La La La La La

7:39 - 8:32 Metro to Medical Center (via Ft. T)

She's coming home today
She's Coming Home Today!
SHE'S COMING HOME TODAY!!!!!!!!

Oh, and at the suggestion of my father, I put some stuff into the radiator that is supposed to seal leaks. We'll see if that helps.

Testing, 1-2

OK.  Long day.  I had so much fun with yesterday's ClearQuest certification, I went ahead and tested for UCM with ClearCase.  It was even harder.  Ugh.  <p>

I wonder if I'll get pretty certificates for these, too.

Introducing Izzy (Greenbelt)

Don't Know Much About History The voice on the phone was not familiar to me, but it spoke as if it knew me.

"Hello," it said. "Meet me at the historical marker on Southway." When I told the Brunette, she wanted to know why I didn't ask who it was.

"I didn't want to make him feel bad that I didn't remember him," I said, although the real reason was that I didn't want to look stupid. I mean, how stupid is it not to remember what the voice of one of your imaginary friends sounds like?

"So you might know him?" she asked.

"...I guess, maybe," I said, uncertainly. "But I'd better go down there because even if he doesn't know me, he's going to be disappointed if I don't show up."

"Well, you gotta do what you gotta do," she said. "Just be careful. I can't come save you from Atlanta." I told her I'd be careful. I put on my helmet and rode over. Sure enough, a guy was sitting there on the curb, staring down at his shoes. He looked up when I pulled up next to the map of Greenbelt, but then he looked back down at his shoes again. I stood there trying to think what to say.

"Uh, hi," I said, finally.

"Hello," he replied, without looking up.

"Um," I said. "Do I know you?" He looked up at me again, a little longer this time before turning his head attention back to the ground.

"I don't. No," he said.

"Well, uh, did you just call someone and ask them to meet you here? 'cause I got this call from someone I don't know and..." I trailed off. He laughed bitterly.

"Can't even dial a phone right," he said. "Sorry, wrong number and all."

He looked pretty bummed out, all the same, so I asked if he was okay.

"Yeah," he said. "I'm okay. Just writer's block, you know."

"You a writer?" I asked. Man, that's the dumbest question isn't it? Nobody who isn't a writer has writer's block. No, the whole world can spew millions upon millions of words, but slap the title writer on and the river dries up.

"I guess," he said. "I write a blog, and I'm just tired of it all. Can't seem to ... I don't know, the words aren't. They don't ... " He reached his hand out as if the words might be in the air near the bus stop, but he finally only shrugged. "I had this idea for a project, like I need another project. Go 'round to historical markers and write interesting stuff about them."

We both stared at the historical marker for a few moments. It said:

Greenbelt was the first of three planned garden towns built and owned by the U.S. Government during the administration of President Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was a "New Deal" experiment in community planning, of note to urban planners throughout the world. The 885 original homes were built in a series of clusters, joined by interior walks, and circling central business, civic and recreation facilities. Greenbelt was incorporated June 1, 1937 as the first Maryland city with council-manager government. In 1952 the residents of the community formed a cooperative and purchased most of the government built houses. By 1954, the U.S. Government had sold all developed property and most vacant land. While many new neighborhoods are also included in the present city, the original planned community continues as a cooperative.

"Nope. Nothing," he said. "A few shards, sure. Nothing up to my normal standards, though. Not clever. Not a single bon mot."

"You know, Franklin Roosevelt actually put the first fish in the lake around back," I said. He looked hopeful for a moment, then the light went out and he shook his head. Not enough. I'm pretty tired of politics, myself.

"Sometimes, it doesn't come, I guess," I said. What would sound encouraging: keep writing, eventually you'll like what you write? No, that didn't sound right.

"Guess these artificial exercises are just that: artificial," he said, finally. Then, he said something really witty that made me laugh. I can't write it here because they were not my words, but trust me: very funny. The bus came down the road, and he turned to it with resignation. As he got on the bus, I asked, "What are you called?"

"Me?" he said. "I -- " but he was interrupted by the door closing and rode off into the sunset.

I've decided to call him Izzy.

Yawn

Yawn

Bombay Masala is closed between 3:30 and 5:00pm. This is important to know if you plan to jump on your bicycle and ride over after 4, say. I sat on the grass behind the Burger King and read the Greenbelt News Review. Ah, the smell of fast food grease. Appetizing.

Bombay Masala sits in a shopping strip across from the entrance to NASA. It shares the strip with a dozen other stores, including a K-Mart. I expect that the majority of the restaurant's traffic is from NASA employees at lunch, because on a Saturday afternoon the place was fairly deserted. Some day, I will write an essay comparing shopping at K-Mart to visiting a nursing home. It's sad and irritating at the same time.

The restaurant staff was friendly enough, but the food was rather bland. He brought water as frequently as I needed it, pretty much. There are annoying mirrors on the wall. Gosh, other than that, I have not much to say. It was pretty boring. Doubt I'll go back.

So the search for chicken chasni continues...

Test for Rationality

Last November, I got myself certified in the Rational Unified Process, also known as RUP. Having this certification is a requirement for employment at my company. At some point earlier this year (I don't remember when because the searching tool for Blogger stinks like bad cheese), I got myself certified as a software consultant for the Rational ClearCase tool.

This weekend, I committed to giving the ClearQuest certification a try. I thought it would be fairly easy, you know. Hey, I'm the guy who created ClearQuest Tic-Tac-Toe! How hard could it be?

Little did I know...

The testing methodology has changed. You still take the test on-line from your own computer, which means reference material is at your grasping little finger tips, but now the test is timed. There's plenty of time, except that they've helpfully put a little timer in the upper-lefthand corner. That little bugger sits there relentlessly ticking down the seconds remaining.

tick tick tick Tick TIck TICk TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK TICK.

It's enough to drive a person mad. I forgot about an area of ClearQuest with which I have less experience: Multisite. Multisite is a little feature that lets you maintain the same data at two sites with regular synchronization. It's used a lot with ClearCase, but we haven't seen it used so much with ClearQuest, so I haven't touched it in a while. How dare they ask questions about something I'm not 100% familiar with!

Since I could take the test from my own laptop, I treated every question as if I didn't know the answer and tried out the available solutions on my own instances of ClearQuest. For the most part, this is a good approach, though it is rather time consuming, and I used every single second available for the test. I think I'd recommend this approach with one change: first, run through all the questions and answer the easy ones, then move through the unanswered ones slowly checking each, then, if there's time, try out even the easy ones. You can't go wrong with that, I'd think.

When I got to the end, I submitted my test. The system was nice enough to ask: "Hey, you still have 20 seconds. Are you sure you want to finish?" What the heck? I thought to myself and, with that devil-may-care attitude submitted my test.

I'm exhausted. I'm going out for a curry.

Another Update

Weeell, it turns out that the fan is not broken. Nope, not even a little bit.

Our wee hoosie has two light switches for said fan. I was fooled into thinking that they work as normal: either switch can turn the light off and on. But NOOOOOOOOOOO. In this house, one of the switches acts as master. Doesn't matter what you do to the switch at the front of the house if the back switch isn't on.

My only excuse here is that I've only lived here a few months. Oh, and I did mention that I can't think straight in these lonely times.

Any way, I rode my bike over to the auto parts store to pick up some spare anti-freeze for the grape. I haven't driven it today. I think I'll let it rest another day.

Update

Things Break, Bones Ache

Talk about your obscure references...

Well, I made it home safely tonight. The car didn't overheat or even go warm. Weird.

On the other hand, I found that our living room ceiling fan and light has stopped working. I've tried all the switches and checked the breakers. Don't know what else to look for, and now I can't remember which way is "on" for the light switch.

I can't think straight when the Brunette is away. It's like I'm walking through Kayro corn syrup.

Purple Radiator Eater

A Commuting Report

You might remember that I mentioned the little brush with catatonia our beloved grape-mobile experienced. Or you might not. Who knows if you're still paying attention or what, right?

At any rate, the car went to visit its doctor, who changed some hoses, put some oil and radiator fluid in the old beast, and failed to discover any major leaks. So we took the wee nipper out for a drive on Wednesday. Not far down Kenilworth, we pulled to a stop because of the manic beeping of the heat sensor, which had done its job and noticed that the engine was running very hot. The needle was pinned, dude.

We waited a bit for the car to cool, then looked under the hood and failed to find any fluid in the radiator. So, we glugged some Prestone in there and drove the grape back to its doctor. The doctor spent several fruitless hours on Thursday trying to find a leak. Failing that, he changed the radiator cap ("maybe the disintegrating gasket is letting fluid out when the engine is running") and mentioned his belief that even if he could find what was wrong, perhaps the engine just isn't worth fixing. With the Brunette "safely" on her way to Atlanta (I'll let her tell you about that), I took the purp to my job in Merrifield.

Silver Spring was not yet even in my rear-view mirror before the alarms were tripped again! The temperature needle was doing some heavy-duty visiting in the red, and I was stuck in rush-hour traffic (that is, sitting perfectly still) in the middle of a four-lane highway. What to do, what to do?

Well, I did what any good listener of Car Talk would do: I turned on the heat. What the heck, it's already September, right? It's only going to get up to 85 today, after all. Amazingly, the heat trick worked almost immediately. The needle bade fond farewell to the H and returned to its safe location somewhere midway between too hot and too cold, definite Goldilocks territory.

And it stayed there for the entire trip to Merrifield, as long as I kept the heat on.

At lunch I went out and found a lack of fluid in the radiator again and finished off the bottle we had left in the trunk. I hope it can get us at least as far as the dealer.

Heck, I hope it just gets me home tonight. Wish me luck, eh?

And It Killed Superman, Too!

Many of you may know that I bike down to the Metro station occasionally. I haven't yet decided whether or not to get one of those nifty bike boxes, so I've been locking my bike to the annoying bike racks at the station. For the safety of my bicycle (and those around me), I use a Kryptonite lock. I bought it in Glasgow after my previous bike was stolen from a busy street corner. (It had been "protected" by a simple cable lock.)

Now, I find out that the Kryptonite lock can be picked using a cheap bic pen. Oi. Luckily, Kryptonite sent me an email telling me they'd exchange my lock for free:

If you have a Kryptonite lock that has a tubular cylinder (a round key cylinder) you are eligible for a Kryptonite non-tubular cylinder lock exchange. The steps you take to participate in the exchange are: 1. Provide the information listed below to Kryptonite. 2. Return your current tubular cylinder Kryptonite lock to us (postage paid). 3. Kryptonite will send you your new non-tubular cylinder lock.

Emphasis added.

A lot of folks are all up in arms about this, but I'm not too worried. The bike gets stolen, I'll get another one. The lock did come with a year-long anti-theft guarantee. Bike gets stolen, Kryptonite buys me a new one.

But what I'm worried about is what I'm supposed to do in between sending off my old lock and receiving the new one. That's even less safe. And will the new one fit my mounting bracket?

Oh, I just remembered that I've had my bike lock for two years now, so the insurance is no longer good. Dang.

Concealed Weapon

Ok, ok. I'm getting the picture now. Librarians complained about the Patriot Act, so now we all have to suffer.

First, we're not allowed to carry almanacs in our cars. Then, we can't take comic books onto ferries. Now, we're not allowed to take bookmarks onto airplanes. And I thought Laura Bush was all pro-reading and stuff.

Airport police said it resembled a weighted weapon that could be used to knock people unconscious. So the 52-year-old special education teacher was handcuffed, put into a police car, and charged with carrying a concealed weapon.

Of course, this bookmark (pictured) does look a little dangerous. Imagine how much damage a 52-year-old teacher could do with that. My knuckles hurt just thinking about it.

1:18

1:18 There's a stretch of US 50 that we're starting to become very familiar with. Just across the South River, heading toward Annapolis, there's a little spot in the road we like to call our home-away-from-home. This spring, we had a flat tire. This weekend, we drifted to a stop just about the same place. This time our engine was dead.

Can you tell from looking at it what's wrong? Me neither, but when you stop on the shoulder, you have to open your hood. It's some kind of basic instinct, I think, no matter how little you understand the diabolical inner workings of the American engine. It's also some sort of requirement that a cop stop by, shine his flashlight in the engine compartment, and shake his head. Yup, that sucker's deader'n a door nail.

The representative of the American Automobile Association took 1 hour and 27 minutes to respond to our plight. We will find out today what is the matter with the grape. Meanwhile, I'm dreaming of Jaguars and Minis.

  • 6:46 - 7:04 Bike to Greenbelt station
  • 7:10 - 7:58 Metro to Medical Center (via Fort Totten)
  • 7:58 - 8:04 Walk to site
If the weather could be like this every day, it would be a lot easier to get on the bike. Just cool enough to see your breath, yet not so cold as to require gloves. Ahhhh. And it looks like a second day of beautiful blue.

Kerry's Kittens

I dare you not to smile when you see this threat to America.

1:10

1:10

  • 6:55 - 7:05 Chauffeured to Greenbelt station (thanks, Love!)
  • 7:09 - 7:58 Metro to Medical Center (via ChinaTown)
  • 7:58 - 8:05 Walk to site
Hope folks needing wheelchair access aren't confused by this Greenbelt station sign!

Rhymes with Orange

1:48

Woke up in the middle of the night with a major leg cramp. Still limping this morning, so I took the bus. Love that SmarTrip technology!
  • 6:23 - 6:25 Walk to bus stop
  • 6:27 - 6:48 T17 Bus to Greenbelt station
  • 6:51 - 7:56 Metro to Dunn Loring (via Ft T/Metro Center)
  • 8:05 - 8:11 Shuttle to site

The shuttle driver was quite the maniac today. He drove over curbs and swung around other cars like some crazy Taxi player.

Today's delay was on the Orange line: a 2 minute wait at West Falls Church because of single-track operation at Vienna. Still, nothing like yesterday's Red Line delay.

Red Menace

1:35

I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sick of the Red Line. I'm convinced that ratchedy excuse for transit has it in for me...
  • 6:54 - 7:10 Bike to Greenbelt station
  • 7:16 - 8:19 Metro to Medical Center (via Ft T)
    • 7:35 - 7:45 wait on tracks between Brookland and Rhode Island
    • 7:46 - 7:49 wait at platform at Rhode Island
    • 7:50 - 7:53 wait on risers between Rhode Island and Union Station
    • 7:53 - 7:56 drift slowly into Union Station
  • 8:19 - 8:29 Walk to site
Surely, the Beltway never has to experience "a down track circuit."

At any rate, today was also the first time in months I've biked in the rain. It reminded me of a normal day in Glasgow: mild temperature, misty rain, soaked trousers...

And speaking of Glasgow, you should read these two blogs from up-and-coming SF writers. In my mind's ear, I can hear Gary giving his reports over a pint at Mother Hubbard's. And in my mind's eye, I can see Al at the Counting House, waving his hand-rolled cigarettes with that hungry smile. In my mind's stomach, I can still taste the Chicken Chasni at Mother India...

Neverwhere (Neil Gaiman)

DC Below Just another quiet ride on the Red Line:

"Are you from DC Below?" he asked me.

"What?" I said. I had been fairly engrossed in a book; the sudden appearance of this unshaven, rather decrepit, gentleman was unnerving.

"You can see me, right?" he wanted to know.

"Uh, yeah, sure," I said. I could see his tattered overcoat, torn jeans, and taxed tennis shoes. I had a little trouble making out the features on his face, but I could certainly smell the man.

"So, do the others not see me because you're crazy," he asked, "or do you see me because you're from DC Below?"

"Dude," I said. "I don't know what you're talking about --"

"Sure you do," he replied. "You've read Neil Gaiman's Neverwhere. You know there's another world beneath the streets, with magical fear burbling through the tunnels. A place of adventure..." By now, he had sat down beside me. The other passengers' eyes carefully slid above, below and around him. I had a slight itch of fear for my sanity, but, after all, the man was wearing a coat in September. He must be mad; not me.

"Neverwhere is a fantasy novel, dude," I said. I always overdo the 'dude' when I'm nervous. "It is not a Report on the Findings of some Senate Subcommittee."

"If I were from DC Above, could I do this?" He stood quickly and turned to face the passengers behind us. He put his thumbs in his ears, stuck out his tongue and blew a Bronx Cheer: "PPPPPBBBBBT!"

None of the passengers reacted. Nobody's gaze strayed from the distant horizon-neutral. He sat down again and crossed his arms with a little bounce. He smiled as if to say, "See?"

"Look," I said. "You'll have to do much better than that. This is Washington, DC. This place is well-trained to ignore the downtrodden and unrespectable. We all have special powers of disobservation when it comes to your kind, don't you see?"

I swear, he faded a little bit. Not just his attitude, I mean, he actually faded. If I squinted, I could see through him the suitcases of the young student across the aisle. I should have had more compassion, but I couldn't stop myself.

"DC is no London, anyway," I continued. "We've even sanitized the train-going experience. Have you ever seen anything more anti-septic than these stations? There's no room for you or your destabilizing romance. We don't have the heart to see magic in our poor and downtrodden, only failure."

I took a breath to start on a tangent about DC's lack of enough sense of place to have a secondary fantasy underworld to shadow it, but he had already disappeared with a soft "pop!" leaving behind a feather with a purple thread wrapped through it. I thought I heard a faint echo, "Failure. But whose?"

Then I returned to my protective bubble and worked on ignoring the fifty people in the train who were so carefully ignoring me. No adventures for me today, thank you very much.

Volunteers Needed

1:45

  • 6:40 - 6:56 Bike to Greenbelt station
  • 7:01 - 8:11 Metro to Dunn Loring (via Fort Totten and Metro Center)
  • 8:20 - 8:25 Shuttle to site

Kept just missing connections today.

I noticed a request for volunteers in the Express (the free daily) today: Someone's looking for helpers in an investigational malaria drug study. There were even three exclamation points!!! So they must be serious. It occurred to me that there must be few things less fun than voluntarily catching malaria; then, I noticed the ad right next to it: "Volunteers Needed for Anthrax Vaccine Study". It's always something, eh?

Both studies are "oriented toward healthy men and women"; however, while the malaria study is interested in folks from 18 to 55, the anthrax people figure if you're over 30 you might as well just curl up and die anyway. They're not bothering with us fogies.

Bike, Metro, Walk

1:18

Haven't done one of these in a while.

  • 7:02 - 7:20 Bike to Greenbelt station
  • 7:21 - 8:12 Metro to Medical Center via Chinatown
  • 8:12 - 8:20 Walk to site

Forgot to change at Fort Totten. Some researcher I am.

Date, Time, and ClearQuest

Well, we were preparing a response to an RFP from Heaven the other day. Turns out that God wanted to use ClearQuest to track the life-cycles of His subjects' sins. In concept, it looked pretty easy: each sin is a record type that is associated with a user (or users) and goes through a workflow (temptation, indulgence, redemption). We were going to propose some pretty nifty tracking charts and reports to go along with the implementation, along with an optional integration with RequisitePro, the requirements management tool. Importing all of the Bible's requirements into one database could provide some nice drill-down for the data-savvy reviewer of sins (not to mention some wonderful cash flow for us on a time and materials basis). For a while, we even let ourselves go a little crazy and considered a supplemental deliverable of integration with the TestManager tool to allow for recording and testing of subjects against the requirements, but we didn't want to shoot the moon, you know?

Then, dash-it-all, we ran into a wall: ClearQuest doesn't consider any day before January 1, 1970 valid for its date/time fields.

We had some hair-pulling sessions then, boy, let me tell ya. I think we've settled on a solution, but it involves the Big Guy absolving everyone of sins committed before 1970. Do you think He'll go for it?

Only in Maryland

So I come out of Generous Joe's with a cheeseburger sub and some fries and I spot my imaginary friend Bertie a beat too late to pretend he isn't there. Bertie is messing around in the back of his wee Chevette; his feet only touch the ground with his toes as he leans in toward the back seat. As I notice him, I see that he has just noticed me, too. No way to avoid a discussion now. The best I can do is try to hide my food behind my back.

Like that'll work!

"Dude!" Bertie says as he clambers out of his hatchback. "Whatcha got behind your back?"

"I could ask the same thing," I say, trying to change the subject. Bertie is unsuccessfully hiding a large blue sign behind his back.

"Just something I picked up the other day," he says, putting the sign into his car. I can see the sticks from several signs in his trunk. They all have bits of dirt and grass still attached.

"I didn't know you were a Bush supporter," I comment, surprised. To be honest, I never thought Bertie had much in the way of political leanings.

"Oh, well," he says slowly. "I, uh-"

"Wait a minute," I interrupt. I'm trying to keep him focused on anything but my food. "Are there a bunch of Kerry signs in there, too? And is that a Nader sign?"

"Oh, okay, you got me," he says. "Give me a fry or two and I'll let you in on the secret."

I hesitate. I don't like to give up my food, but I am curious. Eventually, I hold out the bag. Bertie reaches in and takes nearly the whole cup of fries in one fistful.

"You just got back from Tennessee, didn't you?" he asks.

"Yes," I agree, irritated. The longer I spend with Bertie, the less food I get.

"Did you notice anything different about the people there?" he wants to know. What am I supposed to say to that? Do I go off on some rant involving insults to the stereotypical hillbillies and hicks? I'm not sure where he's going with this, so I remain non-committal.

"And you went to New York last month, right?" he continues. I pull the bag away as he reaches for another handful. "Where I'm going with this, laddie, is that the people in both places have a certain identity."

"Aye, that's true enough," I say, picking up the 'aye' because he said 'laddie' I guess. Why else would I have said it? "Folks from both places have a certain pride in their reputations."

"Even the more negative reputations, don't you think?" he says more than asks. "Look at those folks down in the Smokies. The dumb hillbilly hick thing is, in many ways, insulting and untrue. Yet their tourist spots embrace the image in order to sell, and many of the people brag on their connection to the identity. They try to find value in individualism and independence that could be seen by outsiders as stupidity, but is really a clever ruse to fool the flatlanders."

"And New Yorkers certainly take pride in their rudeness," I respond.

"Right, but they call it efficiency," he says.

"It's true, I suppose," I say, a bit lost in thought. Bertie takes the opportunity to grab another fry. "I was thinking about this as we drove back from the South. I find it a little sad that we don't quite have the same identitification process with our state. You might hear someone say they're a Texan and an American or a New Yorker and an American, but you'll rarely hear someone who is not running for office claim pride in their Marylandness."

"And that, my boy," says Bertie, "is a problem, because we Marylanders can be very proud of our regional identity, even if most people don't know what it is. "

"What is it?" I ask, when I realize he wants me to.

"Why, we're the borderlands, man, and anything can happen in the borderlands. Every Marylander is born and bred to have a great deal of sympathy for all sides of an issue. Are we Northerners? sometimes. Are we Southerners? occassionally. We had slaves, but we stuck with the Union. We didn't even vote for Reagan, but we have a Republican governor. We are Eastern and Western Shore."

"So?"

"So? So, we understand conflict resolution because we have it going on in our heads all the time. I say it's going to take a Marylander to bring this country back together. Nobody else can do it."

"You mean Keyes?"

"No, of course not. Sure we have our share of nutjobs. But then again, look at him: he's a black Republican. Steele is a black Republican, too. How open-minded is that?"

"Mmm," I say. I'm not sure why it catches my eye, but I notice a Greenbelt police cruiser up on Crescent. It rolls to a stop at the intersection. "What's that got to do with you and these signs?"

"Well," he says. "I thought it was high time we reminded ourselves of our special status in the American landscape. I want to help people remember that we are all Americans and neither side of this election is evil incarnate."

"Even Nader?" I ask. The cruiser turns right at the stop sign. "Rabid embracers of all points of view?"

Bertie has noticed the cruiser and shoves his Bush sign into the Chevette. "You've heard the expression 'Only in LA', right? I want people to wake up tomorrow and say, 'Only in Maryland.'" He shuts the hatchback and gets in the driver's seat.

"Say that in response to what?" I ask.

"You'll see," he says and drives off. I watch him go and imagine that tomorrow morning I'll wake up and look out into my yard. There'll be three political signs poking out of the azaleas, each for a different presidential candidate. What a noble man, I think to myself as the cruiser pulls up in front of me.

"You seen anything suspicious?" the officer asks me. I give a negative shake of the head. "We've been getting reports of a skinny balding guy stealing signs from peoples' yards." I can only shrug.

As the cruiser drives away, I reach inside the bag for my cheeseburger sub. I'm going to eat it as I walk the pathway up to my wee house.

Actually, I'm not. There is no sandwich left in my bag. In fact, there's no food at all left in the bag: only three little campaign buttons. I intend to wear them proudly, as any good Marylander would.

UTK

Orange You Glad?

A Travel Report

Well, we joined the pater familias on his annual trek to his alma mater to witness the opening game of Tennessee's football season. I hear it was broadcast on ESPN-2, so you might have seen us. We were the ones wearing orange? Waaaaaaay up in the top row, which isn't as bad as it seems. Nobody behind us and a breeze from the river. Nice.

We'd been trying all month to memorize the words to the celebratory song, Rocky Top, but when you're in a stadium with 104,000 of your closest friends, the words just sound like

blah blah blah blah blah blah Rocky Top
Rocky Top Tennesseeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

What's the Plant?

Planting My Feet

A Garden Spot

Well, as much help as Squuby tried to be, I still haven't found an identity for this> this plant.

I suppose that this is the place to go to get somebody's help identifying the plant, but there really ought to be a good method for organizing and searching for plants by physical characteristics. Sort of an alphabetical arrangement by color and vein type or something. I don't know.

Okay, I also found site but it won't let me pick purple or black for foliage color. Sheesh.