October 13, 2009

I very much enjoy cocktail hour, just like sis and sis-in-law Robin and Leslie.  “It must be 5 p.m. somewhere.”  And I very much like the person-to-person free(!) video conference available via Skype.  And so over the past couple of months I have combined these two, enjoying time with distant friends and family.  I’ve come to calling it Skypetailing.  I assumed that lots of people must have discovered the fun and were actively participating.  And the name is so obvious.

Imagine my joy at discovering just now that googling skypetail returns just four entries, none related to this fine concept (and skypetailing just two entries, again none related).   I’ve found a new word.  Spread it!

(We academics love precedent of publication, got to get this post published now!)

Improbable Win

October 12, 2009

After an undergrad/grad/postdoc career in Division III, Washington Husky football was a strong attractor when I arrived at UW in 1981.  I miss perhaps one home game a year.  I’ve seen great stretches…I still wear my “ThreePeat” sweatshirt vintage 1993 Rose Bowl…but more recently seasons of frustration, capped with the 0-12 record in 2008.

Like many fans, I was not expecting the coaching change to yield the dividends we’ve seen.  It was reasonable to wonder whether we would win 3 games this year, much less be 3-3.  But the great effort in the loss to LSU to launch the season and the stunning upset of USC brought optimism, tempered by being run over by Stanford, not executing in South Bend, and reinforced by the first 56 minutes of Saturday night’s game with Arizona.

Many amazing things on the road, but what followed Saturday ranks as my most memorable home Husky moment.  Down 33-21, some fans had seen enough. Only this close because of two remarkable goal line stands…did we learn something from ND?  An efficient drive to make it 33-28.  And then on the first play of the Arizona possession after the kickoff, right in front of me, “the play”.  Arizona receiver falls, pass bounces off his foot, caught by Husky linebacker Mason Foster and returned for a touchdown, two point conversion, 36-33.  A few plays later game sealed with a fourth down interception.

Worth watching on YouTube.  In this set of fourth quarter highlights, “the play” begins at 2:44.

Fastest Growing Blog!

October 10, 2009

Right from my WordPress “Dashboard”.  I’m among the ten “Fastest Growing blogs”.  With zero site views a day!

Update one minute later: Fame was fleeting…

My Blogging Universe

October 10, 2009

My friend Ron Irving’s blog was highlighted in the official UW communication vehicle, University Week.  Ron writes (or may have said but it seems like it wrote):

Q: Who is your intended audience?

A: I didn’t anticipate having any audience initially, except maybe for my immediate family. The blog really was just a forum for writing. And the audience remains small. Some family members. Friends. Friends of friends. Friends of friends of friends. My sister, who has lived in Paris since 1980, reads it, and what’s interesting about that is that it has shrunk the distance between us in unexpected ways, as she now knows a lot about what floats around in my head, topics we have never talked about.

Russ McDuff, the director of the School of Oceanography, reads it, and through him, so too do his sister and her partner in Santa Cruz. I’ve never met them, but in turn I now read their blogs, so we have become blog pals. I occasionally get comments from total strangers, like someone who responded minutes after I wrote about Bill Russell.

Getting back to the initial question, I have no specific intended audience. Family, friends, and whoever else cares to read what I have to say.

So Ron pointed the article out for me, me in turn to Robin and Leslie, and much to my surprise and delight I learn that Leslie has been working on arranging a get together of all of us the next time they visit Seattle.  And then out of the blue I ran into Ron and Gail yesterday evening for the first time in several months.  An inspiration to keep up my end of my blogiverse.  (Which seems to be as a word that describes the universe of blogs; it should be the universe of the blogs of my friends).