I was home the whole time, I swear.

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Although it is true that this fine group played the Edson auditorium tonight, and there was a rumor that they dragged the most uncoordinated old geezer in the house onto the stage, and there was a faint possibility that he made an embarrassing spectacle of himself with his wooden posturings and arrhythmic spasms, I must categorically deny that it could have been me.

If anyone took photographs of this…degrading hypothetical event, I will pay good money to see them erased. If there was a video recording made, I will report any blackmail attempts to the police.

We will not speak of this again. Ever.

Ever.


<moan>…I went for a walk to the coffee shop today, and everywhere I went people would grin and give me a thumbs up, or comment on last night’s “performance.” Oh, the perils of small town living—everyone was there.

I’m going to have to move far, far away. Are there any job openings for a developmental biologist in Tierra del Fuego or Tasmania? I suppose if I just lived in a cave with a bag over my head and foraged off of lichens and small invertebrates, I could get by without the job part, strictly speaking.


Oh, no…the witnesses are popping up. I think SubEvilBoy must be looking for a promotion to EvilBoy.

I know this irritates my critics…

…but my university actually supports me. There’s a profile of yours truly that’s part of a random rotating collection of links on UMM’s main page (if you don’t see it there, reload the page; it’ll appear eventually.)

I am aware that I am slightly harsher and more radical than many of my colleagues on some issues (others have their own domains of expertise and radicalism), but one of the great things about UMM is that even if they don’t explicitly endorse all of my opinions—and that acknowledgment on the main page is not an admission that this university is a hotbed of militant atheist evilutionists—they are appreciative of the diversity of ideas that make up a great university.

Livin’ on the edge

There’s a great story in the Rake about the Dakotas—that place just a few miles west of where I’m sitting. This is an odd part of the world, where population is actually contracting and drifting away to leave our rural communities standing rather lonely and empty.

Quite obviously, North Dakota has a problem. Even as some of its cities grow and become more cosmopolitan and diverse, namely Fargo and Grand Forks, which huddle against the border of Minnesota, the rest of the state seems to be returning to nature. It’s a conundrum across the country, this decline in rural vitality, but the matter is especially dire in greater North Dakota, which threatens to empty out completely. Various survival plans have been floated. The more mundane involve tax breaks and other financial incentives for those willing to move to, say, the town of Tioga, in the northwestern quarter of the state. Other proposals are more unusual. One suggests turning the better part of the state into a federal grassland, where buffalo and prairie dogs could roam free. Another would make North Dakota a “four-seasons war games zone.” Proponents of that plan talk of the plethora of abandoned houses and barns and silos that the military could use for target practice. These are the people who refer to North Dakota, with very little irony, as “Dakistan.”

It’s not all bad news, though, and these old empty farmlands aren’t a dreadful place to live, as Tara attests. You have to like living at a slower, quieter pace, and you have to think it’s not such a terrible thing for human residents to move away and other beasties to move in.

You also have to be tolerant of interesting weather. Extremely cold temperatures (which we haven’t had much of this year), strong winds, occasional blizzards, tornadoes, the usual. And sometimes we get spectacular sundogs and weird phenomena I never heard of before, like this recent occurence of snow rollers. When the conditions are just right, high winds and temperatures right around freezing, Mother Nature rolls snowballs on the local fields.

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(via MNSpeak, and the snow rollers story was from some lady named Mary Gjerness Myers)

I am an addict

I gave up on caffeine this past summer—I actually cut it off cold turkey for a good long while. I’m backsliding a bit now, though, just because my early morning teaching schedule has me feeling mostly exhausted all the time (I hope I adjust soon).

This new blog, Smelling the Coffee, is not helping. Even the title is driving me nuts. I’ll probably pop in to the coffee shop in town this afternoon, but I’ll settle for mere decaf.

Lies, all lies

That is not my picture, I’ll have you know, and although last night’s party was lightly attended, it was quite pleasant, with plenty of food and good conversation, and it went on until midnight. I had no idea how louche Grrlscientist was, though…I should have gotten a photo of her dancing on the table with the lampshade on her head, but I figured it would be breaking her anonymity to publish it.

Friday Random Ten: Inflicting My Musical Taste on the Houseguest edition

Another week, another Friday Random Ten. This one is playing right now, and poor grrlscientist can actually confirm that yeah, I listen to this stuff.

Bergfäst (Mountain Haunted) Gjallarhorn
Before The Night Is Over Gaelic Storm
My Weakness Moby
Hjaðningaríma Gjallarhorn
I’m not worried at all Moby
The Good Times Are Killing Me Modest Mouse
Forshyttan Hedningarna
Don’t Make Me Dream About You Chris Isaak
The Man Comes Around Johnny Cash
Hot Hot Hot!!! The Cure