20 September 2007

No Obama

Obama had to cancel his town hall here in Rock Hill today. Something about staying in Washington to, you know, vote on stuff. How dare he stop his campaigning to do his job?

There are plans to reschedule, but we will see. York County is pretty firmly Republican, so we can't be at the top of his priority list, even for the primaries. Still, I hope he makes it back.

18 September 2007

For Sale: One Country

Someone put Belgium on EBay.

Cute nation seeks willing buyer, price negotiable. Good neighborhood, occasionally used for invasion into France. Close to everything!

Obama in Rock Hill

Barack Obama will visit Rock Hill Thursday. I am going to try to go. I already have my ticket, but they key will be getting there early enough to get a seat. This may be my only chance, as I doubt any Democrat will set foot in the state after the January primary. I am not a Democrat, although I lean left.

McCain was here last week. But I am not really interested in McCain any longer (not that I was ever really interested). Out of the Republicans, I think I would go see Rudy if he came here and maybe Thompson. Of course, I'd really only go to see Thompson to see if he would help me make the following exchange:

Me: "Mr. Thompson, do you have a plan to get us out of Iraq?"
Thompson: "Plan? Russians don't take a dump, son, unless they have a plan."

Ah, they joys of having an actor run for president.

16 September 2007

Bookbuying Sunday

Today I hit The Book Rack, Rock Hill's independent, semi-used bookstore. I have some issues with the store, but I like to try and patronize independent booksellers when possible and they occasionally have some decent used stuff. I picked up a few things for Sarah and found this copy of The Talisman. I am not after every Stephen King book, but I'd like to have hardback copies of all the books that relate to The Dark Tower series in some way. The Talisman does, so I was happy to find this hardcover. Since it is smaller than most hardcovers, I thought it was a book club version. Inside, however, I found these Chinese characters on the dedication page. There is also no Library of Congress information behind the title page like in most U.S. books. I wonder if this is some Asian version or something. But then why isn't the whole book in kanji? Maybe I've bought some Chinese forgery!

13 September 2007

Cool blog on digital and youth culture

I just ran across this blog, written by a Ph.D. student who is focusing on digital and youth culture. She has a lot to say about Facebook, MySpace, etc that is pretty interesting.

12 September 2007


Last week? (it all blurs together), Sarah and I netflixed the first disc of Entourage. For those who have not heard of it, it's an HBO series about an up and coming actor (Adrian Grenier) and his pals from home who now hang out with him in Hollywood. One of his buddies is his manager, one is his driver/general lacky, and the other member of the Entourage is his cousin -- a TV actor who is now scraping for work and living in Adrian's shadow(nicely played be Kevin Dillon, especially when the role has to hit close to home).

Basically, I was "meh" on the first disc. So "meh" I didn't bother to put any more in the queue. I am not really that interested in the lifestyles of the rich and famous (even the subtle mocking of the lifestyles that goes on in the show). I also find the whole idea of the "entourage" a little strange and subtly distasteful. I have to wonder, if a good friend (let's say John Harper, for the sake of argument) somehow made it in Hollywood, would I and Winston and Jimmy and the rest of the crowd now be living in some mansion cooking his breakfast, picking up his dry cleaning, and using the "Come and meet John Harper" line to get laid? I just don't see myself being very happy with that scenario and find it hard to understand those who do.

I realize that, like The Sopranos, the point of the show (well, the point of the show other than the cameos) is to contrast the normal (in this case the male friendship dynamic) with the surreal (the Hollywood lifestyle) and thus illustrate that friends are friends, even if the situation outside of the friendship is weird. The best part of the show is certainly that male friendship dynamic. The characters' banter is a very accurate portrayal of how guys talk to each other -- constantly making fun of one another in crude ways, repeatedly bringing up past embarrassments to taunt each other, and letting no good deed go unpunished. I just think something like The Sopranos does that normal/abnormal dynamic much better.

It's probably just East Coast bias. I prefer Virginia to Berkeley, the SEC to the PAC-10, the Atlantic to the Pacific, and mobsters to movie stars.

11 September 2007

I have friends who work in waste management.

Since it's Tuesday (a day I teach), I am wearing a tie. Specifically, I am wearing a black shirt, grey and black stripped pants, and a black tie with a tiny silver and white pattern. I like this outfit; Andre and Heidi gave it to me for Christmas. Yet, two people today have said I look "very mafioso." Does black shirt = Tony Soprano now?

Marshall said next time someone says I look like I am in the mafia, I should sneer and say "Do I look funny to you? Do I amuse you? Am I some sort of clown to you?". He also cautioned that I should avoid bludgeoning colleagues or students with the butt of a gun.

I'll get Sarah to take a photo when I get home so I can get some other feedback. Notice that all of the men in the photo above are wearing WHITE shirts.

07 September 2007

Almost. . .there. . .

I came to work today with one goal -- to clean out my email inbox. I had a bunch of stuff in there that required some action, so it had accumulated over this past week. It's now 4:00 and I have one thing left -- this ethics training thing every researcher at the university who works with human subjects has to complete. It's like an on-line course. I sent away for my password (I set up my account about a month ago) but still haven't gotten anything back.

I am torn. I am getting pretty tired and want to go home, but having this one thing left in my in-box is sticking in my craw. It's been 20 minutes since I requested my password, so I really don't know what's going on.

My solution is to write myself a sticky note (or put it on my to do list) that I have to finish this thing, delete the email, and leave. If I don't get the password over the weekend, I'll just set up a new account on Monday.

Edit: I got the password, but there are 10 "learning modules" to complete. Ugh. No way I am getting that done today, so I've just bookmarked the page and will chip away at them next week.

Still, clean inbox!!

The Canadian Rockies

One of the guys on Circvs Maximvs has a friend that's a professional photographer. His blog has some recent pics of the Rockies that are amazing.

04 September 2007

No Coke!

I did not have a Coke at all yesterday. That was a pretty big deal, since I usually have one per day and am really trying to cut down. I had some tea in the morning and a diet Mountain Dew in the afternoon. It's the sugar in the Coke I am trying to avoid, so I was pretty proud of myself for yesterday.

I did have one today, but have been pretty good about limiting myself. Hopefully, I can increase those "no Coke" days until they are the rule rather than the exception.