Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf's Voice?

Virginia Woolf wrote some of the most beautiful, poetic prose in the English language.  Think of the opening of her novel Mrs. Dalloway
What a lark! What a plunge! For so it had always seemed to her, when, with a little squeak of the hinges, which she could hear now, she had burst open the French windows and plunged at Bourton into the open air. How fresh, how calm, stiller than this of course, the air was in the early morning; like the flap of a wave; the kiss of a wave; chill and sharp and yet (for a girl of eighteen as she then was) solemn, feeling as she did, standing there at the open window, that something awful was about to happen; looking at the flowers, at the trees with the smoke winding off them and the rooks rising, falling; standing and looking until Peter Walsh said, “Musing among the vegetables?”—was that it?—“I prefer men to cauliflowers”—was that it?
 It's probably just as well that we didn't have to listen to her read it aloud in the stuffy, stilted voice revealed in the story, "Recordings Capture Writer's Voices Off the Page," but check out Vladimir Nabokov and the others.  You can hear her and other authors reading their material aloud or just extemporising in some rare audio recordings just released by the BBC.   From NPR, on All Things Considered, October 23.  

Thursday, October 23, 2008

What Can I Say? "I Forgot?"

My sister, bless her heart, noticed that I was in the news, so she sent me this video she apparently caught on the national news.  In the interest of full disclosure, I'm sharing it with you here.   

Multimedia Presidency

The wife sends this link to a graphic that gives a comic look at what a Palin presidency might look like:  http://www.palinaspresident.us/.  Explore the site with your mouse, and return daily to see what new items have been added.  No closet for the new wardrobe yet.  

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Special Guest Dipped in Cherry Chocolate?

Yours truly was a special guest on a podcast hosted by DSU students Dan, Darren, and Jim.  We talked about Native American imagery and computer gaming, among other things.  Hear it at NiSuTe.com.  It's the Cherry Chocolate Podcast.  

Searchme? Search Me!

TQ sends word of a new browser on the market.  His take:  "Visual!"  "Intuitive!" 
"It narrows results by web page, blogs!" 

Pretty groovy, I must admit.  I like the flippy-flippy page arrangement and the magnifying glass, allowing reading without having to actually open the page in a tab or window.  Check it out:  searchme.com.  

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Walter's Shadowy Doppelganger

Walter might seem sweet, gentle, and attentive, ready to snuggle or lie in the sun, but as this photo reveals, he's got an evil shadow, a stone-hearted double that looks over his shoulder, offering, I suspect, some evil coaching: "Jump on the couch! Go ahead! Who will know? And if they do, who cares?"

Freshly Pulled From the Tree--The Last Apples

With the blustery weather coming on, snow in the forecast, wind and rain bouncing the apples in their trees, I figured it was time to call it good for the season and pull the apples down, done or not. So now there's a bag of green apples in my basement, apples that are fresh and nearly ripe, as ripe as they're going to be. Now there's nothing left in the trees but a few leaves. What will become of these green beauties? Suggestions? Recipes?

Monday, October 20, 2008

Sick at Home and Feeling Responsible

Taking my cold to work today didn't seem like the best option, so I'm sticking close to home and monitoring things from afar.  But I was sidetracked by an ad by Liberty Mutual for their Responsibility Project, a site where the goal is to encourage and facilitate discussion of responsibility.  They've got a number of quality films to watch there, funny and touching and engaging.  Visitors can also read and share comments on what it means to be a responsible ______. (You choose the position).  Check it out.  I've embedded one of the films below.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Electoral Pie in Yuma-El Centro

Ten million dollars each in Philadelphia, six million in Denver, two or six million in Tampa.  Sure, you've got to report spending like that.  But check it out, on the New York Times website identifying spending on ads by the rivals for the presidency, there are some odd stats.  What is that little dot down at the edge of the California-Arizona border?  It's campaign spending on a small scale.  What do you get for 21 bucks when you're trying to win the White House?  Three pieces of pie and coffee?  Maybe Obama and Joe sit down with some swing voter that has folks in the Yuma-El Centro region in the palm of her hand.  Campaign picks up the tab, a little something for the waitress, and you tick off the receipts in your Excel spreadsheet.  See those red dots in McCain's California campaign?  All told they might tally up to over $5,000 that the GOP has spent luring the minds and hearts of California's citizenry.  Looks like the Dems spent even less there.  Just a little quirk that caught my eye.  

Friday, October 17, 2008

Father of the Bride in Columbus, GA

My older brother Joe is cast as the father in the funny play "Father of the Bride," to be performed in Columbus, Georgia, and opened last night.  His own daughter got married this summer, so he's got that to work with.  Spencer Tracy played the lead role in the original movie version from 1950, and Steve Martin played it in the 1998 film version of the story.  It's playing at the Springer Opera House through November 1.  

That's Joe in the middle.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Joe the Plumber's Wisecrack

I was just reading a piece that followed up on all the "Joe the Plumber" refrences at the debate last night, an article that appears here on the NY Times.  He's feeling like Britney Spears, he says, "having a headache."  People all over take opportunities of being in the spotlight and seek to make money selling shirts or whatever they can do with some brief notoriety (think of Sarah Silverman and her Great Schlep video and website), so I wondered if Joe was doing so.  Who's got joetheplumber.com?  It's not Mr. Wurzelbacher, but an outfit down in San Antonio.  You'll have to find the “Vote Joe the Plumber ’08" T-shirts someplace else.  

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Virtual Campaigning

Game players have often noticed the ads that whip by as they drive their cars or walk down the streets in virtual cities.  Note the image at left that shows the presidential candidate Barack Obama vying for those virtual voters.  It's from Electronic Arts, the game Burnout Paradise.  Thanks to the Juneau Register for the image.  

Monday, October 13, 2008

Friday, October 10, 2008

Not Pretty, But Getting It Done

Aches and pains notwithstanding, it's always a good feeling to have the cathedral on Summit behind you and only a little downhill with the cheering crowds lining the last quarter mile.

Monday, October 06, 2008

Through Wind, and Rain, and Dint of Miles

Yesterday I stepped up once again at the Twin Cities Marathon and completed the 26.2 mile course for the 14th time, finishing with only 1702 people ahead of me. Before you scoff, note that they counted 7966 finishers. So there. The race was a far cry from last year's hot and humid meltdown, when people wilted halfway into the race and stumbled to the finish. This year the story was rain and breeze, which I've decided I'll take over the heat and humidity any day. A person can get only so wet, and skin's waterproof, right? So we splashed through puddles until about three hours in, when it started to clear a little. Finish time: 3:46:14. Chip time: 3:43:40. My last 10K wasn't what I wanted (a little over an hour), but my legs were burning by then and it just wasn't happening. At least I managed to steer clear of the pumpkin lady that plagued me last year, hogging up all the cheers and leaving little for the rest of us in her vicinity.

Anyway, see the shirt that says "finisher"? You don't get those for showing up.

I had a good cheering section once again this year as the wife, April, Chester, and Casey appeared at intervals to offer encouragement.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Dutch Elm Disease and a Hole in the Sky

Madison Arbor Care arrived on campus Thursday morning and amputated the top half of a diseased elm tree, even grinding down the stump and sweeping the sawdust off the street before they left, leaving only a small hole in the ground, a big hole in the sky, and a system of roots underground that now have nothing to do.

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

When Pumpkins Drink

Sister-in-law sends this lovely warning of the perils of over-indulgence. Teach a guy how to carve a jack-o-lantern and you never know what you're going to get.