I used to like etymology

October 29, 2007 at 12:43 pm | Posted in words | 3 Comments

How did the phrase “used to <verb>” come to mean “did <verb> in the past on a regular basis”?  It makes no sense with any of the meanings of the work “used” that I know of. 

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MAA Seaway Section Meeting

October 29, 2007 at 2:14 am | Posted in conference, math | 2 Comments

Last weekend I and three other faculty brought 10 of our undergrad students to a local conference in Rochester, NY.  None of them had ever been to a conference before, and they liked it.  Joe Gallian was scheduled to speak, and he’s just a great speaker, I had to take them.  They were so psyched, they want to start a student chapter of the MAA.  Very cool!  I’ve got to bug folks this week to figure out how to be an advisor for a math club.  I guess the trip worked a little too well!  A good friend of mine describes these as “problems we like to have.”

Turkey day

October 29, 2007 at 2:08 am | Posted in food, life | 10 Comments

We’re planning a Thanksgiving dinner with some of Jenny’s family, and a friend of mine and his guests.  We just made some pumpkin pies as a test run, and I made the crust from scratch!  It came out well, though it’s just a touch overdone.  No burnt taste, but it’s hard to cut with a fork.  I’m going to do it again for Thanksgiving, and I have an idea of what happened.  We’re baking in Pyrex pie dishes, and I think they’re holding a lot of heat and continue cooking the crust after we remove it from the oven.  Does anybody have any ideas on how to fix this?  Otherwise, it’s a pretty standard Thanksgiving dinner.  Turkey, stuffing, mashed taters, squash of some variety, cranberry sauce from a can, brussels sprouts … I think that’s it.  Oh yes, and sweet potato mousse.  You know, the one that Martha Stewart made for Willard Scott.  No marshmallows.  (Has anyone ever seen the Mad About You episode on Thanksgiving?) 

It’s been a while

October 29, 2007 at 2:04 am | Posted in dogs, life | 3 Comments

I guess I’ve been avoiding making this next entry.  A couple of weeks ago, our dog, Eddie, went to his new home.  After 3 or 4 months, he and the cats were just not coexisting in a good way.  The cats would run away if he got too close, then his play-drive/prey-drive would kick in and he’d chase.  The cats were hiding most of the time, and some of them were skipping meals rather than come out, even when Eddie was out on his walk.  And that’s NOT like our cats! He had coexisted with cats before we had him, but I guess ours had never seen or lived with a dog before, and they just weren’t having it.  They were curious to a point, and we gave it months, but it just wasn’t happening. Luckily we were able to find a good home for him.  It’s with someone we know who has a slightly older female black lab, and lots of property outside of town.  We’ve kept tabs, and he’s adjusting well there.  We’re adjusting too, but it sometimes makes us sad that it didn’t work out.  I guess that’s why I haven’t made any entries in a while.  Sorry ’bout that.

Four day weekend

October 9, 2007 at 2:38 pm | Posted in life | 1 Comment

Got rogue piece of siding attached.  (Thanks to Michael and his ladders!)   

Co-hosted shindig with Jenny.  

Got the furnace cleaned.  It’s operating at a whopping 72% efficiency.  (*sigh*)  It’s rather old, and we expected as much.  I wonder if it would be wise to rent an efficient unit.  We’re not in a position to buy a new boiler.  

If it uses natural gas, is it still called a boiler?  For that matter, since it’s forced air heat, there’s nothing to boil.  I guess it’s just called a furnace.  

Went to Ottawa.  Checked out the museum of science and technology.  Mostly kids stuff.  Tried one of the Ethiopian restaurants.  Good stuff!  And reasonably priced, as long as you don’t factor the gas into the equation. 

Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving.  Happy Thanksgiving!  

Cooking a roast in the crock pot today.  We’ll be using the crock pot more these days I’d say.  The daily highs are in the 50’s and 60’s these days. 

We signed up for the winter CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), and we’re also going to be the drop-off/pick-up point for Potsdam.  We were last year also.  We made a couple of bitchin’ squash soups that season!  It’ll also be useful to have all those root veggies to make turkey soup with the day after Thanksgiving.  (Thanks, John!)   Parsnips and celeriac add something great to soup.  

Later. 

Is it Friday yet?

October 4, 2007 at 3:46 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

I’ve got a 4 day weekend coming up, and boy do I need it.  Lots of work to do before that happens, though. 

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