Monday, July 18, 2011

Comfort Inventory 8

I started a comfort inventory this morning, but, not finding it comforting, I postponed.

  • For the first time this summer, the heat and humidity on the eighth (a.k.a., "magma") floor of Hoyt Hall forced me to vacate. I dropped Ph. at The Ride stop near the Ypsi water tower, went directly to my office, hurriedly packed two bags of books, my third-year review binder-in-progress, my auxiliary monitor and its stand, and returned home to work in the quasi-air-conditioned upstairs space otherwise known as the office-bedroom. Hoyt and humidity, you win.
  • A couple of strange emails lately. One from my credit union with the subject line, "We're Friends, Aren't We?" The body message, of course, suggests I friend the union on Facebook (apparently they do not realize that Facebook is passé, that Google+ is now social media boss). Annoying. Yet emails like this one remind me that the key difference among these platforms is how they verb things together. I might follow the credit union or even draw them into a circle, but friending is not quite right. I could go on and on about this, but that goes against the list-logic of the inventory. The point is, if Google+ thrives, it could be because it managed to shed some of the peculiarity in friending and following as the default association-making verbs in Facebook and Twitter. I have seen attempts to assign verbs to Google+ (encircling, plusing), and maybe one of these will garner some mass appeal over the next several months. But I like about Google+ that the linking gesture does not too easily come down to one verb.
  • The other email of note came from the University of Michigan ticket marketing group. I got on the mailing list because I went to a preseason basketball game last fall between UM and SVSU. Many UM sport-promotional emails have followed. The most recent showed up the other day with "Brady Hoke" as the named sender (a cryptic email address reassured me this was not, in fact, the new coach himself sending me a personal email...to my great disappointment!). Subject line: Your Exclusive Individual Ticket Presale Code Has Arrived! I read on, knowing EMU plays at UM this fall. Reading it through, I was tempted to answer the email, even though I know it won't go to Hoke, to say "Your Exclusive Individual No Thank-you Has Arrived!" because what I found surprised me: individual tickets to the UM-EMU football game on Sept. 17 are available for the special price of $70. To put this into perspective, home ticket prices for EMU are $9. Michigan Stadium is 5.6 miles away. Last time these two gridiron giants squared off, the EMU contingent was offered free tickets the week before the game. So, I am considering attending, but I may press my cheap luck and hold out for a better deal than $70 per ticket. And if it sells out, I'll just have to listen to it on the radio.
  • I've been fiddling around with the Google+ photo combination that includes 1) the Android app's automatic upload of photos to a G+ folder, 2) the duplication of that folder in Picasa, and 3) weighing the merits of Picasa over Flickr, where I continue to hold an shamefully underused Pro account. Consequently, here is a photo I took of an enormous moth just before eight this morning as I left Hoyt with my desk essentials in a couple of reusable grocery bags. But this inventory item is as much about Picasa's linking and embedding functions as it is about the moth. By now perhaps they are one and the same, inseparable.

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