Gossamer Tapestry

Reflections on conservation, butterflies, and ecology in the nation's heartland

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

WInter Doldrums and a Boring Post

I officially have the winter doldrums. I'm unmotivated and just kind of blah. It's probably due to coming off of an extremely busy time of my life, but the short days of winter are not helping matters any. I was gently excoriated by UrSpo last night about my slow blog posting. What to do? A meme, of course. This one is from the Spomeister, but a lot of other folks have been doing it.

# 1-What is in the back seat of your car right now? My gym stuff, a bit of homemade cheese that I forgot to bring in to work with me, and my ice scraper.
# 2- When was the last time you threw up? About 3 years ago I got some kind of food poisoning. I remember it was summer because the windows were all open. I spent most of the night in the bathroom.
# 3-What’s your favorite curse word? The F bomb.
# 4-Name 3 people who made you smile today? It’s 6:45 AM. I haven’t even seen 3 people yet today.
# 5-What were you doing at 8 a.m. this morning? It’s before 8. Yesterday morning I was preparing a report for the USDA.
# 6-What were you doing 30 minutes ago? Commuting to work,
# 7-Where were you born? Wareham, MA
# 8-Have you ever been to a strip club? Nope.
# 9-What is the last thing you said aloud? Goodnight, dear.
# 10-What is the best ice cream flavor? Homemade raspberry.
# 11-What was the last thing you had to drink?. Earl Grey tea
# 12-What are you wearing right now? Khakis, a yellow Oxford shirt and a brown tweed jacket.
# 13-What was the last thing you ate? High fiber breakfast cereal.
# 14-Have you bought any new clothes this week? No
# 15-Where were you last? In my car.
# 16-What’s the last sporting event you watched? On TV, the final game of the 2007 World Series.
# 17-Who won? The Red Sox. Yay.
# 18-Who is the last person you sent a comment/message while blogging? Rodger at Rodger Dodger.
# 19-Ever go camping? Many times. I have blogged about it.
# 20-Where do you live? Northeast IL.
# 21-What song are you listening to? Nothing at the moment
# 22-Do you tan? Yes.
# 23-Do you drink your soda from a straw? Yes if it’s in a glass, no if it’s in a can.
# 24-What did your last text message say? I’ve never sent a text message.
# 25-Who are your best friends? Rick and Mel.
# 26-What are you doing tomorrow? Helping a new employee ease into her first day of work here.
# 27-Where is your mom right now? Pleasant Street Cemetery in Massachusetts.
# 28-Look to your right, what do you see? Plants of the Chicago Region by Swink and Wilhelm.
# 29-What color is your watch? Silver. Real cheapo Timex digital.
# 30-What do you think of when you think of where you live? The Fox River
# 31-Ever ridden on a roller coaster? Yes. I love them but don’t go often.
# 32-What is your birthstone? Topaz.
# 33-Do you go in at a fast-food place or just hit the drive through? Both. I eat more fast food than I should.
# 34-What is your favorite number? 1024. It’s 2^10.
# 35-Do you have a dog? I have 2 cats.
# 36-Last person you talked to on the phone? UrSpo and Someone.
# 36-Have you met anyone famous? Harold Edgerton, Liza Minelli, Richard Daley, Richard Durban, Rahm Emmanuel, Jane Goodall, Paul Erlich, Tomas Cech (Nobel laureate)..
# 37-Any plans today? Work on Monarch statistics.
# 38-How many states have you lived in? Massachusetts, Maine, Illinois.
# 39-Ever go to college? Colby College (BA), Northwestern University (Ph.D.)
# 40-Where are you right now? At work.
# 42-Biggest annoyance in your life right now? Winter.
# 43-Are you struggling to forgive someone right now? No.
# 44-Are you allergic to anything? Bee stings, codeine, crustaceans. I find it ironic that 2 of my allergies are to arthropods.
# 45-Favorite pair of shoes? Shoes- meh.



At 12:18, Blogger Gary Lee Phillips said...

Never sent a text message? Is this another slime mold situation? Even I have done that (many times in fact, and only recently to discover that someone we both know well didn't know how to read them when he received them.)

At 12:49, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Gary, this may indeed be another slime mold thing. I could never get behind computers when they were an end unto themselves. I just couldn't relate to Leon waxing rhapsodic about soldering in a board to allow him lower case on his TRS-80. Similarly with texting- I don't see the point. Why not just call someone or drop them a quick email? Do I really have to communicate right this second? I feel much the same about instant messaging and Twitter.

At 13:01, Blogger Gary Lee Phillips said...

There are justifications for SMS, which may or may not apply in all cases.

1. Depending on your cell phone plan and/or that of the recipient, it may be totally free or significantly less expensive than a voice call.

2. It is a way to get a message through to someone who may not be near a computer, yet avoids interrupting them with a phone call. Usually you can only leave voice mail by calling and failing to get a response. I know Gary doesn't want to answer his phone when driving or in many other situations, so I can send him a non-urgent message via SMS. A voice mail costs us 50 cents or more, while an SMS text costs a nickel.

3. It is a way to convey things that lend themselves better to text, such as a URL or e-mail address, to avoid the complexity and confusion of having to clarify spelling and punctuation over the phone.

There are other justifications that may well not interest you. I use it for reasons that are entirely cutesy and flirtatious with some people, but that is based on the individual and their own preferred modes of communication.

Instant messaging is only of interest to me for free communication with certain people who like it themselves and are often at a computer at the same time as I am. Unlike a phone call, it doesn't cost per minute and has protocols that allow you to just leave a question or response hanging until it is convenient to respond. This is normal and expected in most cases. No, I don't just hang on IM systems "in case" someone wants me. Younger people do, though, and consequently I take advantage of their cultural orientation. When in Rome...

At 18:36, Anonymous Lemuel said...

With a favorite number like 1024, I would expect you to be a computer geek, not a bug guy. Oh. wait. Just different bugs. ;)

At 19:54, Blogger rcwbiologist said...

Sorry to hear you have the winter doldrums. It finally got a little cold here. I guess we may have a little winter after all. It seems that many bloggers aren't posting as much lately. I have been the same way. I don't think there is as much to write about for me in the winter time since my site has become more of a biology blog and not the more broad family/friends/biology blog it started out as.

At 23:09, Blogger Ur-spo said...

a good treatment for the winter doldrums is to get a light box. but if that is too inconvenient, i suggest going on a cruise.
Meanwhile, please do something about that cheese.

At 06:11, Anonymous pablo said...

I'm grateful for any fresh posting on the blogs I visit. It does seem like we're all pushing through molasses right now, doesn't it?

At 10:00, Blogger robin andrea said...

Come to the central coast of California. No winter doldrums here. Plenty of warmth and sunshine, even a few monarchs to be found. Still, I haven't felt like blogging at all. It's a good thing I get to see a marbled godwit every now and then, or I would never be inspired to post. 1024 is a great number.

At 09:25, Blogger Doug Taron said...

Gary Lee- Interesting points. I do recall last month in Mexico that one participant in the meeting couldn't use her cell phone to talk from there, but was able to keep in touch with her daughter by texting.

Lem- I've progressed beyond the point where I see computers as a necessary evil. But I'll never be a computer geek.

rcw- I agree. Unless I'm travelling, I have much less to post about in the winter.

Spo- A cruise? What a great idea. On the cheese side, I'm looking to try Camembert soon. That's a completely new direction for me. I'll blog about it.

Pablo and Robin- Yes, almost everyone I visit seems to be posting more lightly than normal. I think that there is a collective midwinter postholiday emotional crash going on. I expect we'll all recover soon enough.

At 06:55, Blogger T.R. said...

Jane Goodall - is she the real deal? I consider her a modern hero. I've meet a lot of celebs because of my job but I would be nervous to meet her.

At 09:10, Blogger Doug Taron said...

t.r.- Jane has been a hero of mine for a long time as well. Recently I have developed a more mixed opinion of her. In her conservation work, she has few peers. The late Jacques Cousteau comes to mind. In person, I found her rather aloof. She seriously damaged her scientific reputation with me when her book Reason for Hope came out. She embraces quite a bit of woo in it. "My mother, who was psychic..." I value the advocacy work that she does while questioning her science.


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