Saturday, September 30, 2006

Spinnin' wheel, got to go 'round...

From the minor inconvenience file:

Item: When I mentioned that Otis and I took a walk on Thursday, I forgot to say that it was partly because my bike had a flat. When we got it out of the shed, the front wheel had no pressure at all. The B2K season is ending really raggedy.

Item: After teaching and lunching on Friday, I was going to fix my flat and bike around to do errands while Otis was with a client. When I got the bike all dismantled, I found that the trouble wasn't a puncture I could patch; it was a broken valve stem. And I had no spare tube.

Item: I went erranding on the scooter instead; I did manage to get a new tube, but traffic was so completely effed up around 45th and I-5 that I despaired of getting to two of my destinations in that area and cut over to Stone Way in Wallingford to pick up a naturopathic prescription from Bastyr for Otis.

Item: Bastyr had moved. But at least it was still on Stone Way, just somewhere else.

Item: The prescription needed to be refrigerated, so I now had to head directly home, rather than scoot around trying to accomplish alternate errands.

These inconvenience are nothing compared to bomb craters and power outages, and are more funny than anything else. In my usually-functional western world, I felt like I was doing a lot of wheel-spinning. At least I managed to get in some long-duration telephony with JustJon in my down time.

Last night wound up similarly unproductive; we did visit Grace, which was nice, but trips to Home Depot (for repair materials for the Great Johnbai Banister Disaster) and Central Market (for movie night comestibles) and Freedy M's (for a hat for Otis) were less completely successful. Just one of those days, I guess.

We did watch a Netflik that was pretty cool, but I think I'll post about that on the comics blog.

See ya soon.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

The week isn't even over yet

Man, I'm still trying to get into the swing of things. I'm in a little lull between first diagnostic essay (right away) and first real essay (not until next week), so I didn't have any actual responding to do. Taking advantage of that, Otis and I took a Green Lake walk and then scootered over to Golden Gardens to have an ice cream cone and read books take a nap in the sun.

But even though I got away with no responding, I still have to get used to doing photocopying days in advance. I try to be resonsive to the class needs, so while I have a general structure to my syllabi - the key events, as it were, are fixed - I usually don't know exactly what I am going to do on any given day until the class demontrates its particular needs. It's going to be a bit of a juggle to coordinate the clerical work and the pedagogy.

The other thing that will take some getting used to is my having to pack my goods up at night. I usually leave the teaching chips where they have fallen, and then use the gathering-up process as my focusing tool in the morning. Well, having to leave the house at 7:00 am doesn't give me a heck of a lot of time to mess with stuff, unsless I get up even earlier than I like to, so here comes another change in the routine.

And yeah, I know I'm turning back into obsessive teacher-boy, but what do you expect, it's fall. If Dingo had a blog that she actually updated, she'd prolly be telling us all about her new gig, too.

So, here's a link to Dirk Gently's I-Ching Calculator.* Follow these steps:

1. Concentrate soulfully on the question which is beseiging you.
2. Write It Down.
3. Ponder It.
4. Enjoy the Silence.
5. Achieve Inner Harmony and Tranquility.
6. Push the Red Button.

You will be given guidance.

*If you don't know who Dirk gently is, find out. You'll be glad you did.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


Workin' it, yeah, man. Between classes and assessing and preppring, I've been pretty busy, although Otis and I took a long walk in the sun yesterday afternoon. I'll get the rhythm down soon, I expect, and will be balancing work and play a bit better.

There's a new fillip to the fall - I have decided to try to be Bus-Boy this quarter. Armed with a sheaf of printouts from the Metro website, I am pretty sure I can get from NSCC to Cascadia, and even from Cascadia to Antioch, with time to spare between classes. Of course, this means I have to stay on top of my prepping, since there'll be less chance for last-minute photocopying, but I think that's a fair trade-off for no driving stress. I'm going to give it a shot anyway - I got a bus pass from NSCC for $10 for the entire quarter, so there's not much of an investment to lose, eh?

Hey, no picture today, but this is right in our neighborhood, just a couple blocks away. It looks pretty cool in person.

Breaking Bulletin- This just in: Otis came home to report that while in Madsion Park, Tom Skerrit's dog sniffed her ass!

Monday, September 25, 2006

The quarter has begun

Actually, all I really did was buy a new briefcase-backpack dealie, but it really was a long, busy day today.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Good boy!

Well, not so much yesterday, but certainly this morning. It turns out that I did not invest my early wakies yesterday in productive work; I somehow managed to fiddle it away until Otis got up by cleaning up my desktop and organizing my bookmarks and engaging in other such Serious Business while listening to the radio. Once Otis was about, all bets were off: we had a nice weekend-y breakfast, and then she headed off to visit her grandma while I biked into Belltown to buy a backpack (I failed at that litttle task, BTW).

We met back tin the RD for a late-ish lunch, and then messed about until we headed up to Cap Hill for a VV stop and then a session with the bad boys and girls of the Badminton Crew in Volunteer Park. It was a picture-perfect afternoon: sunny sun, warm air, dahlias and dogs, food and drink, and lots of pleasant company.

The evening's agenda was just as indolent: Otis picked up the DVD of Elling, and we had a sweet and satisfying end to a great day. (It's a great movie; see it if you haven't already.)

Happy bonus: When I was checking the link for Elling, I discovered that they have made a prequel and sequel! Cool!

Uh-oh bonus: I also discovered that an American remake is in production.

So, when the cat got me up early today I sprang out of bed bright-eyed and bushy-tailed this morning, I knew I had to TCB. I sipped my morning tea over the reflective essays from my express class, and had finished all my grading and posting by the time Otis got up. So tomorrow morning, I will have had no teacherly responsibilities for almost 24 hours straight: all my assessing is complete and all my prep is finished - one whole day with an empty in-box!

How do I spend this windfall of free time? Well, first we had brekkies and then walked to NSCC, so I could see how long the pedestrian commute would take me (36 minutes). The day is only getting better, so maybe it's time to go out again.

In any case, I'll be back in Fall Mode starting tomorrow: lots of teaching (21 hours per week) and lots of assessing (120 papers per week) and lots of prep (I'm determined to stay a week ahead). I have also decided that this is going to be my last fall in Fall Mode.

I will be spending the next twelve months making one of these outcomes happen:

(1) finding a full-time teaching position;
(2) finding an admin job that (a) won't suck my soul and (b) will let me teach a little;
or (3) getting into a PhD program.

This quarter-to-quarter stuff is getting old quickly, and I don't think I'm ready to make the plunge into full-time free-lance, so those seem to be the opeative choices. I'll keep you posted.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Before dawn's early light

Here I am, once again sipping tea in the quiet time. Yesterday at this time I was working, and being terribly productive. I got all my last assessments done; the most time-consuming part was tryng to upload them while the system was being balky. With that done, I just have to do the final grades for my express class and I have a clear deck for the "real" quarter.

Getting all that work done early yesterday let me enjoy my day, and it was full of enjoyable moments. First, I got the last of Otis's Summer Special massages, including a salt scrub! We went out to lunch at Nana's and spent the afternoon getting creative and making abundance boxes. We had dinner at Jai Thai in Fremont to mark the first time Otis took me out, and saw The Science of Sleep afterwards up at the Egyptian. (Note: This movie makes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind look like a straightforward linear narrative. It's engaging and visually complex.) We even stoped at Third Place Books for some afters. A splendid day by any measure.

I don't know if I will be just as productive in the next few hours, but even if I'm not, I'll be out enjoying this (predicted) summer-ish day as much as I can.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Buzzin' like a bee

Hoot-mon and uff da, I have been busy. Teaching and grading and assessing yesterday; teaching and prepping and meetings today, followed by a jaunt to the Crest with Otis to join her folks at Heart of the Game.

Special Bulletin: Heart of the Game might just be the best documentary movie I have ever seen. It is funny and touching and well-made and the filmmakers lucked into a real-life story that had a near-perfect narrative arc. Go see it.

Now I am just trying to decide whether I want to get some work done tonight or if I want to go to bed and get up early to do it tomorrow. Either way, I need to get it out of the way in the morning because (a) I have deadlines and (b) tomorrow is a play day (Otis has secret plans for us) and I don't want to be worrying about it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Dawn patrol

It it a bad omen to start off your day by setting off the smoke alarm because a stovetop burner was dirty? I guess it's not as bad an omen as setting of your smoke alarm by burning your house down.

I got up a wee bit early thanks to the asynchronous nature of my schedule and that of a cat that someone let sleep in the bedroom. Oh well, it just gives me time for a cup of tea.

I have been really busy this week. Besides class, the assessment stuff that I put off has been consuming a lot of time - I thought could shave it, but it turns out not-so-much. It all needs to be done by Friday, so it's slog time arond here for a while. On top of that, I'm trying to begin this quarter a week ahead - I want to have all my stuff ready for the first week of the "real" quarter before it begins. So, busy, yeah, that's the word.

The B2K is sort of ending with a whimper instead of a bang. I only managed 3.5 of the 5 long trips I had planned for last week, and this week looks to be 0 for 4 because of weather and time constraints. There are still two weeks left before the official closing of the spreadsheet, but I have moved from a prescription to descriptive attitude toward the final miles: they will be whatever they will be, and that will be fine. For the record, it's at 1447.

Also for the record, I'm getting awfully tired of the adjunct life.

Monday, September 18, 2006


I can tell I'm getting back in the swing when my weekday posts start being nothing but reports of how much work I have been doing, to wit (or three-wit, even):

I got done everything I had to do yesterday, even though I was reluctant to get started.

I taught from 9:00 to 12:30 today, came home, graded assignments until 4:30, ran up to Cap Hill for a truncated farewell to Wheylona, came home and assessed portfolios from 6:30 until 9:00, got some coffee, and did one more portfolio for good measure, which makes me half-finished.

Thrillin', ain't it?

Anyway, here's a scan of a little sketch one of my students did on the top of a project completed in class today. Does this guy look familiar?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Weekend fun fest

Never before having been a student on a residential campus, it came as a surprise to me in grad school to learn that the Eastern Washington University library closed early on Fridays, and wasn't open on Saturdays, and opened late on Sundays but stayed open into the wee hours. Of course, this is completely logical: students, tired of a full week of classes, bail out as soon as possible on Friday, and, even if they remain on campus, don't really get back to any serious schoolwork until Sunday afternoon comes and Monday morning looms ahead.

It seems this same activity pattern can be applied to community college instructors. Despite my best intentions, not a lot of items got checked off my rather ambitious schedule this weekend, since I really haven't had my mind on my classes, but rather on having some fun. To my credit, I did get the most time-sensitive stuff done yesterday, and since my schedule had a lot of slack built into it, I'm not really in a crunch. But I still should get some stuff done today.

The fun agenda, however, was filled in spades.

On Friday, we had a slow, quiet day; maybe it was the waning summer sun that encouraged indolence, or maybe it was that traffic seemed to be so bad everywhere that nowhere seemed worth fighting our way to. Otis visited her grandma, I had to go to Antioch for an errand, and we went back to the Ridge for lunch at Chef Liao's, but the most of the day was uneventful. In the evening, we walked over to the Barnes and Noble in U-Village, where I converted a gift card into three graphic books (oddly enough, two of them were non-fiction).

Saturday morning I got some work done and Otis had a massage client, and then we made the most of the clear weather and took a bike ride out to Ballard. We had intended to go to Matthews beach, but the B-G was full of people in purple walking to the Huskies game, so we went the other way. It worked out okay, cuz we stopped at the Freddy's and Otis got a new boombox for her massage room - one that will actually play homemade CDs. Now she can use all this cribbed woo-woo music she has acquired.

We got back in plenty of time to get set up for the party. It was a delicious affair: I made spaghetti with veat sauce, Dingo made a nice masala, and O brought a yummy vegetarian chili; sweet eats were provided by Stella (who had fetched some delicacies back from Ireland) and Biker Lin (who got her cookies on a discount).

Silvio brought his own sort of sweetness, and our visitor-from-a-far-land Wheylona luxuriated in the whole northamericanness of the scene. Entertainment came courtesy of J-Force (stopping by during her week-long birthday revels), who provided a silly and fun guessing game, and from Johnbai, who demonstrated how a decorative stairwell bannister cannot support a 6'-4", 200-lb man seven-foot, quarter-ton mutant. (We'll be spackling and sanding some weekend soon.)

The conversation and fun went on long into the night; it was great to have the house filled with such good friends.

This morning brought new cause for not-working: Liz and Missy were up from Portland for a conference and visiting, so we had some great breakfasts at the Sunlight cafe and took a walk in the park.

And now, there is nothing to keep me from digging in to my portfolio assessments but blogging, so here are some gems I have found lately but did not have time to share:

Other Walakas dept:

Walaka is the most dramatic of the bunch, not to mention the biggest casting ... There's no two ways about it. Walaka makes a statement wherever he is placed.

Pretty accurate description, too. (From Tikis by Seamus.)

What might have been dept:

This is more what I expected when I went through the Chunnel that what I actually got, which was just a tunnel. It would have been so much cooler.

Quiz dept:

Remember that geography/map quiz I linked to a while back? That can't hold a candle to this one. Be prepared for humiliation. (Just click "start challenge" to play on the whole globe.)

Last but certainly not least dept:

You don't want to miss this video of Johnbai displaying the same agility and grace that so characterized his performance at the party last night.

Friday, September 15, 2006


Well, the express class is half-over. That was quick - I guess that's why they call it express, huh? Anyway, it was the easy half; the second week will have more assessment and more recording of grades. But when it's done, then, well, I get to teach another overloaded quarter. Yee-ha! We're living large, now.

Yesterday was a particularly long day. After class, I met up with Clan Putnam and we all helped Otis's grandma make the transition from her retirement home to another residence where she'll be able to get more care. We had to deal with the usual fuss 'n' feathers that come along with packing up stuff and transporting it to two separate locations (some furniture went into storage), but there were professional movers to do the heavy lifting. Much of what everyone was there for was the emotional support to make the transition as easy as possible. We all went out to dinner together for the evening. It was a Good Thing.

Post prandium, we had another occasion to mark: J-Force, Mistress of Kitties, was celebrating a birthday! Otis and I shuttled down to Ballard, played with cats, and too J out to Fremont for some super gelato and fun chat. We were apparently just one chip in the festive mosaic of J-Force's forty-fourth: earlier, Mary B took her to High Tea, and the revels continue nonstop this weekend (to include our party Saturday). Happy Birthday!

My weekend, while not revel-free, will comprise more work than play, alas, and I'd best think about getting to it. Before I do, I wanted to clarify something, though. I made a flip remark about music on Johnbai's blog, and it got me thinking. (While thinking after commenting is good, it's probably wiser to think before commenting, but that's another post.)

I really don't have the music gene, at least not in the way it presents itself in some of my friends. I don't own hundreds of CDs and never have. (In fact, someone gave me a case that held twelve CDs and for years that was my limit - I couldn't get a new CD with out getting rid of one, because I would have to get another case.) I rarely pick music to listen to; I just turn in the radio and take whatever comes out (or now, turn on my iTunes and let it play the Internet or whatever it likes). And I guess I don't think about music much: I am sure days go by when I don't hear any music at all and I don't even notice. I don't know what this says about me, or if it says anything significant at all. Maybe it really is genetic, or maybe it's a result of my having been brought up in a home where the only music was Vic Damone and Engelbert Humperdinck (my mother's favorites).

In any case, after reading Johnbai's post, I actually consciously thought about music and what music I like. I still don't think anyone should care what anyone else thinks of their taste in music, but I wondered if I could even identify my taste. I tried to think of CDs that I actually can recognize and like to listen to, or that I sought out. Here's what I came up with:

The Hippos (Otis's cousin's ska band)
Hapa (Hawaiian fusion?)
Ursula 1000 (?)
Fountains of Wayne (Welcome Interstate Managers is my almost-perfect album)

... and that's about when I run out of steam. I like a lot of other individual songs - some stuff from Flaming Lips, Thievery Corporation, and like that, but I can't say I would ever put a CD on and listen to it all. I bought one track from Bruce Springsteen's new album, but can't imagine buying any more. I have recently heard some stuff from Yo La Tengo and Pizzicato Five that I like; I'm thinking about maybe checking them out, but I doubt I'll follow through.

So there you have it, for what it's worth. Pretty flimsy music cred, eh? That's why my radio is usually on NPR.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Humpday respite

Well, tonight is actually a pretty mellow night; the first time this week I feel like I'm not jumping. The express class is zooming along, and I had one last Antioch class and a meeting there to deal with, and Otis has some family business going on, so it's just been hup-two-three-four.

I have been biking to Bothell regularly; I made three round trips and then a one-way today. I got caught in some partly cloudy heavy drizzle and got to work a little damp soaking wet. At the end of class, my biking gear was still dripping, so I called Otis and she happened to be out so she just picked me up. The rain must have been a good motivator, though; I posted my fasted sustained time of the season, covering 15.4 miles in 59 minutes for 15.7 mph.

The Antioch meeting was to clarify my position as Associate Faculty there; it went well, and while the position doesn't have a great deal of financial reward associated with it, I think I can it it in the Good Thing column for sure. It's nice to have that wrapped up; I have all sorts of teacherly administrivia buzzing around me right now. Of course, I have responded by creating a spreadsheet -- no, not really, just a calendar so I know which tasks I have to complete over the next ten days while leaving some time for the fun stuff.

And speaking of fun stuff, i had some cool animated gifs to upload, but Flickr has apparently changed its technology and won't accept them anymore. Isn't that just too bad?

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Too busy to blog!

Wow, it's been hectic! Catch y'all soon -- Gotta get some more work done.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Bikin' and workin' and bikin' and workin'

Well, I guess this is really the last Sunday of summer for me. Tomorrow Stella and I begin teaching our "express" classes (which runs 3.5 hours a day, four days a week, for two weeks) and as soon as that ends, Fall quarter proper starts (which means for me five classes, 21 hours a week, for eleven weeks). Time to get in work mode!

Today was the start of that. I bikes up to Bothell and Stella and I worked for a few hours getting the schedule squard away and making almost all the photocopies we will need for the whole class. Once the class starts, it's just run-run-run, so experience has taught is this is the way to go.

After piling up all the papers, I biked back, and found that I had a tripple-dipple for the ida y vuelta. The totals were 30.5 miles in 121 minutes for an average speed of 15.1 mph. (In the splits, the way out was actually solid gold (15.4 mph) and the way back - which included the killer Ravenna Hill - was just shy.) The B2K total so far is 1357 miles even, so with the 200+ miles of the two-week Bothell commute, I think 1600 will be an easily sustainable goal.

Of course, after biking back, I still had work to do, since there were loose ends and rosters from the current class to deal with, and the assessments and other tails of classes that are just ending. But there wasn't so much work that I couldn't take a walk in the neighborhood with Otis, to get an ice cream cone and enjoy the last lingering rays of daylight.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

A pretty fall day...

... except that it's still technically summer! But fear not, it looks like the sun and warmth will be back for a few days, if not at full summer strength then enough to let us pretend for a little while longer.

The cludiness and drizzle didn't keep us from the Seattle Tilth Festival. At the instigation of O, Otis and I went down to Meridian Park along with Johnbai, Dingo, e-Rik, and Silvio, to enjoy a bounty of organic farming, from Armenian cucumbers to vegan doughnuts. (Hats off to e-Rik as the master sampler!)

After produce time, Otis was off to family affairs and O and Johnbai to the movies; the rest of us headed off the the U-district for lunch at Jack's Tapas Cafe (Mainly Chinese). This is the best restaurant with the weirdest name. For little more than a sawbuck each, we had more food than we could eat: cold noodles, tofu and cabbage, yu-choi and spinach, vegetarian calzone, and the yummiest, warmest, most satisfying sesame and scallion bread. All of it was good, the place was comfortable and low-key, the waitress was fun and friendly - I can't wait to go back.

With all that food, I even got to treat Otis to some, since we had enough egg and onion tortilla left for dinner.

After dinner, we watched State and Main, a pleasant, meandering movie with a great cast that includes a sweet and innocent Philip Seymour Hoffman. Worth a look.


Following a link from political junkie Just Jon to a different piece entirely, I came across this speech from the non-partisan (but sort-of liberal Democrat) mayor of Salt Lake City, Rocky Anderson. I have never heard the case against the current administration made so clearly and straightforwardly.

Friday, September 08, 2006

The Saga of Selkie


So, yesterday, Otis wanted to Do the Right Thing regarding the cat-we-don't-have. The kitty was obviously a stray from somewhere and had been a house cat before; it knows the protocols for getting water from a faucet and asking to go out and all that sort of stuff. We needed to make a good faith effort to find its original home. In this high-tech dot-com world, that means checking for a microchip.

So into the cat carrier went the cat, and down the street to Animal Talk went I, while Otis waited at home and fretted. The walk to the pet store/rescue shelter was a bumpy one, as the kitty kept shifting around and making the box rock like a rowboat on choppy seas. Even after the red wand was waved and beeped and displayed the secret code number buried in the kitty's neck, indicating there was indeed a microchip and a caring previoius owner, it was still bumpy for a while. It took several phone calls, but the story was finally sorted out. Here's the upshot:

Most of you are familiar with the currently unoccupied house next door. The former resident had a number of cats (and also volunteered at Animal Talk and fed the feral cats in the neighborhood). She moved out sometime before we moved in here back in April, but took care of all her animals before she did; this particular cat, named Selkie, was re-homed with a family in Lake City.

Selkie seems to have a very strong sense of place; he apparently made his way back to the house all the way from north of 145th Street on the shore of Lake Washington. It is easy to imagine his displeasure at finding the place abandoned upon his arrival, especially after such a long trip. I can assure you that complained loudly; those complaints were heard by Otis, and the rest, as they say, is history.

It turns out that the people on the lake, presuming Selkie to be lost forever, took in another kitten, and are full up catwise. The owner of the house next door is now in a no-cat zone (which necessitated her relinquishing her cats in the first place). So, it looks like the cat-we-don't-have will be a part of the household from here on in.

Selkie is a neutered male about four years old, with all shots current. I let him in a few minutes ago, and I'm sure he's upstairs with Otis right now, discussing plans for name tags and cat doors and and all sorts of accoutrement.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

My goodness, it's Thursday...

Where has the week gone? It can't be that I have been so busy that I missed it whizz by; although I have been working on lesson plans and such, and teaching at night, it's not like I've been killing myself lately.

It's not that I have been so terribly active either; besides bike rides and errands, we haven't really been on any excursions. I stopped by the Green Lake library to pick up a reserve book and got to visit with Mary B for a little bit; that's about it for social whirl.

On the business side, I did get clarification this week on my status as Associate Faculty at Antioch University: in addition to getting paid the same as I did as an adjunct for teaching five classes over the course of the year, I get an additional $250 per quarter for related duties such as attending program meetings, advising students, or developing curricula. We are going to meet soon to negotiate how much work that stipend of $25 a week will buy.

While I appreciate this show of support from Antioch, have not let this appointment go to my head; I am still exploring other options to see what develops. This is the kind of job for which I am a viable candidate, and that I would likely have now if I hadn't moved into teaching. I thought about this one for a moment or two; $65K and six weeks vacation looked pretty nice. Then I thought about worrying about catering contracts and textbook buybacks and parking permits and it made me shudder. I dunno.

Likewise, I thought for a minute about this job, but although the public education aspect is cool, I can't see myself going back into paramilitary services.

Well, I've got plenty of work for the next four months; we'll see what next year brings.

And speaking of busy, in anticipation of the fall start-up next week, I have been culling blogs from my RSS feed (Bloglines). Part of the motivation is just a need to limit the time I spend reading the intarweb in the mornings, since I will have to leave the house at 7:00 - 7:30 am starting Monday. Another motivation, though, is a refocusing of what I am doing with comics and my comics blog and comics scholarship, but if I talk more about that, I will be blogging about blogging, and we all know that's a sin.

So just check out this blog, and help me figure out whether it is weird-clever or just weird-stupid.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006


After I posted, I went upstairs and this is what I found.

Action on the cusp

It's a bit odd. On one level, there's this sense of winding down: Labor Day is traditionally the "last weekend of summer," the K-12 schools are back in session already or are starting today, B2K is in its last four weeks, and we should be moving into the hunker-down phase of the year.

Yet, y'all don't seem to be playing that game. Wheylona is coming back for a visit in a few days, Just Jon is still in the middle of building a deck and starting all kinds of projects, people are looking for jobs and building businesses and starting projects doing all kinds of stuff. It doesn't really seem like season is near over, not just yet anyway. And that's fine with me.


Yesterday was a nice, relaxing holiday. We didn't do anything spectacular during the day; Otis actually spent a lot of time working on some projects, and I got my ride in. In the evening, we did have an impromptu spectration: Torn Curtain took some of the taste of that last awful movie away, and we were joined by Soapy, Dingo, J-Force, and after too long a hiatus, Dar-Dar Binks! We had a grand ol' time - the movie was cool, of course (Hitchcock!), we ate entirely too much pizza, and it was great to catch up with everyone.


I don't know nothin' about these ok go fellows, but check out the video for Here it Goes Again - it's cool.

Monday, September 04, 2006

It's Labor Day!

Have a great day
and remember what it's all about!

(click the pick for some historical goodness)

Sunday, September 03, 2006

It was a walk in the park

At the instigation of Dingo, Otis and I joined a minor expedition to the MI today. While some were scaling vertical terrain and others sleeping the morning away, we took the middle road and went for a little woodsy jaunt though Pioneer Park in Mercer Island - something like six miles of trails through something like 100 acres of woods and stuff. I don't know how far we walked, but we went through all three sections: the raviney one, the flat one, and the horsey one. It was just lovely, both the environment and the company.

After our walk, we got some victuals and headed over to Groveland Beach, just a mile or so away. It was a swell picnic, but the ladies didn't go swimming, only wading - it just wasn't that hot-hot that makes everyone but me want to jump in a lake.

When the small beach park started to fill up, we journeyed back to the mainland for ice cream cones and urban ambience at Madison Beach, comparing the squared away Seattle lifeguards to their more lackadaisical island counterparts and watching the vast human tapestry all aflutter in the summer breeze.

A nice way to spend one of the last Sundays of summer.

There was a cool bridge over the deepest ravine in the raviney section.
(Dingo is not being abducted by aliens; it was a dirty lens.)

We saw a lot of instances where new growth had taken over old stumps.

Here's a tree that appears to be in the shape of a woman's nethers.
(Otis saw it first.)

Dingo liked the bushes with little delicate red berries hanging from them like ornaments.
(We saw blackberries, too, but ate those instead of photographing them.)

Is this an egg in a bird's nest? No, it's a seaweed and rock art piece!

I loves me my early morning

I have been sitting down here in the office for a little while now, just listening to NPR on the radio, drinking some coffee (we actually got a grinder and bought some good beans, since we don't drink it every morning anymore), reading some blogs, and feeling the cool morning air flow in through the open door. The cat came and went, eating a little crackly food and thumping up and down the stairs; Otis has come and gone, too, padding about still half-asleep and likely back in bed two stories above by now; but mostly, it's been just me, just sitting and reading news and funny news stories and job listings and journals.

I've been indulging in this morning practice for some time now. I used to be a get-up-and-get-out morning person, rising just in time for a shower and a shave before heading to work. Some time ago, I discovered I enjoy having a good long time between getting up and actually engaging with the world. Sometimes, I can be terribly productive: finishing lesson plans, responding papers, filling out job applications; sometimes, such as today, I can just relax and make sure that I have some quiet time regardless of what the day has in store.

Not that I have much concern over what today might bring: we are in the middle of a quintessential Labor Day weekend, with appropriate hot summer weather. The plans today include a walk in the woods of Mercer Island and not much else. But it's still good to sit.


Here's a link to a video posted on one of the other blogs I read. I can't add anything to what the orginal poster has said; go and enjoy the cheesy awesomeness.

Friday, September 01, 2006

Happy September

I was going to make a real post tonight. I could have talked about my bike ride yesterday in the wind; I could have talked about my early-morning breakfast today with Otis; I could have talked about Kris-10's new writing cabin; I could have talked about badminton in the park with Dingo and Sachet and Johnbai and O and e-rik and Silvio and Chrys and Andet. But I can't talk about any of those things, because I made a mistake.

I just watched the Uma Thurman-Ralph Fiennes movie The Avengers.

It is a movie that is so suckful, so full of suckitude, so jam-packed with suckation - it sucks so bad that I can't even blog. I sat through the entire thing just stunned at the monstrous suckosity of it all.

Sean Connery couldn't save it.

Jim Broadbent and Eddie Izzard couldn't save it.

Even an unseen Patrick Macnee couldn't save it.

It makes League of Extraordinary Gentlemen look like Lawrence of Arabia in comparision.

It sucks. It sucked so hard and so long that I will need to meditate and cleanse my soul before I can blog again.