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Skipping Stones

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Dear Henry,

Have you ever played the game Ducks and Drakes?

No?

Maybe you played the game under a different name, skipping stones.

The term "Ducks and Drakes" first appeared in English literature in 1583 and, given the description, the rules of the game haven't changed much.

The object then, as now, is to skip a stone across the water more times than anyone else.  I did notice one difference though. It was once permissible to use oyster shells, rather than stones.

Oyster shells were prohibited after the 1972 Winter Rules Committee mandated Rule I, section 3aii.

Yes, there are rules to this game, because it is, in fact, an official sport. 

During the summer months, professional players at Ducks and Drakes (or skippers, or gerplunkers) travel the country to different events, most being held in the upper-midwest,  with the Mackinaw Island's 51st Invitational being the US's crowning event.  The skip of the day in 2019 was 20 skips.

There is a bigger, worldwide compe…

A Book to Read and Love: The Snow Child - Eowyn Ivey

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A short summary of The Snow Child: Building a new life in Alaska.

Questions to ponder while reading The Snow Child: What haunts you?
Do you believe in fairy tales?
My thoughts about The Snow Child: I couldn't put it down.
I am such a sucker for a good fairy tale.
I want to play in the snow now.

A Book to Read and Love: Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf - Edward Albee

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A short summary of Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf: Love and middle-age, in marriage.

Questions to ponder while reading Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf: How happy is your marriage?
Are you successful?
My thoughts about Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf: A very good example of a very bad marriage.
Some people probably shouldn't drink much.
Full of schadenfreude and dark humor.

A Book to Read and Love: Profiles in Courage - John F. Kennedy

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A short summary of Profiles in Courage: Integrity in politics.

Questions to ponder while reading Profiles in Courage: Do you know where you stand?
Do your choices matter?
My thoughts about Profiles in Courage: An honest look at honest politicians - even if it was ghostwritten.
An important read for US History.
Many relevant takeaways for today's politics.

A Book to Read and Love: Airplane Mode - Elliott Downing

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A short summary of Airplane Mode: Big Sister is watching you.

Questions to ponder while reading Airplane Mode: Should a disease always be cured?
Does the sound of drones disturb you?
My thoughts about Airplane Mode: Totally entertaining.  It was great fun in a book.
Totally plausible "end-of-life-as-we-know-it".
Totally chocked full of girl power. My kudos.

A Book to Read and Love: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao - Junot Diaz

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A short summary of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: The challenges of growing up Dominican.

Questions to ponder while reading The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao: Have you ever struggled for acceptance?
What challenges have you had to overcome?
My thoughts about The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar  Wao: A gut-wrenching journey through the Dominican Republic.
Culturally enlightening.
A great way to practice your Spanish.




Meditation 8.27.19 - A Pen and Ink Doodle

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Dear Henry,

Today was, in a word, rather crappy.

A powerful windstorm (tornado?) came through our area last night and there are trees down everywhere. We were fortunate and didn't have any structural damage to our house although we did end up with at least five trees scattered about the property.

Stumbling across a coprolite article seemed like a fitting story for the day.

It seems, back in the 1960s, researchers at Texas A&M collected a couple of human coprolites (fossilized poo) from Conejo Shelter Texas and then stuck them in storage.  They were recently rediscovered (imagine finding that) and analyzed (5I was complaining about cleaning up trees). It turns out, one of the fossils is rather odd.

The sample, carbon-dated to around 1460-1520, contained the remains of a rodent, eaten uncooked and whole, and the bones, fang, and scales of a rattlesnake suggesting that it too was consumed whole and raw.

I have no idea why anyone would do such a thing (researchers are guessing a …