Category Archives: Peter’s Stuff

Things Peter is doing, interested in, or otherwise feels like posting

Monumental

Large even from an airplane window seen, 
sixty miles away.
Built to send people where nobody's been,
the vacuum of space. 

Buses could park on the stripes of the flag,
if it laid down.
A symbol of pride, a nation's great brag,
look what we did.

Here they built monsters of metal and flame,
they tore at the air.
Hyperbole claimed we would conquer and tame,
the vastness of space.

Pushing man and machine to limits then past,
They risked all to explore.
Lionized pilots who flew fearless and fast,
some died on the way.

The men are gone - 
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Will I ever learn?

A few months ago a friend was having car trouble.  She was broken down on the side of the road, and her husband was at work in town and couldn’t get there to rescue her any time soon.  She called Liz who went to pick her up.  That’s where I got involved.

Her husband is mechanically inclined and experienced with minor repairs and routine maintenance, but he hasn’t done a lot of troubleshooting of major failures.  He had spent two days doing what he could, trying to figure out what was wrong and get their car back on the road.  … Read the rest

Warnings

We must be warned that coffee's hot,
that smoking hurts the lung.
Knives are sharp and spoons are not,
and sunscreen blocks the sun.

We must not eat the non-food pack,
that freshens packaged foods.
Know calories might make us fat,
and sleep might make us drool.

Labels warn that water's wet,
and bullets might go bang.
Signs to warn of dangers met,
adorn each mundane thing.

We used to use our eyes and think,
to see, assess, then act.
Replaced with warnings bold in ink, 
a talisman of words and fact.

Speculation

If only people understood how un-cool secret stuff really is… Scott Adams came close in this strip:
Dilbert.com

The super secret squirrels convened
Their meeting in the vault
Each day at noon they gathered there
Discussing who knows what

The watchers all looked in from out
As blind and dumb and deaf
As though they had no mouth or ears
To use for baited breath

Whispers swirled from left to right
Then back around again
Tales of conquests in the works
Cabals of greed and sin

Murmurings of secret tech
Sensors, planes, and tools
Laser guns and mind control
Oh man... 
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The Parrot

Almost endless years of school
Countless hours of study
Promotions moving ever up
An awful sense of duty

To be the expert and make change
A constant goal since youth
Use of hands and head at once
Connecting truth with truth

Explore and build to meet demand
Reflect on what's been made
More to know you've done it right
Than strictly to get paid

A phantom of some lingering dream
Haunting daily chores
Wants unmet in truthful life
Like salt in open sores

No new ideas are his today
Great works he builds no more
He simply gathers and compiles
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Fog

I’ve always liked writing, but rarely get a chance to write things not formal, technical, or even worse… bureaucratic.  Given my background, you’d think anything artistic would have atrophied years ago, and in truth it probably has.  However, though unqualified and not particularly gifted, every once in a while I get an urge to dust off the non-analytical parts of my self and see just how much of it is left.

In a home filled with artistic, musical, and literary talent, I often end up filling the requirement for an audience.  It’s unlikely anyone would ask me to perform when … Read the rest

How to Talk Yourself Into Buying a New Car

UPDATE:  Apparently someone who loves us read this and assumed the accident happened the day I posted the story.  For clarification purposes, and to avoid any more panicked phone calls, this is the accident we were in back in early November 2013.  I know I’m bad about telling y’all about stuff that happens, but you can be sure that if I end up riding in an ambulance again, you won’t hear about it first through a blog I keep mostly to please myself and write things in a format not dictated by my employer.

Liz and I don’t really care … Read the rest

A Rattlesnake in the Garage

I went out to the garage the other day to look for a tool I had thrown on the pile that has been building since we moved in.  As I lifted an old blanket I saw a small snake coiled up just below my hand.  As afraid of snakes as I am, I surprised myself by not jumping, starting, or even elevating my heart-rate.  Looking at it, it wasn’t totally clear what kind of snake it was, but I decided to pick up a shovel and take care of it either way.

The funny thing about snakes is that when … Read the rest