Thursday, January 29, 2009

Last Year's Songs

I've been so absent in my blogging that it has taken back to back snow days for me to get around to posting on the music of 2008. Using the same criteria as last year, here's what Lazerbeak (my ipod) tells me I've been listening to:

25. "Say Back Something" - Tapes 'n Tapes (22)
24. "23" - Blonde Redhead (22)
23. "Girls Who Play Guitars" - Maximo Park (23)
22. "You! Me! Dancing!" - Los Campesinos! (23)
21. "Our Life Is Not a Movie or Maybe" - Okkervil River (24)
20. "White Winter Hymnal" - Fleet Foxes (24)
19. "Always a Friend" - Alejandro Escovedo (24)
18. "Rooks" - Shearwater (25)
17. "Are You Lightening" - Nada Surf (25)
16. "Falling Slowly" - Glen Hansard & Marketa Irglova (25)
15. "Bodysnatchers" - Radiohead (26)
14. "Paper Planes" - M.I.A. (26)
13. "Buildings and Mountains" - The Republic Tigers (27)
12. "The Modern Leper" - Frightened Rabbit (27)
11. "No Sunlight" - Death Cab For Cutie (27)
10. "Old Song" - AM (27)
9. "Smokers Outside the Hospital Doors" - Editors (30)
8. "Big Kid Table" - Thao Nguyen (31)
7. "Tamacun" - Rodrigo y Gabriela (31)
6. "Dig, Lazarus, Dig" - Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds (32)
5. "Northwestern Girls" - Say Hi to Your Mom (34)
4. "Cherry Tulips" - Headlights (34)
3. "Punches" - Colin Herring (37)
2. "Walcott" - Vampire Weekend (40)
1. "Drop Me Off" - Pela (41)

That's all for now, my top ten of the year forthcoming.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Big Snow

Central and southern Indiana got drilled with snow over the last 36 hours. Elizabeth claims it's the most snow she's ever been in, and I think it may be the case for me, as well (excluding ski resorts). Indianapolis got right around 12 inches of snow. It took the two of us around three hours combined to dig our cars out. School was canceled in Wayne Township today, and has already been canceled tomorrow. I think this is the first time they've canceled school in three years.

Ramona seems to be the big winner in this deal. She loves the snow, and has been begging to go outside (which she never does). She particularly likes losing her tennis ball then spending 10 minutes plunging her head into the snow looking for it. I have to admit that it's pretty cute.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

A New Day at EPA

I know my last post was about Obama's promise to return science to decision-making, but I can't resist a second one. Today, I received an EPA newsletter that included the poem below written by an EPA scientist, who seems even more excited than me about the new direction. This poem was in an official EPA newsletter that included these topics: "Summary of National Forum on Vapor Intrusion" and "Reducing Subsurface Hexavalent Chromium to Harmless Trivalent Chromium Through Injection of Ferrous Iron."

An Ode to Science at EPA
By Mike Gill*
"We will restore science to its rightful place......." - President Barack Obama, January 20, 2009

Now that Barack is on our side
Let's rethink those apps for pesticides
Again, it's all about compliance
Enforcement, clean air, and yes, it's SCIENCE!

This President, he makes no bones
About our health, clean water, and homes
He knows that citizens are his clients
Not industry, no! It's about the SCIENCE!

That's right, Obama knows the score
About kids and bugs and bunnies, for sure
No longer do we have to act in defiance
When we make our decisions based on SCIENCE!

* Mike Gill
ORD Superfund and Technology Liaison
US EPA Region 9 / SFD-84

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Bringing Science Back

We have a new president!!!!

Today was very exciting. I took a half day and came home to watch it all live. My favorite part of the speech: "We will restore science to its rightful place." Yea for science!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Contact Your Senator

Attention all Hoosiers! Please consider contacting your state senators about some legislation in the works. It will be a disaster for a state that already ranks 49th in the environment and has this official position on global warming.

Senate Bill 79 would create an oversight board to ensure that Indiana can't have laws stricter than the federal government. This is BAD! Federal laws are intended to be broad and cannot cover all state-related issues. Indiana is so far behind on the environment already; we do not need to move even farther behind.

Please, please contact your senator.

Sorry for the political plea that is this post, but I had to do it.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Silent Film Era

From The Onion

Man Gets Into Mess Usually Reserved For Stars Of Silent Film Era

January 16, 2009

BOWLING GREEN, KY—Stumbling around his study with a large metal bucket lodged firmly over his head, area accountant and father of three Michael Dewley once again found himself in a situation traditionally reserved for film stars of the early 20th century.

Man On Pole

Dewley attempts to mail some letters last March.

Dewley, who works at a local investment firm and once mistook two men inside of a horse costume for the genuine article, got himself in his latest fix early Monday morning. According to sources, this is the fifth time in as many weeks that the 43-year-old has experienced the sort of bumbling mishap usually portrayed in silent American comedies.

"It's always something with Michael," said longtime friend and former business associate Phillip Bowman. "Either the poor bastard is getting smacked in the face with a plank of wood, or he's tumbling head over heels down a long spiral staircase."

Added Bowman, "I don't think I've ever been out with the guy and not seen him end up covered in feathers."

Over the course of his life, Dewley has reportedly fallen from a 20-foot barn ladder on seven separate occasions, slipped into a giant vat of fresh cream at least three times, and once, while vacationing with his family in Egypt, managed to stir a 5,000-year-old mummy from its restful slumber.

While the accidents were amusing and even entertaining at first, sources close to Dewley said that watching him repeatedly hammer his own thumb and hop around the room in excruciating pain has grown difficult over time.

"It used to be funny—you know, in a broad sort of way—but now I just feel bad for him," brother-in-law Peter Havemeyer said. "I mean, how many times can you watch someone get punched in the face by a trained kangaroo before it starts to get to you? Poor Michael. The man is just covered in welts."

Dewley's blunders have reportedly taken a tremendous toll on his physical well-being. In April, the 43-year-old was disfigured beyond all recognition after walking into a plate-glass window, while earlier this month, Dewley had to be rushed into surgery following a bloody encounter with a rolling-pin-wielding matron.

According to doctors at Greenview Regional Hospital, if Dewley trips on one more discarded banana peel or is struck in the face by one more malfunctioning Murphy bed, he runs the risk of suffering permanent brain damage.

"We've been banned from every opera house in town, and pretty much any hotel with a bellhop or, God forbid, a revolving door," wife Sheila Dewley said. "It's getting to be too much. Please don't tell him, but I'm seriously thinking of taking the kids and just leaving."

In addition to the strain they have put on his marriage, Dewley's mishaps have reportedly ruined his personal finances. Three small children, stacked in a teetering column and concealed beneath a full-length trench coat, sold the accountant nearly $6,500 worth of life insurance in November.

Making matters worse, Dewley was laid off from work late last week after mistakenly wrestling his boss's wife, a dignified woman in a large peacock-feather hat, to the ground.

"I heard they were going to have to sell their home and maybe move in with Sheila's parents," former coworker Robert Daverson said. "With everything that's happened, it's hard to even look at Michael these days. Especially when his pants fall down in front of large groups of people."

According to those closest to him, Dewley may have reached the end of his rope. He frequently breaks down at the sight of seltzer water and often experiences crippling nightmares in which he is chased by a giant bicycle horn. Friends are worried the unemployed family man may be on the verge of a complete mental collapse.

"Please make it stop," said Dewley, his legs slowly sinking in a patch of fresh cement. "I beg you, please, just make it all stop. I'll do anything—anything!"

As of press time, a strange shadow roughly the size and shape of a concert grand piano, was growing around Dewley's feet.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Coldest Ever

I know I know, another post about the cold, but seriously, it is absurdly cold. The NWS says it's -7 with a -25 wind chill right now. Indianapolis Public Schools are canceled because of the cold. Many other schools were on a delay but really should have been called off. When your temperature increases from -12 to -10 during the 2 hours of delay, I am not sure how much good it does. Yesterday, it actually got COLDER during the delay (IPS was smart again and had no delay). One of Andy's students got frostbite yesterday, and today's worse. It is going to get "better," as it is supposed to get up to 7 today (as opposed to yesterday's 1).

All of this cold got me thinking (b/c really all I am thinking about is how cold it is), and it occurred to me that I have never been in weather this cold. I grew up in NC, and I can't remember a time where the high temperature was right around 0. I have lived in Indiana before, but it was never this cold. So, this is officially my coldest weather EVER!

I can't wait for tomorrow's high of 26!!!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Cold enough for ya?

The temperatures this week are taking a nosedive. The low Thursday night is -8 F. On Friday, we may get up to 9 F.

I realize I live in Indiana, and that it is winter, but I really feel that the high temperature should get out of single digits, and I am quite disturbed by the National Weather Service's pictorial forecast. This image of "cold" is so distressing....a man struggling to keep upright against the bitter if I wasn't disturbed enough.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Poem of the Month

Check it out! A poem by my Mom was featured by the North Carolina Poetry Society as the Poem of the Month for December.

What Next?

In the mirror,
Where did you come from? You
Seem so old, yet still you whisper
What next?

Sunday, January 4, 2009

What was Morgan Freeman Thinking?

This is an oldie (2002) but holds up well. This video is hilarious to this day. And it's hard to imagine what information Steve Azar has on Morgan Freeman that compelled him to do this video.

The embedding option on you tube has been "disabled by request" (harrumph!) so you'll have to follow the link.

Plus, check out this comment on youtube: "Great song...still love it to this day. Great fantastic is Morgan Freeman. Great arms? How did I not notice those before, Steve?"

Saturday, January 3, 2009

News Flash...Ramona likes the Beach!

Part of our holiday trip to NC was spent in Wrightsville Beach (the site of our wedding!). It was Ramona's first trip to the ocean, and not surprisingly, she had a fantastic time. The weather was amazing (in the 60s and sunny), and Ramona crashed through the waves until we made her stop. She was a bit of a brat, refusing to fetch her new Christmas present of a water toy holding out for a tennis ball.

Into the waves

Back triumphant

Throw it again!!

Some sort of sea monster emerging from the water

Ramona in action