Sunday, February 07, 2016

Happy Valentine's Day - A Week Early!

Valentine's Greeting
On this day of hearts, this amour mosiac,
We cerebrate love with Christmas Cheer.
If only my prose were more prosaic,
This day of hearts could last all year!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Sparrow Discovers Lake Huron - 2013

Just a mere whelp was she, embracing her opportunity for some unfettered exercise in Michigan's Upper Peninsula. "A Good Time Was Had by All."

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Opening for a Staff Pharmacist - WMU Sindecuse Health Center

Not my usual sort of posting, but I'll smear the info everywhere I can!

Western Michigan University's Sindecuse Health Center is seeking a Pharmacist (full-time, staff) to provide prescription services and pharmaceutical care to the university population. 
For job description detail and application procedures, visit our website:
Only applications submitted through this site will be considered.
Posting #0603366.
Deadline to apply is February 5, 2016.
WMU is an AA/EO employer.  Minorities, women, veterans, individuals with disabilities and all other qualified individuals are encouraged to apply.

Some other notes:
Let me expand a bit beyond the rather boilerplate announcement of the position, as this position represents a rather unique situation for the appropriate candidate, especially when compared to the rather grim options in the retail environment.

All applications for the position are to be done online, using the WMU human resources portal.  It is a position “I” (in the scale of “A” to “J” that the university has defined).  You must be a registered pharmacist in the State of Michigan.  The pay scale may not meet that of a larger corporation, but there are some advantages to consider:

1. This is a closed pharmacy.  That means, you only encounter students, staff, faculty, and retirees of WMU.  There are no OTC Sudafed sales, the use of Vicodin and its cousins is only about #20 in usage (although ADHD takes an obvious clinical jump here).
2. Pharmacists do not administer injections.  The clinic coordinates that function with its nursing staff.
3. The hours are 8am to 5:30pm, Monday through Friday.  On Thursday, we use the first hour, 8am-9am, to conduct staff or clinic meetings. No weekends.  No evenings.  No holidays.
4. And by no holidays, that means Thanksgiving is a four-day weekend.  Martin Luther King’s birthday is a three day weekend.  Labor Day is off, Memorial day is off.  In addition, for the past three years, the entire clinic has been closed during “winter” (ie Christmas) break between Christmas day and New Year’s.  Paid time.  There is no intention to change this policy in the near (or distant) future.
5. Your position is a salaried position, so you may be expected to “stay until the work is done.”  However, these times are extremely few - the “worst” day is the day after the above mentioned winter break, when it seems the entire population of WMU descends upon the pharmacy.  But that is the about as “bad” as it gets for “volume.”
6. By design, you don’t work alone - if a Monday is a 400 prescription day, it is not a solo performance.  You won’t have your techs “pulled” on you. 
7. A 400 prescription Monday is not a year-round event.  When classes are in session, it can be busy, but not overwhelming.  When classes are not in session, as during the summer, those 400 prescription Mondays are more like 250.
8. Full time pharmacists are eligible for 4 weeks of vacation, in addition to the time off already mentioned. 
9. The university contributes toward the educational equivalent to a 40lK (they call it a 403B). 
10. And we run classic movies and cartoons in the pharmacy lobby every day (although, sadly, it’s more as background noise for us - I find that even the Weather Channel is getting too traumatic for casual viewing these days).

So do the math - 4 weeks off, another one for winter break, a scattering of holidays, and the job has nearly 6 weeks of breathing room in the course of a calendar year.  Of course, we have some restrictions on when you can take vacation time as part of clinic policy - I certainly don’t permit that day after the winter break as a vacation day - but overall, it’s a pretty sweet arrangement that I have never seen duplicated in hospital, industrial, or retail settings.   

Monday, August 10, 2015

Nixon Resigns and Ford Inaugurated - August 1974

With Super 8mm film and some lucky "wild sound" lip synching....
...a homemade kinescope!...
It was a warm summer in 1974, and the shredded lettuce at Burger Chef tasted so the sweet taste of shredded Watergate documents...the sound came a few months later when a magnetic stripe was added to the original super 8mm film and the whole thing recorded on the fly, complete with projector noise.  Back when you could still do six impossible things before breakfast...

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Playing with Photoshop - 3D-ish flickerishness

Downtown Battle Creek, 19th century:

Brother Dave as Mr. DNA, ca 1978:
(the separation is a bit too much - this looks like a mutation waiting to happen...)

And, finally, Brother Dave at DisneyWorld, ca 1980 ... when potatoes were whipped only....

And go it soes....

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Animated Gif Test - Schoolhouse backside

Taking some photos behind the schoolhouse, checking the drainage on a cleaned out access space, and the results just seemed to lend themselves to an animated gif.  Go figure!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Concerning "Inside Out" - and "concerning" is the Operative Word

Regarding "Inside Out" - I attended a two-day Pixar "masterclass" seminar in Toronto a few years back, and have just finished reading an extensive analysis on the Pixar methods in Jonah Lehrer's book, "Imagine," where committees gather for long breakfasts to dissect seconds-long shots frame-by-frame.  "Inside Out" suffers from that sort of over-thinking (how many meetings were held to pick "just the right shade of green" for sadness?). 
The technique and craft are there, almost shockingly realistic in the girl's hockey game moments, but soooooo much effort is spent for us to "understand" Sadness, that Sadness starts sucking the life from the story: it takes cutaways to what the parents' minds are processing to slice some of the melancholy and pre-pubescent angst out of the air.
There are many setups in the school scenes to explore - the cliques, the classroom, the sudden appearance in the second act of the girl's imaginary friend (couldn't a meeting have been held to nudge this character into the beginning to reduce exposition later on?) - but this "What Dreams May Come" for tweens gives slow-motion crumbling of personality islands and repetitive starts and stops in the story instead. 
Some of the music seems committee-determined as well, with "It Only Takes a Moment" creeping out of the background (another "Hello Dolly" reference? A "Wall-E" connection for some internet flowchart?).  Emotionally, it tugged the right strings, but "Inside Out" seemed a LOT longer than its 94 minutes. 
And, as if to confirm my suspicions before the final credits, came visuals of the emotions within some of the  background characters and even a few random animals -- and then, suddenly, briefly, and after an hour and a half, I experienced a Pixar movie.

("Lava" as a pre-film, however, was a stunner - something about ukeleles blends wistful joy and melancholy  so effectively.)