Monday, August 28, 2006

Paper Submitted

My paper for the Pacific Divison APA meeting 2007 is in. Cross your fingers.


Okay, where have we heard that before?
Well, to prematurely celebrate our success we had a pretty good night, foodwise, with Will tonight. As usual, Carly and I were finished with out dinners and both kids had hardly eaten everything. Sophie is better at lunch and breakfast, so we don't fuss too much about her. Will hadn't touched his food.
So, I turn to Sophie, "hey do you think you could show Will how you use your fork?" Sophie is usually suspicious of questions phrased that way, but tonight she was, as Ben would day, a game fish. She stabbed a piece of macaroni and cheese with peas. As she stuck it into her mouth Carly and I applauded. She was thrilled, Will was excited, he likes to clap, alot.
So she repeats the performance, and we applaud again. This time Will joins in.
After a couple more Sophie bites, Will was ready to be on the receiving end of some of that applause. He snuck a bite in. Sophie was the most enthusiastic with her applause, laughing and cheering. this continued for several minutes. And Will ate most of his dinner, and some dessert! Huzzah!
Will this work again? Who knows. But hey, I feel like W in the flight suit, codpiece and all.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


Read this :,71642-0.html

I think that Bruce Schneier is entirely sensible here. On one hand, we should be informed and careful, but the hysteria must stop if we don't want to encourage more.
I flew 9/16/2001. I would do it again.

Not to be a conspiracy theorist, but if I were a leader with 34% approval ratings, and I needed some kind of invisible intractable enemy to frighten my people, and let me impose whatever restrictions I want. The hysteria might seem like a pretty good idea.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Stand off

When I was in college I lived in a house that I shared with a couple other guys. They were not what you would call "neat freaks." You see we had an inordinate quantity of dishes, cutlery and such. I think we were the first of our generation to leave the homes, so we had all the hand-me-down stuff. One could go weeks without needing to reuse the same dish or spoon. So dishes were frequently left in the sink, and a game started that was basically "who can hold out the longer before washing dishes." It was not a game I liked to play, it was a game I always lost. I just don't have the patience to win for the principle. And I was afraid of botulism. I am still pretty quick to get dishes into the washing machine, and out once clean.

So this semester, like last, I am teaching the LIS class Philosophy and Film. In this class we watch ten or so movies. I once asked about getting the school to buy the films, oh those halcyon days of youth. Of course, the school purchasing system invovles a thousand page requisition form which eventually ends up in the trash. So I ended up buying them myself. This semester had to replace two I lent to students which they forgot to return, plus a couple newer films to add to the course. Then I discovered, the school has "lost" all but one of its DVD players. So all users, from students, teachers, clubs, etc.. get to fight over the one DVD Player. I met with every department, the library, the procurement office, the physical plant; you name it, I pleaded with it. I was so frustrated yesterday I cancelled class because every attempt failed, and I just was not up to trying to improvise a "no film day" class from stratch. And if you know anything about my teaching, you know I rarely cancel a class (even when sick).
Yesterday my sneakers split open, today some pants revealed a hole in the butt. So I went to Target to get those, and discovered tiny DVD players on sale for $35. So, once again, I lose. I just don't have the patience to fight the bureaucracy and the poverty of my school. I guess I can write it off.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


So Will has barely grown in six months. He is "off the chart" as our pediatrician puts it for weight. First, I think they need to get a better chart. I mean, he might be a statistical anomally, but he isn't on life support or anything. He seems able to run and play, and is in all other respects a normally little kid. So, either something is wrong with those charts, or we are missing something.
That said, he is not growing very well, and the reason seems to be that he doesn't eat much. You parents out there know, there is not much you can do to force an 18 month old to eat. They will or they won't. We have trouble getting him to eat desserts and french fries, much less healthy cuisine. And of course, the problem has only gotten worse, since the Pediatrician made note of it.
We are researching ways to add calories to his diet without ruining his health.. there are only so many ways to do this. It is frustrating and adds a level of anxiety to dinner which is not pleasant. I nearly had to leave to the table tonight worrying so much about his refusal to eat pasta (after eating it many times in the past). Sigh...


Tomorrow is allegedly the first day of classes. It is the same old routine.
1. The students are for some reason not registered.
2. The classrooms are for some reason not assigned.
3. The new computer system.... wait for it...... doens't work.

If I could have a well equiped (both technologically and know how) support staff, the low pay, condescending adminstration, and ill prepared students would be no problem. It would be a great pleasure.

Every semester the same thing.
Every fucking semester. Wouldn't they figure this out sometime?

Have these been tried?
1.(a) Allot more time for registration. I would say a week. Allow registration to take place online throughout the months leading up to the new semester.
(b) Decide a system for dealing with students will financial aid problems. Either decide to let them register, and deal with the money separately, or not. But decide once and for all, and stick with it.
2. Make a list of all the classrooms. Put little boxes with time-slots next to them.
As rooms are assigned, check off the time slots. Repeat until all classes have rooms.
3. Do a test run before you have 1200 students trying to register for classes.

This is not fucking rocket science!
This entire school ought be able to be run on a couple of boxes of index cards... why they can't do these really easy things I just don't know. Maybe there is some really good reason for it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Doing things with words

So the other day William and Sophie and I were playing. Sophie had something that William really wanted (this, or the reverse, is a common predicament these days), but in an example of sibling love Sophie just gave it to him. I commended her, and enjoined Will to thank his sister.
Will responded with something approximating "Taco!"
I giggled at it. What was interesting is that Sophie recognized the malapropism. She started to giggle as well. Soon the both of us were laughing at loud. Will joined in, eventually, but I don't think he got it. It was neat seeing Sophie actually get that something was funny that wasn't pure slapstick.
In other word related news..
Will, who doesn't eat, he is some sort of breatherian, has taken to holding food on his fork shoving it my face and saying "EAT IT! EAT IT!" Please kind reader do not believe he learned this one from us. It is pretty funny though. Less appetizing when he does this after sort of chewing on it for a bit.
Lastly, he, like many toddlers, finds sneezing particular fun, be they his own sneezes or those of another. When Carly sneezes, he blurts out "Besssss you Mommy" in the cutest voice ever.
Sophie likes to immitate him, and soon the the whole house is ringing with it.

Yeah me!

I finished a paper for submission to Pacific APA. Well nearly, I need to check some footnotes, and write an abstract before submission.
My hope is to improve it for an actual journal. But that can wait. The important thing is I actually managed to get some writing done this short break. So what if I don't have syllabi for any of my six class that start Wednesday.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Go West Young(?) Man!

Our journey to California got Carly and I thinking more about moving the family westward. It was really nice being near my brothers and parents. I never really put much into being close to the family. I've lived pretty much away, since high school, and never really regretted it, until recently. I think the kids have definitely factored into the equation. The idea of having their grandparents nearby, for babysitting, or just visiting. The idea of being closer to the resources that they possess are all very attractive. I don't know how often we'd ask my folks to babysit, or have visits, but just having them there would open a lot of doors for us. And I really like the idea of the kids having close relationships with their cousins.
I miss the Pacific weather a lot too. It was hot while we were there, but tolerable, even though it was getting into the 100s. But even in the 80s here it is pretty much unbearbale outside 5 months out of the year. I don't like that, I think it is bad for my health, and the kds as well. They need to be able to play outside. I'd like to be able to do so as well.
I never thought climate would be such an important factor.

Portland OR, is the buzzword now. Chris has talked about trying to move Shaba up there. It has many of the benefits of the Bay Area, with substantially less costs (although it would still be more expensive for us). So the only thing in the way is a job. If that becomes a possibliity, even an objectively worse job in terms of income or status, we will deeply consider a move.

So, I am trying to spruce up my qualifications.. get a paper and a presentation out there. With hopes of making myself attractive enough to make the move. We shall see. It is still a year or more away. Possibly two. But it is getting close to being a plan.

Back from Break

We've returned from California and nearly settled into the normal routine at home. W pretty much all returned somewhat sick, and for Sophie and me, it has lasted. I am just now feeling better, and would probably be fine ifI had gotten some sleep last night, but Sophie appears to be suffering from an Ear infection. It is pretty rough on her, and us. So far it appears to mostly be affecting her at night. Last night approximately every two hours or so, she would beginning screaming at the top of her lungs, and there was little we could do to help her. For a bit she stayed in bed with us, but she was pretty fidgety, and didn't seem to be hurting so we tried to move her back to her bed. That failed, and Carly ended up sleeping with her on the couch. I got my three hours of unencumbered sleep...woo....hoo.
Carly took her to the doctor today, and I expect there will be antibiotics in her future. Still haven't heard however. Hopefully, we press on.