Saturday, November 19, 2011

UPS put out my Fire.

I was pretty excited to hear that Amazon was shipping my Kindle Fire a day earlier than expected. I had occasion to contact them recently about another order and the customer service was really good. The person on the other end of the chat was polite, helpful, and willing to actually do something about my concern. Way to go Amazon.

UPS, however, hasn't caught up with the customer service renaissance. I spent Wednesday, the expected delivery date, watching the delivery status and it always showed that the package had arrived in, but never left, Salt Lake City on the 15th.

Mid-afternoon I got a text from my friend Paul... "Kindle Fire in hand." I still didn't have mine.

Evening came. Still no change in the delivery status. The "expected delivery date" is still the 16th, so I assume that UPS simply hasn't scanned my package somehow. Surely it's in Twin Falls and making its way to me by 6PM, right?

No such luck.

Thursday morning I send a note to UPS asking what's up. I don't expect a speedy reply. I'd contacted them about a lost package a couple of years ago, and it was days before they replied. And when they did reply, it was to say, "We have no clue. Call Amazon [who happened to be the shipper in that case too]." Amazon initiated a trace (or whatever) and shipped me another item via Next Day Air. I never did hear what happened to the lost package.

I get an Amazon rep on the customer service chat and before long they agreed to give me a small promotional credit for my trouble.

Thursday evening. Still no reply from UPS (and no package).

Next time I check UPS's site, the delivery date has been updated to MONDAY, November 21. No other change than that on their site.

Amazon's tracking info, however, shows that my package (are you ready for this?) is in

Redmond, WA.

REDMOND....  you know, home of Microsoft, beautiful Washington city, 625 miles from Twin Falls!!!

Friday morning. Finally a reply from UPS. Here's a quote, "our tracking system does not indicate the reason for the delay. Our records show your shipment is currently in transit to its destination."

Talk about helpful information, right? I can see that it's "in transit." And the reason for the delay is obvious. My packing went to freaking Washington instead of Idaho. I write a frustrated note in reply. No immediate response (and no surprise there).

But wait, there's more.

Friday, my package is making its way back toward Twin Falls. It goes from Redmond to Portland to Hermiston.... Sounds like progress, right? I checked the distance from Hermiston to Twin Falls (376 miles) and I calculate that my item might make it to Twin in time for a late delivery. It's a possibility, but I've lost hope by this point.

Still no reply to my second email to UPS.

Friday passes and I keep an ear cocked for a late drop off as the evening wears on. Nothing.

This morning I check to see if my package has at least arrived in Twin for a Monday delivery. (UPS delivers on Saturday, but I'm pretty cynical about it by now. They're not dropping by for a Saturday delivery, I'm sure.)

When I look at the current location of my package, I'm both amazed and not a bit surprised. Guess where it is...

It's back in Salt Lake City.

Here's the tracking info on my package thus far (newest information at the top, of course):

Date Time Location Event Details
November 19, 2011 03:56:00 AM Salt Lake City UT US Departure Scan
November 19, 2011 12:27:00 AM Salt Lake City UT US Arrival Scan
November 18, 2011 08:42:00 AM Hermiston OR US Departure Scan
November 18, 2011 07:47:00 AM Hermiston OR US Arrival Scan
November 18, 2011 03:57:00 AM Portland OR US Departure Scan
November 17, 2011 05:50:00 PM Portland OR US Arrival Scan
November 17, 2011 03:08:00 AM Redmond WA US Arrival Scan
November 15, 2011 11:05:00 PM Salt Lake City UT US Arrival Scan
November 15, 2011 12:49:00 PM Las Vegas NV US Departure Scan
November 15, 2011 12:48:00 PM Las Vegas NV US Arrival Scan
November 15, 2011 12:33:00 AM Phoenix AZ US Departure Scan
November 14, 2011 06:45:00 PM Phoenix AZ US Shipment received by carrier
November 14, 2011 07:58:18 PM US Shipment has left seller facility

It's mid-afternoon on Saturday. I still haven't heard back from UPS, and that's their MO-- don't talk to customers about their service (or lack thereof) and heaven forbid that they admit that they made a mistake.

Another part of UPS's initial reply to my query reads, "I sincerely hope that you will not let this unfortunate situation determine your choice for future shipping needs."

I wrote back, "I understand that UPS handles hundreds of thousands of packages daily, but rather that hiding behind a claim of ignorance as to why a package is not delivered when promised, why not be straight with customers and own up to the fact that a mistake was made? THAT, more than any half-baked, disingenuous apology, would help me "determine my choice for future shipping needs."

Any bets on whether I'll actually get my package on Monday?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

I memorized a poem today

My son has been working on memorizing a poem for his English class. This morning he told me that he's worried that he's not quite ready to recite it. Rather than let him stay home to work on it, we played a kind of game through the morning. I read and recited bits of the poem, and asked him to prompt me for the next parts as they came along. He was kind of an unwilling participant in the game (he really wanted to stay home and avoid the whole situation), but toward the end, I think he was getting it. Both the responsibility part and the poem.

Here (on my honor) is my "recitation" of the poem:

A narrow fellow in the grass
Occasionally rides.
You may have met him.. [...]

The grass divides as with a comb,
A spotted shaft is seen,
And then it closes at my feet
And opens further on.

He likes a bogey acre,
A floor too cool for corn.     [my favorite line]
When a child, and barefoot, 
I more than once at morn,

Have passed, I thought, a whiplash
Unbraiding in the sun.
Then stooping to [...]
It wrinkles and is gone

Several of nature's people,
I have know, and they know me
I feel for them a transport
Of cordiality.

But never met this fellow
Accompanied or alone,
Without a tighter breathing,
And zero at the bone.     [my second favorite line]

Okay. Now looking back at the text, I see several mistakes (in addition to the obvious lapses (which I indicated with ellipses)). So... maybe I didn't fully memorize a poem today,

but I hope my son did.

Monday, October 31, 2011

The Big Year

I wish I had time to write an in-depth review, full of witty, insightful comments, but with the crush of papers to grade and power outages to recover from, it'll have to suffice that The Big Year is one of the sweetest, most enjoyable movies I've seen in a long, long while. It's worth every penny I overpaid to the crappy theater here (no sidebar note about that for now-- saving that rant for another day, I guess).

Take your favorite person and just watch this movie. There will only be about 6 of you in the theater, so don't be embarrassed to bust out laughing all by yourself a couple of times. You won't cry or anything, but you might just feel like the universe isn't all about mortgage bubbles and occupying enemy territory.

Nice work, Steve, Jack, Owen, et al.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oct 2011 General Conference for Kindle

As promised, here are the October 2011 General Conference addresses formatted for Kindle (all talks in one AZW file). Download this file and transfer to your Kindle's "documents" folder via USB.

I'm not a nook user, so I have no idea whether this file will work, but I converted the AZW file to EPUB (which I believe is the nook's native format). Some nook user (Thom?) try this and let me know (via comments on this page) if it works, please. Happy reading.

I am not an employee nor a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I created this file for my own use and for the use of a few friends who visit this blog. Nothing official is stated nor implied by my posting of this file. Concerned parties, including the Church, are invited to comment on this posting for a swift reply. Happy conference reading. 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Conference for Kindle - Oct 2011

The 181st Semiannual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints concluded yesterday. The text of the conference is usually available on the Thursday afterwards. I'm planning to format the texts for Kindle again this conference, so watch this space for a note (and a link).

Speaking of conference, it was a thrilling one in a couple of respects. The announcement that the Provo Tabernacle will be restored as a temple was great news. The other temples to be built gave me a thrill as well-- particularly the ones in Africa (the second temple in South Africa, and the CONGO!!), and the one in Star Valley.

My parents both grew up in Star Valley and I've spent many happy summers and holidays there. I know many of the saints in the valley, and I have many family members who live there. I can imagine how thrilling it was for them to hear the news that their little piece of heaven will have a temple. My aunt posted a telling note on facebook. She wrote, "So amazed and humbled that Star Valley will have a temple. I can't stop crying." I've felt the same way. I still get emotional as I think about it now. 

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten

Here is our handsome youngest child. He's headed to Kindergarten for the first time today. He's excited and just a little nervous. Can you tell?

He's going to do wonderfully.
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Wednesday, July 20, 2011

The adventure of a lifetime

What kind of blog post can possibly live up to the title I've given this one? And yet it's true. The week I spent with my son on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River was one of the pinnacle experiences of my life. There are many kinds of pinnacle experiences--- some personal, some spiritual, some physical, and some having to do with relationships. Floating the Middle Fork was a peak physical experience.

Each of the five days we spent on the river was full of thrilling moments, contemplative time, and amazing vistas. I wish I could post pictures of the amazing things we saw and did. Sadly, my best camera is not exactly waterproof. Heck, it's not even water-resistant. I took my little waterproof (to 10 ft) point and shoot, but the pictures don't begin to do justice to the ride.

Still and all, you can see, for example, in this picture, that in one spot we got to sit to some hot springs with a breathtaking view of the river below. I don't image that there are many hot-tubs on the planet with a view like this one.

After getting drenched a few times by the fairly frigid river water, you can imagine how delightful it was to "shower" in this warm water. Wow!

The food was surprisingly good (and we didn't have to cook-- the river guides did all the cooking). The company was excellent (friends and acquaintances from church). The outdoor air was literally delicious.

By the end of the week I was looking forward to showering with soap (no soap in the river!!) and definitely ready to see my wife, but I was also a little sad to be leaving that amazing place.  What a week!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

River trip here we come

Headed for 5 days on the Middle Fork of the Salmon River. 

Don't forget to go to Rocket Express Car Wash in Twin Falls on July 11th or 12th! Half the proceeds go to benefit the Snake River Council of the BSA!

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Sweetwater

Sweetwater River, near Martin's Cove, Wyoming

As many of you will have seen from others of my postings here or elsewhere, our LDS stake took more than 250 youth to the high plains of Wyoming for a reenactment of part of the Mormon migration.

This is the Sweetwater River, which some of the Mormon pioneers had to cross in frigid, numbing conditions. It was a difficult crossing, to say the least, and was, in fact, too much for some of them.

The conditions under which we visited the place (Martin's Cove) were much more favorable, of course, but the stunning beauty of that wild landscape was still something to behold. I was touched deeply in more ways than one.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Whatcha doin'?

Not much.

I'm home from Louisville. It was a good week of reading AP essays. Wednesday (day 5 of reading) was the hardest. Friday was the easiest--- we were done by 1:30 or so.

The time in Kentucky was good because I enjoyed spending time with my good friends Kelly & Andrew, and I made some new friends. I also got a few ideas about our department's OA (outcomes assessment).

The honorarium will help pay for summer vacation and school clothes.

Since coming home, I've done precious little. I re-read one of the novels by my favorite author and I've been enjoying the manuscript of a friend (fantasy novel). Keri's niece and nephew stopped by last night on their way to a fiddling competition in Weiser.

Keri and the kids got me a leaf blower for Father's Day and I must say that the sidewalks and walkways are much easier to clean that way. Nice!

Colton and I went to the library today. He got three train books, and I'm going to try out the new Brandon Mull novel.

What a nice summer day.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

another Trek teaser photo

If you went on trek, be sure to come to the post-trek fireside on Sunday, June 26th, 7pm, Twin Falls Stake Center.
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Monday, May 23, 2011

Now wait...

I posted a few days about about being "on vacation." It's true. I've submitted my grades and I'm officially "out of here."

And yet here I sit... in the office... ostensibly working (you notice, however, that I'm actually blogging... which isn't exactly the same thing as working).

This is shaping up to be one busy, busy summer, so I'm trying to stay ahead of the game a bit by doing some fall work now. I also have two small projects for publishers to finish-- a book review and some freelance editing.

Two friends have asked me to read manuscripts, a third friend suggested that I might be a viable replacement for her in writing a weekly (or bi-monthy) column for a web magazine she's leaving. I'll be going on the pioneer trek with the youth of our stake. I leave for Louisville, KY for AP reading the day I get back from Wyoming. We have a whitewater trip, Scout camp, Draney camp, and a million lawns to mow.

THIS is vacation?

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Moving furniture and making dust

There's nothing to post about this... It's just what I did today.

We're not moving or anything, but we are rearranging and trying to fit our family more comfortably into the space we have.

There's more to do, but we got off to a good start today.

My feet hurt.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Get your geek on...

(I posted the following on another blog a couple of years ago, but it seems to me that the concept is even more relevant now than it was then. Consider the following...)

I was a geek before. I didn’t exactly embrace my geekiness when I was in high school, but now that I’m all grown up (ha!), I don’t mind going by that moniker. My colleague, Ken Bingham, asked me once if I “had my geek on.” I knew exactly what he meant, and I laughed about that phrase for days.

I’m more of a geek than ever, I guess. I now have a goodreads account, a facebook account, a LinkedIn account, and of course this trusty blog. I even have more than one blog (as you regulars may recall), though the others are woefully neglected at the moment. (Not that this one is so up-to-date and spiffy.) I have a personal web page for a number of years.

I wrote an assignment for my 101 students once that went something like this:

“One of the ways we exist in the modern world is through the Internet. You’ll know what we mean by 'exist via the Internet' when you consider how many times you are asked to enter your personal information when you visit web sites. For example, you may have an eBay account which includes a feedback rating. You may also (or instead) have an Amazon account which includes records of the purchases you've made on that site. You may even have a personal profile on or another networking or dating site. (This assignment was written before facebook was the phenomenon that it is now.)

"Consider, too, that your personal information is stored in many other places. The driver’s license you have in your wallet represents a kind of authentication that you are you. To obtain a driver’s license, you have to provide some proof of your birth, your name, your residence, and so forth. Your credit card represents information about your account with a specific bank, but it also represents (albeit obliquely) your credit worthiness and your ability to repay. You might have a blood bank card in your wallet which represents the dates and times you’ve donated blood. You might have a library card which represents a record of all the books you’ve checked out at the library which issued the card. As you can see, there are many ways that you are represented throughout this menagerie we call modern life.

“Imagine, now, that 1,000 years have passed and it is the year 3011. Scientists and researchers discover a cache of old Internet servers from which information can be retrieved. They discover information about YOU, and once they have your name and date of birth, they discover that you are found in many places in the Internet. Future archeologists will be very interested to know what life was like in good, old 2011.

“What kind of pictures do these various online identities paint of you? What might those future archeologists conclude about your life and the way you lived?

“Another way to think about these concerns is to consider how many of these “markers” (or bits of electronic identity) are solely yours, and how many of them could just as easily belong to anyone from this century. Which parts of an eBay profile, for example, are uniquely and specifically yours, and which are universal characteristics of those living in what has recently been called the early nuclear age?”

So… what do you think? What is your web presence? What will your digital traces say about you?

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The baby store

I think many parents live in just a little bit of dread about conversations like this one. It started out innocently enough (and it really didn't go too far into the dreaded territory), but I was sweating a bit before it was over.

We were sitting at dinner night before last when Colton (who will be 5 on Thursday next), out of the blue, said something like, "You haven't gotten any babies since you got me."

"Right," I said. "You're our last one."

"You got me at the baby store, didn't you?"


"Yeah. You got me at the baby store, and you haven't gotten any more babies since then."


"When are you going to get some more babies at the baby store?"

By this time a couple of older brothers were piping up to say things about "tummies" and "mommies" and so forth.

I had regained my composure just a little, so I asked Colton where the baby store was. He replied, sort of haltingly, "Right... across...(uh) ... town." Then he smiled as if that settled it.

Pretty soon, however, he caught on to the tummy thing and started asking who came out of which tummy. "Which one came out of your tummy, Dad?" "What about Cameron's tummy, Dad?" Who's tummy did you come out of Dad?"

This went on for a few minutes with brothers trying to explain (happily, nothing too far out there though, as I said) and Colton enjoying all the attention. I think he asked about every person he could think of. "What about Clara?" (his little girl friend (don't call her his "girlfriend" though, although they do say they will marry someday)), "What about Grandma?" "What about my teacher?"

I was just relieved that he didn't ask about how babies get in there.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Bamboo Pen & Touch

I'm pretty sure that both of you (my loyal readers) know that I do a little photography on the side from time to time. That endeavor is WAY on the side much of the time because of my commitments at CSI and elsewhere, but I do get a job doing family portraits or the like once in awhile.

Sometimes, in the course of proving up the proofs to the customer's satisfaction, I have need of a more precise method of massaging pixels than a mouse can provide. To that end, I have, so far, purchased two Bamboo pads. These little goodies include a drawing surface and a stylus much like those used by the pixel wizards at Pixar or Dreamworks. They (the pads) are pretty darn useful when trying to erase an errant power pole or seagull or smirking kid from the background of an otherwise good photograph.
The first one I bought lasted a good long time, but the stylus succumbed to a short drop onto a hard surface. Turns out there's a tiny, little circuit board and some kind of ceramic sensor inside that pen-like device and sudden shocks are a pretty big "no no." Who knew? Not me.

So, the next time I needed to quaff Aunt Marge's hair just so, I zipped down to Best Buy and hunted up a replacement. The first pad I bought was stylus and/or mouse driven only (and the mouse that came with it was a joke). This new one, though is the Bamboo Pen & Touch. It doesn't work as seamlessly as the multi-touch on an iPhone, but the ability to zoom and pan and so forth with a finger is pretty slick. Further, the stylus is even more sensitive and useful than the first one I had.

Since the pad is a pixel-by-pixel representation of whatever screen real estate you are using, it does take a little getting used it. You can't slide, then pick up, then slide again like you can with a mouse. On the other hand, though, you know pretty much where your cursor is going to end up when you place the stylus on the pad. If you have a big monitor and a smallish pad (the Pen & Touch is on the small side), you'll be working in a smaller area on the pad than you might expect. That didn't turn out to be much of an obstacle, however. I got used to it quickly.

The stylus has quite a number of levels of pressure sensitivity so you can be quite precise in adding or subtracting or moving pixels. Even without zooming in, I can usually erase ersatz objects right up to the edge of the subject with some precision. Zoomed in, the level of control is even finer.

Neither of these goodies cost more than a C note, happily, so that puts them in reach of even fairly casual pixel pushers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

A little pre-lunch teaser

It's about 10:30am as I write this. I was posting a picture on the collaborative photo blog that a few of us are doing and I came across this picture from our Disneyland trip. This is the jambalay that Josh and I ordered at House of Blues on our last day at Disneyland. I suspect Josh was a little disappointed. He wasn't sure what he was getting, I think. I, however, loved it. Our combined leftovers were a couple of a days of delicious lunch.

So, if you haven't had lunch yet... eat your heart out over this.

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Saturday, April 9, 2011

April Conference 2011

Okay, Kindle user friends... here's April 2011 conference for your favorite reading device. Enjoy.

(Or, if the above link doesn't work, try this one: )

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Spring Break 2011

We had a wonderful spring break. We enjoyed every part of it, from the brief visit to the beach on Monday to the fireworks and last few rides on Space Mountain on Friday. The week was just what a break should be--restful, fun, and excellent family time.

Now back to work, right?


Friday, March 11, 2011

Next phase

So.. I cut short my note yesterday about butterflies and teaching because I had to go teach.

In fact, I spent the whole day in one-on-one conferences with students about their essays. That kind of interaction is one of the most meaningful kinds of teaching (I believe), but it also takes the most out of a body. I was exhausted by the end of the day.

It was a happy, satisfied kind of exhaustion for the most part however. In such conferences you can see that most students are trying pretty hard to meet the instructor halfway and make the work count for something.

Very, very few students are in English 102 because they love writing or because they want to be there, so their good humor and good efforts mean more, I think. For most students, that class is a hoop, a gate, a game-- instituted by the college--that they must play if they want access to the other parts of the college experience (and the grades, jobs, and money that are assumed to come with those things).

So when students play the game well--as if it really matters (and of course I believe that it does), I commend them for it. Yesterdays conferences seemed to go in that direction anyway. Most of the students were serious and concerned about what the rubric says, how the reviewers evaluated their papers, and what to do next.

All in all, it was a pretty satisfying day.

I still wonder, though, about this change I feel in myself about the whole teaching endeavor. I'm really not trying to talk myself out of my job or anything here. Don't misunderstand. In fact, I want to do my job better. I want to either recapture the fire in the belly that I've felt for teaching for more than 10 years now, OR I want to understand what other kinds of passion will substitute for that fire.

It might be the case, for example, that fire in the belly (whatever that means) isn't the mode that's "right" for me or for my teaching right now. I'm okay with that. I'm fine with the idea that it's time to reconceive the way I look at and carry out this grand experiment called pedagogy. In fact, I welcome the chance to see the whole endeavor with fresh eyes and fresh motivation.

I'm reading Malcolm Gladwells What the Dog Saw. The title essay of that collection is about Cesar Millan, a "dog whisperer." Part of Gladwell's claim about Millan is that he has "presence" that commands the attention and respect of the canine troublemakers that he specializes in helping. The way he stands, the way he moves, the way he uses his eyes, his hands, his head, all make a difference in how the dogs respect and attend to him.

This semester I've noticed that some students don't seem to have much compunction about talking over me and blathering on about whatever even while I'm trying to get class started and "tell them what's on the quiz." Part of that attitude might be a consequence of "their generation" (a post for another day (and an attitude that I try not to adopt, btw)), but I was thinking about whether or not my current lack of "butterflies" or "fire in the belly" contributes to a lack of "presence" in the classroom. Can they tell that I'm less "there" than normal and do they therefore take advantage of me in subtle, unconscious, unintentional ways? I wonder.

In any case, my attention is so very, very divided these days that I'm not sure where to start in reassessing or reconfirming what it is I believe about teaching writing and literature. I'm glad to say, however, that even that prospect-- of working out who and what I am as a teacher and scholar-- is part of the delight of the job I have.

I hardly dare tempt fate (and I may soon regret saying so)-- but I say "Bring it on."

Thursday, March 10, 2011


The first day I ever taught a college course, I put a piece of strong mint gum in my mouth just as I was walking into the classroom. I didn't want to "breath 'em all to death" the first time I met them, right? Well... the gum was too strong, I was nervous, I swallowed funny, and I ended up choking and coughing all the way through that first class. Not exactly an auspicious start.

The first day of the first class I taught in my doctoral program (that first class I mentioned above was in my master's program), I leaned against the edge of the table at the front of the room to introduce myself. The thing was, the table top was not attached to the table legs and I very nearly fell to the floor in front of that first group of students at ISU. Not a great start either.

The truth is, I've always felt a certain amount of fear about going into the classroom--- particularly the first day. No... it's not fear exactly... It's more like nerves... like stage fright. Going in to the classroom has, from the very beginning, given me a big case of butterflies in the stomach. Every class, every time.

Well... not every time... anymore.

Not long after I came to CSI I started saying something blithe and sophisticated like "the day those butterflies go away is the day I stop teaching." You see, I was of the opinion that the butterflies meant that I still respected the responsibility and the weight of teaching. I was taking it seriously if my body was responding with a certain amount of trepidation. If I felt fear or stage fright or whatever, it meant that the process was still "honest" and "real."

 Something has changed recently. The butterflies are mostly gone.

Last semester, fall semester 2010, was a pretty good semester. I had lively, interactive, respectful students who actively engaged in the process of getting their own educations. The material I was teaching was mature, well-thought-out, and students responded well to it. Lectures, class discussions, small group activities, etc. were obviously worth the students' time. They stepped up and did their part very, very well. Note every student in every class every day, of course, but with a high degree of regularity and a high level of engagement.

I still felt the butterflies last semester. This semester is ... different; and I'm worried that the thing that's different is me.

In Act 2 Scene 2 of Hamlet, Hamlet is trying to explain to his "friends" Rosencranz and Guildenstern what he's been going through since his father death. He says, "I have of late,—but wherefore I know not,—lost all my mirth." I wouldn't exactly say I've lost all my mirth, but I certainly not "feeling it" like I have in the past. I feel like I've lost something, and "wherefore I know not."

Part of the deal, I'm sure, is that spring semester students are a different breed of cat that fall semester students. In the fall, particularly here at a CC, fall students are afraid of their own shadows. They're more malleable and "teachable." By the time they get to the spring semester, however, they're world-wise and savvy. They don't need classes or professors anymore. They know what's what. It's always harder to get a class to "gel" in the spring than it is in the fall. None of my usual tricks are working this term, though.

But, blah, blah, blah. Here I blather on while I need to be finishing my prep for class.

More on this another day, perhaps.

(BTW, don't send the intervention teams yet. I'm not quite ready to slit my wrists or anything. Just musing, I guess.)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March's theme - Basic Needs

I was shoveling the walk a few days ago and saw this brilliant blue sky. It's been so overcast so much lately that this glimpse of sky was an especially beautiful thing.

Of course the basic need portrayed here is having a safe, warm place to blog... I mean sleep.

Imaginary neighborhood

So... February is over now, but before it ended I did post one more item to the photo blog for the "neighborhood" theme. 

This one is about the neighborhoods I carry around in my brain– Brontë, Dickens, London,Card, Stegner, Wells (Dan, not Herbert George). Ah, the life of the mind.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

week 2.714

I'm feeling like an overachiever. Here's my third picture of the  month (second this week).

Monday, February 7, 2011

Week 2 of the photo project

You'll recall that the monthly theme is "neighborhoods." I guess I'm stuck on campus too much, because this week's photo is also at CSI.

ISO: 200
a little contrast & color bump in PS

See what others are posting in this small but highly creative community of picture makers.

Friday, February 4, 2011

My "neighborhood"

And we're off and running...

The photo project I told you about the other day is going. I posted my first picture today:

As I left the office yesterday, I decided I would try to take a suitable picture for the project by the time I got to my truck (not so very far away). This was the result. My colleague and friend was walking her dog, Scout (as she often does on campus), and she agreed to have me take her picture for the project. 

So... here's week 1*. 

I usually go to the gym on MWF, but today I took my camera and wandered around campus. I used to be quite self-conscious about taking pictures on campus, but I guess I'm getting immune to what people think as I get older.

Anyway, I probably already have next week's picture, but I'll wait until then to post something.

*Technical stuff (for the two of you who care ;-)  ):
(This scene was strongly backlit, so I brightened it quite a bit, then popped up the colors a bit. I also cropped it quite a bit. (And I overused the word "bit" quite a bit in this bit of my post.))

Monday, January 31, 2011

A photo project

Last year I posted a few pictures in January and February in response to the idea of a 365 project. You may recall that a 365 project is the effort to take & post a new picture every day for an entire year... 365 new pictures. There are many fun blogs out there showcasing the results of such undertakings. I've had fun following one or two of them.

Now... there is no way that I have time to do an entire 365 right now... I couldn't even do a 265 or a 165. But... how about a 48?

I got this note from a friend today:

Taking photographs is fun.  Sharing them is even better.  Sticking with one theme a month, upload one photograph a week that somehow represents that theme.
One theme a month.
One photograph a week.
12 x4 = 48 photographs.
You in?
If so, click on February’s Assignment and start shooting and posting!
Clicking "February's Assignment" gets you this:
The assignment for February is neighborhoods.  Deadline? Post one photograph each week of February by Sunday, there are four during the month:  February 6, 13, 20, 27. You may choose to include commentary on your photo.
An idea to consider is what makes your neighborhood unique or ubiquitous.  Your neighborhood is familiar, home…how can you represent it to others? Consider also using different types of cameras, SLR, DSLR, phone camera, point and shoot, and alternative process.

I'm game (I think). I'm going to give it a go. Watch for a picture here about neighborhoods by the end of the week. 

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a good thing...

... that I didn't do anything so foolish as to make a New Year's resolution to blog more.

What a relief.