Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Skye and I went to see the This American Life Tour last night. I liked it. It was nice to be able to applaud someone who has entertained me for so long. Sarah Vowell, Jonathan Goldstein, and Dan Savage contributed, as well as a "bonus" segment on the TV show (it looks better than I thought it would be, although my expectations were pretty low for it - for fear of ruining TAL's good reputation).

Jonathan Goldstein's piece was my favorite; it was about the Flintstones. Sarah Vowell, though, perfectly described what makes a great television character, and then offered an explanation about why this description might make us like these characters. She offered Homer Simpson, MIchael Scott, the entire cast of Seinfeld, and Larry David.

TAL will be in Minneapolis tonight and Chicago tomorrow, so you should go check it out if you are near there (good luck getting seats, though).

Monday, February 26, 2007

Curses. I was almost done with a post, but then Safari crashed. I will recreate a little bit of what I wrote:

First, we might have a new reader. Everyone, say "hello" to J, who likes both Bill Simmons AND Bill Maher.

Second, the quote of the weekend is from Shaq. On being voted in to the NBA All-Star game after having only played 10 regular season games, he said: ā€œIā€™m like President Bush. You may not like me, you may not respect me, but you voted me in.ā€

From last night's Oscars, Ellen DeGeneres disagrees with Shaq about the last part.

Also, I started listing off electric cars. Instead of retyping all of that, I am just going to refer you to EV World.

Friday, February 23, 2007

I have a little bit of a sore throat, so I did not go running. Rather, I slept in a little longer. However, I am still going to post. Yep, here is my post.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thanks to Bill Simmons for a great piece on Dennis Johnson. It was thoughtful, it was complete, and it was written unbelievable quickly.

Here is the video that Simmons links to, perhaps the defining moment of DJ's career. Of course, people mainly think about Bird when they think about this play, so this play is pretty representative of Johnson's entire career.

R.I.P., DJ.

Props to the Land-o-Lakes.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

I am now carbon neutral.

In the spirit of Tsjaz, I am only going to list things that have been occupying my time since I last wrote: funeral/trip to Minnesota, lots of Indian food, NBA All-Star weekend, getting ahead with my work for this semester, barely keeping up with my research, Studio 60, Lost, Pete Maravich, and meeting with a lot of people.

And now I teach.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Okay, so I didn't follow my MWF routine, but I have excuses. They'll come up later.

First, Skye and I have been dating for a year now. See her weblog for more details.

Second, I am going home to Minnesota tomorrow for my grandmother's funeral. She lived a good life, and she died peacefully.

Third, there is a potential hire interviewing on campus today.

Because of the last two reasons, I did not exercise and I did not write on this weblog before my class today. These were special circumstances. I need to get stuff done before I leave tomorrow.

Friday, February 09, 2007

My exercise this morning was basketball again. Again, I fixed a mechanical flaw in my shot. I was going to write all about how I think that I could have definitely played college ball, except that I had mediocre mechanics on my shot that made me an inconsistent shooter.

For the record, I was invited to play college basketball, but it was at a small school. And there were a variety of reasons why I didn't pursue college basketball, including burn-out, a general inability to take initiative, and personality conflict.

I was going to write more, but I am now done talking about this (for now).

I watched some Arrested Development, season three last night. This is the season that I have not yet seen, and it is truly great. I am sad that it went off the air.

I also cleaned, and had dinner with the VCs.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

So Skye completely busted me two posts ago. I estimated something as being 8%, which misleads people into thinking that I have more precision than I do. So, while there is no intrinsic difference between saying "8% is my estimate" and "10% is my estimate" (aside from the obvious quantitative difference) other than the fact that 10 is more familiar beecause we use a base 10 number system, it implies a different level of confidence.

I am not very happy with that last sentence. I am still not going to take the time to change it, though.

I got my life organized yesterday. My office is clean, I am completely caught up on my work email (though not my personal email - not by a long shot), and my to-do list has been cleaned out of any items that have been lingering too long. It feels good.

Finally, I casually mentioned in class on Monday that I first took calculus in 1962. One of the students felt that he needed to make sure that I wasn't serious. So he doubted that I was in my sixties, but he wasn't exactly sure.

There are two things going through my head right now:

1. Timing is everything in a jump shot. When I am not shooting well, it is normally because I bring the ball through a wide arc as it goes from my stomach to my head, kind of like how Keith Van Horn does it. When I am shooting well, the ball normally goes almost in a straight line from my stomach to my head. This is because it takes less time, and it is in sync with my legs then.

2. I am not a procrastinator. I was thinking that I could just plan for my classes the morning before they happen. I will do this today by necessity, but this is the last time I intentionally try to do this; I'd much rather plan for the next class immediately after class.

I should have been cleaning last night, but I finished season 4 of The West Wing instead; I will probably get in trouble for this. I am out of The West Wing now, though, so I can move on to bigger and better projects.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Today is the first day of classes, and so I am a new man. I am hoping to run everyday before class, and update this weblog every day before class. I got one out of two done before class, and I am taking care of the other one right now.

I saw An Inconvenient Truth on Friday, which was good. My main complaint was that there was a list of things one can do to help curve global warming at the end of the film. They did not include "Eat less meat, and eat more locally grown vegetables." This seems to be a huge one, since meat is only about 8% efficient in turning sunlight into food we can eat, whereas fruits, vegetables, grains, and beans are about 90% efficient (these are very rough estimates). It takes more energy to transport and prepare meat than vegetables, so there are more carbon emissions involved in that, too.

Gore's website does mention eating less meat, but it only references the methane that cows produce. There are many, many more environmentally sound reasons to eat less meat than that.

I wanted the Bears to win, but I am happy for Tony Dungy. He is a good guy, and also a Gopher.