About

I'm Mike Pope. I live in the Seattle area. I've been a technical writer and editor for over 30 years. I'm interested in software, language, music, movies, books, motorcycles, travel, and ... well, lots of stuff.

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Keep your old love letters. Throw away your old bank statements.

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Blog Statistics

Dates
First entry - 6/27/2003
Most recent entry - 9/21/2018

Totals
Posts - 2522
Comments - 2582
Hits - 2,081,911

Averages
Entries/day - 0.45
Comments/entry - 1.02
Hits/day - 374

Updated every 30 minutes. Last: 12:17 PM Pacific


  09:57 PM

We headed to campus today to at least visit the bookstore. Sabrina had not had the experience before of shopping for college textbooks and finding your class and the book list in the bookstore. As it happens, she'd forgotten her class list in the hotel room, but we knew she needed books for two classes -- music theory and German -- and we thought we'd be able to guess the class numbers from what was on offer. She's starting German, for example, so German 100 and whaddya know, all sections use the same text. Similar with theory, although it was slightly more difficult to triangulate on the right class; dang, there are a lot of theory classes at this school. But by process of elimination we found the right books. I lightened my wallet considerably at the cash register (or more like, burdened the credit-card statement). Always a shock. Though the bag with the books in it was satisfyingly heavy.

The main bookstore had no apparel specfic to the music school -- excuse me, the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University -- but Sabrina knew of a secret apparel shop just for music stuff that was tucked into the practice-rooms building. So we set off on foot.

One of my functions on this trip is to be the designated lost person. We couldn't figure out how to drive to the bookstore; dad stopped and asked a parking attendant. We didn't know exactly where the practice-room building was; dad stopped and asked at the music library. Etc. People are, of course, unfailingly friendly and helpful, but I suspect that it's just easier for a dad kind of person to tell a perfect stranger that he's a tourist, lost, and generally befuddled -- ie, not cool.

After becladding myself with appropriately emblazoned fashion items, we headed back. Our wanderings took us past Sabrina's dorm, where we stopped in to see what was what. People were checking in. We asked about that, and it turns out that for a fee, you can move in early. Hmm. So our slight change of plan for the moment is to move Sabrina in tomorrow, a day early, and suffer the modest fee, while (hopefully) avoiding the crush of the incoming freshmen on Wednesday. We'll see.

We also went by the music building, coz I wanted to see it (more practice rooms) and to perhaps catch her clarinet professor. He wasn't there, but hey, look, there's the signup sheet for auditions. So she got herself signed up for that, too, and there's another task accomplished.

Lots of driving today. I'm starting to get my bearings, but it's been slow. When we were at Target the first day, I bought a little compass that I could stick on the inside of the windshield, because I could never tell what the hell direction I was driving. Between that and studying the map, I more-or-less figured out the arterials and how to get between them. I even had one of those experiences where you realize that you've been taking the long way around, and shoot, if you just turned right instead of left when you leave home, you'd be there much sooner.

Some of what we find here is familiar from my days in Denver, other things are new. The streets are wider than Seattle, and laid out in the orderly grid I always knew, with alternating one-way streets and timed lights. (The modest traffic control system here backs up even so.)

The town is currently very green, and the tall deciduous trees are all in full leaf. (I stopped to look at one: buckeye. I don't know what all the rest are, tho.) I can imagine that in winter, there will no green anywhere, because I haven't seen any pines or fir, I don't think. On the first day, I took an extremely roundabout way back to the hotel, which afforded an opportunity to see some of the countryside. (As I say, a roundabout way.) It's beautiful, really, rolling green fields, white fences, roads with overhanging trees that make them into green, leafy lanes. I saw bicycles and motorcycles on that drive, and imagine that it would be a wondeful way to see that country.

Something new to me are the cicadas[1], who keep up their surprisingly loud chirruping all day and all night. For the most part they don't seem to be visible, but we got a glimpse of one confused bug that had landed on an aluminum light pole, and while on our stroll through campus I found a well-preserved cast from a cicada that had molted.

Tomorrow we check out of the hotel and I, at least, move to the next place. Sabrina will hopefully be at the dorm with all her stuff. And then, we're not sure. One proposal is to head into Indianapolis to see some stuff. Or maybe we'll just hang out. I just started a book I'm enjoying, so really, I'm about set, vacation-wise.


[1] You know, they say that there's a community for everything on the Web, but I don't think that I would have predicted that there's a blog for people who are interested in cicadas. I say yay for people and their kaleidescope of interests, and double-yay for the Web where they can all find one another.

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