Monday, November 17, 2008

Vanderbilt, a squirrel and a win!

Friday last (the 14th) was son David's birthday, and I did phone him a "happy birthday".

I also made a customary trip to Operation Stand Down Nashville, for coffee, local phoning (so as to not run up minutes on my cell) and computering. The latter being inaccessible due to the computer lab being closed, I chose to ride the city bus over to Vanderbilt University, my dear Masters-level alma mater.

Generally I use one of the bank of terminals on the main floor near the main entrance to the Central Library. But since I came from the bus stop on the street I entered thru the lower-level Divinity School Library (also housed in the C.L. building). As I walked along, headed for the stairs up to the main level, I espied an unused computer terminal, and considered, "Why should I go upstairs when there's a terminal right here?"

I should have kept going.

You see, dear reader, when I sought to use the computer terminal I found out that it didn't have a mouse. It had a squirrel -- or perhaps more accurately imprisoned a squirrel!

Whenever I tried to move the arrow/cursor/pointer to the specific point it needed to be for me to key and enter a word or words, or to click on a specific point, whenever I got the cursor close to that desired spot on the screen -- the doggone cursor would suddenly jump to another spot on the screen! Or even clear out of view! I would somehow gain control -- I tho't -- over the cursor and get it moving toward that desired spot again. And again it would suddenly jump to another spot on the screen.

Arrrgh! Frustrating! Time-consuming! See why I say that the terminal in question didn't have a mouse but rather a squirrel?

To make this even more amusing is the fact that the Vandy campus is home to plenty of the furry, bushy-tailed critters. There are photos of the rodents all thru my wife's Vandy annuals from her undergrad days there. And I saw plenty of them, and probably tried to feed them a time or two, during my grad school days on this venerable, woodsy campus. Ah-h-h-h! the memories! I love squirrels, it's true. But please keep them OUT of the computer terminal I happen to be endeavoring to do word processing or Internet work on!

Continuing the focus on Vanderbilt, the Commodores played a football game Saturday night, against SEC foe University of Kentucky, in Lexington. Our gridiron men were suffering a four-game losing streak, after an unprecedented five-game season-opening win streak. So I chose to listen to all of the Grand Ole Opry instead. And Saturday's show was terrific to listen to, with Diamond Rio and other talented acts on the stage of the Ryman.

Next day at Eastwood Christian Church (Disciples) Pastor Jay Hartley preached his first sermon since returning from sabbatical (see next post). Toward the back of the church (the main entrance) I saw a young man wearing, as he had before, a black shirt with a solid gold necktie. Following Worship I approached him and commented on the garments and their colors as being Vandy's, and then asked if he knew how the 'Dores did in Lexington.

"They actually won," he replied. Which indicated that he, like yours truly, had pre-game fears that the losing streak might continue. My response to this unexpected good news was to thrust my right fist high in the air with a hearty "Yes!"

I then took the bus out to the tony Green Hills neighborhood south of the campus. A Kroger grocery store there features a terrific salad bar and an eating area with two big TV screens. It's a swell place to do Sunday after-church dinner if all I have for fiscal resources is my food stamp card! While there I saw that the Sunday edition of the Tennessean newspaper had a blurb about the Commodores' victory near the top of the front page. It announced that due to this, their sixth win of '08, they become bowl-game eligible!

Wow! Now, if the Vandy eleven can just beat their next opponent, the stinking Vols from Knoxville!

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