fundraising for annika
Annika Tiede is the focus of a fundraising campaign to assist with her medical expenses. Born on October 16, 2000, Annika was diagnosed with Portal Hypertension, and doctors at Children's Memorial Hospital in Chicago have recently recommended a life-saving liver transplant...her third.
- Annika's health history
- falling down is also a gift is her mother's blog, and it chronicles Annika's ongoing health struggles
- Annika's Internet Insurance Policy is a collection of fundraising efforts on Annika's behalf
- Annika's COTA page; the Children's Organ Transplant Assocation (COTA) is a non-profit organization—every dollar donated goes directly to verified and required medical services that are not covered by insurance or any form of government assistance. Donations are not taxed for the recipient, and are tax deductible for the donor.
donated a beautiful work of art by her late husband
, which brought $250.00
to Annika's account.
If you are so inclined, please read some of Annika's story using the links above, and link to Annika's COTA page
or the Annika's Internet Insurance Policy
because it's not all about diners and ice cream around here
While I'm sure there are plenty of fine people in South Dakota, I do not consider those responsible for the recent legislation
to be among them. While I typically go to Bitch PhD
or Shakespeare's Sister
to read, comment, and commiserate with like-minded folks (and even the non-like-minded folks who can maintain a civil tongue in discussion, few and far between though they may be at times), I would like to direct everyone's attention to Phantom Scribbler's post
, which begins:
Welcome to the South Dakota Legal edition of the pixie party, where we read the legislation so that you don't have to. Remember, pixies, I am not a lawyer. But who says a housewife can't read statutes? No one yet. But I'm sure South Dakota is working on it. So let's move on without delay.
Phantom continues on and does an excellent job
. Shakes Sis should have Phantom guest post at times; she deserves a wider audience.
Ben & Jerry's Black & Tan ice cream
cream stout ice cream swirled with chocolate ice cream.
I'm going to the grocery store after class tonight, to see if any of this stuff is in the freezers. Can't wait!!
Oh yeah, there are other new flavors for 2006
more WaHo goodness, and some links
In the comments to my post
about Waffle House accepting credit cards, my co-worker Kate said "Wow, how would that have affected the 'register doesn't go to $10' way back when we visited?"
Indeed, I once took my born-and-raised-in-California friends to a Waffle House (I think
it was the one off exit 41 of 285 in Decatur GA if anyone cares) and there were issues with the employees and basic math. Kate tells the story
As long as we're linking to people I know in real life, who get very little blog traffic but are neat people, my buddy's brother has a blog
. He reached the 5-post threshold; I won't link to new blogs until they have at least five posts. These five posts of his represent more words than I've ever heard him speak in real life (total), and I've known him for years...I think that's kinda funny. Or sad. Can't really decide.
Waffle House to Accept Credit Cards!
is this extremely important announcement that Waffle House will accept credit cards
for all your scattered, smothered, covered, chopped, topped, and chunked goodness.
Sigh. I miss Waffle House (the closest one is in Arizona, and that isn't close). But if Waffle House had accepted credit cards when I was in college, boy oh boy my credit card bill would have been big(ger).
Yes, I love Waffle House. I also happen to really enjoy NASCAR. So shoot me.
sick and tired
I am sick and tired about a lot of things, but at this particular moment I am simply sick (cough cough, hack hack, snort snort) and tired (you know how cold & flu medicine usually knocks you out? it keeps me up all night).
Still behind on everything
Classes are fine. I still love my American Romanticism seminar, even with the seven required presentations. I've done two, and they've both been of the "eh" variety, which is to say that I didn't say anything incorrect but I'm a terrible presenter. I do like the way the class works out, with the discussion driven by the eight presentations each week. Usually, the presenters are correct with regards to content (that one student keeps me from saying "all" instead of "usually," and she has reverted to presentation-as-"poetry," which is just painful) which makes the discussion good and useful.
I still have problems with some of the things in my British Romanticism seminar, which is to say I'm still doing the weekly responses incorrectly. My concluding paragraphs are always the ones that contain the stuff she wants us to write about, so for this week's writing I'm just going to start with my final paragraph and see what happens. I just don't like putting anything on paper that isn't supported by some sort of research. I discussed this problem of mine with one of my other profs and as I was saying "I don't like to just spew forth my thoughts, I like to..." and she cut in to say "have a thesis, do research, and turn it into a conference paper" which I thought was funny since obviously I've never gone to a conference but yeah, that's what I like to do. My hands have a block against typing words that haven't been vetted. I need to get over this, I guess.
Victorian seminar is fine. I do the reading, I nod in agreement a lot, or note some things in my notebook (I'm not really a note-taker in lectures, just when I read). Lest anyone think I don't take this class seriously, I do—it's just that the requirements for success in the class are not as stressful as my other courses. I appreciate
that this seminar consists of my prof nattering on about all things Victorian, because the man knows a lot. I'd rather listen to him than I would to anyone else in the classroom, that's for sure.
So as you can see, things here are the same ol' boring stuff that I usually write about, and will continue to be until the flu fog lifts.
excuse me while I state the obvious
I think kids read Thoreau in high school, don't they? Or at least they used to? I don't know what kids are taught in high school, never having gone, but I remember reading Walden
a very long time ago—certainly long enough ago that I didn't truly "get" it.
But boy oh boy, after living and working in Silicon Valley for the last twelve-ish years, I get it. I also get that I'm not a complete whack job for being miserable the entire time (ok, not the entire
time, but there's definitely a big ol' cloud of negativity and crap that hangs over me at all times—just ask my boss).
So as I sit here, preparing my presentation on servitude and slavery in "Economy" from Walden
, I got the idea of carrying my marked-up copy around with me so I can point to specific passages as proof that I'm not a horrible person—just one who feels exactly like Thoreau described
with regards to the type of person he was trying not to be.
I really should make more of a concerted effort to reread the stuff I read as a youth. I wonder what else I'd find?
i actually made a johari window
I don't know how I feel about meme-ish things that other people answer for
you, but...bazillions of others did it
so here we go.
If you'd like to contribute to my Johari Window
, please do
. I'm sure it'll be interesting.
I didn't do a Nohari Window because it wouldn't let me select all the options and I couldn't decide on just six.
this is not a scholarly book review in any way, shape, or form
But I just wanted to say that I, lowly grad student, totally dig the new Transatlantic Romanticism
Two of my three seminars this semester are Romanticism-oriented (one British, one American) and I'm forever trying to make connections between the two, so this wee (1311pp) anthology is quite useful to me. The major sections of "Transatlantic Exchanges" are: Revolutionary Republicanism, Slavery and Abolition, Women's Rights, Wordsworth in Britain and America, Religion and Revivalism, Utopianism and Socialism, and Civilization and Nature. With the exception of the Wordsworth section, these are all things right up my alley/things I spend a great deal of time thinking about.
everything is kicking my ass
I'd like to say "that is all" but if I did that the individual page for this post wouldn't be very long, and the stuff in the sidebar would wrap around the bottom (because I haven't spent a lick of time to fix that, since I rarely write short posts) and that sucks.
So. Filler. La la la. I think I have the reading load of four classes, and I'm only taking three—but I could be wrong, and maybe I'm used to a light reading load. I don't know, and that makes me anxious (it's also why I'm a syllabus geek and like to compare the reading and requirements of other classes to those I'm taking now, to see if I have an overinflated sense of my abilities, to see if I shouldn't even consider going on to greater things).
I am behind on my chapters for the 3rd ed of one of my books, I am behind on my projects for profs, I am behind on my work for work. This is normal, and it sucks, and the only way to make a change is to quit it all, which can't happen until I move on, which can't happen until I finish things here, which (you guessed it) means I can't quit a thing.
I go through this process every few weeks. My life is nothing if not incredibly cyclical and predictable. Whoop de do.
Slashdot: Troubled Times at Gateway
This Slashdot thread
discusses the BusinessWeek article
re: the departure of the Gateway
CEO and what does this mean for the company, blah blah. The thread quickly turned into a "Gateway sucks!" bulletin board (as these things do), and I'm quickly realizing that I'm apparently THE ONLY PERSON WHO STILL LOVES GATEWAY.
I do. I have NEVER had a problem with a Gateway product, and I have owned:
- a refurbished Gateway laptop in 2000/2001 (I can't remember the model)
- one of the first Gateway Profiles off the line, which I used from 2001-2003 or so. That machine is still in use at our office.
- my current laptop, which I've had since '03 and was one of the first off the line then: the M675, 17" display, P4 2.8GHz, 512MB RAM. The ONLY issue with this machine is the loud fan, but it's not broken
, just loud, and Gateway put in a new fan with the next generation of these laptops (my buddy has one of those).
So that's six years of Gateway stuff, including peripherals, and I've been happy the entire time. In fact, when I was considering a new laptop (as in "looking at the new Gateway laptops and thinking how nice a new one would be even though I don't need one") I only looked at Gateway products specifically because they're the company with which I
am most comfortable. The company everyone hates, the company that seems to be going down the tubes, poised for a buyout from someone. Figures.
it's friday! there are cats!
The orange blankie, just out of the dryer, brings them together on the chair. Actually, they're sitting on a pile of blankety things that came out of the dryer on...Monday? Something like that. Neither the cats nor the previously-clean things have moved from this spot since then.
Max (13yo black boy cat on the left) and Deuce (3.5yo tuxedo girl cat on the right) don't really hang out together—except on primo piles of blankets. They certainly don't hate each other, but they're not nearly as close as Max and Toby
were. Then again, Max and Toby grew up together from two or three months old til I put Toby to sleep (bless his ever-lovin' heart) a year ago.
But these two don't fight—none of my cats ever fought, just the playful chasing that cats do—they just jockey for position on the orange blankie.
Mine is on March 2, so I will be grumpy between now and then. Ok, ok, not really. My dislike of Middlemarch
isn't nearly as strong as it was, say, two years ago. Or thirteen years ago. But who would I be if not the person who dislikes Middlemarch
The (very short) presentation is just a discussion of a specifically assigned chapter, and explication of passage within it. I've been assigned chapter 27, during the second week of presentations.
Given that my prof knows my relative distaste for the book—when he mentions things in class like "and anyone who doesn't like Middlemarch
should be taken outside and flogged" he always looks right at me—I thoroughly expected to be assigned chapter 1, day 1 of presentations.
But no! Chapter 27 it is.
Firefox Extension: Reveal
When I read about the Reveal
extension at Lifehacker
, I bookmarked it as Yet Another Cool Thing to Try and hopefully integrate into my browsing experience. The Lifehacker post mentioned it was "cool as in 50% fun, 50% useful" and I agree with that assessment—however there are some
instances in which the "50% useful" becomes more like 75% or 80% useful. Case in point: the research thing I've been working on for the last month or so
. The Reveal extension proved very useful in this situation.
Following is a description of Reveal and how it proved useful when working on a research project
The idea behind Reveal is simple: show everything. "Everything" means your open tabs as well as your browsing history—thumbnails are built on the fly, accessible via pressing F2 or by mouseover your open history menu. I found the latter by accident, only because I rarely access my history (and I never read the user guide!), so it was a neat little treat when wee thumbnails popped when I wanted to go back to something in my history. But back to its primary use—revealing all your open tabs.
In this example, I was working on a research project and had seven tabs open. The tabs in this case are: alcott glossary, Biography Resource Center search interface, American National Biography search interface, Wikipedia main page, Google search results for a previous search, the FamilySearch.org search interface, and the Ancestry.com search interface. With the Reveal extension enabled, pressing F2 displays the thumbnails you see in the middle of the screenshot: 4 and 3, floating above the contents in the browser window. Also shown is the Reveal search interface, used for searching your tabs and history for keywords, and filtering out those that don't match.
You know how in sci-fi shows you get the off-hand access to multiple layers of display screens while your dominant hand is doing something like shooting the bad guys? Using Reveal is like that, only in a browser, and only two layers, and without the shooting. [click to embiggen image]
This image shows a closeup of the thumbnails. You can see the underlying selected tab (alcott glossary) is represented with a dashed red outline. With Reveal, you can use up arrow and down arrow to cycle through thumbnails, or you can select with a mouse, and pressing enter or double-clicking will activate the underlying tab and remove the floating menu and search interface (so will the Esc key).
The thumbnails display the title of the page at the bottom; this title matches the title shown in the tab itself and, when you go to the page, the title itself. It's the title tag, plain and simple. [click to embiggen image]
This image shows a closeup of the Reveal search interface. You can use the Reveal search interface to filter out thumbnails not containing your selected keywords, either in the tabs or history or all. Practical application: imagine I had several pages of search results in numerous tabs, and I wanted to jump right to the tabs whose search results only contained the keyword that I selected. I'd use the Reveal search interface to filter the tabs full of search results, so that I was only looking at tabs that would be really useful to me. I did this during my research project—basically, my left hand was cycling through and filtering tabs using keyboard controls while my right hand was typing other things or using the mouse for something. [click to embiggen image]
This image shows one of two ways in which Reveal works with your browsing history: showing thumbnails when mousing through line items in your browsing history drop-down menu. Here we see the thumbnail for Freshblog
. [click to embiggen image]
Showing thumbnails of line items in your browsing history is not the only history-related feature of Reveal. When viewing a tab (single or otherwise), if you press the Ins key after pressing F2, the thumbnails shown will be those from your history. In this image we see multiple thumbnails from the history of this particular tab—the only tab in use at the time. Invoking the history mode also causes the search interface to prepopulate its filter selections with those related to History and not Tabs.[click to embiggen image]
The Reveal extension has several user-determined options, including the size and number of thumbnails displayed at any given time (if you select 8 on a page, you can still have 9 or 12 or 20 thumbnails; the page up/page down keys cycle through them), and navigation preferences such as how to cycle through thumbnails, what to do on triple-click, and so forth. If you think Reveal is something for you, be sure to peruse the Reveal User Guide to get a better idea of the user interface to its functionality.
The only negative aspect of Reveal isn't anything unexpected or really anything the developers can do anything about—it takes time to build thumbnails. However, it is still very fast—faster than other extensions of its ilk, in my experience. It is unlikely you will even notice the microscopic lag due to thumbnail-building unless you have a bunch of applications open or a system otherwise on the low end of available resources. Although I say "negative" aspect, it's a negative that I really have to reach for, and isn't something that affects my use of the extension in any way. Think of it more like a warning: in some instances it may take two seconds to build a thumbnail instead of just one, and when paging away from something while the thumbnail is being built, you may notice a second of lag until the change is made. Not a big deal.
Although I don't see using Reveal in my day-to-day work, I will use it when working on research projects or other sorts of development projects that require me to have multiple tabs open as part of my workflow. If you think there's some use for this type of extension in your own workflow, give it a try.
technorati tags: firefox, firefox extensions, reveal
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when technology collides with literature and history
Before I write the post about the Reveal Firefox extension, I wanted to describe the research project I worked on, the one in which Reveal proved useful. I tried to fit this description into the post about Reveal, but it ended up being a long digression about the Transcendentalists and that just wouldn't do for a quasi-technical kind of thing.
I built a little research database and interface for one of my profs. Her project was this: Notes of Conversations: 1848-1875 by A. Bronson Alcott, edited with glossary, preface, and introduction by [my prof]. Essentially, some of the transcriptions of Alcott's conversations were in the Houghton Library, some were still in the Concord library, some are culled from publications, and my prof pulled them together and wrapped a preface, introduction, and glossary around them. The database and interface was built to manage the glossary part of it.
Her publishers wanted biographical information for every speaker, attendee, and person mentioned in any of these conversations, as well as entries for places and things. Since it's a cross-discipline kind of book, it's a valid assumption that not everyone can immediately flip through the encyclopedia in their brains and come up with an entry on James Pierrepont Greaves like they can for Charles Darwin. Fair enough. [When I wrote the entry for Darwin I said, "you know, I can go on and on about Darwin since he's, you know, DARWIN" but we decided not to write extensive entries on people like Darwin because, as my prof said, "we're not all morons." True, true. That is why the entry for Darwin is only three or four lines while the entry for "Miss Bacon" is considerably longer.]
The database consists of a table for people, a table for places and things (aka "non-people" like Sod-republicanism or the wet sheet process, but also gods such as Apollo), and notes tables. My prof would add a record for a person/place/thing and I'd start researching and write an entry. The notes tables are for discussion back and forth between us, like "do you have any idea who [name] could be?" or, in the case of Samuel Johnson, she'd say "the famous one" or for Raphael, "painter, not angel" and I'd just go from there.
The interface included timestamps of when the bio/description was updated as well as timestamps for the notes. This way, she could see when notes were updated and could just go in and answer the questions, or she could see that an entry was updated and could "approve" the entry. I had a toggle switch for complete vs incomplete entries, so she could go in and mark things that were complete and needed no more work done on them. If this application had been used by more than just my prof and myself, I would have added a login/account layer to it so that changes and notes were attached to specific users, such as a third research assistant. But we didn't need that, just the two of us, because it was really clear who was talking to whom.
I also put in a read-only display, which she then simply highlighted, copied, and pasted into her manuscript document. The 222 people and 27 places/things ended up being approximately 60 pages when pasted into Word, and it looked really swell! I can't wait to see it in print.
When compiling the glossary entries, I typically had seven or more browser tabs open at one time, such as: my application, the American National Biography search interface, the Biography Resource Center interface, Google, Wikipedia, the Mormon's FamilySearch.org, and Ancestry.com. Before you all jump on me about Wikipedia, let me say this: I used it for date-checking and related links, which I would then comb through and validate/verify before I said anything concrete about a person. But really, the vast majority of people/places/things weren't in Wikipedia so it wasn't an issue. The Biography Resource Center was the most useful, followed closely by Ancestry.com because I ended up going through a lot of census data and vital records if not to find people then to weed them out. For instance, a lot of the young ladies who attended conversations—especially the ones involving Margaret Fuller—were simply identified as "Miss Dana" or "Miss Cotton" or "Miss Burleigh" and really, it doesn't narrow it down much when you know there were 85 or so unmarried Cotton women of the correct age range in Massachusetts and Connecticut in 1850. So, I ended up with several entries like this:
Lidian Emerson had many connections to the Cotton family, and the Misses Cotton in attendance could have been any of her cousins. Lidian's mother was Lucy Cotton, daughter of John Cotton and Hannah Sturtevant Cotton; Lidian's paternal aunt, Priscilla Jackson, married Rossiter Cotton, also of this Cotton line. Thus, possible female descendants from the Cotton family abound, but these particular Misses Cotton cannot be specifically identified.Not nearly as fun as the entry for "Miss Bacon," which I believe is our mutual favorite:
Probably Delia Bacon (1811-1859); American teacher and author; born in Tallmadge, OH; attended Catharine E. Beecher's school for girls; worked as a teacher for several years before attempting to establish her own school (which failed); turned to writing, producing Tales of the Puritans (1831) and The Bride of Fort Edward (1839); lectured on literary and historical topics. Notably, Bacon theorized that the works attributed to Shakespeare were written by a number of different authors including Francis Bacon, Edmund Spenser, and Sir Walter Raleigh. With encouragement from Ralph Waldo Emerson, Bacon traveled to England in 1853 to seek proof for her theories. Her theories and findings were published in The Philosophy of the Plays of Shakespeare Unfolded (1857). However, her devotion to her theories "had thrown her off her balance," according to Nathaniel Hawthorne, and she went insane shortly after the publication of her book.Sometime soon I'll link up the conversation titles/dates/locations with their attendees and speakers, and we'll make the linked glossary accessible to all, probably after the editor at the press makes changes or wants us to add people/places/things.
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Remember when Super Bowl commercials were actually good? In memory of those days, I took my pets.com sock puppet out for a moment and remembered...sigh. The hilarity, the creativity, the bazillions of dollars out the wazoo. I loved you, pets.com! Damn you, internet bubble!
I was wholly unimpressed by the commercials this year. I didn't see the Burger King commercial because I was in the car on my way to my buddies' house, but I believe the description she used was "surreal." I could be wrong, but it was something along those lines. The one I liked the best was the cellphone-with-theft-deterrent, with the Magic Fridge a close second. The FedEx one with the cavemen was just ok. The Budweiser commercial with the wee horse? Made me very weepy (not unusual).
Also, the Rolling Stones sucked.
things I will soon discuss
See, if I stare at this list it'll be like guilting myself into writing the posts.
- Performancing for Firefox second in line!
- Hyperwords next!
- coComment might be awhile because there are some things about this that render it pretty darn unusable for me
- posts on Blogger functionality that was added after the book went to print, to finish up the book's errata
. it's sad I'm doing this last, I know
the gallery of regrettable food
My Dad complained I was writing about things he didn't understand, and couldn't I please blog about food or something? So Dad, this is for you.
The Gallery of Regrettable Food
contains links to actual cookbooks
from the 40s, 50s, and 60s. James Lileks compiles images from these cookbooks with snarky commentary, and it would be really REALLY funny if it weren't so true. As it is, it's just really funny. Of the era, Lileks says, "It wasn't non- nutritious - no, between the limp boiled vegetables, fat-choked meat cylinders and pink-whipped-jello dessert, you were bound to find a few calories that would drag you into the next day. It's that the pictures are so hideously unappealing."
So, read on
and discover the humble beginnings of your grandmother's holiday food. You know, the kind you try to run from...at least I do (and look at me! 3000 miles away and never to return). Lileks saved the best of the worst examples and bound them in a very popular hardcover edition of the gallery, available at Amazon.com
and other fine booksellers.
literary speed dating
the new event of literary speed dating
, which—if I were into such things—sounds like an interesting twist on this type of event. Of course
, as Mac points out, you typically can't tell a thing about someone in six minutes, but if you were going to speed date, why not speed date with your three favorite books in front of you? The idea makes perfect sense to me:
"I think the books you like say a lot about you, not necessarily in a snotty way, but about who you are," Tom, 34, said. "If you both share a favorite book, there’s something really resonant about that." [from the Boston Herald article]
Ok then. Let's pretend this is a literary speed dating event, and since we're not really
going to date each other, I can have literary speed dating crushes on girls OR
boys (the horror!), everyone can have a crush on Scrivener
, Phantom Scribbler
, or Mel
even though they're all happily married (not to each other), and everyone can have a literary speed dating crush on Dr. B
except me, because she loves Middlemarch
See? Fun for all.
That being said, here are my three books (in no particular order):
* Edgar Huntly
(Chas. Brockden Brown)
* Snow Crash
And that, my friends, is the nutshell version of why I am single and likely shall remain so until the end of my days.
Everyone play!here's another reason: I make painfully stupid (yet funny) jokes like the following. was sitting before class last night, discussing last semester's theory class with some people who were in it, and a fellow pipes up that he took the class the semester before us and got docked on a paper because he spelled the name of a theorist incorrectly and the prof said he just "couldn't get past that." So I said, "what, did you spell 'Derrida' as 'F-R-Y-E'?" and my friends laughed and the fellow was confused. But we thought it was hilarious, because we are geeks.
working for the weekend
My list of bookmarked-things-to-blog-about is getting long. You'd think I'd just blog 'em, but no. I have work things to do (not complaining, boss, just stating!), and school things to do, and edition-of-book things to do, and blah blah blah. I will be shuffling between my house and my friends' house this weekend, since they're going out of town for a well-deserved anniversary-related break and someone has to keep watch over their doggies. Oh yes, and the Very Large Television in their living room. I'm going to try to get all the posts out of my queue, over the weekend. But you know, the weekend is the worst
time to publish anything. If you want anyone to read anything, publish it on a Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday. I'll just be glad to get the things out of my head...it's a good thing I'm not into this for the traffic! (although I like the traffic, don't get me wrong. without it I'm just talking to myself and my cats start looking at me all funny-like.)
In other news, I gave my very brief chat in class about Emerson and the "Divinity School Address," and managed to make everyone laugh (including Dr. Mentor-like Prof) with my remarkably appropriate use of "fricking" and "can I get an amen?" Trust me, it worked. Although I must say that I did not use full color clip-art icons in my presentation outline/handout...and I'm okay with that.