Thursday, December 30, 2004

R.I.P. Susan Sontag

An editorial from the Philadelphia Inquirer says it well.

- posted by laurie @ 12/30/2004 12:07:00 PM (0) comments

Sunday, December 26, 2004

did you have a merry one?

We spent yesterday at the home of our housemate's mom, and had a pretty pleasant time. There was yummy breakfast to start out with, and then present-opening that was conducted in the drawn-out show-and-tell manner (unlike some of the "everyone tear into everything and scream excitedly" christmas mornings I have participated in). I got exactly what I wanted, and some things I didn't know I wanted, but were duckie-themed, so . . . (if you don't know by now that I am duckie-obsessed, you're either a new reader or a careless one). The baby made out pretty well - clothing and teething toys, mostly. She's now decided to try to put everything into her mouth, so the teething things are right on time.

We also got a hand-me-down video camera, mainly so we can tape the munchkin and send videos to my mom. This was actually the first gift opened yesterday, and it made me tear up, because my mom's uncertain health has been getting to me over the last few days. It will be wonderful to be able to share little one's growth and progress (and events like the first Christmas) with her.

My father arrrived today for a brief visit. So, the next four days are devoted to trying to figure out what to do with a Southern Californian in Minnesota (note, please, that he was here for a week last Christmas, and so we've done many of the thing that there are to do - oh, and that this year we're more limited in our activities because of the baby). A few movies, for sure, and some lessons on "how to use the PC."

By the way . . . still grading. No joke.

Hope you're having a great holiday season. And I hope your grading's done! :)

- posted by laurie @ 12/26/2004 11:28:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, December 23, 2004

when will it end?

grading. but I'm calling it a night, for right now. The kiddo has begun to sleep for a bit longer at a stretch, which means it's easier for me to accomplish things. I am halfway done with grading the final exams for my class. I can finish up what I have tomorrow, hopefully, and then I'll just need to handle extensions and calculating the final grades. Fingers crossed, I'll be done before the deadline.

now, off to bed with me. and a lot of covers over me tonight, let me tell ya! it's freakin' cold. A native Minnesotan told me today that he was thinking of leaving, that's how absolutley arctic it's been around here. Oh, and we got to listen to my inlaws jokingly complain about the 76-degree water temperature today. Poor things, moving from the Bahamas to South Florida. We should be so lucky!

Really, to sleep now.

- posted by laurie @ 12/23/2004 11:16:00 PM (0) comments

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Another week . . . and a couple of days

yes, I'm not doing so well at the posting regularly thing, still. Baby + end of the semester = infrequent blogging. There's been quite a bit going on in the IP world, which I hope to get gaught up on soon. I've got a few nuggets I hope to post over the next few days. For now, though, just a bit of a personal post.

Two posts before this one, I wrote about my mom being ill. Well, she's now out of the hospital, but it appears that she might not be doing too well, at all. She's going to see another doctor soon, and we'll know more then, and until then I am trying to keep my fingers crossed and hope for the best. Anyone who'd like to join me in crossing of digits and wishing good things her way is more than welcome to.

I am still in grading hell. The last batch of assignments is trickling in from my students, and I'm looking at grading, grading, and a bit more grading through the 24th, at least. Blech.

For diversion today, I did a bit of blog browsing. Over at Arete I found that Krista had posted a link to this quiz. Somewhere Eric and I have a Gorey poster that is the ABCs of Gorey deaths (from which I am guessing this quiz is drawn). Anyway, there's nothing like a silly quiz to kill a bit of time, and I am a Gorey fan, so . . .

My results:

Don't Trip
You will be smothered under a rug. You're a little
anti-social, and may want to start gaining new
social skills by making prank phone calls.

What horrible Edward Gorey Death will you die?
brought to you by Quizilla

Given the semester I've had, it feels kind of appropriate. Next semester, I hopefully will be on campus a lot more, and I'll work on those social skills - maybe skip the prank calls, though. I've never been much good at them.

- posted by laurie @ 12/19/2004 12:09:00 PM (0) comments

Friday, December 10, 2004

Hey, guys: get those laptops off your lap top

This InformationWeek article notes that a study due out in February links laptop use with reproductive problems. The real problem appears to be the heat generated by the computers, which men support on their thighs:

Fertility researchers at the State University of New York at Stony Brook say that men who use their laptop computers on their laps could be diminishing their ability to father children. Some might immediately point to wireless connections. But the culprit seems to be heat generated by laptop computers and the way men usually hold their thighs together to support the computer.

Glad it's not the wireless, I guess. Um, maybe you should give the guys you love lapdesks this holiday season?


there are oh, so many good article titles out there for this info. The best, or worst, as the case may be, include:

Laptops affect your sperm
Laptop a threat to family plans
Laptop in your lap might mess with male prowess
Hot laptops could cook men's fertility
Want to be a dad? Stop bouncing a laptop on your knee

- posted by laurie @ 12/10/2004 02:31:00 PM (0) comments

Thursday, December 09, 2004

What a week!

So, as I was writing my last post, my mom was being admitted into the hospital. Again. While she is apparently feeling much better now, and while it appears that there is not anything seriously wrong with her, it makes me nervous. She's had a hard time of it the last few years, what with broken bones, two bouts of pneumonia, and two hideous, awful bedsores, the last one coinciding with her last case of pneumonia - in March - which is just clearing up now (it was so bad that it exposed bone).

I, as usual, feel badly for being so very far away, and am saddened by my mother's declining health. MS really shouldn't do things like this - and it's really not MS at this point, but complications associated with being completely bedbound and living in a nursing home. At least she's cancer-free: the doctors initially found elevated calcium levels in her blood, a potential indicator of cancer. She's gone through so much at this point, including an earlier (much earlier) battle with breast cancer. Anyway, I've been on emotional edge this week.

Add to that: it's the end of the semester, so, generalized school-related stress. Also, my housemate appears to have the flu, and I'm the only one to have sought out the flu shot the adults in this household are eligible for. We're eligible because the baby is too little to be vaccinated and thereby protected, so the adults in regular contact with her are supposed to be protected. And this morning she showed evidence of tummy distress. No fever, and she appears to be in pretty good spirits, so hopefully she's not sick, but I am still concerned. Keep your fingers crossed.

Here's hoping the rest of the week is a bit better, and that next week goes more smoothly!

- posted by laurie @ 12/09/2004 07:08:00 AM (0) comments

Saturday, December 04, 2004

Not another Napster . . .

So, Shawn Fanning is on the other side of the IP battle this time, or so it appears: Shawn Fanning Returns With New Music Service, reports The Celebrity Cafe.

Fanning's new software is "meant to help copyright holders manage sales of their songs, not as software for trading music files."

So many twists and turns in the history of p2p!

*edited at 2:59 to add*: has this to add (pulled from Jim Griffin's pho list): "Basically, I don't buy the control scenario being carved into Mount Snocap. I don't see how it moves us even a step closer to monetizing the anarchy that is art and its digital delivery, but I can easily see how it might move us several steps back, or to the side, because a sno-job is a snow job no matter how you spell it."

- posted by laurie @ 12/04/2004 11:10:00 AM (0) comments

Friday, December 03, 2004

IB . . . M?

So, listening to NPR (well, MPR, really) this morning, I heard that IBM is getting rid of the "M." The company is apparently in talks with the largest PC manufacturer in China and at least one other company, according to the New York Times and Reuters. And because this seems to be the week for quoting from the 1980s band Information Society, I offer you the following:

"Where Would I Be Without IBM"

I could never care enough
To do what I had to do.
And now that I am scared enough,
It all comes back to you.
Communication's rarely open
For messages to get through.
I would speak; I'd be outspoken
If I could think of anything new.

Where would I be without my radio?
Where would I be without birth control?
Where would I be without fair-weather friends?
Where would I be -- without ibm?

You tell me what I should need.
Advice is your specialty.
But could I ever need enough
For you to set me free?
I’m afraid to make decisions,
That’s where you come in.
In the case of chance collisions,
I look at you as my friend.

Where would I be without my pc?
Where would I be without mtv?
Where would I be without cnn?
Where would I be -- without ibm?

Where would I be without all my toys?
Where would I be without sampled noise?
Where would I be without seeing you again?
Where would I be -- without ibm?

- posted by laurie @ 12/03/2004 07:38:00 AM (0) comments

Thursday, December 02, 2004

just when i thought it was safe . . .

so, blogger decided to let me post. most other electronic devices in the household are working well (or as well as can be expected, given age, condition, and so on). While some other things have been a little bumpy over the last several days, the kinks and bugs seem to have been shaken out of the electronic and technological components in my life. everything seems to be working smoothly . . . except my email.


my school email account is throwing fits. when i try to check email using mozilla, as i usually do, it . . . just . . . h a n g s. i realized this afternoon that it has been doing this since sometime yesterday.

i repeat, crap. not having email access isn't an option right now.

in other news, baby turned two months a few days ago. today we went in for the two-month checkup. and the first of many immunizations. she screamed a bit at first, then conked out for a few hours. when she awoke, though, she fussed, and fussed, and Fussed, and FUSSED. and then she SCREAMED for over an hour. i finally decided that even though she had only a tad of a fever, i would give her tylenol in an effort to knock out any pain she may have at the injection sites. the few hours between when she stopped fussing and got serious about the screaming and when the tylenol kicked in and she went back to sleep were the longest hours i have ever passed.

happier news: i succeeded in getting a flu shot for myself today, and last night we got the munchkin to sleep in her crib for almost six blissful, uninterrupted hours.

by the way, i am thinking of starting up a mommy/personal blog, so the above reports may be separated from the IP/peer-to-peer/Internet studies/rhetoric stuff in the future. thoughts, anyone (if anyone's stil reading this)?

- posted by laurie @ 12/02/2004 03:56:00 PM (0) comments

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Still here . . .

But I don't think it's coincidence
and I don't believe in accidents
It's time to ask ourselves
Why are we still here

-Information Society

hey, um, I am still here. If you're reading this, it means that Blogger has let me post - which it hasn't done the last three times I have tried to submit a new blog entry. And if I can post, then I'll start writing again, but I am still thinking (and more and more seriously now) about ditching Blogger.

Oh, and in part because of Blogger's decision to dislike me for a while, and in part because of my new, unbelievably busy status as a mommy, I missed celebrating my blogiversary again. As of November 11, I have been blogging for three years. The beginning of my off-and-on blogging habit, by the way, predates the Memex, but because of the sad, sorry, abandoned state of the original blog, I am not pointing you in that direction!:)

- posted by laurie @ 12/01/2004 07:55:00 AM (0) comments