I really only have one “resolution” this year.

See that number up in the title? Not too large, not too small. It also has significance for those of us who enjoy British humor (excuse me, “humour”) and science fiction, and if you do enjoy British humor and science fiction you will know that significance.

It’s also the number of pounds I want to lose this year. Less than a pound a week. It isn’t my final weight loss goal, to be sure, but it is certainly accessible. Also, the lifestyle changes for weight loss along these lines are more likely to stick than more radical changes for greater weight loss. Finally, since it is not that high of a number, I could conceivably pass it as well.

Tomorrow I shall find a scale. (Whether or not I divulge the current number remains to be seen.) In one year’s time, I shall subtract 42 from that number and see if I made it.

Wish me luck!


No, not the clinic in Chicago. I’ve never been to that, and I desperately want to go.

We are back in the Midwest. Family pictures with the in-laws, lots of eating, then over to Indiana on Christmas itself for time with my family. Hoping to see an old friend or two as well.

Anyone traveling?


Two straight days of practicing, and I can already tell a small difference. I’m not putting in *that* much time (40 – 60 minutes or so per day), and by the end I can feel my chops giving out, but my sound was better yesterday than the day before.

Fair warning, family: I’m bringing the horn home and gonna try to practice during the holidays.

(The title, of course, refers to the old joke “Does your face hurt?”)


The Czech playwright who helped topple totalitarianism in his home country and became its president has passed away at the age of 75. Havel deserves more credit than he’s given (and certainly more than Reagan, Thatcher, et al) for ending the Cold War. Also: While I wouldn’t begin to claim that all creative types naturally make good leaders, let the record show that Havel was a playwright and poet (and even Reagan, the most overrated President in history, was an actor). Do not think that creative types – even Hollywood types – can’t be political leaders.