Stuff from March, 2010

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on March, 2010.

Achingly beautiful

I’m frequently looking for songs to play that can be described as achingly beautiful. Thankfully, I’ve the perfect example of that today. It’s a song by José González from his 2007 album In Our Nature called Fold.

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Word of the day: phenology:

Phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and interannual variations in climate.

It turns out that phenology rose to prominence amongst scientists in the early 1700s and then took off as a general pastime in the mid-1800s. What better way to show off your wealth (I’m not so busy that I must always work) and interest in science (I am recording numbers) than to help other scientists track the data underlying the seasons? But then:


Marriage of Debate

Mykala and I finally managed to attend our first ethnic Wednesday event (that’s the Dan-Ryan-Emily trip to a local non-crappy non-american restaurant) yesterday, and it was a complete success. Halfway through dinner, as the subject turned to marriage, Mykala turned to look at me and asked “Am I nicer to you now than I was when we were dating?” I guess I was a little surprised at the question, but without hesitation answered “yes, definitely”. We had fun dating, but marriage seems a lot better. That reminds me of this quote from a recent “Room for Debate” discussion at the New York Times called For Women, Redefining Marriage Material:


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Yogi Berra

It ain’t over till it’s over” may be tautological in nature, but it sure sounds profound to me. Motivating, even.

The Travesty of Higher Level Education

From “the more things change, the more they stay the same” desk at tumbledry HQ: a quote that, I think, you may find applicable. (I hope Katy finds it enlightening, as well):

I will not go for a doctorate, because it would be of little help to me, and the whole comedy has become boring.


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David Brooks - What Obama Stands For:

Readers of this column know that I’ve been critical on health care and other matters. Obama is four clicks to my left on most issues. He is inadequate on the greatest moral challenge of our day: the $9.7 trillion in new debt being created this decade. He has misread the country, imagining a hunger for federal activism that doesn’t exist. But he is still the most realistic and reasonable major player in Washington.


Bike accident

The freeze-thaw this season has produced an extremely large amount of ice. Our walkway in front of the house was covered in about 4 inches of solid ice after a few weeks of the cold-warm-cold cycles. These weather patterns have also created the worst pothole season in my memory… which is where this story begins.


Special Relativity

In the New Yorker article Time Bandits lies the best plain English description of special relativity that I have ever run across (you owe it to yourself to read this carefully — it’s worth it):


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Billy Stewart sings “Summertime”

Katy sent along this really seriously great rendition Gershwin’s “Summertime” by Billy Stewart. As tends to be the case with these things… the video doesn’t add a whole heck of a lot to the music. So queue up the music on this beautiful 60° Wednesday (while you are trying to do some work and avoid thinking about the outdoors) and enjoy the sweet stylings of Billy Stewart.

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Book covers

Coralie Bickford-Smith designs covers for Penguin Books. A few years ago, she did an amazing series for Penguin Classics.

Coralie Bickford-Smith Penguin


Stupid words

Words (phases) I really really hate for reasons not worth elaborating:

  1. Staycation
  2. Tummy time
  3. Playdate



You know you’re growing up when you’re much more interested in the decorating and appliance choices made in the kitchens of Facebook pictures than you are in the people in the pictures. Also under development: maturity.

George’s dinner

8:52 and George eats at 9:00. His plaintive hunger meows echo through the hallway. “You are not forgotten”, I say. This does not seem to satisfy him. Me neither: seems a bit melodramatic. Next strategy: try to teach him to tell time. We’ll start with digital clocks first.

Haircut 2010

I ended up growing out my hair for about nine months between June of 2009 and March of 2010. I’ve only a picture of my hair 8 months into the growth… it shows my hair just before it got so long that I couldn’t do much of anything useful (including see through it):



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Immigration, Education, Bandwidth

I appreciate Thomas Friedman’s optimistic outlook after he attended the 2010 Intel Science Talent Search:

“If we can just get a few things right — immigration, education standards, bandwidth, fiscal policy — maybe we’ll be O.K.”

Tampon Advertising

I like the Guardian (and other newspapers) because they don’t censor swear words. Check out how great that makes the quote in a quote from the article “Tampon-makers can’t mention the V-word. Period. | Richard Adams”:


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Vonnegut on Life (And Storytelling)

Kurt Vonnegut at the Blackboard - Lapham’s Quarterly:

But there’s a reason we recognize Hamlet as a masterpiece: it’s that Shakespeare told us the truth, and people so rarely tell us the truth in this rise and fall here [indicates blackboard]. The truth is, we know so little about life, we don’t really know what the good news is and what the bad news is.


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778 days 22 minutes until I get a DDS degree.

Street sweepers

We are coming up on my favorite season in the whole-wide world: street sweeping season. After getting gravel, rocks, and sand kicked into my face for a season, I finally get relief: a chance to ride the good bike without worrying about destruction of myself or the bike from street debris.

That’s what’s so great about Minnesota: everyone here knows what spring means: the awesomeness of room-temperature air. We really should have some sort of celebration or parade.

Waste Management Open

I first wrote about Tiger Woods on here about 10 years ago. 10 YEARS! Holy cow. Anyhow: the movie Happy Gilmore is coming true; check out the proof in this recent article about Tiger Woods:

When FBR Capital Markets, an investment bank based in Virginia that lost $200 million in 2008, pulled out of its sponsorship of this year’s PGA Tour event in Scottsdale, Ariz., Finchem signed up Waste Management to take its place. The tournament is now called the Waste Management Phoenix Open, a name that can’t help but telegraph that a new kind of partner is being welcomed to the tour.

The Phoenix event is not your average golf tournament. It’s basically a sprawling frat party, complete with beer gardens and busty women in tank tops handing out discount drink coupons. On the tournament’s 16th hole, a par 3 surrounded by a grandstand that seats 15,000, golfers who fail to clear the desert shrubbery fronting the green are lustily booed. Woods has played the tournament only a handful of times, but he is nevertheless responsible for one of its more memorable moments: in 1997, his first full year as a pro, he aced the 16th hole and was approvingly showered with beer cans.


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