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Digital Sextant : Blog archives
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{ Monthly Archives } November 2013

“This has to work. I have to get out of this morass, and soon. Which means I’d better be capable of murder.” – Westlake’s THE AX

The Ax by Donald Westlake When Burke Devore finds himself on his way to three years without work, he decides he has to do something drastic.  Because his field of expertise is relatively narrow, he knows there aren’t that many people competing with him for jobs.  But the competition is there, and he just doesn’t […]

Happy Thanksgiving, friends

We’re spending the day with family, enjoying ourselves and eating a lot and trying to stay warm.  Here’s hoping you do the same. Here are a bunch of pictures of Thanksgiving dinners from Flickr. (Thanks to all you folks who put your dinners online!) Happy Thanksgiving.

Why did the turkey cross the train tracks?

Stuff I’m thinking about – Beastie Boys, cooking, swimming, zombies, grading, snow globes

It’s two days until Thanksgiving and we have family coming to visit, so things are a bit crazy around here.  A quick couple things I’m thinking about: I don’t particularly like (or dislike) The Beastie Boys, but I’ve usually thought of them as pretty honorable.  That said, they’ve come down on the wrong side of […]

Lock and Load: J.R. Angelella’s novel ZOMBIE

Zombie: a novel by J.R. Angelella Jeremy Barker dwells in the unhappy place often occupied by angsty narrators of young adult novels.  His dad is a traumatized Vietnam vet with whom he bonds over zombie movies and life advice (like which tie knot is the best — full windsor, by the way), but who can’t […]

Tweets from 2013-11-17 to 2013-11-23

It weirds me out that "continue working in that vein" is a mining metaphor, despite the fact that as a medical metaphor it's way more gross. 04:30:43, 2013-11-17 #TwitterStateofMind I composed that last tweet in one try, no editing at all: 140 characters on the nose. I tweaked this tweet to get there. 04:32:44, 2013-11-17 […]

Hey Judge! He did two dolphin kicks! Are you blind!?

Over the past few months, I’ve been working on getting certified as a swim official.  It’s been an interesting process, full of new knowledge and a new set of skills, with lots of little nuances that were a bit unexpected.  Here are a few of them: A primary goal is to give swimmers equal scrutiny, […]

Adventures in Bug Hunting: Or, PHP 5.3, why can’t you handle whitespace?

Caution: NERD TALK AHEAD A couple years ago, I created a request system for my department which would allow users to register their teaching preferences.  This wasn’t really anything new, many other people have done it (I did it for my department at University of Florida years ago).  In the years since, I’ve tweaked it […]

Like a magic growing animal capsule of the technological apocalypse (Blueprints of the Afterlife)

Blueprints of the Afterlife by Ryan Boudinot Blueprints is a strange book, non-linear and bewildering.  It tells the story of the fall of civilization in a war between humans and robots, but also of a monstrous glacier that traveled around North America, ripping cities up wholesale, and of a secret cabal that maybe made it […]

All star balloon

All star balloon

You’re Not Doing It Right

You’re Not Doing It Right: tales of marriage, sex, death, and other humiliations by Michael Ian Black MIB is one of my favorite voices in comedy.  He plays smarmy and snarky and disconnected, but there flows underneath a current of thoughtfulness and nervousness that’s moving.  While I enjoyed his collection of essays, My Custom Van, […]

My daddy would never tell me anything that wasn’t so, would you, Daddy?

The annual Miracle on 34th Street post We had a mini-Thanksgiving dinner last night because my mother is visiting, so it feels like it’s a bit later in the month than it actually is.  To follow it up, we watched the best Christmas movie ever made — A Miracle on 34th Street. We also made […]

Tweets from 2013-11-10 to 2013-11-16

Tweets from 2013-11-03 to 2013-11-09 http://t.co/9SUoPiPgVa 09:58:23, 2013-11-10 Photo of a back massage parlor sign in Atlantic City. Looks like a funny back massage to me. http://t.co/jSYKAKMWAA 16:30:16, 2013-11-11 @columbophile Showed my college students "Dawn's Early Light" last week. This weekend a bunch of them watched more on their own. #HookedEm 17:39:17, 2013-11-11 RT @columbophile: […]

The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century

The Best American Mystery Stories of the Century Edited by Tony Hillerman and Otto Penzler I don’t envy anyone tasked with assembling a book like this.  You’d want to be original, but you couldn’t skip the best things.  You’d need to hit many of the major figures while not ignoring minor gems.  You’d want to […]

Pumpkin season