Monday, January 28, 2008


Comment received on a student evaluation from the fall semester:
"We all love you!"

On With The Show

The power cord to my MacBook Pro bit the dust this weekend. At first I thought the cat had gnawed on it, but it was actually burning up from the inside. I noticed the computer wasn't charging properly on Thursday night. On Friday I started looking around on Apple's site and discovered that this particular power supply has flaked out on a lot of people. I called Apple and told them about the problem and a new cord is on its way to me. (Thanks Marvelous Boyfriend for purchasing the 3 year Apple Care when you got me the machine!) I kept using the cord into Saturday, pushing and mushing it around so it would connect and continue to charge. But once the smoke started coming out and I pulled the plug with a big fanfare of spark, I realized the jig was up. Oh well. The new cord should be here soon.
On another note-- I'm getting really tired of the cleaning lady at school getting annoyed with me for showing up to my office while she's working on the floor. She was in here today when I arrived and said "Don't you get here at 8 on Tuesdays and Thursdays?" implying that I shouldn't be here when I was on this lovely Monday morning. I reminded her it was last semester when I had to be in extra early (7:30 or so) on those days but that I am in everyday at 7:45. It's my frigging office! Don't make me feel like coming in early to work is a problem.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Yet Another Theory

I know the world and the internets do not need one more opinion about what caused the death of Heath Ledger, but after reading that he had recently flown from London and the general opinion that it doesn't seem to be that drugs did him in, I'm wondering if it wasn't an embolism caused by a clot formed during the long flight that killed him. Sometimes freaky shit like that happens.
Whatever the cause, it surely sucks that he is no longer among the living. He was very talented and excelled at what he did.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Isn't NPR Supposed To Be Smart?

I've been trying to broaden my horizons and listen to NPR and the local community radio station lately. I've even programmed the stations onto my car radio. This afternoon NPR broadcast a report from someone at the South Pole. This was followed by the commentators (is that what they're called? They aren't DJs) mentioning a couple of times that the South Pole was 1,000 miles from New Hampshire so we listeners should consider donating $1,000 to the pledge drive.
One thousand miles? Georgia is about one thousand miles from here. Is Georgia next to the South Pole now? I don't think so. Wouldn't the South Pole be more like ten thousand miles from here?
The first time I heard it I thought the commentator was just ditzy and skipping a zero in a script and didn't notice. Then the other guy chimed in again with the "one thousand miles from New Hampshire to the South Pole! Why not donate $1,000 in honor of that?" That's when I realized that although there is some interesting programming that comes from NPR, the whole snooty mystique that can go along with it is likely just as full of morons as the dumbass morning DJs on the commercial station I listen to sometimes.
"I believe that our education like such as South Africa and, uh, the Iraq and everywhere like, such as and..."

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Somewhere Between the Couch and a 5k

A few weeks ago I got a membership to the municipal rec center, which is just down the street from our house, so I could stop using sub-freezing temperatures as an excuse not to exercise. I didn't want to embark on yet another series of "New Year Resolutions" that are dead before February, so instead the girl and I decided we want to run a 5k race on Mother's Day. Now I'm using the Couch to 5k Running Plan to train for it. So far, so good. Nothing else seems to improve my mood and general well-being more than regular exercise and now that I'm doing it to feel good and with a goal of something other than losing that same boring 10 pounds I'm always trying to get rid of, it's something I look forward to rather than a chore.
I'm susceptible to shin splints so I need to work into it gradually. There is plenty of time to work up to it by Mother's Day, so I'm keeping to the plan and not pushing myself to do more even when I feel like I could. I even found a Couch to 5K podcast. It's all techno-y tunes, which is really not my thing, but it's still kind of fun to run to and I like that the guy who put the podcast together decided to start running again when he turned 43. I'll be of that same vintage in about six weeks, so it's nice to know I'm not the only one.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Primary Eve

Since this is basically my next-to-last day to play political pundit, I thought I'd report that I saw Hillary's bus today.
Actually, I was just trying to get to the city rec center to go work out and found I couldn't get into the regular parking lot and the whole block was crawling with cops, supporters, reporters and tv crews. It was actually really easy to find a parking space across the street from the McConnell Center but I wasn't allowed to go into the building via the regular door. I had to tromp around to the other side of the building and go up, in, and through the Adult Learning Center section and then back down stairs to the rec center. Once I was in there it was fine and I did my time on the treadmill watching intermittent streams of people walk by.
I finished my workout just in time to see Hillary's bus drive by, followed by all kinds of vehicles with tinted glass, flashing cop lights and Maryland plates. A young man was walking down the street shouting ecstatically "I saw her! I actually got to see her!" A young female cop walking in front of him agreed nicely that that was indeed excellent for him.
I kind of felt like a dork for not even knowing that she was going to be in town this afternoon, but that's how it happens around here. The canvassers are everywhere. I have taken to telling them I am registered with whatever party their candidate is not. That way they don't have much to say to me.
I'll be voting first thing tomorrow morning, after I drop the girl off at her school and before I go to mine. And I don't care if anyone sees it as "wasting" a vote. I like Richardson and I'm voting for him.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

The Big Debates

I watched the primary debates last night and all I can say is that I am more undecided now than I was before. I am not a Republican, but I watched their go at it and thought it was a lot of posturing and jabbing at each other. I am also pretty much appalled by the Republican take on managing immigration and wished they would have spent less time talking about walls and sending illegal immigrants to the "back of the line" and more time discussing the economy, which is in the process of grinding down into recession and will probably be the number one issue by November 2008.
The Democrats were a lot more civil and worked harder to find common ground. I had been leaning toward voting for Obama, but I actually like what Bill Richardson had to say the best (aside from his take on how to deal with Pakistan.) I get the feeling that Hillary Clinton is the toughest of the bunch, which of course gets her labeled a "bitch" by people who feel threatened by that. A lot of people make a big deal about Obama's race, but that's a non-issue to me and I feel, over all, there a lot more people in this country threatened by the thought of a woman as Commander-in-Chief than a guy who's father was African. Lots of people say "Oh, I wouldn't mind a woman in office, just not THAT woman." That's fine to say, but once those same people start throwing around the B word and the Ice Queen label, the sincerity of their "I'm fine with a woman in office" statements falls flat. At the very least, the inherent depth of their sexism is showing.
Edwards panders to emotion rather than intellect, which is a big red flag to me. I'm afraid his shucks-y manner and the fact that he's the only status quo white guy in the Democrat lineup is going to pull him a lot of votes. Obama is very charismatic and I do like what he claims to be offering. I'm just afraid I'm a little too jaded to believe he'll be able to pull off as much Change as he promises. I really may not know who I'll chose until I walk into the voting booth on Tuesday.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Live from New Hampshire

Well, I live in New Hampshire and I have a blog, so I guess that qualifies me to be a presidential primary "expert" for the next 4 days . The TV ads are constant and ridiculous. Rudy Giuliani and Ron Paul are running racist ads promoting fear mongering. Giuliani's demonizes the Middle East in general and Ron Paul's seems to say immigrants were fine in the good old days when then immigrants came by boat from Europe, but now they swim across the river and come from Latin America. Mitt Romney continues to be smug and is aiming straight at John McCain, his closest competitor. Huckabee, who stormed the Iowa caucuses, has a weak presence here and I don't think he has a snowball's chance in hell of placing better than third in the Republican primary here.
I really hate Romney and Giuliani. Huckabee is a Religious Right nut job. Ron Paul is way far out there for the general American public, although he has a fairly decent base in NH. I'm not even a Republican, but I'm hoping McCain wins the Republican primary because the thought of any of the other Republican candidates having a real shot at the presidency is terrifying.

As for the Democrats, I think Obama may have the momentum to take the prize and that is fine by me. Overall, the Democrats ads are less apocalyptic and I appreciate that. Everyone has said all along they thought Hillary Clinton was a shoe-in. I never believed it. Edwards does nothing for me. Bill Richardson was the candidate I really had the most interest in, but he never moved out of middle of the pack here.

It was kind of good that the Iowa caucuses took some of the spotlight off of NH this week. I am so tired of the junk mail from the candidates, the radio and TV ads and the poll requests. Four more days to go and then the dog and pony show will move in.