Sept. 11

Tuesday Savannah’s school held a number of events to memorialize the 9-11 tragedy.  This seemed to accomplish nothing but upsetting a bunch of kids. 

The monarchs were really migrating this week, so I got all my classes involved.  Tuesday we marked 8, Wednesday 13, and Thursday 21.  I would run them down and go through all kinds of strange contortions trying to net them.  This provides the students with no end of hilarity.  I caught one with a flying leap, and another one-handed.  Wednesday I had the ecology class out in our parking lot in the afternoon.  At this time of day, the monarchs are flying strongly, and don’t stop for anything.  They often get some altitude so they can clear our building.  That makes catching them tough.  One of the students, Cameron, is a big basketball player with dreadlocks.  He’s a super nice kid, with a wonderful attitude, and he really wanted to catch one.  He worked hard at it for an hour or so, with many near misses.  Finally, he brought one in, with much celebration.  I carefully pulled it from the net.  It was a viceroy.  That’s the species that mimics the monarch.  We turned it loose, rather disappointed, but also laughing hard.  We continued, with others catching one every now and then.  Cameron catches another butterfly and brings it over to be tagged…but it’s another viceroy.  This is funny because viceroys are somewhat rare, and we’ve never caught one during tagging efforts.  Later on, he caught an actual monarch.  Cam is an awesome basketball player, but he admitted that in his youth, his baseball coach only let him in to bat in the 8th inning.

Friday I went in for meetings, meetings, meetings.  I gave a presentation in one.  After our division meeting we went into the parking lot and set off a hydraulic rocket.  The computer science guy had built this apparatus in which you use a bicycle pump to pressurize a 2-liter plastic bottle (partly filled with water), place a tennis ball on top, then release the pressure.  The bottle shoots up in the air rather impressively, and the ball goes even higher.  He said you can get it up to 200 psi (!), but never to use a baseball, which goes nearly out of sight, but is obviously dangerous on the way down.  I was most impressed by the device, which he made in his basement machine shop. 

After that I went down to the student center to give blood.  I was a little early, so when I saw a monarch on the butterfly bush outside the student center, I barehanded it, took it back to my car and tagged it.  I caught a couple more before it was my turn to be bled.  While I was filling my blood bag, a large female student went into the cubicle to have her blood tested prior to donating.  We hear a little scream.  The technician gets up and says, “It’s OK, I’m all right.”  We all laughed.  But not enough blood came out, so they had to stick her again.  A different technician volunteered.  This time it’s a loud, long scream.  We laughed again, but the real irony is that it was all in vain.  Her blood was too low in iron and she could not donate.

Savannah went to Relay for Life that night with a friend.  They stayed there way too late, got too cold, and ate too much cotton candy.  She has been sick this week, and they put her on strong antibiotics, so strong that they have certain side effects on her digestion.


Saturday morning we went to Clark County Mule Days up in Kahoka.  On the way, we got stuck behind all the tractors going to the parade.  Significant delay of game.  There was a small flea market and craft show, but we didn’t get anything.  We watched some of the mule events at the arena, like musical tires and the pantyhose race.  I thought that was pretty fun.  I want to go back another year when we can watch more of the events.  Savannah was not feeling well and Stacey had to be back in Canton, so we left after wolfing some ribeyes.

This guy won the team competition.  Here you can kind of see how the panty hose race works.

The rider is supposed to stand on the carpet square in musical tires (like musical chairs for mules), but the mule doesn’t have to cooperate.  Carpet squares are obviously safer than tires, but the name remains.

The last three left in the musical tires contest have to run to the end of the arena, pick up a carpet square, then lead their mule back to where they started.

Savannah went to bed, Stacey went on a rescue call, and I went to the QU vs. Culver football game, which was held right down the street.  A bunch of my students were there.  The lead changed back and forth many times.  Both sides were having difficulty making field goals and extra points.  I thought it might come down to the last possession, and it did.  It was tied 25-25, and we scored a field goal with about 12 seconds left.  I guess our kicker made the one that really mattered.

Stacey’s rescue call ended up being an Amish buggy rear-ended by a semi.  All were ejected.  Two of them died, including a pregnant woman.  The others were badly injured.  Only the horse was relatively unscathed.  The semi had to be towed away.  Stacey has been counseling the firefighters since then, as many were traumatized.

Savannah went to babysit some children this night.  She got back late but well rewarded.

Sunday morning Stacey went to preach, Savannah slept in, and I worked on a manuscript.  Although a decision on my manuscript was apparently reached on 23 July 2007, I received no notice of this event at that time. On 28 August I received an email “Reminder” indicating that I had only two weeks to  revise and resubmit my manuscript. The reviewers’ comments were  rather extensive and the required major revisions have taken me longer than the two weeks. Now I find that I am unable to upload the revised version, having missed the deadline by five days.  Needless to say, I’m fuming.  I sent a terse email to someone on the web site.  I spent the rest of the morning making a couple of insect net handles to go with a coupld of extra hoops I found. 

In the afternoon we went to the River Arts Fest in Quincy.  Savannah took her friend Ayah.  There was lots of food and lots of artsy stuff.  We listened to the jazz band for awhile, but we didn’t buy anything but food.  We saw a lot of our friends there, which was fun. 

Monday I found out I got an extension on my manuscript.  What a relief.  I saw monarchs flying all day Sunday, so I thought we’d have a banner day today.  But three different classes together only tagged 8.  I think the wind was blowing the wrong direction.

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