Monthly Archives: April 2017

A Rose By Any Name

Plant names are interesting and often insightful. Thunbergia alata, for instance, has a winged petiole. Acer macrophylla has large leaves. Ginkgo biloba has leaves with two lobes. I think you get the point.

Here are silhouettes I sketched of the two species of Washingtonia that exist. One is Washingtonia filifera, the other Washingtonia robusta. Guess the identites.

Well, here are the answers.

Proof that tall and skinny can be robust.


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Fatherhood and Life


The little guy has arrived

The winter and spring have been a busy and rich season. Pam and I welcomed little Dietrich into our family. We attended birth and infant safety classes, read books, sought advice, and prepared for our new arrival. He waited until Spring Training started, then he decided to emerge (a world without baseball is a sad world indeed).

Since he has arrived he has had my full attention for stretches of time. Even when other parts of life demand attention, he has found a way to be involved. I have graded papers, prepared lectures, written an abstract proposal, responded to emails, prepared for a fantasy baseball draft, and done many other mundane things while entertaining him. As he gets more interactive it is fun to see his personality emerging.

He has the tiniest little hands and feet (that are large for his age). When I’m holding him I wonder how he will use those hands. What skills will he have? How strong will he be? How gentle will he be?

I’m caught between wanting to do everything for him and wanting to teach him to do everything for himself.

My prayer is that he will learn to love God and love others extravagantly, that he will seek to defend the defenseless, that he will rest in the security of being loved.

I’m planning to be careful about how much I post about him to protect his privacy. He just might run for political office someday, and pictures of his raucous 1 month-old party might cause a scandal.

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