Monday, March 23, 2009

I am not crazy to want a one-speed mountain bike...

...and yet, the people at Old Spokes Home looked at me like I'd got early-onset dementia. Anyway, they tell me there's nothing wrong with my blasted 21 speeds, except that I know I have some gear slippage (even in what is ostensibly first gear), which is not fun when you're trying to pedal standing up, going up a hill.

I got a temporary job with the census. Am I crazy not to apply for the historic preservation job in Alaska this summer? It's just that if I have to move to the Amherst area in August, I won't have any time left at all to enjoy my house, and given the extreme downward spiral of the world in general, perhaps this is the only and last house I will ever own before I die, so there. And all readers and/or non-readers who were invited to come visit me, well, so ends your chance. I think in my case there is a negative correlation in terms of how advanced my degree is, versus how much I get paid and how much respect I happen to receive on the job. So, as far as I can determine, when I finish my PhD, I will be living in a box by the river, "the forgotten [wo]man."

Speaking of PhDs... Finally, the U of C has posted the (long overdue) feature on Guy Alitto, the University's best professor, according to this reliable news source (me). You can read it here. But be sure to watch the video too. You get to hear Ai Kai speaking Chinese, and I especially like his colloquial use of "ai-ya," (哎呀!) in his classic Chicago Bulls story. 我惦您,尤其您的故事。 艾恺,请拜访绿色山!

I thought, yesterday, that if I had to prepare a lecture-in-a-box (you know, a 15 to 30 minute presentation for interview purposes), it might do to make it something like "Basic House Framing." I could easily discuss wall framing, layout, the difference between western and balloon frame, subfloor installation, and possibly get into roof pitches and rafter cuts. I thought this might be a good subject that most academics don't know--and then I thought, "boy, I could get myself into trouble if there's a diehard do-it-yourselfer on a faculty." I'm anticipating someone who shuns Advantech as a subfloor (although why you wouldn't be on the Advantech bandwagon I don't know), or has some alternative terminology for things (like in Florida they call a reciprocating saw (Sawzall) a "Zawsall."

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