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Transneptune

beyond the Kuiper Belt, over the sea

Archive for July, 2009

Completed!

Sunday, July 26th, 2009

Hah, PADI open water certification is to me!  Finally.  The water was horrible, in terms of visibility, so we could see the sunken Cessna only from about 2 feet.  But the whole thing was pretty awesome, and I really enjoyed the instruments-only navigation at depth.

In other news, I’ve had songs from The King and I stuck in my head for the past few days.

Dude…

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Things I love about working here: boss A comes back from a few weeks vacation, and says that things went fine, he just got back to find the airline lost one of his bags, and his car is missing.*  Boss B says “I’m getting you a copy of Dude, Where’s my Car?.”

* It’s OK; his car was just towed from the garage it was in.  He’s remarkably sanguine about the whole thing.  Perhaps spending a few weeks in Cyprus seeing family and friends has him nice and relaxed?

Wet Rock

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

There is no smell in the world quite so wonderful to me as wet stone.  Waking up to a grey day is intensely invigorating.

Another good lead

Monday, July 20th, 2009

Mark Rosenfelder, over at Zompist’s E-Z Rant Page, has just posted a very interesting review indeed.  I’m glad to see him talking about this; Chomsky’s approach to data has been offending me for a while now, and Rosenfelder is one of my earliest linguistical influences, though essentially a lay one.  Check it out; I’m gonna see about getting the book.

Academic slapdowns are my favorite

Sunday, July 19th, 2009

One can in fact view construction-based theories of syntax as upholding standards of grammar coverage that the original proponents of generative grammar abandoned, as they sought to reduce the theory’s dependence on linguistic facts. Chomsky (1995: 435) describes this shift in the goals of grammarians as follows:  “A look at the earliest work from the mid-1950s will show that many phenomena that fell within the rich descriptive apparatus then postulated, often with accounts of no little interest and insight, lack any serious analysis within the much narrower theories motivated by the search for explanatory adequacy, and remain among the huge mass of constructions for which no principled explanation exists—again, not an unusual concomitant of progress”. It seems safe to say that most proponents of construction-based syntax would not consider the loss of insightful and interesting accounts a mark of progress, and find the search for putatively narrower theories of explanatory adequacy unrequited.

From Kay & Michaelis, forthcoming.  I am in love with construction grammar.  Just re-read the first sentence there.  That is the funniest thing I’ve read in a long while.  I think I might just be an academic at heart.  (But it’s funny because it’s true!)

Foods

Saturday, July 18th, 2009

I need to get back in the baking habit; it’s hard when weekends are the only time available for it, and it’s a two-day process.  But beyond that, I want to make pickles, ginger beer, and cheese.  My forays into each have been small.

I’m hoping to give some cooking lessons to a few friends in the not-too distant future, just basic stuff.  It should be fun; I do love teaching, and I have come to realize that I love cooking, too.  It’s just an excellent way to practice basic improv skills, and sense memory, and sense imagination.  I feel like it’s so applicable to the rest of life, as well as having the potential to be both a meditative private ritual and an invigorating social ritual.

Minor complaints

Wednesday, July 15th, 2009

I have many ways to switch between active work areas: ctrl-a, n when using screen; ctrl-arrow when using Spaces; cmd-tab when using normal OS X application switching; ctrl-tab when using my Windows VM.  These can get confusing, and I spend a certain amount of time swapping between applications and desktops and virtual terminals fruitlessly.

I am kind of sick of sitting and typing for so much of the day.

WordPress and its plugins, though updated, do not think that they are.

Water, this time with lightning

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

At the end of the driveway: a field full of fireflies, with lightning flashing over the next ridge.  Finally, the rain that’s been threatening all day arrives, and it pours, and it pours, and it is still pouring.

A good visit

Saturday, July 11th, 2009

Too much good in today to encapsulate it here, but suffice to say that I feel like life is happening again, things are moving forward, and I saw a fox this evening, thus confirming, by the hand of Nature, that today was, unambiguously, good.

Also, does anyone in the Philly area want some kittens, at least to foster?  Friends of mine have found some, and are looking for a home for them.

Water

Thursday, July 9th, 2009

It’s a wonderful thing.  I stood the other night up to my knees in water, with Allie, for a good long while talking as the sun set.  We saw a shiba-inu.  If I ever were to get a dog, that’d be the breed.  Also, Princeton is a pretty great town, and I miss it.

Tonight, Chris came over and there was music and cooking and computer-talk.  The meal is worth recounting: it was a fruit-based almost-stir-fry.  Apples, peaches, clementines, around onion, garlic, ginger, cardamom, pine nuts, cinnamon, and all tied together with coconut milk, and underlined by habaneros.  Delightful.  Served over couscous.  Oh, also, sultanas and dried cranberries.

One thing Chris was sure to point out: habaneros are the necessary choice of pepper for this, as they have a real time-delayed effect.  This allows the sweetness of the fruit to be enjoyed, and then the spiciness to hit you.