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Upma Thurclair

Is it just me, or do Upton Sinclair and Uma Thurman bear a striking resemblance to one another? Seriously, are they related? I looked it up but didn't find anything to that effect.

Recommended Movers?

Can you recommend a good moving company? I'm talking right now to Movex, so I'd be especially interested in hearing about experiences with them. Basically, we would like a self-service move, in which we load and unload the truck, and all they do is drive it. The Movex deal sounds okay, but they expect us to measure the amount of truck space we end up using, and I'm not sure I'd be so good at that, unless they have markers on the walls of the truck or something. They also expect us to build a bulkhead wall out of materials they provide so that our stuff is kept in a private compartment. Is this easier than it sounds? I wish we could just get our own truck.

Due to dissertation hay-ul

I got nothin'. Except some bullets!

  • First, a serious bleg. We're moving out at the end of this month to relocate in North Carolina, and we've only lived in this house in Decatur, GA for two months. Our landlord is making us pay the rent until a new tenant is found, and we don't want to lose our deposit or pay rent on two houses, one of which is empty. If you know anyone who is moving to the Atlanta area soon and is looking for housing, please put them in touch with me: clancy.ratliff at gmail. The house is great, a reasonable rent for the Atlanta area, big yard.
  • Just out of curiosity, can anyone think of any big public shaming media events surrounding fathers with their children? I'm not talking about the everyday public shaming that happens on Dr. Phil ("He won't get a job!"); I'm thinking along the lines of what happens to mothers fairly often, e.g., Britney with baby in lap. The only ones I can think of are the Michael Jackson baby-dangling incident and the Steve Irwin crocodile-feeding incident.
  • I did my first Pilates class ever today, and I liked it a lot.
  • Some of the comments in this thread are making me want to run and hide.


Blogging may be light for the next few days (snort). While I dislike, for the most part, posts that start off with a bunch of self-flagellation about not blogging recently, I'm going to do it just this once. I have a good reason for my non-blogging; right now I'm in Greenville, North Carolina, where I'm pretty sure we have decided on a house to rent. Come late next month, I'll be joining the faculty at East Carolina University, and I couldn't be more excited.

Victory Is Mine

I have finally usurped the Tom Clancy FAQ to become the #1 hit in a Google search for Clancy. I've waited for this for such a long time. Check it out; this may only last a little while.

Edited: Well, it was good for that minute. Or maybe I never was #1. Maybe it was that stupid Google "Personalized Search (Beta)" deal. Argh.


  • Color me impressed with All Girl Army. Jenny emailed me the announcement that the site is live, so I clicked over there. The contributors to the site are writing letters to themselves in the future, which is a great idea. In fact, I had a high school English teacher who assigned a letter to ourselves ten years in the future. She told us to turn them in in sealed, stamped envelopes with the address that would be most likely to serve as a permanent address. She promised to mail them to us. She didn't. You don't know how many times I've wanted to put her name here as a Google bomb. I've even halfway hoped that she had a good reason for not sending the letters, like a fire burned her house to the ground. The only thing I remember writing in the letter was "Re-read The Awakening." So I probably ought to get around to that soon. Anyway, check out All Girl Army.
  • I read this article on ethanol with interest, especially this part:

    Last year corn production topped 11 billion bushels — second only to 2004's record harvest. But many analysts doubt whether the scientists and farmers can keep up with the ethanol merchants.

    "By the middle of 2007, there will be a food fight between the livestock industry and this biofuels or ethanol industry," Mr. Basse, the economic forecaster, said. "As the corn price reaches up above $3 a bushel, the livestock industry will be forced to raise prices or reduce their herds. At that point the U.S. consumer will start to see rising food prices or food inflation."

    If that occurs, the battleground is likely to shift to some 35 million acres of land set aside under a 1985 program for conservation and to help prevent overproduction. Farmers are paid an annual subsidy averaging $48 an acre not to raise crops on the land. But the profit lure of ethanol could be great enough to push the acreage, much of it considered marginal, back into production.

    Huh. I know there are probably lots of technical and economic reasons this won't work (ethanol can be make more cheaply with sugar than with corn), but what about all that corn used to make the high-fructose corn syrup that's in everything, which may be contributing to the obesity epidemic? How about taking that corn syrup out of the ranch dressing and using that corn for ethanol? This way, maybe the livestock can still eat cheap corn, and the conservation reserve can continue to lay fallow. I wish the article had addressed that argument.

  • Check out Bill Benzon's essay about YouTube. Good stuff.
  • Songs about sad songs are annoying, and I want to put a stop to them. I mean, there's "So Sick" by LL Cool J feat. Ne-Yo, Elton John's "Sad Songs (Say So Much)," "There'll Be Sad Songs (To Make You Cry)" by Billy Ocean, and "Another Sad Love Song" by Toni Braxton. When will it end?

Friday Dog Blogging

Village of the Damned (Dog)

And other random stuff

Books I've read so far this month: The Handmaid's Tale, To the Lighthouse, and I'm just one stationary bike ride away from finishing Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim. I've also started Orlando. This reading, especially To the Lighthouse, has got me thinking a lot about the social and emotional labor women often engage in, as part of childrearing and general domestic duty -- the work Mrs. Ramsay does. I've got a lot to say about it, and that'll probably be the topic of my next post.

I loathe it when people confuse "loathe" and "loath," but I am loath to correct them when they commit the error, lest I embarrass them.


Another installment of "Bullets of Random Crap"!

  • I am now in the midst of a breakneck, home-stretch dissertation-finishing schedule. I give revisions of chapters 1, 2, and 3 to my adviser on Sunday the 18th, and then revisions of 4, 5, and the conclusion on July 5. Chapters 1 and 3 needed the most work, by far, out of anything in the dissertation, so I'm eager to send those out. Then my adviser gives me comments, and I revise the whole thing and send it to the other members of the committee on July 16. I guess then we go from there, but I'm hoping to defend sometime in August. Please wish me luck.
  • I demoted that quiz post off the front page of my blog. I couldn't stand being reminded of that awful song.
  • I used de.lirio.us for a long time for my social bookmarking, as it was the open source alternative to del.icio.us. But now they've moved everything over to Simpy, so I guess I'm using that now. I haven't seen any evidence that Simpy is open source, though, and if it isn't, I'm just going to go ahead and use del.icio.us.
  • I might have some big news in a week or so. I'll announce it here if it ends up working out.
  • As soon as my dissertation is done, I'm going to take my blog in a new direction (while not leaving behind any of the old directions, mind you). For a long time, I've been interested in the environmental issues, but I haven't written about it. Not many bloggers do, from what I've noticed. The only one I can think of who consistently addresses environmental politics is Emily at Strangechord. I'm going to add a new category for environmental issues and start posting about those often.
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