It's astonishing to me how, as soon as you assume a position of leadership in any organization, it's like a target gets painted on your back. No matter what you do (or don't do) people will be unhappy and will blame you personally for their unhappiness. I always assumed there would be a honeymoon and that people would at least accord you some respect for being willing to give it a shot -- especially for being a volunteer. But no! Many people aren't afraid of pulling out all the stops to insult, humiliate, and degrade you. Not everyone does this, of course. On the whole, I've received more thanks and compliments than complaints, but I was surprised at how quickly I started being presented as the enemy and how much bitterness could be directed at me for trying to steer a course of action. These are also the people most likely to need to use the pronoun ŭi.

Mexican omelet

Meksika OvaĵoI was supposed to go the fitness club this morning with Lucy, but overslept. To make it up to her, I fixed omelets for each of us. I fixed Lucy what she requested -- a cheese omelet -- but I made a special omelet for myself.

When Alisa and I lived in Kalamazoo, there was a great little restaurant named Maggie's near campus that made a couple of great, unique breakfast dishes. My favorite was always the Mexican Omelet. Here is my omage to it:

Beat two eggs and pour into a small, pre-heated, buttered teflon skillet. Cover with a plate on medium heat until mostly firm, flip, and grate a little colby longhorn over the eggs, lay on several pieces of thinly sliced chicken (I used peppered turkey), grate a little more cheese over the top. Once the cheese is melted, fold (in half, if thick, or turn two edges in to enclose the contents). Spoon on salsa and sprinkle with jalapeños. (And cilantro!)

Enjoying my vacation

I'm enjoying my vacation. Today, for the first time, I went out and did stuff (other that walking the dogs -- I've done that most days). Lucy and I walked the dogs first thing and then went to the grocery store and laid in provisions sufficient for the rest of the week, though we may want to pick up a few more things before New Years. Upon getting home, Phil and I played a game of Starcraft. After lunch, I set up the computer in my office and started scanning the rest of Cox. I took a break to go with Lucy to the library to pick up some books and DVDs. Among other things, I picked up the Seven Samurai, which I haven't seen for 10 or 20 years. I had forgotten how long it is. I can appreciate it a lot better now than I could then. After we got back, I finished scanning Cox! The project is moving forward!

Cox Grammar and Commentary

Cox Grammar and CommentaryI wrote about learning Esperanto with this book and wanting to make it available via Project Gutenberg. Our first request was denied because the laws make the rights unclear, so we solicited a letter from the publisher that would establish the work as public domain. We got a reply, forwarded the letter to PG and, on Christmas morning, the email giving us clearance was in my in-box! The project is on!

I'm about half-done with scanning -- I'll head back down to the basement tomorrow and see if I can get it finished. I expect another 4 to 6 hours will finish it off. I'm really pleased that this book is going to be available to the public again. In some ways, it is a bit dated (as it was published in 1906. Nevertheless, the fundamentals of Esperanto haven't changed a bit and the commentary that describes the grammar is exceedingly well-written.

Italan pasteĉon

Italan pasteĉonEkde mia juneco, mi kaj mia frato esploris prepari italan pasteĉon. Mi ŝatas pensi ke mi nun estas spertulo: mi povas komenci kun faruno kaj tomata pasto, kaj post horo kaj duono, jen bongustan italan pasteĉon. Kiam mi estis junulo, mi studis en Hispanio. Mi loĝis kun maljuna virino kiu preparis por ni ĉiujn manĝojn. Mi decidis danki ŝin per preparo de italan pasteĉon. Ŝi iom dubis ĉu ŝi lasu nin fari tion (iufoje, usona knabino kiu restis ĉe ŝi preparis ovaĵon, kiu estis bruligita "kiel karbono", ŝi diris). Sed finfine ni konvinkis ŝin. Mi kaj mia amiko vojaĝis al magazeno kaj aĉetis ĉion necesan. Estis tre malfacila trovi ĉion: oni vokas aferojn malsame en malsamaj landoj. Mozarela fromaĝo oni ne havas: ni devis uzi "francan fromaĝon". "Pepperoni" oni ne havis: ni devis uzi ĉorizon. Sed ni trovis ĉion necesan, preparis la pasteĉon kaj montri ĝin al ŝi. Ŝi miris kiom bona ĝi aspektis: "Que presentaci


I'm on vacation! Yesterday I finished up my last work-related tasks. I've posted signs at the BCRC letting people I'm not planning to come in next week and plan to enjoy a few days off. I've felt kind of burned out this semester and am looking forward to the time off.

Today I actually did a lot of stuff that is just like work. I got the new Esperanto-USA site moved to the new hosting service. We've been working on it for about a year and are very close to having the new site go live. On January 7 and 8th, I'll be in Austin for a LAN party to finish our work on the site, but we could probably have the site go live now. It actually not a new hosting service. The plan they were signed up for didn't provide mysql, but after checking we found that they offer a package for non-profits that cost less than what we were paying and included a database. We got the plan switched and we're all set to go.

I didn't just do work, though. Phil and I played a couple of games of Starcraft too. Phil is going to take a vacation roughly corresponding with mine, so we should have time for a good number of games.

Richard send me a Christmas card that included a copy of the slip that the FedEx delivery man left after leaving a package tied to a poison-ivy vine along their driveway. They marked the slip to say that they'd left the package at "tree". I suggested that maybe we should push for FedEx delivery people to have a good botany course.

Zamenhof Bankedo

Zamenhof Bankedo 2005There were only six esperantists (seven, including the 3 month old infant) who came to the Zamenhof Banquet this evening. Still, it was a pleasant dinner at China Dynasty. Last year, I had to drive two hours, but this year it was only 15 minutes from home. And I got to read my speech, which was well received. Originally, I was planning to do a potluck where we would make a pot of stone soup and maybe even have a little theatrical stone soup sketch, but this worked out perfectly well.

I had originally believed that the elementary school would let me set up an Esperanto club for the kids (the principal had agreed). If we'd had the kids, I was thinking we could get them to write and perform the stone soup sketch. I was excited by the possibilities. Then reality set in: the principal backed out (claiming that the person who'd coordinated the clubs previously had left and needed to be replaced before there could be clubs again). Then, I couldn't find a meeting room with a stove. It was discouraging enough, that I didn't get around to actuallly organizing anything until the last minute. But at least it actually happened.

David Coffin and I spent most of the time having a discussion (read "argument") about the value of unions. He holds that I support unions because I've already got mine, whereas I contend that he undervalues the security that having a union provides. He thinks unions make jobs too expensive whereas I believe that the disorder that having no security imposes on people's lives is incredibly destructive to our social fabric and discourages civic engagement. He agrees that he thinks civic engagement is stupid and doesn't have any value. I wonder if he'll still feel that when his daughter is in school.

Bob Lidral came, which was great -- I hadn't seen him since the jarkunveno last year. He has since moved to New Hampshire. I encouraged him to propose a site for the spring Jarkunveno. And Paul came -- Paul looked like it was the middle of finals week or something (which it is, of course). It was great to see everyone and maybe next year we can pull off a more elaborate plan.

Ice Storm

We had an ice storm this morning that shut down the public schools and caused the University to delay opening until 10am. One set of exams will need to be rescheduled, but it otherwise didn't affect much. I arrived a bit before 10 so that Randy and I could administer some early exams for students with conflicts for the regularly scheduled time. I feel for students taking exams and tried to be cheerful and lighthearted for them. I'm mainly posting this to test the database configuration.

Houseparty at Vickery's

Last night, I attended a houseparty at Peter Vickery's for John Bonifaz, a candidate for secretary of the commonwealth. He gave an excellent talk that described how he'd been led to found the National Voting Rights Institute to try to advance a radical agenda that every vote be counted and other extreme ideas, laid out in a Voter's Bill of Rights. He's got my support.


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