in a perfect world of yancies: September 2011

27 September 2011

A Week in Images

So, first of all, this amazing photo showed up on Facebook the other day (thanks for the pointer, Vince!):
Here's the caption from KING 5's Facebook page:
Check this out! Thatcher Kelley snapped this photo from his plane on approach to Sea-Tac Airport yesterday. “I popped up my camera with a 70mm lens attached, waited for the wing and blurry jet exhaust to clear the view. I quickly focused, jammed my face against the seat in front of me to get the best angle, and snapped the shot just before Rainier disappeared from view.”

Over the weekend, KEXP treated us like VIP's as a thanks for our support. Pretty fun free James Blake show at the Triple Door.
James Blake at the Triple Door
Not familiar with his music? Here's my favorite song:
Want to think more about that? Pitchfork gave it a nice little review last year.

And of course schools' going now. Friday found me using the camera on our laptop to check my outfit:
Ready for School, Fall 2011

Finally, I saw this article about personal QR codes and couldn't resist:
Well, now that you've got my info, I'd better run. Happy Tuesday!

20 September 2011

Almost Ready...

And not a minute too soon! Can you believe that tomorrow is the first day of school? I really hope I am almost ready!

Just got back from the Northwest Ancient Philosophy Workshop at the University of Victoria. Good workshop. Long days, yes, but good workshop. Can't wait for next year!

I also served as the external member on an MA oral exam committee at UVic. Weird being on the other side of one of those, but I liked being part of the decisions. And I really liked feeling like I belonged on that side of things!

... and it was an interesting bit of Aristotle being discussed, so that was a nice bonus :)
Lantern & Maple
Meanwhile, school is starting... I'm hoping to do another trip to the Seattle Japanese Garden for my Freshman Seminar on knowledge and beauty. Maybe a guided tour of the garden itself this time?

I've also secured tickets to Stephen Greenblatt's talk at Town Hall. According to that link, Greenblatt "examines how... one manuscript, plucked from 1,000 years of neglect, changed the course of human thought and made possible the world as we know it."

That manuscript? Lucretius' poem On the Nature of Things. Philosophy! Huzzah!

Curious? The New Yorker ran a nice article, but it's behind their pay wall (psst, hey you—let me know if you're interested & I can loan you our copy). And NPR aired a discussion just yesterday: why don't you give it a listen?

I'm trying to expand my horizons this year by including some more recent (20th Century!) philosophical discussions of beauty. Found a promising piece on feminism and aesthetics my Mary Devereaux. Being the 20th Century, the discussion touches on film... And now I wonder: should I show a film? What would I show? And would I have to provide popcorn?

The second question is tough, but as to the first, well, Devereaux mentions one of my favorites, so here's a possibility:

Finally, speaking of beautiful things, I absolutely love this photo that Emily's uncle posted on Facebook the other day:

©1987 Scott Hughes - All Rights Reserved

Okay... Happy new school year, reader!

13 September 2011

Did the Puyallup!

Fun time at the Puyallup Fair last weekend thanks to our friends Bria and Michael who invited a big group of people, served as guides, and shared their photos, like the above.

Katrina and Bria enjoying some of the handsome produce displays:
And note Bria's stuffed animal, won at Whac-A-Mole. Emily got one too, thanks to my (slightly embarrassing) victory over a small child...

Nick and Ben:

We didn't actually try anything from this place, but we stood in front of it with Michael, so that's something, right?

Pig Palace was a definite hit:
Pig Palace!

But the most entertaining activity had to be the "Mutton Busting," a rodeo-ish event where little kids try to ride sheep. Here's the winning ride, featuring a three year-old who seemed to love every second of his 5.5 second ride:
Mutton Bustin'
And just for the record: I enjoyed the event, but I'm definitely uncomfortable with the relationship that we humans have with other animals...

What else can you find at the fair? How about the Hobby Hall, where folks share their interests and collections:
The Magical Land of the Fair

And of course the food!
Roasted Corn

Oh, and I you're wondering about the title of this post, it's a reference to the fair's jingle. Who doesn't like a good jingle?

... Okay, I should go—school starts next week, but in the meantime I have to get ready for the workshop in Victoria, BC, that I mentioned the other day.

Oh, but if you were wondering about the workshop poster, the image is from a Third Century papyrus that contains a bit of Plato's Republic (472e-473d, to be specific).

Some of it doesn't make sense out of context, but I absolutely love this sentence, found toward the bottom of the bit of papyrus:

ἆρ᾽ οἷόν τέ τι πραχθῆναι ὡς λέγεται, ἢ φύσιν ἔχει πρᾶξιν λέξεως ἧττον ἀληθείας ἐφάπτεσθαι, κἂν εἰ μή τῳ δοκεῖ;

Is it possible for anything to be realized in practice as it is spoken in word, or is it the nature of things that practice should grasp truth less well than speech, even if some deny it?

07 September 2011

And, Thank You!

An exciting few days, but we're safe and sound in the new apartment, and don't worry—all of our books made it safely too :)
Dining Room?
Dining room is somewhere underneath all of that...

Really could not have done it without the help we had from my dad and from our friends Vince (you might know him as Uncle Vinny), Jen, and Wendy.

I'll fill you in with more photos soon, but for now how about a few things unrelated to relocation?

Actually, the day of the move also happened to be the Seattle U Faculty & Staff Service Day, which I'd signed up for back when I thought we'd wait until October to move...

So, this next comment might be weird, and it's a bit more confessional than I like to blog, but when I was a kid I read Magnificent Obsession, which makes of lot of these lines from chapter 6 of the Gospel of Matthew:

Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly.*
I don't remember much of that book (either of them, for that matter), but that sentiment always seemed right to me.

The me I aspire to, in other words, would never tell you he did a service project...
But how can I not talk about how funny it is that volunteering around here always seems to come with a t-shirt?

Anyway, my group spent a couple of hours at the Rainier Beach Urban Farm, a new garden project (on the site of a former nursery) run by Seattle Tilth.

Rainier Beach Urban Farm

The other funny thing (aside from the free clothes) was that we spent a fair amount of time picking blackberries and bush beans... and then they gave it all to us!
Tomatoes and More
A weird volunteer experience, but who can argue with delicious hand-picked produce?

Fortunately the weekend wasn't all berry picking and book packing—also spent some time showing my dad some of the sites:
Sunny Day

Ray, Yancy, Troll

All right reader, I had better get back to unpacking and syllabus writing: school starts in just two weeks!

*Translation from the King James Bible—I always liked the way that version sounds...