Four Haikus for the APA (American Philosophical Association) Meeting


Black turtleneck, coat.
Merleau-Ponty, here we go!
Where art Stony Brook?

My book is just out.
See it here, amidst the dreck?
Pity the backlists!

Matrix of tables
Saunter forth, meet your makers.
Pluck you from job hell.

Drunk at the smoker
Sorry chit-chat overload.
Fast! Race up to bed.


Best Spam Subject Line EVER

You all get spam.

But today my spam subject line was one for the record books:

homeric superficial rangoon instalment bliss

Now THAT, my friends, is BLISS.


Best Spam Subject Line EVER

You all get spam.

But today my spam subject line was one for the record books:

homeric superficial rangoon instalment bliss

I mean, can you dig it?


Where has the New York Times Been on the Tenure Track Story?

The NYT is informing us about the skewed balance between adjunct and tenure track professors.

Here: http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/20/education/20adjunct.html?pagewanted=print

Wow. Thanks for the news flash.

There were two favorite moments in this article:

"Three decades ago, adjuncts — both part-timers and full-timers not on a tenure track — represented only 43 percent of professors, according to the professors association, which has studied data reported to the federal Education Department."

ONLY 43%? Does 43% seem like a low number to anyone? Alan Finder seems a bit out of his depth.

Other great moment:

"Tenure, a practice carried from Germany to the United States, was designed to guarantee academic freedom to professors by protecting them against dismissal. Some argue that it also protects incompetent or lazy teachers and sometimes leaves universities saddled with professors in disciplines that have lost currency."

Ah, the "some argue" technique for fake balance. "Some argue global warming is just a communist conspiracy." Again, where's the real balance?

The Times is so late to the party on this story, one wonders what they were doing in the three decades since the 43% was figure du jour.


Oil is at $150 per Barrell, Domestic Airfare's $800: What will Academics do?

This recent article about oil shock planning in the New York Times-- link is here http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/02/business/02wargame.html?_r=1&oref=slogin --should cause academics to sit up and notice.

The Times writes...
"War in Iran. Gasoline rationing, at $5 a gallon. A military draft. A Chinese takeover of Taiwan. A military anhttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gifd political confrontation with Venezuela. Double-digit inflation and unemployment. The draining of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve....$150-a-barrel oil."

What will academics do when these prices impact airfare? How will schools pay for travel to conferences? Will criteria for T and P change?

I would expect a lot will change. What I hope happens is consideration of localization of academic talent. Local conferences, local meetups, local interdisciplinary efforts in teaching. In conjunction, of course, with national and international scholarly efforts in publishing and blogging. Occasionally, a strong need will compel academics to fly. But until a new source of energy is found, it just might not be feasible.

We ought to think ahead about this.


Restore the Playground at Perk Hill Coffee, Denver, CO

The following is a general purpose letter in support of Perk Hill coffee shop's playground, recently removed at the landlord's directive.

I am writing as a citizen of Denver and Park Hill to protest the forced removal of a public good: a children's playground.

At Perk Hill Coffee at 22nd and Kearney in Park Hill, Darren Spreeuw, owner had installed a small swing set and play ground that he had provided - at no cost to the city or to its users - on a public right of way owned by the city. Hundred of people use this every week. It is a site of community building, friendship, and healthy childhood development.

Darren had all the necessary permits and loads of private liability insurance, and had clearly marked it "At Your Own Risk." For some reason, the landlord, Eric Alstad, owner of The Thin Man and St. Mark's Coffee has forced him to take down this very popular playground.

As a citizen of Park Hill, I have been impressed by Perk Hill coffee as a business and member of the community. Darren Spreeuw has been extraordinarily entrepreneurial, and has been an anchor in the rejuvenation of this part of Park Hill.

As long term residents of Denver know, economic stability and social stability are mutual supports against leaner times. Let us be farsighted about the values that sustain our city and neighborhoods over time. The city should designate this small area and public good as a "pocket park" so it may be preserved and continue to serve our community.

To contact the city council person with jurisdiction over this area:

City Council - Marcia Johnson, Dist. 5
6740 E. Colfax Ave
Denver, CO 80220

To contact the landlord who forced the playground to come down, Mr. Alstad, here is some publically available information:

The Thin Man
2015 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 320-7814

St. Mark's Coffee House
2019 E 17th Ave
Denver, CO 80206
(303) 322-8384


November, by Robert Frost


We saw leaves go to glory,
Then almost migratory
Go part way down the lane,
And then to end the story
Get beaten down and pasted
In one wild day of rain.

We heard " 'Tis Over" roaring.
A year of leaves was wasted.
Oh, we made a boast of storing,
Of saving and keeping,
But only by ignoring
The waste of moments sleeping,
The waste of pleasure weeping,
By denying and ignoring
The waste of nations warring.


Choose a name for your baby!

1.  Jacob Smullyan
2.  Jacob Hantho-Smullyan
3.  Shmoufarten O'Smullhanthian
4.  Spam O'Smullhanthian
5.  Smullyan Hantho-Jacob
6.  Smull-O-Lantern
7.  Jack of All Smullyans
8.  Jack of All Hantho-Smullyans
9.  Jack and the Hantho Stalk
10.  Smaco Llama-Smullyan
11. Gotta Hantho-Smullyan
12.  Gottasmaco Hanthobin
13.  Thou Smaco O'Hantho-Spam
14.  Hanthospanicia Smacobin
15.  Spanokopita O'Spamhanthian
16.  Spinach Jones
17.  Smutho-Hanyan Jake
18.  Smuthose Smullica
19.  Crabcakes O' Spamdick
20.  Kraken of Crasdale
21.  Bohr Fermispamion
22.  Enrico O'Smullhanthian
23.  Emil Schwitters
24.  Bob
25.  Fermenti Curdo Smullhanthospam
26.  Smaca'anthoyam
27.  Yahspam
28. Spamwah
29.  Spamwich
30.  Spinwich
31  Spamgasm

Today's Best (excerpt)

I ever get to Rio, you'll be there.

You'll be there,
You'll be there,
With a dozen rainbow trout in your hair.

You'll be there,
You'll be there,
With a tunafish pajama that's got flair.

You'll be there,
You'll be there,
And I swear I tell you true.

You'll be there,
You'll be there,
And have lots of stuff t' do!


Blues Jamming: Drew Zingg at Bourbon St. Music Festival

Blues Jamming: Drew Zingg at Bourbon St. Music Festival
Played with Steely Dan on the Alive in America album.

Blues Jamming: Drew Zingg at Bourbon St. Music Festival

Played with Steely Dan on the Alive in America album.

Nice clip.

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When 3 and a half year olds get mad

The other day Nick was mad about something. So, I started talking to him about all the times I get mad (when I lose something, break something, etc) so he could see that feelings are common experiences.

I asked him, "Nick, do you ever get mad?"
"Yes," he answered.
"When?" I asked.
He looked up at the wall clock: "When the long hand is on the 9."


Then, I told him I sometimes got mad at myself. I mentioned occasions when that has happened.

I asked him, "Nick, do you ever get mad at yourself?"
"Yes," he answered.
"When?" I asked.
He walked over to my computer modem, which has 8 lights across it. Most are lit, but some blink from time to time.
He points at the modem: "When these two lights are blinking."

Nonstop hilarity.


Bush's Immigration Policy: Why he's really for it

From Huffington Post:


Breaking Politics News, U.S. Republican Party, George W. Bush
stumbleupon :Top GOP Leader: Bush Employs Thousands Of Undocumented Workers   digg: Top GOP Leader: Bush Employs Thousands Of Undocumented Workers   reddit: Top GOP Leader: Bush Employs Thousands Of Undocumented Workers   del.icio.us: Top GOP Leader: Bush Employs Thousands Of Undocumented Workers

If President Bush is serious about getting tough on U.S. employers who hire illegal aliens, he can start with his own administration, which employs thousands of unauthorized workers, says the top Republican on the House immigration subcommittee.

A 2006 audit showed federal, state and local governments are among the biggest employers of the half-million persons in the U.S. illegally using "non-work" Social Security numbers -- numbers issued legally, but with specific instructions that the holders are not authorized to work in the U.S.


Emerson on Friendship

A beautiful about friendship, and when I read it, I can think of the friends of mine which this poem describes.

A ruddy drop of manly blood
The surging sea outweighs,
The world uncertain comes and goes,
The lover rooted stays.
I fancied he was fled,
And, after many a year,
Glowed unexhausted kindliness
Like daily sunrise there.
My careful heart was free again, --
O friend, my bosom said,
Through thee alone the sky is arched,
Through thee the rose is red,
All things through thee take nobler form,
And look beyond the earth,
And is the mill-round of our fate
A sun-path in thy worth.
Me too thy nobleness has taught
To master my despair;
The fountains of my hidden life
Are through thy friendship fair.

-RW Emerson


Bush clearing brush?

It's August and I haven't seen any footage of Bush clearing brush.
Either it's all cleared or the White House finally decided that
"brush clearing" wasn't doing much for Bush's image.

Either possibility is interesting to contemplate.


Why Has the MSM Narrowed the Democratic Field to Two Already?

I am trying to figure out why the media keeps treating Hillary and Obama as if they were the only two candidates in the field. When I listen to Dodd, Richardson, Biden and Edwards, I think, “well, these are serious people who could really compete for the presidency.” When I listen to Gravel and Kucinich, I think, “These are people whose progressive ideas may sound radical, but if you look at the polls, are voicing concerns and issues that the public really cares about.”

Yes, the media (MSM) see Hillary and Obama as the Two Serious Ones because of fundraising and polling. But the truth is, the primaries and early caucuses matter a lot. A serious slip by H or O in Iowa or New Hampshire and we’ve got a totally different race.

The media understand this point, so they must have other motives for wanting the field so narrowed down already. Could it be that editors know that in an age of cutbacks and short staffs in newspaper offices, they don’t have the money to cover five candidates—so they pick two to protect their own bottom line?


Horserace reporting and democratic process

I find it a bit depressing that every comment about the horserace is picked up and amplified as "news." Add to that the fact that most news websites, including the New York Times, already narrow their headline coverage to just a few "leaders" in each party.

There has not even been a primary yet and the Times et al. are already giving day after day coverage to those they designate ss "leading candidates." In my view, it makes no difference whether these "leaders" have raised more money or have a better chance at winning. The election is up to the public, and the media should focus on the positions of all declared candidates until a caucus or primary has taken place.

Horserace reporting is anti-democratic, and the Times is part of the problem.