Musings

My son and I went to the gun range this weekend to practice. Some things are improved simply by repetition. Practicing or rehearsing increases skill and familiarity so that when the time comes to execute or perform, we are sharp and prepared. With shooting, we practice aiming and controlling our breathing by shooting single shots...
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I love fireworks. I have always had a fascination with fire and explosions. So much so, that as a very young person I read everything I could find about pyrotechnics (fireworks) and started experimenting to make my own fireworks. My parents had given me a fairly extensive chemistry set for a Christmas present, and I...
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Sometimes things we think should be easy turn out to be quite difficult. At my age, this is a lesson I should be familiar with, yet I often forget it and end up where I ended up this weekend. My son and I were replacing the rotors and brake pads on his 2004 Ford F-150....
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I am a data junky. I love to know things. How things work. How things came to be. How things are made. I want to know. This is not a bad thing in general. Knowledge can be good when it enables us to move ourselves and those around us in positive directions. Knowledge can lift...
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Four Feet, Eight and One-Half Inches. That is the distance between the rails of a standard gauge railroad in the United States. What an odd number. There is a very specific reason for that measurement. US railroads were built by English expatriates, and that’s the way they built them in England. The English used that...
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Champagne was “invented” in 1531 by Benedictine monks in the Abbey of Saint-Hilaire near Carcassonne, France. They bottled wine before the initial fermentation had ended, causing the byproduct of the fermentation, carbon dioxide, to be trapped in solution in the bottled wine. It would be a century before Christopher Merret detailed what is now called...
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I recently had the privilege of spending some time with my friend, Heath Thomas, who is the President of Oklahoma Baptist University. During our conversation, he said that he had been looking at the original charter for the University. The idea for a Baptist University in Shawnee was born before Oklahoma was even a state. The founders...
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Is it true that no two snowflakes are alike? As is often the case, the answer depends on what you mean by the question. With 10,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 crystals per year, if you checked a million snowflakes per second it would take you over 31 billion years to check just a single year’s worth. So, we can...
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I attended Cars & Coffee with my youngest son Chris this past Saturday. This is an informal gathering of car enthusiasts in the parking lot of a local shopping center. I would guess more than 200 cars are there on a typical first Saturday of each month. My son drives a late model Honda Civic Sport EX. He...
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After we had eaten our turkey, dressing, and potatoes smothered in gravy and had a second piece of pie, it was acceptable to start Christmas. Many of you already know my rule, no Christmas until after Thanksgiving. One unintended consequence of this mandate occurs the Friday after Thanksgiving when we attempt to put up all...
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