Posts Tagged ‘Boston University’

Years ago CavWife and I took a trip with her parents to Lake Placid.  It was the dead of winter.  I have rarely been colder.  We had lunch that day at the Great Adirondack Steak and Seafood.  In order to get there from our car we had to walk between a large gap in the buildings that led to Mirror Lake.  Can you say Wind Tunnel?  It was worse than the one by the dorms near Nickerson Field at Boston University.  Cold.  Real cold.  Extreme cold.

Mmmmm.... popcorn

My in-laws took care of the kids today while CavWife and I made our way to Lake Placid with her sister and brother-in-law.  No snow on the ground this time.  No ice on the ground this time.  No one else at the wheel this time.  I love driving those twisty roads in a decent car.  No Pop-Pop mobile today.  It was J-9’s G6.  It was an enjoyable ride.

We stopped at one point to take pictures of some guys climbing rock faces.  We enjoyed pondering the lakes apparently created by the infamous “jumping glacier”.  We also passed the Olympic ski jump which was impressive even without snow.  Finally we rolled into the village of Lake Placid.  We made our way down Main Street to find a parking space.  The meters were a slightly different concept.    You periodically had a meter that put out receipts you placed on your dash.  That was a new one to me.

We got a good laugh as some of the local police patrolled the strip in little electric cars.  No high speed chases for these guys.  We found a nice spot at the end of the strip that overlooked Mirror Lake.  Just beautiful with the mountains in the background.  So much green (live in the desert for a year and you’ll crave green too!).

CavWife and her sister were focused on finding the restaurant.  It has its own microbrews and we had an old 1/2 gallon jug of theirs we wanted filled with a good beer or ale.  I wanted to just look around and enjoy the place. We stumbled upon the old “wind tunnel” from our previous trip.  Now it was green and beautiful, overlooking the lake as well.  There were some chair down there and it would be a great place to sit and enjoy a book or some conversation with a beer and cigar.

See, Ridiculous!


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In 1986 a new friend lent me a cassette of an album called Fearful Symmetry by a band called Daniel Amos.  I had heard nothing like it and I had been exposed to a wide variety of music.  I was a new Christian at the time.  I didn’t like it.  But I gave it a few listens.  It grew on me, like mold.

Soon Daniel Amos was my favorite band.  I never got to see them in concert, having just missed a show in Boston at the Paradise Club just behind my dorm at Boston University.  That was one of their last tours.  Their last album came out in 2001 just before I got married.  I figured I’d never have a chance to see them.

This summer, that all changes.  They recently announced a summer tour and they have 2 dates in Arizona.  The show in Phoenix is booked for the night I get back from a mission trip to Mexico.  There still isn’t a site in Tucson for the date (hello, someone).  I’m planning to go to the show in Phoenix unless a location in Tucson comes together.  Being new here, I just don’t have the connections yet.  But I’m working on it.

This had me thinking about a set list.  What songs would I want them to play.  Yeah, they would be there longer than the double disc Live at Cornerstone 2000 recording I have.  After all, they have 12 albums to draw from.  I’ve been meaning to do this, but keep forgetting.  But Pam Mark Hall just posted that the rehearsals sound great and mentioned some songs they are prepping for the shows.


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For the most part, women just aren’t into pornography (I think this is a great thing).  In recent years the use of pornography among women has increased, sadly.  But I haven’t seen evidence that it has quite the same addictive quality for women as for men.

For years, I’ve considered the romance novel the equivalent of pornography for women.  Some women collect them like some men can collect magazines and DVDs.  I’ve noticed a similar effect taking place.  Men end up having unrealistic expectations for their wives’ appearance.  They inevitably compare them to the women they viewed in magazines, movies or on-line.  In a similar fashion, women begin to compare their men to the men in the books.  They have expectations of behavior- romance- rather than how well put together he is.

You mention this, and people think you’re a little strange.  It is just a book (which, oddly, is similar to what men who enjoy pornography say).  But thanks to some researchers at Boston University (Go, Terriers!), perhaps I’m not as strange as you thought I was.  Ogi Ogas and Sai Gaddam (I have no idea how to pronounce their names) put their findings in A Billion Wicked Thoughts.

Like pornography, romance stories (they can be movies!) typically follow a pattern.  The rough-edged alpha male finally succumbs to the wiles of the heroine, becoming slightly domesticated.  He often rescues her, but they live happily ever after.  Like pornography, there is no sequel.  There is no loving through the thick and thin.  There is just the idealized moment, in one case sexual and the other romantic.  Both stop well short of real relationship with a real person with weaknesses, character flaws, signs of aging and gas.


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Paul Tripps’ What Did You Expect? hits on the reality of our defensiveness and self-righteousness.  He expressed it in a way that I find is very helpful.  He talks about our inner lawyer that rises to our defense.

“All of us carry inside ourselves an inner lawyer who is easily activated and quickly rises to our defense.”

Don’t you notice this when you become engaged in a disagreement.  That desire to defend and/or to accuse quickly comes to the surface.  We start to parse words, shift the discussion to their failings and point the finger (even give the finger).

This was so clear to me one day in the minivan.  CavWife and I have a long-standing philosophical disagreement on whether or not the emergency brake is necessary whenever you are parked on a hill.  Her source of authority on this matter is her father.  My source of authority is Car Talk (Tom was a professor of mine at Boston University).


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Though I grew up in a nominally Catholic family, and went to Mass most Saturdays, I grew up affirming evolution.  Like most boys, I like dinosaurs and cavemen.  We had the Time Life series of books on science, and I spent lots of time reading about the theory of evolution (sadly I’ve engaged in debates with people whether it was a theory, a hypothesis etc. but I don’t care what you call as long as you don’t call it a fact).  In school we watched those videos about the moths in England near the factories and other stories of evolution within a species.  I had no reason to doubt that this was an accurate interpretation of the data and explanation for our existence on this planet.  In fact, I did not doubt it was true.

Off to Boston University (no, not Boston College the more famous Catholic institution down the street that we usually beat in hockey).  I was required to take a lab science.  I hate lab sciences.  I inevitably mess up the experiments.  But just prior to my sophomore year, a class caught my eye.  It was …. Bioastronomy and the Search for Extraterrestial Life.  It was a lab science, but one without experiments!  I was all over that class!

The premise of the course was that the only way to determine if the possibility there was life on other planets was to study how life supposedly came to exist on this planet.  As a result we studied astronomy and evolution to arrive at an equation to determine that possibility.

A liberal blog that decided to make fun of my in this matter among others, figured that the professor didn’t do a very good job.  I think the professor did a fine job communicating the material to the converted.  But something happened to me.  I began to see all the factors that were vital to the existence of life.  At the end of the class there was a 1 in 10 to the 26th power chance of there being life (or something like that).  That is 1 followed by 26 zeroes.  That seemed quite unlikely to me.


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