sums up my internal life this year, or at least lately:

It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms. - Charles Darwin

That reminds me very strongly of Isaac Newton and the world view he ushered in, where all the different phenomena of the world could be seen, and demonstrated to be the manifold ramifications of simple, elegant ideas. Add to that a sentiment I saw expressed in the comments to one of Pharyngula's posts: "The essence of science is asking the question 'But how do you know what you know?' " and I think we have 2005 covered. Catch you on the flipside...

Friday, December 30, 2005

Pics, No Pics

I'm baaaack! First came Christmas, then a mini-vacation in Vermont, but now my time off is coming to a close...

Christmas was good, spent it with the family down in Englishtown; I just posted my photos at Flickr. Got some good presents, including a couple of unix reference books, must soon start rummaging in the system again.

Meantime, VT: The camera was not happy with the cold, so there are no pictures from Vermont. Had a good time though: arrived Monday night, dinner, XC skied Tuesday, fell a bunch of times (not used to really steep stuff on XC skis), including once where I got the Stubbed Toe From Hell, think I broke my right big toe. I almost took a picture of it back at the hotel: swollen, major bruising with a red outline at the joint -- almost looked like an x-ray, must have been hematoma or blood leaking out of the damaged place, or whatever. Skied on it the rest of the day but it was killing me. Wednesday I hiked/snowshoe'ed, to um, to give the foot a rest (actually it worked). The weather turned warm and rainy yesterday, so I blew off my last day and came home early. So-so vacation, but hey at least I went.