in a perfect world of yancies: April 2008

27 April 2008

Well Done, Ryan; and Wow Are My Legs Sore

So as you may or may not know, Ryan works in the service department at Helena Motors. More than that, though, he's a top-ten kind of guy. He's so awesome that Ford wanted him to come to Seattle to be honored.

Which was good news for us, since that meant we got to spend part of Saturday showing him around downtown Seattle.

After a long walk from the Space Needle to the Olympic Sculpture Park. Looks tired, doesn't he?

Meanwhile, while Ryan enjoyed his dinner (what was it, like five courses? or twelve? whatever), we began training for the Seattle to Portland bike ride.

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Ride through the lovely Pacific Northwest on a July afternoon. Meet thousands of other bicyclists. Cover two hundred miles in two days. Wait, what?

Let's just say we'll see. Went on a training ride with some nice folks from Seattle U. The email promised an easy 15 miles, about an hour . . .
Um, sure. We rode over to Mercer Island, which was pretty fun, since we went next to I-90 on the world's second longest floating bridge. And Mercer Island itself is really quite lovely. Unfortunately I didn't have the chance to take any pictures, since we were having enough trouble keeping up with the others without worrying about camera angles.

How about this photo, from Wikipedia?

Not sure you really need this, but here's a map of our ride, if you're curious:

View Larger Map

Anyway, the long and short of it is that the ride to Portland may be too long, and our time to train too short. But we'll see. Either way, it was a beautiful day and a fun time.

And thankfully Ryan joined us for some PBR's at Whisky Bar later, ensuring that day was a success from start to finish.

24 April 2008

Nomadic Economist

So on my way to Chicago I was reading the Economist and I came across this Leader about mobile technology and behavior. Fascinating.

Illustration by Belle Mellor for the Economist.

Some of it is quite wonderful and encouraging:
The car divided cities into work and home areas; wireless technology may mix them up again, with more people working in suburbs or living in city centres.
Huzzah, I say.

Some is less rosy, especially as concerns social interaction.
As for friends and family, permanent mobile connectivity could have the same effect as nomadism: it might bring you much closer to family and friends, but it may make it harder to bring in outsiders. It might isolate cliques. Sociologists fret about constant e-mailers and texters losing the everyday connections to casual acquaintances or strangers who may be sitting next to them in the café or on the bus.

Deeper in, though, in the special report, things get even more interesting.

I won't keep quoting it back to you, but here's one salient bit:
Urban nomads have started appearing only in the past few years. Like their antecedents in the desert, they are defined not by what they carry but by what they leave behind, knowing that the environment will provide it. Thus, Bedouins do not carry their own water, because they know where the oases are. Modern nomads carry almost no paper because they access their documents on their laptop computers, mobile phones or online. Increasingly, they don't even bring laptops. Many engineers at Google, the leading internet company and a magnet for nomads, travel with only a BlackBerry, iPhone or other “smart phone”. If ever the need arises for a large keyboard and some earnest typing, they sit down in front of the nearest available computer anywhere in the world, open its web browser and access all their documents online.

Pretty interesting to note that, largely because of the prohibitive price of wi-fi at the Palmer in Chicago (booo!), I never used my laptop on the trip. All my emailing, scheduling, even checking the Greek text of Plato's Theaetetus? Cell phone. Quite a liberating feeling, I have to say.

And the whole social interaction thing? Well, Christian insisted that if I joined him for dinner I turn off my phone. I went upstairs to change, checked my email, and then fell asleep. . . . Now, I had been up since 4am, but it makes you wonder, doesn't it?

22 April 2008

Thanks, Chicago

Spent a nice, busy weekend in Chicago recently. . . . I was mainly there for philosophy, but I also saw Magen, Dave, Braxton, and Amelia, who were in town so Braxton and Magen could appear in a spot about the Children's Museum on the local news. More on that soon (with video, I'm told).

In the car afterwards, Amelia was glad to be reunited with the doll Emily got her last Christmas

As I said, though, I was there for philosophy.

The American Philosophical Association Central Division meeting, to be exact. The full program is online, if you're wondering what you missed.

I was there to talk about Plato's Theaetetus. A philosopher from the University of Denver presented a paper in which she argued that--at least for Plato--any false belief is the product of complete ignorance, which also means that it is possible to have beliefs about an object of which you are completely ignorant. My job was to comment (read: politely disagree), and I rather enjoyed the opportunity. Seemed to go over well, which helped.

Saw some other quite interesting presentations, and had the chance to catch up with a number of people I'd not seen in some time.

I didn't get too many photos, however, though I did get this one:

Tom Tuozzo joined me for a stroll in Millennium Park between sessions.

I also had the pleasure of dining with Dave Weik. No photos, but I can send you to his newly minted iTunes page; or perhaps you'd rather check out his myspace? Either way, there's music to be heard from that young man.

I also had the rare pleasure of seeing the newest work of Seeder and Lee. And am I sorry that the new show involved a reprise of the Mr Cooper scene from Sandy? Hell no.

And thanks, Chris and Carrie, for the bed--and the chance to watch the end of that championship game again!

Finally (phew!) I visited McHenry . . . again no photos, but I'll give you this link to reviews of Foxhole Pizza. Mmmm.

Thanks all. See you soon, I hope.

15 April 2008

Seattle, Sure; but Oh that Lawrence . . .

Thanks for you patience, Mel.

Took a bike ride recently up to Gas Works Park and on into Fremont. Lovely time. Odd, but handsome park:

Look, way over across the water--Capitol Hill!

And after miles of riding, how could we not stop here?

More basketball watch-party photos!
thanks, Dave


Yancy, before things got going

Jamie almost looks nervous . . .

The opposing team's lineup? No time for that; too busy reading the paper . . .

More fun during and after the game:

Hard to believe it's all over (for this year!) . . .

Luckily, Kristin, who runs the alumni email list, is awesome

She put together an outing to the Mariners/Royals game. It was cold, and it wasn't the best game ever (that's right, Royals fans, I said it . . .), but was great to see everyone again.

And they sell garlic fries at Safeco! Wow. (Thanks, Shannon, for sharing with us!)

Just heard a charming story on the radio about Lawrence's post office . . . ah Lawrence. Good stuff on the parade for the basketball team over on, too.

10 April 2008

Adam Webb

I mentioned Adam Webb the other day, but I'll let Jamie explain:

Hell of a guy. We barely knew him, I suppose, but he welcomed us to the alumni group during the first basketball game of the season. Nearly every game since, he was there. . . .

Though I never agreed, I will sincerely miss his complaints about Coach Self and about Brandon's ability to make lay-ups. Sincerely.

You may have noticed Shannon holding up a flier in the post-UNC game post. Here's a scan of that flier:

It's a real shame that he missed it, but I feel he'd want us to celebrate it:

A few photos (more soon, I'm told):



Shannon showing off her cool Final Four® shirt just after THE JAYHAWKS WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP
The KU ticket is the only one in Row A . . .

Dave celebrating at Ozzies on the night that THE JAYHAWKS WON THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

And in case you're not following the action over on the Jayhawk Nation blog, I thought I'd quote a bit from Deron's most recent comment:

"When the shot went through... I swear I've never yelled so loud in my life -- in unison with hundreds of my fellow patrons at the KU-friendly NYC bar, the Back Page. It was basically one long, continuous scream from that point all the way through the overtime."

And Coach, on this amazing team:

“Kansas basketball, Dr. Naismith and Rupp and Allen and Owens and Brown and Williams and Wilt and you go on and on and on, there’s so many great teams. This is the winningest team in the history of the program. And I told them tonight you’ll remember it as the best team ever in the history of the program if we take care of business tonight, and that to me is very humbling to think of all the great players and all the great teams, and this one will go down as the best ever. And it’s humbling to have a chance to work with that group of guys.”

Well said.

Rock Chalk!

08 April 2008

I'll try later this week to find some words to describe how amazing this experience has been. For discussion, feel free to check out our Jayhawk Nation blog.


06 April 2008


Amazing game yesterday.

I need to get some sleep, so I'm just posting these photos for now. Rock Chalk.

Downtown Lawrence, courtesy of Scott and the Jayhawk Nation blog. I also recommend the video of the party there.

More downtown Lawrence, from

Look: something not basketball-related. Mimi in front of the Asian Art Museum in Volunteer Park.

The winning shot, in honor of Adam Webb

For Adam

(I'll say more on that when I have a chance)

Got to watch with Ismail and Kari, so that made it extra fun.

Post-game at the Whisky Bar; how do you like that painting? It's called "In Demand," and can be yours for $700 . . .

Melanie and Dave at the Whisky Bar post-game.

Classic Melanie pose (?)