I’ve been hauling bolts of wood home in the trunk of my Honda. My neighbor has pointed me to a seemingly endless supply of wood, much of it Derecho-derived, sawed into pieces but not split. No one should ever have to buy firewood again, is my argument, and so I’m spending a lot of time bear-hugging bolts of oak and maple and hauling them to my car and then back to the city. By my back door rises a Ziggurat of unsplit wood, a pile that grows despite my whittling away at it with wedge and sledge and the occasional vicious blow with the axe.

Critics say I’m obsessed. They think this is overkill. They accuse me of preparing for an imaginary apocalyptic grid outage.

But here’s the thing: a man needs to have a wood pile he can be proud of.

The wood pile represents the future. It is a form of wealth — tangible, incontrovertible, immune to inflation.

It is the promise of heat to come, and a hedge against the inevitable. Decay will come, and degeneration, and eventually oblivion, but we do not have to surrender without a fight.

We get old, we get old, we will wear our trousers rolled — but at least we have the wood pile.


So I watched a lot of football and yes my Gators came up big. But Notre Dame won late last night, and thus order has been imposed on what might have been another chaotic and argumentative bowl season.

Notre Dame will play either Georgia or Alabama for the national title — the Dawgs and Tide meet next week in the SEC championship game, which has become the annual play-in game for the BCS championship game. Had Notre Dame lost to USC, then all heck would have broken loose. My Gators might have been rewarded for their brilliant strategic gambit of losing to Georgia so as to avoid getting crushed by Alabama on Dec. 1. The computers love the Gators but the humans are not at sold on them, and so the human voters may have intentionally marked the Gators down to, say, 7th or 8th in the human polls just to counter-act the computer-love, and thus elevate a team such as Oregon into the title game. The real question, of course, is whether the computers would then tweak the formula to help the Gators even further and counteract the human counteraction.

You know this is how the whole Terminator scenario begins: A human-computer dispute over the BCS championship evolves into total war.

Another reason we need a playoff.