Stuff from June, 2011

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on June, 2011.

Dusk Bike Ride

Tonight’s perfect weather let us take a bike ride to and from the Out On A Limb performance. During it, I discovered something quite interesting. See, I’m usually biking during the day when the wind is up and my forward progress depends on fighting against it. For this bike ride, however, it was dusk. For safety, we clipped a taillight to Mykala’s… tail. Coasting through the evening, the only thing impeding my progress was the occasional bug running into my face.


Die Work

One slip, and I gave myself four extra hours of lab work. Here’s how.

At the School of Dentistry, we are short on cash. (Our dean is also leaving, but that’s a story for another day). So, the students (us) do a lot of intricate lab work in order to make the stuff our patients need (crowns, bridges, etc.). That way, we don’t have to pay a professional lab to do as much of our lab work. This does the following:


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Easter Lilies

Easter Lilies

These were to celebrate Mykala’s completing yoga teacher training.

Chocolate Eggs

Chocolate Eggs

26 Years

26 Years

Check out that DELICIOUS chocolate cake (made with root beer for extra deliciousness, too).

Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake

This is cake bunting.

Calvin and Records


Franklin Avenue Sunset

Franklin Avenue Sunset

Record Heat

Apparently, I post a fair number of dashboard widgets these days. Here’s the latest:


The day this happened, I biked back home in the heat. The wind was up, and it felt artificial it was so hot. Odd thing: I biked past the five story Oak Street Ramp on the U’s campus, and there was this cool air wafting out of it. It had gotten so hot so quickly that the concrete of the parking structure had remained cool, and was cooling the block around it. It was really odd to suddenly be about 10 degrees cooler.



This morning, I was thinking about raising children. Admittedly, I know v̶e̶r̶y l̶i̶t̶t̶l̶e̶ nothing about it because I haven’t done it. I do think that when raising children, inspiring speeches carry almost no effect, while leading by consistent example is one of the most potent positive effects you can have on a child’s life.



Learnt a new word today, “fixer”. I first heard it when Anthony Bourdain briefly referred to his show’s fixer during their trip to Beirut, Lebanon during the Lebanon War. A fixer, then is a native that you contact when you are planning to travel to an area. They can connect you with experiences you would never otherwise have, and are experts about every aspect of their area. What amazing travel guides. More in this article: The travel world’s top fixers - Times Online:


Whales Rock


Dentisting Problems

Not having anything go really truly catastrophically poorly at the clinic yet, I have been wondering how I will explain to a patient when, inevitably, things go wrong. For example: “Whoah, this does not fit.” Or, “That tooth really did not last long at all.”


Discipline and Habits

I love this article from Tony Schwartz in Harvard Business Review, “The Only Way to Get Important Things Done”:

The counterintuitive secret to getting things done is to make them more automatic, so they require less energy.

It turns out we each have one reservoir of will and discipline, and it gets progressively depleted by any act of conscious self-regulation. In other words, if you spend energy trying to resist a fragrant chocolate chip cookie, you’ll have less energy left over to solve a difficult problem. Will and discipline decline inexorably as the day wears on.


Prayer for Daughter

Mykala sent me Tina Fey’s Prayer for My Daughter, from her new book Bossypants. An excerpt, to give you a taste:

Lead her away from Acting but not all the way to Finance. Something where she can make her own hours but still feel intellectually fulfilled and get outside sometimes And not have to wear high heels.

What would that be, Lord? Architecture? Midwifery? Golf course design? I’m asking You, because if I knew, I’d be doing it, Youdammit.

May she play the Drums to the fiery rhythm of her Own Heart with the sinewy strength of her Own Arms, so she need Not Lie With Drummers.


Sick, Tired

First, heat. Now, storms.


It’s thundering right now. I’m sick as heck, and Mykala just got back for the evening. She was kind enough to make me an absolutely delicious late dinner.

Today, a doctor was extremely disappointed with what I had done with my crown preparation. Their exact words: “What were you thinking?” I did not appreciate hearing this, nor did I appreciate the way they had handled the entire appointment. I wanted to say this to the doctor: “Look, there are two possibilities. Either I messed this up on purpose, just to bother you. OR, I am still learning, and had I had a little more guidance, I’m sure the final product would have been well within your range of ideal. Now give me a break.”


Experiencing, not Narrating

One of the themes in Terrence Malick’s ambitious art film Tree of Life:

The way of nature or the way of grace - you have to choose which one you will follow.



Mykala just made kushari. Ours was brown lentils, elbow noodles, rice, tomato purée + spices, and very well-caramelized onions. It was EXTREMELY good: according to Wikipedia and Anthony Bourdain, it is a staple dish in many parts of the Middle East. Someday, we’ll visit that part of the world and try this — until then, we’ll stick with a taste-bud trip.


Some lady gave me the finger this morning. I was three houses down the street, on my bike as I always am, when my path crossed orthogonally to a Ford Taurus (or Honda Accord… I don’t recall because I was trying to review Tylenol dosing in my head as a last-minute preparation for my morning Clinical Pharm exam). Nothing seemed odd about that, and I continued down Warwick, taking the lane. Apparently, the lady behind me was lost.


Kunstler on Suburbia

This great talk, in which James H Kunstler dissects suburbia, articulates an important problem. We’ve built “places that aren’t worth caring about” that are only accessible via giant highways powered by cars running on temporarily cheap oil. So, when you take the long view (which isn’t very long at this point), you’ll find that suburbs can’t continue as they are. People do not thrive in the isolation of suburbs:


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My wife just made the most wonderful veggie burger on toasted sandwich thin for lunch. The secret? An awesome veggie burger (do you remember which brand, Mykala?) and smoked gouda. Wow. Happy grilling season, minus the grilling and minus the meat.

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Sighting: man smoking while rollerblading. I don’t think those activities cancel one another out.

Huguette Clark

This obituary for Huguette Clark, who recently died at the age of 104, may be one of the oddest I’ve ever read.

For the quarter-century that followed, Mrs. Clark lived in the apartment in near solitude, amid a profusion of dollhouses and their occupants. She ate austere lunches of crackers and sardines and watched television, most avidly “The Flintstones.” A housekeeper kept the dolls’ dresses impeccably ironed.


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