Monday, September 28, 2009

Taking a Knee

It's probably a good idea that I'm not running the Twin Cities Marathon this weekend. I was out in back, running the chain saw, cutting up some small chunks of wood, and one caught on the chain and jumped up and bit me in the knee-bone. Here it is just getting a good start on the swelling. This on the same leg that sports the damaged foot at the end of it.

My brother called as I was sitting on the couch with an ice pack (thanks, Todd!) on my bulging knee, and he asked what I was doing.

"Sitting here watching the knob on my knee grow," I said.
"It's African-Americans!" he said, "and they're not yours!"

He's a witty fellow.

I think my knee has grown since then (and since I had the wife shoot this profile shot). Tomorrow it will probably be back to normal, but it's good I'm just using my legs Sunday to stand and watch the marathoners go by, not covering 13.1 miles with this bumpy fellow (leg #2 is just fine, thanks).

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Working Women at DSU

I love this picture of all these women at DSU displaying what position our university has in the recent rankings among public universities in the midwest, according to U.S. News and World Report.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Two Small Pieces of Pie

Okay, so you're wandering in the aisles of Sunshine Foods, the pleasant treasure of a spinach quiche riding in your midsection, just along for the ride since your spouse has asked you pleasantly to go along for company, and you've got it in mind to ferret out a little dessert item, something to top off the quiche, tamp it down with a lump of sweetness, passing by the Oreos, the "home-made" O'Henry bars, the four-dollar brownies in the bakery section, and then the thought of a little pie takes hold of you like a mental lasso, towing you down the frozen foods aisle, where Mrs. Smith and her ilk linger to lure the appetite with real pies--apple, peach, French silk--but you resist, one hand clutching the cold chrome handle of the case, and your eye lingers on the smaller boxes, Mrs. Smith's sidekick Edwards, an unassuming product offering of two pieces of pie--Key Lime--and you waver, your hand reaching in to bring it in, bring it home, where, on a plate, it's not to be denied, small as it may be, fresh from its yellow cardboard wedge, a serious, albeit small, piece of pie indeed, and the first taste is golden, the next better, the rest delicious, creamy, lime lime lime, a very fine pie indeed, worth the trip, worth eating slowly, slowly, every bite a miracle.

Trojans Win

The wife and I enjoyed a great volleyball match last night between the Lady Trojans and the Mount Marty College Lancers. It was a back and forth battle, but in game five the T's were rolling and put away those visitors. Read more about it here.
Meanwhile, I'm liking the new Trojan warrior logo, although not the one with the thick legs.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Will Ferrell and the Race to Save Health Care Execs

I enjoyed this tongue-in-cheek version of an appeal on the effort to improve health care coverage.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Making the Desktop Smaller Yet

ACU Mobile Learning from ACU Videos on Vimeo.

The move toward the laptop as a device for having students be online all the time has been growing, and there is evidence that students and faculty are getting used to the new teaching and learning methods that the devices allow. Now Abilene Christian University is suggesting that they can take the mobility one step further, not just netbooks, but Apple's iTouch or iPhone, which they're distributing to students and faculty. The move is described in "The Mobile Campus," on Inside Higher Ed. Are we ready for that? One of my consistent concerns is that the course materials and actions occur in the same stream as all the other things that vie for students' attention, coming through the same channels as Facebook, Myspace, YouTube, and all the other cool stuff that students do online.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

DJ and the Bear

Dr. Dan had a companion in his most recent journey between home in MN and work in SD. Hand-made by Ms. Montgomery as a fund-raiser, the bear laid in wait at our for someone to claim it, and Dr. D recongnized the furry fellow as a potential charmer for his offspring. No word yet on the chemistry between the two. Stay tuned!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

My Better Half-Marathoner

The wife climbed out of bed this morning with running on her mind, just like about a thousand other people in the Sioux Falls area, and she showed that 13.1 mile course what she was made of--lots more spice than sugar. I stayed on the sidelines today, resting that sore leg, cheering on my girl in the crowd. She did great, a bit slower than the Deadwood race, but only by a few minutes, and on a lot less training.

An additional treat was seeing some former students--Chris Heezen, from Miller, SD, who ended up in second place over all; Laura Carrow, of Pipestone, MN, who ended up fourth female finisher after a duel at the finish, and Mike Vetter, who was running his first ever half-marathon.

My colleague Rick Puetz and his daughter were also proud finishers.

Check out the photo slideshow here. Some folks keep smiling through the pain, all the way to the glory of the finish line.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Ratbikes Galore

I appreciate simplicity. Complex systems have more opportunities to crash than simple ones, and you might think that an evening of battling internal combustion engines might deter me in appreciating that four-stroke invention, it's interesting to see how ingenious folks have simplified what were once much more complex motorcycles. Hail to the Rat Bike.

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Hanging Out in the Wrong Neighborhood

As school starts, one of the things a faculty member has to do is prepare his or her office for working in. Sometimes that means simply dusting things off, watering plants, and tidying up one's desk. Sometimes, however, one must send summer visitors packing, as the wife had to do with this little fellow who wandered in to the wrong place.

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Burritos, Lawn Chairs, and a Quiet Back Yard

Getting ready for a semester of teaching several college courses is a lot of work, and in the midst of it all getting together with people in the same boat--madly planning, writing, hoping--is a good thing. Here's a little video of some folks enjoying some food, drink, and conversation on the last Saturday of the summer. Thanks, DW, for taking the video (and risking the wrath of those being filmed).

The Start of a New Beginning

Here's the scene when I walked in to my first class this fall, a group of freshmen on a Tuesday afternoon, some of them in their first college class. They're ready to go, some of them full of sass, some of trepidation.

Some appear to be paying more attention to what's on the computer screen than what's going on around them. We'll see what happens. So far, we're all hopeful!

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

A Note Taped to My Windshield

Sometimes a parking space is just too good to be true. You cruise up, every other spot is taken, and there's this one juicy parking spot right where you want to be. Why might that be? Best not to look.

Until, later, you return to find your ownly warning taped emphatically to your motorcycle windshield.

As the wife points out, being RD is no piece of cake, and the parking spot is one of the few perks. I got a name and wrote the poor guy an apology.