Sunday, June 26, 2005

Google and sitemeters.

In order to celebrate the upcoming anniversary of the founding of this illustrious organ I have established a sitemeter. Not for Mondale the self congratulatory show of pictures and images of skiing pets or baseball trips. No lobster here. I have put this in because it's really useful.

On a related note we are proud to annouce that we have risen to page 2 of Google's 'Walter Mondale'. Just type the former veep into everybody's favourite search engine and there we are, page 2. Marvellous.

The first eleven put up a valiant performance against St Johns with Mallory taking three wickets. Unfortunately it was not enough and the Mondalians were trailing by 45 runs before bad light stopped play.

The CCF will meet at Mr Lockwood's room by the generator shed in order to prep for the upcoming combined schools exercise. Ammo can be collected from Mr Lockwood at that time.

Col. Bookham will be giving a talk about military formations, a must for all cadets. Mr Henderson's room at 3.15.

French club is cancelled this week.

Hymn # 332 "Praise thy god oh lord of heaven".

A most agreeable evening.

Spent last night celebrating Muskin's birthday at 'Sing Sing' a fashionable karaoke bar in the east village.
I love Karaoke. I do, lots of people can testify. It definately has lots to do with loving the sound of my own voice and holding onto the idea that I have much more singing talent than I actually do. It also helps getting very drunk and physically wrestling the microphone from people smaller than me.
Last night I managed to develop the 'stealth lurk' approach (until Ms Random Doubt made me stop). This involved moving close to the singer and jumping in with the chorus, adding to the overall karaoke experience immensely.
Apart from the 'stealth lurk' I did manage to pay my own way and hog the mike with the birthday boy and his passion for tequila.
The interesting thing about a karaoke hangover is that it is blended with lots of songs. I lie on the sofa, airconditioning wafting over me as "Don't go changing" or "You're so vain" drum through my addled brain.

Friday, June 24, 2005

The gulag diaries

I don't know what I'm more proud of.
Managing to make an entire week of PreK and K 'movement' class out of felt turtles and balloons or managing to convince the aforementioned campers that a plain old felt beanbag was actually a turtle sleeping it off in a turtle sized sleeping bag.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

High Camp

So, like, I'm totally doing summer camp.
This is the first summer since 1996 that I have worked. The world was rather different then.
Camp is actually rather fun. By fun I mean getting to work in a very casual manner without any real thoughts in my head apart from

"Will my fifteen year old assistant turn up on time?"

" Will the jumping, screaming three year olds really manage to jump and scream all the way through their 35 minute 'movement'lesson?"

" What was I like when I was fifteen? Can I really have anything in common with a fifteen year old? Should I make efforts at outreach? Am I wondering about this stuff because I have nothing else in my brain and Oh my god, even though I'm working camp I really, really love being a teacher in summer".

This was my day today (it's not always like this). If you work in a proper job you may not want to read on.

Got to school.

Went on a 45 minute field trip with 50 hilarious kindergartners to a local firehouse. This involved spending about half an hour strapping the lil beggars into the bus for the 5 minute ride.

Got back to school 45 minutes later.

Hid from boss of camp in case she wanted me to do stuff. Told #2 boss that if she needed me I could be found in the science lab surfing the net.

Also took large lunchbreak with beardy science teacher, met with new boss, backslapped and joked with lurking headmaster who has a tendency to lurk whilst I am trying to flip stuff into the trash can.

As I write I am still hiding. An hour and a half from now I can go swim.

Sunday, June 19, 2005


I do like new blogs. I especially like new blogs from people I know. Accordingly I'd like to say a big Mondale hello to Maureen, a much esteemed co-worker. Check her out with the link below.
Welcome to blogworld Mactechwitch!
nb: Weasel, do you remember McWitch from the UK kid's TV show 'Renta-ghost'?

Friday, June 17, 2005

Perfect running weather.

At about 6pm last night Brooklyn got itself a torrential, South East Asian style downpour. The heavens truly opened and let rip.
At about this time I was heading out of the door for a run. I was definately going to get to City Hall in Manhattan but my return route was unspecified.
As some of you may know (Handwashings, are you with me so far?) The Brooklyn Bridge attracts alot of tourists (and rightly so) but they do make runnning a bit troublesome unless you are out and about at 6am. Imagine my delight as I approached the bridge and found not a soul upon it! Well OK, maybe a dozen others either running or huddled under the arches in a vain attempt to stay out of the rain. I was so excited I turned about at the Manhattan end and ran back, almost laughing all the way. Then I found a small flood/huge puddle in the Cadman Plaza park and jumped right in!
There really is something about running in the rain, and after the recent heatwave it's a joy to be able to get outside without expiring.
My legs hurt and my sneakers are drying outside as we speak.

When I was young, I said to my mum, "Are those hills in the distance America?"

I have just been able to spend a day in reflection. I have always done this around nature. When I was younger, working in Somerset I would often drive a few miles out of my way to Glastonbury Tor, climb it's 900ft and sit and reflect upon whatever may be on my mind. I would look out across the Somerset Levels, See Wales in the distance and generally just bask in the magical Land of Arthur.
Yesterday I was fortunate enough to get 3 hours to kill in the middle of the day. After a haircut and a new watch strap, I wandered over to Prospect park. Wandering as only a man who has no real cares but just a thousand things to do, wandering as one whose primary concern is avoiding the irrational summer storms.
I entered through the Third street entrance and was suddenly transformed into an amazing place. The park, Prospect park, was virtually deserted. As I strolled from Third street, through the Ravine to the Audebon centre I must have seen maybe twenty souls, all a bit like me, wandering through the park not quite realising how this place (amazing and gorgeous at any time ) was so damned beautiful. The clouds were chasing across the sky, rain fell here and there causing us to seek shelter under broad leafed trees and in between the sun shot through onto the meadows and ballfields.
My favourite moment was when I took to sharing a bench with Brooklyn's oldest couple. I though they were visitors to the Borough as they seemed a bit too Norman Rockwell for this part of town but nonetheless they were easily 107 years old and so very much in love. With walking canes and hands held together they sat near me and we exchanged pleasantries about the park and the weather. They were clearly familiar with the park so my inital doubts about their origins were muted (guess we do get WASPS in Brooklyn). Then, as another rainstorm passed and clear skies broke through I heard him say to her "Come on Honey, let's go chase some sun".
I really want us to be like them when we grow up.

Monday, June 13, 2005

The remarkably flexible memory.

I wish I could blame the warm weather, I wish I could blame a sustained abundance of alcohol or even drugs. I can do neither. It seems that 2005 has become the year of the remarkably flexible memory.
I've not become forgetful per sae, I just seem to have issues regarding the important, often work related stuff. I have a dear friend and co worker who you may be familiar with who has become increasingly exasperated by the fluidity of my mind. This is not a mental health thing or a sign of anxiety or depression, in fact, in that annoying Bowles way I doubt I've ever been happier.
It's just that I fear I am becoming increasingly incapable of remembering detail. Things like field trips and even what time of day I should get to work (during the flexible summer months anyway). Today I arrived an hour early to be greeted later by Listmaker with a knowing pseudo frown and mock lecture about this malaise.
I do remember some stuff. I remember that Joe Ferrari has yet to reply to me. I remember that I have some fun weekends ahead. I remember that dad is still in the hospital after a dodgy hip operation. I remember important anniversaries and weddings and birthdays. I never ever forget my keys.
I just want to say to those that this affects the most (OK, Listmaker, like do you come from a long line of highly detailed bureaucrats down there in DC or what?) that i'm working on it.

It's been a while....

Apologies randomites, I've been lazy.
It's the end of the school year and I am shifting towards "Summer Bowles" mode. All this despite a full week of school work ahead and then working summer camp.
Ms Random Doubt and I have spent a glorious weekend doing a walking tour of Red Hook and generally hugging the AC or alternately opening all the doors and windows when we foolishly thought the temperature had dropped a degree or two. We then shut everything up and cranked up the AC again.
Kitten has passed out in various parts of the apartment and has been fluffy and hot.
I checked my diary, saw an 8.30am meeting for Monday and proceeded to indulge in a few Gin and Tonics on a hot summers night. It's nice being English, you only have one 'cocktail' to choose from and it's so damned refreshing.
I shall write more soon, I'm over the England team and will soon be in summer mode. Looking forward to summer events and casual living.