They gather sure a marked event

As their faces shaped for the resplendence

To each a voice to spur on a touch,

While all eyes collecting

These christened cohorts of single mind

Do relish in all that is established

An honored code held to impart

By times own beaconing

Felled transfixed by all their senses

To which the brain gives preference

Vision holds, smell to catch,

Touch to thieve the morsel

Old and youthful they impart the news

Headlines of their own editorials

A tale bold or one in repetition

Each given equal notice

With gestured plea they all assemble

To sit in awe, a sight so plenty 

Their heads pitched silent in humbled thanks

A prayer’s cast on all receiving



Blog stats and anonymous viewers

It’s weird how people can view a blog site without ever sending a note. Sometimes I feel like a voyeur when I go to someone’s site without leaving a comment.  But some folks don’t seem to crave comments like I do, so I don’t feel obligated.

This idea really caught my attention a few weeks ago when I suddenly started getting a lot of ‘views’ on my ‘Things I love about Mallorca’ post. I thought these views might drop off eventually, but I’m still getting about 8 views a day. I can count my ‘regulars’ on one hand, so I’m not sure who these viewers are.

I don’t mind. I’m happy for any attention I can get. I’m just curious. I even tried googling Mallorca to see if my blog came up and it didn’t. I even googled ‘things I loved about mallorca’ and my blog still didn’t come up. I wondered if an english teacher somewhere used my blog as a translation exercise, but would this explain why I’m still getting 8 views per day. If you found my blog via my Mallorca story–please explain.



A stretched heart

lung1.jpglung1.jpglung1.jpglung1.jpglung.jpglung.jpg She cried at the news.  This newly germinating seed that would consume her as had the one before.  It hadn’t been unbearable and there was no regret.  But this incipient new life, full of need and bursting with an all consuming energy would again usurp her mental and physical resources.  She was choked by emotion; waves of turmoil washed through her brain and demanded attention and decisions.  Eyes closed against the orange light of the bright fluorescent bulbs, she strained to imagine future pleasures as they drifted beyond her reach.  Exotic places, lush landscapes, salty aromas, comforting crystals, trips to a market bursting with the scent of new leather and the feel of high quality fabric.  All this would continue to elude her grasp.  Reality tore her violently back to the standard issue office chair in front of a sullen computer demanding her immediate attention and contribution.  Her back hurt, her chest burned and her burgeoning stomach burdened her breath.  It was not a bilious reaction this time; the incipient struggle remaining covert for a time.  She had regained a controlled and cheerful demeanor; but internally the pressure was destructive, aching pulsations beneath the surface and deep in her core.   Vessels stretched, contracted and stressed to dangerous levels; her body’s ordinarily efficient filtration system extravagantly leaking precious stores of nutrition.  The very real and immediate humiliation of carrying 24 hours worth of urine to the doctor’s office.  The cure would be expulsion, but the nascent gift would be at risk. 

She cried when he was born, her heart stretched from happiness.  Her fears for him soon allayed, her own health regained.  Two days later still wrapped in a whirlwind bliss of mindless symbiosis, her body betrayed her again.  Her heart muscle now weakened refused to push the freshly oxygenated blood from her lungs to her demanding organs, muscles and brain.  The flow, slowed like a freeway that became a parking lot.  The precious oxygen now stagnant, fluid accumulated in the lungs, leaking from capillaries into delicate airspaces.  At first the sensation was intense, but familiar, as from exertion.  But as the lacey, watery sacs became coated with a film of internally produced ocean, they would struggle to absorb oxygen.  Panic set in, each gasp a massive, concentrated effort.  Then, there was gurgling in her chest and the panic became raw terror.  She realized she was drowning in her own blood.  Her husband called an ambulance and a few days later she was home again.  Her heart would remain weak, but she would recover.  The warning was clear: her heart would not survive another pregnancy.

This story was inspired by a friend of mine, I hope she doesn’t mind.


THE most obnoxious release form ever written

This is without a doubt THE most obnoxious release I have ever been asked to sign. I actually refused. I don’t mind being recorded so students can view my lectures at home–Actually, I do mind, I hate being recorded in the first place (unless it gets me out of showing up next year!) and I happen to think students should be required to attend lectures as long as I still have to show up. I’ve heard that the students speed up the lectures to chipmunk speed in order to save time. But I digress….The obnoxious lawyer who dreamed this up MUST be punished! I’d love to know if other Universities are doing this and how many professors/instructors are actually signing it.



“TALENT RELEASE” (like this is gonna to make me feel better about signing)

For good and valuable consideration (what? I get a pat on the back?), I authorize the Regents of the University of __ and its agents (who the heck are they?) to record my appearance and participation on videotape, audiotape, film, photograph or any other medium and to use, reproduce, modify, distribute, and publicly exhibit (like on u-tube?) such recordings, in whole or in part, without restrictions or limitation for any purpose that the University deems appropriate. I further consent to the use of my name, likeness, voice and biographical material in connection with such recordings (my name address and phone number perhaps!).


I release the University, its successors and assigns, its agents, and all persons for whom it is acting (why don’t they just say every human being on the planet from now to eternity) from any liability by virtue of any blurring, distortion, alteration, optical illusion or use in composite form, whether intentional or otherwise, that may occur or be produced in the recording process, or any unintentional misspellings or inaccuracies and waive any right that I may have to inspect or approve the finished recordings.

It snowed!


It’s snowing! I say excitedly. But I always get the same response here in Minnesota. A sort of condescending puzzled look, like I just fell off the turnip truck or something. It’s just a few flakes and it is November, so clearly it’s not surprising. Most of my childhood was spent in warmer climates: Richmond Virginia, Birmingham Alabama. But even in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the chances of getting a snow day which meant missing school and walking over to the golf course for sledding or tubing were pretty good, even if there was only a small amount of snow on the ground. I will always associate the first snow of the season with that excitement of a surprise vacation from school and a chance to spend a few hours outdoors with my friends, often this was followed by hot chocolate or maybe a fire in the fireplace. Apparently here in Minnesota, the first snow of the season doesn’t have these same connotations. Still, I can’t help myself, I always ask, trying to sound casual, Did you notice it was snowing this morning?  Usually, the response is a simple “no”. No one cares about the first bits of flakes in the air, they don’t even get excited when it  starts sticking and the trees look like the photo above.  I’m sure we’ll have snow that sticks by Christmas.  I’ll be happy and excited that first day.  Of course, by March, I’ll just be sick and tired of the dirty nasty stuff.

My dream job


I am somewhat anti-social, so for my dream job, I wouldn’t depend on anyone and I wouldn’t be monitored or evaluated by anyone. My dream job is to make widgets. I want to make them in my own home. The widget parts arrive on time at the beginning of every week. I work 5 days/week. When I spend 5 hours a day making widgets, I can pay my bills and if I spend 8 hours a day making widgets, I have plenty of spending money. If I have unexpected bills, I can work weekends. I have good health and retirement benefits. My widgets look just like everyone else’s widgets and there is an unlimited demand for widgets.


Unfortunately. My widget parts don’t arrive on time at the beginning of the week. Sometimes, the widget part supplier has a bad week. Widget part-makers take unplanned vacations, get sick or are just lazy. Sometimes the widget parts are defective. When the widget parts don’t arrive, or are defective, I spend hours sending e-mails and making phone calls to get this resolved. My employer may decide there is a better way to make widgets and hire a consultant. The consultant will suggest that I fill out forms tracking my widget making progress. My employer may hire an extra person to make sure I comply with the new system. The extra person won’t help make widgets or fill out forms. I will have to make twice as many widgets in order to pay this person’s salary.


My employer decides to grade my widgets and my widget making ability. He tells me that I should have made improvements years ago and wonders why I am making fewer widgets today than I had before. Now, I have to spend 2-3 hours a day trying to come up with a better way to make a better widget even though no-one in my department knows what a better widget is or whether there will be a demand for it. They suggest I design a study to determine what improvements will help sell more widgets. They can’t give me money for the study, so I have to make more widgets. I also have to train new widget-makers. My employer doesn’t understand why these new widget-makers are more productive than I am. It is because they don’t fill out widget improvement forms, track down missing and defective widget parts, make improvements in the widget making process or train new widget-makers.


The government has decided that widget-making needs to be closely monitored. This means I must now take tests on-line every 6 months to prove that I know these new laws. It also means that I must generate additional paperwork to prove that I am complying with these regulations. Another person may be hired to make sure I do all this. This means I will have to make even more widgets to pay his salary. My employer also expects me to spend 2-3 hours/week writing reports to explain all of the studies I have performed and the improvements I have made in the widget making process. I am also responsible for creating seminars and tests to train and evaluate the new widget-makers. I also fill out their employee evaluation forms. At this point, making widgets is only a small part of my job and it’s still the only part of my job that I like. I need a vacation and I need to retire as soon as possible. OK… so my job isn’t exactly like this, but sometimes it feels like it. Is it just me, or does everyone feel this way about his job sometimes?