Archive for Life

Rest in Peace Grizzly Bear

Grizzly Bear

Monica’s landlord, who lives above her, euthanized his dog today after the onset of some very painful bone cancer. Grizzly was 10.  I only knew him in his last year, sitting on the doorstep barking at distant pedestrians and greeting arrivals, happy to be minding that spot in even the coldest weather.  He seemed to have few other cares in the world.  He will be greatly missed.

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Trolli Sour Cherry Bombers

Trolli Sour Cherry BombersTrolli makes some good stuff, and the new sour Cherry Bombers are certainly among that stuff. But, please, I beg you, don’t buy a bag and eat the whole thing in a few minutes. Why would you even do that? I know, they are cherry flavored; and of all the artificial flavors cherry is probably the best. And, yes, I know that they are sour, or more accurately the liquid center that oozes out moments after you roll one around in your mouth is sour. But, you just had lunch! There’s no call for that.

Now you’re going to have to live with that sugar shocked stomach while you try to do something productive like teach a next leading order Monte Carlo generator to sing and dance. How’s that working out for you? Not well, I’d say, not well.

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A Cool Breeze

Kenmore air conditionerThat’s 5150 British thermal units in my window, baby! The $99+tax I spent a couple weekends ago at Sears on my new Kenmore buddy is money I will never miss. I love the igloo that is my room, and I may never leave. Most especially it’s wonderful to be able to sleep comfortably the whole summer. The evaporative cycle rocks!

Sadly, I do have to venture out of my room now and again.  There is eating and showering and working, for example.  The Weather Service is predicting 95°F for the beginning of the coming week.  I wish I could sleep all day in my air conditioned room and turn nocturnal.  It’s still a little humid, but the nights are quite close to pleasant.

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Location, Location, Location

Google map pointing to center of Ann ArborWe finally put up an ad looking for one (or maybe two, I’m still not sure if Latika is staying) new housemates for next year.  When I happened to be using a Google map of Ann Arbor it struck me that we can honestly say our house is “centrally located”. Check it out: a search for “Ann Arbor” points to our very own block, though on the other side. We are beat out only by the likes of the Ann Arbor offices of Weather Underground and Mysore Woodlands.

Incidently, here’s the description from the ad we are currently running,

A room is available in a six-bedroom, two-story house with friendly graduate studentish people (in fields such as anthropology, physics, and archeology). The house is on a quiet and very convenient tree-lined street near Kerrytown. The house has a large kitchen, two full bathrooms, free off-street parking, free washer and dryer, a living room, small reading room/dining room, very large basement storage space, a “mud room” for bikes and other storage, and a cable internet connection with wired and wireless networks. It is ten minutes walking distance to the UM Central Campus, even less to the Medical Campus, and on a bus route to North Campus (#1). It is one block from Kerrytown, Zingermann’s deli, the Farmer’s Market, and The People’s Food Co-op; and only minutes from downtown Ann Arbor.

We’d like to find considerate, environmentally-minded people with which we could enjoy sharing a drink and some chit-chat. If you enjoy life and keep the sink relatively clear of dishes we should be able to get along. You don’t have to be a non-smoker, but please no smoking inside. The cost of all utilities (including the internet connection and some common kitchen supplies) is an additional $65/person/month averaged over the whole year.

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Any Given Sunday in France

French Stores Honor Sabbath, Except When They Don’t‘ is an interesting article in the New York Times today.  It explains some the quirks of Sunday opening in France. It is law that stores must be closed on Sunday, but there are many exceptions. Unions are fighting heavily for the protection of the sabbath, but on the other hand 75% of French people want to be able to shop on Sundays. Many businesses get exemptions (such as museums, pharamacists, and owner operated stores) but the whole system is devolving into irrationality as the restrictions get chipped away. It’s an interesting debate.  I empathize with some of the goals,

The crackdown against Vuitton and other businesses is largely a result of an aggressive campaign against clothing, shoe and handbag sellers by the National Clothing Federation… Its main goal is to protect small merchants, for whom opening on Sundays is a bother and a burden, from big competitors.

I hate those “huge malls that Americans adore” as if I were French myself. (Though there still is a special place in my heart for our upscale friend out on Big Beaver Road.)  The trouble is I think the forces at work are much stronger than Sunday hours can account for.  The price, convenience, and selection of larger stores draws people in any day.  For me a far more significant factor was the hours after work, I wouldn’t have nearly the same need to shop on Sundays (I would have to get up “early” and bike to the Champion in St. Genis on Sunday, where there always were huge lines just before the noon closing) if the stores would just stay open a little later on the weekdays (8:30pm was the absolute latest closing, which was barely enough for me and my late schedule).

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Rabbit Visitor

Rabbit sitting in my yard.On Tuesday, just after passing Linda on “a great run” I arrived home to find a rabbit sitting in the middle of our yard. A picture from my phone camera is in the gallery. It hoped away before I could get my good camera. I hope it doesn’t nibble away all of the “spicy mixed greens” I am growing (seen in the background).  On Sunday at the end of walk through the arboretum I ran into a raccoon eating some french fries on the steps next to the hospital helipad.  I’ll upload a picture just as soon as I can get a reliable network connection, lately the one at home has seemed flaky.  I’m also working on uploading pictures to fill out my 2005 – CERN folder, but I may have to do that from my office.

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Monet on the Mind

San Giorgio Maggiore at Dusk (1908), Claude MonetLast night Monica and I curled up on the couch to watch one of my favorite movies The Thomas Crown Affair (the 1999 remake). It’s cinema candy which I can’t help but stuff my face with now and again. Also, Monica hadn’t ever seen the film! That injustice had to be rectified. (And she still hasn’t seen Sneakers, the horror!) So, getting back to the meet of this message, I was walking across the Diag today on my way to class when I notice a girl walking toward me carrying a frame. At first I only see the back side of it and assume it’s empty, but as she gets nearer she happened to turn it over. Consider that it really isn’t often that I see people walking around town with framed prints. I can’t specifically recall any instances in fact, but I’m sure it happens and it is hard to imagine I haven’t seen it before. But, it is a rare occurance and even considering the popularity of Monet in the college-dorm setting I still think it is very freaky that she was carrying the very same painting that plays the featured role in The Thomas Crown Affair, Claude Monet’s San Giorgio Maggiore by Twilight. ‘Sup with that?

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Stereolab at the Majestic

Stereolab plays the Majestic Theater in DetroitLast night Christina, Katie, Jeremy, Monica, Heidi, and I went into Detroit to see Stereolab [Wikipedia] [Google] at The Majestic Theater. The sound and presentation was, in “a word” friggin’-sweet! The Majestic is a fairly spare venue in a somewhat questionable area—Monica had her car broken into just outside the Theater some time ago. But, it seemed to all work well for the ‘Lab and their sound. Afterwards the adjoining bowling alley was really hopping with the hipster crowd and we were pleased to discover our car safe and secure.  It was a tasty, cream-filled weekend; I’m still dabing the sticky spots at the corners of my mouth.

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Fruit Snack Jackpot

Two Fruit SnacksI won the Fruit Snack jackpot! Last week, when Monica and I were studying in my office, we got the munchies and since all the businesses were closing early for spring break she suggested a vending machine. Though I knew there were some in the physics buildings I’ve rarely thought of them. Though Monica showed distain for my gummy fetish, I went for the gummy fruit, “made with real fruit juice” just the way I like it. Well, the money went in, the proper buttons were pressed, and the corkscrew turned and turned. Down fell one Farley’s Fruit Snacks and then… miraculously… a second one teatered on the brink, quivering with fruitiness, yearning to leap free! Their was a moment of hushed anticipation from the gathering crowd (Monica, two ion trapping experiments, and me), I gave the machine a few good whacks and down tumbled the fruitiness to a roaring crowd (except the ion traps, they have to say very, very quiet, ions are fickle creatures). Sometimes life is a glorious thing.

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The Rain in Spain Falls Mainly in Seattle

Can guess what’s happening right now around Seattle? Raining. Guess what the weather report says it going to do until Monday… rain, rain showers, likely rain showers, likely rain, oh, and a little wind thrown in Sunday night for spice.

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