Mitch's Blog 7.0

Mitch's Blog


Sunday, July 31, 2005

Corn And Other Matters

Because it’s been well over a week since my last entry, I decided to post a quick update to say not too much has been going on. About the biggest news with me is that I finally have a handful of ears of corn growing in my garden and, barring any unforeseen circumstances, should have fully developed ears of corn in a couple of weeks or so. Nearly all of the corn plants reached their full height – about 4.5 feet for the specific variety of corn I am growing – about a week to a week and a half ago, and the tassels that would later develop into corn emerged a little later after that. As it stands right now, the ears are all about 4 to 6 inches large, but growing at a rapid pace each day. Here are some pictures:

My backyard reminds me of Iowa

One of the developing ears of corn

And the other news is that I will be leaving later this morning, at 7:00 or so, for a weeklong vacation. If you can guess where it is that I’ll be heading to based on the picture I’m about to post, I’ll give you free membership to my blog for one year. So, here goes:

Photo © Jay Dickman for CORBIS

It’s not too hard to figure out. Right?

Sunday, July 17, 2005

In Recovery

So now that my cheeks aren’t as large as a chipmunk who's storing nuts for the winter, I don’t have a fever, and I’m not hopped up on Vicodin, I thought it would be a good time to post.

Thursday’s operation to remove my wisdom teeth went well. The laughing gas I got was unlike anything else I had experienced before and made the approximately hour-long operation seem like it took about five minutes. I basically felt like I was in a state between being completely awake and being completely asleep; it was really weird. When the laughing gas was turned down to a low level, I could hear everything that was going on, even the strange sound of my teeth being drilled apart and then ripped out. The laughing gas made me not have the slightest care about anything that was happening, though; for all I cared, I would have been just fine having my arm amputated.

Friday really wasn’t a good day. When I wasn’t sleeping – which was only really a few hours out of the whole day – I was holding packets of ice up to my swollen cheeks and trying to survive on a diet of Jell-O, pudding, and yoghurt while doing nothing but spending time in bed. Yesterday was a bit better, since the agitated muscles around my jaw finally loosed up and a bit and I was able to open and close my mouth a little, meaning that I could actually bite down and chew food like soft noodles and really soft bread. Instead of applying only ice to my cheeks, I was also able to switch to using hot packs, and that made me feel a little better.

My mouth today is much improved. The swelling in my cheeks has gone down considerably and I can open and close my mouth almost as much as normal. The teeth next to where my wisdom teeth were still hurt when I bite down on them, so eating really hard and chewy stuff is still out of the question. Still, I have managed to eat some "real" food today, such as a small hamburger. I’m also feeling well enough to sit up and type this entry, so that’s a good thing. All in all, if no infections show up, I should be all healed up sometime this week.

I see Parker tagged me, so here goes:
1) Total Number of Books I own: I pretty much have two big bookshelves full of books. I don’t feel like counting how many are on them, though, so I’ll estimate the number to be about 70 or 80. One shelf is full of nothing but school books, including AP review books, an AP U.S. History textbook, and various other textbooks I scored from La Shomb. I love looking at various almanacs, so another shelf has only these types of books, such as the 2005 World Almanac and the Encyclopedia of TV Game Shows

2) Last Book I Bought: Burlington Northern Adventures: Railroading in the Days of the Caboose by William J. Brotherton. Click on the link to read a description.

3) Last Book I Read: Flood Stage And Rising by Jane Varley. Click on the link to read a description.

4) Books That Mean A Lot to me: Well all my books mean a lot to me; I mean, I would be saddened to lose them to fire or flood or something. Some of my books are truly irreplaceable, however, such as a couple of unintentionally funny health and anatomy textbooks from the 1890s I got at a library book sale a few years ago.

5) "TAG" 5 ppl. who basically MUST post this on their blog… Although a lot of people have already answered this, I see Andrew Mehr hasn’t (probably since he’s in Colorado) and neither has Kayla Wallin nor the girls over at “That’s So German!!!” So there, that’s 5 people.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Meine Weisheit Wird Verloren Werden

Not much has been going on; I had both an uneventful weekend and, so far, an uneventful beginning to the week. I thought it would be a good idea to post something, however, so that there isn’t too big of a gap between posts.

By the end of today, I hope to at last have my fall semester schedule finalized, so that I can start off at UND with all of the classes I want. The university is currently in the process of switching the computer program that everybody must use to register for classes, so things are a bit messy right now. I assume all of my AP grades were sent to whomever is responsible for keeping track of them, but I have no way of actually knowing right now if that happened or not. Needles to say, I’m going to be contacting two departments – language (German) and mathematics – to find out how I can use my AP credits to bypass the entry level math and German courses I’m currently signed up for.

That means I will be in calculus II and German II. My AP score in German would allow me to take German III, but that will unfortunately not be possible due to a conflict in scheduling. The second-level chemistry class, of which there is only one section, meets at 11:00 AM, at exactly the same time as the only section of German III meets. As much as I’d like to take German III as a freshman, taking the chemistry class is much more important at this time.

In the something-I-should-have-done-last-year news, I’m going to get all four of my wisdom teeth taken out on Thursday afternoon. Not only is there not enough room in my mouth for them, but two of them are coming in crooked, so it’s something that really needs to be done before I leave Brainerd next month. Fortunately, though, I’m not going to end up having any problems with having the teeth get taken out a little bit later than I ideally should have.

I will be awake during the procedure, however. I went in last week and, after talking with the surgeon who will be doing the extractions, found out that my mouth is too small to be put to sleep without being hooked up to a respirator. If I wanted to get my teeth out and be asleep while it is being done, I would have to go to the hospital, which is something I would rather not do. Instead, I should be fine with some Novocain and nitrous oxide – “sleeping gas.”

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Welcome to 6.0

Good morning! As you have no doubt noticed by now, you are entering version 6.0 of Mitch’s Blog. In a quest to keep the blog continually evolving, I like to change the colors and layout of everything every 6 months or so. Seeing as my last template change occurred last October, I thought a complete overhaul of the blog was desperately needed.

It should be said, however, that this change in templates has been a work in progress for the last two weeks or so. Every night during this time period, I’ve taken a little bit of time to work over code, in order to get everything looking exactly how I want it to. I even had a few technical difficulties I had to work through, namely a slight problem with the CSS coding that made the blog not want to display correctly in Firefox (my browser of choice). The problem was remedied in just a few minutes, however, so, fortunately, it really wasn’t that big of a deal.

The underlying template of the blog – the CSS code that specifies colors, fonts, etc. as well as the HTML code that makes up Blogger entries – was written by some Dutchman. All of the instructions were in Dutch, but thankfully, because I know a little bit of German and a little bit of English, I was able to figure everything out.

Actually, as an aside, any German-speakers (and I know you’re out there) reading this entry should really consider learning the Dutch language. German and English are both very close cousins of Dutch, which means that there are a lot of words that should be recognizable to anybody who knows both German and English. For example, mond=mouth, wereld=world, kaas=cheese, groen=green. The grammar style of modern Dutch is also quite similar to modern German, and luckily there are many websites, like this one, on the internet dedicated to helping people learn Dutch. Moreover, Dutch borrowed quite a few words from the French language, too, so knowledge in that language also might be beneficial in learning your Dutch.

Dutch, like English, also appears to have somewhat undergone the D<->T letter transition from German, which basically means that words that have either a D or T in German can be found to have a cognate in English or Dutch with a D taking the T’s place or a T taking the D’s place. Examples from German to English include tag-->day, danke—>thanks, alt-->old, denken-->to think, tier-->deer, dick-->thick, tür-->door, and many, many more. There are even other sound shifts besides the d-->t one, and they are all listed at this page. I must admit, I find it to be quite interesting to study, really.

While learning how to read Dutch shouldn’t be too much of a challenge for the German/English speaker, learning how to listen to it, much less speak it, is an entirely different matter. Dutch is pronounced, it would seem, quite differently than in German, and actually turns out sounding closer to sounding like Middle English than anything else. I’ve tried listening to Dutch, and, other than a small number of words and phrases, I couldn’t understand anything; me trying to understand spoken Dutch is like me trying to watch La Mujer en el Espejo on Telemundo – I’m not going to understand very much.

Some good Dutch websites to check out include, home of de Volkskrant newspaper, as well as, home of the Netherlands’ public television networks. Or you could probably just click on one of the links for Dutch learning programs that will invariably show up on my Google ad banner above this post.

But anyway, I’ve strayed way too far from my original intent in posting, so I think I’m just going to end it right now. I hope you enjoy the new look of my blog, because you’ll likely be looking at for at least the next 6 months.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Celebrate With Wallpaper

Just in time for the Fourth of July, I did some digging around on my computer and came up with six desktop wallpapers that I made and posted to the blog last year. I thought it would be a good idea to post them again this year, so that anybody who is in need of timely wallpaper can go ahead and get one before Independence Day passes.

Excluding the pictures of fireworks, all of the pictures in the wallpapers are my own taking. I got the pictures of fireworks from one of those websites that has stock photography and then just added some filters in Photoshop to get the effects I desired. I’m offering two sizes of wallpapers, 1024x768 and, due to popular demand, 1280x1024. Go ahead and get the version that suites you and have a good Fourth of July!

Wallpaper 1
This is the flag located in the Veterans' Memorial next to the courthouse in Brainerd, MN

Wallpaper 2

Wallpaper 3

Wallpaper 4

Wallpaper 5

Wallpaper 6

Previous Posts

Four Years Have Passed
Winter of 2007-08 Musings
7th Annual Top 10 Super Bowl Commercials
Another Birthday
A Beltated Update
2007 Vacation: Day 10 Summary
2007 Vacation: Day 9 Summary
2007 Vacation: Day 8 Summary
2007 Vacation: Day 7 Summary
2007 Vacation: Day 6 Summary


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Mitch's Blog Copyright 2001-2012 Mitch Wahlsten -- All Rights Reserved
The thoughts and opinions expressed are those of Mitch Wahlsten and the participants
Mitch's Blog began on December 23, 2001