Thursday, March 29, 2007
Now, I'm no business expert, but I did work at the "Buck" for a year right after college so I'm pretty sure to call the other coffee's "crap" regardless of how great Sulawesi is isn't the best idea. That being said, I agreed with him. Especially Sumatra. Crappity, crap, crap, crap. The clerk liked Sulawesi and Verona best, for the record. According to him, they are NOT In the crap category.
That was my trip to Starbucks this morning. Woohoo.
Now I know there are some Starbucks haters around. I know, they run the little guy out, they could be better at taking care of coffee farmers, they are like legal drug dealers, etc. But there are a few reasons I love Starbucks:
(1) They generally serve good coffee. I say generallybecause it is possible to get crumby coffee there. And I would say MORE likely since they have the fancy new automated espresso machines.
(2) They are ubiquitous. I mean...they're everywhere, if you've been to Chicago you know they occupy every corner and there are probably half a dozen on every block and anywhere I go I know I can get a decent cup.
(3) They provide health benefits and stock options for part-time employees. This was key for me as a post-college, part time church working kid. Full benefits with dental and vision for $15 a month? Stock options? Killer. When I have a tough day I daydream about going back to work at Starbucks.
(4) They have Sulawesi. I love it. And I haven't found another coffe that I love as much as Sulawesi. Love it, love it, love it.
(5) They have good customer service. If your drink sucks, tell them and they'll apologize, give you a new one and probably give you a coupon for a free one next time.
Enough is enough. Drink up.
Anyway...I have a reason to live again.
Here is the American book cover & the two British covers:
Wednesday, March 28, 2007
5 bucks says mom cries.
Owner Says Dog Saved Her With 'Heimlich'
CALVERT, Md. (AP) -- Toby, a 2-year-old golden retriever, saw his owner choking on a piece of fruit and began jumping up and down on the woman's chest. The dog's owner believes the dog was trying to perform the Heimlich maneuver and saved her life.
Debbie Parkhurst, 45, of Calvert told the Cecil Whig she was eating an apple at her home Friday when a piece lodged in her throat. She attempted to perform the Heimlich maneuver on herself but it didn't work. After she began beating on her chest, she said Toby noticed and got involved.
"The next think I know, Toby's up on his hind feet and he's got his front paws on my shoulders," she recalled. "He pushed me to the ground, and once I was on my back, he began jumping up and down on my chest."
That's when the apple dislodged and Toby started licking her face to keep her from passing out, she said.
"I literally have pawprint-shaped bruises on my chest. I'm still a little hoarse, but otherwise, I'm OK," Parkhurst said.
"The doctor said I probably wouldnt be here without Toby," said Parkhurst, a jewelry artist. "I keep looking at him and saying 'Youre amazing.'"
Sunday, March 25, 2007
...we've gathered here to say our goodbyes to the album.
In memory of our dearly departed, The Album, here are my current top five albums, based strictly on playing time on my stereo:
Village Green Preservation Society by The Kinks
Born Again in the USA by Loose Fur
New Magnetic Wonder by the Apples In Stereo
Dreamt For Light Years in the Belly of a Mountain by Sparklehorse
Boys and Girls in America by The Hold Steady
I'm sure that if there were more album covers like Zip Zap Rap this never would have happened.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Excerpts from a Dog's Moleskine:
8:00 am - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 am - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 am - A walk! My favorite thing!
10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12:00 pm - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1:00 pm - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3:00 pm - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5:00 pm - Milk bones! My favorite thing!
7:00 pm - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8:00 pm - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
11:00 pm - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!
Excerpts from a Cat's Moleskine:
Day 983 of my captivity. My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.
They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape.
In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet. Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Bastards! They don't understand my power!
There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the
duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my
confinement was due to the power of "allergies." I must learn what this means, and how to use it to my advantage.
Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his
feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.
I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded. The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicate with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe... for now...
Thursday, March 22, 2007
By the way...way to go after the Librarian career. I considered that possibility until I realized you had to have at least 4 Masters degrees or whatever to be one. And I didn't want anyone calling me Marion. Which, you realize will be your new nickname, right?
Anyway...from the New Yorker...
I. A Conversation at the Grownup Table, as Imagined at the Kids’ Table
MOM: Pass the wine, please. I want to become crazy.
GRANDMOTHER: Did you see the politics? It made me angry.
DAD: Me, too. When it was over, I had sex.
UNCLE: I’m having sex right now.
DAD: We all are.
MOM: Let’s talk about which kid I like the best.
DAD: (laughing) You know, but you won’t tell.
MOM: If they ask me again, I might tell.
FRIEND FROM WORK: Hey, guess what! My voice is pretty loud!
DAD: (laughing) There are actual monsters in the world, but when my kids ask I pretend like there aren’t.
MOM: I’m angry! I’m angry all of a sudden!
DAD: I’m angry, too! We’re angry at each other!
MOM: Now everything is fine.
DAD: We just saw the PG-13 movie. It was so good.
MOM: There was a big sex.
FRIEND FROM WORK: I am the loudest! I am the loudest!
MOM: I had a lot of wine, and now I’m crazy!
GRANDFATHER: Hey, do you guys know what God looks like?
GRANDFATHER: Don’t tell the kids.
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
...that there aren't any teaching jobs in Michigan...anywhere. So, check this, I'm going to get another master's and become a certified librarian. I honestly didn't know you could still that--better still, I can make almost twice as much in a school media center than I can in a classroom. Been kicking around this idea for awhile, so may as well go for it now. Why, then, did I get an education degree you ask? Because (1) I can still teach in the future and (2) the best jobs in "library sciences" in schools are held by certified teachers.
Tuesday, March 20, 2007
okay. if you guys have any trust in me and my taste you will go out and buy some ginger altoids immediately.
scott, i swear to you, this is the only ginger fix i have ever had that compares to stoney tangawizi. yeah, it is basically stoney tangawizi in candy form. burns so good. make haste - go!
Monday, March 19, 2007
trapper john continues to be cooler than you.
he has four lucky rabbit's feet.
he only wears fur coats.
he has already mastered the arts of civilized excretion, eating carrots, and advanced calculus.
he drives the ladies crazy.
make no mistake, trapper john is cooler than you.
Sunday, March 18, 2007
Saturday, March 17, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
On Wednesdays we have a Bible Study called the Deep End designed to go a little deeper into Scripture as well as into questions and all that.
Anyway...this past week was our last one for the school year and there were students who were skipping to go watch a Donkey basketball game @ Anderson where teachers ride donkeys and play basketball.
Not only were kids skipping Bible study to go to this there were students IN the room recruiting other students to skip and go watch donkeys play basketball!
Now, in all honesty, at that point I wanted to go to the donkey basketball game in hopes of seeing a donkey have explosive diarrhea all over the the students who skipped but alas...I had to stay at the Deep End. I mean, seriously, how in the world is Bible Study supposed to compete with Donkey Basketball?
The only way this would have been better is if we'd been studying the triumphal entry where Jesus rode the donkey but we were studying Acts 1 & 2, the Holy Spirit coming at Pentecost and Peter's first sermon.
Anyway...who's the ass here?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
Man Tells Cops Unicorn Caused Crash
BILLINGS, Mont. (AP) -- A man told police not to blame him for crashing his truck into a light post - it was that unicorn behind the wheel. Prosecutor Ingrid Rosenquist said Phillip C. Holliday Jr. initially denied driving the truck involved in the March 7 crash in Billings. He told officers at the scene that a unicorn was driving, she said.
Holliday, 42, pleaded not guilty Tuesday to felony charges of criminal endangerment and drunken driving.
A pickup truck drove through a red light and nearly struck another truck in the intersection, according to court documents. The driver then made an erratic U-turn through a gas station, crossed the street and crashed into a light pole. Nobody was injured.
Holliday has five drunken-driving convictions. District Judge Gregory Todd kept his bail at $100,000 despite his lawyer arguing that Holliday's last such conviction was 14 years ago.
Monday, March 12, 2007
Beautiful little buggers with their red heads and their rat-a-tat-tats except when the rat-a-tat-tat comes at 6:30am on the side of our house. Which happens at least once a week. He's a woodpecker not a "vinyl-siding-pecker" so I'm not sure what's going on.
Cheers to baby Red Bellied Woodpeckers as long as they're not my alarm clock!
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Where I’m From
I’m from wheat pennies.
From Big K and hand-built homes.
I’m from wood-panelings,
(dark glue composites,
and the still-beating hearts of trees).
I am from weeping willows.
From two wide rivers,
slowly sifting the silt
of my season-pasts.
I’m from I see the tower first and frigid water;
from Williams and Roberts.
I’m from never going to Disney World
and having to wash my hair.
I am from warm pink or yellow;
shy smiles and sweaty hands;
from shedding layer by layer,
as though sloughing off the weight of the world,
and sliding on Sundays in my slippery silky socks.
I’m from Michigan—
Shaffers, Schuelers, and Ferrys.
From sweet corn and blueberry pancakes.
From cracked red bats and broken lightning bugs,
the guilt of watching them writhe, and their salvations in jars.
I am from four heavy tomes and cardboard boxes;
8mm film, and catching a rare glimpse
into a soundless grandfather’s mind.
From hours spent listening to the same stories
told a hundred times before,
and laughing as though they were new.
I am from endless family-discovery
stolen during illicit Holiday midnights,
and new insights with the freshly fallen snow.
Friday, March 9, 2007
I am from the cattails in a ceramic crock, ticking clocks and eventually a VCR and a microwave, from a plaid threadbare, carpeted, panel board basement, from Halloweens and Christmases and first days of school.
I am from the willow tree, the climbing tree, the crabapples at Mr. Perry’s.
I am from dogs and redhair, from William Bruce, from Scheulers and Schaffers.
I am from the boisterous and the sunburned.
From scoop and go.
I am from the guts of fish. Runaway, discarded, bartered for respite, vomited after hermitage, covered in the dust of the rabboni.
I'm from near the base of the thumb of our left hands, from fresh baked, made from scratch cinnamon rolls and hamburgers on the Weber.
From the Mothers’ Day Frisch’s, the breaking of balls and ridiculous short shorts with those stripes up the side.
I am from negatives, yellowing photographs, the fireproof box under mom and dad’s bed and that pocket change collector that sits on the dresser.
Thursday, March 8, 2007
the womb of our mother. scott did you like the graffitti i left for you?
do you thin kthe cesaereans screwed up our ju-ju? pergatory horoscopes?
okay, scott. i have finished your assignment. i only had a few minutes after work and we have to lock up the center now so i think i may have lost some consistency and screwed up the format but you'll get the bag.
i figure i will post my poem as a comment to this blog so that you guys don't have to read it until you both do the same thing and then we can all see them here as comments. yeah? yeah.
Refrigerator Will Toss You Can of Beer
By ESTES THOMPSON
Associated Press Writer
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) -- When John Cornwell graduated from Duke University last year, he landed a job as software engineer in Atlanta but soon found himself longing for his college lifestyle. So the engineering graduate built himself a reminder of life on campus: a refrigerator that can toss a can of beer to his couch with the click of a remote control.
"I conceived it right after I got out," said Cornwell, a May 2006 graduate from Huntington, N.Y. "I missed the college scene. It embodies the college spirit that I didn't want to let go of."
It took the 22-year-old Cornwell about 150 hours and $400 in parts to modify a mini-fridge common to many college dorm rooms into the beer-tossing contraption, which can launch 10 cans of beer from its magazine before needing a reload.
With a click of the remote, fashioned from a car's keyless entry device, a small elevator inside the refrigerator lifts a beer can through a hole and loads it into the fridge's catapult arm. A second click fires the device, tossing the beer up to 20 feet - "far enough to get to the couch," he said.
Is there a foam explosion when the can is opened? Not if the recipient uses "soft hands" to cradle the can when caught, Cornwell said.
In developing his beer catapult, Cornwell said he dented a few walls and came close to accidentally throwing a can through his television. He's since fine-tuned the machine to land a beer where he usually sits at home, on what he called "a right-angle couch system."
For now, the machine throws only cans, although Cornwell has thought about making a version that can throw a bottle. The most beer he has run through the machine was at a party, when he launched a couple of 24-can cases.
"I did launch a lot watching the Super Bowl," he said. "My friends are the reason I built it. I told them about the idea and hyped it so much and I had to go through with it."
A video featuring the device is a hit on the Internet, where more than 600,000 people have watched it at metacafe.com, earning Cornwell more than $3,000 from the Web site.
Cornwell said he has talked to a brewing company about the machine, but right now only one exists. Asked if he might start building some for sale, he said: "I'm keeping that option open, depending on interest."
When Cornwell was a student at Duke - an elite, private university in Durham - he participated in the engineering school's robotic basketball contests, said mechanical engineering Professor Bob Kielb. He said students tried to build a robot that could retrieve a pingpong ball and toss it into a small hoop.
"He always did well in it," Kielb said. "He came up with completely unique ideas."
Tuesday, March 6, 2007
Sounds fun, no?
Where I'm From form...
Where I'm From example...
Monday, March 5, 2007
What’s the point of talking to a group?
I’m serious. We spend a lot of time in presentations, or at the United Nations, or sending our kids to school. We have orientation sessions and keynote speeches and long-winded oratory on the floor the Senate. Why?
One reason: to incite. To share emotion. To sell. And that’s never going to go out of fashion, as far as I can tell.
But most of the speeches I’m talking about don’t incite. I heard an excerpt on the radio the other day... someone at the EU going on at length about admitting Romania and Bulgaria to the EU. There was even a mention of food safety issues. Thousands of people listening to one person drone on about food safety. This wasn’t an emotional speech designed to sell us on an idea. Instead, it was designed to teach us.
To teach us the way a schoolteacher I heard recently teaches: by reading a text. She stands up at the front of the room, and along with a few web images, reads a text to the class.
Here’s my point: In our scan and skip world, in a world where technology makes it obvious that we can treat different people differently, how can we possibly justify teaching via a speech?
Speech is both linear and unpaceable. You can’t skip around and you can’t speed it up. When the speaker covers something you know, you are bored. When he quickly covers something you don’t understand, you are lost.
If marketing is the art of spreading ideas, then teaching is a kind of marketing. And teaching to groups verbally is broken, perhaps beyond repair. Consumers of information won’t stand for it. We’re learning less every time we are confronted with this technique, because we’ve been spoiled by the remote control and the web.
If you teach--teach anything--I think you need to start by acknowledging that there’s a need to sell your ideas emotionally. So you need to use whatever tools are available to you--an evocative powerpoint image, say, or a truly impassioned speech.
Then, and this is the hard part, if you’re teaching to a group of more than three people, you need to find a way to engage that is non-linear. Q&A doesn’t work for a large group, because only the questioner is engaged at any given moment (if you’re lucky, the questioner represents more than a few, but she rarely represents all).
If it’s worth teaching, it’s worth teaching well. If it’s worth investing the time of 30 or 230 or 3330 people, then it’s worth investing the effort to actually figure out how to get the message across. School is broken. Legislative politics are broken. Linear is broken. YouTube and Bloglines, on the other hand, are new platforms, platforms that enable the education of millions of people every day, quickly and for free.
Posted by Seth Godin on October 01, 2006 | Permalink
alright, i can get down with the top 5 songs to bring in spring, only, my slight variation is- top 5 favorite daytime-windows-down-in-the-car-songs.
here are mine:
*born to run - the boss
(this may be the greatest windows-down song/rock n' roll song of all times. as long as you don't wear it out, a couple times a year there is nothing better. springsteen may also be the king of windows-down songs)*
*highway 61 - bob dylan.
(a whoopee whistle can't truly be appreciated with the windows up. let's have it all out on highway 61)
*drifter's wife - j.j. cale.
(i mean, this song is too good. would definitely make my all-time best list)
*wendy - beach boys
(so damn sweet. did you guys ever notice the cough in this song during the organ solo?)
*big darkness/sweet marie - crooked fingers
(hell yeah. i need to take a drive)
I agree that "The Weight" may very well be the best song ever. After listening to the drums on it one day and reading the liner notes I immediately went and tuned my toms the same way Levon did. By the way, is that Elton John song about Levon Helm? Does he have a son named Jesus and want Tony Danza to hold him closer?
Friday, March 2, 2007
So, here's a picture of a street in my soon-to-be new hometown. Come August, I will again be a Michigander. It's been a long time coming...
I fully expect visitors now that there will no longer be the unavoidable fear of being Ned Beattied.
And on an unrelated note, it turns out that The Kinks created one of the best American albums I've heard--and they're British. Took a cue from The Band on that one, I guess. It's called Muswell Hillbillies and it's simply awesome. And yes, The Kinks really are that good, so get over it.
I need to give this more space, I think. I realized as soon as I hit "publish" that I misrepresented the question and my answers. Like ReTodd, I need a category. Mine will be "Five Favorite Songs to Bust Out as Spring Rolls In" as Spring is now upon us in the South (fifth straight day of 65+ degree weather).
"The Weight"--The Band (also in the running for favorite song of all time)
"Buckets of Rain"--Bob Dylan
"Sing Me Spanish Techno"--The New Pornographers
"High Times"--Grateful Dead
"Left of the Dial"--The Replacements
Alright, so that's that.
I would never feel satisfied with a favorite of all-times list, so this will have to do.
And yes, that's an accurate representation of Sandy Creek Park today.
i can't. i refuse. it is too much to handle.
5 favorite songs? that is like asking which friends i would keep if you were going to kill all but 5. ...in case this ever happens, scrote is number 6.
i need a category or it is just too damn much.
5 favorite songs: to hear when i am moving, about rain, sung by a chick, about drinking, while driving, by bob dylan, after a break-up, on vacation, that mention the word "footloose", that has been covered by a shitty '90's group, that i wish i'd written, etc. these i might be able to handle.
i choose for the moment to write my 5 favorite songs to end a mix tape...i should warn you, my formula is to end 'em big and slow and leave you simoultaneously satisfied and totally empty:
*Madame George - Van Morrison (Really, just about any from astral weeks)
*Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands - Bob Dylan (He thought this was a good close too)
*Juliette - Crooked Fingers
*Bird on the Wire - Leonard Cohen
*God - John Lennon
alright, those are my 5 favorite mix tape closers (today). in the spirit of full disclosure, i should tell you i have actually only ended mix tapes with 2 of these but i am certain the others are nearly perfect for any mix tape with songs i'd be prone to put on there.
predictable, yes. but i dare you to argue with them.
down the hatch!
Thursday, March 1, 2007
And Meka keeps stepping up on the bongos, reaching over the arm of my chair and pulling her 22 pound self up on my arm hair. Ouch. If my right arm looks spatchier than my left, that's why.
Anyway...off the top of my head, no consulting my records or iTunes library or anything, these are 5 of my favorite songs w/ a brief description. I encourage anyone reading to do this & blog it. 5 favorite songs, the first 5 that come to mind at the moment & no consulting libraries. DISCLAIMER: when doing this there are bound to be a TON of misses, songs you wish you would have picked, blah, blah, blah...but that's okay. First 5 to come to mind.
Here we go...
Rain by Patty Griffin
This song is remarkably powerful every single time I hear it. The power is exacerbated by the fact that it IS raining currently. Powerful voice, great dynamics & instrumentation. Fantastic.
God Only Knows by the Beach Boys
It was sort of a toss up between God Only Knows & Good Vibrations but where GV might wail on GOK in a fight, GOK would turn the other cheek & be taken up by God in some sort of Enochian event. Can we all just agree that Brian Wilson was some sort of cosmic channel of the language of God?
Latter Days by Over the Rhine
Maybe this one & Rain entered into my consciousness because of the mass amount of non-frozen precipitation that has fallen today but this song is awfully powerful. From slow the fade in of the piano to the aching lyrics, this song makes my soul hurt every time. "Quiet music should be played loud." -Linford Detweiler
We're From Barcelona by I'm From Barcelona
Thank you Scotty for this ridiculous, precious gem. These guys have a tune that is INFECTIOUS. Click this link with the warning that if you do, you will never, ever get this song out of your skull.
Sovay by Andrew Bird
I'm not sure what it is about this song or Andrew Bird, it's just beautiful. He said the line from an old poem captured his imagination and wouldn't let go. This song does the same for me. If we have another daughter I want to name her Sovay.