Friday, June 27, 2008

How do you know she's a witch?

Add this to the list of Well, gee, now everyone will want to try. It's so obvious after viewing this clip that I regret never having tried it myself.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008


Saturday was graduation. Therefore, you now know how the weather was on that day in these here parts. Two weeks earlier, the Emerald City's news-rag declared the region "Colder Than Siberia." Yet, the moment I throw on my academic robe, heavy in the felt department and just plain heavy, the mercury shoots to the top of the tube. Figures.

Anyway, I am still tickled when I see the faculty all dressed up in their regalia. I love the colors. This year The T attended graduation and we were hanging out in the student union while faculty filed in to don their robes. All of a sudden these smart people become retarded and cannot dress themselves. The T quickly became The Official Faculty Fitter, or OFF. Since my robes are relatively new, I still have the directions for how the hoods should hang in the pocket (and that slip of paper shall stay in the pocket for the duration of my career). The T began circulating and adjusting hoods, sometimes by request, sometimes unknown to the wearer.

The part that frosts my chickens was the number of times I heard someone say, "Oh, I can never get this. There must be something mathematical to it." Shoot me now. Why is it that because someone cannot do "it," then by default "it" must be mathematical in nature? Perhaps this comment was just a by-product of the pre-ceremony small-talk and deemed appropriate because both The T and I happen to "do math" but it still irked me. We all figured out how to tie our shoes when we were five. Are you now telling me you can't learn how to don a hood in your 50s? Yeah, let's blame your math skills.

Monday, June 23, 2008

It cannot be unseen

I admit I love this song and I think The Shat redeemed himself for that horrid Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds recording. I had no idea that the animated version of Star Trek had more than one episode. Enjoy!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Bizarre Career Advancement

I just seriously got into "The Difference Engine" by Doron Swade. It's
the story of Charles Babbage's quest to create a calculating machine.
I'm currently trying to figure out how the following will make it into
next fall's lectures:

"With the guillotining of the aristocracy, the hairdressing trade,
which had tended the coiffures of the elite, was in recession. The
elaborate hairstyles had become a loathed symbol of the defunct pre-
revolutionary regime, and many hairdressers turned their hand to
rudimentary arithmetic."

I love it! Arithmetic as a fallback job!

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 13, 2008

Language, my nemesis

Most recent assault on my ears: a story on NPR about a power outage in
WDC that left thousands without power and caused huge traffic snafus.
Recently though "customers have been restored." I don't think that is
what he meant.

On yesterday, a retiring prof was honored on campus. A colleague made
light of the apparently ever ongoing efforts of the retiree to squash
the use of irregardless. I was surrounded by three teachers of English
and I commented that the speaker had misspelled irregardless on the
power point slide as iregardless. All three chorused "it is not a
word." Well, yes, I know that. What kept me up late last night was the
fact that I believe a non-word has an appropriate spelling. "It is not
a word but here is its correct form." Seems to be vaguely paradoxical.

Sent from my iPhone

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

One Year Later

As you may recall or perhaps have chosen to forget, yesterday was the
one year anniversary of both the initial iPhone announcement at WWDC
and my finding enough cash in the road to buy one. Well, the tech gods
are once again showering me with their beneficence. On yesterday
(isn't that a charming linguistical specimen), the next gen iPhone was
introduced AND my Bush Bucks were sitting in my mailbox.

While others in these here parts have dubbed the month June-uary
because it has been so dang cold, I'm thinking of the month as
Windfall. I wonder what form the cash I acquire will take on next year.

Sent from my iPhone

Friday, June 06, 2008

Maybe I will sign up for self-defense

So there I was, walking out of Costmo with my heavily laden cart when the gent with his own basket began to merge into the traffic pattern from the left. Oh, it was downright bubbly, the way we bantered and chattered, two strangers strolling toward the door. Hmm, now that I think on it some, we quite closely resembled the two jabbering gophers with the British accents from Looney Tunes: "No after you." "No, I insist, after you." "Thannnnnnk you." There were the self-depreprecating comments from him regarding his age. There were the humorous comments from me regarding his age. And then we arrived at the exit.

The security drone at the door scanned both our carts just as the kindly old gent asked me if I was related to Sally Nobody because I looked just like her. "No," I replied, "no relation but I knew who she was—didn't she teach at the Little College on the Hill?" At this point, the slightly obese and way taller than me security drone chimes in with, "Oh, I took a math class from Sally Nobody. It was haaaaard." At this point I had an out of body experience and heard myself say, "Oh, isn't it ironic that I teach math there now?"

"What are you doing?" my left-brain said to my right-brain. "They might be close friends of Sally's. They might turn on you."

You see, I believe I have Sally's job ... or the job Sally believed was hers because she taught there as a non-tenured full-time instructor when the tenure job was posted. Slowly after I arrived, the story came out that members of the hiring committee were nervous about walking to their cars alone after Sally had not been offered an interview. Something about an angry husband. And then I swooped in with my stunning personality and who was the first non-hiring committee, non-department member I meet but Sally herself all smiles and giggles. Months later I learned she was checking out the person who "took her job." Oh, boy.

So I skittered away from the two gents at Costmo before either of them recalled just how good a friend of Sally's they might actually be and then connect the dots to me. Nothing like small town living.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

A Real Green Machine

I learned today why there are cameras on cell phones. Sometimes you just need the snapshot and any delay will dull the moment or cause you to forget what pic you wanted in the first place. It was the latter that made me happy to have my iPhone on my person this afternoon upon exiting the library.

If it pleases the Court, we would like to enter the first photo as Exhibit A:

The purpose of this photo is to establish the whereabouts of our client as well as to demonstrate the impromptu nature of the discovery. The events in question are decidedly not staged. We can see from Exhibit A that our client has indeed just exited the library and has set the books on the hood of the vehicle in order to collect photographic evidence.

We would now like to enter the next photo as Exhibit B:

Shot from the same perspective, viewers may begin to see the reason why we were called here today. Look closely along the running board. See something decidedly not man-made and definitely more Mother Nature-y?

Finally, Exhibits C & D:

<--Exhibit C; Exhibit D-->

Let the record show that this tuft of grass is not stuck to the vehicle. The tuft of grass was not hurled against the car from a power lawnmower. Indeed, the Non-Electric Sheep is incapable of "hurling." Nor has the car been used for off-road activities (the only off-road experience of note was when The T pulled forward right over a parking block). Nor, was the tuft of grass dug up while our client was on some Dukes of Hazzard romp through the rainforest. Your Honor, this tuft of grass is growing on and from the vehicle.

In the spirit of rooting for the underdog and downright curiosity about how far this "little plant that could" will actually get, our client pledges to not mow or weed-n-feed or in any way interfere with the tuft. Stay tuned, grass fans.

Author's note: as per my previous posts on (1) things happening in 3s, and (2) my Non-Electric Sheep, I'm eagerly waiting the next event in my life that has a grass theme.

Monday, June 02, 2008

That is one happy cephalopod

And the nominee for Best Kept Secret on the Internet is:

  • Drawer Geeks — simple concept: a topic is posted and the interpretations roll in from graphic artists.
My current favorite drawing can be found under 08: Game Shows. Scroll down to Patrick Johnson's submission. Bet you can't avoid laughing out loud.