making owls cool since 1986
We moved to Arizona to see burrow owls. Where the hell are all the burrow owls?
Friday, September 18, 2009
Sunday, August 02, 2009
The Year in Review
1. We moved to Tucson.
2. I presented a paper on Charles Brockden Brown at the PAMLA conference in California.
3. Our friend Jim came and stayed with us for a month or so.
4. We went home for Christmas.
5. Our landlady got pregnant and needed her house back so we had to move to a new house.
6. I did a shitload of hiking around AZ.
7. I went to Boston and presented a paper at the American Literature Association conference.
8. Erin's family came to visit and we went to the Grand Canyon. We took a helicopter ride over the GC and it was amazing.
9. We went to India and hung out with Ari and his family.
10. I made this blog post.
11. We made a bunch of new friends.
All in all, it was a pretty good year.
Next time: Legit post on our trip to Calcutta.
Thursday, August 21, 2008
Erin = unemployed = watches too much TV = brain dead = this blog
Having quit my job a month ago to start grad school on Monday, I've had too much free time on my hands. Now I'm not complaining AT ALL, so don't get it twisted.
Anyways, since it's too hot to really do anything outside and Eric and I are trying to conserve money because we are now both poor grad students, I've been watching a lot of TV. Why spend time reading books when I've got 3 years of reading books ahead of me?? So TV it is.
As Eric mentioned in a previous post, I've been watching the Olympics. Gymnastics is pretty cool but I fast forward through most everything else. (Thank goodness for DVR.) As Eric said, the commentators can be pretty rotten and repetitive at best.
On to my next favorite show of the summer. Well actually it's a tie between two: The Gong Show and Reality Bites Back. The Gong Show is pretty funny. I like Dave Attell as the host. The show follows the basic same format as the original show. Like this. (Paul Reubens is Pee Wee Herman if you didn't know.)
So that brings me to Reality Bites Back. It's hosted by Michael Ian Black in the format of any and every typical current reality show. Each episode parodies one or more reality shows. The cast is made up of comedians who compete against each other like in a reality show. If you watch any reality shows this show is funny because they (hilariously) point out how all those shows have the same formatting, dramatic effects, etc. I find all of the comedians really funny which is strange because in general I don't think comedians are actually funny. Maybe it's a change in the type of stand up comedy people are doing, maybe it's just me finally coming around.
Ok, back on track. There is a comedian on Reality Bites Back named Theo Von. He is one of the funniest ones and I recognized him from being on Road Rules a while back. So I looked him up online to see which season he was on and that started this whole thing where I wikipediaed Road Rules and Real World cast members. Now I have not watched these shows in years but in my above-mentioned free time, I thought it might be interesting to see what these people do/did with their lives after these shows.
This is when I came across Jamie Murray. His Wikipedia article is a perfect example of why Wikipedia is not always a reliable source. A very (wicked) funny example as well. Now I use Wikipedia daily and even used it for links in this blog so I'm definitely all for it. Especially when I find something like I did in Jamie Murray's entry. Since Wikipedia articles can be changed at any time I'm posting excerpts from it as it stands today:
"Murray is currently selling a type of beer tap called the Ubertap  and working as a clerk at the Chicago Board of Trade. His favorite food is all burritos and he is currently a level 35 Halo player. In 1994 he obtained the rank of Eagle Scout while being a member of troop 3 in Willmette, Illinois.
Jamie was also a counselor at summer camp called Horseshoe, he was a cabin counselor for Ranger A considered the greatest cabin in camp, which included campers, Scottie Berman, Daniel Cohen, Jake Padorr, Chris Harms, Daniel Cohen, Wyatt Spector, Josh Kohn, Corey Kohn, Adam Biscuits Paull, Jordan Fox and Zach Kalter. Jamie was a great counselor who always cared about others before himself, unlike Craig. Jamie was a camp counselor for 8 weeks" (emphasis added).
Screw Craig! haha. Yeah, there's not even a period after the word weeks.
Am I delirious? Maybe. Do you think this is as funny and Eric and I do? Probably not. But one thing I do know is this: working is for SUCKERS!!!
Go U of A Wildcats!
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Thunderstorms and Olympic Monotony
The other night Tucson was hit by a huge thunderstorm. It rained, it hailed, and the wind was strong enough to take the metal lid off the grill. Pretty serious stuff. Thousands of people lost power for over a day. It was a weird storm. The lightning was going off close to our house for a long while before the rain started. This gave me time to get plenty of pictures.
Lightning pictures are impressive and fairly easy to take. Actually, they're pretty difficult to take during the day. I tried that at Tumacacori National Monument (an old mission) last week and I couldn't get a single bolt. However, at night all you need to do is turn the ISO way down, the aperture way up, put the shutter speed on bulb, and wait. I choose the low ISO and high aperture so I can leave the shutter open for a long time. This increases the chance that lightning will go off while it's open.
There are more lightning shots on Flickr, as well as pictures from two recent hikes I took: Mount Humphrey and Four Peaks. I'll be posting our pictures from our trip to Tumacacori soon.
On a completely different topic, I have been watching the Olympics. This is mostly because Erin watches them. I am not entirely enjoying the Olympics because I can't stand the commentators. The competition is fun to watch. It's fun to cheer on the United States. It's fun to watch Micheal Phelps set records and break records. However, it is NOT fun to listen to the asinine, repetitive dialogue of the commentators that NEVER STOPS! This is what I have learned from listening to hours of Olympic commentary:
1. Michael Phelps is God.
2. His mother is there.
3. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte are friends, which is apparently surprising because they compete against one another.
4. Ryan Lochte is laid back.
5. The Olympics are in Beijing.
6. Dara Torres is 41.
7. Dara Torres is 41.
8. Nastia Luikin was born in Moscow.
9. Nastia Luikin and Shawn Johnson are friends, which is apparently surprising because they compete against one another.
10. Nastia Luikin's father won a gold medal for the Soviet Union.
11. Dara Torres is 41.
That's it. Over hours of coverage. If you tried to take a shot every time they mention that Dara Torres is 41, you would die faster than she could finish a race. Yes, it's impressive that she's 41, but have you seen her? She's in incredible shape! If she was 80 and winning races, that would be surprising. If she was a big, fat slob and winning races, that would also be surprising. If she had some sort of mental or physical handicap and was winning races - surprise! An incredibly fit, athletic woman in her early forties should be commended for staying competitive, but I'm sure there's a lot more to Dara Torres and her story than just her age.
Can you tell that I hate the Olympic commentators? They are ruining the Olympics for me. I'm pretty sure dolphins and horses have more communicative vocal variation than these people. Shut up and let us watch.
The interviewers are idiots as well. When poor Alicia Sacramone made a mistake in woman's team gymnastics, they couldn't rub it in fast enough. The Chinese team's difficulty scores would have prohibited the U.S. team from getting gold anyway, so Sacramone's mistakes did exactly nothing - U.S. still took silver just like they would have if she hadn't made any mistakes. Still, the reporters couldn't rub her nose in her failure fast enough and torture her by asking other teammates how they felt when Sacramone fell right in front of her. Her teammates gave classy answers, but someone should have told the reporter to shove it.
Did anyone notice how the commentators kept insinuating that the Chinese women gymnasts weren't 15-years-old? They have no proof or evidence other than the fact that they don't look 15-years-old. Shawn Johnson doesn't look 16. Maybe Chinese audiences don't believe that she's 16. They're not used to looking at 15-year-old American female gymnasts, just like we're not used to looking at 15-year-old Chinese gymnasts. Stupid.
I wonder what they'll find to repeat over and over and over during track and field.
Did you know that Dara Torres is 41. She is. She's older than dirt. Paleontologists have discovered new Dara Torres fossils in Montana. Carbon dating has confirmed that she's been in the Olympics 5 times, one of which was the original Grecian Olympics in 776. B.C.E. God actually created Dara Torres on the second day.
I think I'm ready to be a commentator in London in 2012. By then Dara Torres will be 45. I can't wait.
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Erin's Photo on Schmap
Erin took this picture in the butterfly garden at the Phoenix Botanical Gardens.
Schmap decided to use it and here it is! It's actually our second photo publication. We have another one on a website fora SCUBA diving company that operates in Placencia, Belize. Here' the link to that site. That's Erin's photo as well.
We had to buy a new computer this week becuase our other one called it quits. I'll post some photos of our house soon.
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
What is a Juggalo?
This is the title and a link to the article:
Tuesday, July 01, 2008
Here are a few highlights with corresponding pictures.
1. We went to California for Veau's 31st birthday. It was a great time. Emily and her brothers threw him a surprise party. We surprised him too, as he didn't know we were coming. Of course, he was in the shower when we got there. The theme of the party was to wear the craziest thing you could. Erin wore entirely sequins. Here I am wearing a Erin's sequiny coat and Veau's in his tutu.
2. I went hiking with Chris again and this time we headed up to the Mogollon Rim. We camped out next to this great old cabin. It was one of the most idyllic places I have ever seen. Fantastic.
3. I was supposed to teach ENG 241, which is American Lit. up to the Civil War, but it got canceled for low enrollment. Bummer.
4. Katie and Jacob came to visit from California. We went to Tucson, Bisbee, and Tombstone. Tombstone is kind of neat. We also went back to the San Xavier Mission. I also went to a Diamondbacks game with them. That was my first major league baseball game ever. This is us outside the Copper Queen Hotel in Bisbee. It doesn't look like we're having much fun. We went to St. Elmo's bar. They have one of those claw game things where you try to grab stuffed animals, except it has porn in it. Hilarious.
5. Erin and I went camping on the Mogollon Rim and we went fossil hunting and hunting for geodes. We took the truck off road. We found some fossils, mostly shells, and some neat geodes and nodules.
6. We went to the Chinese Cultural Center in Phoenix and went food shopping. We bought this fake chicken. It's made from Nazi mushrooms.
7. Ishmael's been acting crazy lately. We got a new brush that is the most amazing cat brush in the world. It gets tons of cat hair out. Here he is in the sink.
8. I've been trying to publish a book review for Catherine O'Donnell Kaplan's new book, "Men of Letters in the Early Republic." It's an interesting piece of intellectual history about bellistristic societies and other intellectual forums in the post-Revolutionary America. I'm learning the ropes of publishing and it's kind of fun, though I haven't found a journal to publish it yet.
9. I'm reading Bryan Waterman's book, "Republic of Intellect." Topically, it is similar to Kaplan's book, but it focuses solely on the New York Friendly Society, whereas Kaplan's work includes Joseph Dennie and the Boston Atheneaum.
10. I've been revising a paper I wrote on Charles Brockden Brown that I will be reading at the PAMLA conference in Pomona, CA this September. One of the scholars I reference in my paper is Beverly Voloshin from San Fransisco State. She just happens to be presenting her paper right after mine. It's a little intimidating, but I'm feeling pretty good about my work.
That's it for now. Of course, there are many more pictures and other interesting things on our Flickr page.