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12 June 2008 23:59:59 UTC-0500

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Links to my published articles online
List of Publications with Full Citations

Language Networks on LiveJournal (pdf)

Adolescent Diary Weblogs and the Unseen Audience (pdf)

A Longitudinal Analysis of Weblogs: 2003-2004 (pdf)

Conversations in the Blogosphere: An Analysis "from the Bottom Up" (pdf). Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences (HICSS-38) Best Paper Nominee.

Weblogs as a bridging genre (pdf)

Bridging the Gap: A Genre Analysis of Weblogs. Winner of the 2004 EduBlog Awards as best paper.

Common Visual Design Elements of Weblogs

Women and Children Last: The Discursive Construction of Weblogs

Time until my next publication submission deadline
If everything goes well with qualifying I will again be submitting articles for publication. I hope to submit as follows:

1 July 2008 23:59:59 UTC-0500

Links to my conference papers online
The Performativity of Naming: Adolescent Weblog Names as Metaphor

Buxom Girls and Boys in Baseball Hats: Adolescent Avatars in Graphical Chat Spaces

Time until my next conference submission deadline
1 December 2008 23:59:59 UTC-0500

Adolescents and Teens Online Bibiliography
Last updated July 8, 2005.

Weblog and Blog Bibliography
Last Updated November 22, 2005.

A weblog to gather quotations from my academic reading.

My CiteULike Page

My Book2
New books are added but reading status is rarely accurate.

November 05, 2008

The Dream

Tonight I am the proudest I have ever been...tonight I am proud to be an American. As a child of the sixties I hoped that I might live to see antique prejudices thrown out and the US to become a place where our children would "one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character." I hoped, I prayed, but I did not truly believe I would see any part of it in my life time. But tonight I have seen a glimmer that my hopes may not be as far away as I thought just yesterday. Today the American voters elected a liberal Black man to the highest office in the country...a man of my generation...the generation who were children when Dr. King spoke the words of the quote. After years of being ashamed of my country, ashamed of the rhetoric used of division and hate and the violent action of the sitting president it is a night of amazement and awe.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:24 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 21, 2008

Phishing spam amuses me

The following email arrived today. Can you count the errors that make it clear this is a phishing expidition of some sort...or else the IRS really needs to review their hiring practices. Post your counts in comments....I will wait 48 or so before I post my count and approve all the comments.

FROM: "Internal Revenue Service"
DATE: Wed, 21 May 2008 14:35:21 +0100
TO: undisclosed-recipients:;
SUBJECT: Notice from Department of the Treasury

After the last annual calculations of your fiscal activity we have determined that you are eligible to receive a tax refund under section 501(c) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Tax refund value is $189.60. Please submit the tax refund request and allow us 6-9 days in order to IWP the data received. If u don't receive your refund within 9 business days from the original IRS mailing date shown, you can start a refund trace online.

If you distribute funds to other organization, your records must show wether they are exempt under section 497 (c) (15). In cases where the recipient org. is not exempt under section 497 (c) (15), you must have evidence the funds will be used for section 497 (c) (15) purposes.

If you distribute fund to individuals, you should keep case histories showing the recipient's name and address; the purpose of the award; the maner of section; and the realtionship of the recipient to any of your officers, directors,
trustees, members, or major contributors.

To access the form for your tax refund, please click here (

This notification has been sent by the Internal Revenue Service, a bureau of the Department of the Treasury.

Sincerely Yours,

John Stewart
Director, Exempt. Organization
Rulings and Agreements Letter
Internal Revenue Service

Posted by prolurkr at 11:19 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

May 12, 2008

The cheapest local gas

Gas prices are going up rapidly these days...not a good thing for most anyone in the world. If you are in the US and you want to find the lowest local gas prices check out this suite of sites. For Indiana you can check out For any other state in the union, just replace your state's name for "indiana" and you will find information to help you make the best purchase.

Oh and check out to find tips to increase your gas mileage...they really work.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:46 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 10, 2008

New personal weblog

I have a new personal weblog...totally under construction...called Homestead-Dream. Come check it out if you have a yearning for the well-connected country life.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:01 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

May 08, 2008

Do you Twitter?

I'm trying to ease my way back into my old web that the semester is over. So if you Twitter, check out my updates and let me add to you to my list...oh and I have to actually know who you are before I will add you. LOL Call me shallow that way.

Twitter id - LoisS

Posted by prolurkr at 05:49 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

December 19, 2007

Dan Fogelberg - Go Down Easy

This is one of my favorite Fogelberg songs. I played it a lot late last year...and again today.

Plus I traversed some of the general area around where this was filmed when I was in Pagosa Springs during 2006. It's an unbelievably beautiful part of the world.

Pagosa Springs trip 2006 May and June.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

There are no words

I am a long time - in a good way it feels like forever - Dan Fogelberg fan. I've seen him in concert 11 times...the last concert I saw will have been his last public concert. I'm at a lose for's like the sound track of my life has been silenced, something I knew was coming but still seems totally surreal.

My heart goes out to his family and friends for their lose.

YouTube has several videos of Fogelberg in concert. Check it out.

Previous prolurkr posts: Dan Fogelberg announces he has prostate cancer

From the Dallas Morning News Dan Fogelberg's legacy will linger
To fully appreciate the scope of singer-songwriter Dan Fogelberg's musical talents, dig out your copy of 1981's The Innocent Age and give it another listen. [Click image for a larger version] Dan Fogelberg

The two-disc set, which was released as the demise of disco made room for the nurturing of new wave, stands as the late Illinois native's artistic zenith. Mr. Fogelberg, who succumbed to prostate cancer on Sunday, spent his entire career based in folk music. But he then took his uncluttered melodies, storytelling lyrics and soothing voice into pop, rock, jazz and even country territories.

The Innocent Age, an ambitious 17-song cycle written and produced by Mr. Fogelberg, touched on romantic longing, familial reminiscing and ecological ruminating by tracing the varied stages of life, from birth to death.

Age will be best remembered for two of its four hits, "Leader of the Band" and "Same Old Lang Syne." Mr. Fogelberg's best writing breathes in "Lang Syne." The song's lovely yet melancholy melody provides the perfect cushion for the vivid words. Upon bumping into an old girlfriend at a grocery store, a conversation ensues. Time has brought them back together, but they aren't as they were when the fire first flickered inside them.

"She said she'd married her an architect," he sings, "Who kept her warm and safe and dry/She would have liked to say she loved the man/But she didn't like to lie/I said the years had been a friend to her/And that her eyes were still as blue/But in those eyes I wasn't sure if I saw/Doubt or gratitude."
Also Online

Through his successful run of studio albums from 1974 to the mid-1980s, rock critics unfairly maligned Mr. Fogelberg, deeming his sound too soft. Those critics failed to recognize the one-time Colorado-based artist's creative breadth.

He was considered part of the Southern California '70s pop-rock clique, primarily because he had a musical kinship with Joni Mitchell, Gram Parsons protégé Emmylou Harris and Eagles members Don Henley and Glenn Frey (all of whom were guests on The Innocent Age).

But with smooth-jazz flutist Tim Weisberg he recorded 1978's Twin Sons of Different Mothers, which had a largely jazz-focused bent. On 1985's gold-selling High Country Snows, Mr. Fogelberg ventured into country and bluegrass with such luminaries as Ricky Skaggs, Vince Gill and Chris Hillman. With 1987's ill-conceived Exiles, he ventured into generic '80s pop-rock, no doubt as a way to appease his label. By then, his commercial clout had waned.

His biggest pop hit remains 1979's "Longer," the folkie gem that appealed to a wide audience and still plays as warmly familiar nearly 20 years later. Before his cancer diagnosis in 2004, when Mr. Fogelberg was still touring regularly, "Longer" was his quintessential concert staple: the song to unite the young and the old, the impressionable and the jaded.

Phoenix, the album that houses "Longer," was the predecessor to The Innocent Age. Such a connection is notable since he was at his artistic and commercial peak then. Now, after his death at age 56, Mr. Fogelberg's "Leader of the Band," his ode to a dad whose musician ways rubbed off famously on his son, seems mighty bittersweet.

The song's hook could make you sigh. "I'm just a living legacy/To the leader of the band."

Sadly, he isn't anymore.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:54 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 26, 2007

Winter is at the door

This picture was taken around 4 p.m. today, I was standing on my front porch looking North. It has been cold and wet all day...and gray...very very gray. Winter has arrived though he has yet to hunker down for his long stay outside the yellow house.

As I went to the mail box this morning, trudging through wet fallen Maple leaves, I kept thinking "wasn't it just yesterday that it was so hot?" So hot that I was living in shorts and workout tops before I broke down and turned on the air conditioning. Wasn't that yesterday? Where is this year going...that is one of the worst part of aging...years go so fast now.

I hate gray, II've always figured I could stand a winter in the Rockies even with all the snow, just because it's so rarely gray. Ahhh the dreams of 300 sunny days, on Piano Creek above 9,000 feet.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:29 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 22, 2007

"Thanksgiving" is an action word

This morning I gave the sermon at our Thanksgiving Service. I decided to post it for posterity. Hope you enjoy it.

When I was a kid I would have told you that Christmas was my favorite holiday for two reasons – music, and presents – not necessarily in that order. Nevertheless, looking back, I think that Thanksgiving was actually my favorite holiday – Christmas was too focused on who got what gifts and was the amount spent on everyone exactly equal, and Palm Sunday and Easter were often confounded with my birthday, which is in April. No I think Thanksgiving was my favorite with it’s focus on those we care about the most and on food.

I was blessed to have wonderful women in my life…women who showed their love with their hands when they cooked. My father’s mother’s angel food cakes were legendary…having spent her life on the farm with fresh organic free-range eggs and whole unpasteurized unhomogenized milk she could take those wonderful wholesome ingredients and whip up a cake with frosting that would set my pre-teen heart a flutter. Sometime you should ask my brother or sister about the Angel Food cakes with Carmel Icing we loved to have as birthday cakes.

My mother’s mother, having been a farm girl who became a town wife, didn’t have her prime ingredients immediately at hand, but none the less, her yeast rolls are to this day a family legend. As the only bread baker of my generation, not that I actually bake it all that much, I am assailed with requests to make “Aunt Annie’s” rolls whenever I am to attend a family gathering in Indianapolis. A request I have yet to fulfill.

You see, I can make yeast rolls. I make good yeast rolls, even ones that look like Grandma’s rolls - since she taught me the secret two-handed flip that made them come out so smooth and rounded on the top. However, while they look like Grandma’s rolls they don’t taste like them.

Part of the reason my rolls don’t taste the same as hers is that the ingredients I buy in 2007 just don’t taste like the ones she had in the 1960’s. Store bought butter isn’t as buttery now, flour seems to be old and sort of off even when you open a new package that you bought only minutes before.

However, that’s only part of the reason mine taste different. Mine taste different because I am different. I was a farm kid in the 1960’s not the 1910’s. I’ve spent my life around cars, and manufacturing machines, and books, and computers; not raising kids and primarily taking care of a home and a family. Therefore, while I can mix the ingredients – there is no secret recipe here; Grandma’s yeast roll recipe is straight out of the old Betty Crooker Cookbook. I can knead the dough, form the rolls, and do all the proper raising and proofing required…the essence of me that the rolls absorb from my working them adds something different than the flavor she gave.

Oh and there was one other huge difference between my Grandmother’s baking and my own. You see my Grandmother did the baking for me on Thanksgiving, not to keep me feed since Thanksgiving in the U.S. is not, for most of us, about daily sustenance. Rather, Thanksgiving for most of us is about abundance. No, she did it for me…to show the love she could not have then expressed any other way. And I ate at that fountain, and would do so today if the opportunity were available to me. Because as William Jennings Bryan said, “On Thanksgiving Day we acknowledge our dependence.”

On Thanksgiving Day, we acknowledge our dependence on each other for emotional support when we are in trouble. We acknowledge our families and our friends who support us when we cannot support ourselves.

Did you know that Charles Dickens wrote “A Christmas Carol” at a time when Puritanism had forced a decline in Christmas celebrations? The Industrial Revolution, in full swing in Dickens' time, allowed workers little time for the celebration of Christmas. Dickens' describes the Christmas holiday as

a good time: a kind, forgiving, charitable, pleasant time: the only time I know of in the long calendar of the year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of other people below them as if they really were fellow-passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.

This was what Dickens described for the rest of his life as the "Carol Philosophy". Somehow, we’ve turned Christmas into a “give me” season rather than the purer celebration of Christ’s Birth that Dickens envisioned.

Many years ago, I spent a Christmas Season working backstage at Indiana Repertory Theatre (IRT). That year was one of the seasons were “A Christmas Carol” was performed. For that month of eight-shows-a-week, I handed props to actors as they went on stage and gathered the props back once they were no longer needed. For eight-shows-a-week I was surrounded by Dickens’ world, and what I remember most is the turkey. It was a huge bird, the size of your average 7-year-old child. Moreover, while it looked like a real turkey to the audience, it was in fact a hollow bird…a wireframe wrapped in paper and covered in latex, then painted to look like a perfectly baked turkey. I will always remember my father’s mother’s reaction after she saw the play that winter. “I wouldn’t want to try to cook a bird that big it would never get done.” However, you see that was in fact part of the point, the bird was for show not for a real family’s celebration.

Like the apostles in our gospel reading today [John 6:25-35], it is easy to miss the underlying meaning of things when we have a full stomach. You see first “thanksgiving” is an action word, something we do toward our Lord and other people. Like the manna the Bible refers to, our Thanksgiving should go beyond providing sustenance to our bodies…it should feed our souls as well. Without the food for our souls, our Thanksgiving is as hollow as the IRT turkey, or as unfamiliar as comparing my yeast rolls to my grandmother’s. However, you can’t – in fact - compare that big-ole-fake-bird to either of our yeast rolls, since the rolls were, and are, made with love.

As my grandmother aged the life she had lead took its toll on her, as all our lives have or will take their toll on us. She became fixated with what she ate and blamed food for all her troubles. Nevertheless, even when she was in that dark place and would not eat bread believing herself to be allergic to wheat, she still made yeast rolls for us. Lovingly mixing, kneading, forming, and proofing those future brown balls of goodness…because and only because, my brother, sister, and I loved to eat them so much.

You see my grandmother got it, at least in part, Thanksgiving is an action word. She gave thanks for her grandchildren, not through words – which are often as hollow as that huge turkey – but through actions. And as we all know, actions are what show our real thoughts and our real feelings.

By way of a prayer will you join me for two short poems – the first from George Herbert and the second from Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Thou has given so much to me,
Give one thing more – a grateful heart;
Not thankful when it pleaseth me,
As if Thy blessings had spare days,
But such a heart whose pulse may be Thy praise.

For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
For everything, Thy goodness sends.


Posted by prolurkr at 06:44 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

November 08, 2007


After more than four years of his affair, almost 15 months of separation, nine months since he filed, and exactly a month since our mediation hearing, and less than 60 days from what would have been our 17th wedding divorce is finally FINAL - effective November 7, 2007. I would have thought I would feel bad, but the truth is I feel a great sense of he can go mess-up his life without any more of the muck sticking to me.

My financial future is pretty bright now that I won't have to plan on bailing him out regularly - the fact that he owes roughly $300,000 to the bank, the IRS, and me (mine is a very small chunk of that amount...a very small chunk...and I will have the wire-transfer in hand by tomorrow morning) never seems to make an impression on him. Oh well, I'm sure the future Mrs. Douglas Brougher, has been ready to bail him out since their affair began...wonder how far she can stretch her minimum wage job. LOL Now my financial future is my own, I just have to finish my diss and get a real job.

The picture, with this post, is something I find's a wedding ring coffin. It comes with six plaques you can attach:

I'm not sure which one I would use, if I was wild enough to buy this thing. I will save my ring...first as an illustration of the way that something can look good on the outside and be hollow on the inside - a very good picture of my Ex, second because the ring is gold it's actually worth something, and third I paid for I paid for both of his (he lost his first one bailing hay...lucky for him he didn't lose the finger too) and my engagement ring...three of the half million things he never paid me for after he offered to do it's really mine. LOL

Well it's all "Onward and Upward"* - My favorite way to move into my day, and it is a phrase that Ex hated...he also hated when I said "If that's the worst thing that happens today we are doing ok!" Optimism is not his thing.

*Note: Attribution - Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865), U.S. president. address before the Wisconsin State Agricultural Society, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Sep. 30, 1859. Collected Works of Abraham Lincoln, vol. 3, p. 482, Rutgers University Press (1953, 1990).

Posted by prolurkr at 04:11 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

June 26, 2007

I Needed the Quiet

I found a beautiful plaque on eBay - I am the eBay Queen you know LOL - and I hung it in my bedroom when it arrived yesterday.  I think this poem is going to be the story of my little yellow house.

I Needed the Quiet

"The words of wise men are heard in
quiet" -- Ecclesiastes 9:17

I needed the quiet, so He took me aside,
Into the shadows where we could confide,
Away from the bustle where all the day long
I hurried and worried, when active and strong.

I needed the quiet, though at first I rebelled,
But gently, so gently, the cross He upheld,
And whispered so sweetly of spiritual things,
Though weakened in body, my spirit took wings
To heights never dreamed of when active and gay,
He loved me so gently, He drew me away.

I needed the quiet. No prison my bed,
But a beautiful valley of blessing instead,
A place to grow richer, in Jesus to hide--
I needed the quiet, so He drew me aside.

– Alice H. Mortenson

Posted by prolurkr at 04:02 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

June 19, 2007

A new home for my new life

Well I've begun my new, soon-to-be-single-again, life by moving into a house that is perfect for me. LOL You win some and then you win some. I've been promising some folks pictures for a couple of weeks now, so here are outside shots. You won't get many inside shots until I'm completely unpacked, which will probably be middle to late new desk isn't even being shipped until July 6th.
Ok so let's get the one and only thing wrong with this place totally out into the has Harvest Gold colored siding. Well you know it could have much worse things wrong with it. LOL Like soon-to-be-exhusband's (STBEx) house does. So if this is the worst thing I can come up with, we are DEFINITELY doing just fine. LOL
The house is surrounded by fields, this season they are seed corn fields with huge irrigation systems. Sadly the irrigation is running a lot since we are in drought. You can just barely make out the running overhead irrigation system in this picture.
The house is a two bedroom, one up and one down. It also has an attached two car garage and a nice breezeway between the house and garage. The breezeway is cat territory, and they seem to really enjoy just hanging-out out there. My psycho kitty even seems calmer here, and she is actually using her litter box...but more on that later probably.

The previous picture shows the lovely bay window in the "dining room". Of course I'm not using it as a dining room, I'm using it as a living room and am making the living room into my study. Come on who of us doesn't spend more time in the study than in most any other room of the house? So since I'm the only human living here I might as well use the best room as the place I spend the most time. The cats don't care what I use the rooms for as long as the doors are open to them and they have lots of windows to sleep in.

The house also has two porches, one on the main house and one on the breezeway. My plants have taken over both...I had nothing to do with it. LOL I spend at least some time each evening, and often several times throughout the day, just sitting on the porch and being surrounded by the quiet. Quiet was not something you ever really got at STBEx's house...he had to have noise, as does his father, and the house is on a busy country thoroughfare so it was very rarely anything close to quiet. I love the quiet, and the low distant hummm of I-65, roughly 2 miles away as the crow flies, on I-65 I can get anywhere I need to be and get home to my little yellow country place.

There are several mature trees on the property, as well as an old falling down barn (not pictured). This one is on the eastside of the backyard and has become my "lounging" area. I don't spend as much time there as I would like, I'm still unpacking and sorting and running and doing stuff because of the move and the divorce.

At the old house the only high speed internet access available to me, at least for several years, was satellite. I bought a system and paid a high monthly fee to use it...our old dialup was so slow I simply could not stay connected to university systems. Well now I have a really large boat-anchor in my garage because the new house is connected to the internet wirelessly. This tiny "sign" is the antenna. And believe you me, wireless beats satellite hands down. This system is so fast that sometimes I am just awestruck.

My provider Citizen Communication Corp Broadband has one of their two local towers less then a mile away from my house. When I called them about service they asked me if I could see the tower from my house and I paused, the sales person quickly jumped in saying "Can you at least see the light on top?" I laughed and said, "I was trying to decide if I can see half of it or 2/3rds." LOL She immediately said "Then we should be able to set you up no problem." And they did exactly that...with no problems.

And now for those that are interested in what the house looks like inside, here's a little taste. This is the main entry hall as seen from the study, my desk chair actually. The floors on the first floor have been painted white. My denim carpets will be down in two of the three main rooms, I need to get the last one down in the living room. So far my decorating style is "shabby chic" though in truth I've been shabby chic all my life and didn't know it until lately.

For those that don't know, shabby chic is the current rage using old furniture and surroundings that have been distressed and look lived in and on. LOL Well for a country girl whose furniture has been acquired mostly through inheritance or auction, shabby chic is just how it is. LOL I love it I'm in long enough and everything comes around again.

Oh, and the green leather basket on the stair post is my "upstairs/downstairs" basket. During the day I put whatever needs to go upstairs into it and when I go up I take it with me. Then at night I put in whatever needs to come downstairs, and reverse the process. Not a new idea...but it is a newish basket...I found that beauty on a clearance rack for $5.00. I have no idea why it was there but I'm glad it was.

Well that is a quick look at my new digs in the sticks of Southern Indiana, well barely Southern now. I think in fact I'm more Central Indiana here. Either's my quiet safe secure home where I can write and recuperate from the last year, aka the missing year.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:24 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

April 17, 2007

The end of a yeasty era

As a kid, when I was playing outside in the summer, I could always tell when the temperature was getting high and the humidity was going up as well.  No, I wasn't a weather maven watching dials and gages.  All I had to do was sniff the air and I knew.  I knew because the aroma of rising yeast dough and sugar glaze would be all around me wafting the 5 miles or so between my house and Sap's Bakery, home of the famous Sap's Sugar Glazed Yeast Doughnut.

Because of that overpowering smell, and the tour I took of the plant in about 6th grade, I haven't eaten many doughnuts as an adult.  I think the tour did me in when I saw men in hip-waders, like my uncle wore to clean up the milking parlor, standing in a sugar vat scrubbing it out.  Hip-waders = cow manure = sugar glazed doughnuts = enough said.  LOL

Though in truth my doughnutlessness may have happened simply because nothing made now tastes like a Sap's Glazed Yeast Doughnut.  Nothing even comes close.

Years ago the bakery was sold to what is now Interstate Brands, maker of Dolly Madison products.  Dolly Madison = saw dust= also enough said.  LOL  And in today's edition of The Republic, our local newspaper, it was announced that Dolly Madison has ended it's poor attempt to mass produce Sap Essex's stellar doughnuts.  The end of another remnant of my childhood. 

What can I say, the old-timers around here knew that Dolly Madison's version wasn't even close to the same as Sap's taste treat.  You ask how we knew?  Well no smells emerge from the Interstate Brands Bakery...none at all...unless you count the scent of diesel fuel from the 18-wheelers loading and unloading their cargo outside the plant.  The products just can't be the same if nothing smells sickingly sugary sweat and yeasty over 5-miles away.

Sap's yeast doughnut no longer produced

Related links: 

Jelly Doughnut

In memory of Phillip R. "Sap" Essex

Long Gone Regional Chains

Posted by prolurkr at 09:34 AM | TrackBack

April 16, 2007

A sad sad day

Like many of you, I like to think of universities as special revered places.  Sadly today in the U.S. we get to see how special a campus can be.  I'm crying thinking about the students and the faculty that died so senselessly...and what had to have happened to the shooter to make him think this was something he should do.

Wounded girl being carried by police
The campus has now been closed and students evacuated

A US shooting rampage at the Virginia Tech university has left 33 people, including a suspected gunman, dead.




Posted by prolurkr at 06:18 PM | TrackBack

Have you ever had one of those days?

Well today appears to be one of them for me.  *sigh*  Multi-tasking got me into trouble, so...

Steve from Indiana Rep, I pushed the wrong button on me your user info and I'll add you in.  Sorry.

Dan from BSU, now in Chicago, I can't find your email addy so if you see this email me please.

Thanks all.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:27 AM | TrackBack

April 15, 2007

Which Serenity character are you?

Your results:
You are Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)

Zoe Washburne (Second-in-command)

Malcolm Reynolds (Captain)

Kaylee Frye (Ship Mechanic)

Derrial Book (Shepherd)

Dr. Simon Tam (Ship Medic)

Wash (Ship Pilot)

River (Stowaway)

Inara Serra (Companion)

Jayne Cobb (Mercenary)


A Reaver (Cannibal)


Dependable and trustworthy.
You love your significant other and
you are a tough cookie when in a conflict.

Click here to take the Serenity Firefly Personality Test

Posted by prolurkr at 08:44 AM | TrackBack

March 20, 2007

Purple & Gold Converse Chucks look 4.5" heel size 11

Ok I am a huge fan of Chuck Taylor Converse. In my time I have had red ones, and green ones, and white ones, and black ones among other high-tops or low-tops. Right now I'm bidding on a pair of bright yellow slip-on's on eBay.

But my all-time favorite pair were the purple high-top's I bought my senior year in high school...I throw them out a couple of years ago because I can't wear them anymore.  It's depressing, our feet continue to grow throughout our lifetime...which is not something those of us with big feet want to hear. LOL

So if I could wear them you better be sure I would be bidding on this gorgeous pair of "fake" Chuck Taylor's. I won't even mention how tall I would be in these heels...shorter then you think because there is no way I could stand up in them let alone walk. LOL This have 4.5 inch heels.

Check out the auction notice
Purple & Gold Converse Chucks look 4.5" heel size 11

My love of Chuck Taylor's might have been slightly influenced by Mr. Taylor's time on the Columbus (Indiana) High School Basketball Team...aka my hometown but not my high school.  He was enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1969. Wikipedia has a nice entry with a picture see Chuck Taylor (salesman).

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March 14, 2007

Spring has come to the farm

snowdrops.jpg (201x164 pixels)Spring has sprung in Southern Indiana, all of the necessary signs are in alignment.  All three happenings must be present for spring to be declared on our homestead.  First, the snowdrops have been in bloom for about two weeks.  Second, we have lambs...I love lambs.  They are so cute and fuzzy and I can see them popping across the pasture from my kitchen window, they are four-legged popcorn springing bad they grow up to be sheep.  Three, the Northern Spring Peepers must be croaking their mating calls:

The loud, peeping chorus of Spring Peepers means winter is finally coming to an end. These little frogs are among the very first to call and breed in the spring, often starting while there is still snow on the ground and ice on the lakes.

So by the power invested in me by no one with any sense...LOL...I declare it SPRING!

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February 13, 2007

Ice and snow descend on my yard

There is little in this winter world that is more destructive then an ice storm...and little that is more beautiful….the way the tree branches are coated with the glimmer of ice…each fragile branch surrounded and encased with the hard edges of ice. It is stark and amazingly beautiful.

But it is destructive even with all this beauty. There are already large limbs down in our yard, our old soft maples can't take the weight especially with wind.  I figure there will be more by sunrise tomorrow when the storm should have moved on into Ohio and moving toward points east.

I went out earlier to see the damage and, as usual, I ended up wandering around taking in the winter sights and sounds in a space I know so well…my own yard. The snow has nestled in the rows of the hay field, to the west, creating lines reminiscent of parallel cross-country trails. The birds have moved up to the yard from the back woods, at least they do so during the day, on days when the feeders are full. A pair of noisy blue jays lord over the groundfeeders driving smaller birds off so the bullies can grab the peanuts before the littler guys can get their fill. None of them seem to realize there is enough for all of them…I have more in the potting shed ready to refill the feeders when it is needed.

Some of the neighborhood wildlife has moved in closer to human habitation as well…the mangiest raccoon I have ever seen is living in our old garage. It comes out on warmer – a relative term if ever there was one – afternoons to sun itself near the door and lick its nether regions in the sun. For some strange reason it seems to like sitting in the electric watering bowl…which makes me glad that the state doesn’t check the sanitation of our serving area. LOL It will be enjoying our hospitality for a few more days until hubby is well enough to take care of's a non-paying guest who has clearly worn-out it's welcome.

The feral cats stalk the bird feeders or try to chase the resident outdoor felines away from their Little Friskies when I put out their morning and evening bowls. One of the feral cats, an almost duplicate of one of my house cats, has taken to spending hours laying in my ground critter feeder…a small trough about two feet long with 10 inch sides. He seems to think that he has the advantage in catching birds from that location…I don’t think anyone has told him that sitting on the bird's food is not the best place to be if you want to spring out and surprise them. LOL

Oh well…more ice tonight and more snow…so tomorrow should bring more interesting sights and sounds in the yard.

p.s. The picture is not from my yard, rather it was taken in Bloomington somewhere near campus from the look of it. I swipped this from one of the Indianapolis television stations webpages, WTHR Channel 13.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:48 PM | TrackBack

December 24, 2006

Happy Holidays to all

Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah (I'm a little late, sorry), Blessed Be for this year's Winter Solstice (also late, sorry), a joyous Kwanzaa, and Happy New Year to all of you and your families.

May 2007 bring all of us peace and joy, and a few publications just to keep us all on track.  *S*

Posted by prolurkr at 12:44 PM | TrackBack

September 11, 2006

A moderately religious woman's prayer

Thanks to Thomas Merton for a prayer that mostly catches how I am feeling these days where I can't see the road or it's end.

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

- Thomas Merton, "Thoughts in Solitude"

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August 13, 2006

Wednesday...a good day and a dreadful day

Wednesday afternoon ended as a very good day.  I finished the second main section of the quals paper, which felt pretty cool.  I have one more main section to write and then there is all the front and back stuff....introduction, future research, etc.  So we are definitely moving in the right direction.

To celebrate I made dinner for hubby and after we ate we were talking about some general stuff nothing that was a huge big deal at all.  Then he changed the subject and told me he wants a divorce.  Not a fun way to end the day.

As you can imagine after several days of discussion with him since Wednesday, during which he has refused my request for counseling on two separate occasions, I now have my brain around the idea that this is actually happening.  There is lots of what is going on that I don't understand...and I hope I do have more understandable reasons from him before it is all over.  Of course that is aside from the fact that he has found someone's a long and fairly ugly story that I won't be telling here.  So as you can see Wednesday night didn't end well at all.

For now I have to set my focus on quals aside.  I need to disentangle 16 years of living in his family home so I can then pack and move.  A process that I expect to take about a month, given that classes start in less than two weeks.

Since I'm not much of a diary blogger and am by nature fairly private I don't expect to be talking much about it all here.  For now I just wanted to let you know that my quiet posting summer here at prolurker is likely to continue for some time as I try to get other things together. 

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August 02, 2006

Anatomy of a(n ongoing) Disaster...

If you've ever had problems with your blog, or other website, host, you know how painful it can be.  Well you have to take that experience and multiply it a couple of thousand times to get to the level of pain DreamHost has been experiencing.  While it may not be really useful to share in another's can be kinda fun to do it vicariously.  Check out Anatomy of a(n ongoing) Disaster.. at The Official DreamHost Blog.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:23 PM | TrackBack

July 13, 2006

Another one bites the dust...and joins academia

My friend and colleague Andy Kurtz has accepted a tenure-track position with the School of Informatics at Indiana University Kokomo beginning this fall.  IUK is a regional campus of Indiana University. Way to go Andy!  Have fun in Kokomo!


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July 06, 2006

Watching the docked Space Shuttle & International Space Station pass over

Hubby and I just came back inside from watching the docked Space Shuttle & International Space Station combo pass over. It's very cool to watch the bright light moving across the sky. Check out the Heavens Above site (registration required) to find out when it is visible where you are located.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:12 PM | TrackBack

Why I love Falcon Northwest Computers (fan letter)

In 2003, after a history of melting (literally in a couple of cases) desktop computers I finally figured out that

  1. I'm a power user, and
  2. I have way more in common with gamers, as computer users, than I do with most standard desktop users. SO
  3. I did my research and I bought a Falcon Northwest computer.  A decision I have never regretted. 

I've been so happy with this computer and with the company's support, that I had decided my next computer will be a Falcon Northwest as well.  Well my decision has been underlined in the last couple of months.  Before I left for Colorado my desktop died.  I took it to my local repair guy who told me that I had dead transistors on my MOBO AND let me know that I might still be under warranty.  The "might" was because while my computer was still under warranty when the desktop died it was not under warranty when he called me...what a difference a week can make. 

I called and the company agreed that it would be warranty work.  BUT that wasn't nearly as simple an answer as it may have seemed.  You see to replace the MOBO they also had to replace the system's memory, it had had RAMBUS ram, and with the new MOBO a new video card was required.  So once the fixes were in I got the guts for a new machine, which rolls my new purchase back a bit possibly to post-dissertation.  Life is good.

If you are a power user or a gamer I highly recommend Falcon Northwest computers.  They aren't cheap but if you live and die by your computer they are worth ever penny.  Oh and they have a really fun "build your own computer" site which I play with just for the fun of it.

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June 22, 2006

Back in Indiana

I got home late last evening having driven a rather circuitous route back.  Some pictures and some stories to come.  I have a full day of meetings on campus today and tomorrow...two different campuses actually.  So it will be the weekend before I can get it all done.

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June 18, 2006

Heading home

I left Pagosa Springs Saturday morning and drove the scenic route to Lake City where I spent last night, pictures to come...yes I know I've said that before.  Tonight I am in Pueblo, CO...aka hell.  Sorry folks but it's just unrelentingly hot...and brown here and was so the previous times I ventured through or nearby.  I don't like desert kinda hot...not my style. 

p.s.  Colorado can been described through three sets of forced or brown, mountains or not, and trees or not...yes there is some overlap though not as much as you might think.

Oh well I called hubby this afternoon and said, "If you didn't already know I love you then you better know right now cause the Rockies are in my rear view mirror."  *sigh*  Today is the first time since May 9 I've been below 6500 feet.  Oh well 400 ft here I come, I'm working on resizing pics this evening and hope to have some posted tomorrow night...assuming the day's driving goes well.

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June 16, 2006

Amazing pictures and a story or two

I have amazing pictures from my driving trips into the high country.  Sadly many are more than a bit hazy so PhotoShopping is required.   I may get a chance to work on some tonight before I hit the hay.  If not then I will work on them on the road back to Indiana.  I leave in the morning.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:14 PM | TrackBack

June 12, 2006

The last week in Pagosa Springs

Hubby and I decided that I would extend my stay another week.  That allowed me to get additional work done as well as have a little fun.  I've been mostly working or hanging close to the rental house so some fun is due.  With the extension I will be out of here on Saturday, June 17, more on the planned drive home later.  While I am ready to see hubby and friends back in Indiana I can't say I'm ready to leave the mountains or Pagosa Springs, not sure I ever would be.

Over the next two days I will be doing some 4x4 exploring of the San Juan National Forest.  Tomorrow, June 13, will be medium length drives around Pagosa Springs.  I should have some pictures to share.  Then on Wednesday I plan to make a longer drive up into the mountains to some ghost towns and along Elwood Pass.  Yeah I know I said I wouldn't do this alone...well I changed my mind.  Hubby has my itinerary and I have my Colorado Search & Rescue Card and I will be on marked forest roads only, so if something unforeseen happens I'm covered.  Oh and I will be carrying the extra insurance on the rental car...just because I'm a worrywart.  LOL And I have a full ruck sack of stuff like food, water, and provisions...see previous worrywart comment.

I'm looking forward to the drives...what can I say I love the mountains.

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Indie Fest 2006

I took the weekend off and hung out at Indie Fest 2006, here in Pagosa Springs...well above it really since Reservoir Hill looks down on the town.


Eliza Gilkyson - I was late for the first set which is really bad since Gilkyson is one of the big reasons I wanted to attend this festival.  Her work is just amazing.  Check out her page if you like folk...or rootish music.

Terri Hendrix - I was new to Hendix work as a performer but found I knew many of her songs through other performers recordings.  I particularly love her song Hole in my Pocket the link is a sound bit not the full tune.

Clumsy Lovers - All I can say about this group is "OH MY GOD! They are energy in motion."  The only band I've ever seen that comes close to their energy level was this strange band that opened for Niel Young in Indianapolis probably 10 years ago.  They were frantic, often throwing themselves down on the stage and writhing while they played.  But unlike that unnamed, cause I just don't remember who they were nor do I want to, the Clumsy Lovers are really good.  I just checked out their website and the video doesn't even come close to showing you the energy these guys had on stage.  The director probably would have freaked.  LOL

Brave Combo - Another high octane band.  I told hubby that if the Greatful Dead and the Lawrence Welk Orchestra were to have an illegitimate child band it would be the Brave Combo.  this Grammy winning group is amazing.  Check out their website...I can't even begin to describe them except to say it was really fun and lots of dancing was had by all.

Eileen Ivers - I have known Eileen Ivers work for years, she is  a kick ass Celtic fiddler who can saw.  I love the music so for me it was the perfect capper to a great day.


Gandalf Murphy & the Slambovian Circus of Dreams - This is a wild band, they are a mix of rock and roll and folk with some bluegrass thrown in for spice.  I can't do them justice in words.  If you are an East Coaster or will be there in the future try to catch these guys.  This was their first experience playing in Colorado.

Selasee - American Pop, Reggae and West African, loved it.  I have a song of theirs on a World Music collection I bought last year.  It's for groving as only reggae can be.  This is a Boulder based band so I'm assuming they play somewhere on Pearl Street, though their tour dates don't show it.

Blame Sally - A great group.  Check out their video If You Tell a Lie, read the lyrics too. *w*

Public Property - Ok this was the only group I didn't like that much.  I have to say it's probably because they are an Iowa Reggae band...*scratching my head*  Iowa and Reggae.  Now in truth they were a very good cover band, I got into their Marley stuff.  But on their original stuff I couldn't hear their lyrics, not sure why they choice to do that but chose they did, as this was the only band that I couldn't hear them sing over the instruments.  But the crowd loved them, I think that may be because it was late in the day and Durango Brewing had had the beer flowing all afternoon.  Check them out yourselves and form your own opinion.

Ruthie Foster - I love when a performer so owns the stage they can be solo or nearly so.  Foster tours with her guitar and a percussionist, though she added bass for this show.  Man can she sing....shake your soul sing. 

As you can see I have a bunch of new CDs to buy, great stuff this.

Oh and...Go hear live music...and I don't mean the mega shows, I mean the small venues where you can really see and hear the performers and they can do the same with and for you.

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May 18, 2006

The critters in my backyard

The house I am renting sits on nine, almost vertical, acres of mountainside.  I put out two makeshift feeders, it's amazing what you can do with cheap shallow painting buckets, and a hummingbird feeder.  It's beginning to feel like I need a traffic light outside my workroom window because the rabbits and squirrels seem to think they are in the Indy 500 as they tear around.

So here is my critter sighting list for 1.5 weeks in Colorado, I've seen many other critters but they are the same species I have seen at home:

Posted by prolurkr at 08:58 PM

May 15, 2006

The plan of the day

I started out this morning with a dip at The Springs.  What a way to start the mineral water baths to loosen up the joints and give you time to plan the day.  And plan I did.  Today will likely be mostly reading, partially because I have a lot of genre theory reading to do and because there is a prediction of thunderstorms.

Thunderstorms in the mountains are not to be missed.  I watched one roll across the canyon last night, absolutely amazingly beautiful and probably quite destructive looking at the ferocity of the lightening.  Certainly these are creatures not to be messed with, so the computer gets unplugged.  I can always read and make notes.

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May 10, 2006

Exhaustion at the end of the first day in Pagosa

I had today on my schedule as a "Day of Rest" for the most part.  I thought I would wander into town and get the lay of the land, catchup on a few things (like the afore mentioned blog post reading), and write about my drive from Illinois to Pagosa.  Well I popped a pan full of teriyaki drumsticks in the oven and went out on the deck to play my flutes for a bit while they baked...thinking I would begin my posts after I played for a bit.  I played...and tried to open the door off the deck to find that it was locked and I was locked out. 

Thank the gods for good neighbors.  The folks up the hill took me in, made a bunch of calls to find the house owners, since the rental agency didn't have an emergency number on their recorder.  They were great.  And obviously I'm back in the house or I wouldn't have access to the computer to post this.

So now I'm exhausted, two hikes up the mountain and one hike down the steep grade will do that.  I guess the posts about the drive will need to wait until tomorrow.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:45 PM | TrackBack

April 08, 2006

Little time for blogging

It's that time of the semester where everything starts closing in...Are all the labs written and posted? Is grading up to date? You know those kind of things. Well this semester it is worse than usual since I will be leaving, in May, during finals week and won't be back until the middle June.

All of this is leading to my telling you that time between posts will be increasing from now, well last week actually, until the sometime at the end of June. Hang with me because interesting posts on blogs and grad school are in the making, I have a list of stuff I want to talk about that I will be using after quals is done.

What I have to do between now and May 7, in no particular order (italics denotes future dates):

Posted by prolurkr at 03:30 PM

April 03, 2006

Indiana’s stormy weekend

Maybe it's a sign about time change but most likely it is just another windy stormy spring in Indiana. Friday night a tornado did significant damage to Flat Rock Indiana, a small town near my church. The historic local Methodist church looks like it is a total loss, I haven't heard anything official yet. Very heart breaking for their small congregation. Please keep these good folks in your thoughts. (Click on the picture of the church to see a larger version of the image.)

Last night a tornado destroyed a couple of houses, and did lots of damage to others in Seymour Indiana, which is in the county south of us. We had significant winds here and lots of rain. Interestingly we lost our satellite internet and TV connects for about a hour...clouds were too thick. But our satellite radio connection worked the entire time.

Also last night straightline winds or a tornado did some serious damage in Indianapolis, check out the story Regions Bank Building Damage Forces Businesses to Relocate with pictures. Not the states best face to show our Final Four visitors. I'm just glad I didn't have to go to the IUPUI campus today, not only was the city going to be a zoo with all the visitors now a significant number of downtown streets are closed so that pieces of the building don't fall on people.

Oh dear, maybe on second thought it is a time change issue.

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April 02, 2006

Indiana’s first day of daylight savings time

Today is Indiana's first day of daylight savins time in over 30 years. What can I say, we ran around resetting clocks last night before bed. What a silly thing to do, as though they can actually legislate the time.

The transition here has been interesting, and knowing Indiana politics I would not assume it's a done deal. You see something like 60% of the population don't want daylight savings time, but our governor was elected on a platform that made daylight savings time one of his top agenda items...Yes I get the dichotomy. Personally I was for the change for many years, though I have not been supporting it this time. The whole thing was handled very badly and that made me reconsider my thinking on the subject.

Just so you know time in Indiana is not a simpler thing now. Take a look at the map on the right, I took this from the Toledo Blade's article Times are a-changin' across all of Indiana. Where I am in south central Indiana we will be on Eastern Daylight Time (EDT). The northwestern section of the state will be on Central Daylight Time (CDT). And finally the toes of Indiana, the southwestern counties, are also on CDT. So when you are calling someone in Indiana you better know what county they are in so you can figure out what time it is. LOL And this is an improvement over the old system in what ways? LOL Oh well wouldn't want to let the governor down now would we.

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March 31, 2006

Wow...time to do other things

Ahhh today is a good day, because:

  1. All of the papers are graded for my classes, well at least until the final papers come in but they are nowhere near as time consuming to grade as the first drafts.
  2. BROG's book chapter is complete and heading, shortly, for the editor.

With those things done I have a day or two to do some non-academic things before I throw myself into April:

  1. More grading, and final lesson planning
  2. More research
    1. Conference abstract
    2. Publication abstract
  3. And the whole getting ready for Colorado/packing stuff.

So what do I get to do for the next couple of days?

  1. Financial paperwork, it is that time of year
  2. Clean the study up
  3. Odds and ends of things that have been piling up while other things took precedence.
  4. Annual Report preparation
  5. Maybe if it stays warm I can go outside and sit and play my flute too. WOW!

Posted by prolurkr at 01:14 PM | TrackBack

March 30, 2006

Mess, mess, messy me

Ok it's now official, I have lost control of the study usual. The picture is not a picture of my study that many people simply would not fit into the space, especially with all the stacks of books I have in here. I am surrounded by almost as many stacks as you see in the picture, well ok close, sorta...there's a lot ok. So I have to take some time this weekend and get things under control.

Why? Well it is just time to do it, but also because I have a recall notice from the library. Where is that book? LOL I'm sure it is hiding in one of the stacks. Oh and I just put in requests for 10, or so, books to use next month when I am writing the MacArthur paper. So I better get it undercontrol now, in truth my world isn't going to slow down enough to take the time to do this until after the first of May - when I will be on the road to Colorado. And I sure can't clean the study from Colorado, my arms are just not that long. *Baa dum bum* So I better just do it now.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:27 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 29, 2006

Lazy Muncie

OK I admit that this may only be drop dead hilarious to people who have actually lived in Muncie Indiana but here it is, Lazy Muncie the video.

Back when I was an undergrad Steve Martin made some news by saying that Terre Haute Indiana wasn't the end of the world but you could see it from there. Well those of us at good ole Ball State University, the school that no longer sanctions "Ball U" t-shirts, knew he was looking east toward Muncie when Martin made that comment.

If you don't like it here move your ass to Fort Wayne!

LMAO, thanks Nick for pointing me toward this one.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:20 AM | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

The hummingbirds are for your lives

Ok, don't let the title of this post fool you I actually love birds. Mostly it's a play on how amazingly fierce and territorial hummingbirds are when together. We tend to think of little things as "cute" but there is nothing cute about a hummingbird battle.

All my life I have lived east of the Mississippi, which means I have only seen one type...the Ruby Throated Hummingbird. It occurred to me, after I found the map of RT migration on Moleskinerie, that if I hang out a feeder in Colorado I might get to see a lot of different hummingbirds. *makes a note*

Well if you like birds, keep an eye on the Spring 2006 Migration of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds to see where they are on their journey northward.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:21 AM | TrackBack

March 25, 2006

The rewards of travel

I just received a reply email from a dear friend from my MIS days. Ok so it was only January 2000 to August 2001 not like its back to the dawn of time or anything. After our degrees were completed, she and her husband moved to New Mexico and, of course, I just moved down the hall and into the Ph.D. program. Well I haven't seen either of them since the move nor have I met their daughter, who was born after they left Indiana. Her email agreed with my original one to her, we just have to get together in the Southwest. You see once I am ensconced in the house in Colorado we will only be 3+ hours apart, I feel a road trip coming on. LOL Sorry folks I'm just jazzed, I really like these people and can't wait to see them in person.

p.s. The picture is of northern Colorado rather then the southwestern part of the state. What can I say it was the prettiest picture of a highway through the Rockies I could find.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:22 PM | TrackBack

A gift from the gods!

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March 22, 2006

World Water Day

Water is a basic bodily requirement. You know the old saying about death - 2 minutes without air, 2 days without water, and 2 weeks without food. Sadly water is a resource we take for granted. While our planet has lots of water, very little of it is potable. More sources of fresh water are needed throughout the world and fewer proposals, such as dismantling water molecules for its hydrogen to use as automobile fuel, should be enacted.

About World Water Day

The international observance of World Water Day is an initiative that grew out of the 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro.

The United Nations General Assembly designated 22 March of each year as the World Day for Water by adopting a resolution.This world day for water was to be observed starting in 1993, in conformity with the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development contained in chapter 18 (Fresh Water Resources) of Agenda 21.

States were invited to devote the Day to implement the UN recommendations and set up concrete activities as deemed appropriate in the national context.

The Subcommittee welcomes the assistance offered by IRC International Water and Sanitation Centre to contribute to an information network centre in support of the observance of the Day by Governments, as required.

You can check out Events around World Water Day, hopefully there is something going on in your area. If there isn't an activity in your area at least spend some time today being mindful of your own water use and what you can do to conserve.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:08 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 20, 2006

News - I’m disappearing for a month

Hubby and I have made a pretty big decision, and it looks like I will be going away for most of May and into June to finish writing my qualifying paper. I need to just hole-up and do it without other distractions, so it gets done quickly.

We've decided I am off to Colorado to hangout in a cabin or house on the side of a mountain and write. The current plan is for me to head west to International Congress of Qualitative Inquiry at University of Illinois May 4-6, then on the 7th I begin a couple of days drive to Southwestern Colorado. I will be gone into either early or mid-June, we will work out the date later today. Total driving distance 1430 from home to Durango CO.

While I have said there are a couple of things the space must have - a covered porch or deck so I can work outside when the weather is nice, and a working fireplace/stove with wood - one thing I have not said I need is high-speed internet. In truth I plan to leave the internet behind; I can do email, at the public library, one day a week when I head into town to get groceries. I plan on writing trip posts and taking pictures in-between postings, but unlike my usual practice of at least one post per day, this will be mass upload probably on a single day.

Right now I am looking at a number of cabins/houses in the 4-Corners area - mostly around Pagosa Springs and Durango - and I hope to make a decision later today. I found a great place, see the picture that accompanies this post, but totally whimped out when I was told that at this elevation the house might still have snow in early May and the only access then would be by snowmobile, which the owner was more than willing to lend me. But even if no snow was present the Forest Service road that takes you up the mountain does not sound compatible with my Honda Insight. *sigh* Love the idea of spending time at this place but probably not until hubby is with me and we can drive his diesel pickup. If you have access to an appropriate vehicle, you can rent them of course, then check out the main website for Vallecito Lake Durango Mountain Meadow Home. I think it is a great remote place to spend some time away...just too remote for a solo trip in May 2006.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:16 AM | TrackBack

March 16, 2006

Ode to Spring Break

Oh you lovely Spring Break
a time where my students either leave for warmer venues
or relish their time away from campus.
But for me, lowly grad student/faculty member that I am,
a time to try to complete 1176 hours of work in 168 hours
- otherwise known as trying to do a month's worth of work in a week.
Can April come fast enough?

Posted by prolurkr at 06:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 15, 2006


This meme is rolling around the academeosphere/bibliosphere, check out My Personal Dna Report . And do your own too, the sliders the test uses are really cool. I particularly like the exercises that deplete the oil cans.

You are an Advocating Inventor.

About You

You are an Inventor

  • Your imagination, self-reliance, openness to new things, and appreciation for utility combine to make you an INVENTOR.
  • You have the confidence to make your visions into reality, and you are willing to consider many alternatives to get that done.
  • The full spectrum of possibilities in the world intrigues you--you're not limited by pre-conceived notions of how things should be.
  • Problem-solving is a specialty of yours, owing to your persistence, curiosity, and understanding of how things work.
  • Your vision allows you to identify what's missing from a given situation, and your creativity allows you to fill in the gaps.
  • Your awareness of how things function gives you the ability to come up with new uses for common objects.
  • It is more interesting for you to pursue excitement than it is to get caught up in a routine.
  • Although understanding details is not difficult for you, you specialize in seeing the bigger picture and don't get caught up in specifics.
  • You tend to more proactive than reactive--you don't just wait for things to come to you.
  • Your independent streak allows you to make decisions efficiently and to trust your instincts
  • You tend to do things on the spur of the moment, not sticking to a set schedule.
  • You do your own thing when it comes to clothing, guided more by practical concerns than by other people's notions of style.

If you want to be different:

  • Try applying your creativity to more artistic arenas, and letting your imagination take less practical forms.

How You Relate to Others

You are Advocating

  • Being social, empathic, and understanding makes you ADVOCATING.
  • Some people find being around others exhausting--but not you! You are energized by spending time with friends, and you are good at meeting new people.
  • The world outside your window energizes you, and you can't help but be involved in it.
  • One of the reasons you enjoy conversation as much as you do is that you often learn about yourself while talking things out with a friend; you realize things about your own beliefs while discussing them with others.
  • One thing that makes you a people person is your insight into what others are thinking and feeling. This ability allows you to be happy for others, and to commiserate when something has gone wrong for them.
  • You are highly compassionate, and being conscious of how things affect those close to you leaves you cautious about trusting others too hastily.
  • Despite these reservations, you are open-minded when it comes to your worldview; you don't look to impose your ways on others.
  • Your sensitivity towards others' plights contributes to an understanding--both intellectual and emotional--of many different perspectives.
  • As someone who understands the complexities of the world around you, you are reluctant to pass judgments.

If you want to be different:

  • While it's important to think about others, don't forget to take some time for yourself, and occasionally to put yourself first.
  • Take some time to spend with a few close friends; although it's difficult to find people to trust, it's worth the effort.
  • When you have great ideas, it can be hard to relinquish control, but it can also feel good to take the pressure off and enjoy someone else leading the way.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:16 PM | TrackBack

March 12, 2006

Ruggedize your standard laptop

I've written before about OtterBox's on prolurker, see OtterBoxs save digital electronic gear. Well I was doing some surfing today and found that OtterBox is releasing rugged laptop cases in three sizes to fit up to 13", 15", and 17" screens. No prices yet, but you can sign-up for email notification on their website. I've already signed up and will probably be buying one for hubby to use on the road. Not sure I need one now since I have an "A" sticker, and should have one into the foreseeable future, so don't have to walk into campus from Outer Mongolia. I will have to see how much they cost before I decide.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:17 AM | TrackBack

March 08, 2006

Joshua Kadison

A friend introduced me to Joshua Kadison's music probably around 10 years ago. His thoughtful introspective lyrics with simple piano accompaniment caught my ear and have held it ever since. Well for a long time he didn't have an updated web presence, but now he does. Check out if you like acoustic music, free downloads available.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:14 PM | TrackBack

Fourth Amendment Packing Tape from EFF

Now this is cool! The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) is selling packing tape. State your personal belief on privacy and tell others to keep their hands off your stuff, all for just $8.00 a roll.

Fourth Amendment Shipping Tape Declare your right to privacy with new EFF shipping tape, and remind prying eyes to stay out of your packages, presents, suitcases, and more.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:35 AM | TrackBack

March 06, 2006

BusinessWeek recongnizes Urbanhonking

Urbanhonking, the folks behind the Ultimate Blogger, made the BusinessWeek Online - Blogspotting list this week. Way to go gang!

Posted by prolurkr at 11:31 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

March 05, 2006

A Prairie Home Companion, the movie

All I can say is "Oh my god" -- A Prairie Home Companion directed by Robert Altman.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:19 PM | TrackBack

March 01, 2006

Indiana does DST in 2006

Oh my goodness, I just received an email reminder from the university that:

Daylight Saving Time changes coming April 2. This spring, most Indiana counties will observe Daylight Saving Time (DST) for the first time since 1970. In 2006, DST begins at 2am on the first Sunday in April (April 2), and ends at 2am on the last Sunday in October (October 29).

Ok now for most of the world this is no big deal but for Indiana it is groundbreaking. You see we have been one of only three states in the good old US of A that didn't do Daylight Savings Time. Microsoft even had a special category for us under "time zone" (GMT -05:00 Indiana (East)). Now we have to run around the house resetting everything from Indiana time to standard eastern time. This is going to be so weird.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:30 PM | TrackBack

The art and science of traveling light

Eszter's Blog has a link to a site I really need. One is a site designed to help you learn to travel light, something that I am always trying to improve.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:13 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 27, 2006

Nanny McPhee

Yesterday I took my youngest niece, she's 10, to see Nanny McPhee. Yes I know it probably wasn't the best thing to do when you have a cold but I have been assured that I am very likely no longer contagious, just deeply annoying with the noises and such. And besides with all the other stuff going on, including being ill, her 2005 Day Out With Aunt Lois has stretched too far into 2006.

Well just to let you know, this is a wonderful film. She enjoyed it, I enjoyed it...what a find. If you want a good fairytale I strongly recommend you see this film, you don't need kids to enjoy it. All that is required is a good seat and some popcorn.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:48 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

I’m officially over it

Hubby and I, like so many others, have been fighting the germ war this winter. We have had one varient or another of the classic flu/cold set in play since Thanksgiving. So as I'm sitting here trying to concentrate and get some little dab of work done today between blowing my rudolph-hued nose and sneezing my head off. I just have to say publicaly...I'm officially over it. If I never sneeze again as long as I live it will be to soon.

I really really really need to buy stock in Kleenex.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:05 AM | TrackBack

February 25, 2006

Spring Break in New Orleans

From My So Called (ABD) Life, looks like it might be a good venue for some serious service learning. I have not veted this personally so consider the following a flyer rather than an endorsement. Addition: As though the CFP's I post are personally veted and endorsed. *sigh* I think it's the student thing and having watched part of the interviews about Natalee Holloway's disappearance the other night. Sorry no comparison I know...beyond the student thing.

Spring Break in New Orleans

Why spend spring break in the typical destinations of the Caribbean, Virginia Beach, or Mexico when you can experience firsthand the rebirth of one of the world's most exciting cities -- New Orleans?! In the spirit of the 1960's Freedom Rides, we are calling on students, especially African American students, to descend on New Orleans for any amount of time during the period of March 10-24, 2006. During their stay, students will experience a mecca of African-American music, culture, and history, while also participating in the historic task of rebuilding the city's communities. Voices of Katrina and the Common Ground Collective are inviting students to come to New Orleans to partcipate in a service-learning trip during their spring breaks. Common Ground Collective will provide basic but secure housing and three family-style meals per day. In return, students will assist in the rebuilding of the area's most devastated communities. Specifically, volunteers will be gutting, cleaning, and repairing houses, as well as distributing food, water and clothing to residents. Students will be able to apply studies in law, medicine, and other specialized courses of study towards the rebuilding needs of the community through work with Common Ground's legal team, medical clinic, and construction crews. Students of any and all backgrounds and skill levels will find opportunities to contribute towards the rebuilding effort and will have a spring break that is incredibly rewarding as well as enjoyable.
Workshops on social justice issues will be offered as well as tours of cultural and historical sites. All you have to do is provide your own transportation to New Orleans, and Common Ground Collective and Voices of Katrina will take care of the rest.

Common Ground Collective was formed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, to provide immediate aid and long-term solidarity along the Gulf Coast. We are a local, non-profit community-run organization offering mutual aid and support to the New Orleans communities that have been historically neglected and underserved. Common Ground's teams of volunteers include: medical and health providers, aid workers, community organizers, legal representatives, radio/print media, and people from all over with broad skills from all walks of life.

For more information and for pictures of our work, visit the Common Ground website at:

Voices of Katrina is a newly formed group of African American scholars and community organizers who are lending support to the people of New Orleans.

Contact: [email protected]
Or Call: 504.368.6897, 609.617.9815, 917.440.9679

K. Kim Holder, Ed.D.
Voices of Katrina
Spring Break in New Orleans
Sakura Kone'
Common Ground
331 Atlantic Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70114
PH: 917.440.9679
MS: 415.310.9783
FX: 504.361.9659
[email protected]

Posted by prolurkr at 12:09 PM | TrackBack

UK readers, enter to win a Honda Civic Hybrid

For our UK readers, from Groovy Green:

Your chance to win a Honda Civic Hybrid and drive a greener car! The Honda Civic Hybrid is both petrol and electric-driven and one could be yours.Enter our amazing competition by texting ITV News with the answer to this question:

Which of the following is a renewable source of energy?

a) coal

b) petrol

c) wind

If you think the answer's A, then text CLIMATE A to 86188

If you think the answer's B, then text CLIMATE B to 86188

If you think the answer's C, then text CLIMATE C to 86188

Texts cost £1.00 plus standard network rates. We will notify the winner at the end of the expedition in May.

Competitions only open to residents of the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man

Link: ITN

Posted by prolurkr at 10:51 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

February 24, 2006

The popularity of names through recent US history

When I was a kid I felt like most of the Lois' I knew were my parents age. Well according to NameVoyager there was a reason in that the height of popularity of the name was about 1930's.

Check out your name on the site...or names you find interesting. It's really quite fun to see how the distribution works.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:46 PM | TrackBack

PubSub vs. Bloglines

Is PubSub not pushing or is Bloglines not pulling? Either way my PubSub searches are not routinely available in Bloglines. This is annoying, and something I never realize is happening until I haven't see any feed for a few days. Whatever the problem, fix it guys...I use both services because they are supposed to be get compatible. Thank you.....

Posted by prolurkr at 08:34 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

February 23, 2006

Buffy’s Gentleman have a new website

One of my undergrad classmates is a successful award winning actor he specializes in roles that use extensive costume and makeup to create the characters...i.e. Sci-Fi. My undergrad is in theatre so that may contextualize it a bit.

Now I find that Doug Jones has a new website as well, though it's not totally ready for prime time. Check out Buffy's in the next little while.

Related posts:

Theatre Reunion, of sorts

Posted by prolurkr at 09:52 AM | TrackBack

Abandoned Places

Splatt's Blog has a link to a very cool site Abandoned I've always been fascinated by abandoned places, the house on a hill with no window panes, the old barn by itself in a field, and of course the ghost town. If you find these places interesting too check out the site...there are photos from all over the world.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:43 AM | TrackBack

February 21, 2006

Totally facinating winter sports

Curling is a fascinating sport. I haven't figured it out yet, and the darn American TV people don't show enough of the matches for me to put it all together.

Well I had to grab this Google doodle and add it to the blog...curling is cool.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:19 PM | TrackBack

February 19, 2006

My last interaction with LunarPages (rant warning)

Ok after the LunarPages fiasco (see Prolurker is back from LunarPages hell (long ranting post warning)) I requested full refunds on both sites, and LunarPages processed the refund for prolurker only. I immediately emailed then that my request was for both sites, a request they again ignored.

Of course I got busy and didn't follow up immediately. So once I was back on my feet from the trip to Germany I again emailed them and requested a full refund for stating that my previous request had been ignored. I got this insightful response:

I have gone ahead and reviewed your account for you. Being as how you are outside of the 30-day window that qualifies for the full money back refund, we will be unable to issue a refund for this cancellation.


If you have any more questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Lunarpages Help Desk again.

Best Regards,

Mike Timanus

[email protected]

Some review...yes I'm out of the thirty-day period ONLY because your company didn't process my original request for a refund at the time you processed the refund for the other site.

Emails went back and forth, no go...they have policies you know and none of them have the ability to think about the policies they are applying. *sigh* It's scary sad.

So I took my partial refund and walked to the sites online door...goodbye and good riddance. If you are reading this because you found my post via a search engine and are thinking about using LunarPages...Don't. Take your business to DreamHost or another site. Trust me anyone is probably better than these jokers.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:57 AM | TrackBack

February 18, 2006

Ultimate Blogger 2006

They guaranteed to be twice as spectacular as Ub05, of which I was a participant.

Check it:

Applications accepted until February 24th. Out of control internet addiction begins February 27th.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:28 PM | TrackBack

Oh so that is what that is for! Bloglines

Ever notice that little "Keep new" checkbox on each post you view through Bloglines? Well I finally figured out what it is for, yes I can be kinda slow sometimes. You see up until now I have opened interesting posts in new Firefox tabs for review and possible posting to prolurker. Nothing wrong with that unless you are reading RSS and don't have time to post. So now I can click "Keep new" and go about my other work. Then next time I open Bloglines the interesting posts will still be there. Daaaaa Now ain't that cool?

Posted by prolurkr at 12:40 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Designer Crock-Pots

Ok most Saturday morning's hubby and I head for breakfast at the Family Diner, yes that is really the name of the place. Well normally hubby reads two newspapers over the course of breakfast, The Republic - our local paper formerly known as "The Republican" just so you know I really do survive in the red state, and the Indianapolis Star. I read the magazine sections, while he reads me the "real news." Well in the middle of my reading I started laughing hard enough that I couldn't talk...of course others in the diner were staring. I don't think they understand the concept of being REALLY amused.

So what got me laughing that hard? The Answer: Special Edition NASCAR driver Crock-Pots. Yes I am talking about special crockpots with pictures of your favorite NASCAR drivers on the cooker itself, oh and you can buy a matching carrying case for tail-gating. I'm sure the Tony Stewart version will be turning up at church dinners all over the county, in case you don't know Tony Stewart lives in my town.

NOT available in stores, buy now. LMAO

p.s. I really love the idea that RocketPost doesn't have NASCAR in it's default dictionary. Works for me!

Posted by prolurkr at 12:19 PM | TrackBack

February 15, 2006

Greenest Cars 2006 has their list of the Greenest Cars for 2006. Interestingly the Honda Insight they list as number one has a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), an automatic transmission of sorts. Insight owners seem to think that manuel transmissions get better mileage but GreenerCars has this note on their chart that makes me wonder. "Certain other configurations of these models (with different transmissions or meeting different emission standards) score nearly as well." This implies that the CVT is the best mileage of the line. I should note that "the line" is three cars, two with manual and one with CVT.

I will have to think on that for my future change to a different vehicle. I'm trying to keep this one going until I have a tenure I can buy a new car. Oh well, it will be a while yet.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:05 PM | TrackBack

February 13, 2006

New updates for the D*I*Y Planner

Updates to the D*I*Y Planner kits have been released. If you haven't checked out this site I strongly recommend it. Why pay Franklin Covey when you can get the same and usually better forms here for free?

Posted by prolurkr at 07:42 PM | TrackBack

My relationship to Gandhi’s ear

Apparently from a political standpoint I am Mahatma Gandhi's right earlobe. Have never thought of myself as socialist before...don't really think I am it's just the forced choices thing.

You are a Social Liberal (85% permissive) and an Economic Liberal (15% permissive)

Ok so the numbers might be close to correct but I'm not overly comfortable with the final label. What I mostly like is the mental picture of me sitting on Gandhi's right right the angel or the devil? I don't remember.

Addendum: How to Save the World has an interesting post titled Why Both Conservatives and Progressives Are Out of Touch With Mainstream Americans which has several charts that are worthy of study. Interestingly one of them says my placement in the lower right quadrant would put me somewhere between 15-24 year old males and females. NOW I wonder what that means. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 07:31 PM | TrackBack

American Airlines *spits*

I just found out that trans-atlantic flights on American Airlines partners, specificly British Airways, will not earn AA miles. Gezzzzzzz and to think that if I had taken American all the way I would just now be walking into my house. *sigh* Read the fine print my friends, read ALL of the fine print. Guess I better apply for a British Airways miles card and see if they will give them to me retrospectively.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:30 PM | TrackBack

3 trains, 3 planes, and a pickup truck

I'm home from Bielefeld Germany. I owe the blog a lengthy post on the conference, which I will be doing later this week. For now it's preparing for this week's classes and wading through the email, snail mail, and RSS that I missed while I was gone.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:42 AM | TrackBack

February 06, 2006

Blog stalkers - advise on personal safety

Problogger's post, Blog Stalkers - Personal Safety for Bloggers is a good thought provoking read for anyone with a serious web presence.

It's been almost two months now since the situation was resolved and I believe it is now safe to talk about it without inflaming things (but hope you'll forgive me for not going into too many specifics).

His advise in the Lessons for Blogger Security section is very valuable and I strongly advise you to read it and think about the issue.

I don't have first hand knowledge of blog stalkers in specific, but I do have more than I ever wanted about internet stalkers in general. I won't go into detail here, the man that stalked me is still online and I would rather not meet up with him again. Suffices to say that I agree with all but one of Darren's points, that one difference being that tone is an uncontrollable variable, you never know what might set off someone whose unstable or just plan mean. I totally agree that third-parties are needed to resolve the problem, in my case other online persons helped buffer the situation and I had sought legal advise, thankfully he stopped bothering me before I set the legal intervention into motion. It was a frightening trying experience and I sincerely hope none of you ever have to go through it. One finds out both the worst and the best about yourself and your friends in these type of situations. While knowledge is always good sometimes it can be too hard won to be worth the cost.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:51 AM | TrackBack

February 04, 2006

Two great movies you should see, and a book to read

In slightly more than 24-hours hubby and I have seen two great films. Last night it was Capote:

In 1959, Truman Capote, a popular writer for The New Yorker, learns about the horrific and senseless murder of a family of four in Halcomb, Kansas. Inspired by the story material, Capote and his partner, Harper Lee, travel to the town to research for an article. However, as Capote digs deeper into the story, he is inspired to expand the project into what would be his greatest work, In Cold Blood. To that end, he arranges extensive interviews with the prisoners, especially with Perry Smith, a quiet and articulate man with a troubled history. As he works on his book, Capote feels some compassion for Perry which in part prompts him to help the prisoners to some degree. However, that feeling deeply conflicts with his need for closure for his book which only an execution can provide. That conflict and the mixed motives for both interviewer and subject make for a troubling experience that would produce an literary account that would redefine modern non-fiction. (from IMDb)

Tonight it was Good Night, and Good Luck.

In the early 1950's, the threat of Communism created an air of paranoia in the United States and exploiting those fears was Senator Joseph McCarthy of Wisconsin. However, CBS reporter Edward R. Murrow and his producer Fred Friendly decided to take a stand and challenge McCarthy and expose him for the fear monger he was. However, their actions took a great personal toll on both men, but they stood by their convictions and helped to bring down one of the most controversial senators in American history. (from IMDb)

Both movies are amazing, through I have to say Good Night, and Good Luck resonates a bit more with me. Ok, the primary reason is the topic, which I will address more in a moment.

The second reason is the acting. Yes like most of the women in American, heck maybe even in the western world, I think George Clooney is a hunk and have since his days on The Facts of Life. But Clooney isn't the reason the acting in this film is so great. That honor goes to David Strathairn a prolific character actor whose work I have admired for years. As Edward R. Murrow, Strathairn has to recreate a man who existed and of whom there are hundreds of hours of recorded television, while lending his own flavor to the mix. The beauty of the portrayal is in the quiet moments, you can bluff with dialogue and hide behind words, but a true actor excels in the moments of introspection. Strathairn is one of those actors who can disappear into his roles, check out his filmography, you will be surprised how many films he has made that you have seen and completely forgotten that he was the actor in the role.

However what I mostly walked away with this evening was a wonderful recap of that dreadful time in the 1950's when America turned in on itself and began to persecute it's own citizens for their difference. In the 1980's as a theatre undergraduate I read Robert Vaughn's book Only Victims: A Study of Show Business Blacklisting and was shocked at what was done by Sen. Joseph McCarthy, and his supporters to those whose views may have differed from the majorities views and to those who simply were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Vaughn's book, taken from his doctoral dissertation, has stayed with me all these years and has been in the forefront of much of my thinking since 2001. As Santayana said, "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." I would much rather we learn from our mistakes than that we keep repeating them. Personally I try to minimize what must be relearned. If you value free speech and have not read Vaughn's book I highly recommend it.

I don't want to minimize Capote's impact. It is a great film that has been cleaning up on the awards circuit, and deservingly so. Philip Seymour Hoffman brings Capote to life in ways that highlight his difference and humanizes it at the same time. Capote, a staple of the talk show circuit until his death, always appeared to me to be an odd person. His intellegence was always clear as was his narcissism. Also it was obvious that he had a keen ability as an interviewer. He could get others to talk to him about things that would not have normally shared publicly. Hoffman captures the contradictions and makes you see Capote in new ways. Take the time to see it especially if you have read the book In Cold Blood.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:00 PM | TrackBack

January 26, 2006

PC and Pixel

Thach Bui draws a most excellent comic called PC and Pixel. After seeing today's comic I can truly say I want a wireless jacuzii. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 05:52 AM | TrackBack

January 22, 2006

I’m sick of being sick

The flu from the middle of December to the first of January and now a bad cold to keep me down for the weekend. I need to buy stock in Kleenex.

Oh and Cold-Eeze does work...though anything you eat after taking one will taste absolutely terrible. Good for the waistline I guess.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:26 PM | TrackBack

January 12, 2006

The million dollar homepage

Don't you wish you had thought of the million dollar homepage to finance your studies? Lord knows I wish I had. *sigh*

Posted by prolurkr at 06:31 PM | TrackBack

I don’t think I will ever find either a datebook or a handbag I like *sigh*

I'm beginning to think there are two things in life I just may never get right. "Just two?" you say. Well no but two that constantly nibble at me. They are in no particular order...calendars/planners and handbags (or personal totement devices).

As for planners/diaries, I tried Moleskine planners. I love the form factor and hate the paper, pencil smears badly on their paper. I've been using a Quo Vadis academic year diary since August, love the paper but not so nutz about the size. I wish Clairefontaine made datebooks in some format...their paper is the best, love the french-ruled notebooks.

What planner do you use?

The handbag thing is a similar issue. Seems I can never find a comfortable to carry bag that holds what I want it to hold. I hate huge bags, I've carried one for years. I need to find a comfortable and spiffy backpack bag that isn't huge but holds what I need...that would be cool. I have this great Ameribag Backpack that will hold a computer but basically only that. Why they don't make a backpack as usable as their handbags is beyond me. *sigh* Gritch gritch gritch.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:22 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

January 10, 2006


After reading, what began to feel like were several thousand, blow-by-blow accounts of Steve Jobs Keynote at MacWorld today I found David Simmer's account of the goings on. LMBO Ok well Dave's account may not actually be blow-by-blow but it is a heck of a lot more entertaining then the rest of the pack. Check out SteveNote, it's worthy of a tech blogging hall of fame entry at the least. iToast anyone?

Posted by prolurkr at 04:28 PM | TrackBack

January 07, 2006

Things I learned while moving two websites to a new host

Over the last month I have moved both of my websites to a single host from two different hosts. In that move we also, Julie mostly, converted from a flat HTML site to a Movable Type weblog. It has been an interesting experience for me, as a moderately web techy person and following is what I learned from the experience.

    1. Plan for the worst and be surprised with the best. I figured on a couple of down days for prolurker and got many more than a couple because of bandwidth issues, holidays, and problems in getting the site to work on the new host. Most of the problems were mine because I didn't know all the places I needed to change configuration information. The conversion was much easier, than moving the established site, because it was a clean slate. I hand entered information once everything was running so in essence it is a new site using an old url.
    2. DNS registries are not user friendly. I had been warned to have all of my information in hand before I approached the site where I registered my DNS. When heading for the first registry, where was registered in April 2001, I had a secondary password that had to be issued to the original email address on file with the company. Thank the gods I use an email forwarding address at IU Alumni for most all of my mail, so I actually knew what email addy was on file and it was still active. Turn around time on this reassignment 24 hours. For the second DNS for prolurker it wasn't so straightforward. The name of the site was registered through my than ISP's preferred service, which means they had a contact with a large DNS service who actually did the work. Well after days of phone calls where I told them that their system wouldn't take my account info and they told me that everything was fine on their end, "any more questions?" *rolling my eyes* The fourth or fifth customer servers rep I spoke to figured out that I was on the wrong site, seems that my service "2Xdomains" isn't available on the site "2xdomains" but rather has a subsite buried in their much larger webpresence. Now to really complicate this "2Xdomains" is one of their sites...just not the site I needed. Confused yet? Turnaround time 6 days, that includes the confusion on domain names with my new host but more on that in a minute.
    3. Big new hosts are big and complicated and not easy to navigate through, nor do their tech support folks always know the answers. I choice my new host on the recommendation of a few blog owners whose sites I read. I knew this was going to be different than the service I was used to...hopefully better than's old host and no doubt worse than professional-lurker's old host. So far ratings are mixed, and mixed is about what I expected. Moving to LunarPages was no sweat on either end. Moving prolurker has been a bit more trying. There were a lot of questions, many of which made no sense to me, as they ftp'd the site over. Then the DNS change wasn't resolving and it turned out that I had "changed" my site's name to "" somewhere in the process. Now you and I both know that I didn't key in that name rather somewhere in the process it was generated and I didn't catch it to change it. So than there were more questions and passwords and stuff before I could get it changed back. Once that was resolved we had the issue of the site not functioning properly. I posted to the blog and while it went to archive it didn't promote to the front page. The hosts "tech support" folks were no help, they never seemed to get that the site was not flat HTML. Some of the most exasperating communication I have ever had via email were had with tech support last week. "Well you may have to change your calendar because it still shows December of last year." Yes I know that and if the post were promoting to the front page than the calendar would change automatically. After two days of them mucking around in the site I changed the passwords, locked them out, and went back to the manuals to fix it myself. Yes that is totally something I should have done in the beginning.
    4. Don't be overly hung-up on stats after a move. Well at least a move where the site was down for over 10 days. I believe the stats will catchup again, of course they are always down over the hollydays each year anyway.
    5. Get back to normal as quickly as possible, it's good for the soul.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:52 AM | TrackBack

January 06, 2006

Why do people buy hybrid vehicles?

Treehugger has a link to a great interview project, The Meaning of Hybrids, at As a Honda Insight owner for almost three years now, a blue one at that, I can tell you that they got to some of the main points of ownership in their work. Here is a excerpt from the interview piece, the whole thing is well worth the read.

BB: Journalists commonly criticize hybrid cars for not providing a return on investment for their owners. Based on your research, what's your opinion of that criticism?

RH: I think the question journalists are asking is, 'Do hybrids save money?" It's the wrong question. A more basic question to ask is, "Do people who are buying hybrid cars really care about saving money?" The truth is that everybody likes to save money in the abstract. But we found in our research that saving money is not the primary motivator for buying a hybrid vehicle. Some people might think about hybrids as ways to save money. Those are not the types of people who are buying these types of vehicles.

KK: In the interviews, we heard that people who bought a hybrid compared it to nothing else. Once they heard about a Prius, for example, and heard about its capabilities, that became the car they needed next to advance a certain story line. At that point, keeping their old car was no longer desirable.

Here's where we get into a difference between our approach and a rational analytical approach. The rational analyst might compare their old car to a Prius in terms of cost and performance and those sorts of things, and look to the answers as to why they bought a Prius in the attributes of those vehicles. We're looking at it, and saying no, we think it's driven by the person trying to extend their identity into a new direction or further along in a direction they were already heading. That's the important comparison. What does this care say about who these people are? This explains why they didn't look at any other car, because no other car does what the hybrid does. And it explains why keeping their old car isn't an option.

The most common question anyone driving my car has been asked is, "Do you save a lot of money with that car?" Hubby and I both have the same answer, no...we don't own it to save money we own it to make smaller footprints on the planet by being less wasteful with resources. While we do save money on gas, the car has a lifetime average of 63.3 mpg, we don't save money over all since the vehicle must have all service at the dealership and there is no secondary market for replacement parts like tires. In short the cars oil changes cost $40.00 (and are likely to go higher since the cost of oil has been going up) and the change can't be easily done at home. This is a very complex car not designed for shade tree mechanics.

I'm pretty sure I will stay with hybrids or electric vehicles from here on out. I like the concept, I like the look, and I like the looks I get when I drive the coolest car around. Now if I could just work through the logic on buying a Tango, oh and well there is that pesky cash issue that goes into buying a car.

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December 18, 2005’s getting there

I've been working on the finishing touches over at I think I finally have the categories in least for now since categories are a work in progress. Now I need to get the broken links working, which means uploading papers to the new site and changing the in-post links to match the new location. Then we just have to get the automated CV template worked out an in place. Things are moving along...and life is good.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:26 PM | TrackBack

December 17, 2005

What can I add that isn’t being said much better than I can say it?

I've been thinking today how I could add anything meaningful to the discourse on this week's revelations about the Bush Regime, I'm never big on just adding my two-cents to the crowd. Then I read Jenny S-G's post at Pomegranate Thoughts and I knew the best I could do is pass on the link so others can read what she has to say. Political discourse is Jen's thing so I will leave it to her. But of course that is easy when I agree with her point of view.

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December 16, 2005

New Orleans as an open architectural salvage site. Some people are just too low.

Some folks just have no kick folks when they are already down. From WSJ Online, Architectural Theft Adds Insult, by Christopher Cooper.

Professional photographer Keith Calhoun is resigned to the hurricane that destroyed his studio. And he has even reconciled himself to the pilfering of negatives he had stored there. But what has him spitting nails is the recent looting of the fat cypress beams that had kept his Victorian-era building standing -- and that would be key to putting it back together.

The beams -- or joists -- long pieces of dense, 19th-century timber that support roofs and floors and are virtually impossible to purchase new, fetch about $10 a running foot at a salvage yard, Mr. Calhoun says. He reckons he lost a truckload of antique wood.

Mr. Calhoun suspects that common thieves working his neighborhood wouldn't be going after antique building materials such as joists, mantels and Victorian shutters unless they were being directed to by someone in the know. The value, he says, is only clear to renovators and aficionados of historic design.

"Not even the cops know this stuff's valuable -- they all live out in the suburbs," Mr. Calhoun says.

Three months after Hurricane Katrina, much of New Orleans is still without electricity, and miles of its historic neighborhoods are virtually deserted. Tens of thousands of unoccupied homes, their doors kicked in by rescue teams, are standing unsecured in thinly patrolled neighborhoods.

In this environment, police say they have begun to see evidence of architectural pilfering, and they suspect out-of-state work crews are the source of much of the looting. At a recent community meeting, New Orleans Police Superintendent Warren Riley said police have begun keeping careful watch on contractor trucks driving through the empty parts of town.

In an area known as Uptown New Orleans, one resident says he returned to find that over a two-day period, a crew had stripped his home of its asbestos shingle roof -- an easily damaged building material unavailable new and hard to obtain at wrecking yards. "They salvaged what they could and what they broke they threw in the front yard," says Michael Sewell, an employee of a shipping firm here.

Collins Phillips, a retired fireman who lives in a tattered Victorian house a few blocks from Mr. Calhoun, says he returned from exile in Atlanta recently to discover that someone had tried unsuccessfully to wrench a stained-glass transom out of its casement over his front door.

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December 13, 2005

Sleeper Cell on Showtime

If you haven't found the Showtime Dramatic Event Sleeper Cell I strongly recommend it. This is the best miniseries I have seen in many a year.

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December 09, 2005

Sort of a Holiday Party

This evening Hubby and I are off to our first holiday party of the season, a fun time with my research group the infamous BROG. The party is to celebrate the end of the semester, and will be bitter sweet as we are also saying good by to two of our friends. Pete Welsch and Sarah Mecure are finishing their studies, for now, and moving back east. Some smart PhD program chair will grab these two up in a year or so, they have already been subsumed and know how to publish. *manical laugh* Of course I will keep pimpin 'em until we find them a grad school home, send your offers send them now.

Well I can tell that the holidays are looming large because this afternoon I started humming my favorite holiday song. The Holly and the Ivy is one of those old old songs, that has pre-christian roots. I love the tune and the imagery. Plus I think it's cool that people have continued to adapt the song to the times in which they find themselves. In other word the reference to "Jesus Christ" were undoubtedly added, long after the song was first sung, to make it more palatable to the church. Adaptation is a wonderful thing.

1. The holly and the ivy,
Now both are full well grown.
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown.

Oh, the rising of the sun,
The running of the deer.
The playing of the merry organ,
Sweet singing in the quire.

2. The holly bears a blossom
As white as lily flower;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To be our sweet Savior. Chorus

3. The holly bears a berry
As red as any blood;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
To do poor sinners good. Chorus

4. The holly bears a prickle
As sharp as any thorn;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
On Christmas day in the morn. Chorus

5. The holly bears a bark
As bitter as any gall;
And Mary bore sweet Jesus Christ
For to redeem us all. Chorus

6. The holly and the ivy,
When they are both full grown,
Of all the trees that are in the wood,
The holly bears the crown. Chorus

Posted by prolurkr at 05:51 PM | TrackBack

A snow laden Friday

Yesterday in Southern Indiana we received our first significant snowfall of the winter. The world outside the windows in my study is a sea of white with only the tan of orchard grass stalks in the hay field breaking the smooth surface.

The parakeets are chirping away in the front room because the snow makes their world so bright. They have no idea how inhospitable the weather outside is to their Aussie frames. It is nice hearing them call, it makes being inside with the windows closed tight somewhat more bearable.

The photo is from and is of a covered bridge in Kokomo, IN (not in Southern Indiana).

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December 07, 2005

RSStoom reader

Ok I like to think that prolurker is important to some of the people who read it...but please if you decide to read it on RSStoom "sheets" don't tell me ok I'm just not ready for that kind of "importance." Check it out Get Newsfeeds on Your Toilet Paper!

Posted by prolurkr at 05:03 PM | TrackBack

NOLA might not ever come back

If you loved the NOLA that was, then you have to read Michael Barnett's post at Weblog. Nothing I can say here will give you the feel of what he has seen first hand. I keep thinking that it would be nice to attend ALA in the Spring primarily because it is in NOLA, but maybe not...maybe it would be to sad.

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December 03, 2005

Island creation is messy business

On Monday November 28, 2005 forty acres of lava bench crashed into the sea on the Big Island Hawaii.

Geologists suspected what had happened because of seismic rumblings, but were not able to go to the coastal site until Tuesday.

The largest previous collapse was in 1996, when 34 acres fell into the sea. On Aug. 27, 11 acres fell into the sea.

Steam generated by water hitting hot rocks blasted rocks inland at the site, the observatory said.

Monday's collapse was followed about 35 hours later by a 4.5-magnitude earthquake about five miles from the collapse site. Geologists said the two events were not related.

The lava flow int he picture is called a "fire hose." Very cool.

The sound a collapse makes is amazing, I was in Volcanos Park in 1996, when a chunk of bench broke off and fell into the ocean. The sound of the rock breaking, and the lava hitting the water was the loudest thing I have ever heard and I was easily half a mile away at the time.

Island creation in all it's glory.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:46 PM | TrackBack

Library Worker Suspended for Putting Squirrel before Job

An American Libraries Online story that is interesting primarily because I spent 18 of the longest months of my life living in LaPorte Indiana. Can you tell I hated it there? Well it's fair they weren't overly fond of me either.

A staffer at the LaPorte County (Ind.) Public Library's Coolspring branch received a one-week suspension for spending too much time attempting to rescue a squirrel trapped in the library's ceiling.

Cindee Goetz said in the December 1 Michigan City (Ind.) News-Dispatch that when a company hired by the library switched from using a non-kill trap to a kill trap, she asked a friend who owns a humane animal-removal business to capture the squirrel. Goetz said she was then suspended without pay for "not giving the library its just due." She told the newspaper, "They said I went around the chain of command" and that "I was paying more attention to the animal than I was my job."

Library Executive Director Judy Hamilton told American Libraries she couldn't comment on the suspension, stating only that there have been other similar problems with Goetz. "This is not an isolated incident," she said. "If it had been an isolated incident, the reaction would have been different."

Last year Goetz, a clerical assistant II, kept an abandoned bird in a garage at the branch and took care of it on her work breaks. The News-Dispatch reported she was reprimanded but not suspended for that incident.

Goetz, who owns an animal shelter, said she feels library officials are indifferent to animals, adding that although the squirrel isn't someone's pet, it deserved to get out of the library alive. "I don't want that squirrel to die, either, but I can't allow a live animal to be headquartered in that building," Hamilton told the newspaper. "It's a severe situation I can't ignore. I'm not running a squirrel condominium here."

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November 27, 2005

Cats in sinks

Yes there is a website devoted to pictures of cats in sinks. What will they think of next? No no don't tell me, my delicate constitution probably can't take it. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 02:29 PM | TrackBack

November 26, 2005

Tango into small spaces

Ok anyone who either reads this blog or knows me personally, knows I'm "green" when I can be and that I have a passion for alternative fuel vehicles. So when I ran across the Tango today I simply had to pass on the information.

Communiter Cars Corp. is making these little beauties. They are two seaters, one in front and one in back, that are narrower than a modern motorcycle. The idea is that by using Tango's we could double the capacity of the existing roadway system plus all the eco-advantages of an electric car.

At the moment the 80-mile range of the car makes it out of my reach, unless there was a place to plug it in on campus, and the price is a bit steep for an around town car inaddition to my driving-to-campus car. So I guess I will just keep an eye on this one and see what happens with their future production. But believe me if I could afford it I would order on today...what can I say I'm a cutting edge kinda girl.

To secure a place in the build sequence for a production Tango, a fully refundable deposit is required. When your vehicle is allocated a manufacturing date you will be asked to confirm the order and select the color and any appropriate options.

Please download, complete, and return the reservation form with your deposit.

Tango T600 Features ($85,000 with $10,000 deposit)

Tango T200 Features ($39,900 with $1,000 deposit)

Tango T100 Features ($18,700 with $500 deposit)

What can I say I like it. LOL Reminds me of the Corbin Sparrow but with two-person capacity and a real eye for safety, not that the Sparrow doesn't just the Tango is so clearly designed around safety. Sparrows are more like motorcycles with shells, this seems like a redesigned car.

Plus the blue Tango sorta looks like Nemo from the front. What girl wouldn't love that.

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November 25, 2005

An academics eye view of the damage in NOLA

A friend of our's here has a sister who teaches at Tulane, apparently she is in the math department. She and her family have just gone back to NOLA. They have posted some photos on a Tulane website showing the extent of the damage and some of the repairs. Here is the link to her photos of some of the damage around NOLA (opens in a new window).

Posted by prolurkr at 07:27 AM | TrackBack

November 23, 2005

525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?

Some musicals you can listen to without ever seeing the action and the music works...think Rogers and Hammerstein. Sure the music moves the plot but by and large they are great songs that are secondary to the book. Of course that is why they can become pop hits because you don't need to know the story for the song to work on its own.

Then you have musicals where the music is so intimately wrapped up around the plot that the two have become inseparable. Those musicals you have to watch. Oh sure once you have, the music can play forever in your head with the snip-its of visual you have saved in your personal repository. But that first time you have to see to understand and become. These are the songs that don't become pop hits but that you play in your head after seeing a cast performs on the Tonight Show or Letterman.

Rent is one of those musicals. I knew it the first time I read about it. And I've avoided hearing the music until I could see the show, though of course Seasons of Love had snuck through from the late night shows and from the Tony's but it alone was my example of the show. Of course I had almost given up on ever seeing a performance until I heard they were filming it with a stellar director and much of the original cast.

And this afternoon I went. Go see it. It is amazing. I know I will be going back.

Seasons Of Love
525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear.
525,600 minutes - how do you measure, measure a year?
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee.
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife.
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life?
How about love? How about love? How about love? Measure in love.
Seasons of love.
525,600 minutes! 525,000 journeys to plan.
525,600 minutes - how can you measure the life of a woman or man?

In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried.
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died.

It's time now to sing out,
tho the story never ends let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends.
Remember the love!
Remember the love! Remember the love!
Measure in love.
Seasons of love! Seasons of love.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:58 PM | TrackBack

A taste of warmer weather on a cold winter day

Ok this morning it was snowing, which is enough to put me in an a pretty gray funk. But not so today. This afternoon I received an email from my favorite mail order that I have actually visited in their brick-and-morter form. If you are ever in Boulder CO you have to visit Into the Wind. It's not a huge fancy store but they do have lots of kites hanging from the ceiling and every kind of string and tail you can imagine.

I am a huge kit enthusiast. Normally I have a parafoil in the truckbox of my car and I travel with a similar one when the weather is nice. One of my favorite memories is sitting on a rock on the beach on Kauai HI and slowly trailing out about 1500 feet of string on a bright yellow and pink parafoil. Of course the bad part of that is rolling it all back up...but every fun thing has a downside.

So, as you can imagine, leafing through Into the Wind's catalogue, or linking through their website, is to me what seed catalogues are for gardeners. It's a way to forget about a gray indoor day and plan for the warmer weather that is to come. Oh well I've been known to fly kits in the winter too...assuming it's not toooo cold. A brightly colored kite just lifts the soul to the heavens.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:06 PM | TrackBack

First snow 2005

It's snowing! I'm going to run and hide because it is too early. Check out the pic of last years first looks exactly like this year's though maybe a bit more grey this year. Oh and last year we didn't get the first snow until the middle of December.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:14 AM | TrackBack

November 15, 2005

A beautiful view and a good meal

After a long day of travel, full of weather delays, to get to Boston for the National Communication Association Conference it was great to open the hotel room curtains and look at the view. Sorry none of my pictures came out, to much reflection on the glass even when the room is totally dark. Take my word for it it's pretty. So I ordered room service and enjoyed my quiet table for one.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:35 PM | TrackBack

November 13, 2005

Finally deep fall has come

The weather prediction says that only one night out of the next ten will be above 34 F, so it's time to bring in the house plants. I think this is the latest I have ever had them outside. I usually aim for Halloween and rarely make it. To make it to almost the middle of November is pretty wild. I hope that doesn't mean we are in for a rough winter. But then again we survived 24 plus inches in one storm last winter so I guess we can do almost anything. Well let's hope it doesn't get really cold since heating oil prices are going through the roof.

Related posts:

Have you ever wondered what 30 inches of snow on the ground looks like?
Christmas Snow 2004 - post 2
Christmas Snow 2004 - post 1

Posted by prolurkr at 06:20 PM | TrackBack

Peter Drucker Dies at 95

In my last professional life Peter Drucker was one of the gurus whose work I sought out to inform and guide my actions. Drucker was a god in the field of business management and knowledge management, maybe the only true one in that so many business gurus are carbon copys of someone else. Here is a link to his grandson's post on Druckers passing. (link found via .:| randgaenge |:.)

Posted by prolurkr at 09:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

November 11, 2005

The most beautiful cows on the planet live in Ireland?

Sarah dear Sarah, this is a Holstein heifer. Come visit us at the farm and I'll show you hundreds of them, steers too. Holsteins are the most common dairy cattle in the world. Of course the ones here in Southern Indiana aren't grazing next to an Irish shore but than you did say it was the critter that was pretty, not the local. LOL

Related posts (which prove I know my dairy cattle):
Traders Point Creamery
Exploring the Big Island

Posted by prolurkr at 09:19 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sushi emoticons

Got a great email this morning with the following "new" emoticons to add to the collection:

(&) ebi
(%) california roll (or spider roll... from the top)
(|) tamago
(||) unagi

Thanks Elijah and laugh of the day I bet.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:51 AM | TrackBack

November 10, 2005

Virtual march to Stop Global Warming

Pop over to Stop Global Warming and register as my friend to participate in the virtual march.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:38 PM | TrackBack

Responses I owe

Today it's preying on my mind that I owe responses to a couple of people and that they will have to wait a touch longer while I finish this paper. First I owe a long response email to my friend John, I'm a putz but than you know that. I plan to sit down on the plane next week and write out a nice long email for you while I wing my way to cold Boston. Should keep we warm for the flight "being in the company" of a friend.

Second I owe a response post in my dialogue with Wil at Weblogg-ed, no I'm not avoiding it I just haven't had enough time to sit down and pull together my thoughts for a good response. It may be the middle of next week before this gets done, which in blog years is forever, but it is how it is.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:03 PM | TrackBack

November 05, 2005

A house full of healthy critters...well “issues” don’t count

Today was pack-up the critters day and lug everyone across the county to the vet at 7:00 a.m. no less. I'm so glad we only have to do this once a year. *sigh* The sound is usually pretty horrific, four howling or whimpering cats in crates and a disgruntled dog who has been forced to listen to said cats against her will while restrained in the truck cab. All and all everyone is basically fine, though slightly grumpy from the trip.

Hemira, the link it to an older picture, is our big success story because she weighs over six pounds, 6.4 to be exact. She was a very sick little kitten for the first few months we had her. Lots of infections and antibiotics to fight them. She was barely over four pounds when she was spayed, four pounds was the minimum at which they would operate. So for her to have gained weight, and to be healthy and thriving makes it a red letter day.

Nix, our sweet boy and Hemira's brother, also checked out good to go. He is our rambunctious boy-child who seems to always have a fat lip with cuts and scraps, mostly because he gets ahead of himself and runs into things at full speed. I would like for him to figure out that as a black cat he is tough to see in the dark so laying down along a household pathway is a sure bet to getting yourself stepped on at night. LOL Seems like he can't seem learn that one. Of course in that instance I'm equally worried that I will be the one with the fat lip having fallen over the cat.

Miss China, the diva cat, checked out perfectly well except for her weight. Seems she has gained a pound or so over the last year, which in truth is probably down from what she weighed during the height of kitten chow for Hemira and Nix. Somebody in China's family tree had relations with a Maine Coon Cat and so we have a beautiful hybrid cat with all the usual Main Coon weight issues. What can I say she and I talk about livin' la viva loca; and both our tastes run to sushi though I like mine filleted in hand roll and she likes her's sashimi style. LOL

And then there is Miss Persephone (pictured above). Miss P, China's sister, is a tightly wound lady, if I were ever to have a Prozac candidate cat it would be her. She can't sit still for long usually. You pick her up and it's like holding a wriggling mass of snakes...snakes with claws and a loud yowl and wild golden eyes. At night she likes to get between hubby and I in bed and nurse the blankets, it is called wool sucking. If we lock the cats out of the bedroom at night, hubby is allergic and sometimes we have to so he can sleep, she will start throwing herself at the door around 4 a.m. demanding to be let in so she can hysterically suck wool. The only period when we have seen her consistently calmish is when the kittens, Hemira and Nix, came to live with us until they were mostly independent. Miss P was the perfect Mom-substitute, she cleaned them and fussed over them and generally took proper control of the situation. To bad we don't have unlimited space for kittens cause she would be a dream-foster-Mom forever I think but four cats is more than enough in truth, so now she gets to be tightly wound again.

Well today when we talked to the vet we got a diagnosis, Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD). Treatment, none I'm going to use that's for sure, the link under "wool sucking" says some people put their pets down over way no how it's annoying yes but gezzz I'm not putting anything down just because it annoys me. LOL If I did that the carnage would be massive. LOL So I guess we will just deal with it, mostly we just try to reassure her that everything is ok and she is safe and loved. Well that and don't let the food and water bowls go empty for long...that really freaks her out when there is no food or water and she wants it now.

Finally Hannah, our aging German Short-Haired Pointer, checked out ok for her age. She has to have some surgery to remove a couple of large benign fatty growths off her breast-bone area. She is a pure-breed and this is a common problem that we have had to have done before. Though last time the doc made me sit and look at the junk they removed as he explained the surgery. Grooooooosssssss. Bloody chicken-fat lookin' stuff that I knew came out of my dog. *shivers* Well this time there is probably five-pounds of the stuff coming out minimum and I refuse to review it personally. I trust the doc that everything is ok, cause this is just far to gross. I want to be a Dr. but not that kinda Doctor. LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 03:40 PM | TrackBack

October 30, 2005

Time Change

For most of the United States time "fell" back last night as everyone hunkers down for the winter. Of course in Indiana, Arizona, and Hawaii nothing happened because those three states don't observe daylight savings time. For Indiana, because we are on the line between Eastern Standard Time (EST) and Central Standard Time (CST) every time the nation switches into and out of Daylight Savings Time (DST) it looks like Indiana changes time zones.

For Indiana last night could well be the last time that we stay on its own and let's the states around us change times. Monroe County Schools (the county where Indiana University main campus is located) have an interesting page that describes the changes and the history of the issue. Yes it sounds like a trivial thing but there is a long and sometimes bizarre history. Personally I have to say that the current proposals for how time change will occur next spring are still more than a little bizarre. Under the new proposal five, of Indiana's 92, counties will be on CST, 17 countries had sought to be on CST some for no reason that is at all apparent to me. So the upshot of all of this is if we do change to DST in April that we will now know which other states we are aligned with in our one-and-only-one time zone but I can guarantee that we will not get a easy handle on which counties inside Indiana that are on the other time zone.

The Indianapolis Star has several articles on the topic, though none have the excellent graphic they put on their front page on October 22, that showed which counties had requested to be on CST and which were approved. Check out Time-zone battle is on again, Time zone plan to be hard sell, and There's no time for clock confusion.

Previous prolurker post on the topic = Indiana time

Posted by prolurkr at 07:00 AM | TrackBack

October 29, 2005

Photos of the NOLA’s 9th Ward

The Survival of New Orleans Weblog has photos of the devastation of the 9th Ward. Note that the picture on the left is of a refrigerator that has floated on to the house's roof. That means that water for about 20 feet deep at this location. Think about that if you will, refrigerators floating 20 feet above the solid earth.

There are some amazing pictures in the series, you can access them by either clicking on the picture or on the weblog link above. More than a few of the pictures are of places I that is an weird feeling. Oh check out the series of pictures that show the barge sitting on a house on the second page. Plus the picture of the St. Bernard Parish barricade, on the third page, is very frightening.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:19 PM | TrackBack

October 28, 2005

*splat* It’s sticking!

The folks in the Whitehouse lie! They lie to the American people. Hell they probably even lie to themselves.

Cheney adviser indicted in CIA investigation. The indictment of Lewis "Scooter" Libby.

With Miers out, who may be next?

In Bush's speech this morning (10/28/2005) he again tied 9/11 and Iraq together. "I would remind them that we were not in Iraq on September the 11th, 2001 -- and al Qaeda attacked us anyway."

'Indispensible' Rove not yet off the hook

Let's review...the V.P.'S Chief of Staff, oh ex-Chief of Staff, and top advisor has been indicted, and Deputy Chief of Staff and presidential political adviser Karl Rove is still under investigation, so assuming they are guilty - yes I know but just for this argument - are we supposed to buy that neither of them ever mentioned what they were up to to the people the advise? Or is it most likely that the instructions came from above them? I know where my vote lies on that.

President Bush's overall job rating.


Posted by prolurkr at 02:09 PM | TrackBack

October 27, 2005

A better mousetrap...ok at least a cheaper one

That's How It Happened caught my curiosity with their link "How to catch a mouse with loo rolls," that's TP tubes to us Yanks.  Ok so I had to click through to figure out how one would ever "catch" a mouse with a toilet paper tube...very nicely I bet after reading the post.  Though the tube isn't so much the trap as the conduit to the trap.  *S*

p.s.  Some of the comments on the post are a scream.

You know, I think with a little reworking, that could work with houseguests who've worn out their welcome too.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:27 PM | TrackBack

October 25, 2005

Five though provoking tiles

On a peg next to my computer monitor hangs a group of five little tiles strung together on a narrow green ribbon.  The tiles are numbered 1 through 5 with sayings on each.  On the reverse of each are stampings including a plus sign and a capital "M."  They are in graduated sizes with 1 being the tallest and 5 the shortest.  Each tile has two holes one at the top and another at the bottom.  They are currently strung together through the bottom holes.  I picked the set up in a little hole-in-the-wall store on Canal Street in New Orleans last summer, they were in the markdown bin.  I think I paid a dollar or so for the set. 

The sayings on the tiles are as follows:

  1. Free your heart from hatred
  2. Free your mind from worries
  3. Live simply
  4. Give more
  5. Expect less

I have absolutely no idea what the original purpose of this set of tiles was to have been, and I do wonder what it might have been.  But for me flipping through them is a nice soothing meditative act.  All of the sayings are values I hold dear, though have clearly not mastered.  Being reminded of these core values by rubbing your fingers over the raised lettering somehow makes the thoughts more tangible.  A dollar well spent.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:38 PM | TrackBack

October 23, 2005

Compressed Air Fueled Cars

I have been waiting for years now for a compressed air fueled car to be available in the U.S.A.  Well I'm still waiting but today TreeHugger has a post talking about compressed air cars in general and linking to some of their previous posts on the subject.  So this is for all those people who have given me trouble about the topic.  *manical laugh* 

Oh and for those new to the concept, yes you are riding around on a bomb when you have compressed air in the tank.  Do you honestly think you aren't riding on a bomb now if you drive a gasoline powered car?  *raising one eyebrow* 

The cool thing about compressed air as a fuel is that, while it does take electricity to do the compression of the primary fuel, the air can be of any quality going into the tank where it is filtered and it comes out clean.  None of this breaking down water, a scarce resource as it is, into its components to put hydrogen in the tank.  Explotation of water resources is another example of the rich countries taking more from the poorer ones.  *sigh*

If I had the money, and I don't since I didn't win the PowerBall last week, I would invest in MiniC.A.T.s - the prototype of which is pictured with this post.  I would invest just for the fun of it and hope to have a model to drive one day soon.  The prototype looks way cool doesn't it.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:03 AM | TrackBack

Broken Flowers (2005)

Hubby is a big Jim Jarmusch fan, and both he and Jarmusch are huge Neil Young fans...synchronicity at it's best.  Hubby uses his favorite lines, with their associated gestures, from Mystery Train pretty regularly.  Most of the lines are from the Screamin' Jay Hawkins section of the film, don't ask me why "Jiffy Squid" is so funny...must be a guy thing.  Though in truth it's pretty funny to watch him do the imitation. So because he is a huge Jarmusch fan we have been waiting for Broken Flowers to hit any of our local theatres.  Yesterday I checked the Yahoo listings and found that the movie had opened at our local art house, Yes Cinema.  So last night we were off to the movies.

I'm not going to really do a review of the movie, let's just say it was enjoyable and an hour and forty-five minutes well spent.  Jarmusch is just not my kind of director, I don't mean it's bad in anyway...just not tight enough for me, not focused, lord I just never know from whose perspective the story is being told.  I do have to comment that it was nice to see a Jarmusch file that had a primary character that was both human and alive.  LOL 

The loosely-connected-stories form that Jarmusch favors can be interesting but it's tough to hold it all together and keep it flowing.  Sometimes it works, see Night on Earth, and sometimes it doesn't, see Coffee and Cigarettes, on second thought don't see Coffee and Cigarettes the couple of good scenes are simply not worth forcing yourself to sit through the rest of the film.  In Broken Flowers the premise of loosely-connected-stories and Jarmusch's usual theme of  "a journey" both work well.  Though the philosophy of the piece doesn't resonate with me.  Someday I have to get the two most philosophical people I know- Hubby and Charles Ess - together and just sit back and watch the there is a film.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:35 AM | TrackBack

October 21, 2005

Tim Grimm in concert

Tonight hubby and I broke out and spent the evening at the Americana Music Series presentation of Tim Grimm with special guest Jason WilberTim is the local boy who made good in Hollywood and then moved his family back to the midwest.  Everytime I hear him play his music I know he gets "it." It is why we stay, why we can't picture moving to the city - at least not forever - it is home.  The lyrics to his new album are not on the official website yet so I'll point you to an old song called 80 Acres that grabs part of it.

It's been five hundred seasons since the feet of Bailey Needham
walked this ground and deemed it a place to settle down
and in his eyes was purpose and in his hands was fire
and in his heart he knew somehow that this was hallowed ground

So with some determination and a one-man crosscut saw
Bailey cleared a cabin site early in the call
He felt a peace within him as he came to work and toil
with care and understanding growing values in the soil

And everyday at sunrise, he'd walk the boundary line
and on little bits of paper, he'd make notes from time to time
and he came to know the seasons and he came to know the land
and he swore no place that he would rather be
than walkin' through the tall grass
nearer my God to thee

If you like folk music than I strongly recommend you check out Tim's new album, it's called The Back Fields and should be available on CD Baby sometime soon.  His past three albums are already there, the click through on CD Baby takes you to Tim's name search and you can find his cd's there easily.

As with most things there is a totally funny backstory, you see though we both graduated from local high schools, of which there are two - his and mine, in the same year I don't remember ever having met Tim when we were teens.  When he started getting local press I remember asking friends from those days, who he was because I had no memory of him what so ever. LOL  I was told that he didn't discover the theatre until he was in college so he didn't move in the cross-town theatre circle that I hung out in.  However I have no doubt that we have about one degree of separation as I'm sure we both know many of the same people.  Sadly as with most names and my memory I'd have to have pictures to even begin to think of names of people we might share in common. 

Posted by prolurkr at 11:59 PM | TrackBack

Do you want a cellphone inside YOUR pants?

Gizmodo offers this post Cellphone Party In The Pants making me wonder what woman would want to increase her pants size one or two sizes to accommodate her cellphone INSIDE her waistband.  LOL  No one I know for sure.  Now make me a cool belt that I can wear stylishly outside and I might take you up on it.

Oh and what is the ring thing on the nude models left side...Sorta looks like a grenade pin.  Oh dear.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:30 PM | TrackBack

October 16, 2005

Mary Poppins on the big screen

Last night hubby and I took a break and went to our local art theatre, Yes Cinema, to see Mary Poppins on the big screen.  Hubby sort of remembers having seen the movie in a theatre as a child.  I know I did not...movies were viewed as fairly frivolous things by my grandmother, mostly because her father went every Saturday and left the women with the work at home.  The first theatrical presentation I ever saw was The Ten Commandments at the drive-in.  Imagine six kids and two adults in a 1958 Ford.  *shivers*  Oh and the facts that 1) none of the kids are over nine, and 2) there is nothing "kid-friendly" in The Ten Commandments.  Oh the joy of it.

We so enjoyed last night's movie.  So often when Mary Poppins plays on tv they cut whole scenes, scenes that are pivotal to the story.  I can't remember the last time I saw the "Feed the Birds" scene played in it's entirety on the tube.  Or Mr. Bank's long walk from Cherry Lane back into the city for his 9:00 p.m. meeting with the banks board of directors.  Without those scenes the movie loses it's brilliance.

There is just something magical about watching a movie on a big screen...something more entrancing that you just don't get with dvds at home on the tv.  Oh and the popcorn is better too.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:41 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 15, 2005

Alone online

When you have as many instant messaging clients as I do, six at last count, there is something very odd about finding no one else online.  Saturday evenings do that...around the world.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:49 PM | TrackBack

October 13, 2005

Silly stuff

Adopt your own useless blob!

Isn't it cute? This is the disco blob. I found the site while doing research. Get your own useless blob they come in lots of colors. *S*

Posted by prolurkr at 03:08 PM | TrackBack

October 11, 2005

The story of my name

New Kid in the Hallway posted a meme today that points to the JobPredictor website.  Plug in your name and the site runs its numerological voodoo magic and tells you what your profession should be.  Well the site got me thinking about names and naming, not like I writing a paper on the topic or anything like that.  LOL  So here goes.

I am named after my mothers first real doll, the Lois Ann doll.  She lives in a buffet drawer now, the doll not my mother or me for that matter, laid out nicely in her cami, socks, and shoes.  She is wrapped lightly in plastic waiting for the day when I can afford to have her refurbished - the doll equivalent of a face lift.  She is roughly 68.

As a child I hated that I had this stupid old-fashioned name because of some silly old doll.  I mean come on who really names their kid after the doll they got when they were five, even if they have spent years telling people that is what they would do.  Of course those words were written by a women who, at nine, started telling people she would be college professor someday...might make sense if I was a legacy but I'm not so who knows where these things come from.  Besides there was another girl in my class with the same two names and I always hated that there were two of us, nothing against her to be sure.

You see most of the women in my mothers family went by two names...Mary Helen, Mary Margaret, or Anna Mae for example.  And well they were all at least my mothers age...they were OLD.  LOL  I wasn't old, a smart arse but not old.  So at 13 I announced I was no longer answering to Lois Ann, I would be Lois or nothing at all.  And so I did it, slowly I retrained most of my family to just call me by my first name.

Then somewhere around 21 I realized that parents may name kids but it's up to the kids to make those names their own.  And of course since I was always supposed to use both names, and my parents were gone, I thought a lot about how I could honor them and still not have to live with the double moniker.  So I began using Lois Ann as my professional name.  Yes I know that 21 year olds don't have much of a professional life, at least I didn't but that is how I decided to use the name any way.

So I have two monikers no matter what.  I have Lois Ann for academic articles and other professional obligations but I prefer the first name only for conversation.  Either works to tell the truth.  I answer to almost anything just don't call me Louise...long story.

Oh and my grandmother gave me the doll a number of years before she died.  Now I guess I think it's kinda cool being named after my Mom's doll it shows my mother was a lady who made up her mind and stuck with it...especially with things and people she loved.

There have been, of course, a string of nicknames over the years, very few of which are still in common use.  At least very few of them that I actually hear used to refer to me in the flesh.  And then almost two years ago I added to the list myself when I took on prolurker as a nickname.  Of course I don't refer to myself with that one, and in truth I mostly use it to refer to the weblog, though each post is signed with it "posted by prolurkr."

And the JobPredictor definitely sees some striking differences between these names.  According to it Lois Ann should be a Heavy Weight Boxer, Lois is a future Prime Minister, and prolurker will excel at "anything where you can kiss ass."  Oh dear me.  Not sure how to align all three of those...a Prime Minister with a weight problem and just a touch of schizophrenia so she modulates between beating the crap out of people and kissing their bottoms?  Or maybe she is sadomasochistic and enjoys both beating and kissing at the same time.  *shivers*  I think I may have take that analysis too far especially for a pacifist. 

When I entered my old chatroom moderator nickname it says I should be Head that one is right on the money.  Besides I just can't picture a Heavy Weight Boxer being named after their mother's first doll.

The Lois Ann doll is a redhead but so was my mother, though her's was much darker than mine. I should note that the picture is not of a Lois Ann doll, just a pretty redheaded doll I found online.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:32 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sirius drops Folk Music channel

Sirius Channel 38 was the location for FolkTown but in the company's recent channel shift 38 is gone.  Folk Alley listeners, may of whom like me used both services, are not happy.  Now in truth I wasn't listening to FolkTown all that much anymore, reason being that I can only hear so many Bob Dylan songs in an hour before I want to blow myself and my radio to pieces.  I mean Dylan is important to folk music but he is not the only folk out there.  Folk Alley has a much broader selection as does WNKU, also available online.

So if you are missing FolkTown, turn left at the Alley.

p.s. The Sirius site is a Flash-fest...if you love it then you love it but personally I hate it.  Bandwidth hogginess warning.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:30 AM | TrackBack

October 02, 2005

Genealogy tools

I have an old connection to and resonance with genealogy.  First it is at it's core a research science, and often one of the only one's that was available to women.  Second I have previously mentioned that my great-aunt was a genealogist who traced the family all the way back to Troy.  Her life's work was to construct a complete and accurate picture of the family genealogy, to assist and be assisted by her colleagues in her work, and to produce written documentation of her results...sound a little familiar? 

This great-aunt was on my mother's side of the family, sadly there is no one like her on my fathers side.  I have all of the information I could find about my paternal ancestors from family members in a database awaiting a time when it would be fun to work with it.  I originally thought it might be a useful project during dissertation...something different but still using some of the same mental muscles.  Maybe it will still be, though I have a tough time picturing that I will have the time.

Either way, this mornings reading brought me a good source for searching information when the day comes that I work on this project.  ResearchBuzz pointed me to  Castle Garden was the NYC immigrant center before Ellis Island.  On either site you can do full or last name searches to find out information about the immigrant at their time of arrival including, date of arrival, name of the ship, age on arrival, and residence.  In doing a quick search on my last name I was pleased, and a bit surprised, to find that my family has a long history of naming girls Amelia, and it's variants.  One of my favorite aunts was named Amelia...I always liked the name.

I wonder if there are similar tools for records from New Orleans?  The reason I wonder is that pre-1850's and post-Independence many, maybe even most, of the immigrants that ended up in the mid-west entered the country through the Port of New Orleans.  Similarly many entered through Charleston SC, though most of those folks ended up in the southeast.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:11 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

October 01, 2005

Swimming to the Other Side

I've been listening to Folk Alley, while I work on my NCA paper, and they just finished playing one of my favorite folk songs. I thought I would share it with you. One could go a long way toward an ethical life by following these words as guidepost. I often think through the lyrics and am working to integrate them into my being.  I haven't won the battle yet but I'm trying.

Swimming to the Other Side
Copyright Pat Humphries

We are living 'neath the great Big Dipper
We are washed by the very same rain
We are swimming in the stream together
Some in power and some in pain
We can worship this ground we walk on
Cherishing the beings that we live beside
Loving spirits will live forever 
We're all Swimming to the Other Side

I am alone and I am searching
Hungering for answers in my time
I am balanced at the brink of wisdom
I'm impatient to receive a sign
I move forward with my senses open
Imperfection it be my crime
In humility I will listen, 
We're all Swimming to the Other Side


On this journey through thoughts and feelings 
Binding intuition my head, my heart
I am gathering the tools together
I'm preparing to do my part
All of those who have come before me
Band together to be my guide
Loving lessons that I will follow
We're all Swimming to the Other Side


When we get there we'll discover
All of the gifts we've been given to share
Have been with us since life's beginning and
We never noticed they were there
We can balance at the brink of wisdom
Never recognizing that we've arrived
Loving spirits will live forever
We're all Swimming to the Other Side


Posted by prolurkr at 03:36 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 30, 2005

The Lego Tech Queen

From One Bright Star...yes I've been lifting a lot from her lately. Make your own at The Mini-Mizer.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:47 PM | TrackBack


Ok if, like me, you are a Joss Whedon fan go see Serenity.  If you were a fan of Firefly go see Serenity.  Golly if you just like fun movies go see Serenity.

I really enjoyed I know where Reavers come from. *shivers*  Hubby, who doesn't know all the backstory from the episodes liked it too and says he would recommend it as well.

I'm not telling you any more than that...just go see it.  Get up and  LOL

Posted by prolurkr at 10:22 PM | TrackBack

Fall is falling into my frame

It's been chilly here today, high of 72 F and low of 45 F.  Of course my house has not warmed up appreciably from last evenings chill.  Fall is definitely here.  The leaves will be turning in 10 days or so. 

I'm sitting here writing this wearing jeans and a long sleeved sweater with a scarf, one of those partially knitted scarves that are popular.  You know the kind where the mixed yarns and ribbons are held together with an inch of knitting for every six inches of open work.  My frugal country girl ways are in direct conflict with the concept of paying money for holes.  Oh occasional dip into fashion. 

Well none the less it is getting colder.  I am so jealous of Anya and her world of spring blooms in AU, the picture is from her Flickr feed.  I wonder if it is possible to work some sort of wild cross university appointment so I can always have warm weather, you know spring and summer in Indiana and spring and summer in Australia or New Zealand.  Yeah I know it won't work but a girl has to have dreams and warm weather dreams are way better then my upcoming reality of tights and long undies.  *sigh*  I hate winter.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:55 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Lotus Fest 2005

Last Saturday night, Sept 24, hubby and I caught up with each other in Bloomington and attended the Lotus World Music & Arts Festival.  If you love world music than Lotus Fest is the place to visit.  We heard three groups, all outstanding.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:36 AM | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

Dine for America

October 5th is Dine for America, a fund raising event to benefit the Red Cross. For those of us that are going to AoIR in Chicago I suggest we find a restaurant on the list for dinner that evening and make it a huge internet-geek event. Let's make the restaurant one of the ones that are giving part of their profit to the event, rather than one that is collecting from patrons. Anyone who knows the area well could give a suggestion, here is the Chicago list of participating restaurants.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:55 AM | TrackBack

Xmas Cancelled

Xmas Cancelled
Xmas Cancelled,
originally uploaded by Annie Mole.
Found this great cartoon on the London Underground Blog today. If you haven't been following all the debates since the bombings in London, you may not know that there is a push for riders to use see-thru backpacks or very small ones. Riders who carry fullsized commuter backpacks have been pulled aside for searches and some have been arrested for carrying electronics in their packs. Will make my next trip to London intersting I'm sure...lord knows I look shifty enough.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:01 AM | TrackBack

September 27, 2005

New books - one for work and one for fun

Today's mail brought two new books from Amazon, one for work and one for fun. Ok so I think my work is fun too but in this case I mean "fun" as in almost no redeeming purpose but a good enjoyable read...something I don't seem to do much anymore. First I have Van Maanen, John (1988). Tales of the Field: On Writing Ethnography. Chicago: University of Chicago. I have seen many references to this little, and inexpensive, book and decided it was time to read it. Sadly it will have to wait a bit but since it is a small book I can see it becoming my "in the handbag" reading.

The second book, the for the love of reading book, is Gabaldon, Diana (2005). A Breath of Snow and Ashes. New York: Delacorte Press. Gabaldon is a wonderful writer, she is living proof that one can complete a dissertation and still be able to writing interesting prose. This is the fifth book in this series, and I can't wait to sink my teeth into it.  I have read the other four books several times each and even keep abridged versions on my iPod for listening while I travel.  Nothing like someone reading you a good book to help you fall asleep anywhere, on a plane or a train or an unfamiliar hotel.  I'm sure that this book will end up on the iPod as well.  In short Gabaldon is an inspired writer, if you haven't sampled her work I suggest you checkout or order a copy of Outlander immediately.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:50 PM | TrackBack


A 30gig hard drive on a Windows computer that fits in your pocket. *lustful sigh*

Posted by prolurkr at 02:19 PM | TrackBack

September 23, 2005

Time travel exists

The Bloglines plumber is a really helpful guy. Somewhere in his tool kit, which must be just outside the picture, is a time travel devise. You know that thing that lets him take the site down on September 23, 2005 and promise to have it back up by September 9, 2005. Pretty cool trick if you ask me.

But then all the expenditures on time travel devises may explain why the site has been so amazingly unstable of late. Maybe they should focus on core-business and get the site working right before they concentrate on advancing physics.

Update:  On dear the poor plumber must not have been able to make his time travel trip...because now the site says it will be back up by "6:00pm Pacific Time, Friday Sept 23, 2005."

Update to the update: Interesting, the plumber must have found himself a new time travel process because the graphic has switched back to the September 9the date. Now I understand why I keep seeing old posts, that have not been updated, shown as new ones on's their subversive double-time-travel whammy.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:31 PM | TrackBack

Blogging Hurricane Rita

James Kendrik's jkOnTheRun, normally one of my favorite tech related blogs, has by virtue of his location in Texas become a Hurricane Rita blogger.  Check out the category Hurricane Rita.  And keep James and the other folks in Rita's path in your thoughts.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:00 AM | TrackBack

September 22, 2005

Wal-Mart gave Katrina victims a helping hand

Fortune magazine has a very interesting article on After Katrine: Crisis Management 'The Only Lifeline Was the Wal-Mart'.  Now Wal-Mart is not my favorite company nor does this information change my overall opinion...I just don't like their predatory business practices.  But you know sometimes even bad neighbors can be good neighbors and I'm at least glad to see they put out a hand to help those who were in need.  Now if they could just integrate that attitude into their overall business practices I might shop there someday.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:59 PM | TrackBack

The status of civil liberties in London

Suspicious behaviour on the tube, please sir may I have more suspension of civil liberties with that.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:18 AM | TrackBack

September 21, 2005

I love Think Geek

Gotta get one of these. *S* Love the text on the ad too.

A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, three films captured the imagination and obsession of an entire generation. But the holy trilogy has fallen like the old republic and George Lucas no longer holds power over us. But there is a new hope. A new world and set of characters as real and alive as those we remember from our childhood. We have a new target for our obsession. We have a new master now...

Posted by prolurkr at 11:17 AM | TrackBack

September 20, 2005

Opera goes free

Opera browser is now and forever more - their words not mine - in no cost. I love Opera...and strongly recommend it.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:09 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 13, 2005

Gretna LA...a place that should be ashamed

The story of the mixed-race group trying to leave New Orleans and their encounter with armed Gretna LA sheriff's deputies has been told in different places on the net.  Hint:  The Deputies fired at the group to keep them from crossing the bridge on I-10 and entering Gretna.  Poor Blacks need not apply.

If you haven't heard the story here is a version written by paramedics that were part of the group trying to cross the bridge. Had I not heard an interview with the town Mayor I would have been skeptical about this story, I mean it is 2005 and the south isn't like it was in 1965.  At least not the south I knew.  The frightening part of this is the mayor seemed to think it was the appropriate action days after the incident.  He even told the interviewer that had he been mayor he would have done exactly the same thing.  God I hope that isn't true...

I think the feds aught to be involved in this one.  Looks like a pretty clear cut case of endangerment and limitation of access to a public structure because of race.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:43 PM | TrackBack

A Beginner's Guide to Making a D*I*Y Planner

I have previously discussed my decision to ditch a Palm-based PDA so I could return to a paper-based system.  Well part of the reason I had moved from paper to an electronic system in the first place was my pack rat tendency to accumulate new forms in my daily planner.  The notebook had outgrown it's 3" binder and was a heavy mess to carry. 

I have so far avoided that tendency to accumulate hipster pda cards...but we shall see if that remains longterm.  Since the launch of the D*I*Y Planner site I have been looking at all their new forms with paper-lust.  If you want it on paper they got it.  Check out the Beginner's Guide to Making a D*I*Y Planner for complete information.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:15 PM | TrackBack

September 11, 2005

This American Life

My friend Pete Welsch got to the blogosphere before me on this one.  But I have a note on a bright pink 3x5 card that I pulled off the road to make.  It says "Write about today's This American Life broadcast."

Today's edition of This American Life, which interviewed NOLA survivors about their experiences, was simply outstanding. It has already aired here in Bloomington and won't be online until next week, but keep it in mind. I'll post about it again when it's up.

And he will probably get to that link before me too. Pete is like that. LOL  So I'll just lift it from him I guess.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:07 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Launch of The Junior Watcher

I've written before that I am a total Whedonist, if Joss makes it I will probably see it.  I'm currently counting the days to Serenity's opening on September 30, 2005. 

Well if you don't follow the Cultural Studies forums you may not know that there is a lively scholarship in all thing Whedon, in particular Buffy the Vampire Slayer.  The Junior Watcher:  The Undergraduate Journal of Buffy Studies has launched their first issue online, check it out.

WJ provides a forum for showcasing excellence in undergraduate Buffy scholarship. As colleges and universities continue to introduce and to support courses in film and media studies in general, and Buffy Studies in particular, there continues to be a growing body of Buffy scholarship at the undergraduate and graduate levels of study. Slayage provides an important forum for publishing graduate and professional scholarship in Buffy Studies; as a fully refereed journal, WJ is committed to doing the same for undergraduate work.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:31 PM | TrackBack

September 09, 2005

Flickr photos "Astrodome and beyond"

The pictures appearing on Flickr related to Hurricane Katrina and the people impacted are sad, depressing, uplifting, and over all amazing.  The Astrodome and beyond is very good set of shots, take a look for yourself at these visual ethnography's.

This picture is so touching, the child sleeps safe in her fathers arms, while his eyes say so many things in particular weariness, and watchfulness. 

Without the look in his eyes you could simply read the shot as a man and child who have arrived early to an arena event, rather than a family that has been forced to seek shelter inside the dome.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:48 PM | TrackBack

September 08, 2005

Hurricane Katrina Timeline

There has been much discussion from the White House trying to place blame for their failure to assist U.S. citizens dealing with Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath on others. I have been keeping an eye out for a good solid time frame that shows plainly what I remember but could not accurately documents. Today I found one that grabs the guts of what I wanted for my own use, check out Hurricane Katrina Timeline.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:59 PM | TrackBack

September 07, 2005

A Breath of Snow and Ashes

Somehow I have slept (or over-worked) my way through the pre-release stuff for the most recent book in my favorite series. Thanks to Jalehla for giving me the heads up so I could get my order in the que. 

Oh goody a fun book to read...wonder if I remember how to do that.  Let's see first you pick up the book, read page, turn page, repeat the last two steps only put down book when there are no more pages to read...that sounds familiar. 

If you haven't ventured into the Outlander series I strongly recommend them.  They are often shelved in Romance but it's a misnomer so don't let that throw you.  Foremost these books are Adventures.  Though of course there is some romance in there.  Heck there is romance in most SciFi too.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:56 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 05, 2005

Donate a hour to the Kartina Peoplefinder Project

Donate a hour of your time to the Katrina People Finder Project.  Anyone who reads this blog has the skills and all of us can find an hour of time to donate to this cause.  If, like me, you have already given as much money as you can afford then please take the time to help out with the peoplefinder wiki.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:11 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Is it time for the government to ask for help from the people to get folks out Katrina's devastation

Is it time for the government to ask for help from the people to get folks out Katrina's devastationI was reading Going Underground this morning and am again struck by their update (we won't even get into the fact that the Hurricane has fallen off the front pages in the US) that people are sitting and waiting for help, they are still dieing before help arrives.  I realize that the administration is far to arrogant to ever ask for help from the people of the US but I really wonder what they would do if a flotilla of vans and buses arrived at their checkpoints and demanded to be let through.  I can understand all the bureaucracy that wants to have records of everything but gezzz folks it's a week after the storm.  How many people have to die so that you can hold your heads high and say we did it all by the book...screw the book.Personal...if you are interested

Posted by prolurkr at 11:19 AM | TrackBack

Bush nominates unconfirmed Supreme Court Justice to the Nations highest judical position

From, Bush Chooses John Roberts as Next U.S. Chief Justice.

U.S. President George W. Bush, acting only two days after the death of William H. Rehnquist, said he will nominate federal appeals court Judge John G. Roberts Jr. to be the nation's 17th chief justice.

Roberts, 50, was in line to replace retiring Justice Sandra Day O'Connor on the Supreme Court, with Senate confirmation hearings scheduled to begin tomorrow. Bush instead will pick a new nominee for that seat.

I think the title says it all.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:38 AM | TrackBack

September 03, 2005

Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist Dies

From the Washington Post

William Hubbs Rehnquist, the 16th Chief Justice of the United States, died last night [Saturday September 3, 2005] at his home in Arlington. He was 80.

Rehnquist, who had been suffering from thyroid cancer since last October, had managed to lead the court through its last term, which ended in June. But he went through "a precipitous decline in his health in the last couple of days," Supreme Court spokeswoman Kathy Arberg said.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:35 PM | TrackBack

IU open to students displaced by Hurricane Katrina

Indiana University is giving victims of Hurricane Katrina a Hoosier welcome

In the past 48 hours, the IU Bloomington campus has heard from dozens of families inquiring about admission to the university. The majority of these calls have been from families of students who were admitted to IU but chose to go to Tulane University. IU is doing everything possible to help them and students from other universities in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama to enroll. Close to 20 students have been admitted thus far and more are arriving this week.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:45 PM | TrackBack

Homeland Security, or more accurately Non-Security

Taken from the WWLV-TV "blog"

11:22 P.M. - (AP): Outspoken rapper Kanye West made waves at NBC's "A Concert for Hurricane Relief." He claimed "George Bush doesn't care about black people" and said America is set up "to help the poor, the black people, the less well-off as slow as possible."


West began a rant by saying, "I hate the way they portray us in the media. If you see a black family, it says they're looting. See a white family, it says they're looking for food."


In a statement, NBC said, "Kanye West departed from the scripted comments that were prepared for him, and his opinions in no way represent the views of the networks.

"It would be most unfortunate," the statement continued, "if the efforts of the artists who participated tonight and the generosity of millions of Americans who are helping those in need are overshadowed by one person's opinion."

There is no doubt in my mind that West is correct in part of his statement as there is equally no doubt that most Americans don't agree with the governments actions.  I do believe that part of the delay was due to the race and economic class of those involved...planning was never done to get them out before the storm nor had anyone in power thought through who would be left behind by an evacuation order.  The power of invisibility in any country...and the poor are always at the bottom of that evaluation.

But I think he needs to rethink who he considerers to be "America."  America is not the government, oh yes they are our elected face to the world...but they are not us.  And at times like this it shows.  The rich white guys club in Washington has no concept.  To them you "need" a round of golf or a vacation, few if any of them have ever really struggled to make ends meet.  They just have no idea what it is like to really "need" the basics of life.

We the American people...the real America...we know.  We are seeing the pictures coming out of the Gulf Coast region and we are appalled at what we see.  And many of us know that but for a very few issues we are the people in the picture.  As my husband has been want to say for years, "None of us for more than two days from living like cave men."

I can't begin to relay my own disgust at the unequal treatment I am seeing and reading about.  I watched armed military folk entering the Convention Center for the first time, not to help the people stranded there...oh no not that...but to remove a white Spanish Parliament Member who was stranded while on vacation.  Oh and let's not over look "special" buses to get hotel employees out before others being allowed through when the school buses to transport regular citizens are siting and awaiting clearance to enter.  This are problems on so many levels.

Yesterday I heard President Bush say that looting was matter that people are hungry and thirsty and dieing for lack of basic necessities.  MY GOD...I consider myself a law abiding person but if the law has abandoned you, you have few choices.  The folks in the Convention Center have only been getting what little food and water they have had because a group of folk have been breaking into hotel kitchens to scrounge for what was left.  Do I blame them?  Heck no, I applaud their resourcefulness and their compassion for their fellowman.  And I am very glad that they have not met with armed resistance to their actions.  Clearly local authorites understand that taking food is not looting, it's survival. 

How much of the looting we have been shown is of the same character?  Not sure I will ever know the answer to that question but it gives me pause.  Could the two black men shown pushing shopping carts of Nike shoes have just been trying to help those around them who had lost everything?  Could the folks who were taking luggage have been making due with something that rolled and would help them help someone else?  I don't know for sure but I do know that it's far to easy to assume the worst. 

No doubt there are people who have cracked and are doing things that even in a generous state of mind I can not explain.  I have no explanation for taking flat screen tvs other then reasons that would make the "taking" a theft.  Nor can I explain why anyone would shot at evaluation helicopters taking critically ill patients out of a hospital.  Nothing I hear or think for myself explains it to enough degree for me to be able to wrap my brain around it.

Finally I think it's so sad that the network has to issue a disclaimer to such a statement made by an American citizen exercising his right to free speech in it's truest form...exercising his right to oversee the activities of his government.  I applaud West for speaking up.  And I hope that in the months and years ahead we as a nation will begin to address the deep seeded issues of race and poverty in this country.  Let's at least admit it is a problem and begin a public discourse on the topics.  We badly need to do so.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:58 AM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

I'm so proud of the American people

Yesterday I said, in a post, that this week I was not proud to be an American.  That is true but only when I look at the actions of my government, which I will have a few comments on in the next post.  In truth I couldn't be prouder of the American people and their actions this week.

While the federal government sat on their hands and ignored the worsening situation along the Gulf Coast private individuals took matters into their own hands and did what they could to help.  While federal officials were denying that there were problems in the Conventions Center, locals whose homes were still mostly dry and intact emptied their pantries to bring food and water to their neighbors in need.  In so doing they drove through areas that the Feds were saying were impassable, but they made it through.

Communities leaders in neighboring states gathered what they could from local food pantries and private citizens.  Then they too drove to affected areas and offered their assistance.

As of last night the Red Cross had taken in 200 million dollars in donations to help those stricken.  I'm sure that similar increases in giving have been shown by all the aid agencies.

People across the United States are opening their homes to those that have been displaced - offering food, shelter, and in some cases even employment and job training.

We are not our government...we are, by and large, good kind hearted people who reach out to those affected without consideration of race, creed, or economic status.  I hope that the rest of the world can see the true nature of the American people through our actions in this emergency.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:15 AM | TrackBack

September 02, 2005

Louisiana refugees on their way to Indiana

Earlier today Marsh Supermarkets, an Indiana based company, sent a plane to Louisiana loaded with 9000 lbs of water and food.  They offered free transportation back to Indiana for anyone wishing to leave the state.  I am hearing that the plane is to land in Indianapolis by 7:30 p.m. with 70 + refugees.  These folks will immediately receive medical care and then will be moved to the Red Cross Shelter in downtown Indianapolis.

Hats off to Marsh for taking the initiative and doing what they can to help folks in need.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:18 PM | TrackBack

What they are saying overseas

From Elmine at Communigations, Katrina - from fiction to reality.

From Annie Mole's at Going Underground's Blog, Lessons to be learnt from Louisiana.

From Duncan at The Blog Herald, Hurricane Katrina donation suggestions.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:02 AM | TrackBack

It's just unacceptable

The President is on TV talking about how aid is surging toward the affected areas from across the US.  The White House announced that the Bush's have given a donation to the Red Cross.  How's Friday and the Hurricane hit on Monday.  Most of that aid is from the donations of regular citizens like you and me.  How sad is that.

Oh and they said that long range planning is beginning.  HELLO what is wrong with this picture.  This is a big country where hurricanes and earthquakes and tornadoes and tsunamis could and will happen.  Think about what will happen should the San Andreas let go or when the New Madrid hits those of us in the midwest as is long overdue.  The potential is there, has always been there, this is just not new information.  Then add to that the potential for large terrorist attacks.  This is just unacceptable.

The first job of a national government is protection of its citizenry.  I don't feel very well protected sitting here in Indiana on a beautiful bright sunny late summer day...I can only guess that the people of the southern Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana don't feel very well protected either.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:18 AM | TrackBack

There is only outrage

The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina is a national disgrace, this is not one of those weeks I am proud to be an American.  Within two days after September 11 the government had mobilized troops and aid...but for southern cities and towns is takes days to even mobilize the troops.  Indiana National Guard has 300 troops leaving today and another 1000 leaving tomorrow.  Far too few, far too late.

Why is that?  Bad doubt.  Over stretched resources...also no doubt and as such is a part of the first answer.  Personally I think there are far more social issues playing out here than most of us ever want to face in our mirrors.  The survivors are mostly very poor and black and they made the bad retrospective decision to stay during a hurricane that was advertised as being on the worst to ever head toward our coastlines.  Well all I can say is too bad...they are still human and they still deserve help.  If people can't muster caring for the adults then think of the children and the infirm and the elderly...the decision for them to stay was made by others and they are dieing down there. 

Isn't it nice that Bush cut his vacation short and flew back from Texas with a low loop over the city so he could look at the physical damage from the air.  I can only wish that they would get a clue here, the real issues are not all that visible from the air.  Infrastructure damage is definitely an issue in providing aid but the real issue is the human cost, the people who need the aid. 

It's clear that we can't count on our government to help these people so there is no doubt in my mind it is up the rest of us to take care of the problem and then to hold our government accountable this is just totally unacceptable.  If you haven't given to an aid agency please do so now...and give as much as you can. 

If you are within 300 - 500 miles of the affected areas please consider taking in refugees from this disaster.  If you choice to take people in there are sites online to help match you up, check out Hurricane Katrina Survivors there are other sites as well if you do some searching.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:45 AM | TrackBack

September 01, 2005

Topographical changes Katrina brought

The Map Room has links to, among other things, a very interesting animated satellite photo (opens a new smaller window) with before and after Katrina transitions.  I can't get over how much the waterfront has changed.  Look closely at the changes around Lake Ponchartrain and then at Biloxi.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:52 AM | TrackBack

August 31, 2005

More blog that link to those blogging the disaster

More New Orlean's blogs...or those that link to them WWLTV and SciGuy: A science blog with Eric Berger.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:12 PM | TrackBack

First hand accounts of Katrina's damage

Josh Britton has been blogging the hurricane and the first baby steps to recovery.  His posts are very detailed I recommend the blog as a way to keep up with what is really happening in the hurricane zone as the mass media seems to be only focusing on New Orleans.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:42 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

New Orleans and the Gulf Coast

I've avoided the mass media the last couple of days...listening to the first hand accounts of lose and devastation are more then my heart can stand, the stories quite simply make me cry.  Which is a bad thing if you are a pale skinned redhead because you get to look red and puffy for hours after a few tears are shed. 

But avoiding the mass media doesn't mean my thoughts haven't been on the folks and places that are the Gulf Coast that I love.  I read Kaye's blog throughout to keep track of her particularly and her part of the world as the winds raged and the rain fell. 

Yesterday while we were getting socked with the remnants of know wield things are going on when NPR refers to "the tropical storm now lodged over Indiana," ain't nothing tropical about Indiana even in the rain...I kept thinking about how much different everything would look if we had the winds as well as the rain.  Let me just say that I would not have been in my forth floor office with the picture window.

As the pictures are winding their way out the devastated areas and on to the net it's become very very clear that the places I loved in New Orleans and Mobile and Gulf Shores may simply no longer exist, Flickr has hundreds of pictures under tags like hurricanekatrina.  It's so clear that a lot of money will be required to house and maintain people until they can decide if they are going to stay in those areas and rebuild.  I encourage you to give as much as you can afford to help out the wonderful people of the deep south.  Check here for a list of relief agencies who are accepting donations

Posted by prolurkr at 11:56 AM | TrackBack

August 29, 2005

Katrina Maps

Thanks to the Map Room for these links.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:15 AM | TrackBack

August 28, 2005

Kaye's Hurricane Katrina Blog

Kaye Trammell - assistant professor of mass communication at Louisiana State University, colleague, and blog researcher extraordinaire - is blogging the hurricane.  Check out her site Kaye's Hurricane Katrina Blog for first-hand accounts of the storm.

Oh and Kaye batten the hatches it looks like a bumpy night and day is coming to Baton Rouge, to say the least.  Be safe.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:52 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack

Katrina to make landfall on top of New Orleans

Hurricane Katrina is currently packing almost 160 mile per hour winds, a speed I simply cannot imagine.  It is bearing down on the Gulf coast with warning from central Louisiana to the border of Alabama and Florida, with the eye expected to come in with a direct hit on New Orleans.  This storm is so big that the we, in Indiana, are expected to start seeing the front end of it on Tuesday...MapQuest says I am 778 miles away from New Orleans.

My personal love for New Orleans has been pretty well documented on this blog check out these search resultsDave at Blogography pretty much sums up my feelings about hearing that New Orleans is in danger from the hurricane.  The post was made before Katrina was upgraded to category 5:

As I leave for Asia, the news from hurricane Katrina is increasingly grim. The projected path is directly over New Orleans (one of my favorite cities), which could be disastrous. The "Big Easy" is very much below seas level, and a large enough storm could send water surging into the city at a cataclysmic depth. Pat O'Briens... Cafe du Monde... The Garden District... St. Patrick's & Jackson Square... Soniat House... The French Market... Bourbon Street... The Hard Rock Cafe... and so much more that New Orleans has to offer is all at risk of being destroyed. I particularly worry about the animals at the beautiful zoo they have there.

CNN has shocking footage of people fleeing the city, and all major routes have been converted to one-way highways leading out of town. It's bumper-to-bumper traffic all the way, and authorities are worried that an accident on any of these routes could trap people in the hurricane's path.

I suppose there's always a chance that the weather will change and the city can be passed by... but wherever the projected "Category 4" hurricane makes landfall, there's going to be a lot of damage. 150mph winds do not strike quietly.

It's going to be difficult to think of much else during a 13 hour flight where I am cut-off from the world and unable to find out what's happening. All my thoughts are with those facing the hurricane, and the city of New Orleans where I have been a half-dozen times (and love more and more each time I visit). Nothing would make me happier than to visit another half-dozen times in the future.

Over at SciGuy: A science blog with Eric Berger, Eric comments:

Here are some more facts from a story I wrote about New Orleans about six months after Tropical Storm Allison struck Houston:

It's been 36 years since Hurricane Betsy buried New Orleans 8 feet deep. Since then a deteriorating ecosystem and increased development have left the city in an ever more precarious position. Yet the problem went unaddressed for decades by a laissez-faire government, experts said.

"To some extent, I think we've been lulled to sleep," said Marc Levitan, director of Louisiana State University's hurricane center.

Allison dumped a mere 5 inches on New Orleans, nearly overwhelming the city's pump system. If an Allison-type storm were to strike New Orleans like it did Houston, or a Category 3 storm or greater with at least 111 mph winds, the results would be cataclysmic, New Orleans planners said.

"Any significant water that comes into this city is a dangerous threat," said Walter Maestri, Jefferson Parish emergency management director.

"Even though I have to plan for it, I don't even want to think about the loss of life a huge hurricane would cause."

The bottom of the bowl in New Orleans is 14 feet below sea level. Katrina's winds are now near 160 mph. Pray for the city and its people.

The BBC story - Are you affected by Katrina? - has some very interesting comments for folks in and around the area.

New Orleans Cams are available here and here and here, as long as they stay in place with the power on or connected to the net.

Think good thoughts for the people of and the place that is New Orleans, and those all along the Gulf Coast as well.  Their worlds will be pretty unsettled for the foreseeable future.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:59 PM | TrackBack

August 25, 2005

Political Commentary Warning

I can't help it I just love this picture. From the Associated Press via Wonketta via Feministing, and now to you dear prolurker reader. I must say that this is my kinda meme!

Posted by prolurkr at 04:50 PM | TrackBack

Tube Relief

Today is Tube Relief:

In late August 2005, we are going to go round all the London Underground stations in one day - and are encouraging people to join us! This is similar to a 'regular' world record attempt but instead it's as an act of defiance, solidarity and to raise sponsor money for the official charities for the families of the victims.

Since I couldn't afford to go - not in money and not in time away...sorry I'm not an one-night-trip to London type.  When I go I want to stay a bit.  But today I am following along on their progress via Going Underground blog and their frequent updates with text, pictures, and audio. Check it out and lend your support from a distance.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:18 AM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

August 23, 2005

AoIR Student Representative results

Well election results were announced this morning and Ted Coopman, University of Washington was elected AoIR Student Representative.  Thanks to all of you who voted for me, I appreciate your confidence.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:48 AM | TrackBack

August 19, 2005

What pen & paper day planner do you use?

For those of us that have either stuck with pen and paper day planners or, like me, reverted to one after doing the Palm thing the quality of the book we use is important. I've been using a Moleskine weekly planner since the first of the year. I like the form factor but hate the paper. You see I write my appointments in pencil and erase as necessary, which is often in my world. Sadly Moleskine paper doesn't like to be erased and pencil marks bleed through from other pages.

Aligned with this issue is the debate about what calendar I should be using to run my life...annual or academic year. Both have their advantages and it is impossible to switch my life completely to either format. Wish I could, but I assume that is a common problem for academics as the real world and the office use different calendars.

So I'm curious what paper journal do you use - brand, calendar format, etc? I'm hoping to find one that doesn't have the drawbacks I'm experiencing with my Moleskine.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:15 PM | TrackBack

100 blogs in 100 days or how to increase your blog traffic

Duncan at The Blog Herald, one of my favorite blogging blogs, seems to have grown tired of the discussion of the A-list and who should or shouldn't be on it, and who isn't getting tired of the debate.  So he's doing his own thing to up some undiscovered blogs traffic.  He is running "100 blogs in 100 days" as a way to draw attention to some under-trafficked blogs.  First I should note that The Blog Herald is on many of the top ### blog lists, so anyone he cites can expect a pretty significant traffic bump.

Is your blog sitting unloved and unvisited? are you writing the next big thing yet you don't know how to get some high profile attention? or do you just want a link from a blog in the Feedster 500? Introducing The Blog Herald 100 blogs in 100 days.

While others bleat on about diversity in the blogosphere, I'm going to show over the next 100 days some of the wonderful cross-section of blogs out there that others may not have yet discovered (including myself). It's also your chance to get a post here at the Blog Herald just about your blog, and its all very simple.

Email me at [email protected] with subject line of "100 blogs in 100 days" with your blogs details (name, url etc..). You also need to include up to, but no more than 100 words about your blog, what it does, what it's about, or why the readers of the Blog Herald should visit it that will be published as part of the post. In return though I'll be inviting Blog Herald readers to provide some feedback in the comments here on what they think about your blog.

Conditions: well there isn't a lot. You don't have to provide a link to the Blog Herald, but if you do I'm going to look at your application more favourably. Blogs that are already linked in my blog roll here at the Blog Herald (or in the sidebar generally) are excluded from entering. No porn or spam blogs will be considered. By all means email me from day one, but as this is going for 100 days you can email me next week, or next month if you like as well. I'll be stock pilling the entries and running them as time goes on, so if you're not featured in the first week don't be discouraged because 100 days is a lot of time, and there is 100 slots available.

Send in your blog info if you met the criteria, and I'll be looking for folks I know to appear on the list.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:55 AM | TrackBack

August 11, 2005

In possession of the elusive "A" parking tag

Yesterday I held my first official "A" parking tag, as I walked back to my car, as though it were made of some rare and fragile substance.  In truth it is...the substance is money.  Now in all fairness I knew they were expensive, but gezzz they hand you the annual figure for the beast and your eyes roll back in your head and well...I've been a grad student for a very long time and a farm girl for a life-time before that so cheap is a way of life to me.  But, at least for now, I'm going to enjoy the convenience of parking on both campuses.  Ok I know that "'A' .NE. automatic parking availability" but it sure is easier than with an "E" tag where "'E' .EQ. extremely inconvenient parking" at least in Bloomington. 

Of course my "C" from Bloomington did me no good in Indy last spring as staff in Indy get "B" tags...and as any 5 year old can tell you "B" comes before "C" in the alphabet of parking, so a "B" can park in a "C" spot but not the reverse.  Hierarchies my friends hierarchies.

So now I have a lovely pictorial "A" tag hanging from my review mirror.  An outward sign that, at least for now, I play at being faculty.  Add the cost of the tag to the actual costs of garnering a Ph.D. and you get...expensive, very expensive.  And that was before I went shopping for back to school clothes.  LOL  Still haven't found a handbag/sling that I like either.  *sigh* 

Posted by prolurkr at 07:29 AM | TrackBack

August 07, 2005

Hometown boy wins the Brickyard

Ok I've never met Tony Stewart, I seated his Dad at the diner more then a few times last fall when I was working there so that's my only connection.  Most of what I know about Tony is hearsay because - he's younger then I am, from the west side of town (a line you don't break around here, unless like me you could but don't want to), and went to Columbus North High School and I went to Columbus East.  My neighbor knows him pretty well from the go-kart tracks and speaks of him in fond terms. I just know that he can be a less the stellar example of how one should handle the public spot light one has chosen and I'm not always thrilled about that part of his reputation and his connection to my hometown.

But given all those disclaimers he is from the same general place as I, so I am happy that he won the Brickyard.  Of course everyone in the county knows how much he has wanted to win that hear it every year in the wind-up to race day. 

Wonder if the DQ will be giving out ice cream to celebrate.

General info to make any of this make sense.  The first couple of stories are gems.

Tony's return sparks frenzy
NASCAR's Stewart returns to his roots
Stewart longs for win at Brickyard
Tony Stewart Official Website

Posted by prolurkr at 05:44 PM | TrackBack

August 06, 2005

A good evening with hubby

Hubby and I started out our evening at a local church hog roast. Good food and great company. There are some folks that I have known since childhood that I only cross trails with once a year at the hog roast. We probably go as much for the greeting as for the food (vegetarians turn away now) - roast pork, roast chicken, corn-on-the-cob, baked beans, green beans, cold slaw, fresh tomato's, and rolls, and tea or lemonade to drink.  Ice cream and cookies available for an additional charge.  We had strawberry ice cream in foam cups.

There is always lots of music as well.  A quartet was playing in the sanctuary as we waited for our number to come up for service.  There was a brass band outside entertaining folks on the lawn.  Hubby has tried to get a picture of these guys for several years now, every time we are too late.  Either we arrive too late, or we dally too long in the dining room visiting.  This year it was the later.  I have to work it out for next year that he gets his picture.

From dinner we wondered into town for a movie.  Must Love Dogs is a cute formulaic film which I completely enjoyed, what can I say I like John Cusack.  The idea is that two divorced folks meet through an online dating site. 

Ok so I'm an online researcher...and old CMC type.  There is a scene where Stockard Channing is explaining to Diane Lane that she can play with her identity online and that it's fun...which Diane then proceeds to do with her own profiles.  I laughed until I cried.  For some of us ubber-geeks it was Usenet in the 80's and early 90's, or chat in the mid to late 90's.  For the general population it is dating sites in the late 90's and 00's.  Been there done that...still can laugh about it. 

This flick is definitely joining the archive of CMC related films to be used as teaching illustrations.  Plus it's fun.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:25 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Top 10 Web fads from MSN

Earlier this week hubby sent me this great link to Top 10 Web fads. I am so sad to say that I remember almost all of them. Guess that is what comes from being "bleeding-edge" you get the good with the bad, or at least with the voluminous. LOL I even have a nominee for the 2005 entrant...NUMA NUMA. *does the "sumba beef" eye thing* You know I still can't watch this thing and keep from smiling.

Internet phenomena. Memes. Grist for the e-mail forwarding mill. Whatever you call them, Web fads are entertaining, unintended consequences of life on the World Wide Web. Once the masses could put anything online easily, they turned up weird fetishes, hilarious parody, jaw-dropping narcissism, and moments of brilliance. And over the past 10 years, some of these ideas broke through to the mainstream. Whether it was dancing hamsters, a kid enjoying his day as a Jedi Knight, or the sudden ability to publish your thoughts online with just a few simple clicks, the following 10 Web fads still make us laugh, make us wonder, or make us feel guilty enough to update our blogs.

Links are to the current sites unless otherwise noted.

Hampsterdance (1998) the original and still classic hampster dance is online as well as lots of "new" dances. A phenomena that won't die a natural death.

Mahir (1999) not much to say about this site except I could not, and still can't, decide if it was cultural differences, knowing self-parody, or something weirder that attracted all the attention.

All your Base are Belong to Us (1998 - 2001) video game text translation done with Babelfish...or something similar. More lame then funny.

Dancing Baby (1997). Ahh the dancing baby. This was everywhere in the teen chats. Poor kid danced to all sorts of tune and in every video was always just on the edge of losing that diaper. Potentially messy situation avoided through the clever use of cgi.

Hot or Not (2000) not sure I would class this one as a meme. Lord know the link did roll around the chats. Teens were rating each other like mad. They even put a few up that were supposed to be me, with accompanying negative ratings. LOL I may not win a beauty pageant but I NEVER have looked as bad as those pics do. As memory serves not a one of them was even a picture of a redhead.

Friendster (2003). Also not a meme in my definition of the term, though the site is well transmitted via CMC links.

Ellen Feiss (2002). I do remember the Apple Switcher commercial series but not this particular one, thought that might be appropriate since I wasn't online that much in 2002 - was busy caring for ill relatives who have since passed. I just watched the commercial and it made me smile so it gets my belated vote. Oh and I want to take a class from Fabiola Torres she looks like she is great fun in a classroom.

Star Wars Kid (2002). The link takes you to a site that requires you download the video to watch it. Not into that many security issues. I've never seen this one, still haven't.

Blogger (1999). The software that started the revolution. Yah Baby!

JibJab (2004). Ok it's a site...not a meme, more of a

I'm surprised that so many of their top 10 are sites rather then meme's. Yes they the sites garnered a lot of buzz but is it the same thing?  Take out the websites that function for larger purposes - Blogger, JibJab, Friendster, Hot or Not - and the top 10 is really the top 6. Something is wrong here...very wrong.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:45 AM | TrackBack

August 05, 2005

Blog stuff to add some advertising to your life

Cafe Press has an amazing selection of blogging stuff...tees, buttons, mugs, totes, etc. May have to find myself a top to wear on campus this fall.  This tote might be fun too...specially in a technology driven school.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:00 PM | TrackBack

Blog Depression Pamphlet

For some unknown, at least to me, this has been a great day for humor online.

Check out a nonist public service pamphlet for the full text of this gem. I had a really good laugh over this one.

there is a growing epidemic in the cyberworld. a scourge which causes more suffering with each passing day. as blogging has exploded and, under the stewardship of the veterans, the form has matured more and more bloggers are finding themselves disillusioned, dissatisfied, taking long breaks, and in many cases simply closing up shop. this debilitating scourge ebbs and flows but there is hardly a blogger among us who has not felt it's dark touch. we're speaking, of course, about blog depression.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:52 PM | TrackBack

I Blog Stamp

Don't you think that grad student academic bloggers should buy a supply of these to use on our application packets? *w* Might as well get it all out there in the open. LOL

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August 01, 2005

Just in time for back to school

This morning jkOnTheRun as a great discusson about gadget bags for those of us that transport far to many electronic devices with us when we roam. His recommendation is a Booq bag. If you want a backpack you pack on your back, it will be hard to beat a Booq - I've owned one for a couple of years now.

Booq's are well made and have a well thought out design. I've carried mine to conferences around the US and Europe. People often stop me to ask about the bag and I rave - in a good way. Mine is most similar to their BP3 model that it still available.

On a daily basis I use a rolling backpack, have never packed it on my back nor do I ever intend to do so, from eBags. It is heavy...way to heavy, and it doesn't have lots of storage area...though it does have an amazing amount of padding which is what I wanted in a laptop case.

Though I might consider their Boa.XS bag as a handbag replacement. I have not been that pleased with my Ameribag New Yorker as I would have liked. It is very resistent to overstuffing...and what academic doesn't end up overstuffing their bags with books, and notes, and electronics, etc?

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July 29, 2005

OtterBoxs save digital electronic gear

I am a huge fan of OtterBoxs. Their products are amazing. Hubby and I have quite a collection, we store most all of our portable digital things in OtterBox cases of one sort or another.

I got on the OtterBox kick after having lost all of the zip disks in my backpack when I got caught in a hellishly heavy rain storm on campus about four years ago.  Water was not a good thing for the fact there was so much water that I could literally pour it out of things in my backpack. So I bought a box to hold the zip disks that replaced those that were lost.  Now that box holds my portable hard drive and the cables required to use it with my laptop.

I noticed today, after ordering an iPod case from them, that they now make a case for the Fujitsu Stylus. Now that is cool. Makes a tablet PC a bit more attractive.

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July 27, 2005

A humor meme

the Wit
(82% dark, 34% spontaneous, 11% vulgar)
your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean you're pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer. Your sense of humor takes the most effort to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

Also, you probably loved the Office. If you don't know what I'm talking about, check it out here:

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

My test tracked 3 variables How you compared to other people your age and gender:
You scored higher than 99% on dark
You scored higher than 25% on spontaneous
You scored higher than 25% on vulgar
Link: The 3 Variable Funny Test written by jason_bateman

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July 21, 2005

HP6 - a gold star next to my name

Read completely and put away for now. My summer fun had in a few days.

Oh and Gary (reply to a comment on Life is good while I read HP6) since NAF players have already proven they have good taste I would assume that ALL of them are reading HP novels. *w*

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We are not afraid!

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July 20, 2005

A community funeral procession

When the deceased is to be interred in the church cemetery, usually located somewhat adjacent to the church itself, the saddest part of the funeral is the procession from the church to the grave side. Today a couple of hundred of us walked the 3/8ths of a mile from the front of the church to Myron's resting place on the hillside, all of us moving in near silence behind the hearse - the tolling of the church bell setting our pace.

As I walked through the cemetery I mentally said a long list of hellos to family members and old family friends whose graves I passed. Some of whom I knew in life: Izzy; Aunt Emily & Uncle Elmer (buried under the cemetery's only tree - there is a family story about the planting of that Ginkgo Tree), little Butch, Uncle Carl, Uncle Bill, Carl R., and Joan to name but a few. Many more of whom I know only from family stories and fables: My great-great-grandparents (my paternal grandmother's family) of whom my g-g-grandmother came to the U.S. from Germany in the 1860's to be a maid for the rich folks in town, my cousin Francis who died in WWII when his ship was torpedoed during their run in the South Pacific and who painted the beautiful landscape painting that hangs over my fireplace, my cousin Dean - my father's best friend - who died at 22 from pancreatic cancer before I was born, and my great-grandfather (my paternal grandfather's family) who argued with the minister to the point that he stopped attending church but would not have stood for burial in the city cemetery. They are all there on the hillside overlooking cornfields and flanked by a truck farm and the highway.

It always hits me how appropriate that cemetery is as a quiet and solitary resting place but directly connected to the world along roads and highways. Today as the minister said his final graveside words I looked up to see two halves of a prefab home glide by on the backs of large semi-trailers. Alongside the ending of one life others are starting new, and hopefully, happy phases of their own lives - two halves of a proper coin.

As the minister spoke and a mockingbird called from Aunt Emily's tree, I couldn't help but look at the assembled crowd and think about community in general. There in the crowd were friends and family I adore and would do anything for, as well as, people, for whom on the average day, I have little time but with whom I have many long connections. People I have known all my life, people whose funerals I will attend or who will attend mine if I should predecease them. People who come from the same place I do, though we often don't see the world through the same tinted glasses. People along with whom, I have inherited my sense of community from our ancestors, common and disparate. People who frame the way I look at life and the ways in which I look at my research. They will always be what I think of when I think of the terrestrial community.

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July gathering of the Indiana Flute Circle with Dennis Sizemore

Last weekend was an interesting dichotomy between two teaching environments. First there was the Future Faculty Fellows Retreat, which I will be writing about more later today. Then I drove from Four Winds Resort to Indianapolis to attend the Indiana Flute Circle gathering.  This month we had a special guest presentation from Dennis Sizemore who both performed for us and held a master class. 

During the teaching part of the gathering Dennis used three techniques:  large group, pairs, and individual demonstration.  During the large group exercises he had us all on our feet holding a flute, our own or one of his, and had us experience the playing techniques he was demonstrating.  Trust me these experiences were loud but if you couldn't always hear the tonal changes in your own instrument, you could hear them in your neighbor's.  Similarly we worked in groups of two for a couple of exercises trading off performing the exercise between the two of us.  For our first exercise he went around the room and had each of us demonstrate tonal shift as we played a single note.  Not only did the solo activities help us learn but it gave Dennis an idea of the playing experience in the company.  Three interesting and successful teaching techniques

Dennis has an impressive collection of flutes ranging from the ancient to modern designs.  I am still in awe that I held a roughly 1000 year old elk antler Cherokee flute and learned that elk were once plentiful in North Carolina.  I didn't attempt to play the flute but several others did and it made a lovely sound.  I did play several of his lower range flutes which was a good learning experience as the holes are somewhat further apart then my fingers can reach with ease.  However I don't think they are so far apart that I can't learn to play the instruments.  Mostly my problems are related to my usual activity, typing, and how it closes the finger spread rather then increases it.  In other words...I can learn. 

He has contributed three essays, at the Mad River Flute Company site, on Flute Selection. I read them when I first got my flute and will probably reread them as I slowly grow my collection (warning the site tries to download sound files to your machine).

Dennis also performed several solo flute pieces and with a group of traditional western instruments - violin, cello, and transverse flute (silver flute).  The group pieces were performed in duo, trio, and quartet with works spanning from the traditional western classical to the premiere of two new pieces written for NAF.

Amended July 24, 2005: There are some nice photos of the session on the Indiana Flute Circle page, including a couple of the Elk Horn Flute. Thanks Gary.

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July 19, 2005

Life is good while I read HP6

Want to Get Sorted?
I'm a Gryffindor!

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July 18, 2005

Susie Nolting, a brave face

Susie Nolting was a neighbor as I was growing up. My sister babysat her children when they were younger and her husband helped me out of more then a few issues with old cars that wanted to leave me stranded.  They were people you could count on, and that is important in the country.

As adults we had, until her illness, been members of the same workout group. When I could put aside the research and writing to attend class, she was a smiling face who always had a nice word to say or an interesting observation to make.  Her smile will be missed.

Her family has had more then their share of health issues over the last 10 years, I won't air the list here but suffices to say that when trouble came to visit it decided to stay. My heart goes out to her children and the rest of her family, I know they must be very tired after all of this serge and feeling more then a bit lost. I hope they can always remember the good times and the laughter...for in the end those are the important memories to have and to share.

The following is part of his obituary from The Republic.

Susan K. Nolting, 63, died at 11:20 p.m. Friday, July 15, 2005, at Hospice of South Central Indiana Inpatient Facility.

Mrs. Nolting had worked as a secretary in the dean's office at Columbus North High School. She was a member of St. Peter's Lutheran Church where she was active in the Christian Service Guild and was a volunteer at Love Chapel.

Mrs. Nolting was born Oct. 15, 1941, in Bartholomew County, the daughter of Gene and Dorothy Jean Sparks Settle. She married Elmer LeRoy "Butch" Nolting on Nov. 3, 1962, in Columbus.

Survivors include a daughter, Jennifer L. (Gary W. Jr.) Nolting-Baldwin of Columbus; sons, Greg W. (Sheri) Nolting of Franklin and Michael A. Nolting of Columbus; her father, Gene Settle of Columbus; a sister, Sara J. Zeigler of Columbus; a brother, Daniel E. Settle of Columbus; grandsons, Nick Nolting and Kyle and Ryan Baldwin, all of Columbus, and Brock Nolting of Franklin; and a granddaughter, Emma Nolting of Franklin. 

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Myron Glick, a fond memoriam

Today I am writing about personally sad things first, I have two remembrances for people who passed away this weekend.

Myron Glick was probably the sweetest man I know. The fact that all of that light came packaged in a ruggedly handsome exterior was a constant wonder. I have known him all my life, at least all of it that mattered. I can remember him at community gatherings when I was in middle school years and he was in high school or college - always a smile, always a kind word, always there to lend a hand to someone who needed it and those qualities have never wavered as we have aged. I have always admired Myron, oh he was no saint, as the proverbial pile of my hair he pulled out one strand at a time when he sat behind me in choir will attest and that when we were in our 20's & 30's. LOL  He could be a devil if always a charming one.

Myron was a friend, we have eaten many lunches together, laughing about one thing or another, after crossing trails at the hardware store, or the mall, or by one of us slowly extending our lunch break since the other came into the diner as we were finishing.  I've listened to him glow about his children and their accomplishments, and he has listened to me and held my hand while I talked about my families illnesses and deaths.  In short I think we enjoyed each others company.

Oh we didn't really hang out together and we could go for long periods without crossing trails.  It was an in-joke between my hubby, Myron, and I that when hubby bumped into him, Myron would invariably get my name wrong.  How is "Lori" or "Linda" or "Lisa"?  But it was always clear that his forgetfulness was not a mark of disregard...rather just personal foible, an endearing one at that.  Of course the smile on his face when I would run into him in Big Lots or at Lowe's and the genuine light in his eyes would show that he truly was glad to see me.  On each of those in store encounters he would invariably have to explain everything in his cart to me and what he would be doing with it.  New faucets that Marybeth liked or something for the window in his daughter's bedroom.  Did he get all his projects done?  I have no idea, but I do know that he made the purchases for his family and always had plans to make their lives nicer, better, and prettier.

Myron died on Saturday of what appears to be massive heart failure.  He was to young, to health, just to nice to be the first of my friends to die of anything I can think of as an age related issue.  Everyone of our age range, I have to talked to today, is hit by it...Myron is the first.  I don't think it is just the selfish reminder of our own mortalities as much as it is a reminder of all our mortality.  We are getting older, all of us, and this will be a more common thing...people we know well will be passing not from accidents or the odd cancer occurrence but rather from standard things we think of happening to our parents or grandparents, not to us.  We all have the same glazed looks in our eyes as we talk can't have been can't have been one of us.

The following is part of his obituary from The Republic

Myron L. Glick, 54, died unexpectedly from natural causes at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, July 16, 2005, at his home.

Mr. Glick was a partner in L & M Glick Seed Co. and Glick Seed Service. He was a member of St. Paul Lutheran Church - Clifty where he had served as an elder for many years and sang in the choir. A 1974 graduate of Purdue University, he was a director for the Indiana Soybean Board for many years and was the Indiana representative on the North Central Soybean Research Program where he had served as treasurer and a member of Indiana Crop Improvement Association.

He was very active in the professional seed production industry. He enjoyed trail riding and breeding horses, playing bridge and gardening. Mr. Glick was a loving and caring husband and father who will be greatly missed for his gentle strength.

Mr. Glick was born June 6, 1951, in Shelbyville, the son of Lynn and Donna Solomon Glick. He married Marybeth VonFange on Dec. 27, 1975, in Columbus.

Survivors include his wife, Marybeth; a daughter, Lisa (Greg) Scott of Colorado Springs, Colo.; sons, Trevor Glick and fiancee Kelly DeClue, both of Columbus, and Brett Glick of Colorado Springs; his parents, of Columbus; sisters, Linda Glick-Forster of Columbus, Mary (Jerry) Williams of Indianapolis, and Karen (Brian) Forster of Decatur, Ill.; and several nieces and nephews.

Myron I will miss your sweet smile and you devilish grin, rest well.

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July 13, 2005

The crew at Going Underground has announced a tube challenge. Sometime in August there will be a "A mass team tube-challenge attempt, for all of us to get round the entire network in a day" to show that We are NOT Afraid.

From This means we are going to get experienced tube-challengers and novices alike, to meet up ... start in the same place, and travel the whole tube system in a day i) For charity, and ii) For defiance.

These two main reason are important:
i) Charity. People often do this and raise a few pounds & pennies. This time everyone gets sponsored in aid of the bomb relief charity and we really go for it. Let's get thousands of pounds this time.

ii) Defiance. Solidarity. Togetherness. We are not afraid, and we well get back on the tube - the whole tube - and prove that we are more than happy to ride it. We say "Fuck you terrorists", and we will do the thing that we do best - ride around the tube system.

I would love to sponsor someone since I can't ride myself. If you are going to take the challenge let me know, my space pen is ready to write more checks. *S*

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July 12, 2005

Bloggers need not apply...interesting

In the past 3 years the Chronicle of Higher Education has published 53 stories that mention blogs and blogging. Of those 53, I have been asked by other scholars for my take on only two of them - first there was the "Scholars Who Blog" article from 2003, and now "Bloggers Need Not Apply."

The "Scholars Who Blog" article was mostly an introduction that there were academics using the new technology in their work and teaching. The questions I got were usually along the lines of "Did you see that article? Others are blogging too."

But the tone of the questions is different around the most recent (7/8/05) article. "Are you worried that your blog might hurt your chances of getting a job?" My answer an emphatic "NO". The reasons are simple. A department that would worry about my "over" commitment to technology wouldn't be interested in hiring someone with my specialty in the first place - I am by definition "over committed to technology."  I doubt a non-progressive department would even schedule an interview.

If they are concerned that I might say things they won't like well any applicant might do that. Daaaa. Past practice is the best indicator of future performance...and old HR maxim that is very true in any field. I keep my opinions on my colleagues pretty close to the of those things you learn in almost 20 years in the professional world. I don't talk personal stuff on my blog, not lots of it anyway, and that includes my own and anyone else's. It's just not how I work.

So will my blog hurt my job search, I don't think so because the positives far outweigh the negatives. My blog is part of my commitment to collegiality and to teaching. I share my research, my experiences, my thoughts on my subject, and my teaching. I share my bibliographies with others so they can have access to information that might not be available to them otherwise. I make contacts with scholars around the world who are interested in similar topics. I have lost track of the number of emails I get from students and scholars who ask for information or contacts based on their having found my work though this blog. 

danah is right, our blogs help create our brands. We, as scholars, are our own product and our blogs help us market that product. Of course not everyone will want to buy, that's just fine by me. I don't want to work everywhere...just that one great place where my work is appreciated and I can add to a good team. That place will appreciate that I blog, and that my blog has been a positive in my life and a help to other scholars as well.

p.s. At least one other person is wondering if the actual article is on the up-and-up. Check out for an interesting examination of the possibility of trolling in the Chronicle.

Amendment made on 07/13/05: For a great take on the entire debate read On-a One Hand, On-a 'Nuther... at Free Range Librarian. Karen has the right take on it all.

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We Are Not Afraid!

My current favorite site = We Are Not Afraid!

show the world that we're not afraid of what happened in London, and that the world is a better place without fear.

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July 11, 2005

Chocolate Sushi

*grabbing her chopsticks and waiting for the conveyor belt of life to drag this stuff by* There are no words. *sigh* Chocolate sushi. *sigh* On no, they even have chocolate chopsticks...nummy.

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July 08, 2005

Wild critters on the farm

The Red-Tailed Hawks (aka Chicken Hawks), who nest in the woods behind our house, have been fledging their young and teaching them to hunt. So for the last week or so I have been treated to their continuous calls when I work in my study. The kids are mostly on their own now...watched by their parents with less active guidance to prey. It's amusing to hear them now. Mom:  Where are you?  Then a response from a youngin:  Here, here, here (as they swoop back, from as much as half a mile away, to the dead tree in the valley that they are using as their home base perch).

I wish two or three of them would get really puffed up and take on the rowdy raccoons who appear to have taken up residence in our tallest pine tree in the yard.  Their nightly escapades are making a mess of my porches as they tear through my houseplant pots looking for grubs. Imagine your worst drunken date and you will know what young raccoons are like. No-Kill-Traps make such good neighbors when raccoons are in town.

The raccoons like my study too...they are using the area under my window bench as their own personal toilet place. So in the morning I get the sounds of free ranging hawks and the smell of raccoon...well you get the picture. Ahhh life in the country.

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July 07, 2005

London bombings

There are no words. My heart breaks everytime something like this happens but it is worse when it happens to a city I love and when people I have broken bread with may be involved. I have heard from David Brake, London School of Economics, so I know he and his wife are ok. I have not heard from anyone at University of London, if you read this email me please when you have a chance...I worry. I will be monitoring the Centre for the Study of Children, Youth and Media site to check on those who research there.

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June 28, 2005

Skype and a satellite internet connection

Well life with a satellite connection can be amusing to say the least. Today I tried to get Skype set-up for "easy" use on my desktop. I bought a new headset with a mic, a nice one, last week in preparation. So today David Brake called me from London and we played with the system. I have not laughed that hard in a long time, brought tears to my eyes.

First we could not hear each other, though the interface said we were connected. Then I could hear David but it was garbled and in the distance. David said he was yelling into his computer to try to be heard, not a really productive way to communicate. I was sitting in my study talking into the mic, reciting nursery rhymes so I had something to say consistently while I messed with settings and hardware. Neither of us was getting through...communication was not happening. So we disconnected and I kept playing with the computer settings.

Then he called me back, but the connection was still not good...he could hear me some of the time so it was a partial win but I could still only hear him in the background. So we again disconnected while I tinkered with more settings.

Finally I called him and we connected. Though in the process we found out there are some major problems with VoIP and satellite connections. David said I sounded like Stephen Hawking, which wouldn't bother me if I had the mind to go with it.

I sincerely hope the problem will be gone when my ISP changes to Blue Sky (I think this is their website but I'm not at all sure that I am correct) later this year. Their system is supposed to support VPN and if it can do VPN I hope it can to VoIP as well.  I want this system to work so my students in Indianapolis have an easy cost effective way to call me in the fall.

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Another Quizilla Meme

The Death Card You are the Death card. Death is a stage in the
cycle of life. Without death, there would be no
room for new things to grow. When you receive
the Death card in a tarot reading, fear not;
Death is only an indication that transformation
is about to occur. Death allows us all to
evolve by removing that which is no longer
needed. The end of one cycle makes way for a
new one. Old behaviours and patterns which have
tied us down are released. Death cleans house
so that we don't have needless drains on our
energy. In Death's ruthless destruction there
lies compassion. Image from: Danielle Sylvie

Which Tarot Card Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Via SLIS Blogs

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June 26, 2005

Attending the Indiana Flute Circle gathering

Last Sunday, June 19, 2005, afternoon I attended my first meeting of the Indiana Flute Circle. What a great way to spend an afternoon. I sat and listened, did very little playing since I was having trouble with overblowing...I was nervous. *shrug* I was in a room of really good players and I am a complete newby...and yes I know they were all new once as well but that didn't seem to help. Oh well, I'm usually best in a group as a least in the beginning.

And now I have a list of flute makers who the folks at the circle think are really good. Even one that makes the low tone flutes I like. Have to save some cash so I can buy one or two or....

Oh and I just got a set of ABS plastic resin travel flutes, the maker - Ken Light - assures me that they will not melt in the summer heat of the car. So don't be surprised if you see or hear me playing somewhere. LOL That will be all the fun.

p.s. They live in my backpack so there are sometimes hours when they are sitting in the car while I am traveling to campus (one of several) or working on something where the backpack would be a hindrance.

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June 17, 2005

A wonderful quote on skinning the onion

I have been working on quals today and noting some points that probably will turn up in later writings. In trying to answer a question for myself I spent sometime rereading Suzanne L. Bunkers homepage. In doing so I ran across this quote:

I'm only supposed to tell one story at a time, one story. Every writing course I ever heard of said the same thing. Take one story, follow it through, beginning, middle, end. I don't do that. I never do. Behind the story I tell is the one I don't. Behind the story you hear is the one I wish I could make you hear. Behind my carefully buttoned collar is my nakedness, the struggle to find clean clothes, food, meaning, and money. Behind sex is rage, behind anger is love, behind this moment is silence, years of silence.

-- From Dorothy Allison, Two or Three Things I Know For Sure

Allison says it well, there are always so many things I want to say when I write here or in a paper, so many layers, so many levels of the work, and the process, and my world as I work on it. How to say everything I need to say and want to say beyond what I must say. Her words will resonate as I go back to my current section of the quals paper.

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Hip Hipster PDA cards

If you have been or have thought about switching to a Hipster PDA then you need to check out D*I*Y Planner Hipster PDA Edition. The files contain all you need to print your own very cool 3x5 cards. I'm going to play with them as soon as I get time.

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June 09, 2005

And now for Thursday satire

I found this great satirical look at How my Marriage was Destroyed by the Homosexual Agenda in this mornings searches.  I'm still laughing because the author hit all of the high points that illustrate how ridiculous the right's arguments are on this issue.  Read and enjoy.

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June 07, 2005

A left leaning list of "Books we beg to differ with"

David Brake at Media @ LSE found a left leaning list of books posted by The Washington Monthly. Books we beg to differ with is a response to the Human Events list of the "Ten Most Harmful Books of the 19th and 20th Centuries" which I pointed readers to earlier.

[The Washington Monthly] created two rules by fiat:

* The time period is 1800-1975. The starting date is so we're playing by the same rules as the Human Events folks, and the ending date is because I think it's impossible to judge the cultural importance of a book in less than 30 years or so.
* No books by Nazis or communists. These are already well represented on the Human Events list, and I just figured it would be more fun to try to come up with ten completely different books.

I think their starting rules are very good ones. I totally agree that the impact of books from 1975 to present is to amorphous to judge accurately. In truth I think my line would be closer to the 50 year mark as that moves us closer to two generations of impact so we can judge the staying power of the ideas.

Likewise it is good to exclude Nazi and communists books from the list since they have been well covered elsewhere, although a separate list that gives a union set of those volumes would have been helpful. As it stands it appears that The Washington Monthly would say that all communist books are bad and I wonder if that is true.

Finally unlike the Human Events list the The Washington Monthly is made up of works I have never read nor have I ever heard of most of the books. The three exceptions being Spencer's Social Statics (heard about it in classes), Friedman's Capitalism and Freedom (have read sections from it in classes), and Rand's Atlas Shrugged (read most of the book as a teenager, found it silly and boring).

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May 31, 2005

Don't say there is no renumeration for blogging

WOW, don't tell me there is no capital gain in blogging. I won money. LOL Life is good.

Lois: As promised in a recent post, to commemorate my 1000th inbound blog I selected at random one of the 1066 bloggers currently linking to me, and it happened to be you. Accordingly, I have a small prize for you. The prize is a set of 2004 uncirculated Canadian coins, up to the $2 'twoney'. I can send it to you in its envelope, but to do so I need a physical address to send it to. If I just send it to you c/o Indiana U, Indianapolis, will it find its way to you?

I was fascinated to read your thoughts on adolescent bloggers -- the invisible majority. This is a topic worthy of lots more discussion.
/-/ Dave

Meeting of Minds
AHA! The Discovery & Learning Centre
Author, Natural Enterprise
How to Save the World weblog

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May 30, 2005

My Picasso

From Working Notes, a cool site to make your own Mr. Picasso Head. This is me on a very bad hair day when I've also lost my glasses. LOL

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May 29, 2005

New Joss Whedon Movie

I am an unabashed Joss Whedon fan. And believe me this surprises no one more then me. You see when the Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie was released in 1992 I saw the promos and thought "just what we need a comedy horror movie that parodies stupid high school movies and adds vampires." p.s. the movie was mostly billed as a Luke Perry film which made the whole thing even weirder. Needless to say I have never seen the film.

Then when the TV show of the same name premiered I thought, "Gezzz TV sucks." Boy was I wrong. Sometime in the second season I actually watched the show and totally fell in love. The writing is amazing...quick, quirky, believable, and entertaining. So I watched the series, when I could since it was on WB and UPN which are not always available, until it ended in 2003.

And I also watched Angel from the beginning of the series until to was canceled. I watched it too for the writing.

So today I decided to do a little internet searching and see what Whedon is writing now. So of course I am reminded of the series Firefly which I have never seen since it was not broadcast on a channel my non-cable house can't receive. And now I see there is to be a Firefly movie, Serenity out this fall. This is a big budget movie from Universal. Should be interesting to see what Whedon can do with a big budget and a, at least partially, ready made fan base. Check out the trailer and the movie site, click on the film name above. Oh and mark your calendar for September. If Whedon wrote it it is bound to be a fun time at the movies.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:14 PM | TrackBack

Danica Patrick could win the Indy 500, but oh what they say about her

Today is the running of the 89th Indianapolis 500 and today for the first time a women, Danica Patrick, has a really serious chance of winning. I think it would be marvelous if she won, my fingers are certainly crossed for her. However I will warn you that if she does win the OM and blogs are going to be taking about the following for the next few days. Danica, a tiny [girl/women] attractive [women/girl], will be in the lead of many story.

Sadly even her own "official website," opens with the words:

danica patrick, this attractive 5-foot-1, 100-pound woman, battles in a man's world with amazing success, and shows the determination to become one of the nation's brightest sports stars.

Come on is this a beauty contest or a wheels & muscle race? Of course you can go too far the other direction as well. I wonder where is the happy median? Check out Tough, Winding Road Prepared Patrick For Indy 500 Debut and the quote below to see a version of going to far the other way.

While most teen-age girls spent their adolescence kibitzing with their girlfriends over clothes, cosmetics and each other while scheming to get attention from the boys, Danica has been going the opposite direction: trying to fit in as one of the boys, just a racer like them, under her driver's helmet.

I do hope she wins she has worked hard for it and acknowledges that she is standing on the shoulders of the three amazing women who came before her - Janet Guthrie (who drove to her best finish at Indy with a broken wrist she hid from everyone - which means she basically drove one-armed), Lyn St. James, and Sarah Fisher (who dealt with the same kind of looks/ability hype that now surrounds Patrick).

I know that the first female winner will have a long road to trudge dealing with the "women race driver" vs. "race driver" concept. I wish that women well and will be pulling for her. But I have to admit that I am waiting for the day when the field is leveled and we talk about abilities more then looks for either sex. I sure hope I live to see it.

Patrick finished fourth. The highest finish ever by a female race driver at Indy. EXCELLENT! You go girl!

Posted by prolurkr at 11:27 AM | TrackBack

May 23, 2005

Ultimate Blogger

My goal for the contest had been to make it into the final six, I missed it by one. Two of us were supposed to be eliminated today but the system is down so I can't be sure who the other was - my email mentioned only my name. I have a strong suspicion that Medya may have joined me on the outcast list but will have to wait for confirmation on that one.

I have lots of observations about the contest as a whole and the participants but I will save those for later as I have no desire to impact the out come of their game.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:38 AM | TrackBack

May 21, 2005

Reprocessing Star Wars

Hubby and I went to see the new Star Wars flick Revenge of the Sith last night. Then I spent a couple of hours this morning writing a brilliant rant about the differences between the world of 1977 when I, at 18 and on my own for the first time, saw the original and the 2005 world I now inhabit. AND THEN my computer locked up and I lost it all. Some days technology just sucks...pure unadulterated suckiness. *sigh*

Posted by prolurkr at 10:13 AM | TrackBack

May 18, 2005

What U.S. city is best for you?

A meme for your consideration. This one is rolling around and I have seen it several places in the last 24 hours. Thought it might be interesting for this decidedly non-city girl to take the test. Good thing it at least got the best state right. LOL Though left to my own devices I wouldn't head for Honolulu as a place to visit from another island yes but not to live there. Give me Hawi or the Hilo area any day.

American Cities That Best Fit You:

95% Honolulu
70% Seattle
65% Atlanta
65% Portland
60% Austin
Which American Cities Best Fit You?

Posted by prolurkr at 05:05 PM | TrackBack

May 10, 2005

How the times has changed computer security

It is amazing how times change. When I read Internet Attack Called Broad and Long Lasting by Investigators this morning I was reminded of an incident that happened about 10 years ago. I was working at a military base at the time. I was looking for a file on my intra-networked computer using the Norton search utility...I know some of the language in the file but couldn't remember the name of said file. So I plugged in string with a couple of unique words. As the program began to search text of files was scrolling on my screen. Next thing I know the program is searching the intranet and lists of people's personal information with passwords is rolling up my screen. Well of course I stopped the program once I realized it was giving me access to private and potentially secure information.

Once I had the whole thing stopped and could catch my breath I called the IT security folks to let them know they had a problem. You know what they told me..."No big deal who would want usernames and passwords anyway? They couldn't use them for anything." I was amazed and appalled. I remember writing a note to myself on the incident and putting into my general info file in case I ever needed it to cover my tracks. Still amazes me to think that people who set up the system didn't care about the systems security.

An excerpt from the article:

The crucial element in the password thefts that provided access at Cisco and elsewhere was the intruder's use of a corrupted version of a standard software program, SSH. The program is used in many computer research centers for a variety of tasks, ranging from administration of remote computers to data transfer over the Internet.

The intruder probed computers for vulnerabilities that allowed the installation of the corrupted program, known as a Trojan horse, in place of the legitimate program.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:31 AM | TrackBack

May 05, 2005

Rhonda J. Meyer

Yesterday morning my neighbor died from breast cancer. She was diagnosed 2.5 years ago and has undergone a variety of treatments to try to stop the progress of this particularly aggressive form of the disease.

I hesitate to say she "lost her battle with breast cancer" because in truth she won, at least in part. Her original diagnosis was that she had about 6 months, which obviously she was able to extend considerably. Besides there is no winning against death, it comes for us all eventually. I just wish Rhonda's eventually had been much further in the future.

My heart goes out to her family and close friends.

From The Republic Obituary:

Rhonda J. Meyer, 48, of Elizabethtown died at 4 a.m. Wednesday, May 4, 2005, at her home.

Mrs. Meyer was a former employee of Flowers From the Woods, Tovey Shoes and Columbus Security. She was a member of Bethel Baptist Church.

Survivors include her husband; her parents, of Columbus; a daughter, Miranda Gill of Seymour; a son, Aaron Gill of Columbus; a stepdaughter, Kendra Meyer of Columbus; a stepson, Brian Meyer of Columbus; a grandson, Braydon Gill of Columbus; and brothers, Kenneth Marshall of Indianapolis and Tom Benson of Columbus.

If you are a woman please do regular self exams and get mammograms on the appropriate schedule.  If you have women you care about, please stress to them the importance of these steps. Early diagnosis is the best for effective treatment.  For more information check out the Susan G Koman Breast Cancer Foundation.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:19 AM | TrackBack

May 04, 2005

WOW does connection speed vary

I have tracked connection speed for my satellite system before, but the total was always an aggregate. Today I found Windows Users Group Network and their bandwidth speed test which gives both upload and download times in Kbps. Here is the clip of my test from this morning.

When I checked it later in the day, my upload speed was 11.5 Kbps and download was 923 Kbps. No wonder VPN's and my service provider don't mix well. *sigh* I certainly hope the new system creates a more even equation between the two speeds. Having a slower rate for upload then I had on my 28.8 land line connection is disgusting, especially considering what this service costs.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:32 PM | TrackBack

Geeky goodness

From that's how it happened:

Top 50 Geek T-shirts somehow omits There's no place like so beloved of some.

From this list my personal fav is - Computers make very fast, very accurate mistakes. Though Why doesn't DOS ever say "EXCELLENT command or filename!" is a close second.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:21 PM | TrackBack

May 01, 2005

Ultimate Blogger - Finalists

I'm in! Which makes me weirdly happy. Challenges and posts can be viewed, and comments made at The Ultimate Blogger.

Congratulations Lois! After another six hours of arguments with yelling and throwing pencils we finally decided on the final 12. And you are in.

We're really excited to get started, and I'm sure you are as well. Here's how it is going to work:

< snip >

[O]n Monday morning, we will post a short video entry that includes your first challenge. The entry will be due by 12:00 midnight on Tuesday.

After the entries are posted the judges will select a single winner for immunity, and then email everyone on Wednesday asking for which player should be eliminated. Votes will be due by 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday. The votes will be tallied and announced on Thursday morning along with the next challenge.

The results of this challenge must be posted by Friday at midnight. A winner will be chosen for immunity and we'll send out an email on Saturday, asking for your votes of who will be eliminated. Votes will be due by 9:00 p.m. Saturday. The votes will be tallied and announced on Monday morning with the next challenge.

< snip >

Congratulations again, you are one of the top 12 out of over 300 applications!

Posted by prolurkr at 08:11 PM | TrackBack

April 30, 2005

Ultimate Blogger Contest - the cast is reduced

Per the Selection Process the 30 finalists will be reduced to a final 12 for the actual contest, names to be announced on Monday. My picture is on the board...does that mean I'm in???

Posted by prolurkr at 08:13 PM | TrackBack

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galazy

Last night hubby and I went to see the opening presentation of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. We are big Douglas Adams fans having listened to the original (well not in the original) radio shows of Hitchhiker's Guide, we've read the books, seen the amazingly campy BBC TV series made from it, and even seen Adams read from his work live. Four years ago I told everyone I was "The answer to life, the universe, and everything" when I turned 42.  Yes we are fans, though not so far gone that we arrived with our own towels, as some at the live performance did...devotion can take many forms. *backs away slowly*

If you are a fan the movie is great. They kept the pacing of the original, that frenetic energy that infuses the whole story...Adams paced the stage the entire time he read when we saw him live. Hubby was so pleased they kept The Hitchhiker's Guide itself as the narrator and that they had great graphics to illustrate the entries in the Guide. Personally Zaphod's flipping double-head thing wasn't nearly as funny as the giant rubber head from the BBC series.

If you are new to The Hitchhiker's Guide I expect some of the jokes will be lost on why are there a pair of white mice running around through multiple scenes? But after 25 years who, in the English-speaking world, hasn't been exposed to some of The Hitchhiker's Guide. If this is all new to you read the books, you can find them in any good bookstore.

Oh gosh and BBC Radio is doing the last three books on radio with most of the original performers. Wish I had known this when they started last fall.

Twenty-five years after the original radio series of Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy exploded into the public consciousness, the further exploits of its bewildered hero, Arthur Dent, are being brought to life in their original medium and with the (mainly) original cast.

The last three books of the 'trilogy in five parts', Life, The Universe And Everything; So Long And Thanks For All The Fish and Mostly Harmless, have been dramatised as three new series (none of them were previously produced for radio).

As the original two series were dubbed the Primary and Secondary Phases by Douglas Adams, these new series form the Tertiary, Quandary and Quintessential Phases.

Thanks to the wonders of digital technology, Douglas Adams himself can be heard playing the part of Agrajag.

The BBC has lots of cool CD's and DVD's available on their site, The BBC Shop.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:19 AM | TrackBack

Madison - the movie

Last weekend hubby and I went to see Madison, the movie. I was pleasantly surprised with this film, you see...while it was filmed in and around one of my favorite small towns in Indiana aka Madison, and it is filled with gorgeous scenery from the town and along the Ohio River; the film has been in the can for four years which pretty much made me think it was going to be a major dog. I figure they only released it now because James Caviezel is hot, having come off two huge movies last year - The Passion of the Christ and Bobby Jones, Stroke of Genius. When they were running around the area filming the big name in the project was Jake Lloyd - the young Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace.

Well it's not a complete dog of a movie. It has a distinct "made for TV" feel to it. But what the heck go see it for the setting and if you like the look of the town, pack up and go visit. Madison is a great place to hang out.

From Michael Esposito's Chicago Tribune Movie Review: Loosely based on a true story, "Madison" tells the familiar tale of a small town struggling with a waning primary industry (here, river transportation) that seeks respect through athletic enterprise (hydroplane boat racing) - think "Hoosiers" or "Breaking Away," but with boats.

The sad part of Esposito's comments is if all you know about Indiana is taken from those three films you think the whole state is made up of depressed little towns with "can do" attitudes. Ok so we do bear some resemblance to both of those comments. *sigh* It is the midwest after all.

p.s. The only time there was ever a fighter plane on the lawn of the Courthouse in Columbus Indiana was for the filming of this movie. It sat there for about two weeks, turning many of the locals heads as we drove by. "What is THAT doing there?"

Posted by prolurkr at 08:26 AM | TrackBack

Ultimate Blogger Contest

Last week I saw a mention of the Ultimate Blogger Contest come across one of the newsfeeds. So I checked out the site and ended up applying, figured I kinda had the corner on the "middle aged academic broads who blog" market so what the heck. Well surprise surprise, I made the finals. "After a night of grueling eliminations we have whittled the 300+ applicants for The Ultimate Bliogger down [to] 30 and you are one of the top 30."

The competition will be at the Ultimate Blogger Contest Blog. I don't have all the details, such as when this starts or how the voting will work. But if you are interested keep checking their site. Obviously this is a different kind of writing then I do here, more topical more humor less *booming voice* deep thought. Should be fun. We shall see if I can outlast the competition and win the $500+ prize package, which could save me some money on hosting my webpage for a year...that would be good for this grad student. *S*

The winner of The Ultimate Blogger will receive:

* $100 dollars cash money!

* Transmit 3 FTP Client for Mac ($29.95)

* Panic, Inc Limited Edition Rainbow Transmit T-Shirt ($19)

* Free Domain Registration and 1 Year Webhosting ($99)

* Assistance with a Movable Type install and blog customization ($100)

* 1GB iPod Shuffle loaded with the entire musical library of States Rights Records ($150+)

* A Flickr Pro Account ($25)

"Again, congrats on making it this far. Thanks so much for applying. You stand out from the crowd." Kind of a foregone conclusion when you are a 6'1'' tend to stand out just by standing. Now if winning were just that easy.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:17 AM | TrackBack

April 28, 2005

It is an amazing world

An amazing story came across the news feeds today. It seems that early last year an Ivory Billed Woodpecker was sighted in the swamps of Arkansas. Check out the full story at Woodpecker Thought to Be Extinct Is Sighted in Arkansas.

"This great chieftain of the woodpecker tribe," as John James Audubon described the ivory bill - with its 30-inch wingspan, stunning black and white coloration with red on the male's cockade and a long, powerful bill - was once found in hardwood swamps and bottom land through the Southeast. As the forests were logged the numbers of birds decreased, until the ivory bill, the largest American woodpecker, faded from view. The last documented sighting was in Louisiana in 1944.

Though it appeared lost, the ivory bill haunted birders and ornithologists and others, and over the years there were dozens of reports of sightings. But each effort was unmasked as a hoax or wishful thinking - until Feb. 11, 2004.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:04 PM | TrackBack

Lack of posting

I've been kind of sporadic in posting for the last week or so. My apologies gentle reader. Last week I was embroiled in one of those administrative email exchanges that just seem to sap all of ones excess strength. So I wrote but I didn't post. Thankfully the exchange is over.  And I now understand what is going on, it's amazing what one can learn by simply picking up the phone and making a few calls.  *S*

As is to be expected after running full throttle this long, I have had a cold this week that put my horizontal for a few days. But on the good side I caught up on sleep which should be a good thing heading into the final sprint for the book chapters and quals.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:55 AM | TrackBack

April 25, 2005

An Evening with David Sedaris

David Sedaris, read his work at the IU Auditorium on April 19, 2005. I found out about the performance earlier in the day from Pete's post over at Sampo. I hadn't checked the listing of the Auditorium's performances this year - one can only watch so many performances of Oklahoma! in a lifetime, even when you love musical theatre - so I was ignorant of something I would have instantly known I would enjoy.

Sedaris reading of his new works had the audience in stitches. In on of the pieces, about the disconnects between appearances and behavior, he referred to "shit" as "the tofu of cursing. You can shape it into anything you need." Following with an example I can identify with from my days in manufacturing. You have undoubtedly met similar people who sprinkle their speech liberally with "shit"s as though the word is linguistic salt. And when the salt is removed there is nothing left.

Hubby was not as familiar with Sedaris' work as I. I've been trying to get him to read Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim since I finished it last year, but he has his own reading list. So last night was an introduction for him. It was interesting to watch.

In both his written work and oral performance, Sedaris has a rhythm. A unique set of rhythms actually, in that the structure of the story has very distinct beats. Likewise his reading style has a distinct cadence. Hubby noticed how the audience was so familiar with the rhythms that they started laughing on the beats without waiting for the punchline.

He also noticed that when Sedaris replied to the question "What's the best part of living in France?" with "I can smoke anywhere," the audience laughed heartily. Now this is amusing because Bloomington is one of the first cities in Indiana to regulate smoking, to the point that there is no smoking in restaurants in the city. Sedaris' comment is so un-PC that the audience, amazingly, found it ever funny.

If you get a chance to hear Sedaris read live I strongly encourage it. I think the New Yorker is right, he is the funnest New York writers since Dorthy Parker. Either way read the books, there is a little bit of all of us embedded in his stories.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:52 AM | TrackBack

April 19, 2005

It's not just corn in Indiana...but sometimes it is

Indiana is the second largest producer of popcorn in the U.S.  According to the Indiana Agricultural Statistics Service, last year Hoosier farmers produced 254.1 million pounds of popcorn worth $29.7 million. There are many more interesting popcorn facts on the The Popcorn Board site, even has teaching resources...and popcorn animation in Flash.

Now personally I love the stuff...could eat it everyday. I'm talking plain flavoring or sugar required. Just pop it in tiny bit oil and I'm good to go. But it seems that no matter how I pop it I end up with lots of dead kernels in the bottom of the pan or bag. Well the smart folks at Purdue have figured it all out. Popcorn connoisseurs check out Pop Star Secrets Revealed!

While a poppable kernel must have a precise amount of moisture in the endosperm, or starchy center (about 14.5 to 15 percent), the Purdue researchers say the real explosive secret lies in the hull, or pericarp.

In some varieties, the pericarp becomes more moistureproof as it is heated, sealing in the steam until the pressure gets so high that the hull fractures and the kernel goes pop.

In other varieties that don't undergo heat-induced change, the moisture escapes, the hull never breaks and then the kernel goes pfffft.

I think I should test the theory with a bag of hot fresh popped corn.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:03 PM | TrackBack

April 17, 2005

Finding a quiet place

My birthday happened last week. I'm now 46.  No I don't usually look it unless I haven't had enough sleep, but I often feel it with that nagging "I've been through this before" perspective. Which is why I thought this quiz might be amusing. Of course given the choices I'm very glad that I didn't test as "40+" on this thing...sounds like if you do test at that level you are about to be put out of your misery. OUCH!

You Are 29 Years Old
Under 12: You are a kid at heart. You still have an optimistic life view - and you look at the world with awe. 13-19: You are a teenager at heart. You question authority and are still trying to find your place in this world. 20-29: You are a twentysomething at heart. You feel excited about what's to come... love, work, and new experiences. 30-39: You are a thirtysomething at heart. You've had a taste of success and true love, but you want more! 40+: You are a mature adult. You've been through most of the ups and downs of life already. Now you get to sit back and relax.
What Age Do You Act?

Hubby got me the greatest b'day gift, a High Spirits Native American Flute. To be specific I play a Sparrow Hawk in A - Cedar.

So now I take work breaks to sit on my front porch and play the flute. It's a wonderful peaceful thing for me to do...just hope the neighbors thing so as well.

Posted by prolurkr at 04:03 PM | TrackBack

April 16, 2005

Sony U71 Review

I've mentioned here before that I want to buy a Sony U71, assuming I win the lottery soon. *sigh* I've held off even really thinking about owning one until after I make a decision on going to AoIR 2006 in Australia. Sadly the cost is kinda similar between the two.

Well today a review of the product ended up in one of my PubSub searches. So here it is if you too are interested in ultra-portable computing. Sony Vaio U-71 from Dave's IPaq blog, it's a multi page review.  What can I say now I really want one. *plinking her pennies into the piggy bank*

Posted by prolurkr at 10:47 AM | TrackBack

April 14, 2005

Oh my I did hear them correctly

New Years Eve day I sat down in a cafe in the French Quarter of New Orleans, hubby was in a shop and my knees were hurting so I took a break. I ordered a cup of coffee and a pastry and sat watching the goings on around me - a great thing to do in New Orleans.

A couple came in and sat down at the table next to me and ordered alcoholic drinks. The waitress took their order with out comment and, after a short time, served them their order.

Then two black couples entered and sat at the bar. They ordered and were told there by the bartender that there was a per person minimum order for alcoholic drinks. I remember thinking "I didn't hear the waitress say that to the other couple?" But I dismissed the whole thing, could have been a new waitress.

Well today's MSNBC feed brought me this story, New Orleans finds racism on Bourbon Street: Study follows death of black college student in New Orleans bar. The incident I just recounted for you happened earlier in the day before the college student was killed and his friend severely injured.

If you're black and belly up to a bar on Bourbon Street, be forewarned: You run a 50-50 chance of either being charged more or being forced to order a minimum number of drinks.

Those are the findings of a study done for the city in the wake of the death of a black college student who died in a scuffle with white bouncers outside a bar on the famous French Quarter thoroughfare.

The study, conducted by the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center, paired black and white men of similar body type, dress and manner, and sent them into bars within minutes of each other.

Of the 28 bars visited, 40 percent charged the black customers more for drinks. A white man, for example, bought a Long Island iced tea for $7.50, while the black man was charged $9, according to James Perry, executive director of the private, nonprofit housing center.

Ten percent of the bars informed the blacks - but not the whites - that there was a drink minimum, and 7 percent told their black customers that they would have to meet a dress code.

It's just insane, that is all I can say after reading this article.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:42 AM | TrackBack

April 08, 2005

Sahara - the movie

Hubby and I had great fun this evening. We took in Sahara (warning it plays music), staring Matthew McConaughey, Penelope Cruz, and Steve Zahn. The movie is based on the Clive Cussler novel of the same name.

I am a huge Cussler fan. Well actually I was a huge fan until the books got to be too slick and self serving.  He writes himself in as a character, once upon a time it was cute, now it's kinda creepy. I should note that most every thriller authors who has had a best seller in the last 20 years has listed Cussler as their favorite author. Truthfully some of them have stolen from him rather liberally, so it's possible that if you read the books you will recognize things that turned up later in other authors works.

Sahara, the book was published in 1992 and is a very good engaging read. If you are thinking ahead for something to take to the beach I recommend it.

The movie is in no way flawless, what movie from a novel ever is. It is, however, a good romp through the desert with interesting characters. In the books, and the film to a lesser extent, Dirk Pitt is the man ever guy dreams of being and every women dreams of attracting, and Al Giardino is the guy we all want for a best friend.

So go and enjoy the movie and read the books.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:53 PM | TrackBack

April 07, 2005

In the "Oh Gezzz" cateogry

This came across on the morning news feeds, More proof that Best Buy is actually "Worst Buy": Man arrested for paying in $2 bills. Now this is a scary story of people acting at the extremes on all sides.

Wonder what these folks would do with a load of Susan B's? Yes, Virginia they are still legal tender as well.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:47 AM | TrackBack

April 06, 2005

Captain Cook's Diary Online

ResearchBuzz in their post Diary of Captain Cook Available Online pointed me to the National Library of Australia where the digitized ship journal of the Endeavor captained by James Cook is available online.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:46 AM | TrackBack

April 05, 2005

Saul Bellow dies aged 89

Saul Bellow was one of my favorite writers. Per The Guardian he died yesterday at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Saul Bellow dies aged 89

Nobel laureate Saul Bellow, a master of comic melancholy whose novels both championed and mourned the soul's fate in the modern world, died yesterday. He was 89.

Bellow's close friend and lawyer, Walter Pozen, said the writer of Herzog and Humboldt's Gift had been in declining health but was "wonderfully sharp to the end". Bellow's wife and daughter were at his side when he died at his home in Brookline, Massachusetts.

Bellow was the most acclaimed of a generation of Jewish writers who emerged after the second world war, among them Bernard Malamud, Philip Roth and Cynthia Ozick.

"The backbone of 20th-century American literature has been provided by two novelists - William Faulkner and Saul Bellow," Roth said yesterday. "Together they are the Melville, Hawthorne, and Twain of the 20th century."

He was the first writer to win the National Book Award three times: in 1954 for The Adventures of Augie March, in 1965 for Herzog and in 1971 for Mr Sammler's Planet. In 1976, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Humboldt's Gift.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:13 PM | TrackBack

Yard in bloom

Our magnolia tree burst into full bloom today. It's always a pretty sight though it undoubtedly means we have cold weather yet to come. Our Zone 5 local is a bit far north for this variety. Four years out of five it freezes while it is blooming so the season is very short.
When I went out to take the magnolia picture I found that our hyacinths are blooming as well. Looks like I should get out of the study more often. A few years ago we planted a couple of hundred bulbs under the Maple on the west of the house, hoping they would naturalize. Some years we get lots of blooms, and some only a few. This is an only a few year.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:41 PM | TrackBack

Great now they don't want to let natives in to the States either

From MSNBC, U.S. to tighten passport requirements: You'll need one to get back from Mexico or Canada.

Americans will need passports to re-enter the United States from Canada, Mexico, Panama and Bermuda by 2008, part of a tightening of U.S. border controls in an era of terrorist threat, three administration officials said Tuesday.

Similarly, Canadians will also have to present a passport to enter the United States, said the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity. Canadians have been the only foreigners allowed to enter the United States with just a driver's license.

< snip >

The new system will deal first with the Caribbean, then Mexico and Canada. It will start at airports and subsequently spread to land crossings, said an official speaking on condition of anonymity.

U.S. inspectors will bear less of a burden with the changes because they won't have to sift through different kinds of travel documents, the officials said.

Golly I sure wouldn't want to over stress those "lovely" TSA employees. They are always so nice to everyone. *gagging quietly*

Posted by prolurkr at 02:01 PM | TrackBack

April 03, 2005

Lamb pictures

This tiny lamb, much smaller then usual, was born about 20 minutes before this picture was taken. As of this writing it has eaten, been cleaned up by it's mom - a newly naked sheep, and is sleeping curled up in the pen in the barn. We will hold these two inside for a couple of days since the baby is so small. Don't want the others to trample it.
I found this picture of one of the sets of twin lambs on my camera when I dumped out the shearing pictures. Thought I would share it with you as well. Lambs are just so cute.

Posted by prolurkr at 03:48 PM | TrackBack

The making of naked sheep

The sheep shearer came today. I grabbed some pictures to give you a flavor of the process. Normally this goes fairly quickly, but the shearer was saying that since it has been alternating between warm and cold temperatures of late the sheep's lanolin is thick and gooey which slows down cutting time. I took these shots in time progression, and apologize for the blur in some of them but shearers don't hold still for long. Neither do sheep being sheared actually.
Just so you know this is not a picture of demonic sheep possession, rather I had to use the flash to compensate for the bright sun flooding in through the barn windows behind the waiting animals.
When the shearing is done the shearer gathers up the wool and puts it in a huge burlap sack to take to the wool market. Wool in the US doesn't bring much cash. The shearer takes what he makes at the market and then deducts his charge for doing the work, some years we still owe him money after the sale is done.
The first naked sheep of the day.
A flock of newly naked sheep.
Note: The brown critter in the flock is not a goat. Rather she is a hair sheep, a Barbados Blackbelly. Their history is fascinating, check out the link if you are interested. Hair sheep don't get sheared, so while the whole flock are more pets/lawn mowers then farmed animals, Marvella (don't ask LOL) is totally my father-in-laws pet.

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March 30, 2005

A day that simply won't go right *sigh*

After two days of knock-your-socks-off coolness, I got a day that simply refuses to go right. My morning bits - email, RSS reading, blog posting, etc. - took far to long so I didn't get started on my project for the day before I left the house. Of course I also left the house later then I planned.

Once I got to the Indy campus it took forever to get the VPN to recognize my laptops existence on the network. Then I found that some strange malady had effected the campus email system so I could log-on but it showed no email, none in the main screen none in the folders. *ok deep breathes don't panic*

Then after multiple log-ins and still finding no email I tried to log-in and was denied access. Which in a perverse way is a good thing. It means they have everyone locked out and are probably working on the problem. Good read cause now I'm in the system and I have email...lots of email.

I needed in the email system so I could pull up the information for reviewing Association of Internet Researchers Conference Abstracts. Of course I tried finding the links I needed on the official site but they were not speaking to me. I believe they have to be there but I sure couldn't lay my cursor on them. Then after the email was back up and I had the link, my log-in for the AoIR site will not work. So now I am waiting for a reply to tell me what log-in and password to use to access the system. I had hoped to knock out all the reviews before class this evening, having budgeted about 3.5 hours for the work. But right now I have wasted an about two hours trying to get everything to work. *sigh* Well at least the sun is out and shining in through the windows of the IT Building.

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March 25, 2005

The revival of the Hawaiian langauge

I think Hawaiian is one of the most beautiful languages to hear. The soft rolling melody of the spoken words is soothing. Of course, I bought a book on my last trip to the islands that should help me learn some of the language.  I mentioned the book in my previous post North Kohala and Waimea. So today's MSNBC story caught my eye, 'E heluhelu kakou' strikes chord with students: Hawaiians language makes a comeback

A 1983 survey estimated that only 1,500 people remained in Hawaii who could speak it, most of them elderly.

Today there are probably 6,000 to 8,000 Hawaiian language speakers throughout the state, most of them under 30, said Kalena Silva, professor of Hawaiian studies at the University of Hawaii-Hilo.

Everyone knows a little bit of Hawaiian, even visiting mainlanders. "Aloha" has become an almost universally recognized greeting and expression of love. "Mahalo" often subs for "thank you."

But there's less understanding of the state motto - "Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono" (the life of the land is preserved in righteousness) - or the name of the state fish - humuhumunukunukuapua'a.

"Before, people would hear me speaking Hawaiian to someone and ask what language I was speaking," said Leilani Basham, coordinator of the Hawaiian language program at the University of Hawaii's flagship Manoa campus. "I don't get that anymore."

Kamehameha Schools Distance Learning has online lessons to teach you to speak Hawaiian. I'm going to be checking them out to use with the book I bought on my last trip. I wonder if someone teaches two week workshops, that would be fun. It a beautiful language that I want to learn simply because I love the way it sounds. No better reason is required. *S*

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March 22, 2005


This post came across one of my PubSub searches.  I do not have the url only the name of the blog, it was pulled from the Latest Posts about 18 hours ago.  The actual blog from whence it comes appears to be called fuilleverte: old discussion.

As a Fogelberg fan I was taken by the comparison, one I had thought about before but seems so appropriate of late with issues in my world.  Do we take the easy road or do we take a new and different one that may be harder but more rewarding?  I think that is probably one of the essential questions of living. Links have been added to the post to give the reader access to additional information.

Once in a vision I came on some woods And stood at a fork in the road My choices were clear yet I froze with the fear Of not knowing which way to go Oh, one road was simple acceptance of life The other road offered sweet peace When I made my decision My vision became my release.  Netherlands, Dan Fogelberg =================================================================================================== Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-- I took the one less traveled by, And that has made all the difference. Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken [the actual name of the poem is Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening]

================================================================================================== Both say the same thing but Dan gives you more of a choice.. Where Robert Frost tells you to take his road the one less travel and that that will make all the difference, Fogelberg simply says there is a choice and that the choice sets you free.. Choice here is the true Shibolith here, the password to a future sure in yourself.. if you choose the path of acceptance then you become one of the crowd. you lose a bit of yourself to the crowd but you gain surety from them.. If you choose the harder path of sweet peace.. you Gain self you become a pillar for others to view, but you give up the safety of anonymity.. make your own choice. be who you are.. let no other tell you that his way is right and yours is wrong..

Posted by prolurkr at 07:29 PM | TrackBack

Dreaming and blog coding and psychological well being

Lilia posted the following on her blog Mathemagenic today:

Blog research addict

You know that you are turning into a blog research addict if you discuss coding of weblogs with Luis [Lois] and Elijah in a dream and then wake up to share breakfast with your partner in crime of mapping weblog communities :)

I am in equal parts, deeply humbled to have been elevated to the status of "dream" weblog coder & discussant, and concerned that Lilia has taken a serious psychological turn for the worse. *raising one eyebrow* When one is dreaming about academic discussion, let alone academic discussion with Elijah and I, there are concerns. *nods slowly*

Please send your donations for "Lilia's Counseling Fund" to..........

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March 20, 2005

My Geek Code

I am spending the evening reading through Alex Halavais' dissertation The Slashdot Effect: Analysis of a Large-Scale Public Conversation on the World Wide Web. Is an interesting document that is teaching much about Slashdot, while I consider myself to be a geek I am not a Slashdot geek.

So while taking a brain break from my reading I decided to check out the "geek code" that Alex discusses and I have seen posted online. I had seen it but could not translate it, an in group thing for a group of which I was not a part. After playing with the website here is my personal geek code line:

GED/J d- s+:+ a+ C++++ u-- P+ L W+++ n+ w+ O M-- PS++ PE-- Y++ t+ 5++ X+ R* tv+ b++++ DI++++ e+++ h--- r+++

All the pluses surprised me. Would have thought there would be a more even distribution of pluses and minuses.

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March 15, 2005

A good hearty belly laugh

There are few people I enjoy laughing at more then myself. Is that narcissism or anti-narcissism? Not sure but it can defiantly be fun and this one is so good I simply had to share. (Pictures tell much of this story so make sure you check them out in the post if you are reading this RSS.)

Yesterday was a busy day: Car to the dealer for oil change at 10:00am, Cat to the vet at 2:00pm, and a chairing a meeting at 7:00pm. Well busy for spring break at least. So I got dressed comfortably in the morning, casual but stylish enough...jeans and a long beige sweater, with of course the required undergarments for a women my age.
The pictures are of my favorite old comfortable pair of jeans. A bit worn but totally serviceable, not so much worn as well loved. I always ALWAYS check them over before I put them on just to make sure that everything has held together through the wash and they are ready for one more trip round the pond. And as usual yesterday everything looked fine, some small worn patches at stress points but all and all in pretty good shape. And with that check completed I went on through my day and never thought again about my clothes.

Until last night when I was getting dressed for bed. I slipped off my jeans and in so doing promptly put my hand through a six inch gap near the back left pocket. It's a wee bit shocking to realize that you are holding your own cheek when you had not intended to do so.

At some point during the day my aged jeans had given up the ghost...but I have absolutely no idea at what point during the day this happened. LOL Since no one pulled me over to say "Ahhh Lois, you might want to check your pants." I can only assume that no one else noticed it either. Thank the gods for long sweaters and jackets, and denim blue undies. What once were my favorite jeans are now...past their prime. *sigh* Happens to the best of us.

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March 14, 2005

Signs that Spring has arrived

I completely unofficially declare it spring in Southern Indiana. Not only are the Snowdrops blooming in my yard, as they have been for at least two weeks
But now we have our first spring lambs. A set of twins that will shortly be popping around the pen like fuzzy popcorn. Click on the picture to see a larger version.

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March 12, 2005

Bill Miller Concert

Hubby saw an article in the paper this morning that mentioned a concert tonight at our old Junior High School, now a grade school. The artist was Bill Miller, 2005 Grammy Award Winner for Best Native American Music Album (Vocal or Instrumental). Mr. Miller plays folk and blues with Native American overtones, as well as more traditional Native American works. This evening he played guitar, harmonica, a variety of Native American flutes, and a drum that looked very much like a Bodhran (celtic drum).

His guitar playing is excellent. I love to get into a good blues rhythm....rocking, and clapping, and stomping...and Miller had me moving from his first cord. But my favorite part was when he played his flutes. I simply adore Native American flute music. When I am reading something that is particularly challenging to me, I put on one of my albums of flute and let it speak to my soul carrying the words I am reading with it. Also when I am stressed by traveling I can plug in my iPod's headphones, tune out the world, and mediate or sleep to the tones of a Native American or celtic flute. This is just no more beautiful music than wooden flutes.

Visually the flutes, and he had several different ones - each a different tuning, were gorgeous. He told the audience that they were all specially made for him by Odell Borg at High Spirits Flutes. I have always wanted to learn to play and maybe I will. Would be a nice thing to take on this summer.

During the concert he played one of my old favorite songs, written and recorded by Michael Martin Murphy. The song is Geronimo's Cadillac

They put Geronimo in jail down South
Where he couldn't look the gift horse in the mouth
Sergeant sergeant don't you feel
There's something wrong with your automobile
Warden, warden, listen to me
Be brave and set Geronimo free
Governor governor isn't it strange
You never see a car on the Indian range?

O boys, take me back,
I want to ride in Geronimo's Cadillac

People people don't you know
The Indians have got no place to go
They took old Geronimo by storm
And ripped the feathers from his uniform
Now Jesus told me and I believe it's true
The Redmen are in the sunset too
Took their land and didn't give it back
And they sent Geronimo a Cadillac
O boys, take me back,
I want to ride in Geronimo's Cadillac

That was great fun for me as I am an old Michael Martin Murphy fan. I saw him three times in concert at various venues around Indiana in the 70's and 80's.

It was a great evening of music. At the moment I don't own any of Miller's CDs but that will be changing as budgets allow.

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A very cool graphical site

Eyebeam pointed me to the most interesting graphical pages I have seen in some time. This page goes on for miles and includes stills and video. Do not go there if you have a slow connection...your computer will not enjoy the trip. All others check out the source for the amuzing graphic, that reminds me of some of my days in teen chatrooms...blah, blah, blah, blah blah.

Posted by prolurkr at 05:06 PM | TrackBack

March 11, 2005

Art that can be made in and on a Moleskine

I am at heart a frustrated artist. I see the most amazing things around me but lack the technical skills to reproduce them to the quality I would want. Therefore I am a huge fan of those that can create art on the fly out of whatever the world presents them. So if you too like to see the beauty that other people find and make, check out * sketchbob * and his filled and decorated Moleskine sketchbooks.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:06 AM | TrackBack

March 10, 2005

Textual tattoos

From, here are a few of my favorites from his list of textual tattoo pictures. Interesting idea getting a text tattoo...what words would you use?

I've always thought a tattoo would be cool, long before it was the hot thing to do. Though I'm far to chicken to get one. But if I did I know it would be a text based's a word thing. Seems Jill Walker and I have similarly mentioned the source of this post. *S*

Posted by prolurkr at 10:17 AM | TrackBack

March 01, 2005

US Supreme Court rules death penalty for crimes committed as minors to be cruel and unusual

From the BBC, the Supreme Court bans juvenile executions.

The court was divided on the issue, but voted 5-4 that the juvenile death penalty should be declared unconstitutional.

The decision affects not only those convicted in future, but about 70 prisoners already on death row for offences committed before they were 18.

The decision is seen as a victory for opponents of capital punishment.

The highest US court upheld an earlier ruling by the Missouri Supreme Court, which banned the execution of people convicted of crimes they committed before turning 18.

Read the High Court's Decision (PDF) taken from Supreme Court Strikes Down Death Penalty for Juveniles you can listen to Nina Totenberg's report on the page as well.

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February 27, 2005

Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb

Hubby and I broke out to go see one of his favorite movies for the first time on the big screen. Dr. Strangelove, Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying And Love The Bomb (1964) is showing at the Yes Cinema.

I am convinced the G.W. must have this movie memorized. Can't tell you how many of the lines sound like things I've heard him say at press conferences. Now THAT is scary.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:00 PM | TrackBack

February 26, 2005

NASA's free World Wind application

jkOnTheRun refers to C:\PIRILLO.EXE post on NASA's free World Wind application.

From the Nasa site:

World Wind lets you zoom from satellite altitude into any place on Earth. Leveraging Landsat satellite imagery and Shuttle Radar Topography Mission data, World Wind lets you experience Earth terrain in visually rich 3D, just as if you were really there.

Virtually visit any place in the world. Look across the Andes, into the Grand Canyon, over the Alps, or along the African Sahara.

It's a big download (180 mb) and takes some work to find a mirror that is working, but looks like a cool program - got mine from the AU site because it is afterhours there.

Posted by prolurkr at 12:06 PM | TrackBack

Founder of Amnesty dies aged 83

From the BBC, Founder of Amnesty dies aged 83:

The founder of human rights organisation Amnesty International, Peter Benenson, has died aged 83.

Mr Benenson died on Friday evening at the John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford.

The British lawyer founded the group in 1961 as a one-year campaign after reading a news article on the jailing of two Portuguese students.

"Peter Benenson's life was a courageous testament to his visionary commitment to fight injustice around the world," said Amnesty's Irene Khan.

Amnesty International has a nice bio for Mr. Benenson on their site. Mr. Beneson's life and legacy are a testament to what one voice can do to create a movement.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:37 AM | TrackBack

NYTimes slams the Numa Numa guy

To Gary Brolsma, the guy from the Numa Numa online video: Gary those people at the NYTimes are just mean. I personally love the video and watch it every time I need to smile - which has been quite a lot this week. Have fun with the attention and ignore the nay sayers...they are just jealous anyway. I hope all this bandwidth is not driving you to the poorhouse.

To the NYTimes: I think you would have had to really work to have put in more references to weight, and pejoratives for grassroots entertainment and New Jersey. Get lives guys, we watch the video cause we love it. It's way more fun then going to the opera.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:26 AM | TrackBack

February 24, 2005

The Biology of Faith

The Guardian has a fascinating research based article on the biological components that may predispose humans to faith in a higher power, see Tests of faith

Faith has long been a puzzle for science, and it's no surprise why. By definition, faith demands belief without a need for supporting evidence, a concept that could not be more opposed to the principles of scientific inquiry. In the eyes of the scientist, an absence of evidence reduces belief to a hunch. It places the assumptions at the heart of many religions on the rockiest of ground.

So why do so many people believe? And why has belief proved so resilient as scientific progress unravels the mysteries of plagues, floods, earthquakes and our understanding of the universe? By injecting nuns with radioactive chemicals, by scanning the brains of people with epilepsy and studying naughty children, scientists are now working out why. When the evidence is pieced together, it seems that evolution prepared what society later moulded: a brain to believe.

The article continues

Childish belief is one thing, but religious belief is embraced by people of all ages and is by no means the preserve of the uneducated. According to Boyer, the persistence of belief into adulthood is at least in part down to a presumption. "When you're in a belief system, it's not that you stop asking questions, it's that they become irrelevant. Why don't you ask yourself about the existence of gravity? It's because a lot of the stuff you do every day presupposes it and it seems to work, so where's the motivation to question it?" he says. "In belief systems, you tend to enter this strange state where you start thinking there must be something to it because everybody around you is committed to it. The general question of whether it's true is relegated."

As one who does not believe that she will ever get to the point of not questioning, I find this discussion of the biological basis of faith to be fascinating and very relevant to human communication in general. We have many kinds of faith in our lives...a belief in the unseen...might much of it be biologically based?

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February 23, 2005

Weblog cartoons

Great fun weblog cartoons from Weblogg-ed, post entitled Blog Comics

Posted by prolurkr at 07:42 PM | TrackBack

February 21, 2005

Where in the world have I been?

From Sarah Mercure. Where in the world have you been? I have covered a fair amount of the United States though my world travel is not very broad. Didn't have a passport until 2 years ago. *shrug* I have lost time to make up for.

create your own visited countries map or vertaling Duits Nederlands

create your own visited states map

Posted by prolurkr at 01:37 PM | TrackBack

Daily Dig Quote of the Day

From Cornel West

The country is in deep trouble. We've forgotten that a rich life consists fundamentally of serving others, trying to leave the world a little better than you found it. We need the courage to question the powers that be, the courage to be impatient with evil and patient with people, the courage to fight for social justice. In many instances we will be stepping out on nothing, and just hoping to land on something. But that's the struggle. To live is to wrestle with despair, yet never to allow despair to have the last word.

I think I will have to add this one to my sidebar quotes.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:29 AM | TrackBack

February 20, 2005

Alternative memorials for Katie Collman

Marlayna Glynn Brown sent me an email in response to my post Katie Collman. In that post I said:

Katie's grieving father has a plan to collect money to destroy the apartment complex and raise a park in his daughter's memory. In part it is a nice thought, a park where other children can play and Katie can be remembered. But there are few apartment complexes in this small town and families that can not afford rent on other homes live there. Better to clean up the drug activity and let the apartments stand. Here is a New York Times story on his plan, Too Late for Katie, Town Tackles a Drug's Scourge.

Marlayna has suggested to the family that money should be raised to rehab the apartment building and

create an orphanage-home for victims of meth abuse. I suggested the name be "Katie's Kids", and even offered to write their grants for FREE

She is a professional grant writer, check out MGB Proposals Plus, and should have the know how to help them raise funding. Marlayna added that she has not received a response from family. I sincerely hope they are entertaining alternative ideas for ways to memorialize Katie and to help the community so that chances of such violence against the children can be minimized.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:26 PM | TrackBack

February 15, 2005

PubSub eartquake alerts

PubSub, with data provided by the U.S. Geological Survey and cooperating seismic networks, is posting information on earthquakes worldwide. You can subscribe to or look at a sideblog of recent activity at their Earthquakes page. Results can be sent RSS, Atom, or email. Though the site says SMS is coming.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:36 PM | TrackBack

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6)

I have had my copy of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) preordered at Amazon for sometime. Scholastic, the US publisher, has now released the cover art for the book so here is a look at the design and a link to the book.The stated released date is July 16, 2005.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:35 PM | TrackBack

February 14, 2005

The definitive love song list

The folks at Folk Alley have put together [t]he definitive wedding song list. Personally I think it is an excellent list of love songs. What could be more appropriate for Valentine's Day? The Folk Alley post have links to Amazon for the albums that are available there. Check it out if you are interested, note their list is not in alphabetical order.

45 Years -- Stan Rogers

All I Want to Do is Sing Your Name -- U. Utah Phillips Riddle Song


Always Marry an Ugly Girl -- Al Batten

Annie's Song -- John Denver

Anniversary -- Claudia Schmidt: Essential Tension

any song by -- Steve Newman

any song by -- Tananas

any song by -- Tony Cox

Arrow -- Cheryl Wheeler: Cheryl Wheeler

As -- Stevie Wonder

At Last -- Etta James

Attics of My Life -- Grateful Dead: American Beauty

B.B. King Was Wrong -- John Gorka

Beautiful -- Gordon Lightfoot: Don Quixote

Beautiful -- The Youngbloods: Elephant Mountain

Beautiful Dreamer -- Stephen Foster: Beautiful Dreamer: The Songs of Stephen Foster ( Raul Malo)

Beggars to God -- Bob Rogers

Blue Bonnets Over the Border -- Natalie MacMaster: In My Hands

Bridal Veil Falls -- Chris Thile: Not All Who Wander Are Lost

Can I Have This Dance -- Anne Murray

Careless Love

Child Song -- Neil Diamond: Tap Root Manuscript

Corinna, Corinna -- Leo Kottke: Standing in My Shoes

Dance Me to the End of Love -- Leonard Cohen

Dimming of the Day -- Richard and Linda Thompson: Pour Down Like Silver

Dodi Dodi From Israel

Don't Should On Me -- David Roth and Christine Lavin

Double Yodel -- Lou and Peter Berryman

Family -- Pierce Pettis

Fields of Gold -- Eva Cassidy: Songbird

Follow Me -- John Denver or Mary Travers

For the Rest of My Life -- John Denver

For You -- Tracey Chapman: Tracey Chapman

Forever Young -- Bob Dylan

Friends -- Elton John

Gadeng Vadoo -- Lou and Peter Berryman

Gentle Arms of Eden -- Dave Carter: Drum Hat Buddha

Give Yourself to Love -- Kate Wolf: Give Yourself To Love (Live In Concert)

Give Yourself to Love -- Kathy Mattea (cover by Kate Wolf): Treasures Left Behind: Remembering Kate Wolf

Greensleeves -- Henry VIII

Grow Old With Me -- Mary Chapin Carpenter: Party Doll & Other Favorites

Gulf Coast Highway -- Nanci Griffith: Little Love Affairs

Have I Told You Lately That I Love You -- Van Morrison

Hearts Overflowing -- Brewer and Shipley

Here She Is -- Ellis Paul: Stories

Hey Baby Hey -- Greg Brown: Further In

Hymn Song (Here With You) (I Believe if I Lived My Life Again) -- U. Utah Phillips: The Legends of Folk (RedHouse records )

I Believe -- Emmylou Harris

I Want You -- Tom Waits: The Early Years Vol. 2

I Will -- Alison Krauss: Now That I've Found You: A Collection

I Will -- Ben Taylor

I Will Whisper Your Name -- Michall Johnson

If I Needed You -- Townes Van Zandt: The Best of Townes Van Zandt

If I Were a Featherbed -- John McCutcheon: Water from Another Time

I'll Lay Ye Doon Love -- Enoch Kent

I'll Never Find Another You -- The Seekers

I'll Prove My Love -- Gordon Lightfoot

In My Dreams -- Debi Smith: In My Dreams

In My Life -- Beatles

In Spite of Ourselves -- John Prine and Iris Dement: In Spite of Ourselves

Inisheer -- Greg Trooper

Intertwined -- Debi Smith: More Than Once

Ireland Forever -- Patrick Moore

Irish Blues -- Maura O'Connell: Wandering Home

It's Better Than That -- Lou and Peter Berryman

It's Only Love -- Mary Chapin Carpenter

Jackie Wilson Said -- Van Morrison

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Judith's Song -- Judy Collins

Last First Kiss -- John McCutcheon: Greatest Story Never Told

Let a Woman Flow -- It's a Beautiful Day

Like We Used to Do -- Tim O'Brien and Pat Alger

Long Dark Night of the Soul -- Loreena McKennitt

Longer -- Dan Fogelberg

Lookin In for Number One -- David Roth: Digging Through My Closet

Love Song -- Lesley Duncan

Love's An Injection -- Mike Monroe

Magnolia Street -- Buddy Mondlock

Magnolia Wind -- Guy Clark: The Dark (2002)

Mairi's Wedding -- Silly Sisters (Maddy Prior and June Tabor)

Marie's Wedding

May I Suggest -- Ellis Paul & Vance Gilbert (by Susan Werner): Side of the Road

Mick O'Connor's -- Seamus Egan: When Juniper Sleeps

Might As Well Dance -- Patty Larkin: Angels Running

Morning Has Broken

Night Comes In -- Richard and Linda Thompson

Nothing Without You -- Steve Earle: Train A Comin

One Time Only -- Tom Paxton: I Can't Help But Wonder Where I'm Bound: The Best Of Tom Paxton

Open Windows -- Sarah Harmer: You Were Here

Perhaps Love -- John Denver

Red Dancing Shoes -- Peter Ostroushko: Down the Streets of My Old Neighborhood (out of print)

Red, Red Rose -- Dave Mallett: Artist in Me

Rising in Love -- David Roth: Rising in Love

Romance -- Gordon Lightfoot: Salute

Seize the Day -- Ellis Paul: Ellis Paul LIVE

Silver -- Carrie Newcomer: The Gathering of Spirits

Silver Lining -- Cheryl Wheeler: Driving Home

Since You Asked -- Judy Collins: Colors of the Day: The Very Best of Judy Collins

Singing With You -- H.A.R.P.

Somebody Loved -- Weepies: Weepies

Somos El Barco -- We Are the Boat or H.A.R.P.

Song For Asking -- Paul Simon: Bridge Over Troubled Water

Song of Songs -- Pierce Pettis: Great Big World

Star of the County Down -- Northeast Winds

Summerfly -- Maura O'Connell (written by Cheryl Wheeler): Helpless Heart

Sunlight -- The Youngbloods: The Best of the Youngbloods

Ten Complaints -- Dee Carstensen

The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face -- Gordon Lightfoot or Roberta Flack: The Best of Gordon Lightfoot

The Great Storm is Over -- John McCutcheon: Water from Another Time

The Lover's Waltz -- Jay Ungar and Molly Mason: The Lover's Waltz

The One Who Knows -- Dar Williams: Beauty of the Rain

The Roseville Fair -- Bill Staines: The First Million Miles Vol.1

The Tree -- Megon McDonough

The Water Is Wide -- Eva Cassidy: American Tune

The Wedding Song -- Buffy Sainte Marie: Fire & Fleet & Candlelight

There Is Love -- Peter Yarrow, Paul Stookey or Peter, Paul and Mary

This Love Will Carry -- Dougie Maclean: The Dougie Maclean Collection

Time In a Bottle -- Jim Croce

Time Is -- It's a Beautiful Day

Today -- Jefferson Airplane

Tomorrow is a Long Time -- Bob Dylan

True Companion -- Marc Cohn

Trumpet Voluntary

Unhappiest Squirrel in the Whole USA -- Ben Colder

Waltz Across Texas -- Ernest Tubb

Wedding Song -- Bob Dylan

When I Need You Most of All -- David Buskin

When Love Begins -- Don Maclean

World of Our Own -- The Seekers

Years From Now -- Dr. Hook

You and I -- Stevie Wonder

You Are Love -- Tom Paxton

You are the Sunshine of My Life -- Stevie Wonder

Posted by prolurkr at 08:37 AM | TrackBack

February 13, 2005

Blogger Wear

Radent Marketing Group has put together a set of Blogger Wear. Radent Marketing is a Buzz Marketing Consulantcy...which kinda gives me the willies but they are cool shirts and stuff.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:42 AM | TrackBack

February 12, 2005

Valentine's Day artwork

If you are looking for some cute gif's to use for valentine's day check out adoptables by otto. He does cute but polished work in these minitures.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:59 AM | TrackBack

February 10, 2005

The proud owner of multiple Moleskine's

I am now the proud owner of multiple Moleskine notebooks. Though when you stack the three of them up next to the Palm it begins to look like a stupid choice. Oh well notebooks never turn themselves on and dump their entire batteries so you can't access your information. Notebooks never treat you like that.

I have three styles all pocket size - a ruled notebook, a 2005 weekly diary, and a memo pockets accordion file folder (to keep my 3x5 cards organized). You can see all the style and size choice here or here to give a bit of profit to another blogger the 43 Folders blog.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:36 AM | TrackBack

February 09, 2005

Katie Collman

On January 30, 2005, I wrote a post about the abduction and murder of Katie Collman, Missing girls body found. A few days later Charles Hickman confessed to her murder and was arrested. Two other local men have also been arrested for giving false information to the police and FBI.

The motive for the murder? Apparently Katie stopped to tell someone she knew that a dog had been hit on the train tracks. In so doing she stumbled on to a meth lab that was located in the same apartment complex. Rather then have her tell anyone about their activities, the men involved killed her. So now they are in jail awaiting trials and possible death penalties, and a child is dead...all because of methamphetamine.

Katie's grieving father has a plan to collect money to destroy the apartment complex and raise a park in his daughter's memory. In part it is a nice thought, a park where other children can play and Katie can be remembered. But there are few apartment complexes in this small town and families that can not afford rent on other homes live there. Better to clean up the drug activity and let the apartments stand. Here is a New York Times story on his plan, Too Late for Katie, Town Tackles a Drug's Scourge

I have held off posting about this case since the FBI and the local police keep hinting that there are more arrests to be made. We shall see that is fore sure.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:31 PM | TrackBack

So now you can only be critical of the President if you have the right tax status?

From National Public Radio:

NAACP Spars with IRS over Tax Status

Morning Edition, February 9, 2005 · The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People [NAACP] refuses a request by the IRS to turn over information related to a speech given last July by the group's chairman Julian Bond. The IRS says Bond violated the NAACP's tax status by delivering the speech, which was critical of President Bush.

Sad and scary days

Posted by prolurkr at 09:04 AM | TrackBack

February 07, 2005

New Nanci Griffith - Hearts in Mind

I am a singer who likes to listen to other singers. I am a writer who wishes she had the talent to be a songwriter. Both are why I love to listen to Nanci Griffith's work. This new album, released February 1, 2005, is a very good mix of familiar, with new arrangements, and new songs to give any folk fan a satisfying addition to the collection.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:24 PM | TrackBack

February 06, 2005

The Hipster PDA

I have long been a fan of the 43 Folders: a bunch of tricks, hacks & other cool stuff blog. Though much of their advise is geared for Mac users, I still find very useful tips and pointers that can lead me to analog or Windows solutions.

So when I decided to ditch my Palm and return to the old 3x5 card system, I stopped by 43 Folders to set-up a "hipster pda" like Merlin Mann recommends.

I'm not totally new to the 3x5 card organizational system. I've used regular lined cards (in a variety of colors), unlined cards, and even used Levenger's Pocket Briefcase Cards but only the sampler pack, the regular cards are cool but pricey.

Here are two links that take you to the 43 Folders entries about hipster pda's:

Posted by prolurkr at 06:04 PM | TrackBack

Ok I'm finally doing it

I am finally declaring that I hate Palm OS and systems architecture. About 10 years ago I entered the PDA world after purchasing a HP 200LX rather then an early Palm. I decided that the Palm was pedestrian and inefficient to use. My 200LX, while not as small as a Palm, ran DOS applications so I could do almost any work I wanted on it with space being the main limiter.

But then it became a Windows world so I moved up to an HP Jornada 720. It was a good machine but because it has a Strong ARM processor there were very few applications for it.

So then I gave up and got a Palm. A Tungsten E to be exact. I have had this machine for over a year and I can only give you one thing to recommend it, it fits in a shirt pocket. That's pretty sad.

In the time I have had this PDA I have had to hard boot it regularly because so many of my programs conflict. I have found it has a predilection to turning itself on in my handbag and running its battery down to nothing. Oh and if a Palm is completely dead there is no resuscitating it when you are away from your primary computer, because to be revived it has to get an update. And now two of my programs will not communicate and one will not reinstall after failing.

I have written numerous emails to all the companies involved and have found that the primary problem is the OS and architecture. Now that is not to say that there are not individual issues with the software riding on the OS...there is and are and probably always will be since nothing is perfect. But the main problems are embedded in the device and its operating system.

So I will be moving to a something like a Sony U50/U71p or an OQO or something with that form factor that will run Windows. At least I will be making that change as soon as I can afford it. In the mean time I am going back to Moleskin's and what 43 Folders calls a hipster pda. So merrily I march back into the analog world for now, until the digital world of PDA's comes up with something better or I get rich...which ever happens first.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:13 PM | TrackBack

February 05, 2005

Just for the fun of it!

The following video is a scream. I have watched it several times now and always end up smiling. Numa numa is taking over my brain. LOL Newgrounds has multiple versions even one with subtiltes. Have fun guys it's Saturday.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:56 AM | TrackBack

February 04, 2005

A walk down memory lane

Frame work of the questions stolen from Sarah:

15 years ago today I would have been...
- sending out resumes to get out the post-MPA job I hated.
- working two jobs to pay school loans and living expenses.
- starting to think about planning my wedding.

10 years ago today I would have been...
- still sending out resumes.
- still hating the job.
- driving two hours one-way to work so I could go home to my hubby.

5 years ago today I would have been...
- beginning MIS classes.
- noticing that when I talked about life online, as I had and was observing it, people stopped and listened.
- starting to seriously think about applying for the doctoral program.

1 year ago today I would have been...
- worrying that I would not win a Future Faculty Teaching Fellowship - I did.
- thinking about Quals, but not writing it yet.
- finishing up with filing.
- researching, writing, and publishing.

This year I am...
- writing my Quals, I'm done thinking about it exclusively.
- comfortable with where I am professionally.
- working my tushee off. LOL

Yesterday I...
- was recovering from Wednesday. Long days wear me out.
- working on pulling BROG coding together and establishing final numbers.
- reading for Quals.

Today I...
- was on campus by 9.
- will attend two colloquia.
- will have lunch with friends, I'm looking forward to it.

Tomorrow I will...
- take the cats - well 3 of them - the vet to be weighed and get new meds.
- finish pulling BROG coding together, assuming I get everyone else's in by then.
- spending some time with my hubby.

Posted by prolurkr at 11:14 AM | TrackBack

February 03, 2005

Cool hand and body warmers

Yesterday afternoon hubby and wandered around the Home Show a bit. The only things we bought he had actually seen, and a acquired a couple, earlier in the week...but I wanted more.

What he had found were these very cool reusable, always a good word in my book, instant hand warmers called Quantum Heat Packs. They are pouches of food grade, don't eat it please, sodium acetate gel that when activated turn into a crystalline solid and produce a lot of heat. A similar product I found online said it could reach 130 degrees F. All I know is these things are wonderfully warm.

So we went back and bought me a set of hand warmers, one for use at the desk in the study and one for my book bag. My hands are often very cold this time of year. Makes typing difficult sometimes.

We also got a medium wrap and a large wrap. I used the medium one on my knee last night, to much walking on concrete yesterday. It did a great job loosening everything up.

To recharge them after they are used you drop them in boiling water, let them "cook" for 10 minutes on medium, then allow them to stay in the pan while the water cools. Couldn't be easier.

So if you see me in the library or at a conference holding a small bright blue pouch in my hands, you will now know that, a) my hands are really cold, and b) I am warming them up with a Quantum Heat Packs.

Posted by prolurkr at 09:29 AM | TrackBack

January 31, 2005

Some news is too good to keep to yourself

From the BBC News: Judge backs Guantanamo challenge

I think Judge Green says it best.

Posted by prolurkr at 01:42 PM | TrackBack

January 30, 2005

Missing girls body found

On Thursday an Amber Alert was issued for Katlyn "Katie" Collman age 10 of Crothersville Indiana. This particular alert caught my ears for two reasons: 1) Crothersville is where my husband's company is located, so it's a town we know fairly well, and 2) because this appeared to be a stranger abduction rather then the usual non-custodial parent "abduction" that hits our airwaves in Indiana. Now while the non-custodial parent issues can be dangerous for the kids, usually they are more of a legal issue then a health and safety of the child issue. But Katie's disappearance is the kind of thing that gravely worries those of us with children in our lives.

They found Katie today, her body was located in a stream bed outside Seymour Indiana. An autopsy will be performed in Louisville tomorrow. News story is here.

There is no doubt that I will be watching every well-maintained older white Ford F-150 pickup truck, driven by a young skinny white guy, that I see in southern Indiana looking for someone that looks like the drawing. We will need to get this person in custody quickly for the safely of the children.

Posted by prolurkr at 06:19 PM | TrackBack

December 29, 2004

Have you ever wondered what 30 inches of snow on the ground looks like?

A friend of mine from North Vernon Indiana sent me these pictures he took during the first two days of the snow storm, thanks Trevor.

I'm very glad I'm heading somewhere warm and will be missing the great flood that is sure to come this weekend when temperatures hit 60 F.

Amazing how deep a car can be buried in the snow.
Some sights are interesting and unusual in the snow. And some are just beautiful.
Snow is made for kids. Especially when they are warmly dressed and at least part of their head is visual above the drifts.

Posted by prolurkr at 10:33 AM | TrackBack

December 28, 2004

The power of the sea

On December 24, 2004, Anya relayed that an earthquake, which at its epicentre measured 8.1 on the Richter Scale, had hit at the Macquarie Rise in the Pacific Ocean. Check here for the news story.

On December 26, 2004 the Indian Ocean earthquake hit. This quake topped 9 on the Richter Scale, and was significant enough to effect the earth's rotation, started the tsunami that hit Southeast Asia causing a massive lose of life. Currently the death tolls exceeds 60,000 and with accompanying disease, that follows in the wake of massive lost of life, are expected to top 100,000. On January 21, 2005, when this entry was readded to the blog, the deathtoll is in excess of 170,000 from the event alone.

Donations can be made to:

I have to admit that as much as I enjoy the HICSS conference and love Hawaii, it is does give one pause that we will be on an island in the Pacific Ocean. The Pacific Tsunami Museum is across the island in Hilo. Hilo was the site of landfall for a significant tsunami in 1960. Read about it here. The death toll from the 1960 wave in no way compares to the current tragedy. Though the marks left on Hilo, by that 1960 wave, are signs I will remember forever. Watching the films of the destruction and knowing I have walked, carefree, in those same places gives me cold chills.

For more information on tsunami's see:

Posted by prolurkr at 10:47 PM | TrackBack

December 27, 2004

Christmas Snow 2004 - post 2

I have been thinking about my favorite Robert Frost poem, Stopping By Woods on a Snowy Evening since we received all of this snow. This morning as I drive to town, for the first time in almost a week, I couldn't help but be reminded of the words as I looked at the frost on the bare tree limbs. The blues were so brilliant it was just amazing.

Consider this the morning after the rider stopped along their road.

    Whose woods these are I think I know.
    His house is in the village though;
    He will not see me stopping here
    To watch his woods fill up with snow.

    My little horse must think it queer
    To stop without a farmhouse near
    Between the woods and frozen lake
    The darkest evening of the year.

    He gives his harness bells a shake
    To ask if there is some mistake.
    The only other sound's the sweep
    Of easy wind and downy flake.

    The woods are lovely, dark and deep.
    But I have promises to keep,
    And miles to go before I sleep,
    And miles to go before I sleep.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:57 PM | TrackBack

December 23, 2004

Christmas Snow 2004 - post 1

We estimate that the recent winter storm dumped in excess of 2 feet of snow on our little country home. As of later yesterday morning we had 9 inches which is more than we received all last winter. While some spots in Indiana do get significant snow, specifically up around the Great Lakes, down in Southern Indiana where I am we rarely get much accumulation.

Neither my husband or I remember a storm like this in our lifetimes, where over 2 feet fell from basically a single storm. When I was in first grade we had a huge snow storm that forced us home from school. As I remember the snow was about chest high. Though I don't actually remember if that was from a single storm.

I snapped these pictures early this morning as a neighbor opened up our road on a front-loader. Our road is one of the busiest in the county but this morning, as we are under a snow emergency, all is quiet. Click on the pictures to see the larger uncropped version, where it is very clear how deep the snow is.

The first picture is of the west side of our yard. I snapped it on the 13th when we had our first dusting of snow. Check here to compare. I also have a picture of the same area from last winter here after a 5.5 inch snowfall.

I grabbed this shot of our side yard after the front-loader went past. The evergreens are loaded with snow almost to the breaking point.
Late in the afternoon I grabbed this shot of the backyard with it's drifts. The dog was not happy that she could not run around outside today. The drifts were just to deep.

Posted by prolurkr at 07:18 PM | TrackBack

December 22, 2004

New Harry Potter book available for pre-order

Amazon is now accepting pre-orders for Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Book 6) of J. K. Rowling's series. Check it out here.

Posted by prolurkr at 02:38 PM | TrackBack

December 21, 2004

Winter Solstice - Northern Hemisphere

Today is the shortest day of the year for those of us in the northern hemisphere.  I know it is technically considered the beginning of winter but for me it signals that we are more then half way through winter.  You see after today the days get longer, with more sunlight hours, leading up to the summer solstice, when the entire process reverses.  So for me the long dark of winter is slowly lifting as the light returns. 

Yes I know we still have months of cold yet to come.  Our solstice this year, in Indiana, is being commemorated with a severe winter storm that threatens to leave us with up to 2 feet (12 inches) of snow when it ends tomorrow.  Once the snow ends the temperatures are expected to dive with a low of -6 F on Saturday, Christmas morning.

The picture is taken from the Newgrange & Knowth Megalithic Passage Tombs site. Give them a visit to see some very cool pictures.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:40 AM | TrackBack

December 13, 2004

It's Snowing!

Posted by prolurkr at 04:43 PM | TrackBack

December 11, 2004

New music to add to the iPod

In an earlier post, Great new music - Jen Chapin Linger, I mentioned that I had picked up a copy of 'Enjoy Every Sandwich:' The Songs of Warren Zevon while looking though the new music as Borders. I passed on buying a copy that day because Adam Sandler sings Werewolves of London. While Werewolves of London is one my favorite Zevon songs, Adam Sandler is one of my least favorite performers.

A commenter on the post let me know that Sandler's performance of the song is true to the original and not something that would make me retch. Well based largely on that comment I bought a copy of the tribute album in with a couple of other Cd's. The commenter is right, Sandler just sings the song. Actually if the cover hadn't told me who was performing I would not have guessed who it was. Which in this case is a very good thing.

I particularly like Jorge Calderon and Jennifer Warnes' version of Keep Me in Your Heart. The original on The Wind is beautiful and haunting because Zevon's terminal illness was so well known. There is no doubt in my mind that the song is a eulogy. The Calderon version shares the a similar tone to the original but benefits from Warnes' vocals that somewhat turn the song from a eulogy to a romantic love song.

Other new cd's to MP3:

Posted by prolurkr at 06:13 PM | TrackBack

December 09, 2004

A great way to tell annoying cell phone users where to get off *S*

How many times have you been stuck in an elevator, heading for the 43rd floor, with someone talking on a cell phone? Invariably they are talking in GROSS DETAIL about say the contents of this mornings toilet, their sexual veracity, or the growths that are appearing on their elderly parents persons. More often then not they are loud as well.

Well now you can let them know just how annoying they are, because clearly they don't realize this is true, by giving them a handy card for future reference. This pdf file provided by the mythical "SHHH! Society for HandHeld Hushing" aka Draplindustries Design Co. and Coudal Partners contains nine different card designs that you can print and distribute as needed.

These cards would be handy in elevators; mass transit - the subway, the tube, or the el ; or airports. *prints out a few and tucks them in her travel backpack* No more listening to stories about some unknown persons piles.

Posted by prolurkr at 08:42 AM | TrackBack

December 06, 2004