Compliments for 100 Dollars

I walk past a middle school at lunch every day. Most days we all just carry on with our own work (mine: dog walking, theirs: game playing), but today was different.

As I walked by the school yard, one of the kids kicked a ball over the fence and across the street. She asked if I would throw it back over, apologizing a lot as she did. It’s no real burden for me, so I retrieved it and threw it back over.

Another student asked if I could help retrieve a second ball, and then a third (there wasn’t a fourth). Again, not a problem, so I returned those balls as well. And then he said this:

“You’re so generous! Thank you! If I could pay you $100 I would, but I don’t have any money. Your dog is beautiful and healthy. Have a good day!”

Now, I can’t be sure of what drove him to have that little interaction with me. But I would like to imagine it’s a mixture of these things:

  1. Having a very high valuation of time.
  2. Having a very low valuation of a dollar.
  3. Having an innate sense for the existence of reciprocity.

Which then led him to decide that, knowing that he needed to pay for the use of my expensive time, a compliment to my dog was worth $100.

Immortality, Space, and Doctor Who

First, let’s rip the bandaid right off this post’s title. I don’t plan to talk about The Doctor. He was merely an afterthought in this conversation that happened, naturally, over beers with friends at our local bar. Join me as I recreate this short and silly thought experiment.

Practical Problems with Immortality

Imagine for a moment, that you will live forever (not in the “immortality of all matter” way, but in the science fiction way).  At some point, you will witness the desctruction of your world the world you inhabit, either by natural entropy or by unnatural catastrophe.

A miracle occurs, or you are immortal, and you emerge unscathed.

So there you are. Floating about in space (ignore the part where you’re in a vacuum, we’re not trying to make sense of living forever right now). Eventually everything you had with you that was manufactured disintegrates. As the conversation went on it was decided that, given that you have nothing to do but think you would become increasingly intelligent. Let the record show that I diverged here, insisting that you would panic and become increasingly neurotic. Having thoughts without any way to conduct subsequent research does not a genius make.

The thought experiment ended thusly: any immortal, given enough time, will wind up drifting forever in space clad in nothing but their own brilliance.

At which point, I mentioned that this never happened to The Doctor who is, by all fictional accounts, both a variety of immortal and independently brilliant.

Feel free to discuss this with your families over the holidays!

My Unfortunate Week

This past week I experienced a spectacular intersection of a number  of under-the-weather situations. In general, this isn’t a fun intersection to find yourself in, but I’m back and better than ever!

And if I’m not better than ever, at least I’m more coherent than I was last week which is a huge benefit.

Hanging Ivy

Hanging ivy is beautiful as ground cover or, in this case, as a building cover. Not all hanging ivy is destined to be a building killer, but many years ago there was a fuss about Yale schools removing the ivy from their buildings.

Plants have that same destructive power as water; it may take forever, but even buildings can be susceptible. Next plant-based musing: gardens = plant zoos.

ivy on building along Italian street

In response to The Daily Post’s weekly photo challenge: “Forces of Nature.”

Why I Don’t Love Ninjas Quite as Much as Spies.

Okay, now ninjas.

I don’t love them quite as much and it’s because of one key difference. They get Back Office, Cool Tricks, and Blows of Justice.

But they are also just one giant secret. No external charm with a secret agenda to save the world. Just darkness and secret.

Which is why I can’t love ninjas quite as much.



Nevermind! I am an amazing master mind and have been able to put up a Flooble and keep this layout! I am Superwoman! It’s on the left hand side under “My Flooble”  Click on it and poof you will have hours of posting fun! Fabulous.