Comic Book Collecting: Millennium #1

Millenium #01

Millenium #01

I loved the X-Files and its spinoff, Millennium.  Yet, they both had a major flaw if I remember correctly.  They played on Friday nights.  Friday nights in the fall in Louisiana are reserved for prep football.  I tried to keep up with the X-Files as much as I could in these pre-DVR days.  I did watch every episode of the 1st season for Millennium.

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Teaching: Using Spotify in the Classroom

One of my favorite things to do is to soundtrack my reading.  For example, when reading a biography of Truman, I would listen to popular music from whatever time the chapter was set.  If it is a fiction book, I try to figure out what music matches the mood.  I know this is a nerdy thing to do, but check out the subtitle of this blog.

This led me to thinking of how use Spotify in the classroom.  I teach Computer Science so that practically limits me to Kraftwerk and one Flight of the Concords song.  However, I have certifications in English and Social Studies and this is where Spotify can truly enhance a classroom.

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Traveling: The Royal Mile and a Walk to the Firth

A view of the Royal Mile

A view of the Royal Mile

Our first full day in Edinburgh was a walk around day.  In fact, if my Fitbit was to be believed, it was over 9 miles.   The day served as a precursor to what we would do in Edinburgh.  The more we reflect on our trip the more we realized how much we missed.  This happens when you travel. If you enjoy the parts you did explore, and trust me we did, then you cannot worry about what you missed.

We walked down Pleasance Street toward the Royal Mile.  Along the way we passed the Holyrood 9A, which would be come one of our favorite restaurants, but more importantly we passed a bagpipe shop.  Once you pass a bagpipe shop, you know you are in Scotland.

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Parading: Apollo, A Bayou Parade

Kurt's Sister (right) and friend in the Lockport parade

Kurt’s Sister (right) and friend in the Lockport parade

“If you go to New Orleans, you ought to go see the Mardi Gras.”

Professor Longhair is right – of course he is, he’s always right – if you ever visit New Orleans you should go see the Mardi Gras. Mardi Gras season starts on twelfth night and ends Mardi Gras day. There are plenty of Mardi Gras parades, but only on that Tuesday is it truly Mardi Gras. Our favorite New Orleans parade is Muses. We also call it carnival, because on Ash Wednesday, Catholics say goodbye to meat. Good ones, anyway.

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Parading: Muses, A New Orleans Parade (picture heavy)

Now that grad school is over, Kurt and I started to slowly have a life again, which means now that it is Mardi Gras season, we can go out and enjoy the greatest free show on Earth, the parades in New Orleans. Other cities have their own parades and unique traditions, but in my opinion, nothing holds a candle to the beauty of a New Orleans parade. One parade that is tops for fun, beauty, and uniqueness is Muses. Muses is always the Thursday night before Mardi Gras, which means we usually have work on Friday morning; however, this year, by some beautiful luck of fate, we are off on Friday. Thus, it was the perfect night to finally enjoy the over 1000 all female Krewe of Muses, who just happen to have a shoe fetish.

Krewe of Muses

The famous Krewe of Muses shoe.

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Listening: Why I Spend More Money on Music Because of Spotify

There are tons of things wrong with Spotify.  It does not pay the artists enough money, especially new bands and artists that do not and will not move tons of records.  David Byrne, who I admire greatly, feels that “the internet will suck all creative content out of the world.”

I could not agree with them more.  Except, I completely disagree with them as well.

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Traveling: Arriving in Edinburgh is Comedy of Errors

At the Edinburgh Airport while we still have energy

At the Edinburgh Airport while we still have energy

We arrived in Edinburgh at the wonderful hour of 6 am on a Saturday morning.  We waited in the airport for a little bit before taking the bus to the city center.  The three of us, Cristina, our classmate Cody, and myself, walked to the Royal Mile.  This was a unique site for us.  The Royal Mile is probably the most famous street in Edinburgh and is usually full of activity.  At this time, it was not.  It was pretty empty.  We knew it was too early to check into our dorm so we did some window shopping. Whisky and kilts lined the windows of most shops.

We eventually made our way to the place to find out where our dorm was in a futile attempt to store our luggage with them.  They had no lockers or anything. We asked the guy at the desk where to get a good meal.  He pointed us to the City Restaurant.  I ordered the Midi breakfast which consisted of thick bacon, a fried egg, 2 sausages, beans, toast, and haggis.  This was my first trying of haggis on the trip.  It reminded me of rice dressing without the rice.  It was not served in a stomach but just in a small patty. It was an easy introduction to haggis, and I, for one, enjoyed it.  After breakfast, we went to large book store across the street and took a nap.

Cristina's first Scottish Breakfast

Cristina’s first Scottish Breakfast

My first Scottish Breakfast. The patty is haggis.

My first Scottish Breakfast. The patty is haggis.

Queen approved Tabasco

Queen approved Tabasco

Around noon, two hours before we were supposed to be allowed to check in, wewent try the dorm place again.  Other members of our trip, who were on different flights, were there right before us.  The guy was giving them the keys so we got ours as well.

Then, he drew on a map the precise location of our dorm.  He forgot to tell us he failed geography.

The place where he marked our room as being was three blocks away from our actually dorm.  Cody and Cristina took over and eventually solved the problem after plenty of walking with all of our luggage, which for Cristina and I was a slightly overfilled backpack.  We finally figured out the building by using the key code to get into it’s courtyard.

Then we found another problem.  The numbers on the keys only corresponded to the number of keys they were and not to the building or flat. We just had to try keys  in every building.  Once we gained access to a building then we had to try for flat.  In the states that would probably get us shot.  Once in the flat, we had to try the keys for every room before finding ours.  By luck of the draw Cristina had the largest room.  Cristina and Cody had the best view with the Salisbury Crags right outside.  I got the room by the bathrooms with a view of another dorm.

The Crags outside of our dorm

The Crags outside of our dorm

Our two other flatmates arrived later in the afternoon while the three of us were to take naps. The entire group later convened in the courtyard where our professors met us and told us the basics of the trip.  I have no idea if we ate in for supper, our flat had a kitchen, or if we went out.  I just know that we took some Benedryl early and went sleep around 7 that evening.