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{ Category Archives } Flotsam

Throwback – Riddikulus! (on gerrymandering and Chicago politics)

Originally published on 5 November 2011. Sometimes when I think about politics, I feel like Neville standing in front of the Boggart cabinet in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkiban.  But alas, our leaders dressed like ladies would hardly embarrass them. When I was preparing my Open Letter to Congress last week, I looked […]

Nark – where words come from

Reading “The Hands of Mr. Ottermole” for my detective fiction class today, I came across this sentence, warning why most murderers will eventually give themselves away: …your everyday criminal is seldom clearheaded and dislikes being lonely.  He needs, if not the support of confederates, at least somebody to talk to; his vanity needs the satisfaction […]

Movin’ On Up: thoughts on officiating competitions

Today I take my YMCA Swim Official Level 2 certification class.  After today, and after I take the test associated with the course, I will be eligible to perform a variety of duties at swim meets as an official, at least at meets with YMCA designation (USA swimming, the governing body that organizes swim meets […]

Throwback – The Coming Monkey Apocalypse

I’ve been keeping this blog for near-on 10 years, so there’s lots of good stuff in the archives.  I’ll make use of the common Twitter hashtag #ThrowbackThursdays to re-post links to old but great posts.  Enjoy. In the past few months, I’ve become more and more convinced that one of Avery’s children’s books is actually […]

In one end and out the other. Gulp by Mary Roach

Gulp: Adventures on the Alimentary Canal by Mary Roach; narrated by Emily Woo Zeller Mary Roach’s latest book explores the digestive process, from beginning to end, looking at what scientists think and have thought, what they study, and how they go about it.  It’s great, as usual, with lots of funny moments.  A few thoughts: […]

Happy Labor Day!

Fun facts about Labor Day (from Wikipedia): We proposed it in the US after Canada already had it, but in a stroke of efficiency, we dropped the superfluous ‘u’ from Labour. Because Labor Day has become a major sale day, “some of those who are employed in the retail sector not only work on Labor […]

I’m back, Baby

In early February of 2014, my blogs got hit with an automated hack that took them down, hard.  I was in the middle of preparing for the Popular Culture Association / American Culture Association conference, so I took them offline (along with most of my website) “until I had time to deal with the situation.”  […]

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July 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. July was a fun month.  We took a family trip in the pop up camper to Mackinac Island and the UP before joining friends at a campground in eastern Wisconsin.  Highlights: Playing cards in […]

June 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. June was a relatively calm month around the Riley manse.  A few highlights: The PCA conference year is nearly at an end.  Glad to be done with that — on to other work! Enjoying […]

May 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. The end of the semester arrives and summer begins.  A few highlights: With the end of the semester, I’ve been able to start playing board games with the gaming group again.  Looking forward to […]

April 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. April was a busy month: The PCA conference happened this month.  The conference itself went very well, but the politics of the governing board were very unpleasant. Courses continue well at Columbia.  Yay my […]

March 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. March in Chicago.  What fun! Nothing much to report from March, except that things continue apace.  Courses go well, PCA planning for the conference goes … along, anyhow. Books I read: The Windup Girl […]

February 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. A chilly winter in Chicago. Preparations continue apace for the PCA/ACA 2014 conference.  It’s going to be very big. Enjoying the new Spring semester courses at CCC. Swim meets, swim meets, swim meets. Books […]

January 2014

My blog was on hiatus from Feb 2 – August 27, 2014.  This post was written post-facto to highlight key events. A cold month, but another great time teaching Zombies in Popular Media.  YAY! Books I read: Zombies! Zombies! Zombies! by Otto Penzler A Storm of Swords by George RR Martin Code Monkey Save World […]

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