Random childhood memory #3749

When I was growing up, our house was located at the very top of the Guadalupe river valley. We had a spectacular view to the southeast all the way across Canyon Lake to the other side of the county.
When I played trombone in middle school and high school, my parents made me practice outside (not a problem, since we had few neighbors). I remember the awesome echoes that I got with that. I would blast a loud short sound and just listen to the echoes.
Also, at one point we had a religious cult living in the old ranch house a couple of miles away. My friends and I would get on the garage with a telescope and spy on them, though we never saw anything extraordinarily weird take place.

Music tastes

Samuel has recently become a big Ben Folds fan. It started when Samuel discovered that Ben has a song with ‘Stan’ in the title. So, now when he listens to my iPod, he asks for ‘the Stan song.’ I carefully excluded this song from the playlist that Samuel listens to, but this past weekend, Samuel pointed out that I’d missed one song with objectionable lyrics. So, if Samuel starts using the F word, I guess I can just blame it on Ben Folds.

Ghost from the past

This MSNBC news article about cold-war era civil defense supplies having been found at the Brooklyn Bridge dredged up a childhood memory. I remember eating lemon hard candies that I thought were from civil defense caches. A quick Googling confirmed that they probably were indeed from a fallout shelter. The ones I remember were just like the yellow candies shown on this page.
The candies that I remember probably came from the grain elevator in Wichita, Kansas, that my maternal grandfather managed, which was a fallout shelter–though I’m not sure how the candies got from the shelter to my grubby little mouth.

I told you so

I’m no great technology predictor, but I’ve been saying for some time that flash-based drives will be replacing traditional hard drives in portable computers soon. Well, Samsung has introduced a 32 GB flash drive that’s being positioned as a challenger to traditional hard drives. I can’t wait for a laptop with one of these things!

How to spot a baby conservative

These study results are really interesting:

In the 1960s Jack Block . . . began tracking more than 100 nursery school kids as part of a general study of personality . . . A few decades later, Block followed up with more surveys, looking again at personality, and this time at politics, too. The whiny kids tended to grow up conservative, and turned into rigid young adults who hewed closely to traditional gender roles and were uncomfortable with ambiguity.
The confident kids turned out liberal and were still hanging loose, turning into bright, non-conforming adults with wide interests. The girls were still outgoing, but the young men tended to turn a little introspective.
. . .
In a society that values self-confidence and out-goingness, it’s a mostly flattering picture for liberals. It also runs contrary to the American stereotype of wimpy liberals and strong conservatives.

(via Follow Me Here)