Thursday - not a bad day

Tobermory worked this evening, so I brought Chinese takeout and we had an "Escape" picnic.
Teaching: Taught most of the highlights of next year's class (11th) for my students so that most of them will pass the graduation exam. Now it will six days of babysitting.
Home Improvement: Regulated Ada's room access to establish some order in waste elimination.
Internet: Darkness Scare (Onion), Subprime Humor (NSFW), State of the art in evolution research, seemingly intelligent culture mag - SmartSet
TV: New Gordon Ramsay


Early Week Blur

Ada has settled in with Thisbe pretty well. Sleep has been a little difficult, but that will settle down soon. Tobermory heads to B'ham in couple weeks for PetSmart manager training & we will all be lost.

Teaching: Taught about Monroe & the "Era of Good Feelings", up late making up the quiz and gave it on Wednesday - otherwise my efforts have all been in preparation for Friday's Social Studies grad exam (testing 10th graders on 11th grade material...)
Home Improvement: The hall bedroom is very close, just another couple of hours at most and there will be a bed in there.
Movies: No time.
Internet: I've surfed very little, but what I noted I listed over in the right column ->
TV: Tony Bourdain and Holmes on Homes this week,
Exercising: 1/2 miles Mon & Tues am



- Rode back from Birmingham with Paul.
Writing: grinding through 38 Fiction Mistakes by Jack Bickham.
Home Improvement: Closer in the Hall bedroom - pulled up more carpet, stored toys, and moved some shelves around. Also made the pink bathroom sink workable.
Exercising: 3/4 mile walk in the evening
- We added a new puppy dog, Ada, she's a lab/Australian sheepdog mix. Sweet as can be.

Saturday in Birmingham

- Got up and went with Paul to our friends in Birmingham for our RPG.
- Played, ate, watched some boring boxing. Slept on a couch, and ate quite well.


Friday, again already

Tikka Masala: Tobermory, Paul & I went to the Sitar Indian Restaurant in Huntsville (inspired by last night's show with Gordon Ramsay fixing a curry shop). Food was great!
Teaching: More work on the Era of Good Feelings
Home Improvement: Ripped up carpet in the hall bedroom!
Exercising: 1 mile this morning


Any excuse for a little Firefly

Teaching: Students using multiple books to cover from the Hartford Convention to the Monroe Doctrine
Home Improvement: More cleaning of the hallway bedroom
Movies: At "school" I had to sit with freshmen during the Sophomore Writing Assessment - so I showed then the pilot of Firefly and, to my surprise, it went over very well.
Internet: When Wikipedia Won't Cut It: 25 Online Sources for Reliable, Researched Facts
TV: This evening it was this week's Ramsay's Kitchen Nightmare
Exercising: 1/2 mile in the morning


Tobermory a Manager!

Woot: Tobermory will be promoted to Pet Care Manager at the Petsmart! Very excited. We've always known she would be dangerous when loosed upon normal humans.
Teaching: Got my grades in. Prepared my students for the Writing Assessment they'll do tomorrow.
Writing: 50+ Open Courseware Writing Classes
Internet: 10 Emerging Technologies 2008
Exercising: 1/2 mile this morning


Voice of the Black Bears

Teaching: Almost done with grading AP essays.
Home Improvement: Cleaned up some in P's old room
TV: Last Restaurant Standing was on while I graded
Announcing Coach Knox and I announced Austin's Northwest Regional basketball game against Hillcrest-Tuscaloosa on ESPN 1400 (we lost). One of their announcers was John Merrill. He was a great SGA politico (& President) when we were undergraduates at Alabama (when the earth was still cooling). He still has the dive-bomber handshake.
Exercising: 1/2 mile in morning + calisthenics, 1 mile in the evening

A day off?

Teaching:Presidents Day Holiday - Graded AP essays about the Articles of Confederation & the Constitution off & on all day
Internet/Writing:Spent some time trolling Amazon for writing books.
Home Improvement/TV: Watched Holmes on Homes and How clean is your house? during the day and the new Tony Bourdain's No Reservations about Jamaica last night


The Weekend

Writing: Taking notes on The 38 Most Common Fiction Writing Mistakes: (And How to Avoid Them)
Movies: Eastern Promises - great story & acting by Viggo & Naomi & Armin Mueller-Stahl,
3:10 to Yuma - slightly above average, Ben Foster had a great turn as the #2 bad guy: very intense,
Resident Evil: Extinction was a whole lot of fun and as usual Milla kicks butt.
Internet: Always interested in this sort of thing.Technological Challenges of the near future from the National Academy of Engineering and specifically Machines 'to match man by 2029' and I reorganized my bookmarks in Firefox
TV: Law & Order Criminal Intent on Sunday Night on USA
Exercising: 1/2 mile Sat AM and Sunday PM

Friday, at least

Internet: Historically inaccurate, but damn funny and a good list - The 5 Most Badass Presidents of All-Time
TV: Watched a little Gordon Ramsay in the afternoon and then Reno 911 and South Park in the late night.
Teaching: Tons of make-up tests early a.m. & gave test on Jefferson/Madison, graded & recorded.
Announcing: Sub-Regional(?) basketball game - Austin defeated Buckhorn by 25+. We didn't get on 'til almost half because our "engineer" forgot to show up. Bruce Hamilton, my partner from last year, announced with me. He's got great basketball knowledge & he's funny as hell.
Exercising: 1/2 mile in the morning


Contrived Holiday Day

Took Tobermory to Panera Bread and had a fine time. I've enjoyed getting an executive summary of The Closing of the Western Mind

Teaching: Africans in America and A Midwife's Tale
Internet: My kind of list - Top 50 Dystopian Movies
TV: The new Gordon Ramsay.

A little more sick today. Got some faux Nyquil tablets and I'm about done in. More tomorrow.


Three Times is a Habit.

Favorite link today: 50 Tricks to Get Things Done Faster, Better, and More Easily
Teaching: Showed PBS's A Midwife's Tale to my AP and A&E's Lewis & Clark bio to my Honors classes.
Home Improvement: Shuffling the deckchairs in my desk area
Writing: Great post on short story writing at Write to Done
Internet: Fooled around a good bit and I managed to set up a feed of my delicious bookmarks (over & down) and I checked out a place to possibly have my students make a wiki - wetpaint.com and also made the feed from this blog show up on twitter. Gotta stay on top of geek stuff.
TV: Watched Tony Bourdain's latest No Reservations on DVR. How did we ever watch anything before?
Exercising:1/2 mile this morning (damn cold) + 1/2 mile this evening (even colder)



In between coughs, I roared this one today:
"There is no democracy in Art!"
Teaching: Students working on their own. I graded & put in grades (in the computer), but am still putting off the AP essays. Must grade them soon, I have no choice. (Of course, there is the down-the-steps method).
Home Improvement: A pretty successful pre-dawn Garbage Day operation. I took down the spider habitat/storm windows on the kitchen windows and now you can see out of them. (I also "accidentally" shattered a big piece of trash glass - woo hoo!)
Internet: I like reading SciFi.com Weekly News, essentially a sci-fi tv & movie info overdose.
TV: a little Gordon and tried to watch Last Restaurant Standing on BBCA, but got snoozy.
Exercising: Stretched my back + a 1/2 mile this morning


Not a bad Monday

Macbeth's last words: "Lay on, Macduff; And damn'd be him that first cries, 'Hold, enough!'"
Teaching: My students did classwork on Jefferson & Madison's Presidencies and my AP guys took their objective test on Washington & Adams and I've got it down to just AP essays left to grade.
TV: Just a little Gordon Ramsay - Moore's Place.
Internet: Found another list of most popular webpages right now - purrl.net.
Reading: Before sleep last night I read "October in the Chair" by Neil Gaiman. It's a short story in the Locus collection I've been in - outstanding, melacholy and very Bradburyesque.
Cooking: Made garlic/cheese toast to go with frozen "lasagna" and corn - really not half bad for slop.
Exercising: 1/2 mile walk & light calisthenics this morning.
Announcing: We broadcast Austin's Basketball game on 1400AM, beat archrival Sparkman and will play at home on Friday. That one will be on 1490am.


Week in Review pt. VII - Travel/Shopping

- We actually went somewhere this week! We drove up to Nashville Saturday & spent time with Paul & Ferlie and Veronica (and an aunt & cousin). They are a lot of fun and we had a great time - very relaxed.
- Ate at an amazing international buffet, where we were definitely minorities. Had some octopus, chicken claw, & a few other oddities and your regular Chinese food buffet.
- Went to Aquatic Critter - it was packed and is an outstanding non-chain fish & reptile pet store. Tobermory started off Veronica on pets with a Betta (in the old days they were Siamese Fighting Fish, a much cooler name).
- Paul took us to McKay's a used book store that was more like a library. Very impressive, I think it's in an old Service Merchandise and has an arcane system almost as weird as that old chain. Nonetheless, a great used book & DVD place. I picked up a Sci-Fi Hall of Fame novella anthology from the 70's and Altered Carbon, which has been on my list for a while. Picked up some more Perry Mason for Tobermory.

Week in Review pt. VI - Home Improvement

Home Improvement:
- Replaced the showerhead in the black bathroom with a steampunk concoction of an on/off lever (to stop a drip) and a cool silver articulated arm with can head like an old watering pail. Picture soon.
- Unstopped the slow-draining sink in the pink bathroom.
- Replaced the water line to the tank of the toilet in the pink bathroom (no more leak) & replaced the float contraption in teh tank - it doesn't run anymore!
- A decent week for plumbing - however, the floor beckons.

Week in Review pt. V - Reading

Reading: I'm still cranking through the The Locus Awards: Thirty Years of the Best in Science Fiction and Fantasy - here are the contents.

An amazing lesson in great science fiction. (Getting freaked out by Gene Wolfe is one of my favorite things to do.)

I skipped the longer pieces and haven't gotten to the last couple of stories - looking forward to the Gaiman. I read a couple while in the car (parked, at least) while I ran errands on my Friday "sick day".

Week in Review pt. IV - Internet

- Daily I check Drudge, FARK, and BoingBoing for what's going on in the world.
- I check for the newest stuff at popurls.
- Lately I've added the science fiction blog from Gawker - io9. It's pop sci-fi with a lot of lists and links, but usually worth the time.
- lifehack.org is my favorite productivity blog, with lifehacker.com alongside. I probably need to compile a list of these to check weekly.
- I like the goal of The Art of Manliness - we'll see if it's any good.

Week in Review pt. III - Movies

Movies: We watched Sunshine by Danny Boyle this week. It is one of the best science fiction movies I've seen. I think a lot critics and movie people missed the boat. Science and Reason vs. sentimentality and superstition, plus trying to save the world. What's not to like?

Guilty Pleasure - I watched Layer Cake again this week, while making out my test. It's probably my favorite English gangster movie.

Week in Review pt. II - TV

TV: Gordon Ramsay and Tony Bourdain, as usual.
Tony's episode about New Orleans struck just the right chord and was outstanding.

I watched a couple of episodes of Scrubs for the first time...slightly above mediocre.

Week in Review pt. I - Teaching

Teaching: The Washington & Adams Administrations.

A big focus, especially for AP, has been the Jefferson vs. Hamilton ongoing conflict over the nature of the New Republic's government.