Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fish out of Water

“I’m a fish now out of water
Falling off a giant bird that’s been carrying me.”
“Separator,” Radiohead

Sang along with Foghat on the way to school after packing a baloney sandwich, veggies, chips, and cookies for lunch. George Bodmer teased me that the Jay’s and vanilla Oreos were in the same baggie but praised the colorful vegetable selection – radishes, sweet pickles, carrots, and celery.

Missy Brush wants help naming four chicks. I suggested Jaybo or a Japanese name because she is into Japanese game shows, which she watches on the Internet. One possibility is Yoshimi, from the Flaming Lips song “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots.” It could be called Yosh for short. A friend suggested Crispy, adding “LOL.”

Conservative think tanks and Republican party officials are harassing liberal university professors by seeking emails sent out on their departmental computers under various state Freedom of Information Acts. Among those targeted is Wisconsin professor William Cronon and Labor Studies professors in Michigan. In a NY Times op ed piece Cronon had called for an investigation of Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union campaign and stated that his conduct “has provoked a level of hostility the likes of which have not been seen in this state since at least the Vietnam War.” Defending Cronon, columnist Paul Krugman wrote: “The Cronon affair, then, is one more indicator of just how reflexively vindictive, how un-American, one of our two great political parties has become.”

During a library fire drill the building emptied out in less than two minutes. I chatted with Chancellor Lowe and Librarian Tim Sutherland while we waited for police to make sure the building was empty. All but two of Gary’s library branches are closing due to budget cut, including the main one downtown. Steve McShane and Tim Sutherland are working on making sure items in the Indiana Room are preserved, offering space hear. Both of them had yellow outfits on during the drill.

I congratulated Dave Goldfield on the excellent reviews for “America Aflame.” I was best man at one of his weddings, and we were softball teammates in grad school for the Wobblies. He teaches at UNC Charlotte and I thought it interesting that in Obama's Libyan speech he mentioned that Benghazi was the size of Charlotte. Twenty years ago someone mentioning Charlotte would have added "North Carolina." Now Charlotte has a larger population than Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, Seattle or Denver. I've never been to Charlotte - one of these days. David has been there almost 30 years during which time, as I told him, “Michael Jordon has gone from a skinny kid to a Tar Heel star, a Chicago icon and now a Bobcats owner. Even Walter LaFeber wrote a book about him.”

Bowled a 200 game and 530 series as the Engineers won two points and I took home the five dollars for highest over average. After an opposition bowler made no reply to my compliment, his teammate explained that he had ear plugs and couldn’t hear me because he was listening to music. Home in time for more Letterman jokes about Gadhafi and musical guests Willie Nelson, Wynton Marsalis and Nora Jones, who have collaborated on a Ray Charles tribute album.

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