Wednesday, December 26, 2007


I'm using my intermittent Internet access mostly to upload photos. Now I've got pictures of Odebolt for you. You know where.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

New photos - Dubuque

Let me take you on a virtual walk through my childhood in the Victorian world of Dubuque. Or at least show you some pictures of the city. Right here.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Rest in peace

My grandmother died yesterday. This isn't really a surprise to any of us, and the emotional impact is muted. After all, she'd spent the last few years in The Home, which is really just the reaper's reception area, and most of her functions - sight, hearing, memory, reasoning - had already faded away.

She'll be buried on Christmas Eve in Odebolt, a town which may not outlive her by long. The weather hasn't been conductive to photography, but I'll try to get you a few pictures of what's left of town.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Feather River College, here I come

Remember how I was talking about applying for a head coaching job? Well, the NCAA has made things easy for me by putting together a web site for sports job applicants.

For the rest of you, this is worth a look. I'm sure that the assistant women's soccer coach job at WSU could be your big break.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

On the move

Iowans: I'll be in the state from December 18th to January 4th, so if you want to see me, you should do it then.

Idahoans: See you soon.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

How do I top this?

Not only is my brother engaged, he's engaged to someone who cares.

If I want to keep up the pace here I'm going to have to find someone with even more impressive caring credentials. I know a couple young ladies who used to fight forest fires - maybe I should get to work on courting one of them.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

By jingo!

The main reason I've been quiet the last few days was to urge you to ruminate upon my previous post.

That said, with my down time, I've been looking at old high school yearbooks. Not mine, mind you - just whatever old yearbooks people have put on the Web. They're much more interesting - and the older they get, the more interesting they are. Go ahead, just punch a year and "yearbook" into Google and see what you get. (The portal at is a little clumsy, but also worth a look.)

Aren't you just fascinated by the knowledge that Julia "Dutch" Laney's most used expression was "The big nut"? Or that Stan Roberts had his best time in pharmacy school when "the class attended Schlitz Brewery in a body and finished up at the Egg house"? And I think it's slightly amusing that a guy named Harold Hill proclaimed himself to be the "biggest grafter."

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

If I can be serious for a minute

Finals time is when my depression really kicks into gear. It isn't really because of the finals themselves. Oh, sure, they're worth worrying about and I always dread their outcome, but I dread lots of things. No, the real problem with finals time is that there's far too much down time.

There is absolutely nothing I have to do until Thursday. Then there's absolutely nothing I have to do until the following Monday. That's a lot of time to kill, and the problem with depression is that I don't really want to do anything at all. In past finals weeks, I've gone three or four days secluded in my apartment without talking to anyone, sleeping fourteen hours just because I can't force myself to do anything else.

Recently I watched Stephen Fry's The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive. While I'm just plain old depressed instead of manic depressed, parts of the film really caught my attention. Fry asks several people with mental illness if they would press a button that would make their illness disappear. You might be surprised to hear that most of them say "no."

I wasn't surprised at all. I'm not sure if I want to stop being depressed. It's an integral part of my personality. If I were healthy, I'd be a different person. What kind of person would I be? Would I be like myself before I was depressed, an obnoxious kid? Would I be the kind of person people would like and/or respect? Would I be the kind of person I would like and/or respect?

I'm mentally ill, but I'm functional. I can pull my own weight in the world. Sure, I'm not happy most of the time, but so what? In fifty-some years I'll be dead and it won't matter if I was happy or not. I'm scared to make a fundamental change in my personality for such a fleeting thing. I suppose I wouldn't press the button.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

The only wiki I've ever been tempted to join

Why did I discover TV Tropes just before finals? It's a mostly-comprehensive cliche archive for all kinds of media. Many are cliches I already recognized - I think many of you have heard me talk about The Rashomon - but there are a few I never really thought about until I saw them here. For instance: "If you see a dog on the cover, and that little shiny Newbery medal, you know that that dog's going down."

I'd add The Courtroom Race Rule. White judge, black baliff. Black judge, white baliff.