You know you are a redneck when your daughter shows up at 10:30 pm to see if you have a part for her water heater, and you go out in the dark yard to face the raccoons, skunks, porcupine, and La Llorona, search through some junk and come back with the right part.

Halloween closes out October, ushering in Movember. That’s right, it’s not a typo. Movember is a foundation started by some cleaver blokes in Australia to raise money for prostate cancer research. Instead of doing a walk, run, bike or other feat of athleticism, Mo Bros, as Movember participants are known, get sponsorship and donations to grow mustaches. I think it’s brilliant — growing a mustache is about the only thing a man can show off in public these days without getting into some kind of trouble.

Prostrates, unlike breasts, are not esthetically appealing to the vast majority of people. While thousands of people sport pink and show up for various events to raise money for breast cancer, I heard the Prostate Power walk in June was a bust. Prostate cancer is as deadly and devastating for men as breast cancer is for women, yet most people and the press are mum on the subject of prostate issues, but rah, rah for the breasts — beauty gets all the attention while the beast is left to suffer and die in obscurity.

Anyone interested in supporting Movember can go to


Bella Roma


Annie with Rosencrantz


Carrot Top


Mothers Rose in a Bowl





I did a photo shoot with Annie today. Annie is a singer/song writer who was part of a tech team I had working on a large computer inventory and software installation project in 2009/10.  She is a lovely model, we had a great time, and got lots of beautiful photos.



Frosted Roses

Mother's Rose

We got a hard frost this morning, making the roses look like they were sugar coated. It was 26 degrees F on the deck this morning, which means it might have gotten down to 20 in the garden. I don’t have a working thermometer in the garden right now, so I can only guess at the temperatures — in the past, it’s been 5 to 10 degrees colder in the garden than on the deck.



Bella Roma

New Dawn

New Dawn

We were up until 2:00 am working on the preliminary draft on Laurie’s paper, then we got up early and finished all the changes so she could send it to her committee this morning so they can comment on it. Getting all the little details, corrections and formatting on a math paper is really a lot of work.

Rainbow at Dawn

I woke up to a yellow-orange glow in the bedroom, grabbed my camera and went out into the wet twilight and watched dawn pushing up the sun. Behind me in the western skies hung a whisper of a rainbow arcing over the trees.

Guildenstern posed nicely on the stump tonight. There is something about the stump that make the cats want to pose. I’m sure they think of it more as giving kitty speeches than posing. They would probably do the same if we had a soapbox in the middle of the garden.

Math Party

Tristan, Laurie and David hard at work

It’s midnight. Do you know where your monoids are? Ours are all over the counter, crawling on book holders and hiding under coffee cups. Finishing Laurie’s paper turned into a real math party — Laurie and Tristan bumped and ground along lattices testing cases, while I  had fun with LaTeX entering compositions and functions, then cleaning up headings and subheadings. David provided general support and entertainment.

We are finally evolving from stone age Internet service of 1.5 Mb/s to neolithic Internet service of 12 Mb/s. We might be getting on par with places like the Congo, but we remain far behind places like Singapore, Japan and Thailand. It took almost 10 years and Qwest getting bought out by CenturyLink before we could upgrade our Internet service — that’s about 10,000 years in computer time.

From paper to LaTeX the art of typsetting
Laurie has an epiphany