Friday, August 29, 2008

American Samoa

I watched some of the Democratic Convention the other day - I always get a kick out of the roll call vote, where representatives from "The Great State of (insert name here)" casts their votes. I always learn interesting bits of trivia. For example, did you know that Minnesota consistently has the highest per capita voter turnout of any state? Now you do.

But the coolest one was American Samoa, which cast their "precious nine votes" in an enthusiastic, bilingual pronouncement. I loved seeing these guys do this democracy thing, even if it's only casting 9 votes (for contrast, Massachusetts has 121). I was only vaguely aware that places like American Samoa even exist, let alone that they get to send delegates to the party conventions to cast precious votes.

Precious votes indeed. God bless America.

G.K. Chesterton Back To School Quote of the Day

"... during the period of what is commonly called education; that is, the period during which I was being instructed by somebody I did not know, about something I did not want to know."

- The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, August 28, 2008

G.K. Chesterton Quote Of the Day

I love how Chesterton started his autobiography. Here's the first line:

"Bowing down in blind credulity, as is my custom, before mere authority and the tradition of the elders, superstitiously swallowing a story I could not test at the time by experiment or private judgment, I am firmly of the opinion that I was born on the 29th of May, 1874, on Campden Hill, Kensington..."

- The Autobiography of G.K. Chesterton

Worst. Run. Ever.

So my half-marathon training has taken a turn for the painful. Yesterday's 5-miler (a mere 5 miles!) just about killed me. Maybe I didn't get enough sleep, maybe I was dehydrated, or maybe I just wasn't used to running at 11:00 (instead of my usual 7am jaunts). Whatever the reason, it was rough.

For starters, I had to deal with the big 3 H's: Heat. Humidity. Hills.

Add in cramps, fatigue and repetition (I was running a 2.5 mile hilly loop, twice). Oh yes, this run had everything.

Well, everything except what was missing. Absent from the run was my running buddy Steve (still sidelined with some kind of foot injury). Also absent was any semblance of mental toughness. I actually stopped running a few times and walked. OK, more than a few times. I briefly considered how good it would be to just fall down, because then one of the nice people in the cars driving past would have to stop and help me.

But I will continue to insist it was sweat getting in my eyes, making them sting. I wasn't crying. Really, it was just sweat.


(Here's hoping the next run is smoother!)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


I ran my blog through Wordle again. What a cool application! Here's the latest result:

Thomas Merton Quote of the Day

"If a man has to be pleasing to me, comforting, reassuring, before I can love him, then I cannot truly love him...

If he has to be black or white before I can love him, then I cannot love him. If he has to belong to my political party or my social group before I can love him, if he has to wear my kind of uniform, then my love is no longer love because it is not free: it is dictated by something outside myself.

I love his label which confirms me in attachment to my own label. But in that case, I do not even love myself. I value myself not for what I am, but for my label, my classification."

- The Good Samaritan

What I'm Reading

Unlike my lovely and amazing wife, who usually reads just one book at a time and recently finished War & Peace, I am usually in the middle of half a dozen books at any given time. For me to "finish" a book is a relatively rare occurrence, at least in the sense of "reading all the words." Finishing usually means I haven't picked it up in a month or so, whether the neglect is deliberate or not.

My reading philosophy goes something like this: if I can put the book down, I do. That's because the list of books I want to read is always huge, so I try not to waste too much time with books that don't keep my attention and enthusiasm. I try to focus on reading books that are really worth my time, books I care about. And yeah, that means I don't finish most of the books I start.

And now, just for fun, here's a list of the books I'm currently reading. Whether I'll get to the last page or not on any of them is anyone's guess, but at the moment, I'm really enjoying them all. Several are related to my thesis research, but fortunately I'm really enjoying those too.

Black Swans, Taleb
Narrative Methods for Organizational & Communication Research, Boje
Defense Facts of Life: The Plans/Reality Mismatch, Spinney
The Defense Procurement Mess, Gregory
The Mythical Man-Month, Brooks
Skunkworks, Rich
Faster, Better, Cheaper, McCurdy
The Solaris Book of New Science Fiction (an anthology, edited by Mann)
Accelerando, Stross
The Ball and the Cross, Chesterton

Oh, and I just finished Persepolis, by Satrapi, which was a quick read 'cause it's a graphic novel.

At some point, maybe I'll have comments about some of these, or at least links to more info about them, but for now, you'll have to be content with just the list.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Thomas Merton Quote of the Day

"Thus we never see the one truth that would help us begin to solve our ethical and political problems: that we are all more or less wrong, that we are all at fault, all limited and obstructed by our mixed motives, our self-deception, our greed, our self-righteousness, and our tendency to aggressivity and hypocrisy."

- New Seeds of Contemplation

Running Is Hard

As my mileage increases, I'm finding that the shorter runs are easier psychologically but still challenging physically. I used to run 3-4 miles on a regular basis. Now 5 miles is a short run, and I don't flinch at the thought of churning out 5 or even 6.

But for some reason, I thought that since I'd already done an 8-mile run, the 5-miler would be easy. Turns out I was wrong on that one. Well, the last half of the 5-miler wasn't too bad, but the first 2 or 3 miles hurt more than I expected it to. Maybe I just needed to warm up more.

A big part of the discomfort no doubt can be attributed to the fact that I was running alone - my running buddy Steve is sidelined with some major foot pain, so it looks like I'm on my own for the final 4 weeks leading up to the big race (he's heading out to Europe for 3 weeks on 5 Sept, so I was going to be solo soon anyway). The iPod helps, but it's not the same as having Steve there.

But, I still had a nice strong finish (thanks to GN'R rocking out in my earphones) and am looking forward to my next long run - 9 miles this weekend!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Thomas Merton Quote of the Day

"... the Desert Fathers talked not about monastic spirituality but about purity of heart and obedience and solitude, and about God.

God in me is not measured by your ascetic theory and God in you in not to be weighed in the scales of my doctrine. Indeed, He is not to be weighed at all."

- The Sign of Jonas

Charts Are Cheap

A few weeks ago, I put together a funny little PowerPoint briefing titled "Charts Are Cheap." The basic idea was that cramming all your information into as few charts as possible is stupid, even though we treat it like it's a Best Practice(tm). You can download the charts at SlideShare (talking points are in the Notes View, where they belong).

Anyway, I just came across this Dilbert comic that perfectly illustrates the mindset I was trying to counter. And yes, I've been in situations where I've been asked to limit a presentation to one or two slides, as if the number of slides is the real limiting factor (as opposed to time). If I have 5 minutes of someone's time in a meeting, who cares whether I do 1 slide or 50?

As Ray Romano once said, "Laugh because it's funny, cry because it's true."

[NOTE: If you only see two panels of the Dilbert comic, click on it to see the third one... It looked right in my Blogger Preview, but after I actually posted it, I could only see 2 panels.]

Friday, August 22, 2008

Thomas Merton Quote of the Day

"Is it any wonder that Trappist monasteries are places full of peace and contentment and joy? These men, who have none of the pleasures of the world, have all the happiness that the world is unable to find."

- The Waters of Siloe

DaNoWriTi Update

Yeah, I haven't blogged about DaNoWriTi (Dan's Novel Writing Time) recently, 'cause there just hasn't been all that much to say. Since it's summer time and I'm only taking two classes at the moment, you'd think it wouldn't be that hard to find the time to write, but... my pace has been quite slow. I could claim that most of my writing juice goes towards my thesis research, but that's really no excuse. Writers write, ya know, so I just need to get my game on.

I'm actually really close to being finished - only another chapter or two to go. It's been such a fun story to write, and the girls are really enjoying hearing it (and they heckle me about not writing more often). But an uninterrupted hour is hard to come by.

The writing process this time has had a strange duality. Sometimes, the story comes fast and easy as I just write the logical next step, basically listening to and being led by the characters. Other times, I find myself having to make a decision between two equally valid (but quite different) approaches, either in plot or structure, and neither approach is obviously superior to the other. So, I sit and drink coffee and think about which way to go. That slows things down a bit.

It's a lot of exhausting fun as always. I'm looking forward to finishing the writing so I can begin the typing / editing - which means I get to read it again myself!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

G.K. Chesterton Quote of the Day

"... the academic mind reflects infinity, and is full of light by the simple process of being shallow and standing still."

- Manalive

Success & Failure

I found an interesting line in a book titled "Pre-Milestone A and Early-Phase Systems Engineering: A Retrospective Review and Benefits for Future Air Force Acquisition." (Yeah, I know, just a little light reading before bed, right?). Anyway, lousy title but some pretty interesting assertions, such as:

"... programs that succeeded were those that delivered their products within a reasonable margin of the original cost and schedule baseline. Programs that failed, in the committee's view, may have delivered successful products but were well outside the reasonable expectations of the original program and were only successful in delivering products after the addition of substantial unplanned funding and a substantial extension of the original schedule." (emphasis added)

I'd say the F-22 is pretty clearly in that category of a "successful product" delivered well outside the original expectations and only after adding a lot of time and money. Or am I missing something here? This may be just the committee's view, but it sure makes sense to me.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

G.K. Chesterton Quote of the Day

"It is a good exercise to try for once in a while to express any opinion one holds in words of one syllable."

- Orthodoxy

Five Year Olds, Part III

One more comment to add to the previous discussion about Heaven being full of 5 year olds:

A 5-year-old recognizes that there is no shame in being a helper. In fact, they see it as an honor to help a grown-up cook, clean or fix something. I think there's something deep and spiritual and healthy about that perspective.

In our adult pride, we all too often bristle at the suggestion we're anything other than the boss. But when I'm in the kitchen and I call out "Who wants to be Daddy's Helper? I need someone to stir this bowl..." I can count on an enthusiastic, noisy rush of joy coming my way as fast as her two little legs can carry her.

And even though I did most of the stirring (or even held her hand while she stirred), she loves the idea that she got to help. How beautiful is that!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Brennan Manning Quote of the Day

"The gospel of grace is brutally devalued when Christians maintain that the transcendent God can only be properly honored and respected by denying the goodness and the truth and the beauty of the things of this world."

- The Ragamuffin Gospel

New Uniforms

Pardon me while I complain for a moment.

The Air Force recently rolled out a new uniform, the Airman Battle Uniform (aka the ABU, not to be confused with Abu Ghraib). The idea was to have a "service-distinctive" uniform, so naturally it looks just like the Army's new Army Combat Uniform (aka the ACU, not to be confused with the ACLU).

I've been wearing it for a while now, and have quite a list of things I dislike about it. For starters, the shirts and pants were manufactured by two different companies, so mine don't really match. One is more gray, the other is more green. It's subtle but hard to miss once you notice it. They tell me it's ok for them to not match.

The fabric is stiff, thick and hot. Good thing we always work in air conditioned environments, right?

Maybe I bought the wrong size, but the doggone uniform doesn't fit. It's too small in the arms and shoulders, but huge around the waist (ok, maybe it fits the typical Chair Force body type?). I can't even roll up the sleeves, because they're just too tight around my arms. Actually, I bought two different sizes - a larger one that's huge around the middle but has sleeves I can roll, and a smaller size that fits my waist but is tight on the shoulder and arms. I suppose I can have the waist taken in a bit, if I want to spend the money.

The t-shirts are cheap and got all pilly very fast. I've only had it for two or three months (and only wear it a couple times a week), but they turned pilly after one or two wears.

The pockets are really deep. Like, REALLY deep, as in, I'm almost up to my elbow when I go looking for a quarter. And do I really need 5 pencil pockets (one on the chest, two on the left arm, two on the right leg)?

Maybe someday I'll get to wear my blue uniform again on a regular basis. That would be nice.

Monday, August 18, 2008

G.K. Chesterton Quote of the Day

Life is not an illogicality; yet it is a trap for logicians. It looks just a little more mathematical and regular than it is; its exactitude is obvious, but its inexactitude is hidden...

It is this silent swerving from accuracy by an inch that is the uncanny element in everything... Everywhere in things there is this element of the quiet and incalculable.

- Orthodoxy

It's All Been Done

Michael Phelps is all over the news, as America (and much of the rest of the world) indulges in our every-four-years love affair with swimming & running. But it hit me the other day that this isn't his first set of races, is it?

The talented Mr. Phelps has been racing, competing, and winning for quite some time now. But nobody really paid any attention until the Olympics. Now, suddenly, people get excited about swimming (and track & field, this week). It's weird.

Given the opportunity, I have to wonder if anyone would watch a race (aquatic or track-based) next week? Sure, I understand the Olympics are special, but gosh, given the level of excitement and enthusiasm about his performances, I'd sort of expect that we'd muster up at least a little interest to watch the guy swim at some point over the next four years. But we probably won't.

Like I said -that's kind of weird, isn't it?

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Running Update

As part of my training for the Air Force half-marathon, I ran 7 miles yesterday (in a little over an hour).

That's a pretty serious distance, seven miles. It was a pretty serious run. Afterwards, I felt like I'd really done something, really stretched and challenged myself. Seven miles felt like an actual accomplishment.

Our first 5 mile run seemed like a long distance, because I was comparing it to the 3 miles I used to run. Seven didn't seem too bad, because now I'm comparing it to the 13 miler that's coming up, in a little more than a month.

And I'm starting to wonder: What will motivate me to run long distances once the half-marathon is done?

Friday, August 15, 2008

G.K. Chesterton Quote of the Day

"A man may say, "I like this vast cosmos, with its throng of stars and its crowd of varied creatures." But if it comes to that why should not a man say, "I like this cosy little cosmos, with its decent number of stars and as neat a provision of live stock as I wish to see"?

- Orthodoxy

Process versus Results

Slightly old news, but a lot of people got pretty angry over the recent Air Force tanker competition, because there were apparently some irregularities or the Air Force made some procedural missteps. The Air Force recently opened yet another round of bidding... we'll see how things go this time.

Here's what I'm wondering: People are upset about procedural problems, but where is the outrage that we've spent all this time and money and have so precious little to show for it (actually, we have nothing to show for it). Where's the outrage over the fact that some of our tankers are 50 years old?

We're so concerned that the process was flawed (perhaps we expected perfection?) that we've overlooked the lack of results.

Chalk up another "victory" for Michael Hammer and his legions of process-oriented Hammerheads (really, that's what his fans call themselves!).

Thursday, August 14, 2008

G.K. Chesterton Quote of the Day

"If the miller's third son said to the fairy "Explain why I must not stand on my head in the fairy palace," the other might fairly well reply "Well, if it comes to that, explain the fairy palace."

If Cinderella says, "How is it that I must leave the ball at twelve?" her godmother might answer, "How is it that you are going there till twelve?"

... To be allowed, like Endymion, to make love to the moon and then to complain that Jupiter kept his own moons in a harem seemed to me (bred on fairy tales like Endymion's) a vulgar anti-climax. Keeping to one woman is a small price for so much as seeing one woman."

- Orthodoxy

We're All 5 Year Olds

Pardon me while I get all deep and theological for a moment. See, I have a long-standing theory that in God's eyes, we are all 5 year olds. That's the basic idea behind my short story Job At Five, from The Desert.

I've recently added to that theory: when we get to Heaven, we'll still be 5 years old.

Here's what I'm thinking: healthy five year old kids are remarkably unselfconscious, full of energy and have a breathtaking capacity for joyful play. They are comfortable with the phrase "I don't know," and are constantly learning. They ask wonderful questions, are amazingly creative and live in a fascinating world full of new discoveries. They are also just the perfect size for cuddling. Isn't that what Heaven is supposed to be like? Learning, loving, sharing, etc?

Yeah, I know the Bible says we'll judge angels, as if I have any idea at all what that would involve (it's in 1Cor 6:3 if you're interested). But the book of Isaiah says "a little child will lead them," and Jesus Himself said we're supposed to come to Him as a child.

What if he meant it, this whole child thing? Yeah, I'm pretty sure Heaven is full of 5 year olds...

[FOLLOW-UP: Turns out this is neither a new idea nor an original one for me. I was flipping through Brennan Manning's The Ragamuffin Gospel just now, and found the line "Heaven will be filled with five-year-olds." I read the book several years ago, and that concept must have lodged in my brain then, to emerge again recently. Manning also writes "Children are our model because they have no claim on heaven. If they are close to God, it is because they are incompetent, not because they are innocent. If they receive anything, it can only be as a gift." I love that line!]

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

G.K. Chesterton Quote of the Day

"In short, the democratic faith is this: that the most terribly important things must be left to ordinary men themselves - the mating of the sexes, the rearing of the young, the laws of the state."
- Orthodoxy


We had a guest speaker in one of my classes recently, and he made a point of asking if this was "a non-attribution environment." (the instructor confirmed that this was indeed the case).

That's a common caveat in military academic circles. It basically means people can speak freely, without fear of retribution (or, apparently, attribution). The "non-attribution" clause is usually invoked by people who want to speak an uncomfortable truth and not have it quoted later, to their detriment.

I can't stand it when they do that. It's even worse when the speaker is a former fighter pilot, who is supposed to have a certain level of courage and fortitude.

When I'm on the other side of the podium, I often make a point of explaining that everything I say is fully "for attribution," and I'm waiving any inherent "non-attribution" rights or protections. Pah! If I say something out loud to an audience, it's because I believe it and I'm willing to stand behind it. They can quote me on it, to what ever authority they wish.

I never want to tell people "Here's something I believe to be true, but please don't tell anyone else I said it or believe it..." or "Here's an uncomfortable truth we can temporarily recognize, but once we leave this room let's go back to pretending it's not the case."

I'm curious if the "non-attribution environment" (by another name, perhaps?) exists in other places. I wish it didn't exist here...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

GK Chesterton Quote Of The Day

"It is an act of faith to assert that our thoughts have any relation to reality at all."
- Orthodoxy


The wonderfully named Kate Lord Brown (isn't that a cool name?) asked a great question on her blog recently: Why do you want to write?

Now, I'd already answered that question on this very blog, but it's one of those questions that sort of stuck in my head. It turns out, I had a few more things to add:

I write because I want to be a producer, not just a consumer (I grow vegetables in my garden for the same reason).

I also write because I want to set an example to my kids - I love that they're growing up in a house where it's perfectly natural for Daddy to occasionally get up at 5am to write them a novel. I love that our oldest daughter described me as "a writer" for a school project last year - she didn't mention the Air Force at all.

I write because life is a wonderful mystery, and I am a wonderful mystery to myself, and writing is one way I sort out some of the clues... not to figure out the mystery, but to wrestle with it (I think that's the fun part about mysteries).

Monday, August 11, 2008


Even though I'm a professional military officer (i.e. leader), capital-L Leadership is a topic I am DEEPLY disinterested in. So much of what is written about Leadership is pure hooey and a big waste of time. Far better (if you must study something Leadership-related) to study biographies of great leaders than the hypothetical, analytical theories of people who have never actually done any leading... or the war stories of leaders who may or may not really understand why what they did turned out the way it did. Better still, find a flesh and blood mentor, and understand that leadership is a craft to be honed, not simply an academic discipline to be analyzed.

The highly-esteemed John Maxwell is my least favorite of the ubiquitous modern Leadership Experts. His definition of leadership ("influence - nothing more, nothing less") raises my hackles every time I hear it. According to Mr. Maxwell, Leadership is apparently just a fancy word for "getting your own way" (i.e. influencing people).

This evening, I came across a beautiful quote in G.K. Chesterton's novel The Flying Inn, which blows a mile-wide hole in Mr. Maxwell's self-centered control/influence oriented perspective. Captain Dalroy (one of the main characters) says to Mr. Hugby, the baddie and an aspiring Leader: "You are not respected. You are obeyed."

Ah, that's the key, isn't it? John Maxwell, with all his influence, might very well get his own way and be obeyed. He probably is pretty good at compelling people to comply with his wishes and teaching people how to wield influence.

But I don't call that leadership.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


I'm currently training to run in the Air Force Marathon (the half-marathon version, to be precise). My running buddy Steve and I have a training schedule which gradually increases our mileage until the big day (Sept 20th!), and last Friday, we ran 6 miles for the first time.

It was awful.

The weather was hot, humid and painful. We hit the three mile mark and we both wanted to just lay down and cry. I don't recall ever feeling quite that bad during or after a run.

But today we ran 6 miles again and it was amazing. The temperature was a slightly-chilly 60 degrees, and when we hit the half-way point, we just looked at each other and said "Really? Already?" When we finished, we both felt like we could have gone on quite a bit further if necessary. In fact, I think we both were a bit giddy, it felt so good.

Now, I realize it was probably mostly because of the temperature, but I'd like to think we're making some progress in our fitness level. Also, doing 6 miles for the first time is quite a different experience than doing it a second time. Running is so very psychological.

I mention this because lately I'd been thinking about all this running as a way to keep healthy
and avoid being decrepit as I get older. It was very much about the future benefits of today's exercise. But today I was reminded that running has benefits and joys in the here and now.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Define -vs- Defend

I met with my thesis adviser today, bringing along a document that described my proposed research approach, as he'd requested. I thought he wanted me to define and describe my methodology, but it turns out what I really needed to do was defend and justify it. Looking back, that is probably what he asked for, but there was enough ambiguity in the request that I missed it.

As we talked, I discovered that logic is not authority, and reason is not validation. In order for my method to be accepted, it is not sufficient to show it makes sense. Instead, I need to show that the approach is not novel and has been done before, has been accepted by the academic community and constitutes a validated method (note: accepted and validated are not the same as valid).

A quick, albeit non-scientific, survey showed something I sort of knew already: the research community (not just the physical sciences) has a strong affinity for endless tables of statistics and calculations, preferably stretching out to three or four significant digits, however dubious looking they are to me. Give a big, quantifiable survey to a large group of people, crunch the numbers into columns and rows, and you’ve got a very impressive looking table. Never mind that for the type of question I'm working on, that questioning method would virtually guarantee the answers won't be particularly insightful or accurate. But the method, ah, that would be a validated method.

There's so much to learn about this academia thing.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

I Still Got It...

One of the projects I tackled while Kim & the girls were out of the house was replacing the wireless card on our desktop computer. HP had kindly mailed us a new card when the original one failed, but it was up to me to crack the case, find out where that little guy goes, and do the swap.

I was excited! It'd been a while since I'd opened up a computer like this, but as you can tell by the photo above, I managed to open the case. After a little poking around, I figured out where the card was housed. I'd expected it to plug into a stationary slot - imagine my surprise to discover not one, but three wires leading into the card. Two were quite tiny, and I was wishing someone with smaller hands was around to assist.

But, I'm happy to say I got the broken one out, put the new one in, and put the whole thing back together. There was a tense moment or two after I pressed the power button and prayed I hadn't inadvertently done any serious damage. Seeing the monitor flicker back on after the operation was a HUGE relief. Here's a photo of the offending card, compliments of my ever-present, ever-fuzzy cellphone camera.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Movie Binge

While Kim and the girls were out of town, I went on a bit of a movie binge, including seeing two movies in a theater in one day (it was a cheap theater, $3.50 per ticket). I watched:

10,000 BC
The 13th Warrior
The Good Shepherd
Tank Girl
Iron Man
Prince Caspian
Matrix Reloaded
Matrix Revolutions
Semi Pro

Yeah, that's a lot of movies, and I really enjoyed them all. As I've mentioned before, I generally don't take movies seriously enough to dislike them, although I didn't think 10,000 BC, The 13th Warrior and The Good Shepherd were all that terrific. But Tank Girl was even more fun than I expected, and Iron Man blew my socks off. The Matrix movies, well, they were amazing.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Jib Jab Video

I'm probably late to the party on this one, but if you haven't seen the latest Jib Jab video ("It's Time For Some Campaignin'"), go check it out. Some of the funniest, most pointed and completely bi-partisan political comedy you'll find anywhere. Even Bill Clinton makes a reappearance - he's got one of the funniest lines in the whole song.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

All By Myself

After a fun, whirlwind trip to NY to attend my father-in-law's wedding, I've been flying solo this week, as the kiddo's enjoy a week with my folks and my lovely wife spends some time with a variety of family members (including our new niece, Ivy!). Kim and the girls are driving from NY back here to OH today & tomorrow (accompanied by Kim's dad and his new bride!), so I'm happy to say my bachelor days are just about over.

Part way through the week, I was reminded of something Jim Gaffigan said on My Boys. It's from an episode where Andy (Gaffigan) has hired a very attractive nanny, and is feeling uncomfortable in his own house. He's out at a bar with some friends when he discovers the nanny is out for the evening. He jumps up and heads for the door, announcing "My house just became pants-optional!"

Well, I didn't exactly run around in my boxers, but I must admit there were a few moments this week when I didn't have a shirt on. Like today, after going up and down the stairs to clean all the bathrooms, make all the beds, and do several loads of laundry, I was getting kinda warm (and despite a shower, I hadn't quite cooled down from mowing the grass earlier in the morning). Plus, I baked a few loaves of Irish soda bread (yum!), to be ready for when everyone shows up tomorrow, so the kitchen was warm.

As I stood there in the warm kitchen, I heard Jim Gaffigan's voice in my head, saying "My house just became pants-optional!" and I took my t-shirt off, mostly because it made me laugh.

Tomorrow, I'm back to wearing a shirt all the time.