Wednesday, July 31, 2013

I have a negative climate change rating?

I don't fully understand the rating, but my blog "The hoax is that there is no climate change" was given a -0.72 rating by The Carbon Capture Report,

Does this mean that the raters or the rating programs don't understand irony?  Many think that climate change is a hoax.  So, isn't a way to spoof the idea that there is no climate change is to call the idea of no climate change a hoax?

There I went again!  Using convoluted thinking to show an idea is not valid and few understand my meaning.  Sigh!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

There is little original thought on the Internet

This blog is a good example of much of what is available on the Internet is derivative of somebody else's ideas.

My previous entry was "Fox News sells book on Jesus by a Muslim".

I got to that by an entry by the Coffee Party on Facebook.  It led me to an entry by Egberto Willies on his web site.  That led me to an interview on Fox News with an author of a book on Jesus.  The author answering questions about his book could still be considered derivative.  That led me to look up more info about his book. Finding the Huffington Post excerpt finally got me to the author's original thoughts.  Regardless of what you think about Reza Aslan's thoughts about Jesus, you must say that they are closer to unique thinking about a subject than all the other steps that got me to that excerpt.

Fox News sells book on Jesus by a Muslim

Well, it didn't intend to sell "Zealot: The Life And Times Of Jesus Of Nazareth" by Reza Aslan, but the inept interview of him by Lauren Green led lot of people to be interested in the book.   I could not finish watching the interview; it was unduly combative on Green's part.  Apparently this interview has gone viral and you can find it many places.  The commenters to the Egbertowillies page were mostly in favor the author.

A better contrary commentary on the book is "A (Somewhat) Muslim Perspective: Why Is Reza Aslan's Jesus So Small?" by Rob Asghar, Huffington Post, 2013-07-29.

You can judge for yourself by reading an excerpt from "Zealot" at

Monday, July 29, 2013

Legacy Tools

I built a deck for the screen house at our cabin some years ago.  About two years ago the floor became so rotted that I tore it off.  I kept saying I'll redo it, but I never did.  Finally we asked a handyman to do it.

He and I agreed that the frame was not worth saving.  At least I could tear it apart before he rebuilt it.  I unscrewed all the boards from the posts, cut them up in small pieces, and split those even smaller.  I have put about a half through the chipper until it jammed, probably because the blade had become dull.

The support posts were also rotten and so I pulled them out.  Well, two came out easily, the third took a lot of effort, and the fourth would only go up and down about two inches.  I tried over and over again with a 5-ft. pry bar but made very little progress.  The one-inch steel handle was even bending.

Then I remembered a pickaroon that Bill Zemlin had given me many years ago.  It is a short pick to be used to move logs around.  I swung it against the post and it penetrated enough to make it much easier to pull the post upward.

The post did move somewhat but it still stuck in the hole.  I then laid the pry-bar on the ground and used it as a fulcrum for the pickaroon.  The post came up a bit more.  In several more tries I had the post completely out of the hole.

Sure enough, there was a branch stub right at the bottom of the post.  The posts were from a tamarack that I had cut and squared with a chain saw.  I saw no need to have them square except where the deck frame would attach to them.  Maybe I had even thought that the knob would help keep the post in the ground!

This project and another are reminders of Bill Zemlin and all the tools, lumber, and other items that he or his wife sold or gave to us.

The deck and screen tent are from them.  I don't remember if I rebuilt the deck or just replaced some of the boards.  Bill gave me or loaned me a pair of pipe wrenches for some project.  They came in handy on checking our well.  He gave me a post hole digger and some long pipes to give better turning leverage.  He helped me get the railroad ties that our tool shed sits on.  He sold me the lumber for the tool shed; he milled it himself.

Our history goes back even further.  My wife and Eileen Zemlin met on a subway in Stockholm.  Bill was on sabbatical at Karolinska Institute.  They gave us an open invitation to visit them in Brimson, Minnesota where they had a cabin.  When we moved back to Minnesota in 1977, we kept putting off visiting them because we went canoeing in the Boundary Waters instead.  Finally we took up their offer in 1987 and they introduced us to the Brimson Sisu.  We returned for subsequent Sisu's.  In 1990 as we were leaving, we told ourselves, "We could live here".  We started looking at want ads for country property.

In 1991 we went to visit our son in Japan at Sisu time, but we visited the Zemlins in September or October.  Bill liked to take company out for a drive to many sites near and far.  He took us down one dirt road past a property that was for sale.  We looked around it and took down the realtor's number.

We called the realtor and arranged for a more leisurely look at the property.  To make a long story short, we owned it by December 1991.  We never did build a house on it or move to it permanently, but we did move to Duluth to be closer to the property.  The one-hour drive from Duluth sure beats the four-hour drive from Plymouth MN.

Bill died in 1998 after a long career in many things, including writing a standard text on speech and hearing - "Speech and Hearing Science, Anatomy and Physiology".  A retired speech and hearing professor, from whom I took an unrelated course in University for Seniors last year, still had a copy in his possession.

The good that men do does live after them.  Thanks, Bill and Eileen, for the property, the memories, and the tools.