Archive for March, 2009

Judging

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I’m into the evaluation stage of teaching – evals are due next week and I was hoping to finish them tomorrow while I’m hanging around at the hospital while David has more surgery.
The last project for the sex ed class is to go and interview new parents, asking questions about how much sleep they get, what they do in their spare time (ha!) and when they think it’s a good time to have a baby. Then, they do 1/2 hour of work for the parents. Who really need the help!

But with the new block scheduling, my nine week class is now a five week class. So those who like to procrastinate had less time to recover. (Which also includes me…). So half the class hadn’t finished the project by the last class. Tonight is the date to hand it in via e-mail so that I can do the evals. Well, it is 9:30 and I’ve heard from 3 of them, and one was a file that was an .odt file? So I can’t read it.

Doing the evaluations is the worst part. I don’t like judging them, I don’t know each student well enough to know if they truly are doing their best work, there is a HUGE range of effort and quality and ability. And it is hard to take all of that into account with so little contact with them. And I want the evals to be helpful, insightful, positive, honest, and fair. So my expectations of myself are pretty high.

Enough for tonight, I’ll do them tomorrow. But apparently not all that many!

info on integrative medicine

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Just a quick link to a site on integrative medicine from the University of Wisconsin. Nice patient handouts on a variety of subjects. The PDF on inflammation is particularly helpful, I used it the other night in my class. I’ll be sending people to this site so it is easier to send them to this blog for the link!

Old Bicycles

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

Saw this posted by a facebook friend. Old footage of bicycles, of all kinds. The tandems and tri-seaters are fun, and bikes with trailers part way through is really a pleasure to watch. The bicycle is still one of the most marvelous technologies around!

Contemplating the Universe

Tuesday, March 31st, 2009

I encountered this short video on dark energy this morning. It was a pleasant way to start the day, considering the nature of the universe and our position in it. The photos and English accent were strangely soothing as the larger questions were asked.

Minor Surgery At Home

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

After obtaining the reluctant but informative go ahead from my eye Dr. I asked a friend to stop over to poke me in the eye with a sharp needle. It was necessary. I suppose technically speaking it was in the area of the eye – but that doesn’t sound as dramatic and fun.

My willing friend lanced an odd bubble that has been growing from my eyelid for a few months. The Dr. said it was a blockage with an eyelash or such, peculiar but seemed benign. If I had caught it earlier he suggested a hot egg might have resolved it. Really. He suggests a hard boiled egg, reheated in a microwave if need be, applied to the closed eye as a heat therapy. It is soft, can contour to the eye a bit, and holds heat well.
I don’t have a microwave, but it makes sense to me.

So how weird has this post been for you so far?

It was pretty hard to hold that part of the eye (the eyelid) still enough to pierce it. And I did have to take out my contact. It hurt, but no blood, and it immediately drained, no sign of infection. There is still a slight enlargement from stretched skin, needing to shrink with time I suppose.

I’m in favor of reasonable minor minor home surgery, thoughtfully done, sterile conditions included (fire applied to the end of the needle – sterile gauze then applied) with reasonable precautions and limits. I suppose hiring an MD to do it would cost over $100 minimum. It helps to have brave and curious friends. It is another way to keep costs down, and awareness up.

Staying still during the couple of pokes that it took required a few pain management skills. Flinching is a pretty strong instinct when someone is poking you in or near your eye with a needle. You learn something new every day! But I guess most of you would have guessed that, and may indeed be flinching as you even read about it. Sorry about that. But that was one of my adventures of the week!

Dolphin Behavior

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

A friend on Facebook posted this. When animals play, let alone create their own playthings and teach others, something special is going on. We dismiss dog and cat play as practice for hunting. Hey, it’s what they know. But they can learn to play in so many other ways as well.

This is a great video

other news sources

Wednesday, March 25th, 2009

in some of the comments regarding the closing of The Ann Arbor News, people have asked “where can we get our news now?”
I think that is the wrong question. Unlike 10 years ago, there are bloggers and people doing their own investigations and reporting on them, content experts sharing through wikis and blogs and web sites, there is news all over the web.
We also have a myriad of newsletters and journals in town. Many are still in print, many ahve print and web presence, some just web presence. But every special interest narrow focus active group and business seems to have some news to share.
The issue is how to wade through the information overload. Blog lines, google alerts, google searches, newsgroups, second life, as you get more involved in the technology the complexities multiply.
More than most people know how to handle yet.
So there will be a learning curve, and also a need to get the info out about the wealth of news sources available. I’ll start compiling them on my site, I’m sure other people will as well and the more that info makes the rounds the better.

It is a sad thing for the employees, it is a fear for people who support the fourth estate, it is a big change in how we’re sued to living everyday. But the least of the losses is not enough news. We just have to change how we aggregate it and how we consume it. It iwll be interesting.

Dating update

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

The process of dating continues to be enjoyable. I continue to like the guys I’m meeting, and the conversations we’re having, activities we’re sharing. Somehow I went back to “conventional” with a number of first dates – the whole have lunch or dinner or “coffee” thing. That hasn’t yet been a good start to anything later.

I’m learning to gracefully yet still with some surprise have that lunch or dinner paid for by the guy. Where have I been the last 35 years? Well in Ann Arbor mostly for one thing. I never assume anyone will pay for my meal, and I’m very touched and pleased when that gift is offered. I never take it for granted, and never expect it. So that has been happening more often than ever before in my life.

However, I think I both enjoy and also connect better with a brisk walk in a lovely place than while eating with someone who was a stranger until then. And Nala gives me clues about guys as well.

I can’t really say much more detail because I have also been letting these guys know that I blog. And a number of them have been reading my blog. Blogging is never private, but this is a peculiar situation to get into. I don’t want anyone to learn anything they didn’t expect to learn through this medium. Learning more about me or politics or bees or sap maybe, but not about where they stand (or sit or walk….)

But I do need to note that since December when I picked up this whole dating thing again I’ve had a lot of dates. Some once, a number 2 or 3 times, and a few guys much more if you include phone dates (and since most of these men are an hour away I do…). Four months, a couple dates a week average, and only three I walked away from thinking “that was a mistake”. Which is just very lovely and wonderful really. And a total reversal from my experiences prior to Gary. (PTG?)

A lot of weirdness in who contacts me, and the sorting out process is still pretty depressing. Especially the large number of men who don’t respond to initial e-mails at all, or who start to correspond then disappear. So many guys are on the dating sites and then say they aren’t really into dating after all. Umm, then why??? It has taken me until this week to realize that that may be a polite way to say they check me out and aren’t actually interested? Politeness really sucks sometimes when it is basically a lie.

There are also these guys who I guess are just enjoying the hunt? I got a wink yesterday from a guy, who seemed young and totally wrong. I wrote back politely questioning him on that basis – and got a message back that he had decided to take a break from dating. ?? In the two hours since you winked at me? Totally fishy, and why are we wasting time and electrons doing this?

So yes, weird stories and odd men are out there. But the surprising observation I have to make is that when it comes to the actual dating they are few and far between, and mostly I am so relieved to be able to say “there are a lot of really great guys out there” rather than whine about all the “good men” being taken.

I do hope this draws to a romantic wonderful happy ever after close soon. And then I get realistic in my expectations… But I’m hopeful. And for now, the process? Really worth the time and energy and all the rest. Thanks guys.

what do you call a group of smart cars?

Saturday, March 21st, 2009

Someone suggested a gathering of smart cars be called a brilliance. My little Blue/black passion joined over 65 other smarts cars (and owners) for an afternoon in Bloomfield Hills. It was a celebration of the first anniversary of the dealership.

Bottom line, the more I learn about this car and the longer I have it the happier I am.

I got lost getting there, I found my self the first time and had to call for help the second. Oh well. I walked in just before the raffle started, but had some not half bad cheese pizza and joined a crowd of about 140 people in the service bay. After the raffle (one number called was just 1 off from mine! So close!) we gathered the cars for a group photo. It was very fun to walk around and see the different colors and combinations and the owners. I didn’t see another Blue/black with a red interior. Got some compliments on my license plate, which I will not mention here, although I’m not hard to spot around town already I suppose.

Back in and most of the crowd left, so we had a small group for a seminar on the car. More info on how it works, what sort of maintenance problems they’ve seen, and an opportunity to talk to the mechanics and ask questions. They had cars up on teh lifts so we could see the underside which is also normally protected by heavy duty panels. They also took off the side panels, and gave a whole demo on how to find and deal with the battery. Towing was covered, and there was a demo transmission which was really cool to see how the computer activated clutch works.

The car is a manual, but can be driven in automatic mode. They did it for fuel economy but also I learned a manual transmission is smaller and easier to build. And cheaper. From the under side it is also more obvious the features designed to protect you in case of an accident. So impressive.

Mark was there, who had talked me down from my check engine light. it was amazing to have him offer to essentially be on call for us for any question, concern, breakdown, or problem. But he couldn’t offer any help for the missing tire on my tiny smart model – the less than one inch car. Oh well.

Throughout the day it felt like the people at smart wanted to be transparent, honest, helpful, and hear from the owners. Fascinating. The service seminar was followed by a green presentation. I learned a bit more about the factory and the lengths they went to to build it as energy efficient as possible, and the manufacturing processes that have been redesigned to use less energy, create less waste, and be recyclable. It is the number one care plant in the world as far as those features.

And the Bloomfield dealership (which is the US headquarters as well) just got their LEED Silver certification. Lots of waste water treatment, low flush toilets, lighting, insulation, and more. So cool. And the discussion about CAFE standards and how smart fits into the larger global picture was honest, real, and also very exciting.

It was far more informative than I expected, I enjoyed the people presenting, connected with a couple of other owners, and look forward to seeing the photo!

sheep, dogs, lights

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

A friend on Facebook shared this. Smiles and laugh out loud. I do hope the animals enjoyed it as well…. because it is brilliant and twisted and funny.


Light-Up Sheep Art – Watch more Funny Videos