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picture The gaudy red Jordan coat of arms is one they sell in souvenir shops in Ireland.

The right-hand Jordan coat of arms, also from Ireland, is one I found on the Internet. The horse-whip tail on the lion is pretty good, but I like the top half best. It's like a blank coloring book.

I can't figure what's with all the lions. They don't even have lions in Ireland.

The two Maya Stelae further down the page translate into my birthday. They both say I was born on

Personal Stuff

Non-University Interests:

Travel, archaeology, museums, religions, languages (esp. Esperanto, Chinese, Nahuatl)


Good Things:
Hikes, short whodunits, farcical films, really clever computer programs, nuts, having a captive audience, pop-up books, beaches, music written before the XXth century, museums, July, theatres, vanilla, literacy, nifty places, rocking chairs, artists, gefiltefish, mail that requires no answer, beer, alphabetical order, Gothic architecture, sherry, cartoons, maps, web pages with actual content, funny food (within reason), bug-free woods, ingenuity, being met at the station, Wikipedia, Arab salads, heaven, flowers that grow though neglected, HTML, pipe organs, sunset, tamales, pop-up books, goats, straight teeth, friends, spumoni ice cream, decorative tile, smiles, seashores, corduroy jackets, health, skepticism, indoor plumbing, okra, Hawaiian shirts, history majors, pork chops, dictionary apps, books with peanut-butter-proof bindings, traveling to new places, opera, freshmen, Wikipedia, fish tacos, universal single-payer health care, seedless grapes, lessons one & two, pleasant weather, pockets, reliable machines, naps, the Upper Paleolithic, red wine, the pyramid of Unis, national parks, free trade, printed instruction manuals, maternal advice, curiosity, hot baths, Corto Maltese "graphic novels" (= comic books), tea, gay rights, smoked salmon, drivers who scorn the laws of physics, freeware, Chinese temples, Esperanto & (most of) the people who speak it, the sound of rain on a roof that doesn't leak, Harry Potter books, a seat in the front, encyclopedias, foods that start with A, E-Readers.
Bad Things:
Talk radio, flu, poems that don't rhyme, being a captive audience, things that don't work right, cilantro, idiots with power, flat tires, science fiction, baseball, the word "like" used as spoken punctuation, gurus and their followers, wet dogs, spam and junk mail, mosquitoes and/or flies, careless writing, floods & fires, garden snails, spin doctors, dust & spider webs, budget deficits, fundamentalists, nag boxes, ethnic cleansing, music written after the XIXth century, handguns & assault weapons, clattering skateboards, termites, supreme leaders, forest fires, exams, pictures printed across binding margins, DJs, lobbyists, oversold flights, piano transcriptions, illegible labels on electronic devices, group-think, art that fails to lift the spirit, robber barons & labor bosses, bottled water, electioneering, murder & mayhem, English spelling, karaoke, preachers who go by nicknames, telephone trees, madding crowds, feminists & anti-feminists, acne & eczema, robocalls, protectionism, motivational speakers, traffic congestion, the Lower Paleolithic, public broadcasting "membership" drives, human sacrifice, bandwagons, graffiti, terrorism, vacuous gibberish, game shows, arthritis, pop-up ads, weeds, self-locking car doors, senioritis, invasions, campaign promises, museum labels far from what they label, famine & plague, gerrymandering, reality TV, rabble rousers & roused rabble, forgetfulness, isms, horseradish, viruses, "people who."

Rhetorical Questions About the Great Issues of the Day:

  1. Why are the car keys in the refrigerator?
  2. How come computers and plumbing fail on weekends?
  3. What is it about television that makes members of Congress seem so damned stupid?
  4. What if they don't speak English in heaven?
  5. Why is it better to ban gay marriage than to ban firearms?
  6. Do they sell Girl Scout cookies in heaven?
  7. Why should a course be required of a student who can pass the final exam on the first day?
  8. Why is the Chinese government afraid of everybody?
  9. Do dogs ever wish they were cats?
  10. Why did the GPS unit tell me to drive into the middle of a cow pasture?
  11. How long can a rush-hour traffic tie-up in a small town like La Jolla possibly take?
  12. Is it really true that no living person actually understands the whole federal tax code?
  13. How come the expression "family values" seems to mean making babies, carrying guns, and cutting taxes for rich people?
  14. If a politician never changes his mind, how can we be sure he has one?
  1. Would reasonable people still want to go to heaven if they thought teenagers got to pick the music there?
  2. How do strings, wires, cords, and hoses get twisted up even without moving?
  3. How come my birthday in Maya glyphs is so different in the two computer printouts shown here?
  4. When my computer plays cards how do I know it's not looking at my hand?
  5. Does "resurrection of the body" mean your old fingernail clippings get reattached?
  6. Is life really enriched by believing rather than doubting?
  7. What makes pundits and politicians afraid to wear brown?
  8. Since people can change their religion at will, why is discrimination based on religion worse than discrimination based on traits they cannot change?
  9. Why do I get Superglue on my fingers when it is being used by somebody three houses away?
  10. How come food that's bad for you is cheaper than food that's good for you?
  11. Why should we imagine that the Founding Fathers were smarter than people are today?
  12. How come pictures of people making love are considered dangerous to children, but pictures of people killing each other are judged harmless?
  13. How can it keep taking half an hour to get some place that's only five minutes away?
  14. Does anybody in Africa have a bright future?
  15. If you really think that what you have to say is persuasive, why are you shouting?

Favorite Mottoes & Quotations:


Off hand I can't think of any reason why you would want to look at a picture of me. Even I don't have much interest in pictures of me. However if you click on the guy in the pot it will lead to a my favorite picture of me, which, in turn, is but a mouse-click away from a huge, appallingly narcissistic collection of photos of me that will amaze and disgust you and take longer than Lent to download into the bargain. (It isn't my fault. Somebody sent me a picture of myself to put on my web page and things just kind of got out of hand.)

Grotesquely Intimate Details of My Personal Life:

You don't want to know intimate stuff.

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