A Geek-savvy White House

I already knew that the current President is a lot more science-friendly than his predecessor, but it turns out that there are some outright geeks who work for President Obama.  Someone created a petition asking the government to build a Death Star, and managed to get enough signatures to warrant a response.  In return, the White House response may have just won the Internet.


Nick Flynn, Ty Burr, Amanda Palmer, & Neil Gaiman

Regular readers around here know that Geoff and I are huge fans of The Bloggess.  We also happen to think that Neil Gaiman is pretty awesome and that Amanda Palmer is pretty cool.

I signed up to work an event featuring Nick Flynn and Ty Burr and who was more surprised than me when Amanda Palmer and Neil Gaiman showed up?  Bloggess?  This is for you.

Continue reading “Nick Flynn, Ty Burr, Amanda Palmer, & Neil Gaiman”

Adventures in Plumbing, or Raw Sewage is NOT Your Friend

Now that the nightmare is over, I can tell you about our escapades of the past week.  It all began with Kelly noticing that the toilet was taking too long to flush last Wednesday while I was at work.   Then suddenly the tub was taking longer to drain too, with the tub actually starting to fill during a shower.  So obviously something was wrong.  We just didn’t know right away how wrong.  So don’t read this if you are a little squeamish, although I will try to not get too graphic.

Continue reading “Adventures in Plumbing, or Raw Sewage is NOT Your Friend”

Second tour is done

This time we had a full group of about 15.  Most of them seemed pretty enthusiastic although there was one guy who must have been along for the ride, because he didn’t seem to be into it while the woman with him asked me a lot of questions.  Probably the most unusual thing about this tour happened when I brought the group by the Julia Ward Howe and Samuel Gridley Howe home on Chestnut Street.  After describing how Julia was inspired to write new words to the tune of “John Brown’s Body”, and how the new lyrics became tremendously popular, a woman on the tour asked if I could sing it for her, and then a bunch of the other women on the tour chimed in too.  So I went ahead and sang the first verse.  I got a round of applause, hopefully not for comedic value and/or pity.


The first Civil War walking tour seemed to go well…

and the second one is coming up this weekend.  There are already a bunch of people signed up for it.  I am excited.  Needless to say I have had the Civil War era on the brain for a while, but especially lately.

Continue reading “The first Civil War walking tour seemed to go well…”

The unstudied aspects of the Civil War

I know that to some people, the idea that there is anything left to study about the Civil War is doubtful.  Estimates are that some 50,000 books have been written about the Civil War.  And yet, much to my own frustration, many topics remain unstudied.   The one that has frustrated me more than any other in recent years is civilian casualties of the war.

Continue reading “The unstudied aspects of the Civil War”