Skip to main content

What the Random?

Patterns are ubiquitous to those who seek them —and humanity tends to seek them. Our brains try to make sense of everything, even chaos. The patterns we impose on random events are a conspiracy theorist’s wet dream. It seems we’re so predisposed to create patterns, that a team of scientists spent a decade in the late 1940s and early 1950s creating a random number “bible” which could assure market researchers and quality control workers everywhere that their samples contained no bias. As it turns out, even that valiant effort wasn’t as successful as had been believed for the past 65 years. Just last month, someone poked a hole in THE definitive random authority: “A Million Random Digits with 100,000 Deviates”. Does that mean millions of gallup polls done before the age of computers should be thrown-out? Nah! –the numbers in the book are still pretty darn random.

Are people lousy at randomness? Absolutely! Still, one can try. This week I thought I’d share some “random” observations with you (in no particular order).

Random observation 2. I saw a naturally mummified baby snake on a walk the other day. The staged photo I took reminds me of Nehushtan, Moses’ brass snake which healed bitten Israelites looking upon it during a particularly nasty infestation as they fled Egypt. This prefigure of Christ on the cross had become an idol by the days of king Hezekiah and was the center of an early iconoclastic movement. Needless to say, I didn’t keep the leathery carcass, lest it become a fetish. 

Random observation 1. My dog Tina sometimes does handstands to pee. Doubting Thomas that I am, I couldn’t take my wife’s initial claims about the odd behavior on face value; needing to witness it for myself. Once confirmed, I spent a week trying to capture photographic evidence. Alas, like the elusive bigfoot, catching her at the right moment, from the right angle, is easier said than done —and when one does, the resulting photo is not ideal.

Random observation 7. A scummy pool next to a busy road can look beautiful if framed properly in the right light. I’m not talking about the grand prismatic pool at Yellowstone National Park, either (which, come to think of it, does fit the bill –a tourist trap deriving its colors from the different colored scum that grows at different temperatures and is best appreciated from a birds-eye view). As you see in the photo, I’m talking about a nondescript, everyday scummy pool. Beauty is all around us, we just need to let it in.

All this random talk is making me hungry. I suppose I’ll head-out to Dunkin’ and ask for a dozen randomly selected donuts. I’m sure there will be some sampling bias. Then again, I can’t go wrong no matter which donuts I get.
Happy Friday!


Popular posts from this blog

Ashes to Ashes

  Friends, I don’t know about you, but my household tends to use things a tad beyond their reasonably useful life. Cars, razors, pillows... heck, we squeezed the last BTU out of our home’s 25 year old thermostat —15 years is for rookies. This week we bid our fire pit farewell. Structurally unstable and rusted to the core, this contrivance was well on its way to returning to the soil. Memories of s’mores, cigars and shared spirits come rushing back, as does the six foot tall cardboard peach burned atop it, which caused the first stress fractures in the waning days of 2019. Good times! I suppose nothing lasts forever, but memories can add a sense of permanence to the fleeting. So go, grab a donut and make some new memories!! Happy Friday!

To an end to Covid Games

  Friends, As 2021 comes to an end, it’s time to remember and be grateful for another year of life – there’s much for which to be grateful. Sure, some things could have gone better (they always can), but on balance things were good. At the González household, the cathartic process of capturing this year’s essence to burn at midnight is wrapping-up. This year’s theme, “Covid Games from home” uses Squid games (Netflix’s unlikely breakaway hit) as a way to mock the two main Covid variants of concern (Delta and Omicron) and commiserate about working from home with all the weirdness it carries along. Comfy slippers combined with dressing-up from the waist up for zoom meetings (not to mention the quarantine fifteen). As I hope for lots of snow and no wind (lest we need to call an audible on the midnight burn) my thoughts turn to my friends in Boulder county and hopes for a quick recovery. May 2022 bring an end to confinement and lots of opportunities to share donuts. Happy Friday!

BIrds of a Feather

Friends, The early bird catches the worm, however, as the sun rises I’d much rather have a Denver omelet than a diet of worms . Ready to fly the coop, my ducks all in a row, I ponder one more time whether a bird in hand is truly worth two in the bush. Egged-on by my quest to tuck away a nest egg, I’ve decided to change industries and hope that, like the phoenix, my career will also rise from the ashes of change. After all, I’m no spring chicken –my crow’s feet and gray bely my age – however, I have to trust my judgment and believe you can’t catch this old bird with chaff (whether or not folks think me an odd bird for my actions). And so I shall attempt to soar like an eagle, aware that counting my chickens before they hatch would be ill-advised. As I learn to talk turkey in the language of cybersecurity, I will endeavor not to hide my head in the sand, choosing instead to be like a duck – calm on the surface and paddle like hell underneath! And while my excessive use of bird-inspired