Anyone For A Curry?

Today I’m thankful for Red Dwarf.

I’ve loved this show for years.  It used to come on late Friday nights and I’d watch it with my dad.  The humor is sharp-edged but exceedingly funny.  I think you’re probably meant to most identify with Lister, but I’ve got middling-to-large bits of Kryten and Rimmer in my make up.  Know thyself and all that.

I couldn’t pick a favorite moment but this one is close.  For context, Lister is missing Rimmer after he’s gone to save the universe.  Kryten, aware that Lister is being selective in what he remembers, creates a virtual museum to remind the crew exactly how smeggy Rimmer was.  There’s a song.

Stars On A Cold Night

Today I’m thankful for astronomy.

My father has always been interested in space.  He passed that yen on to me.  I think I was 6 or 7 the first time he showed me the moon through his telescope.  I could see individual craters and shadows.  It was astonishing.

I remember another night when I was about 12.  It was freezing.  My city had received a significant amount of snow and it crusted because the weather was so cold.  That night the sky was flawless.  Dad and I put on multiple layers of clothing, enough so that I had trouble bending my arms.  We went outside and rested on the snow for a while, looking up at the stars.  It was so still.  Mental images of that night are what I use to deal with frustration or the general venialities of life.

Slightly tangentially, consider checking out the Bad Astronomy website.  Phil Plait is both wildly funny and informative.


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Central Heating and Electric Guitars

Today I’m thankful for Eric Johnson.

Johnson is a virtuoso guitarist from Texas.  He was a child prodigy who managed to gracefully transition to adulthood and professional musicianship.  This particular song is truly important to me.

I grew up in a house built in the 1940s.  It had iron grates that covered the heating vents.  During the winter I would always sit with my back facing one particular grate.  My father would come and sit with me and we’d listen to this song.  I was 5 or 6.  Dad played guitar in a number of bands, which is probably why I had eclectic taste for a primary school student.  I still have broad taste but I have always loved this song, and this specific performance of it.  All rights belong to the musician.