Grandma was a kind of first-aid station, or a Red Cross nurse, who took up where the battle ended, accepting us and our little sobbing sins, gathering the whole of us into her lap, restoring us to health and confidence by her amazing faith in life and in a mortal's strength to meet it.
     - Lillian Smith

The biggest disease today is not leprosy or tuberculosis, but rather the feeling of being unwanted.
     - Mother Teresa, 1910 - 1997

I am prepared to die, but there is no cause for which I am prepared to kill.
  Mahatma Gandhi

Life is a series of collisions with the future; it is not the sum of what we have been, but what we yearn to be.
  Jose Ortega y Gasset

The meek may inherit the earth - but not its mineral rights.
  J. Paul Getty (1892-1976)

Yesterday is but today's memory, and tomorrow is today's dream.
  Kahlil Gibran

Mathematicians are like Frenchmen: whatever you say to them they translate into their own language, and forthwith it is something entirely different.
  Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


The surest way to hit a woman's heart is to take aim kneeling.
  Douglas Jerrold


You can close your eyes to reality but not to memories.
  Stanislaw Lec

A lie told often enough becomes the truth.
  V.I. Lenin

We're all given some sort of skill in life. Mine just happens to be beating up on people.
  Sugar Ray Leonard

When you choose the lesser of two evils, always remember that it is still an evil.
  Max Lerner

He has the right to criticize who has the heart to help.
  Abraham Lincoln

Ignorance is a voluntary misfortune.
  Nicholas Ling


To be trusted is a greater compliment than to be loved.
  George MacDonald

Never write an advertisement which you wouldn't want your family to read. You wouldn't tell lies to your own wife. Don't tell them to mine.
  David Ogilvy

If you bungle raising your children, I don't think whatever else you do matters.
  Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, reporter, editor, US First Lady

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.
  J(ulius) Robert Oppenheimer, (1904-1967) physicist, a-bomb developer

We knew the world could not be the same. A few people laughed, a few people cried. Most people were silent. I remembered the line from the Hindu scripture, the Bhagavad Gita: "I am became Death, the destroyers of worlds." I suppose we all thought that, one way or another.
  J Robert Oppenheimer, (1904-1967) American physicist, Recalling the explosion of the first atomic bomb near Almogordo, New Mexico [Jul. 15, 1945]

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
  George Orwell, author

There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be an exception to the rule.
  Charles Osgood, journalist

We do not remember days, we remember moments.
  Cesare Pavese

The ultimate test of a relationship is to disagree but hold hands.
  Alexander Penney

The universe is full of magical things patiently waiting for our wits to grow sharper.
  Eden Phillpots


It is base to filch a purse, daring to embezzle a million, but it is great beyond measure to steal a crown. The sin lessens as the guilt increases.
  Johann von Schiller

We're not into science fiction because it's good literature, we're into it because it's weird. Follow your weird, ladies and gentlemen. Forget trying to pass for normal. Follow your geekdom. Embrace your nerditude. In the immortal words of Lafcadio Hearn, a geek of incredible obscurity whose work is still in print after a hundred years, ``woo the muse of the odd.''
  Bruce Sterling

I would not attack the faith of a heathen without being sure I had a better one to put in its place.
  Harriet Beecher Stowe

Now I've laid me down to die
I pray my neighbors not to pry
Too deeply into sins that I
Not only cannot here deny
But much enjoyed as life flew by.
   Preston Sturges, Epitaph

Before I married, I had three theories about raising children and no children. Now, I have three children and no theories.
  John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester

First things first, but not necessarily in that order.
  Doctor Who, fictional english SF character

Logic merely enables one to be wrong with authority.
  Doctor Who, fictional english SF character

I could see that, if not actually disgruntled, he was far from being gruntled.
  P.G. Wodehouse


When you're as great as I am, it's hard to be humble.
  --Muhammad Ali

Business conventions are important because they demonstrate how many people a company can operate without.
  -- Anonymous

No opera plot can be sensible, for in sensible situations people do not sing.
  --W H Auden

If thine enemy offend thee, give his child a drum.
  --Chinese Curse

An epitaph is a belated advertisement for a line of goods that have been permanently discontinued.
  -- Irvin S. Cobb

Be the first to say what is self-evident, and you are immortal.
  --M. Ebner-Eschenbach, Austrian storyteller

A conclusion is the place where you got tired thinking.
  --Martin H. Fischer

To die for an idea is to place a pretty high price on conjectures.
  --Anatole France, from The Revolt of the Angels

Pro football is like nuclear warfare. There are no winners, only survivors.
  --Frank Gifford

I never said all actors are cattle; what I said was all actors should be treated like cattle.
  -- Alfred Hitchcock

No woman ever falls in love with a man unless she has a better opinion of him than he deserves.
  --Ed Howe

Everything comes to him who waits, except a loaned book.
  --Kin Hubbard

Of course there's a lot of knowledge in universities: the freshmen bring a little in; the seniors don't take much away, so knowledge sort of accumulates....
  --Dr. A. Lawrence Lowell

To be in love is merely to be in a state of perpetual anesthesia - to mistake an ordinary young woman for a goddess.
  -- H.L. Mencken

Democracy is the art and science of running the circus from the monkey cage.
  -- H.L. Mencken

A conservative is a man who wants the rules changed so no one can make a pile the way he did.
  -- Gregory Nunn

I love Americans, but not when they try to talk French. What a blessing it is that they never try to talk English.
  -- Saki (H. H. Munro)

I never thought much of the courage of a lion-tamer. Inside the cage he is at least safe from people.
  -- George Bernard Shaw

What is the use of straining after an amiable view of things, when a cynical view is most likely to be the true one?
  -- George Bernard Shaw

Do you know what a pessimist is? A man who thinks everybody as nasty as himself, and hates them for it.
  -- George Bernard Shaw
Moral indignation is, in most cases, 2% moral, 48% indignation, and 50% envy.
  --Vittorio de Sica

By trying we can easily endure adversity. Another man's, I mean.
  -- Mark Twain

I have witnessed and greatly enjoyed the first act of everything which Wagner created, but the effect on me has always been so powerful that one act was quite sufficient; whenever I have witnessed two acts I have gone away physically exhausted; and whenever I have ventured an entire opera the result has been the next thing to suicide.
  --Mark Twain, 1891

Conscience and cowardice are really the same things.
  -- Oscar Wilde

Either the wallpaper goes or I do.
  -- Oscar Wilde, last words

I'm not interested in age. People who tell me their age are silly. You're as old as you feel.
  Elizabeth Arden

Women have got to make the world safe for men since men have made it so darned unsafe for women.
  Lady Nancy Astor


I may be compelled to face danger, but never fear it, and while our soldiers can stand and fight, I can stand and feed and nurse them.
  Clara Barton

To have a good enemy, choose a friend; he knows where to strike.
  Diane de Pointers

Most women set out to change a man, and when they have changed him they do not like him.
  Marlene Dietrich

A great civilization is not conquered from without until it has destroyed itself from within.
  Ariel Durant


People change and forget to tell each other.
  Lillian Hellman

Plain women know more about men than beautiful women do.
  Katharine Hepburn

Our strength is often composed of the weakness we're damned if we're going to show.
  Mignon McLaughlin

Even cowards can endure hardship; only the brave can endure suspense.
  Mignon McLaughlin

You can't be brave if you've only had wonderful things happen to you.
  Mary Tyler Moore


Nobody sees a flower really; it is so small. We haven't time, and to see takes time -- like to have a friend takes time.
  Georgia O'Keefe

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.
  Gilda Radner

I will feel equality has arrived when we can elect to office women who are as incompetent as some of the men who are already there.
  Maureen Reagan

I could not, at any age, be content to take my place by the fireside and simply look on. Life was meant to be lived. Curiousity must be kept alive. One must never, for whatever reason, turn his back on life.
  Eleanor Roosevelt


I am not eccentric. It's just that I am more alive than most people. I am an unpopular electric eel set in a pond of goldfish.
  Dame Edith Sitwell

If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything at any time, and you would achieve nothing.
  Margaret Thatcher

I've been rich and I've been poor. Rich is better.
  Sophie Tucker

The arts are the rain forests of society. They produce the oxygen of freedom, and they are the early warning system when freedom is in danger.
  June Wayne

What you teach your own children is what you really believe in.
  Cathy Warner Weatherford

Remember, Ginger Rogers did everything Fred Astaire did, but she did it backwards and in high heels.
  Faith Whittlesey

Each has his past shut in him like the leaves of a book known to him by his heart, and his friends can only read the title.
  Virginia Woolf


You wake up in the morning, and your purse is magically filled with twenty-four hours of unmanufactured tissue of the universe of your life! It is yours. It is the most precious of possessions. No one can take it from you. And no one receives either more or less than you receive.
  Dr. Thomas Arnold Bennett

Science has to be understood in its broadest sense, as a method for comprehending all observable reality, and not merely as an instrument for acquiring specialized knowledge.
  Alexis Carrel

We are all worms, but I do believe that I am a glow-worm.
  Winston Churchill

There are no atheists in foxholes.
  William T. Cummings


Desperation is sometimes as powerful an inspirer as genius.
  Benjamin Disraeli


I don't know what will be used in the next world war, but the 4th will be fought with stones.
  A. Einstein

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.
  Buckminster Fuller

Dare to be naive.
  Buckminster Fuller

I never make the mistake of arguing with people for whose opinions I have no respect.
  Edward Gibbon

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.
  Kahlil Gibran

Daring ideas are like chessmen moved forward. They may be beaten, but they may start a winning game.

There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.
  Grahm Greene, from The Power and the Glory

Four things come not back: the spoken word, the spent arrow, the past, the neglected opportunity.
  Omar Idn Al-Halif

The greatest truths are the simplest.
  A.W. Hare

If you hate a person, you hate something in him that is a part of yourself. What isn't part of ourselves doesn't disturb us.
  Hermann Hesse ['Demian', 1919]

One machine can do the work of fifty ordinary men. No machine can do the work of one extraordinary man.
  Elbert Hubbard

Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.
  Aldous Huxley ['Do What You Will', 1929]


We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as courses, and they come back to us as effects.
  Herman Melville


War may sometimes be a necessary evil. But no matter how necessary, it is always an evil, never a good. We will not learn how to live together in peace by killing each other's children.

Jimmy Carter (1924 - )


A Native American grandfather was talking to his grandson about how he felt. He said, "I feel as if I have two wolves fighting in my heart. One wolf is the vengeful, angry, violent one. The other wolf is the loving, compassionate one. The grandson asked him, Which wolf will win the fight in your heart? The grandfather answered, The one I feed.

Anonymous, As told in Women Who Run With the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola Estes


I've been making a list of the things they don't teach you at school. They don't teach you how to love somebody. They don't teach you how to be famous. They don't teach you how to be rich or how to be poor. They don't teach you how to walk away from someone you don't love any longer. They don't teach you how to know what's going on in someone else's mind. They don't teach you what to say to someone who's dying. They don't teach you anything worth knowing.

Neil Gaiman, Sandman


I know you have come to kill me. Shoot, coward! You are only going to kill a man.

Che Guevara, His last words, spoken to his assassin.


The crime of suicide lies in its disregard for the feelings of those whom we leave behind.

E. M. Forster (1879 - 1970), Howards End


You can win a million battles but you can only lose one.

R. A. Salvatore, Homeland


All governments suffer a recurring problem: Power attracts pathological personalities. It is not that power corrupts but that it is magnetic to the corruptible. Such people have a tendency to become drunk on violence, a condition to which they are quickly addicted.

Frank Herbert (1920 - 1986), Chapterhouse Dune, Missionaria Protectiva


In Japan, employees occasionally work themselves to death. It's called Karoshi. I don't want that to happen to anybody in my department. The trick is to take a break as soon as you see a bright light and hear dead relatives beckon.
Scott Adams, Dilbert's manager from The Dilbert Principle, 1996


The Lord had the wonderful advantage of being able to work alone.
Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General, answering why he had not implemented organizational reforms after five months when 'God created the universe in seven days',1997


The Dixie Chicks do not advocate premeditated murder, but love getting even.
   Dixie Chicks, country music group, 'legal' disclaimer on music CD liner notes, 1999


At least she's the president of something, which is more than I can say.
  Bob Dole, US Senate Majority Leader, on his wife Elizabeth, president of the American Red Cross, 1995


Satisfaction Guaranteed or Double Your Garbage Back.
   Garbage Truck, Cambridge, Massachusettes, 1997



What They Wanted

They wanted me to tell the truth,
so I said I'd lived among them
for years, a spy,
but all that I wanted was love.
They said they couldn't love a spy.
Couldn't I tell them other truths?
I said I was emotionally bankrupt,
would turn any of them in for a kiss.
I told them how a kiss feels
when it's especially undeserved;
I thought they'd understand.
They wanted me to say I was sorry,
so I told them I was sorry.
They didn't like it that I laughed.
They asked what I'd seen them do,
and what I do with what I know.
I told them: find out who you are
before you die.
Tell us, they insisted, what you saw.
I saw the hawk kill a smaller bird.
I said life is one long leave-taking.
They wanted me to speak
like a journalist. I'll try, I said.
I told them I could depict the end
of the world, and my hand wouldn't tremble.
I said nothing's serious except destruction.
They wanted to help me then.
They wanted me to share with them,
that was the word they used, share.
I said it's bad taste
to want to agree with many people.
I told them I've tried to give
as often as I've betrayed.
They wanted to know my superiors,
to whom did I report?
I told them I accounted to no one,
that each of us is his own punishment.
If I love you, one of them cried out,
what would you give up?
There were others before you,
I wanted to say, and you'd be the one
before someone else. Everything, I said.

Stephen Dunn {bsf}, Landscape at the End of the Century, 1991


When I was still quite young my father said to me, My beloved daughter, you are an amoral little wretch. I know this, because you take after me; your mind works just the way mine does. If you are not to be destroyed by your lack, you must work out a practical code of your own and live by it.

I thought about his words and felt warm and good inside. Amoral little wretch- Father knew me so well.

What code should I follow, Father?

You have to pick your own.

Maureen Long quoting her father Lazarus Long in To Sail Beyond the Sunset, Chapter2


"That's the problem with nature, something's always stinging you
or oozing mucous all over you. Let's go and watch TV."

--- Calvin


As a math atheist, I think I should be excused from this.

--- Calvin, to Hobbes


Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and its my responsibility to make it better.

--- Tom Lawson McCall


"I plead alignment to the flake of the untitled snakes of a merry cow
and to the republicans for which they scam, one nacho underpants,
invisible with licorice and jugs of wine for owls."

--- Bongo – Life in Hell (Matt Groening)


After receiving a Minute issued by a priggish civil servant, objecting to the ending of a sentence with a preposition and the use of a dangling participle in official documents, Churchill red-penciled in the margin: "This is the sort of pedantry up with which I will not put."

What do I bring to the Democratic National
Convention that other reporters don't? Hair."

--- Dave Mustaine, MTV News


Dennis Thatcher, husband of Margaret Thatcher, when asked who wore the pants in his house, said "I do, and I also wash and iron them."

From: William December Starr

The trouble about fighting for human freedom is that you have to spend so much of your life defending sons of bitches; for oppressive laws are always aimed at them originally, and oppression must be stopped in the beginning if it is to be stopped at all.

--- H.L. Menken


Don't wear rollerskates to a tug-of-war.

Larry Wall (contemp) inventor of Perl (programming language)


Never tangle with a geek when source code is on the line.

Frank Sorenson (contemp) systems manager, computer scientist


"Be very, very careful what you put into that head, because you will never, ever get it out."

--- Cardinal Wolsey


Past the wounds of childhood, past the fallen dreams and the broken
families, through the hurt and the loss and the agony only the night
ever hears, is a waiting soul. Patient, permanent, abundant, it
opens its infinite heart and asks only one thing of you ...
'Remember who it is you really are.'"

--- "Losing Your Mind", Karen Alexander and Rick Boyes


The opinions above are not mine. I stole them all from the person sitting next to me. If you don't like them, I can get you his address and you can kill him.

.sig file (“Crunchy Frog”)



I have looked into the abyss, and the abyss has looked into me.
Neither liked what we saw.

--- Brother Theodore


It's a control freak thing. I wouldn't let you understand.

.sig file quote



Support your local medical examiner - die strangely.

--- Blake Bowers


Remember, if we screw up, it's still a lot better than you could do.

--- Rick Rubenstein (contemp) professional juggler


If marriage was outlawed only outlaws would have inlaws.

Sig quote


I read the newspaper today and was amazed that, in 24 hours, five billion people could accomplish so little.

Sig quote


Lost, yesterday, somewhere between sunrise and sunset, two golden hours, each set with sixty diamond minutes. No reward is offered, for they are gone forever.

--- Horace Mann

To believe in something, and not to live it, is dishonest.
-- Ghandi

It was just him and me. He fought with honor. If it weren't for his honor, he and the others would have beaten me together. They might have killed me, then. His sense of honor saved my life. I didn't fight with honor . . . I fought to win.
-- Orson Scott Card from Ender's Game

When a man takes an oath, Meg, he's holding his ownself in his own hands. Like water. And if he opens his fingers then- he needn't hope to find himself again.
-- Robert Bolt from A Man For All Seasons

Good-bye. I am leaving because I am bored.
-- George Saunders - last words

Now comes the mystery.
-- Henry Ward Beecher - last words

Die? I should say not, dear fellow. No Barrymore would allow such a conventional thing to happen to him.
-- John Barrymore - last words

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life's
longing for itself...
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
for their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
-- Kahlil Gilbran, from The Prophet

Come, let us go. Let us leave this festering hellhole. Let us think the unthinkable, let us do the undoable. Let us prepare to grapple with the ineffable itself, and see if we may not eff it after all.
-- Dirk Gently in "Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency" by Douglas Adams

Touch is the most fundamental sense. A baby experiences it, all over, before he is born and long before he learns to use sight, hearing, or taste, and no human ever ceases to need it. Keep your children short on pocket money--but long on hugs.
-- Lazarus Long by Robert A Heinlein

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand, nor the kindly smile, nor the joy of companionship; it's the spiritual inspiration that comes to one when he discovers that someone else believes in him and is willing to trust him with his friendship.
-- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few.
-- Lazarus Long by Robert A Heinlein

To be "matter of fact" about the world is to blunder into fantasy--and dull fantasy at that, as the real world is strange and wonderful.
-- Lazarus Long by Robert A Heinlein

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.
-- Mark Twain

Courage is the complement of fear. A man who is fearless cannot be courageous. (He is also a fool.)
-- Lazarus Long by Robert A Heinlein

Unix *is* user friendly. It's just picky about its friends.

God may be subtle, but He isn't mean.
-- Albert Einstein

I am made from the dust of the stars and the oceans flow in my veins.
-- Rush

Bumper sticker idea for the stealth bomber: "IF YOU CAN READ THIS, THEN WE WASTED 50 BILLION BUCKS."

Klein bottle for rent--inquire within.

The greatest gift for an individual or a nation ...was abhaya, fearlessness, not merely bodily courage but absence of fear from the mind....Fearlessness may be a gift, but perhaps more precious is the courage acquired through endeavour, courage that comes from cultivating the habit of refusing to let fear dictate one's actions, courage that could be described as "grace under pressure" -- grace which is renewed repeatedly in the face of harsh, unremmiting pressure.
-- Aung San Suu Kyi

I refuse to consign the whole male sex to the nursery. I insist on believing that some men are my equals.
-- Brigid Brophy

No author dislikes to be edited as much as he dislikes not to be published.
-- J. Russel Lynes (1910-1991)U.S. editor, writer

What kind of society isn't structured on greed? The problem of social organization is how to set up an arrangement under which greed will do the least harm; capitalism is that kind of a system.
-- Milton Friedman

Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of earth
And danced the skies on laughter-silvered wings;
Sunward I've climbed, and joined the tumbling mirth
Of sun-split clouds-and done a hundred things
You have not dreamed of-wheeled and soared and swung
High in the sunlit silence. Hov'ring there
I've chased the shouting wind along, and flung
My eager craft through footless halls of air.

Up, up the long, delirious, burning blue
I've topped the wind-swept heights with easy grace,
Where never the lark, nor even eagle flew-
And, while with silent lifting mind I've trod
The high, untrespassed sanctity of space,
Put out my hand and touched the face of God.

John Gillespie Magee (1922-1941) High Flight

Every now and then we discover in the seething mass of humanity round us a person who does not seem to need anybody else, and the contrast with ourselves is stinging.
-- Ernest Dimnet

Chains do not hold a marriage together. It is threads, hundreds of tiny threads which sew people together through the years. -Simone Signoret

From a distance, one’s adversaries seemed fiends, but with a closer view, one saw the sincerity and it was as great as one’s own.

-Walter M. Miller, Jr. A Canticle for Leibowitz


The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.

Jawaharlal Nehru


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

Howard W. Newton


When we walk to the edge of all the light we have and take the step into the darkness of the unknown, we must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for us to stand on or we will be taught to fly.

Patrick Overton


Perhaps a child who is fussed over gets a feeling of destiny, he thinks he is in the world for something important and it gives him drive and confidence.

Dr. Benjamin Spock


We are all travellers in the wilderness of this world, and the best we can find in our travels is an honest friend.

Robert Louis Stevenson

There is so much good in the worst of us, an so much bad in the best of us, that it behooves all of us not to talk about the rest of us.

Robert Louis Stevenson


Beware the fury of a patient man.

Publius Syrus


Twenty years fron now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

Mark Twain


It is discouraging to try and penetrate a mind like yours. You ought to get it out and dance on it. That would take some of the rigidity out of it.

Mark Twain


Human history becomes more and more a race between education and catastrophe.

H.G. Wells


A dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world.

Oscar Wilde


We grow a little every time we do not take advantage of somebody's weakness.

Bern Williams


There is a great deal of unmapped country within us which would have to be taken into account in an explanation of our gusts and storms.

George Eliot


Hunger is not debatable.

Harry Hopkins


Shredded cabbage goes great with shredded carrots and mayonnaise.

Cole's Law



  1. Keyes Rules of Misquotation
       Axiom 1. Any quotation that can be altered will be.
    • Corollary 1A: Vivid words hook misquotes in the mind.
    • Corollary 1B: Numbers are hard to keep straight.
    • Corollary 1C: Small changes can have a big impact (or: what a difference an “a” makes).
    • Corollary 1D: If noted figures don't say what needs to be said, we'll say it for them.
    • Corollary 1E: Journalists are a less than dependable source of accurate quotes.
    • Corollary 1F: Famous dead people make excellent commentators on current events.

   Axiom 2. Famous quotes need famous mouths.

    • Corollary 2A: Well-known messengers get credit for clever comments they report from less celebrated mouths.
    • Corollary 2B: Particularly quotable figures receive more than their share of quotable quotes.
    • Corollary 2C: Comments made about someone might as well have been said by that person.
    • Corollary 2D: Who you think said something may depend on where you live.
    • Corollary 2E: Vintage quotes are considered to be in the public domain.
    • Corollary 2F: In a pinch, any orphan quote can be called a Chinese proverb.