Saturday, October 13, 2007

(No) Parking Zone

Once again I find myself wandering The 'Pot like a CO2 molecule in a
bottle of pop that's been shook up. I believe there must be a branch
of science dedicated to determining what objects are most closely
related--like all used to complete a particular task--and the furthest
distance apart they can be placed.

Sent from my iPhone

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Access Forbidden

Another story I can't make up.

I acquired new software. Cool. It's a calculator emulator for the computer. It works just like the actual handheld but the keystrokes stay visible on the screen. I figure this could eliminate about 250 questions per quarter. Questions along the line of "How did you type that in?" or "What are your window settings?" Anyway, our adventure begins when I try to install it on the computer in the classroom. I tried to log in as an administrator. No luck. The domain is not available. I don't know a lot but I know that is a problem like when an individual Borg is cut away from the collective. No individual thought is possible since all the applications are sitting on a server somewhere ... somewhere over there, wherever there is. Considering the PC I am trying to log into is a 10 year old PC, the analogy is not far off. This beige box is one glitch away from being a doorstop.

I place a call for help. It goes something like this:

Me: D, I can't log in as an administrator. Can you fix that?
D: Sure. I'm on it.

time passes

D: I logged in as you.
Me: How did you log in as me when I couldn't log in as me? Never mind. Before you answer, when I logged in successfully as a student, I couldn't reach the internet.
D: You ... couldn't ... reach ... the ... internet ... [D isn't thick or slow; he was just thinking out loud.]
Me: The last time this happened, J said he had to 'hit the switch in the closet.' Something I couldn't do.
D: Oh, is this in G10?

From the sound of his voice, I know D has clearly figured out what the problem is from my little comment. Are you ready for this?

D: When the janitor for that building pushes his bucket too far into the closet, it disconnects the internet connection.

I was severed from the most massive human creation in history by a bucket. Let the jokes begin.

Do you think stuff like this ever happens at NASA or in the Pentagon?

Sunday, October 07, 2007

And this was a good day

Life with The T is nothing but joy. I never know what is going to happen next that is going to make me laugh out loud. I offer as evidence, one morning last week.

The T gets up, gets showered, gets fed and gets out the door. This is a day when she has to get to the bus stop for a 1+ hour ride thataway. I close the back door behind her and jump in the shower. The shower is centrally located between the front and back doors of the house. This makes a shower acoustically exciting. On occasion, you hear sounds but cannot discern from which direction they came. I think that has something to do with having your head under water and the sound waves breaking oddly. Whatever. My head was lathered up when I heard quite the ruckus at what I thought was the back door. I discerned it was the back door because the watchcats all ran in the opposite direction from the noise. Considering it was as loud as it was, I knew I was not reliving Psycho nor was I in danger from a burglar, watchcats' behavior notwithstanding.

The ruckus stopped so I figured The T finally got herself in the back door, grabbed whatever it was she forgot and got back out. But then I heard another ruckus. I believe it came from the front door this time because the pitter-patter gallop of retreating feet was moving in the opposite direction as they were before. I then heard steps through the house and then a door slamming and then nothing.

I rinsed, repeated, toweled off and had no idea what I just experienced—or failed to experience due to my being safely ensconced in the bathroom.

I get to my office when my chest rang—er, the cell phone in my chest pocket rang. It's The T telling me she drove for an hour to her job rather than take the bus. "Why?" I asked innocently. Well, it all began with a bag of used cat food, aka: poop. Ruckus #1 was The T unable to re-enter the house through the back door because the bag of poop which was hanging from the 1920s deadbolt for which we do not have a key, spun the deadbolt and locked her out. We've been hanging the day's deposit on that knob for two years now and this is the first instance of the bolt turning. Anyway, Ruckus #2 was The T coming in through the front door, grabbing what she forgot and then leaving. Hmm, as I'm writing this, I have no idea if she left through the front or the back door. I'll have to ask.

The reason she drove to her job, rather than jumping on the metro, was not because she missed the bus. No, she still had plenty of time this morning to get to the stop on time. She did not miss the bus. She missed the bus stop. She was wool gathering—just what you want to know about other drivers—and when she came to, she was too far past the stop so she just kept driving. For another 60+ miles.

I can hardly wait to see what is going to happen this week.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

From numbers to words

Whereas the last post was all about numbers, this one is all about words—specifically, artistic ways of dealing with too many words on a page.

I brought home A Humument: A Treated Victorian Novel, by Tom Phillips this weekend. I picked it off the shelf of graphic novels because it was a new title amongst the other ones that don't seem to turn over too quickly. I then walked out of the store with it because it is very, very cool. If you ever get a chance to flip through the book, I suggest you do so. Words are artistically eliminated from the page and those that are left visible tell their own story. The art added to the page also lends itself to the message conveyed by the now highlighted text. The title itself is an example of the technique. W. H. Mallock titled his book A Human Document. Creative obscurity turned it into A Humument. All in all, not bad for a 19th-century novel plucked off a used book shelf for three pence.

This reminds me of Stephen Wright's line about not using a highlighter on important passages in texts. He instead uses a black Sharpie marker to block out the unimportant verbiage. Bravo!

Anyhow, I immediately strolled over to the 50-cent or trash cart in front of the store and brought home my own sacrificial text. While my artistic skills are not worth talking about, I thought perhaps I could find words on the page to describe my mood that day or an event or even use it like a hard-copy blog. It's not easy reading a page and remaining detached from the words enough to not get caught up in the author's original intent while cataloging the words enough to see which ones to save.

I'll let you know how my dismemberment of this tome progresses.