Kenny Smith | blog

Monday, January 31, 2005

This weekend: chasing taillights all over the city. Also bought a new printer/copier/scanner. This means I'll now be adding some old print pictures to the site. You're enthused. I can tell. You should be. Scanned a few tonight, but I must first upload the January pictures.

That will hopefully be tomorrow. Which, in my convoluted mind, brings us to today. Work and then working on a paper. A little skeptical at first, the ideas got fleshed out a bit tonight and it is starting to look very promising. And hopefully not too painful.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of great shots that were never converted from negative to print. Got a scanner solution to that issue? It'd make my day.

Now I'm going to make my night, and go to sleep.
"This was the same place I went in 1996 to cast my vote in a poll asking if we wanted to have Saddam as a president for life or not. I had to go at that time. The threats for anyone who refused to take that poll were no less than the death penalty." -- Ali

"I walked forward to my station, cast my vote and then headed to the box, where I wanted to stand as long as I could, then I moved to mark my finger with ink, I dipped it deep as if I was poking the eyes of all the world's tyrants. I put the paper in the box and with it, there were tears that I couldn't hold; I was trembling with joy and I felt like I wanted to hug the box ... " -- Omar

Sunday, January 30, 2005

"I'm so happy because I'm human," (Abdul) al-Najr, 38, said after casting a ballot for the first time in his life. "I get to say I'm human now."

"This is democracy," said an elderly woman in a black abaya, Karfia Abbasi, holding up a thumb stained with purple ink to prove she had voted.

Leading secular Shiite candidate Ahmad Chalabi told FOX News that the majority of Iraqis are not afraid and are determined to vote. They are grateful to the "young men and women of the U.S. forces for helping us get to this day.

"The momentum of the millions of people voting will create its own security," he said.

Casting his vote, Interim Prime Minister Ayad Allawi called it "the first time the Iraqis will determine their destiny."

Iraq's interim prime minister said that the "success" of the election would mean America's sacrifices were made in the service of freedom.

"They have not fallen in vain. They have fallen for a just cause ... and we are witnessing now some of the results of this very sacred cause."

"These people were coming out and voting heavily all day. Everyone shows each other their finger proving they voted. They are very proud that they voted, everywhere we went we had to take pictures with the voters and poll workers," American Scott Dubs, via Email.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Sleep -- the thing you do when you run out of other things to do. Haven't been doing a lot of it. So I overslept this morning. Then we went out for soul food for lunch.

A departmental bonding over La Vase (a bland description of tasty food at number six). Now we're all sleepy. Fortunately everyone went, so we're all moving at relative speeds.

Incidentally, La Vase is the only place in the world that serves tea sweeter than my grandmother's. I sometimes have a soda after lunch just to satiate the sweet tooth. Today I had one to wash out the sugar.

A whispy voice reached out, yesterday, speaking from the past. Reminded me of a similar circumstance of a year or so ago. I had called a gentleman who once had a great influence over my school and extra-curricular life. Hadn't talked to him in years, had outgrown the old dynamic between us, moved on, grew up, got a degree and had been a working professional for years. A 15 minute phonecall and everything is suddenly back in the same old mindset. Nervousness, seeking approval and so on.

Kelly, my dear whimsically wise friend, suggested it was a matter of closure. "You've always seen him as an elder statesman to impress, and have never entertained the idea of him as a peer." Which, badly paraphrased here, makes some sort of sense.

So anyway, a whispy voice reached out, yesterday, speaking from the past. An old friend whom I hadn't spoken with in a year called. "Stuck in traffic, trying to get home." At least I know my role in the universal scheme of things, right? So as we're talking I'm reminded of the old example (hence the tangential backstory) and how it did not apply in this circumstance. We all play roles in life. Previously, my role with this person was a little more excitable, breathless and hyper. In this conversation I sounded and felt zen and at peace with the world. Mostly because I am. Though this old friend and I now do well to average one conversation a year it would be nice if that were improved upon -- now that we're both growed up.

I looked up the other night. Walking to my car. A gentle gauzy haze had settled over the city, trapping a crisp winter air. The moon was out and full and directly overhead, casting a beautiful halo over a third of the sky. The size itself was large enough to carry the weight of knowing. I wish I'd had the proper camera that night to take a good picture, it was one to share. But, instead, I took it in privately, waiting on the breeze.

Quick hits: 597 people need lives; manure needs to be extinguished; Richard Scrushy needs to be quiet and Gary Cruse says some need a clue.

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I can only imagine what my Dad was feeling as he was forced from his compound that November day. I don't want to imagine how he has been treated since that day as I hear of "Torture Houses" being found in Baghdad that held American hostages. Picturing in my Dad in those conditions is too much to bear.
The daughter of Roy Hallums, being held hostage in Iraq, has started a site about her father.
Aren't parallels in life interesting? Or am I just searching for something vaguely literary to amuse you with? (Warning trite tripe follows.)

As an aside: if six monkeys can type the British Museum, how many does it take to type this stuff? Just the one of me. Thanks.

The topic has been new beginnings. Seems they are alternately scary, invigorating and sometimes upsetting. Fair enough.

New beginnings are the peaceful note of the worries you've moved on from, left behind. The wind in your hair. Singing the song of the moment with abandon. An appreciatively sly smile at things past, just before a big goofy grin at the good ghosts of Christmas future. The warm sun, the warm earth, the crisp breeze. Sense of spring. A change of your own personal worldview. Doing something crazy to remember you still can. A fresh start at old things. Old starts at fresh things.

When the chance comes along: grab them. Life is Play-Doh. Mix up the colors. Mash 'em together. Flatten it out paper thin and then roll it up into that long noodle shape. And remember that every can is fresh until it hardens.

Monday, January 24, 2005

Someone owes me. Big time.

So I go sit in on a class to take notes tonight. This is not my normal class. It is, in fact, a class I've already taken. But my advisor is teaching the class, the subject matter is interesting ... and someone owes me.

Sadly, this was arguably the best lecture I've had in grad school so far.

Can't wait to study under Dr. P. now.
There's been a lot of conversation on this topic recently. How to really tell when you are middle-aged.

Justin thinks it is because he, the former athlete, now finds Kenneth Cole more comfortable than sneakers. A good clue is when I find one song on an otherwise great album to be too hard. Older things in my music collection at home is chuckling at the irony. It seems, somewhere around the turn of the century, I mellowed out and music came with me. But that's not a sign of getting old. Neither is my insistence on singing Sinatra or Dean-o or Connick Jr. everywhere I go.

Hand in hand now staggers the grad school group. People beginning to realize how determinedly one can cling to a different time. A time when going to sleep the same day you woke up was a sign of weakness. When drama was a break from the normalcy that marks a restless young night. A time when problems could be resolved in a day or a week. But they were important, life changing, problems! When's the next meal? Where's the next gathering? Which brand does the same thing and saves 15 cents? Will I land a date this weekend? These were deeply-rooted philosophical questions.

But the texture of life is always changing and entropy has a long list of jokes to play.

Suddenly that sense of boring, quiet normalcy seems homey. Suddenly it's time to start cashing in all those "some day" chips you've been squirrling away. Otherwise they tend to make for a lot of empty calendar pages beforehand if you're serious about the business of living. At some point the imagery has to become a reality or all of life was lived in a dream.

Sounds domesticated doesn't it? Not really. I'm lately getting over some silly preconceived notions. About life. People. Myself. Not to get too weighty on the subject, but I'm seeing things a bit differently lately. Maybe it's the music. Nothing a little Ho ho pudding won't cure.

Probably, Frances Coleman is correct.
Useful when you want it to be I guess.
State Rep. Alvin Holmes (D-Montgomery) ... chastised state Treasurer Kay Ivey, a Republican, for not appointing any blacks to an oversight board that helps formulate some bank regulations.

"How often is this board appointed?" Holmes asked, after listing the names of a few black bankers.

"Every four years," Ivey responded.

"So, if you get re-elected, Ms. Ivey, do you think you can see fit to appoint some blacks? Certainly that won't hurt you, now will it?" Holmes said.

"Certainly not," replied Ivey ... In defending her policy, Ivey pointed out to Holmes that a majority of the state's minority-owned banks will receive additional deposits of state funds.

"Well, now," Holmes responded, with a smile, "let's not bring up the racial issue."
Alvin Holmes, sincerely disingenuous.
I scared a colleague this morning.

Apparently I made a comment that was a lyric from an Eminem song. She points this out. "Come on," I say, "I listened to talk radio all the way in this morning. I have on a brown sweater. I'm not hip enough to know Eminem lyrics."

"I can't talk," she replied, "I listened to one Simon and Garfunkely song over and over this morning."

"So why did you listen to Bridge Over Troubled Water over and over?"


Friday, January 21, 2005

So I'm looking at the statistics for the blog and the page ... what is suddenly so interesting around here? A record day for the humble little blog, and well more than 2,700 hits for the day. Thank you, thank you all. Come back won't you?

Meanwhile, MSN's new engine has me ranked fifth when you search my name. Slipped to 14th on Google.

Being a family site, I am afraid to mention what someone used to surf in today ...
At some point in our national life it became very easy to cast important lessons aside. The blame for this ignorance rests with the Baby Boomer generation. They laid the foundation for the greed and laziness that has plagued our country the last 40 or so years and they're getting ready to tear the house down around themselves.
Gaylon Parker's editorial goes on and on.
It is something of an open secret that I'm a big sucker for William Shatner. Anybody who can take himself seriously enough to not take himself seriously and be campy as a personality gimmick has a special place in my heart.

Anyway, it turns out that the Shatner episode of Futurama was to air last night. Never really watched the show, despite the promising look of it and the goading of friends.

So I got a phone call during class last night reminding me to watch Futurama later in the evening. They believe that, on the strength of this episode, I'll be hooked and then they can reference obscure quotes to their heart's delight.

I woke up this morning to two new voicemails. One from Brooke, "Half an hour before showtime!" and then a second from Brooke and Stephen, "Five minutes to showtime!" Brooke said. Stephen following up with, "You better be hooking up if you aren't watching this show." He went on to say that if I wasn't hooking up I was doomed to the doghouse for two months. Brooke took the phone back, "I don't know about hooking up, but you better be watching!"

I guess it is the doghouse for me. Didn't see it. Got home and went straight to bed. However, I did tape the episode to watch later this weekend.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

So work, school and a little social life conspire to keep me away. Hopefully you missed me.

I've decided I love Dr. Mills' qualitative class, though she and it will end up kicking my butt. At least it is, get this, a class. She's incredibly excited about everything, answering pointed questions so fast that her teeth can't keep the words in her mouth. All our professors would do well to be half as enthusiastic.

Last night, in the mind-stunting audience analysis class, we heard a presentation on something called "blogs" and their power in impacting something called "the media." Not to be condescending about it, but I did learn that this person's (cough -- Huntsville) television station has lazy reporters. Neither presenter nor professor, ironically fresh off his "medium is the message" kick, recognize that blogs=media. And to beat the dead horse that is this class, I'll point out the reading assigned by the professor. The Yankee had it right, calling it "something I would have read in high school."

Class was so good, I checked my voicemail.

But not during Bryant's presentation. He led an interesting discussion on chronemics; the only thing I've learned in three meetings of that class. He also played clips from Dolemite.

With that, no more complaining of classes for at least a week. And more interesting stuff coming soon.

Monday, January 17, 2005

Just off reading Joe Gandelman's recollections of the April day in 1968 that saw Martin Luther King killed. It is a bit fantastical as an exercise, but what would the blogosphere have been like on that sad day?
My long-time friend Jas takes me to task for something I said last week:
Nope, sorry, wrong, wrong, wrong. You can call him The Hon. Peter Garrett, MP. You can call him the Member for Kingsford Smith. Representative Garrett is a form of address that is totally new and just sounds...........weird.
It is a form of address so typically ... American, or as Jas might say "Yank," that it can't be. Despite having failed for seven years or so to get her to distinguish Southern from Yankee, I'll offer my apologies. She continues:
Most of us think he is a dirty rotten sell out anyway. After a career of impeccable outsiderhood, where he said what he thought and stood up for what was right, he has now joined Labor just as Labor has forgotten that it ever was a party of social change. He is now a yes man, doing what the party tells him to. I suppose we can hope that he will serve his time as a nobody in the party then try and make things happen. But I fear he has gone for respectability in his old age. Shame for one who could dance like that, jerky and unashamed.
Australian politics is fascinating stuff, we should appeal to Jas to chime in and educate us further.
I have a dream ...
that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal ...

I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plain, and the crooked places will be made straight, and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
Dream fulfilled.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Busy week blog-wise. I get praised in one (be sure to read the comments to understand why). I get ridiculued in another (but not really me). Such is life of the commonly named.

So I'm still waiting on this textbook. Ordered it last Thursday. I think the shipper and I have different understandings of the word "expedited." Two chapters of that book to read for Tuesday. Seven articles to read for next week and it probably wouldn't hurt to start the book for another class. Such is the life of the student.

It is winter again here. High of 51. Brrr and shiver and such. Clear skies, bright inconsequential sun. Nice weather for a walking lunch. More walking than lunch, but anything to get out of the office for a few minutes, right? We are apparently due more of this weather all through next week, which isn't a bad thing until actually being indoors. The office is a kiln, the hallways could be meat locker. Not bad for a biscuit building.

Sometime around 1 p.m. it started finally feeling like Friday. Nothing like that saving grace of that stunning realization. So now it is time for the weekend to be underway, and you best not cheat that feeling. So, party animal that I am, off to Wal-Mart.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

The biggest risk in teaching a class of working professionals -- assuming one is teaching -- is exposure. If the students realize you're not up to snuff on the subject, the flaws become apparent.

Advertising, it seems, is always dated. Watching all the ad people in the room learn this bit of news was very interesting. The Audience Analysis professor says Cadillac is using Led Zepplin because they're 20 years behind. Disregard Cadillac Marketing Director Jay Spenchian. "About 85% of the people think it's still fresh, and they want to hear it again and again," he says. "It really identifies Cadillac."

People who grew up with Zep, by the way, are now the ones with money enough to buy a Cadillac. With the catchy tune "This ain't your daddy's Caddy" gets a zesty spice that resonates with the automaker's desired demographic. But no, says the professor, ads are always behind. The class: lost. The students: instantly disappointed in their Wednesday nights.

That says nothing of a handful of other disappointments diluting the program. A dulled-knife philosophy is called for: do little, keep your head low, learn nothing, move on. The students still have no handbook, a guiding light when one pays thousands of dollars and several years to fulfill a goal. The professors are apathetic, both scholastically and administratively. One won't advise students because he doesn't get paid too. Another is too lazy. The former, at least, admits his motives. The frustration is simple: the whole curriculum promised such potential; now, because of no organization and poor facilities, we're resigned to getting grades and learning not much of anything. This at one of the few times in a long academic career I've actually wanted to get something beyond the mere transcript.

Let there be no misunderstanding: I realize this was to be a get-out-what-you-put-into-it program. That is turning out to be the exception, not the rule. But the program still requires something from the PhDs. Why else would there be a need for them to be involved?

Later, away from our learned leader, the night devolved into telling stories like this one. That link isn't for the faint of heart. After you see something like that you can't really complain about the inane trivialities of scholastic life.

Did you hear the biggest news out of Australian rock 'n' roll? Midnight Oil is getting back together. Indeed, Representative Garrett, how can we dance when our earth is turning? You broke up the band before delivering a satisfactory answer to this and so many other questions. As you raise money for those in need, consider the philosophical ramifications of being away too long.

Maybe we should all bunt more.
Baseball is the ultimate in team and individual performance. As of late it has become more about the individual than the team ... If society was able to compete for the good of those around us, we might be in better shape.
Stephen's newest thoughts also guarantee the only place you'll read about Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia and Steeler's quarterback Ben Roethlisberger in the same sitting.

Already thinking ahead on the next hard to get present? USB powered manicure set. That page is (sort of) translated by Babelfish. Or a little something we like to call attention getters.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

As you might have heard -- and if not, we can safely say what generation and region you are not from -- there is a Dukes of Hazzard movie in the works.

This isn't it ... but it should be.

I will now pause while you go back and click the orange word "This" above. That came this morning from Wads who recently dug his way out from under the political science books to re-discover the Internet. He likely won't be heard from again until after the onion snow, but there are a handful of new entries over on his sideline worth reading.

Kooky office email time. Raymond is having a problem, it seems, of geopolitical proportions.
I am trying to put the size and destruction of the tsunami into perspective. If the tsunami that hit China had hit of the costline of California, how much destruction and damage would have been done to the West Coast.
I'm considering a reply suggesting that he build condos in Omaha. Or that he take a trip to the library and pore over a few maps.

100 somethings you can pore over; there will be a quiz.

Now I must go pay a tuition bill so they'll let me in class, where I assuredly won't learn 100 somethings tonight. The Internet: faster, easier and cheaper than post-grad work.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Are we all hesitant about trying a new Chinese restaurant? Got takeout Sunday night ... because nothing says All-American weekend like Chinese, playoff football and simulated mooning. Anyway, I show up at this place and notice the sign. The Palace: Asian Bistro. Why is there French in the name of my Chinese restaurant? Anyway, the food was good. Should have asked for the brown sauce though. I'm convinced the white sauce at Chinese restaurants is a finely blended rice cake.

Finished reading Charles Press and Kenneth Verburg's American Politicians and Journalists the other night. I'd checked this out of the University library and had been looking forward to unlocking the secrets within. Turns out this book was aimed at a little different audience. Apparently us media types already know these things.

Moved on to Peter Jenkins' Looking For Alaska. About 60 pages in now and still getting used to his style. A documentarian narrative, though a little concision wouldn't have been a bad thing. So far it has been an interesting read into a place that may as well be another planet. "Hypodermic of wanderlust" indeed.

Got my Jayhawks CD today. I've gushed about them before, so I'll simply say: 20 tracks, best $5.99 worth I've ever spent on music.

Now if only that textbook I ordered would show up.
There's this good news out of Indonesia, by way of Tuskegee.
"I'm OK."

Those were the two words Amelia Peterson and her siblings had been praying to hear. Her brother, Eulando Wyckoff, works for the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia. For days after the tsunami struck Peterson, who lives in Tuskegee, worried that her brother had gotten caught up in the tsunami that destroyed much of the coast of southeast Asia ...

"At first, I couldn't believe it was him. I was so glad to hear his voice."
"(Tuskegee) has somebody everywhere," Wads said. "My dad's truck driver's sister was in the WTC. She said her boss said to 'Keep working,' but she ran. Good idea in retrospect."

That's the Piggott, Arkansas rule. It is a nothing town and they've always got someone involved in the story, no matter where in the state. My first run-in with the Piggott rule was a flight attendant on one of the 9/11 planes from Nowhere, Arkansas.

However, Piggott does have a major attraction.
Ernest Hemingway, one of the greatest writers of the 20th Century used to spend considerable time in Piggott, Arkansas between the years of 1927 through 1940, the years he was married to his second wife, Pauline Pfeiffer, who hailed from Piggott.
Every state has places they hang onto, it just seemed especially sad there. Not much else to see, but check out this writer's barn. Something like that.

"In the Rutland area of England they have the barn where Guy Fawkes planned to blow up Parliament," Wads said.

I wondered aloud ... Shouldn't we have a prominent holiday where we referentially burn someone in effigy?

"I think it would be a good idea."

Conversation with Wads: educational and entertaining.
Needing to be better at it, here are tips on listening.
I just tell myself to listen with affection to anyone who talks to me, to be in their shoes when they talk, to try to know them without my mind pressing against theirs, or arguing, or changing the subject. No. My attitude is: 'Tell me more. This person is showing me his soul. It is a little dry and meager and full of grinding talk just now, but presently he will begin to think, not just automatically to talk. He will show his true self. Then he will be wonderfully alive.'
Linky appreciation: Jason Kottke.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

This is puzzling.

Actually it rather makes sense; working on jigsaw puzzles demonstrates personal characteristics.
The study into collaboration said people ranged from 'border obsessives' to 'opportunistic' jigsaw puzzlers.

The study ... will aid the development computer software that can help people collaborate on work projects.

The researchers said examining how people tackle jigsaws, alone and with others, can give clues as to how people behave in such situations.
Small group applied. The interpersonal ramifications are also very interesting.

Personally I start with the pieces not properly separated. Find the corners. Work the easy edges and then any words or other easy parts of the interior. Wonder what that says about me.
Why couldn't we think of this? And can we repeat the Cameramail performance? Or is it no longer art at that point? Anyay, the gist of Cameramail is that someone asked postal works to take pictures on this disposable camera as it went from the East Coast to the West Coast.

Saturday, January 8, 2005

I'm scared. I'm too scared to listen to my first ever radio aircheck. Just ran across a tape now almost nine years old. It takes courage to listen to yourself. I'm very frightened of this moment.

Here's the end of the song. The Refreshments. Me.


Let us never listen to this tape again.
All you care to know about my classes for the spring semester.

UAB says:
603. Message Construction. Features of communication messages, including audience, situation, and culture and their impact on message construction. The principles underlying the creation of messages in various media.

604. Analysis of Communication Audiences. Analysis of the audience and its place in the communication model. Includes needs and gratifications from various media as well as how messages and feedback are interpreted.

696. Qualitative Communication Research. Study of communication theory from a qualitative perspective. Historical/critical, participant-observations, and various data gathering methods and models explored from theoretical and practical point of view.
I say:
603. Message Construction. Dr. Neiva requires one paper (and me to stay awake during Thursday night lectures). I have promised notes from the best classmate ever (grad school division) who has already taken the course. She also told Neiva that he was going to enjoy me. Thanks I appreciated being a marked man on the first day. I'm also borrowing the text.

604. Analysis of Communication Audiences. Dr. Bodon requires a presentation (60 percent of the grade, thanks for the cake) and a final.

696. Qualitative Communication Research. The class I am trying to add. Dr. Mills' class promises to be the one challenging course of the semester. Got to love her. The top of her syllabus quotes M. Scott Peck: "Life is not a problem to be solved but a mystery to be lived." Dr. Mills requires one textbook ($44 and being shipped), a short presentation of an article review and two papers (6-10 pages and 25 pages). Hers will likely be the most difficult class and the most worthwhile. When has anyone ever said that and meant it?
The biggest, earliest and most obvious upside: no Sunday night classes. The second advantage: if I survive this, one more nine-hour semester effectively shaves three to seven months off of graduation.

Friday, January 7, 2005

It has gotten noisy here. Once upon a time I lived in a house on a pretty high-traffic road. My room was on the corner of the house and I'd lay awake at night watching the lights bounce off the walls and wonder about the people inside them. Where were they going? What were they thinking? Why were they in such a hurry?

When I first got settled into this house it was too quiet too sleep. Ironic since it was previously too noisy to sleep. No lights, no cars, no wonderings. Now trains rumble off some three miles in distance, loud enough to catch your ear. The interstate on the other side of the little mountain is a screaming six-lane monster. Trucks are rumbling down the little country road. This used to be an exurb. Then we got a McDonalds. And a Food World. We're all grown up now. And noisy.
Just another dreary gauzy winter looking day here. Feels almost like spring though. Smells like autumn. It is very confusing to the senses.

Took today off and slept in, so everything here is peachy. Normal days, happy days. The kind that stretch into each other in no meaningful fashion. When you stumble into those days mark them well. They're the stuff that life is made of. The stuff that slips by too quickly.

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Finner, The Count: 1.
To become a cliche. I'm writing this in a a coffeehouse. Not even a particularly good coffeehouse. I don't even drink coffee. But the leather sofa -- never occuppied -- is choice.

Walking in the question becomes Ben E. King would feel right now? Two whitebread boys panhandling for dimes, singing Stand By Me Acoustic guitar. Flute. Sung in the South Carolina scream-until-a-vein-pops-out-on-your-forehead style.

Day two of classes and the young and ambitious undergrads are dilligently engaged in the passive style of studying. Highlighters. One rather intent young man is juggling colors. Orange for I gotta read this again. Yellow for the next guy. After all, everyone with a multi-color system has read Ayn Rand. They're all consumed with helping their fellow man out. After they sell back their text for beer money.

It was always a good afternoon, way back when, to score a handful of used books already innundated with non-ingestible non-toxic colors of the citrus variety. Always scary to see where the previous owner cracked up right after midterms. Then you are stuck operating under the peripheral influence of someone too lazy to even highlight passages. What's so interesting, specifically, about page 158 man? You can't leave me hanging by merely pointing out the page number.

No ownership in highlight any more. As soon as you start sniffing the precious fluorescent you can't be held accountable. Then everyone down the chain -- the broke kid, the cheapskate, the money-is-for-beer-not-books guy, the slacker -- we all suffer. Just because you can't be trusted with a highlighter.

Maybe someone should regulate this.
What the? Who the? The whole site just changed!

How very astute of you, friend.

But --

It was time for a change. Look, we humans are creatures of habit. My habit is to shake this place up pretty frequently. The actual website itself has a different color scheme and photographic element. The background here changed. Content, still pretty much the same boring and frivolous stuff.

Small consolation ...

Careful now.

Anyway, I can't totally mark out for Auburn forever. Love the alma mater, but I was getting Email asking if I was the guy carrying the AU flag. No, I have a better hairline. Though he does look better in orange polyester than I could.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

There's an ongoing debate about intelligence that I will now put that to rest.

Before leaving for work this morning I put all the bedclothes in the washer. Figured on putting them in the dryer when I got home and having them nice and fluffy for bedtime without having to break any other sheets out. I get home just a few moments ago, ready to crash, with nothing on the bed.

Apparently I had assumed the linens would wash themselves.

So you see, I am not smart.
A colleague from The Birmingham News just sent me this celebratory Haiku:

Stellar victory
Unnecessary roughness
Moon shone orange-blue.

Just like the sun and sky today. Just like the sun and sky.
"This perfect season means so much more than 13-and-0," said AU head coach Tommy Tuberville. "It has shown the meaning of a perfect team, working for a common goal, not for the individual success of a few. While the results were perfect, the heart behind those results is what makes the entire season special."

Matthew Zemek is thinking about desire.

The current championship system is unsatisfying for fans, but very satisfying for Auburn University. The payout for last year's Sugar Bowl, for example, was $14 to $17 million. A lot of money coming home.

The players will get their rings, they've now gotten hold of something no one will ever be able to take away from them. At the end of the day, the point is Glory to ol' Auburn.

Monday, January 3, 2005


War Eagle! Win for Auburn, power of Dixieland!
Went to the hospital for lunch. Just visiting, calm down people. A colleague has had her daughter. At 34 weeks. They held off for three weeks until yesterday. Natural childbirth, no drugs, done in 90 minutes. That's the way to do things. Calmly, efficiently, the new grandparents an afterthought of time.

Anyway, mom and daughter are doing well. The baby, Sarah Abigail was four pounds, eight ounces and 18 inches. She'll stay in the hospital at least one week and possibly more pending tests. She's been breathing on her own and has a nice red complexion. In pictures we've seen she's already found her hand and mouth. Ryann, the mom, will be home Wednesday. I hope to have her back at work Thursday.

Sunday, January 2, 2005

Dear UAB,

I applaud your plan to raze buildings on campus to add to the quality of life for those living in on-campus housing. This is a very progressive approach that will no doubt be appreciated by countless students for many years to come.

Any project of significant undertaking, of course, encounters problems. We've all realized, too late, what logisitical nightmare this undertaking has created. Certainly running a major educational institution requires a great bureaucracy; it is also certain that this is where the current difficulty was born. The problem, you see, is this: classes start in two days and no one knows where communication classes will be held!


The guy paying $1,200 to not have a classroom.
Wow, did this place go on hiatus or what? Here's the bullet-style highlights of the goings on since last we met.
  • New Year's at the lake with Brooke, Stephen and Traci
  • Stayed up until 4 a.m. talking on everything under the moon
  • Return home, slept all Saturday afternoon
  • Put up the last of the December pictures
  • So, you see, there hasn't been a lot going on at this end. Just waiting on everyone to return to town, semi-dreading classes (which start back this week) and picturing my four-day work week.

    Tough life I have here, let me tell you.

    Traci deserves an introduction. She and Brooke are colleagues, having formerly taught together at Auburn. Traci is also the master of hide-and-seek and frisbee freeze tag. She also insists everyone do skits to music. I demurred. But Traci crazy. Lots of fun.

    Finally I found the Auburn 2004 football DVD. Only took two weeks longer than necessary and eight or nine store visits. Finally unearthed it in the second place I looked in Auburn. Ridiculous.

    It is only because I am an unabashed mark -- how often does your football team go 12-0 anyway? -- and wanted to give a copy as a gift that I kept trying. If you own a business don't make your customers work this hard to buy your product. Forces of the universe lined up against me finding this thing, but persistence got the job done.

    Since I am padding this by discussing a DVD of which you care nothing about, maybe I should wrap this up. Resolutions will be private this year. They got pretty weighty in the course of a 4 a.m. conversation. Philosophy will follow in the coming entries.