Posted by: David | May 18, 2008

And So Begins Summer 2008 …

With the final departure of the snow and ice, and the greening of the lawn, the sun climbing higher each day and further to the north, I am drawn outside to turn the garden beds, fling manure around, tune up lawn mowers, cut the grass, ride the bicycle …

There is less time to spend with you, Internet. I’m sorry. It seems that a little blog-ennui is in the breeze. Blog friend Moonbeam McQueen has “gone fishing”. A commenter on this “see you later” post laments that she is in that same boat. I’ve always wondered what kept me writing posts, and never got much past the “answer”: because I like to write posts. Hedonistic self-involvement in a new and highly refined form. An escape from the disaster du jour

IMG 2029
At least I’m not dead by the side of the road.

I have reasons to hopeful. My stimulus check could arrive any day now. And maybe, just maybe, I’ll finally win that Megabucks jackpot … Meantime, I feel drained, tired, and I have a little headache. Un-wealthy.

IMG 2030
This poor little guy is probably related to the roadkill above.

Last Saturday was Colby-Sawyer’s commencement ceremony. It was a perfect day, sunny with some high clouds and a nice breeze to keep the black flies away. I was a little late and didn’t get to wander among the students putting their gowns and mortarboards on. That’s usually a great photo opp.

IMG 2052
The seniors marched around the quad like 4 times … like the plane circling the airport.

As they marched past Best Hall dormitory, speakers in a second floor window blared Aerosmith’s Walk This Way. Gotta love that college humor.

IMG 2069
Professor Nick Baer accepting the Jack Jensen Award for Excellence in Teaching.

It’s always very meaningful for me to see this ceremony. It’s the culmination of the academic year and the ultimate purpose of all our work. There are always a few students who I get to know a little better. Usually it’s the ones that have had troublesome computers. After the degrees are all handed out, there is a reception luncheon in the sports center. Me and whatever other fellow staff or faculty member I’ve attached to wander about the chaos looking for people to congratulate. This year I saw a 2007 alumna, Alicia . She’s one of the folks who helped me get to know what blogging was all about.

The post commencement week is devoid of students, except for a few stragglers or visiting alums. There is an all campus meeting where we learn how many new students are expected to arrive in September as well as how the college is doing on all other fronts. And there’s the friendly reception at the President’s House, with beer, wine, all sorts of yummy goodies including the ever popular shrimp. It was a perfect day for that last Tuesday, sunny and breezy.

And so I ready myself for the summer’s projects, cleaning, upgrading, re-imaging, and inventorying the college’s many computers. Hopefully we’ll be setting up some new ones here and there also. I call myself “Desktop Dave”. Speaking of which, aren’t you glad that I hardly ever post about computing and technology? Well recently, inspired by one of the newly hired IT staffers, I put Ubuntu on my computer, which is a wonderful Linux operating system variant. It’s graphical interface is sort of Mac like. It’s been fun figuring out (with help when needed) how to get Citrix client software to run on it so that I can get to my server-based desktop in order to accomplish my regular chores. For most of the 10 years I’ve been working at the college, it’s been a totally Windows based shop (except for the Mac island of our Graphic Design lab). So it’s invigorating to investigate things like Ubuntu. Enough nerd talk for now.

IMG 2085
The garlic is doing really well.

It’s a beautiful Sunday morning, and I just saw a whole flock of cyclists whiz by. The road is calling me and my bicycle. The remaining garden beds will have to wait. So will Oliver. I’ll be back this afternoon.

IMG 2079
OK. Have a nice bike ride!



  1. Nice garlic, Dave! But you know what? Those stuffed animals have been bothering me all evening. You just know somebody misses them. And what if it rains?

    Let it go vermonter. The rain has come and gone. The road-killed one probably blew off someone’s ’94 Dodge pickup on the way up to the dump, after emptying the stepkid’s room in the foreclosed house they never shoulda bought in the first place …

    Or, for $15.99, I’ll tell you just where in Newbury I saw those two stuffed animals. They may still be there, even if wet.

    Though, to be honest, it’s been almost 2 weeks since I took those pix. Let’s hope some kind Newbury chicken farmer type soul has already rescued the surviving valentine puppy, or whatever it was crouching in the rocks. Coulda been Satan for all I know …

  2. I love the greenhouse. Someday I’ll get one of the lazy men in the house to build one or at least install some grow lights in the house. I did get a window box and my daughter planted some herbs in it and she bought me 4 potted tomato plants. She also planted three window boxes with flowers and bought me two hanging plants for my new Oasis. She also bought me a chiminea. It’s all on my blog about Mother’s day. I was one lucky Mother.

    You must use garlic a lot like I do . I put tons of it in mostly every
    thing I cook.

    Oliver looks like he wanted to go with you on your bike ride.

    Thanks Joan! You ARE one lucky Mother! Your daughter’s not half bad either. We’re both lucky with our wonderful Sarahs aren’t we?

    We do love garlic, but this is the first time in like 25 years of gardening that we’ve tried growing it ourselves. I planted a lot, but I hope it will keep nicely, and I’ll be planting some of it in the fall.

    Oliver actually isn’t fond of bicycles. I was trying to “desensitize” him a couple of weeks back by riding past him very slowly back and forth until he stopped barking. Actually I told him to shut up at first then continued to ride around him. He barks at the lawn tractor too, so my wife worked on that by holding him in her lap while she drove it.

  3. How nice! But I am in a hurry. You see, I have been thinking about how to tag your blog, and have come up with a rhymed guiding principle :

    sine whoring
    it’s boring.

    “Sine” is Latin and means “without”.

    But the problem is in the whoring concept. The idea is to write a post or a blog about one thing (A) while only meaning something else (B) harder to peddle or impossible to define.

    If I were you, I would sell the blog as computer know how. But not of the advanced kind! The other day at the forum I saw somebody in despair asking whether a URL is the same thing as a HTML. Imagine the poor thing! My heart went out to her, because, how will she ever find out ? Any booklet will define those terms by using half a dozen more unintelligible terms.

    So, if I were you, instead of bicycle ride as a basic theme and instead of calling the ride a ride, I’d call it the way to work. On the way to work you see all those things. Once at work you’d take out some FAQ and answer the next question : what is a link? what is a ping? what is “to boot”? After some time the questions would come in on that stats page here.

    Also show a picture of your office and of your scanner and of your computer and

    What a brilliant comment cantueso, especially how it ends …

    ‘If I were you’ … what would I mean by that? I so often think about how best to explain info tech concepts to interested people … what analogies to employ, etc. So you hit a nerve there. But my blogging doesn’t seem to have gotten there yet …

  4. Hasn’t Oliver gained weight a bit too much? Or does it only look like that because he is not pleased.

    Oliver looks stocky because of his posture and the fact that I zoomed in on him. The telescopic lens adds a compressed look. He was actually quite pleased that day.

  5. Enjoy your gardens and your cycling! Ya know, I skipped my college graduation and don’t regret it but it’s nice to read your thoughts on what it means to you. My parents were more than mad but I had better things to do that day.

    I planted parsley this year! My rhubarb is awesome but Oscar keeps trampling on my basil. Herbs thrill me for some odd reason -no tax when I buy them WOO HOO! and the fact that I can eat them is fun. My tomatos never do well. I think I only like to look at plants and not ‘tend’ them.

    Where’s your cairn?!?! πŸ™‚

    Funny C! I wanted to skip my high school graduation ceremony, but decided not to. Good thing since that was my final “degree”. πŸ˜€

    On the cairn, well I haven’t done it yet. I’ve started one in the garden, but now realize it will just be in the way there. I have next week off, so maybe then. Also on the cairn front, I rode past the Route 114 cairn and some asshole(s) has/have knocked it down again. 😦

  6. Damn you all and your blog-ennui!!! By the time you get back to regular-use I will have found a man, with or without your approval Blog-DAD!!!!!


    Post-temper-tantrum: umm…do you ever notice any lurker-kids during the summer? Like recent alumni who just can’t let go??? LOL… πŸ™‚

    Fear not fair Romi! Soon I will be on vacation and will waste untold hours on the interweb! You don’t need my approval! Thanks for your tantrum anyway! πŸ˜€ What lurkers??

  7. It’s good to see you posting, David .. The ceremony sounds lovely .. And Oliver looks handsome as ever!

    Thank you Red. I have some time off coming up so hopefully I will have some more time to waste on the interweb! πŸ™‚

  8. about that computer advice :

    consider the soup and the soup plate. One thing is the soup, another the plate. At present you serve them as one.

    For instance, do you think I understood what you said about Ubuntu?

    I did not. Does it matter?

    It does not. HOWEVER, if you meant to continue on that, as well you might, you would have to tell your reader : YOU DO NOT HAVE TO KNOW THAT. Nobody ever says this, and yet it is most helpful to know what I have to know, which depends on what I want to do; so in a blog about computers there would be a very orderly category arrangement.

    But the title of the blog and the title of each post would have to be computerish. –**** You have never told us what questions you get, what search keys are reported on your stats page.

    You know, ignorance is of great help in blogging. Ignorance is my guardian angel (paraphrasing Heraclitus). Maybe I (rather than you) ought to write about computers know how.

    ***** write a note to yourself: search keys report. Put the note on the ice box where the yoghurts are so you see it first thing in the morning.

    I think your comment indicates that you DO understand something about Ubuntu/Linux, it is the soup. And if you try to serve the soup without the soup plate, it’s a messy table.

    But I do not often feel some tech itch that I want to post about as with the mention of Ubuntu. Rather this blog seems to be an accretion of my random, zero-content thoughts. Hence the catchy title. There are so many tech blogs written by folks with 1000 times more experience than me.

    I like your thinking on ignorance. It’s a helpful tool in skimming the internet.

    I wrote that note to myself and put it on the ice box. I think it fell down behind the yoghurts. Luckily I remembered your request …

    Search Engine Terms (used to arrive at this blog)


    free wallpaper 3
    oliver clothes line 2
    colby-sawyer commencement 2008 2
    pickled egg 1
    garden plant brussel sprout 1


    birthday thoughts 7
    reed college oregon 2
    squash plant 2
    you can trust anyone like yourself 1
    how much trash is put in a dump a day 1
    happy birthday dog 1
    tupperware 1
    man’s haircut 1
    boycemotometer 1
    musica pop de haaaaaa 1

    I’m glad you asked me about this cantueso, it’s more interesting than I thought it would be. It’s comforting to know that someone googled “how much trash is put in a dump a day” and found my blog! πŸ˜€

  9. !!! It is MOST interesting! Here are my search keys:

    Obama joke
    barack obama joke
    funny obama jokes
    napoleon joke
    obama and hillary joke
    great buildings in Australia
    Obama fishing joke
    fishing Obama
    great bridges that collapse


    And that joke is not even mine.

    I must admit that I found your Obama joke post and its link quite amusing. πŸ™‚ Each new crop of candidates says less and less about more and more.

  10. However, your list also shows why it is necessary to talk about a Thing or a Name, at least in a few posts.

    But only if your objective is to attract readers.

  11. No. The objective is not to attract readers, but to be found by …………….who?

    Yesterday I had these search keys: ….β€œfamous hard names to say”.

    What could he have meant? No idea. I was reminded of you saying that often I send you to Google.

    !! Really? And when did I do such a shameless thing? Have you ever heard one of you geeks speak English?

    JPEG, GIF, PNG, Kodak, Windows, Vista, Software, hardware, ROM, RW, CD, DVD, bytes, KB, gigas, Yahoo, Google, portal, bandwith, streaming, youtube, right-click, mouse, toggle, event ID, servicing, booting, PC, XP, digital, profile, avatar, WYSIWYG, FIFO. LIFO, IT, AI. All of these obligatory.

    And then they come two by two:

    default setup, customization RS, VLC media, sysprep RQs, preinstallation RS, second HDD, en-US

    All of this without addressing a specialist! and all recent! and none likely to last!

    I would consider your sending me to Google as a compliment. It means that you wrote something that is either new to me or that want to learn more about. No shame in that!

    I try to avoid geekspeak, but I’ve been playing with computers for about 15 years now so some of the jargon has fully seeped into my brain.

    Tell me, what does the term “operating system” mean to you?

  12. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrowl. When I installed my template, it came without tabs, and I did not know the word “tab”.

    You should have seen how long it took me to find out why my template had no tabs : Google, dictionaries, forum, correspondence, talking to Spanish erudites, finally exchanging e-mails with the designer of the template Gillbank.

    Isn’t it funny how those teeny tiny words sometimes evade us? Tabs are usually a feature of the browser, but are you talking about the single tab that says “Home”?

  13. You asked how I would define operating system. Let’s say it is the brain of the computer.

    And as to the “tab”: I meant that little flap up there where on this blog it says “About 0-Dave”. Some people have many of those. It took me weeks to find out how to get them because I did not know what they are called in English.

    Let’s say that the operating system is the mind, not the brain. Does that distinction mean anything to you?

    The tabs I was thinking of are a feature of the browser itself, not the web page or site, like the ones you’re talking about. Many sites do make good use of tabs as an organizing scheme. But browser tabs allow one to have many web pages open at the same time.

  14. I am not sure but believe that “browser” is “navegador” in Spanish and I believe that I cannot tell that apart from “my mouse”. Or, which is the same, it has up to now not been necessary to learn the difference between my mouse and my “browser”. Touch wood.

    Navegador is a nice description of what web browsing programs do. They help your computer display all the many kinds of files that live out there on the internet’s millions of server computers. It’s truly annoying how I am compelled to spew words endlessly on these concepts. It’s an occupational disease I assure you. πŸ™‚

  15. Look. I found the the second answer I received from Gillbank, the designer of my template, when I tried to find out about how to get tabs.


    “I was under the impression you were talking about the box on the right hand side of the page.

    I now am going to assume you mean the tab next to the home button? In this case it is a default part of worpdress, and nothing to do with me or my theme. If you go to Manage -> Pages you will see the about page listed.

    All my theme does is list the pages across the top of the page. This is a standard feature of many wordpress themes. If you do not want it to appear
    you can delete it from wordpress and write another post as you see fit.”
    end of quote

    Do you think that is intelligible to normal sort?
    What would a “list of pages crossing the top of the page” mean to the normal sort? And a default part? Is that like a spare part?

    However, it taught me that the thing I was looking for was “standard” and it was called “tab”.

    I think Gillbank’s word choice was pretty reasonable. And it sounds like you understood what he was explaining. Default is a common geek word for ‘original setting’. I can’t think of a shade of meaning for ‘default’ that would describe spare parts.

    Funny though about the word “standard”. It has a meaning shade of military flag or banner. And a tab is a like a little flag in that it projects above the area to which it is meant to label and connect. Not to confuse or anything … just to over-explain. πŸ™‚

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