Tuesday, January 30, 2007

The 300

For about three hundred minutes today, from the time I finished assessing papers this afternoon to when my class started at Antioch tonight, I was all caught up on my responding. I actually had no papers to grade.

It felt weird.

Of course, the first thing I did in my evening class was to collect this week's assignment, so I came home with a new stack to begin on.

But still, for a time there...

Monday, January 29, 2007

And baby makes tree

Today's schedule has been roughly as follows:


Which is why I am just now getting around to posting the pictures from the meet-the-baby event at out place on Sunday. Ms. Matcha and Surfer-T brought little BabyKoa over to show him off. Here's the happy family:

Since the customized onesies seem to have been a big hit, we made a set for Koa, too, and even used them as party decorations.

Here's a close-up of the images we chose. The two in the upper right are from Japanese menko cards - sort of like pogs. The photo in the upper left is of the tree Koa was named after (not the specific tree, the type). There are two relatively famous comics characters, but I think the rest are pretty obscure.

Not as many people came to the open house as we had initially hoped for, but it was a nice happy get-together nonetheless. The proud parents are adjusting well to life with less sleep, and Koa is pretty delightful.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The best part of waking up...

...is not the Folger's in my cup, although even instant coffee tastes better when you put half-and-half in it. (We were out of tea that didn't have flowers in it.)

It was cold and crisp when I threw let the cat out this morning, so I imagine we are going to have another clear and sunny day today. I'm liking this kind of winter, I tell you.

We managed to get out into the sun for just a little bit yesterday, since it's still busy times around here. Since Otis doesn't want to say anything to jinx it, I'll do a little crowing for her: this has been her busiest week for massage since opening her doors last May. If she could maintain this level of activity all the time, life might not be all skittles and beer, but it would certainly be cakes and ale, anyway. Of course, she's still trying to fit a massive grading project for the school district in, too, so she's actually too busy right now. I managed to hack down half (by absolute paper count, at least) my stack of responding yesterday (so I should have time for some job application work today). We went out for just a bit, for a bite and business in Wallingford.

I had a chance to batch it last night, as Otis went and spent a long evening with her mom. It was fun to have the whole house to myself for a little while, and it reminded me of my time in grad school in Cheney, only with five times the floor space. I took advantage of this freedom to, uh, work. And do laundry. And talk to Stella and Dingo on the phone. And like that. What a wild man, eh?


Saturday, January 27, 2007

Upsan Downs

So, last night's movie group get-together was a bit of a seesaw.

Stranger than Fiction was great, unexpectedly good for what was advertised as a bit of a gimmick comedy. Will Ferrell was restrained and engaging as the surprisingly sympathetic IRS auditor coming to grips with his imminent demise when he finds out he's actually a character in a novel. Maggie Gyllenhaal is captivating as his new-found love interest and Emma Thompson steals the show as a twitchy, chain-smoking, eccentric, creatively-blocked writer who ultimately has to reconcile her art and her humanity. Dustin Hoffman (as a sort of slightly-saner Bernard from I Heart Huckabee's) and Queen Latifah (as a no-nonsense publisher's operative) round out the superb cast. The film was deeply affecting; as absurdist as the plot was, the characters, even the minor ones, were all real, complex, and important. The story never descended to cliche, and managed to present its resolution with honesty and respect.

For a while, Otis and I thought that we were going to see the movie alone. The Cap Hill crowd was not going to be represented, so Otis and I had dinner at the old Demetrio's (which is now a Romio's) by ourselves before heading to the Crest. The usually-early Stella was nowhere to be seen in the packed theater; she arrived during the trailers, shortly after JagGirl and dvd. Jimmy the K had called to say he was going to try to make it, but we never did see him. We had the pleasant surprise of being joined by Kris-10 and Rye-N, but we didn't see them in the back of the auditorium until after the movie had ended. So, there wasn't much time for pre-show socializing.

Well, this merry band started to caravan to the LFP Third Place Books, with the potential of seeing Jimmy and maybe even Soapy there, but Otis and I never made it. A little ways there, Otis felt nauseated, with a gurgling urgency in her innards. I changed course for home; I don't know if it was sympathy or proximity, but all of a sudden I wasn't feeling too well myself. We didn't make it home in one jump; a pit stop at a gas station became necessary. Suffice it to say that we both spent most of the late evening in some distress, often curled up, and frequently in the smallest room of the house. Otis seemed to have the worst time of it, but some peppermint tea at midnight helped a little.

I am up and feel normal this morning; I have even been out to the store already. Otis is still asleep, but she appears to be comfortable.

So, a shout out to all the gang: sorry we missed the afters! Hope you had a good time! And you might want to think twice before splitting a calzone at Romio's.

Friday, January 26, 2007

Fevers, cat-scratch and spring

Otis picked up Selkie today, too soon after he had a (probably status-based) scuffle with Mountie. Apparently, his blood was still up, because he blasted his way out of her arms, scratching her left bicep in the process. They have since re-bonded, but it was a pretty tense afternoon.

To dissipate the tension and work off our own antsiness, we took a walk around Green Lake in the beautiful sunshine and the warm air. It felt like a spring day, and we weren't the only ones who thought so - the walking path was crowded with people and doggies. (I love how on days like this in Seattle, some people are still in their snow-storm parkas while others move right into madras shorts.) While walking around the Bathhouse Theatre, we found a bush covered with blossoms just like this:

The question is this: these flowers are clearly outliers, but are they extremely long-lived hangers-on from last fall, or extremely early new arrivals for this spring? The bush that they were on was almost as tall as I am, and about three feet across.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Something to say

Besides work, that is.

I did work today - I even worked extra, substituting in a Political Science class. But before I came home, since I was killing a little time while Otis finished with an evening client, I called Farmer Scott and he had the means, motive, and opportunity to meet me in Bothell for dinner. We dined on Pen Thai food and did all kinds of catching-up. It felt good to carve out some time for a face-to-face with and old friend, instead of just hiding in my office with a Subway sandwich grading papers. (Well, duh.)

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


The bete noire of Maynard G. Krebs has been dogging me this week. By all rights, I should be working now, but I need a little time to chill. I'm still catching up from snow delays, and several students handed in papers late as well, which throws my schedule off. Having two never-taught-before sections has added to the workload, too. Ah, well. I guess pouring concrete is hard work; this is just annoying.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Back in the saddle

Sunday was full of getting ducks in rows and responding papers. Otis and I missed out on what I have heard was a lovely soiree at Sachet's; our big event of the day was taking a walk down Roosevelt and back.

Today I taught class in the morning, came hme at about 11:00 or so, and haven't left the house since: more assessing. I'm a-gaining on it, but I still will have about 150 papers to get through by next Monday night, one week from this moment. That's not so bad, really.

Of course, I also have six teaching job applicationss to complete and a couple of miscellaneous others. It is, of course, great to have so many opportunities to apply for; on the other hand, that's an awful lot of forms to fill out and statements of philosophy to write. But, all the work is an investment, innit?

So, in lieu of actual news, here are some links:

I so want one of these, too.

This is pretty good, even if isn't the best defense of atheism I have ever read. (But this might be.)

Sunday, January 21, 2007

A trip in adjectives

Long: The trip to Spokane for the memorial service. seemed long. After a straightforward Friday morning (teaching for me, writing for Otis) Putnam Pater and Mater picked us up for the ride to the airport in the afternoon. After check-in and security and meeting up with family friends Tev and Berry, we still had an hour-and-a half before boarding. The flight itself took about a half-hour. I figured our elapsed travel time flying was almost exactly the same as it would have been had we driven (but a lot easier, of course).

Surprising: Otis and I rented a car, a since we were going to see Gweekers and Mikey rather than stay with the rest of the party. The company gave us a PT Cruiser, what I usually refer to as "that silly little car." It was surprisingly comfortable and maneuverable; Spoke still had a lot of packed snow on the roads, and we got through it fine. And being inside the car meant I didn't have to see it, so it was cool.

Lovely: Gweekers and Mikey prepared us a wonderful dinner and dinner dessert and we spent a long evening sitting and talking as the snow fell outside the window, blanketing the street in fluffy whiteness and adding a seasonal note to the panoramic view outside their window.

Slightly disturbing: The snow continued to fall as we went to bed, and through the night.

Startling: There was between six and eight inches of new snow on Saturday morning. of course, since we were in Spokane and not Seattle, the city did not shut down, there were no major alerts, and the huge civil defense siren, unused since the cold war, remained silent. People just seemed to allow a bit more time for travel (like Mikey did, when he left for a morning meeting after he made us all lattes and we had a yummy vegetarian breakfast).

Troubling: It continued to snow throughout the morning, and by the time we had to leave for our luncheon, the road conditions were such that even calling upon all my Wast Coast driving skills, we couldn't get the rental car up the grade to get out of G&M's street. We had to park the Cruiser and take Mike's four-wheel-drive truck. If we had been able to get out of their little dip, we would have been fine.)

Wonderful: The memorial service was beautiful, sweet, and touching. There was a low-key luncheon and then a simple service comprising remembrances and poetry set off by musical pieces. All of the speakers resonated with the kairos of the situation and fit it perfectly. Otis gave a short presentation and read a poem that captured her relationship with her grandmother, and she did a fine job. After the service, there was a reception for all the locals who had known Grace back in the day and had come to pay their respects.

Heroic: We returned Mikey's truck to find he had snow-blowered the driveway and much of the street. That, combined with the snow's having been packed a bit by some traffic, allowed us to actually leave after saying our fondest goodbyes. We got out of the dip and made it to the airport with no worries.

Very long: We met our travel companions in the Spokane airport two hours before boarding, only belatedly realized that the fairly nice table-service restaurant next to the security barrier had been replaced with a food court inside the security barrier. Instead of a formal together, it was Quizno's and pizza at a wobbly table. The Spokane airport is quiet and clean, but clearly lacks in diversion. the trip home was delayed for de-icing but we only got in a little late.

Reassuring: Selkie and Mountie survived on their own; the temporary litter box worked and was full!); there appeared to be no lasting physical or emotional scarring on either cat. Otis slept well.

No pics because we didn't bring the camera.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Our long national nightmare is over

Classes were actually fairly normal yesterday, although instructors and students both were a little disoriented, I think. I was pretty high wattage all day, but I think I have wrestled the train back on the tracks. Of course, I'll have a ton of assessing to do on Sunday when we get back from Spoke, to make sure we stay focused, but what the heck, that's nothing new.

Had a wonderful dinner last night courtesy of The Invisibles, Adam and Karen (who will soon need new nicknames). Yummy thai food and then a warm coffee-shop, with great conversation throughout - how Seattle can we get?

At home, I got to try Otis's new addition to her practice: ultra-super-deluxe foot bath! Cool! (Actually, really warm, but you know what I mean.)

So, off to school and off to Spokane. Catch you on the flip-flop.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Back to normal?

Today isn't a snow delay day! Hooray! (Yesterday didn't need to be, either, but that's another story).

It will, however, be a busy day. Now is when we should just be hitting our stride in the quarter, so it's the usual busy-ness plus the catch-up-from-messiness busy-ness.

So, of course, this is the weekend we will be in Spokane for the memorial service for Otis's grandmother. We're leaving tomorrow afternoon, so I will have to get ducks in a row and herd cats (literally, too) before then.

Enjoy the rain!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

This seems to be dragging on

Okay, so late start yesterday, right? My phantom 9:00 was cancelled, but I head in to the 10:00.

Stella calls as I leave and offers to cover my afternoon class in Bothell, since she lives practically across the street from the college. I'm not worried about getting there - class doesn't start until 3:30 - but it would give me a chance to avoid the 5:35 rush-hour dash to Antioch for my 7:00 pm class. Since the class is going to the library and the teaching librarian is going to be doing all the work anyway, I quickly agree.

So, I finish my class, come home, prep some materials and email them to Stella, and figure it was a good move.

And then Antioch cancels its evening classes anyway.

I toy with the idea of heading up to Bothell, since I won't have the rush home to worry about, but let it go. I take care of business around the house, trying to develop some alternatives for the students in my cancelled evening class, but the rain is starting and its warming up and I can't help feeling like the evening class could have been held after all. Even when Otis and I head out for a bite after her afternoon client, well after sundown, nothing is really frozen.

And today I wake up to find that North once again has a late start, so my 9:00 class remains phantom. I now need to seriously re-do the syllabus; we've missed four classes in a row, a whole week if you count the holiday. Aargh!

I used to be one of the people at my college down in Vancouver that made the decision whether to close the campus. I understand how difficult it is to balance the interests of safety and education, particularly when the weather conditions are borderline, or vary greatly within the service area, or both, and I'm not trying to second-guess anyone.

I am realizing that what I need to do, especially in Fall and Winter quarters, is to always have an electronic communication system set up for each class, whether I intend to use it regularly or not. With something like a Blackboard site or even an e-mail list in place, I'd at least be able to continue with some readings, as well as writings and comments, even when the class couldn't meet.

So, the teacher has learned a lesson, at least, even if there hasn't been class much.

Mountie, the camera-shy outside cat

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Wish me luck

Otis let the cat out at about 4:00 am and said there was no snow. I got up a little while ago to see a fresh inch or snow. That means that campus openings have been delayed until 10:00 am, so my 9:00 class is once again cancelled (I haven't met with them since last Wednesday). Based on the forecast, I imagine that my afternoon and evening classes will go, and since this my long day, the one that includes a rush-hour race from Bothell to Belltown, that means a couple of long sloppy slogs through traffic. Ay, caramba!

And yesterday was such a great day! Clear and crisp and cold and sunny. I took a walk down to 45th to do some work in the morning, and then took another walk with Otis in the afternoon to do errands up Roosevelt Way. It was a slow and happy day. Today will likely be the opposite of that.

At any rate, the snow does make for some pretty pictures.

Snow Alley

Pawprints (the cat had just ducked around the corner)

The courtyard (and Selkie with laser-eye action)

Monday, January 15, 2007

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. is most often thought of as a hero for the African American community. His contribution to the civil rights movement in the fifties and sixties in America will never be forgotten, and it is important to remember that Dr. King was also a crusader for social justice in all its forms. Sometimes to the dismay of his colleagues, Dr. King spoke out publicly against the Vietnam War, with his usual eloquence. A longtime ally of organized labor, Dr. King was on his way to support a garbage workers' strike when he was assassinated. This is why I recall Dr. King not only as a Black leader, but as a man of conscience and an example of the best we all could be in all ways.

"At the heart of all that civilization has meant and developed is 'community' – the mutually cooperative and voluntary venture of man to assume a semblance of responsibility for his brother."

I guess it was sort-of a break

I just realized that what I guess was a good thing has happened: these snowless snow days lately managed to provide me with a little bit of an extra winter break. I had been complaining that it felt like I went back to work too soon; these slow days have provided me with a change to sleep in, skip a commute, re-charge, and catch up. I have a little bit to do today, but I feel much better about diving into the week than I might have otherwise. yeah, the quarter has gotten a little scruffed up and I'll have to juggle some early assignments, but overall the good outweighs the bad.

On top of that, the cold-but-clear weather has been a welcome change from the usual winter gray in this part of the world. Not bad at all.

Yesterday, Otis spent a good chunk of this break time up in Everett at a baby shower for her sister in law. We got the kid some onesies and put these images on them:

Pretty cool, huh? Can you guess which ones Otis picked and which ones I picked?

I spent much of the day working but a good potion of it playing, too. A little more of each today and then back to the word mines tomorrow.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Excrutiating details

Morning: Otis had an 11:00 appointment for a massage up in Kenmore. I needed to pick up my flash drive from my office at Cascadia, so I drove her up, dropped her off, and continued into Bothell. When I got to campus, I realized that I had forgotten to bring the backpack full of work to do. So, instead of being productive, I just listened to the radio and dinked around before heading back to Kenmore to pick Otis up. She wound up having a longer session than planned, so I had to spend a half-hour sitting in the car in the parking lot before take her home for lunch.

Afternoon: Otis had a client coming for a special at 2:00, so I made myself scarce and headed up to Cap Hill. The original plan was to meet Johnbai and O when they got out of the gym, give Johnbai back his video camera, and hang for a while. On the way up, I called Dingo, but she was turning down invitations right and left. Then I called Sachet and left a message. Then I stopped by the Cap Hill library and checked in with J-Force, of whom we have seen too little lately. While I was there, Sachet returned my call, and said we'd hook up after she did some errands. She met me at the library a little while later and we walked to Septieme. Just as we ordered, Johnbai called to say we wouldn't be hanging but he still would like the video camera. So Sachet and I cancelled our orders, walked back to the library to meet J&O and drop off the camera, and then continued on to JoeBar for tea and some lovely one-on-one time.

Evening: After dinner, we had some chores to take care of, and then thought about watching a video later. Otis is wrapped up in Battlestar Galactica; the first season is available for download through iTunes, so we thought we'd try that out. First, when I went to download, it told me I had to upgrade my iTunes to get videos, so I went through that rigamarole. Then when I went to download on the new iTunes, it told me I needed to upgrade my Quicktime in order to be able to see the videos that I could now download, so I went though that rigamarole, which included re-starting the computer. When I went back to iTunes to complete the download of three episodes and pay for them, I found the upgrade had erased my AppleStore password, which used to be put in automatically and which I had (of course) forgotten, so I had to do the "Forgot Your Password?" rigamarole. After the three eps had finally downloaded (at half-a-gig each), I found that I couldn't burn them to DVD without some more software. So: Otis used her laptop to access my iTunes though our network, and we hooked her laptop up to the projector, and we projected the full-screen view onto the wall. Luckily, she had already upgraded everything, so that went quickly and worked fine, except that the only sound we had was from her laptop, and the speakers for my iMac won't fit her iBook.

So we watched Alfred Hitchcock's last movie, Family Plot. That went fine except that the bulb on the projector must be starting to go, since the screen goes blank every now and again.

The moral of the story: life is approximate.

Just for fun: Otis eating a cat's paw. (linkety-link-link, link-link.)

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Sidewalk shuffle

Friday was an odd sort of day. Since NSCC had a "late start" day, my 9:00 class was cancelled, but my 10:00 was still on. Just for fun, Otis and I walked up to the college along the lake. It was cold, but clear and crisp. Some side streets were a bit messy, but we really didn't have any problems.

While Otis loitered in the cafeteria, I attended to my one fifty-minute meeting. A surprising sixty percent of the students showed up; I had expected much less. We had a productive (if informal) session, and then Otis and I walked back on the inland route, via Group Health. It was a fun and strange way to take of business; I hope things at work will be back to normal after this long weekend.

The afternoon was given over to hanging-around-the-house stuff until Dingo came by at 4:30 to start our moovie nite. We had a little time for tea and decompression before Yojimbo joined us and we all strolled down to Royal Thai for dinner and catching up. Jimbo had to head back to the island to ransom his puppy* and we three headed up to the Crest to meet Stella and sort-of meet Johnbai and Sachet. "Sort-of" because Stella, Dingo, Otis and I went to For Your Consideration, and Johnbai and Sachet chose to see History Boys. Ah, the joy of the multiplex.

Johnbai and Sachet might have made the better decision. While we all thought Christopher Guest's latest mockumentary brought the funny in certain places, it was a little disappointing overall. Otis said that it didn't push its situations quite far enough into the absurd; I think Guest is starting to care for his characters too much and its blunting his satire. On the other hand, Johnbai came out of History Boys genuinely moved and said that it was one of the best movies of the year. (Sachet said that she would have liked it but couldn't hack her way though the British accents.)

Stella headed back to the burbs while the rest of us repaired to Third Place Books in Ravenna for coffee and conversation. We closed the joint still going strong. And that's what I call a Friday.

Random photo of the day:

* doesn't "ransom the puppy" sound like a euphemism for something dirty?

Friday, January 12, 2007

Another day of cold-shine

Snowless Snow Days Part 2: The Frigidity Continues

NSCC opens at 10:00 today, so I will only have the one class, and I wonder how many people are going to show up for it: it's Friday, a paper is due, and any earlier classes have been cancelled. Perhaps it will be a futile exercise, but I'll be there.

I've been up fussing around since my normal getting-up time. The cold before sunrise was a whole 'nother thing: all it took was a few seconds with the door open to lose any warmth built and have chilly legs and arms again. I fed Mountie some high-fat food and gave him warm water; he liked it, but didn't spent any more time out of his warm-box than he had to. Selkie went out for just a few minutes and then was eager to come back in.

Bundle up, folks!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Mission accomplished!

That is to say, I managed to avoid just about all productive work today and treat it like the holiday it sort-of was. Oh, I did a little laundry and went for some groceries, but nothing that was like real work.

Otis slept in pretty late (but then most anytime seems pretty late when you've gotten up at six) and had her own little breakfast bar on the living room coffee table. When she finally got moving, we moved with purpose: we took a walk through the winter wonderland down The Ave and through the U-District.

Actually, you couldn't really tell there was a snow day going on as soon as we dropped a little off the Roosevelt plateau. The streets cleared, and people were going abut their business: the storm's effects were as spotty and localized as predicted.

Since we were strolling, we picked up some Chipotle's burritos and met Dingo at her work (the U-Dub never closes!) for lunch. The building she works in is indeed a sterile, soulless, seventies monstrosity, but I think the view from her office might just make up for it. What do you think?

After lunch, we made our way back to the RD via University Village (or Satan's Disneyland as Dingo calls it) so Otis could check out some music at B&N. In the afternoon, Otis had a massage client and I busied myself with house stuff; we just took a walk to the store and are about to call it a day.

I hope your snowless snow day was just as fine.

A snow day for reals

This is is what it looks like out the back door. I guess it must be worse in other areas - or the administrations are still reeling from the negative repsonse to not closing last time - since both my campuses have closed for the entire day. And as Annie Lennox said, whom am I to disagree?

So, since I have been up for a while anyway, I've just been enjoying the morning, listening to the radio, playing with the cats, having my otameal, and all that groovy stuff. Soon enough, it'll seem like just another day after class and I'll probably have to get busy being productive or useful, but for now it feels like a holiday.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Humpday dumpday

So, didja make into work with all the snow?! Was class cancelled, hunh!?

Urm, never mind.


Dingo is feeling under the weather. Send her telepathic chicken soup!


So, I was in Tully's this afternoon, waiting for my hot cocoa, and a lady who was creaming her coffee looked at me and said, "Hey, I like your Utilicute!" Best Freudian slip I've received in a long time.*


Otis didn't know the digital camera was set on video, so we have this wonderful cinema verite, made when she was trying to take a picture of the cat. If you look quickly, you can see Mountie in his outside house, Otis, our hot-chili-lights, and what passed for snow today.

*You know what a Freudian slip is, right? It's when you say one thing when you mean your mother.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Looong day

I started teaching at 9:00 am and stopped at 9:30 pm. Even though it wasn't continuous, I have nothing to say about today, so here's another story of interspecies amity that I cribbed from the intarweb.

(PS: It was just hailing really hard here)

Monday, January 08, 2007

There are two three many sides to every story

On the one hand, Mondays are short days for me: I only teach two hours, and only at NSCC. That's pretty cool, since it lets me ease into the week, rather than running straight into a buzz saw the way I did last quarter.

On the other hand, what that means is I have a bunch of "free" time on Mondays, which must be filled with productive work or I start the week in the hole, which is why I have been grading and prepping pretty solid since lunchtime, and still have some to do.

On the third hand, as it were, I did take a break to go out with Otis for some yummy Chef Liao pan-Asian goodness tonight.

On the fourth paw, how could anyone complain about anything after seeing the boatload of undenilable cuteness that is this photoset?

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Winday, not Sunday

(Because it was windy, not sunny... get it? Hunh? Get it? Oh, never mind.)

I got up early today, before the sun, fed the cats and soaked in the mood of the rainy morning while trying not to get literally soaked. It was actually quite nice, in a spooky and miserable sort of way. I guess any weather is better than the non-committal, sort of Phantom Zone grey days we have so often in winter.

Otis and I took a walk around Green Lake after lunch. It wasn't raining then, but the wind was blowing to beat the band: there were actually waves in the lake and spray shooting up onto the walking path, as if we were on a beachfront promenade instead of circling a big man-made puddle. It was invigorating, to say the least.

Dingo called with some good news: her computer woes were on the milder side rather than of the fatal kind: burned out RAM (easily replaced) and likely no data loss. Now that she'll be connected again, maybe she'll be once again a presence in the blogosphere.

The rest of the day was filled with work and naps; next week is a full work week, after all: all five days, all schools in session, and all classes going full steam. I'm tired already. But if I ever think that it's really too much, I just have to read this piece from Carl Sagan to realize how little it really is.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Johnfest part two

What a brekkies! The whole group from dinner last night - JustJon, K, the Cousins, Dingo, Johnbai, Otis, and I - with the added attraction of O, met up once again for a meal, this time in the U-district. Actually, we sort of met in staggered shifts, but that just extended the getting-together goodness. The food and conversation were great, and it was wonderful to have a chance to spend more time with the out-of-towners.

Afterwards, Otis and I took care of some business and in the evening headed up to the Putnam compound in LFP for an night of remembrance and celebration of Otis's grandmother. The whole extended clan was there, and we looked at videos and slides and pictures, and drank and ate and talked, and generally had a positive and affirming time.

Now that's the kind of Saturday worth not getting any work done for.

Friday, January 05, 2007

This thread is uselesss without pictures

Today was a great occasion: JustJon and K came up from Oregon for a visit! Otis and I had a private audience over coffee in the afternoon, and then a whole passel of us met up at the Blue Star for dinner: in addition to the visitors and us, there were Jon's local Cousins, Dingo, and special guest Johnbai! Yes, the two Jo(h)ns were finally together in person instead of just the blogosphere. The result: a split decision. They gave two thumbs down to Tom Hanks in The DaVinci Code or just about anything else, but Johnbai thought Borat was edgy satire mocking the narrow-minded while JustJon felt that its message and intention might be misread by most of its audience and that it could do more harm than good.

Nice evening. Forgot the camera.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Television is bad for your mental health

Apparently, Otis saw part of an Oprah today that was concerned with how much bacteria there is in the average kitchen sink and how many dust mites live in the average bed and so forth. So now she is on her knees in the hallway, vacuuming the stairway carpet, after having cleaned the bedroom, kitchen, and hall closet already.

More weirdness: Dingo offers up this new year's gift from China: fluorescent green pigs.

Pic: I found a 3-D Bummerman. Johnbai, he's all yours.

Today: More teaching. I guess this trend will continue for another ten weeks or so.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Man, it's hard getting back into gear this quarter. I guess I needed a break that was either longer or shorter than it was. I need to figure out my transportation issues, too - this splitshift stuff is going to be (more of) a pain otherwise. Ah, well.

Hey, check this out:

According to the original YouTuber, it is a "four and a half minute compilation of every Ray Harryhausen animated creature in feature films, presented in chronological order." Here's a website that will let you confirm that for yourself!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

I want a dymaxion, too

This super-streamlined version of Bucky Fuller three-wheeled car comes courtesy of the Arthur Radeaugh exhibit at the Palace of Culture virtual museum.

Here's a link to a short movie showing the actual prototype, and here's another, both from a PBS special.

The perfect transport if the weather is too rough for my personal blimp.


Classes started up again today. Once again, I am teaching overloaded: five classes at three campus. Tuesday is mega-day this quarter: morning at NSCC, afternoon at CCC, and evening at AUS. On the good side, three of my five classes should have only about a dozen students, so my reading and assessing load should be lighter. And so it goes.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Bits and bobs to begin the year

New Year's Eve:
Otis and I passed a quiet evening at home, watching the original miniseries of the Battlestar Galactica reboot before participating in the traditional countdown. Ever since Yojimbo lent us season two, Otis has been hot on this show. Go figure.

Two observations from the night: Dick Clark is frakking amazing; you can't tell veggie pigs-in-a-blanket from the meat kind. Mmmmm.

Click the pic for home movie silliness.

I SO want one of these:

The Personal Blimp

Check out this article or the company site.


New Widget:
Your results:
You are Wonder Woman

You are a beautiful princess
with great strength of character.

Wonder Woman
The Flash
Iron Man
Green Lantern

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Test

Nice to know I'm wonderful. Check yourself out.


We have apparently run out of sports:

Competitive plastic-cup-stacking.

Apparently, it's big. I have no idea what to think. Here's the association and an equipment dealer.