Thursday, June 29, 2006

    Extension granted

    My Current Project has offered a one-month extension. Yay. This is good news in that my online college cancelled my Summer I course due to low enrollment and money worries have been keeping me up.

    So, for three weeks or so I should sleep a little better. Who knew that consulting was exactly like adjuncting...

    The image was lifted from here. You can visit, but I would advise you not to. :)

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Monday, June 26, 2006

    Post your own map pin

    You will notice a new Frappr map in the right frame (toward the middle). Please post your location (approximate if you choose) by clicking the map and entering your zip code.

    This means you--lurkers. :)

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Thursday, June 22, 2006

    Meritocracy and Adjuncting

    I am cross-posting my comment to Dean Dad's question about Meritocracy and Losers.

    I will start focused and then go large.

    Meritocracy advocates (mostly Reps. but not all, white bear) feel assured that good works-cum-intentions will be rewarded.  This helps motivation a lot.  [I wonder if religious it not a greater indicator of adherence than political party]  Why else do something good if it is not going to be rewarded?  Goodness as its own reward?  How quaint.

    So, the idea of a rewarding (read "just" or "fair") world is terribly appealing.  Even going the other way…that evil will be punished and injustice addressed.  It is to appealing that I would advocate that everyone work toward it.

    That is not to say, though, that the world is, de facto, ordered this way.  Pluck, luck and who you know (what were you thinking I was going to say?) play, at times, far greater parts in your play than your ability.  Sure, ability, talent and hard work helps, but there are plenty of talented, hard working poor and sick.  

    Going specific: university education is founded, grounding and established on the notion of the best and brightest being assembled.  "Go to University X because we know more.  You will get more for your tuition dollars."  Sometimes they are right.  Often, though the "brightest" don't teach well, or the best teachers aren't as cutting edge as they could be.  

    So, it seems, over the evolution of Higher Ed the way to attract the hardiest stable of profs is to wave the carrot of tenure, encouraging participation in a steeple course of requirements that, once completed, ensures healthy pastures (insert appropriate "stud" activities if you wish) unto death.  

    Does this result in the "best" educational structure?  Education is an experience as much as a commodity, so the market analogy (or Darwinian approach) may not serve the best.  So, why keep the tenure model?  Why not piece-work (adjunct) the whole structure?

    If you are arguing that this approach is foolish or irrational or something else, consider that the average institution (even the better brands) have increased their use of adjuncts (some call them one or two year contracts) exponentially in the last 30 years.

    Just some thoughts.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

    Friggin' Frappr

    I am actually moving away from my instincts in web design. I feel like I should be more Google and less Yahoo!, but I keep finding little add-ins to play with.

    So, I have added a Frappr map in the left frame and a scrolling Frappr image bar at the very bottom. If you add your pin to the map and have a photo, you too can scroll across my bottom.

    Full disclosure…I am in the Midwest, not Beverly Hills.

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

    Why adjuncting really sucks

    Why adjuncting really stinks:

    Thank you for your query. I have filled the positions for the fall. It is unlikely that we will need any adjunct faculty for the winter, but I have your information for the future. Best wishes,

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    ABDmom: In the Middle

    I am struck with pangs of jealousy reading ABDmom's struggle with her advisors here.

    To be 17 days away from the whole thing being over...I can't imagine.

    One of the largest mental blocks I have at the moment is figuring out how to compile a list of current research on my topic. I don't think there is any work directly on it...there may be some tangential work sort of related, but nothing I have found that is directly. I feel like it is a cop-out to gloss over that section of the prospectus, that maybe I just haven't looked hard enough.

    I guess that is my real excuse. Living in Really Small Town I have little to no access to a Real Library, and great struggles arise in finding resources "worthy" online.

    There is, I guess, always the option of a road trip...

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Sunday, June 18, 2006

    Writing alone

    Writing alone.

    I think that bloggers have a myriad of motivations to write.  For me, it started as a way to get words on "paper" in order to rev up to writing my dissertation.  As I blogged on, though, I got to wanting more conversation than monologue, which meant checking my hit count way too often and wondering about what would make my site more blog-rollable.

    Well, it seems that it not happening.  No comments, even when I blog about Playboy in Muslim countries or topless teachers…

    Well, I will retreat a bit then.

    Pookie is snoring in her little side bed (for lack of a better term—the small, little bed she sleeps in at the foot of our bed) exhausted after a "daddy day."  She names days at random, so Father's Day being a Daddy Day was a happy coincidence.

    Lovely Wife is staving off a migraine, possibly weather aggravated.   She is reading Tales from the Medicine Trail and wanting to travel to Peru—something about coco extracts and tinctures.  

    I enter my last week on Current Project, which is not a good thing.  There is no Follow-up Project on the boards, and my slimmed-down online gig's Summer I class did not make.  It will be, again, another tight summer.  

    I will try and sleep, but I haven't been too successful—see Current Project and lack of $$$.  

    Tomorrow is another day.

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Saturday, June 17, 2006 | News Wires

    The current war on the breast continues. With the recent story of Dr. Diana, who did not lose her job as far as I know, we must add another educator whose private life has bubbled up to hysteria:
    Texas Teacher "nude" online

    Unlike Pamela Rogers (who had a three month affair with a 13 year old--see cool round-up of the story here), Ms. Hoover posted, I did not find, topless pictures. She is an art teacher and claims that her pics were an artistic extension.

    Dr. Diana posted liberation pics of herself coming to terms with her body in an exploitative, media-saturated society.

    In both, it seems that expressing female sexuality in the form of celebrating their bodies will not be tolerated. Learn from Janet Jackson and keep the girls clothed.

    And don't even think of nursing in public. The US just can't handle the breast.

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Friday, June 16, 2006

    Inside Higher Ed :: Networking, Not Politics

    The InsideHigherEd site came through with another interesting article (if any faithful readers have other feeds that they can't live without, please share): Networking, Not Politics

    Surveying mostly freshmen (90%) women (59%) at the U of IL-Chicago, Eszter Hargittai, a Northwestern Asst. Prof, found that most post-teens (I think her sample skews to younger, more adolescent concerns) like to access social networks online over politics and the like. In other words, they won't be citing the RSS feed of this site anytime soon.

    The article says:
    When Hargittai asked students whether they had ever visited different types of blogs, including those focused on politics, music, sports and personal online journals, two-thirds of respondents said they had never visited a political blog; only 5 percent visited one daily. The most popular blog destinations were those of friends and family members.
    The writer, Rob Capriccioso, allows the typical response to such news as "students will be students," citing Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit who says:
    Political blogging is a dorky sideline,” he says. “It gets a lot of attention from journalists and politicians because they — like me! — are dorks, too. But most people in general don’t care that much about politics, and college students these days aren’t terribly political.
    So, there you have it. You will find post-teens logging on to Xanga, MySpace and FaceBook over DailyKos or Bitch PhD.

    Ok, they may still link to the Bitch. She rocks.

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    Pookie this morning

    Pookie, this morning sitting on my lap drinking her "coffee" (one part coffee, 9 parts cream/milk), as she grabs my head and kisses me:

    PPP: You are very sweet.

    Pookie: I know, and so is my coffee.  It has cream in it.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006

    PPP is in the House!

    OK, bad hip-hop title aside, I will toot my own horn a bit here. Tweet.

    My wise response was selected by the editors of to be an "Editors Choice." I am so proud. Okay, you have to look on the third page to find me, but I am there.

    Actually, since blogs are a push of content, and links to a blog are more social than endorsing...this could very well be my very first publication ever. Or at least the first by an editor.

    Dissertation, here I come!

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Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Cross Post with comment

    I agree with my fellow posters above about the suspicious nature of the AdjunctImpact site.  I think that a commercial company is using the Inside Higher Ed site for free publicity.  They are also using "Beta" sites as free content providers.  What a simple job to convert someone else's experience or advice into content for the AI site.  

    Please, no one give out free help on this.  As an adjunct who takes pains to also be a good instructor, I find sites like this to be insulting, watering down the profession even more.  It seems as if they wish to further the practice of shoving a Subject Matter Expert into the classroom with no regard to educational practices.  

    Pisses me off.

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    Working single in a double cube...

    For those readers who may not delve into on an hourly basis, I posted a response to Ms. Harris's article about singles in the workplace (a Broadsheet blog).  

    Singles need not be so sensitive
    While I too have heard co-workers (as both a corporate drone and as a fly-in consultant) use family/kids as an excuse to dump off work, I have also heard, and used myself, the phrase "I have to pick up my kids" not as an excuse to dodge work but as a guilt-laden confession.
    Workers of all stripes make choices about time, priorities and effort matrixed over personal desires for career advancement. Being a hands-on parent (which doesn't mean having a child) is a choice that will mean, at times, loss of advancement. If ones "face-time" is at home rather than the office, careers will likely suffer.
    So, that phrase "I have to pick up my kids" may very well be a personal admission/struggle with an internal choice (also factor in career advancement may very well mean a better life for said child...and it gets internally messy).
    Ms. Harris should not make the situation so black-and-white.
    The broader perspective Ms. Harris could have employed is to advocate a more employee-empowered that benefits all employees (better access to information, more flexible work times and spaces, etc.).

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Monday, June 12, 2006

    Law of Unintended Consequences

    Law of Unintended Consequences: Kid-only Ringtones

    Apparently someone has taken advantage of aging ears and created a ringtone that adults cannot hear. Why? You say? Because it is so much fun to stick it to the man.

    Let's start at the beginning. Salon reports that kids have discovered a "mosquito" ringtone that is pitched at a level that aging ears cannot hear. Don't believe it? Go here and listen. [Update: I went back to the site with Lovely Wife, and I hear the damn thing...] Hear anything? I didn't, and I checked the sites other tones (thinking this could all be some huge scam---found this one though). My 5 year old will may be able to hear it--I will test tonight.

    Who would come up with such a thing? Enterprising youths? No. Old, disgruntled shopkeepers hoping to shoo away loitering teens. [Hear an interview with the inventor Howard Stapleton of the "Mosquito Teen Repeller"] In order to annoy the teens but not the adults, the Mosquito noise was born. Now, turning to the blackboard enables text messaging to "chime" in.

    Be visually aware, because Old Man you can't hear a thing. ( Happy Aging.

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Sunday, June 11, 2006

    Playboy Jakarta

    Playboy has issued its first edition in Indonesia. Then after specifically-targeted violence from the IslasmicDefenders Front, Playboy Jakarta were evicted from their offices causing them to flee to Bali (a liberal island geared for tourism--think a moderate Las Vegas). But, with the marvels of IT, they have succeeded in publishing a second edition as well. Playboy Indonesia show no nudity…only lingerie, not even on the order of a Victoria's Secret in the States. They now have a second edition.

    The Chicago Tribune online states:
    "Consumers seeking pornographic thrills would likely be disappointed, Arnada said, noting that there were no nude photos and that the articles were "quite heavily about social, political and cultural issues."

    I can take up what is pornography in another thread, leaving this one to ponder the growing fundamental Islamic states.

    A funny aside: it seems that there is a Jarkarta version of Fox News in which they will decry the slutty-ness of spring break girls by showing spring break girls partying in bikinis as a visual aid…see here.

    If you are wondering about Islamic debate, here is a sampling of what it, it seems, too often degenerates into:

    · Hendrik Says: April 12th, 2006 at 2:44 pm
    Playboy porn?? hahaha sick joke! Welcome to a free world! haha those moslims are funny again and again (image placeholder))
    · zul Says: April 13th, 2006 at 9:39 am
    actually i dont care about playboy magz, but i care to hendrik be carefull when saying something i told you that moslems are not funny, i can kill you for what you had said!!!!!
    Eight years ago when democracy was introduced into Indonesia, this secular Muslim state was viewed by the West with high hopes. Is this Iraq in eight years?

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Friday, June 09, 2006

    Typical of my current situation

    Typical of my current situation.

    My summer I course was canceled due to low enrollment.  So, while I have a little extra time, I have a lot less money.  

    Any I wonder why I am getting fed up with the whole thing.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006

    Not in my family tree OR Don't make a monkey out of me

    In the debate that wasn't over a gay marraige ammendment (read: get the GOP base back), Sen. James Inhofe carted out a visual aid of his family and stated (see for yourself):
    As you see here, and I think this is maybe the most important prop we’ll have during the entire debate, my wife and I have been married 47 years. We have 20 kids and grandkids. I’m really proud to say that in the recorded history of our family, we’ve never had a divorce or any kind of homosexual relationship.
    With the proponederance of conservative, elected officials having gay family members, I bet that this little sound-bite will not be the last word on the matter.

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Tuesday, June 06, 2006

    Scary Spiders

    Lovely Wife relates the following story.

    "Boo!" [from Pookie in the stairwell]

    "Boo!" this time louder.

    LW: "Pookie, are you trying to scare me?"

    P: "No, I am trying to scare this spider away."

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Monday, June 05, 2006

    666 today, if you dare

    Today has the unique calendar distinction of being 6-06-2006, or 06-06-06.

    That means, of course, that Damian the son of Beelzabub, will be born. I think that the number of induced labors will be lower today than the norm.

    A round-up of interesting 666 items:

    * For true believers, 666 ("the friggin sign of the Beast, mother-lovin' son of Satan himself"), you might want to check out the Dial-the-truth-ministries. [Full confession: I chuckled all the way through]
    Among other tidbits, they believe: We believe in a place called hell — exactly as the Bible describes it. A place of fire, brimestone, torments and eternal. We believe anyone (past the age of accountabality) that dies without trusting Jesus Christ will spend eternity in hell.
    And if that wasn't good enough, barcodes are the most recent manifestation of the sign of the beast. Buyer beware.

    The paste below is a little long, but worth the effort:

    666: A Brief History of a Number

    It all began with one line in the Book of Revelation 13:18: "This calls for wisdom: let him who has understanding reckon the number of the beast, for it is a human number, its number is six hundred and sixty-six." The beast is also known as the Antichrist, according to some apocalyptic theories.

    The Book of Revelation is also called the Apocalypse of John, and recounts two visions John the Evangelist (aka John the Apostle or John of Patmos) received on the island of Patmos. In the early days of the church, some bishops argued against including it in the canon of the New Testament because it is difficult to interpret and could be abused.

    666 Trivia:

    • Ancient Hebrew, like Greek and other languages, did not have a separate set of characters to indicate numbers. Instead, the letters of the alphabet were used, and it was common practice to calculate the numerical equivalent of names -- an ancient practice called gematria, also called numerology.

    • Many scholars say the "beast" is really a coded reference for the Roman emperor Nero, who savagely persecuted early converts to the Christian church. Other say it refers to Domitian, an emperor who proclaimed himself the general enforcer of morality during his reign and was devoted to the Roman religion.

    • Some Christians associate 666 with the Antichrist -- but the word "Antichrist" does not appear in Revelation.

    • Scholars believe the John the Evangelist, the writer of Revelation, was trying to unite his fellow believers against a tyrannical Roman Empire by promising a fiery judgment for enemies of the nascent church.

    • According to some interpretations of Revelation, the Antichrist's arrival will occur during a time when political leaders are pushing for a one-world government, a single economic system and single religion.

    • Believers in the number's power have used various letter-numeric codes to convert the names of many political leaders -- including many Roman Catholic popes -- to come out 666, marking them as that generation's Antichrist. Some of those names include former U.S. Presidents Franklin Delano Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

    • When the Reagans moved out of the White House in 1989 to the exclusive neighborhood of Bel-Air in Beverly Hills, they changed their address from 666 St. Cloud Road to 668.

    • The number 666 is part of every UPC (Universal Product Code) barcode, used to identify almost all retail items on store shelves -- a coincidence, according to the code's inventor. Technically, from a computer's perspective there is no such number, but a selective visual reading of a barcode does show a pattern due to the digital nature of the barcode itself. Some believe the UPC itself is the "mark of the beast."

    • Using one code in numerology, 666 also is the number for the WWW of the World Wide Web.

    • 666 is the sum of all the numbers on a typical roulette wheel.

    • The online sports betting site gives Earth a better-than-sporting chance of surviving past June 6, 2006. At 100,000-to-1 odds, a maximum $500 bet that the world will survive will win half a penny if Wednesday comes around. A winning $100 bet that the apocalypse happens on Tuesday could earn a cool $10 million -- if you can collect it.

    Sources: Associated Press,, Reuters

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    I always feel like sombody is watching me...

    Perhaps I am a bit paranoid, but with the recent NSA "scandals" about warrant-less domestic phone call monitoring, I find the following a bit disturbing.

    I was watching the video lecture on networking from Harvard's extension school. In lecture 5 there is mention of using "trace route" to map the exact boxes your web page signal (or e-mail, etc.) goes through. So, I found this site which does it through a web browser.

    To my chagrin, I began to notice that almost all of my web searches was going through Washington DC: google, ebay, salon… The signal is going through a company, and get this, called Defender Technologies Group, LLC

    Now, I am sure that this is all a coincidence. I mean, DARPA would not have given such a domestic program of internet surveillance such an obvious name. I mean, that would make life a poorly written B movie.

    Still, I wonder….

    Google, Yahoo! and AltaVista all went through DC.

    As for e-mail. My local college account did not go to DC. AOL, though, did. Well, actually Vienna, VA. Yahoo! mail did not go to DC. It went to Dallas. GMail went to DC.

    Again, I may just be paranoid. After all, why would the NSA have to go through their own "cage"(a networking term for a secure location—redundant power sources, secure facility, etc.) in order to monitor. They could do that from anywhere. I mean, these guys are smart…right?

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Friday, June 02, 2006

    Inside Higher Ed :: Opening Up the Elites

    Jerome Karabel gave a paper last week at the the Educational Testing Service and the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching which is outlined here. In short he argues that the elites should compensate for SES just as they do for race.

    Percentile Percent admitted
    Top 74%
    middle 17%
    lower 6%
    lowest 3%

    While detractors argued, rightly, that attention should also be paid in ensuring that all lower SES are well equipped for college work, I am reminded at the W.E.B. Du Bois (top 10th percent) versus Booker T. Washington ("smart" education for the masses).

    On the one hand you have a meritocritous attempt to reward those who started at a disadvantaged but who have continued to race despite obstacles (Karabel wants to factor in parent's education level, type of secondary school, neighborhood, etc. into the addmissions calculas) and wanted to reach those who are supposed to be racing but may have slowed, wandered off course, etc. (the metaphor gets really strained--but the idea here is that the masses may not have the personal drive of the talented top).

    So, where, assuming that resources are limited, do you spend your efforts? Do you educate at Ivy the best and brightest? Do you seek to equal the playing field for all? Do you seek to elavate the masses, whether they want it or not?

    Some middle ground?

    I don't know...but I do know that you can lead a student to knowledge, but you can't make him think.

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Thursday, June 01, 2006

    What I don't do

    [The following is a comment posted on Dean Dad's site just a few moments ago.  I thought perhaps I could get some traffic here on the subject.  So, excuse the double-post.  (]

    I don't do bathroom cleaning, much to Lovely Wife's chagrin.  I don't know why.  I clean the kitchen in detail, dust, sweep, etc...but somehow I don't see the bathroom.

    I don't do tents.  Cabins are better.

    I don't hunt, which is not a popular position in my small, rural town.  I don't see the "thrill."  It would be more attractive to me if I had to stalk the prey and fight it.  Or if I were really hungry...both options, really, have no appeal to me.  I would rather take a picture.

    I don't do the heat well either.  I grew up in Texas...spent a long summer in undergrad holed up in a small, upstairs garage apartment translating Greek and sweating with no AC.  I would rather die than to return to that.  In fact, after this hot weekend, I think I really would die.  So, the AC was cranked, and I still had a fan on me.

    I don't do small-talk well.  I was incredibly shy as a kid, and I really am now only functionally conversant.  Blah, blah, blah about the weather or such...I think I will poke myself in the eye, thank you.

    I don't do jokes about my daughter dating very well.  She is extremely cute (not just saying that).  So, I get a lot of: "the boys are going to be all over her" or "she is going to be a little heartbreaker" or some other "funny" observation.  I know what little boys think.  I know I want to have a sexually liberated, strong feminist daughter...just not until she is...oh...out of college.  

    I don't do well with thoughts of teenage years: my own, my daughter's, etc.

    I have never done nuts.  Can't stand em.  Not any of the nut family.  Yuck.

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