Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Brother, Potter, Singer, Artist

Behold, brother Jered, in Berkeley, making a water bottle out of clay. Kind of a miracle, I always think. Check out his Cloudwest Pottery site!

New Tricks Electronic Version 2

New Tricks is Now Available

You can read our current DSU literary magazine online or pick up a printed copy at the DSU library (in the art space with the Beadlemania display) or in Beadle Hall. You can contact me and I'll try to see that you get one.

New Tricks 2010

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ruth Haile, Sioux Falls Lincoln Student, Rocks Washington

The National Poetry Out Loud competition in Washington, DC, crowned its champions tonight:
  1. 1st place: Amber Rose Johnson of Rhode Island
  2. 2nd place: Ruth Halie of South Dakota
  3. 3rd place: Nora Sandler of Maryland.
First place is awarded $20,000, 2nd place is awarded $10,000, and 3rd place is awarded $5,000.

To see Ruth perform her winning poem from the state competition, go here.

Congratulations to Ruth and all the winners!

LOST's Losers

The wife and I hustled home after having dinner out just so we could check out the latest episode of ABC's LOST as it all winds down to the final week. BUT, there was no new episode and, boy, were people pissed. Asked, "Do you think Kate should have let Claire join Sawyer's mission?" Readers responded. Click on the screen capture to check out an example of the response--they're not happy with the rerun. More is available at the link above.

H.L. Chase and Rosie O'Donnell

On Good Morning America this morning Rosie O'Donnell is speaking out on the problem of auditory processing disorders, and I wasn't paying attention until I heard them reading an excerpt that they offered up to illustrate the sounds a sufferer of the syndrome hears. It was H.L. Chase's version of Little Red Riding Hood: "Ladle Rat Rotten Hut." Chase wrote a number of pieces collected in the book Anguish Languish, illustrating how words in English often sound like other English words. If you arrange them well, you can effectively tell a story, as long as you can hear the sounds and not pay attention to the spelling. I thought it was a strange use of the story, and they gave no credit to Chase.

Good Country People, Flannery O'Connor

One of my students sends this link to a video adaptation of Flannery O'Connor's short story "Good Country People." It's a loose adaptation, just ten minutes long and reduced to two characters, but the ending is worth it.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Green Thumb Options in Madison

With spring in the air, it's time to scope out the options for getting your young greenery in Madison. The wife and I took a drive around town and came up with the options you see here. Clearly the Garden Spot has the most friendly-looking structure, with others at Ace Hardware, Lewis Drug, Madison Nursery, Pamida, and those guys down by the Pawn Shop.

Friday, April 23, 2010 and Mr. Ellison

In my American Literature class, we were discussing Ralph Ellison's Invisible Man, the first chapter, titled "Battle Royal." We used to make some short animations based on that story. Here's one:

Monday, April 19, 2010

The Torch Be Mine to Hold It High

When you get the call to burn stuff up, it's hard to resist, and this evening the call came in, and it resulted in several acres of burned grass, cattails, and other dried growth out at the Moose homestead. Here I'm shown enjoying the glow of some burning thistle pods.
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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Indiana Bones and the Temple of Dogs

Some people want to make their pets look like people, some want to make them just cuter than a dog should look, and some people want to make their dog into a canine equivalent of a grieving angel or a mad hatter. You'll have to go to the NY Times slide show to see it for yourself.

My Forecast, Your Forecast

My brother's always touting the great weather in San Francisco. There are some times of the year, though, when there's not a lot of difference. Which is the forecast for that rugged South Dakota weather, and which for easy-going San Fran?

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Stranded, With Croissants

In reading a New York Times article on the plume of ash from Eyjafjallajokull, the volcano in Iceland that's disrupting travel in Europe and around the world, I was struck by (among other things) this shot of this fellow handing out croissants to the stranded travelers in the Paris de Gaulle airport. Maybe I should go ahead and have breakfast, croissant or no.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Guest Gig

April sometimes does appear to be the cruellest month, with much busyness inside and out, but really it's just busy, busy, with plants coming alive, birds arriving from their southern homes, school edging to a close. Today I'm guest speaker, resident poet, visiting performer, and temporary entertainer in two Introduction to Literature classes. I get to read some poems, talk about poetry in general, and generally be the literary lion for this small moment.

It is, after all, Poetry Month all month, in part because it's the month of Shakespeare's birthday. Today is also Thomas Jefferson's birthday, born in 1743. It's poet Seamus Heaney's birthday today, and little Anna B's. It's spring, sure enough, with temps today in the 70's, with our South Dakota wind.

Monday, April 05, 2010

For the Love of Mopeds

It's amazing the work some people go to for others. My Kawasaki Concours depends in part on the good work of the generous people who belong to the Concours Owners Group, or COG. They post tips, answer questions, and tell their stories, harrowing and otherwise. It's one of the wonders of the internet, the way the Concours riders all over the world can share information.

This kind of effort allows someone like me, out here in the boondocks, to take on a non-running Motobecane Mobylette and get it back on the road, manual courtesy of the Moped Riders Association. Help came also from the Moped Army (their slogan? "Swarm and Destroy"). Pretty cool. Thanks to all of you who take the time to scan manuals, offer specs, trade tips, and answer questions. You rock!

Friday, April 02, 2010

Don't Look and You Won't See It

It's time I told my big news of the week. My first bike ride of the year, on Wednesday, ended up with me in the emergency room, a doctor digging grit out of the hole in my forehead. I was riding out north of town on county highway 29, or 457th Avenue, almost to county highway 22, 226th Street, when a dog came running out from a farm and ran into my front wheel, knocking me over and into the road. I landed on my forehead and shoulder, leaving some of both on the road, along with some knuckle and knee.
That's the basics. The picture is of me today, the bruising having spread into both eyes. I'm hoping it's going to start subsiding soon. I'll spare you the gory details; the photo gives hint enough.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

New Old Technology

My old Pickering XV 15 phono cartride, playing records for me since 1976, gave up the ghost when the stylus got mushed.

After almost a year, I'm back in business, spinning disks with a new Grado Black1 cartridge I got off Amazon.

First LP? Neil Young, Rust Never Sleeps! I'll have to get used to hearing a little snap, crackle, and pop in my music again.