Sunday, June 23rd, 2002

Pic of me on South Park I should be studying, I know, but while surfing the Net I came across this fun toy.

poppy I'm not artistic nor have I ever kept a journal or diary so why would I want to have my own blog? "Everyone else is doing it" isn't a very good answer, but it does seem like it might be fun and in a way might be an investment in the future, a place for me to go back to look at where I've been.

I don't aspire to be like Andrew Sullivan, whose site is perhaps the most famous blog. He's trying to make his a commerical success (and succeeding at it?). Perhaps a more ideal role model, when it comes to blogging, would be Azonick, who has had several sites whose designs I've admired and who is a talented photographer.

So I've started my own blog, and I guess I'm in good company. Wil Wheaton, of all people, even has one, which I stumbled across while doing a search on CSS. Certainly that seems to be much of the point of many blogs, pointing out interesting places noticed on the Net.

Who knows? Maybe I'll abandon this project tomorrow. It's been fun so far.

Sunday, June 23rd, 2002

For GER201, I'm studying vocabulary words from Kapitel 3 and reviewing possessive adjectives and the simple past tense. We're also reading about Nazi Germany's Anschluss of Austria.

In GL105, I'm studying metamorphic rocks because I skipped class on Thursday (sorry Dr. Cheng, but I'm finding geology boring) and we might have a pop quiz on Monday.

Monday, June 24th, 2002

Last night before I went to sleep I started reading the first part of William Langewiesche's account in The Atlantic Monthly about cleaning up the site of the World Trade Center. Probably not the most comforting bedtime reading but quite riveting.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

aerial view of one of my tomato plants Ugly weed picture of tomato blossoms Phlox blossoms Closeup of phlox blossoms Okay, so I had a theory on how to be artistic, namely that one should take close-up pictures of things at odd angles. So I took some pictures of my tomato plants out back by my garage and of the phlox in hanging baskets on my deck. I like the pictures well enough but I know there's something more to being artistic. (In case you're wondering the last picture is of a big weed that until a few minutes ago was growing by my back gate; its friends are dead now too.)

Perhaps I should put these on my books page, but they're more browse-through, reference-type books: Yesterday I checked out two books from WSU's library about German. Both are somewhat old, out of print, and before the language reform. I haven't looked too much at the first A Short History of the German Language, by W. Walker Chambers and John R. Wilkie, which traces the paths of the various dialects of German. A GER101 student doesn't learn much if anything about there being Low, High and Middle German.

The other book, Using German, by Martin Durrell, I did start to read last night. It's more about how actual German-speaking people use the language and talks about different "registers" ranging from literary and academic down through conversational to vulgar. It's also stuff that GER101 students don't learn, stuff that people growing up speaking the language just understand without thinking.

Tuesday, June 25th, 2002

Still studying for tomorrow's vocabulary quiz. Today in class our professor showed us an interesting site about German-speaking immigrants to Australia. She wanted us to practice our simple past tense, but it was good to learn about Germans in Australia too.

For geology I'm studying running water. We have a quiz tomorrow. I didn't do so hot on the first test. Only two and a half more weeks!

Friday, June 28th, 2002

Picture of us at Jefferson Township Days I helped staff the DDRR table at Jefferson Township Days this afternoon. Luckily it wasn't too hot today. Got some good ribs (sorry, no pic). In case you won't be able to make it out there (or if it's too late by the time you've read this), the next public dialog sessions are going to be the evenings of August 5th, 6th and 7th at the Princeton Rec Center. Call 228-7277 if you're interested in participating.

Time Warner Cable logo I noticed in the paper this week that some people were upset because it's no longer possible to get premium channels such as HBO without having digital cable. Digital cable of course costs more than analog cable. I had that news item in the back of my mind when I got my cable bill this week. It just has all my services listed with one lump sum charge. So I went to the web site to see if it listed the costs for each option, and of course it doesn't. Cable companies and phone (particularly long distance) companies may be regulated but apparently they're under no obligation to report clearly what their rates are.

So I got on the phone and called Time Warner, and after navigating the voice mail options (which are there to serve me better) finally got a human. I explained that I wanted to see about reducing my monthly bill. Could I, for example, drop the digital music channels? No, those are part of the digital basic package, and, as the DDN reported, digital basic is required if one wants Showtime or HBO. Could I drop Encore and Starz and just have Showtime and HBO? Well she showed my account as having Showtime and Starz, not HBO. But I've been watching Six Feet Under for months. How can that be? Apparently all digital boxes are sent out to "preview" HBO and then should time out after a few days; mine just did not. So I ended up dropping Encore and Starz and adding HBO and my phone call to Time Warner left me with the same monthly bill but with fewer channels. That'll teach me to try to save money. Of course I could just abandon cable altogether -- I know I should -- but I like Queer as Folk, Six Feet Under, and Sex in the City too much.

Saturday, June 29, 2002

Picture of wine bottlesPicture of wine bottles Artistic attempt number 2? A very wise blogger told me last night that cropping is important. So these two pictures are actually bits cropped from the originals. One is of something I enjoy seeing in my house, the late afternoon light streaming in my family room window through some wine bottles I have on the shelf. The picture doesn't quite do the scene justice because of the flash but without flash was too dark. Yes, I know I shouldn't keep wine in sunlight.

The other is something else I often see but don't enjoy quite so much, namely my next-door neighbor's laundry hanging on her back deck. I've grown accustomed to it but you'd think that as picky as people in the OHDS can be that it wouldn't be allowed. Of course I shouldn't throw stones since I don't weed and trim as much as I should. So don't tell my neighbor you saw this.

Sunday, June 30th, 2002

Keine deutsche Pr?fung diese Woche (no German test this week) -- yay, Fourth of July -- but I do have another vocabulary quiz.

The big thing is a geology test tomorrow (yuck!). I should feel blessed, however, as Prentice Hall offers review material and quizzes online. The things to study are metamorphic rocks, running water, groundwater, and glaciers. I'll be glad when the next two weeks are over.

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