Archive for November, 2006

Narrowing it Down?

Thursday, November 30th, 2006

Thanks for all the good suggestions. Before I read Pooh’s comment mentioning “Ursa Major” this morning, I was on my way back from the Jackson Rd. Meijer and “Ursa Major” popped into my head. I’m now thinking of either that or “Aurora Borealis.” Not very offbeat but fits into the other guidelines. Whaddy’all think? I’m still open to new suggestions. And now, after a long writing/editing session with UED4, a trip to the fabric store with Mouse, and coffee at Sweetwaters with Mouse, Bubs, and Jane, I am off to the IT Zone with Sandy and probably some other classmates for a search engine optimization presentation. So, not much to say today.

Wednesday, November 29th, 2006

“Uh, you may not want this input but, if you want people to take you seriously as a business person, you might want to get a, uh, more, uh, serious-looking email ID.” So said one of Kayak Woman’s best coffee buddies, in those approximate words, and a bit hesitantly. I know that what she really wanted to say was something like, “girl, do you know how *ridiculous* ‘ababsurdo’ is?”

Marci is very smart and I value her opinions greatly and she has a great point. And I know she didn’t mean that I should switch from (it’s okay, the spambots already have it) to something like So I want to know what you all think. If Kayak Woman is ever going to put herself into the fray of free-lance web developers, she will have to be able to hand people a business card with a website url and email ID on it. Doo-ya think that is not a serious enough url for a business?

And the million-dollar question: What *would* be a good name for a small web development business run by a person like Kayak Woman? Old KW has never even *had* a business card. grok grok Some guidelines:

  • The business would focus on developing and/or maintaining small-scale websites for small businesses, organizations and individuals. Hand coded, standards compliant, accessible and all that. And yes, Kayak Woman can do that stuff. And she is interested in small customers as opposed to big businesses, who have their own big teams of web developers anyway.
  • She wants to incorporate some element of north-country nature related theme into her, uh, branding (sheesh I hate that word, but): beach, water, stars, pine trees, etc. Not necessarily aminals. She loves aminals but they can get cutesy really fast if not used appropriately. If you try to put Kayak Woman and cutesy into the same sentence, the sentence throws a big ugly error. Kaboom, as we used to say back in the Fortran days.
  • She has a rather, uh, unique (?) sense of humor and although she doesn’t want her business to have a totally crazy name (like ababsurdo), something just a bit off-beat would be best. Anything too corporate-sounding will be stuffed into a paper bag and jettisoned to the moons of Jupiter.

So, whadday’all think? This is a serious question and Kayak Woman will try to come up with a prize for the best suggestion.

Grok grok. How ‘bou’ sump’n like “Ol’ Bag Slacker Website Gully?” Grok grok. Obviously he’s no help! 😐

One Down…

Tuesday, November 28th, 2006
  • inp203 User Experience II:
    • Ajax presentation
    • UED4
  • inp275 Web Database (MySQL and Coldfusion):
    • Homework 12
    • Quiz 12
    • Homework 13
    • On-line Banking Application Project
    • Final Exam
  • inp290 Web Design Practicum:
    • Project Plan
    • QA Testing Plan
    • Group Evaluation
    • Final Presentation

I don’t have the presentation grade yet but it almost doesn’t matter. It was a major personal achievement to actually stand up there and blather for 20-25 minutes with a minimum of stage-fright! So, yay! And now to slog on and get the rest of this stuff done! grok GROK!


Monday, November 27th, 2006

Salamander High?

Sunday, November 26th, 2006

Actually, the two names currently in the running for the new high school here on the Planet Ann Arbor are Northcrest and Skyline. I don’t know what happened to Salamander, I kind of liked that one. Ann Arbor Is Overrated, where I occasionally lurk, recently posted about this, it’s the second Nov. 17 entry. The comments to that entry contain many creative name and mascot suggestions that Planetarians past and present should enjoy.

I was against this new high school from the get-go. Although I’m not alone in that opinion, it is marginally more “dangerous” for me to express it because my kids went to Commie High. People have varying misconceptions about Commie, one of the most ridiculous being that the kids who go there must all be wealthy because they eat lunch at the neighboring Zingerman’s Deli every day. Say what? A whole ‘nother entry, I guess.

I’m against the new high school for many of the typical reasons. The axe that I personally grind is that a big chunk of woods was clear-cut to build it. I dunno how many, if any, members of endangered species died in the interest of no child left behind. But haven’t we already decimated enough trees and other elements of habitat in this area? When does it end? I hate developers worse than I hate politicians and I always cringe when I see them at work with their grown-up tinker toys and Tonka trucks. I think it was someone on AAIO who suggested razing Maple Village and building the high school there. And why not? It already has a huge parking lot and who needs KMart anyway?

What really bothers me is that I don’t think we *need* a new high school. Here’s where being a former Commie Moom gets really dangerous. “Well, that’s fine for *you* to say. *Your* kids didn’t go to an overcrowded school!” An arguable point that would require a*nother* whole ‘nother entry. I know that Pioneer and Huron are overcrowded but I think the district failed to prove that demographic projections show huge increases over the coming years.

Even if the school population does increase, how about some creative solutions to the problem? Why under the sun do we need to jam several thousand teenagers into one building for the same six hours every day of the school year. Open up the campus, fer kee-reist! Increase the number of hours the school is open and offer classes at more times. Facilitate (hey, district admin: that means make it *easy*) more opportunities for advanced students to take college classes. At the colleges. Offer more on-line classes. Yeah, I know. They are far from perfect now. But we’re still in the wild wild west and they’ll improve. And to all you Internet-phobes, I didn’t suggest that *everyone* take *all* of their classes on-line. I think that would be awful! So y’all put down your hands and get that look of terror off your faces. I just think that offering some choices may eventually help un-crowd the schools.

We’re getting the new school whether I want it or not. It won’t much affect me except when I want to drive down to the river and fling my kayak into it. In the short term, it’ll alleviate crowding at PiHi and Huron. That *is* a problem. But let’s come up with some creative long-term solutions to overcrowding. If I *have* to choose between Northcrest and Skyline, I choose Skyline. Northcrest sounds like some ridiculous subdivision chockfull of McMansions. Come to think of it, given the subdivisions that have already been built in the area of the school, maybe Northcrest is the appropriate choice. 😐

Rant Coming On. Beware! >:->>

Saturday, November 25th, 2006

Okay, I am getting really tired of people who ignore or otherwise write off teenagers and young 20-somethings as being unknowledgeable, ignorant, or, even worse, potential trouble-makers. Without even talking to them. Yeah, there are some of those out there. And there are also some 52-year-olds around who leave a lot to be desired. Grok grok. Yeah, we know who one o’ those is, ya ugly ol’ bag. Grok grok grok.

Oh Froog, will you just shut up for once, for Kee-reist? Sorry about him. Er, well, maybe he is right… Anyway, I have a daughter who’s a 19-year-old college sophomore. Like most young people I know, she has a variety of talents and one of them is fiber arts. She is an *expert*. She specializes in knitting and I don’t mean simple scarves.* Mouse knits all *kinds* of things. Some recent interests include lace shawls and socks. She designs her own patterns. And she can spin her own yarn if she wants to. If The Planet Ann Arbor didn’t have an ordinance against keeping farm aminals in the back yard, I’d probably be out there scooping up sheep and alpaca poop. And who knows what else. Silk worms, to be sure.

When people who know how good she is at that stuff encounter me, they often ask, “Do you knit?” and/or “Did you teach her how to knit?” I usually stand there with my mouth open for a few seconds and stutter, “I know how” and/or “I don’t remember if it was me or my mom who taught her.” I do know how to knit. I can’t remember who first got her started with knitting needles but I doubt I had the patience, so it must’ve been The Commander. But Mouse is beyond both of us now. Er, at least she’s beyond *me*, I can’t speak for The Comm.

So why is it that so often when Mouse walks into an unfamiliar yarn shop with an old bag like me, they greet me warmly and ignore her? I mean, I don’t *think* I project the appearance of “expert knitter” and I *certainly* don’t exude the aura of “Mrs. Moneybags.”

My technique for deflecting shopkeeper attention from me over to the expert is to start asking Mouse what seem to me to be intelligent questions about yarns and techniques and patterns, etc. Intelligent questions or not, it doesn’t take long for *most* of them to figure out who knows what. But why do we all continue to judge people on their appearance?

*Not that there is anything wrong with knitting simple scarves! If that’s what you do, go for it! You are just about at my level! 🙂

Makin’ Yarn

Friday, November 24th, 2006

If any of y’all cannot play the video, it’s also at youTube.

I Am Thankful I’m Not Trying to Cook a Turducken

Thursday, November 23rd, 2006

Somebody here on The Planet Ann Arbor is. I know because he just called the turkey hotline. It was not My Dear Uncle Harry, although I have heard him on the radio before and I know he is cooking today. What else am I thankful for?

  • That the smell in the kitchen has been traced to the Indian-style food that we cooked last night. It is definitely not a dead rodent. And, yes, the food was good!
  • That I’m not trying out some newfangled method of cooking a turkey an hour before a bunch of guests are set to arrive. And also that I don’t have a big bunch of guests arriving, since I need to get my Coldfusion homework done. Today. So I can get back to work on my presentation. And a bunch of other stuff that y’all don’t wanna know about.
  • That I am actually getting my Coldfusion homework done. And understanding it, thank you very much. Uh, Froog. Get off my keyboard. You just launched Excel! grok grok! I was jus’ tryin’ t’ calky-late how long it’ll take me ‘n’ ol’ Smokie t’ git t’ th’ ol’ moon now tha’ my flyin’ masheen has th’ new punkin powered super drive. Grok grok. Never mind him. I do *not* know where he comes up with this stuff and he is *not* taking buoy 22 to the moon again. I’m in enough trouble with the Coast Guard already.
  • I can’t say this out loud but I am thankful that I do not seem to have the ghastly vomiting bug that I’ve very likely been exposed to. If I say it out loud, I’m afraid I might get it, just like the last time I blahgged about a ghastly vomiting bug. I do not have time for that kind of crap right now, so it can just pass me by, thank you very much!
  • That Mouse is home, because it has been known to take me three tries to make a pie crust that didn’t totally disintegrate when I tried to put it in the pie plate. Yes, three! Pie crust is apparently a skill that skips a generation.
  • I dunno what else but this Thanksgiving is so warm and sunny that it reminds me of the time my bro’ and his family and the RegenAxes were here and we all went down to Barton Dam on the Saturday after Thanksgiving and it was in the 60’s. So I could be thankful for the weather but I just really don’t care that much. 🙂

Grok grok. Tha’ stoopid ol’ bag thinks tha’ th’ leaf trucks picked up ‘er ol’ punkins. Grok grok. She doesn’ know tha’ ol’ Smokie confy-skated ’em t’ use as fuel fer th’ new super-drive fer my flyin’ masheen. grok grok grok GROK!

We Have Liftoff!

Wednesday, November 22nd, 2006

mousevacuum.jpgYikes! I’ve been stumbling along through life pretty well lately, at least on a basic level. Every day, I make myself wake up at 0-dark-thirty and force myself to go out and walk and let the early morning dark and the stars (when I can see them) beat back my nightmares. Go to class, get my homework done, keep the dishes clean, go thru the u-scan, force myself to do the laundry and clean the bathroom. The bare minimum.

As the days progressed toward Thanksgiving, I was feeling kind of panicky. It’s not like we are even doing anything much this year. I’m just cooking the food that has evolved as “traditional” around here and hanging out. I *like* Thanksgivings like that, fer Kee-reist! Except that this place is a *mess*. I *hate* when it’s like this. But to even think about doing something like vacuuming requires moving all kinds of furniture and clutter around. I just cannot force myself to deal with the place. I’m not operating up to the standards I usually set for myself and I’m not happy about that.

So, after coffee w/ Marci @ Barry’s and a trip through the Westgate Kroger u-scan (yes, again), I approached home with quite some trepidation. I had so much to do and I just didn’t have the right psychic energy to do it. When I got home, the *door* was open! Say what? I was sure I had locked that door! When I went inside, there was a bunch of stuff in the living room. Including a spinning wheel! And the shower was going. This was not Rumpelstiltskin. It was my own Mouse, home via Lairi the Rake and her brother. I knew Mouse was coming home this “morning” but I didn’t quite believe that “morning” actually meant *before* noon.

My “mighty” little Mouse is at least as hyper-sensitive to other people’s moods as I am. “Moom, what’s wrong? Come on, I know something’s wrong.” I couldn’t even begin to articulate what was wrong. I never can. Like, haveya got five hours? 🙂 But I couldn’t hide either. grok grok. Yer just ‘n ol’ bag, tha’s all tha’s wrong w’ ya. grok grok. There was one piece of the whole complicated, boring mess of issues that we managed to bite off, chew up, and spit out. For the next half hour or so, we dragged furniture around the living room and she vacuumed while I dredged through some of the clutter. What I couldn’t do alone was pretty quick work with a partner.

And then we “celebrated” by going out to lunch. This house is far from perfect. It still needs dusting. The back room is cluttered with a 6th grade sand collection and all of the financial crap from last year’s taxes. And other stuff. And I’m afraid to turn on the light in the basement. But somehow it’s okay now and I’m gonna relax tomorrow come hell or high water.

Y’all, please have a happy Thanksgiving. We all have our ghosts and gremlins, trials and tribulations, and I don’t have any monopoly on nightmares. But we have a lot to be thankful for too.

Bang, Crash! Get Outta My Way!

Tuesday, November 21st, 2006

So I can grab that turkey! It’s the holiday season and me and all the other old bags are bumping their grocery carts into each other so we can get at the turkeys. I got my turkey last week and it is now sitting in the regurgimatator supposedly thawing. Except it seems to be freezing everything in its immediate vicinity. A reverse effect, maybe?

The Westgate Kroger goes absolutely crazy a few days before Thanksgiving, so I got there at 7:30 this morning to avoid the crowds as I bought everything *but* turkey. It used to be a lot worse before the u-scan. Back in those days, carts would get lined up ten deep or more at each cash register. Add a few screaming kids (I wonder whose) and mayhem ensued. One time I had just barely made it outta there alive and I told Arlene something like, “Whew! I’m all done. I won’t be back.” Not. I had to eat crow to her later that day.

On most days, the Westgate Kroger takes on a sort of twilight zone feeling at 7:30 in the morning. Not today. It wasn’t what I’d call crowded but there were plenty of people around there. Nevertheless, when I got to the uscan, I didn’t have to wait at all. And Kroger was smart enough to put Arlene at the helm for what’s sure to be a busy day. I scanned my $105 worth of groceries and as I was walking out, I said to Arlene, “Whew! I’m all done. I won’t be back.” “Thank you!” I think almost as soon as I got home, I had a new grocery list going.

Smashing Pumpkins

Monday, November 20th, 2006

mousekin.jpgDid you know that pumpkins are alive? I mean that they can think and have feelings, just like people. The baby Lizard Breath loved them. When she went with the GG to get pumpkins for her first Halloween, she said goodby to all the pumpkins they left behind. When they got home, the GG got out the big butcher knife and approached their chosen pumpkin. The baby lizard got more and more nervous as the knife approached her pumpkin. At just over one year, she didn’t have the words to articulate, “Don’t cut it!” She gasped in horror as he plunged the knife into the pumpkinhead! But her horror began to subside as a face emerged.

And then there was the year that Mouse caught me throwing an old jack-o-lantern into the compost. We always stuffed an orange prison suit with newpapers and propped it up on a stepladder. We put a jack-o-lantern on the top of the ladder with a bag of Christmas lights inside to light it up. The pumpkin was getting rotten and black inside and it was time. I knew I was in trouble though, so I did some fast talking about how the pumpkin was going to help the flowers grow in the spring. (Uh, never mind that I have a black thumb.)

This year we never got the dummy put up. Stuffing a prison suit with newspapers was just not a high priority. We had some jack-o-lanterns but instead of putting them in the compost, they ended up out on the curb next to the big piles of leaves. Today was the second and last leaf pickup day. Early this morning I saw the street sweeper chugging determinedly up Dexter toward our neighborhood. When I got home, they had already pushed my leaves into a big mountain in the middle of the street, along with our smashed up jack-o-lanterns.

Time starts going clickety-clack after Halloween. Thanksgiving is in a few days. Christmas comes all too soon and shortly after that, The Commander and I are both forced to celebrate another blasted birthday. For now, the leaves are gone, the street is ready for snow, and our old rotting pumpkins will help some flowers somewhere grow next spring. And, as you can see, there are some other good uses for old jack-o-lanterns.

What’s a Poor Little Flutterby To Do?

Sunday, November 19th, 2006

Social butterfly, that is. It ain’t easy being a shy extrovert. Being around people energizes me. At least, people that I feel comfortable talking to. And in small groups, that’s crucial. Any more than about four can be too many unless there’s a subset of people I know *very* well. Or I’ve had enough w(h)ine. 😉 But I also need a lot of alone time. Time to think and write and be creative and occasionally just do relatively mindless hard labor, you know, snow shoveling, leaf-raking and wood-stacking, etc.

When you are a shy extrovert, you have to really *work* at staying socially connected. You do something with a friend or two or three and you all say something like, “we *must* get together again soon.” And then everybody is busy and, even if *you* are not, you are too shy to call or even email and say, “Let’s do such-and-such.” It is not easy.

I had quite a lot of social down-time last year, unless you consider hanging around hospitals talking to medical personnel social. At the end of all that, school ended and I had quit my job and my kids were away at college and I was kicking around here alone just a tad more often than I needed to be. A few good friends, here and long-distance, and a *host* of cousins, in-laws, aunts and whatnot helped tremendously, then and throughout the summer.

This weekend, I could hardly find any time to get my homework done! Gallivanted around Downtown Planet Ann Arbor Friday night with old Haisley friends. Knights’ Inn Saturday night with Planet Ann Arbor/Shores of Gitchee Gumee friends. Wonderful wedding shower over in Troy or wherever this afternoon for our soon-to-be niece Kelli. Hosted by The Beautiful Gay and The Beautiful Renee. Sisters-in-law and nieces galore. And just about when I needed a little break from the festivities, my phone rang and the call was coming from Berkeley, CA. Love.

Thanks y’all for the good times! You guys make it all worthwhile.

Today’s Tools

Saturday, November 18th, 2006

Lemme see… bathroom cleaner, cynthia says, dryer, electrical cord, Excel, fabric scraps, Fetch, graph paper, iron, laundry basket, leaf blower, metallic thread, needle, pen, pins, plastic sheet, powerbook, Powerpoint, rake, scissors, sewing machine, sponge, thread, washing machine, wave, webXact, Word. Can y’all guess what I accomplished?

And, frankly it ain’t much fun to be here this evening with all the jumping up and down and hopping around that’s going on.

Grok Grok. Don’ git th’ wrong idea. I am NOT th’ one doin’ the jumpin’ ‘n’ hoppin’ It’s th’ ol’ growler ‘n’ ‘es jumpin’ around ‘cuz th’ Nuts & Aminals game is goin’ on. Least that’s wha’ one o’ th’ ol bags frien’s calls it. Prob’ly better not say which frien’ Grok grok.

Froggy’s Flight t’ th’ Moon, a play by th’ Great Froggy! (That’s me, grok grok)

Friday, November 17th, 2006

(grok grok, click here t’ see th’ manyuscrip’)

Cast o’ characters

Star: Meeee! Froggy! The cap’n o’ th’ spaceship.
Co-Star: Mouse: A slightly greater hold on reality than Froggy.
Strong Support: Hissy, Bouncy, Possums, Horsey, Mally, Frilly, Crashfly, Orcasina Aquamarina, Ostrich, Orange Babies, Stuardesses, Cooks, Messengers, Announcers, etc.
Support Stagecrew: The rest of the stuffed aminals.


Froggy: All hands on deck! AAALL HAAAANDS OON DEEECK! That wave (grok grok!) it’s a big one! AAAAAAAAH! Meteor shower ahead!
Mouse: Froggy? This is not a watership, this is not a spaceship, it *is* a cardboard box!
Froggy: Grok grok. Oooooops. Oh yeah, I fer-got, sorry.

Yaknow, Froog, that was a *very* short play.

Well, maybe if y’ coul’ git me a better orchy-stra, instead o’ that stoopid ol’ 2-cent tootler, I c’d make a longer play! ‘n’ I am NOT a drunken sailor. Grok grok Hic!

Slodgin’ Through the Gales of November

Thursday, November 16th, 2006

“Hey, Kayak Woman! I see you walking all over town!” I was walking slodging along Packard at a pretty high rate of speed and this guy was yelling at me out of the third floor window of a university building more or less across the street from Blimpy Burger. It was Steve, an old Haisley dad and fellow hard-core sandal wearer, whose house I walk slodge past every day. I knew he worked at the U but I never knew where his office was before now.

“I’m walkin’ to Howard Cooper!” I hollered back. Slodging would’ve been a better word today. Rain and water and mud and slippery wet leaves. Once, faced with a puddle I knew I couldn’t long-jump over without a good running start, I bounced up onto a little hill only to encounter the mud/grass version of a slip ‘n’ slide. Somehow, I managed to keep my footing until I could land back on sorta more or less dry pavement. Er, well, at least the water wasn’t three inches deep.

I was pretty wet and disheveled when I got over to Howard Cooper but I made it in about an hour and ten minutes and, miraculously, my butt wasn’t covered with mud. I retrieved my vee-hickle, came home, peeled my sopping wet socks off, and threw them into the washing machine along with all the other wet socks that have been piling up around here all week. Mmmmm, the smell of wet, muddy wool.

It has been a cold, wet, gray fall here in the lower reaches of the Great White North. I survive by getting outside every single dad-blasted day. Getting outside helps. Splish splosh. Slodge on.

The Queen of Make-ahead

Wednesday, November 15th, 2006

I guess I could blahg about how Sprint is so reluctant to take my money (for Mouse’s cell phone) that when I can’t remember my password at their web site, they *text message* to *her phone*, which is in kzoo, which wakes her up early and doesn’t help me pay the bill. Usability? Sheesh!

But I won’t. Because I ran into Jane at the Westgate Kroger u-scan this morning. Uh, that’s Jane, my Haisley Mafia buddy, not my cousin. Although they do look rather similar: very good looking, tall and skinny, with short brown hair. Anyway, Jane and I were talking turkey over there at the u-scan and this is what I’m cooking today, because I am the Queen of Make-ahead. Also because, since I only make gravy about once a year, I’ve never gotten the hang of the whole “make it in the turkey pan on the stove at the last minute” trick, even though about a million people have very graciously showed me how to do it.

Make-Ahead Turkey Gravy
(fer-git where I got this, prob’ly the Snooze or somewhere but I’m sure I’ve morphed the recipe since it was published)

  • 4 turkey wings (3 #)
  • 2 medium onions, quartered
  • 1 cup water
  • 8 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup chopped carrot
  • 1/2 tsp. thyme
  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 2 tbs. butter
  • pepper

Use your own common sense if any of these directions don’t seem to make sense, I usually just sort of “wing it” through recipes. (And yes, you’re right, winging it is not always a good idea.)

  1. Heat oven to 400. Have ready a large roasting pan.
  2. Arrange wings in a single layer in pan, scatter onions over top. Roast 1-1/4 hours until wings are browned.
  3. Put wings and onions and a 5-6 quart pot. Add water to roasting pan and stir to scrape up any brown bits on bottom. Add to pot. Add 6 cups broth (refrigerate remaining 2 cups), carrot and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer, uncovered, 1-1/2 hours.
  4. Remove wings to cutting board. When cool, pull off skin and meat. Discard skin, save meat for another use.
  5. Strain broth into a 3 quart saucepan, pressing vegetables to extract as much liquid as possible. Discard vegetables. Skim fat off broth and discard. (Refrigerate broth overnight to make fat-skimming easier.)
  6. Whisk flour into remaining 2 cups broth until blended and smooth.
  7. Bring broth in pot to a gentle boil. Whisk in broth-flour mixture and boil 3-4 minutes to thicken gravy and remove floury taste. Stir in butter and pepper. Save or pour into containers, refrigerate up to 1 week or freeze up to 6 months.

Makes 8 cups

And then, on Thanksgiving Day, heat it up and add sherry or cranberry juice or liqueur or orange or whatever and boil it down to your desired thickness. Be creative.

Losing the Lottery

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

A presentation. With a group. My favorite thing to do. Oh well, at the end of today, it will be over.

I wrote that on December 14, 2004. It was 8:30 in the morning and I was just about to die go to my last Web Usability I class and give a totally, utterly, absolutely disorganized, unrehearsed presentation with the two other people in my group.

I lost the lottery today. I’m in Web Usability II now and one of the class requirements is a research presentation. There are three dates available for class members to present: Nov. 28, Dec. 5, and Dec. 12. Today was the day we decided on the date and order of presentation. No one would volunteer to go first, including me, so the teacher did the only fair thing and drew names. When she called your name, you picked your date and time slot. I waited as she called names. One by one, people picked slots on the 12th and the 5th. When she finally called my name, only the 28th was left.

Like everyone else, I was hoping for a later date, but I decided I was okay with the 28th. Not that I had a choice. 😉 But my topic is one I’m highly interested in and I’ve already done quite a bit of the research. In fact, I even have working documents going in both powerpoint and word. Highly disorganized, organically growing, working documents, but that’ll get better as I decide what I really want to talk about and start refining.

I’ll be nervous when I have to get up there and talk. I’ll wish I’d had more time and I’ll wish I was more prepared. But I’ll get through it. I learned that back in December 2004. That presentation was definitely not the best presentation anyone ever did. In fact, in my opinion, it stunk! But even as I was standing up there wishing there was a trap door I could fall through, I was calculating about how to do it better the next time.

I’ve done a few presentations since then. I will probably never be an eloquent orator. But I will get through this. And once I get going, I’ll probably even enjoy it somewhat. And then I’ll be done and everyone else will still be researching and writing and worrying about presenting.

Someone Wants Your Book!

Monday, November 13th, 2006

That’s what the subject of the email said. Believe it or not, I have actually been able to foist the travelin’ funeral book off on someone who says they *want* it. I did it via I mailed it out this morning. I didn’t even have to pay any postage. Mouse, I hope you don’t mind. Technically it is was your book.

There are aspects of my life that still resemble a travelin’ funeral (grok grok) but I’ll save that. Life is lurchin’ on…

And I still don’t understand what the heck the exploding bra had to do with anything.

Dinosaur Shy-Shos

Sunday, November 12th, 2006

cousins.jpgSo, as if I haven’t ever heard this complaint before, Mouse is posting about having to eat dinosaurs at college. (It’s the “oooooooooo” post.) I have enough memories about shy-shos and kids cooking them to merit my own post and this is it.

Yeah, you guys did drag a stool over to the stove at the cabin and cook shy-shos. Actually there were days when no less than *four* stools followed The Commander around that little kitchen. She could see Bugs and Horsey on their back deck relaxing over cocktails and little tid-bits while four little tan, tow-headed beach urchins galumphed around her in the chitchen. Learning how to safely and properly cut vegetables with a sharp knife at the ripe old age of three, among other things.

I don’t remember anything about you guys cooking shy-shos down at Barb’s but it’s certainly something Barb would put up with. She always liked kids. My bro’ and I used to play with Kathie and Kevin all summer and Barb taught us how to swim. Now she gives us cocktails and stuff! I think you played with her niece’s step-daughter a few times and that must be when you took the shy-shos down there. I probably just thought, “Yeah, go cook down at Barb’s and good riddance!” That was back in the day of the 3 o-clock snack.

And by the way, Mouse, The Sneak may remember *you* calling them something like “paskettios,” but *I* remember when they were called something like shy-shos and they were usually eaten in the chitchen! 😉

Lower to Upper

Saturday, November 11th, 2006

Tahquamenon Falls, that is. We hiked with folks from both the North Country Trail and Sault Naturalists. I had a great time but I am not very coherent at this point. We drove The Commander’s Tracker and did not blow up the engine, even though we occasionally drove it over 50 mph. There was a moth hatch while we were walking, even though there was snow everywhere. And a kettle of maybe 50 hawks above the Curley Lewis near Naomikong. We were (I was) alarmed when we passed the fabric/yarn store in Paradise on the way up because it looked like it had closed but on our return trip we took a closer look and found that it had actually *expanded*! Yay! We still miss the old Rock Shoppe but it burned to the ground a while back. You can still see the foundation. Radical Betty is a celebrity around here and I should have left the GG at the Yukon Inn except that he’d probably have fallen asleep in his beer or whatever. That is probably not all but that’s all I can think of for now. And I’m babbling, so I’ll shut up. I think. Blup blup blup. Bagrawk.

Click here to enlarge and view a few more pics.