true obedience

August 6, 2007

Jesus and Peter walked on water. The Israelites crossed the Red Sea on dry ground. Neil Armstrong planted his bootprints on the moon.

Next to those, the most astounding footsteps I know were just three or four in number, and took place in my mother’s kitchen.

My son – compulsive, train-obsessed two-year-old boy – was crouched over the toy train track Grannie had set for him in a spare nook of kitchen floor. It was time to go. Knowing his propensity for emotional explosion, I’d issued a five-minute warning, then a two-minute warning … not that he had any such grasp of time, only to ready him for imminent disappointment.

Finally, time was up. “Okay now, let’s go,” I said. “Come put on your shoes.”  Expecting the customary collapse and outburst, I was shifting position to lift him off the floor. Read the rest of this entry »


the computer revolts

March 11, 2007

“Why does the computer keep telling me I suck?”

She’s calling from her classroom, where her computer has her completely flustered.  Truth be told, for her this isn’t an unusual experience.

“What do you mean, it’s telling you you suck?”

“That’s what it keeps saying, that I suck.”

Every day I see something new in my job, some piece of technology screwing up in a wholly unique and inventive way, so very little surprises me.  This one, however, I’m having a hard time grasping.  “You’re actually hearing these words?  Over the speakers?” Read the rest of this entry »

barcode attack!

June 6, 2006

Barcode stickers. Scads and scads of them at work, sheet after sheet, all being thrown out. A senseless waste.

I grabbed a stack of sheets and headed home.

It was imperative, of course, to blanket my roommates’ rooms in barcodes, but first I opted for subtlety: two stickers, in highly visible yet natural locations. Wait a few days. Four more stickers, in slightly less-noticeable locations. Wait a few days. Eight more stickers. Read the rest of this entry »