Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Ready for Eats

While I was grading papers for the past several days, the wife was assembling a veritable banquet of delights, including these two beauties--a Dutch apple pie and a loaf of bread that, as you can see, is definitely standing tall.

And that's just a sample. Let's hope our designated eaters can make it through the storm bearing down on eastern SD. So far, it's not been bad, only snow and a little breeze.

Done Grading

Monday, December 21, 2009

I Suck at Photoshop, Too!

Okay, so I was patting myself on the back for having my proposal accepted at the Computers and Writing (Virtual Worlds) conference in May at Purdue, even though much of the incentive and the work originated with my friend and colleague Dr. Maureen Murphy, shepherd of the English department at DSU. Anyway, I got off-tracked by a hilarious, heart-wrenching tutorial video on Photoshop by MyDamnChannel. He's a savvy Photoshop user, but the tool he most needs, he thinks, isn't on the pallet. Cool!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Last Final, 2009 Edition

I finished up my last final exam for the fall 2009 year, and now I've just got papers to grade . . .

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Before the Cold Came In--Hot Rod

My friend Eric sends this photo of his cool

'23 T-bucket that he took on December 1. Notice that it doesn't have snow tires on it, so it will have to remain in storage now for a while as the winter has arrived with a vengance and some staying power. Once spring comes, though, this baby will be back on the road.

Comfy Wally

Dr. Dan took this photo of Mr. W comfy in his winter sweater, blanket, and bed, comfortable and warm, within the reach of the wood stove.
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Monday, December 14, 2009

Gangs on the Ridge

One of the poorest communities in the U.S., Pine Ridge seems to be facing a challenge from growing gang membership. What do they fight over? Good question. Check out the story here on the NY Times.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Greetings from Dakota State University!

Season's Greetings from Dakota State from Tom Jones and Kevin Rydberg on Vimeo. Colleagues put together this cool video to extend greetings from us here in Madison to you where ever you are. Cheers!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

No Pleasure in this Walk

Little Walter doesn't have a lot of insulation on his bony frame, so getting outside on a day like today (about 10 degrees) to do his business just does not offer any bonuses. Does it help to add pink booties and a little doggie jacket? I doubt it.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

The Poet Gets a Sack of Coal

Yesterday I had the privilege of attending Dr. John Laflin's introductory literary criticism class as a visiting poet. It was a pleasant experience, with students who don't typically get to see me in that role, and they had good questions that led to some interesting discussions about individual poems and about writing in general.

I noticed as I finished that there was a little cloth sack of gum called Santa's Coal Bubble Gum. Now you might think that poetry has no tangible, earthly rewards, but this gum, which has a short period--between being coal and being grey tasteless gum--of sweet and pleasant flavor. Kind of like some poems.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Being the Lampkeeper

We've got the tree and the lights up, last Friday after Thanksgiving when the weather was sunny and relatively warm (no need for gloves!), so we get a couple of weeks of holiday sparkle in the living room.

This morning I tried out what seems almost a magical little device, the Lightkeeper Pro. (Watch out if you click on the link here--you'll get the repeated sound of this little device doing its magic--very annoying. The videos, though, give a good look at what the gizmo can do.)

Basically, when you've got a dead section of mini-lights, or a dead string, you pull one dead bulb, hook the socket to the gun, and pull the trigger. When I tried it, the dead bulbs lit, I put in a new bulb, repeated the process, and voila! I had a fully lit tree. Sweet! It took about two minutes.

I got mine at Jones Ace Hardware here in Madison, SD.