Coming of age

When does a child become an adult? Our society doesn’t have a simple answer to that question. We confer greater freedom and responsibility on our adolescents gradually, in bits and pieces, as they pass through their teens. Instead of a single rite of passage, we have lots of them at differing ages, from bar/bat mitzvah…

Rite of passage

I have always viewed prescription drugs as a temporary thing; I would get a prescription because I was sick or injured, and would take the medicine until it was all gone or I got better. But now, for the first time, I have a permanent medication.

Things still falling apart

The new dryer arrived, was installed, and actually works. The ailing computer came home from the shop, but the problem wasn’t solved. It continued to crash frequently for no apparent reason. I took it back to the shop and got a second opinion from a different technician. The motherboard is damaged and will have to…

Things fall apart; the center cannot hold

Over the last month or so, I decided to stop procrastinating and get some broken things fixed. I took apart a leaking toilet, replaced all the non-porcelain parts, and put it back together. I had the broken driver’s sun visor in my car replaced. I replaced several flaky light fixtures. I took a nonfunctional VCR…

The Battery Project

Ben recently posted about the “science project” he and I did to dispose of a bunch of old batteries. He provided some great photos, but didn’t go into much detail about what we actually did. I’d like to describe the procedure we used. First of all, let me explain how this project happened in the…

Test results

I donated blood again on September 19. On the 30th, the Red Cross office in Charlotte sent me a letter that said, “When we tested your blood, we obtained some inconclusive results. These results indicate that you may be infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), the virus that causes AIDS. In almost all cases, individuals…

A chill in the air

I guess I can’t maintain my state of denial anymore — autumn is here, and there’s no pretending otherwise. I’ve been obstinately putting on lightweight short-sleeved shirts every morning in the hope that this would cause the warm weather to continue, but when I walked outside this morning it was chilly enough that I had…