27 November 2010

FSU Day

Know what day it is?

It's FSU day!

Now, I know that UF's football team is a little bit down this year. Things haven't all gone as Gators fans might have hoped.

This is still a big day, folks. One of the biggest.

"But," you say, "the Gators have plenty of rivals."

That's true. It's something that happens when you play in The Best Dang Conference In The Country. Any time UF plays against, say, Georgia, Tennessee, Auburn, Alabama, or LSU, it's a huge game.

FSU's special, though. I'm not going to say "huger," because even though huger is a word, it shouldn't be.

FSU is the game that can make a fantastic season bittersweet or a mediocre season - which this most assuredly is - mildly acceptable.

FSU is the team that beat UF in 96.

FSU is the team that, even though their winning in other games would make UF's schedule better, I always smile to see losing.

My sister goes to FSU, and I can't bring myself to cheer for them, or even not to cheer against them.

It's FSU day, ladies and gentlemen.

Go Gators.

15 November 2010

War!




Reasons this track is awesome:

- OMG Holst!
- OMG 1960s!
- WTF distortion!
- Duuuuuude.


Happy Monday morning, everyone. I'm sitting in the office reading some great essays and some less-than-great essays. Also webcomics.

Have a great day!

10 November 2010

Morning, folks

Hope y'all like the redesign. I'm off to class.

Have a great morning.


...maybe the only good part of the episode...

09 November 2010

How's the Economy?

Good? Bad?

I bet I can guess your political affiliation based on your answer.

Check out this article from Slate. Brief excerpt:

"Financially worse off today" is a surprisingly fluid category. What in 2008 was mostly a Democratic slice of the electorate is now mostly a Republican slice. And no, it's not because Obama's policies somehow selectively benefited Democrats at the expense of Republicans. It's mostly a matter of partisan perception: 2008's economic Cassandras were primarily Democrats sure that Bush's empire-building profligacy was ruining the economy, and 2010's Chicken Littles are chiefly Republicans convinced that Obama's creeping socialism is hastening America's decline.

To understand the strength of partisan distortion of objective economic facts, consider the following: Between 1980 and 1988, inflation fell from about 14 percent to about 4 percent. But when asked what had happened to inflation over Reagan's two terms, more than half of "strong" Democrats insisted that inflation had gotten somewhat or much worse over that period, whereas only 8 percent said it had gotten better, according to an analysis by Larry Bartels, a professor of politics at Princeton. For "strong" Republicans, it was pretty much the exact opposite.



Worth thinking about.

Mark Hurlbert is Corrupt

From the Daily Mail:

A financial manager for wealthy clients will not face charges for a hit-and-run because it could jeopardise his job, it has been revealed.

Martin Joel Erzinger, 52, was set to face felony charges for running over a doctor who he hit from behind in his 2010 Mercedes Benz, and then speeding off.

But now he will simply face two misdemeanour traffic charges from the July 3 incident in Eagle, Colorado.

His victim, Dr Steven Milo, 34, is meanwhile facing 'a lifetime of pain' from his injuries.

But prosecutors claim the decision is theirs to make.

'Justice in this case includes restitution and the ability to pay it,' said District Attorney Mark Hurlbert.

He said Erzinger, a private wealth manager who manages more than $1billion in assets at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney in Denver, is willing to take responsibility and pay restitution.

'Felony convictions have some pretty serious job implications for someone in Mr. Erzinger's profession, and that entered into it,' he said.

'When you're talking about restitution, you don't want to take away his ability to pay.'

Dr Milo is a physician living in New York City with his wife and two children, where he is still recovering from his injuries, court records show.

He suffered spinal cord injuries, bleeding from his brain and damage to his knee and scapula, according to court documents.

Over the past six weeks he has suffered 'disabling' spinal headaches and faces multiple surgeries for a herniated disc and plastic surgery to fix the scars he suffered in the accident.

'He will have lifetime pain,' his lawyer Harold Haddon told the court.

'His ability to deal with the physical challenges of his profession - liver transplant surgery - has been seriously jeopardised.'

Dr Milo told Hurlbert that the case 'has always been about responsibility, not money'.

'Mr Erzinger struck me, fled and left me for dead on the highway,' he wrote. 'Neither his financial prominence nor my financial situation should be factors in your prosecution of this case.'

But the prosecutor insisted that the case is, in part, about the money. 'The money has never been a priority for them. It is for us,' he said.

Dr Milo was bicycling eastbound on Highway 6 near Eagle when Erzinger allegedly hit him with the black 2010 Mercedes Benz sedan he was driving.

Erzinger fled the scene and was arrested later, police say. He drove until he reached a Pizza Hut parking lot, where he stopped and called Mercedes auto assistance to report the damage to his vehicle.



Question: Does this surprise any of you?

Justice, ladies and gentlemen, may be blind.
The so-called Justice Department is most certainly not.

07 November 2010

Beautiful and Terrible

The Night you were Born

- Tell me a story, Dad.

- What do you want to hear?

- Something pretty. Something I haven't heard before.

- Do you want to hear about David and Jonathan and King Saul and Samuel and how David became the king of Israel?

- No, Dad, I know that one already.

- Do you want to hear about how your great-grandfather came to America on a big boat and saw the Statue of Liberty like a church steeple for a whole country?

- No, Dad, I know that one already.

- Do you want to hear about the night you were born?

- Sure, Dad. Tell me about that.

- Your mother is the most beautiful woman in the world.

- I know that, Dad. I'm smart.

- You sure are, son. But did you know that she's one of the world's best storytellers, too? The night you were born, she told me the most wonderful stories.

05 November 2010

Say what you like

Say what you like about the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear (the Jon Stewart / Stephen Colbert event in Washington? Drew 250000+ people?), but there were some dang clever signs thereabouts. Some of the best I've seen pictures of so far:










Friday morning in the office



03 November 2010

Portishead - The Rip




As she walks in the room
Scented and tall
Hesitating once more
And as I take on myself
And the bitterness I felt
I realise that love flows

Wild, white horses
They will take me away
And the tenderness I feel
Will send the dark underneath
Will I follow?

Through the glory of life
I will scatter on the floor
Disappointed and sore
And in my thoughts I have bled
For the riddles I've been fed
Another lie moves over

Wild, white horses
They will take me away
And the tenderness I feel
Will send the dark underneath
Will I follow?

Wild, white horses
They will take me away
And the tenderness I feel
Will send the dark underneath
Will I follow?






RIP, AI.


The Morning After

So... yeah. Elections were yesterday. I'm gonna spend a few minutes here copying and pasting some quotes with which I tend to agree, and then get to the real work of finishing up an essay for tomorrow's class.

Note: I can't vouch for the validity of any of these quotes. I'm throwing sentiments at the page here, not history.



"Democracy is a device that ensures we shall be governed no better than we deserve."
- George Bernard Shaw

"Under democracy one party always devotes its chief energies to trying to prove that the other party is unfit to rule - and both commonly succeed, and are right."
- Henry Mencken

"When a whole nation is roaring patriotism at the top of its voice, I am fain to explore the cleanness of its hands and purity of its heart."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

"It's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting."
- Tom Stoppard

"If voting changed anything, they'd make it illegal."
- Emma Goldman

01 November 2010

America




so, if you notice, that's not the "final draft" of the poem, right?

or, if you prefer: that's not the draft that's been usually published.

process is a fun kind of thing.

a more familiar draft, perhaps, and played a bit straighter:





...just something to think about.

All y'all have a good day.

29 October 2010

You are, in fact, the one that I want.

I find that I am suffering from psychosomatic hypothermia in a geometric progression, and that I am not totally in possession of either my faculties or the situation. This is, of course, a direct consequence of the dynamism which is emanating from the object of my desire (who, in addition, is the intended recipient of this message) - a dynamism of which, it should be noted, the great Tesla would be proud.

.
.
.


27 October 2010

This is not Nirvana.

This is Nirvana.

This is not Nirvana.

This is 6:30 in the morning, 40 degrees and raining outside, and I'm sipping on a cup of pomegranate tea and listening to this:



...which is a string quartet version of Nirvana - "Polly."

It's actually, surprisingly, not horrible.

Want something a little bit more classical?


25 October 2010

Age of Adz




So... that's the title track from Sufjan Stevens' newest album. It's kind of interesting, I think.

...and by "interesting," I really mean "sort of moderately mind-blowing." I didn't have the same reaction to this album as I did to, say, the first stuff I heard from The pAper chAse, or Ben Frost, but it's definitely something out of the ordinary, and definitely a better use of your time than browsing hentai on 4chan.

No offense, /b/.

Have a great morning, folks.

22 October 2010

New Leaks: 66000+ Dead

That's confirmed dead civilians in Iraq, if you haven't been following the news, a number that dwarfs the number of supposed insurgents killed.

The U.S. military has also been turning a blind eye to Iraqi troops and police torturing and killing suspects.

All of this is according to classified documents - 400000+ of them - that just popped up on Wikileaks.

This article from Reuters does a halfway decent job of pointing out some of the key points. Excerpts:

Excerpt:

The Iraq war files touched on other themes, including well-known U.S. concerns about Iranian training and support for Iraqi militias. The documents, which spanned 2003 to 2009, also detailed 66,081 civilian deaths in the Iraqi conflict, WikiLeaks said.

Assange told Al Jazeera television the documents had provided enough material for 40 wrongful killing lawsuits.

"There are reports of civilians being indiscriminately killed at checkpoints ... of Iraqi detainees being tortured by coalition forces, and of U.S. soldiers blowing up entire civilian buildings because of one suspected insurgent on the roof," WikiLeaks said in a statement.

In one 2007 case, according to the documents, an Apache helicopter killed two Iraqis suspects who had made signs that they wanted to surrender. The document said, "They can not surrender to aircraft and are still valid targets." It can be seen here

Excerpt:

In one case, an Iraqi policeman shot a detainee in the leg. The suspect was whipped with a rod and hose across his back, cracking ribs, causing multiple lacerations and welts.

"The outcome: 'No further investigation,'" the Guardian wrote.

The documents also cited cases of rape and murder, including a videotaped execution of a detainee by Iraqi soldiers. That document can be seen here



I have trouble thinking of the United States as the good guys.

of words, skin, art, and beauty




Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
It may be that the gulfs will wash us down:
It may be we shall touch the Happy Isles, [5]
And see the great Achilles, whom we knew.
Tho' much is taken, much abides; and tho'
We are not now that strength which in old days
Moved earth and heaven; that which we are, we are;
One equal temper of heroic hearts,
Made weak by time and fate, but strong in will
To strive, to seek, to find, and not to yield.





Darkling I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;
Now more than ever seems it rich to die,
To cease upon the midnight with no pain,
While thou art pouring forth thy soul abroad
In such an ecstasy!
Still wouldst thou sing, and I have ears in vain--
To thy high requiem become a sod.






nothing which we are to perceive in this world equals
the power of your intense fragility: whose texture
compels me with the colour of its countries,
rendering death and forever with each breathing

(i do not know what it is about you that closes
and opens;only something in me understands
the voice of your eyes is deeper than all roses)
nobody, not even the rain, has such small hands






Try telling the boy who’s just had his girlfriend’s name
cut into his arm that there’s slippage between the signifier
and the signified. Or better yet explain to the girl
who watched in the mirror as the tattoo artist stitched
the word for her father’s name (on earth as in heaven)
across her back that words aren’t made of flesh and blood,
that they don’t bite the skin. Language is the animal
we’ve trained to pick up the scent of meaning. It’s why
when the boy hears his father yelling at the door
he sends the dog that he’s kept hungry, that he’s kicked,
then loved, to attack the man, to show him that every word
has a consequence, that language, when used right, hurts.

—Todd Davis

21 October 2010

Hang Them

Story from the Washington Post. Excerpts:

By GODFREY OLUKYA and JASON STRAZIUSO
The Associated Press
Tuesday, October 19, 2010; 11:33 AM

KAMPALA, Uganda -- The front-page newspaper story featured a list of Uganda's 100 "top" homosexuals, with a bright yellow banner across it that read: "Hang Them." Alongside their photos were the men's names and addresses.

In the days since it was published, at least four gay Ugandans on the list have been attacked and many others are in hiding, according to rights activist Julian Onziema. One person named in the story had stones thrown at his house by neighbors.

A lawmaker in this conservative African country introduced a bill a year ago that would have imposed the death penalty for some homosexual acts and life in prison for others. An international uproar ensued, and the bill was quietly shelved.

But gays in Uganda say they have faced a year of harassment and attacks since the bill's introduction.

The legislation was drawn up following a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy they say allows gays to become heterosexual.



Who are these leaders?

Scott Lively, president of Defend the Family International:

On the positive side, my host and ministry partner in Kampala, Stephen Langa, was overjoyed with the results of our efforts and predicted confidently that the coming weeks would see significant improvement in the moral climate of the nation, and a massive increase in pro-family activism in every social sphere. He said that a respected observer of society in Kampala had told him that our campaign was like a nuclear bomb against the "gay" agenda in Uganda. I pray that this, and the predictions, are true.


Caleb Lee Brundidge, of the International Healing Foundation,

and Don Schmeierer, of Exodus International.

There'll be enough time to talk about Exodus International and the like later. For right now, can we just agree to think about what the interactions are between certain belief structures and certain cultural values? About the ways that people are likely to take things up?

Here's another quote from Lively, excerpted from a blog post he wrote in response to the Ugandan anti-homosexuality law:

Let me be absolutely clear. I do not support the proposed anti-homosexuality law as written. It does not emphasize rehabilitation over punishment and the punishment that it calls for is unacceptably harsh. However, if the offending sections were sufficiently modified, the proposed law would represent an encouraging step in the right direction. As one of the first laws of this century to recognize that the destructiveness of the “gay” agenda warrants opposition by government, it would deserve support from Christian believers and other advocates of marriage-based culture around the world.


All y'all have a good day. Time for me to get ready for class.

20 October 2010

Greetings, Logan.




Yup. That's Darren Aronofsky. And he's directing the new Wolverine movie.

...and I'm actually pretty psyched about it, yeah? He's definitely a better fit with this character than with the Superman flick for which he was rumored to be a finalist. Wolverine's got that certain quality - oh, what was it again? Hmm...




Oh, that's right. Soul-crushing angst. Aronofsky's pretty good at conveying that. Remember this film?




What about this one? (note: which I consider superior in some ways... or at least more affective to me)




...yeah. All y'all have a good afternoon.

Paradelle for Susan

Paradelle for Susan

I remember the quick, nervous bird of your love.
I remember the quick, nervous bird of your love.
Always perched on the thinnest, highest branch.
Always perched on the thinnest, highest branch.
Thinnest love, remember the quick branch.
Always nervous, I perched on your highest bird the.

It is time for me to cross the mountain.
It is time for me to cross the mountain.
And find another shore to darken with my pain.
And find another shore to darken with my pain.
Another pain for me to darken the mountain.
And find the time, cross my shore, to with it is to.

The weather warm, the handwriting familiar.
The weather warm, the handwriting familiar.
Your letter flies from my hand into the waters below.
Your letter flies from my hand into the waters below.
The familiar waters below my warm hand.
Into handwriting your weather flies you letter the from the.

I always cross the highest letter, the thinnest bird.
Below the waters of my warm familiar pain,
Another hand to remember your handwriting.
The weather perched for me on the shore.
Quick, your nervous branch flew from love.
Darken the mountain, time and find was my into it was with to to.


- Billy Collins



The paradelle is (in Collins' own note) "one of the more demanding French fixed forms, first appearing in the langue d'oc love poetry of the eleventh century. It is a poem of four six-line stanzas in which the first and second lines, as well as the third and fourth lines of the first three stanzas, must be identical. The fifth and sixth lines, which traditionally resolve these stanzas, must use all the words from the preceding lines and only those words. Similarly, the final stanza must use every word from all the preceding stanzas and only those words."

19 October 2010

Trespassers William




Thought that was amusing and that y'all might get a kick out of it.


...just another day in the office. Hurrah.


...tick tick tick tick tick

18 October 2010

Live Free or Twi Hard

Special something for all you Twilight lovers out there.




Yes indeed - that's the same Taylor Lautner who is in the movies now. Urgh. I feel weird for pointing that out. I swear, I was just watching old Cheap Seats clips and came across it randomly.




Out. Peace to all y'all.

17 October 2010

Uthman Abdul Rahim Mohammed Uthman

Worth taking a look at this article from The National Law Journal.

I'm going to quote a couple of key passages here without analysis. I'd recommend reading the entire article.

From the beginning of the article, which recounts the government-ordered rewriting of a court order to release a Guantanamo detainee:

A day after his March 16 order was filed on the court's electronic docket, Kennedy's opinion vanished. Weeks later, a new ruling appeared in its place. While it reached the same conclusion, eight pages of material had been removed, including key passages in which Kennedy dismantled the government's case against Uthman.

In his first opinion, Kennedy wrote that one government witness against Uthman had been diagnosed by military doctors as "psychotic" with a mental condition that made his allegations against other detainees "unreliable." But the opinion the public sees makes no mention of the man's health and discounts his testimony only because of its inconsistencies.

The alterations are extensive. Sentences were rewritten. Footnotes that described disputes and discrepancies in the government's case were deleted. Even the date and circumstances of Uthman's arrest were changed. In the first version, the judge said Uthman was detained on Dec. 15, 2001, in Pakistan by Pakistani authorities. Rewritten, Kennedy said in the public opinion that Uthman admitted being captured "in late 2001 in the general vicinity of Tora Bora," the cave complex where bin Laden was thought to be hiding at that time.



From later in the article:

Uthman was 21 years old and traveling with about 30 other men when he was taken into custody by Pakistani police in the town of Parachinar, near the Afghan border. It was Dec. 15, 2001, and U.S. troops were in the middle of a five-day battle against an al-Queda stronghold known as Tora Bora, where bin Laden was believed to have taken shelter. Parachinar and Tora Bora are 12 miles apart but separated by a treacherous mountain range that takes two to three days to traverse.

The government maintains that Uthman was in Afghanistan to fight for bin Laden; Uthman has claimed he went there to teach the Quran to children. Some facts of his story are not in dispute, some critical ones are. They look different depending on which of Kennedy's two opinions you read.

Kennedy's original opinion noted that Uthman was seized in Parachinar; that he reached the town after an eight-day trek from the Afghan town of Khost, nowhere near Tora Bora; and that his journey to Pakistan began around Dec. 8, 2001. Those facts make it difficult to portray Uthman as a fighter in a battle that took place between Dec. 12 and Dec. 17 at Tora Bora. Two footnotes in the original opinion note that the government does not contest that Uthman was taken into custody in Parachinar.

Both were removed in the second opinion and Kennedy substituted wording to write instead that Uthman admitted he was seized "in late 2001 in the general vicinity of Tora Bora, Afghanistan."



...yeah. All y'all have a good Sunday evening. Time for me to get back to work.

A Bourgeois Morning



Is that not just one of the most adorable things ever? Such fluid movement, and that smile - ridiculously cute.

Anyways, I'm spending my Sunday morning (and early afternoon) in the office, working on an essay and revising the calendar for the course I'm teaching. Althusser has proven to be just absolute tremendous fun to teach, but it is a little bit time-consuming, so I'm giving us a little bit of extra time to focus on it next week, then pushing further rhetorical analysis back into the timeframe when we're doing Butler - I think the younglings will click with her stuff on a way that they maybe don't with good ole Louie.

In other news, I've taken the last week or so mostly off from working out, thanks to sore ankles and knees and (to a lesser extent) a nasty cough I picked up in the cold and wet and awesome of running Mount Si. I thought I had the long-distance thing figured out (and was really looking forward to the marathon), but right now any time I try to push things, I wind up hobbling around for a couple of days with sore/clicking joints. Guess I'll try to build up the muscles some more, give my joints a little bit more support while doing some low-impact work, and then start trying to push forward again.

I do believe I'm feelin' stronger every day. Or, if not feeling, at least, getting. Becoming. Making myself.

What we do all the time, right?

Right?

16 October 2010

In Memoriam

(sensibility warning: song contains strong language)




From the New York Times:

BenoƮt B. Mandelbrot, a maverick mathematician who developed an innovative theory of roughness and applied it to physics, biology, finance and many other fields, died on Thursday in Cambridge, Mass. He was 85.



Aww... now I'm all mathematically nostalgic.

All y'all have a good afternoon.

15 October 2010

All Terrorists are Muslims?

At least one Fox host thinks so.



That's Brian Kilmeade saying that, and one of his co-hosts agreeing with him. He repeated it later on his radio show, in the same words. Source: (LA Times)

...yeah.

14 October 2010

We got a jumper!

...and I'm not talking about the type of dress.

According to Pitchfork:

One for the strange-but-true bin: Yesterday afternoon, T.I. helped talk a 24-year-old man down from committing suicide by jumping off a 22-story building in Atlanta, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.






I mean, I don't particularly like T.I.'s music, but I wouldn't want him to jump off a building...

...what's that, Pitchfork? You just messed up your grammar a little bit?

Sorry about that.

Youtube.

So this was going to be an ASCII version of one of the diagrams I drew for my students yesterday. But I can't get the spacing right (stupid blogger formatting), so I'm just going to post a YouTube video instead.



Stupid Blogger formatting.

Have a great morning!

13 October 2010

For those about to... make pancakes?

Saw this commercial earlier today, couldn't decide whether to find it blasphemous or hilarious. Hmm.

I'M SO CONFUUUUUSED...





Anyways. Wound up lecturing off the top of my head for 50 minutes this afternoon when I realized (about three minutes into what was intended to be discussion) that my freshmen had no conception of Marxist models of the economy and society. In retrospect, I probably should have seen that coming. Filled two whiteboards full of diagrams, lists, and definitions.

Oddly, it was probably my best pure lecture ever. Hmm... maybe there's something to be said for being utterly unprepared for a speech. I wound up actually, more or less on the fly, coming up with a really neat little series of triangles as I tried to explain the concept of a social formation. Think my freshmen actually got it, too, which is cool - it took my poring over Marx in my little cell (by which I mean dorm room) for a solid couple of days - so if they've managed an introductory grasp of it in one evening and one afternoon, that's pretty awesome.

Off to go read about racism and the reproduction of the means of production, now. Also to eat soup. Delicious chicken noodle soup.

Have a great night!

12 October 2010

A Meditation on Pillow Talk




If I had a nickel for every time that'd happened to me...

...well, I wouldn't actually have any nickels. Turns of phrase are strange, yeah?

Also the conception of pillow talk. What's up with that? Aren't we supposed to answer honestly when someone asks us a question?

My usual thought pattern when I'm trying to turn my brain off for the day (by which I mean that it's the thought pattern I've enforced for the last decade or so) -

There is a lesson to be learned from a rainstorm.
When one meets a shower, he tries not to get wet
and runs quickly along the road. But doing such things
as running under the eaves of houses, one still gets wet.
When you are resolved from the beginning,
you will not be perplexed, though you still get
the same soaking. This understanding extends to everything.

It is the mark of a noble man
to greet misfortune with equanimity.


...and so on. Might not be romantic, but it calms me down, helps me slow my thoughts, gives me something peaceful to focus on. All y'all have a great day.

11 October 2010

Interesting article

Got something here y'all might enjoy.

Do you remember the stories from a little while ago about Caster Semenya, the South African runner? She won the 800 meter world championship in 2009, and then the IAAF ordered drug and gender testing. It was the 'gender testing' bit that was a little iffy - the results were, shall we say, ambiguous. To my understanding, she was born with female genitalia, raised female - wasn't trying to cheat - but had several internal markers - hormone levels, dna, etc - that would have in other cases marked her as male.

With that lengthy explanation out of the way, here's an article from ESPN.com - an interview between ESPN's Julie Foudy and Alice Dreger, a professor of clinical medical humanities and bioethics at Northwestern University. Especially relevant quote:

Dreger: If there had been a simple answer to this, this would have been solved 50 years ago, and instead it's only getting more difficult to figure out how to answer this problem that nature presents to us. Nature is a slob. Humans like their categories neat. They like their categories of sex neat.

They like their categories of age neat, so for example, we say to people, 'At the age of 18 you may vote but at the age of 17 and 360 days you may not vote.' We say, 'You may drink at the age of 21 but not at the age of 20.' Why? Because humans like to create terribly neat categories out of nature because it allows us a nice, tight social organization. The truth is, nature doesn't care that we like nice, neat social organizations. Nature likes variety.

08 October 2010

The old school French stuff

Remember Daft Punk? If not... yeah, you're about to. Here's three live videos guaranteed to make you boogie more than a little bit.












.
.
.

That makes me really, really want to go to one of their shows. All y'all have a great afternoon.

06 October 2010

What the heck, body. What the heck.

There was a time in my life when I was tall and skinny.

I mean, I'm tall and skinny now, but I was not quite as tall and a lot more skinny. Like... 73 inches, 135 pounds skinny. Could see my heart beating under my ribcage. Yeah.

By the time I started college, I was a little bit taller and I'd managed to put on a few pounds. Say... 74 inches, 150 pounds. Still skinny, but at least no longer cadaverous.

By midway through my junior year, I'd gained another inch. I'd also gained a good deal of muscle, putting me at 75 inches and, generally, a hamburger under 200 pounds. Got up to 205 at one point, pretty much none of it fat.

As of yesterday, I'm 6 feet 5 inches tall and I weigh... 175 pounds? Yeah... I have no idea how that happened. I'm as fit as just about anybody, got 8-pack abs, bench press 150 15 times in a row, leg press 400 20 times straight without barely breaking a sweat (okay, so my lower body is a little bit stronger than my upper). ...and I'm eating five meals a day. ...and I'm somehow continuing to lose weight.

Not that I'm upset about the way I look (I know very well that I'm dang good looking, and I get reminded of this on a frequent basis), or that it's seriously impacting my athletic performance. It's just confusing, is all.

For example, I give you: my day. Not an atypical one.
- 5:45 AM - Wake up, drink water, go run.
- 6:30 AM - Back from run, shower, breakfast*
- 7:00 AM - Off to campus. Class.
- 9:00 AM - Mid-morning snack: three granola bars. Office time.
- 11:30 AM - Lunch**
- 12:30 PM - Teaching time!
- 1:30 PM - Office. Bottle of water.
- 3:00 PM - Mid-afternoon snack: granola bar, cup o' yogurt. More office time.
- 4:45 PM - Off to gym. Weights.
- 6:00 PM - Back to apartment. Reading, lesson planning, blogging.

(and then, later tonight, barring surprises)

- 8:30 PM - Dinner with friends.
- 10:00 PM - Bed.


*Breakfast: two cups plain yogurt, two bowls raisin bran, three bagels, one apple, two glasses soymilk, two cups coffee.

**Lunch: two ham & colby jack sandwiches on rye, apple, pear, two glasses soymilk, quarter-box of Oreos.


Does that sound like the sort of diet wherein I'm losing weight? By my count, I consumed a hair under 700 calories in granola bars alone, never mind the... um... yeah... 800 calories or so of delicious chocolate cookie with sweet cream centers.

Like I said - it's not a problem, it's just confusing. Thoughts? Suggestions? Oh - and before it even gets asked, no, I'm not going to post pictures of myself without clothes on, no matter how hard you lot beg ;)

Have a great night, eh?

05 October 2010

Welcome to the team.

John Smoltz burned himself ironing a shirt. That he was still wearing.

Vince Coleman missed the 1985 world series because he injured himself when he got rolled up in a tarp machine.

Wade Boggs got hurt pulling on his cowboy boots.

Welcome to the club, Brian Roberts.

Link.

I think you might even be on a higher level than some of these other gentlemen.

Quote from the ESPN.com story:

"In frustration [after a strikeout], I whacked myself on the head with my bat in the ninth. I had my helmet on," Roberts told reporters. "It's something I've done a million times, but I still can't tell you for sure if that was it. But that's the only thing that I can point to because that night and the next morning, I just didn't feel good. So it's been going on since then."

Roberts battled injuries most of the season and appeared in just 59 games. He was scheduled to have a CT scan to determine if there was another possible cause for the concussion-like symptoms.

"I just have some lack of balance and some headaches, and just stuff that hasn't been a whole lot of fun," Roberts said. "It's a lesson to myself, a lesson to the kids to not do that, no matter how frustrated you are."


All y'all have a great morning.

04 October 2010

The World Slipping Out of Reach

Read this article. I'm not going to do any copypaste work with this one, because I need to get back to work (I'm at my office, reading/writing) but, seriously. Read it. Tell me that isn't more than a little bit ridiculous.

Anyways - y'all have a good day.

03 October 2010

Why write?

Hope all y'all are doing well out there. Special get-well-soon vibes to NB.

Here's a video, and then I'm going to talk a little bit. Cool? Cool.




One of my favorite bands, there.

We had a conversation Thursday in the first session of the ENGL131 pedagogy course about what makes good writing. Some of the answers that were given:

Good writing is...

- clear
- well-organized
- enlightening
- enjoyable
- life-changing
- surprising

etcetera.

My own humble contribution to the discussion, quoted verbatim (so far as I can remember it) - "Good writing pushes at the edges of the task at which the writer set out."

That's what I said, anyway. It was well-received, and pushed us into a discussion of social constructionism and contemporary composition theory. It wasn't necessarily what I was trying to say, though - it was (as with most of the things I say) an incomplete representation of my thoughts. What I would have said, had I organized my language a bit more before speaking, or been a bit more poised in front of the eyes of my colleagues -

"Good writing pushes at the edges of the task at which the writer set out, changing the nature of the task itself even as it changes the writer's understanding of the process of creation, his or her relation to that process, and, therefore, his or her relation to the limited task at hand."

Not necessarily fit for a bullet point, but I think it captures a good bit of what I was thinking. It's not a complete definition by any means, nor is it intended to be... definitely something to think about.

Thoughts? Disagreements?

01 October 2010

Quick link dump

I know I've sort of neglected y'all over the last month or so. My apologies on that; things have been a little intense. I sent in a manuscript yesterday for the Philip Levine Prize... not holding my breath that I'm going to win, but it felt good to do a creative project of that length. Manuscript title: "In the Land of Nod."

Also: went to Florida, came back from Florida, started teaching, started back with my classes.

Here's three YouTube videos for y'all tonight. Hope you enjoy them!







28 September 2010

Welcome to the Mobscene

Not so much a mob scene today as a quiet, relaxing day before school kicks off tomorrow morning. Spending my afternoon watching the Colbert Report and editing poetry. Gotta love it.

...so, yeah. Anyways... here's some music.





24 September 2010

It's five o'clock somewhere

...or, you know, here. Hurrah!

Weekend!

In other news: the show last night was completely mind-blowing. One of the better that I've been to in a long time. Highlight? Ben Frost. Unquestionably. Dude's a rock star.

For a taste of kind of what it was like:



All y'all have a great afternoon!

23 September 2010

Decibel





...heading out in just a few minutes to see that guy perform. It's gonna be awesome.

Also performing:




22 September 2010

Lol




All y'all have a great day. I'm working on lesson planning.

Also watching Glee.

In the morning




Anyways, it's now 7:45 AM. So far today: went for a quick run (three miles); did a little reading; watched an episode of the Colbert Report. Currently getting loaded up to head over to my office (dang, it feels a little strange to say that) and see if I can hook up my computer so that I can print all the stuff I need to for the class I'm teaching. Today's project: first major paper assignment, rough draft, to be workshopped.

Yesterday's project: write a course description, rough draft, to be workshopped. Then we workshopped each and every one of them. Gist of feedback given me: everybody wants to take my course, but I need to do a better job of foregrounding the 'writing' aspect of the course. Fair enough.

Time to head out, then. Orientation, work, gym, dinner, and general good times today. All y'all have a good one.

20 September 2010

Heeeeeeere's Johnny!




...yeah. Sorry about that.

More happily, though, I'm Back In Seattle!

Yes, the trip to FL was wonderful, and it was good to see all y'all down there again. But I'm at home here in a way that, now I'm experiencing it again, I really haven't been anywhere before now. I feel good here. Today's weather: 60 and drizzly (that's about 15 degrees and drizzly for all you European readers... and I know you're out there).

Anyways. I'm currently sitting in my new room, which is a few blocks away from my old room - but in a much, much quieter and more restful environment. No offense to my previous dwellingplace, but I needed to get out of there. So I did.

Off to work now! Course description to write up before dinner. I'm completely throwing some deep, deep philosophy in there. Say it with me: what is best in life?



More seriously, though, I'm conceiving of the course as a sort of meditation on power and argument. Little Foucault in there (how could I not), but also some slightly more obtuse stuff. Little Butler, little of a few different things. A veritable pu pu platter of cultural studies goodness. We'll see how my freshmen react.

All right then. Y'all have a great day!

06 September 2010

...Engage!



...came across that vid on Roflrazzi, couldn't resist reposting it. Isn't it amazing how far special effects have come in the last half-century?

In other news, it's my birthday, like as which unto I am partying. By which, obviously, I mean "reading," "watching tv," and "spending time with my parents." ...gon' sip Bacardi like it's my birthday. Yeah. No.

Y'all have a great day! I'm going to get back to my novel. Peace.

05 September 2010

My Hero

Mark Eskelson is my new hero.

According to the NY Daily News:

A homeless man in Oregon snuck into a hot tub, called 911 and asked the operator for towels, hot chocolate and a hug.

None of Mark Eskelsen's requests were fulfilled. Instead, he got arrested.

The 45-year-old called 911 from his cell phone on Sunday morning and identified himself as the "sheriff of Washington County," Beaverton police said. He then asked for medical attention, later admitting that he wasn't the sheriff.

Eskelsen also said he had been in the hot tub for 10 hours and that his towels had gotten soaked.

"I just need a hug and a warm cup of hot chocolate with marshmallows in it," he told the 911 operator.



It's like DiCaprio meets Borner, but with more awesome!

All y'all have a great night.

04 September 2010

Why?

Why did I not hear of this?!?! How was this not bigger news?

Edwin Morgan has passed away, 19 Aug 2010. From the link:

Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, paid tribute:

“A great, generous, gentle genius has gone. He was poetry’s true son and blessed by her. He is quite simply irreplaceable. I’m certain that everyone who performs or attends at the Edinburgh International Book Festival will be thinking of him with love and gratitude.”


The great Mr. Morgan was one of my absolute favorite poets of all time, and he will be much missed. Some of his work is available here, for those of you who are interested. I'd especially recommend "Glasgow 5 March 1971," "The First Men on Mercury," "Message Clear," and "Strawberries as exemplary examples of the sort of writing of which he was capable.

Rest in peace, sir.

03 September 2010

Licenses to Hide

The Posies - Licenses to Hide


Cute, innit? Makes you wish for a young Elton John. I've been playing this for a few days now, and haven't gotten tired of it yet :)

Have a great day!

01 September 2010

The Strange Case of John T. Williams

Once again, I'm not making any judgments. We'll let the facts get sorted out as more information comes to light and more witnesses come forward. Here's what we know:

John T. Williams, a local man, was shot either three or four times by SPD officer Ian Birk. Williams, a woodcarver, was walking down a sidewalk carrying a piece of wood and a three-inch whittling knife when Birk pulled over, ordered him three times to drop the knife, and immediately shot him from about ten feet away. Williams died on the scene.

According to Birk, Williams refused to drop the weapon, then lunged at him.

According to witnesses, Williams might have begun to turn, but did not approach the officer, and did not have a chance to take any action before he was shot.

According to the SPD... well, their first account was that Williams attacked Birk with an illegal weapon (the knife). Now, they've said that the knife was legal to carry, and they're not sure whether Williams approached Birk or not.

c&p from King5.com:

Police said the officer ordered Williams to drop the knife. Williams allegedly moved toward the officer, still holding the knife. That's when the officer shot Williams.

"The man refused the officer's orders and the officer fired, we believe, four rounds," said Seattle Deputy Police Chief Nick Metz at a press conference Tuesday.

That's not the way it happened according to Thomas, an office worker who asked we not give his last name.

"When I heard that story, I was really upset because it was just total counter to what I witnessed," said Thomas. He says Williams was walking away from the officer.

"The cop then fired three shots," said Thomas. "One had to go in the side and the others had to go in the guy's back 'cause the guy never did turn around. He never approached the cop. Never saw his hands. Never saw a knife. He may have looked back at the cop, but he didn't do anything threatening."

Witness Gregory Reese says he did see Williams turn, but he didn't think Williams was a threat to the officer.

"He just turned around and the cop shot him. That's all I saw. It was really quick," said Reese.


As I said - I don't have the full story (and doubt I'm going to get it), so I'm not definitively saying anything. Yes, Williams was a felon and an alcoholic, and the officer doesn't have any previous situations such as this on his record, so far as I can tell. The situation just seems kind of odd.

Other sources:

Chief Diaz: "I Have a Lot More Questions Than Answers" About Fatal Shooting
- SeattleCrime.com

SPD: Not known whether fatal shooting victim lunged at officer
- KOMO News.com

Seattle police have questions about fatal shooting by officer
- Seattle Times

All y'all have a great morning... today's moving day for me. My apartment feels kind of empty at the moment.

31 August 2010

Glee!




Dang. That's awesome.

I'd like to note that Tim Gunn, as always, stole the show.

Also: Hurley! And Betty White! And Tina Fey!

Amber Riley has an awesome voice.

All y'all have a great day. I'm spending my morning reading poetry and my afternoon packing. Moving day is tomorrow, flying-across-the-country day is Thursday!

[and, if you're curious what I'm reading...]

[Poem by Tom Leonard]


Epithalamium

For Lucy and Stephen, January 28th 2006


Let me not to the marriage of true minds admit impediment
Shakespeare says - and maybe it is something to do with minds.
Or there again, something to do with everything else
you can think of; going to the shops, sitting in a bus together,
who you want to waken up beside in the morning,
And who you want to go to bed with - for the rest of your life.
Who you're going to have your most important rows with
who you want to share your silences, who you want to share
your money with, if you have any. Who you want to share
your poverty with, if you don't. Who you can share your poverty with,
and still get on when there's no fancy stuff to occupy your minds.
It's maybe being thirty with somebody, being forty with somebody,
being fifty, being sixty, getting used to ways of doing things
with the same person, getting used to not doing things with them
when you have to go your separate ways to raise the dough
for a house. "The trouble with marriage," I used to say,
"is you have to stop living with each other." All this up at
the crack of dawn stuff, out to your separate jobs,
who's first home at night, who makes the dinner, if anybody
makes it. And all the account business, joint or separate. And the
usual list as to who does what, ironing, hoovering, washing
the clothes. Who does what. Who's got lousy habits. Who thinks
their farts are funny. Who's the most incomprehensible, opaque,
wrongheaded pain in the arse you could ever find, and you've
found them living with you. But give it an hour. Or a day.
And watch out for the wisecracks. There's Chekhov:
"If you can't stand loneliness don't get married" and there's
no shortage of busted-up couples out there who won't bust
a gut with grief if you join them. You stick your own way. To
hell with them. It's not a sentimental thing, it's a serious thing
the most serious thing you'll ever do, if you're doing it properly
as you are. Saying it to others, before others, this is who I want,
this is where it ends and begins with me. And uniquely so.
So here's to you, Stephen and Lucy, standing at that old portal:
here's to a good road before you, and a long one,
and the two of you walking together happily, down it.

--------------------------------------------------------------

isn't that just one of the sweetest things you've ever read?

30 August 2010

In other news

- Mexico fires 3200 police officers for corruption.

- Putin says opposition protesters "will be beaten upside the head with a truncheon."

- They're still fighting (or fighting again) in Mogadishu.

- I'm moving on Wednesday! Hurrah! Hurrah? #Hurrah;

- I'm flying to Florida on Thursday morning! ...very, very early on Thursday morning. We'll see how that goes.

29 August 2010

I'm going to live

in a place where I can be at home
in a place where the colors speak to me

in a place where I can speak back
in a place where no one will think I'm crazy

in a place where I can be crazy but nobody will mind
in a place where the wind asks the trees for their secrets

in a place where I can take dictation
in a place where paper and words surround me

in a place where I can learn how to blow sh*t up with my mind
in a place where the storms will wash the plates

in a place where I can put my queer shoulder to the wheel
in a place where nobody knows Rosebud

in a place where I can flicker 24 frames per second
in a place where everybody knows Rosebud

in a place where I can hear the grating roar
in a place where the blind eye creates

I hope

28 August 2010

Something I saw yesterday

So. I'm very deliberately not alleging anything or accusing anybody of any wrongdoing with this post. For one thing, I don't have any proof that any wrongdoing was done. For another, I would be really uncomfortable and/or concerned for my own safety if what I thought I saw was what actually happened.

Here's a story for y'all - my own experience, nothing more. Disclaimer that I'm sure I've got incomplete knowledge of the situation.


About 4:25 or so PM yesterday, I was biking from my apartment over to Safeway. It's only a couple of blocks. I was riding down my alleyway towards 47th and I saw three bike cops hanging out on the sidewalk across the street. I slow down, make sure to signal, make sure to come to a complete stop before turning, all that stuff, and one of them pulls out onto 47th just in front of me while the others bike down the sidewalk to the intersection of 47th and University Way.

The one in front of me is laughing and talking with the other cops while we're all stopped at the light there (I'm immediately behind him). I hear him say "I've got dibs on this one, all right?" And then I hear the other officers assent. One of them says "All right, dude, if you want a turn."

The light turns green, the two bike cops on the sidewalk cut around some pedestrians in the crosswalk and stay on the sidewalk heading towards Brooklyn. The bike cop in front of me accelerates on his bike, runs the stop sign at 47th and Brooklyn, then cuts left and onto the sidewalk next to the BP. I'm looking right because I need to turn onto Brooklyn.

As I'm turning, I hear the bike cop yelling. I pull onto the sidewalk and look over. The same bike cop who'd called 'dibs' when he was at 47th and University Way is standing over a homeless guy on the sidewalk. I hear the cop say "what the hell do you think you're doing?" He then starts chewing the homeless guy out for hitting him - I can't tell if he means getting in the way of the bike (my assumption) or actually attacking him (highly unlikely, given the homeless guy isn't lying on his face covered in pepper spray). I can't make out the homeless guy's response. I stand there for a couple of minutes while the three bike cops surround the homeless guy and yell at him. I then duck into the Safeway for a few minutes. When I come out, I see the homeless guy sitting on the edge of the curb with his hands behind his back; it looks like he's handcuffed. One of the bike cops is talking on his radio.


So, yeah. That's what I saw. Like I said, I don't know if there was any kind of weirdness going on, and it's entirely possible that the whole situation was a matter of a homeless guy, out of the blue, attacking three bike cops. Given that there was no arrest made that I can find today, though, and that I heard one of the cops calling dibs a block before the situation occurred - it just seems a little odd to me.

27 August 2010

He don't write ish, 'cause he ain't got time




Yes. Those are, indeed, rapper Lil' Wayne's picks for the upcoming U.S. Open. Impressive, and they make it clear that he's a fan, given that he spelled both Djokovic and Clijsters' names correctly.

Dang



I wish my VO2 max was on that level. ...granted, I don't know exactly what mine is, but I'm guessing (just off of the way I huff and puff going up hills) that it's not really anywhere close.

26 August 2010

Oh, that's (quite literally) rich...

Just copypasta for y'all this evening. Source:

NEW ORLEANS, La. - The new administrator for claims by Gulf oil spill victims says it was his idea, not BP's, to require that anyone who receives a final settlement from the $20 billion compensation fund give up the right to sue the oil giant.

But Ken Feinberg told reporters Sunday that he has not yet decided whether the no-sue requirement will extend to other companies that may be responsible for the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

He insists payouts from the claims facility he will run will be more generous than those from any court.

Any individual or business that receives a short-term emergency payment from the claims facility that launches Monday will still be able to sue BP.

Feinberg said that in the next few weeks he would release details on how much he is being paid to operate the fund.

Getting ready to TEACH

In the style of...









You will be perfect in every aspect of your writing.

You abuse your thesaurus trying to look smart, you run a mile.

You give me an unclear pronoun reference, you run a mile.

You write me a run-on sentence, and I will break my foot off in your John Brown hind parts. And then you will run a mile.

Perfection. Let's go to work.



----------------------------------------------------------





Writing a perfect paper is not about those grades in front of you.

It's not about graduating.

It's about you and your relationship with yourself, your thesaurus, and your computer. Writing the perfect paper is about being able to look your essay square in the title page and know that you didn't let it down because you told the truth.

And the truth is you did everything you could. There wasn't one more thing you could've edited.

Can you turn in that paper with clear eyes, and love in your heart, with joy in your heart? If you can do that, gentlemen - it's perfect.



---------------------------------------------------


More to come, I'm sure.

24 August 2010

On sports and money

Those of y'all who went to Stetson while I was there might or might not remember a column I wrote for the school paper blasting the school's administration for spending money trying to maintain D1 status for athletics when they were, at the same time, talking about how they needed to make cuts in spending everywhere else.

You might also recall an article I wrote some time later talking about a promotional scheme the same people put on that paid cash to anyone attending a certain men's basketball game.

If you recall that article, you probably remember the aftermath, in which the school's athletic director (wrongly) accused me of falsifying my story, admitted that only 12 (!) people had taken them up on their desperate scheme, and tried to have me fired from my work-study job.

Yeah, I wasn't angry or anything.

Anyways - my essential question, as to why exactly schools are spending money on athletics when they're claiming there's no money available for academics, still stands. Even moreso in the wake of this article from ESPN.

Brief excerpt:

A newly released NCAA report shows that just 14 of the 120 Football Bowl Subdivision schools made money from campus athletics in the 2009 fiscal year, down from 25 the year before.

Researchers blame the sagging economy and suggested that next year's numbers could be even worse.

The research was done by accounting professor Dan Fulks of Transylvania University, a Division III school in Lexington, Ky. It shows the median amount paid by the 120 FBS schools to support campus athletics grew in one year from about $8 million to more than $10 million.


You know how many professors' salaries ten million dollars would pay? How many students' tuitions? How many decrepit academic buildings that would repair?

I love me some sports, folks. Y'all know that. But I love learning more, especially seeing as how it's, you know, the primary reason for having universities? ...or maybe that's just me.

Anyways. Y'all have a good day. I'm off into the ether.

23 August 2010

'L' is for the way you look at me

Many thanks to NS, who posted this link.

Some of my favorites from the article, in which young children talk about what love means to them:

"When someone loves you, the way they say your name is different. You just know that your name is safe in their mouth."
Billy - age 4


"Love is what's in the room with you at Christmas if you stop opening presents and listen."
Bobby - age 7

"Love is when Mommy gives Daddy the best piece of chicken."
Elaine - age 5

"You really shouldn't say 'I love you' unless you mean it. But if you mean it, you should say it a lot. People forget."
Jessica - age 8


------------------

Yeah. I know I don't usually post sappy stuff on here, but that was just too good to pass up.

Y'all have a great day!

21 August 2010

Just another...

LS posted the link to designboom.com on Facebook, I looked up numbers on congress.org: and Time Magazine and found that it's actually even worse than the artist, Sebastian Errazuriz, realized. Quote from Time, April 13, 2010:

From the invasion of Afghanistan until last summer, the U.S. military had lost 761 soldiers in combat there. But a higher number in the service — 817 — had taken their own lives over the same period. The surge in suicides, which have risen five years in a row, has become a vexing problem for which the Army's highest levels of command have yet to find a solution despite deploying hundreds of mental-health experts and investing millions of dollars. And the elephant in the room in much of the formal discussion of the problem is the burden of repeated tours of combat duty on a soldier's battered psyche.






Heck of an image.

Oh Em Gee

1. It's the weekend!

2. It's actually the weekend! I.E. ...I'm done! No studying, no working! Whoo!

Yeah, folks, you heard it right. Essay finished. Four weeks of reading and (intensive) thinking for the first draft, two weeks of more thinking for the second draft, two weeks of thinking and revising for this final draft, which I finished up last night. Result? Many pages of, if not perfection, at least something that I can walk away from without feeling a sharp pain in my gut.

I slept late this morning for the first time in, literally, weeks.

...or, rather, I tried to. I went to bed at 12:05 after working on my essay for twelve hours straight and then having a single beer (Black Butte Porter, I highly recommend it) in celebration. I pointedly did not set my alarm. Given that I'd gotten three hours of sleep in the past forty-one hours, and eight in the past sixty-five, I anticipated a hibernation-level slumber.

Imagine my surprise, then, when I awoke at 6:15, mostly refreshed and completely unable to fall back asleep.

Ah, well. Morning run (7 miles, 67 minutes), cup of coffee, couple handfuls of raisin bran, new episode of Eureka, and I'm in a fantastic mood for the day. Think I'm doing sushi tonight with some wonderful folk (you know who you are...), though I'm not entirely certain.

Speaking of Eureka - this latest episode was, as is usual for the show, quite wonderful. The ending in particular made me smile. It also made me remember my SU Honors kids. Y'all know I love you guys (and gals).





Really a sweet little scene, there.

My only quibble with "Stoned" was that the good Dr. Grant had his role somewhat minimized for the episode. I really can't get enough of that sepia-toned, sport-calling, gratuitously gentlemanly character. ...and, granted (please pardon the pun; it's entirely unintentional, I assure you), I'm sure that most of the ladies in the audience can't, either.

Anyways - I'm off to the farmer's market, then going to mess around with my violin a bit :) I've been wanting to work out some tunes that have been floating around my head, and it's always a wonderful stress release.

All y'all have a great day! I know I'm going to.

20 August 2010

Cop drives drunk on duty, kills biker, keeps license.

According to the Indianapolis Star:

At 11:20 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, 2010, an Indianapolis Metropolitan Police cruiser driven by Officer David Bisard plowed into a group of four riders on three motorcycles stopped at a red light. One rider was killed, and two others critically injured.

A blood test indicated Bisard was drunk and he was initially charged with seven DUI-related felonies. But those charges were later dropped because the blood test had been mishandled and no other evidence supported the DUI charge.


Yup. You read that right. The cop (who's been in five car crashes before this) was driving drunk - a followup article pinned his BAC at .19, almost two and a half times the legal limit - and then, somehow, his coworkers managed to mess up the blood test, resulting in the worst of the charges being dropped.

Quote from the followup article:

One victim's family called the dismissal a "travesty." A legal expert said the police ineptness leaves the public with little choice but to wonder whether the bungled case was more than an accident. And Mayor Greg Ballard has become increasingly frustrated as he seeks answers, as well.

"The people in the city are not the only ones wondering what happened at the scene," Ballard said. "I am, too."

Straub and Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Chief Paul Ciesielski repeated their insistence Thursday that Bisard received "absolutely no deference" from fellow officers Aug. 6 after he crashed his cruiser into two motorcycles that were stopped at a light.

The impact of the crash -- which occurred while Bisard, 36, was responding to a request for help serving a warrant, with his cruiser's lights and siren activated -- killed Eric Wells, 30, and seriously injured two other riders.

Bisard surrendered after prosecutors learned a blood test had shown his blood-alcohol level was 0.19 -- more than twice the level at which an Indiana driver is considered intoxicated.

But that arrest didn't come until five days after the crash because of the lag in test results. The delay in arresting Bisard drew scrutiny from some -- as did the fact that no officers conducted field-sobriety or breath tests of Bisard at the scene.


Yeah, you read that right. He was on duty, driving drunk, killed a guy, sent two other people to the hospital, and then his coworkers didn't even conduct a field sobriety test.

Seriously. I've had cops ask me if I was drunk because I was dancing along with my mp3 player while I was walking back to my dorm. Granted, I'm a horrible dancer, but my dancing isn't as bad as, I don't know, killing somebody.

Want more? He gets to keep his license! According to this article, from yesterday:

A judge ruled this morning that a suspended Indianapolis police officer may keep his driver's license while he awaits trial on charges that he was driving drunk on duty when he struck two motorcycles, killing one rider and injuring two others.


Impressive!

It gets better, though! Want to hear the most impressive, if rather unsurprising, part of the story? Quote, again from the original article:

An IMPD report of the accident characterized the motorcyclists as "failing" to move, but traffic safety experts say they did the right thing in staying put.


Yeah. Not only did the cops cover up for their buddy after he drove drunk while on duty, killed a guy, and sent two other people to the hospital, they said it was the victims' fault! Isn't that just peachy?

Way to protect and serve, dudes. I'd say you're doing an exemplary job, as long as the only things you're trying to protect are your own asses, and the only thing you're serving is your own dang self-interest.

Have a great day, y'all - I'm getting back to work.