Friday, February 27, 2009

More Mail, All the Way from Shanghai

Just as promised, today from Shanghai my textbook arrived. Mine's the only legible name on the cover to most of us on this side of the Pacific, but it's good to see the book, College Business English Integrated Course, published by Qinghua University Press in Beijing, China. It's the first volume of a four-volume set. We're currently working on Volume 3.

My friends Cuiping Yang and Ming-Fang Lin were the driving forces behind the project, two good people that were excellent hosts when I was there in 2001. Other editors included Yal-Li Zhou and Xin-Guo Ye.

It's not what I anticipated might be the first book with my name on it, but here it is. Complete with a student text and a teacher's version. ISBN: 97B-7-302-18720-2 or 97B-7-302-18719-6.

Happy Day!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Something In the Mail

A reminder of the plight in Tibet came in my mail. I've put it temporarily above the wood stove, where the heated air is keeping it in motion.

"No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer.'" A quotation from Danielle Berry in the latest issue of The Sun.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Winchesters at the Museum

My article about John Goeman's brown-bag presentation at the Smith-Zimmermann Museum is in the Madison Daily Leader. I hope to get over there and hear about Winchesters and their short-lived foray into hardware of all stripes. Best known for their repeater rifles, Winchester built a network of hardware stores in the '20's, but they failed after a decade. Collectors around the world have apparently become enamored of the skates, saws, flashlights, wrenches, knives, forks, toasters, hatchets, and more with the Winchester logo. Check out their membership and store here.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Winterfest Car Show

Some people spend a lot of time and energy on websites, playing games, or reading books. Other people build cool cars. EJ and I traveled to Sioux Falls today to look at some cars and motorcycles and drop off some posters for our own car show in Madison this summer. I had to take several pictures for the daughter's man of the 1948 orange and black hearse outfitted to load the motorcycle. Check out it and the other cool cars and bikes in the slide show below. Click on it to see the larger photos. (Sorry, no photos of Miss Sturgis, who was signing posters at the event.)

One trend I noticed was the use of painted trim that replaced chrome strips and emblems. I took a few closeups to illustrate. Check out the meats on that Corvette--they must have been more than two feet wide! Someone was making cool choppers using old Honda 90 engines for power. A few vintage cars were evident.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dr. Droge and Mr. Darwin

Last night my colleague Dale Droge portrayed a man celebrating his 200th birthday, Mr. Charles Darwin, Beagle voyager and barnacle collector. Also, the author of some books that have caused a bit of a stir.

It was a pleasant evening with a good turnout of supporters and a small contingent of detractors. All was handled with aplomb and grace.

Thank you, Dr. D, for getting this presentation together to give us a glimpse at a man whose name became an -ism, encouraged by a lot of -ists.

More such portrayals would be welcome!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All Hail the Woman With the Knife

I'm all for equal rights, and I'm doubly agreeable when a woman
  1. Has a big knife
  2. Has a chocolate-topped Rice Krispy treat
  3. Is willing to share.
Today, all three could be said of LR, shown here, who enhanced my canned-soup lunch today by sharing her treat with others.

It's been a good two days, with chili yesterday supplied by CB and JB, with crackers not ravaged by time and the elements, supplied by NM.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Read Blog--> Purchase-->Try-->Get Flowers

My colleague JL appreciated my showing him the "Cool New Scraper Tool" that I wrote about last month, and he managed to score one at Ace Hardware last week to try on a home project over the weekend.
He reports that the dandy scraper worked fine on the ridges under the tile he was removing, but the smoother cement underneath wouldn't budge. Thus doomed to buying a new tool, he brought home a grinder and a masonry disk, which promptly turned much of the concrete to dust. Dust drifted through the house despite the efforts at containing it to the room with plastic. Much later, the cement ground down, he's about ready to lay new, lovelier tile.
Meanwhile, the lovely lady who suggested the project noted that it had turned into something more than what she'd expected. These flowers reflect her revised notion of what the project entailed. So JL gets a new tool AND flowers. Cool!

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Standing in the Parish Church in Vienna

The work that goes into some places of worship sometimes astounds the senses as one realizes just how the faith transforms into artistic expression. My aunt Kathy sent me the link to this one-gig 3-D scrollable photo of the Parish Church of Marie Treu, in Vienna, Austria; it had its first mass in 1796. Scroll and you'll get a sense of what it might be to stand in the church gazing upward, turning to admire the beauty of the structure. Follow my link here and check it out. Exterior shot is from Wikipedia. Thanks, Kathy!

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Failure and the Secret to Success

I liked this video produced by Honda on the idea that permission to fail leads people to successes otherwise not available.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

My Other Inspiration

The wife sent me this video the other day that also helped get the ball rolling on my little stop-motion cookie attack. It's The Guggenheim Grotto singing "Her Beautiful Ideas."

My Inspiration From Today

I was inspired today by this video "Her Morning Elegance" by Oren Lavie. Thanks, Christina!

Cookies Came to See Me

Sometimes things just come together the way you want them to. Thanks, Amy!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Unattended Cookies

Just outside my office door, someone has left several packages of unattended homemade cookies. They appear to be chocolate chip, several to a package. I can't smell them, but I can IMAGINE their smell. Yes, I have other things to do, but my concern for the fate of these cookies is demanding some of my attention.