Yeninko of the Umlaut

Friday, September 30, 2005

It's This or Robbing Banks

I went camping at Manresa State Park in Santa Cruz last week thanks to Jason. The weather was fantastic on Saturday and pretty good on Sunday provided you had on a wetsuit. While Nathan, Jackie and Clayton read on the shore Jason and I proceed to speak with seals. We started barking at them while they were checking us out. After a while they would disappear and when we barked they would pop back up and check us out again. It turned into a sort of game. Or at least it did for me, I’m not really sure what I was saying in seal language.

The waves were a wee bit small for Jason I think, but perfect for me. And the waves were breaking so shallow there was no worry about having to paddle out since you could simply wade out to where there were breaking, wait and paddle out past the break point (Yes Andrea I know this was also the title of a movie with Patrick Swayze in it). As a result we stayed in the water for hours since most of the hard work (paddling out) wasn't required

Having spent the weekend camping, lying on the beach and surfing I can now completely understand the urge to be a beach bum, which is one of the reasons I’m planning a career change. I figure if I post it up her where all the world (or just you five) can see it maybe I’ll feel obliged to follow through. So yeah, I think I’m going to become a teacher. The benefits include, not having to work at my current job which is slowly turning me gray, not working summers which works in with the beach bumming aspect and lastly it seems that many, many acquaintances through the ages have suggested that I might want to teach. So far I haven’t been able to determine if this was because I have a tendency to lecture and they were trying to get me into an environment where it would seem a bit more natural, or if it was a real vision of my place in the world.

Having spoken to some teachers and some former teachers, I understand that the risk of burnout is very real and the career may prove to be a less than satisfying experience but I’m sort of okay with that . If after a coupe of years I don’t like it I’ll just quit. And that is made easy by the program I think I’ll be going through. Rather than going to school for a couple for years and getting my credential (or getting emergency credential which is quickly be phased out) Andrea directed me to a program called, Project Pipeline which basically consists going into a class room in a school in Alameda county and teaching students for two years. In addition I have to take classes every other Friday and Saturday and do two summers worth of course work. After that I get my credential for teaching in CA. If I teach for three more years it becomes permanent. The cost of the program is ~$7K. The advantage is I actually get paid for teaching at the going rate for which ever district I choose to teach in for those two year. After which when I go to get a 'real' job I already have two years experience. It also helps that I can transfer from district to district if the fit doesn't feel right.

The only down side is I’m worried about those Saturdays easting into my Moto class Saturdays.

Oh and I wanna teach Mathematics.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Finally Someone I Can Believe In

"MOSCOW (AFP) - Historic Russian admiral Fyodor Ushakov -- a hero of Russia's wars against Turkey and Napoleon Bonaparte -- was designated the patron saint of nuclear-armed, long-distance Russian bombers by the Orthodox Church."

It kind of begs the question of who the patron saint of nuclear-armed, short-distance Russian bombers is.

I gotta stop reading Yahoo news.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Sometimes I'm Just at a Loss For Words

Artists erect giant pink bunny on mountain

An enormous pink bunny has been erected on an Italian mountainside where it will stay for the next 20 years.

The 200-foot-long toy rabbit lies on the side of the 5,000 foot high Colletto Fava mountain in northern Italy's Piedmont region.

Viennese art group Gelatin designed the giant soft toy and say it was "knitted by dozens of grannies out of pink wool".

Group member Wolfgang Gantner said: "It's supposed to make you feel small, like Gulliver. You walk around it and you can't help but smile."

And Gelatin members say the bunny is not just for walking around - they are expecting hikers to climb its 20 foot sides and relax on its belly.

The giant rabbit is expected to remain on the mountain side until 2025.

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Wik it up!

When I was a kid my parents, at great expense, bought the World Book Encyclopedia and shortly thereafter the Encyclopedia Britannica*. So whenever I asked some abstract question they would respond with "look it up" which was sort of frustrating as a kid because those of you who know me realize I am not the best speller in the world. I expect this early childhood experience with finding answers so readily available is what fueled my interest in interesting things.

And so when I found myself in Toronto last week with Travis and Reuben I found myself referring back to wikipedia whenever a question arose (those kids are smart, lot of high brow discussions). Over that week when someone asked a question the rest of us didn't know or disagreed over, we would "wik it up".

And so that is my new catch phrase. If you got a question, wik it up. We three thought it would be cool if it caught on, so use it, and link to it. Bloggers of the world UNITE!

Or maybe just grab a little snack and check out gawker.

*Incidentally if you ever have time, it is worth checking out an old (or new) Encyclopedia Britannica. Many of the articles were written by famous, or perhaps infamous, individuals. I can specifically recall that Albert Einstein wrote an article on Relativity, Sigmund Freud wrote an article on psychology and Henry Kissinger wrote an article on Foreign Policy.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Project S(urf)

As some of you may know I have taken up the hobby of surfing. Unfortunately, I have yet to take up the hobby of car ownership which leads me to some difficulty getting myself and my board to the requisite body of water.

After some research (thank you Craigslist bikes, transit, peds forum) I have come up with a solution.

With Ocean Beach (America's most dangerous urban beach) a short three miles away I thought this would be the prefect solution to my troubles. However the price tag of $100 gave me pause. Perhaps there was a better way...and there is.

Yep, it's the $12 Do-it-Yourself Sidemounted Surfboard Rack for a Bicycle (v 1.1)

Since the only bike I own is a street bike I plan on picking up an old mountain bike for the project, which should be in vast supply now that Burning Man is over. I'm also hoping to attach a kids carrier on the back of the bike for the additional gear (wetsuit, towel, snacks) as well as some rear pegs a la BMX style in case anyone wants a ride. I figure all in all I should be able to do it for $100. I'll keep you all apprised.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The Free Market at its Most Cunning.

Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania (PPSP) has come up with an ingenious solution to a pernicious problem. Like so many Planned Parenthood locations, PPSP (thank god for that abbreviation) has to deal with protesters that harass and intimidate their clients, generally poor women, and the staff that serves them, generally volunteers. Since the First Amendment protects this sort of ‘free speech’ on public property PPSP has limited options with dealing with these people. Unlike some on the opposing side, they can’t just leave bombs on the side walk or assassinate them with snipers (can’t you just feel the rhetoric?).

So the people of PPSP have come up with an ingenious solution. From the web site:

You decide on the amount you would like to pledge for each protester (minimum 10 cents). When protesters show up on our sidewalks, Planned Parenthood Southeastern Pennsylvania will count and record their number each day from October 1 through November 30, 2005. We will place a signoutside the health center that tracks pledges and makes protesters fully aware that their actions are benefiting PPSP. At the end of the two-month campaign, we will send you an update on protest activities and a pledge reminder.

If you pledge 30 cents per protester, and PPSP has 100 protesters in October and 160 protesters in November, your donation would be 78 dollars for the entire two-month campaign.

You gotta love these people.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Katrina. Ya Know, the Hurricane?

I imagine you have managed to keep updated via various media outlets and all of blogdom. Having said that I've found the coverage by this dude helping keep the servers up (and forming armed patrols of his building) at in NOLA informative. When I get to depressed by the news, I've been checking out Crooks and Liars to refuel my rage. Ethan at salto mortale has some good political perspective.

Friday, September 02, 2005

One in a Million?

I was watching some author being interviewed on PBS yesterday and he was talking about Microsoft's new development center in China. He mentioned how Microsoft went to every prestigious university in the country and offered people IQ tests. They did thousands of them. Then they hired the top 200 regardless of their discipline(s) of study, moved them to the new campus and told them to do something useful. Which incidentally is Google style hiring. Get a bunch of intelligent people together and have them talk and hang out, and cool stuff gets done (an idea initially written about by William Gipson in a short story in Burning Chrome called New Rose Hotel...huh apparently the entire book is available on line by following the links.)

In any case, I digress, the author made an interesting point that being one in a million in China doesn't mean much. There are at least a thousand people as able as you willing to take you spot. Crazy.

And now I will go read Cyberpunk.