:: Life of Dave ::

General updates in the life of....
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:: Saturday, May 31, 2003 ::

Jason, before he left for Egypt, came by my place and snagged some of my media files (music and video). He was somewhat horrified by the amount of space they took. Now, finally, it has come home to roost how much space several seasons of Buffy actually take up on my hard drive, as I got a warning today that I was fresh out of space. With a little work, I am less depleted, but clearly it is time to put things onto CD.

Pink Good. Blue Bad.

:: David 9:55 PM [+] ::
Ask me about Monsanto! I know! More than five pages of data for a presentation, and I've only been at it for three hours.
:: David 4:58 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 30, 2003 ::
Ah hah! found the French blog I had been looking for -
Fraternet has lots of tasty stuff (in French) about politics, etc. Hopefully it will help me with the parts of the language I really want to learn - how to say stuff like : "The government's policies are horribly misguided and will result in increased human suffering." Now that's some serious French.
:: David 4:54 PM [+] ::
YES!!! The World Trade Organization has positions available!

Why bother cruelly torturing people a few at a time when you can lay waste to an entire country?!

The scary thing is, I'm qualified for the position. Well qualified, in fact. It's a good thing they're based in Geneva instead of Paris!
:: David 12:19 PM [+] ::

Ah, the options for selling one's soul! The Organisation For Economic Co-Operation And Development has job openings. Probably the easiest job in the world, for me, to get. Closing soon, so I'd be able to get right in there, assuming they move with any sort of speed. Down side, you may ask? I don't know if I could feel good working for an organization which has such a spotty track record. On the other hand, institutions of this type all have spotty track records, and at the very least I'd be inside rather than outside.
:: David 12:08 PM [+] ::
You know, it's embarrasing. I was writing up my 'whois' entry for Holly, and of course I had to link that to my write up of my first trip to mainland Europe. So I went to the write up to see if I could link specifically to the part that talks about Holly (this is something you can do with HTML, and isn't important to the story).

The entirety of my first trip to Italy rated one paragraph. And not even a good paragraph. In fact it was an awful paragraph. If it weren't for the historical element of that document (if it hadn't been for my first trip to Europe, I probably wouldn't have become addicted to travel, wouldn't have lived in Japan, and probably wouldn't have the interests I now have), I would probably delete that story out of embarrasment.
:: David 10:16 AM [+] ::

It's never possible to feel good about phoning someone and realizing you woke them up. It's even more difficult to feel good about it when you know you should have known they wouldn't be up.

Example - I used to call Holly from Japan and get the time zone wrong. Instead of 8:30AM (just before she might leave for work) I would get her at 5:30. Bad.

Lots and lots of work to do this weekend, and my CV still isn't revised. *sigh*
:: David 9:59 AM [+] ::

:: Thursday, May 29, 2003 ::
Interesting article on Der Spiegel today about Al Jazeera's links to Iraq. Discusses both the possibility that the links are real, and possible repercussions, as well as discussing the people bringing forward the accusations. Interesting read (I've linked to the English version, if you were worried!)
:: David 10:30 AM [+] ::
According to an article on the BBC today, "Increasingly technologies allow people to find out about others in the real world and keep in touch with their day-to-day lives". I know you are all shocked.

Zach wrote today to announce another Magic night happening the 8th of June. If anybody remembers the other thing I have scheduled...

Ah hah! I'm glad I typed that! That's also the day Lindsay and Marty Vecchio are having their joint graduation party. Busy weekend.

As for Magic night, I must confess I still love dragging out the old cards (now quite old, actually - Zach introduced me to the game my sophomore year in college, which makes my oldest cards well nigh on a decade old) and playing a game or two. A few years back Zach arranged his cards into decks, and although I think he still makes new ones, many of them I think are just standbys he's had for a while. At the time, I wondered why in the world anyone would stop making new decks every time. Now I understand. Of the things I always claim I'll do when I get some free time, putting my Magic cards in order often gets on the list. And who knows - maybe someday I'll get some free time (hell - maybe I should ship the cards to France on the off chance I don't get a job).
:: David 9:46 AM [+] ::

:: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 ::
Bonus points to Ryan for his comment "I had the impression I've been keeping in touch with you over the last month or so. I've been reading [your blog] fairly regularly [...] But I realized I hadn't emailed you. Duh!"

The dangers of blogs - all your friends think they've written you, but really they haven't!
:: David 9:25 PM [+] ::

I hate making changes to my resume. Or to my CV. My resume stands at a lithe one page - a short, sweet, and to-the-point testimony of my work experience. My CV is currently around five pages. Not short, not sweet, not to-the-point. Bloated and full of crud. Hopefully I can fix that this evening, because there are some fun jobs I'd like to apply to.
:: David 4:39 PM [+] ::
The BBC today has an article about Iran's reaction to recent US criticism, in which the moderates (Khatami) and the conservatives (Ayatollah Ali Khamenei) came together to denounce the current US strategy. My personal favorite is Khatami's reaction to
Donald Rumsfeld's comments that "efforts [by Iran] to remake Iraq in Iran's image will be aggressively put down". He is quoted by the BBC as saying the "Muslim people of Iraq" had the right to "a political regime chosen by the Iraqi people".

It's amazing to me how close we were to at least warming relations with Iran before the current regime came to power in the United States. Rumour has it that there is another split in the Bush cabinet over this, but frankly I don't buy much of anything I hear about them anymore. I wish to heck the Democrats weren't so pathetic.
:: David 12:36 PM [+] ::

I think there is nothing in the world that is worse than looking at something you wrote, even fairly recently, and thinking 'ouch!'

This is in reference to code I have written within the past year, but it applies equally well to papers, letters, email, etc.

I'm glad most things I write get stuck in a drawer and never looked at again! Well, with the exclusion of this website, which is constantly being rewritten.
:: David 10:57 AM [+] ::

:: Tuesday, May 27, 2003 ::
Added a random blog - guy in Paris who has interesting things to say about the European Central Bank, the Financial Times, and most importantly, Eurovision.

Still no luck in getting my electronic house in order, but I survived another class, and I've managed to find a comfortable way to type in my far too small apartment. Thinking of rearranging furniture until I find a comfy workspace. When I come back to the US, I'm buying a real desk - something big and uncluttered, and I'm going to have a big room to put it in, so I can read, and work, and write, and type, and not have space issues.
:: David 11:44 PM [+] ::

Whups! Spelled that wrong - it's actually 新世紀エヴァンゲリオン. It's always hard to spell English words in Japanese, because sometimes they change their alphabet to make the English fit, and sometimes they change the spelling to make the word fit their language. For example, Barber, my last name, can be 'barubaru' (the 'u' is mostly silent) or baaaabaaaa (hold the 'a' extra long) or baruberu, etc. All are equally right (wrong) and it all depends on who's doing it the way it comes out.
:: David 5:04 PM [+] ::
Wow! Four whole days and no blog! Crazy! I had a usual weekend, work, visit home, Sasha was off to New York so I was a bachelor. Erik and I finished watching "neon genesis Evangelion" (新世紀エバンゲリオン), DVDs number 7 and 8. Weird weird stuff. Apparently there was so much uproar in Japan they had to make another movie to explain what the heck the ending meant.

I've been exploring the blog-sphere to see what's out there. Looking at adding a link to a French blog on politics, mainly so I can read it and learn new useful words (like how to say "Bush is a chowderhead" in French).

Speaking of France and all things French, apparently Sasha's extended family (at least one of them) wasn't keen on her moving to the land of Frenchies. I wonder if my mom will get a similar reaction when she tells the folks down in Kentucky where I'm moving in the fall. Funny.

I keep trying to update the web page to make the research section more accessable, but I can't seem to come up with a paradigm for the layout - there's too much, and it all interrelates. Since I'm using the website to do classwork, this is more important than it may seem - I'll probably post at least some of my finished work for the prof to check out online.
:: David 4:58 PM [+] ::

:: Friday, May 23, 2003 ::
...for example, the last post sort of reads like a conversation I might have had in Wesley Hall (my freshman year dorm at college) at about 3:30 in the morning on some uncomfortable piece of furniture. But I can have my half now, at two in the afternoon. And you can have your half of the conversation (the 'hearing part' I suppose) whenever you want. And neither of us has to go to class at eight the next morning looking like something the cat hacked up.
:: David 2:14 PM [+] ::
I do have to confess, all the blogs out there are a truly interesting phenomenon to me. I write this because I know more people than I really write to on a regular basis, and I want folks to know what I'm up to - it's a form of passive communication. Of course, on some level I suppose that makes all these blogs bad for human interaction, but to be honest I think that's more true of the internet 'pre-blog' - all those emails you could never respond to, or the measured responses that take a week of sculpting and make you look like a genius. Now, don't get me wrong - blogs are similar in that respect - I could have composed this baby and ran it through a spell checker and a grammar checker and everything else and you wouldn't know the difference (except for those that know me, who would say 'what the heck is wrong with David's writing today?) - but I am of the opinion that, because they can be updated more easily and quickly (and don't require taking the other person's comments into account when composing) I think they convey more of who I am and what I'm thinking about, all the while requiring less effort on the reader's part to maintain their end of the conversation.

Sorry - I'm rambling all over here - I've not really considered the effect of a blog on personal interaction before.

I think maybe blogs let us take someone in doses, when we like. But then, when we do want to 'interact' with that person, they let us do as much as we want. Putting us in control of the exchange (which I think a lot of people like, and, perhaps more interestingly, in a two-way conversation only one of the two can have). Thus I can interact with my blog when I want, and you can interact with it when you want - a sort of intermediary, like when we say to our friend "oh - how is xxxxx doing, anyway?" because we're sort of curious, but not energetic enough, perhaps, to take the time to track them down.

It sounds really awful, doesn't it? Drop me a line and tell me if I'm completely insane.
:: David 2:10 PM [+] ::

:: Thursday, May 22, 2003 ::

It seems Blogger is down, so I'll blog in notepad and post later....

Off to coffee with Nikki

You know, for an organization that needs people desperately, the State Department really has no idea how to hire them! I was looking because I figure 'well, if I'm gonna be in France, might as well look.' But the crap you have to wade through before you even think about applying is immense! I may give it another look-through before I go, but they really only want to hire the people who really want to work there, apparently.
:: David 8:56 AM [+] ::

:: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 ::
Wednesday. The day I have to go to work, get up early, and all that stuff. *sigh*

Wednesday, the day after the final episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Which I have to say was quite fun, if sad. I suppose some people had to die, but it was sad nevertheless.

Tammy wrote to tell me she was going to send me her book (now at 20,000 words!), and even sent me her horoscope, which told her if she was thinking of writing she should definitely let other people read her stuff. But she hasn't sent me any of it yet. We'll see....

I watched The Transporter yesterday, and also saw some of the making of The Italian Job - both of which star Jason Statham as the action hero lead. He was in both "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" and "Snatch" - both of which were excellent films. I've gotta say he's a fun actor, and I look forward to seeing more of him.
:: David 10:54 AM [+] ::

:: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 ::
Adding to the weird, the Passionate Pirate was also a WWII plane which went down in 1944 over Austria.
:: David 4:06 PM [+] ::
Would you believe, I found a book review of (apparently the correct title is Her Passionate Pirate, probably because a book published in 1964 already had the title The Passionate Pirate. At any rate, read the review at WordWeaving.com. If you really feel the need.
:: David 4:02 PM [+] ::
Unsurprisingly, Jason complained about the size of the images of him I posted yesterday. I should really invest in a mass conversion tool, but I'm lazy. Maybe I'll get on it someday, especially if I buy a new digital camera - the pixel counts on the new ones are crazy - who the heck wants a photo 6000 pixels by 5000 pixels, really? I actually have one, from when I was testing my scanner with negatives - it's a little over 10MB and I can't open it. I want to crop it down, but my software just dies.

So I'm sure you've all seen, from time to time, David whine about how little work he's gotten done. So did I work yesterday when I had time? No! I read a flippin' romance novel. The ladies of 212 brookridge, Sasha and Kimberly, had acquired a set of one dollar romance novels from (where else?) the dollar store, and one of them sounded so bad I had to read it. Title? The Passionate Pirate. Ouch. But it was a laugh riot. So I had to read the whole thing. And there went all my free time.

Also yesterday I broke in the new bike in a proper fashion, biking from my place to Sasha's. Expedia tells me it's about 15 miles from my place to hers, and I biked there yesterday and back today. 30 miles in two days is a good start for any bike! Ironically, I made it all the way back to my place today without getting rained on, despite huge rainclouds everywhere. About an hour later, I biked the three minutes to French class, and got soaked!
:: David 4:00 PM [+] ::

:: Monday, May 19, 2003 ::
Jason recently pointed out that he couldn't find any photos of himself in that silly halloween outfit. So I went searching and found that some photos from last year hadn't made it onto the website. So, for those of you who wondered what the folks back in Kalamazoo look like, now there are pictures!
:: David 4:44 PM [+] ::
recently I got a copy of my friend Lisa Pahman's ultrasound, showing her new baby. Now, I don't know about the rest of you, but I've always found something weird about the whole ultrasound process (and not just the part where they slather your tummy with jelly and rub you with plastic paddles). I mean, it's inside, yeah? And yet here, on my (and now your) computer screen, is a picture of a baby. Wacky stuff.

:: David 12:25 PM [+] ::
mainichi mainichi - it's a japanese word which means 'everyday' but saying it twice as I recall means 'little by little'. At this point that refers to my French. Nothing quite like waking up early on a Monday morning so you can write brilliant sentences like 'I don't smoke.'

Over the weekend the monthly anime (Japanese animation) show was held in town, and there was a show called 'Get Backers' which ended in a cliffhanger, and reportedly will not be shown again. So I had no choice - a little hop out to ebay, and *poof* the first four DVDs were mine. Unlike Erik, I do not have any problems with buying from disreputable sources like a small shop in Hong Kong.

I also managed to speak to Jason this weekend, making certain he was still alive and kicking.

An amusing story, I don't know if the US media has picked up on - it seems the Jessica Lynch story (the girl who was a POW and was rescued in a 'daring midnight raid') was more or less completely made up. This is getting heavy play in the UK, and the BBC World went so far as to ask the pentagon. A pentagon spokesperson gave the equivalent of a 'no comment'.
:: David 11:46 AM [+] ::

:: Sunday, May 18, 2003 ::
Sunday evening, and not a whole lot done. But I had a fun weekend of anime and somesuch, so who can complain? I'm pleased I have tomorrow and Tuesday to get lots more work done!
:: David 7:01 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 16, 2003 ::
Just spent half an hour looking at maps and train schedules. I'm not actually planning trips for every weekend yet, but it's six hours to Zurich or Amsterdam and 13 hours to Rome by train. And let's not forget two hours to London. I'm very excited.
:: David 1:11 AM [+] ::
ok - one more link to my apartment photos
:: David 12:43 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 15, 2003 ::
Lunar Eclipse! The weather was good enough to clear up just in time for me to see the moon go away. Fun fun stuff!
:: David 11:39 PM [+] ::
More on the Ypsilanti chemical spill - according to the Ann Arbor News, "The cause of the leak was unknown [as of Monday, May 12], but state officials are expected to investigate. Also unknown is how much of the chemical spilled.

The acid leaked from an 8,000 gallon tank on the roof of Marsh Plating Corp. at 103 N. Grove Road."

The article also said the chemical was diluted by the rain to 'safe levels.'
:: David 5:49 PM [+] ::

Is there anything more wonderful than Ani DiFranco?

Also of note - Ani's September 11th poem is online.
:: David 5:11 PM [+] ::

A guy by the name of Kevin Mathieu wrote regarding the Ypsilanti chemical spill to say

"Thanks for reporting the news. It makes me feel like I'm not crazy and that the event did happen since I can't find any official media report.

Also up for mention is http://www.notfrisco2.com/thinkinggirl/

She identifies the culprit as http://www.marshplating.com/"

It was actually really interesting how quickly the whole thing appeared and disappeared. I'm given to understand the chemical released was HCL, but given the level of understanding most people have of chemicals in general, it would seem some sort of public statement is due. Here again we see the problem of a government (in this case a local government, but the example can be generalized) which is responsible for both promotion of business and the protection of its citizens.

In business they call it conflict of interest, and it's generally frowned upon. Think 'the guys who sell stocks are also the ones who rate them as buy, sell, or hold.'

For giggles, I sent Marsh Plating an email asking for further information on the spill. I'll keep you posted....
:: David 4:56 PM [+] ::

I am slowly building up a collection of randomly received one dollar bills. The first occurred on my first day of French class, when the prof spilled my soda, and then gave me a dollar to get a new one in way of apology. More recently, a book I bought online was more marked up than the seller had first thought, so he stuck a dollar in the box by way of apology. Bizarre.

Of course, the only thing to do with them is enter them on Where's George? This is a website which tracks your money and tells you where it has been and where it went after you spent it.
:: David 4:01 PM [+] ::

Today's amusing quote:

"The BBC World Service is funded directly by the Foreign Office, but is editorially independent.

Neither is listed on the stock exchange."
:: David 3:52 PM [+] ::

:: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 ::
Jason has returned from his travels just in time to fix the link to my apaprtment. Try this link to see my new apartment, assuming the link continues to work after we sign....
:: David 10:52 PM [+] ::
Must... resist... buying... digital... camera!

Here's the thing - I love photography. A lot. Sasha's housemate Kevin recently got a job at an aerial photography place, and I thought that was the coolest thing ever! I like taking pictures, wandering around, framing events and shooting.


Right now I'm busy as heck with schoolwork, and until I finish I know I won't have the time to really relax and just kick back with a swanky new camera and take like 10,000 photos of Ann Arbor (which is a goal I have before I leave for Paris).

And let's not even begin to discuss how many flippin' photos I'm gonna take in Paris. I'm gonna be that obnoxious guy with the camera. (When I'm not teaching your children English. Tee hee. But I'll be that obnoxious guy with a camera who unexpectedly speaks enough French to know when you're talking about him. heh heh heh).

But for now, grasshopper must have patience.
:: David 12:47 AM [+] ::

My favorite little place for wine and other good things in life, Cheese! Cheese! Cheese!, which does have a more sensible name, but who cares, has a website! Now you can see wine specials in a town most of you don't live in! Isn't that exciting?!?
:: David 12:15 AM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 ::
Played with the web page I made yesterday - I was able to cut the file size in half without losing anything except some of the fonts. Why does Microsoft not get it?

A test in French class today means I am working on my web page instead of studying. I hate tests, and I'm terrible at preparing for them. I'll do a little bit after I post this, and then off to the test. More class this evening. I'm a busy little beaver these days!

I spoke to Tammy today regarding the book she's writing. It's fairly exciting - she's got about 15,000 words. Good or bad, it's neat as hell that she's doing it. It's a lot like when Jason headed off to Egypt (but in a different way). Scary, and exciting at the same time.

Speaking of scary and exciting at the same time, Sasha and I have a flat in Paris. We haven't done the paperwork yet, but we decided where it will be, and the company is ready to secure it for us. Expensive, especially up front, but it's a nice place (note the link may not work - they're using some funky software!).
:: David 12:29 PM [+] ::

:: Monday, May 12, 2003 ::
I love the fact a filtered web page from MS Office is over 100K. Who are they kidding?

Lisa Dugdale sent me an article from the guardian written by one of my favorite columnists, George Monbiot. It appeared in the Tuesday May 6, 2003 issue of The Guardian. In it, Monbiot discusses the concepts of purchasing power parity - a way to compare wealth, globally.

I thought it might be interesting, therefore, to put up the notes we had taken in my Development class concerning the ways in which wealth can be measured. I have posted them in my research section. Which brings us back to the opening line - since they were already in Word format, I used the Word 'save as HTML' and lo! they were gigantic. But worth a look, anyway.
:: David 5:54 PM [+] ::

:: Sunday, May 11, 2003 ::
A little excitement in Ypsilanti this evening. Seems a small industrial site took the opportunity to dump hazardous materials all over. Comcast, the cable operator in our area, was the first to go blue screen, saying everyone should stay in their house, turn off all ventilation systems, and get to a high place. I especially liked that last bit.

So Sasha and I (who were at her place in Ann Arbor, on a hill) went looking on the internet for information about the situation. Do you know where to go to look for emergency information? I don't. So we turned on the evening news, which told us 'unknown chemical, unknown factory, unknown anything. Stay tuned for more information.' In their defense, the spill happened at or around 10:45pm and this was the 11pm news. That said, none of them stayed with the story, or called someone nearby, or anything - they just continued on with the regularly scheduled news. Suddenly 'Pet SARS' seemed less important.

So, while searching for information on this we ran across a lot of the 'Be Ready' crap the government has been spouting. Well we have the answer, in spades. We are not ready. The cable provider kept cutting off the emergency information, noone was able to tell us anything on the news, and the internet was worse than useless. If this had been a chemical attack instead of a chemical spill, we'd still be in the dark. Because, and this is the best part, how do you know the difference between an 'attack' and a 'spill?'

I'm off to see if my house has been eaten by green gases.
:: David 11:42 PM [+] ::

:: Friday, May 09, 2003 ::
Well I'll be darned! I replaced Raed too soon! As an article on C|Net proclaims, "Raed is still alive". Raed was the purported 'Baghdad Blogger' who wrote in realtime what was happening in his country as the US rolled in. He went down about two weeks or so ago, and I think everyone has been sort of wondering what was up. His blog, "Where is Raed?" will go back on my reading list!
:: David 11:02 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 08, 2003 ::
Watched a movie this evening from 1943 called Princess O'Rourke. It was a fun little wartime flick with a traditional storyline - boy meets princess, doesn't know she's princess, love erupts, etc. This movie was interesting in that the 'etc.' included the problems of being a 'normal person' marrying wealth and power - an interesting twist. And the necessary wartime propaganda.

Outside of that, there was the final episode (possibly ever) of Angel. As always, an absolutely wonderful plot twist to finish up the season, and lots of bright possibilities if the WB decides to keep the show. If not, it's a hell of a place to wrap.

Outside of that, looking forward to getting lots done this weekend.
:: David 11:43 PM [+] ::

Ah hah! Finally fixed (for the most part) the archive links (the dates on the left side of the page)! Now everyone can read 'Life of dave' from beginning to end, in all its glory! rejoice!

That may be more exclamation points than I've used in the last month, all in one place.
:: David 10:37 AM [+] ::

Nothing quite like a searing dose of reality to make you feel better, or at least wake you up to the possibility that someone else feels worse. One of people downstairs where I work was describing in fairly fatalistic terms a terminal medical condition, and after he left I enquired as to whom he had been speaking of. It turned out the subject of the discussion had been his wife. Suddenly my little runny nose didn't seem so awful after all.
:: David 10:26 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 ::
Sarah Coburn, who apparently lives in the land of plague (Atlanta, GA), called me today to complain that there were no pictures of her on my web page. I reminded her of some of the pictures I could post, and she suggested those would not be appropriate. So I decided I would hunt around, because surely there was at least one photo of her, somewhere. But in point of fact I was wrong - somehow the photos from the 2002 halloween party had not gone on the website (mostly because I made them too big). But, just for Sarah, I have posted them, and now you can see Sarah and I, dressed as we always do.

:: David 11:54 PM [+] ::
An amusing fact I learned last year is that once a year Western Michigan University has a medieval conference which is the conference to go to for medieval studies in the United States (the other big conference is apparently in Leeds, England). This event is being held this weekend, and Sasha is apparently headed there for fun and research. So I popped on over to the conference web page, where I discovered the web page designers were also apparently historians, or at least stuck in the stone age of web design. The image on their front page is, according to my trusty mozilla properties window, 639.4 KB (654743 bytes). It took me about half a day to download.

If you're at all interested or easily amused, listen to NPR this weekend - they always have a spot about it, usually covering some bizarre paper.
:: David 12:49 AM [+] ::

:: Tuesday, May 06, 2003 ::
Work, work work, and me all sickly. Either (a) allergies unknown to me went out and rented a frieght train to run me over, or (b) I have contracted a bizarre cold. Either way, I am not the happiest, most energetic French student you have ever seen. And this evening I'll be starting my class on multinational corporations. I don't actually know what one says about multinationals, so I guess I'll figure it out this evening. I'm also starting work on my independent study on the anti-globalization movement. Currently all I have is a reading list, but I'm sure before too long there will be loads of materials.
:: David 5:22 PM [+] ::
:: Monday, May 05, 2003 ::
French. I started French classes today, in preparation for moving to Paris in the fall. It's very odd to be surrounded by undergraduates - they seem so young. But there we all were in the same boat. "Bonjour Monsieur!" "Bonjour Madame!" et cetera. My class schedule this semester is more relaxed than the one I had last semester - I realized that I would burn out if I tried to do the same thing as last semester, i.e. doing all my classes in one day, from sunup to sun down. So now it'll be more leisurely - a little here, a little there.
:: David 4:18 PM [+] ::
:: Sunday, May 04, 2003 ::
...and on to Sunday. Late nights with friends and long days of frisbee and wandering. Is there anything more wonderful? Tomorrow begins the new semester, but at least the last one is over, and this one is all about me and my goals, my interests. A class on multinational enterprises, a class on the anti-globalisation movement (expect to see lots of posts here about that, as it's an independent study, and as such I'll be making the materials myself). And a French 101 class, because I'll need it where I'm going.

Speaking of where people are going, I hung out with Lindsay Vecchio last week, and found out where her post-graduate overeducated working-class blues will be taking her: Reunion Island, off the coast of Madagascar. She'll be teaching English in the schools there, working for the French government. Tee hee.

Randomly, it seems that our friend we stayed out late last night with has family who at one time were highly placed in another government. How amusing.

And speaking of governments, and moving to conspiracies, the blog I mentioned yesterday has all of them - I did some more reading today (there's a lot to read) and unless (s)he's an amazing creator of fiction, it's a hell of a good story. Well, actually, regardless, it's a good story.

Finally, Jason emailed me to enquire how the camera shopping went. No soup - but I never buy anything until I've researched it too much. So wait a while, and I'll start posting photos. Actually, Sasha and I discussed the fact that I want to do a shoot of Ann Arbor when I get the new camera (we discussed this after the jewel thief at the next table had left - his conversation was much more interesting than ours, so we had to listen in until he was gone. Needless to say, he had been caught - anyone discussing something like that in a forum as open as the one we were in had to be caught).

Hopefully sometime soon I'll be able to put a link to Matt's Soup page. I'm given to understand (and conversation today confirmed) that he (Matt) is making a tribute page to his dog, Soup. Soup is a dachsund (weiner dog) about whom I have heard a plethora of half-believeable stories, so the photos will be fun to see, I am sure.
:: David 11:02 PM [+] ::

:: Saturday, May 03, 2003 ::
Ah, lazy saturdays! Is there anything more wonderful? Today was chock full of lazy, as Sasha and I meandered over to The Fleetwood (an ann arbor dining experience) and then meandered back, only to meander out shopping for clothes and cameras (me, camera, she, clothes - sadly stereotypical, isn't it)? This evening we hope to have dinner with a friend.
:: David 6:46 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 02, 2003 ::
Six Degrees of blog separation. I was reading Neil Gaiman's blog, and he referenced an article in the Guardian (a paper I read not infrequently) in which William Gibson comments that blogging and writing a novel are incompatible. I flipped over to the article, and one of the questions they asked Gibson was "Do you follow many weblogs?" Gibson replied "The one I've been looking at most frequently since the war started is The Agonist. The guy in San Antonio who runs it, Sean-Paul Kelley, seems to do nothing but sit filtering and chopping the news down, so you can go CNN, Reuters, etc. He also has the $600 a year subscription to a service called Stratfor (www.stratfor.com), which gives corporate intelligence.

Well this sounded like a website for me, so I jumped over to it, and contained within its lists of recent AP news stories was a reference to a blog by someone called Isabella. The context was "Earlier this week The Agonist received a cease and desist letter from an international law firm representing Isabella’s family. [...] In substance the letter demanded that The Agonist turn over any names or identifying information of sources for the Isabella story as well as remove any related material."

Well, anything involving cease and desist letters gets me excited, so I headed over to the blog - "...she's a flight risk" for a closer look. I recommend you do the same - it may or may not interest, but the writing is worth taking a look at. I suspect there's a good story there, too, if you delve deeper than I have.
:: David 3:53 PM [+] ::

Lisa wrote to say:

Lots of good beer? It's a nonprofit association of
businesses, not the other way around.

to which I must respond "Yes - lots of good beer!"

And now you all know what she really does: read my blog :-)
:: David 12:30 AM [+] ::

:: Thursday, May 01, 2003 ::
Yet more massive corporation stuff. Border's Books, for those that don't know, originated here in Ann Arbor. It seems that for some time now they have been trying to get a union, but have found the way blocked by corporate pressure. They were picketing around the park near a Border's in town today.

In much smaller news, my friend Lisa is trying to get a business going - as near as I understand an organization of nonprofit groups. It's really bizarre talking to her 'cause it all sounds so important and complicated. And yet we're all at a point now where that's what we can be doing - important complicated stuff. Hopefully I'll be doing that soon.

In other news, Sasha finished her prelims, and is now ABD (all but dissertation - it means she gets a PhD as long as she writes a good paper)!! Happy days full of food and fun (and lots of drinking, it must be said).
:: David 9:19 PM [+] ::

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