Saturday, June 30, 2007

iDay +2

Those of you who know me and know of my particular XA chromosomal makeup, aka: the homo apple configuration, may be wondering why my blog has been empty of iPhone posts. As the deadline for release of the latest iGadget came and went, this here space was oddly (?) missing any mention.

In my defense, all I can say is that there is no way I could have posted anything worth saying that hasn't been posted someplace else already. Let me show you what I mean.

TIME/CNN: I Take the iPhone Home
UK/Reuters: Some people can buy iPhone without the 2-year contract The revolution has started
CNN/Money: A Tale of Woe
Mercury News: I Got the iPhone (and the Steves (Jobs and Wozniak) joined the party!)
C|Net Palm expects iPhone effect Behind the iPhone Frenzy (I don't know how could they pass up "iPhrenzy") Philadelphia Mayor gets iPhone
Reuters/India: Apple iPhone launch draws gadget geeks and hired help

You see my point? What could I, a lowly branch on the Apple tree, possibly add to the conversation? Gizmodo alone has 100+ posts about the iPhone, the people in line, the dude first in line in SoHo who doesn't even know what he is in line for, the accessories, what people are wearing in line, the updating of the Apple Store windows in preparation for the 6 PM launch, the onboxing of iPhones, the dismantling of a sacrificial iPhone (please tell me you bought 2!!!), the synching of iPhones, the typing on iPhones, the stupid talking TV head who flubbed using the iPhone live on the air, and even (drumroll) an iCake!!!

I confess that I did download and construct a paper iPlacebo to get me through until I do buy an iPhone.

It's been fun to watch this carnival from the sidelines. You'll hear plenty from me when I have my very own.

Blessed are the Not-So-Bright...

... for they make the rest of us laugh out loud. And on occasion we must use all our willpower to keep from spraying iced tea through our nose.

Overheard at La Cuillère Graisseuse* this morning:

Patron: Can I get a piece of coffee cake to go, please?

Waitron: Yes. Would you like that heated? With butter?


Patron: Could you heat it with a microwave?

To the waitron's credit, she replied 'of course' and walked away. I had no such escape, perched upon the counter stool as I was, and I think I did physical damage to my sinus cavity making sure the iced tea went down and down the correct pipe.

* desktop translation programs are dangerous in the hands of the monolingual

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yes, but when can I sleep in?

Oy. The quarter ended officially yesterday and I have finally come up for air. I say 'officially' because I believe the last thing of any value that occurred in any of my classes took place days—if not weeks—earlier, yet classes kept meeting. Spring quarter is brutal. I have a sense now of how marathon runners feel: once your legs go numb, your feet move out of habit. Well, my head has been numb for quite a while. My lips kept moving.

A sense of how bad things had gotten as we slogged toward the end was when, after a full 7 or 8 weeks into the class, I was still being asked a question that was foremost in the students minds: how many decimals should we round our answers to? I cannot tell you how low on the list of Big Ideas this issue is yet how high it is on the list of Things Asked Today. For the students to feel that the number of decimal places is a Big Idea means that they are missing the truly Big Ideas. For example, if you have just calculated when a water balloon launched from the roof of a 120-foot high platform is going to hit your younger sibling in the head, taking into account initial velocity and initial height while the variables that can really screw things up are mysteriously ignored and absent from the formula, why are you obsessing over the hundredths place versus the thousandths place?

I would much rather the question be something along the lines of "does launch angle matter" or "will it go farther if initial velocity is increased while height is decreased or vice-versa"? But no. Faith in the formula without understanding the elements of said formula trumps all and the fundamentalists do not question the legitimacy of what they have been told. They instead sweep the formula under the rug and obsess over the stem-cell of the math world: decimal place. I contend that this question would take care of itself if the scenario were considered a little more deeply. If you round to the hundredths place or the thousandths place, does not your sibling still get wet?

Ug. Apparently I'm still a little wound up. And I have 3 full inches of grading to get through between today and tomorrow. And today is graduation. Yea. I do like graduation around these parts. This is an area in which getting a degree is not the expected norm and is still an achievement that needs to be properly honored. These students are truly proud of themselves for their educational accomplishments, as are their families. It is not assumed that everyone will ever have a degree around here. Graduation is not merely a task included in my job description. It is a rite of passage that I am happy to be a part of. So, I'm off to grade a little, then don the robes of the academic mucky-muck, and then do something to help me reboot like mow the lawn and whack some weeds.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Come the Rapture, can I have your iPhone?

The date has been announced: June 29th is the iDay! Thank the stars the iPhone is coming out after school is done for the year. Granted, I am now torn between jumping on the bandwagon and waiting a whole entire week or two until iPhone 2.0 is released with four times the memory, an additional megapixel or two in the camera, and a towel boy to—oh, never mind.

While we're waiting, here's a few tidbits to get us through. Don't mind the crumbs while I (continue to) graze on party leftovers.

Considering that the movie Nemo led to schools of fish being, uh, released by their juvenile overlords, it might be best if the little ones were not in the room while your watched this video. You gotta love the progress meter though, eh?

Time for Mind Expansion, via

I'm off to graze in the leftover paradise known as the fridge. Y'all have a good morning/afternoon/evening.

Saturday, June 02, 2007

... yet the police were never called

Let's have a party! suggested Rainbow Hemp. Sure thing! we replied. Well after having that conversation for about six months, it finally happened last night. Here are the highlights:

- Both The T and I went to Costmo' on separate shopping trips and shopped from the same list. The T did not have her cell phone on her and did not get my message that said, "I got out of me meeting early! Do not go to Costmo'!" When we both arrived home and unpacked our cars, we had each gotten items in all the same categories but we had no duplicate name brands. For example, I bought the Utz snack mix and The T bought Chex Mix. Of the 12 bottles of wine we bought, we had no doubles.

- The house is clean. If nothing else, this was true for a window of about 75 minutes when we finally put away the vacuum and broom and the first guests arrived.

- Everyone who RSVPed and answered my question about what beverage they would like on hand and said "beer, dark beer" all of a sudden wanted a Corona when the walked in the door. WTF?

- Using the washing machine as the beer chest was the biggest hit of the party. I have not yet opened the lid this morning (afternoon?) to fish out the last few Fat Tire Ales and Black Butte Porters before spinning the ice dregs away.

- Each guest was asked to put on a name tag with their favorite mavie line written on it—or the only movie line they could recall at that moment. My second favorite event related to the movie lines was when someone slapped a sticker on the chest of the college president that said "Nice knockers." My first favorite was when he knew what movie the line was from and began quoting other lines.

- Quote of the party: What happens in the laundry room, stays in the laundry room.

We have a lot of food left, including an unopened 6 lb bag of pretzels. What was I thinking? I wonder if I can donate it to a shelter or something. I am not wondering the same about the unopened 4 lb bag of potato chips. That can stay. We also have boatloads of fruit salad and veggies and cheese and crackers. Let the grazing begin.