Monday, October 31, 2005

Not a player, apparently

My blog is worth $2,258.16.
How much is your blog worth?

So, while I was looking for some stuff for class I found this website that had an applet which lets you determine the value of your blog using the same formula (based on links) that was used to value the AOL-Weblogs merger.

Looks like HKC has a ways to go to hit the big time. Click the link and find the "value" of your own blog!

A cynic knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. -- O. Wilde (var.)

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Eyeballs intact

How did you use our extra bonus hour last night? I imagine some of you got another hour of twistin' the night away, you 24-hour-party-people, you. Me, I slept mine. Except for a walk to return the bat-movies, I essentially worked all day yesterday, from the time I made the last post until about nine at night, with a little bit after that as well while Otis fell asleep watching Close Encounters on the big screen (er, wall). I have to leave in a little while, to teach from nine to five down at Antioch, and still have a bit of planning to do when I get back. No rest for the wicked, eh?

Here's a little anigif for you today:

This illustrates the Golden Rectangle, which develops the idea of the Golden Ratio, which is a concept related to the Fibonacci Numbers and which I think is so cool that I keep trying how to figure out how to make it a tattoo. Learn more about it from this guy.

Saturday, October 29, 2005

A bat-talion of batfans!

The Origami Batgirl and I welcomed a horde of bats for the inaugural spectration of the B-Movie Bijou last night! Joining us to watch one really fun fifties thriller (with the late, great Vincent Price and Agnes Moorehead, no less) and one truly, incredibly dreadful sixties piece of trash (with no one who ever worked again) were Runny Sunny, from just down the hall; the lovely Theodora von D'arc and Mr. T (sporting matching blink-in-the-dark bat-rings); Magic Scotty and his charming pal FloraNora; Sailor Sue (who won the Most Boob References award for the evening); Mighty Melvin (with the skirling of the pipes still echoing in her head); Rye-N (who scored hella points on the mock-o-meter) and Kris-10 (at least I think that's who that was peeping out from her blanket); Dangerous Dingo (in her Dracula coat); a limping Johnbai; Soapy; RwT (on her usual schedule); and even a special guest appearance by the charming Car-ul Cair-uhl Cahr-oll Carl.

It was a spectacular night and I, at least, had a great time! Now, I have got to get to work and read papers until my eyes fall out.

But I cannot fail to mention the appearance of the man himself on this B-is-for-bat night:

(click the bat emblem for poppy goodness)

Friday, October 28, 2005

Clear skies, not on the forecast

When I was getting up this morning, the radio lady said there was a one-hundred-percent chance of rain today. Yet, it has been been clear, with blue skies and sunshine for most of the day. I took my cue from that, and instead of working (which I really ought to be doing), I got the place ready for the movies tonight and even actually took a walk. I am in an excellent mood today; several things have made me laugh loud that really weren't quite as funny as all that. I stopped in at the local comic book shop and managed to wonder where the Silver Age went without getting all distressed at the state of comix today. I just feel good.

Maybe I am on the verge of getting my second wind. Monday will be day 26 of the standard 52-instructional-day quarter (eleven weeks minus three holidays), so we are halfway though this infernal fall. I am behind, but that seems to be the state of things, and I am getting used to it.

So, like the sunshine today, I will have an unscheduled bit of summerness before working all day tomorrow, teaching all day Sunday, and hitting the ol' grind again Monday. Gather ye rosebuds while ye may...

And even as I type, the raindrops begin to fall.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lighter and brighter

Nice to live where clouds pass quickly. I had a pretty good day yesterday; it's always good when stuff you try actually works, innit? Massaged the universe a little and smoothed some things out. Nothing has changed significantly, and I am still way busy, but I feel better about it. had a great night last night (except for the suicidal bat) and I'm ready to rock and roll.

Here's a flash site that explains one of the most-discussed movies ever.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

An unfortuntate concatenation of circumstances

Whenever a number of conditions combine to create an unwanted effect these days, commentators are likely to call it a "perfect storm"; I have always preferred Wodehouse's styling (above) as more lyrical and usually more apt.

In any case, since I took on super-quarter at the end of September, here are the circumstances which have been concatenated: I apparently did not draw all the brightest bulbs in the box, and have had to work hard to generate some extra spark in class; a possibly ill-considered acceptance of an odd schedule at North in Winter knocked me out of contention for some work at Cascadia; this situation has not been successfully resolved and has reminded me of the perils of temporary teaching assignments; there is a labor action in progress at North over issues surrounding temporary teachers; I attended a session on temporary teaching assigments at the conference in Yakima and was not heartened by the information shared; I have been awfully tired by (and of) teaching six classes.

The result of all this: I have been a bit out of sorts and vaguely dissatisfied for the past few days. I am sure I'll get over it, but it has given me pause.

Hey, I got an email from one of the authors of N*W*C; he found our discssion on the blog. He's also a comix writer. Wotta world, eh?

Hey, I still need someone to pick up that last ticket for Says You!

Hey, is this cool or what?

Monday, October 24, 2005

No time to post! here's a picture. It's something like what Just Jon might have had on the wall for his boys, but with a comixy twist.

(Did you figure it out?)

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Just a quick post

before I go to grade papers ALL DAY! I am actually glad it's raining...

The Yakima trip got better. The conference was worthwhile and, on the culinary front, it had the best food I have ever had at a conference: authentic Mexican food with grrrrreat veggie burritos.

Hey, happy to see Just Jon back in the bloggle! I know how busy we all are, and I'm glad you're filling your free time with some
idiot grinning.

Hey, let's all send hypoallergenic karma to Wheylona!

Hey, there's still one ticket left for Says You! Somebody take it and join us for breakfast and wordly fun!

Hey, let me know if you're coming over for the B is for Bat inaugural spectration on Friday!

And just for fun, here is a surprising complete version of the original Star Wars movie in an animated GIF:

I gotta get to work.

Friday, October 21, 2005

Blah-ging in Yucky-ma

So here we are in the Clarion Motel and Conference Center in Yakima. I have a conference tomorrow - not here at the center, but at Yakima Valley CC. We just came back to the room from what was quite possibly the worst dinner I have ever had.

We walked across the street to a Chinese restaurant - the Golden Something. Reading the menu was the first clue - there were almost no vegetarian items, and the word "tofu" was nowhere to be found. Otis decided to go with vegetable chow mein and flexitarian me chose fried rice. Here came the second clue: the waitress warned me about the rice. She told me that the chicken "was like the lunchmeat kind." I told her to bring me the rice without any chicken. We should have just dropped our waters and run away.

Otis's chow mein was a barely distinguishable pile of gelatinous vegetable matter (mostly celery) spread over some limp "crispy" noodles. Her steamed rice was Uncle Ben's. My fried rice - Uncle Ben's with Liquid Smoke poured on it - had little rubbery chunks of pressed chicken parts strewn through it. And nothing else - no peas, no carrots, no onions.

It was awful. We ate it. We drank the tea from Denny's coffee cups and left. There are even more details to share, but I just can't bear it.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

B is for... Bat!

In the tradition started by Otis's Bee-movie Extravaganza last year, and thanks to Walaka's acquistion of The Shaft of Fire That Glows In Yonder West (aka the new projector), we are happy to announce the first of what promises to be regular monthly B-movie nights! In honor (horror?) of Halloween, please join us for

B is for Bat-Movies!

The program is a double feature:

First, the classic 1926 thriller that in all likelihood inspired Bob Kane to create Batman:

The Bat

Based on the play by Mary Roberts Rhinehart, The Bat tells the story of a master criminal who tries to scare some people out of an old, dark house. The trouble is that there are other criminals afoot, and the story becomes a mystery as to who is hiding behind the mask.

The second feature is a piece of pure sixties gold:

The Wild World of Batwoman

In this zero-budget 1966 cheapie, a busty Batwoman enlists her beauteous bevy of Batgirls (when they are not dancing the jerk) to help her regain a mad scientist's invention (an atom bomb made out of a hearing aid) before a costumed ne'er-do-well, Rat Fink, can glom onto it for his own purposes.

Um, yeah.

So, if you're batty enough to want to watch these, join us on the Ridge on Friday, October 28. Be there around 7:00; we'll start the show by 7:30. We'll have soft drinks and popcorn; bring something else if you want to.

Wear something batlike (or bat-esque) or bring a bat-thing for admission!

Let us know
via email if you're coming. Here are some batlinks to check between now and then:

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

It would be the greatest thing on the internets evar...

--too bad it's a hoax. (I'll let you do your own sleuthing.)

Busy day, but a good one. Had a quiet class in the morning and a great class in the evening. A little behind on responding, but I can catch up tomorrow. I can - I must - I will!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Come watch with me the shaft of fire that glows In yonder West: the fair, frail palaces, The fading Alps and archipelagoes, And great cloud-continents

The projector is here.

It works.

The counter shows low hours on the battery.

It more-or-less fits on the bookcase.

't's all good.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

A New Look is coming

In 1984, 22 years after its origin, the original Justice League of America was disbanded and the comic was given a whole new look : new characters, a new setting (Detroit), and new leadership (Aquaman).

Well, this blog has been up for all of seven months now, and I am starting to think about a new look and a new direction. The social-networking aspect of the blog hasn't quite gotten the traction I thought it might. I think that I am so busy over this quarter that I won't be able to keep up anywhere near the daily posting rate that I had over the summer. I have been reading a lot of blogs lately, and I am starting think about this whole endeavor more intentionally rather than experimentally.

In any case, I will be doing some fiddling. (I have already started dismantling my website in a similar All-New! All-Different! mode.) You probably won't notice anything right away (except less consistent posting) but before Isaac Newton's Birthday there will likely be a grand re-opening.

In the meanwhile:

Soup-er Party: Mlle. V. threw Johnbai a great bash last night! We got to have terrific soup, give birthday wishes, and meet new, cool folks. I am sure that it continued to be a swell time even after Otis and I had to bail out early for yet another trip into grading-land.

Projector update: The projector has arrived from Cali! Unfortunately, the mailman tried to deliver it while I was out responding to papers, so I will have to pick it up tomorrow at the Wallingford P.O. Meh.

I got skyped!: Wheylona called me from SanSe on her laptop. She has this service from Skype and wants us all to get it! It's some kind of Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) deal with really cheap rates - It only cost her about a buck for an hour. (I would link it but she wants you to go to her blog and click the link from her sidebar so she gets bonus points or something.)

Realism: I just can't do this, this year anyway. But next year, I am all over it.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday, Dingo!

Happy Birthday, Frankie!

Happy Birthday, Dian Dohndt!

Happy Birthday,

and best wishes for many happy returns of the day!

(This should have gone up earlier, but I still haven't gotten complete control of my quarter!)

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Please direct your attention to the center ring

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, and children of all ages: here are the Upcoming Events:

1. A package purportedly containing my projector left Richmond, California today, bound for my door in the custody of uniformed representative of the federal government. Get ready for movies!

2. As mentioned previously (see prior post), Otis's brother is participating in an art show at his artists' studio building this Saturday, 10/14 from 4pm to 8 pm. Otis and I will be there sometime between 5 and 7.

3. Sunni-V passes on this promotion about N*W*C, a show at the Kirkland Performance Center on Friday, 11/4 and Saturday 11/5. We can get a discount (the price goes from $24 to $21.50) if we have 10 people going on the same night; let me know what works for you.
(Student tickets are $10.)

Lock your cars...
Watch your daughters...
Study your math...

N*W*C is in the house!

Blending theater, hip-hop, stand-up comedy, slam poetry, and true-life
stories with their own original style, three tour-de-force performers take
on one of the hottest issues the premiere production from
LA's Speak Theater Arts: N*GGER WETB*CK CH*NK.'s a comedy.

N*W*C draws startlingly funny and sharply moving conclusions about what
separates us as cultures, and yet, must ultimately bring us together as

In N*W*C's words: "This show traces the origins and evolution of three
derogatory terms that shaped our lives and took the place of a full
understanding of our distinct cultures. Creating our own brand of theater,
we've used these stories to get us to a better place. We hope they get you
somewhere too."

"Oh yeah, and we hope you laugh your a** off!"
Here's the poster.

4. We still have one ($25) ticket available for the Says You Excursion on Saturday, November 12. This wacky wordplay radio quiz show is taping in Seattle at MOHAI, and we're gonna go be in the audience.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Comix boxes x-changed for ajax

In the continuing saga of my electronic commerce, tonight I unloaded my last four shortboxes of comics for a yard. Nice to have some empty space back in that corner of the living room!

Still busy. Got piles of responding staring at me yet. Otis is reading HS papers right now. So many words...

Hey, here's some artistic fun for Saturday night: You may or may not know that Otis's brother Robb is an artist; he lives in an artists' colony/loft space building down on Prefontaine, near the courthouse. This Saturday, they are having their one-year anniversary Open Studios Event and art auction. It's from 4 - 8 pm, and Robb will have his apartment open as part of the show. Check this out for more details. Plenty of time to stop by!

Monday, October 10, 2005

Quiet night

I had a long post here but I lost it when I had an internet hang-up. I don't have the resolve to recreate it. man, it was good. I mean, all entertaining and stuff.

Short version:

Otis has a headache.
We're both working hard.
Yay, veggie hot dogs!
Happy birthday JJ.
Looks like the projector is on its way after all.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Mr. and Mrs. North and South America and all the ships at sea

Here's the round-up of recent realities:

The Says You! Excursion set for November 12 has one more opening: Otis had to pull out in order to attend a massage school elective covering arcane treatments that will give her the power to raise the dead or something. So far, it's me, Farmer Scott, Jimbo 5, Dingo, and Melvin signed on for sures; there's one prepaid ticket left. Want it? Let me know!

I finally heard from HawCC, and it looks like these posts won't be originating from the Aloha State anytime soon. Perhaps they could tell we weren't a match made in heaven. I got a very nice email from the committee chair (after I sent her one asking how the selection was going along) advising of additional upcoming openings, but I don't know that I would even pursue any of them.

We had an impromptu Moovie Nite last nite: Otis and I were joined by Dingo and Johnbai for Me and You and Everyone We Know at the Crest. Verra, verra weird, but verra good, too. Miranda July rocks.

Has anyone seen this terrific trailer? Cleverest thing I've seen in awhile. Here's the backstory. (One of the ways into this is Defective Yeti, so Dingo likely has seen it already.)

Hey! I won a projector on auction at e-Bay! Just the ticket for at-home big-screen extravanaganzas! One little hitch - the seller is trying to back out. I have contacted e-bay authorities and we'll see how it goes.

Friday, October 07, 2005

Taking on the big guy

Here's J'onn, showing he's got what it takes to play in the majors:

Man, he's kinda cranky, ain't he?

I'm in a good mood. It's Friday, so I only taught this morning and don't have to teach again tonight or this afternoon. Otis has class all weekend, so I will be doing laundry and responding papers. I think I will be having between 75 - 150 papers every week this quarter. I have to make sure I don't leave them ALL for the weekend, or I'll go nuts. That's why I have been trying to make the most of the gaps in my split-shifts (like the five hours I have on Thursday between classes).

Also on the agenda this weekend is the continuing conversion of my sidecar into other stuff. (To catch you up, I sold my sidecar and decided that since it was a big toy, I should convert the proceeds into other toys instead of using the money for, oh, I don't know, food or shelter). Anyway, it was the sidecar that got me my new kilt; unfortunately, it will also be the sidecar that gets me my Entirely Too Expensive glasses. Here's some other stuff on the list:

Projector for DVDs
iPod stuff
Bike Gear
New briefcase
New beret

But I may do a grown-up thing and put together some disaster bags, too.

If I manage to get a projector, maybe we'll have a big-screen scaryvision Halloween movie extravaganza. Or something.

Thursday, October 06, 2005

B-day Girl!

And best wishes for many happy returns of the day!
(first live links returned by GIS)

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Off the air

Loyal visitors may have noticed that HKC was offline from about 10:00 pm yeterday to just now. Long story short department: I host the blog on my Comcast server space, not on blogger, and I reached my limit last night - a little over 26 megs of data. This included my WebRhetor website files and some other stuff I have up there, but the big chunk was all those photos that Blogger makes it all-too-easy to insert into posts. I thought they were going up to the Blogger server; they were going up to mine. Anyway, it was chock full, so I when I updated the blog, the main page, now the "newest" file, didn't fit and wasn't there (although the archived pages were).

I went in and deleted some of the larger files I had up there - movies and music and such - and there's plenty of space now. But I thought it might be a sign to retire this blog and begin a new era at a new location, with a different theme and fresh intentions. We'll see where that takes us.

In the meantime: classes are clicking along fine, the apartment is still all birthdayed up, I got skunked on two more projectors on eBay, and Otis and I had a fine time with the Soapster last night, seeing his new digs and munching on burritos. Now we're in the same neighborhhood, just like the Cap Hill folks! Cool!

Monday, October 03, 2005

An embarrassment of riches...

My friends are my estate.
- Emily Dickinson

I should be working, but I wanted to record how wonderful a day I had. I had planned on this being a low-key birthday. I've had a bunch of them and this one isn't one of those round or otherwise milestoney numbers, so I reckoned to pass it quietly; thanks to some machinations of Otis and the wholehearted attention of others, that was not to be.

Otis, Mel, Dingo, and Scott Flowers provided a prologue of sorts with Saturday's 1000-mile-mark celebration.

Then on Sunday, the Marmot Queen sent a homemade e-card!

On Sunday, Just Jon blogged me a happy blogday.

Today, dawn's early light brought me real and virtual birthday cards from Otis, as well as a long email from Wendigo and some surreal cat art from Gweekers.

When I got to North, the entire administrative staff of the Humanities division surrounded me and wished me happy birthday. It seems someone (*cough*OTIS*cough*) had called and put them up to it.

After class, I met a balloon-bearing Otis for lunch at Red Robin and got a free dessert. And I didn't even have to listen to "Happy Birthday" being sung by the waitstaff! (And incidentally, I stopped in and bought the Entirely Too Expensive Eyeglasses.)

At Cascadia, I found more missives from Wondergirl, and a resurrected Neds, and from Dingo, who also sent along a cool and wordly e-subscription. (You'll have to get your own.) Melvin bought me SoBe Elixir! But that's not all!

After class at Cascadia, I returned home to find a complete lasagne dinner all prepared, just waiting to be heated, in a gaily-decorated apartment. Yes, Otis the artist at work again!

I got phone calls from my sister NJ and from my brother Cliffie and his wife Lyd. And more phone calls from Dingo and Lizzie in Portland. (most came during class, but I liked getting the messages.)

And as I was getting ready to eat, Soapy called and said happy birthday, too!

What a day! Thank you, Otie; thank you, everyone.

Words are easy, like the wind
Faithful friends are hard to find.
- William Shakespeare,
The Passionate Pilgrim

(XX, l. 33)

While I was blogging, I got a cool Marvin card from Jimbo-5 and greetings from Annis P.! Haw!

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Daze of our lives

I just got back a little while ago from teaching an eight-hour grad class in communication design. I'm pooped!

I was observing how classroom-centric our little blogworld is: now that the schooling season is upon us, everyone's posting pattern has gone all to heck - Just Jon has become erratic, Wheylona has developed gaps in her heretofore nonstop blogathon from SanSe, I have gotten off my stride, and we haven't heard from Neds since she left for Barcelona! Only Johnbai has no excuse...

Nothing else to submit for your approval tonight, so here's a totally cool picture of Supergirl by Jaime Hernandez (of Love and Rockets fame):

Saturday, October 01, 2005

99 and 44/100 per cent cool!

Muslims believe only Allah should make life-like replicas ... Additionally only Allah is capable of perfection so even master weavers will incorporate a deliberate error in their work, reportedly even at risk of losing their job. It is interesting in particularly fine pieces to try to detect this deliberate error.
-- Coast Antiques and Art

Bearing in mind the folly of attempting perfection, I hereby declare the Great 1K-Mile LDL Ride finished for the season!

For the literal-minded, the final number today was 998.3 miles, or shy by just .17%. Whether you want to call it good enough for government work, or within experimental error, or near enough to make no never mind, I'm calling it done, even though I technically have two days to get the eleven missing furlongs.

We came out just a tad shy not because of miscalculation, but because of the weather. Otis and I drove to Gasworks Park this morning and headed northeast toward Lake Forest Park. I knew that Fremont-LFP is a solid 25 miles, but since we were starting at Gasworks, we were going to go past LFP to Log Boom Park just to make up the two miles or so shaved off.

Well, the ride was pleasant enough to start. We were sharing the trail with the Leukemia run, so there were lots of folks out and water stations and such. The weather was fine, but looked menacing up north. When we got to Sand Point, it started raining, and as we got farther north, it just got worse and worse. When we reached LFP Mall it was just coming down in sheets. We had some tea at Great Harvest and tried to figure out what to do.

Another bicycler told us the storm seemed to be moving north, so we cancelled the Log Boom leg and just headed back south. We had to ride through about two miles of heavy rain again - Otis had her slicker on and her hood up under her helmet - before it started clearing out. It slacked off by the U District and was sunny and clear back at Gasworks!

As we wheeled into the Gasworks area, Mel was standing on the trail with a welcoming balloon bouquet (that Otis had conspired with her to arrange). I snatched it from her as I rode by and took a little lap around the parking area. Thus endeth the LDL Ride - it would be hard to put anything but epilogue on that. I needed exactly 25 miles to hit exactly 1000 - and we did 23.3.

Moments after we rode in, Do-or-Di pulled up to share the celebration. We were joined by Farmer Scott shortly afterwards, and all had huge delicious breakfasts at the Varsity Cafe. (I had Egg Beaters.) Thanks to y'all who came out, thanks to those who couldn't come, and thanks to everyone for your support all summer.

So, biking season is over, but I need to keep working, certainly until the next LDL pull in November. So, it's off to Big 5 to find some decent running shoes, and Otis (who as Otisita joven ran cross-country and did track & field) will set us up on a running-walking regimen. It just seems easier to fit in a three-to-four mile run a few times a week than to bike, what with the busy schedule we are going to be having for the quarter. The bikes need to go down the basement for the weather, and it's a real pain to get them out. And so on.

The new goal: A Gross by INB!
144 miles by Isaac Newton's Birthday, December 25.

I gotta go - there's a spreadsheet to set up!

I had completed some miles in spring, but here are the stats starting June 19, when I got serious right after my LDL test:
925 miles in 105 days, averaging 8.8 miles per day

55 actual rides averaging 16.8 miles per ride

Fastest sustained ride: 17 miles at 17 mph.

Longest ride
: 39.9 miles at 14.7 mph