Sunday, December 24, 2006

Christmas in the Cubicle

Of course the last week before the university shuts down for Christmas, it's a little hard to get work done. You think about the errands to the post office or UPS that you have to run at lunch. Table space gets covered with irresistable sugary treats that everyone has to sample and analyze. One thing that helped me stay in cubicle and on task this past week, however, was some beautiful, relaxing, jazzy Christmas music by Dave Brubeck. "A Dave Brubeck Christmas" on Telarc Jazz contains the following cuts:

1. 'Homecoming' Jingle Bells
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
3. Joy To The World
4. Away In A Manger
5. Winter Wonderland
6. O Little Town Of Bethlehem
7. What Child Is This? (Greensleeves)
8. To Us Is Given
9. O Tannenbaum
10. Silent Night Listen
11. Cantos Para Pedir Las Posadas
12. Run, Run, Run To Bethlehem
13. 'Farewell' Jingle Bells
14. The Christmas Song

The album, filled with standards, doesn't present them innovatively but does offer sincere, even simple, renditions of your favorite tunes. I've heard most of these songs way too often, and certain versions of them can send me running from the shopping mall, but Brubeck does them in a homey, delightful way that makes you feel like you're sitting around the tree with your family.

This album got me through the pre-Christmas work week and let me enjoy Christmas at work more than I have in a while. If you still need to buy a Christmas gift, download this from iTunes and burn everyone a CD. They'll love you - and, like I did last summer, may even bring it out in July to give it a listen.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Snow day

I've been at Bradley almost eight years and yesterday was the first time I remember classes being cancelled due to severe weather. What a rare pleasure to get up, drink a cup of coffee, and realize that I did not have to go out in this mess. I knew I wouldn't be able to get the car out of the driveway until we get it plowed and I did not relish walking through waist-high snow drifts to get to my office.

As the sun came out yesterday, however, I did think about walking to campus to take some pictures. And then I remembered the webcam (which I recently wrote about on a new blog at Bradley, titled Lydia's View). This latest webcam surpasses our old one in quality - instead of capturing an image every few seconds, it provides a live stream. You can see snowdrops coming down, the flag waving, and people walking past, all in real time. I captured this image from the cam yesterday in the early morning.

I remember when I lived in the more southerly part of the state as a child and we had several tremendous blizzards and I don't think we had mail or paper delivery in our rural community for at least at week. But yesterday in Peoria we did not receive a paper and the mailman did not appear. That is a first. So far this morning, we have also not received a paper. We live a ways back from the street so I hope the mailman doesn't try walking through the drifts just to deliver more catalogs today!

The new Bradley webcam is at