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January 2006 Archives

January 11, 2006

No more 403s

Let me tell you what.

· I'm growing my hair out.
· I dreamt that I taught a penguin how to drive.

· I am growing a spine this year. My project this month is to apologize to my high school band director for quitting the 2nd semester of my senior year without telling him. I haven't spoken to him since I left band by leaving my instrument, uniform and music on my chair 6 years ago. I have had nightmares in which he finds me and I run away from him- always waking up before the confrontation.

After discussing some general problems I have in life, Matt and I decided that I need to talk to this man so that I can move forward. (Alexis and I saw him when we attended my high school's talent show a couple years ago and she jokingly said that she was going to say hi to him. So, I hid in the bathroom near the auditorium for 10 minutes.)

· I saw the bean at Millennium Park on New Year's...obstructed.

I got close to it.

The Timmer, version 1.0!

Anthony gave me his mom's guillotine. We played with it at Greg's 25th birthday party. I cut summer sausage, carrots, dog treats, Violet Crumble, French bread, bananas and a Barbie.

And I have version 1.0 of the The Timmer working.

Soon I'm hoping for a Scrabble/crossword search cheater, clickable definitions/links to google/wikipedia/m-w.com and making it searchable by pronunciation, part of speech, # of syllables, lexical context and in multiple languages.

January 17, 2006

iPods are the reason I like my job

Last summer two French professors got a grant for 60 iPods to use in their French 202 (the last basic French course) classes. Their plan was to put French music on the iPods and have students listen to 2 songs per week, learn the lyrics and take quizzes based on the actual lyrics and their context. They also wanted the students to give presentations on Francophone artists as well as record podcasts. Groups of students will create a radio show with music purchased from iTunes.fr and perform mock interviews, give the weather and talk about the news.

Our department ordered the 4th generation iPod, but a few weeks later were told they were out and we had to order the iPod Photo and choose between the 30 gb and 60 gb model. We took the 60 gb one. They arrived in the fall and were quickly obsolete with the release of the iPod Video. I got an iPod to test for a semester before the classes started in January.

We gave 37 iPods away yesterday- there weren't 60 students signed up. A reporter from the Lanthorn came in and took pictures and interviewed people. David and I showed them the basics of operating it as well as the bonuses we put on.

Before giving them out, I learned that iPods use basic html. So, with some nudging from Pod2Go, I imported 48 songs and lyrics. Now, a student can select Lyrics, under Notes, and choose a song then read the lyrics as the song plays. We also created "flashcards" for the 12 chapters of the book they're using. A French student found pictures describing 50 words per chapter and recorded herself saying the words. Now a slideshow displays the pictures that accompany her audio track.

After loading the 650 mb of music, pictures and lyrics (60 gb seems like such a waste...), I took 9 iPods home for the weekend to charge, as there wasn't enough room in David's office. So, he charged up 26.

Now I have empty nest syndrome. And I'm finding out that iPods first used on a Mac can't be used on a PC. But iPods first used on a PC can go back and forth between Mac and PC forever after.

January 21, 2006

Thank you, GR

I've done enough bad things here to stay long. I don't feel good about who I've been in the past year and a half. But I feel optimistic about the future. I've re-aligned my priorities and am excited about sorting myself out for the future. I won't forget or expect others ever to forgive me for certain things. I just hate the feeling of hearing every few months about someone else hating me. I've had fun in Grand Rapids, but I do believe this is my last winter here. I need to figure out what I want to do, where I want to go and figure out where that puts my home. Too many people decide on where their home is before they decide on the other things. And it seems like too many people are hurt by life transitions and moving away. I really wish I could have made my growing up/schooling coincide better with...relationships. I'm too selfish and I failed in ways I tried not to. No use regretting it. I'll have to make the most of this time.

I got a letter from Blake's family in Australia a little after New Year's. It really got me. I've been placing value on the wrong things and...values. I'm really trying to fix that.

January 23, 2006

A photo post for J. Dawe

On my way to meeting my niece, I drove behind a fan of cigarettes.

And at my grandmother's apartment complex, this confounded me.

My name is on the door for my new office. It's really your office, concerning me.

I might learn Flash at work to help our Arabic professor create a CD-ROM. Exciting!

January 26, 2006


· In the next few weeks I'll be learning more about a project to help create a Flash-based CD-ROM for learning Arabic. This project could include a trip to Palestine, as the Arabic professor here is Palestinian. I have no idea if this will happen or when, but Arabic and Farsi langauge programs have been getting lots of money from the government. That means they might be willing to help create another Arabic language-learning program (there are currently only about 3 Arabic textbooks in the country). And to do that, getting authentic materials (interviews, footage, photos, etc.) would require traveling to an Arabic-speaking country and having a crew. I would probably be part of that crew.

It's hard for me to explain why I want to go to Palestine so badly. It's well-known that I'm a bit of a judeophile, but I've also recently found myself drawn to Arab and Iranian culture. I've always wanted to go to Jerusalem, but I used to think that I would wait until things "settled down" "over there". I've also been suffering from feelings of being too privileged and not fully understanding how hard life is for everyone else on earth. I'm afraid I'll go on living without ever knowing hardship or having helped others. I really want to do that and I hope this (possible) trip would help.

· I submitted my application to teach in France yesterday. Glad that's done.

· Jason Collet (member of Broken Social Scene) is now the proud owner of a Guillaume de Terre pin. Megan, the venerator, saw him after he opened for Feist in Ann Arbor the other night. Her friend Mary Beth demanded that Megan give him a pin. She gave it to him and told the story behind it. He liked it, put it on and gave her one of his pins. Which reminds me. If you want a Sainthood Now for Guillaume de Terre t-shirt. Give me a "black-ink-friendly" t-shirt and I'll have it silk screened.

· I had chipotle for the first time yesterday. It was more delicious than I could have ever expected. I had it again today. And I'll probably have it again tomorrow. Thank you Subway, and thank you Mandie.

· I had this e-mail conversation with B-Lite, the blind rapper.

I ordered a DVD of your music videos on November 10 and I haven't gotten it in the mail yet. I was hoping I could get it soon. Thanks, Kevin.

hi Kev, shit i'm really sorry - i must have forgotten.
I'll send it out right away tomorrow - and email you
right afterwards.

ok kevin, i just dropped that shit in the mail.
i'm really fucking sorry about how long it took.
let me know if you're really pissed and i'll
refund the ten bones.

no need to worry! i kind of forgot about it for a while too. hell, i
saw the videos at a houseparty about a year ago and was fucking blown
away. i wanted my own copy, but it took me a while to get around to
ordering. then after i did, i forgot. thanks for sending it out, i
appreciate it. are you releasing any new stuff soon? -kevin

yes, i am releasing a new album within a week or so, but it's
for my band, "Triangle Forest". It's basically a new-wave album.

Long story short: B-Lite party!

January 31, 2006

Possible mistakes

· I went to "Soup's On" (a charity event for soup kitchens where you buy soup and attend a silent auction) with Chris, Alexis, Mark and Marisa tonight. Ted gave up his free tickets from Ionpost because of the lack of ample seating, so I ate for free! (there were approximately 3 types of vegetarian soups...) We eventually made our way to the auction tables and the celebrity bowls. Los Lobos, WOOD TV 8, Kid Rock, Carrot Top and Chris Van Allsburg all had signed/decorated bowls. But the one I was excited about was this:

Governor Granholm had a bowl that she painted and signed at Holland's Tulip Time festival. The bidding was at $65. I signed up for auctioning and put down $75. As I walked away from it I saw an old couple, who seemed to be watching me. Ten minutes later, I saw that it had shot up to $85 and then a senile woman wrote down $55, not understanding anything. I fired back with $95. Another ten minutes later it went to $110, the same couple from before. With a few minutes remaining I wrote down $130, to stick it to them. I saw the woman get back in to sign it and I followed her, a few people behind. She looked at the price and mouthed to her husband, "One thirty!" And he slapped his hand in the air as if to say, "Forget it!"

Twenty minutes later I walked out with that bowl! Eat your heart out, Anthony!

· I haven't washed my hair in 4 days because I hear that you aren't supposed to that often. It feels great not doing so, I have to say. Tomorrow I shall condition, but that's all!

· While on the bus I was thinking about how many people we see everyday. And wondered if the number was in the hundreds or possibly thousands and how it just depends on where we are. So, I decided that I'm going to try to count every person I see for a few days.

· I went all of January without cheese. And have decided to give up something every month...possibly going vegan, but not for some time (I'll be having cheese still, just less frequently).

Now I'm thinking of giving something else up in February. Care to take a poll?

About January 2006

This page contains all entries posted to spacebase in January 2006. They are listed from oldest to newest.

December 2005 is the previous archive.

February 2006 is the next archive.

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