No day without a line

All work and no play makes Dak a dull boy.

We went to see “How to Train Your Dragon” today.  Very refreshing, charming, even uplifting.  Our seats were terrible, and we saw it in 2D, but it was still great.  Very much looking forward to seeing it in 3D or 3D IMAX.  Might be too much for our daughter, though; she cried…and then wanted to see it again.

Making room, cleaning up, and moving on

I intended to write in THIS blog every day, but I’ve been busy looking for my next gig, and to that end, updating my business blog, talking to people, having meetings, etc. So I am doing “Nulla dies” but not here.

Today is a gorgeous day; sunny, temperate, mild. The birds are singing. Last night is expected to be the last night where the temperature drops below freezing for the season. I’ve taken several bins of paper recycling out of my office, vacuumed thoroughly, and have more to do. Set up a couple more meetings for this week.

This week’s goal for writing is to turn my office into a “writing machine” where my references are all handy, my computer properly placed, and an overall sense of calm and order is in place.

Making good progress.

I am reminded of a passage by one of my professorial undergraduate inspirations (Robert Grudin), when I moved from an engineering university (Washington University in St. Louis) to an arts and letters university (University of Oregon). I believe it was his book “The Grace of Great Things.” He sat down to write a chapter of his book, and noticed that his office was dingy with leftover cigar smoke. In cleaning up, and wiping away the grime, his mind cleared, and he was able to sit down and write without ceasing, refreshed and renewed.

Spring cleaning, airing the house, and clearing the mind are all wound tightly together for me now.

Best wishes from Toronto,


Writing inspiration sources: The moving finger writes, and having written, moves on

Omar Khayyam was a poet. Almost everyone knows this. What is less known is that he was an outstanding mathematician, and as was fairly typical at the time for mathematicians, a noted astronomer. His ability to study mathematics was severely curtailed by the murder of his patron by the Assassins, nearly 1000 years ago. (Yes, the fanatic religious sect which gives us that name, were some of the earliest terrorists.)

The Moving Finger writes, and, having writ,
Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.

“I was unable to devote myself to the learning of this algebra and the continued concentration upon it, because of obstacles in the vagaries of time which hindered me; for we have been deprived of all the people of knowledge save for a group, small in number, with many troubles, whose concern in life is to snatch the opportunity, when time is asleep, to devote themselves meanwhile to the investigation and perfection of a science; for the majority of people who imitate philosophers confuse the true with the false, and they do nothing but deceive and pretend knowledge, and they do not use what they know of the sciences except for base and material purposes; and if they see a certain person seeking for the right and preferring the truth, doing his best to refute the false and untrue and leaving aside hypocrisy and deceit, they make a fool of him and mock him.”
Treatise on Demonstration of Problems of Algebra (1070)