“Cloud People” city worked over by archaeologists

Although the reporter writing it totally bungles the intro describing the mummy’s posture:  corpses change posture due to rigor mortis, and can look as if they’re recoiled in horror or agony simply due to muscle movement.  Therefore, there’s no way of saying that this nice old lady couldn’t have simply been lovingly interred in a “baby sleeping” position.

Dropping the bomb on 16-year olds in History

Class started late, so we only got partway through my lecture. I’m doing one class lecture, one class primary sources, for each unit. This class meets 4 days per week. So I wound up finishing on the powerpoint slide that mentions the bad part of the Columbian Exchange.

The one that says “One Fifth of all Humanity Dies.”*

Twenty-seven students’ jaws dropped. Hee hee hee. Pay attention in class, kids. History counts.

* 1491

The Recruiters Strike Back!

Heard back from them, and told the guys “you said you wouldn’t take me due to age purposes.”

“What was it you wanted to do?”

“Languages or Counter-Intel. I can deploy as often as I’m needed, but I cannot relocate.”

“Wait… we have MI bases in Dallas….”

He’s calling me back tomorrow afternoon.  Still pushing the enlisted track harder than the officer, for obvious reasons, while describing the need for officers that got me looking in the first place.

Talk about yo-yo’s… when it rains, it pours.  Here I am, fresh in my new career, and ready to supplement it with service (and this actually was the plan discussed by myself and the Bunnywife back when this whole search began).  So now I’m hearing back from Uncle Sam?

Weirdness.

“Get your shit organized.”

It’s bad news when you’re pestering your wife for which chores you’d like help with that day, and that’s what you hear.

So, thanks in part to the good thinking of the Lizard Queen, we have picked up some wicker furniture (easy to move and rearrange with tons of throws and pillows, good for hot weather), and moved the bookshelves and step-tonsu to a different location.  And, in that process, it even looks like my little corner office is going to become vaguely functional in the process.

Now, if only I can get my back to heal up from Hungary…

Random job-related thoughts.

UTA doesn’t have the course I need this spring.  Or, rather, they have a course I absolutely should take, but one of the classes I’m teaching ends fifteen minutes beforehand, a full hour away.

No wonder one of my friends wants to make a documentary of my life, entitled

“LEARNING CURVE: (WHATEVER RUSS IS DOING TODAY)”

Otherwise, I’m sitting in Tarrant County SouthEast’s adjunct faculty area, which is as nice as MountainView’s is, well, not nice.  It looks like one of the sections (this is edu-speak for “classes,” and exists as jargon for good reason, I’m sorry to say) I was going to be doing isn’t going to make, and so far, the Friday 7-10pm class isn’t “making” either (insert applause, what a horrible time to hold a class…), so I’ll be teaching six, rather than seven, classes.

Anyway, I’m waiting for the Departmental Secretary to show up so I can grab a book and run to MountainView.  In business, they give lip-service to secretarys and admins, and having been one in business and in academia, I can say full-out that I now appreciate the helplessness of being faculty, waiting on my alter-ego to arrive and save me…

Terra Preta angle for Alex…

Okay, Alex, here’s my take:

1.  Combine the clear implications summarized in this article.

2.  The fact that the City of Irving landfill has trash brush and treefall taking up twenty acres, twenty feet deep.

While City of Irving gives away as much of this in the form of mulch as they can, turning this stuff into char for the gardeners and landscapers would turn a costly trash product into something that could serve to:

  • cut carbon out of the local air (this is an issue b/c TX is, unfortunately, largely dependent on coal-fired power)
  • increase the general fertility and water-retention of the area due to increased soil fertility
  • improve the Las Colinas Tufa that is both (relatively) infertile, and ridiculously instable, by increasing the amount of humus in the soil.

What I need to do is to get with the City’s folks at the landfill (and hopefully avoid having to make a City Council presentation in the process), and potentially pull a grant working on the “global warming plus TXU pollution plus landfill issue” angle.  But my labor in that process would inevitably be relatively small unless sufficient grants were available to turn that into salary:  and even then, I’m hard-committed to teach six, and possibly seven, courses this semester.

Input welcome.

Europe is Screwed. Is it worth it?

Two quick meditations on the EU. This is a long one, because the EU is simultaneously a horrific problem, and an incredible promise. I’m going to put the “read more?” extenders on this one, because it’s going to be long enough to monopolize the entire blog page.

The Problem

We went shopping over the Christmas holiday with my father-in-law, on our yearly “let’s take a perfectly good day and get up at 4:45 a.m. so that we can sit in a car for five and a half hours driving way too slowly in the fog so that we can watch Daddy shop.”

Daddy-Shopping is cute, because he’s simply overjoyed that all these nice things are there to be produced and enjoyed by humble Mom’n’Pop restaurant owners like himself. And he’s perfectly justified in feeling this way: his dad was a Calvinist Parson, aka, a class enemy, and treated as such, by the Hungarian Communists. Nothing like having everything you own taken away from you, avoiding being thrown into a concentration camp only because of the determination and boldness of your wife, and then having nowhere to get your toddler out from under the rain except staying with some gypsies in a barn. Daddy was that toddler, and has perfectly good reasons to enjoy getting out there and engaging in a little “retail therapy.”

(more…)

Safe and Sound in Texas

Where, having screwed up my New Years’ Day schedule (apparently misheard somebody and thought an evening party was a late-afternoon party), I shall endeavor to make amends with BunnyMade(tm) steak tartare…

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