Saturday, August 25, 2007

New Toy

I bought a replacement camera so I can take pictures of my students when classes start again (Monday, Ack!), so that means I can take pictures of stuff. Like the new car:

OK, now back to regularly scheduled class preparation.

Sunday, August 19, 2007

The Pile is Following me

Remember the pile? The giant stack of trash (including furniture) dumped out on the lawn after a neighbor moved out in Virginia? It followed me to Pennsylvania, apparently. When I came back from my trip Saturday night, I found the neighbor (on the same side as before, mind you) had left a huge pile of trash out in the yard. (Granted, a much smaller pile this time, which does not actually include furniture, but is still impressive.) Trash collection on Monday morning picked up only the bagged items, which still left a veritable cornucopia of junk. I was briefly hopeful, because there seemed to be people cleaning the next door apartment who apparently bagged up most of the remaining stuff, but then left everything. There was a local skunk which was nosing around the pile at night.

Do I just attract this for some reason?

Thankfully, the stuff has finally disappeared.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Time Wasters of the Summer

Just a short list of things that have helped me waste time this summer:
  • I know the lyrics to Yakko's World and Wakko's America. I'm waiting for a good opportunity to whip them out.
  • I finished Might and Magic VI: The Mandate of Heaven. I loved the Might and Magic series, but they stopped coming out for Mac after the fifth. (I'm a fan of turn based role-playing games, because I have no coordination or patience to try to do things in real time.) However, I have access to a PC now, so I bought a used copy of VI-IX off of and had fun with VI most of the summer. I finally obtained blaster weapons for my characters, defeated the Kreegan queen, and saved the world. (For those not familiar, the series is a basic fantasy role playing game that mixes in a sci-fi element at the end of each game. So you have archers and wizards battling robots on spaceships or something. Those who know me can probably see why this appeals to me.)
  • At the end of July, Deathly Hallows came out. (Book Seven of Harry Potter, but you knew that, right?) I spent a day (about 12 hours) reading it, so I'm not sure if it counts as a total summer time waster. Besides, how can that be wasted time? I finally know about how Neville and Harry were really switched at birth but both have been slipped Polyjuice potion in their sleep for their entire lives. (You have to read if you want to know what really happens.) I was delighted by the book, and was equally delighted (and smug) to find that basically everything I predicted about the end came to pass. But in any case, I'm glad I finally know how it all ends up. I even apparently convinced one of my colleagues to read the whole series.
  • I'm not sure it counts as time-wasting, but I did spend about two weeks researching and shopping for a car. I hate doing things like that, but I always want to make sure I get a good deal on something I like. I also looked into replacement digital cameras, and next up is a navigation system.


I bought a new car. I bought the car because I no longer completely trusted the old one to go on long trips. I need to go on long trips because my other half lives in another state 7 hours away. I was waiting until late in the summer because I was waiting to see if we were going on strike or not, which was supposed to be settled by the end of July. We supposedly weren't, although this is up in the air again. I got tired of waiting, said "screw it", and bought a lovely blue Toyota Camry using my summer school money as the down payment. When the contract is settled I'll pay off an additional large chunk of it.

I would include a picture of the new car with this post, since it really is extra lovely, but my camera is broken. I discovered this when I went to take pictures of my students at the start of summer classes and found it functions perfectly except for not taking any pictures, which is a bit of a snag for a camera. I think I need to replace this before the semester starts. Interestingly, I was searching for recommendations on a new model from the same website that had suggested my original model a few years ago, and found my current camera mentioned in an article on "the worst digital cameras ever made". Which makes me wonder if I'm wise to take advice from them again.

But in any case, I got the car and got to travel down to Kentucky again for a week. I love visiting, but dislike the trip. The new car is nice 'though. It's much quieter on the road than the Focus, which is nice, because it's easier to nap while I drive. We did get to make a short trip to Lexington and found nice Indian food, which is one thing that Erie is a little short on. (Although there is a grocery store that stocks tons of Indian, including lots of nifty pre-made dishes in little pouches that you can heat up and eat. It's lovely.)

Now I'm back and have to start planning for the semester, plus possibly do something about finally publishing something. There ended up being less summer than I thought for all of this.