Rule 476

Don’t worry about waking me up, when I decided to go to medical school I knew I would be called in to the ER at 2:00 in the morning and I knew… oh, wait that’s right, I never went to medical school! I’M NOT A DOCTOR!

Rule 465

RESIST the urge to interprexplain the sign “marry (me)” when interpreting “Deaf King Kong” into hearing.



Remember that timing is EVERYTHING!

Random Thoughts by Uncle Dale: Favorite Scientist

This is my son Max, and that is his favorite scientist Neil Degrasse Tyson. Most people don’t have a favorite scientist, but Max does.

On the day this was taken Max spent the afternoon running from one sold out Hall at the local university to another in a desperate bid to see NDT speak live, even if it was a closed circuit projection from a building all the way across campus.

He literally got the last seat available to anyone.

We came to pick him up when it was over and Max asked if we could wait in line (where NDT was signing books) so he could see him in person.

Now, I had promised Max I would drive him there and got stuck in traffic so I was late (part of the reason for the ticket scramble) and I felt a little guilty.

So we got in line.

And waited.

And waited.

For over two hours we stood on the steps of a winding staircase heading to the top most floor of the performance center where NDT had lectured. It was well after midnight when we approached the table.

NDT’s people kept a pretty tight schedule for him and it was, as I said, after midnight so they were hurrying everyone through the “sign the book-thank you-bye” assembly line. But when Max approached the table NDT stopped the well oiled machine.

Max had brought him a lab coat to sign.

He also had a book (not a book written by NDT, a children’s book about space).

And a lab coat.

NDT looked at the coat and then at Max and asked, “you’re not an evil genius are you? Because I gotta ask, what kid your age comes equipped with his own lab coat?”

Then he chatted with Max. Not long, but long enough for Max to know his favorite scientist took a real interest in him.

When Max proffered the book NDT pointed out that he did not write it.

Max replied, “I know. But it’s my first book about space. It’s the book that made me want to be a scientist and it’s what started me on my way to meet you.”

NDT took the book and signed it.

Then he did the Nerd Fighter “handshake” with Max, complete with hand motions and DFTBA!

Then the moment was over. But in that moment Max knew that for just a brief few seconds (a dot on and infinite dot in the universal scale) he, Max, was the most important thing in the world to his hero.

I found this picture the other day and when I looked at it again and remembered that moment I realized…

I have a favorite scientist.

Note from Uncle Dale: Maybe a Little TOO Inside

I have now had three emails about a phrase I used in my Note called Born With It.

I reposted it the other day and it looks like people read it (because no one questioned the original post).

It is safe to say the topic of the e-mails is not the thing I expected to called out on, especially after I confessed my bizarre resemblance to Rutherford B Hayes. I do however realize how culturally insular the phrase I used is. It’s also wicked useful.

The phrase is:

Thou art not yet as Job.

One person wanted to know where to find it in the Bible and the other two basically wanted to know if I had forgotten to complete the sentence and what job I was talking about.

(HEY! Everyone who was ready to tune out when I wrote the word “Bible” bear with me. This is not a sermon or even overtly religious-beyond scripture as poetry-and as I said it’s actually quite a useful phrase, especially for Mentors, and come to think of it parents).

The phrase references the biblical poem of Job (pronounced Jobe).

If you are not up on your abrahamic allegory it goes like this:

So, God and the Devil are hanging out one day and God points to a guy named Job and says what a great human he is and how impressed the Devil should be with how faithful Job is.

The Devil says “sure he is faithful now. He has a great family and lots of land and money and his health (you’re nothing without your health), but take that all away and he will turn on you in a heartbeat.”

So they make a bet.

(I called this an allegory because historical religious literature is pretty clear about God and the Devil not being likely to chit-chat. If you need further proof just watch The Exorcist.

The point is if they don’t tend to shoot the breeze with each other, then wagering like this is way out of character.

I don’t see them getting together for supernatural game night.


So God let’s the Devil take it all away (kills Job’s family and bankrupts him and gives Job what reads as horrible hemorrhoids and acne; when is the last time you read it… tell me I’m wrong!)

It turns out that Job was a good bet because he keeps his faith and eventually gets his riches and a new family (that he seems to like better than the old one?).

That, my friends is Job.

This story appears in one form or another in all Abrahamic scripture. It’s in the Ketuvim, the Old Testament and the Quran so it has a lesson to teach. It is also a pretty read in all three.

Ok, so in the religion which I claim membership there is another book that we view as scripture (a couple actually) and in one of the books a prophet is… well, to put it bluntly, whining!

He is whining about how hard it is to be a prophet and how mean people were to the faithful worshipers. In truth, he couches it in a prayer for the benefit of faithful people, but when it comes right down to it he is frustrated for himself.

God sees though that and calls him on his whining by saying:

Thou art not yet as Job.

A phrase that I have always read as:

“Dude! If this is as bad as it gets, you’re fine.” (Just a thought, it COULD BE WORSE).

It’s a pretty well known phrase in my neck o’ woods, so I forget it’s not widely known.

But, like I said, it is handy.

It’s handy when you are working with a student in whom you see so much talent and potential, but so little motivation.

The student who thinks every exercise you give is too hard.

The students who whine that they don’t have time to practice the exercises you’ve assigned because they are “really busy,” but constantly lament that they feel stuck.

The students who are self-conscious and think you are mean for making them interpret in front of other people.

The students who’s potential is matched only by the number of excuses they give and volume of their whining.

When they whine about how hard their lot in life is, it is always good to be able to listen, show empathy and then say…