Wednesday, November 30, 2005


Doing evaluations today. Gives me a few extra minutes to avoid teaching and try to find my sanity. Or something like that.

But seriously, evaluations are scary. I'm just not that entertaining a teacher, and this semester was not a good one, given the teaching load. And yeah, I realise I'm kinda boring - as a speaker in general, certainly as a lecturer. My tendancy toward really long pauses, too many "um's", that kinda thing...I don't really know how I got this way, and I don't really know how to change. It sucks. So I have evaluations.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

"That elusive national unity" (to use Carol's phrase)

Qualifying for the World Cup did more than heal the trauma of 1989 - it gave a glimpse of what could be. National unity seemed only to exist outside of Trinidad - until we won in Bahrain.

As various studies have shown, the things that unite us are greater than the things that divide us, but race and politics seems to be unsurmountable obstacles. In 1986/87 after the NAR won there was a brief window of unity, but even then there were those who were on the outside. PNM supporters felt unwelcome at the party, and as things went bad they grew more bitter. But this was different. Even people who lost money betting against them are still winners. For once it isn't a zero-sum game. Victory can come without being at someone else's expense. And that, I suppose, makes all the difference

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

Is there anybody out there?

Sure, if you look at the hit counter, there are a few people who end up here other than Linz and me. But it feels lonely. It feels like I am just talking to myself most of the time.

Part of this is probably a matter of being too vague. It isn't a content kinda blog, where you could come and learn something. And it isn't a diary sort of blog in which you could get some insight into a person's life. So what's the point of this?

That's the question I need to answer. Why do I blog? Why am I doing this? What should I be writing about? Or should I be writing at all? (Granted, I should not be writing now, since class starts in 2 minutes!)

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Operation Falafel

This diary at dKos has a great point - with O'Reilly endorsing terrorism, it's time that people did something about it.

Saturday, November 12, 2005

Remembrance Day

I wanted to say something yesterday for Remembrance Day (or Armistace Day, or Veterans Day as they call it here in the US), but the truth is, I said it last year. I don't have anything major to add, not on a personal note.

It's an interesting realisation - this blog is more than a year and a half old. Amazing how time flies.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005


Ok, I'm an elitist snob. But I liked this place better when it was fewer families, more students. Last year, on our side of the building we had me, three undergrads in the apartment downstairs, a couple (marine/student and his wife, also a student, I think) and Neil and Ann (tech and grad student) below them. Simple, all OU people.

Now we have a strange looking man covered with tatoos downstairs, a couple with several small children next door (nice people, but they always smoke on their landing, and the cigarette butts in the bucket outside the door can lead to quite a smell), and finally the people below them - the ones who inspired the title.

Core group - guy who appears to divide his time between drinking and driving a taxi, and woman who appears to divide her time between drinking and yelling at him. Then there's a boy in his early to mid teens (seems to live there, or spend a lot of his time there), and older girl (twenties, pregnant) who appears not to live there, and what appears to be her siginficant other - in the real world I would just assume husband, but in this redneck fairystory I will say boyfriend. Anyway, a fire engine and paramedics show up, they are banging on her door trying to get the woman to open it while the others hand around outside, talking to the firemen about what sounds to be her drug and alcohol use, and something about her trying to stab the boy or something.

It makes me uncomfortable to live near them for a number of reasons. I don't like the idea of sharing a building with people who might get drunk and leave a cigarette burning or the stove on. I don't feel comfortable around them - they seem physically threatening, capable of violence, even if it's not directed at me or Linz. And their loud arguing impinges on my home time.

Can't say I like how interesting this place has become.

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

The dot-com Presidency

Apparently the US election took place a year ago today. Has it been that long, has it been that short? You mean we've still got more than three years of Bush? Well - three years from now I expect the Republicans will have stolen another Presidential election with rigged voting machines. Lets just hope it's enough of a margin that they can't, that no-one will believe them. You can always dream...

Bush and his "man date", his "spending political capital". Explains why he ran seven companies (and one country) into bankruptcy. You don't spend capital. Unless you're a dot-com during the bubble. Bush, the dot-com President.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Indictments and nominations - same old khaki pants, I suppose you could say. The Bush regime is corrupt. But everyone knew that already. But will they pay for their crimes? Do politicians ever pay for their crimes? Sure, the odd one here or there goes to jail, but if I had to guess I'd say that the conviction rate for political crimes is a small fraction of the conviction rate for other classes of crimes.

Like so many bloggers, all I can do is spout off. Not like these people who actually know what they are talking about. But that takes time and effort. News analysis, when it comes down to it, requires that you read (and hopefully understand) the news. Like I have time for anything like that. So maybe I should follow that other rule - write about the things you already know. But even there, it isn't like I keep up with breaking stories. Maybe I should though - go each week and read through Science and Nature and TREE and figure out what's really going on. You might really get some readership if you could provide content and not just random one-liners. Wow - that would be something. Actually it's worth thinking about - one day, when I have time.

Brings me to a new train of though - how long will the blogspot and the livejournal entries survive? I used to have a page on msnhomepages. My blog before there was such a thing as blogs. It's gone now, not even saved by the Wayback [whatever it's called]. That really made me sad, when I finally confirmed that it was gone forever. That sort of ephemerality makes me wonder about this stuff. I used to have an X-drive account, I had all sorts of other free email accounts. All forgotten, probably lost. I've lost the contents of my hotmail account a couple times. And a whole slew of email lies inaccessible on the old laptop.

What lasts and what is ephemera? Wikipedia looks solid, but it depends on continued input of donations. We have created enough value that I would think it's fairly secure for the time being. We are so widely mirrored that we have made a real dint on knowledge, and even if it were to cease to exist, the ripples of Wikipedia would remain detectable in human knowledge for a little while to come.

I can't believe it's November already. Where did the time go?