Tuesday, October 28, 2008

So much to write so little time

I feel this great need to write. I have an e-mail from a friend of mine who disagrees about the benefits of having the legislative and executive branches controlled by different parties that I want to respond to in detail. I've had a political blog post in mind for the last two weeks that just keeps getting pushed back. There's a message board I sometimes frequent with lively political discussions that I haven't even glanced at in several months. And then there's a comment on my brother-in-laws blog that's so full of simplistic over-generalizations that I let out a primal battle-cry when I read it and felt like I was on the plains of Africa hunting lions.

Alas, I'm not doing any of that, the only time I seem to have to write is just before bed, when my energy level is not sufficient to battle the forces of ignorance. In fact as busy as I was this summer, it's worse now. The key difference is not in the level of work, but in how many people are bugging me. Before I had a ridiculous amount of work, but I was largely left to myself to tackle it at whatever pace I could manage, and if I needed to take a break, then I could. These days, every time I turn around there's an urgent e-mail which needs answering, and when I do manage to clear a little bit of time it's to tackle the big projects that I've been trying to get to all week, not 30 minutes of relaxation while I write a little bit in my blog...

I'm not sure how long I can continue at this level of pressure, but I keep thinking that there will be some lessening of it if I can just get X done. I'm beginning to think that I'm going to crack first before I can get on top of things. I'll keep you posted.

There’s so much comedy on television. Does that cause comedy in the streets?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Near Future Shelf

In the course of organizing the office I have designated a shelf on a bookcase near my desk for books I'm hoping to read in the near future. This is a huge delusion. So far there are 27 books on the shelf, I could probably add more though I realize the madness of having even 27 books there. I always wanted to be able to read a book a week, though I've never managed that velocity for more than a month or two at a time. Even at this ridiculously implausible speed it would take me 6 months to get through those books.

To add to the insanity only one of the 27 is what would be considered a quick fictional novel. Among the rest are 2 1000+ page historical novels, 7 straight history books, 2 pop-math books, 2 books of punditry/opinion, 6 pseudo textbooks, 3 biographies, 2 business books, and 2 miscellaneous books ("Dangerous Book for Boys" and "Areas of My Expertise"). Just eyeballing things I would guess that average page count is at least 600 if not more... *sigh*

A friend of mine ran into some financial problems and there is a slim chance he could end up on the street. Obviously when I heard this I was sympathetic, but part of me was jealous. Obviously being on the street with a wife and four kids is out of the question, but if it was just me... I think I could survive without too much trouble, and if there was even a tiny chance of spending all day every day in the library reading, suddenly you have the jealousy... I confess it's unrealistic, but isn't it beautiful nonetheless?

How did it get to be so late?

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Blogging Break

Well it's been about a week since I last blogged. Things have been pretty crazy. I think I brought it on myself by titling my last post as "chaos". The cosmos saw that and said, "You think your current situation is chaotic? Just wait!" I had already agreed to undertake a big reorganization of the office over UEA (a four week holiday that the kids get while the teacher union has their annual meeting). Which threw me out of my normal groove.

A little bit about that before I continue. I was actually really excited about the office project. I love organizing things, but I have a tendency to be a completist, which is a big problem if you're undertaking the organization of 20,000 books and magazines (I'm not sure if that's the actual number, but I bet it's at lest that many. Plus I feel guilty since my wife has carved out a time when the whole family can be involved in cleaning up my gigantic disorganized pile of stuff.

Anyway the office cleaning got me out of my normal schedule, so that was Thursday and Friday (if your curious things are out of the office and into the storage room and now we have to decide what to move back in and what to keep in the storage room). Saturday was the used book sale, a hike up city creek, several hours of prep for the family campaign, a nap, the family campaign, and prepping my lesson for Sunday. That took us till about Midnight and that's when it happened, the illness struck... The less said about it the better, but that basically took me out until Tuesday, since then I've been trying to catch up.

In any case I'm not sure how interesting any of that is, but I've already typed it so there you go. I do intend to eventually do that political post I was talking about in fact I took a little bit of time this morning and decided how I was going to vote on everything (all except for President and Governor, I'm still trying to decide those two). Anyway I mostly just wanted to get something out there to make sure people knew I was still alive (and to convince myself of that fact as well...)

Some mornings it just doesn't seem worth it to gnaw through the leather straps

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


You ever get into that position where your carefully crafted system for maintaining order over the chaos gets overwhelmed? For me I have about 150 to-do items with various time horizons, priorities, levels of effort, etc. As long as they kept carefully corralled in the zoo then things are okay. I can go to the monkey section and make sure all the orangutans are still there, or over to the where all the lizards and snakes are kept and walk slowly down the aisle tapping on the glass (I know you're not supposed to do that). But every so often as new animals are being delivered to the zoo there's a break out and suddenly there are chimpanzees, lions, snakes, zebras, and pandas all over the zoo.

The big problem is know I don't know if I have all my monkeys. Some of them may have escaped, some may even be ransacking the ministry of defense and carrying off secret files. The hippos I know about, and they get a lot of the attention. It's unlikely they're going to escape, or even wander very far from the big pool of water, but all the little animals, how do I deal with them?

In any case there's been a zoo break. I think I have it under control. At a minimum I feel like I've established a pretty good perimeter, but that doesn't mean that there's still not a whole lot of poo being flung...

You should definitely follow the "Ministry of Defense" link, and that article doesn't even mention the drunkenness

Saturday, October 11, 2008

D&D Tiny Adventures

Well I've been slacking the last couple of days, I've actually been meaning to do a long political blog, but I just haven't had the time/energy. Fortunately a guy I know in San Francisco (I don't actually think his location is germane, but whatever) asked me if I'd ever heard of D&D Tiny Adventures on Facebook. I said I hadn't, but that I'd check it out. I have a Facebook account though I don't really do much with it, except accept the occasional friend request from people I know who do actually use it. My younger sister sent me a message about a play were were going to through my "Facebook wall" which was bizarre, I mean of all the ways to get ahold of me. Fortunately that triggered an e-mail which I do check...

Anyway I digress, so I googled Tiny Adventures and in seriously less that 30 seconds I was playing it. There's no great strategy involved, but it's simple and takes very little time. Basically you pick an adventure and then every 5-10 minutes you press a button to go to the next step of the adventure. The Game handles all the rolls and you actually have very little control over things, but it's just the kind of game that lately I've been really enjoying. A game that takes 10-20 minutes a day, but that gives me a tiny bit of enjoyment throughout the entire day.

If it sounds like something you might enjoy check it out. It's not revolutionary, but it looks like a good way to feel like you're playing an enjoyable game without having to spend the time required for a more traditional computer game.

Charo may be the greatest sin of the 70s

Tuesday, October 07, 2008


Well Autumn has finally arrived. We were able to stop using the air conditioner quite awhile ago though there were some days where it really touch and go, particularly if we cooked anything in the oven, but we powered through with no heat and no A/C for, I think, the entire month of September. But now were getting to the point were we may have to turn on the heat, and I'm just fine with that. The Weather Channel is saying that it may snow on Sunday (predicted high, during the day, is 46) which would be really nice.

It's weather like this that makes it hard for me to believe that anyone could live in Arizona or Las Vegas. I have a friend who's moving to Vegas at the end of the month, he says that Vegas isn't as bad as people think, because you're either in a pool, or inside. The pool would be okay (though I think I would tire of it pretty fast) but not being outside ever sounds like the cure is worse than the disease. He can make a lot more money in Vegas, which is something I can identify with.

Time for bed

Monday, October 06, 2008

The Cubs

Well they couldn't even win one game. 100 years without a World Series win is now 101. After doing so well in the regular season to collapse so bad is... pathetic. Now obviously this happened just because I was paying attention, because I mentioned them in my blog. But if that theory doesn't work for you then consider the enormous amount pressure the team was under. I think everyone really thought that this would be the year, but unfortunately (as I've mentioned before) round, base 10 numbers are significant only in the human imagination. There's no law of the universe that says that 100 years is some kind of magical number...

If there is a magical base perhaps it's base 2 and the Cubs will win the World Series after a 128 year drought. In any case I can't say that I'm surprised, though I am disappointed. I guess at this point it would be interesting for them to go so long that no one alive remembered the last time they won. They're already pretty close, just another couple of decades for people to have been too young, not from Chicago or simply senile. I'm sure they can manage that.

In order to get all the sports news out of the way in one post. I lost this weekends fantasy football game. I was at the top of the league with two other people at a 3-1 record. Fortunately they both lost as well, so now there's six of use with a 3-2 record. It would have been really nice to be the only person out of the people with a 3-1 record to win, but alas it was not to be...

I really should already be in bed

Thursday, October 02, 2008

The Cubs

100 years ago the Cubs last won the World Series. This year they ended with the best record in the National League. For the first time since 1908 they went to the playoffs two years in a row. ESPN picked them to take it all. Truly it seems that the stars are aligned. They took this sense of destiny and promptly lost the first game and, at this moment, seem well placed to lose the second game (they're behind 6-0 in the bottom of the 5th). If they lose this game they'll be in a pretty bad position: down 0-2 and heading to LA, one Cubtastic loss away from a winless post season...

I mostly don't like baseball, but when I follow/watch the Cubs I feel like I'm observing history, and I like history. I have a feeling (though I'm trying not to jinx it, probably too late) that what's going to be really historic is their continued inability to win it all. But I suppose they could still pull it out, however I don't think history is on their side.

My distaste of baseball is evidenced by the fact that those two short paragraphs was all I had to say on the subject... So I think I'm going to end here.

You can't spell "fungi" without "fun"