Monday, April 23, 2012

An Olive on the Family Tree

Hand of a new generation
A trip to Minneapolis over the weekend was a good opportunity to put those cameras to work, and the wife managed her magic with this photo of a proud grandpa and his first little grandchild.  Pretty cool.  She's a calm, sweet baby, due in part, apparently, to the easy home birth that eased her way into our world.  Good for Olive.

Friday, April 13, 2012

A Spring for Olive

 Little Olive Mary Nelson Osmundson has arrived in Minneapolis to proud first-time parents April and Chester.  Born at her parents' home, little 8 pound, 4 ounce Olive showed up at 5:08 am on Thursday, April 12.  So far, she is getting along well in her new environment and has the full approval of her mom and dad.  She's getting a lot of attention and doesn't seem to have a bit of shyness.

So far, she has not asked for a pony.

I'm wondering now whether carrying photos in my wallet is a grandparental requirement.  In any case, the wife and I send out all the best wishes for these two new parents and their beautiful baby.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Long Tall Tree, Long Hard Day

The pine beetles seem to be plaguing the long-needle pines in Madison, including the old-timers in our yard.  Two have gone down already, and a third fell today to the chain saw.  Wind from the west made the call, since the old tree was brown and tilting westward toward the house.  My friend JH came over to provide ballast and direction to the tree fall, and it came down just where my mind's eye had laid it.  The wife and I humped it to finish up, and now scrap is at the tree dump, little logs are in the wood pile, and big logs are stored for drying.

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Birth of a Book

Our DSU librarians shared this beautiful video of a book being printed and bound in traditional fashion.  Beautiful!

Sunday, April 01, 2012

TomTom Tames the Back Seat Toddler

This video demonstrates the results of the fine work that the people at TomTom, the navigation gurus, have done to improve the behavior of back seat toddlers.  Driver and passenger safety, they say, depends upon a driver free from distractions.  Luckily, TomTom has found a way to sooth these back seat grumps with their savvy innovation.  Enjoy April, fools.

New Tricks and the Hoop of Life

Students in one of my classes have been working this semester to bring the DSU literary magazine into the electronic world once again.  It had a brief moment in the sun of the internet years ago, when Dr. Dan Weinstein did some fancy html work to move the poetry from paper to pixels, but that moment passed and the site apparently disappeared.  So, here we go again with a dedicated site, not bound by the DSU biz.  Our site,, is up and running and waiting for the 2012 selections to be made and posted.

Sponsored by Sigma Tau Delta, the English honor society at DSU, New Tricks has been around since 1992, when the English majors sought to make things new by breaking with tradition at DSU.

We hope to shine a light on the good work that the writers and artists at DSU are doing, from students to faculty to staff.  If you're interested, check out the site, give us some feedback, maybe send us some of your work, and we'll have some new material there in the next few weeks.  Wish us luck!

House History

After noting in the Lake County Historical Society's newsletter that I was trying to get some information about the history of our house, I got a call from a man who used to be a neighbor to the house--Pete Hortle, now of Sioux Falls (winter) and Lake Madison (summer). He lived two houses west from 1939-1946, while Lou Coppersmith lived in our place. Pete thinks they rented.

Word Riddle

A friend sent me this video, which is probably widely distributed but which I found interesting. Before watching, check: What's one nine-letter word in English (a common word) that you can remove one letter at a time and the remainders still make a word, down to the last letter?

Ok, give up? Watch the video.