Quotes — Observation (89 entries)

A blog is…

A blog is a unending book in which the author keeps writing the first page for readers constantly waiting for the last.

— Nick Piombino [via]

« πλ | 5 Oct 2006 »

A perfect summer day is…

A perfect summer day is when the sun is shining, the breeze is blowing, the birds are singing, and the lawn mower is broken.

— James Dent

« πλ | 29 May 2006 »

A vacuum is…

A vacuum is a hell of a lot better than some of the stuff that nature replaces it with.

— Tenessee Williams, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof [via]

It is not so much what nature replaces it with, but man.

« πλ | 14 Sep 2004 »

According to an English university…

Acocdrnig to an Elgnsih unviesitry sutdy, the oredr of letetrs in a wrod dosen’t mttaer. The olny thnig thta is iopmrantt is that the frsit and lsat ltteer of eevry word is in the crcreot ptoision. The rset can be jmbueld and one is stlil able to raed the txet wiohtut dclftfuiiy. (Of cuorse, cotnext is ipmortnat too.)

— Author unknown

Semes naroml to me ;)

« πλ | 25 Jun 2005 »


I cannot affect you without you affecting me.

— Author unknown

« πλ | 1 Jan 2004 »

After about 20 years of marriage…

After about 20 years of marriage, I’m finally starting to scratch the surface of [what women want]. And I think the answer lies somewhere between conversation and chocolate.

— Mel Gibson

« πλ | 21 Dec 2004 »

All these worries…

When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.

— Winston Churchill [via]

« πλ | 24 Jun 2006 »

Amateurs vs. Professionals

Amateurs built the Ark. Professionals built the Titanic.

— Author Unknown

« πλ | 25 Jan 2004 »

An epitaph for your generation…

If there is an epitaph for your generation, it will be: They died with their options open.

— Dean Harold Koh, Yale Law School [via]

Ah! The paradox of freedom—too many options, too many choices makes one less free than with just a couple choices. I personally don’t think carrying all those options will fit through the narrow gate. (See Rev 3:15-17).

« πλ | 21 Sep 2004 »

Annotations in the margins of life…

Blogs are annotations in the margins of life.

— Euan Semple [via]

« πλ | 6 Jan 2006 »

Anything said in…

Quid quid latine dictum sit, altum videtur.
(Anything said in Latin sounds profound.)

— Author unknown

« πλ | 31 Aug 2006 »

Concepts without sensations…

Concepts without sensations are empty, sensations without concepts are blind.

— Immanuel Kant

« πλ | 14 Jan 2006 »

Consistency requires…

Consistency requires you to be as ignorant today as you were a year ago.

— Bernard Berenson

« πλ | 12 Apr 2003 »

Contagious yawning…

If you play an audiotape of a yawn to blind people, they’ll yawn too.

— Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point

« πλ | 15 Jul 2006 »

Difference between genius and stupidity…

The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.

— Albert Einstein (maybe)

« πλ | 16 Jun 2005 »

Don’t worry about the future…

Don’t worry about the future. Or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubble gum.

— Kurt Vonnegut (thanks Randy)

« πλ | 3 Jun 2005 »

Eros will have…

Eros will have naked bodies; Friendship naked personalities.

— C.S. Lewis [via]

« πλ | 14 Aug 2004 »

Every age has its own outlook…

Every age has its own outlook. It is specially good at seeing certain truths and specially liable to make certain mistakes. We all, therefore, need the books that will correct the characteristic mistakes of our own period. And that means the old books.

— C.S. Lewis

« πλ | 20 Oct 2006 »

Everyone has a bad hair day…

Everyone has a bad hair day; the trick is not to have one on picture day.

— Mark Woodward (advice given to my students)

« πλ | 11 Oct 2003 »


Everything that has a beginning has an end.

— The Oracle, from Matrix Revolution

« πλ | 5 Apr 2005 »

Experience is like a knife…

Experience is like a knife. It can either hurt you or benefit you depending on whether you grab it by the handle or the blade.

— Author unknown (thanks Doann)

« πλ | 7 Mar 2003 »

Finding a really good weblog…

Finding a really good weblog is like finding the peanuts in a box of Cracker Jacks. They are in there, but you have to hunt for them. And when you find one, you savor it.

— Mark Woodward (left in a comments section on a survey form about advertising and weblogs)

« πλ | 4 Jun 2003 »

Getting a dog is like…

Getting a dog is like getting married. It teaches you to be less self-centered, to accept sudden, surprising outbursts of affection, and not to be upset by a few scratches on your car.

— Will Stanton [via]

« πλ | 14 May 2005 »

God gave us cats…

God gave us cats so that we would have an example of how we treat Him—mainly that we totally ignore Him as we go about our lives, but when we want something we will start to purr and figuratively rub ourselves against His legs to gain His attention for our wants.

Jeff Miller [via]

« πλ | 16 May 2005 »

Going with the Flow…

A dead thing can go with the stream, but only a living thing can go against it.

— G.K. Chesterton, Everlasting Man

« πλ | 31 Oct 2003 »

Good friends are like good bras…

Good friends are like good bras…they never leave you hangin’; they support you; they make you look good, and are forever close to your heart.

— Author unknown (thanks Teresa)

« πλ | 6 Jan 2005 »

Good writing and good sex…

Wherein we discover that many of the “rules” for good writing and good sex are the same: Keep your hand moving, lose control, and don’t think.

— Natalie Goldberg

« πλ | 4 Jul 2006 »

Herding cats…

Trying to coach kindergarteners in soccer is like trying to herd cats.

— Mark Woodward

« πλ | 22 Sep 2005 »

I blog…

I blog; therefore, I am.

— Mark Woodward

Of course, like Descartes, this quote is backwards.

« πλ | 9 Jan 2003 »

If everything seems under control…

If everything seems under control, you’re just not going fast enough.

— Mario Andretti

« πλ | 8 Aug 2005 »

If you reveal your secrets…

If you reveal your secrets to the wind, you should not blame the wind for revealing them to the trees.

— Khalil Gibran [via]

« πλ | 1 Jun 2005 »

Less is…

Less is only more where more is no good.

— Frank Lloyd Wright [via]

« πλ | 16 Aug 2006 »

Life is…

.sdrawkcab dootsrednu tub sdrawrof devil si efiL

— Author unknown

« πλ | 1 Aug 2005 »

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout…

Like a gold ring in a pig’s snout is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion.

— Proverbs 11:22

« πλ | 1 Dec 2004 »

Mastered every survival skill except…

A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows.

— Doug Larson

« πλ | 10 May 2006 »

Men gladly believe…

Men gladly believe that which they wish for.

— Julius Caesar

« πλ | 29 Aug 2006 »

Mystery causes a mental itch…

Mystery causes a mental itch, which the brain tries to soothe with the balm of reasonable talk.

— Diane Ackerman, An Alchemy of Mind [via]

« πλ | 5 Oct 2004 »

Never attribute to malice…

Hanlon’s Razor: Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

— Robert J. Hanlon

« πλ | 14 Jun 2005 »

Never hold your farts in…

Never hold your farts in.
They travel up your spine, into your brain,
and that is where crappy ideas come from!

— Author unknown [via]

« πλ | 18 Aug 2004 »

No one cares…

No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.

— Author unknown (thanks Becca)

« πλ | 25 Feb 2003 »

No one now dies of fatal truths…

No one now dies of fatal truths: there are too many antidotes to them.

— Nietzsche [via]

« πλ | 25 Aug 2004 »

No sense being pessimistic…

No sense being pessimistic. It wouldn’t work anyway.

Subtitle to John Robb’s weblog

« πλ | 23 Jul 2003 »

Not all who wander…

Not all who wander are lost.

— J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

« πλ | 23 Jun 2005 »

Nothing would be done…

Nothing would be done at all if one waited until one could do it so well that no one could find fault with it.

— John Henry Cardinal Newman [via]

« πλ | 27 Aug 2006 »

On the right track…

Even if you are on the right track, you will get run over if you just sit there.

— Will Rogers

« πλ | 6 Mar 2005 »

Outside the box…

Those who think outside the box often find that they have only exchanged one box for another. But sometimes that is what is needed.

— Author unknown

« πλ | 15 Aug 2005 »

Perfect Happiness…

Sooner or later in life everyone discovers that perfect happiness is unrealizable, but there are few who pause to consider the antithesis: that perfect unhappiness is equally unattainable. The obstacles preventing the realization of both these extreme states are of the same nature: they derive from our human condition which is opposed to everything infinite.

— Primo Levi (thanks Kellen)

« πλ | 14 Apr 2003 »


People still often say how they read something or do something “religiously,” presumably to mean “without fail” or “with dedication”—for instance, “I read your blog religiously,” or “I’ll administer these medicines religiously” (to take two real examples I’ve run across recently). But shouldn’t it, for most people, mean “reluctantly, twice a year”?

Eugene Volokh [via]

« πλ | 4 Jun 2005 »

Satire on the human race…

What a satire on the human race that everything grows worse and worse as the means of communication grow greater and greater!

— Søren Kierkegaard

« πλ | 31 Mar 2004 »

Sex is…

Sex is the mathematics urge sublimated.

— M.C. Reed [via]

« πλ | 13 Nov 2005 »

Smallest Deed…

The smallest deed is worth more than the greatest intention.

— Seen on a church marquee.

« πλ | 2 Apr 2003 »

Some folks say…

Some folks say the cup is half full, some that it is half empty. And some folks just complain about the cup.

— Ron Legest [via]

« πλ | 28 May 2006 »

Stumble upon the truth…

Men occasionally stumble upon the truth, but most pick themselves up, dust themselves off, and carry on as if nothing had happened.

— Sir Winston Churchill

« πλ | 3 May 2003 »

Stupidity is also a gift…

Stupidity is also a gift from God, but one mustn’t misuse it.

— Pope John Paul II [via]

« πλ | 7 Oct 2005 »

Sucking your thumb…

Sucking your thumb without a blanket is like eating a cone without ice cream.

— Linus, from the play You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown

« πλ | 15 Dec 2003 »

Tact is…

Tact is the knack of making a point without making an enemy.

— Isaac Newton [via]

« πλ | 16 Sep 2004 »

The Speed of the Future

The future is something which everyone reaches at the rate of 60 minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is.

— C.S. Lewis [via]

« πλ | 19 Jul 2004 »

The best thing about cell phones…

The best thing about cell phones is you don’t have to wait until you get home to know no one called.

— Ray Sweatman [via]

« πλ | 26 Aug 2005 »

The early bird…

The early bird may get the worm, but it’s the second mouse what gets the cheese.

— Author unknown [via]

« πλ | 16 Jan 2005 »

The flight from woman…

It is the modern feminists who are the real male chauvinists, lusting for reproductive freedom (sexual irresponsibility) like playboys and demanding empowerment, that is, envying and imitating not only males, but male fools, judging inner worth by outer performance, sacrificing being for doing, finding their identity in their worldly careers, not in their inner essence, in their physical and spiritual wombs and motherhoods. This is what Karl Stern called “the flight from woman.”

— Peter Kreeft, “Sexual Symbolism”

« πλ | 19 Sep 2006 »

The great thing about human language…

The great thing about human language is that it prevents us from sticking to the matter at hand.

— Lewis Thomas

« πλ | 1 Nov 2006 »

The metaphor is…

The metaphor is perhaps one of man’s most fruitful potentialities. Its efficacy verges on magic, and it seems a tool for creation which God forgot inside one of His creatures when He made him. All our faculties keep us within the realm of the real, of what is already there. The most we can do is to combine things or break them up. The metaphor alone furnishes an escape; between the real things, it lets emerge imaginary reefs, a crop of floating islands.

— José Ortega y Gasset, The Dehumanization of Art [via]

« πλ | 2 Aug 2004 »

The nonconformist hates…

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity.

— Bill Vaughan

« πλ | 3 Nov 2006 »

The older I get and the more I learn…

The older I get and the more I learn, the more shades of gray I discover and the less things appear black and white.

April Szuch

« πλ | 10 Nov 2004 »

The people who say…

The people who say “it never works” just mean “it never worked for me.”

— Christine Castro [via]

« πλ | 13 Oct 2006 »

The quieter you become…

The quieter you become, the more you can hear.

— Baba Ram Dass [via]

« πλ | 25 Oct 2004 »

The trouble with Westerners…

The trouble with Westerners is that they want to witness their own enlightenment.

— Chogyam Trungpa [via]

« πλ | 10 Dec 2005 »

There are no passengers…

There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.

— Marshall McLuhan [via]

« πλ | 18 May 2005 »

There are two kinds of people…

There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, “All right, then, have it your way.”

— C.S. Lewis

« πλ | 5 Feb 2005 »

They are in fashion…

The greatest part of mankind have no other reason for their opinion than that they are in fashion.

— Samuel Johnson

« πλ | 16 Sep 2006 »


If you make people think they’re thinking, they’ll love you; but if you really make them think, they’ll hate you.

— Don Marquis [via]

« πλ | 16 Jul 2006 »

To a worm…

To a worm, digging in the hard ground is more relaxing than going fishing.

— Author unknown

« πλ | 19 Jun 2005 »

To meet new people…

One of the quickest ways to meet new people is to pick up the wrong ball on the golf course.

— Author unknown

« πλ | 17 Mar 2005 »

Too often there is…

The trouble is that too often there is forty horsepower under the bonnet and one asspower at the wheel.

— John MacNaughton

« πλ | 30 Sep 2006 »

Understatement of the Last Century

I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.

— Thomas Watson, chairman of IBM, 1943

« πλ | 6 Jul 2004 »

Unzip your heart…

You have to unzip your heart before you unzip your pants.

— Mark Woodward

In other words, if you cannot trust the secrets of your heart with someone, then why would you trust your most physical intimacy with them too?

« πλ | 14 May 2004 »

Walk with those seeking Truth…

Walk with those seeking Truth. Run from those who think they’ve found it.

— Deepak Chopra

This quote reminds of the question, “Are you saved or being saved?” It also reminds me that I am on a journey and that I will not reach the final destination in this lifetime. Once I begin to think that I have it all figured out, like separating all of the sheep from the goats, someone will move, or something will change (usually me) and mess up my nice, ordered universe.

« πλ | 7 Nov 2003 »

We all quote…

By necessity, by proclivity and by delight, we all quote.

— Ralph Waldo Emerson [via]

CowPi’s 1000th quote!

« πλ | 24 Nov 2006 »

We do not remember days…

We do not remember days…we remember moments.

— Cesare Pavese

« πλ | 21 May 2005 »

What a wonderful life…

What a wonderful life I’ve had! I only wish I’d realized it sooner.

— Colette [via]

« πλ | 2 Jan 2005 »

When I was 14…

When I was 14, I was older than most other kids my age.

Stephen Urich

« πλ | 9 Aug 2004 »

When we try to pick out anything by itself…

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.

— John Muir [via]

« πλ | 21 Oct 2004 »

Why do we kill people…

Why do we kill people who kill people to show that killing people is wrong?

— Seen on a bumper sticker

« πλ | 24 Feb 2004 »

Why must the pessimist always…

An optimist may see a light where there is none, but why must the pessimist always run to blow it out?

— Rene Descartes

« πλ | 14 Jun 2006 »

Would it not be strange if…

Would it not be strange if a universe without purpose accidentally created humans who are so obsessed with purpose?

— Sir John Templeton

« πλ | 30 Nov 2006 »

You can know the name of a bird…

You can know the name of a bird in all the languages of the world, but when you’re finished, you’ll know absolutely nothing whatever about the bird… So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing—that’s what counts. I learned very early the difference between knowing the name of something and knowing something.

— Richard Feynman [via]

This seems to apply to Jesus. You can know about him, or you can know Him.

« πλ | 3 Jan 2005 »

You cannot remove…

You cannot remove from a person’s mind with reason that which reason never put there in the first place.

Rev. Mike (via a comment at open book)

« πλ | 9 Jan 2004 »

You should never doubt…

You should never doubt what you’re not sure about.

— Willy Wonka

« πλ | 10 Aug 2004 »

Your personality is a pet…

One suggestion is to regard your personality as a pet. It follows you around anyway, so give it a name and make friends with it. Keep it on a leash when you need to, and let it run free when you feel that is appropriate. Train it as well as you can, and then accept its idiosyncrasies, but always remember that your pet is not you. Your pet has its own life, and just happens to be in an intimate relationship with you, whoever you may be, hiding there behind your personality.

— Wes Nisker [via]

« πλ | 23 Aug 2004 »