Saturday, June 30, 2007

Your other left

Construction sign seen on northbound U.S. 75 at Spring Creek Parkway in Plano.

I guess you shouldn't pay attention to the arrows. TXDOT meant your other left.

Friday, June 29, 2007

A wary Luddite in a 2.0 world

I hate to admit this...I really do. I have a MySpace account. It is set on only friends can see it and my address is not publicized. I don't update it much and am embarassed to have it. But I have it because it's a super easy way for me and some of my college buddies to keep up with one another. I just wish MySpace wasn't the forum. It seems so lurid and depraved. There's nothing wrong with it if you use it the right way. But so many people out there use it in ways that seem kind of find women and plan Roman-style fandangos. But even some churches and Sunday school classes are setting up MySpace it can be a positive force.

My MySpace tagline is..."A wary Luddite in a 2.0 world OR An analog man in a digital universe."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Texas Flood

A friend of mine once told me he wanted to move to Seattle because he likes rain and had heard it rains a lot there. This year he wouldn't have to move that far to see a lot of rain.

Rained again caught in the Wal*Mart parking lot in a downpour. Our yard is turning into the type of wetlands greedy wealthy industrialists love to eradicate.

I've been in Texas now for almost ten years and haven't seen this type of deluge. I haven't set out my sprinklers once this entire year. Usually by April I've been sprinkling several times a week. I learned once I moved here that you have to keep the foundations and the ground next to your house from becoming too parched or cracks will destroy your foundation. The Texas clay cracks easily.

Last year we were under drought restrictions. This year it's monsoons. Must be global warming. We can blame everything on global warming...or Dubya. Appropriate year for the movie Evan Almighty and the story of Noah.

Anyway...stay dry, my fellow Texans and Oklahomans.
photo: frog (or toad) in the backyard wetland.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Renaissance or Medieval Faire?

I'm not usually one who goes for costumes...but a few weeks ago Kimberly and I attended a wedding of a friend of hers at Scarborough Faire. Scareborough Faire is a "renaissance" festival held every year for a month in Waxahachie, south of Dallas. As a history teacher I was interested in going to the fair...but not in costume. However, costumes were strongly encouraged for the wedding and Kimberly wouldn't relent.

So when we got there we stopped at a costume rental place and I immediately decided upon being a monk because the outfit looked similar to a Jedi Knight's gear. Plus it was raining walruses and clams and a monk's cloak provided great rain protection. The whole fair was one muddy mess...but we had fun. I was amazed how many people came in costume to the fair...not just to the wedding. Some people take this costuming pretty seriously.

I will say...and Kim says I'm splitting hairs here...the faire was actually more medieval than renaissance. And most of the renaissance stuff was of the northern variety rather than the more famous and influential Italian strain. Hey, what can I's my job to notice these things. But we had fun and hopefully the next time we go it will bit drier.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Books read in 2007

My students are often interested in what I'm reading (believe it or not!). We're halfway through 2007 and here's what I've finished reading so far...

The Songlines by Bruce Chatwin

Black Swan Green by David Mitchell

Freakonomics by Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner

Banker to the Poor by Muhammad Yunus

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Tritessa by Jack Kerouac

A Brief History of Time by Stephen Hawking

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

The Road by Cormac McCarthy

Collapse by Jared Diamond

Dining with the Devil by Os Guiness

1776 by David McCullough

Satori in Paris by Jack Kerouac

Mayflower by Nathaniel Philbrick

Candide by Voltaire

I'm currently engaged in reading "The Devil in the White City" by Erik Larson

All the above books are good but the ones that really stood out to me were "The Songlines," "Midnight's Children," "1776," "Black Swan Green," and "The Road." But I would recommend all these books. It's been a good year reading so far.
Jackson recommends "Fire Engines"

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Entering the Fastlane may have noticed that I hadn't blogged in a month. The reason...our dial-up connection had become intolerably slow. As of today...we're now on DSL and internet life at home is much less frustrating. And we're actually saving money since we could cancel our DFW metro line and just get the cheap local service and rely on our cell phone. So I get high speed internet and save $30 a month. No brainer!