Gye Greene's Thoughts

Gye Greene's Thoughts (w/ apologies to The Smithereens and their similarly-titled album!)

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Which would The Tick choose?

Here in Brisbane, there are three different Criminology programs, across the three major universities:

-University of Queensland, School of Social Science, Criminology program

-Griffith University, School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

-Queensland University of Technology, School of Justice

Question: Based on the names of the programs, which one would The Tick prefer? (Tip: Read 'em out loud, citizen!)


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Two movies

Well, now that my Dissertation draft is turned in, we've actually rented a movie or two:

Mama Mia: I liked it, despite fully intending to not like it. Even if you're a grumpy old grouch like me, you should go rent it: an 88% chance that you'll be grinning and singing along, despite yourself.

The Holiday (2006): Pretty good, if you like Romantic Comedies (which we do). (Basic plot: one woman dumps a boyfriend for cheating on her, and another one gets frustrated over an ex-lover. They swap houses for a ''get away from it all'' two weeks: L.A. mansion vs. small English cottage.) Although I found the Cameron Diaz-Jude Law romance more plausible than the Kate Winslet-Jack Black hook-up (which seemed rather abrupt, to me.)


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Famous UW folks

Granted, as the main university in Washington state, the majority collge-bound teenagers in the Seattle area probably attended the University of Washington. So, the odds are pretty strong that anyone famous coming from Washington **probably** has a degree from U.W.

That said, there were a lot (30%) of the U.W. alumni listed in the "famous living 100" article in a recent edition of the alumni magazine (Columns; June 2008) that I'd actually heard of -- or at least, heard of the thing they're famous for:

-Beverly Cleary (author of Beezus & Ramona, Henry Huggins, The Mouse and the Motorcycle, etc.)

-Rick Steves (travel writer)

-Kim Thayil (guitarist for Soundgarden)

-Tim Paterson (wrote the original MS-DOS -- which I think Bill Gates had sub-contracted to him, for a few thousand bucks...)

-Brad Fitzpatrick (created the LiveJournal website)

-Booth Gardner (former Gov. of Washington)

-Kitty Kelley (biographer of politicians)

-Dale Chihuly (glassblowing guy)

-Chris DeWolfe (co-founded MySpace webpage)

-David Horsey (local cartoonist)

-Dawn Wells (played Mary Ann on Gilligan's Island)

-Dan Evans (Senator)

-Norm Rice (former mayor of Seattle)

-Patrick Duffy (actor on the t.v. show Dallas)

-John Carlson (the guy who spearheaded the I-200 anti-Affirmative Action initiative; hmm...)

-Jean Smart (actor in Designing Women, plus others)

-Norm Dicks (Congressdude)

-Margarethe Cammermeyer (came out that she was gay, and got discharged from the National Guard; led to a lawsuit, which clarified [locally] that the ban on hommosexuals in the military was unconstitutional)

-Julia Sweeney (played Pat on Saturday Night Live, plus other stuff)

-Wayne Quninton (in addition to many bioengineering things, also invented the treadmill[!!! - interesting! I guess it must've been invented by **someone**...])

-Tom Foley (politician dude)

-David Guterson (wrote Snow Falling on Cedars, which was also a movie)

-Ann Rule (crime fiction)

-Peter Adkinson (founder of Wizards of the Coast [Maogic: the Gathering])

-Albert Rosellini (former Gov. of WA, way back in the day)

-Loren Carpenter (co-founder of Pixar)

-Richard Karn (actor who was the sidekick to Tim Allen on the Home Improvement t.v. series)

-Jeffrey Brotman (co-founder of Costco)

-Christine Gregoire (current Gov. of WA)

-Kenny G (famous jazz saxophonist)

-Irv Robbins (co-founder of Baskin-Robbins ice cream; recently deceased, so listed elsewhere in this issue)

Some people also nominated Bruce Lee, which the editors of the U.W. alumni magazine nixed because he wasn't living, and because he only attended for a few years, but didn't graduate. Actually, according to the dictionary (American Heritage, 1987-ish), to be an alum doesn't require you to have graduated from that school -- just attended.

BTW,back in 2001, some members of the Earth Liberation Front burned down Merrill Hall at the UW Center for Urban Horticulture, mistakenly thinking that genetically modified plants were being created there.

This was incorrect. Instead, the arsonists managed to wipe out one-quarter of the world's population of an endangered plant species. Doh! Gotta get the facts, radical activist folks...

They're in the process of being convicted.


Monday, February 16, 2009

Fancy paint set for The Girl

The Girl is really into drawing and painting -- apparently (according to the daycare ladies), more so than most kids her age.

My grandma does sumi-e painting (see photo at left; not one of hers, just something I found with Google image search). My understanding is that sumi-e is characterized by using single brush strokes, rather than many little ones -- for example, each bamboo leaf is a brush stroke, as is each segment of bamboo. Also, it tends to be monochromatic -- although some folks add one or two colors -- but usually not more than that.

Anyhow, very stylized, and very old. My grandma does the Japanese style -- not sure how the Chinese style differs.

So, while we were in Seattle during our Christmas vacation, we visited my grandma. At my request, she showed The Girl how to hold the brush, rub the ink stone on the plate to get ink, etc. The Girl was a little too young to do it properly (she's only four), but she seemed to like it.

And then -- unexpectedly -- my grandma made up a little ''care package'' for The Girl. Two brushes; an ink stone and inkwell; and the special ricepaper.

Neat-o! Partly because it's so specialized -- but also because it's from my grandma's (her great-grandmother's) stash. Once she gets old enough to use them properly (I guessing half a year to a year), she'll be using the gear that her great-grandma used.



Sunday, February 15, 2009

One for Slag to not read during breakfast

We have a playpen set up in the family room, which we refer to as “The Cage”: it’s a big rectangle, long enough for me to like down in, with rails tall enough that the boys can’t get out. It’s directly on the floor, with a comforter over some floor padding.

My usual routine for the past month or so has been for me to stay up ‘til midnight, or 2am, or worse, working on my Dissertation. The next morning, the boys wake us up around 6am; The Lady feeds the first one while I jiggle the other one; then I hand the second one over, and take the first out to The Cage. A few minutes later, The Lady carries the second one out to me, and I doze for another hour or two, until it’s time to get up. Meanwhile, the boys either play in the controlled, safe environment (with a few random toys to keep 'em happy), or else sleep.

This morning, though, while lying in The Cage, I partially woke up – I think by Boy #2 crawling across my arm. I picked up Boy #2 – and discovered that his thighs were **covered** in poop! My glasses were back in the bedroom, so I couldn’t really see the details, but...

Picked up Boy #1 and placed him on the floor outside The Cage; then carried Boy #2 to The Lady, who was already in the shower. She scraped him off and cleaned him up, and then I traded babies, as Boy #2 had crawled through it a bit while inside The Cage.

Then I took a shower, myself: the boys must have been climbing over me, as I had poop dried onto my right outside calf, and my right forearm. Also had some on my sleeping shorts, and my t-shirt.

Had to soak everyone’s clothes in disinfectant the laundry room sink, and soak the comforter in a gardening bin outside (too big for the sink, once the clothes were in there).

My most blog-worthy experience for the last few months...


Saturday, February 14, 2009

Celebrity look vaguely similars

Someone else's blog showed the results of a Celebrity look-alike website. So, I gave it a go.

Her results turned out better than mine: IMO, mine don't look at all like me.

(Four-Tower will be pleased that Richard Stallman is included...)

FWIW -- if you give the website a try, be advised that they have you upload your photo -- and then they tell you that you need to register. Bah.

Which I did.


Friday, February 13, 2009

Are we not yet men?

Answer: We are not Devo.

T-shirts silkscreened by the very talented Tara.

I took about eight pics of the boys: this is my favorite; would make a good album cover. I lvoe how Boy #1 (on the right) is looking over B2's head.


Hit a landmark

OK - so I've **finally** finished my full draft of my Ph.D. dissertation. I just got done e-mailing a copy to myself -- both my gmail account and my university account.

Now The Lady has to give it a glance, just to check for incoherencies and bad spelling. E-mail it as an attachment to my (very kind!) sister-in-law in Seattle, who will print it for me and hand copies off to my committee members. Getting closer...

Nearly 3am; going to bed. (3am doesn't seem weird to me; that's probably not a good thing.)


Thursday, February 12, 2009

Second dance lesson

Well, today was my girl's first dance lesson. I would've mentioned it last week,but I was busy Dissert-ing.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Dissertation progress

Well, not quite ''end of January''. But, getting close.

Yeah, it's three-something in the morning. Getting kind of used to it.

The "good'' draft (although with formatting issues, such as needing a table of contents) should be done by Tues night, maybe Weds; have The Lady look it over for typos and such; Friday or Saturday, e-mail it to my sister-in-law in Seattle to print out for me, hand off to my professors to read.

Then, defend it by phone in about a month; then, have 60 days to make any changes my professors demand. **Then**, done!

I'm estimating it to be 250-300 pages (double-spaced, 12 pt font, Times New Roman). Yergh. Most people's in my discipline are about 150. That explains at least **part** of what's taken me so long. (Note: not including the bibliography.)

Dissertation in a nutshell: Sociological research of "family" dynamics, and Criminological research on "family" effects on delinquency, says "family" but really means "parents".

So, I bring siblings, and the household (e.g. poverty; family violence) back in. I do some statistical things, and -- yep! -- siblings and the household paint a fuller picture than just parents. Also, more ''household'' things, and ''sibling'' things, are relevant to delinquency than are ''parental'' things.

Therefore: Sociologists and Criminologists should **really** include sibs and the HH, not just limit themselves to parents.



Monday, February 09, 2009

Now **that's** a bummer

As I'm writing up my Dissertation (**very** close to sending off a ''good'' draft to my Committee -- about a day's work, and then have The Lady read through it to detect stupidness), I've been slowly going though a pile of CDs -- some of which I haven't listened to for a while.

One of them is by this guy named Logan Whitehurst. I ordered a pair of CDs from his solo project ''Logan Whitehurst and the Jr. Science Club'', back on 10/23/01, from, for $7.98 + tax + S&H (I tend to write these things in the liner notes; beause I like data, and it's hard to retrieve it once it's lost).

Anyhow, listened to it, and remembered how much I liked it: reminds me a bit of They Might Be Giants -- e.g. the song ''The Waffle of Death'', ''Vibrating Leprechaun'', ''The Standard Metric System''. (Example: ''Robot Cat'' -- more recent than those songs, so has a more ''polished'' sound.) Thought I'd take a **quick** break from writing my Dissertation and go check out his site, to see what he's done lately -- and buy another album or two, once I've resumed work and we have disposable income again.

But, the site was blank. Or at least, pretty thin: just had one album listed -- whereas, back when I bought my two albums, I **think** I was choosing among four or five.

So, did a quick Google -- and came up with this. Basically, it's a pre-page to his main webpage, from his younger sister, saying he died in 2006. From (according to his Wikipedia entry) a brain tumor.


That sucks.

He wrote some good music.


Sunday, February 08, 2009

Fulong and thanks for all the fish

I found out by accident about a very small, low power consumption PC that runs on Linux (comes with a version of Debian). As shown in the photo, it's about the size of a CD-ROM drive. **Too** cool; want one. Supposedly, they're supposed to be available for about US$100 -- although you have to supply your own mouse, keyboard, and monitor.

As with the Asus eee, and many netbooks, it's underpowered by "modern" standards: closer to what you'd expect with a Pentium III. Still, perfectly good for typing, spreadsheets, and web browsing:

-256MB/512MB RAM
-40GB hard drive-Ethernet/network jack
-four USB jacks
-a PS/2 jack (apparently [see image below], it can be used for either a keyboard or for a mouse; PS/2 is the format that preceded the USB keyboards and mice)
-headphone jack
-mic jack
-VGA (for older monitors) and S-Video

Sadly, they don't appear to be available for retail in Australia -- although you can apparently order them online, etc., in the U.S. (for about US$200, I think).


Thursday, February 05, 2009

I'm an American idiom

Boy #2 has a bit of a cold, so he was sad: kept crying.

For him, I wasn’t good enough: it took his mommy holding him to get him to happy up. Apparently, Daddy doesn’t cut the mustard like Mommy does.

This made me think of how similar-sounding idioms often aren't similar in meaning:

1) "Apparently, Daddy doesn’t cut the mustard like Mommy does."

2) "Apparently, Daddy doesn’t cut the cheese like Mommy does."

Whenever someone produces sub-par work, I'm gonna start saying, "Sorry, buddy -- that just doesn't cut the cheese."


Sunday, February 01, 2009

Four year old logic

My 4 y.o. daughter has a toy diaper bag: pink, kid-sized, with various (empty) jars and bottles of pretend baby ointments and powders.

Tonight, she told me that one of them -- the rectangular one -- is for the babies' eyes: "You don't want to put it on your bottom, because it will hurt you. You need to put it on your eyes."

??!! - I've never heard of any eyedrop that will irritate your tushie. But, there ya go. Clearly, it makes sense to her.