November 2004

Kluge Prize

The news today that Jaroslav Pelikan and Paul Ricoeur have both won the second John W. Kluge Prize in the Human Sciences (AP wire story in The Globe and Mail and other sources; cf. The Washington Post) was the first time I’d heard of the prize, which is deliberately aimed at those disciplines in the humanities and social sciences not covered by the Nobels. Unfortunately, many of the historians I think would be obvious candidates for such a prize are deceased; this is an idea that would have been welcome 30 years ago. (More on the obscure media tycoon who endowed the eponymous prize from The Museum of Broadcast Communications and Wikipedia.)

Cookie monster

Cookie monster
Originally uploaded by mcwetboy.

Our cats are incorrigible mooches — the incorrigibility depends on what they’re mooching. Chocolate chip cookies? That was a surprise …

You have no idea how impossible it is to eat a meal unmolested in this house.


For the first time since April, when my AirPort base station blew out, we’ve got a wireless network in the home again. Jennifer, using her education discount, splurged and got an AirPort Express and an AirPort Extreme card for the iMac. The rationale behind this is to reduce desk clutter (moving the printer and modem off, connecting them to the base station elsewhere) and to allow wireless-equipped laptops to connect (Jen’s old Toshiba or a school iBook or an eventual new iBook or Powerbook, or a visitor’s).

We got it set up last night, with no difficulties except that our ISP had to reset the modem — apparently it locks to a specific device and won’t work with anything else, which means you can’t just unplug it from one computer and plug it into another (I’m sure there’s a reason for it). It’s working well; I’ve got some oboe concertos coming out the stereo — which for some reason is less distracting than the computer speakers, even if they’re only a couple of metres apart.

Related: My WiFi links.

More entries below »

Almost sold out

We’re almost sold out of snakes; at the moment, the only snake available is a single male Red-sided Garter Snake born in 2002.

On Thursday I bid farewell to the two and a half year old Great Basin Gopher Snake I’d been trying to sell for more than a year; it looks like he’s gone to a really good home with enthusiastic owners. And yesterday, at Grant’s show, I sold six of the seven snakes we had for sale, including all of the Wandering Garter Snakes and our last remaining Corn Snake from 2003. Where in hell did that come from?

Well, there was one buyer who took four on the spot. But I think the fact that the price list is now back online (previous entry) has something to do with it: greater visibility means more opportunities for sales. Certainly the gopher snake was sold off the web site, and I’ve had lots of inquiries from people who apparently did not move fast enough yesterday. (One left, guys! Hoof it!) The price list came down for a number of reasons, but this is ample proof that it should have stayed up.

Still here — just hurting

Friends have been writing to ask whether I am, in fact, still here. Yup.

I’ve been posting elsewhere — especially at The Map Room, but also at Ankylose This! and on the daily links thingy. Just not here. Partly because I’ve been sick and tired — literally — and the things that I would have said here would have required more psychic and physical effort: the ankylosing spondylitis has been misbehaving itself in recent weeks. So what I’ve been able to do has been limited; because The Map Room gets most of my traffic, I’ve given most of my posting priority to that project.

A few posts have been forming in my mind during that time, but they’re not the sort of thing you can toss off when you’re in pain and exhausted. I’ll try to give them a shot soon.

And of course I’m way behind on adding more material to the garter snake site.

One thing I try to tell myself is that it’s okay to fall behind on the personal projects if I’m in pain and can’t manage. My friends, family and readers are probably more understanding about this than I am.