Saturday, 29 September 2007

Ya gotta love the internet

I'm here in my sister Kathy's house, on my sister Kathy's computer, following a family Thing and debating when I can make a decent exit without giving up on the opporunity to overeat. But anyway, I decided to climb on the computer, and check my e-mail, and then...

Well, here I am, posting to my blog, from 1800 miles away from home and office.

To my students who are reading this, you should be reading.

To my head who is depending on me to order a cake for the event on Friday, all is well.

To the editor who is expecting a review from me in a week or so, I'm working on it.

To my friend Kevin who may be reading this blog from the Netherlands, I have liberated the espresso machine from your office and will be offering treats to select friends in your absence. So there.

To my many fans who are wondering where and when the October spectrogram will come up, I'm on the road, and won't be back until Tuesday night.

So for now, Bask in the Blogness of Rob, even at a distance, while Rob is basking in the availability of Mexican food, gourmet burgers, and almond breaded chicken.

Monday, 24 September 2007


I tried downloading the following as a 'widget', but I can't figure out how to add it to the page as one. So I've posted it instead.

COUNTDOWN to the Canadian Release of "Zelda: Phantom Hourglass"

For more widgets please visit

<sound of me screaming like a little girl>

BTW, the little fairy thing is attracted to your cursor. Try it!

Friday, 21 September 2007

Facebook strikes again

Well, I got poked by someone who wanted me to add the My Personality application to my Facebook profile. Facebook allows you to add these things--games, graphics, messaging techniques, cultural stuff. This one rates you on the Big 5 personality traits--Openness, Conscientiousness, Extroversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism. With my fondness for random personality tests (see previous posts), I had to.

Now, I know I've done Big5 tests before, but this one came out differently than I was expecting/remembering. Here are my results.

O 76%
C 34%
E 34%
A 55%
N 45%

Now, readers of this blog know I'm pretty open. I definitely lean to Introversion most of the time. I'm fairly agreeable except when people are being stupid, but I'm definitely of the 'I'm right but take my advice or leave it--as long as I don't have to keep hearing about it' persuasion. And I'm a little neurotic, compared to someone who isn't neurotic, but I'm not nearly as neurotic as a lot of functioning people I know.

It's the 34% conscientiousness that I'm puzzled by. In spite of being right all the time, I'm pretty conscientious. I schedule meetings at times inconvenient (not impossible) to me to maximize convenience for others. I schedule meetings for others that I don't really believe we need to have. I'm grad chair, undergrad chair, webmonster, raffle-basket procurer and maker, and presumptively acting Acting Head. I've learned not to make myself sick doing things for others, and not to get walked all over for no better reason than others want to walk over me, but I'm a pretty easy going guy when it comes to being walked over. 34% Conscientious?

Well, the descriptor says something about being spontaneous and fun, not unreliable, but occasionally flakey. Which I guess is true enough. But 34%?

Obsessive and egocentric? Me?

Thursday, 20 September 2007

Fun's fun ... and this ain't

Well, I'd had a bad day in the middle of a looooong week. So I went out. Had some fun. Lost my wallet. Gone. History. Never to be seen again.

It still might turn up, I suppose, but in the meantime, I've got a trip to the ol' homestead coming up next week and all the reservations are on the now cancelled card. The bank is expressing a new one so I'll have it in hand by Monday, maybe earlier, and I can adjust all the reservations (I assume) without too much trouble. But what a time for this to happen.

At least I've got my passport and my permanent resident card to do me for ID until I can replace the driver's license, which I should be seeing to in a couple of minutes.

This trip is just turning into more and more fun.

Thursday, 13 September 2007

Soundtrack of my Life v2

A friend of mine posted his soundtrack on his Facebook account recently, and I've been playing with the idea. There are several versions of this list running around the interweb so I'm not going to bother to try to track down where it came from.

The rules:

1. Go to your music player
2. Put it on Shuffle
3. Press play
4. As it randomly chooses each new song, fill in the fields below.
5. No cheating! Whatever track is playing, record the name and artist.

The first version had so many Kate Bush songs it was silly, so I cheated and started dumping duplicate artists. This time I played it straight and actually got some interesting connections. So, here it is.

Opening Credits: Manzanar - Cock Robin
Waking Up: Name Of The Game - Abba
First Day At School: Another Story - Cock Robin
Falling In Love: Face Down At Folk City - The Roches
Breaking Up: Wounded Bird - The JudyBats
Prom: Where Does The Time Go? - Julia Fordham
Life's OK: My Camera Never Lies - Bucks Fizz
Breakdown: Keep On Doing What You Do/Jerks On The Loose - The Roches
Driving: I Make Love To You With My Eyes - Starland Vocal Band
Flashback: Jane - Barenaked Ladies
Getting Back Together: I'll Always Be There - Roch Voisine
Wedding: Love Stinks - J Geils Band
Sex Scene: Happy Ever After - Julia Fordham
Birth of Child: Werewolves of London - Warren Zevon
Final Battle: Geography - The JudyBats
Death Scene: Means To The End - David Roche
Funeral Song: Two Divided By Zero - Pet Shop Boys
Dance Sequence: Baby Come Back To Me - Manhattan Transfer
End Credits: Oh To Be In Love - Kate Bush

Sunday, 9 September 2007

What's that sucking sound?

It's the sound of time being sucked out of my life. It's my fault. But time is at a premium these days.

I'm teaching two classes (at least it isn't three), and they're both off my list of usuals, so they require a little more reading and prep than normal.

I'm Graduate Chair, meaning I coordinate the graduate program for my department--fielding enquiries and applications; making sure everyone is up on their programs, their funding opportunties, and so on; keeping up with the Faculty of Grad Studies directives; and who knows what else.

I'm still Undergraduate Advisor, meaning I have to talk to incoming majors and minors, advising about coursework, fielding enquiries.

I'm chair of our 'committee' on Clinical and Developmental Linguistics, which advises on coursework and planning for students interested in going on to seek graduate studies in speech-language pathology and audiology. I'm also the committee, since no one else really has anything to do with it.

We're setting up our new lab, which actually isn't as much work, since I don't technically have signing authority on anything and so somebody else has to order furniture, arrange phone and data lines, equipment, etc. But the Faculty of Arts has dumped a serious wad of money on renovating the lab space for us, and they're understandably anxious for it to look good in time for "Arts Celebrating Arts", which is when the Faculty has it's grand lunch (during my teaching hours) hono(u)ring everyone who has accomplished anything, including alumni. There's going to be a tour of the new Arts spaces and apparently our unfinished lab is on the agenda. This is all happening on Friday.

Also on Friday, I'm having a meeting for the grad students, mostly informal, but I've promised to provide snacks, so at some point I have to go shopping.

Next Friday, the department is celebrating our move to new offices (well, everyone but me) with an open house.

The week after that, I have to go home for my parents' 65th wedding anniversary. Apparently, my mother has been hinting that it would be nice if all her children were in the same room at the same time. So we're going to try to all be there for at least one whole day over the weekend, I think Saturday, and probably Sunday too. Which is fair enough, but the last time we tried to do this, my parents didn't bother to show up until dinner time. Which I forbear to remind them, but I try constantly to remind my siblings.

The week after that, we have a guest colloquium speaker coming in, and the 'official' grand opening of the lab. That is assuming we have furniture. At which I am supposed to speak (briefly), acknowledging all the financial assistance from the Faculty and the University, the hard work of everyone who has to sign for things, etc., and extol on the grand schemes we have for bringing the UofM into the forefront of Experimental Linguistics research.

In order to take the pressure off of some others, I've become webmonster for the department. Which isn't so bad, now that everything is set up, but I'm going to have to be diligent about keeping everything up to date. Which is fine. Really. Structure. This is good.

On the private front, in addition to maintaining the Mystery Spectrogram website, and this blog, I've joined Facebook. I joined because one of my Fringe Volunteer friends started a group for "us", and, as frequent readers of this blog you know I'm obsessed with my role as a Fringe Volunteer, I wanted in. So I had to join Facebook. Facebook is a social networking site that allows you to add 'friends' and search for more and join groups and send gifts and play games and (my favo(u)rite) "poke" people, and basically suck up ever spare moment of time you have.

Especially if you find out that people have started groups for some of your professional organizations, and you feel the need to start one for one of the others.

I've never played so much Scrabble (er, um, I mean "Scrabulous") in my life. I haven't started with the Texas Hold'em poker or anything, but I'm on the verge.

So there I am, in my filthy house, with my piles of laundry I need to do, not to mention actual work, and I spend a lot of time poking people and searching for other people I know on the system.

I really need to get back into therap.