Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More Than You Expect

So I moved a rug into my office today. It's the rug that has been in my living room for about 10 years. It is a nice machine made oriental rug (as the guy from Miers who sold it to me insisted on emphasizing "Machine made", even in his Christmas card). I want to repaint the living room and have the floors sanded and refinished. So I wanted to move the rug to my office to give the office a better feel (instead of UDM institutional).

Trying to get that sucker in was a big ordeal. I was hoping to deftly lift one side of furniture, then other. No such luck. Everything had to come out and everything back in. Sweat pours off my as I do this, crawling around the floor trying to take care of all the damned cables and wiores we have to deal with in modernity. Well, at least the mission was accomplished. I figure the living room will be a long term project, doing it bits and pieces at a time. I'll pay people to do the floors, but I figure to do the painting.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Not the Nine O'Clock News - General Synod's Life of Christ

Res Ipsa Loquitor

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Small Town America

The Ypsilanti Heritage Festival is in full swing today. All across america are similar festivals and fairs around this time of the year. The weather is overcast, and it rained earlier. That has probably put a damper on attendance. I had my haircut this morning, and I asked my stylist, Tanya, if she and her family were going. She said probably not because of the rain. I said that when her daughter Cassandra (a few months old) grow up, she's going to ask why didn't she get to go to the Ypsilanti heritage Festival. Tanya said she'd lie and tell her she went. But, of course.

There is a lot of stuff to be had at these fairs, most of it is junk to me, but a treasure or interesting to someone else. It is enjoyable to see folks out. I stopped by the Ypsi Freighthouse and ran into the Leslie, wife of Bombadill's proprietor Peter Reinhart. She talked me into buying raffle tickets (it wasn't a hard sell). There I learned that Ypsilanti used to have a spring water company named Atlantis. How fitting as tha ties into my book.

Friday, August 18, 2006

As summer ends, a new school year begins...

Today was Convocation day at UDM. The plan for the university was laid out in Power Point by President Stackhausen. Trends look good, and for the first time I had the sense that some of these capital projects will actually begin. Nothing specific on Reno Hall (where the psychology department is). But, hey, I finally got an air conditioner now that it is cooling off! Overall many things with the university look promising, but there's always a wait-and-see needed here. Today was a leisurely beginning. There was no academic regalia. Instead it was casual picnic wear. Here are some pics from around the campus. You can even see the A/C in my office.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Post Convention

Not as many pictures as I hoped. New Orleans was certainly hot as hell and walking between the Division 39 Hotel (see picture) and the Convention Cneter set new records for sweat accumulation. The panel with Brent Slife, Ph.D., Drew Westen, Ph.D. and Stephen Hollon, Ph.D. went very well. Star Wars emerged as a theme as Hollon expressed that he was worried he's be seen as Darth Vader for his interest in RCT, while Drew referred to Brent as Luke Skywalker. I offered that we would take a poll to figure out which character Drew was (given the political slant to his presentation). The interchange among the panelists was quite good, and I received a number of thank yous from various attendees.

The Convention did not seem crowded, although I do not know the official numbers yet. I believe the worry about hurricanes probably scared off a number of folks. The board meetings I ran were also lightly attended, as is usual for the APA (we do most of our business at the Spring Meetings).

Monday, August 14, 2006

Back from New Orleans

I returned to Michigan from New Orleans. The city seems less vibrant than usual, as might be expected. I believe that there were fewer attendees to the APA convnetion than usual. I'll try to post more on that later. First up is a post about a great little bar in New Orleans called Dos Jefes Uptown Cigar Bar. It's a great place to hang out, watch the crowd, schmooz with friends, listen to music and have a smoke. I went there on Saturday evening with cousin Greg and Judge Feldman. We hung out and reviewed the judge's latest adventures, including a 20 minute meeting with the president. He was thrilled, and we were thrilled to hear about that. The cigars wound down and we discussed food, women and history, although mostly women.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Water lines

Water lines
Originally uploaded by barrydauphin@sbcglobal.net.

I head to New Orleans this week for the APA Convention. Last Thanksgiving I made my way around parts of the city to survey Katrina damage. Not a pretty site in most cases. I'll be bringing the camera again and want to see what difference there is between then and now. As of blog time, there are no hurricanes or tropical storms in the Gulf, as Chris has disintegrated. I hope it stays that way for the convention and New Orleans. I imagine that attendance might be low, as a lot of people are probably spooked about going to New Orleans, even though that would be a better way to help the local economy than simply donating to charity or watching CNN.

The Singularity

I'm working on an article about the Singularity, the subject of a recent book by Ray Kurzweil. In a nutshell the singularity refers to the pace of technological development. The idea of Kurzweil and others is that computer processing power continues to double every 18 months or so (an exponential rate of growth), soon we will have built machines capable of surpassing human intelligence. When we reach that point, we will rapidly develop even better (and smarter) technology. The pace will be so brisk that we cannot quite comprehend the kinds of developments ahead of us. This crossover point is the singularity, sort of like the edge of a black hole. All the rules change. This brings the possiblity of hyperlong lives, if not outright immortality, not to mention numerous other powers. Ultimate happiness at last?

This gets me to my paper---extending the Tantalus analogy to the singularity. Even if we get these kinds of powers, will that put us in heaven with the gods? Won't we complain then as now? To someone who lived centuries ago, our lifestyle would appear utterly miraculous. Are we living blissfully with nothing to complain about?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Wipe Out

Well, a bad thing happened to me, and I was stupid. Two for two. This week, when the IT guy came over to install some software, my computer took a hike. He couldn't access the hardrive. After two days, IT was able to recover some of my files, but the names of the files were gone, replaced by 01, 02, 03... So I have to open up everyone to see what it is, rename it and put it in the right place. I may have lost the data files I had been working on. The stupid part was not having this stuff backed up.

So, I bought a jump drive, but now quickly realize that these things don't hold nearly enough for me to back up files without getting lots of them, for $40 a pop. I figure I need to get a backup hard drive, so I don't have to go through this again. But it will be at my expense. It's amazing how much we rely on these suckers. But it also gives me another chance to take a swipe at Windows. My personal computers are Apples. It's long past time for Bill Gates to devote himself to charity. I hope he can actually make that work better than Windows.

Friday, August 04, 2006


This is a test post from flickr, a fancy photo sharing thing.