Bat Project

Walker Art Center photo of Huang Yong Ping, The Wise Man Learns from the Spider How to Spin a Web
Tarantula and Wiseman

I have come to rest here at Dunn Brother’s Coffee, just off the west approach to the Lake Street Bridge. Headlights seem as though they could be driving off the bridge right into my lap. Ah, I am thirsty actually, though I don’t think that the black tea I purchased is cooled off enough yet. Black tea, Dunn Brothers, life–what a labyrinth it all is. Or a maze? There is a definable destination, just a bunch of quirky twists and turns. Like just now.
Okay, my stomach is still queasy, so black tea seems appropriate. Weren’t we just talking to someone who said black tea is what she got as a child when not feeling well? But wait–Earl Gold–don’t know about that. Well, the salesgirl says, we really only have Earl Grey, even though the sign says Earl Gold. Alright then. (Vanilla Bean and Breakfast Americana are other black tea choices. Found it the signboard menu only after consulting the sales staff, not on first scan.)
So she pours the tea, I turn and step toward the counter of cream and honey. And while I am squirting honey into the tea, the top comes off the plastic honey bottle and a big glob of honey splashes into the cup, followed by the honey lid. Earl Gold, Earl Grey, Earl Honey: plop.
I land here at Dunn Brothers after going to the Walker Art Center. I was drawn to the prospect of seeing many, several pre-fab houses set up. (…More me wandering around; even the Star Tribune called the inside of the new Walker confusing, though. The new Walker is a magnet for attention – and frustration.) But basically, the pre-fab housing exhibit was in the furthest back gallery. Once there, sorry, but I was disappointed. There was one house set up, but I was expecting more. It was advertised as having eight houses–but the other seven were shown as pictures, models, or plans. (Don’t know why I am so into italics–might be a sign of needing medication.)
But the really cool thing was banner.gif. (Ooh, an inline image as a link.) Here was the cockpit of a P3-Orion (scroll down) and documentation of the Bat Project–in 2001, a Chinese fighter collided with a U.S. spy plane, forcing the plane to land in China. The Chinese dissected the plane and returned the parts.
[Hair-raising blogging: I just thought that I had lost all this entry so far when I tried to insert the photo of the desk, and had hit the key sequence too quickly. But–luckily–the “Back” button worked. Close call. I saved. Also realized that all the tweaking I had done the other day to get the text to wrap around a picture went away when I switched to a new Movabletype style. I have to put the “fontfloatleft” or whatever it is called back into my stylesheet. One moment, please.]
{And realized that I had to “rebuild” my stylesheet–after FTPing it back and forth to edit. And remembered that I could put caption on the picture, which is another stylesheet tweak.}
The scholar's desk, with tarantula shadow
Tarantula with shadow

Okay, got the text-wrap thing, and photo as link, (as a bonus) thing going on. So here is another photo of that installation, much cooler, with the shadow of the tarantula, on the desk.
(Wow. That was way time consuming, duplicating the float left thing. And really, I would have liked to have the images alternate–first one float left, second one float right, and so on. Oh well. Could there possibly be a plugin?)
Anyway, the exhibit was very disorienting. I need curator text, but for the airplane, all I saw were documents in Chinese. I never did find anything at the museum. I will keep reading now that I have found links back to their site.
In the middle of the room is a terrarium, about the size of a pool table, and shaped like a turtle. While you are standing looking at its population of lizards and beetles, you look up and realize that you are standing directly under what would be the belly of the sculpture of the python hanging overhead. It is truly enormous–suspended from the ceiling, it spans the length of the exhibition hall, making you on the scale of, well, a cockroach or a lizard. Very disconcerting.
Earlier today, Dorothea and I went to the Seward Cafe. Hadn’t been there in a very long time, perhaps not even since before we moved back to the Twin Cites eight years ago. And, it was a very unhappy experience. I don’t think I will go back, and I don’t think that I have missed anything. It is weird, since I usually like self-service, hippy-style restaurants. The un-bussed tables set me over the edge.
Dorothea recommended a particular counselor and 5-HTP when I told her that I was probably ready to go back to counseling and antidepressants. She has never seen the counselor herself, but knows of her because a friend went for marriage counseling. The 5-HTP because she used it and liked it but had to stop for medical reasons.
The depression issue came to a head for me on Wednesday at work. I got off a call at 11:00, and went looking for lunch. There wasn’t anything appealing in the cafeteria, and the idea of going out or home were also unappealing. And then I got sick. Maybe that is how I would now describe depression–none of the options seem appealing.
Well, I have come to the end of a nice time sitting and blogging. Till later.
And a final note: Gee whiz, I have a ton of time into this post. Hours. Granted, there are a lot of links, and a bunch of tweaking with the images, but just flat-out a bunch of editing, too. Scary, really, what crap my usual posts must be, since they don’t get this much attention.

Photo text-wrap test

Paris Metro

This is a test to see if I can get text to wrap around a photo. There is no special significance to the photo–a Metro stop, a picture taken by Madeline. A good photo. Concerned that the column may be too narrow. I continue to tinker, mostly by going through the list of things to do at learningmoveabletype. In this case, adding a picture, a thumbnail, and having text wrap around it. Had to add a class to my style sheet and there is a bit of coding around the image. Actually, went a step further than the text wrapping by trying to add the thumbnail. Doesn’t quite work–instead of the link being the caption, the link should be the picture itself. And anyway, I am now getting into random photo territory. Although, one thing that bothers me about random photos is that they often don’t have captions, so I may be on to something with maybe being able to have random photos with captions.
Of course, I should really be writing Christmas cards.

Boxer Day (well, okay, Boxing Day)

(I Googled “Boxer Day” and the top entry was a guy musing about wearing boxer underwear to work like the lod pajama day at school. Whoops.)
One said to the other “I have known you only in strife.” Not sure what that means. Yet. Thought that I would get it down. I have been putzing, fiddling, tweaking the blog, a continuation of getting it back together. Good thing that the database remained intact.
Was thinking as I was walking over here that I should get an instant messaging account. I could communicate with my daughter then. Was also noticing that the two remaining old corner buildings are Dacotah and Blair. Just tried Googling that. Not much of a response.
Took the children to see Narnina. We went to Eden Prairie. I like it there. Well to-do white people in abundance. We ate at the arcade, sat by the big fireplace. But later Liam got really sick, and it was probably from the subway that he had. Oh well.
Speaking of white, Narnina was such. Very. And violent. Not hard to imagine why we torture prisoners. It is sown into the fabric of our culture, intimate with our children’s entertainment and literature–no question Narnina qualifies as literature (the book.) Funny, seemed like the buzz was about the Christian overtones of the movie; what I saw was violence. (Didn’t even see Gibson’s Christian movie–that was certainly violence.)
I am sitting in the “laptop row” of tables at Nina’s. Now that they have wireless, these tables, along the window on the Selby side, are the only place in the room that you can get reception and a plugin.
Was just browsing the BBC Online in the new bloglines account that I set up. In there was a bit about cardinals warning Italian Catholic women from marrying Muslim men. Wow. See below.

Continue reading Boxer Day (well, okay, Boxing Day)

It’s a global-warming kinda Christmas

Warm again, and the snow is melting on for the third straight day.
Christmas day, and pretty wiped. Liam was throwing up pretty much through the night. (Sorry for the reality.) Dorothea’s muscle relaxant wore off by sometime in the middle of the night. So here we are. The children opened their presents at about 8:30 this morning. Madeline just left with one of her aunts for another Christmas gathering.
Some random thoughts that have been rambling around for me.
“It’s in the water, it’s in the air: even the cats and dogs are getting cancer.”
“We’re wearing his clothes, listening to his music, sitting on his furniture.”

Chrismas Eve

…and Dorothea’s back is “out”–out to where I don’t know–and Liam is sick, probably food poisoning from Subway before we went to see The Lion King. Madeline says that it is the worst Christmas ever. Presents remain under the tree, unopened.
I continue to chip away at updating my site, re-creating it. I just add a blogroll, this time with MTBlogroll.

Learningmoveabletype and Kerouac’s List of Essentials

I have been playing with updating the format of my blog. I typed “learningmoveabletype” into google, and Some Kinda Possible: August 2005 Archives came up as the fourth entry. Taking the day off, just got paged from home, need to leave (Nina’s) and call back.
Okay. I have got StyleCatcher working (so far, just in the testblog) and have used movalog style generator to create a 3-column scheme. Want to add a navigation bar and an about page, put some of my stuff–like the blogroll and the moon phases–back in, this time in the third column. Also like the idea of having patterns in the margins, and a image background in the banner.
Just got back from physical therapy. Went easy on the weights–stayed at the same level as my last visit, and only did 15 reps, because I strained my back a little painting the attic.


It is now ten after ten pm–quite late for me–I am an old fuddy. This morning I went into work for two hours, even though my plan had been to take a vacation day. There were still loose ends on my part of a project—I needed to compare some lists in a spreadsheet. Don’t know what the outcome was.
I was still working on it late on Thursday when I should have been heading for my database final. The final was no fun, but what do you expect? So yesterday, between work and the final was stressful. Only now getting over it.
Lots of snow that last few days and had hoped to go cross-country skiing, but that didn’t fit in. I went to the Y and Nina’s after work. Home by twelve and Dorothea and I worked on painting in the attic. By three o’clock, after priming, I was pretty spent.
Have been playing around with the formatting of the blog. That is something that I have wanted to look into since I blew it up during the setup of dragonfly. Putz, putz. But it is a relaxing thing for me. Moveabletype has a plugin called StyleCatcher that is supposed to make changing styles easy. It is anything but, in fact it doesn’t work and there seems to be others who’ve had problems with it.

Thanksgiving Eve – Sung by Pauline Redmond at Thomas’ service

Pauline Redmond and her husband Jack Miller officiated Thomas’ Memorial Service. Pauline performed this song a cappella at the service. Words and music by Bob Franke.
REFRAIN: “What can you do with your days but work and hope? Let your dreams bind your work to your play. What can you do with each moment of your life, but love till you’ve loved it away? Love till you’ve loved it away.”
See Extended Entry for the verses.

Continue reading Thanksgiving Eve – Sung by Pauline Redmond at Thomas’ service

A song for Thomas (from Brock)

Hey How are you doing my good friend?
I am in town for a little while, would you mind if I stopped by?
I’d like to sit on your porch and talk about the good life
We’ll drink some black coffee and let the day flow right by
I’ll listen to your stories of days long ago
Of all the places you’ve been and all the people you love
The wind blows free in the trees in your front yard
Your words speak so softly
From me you’ll never be far, from me you’ll never be far
Let’s go for a walk in the woods away from the city
The snow falls lightly and you are at peace
You tell me of my grandfather who I barely knew
And I’ve grown to love, he reminds me of you
Somewhere on this lake with your family your watching the sunset
And thinking all about, well, only you really know
And when the night comes we’ll explore the streets of St. Paul
The stars shine brightly just like you do now
Just like you do now
The wind blow free as you always have
The stars shine brightly as you always will
The wind blows free in the trees in your front yard
Your words speak so softly
From me you’ll never be far, from me you’ll never be far

Morning at Nina’s–oatmeal and latte

Did my physical therapry exercises at the Y today, and came here, anticipating “working from home,” or, more precisely, from the coffee shop. “They” (the LAN Admins) are taking away my PC from my cubicle for an upgrade. So, as far as work is concerned, I am dead in the water. So today is a vacation daey.
Donning and defrocking,or whatever it is called is factory work where you are paid to get dressed for work and to undress after work. I wonder if this is sort of the same thing. PC and de-PC. There must be a better way.The PC should just be the front-end processor, everything else should be on the network–programs included, or be a generic thing like Java on the PC. So they should just be able to swap PCs.