Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dogs and ham

One of Leonore's language students brings her incredibly cute little dog with her. The dog makes a beeline for me because I always greet her with a treat — a rolled up smoked mozzarella and proscuitto delight from Costco. What dog wouldn't like that?

Well, maybe a Moslem or Jewish dog. But dogs are considered unclean by Moslems, so maybe there are no Moslem dogs. There are certainly Jewish ones (leaving aside the whole circumcision thing).

An old insult for Jews in Medieval England — or at least, in historical novels — was "dog of a Jew". I guess a Jewish dog would be a Jew of a dog.

Today's rambling thoughts brought to you by Working on Taxes, 2014 edition.

Friday, April 04, 2014

MPAD Memoirs

Which would be a nifty title, but I don't know what the title will be.

MPAD = Mission Planning and Analysis Division, simply the utterly most important and core part of what was then NASA's Manned Spacecraft Center (later renamed Johnson Space Center) in (south of) Houston. (Others who worked there, but not in MPAD, might disagree.) (They'd be wrong.)

Recently, a former MPAD coworker of mine from the days of the Apollo Project contacted me to say he was interviewing people who worked at MPAD at the time of the moon landings. He's my age and also retired, and he drives around the country quite a bit. He arranges his trips so that he can drive through the cities his old colleagues (and we are all old!) now live in and interview them. Once all the interviews are done, he'll figure out how to weave them together with the story of Apollo. The result will be a fairly substantial book.

He was in Denver yesterday, and we had a very nice and quite long meeting. Mostly, he was interviewing me about my life before, during, and after Apollo, but we also spent some of the time talking about the other people who were in MPAD back then. He'll probably want me produce the e-book and print versions of the book and design the cover.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

It’s not the Christian Bible, damn it

It's silly of me to be annoyed by this, given that I'm an atheist. Nonetheless it annoys me considerably.

Thanks to the Noah movie and to today's date*, there has been a spurt of references to the Bible in the online places I frequent. I keep seeing the Flood and Psalms, both in the Old Testament, referred to as being in the Christian Bible.

No, sirree. They're in the Old Testament, a.k.a. the Hebrew Bible.** The fact that Christians have incorporated the OT into their religion is irrelevant. Moslems have incorporated much of the OT and the NT into their religion, too, but that doesn't make those two books part of the Koran.***


* I'm referring, of course, to the obnoxious "joke" that today is atheism's holiday because "The fool has said in his heart, there is no God."

** Yeah, yeah, I know, Pentateuch. As far as I'm concerned, the whole shebang counts.

*** Maybe it does to Moslems, who I gather consider the OT prophets and Jesus to be Moslems, but that's just weird, and I haven't encountered any Moslems in the online places I was referring to.