Beyond the Storm

Rough waters, stormy skies, I saw her leave the gale,
Sails white against a copper sunset sky.
Alone in comical dress against the storm, I followed for a time;
She flagged, but did not come about,
Leaving just that glimpse, feeling oddly much, knowing nought.
So vast a sea, such encounters ought not repeat, yet I did not forget
For half a thousand days and oft, when storm clouds
Roiled in approaching skies, I would see her sails in the distance.
Following after, I might escape the storm,
But following from so far kept her always safely out of reach.
Then on a day becalmed, I drifted without care into a harbor
Her sails unexpected, bright, no wind in sight,
We sat at anchor drifting here and there, closer, farther
With the tide; I hailed her at last.
The breeze returned and, with unaccustomed finality, she sailed.
Then came the storm, so I understood why she had come
But why, then, had she left?

Ron Risley – 2014-03-24

Summer 2013

We define summer three ways. There’s the celestial season: from the summer solstice on June 21st to the autumnal equinox on September 22nd. There’s the traditional vacation season, from Memorial Day on May 27th through Labor Day on September 2nd. Last, there’s summer vacation from school which, for us, ran all too quickly from June 6th through August 14th.

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One. More. Block.

Note: be sure to read to the end before you start implementing any of the scripts. They're currently out of date and no longer work.

Our little family has undergone something of a revolution of late: it’s called Minecraft. Matthew started playing it, and watching YouTube videos about it, a few months ago. I’ve never been a gamer, despite rumors to the contrary, but Minecraft captured my attention. It’s a sandbox game, where you gather materials and use them to craft new materials and make tools and build structures and create an entire world. It’s addictive and amazing, and the story behind it is a classic indie-game David vs. entertainment industry Goliath tale.

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Jungle Music

I have a distant memory of a scene from The Buddy Holly Story in which (as I recall) his father is berating Buddy for wasting his time playing “that… that… that Jungle music.” I probably remember the line because of my realization that “Jungle” was a euphemism for a word we still don’t use, but the message to the audience was clear: Dad was out of touch with a music genre that would soon revolutionize popular art and define a generation.

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Leaps of Faith

“God explains everything.”

That’s an expression of faith.

“Science can explain everything without invoking a god; there is no need to believe in god.”

If science has explained everything, then why are there still scientists?

“Science hasn’t explained everything yet, but can explain everything eventually.”

Isn’t that, also, an expression of faith?

Ron – 2012-01-30


Auburn Bob Brian Caper Carol Ann Elizabeth Emily Esther Gary Jack Jamie Jennifer Jim Joshua Julie Kathy Kristi Leslie Lori Mark Marlyn Matthew Megan Monica Nina Pam Pepper Ray Rob Rosa Ruth Sonny Susan Terry and… you know who you are.

Ron – 2011-11-23

Speaking of Dreams

Imagine a campus composed of three small, rectangular, three-story glass buildings, each facing a different direction and located some distance from the other two. Between them are well-manicured lawns with concrete walkways meandering through them. Near the buildings are clear pools and ponds, occasionally a simple fountain, occasionally a railless concrete arch bridge crossing a small artificial stream of clear water babbling over dark river rocks. Here and there are abstract sculptures with surfaces of brushed stainless steel, almost matching the trim on the buildings. Looking between and beyond the buildings, the grass ends in what appears to be desert, with blue mountains tiny but clear in the distance. The azure sky has wisps of clouds and the air is sparkling clear, making the sunlight on the concrete and sculptures just a little too bright for comfort. The air is warm but not hot, and there is a dry breeze.

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