Thursday, August 31, 2006

Death from a thousand cuts

Well, nothing quite so drastic, really, but I was thinking about how this summer won't just up and end for me. NSCC is over, but last week and this week I had three night classes; next week I only have two classes; the week after, I have the express class in the day and one leftover night class; then just the express class; then the Fall quarter starts in earnest. So it keeps on dribbling on. My energy level is dropping but I can't let go completely, since I still have portfolios to evaluate' Ah, grumble-mumble-adjunct teaching-grumble. At least I got a lot done yesterday on my fall prep work.

And there's a full-time teaching job I'll be applying for. Long shot, but worth a letter.

I do have to say, though, that all my summer classes have been absolutely great. I don't know if it's been the luck of the draw or what, but the students are all engaged and keen on learning and fun to be with. My writing class last night was doing presentations and I actually enjoyed myself listening and watching. Good times.

Meanwhile, I forsook my ride yesterday so Otis and I could walk around Green Lake. It had been a while since we'd been down there, except over on the library side. I think we may make that our standard off-season activity. (I tend to divide the year into two seasons: April 1 through October 3 - the biking season - and October 4 thought September 30, the off-season. These roughly corresponded to the two busy teaching quarters and the two lighter teaching quarters, and match my own fiscal/budget year, which runs October through September.)

Speaking of activities, I don't see this day-hike idea getting much traction so far - either that or I'm out of the loop. I'd like to offer up as an alternative biking the Burke-Gilman and Sammamish River trails in one day. It would be maybe a 55-mile day altogether, if we went from the Ballard Freddy's all the way to Marymoor Park and back. We could bring a picnic and make a whole day of it - I'll even pull the trailer and we can bring badminton or something. Any takers?

And here's out little internet pleasure of the day: there seems to be a new PBS special on names, and the website has a check-how-popular-your surname-is dealie on it. I have checked most of the gang, and precious few of us crack the top 55,000 (which is as far as the search goes). You can also look at the U.S. Census Bureau results, which vary slightly.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Meaning, I had a lot of good intentions to-day... but apparently the wind whipped them all away!

The weather turned overnight - from a brightly hot day yesterday to a blustery, cool gray day today. After reaching 86 yesterday, the temperature barely managed to graze 68 for a little while this afternoon. Early this morning, it was even raining.

So, I didn't go to Bothell.

But I did do a local ride, just to the the B2K meter clicking.

I also didn't do all my syllabi.

But I did get some of my responding done and played with the syllabi some more. I'm not up against a deadline yet, but I just want to get this stuff out of the way. It's going to be a busy-busy fall quarter, and I need my waterfowl arrayed nicely before it hits in earnest.

Anyway, time to get ready to teach tonight. Here's a comic-blog-diary called Planet Karen that I just discovered today and think is the bee's knees. Flip back and read the strips from the beginning if it catches your fancy.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Code double-zebra*

So Otis said that since Wheylona posted pictures of monkfish, we should post a picture of our first homemade vegetarian pepperoni pizza.

It was very good, actually. Maybe we'll make it for Wheylona when she comes.

It was a very fuzzy day today. I was trying to get some projects finished -- mostly syllabi -- but I couldn't seem to get traction on any of them, even though I spent a lot of time at it. It may have just been heat-dopeyness; it may have been that my right-brain was doing the work today and that tomorrow I'll be able to engage my linear left-brain and get the stuff pumped out. To further that effort, I'm going to ride up to Bothell and work in my office at Cascadia.

I also tired to do some research about day hikes. Sachet expressed an interest in putting a hike together over the long weekend, and lots of people voted for a hike in our start-of-summer poll. I dunno about an overnighter, but I wouldn't mind a day-trip (although, truth to tell, I'd rather do an urban walk myself). Anyway, I can't make heads or tails of most of the stuff I found, so I'm handing the ball off to anyone who wants to make a suggestion/look things up.

*When I was in security, this is what we would say over the radio to let officers know there was pizza back at the squad room.

Sunday, August 27, 2006


Yeah, I know we're candy-asses for not being out there at V-Park right now whacking shuttlecocks, but at least we stopped by and contributed nectarines. We had some stuff to do this evening, and besides, it's too hot.

It was just right yesterday, though, so Otis and I scootered to the ferry, ferried to Bainbridge Island, and scootered to Fay Bainbridge State Park where we spent the afternoon just communin' with the sound. It was lovely, even if the ferry ride has gotten a little pricey.

People could tell we had been out in the sun at the on-again, off-again, on-again moovie nite last night: Otis was glowing red and had distinct goggle marks. And by "people," I mean Dingo, Johnbai and Soapy, who joined us at the Crest. Soapy and Johnbai took in Nacho Libre while the rest of us exercised some of our higher brain functions and watched Word Play (which was surprisingly funny as well as interesting). After the movies, we had a brief visit in the lobby with Hi Lai and Welcome Matt and then repaired to Third Place/Ravenna for some coffee and booty food.

Otis and I were back at Third Place today, but the LFP location. We took a bike ride earlier and got 22 miles in, heading to LFP and back along the Burke. The ride had a degree of difficulty = Breast Cancer 3-Day Walk. There were about a thousand pink-clad trekkers, some of them looking pretty worn out, stepping along the trail to finish their 60 miles for the boobies. It was great to see so many people taking action and being supportive of a good cause, and we tried to be courteous riders as we shared the trail.

And the B2K total stands at 1212 after today's ride!

Okay, time to get back to productive work, but before I go, tell me: how many people would take this crap, even for free?

Friday, August 25, 2006


(Thanks, Sachet!)

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Um, yeah

So I just sat down to re-do the post below, because I thought it hadn't been published (since Blogger FROZE when I was using it this afternoon), but it was listed TWICE in my "Edit Posts" list, so I checked the blog and therethere itit waswas, twicetwice. So I deleted one.

But it's all good, because here I am to say I had a swell dinner with Dingo, Sachet, and Johnbai between then and now.

And I can tell you to look at the GROUP BLOG for a moovie nite dealie.

Now you can read that other post.

It makes me feel like blogging...

Lots to talk about today:

My Very Elegant Mother Just Served Us...Nan?

Pluto has been deplanetized by the International Astronomical Union. There had been some last minute politicking over the redefinition of planet (that's what this is all about) that would have actually expanded the category to clearly embrace not only Pluto but Ceres (the biggest asteroid) and Xena (a faraway, just-discovered body) as well, but in the end the conservative forces won out and we are down to just eight planets in our system. To add insult to injury, a resolution to name the category of bodies to which Pluto has been consigned "plutonian objects" failed in favor of the designation "trans-neptunian."

Poor Pluto. It was always my favorite planet, spinning out there so far away in space, the warm sun a mere bright speck in the sky. I liked the idea that after the four smaller terrestrial planets came the four gas giants, and then little Pluto, messing up the curve like the smart kid in biology class.

Pluto was a great destination in science-fiction stories: even with a spaceship, it was a long haul to Pluto. And Plutonians themselves were usually cool - in more ways than one. Check this guy out; he's from Pluto:

So farewell, Pluto - they may have stripped your title, but you'll be king of the trans-neptunian objects.

eBooks Redux!

Way back in the dark ages of the intarweb, like in 1991 or so, I was predicting the demise of books. Not the end of text - but the end of the dead-tree delivery system of text. I was all over the eBook. I remember seeing the Ur-eBook at Fred Myers way back in the eighties - it was a Phillips product that looked sort of like a Newton (remember them?) and came with a Collier's Encyclopedia installed. I could tell it wasn't a mature product, and while I lusted after the technology, I didn't buy one.

Some years later, the RocketBook came out. This was the first successful eBook. About the size of a paperback, it was a device whose sole purpose was to use for reading books, and whose design was dedicated to that end. This endeavor was not about reading books on your desktop or laptop or PDA; this was a book-reading machine. And it was as cool as its name.

I never got a RocketBook, but I did get its more boring-named but slightly improved cousin, the Gemstar eBook REB1100. Here it is:

It was great. Using the device itself as an interface (it came with a phone line cable), I bought digital books from the company (for cheaper than print books) and the files were transferred to my "online bookshelf." While still plugged into the phone line, I downloaded whichever titles I wanted onto the device. It held tons, since they were simple text files, but I could erase and re-download as much as I wanted - my online bookshelf stayed intact.

The operation of the eBook was simple and elegant: thumb-buttons for page turning, a stylus for note-taking and bookmarking, and a nicely back-lit screen were some of the features. The battery lasted a good long time and recharged quickly. I loved reading with it. I took the eBook with me on a five-week solo trip to Europe in 2001 and it was wonderful, especially on trains and in cafes.

Of course, there is a hitch in this story - or rather, a disaster. On June 18, 2003, Gemstar eBook Group Limited closed its doors. No more online bookshelves, no more monthly catalogs of new titles. We loyal users had to download as much as we could, and could only keep what we could fit on our devices. I had some trouble connecting before the deadline and wound up with just 27 titles on my machine; I think I only filled about 25 % of my memory. I thought the eBook was dead, and my machine good only for lending to friends who were going on trips and didn't mind reading stuff that I had picked out. I had to endure the slings of those who told me my eBook ideas were a flash in the pan and that print books were here to stay.

But there's news! A third-party vendor, eBook Mall, is providing new titles for all sorts of eBooks. After purchasing on-line, the books are downloaded to the customer's computer, and there's some software needed to pump it into the eBook through a serial cable. It looks like I might be back in bidness! I let you know how it goes.

In the meanwhile, if anyone wants to borrow 27 books in a one-pound package, let me know.

Wheelman news

My ride today was to Zanadu downtown and back. It netted me about 13 miles. I need to frequent stores that are farther away.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

How far can a dog run into the woods?*

So, I wanted to take my bike ride today, too keep that blue line on the upward angle, and I'm pretty darn bored with the Burke-Gilman, so instead I

rode down the Ravenna hill,
took the B-G through UW,
cut down to the Montlake bridge,
went across the bridge and into the neighborhoods,
found the Arboretum entrance,
rode around the Arboretum,
cut across to Eastlake,
came back over the U bridge,
went across 45th as if I were going to the comic book store near Pudge Bros,
decided 45th was too yucky and cut north on Latona,
came down 65th and made a loop on Ravenna Blvd,
and came home.

All that wiggling around didn't net me much over ten miles. I clearly need some new routes. So, since this group is good, if anything, for dispensing free advice, I put it to you: where the heck can I ride? Pick some spots that are about 7.5 miles from the RD, so I can have a destination, go there and come back, and hit about 15 miles. I'd like to avoid really heavy traffic, but what the heck.

Any ideas?

*Until the middle - then he's running out!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A place for everything

Day Two of the no-morning-class break. I slept in again (7:00 am), posted grades to the computer, did some lesson planning, said hi to b (who came to give a massage to Otis), took a twelve-mile bike ride (yay!), had lunch, and still had time to re-organize my closet and the shed. Sometimes I love me my adjunct schedule; not often, but sometimes.

Speaking of working, there have been some developments on the underemployment front. I don't know if y'all remember that some time back (so far that I couldn't find the post) I made some cryptic and elliptical remarks about a potential job upgrade. Well, that has come to fruition: I am being made Associate Faculty at Antioch University instead of just Adjunct Faculty. I'm still not sure what it means - I haven't seen my new contract yet - but I did get an office. I think it means that while my teaching load is still administered as an adjunct, I will have some non-teaching responsibilities and a little extra pay. I don't knows if it will lead anywhere else, but I am grateful for the gesture if nothing else.

I had applied for an administrative job at Cornish College, but it looks like they won't be filling it until August 2007, so it's effectively out of the picture. There's a sweet half-time Grants Director position open at North Seattle that I am throwing my hat in the ring for; it might be a nice complement to adjuncting. In any case, it looks like my fall quarter is set: three credits at Cascadia in early fall, and then ten at North, eight at Cascadia and three at Antioch in fall proper. A good start to the year, at least financially.

And so this post is not all business, here's a clever little film I found via Wired magazine. I'm not quite sure about the song, but the split-screen action is great, and any Twilight Zone fan will immediately recognize the subject matter.

Monday, August 21, 2006

A Monday without a morning class...

... is a day I can sleep in! I didn't get up today until almost 7:15, and then I didn't have to worry about getting ready by a certain time. I took advantage of the extra time to go for a morning ride, wrasslin' the curve on that graph a little bit toward the vertical. It sure is another summery day - I would have thought we would have left the hot weather on the east side, but it's hanging about here, too. Happy continuation of summer to everyone who is happy about it!

Although I didn't have to teach today, I still had a lot to do. I responded a bunch of papers this morning; I still have a bunch more to do, but I couldn't really work up the enthusiasm in the afternoon, what with all the sunshine and stuff. I'll whip though the rest of the pile tonight after my evening class - after all, I need to have final grades posted by noon tomorrow.

Otis was working hard, too. I intended to announce her new blog, The Healing Nest, here, but Wheylona beat me to it. Check it out.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Spokanasaurus wrecks

(Got bidness done Friday (including making four new T-shirts) before leaving for the weekend, but no bike ride - there'll be another horizontal line on the ol' graph.)

The trip over to Spokane Friday was fine, and we caught the tail end of a birthday party when we got there. We stayed up entirely too late with Gweekers and Mikey back at their place, talking a lot and eventually watching the Heath Ledger Casanova (meh) on the big plasma screen (cool).

Saturday held homemade lattes and more visiting and pizza for lunch and a new wallet for me at Boo Radley's (the Inland Empire equivalent of Archie McPhee's) and browsing at Auntie's Books (the Inland Empire equivalent of Third Place) and an afternoon nap. That left us fresh as daisies for watching an night game of the local Single-A ball club, the Indians. The game was full of excitement: a newspaper throw contest, a sack races, a stack-the-paint-cans competition, the throw-the-ball-at-the-block-of-ice event -- and many more! Otis got her picture take with Otto, the spokanasaurus mascot of the club. We even got to see love in bloom as a mulleted guy at our little picnic table put threw a tentative pass at a healthy, leather-vested young woman sitting nearby; she responded fervently and avidly, and by game's end they were holding hands and probably sucking face out in the smoking area. Oh yeah, Spokane lost to Eugene 7-3.

We had breakfast today at Huckleberries, a crunchy grocery store that also has a cafe, and then made the long haul back. The haul was longer because we ran into a few accidents along the way and didn't make very good time. We also stopped at the Ellensburg fruit stand and got twenty-four pounds of nectarines, among other goodies. Yowza!

Geek Note!

I updated my comics blog to Blogger Beta. Here are some notes:

1. The Beta invite shows up as an ad-looking thing in the right sidebar of the dashboard.
2. You have to create a Google login/password and log in with that to get to BB. No big deal.
3. The migration of the old blog is as easy as pie.
4. To access the new features easily, you have to update your template. It saves a copy of the old html file, so you don't risk anything. Everything on mine ported over except the CCA seal.
5. Once you update your template, you switch to the "layout" interface. This limits (but does not eliminate) the raw html tinkering you can do and adds a lot of drag & drop and point & click functionality.
6. The "labels" tags are swelleriffic, but you do need to manually back-label prior posts. My comix blog only had weekly updates, so it was a small matter to do this. They work great.

Go check it out!

Friday, August 18, 2006

Places to go and things to do

Otis and I will be heading off to Spokane for the weekend right after lunch. I am going to try to get some bidness taken care of before we go, and maybe squeeze in a bike ride.

Yesterday marked a very pleasant last-class-of-the-quarter, complete with bagels and poetry and Strong Bad. I must say that this summer quarter at NSCC was quite enjoyable and that both classes were strong and engaged.

After class yesterday, I rode to Bothell and back to take care of some paperwork. While ticking the miles, I though of yet another way to geekishly consider my velocipedic performance this season, so when I got home, instead of doing something useful, I created this:

The fuschia line is a linear projection from o to 2000 across the span of the season. The blue line is what I have actually done. You can see that for the first week I was at or above pace, and then it went to heck in a hurry. The most troubling bit is the prevalenance of horizontal blue sections in May and early June - those represent sequential days with no miles, and that's what really killed me. I got pretty much back on pace around June 10, but I can't seem to narrow the gap. We'll see what happens when we get back from Spokane: I'll have three weeks of no day classes, and then two weeks of commuting to Bothell.

Other geekish news: I got an invitation to Blogger Beta - but in my other identity at comix blogger Walaka, rather than this one as regular blogger walaka. I'll play with it and let you know.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Tomorrow is my last class at NSCC for the summer quarter. This means that I will have a "break" for three weeks: I will have only three night classes until September 11, when the pre-fall quarter kicks in and I'm back to teaching three hours each morning. Let's be grateful for small blessings.

This will be a good thing, since I have an about-twenty-item do-list, stuff from hanging pictures on the wall to writing syllabi to selling stuff on Craig's list, that I haven't had a chance to do this summer.

Speaking of doing things this summer, Johnbai has a new bike, and Dingo has dusted hers off, so maybe it's time to reinstate the PB&J Rides. There's going to be a few good weekends still, and in addition to rides to take there are beaches to play on and so forth. By my count, we have checked off five of the things on this list and there are eleven that could still be done. Let's do some of 'em!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

This is early even for me

Otis has to do some early family busisness, and since that has to start in LFP she needs to leave here by 6:15 so we have been up for twenty minutes or so already. It's difficult to get up before sunrise in August, but we have. It's cool and blustery out, too, adding to the disorientation.

Yesterday was a Monday, much as they have been, but it was my last one with the early teaching (until the next wave starts, anyway).

Here are some crunchy links I have been meaning to post, all courtesy of Will Shetterly:

Meat eating does not compute

Food quotes

Smart people, eat smart

Will got a on a (gluten-free) roll with this topic this month; his blog is wide-ranging and always a good read.

Monday, August 14, 2006

To PDX and back

After Saturday night in the park at another Sachet - Dingo badminton do, Sunday was full of our Portland trip. Otis and I dropped the Little Black Car off with Johnbai, so he could get to softball, and continued down I-5 in the Red Rental. It was a fine trip, pleasant weather all the way, and a nice visit (we saw A Midsummer Night's Dream and had some tasty Thai food). The way back was a little not-happy: there was a rolling slowdown from Olympia to Tacoma and we just crept along. It cleared up by Southcenter and we never even knew why it happened. So it goes.

Off to teach.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Cat dancing

While Otis was unfortunately out of the house, J-Force (accompanied by MaryBee) stopped by to continue the theme started by Wheylona (at the end of her latest post) and show off the two new members of her household :

Yes, it's kitty time! J-Force has two new three-month-old female kittens, sisters that she adopted from a rescue organization here in the RD. They are (of course) cute, cuddly, adorable, darling, &c.; they are also nameless. Any good ideas out there for a pair of go-together female-type names that aren't Thelma and Louise? Here are some more pics for inspiration:

Friday, August 11, 2006

Stream of blogsciousness

So, Mighty Mel has been ramrodding this course revision committee at Cascadia, I've been helping, and we finished our work, so now we can hand in timesheets to get paid. So today I rode my bike out to Bothell to fill out the paperwork (and pick up a new office key, since they changed the locks). I got there about 1:00 pm only to find that I forgot that the college closes at noon on Fridays in the summer, so I couldn't accomplish anything. So, I had a bit of a power bar and came home. Although it was futile it wasn't fruitless; I had a near triple-dipple: 32.6 miles in 2 hours and 12 minutes, for an average speed of 14.8 mph. If my wheels were round, I bet I could have hit 15.


A week or so ago I mentioned some late fees that I had to pay at Scarecrow Video. I have been meaning to post this "reminder" notice that I got in the mail after I had taken care of business (it was delayed because they had my old address):

I'm telling ya, these guys are hardcore. (I didn't have to pay quite that much, by the way.)


Otis and I went to see Little Miss Sunshine tonight. We both agreed with others that it was one of the best movies ever. Go see it. Really.


After the movie, Otis and I came back to the RD but were still feeling active, so we walked down to Ravenna Third Place Books . To our delight, we found that they are open until 11:00 pm on Fridays and Saturdays; in addition to books, they have a Honey Bear Bakery on site and a new bar downstairs. We have another after-movie choice now, especially if we hit a theater in Wallingford.

Thursday, August 10, 2006


Today was a swell class day: my sections were both doing peer review, so class comprised a bunch of people sitting around, listening to Mozart and reading essays. All we need was some tea to make it all salon-y. Sometimes I rilly lurve teaching.

After those rigors of education and lunch with a colleague, I combined a shopping trip with a keep-Dingo-company-while-her-car-was-fixed trip. The Little Red Car lives on!

Later on, Otis and I had planned a twilight ride, but she contracted some sort of strange sleeping sickness and snuggled with the cat-we-don't-have most of the evening. I have to head up to Bothell tomorrow, so I'll get the miles back.

Here's the sweetest little movie you've ever seen - and it's an advert.

This is for Yojimbo.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006


Classes and papers and class, oh my! That was the day that was. It was capped off by a disabled vehicle in our alley, a blocked-in giant garbage truck, and a late-night run for lingonberry crepes.

Oh, and I have another blog. Sort of.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


Between working before and working later, I have had a bit of a time getting traction on working now. I have been doing some lesson planning, but can't seem to work up the steam to dive into a pile of responding. Maybe I was distracted by the visit of MaryBee to the RD to see Otis and me, and the yummy lunch that we had at the Sunlight. Ah, well - I am pretty caught up, so it does not really signify.

Was anyone up early enough for the chilly weather this morning? At about 6:00 or so, it was positively cool - blustery, too. Nice to see that it has warmed up a lot. I'm lovin' me my summer.

I made my miles for today. And I am happy to report than none of my usual routes includes any of these streets, although I could easily pass through the thidd highest point in Seattle on my way to NSCC , if I wanted to. (I go the lake route instead.)

Monday, August 07, 2006

Monday memorandum

It was a Monday, the penultimate Monday for my NSCC class. Yippee!

Here's a link I missed last night: This site has a page that lists the religions of superheroes - and my blog is quoted for the Dr. Deseret entry.

More about me, sort of: Apparently, Walaka is the bass player for the Singing Mongooses, who seem to be the Alvin and the Chipmunks of Hawaii. Check out their tunes!

Sunday, August 06, 2006


Otis and I just came back from a bike ride, so I want to report that I have crossed the 1K mark. With 128 days down and 57 days to go, I just turned 1,008.6 miles. This puts me on pace for somewhere between 1460 and 1580 miles for the season, depending on which accounting system used; it might actually be a wee bit higher, since I have a solid two weeks of commuting to Bothell coming up, and that 30 miles per day really lifts my averages.

Here's a comparison of this season to last season at this time, since it looks like pretty good news:

Total miles: 1008.6 v. 524.7
Average speed: 12.9 mph v. 12.1 mph
Average miles per day: 7.9 v. 4.14
Average rides per week: 4.3 v 2.0
Average miles per ride: 12.9 v 14.2
Percentage of goal completed: 50.5% v. 52.5%

(Note: picture was not taken today)

Preprandial posting

Since I expect that I'll be doing school reading tonight, today's post comes to you in the heat of the afternoon/early evening, before dinner and a twilight bike ride.

Had a totally splendid time yesterday morning doing brekkies at the 611 Supreme creperie with Gweekers and Mikey. What a swell-in-every-way visit it was! G & M had to head right back to Spokane after too brief a time, so since we were up on Cap Hill, Otis and I (a) got some on-sale frames at Utrecht Art Supplies, (b) went to Universioty Honda and drooled over the sidecar rig that is still for sale on the showroom floor, and (c) went to the Value Village and totally scored some neat stuff.

Of course, since we bought frames, a chunk of the day was spent re-hanging pictures and such, so not much else got done before the went to see Manster at the Fremont Outdoor Theater with the Invisibles (both Adam and Karen), J-Force and MaryBee. The improv actors who were overdubbing the dialog for this z-grade horror flick were pretty funny; all of us were laughing out loud at one point or another during the night. Because of said picture-hanging activity, I had to do some midnight-oil teacher-work when we got home, though.

Today has been pretty busy as well: job searches and comix-blogging in the early morn; a real-live massage from my personal LMP mid-morning; a trip to Carkeek Park, where I responded to papers for a couple hours, at midday; then home for housework and stuff like fixing the flat on my bike. Time now to feed the cat-we-don't-have and rustle up some of our own dinner as well.

Since it's Sunday, here are a couple of religious links:

I tripped over a site that had a picture of the sacred underwear that Mormons wear.

While I'm not a big South Park fan, here's their summary of Scientology beliefs (not exagerrated, as far as I can tell).

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Saturday morning cartoons

Well, yesterday was full of housework and homework, mostly. I did go out for a ride and wound up catching a flat out by Archie McPhee's, so I'm going to have to deal with that later. It was in the evening, though, that we had the main event:

We had Mighty Mel over (before her early start this morning - she's likely on her way to Oregon right now) so that Otis, Johnbai, Dingo and I could could give her a send-off for her trip to Ireland (which starts in less than week) and her 40th birthday (which will happen when she is in Ireland).

Here's the guest of honor, clarifying a point:

Here's Johnbai on his third Guiness:

Dingo and Otis taking the "Mel Quiz" (with killer cupcakes in the foreground):

Me, teacher-y:

Happy Birthday and Bon Voyage, Mel!

Another member of the gang got a well-deserved brush with local fame recently. Take a gander at this, from the Seattle Weekly's latest issue, the Best of Seattle 2006:

No, we don't know Paula Oliver; look down the sidebar that lists her favorites. Eagle-eyed Otis spotted this:

Go, Scotty! You haven't been around for a while - I hope this notice finds you wherever your vagabonding ways have brought you.

And lastly, here's a link to the stevegerblog (he's a comix writer but comments on a lot of stuff) that I thought would be timely and fun for some of our gang: it's a South Park ad.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Everybody's working for the weekend

Well, my work week is over - except for the homework, of course. Not too much this weekend: just 30 short papers and 12 long papers. And some reading, a follow-up to an in-progress portfolio, two syllabi, some book orders, some class evals and some student evals.

And, of course, I have to do my bills, post my comix blog, and get some B2K miles in. But that leaves plenty of time for movies tomorrow and brekkies with Mikey and Gweekers. Ya gotta love it.

Yesterday, my classes watched the thrilling conclusion of The Butterfly Effect, and the directors cut contained an element that i had to say I had never seen in a movie before. Highlight the end of this sentence if you don't want the spoiler: FETAL SUICIDE. I'm just sayin', that's hardcore.

After class, I rode up to Capitol Hill, and it wasn't as much of a challenge as I had thought; it was more like the Stone Way upgrade or the Fremont to Phinney climb, both of which I do easily. Maybe I'll head up there more. After messing about a bit (and being treated to lunch by Dingo), I rolled down the hill to visit Zanadu comics downtown. I hadn't been there in a while, but I think I'm going to start making it my regular stop again, even though it's a bit out of the way. It's just such a fine store, with a great selection and really knowledgeable and helpful staff. I first started shopping there in 1981 with Yojimbo, and he has been going there constantly since then.

The evening held shopping of a different sort: since Otis was off her blood-sugar readjustment diet, we could actually go out and buy food, not just brown rice. My original plan had been to complete a Trader Joe's - Whole Foods - Safeway trifecta, looking for cool-and-cheap, organic/exotic, and staples at each place. Instead we decided to try the Ballard Market, which came recommended as a pretty good comprehensive supermarket. It was pretty nifty, but it felt a little alien and didn't quite have the selection in some products (oh, how I laugh at myself - there must have been 30,000 things there). Let's just leave it at it felt funny shopping in a new store. Anyhow, we got all kinds of good stuff, inlcuding breakfast cereal, and I think I'll go have some now.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

The flutterby effect

Airport duty was completed early this a.m. with only minor delays. Even the too-little-sleep muzziness could not keep me from apprehending, as we watched our movie about unintended consequences in class this morning, that Ashton Kucher pretty much sucks. Not in a dreadful, scrub-your-eyes, Adam Sandler/Pauly Shore kind of way, but more in the well, meh, Keanu Reeves/Ben Affleck kind of way.

Otis got off her draconian diet as of 3:00 pm today, so we went to Araya's for dinner to celebrate with tofu!

Other than that, I mostly taught.

Here's a link: Maroon was (is?) an experimental web comic in 52 installments. This is the first episode; you can read all of them by navigating through the nexts. The story had something of an arc to it, although the ending was rather unsatisfactory to me; the real magic is in the playing with the idiom that Derik Badman, the creator, engages in throughout the course of the narrative. It is a real study in comics formalism.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Midnight shuttle

Otis's folks are due back at Sea-Tac at about 12:30 am, so there will be no rest for the wicked anytime soon - we are going to make one last minivan run, to pick them up and drop them off at LFP. Good thing I'm showing a movie in class tomorrow morning.

Typical Tuesday today, with one new learning experince: do NOT return DVDs late to Scarecrow Video. The fees are killer, cf.