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The Dude Abides
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Date:2007-06-05 07:58
Subject:Last Post

I am officially retiring this blog, as it is something I haven't kept up for a while.

I'm no longer really interested in posting daily activities, narratives of travel, what I think of movies and games, etc. - there is more than enough of that stuff on the web already. I've found there are better ways to stay in touch with people. What I really enjoyed doing on this blog was trying out some ideas that eventually found their way into my dissertation: there is something about writing a public document that makes you think carefully about audience.

So, I plan to continue this kind of work at my new blog: http://davidheineman.blogspot.com. There you'll find a different kind of blog - one that is hopefully more interesting.  I'll leave this blog up for now, as it is an excellent record of the trials and tribulations of my doctorate education - except for the last year, wherein I was too busy to write a blog!

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Date:2007-01-31 21:49

Been reading some interesting things lately...

"Disney World is the completion of the Lumiere cultural sideshow project. By appropriating cultural debris and reassembling it in a means palatable for temporary consumption, Disney does in 3-D what Lumiere had done in 2-D: produce a simulation of the world culture-text in the fixed location of the bunker."
-Critical Art Ensemble

"Information warfare is precisely this. It is not just the guidance of misses using 'electronic warfare' techniques, but the remote guidance of confusion. It is this chaos of opinion which complements, which puts the finishing touch to, the chaos of destruction on the ground."
-Paul Virilio

"If we are to avoid deadly or dehumanizing results from our uses of biotechnology, everything depends on whether the technological disposition is allowed to proceed to its self-augmenting limits, or whether it can be restricted and brought under intellectual, spiritual, moral, and political rule. "
-Leon Kass

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Date:2006-12-17 10:56

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Date:2006-10-02 07:06

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Date:2006-07-21 09:55

"I'm just killing time...."

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Date:2006-05-31 13:09
Subject:kayak fastening

Since neither of our cars has a roof rack, we had an option of either buying a $600 rack system to place on the car or atttaching our Kayaks to the car with a $75 strap system. We opted for the strap system which usually works fine - on the Contour. On the PT Cruiser, which is a tall car for us short people (it, like us, is 5'6"), the straps function as one of Dante's levels of hell. We had to modify them slightly to fit the car and the result works - they hold the Kayaks on - but the entire process takes around half an hour each time (leaving the house and leaving the water) and uses lots of energy that would be better fueled into Kayaking.

So this morning I wanted to go Kayaking and thus tried putting these straps on the Cruiser as we are lending our Contour to a friend for a few days. The entire thing was just not working - I got mad and said %#@*! it. So instead I've spent the first part of the day creating a mix CD and watching the noon Phillies game.

Now I am off to lunch with Brianne...

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Date:2006-05-24 19:48
Mood: cheerful

Yesterday I finished the first draft of the first (post intro/ lit review) chapter of my dissertation and sent it to the reading group. I'm not real happy with it, but I think there is probably enough there to get going - hopefully I'll get some good feedback and can rework it into a really great chapter. We shall see. It was nice being at my advisor's house the past few days reading/writing - a nice atmosphere to motivate me to work.

Tomorrow I need to spend some time looking over video footage of the candidate who I am doing some work with to try and make him a better public speaker...I meet with him tomorrow afternoon so I will be watching those DVDs all morning.

Friday I am looking forward to X-MEN 3. Should be a great flick. If you go, make sure to stick around to watch the post-credits coda.

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Date:2006-05-20 13:17
Subject:Fish Sunny Side Up


Many of these comments are hilarious!

One of my favorites: "I was planing a fish in a citrus broule but I might just broil now."

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Date:2006-05-19 10:43
Subject:Working at the Library
Mood: restless

I am currently at the library writing my dissertation - but there is one odd thing that I felt deserves comment.

I am in a room with about 50 tables and 200 chairs or so - a big study area on the second floor. I arrived about 8:15 this morning. When I got here I noticed 3 other students in the study area, working on whatever. I took a spot in the room as far from everyone else as I could so I could spread out.

There are now about 20 people in here - but here's the weird thing. I am the only person here who is NOT of Asian descent. The University of Iowa is not a particularly diverse school - our international student population is fairly small, in my estimation. But here I am, on a day during the first week of summer break, and it seems that only Aisan students are interested in learning/working on their degrees.

I don't know...certainly it reinforces that old stereotype about Asians being smart and what not, but I think it says much more about American standards of education. When summer comes, or Winter break, or whatever, people turn off. Since kindergarden, most American students are taught that when the school period ends, it is time for other things. There is no drive towards intellectual development in one's daily life. No sense that education means more than what you have to do to get a degree to get a job.

It seems that this holds true even for most graduate students. I know other people who are supposed to be working on things this summer but are (so far) not. While I am the last person who thinks there should be no time for fun, etc., I also think that there is too little emphasis in our graduate programs on becoming a scholar, an intelectual, someone who enjoys learning for the sake of it.

Of course, I also recognize the irony here. I am here writing a dissertation (which is a prerequisite for getting a degree and a job) AND I have stopped doing so for now to enagge in blog posting because I got tired of thinking about my project...

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Date:2006-05-17 20:56

Went for a Kayak trip up the Iowa River this morning, which has left me feeling tired for the rest of the day. The original plan was to spend most of the day writing...I have a dissertation chapter due on Monday. Instead I've been taking a nap, watching the Phillies, and just goofing off on the whole.

Now I need to go eat some (late) dinner. My plan for the rest of the week:

May 18
7-11:30am: Write 3-4 pages (invention)
12:00-3:00pm: lunch/Phillies game
8:00-11:00pm: write

May 19
8:15-9:15am: Bike Ride
10:00am-12:30pm: write at library
12:30-1:30pm: lunch
1:30-4:30pm: library

May 20
8:00-10:00am: write
10:00am-2:00pm: Kayak
2:00-7:00pm: free
7:00pm-bed: Two Gallants show

May 21

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Date:2006-05-13 15:28

Philly was a blast - good times, interesting conference, great food and entertainment - cheesteaks, Ben Folds, and Phillies game.

Finished grading all of my classes today so the semester is finished.

Now I must dive into write mode. A chapter every six weeks is the goal - but the first one has to be done in two weeks (luckily I have a head start).

I'm sure I'll update this more frequently as I'll be in the middle of writing and will thus need mini-breaks.

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Date:2006-04-20 15:14

Why do I find it near impossible to work in my office?

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Date:2006-04-14 15:47
Mood: surprised


We're fine - Brianne was here at the house (about 5 miles from downtown) and I was teaching at the downtown community college - the tornadoes touched down a few blocks away from where i was teaching. Made for an interesting evening, to say the least!

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Date:2006-04-12 06:30

I found out yesterday that I didn't get either the summer or academic year fellowship that I applied for - so it looks like I'll be teaching and writing both during my last year here at Iowa. Bummer.

Couldn't sleep last night - I've been up since about 4:30 doing some work on the laptop. I've been relegated to the VAIO this week as I had to send in my new video card for a replacement...I had a card that had some problems from the first time I first put it in the newly rebuilt PC. I should have my replacement by Friday.

Brianne's birthday is this Sunday, so at some point I need to get to the store and buy a few things to finish getting ready for that. I already picked out the main present, but I need a card, etc. that always has to go along with it.

Today I have a busy morning on tap with office hours from 9:00-12:15, lunch with Bri at 12:30, and then a meeting with Loebsack at 1:45. I still really need to get some stuff done on the Burke panel for ECA - I think i wll do some reading during office hours in an effort to catch some inspiration.

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Date:2006-04-10 11:02
Subject:not dead yet

Been a long time since an update...here's what's new:

LIFE: Brianne and I are both settled into a regular routine for the semester. I do think that, in the last month, we've probably been out to eat and hang out with friends almost more than the entire three months before that. Brianne has about a month left until she goes back to her half-time, half-day schedule and we will be taking advantage of that do do plenty of traveling and visiting.

With my free time I've heard and seen many interesting things. Here's a run down with mini reviews.

Jeff Tweedy solo; Iowa City, IA (4/5 stars) - a great, quiet crowd prompted some nice selections from Tweedy. The highlight was Acuff-Rose without a microphone on the edge of the stage to close the show.
Drive by Truckers; Ft. Lauderdale, FL (4.5/5 stars) - the first gig I saw on my spring break trip to Miami. I went with a friend who had raved about the Truckers for a long time - I had heard several albums but never seen them live. Too bad - I should have seen them earlier. A great club show, full of energy. They brought the rock.

The next shows all took place at the Langerado festival in Sunrise, FL.
Drive by Truckers (3/5 stars) - perhaps it was sitting in the sun and listening that took off the bar-room edge that I respected the previous night, but this set didn't really do it for me until near the very end. Still a nice show, though.
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah; Sunrise, FL (3/5 stars) - I sat at the back for this one and listened more than watched. Strong enough show to make me pick up their debut CD - a nice sound that combines part of a Kid-A era Radiohead sound with something like Neutral Milk Hotel and the dancier tracks from David Bowie. The highlight was a cover of Neil Young's "Harvest".
The Flaming Lips (5/5 stars) - The Lips always provide a great show. The set started with Wayne Coyne rolling around the crowd in a giant plastic hamster-ball.

Covers of Bohemian Rhapsody and War Pigs were excellent sing-alongs to start and end the show. The new songs sounded great, as did this bizzaro thing called "cow jam". Lots of confetti, balloons, and dancing animals waving flashlights. Best performance at the festival.
Umphrey's Mcgee (2/5 stars) - I've heard worse, but they seemed like a fairly uninspired jam band. I honestly wasn't playing very close attention, though.
Wilco (4/5 stars) - It was nice to hear a full on electric set as I hadn't seen a full-on Wilco show for a few years. An excellent setlist that covered most of their catalog - with an emphasis on the last two albums. Tweedy replied to one of my comments during this show, so that was cool.
The Black Crowes (3/5 stars) - I was a little out of it for this show - a combination of too much sun and other things. Still, the Crowes were better than I had expected them to be.

Wilco; Des Moines, IA (4/5 stars) - a great set and a ridiculously bad crowd and venue. Highlights included a rockin Kingpin, a sweet Hoodoo Voodoo and a nice cover of Don't Fear the Reaper. The crowd wouldn't shut up - especially during the first part of the set.

Movies in Theaters:
V for Vendetta (3.5/5 stars) - Agent Smith uses fireworks to prevent the English Matrix from ever getting started
Inside Man (3/5 stars) - Denzel shows that he make a mediocre script seem decent
Ice Age (3.5/5 stars) - Impressive water CGI with funny jokes about possums and sloths

Midnight Express (4/5 stars) - convinces anyone that needed convincing that they would never want to be in a Turkish prison. Great acting
Clockers (3.5/5 stars) - First Spike Lee joint I'd seen in a long time that I didn't actually have a good idea where the plot was going - intriguing film
Do the Right Thing (5/5 stars) - I'd never seen this before, and should have. A great film that shows Spike Lee can actually act a little bit, too.
Good Night and Good Luck (3.5/5 stars) - while I appreciate the history and the cinematography of this film, the way they handled the story could have been much more intriguing. Notable for a great Edward Murrow impression.

As you can see, I've been quite busy while I've been busy doing nothing.

Additionally, I started doing some campaign work for Dave Loebsack, who is running for Congress. At this point I am just helping him become a better speaker/speech writer. It's volunteer work and an interesting thing to work on. I attended a dinner on Saturday night where he gave a speech; they keynote was John Edwards, who spoke a lot about both national and global poverty. He seems to be gearing up for a 2008 run...

WRITING: Since the last update I passed both my comprehensive exams and my prospectus defense - that makes me ABD. Unfortunately I have been sort of lazing around for the past 3 weeks or so - haven't got much writing in as I've been taking a break and working on other things - like the ECA conference in Philly in two weeks. That all changes this week, as I need to get cracking on finishing a chapter of some sort. I also need to finish up my ECA presentation on Burke and Scapegoating in the context of Katrina.

GEEK: Other than finishing my season in NHL 2006, I haven't really been playing many games lately. I've been trying to get into F.E.A.R., but to no avail. Just too much else going on, I guess.

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Date:2006-02-25 14:50
Subject:Comps Comps Comps

Quick quips....

I haven't changed my clothes or showered since Thursday afternoon. Yikes!

Why? I have been studying like armageddon is coming down if I don't.

My comprehensive exams are Monday, so I have been spending much time these past couple weeks preparing for those. I just now finished abstracting almost 50 books and articles - (extended abstracts - sometimes several pages per source) - I also finally got around to reading Virilio's Information Bomb yesterday...an interesting book but Virilio at his most conservative/Catholic to be sure...

Booked my ECA flight - should be a good time in April . Hopefully it all goes off without a hitch.

I started a diet on Monday of straight up calorie counting so as to reduce the size of my growing gut. So far i have stuck to 1200 calories or less per day - I don't imagine this will keep up every day (for example, alcohol has a ton of calories), but i hope to keep it going until i can get exercising more on the bike and in the kayak when the weather finally shapes up.

About every 15 abstracts i've allowed myself a little Quake 4 or a little Arrested Development (great game, great TV series). Check out both if your computer/you can handle it.

Oh yeah I also updated and rebuilt practically my whole computer recently. I now have a:

AMD Athlon 64 3700+ 2.0Ghz
2 GB DDR 400 PC3200 RAM
NVIDIA 256MB GeForce 6600GT
Gigabyte GA-K8U-939 Socket 939 ULi M1689 ATX AMD Motherboard
300 GB External Seagate HD
120GB internal HD

It runs like butter through Quake 4 and Half Life 2 cranked to high....very sweet!

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Date:2006-02-17 16:21
Subject:not bad. 70%.

create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.

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Date:2006-02-05 06:01
Subject:Super Sunday

This week has been miserable.

Especially when I am not doped up.

On Monday I had some oral surgery that has resulted in intense pain throughout the week. I have very bad crowding on the botttom in the front of my mouth, and as a result one of the teeth started to poke through the gum so that you get something at the front that looks like:


Since a tooth not protected by gum can easily be lost, the dentist thought it would be a good idea to put some more gum in front of it. To do this, they had to cut ot a 6-8mm segment from the roof of my mouth and graft it to the place where the gum is supposed to be so that i would have:


This is the procedure that i undertook on Monday. When they were finished I had three stitches in the roof of my mouth and in excess of THIRTY in the front. Since then I have been on a steady diet of vicodin and mashed potatoes/ice cream/otameal. Chewing anything is quite painful so i need to swallow whatever I eat as soon as posible to lessen the pain factor.

To top it all off, today - Superbowl Sunday - I am hosting a party where the theme is "Chili cook off". I Iove chili, but probably won't be able to handle eating most of what is available. We are expecting ~20 people and ~6 different chilis.

I am up early because the pain was getting to me and I figured I'd try to do something productive. I do have some major work to do by the end of this month - I need a finished prospectus to be defended and at the end of the month I will be taking my comprehensive exams. So this morning I will get back to work on the prospectus, in an effort to get all of that done by tommorrow.

One funny thing to happen from all this - teaching classes while high as a kite is an interesting experience. I told my students beforehand that i was tripping on vicodin and so "be prepared for gibberish and the potential I might fall asleep". I didn't fall asleep, but i had to rephrase some things many times before I siad it in a way that "seemed" to make sense. At least they were laughing at the whole ordeal.

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Date:2006-01-22 07:54
Subject:The Excitement of an Iowa Winter
Mood: good

Not much to write about lately as the winter is dragging on and there hasn't been too much going on of note. Last week two things happened worth mentioning - classes began for the spring semester and my brother has come for a lengthy visit so that he can go look at schools in the midwest to attend in the fall.

Classes are going quite well so far and seem to be ones that I will really enjoy teaching. The two classes are U.S. Politics and the Internet and Perusaive Communication. For the web class, I've also set up a blog at blogger to facilitate class discussion. We'll see how that turns out.

I have managed to see some live hockey this month - I went to Chicgao to see the Flyers beat the Blackhawks about two weeks ago, and last night we went to see the minor league team in Cedar Rapids lose to the minor league team from Chicago. Last night's game was especially fun as we were sitting in the 4th row near center ice and thus had plenty of great collisions happen right in front of us.

Today and tommorrow will be a combination of football and writing/reading...I need to get some work done if I want to try and finish my diss by the end of 2006.

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Date:2006-01-01 08:25
Subject:Best of 2005

Here's what I liked that came out last year:

Top 5 Albums:
1. White Stripes - Get Behind Me Satan
2. Decemberists - Picaresque
3..Kanye West - Late Registration
4. NIN - With Teeth
5. Billy Corgan - The Future Embrace
Honorable Mentions: Beck - Guero, System of a Down - Hypnotize/Mezmerize

Top 5 Movies:
1. Sin City
2. Batman Begins
3. Star Wars Ep III
4. Cinderella Man
5. The 40 Year Old Virgin
Honorable Mentions: Wallace and Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit, Land of the Dead
of Course, I have yet to see any of the Oscar contenders that came out the past week or two...

Top 5 DVDs:
1. Sin City: Extended and Recut
2. Bob Dylan: No Direction Home
3. The Muppet Show: Season One
4. Star Wars Episode III
5. Raging Bull Special Edition
Honorable Mention: Deadwood Season One

Top 3 Video games:
1. Resident Evil 4 (GC)
2. God of War (PS2)
3. NHL 2006 (PS2)

Top 5 Books that I worked with:
1. Paul Virilio - Speed and Politics
2. Paul Taylor and Tim Jordan - Hactivism and Cyberwars: Rebels with a Cause?
3. Jean Baudrillard - For a Critique of the Political Economy of the Sign
4. James Lewes - Protest and Survive: Underground GI Newspapers During the Vietnam War
5. Edward Said - Culture and Imperialism

Happy New Year!

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