2010: Week 37 Blots

BLOT: (19 Sep 2010 - 05:58:59 PM)

Um...why dream journals are only a partial solution

The other day, I woke up after a particularly vibrant dream. One with plot structure and a punch to it. I knew it would be interesting to write about it later, maybe blog on it, so I jotted down some clues-to-memory in what counts as my dream journal. Went back to bad. Case closed. Contract fulfilled. It was time for my sleep. Now, speed forward one week, and this is all that I have written about the dream. I have no idea what this means.

An agency is using dream entities to kidnap and torture a young woman. Me and the guy with a crush on her (not knowing what is up with her) take part in some elaborate game where you earn tokens to play and compete with the dream entities.

Questions raised by this dream journal entry:

But hey, it was apparently all meta- and stuff.

Just as note: if you keeping a dream journal, actually fill in the gaps while you remember the dream. Or make something up. Either way, a short two-sentence description will not an adequate clue-to-memory make a week later, when you look into it.

TAGS: Dreams

BY WEEK: 2010, Week 37
BY MONTH: September 2010

BLOT: (19 Sep 2010 - 12:50:29 PM)

Would high fructose corn syrup by any other name taste as sweet?

This one is mostly for Sarah and Alicia, my anti-HFCS darlings, but others might get a kick out of the "not-so-invisible-hand" at work: 'Corn Sugar' Producers Hope You'll Buy The New Name.

Would "high fructose corn syrup" sound so sweet by any other name? The Corn Refiners Association sure hopes so. Last week, the industry group applied to the federal government for permission to use a new name for the ingredient on food labels: "corn sugar."

HAHAH! Sneaky!

TAGS: Food

BY WEEK: 2010, Week 37
BY MONTH: September 2010

BLOT: (15 Sep 2010 - 12:19:56 PM)

I was supposed to sleep in this morning. [Bonus: My Astrophysics Slides]

I was supposed to sleep in this morning. Spent last night getting my astrophysics slides ready for presentation, and was going to aim to knock off my three page paper, finish my resources template, and start my weekend presentation and twelve page paper this afternoon and a little after class tonight. This was going to leave the morning free and I was trying to sleep until noon. Got, I don't know, two or three phone calls and a cat who was sure I was oversleeping. Now I'm up. I postponed actually getting up until about 10:30 after laying in bed for thirty minutes waiting to see if I could go back to sleep, but with a 3am bed time this still puts me at seven hours. Seven hours is a fair amount of sleep for me, but when I am doing as much as I am doing, and have actually gotten only about four hours the past couple of nights, I was hoping for a solid eight and a half or maybe nine. Ah well. I get to start "the grind" about two hours early. I would say that I am going to aim for a nap this afternoon, but I am pretty sure the universe won't let me.

Well, I am off to write about how public libraries and interact with school libraries (it's an "issue" paper, but I don't quite see the issue). Hopefully this one won't take more than about another half an hour. If you are curious, at all, about my astrophysics slide show, here you go: astronomy and astrophysics resources overview for reference librarians. It's not super in-depth or anything. And some aspects won't make sense outside of the presentation, but if need a couple of quick "go-to" sources for astronomy or astrophysics, that covers some of the better ones (maybe even most of the better ones, depending on what you are looking for). I'll be giving that presentation in class tonight. The purpose is to show off a few astro- sources to a class of reference librarians so that they might be able to recall a couple if they get a question at the desk. In turn, my other 15 or so classmates will have other topics they will show off.

TAGS: Me in 2010, SLIS Assignments

BY WEEK: 2010, Week 37
BY MONTH: September 2010

BLOT: (14 Sep 2010 - 02:13:00 PM)

Taking a break from school-work to update you on the Dougish going ons...

There aren't many Dougish going ons, right now. Now that the weather has cooled off, especially at night, Sarah and I have tried working tennis back into our schedule as best we can. This translates, roughly, into Friday nights through Sunday nights, schedules otherwise not-conflicting. We got two matches in this weekend, the first lasted over an hour and the second just slightly under one. I managed to win both, but it was pretty shaky at the start of the first one. Took me about half an hour for my body to really wake up and remember the game in question. I am still notably more rusty than the last time we seriously played (this past Spring, if not last Fall), but my body seems to be remembering the "tricks" at a rapid pace. Will be down in Gadsden this Friday night, and will probably be too tired to play on Saturday, so chances are this weekend will be shot.

I talked about taking a break in the "subject line", above. That's a little unfair. I have not really accomplished all that much today. I really need to get some things done tonight, and most likely will wrap up both of my presentations due this week and maybe, but just maybe, will get a chance to work with on a paper due this weekend. This leaves a somewhat sizable (8-12) page paper due on Thursday, but most of that will be "responsive" writing. What do you think about the article's research? What do you think about the article's bias? Double spaced, too. I think I can do that in about three to four hours, even I am not running at full speed, and likely less.

The reason just about nothing got done today is because of the readings I did last night. I read through dozens of articles with titles like "The functionality of familiarization of ebooks in actual classroom settings" and then, despite the attempt to be all scientifically minded, most of the article would be based off maybe a couple of interviews, a small handful of responses to a short survey, and then a literature review of previous studies. I found articles that would be nothing but literature reviews, and then later articles that were practically identical except for the inclusion of the intermediate article. Truth by consensus. Maybe half of the articles concluded with, roughly, "these are things that future researches can look into," because so few of them had real conclusions and most just considered themselves testing the water with their toes.

I know that the survey is considered the height of science for many humanities, and in the library and information sciences, it looks like vague hand-wavings towards the literature is the standard methodology. Since the topic I want to study (our ability to recall information from digital versus print sources) is best served by hard data, it is practically new. There are some other papers out there, but so many of them fail to actually prove what they claim they are proving. It is almost disheartening.

Enough with school work blubbery. Sarah and I had a good time this weekend. Last weekend was spent recouping. The weekend before that was spent working. The one before that was spent schooling. This one, though, was spent just relaxing and doing things. We got the tennis games in Saturday night and Sunday night. On Friday night, we went out to Edo with Sarah's parents. They have, on several occasions, helped us with Sarah's car. Not monetarily, but her dad is a mechanic and so they have done things like drive out to Huntsville to figure out why some piece won't work. It was just a way to repay that, taking them out to Edo and having a nice meal. It was frustrated by the fact that they were an hour late, so we ended up getting to Edo with less than hour until they close, but it ended up being nice. They tried out chopsticks. Got some tempura. I got eel and vegetable sushis, and some seaweed salad. Some green tea ice cream. Some sake (of course, alcohol makes any family gathering better). We came home and talked some more with them, and about 10:30 that night Sarah and I made a quick dash to Books-a-Million and picked up a small handful of things. She got volumes 2 and 3 of the oversized Fushigi Yugi omnibus edition manga. I got the second and third trade paperback of Fables, which is a fun to read comic-book series (old fables in the modern world as done by the Vertigo imprint). I also picked up The Living Dead 2 and C. That's right, the name of that second book is just the letter C. It sounded curious enough.

Saturday, we did stuff but I only remember shopping and tennis. I got a copy of the new Dragon Quest game from Best Buy because I had a coupon that gave it to me at half-off (awesome coupon, right?). I also got the second and third Halloween movies (yes, including the one that lacks Michael Myers). Oh, and the Critter's "box-set" of four movies (one DVD, double sided, with two movies each). Sarah got a length of cloth to make a dancing (as in belly-) skirt out of, and it is very pretty.

And, then on Sunday, we did the standard grocery shopping trip. Except instead of hitting up Kroger (like we normally do), our entire trip was to John's Big Brother (on Holmes near Jordan). Cost us a few dollars more, though some things were cheaper there, and it was so worth it. For those who don't know it, it is one of the few old school groceries you can find around here (though there are others, sure). It only has a few aisles and not a huge selection of things, but the trip is far more relaxed than going through a big-box grocer just so you can stand in line for 10 minutes. I think I'm going to try and alternate between that and Kroger for a bit.

That's pretty much it. Going to get something for lunch and then jump into some more work, maybe. Or just casual reading, possibly. Here are a couple of bits to entertain:

TAGS: Me in 2010

BY WEEK: 2010, Week 37
BY MONTH: September 2010

BLOT: (14 Sep 2010 - 11:57:03 AM)

Belle and Sebastian have a new album coming out...

Write About Love, which is Belle & Sebastian's eighth or so album, comes out in October. I've been listening to them for four or so years, and they have been good years, so I am looking forward to getting this one. I just wanted to share the "video" (some sort of promotional deal) for "I want the world to stop" and to comment on thing about the lyrics. Namely, this song's lyrical structure works in a style that I have played with, and enjoy, broken half-phrases clashed together to both seat them in, and to knock them out of, meaning.

Lyrical sample: "I want the world to stop (I want understanding) I want the world to stop. Give me the morning, give me the afternoon, the night. The night. I want to write a message to you everday at 10 o'clock in the evening. Yellow pearl my city is this is your art this is your Balzac, your Brookside, your Bach."

TAGS: Music

BY WEEK: 2010, Week 37
BY MONTH: September 2010

BLOT: (13 Sep 2010 - 01:48:20 PM)

Cigar Review: Punch Rare Corojo Double Corona

Time for the second Dickens of a Blog cigar review! This time it is Punch's Rare Corojo Double Corona. A 6 and 3/4 inch cigar, ring size of 48, it's approaching the more serious size of cigar smoking. I picked this one up, like the last one, at the Vintage Wine & Cigars shop in Bridge Street (Huntsville, AL), and it cost me an even $8 (online prices for the same are much closer to $5 per cigar, just FYI). I had it in my humidor for a couple of weeks prior to smoking.

Cut it straight and lit with a couple of matches to get it going. To set the stage, it was a late (-ish) Saturday night. I was relaxing in my study and I had unsweet tea on hand. Kind of unformed in the taste to start, but after a dozen puffs, and moreso through the middle of the cigar, it came across as a sort of dark chocolate taste with a light pine infusion. Maybe a bit of sweetness. The room-note was a bit more non-specific evergreen, cedar in with the pine, and it leveled the sweetness out into a more general earthiness. Nice effect when that room-note of earthiness cycled back into the overall taste. Had I been outside, this cigar would have come across as different without that "feedback" loop. The flavor never really felt strong (except see the nasal exhale notes, below) and it could have been, excuse the pun, punch-ier.

Burned fine enough and smooth. No relights or corrective lighting required. Outside of a slight "wobble" to the burn in a place or two, came down flat and even. Never developed a char flavor and ash was mostly light and firm. The wrapper had a tad bit of flaking about three-quarters the way through, but prior to that it handled itself nicely. Smoked it for nearly two hours, and could have probably stretched it to two hours if I had been inclined. Absolutely no nicotine overdrive side-effects, just a good relaxed feeling, so I would put the strength around medium.

The primary thing that stops it from being a perfect "little" good priced (outside of Vintage's prices) mid-strength cigar (worst sentence in this review? you betcha!) is the nose-note. Exhaling through the nose introduced a flavor that I could only describe as wet pine, a swampy sort of blend. Diffused throughout the room-note, that swampiness played itself out as the slightly sweet earthiness. In the nose, though, it was not a pleasant flavor to get caught up with. This tempered over time, but there you go. I know many recommend the nasal exhale, and I often like to mix it up depending on the smoke, but this one I only gave it about five shots before I was done with it.

Only slight demerits, though, since when I am in the study, I tend to be more of a room-note, ambient experience sort of cigar smoker, and it did just fine there. My grade, Fair at Vintage's prices. If you can get it more normally priced, I would up that to Good, for what it is. It's a 100-minute medium-strength and medium-flavored smoke. It behaves nicely, doesn't go through any crazy taste-changes (which well, I would prefer it change more than it does), and won't really leave you with any weird stomach groans. In fact, I was pretty empty-stomached when I smoked it, which can be a recipe for disaster. If you have a dad or husband that is coming into the cigar hobby and they are at the stage where they want a longer smoke, a box of these will run you about $110 for 25. Not a bad price and by the time he is done, he'll be ready to head over to a slightly heavier cigar.

TAGS: Cigars

BY WEEK: 2010, Week 37
BY MONTH: September 2010

Written by Doug Bolden

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