Java Zen:Thinking Out Loud Saturday, 2017.12.16
If he learns from his mistakes, pretty soon he'll know everything.

2008.05.31

Saturday Morning Columbines

2008.05.26

CU Boulder: “Come Pretend With Us!”

Stanley Fish blogs in the New York Times, More Colorado Follies:

“I’ve just returned from New Zealand and find that in my absence the University of Colorado – the same one that earlier this year appointed as its president a Republican fund-raiser with a B.A. in mining and no academic experience – has gifted me again, this time with the announcement of plans to raise money for a Chair in Conservative Thought and Policy.”

The best quote from his piece is:

“[G.P. Peterson, the chancellor of the Boulder campus] acknowledged that the professor of conservative thought didn’t have to be an actual conservative, and pointed out that many teachers of French “aren’t necessarily French.” (Of course the analogy doesn’t work: you don’t get to choose your country of origin; you do get to choose your political beliefs.)”

So I wonder, does a professor of woman studies actually need to be a woman to be credible? Can a white professor of black studies lecture from an authentic positon? G.P. Peterson, chancellor, CU Boulder, must believe so. Because, you know, many teachers of woodworking aren’t actually made of wood.

2008.05.22

Blog Haiku #25

Thunderous hacking.
Scary monsters in my nose.
This virus owns me.

2008.05.20

Blog Haiku #24

Noise of the city
Congestion from this Spring cold
Echo each other

2008.05.19

Road Report

This story begins where it has ended, with me in New York City cheerily, albeit weary and fighting a ugly head cold (more on that later), clicking away at the keyboard of this fine laptop provided by my employer (assuming “fine” includes the fact it doesn’t recognize the power cable half the time and looses track of the touchpad, thus requiring a reboot) at 2+ AM in the Belvedere hotel. Belvedere, by the way, is French for “Not the hotel booked by Corporate Travel for Greg”, just so you know. I’ve only been here a half hour, but so far this place is GREAT!

I had been booked to stay at the Hilton Garden Inn. The week before I had been put up at the Novotel, which is a bit of a dive in a Euro sort of way, so I figured the Hilton had to be better. While the staff was friendly and helpful, the accommodations were lacking. Arriving so late, my options were for a non-smoking room with two queen sized beds or a smoking room with a king sized bed. (Sidebar: Walking this planet with a 6’5″ frame means there is no such thing as a “king” sized bed. There are either “regular” sized beds, small beds, really damn uncomfortably small beds and cribs. When I travel, my best shot at any thing resembling a decent night sleep is a “king” sized bed.) Ah, but non-smoking trumps king sized bed so I took the non-smoking room. Ready to turn in, I slipped the door key card into the slot and pushed the door open.

Wild horses will not pull out of me what I saw. Let’s just say the room wasn’t available and that it was VERY much in use. What fun to be the scary stranger in the doorway at 1:00 AM. Thanks, Hilton!

The front desk agent was very apologetic and comped me free breakfasts for my stay (I don’t eat breakfast.) That left the smoking king. Ugh. Thinking (or not thinking very well, as it turns out) this head cold would block out the smoke smell, I took the room. After all, it’s New York City and it’s pushing 1:00 AM. What are my options?

Well, the entire floor stunk. The room really stunk and when I pulled back the covers, I looked around to see who it was that was standing behind me that just lit up a cigarette. The stench of cigarette smoke permeated everything and if I didn’t get out of there fast, my clothes and my person would stink of smoke for the duration of my stay. The collection of Good Ideas generally doesn’t include reeking of smoke in business meetings involving Ogilvy in the heart of New York City. Well, at least I was thinking again.

So back down to the desk to press for better options. The desk clerk called around to a couple of hotels and sent me over to the Belvedere. Did I mention this place is GREAT? It’s 100% non-smoking. And check this out, the soap is from England! Penhaligon’s Quercus soap.

OooooOOOOooOoooo. Fancy! Novotel just had a cake of stuff in shrink wrap labeled “soap.” I kid you not.

So it’s better at the moment, but this head cold is in the Noseagra Falls stage. I packed something like 8 handkerchiefs to deal with it over the next two days. I can thank being sealed in an aluminum can for 4+ hours last Friday as I flew home from New York City. The guy across the aisle was constantly sneezing and sniffling (like me now) and had a penchant for not covering his face when aerosolizing his wretched illness. But I feel his pain now. There’s nothing quite like a head cold across altitude shifts from 5,000 feet to 36,000 feet to 200 feet to really make one ponder the science of hydraulics.

I love road warrior stories, especially when they happen to someone else.

Well, time to find a pillow. I have to wake up and be charming in six hours.

[Edit History]

2008.19.2008 – 02:35 AM

Coolness. They even have a bath robe for me here. Too bad it’s for a guy about 18 inches shorter across the shoulders than I.

2008.05.01

Spring, Rocky Mountain Style – II

Yesterday was a beautiful Spring day, so nice I sat outside in the yard and watched the stars come out while sipping a homebrew beer (excellent batch, by the way.) Here’s what it looks like from my office window at the moment:

When this storm is done, I likely will need a shovel to clear all this Global Warming from the driveway.

Nanny Mayor Looses, Threatens Violence

New York City, currently wearing the face of Mayor Michael Bloomberg, has a lawsuit against handguns. It suffered a setback yesterday when the Second Circuit Court of Appeals tossed it out. Says Mayor Mike:

“I am disappointed in the court’s decision. Regardless of this ruling, we will continue our fight against illegal guns full bore — in the courtrooms, on the streets and in the Congress.” [Emphesis added]

Interesting choice of words there. My understanding of “full bore” is that it is a reference to bringing out the big guns, but I’m not a gunsmith. Let’s see what Mayor Mike’s own New York Times has to say about “full bore“:

Some lexicographers think the bore first measured an engine cylinder (and have a 1927 citation), while others think that the origin is from the measurement of the inside of the barrel of a gun. ”A .45-caliber gun can take a .44-caliber load,” John Snyder of the gun lobby tells me, ”so full bore would be the maximum-size load. In another sense, it means ‘maximum capable powder load.’ ”

Well, there’s certainly a gun angle. Regardless it’s a reference to maximum, unrestrained power. As a bonus, Mayor Mike is going to fight this out “on the streets.” Some how, I don’t think that means he’ll be asking the police to increases the number of hugs they give New York citizens.


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