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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The software whose name I will not speak

I'm not particularly fond of summer in my job. Like most faculty members at colleges and universities, I was spoiled by having a nine month job. Now I have twelve month job and lots to do in the summer. Most of what I have to do is tedious. Very tedious. Writing reports and the like.

There's nothing I loathe more than having to click on this icon at any point in my day.

And there's nothing more likely than summer to make me click the little bastard.
Don't assume this is an anti-Microsoft rant. I am not anti-Microsoft. I don't root for them or anything (any more than I root for the Yankees), but they make some fine products. I cleaved to WordPerfect for a long time and then abandoned ship like everyone else. (Bring back WP 5.2, I say!) But I don't mind Word. I am capable of producing PowerPoint slide shows that aren't excruciating (and isn't that the goal, after all?), and I even use Entourage as my e-mail client at work. I say all of this despite a deep loathing for Windows. Deep. The Office suite, though, is fine. Except for that little green thing.

And, no, I'm not going to name it. To name it is to give it power. There it sits waiting for me to click it. It knows where I live. It knows where I work. It haunts my dreams.

Really, it's ruining my summer. Go ahead, name it defend it, you won't change my mind. Evil, thy name is........

Wednesday, June 20, 2007


Wanderings vary. Some are by choice. Some by coercion. Others just happen.

On the day after I returned from my slog through the South, Honey and I discovered the kittens. I don't mean to suggest that we discovered kittens in the sense that no one had ever seen one before. In fact, we were well aware that this brood existed before we saw them. The feral cat we feed had them and brought them to semi-maturity under our house. Kittens under a house don't sound all that dissimilar to rats in an attic, for what it's worth. Anyway. Slinky (as we call her) had brought her kittens around to the front of the house.

Honey went to look and reported three in the brood.

We know we needed to trap them. We understand.

As we speak, in fact, there is a cat trap with tuna in the front yard. I just checked and Slink is lying next to it. I asked her why she wouldn't go in. She had no reply. Her momma didn't raise no fool up under the house.

So, on Monday morning, still weary from my journeys, I get in my trusty truck to drive to work.

About seven miles in to the 8 mile drive, I think I hear a sound. Then I hear it again.

It sounds like a kitten.

When I get to campus and park my car, I pop the hood of my truck. And there, sitting on the battery, is one of the kittens. I reach for it but it dives under the minivan parked next to my car.

I call the people who do feral cat stuff on campus, but no one can locate the kitten. And the other kittens seem to have disappeared too.

All week I can't get that image out of my head. The kitten on the battery. Sometimes you go places you don't expect and don't like it much when you get there.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Contented sigh

I just found a product that was made for me. Well, me and a few others. was out of the blue and yellow ones in my size. But then I found the yellow and blue ones. Happy sigh. If only I had them to wear through the South. They'll arrive while I'm gone, bless their rubber hearts.


Thursday, June 07, 2007

The Arcs of Life

Some years ago my mother and I drove through parts of the South to see things I had never seen and to let her reflect on her childhood and family. We drove in a large circle across two and a half states and back.

She has wanted to do another swing for a while and I agreed to summer 2007.

Blogging has not been much on my mind of late, but I am feeling rather reflective tonight. I leave Saturday for this trip and the circle this time is three and a half states. That's one extra state and even on the other side of the great divide, states aren't that small. Well, Rhode Island is, but we're not going to be near it.

A lot has changed since we last did this, but some things certainly haven't. Her aunt (my great aunt) will still be buried under the two grand trees in the cemetery. I will still be uncertain that this trip is something I can make it through with some semblance of my sanity intact.

I do know that my honey will be waiting for me at home with all four of our small mammals. I also know that I'll need my bug spray and my good humor. I'm promised a swamp tour and Ms. Welty's home is expecting us on Thursday. If only Ms. Welty was going to be there. But she's gone off to live at the P.O. in the hereafter.

Wish me luck, y'all.