Wednesday, April 28, 2004


I've heard some different 'views' of PowerPoint - this is has a great "summing up" section.



I'm officially "Little Boy Blue" but like the July color of "Lotus" MUCH better. I've never seen myself as blue even though I've driven 2 blue cars (1 was the first car provided by parents with 140k miles and the second was because desert violet was no longer available .. )

Sunday, April 25, 2004

ScrappleFace: Kerry Gets Permission to Drive 'Family' SUV

ScrappleFace: Kerry Gets Permission to Drive 'Family' SUV: "Kerry Gets Permission to Drive 'Family' SUV
(2004-04-22) -- Just hours after telling reporters that he doesn't own an SUV but his family does, Sen. John Forbes Kerry announced today that he had gained permission from his wife, Teresa Heinz Kerry, to drive the family's Chevy Suburban on brief trips to the grocery store or dry cleaner.
'I didn't ask to take it on the campaign trail because it gets lousy gas mileage which is bad for the environment,' said Mr. Kerry. 'But I was excited when Teresa told me that I could run out to the Piggly-Wiggly in the big rig.'"


It will be interesting to see if his wife's tax returns do have to be released . ..

Saturday, April 24, 2004

Mushroom Hunting - a new pastime (and excuse to walk in the woods)

I sitll haven't been successful on this - I think it's been the timing - I get tired of checking back on the map and then forget and the season has passed.

This appears to be an excellent site to keep newbie shroom hunters out of trouble. Thanks Missouri Department of Conservation.

Wish me luck later today - we had inches of rain last night - which also means lots of work around the outside of the house as I still struggle with groundcover.

Of course, I'll also have to watch out for the turkey hunters . . .

Friday, April 23, 2004

Rally "no-shows"

From Scrappleface:

April 21, 2004
38 Million Not Expected at DC Abortion Rights Rally

(2004-04-21) -- Although several hundred thousand abortion rights supporters are expected to march in Washington D.C. this coming Sunday, a spokesman for a major special interest group said its members would not attend the rally.

The American Association of Aborted People (AAAP), a political inaction committee, said none of its 38 million members would participate in the protest march.

"Since the landmark Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973, our ranks have swelled by about 1.4 million per year," said the unnamed AAAP spokesman. "So, we should be at the center of any debate about abortion. Unfortunately, none of our members could tear themselves away to attend the rally. But we'll be there in spirit, if not in body."

Thursday, April 22, 2004

Who, Me?

Grammar God!
You are a GRAMMAR GOD!

If your mission in life is not already to
preserve the English tongue, it should be.
Congratulations and thank you!

How grammatically sound are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Follow-up on Cry Me A River

Oops, I made the mistake I tell my students not to. I commented on someone else's comments without reading what they were commenting on. Here's a link to the now free version of the Chronicle artice on single professors.

I read the article this morning and the comments are really only about 1 of the many "examples" they discussed - including single professors who have made the most of the situation. My best friend and I were at lunch recently and in discussing children, she quite clearly stated that she doesn't care that much for other people's children despite the fact that she has four of her own. That's why our friendship has survived one having children and one not. (And, believe me, that is more difficult than most realize - I'm finding in many cases, that friendship only works if you also consider yourself not only the parent's friend but free babysitter and willing to arrange your whole outing according to the child that is old enough to learn how to go along with adults - obviously babies are a different story.) Anyway, I've seen the same thing - "I have to leave to go pick up my children" - instead of just slipping out without a loud announcement - of course, I used to (key words "used to") have a friend who was always using her children as an excuse for not doing something instead of just saying she didn't want to. That worked until I ran into her husband who had the child in question with him. (We live in a small town - in fact, in the same neighborhood). So, singles and marrieds may never see eye to eye. Marrieds see us as spoiled rotten and self-centered and we watch them sometimes let children become the center of the entire universe - especially as they foist their children on people who really don't want to interact with them in professional situations. They want to save that for the friends.

Wednesday, April 21, 2004

Cry Me a River

Cry Me a River

I can't get to my Chronicle subscription right now, but Easily Distracted makes some interesting points about single academic life. I will point out, however, that I tired of people who have to leave meetings because of children but I can't point out with the same serious face that I need to go home and let the dog out or there will be a mess to clean up. It probably deals much more with the interplay of the personalities and being willing to not be run over . . . something I'm still learning how to manage. Women still have a harder time worrying about everyone around like them or, on the other side of the coin, being hard to get along with if they do stand up for themselves. I've started learning to distinguish between worthwhile meetings, sometimes necessary command performances, and meetings that just derail me from what needs to be done. My big lesson was a few years back when I was at a meeting in which reports were given by representatives of 3 other committees I was ALREADY ON! Plus, they were albe to leave the minute their presentation was over. I was too well-conditioned that following the rules would get me ahead but then there comes a point to not let other people dominate your time. Just like I have to keep working on not letting email dominate my time and develop a hierarchy that students get answered first, then administrators, then colleagues who don't always have enough to keep themselves busy so they're busy bugging other people trying to get them to do something.This was definitely a tangent today. But Easily Distracted does correctly point out that no one promised us a rose garden. What about the folks who work just as many hours as some of us do (what is a 40 hour week anyway when you actually do work 7 days most weeks) but are tied to a small cubicle with co-workers constantly on top of them. At least we usually have offices of our own or can disappear to the library and have students or colleagues meet us there. We really do have it well. I am in a small town, too, but only about an hour from where I grew up. I doubt I would like it if I wasn't from here but I have lived in other small town environments as well as big cities and I'm not sure any of them is more welcoming and/or offer more activities than others. We all make choices and our PhD didn't promise us anything but opportunity to do more studying and teaching of history. . .

Number 2 Pencil

Number 2 Pencil: "Not OK in Oklahoma
An unacceptable error: The teacher's manuals for the Oklahoma state standardized exams contain several wrong answers to sample questions.
The testing company, Harcourt Educational Measurement, realized April 8 that some of the answers to sample questions were wrong. The company then notified schools by e-mail and fax after 5 p.m. Friday.
On Monday morning -- just before tests started -- many schools were scrambling to replace pages in the test administration manuals with new pages that had the correct answers to sample questions.
'I received numerous calls from teachers who questioned the credibility of the actual tests based on the number of incorrect answers in the sample questions,' said Kathy Dodd, director of student achievement for Union Public Schools.
As well they should."


It's sad but this isn't the first time something like this has happened - and, especially when it's students taking the tests, it only confuses them further.

Number 2 Pencil

Number 2 Pencil: "Encouraging Duke's students to snooze
Ah, Duke University, such a caring environment:
Duke University is eliminating 8 a.m. classes and trying to come up with other ways help its sleep-deprived students, who too often are struggling to survive on a mix of caffeine, adrenaline and ambition.
The school is also considering new orientation programs this fall that would help freshmen understand the importance of sleep.
I have an idea - stop admitting students who don't know that sleep is essential for regular functioning. Oh, you say Duke's students are smart? Then why is Duke assuming that incoming freshmen just don't know that they're supposed to, you know, sleep every once in a while?"


And I'm one of those profs who likes to teach 8am classes - you get more serious students - and someone has to teach at that time. I also allow them to bring their coffee to class - they just have to be able to do something else novel besides get up "early" - clean up after themselves. :}

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

I'm not sure this is what

the Democrats expected in conjunction with the release of Bob Woodward's book.

From the Washington Post:

Poll Shows New Gains for Bush
Lead Over Kerry Widens On Issues of Security

By Richard Morin and Dan Balz
Washington Post Staff Writers
Tuesday, April 20, 2004; Page A01

President Bush holds significant advantages over John F. Kerry in public perceptions of who is better equipped to deal with Iraq and the war on terrorism, and he has reduced the advantages his Democratic challenger held last month on many domestic issues, according to a Washington Post-ABC News Poll.

The poll also found that Iraq and the war on terrorism have surged in importance, and ranked with the economy and jobs as top voting issues. Despite signs of concern among Americans about the violence in Iraq, the poll showed Bush's approval ratings holding steady and Kerry's slipping on a variety of issues and attributes.

By 49 percent to 44 percent, Bush was viewed as better able to deal with the country's biggest problems. Five weeks ago, those numbers were reversed. By comfortable margins, voters saw Bush as stronger than Kerry on key national security issues.

No Child Left Behind: The view from southeast Kansas

Here's an article in the local paper:

Critics have said 100 percent proficiency is impossible and that the law is an unfunded mandate that is putting school districts in a financial pinch.

The bipartisan National Conference of State Legislatures estimated in March that federal funding for No Child Left Behind will be $9.6 billion short of states' costs for the 2004-05 school year.

But U.S. Education Secretary Ron Paige told a forum audience in Columbia, Mo., on Monday that the law is sufficiently funded.

Cohen said most federal aid is allotted based mainly on the number of poor students in each school district. Those districts would prefer to spend the money on after-school and bilingual education programs, but use much of it to pay for staff because of tight budgets, she said.

"Money is a major issue, no matter where it comes from," she said. "We must rethink what we in Kansas want the state to pay for, what the local option budgets should pay for, and what the federal government and Congress should pay for."

She said Kansas is one of the most efficient states in using federal funds.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Bush Secretly Told Woodward about Secret War

Another zinger from

As Rush said today on his radio show, remember that when Woodward says he feels a certain way about Bush, he is also saying that he feels the same way about other Republicans.

Blogs and Academia and even outside academia

Tightly Wound discusses this topic that was started on other blogs referenced here. The internet is the great leveler in the world of academic pedigree or the pedigree wars as they sometimes appear to be. At a certain time, your thoughts and interaction with others interested in the same topics should outweigh your formal education. The real proving ground in life is what you do with the education you did GET and not just receive, aka Bill on The Apprentice.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

Walmart and Society

The New York Times has an article on Walmart:

But the more than 250 sociologists, anthropologists, historians and other scholars who gathered at the University of California here on Monday for a conference on Wal-Mart came looking for more than the company's vital statistics. Like archaeologists who pick over artifacts to understand an ancient society, the scholars here were examining Wal-Mart for insights into the very nature of American capitalist culture. As Susan Strasser, a history professor at the University of Delaware, said, "Wal-Mart has come to represent something that's even bigger than it is."


I grew up just over an hour away from the Bentonville headquarters of Walmart and now live just about 2 hours away. I still remember how great the Bentonville swim team had it because the United Way paid their way to all the meets - with Walmart donations, of course. They had an awesome tent.

More recently, Northwest Arkansas has really grown and even has a much bigger airport and gourmet shops. Most large companies that produce retail products and have contracts with Walmart have offices there. Can you imagine rising to the top in a company in New York or California and then being told you have to live in Arkansas? It's beautiful country but definitely not sophisticated in "coastal" terms. But it's great having the option of gourmet food and the other resources just down the road.

A real lesson in reality

A real lesson in reality for Bill the Apprentice as the New York Times lays out some of the challenges ahead of him. He was my choice for the winner. His competition was too smooth, and, according to one report, bragged of being a ladies' man - not something impressive in business although it makes him very much like Trump. I did like in the final episode how Carolyn stood up for herself and pointed out how difficult it actually is to run a successful golf tournament. She also should have mentioned all the different people in comparison to a "rock star" and her entourage.

Seems like many people are getting their 15 minutes of fame. What will the next Apprentice show be like? Will any of the "originals" be back? I still think there's a story with Omarosa - Trump said somewhere along the line she needed to state the truth but they never came back to it . . . .I'm sure Bill is even more popular in Chicago (and elsewhere) now.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

Good update

on The Apprentice is here.

What a way to start the day

This from Tightly Wound:

Open Letter to the Press

Dear White House Press Corps:

Yeah, hi. Look, I know you're very busy people, what with all the sitting around and being disdainful of the president while simultaneously begging for 30 seconds of televised self-aggrandizement in the form of a "Question," but could we talk?

She's right on the money. And Bush is much more political savvy than previously. .. excuse me. .. currently acknowledged by "those in the know" . .. . . (notice quote marks

Wednesday, April 14, 2004


I'm feeling really good . .. I swam a mile for the first time in one session. It's a great stressbuster, too.

I also spent some time cooking today - that's another thing I need to take more time to do.

McDonald's: The Winner is Wayport

McDonald's: The Winner is Wayport: "McDonald's: The Winner is Wayport
By Eric Griffith
If you don't have Wi-Fi in your local McDonald's (Quote, Chart) restaurant, you might soon.
Wayport of Austin, Texas, has been picked by the fast-food giant to install Wi-Fi hotspots in about 6,000 locations across the United States in the next year according to Jim Sappington, the vice president for US Information Technology at McDonalds. That is about half of the total number of McDonald's locations in the country. "


One of our local McDonald's mistakenly blocks off most of the restaurant seating except at lunch - which is probably a safety hazard - maybe this will prevent that . . . Anyway, the world is going wireless . . . .

Sunday, April 11, 2004

More on politics from

Bush Failed to Stop al Qaeda During Clinton Years

(2004-04-11) -- A presidential briefing, dated August 6, 2001, and released by the White House yesterday, shows that in 1998 George W. Bush did nothing to respond to the threat of terror attacks from Usama bin Laden's al Qaeda network.

In fact, when correlated with last week's testimony before the 9/11 Commission by National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice, it seems clear that the Bush administration had virtually no plan to act on top-secret intelligence gathered during the Clinton administration until after George W. Bush took office in 2001.

from Scrappleface

Happy Easter

Happy Easter!

New sites

Via Diablog I found this interesting use of RSS feeds on the current presidential campaign and another good technology blog.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

From the Apprentice Blog:

I am like Bill -- "I'm a trained killer - in business."

Bill was the Project Manager for the Celebrity Auction Challenge.

Which Apprentice are You?
brought to you by The Apprentice Blog and Quizilla

The Apprentice . . . the fascination continues

I was googling "The Apprentice" so that I could locate information I heard on the radio earlier today about a college course using the show as a case study on business ethics. I should have known there was a blog for the show. It is a perfect use of blog technology - it goes well beyond what can do and allows others to comment - it goes around the commercial boundaries of company-owned web sites.

Back Home

It's always nice to come home. Via the Washington Update via H-Net, I found these great sites with visual images available for purchase. This is what the web is all about - making some wonderful resources available to everyone. The entrepreneural spirit is alive and well. Go to Zazzle via the Boston Public Library or to the digital collections of the New York Public Library. I'm buying Mom some large-size maps of historic Ireland for Mother's Day - she's going there to do more genealogical research this August.

Thursday, April 08, 2004

San Antonio - Popular Culture Meeting

There are several sessions on blogging here.

I've eaten great food at Mi Tierra and Boudros.

Our presentation on 20th century political biographies went well yesterday and there were several good questions. Am also enjoying spending time with my mentor, Gus, and with my family.

Monday, April 05, 2004

Monday night

My friend Paula in DC referred me via this to Textism - some neat stuff here. I still want to learn more about typography.

My students in the teaching methods course gave their first taped presentation - more nervous than they need to be but that's to be expected. The worst part is that they have to go view themselves.

Saturday and Sunday I took some great walks around the farm. Saw lots of birds. Had some visitors who want to hunt. Later, friends of a neighbor come up and I took down their names. They sent back the one young man with deer turkey and jerkey - what a wonderful bribe. They do seem nice but I was burned early on by people bringing all kinds of people I didn't know to hunt. So, I do have their names if the other people get their limits.

Am off to San Antonio tomorrow - this will feel like my spring break finally. Some great Mexican food and no running aorund for meetings. According to Gus, the program is huge but I will find that out when I pick up my copy tomorrow.

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Medical Illustration, Medical Animation, Medical Illustrator, Medical Animator, Technical Illustration, Technical Animation, Technical Illustrator, Scienti

Medical Illustration, Medical Animation, Medical Illustrator, Medical Animator, Technical Illustration, Technical Animation, Technical Illustrator, Scientific Illustration, Scientific Animation: "

Via the Map Room . . ..good example of thinking outside the box

Saturday, April 03, 2004

MSN Entertainment - News - CNN Errs in Reporting CNN-Letterman Bit

MSN Entertainment - News - CNN Errs in Reporting CNN-Letterman Bit: "CNN Errs in Reporting CNN-Letterman Bit
Apr 1, 1:49 PM EST

What began on David Letterman's 'Late Show' as a comedy bit needling President Bush turned into a comedy of errors when CNN incorrectly reported that the White House had cried foul."

I'll have to admit, I thought it was a Letterman gag until I saw the Fox news story earlier today interviewing the boy in question along with his letter from President Bush.

Tribute to our troops

Here's a great tribute by Ricky Skaggs to our troops.

Friday, April 02, 2004

The Morning Sun: Cooking for 1,400 04/02/04

The Morning Sun: Cooking for 1,400 04/02/04

This was fun even if I wasn't standing outside the door. Observation: almost 1/3 of the people in the audience admitted to eating a hot dog from the concession stand while we were waiting for the show to start..........

Spent several hours advising students online - it's great that they know send us an email with this info instead of just mailing around to our campus mailboxes - it has to save paper, too :}

Spring seems to be here despite occasional freezing temperatures at night.

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