Archive for the ‘My life’ Category

From the Zwicky diaspora

July 2, 2014

Google Alerts has, well, alerted me to a story about a skateboarding cop, as has Horton Copperpot in e-mail. From a site provided by Copperpot, this story of June 25th, “Holy Kickflip Batman! Is that a Skateboarding Activist Cop?!”:

Meet Officer Joel Zwicky, “Skateboard cop,” of the Green Bay Police Department.

Zwicky is not your typical cop, for starters, instead of harassing skaters, he’s shredding right next to them.

Instead of lobbying for more strict laws on skateboarding, he’s fighting to get restrictions lifted; and he’s successful at it.

Earlier this year, Zwicky convinced the city of Green Bay to lift the skating ban on the 25 mile urban path known as Fox River Trail.

Zwicky is trying to change the stereotypes about skaters.

“Wanted to break that down and show people that skateboarders aren’t just punk kids causing trouble, they are all kinds of people in the community, and they’re even your police force,” Officer Zwicky told KHON 2 News.


Hallucinations and delusions

June 4, 2014

An avalanche of linguistically relevant cartoons this morning. I’ll pick out a few individually, then post a collection. First, an old Doonesbury, relevant to one of the occasions of the week in my house, the anniversary of my husband-equivalent Jacques’s death in 2003; the relevance will soon become clear.


Holidays and events

May 4, 2014

Early May has nine occasions of significance in my household; seven of them have a wider significance. In any case, it’s a busy time.

I posted about most of these in 2012, here. Now to expand on those notes.


Is never good for you?

May 2, 2014

Heard on KQED-FM yesterday morning, on the Forum program (an interview and call-in program hosted by Michael Krasny), Bob Mankoff of the New Yorker. From the KQED website:

In his new memoir, Bob Mankoff recalls being an indifferent student who frequently cut class during college. Once, when he showed up in sociology class for the final exam, his professor asked “Who the hell are you?” Mankoff replied: “You know, I could very well ask you that same question.” Despite his slacking, Mankoff’s sense of humor served him well. He became a successful cartoonist, fulfilled his dream of getting published in the New Yorker and eventually became the cartoon editor at the magazine. Mankoff joins us to discuss his new memoir, “How About Never — Is Never Good for You? My Life in Cartoons.”

Charming, down-to-earth, very funny, and full of information about how cartoons are created and how things work at the magazine. Also lots and lots of cartoons, only some by Mankoff himself.



May 1, 2014

Continuing a thread on flowering plants that don’t thrive where I live now (in Palo Alto CA) but do thrive where I lived before (in Columbus OH); the key is needing cold winters, with at least some freezing.

Earlier (6/20/13)I posted about lilac (Syringa) — for which the so-called (unrelated but physically somewhat similar) “California lilac” (Ceonothus) can stand in:

they are both ornamental flowering shrubs, and Ceonothus can fill much the same function in landscape gardening in Mediterranean or semi-tropical climates as Syringa, most species of which thrive only in places with decidedly chilly winters.

Then more recently (4/24/14) I took up forsythia:

We don’t see much forsythia in these parts, because they require a winter freeze to flourish. They do grow in California and elsewhere in the West, but only in areas with cold winters; the Sunset New Western Garden Book enumerates these.

Now it’s peonies.


Zippy on sleep, and more

April 28, 2014

Today’s Zippy (more or less about sleep), with a rich collection of references and allusions:


Some cultural references, another diner, and (via the diner) country ham and beaten biscuit (“Food, Glorious Food”).


Our forgetful academics

March 17, 2014

(From my life.)

A note from Saturday, when I started the day very early (around 4 a.m.), working on comics-related things. Later, I went to lunch with my daughter and realized just before it that I had managed to forget to have  breakfast.

These days, breakfast is either a leftover from dinner the day before (recently: Tuscan shrimp pasta, pizza) or just granola. But I usually remember to have it.

The bad lure of academia.

Morning names

February 14, 2014

For some time now, I’ve been waking in the morning with a name stuck in my head, usually a name from show business or television: Laura Prepon, Frank Gorshin, Sada Thompson, Danny Pino, etc. (you can look them up). Usually just one day each (though Prepon had a three- or four-day run). Not extraordinarily famous, and I’m not sure why they pop up: they don’t figure in my dreams, and I don’t recall having heard something about them in the days before their names appear.

It’s sort of like being given crossword puzzle clues in the morning:

Laura of That ’70s Show


Prepon of That ’70s Show.


February 4, 2014

Not about language.

Sunday I woke to the welcome sound of rain — we’ve been having a terrible drought — but by lunchtime it had come to an end. Still, the air got cleansed.

I went out into the garage area on my way to lunch and saw it was sprinkled with what looked like confetti. At first I thought someone had been celebrating for the Super Bowl that day, but then I realized the true source.

In this area, the first flowering fruit trees bloom in mid-January, and there are flowering fruit trees is some of the little gardens in the garage area. They were now dropping petals. Very charming and cheering.

More Reading PA

January 28, 2014

My cousin Eleanor Houck points me to artwork by her son Rich (so, my first cousin once removed), who has a studio in downtown Reading PA.; website here. Interesting work in several media, including some pieces of local interest (nostalgic for me), like this painting of the Penn St. Bridge (over the Schuylkill River):

Going east over the bridge, into Reading. The tall building is the Courthouse, and that’s Mount Penn in the background.

Earlier posting with a dowtown view from 1941, here.


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