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What's up?

I haven't posted here in a while... it seems some people still use LJ, so I might as well give some kind of update.
  • I've been at Google for 5 years now, and still really enjoy my work. Lucky.
  • danamae and I moved in to our own place a couple years ago after finding the perfect listing in the Davis Square area. Lucky.
  • danamae and I got married this June. Lucky.
  • I've gotten into square dancing pretty seriously - our class just finished C1 (the first level of challenge dancing).
  • I'm gaming less. I've quit WoW, I'm only in one tabletop game (ringrose's Explorers). I'm still playing some board games and some video games (most recently I'm a little hooked on FTL and Pinball Arcade for XBox 360 Arcade).

  • I'm cooking a lot less than I used to, since I have tended to eat at work lately. This makes me sad. (Yes, I know, first-world problems. But it's part of my life lately, so I'm writing about it.)
I'm mostly over on Google+ and Facebook these days, and for a long time I'd stopped looking at LJ at all... but I now have gotten back in the habit of occasionally checking in here to see what's going on.

Anyway, that's me. What's new with you?

Where did I sleep, anyway?

I don't remember. I'll have to look at a calendar or something... Let's see.

Somerville, MA
Rochester, MN
Minneapolis, MN
Philadelphia, PA
Healdsburg, CA
Mountain View, CA
Pittsburgh, PA
Indianapolis, IN
New York, NY

Is that it? I think 2009 was the big travel year.

flat tire

So, twice now, I've broken off the tip of my tire's Presta stem while trying to disengage a bike pump from it. I've also been successful around a dozen times in the last six months, I would guess. Anyone got any hints for making this not happen again?

the plot... thins

Well, the house is now very, very warm. But we believe it to be free of bedbugs. I've reassembled my room, and we're wrapping the mattresses "just to be sure" ... even though no bedbugs were ever detected in our bedrooms.

There is a kinda gross futon on the 3rd floor I kind of don't want to take out of the house through the hallways. I wonder if it could be safely flung out the window somehow.


And tomorrow, we close on the new place. Wow.

Mar. 30th, 2010

note to self: check torrent trackers for John Hodgman's appearance on QI later tonight.

But first, go to the bike sale before it ends tomorrow.
I got the ick (in its milder danamae form) a full 36 hours after Dana started showing symptoms... Long after I was far, far away from any EHF foodstuffs.

chenoameg thinks it's a virus, and I tend to trust her gut on such things. Especially since she got it (twice, if you believe ringrose's description over hers...) long before EHF.

(Anyone else see EHF and initially try to expn it as Eddie From Ohio?)

In any case, chills, tossing and turning, dreams involving doing a dance that involves a lot of turns (and thus, a lot of flipping over in place in bed), no puking and mild "other digestive symptoms".

Unless maybe we're looking at two separate thingies?

And now...

if I post something witty or banal on LJ, it'll show up in buzz?

Feb. 10th, 2010

Oh huh. Buzz might mirror my LJ posts? My profile seems to have a link of some sort to the LJ, at least.

"zero tolerance" in schools

How come people successfully get all up in arms about ridiculous punishments for students in schools (month-long suspensions for having aspirin in a backpack, that sort of thing), when due process is denied for a teacher as in this story from The New Yorker piece on "rubber rooms"?

Steve Ostrin, who was assigned to a Brooklyn Rubber Room fifty-three months ago, might be that innocent man whom the current process protects. In 2005, a student at Brooklyn Tech, an élite high school where Ostrin was an award-winning social-studies teacher, accused him of kissing her when the two were alone in a classroom. After her parents told the police, Ostrin was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child. He denied the charge, insisting that he was only joking around with the student and that the principal, who didn’t like him, seized upon the incident to go after him. The tabloids ran headlines about the arrest, and found a student who claimed that a similar thing had happened to her years before, though she had not reported it to the police. But many of Ostrin’s students didn’t believe the allegations. They staged a rally in support of him at the courthouse where the trial was held. Eleven months later, he was acquitted.

Nevertheless, the city refused to allow him to return to class. “Sometimes if they are exonerated in the courts we still don’t put them back,” Cerf said, adding that he was not referring to Ostrin in particular. “Our standard is tighter than ‘beyond a reasonable doubt.’ What would parents think if we took the risk and let them back in a classroom?”
Where's the outrage here? Should there be outrage, or is the administration justified in leaving him in the "rubber room"? If they're justified in sending him into exile, should they be justified in firing him?

The article goes on to call this case "a distraction from the real issue," but I think it's instructive here. The rubber room is an end-run around protections provided for teachers. It takes away the substance of the protections, leaving them with only protection for their paycheck. It also gives them a terrible choice: stay on the payroll of the city, collecting a paycheck in exchange for hours of boredom and stagnation, or leave, admitting guilt, and having no expectation of ever getting to perform the job they love.

Ok, this is a gross assumption, but... at least some of the rubber roomers are in this boat, I'm willing to bet.

It's indisputable that New York's rubber room system is broken. It's schizophrenic in that it has due process for the paycheck, but not for the job...