Sunday, October 28, 2007

Nine-tenths of the LAW

Every Sunday morning, Footslogger and I walk downtown to a little coffee shop, where we order a bagel and coffee, read the newspaper, and chat. We enjoy the 15-minute walk each way, we see the same folks every week both behind the counter and around tables in the shop. It's a tradition that we've been enjoying since we bought our "new" house about two years ago.

Another couple who frequent our coffee shop (yes, I'm noting the possessive there, but I truly feel a sense of ownership. In fact, Slogger and I talked this morning about buying it, should it come on the market. That's another post, however .. .) is a couple we call "The Deacon" and "The Minister." They seem to be a married couple, and they're headed for church after coffee. We guffaw at that, for sure, since our church IS the coffee, or maybe the coffee shop, but again . . . another post. They both wear HUGE cross pendants with fancy stones in them. I mean, seriously, those crosses' spread is enough to weigh down any neck that they are draped around. Something like this:

only draped on a multi-colored beaded braided thing around their necks.

Anyway, this is not about their choice of jewelry, but dang! those things are showy and ugly.

So anyway, there is only one big table at this coffee shop, and our Sunday mornings have taken on a bit of a competitive nature, as we wake up early and hustle so we can get there before The Deacon and The Minister take over our favorite table and spread their newspapers all over it. Hmph. I hate that. They've been winning the competition lately, forcing us to take a small table and to minimize our own newspaper spreading.

So this morning we got up at 6:15, walked downtown WHILE IT WAS STILL DARK AND 28 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT. And yes, we got our table. Happy dance!

Even better was the defeated expression on the faces of The Deacon and The Minister when we had the table they wanted and they had to settle for the tiny table.

Yes, I am a competitive bitch. Can't help it. Winning is so sweet!

Saturday, October 27, 2007


Georgia beats Florida! 42-30!

Have you read Harry Potter #7?

Pirate Monkey's Harry Potter Personality Quiz
Harry Potter Personality Quiz
by Pirate Monkeys Inc.

OK, so if I hadn't read the last one, I would be seriously disturbed by this. But just think of the lifelong loyalty and love (note the alliterative power, there, folks) displayed by one Severus Snape. Proud to be Slytherin, thank you. Though "...perhaps sometimes we sort too soon."

Football Weather

We're getting bundled up and ready to head off for a football game. With a predicted high of 39 degrees F today, that means lots of layers and blankets. Thank goodness that we rented seats in the stadium so our rear ends don't have to be in contact with those ccccoooooollllllddddd aluminum seats.

We always stop by the pizza place to bring home a pizza to cook on game days. Gourmet veggie! Yum.

Friday, October 26, 2007


You might have noticed the new badge on the left for NaBloPoMo, otherwise known as National Blog Posting Month. I've made a commitment to blog every day for the month of November (which starts soon! eek! and in the middle of advising week! double-eek!). So check back here, folks -- after this post, I'll be taking a deep breath (blog-wise) to prepare myself for the craziness that will be November. After the nuthouse that October has been, November should be a breeze!

This morning I'm headed in to get my annual blood draw, followed by
* research meeting
* geology class
* phone conference about upcoming research
* meeting with a student (who needs an ass-whuppin')
* meeting with another student (who needs something signed)

these events will be punctuated with grading, writing an article review, prepping for next week's classes, etc.

I'm up for it, though. I've got my Dansko's on!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme

I've been tagged by Dr. Brazen Hussy with the Pharyngula Mutating Genre Meme, which honestly sounds like some kind of a disease rather than a cool bloggy deliciousness. I do like memes, and I'm so excited to be tagged.(That's really goofy, I know, but what can I say? I'm a nerd.) This meme was started by PZ Meyers at Pharyngula as a means of demonstrating evolution in cyberspace.

First, the rules:

There is a set of questions below, all of which are in this format: "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is . . . ."

Copy the quesions, and before answering them, you may modify them in a limited way, carrying out no more than two of these operations:
*You can leave them exactly as is.
*You can delete any one question.
*You can mutate eiher the genre, medium, or subgenre of any one question.
For instance, you could change"The best time travel novel in SF/Fantasy is . . . " to "The best time travel novel in Westerns is . . ." or "The best time travel movie in SF/Fantasy is . . ." or "The best romance novel in SF/Fantasy is . . . ."
*You can add a completely new question of your choice to the end of the list, as long as it is still in the form "The best [subgenre] [medium] in [genre] is...."
*You must have at least one question in your set, or you've gone extince, and you must be able to answer it yourself, or you're not viable.

Then answer your possibly mutant set of questions. Please do include a link back to the blog you got them from, to simplify trcing the ancestry, and include these instructions. Finally, pass it along to any number of your fellow bloggers. Remember, though, your success as a Darwinian replicator is going to be measured by the propagation of your variants, which is going to be a function of both the interest your well-honed questions generate and the number of successful attempts at reproducing them.

So, without further ado:
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Pharyngula.
My great-great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Metamagician and the Hellfire Club.
My great-great-great-great-great-great grandparent is Flying Trilobite.
My great-great-great-great-great grandparent is A Blog Around the Clock.
My great-great-great-great grandparent is Primate Diaries.
My great-great-great grandparent is Thus Spake Zuska.
My great-great grandparent is k8, a cat, a mission.
My great grandparent is Monkeygirl.
My grandparent is DancingFish.
My parent is Brazen Hussy.

The best young adult novel in SF/Fantasy is: Feed, by M.T. Anderson
The best teenage movie in comedy is: Dazed and Confused
The best uplifting song in country music is: I Hope You Dance by Lee Ann Womack
The best cult novel in classic fiction is: The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien
The best high-fat food in Mexican cooking is: Mole!
The best dissertation related words I ever received from a scholar are: "I'm surprised your committee let you do that."


You're tagged: Jen, Kathryn & Paul, Belle.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Flu Shot

Oh! and I forgot to mention an IMPORTANT THING that happened today. After my department's research meeting (in which we post goals and generally keep each other accountable), we all decided to head over to the health service to get flu shots. For me at least, if I go through another spring semester with bronchitis, I'll be seriously looking for a new place to live! I'm hoping the flu shot will help.

We stood in line for about an hour (frustrating) while the clock kept ticking closer and closer to the time when I was supposed to be in this semester's geology class, taking the second test of the semester. I got my shot just at the moment when the professor was handing out the tests (I imagine), and was packing up when Nurse Brunhilda said, "Now you'll have to wait 20 minutes to see if you have a reaction to the flu shot. We've got some nice cookies in the next room."

I looked at my watch.

"Shit. I have a test to take right now."

She put her hands on her hips, scowled down at me from her high horse, then shook her finger at me. "If you pass out, it's on your own responsibility. It'll be your own fault."

I can live with that. But I did spend the first 20 minutes of the test sort of checking myself. I was actually relieved to get past that first 20 minutes. Cause there's not a chance I'll have a reaction after that, right?

I think I did pretty well on the exam. Some stuff I didn't study very much, but on the whole pretty fair. I'll let you know when I get it back.

Some Stuff

I didn't attend either of the offered brown bag T&P discussion meetings this year (in which junior faculty can ask questions of members of the college T&P committee), though I have in the past. They're actually quite helpful, though the nervous energy strafing through the room is a bit off-putting.

It felt good to know that I don't need to attend that meeting, that the papers are all out, the packet will soon be turned in, and it's pretty much out of my hands at this moment.

Now if I had spent the time grading the looming stack of papers threatening to take over my office, THAT would have been perfect. But no, I didn't. I messed around with various screen video and voice recording systems, ways to post podcasts (short ones) so that my students could read them. I did end up using a free software called WildVoice to finish providing feedback to my students' memoirs (and I think I was able to provide much better and more thoughtful feedback than I ever have before because I just talked into a microphone about strengths of the writing, areas that needed work, etc.). I'm a bit put off by the posting site for WildVoice, as when I went to see who had downloaded their feedback, there were all these pictures of scantily clad women in the advertisements. Not really the kind of academic ambiance I was shooting for there!

But anyway, Slogger and I just returned from the volleyball game (we won in 4) and will be heading out for a football game this weekend in nearby military town. The weather is supposed to be beautiful.

Yes, I'm taking a small stack of papers to read in the car. Can't help it!

Monday, October 15, 2007

I think we already knew this . . .

What Kind of Reader Are You?
Your Result: Dedicated Reader

You are always trying to find the time to get back to your book. You are convinced that the world would be a much better place if only everyone read more.

Obsessive-Compulsive Bookworm
Literate Good Citizen
Book Snob
Fad Reader
What Kind of Reader Are You?
Create Your Own Quiz

Sunday, October 14, 2007

What are you doing? Not grading...

I so need to get my ass to my office and grade some papers. And I'm so not doing it.

It's snowing outside!

Surprise Prize

OK, I saw this at Maggie May's and made a commitment, which I'm honoring here. Sounds cool --

By the end of the calendar year, I will send a tangible, physical gift to each of the first five people to comment here. The catch? Each person must make the same offer on her/his blog.

So, if you (a) want a gift; and (b) have your own blog on which to post this offer, then please, comment away!

Saturday, October 13, 2007


After a chance conversation with a fellow faculty member, I got this great idea to record feedback for my students' writing. Then I found Camtasia, which is a software that allows me to record screen shots as video and to overlay voice recording. So I've been taking my students' memoirs (recently written and handed in), pulling them up on the course wiki (, and then using Camtasia to record video of their writing, along with my comments. I played around with posting them on the wiki, but was not able to get that to work (yet). So for the short term, I'm burning a cd for each student with the video on it. That's what I'll be doing most of the day tomorrow.

Also found this cool video: The class apparently used googledocs to collaboratively produce the survey that they used for the video. This is interesting, as I've been talking with another colleague about how to provide ways for students to collaborate both asynchronously and synchronously.

I'm also really interested in what I might learn from the K-12 Online Conference, which is currently underway. Presentations in the Web 2.0 thread start on Monday, and I'll be eagerly accessing those next week, when I'm not teaching, recording my thoughts on memoirs, or in meetings. Sigh. Too much to do, and all of this stuff to do is getting in the way of my technogeeking.

In other news, it was not a good day for university sports as our football team and volleyball team both got beat. Interesting football game, as it was interrupted by lightning and delayed for almost 2 hours. We went home, got warmer jackets and waterproof pants, and came back to the game so we could watch our team get pounded. Bummer.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

RBOC: Sunday Afternoon Edition

I haven't blogged in a while, largely because I've been freakishly busy getting ready for a conference, attending a conference, and recovering from the conference. But anyway, here are some things going on in my noggin lately.
  • "Old lady." I got a bit of flak from a dear reader (and lord knows, I don't have enough dear readers, so I must respond when the few I have get upset) about the way I referred to myself in a recent post as an "old lady." Granted, I have some gray hairs on my head, but I really don't think of myself as old. Or as a lady, either, but that's another story. Really, C, I was referring to my relative oldness in relation to the very young people in my geology class.
  • It snowed a bit last night, and we put the storm windows up today. Which makes me want to cry, cause I'm not ready for winter. At. all.
  • I'm thinking of becoming a bit of a philanthropist, though I probably don't have the money to qualify. Back in the 80s, I taught for three years at a secondary school in Uganda. At the time, that school was a mixed gender boarding school; now it is a girls' school. I'm trying to get in touch with the headmaster or headmistress to see if perhaps I can be a conduit for things that they might need. Books, maybe? Writing materials? I am interested in seeing if my student organization would like to work with them... anyway, I'll see how that works out. It's exciting, at the least, to contemplate the possibility of renewing ties with the school.
  • Football this weekend was scary. The last three minutes of the game practically gave me a heart attack. We did win, but it was touch-and-go there at the end.
  • I have TONS of grading to do, that I haven't yet touched.
  • We just bought a bunch of new furniture and it is making our living room much more habitable. Which makes it harder to do the grading I should be doing, in my office/dining room.