Friday, June 17, 2011
Marcus Millsap: School Day Afternoon
I climb the steps of the yellow school bus,
move to a seat in back, and we're off,
bouncing along the bumpy blacktop.
What am I going to do when I get home?
I'm going to make myself a sugar sandwich
and go outdoors and look at the birds
and the gigantic blue silo
they put up across the road at Motts'.
This weekend we're going to the farm show.
I like roosters and pigs, but farming's no fun.
When I get old enough to do something big,
I'd like to grow orange trees in a greenhouse.
Or maybe I'll drive a school bus
and yell at the kids when I feel mad:
"Shut up back there, you hear me?"
At last, my house, and I grab my science book
and hurry down the steps into the sun.
There's Mr. Mott, staring at his tractor.
He's wearing his DeKalb cap
with the crazy winged ear of corn on it.
He wouldn't wave over here to me
if I was handing out hundred dollar bills.
I'll put brown sugar on my bread this time,
then go lie around by the water pump,
where the grass is very green and soft,
soft as the body of a red-winged blackbird.
Imagine, a blue silo to stare at,
and Mother not coming home till dark!
About the poem: I'll make this quick. It's my day off. I just spent, like, an hour writing this. The Babies! are done with "camp" at noon, and I'm going to relax. And this poem felt like today.
About the Hot Actress: Despite my strict "No Friday Night Lights" policy, and despite the fact that I don't think she's pretty, here's Connie Britton, who Sweetie suggested and who I said I'd go with because Sweetie isn't feeling well today. I'm an awesome husband: I bought her Popsicles, I made her toast, and now I'm posting a picture of a woman on my blog for her.
Thursday, June 16, 2011
I also was not too busy for Science. But I was a little shy about Science, because yesterday when I went into work, one of the clerks had no station to work at, so I let her use my office and computer while I moved my things into a Temporary Workspace...
...please, someone tell me you get that joke, because none of the people in my office got it...
...and then, having done that before I could get a picture of Science yesterday, I was too embarrassed to go in and do it in front of the clerk, and didn't want to order her out of my office while I did that, because I'd like to save my "ordering people out of my office" moments for something more important than "taking snapshots of a Twinkie," which, although we can all agree is pretty important, we can also all agree would likely constitute an abuse of authority because, after all, Science is only pretty important, and not superimportant, and my authority is best exercised over superimportant stuff.
So instead, I took a picture today, but then didn't get to post it while I was at work, which is probably a good thing because looking back, it indicates that in the final day of my 4-day workweek I actually got something done, although for the life of me I can't imagine what I did that took up all my time today.
Anyway, here is Day Three:
My observations so far:
1. Nobody has disturbed the Science, so the Chicken is doing its job.
2. The Control Group appears to be holding up, as Control Groups are expected to do.
3. Is it just me, or does the Twinkie appear a bit pockmarked?
4. I bet this is exactly how Michio Kaku got started. Imagine how mad he's going to be if this Twinkie decays into a Higgs Boson.
That's all for now. I've got to clean the house and listen to Slow Club, and also, I'm on a three day weekend because I took tomorrow off and I'm not going in to work Sunday. It's the first 3-day weekend I've had since Christmas, and the last one before that was my heart attack, so I'm really excited.
But that means no Science until Monday at the earliest -- so we have to hope that the Chicken is up to a long weekend of Sentinel duty.
Day 1 here.
Exchange I just had with my law clerk, as he handed me a packet of research all tabbed and highlighted:
Law Clerk: I marked out the parts I cited so you can easily reference them.
Me: You've made it so I practically don't have to think.
Clerk: Well, that's the idea.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Welcome to... SCIENCE!
The other day, I heard yet another joke about how long Twinkies last, and since I've already fulfilled my previous reason for existing on this planet* and was at a loss for what to do next to benefit society, I decided to test out the longstanding idea that Twinkies are the only thing not named Christopher Walken that would survive whatever nature (e.g., mudslides) could throw at it.
After some quick googling to make sure that nobody had ever tried this before, and not seeing any results in the top three listings that suggested someone had done it before, I quickly devised the parameters of my experiment, and those parameters are these:
1. I would unwrap a Twinkie and put it on a plate.
2. I would take pictures of it every day until something happened.
After some consideration (i.e., science), I tweaked the experiment a bit, based on these factors:
1A: Sweetie was very unlikely to allow me to let a Twinkie decay in our house, as she tends to focus on things like "being clean" as opposed to more important things like "science."
1B: I needed a control group, which any scientist can tell you.
And so, after all that careful preparation, and also after taking a Twinkie from the box in the cupboard, I have created...
That is a Twinkie (on the right) and a miniature York Peppermint Patty (on the left.) The York Peppermint Patty is the control group. I'm not exactly sure what a control group does, so I'm pretty sure that a peppermint patty can serve as one.
I'm keeping the Plate Of Science in my office in a secret location. It's in a cubby on my desk; I can tell you that because you'll never get past the extraordinary security measures I have in place:
If you can outsmart a chicken that owns a castle, then you're a better man than I am.
Anyway, I will, every day that I'm in the office and remember to do so, post a picture of this ongoing vitally important experiment. Check back often.
*The original reason for my existence on this planet is a closely guarded secret. Even the chicken doesn't know.
Monday, June 13, 2011
I like stories about people who just kind of started doing this thing they liked and suddenly they were making a living at it and enjoying life and also being rich, because it seems to me that the more people who get to do that, the more likely I am to end up someday living in Hawaii once that happens to me.
So the story of Jonathan Coulton on Planet Money a few weeks back caught my ear, and not just because he makes Lemonheads-esque songs that are funny and catchy, but also because Jonathan Coulton in 2010 made $500,000 selling his songs on the Internet.
Songs like Re: Your Brains:
I haven't read about him or anything; I only know what I know from Planet Money, and from browsing through his website (where there are songs to listen to and buy, songs with titles like "Furry Old Lobster," which combines Irish-folk-music sounding... well, just listen to that one, too:
Coulter got famous, he said, because of his song "Code Monkey,"
Which caught on with other Code Monkeys, and became a big hit. Coulter is still unsigned, but living off his music and writing a blog and everything. I love his music and I'm going to listen to it all day, and probably all week. And maybe forever.