Friday, September 15, 2006

Elephant mania in Indy; the baby debuted

Here is the news story: Indystar: Ivory's baby

The story discusses nursing - the baby gets up at night to eat, so I guess they family bed too.

Oh, and mom "decides" to wean when baby gets tusks - I was wondering how nursing would work with tusks anyway!

Ivory is the mother's name. I hate the name. It seems like the equivalent of naming a horse "Glue". I hope the baby gets a better name.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Falling and fire

What must it be like, in the last moments of a relatively normal life, to have to choose how you will die? There must me a moment of stupefying horror at the realization that your remaining choices aren't anything as mundane as tall or grande, but whether you will stay and burn or jump. I can't imagine what people went through making this choice 5 years ago today. But I do hope, for one of them, that the choice wasn't just over this way of death or that one. Maybe there was someone that decided, for 10 seconds of a life cut too short, to take control of a chaotic day and chose to fly for the experience of it - a last chance to hold and have life, however briefly, rather than have it turned to ashes. The photos and images of the jumpers are what stay with me from that day; the inferno and collapse are too much at times to encompass, but the righteous humanity evident in taking charge of those last moments is something I mourn. Peace to them all and their families.

Thanks to Mike Faurote for sharing the fallen leaf image on Flickr.

Friday, September 8, 2006

Limericks and road trips.

I'm travelling this weekend to Chicagoland. I've packed Seize the Daylight for the trip; this is my light road-worthy reading. My hardcover copy of Team of Rivals is too darned nice to risk scuffs in the totebag.

Today, I did a brief presentation titled "13 feet in 5 minutes." It went fairly well. The topic was Limericks. This gave me reason to read one of my favorites, by an anonymous person:
There was a young lady from Niger
Who smiled as she rode on a tiger.
They returned from the ride
With the lady inside,
And a smile on the face of the tiger.
In the presentation, I emphasized the use of limericks as a vocabulary-building exercise; that reading limericks by authors who use obscure words can make those words lodge more permanently in your gray matter, and that by writing them you can revitalize little-used words in your own memory when trying to complete an interesting rhyme. I also learned a few things about the topic myself. I never imagined, for example, that my favorite could be disparaged due to having a repeated word and a sight rhyme - the best sort of limericks avoid these crutches, according to some. For more fun - and very original limericks, see The Omnificent English Dictionary In Limerick Form.

Hooray for Craigslist

Selling a truck in Indiana isn't hard, but wow was it easy with a listing on craigslist. The biggest problem was managing all the emails! I had about 20 responses since I posted it Monday at midnight, 10 of those were serious, got an offer and sold the truck tonight. Wow, I'll use the list again in a heartbeat. Usually selling a car is such a pain, waiting for test drivers & etc...