May Day in Colorado

 Posted by on 1 May 2008 at 8:14 am  Personal
May 012008

Here in Colorado, Mother Nature likes to toy with us in the spring. Yesterday, it was 70 degrees. Today (and tomorrow), it’s snow:

(That’s looking out from the house to the barn.)

(That’s Kate near the house.)

Nick and Abe

 Posted by on 20 April 2008 at 2:31 pm  History, Personal
Apr 202008

Yesterday, Paul and I had the pleasure of lunching with Nick Provenzo of Rule of Reason, then walking and talking around DC with him for a few hours. The company was delightful and the weather was lovely, but the sights were a mixed bag.

I particularly wanted to visit the Lincoln Memorial, as I’ve grown to admire Lincoln intensely, despite some significant disagreements with his policies, in my study of the Civil War over the past few months. That was excellent, despite the throng of people. It’s an absolutely fantastic statue of Lincoln.

We also visited the new World War Two Memorial. That was worse than I expected in its utter lack of meaning. Blech.

Happily, we also stopped by the statue of William Tecumseh Sherman near Lafayette Square. I’d also like to see the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial, so that I can pay my respects to him. I should be able to do that tomorrow before I head home.


 Posted by on 18 April 2008 at 10:09 am  Personal, Technology
Apr 182008

You’ll learn more about elevators than you ever wanted to know in this New Yorker article: Up and Then Down. The article includes the story of Nicholas White, who was trapped for 41 hours without any food or water in an elevator. It’s pretty horrific, if you concretely imagine what that would be like. You can even help your imagination by watching this time-lapse video of him stuck in the elevator.

I ride the elevators at CU Boulder pretty frequently. Kate accompanies me teach my classes at CU Boulder every Tuesday and Thursday. (She’s perfectly well-behaved, she needs the exercise, and she loves to come with me.) She’s too old and creaky to go up and down the stairs, so we take the elevators. After reading that article, though, I’ll never ride an elevator again without a working cell phone!

Sick, Again

 Posted by on 5 April 2008 at 8:21 am  Personal
Apr 052008

I’m sick. Again. For the third time this academic year. It seems like a head cold this time.

I’m not pleased.

Better Than a Monkey

 Posted by on 14 February 2008 at 7:05 am  Personal
Feb 142008

Ah, I’m soooo much better than that monkey Flibbert:

You Are A: Bear Cub!

bear cubBears are strong and independent creatures who roam in the forest in search of food. Bears are usually gentle, but anger one and be prepared for their full fury! You’re tough, you won’t back down from a fight, you have a bit of a temper — classic attributes of a bear. Intelligent and resourceful, though lazy at times, you are a fascinating creature of the wild.

You were almost a: Kitten or a Monkey
You are least like a: Chipmunk or a FrogWhat Cute Animal Are You?

Paul doesn’t call me “Mrs. Bear” for nothin’! (Okay, well maybe he does, but nevermind that pesky detail.)

Sick, Sick, Sick

 Posted by on 7 February 2008 at 7:42 am  Personal
Feb 072008

After teaching on Tuesday, I was worried that I might be coming down with a cold, as my throat hurt a bit. Yesterday, that bad news was confirmed. Even though I didn’t feel horrible, a cold was clearly on its way. Last night, I realized that I didn’t have any Nyquil to help me sleep. Even worse, the decongestant I had in medicine cabinet was phenylephrine, the new crap they’ve been pushing instead of pseudoephedrine (Sudafed). So it wasn’t a good night. Today, I feel pretty miserable.

Sadly, I do need to go up to Boulder to teach. My students have a paper due, so I need to pick those up to stay on schedule. While I’m there, I might as well teach Pascal’s Wager as planned. At least I’ll be able to pick up some good drugs on my commute to Boulder.

Ugh, I hate hate hate being sick — and this cold is my second illness of the season.

More Football

 Posted by on 25 January 2008 at 3:32 pm  Football, Personal
Jan 252008

During this football season, Paul and I have taken to watching The NFL Channel if we have some extra time while exercising but nothing to watch on DVD. The analysis shows are reasonably good — although we definitely prefer HBO’s “Inside the NFL.” The essentialized “NFL Replay” games are fun to watch, as are the significant games from past seasons. When listening to some lecture or fiction on my iPod, I’ll often watch games on the NFL channel with the sound off, as that keeps my brain occupied enough to concentrate on the audio material.

A few days ago, I watched a portion of 1998′s Superbowl 32: Denver vs Green Bay. (I was also listening to Onkar Ghate lecture on philosophy!) That’s ancient history for me, as I only began watching football two seasons later.

When I began watching football, my goal was to be nothing more than a very casual fan. I thought I’d know which teams were doing well each season, enjoy watching a few games, but not much more than that. In fact, I even said that I couldn’t imagine learning the names of players.

How times have changed! Of course, I recognized tons of players from this old game, most notably the very young-looking Brett Farve, but also McCaffrey, Davis, Sharpe, etc. The two head coaches were also familiar faces. I recognized the commentators: Phil Simms looks so much older today. However, what blows me away is that I recognized Ed Hochuli. He wasn’t nearly so buff then as he is now. And he isn’t the only referee I know on sight! Plus, I now have very definite preferences for in-the-booth commentators: I adore Chris Collinsworth above all others.

If someone had told me ten years ago that I’d be such a devoted NFL fan, I would have gotten a good chuckle from such crazy talk.

Oh, and… Go Giants!

Merry Christmas!

 Posted by on 25 December 2007 at 10:12 am  Personal
Dec 252007

Merry Christmas!

We’re in the middle of a pretty hefty snowstorm right now. Here’s our weather forecast:

Today: Snow along with gusty winds at times. High 26F. Winds N at 20 to 30 mph. Chance of snow 80%. 2 to 4 inches of snow expected. Winds could occasionally gust over 40 mph.

Tonight: Snow this evening will diminish to a few snow showers late. Low 4F. Winds WSW at 10 to 20 mph. Chance of snow 70%. Snowfall around one inch.

Now that’s a true white Christmas! Then our white weather will continue:

Tomorrow: Partly cloudy skies in the morning will give way to cloudy skies during the afternoon. Cold. High 32F. Winds S at 5 to 10 mph.

Tomorrow night: Variable clouds with snow showers. Low 13F. SW winds shifting to N at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of snow 60%. Significant snow accumulation possible.

Thursday: Snow showers possible. Highs in the mid 20s and lows in the mid single digits.

I do wonder what “significant snow accumulation” will mean for us.

Happy Birthday to Me

 Posted by on 13 December 2007 at 6:50 am  Personal
Dec 132007

Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday to Me
Happy Birthday to Meeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
Happy Birthday to Me!

I Want! I Want! I Want!

 Posted by on 26 April 2004 at 3:41 pm  False Friends of Objectivism, Personal
Apr 262004

It is a beautiful day here today, delightfully sunny and warm. After our few days of snow late last week, I’m itching to return to the garden. Instead, I’m stuck working on my paper on zoocentric egalitarianism for my environmental philosophy class. *sigh* If only I was a whim-worshipping subjectivist instead of a rational-teleological egoist, I would be playing in the warm dirt right now. (No, that’s not a real wish!) Summer break will come soon enough… so just a few more days of savaging Peter Singer’s utilitarian arguments for animal liberation and Tom Regan’s deontological arguments for animal rights.

Unfortunately, I will have two school papers to complete over the summer. I’ve decided to take an incomplete in my Topics in Values class, as working out the details of my arguments on moral luck will take more time than I have left in the semester. Some of the arguments concern issues of moral judgment that I’ve not yet settled for myself, but will be investigating as I comb through the relevant sections of Truth and Toleration this summer. I also have a half-done paper from the fall semester on Aristotle’s action theory, particularly on his view of the relationship between reason and emotion, to complete.

Since I am busy with schoolwork, I haven’t had a chance to comment on the vigorous debates in the comments — and likely won’t for a few days. I particularly want to reply to Bill Nevin’s challenge to the closed system, as well as make some general remarks on implicit sanction, scholarly standards, and engaging philosophical opponents. So don’t think I’m remaining silent because I have nothing to say!

Update: I also hope to say a bit more on the general issue of Objectivism as a closed system, as my views solidified a fair amount after a lengthy discussion with a friend a few days ago.

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